[ExI] [Extropolis] Irrational mechanics, draft Ch. 6. Creative evolution toward quality. Also, the 2nd test flight of Starship and the OpenAI drama.

Giulio Prisco giulio at gmail.com
Wed Nov 29 08:13:11 UTC 2023

John, this argument is flawed because it is really equivalent to: I'm
bigger than you and I can beat the shit out of you, therefore you don't
have free will but you can only do what I want.

Of course there are certain states of the universe that lead to a certain
conclusion that can't be escaped (for example, If I jump off a high window
I'll most certainly die on impact), but other states of the universe are
more forgiving and can be tweaked.

The Britannica definition of free will says "make choices," not "realize
choices." So if I flap my arms like wings and hope to start flying like a
bird while I'm falling down toward certain death on impact, I'm still
making a choice (one that, unfortunately, I'll not be able to realize).
Other situation are more amenable to tweaking.

Of course you are not entirely autonomous: you can’t jump off the window
and resist the force of gravity with your bare will. But you are an
integral and necessary part of the cosmic operating system (this parallels
the idea that you are conscious because you are part of universal
consciousness), with some limited autonomy.

I define free will as your ability to make choices that are not entirely
determined by the rest of the universe (that is, the universe minus you),
and cause change (see "Down and out in a block universe"). A flexible
concept of causation (see "Libertarian determinism") that includes the
possibility of retrocausality (backward causation) doesn't reduce you to
initial conditions in the far past before you existed, and restores a
concept of free will that is good enough for me.

On Tue, Nov 28, 2023 at 2:10 PM John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 25, 2023 at 12:08 PM Giulio Prisco <giulio at gmail.com> wrote:
> *> Irrational mechanics, draft Ch. 6. Creative evolution toward quality.
>> Also, the 2nd test flight of Starship and the OpenAI drama.
>> https://www.turingchurch.com/p/irrational-mechanics-draft-ch-6
>> <https://www.turingchurch.com/p/irrational-mechanics-draft-ch-6>*
> I like a lot of what you say but In any philosophical discussion I think
> it's a mistake to bring up "free will" because confusion always results.
> According to the encyclopedia Britannica "free will" is "the supposed power
> or capacity of humans to make choices independently of any prior event or
> state of the universe"; of course by that definition humans do not have
> free will because there are certainly states of the universe that prevent
> us from doing what we want, in fact there are states of the universe that
> prevent us from doing anything at all. But that doesn't really matter
> because the Britannica also says that in philosophy "choice", a word used
> in the definition of free will,  is "the supposed ability to FREELY decide
> between alternatives". So something has free will if you can choose and if
> you can choose then you have free will, and round and round we go. So the
> free will idea is not true, and it's not false either, it's gibberish.
>  John K Clark
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "extropolis" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
> email to extropolis+unsubscribe at googlegroups.com.
> To view this discussion on the web visit
> https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/extropolis/CAJPayv3mEO%3D_wQZOM8bs0bMgwLnVagOH5DyWs7VL5F7mkWZqEw%40mail.gmail.com
> <https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/extropolis/CAJPayv3mEO%3D_wQZOM8bs0bMgwLnVagOH5DyWs7VL5F7mkWZqEw%40mail.gmail.com?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>
> .
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20231129/6723d838/attachment.htm>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list