On Sunday, March 17, 2013 3:16:15 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:55 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> You insist that "free will" is incompatible with determinism or 
> >> randomness. If I accept this definition, then free will is impossible. 
> >> "Control" can be defined in such a way that it is possible even if 
> >> free will is impossible. 
> > 
> > 
> > I don't think that control can be defined in such a way that it is 
> possible 
> > without free will. Not literally. We can project control onto an 
> inanimate 
> > system figuratively, via the pathetic fallacy, and say that rainfall 
> > controls crop yields or something like that, but there is no intention 
> on 
> > the part of rainfall to manipulate crop yields. While it may not always 
> be 
> > easy to discern what exactly makes a given process unintentional or 
> > intentional when it is a public observation, but privately the 
> difference 
> > between what we can possibly control and what we may not ever be able to 
> > control is abundantly clear. 
> As I said, a common definition of "control" is the ability to 
> determine something's behaviour according to your wishes. That you 
> have wishes is independent of whether you have free will, whatever the 
> definition of free will. 

What turns a wish into action other than free will? We have many wishes, 
what determines which ones we promote to effort?


> >> However, if you define control as 
> >> incompatible with determinism or randomness then control is impossible 
> > 
> > 
> > I would not say that free will/self-control>control is incompatible from 
> > unintentional processes (determinism or randomness), but just as the 
> yellow 
> > traffic light implies the customs and meanings of both red and green 
> lights, 
> > there is a clear distinction between intention and unintention. 
> > 
> >> 
> >> also. We will have to use an alternative word to indicate what was 
> >> previously called control in order to avoid confusion in our 
> >> discussions. 
> > 
> > 
> > Why, getting too close to something that you can't deny and conflate? 
> I know exactly what I mean by "free will" and "control" but if you 
> define them differently then I'll happily agree that these things are 
> impossible according to your definition. We are disagreeing about 
> language in this case, not about facts. We disagree about facts in 
> other cases, such as whether judges believe that the brain of the 
> accused works according to deterministic or random processes. 

I disagree that we are disagreeing about language. I have always proposed 
that free will is orthogonal to deterministic or random processes, which 
are both opposite kinds of unintentional phenomena. Free will is an 
intentional process which explicitly opposes both external determination 
and randomness. Intention is voluntary. As unintentional phenomena can be 
described as the polarity of randomness and determination, intentional 
phenomena might similarly be described in the polarity of active creativity 
and reactive preference. 

As far as judges go, any judge that believes that those they pass judgment 
over are ruled by randomness or determinism would be a fraud, as all such 
acts are by definition innocent. Likewise, to believe in their own capacity 
for judgment they would be frauds to believe that their choices are random 
or passively received by fate yet still present themselves as personally 
responsible for their own judgments. I don't doubt that some judges do feel 
this way, but they are still frauds if they could really take their beliefs 


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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