On 30 September 2013 16:56, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> I think it's just definitional.  What constitutes "you".  If you see
> someone else throw dice and you're bound to follow different actions
> depending on how they fall then you're a slave to randomness.  If you
> decide to throw the dice in order to determine your course of action then
> it's an act of will.  Now suppose something random in your head, like decay
> of a radioactive iodine atom, causes a certain thought that leads to you
> choosing vanilla instead of chocolate ice cream. Did you choose or were you
> "a slave to randomness"?  And note that in this kind of example the
> randomness doesn't make you do just anything.  It can only work within the
> range of your deterministic self.  It won't make you choose liver ice cream
> or jump off a bridge.  We make the distinction in ordinary discourse: We
> say someone isn't acting himself when they do something wildly inconsistent
> with their past behavior.  We send them to a psychiatrist.
> So equally, if I threw the dice in secret to decide what to do (having
decided by "an act of will" what the results mean before I do so) that
would give the same result as if they happened to be inside me.

As you say this seems purely definitional. I can't see any greater or
lesser amount of being "a slave to randomness" however you do it.

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