Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby sandisk » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:39 am

consciousness/mind is what the brain does, I don't know why people still discuss this fact
IMO, new-agers are frustrated that materialism cannot be beaten, at all

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Poodle » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:20 pm

sandisk wrote:consciousness/mind is what the brain does, I don't know why people still discuss this fact
IMO, new-agers are frustrated that materialism cannot be beaten, at all


But it can - with the power of new-age gobbledygook, in which gorgeous has a degree. What she doesn't know is that her remote viewers were all plants infiltrated by the Plutonian Planetary Authority. Plutonians can walk through walls, y'know?

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby andrewg » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:21 pm

If a basic computer makes a programmed choice, is there such thing as an inspired choice?

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby cemullins1 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:27 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I didn't/couldn't read it all....so boring. JUST LOOK.....at your own daily activities. Free will....or predetermined?

Silly Hoomans.


Consider the thing you just wrote...
Why did you respond this way???
I would suggest that you wrote this because all of your combined experiences and perception of experiences prompted this thought in your brain that you could not have avoided.
Given the exact circumstances, you would respond the same way again....

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby scientia » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:38 am

jquinn914 wrote:I want to be able to explain why the common idea of Free Will is incorrect in the simplest, most straightforward, yet convincing way possible.

This overlaps where I've been doing research for the past several years. I can possibly give some reasonable responses.

C: Thoughts and behavior are the function of antecedent condition together with the natural laws and cause and effect. Now, one might question the first premise and argue that some matter is probabilistic or perhaps even random. Ok, so here is an additional premise: P1b - If matter is not determined by antecedent condition together with the natural laws and cause and effect, then it is determined by probablisitc determinism and/or randomness.
But then you get the conclusion: Cb: Thoughts and behavior are the function of randomness or probabilistic determinism.

Yep, that's what Harris said in his book. I disagree with Harris.

The issue of emergence: Now, I can say with high probability, there are people with higher IQ's than I, that believe in Libertarian free will. However, what I noticed in many responses is a lack of understanding of the very essential and, I'd argue, necessary concept of emergence. I mean, without understanding emergence, you simply cannot hope to grasp many of the more complicated questions of reality.

I suppose it depends on what you mean by Libertarian free will. For example, it isn't possible that a person would be completely unconstrained by knowledge, experience, creativity, and capacity for understanding. Trying to get around this would violate the information constraints of physics. You can't make an informed choice about something you don't know; you can't exercise judgment in an area where you have no experience; you may not be able to think up the best solution (even if someone else could) and you may not understand the nature of the problem (even though someone else might). In simple terms, I could choose to try to play a piano. However, my musical ability is not very good and I've never had lessons. So, I lack the ability to do that even if I chose to.

Firstly, what is emergence? To quote Sean Carroll, "the idea that there are multiple theories/languages/vocabularies/ontologies that we can use to usefully describe the world, each appropriate at different levels of coarse-graining and precision."

I think this is pretty obvious. I can pull something with a chain. I can't pull anything with a single link even though a chain is made of links. Further, I can't pull anything with welding even though each link is welded closed. I also can't pull anything with metallurgy but if this isn't correct the links will either be too soft or too brittle. All of these things make up a chain.

Okay so with a complete theory of atomic physics, Core Theory, given the overwhelming probability it's correct

Are you talking about Wilczek? Isn't his prediction of proton decay something of a problem?

to quote John Hendrix, "the ability to perform some other action in place of the one that is actually done". So when you make a choice, you could NOT have made any other choice. There's a logical scenario where libertarian free will can exist: The atoms that compose the human brain do not abide by the laws of physics. I can't disprove this.

It took me about three years to get past this. What you are doing is projecting an argument from a simple system to a more complex one. Essentially, no one who has made this argument actually understands how consciousness works. So, while the argument might seem reasonable, it doesn't actually apply.

Compatibilism is certainly plausible, but that's because it only proposes the emergent IDEA of free will. I'd argue that compatibilists are talking about something different than libertarians and determinists.

I'm not sure I understand this, but then again, I'm not really that interested in philosophy.

In fact, the idea of free will is probably a function of consciousness which is a function of the brain and if you find that hard to swallow because you're , unfortunately, of the popular opinion that we know NOTHING about consciousness and that it's this huge unsolvable mystery

After several years of research, I believe I know some things about consciousness. I don't believe it to be an unsolvable mystery.

One study I think is relevant to this topic of free will is Libet's study on voluntary actions. The action potential cascading to the subsequent action occurred .55 seconds before the action. The 'decisive' thought for this action occurred .2 seconds before the action; that's .35 seconds after the action was bound to occur. Sounds a lot like the action was computed and THEN we thought and felt we chose it and THEN the action was done.

Well, this is better than the absurd 10-30 second lead that Harris is claiming. However, we know that this number is not true for all cases.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby scientia » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:50 am

cemullins1 wrote:Given the exact circumstances, you would respond the same way again....

Based on what? Given the exact circumstances I could not get exactly the same radioactive decay. Essentially what you are claiming is that human volition only changes due to external factors. I'm curious if you see the contradiction.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:37 pm

scientia wrote:I suppose it depends on what you mean by Libertarian free will. For example, it isn't possible that a person would be completely unconstrained by knowledge, experience, creativity, and capacity for understanding. Trying to get around this would violate the information constraints of physics. You can't make an informed choice about something you don't know; you can't exercise judgment in an area where you have no experience; you may not be able to think up the best solution (even if someone else could) and you may not understand the nature of the problem (even though someone else might). In simple terms, I could choose to try to play a piano. However, my musical ability is not very good and I've never had lessons. So, I lack the ability to do that even if I chose to.

Yes! I've attempted to have reasonable debates with people who self-labeled as Libertarians. Mostly, I end up concluding, based on their ideas, that "Libertarian free will" most resembles the freedom to choose which way you'd like to fail.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby scientia » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:16 pm

LunaNik wrote:Yes! I've attempted to have reasonable debates with people who self-labeled as Libertarians. Mostly, I end up concluding, based on their ideas, that "Libertarian free will" most resembles the freedom to choose which way you'd like to fail.

This isn't a definition. What do you mean by Libertarian free will?

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:41 am

scientia wrote:
LunaNik wrote:Yes! I've attempted to have reasonable debates with people who self-labeled as Libertarians. Mostly, I end up concluding, based on their ideas, that "Libertarian free will" most resembles the freedom to choose which way you'd like to fail.

This isn't a definition. What do you mean by Libertarian free will?

This is humor in reference to the phrase "Libertarian free will" in the context of politics and the contents of your comment, as quoted again here:
scientia wrote:I suppose it depends on what you mean by Libertarian free will. For example, it isn't possible that a person would be completely unconstrained by knowledge, experience, creativity, and capacity for understanding. Trying to get around this would violate the information constraints of physics. You can't make an informed choice about something you don't know; you can't exercise judgment in an area where you have no experience; you may not be able to think up the best solution (even if someone else could) and you may not understand the nature of the problem (even though someone else might). In simple terms, I could choose to try to play a piano. However, my musical ability is not very good and I've never had lessons. So, I lack the ability to do that even if I chose to.

The Libertarian believes, even though he's never had lessons and never evinced an ounce of musical ability, that if push came to shove, he would absolutely be able to play the piano as well as Vladimir Horowitz. And fulfill every single one of his own needs without any help from society, because the unregulated free market would be his friend and everyone would abide by the NAP. All clear now?
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby scientia » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:09 am

LunaNik wrote:This is humor in reference to the phrase "Libertarian free will" in the context of politics and the contents of your comment

You've completely lost me. My comment had nothing to do with politics.

The Libertarian believes, even though he's never had lessons and never evinced an ounce of musical ability, that if push came to shove, he would absolutely be able to play the piano as well as Vladimir Horowitz. And fulfill every single one of his own needs without any help from society, because the unregulated free market would be his friend and everyone would abide by the NAP. All clear now?

No. You seem disastrously confused. You are trying to mix philosophy with politics based on a homograph. I don't have time for that.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Flash » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:13 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:

No "remote viewer" has ever identified
1) The location of a bigfoot,
2) The leader of the illuminati
3) The aircraft that launched the missiles at the WTC
4) Where an alien UFO is currently hidden on earth,

1) I know people who know people who know where the Bigfoot is...Can't tell you.
2) I know people who know people who know people who know who the leader of the Illuminati is...Can't tell you.
3)I know people who know people who saw an UFO shooting missiles. Can't tell you more because...
4) It's the same place the Nazi gold and the Amber Room are hidden and where Hitler escaped to after the war. Nuf said.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby scrmbldggs » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:32 pm

scientia wrote:
LunaNik wrote:This is humor in reference to the phrase "Libertarian free will" in the context of politics and the contents of your comment

You've completely lost me. My comment had nothing to do with politics.

The Libertarian believes, even though he's never had lessons and never evinced an ounce of musical ability, that if push came to shove, he would absolutely be able to play the piano as well as Vladimir Horowitz. And fulfill every single one of his own needs without any help from society, because the unregulated free market would be his friend and everyone would abide by the NAP. All clear now?

No. You seem disastrously confused. You are trying to mix philosophy with politics based on a homograph. I don't have time for that.

I think we already spoiled her. Or she's attracted to our spoils. In any case, you both are correct! :-P
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:03 pm

scientia wrote:You've completely lost me. My comment had nothing to do with politics.

Yes, I know your comment had nothing to do with politics. Do you have a sense of humor?
scientia wrote:You seem disastrously confused. You are trying to mix philosophy with politics based on a homograph.

I'm not even remotely confused, and once again, you're making baseless assumptions about my actions that contradict available facts. Libertarian politics factually includes the concept of Libertarian free will.
scientia wrote: I don't have time for that.

I understand. I hope your Delorean is well-hidden.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Confidencia » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:18 am

scientia wrote:I want to be able to explain why the common idea of Free Will is incorrect in the simplest, most straightforward, yet convincing way possible.


Where there is intelligence, maturity and understanding there need not be any convincing. In such instances it will be enough to say turn around and look at yourself critically. Without intelligent understanding you cannot even explain simple logic. Truth is not transferable. It is in and of itself therefore must be seen by itself. The only thing you can do is dislodge the mechanism that causes obtuseness, with the obstruction out of the way the thinking process will turn in on itself and become clear and concise. As well as seeing the common idea of free will as false the false notion of a doer will also be seen.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Phoenix76 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:50 am

Free Will

Most of us are certain that we have free will, though what exactly this amounts to is much less certain. According to David Hume, the question of the nature of free will is “the most contentious question of metaphysics.” If this is correct, then figuring out what free will is will be no small task indeed. Minimally, to say that an agent has free will is to say that the agent has the capacity to choose his or her course of action. But animals seem to satisfy this criterion, and we typically think that only persons, and not animals, have free will. Let us then understand free will as the capacity unique to persons that allows them to control their actions. It is controversial whether this minimal understanding of what it means to have a free will actually requires an agent to have a specific faculty of will, whether the term "free will" is simply shorthand for other features of persons, and whether there really is such a thing as free will at all.


With thanks to Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Very interesting dissertation on the current subject. Very well referenced. A longer article, but puts forth excellent thoughts on the subject. The link as follows:

http://www.iep.utm.edu/freewill/

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:09 am

If you can predict what an animal will do 99% of the time.... is that free will.... or something else?

eg: free diving with great white sharks.

eg: millionaires lying on their tax returns.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:31 am

This thread is why Heinlein said "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in with."
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Poodle » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:27 pm

Deary me! Never end a sentence with a preposition. That should be "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than that with which he/she went in".
Yeah - English grammar sometimes doesn't have the sense it was born with. OK - let's stick to "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in with."

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:28 pm

Poodle wrote:Deary me! Never end a sentence with a preposition. That should be "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than that with which he/she went in".
Yeah - English grammar sometimes doesn't have the sense it was born with. OK - let's stick to "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in with."

Thank you, Grammar Klingon.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:51 pm

Poodle wrote:Deary me! Never end a sentence with a preposition. That should be "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than that with which he/she went in".

I would just drop the last "with". "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in." It's missing something, but it gets the point across.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Poodle » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:23 pm

But I like withs.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gord » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:47 pm

They go straight to your hips.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:06 pm

Gord wrote:
Poodle wrote:Deary me! Never end a sentence with a preposition. That should be "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than that with which he/she went in".

I would just drop the last "with". "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in." It's missing something, but it gets the point across.

No philosopher ever gained anything from a debate.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Phoenix76 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:26 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:If you can predict what an animal will do 99% of the time.... is that free will.... or something else?

eg: free diving with great white sharks.

eg: millionaires lying on their tax returns.


Very true Bobbo. Animals IMHO are basically creatures of habit. I watch my horse grazing and you would think she was acting with Free Will, but actually she is simply following her genome which tells her to seek out the various different types of pasture that will provide her with the correct nutrients.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:57 am

There's an easier way:
"No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in with, not to end a sentence with a preposition, which I didn't." :P
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:47 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Gord wrote:
Poodle wrote:Deary me! Never end a sentence with a preposition. That should be "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than that with which he/she went in".

I would just drop the last "with". "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in." It's missing something, but it gets the point across.

No philosopher ever gained anything from a debate.

I'm starting to think the statement is just flat-out wrong. Because money is something. So is water. I've seen debaters drink their own weight in water. That's gotta be worth something.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:16 am

Gord wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Gord wrote:
Poodle wrote:Deary me! Never end a sentence with a preposition. That should be "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than that with which he/she went in".

I would just drop the last "with". "No philosopher ever came out of a debate with more than he went in." It's missing something, but it gets the point across.

No philosopher ever gained anything from a debate.

I'm starting to think the statement is just flat-out wrong. Because money is something. So is water. I've seen debaters drink their own weight in water. That's gotta be worth something.

Jolt Cola isn't a thing anymore?
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:10 pm

I think they've replaced it with Red Bull. They can drink it AND make a counterpoint with the can just by holding it up and casually covering the "Red" with their middle finger.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:22 pm

I used to make my own Red Bull out of Jolt Cola and Southern Comfort.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:30 pm

That's not Red Bull; it's legal speedballs...lol.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Gord » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:58 pm

All I know is you want to pass out BUT YOU CAN'T. :shock:
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:43 am

:lol: Also, you completely forget why you want to free Will, and who Will even is.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:26 pm

There is no free will. Even the do-it-yerself kits cost $$$.
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Austin Harper
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Austin Harper » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:01 pm

With, without. And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Martin Brock » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:56 am

Deflecting the blame onto the robot is like a shooter blaming his gun.

In the compatibilist way of thinking, blaming the robot makes perfect sense, but blaming the robot does not relieve the robot's creator of moral responsibility. The robot has a will to commit heinous acts. The creator deliberately created the robot with this will. Each is responsible for its willful acts.

The robot differs from a gun, because a gun is not an animate being able to act independently of its creator or another actor. The "freedom" in free will is not freedom from laws of nature. It is freedom from other beings. If I program a robot to commit heinous acts, even if I later tell it not to commit the acts, I have created a being with a will independent of my will.

Holding the robot responsible for its acts might only involve reprogramming it. If its creator can be reprogrammed similarly, eliminating his will to create malevolent robots, holding the creator responsible this way also makes sense, but at this point, we don't know how to reprogram mad scientists creating malevolent robots, so we cage them instead.
People associating freely respect norms of their choice, and relationships governed this way are necessarily interdependent.

More central authorities conquer by dividing, imposing norms channeling the value of synergy toward themselves.

"Every man for himself" is the prescription of a state, not a free community. A state protects the poor from the rich only in fairy tales.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Cygnus_X1 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:14 am

Defendant : ' You honour...I couldn't help but commit the crime. I had no free will. I was destined to commit it from the very moment of the big bang. Thus you cannot find me guilty, as I had no choice in the matter'

Judge : ' I agree with your lack of free will plea. But unfortunately I myself was pre-determined from the very moment of the big bang to find you guilty and sentence you accordingly. I have no choice in the matter '
100,000 lemmings can't be wrong.

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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:27 am

Martin Brock wrote:The robot differs from a gun, because a gun is not an animate being able to act independently of its creator or another actor.

Bad design has always been a source of liability for mere machines/tools. Ralph Nader got famous over it.
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Re: Free Will: Too Commonly Misunderstood

Postby Nikki Nyx » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:31 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Martin Brock wrote:The robot differs from a gun, because a gun is not an animate being able to act independently of its creator or another actor.

Bad design has always been a source of liability for mere machines/tools. Ralph Nader got famous over it.
It's a source of consumer frustration too. :roll:
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein


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