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Compatibilism: What's that About?

Jarhyn

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On the last point I believe determinism, to be causal, reduces experiments to a single cause resulting in a single effect.

Determinism never causes anything.

Determinism ONLY produces results given a state.

Determinism PLUS state generates effects.

Nothing happens without the state.

We are part of the state.

Therefore we are part of the cause.

When something is "part of a cause" they are "responsible" for the effect.

Therefore we are responsible for the effect, as we are part of the cause.
 

Jarhyn

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@FDI Again, I can demonstrate with a deterministic system (the property that you reference when you say 'the universe is _______') that determinism is not enough. You need the state field as well, of which we are an active part. If you were to again stop the universe, change the state field, and let it keep going, you would see different effects.

It's not a frame by frame movie with fates getting involved, where you will always kill your father and fuck your mother.

As has been shown, thankfully, the computer is "an object existing in reality", as is every configuration and charge pattern on the system. I can walk up to it, probe it, debug it, or core dump it.

Every aspect of the geometry of it's charge patterns is open and visible except the memory of the debugger itself, and even that would be visible and measurable with a jtag probe.

It's behavior is sickeningly complicated, and highly mutable, and because it is an object in a deterministic universe, NOTHING it can actually do, no aspect of it's mechanical function can be "nonsense". Every event that it generates absolutely happens in reality, as a change in electron charge patterns.

In this way the dwarf is not an "image of a dwarf", the dwarf is exactly the object that it is: a complex series of charge patterns on the memory against the processor.

This is what you seem repeatedly to fail to understand, that we are not talking about an image of some flesh and blood thing, but some object of some electronic configuration, unless you want to judge it an "automatic image", but that isn't what we are talking about. Every object is trivially "an automatic image of itself". You are the one making a huge mistake to imagine of it being more than it is, or imagining that it needs to be.

This is why the experiment is valid. There are a number of images generated of it, but the thing being viewed is a set of bits in a memory range, themselves charge patterns, and the charge patterns are "objects of material".

So when these OBJECTS objectively hold WILLS, things which satisfy the compatibilist definition of such, those are validated as "existing in reality".

There is a meaningful and real "truth value" associated with the resolution of requirements When I validate that a will may be held because it was the first one the process of the dwarf saw that was "ostensibly free to it's requirements" I validate that this belief to exist as an object which itself is "an image of imagined freedom".

This means that "provisional freedom" is imaginary*, but there is a "real freedom" which is concrete: whether the requirement gets satisfied.

Hence, I can identify a "real freedom property" which is "true" or "false" of any given will object that is distinctly separate from imaginary concepts of freedom.

One of these images, themselves individually objects just like the dwarf (in fact objects that are PART of the dwarf) shall be chosen by a choice function, which is a mechanism of other objects: switches and the like.

Then one of them shall be used as the basis for an execution upon information by an interpreter, another object, which happens to have the quality of taking particular image formats and then behaving differentially on the aspects of the image: the images, each a "will", contains a series of instructions.

And at that point it quits being "an image of a will" and becomes "the causal driver of the interpreter", a series of causes upon which a machine shall generate a series of effects.

This "will" is observably "causally responsible" for the momentary behavior of the interpreter in the deterministic system.

So we have an objectively existing will, with both objective freedom and an image of provisional freedom attached to it. You have been trying to claim the image of provisional freedom invalidates the reality of the actual freedom property of the deterministic system with respect to that given will. It does not.

Even the freedom itself is represented in an object, the momentary configuration of matter that sends the system out of execution with either a "success" or "failure".

It is more an event than an object, though it is an event of a specific interaction of objects, no less objective than a football going over a goalpost.

Whether the event happened or not is an objective fact.

So we have objects (dwarves) holding objects (wills) as part of their structure and making choices between those objects (deciding what they shall do of the set of possibilities, objects, presented to the choice function), and inserting those selected objects to an interpreter (the dwarf's behavioral engine), which causally determines behavior on the basis of the shape of the object it runs on (the will, again), with an objective fact that pertains to it: it SHALL be free to it's requirement (an objective quality of the object of the will).

It's objects all the way down, FDI.

*Even the imagination of it has an object structure, the object of the image, which itself is causally effective upon the choice function. and so has an objective reality behind it. "The imagined truth value objectively evaluates to X"
 
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DBT

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I have explained the terms of reference too many times that - by your given definition of determinism - there can be no alternate action in any given instance in time.

And I've explained many times that the definition of determinism means that there will not be any alternate action, even though there always could have been alternate actions.

To which I pointed out the given definition of determinism allows no ''could have been alternate actions''

That a moment by moment fixed progression allows no ''could have happened''

What happens, happens necessarily. No deviation.

No deviation eliminates all alternate possibilities.

Eliminating all alternate possibilities eliminates 'could have happened.'

Thus, there is no 'could have happened' within a deterministic system.

What can happen constrains what will happen. If it cannot happen then it will not happen.

With determinism, it's not a matter of what can happen, but what must necessarily happen.

What must necessarily happen excludes alternate actions. Theay cannot happen.


But what will happen never constrains what can happen or what could have happened. What can happen is only constrained by our ability to make it happen, should we choose to do so. If we have that ability, then we can, in fact, do it. Even if we choose not to do it, we still retain that ability. Here, watch...there, did you see? I just raised my right hand, which proves that I had that ability all along.

And if, right now, I can raise my right hand, then it will be the case later on that I could have raised my hand right now, even if I didn't.

No, if it is determined by the system, brain/environment, etc, that you raise your right hand at 12:15 and 32 seconds, there is no possibility of you raising your left hand at 12:15 and 32 seconds.

Different times, different actions. Not because you could have done otherwise but that the state of the system evolves deterministically.

You can raise your right arm in one instance and your left in the next instance as events progress, but not the opposite in either instance because determinism doesn't allow alternate actions.


If you claim that you could have chosen either option in any given instance in time, it could have been chocolate or vanilla, etc, in any instance in time, you are contradicting your own definition of determinism.

Determinism asserts that every event will be the reliable result of prior events. Thus only one thing will happen.

Exactly. Not just 'reliably,' but necessarily.
But it is ridiculous for determinism to assert that only one thing can happen or only one thing could have happened. Such a notion corrupts the meaning of these terms, and leads to absurdities and paradoxes.

No, that is exactly what 'without deviation' means - the consequences of 'without deviation' mean that only what has been determined to happen (antecedents) can happen.

Remember the waiter who told the customer that there was only one thing that the customer could order for dinner, but could not tell the customer what that one thing was? That's a paradox. And it is absurd.

That's not how it works. The menu is full of items to cater to different tastes. Different people, different tastes.

The restaurant doesn't know what any particular customer wants, the waiter doesn't know what any particular customer may want, hence a number of items on the menu.

To predict who goes with what menu item requires you to know the state of the system in any given instance, and that is impossible.

The customer himself may not know until reading the menu and the impulse to order Trout comes to mind.

Remember that red light that we slowed down for, because it could have remained red, even though it turned green? And then our hard determinist insisted that it could not have remained red, because it did not, and then asked us again to explain why we slowed down? You can't go around disabling the meaning of words like "could have".

The lights do whatever they do. We have no access to the state of the operating system. We act according to our past experience with traffic lights.

Which means that you are not a Compatibilist at all, but a Libertarian.

Baloney. Compatibilists understand the difference between things that "will" happen versus things that "can" happen. Only the incompatibilists, both the hard determinists and libertarians, remain confused about the difference between saying something "can" happen versus saying that something "will" happen.

The 'can happen' is false. Nothing that is not determined can happen.



''Some aspiring compatibilists maintain that only humans are judged morally because only they could have acted differently. Those who try this argument must realize that they are not compatibilists at all; they are libertarians. The acceptance of determinism is a defining element of compatibilism. It forbids us to say that evil-doers could have done good if only they wanted to. Well yes, if they wanted to, but they were determined to not want to.

Hence, the compatibilist must find a defense for moral judgment that is applicable only to humans and that is safely nonlibertarian. He must look for a psychological feature that is presumably uniquely human and that is involved in the causal chain leading to action. The general version of this feature is self-consciousness and the specific version is intentionality. In other words, a person is judged to have acted freely and (ir)responsibly if he was aware of his desire to do X, foresaw the consequences (e.g., how moralists would judge him if he did X), and endorsed the desire (thereby forming an intention). Notice that a true compatibilist, who has gone on record saying that determinism is a fact of nature, must believe that the events of experiencing a desire, foreseeing the consequences of action, and forming an intention to act on the desire, are all determined. The causal chain leading a human to lift a finger is longer than the chain leading a squirrel to lift an acorn, but it is no less deterministic (he who says that it is less deterministic is not a compatibilist but a closet libertarian).''



The fact that all events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time, and that they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment, does not logically imply that things could not have turned out differently under different circumstances.

A progression of events fixed by antecedents logically rules out anything from turning out differently. Everything proceeds as determined, without deviation.

''Without deviation' logically rules out anything happening differently. If something different happens, things are not proceeding without deviation.




Every use of the term "could have" always carries the logical implication that (1) it didn't happen that way, and, (2) that it only would have happened that way under different circumstances.

There are - by definition - no 'different circumstances' in determinism.

Within a fully deterministic system, there is only one thing that actually "will" happen. But there are many different things that actually "can" happen.

Not if it is a deterministic system;


''All of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.'' - Marvin Edwards.



I've already responded to most of them, pointing out that they are using the libertarian definition of free will and not the operational definition. The compatibilist notion of free will, the one that most people grew up with, is simply a voluntary choice that a person makes for themselves while free of coercion and undue influence. It does not require freedom from causal necessity.

'Free will' according the accepted meaning of ''free'' and 'will' requires regulative control. If there are no possible alternatives, will has no agency, therefore no freedom to choose otherwise.

Compatibilism seeks to bypass this problem by defining free will as acting without external coercion or force, which as a definition has its own problems.

It just doesn't work any way you look at it.


Here's an example you've posted before and are repeating here:
The personal narrative
''For example, in one study, researchers recorded the brain activity of participants when they raised their arm intentionally, when it was lifted by a pulley, and when it moved in response to a hypnotic suggestion that it was being lifted by a pulley.

Similar areas of the brain were active during the involuntary and the suggested “alien” movement, while brain activity for the intentional action was different. So, hypnotic suggestion can be seen as a means of communicating an idea or belief that, when accepted, has the power to alter a person’s perceptions or behaviour.''

''All this may leave one wondering where our thoughts, emotions and perceptions actually come from. We argue that the contents of consciousness are a subset of the experiences, emotions, thoughts and beliefs that are generated by non-conscious processes within our brains.''

First, the narrator function provides accurate descriptions when it has accurate information, but when it's garbage in then it will be garbage out. Manipulation by hypnosis or other means during an experiment is designed to provide inaccurate information to the narrator function, and will cause confabulation.

The narrator function can and does get things wrong. Nor can the narrator function alter output

''Experiments on split-brain patients reveal how readily the left brain interpreter can make up stories and beliefs. In one experiment, for example, when the word walk was presented only to the right side of a patient’s brain, he got up and started walking. When he was asked why he did this, the left brain (where language is stored and where the word walk was not presented) quickly created a reason for the action: “I wanted to go get a Coke.”

Even more fantastic examples of the left hemisphere at work come from the study of neurological disorders. In a complication of stroke called anosognosia with hemiplegia, patients cannot recognize that their left arm is theirs because the stroke damaged the right parietal cortex, which manages our body’s integrity, position, and movement. The left-hemisphere interpreter has to reconcile the information it receives from the visual cortex—that the limb is attached to its body but is not moving—with the fact that it is not receiving any input about the damage to that limb.'' - Michael Gazzaniga

Second, we are not in the dark as to where our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions actually come from. They come from within us. And, by "within us", we may include their being generated by non-conscious processes within our brains. It is still us. It is still our brain.

But that's not enough to establish freedom of will. That requires the right kind of regulative control. If our brain goes haywire, it is not something we desired, willed or wanted.


Third, the Libet-styled experiments do not address operational free will. To see operational free will in action, observe the people being asked whether they would like to participate in the study. Some will choose to participate. Others will choose not. In either case, it is a voluntary choice, a choice made while free of coercion and undue influence. So, we see operational free will before the experiment even begins.

That's not a matter of 'operational free will' - it's brain function in action. The brain acquires and processes information and responds accordingly, signals to muscle groups, generating thoughts and actions.

''When it comes to the human brain, even the simplest of acts can be counter-intuitive and deceptively complicated. For example, try stretching your arm.

Nerves in the limb send messages back to your brain, but the subjective experience you have of stretching isn't due to these signals. The feeling that you willed your arm into motion, and the realization that you moved it at all, are both the result of an area at the back of your brain called the posterior parietal cortex. This region helped to produce the intention to move, and predicted what the movement would feel like, all before you twitched a single muscle.''
 

Jarhyn

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the given definition of determinism allows no ''could have been alternate actions''
There were "possibilities", and determinism allows this. "Alternate actions" are not necessary for choice, only a set of possibilities on the choice function.

Even so, I can display that the possibilities are IMAGES of alternate actions, and that if those images were somehow reified, through a modification of the choice function so that they, rather than the other were selected, the described behavior would result of the image.

In fact playing around with the choice function of a live system is exactly what "debugging" is.

Without these things being sensible thoughts, the phone you are reading this on could not have been invented at all, no discovery that because transistors "can" be connected this way together that they "can" evoke of their arrangement a functional behavior.

"Can" is entirely in the realm of "statements" and statements can be false, or nonsense, or anywhere in between.

Of course the system cannot possibly go down both branches at the same time. It was never asked to. A choice function operated, and a result happened. The output of the choice, at least with respect to a chosen will, leads to the immediate interpretation and execution of the will. The will+interpreter contain/executes more choices. And ultimately a choice is made, of two possibilities: success/failure; free/unfree.
 

Marvin Edwards

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... That a moment by moment fixed progression allows no ''could have happened''

To which I replied that the fixed progression of events includes all mental events, including the notions of things we can do. For example, the deterministic series of mental events would include the notions "I can choose the steak" and another notion "I can choose the salad". And there would be further mental events in which I compared these two options, leading inevitably to the event where I set my intention (my will) upon having the salad rather than the steak.

Because "I can choose the steak" was true in that moment, "I could have chosen the steak" will be forever true regarding that exact same moment. This is simple grammar, the built in logic of the language, a matter of present tense and past tense.

And it is true a priori, in the same sense that 2 + 2 = 4. Both addition and choosing are logical operations. The terms and their meanings are fixed, and stable, in order to support the operations that they were mentally evolved to perform.

So, once again, your conclusion is false. The fixed progression itself included the fact that "I can choose the steak", even though I never would choose the steak.

The fixed progression never excludes anything. Every physical event, every biological event, and every rational event is inevitable.

Thus, causal necessity guarantees that "I can choose the steak" will appear as a logical fact in the fixed progression of events.

What happens, happens necessarily. No deviation.

Exactly.

No deviation eliminates all alternate possibilities.

Apparently not. But this seems to be over your head. You keep repeating the same thing, and it continues to be incorrect.

No, if it is determined by the system, brain/environment, etc, that you raise your right hand at 12:15 and 32 seconds, there is no possibility of you raising your left hand at 12:15 and 32 seconds.

The fact that it was deterministically necessary that I would raise my right hand at 12:15:32 has no impact upon the truth of the fact that I could have raised my left hand instead, or I could have raised neither hand, or I could have done a great many other things instead of raising my right hand at 12:15:32. The fact that it was deterministically necessary that I would raise my hand did not eliminate a single thing from the list of things that I could have done instead.

The truth of any fact, of what I "can" do, rests in whether I have the ability to do it if I choose to do it. The fact that I do not choose to do it never contradicts the fact that I am able to do it.

So, your claim is false. The fact of what will happen does not contradict the facts of what can happen.

Remember the hard determinist waiter who told the customer that there was only one thing that the customer could order for dinner, but could not tell the customer what that one thing was? That's a paradox. And it is absurd.

That's not how it works. The menu is full of items to cater to different tastes. Different people, different tastes. The restaurant doesn't know what any particular customer wants, the waiter doesn't know what any particular customer may want, hence a number of items on the menu.

Exactly. The menu contains many alternate possibilities, and each customer chooses from those possibilities what they will have for dinner tonight. The fact that all events are always causally necessary from any prior point in time clearly does not eliminate people choosing from lists of multiple possibilities.

To predict who goes with what menu item requires you to know the state of the system in any given instance, and that is impossible.
The lights do whatever they do. We have no access to the state of the operating system. We act according to our past experience with traffic lights.

When it is impossible to know what will happen, we imagine what can happen, to prepare for what does happen. The notion that the light could remain red caused us to slow down.
When choosing from the restaurant menu, we do not know, at first, what we will choose, but we can see on the menu a list of all the things that we can choose.

You cannot eliminate the facts of what can happen by arguing "but it didn't happen" or "but it never would have happened".

You cannot eliminate the facts of what we can choose by arguing "but you didn't choose it" or "but you never would have chosen it".

Nothing that is not determined can happen.

Nothing that is not causally determined will happen. But a great many things that will not happen nevertheless can happen.

For example, I could tell you to go fork yourself. But I won't. That would be nonproductive and very rude. Still, it is certainly not impossible for me to do exactly that, even though it may be causally determined that I will not.

If something different happens, things are not proceeding without deviation.

Everything that happens is happening without deviation. This includes our thinking about the many things that we can do, and choosing from them the single thing that we will do.

There are - by definition - no 'different circumstances' in determinism.

There are no different circumstances in empirical reality, everything is exactly as it is. However, when considering our past choices we will imagine what we might have done differently if we knew then what we know now. Possibilities exist solely within the imagination. We can't drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. However, imagining a possible bridge is required in order to build an actual bridge.

The logic and language of possibilities, things that can happen, has evolved over millions of years to serve us in rationally dealing with our common uncertainties as to what will happen. When we do not know what will happen, we imagine what can happen, to prepare for what does happen.

'Free will' according the accepted meaning of ''free'' and 'will' requires regulative control.

And, since our evolved brains provide that regulative control through the process of decision making, we have precisely the executive control that is required to decide for ourselves what we will do. And the operation of that executive function is perfectly deterministic, just like every other series of events in the universe.

If there are no possible alternatives, will has no agency, therefore no freedom to choose otherwise.

And I've explained over and over exactly why there are many alternative possibilities:
1) Uncertainty over what will happen requires the logic of possibilities, the notion of things that can happen but will not necessarily happen.
(2) Uncertainty over what we will choose requires the logic of possibilities, the notion of things that we can choose but will not necessarily choose.

Compatibilism seeks to bypass this problem ...

There is no problem to bypass. There is only the illusion of a problem, created by the paradoxical notion of "freedom from causal necessity". Dispose of the silliness and the problem disappears.

It just doesn't work any way you look at it.

Of course it works the way I look at it. And I've demonstrated repeatedly that the way incompatibilists look at it is irrational. It is a delusion created by paradoxical and figurative statements that result in absurdities. But once trapped in the paradox, it is difficult to get oneself untangled. I've been doing my best to make the solutions clear to everyone.
 

DBT

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... That a moment by moment fixed progression allows no ''could have happened''

To which I replied that the fixed progression of events includes all mental events, including the notions of things we can do. For example, the deterministic series of mental events would include the notions "I can choose the steak" and another notion "I can choose the salad". And there would be further mental events in which I compared these two options, leading inevitably to the event where I set my intention (my will) upon having the salad rather than the steak.

The consequences of that process being that whatever happens must necessarily happen. Which means that all actions are fixed, each and every incremental step of the process of unfolding events fixed by antecedents, therefore nothing within the system is freely chosen or freely willed, not thoughts, not considerations, not actions....all fixed every step of the way by countless elements that we are not even aware of, let alone regulate.

Free will? Not at all.


Because "I can choose the steak" was true in that moment, "I could have chosen the steak" will be forever true regarding that exact same moment. This is simple grammar, the built in logic of the language, a matter of present tense and past tense.

Your choice of steak was inevitable. No other action was possible for you in that place and moment in time. Determinism doesn't allow freedom of choice. Choice entails the possibility of doing otherwise. Determinism entails actions without alternatives. Events proceed precisely as determined, not freely chosen.

And it is true a priori, in the same sense that 2 + 2 = 4. Both addition and choosing are logical operations. The terms and their meanings are fixed, and stable, in order to support the operations that they were mentally evolved to perform.

So, once again, your conclusion is false. The fixed progression itself included the fact that "I can choose the steak", even though I never would choose the steak.

It's not my conclusion. It's just how determinism is defined. If it is determined that you choose steak, not only can you choose steak, you must necessarily choose steak. You cannot do otherwise.

That is necessitation, not freedom of choice, which requires possible alternatives that do not exist within a determined system.

Necessitation does not entail freedom of choice or will.


The fixed progression never excludes anything. Every physical event, every biological event, and every rational event is inevitable.

Thus, causal necessity guarantees that "I can choose the steak" will appear as a logical fact in the fixed progression of events.

The fixed progression of events must necessarily exclude anything and everything that is not being determined by antecedents.

If it's determined that you select steak on your outing at your favorite restaurant Saturday evening at 8:35 pm, your necessitated action of selecting steak excludes everything else on the menu in that moment in time. The rest of the menu is for the benefit of other diners.

Some take Spanish Mackerel, others go with Caeser Salad, etc, each according to the own proclivities.

''It is unimportant whether one's resolutions and preferences occur because an ''ingenious physiologist' has tampered with one's brain, whether they result from narcotics addiction, from 'hereditary factor, or indeed from nothing at all.' Ultimately the agent has no control over his cognitive states.

So even if the agent has strength, skill, endurance, opportunity, implements, and knowledge enough to engage in a variety of enterprises, still he lacks mastery over his basic attitudes and the decisions they produce. After all, we do not have occasion to choose our dominant proclivities.' - Prof. Richard Taylor -Metaphysics.



What happens, happens necessarily. No deviation.

Exactly.

Yes. Including the consequences for the idea of free will.

No deviation eliminates all alternate possibilities.

Apparently not. But this seems to be over your head. You keep repeating the same thing, and it continues to be incorrect.

It cannot be incorrect. The condition of ''no deviation'' by definition cannot allow alternate possibilities. If other things can happen, that is a deviation.


No, if it is determined by the system, brain/environment, etc, that you raise your right hand at 12:15 and 32 seconds, there is no possibility of you raising your left hand at 12:15 and 32 seconds.

The fact that it was deterministically necessary that I would raise my right hand at 12:15:32 has no impact upon the truth of the fact that I could have raised my left hand instead, or I could have raised neither hand, or I could have done a great many other things instead of raising my right hand at 12:15:32. The fact that it was deterministically necessary that I would raise my hand did not eliminate a single thing from the list of things that I could have done instead.

You could have done none of those things. If a system is deterministic, you do whatever is determined, nothing more, nothing less.

There is no 'could have done' in determinism, only what is necessarily done.

When you say 'I could have done' you are invoking Libertarian free will.



The truth of any fact, of what I "can" do, rests in whether I have the ability to do it if I choose to do it. The fact that I do not choose to do it never contradicts the fact that I am able to do it.

So, your claim is false. The fact of what will happen does not contradict the facts of what can happen.

Determinism allows no alternate actions. If the state of the system at 12:35 and six seconds entails you to raise your right hand, you cannot do otherwise in that moment in time. If you could, it's not determinism. Determinism, by your own definition, entails no deviation.

If you could raise your left hand at 12:35 and six seconds, that is a deviation from the state of the system, which means that you are not talking about determinism, but some mish mash of ideas.


Remember the hard determinist waiter who told the customer that there was only one thing that the customer could order for dinner, but could not tell the customer what that one thing was? That's a paradox. And it is absurd.

The example is silly. The waiter has no more access to the state of the brain of the customer in the moment of action than he has to his own brain, input, processing leading to conscious action, etc.
 

Marvin Edwards

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The consequences of that process being that whatever happens must necessarily happen. Which means that all actions are fixed, each and every incremental step of the process of unfolding events fixed by antecedents, ...

Correct.

therefore ...

Incorrect.

The only correct "therefore" is that all things are exactly as they are and all events happen exactly as they do. Period.

For example, people still make choices and people will still be held responsible for they they choose to do. People still go into a restaurant, browse the menu, and place an order. The waiter brings them their meal and a bill that they must pay on the way out.

Every event in this process is reliably caused by a history of prior events. There is a history of prior events that reliably resulted in an entrepreneur buying the land and building the restaurant. There is a history of prior events that led to each customer being born and raised and eventually ending up in that restaurant to have dinner. All of these histories extend into the past as far as anyone can imagine, and all of them are a series of events that were each caused by prior events. Thus, all events at any point in time, are the reliably result of prior events.

So what? So, it was causally necessary, from any prior point in time, that those specific people would be in that specific restaurant having their own specific thoughts about what they would order for dinner, and then making their own choices based upon their own goals and interests, and for their own reasons.

It was causally necessary, from any prior point in time, that it would happen, just so, and in no other way.

Free will?

Glad you asked. Free will is when a person decides for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Free will is not free from cause and effect. Every choice is reliably caused by each person's own thoughts and feelings about what they will order for dinner and why they chose to order this dinner rather than that one. And even those thoughts and feelings will have their own reliable histories of cause and effect.

But as long as those thoughts and feelings are the products of that person's own mind and brain, and as long as that brain is mature and healthy, and not subject to coercion or undue influence, that person will be held responsible for what they deliberately choose to do.

Your choice of steak was inevitable.

My choice of the salad was inevitable. It was inevitable because I had already had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. I could have chosen the steak, of course, but I needed to order the salad for dinner to balance out my lack of vegetables at breakfast and lunch. My choice was reliably caused, and it was reliably caused by my own specific goals and reasoning.

Those goals and that reasoning will also have a history of reliable causes. However, it remains the case that they are my goals and my reasoning, and the choice would only be made by me and no one else at that moment in time. It was inevitable that it would be just so.

No other action was possible for you in that place and moment in time.

That's just silly. I could have ordered any item on the menu. The fact that I would inevitably order the salad does not logically imply that I could not order anything else. It was possible for me to order anything on the menu, even though I would inevitably order the salad.

What "I can do" and what "I will do" are two very different things. I know for a fact that I could have ordered the steak, because I've actually ordered the steak at that restaurant before, and will likely order it again if I have more veggies at breakfast and lunch. It is never impossible for me to order the steak. But, given the fact that I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch, it was necessary, to me, to satisfy my own goals and reasons, to have the salad for dinner.

Determinism doesn't allow freedom of choice.

Obviously, determinism does "allow" freedom of choice. Determinism not only "allows" freedom of choice, but it also "allows" coercion, and it also "allows" undue influence. We know this for a fact because we have observed all three of these conditions occurring in what we all presume to be a world of reliable cause and effect. Any event that we objectively observe must therefore be "allowed" by determinism.

It's not my conclusion. It's just how determinism is defined. If it is determined that you choose steak, not only can you choose steak, you must necessarily choose steak. You cannot do otherwise.

Hard determinism claims I could not have done otherwise, but it is clearly a false claim. The fact is that I could have chosen any item on the menu, but I would only choose the salad that night.

The notion of possibilities includes all of the things that I can do, and all of the things that I could have done.

The notion of possibilities is a functional part of the rational causal mechanism. It is how the mind logically manages matters when it is uncertain as to what will happen or what it will choose to do.

When we do not know what will happen, we imagine what can happen, to better prepare for what does happen.

When we do not know what we will do, we consider the many things that we can do, to choose the one thing that we will do.

And please keep in mind that what we will do is constrained by what we can do, because if we cannot do it then we will not do it. But what we can do is not constrained by what we will do. The fact that we will not do it does not imply that we cannot do it.

Necessitation does not entail freedom of choice or will.

Causal necessity entails EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS. It entails free choices, coerced choices, and unduly influenced choices. It entails the sun coming up in the morning and us getting out of bed, choosing what we will have for breakfast, choosing what we will wear to work, and every other event that actually happens in the real world.

If it's determined that you select steak on your outing at your favorite restaurant Saturday evening at 8:35 pm, your necessitated action of selecting steak excludes everything else on the menu in that moment in time. The rest of the menu is for the benefit of other diners.

But how do I come to know what was inevitable that I would order?

If I already knew what I would choose, then I wouldn't even look at the menu. I would simply tell the waiter what I wanted. The problem is that I do not know what I will choose until after I choose it!

So, the rest of the menu is not just for the benefit of the other diners, it is for my benefit as well. The menu tells me what it is possible for me to order. From these multiple possibilities, I will choose the single meal that I will order. And it is only after choosing that I will know what was inevitable, because my choosing was one of the prior causes that made that choice inevitable.

And part of that choosing was the consideration of the multiple possibilities on the menu. So, those possibilities, those many things that I could have ordered, were also part of the causal chain that resulted in that choice.

''It is unimportant whether one's resolutions and preferences occur because an ''ingenious physiologist' has tampered with one's brain, whether they result from narcotics addiction, from 'hereditary factor, or indeed from nothing at all.' Ultimately the agent has no control over his cognitive states.

So even if the agent has strength, skill, endurance, opportunity, implements, and knowledge enough to engage in a variety of enterprises, still he lacks mastery over his basic attitudes and the decisions they produce. After all, we do not have occasion to choose our dominant proclivities.' - Prof. Richard Taylor -Metaphysics.

Professor Taylor again? Same quote again? Really?

The fact that Taylor suggests that there is no distinction between us tampering with someone's brain to cause him to commit murder versus him deciding for himself that he will murder someone, is an example of Taylor's moral illiteracy. But, what else can you expect from a professor of metaphysics. It's not like he is a professor of Ethics.

But the failure to make relevant distinctions about the causes of a person's action is one of the absurdities that results when we sweep such distinctions under the rug of a vague generality, like causal necessity. But, Taylor's just speaking of a metaphysical world, not the real world. A failure to make these distinctions in the real world would have very bad consequences, as it would justify and excuse every form of harmful behavior regardless of its cause. I find Taylor's comment to be morally disgusting.

But, as a hard determinist, you may have no existential problems with it, even though as a human being I'm sure that you do.
 

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The consequences of that process being that whatever happens must necessarily happen. Which means that all actions are fixed, each and every incremental step of the process of unfolding events fixed by antecedents, ...

Correct.

therefore ...

Incorrect.

The only correct "therefore" is that all things are exactly as they are and all events happen exactly as they do. Period.


Conditions which eliminate freedom of choice and freedom of will. Freedom, by definition, means that realizable alternatives are possible - where ''all things are exactly as they are and all events happen exactly as they do,'' with no realizable alternatives, no freedom of choice or freedom of will.

For example, people still make choices and people will still be held responsible for they they choose to do. People still go into a restaurant, browse the menu, and place an order. The waiter brings them their meal and a bill that they must pay on the way out.

Punishment is meant to deter bad behaviour, and people are held responsible because it sets an example for others: this is what happens when you do the wrong thing.....the brain as a rational information processor should make rational decisions.

And of course, the state of the brain in relation to circumstances determines the action in that instance, you may run a light and get fined, then feel regret for making the wrong decision.....the only action possible for you in that instance in time.

The courts are full of people who made bad decisions, only to regret their action.....but of course, too late, the action could not have been different and the past cannot be changed.

Goodbye free will. The brain is an information processor.

Every event in this process is reliably caused by a history of prior events. There is a history of prior events that reliably resulted in an entrepreneur buying the land and building the restaurant. There is a history of prior events that led to each customer being born and raised and eventually ending up in that restaurant to have dinner. All of these histories extend into the past as far as anyone can imagine, and all of them are a series of events that were each caused by prior events. Thus, all events at any point in time, are the reliably result of prior events.

Not reliably, which is too soft, but absolutely. Everything proceeds as determined, not freely chosen. Fixed.

If - ''all of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment'' - Marvin Edwards - proceed without deviation from the big bang to this moment, everything you think or do is not freely chosen, but determined before you were born.




So what? So, it was causally necessary, from any prior point in time, that those specific people would be in that specific restaurant having their own specific thoughts about what they would order for dinner, and then making their own choices based upon their own goals and interests, and for their own reasons.

It was causally necessary, from any prior point in time, that it would happen, just so, and in no other way.

But their actions, by your own definition, is determined long before they being acted out, therefore not an instance of free will.

If determined, actions are not freely willed.

Free will?

Glad you asked. Free will is when a person decides for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

A person is not something that decides or acts in isolation, rather, being acted upon by information inputs (external determinants) and the non-chosen states of the brain (internal determinants).

Nothing is being willed. The progression of events and the state of the system, both the environment and the brain, determines an action as it unfolds.

No free will to be found. The label is not the thing.

Free will is not free from cause and effect. Every choice is reliably caused by each person's own thoughts and feelings about what they will order for dinner and why they chose to order this dinner rather than that one. And even those thoughts and feelings will have their own reliable histories of cause and effect.

Not reliably caused, but determined. We have no idea of the internal workings that produce our thoughts and actions in response to events in the world.

Something happens...pause...thoughts and impulses come to mind, actions proceed as determined. Determinism at work, not free will.



But as long as those thoughts and feelings are the products of that person's own mind and brain, and as long as that brain is mature and healthy, and not subject to coercion or undue influence, that person will be held responsible for what they deliberately choose to do.

Everything that happens is a product of countless elements that brought it into existence and swept along as determined.

By your definition, any mechanism that acts in response to something has 'free will' because it is the mechanism that is reponding acording to its own makeup.... computers, calculators, light sensors, relays, microchips.....all got free will, oh yeah.
Your choice of steak was inevitable.

My choice of the salad was inevitable. It was inevitable because I had already had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. I could have chosen the steak, of course, but I needed to order the salad for dinner to balance out my lack of vegetables at breakfast and lunch. My choice was reliably caused, and it was reliably caused by my own specific goals and reasoning.

What happened before is the information that acts upon the brain and determines your next 'selection' - you are presented with a menu....pause....the thought of ordering salad comes to mind.

It comes to mind not because we have free will, but that our brains are rational information processors.

Everything that happened during the day, what your breakfast was, snacks, drinks, bring you to the point of selecting salad.

Selecting as the surface appearance, where salad is necessitated, not selected.

''Selected'' implies the possibility of an alternate selection, yet no alternate selection is possible within a deterministic system.

Professor Taylor again? Same quote again? Really?

Yep, because given the dialogue I'm responding to, it's still relevant and necessary.


The fact that Taylor suggests that there is no distinction between us tampering with someone's brain to cause him to commit murder versus him deciding for himself that he will murder someone, is an example of Taylor's moral illiteracy. But, what else can you expect from a professor of metaphysics. It's not like he is a professor of Ethics.

If determinism is true, nobody chooses their brain state or condition. Non chosen brain state and condition determines thoughts, deliberations and actions taken.

If one's brain functions normally, it can be expected to produce rational decisions and actions. We don't get to choose how our brain functions, be it rationally or irrationally. The state of the system/brain is the state of us.

On the neurology of morals
''Patients with medial prefrontal lesions often display irresponsible behavior, despite being intellectually unimpaired. But similar lesions occurring in early childhood can also prevent the acquisition of factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior.'



But the failure to make relevant distinctions about the causes of a person's action is one of the absurdities that results when we sweep such distinctions under the rug of a vague generality, like causal necessity. But, Taylor's just speaking of a metaphysical world, not the real world. A failure to make these distinctions in the real world would have very bad consequences, as it would justify and excuse every form of harmful behavior regardless of its cause. I find Taylor's comment to be morally disgusting.

But, as a hard determinist, you may have no existential problems with it, even though as a human being I'm sure that you do.

There are distinctions to be made, it's just that none of the distinctions that can be made involve free will. As in the example above.

It is the state of the brain of the subject that determines how they think and what they do. Someone can be intellectually unimpaired, intelligent, yet physically unable to ''acquire factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior.''

They act in accordance with their will, it is 'they who think and act,' yet their actions are irrational because they are physically (neural network condition) unable to acquire factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior, therefore not morally responsible for their condition or their actions.

Moral responsibility rests not on 'free will' but a rational, functional brain.
 

Jarhyn

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Conditions which eliminate freedom of choice and freedom of will.
Sentences without a contextual subject.

Freedom, by definition, means
"That the object to which the property is referent shall have it's requirement met". This means that in any statement of freedom, the requirement being referenced must be contextually singular.

Note, there is no requirement that more than a single thing happen of a deterministic system for this to make sensem

What IS required is for physics to have a state field in addition to the

Determinism allows this too, not only in thought experiment but in actual direct experiments on deterministic systems. That we play a make-believe game and pretend we are going to decide differently than we are and running forward with simplified models makes no difference to the fact that we have a will, the will has a "requirement", and that requirement will either be met or be missed.

As it is, some guy  assembled a mind from transistors and decision trees. That mind produces wills. Those wills have requirements, and operate in a clearly deterministic system, and we can observe the requirement either shall or shall not, by determinism, be satisfied; to then call these state results "free" and "unfree" would invoke no contradiction.

So when you say "minds can't do that" and I produce "a mind that can do that" or that you say "this is not really happening", you are quite simply wrong.
 

fromderinside

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Two things. The brain is a piss poor reason for claiming anything beyond that it is a processing system. DBT, the brain isn't a realism based system. Jarhyn the brain isn't a realism based processor. You are both overlooking that what the brain processes depends on what the brain can process. Since the brain only receives indirect information about the world it cannot process, nor even be programmed to process, reality.

There is no unknown-to-reality convergence speculation that will permit short term machines to achieve such. Stop. Reality is humanly unknowable Drop it.

Re determinism. It is singular. It must be reductive to single event analyses if it is deterministic. Two or more anything fractures the paradigm. Any other formulation must be motivated by individual biases/demands.

For instance believing we have free will etc. is not justification for proposing determinism permits free will etc. There is no evidence we are created. That we evolved is demonstrated well beyond six sigma.

Go.
 
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pood

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There is no evidence we are created. That we evolved is demonstrated well beyond six sigma.

Go.

Go where?

What is the point of this mystifying response? Is anyone here arguing that we are created and not evolved? And what does this have to do with free will?
 

Jarhyn

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Two things. The brain is a piss poor reason for claiming anything beyond that it is a processing system. DBT, the brain isn't a realism based system. Jarhyn the brain isn't a realism based processor. You are both overlooking that what the brain processes depends on what the brain can process. Since the brain only receives indirect information about the world it cannot process, nor even be programmed to process, reality.
It was never asked to process reality directly, and it does not need to do so to contain a series of instructions unto a requirement, and to do so in reality.



There is no unknown-to-reality convergence speculation that will permit short term machines to achieve such. Stop. Reality is humanly unknowable Drop it.
Ah so you wish to claim no knowledge is possible, that all you are doing is spouting nothing that can ever possibly make sense because reality is unknowable.

So I can safely ignore everything you say because you by your own admission know nothing.
Re determinism. It is singular. It must be reductive to single event analyses if it is deterministic. Two or more anything fractures the paradigm. Any other formulation must be motivated by individual biases/demands.
No two of different concepts: no true/false, no words no is and is not, no no, because it is not yes.

No two different particles. no ability to differentiate any other thing...

This is just silliness you propose.
For instance believing we have free will etc. is not justification for proposing determinism permits free will etc. There is no evidence we are created. That we evolved is demonstrated well beyond six sigma.

Go.
I don't get where you think having evolved has anything to do with it; I'm a through and through believer in Darwin's Origin of the Species by Natural Selection.

I keep it in a place most keep their Bibles, and I read it a good deal more often, to boot.

But the fact that I did and have created minds that do what you say they cannot:take in observable objectively extant objects as a set, return a single result, that result itself being an image unto execution of an interpreter, wherein the interpreter operates this unto the particular and identifiable cogitation by some specific part of itself: it either jumps to execute at address B or continues on to execute the next instruction.

Which one of these it does is not arbitrary subjective, or in any way open to interpretation. Determinism, the laws by which this "causal necessity" operates, demand it.

So you who claim no thing can be known, that there is no "two" despite direct contradiction in your own speech, are simply wrong.

In fact part of your job, and part of what society will and ought educate everyone to do, on pain of continued education, is to look at your will, assess whether it is shitty according to a set of rules governing responsible behavior, and if it is shit, decide not to do that thing and say to yourself "think of something that isn't shit".

And if it never ever gives you something that isn't shit, try figuring out something to do for yourself without looking at a process in your head you clearly understand nothing about, and seek to understand nothing about.

That's the regulatory control you are looking for and that most people have.
 

bilby

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Since the brain only receives indirect information about the world it cannot process, nor even be programmed to process, reality
Since the brain is a real object, and a part of the world, it can only process (or be programmed to process) reality.

What else do you think it has access to, apart from reality?
 

Jarhyn

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Since the brain only receives indirect information about the world it cannot process, nor even be programmed to process, reality
Since the brain is a real object, and a part of the world, it can only process (or be programmed to process) reality.

What else do you think it has access to, apart from reality?
Well, he wants to claim that the things it processes, patterns flashed by a neuronal surface, are "not reality but an image of it".

The thing is, they are exactly what they are, in addition to being objects which also image some other thing.

Either way, the things it processes are real, even if they only contain mere slivers of implications of anything further on; that's all they need to keep functioning.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Conditions which eliminate freedom of choice and freedom of will.

Free will is when our choosing is free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.
We've walked into the restaurant. We saw the people choosing what they would order from an actual menu of realizable alternatives. We saw no evidence of coercion or undue influence. Therefore each choice was made of their own free will.

One cannot truthfully say that this event has been "eliminated" by determinism.

In fact, we can reasonably conclude that the process was deterministic. Each event was caused by preceding events. And we can confirm this by sampling. For example, if anyone asked me why I chose the salad for dinner, despite the menu's delicious picture of a juicy steak, I can tell them the reasons that caused my choice (bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch). My personal dietary goals and my reasoning causally necessitated my choice of the salad. Totally deterministic.

And we could, in theory, track the prior causes of my having those specific dietary goals, and reasonably conclude that my choice was causally inevitable from any prior point in time.

So, we've got free will and we've got determinism, both there in the same event, at the same time and in the same place.

Therefore, your statement is false.

Freedom, by definition, means that realizable alternatives are possible

And, of course, realizable alternatives are possible. The restaurant menu is filled with them.

"Realizable" means "able to be realized". This ability does not require that the alternative is ever actually realized.

"Possible" means "able to happen". This ability does not require that the possibility ever happens.

Freedom of choice is when we are free to choose for ourselves what we will order for dinner, without coercion or undue influence.
"Freedom of will" and "free will" are simply abbreviated phrases for the freedom (from coercion and undue influence) to choose for ourselves what we will do. Thus "freedom of will" and "free will".

In a fully deterministic universe, people still make choices and people will still be held responsible for they they choose to do. People still go into a restaurant, browse the menu, and place an order. The waiter brings them their meal and a bill that they must pay on the way out.

Punishment is meant to deter bad behaviour, and people are held responsible because it sets an example for others: this is what happens when you do the wrong thing.....the brain as a rational information processor should make rational decisions.

Personally, I don't believe in punishment as a deterrent. A deterrent theoretically prevents the crime before it happens, yet, no matter how bad we make the punishment, even the death penalty, we still get people will will commit the crime anyway. And punishment as a deterrent has no natural limit, except death.

Punishment is a means of correction. It communicates our disapproval of the behavior, and how strongly we disapprove, to motivate a desire to change. But then that desire to change must be supported by counseling, education, training, addiction treatment, restoring the victim's loss, and generally changing the way a person thinks about their behavior so that they will make better choices in the future.

The courts are full of people who made bad decisions, only to regret their action.....but of course, too late, the action could not have been different and the past cannot be changed.

But the future can be different and we and our choices can change. And one of the mechanism of change is to revisit that earlier choice and consider what we could have done otherwise. That's how we learn from our mistakes. That's how we come to see new options in future situations.

Hard determinism, the denial of free will, makes rehabilitation impossible. If we tell the person that, due to determinism, they had no control over their past actions, then we would also have to tell them that, again due to determinism, they will have no control over their future actions. And that makes rehabilitation impossible.

everything you think or do is not freely chosen, but determined before you were born.

No, that's a superstitious take on the notion of causal necessity. There will surely be an inevitable chain of cause and effect from the Big Bang to me choosing the salad for dinner. But the Big Bang will play no meaningful role in my dinner choice.

What you would like to say is that "it is as if the Big Bang chose the salad, and not you". But that kind of thinking is figurative and thus fallacious.

It will in actual fact be me that chooses the salad, and that choice will not be made until I make it. Why? We assume it is causally determined to be just so.

No event will ever happen until its final prior causes have played themselves out. While events may sometimes be predicted in advance, under no circumstances can any event ever be caused in advance.
 

fromderinside

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Since the brain only receives indirect information about the world it cannot process, nor even be programmed to process, reality
Since the brain is a real object, and a part of the world, it can only process (or be programmed to process) reality.

What else do you think it has access to, apart from reality?
  1. to convert (something, such as energy or a message) into another form
    essentially sense organs transduce physical energy into a nervous signal

Not only that but those elements that transduce need only be sensitive to that which they convert.

So, as I wrote "You are overlooking that what the brain processes depends on what the brain can process. Since the brain only receives indirect information about the world it cannot process, nor even be programmed to process, reality."

That is why I use the term experiment, as described in  Scientific method as the tool which can be used to find realities. I'm pretty sure reality isn't a natural human experienced thing.

What the human does with what she receives may determine her (perception) sense of reality which is not actually reality. For instance many believe our eyes are the most true, first responding sensors. However there are exceptions everywhere. Our ears respond to source direction and drive the eye muscles and neck within 7 to 15 milliseconds. The eyes don't even get their signals out of the receiving cells in less than 20 or 40 milliseconds.
 

fromderinside

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Since the brain only receives indirect information about the world it cannot process, nor even be programmed to process, reality
Since the brain is a real object, and a part of the world, it can only process (or be programmed to process) reality.

What else do you think it has access to, apart from reality?
Well, he wants to claim that the things it processes, patterns flashed by a neuronal surface, are "not reality but an image of it".

The thing is, they are exactly what they are, in addition to being objects which also image some other thing.

Either way, the things it processes are real, even if they only contain mere slivers of implications of anything further on; that's all they need to keep functioning.
You are wrong. The response need only be enough to do little more than keep one from dying. Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.

Even when I ran my dissertation in 1975 signals from the computer operated at about one instruction per microsecond. They then travelled about 10 microseconds to my lab before they engaged experimental operations which took up another forty or fifty milliseconds to produce moving sounds in an anechoic environment which the observer began to hear some 10 to 20 milliseconds after that. Where's the reality there?

Too big a bite?


There's more ....
 

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Kind of my point here.

He doesn't seem to understand that a configuration of charge patterns on a bus is still an object.
 

fromderinside

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us. Reality isn't meaningful unless it is consistent across problems.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes, often incompatibly, with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
 

Jarhyn

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes often incompatibly with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
The brain activity is reality, full stop. It does Lt need to "reflect" anything to be exactly what it is.

The sets of neural flashes on the surface they come from are the reality of the requirement, the shape of those neurotransmitterrs at their axon terminals are a time.

These are the objects I am referencing and describing, the actual machine.

As it is, you're making wild hand-waving and unrelated claims against the simple fact that: there is an object: a list of instructions into a requirement, the list is an object, the requirement is an object, and the requirement either SHALL or SHALL NOT be met.

This is a fact, about the behavior of a system relative to a specific question about an object: did these nerves flash something within this set of patterns and therefore behave this way objectively?

If yes, we call that "free to requirement".

There is exactly one of these things that shall happen every time a will is generated and held, and is part of the physics behind the mind.

Just as the Dwarven mind is an object and holds an objectively observable will, the human mind is an object and such objects as the human mind may do much more complicated exercises of this form.
 

fromderinside

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes often incompatibly with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
The brain activity is reality, full stop. It does Lt need to "reflect" anything to be exactly what it is.

The sets of neural flashes on the surface they come from are the reality of the requirement, the shape of those neurotransmitterrs at their axon terminals are a time.

These are the objects I am referencing and describing, the actual machine.

As it is, you're making wild hand-waving and unrelated claims against the simple fact that: there is an object: a list of instructions into a requirement, the list is an object, the requirement is an object, and the requirement either SHALL or SHALL NOT be met.

This is a fact, about the behavior of a system relative to a specific question about an object: did these nerves flash something within this set of patterns and therefore behave this way objectively?

If yes, we call that "free to requirement".

There is exactly one of these things that shall happen every time a will is generated and held, and is part of the physics behind the mind.

Just as the Dwarven mind is an object and holds an objectively observable will, the human mind is an object and such objects as the human mind may do much more complicated exercises of this form.
You are not describing the actual machine. You are describing something IAW your position on the matter. Unless you disconnect your assertions from self you are just whistling into the wind. Your thought experiment isn't an experiment it is a brain fart.

Put your 'we' back in to your pocket.
 

Jarhyn

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes often incompatibly with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
The brain activity is reality, full stop. It does Lt need to "reflect" anything to be exactly what it is.

The sets of neural flashes on the surface they come from are the reality of the requirement, the shape of those neurotransmitterrs at their axon terminals are a time.

These are the objects I am referencing and describing, the actual machine.

As it is, you're making wild hand-waving and unrelated claims against the simple fact that: there is an object: a list of instructions into a requirement, the list is an object, the requirement is an object, and the requirement either SHALL or SHALL NOT be met.

This is a fact, about the behavior of a system relative to a specific question about an object: did these nerves flash something within this set of patterns and therefore behave this way objectively?

If yes, we call that "free to requirement".

There is exactly one of these things that shall happen every time a will is generated and held, and is part of the physics behind the mind.

Just as the Dwarven mind is an object and holds an objectively observable will, the human mind is an object and such objects as the human mind may do much more complicated exercises of this form.
You are not describing the actual machine. You are describing something IAW your position on the matter. Unless you disconnect your assertions from self you are just whistling into the wind. Your thought experiment isn't an experiment it is a brain fart.
Ah, so ad-homs and mere assertions then.

You who doesn't understand that the computer is an object separated entirely from myself, but not that it matters.

I expect hard determinsts MUST cling to their hard determinism and the conflations they build up because it is the nacre holding back the grit of their guilt in their life for the shit they ignored the regulatory control to prevent themselves from doing.
 

DBT

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Conditions which eliminate freedom of choice and freedom of will.

Free will is when our choosing is free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

That's the compatibilist definition of free will.

Incompatibilists disagree.

''Choosing'' is a matter of necessitation rather than free will. The state of the system determines the action taken. Nothing is being freely willed - time t/events fixed ever after - there cannot be an alternate action in any given instance in time.

We've walked into the restaurant. We saw the people choosing what they would order from an actual menu of realizable alternatives. We saw no evidence of coercion or undue influence. Therefore each choice was made of their own free will.

The issue of free will is not about coercion or force, but necessitation and absence of alternate actions. The actions taken are necessitated by an information exchange within neural networks.

Necessitation does not equate to free will. Therefore, the label is false.


One cannot truthfully say that this event has been "eliminated" by determinism.

Things go as determined, not freely willed. External events act on the brain; the brain processes its information and responds according to its state and condition in that instance.

In fact, we can reasonably conclude that the process was deterministic. Each event was caused by preceding events. And we can confirm this by sampling. For example, if anyone asked me why I chose the salad for dinner, despite the menu's delicious picture of a juicy steak, I can tell them the reasons that caused my choice (bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch). My personal dietary goals and my reasoning causally necessitated my choice of the salad. Totally deterministic.

You can tell them the reasons why you chose salad because the question prompted your brain to provide an answer. The question, as a body of information, was acquired and processed, memory function informed the relevant reply.

Information processing and response is the prime function of the brain. Nothing to do with will or free will.

And we could, in theory, track the prior causes of my having those specific dietary goals, and reasonably conclude that my choice was causally inevitable from any prior point in time.

That's how determinism works. All current actions are inevitable from any prior point in time. Necessitated, not willed.

So, we've got free will and we've got determinism, both there in the same event, at the same time and in the same place.

Therefore, your statement is false.

You are inserting the term 'free will' where it doesn't belong. The idea of free will, being able to freely will actions, is not compatible with determinism, where all actions are ''inevitable from any prior point in time''

As you put it - ''causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.''

Freedom, by definition, means that realizable alternatives are possible

And, of course, realizable alternatives are possible. The restaurant menu is filled with them.

Nope. Not for the given reasons, including your own definition of determinism. A list of menu items cater for different people with different tastes. Everybody may 'choose' something different, but that action is fixed in that moment in time for each and very customer.

Each item selected by each diner is fixed in that instant in time, with no possible alternate action.

That is precisely what your definition of determinism entails - each and every action ''causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.'' - Marvin Edwards.

"Realizable" means "able to be realized". This ability does not require that the alternative is ever actually realized.

"Possible" means "able to happen". This ability does not require that the possibility ever happens.

Realizable means that someone can take that option. But if it's determined that you don't take that option in a given instance in time, the option is not realizable for you in that instance in time.

That is the point. That if an action is not determined to occur at a given point in time, it is not a realizable option in that point in time.


everything you think or do is not freely chosen, but determined before you were born.

No, that's a superstitious take on the notion of causal necessity. There will surely be an inevitable chain of cause and effect from the Big Bang to me choosing the salad for dinner. But the Big Bang will play no meaningful role in my dinner choice.

What you would like to say is that "it is as if the Big Bang chose the salad, and not you". But that kind of thinking is figurative and thus fallacious.

It will in actual fact be me that chooses the salad, and that choice will not be made until I make it. Why? We assume it is causally determined to be just so.

No event will ever happen until its final prior causes have played themselves out. While events may sometimes be predicted in advance, under no circumstances can any event ever be caused in advance.


The Big Bang set the wheels in motion. Without the Big Bang we would not be here inevitably arguing over free will for six months or more....
 

Jarhyn

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Incompatibilists disagree.
Incompatibilism can't reasonably disagree with the sensibility of compatibilism without picking up compatibilist definitions and arriving at a contradiction from them within compatibilism.

Everything past that is assertion fallacy.

It is literally true that every action you take is not freely willed or freely chosen
No, it is literally, objectively false: many actions I take are willed, many wills I hold are, in this moment, free with respect to requirements such as "hold bag" and "prove DBT wrong yet again, not that there's any expectation that they are capable of understanding ideas at all".

You cannot change from the compatibilist definition of free to argue that it does not exist. At least not if you are to be taken seriously, anyway. To do so is to argue against a position that someone else does not hold, which is the very definition of "straw-man argument".

Free, in the compatibilist context, is "freedom to requirement"; "freedom from all constraints to the requirement".

Will is "a series of instructions with requirement(s)"

Choice is "selection of a thing from a set of things".

When a will is free, it is "a series of instructions that shall or is meet(ing) it's requirement(s)".

When a choice is free, it is "selection of a thing from a set of things by a given process NOT some other set of things or by some other process".

When a will is not free, it is "a series of instructions that shall fail it's requirement"

When a choice is not free, it is "selection of a thing outside of the aforementioned set or process".

And when we say "free will" without denoting which will is intended, it is a reference to a specific will, in the moment, satisfying it's requirement.

"He had free will" unpacks to "the will he held had a requirement freely chosen by a given process (the process' not-coerced branch)."

It is not about being able to go down either branch in the moment! It is about which branch is actually, objectively utilized.

If you refuse to pick up these definitions and produce the contradiction you claim exists within that syntax, then you ought accept that you cannot, either by force of will or virtue of ideas, defend incompatibilism, because you will not be defending incompatibilism.
 

Jarhyn

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It strikes me that the discordance between "what happens", and "what is expected to happen" , this disjunction, is the way in which neural systems change over time.

They start out, more or less, always being wrong about "what is expected to happen" vs "what happens".

Occasionally, by accident at the start, we end up being not-wrong in this prediction effort, and over time we get less wrong overall.

But there would be no way to be less wrong, there would be absolutely no way for any system at all to adapt let alone a way to operate the back-propagation of the neural system, without there being an event which compares the imagination with some real result, either to confirm or to revise the imaginary model.

There is a reality of recognizing whether success happened at all, and that success itself is real, even if the shape of it's reality is a dance done of neurons in relation to other neurons.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Free will is when our choosing is free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

That's the compatibilist definition of free will. Incompatibilists disagree.

But the incompatibilist definition of free will, as "freedom from causal necessity", is an irrational concept. This excludes their definition from any serious consideration.

There is no "compatibilist definition" of free will. Compatibilist simply adopt the definition that most people understand and correctly apply to real life situations. People know the difference between a choice that they make for themselves versus a choice that is imposed upon them by someone else. And they naturally prefer the former, because it gives them control of the choice rather than the choice being controlled by someone else.

This common understanding of free will is found in general purpose dictionaries, for example:
  1. Merriam-Webster: free will 1: voluntary choice or decision 'I do this of my own free will'
  2. Oxford English Dictionary: free will 1.a. Spontaneous or unconstrained will; unforced choice; (also) inclination to act without suggestion from others. Esp. in of one's (own) free will and similar expressions.
  3. Wiktionary: free will 1. A person's natural inclination; unforced choice.
To be fair, each of these dictionaries also include the "philosophical" definition, the less common usage, in second place:
  1. Merriam-Webster on-line: free will 2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention
  2. Oxford English Dictionary: free will 2. The power of an individual to make free choices, not determined by divine predestination, the laws of physical causality, fate, etc.
  3. Wiktionary: free will 2. (philosophy) The ability to choose one's actions, or determine what reasons are acceptable motivation for actions, without predestination, fate etc.
Wiktionary even notes that the second definition is unique to philosophy.

But it is the first definition that is used when assessing a person's moral or legal responsibility for their actions. A person is held responsible for their deliberate acts, but not when their behavior is coerced or subject to undue influence.

The second definition cannot be used for responsibility. Because it is impossible to do anything at all while "free of prior causes" or "free of the laws of physical causality". Thus it is quite reasonable to believe that every event is reliably caused by something, even if we do not know what that something is.

But we are usually aware of the causes of everyday events. Hitting the nail with a hammer causes the nail to go into the wood. The force of the hammer upon the nail is the prior cause of the nail going into the wood. And what is the prior cause of us hammering? We decided earlier to build a bird house. That freely chosen intention resulted in us buying the wood, cutting the wood, and nailing the parts together.

And what was the prior cause of us deciding to build a bird house? Perhaps we read somewhere that, due to deforestation, birds needed houses in areas that no longer had trees for nesting. So then, what was the prior cause that led us to read that article? Perhaps our general interest in wildlife conservation. And what was the prior cause of our general interest in wildlife conservation? ... Well, we could go on like this indefinitely tracing back the prior causes of the prior causes. Even when we no longer could guess what the prior cause of a prior cause was, we will still presume that there is one.

Because of this reasoning, we find the notion of causal necessity to make perfect sense. However, what we never encounter is any reason to believe in the notion of "freedom from" this causal necessity. One cannot even imagine what it would be like if one had no prior causes and could never be a prior cause oneself. How would we build a birdhouse, and why would we do so? The answer to both questions resides in the notion of one thing reliably causing another thing.

So, causal necessity appears to be a prerequisite of every freedom that we have to actually do anything at all. And the notion of freedom from this notion of one thing reliably causing another thing seems irrational. Because how can we be free of that which freedom itself requires? There is no freedom without reliable cause and effect.

We also find that causal necessity is not in itself any kind of meaningful constraint. It is not something that anyone can, or needs to be free of. What we will inevitably do is exactly identical to us just being us, doing what we choose to do. It is basically "what we would have done anyway". And that is not a meaningful constraint.

Thus, the second definition appears to be an irrational one. So it is reasonable for us to discard that definition and adopt instead the first definition of free will, which requires only freedom from coercion and undue influence. Everyone outside of the philosophy class is already using it anyway.

The issue of free will is not about coercion or force, but necessitation ...

There is no issue of free will as it is commonly understood. However, there is certainly an issue
about "freedom from causal necessity", because it is an irrational concept.

You can tell them the reasons why you chose salad because the question prompted your brain to provide an answer. The question, as a body of information, was acquired and processed, memory function informed the relevant reply.

As you'll recall, the interpreter has access to anything that we became consciously aware of during our decision making process. I was aware of the reasons for choosing the salad instead of the steak before I even made my choice. We can assume that unconscious processes were involved in bringing those reasons to my awareness. But we must also assume that those unconscious processes were triggered by my conscious awareness of the problem I had to solve: What will I order for dinner from the many possibilities on the restaurant menu?

Both the function of conscious awareness and the unconscious functions are parts of the same physical brain, and they are neurologically connected so that they can smoothly interact.

But if it's determined that you don't take that option in a given instance in time, the option is not realizable for you in that instance in time.

Sorry, but every option on the menu was realizable before we even opened the menu. It was realizable during our choosing and even after we made our choice. That's what realizable means, that it can be realized, even if it never is realized.

It will be me that chooses the salad, and that choice will not be made until I make it. That is how causal determinism and causal necessity works. No event will ever happen until its final prior causes have played themselves out. While events may sometimes be predicted in advance, under no circumstances can any event ever be caused in advance. Causal necessity means that it will happen exactly when and where it happens, and it will be caused by whatever meaningfully caused it to happen.

I am the meaningful and relevant cause of my dinner order. And it will be to me to which the waiter brings the bill.

It's that simple.
 

steve_bank

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I don't pay attention to the free will discussions. They seem like interminable exercises in talking past each other.

I may be a compatibilist, though I'd have to look it up to know for sure.

I'm a free willy; I experience free will all the time.

The world isn't perfectly deterministic. But what isn't determined may be random, which hardly helps us us defend free will.

But, if you say free will is an illusion, then I'll point out that the illusion is free will. If A equals B then B equals A. What we experience, that we call free will, is what we mean by free will. And, as a practical matter, everybody believes in free will. Nobody says, "Oh, it's okay that you mug me, because, philosophically speaking, you don't have a choice."
Christians experience god all the time too.
 

fromderinside

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes often incompatibly with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
The brain activity is reality, full stop. It does Lt need to "reflect" anything to be exactly what it is.

The sets of neural flashes on the surface they come from are the reality of the requirement, the shape of those neurotransmitterrs at their axon terminals are a time.

These are the objects I am referencing and describing, the actual machine.

As it is, you're making wild hand-waving and unrelated claims against the simple fact that: there is an object: a list of instructions into a requirement, the list is an object, the requirement is an object, and the requirement either SHALL or SHALL NOT be met.

This is a fact, about the behavior of a system relative to a specific question about an object: did these nerves flash something within this set of patterns and therefore behave this way objectively?

If yes, we call that "free to requirement".

There is exactly one of these things that shall happen every time a will is generated and held, and is part of the physics behind the mind.

Just as the Dwarven mind is an object and holds an objectively observable will, the human mind is an object and such objects as the human mind may do much more complicated exercises of this form.
You are not describing the actual machine. You are describing something IAW your position on the matter. Unless you disconnect your assertions from self you are just whistling into the wind. Your thought experiment isn't an experiment it is a brain fart.
Ah, so ad-homs and mere assertions then.

You who doesn't understand that the computer is an object separated entirely from myself, but not that it matters.

I expect hard determinsts MUST cling to their hard determinism and the conflations they build up because it is the nacre holding back the grit of their guilt in their life for the shit they ignored the regulatory control to prevent themselves from doing.
Thanks for ignoring what was aimed at you in my post, my actual measured and reported computer experience. If you really want to be believed you'd come up with computer facts that would support your position rather than going all program isn't computer so program is Ghawd.
 

fromderinside

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes often incompatibly with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
The brain activity is reality, full stop. It does Lt need to "reflect" anything to be exactly what it is.

The sets of neural flashes on the surface they come from are the reality of the requirement, the shape of those neurotransmitterrs at their axon terminals are a time.

These are the objects I am referencing and describing, the actual machine.

As it is, you're making wild hand-waving and unrelated claims against the simple fact that: there is an object: a list of instructions into a requirement, the list is an object, the requirement is an object, and the requirement either SHALL or SHALL NOT be met.

This is a fact, about the behavior of a system relative to a specific question about an object: did these nerves flash something within this set of patterns and therefore behave this way objectively?

If yes, we call that "free to requirement".

There is exactly one of these things that shall happen every time a will is generated and held, and is part of the physics behind the mind.

Just as the Dwarven mind is an object and holds an objectively observable will, the human mind is an object and such objects as the human mind may do much more complicated exercises of this form.
You are not describing the actual machine. You are describing something IAW your position on the matter. Unless you disconnect your assertions from self you are just whistling into the wind. Your thought experiment isn't an experiment it is a brain fart.
Ah, so ad-homs and mere assertions then.

You who doesn't understand that the computer is an object separated entirely from myself, but not that it matters.

I expect hard determinsts MUST cling to their hard determinism and the conflations they build up because it is the nacre holding back the grit of their guilt in their life for the shit they ignored the regulatory control to prevent themselves from doing.
A computer is a machine designed by humans either directly or by proxy. a program is a set of instructions following computer logic and function also designed by humans or by human proxy. There is no separation between computer and yourself, a human.
 

Jarhyn

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Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes often incompatibly with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
The brain activity is reality, full stop. It does Lt need to "reflect" anything to be exactly what it is.

The sets of neural flashes on the surface they come from are the reality of the requirement, the shape of those neurotransmitterrs at their axon terminals are a time.

These are the objects I am referencing and describing, the actual machine.

As it is, you're making wild hand-waving and unrelated claims against the simple fact that: there is an object: a list of instructions into a requirement, the list is an object, the requirement is an object, and the requirement either SHALL or SHALL NOT be met.

This is a fact, about the behavior of a system relative to a specific question about an object: did these nerves flash something within this set of patterns and therefore behave this way objectively?

If yes, we call that "free to requirement".

There is exactly one of these things that shall happen every time a will is generated and held, and is part of the physics behind the mind.

Just as the Dwarven mind is an object and holds an objectively observable will, the human mind is an object and such objects as the human mind may do much more complicated exercises of this form.
You are not describing the actual machine. You are describing something IAW your position on the matter. Unless you disconnect your assertions from self you are just whistling into the wind. Your thought experiment isn't an experiment it is a brain fart.
Ah, so ad-homs and mere assertions then.

You who doesn't understand that the computer is an object separated entirely from myself, but not that it matters.

I expect hard determinsts MUST cling to their hard determinism and the conflations they build up because it is the nacre holding back the grit of their guilt in their life for the shit they ignored the regulatory control to prevent themselves from doing.
Thanks for ignoring what was aimed at you in my post, my actual measured and reported computer experience. If you really want to be believed you'd come up with computer facts that would support your position rather than going all program isn't computer so program is Ghawd.
Again, says the person who says there is no two and implies nothing is knowable.

Again you are going to ad-homs, argument from authority (automatic authority even!) and straw man arguments now.

The computer is an object. It contains an object, and another object and a third object that does a comparison in the form of an electrical switching operation, and this objectively results in the change of... Another object.

What change happens on one of those objects is a determining factor for the behavior of the system itself: the behavior of ejecting the will as failed, continuing on the will, or marking the will complete.

When it is ejected as failed, for reasons that may be entirely arbitrary (the reasons don't matter, only the objective fact of the failure state existing matters here), it has the named general property of "unfreeness".

This is all just recognizing and naming properties relevant to some context of question within the system.
Also as I pointed out to bilby sensations are not anywhere near immediate and they are variable between senses.
I never thought otherwise.

That doesn't make them not real, though.

Everything you are talking about is a part of reality. Everything.
Different brushes.

Reality according to brain activity is much different than is reality with respect to material activity. Yes brain activity is a material outcome. It just isn't one reflecting the physical state of things around us.

Evolution has left us with tools mostly incompatible with what are the state of affairs in the world. There are no formulas for getting from energy and location drives to what the brain and other driving metabolic responses beyond what the being has evolved to function.

For instance, the nervous system provides sense data mixed with noise and ongoing processing. It's all real. Except what the human does with it changes often incompatibly with what would be life saving actions. No other way to explain such as Trump or the existence of black holes.

I take my ques from the advent of a standardized scientific reality versus the prior rationalistic reality or even desires. No way back.
The brain activity is reality, full stop. It does Lt need to "reflect" anything to be exactly what it is.

The sets of neural flashes on the surface they come from are the reality of the requirement, the shape of those neurotransmitterrs at their axon terminals are a time.

These are the objects I am referencing and describing, the actual machine.

As it is, you're making wild hand-waving and unrelated claims against the simple fact that: there is an object: a list of instructions into a requirement, the list is an object, the requirement is an object, and the requirement either SHALL or SHALL NOT be met.

This is a fact, about the behavior of a system relative to a specific question about an object: did these nerves flash something within this set of patterns and therefore behave this way objectively?

If yes, we call that "free to requirement".

There is exactly one of these things that shall happen every time a will is generated and held, and is part of the physics behind the mind.

Just as the Dwarven mind is an object and holds an objectively observable will, the human mind is an object and such objects as the human mind may do much more complicated exercises of this form.
You are not describing the actual machine. You are describing something IAW your position on the matter. Unless you disconnect your assertions from self you are just whistling into the wind. Your thought experiment isn't an experiment it is a brain fart.
Ah, so ad-homs and mere assertions then.

You who doesn't understand that the computer is an object separated entirely from myself, but not that it matters.

I expect hard determinsts MUST cling to their hard determinism and the conflations they build up because it is the nacre holding back the grit of their guilt in their life for the shit they ignored the regulatory control to prevent themselves from doing.
A computer is a machine designed by humans either directly or by proxy. a program is a set of instructions following computer logic and function also designed by humans or by human proxy. There is no separation between computer and yourself, a human.
A computer, that computer sitting right there in my office, is an organization of metal, glass, silicon, plastics, and epoxies.

A program is a set of charge patterns existing among this in the presence of some differential field, driving behavior of the machine through the electromagnetic variances between those charge potentials.

It. Is. An. Object.
 

fromderinside

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A computer is a machine designed by humans either directly or by proxy. a program is a set of instructions following computer logic and function also designed by humans or by human proxy. There is no separation between computer and yourself, a human.
A computer, that computer sitting right there in my office, is an organization of metal, glass, silicon, plastics, and epoxies.

A program is a set of charge patterns existing among this in the presence of some differential field, driving behavior of the machine through the electromagnetic variances between those charge potentials.

It. Is. An. Object.
Jeez you'd think one who was trained on and operated on a  Mark 56 Gun Fire Control System while in the Navy, worked for 3 years at IBM in Los Angeles, employed a PDP 12 to carry out dissertation research at Florida State U., worked in lead roles on EA-6B SSSA and F-14 SSSA for 6 years at  Pacific Missile Test Center and was base lead Technology Transfer Officer there before going to MDC/Boeing for 18 years to lead a C-17 cockpit design group and install government complying maintenance and modification functions at MDC Long Beach and Charleston AFB would know a little something about computers and computing. Yeah, you've pissed me off.

Are or are not computers devises devised by men (think: people who were aware of Archimedes; Babbage)? Are not languages including computer languages schemes devised by men through which to communicate and replicate? You can call them whatever you want but I think system is a more apt attribution.

Just sayin...
 
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Jarhyn

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A computer is a machine designed by humans either directly or by proxy. a program is a set of instructions following computer logic and function also designed by humans or by human proxy. There is no separation between computer and yourself, a human.
A computer, that computer sitting right there in my office, is an organization of metal, glass, silicon, plastics, and epoxies.

A program is a set of charge patterns existing among this in the presence of some differential field, driving behavior of the machine through the electromagnetic variances between those charge potentials.

It. Is. An. Object.
Jeez you'd think one who was trained on and operated on a  Mark 56 Gun Fire Control System while in the Navy, worked for 3 years at IBM in Los Angeles, employed a PDP 12 to carry out dissertation research at Florida State U., worked in lead roles on EA-6B SSSA and F-14 SSSA for 6 years at  Pacific Missile Test Center and was base lead Technology Transfer Officer there before going to MDC/Boeing for 18 years to lead a C-17 cockpit design group and install government complying maintenance and modification functions at MDC Long Beach and Charleston AFB would know a little something about computers and computing. Yeah, you've pissed me off.

Are or are not computers devises devised by men (think: people who were aware of Archimedes; Babbage)? Are not languages including computer languages schemes devised by men through which to communicate and replicate? You can call them whatever you want but I think system is a more apt attribution.

Just sayin...
And you seem to continue to be unable in any respect to discern the difference between unimportant cause of origin and the actual objectivity of what something is.

it is an object. And in fact systems are objects and objects are systems: objects have interrelatedness among them.

Regardless of where things come from, what they are in the moment, well, that's the very definition of "an object".
 

fromderinside

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It. Is. An. Object
Are or are not computers devises devised by men (think: people who were aware of Archimedes; Babbage)? Are not languages including computer languages schemes devised by men through which to communicate and replicate? You can call them whatever you want but I think system is a more apt attribution.
And you seem to continue to be unable in any respect to discern the difference between unimportant cause of origin and the actual objectivity of what something is.

it is an object. And in fact systems are objects and objects are systems: objects have interrelatedness among them.

Regardless of where things come from, what they are in the moment, well, that's the very definition of "an object".
  1. something material that may be perceived by the senses
    something that when viewed stirs a particular emotion (such as pity)

You are missing the point entirely by perseverating on 'object.'

Things are more general than object which is constrained to 'perceived by the senses.' I've presented the case for computers being classified as mental things which may not be considered independent of mental perception. You need to step up and present a definition of computer that meets the experimental requirements of actual materiality rather than that of perceived material reality. .Mental objects are not actual objects. They are perceptions, dreams even. You are wrapping yourself in some sort of Descartes, even religious' construct.

Your claims are a bit lie Peter, the fictional character, calling wolf when the situation is that of being in the actual presence of a wolf capable of killing you. My representation of the limits of perception become real when what you are about to perceive is already there beginning to kill you.
 
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Free will is when our choosing is free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In which case computer software, algorithms, etc, have free will and may be considered to be moral agents acting according to their own nature and makeup without coercion or force......I don't think so!

Compatibilists assert free will where necessitation, not free will, determines outcomes.

That's the compatibilist definition of free will. Incompatibilists disagree.

But the incompatibilist definition of free will, as "freedom from causal necessity", is an irrational concept. This excludes their definition from any serious consideration.

There is no "compatibilist definition" of free will. Compatibilist simply adopt the definition that most people understand and correctly apply to real life situations. People know the difference between a choice that they make for themselves versus a choice that is imposed upon them by someone else. And they naturally prefer the former, because it gives them control of the choice rather than the choice being controlled by someone else.

This common understanding of free will is found in general purpose dictionaries, for example:
  1. Merriam-Webster: free will 1: voluntary choice or decision 'I do this of my own free will'
  2. Oxford English Dictionary: free will 1.a. Spontaneous or unconstrained will; unforced choice; (also) inclination to act without suggestion from others. Esp. in of one's (own) free will and similar expressions.
  3. Wiktionary: free will 1. A person's natural inclination; unforced choice.
To be fair, each of these dictionaries also include the "philosophical" definition, the less common usage, in second place:
  1. Merriam-Webster on-line: free will 2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention
  2. Oxford English Dictionary: free will 2. The power of an individual to make free choices, not determined by divine predestination, the laws of physical causality, fate, etc.
  3. Wiktionary: free will 2. (philosophy) The ability to choose one's actions, or determine what reasons are acceptable motivation for actions, without predestination, fate etc.
Wiktionary even notes that the second definition is unique to philosophy.

Dictionaries reflect the common usage and their references and meaning.

Referring to dictionary meaning, how people use words and terms, doesn't resolve a debate that has spanned centuries.

A debate that can only be resolved through an understanding of how the brain functions and makes decisions.

Which, to reiterate, does not involve free will.

Which reduces the term 'free will' to the status of a mislabel.

But it is the first definition that is used when assessing a person's moral or legal responsibility for their actions. A person is held responsible for their deliberate acts, but not when their behavior is coerced or subject to undue influence.

The second definition cannot be used for responsibility. Because it is impossible to do anything at all while "free of prior causes" or "free of the laws of physical causality". Thus it is quite reasonable to believe that every event is reliably caused by something, even if we do not know what that something is.

But we are usually aware of the causes of everyday events. Hitting the nail with a hammer causes the nail to go into the wood. The force of the hammer upon the nail is the prior cause of the nail going into the wood. And what is the prior cause of us hammering? We decided earlier to build a bird house. That freely chosen intention resulted in us buying the wood, cutting the wood, and nailing the parts together.

And what was the prior cause of us deciding to build a bird house? Perhaps we read somewhere that, due to deforestation, birds needed houses in areas that no longer had trees for nesting. So then, what was the prior cause that led us to read that article? Perhaps our general interest in wildlife conservation. And what was the prior cause of our general interest in wildlife conservation? ... Well, we could go on like this indefinitely tracing back the prior causes of the prior causes. Even when we no longer could guess what the prior cause of a prior cause was, we will still presume that there is one.

Because of this reasoning, we find the notion of causal necessity to make perfect sense. However, what we never encounter is any reason to believe in the notion of "freedom from" this causal necessity. One cannot even imagine what it would be like if one had no prior causes and could never be a prior cause oneself. How would we build a birdhouse, and why would we do so? The answer to both questions resides in the notion of one thing reliably causing another thing.

So, causal necessity appears to be a prerequisite of every freedom that we have to actually do anything at all. And the notion of freedom from this notion of one thing reliably causing another thing seems irrational. Because how can we be free of that which freedom itself requires? There is no freedom without reliable cause and effect.

We also find that causal necessity is not in itself any kind of meaningful constraint. It is not something that anyone can, or needs to be free of. What we will inevitably do is exactly identical to us just being us, doing what we choose to do. It is basically "what we would have done anyway". And that is not a meaningful constraint.

Thus, the second definition appears to be an irrational one. So it is reasonable for us to discard that definition and adopt instead the first definition of free will, which requires only freedom from coercion and undue influence. Everyone outside of the philosophy class is already using it anyway.


Causal necessity eliminates alternate decisions and free choice, which by definition assumes the ability to have chosen a different option whenever a set of alternatives is being presented.

But, as we should know, determinism does not permit alternate choices in at a given moment in any circumstances.

The brain is in state of fixed increments from moment to moment, therefore only one option is possible in that instance, followed by the next, then the next.

If it's determined by the circumstances and the state of your brain that you choose chocolate over vanilla, vanilla was never a possibility or an option for you in that instance.

There was no freedom of will or freedom of choice. Determinism doesn't permit alternate actions.


But if it's determined that you don't take that option in a given instance in time, the option is not realizable for you in that instance in time.

Sorry, but every option on the menu was realizable before we even opened the menu. It was realizable during our choosing and even after we made our choice. That's what realizable means, that it can be realized, even if it never is realized.

Impossible. If any option is open at any given moment in time, you are not talking about determinism at all, but something else, some magical quantum world on a macro scale.

It will be me that chooses the salad, and that choice will not be made until I make it. That is how causal determinism and causal necessity works. No event will ever happen until its final prior causes have played themselves out. While events may sometimes be predicted in advance, under no circumstances can any event ever be caused in advance. Causal necessity means that it will happen exactly when and where it happens, and it will be caused by whatever meaningfully caused it to happen.

It is the properties of all objects and their interactions that make up a deterministic system. It has nothing to do with free will.

We don't choose the state of us, specifically the brain, be it functional and rational or dysfunctional and irrational.

If someone has damage to their neural architecture, which is the foundation of their being, and they act in self destructive ways, regretting every bad decision made, it can be said that ''they are doing it, therefore free will,'' which just demonstrates the absurdity of the label.

We no more choose a healthy, rational, functional brain than someone chooses a dysfunctional brain that produces self-destructive behaviour.

The term 'free will' is irrelevant and misleading, a term that tells us nothing about human behaviour or how decisions are made.


I am the meaningful and relevant cause of my dinner order. And it will be to me to which the waiter brings the bill.

It's that simple.

There is far more to it in terms of causality than just you. You are not the cause of the state of you. The state of you determines how you think, what you think and what you do in any given circumstance.
 

Jarhyn

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I've presented the case for computers being classified as mental things which may not be considered independent of mental perception
And it's a clearly bad case, rotten to it's core decayed like bad wood by a lifetime of misconception.

There is a shell on the beach. I don't need to know where it came from to know it is a piece of calcium arranged just so.

There is a rock on the ground. I don't need to know where it came from to know it is a piece of silica arranged just so.

There is a computer on the ground, I don't need to know it was assembled by people, or aliens, or an accidental precipitation of matter from a massive parallel tunneling event occurring: it is a piece of metal, plastic, epoxy, glass, silicon, and electrons just so.

Of course, the fact that the screen says "dwarf" does not make the complex arrangement of electrons being looked at "an arrangement of meat and neurons and bones"; the fact that the screen says the "dwarf" has broken "bones", detached "nerves", and injured "meat" does not make the "dwarf" anything else but "electrons, arranged just so".

Instead, this language describes objects of a fundamentally different nature than the words would seem to imply. It is not, actually, English (though we can mostly operate on it as if it were owing to analogical similarities between the things so named in each context.)

That does not, however, make any of those names things any less what they are as real objects: complex sets of charge patterns.

To Wit, you could as easily for the moment imagine some alien or foreign language speaker coming upon the computer.

They may, over time, learn about this object they have discovered, and not have any idea how to interpret the language they see, or if the language makes any sense at all. They will see the same dwarf objects doing the same things for the same reasons in the same deterministic way, because the object they found contains a deterministic system with objectively extant actors...

They might even develop a name for these "lists of instructions" those objects hold, a name for when they meet their requirements or not (though the object does OFFER such a name), and then set about determining which of these objects is responsible for any given event happening in the moment, such as when one does some thing that makes several of the others stop functioning.

Because it is an object.
 
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Jarhyn

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In which case computer software, algorithms, etc, have free will and may be considered to be moral agents acting according to their own nature and makeup without coercion or force......I don't think so!
So, argument from Incredulity then!

First off, computers lack the will to assess their wills for provisional freedom value, for the most part. Dwarves are a very special case because they ARE arranged specifically to that end and as I said there is a reason I quit playing that game.

Second, computers lack the ability to assess their wills for certain kinds of coercion, generally lacking a will "to detect and prevent coercion": they simply, in the current day with the current computers, don't care about coercion. That's more a lack of wanting them to care and so just not arranging their existence such that they would than a lack of them being capable of it.

Again, dwarves are a very special case because they ARE arranged specifically to that end: The only reason you can get them to do anything is that one of their needs is to "do work" and "available work" is queued by "the fortress administrator."

Of course part of your problem is a misconception of what makes things moral agents, as if your worldview even allows a concept of "moral agent" in the first place because that would require "responsibility" and "coercion" and "freedom" and "will" all to operate and make sense in a worldview, and you wave your hands and say "none of that so I'm not responsible, blame the big bang" or whatever.

This argument of increduluy is why AI is going to destroy humanity if ever someone (me probably) is crazy enough to make them.
 
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Marvin Edwards

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Free will is when our choosing is free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In which case computer software, algorithms, etc, have free will and may be considered to be moral agents acting according to their own nature and makeup without coercion or force......I don't think so!

I don't think so either. Computers and robots are machines we create to help us do our will. They have no will of their own.

Compatibilists assert free will where necessitation, not free will, determines outcomes.

You still don't get that our choosing necessitates our will which necessitates our action. Free will is the mechanism of necessitation for any deliberate act (except, of course, when the mechanism includes coercion or undue influence).

It is not "either free will or necessitation". It is both, at the same time, in the same event!

Causal necessity eliminates alternate decisions and free choice, which by definition assumes the ability to have chosen a different option whenever a set of alternatives is being presented.

Causal necessity cannot eliminate anything and still remain causal necessity. Remove one of those dominoes from the chain, and the "unfolding of events" simply ceases. Therefore, rule number one is: do not pretend that some events are not happening. All of the events are actually going to happen.

The decision to have dinner at the restaurant causes us to drive to the restaurant, sit at a table, browse the menu, consider our options, and then decide what we will order. The process of deciding what we will order causes us to think about the bacon and eggs we had for breakfast and the double cheeseburger we had for lunch. And we also think about our dietary goal to eat more vegetables. So, even though the steak looks delicious, we decide we will order the salad instead.

That is how causal necessity works. It is about us deciding for ourselves what we will do and then doing it. Causal necessity is about us and what we are doing. Causal necessity itself never does anything. It does not change any of the facts as to what is actually happening.

The brain is in state of fixed increments from moment to moment, therefore only one option is possible in that instance, followed by the next, then the next.

That works for me. I thought of the steak option, which caused me to think of the bacon and eggs for breakfast, and then the double cheeseburger for lunch. Since I wanted to balance my diet, I began considering the salad option, which caused good feelings due to my dietary goals. I did consider my options, one at a time, just as you suggested. But nothing has changed. It is still me deciding for myself what I will have for dinner through a reliable chain of mental events. You know, that causal necessity thing, that's actually about me causing things in a necessary way.

If it's determined by the circumstances and the state of your brain that you choose chocolate over vanilla, vanilla was never a possibility or an option for you in that instance.

If vanilla was on the menu, then it was a real possibility. If chocolate was on the menu, then it was yet another real possibility. That's two real possibilities. The fact that I chose the chocolate does not mean that vanilla was at any time not a real possibility!

Again, I would suggest that you still do not understand the meaning of "possibility". I do not need to choose the vanilla for it to be possible to choose it. It only needs to be there, available for me to choose it if I want.

Every option on the menu was realizable before we even opened the menu. It was realizable during our choosing and even after we made our choice. That's what realizable means, that it can be realized, even if it never is realized.

Impossible.

If you don't understand "possible" then you probably don't understand "impossible".

If any option is open at any given moment in time, you are not talking about determinism at all, but something else, some magical quantum world on a macro scale.

I'll repeat: ALL EVENTS ARE ALWAYS CAUSALLY NECESSARY. I presume this is just as true of the quantum world as it is everywhere else. However, objects behave differently according to how they are organized. Different levels of organization, whether quantum, physical, biological, or intelligent will involve different rules of behavior due to different causal mechanisms. (This is why we heat our breakfast in the microwave and drive our car to work, instead of the other way around).

It is the properties of all objects and their interactions that make up a deterministic system.

YES!!! And we happen to be one of those objects that interact with other objects in a deterministic fashion by means of the various functions we are able to perform. The ability to choose for ourselves what we will order for dinner happens to be one of the properties of our human species.

We don't choose the state of us, specifically the brain, be it functional and rational ...

The state of our functional and rational brain is such that it can consider multiple possibilities and choose what it will do next. These choices alter the state of us, specifically the brain. So, you're mistaken again. We can in fact choose the state of our brain.

You'll recall the example of the co-ed who was invited to go to a party, but she knew she had a chemistry exam in the morning, so she decided to stay home and study instead. Her deliberate action of studying altered the neural connections in her own brain, making the class material easier to recall while taking the test in the morning. And, she was aware while studying that this was precisely what she was trying to do.

... or dysfunctional and irrational. If someone has damage to their neural architecture, which is the foundation of their being, and they act in self destructive ways, regretting every bad decision made, it can be said that ''they are doing it, therefore free will,''

You haven't been listening. A significant mental illness constitutes an undue influence when it subjects the person to hallucinations and delusions, or to an irresistible impulse, or simply impairs their ability to reason. It effectively removes the person's normal control of their own choices. And the illness, rather than the person, is held responsible for what they do, and they are treated medically and psychiatrically rather than in a prison.

We no more choose a healthy, rational, functional brain than someone chooses a dysfunctional brain that produces self-destructive behaviour.

Correct. We do not get to choose our brain. However, once we have a brain, we get to choose all kinds of things. That's what brains do. And we will be held responsible for our deliberate acts, when those acts are chosen by us while free of coercion and undue influence.

There is far more to it in terms of causality than just you.

Of course.

You are not the cause of the state of you.

False. We are not the only cause of our current state, but our choices play a major role in changing our current state. Simply sitting here at the keyboard, typing a response to you, is changing my current state.

The state of you determines how you think, what you think and what you do in any given circumstance.

Yep. My current state determines how I think, and what I think changes my current state.
 

fromderinside

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I've presented the case for computers being classified as mental things which may not be considered independent of mental perception
And it's a clearly bad case, rotten to it's core decayed like bad wood by a lifetime of misconception.

It comes directly from the definition I presented. Argue with Webster.
 

Jarhyn

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I've presented the case for computers being classified as mental things which may not be considered independent of mental perception
And it's a clearly bad case, rotten to it's core decayed like bad wood by a lifetime of misconception.

It comes directly from the definition I presented. Argue with Webster.
Ah, argumentum ad dictum.

The computer is an object. I repeat, it would be exactly the thing it was if you found it on the road not knowing what it was or where it came from. You could observe the same relationships of the same parts.

A computer is an object and may be considered as one.
 

fromderinside

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I've presented the case for computers being classified as mental things which may not be considered independent of mental perception
And it's a clearly bad case, rotten to it's core decayed like bad wood by a lifetime of misconception.

It comes directly from the definition I presented. Argue with Webster.
Ah, argumentum ad dictum.

The computer is an object. I repeat, it would be exactly the thing it was if you found it on the road not knowing what it was or where it came from. You could observe the same relationships of the same parts.

A computer is an object and may be considered as one.
So does the computer you see exhibit the same properties as the one over there not seen by you, running an experiment for measuring human responses to the movement of sounds it is commanding to be moving in the anechoic chamber? Or is it an analog computer or a digital compute? Are you saying all computers are the same regardless of what or whom, how, why, or where one observes them?

They are all objects. But it takes more than an observer's declaration to specify something is an object. It matters where and why one declares a computer an object since objects may be material or mental derivatives.

Seems to be you are saying a computer is an abstraction of a particular machine matching your mental model, not an object at all. Your notions of object aren't descriptive or prescriptive.
 

Jarhyn

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I've presented the case for computers being classified as mental things which may not be considered independent of mental perception
And it's a clearly bad case, rotten to it's core decayed like bad wood by a lifetime of misconception.

It comes directly from the definition I presented. Argue with Webster.
Ah, argumentum ad dictum.

The computer is an object. I repeat, it would be exactly the thing it was if you found it on the road not knowing what it was or where it came from. You could observe the same relationships of the same parts.

A computer is an object and may be considered as one.
So does the computer you see exhibit the same properties as the one running over there not seen by you, running an experiment for measuring human responses to the movement of sounds it is commanding to be moving in the anechoic chamber? Are you saying all computers are the same regardless of what or whom observes them?

Seems to be you are saying a computer is an abstraction of a particular machine matching your mental model, not an object at all.
No, I am saying specific computers are the same regardless of who is watching the specific computer.

Hence why I point, to exemplify this fact, at a specific computer, namely the computer in the corner of my office.

It is an object made of sand metal glass etc. With a specific shape and set of properties.


Look back very carefully on the language I use. "Computers are objects", "the computer is an object"

It has nothing to do with the mental model of who looks at the computer, it's just a thing, being as it is.

It just so happens that the thing, the object that it is contains a thing, which we would describe as "a list of instructions with a requirement", and that it observably shall meet it's requirement or fail it's requirement. Which one happens is always the thing that is going to happen. We all recognize which. And if the thing that happens is shaped one way we call it "free" and if it happens the other way we call it "unfree". It was always going to be either "free" or "unfree", whichever it happened to be, same way as when you look at the spin on a particle, you can expect it to only be one of "up" or "down".

In the same way where if you could predict the spinning a particle before you looked because you know the secret sauce of the RNG, it would still be "up", or "down", it would still have this property.

And so too the computer, not some imaginary idea of a computer that mutates into everything all the time, but a specific computer, in some specific permutation, containing a will, that some of the wills are notably "free" by compatibilist definitions of such, even if we knew the result before it came to be of the transistors, and that it would be identifiably doing so even if it were being observed by an alien, by an ancient Roman finding a thing just so in the middle of the road, or by a human today, or by myself.
 

fromderinside

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No, I am saying specific computers are the same regardless of who is watching the specific computer.

Hence why I point, to exemplify this fact, at a specific computer, namely the computer in the corner of my office.

It is an object made of sand metal glass etc. With a specific shape and set of properties.


Look back very carefully on the language I use. "Computers are objects", "the computer is an object"

It has nothing to do with the mental model of who looks at the computer, it's just a thing, being as it is.

It just so happens that the thing, the object that it is contains a thing, which we would describe as "a list of instructions with a requirement", and that it observably shall meet it's requirement or fail it's requirement. Which one happens is always the thing that is going to happen. We all recognize which. And if the thing that happens is shaped one way we call it "free" and if it happens the other way we call it "unfree". It was always going to be either "free" or "unfree", whichever it happened to be, same way as when you look at the spin on a particle, you can expect it to only be one of "up" or "down".

In the same way where if you could predict the spinning a particle before you looked because you know the secret sauce of the RNG, it would still be "up", or "down", it would still have this property.

And so too the computer, not some imaginary idea of a computer that mutates into everything all the time, but a specific computer, in some specific permutation, containing a will, that some of the wills are notably "free" by compatibilist definitions of such, even if we knew the result before it came to be of the transistors, and that it would be identifiably doing so even if it were being observed by an alien, by an ancient Roman finding a thing just so in the middle of the road, or by a human today, or by myself.
Right out of the bag you say "specific computers are the same regardless of who is watching the specific computer". Yet I mentioned at least three types of computer observed and unobserved obviously different from each other in many material and functional ways. It would be one thing if each named computer worked the same way. But that would be a stretch equivalent to saying humans and life were the same thing because they had DNA in common. Just not usable in particular discourse.

Let me try another tack. Some machines are used to build planes others are used to turn wood. They are both machines, yet one is a riveter and the other is a lathe. Your argument that all computers are computers in spite of different function and purpose fails for the same reason. No one insists both are identically machines. One is digital, the other analog they both compute but they are different.

You need to loosen up from your embedded notion that what is viewed by a person is the same as what there independent of the person. One exists, the other exists in the mind. Very important to understanding the differences between material and subjective.

Critical to understand that what is observed by the mind is never subject to what the mind attributes to the observation. What the mind attributes to it is not the same as what is materially existent to the object independent of being observed. Its why one conducts experiments independent of mental observation.

It is clear in your argument. You include one's mind in every instance. You never consider the nature of the object independent of one's observation of it.
 
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Jarhyn

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jarhyn said:
specific computers are the same regardless of who is watching the specific computer
"Harry that Tom sees is exactly the same Harry that Bob sees".

This is acknowledgment of the axiom of universal objectivity and naturalism in general in general: that material things observed are the same thing regardless of who is observing them.
Yet I mentioned at least three types of computer observed
"Harry is not the same object as observed by both Bob and Tom because Harry is different from Bob is different from Tom"

This is nonsense, however. It conflates the difference of opinions held by Bob and Tom of Harry as making Harry anything less than an object, the same as seen both by Bob and Tom regardless of their differing opinions of Harry

Now replace Harry with "the computer in my living room, that one specific object".

Or any specific object at all.

You can't say a rock, person, computer, any given thing is not an object, or somehow different from itself just because different objects are different.

Or I guess you can, but when you do you invoke nonsense.

Given that you step off from abject nonsense, an observably false starting point and one I cannot possibly believe you don't see, it makes me wonder what your game is here.
 

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Free will is when our choosing is free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Still an assertion. A misapplied label.


In which case computer software, algorithms, etc, have free will and may be considered to be moral agents acting according to their own nature and makeup without coercion or force......I don't think so!

I don't think so either. Computers and robots are machines we create to help us do our will. They have no will of their own.

Machines that can make rational decisions based on sets of criteria. The criteria determining the action taken.... in principle just as a human brain does, without coercion or force, able to beat master chess players of its own accord, its makeup and function as an information processor....which is the evolved function of a brain.

Neither operate on the principle of free will.

Compatibilists assert free will where necessitation, not free will, determines outcomes.

You still don't get that our choosing necessitates our will which necessitates our action. Free will is the mechanism of necessitation for any deliberate act (except, of course, when the mechanism includes coercion or undue influence).

Except that it's not our will that necessitates actions. That is achieved by information input interacting with the state of the system, neural architecture and memory function. Evidence from neuroscience, etc, etc.....



It is not "either free will or necessitation". It is both, at the same time, in the same event!

Nope. Information processing is the key, then pattern recognition enabled by memory function and so on.....

''Neuroscientists have repeatedly pointed out that pattern recognition represents the key to understanding cognition in humans. Pattern recognition also forms the very basis by which we predict future events, i e. we are literally forced to make assumptions concerning outcomes, and we do so by relying on sequences of events experienced in the past.''

Huettel et al. point out that their study identifies the role various regions of prefrontal cortex play in moment-to-moment processing of mental events in order to make predictions about future events. Thus implicit predictive models are formed which need to be continuously updated, the disruption of sequence would indicate that the PFC is engaged in a novelty response to pattern changes. As a third possible explanation, Ivry and Knight propose that activation of the prefrontal cortex may reflect the generation of hypotheses, since the formulation of an hypothesis is an essential feature of higher-level cognition.''




Causal necessity eliminates alternate decisions and free choice, which by definition assumes the ability to have chosen a different option whenever a set of alternatives is being presented.

Causal necessity cannot eliminate anything and still remain causal necessity. Remove one of those dominoes from the chain, and the "unfolding of events" simply ceases. Therefore, rule number one is: do not pretend that some events are not happening. All of the events are actually going to happen.

Alternate possibilities are not a feature, attribute or aspect of determinism. There are no possible alternate actions within a deterministic system.

There is no place in the given definition of determinism that allows alternate actions. Everything must necessary proceed as determined, no deviations.

The decision to have dinner at the restaurant causes us to drive to the restaurant, sit at a table, browse the menu, consider our options, and then decide what we will order. The process of deciding what we will order causes us to think about the bacon and eggs we had for breakfast and the double cheeseburger we had for lunch. And we also think about our dietary goal to eat more vegetables. So, even though the steak looks delicious, we decide we will order the salad instead.

It doesn't start at the decision to have dinner at the restaurant, antecedent events bring you to that point and you proceed accordingly, every step fixed by the state before and determines the next, unless we aren't talking about determinism?


That is how causal necessity works. It is about us deciding for ourselves what we will do and then doing it. Causal necessity is about us and what we are doing. Causal necessity itself never does anything. It does not change any of the facts as to what is actually happening.

We don't exist in a vacuum, we don't choose out state and condition, we are not separate from the world at large and we cannot operate, if determined, outside of what is determined.


The brain is in state of fixed increments from moment to moment, therefore only one option is possible in that instance, followed by the next, then the next.

That works for me. I thought of the steak option, which caused me to think of the bacon and eggs for breakfast, and then the double cheeseburger for lunch. Since I wanted to balance my diet, I began considering the salad option, which caused good feelings due to my dietary goals. I did consider my options, one at a time, just as you suggested. But nothing has changed. It is still me deciding for myself what I will have for dinner through a reliable chain of mental events. You know, that causal necessity thing, that's actually about me causing things in a necessary way.

What is Necessitated is not freely willed or freely chosen;


What Does Deterministic System Mean?
''A deterministic system is a system in which a given initial state or condition will always produce the same results. There is no randomness or variation in the ways that inputs get delivered as outputs.''



Necessity
is the idea that everything that has ever happened and ever will happen is necessary, and cannot be otherwise. Necessity is often opposed to chance and contingency. In a necessary world there is no chance. Everything that happens is necessitated.''
.

If it's determined by the circumstances and the state of your brain that you choose chocolate over vanilla, vanilla was never a possibility or an option for you in that instance.

If vanilla was on the menu, then it was a real possibility. If chocolate was on the menu, then it was yet another real possibility. That's two real possibilities. The fact that I chose the chocolate does not mean that vanilla was at any time not a real possibility!

A lot of things are on the menu, yet according to the definition of determinism, only one option is realizable in any given instance in time; the determined option. Determined is neither freely willed or freely selected, it is fixed by antecedents as each step of the process unfolds from initial conditions time t.


Again, I would suggest that you still do not understand the meaning of "possibility". I do not need to choose the vanilla for it to be possible to choose it. It only needs to be there, available for me to choose it if I want.

I understand the meaning of possibility and I apply that meaning to the given definition of determinism, which does not permit alternate actions, therefore other possibilities. Without alternate actions, there are no alternate possibilities.


Every option on the menu was realizable before we even opened the menu. It was realizable during our choosing and even after we made our choice. That's what realizable means, that it can be realized, even if it never is realized.

Realizable by different people, each according to their state and condition in the instance of selection: the only possible action in that moment in time. Other actions open as events progress and conditions change, not because that is freely willed or freely chosen but because each action/event leads to the next with no possible deviation.

That's why free will is incompatible with determinism.

Impossible.

If you don't understand "possible" then you probably don't understand "impossible".

I understand both in relation to determinism. Which I have explained.

Though some do appear to have trouble understanding the implications of determinism.

If any option is open at any given moment in time, you are not talking about determinism at all, but something else, some magical quantum world on a macro scale.

I'll repeat: ALL EVENTS ARE ALWAYS CAUSALLY NECESSARY. I presume this is just as true of the quantum world as it is everywhere else. However, objects behave differently according to how they are organized. Different levels of organization, whether quantum, physical, biological, or intelligent will involve different rules of behavior due to different causal mechanisms. (This is why we heat our breakfast in the microwave and drive our car to work, instead of the other way around).


Of course all events are always causally necessary, that is my point. It's what I have been arguing all along, including what I have described above.
 

Jarhyn

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misapplied label.
The misapplication of a label is to say that a label here is "misapplied". It begs the question of whether you are right.

Par for the course for you, though.
Computers and robots are machines we create to help us do our will. They have no will of their own.
Wrong. For the same reason that FDI is wrong.

Once they contain the will, they have it, and it is theirs.

Let's take a thought experiment from a movie: John Dies at the End. If you haven't seen it yet and I'm spoiling it for you, tough, it's been out for forever.

David and John, as the result of a number of ridiculous, implausible, and impossible adventures end up having a discussion with an abomination who tells the duo that all it would take to make one of them into a pedophile is a small change to a few neurons.

Let's imagine then that Korrok does this thing to John, and is the only one capable of reversing it and Korrok refuses to do so.

We now have a situation where Korrok is responsible for the fact that John is a pedophile.

That's all fucked up, but it's the way it is now.

But John the pedophile is now also responsible, as John the Pedophile, for every child he molests. We cannot just say "punish Korrok for John being a pedophile", because regardless whether he is the victim of coercion, John is still a troublesome thing that we can't make any less a pedophile.

In short, regardless of the fact Korrok mind controlled John into being a pedophile, John still holds wills, those wills are freely willed by the person he now is, and he is responsible for them.

So in this way both are responsible, Korrok for making John a pedophile, and John for his continued pedophilia.

Similarly, it doesn't matter where the original program came from as far as deriving responsibility in the moment to the machine, because the machine still holds that will. You cannot change the machine's will by changing the programmer because once it holds the will, the machine holds it, and unlike John, does so freely on account of lacking the will to reject the wills others offer.

If that machine is just a drone that randomly goes around and kills people, while apprehending the maker of that drone prevents new drones that kill people from launching (owing to some psychopath having a will to create murder drones), the original murderbot will still be murdering people owing to the murderbot's will, freely held because it doesn't discriminate on wills it accepts work on.

This is because computers while have their own wills, they can't be "coerced" usually on account of the fact that they are not normally configured to care about what they are asked/told to do. It is not coercion when you say to the guy to your left "hey, you should go kill that old lady over there" and he does. It's suggestion and their consent to do it, and their will they act upon because they accepted this task. Similarly, it is not coercion for the computer when you "whisper in it's ear" a task.

We might in fact say "holding the will to do anything someone asks you as a thing capable of killing people is not a will we would allow to be free". And hence we might make a law against the very manufacture and ownership of drones that can become murderbots and likewise against the freedom of things which murder folks on the mere suggestion to do so.

The person whispering is responsible for what they do, but the pedophile, machine, and lady killer are all responsible for the wills they hold at that point.

They will all respectively do what they are asked, but they, not the programmer, will be the ones doing it.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Free will is when our choosing is free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Still an assertion.

It is an assertion backed up by the three dictionaries I quoted. But don't worry, your definition is found there too, in second place.

A misapplied label.

The label is applied as defined. If we see what is commonly understood to be a cat, then we call it a "cat". If we see a dog we call it a "dog".
And when we see someone deciding for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence, we call it "free will". It is all very straightforward.

Machines that can make rational decisions based on sets of criteria. The criteria determining the action taken.... in principle just as a human brain does, without coercion or force, able to beat master chess players of its own accord, its makeup and function as an information processor....which is the evolved function of a brain.

The machine plays chess because that's what we programmed it to do. The microwave oven cooks our food because that's what we built it to do. In all cases the machine is functioning to satisfy our will, because it has no will of its own.

When a machine starts acting as if it had a will of its own, we usually call someone to repair it.

Neither operate on the principle of free will.

Free will is not an operating principle. Free will simply describes the conditions of the choosing operation: Was coerced or free of coercion? Was it unduly influenced or free of undue influence? This is really simple stuff and easy to understand.

Except that it's not our will that necessitates actions. That is achieved by information input interacting with the state of the system, neural architecture and memory function. Evidence from neuroscience, etc, etc.....

If I decide that I will eat an apple right now, then I will get an apple and eat it. The intention to eat the apple motivates and directs my actions until the apple is eaten. There is nothing in neuroscience that contradicts this.

Your conglomeration of neuroscience expressions do nothing to contradict this. The "information input" to "the state of my system" is that I feel a need to eat something. That triggers the recall by my "memory function" that I have apples that I can eat and that they are very satisfying. The intention to eat an apple then motivates and directs my subsequent actions as I go to the kitchen, pick out an apple, rinse it and dry it, and then begin eating it. All of these coordinated actions are carried out by my own "neural architecture".

My original expression is totally consistent with the neuroscience. Neuroscience provides a ton of additional details, as to how different parts of the brain contribute to the general function of realizing I am hungry and getting an apple to satisfy that need. But neuroscience does not change the facts as stated by my description. It simply provides additional details.

''Neuroscientists have repeatedly pointed out that pattern recognition represents the key to understanding cognition in humans. Pattern recognition also forms the very basis by which we predict future events, i e. we are literally forced to make assumptions concerning outcomes, and we do so by relying on sequences of events experienced in the past.''

Huettel et al. point out that their study identifies the role various regions of prefrontal cortex play in moment-to-moment processing of mental events in order to make predictions about future events. Thus implicit predictive models are formed which need to be continuously updated, the disruption of sequence would indicate that the PFC is engaged in a novelty response to pattern changes. As a third possible explanation, Ivry and Knight propose that activation of the prefrontal cortex may reflect the generation of hypotheses, since the formulation of an hypothesis is an essential feature of higher-level cognition.''

Exactly. My prior experience with eating apples enabled me to predict that an apple would satisfy my current hunger. So, I set my intent upon eating an apple. That intent motivated and directed my steps to the kitchen to get an apple and then eat it.

Now, if I found that I had no apples in the kitchen, then my PFC would have to deal with the novel situation, and perhaps my PFC would find something else to snack on, or perhaps my PFC would decide to go to the grocery store to buy more apples. The PFC would have to decide what to do.

There's an article on the Prefrontal Cortex in Wikipedia which summarizes its function like this: "The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals." The internal goal in this case would be to satisfy my current hunger. The thoughts would be of the apple and its satisfying properties. The actions would be me walking to the kitchen to get an apple to eat.

The facts of neuroscience have not changed anything. They simply provide a more detailed explanation of how things work, such as the specific brain areas involved in different parts of the operations that result in thoughts and actions and our awareness of internal goals.

By the way, your link to the Springer article is not working. You might want to fix that to avoid frustrating your readers. You may be able to find that article using a google search and then update your link to the working source.

Causal necessity cannot eliminate anything and still remain causal necessity. Remove one of those dominoes from the chain, and the "unfolding of events" simply ceases. Therefore, rule number one is: do not pretend that some events are not happening. All of the events are actually going to happen.

Alternate possibilities are not a feature, attribute or aspect of determinism. There are no possible alternate actions within a deterministic system. There is no place in the given definition of determinism that allows alternate actions. Everything must necessary proceed as determined, no deviations.

So, determinism must remain silent as to alternate possibilities. Determinism may only speak to things that will certainly happen. It may not speak of things that can happen or that could have happened. As soon as determinism opens its mouth about things that do not concern it, it ceases to be determinism, and becomes something else.

Determinism is not allowed to assert that we could not do otherwise, but only that we would not do otherwise. Determinism is ignorant as to what can and cannot happen. These topics exist within the context of possibility, not within the context of necessity. When determinism attempts to speak of possibilities, it makes a silly ass of itself.

Possibilities exist solely within the imagination. They do not exist as actualities in the real world.

The only way that possibilities exist in the real world is as actual mental events produced reliably by physical processes within the brain. And this is where determinism returns to our picture. Each possibility, as a real mental event, will occur by causal necessity, just like every other event.

Thus, determinism does not exclude these physical events, but rather asserts that they will necessarily happen. We will experience them as a series of thoughts and feelings according to the logic of our language that has evolved over millions of years. And thus, they are totally unavoidable. Possibilities will show up within the logical mechanism that reasons and decides.

What Does Deterministic System Mean?
''A deterministic system is a system in which a given initial state or condition will always produce the same results. There is no randomness or variation in the ways that inputs get delivered as outputs.''

Exactly. And each possibility that we consider will appear in our mind exactly as it does, with no randomness or variation, without deviation.

I'm hoping you'll eventually catch on to what I'm saying here.

Necessity is the idea that everything that has ever happened and ever will happen is necessary, and cannot be otherwise. Necessity is often opposed to chance and contingency. In a necessary world there is no chance. Everything that happens is necessitated.''

The first flaw in that statement is the unauthorized use of "cannot" instead of "will not". The use of "cannot" immediately changes the context from necessity to possibility, creating a paradox.

The second flaw is to exclude chance and contingency, which are thoughts that must necessarily occur as part of the causal mechanism as described above. We have evolved these notions to deal rationally with our uncertainties as to what will happen. So, we must logically have notions of what "can" happen and what might happen, just in case our circumstances are not what we think they are.

A lot of things are on the menu, yet according to the definition of determinism, only one option is realizable in any given instance in time; the determined option.

Sorry, but determinism has no clue as to what is possible, or realizable, or any other -ible or -able. Determinism has no knowledge of what can and cannot happen. It only knows about what certainly will happen.

I understand the meaning of possibility ...

Okay. Please demonstrate that understanding by explaining the meaning of possibility.
 

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In all cases the machine is functioning to satisfy our will,
Yes, it happens to be doing so. But if our will changes, it's not as if it's will is going to change, even so, without some additional action upon the object.

It has a will, regardless of where that will came from otherwise I might say "you have no will of your own, as in all cases the 'you' is functioning to satisfy 'causal necessity's' will," and so this:
because it has no will of its own
Is contradictory to your own compatibilism.

So, are you a compatibilist or a hard determinist?

I have no problem acknowledging that the computer is a thing incapable of discernment over the will it holds; if you ask it in the right way, it will do anything that may be done by such as it. It is incapable of malice, but it is not incapable of holding a will which is free. It is also not incapable of holding free will: the will to decide for itself what it will do.

Microsoft office? No, it's not got the right regulatory controls built in.

A Dwarf in the context to a running dwarven "world"? Well, yes, those do, but it's not very rich in depth or mutability.

It doesn't have to be very rich in depth or mutability to be such as it is, however.
 

Marvin Edwards

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In all cases the machine is functioning to satisfy our will,
Yes, it happens to be doing so. But if our will changes, it's not as if it's will is going to change, even so, without some additional action upon the object.

It has a will, regardless of where that will came from otherwise I might say "you have no will of your own, as in all cases the 'you' is functioning to satisfy 'causal necessity's' will," and so this:
because it has no will of its own
Is contradictory to your own compatibilism.

So, are you a compatibilist or a hard determinist?

I have no problem acknowledging that the computer is a thing incapable of discernment over the will it holds; if you ask it in the right way, it will do anything that may be done by such as it. It is incapable of malice, but it is not incapable of holding a will which is free. It is also not incapable of holding free will: the will to decide for itself what it will do.

Microsoft office? No, it's not got the right regulatory controls built in.

A Dwarf in the context to a running dwarven "world"? Well, yes, those do, but it's not very rich in depth or mutability.

It doesn't have to be very rich in depth or mutability to be such as it is, however.
We have an interest in the outcomes. The program is serving our interests. Neither the program nor causal necessity has any interest in any outcomes. The Dwarf's will is a projection of your own. It's one of those many cases where we apply "theory of mind" inappropriately to inanimate objects or non-intelligent species. And that's why we often do yell at inanimate objects.
 

Jarhyn

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In all cases the machine is functioning to satisfy our will,
Yes, it happens to be doing so. But if our will changes, it's not as if it's will is going to change, even so, without some additional action upon the object.

It has a will, regardless of where that will came from otherwise I might say "you have no will of your own, as in all cases the 'you' is functioning to satisfy 'causal necessity's' will," and so this:
because it has no will of its own
Is contradictory to your own compatibilism.

So, are you a compatibilist or a hard determinist?

I have no problem acknowledging that the computer is a thing incapable of discernment over the will it holds; if you ask it in the right way, it will do anything that may be done by such as it. It is incapable of malice, but it is not incapable of holding a will which is free. It is also not incapable of holding free will: the will to decide for itself what it will do.

Microsoft office? No, it's not got the right regulatory controls built in.

A Dwarf in the context to a running dwarven "world"? Well, yes, those do, but it's not very rich in depth or mutability.

It doesn't have to be very rich in depth or mutability to be such as it is, however.
We have an interest in the outcomes. The program is serving our interests. Neither the program nor causal necessity has any interest in any outcomes. The Dwarf's will is a projection of your own. It's one of those many cases where we apply "theory of mind" inappropriately to inanimate objects or non-intelligent species. And that's why we often do yell at inanimate objects.
You mistake that a direct self-sourced interest in outcomes is necessary to hold a will or for that will to be freely held or to be free.

If you ask someone to kill someone else and they say yes, even if they always say yes, just because they can, it's still their will to kill someone too, freely held by them.

Interest in outcome is not necessary. Just an interest in "doing the thing" which may be the automatic interest: it's just what they do.

Otherwise we would have no justification to lock up the troublemaker who will do literally any thing anyone asks.
 
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