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ArisKatsaris comments on Why Bayesians should two-box in a one-shot - Less Wrong Discussion

1 Post author: PhilGoetz 15 December 2017 05:39PM

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Comment author: PhilGoetz 15 December 2017 07:48:31PM *  0 points [-]

This was argued against in the Sequences and in general, doesn't seem to be a strong argument. It seems perfectly compatible to believe your actions follow deterministically and still talk about decision theory - all the functional decision theory stuff is assuming a deterministic decision process, I think.

It is compatible to believe your actions follow deterministically and still talk about decision theory. It is not compatible to believe your actions follow deterministically, and still talk about decision theory from a first-person point of view, as if you could by force of will violate your programming.

To ask what choice a deterministic entity should make presupposes both that it does, and does not, have choice. Presupposing a contradiction means STOP, your reasoning has crashed and you can prove any conclusion if you continue.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 17 December 2017 08:07:13PM 0 points [-]

It is not compatible to believe your actions follow deterministically, and still talk about decision theory from a first-person point of view,

So it's the pronouns that matter? If I keep using "Aris Katsaris" rather than "I" that makes a difference to whether the person I'm talking about makes decisions that can be deterministally predicted?

Whether someone can predict your decisions has ZERO relevancy on whether you are the one making the decisions or not. This sort of confusion where people think that "free will" means "being unpredictable" is nonsensical - it's the very opposite. For the decisions to be yours, they must be theoretically predictable, arising from the contents of your brains. Adding in randomness and unpredictability, like e.g. using dice or coinflips reduces the ownership of the decisions and hence the free will.

This is old and tired territory.

Comment author: Lumifer 19 December 2017 04:30:54PM 1 point [-]

Old and tired, maybe, but clearly there is not much consensus yet (even if, ahem, some people consider it to be as clear as day).

Note that who makes the decision is a matter of control and has nothing to do with freedom. A calculator controls its display and so the "decision" to output 4 in response to 2+2 it its own, in a way. But applying decision theory to a calculator is nonsensical and there is no free choice involved.