Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Reaction on Bryan's post in this thread].
Rather, he simply insists that my critique has failed while not offering a coherent support for his claim.
You should point your arguments at the description Philosofer123 gives in his document. Nowhere he is claiming that he is discussing Strawson and Kane. It is clear that he borrowed his arguments from them, but his standpoint can be discussed on its own merit. I also am not interested in who represents who's ideas wrong. At most I am interested in the topic of free will. But given my past experiences discussing the topic with you I might bailout very soon. Paraphrasing you: Meaning no offense, Bryan, but my experience with you is that your rhetorical slyness nearly always ends up serving as a wall blocking effective communications. So just one remark about Kane: his concept of self-forming actions is rather ridiculous. It is just meant as an ad hoc quick fix of an infinite regress:
Kane holds that a free decision or other free action is one for which the agent is “ultimately responsible". Ultimate responsibility for an action requires either that the action not be causally determined or, if the action is causally determined, that any determining cause of it either be or result (at least in part) from some action by that agent that was not causally determined (and for which the agent was ultimately responsible).
SEP] But being uncaused means being random: physics has nothing else on offer. Random actions however can hardly make somebody responsible.
That's right, they can't. But other factors do make us FEEL as if we are responsible. We are no more "responsible" for our thoughts and actions than a lion, a bear or an amoeba is. We will do what weare determined to do. And if a sense of responsibility comes into the picture, that is determined, too.
However: for general well-being in society and for your peace of mind, I think it is also wholesome to take as much responsibility as you can (but not more, because then you would fall back into regret, shame, remorse, as you say). You mention these as 'attempt to rectify the situation, and vow to act differently in the future'. Point for me is that the sheer possibility of being able to do so means you have some form of free will. Not the form that goes along with 'ultimate responsibility', but the one that fits to our ability to act according our wishes and beliefs, and to act for reasons: combatibilist free will.
I think we are in agreement. I agree that we have compatibilist free will, and you agree that we do not have ultimate responsibility. Yes! What matters and why this is of enormous practical importance is the difference between the two, since we do know most people believe in ultimate responsibility. Stephen Believing in ultimate responsibility and actually having it are two different things. People feel exactly the amount of responsibility they are determined to have, not a jot more or less. We don't "decide" how much responsibility we will feel any more than we "decide" what our next thought or action will be. Responsibility is a human mental construct as are other thoughts and actions--no more and no less. It doesn't exist outside of our individual minds any more than god does. Under compatibilism, the same may be said of rationality.
Randomness is a feature of LFW, not a bug.
I know this sentence of many a deliverer of software... Please explain why randomness is needed for free will, and its relationship with responsibility. Why would a random action be a free action, for which I can take responsibility?
Responsibility is a human mental construct as are other thoughts and actions--no more and no less. It doesn't exist outside of our individual minds any more than god does.
Yeah, right. You say it - no less. Of course somebody is not responsible by nature. Somebody takes responsibility, or is made responsible by others in a discourse about actions and their reasons. If a person can act according his or her reasons, then this person acts freely. The concept of 'free will' functions exactly in this discourse. Somebody is responsible if he is aware of his reasons for an action, acts according his reasons, and is able to response on our questions why he acted as he did. That is all there is to free will and responsibility - but not less. Free will and responsibility are founded in a societal discourse, not in metaphysics. To say free will does not exist because it has no metaphysical basis is a category error.
Randomness is a feature of LFW, not a bug.
I know this sentence of many a deliverer of software... Please explain why randomness is needed for free will, and its relationship with responsibility. Why would a random action be a free action, for which I can take responsibility? I'll address this question at greater length when time permits, but in the meantime consider this: If by "free will" you mean LFW, then your question is absurd. LFW explicitly identifies a requirement for an ability to act otherwise given the same starting conditions. We expect one well-versed in the debate to recognize this distinction. So, if I read you charitably then you're really asking why not compatibilist free will, essentially asking that I disprove compatibilism. But the compatibilist position is the minority position among philosophers. Apart from the burden of proof that accompanies anyone who wants somebody else to believe something, the burden of proof tends to fall on those holding the minority position. So that's people like you. No matter. I'll bear the burden of proof. But I'd like for you to consider how you resemble the charge you recently laid against me in a recent thread. You're communicating ambiguously, and that's not desirable in a debate as complicated as the one surrounding free will.
Randomness is a feature of LFW, not a bug.
I know this sentence of many a deliverer of software... Please explain why randomness is needed for free will, and its relationship with responsibility. Why would a random action be a free action, for which I can take responsibility? As noted in my pre-reply here], I charitably take GdB's challenge not as any kind of challenge to LFW but rather as a challenge to preferring LFW over CFW (compatibilist free will, a version of free will its advocates say is compatible with determinism). LFW is an explicitly indeterminist conception, so it makes no sense at all to ask why randomness is a requirement for LFW. It's a requirement by definition. And to explain why LFW requires it by definition one has to explain why CFW is an inadequate model for free will. LFW features indeterminism (randomness) because it is absolutely necessary to the concept of an ability to do otherwise given the same set of conditions (again, part of the definition of LFW). Advocates of LFW insist on the ATDO (Ability To Do Otherwise given the same set of conditions, since I'll be using it often) because of the perception that the lack of accessible options that accompany a deterministic conception of LFW implies a lack of freedom. It's like being on a highway where changing lanes is forbidden and the one lane leads the driver on their entire journey. The compatibilist argues that the driver is free to the extent that his desired destinations correlate to the destinations to which his driving lane leads him. This is the concept of "control." The compatibilist says if one has control of one's actions in this sense, then one has free will (CFW). Obviously this leaves behind the ATDO requirement of LFW, and it leads us to consider other requirements for freedom. The problem of coercion If one had a device that permitted control of another's thoughts, then one could direct the actions of another and the controlled person would have control of their actions under CFW. Some compabitilists argue that external coercion negates control, but this seems like special pleading. Given hard determinism, for example, all actions are externally coerced by the initial set of starting conditions. It falls on the compatibilist to say why conscious external coercion is different in kind to the point where it affects freedom. In this specific example, we can derive an example of the superiority of the LFW model: Coercing entity R creates a desire in subject P to perform action X. Subject P rejects the desire to perform action X and substitutes in its place a desire to perform action ~X, which produces action ~X in a way the compatibilist should recognize as an action under the control of subject P. R's design, needless to say, is foiled. Viewed as an indeterministic outcome, the preceding example shows the LFW model accurately expressing our intuitions about free will while presenting a major challenge to CFW models (can external coercion negate CFW in some instances but not in others without special pleading). The LFW model is consistent in regarding all such external coercion of actions as interfering with freedom. In the example of coercion, we assume it serves as a model of indeterminism. Here it's appropriate to address GdB's concern about how indeterminism relates to responsibility. The problem of responsibility From our preceding example, why is subject P responsible for action ~X if ~X was defined as an indeterministic outcome? Subject P is responsible for the action because the action originates with P rather than externally, P could have acted otherwise (indeterminism), and P controlled the action in a sense any compatibilist should recognize. And this is a good time to remind everyone that there are two different kinds of responsibility: Responsibility in terms of causation and responsibility in the sense of moral culpability. It is the latter], in fact, that primarily concerns Robert Kane in his descriptions of self-forming actions that lead in turn to actions for which one is "ultimately responsible." I'll pause here to allow for responses, particularly those addressing the two issues of responsibility.
Subject P rejects the desire to perform action X and substitutes in its place a desire to perform action ~X, which produces action ~X in a way the compatibilist should recognize as an action under the control of subject P
But why did subject P reject the desire to perform action X? It will be due to something out of his control. It doesn't matter where or when that something is placed. And if you say it does, that is just special pleading of your own.
Subject P rejects the desire to perform action X and substitutes in its place a desire to perform action ~X, which produces action ~X in a way the compatibilist should recognize as an action under the control of subject P
But why did subject P reject the desire to perform action X? Because subject P wanted to resist.
It will be due to something out of his control.
Explain how that works.
It doesn't matter where or when that something is placed.
Great. That will make it easy for you to explain how it works.
And if you say it does, that is just special pleading of your own.
Well, you've got it all figured out. Now if you can just explain it coherently. Stephen, you're about to do it again. There is no proximal cause because I specifically said the example is an indeterministic one. So you're poised to conclude, apparently, that if the decision wasn't caused by something prior then it wasn't under the control of subject P. But subject P doesn't need to be in control of any prior cause because there is none (unless we count deliberation, which is moot since the important thing is when P decides to stop deliberating and make the decision irrevocably). So you'll end up proposing, again, that if a decision isn't determined then it must be uncaused. That's a simple enough proposition--one fitting for a syllogistic proof. Yet if I recall correctly, the syllogism is beyond either your willingness or capability. So we end up again with an argument that rests on your certitude above all else. Surprise me by randomly taking a different track this time. The "special pleading" in my case is that I insist that an indeterministic model contain indeterminism.

Alrighty, then. With this next step I’ll start to explain why Stephen’s intuition about indeterministic causation is wrong, which is also the reason why Galen Strawson’s regress argument doesn’t work.
In a nutshell, those arguing against LFW are rigging the game with their definition of causation. I’ll try to explain that here with an illustration (wanted to do a presentation with animation, but that would require more time investment than I can afford right now).
Imagine a blue ball that moves left to right, striking a stationary red ball squarely. The red ball flies off left to right on the same vector the blue ball had taken. This is an illustration of causation in the deterministic sense. The red ball causes the movement of the red ball. The movement of the blue ball is a sufficient reason for the red ball to move off along the vector it takes. And if we repeat the trial we get the same result every time.
Now imagine a blue ball that moves left to right, striking a stationary green ball squarely. The green ball flies off at a vertical right angle to the vector of the blue ball. Now, if this happened with every trial, it would count as a deterministic causation, even though the vector of the green ball is counterintuitive according to the physics we’re used to. But this will be an example of determinism, so we’re going to suppose that we can repeat the trial and obtain different results.
Imagine the same blue ball again moves left to right, striking a stationary green ball squarely. The green ball flies off laterally to the left–a different result than the first trial. We repeat the trial 100 times. 71 times we get the first result. 25 times we get the second result. Four times the green ball doesn’t budge.
Are these actions uncaused? Unless I’m mistaken, the compatibilist and the determinist will tend to answer “yes.”
I’m going to question that conclusion.
We repeat the trial again, replacing the green ball with the red ball. The red ball moves off left to right along the same vector as the blue ball that struck it. Hmmm. Now we try the green ball again. It flies off at a vertical right angle to the vector of the blue ball. Maybe it makes a difference which ball we use in the trial? We replace the blue ball with a yellow ball and repeat all the trials. We get the same results we got with the blue ball. We replace the green ball with a purple one. It behaves just like the red ball when struck by either the blue ball or the yellow ball.
Maybe the green ball is causing the indeterministic results without a prior sufficient cause?
To borrow from Joel Hodgson, “What do you think, sirs?”

The green ball flies off laterally to the left--a different result than the first trial.
If the conditions remain the same, the green ball will react in exactly the same way each time. Why wouldn't it?
The green ball flies off laterally to the left--a different result than the first trial.
If the conditions remain the same, the green ball will react in exactly the same way each time. Why wouldn't it? Because we are deliberately testing and exploring an alternative to determinism, called indeterminism. If we assume that the green ball will react identically each time then we're assuming determinism and have no way to even consider a model for libertarian free will (LFW), which is explicitly indeterministic.

A “model”? And a child who thinks he can fly like Superman has a “theory,” right? Just like it is a “plan” to turn invisible to rob a bank.

A "model"? And a child who thinks he can fly like Superman has a "theory," right? Just like it is a "plan" to turn invisible to rob a bank.
George, the scientific consensus is that our universe is indeterministic (that is, it includes phenomena that are not deterministic). The issue I'm addressing is how we apply the concept of causation to indeterministic phenomena. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Indeterminism

The scientific consensus is that our universe is indeterministic? How so? Because of quantum mechanics?

The scientific consensus is that our universe is indeterministic? How so? Because of quantum mechanics?
Did I not provide you a URL to visit? Yes, because of QM. Click the URL and read it. It's not long.

Sorry, but if you want to use an analogy to get your point across (your “model”) you will then have to use an example of a subatomic particle and not one of a ball, and a green one on top of it all. You can’t mix up classical mechanics with quantum mechanics and philosophy to make stuff up and expect us to take you seriously. Probably good enough to bamboozle others in the style of Deepak Chopra, but you’ll have to try a little harder here.

Sorry, but if you want to use an analogy to get your point across (your "model") you will then have to use an example of a subatomic particle and not one of a ball, and a green one on top of it all.
Why? The principle of indeterminism is the same for a subatomic particle as it is for a hypothetical ball.
You can't mix up classical mechanics with quantum mechanics and philosophy to make stuff up and expect us to take you seriously.
You can't expect me to take you seriously if you think that's what I'm doing. I've already explained to you the purpose of the illustration. It is to explore our conceptions about causation.
Probably good enough to bamboozle others in the style of Deepak Chopra, but you'll have to try a little harder here.
Right, because with this crowd you'll get guilt by association (Deepak Chopra) at the drop of a hat. If you're not willing to wrestle with the way we conceive of causation in an indeterministic scenario, then feel free to bow out of the discussion.
The principle of indeterminism is the same for a subatomic particle as it is for a hypothetical ball.
Sure, but it is unclear if indeterminism is in fact at play in QM. Einstein didn't think it was, but maybe you know something that he didn't. Anyway, you can't still muddle up something that appears (appears!) to play a role in QM with an analogy from classical mechanics to back up your philosophical position. In the end all you are doing here is slyly using quantum mechanics woo to get your point across and although you may sound a little more eloquent that Deepak (though I am not so sure), I see no reason why not call a spade a spade.
The principle of indeterminism is the same for a subatomic particle as it is for a hypothetical ball.
Sure, but it is unclear if indeterminism is in fact at play in QM. It's more clear to some scientists than to others.
Einstein didn't think it was, but maybe you know something that he didn't.
I know Eistein's been dead for years. It' s unclear whether Einstein is aware of this (there's been much advance in QM since Einstein).
Anyway, you can't still muddle up something that appears (appears!) to play a role in QM with an analogy from classical mechanics to back up your philosophical position.
Okay, I'll tell you this again. Maybe it will sink in this time (though I'm starting to doubt it). This is not an example from classical mechanics. It is an analogy using easily identifiable shapes. I'm describing a presentation I had planned to execute with animations to evaluate our concept of causation with respect to indeterministic phenomena. You insisted on comparing this to Deepak Chopra. The comparison is unfair, and it shames you. The illustration is not about classical-freakin-mechanics. The descriptions held somewhat in common with classical mechanics exist so that I can describe to readers what I had planned to animate graphically to illustrate indeterminism. It doesn't mix classical mechanics with QM. It uses geometrical shapes and movements to encourage people to think about how they conceptualize causation.
In the end all you are doing here is slyly using quantum mechanics woo to get your point across and although you may sound a little more eloquent that Deepak (though I am not so sure), I see no reason why not call a spade a spade.
In the end, you're building a straw man. Why? I dunno. Afraid to challenge your own notions of causation? Eager to protect the community from foreign ideas (though not that foreign, really)? I dunno. But in any case it's a straw man. But maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you're just trying to be funny, like usual. If that's the case, you got me. http://www.indiana.edu/~scotus/files/Agent_Causation.pdf http://philosophyisnotaluxury.com/2011/06/23/scientific-evidence-for-indeterminism/

And here’s one more with some particularly relevant tidbits:
http://www.quantumphil.org/Bell-indeterminism-and-nonlocality.pdf