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A simple argument for compatiblist free will

phantom
Posts: 6,774
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1/22/2014 1:24:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Though I have done three debates arguing against the existence of free will, including one that just ended recently, and none for its existence, I have actually been a compatiblist for quite some time. Compatiblism is the belief that determinism and free will are compatible. This thread doesn't cover all aspects of the debate, but rather one argument about what constitutes free will.

Compatiblism is centered by far mostly around semantics. It's about defining free will. The hard-determinist's definition of free will is too restrictive. It seems more in tune with common sense to assume we do have free will in my opinion. I'm going to assume determinism is true for sake of discussion and ignore quantum randomness.

As promised, the argument is quite simple. Determinists will ask the question, when presented with a decision, is there one, or more than one possible courses of action that a person can take? If the former, free will does not exist. I think this is a mistake. Free will is not just about whether under the exact same conditions I will choose differently at different times. That would be absurd. It would violate physics to do something different when all the previous conditions lead my up to the exact act I take. I ask a different question; when presented with a decision, is the effect dictated by my will? It almost always is. While it is determined that I choose vanilla ice cream at the store, it is my will and "I" that is the final decider of what happens. Thus I am entirely free in making decisions. If I willed differently, I would have bought chocolate or something else. My will dictates my actions. Previous causes may determine exactly the type of character I have and what I will will to do, but that is irrelevant. Free will is not about escaping your predetermined character. Determinism is different to fate. Determinism does not mean, no matter what, persons will live a life that they have no say in, even if they think they do. The self is simply the last cause in a web of cause and effect and therefore, the most important effect. Since choices are in the end all based upon my will, I say that constitutes a type of free will.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
whatledge
Posts: 210
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1/22/2014 6:03:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/22/2014 1:24:26 PM, phantom wrote:
Though I have done three debates arguing against the existence of free will, including one that just ended recently, and none for its existence, I have actually been a compatiblist for quite some time. Compatiblism is the belief that determinism and free will are compatible. This thread doesn't cover all aspects of the debate, but rather one argument about what constitutes free will.

Compatiblism is centered by far mostly around semantics. It's about defining free will. The hard-determinist's definition of free will is too restrictive. It seems more in tune with common sense to assume we do have free will in my opinion. I'm going to assume determinism is true for sake of discussion and ignore quantum randomness.

As promised, the argument is quite simple. Determinists will ask the question, when presented with a decision, is there one, or more than one possible courses of action that a person can take? If the former, free will does not exist. I think this is a mistake. Free will is not just about whether under the exact same conditions I will choose differently at different times. That would be absurd. It would violate physics to do something different when all the previous conditions lead my up to the exact act I take. I ask a different question; when presented with a decision, is the effect dictated by my will? It almost always is. While it is determined that I choose vanilla ice cream at the store, it is my will and "I" that is the final decider of what happens. Thus I am entirely free in making decisions. If I willed differently, I would have bought chocolate or something else. My will dictates my actions. Previous causes may determine exactly the type of character I have and what I will will to do, but that is irrelevant. Free will is not about escaping your predetermined character. Determinism is different to fate. Determinism does not mean, no matter what, persons will live a life that they have no say in, even if they think they do. The self is simply the last cause in a web of cause and effect and therefore, the most important effect. Since choices are in the end all based upon my will, I say that constitutes a type of free will.

While I am a compatiblist myself, but I agree, it is largely based on semantics for validation. Mainly, how one defines "free will." I believe some hard determinists lost sight of meaningful free will in search of an almost scientific free will.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/22/2014 7:21:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/22/2014 1:24:26 PM, phantom wrote:
Since choices are in the end all based upon my will, I say that constitutes a type of free will.

This doesn't work for me will does not equal free will.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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1/23/2014 10:45:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 7:29:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Quantum Mechanics disproves determinism anyway. So, it doesn't even matter..

Quantum physics doesn't really matter. The scale at which randomness has an effect is tiny and it has nothing to do with free will anyway. If we supposed that this world was just the same but with everything behaving causally, the exact type of free will that compatiblists say exists, would exist in either world. Quantum randomness doesn't really matter because the compatiblist conception of free will doesn't change; only a minor technicality on the physics.

That's why Daniel Dennett calls himself a compatiblist but still acknowledges quantum uncertainty. It doesn't really touch the area of free will. The essential compatiblist argument remains with quantum mechanics.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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1/23/2014 10:46:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/22/2014 7:21:52 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/22/2014 1:24:26 PM, phantom wrote:
Since choices are in the end all based upon my will, I say that constitutes a type of free will.

This doesn't work for me will does not equal free will.

If my will dictates my actions that is freedom of the will.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/23/2014 11:02:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 10:45:37 AM, phantom wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:29:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Quantum Mechanics disproves determinism anyway. So, it doesn't even matter..

Quantum physics doesn't really matter. The scale at which randomness has an effect is tiny and it has nothing to do with free will anyway.

That is simply not true. Quantum effects are known to happen at the macroscopic scale now due to violations in the Legget-Garg inequality. Also, quantum entanglement has happened between two aluminum chips, big enough to be seen with the naked eye [http://www.wired.com...]. Not only that, but they put a small macroscopic paddle into a quantum superposition [http://www.nature.com...]. The double-slit experiment has also been performed with larger macroscopic things like atoms and molecules [http://www.nature.com...].

If we supposed that this world was just the same but with everything behaving causally, the exact type of free will that compatiblists say exists, would exist in either world. Quantum randomness doesn't really matter because the compatiblist conception of free will doesn't change; only a minor technicality on the physics.

But everything in the 'macroworld' is made up of the quantum world. Randomness in a causally deterministic playing field is a contradiction.


That's why Daniel Dennett calls himself a compatiblist but still acknowledges quantum uncertainty. It doesn't really touch the area of free will. The essential compatiblist argument remains with quantum mechanics.

How does it not touch the area of free-will? Scientists like Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose due believe it has a lot to do with free-will.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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1/23/2014 12:01:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 11:02:58 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/23/2014 10:45:37 AM, phantom wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:29:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Quantum Mechanics disproves determinism anyway. So, it doesn't even matter..

Quantum physics doesn't really matter. The scale at which randomness has an effect is tiny and it has nothing to do with free will anyway.

That is simply not true. Quantum effects are known to happen at the macroscopic scale now due to violations in the Legget-Garg inequality. Also, quantum entanglement has happened between two aluminum chips, big enough to be seen with the naked eye [http://www.wired.com...]. Not only that, but they put a small macroscopic paddle into a quantum superposition [http://www.nature.com...]. The double-slit experiment has also been performed with larger macroscopic things like atoms and molecules [http://www.nature.com...].

Very well. I still maintain it doesn't affect compatiblism.



If we supposed that this world was just the same but with everything behaving causally, the exact type of free will that compatiblists say exists, would exist in either world. Quantum randomness doesn't really matter because the compatiblist conception of free will doesn't change; only a minor technicality on the physics.

But everything in the 'macroworld' is made up of the quantum world. Randomness in a causally deterministic playing field is a contradiction.

I'm saying that the conception compatiblists have of free will is just the same in this world as in the classical determined world people used to believe in. Look at it this way. Suppose the world was truly deterministic. Then someone discovered that particles in rare jewels behaved randomly. You can see that wouldn't affect compatiblism even if determinism was wrong. In the same way, I don't think think quantum mechanics adds or takes anything away from compatiblism. It may be incorrect on one detail, but the free will it supports stays the same.


That's why Daniel Dennett calls himself a compatiblist but still acknowledges quantum uncertainty. It doesn't really touch the area of free will. The essential compatiblist argument remains with quantum mechanics.

How does it not touch the area of free-will? Scientists like Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose due believe it has a lot to do with free-will.



Somehow I missed the part where he talked about free will. Doesn't matter though. Plenty of people use it to argue free will, but so far as compatiblism goes, it doesn't really affect anything. Just look at my original argument. It's the same whether causal determinism is true or whether some events are random.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/23/2014 7:54:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Agreed with phantom. It's pretty dumb to think randomness touches will, or at least in a purely mechanical sense, because that's to reduce us to mush. Even a clock doesn't tick because random, it ticks because it has been precisely engineered to do so. Quantum mechanics is largely irrelevant as regards making sense of the world, I imagine. As regards whether we have free will or not, well, it's kind of a moot question, because what the f*ck is free will anyway? To separate the will from everything else - others, needs, necessities, etc. - is essentially to render it nonexistent as far as I can figure - and that just makes sense, no? And then there isn't any sense otherwise, unless you're going to posit that there's some fundamental good and evil forces underlying everything, which maybe there is.......uh, nothing makes sense lol. I'ma be a good dude anyway.
AnDoctuir
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1/23/2014 7:55:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Would determinism come into play between those good and evil forces or how would that work? lol
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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1/23/2014 7:58:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 7:56:24 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
No sense, we're just here, let's not be bastards about it. Nobody likes a bastard.

Everyone seems to like you.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/23/2014 7:59:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 7:58:33 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:56:24 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
No sense, we're just here, let's not be bastards about it. Nobody likes a bastard.

Everyone seems to like you.

I'm like a good bastard though. There's a difference.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/23/2014 8:01:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The very simple answer as to what the f*ck is going on here is that we are god. End of story.
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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1/23/2014 8:03:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 7:59:39 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:58:33 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:56:24 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
No sense, we're just here, let's not be bastards about it. Nobody likes a bastard.

Everyone seems to like you.

I'm like a good bastard though. There's a difference.

You said it yerself. Nobody likes a bastard. I thought you died btw.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/23/2014 8:04:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 8:01:31 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
The very simple answer as to what the f*ck is going on here is that we are god. End of story.

The brain also complements this beautifully. Tabula rasa is true, trust me I'm a genius.
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/23/2014 8:05:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/23/2014 8:03:24 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:59:39 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:58:33 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 1/23/2014 7:56:24 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
No sense, we're just here, let's not be bastards about it. Nobody likes a bastard.

Everyone seems to like you.

I'm like a good bastard though. There's a difference.

You said it yerself. Nobody likes a bastard. I thought you died btw.

Banned for breaching my restraining order... lol.