Free will: The Answer

John K Clark (
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 10:33:00 -0800 (PST)


On Thu, 30 Jan 1997 Eliezer Yudkowsky <> Wrote:

>Causality, in human intuition, is counterfactual.
>When we say "A caused B", we mean that, if A were not present,
>B would not have been present, and that in order to get B one should
>do A.

Not True. We mean that if A exists then B will exist further along a sequence.
If A is a rock moving at high speed toward a plate glass window, and B is
broken glass, then we know that if you have a you will have B. However if you
have B that does not prove that A must have existed because a baseball will
break a window as well as a rock.

>If reality is deterministic, than instead of your thoughts
>determining your actions, your actions are predetermined; therefore
>whatever you do isn't your fault."

Of course it's your "fault". If you're stupid and boring then the fault is
in you and I wouldn't want to hang around you or listen to your ideas.
If you've done evil things then the fault is in you and you should be
punished so you won't do more evil in the future and as a deterrent to others.
Why you are stupid and evil is not important, you're still stupid and evil.

In the same way if, you're brilliant and do good things you should be praised
and rewarded.

John K Clark

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