Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
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06-01-2014, 03:28 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(06-01-2014 02:03 AM)Physb Wrote:  I haven't read all the post in this thread. I'll still have a go at is.

That exact same example was used early on in this thread.

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06-01-2014, 09:23 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(05-01-2014 08:01 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(05-01-2014 06:55 AM)Seldon Wrote:  I know I arrived a little late to the party here but this is a topic that I am interested in, so I am hoping that someone can point me in the direction of further development.

Start with Daniel Dennett's two books on the subject:

Freedom Evolves

Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting

Also, search YT for Dennett's interviews and lectures on the topic.

I have ordered myself a copy of Dennett’s Freedom Evolves. So I am gonna reserve my full response until I have read up on it properly and got a few different bits of literature down my neck, but for now I have some thoughts and questions after watching some of his lectures… Firstly, regarding Dennet’s example of how free will could be displayed by someone’s reaction to having a brick thrown at their head; Dennet explains that the subject would naturally avoid the brick in order to avoid harm, then goes on to explain that alternatively the subject may choose to take the brick to the head in pursuit of compensation or whatever and that this would be an example of free will. My issue with this is that the subject’s choice to be hit by the brick would still be based on a situation and experiences that are personal to that individual (Dennett mentions the possibility of financial hardship etc) and therefore is a result of that person’s past experience in relation to their environment, ergo deterministic and not an example of free will. Also, Dennet’s experiment with chess playing computers did not quite satisfy me either. As each program was created and maintained by its own development team in my opinion all that the experiment proved was that whilst both programs were very similar, one program was simply more competent than the other. Though he did also reference Austin’s Putt and this made me wonder if that was the overall point… Is Dennett stating that choices are the result of deterministic causality but free will is displayed in the form of the most competent option available despite still being subject to the environmental conditions of any given moment (which I still don’t think is free will) or have I completely missed the point and deserve a thorough spanking? lol... *puts damp towel on head*
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06-01-2014, 12:29 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(06-01-2014 09:23 AM)Seldon Wrote:  
(05-01-2014 08:01 PM)Chippy Wrote:  Start with Daniel Dennett's two books on the subject:

Freedom Evolves

Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting

Also, search YT for Dennett's interviews and lectures on the topic.

I have ordered myself a copy of Dennett’s Freedom Evolves. So I am gonna reserve my full response until I have read up on it properly and got a few different bits of literature down my neck, but for now I have some thoughts and questions after watching some of his lectures… Firstly, regarding Dennet’s example of how free will could be displayed by someone’s reaction to having a brick thrown at their head; Dennet explains that the subject would naturally avoid the brick in order to avoid harm, then goes on to explain that alternatively the subject may choose to take the brick to the head in pursuit of compensation or whatever and that this would be an example of free will. ...

If you are keen to read. The following article had a profound impact on my outlook on the world.
Natural Law and Natural Rights
Prior to reading this, I didn't believe in free will (still don't), but this article solidified my understanding that moral beliefs are merely unnecessary beliefs.
The article doesn't directly approach the concept of morals, but it does directly focus on why people behave the way people do. Why do people avoid a brick thrown at them, why a third party observer may try to stop a person from throwing bricks at other people? Why government isn't the highest authority regarding the rules we want on society.
The article states that Natural Law is the concept that "Humans" value certain things and are willing to act violently in order to get them. My interpretation is that humans (like all animals) want to survive, and being social animals we want to live in a society that provides rules to enhance our ability to survive.
So to me "free will" is illusionary and irrelevant. The person avoids the brick because they want to survive. Or they let the brick hit them because they need the compensation in order to survive.
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