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Author Topic:   Free will vs Omniscience
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 198 of 1444 (763345)
07-23-2015 7:46 PM
Reply to: Message 194 by jar
07-23-2015 4:36 PM


Re: Free Will & A God Who Is Wrong At Times
I never graded such things but if you do, that's fine.
Oh don't be daft, it doesn't take any kind of grading to realize that some accomplishments are greater than others.
I remembered to put the toilet seat back down before I left for work this morning!
Oh, oh yeah, I also got a nice salary increase for a promotion that I got at work today.

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 Message 194 by jar, posted 07-23-2015 4:36 PM jar has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 205 of 1444 (763407)
07-24-2015 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 203 by ringo
07-24-2015 12:00 PM


Re: Free Will & A God Who Is Wrong At Times
From your employer's point of view, showing up for work is probably more important than your degree. He lost interest in that right after he decided to hired you.
What does that have to do with what I am proud of?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by ringo, posted 07-24-2015 12:00 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 250 of 1444 (765403)
07-28-2015 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by Faith
07-28-2015 1:10 PM


Re: time and eternity
salvation by grace through faith
Grace isn't grace when there's a caveat.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by Faith, posted 07-28-2015 1:10 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by Faith, posted 07-28-2015 3:48 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 252 of 1444 (765405)
07-28-2015 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 251 by Faith
07-28-2015 3:48 PM


Re: time and eternity
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 251 by Faith, posted 07-28-2015 3:48 PM Faith has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 390 of 1444 (782232)
04-21-2016 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 389 by Phat
04-20-2016 8:14 PM


Re: Omnipotence trumps all
Cat Sci writes:
If God exists and is omnipotent then he is capable of anything, by definition. He is even capable of that which is logically impossible. He is even capable of allowing free will to coexist with his omniscience.
If you say that he is not capable of even one thing, us having free will while he is omniscient, then he isn't omnipotent but something very close to it although still not it. So, if God is omnipotent then the coexistence of our free will and his omniscience has to be at least possible.
This was written ten years ago, Cat. Do you still believe it?
I'm not sure if "believe it" is the right phrase... It's a simple matter of what the words mean, so yeah, I still think I'm correct, but its not something that carries any weight with me, or anything that I really care about enough to have a belief in.
I don't find omnipotence to be a very useful concept, and it is pretty ridiculous in itself. As my subtitle says, it can be used to trump anything and everything.
Could omnipotence create a rock so heavy that it couldn't lift it? Well sure, it can do anything. It could create a situation where the rock exists in logical contradiction of being both too heavy to lift, while as also being lift-able.
'cause if it couldn't, then that would be something that it couldn't do, which would mean that it couldn't do anything and everything, which would mean that it isn't omnipotence.
But what does that do for me? How can the concept of omnipotence offer any utility at all?

This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 401 of 1444 (782516)
04-25-2016 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 400 by Stile
04-25-2016 1:14 PM


Re: Definition of free will
I don't understand why having the future be set or not is a condition concerning free will.
Its a question of whether of not the universe is deterministic, and if it is, then you never really did have a choice between red or blue... it was already set in stone.
But that question comes from an incompatibilist view (where determinism and free will cannot coexist), and you are arguing from a compatibilist view (where free will can still exists even if the universe is deterministic).
In the compatibilist view, it doesn't matter if the future is set in stone or not, because the mental act of choosing red or blue still takes place and thus the will is still free. The incompatibilist then argues that there never really was a choice in the first place, rather it was only an illusion, and therefore the will is not free.
Turns out, we really don't know if the universe is deterministic or not, and we really don't know if free will exists or not.
But who am I kidding, its never stopped these philosophical discussions from continuing ad infinitum

This message is a reply to:
 Message 400 by Stile, posted 04-25-2016 1:14 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 402 by Stile, posted 04-25-2016 2:59 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 403 of 1444 (782529)
04-25-2016 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 402 by Stile
04-25-2016 2:59 PM


Re: Definition of free will
I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself correctly.
Because I'm not talking about a deterministic universe.
Maybe you just don't realize the deterministic ramifications of your position
In order for Thomas to truly predict the color, i.e. not just getting lucky with his guess but actually knowing what it will be, then there is no way for you to be able to choose a different color.
Basically, perfect foreknowledge requires determinism.
Thomas can see the future... but I'm still doing the mental act of choosing red.. because I want to, not because I have to.
Yes, that's the compatibilist definition of free will: you aren't restricted from acting according to your motivations.
But the incompatibilist would say that you do have to, otherwise Thomas couldn't see that future - for you may still choose the other color... you haven't decided yet.
It's just that I chose red. How is that not "free will?" The only way it isn't free will is if you add "no one can see the future" into the definition of free will. I just see no reason for doing that, though.
Its because if you truly have a choice, and it has not been made yet, then it is impossible for anyone to know what that choice will be before you actually make it.
Thomas didn't know what you'd choose, he just got lucky with his guess... so that's not really seeing the future.
To this, I would have to as "what makes a choice a 'choice' vs an 'illusion?'"
Is it the ability to do the mental act and make your decision based on your own thoughts/feelings/experiences while not being coerced by external forces?
Or is it simply a definition that "the future is not set in stone."
The question is: if the future is set in stone, then are you really making your decision based on your own thoughts/feelings/experiences?
According to the incompatibilists, if the future is actually set in stone, then your thoughts/feelings/experiences are not what making your decision is based on. You're just another rock rolling down a hill following the laws of physics with no actual input of your own.
The compatibilist counter that even though they are set in stone, they are still your thoughts/feelings/experiences that your decision are made on, so your will is still free to make the choice.
Then the incompatibilists say that you are really talking about "soft determinism" and that in real determinism the fact that it is set in stone means that you don't really get to choose.
And round and round we go.
Think about it this way: If Thomas can predict what you would choose, and you haven't yet had the thoughts/feelings/experiences upon which to motivate your action, then how could that action be based on them? They haven't happened yet, and still the choice has been made...
That's what having a choice, as opposed to an illusion of one, means: nobody but you knows what you are going to choose. That's how you know that it is based on your own thoughts/feelings/experiences.
ABE:
I had another thought:
If I have access to your motivations for your actions, then in what sense are they really yours? Wouldn't they at best be ours?
Edited by Cat Sci, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 402 by Stile, posted 04-25-2016 2:59 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 404 by Phat, posted 04-25-2016 4:38 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied
 Message 407 by Stile, posted 04-26-2016 1:46 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 410 of 1444 (782621)
04-26-2016 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 407 by Stile
04-26-2016 1:46 PM


Re: Definition of free will
But what I'm saying is that it is not determined by the unconscious universe from the big bang... me choosing red is determined by me choosing red, on Wednesday.
What is it about you choosing that makes it different from the determinations of the unconscious universe? Cannot the unconscious universe determine what you will choose?
I guess that's really the ultimate question though, isn't it?
Is that "determinism?" In a sense, yes.. the choice is "determined"... .but it's "determined" by me, making the mental decision on Wednesday. Not "determined" by the universe put in motion at the big bang.
When I say determinism, I'm talking about being put in motion at the big bang and not just that something was determined by somebody.
Its because if you truly have a choice, and it has not been made yet, then it is impossible for anyone to know what that choice will be before you actually make it.
Why is that, though? You say "impossible" but your only backup is you want to take it by definition... you're saying 'it's not a real choice'... what does that mean? What if I say 'it is a real choice?' Is that all it takes to destroy that argument?
In order for you to actually be making the choice yourself, it cannot be known what you have chosen until you actally make it. Otherwise, in what sense is it actually you doing the choosing yourself?
I'm saying that it's *my* decision based on my own thought/feelings/experiences that is doing the "setting in stone."
Then how can the decision be known before you've had your own thought/feelings/experiences?
Its not set in stone until you do make the decision, so how could anyone know what it is before that happens?
Doesn't it have to be set in stone before you've had your own thought/feelings/experiences, in order for the person to be able to predict it?
And if they can predict it before you've had your own thought/feelings/experiences, then doesn't that mean that something else is setting it in stone?
if Tom can read the future, after I make my decision... then he will see the choice I freely made, and freely decided to set in stone from that point on, even if he does so on Tuesday. He's simply reading the "setting in stone" that I'm freely deciding to do.
Except that you haven't done it yet, 'cause it's in the future. So how can it be set in stone already?
And if it is, then how could your own thought/feelings/experiences that haven't happened yet do the setting?
According to the incompatibilists, if the future is actually set in stone, then your thoughts/feelings/experiences are not what making your decision is based on. You're just another rock rolling down a hill following the laws of physics with no actual input of your own.
My question stands right at the beginning of this first part.
What makes the incompatibilists come to this conclusion in the first place?
Because of the second part; you never make any decisions, you're just following an unbroken chain of events leading back to the beginning.
Or are you simply saying that the in compatibilists have their ideas, and the compatibilists have theirs... and neither can prove the other right/wrong because we simply don't have a way to identify (in reality) something along what we mean by "choice," "illusion," "determinism,"...?
Yeah, you probably are... which means, really, you and I are doing the exact same thing in this thread... just coming at it from different angles.
Yup, but as long as we know that's what we're doing then who cares.
I started posting because Blue Jay stated a position that being able to read the future while allowing free will is impossible.
I started posting because I saw an incompatibilist and a compatibilist arguing about whether or not free will and determinism can coexist...
Neither of you are right, and both of you are wrong Just kidding, this is all just a bunch of silly philosobabble.
In my idea, the response would be that Thomas isn't predicting anything, ever. He's reading. Descriptive, not prescriptive.
And he's able to read what I decide to do on Wednesday, on Tuesday... because I gave him the powers of reading the future in my example.
If he is describing something that is already set in stone, then how can the action that hasn't taken place yet be the thing that is setting it in stone?
If I have access to your motivations for your actions, then in what sense are they really yours? Wouldn't they at best be ours?
I don't understand the final question. Can you give an example?
Let's get some context first. This question really only matters in the sense of moral responsibility, otherwise it doesn't really matter if you yourself are making the choice or if you're really just blindly following the universe's determinations. I agree that either way is possible and that we can't really know, and outside of any context the discussion is pointless.
So, let's say we are observing 100 rocks rolling down a hill and one of them runs into a tree. You're the tree cop and you want to punish that rock for running into the tree.
The incompatibilist would argue that since the rock is just following the laws of physics, it had no choice in hitting the tree, so you shouldn't punish it.
The compatibilist (you) would argue that it still was the one that had the experiences that lead to hitting the tree, so that still counts as its own choice under its own free will, so you still get to punish it.
Now, let's say that I am sitting back in time when all the rocks are at the top of the hill. I can see the future and see all the paths that all the rocks will take and can point to the one that is going to hit the tree.
From the perspective of moral responsibility, don't both me and the rock both have the experiences that lead up to it hitting the tree, and if I don't do anything to prevent it, but instead simply stand by and watch it happen, then don't I bear some of the moral responsibility?
If I know what you are going to do, then the choice is not simply yours, it's both of ours and I should bear some of the responsibility.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 407 by Stile, posted 04-26-2016 1:46 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 419 by Stile, posted 04-28-2016 11:45 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 411 of 1444 (782622)
04-26-2016 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 406 by PurpleYouko
04-26-2016 10:58 AM


Re: A slightly different (but mostly the same) way of looking at it
What if Fred had told Bill that he would choose Red? Would that change anything?
Bill would try to choose Blue to prove Fred wrong, but that course of action would be the twist that ended up causing him to choose Red in the first place.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 406 by PurpleYouko, posted 04-26-2016 10:58 AM PurpleYouko has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 422 of 1444 (782757)
04-28-2016 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 419 by Stile
04-28-2016 11:45 AM


Re: Definition of free will
And, again, the answer defines the situation into the compatibilist or incompatibilist side.
Yup, and nobody knows who is right.
The question can be rephrased to: If I'm not making the choice, who is?
To the incompatibilist, nobody is because there isn't a choice being made at all. You're just a rock rolling down the hill thinking that you can make choices when you can't (thus the illusion).
It's not, it's being read after I've had my own thought/feelings/experiences.
Are you saying that you've already had the thoughts/feelings/experiences that are going to happen in the future?
Why aren't they in the past, then?
Perhaps you have an issue with understanding how I could make the choice before I experience it? Well, the mysteries of the universe are great. My point isn't to show that this is true... I have no process for how this might be accomplished. My point is only to show that it is logically possible. Which it is.
I'm not sure it is.
You have no issue with someone reading the past and seeing decisions I've already made?
Same thing, just into the future.
The future hasn't been already made though, it hasn't happened yet.
Think of time as just another dimension. All of time has already "been decided" and we're just experiencing the present as we move along the path.
You realize that's determinism, right?
The only issue is who did the initial deciding? Universe -> determinism -> compatibilist. Me -> non-determinism -> incompatibilist.
That's confusing...
And if you have non-determinism, then there is no compatibility issue with free will.
The difference to the compatibilist is that even if the universe does the initial deciding, since you go through the thoughts/feelings/experiences involved in making the "choice", then is still counts as your choice.
I understand that seeing the future in a similar-to-the-past kind of way isn't "socially normal" but, well, there's nothing about being "logically possible" that requires it to be as-generally-understood.
I understand what you are saying, but I don't see how you can consider it non-determinism.
Ah, Time Cop
Actually, more to the OP: an omniscient god.
I think the more interesting question is not whether or not that can coexist with free will, but if it makes the god morally culpable for our actions.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 419 by Stile, posted 04-28-2016 11:45 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 425 by Stile, posted 05-03-2016 9:17 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 432 of 1444 (783122)
05-03-2016 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 425 by Stile
05-03-2016 9:17 AM


Re: Definition of free will
I'm saying that our standard understanding of past/present/future may not apply for such a logical construct.
...
But what if the "present" isn't the point when all decisions are made?
What if the "present" is simply a rolling along the line of our lives?
What if our lives were already lived, choices made by us (not the universe) and we only experience them by what we see as the "present" moving along?
Understood, so, is that not choices that are pre-determined (from the perspective of knowing it from the present)?
That is, if you are looking at a choice of your's that you have already made in the future, then are you capable of choosing something different or not?
If so, when do you experience the opportunity of making that choice?
'Cause as far as a I can tell (and that's really the only thing that is important), I only get that opportunity in the present, where I'm capable of immediately and accurately deciding what actually happens.
The past is forever locked in place, and the future is open to any of the possible opportunities.
One of the things that makes me realize that decision making process happens when I'm playing the piano or guitar. Sometime I'll be deciding on where my fingers will go next, and it just doesn't happen that way. Something goes wrong with my fingers and they don't cooperate with what I told them to do.
Don't get me wrong, I make lots of mistakes. But it's a strange experience when you don't fuck up in your mind, and instead your body just doesn't work like it should.
I lost track of where I was going with that, sorry for rambling. Maybe I'll re-stumble upon the point I was trying to make.
Anyways, I was talking about things being pre-determined, which stemmed from this:
I thought determinism was when the universe (not us) made the decisions?
I'm talking about us making the decisions, not the universe. I thought that was the opposite of determinism?
I do get confused by standard terminology (determinism, compatibilist, incompatibilist...) they are new terms to me as this is not something I've studied in depth or professionally or anything.
Which you've clarified further with this:
quote:
1.61803 writes:
Stile writes:
I thought determinism was when the universe (not us) made the decisions?
How can our choice be separate from the universe or vice versa, if we are intrinsically a part of it.
I was more referring to this understanding of determinism:
Cat Sci writes:
When I say determinism, I'm talking about being put in motion at the big bang and not just that something was determined by somebody.
Message 410

Sorry about the bad phraseologizing; I actually agree with Phi that even "something that was determined by somebody" can still be "about being put in motion at the big bang" when I am talking about determinism. I was trying to say that it was not just that.
And that gets into the whole compatibilist vs. incompatibilist thing: they are both responses to determinism.
You were taking a compatibilist position, but have since steared away from determinism. Now you are getting into a whole new realm of compatibilism, which is where it's not even deterministic in the first place.
If it isn't deterministic, then there is no problem with Free Will. They could still be incompatible.
I understand what you are saying, but I don't see how you can consider it non-determinism.
Simple. When you consider it determinism... you are defining that the universe is making the decisions.
When I'm considering it non-determinism... I'm defining that we are making the decisions and not the universe.
Determinism kinda has an incompatibilist element to it that I think you are missing. Whether or not it is determinism doesn't really have a lot to do with whether or not it is you or the universe that is making the decision.
It is more about whether the future is changeable or not.
You keep acting like our decisions could be pre-determined, and that's determinism whether it is us or the universe making the determination beforehand. If it is before the present, then how are we who are stuck here the ones who are actually making it? Even if it is me in the future doing it, that isn't me from my perspective.
Edited by Cat Sci, : missed [quote]'s

This message is a reply to:
 Message 425 by Stile, posted 05-03-2016 9:17 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 434 by Stile, posted 05-04-2016 9:45 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 435 of 1444 (784178)
05-13-2016 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 434 by Stile
05-04-2016 9:45 AM


Re: Definition of free will
If it isn't deterministic, then there is no problem with Free Will. They could still be incompatible.
That's all I'm saying That it's possible to have God know the future and we also have free will.
The issue is that if the future is knowable, then we are powerless to change it and therefore do not have free will.
That is, if you are looking at a choice of your's that you have already made in the future, then are you capable of choosing something different or not?
Yes, you would be able to choose something different (I would think, anyway).
If you can change it, then it can't be knowable already.
The past is forever locked in place, and the future is open to any of the possible opportunities.
In my idea, the future would be locked in place as well (from the beginning of the universe, after all choices for all time are created.)
So can we change it or not?
If so, when do you experience the opportunity of making that choice?
When do you experience it? In the present, where we experience all things.
When did the choice take place? At the creation of the universe.
Well I didn't exist at the creation of the universe so I don't see how I could have made the choice then.
Even if it is me in the future doing it, that isn't me from my perspective.
Correct. It isn't you *from your perspective*.
But the way the universe works doesn't depend upon your perspective.
I'm explaining how my idea could actually be possible. I'm not attempting to explain how you're forced to understand it how you want to from your perspective.
Okay, so if someone that in only the loosest sense is "me" is making a decision, such that I cannot even recognize that I have made the decision, then is it right to have me be culpable for that decision?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 434 by Stile, posted 05-04-2016 9:45 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 436 by Phat, posted 05-13-2016 4:05 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied
 Message 437 by kbertsche, posted 05-13-2016 10:53 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 445 by Stile, posted 05-16-2016 9:35 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 446 of 1444 (784301)
05-16-2016 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 445 by Stile
05-16-2016 9:35 AM


Re: Definition of free will
It's not like there's 2 of you...
Actually, it is. There's the me that made all the decisions at the beginning of the universe, of which I have no memory/knowledge/experience, and then there is the me in the present that is going through the experiencing of the decisions that I've already made.
You're acting as if "new information" can be added to the universe that doesn't exist in "all of time."
Well yeah, there's the new information that I receive in the form of experiencing the decisions. If I already had that info then I would already know what decisions I am going to make in the future... but I don't. I don't receive the info on what decisions I'm making until I experience them in the present.
And I'm talking about a universe where we've made all the decisions, so therefore the future is knowable.
If we're the ones with all the power who freely made all our decisions, how are we "powerless to change it?"
So let's say at the beginning of the universe, I decide to touch the flame of a candle on two separate occasions.
God sees the future and notices that I touch a candle flame twice.
Then I go through the experiencing of the first decision, and realize that it hurts to touch the flame of a candle and I don't want to do that anymore.
Do I have the power, then, to change my decision and only touch the flame once?
If so, then God didn't really "know" the future, he was wrong because it changed.
If it cannot be changed, then how is the me that is going through the experience of making the decisions in any way in control of what decisions are going to be made in the future?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 445 by Stile, posted 05-16-2016 9:35 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 450 by Stile, posted 05-17-2016 10:48 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 447 of 1444 (784302)
05-16-2016 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 437 by kbertsche
05-13-2016 10:53 PM


Re: Definition of free will
CatSci writes:
The issue is that if the future is knowable, then we are powerless to change it and therefore do not have free will.
I disagree. You are implicitly making knowledge of the future the cause of the future. Instead, suppose that our free will is the cause, and knowledge of the future is an effect. Then the future can be knowable and we can still have free will.
No, I'm not making the knowledge the cause. Our will can still be the cause, but if what we are going to will in the future is locked in and cannot be changed, then that will is not free.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 437 by kbertsche, posted 05-13-2016 10:53 PM kbertsche has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 448 by kbertsche, posted 05-16-2016 4:42 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 449 of 1444 (784350)
05-17-2016 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 448 by kbertsche
05-16-2016 4:42 PM


Re: Definition of free will
If our will is truly the "cause", I think this would imply that our will is NOT locked in and that it CAN be changed.
Then, does the foreknowledge of those causes change with the will? And if so, doesn't that make the knowledge wrong at some points? Can we really call that "knowing" what is going to happen if it is subject to change?
The future would not be "fixed" until we "fix" it with our actions and choices. But a being who transcends time and can see the future from the past can have perfect forknowledge of what will occur.
Does the foreknowledge evolve along with the whims of our will as we go through time fixing choices with our decisions?
What does an ever changing foreknowledge really even know?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 448 by kbertsche, posted 05-16-2016 4:42 PM kbertsche has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 451 by kbertsche, posted 05-17-2016 11:43 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
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