1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    11 May '07 19:12
    What exactly does 'free' in 'free will' mean?

    Free from what?

    Nemesio

    Free from determinism . Free in the sense that the choice is not inevitable. Free in the sense that I am not forced to make said choice by a cause that compels that choice. Free in the sense that given the same scenario again I would have the option to choose differently. Free in the sense that I really am morally responsible for my actions because I really could have done differently. Free in the sense that I cannot say "nature made me do this".
  2. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 May '07 19:21
    Also realize that it does not matter whether the laws are natural or supernatural. WHITEY

    It matters a great deal because God does not dictate or force in the same way nature does . KM

    I understand free to mean 'no external causally sufficient influences'. If you have a different definition then lets here it. So far you have hinted that you see it as something different but you have failed to articulate it. WHITEY

    My definition is similar but I would take out "externally" . I see no reason to distiguish between internal or external because it's all nature at the end of the day. (in your view)KM

    In my opinion, any decision I make is based on:
    1. Information stored in my memory or gathered at the time.
    2. A processing engine that processes that information. Note that my processing engine is influenced by both genetic design and environment such as hormones.
    3. A random component.
    I am very comfortable with this system.WHITEY

    And yet you call it free will when logically it can't be. Ultimately it can all be traced back to randomness or natural law. Your "free" choices are either determined by randomness or determined by natural law. But you still would hold men accountable for their actions? How queer? KM
  3. Standard memberNemesio
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    11 May '07 19:252 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Free from determinism . Free in the sense that the choice is not inevitable. Free in the sense that I am not forced to make said choice by a cause that compels that choice. Free in the sense that given the same scenario again I would have the option to choose differently. Free in the sense that I really am morally responsible for my actions because I r ...[text shortened]... lly could have done differently. Free in the sense that I cannot say "nature made me do this".
    Let's explore this a bit.

    You see a child you don't know drowning in a lake. You can swim and,
    as a healthy adult, the lake doesn't pose any drowning danger to you.
    You are almost entirely certain that you would be able to reach the child
    in time to save it, and you note that the only other person around is what
    you suppose is the child's elderly grandmother, who you determine would
    be physically unable to save the child and would likely drown herself if she
    were to try.

    I'm going to take for granted that you would elect to dive in and strive to
    save the child. (If I am wrong, please let me know.)

    I'm going to further guess that you would always elect to dive in and
    strive to save the child. (Again, if I am wrong, please let you know.)

    My question is:

    What compels you to choose in this fashion? In only a few sentences, can
    you explain why you would choose the option to save the child rather
    than let it drown?

    Nemesio
  4. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 May '07 19:332 edits
    I think my views are much more consistent with holding someone morally responsible for their actions than your views as you have so far failed to articulate where you decision comes from.WHITEY


    And how in your system does one hold men accountable? One can easily argue that all actions are determined by nature or the great cosmic dice in the sky! You can only hold a man accountable if you say he had a definite free choice between A and B and that choice was not inevitable AND that that choice was not down to the cosmic dice.

    Only with free will can one say "he really could have chosen B not A but he chose A out of his own volition NOT because he was determined by natural law and NOT because his actions were the result of randomness. Only with FW can one say "he not only knew what he was doing was wrong he also could have not done it and chosen through his own will not to do it. His choice was not attributable to anything else . He did it. He is responsible NOT nature or the dice but him. His decisions came from him and him only"

    Now holding men morally responsible for their actions is FW's speciality . Your world view cannot stand up to mine in this area so if you want to step into the hornets nest feel free.

    "1.2 Moral Responsibility
    A person who is a morally responsible agent is not merely a person who is able to do moral right or wrong. Beyond this, she is accountable for her morally significant conduct. Hence, she is, when fitting, an apt target of moral praise or blame, as well as reward or punishment. Free will is understood as a necessary condition of moral responsibility since it would seem unreasonable to say of a person that she deserves blame and punishment for her conduct if it turned out that she was not at any point in time in control of it. (Similar things can be said about praise and reward.) It is primarily, though not exclusively, because of the intimate connection between free will and moral responsibility that the free will problem is seen as an important one.[3]

    1.3 Determinism
    A standard characterization of determinism states that every event is causally necessitated by antecedent events.[4] Within this essay, we shall define determinism as the metaphysical thesis that the facts of the past, in conjunction with the laws of nature, entail every truth about the future. According to this characterization, if determinism is true, then, given the actual past, and holding fixed the laws of nature, only one future is possible at any moment in time. Notice that an implication of determinism as it applies to a person's conduct is that, if determinism is true, there are (causal) conditions for that person's actions located in the remote past, prior to her birth, that are sufficient for each of her actions."

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/
  5. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 May '07 19:38
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Let's explore this a bit.

    You see a child you don't know drowning in a lake. You can swim and,
    as a healthy adult, the lake doesn't pose any drowning danger to you.
    You are almost entirely certain that you would be able to reach the child
    in time to save it, and you note that the only other person around is what
    you suppose is the child's elderly g ...[text shortened]... you would choose the option to save the child rather
    than let it drown?

    Nemesio
    You see a child you don't know drowning in a lake. You can swim and,
    as a healthy adult, the lake doesn't pose any drowning danger to you.
    You are almost entirely certain that you would be able to reach the child
    in time to save it, and you note that the only other person around is what
    you suppose is the child's elderly grandmother, who you determine would
    be physically unable to save the child and would likely drown herself if she
    were to try.

    I'm going to take for granted that you would elect to dive in and strive to
    save the child. (If I am wrong, please let me know.)

    I'm going to further guess that you would always elect to dive in and
    strive to save the child. (Again, if I am wrong, please let you know.)

    My question is:

    What compels you to choose in this fashion? In only a few sentences, can
    you explain why you would choose the option to save the child rather
    than let it drown?

    Nemesio


    ....I would choose to save the child in such a situation I would be compelled to save the child by my conscience (probably influenced by evolutionary drives to preserve the young) as I would not be able to live with the guilt of not doing so.
  6. Standard memberNemesio
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    11 May '07 20:17
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    ....I would choose to save the child in such a situation I would be compelled to save the child by my conscience (probably influenced by evolutionary drives to preserve the young) as I would not be able to live with the guilt of not doing so.
    My answer would be more or less the same.

    And, to be clear, in a few sentences what precisely is your 'conscience?'

    Nemesio
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    11 May '07 20:311 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    ....I would choose to save the child in such a situation I would be compelled to save the child by my conscience (probably influenced by evolutionary drives to preserve the young) as I would not be able to live with the guilt of not doing so.
    Sounds like your choice is caused and, in fact, you have no choice.

    --- Penguin
  8. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 May '07 20:32
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    My answer would be more or less the same.

    And, to be clear, in a few sentences what precisely is your 'conscience?'

    Nemesio
    You don't know what a conscience is?

    BTW- It's my turn for a question.

    Do you hold men morally accountable for their actions in any way? If so how do you intellectually justify such a stance (assuming you believe that our actions are either random or determined)?
  9. Standard memberknightmeister
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    11 May '07 20:35
    Originally posted by Penguin
    Sounds like your choice is caused and, in fact, you have no choice.

    --- Penguin
    Yes , in that scenario it would be although it is possible to go against ones conscience (eg psychopathic behaviour) . I do not argue that all decisions are free . The important area that we are free in is the ability to choose God or not choose him and all that follows on from this choice.
  10. Standard memberNemesio
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    11 May '07 20:40
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Yes , in that scenario it would be although it is possible to go against ones conscience (eg psychopathic behaviour) . I do not argue that all decisions are free . The important area that we are free in is the ability to choose God or not choose him and all that follows on from this choice.
    Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that your choice to save the child
    is not free?

    This is an absolutely critical question.

    Nemesio
  11. Donationbbarr
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    11 May '07 20:481 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that your choice to save the child
    is not free?

    This is an absolutely critical question.

    Nemesio
    Welcome to the merry-go-round.
  12. Standard memberNemesio
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    11 May '07 21:05
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Welcome to the merry-go-round.
    I'm trying a different tack here. I'm holding a cautious hope that it might
    yield fruit.

    Nemesio
  13. Standard memberknightmeister
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    12 May '07 08:08
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that your choice to save the child
    is not free?

    This is an absolutely critical question.

    Nemesio
    Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that your choice to save the child
    is not free?

    This is an absolutely critical question.

    Nemesio

    Yes , this is possible. I do not believe that we necessarily always exclusively have free will all the time. We are still subject to determinism on many occasions but on many other occasions we are able to "override" determinism and make free choices. Determinsm obviously exists , but to me not exclusively.
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    12 May '07 08:113 edits
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I'm trying a different tack here. I'm holding a cautious hope that it might
    yield fruit.

    Nemesio
    If you drop the patronising tone it might yield fruit. Don't assume that you won't also be challenged yourself. Just because I have not swallowed huge numbers of philosophy books doesn't mean I haven't thought about this subject very deeply. Are we debating as equals or are you going to be obsessed with "educating" me?

    I appreciate my tone is somewhat abrasive sometimes but I take the emperor's new clothes approach to these things. If he ain't got no clothes on then I will be the little boy who shouts it out. However , I will try and be more respectful of yours and barrs reading background.

    So I will try to answer your questions but you could try answering mine as well. If you believe in only randomness and determinism , I want to know how you intellectually justify holding men accountable for their actions or saying they have "free will". You see, I still think compatabilism is a crock , it just doesn't add up to me logically and all the dressing up with fancy philosobabble just makes me more suspicious of it.

    So let's cut the BS and get to the point. How can I really be free if all my actions are caused and there is only one outcome possible? Even if you make other outcomes possible through randomness , it's still only pot luck we are talking about not free will.
  15. Standard memberknightmeister
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    12 May '07 08:23
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Welcome to the merry-go-round.
    Hi barr, I 'm sorry you felt you had to leave our last thread. Do you see yourself as trying to educate me , or are you up to being challenged yourself?
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