Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:43 pm

iambiguous wrote:
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.


I'm sorry but this is not a mere assertion. If you believe that's all it is, then you won't want to even try to understand this knowledge. And if that's how it must be, then that's how it must be.

iambiguous wrote: 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.


What do you mean by "none of us are anywhere near to understanding the meaning of that?"... as if to say that anything Lessans' discovered can't be that important in light of the fact that there's so much more to know. Is that what you're implying? It seems to me you keep alluding to this in an effort to diminish what he has discovered. At least that's how it appears to me or you wouldn't keep repeating it.

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.


iambiguous wrote: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.

Obviously, this is what it will come down to. Your prediction that there has to be empirical proof is incorrect, although ironically that these principles work in real life will be the ultimate proof. Remember, the proof of the pudding is in the eating no matter how much people will rail against this or tell me through their faulty logic that he can't be right. 1. Man's will is not free. 2. One cannot be forced to do anything against his will. 3. Conscience functions in a very specific way. If you don't want to read further because it gives you less satisfaction then moving forward, then by all means don't.

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.


I'm actually sorry that you feel you are no different than a domino or a computer. In the sense that everything we think, feel, and do is done only because we were compelled to think, feel, and do them, we are very much alike because we are all determined beings. But the fact that we have been given a tremendous gift of thought and reason, we are able to use this ability for our betterment. I believe that the fact that we can only do what we must do wouldn't bother you nearly as much if you knew for a fact that we are going to live in a much kinder world.

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.


iambiguous wrote: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.


I say this only to people who state that Lessans' observations are just assertions. I will again say that they are the problem not in the sense that they can do other than what they do, but in the sense that it is their lack of effort to read the book in its entirety that is causing a problem in my opinion. There is no way a person can get the full impact of how these principles play out in real life without reading the text.
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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Re: Determinism

Postby Sauwelios » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:40 pm

iambiguous wrote:
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.


Yes, the objective values must be non-conflicting, if only in that no two of them can be equal.


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?


Right.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Amorphos » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:17 pm

If you came across a new thing, determinism will only have ultimately non-comparable references as to what it is. In this state of confusion a non-deterministic resolution has to be made, such that the non-comparable values be understood.
Then we must ask if all situations are ultimately new to the consciousness at some point?

If any [new things], then the determinative strains of thought could never know any new things. If it is true that we can know new things, then it is true that there >is< an independent determinator, even where it is also true that there are non-independent determinators.

We physically subjective organic instruments do have free will, and we don’t have it. Both kinds of things are occurring within the conscious sphere, and the unconscious is probably entirely composed of non-independent determinators.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:43 pm

iambiguous wrote: 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.


peacegirl wrote: I'm sorry but this is not a mere assertion. If you believe that's all it is, then you won't want to even try to understand this knowledge. And if that's how it must be, then that's how it must be.


Look, when neuroscientists explore the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made when both are intertwined/embodied in any particular individual, they acquire a wealth of hard data derived from, among other things, the fMRI technology they have at their disposal. They can show how an actual brain seems to function before and after a choice is being made.

Then it is only a matter of closing the gap between the laboratory and the far, far more complex correlation of variables out in the world of far, far more complex human interactions.

What does Lessans offer that is the equivalent of this? How was he not basically just observing people making their choices and then speculating "intellectually", "theoretically" as to what this might mean?

iambiguous wrote: 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: What do you mean by "none of us are anywhere near to understanding the meaning of that?"... as if to say that anything Lessans' discovered can't be that important in light of the fact that there's so much more to know. Is that what you're implying? It seems to me you keep alluding to this in an effort to diminish what he has discovered. At least that's how it appears to me or you wouldn't keep repeating it.


Yes, I'm talking about that gap between what we think we know about these things "here and now" and all that would need to be known [about the very nature of existence itself] in order that we could determine just how close what we think we know is from what is true ontologically about existence/reality.

Matter evolving into mind only allows for us to speculate about it. And over the decades/centuries our knowledge has veritably exploded. But what is our knowledge today compared to what we will know a hundred, a thousand years from now?

And I suspect that the methodology employed by folks like Richard Feynman and the neuroscientists will bring us a lot closer to the "objective truth" than the methology employed by folks like Lessans.

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.


iambiguous wrote: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: Obviously, this is what it will come down to. Your prediction that there has to be empirical proof is incorrect, although ironically that these principles work in real life will be the ultimate proof. Remember, the proof of the pudding is in the eating no matter how much people will rail against this or tell me through their faulty logic that he can't be right. 1. Man's will is not free. 2. One cannot be forced to do anything against his will. 3. Conscience functions in a very specific way. If you don't want to read further because it gives you less satisfaction then moving forward, then by all means don't.


Yes, but even as you concede, the pudding probably won't be around to eat for another 1,000 years or so. Whereas, with the neuroscientists, who knows, their experiments may one day [a lot sooner] allow them to predict that X will do some complex task Y a week later. And then a week later X does Y in precisely the manner that the scientists predicted. That would sure help to persuade me to "give up the ghost".

iambiguous wrote: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: I'm actually sorry that you feel you are no different than a domino or a computer. In the sense that everything we think, feel, and do is done only because we were compelled to think, feel, and do them, we are very much alike because we are all determined beings. But the fact that we have been given a tremendous gift of thought and reason, we are able to use this ability for our betterment. I believe that the fact that we can only do what we must do wouldn't bother you nearly as much if you knew for a fact that we are going to live in a much kinder world.


I am very, very different from the domino. What domino can engage in an exchange like this one? But: if everytime my fingers go up the keyboard and strike particular letters they do so only because they could not not do so, then I may just as well be that domino pertaining to the sequence of events that become my life. The domino is a part of a design that is a part of the design. Just as my own life must be.

And my life is no "gift" from the design. The design "gives" nothing. It just is.

And you are actually only sorry because you could not freely choose not to be.

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.


iambiguous wrote: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.


peacegirl wrote: I say this only to people who state that Lessans' observations are just assertions.


What difference does that make? They are no less determined to state that, right? Is the effort one may or may not choose to expend in reading his work not also only what one must or must not expend?

And how are they not just assertions by and large when others are not able to devise a methodology from/by which to test his conclusions? Or from/by which to replicate his conclusions?
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 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:55 am

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote: 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.


peacegirl wrote: I'm sorry but this is not a mere assertion. If you believe that's all it is, then you won't want to even try to understand this knowledge. And if that's how it must be, then that's how it must be.


Look, when neuroscientists explore the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made when both are intertwined/embodied in any particular individual, they acquire a wealth of hard data derived from, among other things, the fMRI technology they have at their disposal. They can show how an actual brain seems to function before and after a choice is being made.

Then it is only a matter of closing the gap between the laboratory and the far, far more complex correlation of variables out in the world of far, far more complex human interactions.

What does Lessans offer that is the equivalent of this? How was he not basically just observing people making their choices and then speculating "intellectually", "theoretically" as to what this might mean?


He offers an answer that is absolutely undeniable. These observations are just as scientific as any MRI. In fact, there is nothing in the brain itself that can show that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction, just like we cannot understand the behavior of a plant by dissecting it. This takes observation. There are things that can be learned in a laboratory setting, but this does not negate Lessans' discovery.

iambiguous wrote: 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: What do you mean by "none of us are anywhere near to understanding the meaning of that?"... as if to say that anything Lessans' discovered can't be that important in light of the fact that there's so much more to know. Is that what you're implying? It seems to me you keep alluding to this in an effort to diminish what he has discovered. At least that's how it appears to me or you wouldn't keep repeating it.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, I'm talking about that gap between what we think we know about these things "here and now" and all that would need to be known [about the very nature of existence itself] in order that we could determine just how close what we think we know is from what is true ontologically about existence/reality.


As far as this discovery is concerned, there IS no gap. Can you understand that? :-k

iambiguous wrote:Matter evolving into mind only allows for us to speculate about it.


So what. Whether we understand how mind evolved into matter or not has no influence on Lessans' observations. Can you at least grasp what I'm saying, or are you so caught up in your hope that there is a ghost in the machine, that you cannot consider the possibility that we are stuck with determinism, which happens to be the only reason we can achieve peace on earth. God knew what he was doing. :wink:
iambiguous wrote: And over the decades/centuries our knowledge has veritably exploded. But what is our knowledge today compared to what we will know a hundred, a thousand years from now?

And I suspect that the methodology employed by folks like Richard Feynman and the neuroscientists will bring us a lot closer to the "objective truth" than the methology employed by folks like Lessans.


That's a very dismissive thing to say. So what you are saying is that Lessans was not objective, which is far from the truth.

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.


iambiguous wrote: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: Obviously, this is what it will come down to. Your prediction that there has to be empirical proof is incorrect, although ironically that these principles work in real life will be the ultimate proof. Remember, the proof of the pudding is in the eating no matter how much people will rail against this or tell me through their faulty logic that he can't be right. 1. Man's will is not free. 2. One cannot be forced to do anything against his will. 3. Conscience functions in a very specific way. If you don't want to read further because it gives you less satisfaction then moving forward, then by all means don't.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but even as you concede, the pudding probably won't be around to eat for another 1,000 years or so.


The pudding could be around to eat in 25 years if people give it a chance.

iambiguous wrote: Whereas, with the neuroscientists, who knows, their experiments may one day [a lot sooner] allow them to predict that X will do some complex task Y a week later. And then a week later X does Y in precisely the manner that the scientists predicted. That would sure help to persuade me to "give up the ghost".


Good luck with that. :shock:

iambiguous wrote: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: I'm actually sorry that you feel you are no different than a domino or a computer. In the sense that everything we think, feel, and do is done only because we were compelled to think, feel, and do them, we are very much alike because we are all determined beings. But the fact that we have been given a tremendous gift of thought and reason, we are able to use this ability for our betterment. I believe that the fact that we can only do what we must do wouldn't bother you nearly as much if you knew for a fact that we are going to live in a much kinder world.


iambiguous wrote:I am very, very different from the domino. What domino can engage in an exchange like this one? But: if everytime my fingers go up the keyboard and strike particular letters they do so only because they could not not do so, then I may just as well be that domino pertaining to the sequence of events that become my life. The domino is a part of a design that is a part of the design. Just as my own life must be.

And my life is no "gift" from the design. The design "gives" nothing. It just is.


How do you know that? How do you know life itself isn't a gift from something beyond what you or I can understand?

iambiguous wrote:And you are actually only sorry because you could not freely choose not to be.


That doesn't bother me because my choice still comes from my analysis, so the fact that it's not a free choice doesn't make me feel like a robot.

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.


iambiguous wrote: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.


peacegirl wrote: I say this only to people who state that Lessans' observations are just assertions.


iambiguous wrote:What difference does that make? They are no less determined to state that, right? Is the effort one may or may not choose to expend in reading his work not also only what one must or must not expend?


It makes a difference because I am trying to pinpoint where the problem lies. It is either a miscommunication or a misunderstanding because the discovery is valid and sound. This in no way contradicts my agreement with you that the extent to which anyone does understand it is only as they were ever able to understand it.

iambiguous wrote:And how are they not just assertions by and large when others are not able to devise a methodology from/by which to test his conclusions? Or from/by which to replicate his conclusions?


Because his observations were based on years and years of study and analysis. This counts for something. Just because a no free will environment cannot easily be replicated does not mean that it is unfalsifiable nor does it mean that his observations count for nothing.
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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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 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:41 pm

Nick Trakakis

Can moral goodness be accommodated in a hard determinist world? Pereboom thinks it can. He holds that even if, under hard determinism, `ought' judgements are never true, it remains the case that judgements such as `It is morally good for person S to do A' and `It is morally bad for S to do B' can be true. He offers the following illustrations in support of this view:

Thus, for example, even if one is causally determined to refrain from giving to charity, and even if it is therefore false that one ought to give to charity, it still might be good to do so. Cheating on one's taxes might be a bad thing to do, even if one's act is causally determined, and thus, even if it is false that one ought not to do so.


For all practical purposes:

What does it mean to speak of good and bad here [or even true and false] when one can only speak of anything as one must speak of anything?

Also, in a world where opinions on taxes are ever embedded politically in conflicting goods, there is still no way objectively in which to determine if taxes [or government itself for that matter] is a good or a bad thing.

Also, the manner in which any one particular individual might opine on taxes will always be more or less embodied in dasein.

At least one question this immediately raises is: What sense of `good' is operative here? One obvious option, in the light of what has been said earlier, is to give `goodness' a consequentialist reading. On this view, an action is considered morally good insofar as it has certain consequences (e.g., the greatest possible increase of pleasure over pain). But the hard determinist, as already mentioned, has a number of options available within normative ethical theory, even including a deontological understanding of moral goodness.


This, in my opinion, does not change the points that I am raising. Any ethical theory that you subscribe to is embedded in the immutable laws of matter. And there is still no way, either as a consequentialist or a deontologists, to determine objectively how we ought to interact socially, politically and economically.

Or none that I have come across. But that acknowledgment is always part and parcel to my frame of mind here. I can suggest certain things about these relationships, but I have no way in which to demonstrate that they are in fact true objectively.
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 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:57 pm

iambiguous wrote:...when neuroscientists explore the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made when both are intertwined/embodied in any particular individual, they acquire a wealth of hard data derived from, among other things, the fMRI technology they have at their disposal. They can show how an actual brain seems to function before and after a choice is being made.

Then it is only a matter of closing the gap between the laboratory and the far, far more complex correlation of variables out in the world of far, far more complex human interactions.

What does Lessans offer that is the equivalent of this? How was he not basically just observing people making their choices and then speculating "intellectually", "theoretically" as to what this might mean?


peacegirl wrote: He offers an answer that is absolutely undeniable. These observations are just as scientific as any MRI. In fact, there is nothing in the brain itself that can show that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction, just like we cannot understand the behavior of a plant by dissecting it. This takes observation. There are things that can be learned in a laboratory setting, but this does not negate Lessans' discovery.


You say this, and I don't doubt that you sincerely believe it. In your head. My point is only that you will almost certainly have a great deal of difficulty getting others to believe that it is true in their heads. Let alone in providing scientists with a methodology that would allow them to either verify or falsify his conclusions empirically and experimentally. All I still see is this prediction about the future that is predicated largely on accepting the validity of Lessans' argument.

iambiguous wrote:Matter evolving into mind only allows for us to speculate about it.


peacegirl wrote: So what. Whether we understand how mind evolved into matter or not has no influence on Lessans' observations. Can you at least grasp what I'm saying, or are you so caught up in your hope that there is a ghost in the machine, that you cannot consider the possibility that we are stuck with determinism, which happens to be the only reason we can achieve peace on earth. God knew what he was doing. :wink:


How could you possibly know something like this beyond all doubt? You can't of course. We are all embedded in the gap between what we think we know now and all that we would need to know in order to grasp the totality of existence/reality.

It's just that, in some respects, science seems to be much closer to nailing that down. But they certainly haven't nailed down a solution to the conundrum that is dualism.

And the only "ghost" that interest me [here and now] is the one pertaining to...

1] Is there something [anything] analogous to the existence that I know now after I die?
2] Is there a way [sans God] to determine how I ought to live my life given the manner in which I construe dasein and conflicting goods?

All I am getting from you [thus far] is that this is embedded necessarily in immutable laws of matter embedded in the necessity of an unfolding design. And then a prediction about a "new world" which [to me] seems to be derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis.

iambiguous wrote: And over the decades/centuries our knowledge has veritably exploded. But what is our knowledge today compared to what we will know a hundred, a thousand years from now?

And I suspect that the methodology employed by folks like Richard Feynman and the neuroscientists will bring us a lot closer to the "objective truth" than the methology employed by folks like Lessans.


peacegirl wrote: That's a very dismissive thing to say. So what you are saying is that Lessans was not objective, which is far from the truth.


And this allows me [once again] to get off the hook by noting that, if what you tell me is true about my "will", I could not not have been dismissive here. Isn't that true?

iambiguous wrote: ....with the neuroscientists, who knows, their experiments may one day [a lot sooner] allow them to predict that X will do some complex task Y a week later. And then a week later X does Y in precisely the manner that the scientists predicted. That would sure help to persuade me to "give up the ghost".


peacegirl wrote: Good luck with that. :shock:


The point is it has little to do with luck. Instead, it involves the scientific pursuit of the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made by both "in tandem" re the existential realty of living our lives from day to day. Can it be known wholly, objectively if there is any measure of free will here?

And that takes me in turn to the questions I raise regarding conflicting goods. In that TED talk video you provided above, Sam Harris offers up his own analysis about the relationship between science and morality. But I don't buy all of his assumptions either.

iambiguous wrote:I am very, very different from the domino. What domino can engage in an exchange like this one? But: if everytime my fingers go up the keyboard and strike particular letters they do so only because they could not not do so, then I may just as well be that domino pertaining to the sequence of events that become my life. The domino is a part of a design that is a part of the design. Just as my own life must be.

And my life is no "gift" from the design. The design "gives" nothing. It just is.


peacegirl wrote: How do you know that? How do you know life itself isn't a gift from something beyond what you or I can understand?


Well, I don't know it beyond all doubt of course. But just as with those who insist that my life is a gift from God, if someone makes the claim that my life may be a "gift" from something not God but beyond that which I understand, then I will ask them to demonstrate more substantively what that might possibly mean.

And at least with God one can imagine an entity able to grant such a gift. But how does one even go about imagining it pertaining to the immutable laws of matter that you have invested in the "design".

And I still suspect that in some manner Lessans has not abandoned the idea/reality of God himself. Call it a hunch.

iambiguous wrote: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.


peacegirl wrote: I say this only to people who state that Lessans' observations are just assertions.


iambiguous wrote:What difference does that make? They are no less determined to state that, right? Is the effort one may or may not choose to expend in reading his work not also only what one must or must not expend?


peacegirl wrote: It makes a difference because I am trying to pinpoint where the problem lies. It is either a miscommunication or a misunderstanding because the discovery is valid and sound. This in no way contradicts my agreement with you that the extent to which anyone does understand it is only as they were ever able to understand it.


The "problem" would seem to lie in the fact that whether someone does or does not choose to read Lessans' book is really beyond their sovereign control in the sense that one understands this in a world where they are thought to be free to choose something like this.

Or if they do choose to read it but do not agree with it. This is something that can only be what it was always compelled to be given the necessity of matter to unfold only as it can

Which is basically just another way of saying it is not really a problem at all because nothing that unfolds other than as it must unfold can ever be deemed to have unfolded wrongly.
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 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:27 pm

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:...when neuroscientists explore the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made when both are intertwined/embodied in any particular individual, they acquire a wealth of hard data derived from, among other things, the fMRI technology they have at their disposal. They can show how an actual brain seems to function before and after a choice is being made.

Then it is only a matter of closing the gap between the laboratory and the far, far more complex correlation of variables out in the world of far, far more complex human interactions.

What does Lessans offer that is the equivalent of this? How was he not basically just observing people making their choices and then speculating "intellectually", "theoretically" as to what this might mean?


peacegirl wrote: He offers an answer that is absolutely undeniable. These observations are just as scientific as any MRI. In fact, there is nothing in the brain itself that can show that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction, just like we cannot understand the behavior of a plant by dissecting it. This takes observation. There are things that can be learned in a laboratory setting, but this does not negate Lessans' discovery.


You say this, and I don't doubt that you sincerely believe it. In your head.


Would you kindly stop saying that? It's not a belief in my head. #-o

iambiguous wrote:My point is only that you will almost certainly have a great deal of difficulty getting others to believe that it is true in their heads. Let alone in providing scientists with a methodology that would allow them to either verify or falsify his conclusions empirically and experimentally. All I still see is this prediction about the future that is predicated largely on accepting the validity of Lessans' argument.


Accepting the validity of Lessans' argument is obviously a necessary element. How else can we use an equation that is undeniable without accepting it? And the only way scientists will accept it is if they recognize the validity of his observations. Whether that will require more testing is yet to be known, but a true scientists does not throw out knowledge that, if correct, will revolutionize our world. They do whatever it takes to verify it.

iambiguous wrote:Matter evolving into mind only allows for us to speculate about it.


peacegirl wrote: So what. Whether we understand how mind evolved into matter or not has no influence on Lessans' observations. Can you at least grasp what I'm saying, or are you so caught up in your hope that there is a ghost in the machine, that you cannot consider the possibility that we are stuck with determinism, which happens to be the only reason we can achieve peace on earth. God knew what he was doing. :wink:


iambiguous wrote:How could you possibly know something like this beyond all doubt? You can't of course. We are all embedded in the gap between what we think we know now and all that we would need to know in order to grasp the totality of existence/reality.

It's just that, in some respects, science seems to be much closer to nailing that down. But they certainly haven't nailed down a solution to the conundrum that is dualism.


Dualism in regard to free will? There is no dualism. I know beyond all doubt that will is not free because I know Lessans' observations are accurate.

iambiguous wrote:And the only "ghost" that interest me [here and now] is the one pertaining to...

1] Is there something [anything] analogous to the existence that I know now after I die?
2] Is there a way [sans God] to determine how I ought to live my life given the manner in which I construe dasein and conflicting goods?

All I am getting from you [thus far] is that this is embedded necessarily in immutable laws of matter embedded in the necessity of an unfolding design. And then a prediction about a "new world" which [to me] seems to be derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis.


There is nothing circular about his analysis. You seem to completely ignore his proof that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction. This IS an immutable law. The other side of this equation is that nothing causes man to do anything against his will, which is his second principle. The conventional definition of determinism states that we are caused (or forced) to do what we do by external factors where we are just recipients (like a domino). That implies that something other than us (the designer) can make us do what we don't want because it was already predetermined as part of the design. This is the source of a lot of confusion. Thirdly, he describes how conscience works in a free will environment and why, in a no free will environment man cannot justify the same actions that heretofore he could have justified. This prevents the action, even though he is still under the auspices of determinism. We do not need free will to escape the natural unfolding of what must be, because embedded within this unfolding is a new way of living but it took centuries for us to get here.

iambiguous wrote: And over the decades/centuries our knowledge has veritably exploded. But what is our knowledge today compared to what we will know a hundred, a thousand years from now?

And I suspect that the methodology employed by folks like Richard Feynman and the neuroscientists will bring us a lot closer to the "objective truth" than the methology employed by folks like Lessans.


peacegirl wrote: That's a very dismissive thing to say. So what you are saying is that Lessans was not objective, which is far from the truth.


iambiguous wrote:And this allows me [once again] to get off the hook by noting that, if what you tell me is true about my "will", I could not not have been dismissive here. Isn't that true?


We know you're off the hook, so there's no point in repeating this over and over again as if you've made some kind of major revelation. :shock:

iambiguous wrote: ....with the neuroscientists, who knows, their experiments may one day [a lot sooner] allow them to predict that X will do some complex task Y a week later. And then a week later X does Y in precisely the manner that the scientists predicted. That would sure help to persuade me to "give up the ghost".


peacegirl wrote: Good luck with that.


iambiguous wrote:The point is it has little to do with luck. Instead, it involves the scientific pursuit of the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made by both "in tandem" re the existential realty of living our lives from day to day. Can it be known wholly, objectively if there is any measure of free will here?


Your words sound like intellectual contraptions that are all in your head. In fact, your words sound like psychobabble because of the very assumptions you are making regarding the mind and the brain as being two entities. If we can only go in one direction, where is there any room for free will? And if we are determined beings, how can we have free will when these two are mutually exclusive ideologies? Your reasoning leaves much to be desired.

iambiguous wrote:And that takes me in turn to the questions I raise regarding conflicting goods. In that TED talk video you provided above, Sam Harris offers up his own analysis about the relationship between science and morality. But I don't buy all of his assumptions either.


Sam Harris knows nothing about this discovery. I will say again that Lessans made no assumptions in regard to these principles and how they extend into real life. This is not theory.

iambiguous wrote:I am very, very different from the domino. What domino can engage in an exchange like this one? But: if everytime my fingers go up the keyboard and strike particular letters they do so only because they could not not do so, then I may just as well be that domino pertaining to the sequence of events that become my life. The domino is a part of a design that is a part of the design. Just as my own life must be.

And my life is no "gift" from the design. The design "gives" nothing. It just is.


peacegirl wrote: How do you know that? How do you know life itself isn't a gift from something beyond what you or I can understand?


iambiguous wrote:Well, I don't know it beyond all doubt of course. But just as with those who insist that my life is a gift from God, if someone makes the claim that my life may be a "gift" from something not God but beyond that which I understand, then I will ask them to demonstrate more substantively what that might possibly mean.

And at least with God one can imagine an entity able to grant such a gift. But how does one even go about imagining it pertaining to the immutable laws of matter that you have invested in the "design".

And I still suspect that in some manner Lessans has not abandoned the idea/reality of God himself. Call it a hunch.


Throughout the whole book he mentions the word God. So your suspicion is correct. How you interpret that is up to you.

Decline and Fall of All Evil: Chapter Two: The Two-Sided Equation

p. 61 By now I hope you
understand that the word God is a symbol for the source of everything
that exists, whereas theology draws a line between good and evil using
the word God only as a symbol for the former. Actually no one gave
me this slide rule, that is, no one handed it to me, but the same force
that gave birth to my body and brain compelled me to move in the
direction of satisfaction and for me to be satisfied after reading Will
Durant’s analysis of free will it was necessary to disagree with what
obviously was the reasoning of logic, not mathematics. I was not
satisfied, which forced me to get rid of my dissatisfaction by proving
that this philosopher did not know whereof he spoke. To say that God
made me do this is equivalent to saying I was compelled, by my
nature, to move in this direction of greater satisfaction, which is
absolutely true.

Definitions mean absolutely nothing where reality is
concerned. Regardless of what words I use to describe the sun;
regardless of how much there is I don’t know about this ball of fire
does not negate the fact that it is a part of the real world, and
regardless of what words I employ to describe God does not change the
fact that He is a reality. You may ask, “But isn’t there quite a
difference between seeing the sun and seeing God? I know that the
description of the sun could be inaccurate, but I know it is a part of
the real world. However, we cannot point to any particular thing and
say this is God, therefore we must assume because of certain things
that God is a reality, correct?”

We assumed energy was contained within the atom until a
discovery was made that proved this, and we also assumed or believed
that there was a design to this universe by the fact that the solar
system moves in such mathematical harmony. Did the sun, moon,
earth, planets and stars just fall into perfect order, or is there some
internal urgency pushing everything in a particular direction? Now
that it has been discovered that man’s will is not free and at the very
moment this discovery is made a mathematical demonstration
compels man to veer sharply in a new direction although still towards
greater satisfaction, then it can be seen just as clearly as we see the sun
that the mankind system has always been just as harmonious as the
solar system only we never knew it because part of the harmony was
this disharmony between man and man which is now being
permanently removed. This discovery also reveals that God is a
mathematical, undeniable reality. This means, to put it another way,
that Man Does Not Stand Alone. Therefore, to say God is good is a
true observation for nothing in this universe when seen in total
perspective is evil since each individual must choose what is better for
himself, even if that choice hurts another as a consequence.

Every human being is and has been obeying God’s will —
Spinoza, his sister, Nageli, Durant, Mendel, Christ and even those
who nailed him to the cross; but God has a secret plan that is going
to shock all mankind due to the revolutionary changes that must
come about for his benefit. This new world is coming into existence
not because of my will, not because I made a discovery (sooner or later
it had to be found because the knowledge of what it means that man’s
will is not free is a definite part of reality), but only because we are
compelled to obey the laws of our nature.


iambiguous wrote: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.


peacegirl wrote: I say this only to people who state that Lessans' observations are just assertions.


iambiguous wrote:What difference does that make? They are no less determined to state that, right? Is the effort one may or may not choose to expend in reading his work not also only what one must or must not expend?


peacegirl wrote: It makes a difference because I am trying to pinpoint where the problem lies. It is either a miscommunication or a misunderstanding because the discovery is valid and sound. This in no way contradicts my agreement with you that the extent to which anyone does understand it is only as they were ever able to understand it.


iambiguous wrote:The "problem" would seem to lie in the fact that whether someone does or does not choose to read Lessans' book is really beyond their sovereign control in the sense that one understands this in a world where they are thought to be free to choose something like this.

Or if they do choose to read it but do not agree with it. This is something that can only be what it was always compelled to be given the necessity of matter to unfold only as it can

Which is basically just another way of saying it is not really a problem at all because nothing that unfolds other than as it must unfold can ever be deemed to have unfolded wrongly.


That is true, but just as we continue to discover new things as part of the unfolding universal design, so too will this discovery be part of this unfolding in time. The problem [as I see it] is that you still have doubts about this discovery which compels you to say what you say. If you had no doubt, you wouldn't keep alluding to the fact that people may or may not choose to read it. That is understood already, just as some people did or did not choose to read Einstein or Edison. The fact that some people did not choose to read Einstein or Edison did not take away from the fact that those who DID take the time and DID choose to learn more eventually helped to get these important discoveries confirmed by science.
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 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:50 pm

peacegirl wrote: He offers an answer that is absolutely undeniable. These observations are just as scientific as any MRI. In fact, there is nothing in the brain itself that can show that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction, just like we cannot understand the behavior of a plant by dissecting it. This takes observation. There are things that can be learned in a laboratory setting, but this does not negate Lessans' discovery.


iambiguous wrote: You say this, and I don't doubt that you sincerely believe it. In your head.


peacegirl wrote: Would you kindly stop saying that? It's not a belief in my head. #-o


I'm sorry but that is the distinction I always make. Pertaining to both your posts and to my posts. And, for that matter, to all posts.

We all believe many different things here, right? Many conflicting and contradictory things. And where do these beliefs reside if not in our heads?

But: To what extent are we able to demonstrate that what we do believe "in our heads" is in fact objectively true for all rational human beings?

iambiguous wrote: My point is only that you will almost certainly have a great deal of difficulty getting others to believe that it is true in their heads. Let alone in providing scientists with a methodology that would allow them to either verify or falsify his conclusions empirically and experimentally. All I still see is this prediction about the future that is predicated largely on accepting the validity of Lessans' argument.


peacegirl wrote: Accepting the validity of Lessans' argument is obviously a necessary element. How else can we use an equation that is undeniable without accepting it? And the only way scientists will accept it is if they recognize the validity of his observations. Whether that will require more testing is yet to be known, but a true scientists does not throw out knowledge that, if correct, will revolutionize our world. They do whatever it takes to verify it.


What is this [for all practical purposes] other than you insisting [yet again] that accepting the argument Lessans makes is the only viable place to start?

But: In what ways can scientists test his observations empirically and experimentally? You eschew this part [in my opinion] because there really isn't much to his argument in this regard.

Here [from my frame of mind] is your argument in a nutshell:

peacegirl wrote: Dualism in regard to free will? There is no dualism. I know beyond all doubt that will is not free because I know Lessans' observations are accurate.


You know this beyond all doubt. But what about the rest of us?

iambiguous wrote:And the only "ghost" that interest me [here and now] is the one pertaining to...

1] Is there something [anything] analogous to the existence that I know now after I die?
2] Is there a way [sans God] to determine how I ought to live my life given the manner in which I construe dasein and conflicting goods?

All I am getting from you [thus far] is that this is embedded necessarily in immutable laws of matter embedded in the necessity of an unfolding design. And then a prediction about a "new world" which [to me] seems to be derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis.


peacegirl wrote: There is nothing circular about his analysis. You seem to completely ignore his proof that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction. This IS an immutable law.


And then I note the manner in which conflicting goods can accommodate conflicting satisfactions. And then the only way you make that go away in the "new world" is to posit a necessary relationship between Lessans' discovery, the new "univesal consciousness", the agreement folks sign to become citizens and the inherent disintegration of blame and punishment in this new world.

But, please, at least admit that for now this "new world" does in fact exist only "in your head". And in Lessans' books.

peacegirl wrote: The other side of this equation is that nothing causes man to do anything against his will, which is his second principle.


But only because his will is as it must be. Since we and the design are of a whole -- i.e. we are all "at one with existence" -- it is absurd to even speak of anything "external" to it. But the bottom line always remains the same. Reality [however one wishes to define it] is always a necessary component of existence is always a necessary component of the laws of matter.

I type, you read. You type, I read. In the only possible configuration of reality here there can ever be.

iambiguous wrote: And over the decades/centuries our knowledge has veritably exploded. But what is our knowledge today compared to what we will know a hundred, a thousand years from now?


peacegirl wrote: That's a very dismissive thing to say. So what you are saying is that Lessans was not objective, which is far from the truth.


iambiguous wrote:And this allows me [once again] to get off the hook by noting that, if what you tell me is true about my "will", I could not not have been dismissive here. Isn't that true?


peacegirl wrote: We know you're off the hook, so there's no point in repeating this over and over again as if you've made some kind of major revelation. :shock:


Then lets just agree that, for all practical purposes, we construe the implications of this in very different ways. In my view, we are always off the hook in a determined world and only to the extent that we have free will is the hook then back in play.

iambiguous wrote: ....with the neuroscientists, who knows, their experiments may one day [a lot sooner] allow them to predict that X will do some complex task Y a week later. And then a week later X does Y in precisely the manner that the scientists predicted. That would sure help to persuade me to "give up the ghost".


peacegirl wrote: Good luck with that.


iambiguous wrote:The point is it has little to do with luck. Instead, it involves the scientific pursuit of the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made by both "in tandem" re the existential realty of living our lives from day to day. Can it be known wholly, objectively if there is any measure of free will here?


peacegirl wrote: Your words sound like intellectual contraptions that are all in your head. In fact, your words sound like psychobabble because of the very assumptions you are making regarding the mind and the brain as being two entities.


But I am always willing to bring the manner in which I construe the choices that we make down to earth. In fact, I often situate those choices precisely in the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting good, political economy, the limitations of logic/language, my dilemma pertaining to conflicting value judgments, etc.

iambiguous wrote:And my life is no "gift" from the design. The design "gives" nothing. It just is.


peacegirl wrote: How do you know that? How do you know life itself isn't a gift from something beyond what you or I can understand?


iambiguous wrote:Well, I don't know it beyond all doubt of course. But just as with those who insist that my life is a gift from God, if someone makes the claim that my life may be a "gift" from something not God but beyond that which I understand, then I will ask them to demonstrate more substantively what that might possibly mean.

And at least with God one can imagine an entity able to grant such a gift. But how does one even go about imagining it pertaining to the immutable laws of matter that you have invested in the "design".

And I still suspect that in some manner Lessans has not abandoned the idea/reality of God himself. Call it a hunch.


peacegirl wrote: Throughout the whole book he mentions the word God. So your suspicion is correct. How you interpret that is up to you.


How I interpret it is that, when push comes to shove, his philosophy here may well just be one more religious narrative in disguise. Then it comes down to which God. The God of Abraham and Moses?

He argues that:

Every human being is and has been obeying God’s will —Spinoza, his sister, Nageli, Durant, Mendel, Christ and even those who nailed him to the cross; but God has a secret plan that is going to shock all mankind due to the revolutionary changes that must come about for his benefit. This new world is coming into existence not because of my will, not because I made a discovery (sooner or later it had to be found because the knowledge of what it means that man’s will is not free is a definite part of reality), but only because we are compelled to obey the laws of our nature.

You tell me: How is this not just one more assertion? How does he go about substantively taking this belief "out of his head" and demonstrating how and why I and others should believe that, in fact, this is true objectively?

peacegirl wrote: I say this only to people who state that Lessans' observations are just assertions.


iambiguous wrote:What difference does that make? They are no less determined to state that, right? Is the effort one may or may not choose to expend in reading his work not also only what one must or must not expend?


peacegirl wrote: It makes a difference because I am trying to pinpoint where the problem lies. It is either a miscommunication or a misunderstanding because the discovery is valid and sound. This in no way contradicts my agreement with you that the extent to which anyone does understand it is only as they were ever able to understand it.


iambiguous wrote:The "problem" would seem to lie in the fact that whether someone does or does not choose to read Lessans' book is really beyond their sovereign control in the sense that one understands this in a world where they are thought to be free to choose something like this.

Or if they do choose to read it but do not agree with it. This is something that can only be what it was always compelled to be given the necessity of matter to unfold only as it can

Which is basically just another way of saying it is not really a problem at all because nothing that unfolds other than as it must unfold can ever be deemed to have unfolded wrongly.


peacegirl wrote: That is true, but just as we continue to discover new things as part of the unfolding universal design, so too will this discovery be part of this unfolding in time. The problem [as I see it] is that you still have doubts about this discovery which compels you to say what you say. If you had no doubt, you wouldn't keep alluding to the fact that people may or may not choose to read it. That is understood already, just as some people did or did not choose to read Einstein or Edison. The fact that some people did not choose to read Einstein or Edison did not take away from the fact that those who DID take the time and DID choose to learn more eventually helped to get these important discoveries confirmed by science.


All I can note again then is this: What difference does any of it make if this sequence of events reflects the only possible sequence of events? I have doubts because I must have doubts. Those doubts will dissipate or go away only because they could not not have dissipated or gone away.

Nothing changes -- nothing changes ever. Why? Because nothing ever can change the course of an unfolding future wholly in sync with the laws of matter.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:08 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote: He offers an answer that is absolutely undeniable. These observations are just as scientific as any MRI. In fact, there is nothing in the brain itself that can show that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction, just like we cannot understand the behavior of a plant by dissecting it. This takes observation. There are things that can be learned in a laboratory setting, but this does not negate Lessans' discovery.


iambiguous wrote: You say this, and I don't doubt that you sincerely believe it. In your head.


peacegirl wrote: Would you kindly stop saying that? It's not a belief in my head. #-o


I'm sorry but that is the distinction I always make. Pertaining to both your posts and to my posts. And, for that matter, to all posts.

We all believe many different things here, right? Many conflicting and contradictory things. And where do these beliefs reside if not in our heads?

But: To what extent are we able to demonstrate that what we do believe "in our heads" is in fact objectively true for all rational human beings?


I understand your point. That's why I would appreciate it if you would stop saying that this is in my head because you are implying that what he demonstrated was no more than an assumption, which is completely false. I know I can't stop you from saying this, but I would hope that you would do this [of your own free will] because you know it bothers me.

iambiguous wrote: My point is only that you will almost certainly have a great deal of difficulty getting others to believe that it is true in their heads. Let alone in providing scientists with a methodology that would allow them to either verify or falsify his conclusions empirically and experimentally. All I still see is this prediction about the future that is predicated largely on accepting the validity of Lessans' argument.


peacegirl wrote: Accepting the validity of Lessans' argument is obviously a necessary element. How else can we use an equation that is undeniable without accepting it? And the only way scientists will accept it is if they recognize the validity of his observations. Whether that will require more testing is yet to be known, but a true scientists does not throw out knowledge that, if correct, will revolutionize our world. They do whatever it takes to verify it.


iambiguous wrote:What is this [for all practical purposes] other than you insisting [yet again] that accepting the argument Lessans makes is the only viable place to start?

But: In what ways can scientists test his observations empirically and experimentally? You eschew this part [in my opinion] because there really isn't much to his argument in this regard.

Here [from my frame of mind] is your argument in a nutshell:

peacegirl wrote: Dualism in regard to free will? There is no dualism. I know beyond all doubt that will is not free because I know Lessans' observations are accurate.


You know this beyond all doubt. But what about the rest of us?


He has demonstrated without question why man's will is not free, but you won't accept it because you want to believe that there may be a little bit of free will somewhere, somehow, if only scientists can find it. And btw that is not my argument in a nutshell. =;

iambiguous wrote:And the only "ghost" that interest me [here and now] is the one pertaining to...

1] Is there something [anything] analogous to the existence that I know now after I die?
2] Is there a way [sans God] to determine how I ought to live my life given the manner in which I construe dasein and conflicting goods?

All I am getting from you [thus far] is that this is embedded necessarily in immutable laws of matter embedded in the necessity of an unfolding design. And then a prediction about a "new world" which [to me] seems to be derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis.


Before I even answer you, what are you talking about when you say it seems to you that these principles are derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis? What circular logic are you referring to?

peacegirl wrote: There is nothing circular about his analysis. You seem to completely ignore his proof that we move in the direction of greater satisfaction. This IS an immutable law.


iambiguous wrote:And then I note the manner in which conflicting goods can accommodate conflicting satisfactions. And then the only way you make that go away in the "new world" is to posit a necessary relationship between Lessans' discovery, the new "univesal consciousness", the agreement folks sign to become citizens and the inherent disintegration of blame and punishment in this new world.

But, please, at least admit that for now this "new world" does in fact exist only "in your head". And in Lessans' books.


Obviously the new world is not here yet but this has nothing to do with the potentiality of the new world based on an immutable law of nature. All you are doing is questioning how all the conflicting values politically and economically can be reconciled in such a way that everyone will be satisfied. I've asked you why you refuse to read the book. You don't have $4.99 to spare? I don't know if you have kindle or not, but if you do, then you can buy the book and learn how the economic system will be set up in such a way that it will be to everyone's satisfaction.

peacegirl wrote: The other side of this equation is that nothing causes man to do anything against his will, which is his second principle.


iambiguous wrote:But only because his will is as it must be. Since we and the design are of a whole -- i.e. we are all "at one with existence" -- it is absurd to even speak of anything "external" to it. But the bottom line always remains the same. Reality [however one wishes to define it] is always a necessary component of existence is always a necessary component of the laws of matter.

I type, you read. You type, I read. In the only possible configuration of reality here there can ever be.


It is necessary that I clarify the meaning of determinism because many people believe that if will is not free we are caused to do what we do. If we are caused to do what we do, then something other than us is causing us to do what we do. That's why this principle is so important for clarification since NOTHING can cause us to do what we do IF we don't want to do it. This leads into his two-sided equation but if people can't accept these two principles, I can't move forward.

iambiguous wrote: And over the decades/centuries our knowledge has veritably exploded. But what is our knowledge today compared to what we will know a hundred, a thousand years from now?


peacegirl wrote: That's a very dismissive thing to say. So what you are saying is that Lessans was not objective, which is far from the truth.


iambiguous wrote:And this allows me [once again] to get off the hook by noting that, if what you tell me is true about my "will", I could not not have been dismissive here. Isn't that true?


peacegirl wrote: We know you're off the hook, so there's no point in repeating this over and over again as if you've made some kind of major revelation. :shock:


iambiguous wrote:Then lets just agree that, for all practical purposes, we construe the implications of this in very different ways. In my view, we are always off the hook in a determined world and only to the extent that we have free will is the hook then back in play.


You ARE off the hook. This is huge because your will is not free, therefore as we extend the principle (which no philosophers have done because they could not get beyond the implications), we have to begin where they left off. Therefore, we have to see where these principles lead. Most philosophers could not understand how we can stop blaming people who hurt us. Additionally, it is believed that excusing people will cause them to become even less responsible for their actions, both of which are not true.

iambiguous wrote: ....with the neuroscientists, who knows, their experiments may one day [a lot sooner] allow them to predict that X will do some complex task Y a week later. And then a week later X does Y in precisely the manner that the scientists predicted. That would sure help to persuade me to "give up the ghost".


peacegirl wrote: Good luck with that.


iambiguous wrote:The point is it has little to do with luck. Instead, it involves the scientific pursuit of the relationship between the human brain, the human mind and the choices that are made by both "in tandem" re the existential realty of living our lives from day to day. Can it be known wholly, objectively if there is any measure of free will here?


peacegirl wrote: Your words sound like intellectual contraptions that are all in your head. In fact, your words sound like psychobabble because of the very assumptions you are making regarding the mind and the brain as being two entities.


iambiguous wrote:But I am always willing to bring the manner in which I construe the choices that we make down to earth. In fact, I often situate those choices precisely in the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting good, political economy, the limitations of logic/language, my dilemma pertaining to conflicting value judgments, etc.


But free will is not going to come to the rescue. This is your intellectual contraption because it has no basis in reality; it's only a dream in your head. This is a far cry from Lessans' demonstration which does have a basis in reality.

iambiguous wrote:And my life is no "gift" from the design. The design "gives" nothing. It just is.


peacegirl wrote: How do you know that? How do you know life itself isn't a gift from something beyond what you or I can understand?


iambiguous wrote:Well, I don't know it beyond all doubt of course. But just as with those who insist that my life is a gift from God, if someone makes the claim that my life may be a "gift" from something not God but beyond that which I understand, then I will ask them to demonstrate more substantively what that might possibly mean.

And at least with God one can imagine an entity able to grant such a gift. But how does one even go about imagining it pertaining to the immutable laws of matter that you have invested in the "design".

And I still suspect that in some manner Lessans has not abandoned the idea/reality of God himself. Call it a hunch.


peacegirl wrote: Throughout the whole book he mentions the word God. So your suspicion is correct. How you interpret that is up to you.


iambiguous wrote:How I interpret it is that, when push comes to shove, his philosophy here may well just be one more religious narrative in disguise. Then it comes down to which God. The God of Abraham and Moses?

He argues that:

Every human being is and has been obeying God’s will —Spinoza, his sister, Nageli, Durant, Mendel, Christ and even those who nailed him to the cross; but God has a secret plan that is going to shock all mankind due to the revolutionary changes that must come about for his benefit. This new world is coming into existence not because of my will, not because I made a discovery (sooner or later it had to be found because the knowledge of what it means that man’s will is not free is a definite part of reality), but only because we are compelled to obey the laws of our nature.

You tell me: How is this not just one more assertion? How does he go about substantively taking this belief "out of his head" and demonstrating how and why I and others should believe that, in fact, this is true objectively?


He does it through demonstration and example.

peacegirl wrote: I say this only to people who state that Lessans' observations are just assertions.


iambiguous wrote:What difference does that make? They are no less determined to state that, right? Is the effort one may or may not choose to expend in reading his work not also only what one must or must not expend?


peacegirl wrote: It makes a difference because I am trying to pinpoint where the problem lies. It is either a miscommunication or a misunderstanding because the discovery is valid and sound. This in no way contradicts my agreement with you that the extent to which anyone does understand it is only as they were ever able to understand it.


iambiguous wrote:The "problem" would seem to lie in the fact that whether someone does or does not choose to read Lessans' book is really beyond their sovereign control in the sense that one understands this in a world where they are thought to be free to choose something like this.

Or if they do choose to read it but do not agree with it. This is something that can only be what it was always compelled to be given the necessity of matter to unfold only as it can

Which is basically just another way of saying it is not really a problem at all because nothing that unfolds other than as it must unfold can ever be deemed to have unfolded wrongly.


peacegirl wrote: That is true, but just as we continue to discover new things as part of the unfolding universal design, so too will this discovery be part of this unfolding in time. The problem [as I see it] is that you still have doubts about this discovery which compels you to say what you say. If you had no doubt, you wouldn't keep alluding to the fact that people may or may not choose to read it. That is understood already, just as some people did or did not choose to read Einstein or Edison. The fact that some people did not choose to read Einstein or Edison did not take away from the fact that those who DID take the time and DID choose to learn more eventually helped to get these important discoveries confirmed by science.


iambiguous wrote:All I can note again then is this: What difference does any of it make if this sequence of events reflects the only possible sequence of events? I have doubts because I must have doubts. Those doubts will dissipate or go away only because they could not not have dissipated or gone away.

Nothing changes -- nothing changes ever. Why? Because nothing ever can change the course of an unfolding future wholly in sync with the laws of matter.


It is very true that nothing changes in regard to determinism. Everything unfolds and is in sync with this immutable law of nature, and there is no escape from it (which is a good thing), but it is false that nothing changes. Everything changes once these principles are understood and put into effect, so much so that our world will be unrecognizable as the dream of peace on earth comes to fruition.
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 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:32 pm

peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
We all believe many different things here, right? Many conflicting and contradictory things. And where do these beliefs reside if not in our heads?

But: To what extent are we able to demonstrate that what we do believe "in our heads" is in fact objectively true for all rational human beings?


I understand your point. That's why I would appreciate it if you would stop saying that this is in my head because you are implying that what he demonstrated was no more than an assumption, which is completely false. I know I can't stop you from saying this, but I would hope that you would do this [of your own free will] because you know it bothers me.


To the extent that others are not able to test and then to replicate Lessans' predictions about the new world other than by agreeing with his analysis/argument, is the extent to which I see his beliefs as residing largely in his head.

After all, if you are going to convince others that his argument is empirically/experientially sound, you must provide them with a methodology to test it.

And, yes, in asking me to consider not predicating my own point here on this rather crucial assumption that I make, you are forced to assume that it is within my power to freely choose not to.

And this is the part of you that, in my view, is able to grasp what being trapped in an immutable, mechanistic design is really all about. You want me to do something that I am not able freely to do. After all, I'm trapped in it too, aren't I?


iambiguous wrote:...the only "ghost" that interest me [here and now] is the one pertaining to...

1] Is there something [anything] analogous to the existence that I know now after I die?
2] Is there a way [sans God] to determine how I ought to live my life given the manner in which I construe dasein and conflicting goods?

All I am getting from you [thus far] is that this is embedded necessarily in immutable laws of matter embedded in the necessity of an unfolding design. And then a prediction about a "new world" which [to me] seems to be derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis.


peacegirl wrote: Before I even answer you, what are you talking about when you say it seems to you that these principles are derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis? What circular logic are you referring to?


There's the world we live in now. And it is bursting at the seams with blame and punishment. Why? Because most of us believe that both revolve around the assumption we are free to choose our behaviors.

Then Lessans comes around with his disovery that we are not free at all. Furthermore, because of the manner in which he interprets the meaning of this, he embraces principles which, someday, everyone will embrace in turn. And on that day, blame and punishment will cease to exist. Or it will be confined only to those who refuse to become a citizen in a new world now awash in the utopian enlightenment of "universal consciousness".

From my perspective then the circle revolves around this:

1] Lessans must predict the new world
2] the new world must come about because Lessans must predict it

Unless and until you are able to devise an empirical framework from which to test/replicate his argument, we have only the argument itself to fall back on. And all arguments such as these are comprised of assumptions. I know that mine is.

As I point out:

iambiguous wrote:And then I note the manner in which conflicting goods can accommodate conflicting satisfactions. And then the only way you make that go away in the "new world" is to posit a necessary relationship between Lessans' discovery, the new "univesal consciousness", the agreement folks sign to become citizens and the inherent disintegration of blame and punishment in this new world.

But, please, at least admit that for now this "new world" does in fact exist only "in your head". And in Lessans' books.


peacegirl wrote: Obviously the new world is not here yet but this has nothing to do with the potentiality of the new world based on an immutable law of nature. All you are doing is questioning how all the conflicting values politically and economically can be reconciled in such a way that everyone will be satisfied. I've asked you why you refuse to read the book. You don't have $4.99 to spare? I don't know if you have kindle or not, but if you do, then you can buy the book and learn how the economic system will be set up in such a way that it will be to everyone's satisfaction.


All I am doing is asking you how Lessans' discovery obviates the points I raise regarding conflicting satisfactions that revolve around conflicting goods that revolve around the assumption that we blame and punish others for impeding our own satisfaction because we make the further assumption that they were free to choose not to.

And it is not the $4.99 that is at stake here. It is my time. As I have explained a number of times above.

peacegirl wrote: The other side of this equation is that nothing causes man to do anything against his will, which is his second principle.


iambiguous wrote:But only because his will is as it must be. Since we and the design are of a whole -- i.e. we are all "at one with existence" -- it is absurd to even speak of anything "external" to it. But the bottom line always remains the same. Reality [however one wishes to define it] is always a necessary component of existence is always a necessary component of the laws of matter.

I type, you read. You type, I read. In the only possible configuration of reality here there can ever be.


peacegirl wrote: It is necessary that I clarify the meaning of determinism because many people believe that if will is not free we are caused to do what we do. If we are caused to do what we do, then something other than us is causing us to do what we do. That's why this principle is so important for clarification since NOTHING can cause us to do what we do IF we don't want to do it. This leads into his two-sided equation but if people can't accept these two principles, I can't move forward.


I still fail to see how this clarification rebuts the point I made. There may be nothing "external" to existence/reality causing me to behave as I do, but in being an integral/necessary part of existence/reality, I am ever compelled to do only as I must.

And that takes me back to, "I type this/you read this in the only possible configuration of existence/reality here there can ever be."

peacegirl wrote: We know you're off the hook, so there's no point in repeating this over and over again as if you've made some kind of major revelation. :shock:


iambiguous wrote:Then lets just agree that, for all practical purposes, we construe the implications of this in very different ways. In my view, we are always off the hook in a determined world and only to the extent that we have free will is the hook then back in play.


peacegirl wrote: You ARE off the hook. This is huge because your will is not free, therefore as we extend the principle (which no philosophers have done because they could not get beyond the implications), we have to begin where they left off. Therefore, we have to see where these principles lead. Most philosophers could not understand how we can stop blaming people who hurt us. Additionally, it is believed that excusing people will cause them to become even less responsible for their actions, both of which are not true.


None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.

peacegirl wrote: Your words sound like intellectual contraptions that are all in your head. In fact, your words sound like psychobabble because of the very assumptions you are making regarding the mind and the brain as being two entities.


iambiguous wrote:But I am always willing to bring the manner in which I construe the choices that we make down to earth. In fact, I often situate those choices precisely in the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting good, political economy, the limitations of logic/language, my dilemma pertaining to conflicting value judgments, etc.


peacegirl wrote: But free will is not going to come to the rescue. This is your intellectual contraption because it has no basis in reality; it's only a dream in your head. This is a far cry from Lessans' demonstration which does have a basis in reality.


As I have noted over and again, my own speculation about free will here is indeed predicated largely on the assumption that in some manner "mindful matter" has acquired the capacity to make free choices. I can't demonstrate it myself and the scientific community seems considerably less inclined to go along. But there is still that gap between what we think we know now about it and all that would need to be known in order to pin the truth to the mat objectively.

Read this for example: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... will/?_r=0

In fact, my main focus here instead is often in grappling with the practical implications of living in in a wholly determined world from the perspective of acquiring an identity...or in dealing with conflicting behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments. What can "moral responsibility" mean in a wholly determined world?

peacegirl wrote: How do you know that? How do you know life itself isn't a gift from something beyond what you or I can understand?


iambiguous wrote:Well, I don't know it beyond all doubt of course. But just as with those who insist that my life is a gift from God, if someone makes the claim that my life may be a "gift" from something not God but beyond that which I understand, then I will ask them to demonstrate more substantively what that might possibly mean.

And at least with God one can imagine an entity able to grant such a gift. But how does one even go about imagining it pertaining to the immutable laws of matter that you have invested in the "design".

And I still suspect that in some manner Lessans has not abandoned the idea/reality of God himself. Call it a hunch.


peacegirl wrote: Throughout the whole book he mentions the word God. So your suspicion is correct. How you interpret that is up to you.


iambiguous wrote:How I interpret it is that, when push comes to shove, his philosophy here may well just be one more religious narrative in disguise. Then it comes down to which God. The God of Abraham and Moses?

He argues that:

Every human being is and has been obeying God’s will —Spinoza, his sister, Nageli, Durant, Mendel, Christ and even those who nailed him to the cross; but God has a secret plan that is going to shock all mankind due to the revolutionary changes that must come about for his benefit. This new world is coming into existence not because of my will, not because I made a discovery (sooner or later it had to be found because the knowledge of what it means that man’s will is not free is a definite part of reality), but only because we are compelled to obey the laws of our nature.

You tell me: How is this not just one more assertion? How does he go about substantively taking this belief "out of his head" and demonstrating how and why I and others should believe that, in fact, this is true objectively?


peacegirl wrote: He does it through demonstration and example.


How? How does he demonstrate any of what he asserts?

peacegirl wrote: The problem [as I see it] is that you still have doubts about this discovery which compels you to say what you say. If you had no doubt, you wouldn't keep alluding to the fact that people may or may not choose to read it. That is understood already, just as some people did or did not choose to read Einstein or Edison. The fact that some people did not choose to read Einstein or Edison did not take away from the fact that those who DID take the time and DID choose to learn more eventually helped to get these important discoveries confirmed by science.


iambiguous wrote:All I can note again then is this: What difference does any of it make if this sequence of events reflects the only possible sequence of events? I have doubts because I must have doubts. Those doubts will dissipate or go away only because they could not not have dissipated or gone away.

Nothing changes -- nothing changes ever. Why? Because nothing ever can change the course of an unfolding future wholly in sync with the laws of matter.


peacegirl wrote: It is very true that nothing changes in regard to determinism. Everything unfolds and is in sync with this immutable law of nature, and there is no escape from it (which is a good thing), but it is false that nothing changes. Everything changes once these principles are understood and put into effect, so much so that our world will be unrecognizable as the dream of peace on earth comes to fruition.


What I meant of course is that nothing changes other than in the manner in which it must change. Including everything that we will ever think, feel and do.

And that's a good thing if you don't want to be held responsible for doing the wrong thing in a world where everything we do is necessarily the right thing because it is in fact the only thing that we could have done.

And, sure, I can understand how and why that might comfort and console some. And, indeed, there are any number of times in which I would like it to comfort and console me.

And, perhaps, it is my destiny to be so comforted and consoled. Perhaps [per the design] that's the whole point of this exchange.
Or, perhaps, the point is instead to yank them out from under you.
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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iambiguous
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:21 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
We all believe many different things here, right? Many conflicting and contradictory things. And where do these beliefs reside if not in our heads?

But: To what extent are we able to demonstrate that what we do believe "in our heads" is in fact objectively true for all rational human beings?


I understand your point. That's why I would appreciate it if you would stop saying that this is in my head because you are implying that what he demonstrated was no more than an assumption, which is completely false. I know I can't stop you from saying this, but I would hope that you would do this [of your own free will] because you know it bothers me.


To the extent that others are not able to test and then to replicate Lessans' predictions about the new world other than by agreeing with his analysis/argument, is the extent to which I see his beliefs as residing largely in his head.


If that's all you think this is, then why are you here? There are probably more interesting threads you can engage in.

iambiguous wrote:After all, if you are going to convince others that his argument is empirically/experientially sound, you must provide them with a methodology to test it.

And, yes, in asking me to consider not predicating my own point here on this rather crucial assumption that I make, you are forced to assume that it is within my power to freely choose not to.


Of course it is within your power to "freely" (which only means of your own desire) choose not to, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. If that's NOT what you want, then you will not choose it.

iambiguous wrote:And this is the part of you that, in my view, is able to grasp what being trapped in an immutable, mechanistic design is really all about. You want me to do something that I am not able freely to do. After all, I'm trapped in it too, aren't I?


I do not consider it trapped just because we are under the control of determinism. You are able to choose "freely" (without physical constraint) what you prefer to choose. Nothing is stopping you from choosing A over B or B over A except for your preference. I don't consider my understanding of determinism to be mechanistic in the same way you do.

iambiguous wrote:...the only "ghost" that interest me [here and now] is the one pertaining to...

1] Is there something [anything] analogous to the existence that I know now after I die?
2] Is there a way [sans God] to determine how I ought to live my life given the manner in which I construe dasein and conflicting goods?

All I am getting from you [thus far] is that this is embedded necessarily in immutable laws of matter embedded in the necessity of an unfolding design. And then a prediction about a "new world" which [to me] seems to be derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis.


peacegirl wrote: Before I even answer you, what are you talking about when you say it seems to you that these principles are derived by and large from the internal/circular logic embedded in an analysis? What circular logic are you referring to?


iambiguous wrote:There's the world we live in now. And it is bursting at the seams with blame and punishment. Why? Because most of us believe that both revolve around the assumption we are free to choose our behaviors.


Don't you think I know that iambiguous?---the fact that people blame because they believe will is free? Your responses show me how little you understand these principles which are undeniable. Do you think you would use the excuse that you don't have the time to read the book if you knew it actually was a genuine discovery? Of course not. :-$

Decline and Fall of All Evil: Chapter One: The Hiding Place

p. 27 The belief
in free will was compelled to come about as a corollary of evil for not
only was it impossible to hold God responsible for man’s deliberate
crimes, but primarily because it was impossible for man to solve his
problems without blame and punishment which required the
justification of this belief in order to absolve his conscience.
Therefore, it was assumed that man did not have to do what he did
because he was endowed with a special faculty which allowed him to
choose between good and evil. In other words, if you were called upon
to pass judgment on someone by sentencing him to death, could you
do it if you knew his will was not free? To punish him in any way you
would have to believe that he was free to choose another alternative
than the one for which he was being judged; that he was not compelled
by laws over which he had no control. Man was given no choice but
to think this way and that is why our civilization developed the
principle of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ and why my
discovery was never found.

No one could ever get beyond this point
because if man’s will is not free it becomes absolutely impossible to
hold him responsible for anything he does. Well, is it any wonder the
solution was never found if it lies beyond this point? How is it
possible not to blame people for committing murder, rape, for stealing
and the wholesale slaughter of millions? Does this mean that we are
supposed to condone these evils, and wouldn’t man become even less
responsible if there were no laws of punishment to control his nature?
Doesn’t our history show that if something is desired badly enough he
will go to any lengths to satisfy himself, even pounce down on other
nations with talons or tons of steel? What is it that prevents the poor
from walking into stores and taking what they need if not the fear of
punishment? The belief that will is not free strikes at the very heart
of our present civilization.

Right at this point lies the crux of a
problem so difficult of solution that it has kept free will in power since
time immemorial. Although it has had a very long reign in the history
of civilization, it is now time to put it to rest, once and for all, by first
demonstrating that this theory can never be proven true. A friend
shared a story with me to show how difficult it is to get through this
established dogma.

iambiguous wrote:Then Lessans comes around with his disovery that we are not free at all. Furthermore, because of the manner in which he interprets the meaning of this, he embraces principles which, someday, everyone will embrace in turn. And on that day, blame and punishment will cease to exist. Or it will be confined only to those who refuse to become a citizen in a new world now awash in the utopian enlightenment of "universal consciousness".

From my perspective then the circle revolves around this:

1] Lessans must predict the new world
2] the new world must come about because Lessans must predict it

Unless and until you are able to devise an empirical framework from which to test/replicate his argument, we have only the argument itself to fall back on. And all arguments such as these are comprised of assumptions. I know that mine is.

As I point out:

iambiguous wrote:And then I note the manner in which conflicting goods can accommodate conflicting satisfactions. And then the only way you make that go away in the "new world" is to posit a necessary relationship between Lessans' discovery, the new "univesal consciousness", the agreement folks sign to become citizens and the inherent disintegration of blame and punishment in this new world.

But, please, at least admit that for now this "new world" does in fact exist only "in your head". And in Lessans' books.


It doesn't exist in reality because this discovery remains in obscurity. At this juncture it is only a proposition based on astute observation and sound reasoning which then becomes the groundwork for it to be put into action.

peacegirl wrote: Obviously the new world is not here yet but this has nothing to do with the potentiality of the new world based on an immutable law of nature. All you are doing is questioning how all the conflicting values politically and economically can be reconciled in such a way that everyone will be satisfied. I've asked you why you refuse to read the book. You don't have $4.99 to spare? I don't know if you have kindle or not, but if you do, then you can buy the book and learn how the economic system will be set up in such a way that it will be to everyone's satisfaction.


iambiguous wrote:All I am doing is asking you how Lessans' discovery obviates the points I raise regarding conflicting satisfactions that revolve around conflicting goods that revolve around the assumption that we blame and punish others for impeding our own satisfaction because we make the further assumption that they were free to choose not to.

And it is not the $4.99 that is at stake here. It is my time. As I have explained a number of times above.


Your posting here is taking longer than it would to read the actual text.

peacegirl wrote: The other side of this equation is that nothing causes man to do anything against his will, which is his second principle.


iambiguous wrote:But only because his will is as it must be. Since we and the design are of a whole -- i.e. we are all "at one with existence" -- it is absurd to even speak of anything "external" to it. But the bottom line always remains the same. Reality [however one wishes to define it] is always a necessary component of existence is always a necessary component of the laws of matter.

I type, you read. You type, I read. In the only possible configuration of reality here there can ever be.


peacegirl wrote: It is necessary that I clarify the meaning of determinism because many people believe that if will is not free we are caused to do what we do. If we are caused to do what we do, then something other than us is causing us to do what we do. That's why this principle is so important for clarification since NOTHING can cause us to do what we do IF we don't want to do it. This leads into his two-sided equation but if people can't accept these two principles, I can't move forward.


iambiguous wrote:I still fail to see how this clarification rebuts the point I made. There may be nothing "external" to existence/reality causing me to behave as I do, but in being an integral/necessary part of existence/reality, I am ever compelled to do only as I must.

And that takes me back to, "I type this/you read this in the only possible configuration of existence/reality here there can ever be."


What can ever be is exactly what it must be, but that still leaves us with choices yet to be made. You cannot excuse your actions by saying "it had to be" when it only had to be if you WANTED IT TO BE. You are failing to understand the importance of this statement.

peacegirl wrote: We know you're off the hook, so there's no point in repeating this over and over again as if you've made some kind of major revelation. :shock:


iambiguous wrote:Then lets just agree that, for all practical purposes, we construe the implications of this in very different ways. In my view, we are always off the hook in a determined world and only to the extent that we have free will is the hook then back in play.


peacegirl wrote: You ARE off the hook. As we extend the principle (which no philosophers have done because they could not get beyond the implications), we have to begin where they left off. Therefore, we have to see where these principles lead. Most philosophers could not understand how we can stop blaming people who hurt us. Additionally, it is believed that excusing people will cause them to become even less responsible for their actions, both of which are not true.


iambiguous wrote:None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.


How can anything come about if it doesn't have an opportunity to come about? A discovery starts out as a proposition which is described orally or on paper. It then gets applied if it is confirmed true. This discovery has such huge ramifications that it may take a lot longer to be validated than was originally anticipated.

peacegirl wrote: Your words sound like intellectual contraptions that are all in your head. In fact, your words sound like psychobabble because of the very assumptions you are making regarding the mind and the brain as being two entities.


iambiguous wrote:But I am always willing to bring the manner in which I construe the choices that we make down to earth. In fact, I often situate those choices precisely in the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting good, political economy, the limitations of logic/language, my dilemma pertaining to conflicting value judgments, etc.


peacegirl wrote: But free will is not going to come to the rescue. This is your intellectual contraption because it has no basis in reality; it's only a dream in your head. This is a far cry from Lessans' demonstration which does have a basis in reality.


iambiguous wrote:As I have noted over and again, my own speculation about free will here is indeed predicated largely on the assumption that in some manner "mindful matter" has acquired the capacity to make free choices. I can't demonstrate it myself and the scientific community seems considerably less inclined to go along. But there is still that gap between what we think we know now about it and all that would need to be known in order to pin the truth to the mat objectively.

Read this for example: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... will/?_r=0

In fact, my main focus here instead is often in grappling with the practical implications of living in in a wholly determined world from the perspective of acquiring an identity...or in dealing with conflicting behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments. What can "moral responsibility" mean in a wholly determined world?


I already agreed that moral responsibility has no meaning in a wholly determined world. But you are missing the other side of the equation. In a wholly determined world we achieve a developed conscience which has nothing to do with morality in the sense of right and wrong. As far as identity, you are still YOU in a wholly determined world, which allows you to separate who you are (in terms of your individual characteristics, your lineage, etc.) from others.

peacegirl wrote: How do you know that? How do you know life itself isn't a gift from something beyond what you or I can understand?


iambiguous wrote:Well, I don't know it beyond all doubt of course. But just as with those who insist that my life is a gift from God, if someone makes the claim that my life may be a "gift" from something not God but beyond that which I understand, then I will ask them to demonstrate more substantively what that might possibly mean.

And at least with God one can imagine an entity able to grant such a gift. But how does one even go about imagining it pertaining to the immutable laws of matter that you have invested in the "design".

And I still suspect that in some manner Lessans has not abandoned the idea/reality of God himself. Call it a hunch.


peacegirl wrote: Throughout the whole book he mentions the word God. So your suspicion is correct. How you interpret that is up to you.


iambiguous wrote:How I interpret it is that, when push comes to shove, his philosophy here may well just be one more religious narrative in disguise. Then it comes down to which God. The God of Abraham and Moses?

He argues that:

Every human being is and has been obeying God’s will —Spinoza, his sister, Nageli, Durant, Mendel, Christ and even those who nailed him to the cross; but God has a secret plan that is going to shock all mankind due to the revolutionary changes that must come about for his benefit. This new world is coming into existence not because of my will, not because I made a discovery (sooner or later it had to be found because the knowledge of what it means that man’s will is not free is a definite part of reality), but only because we are compelled to obey the laws of our nature.

You tell me: How is this not just one more assertion? How does he go about substantively taking this belief "out of his head" and demonstrating how and why I and others should believe that, in fact, this is true objectively?


peacegirl wrote: He does it through demonstration and example.


iambiguous wrote:How? How does he demonstrate any of what he asserts?


He explains very precisely that we are always moving in the direction of greater satisfaction. That's given in the Amazon sample. Did you take the time to read that, at least? He was also clear about what he meant by the word God. The point of his book is to demonstrate how it is now possible to remove all evil, not to prove the existence of God although in the process God is revealed as an epiphenomenon.

p. 40 This discussion on chance brings forcibly to the attention of the
reader the fact that this world did not come about by chance. The
purpose of this book is to prove undeniably that there is design to the
universe. By delivering mankind from evil, the last vestige of doubt
is removed. Through our deliverance, God is revealed to us; but the
evil is not removed to prove that God is not a figment of the
imagination, but only because it is evil.

He becomes an
epiphenomenon of this tremendous fire that will be built to burn away
the evil, and the light that is shed reveals His presence as the cause of
the evil that He is now removing through these discoveries which He
also caused; and no person alive will be able to dispute these
undeniable facts. There is tremendous misunderstanding about the
meaning of determinism, therefore, it is necessary to first demonstrate
why man’s will is not free so the reader can follow the reasoning which
leads to my discovery.


peacegirl wrote: The problem [as I see it] is that you still have doubts about this discovery which compels you to say what you say. If you had no doubt, you wouldn't keep alluding to the fact that people may or may not choose to read it. That is understood already, just as some people did or did not choose to read Einstein or Edison. The fact that some people did not choose to read Einstein or Edison did not take away from the fact that those who DID take the time and DID choose to learn more eventually helped to get these important discoveries confirmed by science.


iambiguous wrote:All I can note again then is this: What difference does any of it make if this sequence of events reflects the only possible sequence of events? I have doubts because I must have doubts. Those doubts will dissipate or go away only because they could not not have dissipated or gone away.

Nothing changes -- nothing changes ever. Why? Because nothing ever can change the course of an unfolding future wholly in sync with the laws of matter.


peacegirl wrote: It is very true that nothing changes in regard to determinism. Everything unfolds and is in sync with this immutable law of nature, and there is no escape from it (which is a good thing), but it is false that nothing changes. Everything changes once these principles are understood and put into effect, so much so that our world will be unrecognizable as the dream of peace on earth comes to fruition.


iambiguous wrote:What I meant of course is that nothing changes other than in the manner in which it must change. Including everything that we will ever think, feel and do.

And that's a good thing if you don't want to be held responsible for doing the wrong thing in a world where everything we do is necessarily the right thing because it is in fact the only thing that we could have done.

And, sure, I can understand how and why that might comfort and console some. And, indeed, there are any number of times in which I would like it to comfort and console me.

And, perhaps, it is my destiny to be so comforted and consoled. Perhaps [per the design] that's the whole point of this exchange.
Or, perhaps, the point is instead to yank them out from under you.


I maintain that even though a person could not have done otherwise (therefore it was necessarily the right thing because it was the only thing that could have been done) does not mean that a person will continue to do the same thing given new environmental conditions. The mind (or conscience) cannot handle hurting others unjustifiably in a world of no blame, which is the very core of this discovery.
Last edited by peacegirl on Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



peacegirl
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:05 am

peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
We all believe many different things here, right? Many conflicting and contradictory things. And where do these beliefs reside if not in our heads?

But: To what extent are we able to demonstrate that what we do believe "in our heads" is in fact objectively true for all rational human beings?


I understand your point. That's why I would appreciate it if you would stop saying that this is in my head because you are implying that what he demonstrated was no more than an assumption, which is completely false. I know I can't stop you from saying this, but I would hope that you would do this [of your own free will] because you know it bothers me.


To the extent that others are not able to test and then to replicate Lessans' predictions about the new world other than by agreeing with his analysis/argument, is the extent to which I see his beliefs as residing largely in his head.[/quote]

peacegirl wrote: If that's all you think this is, then why are you here? There are probably more interesting threads you can engage in.


I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind?

How, in a world that unfolds only as it can ever unfold, would I not think as I do now? Am I or am I not necessarily a part of this wholly material world?

iambiguous wrote:After all, if you are going to convince others that his argument is empirically/experientially sound, you must provide them with a methodology to test it.

And, yes, in asking me to consider not predicating my own point here on this rather crucial assumption that I make, you are forced to assume that it is within my power to freely choose not to.


peacegirl wrote: Of course it is within your power to "freely" (which only means of your own desire) choose not to, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. If that's NOT what you want, then you will not choose it.


Okay, so how do you distinguish between someone having the power to "freely" choose something [as an inherent component of the design] and someone having the power to freely choose something [of their own volition]?

How is anything that you want [or prefer] not necessarily that which you are compelled to want [or prefer]?

peacegirl wrote: I do not consider it trapped just because we are under the control of determinism. You are able to choose "freely" (without physical constraint) what you prefer to choose. Nothing is stopping you from choosing A over B or B over A except for your preference. I don't consider my understanding of determinism to be mechanistic in the same way you do.


Bottom line: Whatever you do consider here and now is only that which you could not not have considered here and now. You can't extricate yourself from this, can you? All you can do is to insist that what you do consider here and now you consider "freely". Why? Because it is what "freely" satisfies you.

iambiguous wrote:Then Lessans comes around with his disovery that we are not free at all. Furthermore, because of the manner in which he interprets the meaning of this, he embraces principles which, someday, everyone will embrace in turn. And on that day, blame and punishment will cease to exist. Or it will be confined only to those who refuse to become a citizen in a new world now awash in the utopian enlightenment of "universal consciousness".

From my perspective then the circle revolves around this:

1] Lessans must predict the new world
2] the new world must come about because Lessans must predict it

Unless and until you are able to devise an empirical framework from which to test/replicate his argument, we have only the argument itself to fall back on.


peacegirl wrote: It doesn't exist in reality because this discovery remains in obscurity. At this juncture it is only a proposition based on astute observation and sound reasoning which then becomes the groundwork for it to be put into action.


That just takes me back to my confusion regarding the extent to which Lessans' discovery is a necessary link to a new world that must come into existence because Lessan predicted that it will. It would seem that you are suggesting here that the new world may well not come into existence if you and others are not successful in yanking it up out of obscurity. All the while insisting that the future can only be what the laws of matter compel it to be anyway.

peacegirl wrote: It is necessary that I clarify the meaning of determinism because many people believe that if will is not free we are caused to do what we do. If we are caused to do what we do, then something other than us is causing us to do what we do. That's why this principle is so important for clarification since NOTHING can cause us to do what we do IF we don't want to do it. This leads into his two-sided equation but if people can't accept these two principles, I can't move forward.


iambiguous wrote:I still fail to see how this clarification rebuts the point I made. There may be nothing "external" to existence/reality causing me to behave as I do, but in being an integral/necessary part of existence/reality, I am ever compelled to do only as I must.

And that takes me back to, "I type this/you read this in the only possible configuration of existence/reality here there can ever be."


peacegirl wrote: What can ever be is exactly what it must be, but that still leaves us with choices yet to be made. You cannot excuse your actions by saying "it had to be" when it only had to be if you WANTED IT TO BE. You are failing to understand the importance of this statement.


Until you are able to convince me that what I want anything to be is not what the design compels me to want everything to be, you cannot realistically speak of me failing to do anything other than what I am compelled to do. After all, my future "choices" are no less compelled to be at one with the design.

You can make these distinctions between the past the present and the future. But nothing changes the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose. Before, now or later.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.


peacegirl wrote: How can anything come about if it doesn't have an opportunity to come about? A discovery starts out as a proposition which is described orally or on paper. It then gets applied if it is confirmed true. This discovery has such huge ramifications that it may take a lot longer to be validated than was originally anticipated.

It has the opportunity to come about only in the sense that its opportunity is only as it could ever be. It's like saying that the domino has the opportunity to fall over onto the next domino. The only substantive difference being that the domino is oblivious to it all and we are not. But we still fall over into the future only as we must.


iambiguous wrote:As I have noted over and again, my own speculation about free will here is indeed predicated largely on the assumption that in some manner "mindful matter" has acquired the capacity to make free choices. I can't demonstrate it myself and the scientific community seems considerably less inclined to go along. But there is still that gap between what we think we know now about it and all that would need to be known in order to pin the truth to the mat objectively.

Read this for example: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... will/?_r=0

In fact, my main focus here instead is often in grappling with the practical implications of living in in a wholly determined world from the perspective of acquiring an identity...or in dealing with conflicting behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments. What can "moral responsibility" mean in a wholly determined world?


peacegirl wrote: I already agreed that moral responsibility has no meaning in a wholly determined world. But you are missing the other side of the equation. In a wholly determined world we achieve a developed conscience which has nothing to do with morality in the sense of right and wrong. As far as identity, you are still YOU in a wholly determined world, which allows you to separate who you are (in terms of your individual characteristics, your lineage, etc.) from others.


From my vantage point [the only one I am ever afforded in a determined world] once my conscience becomes but a necessary component of the laws of matter, how "developed" it becomes is moot. It develops only as it must. "I" become only as it must. So, I don't freely choose any of this. I'm just wound up by existence itself to unfold like clockwork. Thus I can only be wholly cognizant of it [as you believe that you are] or deluded still by the belief that I freely choose not to be cognizant of it.

But still off the hook for being "wrong" here.

peacegirl wrote: Throughout the whole book he mentions the word God. So your suspicion is correct. How you interpret that is up to you.


iambiguous wrote:How I interpret it is that, when push comes to shove, his philosophy here may well just be one more religious narrative in disguise. Then it comes down to which God. The God of Abraham and Moses?

He argues that:

Every human being is and has been obeying God’s will —Spinoza, his sister, Nageli, Durant, Mendel, Christ and even those who nailed him to the cross; but God has a secret plan that is going to shock all mankind due to the revolutionary changes that must come about for his benefit. This new world is coming into existence not because of my will, not because I made a discovery (sooner or later it had to be found because the knowledge of what it means that man’s will is not free is a definite part of reality), but only because we are compelled to obey the laws of our nature.

You tell me: How is this not just one more assertion? How does he go about substantively taking this belief "out of his head" and demonstrating how and why I and others should believe that, in fact, this is true objectively?


peacegirl wrote: He does it through demonstration and example.


iambiguous wrote:How? How does he demonstrate any of what he asserts?


peacegirl wrote: He explains very precisely that we are always moving in the direction of greater satisfaction. That's given in the Amazon sample. Did you take the time to read that, at least? He was also clear about what he meant by the word God. The point of his book is to demonstrate how it is now possible to remove all evil, not to prove the existence of God although in the process God is revealed as an epiphenomenon.

p. 40 This discussion on chance brings forcibly to the attention of the
reader the fact that this world did not come about by chance. The
purpose of this book is to prove undeniably that there is design to the
universe. By delivering mankind from evil, the last vestige of doubt
is removed. Through our deliverance, God is revealed to us; but the
evil is not removed to prove that God is not a figment of the
imagination, but only because it is evil.

He becomes an
epiphenomenon of this tremendous fire that will be built to burn away
the evil, and the light that is shed reveals His presence as the cause of
the evil that He is now removing through these discoveries which He
also caused; and no person alive will be able to dispute these
undeniable facts. There is tremendous misunderstanding about the
meaning of determinism, therefore, it is necessary to first demonstrate
why man’s will is not free so the reader can follow the reasoning which
leads to my discovery.


Let's just say then that you and I have a very different understanding of what it means to demonstrate something.

From my perspective, this is just more words telling us what other words mean. In no way, shape or form am I able to test the validity of those words other than by either agreeing or not agreeing with the argument itself.

Whereas when I speak of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy, I anchor those words in actual existential contexts in which, based on our own subjective experiences, we are able to come to understand how an identity becomes rooted in history and culture and personal experiences; and how men and women from both sides of a moral conflict are able to propose arguments that the other side's argument don't make go away; and how throughout human existence political and economic power have been crucial is enforcing particular sets of behoviors over other. Where is that sort of subtance in Lessans' argument?

peacegirl wrote: It is very true that nothing changes in regard to determinism. Everything unfolds and is in sync with this immutable law of nature, and there is no escape from it (which is a good thing), but it is false that nothing changes. Everything changes once these principles are understood and put into effect, so much so that our world will be unrecognizable as the dream of peace on earth comes to fruition.


iambiguous wrote:What I meant of course is that nothing changes other than in the manner in which it must change. Including everything that we will ever think, feel and do.

And that's a good thing if you don't want to be held responsible for doing the wrong thing in a world where everything we do is necessarily the right thing because it is in fact the only thing that we could have done.

And, sure, I can understand how and why that might comfort and console some. And, indeed, there are any number of times in which I would like it to comfort and console me.

And, perhaps, it is my destiny to be so comforted and consoled. Perhaps [per the design] that's the whole point of this exchange.
Or, perhaps, the point is instead to yank them out from under you.


peacegirl wrote: I maintain that even though a person could not have done otherwise (therefore it was necessarily the right thing because it was the only thing that could have been done) does not mean that a person will continue to do the same thing given new environmental conditions. The mind (or conscience) cannot handle hurting others unjustifiably in a world of no blame, which is the very core of this discovery.


Again, what difference does it make if she does something different if there is never anything different that she can do? And until you are able to provide us with a way in which to grasp more substantively how we reach this world where blame and punishment are relegated only to those who refuse to sign an agreement to embrace the universal consciousness that ushers in utopia, I am back to the circle:

1] Lessans must predict this new world sans blame and responsibility
2] this new world must come about because Lessans must predict it
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 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:50 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
We all believe many different things here, right? Many conflicting and contradictory things. And where do these beliefs reside if not in our heads?

But: To what extent are we able to demonstrate that what we do believe "in our heads" is in fact objectively true for all rational human beings?


I understand your point. That's why I would appreciate it if you would stop saying that this is in my head because you are implying that what he demonstrated was no more than an assumption, which is completely false. I know I can't stop you from saying this, but I would hope that you would do this [of your own free will] because you know it bothers me.


To the extent that others are not able to test and then to replicate Lessans' predictions about the new world other than by agreeing with his analysis/argument, is the extent to which I see his beliefs as residing largely in his head.


That's up to you iambiguous. I feel you are saying this (although I do understand the necessity of proving he was right) because this would remove any hope that humans have free will.

peacegirl wrote: If that's all you think this is, then why are you here? There are probably more interesting threads you can engage in.


iambiguous wrote:I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind?

How, in a world that unfolds only as it can ever unfold, would I not think as I do now? Am I or am I not necessarily a part of this wholly material world?


You are here because you desire to be here; because in comparison to the other options available to you at this moment, this choice gives you "greater" satisfaction. The reason this description is important is because your explanation would allow you to hurt someone (if you were a criminal type) and then use the excuse that the design made you do it, which is false. You did it because you wanted to.

iambiguous wrote:After all, if you are going to convince others that his argument is empirically/experientially sound, you must provide them with a methodology to test it.

And, yes, in asking me to consider not predicating my own point here on this rather crucial assumption that I make, you are forced to assume that it is within my power to freely choose not to.


peacegirl wrote: Of course it is within your power to "freely" (which only means of your own desire) choose not to, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. If that's NOT what you want, then you will not choose it.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, so how do you distinguish between someone having the power to "freely" choose something [as an inherent component of the design] and someone having the power to freely choose something [of their own volition]? is anything that you want [or prefer] not necessarily that which you are compelled to want [or prefer]?


Of course it is true that what you want [or prefer] of your own volition is necessarily that which you are compelled to prefer, but, as stated, this preference, although you have no control over it, is what you yourself want. In other words, you can't say that something other than you is forcing this choice on you. Here he tries to clarify certain points.

Decline and Fall of All Evil: Chapter One: The Hiding Place

p. 51 The government holds each person responsible to obey the laws
and then punishes those who do not while absolving itself of all
responsibility; but how is it possible for someone to obey that which
under certain conditions appears to him worse? It is quite obvious
that a person does not have to steal if he doesn’t want to, but under
certain conditions he wants to, and it is also obvious that those who
enforce the laws do not have to punish if they don’t want to, but both
sides want to do what they consider better for themselves under the
circumstances.

The Russians didn’t have to start a communistic
revolution against the tyranny that prevailed; they were not compelled
to do this; they wanted to. The Japanese didn’t have to attack us at
Pearl Harbor; they wanted to. We didn’t have to drop an atomic
bomb among their people, we wanted to. It is an undeniable
observation that man does not have to commit a crime or hurt
another in any way, if he doesn’t want to. The most severe tortures,
even the threat of death, cannot compel or cause him to do what he
makes up his mind not to do.

Since this observation is
mathematically undeniable, the expression ‘free will,’ which has come
to signify this aspect, is absolutely true in this context because it
symbolizes what the perception of this relation cannot deny, and here
lies in part the unconscious source of all the dogmatism and confusion
since MAN IS NOT CAUSED OR COMPELLED TO DO TO
ANOTHER WHAT HE MAKES UP HIS MIND NOT TO DO
— but that does not make his will free.

In other words, if someone were to say — “I didn’t really want to
hurt that person but couldn’t help myself under the circumstances,”
which demonstrates that though he believes in freedom of the will he
admits he was not free to act otherwise; that he was forced by his
environment to do what he really didn’t want to do, or should he make
any effort to shift his responsibility for this hurt to heredity, God, his
parents, the fact that his will is not free, or something else as the
cause, he is obviously lying to others and being dishonest with himself
because absolutely nothing is forcing him against his will to do what
he doesn’t want to do, for over this, as was just shown, he has
mathematical control.

“It’s amazing, all my life I have believed man’s will is free but for
the first time I can actually see that his will is not free.”

Another friend commented, “You may be satisfied but I’m not.
The definition of determinism is the philosophical and ethical
doctrine that man’s choices, decisions and actions are decided by
antecedent causes, inherited or environmental, acting upon his
character. According to this definition we are not given a choice
because we are being caused to do what we do by a previous event or
circumstance. But I know for a fact that nothing can make me do
what I make up my mind not to do — as you just mentioned a
moment ago. If I don’t want to do something, nothing, not
environment, heredity, or anything else you care to throw in can make
me do it because over this I have absolute control. Since I can’t be
made to do anything against my will, doesn’t this make my will free?
And isn’t it a contradiction to say that man’s will is not free yet
nothing can make him do what he doesn’t want to do?”

“How about that, he brought out something I never would have
thought of.”

All he said was that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t
make him drink, which is undeniable, however, though it is a
mathematical law that nothing can compel man to do to another what
he makes up his mind not to do — this is an extremely crucial point
— he is nevertheless under a compulsion during every moment of his
existence to do everything he does.

This reveals, as your friend just
pointed out, that man has absolute control over the former but
absolutely none over the latter because he must constantly move in
the direction of greater satisfaction. It is true that nothing in the past
can cause what occurs in the present, for all we ever have is the
present; the past and future are only words that describe a deceptive
relation. Consequently, determinism was faced with an almost
impossible task because it assumed that heredity and environment
caused man to choose evil, and the proponents of free will believed the
opposite, that man was not caused or compelled, ‘he did it of his own
accord; he wanted to do it, he didn’t have to.’

The term ‘free will’
contains an assumption or fallacy for it implies that if man is not
caused or compelled to do anything against his will, it must be
preferred of his own free will. This is one of those logical, not
mathematical conclusions. The expression, ‘I did it of my own free
will’ is perfectly correct when it is understood to mean ‘I did it because
I wanted to; nothing compelled or caused me to do it since I could
have acted otherwise had I desired.’ This expression was necessarily
misinterpreted because of the general ignorance that prevailed for
although it is correct in the sense that a person did something because
he wanted to, this in no way indicates that his will is free. In fact I
shall use the expression ‘of my own free will’ frequently myself which
only means ‘of my own desire.’ Are you beginning to see how words
have deceived everyone?


peacegirl wrote: I do not consider it trapped just because we are under the control of determinism. You are able to choose "freely" (without physical constraint) what you prefer to choose. Nothing is stopping you from choosing A over B or B over A except for your preference. I don't consider my understanding of determinism to be mechanistic in the same way you do.


iambiguous wrote:Bottom line: Whatever you do consider here and now is only that which you could not not have considered here and now. You can't extricate yourself from this, can you? All you can do is to insist that what you do consider here and now you consider "freely". Why? Because it is what "freely" satisfies you.


iambiguous wrote:Then Lessans comes around with his disovery that we are not free at all. Furthermore, because of the manner in which he interprets the meaning of this, he embraces principles which, someday, everyone will embrace in turn. And on that day, blame and punishment will cease to exist. Or it will be confined only to those who refuse to become a citizen in a new world now awash in the utopian enlightenment of "universal consciousness".

From my perspective then the circle revolves around this:

1] Lessans must predict the new world
2] the new world must come about because Lessans must predict it

Unless and until you are able to devise an empirical framework from which to test/replicate his argument, we have only the argument itself to fall back on.


That's like saying we predict that man will go to the moon based on technological advances. Does that make the prediction circular? Your second statement makes no sense to me.

peacegirl wrote: It doesn't exist in reality because this discovery remains in obscurity. At this juncture it is only a proposition based on astute observation and sound reasoning which then becomes the groundwork for it to be put into action.


iambiguous wrote:That just takes me back to my confusion regarding the extent to which Lessans' discovery is a necessary link to a new world that must come into existence because Lessan predicted that it will.


No, not because Lessans predicted it will but because it's a genuine discovery that people will desire to take advantage of.

iambiguous wrote:It would seem that you are suggesting here that the new world may well not come into existence if you and others are not successful in yanking it up out of obscurity. All the while insisting that the future can only be what the laws of matter compel it to be anyway.


Any discovery has to be yanked into existence (as you put it) before it can be utilized. If a discovery is not yanked out of obscurity, then it cannot be utilized. Isn't that true?

peacegirl wrote: It is necessary that I clarify the meaning of determinism because many people believe that if will is not free we are caused to do what we do. If we are caused to do what we do, then something other than us is causing us to do what we do. That's why this principle is so important for clarification since NOTHING can cause us to do what we do IF we don't want to do it. This leads into his two-sided equation but if people can't accept these two principles, I can't move forward.


iambiguous wrote:I still fail to see how this clarification rebuts the point I made. There may be nothing "external" to existence/reality causing me to behave as I do, but in being an integral/necessary part of existence/reality, I am ever compelled to do only as I must.

And that takes me back to, "I type this/you read this in the only possible configuration of existence/reality here there can ever be."


peacegirl wrote: What can ever be is exactly what it must be, but that still leaves us with choices yet to be made. You cannot excuse your actions by saying "it had to be" when it only had to be if you WANTED IT TO BE. You are failing to understand the importance of this statement.


iambiguous wrote:Until you are able to convince me that what I want anything to be is not what the design compels me to want everything to be, you cannot realistically speak of me failing to do anything other than what I am compelled to do. After all, my future "choices" are no less compelled to be at one with the design.

You can make these distinctions between the past the present and the future. But nothing changes the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose. Before, now or later.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.


I am not arguing this point. I am saying that future choices are different than past choices in the sense that they haven't been made yet, and when the environmental conditions change, our choices change in turn. All of this is in accordance with the deterministic laws.

peacegirl wrote: How can anything come about if it doesn't have an opportunity to come about? A discovery starts out as a proposition which is described orally or on paper. It then gets applied if it is confirmed true. This discovery has such huge ramifications that it may take a lot longer to be validated than was originally anticipated.

iambiguous wrote:It has the opportunity to come about only in the sense that its opportunity is only as it could ever be. It's like saying that the domino has the opportunity to fall over onto the next domino. The only substantive difference being that the domino is oblivious to it all and we are not. But we still fall over into the future only as we must.


There is no disagreement here.

iambiguous wrote:As I have noted over and again, my own speculation about free will here is indeed predicated largely on the assumption that in some manner "mindful matter" has acquired the capacity to make free choices. I can't demonstrate it myself and the scientific community seems considerably less inclined to go along. But there is still that gap between what we think we know now about it and all that would need to be known in order to pin the truth to the mat objectively.

Read this for example: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... will/?_r=0

In fact, my main focus here instead is often in grappling with the practical implications of living in in a wholly determined world from the perspective of acquiring an identity...or in dealing with conflicting behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments. What can "moral responsibility" mean in a wholly determined world?


peacegirl wrote: I already agreed that moral responsibility has no meaning in a wholly determined world. But you are missing the other side of the equation. In a wholly determined world we achieve a developed conscience which has nothing to do with morality in the sense of right and wrong. As far as identity, you are still YOU in a wholly determined world, which allows you to separate who you are (in terms of your individual characteristics, your lineage, etc.) from others.


iambiguous wrote:From my vantage point [the only one I am ever afforded in a determined world] once my conscience becomes but a necessary component of the laws of matter, how "developed" it becomes is moot. It develops only as it must. "I" become only as it must. So, I don't freely choose any of this. I'm just wound up by existence itself to unfold like clockwork. Thus I can only be wholly cognizant of it [as you believe that you are] or deluded still by the belief that I freely choose not to be cognizant of it. But still off the hook for being "wrong" here.


Conscience develops only as it must but it certainly isn't moot if it is the very thing that forbids one to strike a first blow under the changed conditions of a no blame society.

peacegirl wrote: Throughout the whole book he mentions the word God. So your suspicion is correct. How you interpret that is up to you.


iambiguous wrote:How I interpret it is that, when push comes to shove, his philosophy here may well just be one more religious narrative in disguise. Then it comes down to which God. The God of Abraham and Moses?

He argues that:

Every human being is and has been obeying God’s will —Spinoza, his sister, Nageli, Durant, Mendel, Christ and even those who nailed him to the cross; but God has a secret plan that is going to shock all mankind due to the revolutionary changes that must come about for his benefit. This new world is coming into existence not because of my will, not because I made a discovery (sooner or later it had to be found because the knowledge of what it means that man’s will is not free is a definite part of reality), but only because we are compelled to obey the laws of our nature.

You tell me: How is this not just one more assertion? How does he go about substantively taking this belief "out of his head" and demonstrating how and why I and others should believe that, in fact, this is true objectively?


peacegirl wrote: He does it through demonstration and example.


iambiguous wrote:How? How does he demonstrate any of what he asserts?


peacegirl wrote: He explains very precisely that we are always moving in the direction of greater satisfaction. That's given in the Amazon sample. Did you take the time to read that, at least? He was also clear about what he meant by the word God. The point of his book is to demonstrate how it is now possible to remove all evil, not to prove the existence of God although in the process God is revealed as an epiphenomenon.

p. 40 This discussion on chance brings forcibly to the attention of the
reader the fact that this world did not come about by chance. The
purpose of this book is to prove undeniably that there is design to the
universe. By delivering mankind from evil, the last vestige of doubt
is removed. Through our deliverance, God is revealed to us; but the
evil is not removed to prove that God is not a figment of the
imagination, but only because it is evil.

He becomes an
epiphenomenon of this tremendous fire that will be built to burn away
the evil, and the light that is shed reveals His presence as the cause of
the evil that He is now removing through these discoveries which He
also caused; and no person alive will be able to dispute these
undeniable facts. There is tremendous misunderstanding about the
meaning of determinism, therefore, it is necessary to first demonstrate
why man’s will is not free so the reader can follow the reasoning which
leads to my discovery.


iambiguous wrote:Let's just say then that you and I have a very different understanding of what it means to demonstrate something.

From my perspective, this is just more words telling us what other words mean. In no way, shape or form am I able to test the validity of those words other than by either agreeing or not agreeing with the argument itself.

Whereas when I speak of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy, I anchor those words in actual existential contexts in which, based on our own subjective experiences, we are able to come to understand how an identity becomes rooted in history and culture and personal experiences; and how men and women from both sides of a moral conflict are able to propose arguments that the other side's argument don't make go away; and how throughout human existence political and economic power have been crucial is enforcing particular sets of behoviors over other. Where is that sort of subtance in Lessans' argument?


I cannot fight you on this because the new world is not yet here. But that does not mean this discovery doesn't have immense value. Just because it's not recognized yet does not make it any less anchored in reality. Moreover, it's practical implications extend into every single aspect of human interaction. You are basing your argument on what has already occurred down through history, as if this condemns us to the same moral conflicts. How in the world can a new discovery be brought to light if you will not allow these observations to be carefully and thoroughly examined before you jump to the conclusion that because it wasn't tested empirically, it has no merit?

peacegirl wrote: It is very true that nothing changes in regard to determinism. Everything unfolds and is in sync with this immutable law of nature, and there is no escape from it (which is a good thing), but it is false that nothing changes. Everything changes once these principles are understood and put into effect, so much so that our world will be unrecognizable as the dream of peace on earth comes to fruition.


iambiguous wrote:What I meant of course is that nothing changes other than in the manner in which it must change. Including everything that we will ever think, feel and do.

And that's a good thing if you don't want to be held responsible for doing the wrong thing in a world where everything we do is necessarily the right thing because it is in fact the only thing that we could have done.

And, sure, I can understand how and why that might comfort and console some. And, indeed, there are any number of times in which I would like it to comfort and console me.

And, perhaps, it is my destiny to be so comforted and consoled. Perhaps [per the design] that's the whole point of this exchange.
Or, perhaps, the point is instead to yank them out from under you.


peacegirl wrote: I maintain that even though a person could not have done otherwise (therefore it was necessarily the right thing because it was the only thing that could have been done) does not mean that a person will continue to do the same thing given new environmental conditions. The mind (or conscience) cannot handle hurting others unjustifiably in a world of no blame, which is the very core of this discovery.


iambiguous wrote:Again, what difference does it make if she does something different if there is never anything different that she can do? And until you are able to provide us with a way in which to grasp more substantively how we reach this world where blame and punishment are relegated only to those who refuse to sign an agreement to embrace the universal consciousness that ushers in utopia, I am back to the circle:

1] Lessans must predict this new world sans blame and responsibility


(HE MUST PREDICT IT BECAUSE HIS CLAIMS ARE CORRECT)

iambiguous wrote:2] this new world must come about because Lessans must predict it


(THIS NEW WORLD MUST COME ABOUT NOT BECAUSE LESSANS MUST PREDICT IT BUT BECAUSE HE SAW THAT HUMAN NATURE IS SUCH THAT WE CANNOT MOVE AGAINST WHAT IS BEST FOR US)

Lessans gives a thorough demonstration (based on astute observation and sound reasoning) as to why a no blame environment will lead us to peace on earth. Based on human nature and the desire for happiness, it is predicted that once this knowledge is confirmed valid (your guess is as good as mine as to when this will occur since we can only go at a certain rate), this new world must come about because people will want it and will know what they need to do to achieve it, which was unavailable before. Lessans predicted this because he understood human nature. Your accusation that this is circular is ridiculous.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



peacegirl
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:30 pm

iambiguous wrote:To the extent that others are not able to test and then to replicate Lessans' predictions about the new world other than by agreeing with his analysis/argument, is the extent to which I see his beliefs as residing largely in his head.


peacegirl wrote: That's up to you iambiguous.


Irony. How does that work in a determined world? If one can do only what is prescribed by the immutable laws of matter, irony would seem to have no real meaning at all.

Thus, when you tell me it is up to me, I can note the irony; but what does it even mean to be ironic in a world where what's up to me is only what must be up to me?

peacegirl wrote: I feel you are saying this (although I do understand the necessity of proving he was right) because this would remove any hope that humans have free will.


No, you note that I am saying it because I must say it. And my having or not having hope is no less compelled by necessity.

iambiguous wrote:I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind?

How, in a world that unfolds only as it can ever unfold, would I not think as I do now? Am I or am I not necessarily a part of this wholly material world?


peacegirl wrote: You are here because you desire to be here; because in comparison to the other options available to you at this moment, this choice gives you "greater" satisfaction.


Could I have freely desired not to be here? No. Could I have freely chosen to be satisfied doing something else? No.

You want to insist that I do only what I must do and that I "choose" to do it. But they are for all practical purposes the very same thing in a determined world. Or so it seems to me.

peacegirl wrote: The reason this description is important is because your explanation would allow you to hurt someone (if you were a criminal type) and then use the excuse that the design made you do it, which is false. You did it because you wanted to.


I cannot make sense of this other than to suppose I have some measure of autonomy regarding the things I choose to want. As though being or not being a "criminal type" is something that I am responsible for even though I will be or will not be a criminal solely in sync with the design.

peacegirl wrote: Of course it is within your power to "freely" (which only means of your own desire) choose not to, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. If that's NOT what you want, then you will not choose it.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, so how do you distinguish between someone having the power to "freely" choose something [as an inherent component of the design] and someone having the power to freely choose something [of their own volition]? is anything that you want [or prefer] not necessarily that which you are compelled to want [or prefer]?


peacegirl wrote: Of course it is true that what you want [or prefer] of your own volition is necessarily that which you are compelled to prefer, but, as stated, this preference, although you have no control over it, is what you yourself want. In other words, you can't say that something other than you is forcing this choice on you.


I'm sorry, but this is still beyond my capacity [here and now] to grasp. How can one realistically speak of something that is "of my own volition" and then immediately subsume that "volition" in the compulsion embedded in the necessity of the design/I unfolding only as, in tandem, existence/reality ever can?

Lessans:

The term ‘free will’ contains an assumption or fallacy for it implies that if man is not caused or compelled to do anything against his will, it must be preferred of his own free will. This is one of those logical, not mathematical conclusions. The expression, ‘I did it of my own free will’ is perfectly correct when it is understood to mean ‘I did it because I wanted to; nothing compelled or caused me to do it since I could have acted otherwise had I desired.’ This expression was necessarily misinterpreted because of the general ignorance that prevailed for although it is correct in the sense that a person did something because he wanted to, this in no way indicates that his will is free. In fact I shall use the expression ‘of my own free will’ frequently myself which only means ‘of my own desire.’ Are you beginning to see how words have deceived everyone?

How does anything he posits here extricate itself from the point I just made? If what we want/desire/prefer/find satisfying is only what we must want/desire/prefer/find satisfying, then, indeed, the laws of matter encompass not only what we construe to be a rational reaction to the world around us, but the manner in which we react emotionally and psychologically as well. With regard to matter there is no real distinction to be made even between the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. The mind is matter. It must forever be in sync with whatever future is embedded in the material design.

iambiguous wrote:Lessans comes around with his disovery that we are not free at all. Furthermore, because of the manner in which he interprets the meaning of this, he embraces principles which, someday, everyone will embrace in turn. And on that day, blame and punishment will cease to exist. Or it will be confined only to those who refuse to become a citizen in a new world now awash in the utopian enlightenment of "universal consciousness".

From my perspective then the circle revolves around this:

1] Lessans must predict the new world
2] the new world must come about because Lessans must predict it

Unless and until you are able to devise an empirical framework from which to test/replicate his argument, we have only the argument itself to fall back on.


peacegirl wrote: That's like saying we predict that man will go to the moon based on technological advances. Does that make the prediction circular? Your second statement makes no sense to me.


But men went to the moon because they could not not go to the moon. Not going to the moon was never an option in a world where everything that does happen happens only because it must happen.

In other words, either it must be that the new world is free of blame and punishment for citizens or it must not be. I am merely looking for more substance in an argument that predicts that it will be but then offers no real methodology in which to test the prediction. Or to replicate it. To me, it's just Lessans insisting that the meaning he gives to the words in his analysis is the only meaning a rational man or woman can acquire. And thus, to me, it's no different from any other objectivist here embedding the "objective truth" in his or her own definitions and deductions.

So, either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.

peacegirl wrote: It doesn't exist in reality because this discovery remains in obscurity. At this juncture it is only a proposition based on astute observation and sound reasoning which then becomes the groundwork for it to be put into action.


iambiguous wrote:It would seem that you are suggesting here that the new world may well not come into existence if you and others are not successful in yanking it up out of obscurity. All the while insisting that the future can only be what the laws of matter compel it to be anyway.


peacegirl wrote: Any discovery has to be yanked into existence (as you put it) before it can be utilized. If a discovery is not yanked out of obscurity, then it cannot be utilized. Isn't that true?


But if the yanking is always only a necessary component of the design, what's true is, in turn, always only a necessary component of it. Right?

iambiguous wrote:Until you are able to convince me that what I want anything to be is not what the design compels me to want everything to be, you cannot realistically speak of me failing to do anything other than what I am compelled to do. After all, my future "choices" are no less compelled to be at one with the design.

You can make these distinctions between the past the present and the future. But nothing changes the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose. Before, now or later.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.


peacegirl wrote: I am not arguing this point. I am saying that future choices are different than past choices in the sense that they haven't been made yet, and when the environmental conditions change, our choices change in turn. All of this is in accordance with the deterministic laws.


If any choice that we make [before, now or later] is the only choice that we can make, how are they really different? Again, for all practical purposes. The world [existence/reality] unfolds precisely as it is compelled to. Everything [every choice] is necessarily subsumed in that.

iambiguous wrote:From my vantage point [the only one I am ever afforded in a determined world] once my conscience becomes but a necessary component of the laws of matter, how "developed" it becomes is moot. It develops only as it must. "I" become only as it must. So, I don't freely choose any of this. I'm just wound up by existence itself to unfold like clockwork. Thus I can only be wholly cognizant of it [as you believe that you are] or deluded still by the belief that I freely choose not to be cognizant of it. But still off the hook for being "wrong" here.


peacegirl wrote: Conscience develops only as it must but it certainly isn't moot if it is the very thing that forbids one to strike a first blow under the changed conditions of a no blame society.


In this world, a conscience can be made to rationalize virtually any and all behaviors. One conscience cannot tolerate the abortion of unborn babies. Another conscience cannot tolerate living in a world where pregnant women are forced to give birth. Yet somehow in the new world blame and punishment are vanquished here even though the conflicting goods remain. And I am still unable to comprehend how Lessans' words necessarily lead to Lessans' world. There is only accepting that the meaning he ascribed to the words in his analysis/argument reflects the objective truth.

peacegirl wrote: I maintain that even though a person could not have done otherwise (therefore it was necessarily the right thing because it was the only thing that could have been done) does not mean that a person will continue to do the same thing given new environmental conditions. The mind (or conscience) cannot handle hurting others unjustifiably in a world of no blame, which is the very core of this discovery.


iambiguous wrote:Again, what difference does it make if she does something different if there is never anything different that she can do? And until you are able to provide us with a way in which to grasp more substantively how we reach this world where blame and punishment are relegated only to those who refuse to sign an agreement to embrace the universal consciousness that ushers in utopia, I am back to the circle:

1] Lessans must predict this new world sans blame and responsibility


peacegirl wrote: HE MUST PREDICT IT BECAUSE HIS CLAIMS ARE CORRECT


Yes, but that is what all of the objectivists insist. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of religious/philosophical arguments made claiming a stake in one or another rendition of an alleged "whole truth". They can't all be right but they all insist that they are anyway.

So, all I can do then is to ask them to demonstrate why I should believe them and not all the others. And, for me, that means integrating their words into the world that we live in. And then exploring the extent to which their words might have a substantive/substantial impact on the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

If Lessans insists that we have no free will then how does he propose that we demonstrate this? Beyond merely agreeing that his argument is solid.
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 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:07 pm

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:To the extent that others are not able to test and then to replicate Lessans' predictions about the new world other than by agreeing with his analysis/argument, is the extent to which I see his beliefs as residing largely in his head.


peacegirl wrote: That's up to you iambiguous.


Irony. How does that work in a determined world? If one can do only what is prescribed by the immutable laws of matter, irony would seem to have no real meaning at all.

Thus, when you tell me it is up to me, I can note the irony; but what does it even mean to be ironic in a world where what's up to me is only what must be up to me?


When I say it's up to you, you are making more out of it than it needs to be. This only means that it is your choice, which it is. The choice you make is the only choice you could make, but my answer to you may have an impact on that choice. It's not like the choice has been made for you in advance of your making it.

peacegirl wrote: I feel you are saying this (although I do understand the necessity of proving he was right) because this would remove any hope that humans have free will.


iambiguous wrote:No, you note that I am saying it because I must say it. And my having or not having hope is no less compelled by necessity.


You must say it only makes sense after the fact, not before. That's like saying "I must kill someone" because it's part of the design. Saying you must kill someone as part of the design is the same thing as saying I want to kill someone, therefore I must. The compulsion is coming from the person making the choice, not the designer as if to say that the choice is not his own. Nothing is making a person kill if his choice not to kill is the better option, and nothing but nothing, not even God himself, can make him do this if he doesn't want to.

iambiguous wrote:I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind?

How, in a world that unfolds only as it can ever unfold, would I not think as I do now? Am I or am I not necessarily a part of this wholly material world?


peacegirl wrote: You are here because you desire to be here; because in comparison to the other options available to you at this moment, this choice gives you "greater" satisfaction.


iambiguous wrote:Could I have freely desired not to be here? No. Could I have freely chosen to be satisfied doing something else? No.

You want to insist that I do only what I must do and that I "choose" to do it. But they are for all practical purposes the very same thing in a determined world. Or so it seems to me.


There is an important difference. One states that you must choose something based on a prescribed program that won't allow you to change course because it's already written out. The other states that based on antecedent conditions, along with your experiences and heredity, you are "free" (which only means that there is nothing external controlling you) to pick a choice that you yourself desire based on these factors.

peacegirl wrote: The reason this description is important is because your explanation would allow you to hurt someone (if you were a criminal type) and then use the excuse that the design made you do it, which is false. You did it because you wanted to.


iambiguous wrote:I cannot make sense of this other than to suppose I have some measure of autonomy regarding the things I choose to want. As though being or not being a "criminal type" is something that I am responsible for even though I will be or will not be a criminal solely in sync with the design.


You are confusing the two principles. One states that will is not free because we always move in the direction of what gives us greater satisfaction, which we have absolutely no control over. So if you turn out to be a criminal, you had no control over that. The other principle states that nothing can make or force you to do anything against your will, which you have absolute control over. This means that you cannot use the excuse that someone or something other than you made you do what you did, because nothing has the power to do that. You did it because you wanted to, but most people would never admit to that since it would get them in trouble with the law.

peacegirl wrote: Of course it is within your power to "freely" (which only means of your own desire) choose not to, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT. If that's NOT what you want, then you will not choose it.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, so how do you distinguish between someone having the power to "freely" choose something [as an inherent component of the design] and someone having the power to freely choose something [of their own volition]? is anything that you want [or prefer] not necessarily that which you are compelled to want [or prefer]?


peacegirl wrote: Of course it is true that what you want [or prefer] of your own volition is necessarily that which you are compelled to prefer, but, as stated, this preference, although you have no control over it, is what you yourself want. In other words, you can't say that something other than you is forcing this choice on you.


iambiguous wrote:I'm sorry, but this is still beyond my capacity [here and now] to grasp. How can one realistically speak of something that is "of my own volition" and then immediately subsume that "volition" in the compulsion embedded in the necessity of the design/I unfolding only as, in tandem, existence/reality ever can?

Lessans:

The term ‘free will’ contains an assumption or fallacy for it implies that if man is not caused or compelled to do anything against his will, it must be preferred of his own free will. This is one of those logical, not mathematical conclusions. The expression, ‘I did it of my own free will’ is perfectly correct when it is understood to mean ‘I did it because I wanted to; nothing compelled or caused me to do it since I could have acted otherwise had I desired.’ This expression was necessarily misinterpreted because of the general ignorance that prevailed for although it is correct in the sense that a person did something because he wanted to, this in no way indicates that his will is free. In fact I shall use the expression ‘of my own free will’ frequently myself which only means ‘of my own desire.’ Are you beginning to see how words have deceived everyone?

How does anything he posits here extricate itself from the point I just made?


It doesn't extricate itself from the point you just made, but it does show that you do what you do "of your own desire." If you don't desire it, nothing can make you choose it. Of course, we often choose between things that offer us little satisfaction, so we pick the least undesirable. That does not change the direction we're forced to go. As we move along to the actual discovery (the fact that man's will is not free is NOT the discovery; it is the gateway to the discovery), both of these principles come into play.

iambiguous wrote:If what we want/desire/prefer/find satisfying is only what we must want/desire/prefer/find satisfying, then, indeed, the laws of matter encompass not only what we construe to be a rational reaction to the world around us, but the manner in which we react emotionally and psychologically as well. With regard to matter there is no real distinction to be made even between the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. The mind is matter. It must forever be in sync with whatever future is embedded in the material design.


That is all very true, but that does not take away from the fact that nothing has the power to make you do anything you don't want, which is often misinterpreted when discussing determinism. The standard definition states that we are caused to do what we do. As Lessans stated, nothing from the past can cause us to do anything because we only have the present. It just sets up conditions upon which desire is aroused to act in a particular way.

iambiguous wrote:Lessans comes around with his disovery that we are not free at all. Furthermore, because of the manner in which he interprets the meaning of this, he embraces principles which, someday, everyone will embrace in turn. And on that day, blame and punishment will cease to exist. Or it will be confined only to those who refuse to become a citizen in a new world now awash in the utopian enlightenment of "universal consciousness".

From my perspective then the circle revolves around this:

1] Lessans must predict the new world
2] the new world must come about because Lessans must predict it

Unless and until you are able to devise an empirical framework from which to test/replicate his argument, we have only the argument itself to fall back on.


peacegirl wrote: That's like saying we predict that man will go to the moon based on technological advances. Does that make the prediction circular? Your second statement makes no sense to me.


iambiguous wrote:But men went to the moon because they could not not go to the moon. Not going to the moon was never an option in a world where everything that does happen happens only because it must happen.


You are right; now that it has occurred it was not an option, but man had the option not to utilize the technology at the moment of choice. The fact that it gave him greater satisfaction to go to the moon indicates that man is not satisfied to remain stagnant, but always desiring to learn more about the world. This is called progress. Similarly, now that we have the knowledge as to how to prevent war and crime (which you don't understand yet), it can be predicted that if Lessans is right, and science confirms that he is right, we will desire to utilize this knowledge for our betterment just like we did with going to the moon and the many other advances man has made.

iambiguous wrote:In other words, either it must be that the new world is free of blame and punishment for citizens or it must not be. I am merely looking for more substance in an argument that predicts that it will be but then offers no real methodology in which to test the prediction. Or to replicate it. To me, it's just Lessans insisting that the meaning he gives to the words in his analysis is the only meaning a rational man or woman can acquire. And thus, to me, it's no different from any other objectivist here embedding the "objective truth" in his or her own definitions and deductions.


It has nothing to do with the only meaning a rational man or woman can acquire. It does have to do with what is correct in terms of objective truth. Determinism is an objective truth. You keep saying the same thing; that this is all his definition and nothing more. This is completely fallacious and I don't desire to keep refuting you on this point.

iambiguous wrote:So, either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.


He had no capacity to choose freely, even though he had the ability to weigh alternatives.

peacegirl wrote: It doesn't exist in reality because this discovery remains in obscurity. At this juncture it is only a proposition based on astute observation and sound reasoning which then becomes the groundwork for it to be put into action.


iambiguous wrote:It would seem that you are suggesting here that the new world may well not come into existence if you and others are not successful in yanking it up out of obscurity. All the while insisting that the future can only be what the laws of matter compel it to be anyway.


peacegirl wrote: Any discovery has to be yanked into existence (as you put it) before it can be utilized. If a discovery is not yanked out of obscurity, then it cannot be utilized. Isn't that true?


iambiguous wrote:if the yanking is always only a necessary component of the design, what's true is, in turn, always only a necessary component of it. Right?


peacegirl wrote:Right. And, yes, the future can only be what the laws of matter compel it to be anyway. There is always the possibility that it won't be brought to light, and if that happens it was meant to be. But I don't believe this will happen because man is always searching for answers to the ills that exist, and this provides one.


iambiguous wrote:Until you are able to convince me that what I want anything to be is not what the design compels me to want everything to be, you cannot realistically speak of me failing to do anything other than what I am compelled to do. After all, my future "choices" are no less compelled to be at one with the design.

You can make these distinctions between the past the present and the future. But nothing changes the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose. Before, now or later.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.


It doesn't change the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose, before, now, or later, but it does clarify the meaning of determinism which has been misunderstood. Because free will is defined as choice that is uncaused, it was believed that determinism, as the opposite of free will, is caused by previous events and circumstances. To repeat, antecedent events (the past) don't cause man to kill or hurt others. This implies that these external conditions are making him do what he does. But nothing (not heredity,environment, or the first cause) can make someone do anything they don't want to do. Another way of saying the same thing with a slight variation goes like this: the environmental conditions may be such that a person's desire is aroused to kill based on all the factors that converge at a particular moment in time, which then pushes him in this direction for greater satisfaction. There is a marked distinction between Lessans' proposition (which is correct because it reflects what is going on in reality) and the standard definition (which is misleading), but you don't know the importance of this distinction since you don't understand the two-sided equation or why this nuance in definition matters yet you tell me that it doesn't make a difference. #-o

peacegirl wrote: I am not arguing this point. I am saying that future choices are different than past choices in the sense that they haven't been made yet, and when the environmental conditions change, our choices change in turn. All of this is in accordance with the deterministic laws.


iambiguous wrote:If any choice that we make [before, now or later] is the only choice that we can make, how are they really different? Again, for all practical purposes. The world [existence/reality] unfolds precisely as it is compelled to. Everything [every choice] is necessarily subsumed in that.


You can't say before you do something that you must do it because you don't have to do it if you don't want to. That is the modal fallacy that was discussed earlier. There is nothing that is making you choose this over that. You choose one thing over another because it is the more preferable choice. To repeat: Nothing external is causing you to fall in a certain direction (like the domino). But once you make a choice it could never have been otherwise since any other choice at that moment would have given less satisfaction under the circumstances, which is impossible to do.

iambiguous wrote:From my vantage point [the only one I am ever afforded in a determined world] once my conscience becomes but a necessary component of the laws of matter, how "developed" it becomes is moot. It develops only as it must. "I" become only as it must. So, I don't freely choose any of this. I'm just wound up by existence itself to unfold like clockwork. Thus I can only be wholly cognizant of it [as you believe that you are] or deluded still by the belief that I freely choose not to be cognizant of it. But still off the hook for being "wrong" here.


peacegirl wrote: Conscience develops only as it must but it certainly isn't moot if it is the very thing that forbids one to strike a first blow under the changed conditions of a no blame society.


iambiguous wrote:In this world, a conscience can be made to rationalize virtually any and all behaviors. One conscience cannot tolerate the abortion of unborn babies. Another conscience cannot tolerate living in a world where pregnant women are forced to give birth. Yet somehow in the new world blame and punishment are vanquished here even though the conflicting goods remain. And I am still unable to comprehend how Lessans' words necessarily lead to Lessans' world. There is only accepting that the meaning he ascribed to the words in his analysis/argument reflects the objective truth.


You keep referring back to abortion, as if this one conflict ruins any possibility of peace. It does not.

peacegirl wrote: I maintain that even though a person could not have done otherwise (therefore it was necessarily the right thing because it was the only thing that could have been done) does not mean that a person will continue to do the same thing given new environmental conditions. The mind (or conscience) cannot handle hurting others unjustifiably in a world of no blame, which is the very core of this discovery.


iambiguous wrote:Again, what difference does it make if she does something different if there is never anything different that she can do? And until you are able to provide us with a way in which to grasp more substantively how we reach this world where blame and punishment are relegated only to those who refuse to sign an agreement to embrace the universal consciousness that ushers in utopia, I am back to the circle:

1] Lessans must predict this new world sans blame and responsibility


peacegirl wrote: HE MUST PREDICT IT BECAUSE HIS CLAIMS ARE CORRECT


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but that is what all of the objectivists insist. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of religious/philosophical arguments made claiming a stake in one or another rendition of an alleged "whole truth". They can't all be right but they all insist that they are anyway.

So, all I can do then is to ask them to demonstrate why I should believe them and not all the others. And, for me, that means integrating their words into the world that we live in. And then exploring the extent to which their words might have a substantive/substantial impact on the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

If Lessans insists that we have no free will then how does he propose that we demonstrate this? Beyond merely agreeing that his argument is solid.


I already said his claim that man has no free will is falsifiable. His explanation is spot on. We are compelled to move in the direction of greater satisfaction which offers us only one choice each and every moment of time. This new world can be simulated to prove that he was right, if scientists want to test it empirically.
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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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:38 pm

iambiguous wrote:Irony. How does that work in a determined world? If one can do only what is prescribed by the immutable laws of matter, irony would seem to have no real meaning at all.

Thus, when you tell me it is up to me, I can note the irony; but what does it even mean to be ironic in a world where what's up to me is only what must be up to me?


peacegirl wrote: When I say it's up to you, you are making more out of it than it needs be. This only means that it is your choice, which it is. The choice you make is the only choice you could make, but my answer to you may have an impact on that choice. It's not like the choice has been made for you in advance of your making it.


How can I possibly make more or less of something that I can only make of what I must? See, that's where we always get stuck here. There is either an element of free will involved in what I make out of anything or I make out of everything only what I was ever compelled to make out of it in order to be in alignment with existence itself.

And what you make of what I make of what you make of anything is also in sync with the only reality there ever was, is now or ever will be.

How can there be an exit here in a determined world? For any of us? Aside, of course, from death. Where, for all eternity, these conundrums will never plague us again. Unless it is determined by the design that death is not The End at all.

Anyway, you always focus on the before I make a choice part. As though what happens before, during or after we make a choice will actually make a difference regarding what does happen.

Back to Jack and Jane. Jack chooses to rape Jane. Now, if I understand you, Jack must rape Jane if Jack raping Jane is necessarily in accordance with the only existence there can ever be. The one in which Jack rapes Jane. There is no existence where Jack doesn't rape Jane. So, how does his choice to rape Jane at the moment he makes it have any relevance to the fact that he must rape her because, well, that's reality.

Now, I will be the first to admit that your point may be more reasonable than mine; but I just can't seem to "get it". If something must be then it must be. The choices we make are just the next dominoes toppling over in the design we call the "human condition". The only distinction I am able to make is that, unlike the dominoes, we can become cognizant of the fact that we topple over only as we must.

You say:

peacegirl wrote: Saying you must kill someone as part of the design is the same thing as saying I want to kill someone, therefore I must. The compulsion is coming from the person making the choice, not the designer as if to say that the choice is not his own. Nothing is making a person kill if his choice not to kill is the better option, and nothing but nothing, not even God himself, can make him do this if he doesn't want to.


Are you then suggesting that the compulsions I have, I can choose freely not to have? No, of course not. After all, how is "I" not inherently in sync with the design here? As long as what I want is only what I can ever want, the manner in which you convey our "options" here is, well, toothless to me.

Or:

iambiguous wrote:I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind?

How, in a world that unfolds only as it can ever unfold, would I not think as I do now? Am I or am I not necessarily a part of this wholly material world?


peacegirl wrote: You are here because you desire to be here; because in comparison to the other options available to you at this moment, this choice gives you "greater" satisfaction.


Could I have freely desired not to be here? No. Could I have freely chosen to be satisfied doing something else? No.

You want to insist that I do only what I must do and that I "choose" to do it. But they are for all practical purposes the very same thing in a determined world. Or so it seems to me.

peacegirl wrote: There is an important difference. One states that you must choose something based on a prescribed program that won't allow you to change course because it's already written out. The other states that based on antecedent conditions, along with your experiences and heredity, you are "free" (which only means that there is nothing external controlling you) to pick a choice that you yourself desire based on these factors.


Yes, "free". But never free. I and the design are at one with existence itself. There is nothing external to that. As though there ever could be.

peacegirl wrote: The reason this description is important is because your explanation would allow you to hurt someone (if you were a criminal type) and then use the excuse that the design made you do it, which is false. You did it because you wanted to.


iambiguous wrote:I cannot make sense of this other than to suppose I have some measure of autonomy regarding the things I choose to want. As though being or not being a "criminal type" is something that I am responsible for even though I will be or will not be a criminal solely in sync with the design.


peacegirl wrote: You are confusing the two principles. One states that will is not free because we always move in the direction of what gives us greater satisfaction, which we have absolutely no control over. So if you turn out to be a criminal, you had no control over that. The other principle states that nothing can make or force you to do anything against your will, which you have absolute control over. This means that you cannot use the excuse that someone or something other than you made you do what you did, because nothing has the power to do that. You did it because you wanted to, but most people would never admit to that since it would get them in trouble with the law.


The two principles perhaps. But for all practical purposes, in terms of the behaviors that I will choose existentially, when I move in the direction of what gives me greater satisfaction, it is because I must move in that direction. The only real "control" I have here is in toppling over as I am compelled to. And we still ever become entangled in conflicting goods whereby what brings me satisfaction, brings you dissatisfaction.

iambiguous wrote:If what we want/desire/prefer/find satisfying is only what we must want/desire/prefer/find satisfying, then, indeed, the laws of matter encompass not only what we construe to be a rational reaction to the world around us, but the manner in which we react emotionally and psychologically as well. With regard to matter there is no real distinction to be made even between the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. The mind is matter. It must forever be in sync with whatever future is embedded in the material design.


peacegirl wrote: That is all very true, but that does not take away from the fact that nothing has the power to make you do anything you don't want, which is often misinterpreted when discussing determinism. The standard definition states that we are caused to do what we do. As Lessans stated, nothing from the past can cause us to do anything because we only have the present. It just sets up conditions upon which desire is aroused to act in a particular way.


Nor does it take away from the fact that what I want or do not want to do is only what I am compelled to want or not want to do. That's precisely why a determinist has to speak of what we choose by putting "_____ " around the word freely.

Or so it seems to me.

iambiguous wrote:...men went to the moon because they could not not go to the moon. Not going to the moon was never an option in a world where everything that does happen happens only because it must happen.


peacegirl wrote: You are right; now that it has occurred it was not an option, but man had the option not to utilize the technology at the moment of choice.


Again, I'm sorry, but I simply do not grasp how humankind had the option not to use the technology that allowed it to go to the moon if there was not an element of free choice involved in going in the other direction instead. As long as the laws of matter were such that humankind must go to the moon, all of the "moments of choice" in the achievment were necessarily in sync with this reality. The only reality there could ever have been in a world governed by the immutable laws of matter.

But even here there were conflicting goods. While many hailed our trip to the moon as "progress", others insisted that, with a world teeming with so many seeming intractable problems "down here", it was immoral to spend billions of dollars to explore "up there". Not in a world where 18,000 children die from starvation every single day. Though certainly not of their own free will.

And, ironically, we have the capacity to end that starvation at any time. What we lack of course is the politcal will to do so.

But, sure, I can imagine that this particular horror story would become easier to endure if you were able to convince yourself that they starve only because they must starve per the immutable laws of matter. It's not like there is really anything that any of us can ever do if everyting that we do is only as we must do.

It's just their bad luck that the laws of matter necessitated their starvation.

iambiguous wrote:...either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.


peacegirl wrote: He had no capacity to choose freely, even though he had the ability to weigh alternatives.


Okay, he weighs alternatives but then he must write the book. Why? Because the book was written. But at the moment he chooses to write the book his ability to weigh the options might have resulted in the book not being written? No. The book was always meant to be written because, in a determined world, it was in fact written. So [from my frame of mind] his "ability to weigh options" is illusory. Yes, he did weigh them. But, no, the book was always going to be written. Thus he chose "freely" to write it.

peacegirl wrote:Right. And, yes, the future can only be what the laws of matter compel it to be anyway. There is always the possibility that it won't be brought to light, and if that happens it was meant to be. But I don't believe this will happen because man is always searching for answers to the ills that exist, and this provides one.


iambiguous wrote:Until you are able to convince me that what I want anything to be is not what the design compels me to want everything to be, you cannot realistically speak of me failing to do anything other than what I am compelled to do. After all, my future "choices" are no less compelled to be at one with the design.

You can make these distinctions between the past the present and the future. But nothing changes the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose. Before, now or later.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.


peacegirl wrote: It doesn't change the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose, before, now, or later, but it does clarify the meaning of determinism which has been misunderstood.


Yes, but here again we seem to be focusing more on the meaning that we give to words rather than the manner in which determinism is embodied in the choices that we must make. The laws of matter are such that before or during the time we choose we must choose only that which we ever can choose. And that just keeps repeating itself in perpetuity.

Then [to me] it all becomes semantics in which the most important factor [a la folks like James S. Saint] is that we pin down the precise definition of the words rather than explore the manner in which the words we define can/might/must be used pertaining to human behaviors that come to clash over conflicting goods.

For example:

peacegirl wrote: Because free will is defined as choice that is uncaused, it was believed that determinism, as the opposite of free will, is caused by previous events and circumstances. To repeat, antecedent events (the past) don't cause man to kill or hurt others. This implies that these external conditions are making him do what he does. But nothing (not heredity,environment, or the first cause) can make someone do anything they don't want to do.


Even though, per the ineluctable laws of matter, they do only what they can never not do.

peacegirl wrote: I am not arguing this point. I am saying that future choices are different than past choices in the sense that they haven't been made yet, and when the environmental conditions change, our choices change in turn. All of this is in accordance with the deterministic laws.


iambiguous wrote:If any choice that we make [before, now or later] is the only choice that we can make, how are they really different? Again, for all practical purposes. The world [existence/reality] unfolds precisely as it is compelled to. Everything [every choice] is necessarily subsumed in that.


peacegirl wrote: You can't say before you do something that you must do it because you don't have to do it if you don't want to.


But I want only what I must want. I want what existence itself compels me to want. You claim there is nothing making me choose to type these words. I type these words because I prefer to type them...rather than, say, type, "the blue meanie in the White House will one day become a member of the Bilderberg Group." Which "in the moment" I preferred to type as well rather than something else. And I am still dissatisfied with your own arguments here because I fail to properly understand that you and Lessans are right. About everything.

iambiguous wrote:From my vantage point [the only one I am ever afforded in a determined world] once my conscience becomes but a necessary component of the laws of matter, how "developed" it becomes is moot. It develops only as it must. "I" become only as it must. So, I don't freely choose any of this. I'm just wound up by existence itself to unfold like clockwork. Thus I can only be wholly cognizant of it [as you believe that you are] or deluded still by the belief that I freely choose not to be cognizant of it. But still off the hook for being "wrong" here.


peacegirl wrote: Conscience develops only as it must but it certainly isn't moot if it is the very thing that forbids one to strike a first blow under the changed conditions of a no blame society.


iambiguous wrote:In this world, a conscience can be made to rationalize virtually any and all behaviors. One conscience cannot tolerate the abortion of unborn babies. Another conscience cannot tolerate living in a world where pregnant women are forced to give birth. Yet somehow in the new world blame and punishment are vanquished here even though the conflicting goods remain. And I am still unable to comprehend how Lessans' words necessarily lead to Lessans' world. There is only accepting that the meaning he ascribed to the words in his analysis/argument reflects the objective truth.


peacegirl wrote: You keep referring back to abortion, as if this one conflict ruins any possibility of peace. It does not.


I often choose abortion in which to discuss dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Why? Because 1] it is a moral congflagration we are all familiar with 2] it literally revolves around life and death and 3] if we can resolve the conflicting goods revolving around this, all the other moral conflicts would seem that much easier.

But time and again above I have noted all of the many other issues in which the human species has become embroiled in conflicting goods. Choose another one if you wish.

Even rape is a conflicting good from the perspective of the narcissist who views morality solely in terms of that which brings him personal satisfaction. Or mass beheadings from the perspective of the religious fanatic who views morality solely in terms of satisfying "God's will".

peacegirl wrote: HE MUST PREDICT IT BECAUSE HIS CLAIMS ARE CORRECT


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but that is what all of the objectivists insist. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of religious/philosophical arguments made claiming a stake in one or another rendition of an alleged "whole truth". They can't all be right but they all insist that they are anyway.

So, all I can do then is to ask them to demonstrate why I should believe them and not all the others. And, for me, that means integrating their words into the world that we live in. And then exploring the extent to which their words might have a substantive/substantial impact on the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

If Lessans insists that we have no free will then how does he propose that we demonstrate this? Beyond merely agreeing that his argument is solid.


peacegirl wrote: I already said his claim that man has no free will is falsifiable. His explanation is spot on. We are compelled to move in the direction of greater satisfaction which offers us only one choice each and every moment of time. This new world can be simulated to prove that he was right, if scientists want to test it empirically.


Yes, but, in my opinion, you have not offered us a viable empirical framework/methodolgy from which we might either verify or falsify his predictions about the new world.

How could such a new world be simulated? Other than by, say, conducting an experiment in which one group of subjects are asked to pretend that they do not believe in blame and punishment.

But how then would such an experiment make the conflicting goods [the clash of satisfactions] fiercely embedded in abortion [or another issue of your choice] go away?
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 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:11 pm

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Irony. How does that work in a determined world? If one can do only what is prescribed by the immutable laws of matter, irony would seem to have no real meaning at all.

Thus, when you tell me it is up to me, I can note the irony; but what does it even mean to be ironic in a world where what's up to me is only what must be up to me?


peacegirl wrote: When I say it's up to you, you are making more out of it than it needs be. This only means that it is your choice, which it is. The choice you make is the only choice you could make, but my answer to you may have an impact on that choice. It's not like the choice has been made for you in advance of your making it.


iambiguous wrote:How can I possibly make more or less of something that I can only make of what I must? See, that's where we always get stuck here. There is either an element of free will involved in what I make out of anything or I make out of everything only what I was ever compelled to make out of it in order to be in alignment with existence itself.

And what you make of what I make of what you make of anything is also in sync with the only reality there ever was, is now or ever will be.


It is true that you can't make more or less of something that you can only make of what you see, but that doesn't mean I cannot point out that from my perspective you are not taking certain things into consideration which is what I meant when I said that you are making more out of it than it needs to be. It doesn't mean that you could have responded differently at that moment but it may change how you think about a later response as a result of my input. That is what conversation is all about; the give and take of ideas that may change someone's perspective.

iambiguous wrote:How can there be an exit here in a determined world? For any of us? Aside, of course, from death. Where, for all eternity, these conundrums will never plague us again. Unless it is determined by the design that death is not The End at all.


Who is mentioning an exit? Not me. An immutable law has no exits or exceptions.

iambiguous wrote:Anyway, you always focus on the before I make a choice part. As though what happens before, during or after we make a choice will actually make a difference regarding what does happen.


It doesn't change deterministic laws if that's what you're thinking. But there is a difference. Before something is done a person is still contemplating which choice to make; which choice will be the most preferable based on all of the factors involved in the making of that choice. After a choice is made, it's done. We can then say he could not have done otherwise.

iambiguous wrote:Back to Jack and Jane. Jack chooses to rape Jane. Now, if I understand you, Jack must rape Jane if Jack raping Jane is necessarily in accordance with the only existence there can ever be. The one in which Jack rapes Jane. There is no existence where Jack doesn't rape Jane. So, how does his choice to rape Jane at the moment he makes it have any relevance to the fact that he must rape her because, well, that's reality.


As I just mentioned, if Jack chose to rape Jane, then he could not have done otherwise but he has not done it yet. He is still contemplating which choice to make. This is before the fact, so it is not yet written in stone that Jack must rape Jane. Only when Jack does, in fact, rape her can we say that it had to be.

iambiguous wrote:Now, I will be the first to admit that your point may be more reasonable than mine; but I just can't seem to "get it". If something must be then it must be. The choices we make are just the next dominoes toppling over in the design we call the "human condition". The only distinction I am able to make is that, unlike the dominoes, we can become cognizant of the fact that we topple over only as we must.

You say:

peacegirl wrote: Saying you must kill someone as part of the design is the same thing as saying I want to kill someone, therefore I must. The compulsion is coming from the person making the choice, not the designer as if to say that the choice is not his own. Nothing is making a person kill if his choice not to kill is the better option, and nothing but nothing, not even God himself, can make him do this if he doesn't want to.


Are you then suggesting that the compulsions I have, I can choose freely not to have? No, of course not. After all, how is "I" not inherently in sync with the design here? As long as what I want is only what I can ever want, the manner in which you convey our "options" here is, well, toothless to me.

Or:

iambiguous wrote:I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind?

How, in a world that unfolds only as it can ever unfold, would I not think as I do now? Am I or am I not necessarily a part of this wholly material world?


peacegirl wrote: You are here because you desire to be here; because in comparison to the other options available to you at this moment, this choice gives you "greater" satisfaction.


iambiguous"Could I have freely desired not to be here? No. Could I have freely chosen to be satisfied doing something else? No.

You want to insist that I do only what I must do and that I "choose" to do it. But they are for all practical purposes the very same thing in a determined world. Or so it seems to me.


[quote="peacegirl wrote:There is an important difference. One states that you must choose something based on a prescribed program that won't allow you to change course because it's already written out. The other states that based on antecedent conditions, along with your experiences and heredity, you are "free" (which only means that there is nothing external controlling you) to pick a choice that you yourself desire based on these factors.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, "free". But never free. I and the design are at one with existence itself. There is nothing external to that. As though there ever could be.


Who said there was something external to that? Not me.

peacegirl wrote: The reason this description is important is because your explanation would allow you to hurt someone (if you were a criminal type) and then use the excuse that the design made you do it, which is false. You did it because you wanted to.


iambiguous wrote:I cannot make sense of this other than to suppose I have some measure of autonomy regarding the things I choose to want. As though being or not being a "criminal type" is something that I am responsible for even though I will be or will not be a criminal solely in sync with the design.


peacegirl wrote: You are confusing the two principles. One states that will is not free because we always move in the direction of what gives us greater satisfaction, which we have absolutely no control over. So if you turn out to be a criminal, you had no control over that. The other principle states that nothing can make or force you to do anything against your will, which you have absolute control over. This means that you cannot use the excuse that someone or something other than you made you do what you did, because nothing has the power to do that. You did it because you wanted to, but most people would never admit to that since it would get them in trouble with the law.


iambiguous wrote:The two principles perhaps. But for all practical purposes, in terms of the behaviors that I will choose existentially, when I move in the direction of what gives me greater satisfaction, it is because I must move in that direction. The only real "control" I have here is in toppling over as I am compelled to. And we still ever become entangled in conflicting goods whereby what brings me satisfaction, brings you dissatisfaction.


This is where I'm going to have to jump ship because you are challenging Lessans without caring to understand how this new world plays out in blueprint form. All these major conflicts, the ones that are causing global disruption, are resolved. To clarify: Dissatisfaction is part of life and what pushes us forward. If we didn't have dissatisfaction with the present position, we would stay in the same spot forever. Babies cry because they are dissatisfied. This is called life. This aspect of dissatisfaction doesn't change, so you have to be careful what you mean when you use the word "dissatisfaction".

iambiguous wrote:If what we want/desire/prefer/find satisfying is only what we must want/desire/prefer/find satisfying, then, indeed, the laws of matter encompass not only what we construe to be a rational reaction to the world around us, but the manner in which we react emotionally and psychologically as well. With regard to matter there is no real distinction to be made even between the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious mind. The mind is matter. It must forever be in sync with whatever future is embedded in the material design.


peacegirl wrote: That is all very true, but that does not take away from the fact that nothing has the power to make you do anything you don't want, which is often misinterpreted when discussing determinism. The standard definition states that we are caused to do what we do. As Lessans stated, nothing from the past can cause us to do anything because we only have the present. It just sets up conditions upon which desire is aroused to act in a particular way.


iambiguous wrote:Nor does it take away from the fact that what I want or do not want to do is only what I am compelled to want or not want to do. That's precisely why a determinist has to speak of what we choose by putting "_____ " around the word freely.

Or so it seems to me.

...men went to the moon because they could not not go to the moon. Not going to the moon was never an option in a world where everything that does happen happens only because it must happen.


peacegirl wrote: You are right; now that it has occurred it was not an option, but man had the option not to utilize the technology at the moment of choice.


iambiguous wrote:Again, I'm sorry, but I simply do not grasp how humankind had the option not to use the technology that allowed it to go to the moon if there was not an element of free choice involved in going in the other direction instead. As long as the laws of matter were such that humankind must go to the moon, all of the "moments of choice" in the achievment were necessarily in sync with this reality. The only reality there could ever have been in a world governed by the immutable laws of matter.

But even here there were conflicting goods. While many hailed our trip to the moon as "progress", others insisted that, with a world teeming with so many seeming intractable problems "down here", it was immoral to spend billions of dollars to explore "up there". Not in a world where 18,000 children die from starvation every single day. Though certainly not of their own free will.

And, ironically, we have the capacity to end that starvation at any time. What we lack of course is the politcal will to do so.

But, sure, I can imagine that this particular horror story would become easier to endure if you were able to convince yourself that they starve only because they must starve per the immutable laws of matter. It's not like there is really anything that any of us can ever do if everyting that we do is only as we must do.

It's just their bad luck that the laws of matter necessitated their starvation.


You are being premature. The new economic system solves this problem of conflicting opinions regarding going to the moon while people are starving. That's why it's hard to discuss this when you have not studied the extension of these principles into the areas you are most concerned about.

iambiguous wrote:...either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.


peacegirl wrote: He had no capacity to choose freely, even though he had the ability to weigh alternatives.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, he weighs alternatives but then he must write the book. Why? Because the book was written. But at the moment he chooses to write the book his ability to weigh the options might have resulted in the book not being written? No. The book was always meant to be written because, in a determined world, it was in fact written. So [from my frame of mind] his "ability to weigh options" is illusory. Yes, he did weigh them. But, no, the book was always going to be written. Thus he chose "freely" to write it.


Where does "freely" enter into this at all? He did not "freely" choose. The word choice is illusory because, in reality, he had no choice since he was compelled to choose the most preferable option. The ability to weigh options is real, not illusory. This gives us the opportunity to decide which choice is preferable otherwise we would have no way of knowing. But this has nothing to do with freedom of the will. When he said "I did something of my own free will" (which he used throughout the book) he qualified it. He said this does not mean he actually did anything of his own free will. It just meant that he did something because he wanted to, which is an accurate usage of the term.

peacegirl wrote:Right. And, yes, the future can only be what the laws of matter compel it to be anyway. There is always the possibility that it won't be brought to light, and if that happens it was meant to be. But I don't believe this will happen because man is always searching for answers to the ills that exist, and this provides one.


iambiguous wrote:Until you are able to convince me that what I want anything to be is not what the design compels me to want everything to be, you cannot realistically speak of me failing to do anything other than what I am compelled to do. After all, my future "choices" are no less compelled to be at one with the design.

You can make these distinctions between the past the present and the future. But nothing changes the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose. Before, now or later.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:None of this makes me any less off the hook. And none of this explains how, if we are always off the hook in having to choose only what we ever can choose, blaming people now but not blaming people in the new world comes about. Instead, you only predict that it will if we all come to think about these things as Lessans does. But then if we don't, we are still off the hook.


peacegirl wrote: It doesn't change the fact that per the laws of matter all that we choose is only as we can choose, before, now, or later, but it does clarify the meaning of determinism which has been misunderstood.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but here again we seem to be focusing more on the meaning that we give to words rather than the manner in which determinism is embodied in the choices that we must make. The laws of matter are such that before or during the time we choose we must choose only that which we ever can choose. And that just keeps repeating itself in perpetuity.

Then [to me] it all becomes semantics in which the most important factor [a la folks like James S. Saint] is that we pin down the precise definition of the words rather than explore the manner in which the words we define can/might/must be used pertaining to human behaviors that come to clash over conflicting goods.

For example:

peacegirl wrote: Because free will is defined as choice that is uncaused, it was believed that determinism, as the opposite of free will, is caused by previous events and circumstances. To repeat, antecedent events (the past) don't cause man to kill or hurt others. This implies that these external conditions are making him do what he does. But nothing (not heredity,environment, or the first cause) can make someone do anything they don't want to do.


Even though, per the ineluctable laws of matter, they do only what they can never not do.


That is very true, but you're missing an important distinction, as I've said to you before. This other principle; that nothing can make someone do anything he doesn't want to do IS ALSO TRUE, which has been a source of serious confusion in the free will/determinism debate. This IS the conundrum that is making it impossible to reconcile these two opposing ideologies. Once these two principles come together, we are able to see why responsibility (forget the word moral) for one's actions goes up, not down.

peacegirl wrote: I am not arguing this point. I am saying that future choices are different than past choices in the sense that they haven't been made yet, and when the environmental conditions change, our choices change in turn. All of this is in accordance with the deterministic laws.


iambiguous wrote:If any choice that we make [before, now or later] is the only choice that we can make, how are they really different? Again, for all practical purposes. The world [existence/reality] unfolds precisely as it is compelled to. Everything [every choice] is necessarily subsumed in that.


peacegirl wrote: You can't say before you do something that you must do it because you don't have to do it if you don't want to.


iambiguous wrote:But I want only what I must want. I want what existence itself compels me to want. You claim there is nothing making me choose to type these words. I type these words because I prefer to type them...rather than, say, type, "the blue meanie in the White House will one day become a member of the Bilderberg Group." Which "in the moment" I preferred to type as well rather than something else. And I am still dissatisfied with your own arguments here because I fail to properly understand that you and Lessans are right. About everything.


You actually are correct that you preferred to type these words rather than other words, but this is only half of the equation. You're missing the other half. No wonder you don't get it, and you will continue not to get it if you are dissatisfied at this point and therefore you are convinced that he is wrong about everything. You won't go forward and that's okay too

iambiguous wrote:From my vantage point [the only one I am ever afforded in a determined world] once my conscience becomes but a necessary component of the laws of matter, how "developed" it becomes is moot. It develops only as it must. "I" become only as it must. So, I don't freely choose any of this. I'm just wound up by existence itself to unfold like clockwork. Thus I can only be wholly cognizant of it [as you believe that you are] or deluded still by the belief that I freely choose not to be cognizant of it. But still off the hook for being "wrong" here.


peacegirl wrote: Conscience develops only as it must but it certainly isn't moot if it is the very thing that forbids one to strike a first blow under the changed conditions of a no blame society.


iambiguous wrote:In this world, a conscience can be made to rationalize virtually any and all behaviors. One conscience cannot tolerate the abortion of unborn babies. Another conscience cannot tolerate living in a world where pregnant women are forced to give birth. Yet somehow in the new world blame and punishment are vanquished here even though the conflicting goods remain. And I am still unable to comprehend how Lessans' words necessarily lead to Lessans' world. There is only accepting that the meaning he ascribed to the words in his analysis/argument reflects the objective truth.


peacegirl wrote: You keep referring back to abortion, as if this one conflict ruins any possibility of peace. It does not.


iambiguous wrote:I often choose abortion in which to discuss dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Why? Because 1] it is a moral congflagration we are all familiar with 2] it literally revolves around life and death and 3] if we can resolve the conflicting goods revolving around this, all the other moral conflicts would seem that much easier.


I don't agree. There are other more pressing moral conflagrations that are not dependent on this one issue for their solution such as war, crime, and poverty for starters. If these can be eliminated, imagine how much better our world would be even if there are differences in opinion regarding abortion. Imagine how much better our world will be if everyone has their basic needs met. I think it's time to focus on the issues that everyone agrees on. The conflicts you talk about will never stop this new world from coming into existence. As I already said, abortion will naturally go down because the conditions that led to the need to abort as the lesser of two evils, will not be present. As far political economy, government (or the age of politics) is coming to an end so there will be no conflict in this regard.

iambiguous wrote:But time and again above I have noted all of the many other issues in which the human species has become embroiled in conflicting goods. Choose another one if you wish.


The major conflicts revolve around countries not having enough sustenance to provide for their citizens. When these problems are resolved, the conflicts will disappear along with them, and world peace will be inevitable.

iambiguous wrote:Even rape is a conflicting good from the perspective of the narcissist who views morality solely in terms of that which brings him personal satisfaction. Or mass beheadings from the perspective of the religious fanatic who views morality solely in terms of satisfying "God's will".


Rape is a hurt to the person being raped. Any kind of hurt that is a first blow will be unjustified in the new world, ending this type of abuse. But you have to remember that children growing up under these changed conditions would never think of raping another human being. Again, you have to be careful about projecting what you think the new world will look like based on the world we're living in. As far as mass beheadings, this is a larger problem that can only be completely eradicated once these principles are applied on a worldwide basis, otherwise, there will continue to be groups such as Isis who feel unjustly treated by people they have made into scapegoats.

peacegirl wrote: HE MUST PREDICT IT BECAUSE HIS CLAIMS ARE CORRECT


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but that is what all of the objectivists insist. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of religious/philosophical arguments made claiming a stake in one or another rendition of an alleged "whole truth". They can't all be right but they all insist that they are anyway.

So, all I can do then is to ask them to demonstrate why I should believe them and not all the others. And, for me, that means integrating their words into the world that we live in. And then exploring the extent to which their words might have a substantive/substantial impact on the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

If Lessans insists that we have no free will then how does he propose that we demonstrate this? Beyond merely agreeing that his argument is solid.


peacegirl wrote: I already said his claim that man has no free will is falsifiable. His explanation is spot on. We are compelled to move in the direction of greater satisfaction which offers us only one choice each and every moment of time. This new world can be simulated to prove that he was right, if scientists want to test it empirically.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but, in my opinion, you have not offered us a viable empirical framework/methodolgy from which we might either verify or falsify his predictions about the new world.

How could such a new world be simulated? Other than by, say, conducting an experiment in which one group of subjects are asked to pretend that they do not believe in blame and punishment.

But how then would such an experiment make the conflicting goods [the clash of satisfactions] fiercely embedded in abortion [or another issue of your choice] go away?


Obviously it would have to be a decision to simulate the new world, which requires a commitment not to blame or punish. People can be unsure that it would work, but why do they have to pretend? Many conflicts will be resolved, especially the ones that involve political economy.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



peacegirl
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:17 am

I think it's the time to say goodbye, at least for the time being. Iambiguous, I believe I understand you more than most. I wish you the best. I do hope you delve into this discovery to see how this new world is possible, even with your misgivings. You have given me a run for my money, that's for sure. :)
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:22 pm

peacegirl wrote: When I say it's up to you, you are making more out of it than it needs be. This only means that it is your choice, which it is. The choice you make is the only choice you could make, but my answer to you may have an impact on that choice. It's not like the choice has been made for you in advance of your making it.


iambiguous wrote:How can I possibly make more or less of something that I can only make of what I must? See, that's where we always get stuck here. There is either an element of free will involved in what I make out of anything or I make out of everything only what I was ever compelled to make out of it in order to be in alignment with existence itself.

And what you make of what I make of what you make of anything is also in sync with the only reality there ever was, is now or ever will be.


peacegirl wrote: It is true that you can't make more or less of something that you can only make of what you see, but that doesn't mean I cannot point out that from my perspective you are not taking certain things into consideration which is what I meant when I said that you are making more out of it than it needs to be.


But this just prompts me to ask [in the same vein]: Is it within your capacity to freely point this out to me? No. Is it within my capactity to freely consider it? No.

So: am I or am I not considering it only in the manner in which I am compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design?

peacegirl wrote: It doesn't mean that you could have responded differently at that moment but it may change how you think about a later response as a result of my input. That is what conversation is all about; the give and take of ideas that may change someone's perspective.


But: No one's perspective ever changes other than as it must change. And, thus, before, now and later are always of a whole. And, finally, always rooted squarely in the laws of matter.

To me, it would be like dominoes toppling over in what is supposed to be the design of the American flag but then, somehow, in the middle of it all, the toppling encounters a paradigm shift and the design ends up being the flag of Russia instead.

As you say, "an immutable law has no exits or exceptions." But for you to note something here that prompts me to come around to your point of view would seem to encompass something in the way of volition on my part. And then, of course, there is always the possibility of you coming around to my point of view, right? After all, who can really ascertain for certain what the laws of matter will encompass a day from now...a week from now...a month from now. Let alone a thousand years from now.

iambiguous wrote:Anyway, you always focus on the before I make a choice part. As though what happens before, during or after we make a choice will actually make a difference regarding what does happen.


peacegirl wrote: It doesn't change deterministic laws if that's what you're thinking. But there is a difference. Before something is done a person is still contemplating which choice to make; which choice will be the most preferable based on all of the factors involved in the making of that choice. After a choice is made, it's done. We can then say he could not have done otherwise.


Nope, it still doesn't compute. Right now I am contemplating the best way in which to respond to your point. Either the words that I am typing now are the only words compatible with the nature of existence itself or somehow [however problematic] there is an element of free will such that I am choosing these words within one or another rendition of this:

I am able to choose the words as I do here because 1] I reflected on them 2] I tried to grasp the context in which they will be used to the best of my ability 3] I tried to weigh the pros and the cons to the best of my ability and then 4] I chose these words rather than others.

iambiguous wrote:Back to Jack and Jane. Jack chooses to rape Jane. Now, if I understand you, Jack must rape Jane if Jack raping Jane is necessarily in accordance with the only existence there can ever be. The one in which Jack rapes Jane. There is no existence where Jack doesn't rape Jane. So, how does his choice to rape Jane at the moment he makes it have any relevance to the fact that he must rape her because, well, that's reality.


peacegirl wrote: As I just mentioned, if Jack chose to rape Jane, then he could not have done otherwise but he has not done it yet. He is still contemplating which choice to make. This is before the fact, so it is not yet written in stone that Jack must rape Jane. Only when Jack does, in fact, rape her can we say that it had to be.


Same thing though. If, at the moment he is choosing whether his satisfaction lies in raping Jane, he does not have it within his capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no", then he is compelled to rape Jane if Jane's rape is a necessary component of the design.

iambiguous wrote:I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind? Could I have freely desired not to be here? No. Could I have freely chosen to be satisfied doing something else? No.

You want to insist that I do only what I must do and that I "choose" to do it. But they are for all practical purposes the very same thing in a determined world. Or so it seems to me.


peacegirl wrote:There is an important difference. One states that you must choose something based on a prescribed program that won't allow you to change course because it's already written out. The other states that based on antecedent conditions, along with your experiences and heredity, you are "free" (which only means that there is nothing external controlling you) to pick a choice that you yourself desire based on these factors.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, "free". But never free. I and the design are at one with existence itself. There is nothing external to that. As though there ever could be.


peacegirl wrote: Who said there was something external to that? Not me.


We both agree there is nothing external to that. But if all that encompasses what we think, feel and do is a necessary component of existence itself, what are the practical implications of that when Jack "chooses" to rape Jane. Or when Mary "chooses" to abort her baby? Or when the state "chooses' to execute Bob?

peacegirl wrote: You are confusing the two principles. One states that will is not free because we always move in the direction of what gives us greater satisfaction, which we have absolutely no control over. So if you turn out to be a criminal, you had no control over that. The other principle states that nothing can make or force you to do anything against your will, which you have absolute control over. This means that you cannot use the excuse that someone or something other than you made you do what you did, because nothing has the power to do that. You did it because you wanted to, but most people would never admit to that since it would get them in trouble with the law.


iambiguous wrote:The two principles perhaps. But for all practical purposes, in terms of the behaviors that I will choose existentially, when I move in the direction of what gives me greater satisfaction, it is because I must move in that direction. The only real "control" I have here is in toppling over as I am compelled to. And we still ever become entangled in conflicting goods whereby what brings me satisfaction, brings you dissatisfaction.


peacegirl wrote: This is where I'm going to have to jump ship because you are challenging Lessans without caring to understand how this new world plays out in blueprint form.


This reminds me of the many objectivists I have encountered here who insist that before I can grasp the practical implications of their own particular objective truth, I have to read this or that [ofttimes voluminous] analysis/argument. Only when I finally grasp these myriad definitions and deductions that they propose will the relevance to the things that interest me become manifest. But then they give me no real incentive to do so by fleshing out their arguments in order to show how they pertain to either identity, conflicting goods or political economy.

Besides, before they will ever bring their own largely epistemological constructs down to earth, I must first agree that they are the starting point for understanding, among other things, the whole of reality.

Then around and around in that circle we go.

As long as you continue to "resolve" all of "the major conflicts" that plague humankind by positing this new world as basically an axiomatic construct revolving largely around embracing Lessans' own argument/analysis, there is no viable manner in which others can grasp how we will get from here to there. That's all contained in embracing the assumptions he derived from his observations.

iambiguous wrote:Again, I'm sorry, but I simply do not grasp how humankind had the option not to use the technology that allowed it to go to the moon if there was not an element of free choice involved in going in the other direction instead. As long as the laws of matter were such that humankind must go to the moon, all of the "moments of choice" in the achievment were necessarily in sync with this reality. The only reality there could ever have been in a world governed by the immutable laws of matter.

But even here there were conflicting goods. While many hailed our trip to the moon as "progress", others insisted that, with a world teeming with so many seeming intractable problems "down here", it was immoral to spend billions of dollars to explore "up there". Not in a world where 18,000 children die from starvation every single day. Though certainly not of their own free will.

And, ironically, we have the capacity to end that starvation at any time. What we lack of course is the politcal will to do so.

But, sure, I can imagine that this particular horror story would become easier to endure if you were able to convince yourself that they starve only because they must starve per the immutable laws of matter. It's not like there is really anything that any of us can ever do if everyting that we do is only as we must do.

It's just their bad luck that the laws of matter necessitated their starvation.


peacegirl wrote: You are being premature. The new economic system solves this problem of conflicting opinions regarding going to the moon while people are starving. That's why it's hard to discuss this when you have not studied the extension of these principles into the areas you are most concerned about.


The "new economic system" that, so far, is merely an intellectual construct in the minds of those who subscribe to Lessans' arguments.

And if Lessans' more extended lessons regarding political economy are tantamount to [or extentions of] the excerpts you have provided above, there is still nothing really tangible that social scientists can grapple with in order to verify/falsify them more empirically/experientially.

And there are still the difficulties that revolve around conflicting goods. As noted above, social scientists can in fact perform experiments in order to verify/falsify propositions relating to human behavior in crowds. But that does not enable them in turn to ascertain whether the moral/political cause embraced by the crowd is objectively moral or immoral.

iambiguous wrote:...either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.


peacegirl wrote: He had no capacity to choose freely, even though he had the ability to weigh alternatives.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, he weighs alternatives but then he must write the book. Why? Because the book was written. But at the moment he chooses to write the book his ability to weigh the options might have resulted in the book not being written? No. The book was always meant to be written because, in a determined world, it was in fact written. So [from my frame of mind] his "ability to weigh options" is illusory. Yes, he did weigh them. But, no, the book was always going to be written. Thus he chose "freely" to write it.


peacegirl wrote: Where does "freely" enter into this at all? He did not "freely" choose. The word choice is illusory because, in reality, he had no choice since he was compelled to choose the most preferable option.


Yes, this is the point that I often raise, isn't it? But you are the one above who often encloses the word freely here in these: " ". Thus Lessans is compelled to write the book. Eventually, enough people are compelled to read and embrace it. And then [a 1000 years from now] the future is compelled to be without blame or punishment. At least for those citizens who take the "universal consciousness" oath .

peacegirl wrote: You can't say before you do something that you must do it because you don't have to do it if you don't want to.


iambiguous wrote:But I want only what I must want. I want what existence itself compels me to want. You claim there is nothing making me choose to type these words. I type these words because I prefer to type them...rather than, say, type, "the blue meanie in the White House will one day become a member of the Bilderberg Group." Which "in the moment" I preferred to type as well rather than something else. And I am still dissatisfied with your own arguments here because I fail to properly understand that you and Lessans are right. About everything.


peacegirl wrote: You actually are correct that you preferred to type these words rather than other words, but this is only half of the equation. You're missing the other half. No wonder you don't get it, and you will continue not to get it if you are dissatisfied at this point and therefore you are convinced that he is wrong about everything. You won't go forward and that's okay too.


If I do miss this other half it is only because I am compelled as a necessary component of the design to miss it. And that's the part that you have never managed to reconcile for me. I must type what I can only type here but still I somehow fail to type what you insist that I should type in order to be in sync with what you type.

And by "going forward" I have found that most objectivists mean "agree with me". But my problem is that I can't make sense [realistically] of how their theoretical analysis has any substantive [existential] relevance to the world that we interact [and conflict] in.

peacegirl wrote: You keep referring back to abortion, as if this one conflict ruins any possibility of peace. It does not.


iambiguous wrote:I often choose abortion in which to discuss dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Why? Because 1] it is a moral congflagration we are all familiar with 2] it literally revolves around life and death and 3] if we can resolve the conflicting goods revolving around this, all the other moral conflicts would seem that much easier.


peacegirl wrote: I don't agree. There are other more pressing moral conflagrations that are not dependent on this one issue for their solution such as war, crime, and poverty for starters.


But I have asked you [and others] any number of times to pick a moral conflict that you/they deem most relevant to these relationships. Again, I am more than willing to integrate the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in the discussions.

Discussions in which words and worlds are explored in tandem.

iambiguous wrote:Even rape is a conflicting good from the perspective of the narcissist who views morality solely in terms of that which brings him personal satisfaction. Or mass beheadings from the perspective of the religious fanatic who views morality solely in terms of satisfying "God's will".


peacegirl wrote: Rape is a hurt to the person being raped. Any kind of hurt that is a first blow will be unjustified in the new world, ending this type of abuse.


Yes, I agree. Rape is certainly a devastating infliction of pain on the one being raped. But that doesn't mean much to the narcissist who construes morality solely in terms of his own personal satisfaction. And I keep pointing out time and again that, with respect to all moral conflicts, folks on both sides of the issues have their own rendition of the hurt brought on by either pursuing or not pursuing particular behaviors.

But then, in my view, you only make this go away in the new world theoretically, analytically, axiomatically; once everyone willing to sign up for universal consciousness creates their own utopian paradise.
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 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:42 pm

peacegirl wrote:I think it's the time to say goodbye, at least for the time being. Iambiguous, I believe I understand you more than most. I wish you the best. I do hope you delve into this discovery to see how this new world is possible, even with your misgivings. You have given me a run for my money, that's for sure. :)


Well, if you really must... :wink:

Seriously, an exchange of this sort is always an intriguing endeavor for me. It's another facet in which to explore the only question that seems to matter much to me these days: How ought I to live?

Is there a way to discover this philosophically? And, pertaining to free will, is the pursuit even meaningful in the manner in which many who subscribe to one or another rendition of libertarian values like to think of it.

Anyway, all the best. Please come back if you do so "choose"/choose, and we can grapple with it some more.

I do intend to use this thread to further explore that part of determinism which most fascinates me: the part about moral responsibility.
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 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:35 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote: When I say it's up to you, you are making more out of it than it needs be. This only means that it is your choice, which it is. The choice you make is the only choice you could make, but my answer to you may have an impact on that choice. It's not like the choice has been made for you in advance of your making it.


iambiguous wrote:How can I possibly make more or less of something that I can only make of what I must? See, that's where we always get stuck here. There is either an element of free will involved in what I make out of anything or I make out of everything only what I was ever compelled to make out of it in order to be in alignment with existence itself.

And what you make of what I make of what you make of anything is also in sync with the only reality there ever was, is now or ever will be.


peacegirl wrote: It is true that you can't make more or less of something that you can only make of what you see, but that doesn't mean I cannot point out that from my perspective you are not taking certain things into consideration which is what I meant when I said that you are making more out of it than it needs to be.


But this just prompts me to ask [in the same vein]: Is it within your capacity to freely point this out to me? No. Is it within my capactity to freely consider it? No.

So: am I or am I not considering it only in the manner in which I am compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design?


I guess you didn't see my last post. Now I feel compelled to answer even though I just posted that I would like to take a break. Of course you are compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design. Once again, no one is arguing with this. I was just explaining to you that the answer I gave is not inconsistent with my knowledge of determinism. You seem surprised that I pointed out that you are making more out of it than needs to be. Obviously, you couldn't think any differently at that moment.

peacegirl wrote: It doesn't mean that you could have responded differently at that moment but it may change how you think about a later response as a result of my input. That is what conversation is all about; the give and take of ideas that may change someone's perspective.


iambiguous wrote:But: No one's perspective ever changes other than as it must change. And, thus, before, now and later are always of a whole. And, finally, always rooted squarely in the laws of matter.


Even though your perspective can only ever change as it must change before, now and later does not change the fact that each and every moment offers a new perspective based on the accumulated knowledge and experience you have gained up to that point in time. My offering you feedback on what we're discussing may play a role in what your next choice will be.

iambiguous wrote:To me, it would be like dominoes toppling over in what is supposed to be the design of the American flag but then, somehow, in the middle of it all, the toppling encounters a paradigm shift and the design ends up being the flag of Russia instead.


No, nothing escapes that framework of determinism just because of new knowledge. That would mean nothing new could ever come into play because the dominoes would already be predetermined to fall in a certain way. That's how it works with dominoes, but not with human nature. We do make choices; dominoes don't get to. Based on new knowledge, a paradigm shift could occur and with great speed. You are making a comparison that doesn't apply to humans, even though we cannot escape the laws of determinism. I don't think you understand why the past does not cause the present, and why this matters.

iambiguous wrote:As you say, "an immutable law has no exits or exceptions." But for you to note something here that prompts me to come around to your point of view would seem to encompass something in the way of volition on my part.


Of course it would be of your own volition, or your own choosing, but as Lessans stated this choice (which is coming from your will, no one else's) is correct if it means "of your own desire", but this has nothing to do with having freedom of the will.

iambiguous wrote:And then, of course, there is always the possibility of you coming around to my point of view, right? After all, who can really ascertain for certain what the laws of matter will encompass a day from now...a week from now...a month from now. Let alone a thousand years from now.


I will not come over to your point of view (that I can promise you) because I know for a fact that we have no free will and that there's no ghost in the machine.

iambiguous wrote:Anyway, you always focus on the before I make a choice part. As though what happens before, during or after we make a choice will actually make a difference regarding what does happen.


peacegirl wrote: It doesn't change deterministic laws if that's what you're thinking. But there is a difference. Before something is done a person is still contemplating which choice to make; which choice will be the most preferable based on all of the factors involved in the making of that choice. After a choice is made, it's done. We can then say he could not have done otherwise.


iambiguous wrote:Nope, it still doesn't compute. Right now I am contemplating the best way in which to respond to your point. Either the words that I am typing now are the only words compatible with the nature of existence itself or somehow [however problematic] there is an element of free will such that I am choosing these words within one or another rendition of this:

I am able to choose the words as I do here because 1] I reflected on them 2] I tried to grasp the context in which they will be used to the best of my ability 3] I tried to weigh the pros and the cons to the best of my ability and then 4] I chose these words rather than others.


Sorry iambiguous but the fact that you are reflecting on the words, trying to grasp the context in which they will be used, and weighing the pros and cons DOES NOT GRANT YOU FREE WILL IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM.

iambiguous wrote:Back to Jack and Jane. Jack chooses to rape Jane. Now, if I understand you, Jack must rape Jane if Jack raping Jane is necessarily in accordance with the only existence there can ever be. The one in which Jack rapes Jane. There is no existence where Jack doesn't rape Jane. So, how does his choice to rape Jane at the moment he makes it have any relevance to the fact that he must rape her because, well, that's reality.


peacegirl wrote: As I just mentioned, if Jack chose to rape Jane, then he could not have done otherwise but he has not done it yet. He is still contemplating which choice to make. This is before the fact, so it is not yet written in stone that Jack must rape Jane. Only when Jack does, in fact, rape her can we say that it had to be.


iambiguous wrote:Same thing though. If, at the moment he is choosing whether his satisfaction lies in raping Jane, he does not have it within his capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no", then he is compelled to rape Jane if Jane's rape is a necessary component of the design.


In the sense that he can choose not to rape Jane IF HE DOESN'T WANT TO, or rape her IF HE WANTS TO, the term "freely chose" can be used in place of "of his own desire" (which Lessans was clear about), but it does not mean he has free will to choose A over B or B over A equally. That is what freedom of the will implies. The fact that he has the power of contemplation does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no." He is compelled to choose the alternative that he finds the most preferable, which is an immutable law. In other words, the fact that he has two choices does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose since he must pick the choice that gives him greater satisfaction. That is why choice is an illusion.

iambiguous wrote:I am still here because I must still be here. And you are still here because you must still be here as well. Isn't that in essense the fundamental point of your deterministic frame of mind? Could I have freely desired not to be here? No. Could I have freely chosen to be satisfied doing something else? No.

You want to insist that I do only what I must do and that I "choose" to do it. But they are for all practical purposes the very same thing in a determined world. Or so it seems to me.


peacegirl wrote:There is an important difference. One states that you must choose something based on a prescribed program that won't allow you to change course because it's already written out. The other states that based on antecedent conditions, along with your experiences and heredity, you are "free" (which only means that there is nothing external controlling you) to pick a choice that you yourself desire based on these factors.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, "free". But never free. I and the design are at one with existence itself. There is nothing external to that. As though there ever could be.


peacegirl wrote: Who said there was something external to that? Not me.


iambiguous wrote:We both agree there is nothing external to that. But if all that encompasses what we think, feel and do is a necessary component of existence itself, what are the practical implications of that when Jack "chooses" to rape Jane. Or when Mary "chooses" to abort her baby? Or when the state "chooses' to execute Bob?


Although we cannot change the past because we know that we could not have chosen otherwise, that does not mean man's choices will be the same when these principles are introduced on a worldwide scale. The practical implications of this change cannot even be fully comprehended.

peacegirl wrote: You are confusing the two principles. One states that will is not free because we always move in the direction of what gives us greater satisfaction, which we have absolutely no control over. So if you turn out to be a criminal, you had no control over that. The other principle states that nothing can make or force you to do anything against your will, which you have absolute control over. This means that you cannot use the excuse that someone or something other than you made you do what you did, because nothing has the power to do that. You did it because you wanted to, but most people would never admit to that since it would get them in trouble with the law.


iambiguous wrote:The two principles perhaps. But for all practical purposes, in terms of the behaviors that I will choose existentially, when I move in the direction of what gives me greater satisfaction, it is because I must move in that direction. The only real "control" I have here is in toppling over as I am compelled to. And we still ever become entangled in conflicting goods whereby what brings me satisfaction, brings you dissatisfaction.


peacegirl wrote: This is where I'm going to have to jump ship because you are challenging Lessans without caring to understand how this new world plays out in blueprint form.


iambiguous wrote:This reminds me of the many objectivists I have encountered here who insist that before I can grasp the practical implications of their own particular objective truth, I have to read this or that [ofttimes voluminous] analysis/argument. Only when I finally grasp these myriad definitions and deductions that they propose will the relevance to the things that interest me become manifest. But then they give me no real incentive to do so by fleshing out their arguments in order to show how they pertain to either identity, conflicting goods or political economy.

Besides, before they will ever bring their own largely epistemological constructs down to earth, I must first agree that they are the starting point for understanding, among other things, the whole of reality.

Then around and around in that circle we go.


I have no idea what "truths" these objectivists are defending. All I know is what I know is true based on what I have learned. I am offering you a book that I believe will have a huge impact on your life personally, and an even bigger impact on the world at large.

iambiguous wrote:As long as you continue to "resolve" all of "the major conflicts" that plague humankind by positing this new world as basically an axiomatic construct revolving largely around embracing Lessans' own argument/analysis, there is no viable manner in which others can grasp how we will get from here to there. That's all contained in embracing the assumptions he derived from his observations.


This is just repeating the same thing over and over again. I am very sorry but these observations were not assumptions. He made valid inferences based on what he observed but there are no assumptions anywhere in his proposition, his observations, or his reasoning.

iambiguous wrote:Again, I'm sorry, but I simply do not grasp how humankind had the option not to use the technology that allowed it to go to the moon if there was not an element of free choice involved in going in the other direction instead. As long as the laws of matter were such that humankind must go to the moon, all of the "moments of choice" in the achievment were necessarily in sync with this reality. The only reality there could ever have been in a world governed by the immutable laws of matter.

But even here there were conflicting goods. While many hailed our trip to the moon as "progress", others insisted that, with a world teeming with so many seeming intractable problems "down here", it was immoral to spend billions of dollars to explore "up there". Not in a world where 18,000 children die from starvation every single day. Though certainly not of their own free will.

And, ironically, we have the capacity to end that starvation at any time. What we lack of course is the politcal will to do so.

But, sure, I can imagine that this particular horror story would become easier to endure if you were able to convince yourself that they starve only because they must starve per the immutable laws of matter. It's not like there is really anything that any of us can ever do if everyting that we do is only as we must do.

It's just their bad luck that the laws of matter necessitated their starvation.


peacegirl wrote: You are being premature. The new economic system solves this problem of conflicting opinions regarding going to the moon while people are starving. That's why it's hard to discuss this when you have not studied the extension of these principles into the areas you are most concerned about.


iambiguous wrote:The "new economic system" that, so far, is merely an intellectual construct in the minds of those who subscribe to Lessans' arguments.

And if Lessans' more extended lessons regarding political economy are tantamount to [or extentions of] the excerpts you have provided above, there is still nothing really tangible that social scientists can grapple with in order to verify/falsify them more empirically/experientially.

And there are still the difficulties that revolve around conflicting goods. As noted above, social scientists can in fact perform experiments in order to verify/falsify propositions relating to human behavior in crowds. But that does not enable them in turn to ascertain whether the moral/political cause embraced by the crowd is objectively moral or immoral.


The irony is that these types of moral conflicts won't even exist. How can they when the age of politics is coming to an end? You are unable to consider the possibility that what you are envisioning is impossible is an incomplete and myopic view based on the world as it is now. I don't need you to tell me that your view is more practical one more time. =;

iambiguous wrote:...either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.


peacegirl wrote: He had no capacity to choose freely, even though he had the ability to weigh alternatives.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, he weighs alternatives but then he must write the book. Why? Because the book was written. But at the moment he chooses to write the book his ability to weigh the options might have resulted in the book not being written? No. The book was always meant to be written because, in a determined world, it was in fact written. So [from my frame of mind] his "ability to weigh options" is illusory. Yes, he did weigh them. But, no, the book was always going to be written. Thus he chose "freely" to write it.


peacegirl wrote: Where does "freely" enter into this at all? He did not "freely" choose. The word choice is illusory because, in reality, he had no choice since he was compelled to choose the most preferable option.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, this is the point that I often raise, isn't it? But you are the one above who often encloses the word freely here in these: " ". Thus Lessans is compelled to write the book. Eventually, enough people are compelled to read and embrace it. And then [a 1000 years from now] the future is compelled to be without blame or punishment. At least for those citizens who take the "universal consciousness" oath .


And I will ask again: Where does "free" in the way I qualified it have to do with freedom of the will? I already explained how the phrase "I did it of my own free will" is qualified and can be used if it means "of my own volition". We are losing communication.

peacegirl wrote: You can't say before you do something that you must do it because you don't have to do it if you don't want to.


iambiguous wrote:But I want only what I must want. I want what existence itself compels me to want. You claim there is nothing making me choose to type these words. I type these words because I prefer to type them...rather than, say, type, "the blue meanie in the White House will one day become a member of the Bilderberg Group." Which "in the moment" I preferred to type as well rather than something else. And I am still dissatisfied with your own arguments here because I fail to properly understand that you and Lessans are right. About everything.


peacegirl wrote: You actually are correct that you preferred to type these words rather than other words, but this is only half of the equation. You're missing the other half. No wonder you don't get it, and you will continue not to get it if you are dissatisfied at this point and therefore you are convinced that he is wrong about everything. You won't go forward and that's okay too.


iambiguous wrote:If I do miss this other half it is only because I am compelled as a necessary component of the design to miss it. And that's the part that you have never managed to reconcile for me. I must type what I can only type here but still I somehow fail to type what you insist that I should type in order to be in sync with what you type.


It is true that if you don't desire to read the book, then you found it more preferable not to read the book [in the direction of greater satisfaction]. I don't see what there is to reconcile.

iambiguous wrote:And by "going forward" I have found that most objectivists mean "agree with me". But my problem is that I can't make sense [realistically] of how their theoretical analysis has any substantive [existential] relevance to the world that we interact [and conflict] in.


You wouldn't. You haven't read the book. You're just denying that there could be something valid because either you don't want to believe there is no ghost in the machine and this might burst your bubble, or you just can't believe that someone could make a major discovery that would cause a paradigm shift and still be within the framework of determinism. Whatever the reason you will be acting in accordance with your nature.

peacegirl wrote: You keep referring back to abortion, as if this one conflict ruins any possibility of peace. It does not.


iambiguous wrote:I often choose abortion in which to discuss dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Why? Because 1] it is a moral congflagration we are all familiar with 2] it literally revolves around life and death and 3] if we can resolve the conflicting goods revolving around this, all the other moral conflicts would seem that much easier.


peacegirl wrote: I don't agree. There are other more pressing moral conflagrations that are not dependent on this one issue for their solution such as war, crime, and poverty for starters.


iambiguous wrote:But I have asked you [and others] any number of times to pick a moral conflict that you/they deem most relevant to these relationships. Again, I am more than willing to integrate the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in the discussions.

Discussions in which words and worlds are explored in tandem.


The conflicts that are most pressing such as war and crime are prevented by this natural law. Definitions (and words) mean nothing where reality is concerned unless they are symbolic of reality. It just so happens that his words are just that.

iambiguous wrote:Even rape is a conflicting good from the perspective of the narcissist who views morality solely in terms of that which brings him personal satisfaction. Or mass beheadings from the perspective of the religious fanatic who views morality solely in terms of satisfying "God's will".


peacegirl wrote: Rape is a hurt to the person being raped. Any kind of hurt that is a first blow will be unjustified in the new world, ending this type of abuse.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, I agree. Rape is certainly a devastating infliction of pain on the one being raped. But that doesn't mean much to the narcissist who construes morality solely in terms of his own personal satisfaction. And I keep pointing out time and again that, with respect to all moral conflicts, folks on both sides of the issues have their own rendition of the hurt brought on by either pursuing or not pursuing particular behaviors.

But then, in my view, you only make this go away in the new world theoretically, analytically, axiomatically; once everyone willing to sign up for universal consciousness creates their own utopian paradise.


There is nothing theoretical about his vision based on his spot on observations. I don't see many people not wanting to become part of this new world once it gets underway. You seem to be thinking that people will not want what they want. Who would want to live in a world where accidents, crime, medical mistakes, torture, war, and poverty exist when they can enter a world that none of these things exist? In other words, how can a person not want what is the better choice? BTW, there is nothing theoretical about this law of our nature and how it works under changed environmental conditions.
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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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:51 pm

peacegirl wrote: It is true that you can't make more or less of something that you can only make of what you see, but that doesn't mean I cannot point out that from my perspective you are not taking certain things into consideration which is what I meant when I said that you are making more out of it than it needs to be.


iambiguous wrote: But this just prompts me to ask [in the same vein]: Is it within your capacity to freely point this out to me? No. Is it within my capactity to freely consider it? No.

So: am I or am I not considering it only in the manner in which I am compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design?


peacegirl wrote: I guess you didn't see my last post. Now I feel compelled to answer even though I just posted that I would like to take a break.


Think about that. Something compelled you to take a break from this exchange. And now something compels you to continue it. And that has absolutely nothing to do with free will?

Maybe not. But that's the first thing that popped into my head.

peacegirl wrote: Of course you are compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design. Once again, no one is arguing with this. I was just explaining to you that the answer I gave is not inconsistent with my knowledge of determinism. You seem surprised that I pointed out that you are making more out of it than needs to be. Obviously, you couldn't think any differently at that moment.


But [to me] this always seems to imply that there are moments when I might have chosen to think about of it differently. But it would seem that in a wholly determined world all of our moments unfold in sequence only as they must.

You "chose" to take a break from the exchange. You "chose" to continue. There's never getting away from these: "_______". In other words, you chose "freely".

iambiguous wrote:To me, it would be like dominoes toppling over in what is supposed to be the design of the American flag but then, somehow, in the middle of it all, the toppling encounters a paradigm shift and the design ends up being the flag of Russia instead.


peacegirl wrote: No, nothing escapes that framework of determinism just because of new knowledge. That would mean nothing new could ever come into play because the dominoes would already be predetermined to fall in a certain way. That's how it works with dominoes, but not with human nature. We do make choices; dominoes don't get to. Based on new knowledge, a paradigm shift could occur and with great speed. You are making a comparison that doesn't apply to humans, even though we cannot escape the laws of determinism. I don't think you understand why the past does not cause the present, and why this matters.


Aside from the fact that, unlike the dominoes, we are matter that has evolved the capacity to know [consciously] that we must think, feel and do solely from within an immutable framework that encompasses the laws of matter encompassed within the design that is existence itself, this distinction you make here is not very persuasive. Before, now and later are always "of a whole". The whole of reality.

We and the dominoes are always just necessary components of it. The dominoes know nothing of will and desire. Of "volition" and "freedom". But the fact that we do makes us no more able to topple over from moment to moment other than as we must.

iambiguous wrote:And then, of course, there is always the possibility of you coming around to my point of view, right? After all, who can really ascertain for certain what the laws of matter will encompass a day from now...a week from now...a month from now. Let alone a thousand years from now.


peacegirl wrote: I will not come over to your point of view (that I can promise you) because I know for a fact that we have no free will and that there's no ghost in the machine.


That's the objectivist in you talking. On the other hand, what you "know for a fact" is still predicated largely on the internal logic of the assumptions you make about these relationships; while, concommitantly, providing almost nothing in the way of a scientific methodology for testing these "facts" empirically and experientially.

Or so it seems to me.

iambiguous wrote:Back to Jack and Jane. Jack chooses to rape Jane. Now, if I understand you, Jack must rape Jane if Jack raping Jane is necessarily in accordance with the only existence there can ever be. The one in which Jack rapes Jane. There is no existence where Jack doesn't rape Jane. So, how does his choice to rape Jane at the moment he makes it have any relevance to the fact that he must rape her because, well, that's reality.


peacegirl wrote: As I just mentioned, if Jack chose to rape Jane, then he could not have done otherwise but he has not done it yet. He is still contemplating which choice to make. This is before the fact, so it is not yet written in stone that Jack must rape Jane. Only when Jack does, in fact, rape her can we say that it had to be.


iambiguous wrote:Same thing though. If, at the moment he is choosing whether his satisfaction lies in raping Jane, he does not have it within his capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no", then he is compelled to rape Jane if Jane's rape is a necessary component of the design.


peacegirl wrote: In the sense that he can choose not to rape Jane IF HE DOESN'T WANT TO, or rape her IF HE WANTS TO, the term "freely chose" can be used in place of "of his own desire" (which Lessans was clear about), but it does not mean he has free will to choose A over B or B over A equally.


But this would seem to assume that wanting to or not wanting to was something that he could choose freely. You keep going back from the choice to the wanting or not wanting to make it...as though they were not intrinsically both "of the whole" that is the design.

You say:

peacegirl wrote: The fact that he has the power of contemplation does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no." He is compelled to choose the alternative that he finds the most preferable, which is an immutable law. In other words, the fact that he has two choices does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose since he must pick the choice that gives him greater satisfaction. That is why choice is an illusion.


But, from my perspective, this just takes us back to the fact that in a determined world, Jack's "power of contemplation" results in his being able to "freely" choose -- to freely "choose" -- only what he was ever compelled to choose anyway.

And thus the manner in which determinism and free will are made to seem compatible is just a trick of the mind to me. It takes the world that we live in and reconfigures it into the words used by the compatibilists to give Jack a "choice" in a world where he must rape Jane.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, "free". But never free. I and the design are at one with existence itself. There is nothing external to that. As though there ever could be.


peacegirl wrote: Who said there was something external to that? Not me.


iambiguous wrote:We both agree there is nothing external to that. But if all that encompasses what we think, feel and do is a necessary component of existence itself, what are the practical implications of that when Jack "chooses" to rape Jane. Or when Mary "chooses" to abort her baby? Or when the state "chooses' to execute Bob?


peacegirl wrote: Although we cannot change the past because we know that we could not have chosen otherwise, that does not mean man's choices will be the same when these principles are introduced on a worldwide scale. The practical implications of this change cannot even be fully comprehended.


So you say. But [over and again] you have not yet, in my estimation, been able to demonstrate a manner in which we can probe the validity of this prediction much beyond accepting the rationality of Lessans' argument. Isn't that always the stumbling block here? Shouldn't you be spending more time contemplating the inevitable questions you will receive from scientists regarding how they might go about testing his observations "for all practical purposes"? Of making his predictions more fully comprehensible.

iambiguous wrote:As long as you continue to "resolve" all of "the major conflicts" that plague humankind by positing this new world as basically an axiomatic construct revolving largely around embracing Lessans' own argument/analysis, there is no viable manner in which others can grasp how we will get from here to there. That's all contained in embracing the assumptions he derived from his observations.


peacegirl wrote: This is just repeating the same thing over and over again. I am very sorry but these observations were not assumptions. He made valid inferences based on what he observed but there are no assumptions anywhere in his proposition, his observations, or his reasoning.


I repeat it because I believe it is important that you understand how, in my view, this will always be the pivotal obstacle when you try to convince others to give Lessans' book a shot.

You have to be able to make that crucial leap from what he observed in watching us make our choices to how science grapples with the human mind and the human brain intertwined in the act of choosing one thing rather than another.

Understanding the biology of the brain here would seem to be an indisputable compoment of all this.

It would be like trying to understand human sexuality without a comprehensive understanding of the sex organs. Who would say, "who needs them?" in predicting sexual politics a thousand years from now?

peacegirl wrote: You are being premature. The new economic system solves this problem of conflicting opinions regarding going to the moon while people are starving. That's why it's hard to discuss this when you have not studied the extension of these principles into the areas you are most concerned about.


iambiguous wrote:The "new economic system" that, so far, is merely an intellectual construct in the minds of those who subscribe to Lessans' arguments.

And if Lessans' more extended lessons regarding political economy are tantamount to [or extentions of] the excerpts you have provided above, there is still nothing really tangible that social scientists can grapple with in order to verify/falsify them more empirically/experientially.

And there are still the difficulties that revolve around conflicting goods. As noted above, social scientists can in fact perform experiments in order to verify/falsify propositions relating to human behavior in crowds. But that does not enable them in turn to ascertain whether the moral/political cause embraced by the crowd is objectively moral or immoral.


peacegirl wrote: The irony is that these types of moral conflicts won't even exist. How can they when the age of politics is coming to an end? You are unable to consider the possibility that what you are envisioning is impossible is an incomplete and myopic view based on the world as it is now. I don't need you to tell me that your view is more practical one more time. =;


Back to the gap between asserting these things and demonstrating how we actually do go from the world that we live in now to the world that we will live in a thousand years from now if we merely accept as true Lessans' predictions.

And my view is predicated on a world bursting at the seams with relationships that I can encompass empirically/experientially in the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And it is a world that down through the ages has always revolved around one or another rendition of blame and punishment.

Or, sure, one or another objectivist insisting that if only everyone would embrace his or her own "objective reality" then one or another "utopia" would be our shared destiny.

iambiguous wrote:...either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.


peacegirl wrote: He had no capacity to choose freely, even though he had the ability to weigh alternatives.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, he weighs alternatives but then he must write the book. Why? Because the book was written. But at the moment he chooses to write the book his ability to weigh the options might have resulted in the book not being written? No. The book was always meant to be written because, in a determined world, it was in fact written. So [from my frame of mind] his "ability to weigh options" is illusory. Yes, he did weigh them. But, no, the book was always going to be written. Thus he chose "freely" to write it.


peacegirl wrote: Where does "freely" enter into this at all? He did not "freely" choose. The word choice is illusory because, in reality, he had no choice since he was compelled to choose the most preferable option.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, this is the point that I often raise, isn't it? But you are the one above who often encloses the word freely here in these: "__________ ". Thus Lessans is compelled to write the book. Eventually, enough people are compelled to read and embrace it. And then [a 1000 years from now] the future is compelled to be without blame or punishment. At least for those citizens who take the "universal consciousness" oath .


peacegirl wrote: And I will ask again: Where does "free" in the way I qualified it have to do with freedom of the will? I already explained how the phrase "I did it of my own free will" is qualified and can be used if it means "of my own volition". We are losing communication.


That's my point though. It always comes down to the conditions that we set for understanding words like freely/"freely" and choose/"choose". If we put them in what amount to scare quotes it means they are to be understood differently. Often ironically.

Thus we are "free" to "choose" in a determined world. In other words, in the manner in which we understand the meaning of those words in a non-determined world, we are not free to choose at all.

peacegirl wrote: It is true that if you don't desire to read the book, then you found it more preferable not to read the book [in the direction of greater satisfaction]. I don't see what there is to reconcile.


If I cannot of my own free will choose to read the book, prefer to read the book, desire to read the book etc., then every connection between me and the book unfolds out of the necessity engrained in the design.

There is never anything to reconcile here because everything is always of a whole.

The whole of reality itself.

iambiguous wrote:And by "going forward" I have found that most objectivists mean "agree with me". But my problem is that I can't make sense [realistically] of how their theoretical analysis has any substantive [existential] relevance to the world that we interact [and conflict] in.


peacegirl wrote: You wouldn't. You haven't read the book. You're just denying that there could be something valid because either you don't want to believe there is no ghost in the machine and this might burst your bubble, or you just can't believe that someone could make a major discovery that would cause a paradigm shift and still be within the framework of determinism. Whatever the reason you will be acting in accordance with your nature.


I have no bubble to burst. I am more than willing to concede that my understanding of these relationships may well be wrong. In fact, you are the one in the bubble. You are the one insisting that your own understanding of these relationships is the objective truth. And, in my view, you have a lot riding emotionally and psychologically on/in believing that the fate of the new world rides on everyone finally embracing Lessans' observations/principles and ridding the world of blame and punishment.

But then you don't [and in my view can't] provide us with a methodology for testing his prognostications about the future. Other than either believing or not believing his analysis. And all any of us really know for certain [or almost for certain] is that none of us will be around in order to confirm his predictions.

peacegirl wrote: You keep referring back to abortion, as if this one conflict ruins any possibility of peace. It does not.


iambiguous wrote:I often choose abortion in which to discuss dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Why? Because 1] it is a moral congflagration we are all familiar with 2] it literally revolves around life and death and 3] if we can resolve the conflicting goods revolving around this, all the other moral conflicts would seem that much easier.


peacegirl wrote: I don't agree. There are other more pressing moral conflagrations that are not dependent on this one issue for their solution such as war, crime, and poverty for starters.


iambiguous wrote:But I have asked you [and others] any number of times to pick a moral conflict that you/they deem most relevant to these relationships. Again, I am more than willing to integrate the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in the discussions.

Discussions in which words and worlds are explored in tandem.


peacegirl wrote: The conflicts that are most pressing such as war and crime are prevented by this natural law. Definitions (and words) mean nothing where reality is concerned unless they are symbolic of reality. It just so happens that his words are just that.


Pertaining to an actual existential moral conflict, I have no idea what this means. I know only that whatever it is that you think it means "in your head" seems to be as far as you feel you need to go in order to demonstrate to me how it is connected substantively to an issue like abortion in the context of conflicting goods and moral responsibility in a world where everything we do is ever only what we could never not do.

iambiguous wrote:Even rape is a conflicting good from the perspective of the narcissist who views morality solely in terms of that which brings him personal satisfaction. Or mass beheadings from the perspective of the religious fanatic who views morality solely in terms of satisfying "God's will".


peacegirl wrote: Rape is a hurt to the person being raped. Any kind of hurt that is a first blow will be unjustified in the new world, ending this type of abuse.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, I agree. Rape is certainly a devastating infliction of pain on the one being raped. But that doesn't mean much to the narcissist who construes morality solely in terms of his own personal satisfaction. And I keep pointing out time and again that, with respect to all moral conflicts, folks on both sides of the issues have their own rendition of the hurt brought on by either pursuing or not pursuing particular behaviors.

But then, in my view, you only make this go away in the new world theoretically, analytically, axiomatically; once everyone willing to sign up for universal consciousness creates their own utopian paradise.


peacegirl wrote: There is nothing theoretical about his vision based on his spot on observations. I don't see many people not wanting to become part of this new world once it gets underway. You seem to be thinking that people will not want what they want. Who would want to live in a world where accidents, crime, medical mistakes, torture, war, and poverty exist when they can enter a world that none of these things exist? In other words, how can a person not want what is the better choice? BTW, there is nothing theoretical about this law of our nature and how it works under changed environmental conditions.


How could it not be theoretical when no one is able to actually show us this world for perhaps another thousand years?

Now, imagine how different your argument would be if, say, all the people in a small town somewhere had read Lessans' book and then embodied his principles in the lives that they lived. You would be able to take folks to this town and show them what the new world will be like for all of us one day...once everyone embraced his narrative.

Instead, the new world here is purely hypothetical. A world predicted to be. A world predicated soley on everyone [eventually] embracing Lessans' argument.

At least in my opinion.
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 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:05 pm

peacegirl wrote: It is true that you can't make more or less of something that you can only make of what you see, but that doesn't mean I cannot point out that from my perspective you are not taking certain things into consideration which is what I meant when I said that you are making more out of it than it needs to be.


iambiguous wrote: But this just prompts me to ask [in the same vein]: Is it within your capacity to freely point this out to me? No. Is it within my capactity to freely consider it? No.

So: am I or am I not considering it only in the manner in which I am compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design?


Iambiguous, I have never ever ever disputed this. I am in full agreement. But you do not understand the second half of this equation. I am not blaming you or saying you could do anything other than what you're doing.

peacegirl wrote: I guess you didn't see my last post. Now I feel compelled to answer even though I just posted that I would like to take a break.


iambiguous wrote:Think about that. Something compelled you to take a break from this exchange. And now something compels you to continue it. And that has absolutely nothing to do with free will?

Maybe not. But that's the first thing that popped into my head.


How do my actions have anything whatsoever to do with free will? Where does free will even enter into this at all? My continuing to post had more to do with the fact that I felt compelled to answer your post than leave it unanswered. Your post created a new antecedent condition which I didn't anticipate (and one that I felt was important enough to answer), thus changing my resolve to end the discussion. Every single move I have made has been in the direction of greater satisfaction; the only direction my desire could have taken me, so where is my free will?

peacegirl wrote: Of course you are compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design. Once again, no one is arguing with this. I was just explaining to you that the answer I gave is not inconsistent with my knowledge of determinism. You seem surprised that I pointed out that you are making more out of it than needs to be. Obviously, you couldn't think any differently at that moment.


iambiguous wrote:But [to me] this always seems to imply that there are moments when I might have chosen to think about of it differently. But it would seem that in a wholly determined world all of our moments unfold in sequence only as they must.


You would have thought about it differently only if your brain gave you the thoughts to think about it differently. The fact that you might have chosen to think about something differently is also part of the natural unfolding of what must be, if that is what actually occurred. If it did not so occur, then this is what had to be. There's no escaping determinism.

iambiguous wrote:You "chose" to take a break from the exchange. You "chose" to continue. There's never getting away from these: "_______". In other words, you chose "freely".


Where did I choose freely? Just because I am able to contemplate options based on an ever-changing set of conditions does not grant me free will.

iambiguous wrote:To me, it would be like dominoes toppling over in what is supposed to be the design of the American flag but then, somehow, in the middle of it all, the toppling encounters a paradigm shift and the design ends up being the flag of Russia instead.


peacegirl wrote: No, nothing escapes that framework of determinism just because of new knowledge. That would mean nothing new could ever come into play because the dominoes would already be predetermined to fall in a certain way. That's how it works with dominoes, but not with human nature. We do make choices; dominoes don't get to. Based on new knowledge, a paradigm shift could occur and with great speed. You are making a comparison that doesn't apply to humans, even though we cannot escape the laws of determinism. I don't think you understand why the past does not cause the present, and why this matters.


iambiguous wrote:Aside from the fact that, unlike the dominoes, we are matter that has evolved the capacity to know [consciously] that we must think, feel and do solely from within an immutable framework that encompasses the laws of matter encompassed within the design that is existence itself, this distinction you make here is not very persuasive. Before, now and later are always "of a whole". The whole of reality.


That is true, but you are forgetting that our choices are based on contingent factors that are always coming into play, so what I may have chosen before the fact may not be the same thing I choose later on based on a new set of antecedent conditions. That is why, although everything unfolds as it must, we are not subject to making the same choices over and over again if those choices don't serve us anymore.

iambiguous wrote:We and the dominoes are always just necessary components of it. The dominoes know nothing of will and desire. Of "volition" and "freedom". But the fact that we do makes us no more able to topple over from moment to moment other than as we must.


No, but it does offer us a greater array of options that can afford us a different way of looking at a situation. Dominoes cannot do that.

iambiguous wrote:And then, of course, there is always the possibility of you coming around to my point of view, right? After all, who can really ascertain for certain what the laws of matter will encompass a day from now...a week from now...a month from now. Let alone a thousand years from now.


peacegirl wrote: I will not come over to your point of view (that I can promise you) because I know for a fact that we have no free will and that there's no ghost in the machine.


iambiguous wrote:That's the objectivist in you talking. On the other hand, what you "know for a fact" is still predicated largely on the internal logic of the assumptions you make about these relationships; while, concommitantly, providing almost nothing in the way of a scientific methodology for testing these "facts" empirically and experientially.

Or so it seems to me.


But determinism IS an objective truth, one of the few objective truths that exist. We are compelled to move in the direction of greater satisfaction. This is not a theory.

I refuse to cut and paste this whole book just because you refuse to read it. However, I will cut and paste this one excerpt. I don't think there is anything that will motivate you to read further. You will continue to tell me that these astute observations are nothing more than assumptions. #-o

Decline and Fall of All Evil: Chapter One: The Hiding Place

p. 45 Supposing a father is desperately in need of work to feed his family
but cannot find a job. Let us assume he is living in the United States
and for various reasons doesn’t come under the consideration of
unemployment compensation or relief and can’t get any more credit
for food, clothing, shelter, etc.; what is he supposed to do? If he steals
a loaf of bread to feed his family the law can easily punish him by
saying he didn’t have to steal if he didn’t want to, which is perfectly
true. Others might say stealing is evil, that he could have chosen an
option which was good. In this case almost any other alternative
would have sufficed.

But supposing this individual preferred stealing
because he considered this act good for himself in comparison to the
evil of asking for charity or further credit because it appeared to him,
at that moment, that this was the better choice of the three that were
available to him — so does this make his will free? It is obvious that
he did not have to steal if he didn’t want to, but he wanted to, and it
is also obvious that those in law enforcement did not have to punish
him if they didn’t want to, but both sides wanted to do what they did
under the circumstances.

In reality, we are carried along on the wings of time or life during
every moment of our existence and have no say in this matter
whatsoever. We cannot stop ourselves from being born and are
compelled to either live out our lives the best we can, or commit
suicide. Is it possible to disagree with this? However, to prove that
what we do of our own free will, of our own desire because we want to
do it, is also beyond control, it is necessary to employ mathematical
(undeniable) reasoning. Therefore, since it is absolutely impossible for
man to be both dead and alive at the same time, and since it is
absolutely impossible for a person to desire committing suicide unless
dissatisfied with life (regardless of the reason), we are given the ability
to demonstrate a revealing and undeniable relation.

Every motion, from the beating heart to the slightest reflex action,
from all inner to outer movements of the body, indicates that life is
never satisfied or content to remain in one position for always like an
inanimate object, which position shall be termed ‘death.’ I shall now
call the present moment of time or life here for the purpose of
clarification, and the next moment coming up there. You are now
standing on this present moment of time and space called here and
you are given two alternatives, either live or kill yourself; either move
to the next spot called there or remain where you are without moving
a hair’s breadth by committing suicide.

“I prefer...” Excuse the interruption, but the very fact that you
started to answer me or didn’t commit suicide at that moment makes
it obvious that you were not satisfied to stay in one position, which is
death or here and prefer moving off that spot to there, which motion
is life. Consequently, the motion of life which is any motion from
here to there is a movement away from that which dissatisfies,
otherwise, had you been satisfied to remain here or where you are, you
would never have moved to there.

Since the motion of life constantly
moves away from here to there, which is an expression of
dissatisfaction with the present position, it must obviously move
constantly in the direction of greater satisfaction. It should be
obvious that our desire to live, to move off the spot called here, is
determined by a law over which we have no control because even if we
should kill ourselves we are choosing what gives us greater satisfaction,
otherwise we would not kill ourselves.

The truth of the matter is that
at any particular moment the motion of man is not free for all life
obeys this invariable law. He is constantly compelled by his nature to
make choices, decisions, and to prefer of whatever options are available
during his lifetime that which he considers better for himself and his
set of circumstances. For example, when he found that a discovery
like the electric bulb was for his benefit in comparison to candlelight,
he was compelled to prefer it for his motion, just being alive, has
always been in the direction of greater satisfaction. Consequently,
during every moment of man’s progress he always did what he had to
do because he had no choice. Although this demonstration proves
that man’s will is not free, your mind may not be accustomed to
grasping these type relations, so I will elaborate.



iambiguous wrote:Back to Jack and Jane. Jack chooses to rape Jane. Now, if I understand you, Jack must rape Jane if Jack raping Jane is necessarily in accordance with the only existence there can ever be. The one in which Jack rapes Jane. There is no existence where Jack doesn't rape Jane. So, how does his choice to rape Jane at the moment he makes it have any relevance to the fact that he must rape her because, well, that's reality.


peacegirl wrote: As I just mentioned, if Jack chose to rape Jane, then he could not have done otherwise but he has not done it yet. He is still contemplating which choice to make. This is before the fact, so it is not yet written in stone that Jack must rape Jane. Only when Jack does, in fact, rape her can we say that it had to be.


iambiguous wrote:Same thing though. If, at the moment he is choosing whether his satisfaction lies in raping Jane, he does not have it within his capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no", then he is compelled to rape Jane if Jane's rape is a necessary component of the design.


peacegirl wrote: In the sense that he can choose not to rape Jane IF HE DOESN'T WANT TO, or rape her IF HE WANTS TO, the term "freely chose" can be used in place of "of his own desire" (which Lessans was clear about), but it does not mean he has free will to choose A over B or B over A equally.


iambiguous wrote:But this would seem to assume that wanting to or not wanting to was something that he could choose freely. You keep going back from the choice to the wanting or not wanting to make it...as though they were not intrinsically both "of the whole" that is the design.

You say:

peacegirl wrote: The fact that he has the power of contemplation does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no." He is compelled to choose the alternative that he finds the most preferable, which is an immutable law. In other words, the fact that he has two choices does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose since he must pick the choice that gives him greater satisfaction. That is why choice is an illusion.


But, from my perspective, this just takes us back to the fact that in a determined world, Jack's "power of contemplation" results in his being able to "freely" choose -- to freely "choose" -- only what he was ever compelled to choose anyway.


Having the option of contemplation does not grant one free choice. It just offers him options, all of which are under the reign of determinism.

p. 49 The word ‘choice’ itself indicates there are meaningful differences
otherwise there would be no choice in the matter at all as with A and
A. The reason you are confused is because the word choice is very
misleading for it assumes that man has two or more possibilities, but
in reality this is a delusion because the direction of life, always moving
towards greater satisfaction, compels a person to prefer of differences
what he, not someone else, considers better for himself, and when two
or more alternatives are presented for his consideration he is
compelled by his very nature to prefer not that one which he considers
worse, but what gives every indication of being better or more
satisfying for the particular set of circumstances involved.

Choosing,
or the comparison of differences, is an integral part of man’s nature,
but to reiterate this important point...he is compelled to prefer of
alternatives that which he considers better for himself and though he
chooses various things all through the course of his life, he is never
given any choice at all. Although the definition of free will states that
man can choose good or evil without compulsion or necessity, how is
it possible for the will of man to be free when choice is under a
tremendous amount of compulsion to choose the most preferable
alternative each and every moment of time?


iambiguous wrote:And thus the manner in which determinism and free will are made to seem compatible is just a trick of the mind to me. It takes the world that we live in and reconfigures it into the words used by the compatibilists to give Jack a "choice" in a world where he must rape Jane.


He must rape Jane if his choice to rape Jane is the most preferable. If it is not, he does not have to rape Jane as if he is part of some kind of pre-programmed design that is now being forced on him.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, "free". But never free. I and the design are at one with existence itself. There is nothing external to that. As though there ever could be.


peacegirl wrote: Who said there was something external to that? Not me.


iambiguous wrote:We both agree there is nothing external to that. But if all that encompasses what we think, feel and do is a necessary component of existence itself, what are the practical implications of that when Jack "chooses" to rape Jane. Or when Mary "chooses" to abort her baby? Or when the state "chooses' to execute Bob?


peacegirl wrote: Although we cannot change the past because we know that we could not have chosen otherwise, that does not mean man's choices will be the same when these principles are introduced on a worldwide scale. The practical implications of this change cannot even be fully comprehended.


iambiguous wrote:So you say. But [over and again] you have not yet, in my estimation, been able to demonstrate a manner in which we can probe the validity of this prediction much beyond accepting the rationality of Lessans' argument.


Well, arguments are based on rationality, and Lessans' observations and reasoning are as rational as you can get.

iambiguous wrote:Isn't that always the stumbling block here? Shouldn't you be spending more time contemplating the inevitable questions you will receive from scientists regarding how they might go about testing his observations "for all practical purposes"? Of making his predictions more fully comprehensible.


His predictions about a new world are based on the knowledge given in the book, which are fully comprehensible. The fact that this knowledge has not been empirically confirmed should not stop people from doing whatever they have to do to feel confident that this knowledge is accurate because its potential value is unmistakable.

iambiguous wrote:As long as you continue to "resolve" all of "the major conflicts" that plague humankind by positing this new world as basically an axiomatic construct revolving largely around embracing Lessans' own argument/analysis, there is no viable manner in which others can grasp how we will get from here to there. That's all contained in embracing the assumptions he derived from his observations.


peacegirl wrote: This is just repeating the same thing over and over again. I am very sorry but these observations were not assumptions. He made valid inferences based on what he observed but there are no assumptions anywhere in his proposition, his observations, or his reasoning.


iambiguous wrote:I repeat it because I believe it is important that you understand how, in my view, this will always be the pivotal obstacle when you try to convince others to give Lessans' book a shot.

You have to be able to make that crucial leap from what he observed in watching us make our choices to how science grapples with the human mind and the human brain intertwined in the act of choosing one thing rather than another.

Understanding the biology of the brain here would seem to be an indisputable compoment of all this.


We don't need to dissect the brain to know that man's will is not free. We cannot observe greater satisfaction in a lab, but it is a universal law. Why one person chooses one thing in the direction of greater satisfaction while another person chooses something else cannot be answered through an MRI. You are downplaying his discovery, which is really unfortunate.

iambiguous wrote:It would be like trying to understand human sexuality without a comprehensive understanding of the sex organs. Who would say, "who needs them?" in predicting sexual politics a thousand years from now?


There are some things we can learn about sexuality in a lab, but other things we can't. As I said many times, not all learning is done through dissection or taking something apart. Sometimes we need to observe the entity functioning as a whole its natural setting to find answers, not in a lab.

peacegirl wrote: You are being premature. The new economic system solves this problem of conflicting opinions regarding going to the moon while people are starving. That's why it's hard to discuss this when you have not studied the extension of these principles into the areas you are most concerned about.


iambiguous wrote:The "new economic system" that, so far, is merely an intellectual construct in the minds of those who subscribe to Lessans' arguments.

And if Lessans' more extended lessons regarding political economy are tantamount to [or extentions of] the excerpts you have provided above, there is still nothing really tangible that social scientists can grapple with in order to verify/falsify them more empirically/experientially.

And there are still the difficulties that revolve around conflicting goods. As noted above, social scientists can in fact perform experiments in order to verify/falsify propositions relating to human behavior in crowds. But that does not enable them in turn to ascertain whether the moral/political cause embraced by the crowd is objectively moral or immoral.


We're not discussing morality, remember? We are only talking about what one chooses in the direction of greater satisfaction, and when people are no longer hurt by economic downturns (not of their own doing), they will not desire to hurt others as a means of retaliation (using people as a scapegoat for their unfortunate lot in life) or for self-preservation (hurting others if not to makes matters worse for them).

peacegirl wrote: The irony is that these types of moral conflicts won't even exist. How can they when the age of politics is coming to an end? You are unable to consider the possibility that what you are envisioning is impossible is an incomplete and myopic view based on the world as it is now. I don't need you to tell me that your view is more practical one more time. =;


iambiguous wrote:Back to the gap between asserting these things and demonstrating how we actually do go from the world that we live in now to the world that we will live in a thousand years from now if we merely accept as true Lessans' predictions.

And my view is predicated on a world bursting at the seams with relationships that I can encompass empirically/experientially in the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And it is a world that down through the ages has always revolved around one or another rendition of blame and punishment.

Or, sure, one or another objectivist insisting that if only everyone would embrace his or her own "objective reality" then one or another "utopia" would be our shared destiny.


The only objective reality I am asking people to consider is that man's will is not free and what extends from this knowledge. It just so happens that when we do extend the corollary that goes along with it: Thou Shall Not Blame, we can see how the entire world of moral conflicts dissipates due to this amazing paradigm shift in human relations.

iambiguous wrote:...either Lessans had some capacity to choose freely to write his book or his writing it is the equivalent of men going to the moon. As is this exchange we are having in turn. Nothing is ever not what it must be.


peacegirl wrote: He had no capacity to choose freely, even though he had the ability to weigh alternatives.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, he weighs alternatives but then he must write the book. Why? Because the book was written. But at the moment he chooses to write the book his ability to weigh the options might have resulted in the book not being written? No. The book was always meant to be written because, in a determined world, it was in fact written. So [from my frame of mind] his "ability to weigh options" is illusory. Yes, he did weigh them. But, no, the book was always going to be written. Thus he chose "freely" to write it.


peacegirl wrote: Where does "freely" enter into this at all? He did not "freely" choose. The word choice is illusory because, in reality, he had no choice since he was compelled to choose the most preferable option.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, this is the point that I often raise, isn't it? But you are the one above who often encloses the word freely here in these: "__________ ". Thus Lessans is compelled to write the book. Eventually, enough people are compelled to read and embrace it. And then [a 1000 years from now] the future is compelled to be without blame or punishment. At least for those citizens who take the "universal consciousness" oath .


peacegirl wrote: And I will ask again: Where does "free" in the way I qualified it have to do with freedom of the will? I already explained how the phrase "I did it of my own free will" is qualified and can be used if it means "of my own volition". We are losing communication.


iambiguous wrote:That's my point though. It always comes down to the conditions that we set for understanding words like freely/"freely" and choose/"choose". If we put them in what amount to scare quotes it means they are to be understood differently. Often ironically.

Thus we are "free" to "choose" in a determined world. In other words, in the manner in which we understand the meaning of those words in a non-determined world, we are not free to choose at all.


We can use the phrases "I chose freely" or "I chose of my own "free will" in a determined world if it means we are given the choice to opt for this or that, but this in no way means we have freedom of the will.

peacegirl wrote: It is true that if you don't desire to read the book, then you found it more preferable not to read the book [in the direction of greater satisfaction]. I don't see what there is to reconcile.


iambiguous wrote:If I cannot of my own free will choose to read the book, prefer to read the book, desire to read the book etc., then every connection between me and the book unfolds out of the necessity engrained in the design.

There is never anything to reconcile here because everything is always of a whole.

The whole of reality itself.


Iambiguous, I have been agreeing with you this whole time if you use the phrase "I prefer to read the book of my own free will" which only means "I prefer to read the book because it gives me greater satisfaction." You can use the phrase "of my own free will" in the way you suggested. He said this in Chapter One, and I've shown it to you. You are the one confusing words to make them mean what they don't mean. :(

The term ‘free will’
contains an assumption or fallacy for it implies that if man is not
caused or compelled to do anything against his will, it must be
preferred of his own free will. This is one of those logical, not
mathematical conclusions. The expression, ‘I did it of my own free
will’ is perfectly correct when it is understood to mean ‘I did it because
I wanted to; nothing compelled or caused me to do it since I could
have acted otherwise had I desired.’ This expression was necessarily
misinterpreted because of the general ignorance that prevailed for
although it is correct in the sense that a person did something because
he wanted to, this in no way indicates that his will is free.
In fact I
shall use the expression ‘of my own free will’ frequently myself which
only means ‘of my own desire.’ Are you beginning to see how words
have deceived everyone?


iambiguous wrote:And by "going forward" I have found that most objectivists mean "agree with me". But my problem is that I can't make sense [realistically] of how their theoretical analysis has any substantive [existential] relevance to the world that we interact [and conflict] in.


peacegirl wrote: You wouldn't. You haven't read the book. You're just denying that there could be something valid because either you don't want to believe there is no ghost in the machine and this might burst your bubble, or you just can't believe that someone could make a major discovery that would cause a paradigm shift and still be within the framework of determinism. Whatever the reason you will be acting in accordance with your nature.


iambiguous wrote:I have no bubble to burst. I am more than willing to concede that my understanding of these relationships may well be wrong. In fact, you are the one in the bubble. You are the one insisting that your own understanding of these relationships is the objective truth.


That doesn't put me in a bubble because there's no bubble to burst since this natural law is not one of my imagination.

iambiguous wrote:And, in my view, you have a lot riding emotionally and psychologically on/in believing that the fate of the new world rides on everyone finally embracing Lessans' observations/principles and ridding the world of blame and punishment.


I admit that I am emotionally involved, but this in itself does not negate the objective truth I am trying to share. You can't use the fact that I was his daughter as a reason to deny that there is anything substantive to this knowledge.

iambiguous wrote:But then you don't [and in my view can't] provide us with a methodology for testing his prognostications about the future. Other than either believing or not believing his analysis. And all any of us really know for certain [or almost for certain] is that none of us will be around in order to confirm his predictions.


The fact that we won't be here can't be helped, but if you took the time to read the book you might be a little skeptical and then be one of those people who pass the book onto others. If everyone did that, we might actually be here to see this great change. :D

peacegirl wrote: You keep referring back to abortion, as if this one conflict ruins any possibility of peace. It does not.


iambiguous wrote:I often choose abortion in which to discuss dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Why? Because 1] it is a moral congflagration we are all familiar with 2] it literally revolves around life and death and 3] if we can resolve the conflicting goods revolving around this, all the other moral conflicts would seem that much easier.


peacegirl wrote: I don't agree. There are other more pressing moral conflagrations that are not dependent on this one issue for their solution such as war, crime, and poverty for starters.


iambiguous wrote:But I have asked you [and others] any number of times to pick a moral conflict that you/they deem most relevant to these relationships. Again, I am more than willing to integrate the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in the discussions.

Discussions in which words and worlds are explored in tandem.


peacegirl wrote: The conflicts that are most pressing such as war and crime are prevented by this natural law. Definitions (and words) mean nothing where reality is concerned unless they are symbolic of reality. It just so happens that his words are just that.


iambiguous wrote:Pertaining to an actual existential moral conflict, I have no idea what this means. I know only that whatever it is that you think it means "in your head" seems to be as far as you feel you need to go in order to demonstrate to me how it is connected substantively to an issue like abortion in the context of conflicting goods and moral responsibility in a world where everything we do is ever only what we could never not do.


I told you that in regard to abortion, when the environmental conditions change so, too, will the need to abort as the lesser of two evils. He shows explicitly how the entire economic/political landscape is changed for the better, preventing the moral conflicts that you believe are here to stay.

iambiguous wrote:Even rape is a conflicting good from the perspective of the narcissist who views morality solely in terms of that which brings him personal satisfaction. Or mass beheadings from the perspective of the religious fanatic who views morality solely in terms of satisfying "God's will".


peacegirl wrote: Rape is a hurt to the person being raped. Any kind of hurt that is a first blow will be unjustified in the new world, ending this type of abuse.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, I agree. Rape is certainly a devastating infliction of pain on the one being raped. But that doesn't mean much to the narcissist who construes morality solely in terms of his own personal satisfaction. And I keep pointing out time and again that, with respect to all moral conflicts, folks on both sides of the issues have their own rendition of the hurt brought on by either pursuing or not pursuing particular behaviors.

But then, in my view, you only make this go away in the new world theoretically, analytically, axiomatically; once everyone willing to sign up for universal consciousness creates their own utopian paradise.


peacegirl wrote: There is nothing theoretical about his vision based on his spot on observations. I don't see many people not wanting to become part of this new world once it gets underway. You seem to be thinking that people will not want what they want. Who would want to live in a world where accidents, crime, medical mistakes, torture, war, and poverty exist when they can enter a world that none of these things exist? In other words, how can a person not want what is the better choice? BTW, there is nothing theoretical about this law of our nature and how it works under changed environmental conditions.


iambiguous wrote:How could it not be theoretical when no one is able to actually show us this world for perhaps another thousand years?

Now, imagine how different your argument would be if, say, all the people in a small town somewhere had read Lessans' book and then embodied his principles in the lives that they lived. You would be able to take folks to this town and show them what the new world will be like for all of us one day...once everyone embraced his narrative.


That would have been further confirmation, but if you understand
these principles it's not necessary just as any mathematical
equation can later be proven true by its application but that in
itself does not negate the veracity of the equation:

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.


iambiguous wrote:Instead, the new world here is purely hypothetical. A world predicted to be. A world predicated soley on everyone [eventually] embracing Lessans' argument.

At least in my opinion.


You're completely off base. I'm sure this doubt of yours is what is causing you to resist delving into this discovery further.
Last edited by peacegirl on Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:19 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



peacegirl
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:00 pm

peacegirl wrote: It is true that you can't make more or less of something that you can only make of what you see, but that doesn't mean I cannot point out that from my perspective you are not taking certain things into consideration which is what I meant when I said that you are making more out of it than it needs to be.


iambiguous wrote: But this just prompts me to ask [in the same vein]: Is it within your capacity to freely point this out to me? No. Is it within my capactity to freely consider it? No.

So: am I or am I not considering it only in the manner in which I am compelled to consider it as a necessary adjunct of the design?


peacegirl wrote: Iambiguous, I have never ever ever disputed this. I am in full agreement. But you do not understand the second half of this equation. I am not blaming you or saying you could do anything other than what you're doing.


What possible practical difference can it make how I understand either half of the equation if how I understand both of them is only as I ever could have undertood them? Nothing that I think, feel or do in a determined world will be other than what it was always going to be.

From my perspective then, you seem to nod in agreement here but must still insist that your argument is more reasonable than my argument; and then you must still aim to pursuade me to embrace it. Even though the fact of my embracing or not embracing it is predicated solely on the laws of matter going all the way back to whatever it was that clicked them on in the first place. Whatever that might possibly mean.

The part where you chose "freely" to continue the exchange because my post set up a new "antecedent condition" prompting a new shift in your mind/brain in the direction of a new "greater satisfaction" is still all just matter intertwined in a sequence that could not have been otherwise. Isn't this true? The totality of this exchange is still just words toppling over onto other words as they must in order to be in sync with the design.

peacegirl wrote: You would have thought about it differently only if your brain gave you the thoughts to think about it differently. The fact that you might have chosen to think about something differently is also part of the natural unfolding of what must be, if that is what actually occurred. If it did not so occur, then this is what had to be. There's no escaping determinism.


And that is precisely why neuroscientists study the brain: In order to determine more precisely what it means [objectively] when we speak of the brain "giving us the thoughts" -- new thoughts -- that we utilize in the course of engaging in an exchange like this.

And in a determined world [it would seem] the brain gives us only the thoughts [and emotionally reactions] it was programmed to in being a necessary adjunct of the design. And then I am back to "you" and "I" just going along for the ride. Typing only what we were ever scheduled, organized, arranged, planned, destined, fated, made etc., to type by the design.

iambiguous wrote:You "chose" to take a break from the exchange. You "chose" to continue. There's never getting away from these: "_______". In other words, you chose "freely".


peacegirl wrote: Where did I choose freely? Just because I am able to contemplate options based on an ever-changing set of conditions does not grant me free will.


But that is my point. You did not choose freely. You chose "freely". Meaning you chose only what you could not not have chosen.

iambiguous wrote:We and the dominoes are always just necessary components of [reality/existence]. The dominoes know nothing of will and desire. Of "volition" and "freedom". But the fact that we do makes us no more able to topple over from moment to moment other than as we must.


peacegirl wrote: No, but it does offer us a greater array of options that can afford us a different way of looking at a situation. Dominoes cannot do that.


What is the point of having options if you are always obligated to "choose" the option that you must? What does it mean to speak of different ways of looking at a situation if you are always selected per the design to see it as in fact you do?

iambiguous wrote:And then, of course, there is always the possibility of you coming around to my point of view, right? After all, who can really ascertain for certain what the laws of matter will encompass a day from now...a week from now...a month from now. Let alone a thousand years from now.


peacegirl wrote: I will not come over to your point of view (that I can promise you) because I know for a fact that we have no free will and that there's no ghost in the machine.


iambiguous wrote: That's the objectivist in you talking. On the other hand, what you "know for a fact" is still predicated largely on the internal logic of the assumptions you make about these relationships; while, concommitantly, providing almost nothing in the way of a scientific methodology for testing these "facts" empirically and experientially.

Or so it seems to me.


peacegirl wrote: But determinism IS an objective truth, one of the few objective truths that exist. We are compelled to move in the direction of greater satisfaction. This is not a theory.

I refuse to cut and paste this whole book just because you refuse to read it. However, I will cut and paste this one excerpt. I don't think there is anything that will motivate you to read further. You will continue to tell me that these astute observations are nothing more than assumptions. #-o


But: I refuse to read it because I must refuse to read it. What other "option" do I have here if per the design I am not compelled [here and now] to read it? I'm off the hook. But then the fact that you have thus far failed to convince me to read it is only as it must be too. So you're off the hook too. In fact, that's the beauty of living in a determined world: we always are.

Lessans:

The truth of the matter is that at any particular moment the motion of man is not free for all life obeys this invariable law. He is constantly compelled by his nature to make choices, decisions, and to prefer of whatever options are available during his lifetime that which he considers better for himself and his set of circumstances. For example, when he found that a discovery like the electric bulb was for his benefit in comparison to candlelight, he was compelled to prefer it for his motion, just being alive, has always been in the direction of greater satisfaction. Consequently, during every moment of man’s progress he always did what he had to do because he had no choice.

Yes, a man steals or does not steal because, as a necessary component of the design, he necessarily feels a greater satisfaction in stealing or not stealing.

But the Marxist will argue that in order to attain [and then sustain] what satisfies them, the capitalists embrace a political economy that is ever predicated on boom and bust cycles that lead to recessions [or even depressions] that precipitate the sort of poverty that precipitates in the minds of some a satisfaction that then revolves around stealing.

The question then becomes this: Is this all unfolding [historically] like clockwork -- every individual intertwined with every other individual in a series of synchronized, mechanical interactions, or is there some element of true freedom involved in the choices they make.

peacegirl wrote: The fact that he has the power of contemplation does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose "yes" or "no." He is compelled to choose the alternative that he finds the most preferable, which is an immutable law. In other words, the fact that he has two choices does not mean he has the capacity to freely choose since he must pick the choice that gives him greater satisfaction. That is why choice is an illusion.


iambiguous wrote: But, from my perspective, this just takes us back to the fact that in a determined world, Jack's "power of contemplation" results in his being able to "freely" choose -- to freely "choose" -- only what he was ever compelled to choose anyway.


peacegirl wrote: Having the option of contemplation does not grant one free choice. It just offers him options, all of which are under the reign of determinism.


It offers him only the capacity to "choose" -- to choose "freely" -- the option that he must choose.

Lessans:

The word ‘choice’ itself indicates there are meaningful differences otherwise there would be no choice in the matter at all as with A and A. The reason you are confused is because the word choice is very misleading for it assumes that man has two or more possibilities, but in reality this is a delusion because the direction of life, always moving towards greater satisfaction, compels a person to prefer of differences what he, not someone else, considers better for himself, and when two or more alternatives are presented for his consideration he is compelled by his very nature to prefer not that one which he considers worse, but what gives every indication of being better or more satisfying for the particular set of circumstances involved.

How meaningful can the differences be when choice is always expressed inside these: "________". He is determined to find satisfaction "choosing" this instead of that. And so he "freely" opts for the greater satisfaction. Again, like clockwork.

iambiguous wrote:And thus the manner in which determinism and free will are made to seem compatible is just a trick of the mind to me. It takes the world that we live in and reconfigures it into the words used by the compatibilists to give Jack a "choice" in a world where he must rape Jane.


peacegirl wrote: He must rape Jane if his choice to rape Jane is the most preferable. If it is not, he does not have to rape Jane as if he is part of some kind of pre-programmed design that is now being forced on him.


If the unfolding design is predicated soley on the immutable laws of matter, how is this not analogous to being pre-programmed by them?

Thus contingency, chance and change in our lives are all only as they must be. It's just that from the perspective of an individual who believes in free will, they seem to be factors that ever impinge upon his capacity to choose in the most rational manner. Or to wholly control his life. They are instead the variables that make his life seem to be topsy-turvy. You never really know what's around the next corner. Whereas in a determined world it is always going to be what it could only ever have been. All we can do is to either acknowledge this and go with the inevitable flow or be deluded that we have a real capaity to shape our own destiny. However problematic that must always be in a world marbled through and through with the existential implications of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

iambiguous wrote:Isn't that always the stumbling block here? Shouldn't you be spending more time contemplating the inevitable questions you will receive from scientists regarding how they might go about testing his observations "for all practical purposes"? Of making his predictions more fully comprehensible.


peacegirl wrote: His predictions about a new world are based on the knowledge given in the book, which are fully comprehensible. The fact that this knowledge has not been empirically confirmed should not stop people from doing whatever they have to do to feel confident that this knowledge is accurate because its potential value is unmistakable.


All I can do is to note how, in my opinion, this will get you nowhere fast with scientists [and others] who insist that predictions made about a future world must be such that they can be tested beyond merely arguing over definitions and the meaning of words used in arguments.

iambiguous wrote:The "new economic system" that, so far, is merely an intellectual construct in the minds of those who subscribe to Lessans' arguments.

And if Lessans' more extended lessons regarding political economy are tantamount to [or extentions of] the excerpts you have provided above, there is still nothing really tangible that social scientists can grapple with in order to verify/falsify them more empirically/experientially.

And there are still the difficulties that revolve around conflicting goods. As noted above, social scientists can in fact perform experiments in order to verify/falsify propositions relating to human behavior in crowds. But that does not enable them in turn to ascertain whether the moral/political cause embraced by the crowd is objectively moral or immoral.


peacegirl wrote: We're not discussing morality, remember? We are only talking about what one chooses in the direction of greater satisfaction, and when people are no longer hurt by economic downturns (not of their own doing), they will not desire to hurt others as a means of retaliation (using people as a scapegoat for their unfortunate lot in life) or for self-preservation (hurting others if not to makes matters worse for them).


As I have noted a number of times above, my own interest in determinism revolves largely around how one can grasp the meaning of "moral responsibility" in a world where blame and punishment are ever by rote.

Do we or do we not live in a world where what one person finds satisfying invariably precipitates behaviors that others will find anything but satisfying. It is in fact our conflicting satisfations that generate the conflicting behaviors that revolve in turn around the conflicting narratives we espouse regarding what is deemed to be good or bad.

You just make the booms and the busts of capitalism go away by insisting that in the future everyone one will somehow be in sync regarding all of those behaviors we are anything but in sync regarding now.

In other words...

iambiguous wrote:Back to the gap between asserting these things and demonstrating how we actually do go from the world that we live in now to the world that we will live in a thousand years from now if we merely accept as true Lessans' predictions.

And my view is predicated on a world bursting at the seams with relationships that I can encompass empirically/experientially in the manner in which I construe dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And it is a world that down through the ages has always revolved around one or another rendition of blame and punishment.

Or, sure, one or another objectivist insisting that if only everyone would embrace his or her own "objective reality" then one or another "utopia" would be our shared destiny.


peacegirl wrote: The only objective reality I am asking people to consider is that man's will is not free and what extends from this knowledge. It just so happens that when we do extend the corollary that goes along with it: Thou Shall Not Blame, we can see how the entire world of moral conflicts dissipates due to this amazing paradigm shift in human relations.


You make predictions about a world that you assert must exist because you assert further that the manner in which you construe determinism is necessarily true.

In my view, this is how most will always react to your argument until you can make the argument more than just the theoretical constructs that Lessans links together in what I construe to be largely an intellectual contraption.

peacegirl wrote: Where does "freely" enter into this at all? He did not "freely" choose. The word choice is illusory because, in reality, he had no choice since he was compelled to choose the most preferable option.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, this is the point that I often raise, isn't it? But you are the one above who often encloses the word freely here in these: "__________ ". Thus Lessans is compelled to write the book. Eventually, enough people are compelled to read and embrace it. And then [a 1000 years from now] the future is compelled to be without blame or punishment. At least for those citizens who take the "universal consciousness" oath .


peacegirl wrote: And I will ask again: Where does "free" in the way I qualified it have to do with freedom of the will? I already explained how the phrase "I did it of my own free will" is qualified and can be used if it means "of my own volition". We are losing communication.


iambiguous wrote:That's my point though. It always comes down to the conditions that we set for understanding words like freely/"freely" and choose/"choose". If we put them in what amount to scare quotes it means they are to be understood differently. Often ironically.

Thus we are "free" to "choose" in a determined world. In other words, in the manner in which we understand the meaning of those words in a non-determined world, we are not free to choose at all.


peacegirl wrote: We can use the phrases "I chose freely" or "I chose of my own "free will" in a determined world if it means we are given the choice to opt for this or that, but this in no way means we have freedom of the will.


But we are given the "choice" only in the sense that our sole option is to choose what we must choose.

We will just have to agree to disagree regarding the practical implications of this. That being basically this: we practice only what the design [necessarily] preaches.

And so around and around and around we go...

peacegirl wrote: It is true that if you don't desire to read the book, then you found it more preferable not to read the book [in the direction of greater satisfaction]. I don't see what there is to reconcile.


iambiguous wrote:If I cannot of my own free will choose to read the book, prefer to read the book, desire to read the book etc., then every connection between me and the book unfolds out of the necessity engrained in the design.

There is never anything to reconcile here because everything is always of a whole.

The whole of reality itself.


peacegirl wrote: Iambiguous, I have been agreeing with you this whole time if you use the phrase "I prefer to read the book of my own free will" which only means "I prefer to read the book because it gives me greater satisfaction." You can use the phrase "of my own free will" in the way you suggested. He said this in Chapter One, and I've shown it to you. You are the one confusing words to make them mean what they don't mean. :(


...and where it will stop only the design knows.

peacegirl wrote: The conflicts that are most pressing such as war and crime are prevented by this natural law. Definitions (and words) mean nothing where reality is concerned unless they are symbolic of reality. It just so happens that his words are just that.


iambiguous wrote:Pertaining to an actual existential moral conflict, I have no idea what this means. I know only that whatever it is that you think it means "in your head" seems to be as far as you feel you need to go in order to demonstrate to me how it is connected substantively to an issue like abortion in the context of conflicting goods and moral responsibility in a world where everything we do is ever only what we could never not do.


peacegirl wrote: I told you that in regard to abortion, when the environmental conditions change so, too, will the need to abort as the lesser of two evils. He shows explicitly how the entire economic/political landscape is changed for the better, preventing the moral conflicts that you believe are here to stay.


He shows no such thing. Not in the excerpts that you provided. Instead, he makes the assumption that if his arguments about free will and blame and punishment and universal consciousness etc., are correct, then the world he predicts will come about.

If there is a way in we can actually test this "out in the world of conflicting goods", I haven't come across it yet.

iambiguous wrote:Even rape is a conflicting good from the perspective of the narcissist who views morality solely in terms of that which brings him personal satisfaction. Or mass beheadings from the perspective of the religious fanatic who views morality solely in terms of satisfying "God's will".


peacegirl wrote: There is nothing theoretical about his vision based on his spot on observations. I don't see many people not wanting to become part of this new world once it gets underway. You seem to be thinking that people will not want what they want. Who would want to live in a world where accidents, crime, medical mistakes, torture, war, and poverty exist when they can enter a world that none of these things exist? In other words, how can a person not want what is the better choice? BTW, there is nothing theoretical about this law of our nature and how it works under changed environmental conditions.


iambiguous wrote:How could it not be theoretical when no one is able to actually show us this world for perhaps another thousand years?

Now, imagine how different your argument would be if, say, all the people in a small town somewhere had read Lessans' book and then embodied his principles in the lives that they lived. You would be able to take folks to this town and show them what the new world will be like for all of us one day...once everyone embraced his narrative.


peacegirl wrote: That would have been further confirmation, but if you understand these principles it's not necessary just as any mathematical equation can later be proven true by its application but that in itself does not negate the veracity of the equation...


In other words, you want us to understand [and to accept] these principles without being able to actually show us any flesh and blood human communities that practice what Lessans preaches. Instead, you predict it in a future world where none of us will be around to see it confirmed one way or another.
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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iambiguous
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