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Free Will
http://zoo.nightstar.net/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=10696
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Author:  Kodiak Claw [ Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Free Will

Thoughts? Opinions? All encompasing blanket statemnets?

I've got my own thoughts on the matter but I'm still working on wording them.

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:19 am ]
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Who's Will and why is he imprisoned?

Author:  Kerlyssa [ Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:25 am ]
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Either it exists, and that's cool, or it doesn't exist, and so doesn't matter. :)

Author:  Locus Cosecant [ Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:04 am ]
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Kerlyssa wrote:
Either it exists, and that's cool, or it doesn't exist, and so doesn't matter. :)


Which means that, for all intents and purposes, we can consider its existence proven.

Next Topic!

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:51 pm ]
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Locus Cosecant wrote:
Kerlyssa wrote:
Either it exists, and that's cool, or it doesn't exist, and so doesn't matter. :)


Which means that, for all intents and purposes, we can consider its existence proven.

Next Topic!


I think your train of logic just derailed and killed a bus full of orphans, nuns, and puppies.

Author:  The General [ Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:35 pm ]
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So no loss there.

Author:  sun tzu [ Wed Jan 05, 2005 1:35 pm ]
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I say it exists. I mean, sure, all our thoughts are determined by our chemical brain process...But it doesn't mean we have no free will; it means we are our chemical brain process. :)

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:12 pm ]
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Well, what is free will anyway?

Author:  Gerald [ Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:21 pm ]
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jeremiahsmith wrote:
Well, what is free will anyway?


A: The ability to choose.

Q: What is the ability to choose?
A: Free will.

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:37 pm ]
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Gerald wrote:
A: The ability to choose.


Computers can make choices. Do they have free will?

Author:  Pronto [ Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:42 pm ]
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jeremiahsmith wrote:
Gerald wrote:
A: The ability to choose.


Computers can make choices. Do they have free will?


/me chortles and watches as Gerald gets lead by the nose. :)

Author:  sun tzu [ Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:31 pm ]
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jeremiahsmith wrote:
Gerald wrote:
A: The ability to choose.


Computers can make choices. Do they have free will?


Computers, AFAIK, don't have a mind; they aren't sentient. I'd define free will as the ability of a sentient being to make a decision by itself.
I think.

Author:  Gerald [ Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:52 pm ]
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Pronto wrote:
jeremiahsmith wrote:
Gerald wrote:
A: The ability to choose.


Computers can make choices. Do they have free will?


/me chortles and watches as Gerald gets lead by the nose. :)


/me chuckles at Pronto not knowing a tongue-in-cheek answer when he sees one.

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:29 pm ]
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sun tzu wrote:
Computers, AFAIK, don't have a mind; they aren't sentient. I'd define free will as the ability of a sentient being to make a decision by itself.


Computers make decisions by themselves. Some of these decisions are hardwired, while others are brought about by programming. People make decisions by themselves. Some of these decisions are hardwired instincts, while others are brought about by social interaction.

Author:  Kodiak Claw [ Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:05 am ]
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Once again Gerald comes through. Okay what I wanted to talk about was that I don't think that free will and determinism are incompatable. There may not have been any other decision you might have made. But that doesn't mean it wasn't you making the decision. If you had made a different decision you wouldn't have been you. That made no sense, I'll try again later.

Author:  sun tzu [ Sat Jan 08, 2005 9:11 am ]
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Kodiak Claw wrote:
Once again Gerald comes through. Okay what I wanted to talk about was that I don't think that free will and determinism are incompatable. There may not have been any other decision you might have made. But that doesn't mean it wasn't you making the decision. If you had made a different decision you wouldn't have been you. That made no sense, I'll try again later.


I thought it made perfect sense. It's also pretty much my own opinion.

Author:  Gerald [ Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:20 am ]
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My opinion? Objectively, I think Free Will is a concept that people cling to because it makes them feel better to believe in it. Most explanations towards what it is are circular, or based on some sort of emotional or personal responce.

Now, on the other hand, I don't think we're set-up in such a way that we can accept a view that there is no choice. Fro example, if you remove the concept of free-will from the picture, you potentially take away responsibility and all concepts of morality. These reasons are not proper refutations of denying the existence of free-will; they are just more reasons why people want to believe in it. It's a comforting illusion.

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Sat Jan 08, 2005 6:32 pm ]
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Gerald wrote:
For example, if you remove the concept of free-will from the picture, you potentially take away responsibility and all concepts of morality.


I tend to think of "responsibility", in the deterministic world, to mean how much the part of the brain that handles most upper-level decision-making (the frontal lobe, if I recall) was influenced by external factors, but not being a philosopher I really don't know what the prevailing opinion on the matter is.

Author:  Kerlyssa [ Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:09 am ]
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I don't see why it would take away responsibility and morality. Morality isn't neccessarily linked to free will; an action can be evil regardless of the person's choice in the matter. It might not be their fault (at least not in an american court of law =) but it would still be evil to sell drugs to children even if you were doing so because someone brainwashed you or told you it was candy.

As for responsibility, it only takes that away if you assumed that fated actions are for the good, ie God's Plan. In which case it would be God's responsibility. If you instead think that people are fated to do things because, say, we are all collections of chemicals operating strictly within natural law, why would that alter responsibility? Your chemicals committed a crime, the police's chemicals catch you, the judge's chemicals sentence you. Your action is still wrong (is a moral absolutist, btw). If the first cause of your action is because you are innately evil, or because your chemicals can only react in one way and thus you only have one possible action, so what? Everyone operates under the same limitations.

My beef with with the 'no responsibility' of the free will argument is that the scenario always mentioned is a 'get out of jail free card'. Like moral relativism, it's used as an excuse not to interfere with the actions of people considered to be in the wrong. If our actions are fated, why nota ct as though there is free will? It's not like belief in fate has produced any great results.

BTW, what is responsibility to your mind?


*reread above post* Ahh...a good muddle. *sends* Worst that can happen is a thread kill, after all, and that happens with or without my help.

Author:  gwalla [ Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:54 pm ]
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Gerald wrote:
jeremiahsmith wrote:
Well, what is free will anyway?


A: The ability to choose.

Q: What is the ability to choose?
A: Free will.


Circular reasoning, see: Reasoning, circular

Reasoning, circular, see: Circular reasoning

Author:  Gerald [ Wed Feb 09, 2005 11:44 am ]
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re: morality and responsibility

Basically, if there's no free will, then we're all just a series of physical and chemical reactions.

Now, let's say one series of reactions (which we will call "Bob") reacts in such a way and reacts causing an effect that alters (a type of alteration which in layman's terms is "killing") another series of reacions (this one called "Al") .

When looked at as just chemicals reacting in a way prescribed by natural laws, how is killing any different than any other natural occurance?

As far as the talks of "you doing the action", what are you exactly? A series of physical and chemical reactions. What formed your personality? More chemical and physical reactions. What formed the "guidelines and values" that make you "decide"? Still just chemical and physical reactions.

Author:  sun tzu [ Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:56 pm ]
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Gerald wrote:
re: morality and responsibility

Basically, if there's no free will, then we're all just a series of physical and chemical reactions.

Now, let's say one series of reactions (which we will call "Bob") reacts in such a way and reacts causing an effect that alters (a type of alteration which in layman's terms is "killing") another series of reacions (this one called "Al") .

When looked at as just chemicals reacting in a way prescribed by natural laws, how is killing any different than any other natural occurance?

As far as the talks of "you doing the action", what are you exactly? A series of physical and chemical reactions. What formed your personality? More chemical and physical reactions. What formed the "guidelines and values" that make you "decide"? Still just chemical and physical reactions.


Um...Just because we have free will, it doesn't mean we're not just a series of physical and chemical reactions.
I've explained my views on the matter earlier in this thread.

Author:  Gerald [ Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:08 pm ]
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sun tzu wrote:
Gerald wrote:
re: morality and responsibility

Basically, if there's no free will, then we're all just a series of physical and chemical reactions.

Now, let's say one series of reactions (which we will call "Bob") reacts in such a way and reacts causing an effect that alters (a type of alteration which in layman's terms is "killing") another series of reacions (this one called "Al") .

When looked at as just chemicals reacting in a way prescribed by natural laws, how is killing any different than any other natural occurance?

As far as the talks of "you doing the action", what are you exactly? A series of physical and chemical reactions. What formed your personality? More chemical and physical reactions. What formed the "guidelines and values" that make you "decide"? Still just chemical and physical reactions.


Um...Just because we have free will, it doesn't mean we're not just a series of physical and chemical reactions.
I've explained my views on the matter earlier in this thread.


Yeah, but you didn't really define free will. Just saying we have free will that makes us, us is about as logical as saying we have a soul.

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Gerald wrote:
Basically, if there's no free will, then we're all just a series of physical and chemical reactions.


We are that anyway, unless you're supposing that the workings of the brain manage to defy the laws of physics.

Quote:
When looked at as just chemicals reacting in a way prescribed by natural laws, how is killing any different than any other natural occurance?


Because the natural reaction called "Al" is aware of its own existence, and does not want to be altered by "Bob". Iron doesn't mind if it combines with oxygen, and baking soda doesn't mind if it combines with vinegar, but "Al" does mind if it combines with "knife in the eye".

If you want to boil morality and responsibility down to "physical processes", then they're the methods of interaction agreed upon by societies of self-aware natural reactions who would like their period of self-awareness to remain as happy and as long as possible.

Author:  Gerald [ Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:38 pm ]
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jeremiahsmith wrote:
Because the natural reaction called "Al" is aware of its own existence, and does not want to be altered by "Bob". Iron doesn't mind if it combines with oxygen, and baking soda doesn't mind if it combines with vinegar, but "Al" does mind if it combines with "knife in the eye".

If you want to boil morality and responsibility down to "physical processes", then they're the methods of interaction agreed upon by societies of self-aware natural reactions who would like their period of self-awareness to remain as happy and as long as possible.


But what does it mean to be "aware of its existence"? What does it mean to "mind"? What are these "methods of interaction" except just more bi-products of the said physical processes?

Author:  Anh Minh [ Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:40 pm ]
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So suppose murder doesn't matter because of quantum. And more basic chemistry.

Then punition for said murder doesn't matter either, so we might as well punish murderers since it, in general, makes us feel better. Or not.

Insofar as decision making goes, assuming we can't, in fact, make decisions, is pretty useless. And if it's not going to help with decisions, who cares what we believe?

Author:  fielmousez [ Tue May 24, 2005 1:06 pm ]
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we should punish murderers to prevent other lives from being lost whether or not free-will exists.

I

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