On 3/18/2013 1:02 PM, John Mikes wrote:
don't put so much brain-grease into Free Will, please!
I'm not. That's why I was careful to distinguish freedom and the feeling of freedom from
will and the feeling of resolve. We can have them together, but that doesn't make them
into one thing.
It is the religious mambo-jumbo put into the mind of the poor-believers in ancient times
to make them responsible for deeds the powerful disliked - and consequently: make them
I don't think that's right. The idea of responsibility was taken for granted. It was
only after the development of Newtonian mechanics that the idea that human actions might
be deterministic was conceived. Then "free will" became the reactionary idea to preserve
the traditional ideas of resposibility.
Then it became a 'human treasure':
*"We are FREE to Will!" *(like a god) and now even smart, reasonable people like us
spend centuries to discuss it.
A decision is right when it goes smoothly with the given and continuing circumstances it
has to fit into (Think of the mis - construed 'evolution': if it does not 'fit' the
We may (or may not) know about the given circumstances and for sure may have only
desultory and unsafe notions about the 'coming' ones. Our evaluation (call it
computing?) results in a decision (conscious or not) for our activity - OR just way of
thinking. Reasonably we try to abide by those circumstances we know of and formulate
(consciously, or not) our decision according to our best belief (maybe this is contrary
to our interest?). Hence emerges FREE WILL.
I am not faithful enough to believe in MY free will and go to hell by force of this
misconception. I may make mistakes.
I am not deterministically forced to comply with all facets of the infinite complexity -
known, or unknown. I can revolt. Meaning: I can knowingly choose the wrong decision.
Is that free will? Maybe. That's a matter of definition.
On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be
On 15 Mar 2013, at 18:22, meekerdb wrote:
On 3/15/2013 7:16 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
You're walking down a road and spot a fork in the road far ahead. You know
advantages and disadvantages to both paths so you arn't sure if you will go
or left, you haven't finished the calculation yet, you haven't decided yet.
you get to the fork you find yourself on the left path and retroactively
that you must have "decided" to go left.
Yes. That's what I mean by free will. Roughly speaking. Except that I
consciously before acting. If not, it is like randomness, or unconscious
and that is not free will. Free-will is when I want to go the left, and
accordingly to go to the left, and nobody coerce me to not go to the left.
not much different than will + freedom.
That seems to me just and explanation of a certain *feeling* of a feeling of
freedom and of will. If you find yourself on the left path without having
consciously thought "I'll take the left." then you miss the feeling of
it may just be that your conscious thoughts are lagging a little.
I agree but that makes free-will independent of the feeling. With my
free will, it is real,even if not felt, as the machine have the real
hesitate between subgoals and make choice hesitantly, knowing partially the
When you're playing a game, say tennis, and you hit the ball to the left
have done so without conscious consideration yet it was just the right shot
was what you "willed" to win which you realize on reflection.
OK. Although I think that free-will is more typical for decision taking
and more self-controversial, like the decision to drink some beer before
plane with passengers ...
You have a feeling of freedom so long as you are not coerced or limited by
something you can consciously consider; that's essentially all the feeling
freedom is, not being able to think of anything that is restricting or
from taking an action. Since you can't be directly aware of deterministic
random processes in your brain, whether they are random or deterministic
bearing on the freedom+will feeling.
I agree. But I think that free-will is more than a feeling. It is a real
of reflected choice. Indeed it has nothing to so with determinacy or
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