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Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:49 pm
by iambiguous
I ask for this:

iambiguous wrote:What particular truth, in what particular context? And how would we go about determining if this truth [like our individual perceptions of it] reflects our capacity to freely grasp it [and defend it] or is only subsumed [like everything else] in the laws of nature unfolding only as they ever do, can, must?

And you give me yet another one of these!

Exuberant Teleportation wrote:Matter transforms into energy, and we are evanescent, outstanding, beautiful creatures, of marvelous construction and design.

There's something out there called "dark matter-energy". We can feel its presence, but it can't be directly penetrated. Who's to say that there really isn't a God consciousness system floating over our heads that can point and direct us to make miracles happen?

As logical and scientific you get about the forces moving us around, a small act of courage can move mountains.

You know, like when I was dreaming I could fly in Fairytopia.

We're stuck:

And yet I can only speculate that in a determined universe [as I understand it] that's only natural.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:51 pm
by iambiguous
promethean75 wrote:i think biggs is asking for an example in real life, not a video game.

unless, of course, i'm wrong.

Wrong, hell! That's exactly what I'm asking him for!!

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:59 pm
by promethean75
fine. ET, i'll handle this.

jasmine bunny feathers architectural spin vectors transform lugia in dimensional subterfuge. skyrocket rainbows trust in lemon alleyways of melding mind love.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:17 pm
by Urwrongx1000
You were 21.8% determined to say that.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:21 pm
by promethean75
that's because 78.2% of me is a master who can jump real high and not a slave who can't.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:02 pm
by iambiguous
"Defending Free Will & The Self"
Frank S. Robinson in Philosophy Now magazine amoeba has a body without ‘knowing’ anything, especially not in the self-reflective way you do. I think the answer to the mystery of our selves instead lies in our layering of representations – unlike an amoeba, not merely knowing things, but knowing we know them.

Still, we don't really know for certain if what we know we know is not just another manifestation of nature unfolding only as it does...only as it can...only as it must.

The amoeba is just further down the line when -- somehow! -- mindless matter became living matter became self-conscious living matter became you and I.

How, exactly, on a biological, genetic, chemical and neurological level did this "layering of representations" tumble over into having actual options to act on this...freely?

And then part where all the memes come in.

But there’s more to Dennett’s thesis. He says we bootstrap our way to (self-)consciousness by a process of interactions between our brains/bodies and our social environments, with back-and-forth communication about reasons for actions, which develops the mind to think in such terms.

Sure, those autonomous aliens could look down at us and describe this communication by noting the things that we choose to do. But then noting in turn that we only think that we are choosing freely to do what we do because nature/matter has evolved into a human brain able to create the psychological illusion of actual volition.

But: How would they go about communicating that to us?

He also cites a Harry Frankfurt essay, ‘Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person’ (1971), which says, “A person can want one thing but want to want something else – and act on that second-order desire” – like your desire to eat that chocolate cake versus your desire to lose weight. Dennett argues that this capacity to reflect on and mediate among one’s desires is the essence of personhood. But this seems at odds with Schopenhauer’s saying that one can’t choose one’s desires.

Which merely demonstrates that very, very intelligent people grapple with this and come to differing conclusions. Conflicting wants and desires seem to suggest [if only "intuitively"] that "I" am there as more than just another mechanical component ever in sync with the laws of matter. But how is that then established as in fact true? Or that the establishing of this itself is just another manifestation of nature's inevitable march into the future.

In the end, Dennett insists that we can and do use deliberation to resolve such internal conflicts, and that there is somebody home – the self – after all, to take responsibility and be morally accountable.

Dennett insists!

Well, I guess that settles it then. Unless, of course, other very, very smart folks insist that it is something else entirely.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:14 pm
by Meno_
Teleological and ontollogical verification.

Ok. Genotypes and evolutionary development may not or may foreshadow the layers of representations which may result in consciousness , including that of the self.

However , precognizant waste of life and post cognizant abortion of an overproduction of human beings resulting in overpopulation. to the degree that it endangers human life as a given, does shift the scientific rational into the teleological purpose, if any.

My point is, that because of.lack of stasis, it is not arguable.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:17 pm
by Exuberant Teleportation
promethean75 wrote:fine. ET, i'll handle this.

jasmine bunny feathers architectural spin vectors transform lugia in dimensional subterfuge. skyrocket rainbows trust in lemon alleyways of melding mind love.

But You forgot the Bunny Box!! Boxes are everywhere. Lords of wonderland pipe a well curled shape of Your Meganium. She bathes in a Yugioh pyramid swimming pool with a Marius Florin galactic super civilizations Politoed. Here's what He says about "Free Will":

Exuberant Teleportation wrote:God, the Creator, the Infinite Being, manifests Himself in creation. This God, the existence, is the Cosmic God, the God of Albert Einstein. Yahweh is just a piece of this infinite existence. Wisdom is the highest level of consciousness, the level where everything is a simple unity. This would mean good and evil cease to exist, unified as a whole. This unified Cosmic God of Albert Einstein seems to be reached in Buddhism, in a state of nothingness. It is on this level of nothingness that the laws of nature cease to exist, and can therefore be altered. If we can alter the flow of nature, and become the cause rather than being controlled by the effects of nature, in my opinion there may be a free will. To achieve free will, we need to become one with nature, the Cosmic God, on this highest level of Wisdom. Wisdom is like water, infinitely formless, the void of nothingness. From this void of nothingness infinite things can be conceived into creation. It is through Understanding, the level where division exists, that the flow of Wisdom can be focused. To focus the flow of Wisdom by the power of Understanding would be to control nature. If this power to focus the flow of the Cosmos can only be achieved by the Cosmic God, perhaps the Cosmic God, the existence, is the only free will, its puppets being the means by which balance of the Force is achieved. The Buddhist way of emptiness and neutrality may be the only potential escape in my opinion. Although Yahweh is our Savior and our Shepherd, the infinite Cosmic God, the existence, seems to be reached only in Buddhism, in inner peace with nature.
The Existence is not a person or something separate from us. We all are part of this God: The Existential God. And there's no free will because there’s no primordial cause into existence. Every element of the existence is organized, transformed all the time by all the other elements that surround the element in the cause. Even our thoughts (effects) are influenced all the time by exterior causes. These effects (our thoughts) became instantly causes for other effects that we produce all the time. Put a little bit your imagination in this game and you will understand the mechanism of the Existence. There's no free will and you can't get the free will. We are in the middle of a system based on causes that produce effects, effects will transform instantly into causes creating other effects from infinite to infinite. Imagine for example that our Universe is organized the way that it is because of some exterior causes that are produced into an extra-universal system (the Omniverse if you like). If the Universe has these laws of physics these constants and so on is because of some exterior causes that produced these effects (laws of physics) into our Universe. Every element of the existence depends by the other elements that surround it to be what it is. (You are one of these elements, and me, and the atoms that surrounds us, elementary particles, planets, mountains, flowers, dark matter, dark energy, everything that exist and that we can't even imagine). We are so limited in our perceptions. We know nothing about this Universe, not to mention about other Universes, Omniverse, dear God, with all our instruments we can't perceive more than 4% of this Universe. 96% is missing. But from this limited point of view I dare to say that there's no free will and I explained to you through what I call: "The First Existential Law". On that law is based all the Existence, also through this law I demonstrate that this Universe does not appear from nothing, even nothing has a previous cause for its existence. There's a cause who produce the universe and that's probably the Big Bang because this universe is not infinite and I could demonstrate that to you again. There's a long story. The Big Bang has also other causes for its own existence being at its own time an effect, the Big Bang transforms instantly into a cause producing other effects. In this case the Universe is simple. You are also an effect produced by a whole bunch of causes that surround you all the time, you also became instantly a cause to produce other effects around you or even far away from you (with the thought and energies that you generate). The universe is a very complicated system. The only element that is immortal in this case is the Existence itself that is transformed all the time into that law that I send it to you. Is improper to talk about time when we talk about the existential system. The Existence is infinite in space and time, is eternal and immortal. We are all a part of this wonderful System.

And here's what I said about Buddha:

Exuberant Teleportation wrote:I was dancing with Bunny atop a Seattle SuperSonics UFO cup tower. She sprayed a bunch of mist and fired a laser through the fog. She liked pushing Darth Vader buttons to chime and resonate through the storm. Voluminous pipes made Vivec travel over the landscape in an angry cloud. The elements of time, distance, gravity, stars, planets, black holes, tropical, nordic, and igloos made Anakin and Padme at the end of Phantom Menace voyage via podracer powered by a golden globe of light through flamingo Bunny palace of worship that made Bunny really infuriated about being Buddha. Buddha focuses the flow of Vivec as a big bearded man in the sky had a bunch of tubes and pipes connected to him that were feeding off of sexual energies. He was the lord of the Field. Buddha came to destroy civilization with no mercy or Love for His fellow man, being completely without desire. All He saw was an enormous Factory for crushing and executing like a Scyther computer. People fell into ruin and discord as He swept the sky with cards and sparkle dazzle sky castles.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:25 am
by iambiguous
"this atheist believes in free will"
James Kirk Wall from the ChicagoNow web page

In all the discussions about free will, what should be included is freedom. If all you have to eat is rice, guess what you’re going to have for diner. Let’s suppose you have money and traveled to Chicago, New York, or Paris. You go out to eat, but haven’t decided what. You go out the door and start walking around a place you’ve never been to. Where will the journey take you?

All this reflects of course is the fact that our brain is able to come up with things like this in order to "prove" we have free will.

As though we can't have a dream in which the same scenario unfolds. You walk out the door and go looking for a place to eat. Now, in the dream you think you are doing it freely. Or I certainly do in my dreams.

But, of course, that's just a dream! In the waking world it's all different. Why? Because we can think up scenarios like the one above and that proves it.

No one can predict what you’ll wind up eating. You can’t predict what you’ll wind up eating. You pass 20 restaurants, back up five, and wind up at restaurant number fifteen. There are 100 things on the menu. You narrow it down to two choices, and you can go either way. You wind up with A instead of B, but you could have gone with B instead of A.

Quite the contrary insist those who believe in an omniscient God. He can predict what you'll wind up eating.

Even Wall's conviction that he chose to become an atheist is only based on the assumption that he might have freely opted instead to become a Christian.

And that you have thought yourself into believing that you are freely choosing what to pick from the menu is really as far as you can go by way of "demonstrating" it.

On and on folks like Hall go creating arguments out of words and then using the arguments themselves as the intellectual's equivalent of the scientific method.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:38 am
by Meno_
Hello Iambigious,

It is not to decide what to be atheist or Theist, but of the structural integrity between them in stasis, where one can sit back and decide, buy with the coming of attractions of centralized structural AI, the opportunity to distinguish will be anything based but on human recall.

Everything is on line including that of the philosophy and description of 'mind'

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:35 am
by MagsJ
Exuberant Teleportation wrote:
promethean75 wrote:fine. ET, i'll handle this.

jasmine bunny feathers architectural spin vectors transform lugia in dimensional subterfuge. skyrocket rainbows trust in lemon alleyways of melding mind love.

But You forgot the Bunny Box!!


Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:42 pm
by iambiguous
"Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will"
Scientists think they can prove that free will is an illusion. Philosophers are urging them to think again.
Kerri Smith in Nature magazine.

As humans, we like to think that our decisions are under our conscious control — that we have free will. Philosophers have debated that concept for centuries, and now Haynes and other experimental neuroscientists are raising a new challenge. They argue that consciousness of a decision may be a mere biochemical afterthought, with no influence whatsoever on a person's actions. According to this logic, they say, free will is an illusion. "We feel we choose, but we don't," says Patrick Haggard, a neuroscientist at University College London.

You may have thought you decided whether to have tea or coffee this morning, for example, but the decision may have been made long before you were aware of it. For Haynes, this is unsettling. "I'll be very honest, I find it very difficult to deal with this," he says. "How can I call a will 'mine' if I don't even know when it occurred and what it has decided to do?"

This is really what it comes down to for many. We may never know beyond all doubt whether the behaviors that we choose involve at least some element of freedom. But since we don't seem to know this unequivocally now, this leaves open the possibilty that we don't.

But: the implications of that can be either very, very disturbing or very, very comforting.

It depends in large part on how many achievements you can claim to take credit for and how many failures you can claim are "beyond my control".

And how do you wrap your head around the idea that in choosing coffee instead of tea you are merely in sync with the laws of matter going back [so far] 13.8 billion years.

Yet even given some measure of free will, our reactions to this are in turn but a reflection of all the existential variables in our lives that predispose some to think about it deeply and others not to think about it at all.

It all just gets tangled up in/with all of the other human-all-too-human factors that prompt us to go in so many different directions in the course of choosing either this or that.

We simply make up our minds one way or the other and carry on. We're all basically stuck here.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:01 pm
by Meno_
Ontologically perhaps, but Cosmo-Teleologically we should not!

Social psychology being more determinate Nowedays, as a matrix around which philosophy and psychology revolve around, , the credibility of 'unstickiness' may be more viable.

Just a comment.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:17 pm
by iambiguous
"Defending Free Will & The Self"
Frank S. Robinson in Philosophy Now magazine

Let me offer my own thoughts on this issue. When the crewmen battle over the wheel, it’s not a chaotic process where one outcome is as likely as another, like rolling dice. Saying the outcome is deterministically governed by a long string of preceding causes is also far too simplistic. Viewed more holistically, everything about those battles is a reflection of who you are, your personality and character, constructed over years. This is shaped by many factors beyond your control, yes – your genetic endowment, how your parents raised you, and a host of other environmental influences; but also, importantly, by all the choices and decisions you made along the way. Many of those past choices and decisions were influenced by past battles over the wheel by various gangs of crewmen. But in all those, too, personality/character factors came into play.

So, what have we here? Isn't it basically a "thought experiment" provided to us as "proof" that on some admittedly complex level, the crewmen each possess in their own way the capacity to choose their behaviors?

Is he actually able to describe what goes on in the brain of the crewmen such that he reaches this crucial point, amidst entirely natural chemical and neurological interactions, where each individual "I" here is freely opting toward the wheel of his own volition?

Close enough to the science of free will?

Here’s a good illustration of the practical reality of free will. Few actions are more deterministically caused than a smoker’s lighting up – a consequence of physical addiction on top of psychological and behavioral conditioning, all creating a powerful craving. Seemingly a textbook case of B.F. Skinner’s deterministic behaviorism. Yet smokers quit! If that’s not free will, I don’t know what could be.

Again, only to the extent that he could probe the brain of someone who did quit smoking and note how, empirically, "I" here is not compelled by the laws of nature, would he be able to establish definitively that the quitter's will was free.

Until then, how is it not just another rendition of what Kerri Smith noted above:

"The conscious decision to [quit smoking] was made about a second before the actual act, but the team discovered that a pattern of brain activity seemed to predict that decision by as many as seven seconds. Long before the subjects were even aware of making a choice, it seems, their brains had already decided."

Dennett invokes Dumbo, the elephant who flies by flapping his ears. At first Dumbo is scared of launching himself off the cliff. But his bird friend has a bright idea. He hands Dumbo a feather, saying it’s a magic feather, and as long as Dumbo holds it, he can fly. It works. Of course he doesn’t really need the feather, and in the end he learns that. Dennett says we too don’t need the feather of magical ideas. But we do have minds with vast capabilities. And, like Dumbo, we should recognize those capabilities – including our free will to run our lives.


Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:38 pm
by Meno_
"The conscious decision to [quit smoking] was made about a second before the actual act, but the team discovered that a pattern of brain activity seemed to predict that decision by as many as seven seconds. Long before the subjects were even aware of making a choice, it seems, their brains had already decided."

But even if that's so, whether we made up our minds sub-consciously or not, there is little merit in the notion that somehow sub conscious determination is due to extrinsic or internal causation: where the later is more associated with free will or not.

This argument splices reason ing to such a determinative shift that includes one to doubt it's argumentative sense.
It more results in a fed back determinism that relies on defining from Ontologically gained facts, rather then from those that are micro-manageable.

Uncertainty has taken a toll with reasoning, to be sure.!

For instance,

'Cassirer altered and widened this approach by stating that the ongoing change of mental frame-which is a unique quality of mankind, as well as his flexibility and ability to create future and realms of possibility-can only emerge from a broader knowledge about relational order. Those skills are grounded in man's ability to expand mental terms and settings of cognition beyond the borders of language to even more abstract spheres, thus claiming that a system of "invariants of experi-ence" (Invariantensystem der Erfahrung) is an integral trait of human cognition (Pluemacher/Sandkuehler '

This. in reference to the problem You introduced with the splicing of conscious/subconscious variants to the problem of freedom, in purport of increasing insecurity in describing that difference.
The indifference and the resulting embededness causes the very Ontologically verifiable tendency to resist a change. To the mind, that type of reductive analysis, necessarily short-cuts any uncertain causality that may serve a better (higher) purpose.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:46 pm
by iambiguous
"this atheist believes in free will"
James Kirk Wall from the ChicagoNow web page

Sam Harris believes that free will is an illusion, it doesn’t exist...[He] cannot say that science has proven free will doesn’t exist. He wrote a book and gave lectures based on a conclusion from an inconclusive experiment. That is one heck of a blunder!

This is where from my frame of mind the arguments get rather unreal, strange...even bizarre.

If Harris doesn't believe in free will given the manner in which I have come to understand a determined universe then he could not have not been an atheist any more than religious folks could not have not believed in God. Yet his reactions to religion is precisely the reaction that one would expect from someone who believes that one is able [obligated] to freely choose atheism because it is more rational.

On the other hand, if Harris doesn't say that science has proven that free will doesn't exist, can Hall say that science has proven it does exist? How are both points of view not clearly embedded in all that is still yet to be learned by science here?

In matters of randomness, Harris argues that random choices do exist but doesn’t mean free will. Why? He argues that unless you can explain why you picked one option over the other at random, like the two choices in the restaurant scenario, that’s not free will. I would argue that Sam Harris is wrong. You don’t need to explain why, you simply need to make the choice, understand the choice, and accept the consequences.

All any of us can explain about why we choose one selection from the menu rather than another is what we think "here and now" we know about what is happening "in our head" then. When in fact none of us do know everything that we must know in order to answer the question definitively.

That's the part both sides seem unwilling to accept. The part that [to me] revolves more around a human psychology [compelled or not] ever and always inclined to believe that having an answer is far, far better than being unsure that there is an answer.

Besides, there must be an answer. Why? Because they have already found it!

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:30 pm
by iambiguous
"this atheist believes in free will"
James Kirk Wall from the ChicagoNow web page

I found it interesting that Harris injected this “you need to understand why” into the definition of free will. Seems like an attempt to move the goal post. My statement that free will is simply an illusion rests on shaky ground, therefore I’ll attempt to redefine the term rather than admit my logic may have been a bit faulty.

Okay, but what I keep coming back to here is how interesting it might be to point out to Mr. Harris that in a wholly determined universe, i.e. a universe in which all matter [including brain matter] is governed by natural laws, what any of us come to understand about the definition of free will is the only thing we were ever able to come to understand about it.

In other words, over and again I'm confronted with the prospect that I must be missing something really important here about the manner in which folks like this discuss these relationships.

I really found this statement of Harris interesting as I’ve heard the exact opposite. If you understand why you made a decision it was not free will. Why? Because there were obviously pre-existing reasons that determined the choice. So people arguing that there’s no free will seem to be saying that if you know why you made the choice, it’s not free will, and if you don’t know why you made the choice, it’s not free will. How convenient.

Same for the author here. How is he able to demonstrate that what he understands about these relationships is beyond all doubt the embodiment of his own free will? However circumscribed and/or circumvented it will be by any number of actual existential variables.

His leap to free will is no less an intellectual contraption in my view. We're all stuck trying to pin the tail on this donkey going all the way back to why something rather than nothing exists at all. And why this something and not another something altogether.

In other words, why and how does the human brain do what it does such that this can be traced back to God or to nature or to some component embedded in the chemical and neurological interactions inside the brain that can be pinpointed to explain how this living matter became autonomous.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:29 pm
by iambiguous
"Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will"
Scientists think they can prove that free will is an illusion. Philosophers are urging them to think again.
Kerri Smith in Nature magazine.

Philosophers aren't convinced that brain scans can demolish free will so easily. Some have questioned the neuroscientists' results and interpretations, arguing that the researchers have not quite grasped the concept that they say they are debunking. Many more don't engage with scientists at all. "Neuroscientists and philosophers talk past each other," says Walter Glannon, a philosopher at the University of Calgary in Canada, who has interests in neuroscience, ethics and free will.

Here we have the classic example of how different people using the same words are not able to agree on how to understand the meaning of these words in any particular context.

Still, in talking about the "concept of free will", how can philosophers explain this to the neuroscientists so as to enable them to test for it in their experiments with actual functioning brains making choices?

Sure, in a world of words, "free will" can be encompassed in many, many different ways. But sooner or later these "thought up" and "thought out" ideas have to be reconfigured into ways to probe both their use value and their exchange value when the focus shifts to an actual behavior being chosen in an actual context.

So, what we we need here are the latest reports from the scientific community in which the arguments of particular philosophers have been explored "for all practical purposes" given specific experiments conducted with actual functioning brains.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:57 pm
by iambiguous
You know who:

You can lead a horse to water, but without the herd it will not drink.
For a social organism, such as man, the very idea of freedom exceeding its comfort level, is terrifying - like being cast out of the group to face nature on their own.
No matter how absurd, the idea that promises the lie of absolute uniformity and belonging, will be preferable to the truth.

Objectivists of his ilk are almost never able to grasp the irony embedded in assessments of this sort.

Sure, let's presume for the sake of argument that free-will is an actual fact of life among our own species.

As he does.

Then, as with folks like Ayn Rand, he becomes obsessed with the idea of freedom. Of those individuals bold enough to actually exercise it. How? By yanking themsleves up out of the herd. Up out of the moronic masses who, as desparate degenerates in the modern world, are intent only on exorcising it from their lives.

But: there's a catch.

In order for others to embody this noble freedom themselves they must first agree to think exactly as he does about, among other things, genes and memes and race and gender and sexual orientation.

This part:

1] I am rational
2] I am rational because I have access to the objective truth
3] I have access to the objective truth because I grasp the one true nature of the objective world
4] I grasp the one true nature of the objective world because I am rational

In other words, they yank themselves up out of our herd only in order to create a herd of their own.

Just as Christians must subsume their own freedom in God, the folks over at KT must be willing to subsume their freedom in Satyr.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:00 pm
by iambiguous
"this atheist believes in free will"
James Kirk Wall from the ChicagoNow web page

When it comes to analyzing a decision and finding out why it was made, here’s the problem. No matter what decision was made, it can be analyzed and reasoning can be made. If out of 1,000 choices someone went with #937, we can examine the reasoning as to why. But if they went with choice #47, we could also examine the reasoning as to why. For a hard determinist, reasoning why a decision was made becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that it must have been made.

Yes, and this is the part that, in a rather visceral, gut manner, seems very, very difficult for many to accept. Is our brain really pre-programed mechanically by the laws of matter to have chosen #937 instead of #47 because, going back to the very creation of matter itself, it could only have ever been that way?

We take our own leap here in accepting a particular set of assumptions that, in my view, are as a result of having [existentially] come into contact with sources that were predisposed existentially themselves to think this instead of that. Accepting that the overwhelming preponderance of us do not have either the education or training as actual brain scientists to fathom the human mind here systemically.

A big criticism of hard determinism is that if people aren’t free to choose their options, nobody can be accountable for them. Criminals were going to do bad things, it’s not like they had any control. We should feel sorry for them. Why should we punish people that couldn’t help what they were doing?

Here we go again: taking that leap from hard determinism in the either/or world [which most of us just take for granted] to no free will in the is/ought world [which most of us reject].

Here [for some] free will becomes like religion: even if it doesn't actually exist, we'd still feel the need to invent it. Only here the need to invent it is, in and of itself, no less compelled by nature.

So shouldn’t we change our justice system if we have determined free will doesn’t exist? The answer is no. Not that we should never make changes to our system, but not based on determinism.

I'll probably never grasp this frame of mind. In a determined universe [as I understand it] we could only determine if free will doesn't exist because we were never able not to determine that it doesn't exist. There is no yes or no answer here other than as the only answer we could have come to. And if we live in a wholly determined universe, we would ask ourselves if we should change our system of justice only because we were never able not to ask ourselves that. And certainly Change or No Change is but another inherent, necessary component of this determined universe

What the fuck do I keep missing here?

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:24 pm
by iambiguous

This is why I do not consider freedom, or anything an absolute, i.e., a complete whole.
"Freedom from" (negative) refers to past/nature.
"Freedom to" (positive) refers to future/ideal.

The struggle occurs in the present, i.e., nurture, choice, action....

Of course, I frame this distinctinction as "I" having been, being now and becoming an "existential contraption". Only, unlike some, I am willing to acknowledge that I have no way in which to demonstrate beyond all doubt the distinction I make either is or is not in fact the only one I was ever able to make.

And, then, when moral and political narratives come into conflict [assuming some measure of free will], I recognize that those who argue from the perspective of "freedom from" are able to pose narratives just as reasonable as those who argue from the perspective of "freedom to".

For example, the arguments embedded here:

Some wish to live in a world where guns are not permitted to be owned by private citizens [freedom from guns], while others wish to live in a world where private citizens could purchase heavy artillery if they want to [freedom to have guns].

Here, of course, the objectivists pile on. They insist that they [and only they] are able to provide us with the most rational philosophical assessment. They simply come back to different fonts: God, reason, political ideology, nature.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:28 pm
by iambiguous
"this atheist believes in free will"
James Kirk Wall from the ChicagoNow web page

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “there’s a new sheriff in town.” Where did this expression come from? When European settlers in the U.S. headed west, remote towns were established. Without organized law enforcement, these towns were lawless. People didn’t feel safe walking the streets.

So some tough son-of-a-gun comes into town, takes the badge, and makes their presence known. I’m the new sheriff in these parts and everyone will obey the law. If they don’t I will hunt them down and string them up. Not wanting any part of that, people who were causing problems are now walking the straight and narrow. Crime goes down significantly and people now feel safe to walk the streets.

What if the sheriff came in and said, “All your actions are determined, and since everyone is going to do what they’re going to do anyway, no one can be blamed for anything.” What would happen? Crime would continue.

Over and over again: As though if Wall was only ever able to note this in a wholly determined universe, crime would only ever have been able to continue or not continue back in that old west town wholly in sync in turn with the immutable laws of matter.

For me, it's not a question of what the sheriff says, but of whether, given what he says, he was able to freely opt to say something else. The sheriff, the criminals and the law abiding folks in that town at that time and in that place would be at one with any and all human interactions over all of time and across all of space.

The actions of the sheriff establishing law and order immediately became a past action that directly impacted future actions. Even if these actions were determined, they still made a positive and significant impact. Fatalism is the belief that none of our actions mean anything. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

If the actions of the sheriff were entirely determined then the consequences of his actions precipitated a positive and significant impact that was also only what could ever have been.

Then [for me] we are back to the part where people like peacegirl make this distinction "in their head" between human brains "choosing" rather than choosing what they do. As though anything would have been other than what it must have been when the new sheriff came to town.

The bottom line is that a society must establish law and order. Good arms and good laws as Machiavelli would say. This means people need to be made accountable for their actions in order to guide others in making constructive decisions. Actions to help determine future actions.

No, the bottom line [mine] is that if, given nature's laws of matter encompassing human brains/interaction, law and order is established, it is only because there was never any possibility of it not being established. And if people are made accountable it is only because they were never able to not be made accountable. Constructive and destructive decisions become interchangeable in determined universe. Actions here and now compelled necessarily to beget actions there and then.

Unless of course I'm wrong.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:17 pm
by iambiguous
"this atheist believes in free will"
James Kirk Wall from the ChicagoNow web page

Hard determinists will often throw out extreme examples where people didn’t have free will. A brain tumor or schizophrenia caused someone to be violent. How can you punish people in those instances? But our justice system already has ways to address those uncommon scenarios. Reasons of insanity or temporary insanity, if proven to the court, receive a different sentence than those determined to have control, meaning free will.

Actually, the hardest determinist of all would seem to throw out the most extreme example of all: That having or not having a brain tumor or schizophrenia does not make someone violent. They will be violent solely because they were never able not to be violent.

Just as the author here was never able not to make his point. Just as you were never able not to be reading mine.

Isn't that basically the consequence of living in a universe in which the human brain is no less entirely in sync with the laws of matter?

Over and again though I can't help but assume I must be misunderstanding his point. But: given how I have come to understand determinism there was never any possibility of my not missing it.

What about someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol? They are made accountable for taking the drugs or alcohol. We don’t let off drunk drivers because their judgement was impaired.

Same thing. What difference does it make if we "choose" to let them off or "choose" not to let them off when we did not really choose anything as an autonomous human being?

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:21 pm
by iambiguous

What happens in the future is UNRELATED to what humans do in the present.


What happens in the future is RELATED to what humans do in the present, but also, what humans do in the present is RELATED to what happened in the past.

For the life of me, if this is an accurate depiction of fatalism, how does anyone actually imagine that it can be true other than in a wholly determined universe?

In other words, we all know that what we do in the present is going to precipitate consequences for the future. What we don't know [for certain] is if what we do in the present is the only thing that we were ever able to do given a determined universe.

And, in a determined universe, as I understand it, what happens in the future is not just related to what happens in the present being related to what happens in the past, but is wholly in sync with the laws of matter such that the past, present and future are as one.

Including the existence of self-conscious matter -- you and I -- if the human brain itself is wholly in sync with the laws of matter.

Re: Determinism

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:34 pm
by iambiguous
Magnus Anderson wrote: Either you are a victim of causality or you are a victim of chance. Either way, you're a victim of something. And it is said you're a victim because it is thought that you're in a bad situation. But causality does not imply victimhood. Causality can make you a victor just as much as it can make you a victim. The same applies to chance. You can be a victim or a victor because of what happened in the past, but also, you can be a victim or a victor by chance i.e. for no reason at all.

Again, how tricky this all gets. If you conclude that someone is a victim of causality, it is only becasue you were compelled by the laws of nature to conclude this. At least to the extent that it can be determined definitively that the human brain is but a necessary adjunct of the same laws.

But: even the attempts to demonstrate this can only be as they were ever able to be in a wholly determined universe.

On the other hand, in a determined universe, concluding that you are a victim of chance is encompassed in the same set of assumptions.

What we conclude that causality implies is only what we were ever able to conclude that it implies.

This part:

Magnus Anderson wrote: As to what has been determined, that is largely unknown. Maybe it has been determined that you will never get it, meaning that our attempts are futile, assuming that their purpose is to open your eyes; but also, it might have been determined that you won't get it until someone comes along and explains it to you.

Exactly: Maybe this, maybe that. Assuming that we do have some measure of free will allowing us to come to our very own autonomous conclusions.