On 9/30/2013 2:02 AM, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
Let me give an example: Free will.
That we can choose between alternative actions (and we can predict the consequences for
the good or evil of ourselves and others) has been ever considered a fact. something
evident. No greek philosopher, no oriental philosopher, to my knowledge, considered free
will as something debatable. That implicit definition of free will is the straight one
and there is no doubt about it.
Greek philosophers considered whether the gods pulled our strings like pupeteers, at least
occasionally. But of course they didn't consider clockwork determinism - that came after
The jews and christian had more reasons to attack free will, since an all omnipotent
omniscient creator God is at odds with the idea that the human being can choose
anything. But both wanted not to go against what is evident the naked understanding: the
fact that we can choose. Then Judaism and Christianity created a theology compatible
with human free will.
It isn't really clear that it's compatible. If God both foresees bad action and fails to
prevent it, then he fails the test of omnibenevolence.
That did not happen in the muslim word. I don´t like to cite names but the idea of an
omnipotent God was taken to the final consequences. Also the Lutheran and specially
calvinists. That is an ideológical negation of what is evident. I mean, it is a negation
of what is evident -free will as was defined above- by cause of an idea external to the
evidence, -the idea of an omnipotent God.
The trouble is that contra-causal free will is not evident. What is evident is a certain
feeling and unpredictability (even by oneself).
To compatibilize with the evidence of free will, muslims and christian reformists
entered in different forms of fatalism and negation of the primacy of human
understanding, so evidences such are the notion of free will were not such evidences,
but creations of our wicked nature. (Although the idea of divine love saved protestants
from the social starvation that the negation of free will produced in the Muslim world).
That has a exact parallel today in the negation of free will by cause of the existence
of deterministic laws. Since free will, as defined above is evident, to construct the
ideological negation, the contemporaries can not get rid of human understanding, because
the human capability for unlimited knowledge is a dogma.
I don't know who maintains that!? Can you cite where this "dogma" is written. The idea
that free will is a kind of unpredictability, per Scott Aaronson or Bruno, explicitly
depend on the limited knowledge of human beings.
It is necessary to redefine free will as something different, for example as some
unpredictability as a result of some process in the brain. Here is were the
discussions about free will are reduced today.
Instead of that I want to stress the evidence of free will. According with the naked
definition, it is evident that we have free will.
It may be evident that we have "it", but it's not evident what "it" is. As JC notes
nobody seems to have a definition of it. To me, that implies we need to look for an
operational definition - which is where absence of coercion and unpredictable come in.
These are not very definite, since they admit of degrees, but they are in fact what social
policy relies on.
All the rest, including theories, must accommodate this fact and not the other
The trouble is "this fact" just refers to a personal feeling and so is useless for social
policy: "Did you feel that you had free will when you shot your husband?"
The negation of this is not only to twist the concepts and to reverse the order of
science, that normally goes from evidence to theory, but it can also have grave social
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