davidm, on 10 March 2012 - 12:32 AM, said:
You say Keith and Bob are disanalogous but then you contradict yourself by demanding that any free will argument I provide for Bob must also go through for Keith. But this isn't so. From a purely logical standpoint, what Keith ends up not doing, and what Bob ends up not doing, count as "possible but non-actual worlds." Again, when we inquire WHY these worlds are non-actual, we discover that Keith is in prison! What prison is Bob in that he can't do other than put on his hat?
Again, I invite you to answer the question: Why can't Bob refrain from putting on his hat?
I've already told you why I'm not answering that question (Edit: although I answer it anyway at the end of this post). My problem is with your logic.
You say you don't need your argument to go through Keith, but what we see is that when it DOES go through Keith, Keiths free will or lack of free will is not established. Does Keith have free will? The modal argument which is supposed to answer this can not tell us, we must look elsewhere, find that he is physically restrained to the point where he doesn't have free will, completely outside of the modal argument.
So the problem is that just as the argument can not establish Keiths free will or lack of it, it can't establish Bobs free will or lack of it. We have to look outside the argument again, ask if there is anything restricting his options list.
This is now very plain. You challenge for me to find something that might stop bob putting on his hat, just as you have found something that stops Keith going to Hawaii. But the thing that stops Keith having free will is NOT arrived at by the modal argument you've been making. You've de-facto admitted that the arguments for Keith and Bob are identical, and then find something totally separate that allows you to say that Keith has no free will (the fact of his imprisonment).
So yeah, you're right that there's nothing in Bobs case that obviously restricts his free will, where there is an obvious thing restricting Keiths free will. However in neither case does your modal argument DEMONSTRATE free will. The conclusion "therefore X has free will" does not follow from the premises in either of the two arguments as I formulated them in my last post. If it did follow, then A. you would not NEED to ask 'what restricts bob's free will' because your argument would be already made, and B. it would also work for Keith just as well.
And just to clarify, since you have been for several years now the one claiming to demonstrate that free will and eternalism are compatible, it is very much the case that any argument you make that claims to demonstrate this
must go through both Bob and Keith. Specifically, the argument must conclude that Bob has free will, and the same argument must conclude that Keith does NOT have free will. Surely you can see that? I'd like you to answer directly whether you think your modal argument has done that.
Or getting even closer to the way this debate was originally framed: you made the case that arguing from the FACT of bobs future action, to the conclusion that bob MUST perform that action commits the modal fallacy. I am arguing that by the exact same logic, arguing from the fact of Keiths future action to the conclusion that Keith MUST perform that action similarly commits the same fallacy. I honestly don't see how you can escape that conclusion, and I would like you to answer directly what you think about that.
That is, I want a straight answer to the following:
"In the future, Keith will stay in his cell, therefore he MUST stay in his cell" - this statements commits the modal fallacy. Yes/no.
I would answer 'yes', which leads me to the obvious problem that I have just applied a metric that purports to demonstrate free will, to an agent in a situation where he demonstrably does not have free will, and got the wrong answer. What happened?
Edit: as a demonstration of goodwill, I'll give a straight answer to the question YOU keep asking i.e. 'what stops bob putting on his hat'. To answer honestly, I can't think of anything that should do this. Nothing should be preventing Bob from performing any number of actions. However I still need some metric by which to populate a list of genuinely open alternatives for Bob, and this metric, when applied to Keith, must NOT generate alternatives. As best I can see, you are attempting to populate Bobs list with options on the grounds that they are contingent as opposed to necessary. I can't accept that because Keiths list would also then be populated.
Edited by Timothy, 21 March 2012 - 10:48 PM.