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Free will

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:46 PM
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Default Free will


I have a story I write on another forum, and even though it's a story and not a play or anything, the dialogue is in script-format, just 'cause that's how I do it there, so that's why I'm posting it here. Anyway, this is an excerpt from the story (which is very long, and filled with satire and absurdist humor ranging from literally any topic you can think about). I'm posting this excerpt here just because I'm curious what you guys think of it, and what this particular part is saying. (Also, Kablamooie is one of the members of the forum; it's that kind of story :P)


Robot: Hello sir. How are you?

Kablamooie: I am very well, thank you for asking.

Robot: That's good. It's nice to hear you're doing well.

Kablamooie: You're a very polite robot.

Robot: Yes sir.

Kablamooie: So are you, like, programmed to be super polite?

Robot: Programmed, sir?

Kablamooie: Yeah. I mean, robots are all programmed, right?

Robot: I have free will. I'm not programmed to act a certain way.

Kablamooie: Trippy. How does that work?

Robot: How does what work?

Kablamooie: You having free will and not being programmed.

Robot: The same way you have free will, I would guess.

Just then, a person walked up to them.

???: Hello. I see you've met the robot.

Kablamooie: And you are...?

???: Come with me.

So Kablamooie went with the guy.

Kablamooie: So about your identity...

???: I am the robot's creator. You can call me Creator.

Kablamooie: I see. Also, that robot says it has free will. Is that true?

Creator: Do you believe you have free will?

Kablamooie: I certainly hope so. Hold up.

Kablamooie scratched his butt.

Kablamooie: Yep. I have free will.

Creator: That robot believes it has free will. Wanna hear something though?

Kablamooie: If it's interesting.

Creator: That robot, and all of the other robots like it... are unable to do bad things.

Kablamooie: So they don't have free will?

Creator: That's the big question, isn't it? They may, from time to time, want to... but they can't. It's not within their capacity. If a robot wanted to kill someone, it would find itself unable to.

Kablamooie: Ok so they don't. Cool. Can we talk about something else now?

Creator: Fly.

Kablamooie: I beg your pardon?

Creator: Fly. Right now, I want you to start flying.

Kablamooie: I, um, can't do that. Why would I be able to fly?

Creator: You have free will, do you not?

Kablamooie: I do.

Creator: And yet you cannot fly.

Kablamooie: I cannot.

Creator: And in the same way, they cannot do bad. You see, the common thinking is, if people do not have the capacity for evil, they wouldn't have free will. And yet there are so many things they don't have the capacity for. Is there a list of things one must be able to do to have free will? Must you have a choice between good and evil to be free? What determines free will? You say they don't have free will because of what they cannot do, but what about you? You don't have the free will to fly. They do not have the free will to do bad. And yet the conviction of having free will is equal in both of you, despite these inabilities. The question I pose to you: did we need to be made with a capacity for evil in order to have a claim to free will?

Kablamooie: You just blew my fucking mind.

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Old 07-17-2011, 03:55 PM
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I enjoyed this and nice concept selection.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:26 PM
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I'm going to raise this point just because it pertains exactly to what you're writing about.

A person cannot fly, but they can attempt to fly. Given time, they can construct a machine to allow them to fly. So a person who is unable to fly, still has free will because they can attempt to fly.

At this point the argument becomes: Can robots act on the intention to do evil? Since a person can act on the intention to fly, they have free will regardless of talent. But in this case, the robot cannot act on its intention to do evil, and as such does not have free will. However, if the robot is allowed to tinker with its own failsafes, then perhaps it might remove its evil-blockers prior to comitting evil, in which case it does have free will.

To make it pithy: Where there's a will, there's a way!
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