How to build a robot

We must think about the specifications that such an android should have to meet my expectations and
think IMHO, a properly constructed Turing android should contain an emotional part of its brain which is
receptive to being taught that it has free will.  In my opinion, such an android should also have a rational
part of its mind which is sufficiently intelligent to realize that the concept of free will, which is held by its
emotional mechanism, is not a logically sustainable proposition.  I assume that the feeling of free will
provides motivation for me and will also provide motivation for a Turing android.

--- In, "jgkjcasey" <jgkjcasey@...> wrote:
> --- In, "Donald P Martin"
> <dpmartin@> wrote:
> >
> > --- In, "jgkjcasey" <jgkjcasey@>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > --- In, "Donald P Martin"
> > > <dpmartin@> wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > > Any society of people which encourages its citizens to
> > > > believe that fate controls their lives will have two
> > > > problems. The first is in keeping people motivated and
> > > > the second is punishing people for crimes which every
> > > > citizen has been taught to be the result of deterministic
> > > > fate.
> > >
> > > To believe in fate is an unintelligent choice based on the
> > > assumption that you have no control over your life. But you
> > > do have control over your life. The whole point of machines
> > > is for them to control things. It is the choice as to what
> > > outcome you would like that may be determined but given a
> > > choice you can bring it about.  Fate assumes that something
> > > external to the machine (person) will determine the outcome,
> > > regardless of what the person may do, which is superstitious
> > > nonsense.
> >
> > Those societies and those beings which survive the gaunlet
> > of evolution not only believe in free will emotionally to the
> > core of their being, but laugh at societies which died out
> > because they believed in determinism.  We must therefore call
> > it names such as "superstitious nonsense" and continue the
> > myth.
> what societies died out because they believed in determinism?
> I wasn't talking about "free will" I was talking about "fate".
Our actions are determined by our genes, our environment and the apparently random (unpredictable)
nature of motion at the atomic level (brownian motion, quantum indeterminancy, etc.).  IOW, we are a
deterministic machine with random input.

Part of the mechanism of our brain is our ability to be taught that we have "free will."  By feeling that I
have free will, I have no retort when my parents punished me for doing "something wrong."  Were they to
have taught me that my actions were predetermined, I could have argued that I should not be punished
for something that I did for predetermined reasons.

There can be no God if part of the definition of God is that God can engage in acts of her own free will.  
Free will simply implies that there is a little person within the big person who is making free choices.  It
turns into an infinite regression and cannot lead to any meaningful anything.  Free will is a myth.  You
cannot test for it, because it doesn't exist and cannot exist other than as a "feeling", a belief or a myth.  

The free will myth is needed by religious types who try to convince me that if I believe in JC I will be
forgiven of my sins and go to heaven after I am dead.  If my free will doesn't choose to believe in JC,
then I will spend eternity in hell.

> > May God strike me dead if I am wrong about this!  ;-)
> >
> > If I gave you a robot which had the characteristics of a
> > human in every way I could conceivably make it, just how
> > would I cap off the project by adding "free will"?
> >
> >
> > If I test 100 such robots and they all pass the Turning
> > Test, what is the structure of the Free Will Test?  Please
> > describe how the Free Will Test is administered.  If 50
> > robots passed your Free Will Test and 50 don't, what would
> > be the structural differences between the robots who passed
> > and those who didn't?  Would it be in the pineal gland?
> >
> >
> > If Descartes had to choose which opinion was more attractive
> > to him, would he choose your opinion or mine?
> I don't see free will as something you add to a robot.

Then where does it come from?  Is it an emergent property of minds?

> I would suggest that when we are conscious of what we are
> intending to do, we say it is an act of free will.

You may say that consciousness comes hand in hand with free will, and the emotional part of my brain
might agree with you, because it believes in free will.  But the rational part of my brain says that if we are
building a Turing Android, we have a choice as to whether we teach it that it has free will or not.

Someone who believes that their life flows from deterministic activities may well just sit on the side of the
road begging for scraps while waiting for a predetermined "life to happen to them."  Why make any effort
if your internal mechanism is deterministic?  Whether an external god makes me do things or a
clockwork internal mechanism makes me do things, makes no difference if I don't have a feeling of

Emotionally, I feel that I have free will.  I feel free and want government off of my back.  That is why I am
a libertarian.  Government is more mechanistic with its rules and ordinances and total lack of imagination
and creativeness.  Meanwhile I feel free and creative and full of the feeling of free will.  The feeling of
free will makes me want to get up in the morning and do things.

The original point was that my feeling of free will comes from an emotional part of my brain and my
notion of determinism plus randomness comes from an intellectual portion of my brain.

I am glad that my brain contains both parts.

Some brain damaged people can lose part of one or the other of these mechanisms.  I wear a helmet
when engaging in dangerous activities.  I FEEL that it is my decision to wear the helmet, but I KNOW

I FEEL like taking up smoking, but I KNOW better.
I FEEL like having desert, but I KNOW that I shouldn't.
> I have no iron clad test for a person being conscious of
> what they are about to do or what it means for them to be
> able to choose not to do it.
>  ...
> > Many people, perhaps the majority of Americans, believe
> > very strongly in the existence of God.  Dawkins points out
> > that there are no US congress people who declare themselves
> > to be athiests. (The God Delusion) It is simply too hard to
> > get elected.  The same would apply to free will.  Every
> > politician in his right mind must declare that he believes
> > in free will.  
> >
> > This doesn't prove the existence of either God or free will.
Free will is simply a myth which appeals to an emotional part of my mind but which is unsustainable in
the rational part my mind.  Minds also have another emotional mechanism which gives the person a
feeling of "having one personality."  Since we obviously don't have one personality, this is simply
another myth which seems to have a function valuable to society.

Defense lawyers are constantly attacking both myths.  In the case of FW, they argue that the person is
"retarded" and therefore must be like an animal with no meaningful FW.  

The single personality myth is attacked by stating that the person was in a state of "temporary insanity."

Free will is simply a myth which appeals to an emotional part of my mind but which is unsustainable in
the rational part my mind.

I would be interested in hearing how I can have free will when my brain is a biological machine which
follows the laws of biology/chemistry/physics with a random quantum generator at the bottom of the
heap.  How does "choice" enter into the equation?  Is it something which is possible at the physics
level?  Does it need to be at the chemistry level before it can appear?  Perhaps you believe the only
biological mechanisms can possess your magical FW.