Determinism

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Sat Apr 23, 2022 3:03 pm

peacegirl wrote:
phyllo wrote:
For example, you see a cream cake in the window of a shop, and the thought arises, “I would like some cake.” Did you freely choose to have that thought? Indeed, can you choose to have any thought? Do they not simply “arise”?
You have free-will.

You eat a cake and you like it.

The next time that you see it and want to eat it again, then you don't have free-will any more?

Because, the thought that you want to eat it just arose?

Are you now and forever controlled by the cake, your desires, your preferences?

How does this shit work?


Phyllo, please hear me out. I was never able to show how a no free will environment (which is based on fact) could help the entire world so much more than blame and punishment could ever do. Obviously everything that has been done was out of necessity. Let’s try to make it better based on better information! Are you listening?
I should have phrased that post better. It sounds like I'm claiming free-will when I'm only considering a hypothetical free-will situation.

The point was to examine what "choose freely" might mean in a free-will world. And if it's really different from what happens in a determined world.

The way people talk about "choosing freely" in a free-will world, it sounds like the chooser is not influenced by past experience ... eating cake once and liking it (or eating spinach once and disliking it) ... would have no effect on the person the next time he is offered cake or spinach. That just sounds crazy to me.

But then if you do have influences and preferences in the free-will world, how is that not the same as having influences and preferences in the determined world?

A lot of free-will thinking seems to be magical thinking. Things happen for apparently no reason. You have 'free' thoughts for apparently no reason. But that's considered to be 'good', because if you do things and think thoughts for particular reasons, then you are being controlled by nature and that's 'bad'.

That's some crazy stuff.
User avatar
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 13131
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 23, 2022 5:56 pm

The Paradox of Free Will
Dennis Waite at the Yoga International website

One extreme view is that thoughts arise outside our conscious control, automatically triggering other thoughts until an action eventually results, all in a totally mechanistic way. This indicates a complete absence of free will and is what Western philosophy labels “universal determinism,” the belief that anything that happens does so necessarily as a result of the causes that precede it.


Of course there are no extreme views in a universe where all views unfold like clockwork. Instead there is only the mystery of matter -- us -- able to become aware of what it means for everything to unfold like clockwork. How nature actually brought that about without, say, a God around to bring nature itself about. And, of course, whatever was able to bring God about.

We may feel that we have to act in a certain way, that we are subconsciously coerced by family or society and are thus unable to act freely according to our desires. Nevertheless, the opposite view of “indeterminism,” wherein all that we do is effectively random, scarcely seems plausible and is equally incompatible with free will.


A random universe is just as incomprehensible to me as one in which compatibilism prevails. What exactly does it mean for the laws of matter as we know them in the either/or world to be "random"? What, they popped into existence out of the blue? And even though physics and chemistry and biology seem to follow very, very, very predictable directives from nature...we just never know when, again, out of the blue, that will all change?

Instead, randomness seems to revolve more around the is/ought world. But even then only for matter such as ourselves able to become aware of all the countless variables and factors in our lives that can come at us from all directions. We never really know what exactly is around that next corner. And we certainly can't and/or don't control much of it.

Unless, of course, as with compatibilism, I am simply not understanding an "indeterminist" universe...given, of course, that I do have the capacity to understand it of my own 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

"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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 23, 2022 6:50 pm

phyllo wrote:
Note to all philosophers, both those here and now and those going all the way back to the pre-Socratics who have ever grappled with these trivial pursuits: He's got you, right?
Yeah, they actually did some philosophy instead of constantly writing "I wrote what I could never have not written" or some other convoluted version of it.


Okay, note some of it for us. Note their arguments and their evidence indicating that in fact they either did or did not write what they either could or could not have opted to write otherwise.

That ought to be interesting.

Sure, the problems posed by grappling with whether human brains themselves are no less wholly in sync with the laws of nature is interchangeable with the problems posed by a busted microwave.


phyllo wrote: In a deterministic world, the human brain is just as much in synch with nature as the microwave.


Yes, but that is the point the determinists tell us. Only microwave ovens don't discuss free will in philosophy forums. To the best of my knowledge. And if your brain gets broken -- naturally or otherwise? -- you can't go to Walmart and purchase another one.

Again, as though noting this becomes, what, the demonstrative evidence needed to finally resolve this centuries old debate among philosophers and scientists and [for some] theologians.


phyllo wrote: As if you're resolving anything.


Truly, I challenge you to note where I am claiming to resolve this "centuries old debate". That's where folks like Lessans and peacegirl come in. Instead, I'm ever and always situating it in "the gap" and in "Rummy's Rule".

What I am mostly grappling to understand -- click -- is how those like you who claim to be compatibilists are able to reconcile Mary never being able to not abort Jane with her moral responsibility for "choosing" to.

phyllo wrote: You got ethics and morality problems? Attributing it to the laws of nature doesn't do anything for you.


Trust me: he "just knows" this. Human beings were created by his God. And if you have questions about morality it's all in the Book. The other Book, not Lessans.


phyllo wrote: Just out of curiosity, where has your philosophy led you? What are the results?


Well, it's led me to the conclusion that 1] my own existence is essentially meaningless and purposeless and that 2] morally, "I" am fractured and fragmented on this side of the grave, and that 3] oblivion awaits me on the other side of it.

Or is someone doing philosophy wrong if it doesn't lead them to a "happy ending"? And to a God or a spiritual path they can nestle down in and suckle on along the way?

He skipped this part...

phyllo wrote: I'm a compatibilist. I don't believe in free-will as you understand it.


Okay, what would you say to Mary if she asked you, "am I morally responsible for aborting my fetus if I never had the free will not to abort it?"


phyllo wrote: Mary isn't here.

I'm not going have a conversation with some nonexistent person.

You are feeding all the lines to this imaginary Mary. Why not skip the middle-woman and just talk to you directly. Which I'm doing.


He's still skipping it. Why? Well, I suspect because he doesn't have a clue as to what he would say to a woman agonizing over an abortion, wondering if, say, phyllo's God does exist, she will burn in Hell if she has one. Or, if, instead, it's Ierrellus God and she won't?

Besides, as I've made it clear many times, Mary is not imaginary to me. Mary isn't her real name, but her own "choice"/choice to have an abortion was instrumental in deconstructing my own objectivist frame of mind. Given human autonomy of course.

phyllo wrote:
:angry-banghead:
What did I just write?
I don't believe this :"Please explain to us how this necessarily resulted in determinism in the dream and free will in the waking world."

WTF


Look, you either do have an explanation as to why in your dreams you think and feel you have free will only to wake up and realize it was entirely of your brains making...and how that is different from you waking world experiences or you don't.


phyllo wrote: ]Jesus Christ. How many times do I have to write something before he gets it?


Note to others:

Please untangle this for me. What do you suppose it is that I am not getting here? If, in fact, I have the capacity to get it of my own volition but I am, what, not sufficiently intelligent enough to?
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 30, 2022 5:30 pm

The Paradox of Free Will
Dennis Waite at the Yoga International website

According to the traditional teaching of Advaita, our ability to choose is restricted by what has happened in the past. This is one element in the theory of karma. Edward de Bono’s metaphor of pouring hot water onto jelly explains how this element operates. The first time that we do this, the water will make faint channels in the surface of the jelly. The next time, there will be a tendency for the water to flow into the same channels. With repetition, over time the channels will become deep and it will be very difficult to get the water to flow anywhere else. This is how habitual modes of behavior come into being. We can employ willpower to overcome these habits and forge a new path, but it is not easy.


Karma...theoretically? But what is karma in a wholly determined universe but just one more manifestation of the only possible reality. Only with karma matter here is truly miraculous. It is matter compelled by physical laws to acquire the capacity to "think up" a theory of karma itself. Habits being just another manifestation of this as well.

And is "our ability to choose restricted by what has happened in the past" far, far more than just restricted? Is the past and the present and the future instead all of but one seamless reality?

Thus conclusions such as this...

"According to Advaita metaphysics, Brahman—the ultimate, transcendent and immanent God of the latter Vedas—appears as the world because of its creative energy (māyā). The world has no separate existence apart from Brahman."

...are, what, entirely interchangeable with conclusions derived from the Christian Bible?

Both being merely inherent, necessary components of the only possible reality in the only possible world?

Eastern philosophy, Western philosophy. As though nature itself somehow just dreamed them up. Two more dominos going all the way back to the Big Bang.

And before that?

Karma is really just the law of cause and effect operating at the level of matter. The real Self is not affected and simply witnesses the actions, but, in our ignorance, we mistakenly think “we” are acting.


Okay, what "on Earth" does that mean? To you for example. How would you intertwine your own real Self in your interactions with the mindless and mindful matter all around you? Here for example?

Determinism. Talk about detachment!

How obscure and abstruse can this all get?

You tell me:

The Bhagavad Gita says: “Whether seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, or breathing, the knower of truth should think ‘I do nothing at all.’” This also means, of course, that I do not have free will, because “choosing” is itself an action. But we must remember that as soon as we speak of the “real Self,” we are adopting the absolute, or para-marthika, viewpoint.


Would could be clearer?
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon May 02, 2022 7:10 pm

peacegirl wrote:
phyllo wrote:
For example, you see a cream cake in the window of a shop, and the thought arises, “I would like some cake.” Did you freely choose to have that thought? Indeed, can you choose to have any thought? Do they not simply “arise”?


Phyllo: You have free-will.

You eat a cake and you like it.

The next time that you see it and want to eat it again, then you don't have free-will any more?

Because, the thought that you want to eat it just arose?

Are you now and forever controlled by the cake, your desires, your preferences?

How does this shit work?


Phyllo, please hear me out. I was never able to show how a no free will environment (which is based on fact) could help the entire world so much more than blame and punishment could ever do. Obviously everything that has been done was out of necessity. Let’s try to make it better based on better information! Are you listening?


Phyllo: I should have phrased that post better. It sounds like I'm claiming free-will when I'm only considering a hypothetical free-will situation. The point was to examine what "choose freely" might mean in a free-will world. And if it's really different from what happens in a determined world.

The way people talk about "choosing freely" in a free-will world, it sounds like the chooser is not influenced by past experience ... eating cake once and liking it (or eating spinach once and disliking it) ... would have no effect on the person the next time he is offered cake or spinach. That just sounds crazy to me.

Peacegirl: Because it IS crazy. Even if we don’t have a preference at a given moment, not choosing IS also a preference. We are always moving in a conscious or unconscious direction toward greater preference or satisfaction, which is why will is NOT free and why it’s a one way street. IOW, after something is chosen we could not have chosen otherwise, but that does not mean nature is forcing a choice on us that we don’t agree to.

Phyllo: But then if you do have influences and preferences in the free-will world, how is that not the same as having influences and preferences in the determined world?

Peacegirl: it’s different only in what preferences are most desirable based on a change of environment from one of blame to one of no blame, ( all other cofactors considered).

Phyllo: A lot of free-will thinking seems to be magical thinking. Things happen for apparently no reason. You have 'free' thoughts for apparently no reason. But that's considered to be 'good', because if you do things and think thoughts for particular reasons, then you are being controlled by nature and that's 'bad'.

That's some crazy stuff.

Peacegirl: It is crazy stuff when you think deeply about it but the confusion is understandable. All of the free will/ determinism debates down through the ages have led to the impasse of blame, for if will is not free and people’s choices are beyond their control, how can we punish them for murder, rape, etc. This is the cornerstone of our civilization and allows punitive action to take place. This apparent unsolvable puzzle is solved through this discovery. Sculptor said there’s nothing new here. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Thank God we are controlled by nature, for then and only only can we change human conduct for the better and achieve what was never thought possible: peace on planet earth!
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 08, 2022 5:21 pm

The Paradox of Free Will
Dennis Waite at the Yoga International website

Most people believe that they are the body and mind and those are affected by our actions. A diabetic, eating sweets without careful consideration, may end up in a coma. Someone who argues with everybody and openly insults others is likely, eventually, to receive a punch in the nose. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that, as we act, so we become—a person doing good becomes good, one doing evil becomes evil. This is all from the empirical, or vyavaharika, viewpoint.


Yes, but, again, the issue here is not whether these things are reasonable to note, but whether we were able to note something other than what we did note because we thought about them some more and changed our minds of our own volition. It's not that someone argues with others precipitating consequences but whether both the decision to argue and the consequences are or are not together as one in the only possible reality given the only possible world.

That's what can't be pinned down here. Or if it has been pinned down definitively, link us to the argument and the evidence backing it up such that you can demonstrate that in so doing you did so while in possession of free will.

That folks from the West might think about all of this differently from folks in the East doesn't make that go away.

Or, rather, it doesn't for me.

Traditional Advaita explains this using the concept of samskara. Whenever someone performs an action with the desire for a specific result (whether for oneself or another), a samskara is created for that person. These accumulate and determine the situations we will be presented with in the future. Our samskaras will influence the scope of our future actions and also the tendencies that we have to act in a particular way (vasana). Any samskara that is not exhausted in this life will carry forward to determine the nature of our birth in the next.


Same thing. How does one go about addressing this given Schopenhauer's conjecture that while you can do what you desire, you cannot desire what you desire. Ever and always back to the profound mystery embedded in the reality of mindful matter emanating from brain matter either wholly in sync with the laws of matter or not. This going all the way back to what can only be the profoundest mystery of all: existence itself.

Why this existence and not no existence at all? Why this existence and not another? Then those who interject at this point and insist it all goes back to God.

I also suggest that given some measure of free will, how is the samskara -- "mental impressions, recollections, or psychological imprints" -- not just another manifestation of dasein.

Why does someone perform this action given this desire when others in the same situation perform different actions derived from different desires?
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby Ben JS » Thu May 12, 2022 12:43 pm

iambiguous wrote:but whether both the decision to argue and the consequences are or are not together as one in the only possible reality given the only possible world.

The universe appears to be fond of circular logic.
x because w, y because x, z because y, a because z [...]

Whether there are other possible coherent universes isn't such a relevant question, because if they could influence our universe - they wouldn't be considered separate.
We could define it as rational, to only be concerned with things that can possibly affect us, even if through a cascade of others things and never directly.
Concerning ourselves with things that could never possible have an impact, by definition, is equivalent to concerning oneself with things one imagines into creation on a whim.

However, when you start setting some variables down into stone - and if they always abide by a set of rules, then the rest naturally unfolds in a very circular way.
Given the present state, there was only ever going to be one type of state that preceded it, and one type of state that proceeds it.

iambiguous wrote:Why does someone perform this action given this desire when others in the same situation perform different actions derived from different desires?

They were never in the same situation.
If they were in the exact same situation, there wouldn't be a difference and it'd be the one person - doing the exact thing they were determined to do.
To name two different things as identical, is to disregard that which seperates them - which defeats the purpose of the questioning.
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

User avatar
Ben JS
Human Being
 
Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Australia

Re: Determinism

Postby Ben JS » Thu May 12, 2022 1:01 pm

iambiguous wrote:Mary can think, feel, say and do things. But only those things that her brain compels her to think, feel, say and do. She aborts her fetus and it is gone. It was never able to be otherwise. The asteroid can do none of those things but there is no stopping it in turn from smashing into Earth. It does so and all of us are gone.

What "for all practical purpose" is the difference?

In the context of responsibility and blame, there is no difference.

Yet, we're still here living our lives today.
The question is, if we accept information as accurate, how do we move forward?
Do we want people to follow the same path as Mary did?
Do we want meteors to follow the same path as that hypothetical meteor?

We have the capacity to contribute to the outcome of whether these events are more likely or less likely to repeat.
And we have a vested interest, as living / bias / willing beings, to prefer one outcome over another.

To acknowledge the credibility of determinism, would impact how we interact with Mary more so than how we'd interact with the meteor,
as we already treat the actions of the meteor as inevitable, where we commonly attribute the concept of free will to Mary, and respond to her differently.
If we don't attribute free will to Mary, then we will approach interaction with her differently.
This is the relevance of this discussion, ought we treat Mary differently than perhaps we may have in the past?

I believe we should and that it's important to acknowledge the degree to which Mary was affected by things outside her control.
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

User avatar
Ben JS
Human Being
 
Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Australia

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Thu May 12, 2022 3:27 pm

Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote:but whether both the decision to argue and the consequences are or are not together as one in the only possible reality given the only possible world.

The universe appears to be fond of circular logic.
x because w, y because x, z because y, a because z [...]

Whether there are other possible coherent universes isn't such a relevant question, because if they could influence our universe - they wouldn't be considered separate.
We could define it as rational, to only be concerned with things that can possibly affect us, even if through a cascade of others things and never directly.
Concerning ourselves with things that could never possible have an impact, by definition, is equivalent to concerning oneself with things one imagines into creation on a whim.

However, when you start setting some variables down into stone - and if they always abide by a set of rules, then the rest naturally unfolds in a very circular way.
Given the present state, there was only ever going to be one type of state that preceded it, and one type of state that proceeds it.

iambiguous wrote:Why does someone perform this action given this desire when others in the same situation perform different actions derived from different desires?

They were never in the same situation.
If they were in the exact same situation, there wouldn't be a difference and it'd be the one person - doing the exact thing they were determined to do.
To name two different things as identical, is to disregard that which seperates them - which defeats the purpose of the questioning.


You are so right Ben. Why is it so hard for people to get? :(
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Thu May 12, 2022 3:43 pm

Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote:but whether both the decision to argue and the consequences are or are not together as one in the only possible reality given the only possible world.

The universe appears to be fond of circular logic.
x because w, y because x, z because y, a because z [...]

Whether there are other possible coherent universes isn't such a relevant question, because if they could influence our universe - they wouldn't be considered separate.
We could define it as rational, to only be concerned with things that can possibly affect us, even if through a cascade of others things and never directly.
Concerning ourselves with things that could never possible have an impact, by definition, is equivalent to concerning oneself with things one imagines into creation on a whim.

However, when you start setting some variables down into stone - and if they always abide by a set of rules, then the rest naturally unfolds in a very circular way.
Given the present state, there was only ever going to be one type of state that preceded it, and one type of state that proceeds it.

iambiguous wrote:Why does someone perform this action given this desire when others in the same situation perform different actions derived from different desires?

They were never in the same situation.
If they were in the exact same situation, there wouldn't be a difference and it'd be the one person - doing the exact thing they were determined to do.
To name two different things as identical, is to disregard that which seperates them - which defeats the purpose of the questioning.


It is impossible to go back to the original situation unless we can turn back the clock (which cannot be done) or the same exact response would result.
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby Ichthus77 » Fri May 13, 2022 2:29 pm

Free will begins when diaper changes end. (give me credit if you hear yourself saying that or i will haunt the conscience you forgot you had)

I only have one question for those who deny free will.

Ec knows my question.
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

“In choosing myself, I choose the other.”
- A marriage of Sartre & Levinas
User avatar
Ichthus77
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 6048
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:48 pm
Location: pale blue clump of star particles

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Fri May 13, 2022 4:09 pm

Ichthus77 wrote:Free will begins when diaper changes end. (give me credit if you hear yourself saying that or i will haunt the conscience you forgot you had)

I only have one question for those who deny free will.

Ec knows my question.


What is your definition of free will that refutes this authors definition as to why we have no free will? I answered all of your questions and you fail to respond. If you want to discuss free will with Ecmandu, please go to his thread.
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 13, 2022 7:00 pm

Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote:but whether both the decision to argue and the consequences are or are not together as one in the only possible reality given the only possible world.

The universe appears to be fond of circular logic.
x because w, y because x, z because y, a because z [...]

Whether there are other possible coherent universes isn't such a relevant question, because if they could influence our universe - they wouldn't be considered separate.
We could define it as rational, to only be concerned with things that can possibly affect us, even if through a cascade of others things and never directly.
Concerning ourselves with things that could never possible have an impact, by definition, is equivalent to concerning oneself with things one imagines into creation on a whim.

However, when you start setting some variables down into stone - and if they always abide by a set of rules, then the rest naturally unfolds in a very circular way.
Given the present state, there was only ever going to be one type of state that preceded it, and one type of state that proceeds it.


Yes, as sheer speculation goes, you have provided us with some of your own here. Now, how would you go about demonstrating to us that you opted of your own free will to provide us with it as opposed to your never being able to not provide us with it given the laws of matter generating the only possible reality in the only possible world.

Also, I prefer to bring even sheer conjecture of this sort "down to Earth".

How would you connect the dots between your points above and Mary choosing an abortion. Could she have freely opted not to? Or if compelled to abort given that her brain itself is wholly in sync with the laws of matter how do you imagine the compatibilists among us are still insisting that she be held morally responsible for doing so. Other than because they were never able not to as well in the only possible reality in the only possible world.

iambiguous wrote:Why does someone perform this action given this desire when others in the same situation perform different actions derived from different desires?


Ben JS wrote: They were never in the same situation.

If they were in the exact same situation, there wouldn't be a difference and it'd be the one person - doing the exact thing they were determined to do.

To name two different things as identical, is to disregard that which seperates them - which defeats the purpose of the questioning.


Well, my point here revolves around dasein...given the assumption that we do "somehow" possess a measure of autonomy. No two lives are ever exactly identical.

So, using the tools at their disposal in a free will world, is it possible for philosophers to pin down how one ought to react in the same situation?
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 13, 2022 7:38 pm

Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Mary can think, feel, say and do things. But only those things that her brain compels her to think, feel, say and do. She aborts her fetus and it is gone. It was never able to be otherwise. The asteroid can do none of those things but there is no stopping it in turn from smashing into Earth. It does so and all of us are gone.

What "for all practical purpose" is the difference?

In the context of responsibility and blame, there is no difference.

Yet, we're still here living our lives today.
The question is, if we accept information as accurate, how do we move forward?
Do we want people to follow the same path as Mary did?
Do we want meteors to follow the same path as that hypothetical meteor?


But how do we accept information in a wholly determined universe other than as we were never able not to accept it?

Want? People want only what their brains compel them to want.

Thus, what it really comes down to is figuring out how the matter that is the human brain is different from the matter that is the asteroid. The difference would appear to be enormous right? But either matter is matter is matter...all governed by the same laws...or "somehow" when mindless matter evolved into living matter evolved into conscious matter evolved into us, autonomy "clicked on".

And if you ask most people how, they will introduce you to God. A God, the God, their God gave them a soul. And it's the soul that encompasses free will.

But if you ask the neuroscientists how, you are likely to hear, "we're still working on it".

Ben JS wrote: We have the capacity to contribute to the outcome of whether these events are more likely or less likely to repeat.
And we have a vested interest, as living / bias / willing beings, to prefer one outcome over another.


Here, once again, you speak of capacities, contributions, vested interests and preferences as though we can, what, assume that there really are alternative options from which we can freely choose?

Back to "A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants."

Ben JS wrote: To acknowledge the credibility of determinism, would impact how we interact with Mary more so than how we'd interact with the meteor, as we already treat the actions of the meteor as inevitable, where we commonly attribute the concept of free will to Mary, and respond to her differently.

If we don't attribute free will to Mary, then we will approach interaction with her differently.


Over and over and over again: what we do or do not do with Mary, how we respond or do not respond to her, how we approach or do not approach her...how is that in turn but one more necessary/inherent manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world?

Mary is never able not to abort Jane, the asteroid is never able not to strike Earth, we are never able not to react to both other than as our brains compel us to.

Ben JS wrote: This is the relevance of this discussion, ought we treat Mary differently than perhaps we may have in the past?

I believe we should and that it's important to acknowledge the degree to which Mary was affected by things outside her control.


Same thing. Compelled or not, we clearly think about the nature of a wholly determined world differently.

Only I'm at least willing to acknowledge that given the gap between what I think about all of this "here and now" and all there is to know about it going back to all there is to know about Existence itself, what are the odds that my frame of mind here, even in a free will world, is the optimal assessment.

I leave that dogmatic, authoritarian arrogance to peacegirl and her author.
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 17, 2022 4:55 pm

The Paradox of Free Will
Dennis Waite at the Yoga International website

Science tends to support claims that we don’t have free will. The experiments of Benjamin Libet (reported in Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 1985) and Daniel Wegner (American Psychologist, 1999) demonstrate that what we feel to be a conscious decision to act actually takes place in the brain after the action has already been initiated as a result of mechanical cause-effect processes. It is as though, after the initial input X, there are two separate neurological paths. There is a subconscious process whereby X directly causes the action A. Quite separately, X gives rise to the conscious thought Y, which is followed by the decision to act D. Because D occurs before A, we imagine that D causes A, and thus have the illusion of free will.


X.Y.A.D.

Of course, all of us here no doubt have our own subjective understanding of how they become intertwined in our own head when something out in the world comes to our own attention and we choose, "choose", or "choose" a reaction...a behavior.

Only I suspect that none of us are brain scientists. We don't actually conduct our own experiments on brains using fMIR technology to probe the brain "in action". So, we are forced to Google it. Or to read about it in scientific publications. Noting the experiments conducted and the conclusions reached by those who are neuroscientists.

https://www.google.com/search?q=neurosc ... nt=gws-wiz

Dozens and dozens and dozens of links to go to.

Same with videos on youtube: https://www.google.com/search?q=neurosc ... nt=gws-wiz

So, take some time and explore them. Get back to us on what the "scientific consensus" seems to be.

Practically speaking, this does not change anything (few people are even aware of these experiments).


And far, far, far fewer are actually conducting them. Which means that most of us here are approaching the free will conundrum "philosophically". We attempt to "think up" -- deduce -- what seems reasonable to us based on [by and large] the part where, in our gut, we "just know" that we have free will. And when those like me note that we "just know" that we do in our dreams as well, the argument then switches to I "just know" that the wide-awake Self is different.

And, sure, no doubt about it, that may well be the case. But then back to the gap between the folks probing to explain this scientifically and us philosophers with our own less tangible "intellectual" leaps of faith.

Some of them of course are more...spiritual.

But the implications are quite significant and highlight the fundamental tenets of Advaita philosophy. We believe we are these bodies and minds, but we are not. They carry on quite happily without interference. They are simply waves, rising and falling on the ocean of consciousness. The problems arise when we identify with them. Although already free, perfect, complete, and unlimited, we then believe ourselves to be suffering individuals trapped in imperfect and mortal frames. From the absolute viewpoint of Advaita, there is no duality. There is therefore no “actual” creation: there are no people, no objects, and no action. Consequently, there are also no concepts, including that of free will.


Got that?

Okay, explain it to Mary in the throes of agony...pondering whether to abort or not to abort her unborn baby. Explain to her how she is making this choice but she is 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

"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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 23, 2022 5:00 pm

The Paradox of Free Will
Dennis Waite at the Yoga International website

Another helpful way to think about it is in terms of the extent that we are in the present and directing our attention. If we are miles away, we inevitably do things in a habitual mechanical manner. On the other hand, if we are alert, there is an opportunity for the discriminating faculty of the mind to choose between various possible courses of action, depending on which action we perceive as most appropriate.


Once again another "distinction" made in regard to what we do and what we are more or less conscious of doing. I still recall the extraordinary experience I once had driving from the apartment of I woman was falling head over heels in love with near the Pimlico Racetrack and my own apartment in Lauraville. For almost the whole trip I was thinking only about her...and yet another part of me was driving the car! When I finally clicked into the real world, I was simply dumbfounded. Or the times I would read library books to my young daughter. Books I'd read many, many, many times. At times I'd experience a part of my brain thinking about something altogether different while another part was reading to her.

Human consciousness is nothing if not mindboggling. Thus in a wholly determined world, these distinctions either are or are not no less just inherent manifestations of that truly mysterious "only possible reality".

Certainly no less mysterious than "God's will".

Although this act of choosing may still be mechanical in the sense that it is determined by what we have learned in the past, the nature of the action is clearly quite different.


And why would that be? If matter is matter is matter than it's laws are its laws are its laws. Non-living matter, living matter...what's the difference? Clearly there is one. But if, in the end, all matter truly is mechanical how is that not like noting the difference between an engine in a moped and an engine in a jet?

In stillness, other factors, such as morality, can also influence the outcome. Discrimination, as opposed to habit, becomes the driving force. Therefore, the guidance of karma yoga is that we should be in the present, with a still mind, so that discrimination (viveka) may operate and make the correct “free” choice.


Exactly: "free" choice. Karma yoga being just another mind-boggling example of all that we still do not grasp about human consciousness itself. Given that we understand only that which is itself wholly in sync with the only possible reality.
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Wed May 25, 2022 2:37 pm

iambiguous wrote:The Paradox of Free Will
Dennis Waite at the Yoga International website

Another helpful way to think about it is in terms of the extent that we are in the present and directing our attention. If we are miles away, we inevitably do things in a habitual mechanical manner. On the other hand, if we are alert, there is an opportunity for the discriminating faculty of the mind to choose between various possible courses of action, depending on which action we perceive as most appropriate.


Once again another "distinction" made in regard to what we do and what we are more or less conscious of doing. I still recall the extraordinary experience I once had driving from the apartment of I woman was falling head over heels in love with near the Pimlico Racetrack and my own apartment in Lauraville. For almost the whole trip I was thinking only about her...and yet another part of me was driving the car! When I finally clicked into the real world, I was simply dumbfounded. Or the times I would read library books to my young daughter. Books I'd read many, many, many times. At times I'd experience a part of my brain thinking about something altogether different while another part was reading to her.

Human consciousness is nothing if not mindboggling. Thus in a wholly determined world, these distinctions either are or are not no less just inherent manifestations of that truly mysterious "only possible reality".

Certainly no less mysterious than "God's will".

Although this act of choosing may still be mechanical in the sense that it is determined by what we have learned in the past, the nature of the action is clearly quite different.


And why would that be? If matter is matter is matter than it's laws are its laws are its laws. Non-living matter, living matter...what's the difference? Clearly there is one. But if, in the end, all matter truly is mechanical how is that not like noting the difference between an engine in a moped and an engine in a jet?

In stillness, other factors, such as morality, can also influence the outcome. Discrimination, as opposed to habit, becomes the driving force. Therefore, the guidance of karma yoga is that we should be in the present, with a still mind, so that discrimination (viveka) may operate and make the correct “free” choice.


Exactly: "free" choice. Karma yoga being just another mind-boggling example of all that we still do not grasp about human consciousness itself. Given that we understand only that which is itself wholly in sync with the only possible reality.


You’re resignation to the belief that nothing can change because of the domino effect is very wrong. We can change to make our world a better place without any free will.
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon May 30, 2022 3:37 pm

iambiguous wrote:The Paradox of Free Will
Dennis Waite at the Yoga International website

One extreme view is that thoughts arise outside our conscious control, automatically triggering other thoughts until an action eventually results, all in a totally mechanistic way. This indicates a complete absence of free will and is what Western philosophy labels “universal determinism,” the belief that anything that happens does so necessarily as a result of the causes that precede it.


Of course there are no extreme views in a universe where all views unfold like clockwork. Instead there is only the mystery of matter -- us -- able to become aware of what it means for everything to unfold like clockwork. How nature actually brought that about without, say, a God around to bring nature itself about. And, of course, whatever was able to bring God about.

We may feel that we have to act in a certain way, that we are subconsciously coerced by family or society and are thus unable to act freely according to our desires. Nevertheless, the opposite view of “indeterminism,” wherein all that we do is effectively random, scarcely seems plausible and is equally incompatible with free will.


A random universe is just as incomprehensible to me as one in which compatibilism prevails. What exactly does it mean for the laws of matter as we know them in the either/or world to be "random"? What, they popped into existence out of the blue? And even though physics and chemistry and biology seem to follow very, very, very predictable directives from nature...we just never know when, again, out of the blue, that will all change?

Instead, randomness seems to revolve more around the is/ought world. But even then only for matter such as ourselves able to become aware of all the countless variables and factors in our lives that can come at us from all directions. We never really know what exactly is around that next corner. And we certainly can't and/or don't control much of it.

Peacegirl: we can’t control what’s around the corner. We can only react to it when it happens, in the best way our knowledge and experience allows.

Iambiguous: Unless, of course, as with compatibilism, I am simply not understanding an "indeterminist" universe...given, of course, that I do have the capacity to understand it of my own free will.
.

Peacegirl: what free will is necessary? I don’t get your reasoning other than to confuse the issue. I don’t have an understanding of compatibilism because it doesn’t make a bit of sense.
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 30, 2022 4:31 pm

Free Will and Neuroscience: From Explaining Freedom Away to New Ways of Operationalizing and Measuring It
Andrea Lavazza at the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience website

Introduction—Free Will as a Problem (Not Only) for Science

The concept of free will is hard to define, but crucial to both individual and social life.


Here we go again. Making it all [or almost all] about how we define free will when we have no way of knowing for sure if any definition we give to it is or is not the only definition that we were ever able to give to it. I suspect we'll all go to the grave living with this conundrum.

Free will can be the reason why someone is not sent to jail during a trial upon appealing to insanity: the subject was not “free” when they committed the crime, not because someone was pointing a gun to their head, but because a psychiatric illness prevented them from controlling their actions.


Sure, if your definition of free will accommodates that. Or, if your definition of determinism revolves around the [compelled] assumption that your brain is no less inherently/necessarily propelled by the laws of matter, insanity itself [like sanity] is just another fated/destined manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world.

Nothing is not a domino toppling over as it must onto the next domino in line going back to...the Big Bang?

Or cue God? A miracle?

According to a long-standing philosophical tradition, if someone was not “free” when they did something, they cannot be held responsible for their deed. And the freedom in question is both “social” freedom (linked to constraints imposed by our peers or by external factors), and the one indicated by the term free will.


Sigh...

Those pesky compatibilists insisting that even without free will we are still responsible for what we do. Free and "free" somehow being interchangeable "in their heads".

Though [of course] no less off the hook than all the rest of us.
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:55 am

From PN:

phyllo to prom75:

phyllo wrote:Of course, you could never have not written that.

Check and mate.


Again, my argument here is always that we seemingly have no way -- scientifically, philosophically, theologically etc. -- to pin down definitively whether I could have opted to do something other than to type these words any more than we can pin down definitively whether you could have opted to do something other than to read them.

Why?

Because "somehow" lifeless, mindless matter configured into living, mindful matter configured into us.

And, to the best of my own current knowledge, no one here can actually explain how that happened or why that happened...ontologically? teleologically?

Or, sure, link me to the Final Solution.

Now, phyllo, in a way I have never been able to grasp believes in...God?

So, of course, that might be the explanation. When God created us, He created souls. And these souls are where the free will is housed.

Only many religious folks insist, as well, that their own God is omniscient. Then the part where we come upon these complex intellectual contraptions -- worlds of words -- that explain how an omniscient God is compatible with mere mortals having free will.

Not sure if phyllo, if he believes in God, argues that his God is all-knowing.
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Thu Jun 02, 2022 6:17 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Ben JS wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Mary can think, feel, say and do things. But only those things that her brain compels her to think, feel, say and do. She aborts her fetus and it is gone. It was never able to be otherwise. The asteroid can do none of those things but there is no stopping it in turn from smashing into Earth. It does so and all of us are gone.

What "for all practical purpose" is the difference?

In the context of responsibility and blame, there is no difference.

Yet, we're still here living our lives today.
The question is, if we accept information as accurate, how do we move forward?
Do we want people to follow the same path as Mary did?
Do we want meteors to follow the same path as that hypothetical meteor?


But how do we accept information in a wholly determined universe other than as we were never able not to accept it?

Want? People want only what their brains compel them to want.

Thus, what it really comes down to is figuring out how the matter that is the human brain is different from the matter that is the asteroid. The difference would appear to be enormous right? But either matter is matter is matter...all governed by the same laws...or "somehow" when mindless matter evolved into living matter evolved into conscious matter evolved into us, autonomy "clicked on".

And if you ask most people how, they will introduce you to God. A God, the God, their God gave them a soul. And it's the soul that encompasses free will.

But if you ask the neuroscientists how, you are likely to hear, "we're still working on it".

Ben JS wrote: We have the capacity to contribute to the outcome of whether these events are more likely or less likely to repeat.
And we have a vested interest, as living / bias / willing beings, to prefer one outcome over another.


Here, once again, you speak of capacities, contributions, vested interests and preferences as though we can, what, assume that there really are alternative options from which we can freely choose?

Back to "A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants."

Ben JS wrote: To acknowledge the credibility of determinism, would impact how we interact with Mary more so than how we'd interact with the meteor, as we already treat the actions of the meteor as inevitable, where we commonly attribute the concept of free will to Mary, and respond to her differently.

If we don't attribute free will to Mary, then we will approach interaction with her differently.


Over and over and over again: what we do or do not do with Mary, how we respond or do not respond to her, how we approach or do not approach her...how is that in turn but one more necessary/inherent manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world?

Mary is never able not to abort Jane, the asteroid is never able not to strike Earth, we are never able not to react to both other than as our brains compel us to.

Ben JS wrote: This is the relevance of this discussion, ought we treat Mary differently than perhaps we may have in the past?

I believe we should and that it's important to acknowledge the degree to which Mary was affected by things outside her control.


Same thing. Compelled or not, we clearly think about the nature of a wholly determined world differently.

Only I'm at least willing to acknowledge that given the gap between what I think about all of this "here and now" and all there is to know about it going back to all there is to know about Existence itself, what are the odds that my frame of mind here, even in a free will world, is the optimal assessment.

I leave that dogmatic, authoritarian arrogance to peacegirl and her author.


What a strange thing to say. I guarantee you if it was a neuroscientist who made this discovery, you would never disrespect him like you have disrespected me and this author. But, of course, we all know you couldn't help yourself because your will is NOT free. :D
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Thu Jun 02, 2022 6:37 pm

iambiguous wrote:Free Will and Neuroscience: From Explaining Freedom Away to New Ways of Operationalizing and Measuring It
Andrea Lavazza at the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience website


Introduction—Free Will as a Problem (Not Only) for Science

The concept of free will is hard to define, but crucial to both individual and social life.


iambiguous wrote: we go again. Making it all [or almost all] about how we define free will when we have no way of knowing for sure if any definition we give to it is or is not the only definition that we were ever able to give to it. I suspect we'll all go to the grave living with this conundrum.


The term "free will" as opposed to determinism has but one definition in this debate. It means a person, given the same exact situation, could have done otherwise. If he could not have, how could his will be free? Besides, there is no way to prove free will (because we can't go back in time which is required), but there is a way to prove determinism.

Free will can be the reason why someone is not sent to jail during a trial upon appealing to insanity: the subject was not “free” when they committed the crime, not because someone was pointing a gun to their head, but because a psychiatric illness prevented them from controlling their actions.


iambiguous wrote:Sure, if your definition of free will accommodates that. Or, if your definition of determinism revolves around the [compelled] assumption that your brain is no less inherently/necessarily propelled by the laws of matter, insanity itself [like sanity] is just another fated/destined manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world.


What this is saying is that if a person was not insane and did not have a gun to their head, then they had the free will to do other than what they did. This entire problem centers around accusation, guilt, and punishment after the fact. What this discovery does is create the conditions that prevent the desire to hurt others so there is no need to accuse, find guilt, or punish, because the causes that led to a person finding satisfaction out of these behaviors will no longer exist.

iambiguous wrote:Nothing is not a domino toppling over as it must onto the next domino in line going back to...the Big Bang?

Or cue God? A miracle?


I think what you mean is that going all the way back in time, nothing could have been different. That is true, but your analogy is confusing since we are not dominoes that have no say in our choices. We do get to contemplate choices, options, pros and cons, but once a choice is made, it could not have been otherwise because we cannot move in the direction of least preference. The way you describe human behavior is very unsettling for a lot of people because it creates a feeling of resignation; that nothing can be done to make things better.

According to a long-standing philosophical tradition, if someone was not “free” when they did something, they cannot be held responsible for their deed. And the freedom in question is both “social” freedom (linked to constraints imposed by our peers or by external factors), and the one indicated by the term free will.


iambiguous wrote:Sigh...

Those pesky compatibilists insisting that even without free will we are still responsible for what we do. Free and "free" somehow being interchangeable "in their heads".

Though [of course] no less off the hook than all the rest of us.


The interesting thing is that the compatibilists, although incorrect in trying to make it appear that determinism is compatible with free will --- which is impossible --- they are correct in that our responsibility does play a part. IOW, when we stop blaming on a universal scale (because it has now been established by scientists that will is not free) and as a result we can't shift what IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY (which only means our participation in an action that may have hurt someone) because no one is accusing us OF BEING responsible, we can no longer justify striking a first blow or gaining at anyone's expense. As a matter of fact, OUR RESPONSIBILITY INCREASES with the knowledge that will is not free, the very opposite of what philosophers have believed because they could not get past the impasse. Remember, justification is required by conscience or it will not permit said action. It may take another thousand years for this discovery to be brought to light, but make no mistake; it will change our world for the better.
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:16 pm

Free Will and Neuroscience: From Explaining Freedom Away to New Ways of Operationalizing and Measuring It
Andrea Lavazza at the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience website

Free will can be defined by three conditions. The first one is the “ability to do otherwise.” This is an intuitive concept: to be free, one has to have at least two alternatives or courses of action between which to choose. If one has an involuntary spasm of the mouth, for example, one is not in the position to choose whether to twist one’s mouth or not.


Okay, start here. But that doesn't mean that any conditions we do come up with we unequivocally had the capacity to opt for another place to start instead. From my frame of mind there is just no way of getting around the fact that we still have no definitive understanding of how the human brain functions here. And until we do we will all continue to exchange conclusions that we "just know" are true instead. Even more problematic in that few of us here are actually involved in exploring the human brain experimentally using the scientific method. Instead, as philosophers, many here start with their own definitions and deductions and insist that all others must start with the same.

The second condition is the “control over one’s choices.” The person who acts must be the same who decides what to do. To be granted free will, one must be the author of one’s choices, without the interference of people and of mechanisms outside of one’s reach. This is what we call agency, that is, being and feeling like the “owner” of one’s decisions and actions.


Of course, it gets trickly here when you attempt to pin down if your brain itself does in fact allow you to have this control...or creates only the illusion of control given that the matter that is the brain is no less wholly in sync with those mysterious laws of nature. God works in mysterious ways, right? So why not nature in turn?

I merely muddy the waters all the more in suggesting that, even given human brain matter "somehow" resulting in free will, our choices and actions out in the is/ought world are still no less profoundly problematic leaps of faith rooted subjectively and existentially in dasein.

The third condition is the “responsiveness to reasons”: a decision can’t be free if it is the effect of a random choice, but it must be rationally motivated. If I roll a [die] to decide whom to marry, my choice cannot be said to be free, even though I will freely choose to say “I do”. On the contrary, if I choose to marry a specific person for their ideas and my deep love for them, then my decision will be free.


Come on, it still comes back to whether you freely chose to roll the die in order to let "fate" decide. And then the part where our reaction to their ideas and our deep love for them is in turn merely the illusion of freedom built into human psychology...no less a manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world.
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:33 pm

From PN:

phyllo wrote:
Yes, I am claiming that. If we live in a wholly determined universe as I understand it, the laws of matter make us think, feel, say and do everything.
The universe is making you think, feel, say and do stuff?

Stuff that you don't want to do?

You would rather do something else?


Well, barring such things as sim worlds and Matrix conundrums, like you, yes, I exist in the universe. Perhaps but one of an infinite number of others. And, as with all other matter in the universe, human beings do stuff. Only human matter is also able to think, feel and say stuff about doing stuff.

This happened "somehow" some insist when living matter came into existence here on planet Earth. Others insist as well it's because of a God, the God, their God. They have been blessed with an autonomous soul built right into them at conception.

On the other hand, is this universe "making me" do stuff?

After all, what "for all practical purposes" does that even mean given the gap between what I think about the universe and all that can be known about it.

How about you? Might that insight not in turn be applicable to you as well?

phyllo wrote:As if there is a 'you' which is somehow separate from the universe, separate from the laws of matter.

Who is this 'you'?

It seems that you are an integral part of the universe. You are manifesting the laws of nature as much as everything and everyone else.

You are creating a universe by what you think, feel, say and do.


Yeah, you come back to this "deep insight" over and over and over again. As though it makes this truly fascinating philosophical antinomy discussed and debated down through the ages by esteemed philosophers just go away.

Nope, the debate -- at times still fierce and ferocious -- marches on.

Compelled to or otherwise.

phyllo wrote: Oh, I know ... it's in my head ... I haven't demonstrated it so that everyone is obligated to believe it ... I have haven't proven that it's the optimal way of thinking ... I'm insisting that everyone who does not think like me is wrong and stupid ... and I'm a dangerous and nasty objectivist. LOL


Well, are you?

An objectivist here as I understand it is simply someone who believes that he or she is in sync with the Real Me...a Core Self...and, further, that even in regard to moral and political and spiritual value judgments and the Really Big Questions like these, they are in sync in turn with either the optimal understanding or, for some, the one and the only rational understanding that there is.

phyllo wrote: Oops, I forgot ... I could never have not written this. ROFL


Sure, turn it all into a joke.

See how far that gets you in this or any other philosophy forum. Or among those exploring the human brain in the scientific community. Or how about taking it back over to the New ILP: take it up with ecmandu and menu and her.

Get back to us on that.

Well, "click" of course.





Yo, ecmandu, meno and her!

You're up!! 8)
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."
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 46393
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: hanging out with godot

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Fri Jun 17, 2022 8:37 pm

iambiguous wrote:Free Will and Neuroscience: From Explaining Freedom Away to New Ways of Operationalizing and Measuring It
Andrea Lavazza at the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience website

Free will can be defined by three conditions. The first one is the “ability to do otherwise.” This is an intuitive concept: to be free, one has to have at least two alternatives or courses of action between which to choose. If one has an involuntary spasm of the mouth, for example, one is not in the position to choose whether to twist one’s mouth or not.


Okay, start here. But that doesn't mean that any conditions we do come up with we unequivocally had the capacity to opt for another place to start instead. From my frame of mind there is just no way of getting around the fact that we still have no definitive understanding of how the human brain functions here.

Peacegirl: Not true. We can learn a lot about the brain strictly from observation.

Iambiguous And until we do we will all continue to exchange conclusions that we "just know" are true instead. Even more problematic in that few of us here are actually involved in exploring the human brain experimentally using the scientific method. Instead, as philosophers, many here start with their own definitions and deductions and insist that all others must start with the same.

Peacegirl: Most people don’t just say “I just know.” They give reasons. Exploring the human brain experimentally using the scientific method may give us indirect clues but finding a direct spot that would prove whether we have or don’t have free will would be impossible to pinpoint in the brain when this discussion is metaphysical in nature. There have been some experiments showing that choice is made before the person becomes conscious of it. But that doesn’t mean the person isn’t making the choice.

The second condition is the “control over one’s choices.” The person who acts must be the same who decides what to do. To be granted free will, one must be the author of one’s choices, without the interference of people and of mechanisms outside of one’s reach. This is what we call agency, that is, being and feeling like the “owner” of one’s decisions and actions.


Iambiguous: Of course, it gets trickly here when you attempt to pin down if your brain itself does in fact allow you to have this control...or creates only the illusion of control given that the matter that is the brain is no less wholly in sync with those mysterious laws of nature. God works in mysterious ways, right? So why not nature in turn?

Peacegirl: We don’t have control over which choices we prefer, which proves we have no free will. To say we are the owners of our decisions only means that we (the agent that houses our brain) makes the choice. It’s not something outside of him. If you want to substitute agency for laws of matter, that’s fine, but to say there is no self is arguably not what most people can accept. Imagine someone witnessing a murder and the murderer says I didn’t do it. I have no self that pulled the trigger. There is no me.” That would not hold up in a court of law or anywhere else.

Iambiguous: I merely muddy the waters all the more in suggesting that, even given human brain matter "somehow" resulting in free will, our choices and actions out in the is/ought world are still no less profoundly problematic leaps of faith rooted subjectively and existentially in dasein.

Peacegirl: Our choices are determined by our life experiences and our genetics. In turn, our decisions and choices are subjective. The only objective standard that we all care about is our choices in regard to hurting others. IOW, doing to someone what he doesn’t want done to himself. That’s why this discussion is so important, for if we can prevent this hurting of others (yet still living within the truth of determinism), we will make huge strides in creating a better world.

The third condition is the “responsiveness to reasons”: a decision can’t be free if it is the effect of a random choice, but it must be rationally motivated. If I roll a [die] to decide whom to marry, my choice cannot be said to be free, even though I will freely choose to say “I do”. On the contrary, if I choose to marry a specific person for their ideas and my deep love for them, then my decision will be free.


Iambiguous: Come on, it still comes back to whether you freely chose to roll the die in order to let "fate" decide. And then the part where our reaction to their ideas and our deep love for them is in turn merely the illusion of freedom built into human psychology...no less a manifestation of the only possible reality in the only possible world.


Peacegirl: That definition did nothing to prove we could have done otherwise given those exact conditions. In fact, it was quite flimsy and no less arbitrary than a lay person saying “I just know.”
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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users