Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 pm

phyllo wrote:Another person who walked out on an exchange with you. I wonder why? :-k


There was this guy in like the 70s Eric Berne, a psychologist, who came up with a set of games. Patterns people engage in where it looks like their goal is one thing, but really it is another.
Why don’t you? Yes, but…..
Perhaps you know someone where they complain about something, and you then suggest a solution and they then say “Yes but…”.This interaction continues until eventually you feel frustrated and bewildered; at that point you have been caught in a game.
The key point about games is what Berne called ‘superficially rational’ – the person seems to have a genuine problem, but the hidden truth is they don’t want your help to fix it, they simply want your attention. The reason for this is as they can’t find a way of getting attention in a positive way, they have learnt ways to gain that attention negatively.
The prize for the victim is to prove he’s right and that there’s no solution to his problem. The secondary prize is that, by doing so, he avoids having to actually try to solve his problem – since he’s just proven that there is no solution. Another subconscious prize is sometimes to prove the rescuer wrong, making them feel useless.



In this case, the real problem is not on the table. On the table are conflicting goods, determinism and having no way to know what the real ‘I’ is.

In context we could ask if he can help but play this game. And then the next issue of would hearing of the game offer a chance for change - even in a deterministic universe.

Often these two things are conflated.

A: In a determinist universe I can't help to act this way.

B: Sure, but now that the problem has been pointed out a new cause is in play.

A: But what if it's a determinist universe?

B: Well, some people do change when their patterns are pointed out.

A: But perhaps I can't help but not be affected.


B: Sure, but that means, even in a deterministic universe, that you are a particular kind of person, and likely have motivations that you cannot face. IOW, you are a poor discussion partner, even if you can't help that.

And when this is pointed out, he plays...

Look how hard I tried. In this scenario he is the husband, the wife is anyone who is a discussion partner, and the therapist is the gallery he appeals to with 'I leave it to others to decide....'
In its common clinical form this is a three-handed game played by a married couple with a psychiatrist. The husband (usually) is bucking for a divorce, despite loud protestations to the contrary, while the spouse is more sincere in wanting to continue the marriage. He comes to the therapist under protest and talks just enough to demonstrate to the wife that he is cooperating; usually he plays a mild game of “Psychiatry” or “Courtroom.” As time passes he exhibits either increasingly resentful pseudo-compliance or belligerent argumentativeness toward the therapist. At home he initially shows more “understanding” and restraint, and finally behaves worse than ever. After one, five or ten visits, depending on the skill of the therapist, he refuses to come any longer and goes hunting or fishing instead. The wife is then forced into filing for divorce. The husband is now blameless, since his wife has taken the initiative and he has demonstrated his good faith by going to the therapist. He is in a good position to say to any attorney, judge, friend or relative “Look how hard I’ve tried!”

The couple is seen together. If one — let us say the husband – is clearly playing this game, the other is taken into individual treatment and the player is sent on his way, on the valid ground that he is less ready for the therapy. He can still get a divorce, but only at the expense of abandoning his position that he is really trying. If necessary, the wife can start the divorce, and her position is much improved since she really has tried. The favorable, hoped-for outcome is that the husband, his game broken up, will go into a state of despair and then seek treatment elsewhere with genuine motivation.

In its everyday form this is easily observed in children as a two-handed game with one parent. It is played from either of two positions: “I am helpless” or “I am blameless.” The child tries, but bungles or is unsuccessful. If he is Helpless, the parent has to do it for him. This reveals the elements of the game. The parents should find out two things: which of them taught the child this game; and what they are doing to perpetuate it.


There's even a game called 'Let's you and him fight.' LOL

Now Berne's empirical evidence for these games was not rigorous. It was based on his experiences with clients, his observations. But I find it amusing how a number of them keep coming to mind with these threads.

Does 'playing games' mean anything in a deterministic universe?

I think so. It wouldn't be about blame, but still about what people are like. IOW saying that one kind of interaction is more gamelike, less honest, more convoluted, in some sense a con, could still have meaning. It's just we 'shouldn't' really blame the person. I put citation marks around 'shouldn't' because in determinism without blame we also lose moral shoulds.

A sign at a beach bathing area saying that poisonous jellyfish have been seen in numbers in the water so bathing is considered dangerous today are still useful, however, in a deterministic universe.
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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:03 am

LOL

That's interesting.

In this case, is there any way to change the game or to end it?

I have always been approaching it with the idea that if one could produce a shift away from a static "I" or absolute certainty or universal obligations, then the game would change. But maybe I'm completely wrong about it.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:49 am

phyllo wrote:LOL

That's interesting.


Pardon these long rants. I am working out this as I write. Thinking out loud. And who else but you could possibly understand.
But I do go on and on below. No worries if you can't find the interest to go to the end. Imagining you reading this was part of me exploring a few ideas below and that was useful regardless. I think it is actually important because we all have a bit of iamb in us.
In this case, is there any way to change the game or to end it?
I think with most things, there needs to be some sense on both sides that there has been game playing. And the internet is not a great environment for change since both parties have so much control over what is shown. All self-doubt, fear, mixed feelings can be hidden and the best foot put forward. Calling out the game might affect someone, but I think that's rare. And there needs to be some motivation for someone to want to end the game.

Of course this was mainly speculative fun. But I have found that responding to and thinking about iamb has led me to a lot, I mean a lot, of insight into people in general.

He even helped me today with the concept of Jouissance, Lacan's version....

David Fincher’s Seven is illustrative of the dynamics of jouissance. Two detectives, Mills and Somerset, set out to investigate a series of brutal murders committed as a “sermon” on the seven deadly sins by John Doe. Doe’s victims are chosen on the grounds that they embody a particular sinful excess and are subsequently dispatched in an elaborately sadistic manner. He seeks to punishexecute his victims not because of any legal transgression but because they do not conform to the imaginary unity, the homeostatic ego-ideal, of a God-fearing community. Here we might say that Doe becomes a superego manifestation who acts beyond the law on behalf of the law, fi lling in for its failures (something similar could be said about Batman and various other super(ego)-heroes).

There are two especially perceptive insights in this film. The first concerns the intrinsic character of jouissance: the more Doe renounces earthly pleasures in pursuit of his cause, the more his enjoyment-in-renunciation is revealed. What Doe attempts to conceal is precisely the surplus enjoyment he takes in personal sacrifice and in stoically carrying out his duty. His enjoyment is not so much an immediate gratification in violence, but rather an obscene satisfaction in carrying out complicated and ritualized killings/torture as part of a divine mission sanctioned by God. Doe is, in fact, a classic pervert who tries to hide his enjoyment behind his perceived ethical obligation. Put in other terms, he expresses the classic ideological alibi: “I was not there as a being of enjoyment but as a functionary of duty.” This also reflects Žižek’s point against Hannah Arendt and her conclusion regarding the routinized nature of the extermination of Jews as a “banality of evil” (Arendt 1963). That is to say, what Arendt misses is the way in which the bureaucratization itself became “a source of an additional jouissance” (PF: 55); a surplus satisfaction gained from carrying out the daily torture and humiliations in the guise of a Kantian sense of impersonal duty, as an instrument of the Other’s will (the law/state/universal mission, etc.). The essence of the matter is not so much the “banality of evil”, but rather the evil/excessive jouissance contained and nurtured within the banality itself.

The second concerns the way in which Doe inscribes himself in his “sermon”. At the denouement of the film, Mills learns of his wife’s murder (her decapitated head is delivered in a package) and is consequently seized by the sin of wrath: he “over-kills” Doe in an act of desperate rage. Prior to this, Doe confesses to a powerful envy of Mills and his married life. By declaring (and demonstrating) this excess, Doe stages his own execution and literally enjoys himself to death – thus completing the circle.


IOW at face value this is all about finding answers to important questions: how to resolve all moral claims - I mean, that would be great, we'd all get along and treat each other well - find out for sure if we are free or not, find a way to be authentic (have a capitalized 'I' and know what one wants. Important stuff, at least possibly. So the enterprise has a spirit of seriousness, even, ironically a moral imperitive. (implicitly he is claiming to be doing good: 'how could anything else be more important?' he has said a number of times.)

But when presented with experiential approaches to alleviating his pain - which has been presented as the motivation - he is absolutely not interested unless he can be convinced in advance that it will work for him and treats these attempts as objectivism and some kind of proselytizing situation. When present with philosophical approaches, there is often avoidance of actually dealing with the positions presented and they generally elicit him restating his positions.

He always makes it clear that he is not convinced - in a sense as if this is evidence. And then also gives out criteria for the solution that all rational people would be forced to agree.

IOW an impossible goal and also the first criteria gives him a kind of final say. Try to get me to believe something. See it didn't work. As if his motivation and his experience and willingness to explore are necessarily unimportant.

So, perhaps, what is happening is actually what he enjoys. What happens is the main goal.

And Lacan was clear that even if one also experiences pain, it can still be because one enjoys, gets satisfaction out of the process.

He wants us to fail against him over and over.

Which doesn't mean he doesn't also want answers. I am sure he would also like to resolve conflicting goods, etc. But I don't think that's the main thing that is going on.

I have always been approaching it with the idea that if one could produce a shift away from a static "I" or absolute certainty or universal obligations, then the game would change. But maybe I'm completely wrong about it.
I am not quite sure what yo mean here. Like if you could convince him that we don't need to be 100 percent sure to live and act, the discussion would flow better, we could get down to practical application...? Things like that. Yes, I can see that. I mean, that might work with someone else, or might work here in a year. Or those criteria of his might be part of the game, since they lead to dead ends. Or both.

I used to try to point out that he was, in fact, acting in the world, already. And that his choice of actions were based on things that he believed. If he was certain 100% about those beliefs, well, how? If he's not, well, then he is acting in the world without being 100% certain, so it isn't necessary. He could minimize even further his influence on others, by not posting here. He could protect the world even more from his actions since he cannot be 100% sure he knows how one ought to act. That line never got anywhere. Though it was interesting coming up with it.

I generally tried to treat the dialogue itself as moral ground and a concrete one. IOW for me Mary's abortion is not concrete. Though i did respond to his requests for concrete actions I had made in specific situations with conflicting goods. This however, did not solve his problems (suprise surprise) and then he quickly forgot about it starting demanding I do it as if it never happened.

Since our interaction with his is a shared concrete experience and as concrete as possible since it is there on the 'page', it seemed to me the best possible set of examples. But he simply cannot follow such things. Even when presented with direct quoted evidence of what he did, he glides away from it and places the interaction in some other context.

So that failed too, though it was also interesting.

I and you have tried a wide range of approaches. Now we don't agree about things. It's not like we have some unified position on life.

I think though we share a common belief that we are doing nothing wrong by living. I think there is something very anti-life in what he is implying and doing. How dare you all go around, more confident than me - in different ways - and not suffer like I am.

For different and perhaps overlapping reasons, we don't feel like we are doing anything wrong by being alive and trying to accomplish things and interacting with other people. And so the message is

Prove to me you are not sinning.

As ironic as it is for a nihilist non-objectivist to have that message.

Now most people think that the words they say are what they are doing.

But what we are doing is actually about the dynamics of the process of interaction.

So despite the irony, I think our nihilist here is telling us we are sinners. (though he may be wrong, lol, it is our job to convince him we are not sinners.)

And he gets pleasure when we fail to convince him. And even more pleasure if we get irritated.
Because it indicates we are not happy, he thinks.
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Re: Determinism

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:17 pm

I think he wants an answer that is absolute and objective and entirely satisfactory not just to himself but to everyone else
For he wants nothing less than a universal explanation for the question of conflicting goods in relation to human existence
It is doomed to failure as there is no such explanation as each individual has to decide for themselves what is true to them
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:23 pm

phyllo wrote:
He walked out on that exchange. You know, compelled to or otherwise.
Another person who walked out on an exchange with you. I wonder why? :-k


Yep, that has been the general pattern over the years. In particular with the objectivists.

I've narrowed it down to three possible reasons:

1] I argue that while philosophers may go in search of wisdom, this wisdom is always truncated by the gap between what philosophers think they know [about anything] and all that there is to be known in order to grasp the human condition in the context of existence itself. That bothers some. When it really begins to sink in that this quest is ultimately futile, some abandon philosophy altogether. Instead, they stick to the part where they concentrate fully on living their lives "for all practical purposes" from day to day.

2] I suggest in turn it appears reasonable that, in a world sans God, the human brain is but more matter wholly in sync [as a part of nature] with the laws of matter. And, thus, anything we think, feel, say or do is always only that which we were ever able to think, feel, say and do. And that includes philosophers. Some will inevitably find that disturbing. If they can't know for certain that they possess autonomy, they can't know for certain that their philosophical excursions are in fact of their own volition.

3] And then the part where, assuming some measure of autonomy, I suggest that "I" in the is/ought world is basically an existential contraption interacting with other existential contraptions in a world teeming with conflicting goods --- and in contexts in which wealth and power prevails in the political arena. The part where "I" becomes fractured and fragmented.

And, really, how long will many philosophers [objectivists especially] pursue exchanges that revolve around assumptions like this? They become philosophers to find answers. Then they bump into me. And I argue that, in all likelihood, answers to the Big Questions will never be known by them, or are compelled by nature, or, in regard to their interactions with others in the moral and political spheres, are but existential fabrications ever constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed in in a world teeming with contingency, chance and change.

But: That this, in turn, can only be my own existential contraption. At least until I come upon an argument able to convince me not to think as, here and now, I do.

Again, in regards to this, we are in two different exchanges. Either he will embed his general description assessments of determinism in contexts in which he makes an attempt to demonstrate that his will is free or he won't.


phyllo wrote: Look at how you handle yourself in these discussions. You don't embed your general descriptions in contexts and you don't demonstrate them.
Why should he? Or anyone for that matter?


My point is that it seems reasonable to connect the dots between the human brain as matter in sync with the laws of matter, and the behaviors I choose -- any behaviors -- as being entirely in sync with that in turn.

Only I acknowledge that I am not myself able to demonstrate that. Instead, on this thread, I copy and paste arguments made by others and react to them.

If he does in fact believe he is in possession of free will, how does he explain this beyond his "general descriptions"? Beyond what I construe to be his pedantic assertions about these relationships?

Only here and now I am "stuck" with believing that nature may well have compelled me to assert this myself. I just don't know what to believe because I have no capacity to know what to believe for sure.

phyllo wrote: In your last post, you brought up the context of Mary and her abortion. But what did you actually analyze about it? What did you explain with it? What did you demonstrate?


Over and again I point out I am not in possession of either the knowledge or the experience needed to demonstrate what seems reasonable to me "in my head".

"I" here being an existential contraption. In other words, in regard to determinism, I am basing my thinking now on the actual confluence of lived experiences, relationships and access to information and knowledge. Put all of these variable together and over the years "I" have come to believe what I do. I can only speculate as to how my thinking here and now might have been very different had the variables in my life been very different.

Thus: taking that into account, how do the philosophers and scientists come to pin down an argument that transcends "I" as an existential contraption, and arrives at an argument [complete with evidence] that finally pins down once and for all the extent to which "I" is in possession of actual volition.

Is he himself in possession of that knowledge and experiential background? It would seem that he certainly believes that he is. Otherwise where would he get the confidence to insist that those who don't think like he does are morons and desperate degenerates?

To wit:

You're missing my point though. Assuming we do possess some measure of autonomy, my point is less in regard to the points being raised themselves and more in regard to the extent to which one insists that only his or her points reflect that which all rational men and women are obligated to embrace.


phyllo wrote: Who wants to discuss "what all rational men and women are obligated to embrace" when you can't even agree to some simple dictionary definitions of words??


Come on, over and again I challenge folks to take the dictionary definitions of words -- "freedom", "justice", "right", "wrong", "good", "evil", "determinism", "autonomy" -- and use them to describe their own interactions with others. Sometimes in the context of morality, sometimes in the context of free will.

So, was any particular Mary in any particular context free and just in opting for a particular abortion because abortion was the right thing for her to do given that she was free to opt not to have one?

Okay, Mr. Philosopher, what say you?

This thread merely focuses the beam on Mr. Philosopher demonstrating that whatever he says was in turn always predicated on the fact that he could have freely opted to say something else instead.

In other words, regarding what in particular and in what actual context, ought all rational men and women agree?

phyllo wrote: You act as if he has some crazy ideas about 'freedom' which he has completely fabricated out of a web of words. Settle that before moving on to the obligation of all rational men and women. Please. [-o<


That's preposterous. Cite something on this thread that I posted to indicate that this is how I react to him.

Let's face it, with him there are any number of your own arguments that make you a moron or a desperate degenerate.


phyllo wrote: I don't have any control over what he thinks of me. Therefore, I'm not concerned about it.


Yes, but you merely assume that you do have some measure of control over it and have freely opted not to be concerned about it.

You just know this. Even though I have myself yet to come upon an argument [backed up with ample evidence] to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to share this argument as well.

What does it mean to speak of ordinary human behavior when to the best of my knowledge here and now it has not been demonstrated definitively that what we choose to do we choose to do of our own volition.


phyllo wrote: It's observed human behavior whether it's chosen of "our own volition" or not.


Right. You observed it. So the fact that you observed it makes determining whether you observed it of your own volition...irrelevant?

Autonomy has everything to do with it. Are we compelled by the laws of nature to describe what we do? Or to hit tennis balls with tennis rackets? Or to analyze to one conclusion rather than another?

Everything here seems to revolve around a comprehensive understanding of how the brain actually accomplishes this. And then going back to a comprehensive understanding of existence itself.


phyllo wrote: No. Once you describe something, then the description is either accurate or inaccurate. The words correspond to a high degree with the something or they don't. Autonomy doesn't enter into it.

Sure, you may not be capable of producing an accurate description but that's separate from the evaluation of the description.


Note to others:

A little help please. Is he making an important point here that I keep missing? What is he actually saying about describing something? Something that I fail to grasp given my own assumption that in a wholly determined universe, we can only describe what nature compels us to describe given that the descriptions themselves are derived from a human brain that is derived from the evolution of mindless matter into conscious matter that is no less embedded in the laws of matter themselves.

Mind is mysterious matter, no doubt about it. It may well be derived from the God that he believes in. Or there may well in fact be some component of the human brain that somehow was able to bring about human autonomy.

I'm just looking for the argument and the evidence able to convince me of that.

Sure, we can just assume that Mary was free to choose an abortion; and that in choosing to have one, she either was or was not behaving morally.


phyllo wrote: Mary has choices. She chooses one which she has the power to enact and acts. There are consequences to her decision.


Yes, and you merely assume that these choices are free. That these consequence are solely as a result of that assumption. And that becomes a demonstration enough for you.


phyllo wrote: Notice that I did not use the word 'free'. After one establishes that she has choices and that she acts on a choice that she has the power to execute, then one can go on to discuss what it means for the choice(s) to be 'free'.


Okay, let's try another context. One that most here will be familiar with. Describe for me the difference between Trump being "free" to argue that The Squad in Congress ought to go back from where they came, and, instead, him being free to argue it.

How is it fully determined that in fact this easily observed/described decision on his part is not but the psychological illusion of "choice"?

How are all of us here not in the same boat that I suggested above:

In fact, one suspects that his only recourse here [as with mine and probably yours] is to Google those folks who are in fact exploring this experimentally, scientifically, phenomenologically etc., and extracting the arguments most in sync with his own particular subjective prejudice.

How is this not "for all practical purposes" still the bottom line here?
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: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:52 pm

surreptitious75 wrote: I think he wants an answer that is absolute and objective and entirely satisfactory not just to himself but to everyone else
For he wants nothing less than a universal explanation for the question of conflicting goods in relation to human existence


No, I'm more curious about the extent to which those answers are actually within the reach of philosophy and science.

How would an answer that qualifies be expressed?

Clearly, in the either/or world of mindless matter, there are any number of relationships that "for all practical purposes" seem to be as close as we have come so far to being true objectively. In other words, true for everyone. Leaving aside that gap between these supposedly scientific and mathematical and logical truths and an understanding of existence itself.

But what of the is/ought world?

And what of the world grappled with in posing the Big Questions? Like the one that encompoasses this thread?

What of answers here?

How is it finally established that both the questions and the answers are not but a necessary, inherent component of a determined world?

surreptitious75 wrote: It is doomed to failure as there is no such explanation as each individual has to decide for themselves what is true to them


Assuming some measure of human autonomy, how do you go about demonstrating that it is doomed to failure? Instead, you merely assert it to be so embodying what I construe to be the objectivist frame of mind. You have come to accept certain assumptions/premises about the human condition, and, thus, your conclusion follows from that.

But what is actually proven?
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: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:19 pm

Okay, let's try another context. One that most here will be familiar with. Describe for me the difference between Trump being "free" to argue that The Squad in Congress ought to go back from where they came, and, instead, him being free to argue it.
Let's first see what you had to say about the last context that you brought up - Mary's abortion.
Sure, we can just assume that Mary was free to choose an abortion; and that in choosing to have one, she either was or was not behaving morally.

And that if others don't flat out share our own assertions about this, they are morons or desperate degenerates.


Yes, and you merely assume that these choices are free. That these consequence are solely as a result of that assumption. And that becomes a demonstration enough for you.

Over and again I point out I am not in possession of either the knowledge or the experience needed to demonstrate what seems reasonable to me "in my head".

"I" here being an existential contraption. In other words, in regard to determinism, I am basing my thinking now on the actual confluence of lived experiences, relationships and access to information and knowledge. Put all of these variable together and over the years "I" have come to believe what I do. I can only speculate as to how my thinking here and now might have been very different had the variables in my life been very different.

Thus: taking that into account, how do the philosophers and scientists come to pin down an argument that transcends "I" as an existential contraption, and arrives at an argument [complete with evidence] that finally pins down once and for all the extent to which "I" is in possession of actual volition.

Is he himself in possession of that knowledge and experiential background? It would seem that he certainly believes that he is. Otherwise where would he get the confidence to insist that those who don't think like he does are morons and desperate degenerates?

So, was any particular Mary in any particular context free and just in opting for a particular abortion because abortion was the right thing for her to do given that she was free to opt not to have one?

That's the extent of your analysis. An unsubstantiated accusation that her consequences are the result of my assumptions. A claim that you lack the knowledge and experience to demonstrate anything. And a bunch of questions.

Now you want to change to another context where your contribution will be just as meager?

No thanks.
phyllo wrote:
You act as if he has some crazy ideas about 'freedom' which he has completely fabricated out of a web of words. Settle that before moving on to the obligation of all rational men and women. Please. [-o<



That's preposterous. Cite something on this thread that I posted to indicate that this is how I react to him.

Look what you wrote here :
Therefore, freedom increases in accordance to awareness and power.
Only a higher organism can mentally and willfully usurp its genetic impulses, and its automated reactions to stimuli.



Therefore, if, compelled or not, you concur with the definition and the meaning that he gives to the words he "chooses"/chooses in this particular intellectual contraption, it's all settled.

and here :
One claims that all is determined in past, but that all future is also predetermined by it, making the present an inevitable process they can only passively observe happening.
The causal chain manifesting as presence making the future an inevitability the present cannot change.



Again, the point isn't what one claims about the past, present and future, but the extent to which one can demonstrate that one's claim is verifiable. And a claim not able to be falsified.

Other than as encompassed in an argument -- an intellectual contraption -- such that verification revolves around the definition and meaning that one gives to the words used in the argument itself. The argument here being a particular understanding of determinism.

and here :
The will is not a passive agency, watching existence occur, but a dynamic participant, contributing, in the present, to what has yet to be determined, in the future.

A conscious organism is a participant, in the present, as presence, in what is being determined - a participating and contributing agency - a presence - not a passive observer (victim).



See how it works? This is merely asserted to be the case. Where is the substantive evidence to actually back it up?

In fact, one suspects that his only recourse here [as with mine and probably yours] is to Google those folks who are in fact exploring this experimentally, scientifically, phenomenologically etc., and extracting the arguments most in sync with his own particular subjective prejudice.

and here :
In other words, in any and all contexts that any and all of us might find ourselves in, this is true because...he says so?

Then let him focus in on one context in particular. Let him describe for us how power unfolds between two conflicted minds that he is, in turn, able to demonstrate are wholly aware of their options as autonomous beings.

Instead of just presuming [in a world of words] that this is the case.
Sounds like you are saying that he has absolutely nothing to support his statements - that's it's entirely a "world of words" or "web of words".
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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:30 pm

iambiguous wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote: I think he wants an answer that is absolute and objective and entirely satisfactory not just to himself but to everyone else
For he wants nothing less than a universal explanation for the question of conflicting goods in relation to human existence


No, I'm more curious about the extent to which those answers are actually within the reach of philosophy and science.

How would an answer that qualifies be expressed?

Clearly, in the either/or world of mindless matter, there are any number of relationships that "for all practical purposes" seem to be as close as we have come so far to being true objectively. In other words, true for everyone. Leaving aside that gap between these supposedly scientific and mathematical and logical truths and an understanding of existence itself.

But what of the is/ought world?

And what of the world grappled with in posing the Big Questions? Like the one that encompoasses this thread?

What of answers here?

How is it finally established that both the questions and the answers are not but a necessary, inherent component of a determined world?

surreptitious75 wrote: It is doomed to failure as there is no such explanation as each individual has to decide for themselves what is true to them


Assuming some measure of human autonomy, how do you go about demonstrating that it is doomed to failure? Instead, you merely assert it to be so embodying what I construe to be the objectivist frame of mind. You have come to accept certain assumptions/premises about the human condition, and, thus, your conclusion follows from that.

But what is actually proven?
Every answer provided is called an "intellectual contraption" by you.
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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:55 pm

I call intellectual contraption!

Don't take the bait, biggs. He's trying to contrap you.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:45 pm

Surreptitious, Phyllo (since you also responded to this and that's where I saw this...)
iambiguous wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
I think he wants an answer that is absolute and objective and entirely satisfactory not just to himself but to everyone else
For he wants nothing less than a universal explanation for the question of conflicting goods in relation to human existence



No, I'm more curious about the extent to which those answers are actually within the reach of philosophy and science.

How would an answer that qualifies be expressed?
Notice how surreptitious mentions objectivity, which would lead to a conclusion accepted by science and philosophy. Already odd. No, I'm more curious....and ends up mentioning science and philosophy which would be concerned with objective answers.

But here's the really odd part.

Here he says he is not interested in the answer. He is interesting in how that answer would be expressed. Suddenly actual concrete answers, for example about how to live, or whether there is free will, are not interesting. What is interesting is how they would be expressed. IOW suddenly abstraction is the goal. (and, of course, if you had the answer, you would see in it how it is expressed)

Something bothered him about you pointing out what he wants. So, he disagreed, though partially by agreeing. And then shifted to wanting abstract descriptions about how answers, without knowing one, would be expressed.

And he will not or cannot acknowledge any of this strangeness or the ever gliding away from really responding to people he does.

I think he is damaged and I also think that the discussion is not what it is presented as.

The goal is not the results of the discussion. The goal is your failure.

And he can always tell you that you failed to convince him.

Discussing things with him is allowing an avoidance to be maintained. He's hurting and this is the best solution he has come up with. A discussion that is not supposed to arrive anywhere.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:34 pm

phyllo wrote:
Okay, let's try another context. One that most here will be familiar with. Describe for me the difference between Trump being "free" to argue that The Squad in Congress ought to go back from where they came, and, instead, him being free to argue it.
Let's first see what you had to say about the last context that you brought up - Mary's abortion.


Over and over and over again, I note that in regard to Mary choosing an abortion or Trump choosing to attack The Squad or you and I choosing to do anything at all, I have taken a subjective/existential leap "here and now" to the argument/belief that nature compels all matter to unfold in accordance with its immutable laws.

In other words, all the way up to me typing these words and you reading them.

But: I have no capacity to demonstrate why and how others ought to think that way too.

My argument with the objectivists is that they assert certain things to be true. And that, if others refuse to toe their own dogmatic line -- to become "one of us" dittoheads -- they become the equivalent of morons.

Now, your turn. How do you differentiate Trump being "free" to attack The Squad, from Trump being free to attack those women of color in Congress?

And how do you then actually demonstrate to us that you are either "free" or free to make this claim?

So, was any particular Mary in any particular context free and just in opting for a particular abortion because abortion was the right thing for her to do given that she was free to opt not to have one?


phyllo wrote: That's the extent of your analysis. An unsubstantiated accusation that her consequences are the result of my assumptions. A claim that you lack the knowledge and experience to demonstrate anything. And a bunch of questions.


All I was asking of Mr. Philosopher -- or Mr. Objectivist -- was to note their reaction to a particular context in which a particular woman chooses an abortion.

Either in the context of a discussion of morality or a discussion of autonomy in a world deemed to either be or not to be wholly in sync with nature's laws of matter.

My own assumption then being that human beings are in turn a part of nature. And, concomittantly, that human minds are a profoundly problematic component of the laws of nature that some are exploring experiementally, scientifically, phenomenologically.

phyllo wrote: You act as if he has some crazy ideas about 'freedom' which he has completely fabricated out of a web of words. Settle that before moving on to the obligation of all rational men and women. Please. [-o<


That's preposterous. Cite something on this thread that I posted to indicate that this is how I react to him.


Note to others:

Please peruse the examples he cites above and explain to me how my reaction constitutes "some crazy ideas about 'freedom' which he has completely fabricated out of a web of words."

All I ask of him is that he bring his arguments about free will down out of the scholastic clouds and to demonstrate how he does in fact have some measure of autonomy when confronting the desperate degenerates in exchanges like this.

How are his arguments in regard to actual human interactions not basically just a world of words?

Note the many examples where, on the Free Will thread, he does in fact bring his intellectual contraptions down to earth.
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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:41 pm

Over and over and over again, I note that in regard to Mary choosing an abortion or Trump choosing to attack The Squad or you and I choosing to do anything at all, I have taken a subjective/existential leap "here and now" to the argument/belief that nature compels all matter to unfold in accordance with its immutable laws.

In other words, all the way up to me typing these words and you reading them.
If that's true, then ...
My argument with the objectivists is that they assert certain things to be true. And that, if others refuse to toe their own dogmatic line -- to become "one of us" dittoheads -- they become the equivalent of morons.
Calling you a moron must also be in accordance with nature's immutable laws.

So what's the problem?
Now, your turn. How do you differentiate Trump being "free" to attack The Squad, from Trump being free to attack those women of color in Congress?

And how do you then actually demonstrate to us that you are either "free" or free to make this claim?
Why are you asking me? Ask nature's immutable laws instead.

And while you are at it, explain to them why you sometimes write the word 'free' in quotes and sometimes in italics. Cause I have no idea what you mean by it.
All I was asking of Mr. Philosopher -- or Mr. Objectivist -- was to note their reaction to a particular context in which a particular woman chooses an abortion.
Oh, the reaction to a context is the important part of the discussion. That being different from what? A description of what is happening in the context?

For example : I love this car. I think this car is ugly. I think this car is underpowered. Versus. This car is red. It seats 5. It accelerates to 60mph in 2.5 seconds.

Is that it? You want the subjective reaction to a context?
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Re: Determinism

Postby surreptitious75 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:54 pm

iambiguous wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
I think he wants an answer that is absolute and objective and entirely satisfactory not just to himself but to everyone else
For he wants nothing less than a universal explanation for the question of conflicting goods in relation to human existence

No I am more curious about the extent to which those answers are actually within the reach of philosophy and science

How would an answer that qualifies be expressed

Science only deals with observable phenomena so cannot provide any satisfactory answer to such a question
Philosophy does not answer questions definitively but does however explore the nature of human existence

Ultimately though there is no single objectively true answer that will satisfy everyone
That is because any answer however grounded in logic it is will always be subjective
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Determinism

Postby surreptitious75 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:15 am

iambiguous wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
It is doomed to failure as there is no such explanation as each individual has to decide for themselves what is true to them

Assuming some measure of human autonomy how do you go about demonstrating that it is doomed to failure ? Instead you merely assert it to be so
embodying what I construe to be the objectivist frame of mind . You have come to accept certain assumptions / premises about the human condition

Stating an obvious truth is not an assertion - namely that you cannot apply an objective metric to the human condition
Because there are no objectively true answers to the question of our existence or of how we should live our lives
If you disagree then say what are the objectively true answers to them - ones that can actually be demonstrated
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:04 am

My argument with the objectivists is that they assert certain things to be true. And that, if others refuse to toe their own dogmatic line -- to become "one of us" dittoheads -- they become the equivalent of morons.

Calling you a moron must also be in accordance with nature's immutable laws.

So what's the problem?
Precisely And if someone does not toe Iamb's line then he or she is an objectivist or using existential contraptions. In a determinist universe neiter Iamb nor KT people can help this kind of labeling. In a universe with free will both are choosing to label the others with pejorative terms. Iamb's term is certainly more polite.

I think it must be a politeness issue. He thinks they should more politely put him down. And then add, sometimes, that maybe it is wrong to give them that label.

It's a culture clash. In Iamb's culture one should use nice sounding put downs and then say maybe I am wrong after insulting someone. It KT's culture it is OK to be blunt and not to qualify insults.

It's a bit like a stereotypical American meeting a Japanse person and having an arguement. Both come away feeling superior about their own culture's way of dealing with disagreement.
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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:28 am

I think it must be a politeness issue. He thinks they should more politely put him down. And then add, sometimes, that maybe it is wrong to give them that label.

It's a culture clash. In Iamb's culture one should use nice sounding put downs and then say maybe I am wrong after insulting someone. It KT's culture it is OK to be blunt and not to qualify insults.
Yes, but in his version of determinism, they have no control over what they do, including how they react to his criticism. They can't change to being more polite. The immutable laws of nature would have to change them.

That's how he reacts to criticism ... "I'm not able to change". He only has a psychological illusion of choice to change or stay as he is. There is no agent there making a decision and acting on it. Right?

What sense does it make to expect something different from others?

But it doesn't need to make sense ... it's all a game anyways.
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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:39 am

How would an answer that qualifies be expressed?

Notice how surreptitious mentions objectivity, which would lead to a conclusion accepted by science and philosophy. Already odd. No, I'm more curious....and ends up mentioning science and philosophy which would be concerned with objective answers.

But here's the really odd part.

Here he says he is not interested in the answer. He is interesting in how that answer would be expressed. Suddenly actual concrete answers, for example about how to live, or whether there is free will, are not interesting. What is interesting is how they would be expressed. IOW suddenly abstraction is the goal. (and, of course, if you had the answer, you would see in it how it is expressed)
I'm not sure what he means by the question.

Maybe it's an admission that words are not the way to get at an answer. Although he is completely obsessed with words and arguments, to the exclusion of everything else.

Maybe he's looking for something like this reaction:
All I was asking of Mr. Philosopher -- or Mr. Objectivist -- was to note their reaction to a particular context in which a particular woman chooses an abortion.
Whatever that is. :-?

Or maybe it's just something to say so that the game goes on.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:46 pm

phyllo wrote:That's how he reacts to criticism ... "I'm not able to change". He only has a psychological illusion of choice to change or stay as he is. There is no agent there making a decision and acting on it. Right?
Yes. In a deterministic universe, a person could still change if something is pointed out or they experience something. Yes, they might not. But they might. When encountering something someone says, he will respond that he may be, for all we know, compelled. But without acknowledging that he is compelled, it seems, in such a way that nothing can effect him. This despite the dasein thing, which he bemoans because it means he might have his mind changed at any time.

I have seen this pattern a few times:
Phyllo or someone: Well, Iamb, you might be wrong because of X.
Iamb: perhaps I have been compelled to have the position I have.
Phyllo: OK, but now I have pointed out X.
Iamb: for all we know I have been compelled to only believe Y.

IOW the step where Iamb interacts with your presenting of X is skipped over as if determinism means, precisely as you say, 'I am not able to change.'

When in fact these are two different things, as his repeated stories about how dasein affected him indicate. But in practice he is not malleable if determinism is the case (in his mind).

But that is not a consequence of determinism.

Now, of course, X might only change some minds. He might retain his belief in Y despite having chewed on X.

But he presents it as if minds cannot be affected as a rule.

And this is confused.

But I notice how this is a part of his metaphorically throwing up his arms and saying 'How can we.....' know, change, understand, decide, find (for example what could be called more authentic in the self).

It is ever increasing the throwing up the hands gesture in his posts.

Which would be great if he said 'I give up.'

But that would eliminate the process.
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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:58 pm

In fact, his "I" appears much less fractured and unstable than he makes it out to be. And compared to many people, it's practically ossified.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:28 pm

And around and around he goes...

Choice is an expression of Will.

To assume that some other agency is compelling it is to introduce a theoretical concept into a pragmatic event.

In a similar way we can explain a stone rolling down a hill using our knowledge of the real...or we can ascribe it to a occult agency, such as spirits or pixies, or magic...


Thus it is just assumed that [somehow or another] the laws of matter embedded in the human brain work differently from the laws of matter in the stone.

Back to peacegirl's point....

The stone doesn't choose to roll down the hill but I do choose to roll down the hill myself in order to retrieve it.

I'm not just "choosing" to do so as the embodiment of the psychological illusion of volition, but am in fact able to weigh various options and really, really choose to of my own free will.

But how do I then demonstrate that the matter in my brain [in sync with the laws of nature] is not compelling me to choose only that which I was ever able to choose? Such that, in the end, both the stone and "I" were never going to not roll down the hill.

Well, I just assume that part. I just know it to be true. Just as I assume there is no God or other worldly entities "behind" my choice.

I don't have to ever fully demonstrate any of this. I merely have to believe what I do. I merely have to mock all those who refuse to believe precisely what I do as morons.

Then back up into the clouds of abstraction...

The concept "free-will", I repeat, is more like the concept of "eternal return" - also corrupted by Abrahamic psychosis Free-Will into a repetition of the same, i.e., eternal life. A gauge of the individual's self-knowledge and self-appreciation.
Belief in the Abrahamic one-God, and belief in absolute order, go hand in glove: the latter concealing, covering, the former in pseudo-refinement.


How else but "by definition" is any of this demonstrated to be true? A world of words that merely expresses his very own "absolute order". And it's all "in his head".

Compelled or not. A proper place for every word and every word in its proper place.

The concept of free will? Indeed, where would he be here without that part?
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 Jul 21, 2019 8:41 pm

separate morality from free will
by Phil Goetz
at the lesswrong website

I'm objecting to the view that morality requires free will. I'm not as interested in taking a stand on how people learn morality, or whether there is such a thing as objective morality, or whether it's just a social consensus, except that I would like to use terms so that it's still possible to think about these issues.


I actually do make an effort to make sense of arguments like this. And it either does not make sense or I am simply unable [up to now] to make sense of it myself.

From my own perspective [compelled or not], without free will any objections raised by any of us about anything at all -- as with anything that might interest any of us at all -- are necessarily embedded in the only possible reality.

Seriously, if morality does not require free will, would that not make morality as embodied in human interactions just another set of nature's dominoes toppling over only as they must.

Those hypothetical autonomous aliens really do choose of their own free will to make note of human existential interactions in which morality comes up...but it is only to note how we are not aware that these interactions are not really of our own choosing as autonomous beings. And that's because they know that we are not autonomous being.

Thus any terms that we "choose" to use in discussions like this are no less wholly in sync with the laws of matter.

Kant's view at best confounds the problem of choosing values, and the problem of free will. At worst, it makes the problem of values impossible to think about, whether or not you believe in free will.


And yet if Kant was unable to freely choose his view then any problems that are derived by anyone of us in regard to the value judgments that we are in turn not free to choose gets subsumed in whatever is finally discovered to be true about the human brain/mind/consciousness by those scientists who are actually grappling with that experientially/experimentally even as I, compelled or not, post this.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:26 pm

phyllo wrote:In fact, his "I" appears much less fractured and unstable than he makes it out to be. And compared to many people, it's practically ossified.
yes, there has been incredible stability for years.
What does the question

How ought I live?

mean if one cannot tell if there are morals, one does not experience an I, and one seems to be utterly determined?

It seems to me that such an entity would not set such Quixotian tasks for itself. Though I suppose it would answer that it is compelled to.
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Re: Determinism

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:32 pm

Those actions are to accrue view counts while playing the clever card.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:39 pm

Over and over and over again, I note that in regard to Mary choosing an abortion or Trump choosing to attack The Squad or you and I choosing to do anything at all, I have taken a subjective/existential leap "here and now" to the argument/belief that nature compels all matter to unfold in accordance with its immutable laws.

In other words, all the way up to me typing these words and you reading them.


phyllo wrote: If that's true, then ...


My argument with the objectivists is that they assert certain things to be true. And that, if others refuse to toe their own dogmatic line -- to become "one of us" dittoheads -- they become the equivalent of morons.


phyllo wrote: Calling you a moron must also be in accordance with nature's immutable laws.

So what's the problem?


The problem of course is that my current thinking is not compelled by nature and that in fact we do have some measure of autonomy in this exchange.

Clearly, if my thinking and your thinking and his thinking are in fact compelled by nature then so is your reaction to my reaction to his reaction to me.

I become a moron only because he was not able to not call me one.

But, again, if I am wrong, we can in fact autonomously explore the extent to which, in referring to others who do not share our own value judgments or do not share our own assessment of the Big Questions, as morons, they really may well be morons. That, in other words, we do have a way in which to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to think as we do.

Now, your turn. How do you differentiate Trump being "free" to attack The Squad, from Trump being free to attack those women of color in Congress?

And how do you then actually demonstrate to us that you are either "free" or free to make this claim?


phyllo wrote: Why are you asking me? Ask nature's immutable laws instead.

And while you are at it, explain to them why you sometimes write the word 'free' in quotes and sometimes in italics. Cause I have no idea what you mean by it.


I am asking you because it gives me yet another opportunity to note how you will continue to avoid answering it.

And "free" is meant to suggest that, in a determined world, it reflects only the psychological illusion of freedom. Whereas free is meant to convey an actual freedom embodied in the brains of matter that evolved into life that evolved into "I".

How? Well, scientists are still working on that

All I was asking of Mr. Philosopher -- or Mr. Objectivist -- was to note their reaction to a particular context in which a particular woman chooses an abortion.


phyllo wrote: Oh, the reaction to a context is the important part of the discussion. That being different from what? A description of what is happening in the context?


Again, we'll need an actual context in which to explore the meaning of those words more descriptively. There is an actual Mary who had an actual abortion in an actual context that triggered actual conflicting reactions.

But: Was any of this embodied in autonomous beings? Or are all Marys and all abortions in all contexts merely the embodiment of nature's mechanical laws.

phyllo wrote: For example : I love this car. I think this car is ugly. I think this car is underpowered. Versus. This car is red. It seats 5. It accelerates to 60mph in 2.5 seconds.

Is that it? You want the subjective reaction to a context?


Note to others:

Get back to me on this, please. What really, really important point is it meant to convey?
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 WendyDarling » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:45 pm

Biggie, you are unwilling to balance your inner subjective reality with the greater outer objective reality so you are always wrong in every example and context you try to disagree about.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

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