The compatibilist proposition is simply that free will is a meaningful concept within a deterministic world.
The proof is this:
P1: A freely chosen will is when someone chooses for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence.
P2: A world is deterministic if every event is reliably caused by prior events.
P3: A freely chosen will is reliably caused by the person's own goals, reasons, or interests (with their prior causes).
P4: An unfree choice is reliably caused by coercion or undue influence (with their prior causes).
C: Therefore, the notion of a freely chosen will (and its opposite) is still meaningful within a fully deterministic world.
Agency just comes down to state and condition of a brain in any moment in time. The internal condition of the brain and external elements that act upon it in each moment in time producing a necessarily fixed response in each and every moment in time.
Right. My brain, faced with the multiple possibilities on the menu, must choose what I will have for dinner. And, since I am free of coercion and undue influence, the choice is my own freely chosen "I will have the lobster, please".
Information acts upon the brain upon which the brain produces an action which is brought to mind.
''The compatibilist might say because those are influences that are “outside” of the person, but this misses the entire point brought up by the free will skeptic, which is that ALL environmental conditions that help lead to a person’s brain state at any given moment are “outside of the person”, and the genes a person has was provided rather than decided.
The “hard incompatibilist” such as myself says that a person’s brain state at any given moment outputs a person’s wants and desires, and that very brain state is dictated entirely by the person’s biology (no one controls their genes) and environment (and that environment is filled with other people and things that influence those brain states all the time).''
And, because it was I, myself, that made the choice and placed the order, the waiter will bring me the lobster dinner, and will also hold me responsible for my deliberate act by bringing me the bill.
Free will is pretty straightforward that way. So is compatibilism:
The choice is deterministic, because it is reliably caused by my own goals and my own reasons (which have their own prior causes).
The choice is free will, because it is reliably caused by my own goals and my own reasons (which have their own prior causes).
The action was not willed, but necessitated by inputs acting upon neural networks and acquired proclivities.
It is trivially true that 'you' made a decision (common language), but it is specifically true that it was a part of you, your brain, that responded to its inputs without 'you' being aware of the process until thoughts were brought to conscious attention.
You did not freely will your decision. You were not aware of it until after the fact.
You cannot do something one moment, but the next you can do what you could not a moment ago....
You're a little confused there. If "I can choose the steak" was true a moment ago, then "I could have chosen the steak" will be true later, even after I have chosen the lobster. The "I could have" is simply the past tense of "I can".
Nope, time and new information alters the system. You change your mind because information has altered the state of the brain.
The fact that I did not choose the steak does not imply that I could not have chosen the steak. When we speak of something that we "could have done", we are always implying that we "did not do it". So, "did not do" never rules out "could have done", as it is always implied and fully expected by the "could have".
''To make a long story short, the brain state you have at any given moment is dictated by causal processes that are ultimately out of your control. To dismiss this because we “want”, “desire”, “make decisions”, and so on, but then use qualifiers to disqualify other causal mechanisms that would play into those wants, desires, or decision making processes because they seem “less free” – is to make arbitrary distinctions between what causal processes grant “free will” and what one’s prevent “free will”. These arbitrary qualifiers miss the greater point, which is that we don’t have this free will: FREE WILL and no process is “more free”.
For example, remember the traffic light that "could have" remained red, even though it "did not" remain red. We may safely say that the light "would not have remained red", but we cannot say that it "could not have remained red".
We may say the light could have remained red, or could have cycled normally, could have failed entirely....or any of the possibilities that are associated with traffic lights due to their mechanisms and faults, but whatever we say is spoken from our ignorance of the state of the system, but whatever the light does in any given instance in time is determined by its information state in each and every instance in time....with no possible alternate action in any given instance.
The actions that the traffic lights perform proceed as determined. We in our ignorance can only guess based on statistics and our past experience with traffic lights.
That's just how these words work. Because "I can choose the steak" was true at the beginning of the choosing operation, "I could have chosen the steak" will be true at the end, even though "I did not choose the steak", and even though, given determinism, "I never would have chosen the steak". I still could have chosen the steak.
Words are used to communicate our thoughts and perceptions of the world. As such, words do not necessarily represent the means by which decisions are made and actions are taken. Which, for the large part, are unconscious processes.
''The increments of a normal brain state is not as obvious as direct coercion, a microchip, or a tumor, but the “obviousness” is irrelevant here. Brain states incrementally get to the state they are in one moment at a time. In each moment of that process the brain is in one state, and the specific environment and biological conditions leads to the very next state. Depending on that state, this will cause you to behave in a specific way within an environment (decide in a specific way), in which all of those things that are outside of a person constantly bombard your senses changing your very brain state. The internal dialogue in your mind you have no real control over.'' -