Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:13 pm

peacegirl wrote:
Meno_ wrote:Hello peace! Peacegirl.

I go with compatibilism since I feel that society as a whole has no real ability to live up to libweoteeoanism , nor the nerve for always blaming others for their shortcomings, which is the unfortunate result of a wholly determined life.

Even constitutionally people prefer some element of self autonomy, and that is the problem with marching into this coming brave new brotherhood .

It has a sloppy design and a disk much to be improved upon. It is based on wish fulfillment , that the superintelligent machine will not let it get to its head. But since it is the head where it is , the doubt is great.


This is where definition is important to clarify. Determinism, in my way of defining it, does not mean that we all become robots with no self-autonomy or the ability to make choices. We all have the ability to make choices; they just aren't free choices.

Meno wrote:So for me, the 'should' trumps the 'is'.
And this is really where we stand socially as well, we hope things will work out. What needs to be done is positioned on what should be done, whereas, what is done is not always desirable as the best choice retrospectively.


The best choice for whom? Obviously, when a person makes a choice, he is making the best possible choice under his particular circumstances. For example, when a person steals because he has no money to pay for food, society might not like his choice, but for him the choice was necessary.

What if all of the "shoulds" are causing a reverse effect than what society is aiming for? Please understand that determinism does not give people a free pass to hurt others with the excuse that they couldn't help themselves. It is quite the opposite. The knowledge that man's will is NOT free (when extended accurately) prevents those very acts of crime that required blame and punishment in our years of development.



I see the progression of Your argument, and it makes sense. But the sense is not qualified totally by 'Your definition 'of what is consistent with determinism. It isn't that its inconsistent either, and the only beef I have with it that the idea of determined choice is that its deceptive or illusionary.

The example of the guy who robs with existential intent underlies such a quarry. How is society to measure the truth value of his claim toward his intent? The question can only proceed from societal values, since it is society who determine the effects which interpret what determinism is and how it effects individuals.


In some Middle Eastern countries theft is punished severely, and the only reason we can even talk about consequences between manipulating consequences or honest ones, is, that more liberal laws afford the opportunity for theft.


As mechanization progresses , such windows of opportunity close , and the difference between real and determined choices narrow as well.

I think Your idea is as of yet differentiable given today's environment, but it is not to last, unless they become compatible .

In order to be at once determined to be both: humane and law abiding , the gage to measure this difference , in the U.S., at least, must determine the requisite means of analysis, which at the present time is posited more on assumption then reality.

So heads up for Your current analysis , but things are changing nowadays at a dizzying rate.
Last edited by Meno_ on Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:37 pm

Meno_ wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
Meno_ wrote:Hello peace! Peacegirl.

I go with compatibilism since I feel that society as a whole has no real ability to live up to libweoteeoanism , nor the nerve for always blaming others for their shortcomings, which is the unfortunate result of a wholly determined life.

Even constitutionally people prefer some element of self autonomy, and that is the problem with marching into this coming brave new brotherhood .

It has a sloppy design and a disk much to be improved upon. It is based on wish fulfillment , that the superintelligent machine will not let it get to its head. But since it is the head where it is , the doubt is great.


This is where definition is important to clarify. Determinism, in my way of defining it, does not mean that we all become robots with no self-autonomy or the ability to make choices. We all have the ability to make choices; they just aren't free choices.

Meno wrote:So for me, the 'should' trumps the 'is'.
And this is really where we stand socially as well, we hope things will work out. What needs to be done is positioned on what should be done, whereas, what is done is not always desirable as the best choice retrospectively.


The best choice for whom? Obviously, when a person makes a choice, he is making the best possible choice under his particular circumstances. For example, when a person steals because he has no money to pay for food, society might not like his choice, but for him the choice was necessary.

What if all of the "shoulds" are causing a reverse effect than what society is aiming for? Please understand that determinism does not give people a free pass to hurt others with the excuse that they couldn't help themselves. It is quite the opposite. The knowledge that man's will is NOT free (when extended accurately) prevents those very acts of crime that required blame and punishment in our years of development.



I see the progression of Your argument, and it makes sense. But the sense is not qualified totally by 'Your definition 'of what is consistent with determinism.


So then what do you mean when you say that the progression makes sense?

Meno wrote:It isn't that its inconsistent either, and the only beef I have with it that the idea of determined choice is that its deceptive or illusionary.


I think we are on the same page here. Determined choice would indicate that a choice is predetermined, whether I want to make the choice or not. Is that what you mean by deceptive or illusionary?

Muno wrote:The example of the guy who robs with existential intent underlies such a quarry. How is society measure the truth value of his claim toward his intent? The question can only proceed from societal values, since it is society who determine the effects which interpret what determinism is and how it effects individuals.


I offered an example of a situation that would mitigate society's judgment against him, if the truth value toward his intent was established. But...what if we could prevent a situation such as this from arising, where a person would not need to steal for his survival? Then society would not have to make a judgment call (through the courts or any other established judicial system) as to his guilt or innocence.

Muno wrote:In some Middle Eastern countries theft is punished severely, and the only reason we can even talk about consequences between manipulating consequences is that more liberal laws afford the opportunity for theft.


It is true that strict laws that forbid theft are used to cause fear of punishment. This is a deterrent, especially if the theft is not being done for self-preservation such as the example above. And there are probably more thefts in those countries that have liberal laws. It makes sense that there is less crime in the countries that threaten harsh punishment as well. So is it your belief that threats of punishment is the only way to control behavior?

Muno wrote:As mechanization progresses , such windows of opportunity close , and the difference between real and determined choices marrow as well.

I think Your idea is as of yet differentiable given today's environment, but it is not to last, unless they become incompatible .


What is a determined choice? Do you mean a choice that is not of your own choosing? Is that what determinism means to you? And what do you mean by a real choice? Can you explain what your definition of determinism is?
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Re: Determinism

Postby Meno_ » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:53 pm

Peace girl het back to You later don't want You to get the impression that I ran out of ideas. But it takes more time to ponder carefully.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:59 pm

Meno_ wrote:Peace girl het back to You later don't want You to get the impression that I ran out of ideas. But it takes more time to ponder carefully.


I don't have that impression, but thanks for your response. It does take time to ponder because this is a difficult topic that requires careful thought.
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 gib » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:13 am

peacegirl wrote:Hi everybody, it's been a long time. I was wondering what position most people favor: libertarianism, compatibilism, or determinism?


Hey peacegirl, I remember this thread. Are you still promoting your father's book?

How 'bout: compatibilism. I'm partial towards determinism but I also believe the concept of free will is gravely misunderstood. I don't think free will (the kind we have) is the power to violate the laws of nature, but just the psychological state of our wants and our intentions being able to satisfy themselves.

I also wonder sometimes how much quantum indeterminism plays a role in the human brain. And what role does it play? Is it enough to, as the quantum consciousness theorists believe, amplify indeterminism to the level of whole neurons? And if so, does this account for free will? And is it real indeterminism? Or just indeterminable by us?
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Re: Determinism

Postby Meno_ » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:22 am

Good point gib.This answers the postponed answer to Peacegirl as well, at least try to.

A determined choice may be an assumed relation of the very small quantum uncertainty to the hypothesized pre-determination which had a solid basis even back in the day when thought used to have a certain formal solidity , or , thingness.

A determined choice appears to be a contradiction, but as the logical system of contradiction(deduction) gave way to identification through similarity by resemblances (induction)
the mind appeared to fuse the two, so as to given the appearance of freedom of choice.

How this was overcome, albeit as an illusive effort, was through language .
Highly controlled social systems like Communism, were analytically appeared to loosen the ties of central control by the use of such cliches as 'self determination, and collective consciousness' It was done by constant reiterated ideograms, which were accepted as truisms.

Freedom is another word, became the rallying cry, where theories of mind were found to be inconsistent with the trumped up rhetoric.

But the contradiction never left the larger context of its derivation, and the result is the arrival within expected symptomatic limits of believability. The New World Order is precisely, the only way to legitimise the abhorrent social conditions in the U.S., over the requirement to place immigration under the microscope where social elements purify over how best to fit into their new adopted countries.

The point to it is, to demark the regional social economic absolutes into the new uncertain ones, by the importation of indigenous outsiders, whose problems only increase their newly thought up innovative ways to get in.

The bar is raised for this issue, contrario, knowing human nature to find even more ways to immigrate illegally, and for the purpose to relativise and revitalise a dying formula.

This is all in the conscious periphery, and sets new limits to and within pre-determined choices, accompanied by changing national and international boundaries.

I did venture outside the basic fragments, in order to bring them together, here, down to earth , as some critics may pounce on any indemonstrable proposition.

This is why the suggestion that a determined choice is illusionary, to cover not only inconsistency, but of basic negation. So if a compromise has to take place, it will be in the 'should' course of Kantian argument.

The illusion is hidden, and the argument goes: well truth is contextual and relative, and pragmatic considerations should influence the new vision of what a standard should consist of, as a measure of what a rational man may accept in a governed and determined social construct.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:46 pm

gib wrote:
peacegirl wrote:Hi everybody, it's been a long time. I was wondering what position most people favor: libertarianism, compatibilism, or determinism?


Hey peacegirl, I remember this thread. Are you still promoting your father's book?


Absolutely!

gib wrote:How 'bout: compatibilism.[./quote]

What about it?

'quote="gib"]I'm partial towards determinism but I also believe the concept of free will is gravely misunderstood.


Me too.

gib wrote: I don't think free will (the kind we have) is the power to violate the laws of nature, but just the psychological state of our wants and our intentions being able to satisfy themselves.


No one is disputing that.

gib wrote:I also wonder sometimes how much quantum indeterminism plays a role in the human brain. And what role does it play? Is it enough to, as the quantum consciousness theorists believe, amplify indeterminism to the level of whole neurons? And if so, does this account for free will? And is it real indeterminism? Or just indeterminable by us?


If you want to learn more about this, go to Trick Slattery's website. He knows more about this than I do. I am only discussing human choice on a macro level. The rest is just theory and is actually getting in the way of practical change for the betterment of all mankind.
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
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:53 pm

peacegirl wrote:
gib wrote:
peacegirl wrote:Hi everybody, it's been a long time. I was wondering what position most people favor: libertarianism, compatibilism, or determinism?


Hey peacegirl, I remember this thread. Are you still promoting your father's book?


Absolutely!

gib wrote:How 'bout: compatibilism.[./quote]

What about it? Determinism and free will (no matter how you define it) are incompatible because they are polar opposites. If one is true, the other can't be true.

'
gib wrote:I'm partial towards determinism but I also believe the concept of free will is gravely misunderstood.


Me too. A lot of people define free will as the ability to choose A or B. But just because people are able to choose does not mean they are choosing freely.

gib wrote: I don't think free will (the kind we have) is the power to violate the laws of nature, but just the psychological state of our wants and our intentions being able to satisfy themselves.


No one is disputing that. In fact, saying that I did this or that of my own free will is not violating the laws of nature if it means "I did this or that because I wanted to, nothing forced me [against my will] to do it. Once again, the way the term is used needs to be carefully defined, for being able to choose this or that without restraint does not equate with actually having freedom of the will. Determinism (the way it is presently defined) implies that something is causing or forcing us to do something without our permission. This is causing great confusion.

gib wrote:I also wonder sometimes how much quantum indeterminism plays a role in the human brain. And what role does it play? Is it enough to, as the quantum consciousness theorists believe, amplify indeterminism to the level of whole neurons? And if so, does this account for free will? And is it real indeterminism? Or just indeterminable by us?


If you want to read about quantum indeterminism, you may find Trick Slattery's analysis on the subject interesting. I am only interested in discussing human choice on a macro level. The rest is just theory and is actually getting in the way of practical change for the betterment of all mankind.


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

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



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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:22 pm

These are interesting videos regarding compatibilism

https://youtu.be/VA9jaGBKsmE

https://youtu.be/lnQ5Eg_PDsU
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:43 pm

Hello again. I'm surprised no one has shown any interest since I posted here recently. I thought people would be interested in the subject of free will and determinism, since this is one of the most longstanding debates in philosophy. I would like to converse with anyone interested in this topic.

https://www.philosophersmag.com/essays/ ... never-ends
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 Serendipper » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:14 pm

peacegirl wrote:Hello again. I'm surprised no one has shown any interest since I posted here recently. I thought people would be interested in the subject of free will and determinism, since this is one of the most longstanding debates in philosophy. I would like to converse with anyone interested in this topic.

https://www.philosophersmag.com/essays/ ... never-ends

It's ongoing in various threads under tangential titles.

The debate never ends because freewill and determinism are two poles of the same magnet: one can't exist without the other. We can't have the voluntary without the involuntary nor the involuntary without the voluntary.

Push determinism and we arrive at freewill; push freewill and we arrive at determinism. The two cannot be separated.

If people are determined, then there are no people, but arbitrary continuations of the deterministic process. If the universe is a mechanism, then so are you. In which case there is no one being pushed around, because no one exists.

On the other hand, you can't push the universe around because you are it. Freewill can only manifest if there is something that is not under your control, but if everything is you, then how can that be?

It's not freewill or determinism, but both and neither.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:57 pm

Serendipper wrote:
peacegirl wrote:Hello again. I'm surprised no one has shown any interest since I posted here recently. I thought people would be interested in the subject of free will and determinism, since this is one of the most longstanding debates in philosophy. I would like to converse with anyone interested in this topic.

https://www.philosophersmag.com/essays/ ... never-ends

It's ongoing in various threads under tangential titles.

The debate never ends because freewill and determinism are two poles of the same magnet: one can't exist without the other. We can't have the voluntary without the involuntary nor the involuntary without the voluntary. Push determinism and we arrive at freewill; push freewill and we arrive at determinism. The two cannot be separated.


That's actually not true. The two must be separated because one cancels out the other. Can you not do something and do it at the same time? That's exactly what you're saying. We can be free and not free simultaneously. The two are polar opposites.

serendipper wrote:If people are determined, then there are no people, but arbitrary continuations of the deterministic process. If the universe is a mechanism, then so are you. In which case there is no one being pushed around, because no one exists.


I don't get what you're saying. Are you saying we don't exist because we're just part of a deterministic process that eviscerates us as individuals?

serendipper wrote:On the other hand, you can't push the universe around because you are it. Freewill can only manifest if there is something that is not under your control, but if everything is you, then how can that be?


I'm not understanding you.

Serendipper wrote:It's not freewill or determinism, but both and neither.


It IS determinism that is true, but the problem is that the conventional definition is not totally accurate. We are led to believe that determinism means we are just puppets on a string. That's not what I am suggesting.
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
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:58 pm

peacegirl wrote:
serendipper wrote:If people are determined, then there are no people, but arbitrary continuations of the deterministic process. If the universe is a mechanism, then so are you. In which case there is no one being pushed around, because no one exists.


I don't get what you're saying. Are you saying we don't exist because we're just part of a deterministic process that eviscerates us as individuals?


This part is particularly difficult to wrap our heads around. In a wholly determined universe we exist self-consciously; but we also exist mechanistically only as we ever could have existed.

And that's just plain weird.

Back again to those hypothetical aliens and the dreams we have.

The hypothetical aliens occupying a segment of the universe where there is a measure of autonomy look down on us going about the business of us making choices. But one of them points out that we are like nature's wind up dolls. We are doing only what nature compels us to do re nature's immutable laws of matter. The sense of freedom that we think we have is only an illusion built into human psychology which is merely another adjunct of those immutable laws.

And then dreams. In them, I am convinced that I'm embedded in a real world making real choices. I don't think that I am just dreaming the events are unfolding. They are actually happening to me "in the moment".

But they're not. They are a complete fabrication of my brain in sync with the events that unfold in my waking hours.

But the alien points out that ultimately it's a distinction without a difference. In that in or out of dreams we think and feel and say and do only that which we could never not think and feel and say and do.

Unless of course that's not true at all.

On the other hand, I'll be the first to admit that, if I do possess some measure of free-will, I'm just not thinking this through correctly. And I am certainly not one of those who insist that unless you think about it as I do, you are wrong.

Objectivists I call them.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:46 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
serendipper wrote:If people are determined, then there are no people, but arbitrary continuations of the deterministic process. If the universe is a mechanism, then so are you. In which case there is no one being pushed around, because no one exists.


I don't get what you're saying. Are you saying we don't exist because we're just part of a deterministic process that eviscerates us as individuals?


This part is particularly difficult to wrap our heads around. In a wholly determined universe we exist self-consciously; but we also exist mechanistically only as we ever could have existed.

And that's just plain weird.

Back again to those hypothetical aliens and the dreams we have.

The hypothetical aliens occupying a segment of the universe where there is a measure of autonomy look down on us going about the business of us making choices. But one of them points out that we are like nature's wind up dolls. We are doing only what nature compels us to do re nature's immutable laws of matter. The sense of freedom that we think we have is only an illusion built into human psychology which is merely another adjunct of those immutable laws.

And then dreams. In them, I am convinced that I'm embedded in a real world making real choices. I don't think that I am just dreaming the events are unfolding. They are actually happening to me "in the moment".

But they're not. They are a complete fabrication of my brain in sync with the events that unfold in my waking hours.

But the alien points out that ultimately it's a distinction without a difference. In that in or out of dreams we think and feel and say and do only that which we could never not think and feel and say and do.

Unless of course that's not true at all.

On the other hand, I'll be the first to admit that, if I do possess some measure of free-will, I'm just not thinking this through correctly. And I am certainly not one of those who insist that unless you think about it as I do, you are wrong.

Objectivists I call them.


I don't understand why it is necessary to think of determinism mechanistically just because we only exist as we ever could have existed, or that we think and say and do only that which we could never not think and feel and say and do. This presupposes that our brain cells are separate from the "I" or "agent" which makes decisions. The conventional definition of determinism implies that external factors force our hand, like dominoes. I don't subscribe to that definition because we are not wind up dolls, yet we are compelled to do what we do based on our heredity and environment.
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 Jan 18, 2019 8:14 pm

peacegirl wrote:
I don't understand why it is necessary to think of determinism mechanistically just because we only exist as we ever could have existed, or that we think and say and do only that which we could never not think and feel and say and do. This presupposes that our brain cells are separate from the "I" or "self" which comprises our brain.


In a determined universe, wouldn't it be more reasonable to presume that our brain cells are wholly in sync with "I". That "I" is this amazing manifestation of matter having evolved over billions of years into matter able to become aware of itself as matter in the act of becoming aware of itself as matter. But only because there was never any possibilty of it not.

If we see dominoes toppling over onto each other -- https://youtu.be/1QtdPfz_faM -- we know that they could never have not toppled over onto each other than as they did.

Well, why can't the same be said about nature evolving into human brains able to set the dominoes up? We do what we do only because we could not do otherwise. It's just that unlike the mindless dominoes, "I" is equipped biologically with a psychological component able to convince "I" that something other than what it chose might have unfolded instead. That "I" was free to choose otherwise while in fact [as in our dreams] "I" does what it must.

peacegirl wrote:The conventional definition of determinism implies that external factors force our hand, like dominoes. I don't subscribe to that definition because we are not wind up dolls, yet we are compelled to do what we do based on our heredity and environment.


Again, to me, this is just another rendition of compatibilism. And, sure, it might be more reasonable than the manner in which I think about these things myself here and now. But I just can't wrap my head around the idea that I am "compelled to do what I do based on my heredity and environment" but that is merely in sync with the wrong definition of determinism.

As though you were ever really free to choose another definition instead.
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 Jan 18, 2019 9:44 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
I don't understand why it is necessary to think of determinism mechanistically just because we only exist as we ever could have existed, or that we think and say and do only that which we could never not think and feel and say and do. This presupposes that our brain cells are separate from the "I" or "self" which comprises our brain.


In a determined universe, wouldn't it be more reasonable to presume that our brain cells are wholly in sync with "I". That "I" is this amazing manifestation of matter having evolved over billions of years into matter able to become aware of itself as matter in the act of becoming aware of itself as matter. But only because there was never any possibilty of it not.


I agree with you that it is more reasonable to presume that our brain cells are wholly in sync with "I". The problem is that when people talk about brain cells and synapses doing the causing, it seems to imply that there is no choice that the "I" or "agent" makes as a conscious expression. In so doing, it takes away any responsibility of the agent in having made the choice. I am not referring to "moral" responsibility. For example, if he runs a red light and goes to court, what is he going to say? My brain cells made me do it? Do you think the courts would accept that as an excuse? :-k

iambiguous wrote:If we see dominoes toppling over onto each other -- https://youtu.be/1QtdPfz_faM -- we know that they could never have not toppled over onto each other than as they did.


That is very true.

iambiguous wrote:Well, why can't the same be said about nature evolving into human brains able to set the dominoes up? We do what we do only because we could not do otherwise. It's just that unlike the mindless dominoes, "I" is equipped biologically with a psychological component able to convince "I" that something other than what it chose might have unfolded instead. That "I" was free to choose otherwise while in fact [as in our dreams] "I" does what it must.


You are absolutely correct. But...when you use the word 'dominoe' it makes it seem that we are robots. The domino had no choice. It fell because something pushed it. If someone pushed me, I would fall too, which is why the comparison isn't a perfect analogy. Many philosophers believe that being able to make a choice without constraint is what free will is. That is the compatibilist view.

peacegirl wrote:The conventional definition of determinism implies that external factors force our hand, like dominoes. I don't subscribe to that definition because we are not wind up dolls, yet we are compelled to do what we do based on our heredity and environment.


iambiguous wrote:Again, to me, this is just another rendition of compatibilism.


This is not another rendition of compatibilism. The way compatibilists use the word "free" is a strawman since no one is saying we don't have the kind of freedom to choose that they are using as a means of making it appear that free will and determinism are compatible. There is a problem with their usage of the term "free" in regard to the kind of free that determinists are disputing, the kind that would allow a person to do otherwise given the same exact situation. In truth, determinism and free will are polar opposites.

iambiguous wrote:And, sure, it might be more reasonable than the manner in which I think about these things myself here and now. But I just can't wrap my head around the idea that I am "compelled to do what I do based on my heredity and environment" but that is merely in sync with the wrong definition of determinism. As though you were ever really free to choose another definition instead.


We were never really free to do anything other than what we have done, or what we will do, but that does not mean we are not "free" (without constraint) to discuss better solutions to the world's problems. If determinism is proved to be true (using a more accurate definition), then who would object to that? When I say we are compelled to do what we do based on our heredity and environment, what I mean is that we are the products of our experiences and how we interpret those experiences based on our predispositions, and all of the genetic factors that intermingle with the environment to make us who we are.
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 Serendipper » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:28 am

peacegirl wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
peacegirl wrote:Hello again. I'm surprised no one has shown any interest since I posted here recently. I thought people would be interested in the subject of free will and determinism, since this is one of the most longstanding debates in philosophy. I would like to converse with anyone interested in this topic.

https://www.philosophersmag.com/essays/ ... never-ends

It's ongoing in various threads under tangential titles.

The debate never ends because freewill and determinism are two poles of the same magnet: one can't exist without the other. We can't have the voluntary without the involuntary nor the involuntary without the voluntary. Push determinism and we arrive at freewill; push freewill and we arrive at determinism. The two cannot be separated.


That's actually not true. The two must be separated because one cancels out the other. Can you not do something and do it at the same time? That's exactly what you're saying. We can be free and not free simultaneously. The two are polar opposites.

A magnet has a south pole and a north pole, but it's one magnet. We cannot separate the north from the south. If we break the magnet in effort to separate the north from the south, we just create another north and south pole. For the same reason that we cannot have north without south, we also cannot have voluntary without involuntary.

Do you beat your heart or does it happen to you?

serendipper wrote:If people are determined, then there are no people, but arbitrary continuations of the deterministic process. If the universe is a mechanism, then so are you. In which case there is no one being pushed around, because no one exists.


I don't get what you're saying. Are you saying we don't exist because we're just part of a deterministic process that eviscerates us as individuals?

Yes, if we are a mechanism, then you are a mechanism. If we rewind the universe and start it again and it comes out the same way, then it's a mechanism that could only unfold in one way. IF that is true, then beings do not exist. (I don't believe it's true. It's not deterministic, but probabilistic.)

serendipper wrote:On the other hand, you can't push the universe around because you are it. Freewill can only manifest if there is something that is not under your control, but if everything is you, then how can that be?


I'm not understanding you.

For the same reason a south and north pole cannot be separated, an organism and its environment cannot be separated; it's all one process. And if it's all one, then upon what would a free will exert its will? If there is nothing that is not you, then upon what would you exert your will? Conversely, if there is nothing that is you, then from where would this will originate?

A free will requires there be two distinct and unconnected things: a being with a will and something to kick around. But the capability of kicking the thing is evidence that the thing being kicked is part of the kicker. If you don't believe that, you'll have some difficult work ahead of you in explaining how a cause influences an effect IF they are not part of the same process.

Cause is distinct and unconnected from the effect, but cause influences effect by _________ mechanism. Fill in the blank. It cannot be done because as soon as you posit some mechanism explaining their interaction, you've just illustrated that they were not separate things in the first place. The prerequisite precludes the result. The maximum number of things in any universe is 1.

Serendipper wrote:It's not freewill or determinism, but both and neither.


It IS determinism that is true, but the problem is that the conventional definition is not totally accurate. We are led to believe that determinism means we are just puppets on a string. That's not what I am suggesting.

Well, then what you mean by "determinism"?
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:21 am

peacegirl wrote:Hello again. I'm surprised no one has shown any interest since I posted here recently. I thought people would be interested in the subject of free will and determinism, since this is one of the most longstanding debates in philosophy. I would like to converse with anyone interested in this topic.

https://www.philosophersmag.com/essays/ ... never-ends

Serendipper wrote:It's ongoing in various threads under tangential titles.

The debate never ends because freewill and determinism are two poles of the same magnet: one can't exist without the other. We can't have the voluntary without the involuntary nor the involuntary without the voluntary. Push determinism and we arrive at freewill; push freewill and we arrive at determinism. The two cannot be separated.


Are you saying that determinism is involuntary and free will is voluntary? I'm just trying to clarify your terms.

That's actually not true. The two must be separated because one cancels out the other. Can you not do something and do it at the same time? That's exactly what you're saying. We can be free and not free simultaneously. The two are polar opposites.

Serendipper wrote:A magnet has a south pole and a north pole, but it's one magnet. We cannot separate the north from the south. If we break the magnet in effort to separate the north from the south, we just create another north and south pole. For the same reason that we cannot have north without south, we also cannot have voluntary without involuntary.


Serendipper wrote:Do you beat your heart or does it happen to you?


Of course I don't beat my heart, but I do make choices.

Excerpt from Decline and Fall of All Evil

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.


peacegirl wrote:Free will and determinism are not magnets. They are mutually exclusive concepts because you either COULD HAVE DONE OTHERWISE, OR YOU COULD NOT HAVE DONE OTHERWISE. You can't have both.


Serendipper wrote:If people are determined, then there are no people, but arbitrary continuations of the deterministic process. If the universe is a mechanism, then so are you. In which case there is no one being pushed around, because no one exists.


Your reasoning is based on a definition of determinism that I am not using. We have to be on the same page for there to be effective communication.

peacegirl wrote:Are you saying we don't exist because we're just part of a deterministic process that eviscerates us as individuals?


Serendipper wrote:Yes, if we are a mechanism, then you are a mechanism. If we rewind the universe and start it again and it comes out the same way, then it's a mechanism that could only unfold in one way. IF that is true, then beings do not exist. (I don't believe it's true. It's not deterministic, but probabilistic.)


It is true that if we rewound the universe it would come out the same way, if it is true that man's will is not free, but you are conflating different definitions which cause confusion. Determinism does not mean we have no say in our choices. It does not mean we are helpless robots. It does not mean we are not responsible for our actions. In fact, with a greater understanding we can see that it increases responsibility, the opposite of what many philosophers believe.

Serendipper wrote:On the other hand, you can't push the universe around because you are it.


Very true.

Serendipper wrote:Freewill can only manifest if there is something that is not under your control, but if everything is you, then how can that be?


I'm not understanding you.

Serendipper wrote:For the same reason a south and north pole cannot be separated, an organism and its environment cannot be separated; it's all one process. And if it's all one, then upon what would a free will exert its will? If there is nothing that is not you, then upon what would you exert your will? Conversely, if there is nothing that is you, then from where would this will originate?

A free will requires there be two distinct and unconnected things: a being with a will and something to kick around. But the capability of kicking the thing is evidence that the thing being kicked is part of the kicker. If you don't believe that, you'll have some difficult work ahead of you in explaining how a cause influences an effect IF they are not part of the same process.


The problem is that the definition of determinism, as it is presently defined, is not accurate because it assumes that something is forcing us (like the domino effect) to do what we do, even if it's against our will. That is where the "I" enters into the equation, for without the agent's consent, we ARE puppets on a string, but this is not the definition I am bringing to the table.

Serendipper wrote:Cause is distinct and unconnected from the effect, but cause influences effect by _________ mechanism. Fill in the blank. It cannot be done because as soon as you posit some mechanism explaining their interaction, you've just illustrated that they were not separate things in the first place. The prerequisite precludes the result. The maximum number of things in any universe is 1.


So are you saying that we can't allude to a cause for anything?

Serendipper wrote:It's not freewill or determinism, but both and neither.


It IS determinism that is true, but the problem is that the conventional definition is not totally accurate. We are led to believe that determinism means we are just puppets on a string. That's not what I am suggesting.

Serendipper wrote:Well, then what you mean by "determinism"?


What I mean is that the definition I am introducing is not the same definition that has monopolized the debate for centuries, preventing the ability to find a resolution between these two concepts.
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 Serendipper » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:49 pm

peacegirl wrote:Are you saying that determinism is involuntary and free will is voluntary? I'm just trying to clarify your terms.

Yes I think so. The freedom of the will is freedom from deterministic influence.

Of course I don't beat my heart, but I do make choices.

If you don't beat your heart, then who does?

Your reasoning is based on a definition of determinism that I am not using. We have to be on the same page for there to be effective communication.

Yes I agree. What is your definition?

It is true that if we rewound the universe it would come out the same way, if it is true that man's will is not free, but you are conflating different definitions which cause confusion. Determinism does not mean we have no say in our choices. It does not mean we are helpless robots. It does not mean we are not responsible for our actions. In fact, with a greater understanding we can see that it increases responsibility, the opposite of what many philosophers believe.

We can be determined by predetermined causes or we can be determined by probabilistic random causes. To me, either one qualifies as determinism, but usually the former is qualified as being "hard determinism" because there is no possible deviation from the path of unfolding events. If we type 1+1 into a calculator, we always get an output of 2 because it's just a sequence of switches that always give the same result. But whether a photon travels through the left slit or right slit cannot be known until it happens. John Bell proved that there are no variables somehow hidden in the universe that determines which slit the photon will go through and it is actually a causeless event, so hard determinism is out. If the universe were rewound, it would almost certainly unfold differently.

The problem is that the definition of determinism, as it is presently defined, is not accurate because it assumes that something is forcing us (like the domino effect) to do what we do, even if it's against our will. That is where the "I" enters into the equation, for without the agent's consent, we ARE puppets on a string, but this is not the definition I am bringing to the table.

Me neither, but although I'm free to choose chocolate or vanilla, I can't choose whether I like chocolate or vanilla. The way I was fashioned determines which flavor I will freely choose. Since I didn't make myself, I can't control which I prefer.

So are you saying that we can't allude to a cause for anything?

Cause influences effect because they are the same event. The cause side of it is just an arbitrary abstraction. If the big bang is the way it happened, then we are still the big bang coming on.
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Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:32 pm

Serendipper wrote:
peacegirl wrote:Are you saying that determinism is involuntary and free will is voluntary? I'm just trying to clarify your terms.

Yes I think so. The freedom of the will is freedom from deterministic influence.


That's libertarianism. Are you a libertarian?

Of course I don't beat my heart, but I do make choices.

Serendipper wrote:If you don't beat your heart, then who does?


Whatever force brought me into this world.

Your reasoning is based on a definition of determinism that I am not using. We have to be on the same page for there to be effective communication.

Serendipper wrote:Yes I agree. What is your definition?


I will give you the first three chapters of this book, but I will give you the specific page that explains why the present definition is inadequate.

It is true that if we rewound the universe it would come out the same way, if it is true that man's will is not free, but you are conflating different definitions which cause confusion. Determinism does not mean we have no say in our choices. It does not mean we are helpless robots. It does not mean we are not responsible for our actions. In fact, with a greater understanding we can see that it increases responsibility, the opposite of what many philosophers believe.

Serendippy wrote:We can be determined by predetermined causes or we can be determined by probabilistic random causes. To me, either one qualifies as determinism, but usually the former is qualified as being "hard determinism" because there is no possible deviation from the path of unfolding events. If we type 1+1 into a calculator, we always get an output of 2 because it's just a sequence of switches that always give the same result. But whether a photon travels through the left slit or right slit cannot be known until it happens. John Bell proved that there are no variables somehow hidden in the universe that determines which slit the photon will go through and it is actually a causeless event, so hard determinism is out. If the universe were rewound, it would almost certainly unfold differently.


Quantum mechanics (regardless of which theory; there are many) does not negate determinism on a macro human level. But remember, you are using, by definition, that which can never be reconciled, the way the definition is constructed.

The problem is that the definition of determinism, as it is presently defined, is not accurate because it assumes that something is forcing us (like the domino effect) to do what we do, even if it's against our will. That is where the "I" enters into the equation, for without the agent's consent, we ARE puppets on a string, but this is not the definition I am bringing to the table.

Serendippy wrote:Me neither, but although I'm free to choose chocolate or vanilla, I can't choose whether I like chocolate or vanilla. The way I was fashioned determines which flavor I will freely choose. Since I didn't make myself, I can't control which I prefer.


We are not in disagreement here. You cannot control what you prefer any more than you can control what you don't prefer. The problem is that philosophers actually think this ability to "freely" choose (without constraint of external force) grants us free will. It does not.

So are you saying that we can't allude to a cause for anything?

Serendippy wrote:Cause influences effect because they are the same event. The cause side of it is just an arbitrary abstraction. If the big bang is the way it happened, then we are still the big bang coming on.


They ARE the same event if you want to look at it in that light, but that does mean that we should just sit back and not make choices. That's called fatalism. Every moment the choice (the effect of the cause) is constantly at play. But the word "cause" is misleading for it assumes something external is making us do what we do, against our will, as if we play no part in decision making at all. That is not the determinism I am trying to communicate.
Last edited by peacegirl on Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:44 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 peacegirl » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:01 pm

peacegirl wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
peacegirl wrote:Are you saying that determinism is involuntary and free will is voluntary? I'm just trying to clarify your terms.

Yes I think so. The freedom of the will is freedom from deterministic influence.


That's libertarianism. Are you a libertarian?

Of course I don't beat my heart, but I do make choices.

Serendipper wrote:If you don't beat your heart, then who does?


Whatever force brought me into this world.

Your reasoning is based on a definition of determinism that I am not using. We have to be on the same page for there to be effective communication.

Serendipper wrote:Yes I agree. What is your definition?


I will give you the first three chapters of this book which explains why man's will is not free (according to the author's definition) and how this knowledge can lead to world peace.

It is true that if we rewound the universe it would come out the same way, if it is true that man's will is not free, but you are conflating different definitions which cause confusion. Determinism does not mean we have no say in our choices. It does not mean we are helpless robots. It does not mean we are not responsible for our actions. In fact, with a greater understanding we can see that it increases responsibility, the opposite of what many philosophers believe.

Serendippy wrote:We can be determined by predetermined causes or we can be determined by probabilistic random causes. To me, either one qualifies as determinism, but usually the former is qualified as being "hard determinism" because there is no possible deviation from the path of unfolding events. If we type 1+1 into a calculator, we always get an output of 2 because it's just a sequence of switches that always give the same result. But whether a photon travels through the left slit or right slit cannot be known until it happens. John Bell proved that there are no variables somehow hidden in the universe that determines which slit the photon will go through and it is actually a causeless event, so hard determinism is out. If the universe were rewound, it would almost certainly unfold differently.


Quantum mechanics (regardless of which theory; there are many) does not negate determinism on a macro level. Even if there was a random event that had no prior cause, it would not change the fact that man's will is not free. Please remember, you are using the conventional definition of determinism which implies that we are caused to do what we do even if it's without our consent (as if something other than ourselves is making the choice). I'm sure you've heard the expressions, "He made me do it" or "I really didn't want to do so and so ______ (fill in the blank) but I had to because they gave me no choice."

The problem is that the definition of determinism, as it is presently defined, is not accurate because it assumes that something is forcing us (like the domino effect) to do what we do, even if it's against our will. That is where the "I" enters into the equation, for without the agent's consent, we ARE puppets on a string, but this is not the definition I am bringing to the table.

Serendippy wrote:Me neither, but although I'm free to choose chocolate or vanilla, I can't choose whether I like chocolate or vanilla. The way I was fashioned determines which flavor I will freely choose. Since I didn't make myself, I can't control which I prefer.


We are not in disagreement here. You cannot control what you prefer any more than you can control what you don't prefer. The problem is that philosophers actually think this ability to "freely" choose (freely meaning without the constraint of any external force) grants us free will. It does not.

So are you saying that we can't allude to a cause for anything?

Serendippy wrote:Cause influences effect because they are the same event. The cause side of it is just an arbitrary abstraction. If the big bang is the way it happened, then we are still the big bang coming on.


They ARE the same event if you want to look at it in that light. Big Bang or no Big Bang, we are compelled to make choices that affect our lives. Every moment we are influencing, by the choices we make, the next moment coming up. But the word "cause" is misleading for it assumes something outside of ourselves is forcing us to do what we do, as if we play no part in the decision. That is not the determinism I am trying to communicate.
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 Jan 20, 2019 7:20 pm

iambiguous wrote:In a determined universe, wouldn't it be more reasonable to presume that our brain cells are wholly in sync with "I". That "I" is this amazing manifestation of matter having evolved over billions of years into matter able to become aware of itself as matter in the act of becoming aware of itself as matter. But only because there was never any possibilty of it not.


peacegirl wrote: I agree with you that it is more reasonable to presume that our brain cells are wholly in sync with "I". The problem is that when people talk about brain cells and synapses doing the causing, it seems to imply that there is no choice that the "I" or "agent" makes as a conscious expression. In so doing, it takes away any responsibility of the agent in having made the choice. I am not referring to "moral" responsibility. For example, if he runs a red light and goes to court, what is he going to say? My brain cells made me do it? Do you think the courts would accept that as an excuse? :-k


Again, either I'm missing your point here or your point is missing mine.

I'm not denying that a choice is being made by conscious human beings, only that it is a choice that could never have not been made.

The dominoes don't choose to topple over. Only the person setting them up makes that happen. But [in a wholly determined universe] the person setting them up is but one of nature's very own dominoes. There was never any possibilty of her not choosing to set them up. There was never any possibility of her choosing to set them up other than as she does.

She is "responsible" only for doing what she could never have not done.

peacegirl wrote: I am not referring to "moral" responsibility. For example, if he runs a red light and goes to court, what is he going to say? My brain cells made me do it? Do you think the courts would accept that as an excuse? :-k


Back to those autonomous aliens watching it all unfold in the courtroom and pointing out that, indeed, everything said and done, while being thought of by the participants as reflecting their own free will, was never going to be other than what it had to be because Earth is embedded in that part of the unviverse where determinism prevails.


iambiguous wrote:If we see dominoes toppling over onto each other -- https://youtu.be/1QtdPfz_faM -- we know that they could never have not toppled over onto each other than as they did.

Well, why can't the same be said about nature evolving into human brains able to set the dominoes up? We do what we do only because we could not do otherwise. It's just that unlike the mindless dominoes, "I" is equipped biologically with a psychological component able to convince "I" that something other than what it chose might have unfolded instead. That "I" was free to choose otherwise while in fact [as in our dreams] "I" does what it must.


peacegirl wrote: You are absolutely correct. But...when you use the word 'dominoe' it makes it seem that we are robots. The domino had no choice. It fell because something pushed it. If someone pushed me, I would fall too, which is why the comparison isn't a perfect analogy. Many philosophers believe that being able to make a choice without constraint is what free will is. That is the compatibilist view.


It's never going to be a pefect analogy because the matter in the domino and the matter in the human brain, while in sync with whatever the immutable laws of all matter might be, are very different kinds of matter.

Living matter itself would seem to be the biggest mystery of all here. How did that happen? Why did that happen? What does it ultimately mean?

But, still, how are both not constrained by those laws of matter?

peacegirl wrote: The way compatibilists use the word "free" is a strawman since no one is saying we don't have the kind of freedom to choose that they are using as a means of making it appear that free will and determinism are compatible. There is a problem with their usage of the term "free" in regard to the kind of free that determinists are disputing, the kind that would allow a person to do otherwise given the same exact situation. In truth, determinism and free will are polar opposites.


Okay, you chose to point this out. But that is only true technically in that as one of nature's dominoes you choose only that which you could have chosen. To me that is always the bottom line. However you "choose" to define or to describe a compatibilist you are still just one of nature's dominoes.

In other words [for me] it's back to this:

iambiguous wrote:I just can't wrap my head around the idea that I am "compelled to do what I do based on my heredity and environment" but that is merely in sync with the wrong definition of determinism. As though you were ever really free to choose another definition instead.


peacegirl wrote: We were never really free to do anything other than what we have done, or what we will do, but that does not mean we are not "free" (without constraint) to discuss better solutions to the world's problems.


"Free." Exactly. The very nature of matter itself wholly restrains us from choosing anything other than what we must.

Unless, of course, that is not true at all.

peacegirl wrote: If determinism is proved to be true (using a more accurate definition), then who would object to that? When I say we are compelled to do what we do based on our heredity and environment, what I mean is that we are the products of our experiences and how we interpret those experiences based on our predispositions, and all of the genetic factors that intermingle with the environment to make us who we are.


But the products of our experiences are themselves the products of nature's immutable laws. And if your life is in the toilet it is comforting to believe it was never not going to be in the toilet. But if your life is bursting at the seams with satisfaction and fulfilment you want to believe instead that this is as a result of the brilliant [and autonomous] choices that you made.

In other words, nope, I'm still not getting your point. But: Is that beyond my control?
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 Jan 20, 2019 8:13 pm

iambiguous wrote:
iambiguous wrote:In a determined universe, wouldn't it be more reasonable to presume that our brain cells are wholly in sync with "I". That "I" is this amazing manifestation of matter having evolved over billions of years into matter able to become aware of itself as matter in the act of becoming aware of itself as matter. But only because there was never any possibilty of it not.


peacegirl wrote: I agree with you that it is more reasonable to presume that our brain cells are wholly in sync with "I". The problem is that when people talk about brain cells and synapses doing the causing, it seems to imply that there is no choice that the "I" or "agent" makes as a conscious expression. In so doing, it takes away any responsibility of the agent in having made the choice. I am not referring to "moral" responsibility. For example, if he runs a red light and goes to court, what is he going to say? My brain cells made me do it? Do you think the courts would accept that as an excuse? :-k


iambiguous wrote:Again, either I'm missing your point here or your point is missing mine.


I'm not denying that a choice is being made by conscious human beings, only that it is a choice that could never have not been made.

iambiguous wrote:The dominoes don't choose to topple over. Only the person setting them up makes that happen. But [in a wholly determined universe] the person setting them up is but one of nature's very own dominoes. There was never any possibility of her not choosing to set them up. There was never any possibility of her choosing to set them up other than as she does.

She is "responsible" only for doing what she could never have not done.


I'm in total agreement.

peacegirl wrote: I am not referring to "moral" responsibility. For example, if he runs a red light and goes to court, what is he going to say? My brain cells made me do it? Do you think the courts would accept that as an excuse? :-k


iambiguous wrote:Back to those autonomous aliens watching it all unfold in the courtroom and pointing out that, indeed, everything said and done, while being thought of by the participants as reflecting their own free will, was never going to be other than what it had to be because Earth is embedded in that part of the unvierse where determinism prevails.


Very true, but that does not mean the same deterministic universe cannot progress based on deterministic principles.

iambiguous wrote:If we see dominoes toppling over onto each other -- https://youtu.be/1QtdPfz_faM -- we know that they could never have not toppled over onto each other than as they did.

Well, why can't the same be said about nature evolving into human brains able to set the dominoes up? We do what we do only because we could not do otherwise. It's just that unlike the mindless dominoes, "I" is equipped biologically with a psychological component able to convince "I" that something other than what it chose might have unfolded instead. That "I" was free to choose otherwise while in fact [as in our dreams] "I" does what it must.


peacegirl wrote: You are absolutely correct. But...when you use the word 'domino' it makes it seem that we are robots. The domino had no choice. It fell because something pushed it. If someone pushed me, I would fall too, which is why the comparison isn't a perfect analogy. Many philosophers believe that being able to make a choice without constraint is what free will is. That is the compatibilist view.


iambiguous wrote:It's never going to be a perfect analogy because the matter in the domino and the matter in the human brain, while in sync with whatever the immutable laws of all matter might be, are very different kinds of matter.

Living matter itself would seem to be the biggest mystery of all here. How did that happen? Why did that happen? What does it ultimately mean?

But, still, how are both not constrained by those laws of matter?


I am only addressing living matter, not so much in terms of existential questions of why we're here, or what does it ultimately mean, but only with knowledge (based on the fact that man's will is not free) that, when applied globally, has the ability to prevent war, crime, and poverty.

peacegirl wrote: The way compatibilists use the word "free" is a strawman since no one is saying we don't have the kind of freedom to choose that they are using as a means of making it appear that free will and determinism are compatible. There is a problem with their usage of the term "free" in regard to the kind of free that determinists are disputing, the kind that would allow a person to do otherwise given the same exact situation. In truth, determinism and free will are polar opposites.


iambiguous wrote:Okay, you chose to point this out. But that is only true technically in that as one of nature's dominoes you choose only that which you could have chosen. To me that is always the bottom line. However you "choose" to define or to describe a compatibilist you are still just one of nature's dominoes.

In other words [for me] it's back to this:

iambiguous wrote:I just can't wrap my head around the idea that I am "compelled to do what I do based on my heredity and environment" but that is merely in sync with the wrong definition of determinism. As though you were ever really free to choose another definition instead.


Obviously, I couldn't have chosen a definition that was more to your liking at that moment. That is understood by any determinist. Now it's time to move forward, which I'm trying to do, because I have more to share.

peacegirl wrote: We were never really free to do anything other than what we have done, or what we will do, but that does not mean we are not "free" (without constraint) to discuss better solutions to the world's problems.


iambiguous wrote:"Free." Exactly. The very nature of matter itself wholly restrains us from choosing anything other than what we must.

Unless, of course, that is not true at all.


It's very true that THE LAWS of our nature keep us from choosing anything other than what we must. The author explains it slightly differently, but it means the same thing. We are compelled to choose that which offers the greatest satisfaction from moment to moment, not what gives us the least satisfaction.

peacegirl wrote: If determinism is proved to be true (using a more accurate definition), then who would object to that? When I say we are compelled to do what we do based on our heredity and environment, what I mean is that we are the products of our experiences and how we interpret those experiences based on our predispositions, and all of the genetic factors that intermingle with the environment to make us who we are.


iambiguous wrote:But the products of our experiences are themselves the products of nature's immutable laws. And if your life is in the toilet it is comforting to believe it was never not going to be in the toilet. But if your life is bursting at the seams with satisfaction and fulfillment you want to believe instead that this is as a result of the brilliant [and autonomous] choices that you made. In other words, nope, I'm still not getting your point. But: Is that beyond my control?


Neither the person whose life was in the toilet, or the person whose life was better, had any control over how their life turned out. It's very true that when times are good, people want to take all the credit. You aren't getting my point because I haven't made one yet, other than agreeing that we have no free will. But there's more to it than just stating that we must do what we must because we cannot not do it.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

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



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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:49 pm

peacegirl wrote: I am not referring to "moral" responsibility. For example, if he runs a red light and goes to court, what is he going to say? My brain cells made me do it? Do you think the courts would accept that as an excuse? :-k


iambiguous wrote:Back to those autonomous aliens watching it all unfold in the courtroom and pointing out that, indeed, everything said and done, while being thought of by the participants as reflecting their own free will, was never going to be other than what it had to be because Earth is embedded in that part of the unvierse where determinism prevails.


Very true, but that does not mean the same deterministic universe cannot progress based on deterministic principles.


Progress to me implies something in the way of a teleological component "behind" the universe. The universe is evolving into something that can be described or defined as better than it was before.

And, sans God, how can nature really be understood in that manner?

Imagine hypothetcally human beings are the only conscious entities in the universe. Imagine a gigantic asteroid smashing into earth and wiping us all out.

The universe continues to unfold as before. But can that be described as progress?

peacegirl wrote: I am only addressing living matter, not so much in terms of existential questions of why we're here, or what does it ultimately mean, but only with knowledge (based on the fact that man's will is not free) that, when applied globally, has the ability to prevent war, crime, and poverty.


Applied globally so as to reflect the fact that man's will is not free. Thus it would seem that war, crime, and poverty are but inherent components of that.

Note to others: what point do I keep missing here? How is knowledge applied here [by anyone] other than as it must be given a determined universe?

peacegirl wrote: We were never really free to do anything other than what we have done, or what we will do, but that does not mean we are not "free" (without constraint) to discuss better solutions to the world's problems.


"Free." Exactly. The very nature of matter itself wholly restrains us from choosing anything other than what we must.

Unless, of course, that is not true at all.

peacegirl wrote: It's very true that THE LAWS of our nature keep us from choosing anything other than what we must. The author explains it slightly differently, but it means the same thing. We are compelled to choose that which offers the greatest satisfaction from moment to moment, not what gives us the least satisfaction.


Compelled. John is compelled to set up the dominoes just as the dominoes are compelled to topple over. But somehow with us it's different. We're not compelled mindlessly.

iambiguous wrote:But the products of our experiences are themselves the products of nature's immutable laws. And if your life is in the toilet it is comforting to believe it was never not going to be in the toilet. But if your life is bursting at the seams with satisfaction and fulfillment you want to believe instead that this is as a result of the brilliant [and autonomous] choices that you made. In other words, nope, I'm still not getting your point. But: Is that beyond my control?


peacegirl wrote: Neither the person whose life was in the toilet, or the person whose life was better, had any control over how their life turned out. It's very true that when times are good, people want to take all the credit. You aren't getting my point because I haven't made one yet, other than agreeing that we have no free will. But there's more to it than just stating that we must do what we must because we cannot not do it.


If there is more to it, then I will either be compelled to grasp it or not.
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 Jan 21, 2019 6:04 pm

peacegirl wrote: I am not referring to "moral" responsibility. For example, if he runs a red light and goes to court, what is he going to say? My brain cells made me do it? Do you think the courts would accept that as an excuse? :-k


iambiguous wrote:Back to those autonomous aliens watching it all unfold in the courtroom and pointing out that, indeed, everything said and done, while being thought of by the participants as reflecting their own free will, was never going to be other than what it had to be because Earth is embedded in that part of the unvierse where determinism prevails.


Very true, but that does not mean the same deterministic universe cannot progress based on deterministic principles.


iambiguous wrote:Progress to me implies something in the way of a teleological component "behind" the universe. The universe is evolving into something that can be described or defined as better than it was before.

And, sans God, how can nature really be understood in that manner?

Imagine hypothetcally human beings are the only conscious entities in the universe. Imagine a gigantic asteroid smashing into earth and wiping us all out.

The universe continues to unfold as before. But can that be described as progress?


Not all events are progressive hypothetically. When I speak of progress I am speaking only of how we can improve the human condition.

peacegirl wrote: I am only addressing living matter, not so much in terms of existential questions of why we're here, or what does it ultimately mean, but only with knowledge (based on the fact that man's will is not free) that, when applied globally, has the ability to prevent war, crime, and poverty.


iambiguous wrote:Applied globally so as to reflect the fact that man's will is not free. Thus it would seem that war, crime, and poverty are but inherent components of that.


They are inherent components of that, but when we apply the knowledge that man's will is not free (along with the corollary that follows), we veer in a different direction but still within the "inherent components of that".

iambiguous wrote:Note to others: what point do I keep missing here? How is knowledge applied here [by anyone] other than as it must be given a determined universe?


Who is saying otherwise iambiguous?

peacegirl wrote: We were never really free to do anything other than what we have done, or what we will do, but that does not mean we are not "free" (without constraint) to discuss better solutions to the world's problems.


iambiguous wrote:"Free." Exactly. The very nature of matter itself wholly restrains us from choosing anything other than what we must.

Unless, of course, that is not true at all.


What's your point?

peacegirl wrote: It's very true that THE LAWS of our nature keep us from choosing anything other than what we must. The author explains it slightly differently, but it means the same thing. We are compelled to choose that which offers the greatest satisfaction from moment to moment, not what gives us the least satisfaction.


iambiguous wrote:Compelled. John is compelled to set up the dominoes just as the dominoes are compelled to topple over. But somehow with us it's different. We're not compelled mindlessly.


John is not compelled to set up the dominoes unless he wants (or chooses) to set up the dominoes. The dominoes don't have an option.

iambiguous wrote:But the products of our experiences are themselves the products of nature's immutable laws. And if your life is in the toilet it is comforting to believe it was never not going to be in the toilet. But if your life is bursting at the seams with satisfaction and fulfillment you want to believe instead that this is as a result of the brilliant [and autonomous] choices that you made. In other words, nope, I'm still not getting your point. But: Is that beyond my control?


peacegirl wrote: Neither the person whose life was in the toilet, or the person whose life was better, had any control over how their life turned out. It's very true that when times are good, people want to take all the credit. You aren't getting my point because I haven't made one yet, other than agreeing that we have no free will. But there's more to it than just stating that we must do what we must because we cannot not do it.


iambiguous wrote:If there is more to it, then I will either be compelled to grasp it or not.


Very true.
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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