What is free will?

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

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

    When you a ready to honestly deal with the topic....
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    This starting point suggests itself, on this thread:
    One reason it works is that there hasn't been any significant progression from it, on this thread.
    But the invitation stands, as it has for all these many pages.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Maybe it is worth re-introducing a claim I made in an earlier post.
    Description: Confidently asserting that a theory or hypothesis is true or false even though the theory or hypothesis cannot possibly be contradicted by an observation or the outcome of any physical experiment, usually without strong evidence or good reasons.

    Making unfalsifiable claims is a way to leave the realm of rational discourse, since unfalsifiable claims are often faith-based, and not founded on evidence and reason.
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    One day, QQ, you might even explain the relevance of the latest piece of regurgitation you slap onto the board. So you've told us what the source says the principle of unfalsifiability is, what point are you actually trying to make? Or are we to guess?
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Honestly I thought it would be way too obvious. I would be humiliating you if I thought other wise, but as it is, you have humiliated yourself.

    You seriously can not see the relevance? Really?

    It is not what I say that matters.

    Is the theory that claims free will to be an illusion that you are espousing unfalsifiable?
    Is there any way that the theory that claims free will to be an illusion can be tested empirically?

    If it is then how?
  9. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    So do you agree that every aspect of human behavior has been predetermined? Just like the orbital behavior of the planets?
    How can a universal element self determine itself in a determined system? It’s a contradiction of terms.
    A determined universe can set up drivers to act only one way for for a given circumstance. There is no multiple ways for that given circumstance. That is the reality that is logically presumed and observed. You are trying to claim that for any given circumstance the driver has options to do one thing or another, that isn’t consistent with determinism.
    The whole reason that the driver’s behavior is determined is because it’s a cog in a determined universe. There is no freedom in a determined universe, so stop implying freedom at any level. Freedom only exists as a human perception.
    There is no just parts that are predetermined, it’s every aspect of Bolt and the reality that he exists in. Bolt’s physiological behavior, his thoughts, his choices, the speed that he runs, are all predetermined to result in predetermined outcomes. That is the nature of observed reality.
    Usain Bolt, like any other predetermined entity, will throughout his existence exhibit a range of predetermined behaviors that can be classified as his capabilities. Bolt and other universal entities do not choose their determined behaviors, they simply preform them. The term choice is used to generally describe a determined process in humans, but still amounts to the same determined mechanized process at work in any other entity.
    I bang away in the hope that you’ll get it through thick skull that in a deterministic reality there is no freedom of any kind. The term freedom of choice equates to freedom to process, which can’t exist in a reality where every process is determined to strictly follow a predetermined script. It’s like a play where every actor must perform their lines and action exactly as scripted, but in the case of the universe, the actors are every universal element and organization.
    I don’t presume any freedom whatsoever in a deterministic reality, so any evidence of it in such a reality would violate its nature. That’s the only presumption that can be logically defended.
    But you do by presuming freedom in a deterministic system.
    Look at your whole driver scenario as a scripted simulation, where the driver approaches the traffic light, sees that it is red and stops the car. In this case the driver had no option of not stopping because the simulation determined that he must stop. That’s how a determined reality works, predetermined actors performing predetermined outcomes.
    The whole of the universe is where the script is derived, it’s what determines the human processes that you erroneously classify as free.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Cap, I understand your theory, no problemo...
    Can I ask though?
    What are you r thoughts concerning the fact that we spend most of our early years learning to determine as we wish to...
    Why would we do such a stupid thing as to learn how to self determine if we didn't have to?
    I understand that you feel this is an illusion of some sort etc but that means that all education is incorrectly motivated.
    Usain Bolt had to learn to run. He had to learn how to maximize his learned abilities. Are you saying that none of that is actually him doing the learning and that the rewards of his efforts to improve himself are not actually his?
    I am just curious how deep your thoughts have gone in this and do you really understand what you are trying to tell the world?
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It's not for us to guess, QQ, but for you to state what you think. Simply throwing around more things you've looked up and requiring us to guess as to why you've posted yet another brilliant insight is not really how things should work.
    I can see the relevance to many things, but it is up to you to assert the relevance to what you think it is relevant to.
    It very much is if you want to be understood.
    No, it is falsifiable. Simply show that determinism is false, and the theory - more like the logical argument- becomes unsound. But then the same argument could simply be adjusted to premise a universe that is not deterministic but where the indeterminism is driven by randomness, such as the probabilistic universe. And that would also be falsifiable by showing that premise false.
    Sure. Come up with a deterministic system that allows for a notion of freedom that is more than that found in a thermostat. Simply pointing to a system that you think satisfies that is insufficient, as you would need to also show how the freedom within that is different from that, say, found in a thermostat.
    Hand-waving to a difference because of complexity and logical levels would be an appeal to ignorance (and I'm sure your new-found website will be able to explain that one to you).
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    ok... so you don't wish to discuss how human learning to self determine is relevant.
    It's ok... as long as you are happy to go on with your illusions that's fine by me.

    edit: sorry I mistook your post for Cap's.
    but it will do any how...
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Sad Sarkus really sad... of course it is unfalsifiable......

    just come up with a counter theory... eh? are you not well today?
  14. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Determinism in general is unfalsifiable.
    It is a metaphysical position, after all.
    But the deterministic universe has been assumed in this discussion (thus far), so whether or not it is falsifiable would seem to be irrelevant.
    And also bear in mind that neither you nor I are proposing a scientific theory here.
    The argument offered is purely a logical one, that starts from assumed premises.
    If one wishes to accept the premises or not, that is up to them, but it doesn't alter the validity or otherwise of the argument.

    So I would agree that if one wants to prove any valid logic unsound one would need to prove the assumption(s) false, but I do think determinism itself is unfalsifiable, nor do I think it is relevant to this discussion.
    There is evidence from the quantum realm that suggests determinism is false, but that also depends on the interpretation one takes, as Capracus has previously mentioned.
    But when one starts from agreed assumptions, who cares?
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    So when someone starts a thread titled "What is free will?" we have to assume what?
    That we are discussing a logic puzzle or reality?
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    b This one, of course. The one assumed for the thread.
    The freedom of will of the universe is not the topic of this thread.
    - - - -
    Yes, as we have agreed for the entire thread. Are you repeating this to give yourself a sense of security?
    We assumed that for the thread, remember?
    It is an appeal to knowledge. We know about stuff like like logical levels and complexity, both in theory and by observation. We have been confronted with what they do to degrees of freedom in analysis. That's what's giving the AI people fits.
    And we see this is one of the alternate posts where instead of calling them "trivial" you declare them nonexistent. I believe you have ping-ponged between those two conflicting declarations more than seven times now.
    Meanwhile: That is simply wrong. False. Contrary to basic analysis and common observation. Entities possess degrees of freedom in a determined universe, and there is no upper limit on the complexity of their establishment.
    We observe that drivers are set up to stop, and set up to go, at future traffic lights. Two ways to behave, and the capability of choosing between them.
    It is a cog with an observable nature, which includes various capabilities. It was determined to be that way. That is a physical reality.
    One of their determined behaviors is to choose among their various capabilities, thereby determining their actions. They do indeed perform that determined behavior of selection, decision, etc.
    No. You revealingly change the example to slide past the central matter under discussion - the nature and capabilities of the driver before they see the color of the light.
    Trying to make sense of that raises the following questions among others:
    What is this new thing you are calling a "universal element", and why is it showing up here?
    Are you trying to claim that systems in a deterministic universe cannot self-organize, cannot grow by way of feedback and response, do not perform internal behaviors leading to growth and alteration of themselves?
    Are you unaware of the common processes of growth and development in living beings, or are you assigning all of those feedback mediated and entity-establishing behaviors to the external world rather than the organism normally considered their incorporating being?
    Is the external universe thinking Usain Bolt's thoughts, or is the part of the universe we name "Usain Bolt" thinking them? In your opinion, I mean (we all know what the people who observe human thought in the lab say they have seen).
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    One has to be prepared to discuss metaphysics.
    If one doesn't then one is merely discussing how things might appear and get no closer to the central issue.
    If all one wants to do from the thread title is say that it's a process, well, it's a short thread.
    No, it's generally a matter of metaphysics, the premises from which the argument starts.
    And arguments are matters of logic.
    Aren't yours?
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I guess what I was complaining about is that through out this thread the context has been constantly shifting from logic puzzle to reality puzzle.
    In the interests of productive discussion would it not be better to indicate which is being discussed, logic only or reality and the logic associated?
  19. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    There has been a logical argument presented (albeit in another thread) that results in a conclusion about the lack of freedom within the will.
    Others argue that there is still a notion of freedom in the will, and there is discussion about how trivial (or non-trivial) that notion is.
    Others argue that evidence in reality concludes something else to the logical argument, and thus that the logical argument must therefore be wrong.
    It's really not that difficult.
    They're all part and parcel of the same discussion.
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Well then you will have to provide a mechanism for the universal determinism to impact on Human beings freedom to self determine.. As yet you only have logic, but no reality to it.
    How does the proverbial butterfly control peoples thoughts, persona, will and life?
    How does it?
    When you get that worked out perhaps you can start talking about your logic puzzle in real terms.
    How does this proxy all power full god you call universe do it?

    Just magical thinking as far as I can tell....
  21. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Would the fact that slavery was legal in the US in the 1800‘s have anything to do with the freedom of blacks in the country during that period? Likewise the deterministic nature of reality is what denies freedom of any kind, and at any level in the universe.
    Not according to this statement.
    Here you insinuate that Bolt is allowed to improvise on the universal script, which would imply that his choice was not predetermined, but generated independently of universal determinants.
    So when a human makes a choice, that choice was universally scripted before that human ever existed. Agree?
    What’s the difference between deterministically scripting the behavior of a human and a planet?
    I’ve never used the term trivial, I’ve always asserted the absence of freedom in a deterministic reality.
    No entity in a deterministic system possesses any actual freedom, freedom only exists as a perceptive model.
    There you go again, you say that you agree that the entirety of reality is determined, but then you throw a wrench into the mix by asserting that humans have the option of going off the universal script and writing their own lines. That's not how determinism works.
    Then presumably like any other cog, it would have no choice in regards to its behavior.
    That determined behavior of selection, decision, etc. were set in stone as far as their outcomes long before the entity that performed them existed. So where’s the actual choice in the matter?
    But that is the true nature of the driver. A driver in a simulation can be functionally identical to a real driver in a determined reality. A simulated driver can be made to go through all of the actions performed by the real one.
    A universal element is any subset of a universe.
    All of those things you mentioned above can and do occur, but with one caveat, there is no self motivation. Things can be perceived as independent or isolated for the sake of description, but in reality nothing really is.
    I’m fully aware that entities grow, develop, and exhibit unique behaviors. I’m also aware that all of those characteristics are products of an ever present deterministic process that has scripted them all before their occurrence.
    In a sense every thought that occurs, Usain Bolt’s included, is thought by the universe. Every thought that Usain Bolt has had, or will have, was conceived by a deterministic universe long before Bolt ever existed, so who really has ownership of those thoughts?
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    And now without the question begging?
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member


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