The virtue of excellence
This is pretty simple for me.If all we have is the material world, there is no such thing as choice. You make "choices" based on your brain chemistry at a given point in time. Everything else is an illusion. If there is no choice then even what we discuss now is irrelevant.If there is more then the material world, if there is some soul or God or what have you that allows you to overcome your brain chemistry at any given time and make actual real choices then we've got religion. In some way, in some form.So choose one:1) Choice and religion (spirituality, whatever).2) No choice and aethism.If you choose #1, well now you can do whatever you want. Pick some first principles based on your intuition and go with them. Try to be logically consistant based on those first principles as much as is possible.If you choose #2 descend into nihilism, because without choice nothing matters.
Anon,A. My position, the compatibilist position, is that you're confusing two unrelated notions of choice. 1. Could I have acted differently2. Was it me who made the choice.Those are unrelated questions. You are, like most people, gluing them together, and answering them together.B. Your belief doesn't impact reality much unless you're a solipsist, or crystal-healer. Either things are or they are not, and it has nothing to do with your belief structure. From my vantage point, it looks as if you merged questions 1 and 2...didn't like the answer that you found, and so went looking for something that makes even less sense, in order to shield you from your mixup in those questions. C. I choose choice (internal decision), semi-determinism (4D timespace and quantum randomness??) and atheism. And it works, because I'm not confused into thinking that question 1 + 2 are linked. D. We are human animals...we operate under choice whether we consciously believe it or not. Consciousness is the press-secretary, not the module in charge. No observed choice is outside our capabilities.
A) They seem plenty related.B) See A. There is no difference between #1 and #2.C) Semi-determinism, now who's talking "butchering language". Don't throw quantum randomness at me and call it choice. If it's random, it is by definition not choice. Choice implies will.D) I believe humans are more then animals. But we are going in circles now.You have not presented evidence that #1 and #2 are different. Everything is a non-starter after that. My admittadely brief research into this idea of compaitablism has provided no answers so far, I find the objections to it unanswered and the objectors complain of the same things I do.
Anon,You haven't presented any evidence that they are the same. And I don't see any similarity whatsoever. Are we at an impasse? Quantum randomness of course isn't choice...
They seem the same by definition. If you'll allow an analogy.A) Water is wet.B) Present evidence to prove this assertion.A) I present the statement itself.In this case I'm A and your B. If you have no concept of free will as I understand it, I'm unsure how using an ever widening circle of synonyms for the concept will change things. Either this concept exists in your mind, or it doesn't. I'd be willing to grant its a communication problem, but if it were that simple I don't see how you could be making the statements your making if your concept is the same and you just don't have the words.
Anon,Free will is very simple. It's the experience that I (stuff in me) make(s) a choice, as opposed to having the choice made external to me.Very simple, and very obviously correct. And this is what free will is called. Does stuff outside you determine your choice or not. No it doesn't. Full stop. Water is wet.The question of whether the stuff inside me could have made a different decision is entirely unrelated. This question is the question of determinism. 2) Your "I'm A, you're B" line shows either a lack of respect or a lack of comprehension, especially at the meta-level. In real life lots of the time, tow different people find two opposed conclusions thoroughly obvious...and it's very human, but epistemologically equivalent to tooth-fairy worship to then conclude that the other guy is asserting water isn't wet.
If a ball is rolling at 3m/s with no friction, it will continue rolling at 3m/s. It can't do anything else. It can't choose anything. It simply is.The atoms in your body are just a similair bunch of balls operating on predetermined paths based on physical laws. They don't choose anything. If we assume there is nothing but the material world and it's physical laws, there is no choice involved at any point.Choice can only exist if you have the ability to overcome those physical laws. If you can't, no choice. The ability to overcome those laws can only come from outside the physical world.You might remark that we have no observable scientific evidence of any such force that overcomes physical laws. Fair enough. That's what the whole faith thing is about. On a day to day basis I'm not walking around looking for miracles or basing my decisions on it, but I have to believe it's possible. If not, then there is no choice.
You have now explained determinism. We both agree that balls roll. That's lovely. Has nothing to do with the question of choice. Choice is the question of whether "I" (the internals of me) make the decision about what to do, or whether that decision is imposed externally. It is highly appropriate to say that even though the computer program is nominally deterministic, that the software chooses between options. Because the decision point is internal to the software. Apply the same understanding of choice...and the question of choice (Do "I" decide) and the question of determinism (is what happens foreordained) are unrelated questions.
"I" in your narrative is just a collection of atoms. Atoms don't make "choices", they just exist.I'm talking about the difference between the "soul" and matter. Matter can't make a choice. A collection of matter is not a person. Only a soul can make a choice.
Anon,You are confusing what the word choice means. Do programs choose? I say pretty clearly yes...in normal English.
Programs don't choose. Does itunes choose to play my songs? No. If the program is written such that input X leads to action Y it can't "choose" not to do Y.You're right about circles though. This is a concept of faith. If you can't experiece faith it can't be explained by referencing material things.
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