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TheOtherDave comments on Explaining vs. Explaining Away - Less Wrong

46 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 March 2008 01:59AM

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Comment author: TheOtherDave 02 April 2013 06:30:24PM *  5 points [-]

Wait, what do I even mean when I say "free will"? I mean that I could do whatever I wanted to.

Well, if that's what you mean, then you certainly don't have free will, at least not if you're anything like me. There's lots of things I've wanted to do in my life that I haven't been able to do.

So, if that's really what you mean by "free will", I submit to you that not only do you not have this thing, you don't even feel like you have this thing. Conversely, if you're talking about something you do feel like you have, then your description of what it is is flawed, and it might be helpful to return to the question of what you mean.

Also, you may want to ask why is this an interesting question? What would depend on you having free will, or not having it? Why should anyone care?

You might also find it useful to google "compatibilism".