"John Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org> replied:
> You are quite correct. If you use my definition then the value of
> free will in figuring out how the universe works is precisely
> zero. That's still a huge improvement however, all other ideas about
> free will just cause confusion and thus have a large negative value.
Oh! OK! I see where you're coming from then. This makes more sense.
But I still wonder why we would be concerned about any such concepts when it seems to me the important concept is finding and getting what we really want or what is most valuable, the best goals and so on, whatever they may turn out to be. Anything that causes (or forces?) us to deviate from this, whether it be ignorance, inability, chemical imbalances in the brain, improper upbringing, inadiquate neural wiring, randomness... or even some kind of perversely defined "freedom" which some claim we have, destroys our true will or ability to get what we really want or what is most valuable.
It seems to me such perverse definitions of "free will" or probably a better term for this is "moral agency", is a, by definition UN-understandable, force which can be used as a scapegoat for there being an all powerful God and there still being evil. Allegedly, Evil isn't God's fault, it's simply what we choose because we have "moral agency". By definition, non of us like or want evil, but for some reason, when we all have "moral agency" none of us have the ability or whatever to fulfill our desire to choose something better. There are many that just choose, for UN-understandable reasons, that which no-one really wants (and this entails the rest of us hate these "evil" individuals for the supposed "free" bad choices they make.) It's all a bunch of hateful hog-wash that makes no sense whatsoever to me. I think that if it wasn't for people's attempts to justify God in the presence of evil, we'd never have such misbegotten and incomprehensible ideas which attempt to twist evil into really being good, all in a mere attempt to defend their God.