Free Will Redux: A Question

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This topic contains 225 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 month ago.

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  • #35013

    Unseen
    Participant

    We don’t have a Philosophy forum (maybe we should?), so I post far away from the Science forum, because most scientists probably don’t believe in free will in the hard sense, maybe at most nodding to a kind of compatibilism, which itself depends upon an adulterated, mongrelized version of free will.

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of philosophical  lore. While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of something gently rapping, rapping at my mental door. It turned out to be a question which I’ve never heard anyone ask before.

    But first, generally, there are three approaches to how we make choices. 1) We make them as a direct and irresistible result of antecedent and present conditions acting on our brain, 2) subatomic quantum randomness sits at the head of what then becomes an equally deterministic causal chain, and 3) free will is simply compatible with 1) and 2), which is accomplished by the adoption of a watered down version of free will (free will lite, as it were) that says, if there’s no gun at your head and you’re not acting out of an irresistible mental compulsion, we’ll just call that free enough, to engage in praise and blame and even to send someone to the gallows.

    But here’s the question: If there is free will, what causes it? Give us a description of how it works.

    Let me head off one objection to get it out of the way? “We can’t describe how consciousness works, either, yet we know we have it.”

    The reply is, of course, “And likewise, we feel we have free will, and yet we may not, which makes it very different from consciousness.”

    So, off we go…

    #35014

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Free will requires an escape valve from the chains of determinism and the randomness of quantum physics.

    The only thing i can imagine acquiring free will is AI. When and if super intelligence emerges it may be possible for it to utilize different laws of physics than we are subject to and in so doing be free.

    #35015

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Not to be confused with spirituality, but what if at the confluence of the physical brain and abstract thought there was an aspect of our universe that we are simply clueless about at the present time? If hard determinism is true, damnit man we really fucked up, LOL. It wasn’t easy to be Adolf Hitler, I’m sure.

    #35016

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Robert, determinism kills it but so does randomness. If quantum influences us then there is randomness and a lack of control and without control one is not free to impose will.

    #35017

    _Robert_
    Participant

    One could say evolution uses randomness to exercise it’s “will”. Why do living things strive (will?) to survive?

    #35018

    Davis
    Moderator

    Pick up a book and read Unseen

    #35019

    jakelafort
    Participant

    The answer my friend is blowing in the wind…la la la…vitalism has an answer but it is a conclusion rather than an explanation. Is it that way, the same way, throughout the universe?

    #35020

    Unseen
    Participant

    Free will requires an escape valve from the chains of determinism and the randomness of quantum physics. The only thing i can imagine acquiring free will is AI. When and if super intelligence emerges it may be possible for it to utilize different laws of physics than we are subject to and in so doing be free.

    Different laws of physics? I doubt it.

    The advantage intelligent AI might come to have could be that of not having consciousness at all, and thus no distraction of worrying about it.

    #35021

    Unseen
    Participant

    Pick up a book and read Unseen

    So I can tell others to read books? LOL

    How about you actually contribute a thought or two rather than handing out reading assignments?

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #35022

    Davis
    Moderator

    No Unseen I’d prefer you to live the rest of your intellectual life watching youtube videos, single paragraph summaries and repeating the same old shit without ever truly challenging yourself.

    #35024

    Unseen
    Participant

    No Unseen I’d prefer you to live the rest of your intellectual life watching youtube videos, single paragraph summaries and repeating the same old shit without ever truly challenging yourself.

    Once again, you hint the solution is in the library, but the fact you never explain it can only mean one of two things: 1) you don’t understand it yourself or 2) it’s a solution only a philosopher or expert of some sort can understand.

    Well, I’m a kind of ordinary language philosopher who believes that if you can’t explain the solution to an intelligent nonphilosopher over a beer, you don’t have a solution.

    #35025

    Unseen
    Participant

    No Unseen I’d prefer you to live the rest of your intellectual life watching youtube videos, single paragraph summaries and repeating the same old shit without ever truly challenging yourself.

    Besides, this is a DISCUSSION forum not a book club.

    #35026

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Unseen, if we are conscious then why do you suppose artificial intelligence lacks that capability. And mightn’t it be a tremendous advantage to be free of the biology of our evolution which continues to have the residue of the biology of nonsentient life.

    As to the likelihood of utilizing alternate physics i doubt it also but it may be possible.

    #35027

    Davis
    Moderator

    Besides, this is a DISCUSSION forum not a book club.

    That’s no excuse unseen to be so intellectually lazy. Zheesh

    #35028

    Davis
    Moderator

    it’s a solution only a philosopher or expert of some sort can understand.

    No unseen. There is an enormous spectrum in between “a trite summary of a highly complex topic into a couple paragraphs” and “having to study something for years and become an expert”. There is an ocean in between those two polar opposites. And it can be found in something called “a book”. I imagine you haven’t opened one up since university so it may seem terribly terrifying to actually pick one up again…but you’ll rediscover that in those ancient devices you can gain a slightly more profound understanding of something without having to become an expert. Try it. I bloody dare you.

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