Re: Free Will not an illusion..

From: fudley (
Date: Sun Dec 25 2005 - 00:20:12 MST

On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 "Thomas Buckner"

> Most people, in discussing free will, assume
> it's boolean: either you have 'it' or you don't.

I assume that everything, absolutely everything happens because of cause
and effect OR it doesnít happen because of cause and effect. And if it
doesnít there is a simple word to describe it, random.

> I prefer to think about "degrees of freedom"

A tiny particle being bounced around by random Brownian motion has lots
of freedom, it moves in lots of directions but there is not much point
to it.

> So think of that as a metaphor for the possible
> choices and mental states a given entity can
> have.

When I make a choice people ask me why I chose what I did, what were my
reasons, what CAUSED me to do that. If I tell them I had no reason at
all for making that choice people tend to think Iím a bit dim.

> They have no mental states and only behave
> according to what physics and chemistry
> make them do.

Are you saying biology violates the laws of physics and chemistry?
Sounds like a step back to medieval times.

> Are we therefore to say that a rat has zero free will?

No. Like us it takes the rat 5 minutes to compute what it will do 5
minutes from now, like us it is saying to himself ďI donít know what
Iíll do, I havenít decided yetĒ.

> that's the problem with denying free will
> entirely; you're telling people they have
> no feelings, no inner lives no choice.

Huh? How do you figure that? All the time we tell our inner self ďI
havenít decided which choice to make yet, I want to be happy and I donít
know if A or B will make me happier, Iíll have to think about it, Iíll
have to compute itĒ.

John K Clark

-- - mmm... Fastmail...

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:54 MDT