2013/9/30 meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net>

> 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 Newton.
>> 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.

There were some solutions for that. but this not the subject of the
discussion. That was a difficult question and there were some early sects
that promulgated predestination.

>> 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).

contra-causal why?. If the concept of free-will is according with the
definition in the first paragraph, it is compatible with determinism at a
lower level . If the circustances determine my conduct , then they also
determine my fight agains the circunstances and my doubt about if my
circunsances are determined or not, and my moral doubts about what I intend
to do.

What I can not do, think and feel if these phrases are true, with the word
"determined" that I can do, think and feel if these phrases are false?
 Nothing. I act, think and feel according with the naked definition of free
wll. Therefore we have free will.

>  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.
> See above.

I´m not saying that the problem is settled.  What I´m saying is that it is
settled what I´m interersted in. And I´m primarily and above all interested
in the definition of free will used by the early phylosophers that asked
themselves about free will, and not a derivative issue as a result of some
belief or discovery that created a theory that has implications for free

But at the same time, I strongly suspect that the people mix all these
levels in a single one and extract conclussions that are deleterious for
his life. I believe, or affirm that knowledge is for living. A confusion of
levels can be dangerous.

>  All the rest, including theories, must accommodate this fact and not the
>> other way around.
> 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?"
> Brent
>   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 consequences.
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