What is free will?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by fess, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    It appears to be, no scrub that, it is pre determined the cost to yourself is a lot of wasted effort

    Me? Predetermined not to go past my 3 Ping Pong rule

    Your predetermined Ping Pong is far greater than mine as is your tolerance of idiots or slow learners

    I am predetermined to feel sorry for you

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  3. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Free Will… its fascinatin to watch people not even be able to understand the argument that free will is just an illusion… so that alone makes these threds interestin.!!!

    Plus… somebody might come up wit an explanation which shows that free will is not just an illusion… an if they do id like to be first in line to read it

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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    They vary between examples - as you note, there are a few "different ones" available.
    Since you have provided only hints as to which ones you are talking about (thermostat level seems to be your fixation), your claims of "triviality" and so forth remain unsupported assertions.
    That is false. You aren't paying attention to physical reality.
    I use the word correctly, as it applies to the scenario I am discussing. You deny the existence of observed capabilities. That is a mistake.
    Yep. And you definitely should do that - right now, you are muddling even temporal sequence.
    They do not exist yet - that is what the "pre" means, in predetermined. The traffic light is not yet the color it will be in the future.
    You can claim to "consider" all you want, but normally that involves thinking and argument - so far you have provided an empty and completely unsupported assertion, which you take as an assumption when you aren't contradicting it (by assuming nonexistence).
    What "principle of freedom" are you even talking about?
    There's no logic visible there.
    When your "logic" (you still haven't acknowledged your premises, for chrissake) conflicts with observation, it's time to change the logic.
    They are not necessarily imagined at all. It doesn't matter whether the driver, or anyone, imagines them.
    No, we don't. We have stipulated a deterministic universe from the beginning, here.
    Nothing ceases to exist because it is predetermined - predetermined capabilities do not blink in and out of existence from one moment to the next because of what the future is predetermined to be. That would violate causality, for starters.
    That is false. (The example of the driver approaching a light illustrates some of the major differences - such as information).
    That is not the nature of a human decision to choose among capabilities. The degrees of freedom involved are different qualitatively as well as quantitatively. This is a matter of observation, analysis, not you typing some bogus claim without pausing for thought.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    if you really wish to be taken seriously you have to explain how you avoid hindsight bias.

    Hind sight Bias, Creeping Determinism, "knew it all along phenomena"

    In 1975, Fischhoff developed another method for investigating the hindsight bias, which at the time was referred to as the "creeping determinism hypothesis".[2] This method involves giving participants a short story with four possible outcomes, one of which they are told is true, and are then asked to assign the likelihood of each particular outcome.[2] Participants frequently assign a higher likelihood of occurrence to whichever outcome they have been told is true.[2] Remaining relatively unmodified, this method is still used in psychological and behavioural experiments investigating aspects of the hindsight bias. Having evolved from the heuristics of Tversky and Kahneman into the creeping determinism hypothesis and finally into the hindsight bias as we now know it, the concept has many practical applications and is still at the forefront of research today. Recent studies involving the hindsight bias have investigated the effect age has on the bias, how hindsight may impact interference and confusion, and how it may affect banking and investment strategies.
    Schizophrenia is an example of a disorder that directly affects the hindsight bias. Individuals with schizophrenia are more strongly affected by the hindsight bias than are individuals from the general public.[43]

    The hindsight bias effect is a paradigm that demonstrates how recently acquired knowledge influences the recollection of past information. Recently acquired knowledge has a strange but strong influence on schizophrenic individuals in relation to information previously learned. New information combined with rejection of past memories can disconfirm behavior and delusional belief, which is typically found in patients suffering from schizophrenia.[43] This can cause faulty memory, which can lead to hindsight thinking and believing in knowing something they don't.[43] Delusion-prone individuals suffering from schizophrenia can falsely jump to conclusions.[44] Jumping to conclusions can lead to hindsight, which strongly influences the delusional conviction in individuals with schizophrenia.[44] In numerous studies, cognitive functional deficits in schizophrenic individuals impair their ability to represent and uphold contextual processing
    Hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along phenomenon[1] or creeping determinism,[2] refers to the common tendency for people to perceive events that have already occurred as having been more predictable than they actually were before the events took place.[3][4] As a result, people often believe, after an event has occurred, that they would have predicted, or perhaps even would have known with a high degree of certainty, what the outcome of the event would have been, before the event occurred. Hindsight bias may cause distortions of our memories of what we knew and/or believed before an event occurred, and is a significant source of overconfidence regarding our ability to predict the outcomes of future events.[5] Examples of hindsight bias can be seen in the writings of historians describing outcomes of battles, physicians recalling clinical trials, and in judicial systems as individuals attribute responsibility on the basis of the supposed predictability of accidents.

    source: wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias

    Creeping determinism.... hmmm

    While only an informal fallacy I believe the theory you are espousing relies exclusively on hindsight bias to claim that only a single, unique predetermined choice can be taken.
    I would be seriously interested in how this factor is avoided in your theory.

    • If you have a problem with definitions I would recommend a good dictionary....
    • I am discussing human freewill and not thermostats or other inorganic materials.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    ok...hmmm try this:
    It's also fascinating to witness people believe in utter nonsense and then go on to attempt to force people, by insulting them to believe that nonsense as well.


    abusing peoples good faith and good will always ends badly.....

    or perhaps you can explain how hindsight fallacy is removed from the very theory you pretend to believe in.
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It's an opinion. I have supported them all I need for such. If you don't find them trivial, that's for you to assess and conclude.
    But I am. Very much so. Which is why I conclude what I do. Physical reality is assumed to be deterministic. And there seems to be zero ability to do anything other than what one does.
    I am denying nothing. I have repeatedly accepted that if there are different inputs then you get different outputs. This is trivial. A thermostat is able to do different things: thermostat on, thermostat off. What I am denying is the ability to do anything different at the time one does it. This much is dictated by the deterministic nature of the universe, the predetermined course of events.
    I'm muddling nothing. But thanks for your unsupported claim that I am.
    They aren't realised, but the "pre" in predetermined means that they will be, and they will be what they are predetermined to be. And as such there is no alternative but its existence when the time comes. And because of that it is quite legitimate to say that it exists, in that the current state will lead to it, and can lead to nothing else. So it exists within the current state of things.
    Ah, finally we're moving from "assuming the supernatural" to "assuming nonexistence". It's a step.
    As for the conclusions I have reached, yes, they have been considered, and the argument is along the lines of the one presented waaay back by Baldeee which you are fully aware of. And the argument for the trivial nature of the freedom you are talking of: if it is a freedom that can be found in principle in a thermostat then I consider that trivial. So far you have offered the capability for different outputs if there are different inputs. Thermostat on, thermostat off. Thus trivial.
    You mean you've been asserting that I and others have been assuming a supernatural freedom and yet you aren't aware of the principle that such a freedom has???
    The principle of the freedom you're pushing for is the ability to do different things for different inputs. You've offered all those wonderful lab tests and experiments as evidence for it. You know, the kind I find trivial.
    The principle that I think is non-trivial is the ability to do something other than one actually does.
    Are you not thinking logically, then? 'Cos you've been arguing that the capability is to produce different outputs to different inputs. This is what a thermostat does.
    I haven't acknowledged the premises that you think I'm making, which I have repeatedly demonstrated that I am not making, and that the error there is yours.
    But no, when the logic conflicts with observation, yet we consider the premises true, we must examine what it is we're observing and why we observe it as we do. Optical illusions speak to this much: present static images which logic dictates don't move. Observe movement in the images. You'd have us coming up with a different premise that suggests static images can move, rather than examine why we can sometimes observe movement in static images.
    But if that's the way you want to work, go for it.
    Oh, sure, the output could be something not imagined. But the only alternatives that the driver can actually choose from - and choice/freewill is a conscious effort, despite you claiming previously otherwise - then the best they can do is imagine alternatives.
    I'm not talking about what is stipulated but what we consider in our day to day conversations, when not in the depths of a philosophical discussion where such an assumption has been stipulated. In casual parlance we do not consider the universe deterministic. Our language does not make that assumption. Causal, yes, but not necessarily deterministic.
    You are now talking as if capabilities are physical entities. Why would you do that?

    The difference here is that you're looking at a predetermined routine of, say, a gymnast. They do tumbles, pirouettes and whatnot, and you're saying that the gymnast has capabilities to do these things. You see those capabilities and see freedom within that.
    I and others are looking at each step along their predetermined routine, and at any point they have no capability of doing anything other than next step. And we see no freedom within that.
    We don't take the total span of time and look at everything that happens, but at each moment. There is no freedom from one moment to the next, so why do we think there is during any stretch of time?
    Oh no, the house suddenly gets cold (information): thermostat on. Ah, the house is warm again (information): thermostat off. So, you claim it's false yet your "rebuttal" just highlights a similarity.
    Yet you have singularly failed to offer anything to suggest that it is different, or at least anything that stands up to the merest hint of scrutiny.
    I don't deny that such trivial notions of freedom as you are advocating are indeed the matter of observation and analysis. That doesn't stop them being considered by me as being trivial, and of being the type of freedom found within a thermostat.
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member


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    It has no relevance to the argument whatsoever, thanks. There is no need to avoid it because it is irrelevant. The argument starts from assumptions and reaches a conclusion - a deductive argument. Hindsight bias is about observing events and the bias we introduce when then looking back at how predictable that event was.

    So please, how do you honestly think it has any bearing on the matter?

    Oh, I know what has happened: you came across the mention of "determinism" with a negative connotation, and only half-understanding the actual discussion going on, and only half-understanding the article, you put 2 and 2 together and decided it must equal 5, and so sought to crowbar it in to the discussion.

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  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    ok... I get it... you don't wish to discuss the seriously unpersuasive-ness of your argument.
    Perhaps though you should consider doing a bit of research into what an informal fallacy is. Especially with regards to "historian's fallacy" and the one I mentioned which is Hindsight bias.

    The presumption of Free will being indeterminate to justify your argument is also begging the question.

    list of logical errors is extensive.

    Post Hoc -
    This fallacy gets its name from the Latin phrase "post hoc, ergo propter hoc," which translates as "after this, therefore because of this." Definition: Assuming that because B comes after A, A caused B. Sometimes one event really does cause another one that comes later—for example, if I register for a class, and my name later appears on the roll, it's true that the first event caused the one that came later. But sometimes two events that seem related in time aren't really related as cause and event. That is, temporal correlation doesn't necessarily entail causation.

    False analogy -

    This error in reasoning occurs when claims are supported by unsound comparisons, hence the false analogy's informal nickname of the "apples and oranges" fallacy

    Argument ex - silentio -

    An argument from silence features an unwarranted conclusion advanced based over the absence of data.

    and no doubt other serious errors of reason.

    but to me false analogy stands out the most... thermostats compared with organic humans....

    So I would suggest that you do not know the subject nor know basic logical foundations when making an argument.

    Src: Wiki
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    • Please use appropriate language when addressing other forum members.
    Sheesh, QQ, it's like you've discovered a book of fallacies and are just spewing them out as accusations.
    You asked me about hindsight bias. If you have issue with my response, maybe tackle the content of the response - i.e. the reasons why I consider it utterly irrelevant.
    I've read enough of your posts to recognise them, QQ.

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    And maybe you want to actually explain why you think those fallacies have been committed, given that the argument being made does not look back at history but is a deductive argument starting from assumed premises.
    There is no such presumption, but thanks for playing. Maybe if you want to identify that presumption, quote it for example?
    You crack me up, QQ. Not content with having your posts dismantled, you're now suffering from accusatory diarrhea, throwing your faecal matter around in the hope that some of it sticks.

    But to play your game a little while longer:
    Post Hoc... where do you think I am making this error? What do you think I am assessing as cause and effect that actually isn't, for example?
    False analogy... please note that your failure to understand an analogy is not grounds for the analogy being false. That you don't agree with the analogy but have no reason other than your confidence, personal incredulity, and perhaps appeals to complexity, doesn't really do anything to show the analogy false.
    Argument ex-silentio... Do you even know what this fallacy is? You don't seem to if you think I'm guilty of it. It is the fallacy of saying "well, you have no evidence to the contrary, therefore I'm right". Where do you think I have committed this fallacy? Seriously, where?

    Oh, I'm sure you could misunderstand many other fallacies that you therefore think I'm making. You quoting from wiki isn't evidence you understand them, and your posting really does suggest that you haven't really got a Scooby about them at all. Just faecal matter to fling in the hope some sticks. Yet the irony is that you're the only one it's sticking to.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  13. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Dont take it personal QQ... why... i thank you'r just as likely as anybody else to show how free will is posible in a deterministic universe

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  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I am talking as if they exist, in the physical universe. That's because they do. We observe them.
    - - - -
    There you go again.
    There are a great many capabilities unused in any sufficiently complex decisionmaking organism - its their predeterminined nature to possess such capabilities, which of course cannot all be employed (being mutually exclusive, often). This is physical reality.
    Why not? Others do - it's important in engineering calculations of very simple things, even.
    We have moved nowhere but from one of your posts to another. They conflict, but that's not news, or progress.
    You always assume that freedom is supernatural. You sometimes conclude the nonexistence from that assumption, other times assume that conclusion for the sake of another "argument". Depends on the post.
    But there is, before the time comes. See how that temporal sequence stuff works?
    Nonsense. You are denying the existence of capability before the time of decision. That's your whole point.
    The example we have was designed to forestall that mistake, which you have made too many times to claim you are paying attention to physical reality.
    Human decisions are not always conscious, and the traffic light example is a common one that goes either way - imagined, habit, even just reflex sometimes. The key issue is the existence of two mutually exclusive capabilities in the driver - go, stop - which will be chosen from based on future input. No imagination on the part of the driver is necessary.
    A principle is an ability? One must do two mutually exclusive things to be "non-trivial"? Your language is going the way of your "logic".
    Look: the ability to do something other than natural law determines one must is supernatural - by fucking definition. You equate non-trivial with supernatural, explicitly, by assumption, for the fiftieth time, right there in that post. That's what you do. Every post you make. I think you would stop doing that if you adopted neutral and accurate terminology for that assumption, because the embarrassment would be unavoidable even by you. As long as you insist on saying "actual" and "genuine" and "non-trivial" when you are referring to the supernatural, you will be unable to reason in this matter.
    Already done - pointing to mathematical complexity, logical levels, degrees of freedom, engineering necessity, the analogy with the 2nd Law, evolutionary emergence, etc.
    Your turn.
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    By way of Argumento ex-silentio. Specifically you have no idea how a human beings imagination works with causal inputs.
    You are claiming that you do and have offered no evidence to support your claim. You are relying on others ignorance to be the equal to your own in your attempt to falsely claim specialized knowledge.
    You rely on their silence, by attempting to bully them mute.

    Using a passive non-organic machine that has no choice nor will, nor analogous equality with a willed chooser such as a human being is a false analogy. It has nothing to do with complexity.
    The thermostat, the river the clouds in the sky etc do not have a choice and are entirely passive to determining forces, reacting and not acting.
    Human beings are both passive and proactive, they react and act, they are willed and are able to choose.
    Vastly different things being- a false equivalence.
    The issue of complexity is a strawman and falsely contrived to justify a false analogy.

    • By claiming that the logic of determinism rules out freewill with out knowledge of how the human being works.
    • By claiming the logic of determinism is bullet proof and impossible to get around and maintaining that assumption as your primary defense. The logic as you describe that generates the claim that freewill is an illusion is incomplete and far from bullet proof.
    • By assuming the position of absolute correctness and pretending to have an open discussion has distorted all your postings.

    This fallacy is simply that you are relying on the ignorance, silence and gullibility (as to your self proclaimed "superior" position on the subject) of the other posters, to prove your case.

    Now, normally you would not have allowed yourself to post as you have, Normally you are very articulate in the rules of logic. So I ask why now? What has changed to make you post the way you have?
    so what's up Sarkus?
    You don't seem to be like your normal arrogant, bully, but logically erudite, articulate and precise self...
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member


    The Professional people here reading your rubbish and vitriol are not impressed.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Firstly you haven't over turned anything, you simply ignored my answer.
    Secondly, who is we?

    btw: there is absolutely nothing incorrect or inappropriate about my answer:
    "the term "freely" could be defined in part, by using the words "with out resistance."
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So I'm committing a post hoc fallacy by way of Argumento [sic] ex-silentio? So you can't actually show where I'm supposedly committing this fallacy? Just an actual example will do. Please?
    Feel free to explain to my why I need to know for the argument at hand? It is enough to know that the system is deterministic, and all deterministic system have inputs which they convert to outputs. So please explain why I need to know?
    I have made no such claim, nor do I need to make such a claim, and thus have offered no evidence. I am not relying on anyone's ignorance to support my argument. Please feel free to show otherwise, though. Just one example will do. Please?
    The only people I wish would be mute are those who come to the table with nothing to offer but spout much. I am certainly not relying on their silence, and nor am I ignorant enough to think that if others are quiet on a matter that my position is therefore correct. I think it is correct because of the logic behind it. Others are more than welcome to criticise the position.
    Then I'm sure you can point out the difference...
    ... that is nothing to do with complexity.
    Ah, I see you're going to be relying on the terms "passive", "proactive", "active" as if they aren't already begging the question.
    Yep, there's the question begging, just as I thought.
    So you keep asserting, with nothing but question-begging and personal incredulity.
    I'm the one saying complexity does not change the nature of the freedom. The ones who raise the notion of complexity, of logical levels, are the ones introducing it. So feel free to address this criticism to them. You are suggesting that the nature of freedom is different, and other than question-begging, what else are you going to offer by way of argument to support your position?
    Taking each in turn:
    The argument applies to any deterministic system. Are you special pleading for humans on the basis that you don't know they work? And would this lack of knowledge be due to complexity, perhaps?
    I'm not claiming the logic is bullet proof at all. The logic was put out there and anyone and everyone are entitled to rip it down (with valid criticisms). And I'm entitled to defend it. If you think it is "incomplete and far from bullet proof", feel free to post an actual rebuttal to it, instead of this incessant whining.
    I am not assuming a position of absolute correctness, but rather simply defending a position I believe to be correct. Show me a valid criticism and I'll listen to it. If you don't want to discuss it, don't, move on to something else.
    Please provide one example where I am doing these things? Just one. Please?
    If you mean I am highlighting your ignorance... guilty.
    Do I rely on the silence of others to prove my case? No, the logic of the argument is my case. If others are silent it doesn't affect that logic.
    Do I rely on the gullibility of others? How is someone else's gullibility or otherwise going to affect the logic of the argument? Whether other people agree with the argument or not does not affect the logic. So how is someone's gullibility going to prove anything?

    So, you really have nothing else other than spurious claims, and your own ignorance on the matter?
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Endlessly asking for something and never reading the answer. Go back read the answers, show that you can comprehend them. Then discuss them in a respectful manner.
    You have been pulling the same scam with Iceaura and I think enough is enough...
    pages and pages of repetition and expecting posters to post repeating them selves over and over....

    You can't win an argument this way Sarkus, you only frustrate the possibility of a solution and generate a lot of enmity along the way.
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Here is a test:

    If every possible choice is predetermined, why is the self determination demonstrated by billions of people, including yourself being treated, as an illusion?
  21. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Whatever capabilities any decision making organism possesses, the only ones that can be employed for any given circumstance are the ones that have been deterministically selected for that circumstance. If an organism is capable of jumping 4 feet vertically, and the determined jump is 3 feet, a 4 foot vertical jump would not be possible for that circumstance.
    An engineering calculation isn’t a perfect representation of any circumstance, it’s at best a selective approximation of one. Determined reality is always concerned with total perfect knowledge, not generalized snapshots.
    A determined reality’s past, present, and future are inextricably linked, knowing one will always give knowledge of the others.
    The capabilities suited for any given circumstance were determined long before that circumstance, possibly infinitely long before. That’s how determinism works.
    It doesn’t matter whether the driver is conscious of the determined neurology that was involved in dictating its action. For that given circumstance it wasn’t a possibility of stop or go, it was a definitive case of only one of the two. Regardless of how many possibilities the driver imagined, it was always going to be the universally determined one.
    Usain Bolt may be capable of running faster than 9.5 seconds for 100 meters under some ideal circumstance, but that circumstance hasn’t presented itself as of yet. For Bolt to have run any faster than he did in any of his races would have been a violation of natural law. Performance in regards to natural law is about the whole ball of wax. The determined circumstance determines to what degree any capability can be expressed. Usain Bolt will only run as fast as his determined reality dictates, never any faster, regardless of his perceived potential.
  22. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Because self determination is definitionally not possible in a predetermined reality.
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    According to who?
    Have you allowed for the unknowns?

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