24
   

Does free will exist?

 
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 06:25 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
You could have summed that up as "**** Happens.".
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 11:07 am
@livinglava,
Quote:
I think there are some sleights of hand in quantum physics theory that obfuscate determinism, but there is no escaping causality in the quantum realm and more than there is the possibility of defying conservation laws or thermodynamics.

It's just that QM are causal but not determinist. Biology too, BTW. I'm fine with the concept of causality, it's useful, but determinism is an add-on that assumes a humongous lot -- e.g. that this present conversation was bound to happen of all eternity in exactly the way it's happening now, typos included -- and that serves no purpose that I can see. In fact it's disempowering.

To use Leadfoot's apt terminology, the fact that "**** happens" doesn't imply that it was bound to happen of all eternity.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 05:06 pm
The arguments for freedom were as usual poor. The perception of freedom is not proof of freedom. /debate closed.
Still, this "thing" is worth seeing if for no other reason but to show up how convoluted the argument needs to be to barely make a scratch at an attempt to defend a paradoxical notion like Freedom and Will put together in the same sentence.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2020 05:54 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Quote:
I think there are some sleights of hand in quantum physics theory that obfuscate determinism, but there is no escaping causality in the quantum realm and more than there is the possibility of defying conservation laws or thermodynamics.

It's just that QM are causal but not determinist. Biology too, BTW. I'm fine with the concept of causality, it's useful, but determinism is an add-on that assumes a humongous lot -- e.g. that this present conversation was bound to happen of all eternity in exactly the way it's happening now, typos included -- and that serves no purpose that I can see. In fact it's disempowering.

To use Leadfoot's apt terminology, the fact that "**** happens" doesn't imply that it was bound to happen of all eternity.

So what exactly do you mean by 'deterministic' then?

Every cause has antecedent causes. Causation is not singular, though, but rather multiple causes interact to produce effects under conditions that were also caused by multiple antecedent causes.

Reality is complex and interactional, but does that make it less deterministic? I think you could assume that if multiple causes interact, there is some way things could happen in different ways, but ultimately they don't because they can't.

Put in human terms, let's say you are choosing between pizza and a sandwich for lunch; your mind is primed to (for example) either choose 1) the sandwich, because you made it and you're not going to waste it to eat pizza; or 2) the pizza, because you aren't going to waste the chance to eat a slice of pizza just because you have a sandwich you made and brought with you. Whatever your mind is primed to choose, that's going to be your choice and you can't avoid choosing what you choose. If you try not to choose, you will still make whatever choice you make, e.g. you won't eat lunch at all because you decided not to choose either the pizza or the sandwich, i.e. because you decided you wanted to resist choosing altogether.

You must go on choosing, whether you think you have free will or not. There's no other choice besides choosing.

You could just say that agency is a way of interpreting actions. That's why I say you can apply the interpretive frame of agency to a human choosing what to eat, a ball choosing where to bounce and roll, and/or God creating the universe, separating the water and the firmament, telling the living things to be fruitful and multiply, etc. etc.
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 01:35 am
@livinglava,
Determinism is the philosophical belief that all events are determined completely by previously existing causes. -- wikipedia
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 03:38 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
He lost me several times. The compulsive recourse to determinism is unfounded in science and unnecessary. But most importantly, it is in my view absurd to suppose the existence of an entity that has no effect on anything else, as he does at 13:45. “[in order to believe in free will] we would have to assume the existence of an entity that can make molecules swirl from their path”. Can you name one entity of any sort in this universe that cannot “make molecules swirl from their path”. The neutrino, maybe?

If a darn spoon can “make molecules swirl from their path”, why can’t the mind?
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 03:46 am
@Olivier5,
It always boils down to the question of 'Is there, or isn’t there?'.
And I think I followed Fil's video to the end.

His conclusion is always predicated on the assumption of “Case Closed” though.

Not satisfying. Yeah, I know, I had no choice in feeling that way.
Briancrc
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 04:21 am
@livinglava,
Quote:
Every cause has antecedent causes. Causation is not singular, though, but rather multiple causes interact to produce effects under conditions that were also caused by multiple antecedent causes.

Reality is complex and interactional, but does that make it less deterministic? I think you could assume that if multiple causes interact, there is some way things could happen in different ways, but ultimately they don't because they can't.


This seems a good explanation for why it's difficult to identify antecedent causes to biological behavior. It's easier to see determinism at work when reducing the complexity of the phenomena to things like billiard balls. And maybe the increased complexity and differences in how antecedents and consequences work on biological organisms versus inanimate objects leads to the difficulties in identifying what is happening. The selective effects of consequences are removed in time from subsequent actions.

It's probably for similar reasons that people had, and continue to have, such a difficult time seeing how contingencies of survival select genotypes and phenotypes of organisms--the timescale is beyond our natural comprehension. We need methods (like time lapse photography) to allow us to detect the changes.

Quote:
You could just say that agency is a way of interpreting actions.


This seems like what happens. We also developed awareness of contingencies of reinforcement and can design arrangements for their use. But even these actions are premised on prior experiences. When phenomena like induction, adduction, and generalization of behavior occur (which only happen in things that behave) behavior has the appearance of starting with the agent. And if no coercion is detected, then people feel further justified in giving credit to a person's agency.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 05:34 am
@Briancrc,
Quote:
We also developed awareness of contingencies of reinforcement and can design arrangements for their use.

Of ****! First bite of the apple!

Mmmm... ******* good
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 06:18 am
@Leadfoot,
I think it boils down to "what is the mind?" If one defines it as "unmaterial" one runs into difficulties such as: What substance is it made of, if not "matter"? How can something not meterial interract with matter? Etc. What they call "the hard problem" nowadays. But what if the mind was "material" in some way?

Just like a software has some "materiality" to it, in that it can be shared, bought etc., a mind also can be "shared", ot even "bought".
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 03:19 pm
@Briancrc,
Briancrc wrote:
behavior has the appearance of starting with the agent. And if no coercion is detected, then people feel further justified in giving credit to a person's agency.

But the point was that agency occurs at the subconscious level before the subject/agent ever becomes conscious of it. So we experience ourselves making decisions and acting on them, but the decisions and actions were already decided by brain operations that occurred before the moment we actually thought we were 'taking the reigns,' so to speak.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 05:18 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
How can something not meterial interract with matter? Etc. What they call "the hard problem" nowadays. But what if the mind was "material" in some way?

That is the prevailing theory. The 'Mind' is an 'emergent property' of gooey gray matter, it will happen in a computer 'real soon now', etc.

The brain is over rated as a computer. It would be better compared to a dumb terminal, just an I/O device for the mind. But you’re right, How it is connected to the mind is the real 'Hard Question'. It ain’t Bluetooth or WiFi, but it’s definitely wireless.
Briancrc
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 07:00 pm
@livinglava,
Quote:
So we experience ourselves making decisions and acting on them, but the decisions and actions were already decided by brain operations that occurred before the moment we actually thought we were 'taking the reigns,' so to speak.


This is what the Libet's and other similar experiments purport to show. But the results of these experiments have been used to argue against free will. I thought you were supporting a proposition in favor of free will.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 01:52 am
@Leadfoot,
Quote:
The 'Mind' is an 'emergent property' of gooey gray matter, it will happen in a computer 'real soon now', etc.

It's already happening in computers: coding is a bit like inserting human thoughts into a machine. Though they are not self-conscious yet.

That's another thing that Searle completely missed in his lecture posted by Fil : reductionism is no longer a generally accepted scientific principle, as we now know (or think we know...) that structures have 'emerging' properties that have nothing to do with the properties of their individual elements.

So reductionism is false: some things cannot be reduced to their constituents. Sometimes (most of the times) it's the structure that does the job, while the individual elements are easily replaced. E.g. in the paradox of the ship of Theseus -- a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The structure of the ship remains the same while all its elements are replaced.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 04:38 am
@Olivier5,
Ok. So we are back to being mere algorithms in the mind of God.
Actually, I’m kind of OK with that picture.
We are but a subroutine running in one of the multiple cores of an incredibly large chiplet based Ryzen 100th Gen. processor.

How's your subroutine do'n?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 05:42 am
@Leadfoot,
"Mere algorithms" is enough for me to.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 06:04 am
@Olivier5,
I haven’t always admitted that I’m a greedy bastard who wanted more.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 06:11 am
@Leadfoot,
Wanting more is part of the algorithm.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 06:42 am
@Olivier5,
Then I must be evolving!

Have you exceeded your memory allocation yet? Has your substrate temperature exceeded it's limit? Is your clock frequency being throttled?
**** me, I need to switch to car metaphors.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 10:05 am
@Leadfoot,
I have RAM problems and my processor is overheating...does your God has an warehouse with some free spare parts? I need a free upgrade!
 

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