Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:51 pm

phyllo wrote:Nothing.
:banana-dance:


Indeed, imagine explaining the laws of matter going all the way back to the Big Bang...culminating in, among other things, this: :banana-dance:

It must be God, right? :lol:
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:52 pm

Iambiguous,

I've told you many times that what's true for all possible beings, transcends subjectivity and is necessarily objective.

1+1=2: true for all possible beings

Nobody wants their consent violated!! True for all possible beings.

Now, I keep encountering these people who think they're real badasses, and that ANYONE WHO HAS THEIR CONSENT VIOLATED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE is just a pansy not deserving of life , "grow up!" They say.

To which I reply, "so if your mother is brutally tortured, raped and murdered, while you are strapped to a chair watching it all, your consent wouldn't be violated ??"

To which I say, "it may not be your mother, but to some mother and child, this is happening all around the world every day"

Yes. My consent is violated if anyone has their consent violated !!

People try to sound so badass, like urwrong, who says these are just weak people unfit for survival ...

Urwrong is giving permission to have this done to him, and that's a VERY SICK FUCK!!!

Nobody wants their consent violated, and that includes (except urwrong) more than me, myself and I ...

That's objectively true.

Urwrong demands his mother be raped ...

I hope you're not the same.

What does this have to do with freewill?

We discover proofs.

They transcend all possible being.

In a "subjectivist stance" non freewill (what everyone believes or states is true) we'd have no possible will.

I have a will so I know this isn't true

There has to be something for a will to be for
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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:46 pm

both aggression and compassion are evolved traits which in some relevant way, served a function of survival. 'consent violation', therefore, is a necessary consequence of this, and produced some kind of advantage for some group of people in some kind of context.

the task humanity is faced with now in the modern world is how to express that vitalizing aggressive drive that is so important in strengthening and improving us - something proven over our entire course of history - without causing others to suffer. what is slowly dissolving is that atavistic concept of 'us and them'; part of our material evolution is the integration of all people into a system beneficial to everyone at nobody else's cost, and the first step into this transition is the recognition of the superfluous nature of the present system that so gratuitously 'violates consent' even at the most general level; economically. the first step in resolving - in 'out-evolving' - this earlier human stage of evolution we are stuck at on purpose (as it serves the advantage of the elite) and beginning the project of designing a world in which our aggression can be expressed with minimal 'consent violation', is to get rid of this notion of 'us and them'. such a concept is embarrassingly primitive and crude. we are no longer playing cowboys and indians or nazis and jews, and it's time to grow up.

what we need is an outlet for our aggressive instincts, a common enemy or obstacle we can unite against and delight in our aggressive natures. this is what i was alluding to when i said months ago 'the consent violation to end all consent violations'. once this omega of all consent violations takes place - the complete overthrowing of the capitalist system - a magnificent shift will occur in the ways in which we express that healthy and aggressive element of our nature. it will be channeled into much more productive forces that involve a very minimum of consent violation at such a trivial level (what we experience today in the petty quarrels of the class war) and focused on more futuristic ideals. the extraordinary challenge set before us to colonize space, to develop technologies that decrease the requirement of manual labor, and the development of the arts/sciences. these are the obstacles to be conquered... the thing which we direct our aggressive energies at.

like i said before, the planet i come from (my ship wrecked here years ago... long story) makes your miserable rock look like a bad sitcom. it is difficult for us to even feel sorry for such a joke of a world. you people have been cavemen for 200,000 years, and still are. how could one from the vulcan worlds do anything but laugh at such a travesty?
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Re: Determinism

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:38 am

Consent violation is destroying our food, our water, our atmosphere and our environment.

There has NEVER been a selective advantage for it.

You're trying to apologize for consent violation as a necessary evil, or even a good ...

Did you read the message I sent to iambiguous and urwrong !?!?

The message you replied to !?!?!?!
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:27 pm

The Free Will Pill
Taylor A. Dunn asks, if free will were a drug, should you take it?
From Philosophy Now magazine

Let’s assume Mark Balaguer is right, and the question of whether we have free will or not will eventually be discovered by neuroscientists. They’ll either find that we have free will, or that we don’t, or perhaps that we have some degree of freedom that is generally unsatisfying. Recall that on Balaguer’s model, in order for us to have free will, those torn decision events need a 50/50 chance of going one way or the other. This would require a very particular orchestration of brain processes. And while the question is still entirely open as to what is going on during torn decision events, it seems overly optimistic that in many cases we are making a free choice on Balaguer’s terms. It might not require an exact balance though. A 60/40 probability split on a decision, for instance, might mean a 3:2 likelihood of choosing one option over another. But perhaps 50/50 is required for absolute freedom of choice at any given moment.


Some no doubt will read this and be torn 50/50 as to whether or not they agree with it. Or torn 50/50 as to whether or not they were free to make this as opposed to that assessment at all.

Now, if neuroscience is one day able to definitively determine that we do not have any capacity to choose freely [in any context] then that would seem to suggest that it is also able to grasp the ontological nature of existence itself. Going back to why there is an existence rather than no existence at all.

Then going all the way back to a definitive account of existence in relationship to God or to No God.

Right?

Let’s make the pessimistic assumption that neuroscientists discover either that we don’t have free will, or that we don’t have a satisfying degree of freedom over our choices. Couldn’t we in principle develop a drug able to manipulate brain function in order to achieve that 50/50 probability of the brain state going one way or the other at the moment of choice? It’s not so hard to imagine that, if we learn enough about the brain to figure out what’s involved during a decision, we’ll have a decent enough grasp on what it might take to alter the brain in order to manufacture free will in Balaguer’s sort of way.


How on earth would we encompass "for all practical purposes" what it means not to have a "satisfying degree of freedom over our choices"?

Let's try to imagine how this might work given our interactions with others from day to day. And, in the either/or world, excluding the part about dasein and conflicting goods in the is/ought world. After all, even if you reach the 50/50 mark in opting freely for one or another behavior who is to say which behavior [morally] is the right one?

So, here, what would constitute a free choice? What would constitute a determined choice?

What here "in principle" would constitute developing a free will pill? As opposed to in fact developing one?

How could we not be dissatisfied unless we were able to pin everything down as either this or that?
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:29 pm

biggs, relax man. take five with brubeck and harris. you're gonna give yourself an aneurysm messing with these other guys.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:10 pm

The Free Will Pill
Taylor A. Dunn asks, if free will were a drug, should you take it?
From Philosophy Now magazine

...if truly free choices can only be made once the [free will pill] is taken, that would make the choice to take the drug either determined or random. It seems strange to think either that we might be determined to become free, or that we might randomly become free. And if we can manage to wrap our heads around that paradoxical prospect, we are left with the question of whether or not we ought to take the free will pill.


What this denotes of course is how tricky it can be for philosophers in grappling with human autonomy. You choose words to assess this but you don't have any substantive capacity to demonstrate that you could have chosen other words instead. You choose to take the free will pill only because somehow the laws of matter were able to reconfigure the human brain into creating a pill that reconfigures the laws of matter themselves into actual volition.

Then the part where we move beyond these thought experiments into an accumulation of actual experiential data we can use to pin down a definitive conclusion.

We always seem to get stumped here because sooner or later the assumptions we make about the assumptions we make themselves can only be anchored to the definition and the meaning we give to words that we are unable to demonstrate we opted for of our own free will. We profess our own subjective accounts here in a world of words that we can never actually attach to a comprehensive empirical understanding of how the brain functions as matter apart from how mindless matter functions given the laws of matter.
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:30 pm

For these 'hard-determinists the absence of free-will means their ideologies are divine in origin - part of a universal plan which they are agencies that bring it to fruition - doing 'god's will' in a secular form.


And then there are those hard determinists who argue that the words above are inherently, necessarily part of the only possible reality there could ever have been. Such that what he thinks he means by them and what we think he thinks he means by them are inherently, necessarily subsumed in that.

But: whatever is "behind" that "universal plan" of his is necessarily beyond being encompassed by any of us. At least on this thread.

So far.
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:21 pm

The Free Will Pill
Taylor A. Dunn asks, if free will were a drug, should you take it?
From Philosophy Now magazine

Considering Choice

I have two major ethical concerns about a free will drug. The first is that it could further stratify an already highly stratified society, exacerbating social and economic inequalities. The inequality of access to technology and medicine is a serious problem already in our current world, and barring a massive global redistribution of resources, we could find ourselves in a position where the few had enhanced free will and the many did not.


As usual, a part of me must acknowledge that, given some measure of free will on my part here, I am not understanding his point.

He must be assuming that he himself has some measure of free will in order to note this here and now given the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, a free will pill has not yet been invented.

Instead, he seems to be presuming that we do not have autonomy now but that somehow in the future nature will compel the human species to invent a free will pill. And some [more privileged] will be compelled by nature to obtain this pill giving them the free will that the underprivileged will not have access to?

So we will live in a world there some can afford to acquire free will giving them an advantage over those not able to afford it?

I'm having difficulty grasping how for all practical purposes this plays itself out in particular contexts.

Creating this genuine metaphysical difference between people might lead to other divisions too. Since the notion of free will is inextricably linked to moral and criminal responsibility, one consequence might be that some people came to be held more fully responsible for their actions than others.


Okay, John buys and sell stocks after acquiring free will pill. Jane and thousands more like her buy and sell stocks the old fashioned way: as nature compels them. Meanwhile those throughout the economy who manufacture, market, sell, and/or purchase the commodities that encompass the economy are as well, either in possession of the free will pill or are not.

Same for the is/ought world. Some take the free will pill and argue of their own volition that buying and selling stocks embodies moral or immoral behavior. Meanwhile the majority of folks unable to afford free will argue only as they are compelled to given that their brains are still wholly in sync with the laws of matter.

A little help here please. How in more detail might the free will folks go about reconfiguring the old adage, "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" when capitalism intertwines the autonomous and the compelled in this brave new 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

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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:34 pm

For these 'hard-determinists the absence of free-will means their ideologies are divine in origin - part of a universal plan which they are agencies that bring it to fruition - doing 'god's will' in a secular form.


who said that... your homeboy satyr? sounds like something he'd say. well if he didn't say that, he's said the same thing in so many other words. i've been tellin this dude since what, 2010, that there is no 'determiner' in a causal system, no single individual who possesses some agency called 'freewill' that acts as a cause, and certainly no transcendent 'god' that determines what's going to happen in the system. this is all to say there is no intent for, or reason why, anything happens. it just happens because it has to.

but you can see here how these freewillists are so deluded about causation that they can't imagine it being even possible without some directing agency. if a determinist denies them their freewill, he must then be granting the determining power to some 'god'. see what i mean? but it's the freewillist who insists that there must be a 'determiner', not the determinist.

the fact is, the delusion of the illest of the freewillist runs so deep he begins to see himself in those he argues with... and presto, becomes his own strawman.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:55 pm

promethean75 wrote:who said that... your homeboy satyr? sounds like something he'd say. well if he didn't say that, he's said the same thing in so many other words. i've been tellin this dude since what, 2010, that there is no 'determiner' in a causal system, no single individual who possesses some agency called 'freewill' that acts as a cause, and certainly no transcendent 'god' that determines what's going to happen in the system. this is all to say there is no intent for, or reason why, anything happens. it just happens because it has to.

but you can see here how these freewillists are so deluded about causation that they can't imagine it being even possible without some directing agency. if a determinist denies them their freewill, he must then be granting the determining power to some 'god'. see what i mean? but it's the freewillist who insists that there must be a 'determiner', not the determinist.

the fact is, the delusion of the illest of the freewillist runs so deep he begins to see himself in those he argues with... and presto, becomes his own strawman.

I'd like to see this argument used in a drunk-driver manslaughter case.

"It's not my fault because there's no single individual who possesses some agency called free-will that acts as a cause!"

In fact, we may as well start releasing all prisons of all criminals.
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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:29 pm

the concealed premise here is that in order to justify 'punishment', it has to be believed that the punished had freewill. this rests on the lack of honesty and power on the punisher's part. we are still in the stage of human history where forces that deter, repress and control find it easier to do so through lying... which is understandable... because the 'truth' isn't a priority here. order is the priority, and the means to keeping this reveals a particular idiosyncrasy about society. what it has to do to keep order.

and there's an ongoing dual-history to the usefulness of this freewill lie. on one hand, it makes managing social order and criminal justice much more efficient; make an offender 'feel guilty' and half the work is already done. he'll do anything you say to clear his conscience. on the other hand, along with that continued belief in freewill, attention is always paid more to the individual rather than the environment from which he came. and this distraction compliments western democratic capitalism; the environments that produce criminals are, by and large, direct results of capitalism's effects. so to begin placing more restriction on, and demonstrating more control of, those conditions, would put a damper on the freedom of capitalism and what it indirectly causes.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:38 pm

Urwrongx1000 wrote:
promethean75 wrote:who said that... your homeboy satyr? sounds like something he'd say. well if he didn't say that, he's said the same thing in so many other words. i've been tellin this dude since what, 2010, that there is no 'determiner' in a causal system, no single individual who possesses some agency called 'freewill' that acts as a cause, and certainly no transcendent 'god' that determines what's going to happen in the system. this is all to say there is no intent for, or reason why, anything happens. it just happens because it has to.

but you can see here how these freewillists are so deluded about causation that they can't imagine it being even possible without some directing agency. if a determinist denies them their freewill, he must then be granting the determining power to some 'god'. see what i mean? but it's the freewillist who insists that there must be a 'determiner', not the determinist.

the fact is, the delusion of the illest of the freewillist runs so deep he begins to see himself in those he argues with... and presto, becomes his own strawman.

I'd like to see this argument used in a drunk-driver manslaughter case.

"It's not my fault because there's no single individual who possesses some agency called free-will that acts as a cause!"

In fact, we may as well start releasing all prisons of all criminals.


This is where it all gets particularly problematic. For some, determinism encompasses everything and anything that we had ever thought, felt, said and done in the past, everything and anything that we think, feel, say and do now in the present and everything and anything that we will ever think, feel say or do in the future.

Nothing is excluded. Not the drunk-driver manslaughter case, not the Holocaust. Not even Trumpworld.

And it certainly doesn't exclude me typing these words or you reading them.

Think about it. In a wholly determined universe [as some understand it], the fact that promethean has been telling satyr since 2010 what he thinks about all of this and the fact that he might take satisfaction that satyr is still unable to grasp it and the fact that satyr might react to this over at KT tomorrow --- none of it is exempt from the laws of matter. It is all only as it must be.

But: We have no way [that I am aware of] of determining and then demonstrating beyond all doubt if it is in fact only as it must be.
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:58 pm

promethean75 wrote:the concealed premise here is that in order to justify 'punishment', it has to be believed that the punished had freewill. this rests on the lack of honesty and power on the punisher's part. we are still in the stage of human history where forces that deter, repress and control find it easier to do so through lying... which is understandable... because the 'truth' isn't a priority here. order is the priority, and the means to keeping this reveals a particular idiosyncrasy about society. what it has to do to keep order.

and there's an ongoing dual-history to the usefulness of this freewill lie. on one hand, it makes managing social order and criminal justice much more efficient; make an offender 'feel guilty' and half the work is already done. he'll do anything you say to clear his conscience. on the other hand, along with that continued belief in freewill, attention is always paid more to the individual rather than the environment from which he came. and this distraction compliments western democratic capitalism; the environments that produce criminals are, by and large, direct results of capitalism's effects. so to begin placing more restriction on, and demonstrating more control of, those conditions, would put a damper on the freedom of capitalism and what it indirectly causes.

People are not "free from" their causes though, and can cause without intent or even awareness.

You can deny that you're self-responsible. That's not justification for avoiding blame/justice/prosecution.

Law is justified by society as a group. It doesn't even matter if you were right/correct/rational or had some greater philosophical point. It's not going to stop the mob coming after you. So, philosophers, thinkers, intellectuals, moral leaders, long ago agreed that it's best to have some form of social judgment that's fair to some small degree, hence Western (Common) Law, Judges, Juries, Rights, and Due Process, etc.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:03 pm

iambiguous wrote:This is where it all gets particularly problematic. For some, determinism encompasses everything and anything that we had ever thought, felt, said and done in the past, everything and anything that we think, feel, say and do now in the present and everything and anything that we will ever think, feel say or do in the future.

Nothing is excluded. Not the drunk-driver manslaughter case, not the Holocaust. Not even Trumpworld.

And it certainly doesn't exclude me typing these words or you reading them.

Think about it. In a wholly determined universe [as some understand it], the fact that promethean has been telling satyr since 2010 what he thinks about all of this and the fact that he might take satisfaction that satyr is still unable to grasp it and the fact that satyr might react to this over at KT tomorrow --- none of it is exempt from the laws of matter. It is all only as it must be.

But: We have no way [that I am aware of] of determining and then demonstrating beyond all doubt if it is in fact only as it must be.

I think Prom is at least aware, and we've broached the point already, that 'Justice' is obscure. I already agreed with the Witchhunt/Scapegoat/Whipping Boy tendency of society. Society, the mob, people in general, want something or somebody to Blame for wrong-doing, whether they are intentional or not. I disagree with Prom about the source of criminality. I, as per usual, default to Biology and Anthropology. Prom blames "society at large" and "capitalism", or other various social failings to properly educate, indoctrinate, discipline, and order children into adults. That's somewhat correct, but not entirely.

I'm pretty sure that Prom's larger point is that he can 'blame' just as much as the judge and jury can. And, Prom is correct to point out lies and hypocrisy. But it goes both ways, "Nobody is without Sin", etc. That's not how Justice works in America though. You have to convince and persuade the Jury, your societal 'Peers'. And that's the wildcard. It may not be "Perfect", but Western Civilization has agreed on this, as it developed and evolved, to the current method of Justice. Can the wealthy class, with powerful lawyers, "beat the system"? Yes, they can. But there are reasons for this too.
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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:24 pm

the fact that promethean has been telling satyr since 2010 what he thinks about all of this and the fact that he might take satisfaction that satyr is still unable to grasp it


One can no sooner praise me for my superior intellect than they can blame satyr for his special needs, as all things proceed from nature with perfect necessity and order sub specie aeternitatis.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:39 pm

Free Will Is An Illusion, But Freedom Isn’t
Ching-Hung Woo says freedom is compatible with choices being determined.

Basically the standard argument:

We commonly think it obvious that a person facing multiple alternatives can choose any of them, and that the outcome is decided by free will at the moment of decision, rather than being already determined by earlier causes. All the events in the world, however, obey the law of physics, including those that happen inside a brain. If all events in the brain unfold according to classical physics, then free will in the above sense does not exist. This is because classical physics is deterministic: the state of the world at any moment is the inevitable consequence of its state at an earlier moment. Hence the alternatives are only apparently available to the decision-maker, as in fact only a single alternative is destined to be the one chosen.


But somehow this argument is then made to be compatible with freedom. Which makes no sense to me at all. And yet lots and lots of very intelligent people are able to make them compatible. So I've got to accept the possibility that the problem is me. In other words, there is just some snag in my thinking here -- technical or otherwise -- that stops me from reconciling what seems to be well beyond reconciling altogether.

Unless of course the snag is in their thinking.

Then the shift to the quantum world:

In quantum physics the so-called probability amplitude evolves according to deterministic laws but the transformation from many possible outcomes to one actual outcome takes place purely by chance. The statistical distribution for such chance events follows strict rules, but the outcome of an individual chance event is unpredictable and cannot be controlled by will. Thus any decision is either the predictable result of earlier causes (which may include quantum chance events) and is not free from determinism, or is itself a quantum chance event and is not willed. Either way, the free will we commonly take for granted is absent. What then is the freedom to choose that we so cherish and which politicians like to invoke at every opportunity?


Here of course all bets are off. Cause and effect? Going all the way back to how the world of the infinitely small is intertwined in the world of the infinitely large?

Either we are understanding the quantum world only in the manner in which nature compels us to, or we do have some measure of autonomy in grappling with it...but are still [no doubt] years and years away from understanding everything there is to know about it.

Pick one, right?
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:10 pm

Urwrongx1000 wrote:I think Prom is at least aware, and we've broached the point already, that 'Justice' is obscure. I already agreed with the Witchhunt/Scapegoat/Whipping Boy tendency of society. Society, the mob, people in general, want something or somebody to Blame for wrong-doing, whether they are intentional or not. I disagree with Prom about the source of criminality. I, as per usual, default to Biology and Anthropology. Prom blames "society at large" and "capitalism", or other various social failings to properly educate, indoctrinate, discipline, and order children into adults. That's somewhat correct, but not entirely.


Well, in a wholly determined universe [as I understand it it] your conjectures regarding the obscurity of Justice are necessarily in sync with my own conjectures regarding your conjectures regarding prom's conjectures...going all the way back to whatever [whoever] set into motion the laws of matter going back to whatever [whoever] set into motion existence itself. Unless, of course, someone here can explain to us beyond all doubt how existence can only have always been.

Now, in a world where I take an existential leap to human autonomy, the obscurity of Justice is embedded instead in the manner in which I construe human interactions as embodied in the assumptions I make in my signature threads. Others can then peruse them and note how those assumptions are not in sync with their own assumptions.

Then we can note a particular context in which assessments of Justice are clearly at odds and bring our intellectual contraptions down out of the technical/scholastic/didactic clouds and explore our differences more substantively.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:I'm pretty sure that Prom's larger point is that he can 'blame' just as much as the judge and jury can. And, Prom is correct to point out lies and hypocrisy. But it goes both ways, "Nobody is without Sin", etc. That's not how Justice works in America though. You have to convince and persuade the Jury, your societal 'Peers'. And that's the wildcard. It may not be "Perfect", but Western Civilization has agreed on this, as it developed and evolved, to the current method of Justice. Can the wealthy class, with powerful lawyers, "beat the system"? Yes, they can. But there are reasons for this too.


Okay, but my larger point is that who blames whom for what is necessarily subsumed [universally, essentially, objectively] in the laws of matter unfolding only as they must. And, until the hard guys are able to pin down once and for all how the human brain is the exception to the rule that is nature being synonymous with existence itself, each one of us as individuals takes our own subjective leap to that which we believe to be true "in our head". But that in which none of us [to the best of my knowledge] is able to demonstrate is true for all rational human beings.

And, in the case of Justice, those objectivists who insist that what they think they know is true in their head need be as far as they go in arguing that others must share their conclusions or be, among other things, complete fucking morons or desperate degenerates.
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:31 pm

Free Will Is An Illusion, But Freedom Isn’t
Ching-Hung Woo says freedom is compatible with choices being determined.

Choice Under Determinism

One thing we can’t avoid noticing is that we have the experience of making choices. In fact, each choice consists of two stages. In stage one we conceive alternatives, and in stage two we are aware that we have picked one of them. Often the option picked is the one whose consequences we prefer over the consequences of its alternatives, but the comparison of consequences is not always done consciously. Furthermore, both genetic predispositions and past experiences play a role in forming an individual’s preferences, so the causative factors leading to the making of a choice are complex.


Complex, or too complex? And what of those who are willing to acknowledge that the complexity leaves them no choice [if there is an actual autonomous choice at all] but to take a subjective leap to one or another conclusion. And then to behave accordingly.

Instead, most of us ignore the gap between what we think we know here and all that can be known and simply embrace a set of assumptions that permit us to go about the business of living our life as though what we think is true really is as far as we need go. And that clearly works because there is no one around able to convince them that there is in fact only one correct way in which to think about it. And that their way isn't it.

The genes do their thing and the memes are what they are...depending on when and where you are born, who you either meet or do not meet, what you either experience or do not experience. Out in any particular world in which, like everybody else, you are shaped and mold existentially given a particular confluence of variables derived from a particular constellation of contingency, chance and change.

The conclusion is that although we do experience choice-making – that transition from stage one to stage two – this doesn’t imply the absence of determining causative factors.


That's not the point though. The main consideration here is the complexity. The convoluted uncertainty embedded in all these factors that "I" aggregates into any one particular "sense of reality" from moment to moment. Most merely assume that their own understanding of this need be as far as they go. Others however are able to convince themselves that how they understand it is in turn how others are obligated to understand it as well. Only a very, very few become ineffably and inextricably fractured and fragmented in a swirl of ambiguity, confusion and uncertainty.
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:13 am

Free Will Is An Illusion, But Freedom Isn’t
Ching-Hung Woo says freedom is compatible with choices being determined.

...how can I be responsible for the consequences of such free choices, when the chains of events that cause them were determined outside myself, beginning long ago?


Cue "compatibilism". Which, try as I might, I am never able to reconcile with the manner in which I construe the existential relationship between determinism and value judgments "for all practical purposes".

I'm not arguing that they are wrong, only that, so far, I am not able to grasp why [or how] on earth they are right. And even here I can only presume that [somehow] I do have the capacity to choose this. But if that is the case there is no need to speak of compatibility at all.

But: I do know where they will then take the exchange. To the argument that peacegirl comes back to time and again:

The answer is hinted at in the word ‘responsible'


Ever and always it comes down to how you have come to understand the meaning of that word even though from my frame of mind you come to understand it ever and always as nature compels you to.

Something happens. Something happens because of the behaviors that I chose. I am therefore responsible for what happened because had I not chosen the behaviors that I did it would not have happened.

That is compatibilism?

...although many aspects of my being pull me in different directions and argue with one another during the making of a difficult decision, there is a relatively stable center that I identify as my self, and this recognition means that I can take or own the responsibility for each decision that’s made by me, even through or after the competition of all these factors. This is an appropriate expediency, since the detailed tracing of all the responsible factors is practically impossible.


Again: Huh?

It makes no difference how complex the intertwined factors are. It makes no difference that I am not able to untangle them in order to assess cause and effect in any particular context. It matters [to me] only that I either had some capacity to choose these behaviors autonomously or I did not.

This was explored in the film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:

A woman in Paris was on her way to go shopping.

But she had forgotten her coat and went back to get it. And when she had gotten her coat the phone had rung and so she had stopped to answer it and talked for a couple of minutes.

And while the woman was on the phone Daisy was rehearsing for that evening’s performance at the Paris Opera House.

And while she was rehearsing the woman was off the phone had gone outside to get a taxi.

A Cab comes to a stop she moves to get it but somebody gets there first, the cab drove off and she waits for the next one.

Now this taxi driver had dropped off a fare earlier and had stopped to get a cup of coffee.

He picked up the lady who was going shopping who had missed getting the earlier cab.

The taxi had to stop for a man crossing the street who had left for work five minutes later than he normally did because he forgot to set his alarm.

While the man, late for work, was crossing the street making the cab wait Daisy, finished rehearsing, was taking a shower.

While Daisy was showering the taxi was waiting outside a boutique for the woman to pick up a package which hadn’t been wrapped yet because the girl who was supposed to wrap it had broken up with her boyfriend the night before and forgot to.

When the package was done being wrapped the woman was back in the cab but the taxi was blocked by a delivery truck.

All the while Daisy was getting dressed.

The Delivery truck pulled off and the taxi was able to go while Daisy, the first to be dressed, waited for one of her friends who had broken a shoelace.

While the taxi was stopped, waiting for a traffic light, Daisy and her friend came out of the theater.

And if only one thing had happened differently...if the shoelace hadn’t broken or the delivery truck had moved moments earlier or the package had been wrapped and ready because the girl hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend or the man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier or the taxi driver hadn’t stopped for a cup of coffee or the woman had remembered her coat and had gotten into an earlier cab...

Daisy and her friend would have crossed the street and the taxi would have driven by them.

But life being what it is, a series of intersecting lives and incidents out of anyone’s control, the taxi did not go by and the driver, momentarily distracted hit Daisy and her leg was crushed.

Her leg had been broken in five places and with therapy, and time, she might be able to stand, maybe even walk.


Of course Daisy's leg was no ordinary leg. It was the leg of a world renowned dancer. And now, because of these "intersecting lives and incidences out of anyone's control", her life was forever changed.

And this works the same for all of us, of course. We think we are free to go about the business of living our lives autonomously. But how exactly is this point to be determined?

In a large sense our intertwining lives are akin to countless balls on a gigantic pool table. We zig and zag, caroming into each other in ways no one can truly grasp. Yet we can potentially create havoc in another's life simply by stepping back into our apartment to retrieve a coat.
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby Aegean » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:26 pm

You and Brian are like....brothers. Same quality of mind.
you're like him, in twenty years...when Godo's footsteps are heard on the door step.
Brian is version you, 2.0. Next generation nihilist.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:21 pm

Aegean wrote:You and Brian are like....brothers. Same quality of mind.
you're like him, in twenty years...when Godo's footsteps are heard on the door step.
Brian is version you, 2.0. Next generation nihilist.


Until peacegirl returns [compelled or not], I've sort of taken over this thread [compelled or not].

And [compelled or not] I've enacted a No Kids policy.

It's an existential contraption, true, but that is rooted in my assessment [compelled or not] of "I" as the embodiment of dasein.

I gave you a chance [compelled or not] on another thread to demonstrate that you have the capacity [compelled or not] to approach philosophy more [as I like to put it] substantively.

You either do or you do not.

And that's either compelled by the laws of nature or [somehow] we really do possess the capacity to opt for alternate arguments.

If so, then it's your, uh, choice?
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

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Re: Determinism

Postby Aegean » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:21 pm

Wow, an ultimatum.

The outcome can be predicted.
A slew of repeating sentences, not veering off a script. A loss of my time, on a hypocrite, and an inevitable surrender to nature's failed experiments.

I'll leave you with this.
Nothing is inherently good/bad, but only in relation to an objective. Your refusal to admit that your objective is parity and subjugation to a collective, makes you a thinker of bad faith. A waste of time.
The only acceptable answers will b those that promote your objective, without admitting it.
Marxist utopia.
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