Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:36 pm

Pec of Uliar wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
Pec of Uliar wrote:Remove that stuff, and focus on his discussion of free will and determinism.


I would never do that.


Your loss.

And who are you to state with such dogmatism that he was wrong?


Because it's empirically, demonstrably wrong. It's easily shown to be wrong, and I'm sure that others have explained this to you before.

You really don't know that.


I do know for a fact that his claims about light and sight are false.

You sound very similar to someone I already had a discussion with regarding necessity and contingency.


No surprise there, this is standard stuff in logic. You'll note, though, that I was not addressing your argument, but that of Iambiguous, which, as I repeatedly pointed out, was a different topic.

I cannot formalize these concepts in a way that reduces them to nothing more than a shell of his explanation, just because people don't want to take the time to read the text in full.


Your loss. You still have not said what, if anything, is wrong with my formalization of the argument. If the formalization is correct, it will help you. It will make it much easier for you to make your argument. Of course, even if the formal construction is correct, you still need to show the argument is valid (conclusion follows from premises) and sound (all premises are in fact true). What is odd is that you keep asking people to explain the two-sided equation to you, which itself is a request for a formalization. I just formalized your two-sided equation. Is it right or wrong?

As mentioned, this kind of formalization is standard stuff in philosophy. If your argument can't be reduced to a formalization that can be tested for soundness and validity, that's a sure sign the argument is incoherent. Coherent arguments without exception can be formalized.


I still want to know where you were introduced to the book. Which forum? And what is your username in the other forum? Why are you hiding this?
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
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“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health,
lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:16 pm

Nick Trakakis:

All of our actions and choices are either alien-deterministic events (i.e., events such that there are causal factors beyond our control by virtue of which they are causally determined), or truly random events (i.e., events not produced by anything at all), or partially random events (i.e., events such that factors beyond the agent's control contribute to their production but do not determine them, and there is nothing that supplements the contribution of these factors to produce the events).


Here is another tricky proposition: "random events".

What does it mean for something to be truly "random" here? Does it mean that out of the blue something "just happens" -- it happens such that it cannot be linked to any causal laws of matter?

This doesn't seem reasonable at all to me.

But here [eventually] we get around to the evolution of matter into the mysterious marvel that is human consciousness.

Prior to self-conscious matter, is it even possible to imagine matter interacting in an entirely random fashion? I don't see how. Whatever precipitated the big bang precipitated a universe that seems to be wholly in alignment with mathematics and the laws of physics. Or seems to be depending on the extent to which quantum physics is relevant here.

Still, the human mind is matter like no other. But even here what unfrolds is never really "random".

Instead, what we think and feel and do seem to be intertwined both in the immutable laws of matter and in the more problematic [existential] implications of dasein. We are clearly predisposed by the past to make the particular choices that we do in the present. But it's not like things just pop into our head in a wholly random manner. It is simply that the complex intertwining of nature and nurture make it extremely difficult at times to pin these things down. Let alone to pin them down objectively.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:11 pm

Pec of Uliar wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Pec of Uliar wrote:That's fine, especially since it's largely off-topic, but I merely note that this is not a matter of opinion, about which people can disagree because their opinions may differ. You're making a logical error.


If by that you mean I refuse to accept your logic, well, I here that a lot from the objectivist ilk here. Again, let's just agree to disagree and move on.


Logic is logic, and this has nothing to do with the ravings of Objectivists.


You're relatively new here. So allow me please to note the distinction that I make between Objectivists and objectivists.

Objectivists [with a capital O] are those who embrace the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Objectivists [with a small o] are those who insist that they have acquired the one and only objective truth [about anything] and if others here don't embrace their argument [their definitions, their deductions] then they are perforce, necessarily wrong.

And then I make a further distinction between those things which seemingly are true objectively for all of us [i.e. we all make choices] and those things which seem embedded instead [by each of us as individuals] in subjective narratives [i.e. I make my choices freely, I do not make my choices freely].

But in particular I focus on those discussions that revolve around human identity and conflicting value judgments.

Pec of Uliar wrote: It is true that I will not do, other than what God foreknows, in virtue of God's omniscience. After all, if I did other than what God foreknew, God would not be omniscient, would he?


Yes, we're certainly on the same page here.

Pec of Uliar wrote:The fallacy lies in the jumping to the conclusion, from the above, that I cannot do, other than what I in fact do.

But I CAN do, other than what I do. It's just that, if I do y instead of x, God will foreknow y; and if I do x instead of y, God will foreknow x.


Well, this seems similar [to me] to the argument that some religionists make that God's omniscience is rooted in Him knowing everything that we will do -- even though He does not know what we will do until we choose to do it. But then we get into an "epistemological" debate about what truly and objectively constitutes "omniscient" knowledge. Why not root it in God knowing everything we will do before we do it? Why necessarily after we do it?

God can know that Mary will choose an abortion before she chooses an abortion. Or God can only know that Mary will choose an abortion after she chose it.

But how in the world would philosophers or religionists be able to determine which it is other than by merely making certain assumptions about what constitutes "God's omniscience" here and then believing that this is true objectively "in their heads"?

Going back to the Ministry's argument above:

I have a five year old son. If I were to leave a chocolate chip cookie on the table about a hour before dinner time and my son was to walk by and see it, I know that he would pick up the cookie and eat it. I did not force him to make that decision. In fact, I don't even have to be in the room at all. I think I know my son well enough, though, to tell you that if I come back into the kitchen the cookie will be gone. His act was made completely free of my influence, but I knew what his actions would be.

Pec of Uliar wrote: The father "knows" in a loose sense what his son will do; and the son does it freely, even if the father knows it. Of course, in the example, the father could still be wrong. The difference between the father, and the alleged God, is that God cannot be wrong. But the act is still free.


I'm sorry but I don't see how this adequately deals with the points I raised above:

How could the act be made completely free of his influence when he put the cookie on the table?

And suppose the boy had the stomach flu and left the cookie sitting on the table. Or suppose the boy had been struck by a car and killed because he chose to visit a friend an hour before dinner and was not even around to see the cookie?

Do these events unfold only as they must unfold or is there an element of genuine free choice involved?



Pec of Uliar wrote: The other basic sticking point is the idea that free will requires I do OTHER than what God foreknows; but free will does not require this. All that is required is that I can choose x or y. If I can do that, it is logically irrelevant whether God knows in advance what I will choose.


I will be the first to admit that this might be entirely logical. Technically. But it is simply not the sort of logic I am [yet] able to wrap my head around.

I don't deny that Mary can choose to abort or not to abort her baby. I don't deny that the boy can choose to eat or not to eat the cookie. But what does that really mean [re free will] when either through the immutable laws of matter or through an omniscient God everything -- everything -- can only unfold out of necessity as it must unfold in order to be in sync with what peacegirl calls the "design"?

Or what the religionists would call "God's Will".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby Pec of Uliar » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:46 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Pec of Uliar wrote:

Well, this seems similar [to me] to the argument that some religionists make that God's omniscience is rooted in Him knowing everything that we will do -- even though He does not know what we will do until we choose to do it.


No, I'm saying something stronger. I'm saying God can know what we will do, before we do it, and this does not mean that we can fail to do, other than what we do. This is what I am trying to show.

Forget about God.

Aristotle wondered whether, today, there can be true propositions about future contingent events. His worry was that if there can be such propositions, then fatalism prevails: Nothing is contingent, and everything must unfold in some pre-determined way. (fatalism is not the same as determinism, but put that aside.)

Posit that it is possible for there to be true propositions today, about events that happen tomorrow.

Today it is true, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle.

My question to you is: if it is true today, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, does it logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle?

Or do the sea battlers have a choice whether to have a battle or not?
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:45 pm

peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:That is one side of Lessans' equation (you are missing the other side). It states that we are not responsible for our actions and why, if we are to extend the reasoning long enough, we will see that not blaming is actually better than blaming insofar as achieving what punishment could not. Punishment deters some people, but it won't deter people who want something badly enough even if it hurts others. This law of our nature does just that; it prevents the desire to hurt others not because it's morally wrong but because our conscience will not allow actions that may hurt others when those actions cannot be justified. One of the ways in which we can justify our actions is if we know that we will be blamed if caught. This is what allows us to come up with reasonable excuses. This, in turn, eases our conscience to do the very thing that threats of blame and punishment are trying to prevent. But if we're not being blamed how can we come up with excuses or rationalizations when we know we already excused? This is key because the minute a person is questioned about his behavior it offers him an opportunity to shift his responsibility (not in a moral sense but in an actual sense if he performed the behavior) to someone or something else as the cause which affords him the rationalization he needs in order to follow through with the undesirable behavior.


Okay, you have typed these word. I am reading them.

If you could not not have typed them and I could not not have reacted to them such that I am now compelled to type these words in response, what real difference does it make which of our arguments is closest to the objective truth?

Nothing that we think, feel or do can ever be other than what is true objectively. Why? Because it is the only thing that we could ever have thought, felt and done period.

And if a woman is never blamed and punished for aborting her unborn baby in the new world how can this produce a world in which fewer women will choose abortion?

The objective truth here is always what must happen.


Only when the environment supports her having a baby instead of aborting it will it produce what everyone would hope for. Blame and punishment do nothing to prevent a woman from aborting if she feels it is the best choice possible, but when she is happily married and has financial stability, her desiring to abort as the preferable choice would be gone.


Why focus on the environment here at all when whatever the environment is [either now or in the new world] it is only what it ever can be?

And I suspect that if you live in a political jurisdiction where obtaining an abortion is the legal equivalent of capital murder, that might be incentive enough not to obtain one. Or maybe having the child is deemed to be so dissatisfying to you that you will risk the back alley route.

And yet we will still be stuck with those who insist that financial stability for all is only possible in a socialist political economy. What is their option then, not to sign the "universal conscience" contract, not to become citizens of the new world utopia?

iambiguous wrote:And if the "law of our nature" is such that "it prevents the desire to hurt others not because it's morally wrong but because our conscience will not allow actions that may hurt others when those actions cannot be justified" than how do you explain all of the choices that millions upon millions of human beings make in the here and the now that do result in the hurting of others.

And many make these choices precisely because they are convinced that if everyone else made the same choices we would live in a just world. But those who make the opposite choices are convinced of the very same thing.


peacegirl wrote:Aside from abortions, most of the world is convinced that if we stop murdering each other it will be a better world, so there is no conflict in values here.


What about executions? What about those who are killed in the course of starting and then sustaining wars revolving precisely around which political economy will prevail, must prevail, should prevail? And around who will have the wealth and the power to enforce a set of laws that favor some segments of the population over others? And around those who will profit from sustaining a war economy?

These conflicting goods, in my view, go away only in your head here. I have yet to come upon substantive arguments that convince me that we can actually achieve this ideal "new world" such that blame and punishment become moot.

And that is before we get to the part about the narcissists who steal and rape and murder etc., simply because, from their point of view, morality revolves entirely around self-satisfaction, around self-gratification.

Or those who do all manner of hurtful things to others because they claim that it is in "the will of God".

iambiguous wrote:And what does it mean to "come up with reasonable excuses" when any excuses that we do come up with are only the excuses that we ever could come up with?


peacegirl wrote:That is true but when I say reasonable, the person who was caught doing something "wrong" wants to make the mitigating circumstances believable in the hope that he will not get a harsh punishment.


But, again and again: What any of us want is only what we must want. If we do something "wrong" or punish another for doing something "wrong", that is reasonable because how can doing only what it is necessary to do not be reasonable -- not be reasonable?

The part that always eludes me....
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 peacegirl » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:26 pm

peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:That is one side of Lessans' equation (you are missing the other side). It states that we are not responsible for our actions and why, if we are to extend the reasoning long enough, we will see that not blaming is actually better than blaming insofar as achieving what punishment could not. Punishment deters some people, but it won't deter people who want something badly enough even if it hurts others. This law of our nature does just that; it prevents the desire to hurt others not because it's morally wrong but because our conscience will not allow actions that may hurt others when those actions cannot be justified. One of the ways in which we can justify our actions is if we know that we will be blamed if caught. This is what allows us to come up with reasonable excuses. This, in turn, eases our conscience to do the very thing that threats of blame and punishment are trying to prevent. But if we're not being blamed how can we come up with excuses or rationalizations when we know we already excused? This is key because the minute a person is questioned about his behavior it offers him an opportunity to shift his responsibility (not in a moral sense but in an actual sense if he performed the behavior) to someone or something else as the cause which affords him the rationalization he needs in order to follow through with the undesirable behavior.


Okay, you have typed these word. I am reading them.

If you could not not have typed them and I could not not have reacted to them such that I am now compelled to type these words in response, what real difference does it make which of our arguments is closest to the objective truth?


It doesn't make a difference insofar as responsibility goes, but it does make a difference in the final outcome. This IS why the two-sided equation needs to be carefully analyzed because you are only dealing with the first half. It's incomplete.

iambiguous wrote:Nothing that we think, feel or do can ever be other than what is true objectively. Why? Because it is the only thing that we could ever have thought, felt and done period.


No one is arguing with this.

iambiguous wrote: if a woman is never blamed and punished for aborting her unborn baby in the new world how can this produce a world in which fewer women will choose abortion?

The objective truth here is always what must happen.


Only if her preferences change. When the environment supports her having a baby instead of aborting it will it produce what everyone would hope for. Blame and punishment do nothing to prevent a woman from aborting if she feels it is the best choice possible, but when she is happily married and has financial stability, her desiring to abort as the preferable choice would be gone.


iambiguous wrote:Why focus on the environment here at all when whatever the environment is [either now or in the new world] it is only what it ever can be?


Because the decision among the majority to create a no blame environment based on science will cause a paradigm shift never before seen in the history of man. God is tricky. :wink:

iambiguous wrote:And I suspect that if you live in a political jurisdiction where obtaining an abortion is the legal equivalent of capital murder, that might be incentive enough not to obtain one. Or maybe having the child is deemed to be so dissatisfying to you that you will risk the back alley route.


Again, who is arguing with this?

iambiguous wrote:And yet we will still be stuck with those who insist that financial stability for all is only possible in a socialist political economy. What is their option then, not to sign the "universal conscience" contract, not to become citizens of the new world utopia?


There IS no force. If someone doesn't want a guaranteed income never to go down then he doesn't have to sign an agreement not to blame or tell anyone what to do. Those ARE the preconditions.

iambiguous wrote:And if the "law of our nature" is such that "it prevents the desire to hurt others not because it's morally wrong but because our conscience will not allow actions that may hurt others when those actions cannot be justified" than how do you explain all of the choices that millions upon millions of human beings make in the here and the now that do result in the hurting of others.

iambiguous wrote:And many make these choices precisely because they are convinced that if everyone else made the same choices we would live in a just world. But those who make the opposite choices are convinced of the very same thing.


Only until this knowledge is confirmed valid and sound.

peacegirl wrote:Aside from abortions, most of the world is convinced that if we stop murdering each other it will be a better world, so there is no conflict in values here.


iambiguous wrote:What about executions? What about those who are killed in the course of starting and then sustaining wars revolving precisely around which political economy will prevail, must prevail, should prevail? And around who will have the wealth and the power to enforce a set of laws that favor some segments of the population over others? And around those who will profit from sustaining a war economy?


You are projecting into the future based on your present knowledge. We are talking about a new world based on accurate principles which cannot be denied because they are immutable, and the fact that we are mindful of this is what allows us to change the environment all the while being controlled by deterministic laws. You are not hearing me because of your skepticism. If you get it, great. If not, I'm really sorry, but this has nothing whatsoever to do with the validity and soundness of this discovery.

iambiguous wrote:These conflicting goods, in my view, go away only in your head here. I have yet to come upon substantive arguments that convince me that we can actually achieve this ideal "new world" such that blame and punishment become moot.

And that is before we get to the part about the narcissists who steal and rape and murder etc., simply because, from their point of view, morality revolves entirely around self-satisfaction, around self-gratification.

Or those who do all manner of hurtful things to others because they claim that it is in "the will of God".


You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said. A person cannot use this excuse as a justification when no one is holding him responsible. If he can't justify his actions he can no longer find greater satisfaction in doing the things that heretofore he was able to do. You don't get this because you are so convinced he was wrong that you just can't believe that this knowledge solves all these problems. That's understandable but there has to come a time that you will stop asking questions and start studying the solution.

iambiguous wrote:And what does it mean to "come up with reasonable excuses" when any excuses that we do come up with are only the excuses that we ever could come up with?


peacegirl wrote:That is true but when I say reasonable, the person who was caught doing something "wrong" wants to make the mitigating circumstances believable in the hope that he will not get a harsh punishment.


iambiguous wrote:But, again and again: What any of us want is only what we must want. If we do something "wrong" or punish another for doing something "wrong", that is reasonable because how can doing only what it is necessary to do not be reasonable -- not be reasonable?

The part that always eludes me....


But we're not punishing anymore, which is also part and parcel of what must be IF people see the value in NOT BLAMING. We are not on a trajectory that will lead us toward something that we ourselves have not chosen. The designer (whether you call it God, Om, or the Source) does not have this kind of power.
Last edited by peacegirl on Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:15 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:26 pm

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

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



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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:14 pm

Pec of Uliar wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Pec of Uliar wrote:

Well, this seems similar [to me] to the argument that some religionists make that God's omniscience is rooted in Him knowing everything that we will do -- even though He does not know what we will do until we choose to do it.


No, I'm saying something stronger. I'm saying God can know what we will do, before we do it, and this does not mean that we can fail to do, other than what we do. This is what I am trying to show.


Too many "nots" here perhaps. God [in being omniscient] cannot not know that Mary will choose to abort her baby. But Mary is still "free" to choose?

Nope. I'm definitely still missing something here.

Pec of Uliar wrote: Aristotle wondered whether, today, there can be true propositions about future contingent events. His worry was that if there can be such propositions, then fatalism prevails: Nothing is contingent, and everything must unfold in some pre-determined way. (fatalism is not the same as determinism, but put that aside.)

Posit that it is possible for there to be true propositions today, about events that happen tomorrow.

Today it is true, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle.

My question to you is: if it is true today, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, does it logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle?

Or do the sea battlers have a choice whether to have a battle or not?


Sans God, if matter unfolds [yesterday, today and tomorrow] only as it must unfold to be in sync with the immutable laws of matter, then the sea battle either unfolds or does not unfold only as it must or must not unfold in order to be in alignment with the immutable laws of matter.

Here the "sea battlers" are just more matter, albeit matter with minds. But minds [making choices] would seem no less inexorably embedded in these necessary physical laws of existence.
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 Feb 28, 2015 8:27 pm

peacegirl wrote: When the environment supports her having a baby instead of aborting it will it produce what everyone would hope for. Blame and punishment do nothing to prevent a woman from aborting if she feels it is the best choice possible, but when she is happily married and has financial stability, her desiring to abort as the preferable choice would be gone.


iambiguous wrote:Why focus on the environment here at all when whatever the environment is [either now or in the new world] it is only what it ever can be?


peacegirl wrote: Because the decision among the majority to create a no blame environment based on science will cause a paradigm shift never before seen in the history of man. God is tricky. :wink:


Then I am back to pointing out that the decisions made here are themselves only as they ever could be. Per the ubiquitous design. Whereas [from my perpsective] the manner in which you present events unfolding here seems to allow for men and women to "see the light"; and thus to change their minds about blame and punishment. Before, they chose to be for it...and now they choose to be against it. As though it was ever within their power to choose one over the other freely.

iambiguous wrote:And I suspect that if you live in a political jurisdiction where obtaining an abortion is the legal equivalent of capital murder, that might be incentive enough not to obtain one. Or maybe having the child is deemed to be so dissatisfying to you that you will risk the back alley route.


peacegirl wrote: Again, who is arguing with this?


But the manner in which I describe this is predicated on the assumption that women will make these choices freely. Or, rather, subjectively, within the context of dasein and conflicting goods. But if a woman does choose to abort there will be those who choose to blame and punish her for it.

Thus I am still at a loss to understand how this goes away in the new world.

iambiguous wrote:And yet we will still be stuck with those who insist that financial stability for all is only possible in a socialist political economy. What is their option then, not to sign the "universal conscience" contract, not to become citizens of the new world utopia?


peacegirl wrote: There IS no force. If someone doesn't want a guaranteed income never to go down then he doesn't have to sign an agreement not to blame or tell anyone what to do. Those ARE the preconditions.


From my frame of mind this is noted as though wanting or not wanting something is within our capactity to choose freely. Just as choosing to sign or not sign would be. But all of this unfolds instead within the confines of the necessity that is inherently embedded in the laws of matter.

From my perspective then, your perspective is one that seems to flit in and out of this in order to sustain your assumptions about the new world.

peacegirl wrote:Aside from abortions, most of the world is convinced that if we stop murdering each other it will be a better world, so there is no conflict in values here.


iambiguous wrote:What about executions? What about those who are killed in the course of starting and then sustaining wars revolving precisely around which political economy will prevail, must prevail, should prevail? And around who will have the wealth and the power to enforce a set of laws that favor some segments of the population over others? And around those who will profit from sustaining a war economy?


peacegirl wrote: You are projecting into the future based on your present knowledge. There is a flaw right there. We are talking about a new world based on accurate principles which cannot be denied because they are immutable.


Well, my own present knowledge of the conflicting political narratives rooted in the historical context that is capitalism vs. socialism is predicated on what is actually able to be confirmed empirically over the past 150+ years. Your own projection on the other hand is rooted only in scientists [and then the rest of us] coming into contact with Lessans' discovery, embracing it and then "shifting" over to a no blame/no punishment frame of mind.

Or so it seems to me.

iambiguous wrote:These conflicting goods, in my view, go away only in your head here. I have yet to come upon substantive arguments that convince me that we can actually achieve this ideal "new world" such that blame and punishment become moot.

And that is before we get to the part about the narcissists who steal and rape and murder etc., simply because, from their point of view, morality revolves entirely around self-satisfaction, around self-gratification.

Or those who do all manner of hurtful things to others because they claim that it is in "the will of God".


peacegirl wrote: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said. A person cannot use this excuse as a justification when no one is holding him responsible. You failed. You don't get this at all because you are so convinced he was wrong that you have lost all objectivity. Ironically. :D


Or: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said.

Meanwhile, nothing that we have exchanged thus far on this thread is anything other than that which we could only have exchanged. Thus we are both off the hook here in advance.

After all, how can someone determined to think and to feel and to do what he must, win or lose anything other what it is necessary for him to win or to lose?

iambiguous wrote:But, again and again: What any of us want is only what we must want. If we do something "wrong" or punish another for doing something "wrong", that is reasonable because how can doing only what it is necessary to do not be reasonable -- not be reasonable?

The part that always eludes me....


peacegirl wrote: But we're not punishing anymore, which is also part and parcel of what must be IF people see the value in NOT BLAMING. We are not on a trajectory that will lead us toward something that we ourselves have not chosen. The designer (whether you call it God, Om, or the Source) does not have this kind of power.


No, only if the right people happen upon Lessans' discovery and set into motion the paradigm shift, will the new world unfold as Lessans' discovery predicts it will.

But, in turn, this can only happen or not happen as it must.

And it would seem futile to speak of having "power" here because [to me] this implies a frame of mind able to grasp it. Which, of course, is why most folks invent Gods. Instead, "power" here is embedded only in the belief that matter unfolds solely within the context of its own immutable laws. There can be no real teleological component here at all. It is all simply intertwined intrinsically in the brute facticity of necessity.

And, if I understand you, absolutely none of us are ever excluded from doing what we must do in order to be wholly in sync with it.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:48 pm

Nick Trakakis

It is often thought that the first and most obvious casualty in the moral realm, once hard determinism is adopted, is the idea that human beings are sometimes morally responsible for their decisions and actions. Indeed, this result seems to simply fall out from the account of hard determinism given above that there is no free will of the sort required for moral responsibility. But what is it for a person to be morally responsible? Roughly speaking, to be morally responsible for something (e.g., an action, an omission, a character trait) is to be worthy of a particular kind of reaction -- typically, praise or blame. But when are such reactions of praise and blame appropriate or called for? Answers to this question give rise to two competing conceptions of moral responsibility. According to one view, the merit-based view, praise or blame is an appropriate reaction toward someone if and only if they merit -- in the sense of `deserve' -- such a reaction, given their behaviour and/or character traits. This is perhaps the commonsensical view of moral responsibility, but there is an alternative: the consequentialist view, according to which praise or blame is an appropriate reaction if and only if a reaction of this sort is likely to bring about a desired change in the agent and/or their behaviour.


Yes, this is a rather succinct manner in which to sum up the ways in which most of us approach the relationship between "free will" and "moral responsibiility."

We choose to do the right thing and are praised. We choose to do the wrong thing and are blamed. Or even punished. And right and wrong here can revolve either around a deontological or a consequentialist frame of mind.

What it leaves out entirely however is the manner in which I construe moral narratives as rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and in political economy.

But at least we can reasonably grasp the manner in which it frames the relationship between free will and moral responsibility.

More later.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:40 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote: When the environment supports her having a baby instead of aborting it will it produce what everyone would hope for. Blame and punishment do nothing to prevent a woman from aborting if she feels it is the best choice possible, but when she is happily married and has financial stability, her desiring to abort as the preferable choice would be gone.


iambiguous wrote:Why focus on the environment here at all when whatever the environment is [either now or in the new world] it is only what it ever can be?


peacegirl wrote: Because the decision among the majority to create a no blame environment based on science will cause a paradigm shift never before seen in the history of man. God is tricky. :wink:


Then I am back to pointing out that the decisions made here are themselves only as they ever could be. Per the ubiquitous design. Whereas [from my perpsective] the manner in which you present events unfolding here seems to allow for men and women to "see the light"; and thus to change their minds about blame and punishment. Before, they chose to be for it...and now they choose to be against it. As though it was ever within their power to choose one over the other freely.


It was never within their power to choose it freely since we can only move in a direction that is the most preferable. Allowing men and women to change their mind based on new information or to "see the light" is still within the framework of determinism. It does not grant anyone free will.

iambiguous wrote:And I suspect that if you live in a political jurisdiction where obtaining an abortion is the legal equivalent of capital murder, that might be incentive enough not to obtain one. Or maybe having the child is deemed to be so dissatisfying to you that you will risk the back alley route.


peacegirl wrote: Again, who is arguing with this?


iambiguous wrote:But the manner in which I describe this is predicated on the assumption that women will make these choices freely. Or, rather, subjectively, within the context of dasein and conflicting goods. But if a woman does choose to abort there will be those who choose to blame and punish her for it.

Thus I am still at a loss to understand how this goes away in the new world.


I really don't know why you keep focusing on this one aspect. Are you talking about Middle Eastern countries where women are subjected to harsh punishment? Who punishes a woman for getting an abortion in this day and age? There may still be differences in opinion but everyone who becomes a citizen will have to sign an agreement that he will not judge or criticize what another person does, even if he doesn't agree with it. This is what prevents someone's conscience from doing that which he is being judged, if his conscience tells him that what he is doing is hurtful. Abortion is that grey area where a potential life is snuffed out, but it is usually because the woman is in a predicament and must choose the lesser of two evils. When she doesn't get into this kind of predicament, abortions will be a rare occurrence, if at all.

iambiguous wrote:And yet we will still be stuck with those who insist that financial stability for all is only possible in a socialist political economy. What is their option then, not to sign the "universal conscience" contract, not to become citizens of the new world utopia?


peacegirl wrote: There IS no force. If someone doesn't want a guaranteed income never to go down then he doesn't have to sign an agreement not to blame or tell anyone what to do. Those ARE the preconditions.


iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind this is noted as though wanting or not wanting something is within our capactity to choose freely. Just as choosing to sign or not sign would be. But all of this unfolds instead within the confines of the necessity that is inherently embedded in the laws of matter.


Having the capacity to choose, or having options, does not grant us free will. Obviously, everything unfolds as it must unfold. I can pretty much guarantee that when this knowledge becomes recognized people will want to become part of this new world and will be on pins and needles waiting for their turn.

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective then, your perspective is one that seems to flit in and out of this in order to sustain your assumptions about the new world.


Signing in or out is done not of our own free will, so where am I flitting in and out to sustain assumptions, when there are no assumptions? You are the one making assumptions that this knowledge contains assumptions, which it does not. :-k That is why discussing a book of such import (which has not been read) in a philosophy forum is not working because it only offers a cursory understanding. It's not the fault of the discovery or the venue. It's just not a good fit.

peacegirl wrote:Aside from abortions, most of the world is convinced that if we stop murdering each other it will be a better world, so there is no conflict in values here.


iambiguous wrote:What about executions? What about those who are killed in the course of starting and then sustaining wars revolving precisely around which political economy will prevail, must prevail, should prevail? And around who will have the wealth and the power to enforce a set of laws that favor some segments of the population over others? And around those who will profit from sustaining a war economy?


peacegirl wrote: You are projecting into the future based on your present knowledge. There is a flaw right there. We are talking about a new world based on accurate principles which cannot be denied because they are immutable.


iambiguous wrote:Well, my own present knowledge of the conflicting political narratives rooted in the historical context that is capitalism vs. socialism is predicated on what is actually able to be confirmed empirically over the past 150+ years. Your own projection on the other hand is rooted only in scientists [and then the rest of us] coming into contact with Lessans' discovery, embracing it and then "shifting" over to a no blame/no punishment frame of mind.

Or so it seems to me.

iambiguous wrote:These conflicting goods, in my view, go away only in your head here. I have yet to come upon substantive arguments that convince me that we can actually achieve this ideal "new world" such that blame and punishment become moot.

And that is before we get to the part about the narcissists who steal and rape and murder etc., simply because, from their point of view, morality revolves entirely around self-satisfaction, around self-gratification.

Or those who do all manner of hurtful things to others because they claim that it is in "the will of God".


peacegirl wrote: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said. A person cannot use this excuse as a justification when no one is holding him responsible. You failed. You don't get this at all because you are so convinced he was wrong that you have lost all objectivity. Ironically.


Or: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said.

Meanwhile, nothing that we have exchanged thus far on this thread is anything other than that which we could only have exchanged. Thus we are both off the hook here in advance.

After all, how can someone determined to think and to feel and to do what he must, win or lose anything other what it is necessary for him to win or to lose?


In the sense that you had to respond the way you did and I also had to respond the way I did, we are off the hook, but there is something to be lost (about a thousand years) if people don't give this man the benefit of the doubt, even though this too would be the way it must be. My hope is that people will have the capacity and the desire to learn more. The problem is that science has yet to confirm that this knowledge is, in fact, valid and sound and until that time people will turn their noses up at it as if it's trash.

iambiguous wrote:But, again and again: What any of us want is only what we must want. If we do something "wrong" or punish another for doing something "wrong", that is reasonable because how can doing only what it is necessary to do not be reasonable -- not be reasonable?

The part that always eludes me....


peacegirl wrote: But we're not punishing anymore, which is also part and parcel of what must be IF people see the value in NOT BLAMING. We are not on a trajectory that will lead us toward something that we ourselves have not chosen. The designer (whether you call it God, Om, or the Source) does not have this kind of power.


iambiguous wrote:No, only if the right people happen upon Lessans' discovery and set into motion the paradigm shift, will the new world unfold as Lessans' discovery predicts it will.

But, in turn, this can only happen or not happen as it must.

And it would seem futile to speak of having "power" here because [to me] this implies a frame of mind able to grasp it. Which, of course, is why most folks invent Gods. Instead, "power" here is embedded only in the belief that matter unfolds solely within the context of its own immutable laws. There can be no real teleological component here at all. It is all simply intertwined intrinsically in the brute facticity of necessity.

And, if I understand you, absolutely none of us are ever excluded from doing what we must do in order to be wholly in sync with it.


I've never disputed this point. Matter unfolds within the context of its own immutable laws, which states that we must choose that which gives us greater satisfaction, and when this psychological law is understood, mankind will have no choice but to move in this direction for satisfaction.
Last edited by peacegirl on Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:59 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:44 pm

repeat
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
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“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health,
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Re: Determinism

Postby Sauwelios » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:15 am

iambiguous wrote:
Pec of Uliar wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Well, this seems similar [to me] to the argument that some religionists make that God's omniscience is rooted in Him knowing everything that we will do -- even though He does not know what we will do until we choose to do it.


No, I'm saying something stronger. I'm saying God can know what we will do, before we do it, and this does not mean that we can fail to do, other than what we do. This is what I am trying to show.


Too many "nots" here perhaps. God [in being omniscient] cannot not know that Mary will choose to abort her baby. But Mary is still "free" to choose?

Nope. I'm definitely still missing something here.

Pec of Uliar wrote: Aristotle wondered whether, today, there can be true propositions about future contingent events. His worry was that if there can be such propositions, then fatalism prevails: Nothing is contingent, and everything must unfold in some pre-determined way. (fatalism is not the same as determinism, but put that aside.)

Posit that it is possible for there to be true propositions today, about events that happen tomorrow.

Today it is true, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle.

My question to you is: if it is true today, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, does it logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle?

Or do the sea battlers have a choice whether to have a battle or not?


Sans God, if matter unfolds [yesterday, today and tomorrow] only as it must unfold to be in sync with the immutable laws of matter, then the sea battle either unfolds or does not unfold only as it must or must not unfold in order to be in alignment with the immutable laws of matter.

Here the "sea battlers" are just more matter, albeit matter with minds. But minds [making choices] would seem no less inexorably embedded in these necessary physical laws of existence.


I think the answer Pec was looking for is something along the lines of: No, if it is true today that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, it does not logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle (namely, that it is true tomorrow that there has been, is, or will be a sea battle that day). After all, Logic is just about statements, not about reality. There is nothing in the first statement that implies (the content of) the second statement. Only if we add a third statement that establishes such an implication will the second statement logically follow from the first. Nifty, eh?
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:15 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Pec of Uliar wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Well, this seems similar [to me] to the argument that some religionists make that God's omniscience is rooted in Him knowing everything that we will do -- even though He does not know what we will do until we choose to do it.


No, I'm saying something stronger. I'm saying God can know what we will do, before we do it, and this does not mean that we can fail to do, other than what we do. This is what I am trying to show.


Too many "nots" here perhaps. God [in being omniscient] cannot not know that Mary will choose to abort her baby. But Mary is still "free" to choose?

Nope. I'm definitely still missing something here.

Pec of Uliar wrote: Aristotle wondered whether, today, there can be true propositions about future contingent events. His worry was that if there can be such propositions, then fatalism prevails: Nothing is contingent, and everything must unfold in some pre-determined way. (fatalism is not the same as determinism, but put that aside.)

Sauwelios wrote:Posit that it is possible for there to be true propositions today, about events that happen tomorrow.

Today it is true, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle.

My question to you is: if it is true today, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, does it logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle?

Or do the sea battlers have a choice whether to have a battle or not?


Sans God, if matter unfolds [yesterday, today and tomorrow] only as it must unfold to be in sync with the immutable laws of matter, then the sea battle either unfolds or does not unfold only as it must or must not unfold in order to be in alignment with the immutable laws of matter.

Here the "sea battlers" are just more matter, albeit matter with minds. But minds [making choices] would seem no less inexorably embedded in these necessary physical laws of existence.


I think the answer Pec was looking for is something along the lines of: No, if it is true today that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, it does not logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle (namely, that it is true tomorrow that there has been, is, or will be a sea battle that day). After all, Logic is just about statements, not about reality. There is nothing in the first statement that implies (the content of) the second statement. Only if we add a third statement that establishes such an implication will the second statement logically follow from the first. Nifty, eh?


Nifty? I don't agree with your and Pec's analysis that what will be is not what must be. If an onmincient being knows exactly what will take place, isn't that what must take place? I understand the desire to be free of any preconditions, so that we become God. But we are not God, and if God knows (the intelligence governing this universe) in advance what we will do, this does not mean our actions are fruitless. We are the mirror of God, and we cannot win over God to be more than what we are, but our importance as individual human beings is not taken away because of this. I think this is what people most fear; their insignificance.
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“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health,
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:01 pm

peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Then I am back to pointing out that the decisions made here are themselves only as they ever could be. Per the ubiquitous design. Whereas [from my perpsective] the manner in which you present events unfolding here seems to allow for men and women to "see the light"; and thus to change their minds about blame and punishment. Before, they chose to be for it...and now they choose to be against it. As though it was ever within their power to choose one over the other freely.


It was never within their power to choose it freely since we can only move in a direction that is the most preferable. Allowing men and women to change their mind based on new information or to "see the light" is still within the framework of determinism. It does not grant anyone free will.


Yes, but that is precisely my point. In a wholly determined world, the entirety of existence itself unfolds inherently only as it ever could have unfolded. You and I making our choices/"choices" now, just like the folks above making their choices/"choices" in the new world, are all components of the same unfolding reality embedded in the laws of matter. Nothing [no one] escapes it. Every choice/"choice" made by every mind necessarily coincides with it.

iambiguous wrote:And I suspect that if you live in a political jurisdiction where obtaining an abortion is the legal equivalent of capital murder, that might be incentive enough not to obtain one. Or maybe having the child is deemed to be so dissatisfying to you that you will risk the back alley route.


peacegirl wrote: Again, who is arguing with this?


iambiguous wrote:But the manner in which I describe this is predicated on the assumption that women will make these choices freely. Or, rather, subjectively, within the context of dasein and conflicting goods. But if a woman does choose to abort there will be those who choose to blame and punish her for it.

Thus I am still at a loss to understand how this goes away in the new world.


peacegirl wrote: I really don't know why you keep focusing on this one aspect. Are you talking about Middle Eastern countries where women are subjected to harsh punishment? Who punishes a woman for getting an abortion in this day and age? There may still be differences in opinion but everyone who becomes a citizen will have to sign an agreement that he will not judge or criticize what another person does, even if he doesn't agree with it. This is what prevents someone's conscience from doing that which he is being judged, if his conscience tells him that what he is doing is hurtful. Abortion is that grey area where a potential life is snuffed out, but it is usually because the woman is in a predicament and must choose the lesser of two evils. When she doesn't get into this kind of predicament, abortions will be a rare occurrence, if at all.


But how is any of this not already part and parcel of the point I just made above:

In a wholly determined world, the entirety of existence itself unfolds inherently only as it ever could have unfolded. You and I making our choices/"choices" now, just like the folks above making their choices/"choices" in the new world, are all components of the same unfolding reality embedded in the laws of matter. Nothing [no one] escapes it. Every choice/"choice" made by every mind necessarily coincides with it

Women choosing abortion, others choosing to blame and to punish them for choosing abortion, the political narratives that exist around the globe -- everyone here doing only what they ever could have done.

Right?

You argue that...

peacegirl wrote: Having the capacity to choose, or having options, does not grant us free will. Obviously, everything unfolds as it must unfold. I can pretty much guarantee that when this knowledge becomes recognized people will want to become part of this new world and will be on pins and needles waiting for their turn.


As though men and women are free to choose whether or not they will recognize this knowledge. As though the feeling of being on pins and needles or not being on pins and needles is anything other than what they must feel.

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective then, your perspective is one that seems to flit in and out of this in order to sustain your assumptions about the new world.


peacegirl wrote: Signing in or out is done not of our own free will, so where am I flitting in and out to sustain assumptions, when there are no assumptions? You are the one making assumptions that this knowledge contains assumptions, which it does not.


I suppose this pretty much encompasses our own rendition of "what we have here is failure to communicate".

You are asserting what you do about our capacity to exercise free will. And this assertion is predicated on the assumption that Lessans' discovery is in fact true objectively. But, in my view, his discovery is predicated in turn on the assertions that he makes regarding the manner in which he construes the meaning of his observations. He provides little or no empirical/experiential evidence to support the assumptions he makes in his argument/analysis. How then can neuroscientists [or any other scientists] either verify or falsify his "principles" by way of conducting experiments or by way of replicating his results?

And, again, the surreal part for me is the manner in which, in embracing your own consclusions about free will, there is not a single thing that Lessans or you or I or the scientists could/can/will ever do other than what we necessarily must do in order to be fully in sync with the design.

peacegirl wrote: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said. A person cannot use this excuse as a justification when no one is holding him responsible. You failed. You don't get this at all because you are so convinced he was wrong that you have lost all objectivity. Ironically.


iambiguous wrote:Or: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said.

Meanwhile, nothing that we have exchanged thus far on this thread is anything other than that which we could only have exchanged. Thus we are both off the hook here in advance.

After all, how can someone determined to think and to feel and to do what he must, win or lose anything other what it is necessary for him to win or to lose?


peacegirl wrote:In the sense that you had to respond the way you did and I also had to respond the way I did, we are off the hook, but there is something to be lost (about a thousand years) if people don't give this man the benefit of the doubt, even though this too would be the way it must be.


But whether this is or is not lost a thousand years from now is as certain in a determined world as what might have been thought lost by folks a thousand years ago. All of the old worlds of the past eventually became the new worlds of the present in the only possible worlds there could ever have been. Every single one of us then are just along for the ride. It's just that some of us sustain the illusion that we choose what we choose here of our own free will. And others know [assert] that we do not. But the common denominator between us is still always this: the necessity to think and to feel and to behave only as we must.

peacegirl wrote: But we're not punishing anymore, which is also part and parcel of what must be IF people see the value in NOT BLAMING. We are not on a trajectory that will lead us toward something that we ourselves have not chosen. The designer (whether you call it God, Om, or the Source) does not have this kind of power.


iambiguous wrote:No, only if the right people happen upon Lessans' discovery and set into motion the paradigm shift, will the new world unfold as Lessans' discovery predicts it will.

But, in turn, this can only happen or not happen as it must.

And it would seem futile to speak of having "power" here because [to me] this implies a frame of mind able to grasp it. Which, of course, is why most folks invent Gods. Instead, "power" here is embedded only in the belief that matter unfolds solely within the context of its own immutable laws. There can be no real teleological component here at all. It is all simply intertwined intrinsically in the brute facticity of necessity.

And, if I understand you, absolutely none of us are ever excluded from doing what we must do in order to be wholly in sync with it.


peacegirl wrote:I've never disputed this point. Matter unfolds within the context of its own immutable laws, which states that we must choose that which gives us greater satisfaction, and when this psychological law is understood, mankind will have no choice but to move in this direction for satisfaction.


Yes, in a wholly determined world, this would seem to be a reasonable assumption. I only point out then that what we construe as being satisfying is also only what we ever could have construed as being satisfying. And that what we do come to understand is only what we ever could have come to understand.

But how you and Lessans go from what I seem to understand about the world today to what everyone apparently must understand about it in the new world, is still a gap that [to me] makes the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Sauwelios » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:25 pm

peacegirl wrote:
Sauwelios wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Sans God, if matter unfolds [yesterday, today and tomorrow] only as it must unfold to be in sync with the immutable laws of matter, then the sea battle either unfolds or does not unfold only as it must or must not unfold in order to be in alignment with the immutable laws of matter.

Here the "sea battlers" are just more matter, albeit matter with minds. But minds [making choices] would seem no less inexorably embedded in these necessary physical laws of existence.


I think the answer Pec was looking for is something along the lines of: No, if it is true today that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, it does not logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle (namely, that it is true tomorrow that there has been, is, or will be a sea battle that day). After all, Logic is just about statements, not about reality. There is nothing in the first statement that implies (the content of) the second statement. Only if we add a third statement that establishes such an implication will the second statement logically follow from the first. Nifty, eh?


Nifty? I don't agree with your and Pec's analysis that what will be is not what must be. If an onmincient being knows exactly what will take place, isn't that what must take place? I understand the desire to be free of any preconditions, so that we become God. But we are not God, and if God knows (the intelligence governing this universe) in advance what we will do, this does not mean our actions are fruitless. We are the mirror of God, and we cannot win over God to be more than what we are, but our importance as individual human beings is not taken away because of this. I think this is what people most fear; their insignificance.


Apparently, my irony was lost on you. Also, you have apparently forgotten that, in all my discussions with you in this thread and others, I've never expressed disagreement with the determinism part of your father's argument. Anyway, my rendition of Pec's analysis is still correct. That is to say, I'm not sure whether it's what he meant, but nothing follows from a single statement except what's in that statement. Thus from the statement, "Today it is true, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle", it does not follow that "tomorrow it is true, that there has been, is, or will be a sea battle that day." The second statement only follows from the first statement in combination with a third statement, for instance "Regarding tomorrow, whatever is true today will be true tomorrow." (This example is false, by the way, as today it's true that tomorrow lies entirely in the future, but tomorrow that will no longer be true.)
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:47 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Then I am back to pointing out that the decisions made here are themselves only as they ever could be. Per the ubiquitous design. Whereas [from my perpsective] the manner in which you present events unfolding here seems to allow for men and women to "see the light"; and thus to change their minds about blame and punishment. Before, they chose to be for it...and now they choose to be against it. As though it was ever within their power to choose one over the other freely.


It was never within their power to choose it freely since we can only move in a direction that is the most preferable. Allowing men and women to change their mind based on new information or to "see the light" is still within the framework of determinism. It does not grant anyone free will.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but that is precisely my point. In a wholly determined world, the entirety of existence itself unfolds inherently only as it ever could have unfolded. You and I making our choices/"choices" now, just like the folks above making their choices/"choices" in the new world, are all components of the same unfolding reality embedded in the laws of matter. Nothing [no one] escapes it. Every choice/"choice" made by every mind necessarily coincides with it.


Who is disputing this? Lessans certainly didn't.

p. 1 This natural law, which reveals a fantastic
mankind system, was hidden so successfully behind a camouflage of
ostensible truths that it is no wonder the development of our present
age was required to find it. By discovering this well concealed law and
demonstrating its power a catalyst, so to speak, is introduced into
human relations that compels a fantastic change in the direction our
nature has been traveling performing what will be called miracles
though they do not transcend the laws of nature.


The same nature
that permits the most heinous crimes, and all the other evils of human
relation, is going to veer so sharply in a different direction that all
nations on this planet, once the leaders and their subordinates
understand the principles involved, will unite in such a way that no
more wars will ever again be possible. If this is difficult to conceive,
does it mean you have a desire to dismiss what I have to say as
nonsense? If it does, then you have done what I tried to prevent, that
is, jumped to a premature conclusion. And the reason must be that
you judged such a permanent solution as impossible and therefore not
deserving of further consideration, which is a normal reaction, if
anything, when my claims are analyzed and compared to our present
understanding of human nature. War seems to be an inescapable
feature of the human condition which can only be subdued, not
eradicated. But we must insert a question mark between the empirical
fact that a feature is characteristic of human life as we know it, and
the empirical claim that this feature is a sociological inevitability.

Another reason that war is viewed as an unfortunate and intractable
aspect of human existence is due to suffering itself, which sadly robs
its victims of the ability to dream or have the breadth of vision to even
contemplate the possibility of peace. The evil in the world has so
constricted man’s imagination that his mind has become hardened,
and he shows contempt for anyone who dares to offer a solution
because such claims appear ludicrous and unfounded.


iambiguous wrote:And I suspect that if you live in a political jurisdiction where obtaining an abortion is the legal equivalent of capital murder, that might be incentive enough not to obtain one. Or maybe having the child is deemed to be so dissatisfying to you that you will risk the back alley route.


peacegirl wrote: Again, who is arguing with this?


iambiguous wrote:But the manner in which I describe this is predicated on the assumption that women will make these choices freely. Or, rather, subjectively, within the context of dasein and conflicting goods. But if a woman does choose to abort there will be those who choose to blame and punish her for it.

Thus I am still at a loss to understand how this goes away in the new world.


peacegirl wrote: I really don't know why you keep focusing on this one aspect. Are you talking about Middle Eastern countries where women are subjected to harsh punishment? Who punishes a woman for getting an abortion in this day and age? There may still be differences in opinion but everyone who becomes a citizen will have to sign an agreement that he will not judge or criticize what another person does, even if he doesn't agree with it. This is what prevents someone's conscience from doing that which he is being judged, if his conscience tells him that what he is doing is hurtful. Abortion is that grey area where a potential life is snuffed out, but it is usually because the woman is in a predicament and must choose the lesser of two evils. When she doesn't get into this kind of predicament, abortions will be a rare occurrence, if at all.


iambiguous wrote:But how is any of this not already part and parcel of the point I just made above:

In a wholly determined world, the entirety of existence itself unfolds inherently only as it ever could have unfolded. You and I making our choices/"choices" now, just like the folks above making their choices/"choices" in the new world, are all components of the same unfolding reality embedded in the laws of matter. Nothing [no one] escapes it. Every choice/"choice" made by every mind necessarily coincides with it

Women choosing abortion, others choosing to blame and to punish them for choosing abortion, the political narratives that exist around the globe -- everyone here doing only what they ever could have done.

Right?

You argue that...

peacegirl wrote: Having the capacity to choose, or having options, does not grant us free will. Obviously, everything unfolds as it must unfold. I can pretty much guarantee that when this knowledge becomes recognized people will want to become part of this new world and will be on pins and needles waiting for their turn.


As though men and women are free to choose whether or not they will recognize this knowledge. As though the feeling of being on pins and needles or not being on pins and needles is anything other than what they must feel.


They are not free to choose what they don't prefer, but I believe people will find "greater satisfaction" (this is why man's will is not free) in becoming part of this new world once they realize man has the ability to achieve it.

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective then, your perspective is one that seems to flit in and out of this in order to sustain your assumptions about the new world.


peacegirl wrote: Signing in or out is done not of our own free will, so where am I flitting in and out to sustain assumptions, when there are no assumptions? You are the one making assumptions that this knowledge contains assumptions, which it does not.


iambiguous wrote:I suppose this pretty much encompasses our own rendition of "what we have here is failure to communicate".

You are asserting what you do about our capacity to exercise free will. And this assertion is predicated on the assumption that Lessans' discovery is in fact true objectively. But, in my view, his discovery is predicated in turn on the assertions that he makes regarding the manner in which he construes the meaning of his observations. He provides little or no empirical/experiential evidence to support the assumptions he makes in his argument/analysis. How then can neuroscientists [or any other scientists] either verify or falsify his "principles" by way of conducting experiments or by way of replicating his results?


You keep saying this and all it's doing is keeping you from understanding why his observations are spot on. These principles are not assumptions just because they haven't been confirmed by others.

p. 6 This
discovery will be presented in a step by step fashion that brooks no
opposition and your awareness of this matter will preclude the
possibility of someone adducing his rank, title, affiliation, or the long
tenure of an accepted belief as a standard from which he thinks he
qualifies to disagree with knowledge that contains within itself
undeniable proof of its veracity.
In other words, your background, the
color of your skin, your religion, the number of years you went to
school, how many titles you hold, your I.Q., your country, what you
do for a living, your being some kind of expert like Nageli (or
anything else you care to throw in) has no relation whatsoever to the
undeniable knowledge that 3 is to 6 what 4 is to 8. So please don’t
be too hasty in using what you have been taught as a standard to judge
what has not even been revealed to you yet.


iambiguous wrote:And, again, the surreal part for me is the manner in which, in embracing your own consclusions about free will, there is not a single thing that Lessans or you or I or the scientists could/can/will ever do other than what we necessarily must do in order to be fully in sync with the design.


True.

peacegirl wrote: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said. A person cannot use this excuse as a justification when no one is holding him responsible. You failed. You don't get this at all because you are so convinced he was wrong that you have lost all objectivity. Ironically.


iambiguous wrote:Or: You are so caught up in your defense that you have not heard a word I said.

Meanwhile, nothing that we have exchanged thus far on this thread is anything other than that which we could only have exchanged. Thus we are both off the hook here in advance.

After all, how can someone determined to think and to feel and to do what he must, win or lose anything other what it is necessary for him to win or to lose?


peacegirl wrote:In the sense that you had to respond the way you did and I also had to respond the way I did, we are off the hook, but there is something to be lost (about a thousand years) if people don't give this man the benefit of the doubt, even though this too would be the way it must be.


iambiguous wrote:But whether this is or is not lost a thousand years from now is as certain in a determined world as what might have been thought lost by folks a thousand years ago. All of the old worlds of the past eventually became the new worlds of the present in the only possible worlds there could ever have been. Every single one of us then are just along for the ride. It's just that some of us sustain the illusion that we choose what we choose here of our own free will. And others know [assert] that we do not. But the common denominator between us is still always this: the necessity to think and to feel and to behave only as we must.


I am in agreement with you. The only thing I don't quite agree with is that we are going along for the ride as if we are passive participants. We still are actively choosing, although our choices are not free. This is important because without our ability to analyze, ponder, and contemplate (which is a step up from the animal kingdom), we would not be able to utilize our unusual ability to choose among alternatives. This itself does not grant us free will but it does allow us to consider options that push us in a forward direction.

peacegirl wrote: But we're not punishing anymore, which is also part and parcel of what must be IF people see the value in NOT BLAMING. We are not on a trajectory that will lead us toward something that we ourselves have not chosen. The designer (whether you call it God, Om, or the Source) does not have this kind of power.


iambiguous wrote:No, only if the right people happen upon Lessans' discovery and set into motion the paradigm shift, will the new world unfold as Lessans' discovery predicts it will.

But, in turn, this can only happen or not happen as it must.

And it would seem futile to speak of having "power" here because [to me] this implies a frame of mind able to grasp it. Which, of course, is why most folks invent Gods. Instead, "power" here is embedded only in the belief that matter unfolds solely within the context of its own immutable laws. There can be no real teleological component here at all. It is all simply intertwined intrinsically in the brute facticity of necessity.

And, if I understand you, absolutely none of us are ever excluded from doing what we must do in order to be wholly in sync with it.


peacegirl wrote:I've never disputed this point. Matter unfolds within the context of its own immutable laws, which states that we must choose that which gives us greater satisfaction, and when this psychological law is understood, mankind will have no choice but to move in this direction for satisfaction.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, in a wholly determined world, this would seem to be a reasonable assumption. I only point out then that what we construe as being satisfying is also only what we ever could have construed as being satisfying. And that what we do come to understand is only what we ever could have come to understand.

But how you and Lessans go from what I seem to understand about the world today to what everyone apparently must understand about it in the new world, is still a gap that [to me] makes the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk.


What must be understood is not that difficult and can be easily applied once this knowledge is recognized and once all the political leaders become our first citizens which will allow the Great Transition to commence.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:02 pm

Sauwelios wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Sans God, if matter unfolds [yesterday, today and tomorrow] only as it must unfold to be in sync with the immutable laws of matter, then the sea battle either unfolds or does not unfold only as it must or must not unfold in order to be in alignment with the immutable laws of matter.

Here the "sea battlers" are just more matter, albeit matter with minds. But minds [making choices] would seem no less inexorably embedded in these necessary physical laws of existence.


I think the answer Pec was looking for is something along the lines of: No, if it is true today that tomorrow there will be a sea battle, it does not logically follow that tomorrow, there must be a sea battle (namely, that it is true tomorrow that there has been, is, or will be a sea battle that day). After all, Logic is just about statements, not about reality. There is nothing in the first statement that implies (the content of) the second statement. Only if we add a third statement that establishes such an implication will the second statement logically follow from the first. Nifty, eh?


peacegirl wrote:Nifty? I don't agree with your and Pec's analysis that what will be is not what must be. If an onmincient being knows exactly what will take place, isn't that what must take place? I understand the desire to be free of any preconditions, so that we become God. But we are not God, and if God knows (the intelligence governing this universe) in advance what we will do, this does not mean our actions are fruitless. We are the mirror of God, and we cannot win over God to be more than what we are, but our importance as individual human beings is not taken away because of this. I think this is what people most fear; their insignificance.


Sauwelios wrote:Apparently, my irony was lost on you. Also, you have apparently forgotten that, in all my discussions with you in this thread and others, I've never expressed disagreement with the determinism part of your father's argument. Anyway, my rendition of Pec's analysis is still correct. That is to say, I'm not sure whether it's what he meant, but nothing follows from a single statement except what's in that statement. Thus from the statement, "Today it is true, that tomorrow there will be a sea battle", it does not follow that "tomorrow it is true, that there has been, is, or will be a sea battle that day." The second statement only follows from the first statement in combination with a third statement, for instance "Regarding tomorrow, whatever is true today will be true tomorrow." (This example is false, by the way, as today it's true that tomorrow lies entirely in the future, but tomorrow that will no longer be true.)


If it's taken for granted that am omnicient being knows what will take place in advance of its occurrence, then it is true that He would know tomorrow there will be a sea battle. In this context there is no difference between "will" and "must". The fact that you never expressed disagreement with the determinism part of my father's argument is only half of the solution. If you don't see the validity in his observation regarding conscience and the fact that nothing on this earth can make you do to another what you don't want to do, not even God himself, then it's no wonder you are not that interested in the book. But his observations are accurate.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:12 pm

Nick Trakakis
 
Derk Pereboom states that hard determinists must relinquish our ordinary view of ourselves as morally responsible in the merit-based sense, that is, as deserving blame for immoral actions and as deserving praise for actions that are morally exemplary. In this regard, I think Pereboom is entirely correct. Even so, the hard determinist need not renounce moral responsibility altogether, but may instead reconceive our commonsense notion of moral responsibility in consequentialist terms. Indeed, this is the route normally taken by determinists, both hard and soft. J.J.C. Smart, for example, states that, "[t]hreats and promises, punishments and rewards, the ascription of responsibility and the nonascription of responsibility, have a clear pragmatic justification which is quite consistent with a wholehearted belief in metaphysical determinism".

 
Again, and again and again: this is the distinction I am not able [here and now] to wrap my head around.

It is as though someone believes that everything we think, feel and do is only as we must -- but they "choose" instead to pretend that this is not the case at all. Why? In order to be "practical" about the need for men and women to at least believe that they are freely choosing to either do the right or the wrong thing.

All the while knowing that nothing is ever not as it can only 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 Sauwelios » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:23 pm

iambiguous wrote:Nick Trakakis
 
Derk Pereboom states that hard determinists must relinquish our ordinary view of ourselves as morally responsible in the merit-based sense, that is, as deserving blame for immoral actions and as deserving praise for actions that are morally exemplary. In this regard, I think Pereboom is entirely correct. Even so, the hard determinist need not renounce moral responsibility altogether, but may instead reconceive our commonsense notion of moral responsibility in consequentialist terms. Indeed, this is the route normally taken by determinists, both hard and soft. J.J.C. Smart, for example, states that, "[t]hreats and promises, punishments and rewards, the ascription of responsibility and the nonascription of responsibility, have a clear pragmatic justification which is quite consistent with a wholehearted belief in metaphysical determinism".

 
Again, and again and again: this is the distinction I am not able [here and now] to wrap my head around.

It is as though someone believes that everything we think, feel and do is only as we must -- but they "choose" instead to pretend that this is not the case at all. Why? In order to be "practical" about the need for men and women to at least believe that they are freely choosing to either do the right or the wrong thing.

All the while knowing that nothing is ever not as it can only be.


I think that, for determinists, consequentialism only makes sense in relation to non-determinists. A determinist can see how praise and blame matters to non-determinists. This then may cause him to praise and blame non-determinists. And this, in turn, has a completely determinate effect on the latter.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:26 am

iambiguous wrote:In a wholly determined world, the entirety of existence itself unfolds inherently only as it ever could have unfolded. You and I making our choices/"choices" now, just like the folks above making their choices/"choices" in the new world, are all components of the same unfolding reality embedded in the laws of matter. Nothing [no one] escapes it. Every choice/"choice" made by every mind necessarily coincides with it.


peacegirl wrote:Who is disputing this? Lessans certainly didn't.


But then he does not demonstrate how this...

The same nature that permits the most heinous crimes, and all the other evils of human relation, is going to veer so sharply in a different direction that all nations on this planet, once the leaders and their subordinates understand the principles involved, will unite in such a way that no more wars will ever again be possible.

....will come about much beyond simply asserting that it will. And yet the world a thousand years ago, the world today and the world a thousand years from now are of a whole. Our parts in it were fated from the moment the law of matter itself came into existence. And none of us are anywhere near to understanding the meaning of that.

peacegirl wrote: Having the capacity to choose, or having options, does not grant us free will. Obviously, everything unfolds as it must unfold. I can pretty much guarantee that when this knowledge becomes recognized people will want to become part of this new world and will be on pins and needles waiting for their turn.


iambiguous wrote: As though men and women are free to choose whether or not they will recognize this knowledge. As though the feeling of being on pins and needles or not being on pins and needles is anything other than what they must feel.


peacegirl wrote: They are not free to choose what they don't prefer, but I believe people will find "greater satisfaction" (this is why man's will is not free) in becoming part of this new world once they realize man has the ability to achieve it.


Yes, you believe things like this, "in your head". But until you are able to devise an argument that links these prognostications to the sort of empirical/experiential evidence that will show how what you predict here and now necessitates the existence of the "new world", you can only be content with just "knowing" that it must be true because Lessans predicted it. Sure, you can always keep insisting that Lessans is right even if no one else has "confirmed" his observations. But I sincerely doubt you will manage to convince many others of this. Until and unless his arguments are in fact more substantively demonstrable, it will always just come down basically to either agreeing with or not agreeing with his analysis.

peacegirl wrote: In the sense that you had to respond the way you did and I also had to respond the way I did, we are off the hook, but there is something to be lost (about a thousand years) if people don't give this man the benefit of the doubt, even though this too would be the way it must be.


iambiguous wrote:But whether this is or is not lost a thousand years from now is as certain in a determined world as what might have been thought lost by folks a thousand years ago. All of the old worlds of the past eventually became the new worlds of the present in the only possible worlds there could ever have been. Every single one of us then are just along for the ride. It's just that some of us sustain the illusion that we choose what we choose here of our own free will. And others know [assert] that we do not. But the common denominator between us is still always this: the necessity to think and to feel and to behave only as we must.


peacegirl wrote: I am in agreement with you. The only thing I don't quite agree with is that we are going along for the ride as if we are passive participants. We still are actively choosing, although our choices are not free.


If everything that I think, feel and do is thought, felt and done only because I was utterly compelled to think, feel and do them, well, that comes about as close to being an automaton as I can imagine. To call this actively choosing is like calling the dominoes actively falling. Only the dominoes [unlike us] are completely oblivious to it all.

peacegirl wrote: Matter unfolds within the context of its own immutable laws, which states that we must choose that which gives us greater satisfaction, and when this psychological law is understood, mankind will have no choice but to move in this direction for satisfaction.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, in a wholly determined world, this would seem to be a reasonable assumption. I only point out then that what we construe as being satisfying is also only what we ever could have construed as being satisfying. And that what we do come to understand is only what we ever could have come to understand.

But how you and Lessans go from what I seem to understand about the world today to what everyone apparently must understand about it in the new world, is still a gap that [to me] makes the Grand Canyon look like a crack in the sidewalk.


peacegirl wrote: What must be understood is not that difficult and can be easily applied once this knowledge is recognized and once all the political leaders become our first citizens which will allow the Great Transition to commence.


Again: As though to suggest that if someone does not understand something that is not really all that difficult to understand, they are the problem here. But then all the while you keep agreeing with me that the extent to which anyone does understand it is only as they were ever able to understand it.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:08 am

Sauwelios wrote:I think that, for determinists, consequentialism only makes sense in relation to non-determinists. A determinist can see how praise and blame matters to non-determinists. This then may cause him to praise and blame non-determinists. And this, in turn, has a completely determinate effect on the latter.


My own difficulty here always revolves around this: that, in a world where matter is compelled to interact with other matter only as it must, then nothing we do that some will blame and punish us for [that others will not blame and punish us for] is ever other than what it could be.

Thus others can no more choose freely to blame and punish us [or not blame and punish us] than we can choose freely to do what we do to precipitate these reactions. Absolutely nothing that we think, feel and do is exempt from the laws of matter.

So, if the human mind is just more matter -- matter that has evolved to the point where it is able to be conscious of itself as matter inexorably in sync with peacegirl's design -- it would seem [to me] that every single post on this entire thread is just [inevitably] only what it ever could have been.

And what does that tell us about living in a determined world? Well, if you want to rid yourself of the burden that comes with being morally responsible, sure, why not.

In any event, in embracing some capacity to choose my behaviors freely, I am still saddled with this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

In fact, I often pursue exchanges like this [or those revolving around God and religion] precisely in order to find an antidote for this rather glum way in which view the world around me.
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 Sauwelios » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:09 am

iambiguous wrote:
Sauwelios wrote:I think that, for determinists, consequentialism only makes sense in relation to non-determinists. A determinist can see how praise and blame matters to non-determinists. This then may cause him to praise and blame non-determinists. And this, in turn, has a completely determinate effect on the latter.


My own difficulty here always revolves around this: that, in a world where matter is compelled to interact with other matter only as it must, then nothing we do that some will blame and punish us for [that others will not blame and punish us for] is ever other than what it could be.

Thus others can no more choose freely to blame and punish us [or not blame and punish us] than we can choose freely to do what we do to precipitate these reactions. Absolutely nothing that we think, feel and do is exempt from the laws of matter.

So, if the human mind is just more matter -- matter that has evolved to the point where it is able to be conscious of itself as matter inexorably in sync with peacegirl's design -- it would seem [to me] that every single post on this entire thread is just [inevitably] only what it ever could have been.

And what does that tell us about living in a determined world? Well, if you want to rid yourself of the burden that comes with being morally responsible, sure, why not.

In any event, in embracing some capacity to choose my behaviors freely, I am still saddled with this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

In fact, I often pursue exchanges like this [or those revolving around God and religion] precisely in order to find an antidote for this rather glum way in which view the world around me.


Yes, free will is nothing without objective values. As for determinism: from a determinist perspective, knowing that praise and blame matter to non-determinists will be an entirely deterministic factor which may--depending on the other factors--be decisive in causing determinists to praise and blame non-determinists, etc.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:54 pm

Sauwelios wrote:Yes, free will is nothing without objective values. As for determinism: from a determinist perspective, knowing that praise and blame matter to non-determinists will be an entirely deterministic factor which may--depending on the other factors--be decisive in causing determinists to praise and blame non-determinists, etc.


All I can point out here is the ordeal that free will often becomes from the perspective of dasein and conflicting goods. At least for this particular non-determinist.

And that the determinist knows that blame and praise matter to the non-determinist is only ever what she could have known. Just as, for the non-determinist, not knowing that praise and blame are not freely chosen is all that he could have known.

Until, that is, we come into places like this and bump into points of view that conflict with our own. Minds then might change. But even if they do they could not not have changed, 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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:34 pm

Nick Trakakis

Borrowing one of Smart's examples, we can see how this pragmatic or consequentialist justification would operate in practice by supposing that a student, Tommy, fails to do his homework and as a result his teacher deems him to be morally responsible or blameworthy. On the view we are considering, the teacher's reaction would be appropriate only if her act of blaming Tommy is likely to influence Tommy's attitudes and conduct in certain desirable ways. On the other hand, such a reaction on the part of the teacher would not be appropriate if Tommy suffered from some illness which prevented him from doing his homework, since in that case no amount of exhortation or threats would succeed in modifying his behaviour. But if Tommy's failure to do his homework is simply due to laziness, then his behaviour may well be open to influence, and the threats or punishments of his teacher would form part of the environment that helps influence Tommy's behaviour. In such a scenario, ascriptions of blame would have a definite and valuable purpose. As Smart sees it, then, ascriptions of moral responsibility, and therefore of praise and blame, have a purely instrumentalist rationale of influencing other people's behaviour.


Here, too, Tommy [and those reacting to him] are either able to make choices of their own volition or they chose only what they must choose as necessary components of the laws that compel matter to interact as it must.

Now, in a world where we do have some capacity to exercise free will, this exchange can certainly seem reasonable. Objectively, Tommy either does or does not do his homework. And, objectively, he either does or does not have a medical condition that might necessitate his not doing it.

But once we switch over to the hard determinist model everything would seem to be intertwined in the inevitable. We might have different perspectives on it but all of the perspectives would seem to be of a whole. The whole of existence/reality being only what it can ever be once the laws of matter are configured into what they in fact are.

The mystery then revolves more around why they did configure as they did. Why not some other way instead?

Or why does existence even have existence at all?
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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