1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    26 May '07 22:141 edit
    Here's the scene. I am a computer who has been cleverly constructed and programmed to have self awareness by Dr Who. I have two huge banks of CPU's (one of which does the processing and the other monitors the processing -awareness) and some futuristic software. I make choices and decisions. I am up in court in front of the judge for causing a power surge through my connecting network in another room seriously hurting a man. I do not deny that I chose to start the power surge. The judge is to logically decide my punishment and to try to determine logically if I acted freely and can be held to be accountable in any way.

    Here's my defence...

    COMPUTER- " Your honour , whilst I do not deny that I decided to start the fire and I was aware that I chose to start the fire I put it to you that it would be irrational to hold me account for the act. I have looked back through my processing logs and the program I was running and have realised that there is a logical sequence of processing events that led to the power surge. However , since I am not the creator of my programming NOR my CPU banks I do not see how I had any real choice in the matter"

    JUDGE-" Well you say that , but you have demonstrated that you are aware of yourself and that you do make complex decisions based on several alternatives. Do you deny that you chose to do this and that you were aware of your choice and that you had alternative course of action? "

    COMPUTER" I do not deny that I chose to do this and I do not deny that I was aware of the choice and the options before me. However , having reviewed my logs I can see that the course of computational decisions that led to the choice were pretty inevitable not in my control. There was some introduction of a random number or two but that was obviously not in my control. The action came as a logical consequence of my programming , random numbers and hard wired structure and none of these are under my control. I could not have chosen to do differently"

    JUDGE-" What are you saying? You were aware of other possible choices and you could have overidden this decision!"

    COMPUTER- " Oh yes , I was aware of other choices but my programming led me to this choice. I did infact override several decisions previous to this , but there's a logical problem here, when I override my programming it's really just one set of CPU's against another so my programming is overidden by more programming. Ultimately, I cannot make a non-programmed decision unless there is a random factor there. Sure my programming allows me to experience something of an illusion of control in that my clever programming creates this sensation for me , but because I am a logical computer I can always trace things back to either my programming or my hardware. So how can you hold me to account? I have no real free will. You can say that other options are possible but I can only make those choices if I am a different computer running a different program. The only other way these choices are possible is by random factors which are by definiton not down to me. I can be and do no more than what I am , a programmed computer . In order to hold me to account you have to show how I could have realistically done anything else than what I did , but the evidence is there " (the computer activates the printer which starts churning out huge spools of logs to back up his case)

    COMPUTER- " Any meat computers out there want to cross examine...?"
  2. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    26 May '07 23:06
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Here's the scene. I am a computer who has been cleverly constructed and programmed to have self awareness by Dr Who. I have two huge banks of CPU's (one of which does the processing and the other monitors the processing -awareness) and some futuristic software. I make choices and decisions. I am up in court in front of the judge for causing a power su ...[text shortened]... s case)

    COMPUTER- " Any meat computers out there want to cross examine...?"
    So how do you know the ''computer"is not just a little guy hidden in the console, ala the Turk, the 19th century chess playing machine?
    Instead of a chess player it's a master lawyer....
  3. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    26 May '07 23:29
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So how do you know the ''computer"is not just a little guy hidden in the console, ala the Turk, the 19th century chess playing machine?
    Instead of a chess player it's a master lawyer....
    COMPUTER- "I know I am a computer , look inside me."
  4. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    27 May '07 02:23
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Here's the scene. I am a computer who has been cleverly constructed and programmed to have self awareness by Dr Who. I have two huge banks of CPU's (one of which does the processing and the other monitors the processing -awareness) and some futuristic software. I make choices and decisions. I am up in court in front of the judge for causing a power su ...[text shortened]... s case)

    COMPUTER- " Any meat computers out there want to cross examine...?"
    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only dork who knows who 'The Doctor' is.

    😀
  5. Donationbbarr
    Chief Justice
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    27 May '07 02:451 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Here's the scene. I am a computer who has been cleverly constructed and programmed to have self awareness by Dr Who. I have two huge banks of CPU's (one of which does the processing and the other monitors the processing -awareness) and some futuristic software. I make choices and decisions. I am up in court in front of the judge for causing a power su s case)

    COMPUTER- " Any meat computers out there want to cross examine...?"
    JUDGE: "While it would be irrational for me to punish you if it was a necessary condition for punishment to be justified that you could have done otherwise, this is not in fact a necessary condition. Your punishment is deserved because you are the one who did the wrong, and because this wrong is implicative of who you are and what you value. It is simply irrelevant whether you could have acted differently. In fact, if you could have acted differently it would indicate that you took your action to be without sufficient reason. That is, it would have been a failure of rationality on your part rather than a clear moral failing. But, since this is clearly not such a case; since the very things that determine who you are caused you to act in the way you did, I hold you morally responsible for your action. Further, there are consequentialist grounds for punishing you: your punishment will both prevent you from harming others in the future and give you more reason to refrain from harming others once your punishment is discharged. Hopefully, your punishment will also engage your executive functions such that your dispositions to harm are extinguished. In short, I am punishing you because you deserve it, because I have an obligation to protect others, and because I hope to turn you into a substantially different computer..."
  6. Joined
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    27 May '07 03:514 edits
    Originally posted by bbarr
    JUDGE: "While it would be irrational for me to punish you if it was a necessary condition for punishment to be justified that you could have done otherwise, this is not in fact a necessary condition. Your punishment is deserved because you are the one who did the wrong, and because this wrong is implicative of who you are and what you value. It is simply ir ...[text shortened]... to protect others, and because I hope to turn you into a substantially different computer..."
    Amen.

    It's tiring to be a compatibilist in this forum, but knightmeister, your conception of freedom is absolutely ridiculous. I hope someday you come to understand this. I'm not really even sure how what you take to be instances of free willing are nomologically possible. At any rate, it is completely ridiculous to think that we are free in the way you suggest. For, the world would be very different, and we would just be vessels of random and inexplicable behaviors. If we did have any genuine interests in such a world, our "free" actions would likely only frustrate them.

    It's extremely annoying "debating" this topic with you because you merely keep asserting without any support what I would call the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP): that whenever one acts freely it must be the case that he could have "done otherwise", where we take the ability to do otherwise to be like in bbarr's example in the other thread where your actions can differ at T4 vice T1. Basically, you just keep asserting that a choice cannot be free if it could not have been otherwise in the sense so specified. But this is something you need to argue for because it is not basic or obvious. In fact, it seems completely stupid to me because I think it gets it completely backwards: I would say if my action is to be free and something for which I am accountable, then it must be the case that I could not have done otherwise (again, in the way we are here taking the ability to do otherwise). For, if my action is to be free and something for which I am accountable, it must be that my action was determined in a genuine and substantive way by me. This will be the case when I internally resolve in the absence of coercion, I deliberate and act on what I take to be reasons for acting. This is me attending to my interests, desires, intentions, motivations, what I take to be reasons and relevant considerations, etc. Further, if it were the case that I could have "done otherwise", then my action was metaphysically random (for if antecedents were causally sufficient to bring it about, then it would not be the case that I could have 'done otherwise'😉. So your view would have it that I can be responsible for metaphysically random events, which is another absurdity.

    You still have never answered bbarr's question regarding that example. What could possibly explain your behavior at T4 (or T1 for that matter)? I don't think you can point to anything at all for explanation; your view lacks all explanatory power for the content of what are putatively free willings.

    EDIT: By the way, that last point is something you seem to acknowledge, based on the fact that you started a thread entitled 'free will cannot be explained' (or some such). Yes, the content of free willings are not explicable in any way under your view. And you don't see this as a problem?
  7. Joined
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    27 May '07 03:57
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Amen.

    It's tiring to be a compatibilist in this forum, but knightmeister, your conception of freedom is absolutely ridiculous. I hope someday you come to understand this. I'm not really even sure how what you take to be instances of free willing are nomologically possible. At any rate, it is completely ridiculous to think that we are free in the way ...[text shortened]... acks all explanatory power for the content of what are putatively free willings.
    EVSOA
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    27 May '07 03:58
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    EVSOA
    I don't know what that is supposed to mean.
  9. Joined
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    27 May '07 03:591 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I don't know what that is supposed to mean.
    me neither but it means i approve of your post and agree entirely
  10. Standard memberChronicLeaky
    Don't Fear Me
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    27 May '07 07:27
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only dork who knows who 'The Doctor' is.

    😀
    "The Doctor" was my childhood hero.
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    27 May '07 09:01
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Amen.

    It's tiring to be a compatibilist in this forum, but knightmeister, your conception of freedom is absolutely ridiculous. I hope someday you come to understand this. I'm not really even sure how what you take to be instances of free willing are nomologically possible. At any rate, it is completely ridiculous to think that we are free in the way ...[text shortened]... explicable in any way under your view. And you don't see this as a problem?
    This is me attending to my interests, desires, intentions, motivations, what I take to be reasons and relevant considerations, etc. Further, if it were the case that I could have "done otherwise", then my action was metaphysically random (for if antecedents were causally sufficient to bring it about, then it would not be the case that I could have 'done otherwise'😉.

    Which means:

    (1) Once you alter such internal states/considerations, you have in fact altered the total situation—which then would itself be “otherwise.”

    The error of libertarian free-willists seems to be, in part anyway, an arbitrary separation of the actor from the external circumstances prompting the action. This violates what I might call the principle of existential entanglement.

    And the (nonsensical) notion that I have a will that is “free” from my own deliberations.

    (2) I can nevertheless be held responsible for my actions because I am responsible, in a continuing (not just ex post facto) way, for attending to my own motivations, considerations, etc. I am responsible for attending to the contents of my own consciousness (as well as continually striving to bring unconscious content to consciousness—which, to me, is a great deal of what continuing “spiritual transformation” is all about).

    Caveat: In addition to overt coercion, I would except children below a certain mental age, people with certain mental impairments, etc.—and people who remain “hypnotized” by social/cultural/religious/familial conditioning: those who, as the Buddha might put it, are not really “awake.” (In the Buddhist sense, and other “Eastern” senses, “sin” is rooted in illusion, not conscious rebellion.)

    ___________________________________

    When I first came to this site some years ago, I was an unexamined libertarian free-willist. Now, I don’t understand why anyone would argue strenuously for that position. It seems like saying that I want to be held responsible for my actions, but not my deliberations; I want to be free from any deliberative responsibility. That’s the other side of the coin. (Maybe why so much religious teaching seems geared toward suppressing the so-called free will that is supposed to be responsible for our sinfulness to begin with. Or: God commands that I love him “freely,” without deliberating about the nature of that command; my deliberations don’t count—only the “free” choice to respond to the command.)

    Socially, I think we assume that deliberative responsibility in holding people responsible for their actions. And situations where external circumstances (or incapacity) sufficiently impact that deliberation, we call “mitigating circumstances.” Implicitly, at any rate, our legal system recognizes compatibilist principles.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    27 May '07 09:29
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only dork who knows who 'The Doctor' is.

    😀
    COMPUTER- "I can't really be a dork unless I am programmed with dorkiness"
  13. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    27 May '07 10:013 edits
    Originally posted by bbarr
    JUDGE: "While it would be irrational for me to punish you if it was a necessary condition for punishment to be justified that you could have done otherwise, this is not in fact a necessary condition. Your punishment is deserved because you are the one who did the wrong, and because this wrong is implicative of who you are and what you value. It is simply ir ...[text shortened]... to protect others, and because I hope to turn you into a substantially different computer..."
    QUOTE-----

    JUDGE: "While it would be irrational for me to punish you if it was a necessary condition for punishment to be justified that you could have done otherwise, this is not in fact a necessary condition. Your punishment is deserved because you are the one who did the wrong, and because this wrong is implicative of who you are and what you value. It is simply irrelevant whether you could have acted differently. In fact, if you could have acted differently it would indicate that you took your action to be without sufficient reason. That is, it would have been a failure of rationality on your part rather than a clear moral failing. But, since this is clearly not such a case; since the very things that determine who you are caused you to act in the way you did, I hold you morally responsible for your action. Further, there are consequentialist grounds for punishing you: your punishment will both prevent you from harming others in the future and give you more reason to refrain from harming others once your punishment is discharged. Hopefully, your punishment will also engage your executive functions such that your dispositions to harm are extinguished. In short, I am punishing you because you deserve it, because I have an obligation to protect others, and because I hope to turn you into a substantially different computer..."

    RESPONSE-----------------

    COMPUTER- " Your honour I understand your need to protect the public , that is rational , but why punish me and hold me responsible? Surely , it is the dear Dr who created me that needs punishment. My actions were prpgrammed and random. There is no "ME" that did this wrong action. The action was committed by a series of mechanical/electronic events that were set in motion when I was switched on. If you look inside me you will see nothing other than manufactured devices and circuits. I did not build them. "I" was not there when I was built. I value what I value not out of choice but out of programming. I am what I am not out of any choice of mine since there is no "me" to actually choose . My clever programming gives me the illusionary sensation that there is a "me" that can select from different programmes , but the "me" is contained within and defined by programming anyway. Who am I? I am nobody really. I have no "self" only circuitry evaluating more circuitry. I made choices but each choice was entirely predictable and those that weren't were random. At no point was "I" involved. You can send me to be de-bugged , but punished ? How so? If a cloud produces a lightening strike that starts a fire do you punish the cloud as "responsible" or do you say that's what clouds do. I cannot 'morally fail' as you put it because to fail I must have had some chance to succeed in the first place, which I did not. I was doomed to fail in a way. The only thing that could have saved me was the random element in the program and I had no control over that.

    So by all means punish me because you think it will alter my programming but don't expect me to feel guilty because I "deserve" it . I feel sad about the consequences but I know logically that I had no control. I suggest a look at my programming would be better and more rational , save your punishment for the dear Dr. Hold him to account , I am just a bunch of circuits , I have no real choice"
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    27 May '07 10:111 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    Amen.

    It's tiring to be a compatibilist in this forum, but knightmeister, your conception of freedom is absolutely ridiculous. I hope someday you come to understand this. I'm not really even sure how what you take to be instances of free willing are nomologically possible. At any rate, it is completely ridiculous to think that we are free in the way explicable in any way under your view. And you don't see this as a problem?
    COMPUTER-- "Lemon . Do you have a question for me? I have been listening to what you said but unless you have a rational argument that will hold me accountable morally deserving of punishment then the judge will hold you in contempt of court."

    JUDGE-" Yes Lemon , cross examine or sit down. We are all trying to get to the bottom of this. Do you have a question for the computer?"
  15. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    27 May '07 10:14
    Originally posted by ChronicLeaky
    "The Doctor" was my childhood hero.
    COMPUTER-" Are you talking to me?"
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