Making a decision -- is this an indicator of consciousness?

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And I didn't invent that thought experiment, it's a classic one!

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

I sigh because I think no-one knows anything about free will and everyone should shut up right now.

But in order to deem that "no one knows anything" about free will, you would have to know something about it to make such a judgement.

Tuomas, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure I've read about these experiments too, I don't think Mordy made them up...?

Tuomas, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp thx for new display name

Touche Gödel (ledge), Friday, 13 April 2012 13:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean, read about them in a scientific journal, not on ILX.

Tuomas, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

According to some models of Chassidic philosophy, free will and divine omniscience are compatible because of panantheism. God is the sum total of nature/reality/everything, so the choices you are freely making are actually being freely made by God. That is how He is able to both know everything that is going to happen, and you are able to choose freely. You are God who is freely choosing the things that are going to happen.

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

What if we put electrodes in God's brain and make him do things

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 13 April 2012 13:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

But if God is free to choose, he wouldn't know beforehand what's going to happen, would he?

Tuomas, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean, that's just transferring the paradox of "omniscience vs. free will" from the human level to God itself, but the paradox is still the same.

Tuomas, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Wow so not only is god one of us after all we are one of him, makes u think

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Friday, 13 April 2012 13:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Why not? The paradox of free will and omniscience is that we are limited beings, so how can we reconcile our ability to choose in finitude with God's ability to know in infinitude. But if God is choosing and knowing, both exist in infinitude - also God can sustain paradoxes (my most fave of get out of jail free cards - great for answering 'Can God create a rock He can't lift?' with, 'Yes, and then He can lift it.')

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 13:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

The paradox is that if you know everything that's going to happen beforehand, then you can't exercise free will: either you always do what knew you were gonna do, which isn't free will then, but if you do something you didn't foresee instead, then you're not omniscient. And saying "God can sustain paradoxes" isn't a way to solve it, it's cheating.

Tuomas, Friday, 13 April 2012 14:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

Why is that cheating? Infinitude contains paradoxes. It's not cheating, it's logical.

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 14:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Like, you're nitpicking on the one piece of that argument that is theology 101.

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 14:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

it certainly isn't logic 101

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 13 April 2012 14:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Infinitude contains paradoxes.

Why? I'd say infinitufe contains everything that's possible, but nothing that's impossible.

Tuomas, Friday, 13 April 2012 14:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's not new, though. the chassidic innovation re panantheism is at least 19th century new. the reconciliation of free will + omniscience by appealing to infinitude is much older. xp

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 14:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Why? I'd say infinitufe contains everything that's possible, but nothing that's impossible.

Then it's finite.

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 14:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

what is 'impossible'?

what is an 'infinitude'?

is the set of natural numbers finite or does it contain anything impossible?

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

essentially this is the break between pantheism + panentheism. if God only exists in the way He inhabits reality/nature/the world, then Tuomas is right and He is only infinite to the extent that He encompasses all which is possible, but not which isn't. but if He exists within reality and above it, then He also encompasses all that is impossible as well - ie every counter-factual, every paradox, every impossibility, bc laws of reason, logic, time, etc are all within reality, which He transcends.

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Why? I'd say infinitufe contains everything that's possible, but nothing that's impossible.

Then it's finite.

― Mordy, Friday, April 13, 2012 3:58 PM (6 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

That isn't true, though. Infinity as a concept is not meant to encompass things that aren't possible, it's just meant to be 'infinitely large'. (I will resist the temptation to talk about the differing sizes of infinities here.)

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

For example, saying things exist on a possible world never encompasses logical impossibilities. It is in fact mostly used to demonstrate the difference between necessary and contingent properties of the universe.

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, obviously that depends on the system you're interacting with. this is also linked to apophatic theology, also, as i understand it, negative dialectics

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

LOCK THREAD LOCK THREAD

markers, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

thomp, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

don't you guys have a WS thread to post on?

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Um, what just happened here?

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

ppl decided to be dicks for no particular reason

an independent online phenomenon (DJP), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

the ilx hivemind started weeping

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

phil d. and ledge's pictures aren't showing up for me, what are they

thomp, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

i was just admiring mordy's argument destroying slam-dunk of monstrous proportions

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm never going to disapprove of pictures of Thom Yorke's tits in any setting, at all ever, but, um. Poor Grandpoint Genie.

Popcorn Supergay Receiver (Masonic Boom), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think maybe u misunderstood the conversation? no one, including me, is writing slam-dunk arguments of monstrous proportions. i don't have any stake in any of these arguments except the extent to which i think they're interesting and worth thinking about. i certainly don't have any slam-dunk proof that God exists above nature, within nature, or at all. xp

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

issue kinda came up in this thread too: T|S One Box or Two Boxes (Newcomb's Paradox)

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I was wanting to ask Mordy about his interpretation of negative dialectics, but I'm somewhat afraid we'll just get image bombed into oblivion.

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

go ahead, i'll quit being a dick. and commenting on this thread at all prob.

Touché Gödel (ledge), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

"either you always do what knew you were gonna do, which isn't free will then"

i don't think this is even true on a human level -- lots of people know that they want to be a doctor or a lobbyist well before they go down the path to become one.

anyways free will seems more easily grasped on a legal liability level than on a philosophical one.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

That's not knowing, that's making a decision and then following through on it.

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp I guess I mean here that the nonidentical (das Nichtidentische) between reason + reality, or subject/object, or whatever is non-accessible. we can only have access to false identifications, which is sorta where i link it to apophatism: that we can only know God through the ways in which we don't know Him. adorno actually talks a little about free will explicitly in ND too...

To deny free will outright means to reduce men unreservedly to the normal merchandise form of their labor in full-fledged capitalsim. Equally wrong is aprioristic determinism, the doctrone of free will which in the middle of the merchandise society would abstract from that society. The individual himself forms a moment of the merchandise society; the pure spontaneity that is attributed to him is the spontaneity which society expropriates. All that the subject needs to do to be lost is to pose an inescapable alternative: the will is free, or is it unfree.

Each drastic thesis is false. In their inmost core, the theses of determinism and of freedom coincide. Both proclaim identity. The reduction to pure spontaneity applies to the empirical subjects the very same law which as an expanded causal category becomes determinism. Perhaps, free men would be freed from the will also; surely it is only in a free society that the individuals would be free...

so it's a false dichotomy for him.

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

"The antinomy between the determination of the individual and the social responsibility that contradicts this determination is not due to a misuse of concepts. It is a reality, the moral indication that the universal and the particular are unreconciled."

Then he says some crazy stuff about Hitler.

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

The whole thing is worth reading imho

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

making a decision and following through is "knowing" as far as we have capacity to know anything/do anything.
for example, if a CEO buys up shares of his company because he's planning to release an awesome product and he's going to follow through on that plan, I think that would be a good case for insider trading, based on insider knowledge.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh, I've read ND, I was just interested in how you connected your two thoughts. Still not entirely sure how you're linking it to apophatism, mind.

And yeah, so it sounds like Adorno is a compatibilist. About right, really.

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost it's not omniscience, though, is it. Which is the problem with the God paradox that was being discussed...

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

if you're omniscient, that just makes the case of insider trading even stronger! the idea that free will is contingent on imperfections in knowledge isn't consistent with the way we hold entities responsible for things.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, both boil down to examples of knowing things through negative knowledge. does that make more sense? xp

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 15:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

Philip, you would be culpable for the intent, yes. But the point is that with knowledge so perfect as to be foresight, then you are trapped - if you do the action, then you are following something that is predestined, if you don't, then you don't have perfect knowledge. (NB: I'm not necessarily saying that the paradox is pointing us in the right direction, I just don't think your rebuttal is sound enough.)

Mordy, yes, that makes sense in that way, but I think ultimately they're saying different things. Might have to go and re-read it, though, my argument isn't cohering in my brain enough on this front.

emil.y, Friday, 13 April 2012 16:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

i wondered on watching a dog climb a wall to walk on without being prompted by its owner to what extent an animal had free will or not. Seemed to have more awareness of its surroundings than I'd have assumed at the time.
For a dog at least, might have expected it of a cat.

Could really do with one of those right now, have noticed that plastic muesli bags are getting holes in them, So am thinking there may be other types of mammal in this place.

Stevolende, Friday, 13 April 2012 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

if you're omniscient, knowledge is will is power. all three things tend to converge the more you have of any. there's no paradox, at least if you want to put God on trial for negligence/breach of contract.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 13 April 2012 16:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

so that's how God got so omniwealthy. by doing all that omninsider trading

Mordy, Friday, 13 April 2012 16:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

it worked for bill murray in groundhog's day

Philip Nunez, Friday, 13 April 2012 16:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

classic philosophical example on decision-making is probably Buridan's ass - if an ass is hungry and there are two equidistant bales of hay, what reason is there for it not getting caught in decisional equilibrium and just starving instead of choosing? Counterargument is that donkeys don't tend to die while standing between two bales of hay, counterargument to that is that there would always be factors which mean that this simple empirical situation is never really a state of precisely equal choices - Spinoza is p funny on this in that he just str8 up says ya, if an ass (or a human, equally lacking in free will as we are) were put in this situation then indeed, it would just die, but maybe the better and more adequate way to think of it in human terms is where we end up going crazy or killing ourselves because of whatever impossible bind of equally valid decisions we've found ourselves in.

michael nyman cat (Merdeyeux), Friday, 13 April 2012 16:34 (2 years ago) Permalink


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