An argument in favor of free will

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bahman
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An argument in favor of free will

Post by bahman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm

Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:37 am

bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
Great you are raising so many threads for discussion and keeping the forum active.
That lazy-to-raise-threads attofishpi will likely accuse you of being a thread spammer.

There is no such thing as absolute unconditional free will.
A prisoner will have the free will to walk around and shit whenever he likes but he does not have the free will to do it outside his cell and the prison walls.
A normal human will have the free will to do what he likes on Earth but is limited and conditioned to any laws and being human. A normal human don't have a free will to fly alone unaided into space like Superman.

Yes, humans are free but always conditioned by some sort of limitations, thus there is no absolute free will ever.

This business of the claim of absolute free will which is contentious is only yearned by theists so that their God can punish the sinful and non-believers in Hell.

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bahman
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by bahman » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:08 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:37 am
bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
Great you are raising so many threads for discussion and keeping the forum active.
That lazy-to-raise-threads attofishpi will likely accuse you of being a thread spammer.

There is no such thing as absolute unconditional free will.
A prisoner will have the free will to walk around and shit whenever he likes but he does not have the free will to do it outside his cell and the prison walls.
A normal human will have the free will to do what he likes on Earth but is limited and conditioned to any laws and being human. A normal human don't have a free will to fly alone unaided into space like Superman.

Yes, humans are free but always conditioned by some sort of limitations, thus there is no absolute free will ever.

This business of the claim of absolute free will which is contentious is only yearned by theists so that their God can punish the sinful and non-believers in Hell.
I am aware of limitation. That is why I start with options.

Dimebag
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by Dimebag » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:02 pm

bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
Your implication is therefore that the mind is nondeterministic. I’m not sure this follows. Now imagine if the deterministic system had a means of dealing with such situations, ‘when both choices are equal, choose one at random using a random number generator’. This allows the deterministic system to continue. I’m not sure it how our mind works though.

I think the unconscious mind is good at making snap decisions, so in such a case, you leave it to your unconscious mind to choose, and you are presented with the choice. Effectively the choice is random, this is what is known as going with your gut. Maybe unconsciously the cereal on the right looks more healthy than the cereal on the left, and although you didn’t consciously think it, your unconscious mind picked up on this and as you have the goal of being healthy, it used this evaluation to select.

If both choices were exactly the same, with no differences, your unconscious mind would pick a target on the supermarket shelf which looked most convenient to reach, and that would be how the decision to choose was made. There is always a reason for action. Where there is not, there is no action. Just because we aren’t aware of the reason for the action doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.

So what does this mean for free will. In the case of a choice between two indistinct choices, it’s hard to say the choice is free, it’s not really a choice, because choice entails a difference in outcomes, so not really the right usage of term here. Choice denotes difference in outcomes between different options. So using your description, free will was not able to emerge. If there had been a difference in the choices, you could evaluate the two possibilities and select based on your preference for either, the freedom would be in the ability to choose based on preference. Whether the choice was pre-determined is separate to whether you were able to choose freely.

This is obviously compatibilism. Determinism doesn’t have to eliminate freedom. You just need to be specific about what you mean by freedom. If you mean that you could have chosen differently if the time was wound back, then no, free will doesn’t exist. But if you mean you had options to choose from, as opposed to not having liberty to decide amongst possibilities, where choice denotes options with different outcomes, then free will is possible.

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attofishpi
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by attofishpi » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:19 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:37 am
bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
Great you are raising so many threads for discussion and keeping the forum active.
That lazy-to-raise-threads attofishpi will likely accuse you of being a thread spammer.
Well at least I pay money to the magazine, do you?

Anyway, I'm working on a complete project of a thread, with all it's sundry. I once started many threads, bouncing my ideas off of the consciousness's at the other end of the aether. What bounces back, I analyse...much requires more in depth investigation, a lot is nonsense.

Have a look at my new thread in the lounge area regarding discord - I will stay active for another hour at least - might be interesting to have a candid audio chat.

But for the sake of this debate, coupled with my knowledge that there is a 3rd party entity intelligence many regard as 'God', it seems apparent that the universe once it develops intelligent lifeforms is bereft of a deterministic nature. This entity gave conditions - such as 10 commandments by which us lifeforms should abide.
Why would it bother if there was no free will?

Logik
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by Logik » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:43 pm

bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buridan%27s_ass

Or the Mathematical version: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metastabi ... ectronics)

Impenitent
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by Impenitent » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:30 pm

bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
you were determined to believe that you have free will...

besides, what would the moralists do otherwise?

-Imp

Logik
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by Logik » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:53 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:30 pm
you were determined to believe that you have free will...

besides, what would the moralists do otherwise?
Usually - they cut off their nose to spite their face by rejecting objective morality.

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bahman
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by bahman » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:28 pm

Dimebag wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:02 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
Your implication is therefore that the mind is nondeterministic. I’m not sure this follows. Now imagine if the deterministic system had a means of dealing with such situations, ‘when both choices are equal, choose one at random using a random number generator’. This allows the deterministic system to continue. I’m not sure it how our mind works though.
There is not such a thing like pure random generator. I have an argument against noise producing the decision though: Randomness is the only option available for a materialist when it comes to decision. That is true since decision is uncaused cause and material process is deterministic. The experience of wanting is after decision is made (following Libet's experiement) therefore they are different phenomena. We however observe fantastic correlation between what we consciously want and what we get. Therefore noise cannot be source of decision because you cannot expect a random change to always correlate with conscious want.
Dimebag wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:02 pm
I think the unconscious mind is good at making snap decisions, so in such a case, you leave it to your unconscious mind to choose, and you are presented with the choice. Effectively the choice is random, this is what is known as going with your gut. Maybe unconsciously the cereal on the right looks more healthy than the cereal on the left, and although you didn’t consciously think it, your unconscious mind picked up on this and as you have the goal of being healthy, it used this evaluation to select.

If both choices were exactly the same, with no differences, your unconscious mind would pick a target on the supermarket shelf which looked most convenient to reach, and that would be how the decision to choose was made. There is always a reason for action. Where there is not, there is no action. Just because we aren’t aware of the reason for the action doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.
What if options have the same weight in unconscious mind?
Dimebag wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:02 pm
So what does this mean for free will. In the case of a choice between two indistinct choices, it’s hard to say the choice is free, it’s not really a choice, because choice entails a difference in outcomes, so not really the right usage of term here. Choice denotes difference in outcomes between different options. So using your description, free will was not able to emerge. If there had been a difference in the choices, you could evaluate the two possibilities and select based on your preference for either, the freedom would be in the ability to choose based on preference. Whether the choice was pre-determined is separate to whether you were able to choose freely.

This is obviously compatibilism. Determinism doesn’t have to eliminate freedom. You just need to be specific about what you mean by freedom. If you mean that you could have chosen differently if the time was wound back, then no, free will doesn’t exist. But if you mean you had options to choose from, as opposed to not having liberty to decide amongst possibilities, where choice denotes options with different outcomes, then free will is possible.
I mean that we could do otherwise if we go back in time.

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bahman
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by bahman » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm

Logik wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:43 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buridan%27s_ass

Or the Mathematical version: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metastabi ... ectronics)
Could you please provide an argument instead of giving a link which I don't know where to look at it? It is interesting to see that people have thought of this problem in the past though. But what is your/their solution?

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bahman
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by bahman » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:33 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:30 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:32 pm
Think of a situation with two options. Suppose that you like both options equally. A deterministic system in such a situation halts. You can of course get out of this situation by choosing one option. Therefore you are free.
you were determined to believe that you have free will...
Not really. I investigated both sides.
Impenitent wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:30 pm
besides, what would the moralists do otherwise?

-Imp
Here we are not talking about morality.

Logik
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by Logik » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:46 pm

bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm
Could you please provide an argument instead of giving a link
I feel no need to re-invent the wheel
bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm
which I don't know where to look at it?
Shouldn't take you more than 2 minutes to read all of it?
bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm
It is interesting to see that people have thought of this problem in the past though. But what is your/their solution?
There is no solution because there is no problem. Thought experiments are just that. Tools for counter-factual reasoning.

My take-away from the experiment is that some level of entropy is useful to break decision deadlocks.
This is useful! If you ever find yourself unable to make a choice - flip a coin!

In that split second before the coin hits the ground you will either figure out that you aren't willing to leave the decision to chance; or the coin will tell you which way to go.

Either way - you've broken the deadlock.

There are very many yes/no questions whose answers I am perfectly willing to leave to chance.
In context of this thread - I am perfectly happy to flip a coin for the answer to "Does free will exist?"

And you ought to recognize that in the act of flipping a coin I've made a choice: I've chosen to NOT be indecisive.

Is my decision to defeat indecision evidence FOR or AGAINST free will? You decide.

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bahman
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by bahman » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:39 pm

Logik wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:46 pm
bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm
Could you please provide an argument instead of giving a link
I feel no need to re-invent the wheel
bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm
which I don't know where to look at it?
Shouldn't take you more than 2 minutes to read all of it?
bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm
It is interesting to see that people have thought of this problem in the past though. But what is your/their solution?
There is no solution because there is no problem. Thought experiments are just that. Tools for counter-factual reasoning.

My take-away from the experiment is that some level of entropy is useful to break decision deadlocks.
This is useful! If you ever find yourself unable to make a choice - flip a coin!

In that split second before the coin hits the ground you will either figure out that you aren't willing to leave the decision to chance; or the coin will tell you which way to go.

Either way - you've broken the deadlock.

There are very many yes/no questions whose answers I am perfectly willing to leave to chance.
In context of this thread - I am perfectly happy to flip a coin for the answer to "Does free will exist?"

And you ought to recognize that in the act of flipping a coin I've made a choice: I've chosen to NOT be indecisive.

Is my decision to defeat indecision evidence FOR or AGAINST free will? You decide.
What if you fall in a situation that deciding about flipping a coin or not has equal weight?

Logik
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by Logik » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:27 pm

bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:39 pm
What if you fall in a situation that deciding about flipping a coin or not has equal weight?
Then I will flip a coin twice.

Anywhere I have N options (where N > 1) I have a choice. I can break the deadlock by flipping a coin log(N) times.

The only way to rig the game against me is if the water and food are both poisoned.

So if I do nothing - I die.
If I eat or drink - I die.

And even THEN I have a choice. Quick death (poisoning) or slow death (starvation).

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bahman
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Re: An argument in favor of free will

Post by bahman » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:04 pm

Logik wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:27 pm
bahman wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:39 pm
What if you fall in a situation that deciding about flipping a coin or not has equal weight?
Then I will flip a coin twice.

Anywhere I have N options (where N > 1) I have a choice. I can break the deadlock by flipping a coin log(N) times.

The only way to rig the game against me is if the water and food are both poisoned.

So if I do nothing - I die.
If I eat or drink - I die.

And even THEN I have a choice. Quick death (poisoning) or slow death (starvation).
Flipping a coin twice is not a solution to this problem.

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