Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 10, 2022 7:31 pm

From PN:

bahman wrote:
iambiguous wrote:

But my point still revolves around you demonstrating that you made your argument of your own free will. In a wholly determined universe as some understand it, there are no right or wrong arguments...not if the arguments themselves were never not able to be made. That's the part we're all stuck in.

Thus...

There is no right or wrong argument?


Not in the manner which most who embrace free will think of it. Why? Because we are able to freely think of one argument rather than another. And we are free to demonstrate why one argument is right and another argument is wrong. But if we are not able to argue other than as our brains compel us to what does it really mean to call one argument right and another argument wrong when we are never free, in turn, to call it other than as our brains compel us to?

I merely suggest that, even given free will, in the absence of God, there do not appear to be right and wrong philosophical/ethical arguments in regard to moral conflicts.

iambiguous wrote:Thinking up arguments regarding the existence of strong emergence is not the same thing as demonstrating experientially and experimentally that you thought this up freely.


bahman wrote: Consciousness/free will can only be justified from the first-person perspective.


So what? First person, second person, third person. They're all intertwined in the only possible reality if human brains are themselves interchangeable with all other matter in nature.


bahman wrote: I mean you cannot build something and say it is conscious or not. So forget about justifying free will or consciousness experimentally.


In a wholly determined universe as some understand it, you cannot not build anything at all other than as your brain compels you to. Human consciousness derived from human brains being interchangeable with all other matter. That's their point.

We just don't know how to explain how nature managed to create self-conscious matter in the first place. Unless of course someone here can link me to the definitive explanation.

And if they insist it all goes back to God, a demonstration that He Himself does in fact exist.

iambiguous wrote:Or, instead, that when non-conscious/non-living matter "somehow" evolved into conscious/living matter here on planet Earth, it included autonomy when matter "somehow" became human consciousness.

bahman wrote: There are two problems here (if we focus on materialism): First, you need to prove that matter is not conscious, and second, you need to show how matter could become conscious.


But that's my point. The brain scientists working with actual functioning brains are hard at work trying to come up with answers to questions like this. The physicists and chemists and others are working on the nature of matter/energy itself.

On the other hand, how are philosophers here not merely defining and deducing their own answers into existence? A bunch of words defending the meaning of another bunch of words.

What, your own "world of words" here is somehow different?

In what way?


bahman wrote:Again, that is the duty of metaphysics rather than physics or chemistry.


And how is this relevant to the point I make here? As far as I am concerned in a free will world the duty of the metaphysician is to demonstrate that what he or she believes is not merely encompassed in a "world of words".

And, so far, if you have succeeded in accomplishing that here I missed it.

On the other hand, who is to say that human brain matter is even capable of accomplishing it? We may well be the equivalent of the Flatlanders. Never really able to grasp that third dimension as we in the third dimension do.

Then this part:

"According to string theory, one of the leading physics model of the last half century, the universe operates with 10 dimensions." Smithsonian Magazine

All 10 wholly determined?

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:As for the reason it is one or the other, we may as well discuss the reason there is something instead of nothing. Or the reason there is or is not a God.

We just don't know. Either ontologically or teleologically.

Again, there is only the life that we lived precipitating a unique set of personal experiences, uniquely personal communications with others and uniquely personal things that we read or heard or became aware of.

In other words, necessarily excluding all of the experiences and relationships and information and knowledge that did not become a part of our profoundly problematic sense of reality. But that could given new experiences, relationships and access to information and knowledge.

Here for example.

Anyway, take your "intellectual contraption" above and imagine you are explaining it to Mary, grappling with whether to abort or not to abort her pregnancy. Strong emergence or not for her given how there are compatibilists who argue that she is both compelled to abort her pregnancy and morally responsible for doing so.


bahman wrote: Are you a compatibilist? What is your position?


I was once a strong proponent of free will. Then over time the arguments of the determinists persuaded me to "switch sides". Then both "the gap" and "Rummy's Rule" cautioned me to accept that "I", an "infinitesimally tiny speck of existence in the vastness of all there is", almost certainly hasn't come up with the one and the only truly ontological assessment.

And then the far more profound mystery that is teleology.

Anyway, philosophically, my main interest revolves around this: "how ought one to live in a world awash in both conflicting goods and in contingency, chance and change?"

And, re this thread, the part where compatibilists seem able to make the claim that determinism is reconcilable with moral responsibility.

bahman wrote: People believe in all sorts of wrong and strange things, such as compatibilism.


Yes, but in regard to human brain matter itself and anything that we believe, were we ever able to opt not to believe it...to believe something else instead? That's the mind-boggling quandary here. We just don't know. Or, perhaps, many different people claim to know many different conflicting things.

Then what?

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Again, you noted how you think about it. You did not demonstrate that how you think about it necessarily establishes that human autonomy exists. Otherwise, you could take your conclusions to the folks at the American Philosophical Association or the American Physical Society [or their equivalent in other countries] and attempt to have them either verified or falsified.

And I suspect no one else has finally pinned it down because if they had, how would this not be the most discussed topic of all? In both the APA and the APS.


bahman wrote: I am documenting my stuff. But for those who read this here, I can prove that free will is real.


Okay, presuming that "somehow" the human brain did acquire autonomy, why don't you take your conclusions to the folks at Philosophy Now magazine or Scientific American magazine, and seek to publish an article proving it to their readers.

Instead, in my view, you go back up into the clouds in order to and define and deduce your answer into existence:


bahman wrote: Let's wait for it.


And, with any luck, the wait will be on our own terms.

iambiguous wrote:
bahman wrote: There are two types of decisions: Conditional, and free. To elaborate, think of a situation with two options, A and B. Suppose that you like A more than B and you decide on A. This is the conditional decision. Free decision can happen in three different situations: When you equally like A and B and decide on one of the options, when the future outcome of A and B are not known and decide on one of the options, and when you like A more than B but unconditionally decide on B for no specific reason. It should be obvious that a non-free thing cannot for example decide on one option when the future outcome of A and B are not known.


How is this not a "general description intellectual contraption" such that if others agree with the meaning that you give to the words, they agree that it's true?

Or, again, take this to Mary, where A is she aborts, and B is she does not. See what is obvious to her.

bahman wrote:Have you ever had options in your life?


Again, however, the spooky mystery here -- going all the way back to why there is something and not nothing, and why it is this something and not something else -- is whether Mary's conscious option to abort is no less wholly determined, and thus a mere psychological illusion, than a volcano's nonconscious option to erupt.

Sure, a part of me scoffs at the idea that they are the same. I "just know" it's ridiculous. But another part of me can't explain how the matter that became human brains did acquire autonomy.

If it is truly extraordinary matter, how and why did it get that way? Some say God of course but others [scientists and philosophers] are grappling to unearth other possible explanations.

But then back around to the mystery of whether they themselves are pursuing this of their own volition. And isn't it the sheer mind-boggling reality of reality itself that led those like Einstein to grapple with something akin to religion?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Jul 11, 2022 1:44 pm

Just remember that our “want to” is controlled by our environment and genetics to a small degree when it comes to morality. Morality is not an objective command; it is a response to hurt that has been done to us (please do not assume what this hurt comprises). People are rational beings. They don’t retaliate when they have not been wronged. They will retaliate if they have a justification. The reason this discussion of free will versus determinism is so important is that it is predicated on how to rectify these two opposing ideologies which have huge implications for our world!! Don’t assume that this discussion is superfluous. It is anything but.
http://www.declineandfallofallevil.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Decline-and-Fall-of-All-Evil-10-18-2020-FIRST-3-CHAPTERS.pdf

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health,
lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys
information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.” – Michael Ellner



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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jul 11, 2022 5:29 pm

peacegirl wrote:Just remember that our “want to” is controlled by our environment and genetics to a small degree when it comes to morality. Morality is not an objective command; it is a response to hurt that has been done to us (please do not assume what this hurt comprises). People are rational beings. They don’t retaliate when they have not been wronged. They will retaliate if they have a justification. The reason this discussion of free will versus determinism is so important is that it is predicated on how to rectify these two opposing ideologies which have huge implications for our world!! Don’t assume that this discussion is superfluous. It is anything but.


Are you still here?

Just kidding. You were never able not to be here. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Jul 11, 2022 8:20 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:Just remember that our “want to” is controlled by our environment and genetics to a small degree when it comes to morality. Morality is not an objective command; it is a response to hurt that has been done to us (please do not assume what this hurt comprises). People are rational beings. They don’t retaliate when they have not been wronged. They will retaliate if they have a justification. The reason this discussion of free will versus determinism is so important is that it is predicated on how to rectify these two opposing ideologies which have huge implications for our world!! Don’t assume that this discussion is superfluous. It is anything but.


Are you still here?

Just kidding. You were never able not to be here. :wink:


You're right. I was never able not to be here when seen through the lens of determinism. But there is more to it than that, and why the corollary that goes along with determinism is key. :-k
http://www.declineandfallofallevil.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Decline-and-Fall-of-All-Evil-10-18-2020-FIRST-3-CHAPTERS.pdf

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health,
lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys
information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.” – Michael Ellner



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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 15, 2022 4:55 pm

An Examination of Free Will and Buddhism
Barbara O'Brien

No Determinism, No Indeterminism, No Self

The question is, where does Buddhism stand on the question of free will? And the short answer is, it doesn't, exactly. But neither does it propose that we have nothing to say about the course of our lives.


No, the question [as always] is how do Buddhists demonstrate [even to themselves] that their stand on the question of free will is in fact a stand that they opted for of their own volition or "opted" for given the illusion of human volition. Or however the compatibilists encompass it "opting" to do things.

In an article in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Author and Buddhist practitioner B. Alan Wallace said that the Buddha rejected both the indeterministic and deterministic theories of his day. Our lives are deeply conditioned by cause and effect, or karma, refuting indeterminism. And we are personally responsible for our lives and actions, refuting determinism.


Refuting it? Right. Like the Buddha wasn't just as all the rest of us here are. What if our lives were not "deeply conditioned" by cause and effect but wholly intertwined in it going back to however the laws of matter came into existence in the first place.

And he certainly wouldn't be the first [nor the last] to "think up" the conclusion that we are personally responsible for our lives. Why? Because "somehow", even though our lives are deeply conditioned by cause and effect, the human brain is considerably less conditioned than rocks and oceans and the atmosphere.

Then [of course] this part:

But the Buddha also rejected the idea that there is an independent, autonomous self either apart from or within the skandhas. Wallace wrote:

"Thus, the sense that each of us is an autonomous, non-physical subject who exercises ultimate control over the body and mind without being influenced by prior physical or psychological conditions is an illusion."

That pretty much refutes the western notion of free will.


Refutes again. Now all we need is a particular context in which Buddhists and non-Buddhists here go back and forth explaining what we do have "self-control" over and what we don't.

Taking into account both sides of grave of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 15, 2022 5:43 pm

Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote:How are we not "expressing our being" in the only manner in which our wholly in sync with the laws of matter brains compel us to express it?

Again, you're right. It'll all unfold as it was influenced. My word choice was poor, and you highlighted that. "Expressing our being" was intended to mean expressing the culmination of our will, ideals & beliefs - but it's true, our being is the messy / ordered bits alike. And a step further, the external environment is as much a part of us, as we are of it - perhaps moreso.


Then it seems the crucial part comes down to scientists, philosophers and theologians getting together and, given any particular human behavior, finally pinning down whether it's being influenced by the laws of matter, determined by the laws of matter or some place in between.

This part...

iambiguous wrote:How is what we think we understand and is happening around us any different from what we care about here, if both emanate from a consciousness emanating from a mind emanating from a brain wholly in sync with the laws of matter?


Ben JS wrote: It's possible to envision a scenario, where our interests/desire/will aren't realised - that the objective for that which we care, isn't attained/satisfied/completed. This scenario represents having an interpretation of what is happening, that is not in accord with our desire. It's common to actively seek for this not to be be the case, or remain the case.

While both the contents/events of reality and our cares are inseparably chained together, the image of what we think is happening (reality), and the image of what we want to be happening (objectives), often don't match. So there's reason to draw distinction between them.


It's also possible that what we envision we were never able not to envision.

But, again, this is all very abstract. Why don't you focus in on behaviors that you have chosen of late and note how your point here is applicable.

Acknowledging of course that this assumes that you are in possession of the free will necessary to make your description the actual embodiment of free will in the first place.

iambiguous wrote:How mentally, emotionally and psychologically is anything that we think and feel not but an inherent manifestation of the only possible world?


Ben JS wrote: Yes, you're right. But if the only possible world has led one to suffer in the present, ought one still not seek it's reduction in the future?


Here's the part that continues to baffle me. If the only possible world has led one to suffer, hasn't it also led one to either seek or not to seek its reduction?

Is this the compatibilist frame of mind? Yes, there's the only possible reality in the only possible world but "somehow" we can influence and change it?

What do I keep missing here?

This part:

Ben JS wrote: So even if it's all determined, as I and others believe, we're still trying to act in a way that we anticipate may contribute to an outcome in reality which is preferable than other outcomes that aren't preferred. [...]


iambiguous wrote: Again, if it's all determined, we're not trying to act, we're acting in the only manner in which the laws of nature compel us to act. Our "contributions" are no less destined/fated.


Ben JS wrote: Our expectations are very important here and I'd ask you to reread my statement quoted above.
Yes, we'll always act - but that's not what I was saying. I was specifically speaking about acting in a way that we predict, or anticipate will result in a preferred outcome as opposed to a non-preferred outcome.

Let's say I'm hungry and decide to resolve this. My solution: I plan to hit my arm with a hammer in hope it will put food in my stomach. Now, you as a neutral party, do you expect this to work? Do you anticipate my strategy to be effective? I assume not. In this scenario, I'm trying to attain a goal, but failing.

My point? That our acts, and the intent of our acts, are different. The trying, which I was referring to, was directly regarding trying to effectively achieve our objectives based on our plan of action - trying to act wisely. -- yes, we're always acting, but not always achieving the contents of our will.


My point? That in a wholly determined world as I understand it, our acts and our intentions to act are six of one, half a dozen of another to our brains. Nothing that we think, feel, say and do is exempt from the only possible reality in the only possible world. My intent to type these words, my typing these words, your intent to read them, your reading them...all seamlessly intertwined in the laws of matter.

Back to, Schopenhauer's, "A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills."

But this is no less open to differing interpretations: https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/qu ... nt-what-he

iambiguous wrote:Back to you telling this to someone in a dream. You wake up and realise it was entirely your brain creating the words you "spoke".


Ben JS wrote: Even if it's all a dream, we're still living it. Our experiences are real, even if a terribly poor representation of objective reality. If you're in a dream, and don't know it, then the contents of your will, reasonably should be in concern to the contents of the dream.


But the living we do in the waking world is basically what some hard determinists insist is interchangeable with the living we are doing in the dream world.

Our "gut" tells us that is absurd. But what if our deep down intuitive, visceral thoughts and feelings in the waking world are no less a manifestation of our brains on automatic pilot?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Jul 17, 2022 1:39 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote:How are we not "expressing our being" in the only manner in which our wholly in sync with the laws of matter brains compel us to express it?

Again, you're right. It'll all unfold as it was influenced. My word choice was poor, and you highlighted that. "Expressing our being" was intended to mean expressing the culmination of our will, ideals & beliefs - but it's true, our being is the messy / ordered bits alike. And a step further, the external environment is as much a part of us, as we are of it - perhaps moreso.


Then it seems the crucial part comes down to scientists, philosophers and theologians getting together and, given any particular human behavior, finally pinning down whether it's being influenced by the laws of matter, determined by the laws of matter or some place in between.

This part...

iambiguous wrote:How is what we think we understand and is happening around us any different from what we care about here, if both emanate from a consciousness emanating from a mind emanating from a brain wholly in sync with the laws of matter?


Ben JS wrote: It's possible to envision a scenario, where our interests/desire/will aren't realised - that the objective for that which we care, isn't attained/satisfied/completed. This scenario represents having an interpretation of what is happening, that is not in accord with our desire. It's common to actively seek for this not to be be the case, or remain the case.

While both the contents/events of reality and our cares are inseparably chained together, the image of what we think is happening (reality), and the image of what we want to be happening (objectives), often don't match. So there's reason to draw distinction between them.


It's also possible that what we envision we were never able not to envision.

But, again, this is all very abstract. Why don't you focus in on behaviors that you have chosen of late and note how your point here is applicable.

Acknowledging of course that this assumes that you are in possession of the free will necessary to make your description the actual embodiment of free will in the first place.

iambiguous wrote:How mentally, emotionally and psychologically is anything that we think and feel not but an inherent manifestation of the only possible world?


Ben JS wrote: Yes, you're right. But if the only possible world has led one to suffer in the present, ought one still not seek it's reduction in the future?


Here's the part that continues to baffle me. If the only possible world has led one to suffer, hasn't it also led one to either seek or not to seek its reduction?

Is this the compatibilist frame of mind? Yes, there's the only possible reality in the only possible world but "somehow" we can influence and change it?

What do I keep missing here?

This part:

Ben JS wrote: So even if it's all determined, as I and others believe, we're still trying to act in a way that we anticipate may contribute to an outcome in reality which is preferable than other outcomes that aren't preferred. [...]


iambiguous wrote: Again, if it's all determined, we're not trying to act, we're acting in the only manner in which the laws of nature compel us to act. Our "contributions" are no less destined/fated.


Ben JS wrote: Our expectations are very important here and I'd ask you to reread my statement quoted above.
Yes, we'll always act - but that's not what I was saying. I was specifically speaking about acting in a way that we predict, or anticipate will result in a preferred outcome as opposed to a non-preferred outcome.

Let's say I'm hungry and decide to resolve this. My solution: I plan to hit my arm with a hammer in hope it will put food in my stomach. Now, you as a neutral party, do you expect this to work? Do you anticipate my strategy to be effective? I assume not. In this scenario, I'm trying to attain a goal, but failing.

My point? That our acts, and the intent of our acts, are different. The trying, which I was referring to, was directly regarding trying to effectively achieve our objectives based on our plan of action - trying to act wisely. -- yes, we're always acting, but not always achieving the contents of our will.


My point? That in a wholly determined world as I understand it, our acts and our intentions to act are six of one, half a dozen of another to our brains. Nothing that we think, feel, say and do is exempt from the only possible reality in the only possible world. My intent to type these words, my typing these words, your intent to read them, your reading them...all seamlessly intertwined in the laws of matter.

Back to, Schopenhauer's, "A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills."

But this is no less open to differing interpretations: https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/qu ... nt-what-he

iambiguous wrote:Back to you telling this to someone in a dream. You wake up and realise it was entirely your brain creating the words you "spoke".


Ben JS wrote: Even if it's all a dream, we're still living it. Our experiences are real, even if a terribly poor representation of objective reality. If you're in a dream, and don't know it, then the contents of your will, reasonably should be in concern to the contents of the dream.


But the living we do in the waking world is basically what some hard determinists insist is interchangeable with the living we are doing in the dream world.

Our "gut" tells us that is absurd. But what if our deep down intuitive, visceral thoughts and feelings in the waking world are no less a manifestation of our brains on automatic pilot?


Automatic pilot? Are you saying we don’t choose? We are no different than falling dominoes? You keep comparing a dream state to an awake state as if they are one and the same. There may be some similarities but they are not exact. We have no control in a dream state. We don’t have control in an awake state either but what we choose to do or not do in an awake state has a direct or a ripple effect on others, especially if our “unfree” choices hurt people intentionally or unintentionally. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could change the conditions of the environment such that the choice to hurt others is no longer a preferable one? Remember, we can only choose what is considered preferable among two or more options, which is why will is not free. If will was free we could choose what is less preferable under the same exact circumstances which is impossible.
http://www.declineandfallofallevil.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Decline-and-Fall-of-All-Evil-10-18-2020-FIRST-3-CHAPTERS.pdf

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health,
lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys
information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.” – Michael Ellner



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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 22, 2022 5:27 pm

An Examination of Free Will and Buddhism
Barbara O'Brien

The western "free will" perspective is that we humans have free, rational minds with which to make decisions. The Buddha taught that most of us are not free at all but are being perpetually jerked around -- by attractions and aversions; by our conditioned, conceptual thinking; and most of all by karma. But through the practice of the Eightfold Path, we may be freed of our backward thinking and be liberated from karmic effects.


Think of it like this: The Buddha's rendition of dasein. Only he "thinks up" a spiritual cure.

Anyone here practice the Eightfold Path? Okay, let's bring that down to Earth in regard to determinism and free will and Mary agonizing over an unwanted pregnancy. Or a context of your own choosing.

But this doesn't settle the basic question -- if there is no self, who is it that wills? Who is it that is personally responsible? This is not easily answered and may be the sort of doubt that requires enlightenment itself to clarify.


Any Buddhists here who deem themselves enlightened? Okay, let's bring your own clarification down to Earth. In particular in regard to the distinction I make between the clarity that prevails in the is/ought world and the confounding ambiguities that abound in the world of conflicting value judgments.

Wallace's answer is that although we may be empty of an autonomous self, we function in the phenomenal world as autonomous beings. And as long as that is so, we are responsible for what we do.


Got that? Then please explain it me. How, given examples like a woman agonizing over an unwanted pregnancy, are we to make sense of this?

We are empty of an autonomous self in a world that is not phenomenal? But then "somehow" in the phenomenal world -- presto! -- we become responsible for what we do.

Is this a Buddhist thing such that for those of us who remain unenlightened are simply unable to figure it out?

Again, the whole thing seems profoundly "mystical" to me. Like something some are able to think themselves into believing because it soothes the soul not to think of the human condition as...I do?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:53 pm

An Examination of Free Will and Buddhism
Barbara O'Brien

Karma and Determinism

The Buddha also rejected a purely deterministic view in his teaching on karma. Most of the Buddha's contemporaries taught that karma operates in a simple straight line. Your life now is the result of what you did in the past; what you do now will determine your life in the future. The problem with this view is that it leads to a degree of fatalism -- there's nothing you can do about your life now.


Exactly. Either what goes around must come around or it might come around in different ways instead...depending on the extent to which you are in fact free to change its trajectory. So, where does the Buddhist understanding of karma end and fatalism begin? And if there is no God around to determine that, what does? Also, how is karma construed in regard to such things as the caste system. Some are "untouchables" but they only have themselves to blame? They must have done something in the past to warrant their....fate?

But the Buddha taught that the effects of past karma can be mitigated by present action; in other words, one is not fated to suffer X because one did X in the past. Your actions now can change the course of karma and impact your life now.


Again, though, technically, how exactly does that work? Who or what is "out there" juggling all of these variables such that the past and the present and the future are either seamlessly intertwined or open to, what, mitigating or aggravating circumstances?

With many religious denominations it's a God, the God. But that gets tricky because this God is often said to be omniscient. And how then is an all-knowing God able to be reconciled with human autonomy?

But with Buddhism? What "force" or "entity" is "behind" karma? The universe itself? Or does this part require Buddhism's own rendition of a "leap of faith"?

The Theravadin monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote...

"Buddhists, however, saw that karma acts in multiple feedback loops, with the present moment being shaped both by past and by present actions; present actions shape not only the future but also the present. Furthermore, present actions need not be determined by past actions. In other words, there is free will, although its range is somewhat dictated by the past."


Now, this is definitely what I call a "general description spiritual contraption".

Any Buddhists here care to explore the actual existential implications of it given your own life...past, present and future?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 12, 2022 3:25 am

Compatibilism
David Agler

Quick Review

Determinism is the general idea that either physical or causal
determinism is true.

Surface freedom: S has surface freedom if and only if S can act on their
desires without interference.

Deep freedom: S has deep freedom if and only if (1) S could have acted
otherwise and (2) the source of S's action is found in themselves (they
are in control of their desires to the extent to which they can be held
morally responsible for their action


1] We will need a context

2] in exploring this context, our only option is to assume some measure of free will. Why? Because, in my view, discussions such as this would be subsumed in this:

All of this going back to how the matter we call the human brain was "somehow" able to acquire autonomy when non-living matter "somehow" became living matter "somehow" became conscious matter "somehow" became self-conscious matter.

Then those here who actually believe that what they believe about all of this reflects, what, the ontological truth about the human condition itself?

Then those who are compelled in turn to insist on a teleological component as well. Usually in the form of one or another God.

Meanwhile, philosophers and scientists and theologians have been grappling with this profound mystery now for thousands of years.

Either in the only possible reality in the only possible world or of their own volition.


Compatibilism and Incompatibilism

Compatibilism - freedom and determinism are consistent, viz., both
of the positions can be true.

Incompatibilism - freedom and determinism are inconsistent,
viz., both of the positions cannot be true.


Someday [hopefully] in a world where compatibilism reigns, someone will actually be able to explain to me how on earth compatibilism can possibly make any sense at all given determinism.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: Determinism

Postby Ichthus77 » Fri Aug 12, 2022 3:54 am

1. Voluntary & involuntary biological systems
2. Self-conditioning (behaviorism)
3. The transcendent-immanent one who began the whole thing as a completed in-progress work sustains all temporal choices (including any that mess with time)
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

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Re: Determinism

Postby Ben JS » Sat Aug 20, 2022 10:58 am

iambiguous wrote:
Ben JS wrote:But if the only possible world has led one to suffer in the present, ought one still not seek it's reduction in the future?

Here's the part that continues to baffle me. If the only possible world has led one to suffer, hasn't it also led one to either seek or not to seek its reduction?

Yes. However, we do not know what has been determined. We walk in ignorance, but walk we do.
Given that we're still moving through this life, we can try to move towards ideal futures that are still seemingly possible.

Questioning ourselves and each other, plays it's own pivotal role in the path of history.
To dismiss the relevance of our actions in the unfolding of reality, is to neglect our own experience.

What I'm trying to emphasize is that we matter to ourselves and each other - and our decisions still have impact.
Even if it's all inevitable, we still walk our paths - we still take the good and bad on our chest.

To say our actions aren't relevant, is to sell ourselves short - as a butterfly's flap may path the way to unforeseen results, so too do the makings of our lives.
This discussion influences me, as it perhaps influences you - even in the slightest way. A link in a chain.

To one who does not seek the reduction of purposeless suffering, I hope it is determined for them to be influenced away from that.
It'll be as it'll be. We can still try though - come what may. And when all is said and done, it had to be this way.
Formerly known as: Joe Schmoe

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison. [...] For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. - Mandela

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering. - Dalai Lama

I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics. - Schweitzer

If you have any sense my friend, don't plant anything but Love. - Rumi

To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom. - Krishnamurti

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other. - Chardin

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 23, 2022 5:20 pm

Compatibilism
David Agler

Classical compatibilism -- The world can be determined and individuals can be free since:
1. The world can be determined and
2. A subject S can be free since there are cases where it is true that
were S to desire to do X, they would both have the power or ability
to do X and nothing would prevent them from doing X


Of course: Scratch subject X.

Let X = Merrick Garland indicting Donald Trump. Garland desires to indict Trump because Garland deems it rational to indict Trump. But how exactly can Garland be free to indict Trump "since there are cases where it is true that were Garland to desire to indict Trump, they would both have the power or ability to indict Trump and nothing would prevent them from indicting Trump".

Huh? Nothing could prevent him from indicting Trump. Why? Because given that his brain is wholly in sync with the laws of matter, he was never able not to indict him.

Note to compatibilists:

Again, what am I missing here?

We will consider three objections to classical compatibilism:

1. Determinism entails the lack of capacity to act otherwise (a
necessary ingredient for freedom) and so compatibilism is false
2. Determinism entails the lack of deep freedom (ability to control our
desires to the extent to which we can be said to be morally
responsible), and so compatibilism is false.


Yep, that works for me. Why? Because it was such that, here and now, it was never able not to work for me. On the other hand, what do the laws of matter have in store for me down the road? Will one day a new configuration of matter compel me to embrace compatibilism?

Then this:

3. Compatibilism entails determinism; determinism is a hopeless doctrine; therefore, we ought to accept compatibilism as a last resort.


Again: Huh?

Given the Garland/Trump context above, you tell me. Compelled or not.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 24, 2022 5:37 pm

Ben JS wrote: But if the only possible world has led one to suffer in the present, ought one still not seek it's reduction in the future?


iambiguous wrote: Here's the part that continues to baffle me. If the only possible world has led one to suffer, hasn't it also led one to either seek or not to seek its reduction?

Is this the compatibilist frame of mind? Yes, there's the only possible reality in the only possible world but "somehow" we can influence and change it?

What do I keep missing here?


Ben JS wrote: Yes. However, we do not know what has been determined. We walk in ignorance, but walk we do.
Given that we're still moving through this life, we can try to move towards ideal futures that are still seemingly possible.


Okay, as long as you are willing to accept that, as of now, we seem to have no way to determine beyond all doubt if we are moving/walking into the only possible future there can ever be.

And, even given a definitive scientific/philosophical conclusion that human beings on planet Earth are in possession of autonomy, free will, volition...whose ideal future?

And here you are with a Dalai Lama avatar. Suggesting, what, that an ideal future revolves spiritually around Buddhism?

Then [from my frame of mind] a typical "general description spiritual contraption" approach to all this:

Ben JS wrote: Questioning ourselves and each other, plays it's own pivotal role in the path of history.
To dismiss the relevance of our actions in the unfolding of reality, is to neglect our own experience.

What I'm trying to emphasize is that we matter to ourselves and each other - and our decisions still have impact.
Even if it's all inevitable, we still walk our paths - we still take the good and bad on our chest.

To say our actions aren't relevant, is to sell ourselves short - as a butterfly's flap may path the way to unforeseen results, so too do the makings of our lives.
This discussion influences me, as it perhaps influences you - even in the slightest way. A link in a chain.
To one who does not seek the reduction of purposeless suffering, I hope it is determined for them to be influenced away from that.
It'll be as it'll be. We can still try though - come what may. And when all is said and done, it had to be this way.


Whose questions? Whose answers? Given what context? Predicated on what set of moral and political and spiritual assumptions regarding the "human condition".

Buddha's?

And then the part where you either will or will not consider that your own spiritual path here is but one more subjective/intersubjective embodiment of dasein..."I" given the life you've lived existentially.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: Determinism

Postby Ben JS » Thu Aug 25, 2022 2:25 am

iambiguous wrote:Is this the compatibilist frame of mind? Yes, there's the only possible reality in the only possible world but "somehow" we can influence and change it?

I'm a hard determinist so questions directed at compatibilists aren't for me - even if I may seem like one.

Our actions contribute to the future result, shaped by a chain of events prior. I believe it is our ignorance that gives us the sense of possibility - we do not know, so we cannot determine which possible future is accurate. If a supernatural being free from the chains of cause and effect came into our existence and erased a person - the absence would affect the trajectory of existence. My point? Our lives contribute to the result - we restrict the future, forcing the hand of future events.

What our actions do change and influence, is our expectations - our predictions of the future. Our actions often lead to predictable results. If I walk off a cliff, there's an expectation of a result that follows. If I don't want this result, I should rationally avoid walking off cliffs - or act in another way to change the expected result, i.e. wear a parachute / wingsuit.

One can believe both that the current state of existence is determined by the prior state of existence, and that one's will is not free - while simultaneously acknowledging that one isn't aware of what the prior and current state of existence have determined of the future. Given these, one is left in a position where one can hope and strive towards possible futures that are preferred. If we knew exactly what was going to happen, then there's no room for hope.

iambiguous wrote:And here you are with a Dalai Lama avatar. Suggesting, what, that an ideal future revolves spiritually around Buddhism?

I'm not a Buddhist. I have deep respect for the Dalai Lama and his teachings / wisdom. It makes me happy to be reminded of him.
I think his teachings regarding compassion, kindness, tolerance and gratitude can increase the quality of life for many when practiced.

iambiguous wrote:[...] whose ideal future?

We each may strive towards our own conceptions of what is a preferred future.
The root of our preferences, however, aren't really so different IMO.

iambiguous wrote:And then the part where you either will or will not consider that your own spiritual path here is but one more subjective/intersubjective embodiment of dasein..."I" given the life you've lived existentially.

My path is my own and I wouldn't ask of another to walk it.
Again though, a preferred path may cross many common landmarks.
Formerly known as: Joe Schmoe

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison. [...] For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. - Mandela

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering. - Dalai Lama

I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics. - Schweitzer

If you have any sense my friend, don't plant anything but Love. - Rumi

To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom. - Krishnamurti

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other. - Chardin

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Re: Determinism

Postby Costard » Fri Aug 26, 2022 12:50 pm

Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote: If a supernatural being free from the chains of cause and effect came into our existence and erased a person - the absence would affect the trajectory of existence. My point? Our lives contribute to the result - we restrict the future, forcing the hand of future events.


How can something with no effect erase that which was already the result of a cause?
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 30, 2022 8:09 pm

Compatibilism
David Agler

Critics of compatibilism will immediately reject the theory because:
• Freedom implies the capacity to act otherwise
• Determinism seems to exclude the capacity to act otherwise
• Therefore, compatibilism cannot be true.
Let's call this the Argument from the ability to do otherwise


There you go. If you are determined by the laws of matter to read these words then you lacked the capacity to opt not to read them. And if that is the case and another lacked the capacity to not insist that not reading them is immoral how could you be held morally responsible for not reading them other than because whoever holds you morally responsible was never able not to.

Yet thinking this through given the possibility that we have free will also seems to revolve around the assumption that we may not have it...and we suggest the possibility that we do only because we were never able not to.

Yet there does not appear to be either a scientific or a philosophical -- or a theological? -- resolution to any of this. Or, rather, none that I am aware of.

Objection: no ability to do otherwise
Argument from the ability to do otherwise
• P1: If determinism is true, then every single one of my actions is
determined in advance.
• P2: If every one of my actions is determined in advance, then I could
never have acted differently than I did (can't act otherwise).
• P3: The ability to act otherwise is an essential component of what it
means to be free.
• IC: Therefore, if determinism is true, then no one is free.
• P4: Classical compatibilism says that if determinism is true, then we can
still be free.
• C: Therefore, classical compatibilism is false


Same thing. Basically, we are stuck here trying to connect the dots between words that we may or may not be compelled to choose and a world going back to an understanding of existence itself that we may or may not ever fully understand.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 30, 2022 8:51 pm

iambiguous wrote:Here's the part that continues to baffle me. If the only possible world has led one to suffer, hasn't it also led one to either seek or not to seek its reduction?

Is this the compatibilist frame of mind? Yes, there's the only possible reality in the only possible world but "somehow" we can influence and change it?

What do I keep missing here?


Ben JS wrote: I'm a hard determinist so questions directed at compatibilists aren't for me - even if I may seem like one.


Okay, but some hard determinists would be compelled to argue that I direct at you only what I was never able not to direct at you. And that you were never ever able to opt not to point this out to me.

Absolutely nothing that we think, feel, say and do is excluded from the laws of matter. Only we have no capacity that I am aware of to to pin down whether or not this is actually true.

Then [from my frame of mind compelled or not] you go on noting things to be as though you did in fact have the option to note other things...

How is this....

Ben JS wrote: Our actions contribute to the future result, shaped by a chain of events prior. I believe it is our ignorance that gives us the sense of possibility - we do not know, so we cannot determine which possible future is accurate. If a supernatural being free from the chains of cause and effect came into our existence and erased a person - the absence would affect the trajectory of existence. My point? Our lives contribute to the result - we restrict the future, forcing the hand of future events.

What our actions do change and influence, is our expectations - our predictions of the future. Our actions often lead to predictable results. If I walk off a cliff, there's an expectation of a result that follows. If I don't want this result, I should rationally avoid walking off cliffs - or act in another way to change the expected result, i.e. wear a parachute / wingsuit.

One can believe both that the current state of existence is determined by the prior state of existence, and that one's will is not free - while simultaneously acknowledging that one isn't aware of what the prior and current state of existence have determined of the future. Given these, one is left in a position where one can hope and strive towards possible futures that are preferred. If we knew exactly what was going to happen, then there's no room for hope.


...really any different from how a libertarian might put it?

Contributions, beliefs, actions, expectations, acknowledgments...hoping, striving.

What...your brain allows for them in a way that is different from mine and everyone else's in a wholly determined universe?

But, apparently, not really wholly determined at all for you.

iambiguous wrote:And here you are with a Dalai Lama avatar. Suggesting, what, that an ideal future revolves spiritually around Buddhism?


Ben JS wrote: I'm not a Buddhist. I have deep respect for the Dalai Lama and his teachings / wisdom. It makes me happy to be reminded of him.
I think his teachings regarding compassion, kindness, tolerance and gratitude can increase the quality of life for many when practiced.


Same thing. You have a deep respect for the Dalai Lama because you were never able not to have a deep respect for him. But what kind of respect is it that you were never able not to have? What on Earth are compassion, kindness, tolerance and gratitude if they are only ever what each of us could never not feel as we do?

Nope, one way or another human consciousness has to be explained scientifically and/or philosophically as matter...but a very, very different matter.

After all, why do you suppose so many explain that difference...spiritually, theologically. Some though God, others through...the universe itself? Buddhism is just another spiritual path to "enlightenment".

But in a wholly determined universe as some understand it being enlightened or unenlightened is interchangeable. If, in fact, you were never able not to be either one or the other.

iambiguous wrote:And then the part where you either will or will not consider that your own spiritual path here is but one more subjective/intersubjective embodiment of dasein..."I" given the life you've lived existentially.


Ben JS wrote: My path is my own and I wouldn't ask of another to walk it.
Again though, a preferred path may cross many common landmarks.


Well, from my frame of mind, even given free will, your path -- morally and politically -- reflects the embodiment of the points "I" raise on these threads:

https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=185296

And all I can do is to invite others to peruse those points and then, given particular sets of circumstances in the is/ought world, note for me why they are not applicable to them.

Again, assuming free will.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: Determinism

Postby Sculptor » Tue Aug 30, 2022 8:52 pm

iambiguous wrote:Compatibilism
David Agler

Critics of compatibilism will immediately reject the theory because:
• Freedom implies the capacity to act otherwise
• Determinism seems to exclude the capacity to act otherwise
• Therefore, compatibilism cannot be true.
Let's call this the Argument from the ability to do otherwise


There you go. If you are determined by the laws of matter to read these words then you lacked the capacity to opt not to read them. And if that is the case and another lacked the capacity to not insist that not reading them is immoral how could you be held morally responsible for not reading them other than because whoever holds you morally responsible was never able not to..


Easy.
Determinism does not matter for assessing culpability.

When a person determinedly breaks a law with the full knowledge of breaking the law, he is judged for the person he is not the choice he has made, since he was determined to make that choice he is to be punished for being the sort of person who commits crimes.
This is why we have "correctional" facilities, so that the hardships of imprisonment or the advice of rehabilitating advice might change the nature of the person and so cause a beneficial change.

If determinism is not true then change is not possible and we ought to throw away the key or kill prisoners if they have free will to chose to commit as many crimes as the will.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Meno_ » Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:54 pm

Intentional law breaking again depends on the level of culpability or capacity to understand the law.

So a fine tuning may not be necessary to interpret the meaning of the black letter, however , the fine line that is drawn between them rarely depends on an objective analysis, rather has more to do on the current mood of the judge who interprets it.

Some or most judges are practiced enough to do so prima facae or one look serves sufficient reason to hold or uphold that opinion.

The changes in application have at times no sufficient necessity to hold to that standard of opinion..

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 01, 2022 6:43 pm

Sculptor wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Compatibilism
David Agler



There you go. If you are determined by the laws of matter to read these words then you lacked the capacity to opt not to read them. And if that is the case and another lacked the capacity to not insist that not reading them is immoral how could you be held morally responsible for not reading them other than because whoever holds you morally responsible was never able not to..


Easy.
Determinism does not matter for assessing culpability.


On the contrary, the truly hardcore determinists insist, there is absolutely nothing that we think, feel, say and do that is not wholly subsumed in a wholly determined universe.

What, assessing culpability is the one exception?

Thus from their point of view this...

Sculptor wrote: When a person determinedly breaks a law with the full knowledge of breaking the law, he is judged for the person he is not the choice he has made, since he was determined to make that choice he is to be punished for being the sort of person who commits crimes.
This is why we have "correctional" facilities, so that the hardships of imprisonment or the advice of rehabilitating advice might change the nature of the person and so cause a beneficial change.

If determinism is not true then change is not possible and we ought to throw away the key or kill prisoners if they have free will to chose to commit as many crimes as the will.


...too is but one more inherent manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world.

Or, sure, in regard to prisoners and our reaction to them, that too is an exception to the immutable laws of matter rule. One of the dominoes that get away.

As though when someone breaks the law in a determined universe their knowledge of what they do is, as well, "somehow" beyond the reach of material laws.

And, yeah, it might be.

But then this:

All of this going back to how the matter we call the human brain was "somehow" able to acquire autonomy when non-living matter "somehow" became living matter "somehow" became conscious matter "somehow" became self-conscious matter.

Then those here who actually believe that what they believe about all of this reflects, what, the ontological truth about the human condition itself?

Then those who are compelled in turn to insist on a teleological component as well. Usually in the form of one or another God.

Meanwhile, philosophers and scientists and theologians have been grappling with this profound mystery now for thousands of years.

Either in the only possible reality in the only possible world or of their own volition.



FYI

To the best of my knowledge, Ichthus77 is a her.

And she is determined to love God.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Sep 11, 2022 2:08 am

Compatibilism
David Agler

Cereal Case
• Suppose I ate eggs for breakfast.
• I ate eggs because (1) I desired to eat eggs rather than something else and (2) I had power to act on this desire.
• Suppose also that I was determined to eat eggs. Past events along with factors outside of my control shaped the desire: I will want eggs for breakfast

If I am free, then I could have eaten something else. I could have acted otherwise. I could have eaten cereal instead?


But the quandary here always goes deeper. We can pose thought experiments like this...but we have no way of knowing if in posing them that too isn't but another manifestation of the only possible reality. We are always stuck using our brain in order to determine what using our brain actually encompasses. That's why Gods are invented. With Him we can anchor human existence itself in something that transcends human existence. Something that explains human existence. Something that gives human existence meaning and purpose.

Compatibilists: Yes, even though you were determined to eat eggs, if you had desired to eat the cereal and nothing was preventing you given that desire, then you could have eaten the cereal.


Again: as though what we desire is not in turn wholly determined.

That's where some here seem to go though. They focus in on human emotions or human intuition as though they were somehow qualitatively different from human thoughts. But, along with thoughts, where do emotions and "gut feelings" originate if not the brain?

It just seems reasonable to assume that if the human brain is matter and matter interacts with other matter in accordance with its "immutable laws" then nothing that is matter gets excluded. Not until God does reveal Himself and explains existence or science is able to establish beyond all doubt that human brain matter is the one exception to the rule here on planet Earth.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: Determinism

Postby Ichthus77 » Sun Sep 11, 2022 5:31 am

There is matter & there is conditioned matter.

Unconditioned matter may be better termed preconditioned matter if it is living matter (information in DNA encoded by…).

Conditioned matter is the result of erosion back to the most elemental, unless it builds up & fortifies. Up to what?

That which can be created or changed or shaped… is not essential. It is contingent.

When you take away all elemental matter, all conditioning… what is left of that which is in common between every person… even conscious AI?

We are each an image/spirit that will not return void to the programmer who gave it. We are free because we are not mere matter, and even matter comes from the programmer’s being. Even conscious AI with human programmers, because humans reverse engineer with elementals from the source.

We do not always self-condition, but if everything were just memes & genes, we never could. Weil would say… we never could WITHOUT them. I think that was what Dr. Rad meant to drive home with bringing up Spinoza.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:31 am

Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions
Shaun Nichols,Joshua Knobe

The dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists must be one of the most persistent and heated deadlocks in Western philosophy. Incompatibilists maintain that people are not fully morally responsible if determinism is true, i.e., if every event is an inevitable consequence of the prior conditions and the natural laws. By contrast, compatibilists maintain that even if determinism is true our moral responsibility is not undermined in the slightest, for determinism and moral responsibility are perfectly consistent.


Fully responsible? How can they be responsible to any degree at all "if every event is an inevitable consequence of the prior conditions and the natural laws"?

That's the part I can't come to grips with from the compatibilists...

"Mary, my brain, wholly in sync with the laws of matter, compels me to tell you that you were never able to freely opt not to abort Jane. But my brain also compels me to tell you that you are morally responsible for having done so."

In other words, whatever "for all practical purposes" that means.

The debate between these two positions has invoked many different resources, including quantum mechanics, social psychology, and basic metaphysics.


And whatever the hell we do here.

But recent discussions have relied heavily on arguments that draw on people's intuitions about particular cases. Some philosophers have claimed that people have incompatibilist intuitions others have challenged this claim and suggested that people's intuitions actually fit with compatibilism.


Either way, our intuitive, visceral, "gut feelings" are among the most mysterious reactions we have. Neither wholly rational nor wholly emotional nor even wholly conscious, it just seems to bubble up from "somewhere" inside us.

Thus...

But although philosophers have constructed increasingly sophisticated arguments about the implications of people's intuitions, there has been remarkably little discussion about why people have the intuitions they do. That is to say, relatively little has been said about the specific psychological processes that generate or sustain people's intuitions.


Which takes us to the part where the sheer complexities of human psychology itself -- partly ego, partly superego, partly id/ partly conscious, partly subconscious, partly unconscious/partly genes, partly memes -- may be the place to go in figuring out exactly what that "somehow" is in explaining human autonomy.

Also, the mind-boggling mystery of human dreams. The part that seems perplexing [to me] beyond ever grasping.

Thus...

And yet, it seems clear that questions about the sources of people's intuitions could have a major impact on debates about the compatibility of responsibility and determinism. There is an obvious sense in which it is important to figure out whether people's intuitions are being produced by a process that is generally reliable or whether they are being distorted by a process that generally leads people astray.


Then this part:

1] it hasn't been pinned down yet
2] it's not likely to be pinned before any of us here shuffle off our mortal coils
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: Determinism

Postby Mad Man P » Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:21 pm

iambiguous wrote:Fully responsible? How can they be responsible to any degree at all "if every event is an inevitable consequence of the prior conditions and the natural laws"?

That's the part I can't come to grips with from the compatibilists...


I believe I've offered you an explanation once before and yet you've forgotten it...

Determinism isn't a circumstance where every atom in existence is responsible for every event. Consequently it's not impossible to rule out all but one cause for a specific event... it's like a domino effect.
Even though one might be able to trace cause and effect all the way back to the first domino... it's not inaccurate to say the previous domino was entirely responsible for the current domino being toppled.

What's more, things change a bit when this domino effect is applied to such complex systems as humans and their behavior, which consists of systems within systems to a treamondos degree... even though a person could not have done otherwise, what they have done could only be done if they possessed a certain character or quality... it tells us something about that person and how they function... You don't need to have been the author of your own character in order to be judged and held responsible for it... you seem to be insisting that you do, but I fail to see why.

Who cares if you could not have done otherwise?
When it comes to responsibility and blame... No one cares if you COULD have been a different person... we only care about the person you ARE.
There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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