Can Libertarian Free Will Be Rescued?

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Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 11:29 pm
@prothero,
prothero;159096 wrote:

There are few structures as complex as the human mind, and such a complex entity (society, organism) may (probably does I would claim) have properties which simple physical systems (aggregates like billiard balls and rocks) do not have. Just because the behavior of simple physical systems display high degrees of order and predictability it does not mean human minds (and hence human behavior) will do the same.
prothero;159096 wrote:
I am not sure what that means. I think events have causes. I do not think the same causes always give rise to the same events. I think there is continuing confusion about determinism as the notion that all events have causes and determinism as the notion that there is only one possible future (fixity of the future).
prothero;159096 wrote:
IMHO. Freedom requires a high degree of order and predictability to be useful. For in a world of high degrees of randomness and unpredictability freedom would be of little to no use. On the other hand fixity of the future IMHO removes both purpose and meaning (at least in terms of human creativity, moral responsibility and freedom). The world might still be fulfilling some divine purpose but we humans would be little more than puppets on a string, actors in a play, performing our roles but limited to the given script.
prothero;159096 wrote:
Of course we lack sufficient information to have "knowledge" about any of these things. We have knowledge about quantum events and the orbits of planets but we do not understand the workings of mind in sufficient detail to do anything more than speculate about "free will". It seems to me that we do have sufficient knowledge (quantum indeterminism, chaos systems, fractals, etc) to cast doubt on the fixity of the future and the theology of divine omniscience.
 
prothero
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 12:28 am
@Fil Albuquerque,


Fil. Albuquerque;159473 wrote:
You need to look at quantum indeterminism again, for as near as we can tell, the very same experimental situation gives rise to different results. There are of course deterministic models and explanations for quantum behavior which postulate hidden variables but they have never been discovered. It is not self evident at all.

Fil. Albuquerque;159473 wrote:
Again no one is saying that "free will" results in events without causes or that your free will is not seriously constrained by the laws of physics, your experience, conditioning, etc. All that is being said is that you may indeed have the ability to do otherwise and that rational deliberation may be effective in determining action.

There is good reason to doubt the fixity of the future, even in simple physical systems much less minds.

Fil. Albuquerque;159473 wrote:
Indeterminism would make the case not for free will but for correlation...this is also self evident !
Indeterminism is not a good argument for free will (repeated again). It is a good argument against the fixity of the future.

Fil. Albuquerque;159473 wrote:
I am familiar with these studies and their interpretation is also controversial. It may be that certain decisions occur below the level of "consciousness" certainly many highly trained individuals perform complex appropriate actions at some level short of conscious deliberation. I am not sure it interferes with the notion of the "ability to do otherwise".

Now listen, it is a mistake to think that these things are "self evident" or that "very straight forward thinking" shows this or that. These are complex issues that involve a lot of metaphysical assumptions and philosophical speculation and there are smart and informed people on all sides of the issue. This is not an issue that is settled given the current state of scientific knowledge and understanding.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 03:38 am
@prothero,
prothero;159480 wrote:
I am familiar with these studies and their interpretation is also controversial. It may be that certain decisions occur below the level of "consciousness" certainly many highly trained individuals perform complex appropriate actions at some level short of conscious deliberation.
Presumably this is about Libet, Haynes, etc, none of these results conflict with free will and none of them demonstrate the illucid idea that decisions are deterministically completed pre-consciously.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 08:58 am
@prothero,
prothero;159480 wrote:
On the contrary for it is complexity that gives rise to life and mind, which I would say are quite a change from rocks and the elements.

You need to look at quantum indeterminism again, for as near as we can tell, the very same experimental situation gives rise to different results. There are of course deterministic models and explanations for quantum behavior which postulate hidden variables but they have never been discovered. It is not self evident at all.

Again no one is saying that "free will" results in events without causes or that your free will is not seriously constrained by the laws of physics, your experience, conditioning, etc. All that is being said is that you may indeed have the ability to do otherwise and that rational deliberation may be effective in determining action.

There is good reason to doubt the fixity of the future, even in simple physical systems much less minds.

Indeterminism is not a good argument for free will (repeated again). It is a good argument against the fixity of the future.

I am familiar with these studies and their interpretation is also controversial. It may be that certain decisions occur below the level of "consciousness" certainly many highly trained individuals perform complex appropriate actions at some level short of conscious deliberation. I am not sure it interferes with the notion of the "ability to do otherwise".

Now listen, it is a mistake to think that these things are "self evident" or that "very straight forward thinking" shows this or that. These are complex issues that involve a lot of metaphysical assumptions and philosophical speculation and there are smart and informed people on all sides of the issue. This is not an issue that is settled given the current state of scientific knowledge and understanding.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 03:29 pm
@chap9898,
Hello fellow thinkers,

This matter is completely unprovable, either way. the only question one need ask of themself is - "Does it matter if I choose what occurs in my specific existence, or not"?
I personally conclude that free will is an illusion - I react in accordance to the evolving criteria of my existence in a custom that is responsive to my own particular experiences, that have been acquired from the factors that have been developed during my interaction with this temporal event.

I am the sum of my being, no more - no less - As are we all

One thing I would like to ask, being relatively new to this forum - Why do nearly all of you use nicknames, that appear to have some reference to historical characters, weird branches of psuedo-science, etc?
If a person cannot come as themself - How can they ever be whole?

Thankyou, and may you each thrive wholeheartedly

Mark
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 04:17 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble;159663 wrote:
Hello fellow thinkers,

This matter is completely unprovable, either way. the only question one need ask of themself is - "Does it matter if I choose what occurs in my specific existence, or not"?
I personally conclude that free will is an illusion - I react in accordance to the evolving criteria of my existence in a custom that is responsive to my own particular experiences, that have been acquired from the factors that have been developed during my interaction with this temporal event.

I am the sum of my being, no more - no less - As are we all

One thing I would like to ask, being relatively new to this forum - Why do nearly all of you use nicknames, that appear to have some reference to historical characters, weird branches of psuedo-science, etc?
If a person cannot come as themself - How can they ever be whole?

Thankyou, and may you each thrive wholeheartedly

Mark

I use my mystical, dreamersname to show myself as I want to be, Hopefully IT rubs off in real life.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 04:24 pm
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep;159680 wrote:
I use my mystical, dreamersname to show myself as I want to be, Hopefully IT rubs off in real life.


You should have more confidence in yourself, my friend. After all - you are no less substantial or unique than any single thing in this, or any realm of existence.

Farewell - and prosper.

Mark...
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 05:07 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble;159684 wrote:
You should have more confidence in yourself, my friend. After all - you are no less substantial or unique than any single thing in this, or any realm of existence.

Farewell - and prosper.

Mark...

it


is hard to see this as a realm:bigsmile:
 
 

 
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