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Defenders of Free Will, Where Am I Wrong?

Magicr
Posts: 135
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5/11/2013 9:14:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. Imagine some free choice between possibilities X and Y made by decider A.

2. Assume that A has freedom of the will and is free to choose either X or Y."

3. Because X and Y are both possibilities, there must exist possible worlds in which X is chosen,
W1, and possible worlds in which Y is chosen, W2."

4. But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y.

5. If A in all W1s could choose Y, this would mean that there could arise a situation in which Y was chosen in all possible worlds."

6. Y could not be chosen in all possible worlds.

C1. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W1s.

And if A in all W2s could really freely choose, she could choose X.

If A in all W2s choose X, then a situation could arise in which X had been chosen in all possible worlds.

X could not have been chosen in all possible worlds.

C2. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W2s.

C3. Therefore, A does not have a free choice in any possible world.

Because A could represent any person with a deciding opportunity and X and Y or (X, Y, Z...number of possible outcomes) could represent any possibilities for any decision of A, this encompases all decisions, meaning that no A has a free choice regarding any decision..

So, defenders of free will, where am I going wrong?
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/11/2013 9:20:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
"But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y"

You just stated that W1 was the world which arose from the choice of X. So this is not the world in which the decision occurs. Rather, this is not the world in which both choices are even available.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Magicr
Posts: 135
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5/11/2013 9:40:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 9:20:33 AM, 000ike wrote:
"But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y"

You just stated that W1 was the world which arose from the choice of X. So this is not the world in which the decision occurs.

If the decision does not occur in W1, by the same logic, the decision does not occur in W2, meaning that there is no possible world in which the decision occurs.

Rather, this is not the world in which both choices are even available.

This is basically my point. In both W1 and W2, only one option is possible, so how can it be said that A has a free choice between the options in any world?
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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5/11/2013 10:33:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 9:14:51 AM, Magicr wrote:
1. Imagine some free choice between possibilities X and Y made by decider A.

2. Assume that A has freedom of the will and is free to choose either X or Y."

3. Because X and Y are both possibilities, there must exist possible worlds in which X is chosen,
W1, and possible worlds in which Y is chosen, W2."

4. But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y.

5. If A in all W1s could choose Y, this would mean that there could arise a situation in which Y was chosen in all possible worlds."

6. Y could not be chosen in all possible worlds.

C1. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W1s.

And if A in all W2s could really freely choose, she could choose X.

If A in all W2s choose X, then a situation could arise in which X had been chosen in all possible worlds.

X could not have been chosen in all possible worlds.

C2. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W2s.

C3. Therefore, A does not have a free choice in any possible world.

Because A could represent any person with a deciding opportunity and X and Y or (X, Y, Z...number of possible outcomes) could represent any possibilities for any decision of A, this encompases all decisions, meaning that no A has a free choice regarding any decision..

So, defenders of free will, where am I going wrong?

Um...you do know that "possible worlds" don't actually "exist" out there in the propositional aether, right?

This would only apply if you were talking about multi-verses.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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5/11/2013 10:37:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 9:40:08 AM, Magicr wrote:
At 5/11/2013 9:20:33 AM, 000ike wrote:
"But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y"

You just stated that W1 was the world which arose from the choice of X. So this is not the world in which the decision occurs.

If the decision does not occur in W1, by the same logic, the decision does not occur in W2, meaning that there is no possible world in which the decision occurs.

Rather, this is not the world in which both choices are even available.

This is basically my point. In both W1 and W2, only one option is possible, so how can it be said that A has a free choice between the options in any world?

That's not right though. Freewill does not mean the ability to do anything imaginable. Freewill is ability to choose among a set of choices. What you created was a possible world in which one choice was made, and hence the others became unavailable.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Magicr
Posts: 135
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5/11/2013 11:19:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 10:33:39 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 5/11/2013 9:14:51 AM, Magicr wrote:
1. Imagine some free choice between possibilities X and Y made by decider A.

2. Assume that A has freedom of the will and is free to choose either X or Y."

3. Because X and Y are both possibilities, there must exist possible worlds in which X is chosen,
W1, and possible worlds in which Y is chosen, W2."

4. But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y.

5. If A in all W1s could choose Y, this would mean that there could arise a situation in which Y was chosen in all possible worlds."

6. Y could not be chosen in all possible worlds.

C1. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W1s.

And if A in all W2s could really freely choose, she could choose X.

If A in all W2s choose X, then a situation could arise in which X had been chosen in all possible worlds.

X could not have been chosen in all possible worlds.

C2. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W2s.

C3. Therefore, A does not have a free choice in any possible world.

Because A could represent any person with a deciding opportunity and X and Y or (X, Y, Z...number of possible outcomes) could represent any possibilities for any decision of A, this encompases all decisions, meaning that no A has a free choice regarding any decision..

So, defenders of free will, where am I going wrong?

Um...you do know that "possible worlds" don't actually "exist" out there in the propositional aether, right?

This would only apply if you were talking about multi-verses.

I realize that possible worlds are a philosophical construct, but I don't see how that fact changes the effectiveness of the argument. Because the actual world is a possible word, if A makes a choice between X and Y in the actual world, then the actual world becomes either a W1 or a W2.
Magicr
Posts: 135
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5/11/2013 11:33:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 10:37:48 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 5/11/2013 9:40:08 AM, Magicr wrote:
At 5/11/2013 9:20:33 AM, 000ike wrote:
"But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y"

You just stated that W1 was the world which arose from the choice of X. So this is not the world in which the decision occurs.

If the decision does not occur in W1, by the same logic, the decision does not occur in W2, meaning that there is no possible world in which the decision occurs.

Rather, this is not the world in which both choices are even available.

This is basically my point. In both W1 and W2, only one option is possible, so how can it be said that A has a free choice between the options in any world?

That's not right though. Freewill does not mean the ability to do anything imaginable. Freewill is ability to choose among a set of choices.

I agree: freewill does not mean the ability to do anything imaginable, and I don't really see how one would get that this is what the argument implies. The way the argument approaches it is as a choice between two possibilities, not anything imaginable.

If, however, in all our decisions, only one apparent option is actually possible, then I don't understand how you can say that there is any sort of choice or freedom of choice going on.

What you created was a possible world in which one choice was made, and hence the others became unavailable.

If what you're saying here is that once a choice has been made, other things that were previously options become unavailable as options, then I agree. I just don't see how that invalidates the argument.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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5/12/2013 1:37:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 9:14:51 AM, Magicr wrote:
1. Imagine some free choice between possibilities X and Y made by decider A.

2. Assume that A has freedom of the will and is free to choose either X or Y."

3. Because X and Y are both possibilities, there must exist possible worlds in which X is chosen, W1, and possible worlds in which Y is chosen, W2."

You went from possibilities to an "after the fact" situation in which X or Y has already been chosen, W1s and W2s are no longer the possible worlds of your argument, they are the actual worlds in which X and Y had been chosen.

4. But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y.

No, you defined all W1s after the fact as those worlds where X was chosen, she cannot choose Y after the fact.

5. If A in all W1s could choose Y, this would mean that there could arise a situation in which Y was chosen in all possible worlds."

No, steps 2 and 3 stated that either X or Y can be chosen by A, you defined W1s as the possible worlds where X is chosen, so A can"t choose Y in W1s, because you defined W1s as those possible worlds in which, after the fact, the choice was made and it was X.

6. Y could not be chosen in all possible worlds.

This violates the logic of your step 2 premise.

C1. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W1s.

You defined the problem by saying A had free choice, then you defined W1s as those worlds in which A freely chose X, they only became W1s after the choosing had occurred.

And if A in all W2s could really freely choose, she could choose X.

Not based on your premise.

If A in all W2s choose X, then a situation could arise in which X had been chosen in all possible worlds.

X could not have been chosen in all possible worlds.

C2. Therefore, A does not really have a free choice in W2s.

C3. Therefore, A does not have a free choice in any possible world.

Because A could represent any person with a deciding opportunity and X and Y or (X, Y, Z...number of possible outcomes) could represent any possibilities for any decision of A, this encompases all decisions, meaning that no A has a free choice regarding any decision..

So, defenders of free will, where am I going wrong?

You are going wrong by making a nonsense argument without understanding the philosophical construct of possible worlds; you are simply confusing what is possible before the decision is made with the decision that was made after the fact. Possible worlds defined by the possibility of decision X or Y are no longer possible worlds after X or Y has been decided. Possible worlds are philosophical devices used to express modal claims that qualify the statement, you can't just change the modality of the possible worlds argument as you go from premise to premise or you destroy the logic of the possible worlds construct.

I think you are trying to say that if we have free will to choose either X or Y, that after the choice has been made then we don"t have free will to go back and make a different decision to choose Y after X was already chosen. That"s not particularly profound; I don"t think anybody who defends free will thinks it means we are free to change the past after our decisions are made.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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5/12/2013 7:54:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/11/2013 9:40:08 AM, Magicr wrote:
At 5/11/2013 9:20:33 AM, 000ike wrote:
"But, if A in all W1s could really freely choose, she could choose Y"

You just stated that W1 was the world which arose from the choice of X. So this is not the world in which the decision occurs.

If the decision does not occur in W1, by the same logic, the decision does not occur in W2, meaning that there is no possible world in which the decision occurs.

Rather, this is not the world in which both choices are even available.

This is basically my point. In both W1 and W2, only one option is possible, so how can it be said that A has a free choice between the options in any world?

Only one option is available because the choice was already made. It's not really an option. W1 is just the series of worlds in which X WAS chosen. By definition there is no set of choices, or even actions, to make. Rather, W1 is the set of consequences and circumstances creating the X choice.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus