Determinism

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Re: Determinism

Postby Serendipper » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:19 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Either a will is free or it is not ( assuming a will exists as a thing in the first place )

And this kind of free will doesnt exist because we ARE bound by our biology and environment which drive our choices

Serendipper : A will can be both free and unfree in the sense that some choices can be made while others cannot [ for whatever reason ]
It is therefore wrong to present the free will question in binary form between zero free will or absolute free will with nothing in between

The will is free in some senses and not in other senses, but within the context of one sense, it is either free or not. That's closer to what I meant.

peacegirl : if free will doesnt exist then how are we able to make any choices ?

How does a computer make choices?

I think that free will exists but with legal / moral / psychological / physical limitations so I am free to do anything that I can do and would want to do
I am also free to do anything that I can do but would not want to do but still do anyway [ usually because my moral / psychological resistance to do so
has been sufficiently compromised ] Also things can be done / not done that were later regretted [ for whatever reason ] and suggests that it matters
more than at the actual time the things in question were done / not done

Yes, certainly the capability exists for you to choose chocolate or vanilla, but the choice you will make is not under your control because you cannot make yourself prefer one to the other.

Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds! https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

So if you've made your decision before you even knew it, then how could you be in control of making it? The you that you think you are lives in the past and is always last to know ;)
Serendipper
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:11 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
I have just placed my order and it will be delivered in two weeks


I'm not sure which version they're sending. I updated the book which is why I said to wait, but it's not here nor there. The changes are minor. Let me know when you get 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



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

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:16 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Again, you are saying something here that makes no sense to me in a wholly determined universe. If one's goal is to improve the human condition and one is compelled to think, feel, say and do only that which is inherently entailed/compelled by the laws of matter then both the means and the ends here are subsumed in what can only be.


So what if the means and the ends here are subsumed in what can only be. Wouldn't that make you want to listen to a new understanding, which would also be subsumed in what can only be?


What makes me want to listen to a new understanding [re my own understanding of a wholly determined universe] is the fact that I could never not want to.

I literally have no choice but to choose to want to. And [clearly] we don't think about that in the same way. And I always allow for the possibility that, autonomously, I could choose to think about it differently.


You're repeating yourself over and over and over again. It is an established fact that everything we do could not have been otherwise, so why keep repeating it? We can't make progress if you keep going around in circles iambiguous.

iambiguous wrote:And that's before we get to the part that most interest me: How, assuming some level of autonomy instead, progress is basically an existential contraption embodied in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.


peacegirl wrote: You are presupposing there has to be conflict in these things that you mentioned.


iambiguous wrote:Let's just say that throughout the entire length and breadth of human history, our species has been awash in them.


So what is your question?

iambiguous wrote:Let's bring this down to earth. In a determined universe what would constitute progress in regard to, say, the role of government in our lives? And how would we go about improving the human condition in regard to government when we can only go about doing what we must?


peacegirl wrote: Doing what we must is simply saying that we are moving in the direction that we think is best for us. Improving the human condition, once this knowledge is recognized and confirmed, government as we know it will no longer be necessary.


iambiguous wrote:Right, like in a wholly determined universe, we could choose to think about this in any other way than we are compelled to. Like we are actually free to recognize this.

Meanwhile out in the world that we live in? To build or not to build Trump's wall. To be or not to be a socialist. To abort or not to abort the unborn baby. What here does improve the human condition?


A new grasp of what it means that man's will is not free which has never been fully understood.

iambiguous wrote:All I can do is to ask others here who share your point of view to reconfigure it into an assessment I might be able to better grasp. How is an individual "applying knowledge" not in turn entirely subsumed in a deterministic universe?


peacegirl wrote: As long as you use the phrase "subsumed in a deterministic universe" you are reducing us to automatons that can't make choices.


iambiguous wrote:But how are you not reducing us down to men and women who choose only that which they are compelled to? Was the Terminator more like us or more like an automaton?


For purposes of this discussion, I don't want to get into the difference between humans and computers. We make choices and those choices are determined not by force from a program dictating what we must obey, but by our desires and preferences which can only go in one direction. Please make note of that as we continue...if we do. We are not Terminators who are blindly doing what a program tells us to do yet our will is not free to do otherwise.

peacegirl wrote: Although the word choice is misleading because it implies we can choose A or B equally (which is false) does not mean that our choices are less meaningful as part of our continued development.


In a world where the meaning we ascribe to things is the only meaning we were ever able to ascribe to things...what does that tell you about this choice? Something different than what it tells me.

[quote="iambiguous wrote:
It all becomes somewhat surreal. We grasp that man's will is not free. But we grasp that only because we could never not grasp it. And however we apply that to the human condition it is the only way that we ever could apply it.


peacegirl wrote: And... are you saying that my words mean nothing because I couldn't not be in this forum and type what I'm typing? #-o


iambiguouos wrote:You mean your words only as you ever could mean them. And they mean to me only that which they ever could mean to me. But those autonomous aliens are up there pointing out that that we still "choose" this meaning.


We still choose this meaning because we had no other choice but to choose this meaning. No one is disputing this iambiguous.

iambiguous wrote:I'm still missing something in the meaning you are trying to convey. Not that I could ever have not missed it?


You definitely are missing what I am trying to convey. You obviously didn't read any of the first three chapters which is why you are having problems understanding. If you don't read because it doesn't give you greater satisfaction to move in this direction, then obviously you couldn't have done otherwise, but I hope you will be inspired to read the first three chapters so you will better understand what I am trying to convey. #-o

iambiguous wrote:And around and around we go. Making points that the other does not fully grasp in a wholly determined universe in which there was never any possibility of it being otherwise.


peacegirl wrote: True, from the birth of the universe to today had to occur exactly the way it did. Once again, a wholly determined universe does not remove our part in that determined universe by the "unfree" choices we make which will deterministically influence where our world is headed.


iambiguous wrote:As nature's dominoes, we're not removed.


We are not removed from nature, but we are not dominoes or Terminators that have no say in the choices we make, although those choices are not free. In that respect we are part of the causal chain of life where everything that has been done or will be done could not be otherwise.

iambiguous wrote:A little help here!!

Admitting that perhaps I really am the one who needs it. Your point is solid and I keep missing it.


peacegirl wrote: You're missing the point because there's no real point yet other than the reason man's will is not free (i.e., that he is constantly moving in the direction of greater satisfaction).


iambiguous wrote:But what on earth does this mean regarding our actual interactions with others? Other than the only thing that it ever could mean?


It means a lot iambiguous if you follow the extension.

peacegirl wrote: What is important to recognize (which leads to the two-sided equation) is that although we have no control over which choice gives us greater satisfaction at any given moment in time...nothing has the power to make or force us to do anything against our will (which the conventional definition of determinism ignores).


iambiguous wrote:Other than the fact that our "will" is entirely subsumed in nature ---and in those immutable laws of matter?


True, but being that our will is entirely subsumed in nature does not take away from the fact that our will has absolute control to say "no" to a choice that we do not want to make. No domino can force a choice upon us, in other words.

peacegirl wrote: So when someone says "he made me pull the trigger", he is not being truthful. This is important in regard to this discovery which you will understand if you find this interesting. If you don't find this interesting, then you could not not have moved on. I get that iambiguous. You don't have to keep repeating it.


iambiguous wrote:We can just take that back [re an infinite regression] to the understanding of existence itself. I pulled the trigger because someone made me.


No one made you pull the trigger. You had control over whether to pull the trigger or not. You pulled the trigger because the option to not pull the trigger was less desirable at that moment. This is not trivial and leads to an important observation.

iambiguous wrote:And someone before that made him make me. And then all of the wholly determined interactions that come into play that brought both of us into existence. Going back to the laws of matter that brought into existence life itself.


Once again, no one made him do anything. No one has that power to force you to do what you don't want to do. Keep this in mind because this IS the other side of the equation which leads to an amazing discovery about how these two laws of our nature bring about enormous changes in human conduct.
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 peacegirl » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:55 pm

Serendipper wrote:
Either a will is free or it is not ( assuming a will exists as a thing in the first place )

And this kind of free will doesnt exist because we ARE bound by our biology and environment which drive our choices.


Serrendipper wrote: A will can be both free and unfree in the sense that some choices can be made while others cannot [ for whatever reason ]
It is therefore wrong to present the free will question in binary form between zero free will or absolute free will with nothing in between. The will is free in some senses and not in other senses, but within the context of one sense, it is either free or not. That's closer to what I meant.


But that's inaccurate. You cannot be free to do otherwise and not be free to do otherwise. You are trying to conflate different definitions of "free" like the compatibilists do to make it appear like a non-contradiction.

peacegirl : if free will doesnt exist then how are we able to make any choices ?

Serrendipper wrote:How does a computer make choices?


They don't. They just follow the program. This is dissimilar to humans in the sense that humans do make choices and CAN SAY NO if a choice is not to their liking.

I think that free will exists but with legal / moral / psychological / physical limitations so I am free to do anything that I can do and would want to do
Serrendipper wrote:I am also free to do anything that I can do but would not want to do but still do anyway [ usually because my moral / psychological resistance to do so has been sufficiently compromised ] Also things can be done / not done that were later regretted [ for whatever reason ] and suggests that it matters
more than at the actual time the things in question were done / not done.


You do something because you want to do it, or you wouldn't do it. period. This has no bearing on whether you thought you made a bad decision later on.

Serrendipper wrote:Yes, certainly the capability exists for you to choose chocolate or vanilla, but the choice you will make is not under your control because you cannot make yourself prefer one to the other.

Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds! https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

So if you've made your decision before you even knew it, then how could you be in control of making it? The you that you think you are lives in the past and is always last to know ;)


Because the "I" or "self" or "agent" has control over giving permission to follow through on an action. You cannot say, for example, my brain made me kill that person because in order for your brain to kill someone, it requires your approval.
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 surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:02 am

Serendipper wrote:
Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds !

So if you ve made your decision before you even knew it then how could you be in control of making it ?

The sub conscious mind that makes decisions is still part of you and in that respect you are still in control of them

The mistake is to assume all major decisions are made by the conscious mind simply because that is the only one we actually experience
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious75
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:24 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
I have just placed my order and it will be delivered in two weeks

https://www.amazon.com/Decline-Fall-All ... 1553953304
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious75
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:58 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds !

So if you ve made your decision before you even knew it then how could you be in control of making it ?

The sub conscious mind that makes decisions is still part of you and in that respect you are still in control of them

The mistake is to assume all major decisions are made by the conscious mind simply because that is the only one we actually experience


Surreptitious, all major decisions involve the conscious mind in order to give permission for an action to be performed (based on that decision) or else someone could easily say, "I didn't make that choice, my unconscious mind did." Not only is that false, but how would that fly in a court of law?
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 peacegirl » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:18 pm

peacegirl wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds !

So if you've made your decision before you even knew it then how could you be in control of making it ?

The sub conscious mind that makes decisions is still part of you and in that respect you are still in control of them.

The mistake is to assume all major decisions are made by the conscious mind simply because that is the only one we actually experience


I agree that the subconscious mind is still part of you and in that respect you are still in control of them. All major decisions involve the conscious mind in order to give permission for a choice to be made (even if the motivation for that choice involves subconscious factors), otherwise someone could easily use the excuse, "I didn't give permission to pull the trigger, my subconscious mind did 7 seconds before my conscious mind agreed to it." How would that fly in a court of law? Once again, that doesn't mean there aren't subconscious factors involved in making a choice, but the ultimate decision maker is the conscious agent whose job it is to decide whether there is justification to make the choice he is about to make. I am only trying to establish the "I" or "self" who is responsible for making a choice where someone, let's say, was badly injured as a direct result of someone's choice to run a red light. We are not talking about right or wrong here; just who is the responsible party.
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 surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:37 pm

Sleepwalkers are entirely unaware of what they do when sleepwalking [ even though they can demonstrate perfect motor function if knowledge
of it is in their memory ] and so if they commit a crime they cannot in principle be held responsible for it regardless of what it might actually be

The law however should not be changed to allow the guilty to blame their sub conscious every time they commit a crime
Although I was more interested in the question from a psychological / philosophical position rather than from a legal one
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious75
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:47 pm

Maybe people would like to hear from the author reading from his book, Beyond the Framework of Modern Thought. I am so glad I was able to save his tapes from the 1970s, because these are all I have of him speaking. If you are interested in hearing more, please contact me because I am not taking credit cards at this time. I'm working on upgrading my site.

http://www.declineandfallofallevil.com/ebook/
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 peacegirl » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:53 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:Sleepwalkers are entirely unaware of what they do when sleepwalking [ even though they can demonstrate perfect motor function if knowledge
of it is in their memory ] and so if they commit a crime they cannot in principle be held responsible for it regardless of what it might actually be


If they didn't have a clue as to what they were doing (like being under hypnosis) of course they cannot be held responsible.

surreptitious75 wrote:The law however should not be changed to allow the guilty to blame their sub conscious every time they commit a crime
Although I was more interested in the question from a psychological / philosophical position rather than from a legal one


From a psychological position, as we extend the corollary, Thou Shall Not Blame, that goes alone with determinism, we can see that nobody is morally responsible for what they do. But the interesting thing is that instead of decreasing responsibility, it actually increases responsibility, something philosophers down through the ages never understood.
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 surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:28 pm

peacegirl wrote:
From a psychological position as we extend the corollary Thou Shall Not Blame that goes alone with determinism we can see that nobody is morally responsible
for what they do. But the interesting thing is that instead of decreasing responsibility it actually increases responsibility something philosophers down through
the ages never understood

I am entirely responsible for all of my moral choices made ever since I became an adult and therefore blame no one else for them
I refuse to look anywhere other than inside myself for any mistakes I have made since it is the only way I can actually self improve
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious75
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:48 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
From a psychological position as we extend the corollary Thou Shall Not Blame that goes alone with determinism we can see that nobody is morally responsible
for what they do. But the interesting thing is that instead of decreasing responsibility it actually increases responsibility something philosophers down through
the ages never understood

I am entirely responsible for all of my moral choices made ever since I became an adult and therefore blame no one else for them
I refuse to look anywhere other than inside myself for any mistakes I have made since it is the only way I can actually self improve


You are way ahead of the game. :wink: What this corollary does is prevents a person's ability to shift to someone or something else that which is his responsibility.
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 surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:38 pm

peacegirl wrote:
You are way ahead of the game

I am nothing special and have no wisdom to offer up which is the reason why I avoid giving advice
What I have learned took time but it is not something no one else could also learn for themselves

I have no real idea about most things and the older I get the less I know anyway but I try to have something I can hold onto
Just something that will make my temporary existence bearable before that which I cannot control actually finally happens
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious75
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:48 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:29 pm

peacegirl wrote:
You are way ahead of the game

Surreptitious75 wrote:I am nothing special and have no wisdom to offer up which is the reason why I avoid giving advice
What I have learned took time but it is not something no one else could also learn for themselves


None of us are special and all of us our special, if that makes sense. You are like Socrates who was known for his wisdom because he stated that he knew that he didn't know, whereas others didn't know either but thought they did.

surreptitious75 wrote:I have no real idea about most things and the older I get the less I know anyway but I try to have something I can hold onto
Just something that will make my temporary existence bearable before that which I cannot control actually finally happens


I think as we become older we become more humble. That's one of the attributes of wisdom.
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 Jan 28, 2019 9:17 pm

peacegirl wrote:You're repeating yourself over and over and over again. It is an established fact that everything we do could not have been otherwise, so why keep repeating it? We can't make progress if you keep going around in circles iambiguous.


Talk about a stuck record!

Here you appear to be criticizing me for repeating myself, failing to make progress and going around and around in circles.

As though I was ever actually free not to.

[sombody explain this to me please...what on earth do I keep missing?]

iambiguous wrote:And that's before we get to the part that most interest me: How, assuming some level of autonomy instead, progress is basically an existential contraption embodied in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.


peacegirl wrote: You are presupposing there has to be conflict in these things that you mentioned.


iambiguous wrote:Let's just say that throughout the entire length and breadth of human history, our species has been awash in them.


peacegirl wrote:So what is your question?


It's not a question. It's a speculation about "I" confronting conflicting goods throughout human history. Even if
"improvements" were something we could choose freely to pursue, who gets to say what constitutes them?

Thus:

To build or not to build Trump's wall. To be or not to be a socialist. To abort or not to abort the unborn baby. What here does improve the human condition?


peacegirl wrote:A new grasp of what it means that man's will is not free which has never been fully understood.


I have no idea what that has to do with the conflicts noted.

peacegirl wrote: And... are you saying that my words mean nothing because I couldn't not be in this forum and type what I'm typing? #-o


iambiguouos wrote:You mean your words only as you ever could mean them. And they mean to me only that which they ever could mean to me. But those autonomous aliens are up there pointing out that that we still "choose" this meaning.


peacegirl wrote: We still choose this meaning because we had no other choice but to choose this meaning. No one is disputing this iambiguous.


Yes, but, for all practical purposes, what are the existential implications of that --- given the choices that are made by flesh and blood human beings in particular contexts?

Again:

iambiguous wrote:I'm still missing something in the meaning you are trying to convey. Not that I could ever have not missed it?


peacegirl wrote: You definitely are missing what I am trying to convey. You obviously didn't read any of the first three chapters which is why you are having problems understanding. If you don't read because it doesn't give you greater satisfaction to move in this direction, then obviously you couldn't have done otherwise, but I hope you will be inspired to read the first three chapters so you will better understand what I am trying to convey. #-o


Here we go again: I'm missing what I could never have not missed. I chose not to read the first three chapters because I could never have chosen to read them. But somehow [from my point of view] you still seem to hold me responsible for making the wrong choices.

Okay...

If I do have some measure of autonomy and your arguments here do begin to convince me, that might motivate me to read them.

That's the best I can do for now. But: Is it actually the only think I can do?

iambiguous wrote:As nature's dominoes, we're not removed.


peacegirl wrote: We are not removed from nature, but we are not dominoes or Terminators that have no say in the choices we make, although those choices are not free. In that respect we are part of the causal chain of life where everything that has been done or will be done could not be otherwise.


The dominoes do only what they must do in toppling over. John does only what he must do in setting them up. You clearly see more of a distinction here than I do. The dominoes are mindless components of nature. The human brain is a mindful component of nature. Thus "everything that has been done or will be done could not be otherwise."

The dominoes and John both being "natural" components of this. But nature in ways that are different in so many crucial respects.

peacegirl wrote: What is important to recognize (which leads to the two-sided equation) is that although we have no control over which choice gives us greater satisfaction at any given moment in time...nothing has the power to make or force us to do anything against our will (which the conventional definition of determinism ignores).


iambiguous wrote:Other than the fact that our "will" is entirely subsumed in nature ---and in those immutable laws of matter?


peacegirl wrote: True, but being that our will is entirely subsumed in nature does not take away from the fact that our will has absolute control to say "no" to a choice that we do not want to make. No domino can force a choice upon us, in other words.


How about the choices that our brains force us to make in dreams? In the dream I am utterly convinced that I am making the choices that I want to make. But we know better, right?

As long as John is not able to choose 1] not to set up the dominoes or 2] not to set them up as he does, it's all matter unfolding in what may or may not be a set of immutable laws.


iambiguous wrote:We can just take that back [re an infinite regression] to the understanding of existence itself. I pulled the trigger because someone made me.


peacegirl wrote: No one made you pull the trigger. You had control over whether to pull the trigger or not. You pulled the trigger because the option to not pull the trigger was less desirable at that moment. This is not trivial and leads to an important observation.


Again, the irony here [for me] is that this is precisely the sort of argument you would expect from someone who champions free will. Though I am more than willing to agree that the point is anything but trivial; and that the problem revolves around my not grasping it.

On the other hand, would you ever be willing to admit that the problem here revolves instead around your failure to understand my own points?

Could you ever be willing?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 33115
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:46 pm

iambiguous wrote:
peacegirl wrote:You're repeating yourself over and over and over again. It is an established fact that everything we do could not have been otherwise, so why keep repeating it? We can't make progress if you keep going around in circles iambiguous.


Talk about a stuck record!

Here you appear to be criticizing me for repeating myself, failing to make progress and going around and around in circles.

As though I was ever actually free not to.

[sombody explain this to me please...what on earth do I keep missing?]


I am not criticizing you, but you will not let me move forward when you say over and over "as though you were ever actually free not to." You're right, we were never free not to do what was done, so let's move on from here. If you still don't get it, maybe somebody else can help explain what you're not getting.

iambiguous wrote:And that's before we get to the part that most interest me: How, assuming some level of autonomy instead, progress is basically an existential contraption embodied in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.


peacegirl wrote: You are presupposing there has to be conflict in these things that you mentioned.


iambiguous wrote:Let's just say that throughout the entire length and breadth of human history, our species has been awash in them.


peacegirl wrote:So what is your question?


iambiguous wrote:It's not a question. It's a speculation about "I" confronting conflicting goods throughout human history. Even if
"improvements" were something we could choose freely to pursue, who gets to say what constitutes them?

Thus:

To build or not to build Trump's wall. To be or not to be a socialist. To abort or not to abort the unborn baby. What here does improve the human condition?


That's a fair question. Many of the questions you have are answered in the economic chapter. The question of walls is irrelevant because there will be no need for walls. Abortion will be less and less a desirable option not because it's morally wrong, but because people will have the kind of marriages where they will have economic security and will want the child if a pregnancy happens unexpectedly. Do you see how you're jumping to conclusions without considering that these questions would be answered if you took the time to read the book?

peacegirl wrote:A new grasp of what it means that man's will is not free which has never been fully understood.


iambiguous wrote:I have no idea what that has to do with the conflicts noted.


Of course you don't. How could you?

peacegirl wrote: And... are you saying that my words mean nothing because I couldn't not be in this forum and type what I'm typing? #-o


iambiguouos wrote:You mean your words only as you ever could mean them. And they mean to me only that which they ever could mean to me. But those autonomous aliens are up there pointing out that that we still "choose" this meaning.


peacegirl wrote: We still choose this meaning because we had no other choice but to choose this meaning. No one is disputing this iambiguous.


iambiguous wrote:Yes, but, for all practical purposes, what are the existential implications of that --- given the choices that are made by flesh and blood human beings in particular contexts?

Again:

iambiguous wrote:I'm still missing something in the meaning you are trying to convey. Not that I could ever have not missed it?


You are missing what I'm trying to convey because you refuse to read anything that I've offered. You're making assumptions that flesh and blood human beings cannot alter their behavior when the particular contexts (or conditions) they find themselves in, are altered.

peacegirl wrote: You definitely are missing what I am trying to convey. You obviously didn't read any of the first three chapters which is why you are having problems understanding. If you don't read because it doesn't give you greater satisfaction to move in this direction, then obviously you couldn't have done otherwise, but I hope you will be inspired to read the first three chapters so you will better understand what I am trying to convey. #-o


iambiguous wrote:Here we go again: I'm missing what I could never have not missed. I chose not to read the first three chapters because I could never have chosen to read them. But somehow [from my point of view] you still seem to hold me responsible for making the wrong choices.


Pallleeease iambiguous, you're playing games now. I am not holding you responsible for anything. If you don't want to read the first three chapters, then don't, but you can't expect to understand this discovery if you don't.

iambiguous wrote:Okay...

If I do have some measure of autonomy and your arguments here do begin to convince me, that might motivate me to read them.

That's the best I can do for now. But: Is it actually the only think I can do?


You can choose to read if you want to. You can choose not to read if you don't want to. You have the autonomy to make that choice for yourself, and that choice will become the choice that you could not not have made.

iambiguous wrote:As nature's dominoes, we're not removed.


peacegirl wrote: We are not removed from nature, but we are not dominoes or Terminators that have no say in the choices we make, although those choices are not free. In that respect we are part of the causal chain of life where everything that has been done or will be done could not be otherwise.


iambiguous wrote:The dominoes do only what they must do in toppling over. John does only what he must do in setting them up. You clearly see more of a distinction here than I do. The dominoes are mindless components of nature. The human brain is a mindful component of nature. Thus "everything that has been done or will be done could not be otherwise."

The dominoes and John both being "natural" components of this. But nature in ways that are different in so many crucial respects.


The distinction is that we make choices. Dominoes do not. And although the choices we make are not free, we have the capacity to say "no" to a choice that we don't want. Dominoes are not capable of this.

peacegirl wrote: What is important to recognize (which leads to the two-sided equation) is that although we have no control over which choice gives us greater satisfaction at any given moment in time...nothing has the power to make or force us to do anything against our will (which the conventional definition of determinism ignores).


iambiguous wrote:Other than the fact that our "will" is entirely subsumed in nature ---and in those immutable laws of matter?


peacegirl wrote: True, but being that our will is entirely subsumed in nature does not take away from the fact that our will has absolute control to say "no" to a choice that we do not want to make. No domino can force a choice upon us, in other words.


iambiguous wrote:How about the choices that our brains force us to make in dreams? In the dream I am utterly convinced that I am making the choices that I want to make. But we know better, right?


We know that it's a dream when we wake up, at least most people do. Most people do not act out their dreams in real life.

iambiguous wrote:As long as John is not able to choose 1] not to set up the dominoes or 2] not to set them up as he does, it's all matter unfolding in what may or may not be a set of immutable laws.


But John IS able to choose, that's just the point. Being able to choose (without external restraint) does not grant us free will. It is true that we are unfolding the way it had to be, but...under new environmental conditions we are able to veer in a different direction yet still be unfolding according to nature's immutable law.

iambiguous wrote:We can just take that back [re an infinite regression] to the understanding of existence itself. I pulled the trigger because someone made me.


peacegirl wrote: No one made you pull the trigger. You had control over whether to pull the trigger or not. You pulled the trigger because the option to not pull the trigger was less desirable at that moment. This is not trivial and leads to an important observation.


iambiguous wrote:Again, the irony here [for me] is that this is precisely the sort of argument you would expect from someone who champions free will. Though I am more than willing to agree that the point is anything but trivial; and that the problem revolves around my not grasping it.


The reason it appears that I am championing free will is due to the fact that both of these ideologies are reconciled (i.e., an eye for an eye with turn the other cheek). Will is not free but responsibility for one's actions is increased with this knowledge. Many philosophers down through the ages have thought that responsibility would be decreased with the knowledge of determinism. This book shows us why this is false, and why we can create a world of peace due to the fact that man's will is not free. We could not achieve a peaceful world otherwise.

iambiguous wrote:On the other hand, would you ever be willing to admit that the problem here revolves instead around your failure to understand my own points?

Could you ever be willing?


I'm reading your posts, aren't I? I'm doing the best I can to answer your questions but you need to meet me halfway.
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 Serendipper » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:12 am

peacegirl wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Either a will is free or it is not ( assuming a will exists as a thing in the first place )

And this kind of free will doesnt exist because we ARE bound by our biology and environment which drive our choices.


Serrendipper wrote: A will can be both free and unfree in the sense that some choices can be made while others cannot [ for whatever reason ]
It is therefore wrong to present the free will question in binary form between zero free will or absolute free will with nothing in between. The will is free in some senses and not in other senses, but within the context of one sense, it is either free or not. That's closer to what I meant.


But that's inaccurate. You cannot be free to do otherwise and not be free to do otherwise. You are trying to conflate different definitions of "free" like the compatibilists do to make it appear like a non-contradiction.

I didn't say that. Surreptitious did.

peacegirl : if free will doesnt exist then how are we able to make any choices ?

Serrendipper wrote:How does a computer make choices?


They don't. They just follow the program. This is dissimilar to humans in the sense that humans do make choices and CAN SAY NO if a choice is not to their liking.

But humans cannot choose what they like, so "their liking" is a programmed yardstick to evaluate choices the same as a computer uses code that it didn't write to determine what it will freely choose.

I think that free will exists but with legal / moral / psychological / physical limitations so I am free to do anything that I can do and would want to do
Serrendipper wrote:I am also free to do anything that I can do but would not want to do but still do anyway [ usually because my moral / psychological resistance to do so has been sufficiently compromised ] Also things can be done / not done that were later regretted [ for whatever reason ] and suggests that it matters
more than at the actual time the things in question were done / not done.


You do something because you want to do it, or you wouldn't do it. period. This has no bearing on whether you thought you made a bad decision later on.

I didn't write that either.

Serrendipper wrote:Yes, certainly the capability exists for you to choose chocolate or vanilla, but the choice you will make is not under your control because you cannot make yourself prefer one to the other.

Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds! https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

So if you've made your decision before you even knew it, then how could you be in control of making it? The you that you think you are lives in the past and is always last to know ;)


Because the "I" or "self" or "agent" has control over giving permission to follow through on an action. You cannot say, for example, my brain made me kill that person because in order for your brain to kill someone, it requires your approval.

You only moved the goal posts since now it's a choice of whether or not to accept the brain's choice which must again be decided by the brain. Whether or not you choose to accept the choice could also be discerned by scientists before you were aware of it yourself. It seems there is no way out of this one.
Serendipper
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby Serendipper » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:16 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds !

So if you ve made your decision before you even knew it then how could you be in control of making it ?

The sub conscious mind that makes decisions is still part of you and in that respect you are still in control of them

Sure, as long as "you" is defined as everything but your consciousness.

The mistake is to assume all major decisions are made by the conscious mind simply because that is the only one we actually experience

Yep, it seems the experiencing can't guide the experience.
Serendipper
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby Serendipper » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:28 am

peacegirl wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
Serendipper wrote:
Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds !

So if you ve made your decision before you even knew it then how could you be in control of making it ?

The sub conscious mind that makes decisions is still part of you and in that respect you are still in control of them

The mistake is to assume all major decisions are made by the conscious mind simply because that is the only one we actually experience


Surreptitious, all major decisions involve the conscious mind in order to give permission for an action to be performed (based on that decision) or else someone could easily say, "I didn't make that choice, my unconscious mind did." Not only is that false, but how would that fly in a court of law?

Because having laws is what helps determine the behavior of people and if it "flew in court" it would undermine the deterrent. I think the legal system holds its nose and looks the other way on this.

The Brain on Trial

DOES THE DISCOVERY of Charles Whitman’s brain tumor modify your feelings about the senseless murders he committed? Does it affect the sentence you would find appropriate for him, had he survived that day? Does the tumor change the degree to which you consider the killings “his fault”? Couldn’t you just as easily be unlucky enough to develop a tumor and lose control of your behavior?

On the other hand, wouldn’t it be dangerous to conclude that people with a tumor are free of guilt, and that they should be let off the hook for their crimes?

As our understanding of the human brain improves, juries are increasingly challenged with these sorts of questions. When a criminal stands in front of the judge’s bench today, the legal system wants to know whether he is blameworthy. Was it his fault, or his biology’s fault?


Free will may exist (it may simply be beyond our current science), but one thing seems clear: if free will does exist, it has little room in which to operate. It can at best be a small factor riding on top of vast neural networks shaped by genes and environment. In fact, free will may end up being so small that we eventually think about bad decision-making in the same way we think about any physical process, such as diabetes or lung disease. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... al/308520/
Serendipper
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby Serendipper » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:35 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
peacegirl wrote:
You are way ahead of the game

I am nothing special and have no wisdom to offer up which is the reason why I avoid giving advice
What I have learned took time but it is not something no one else could also learn for themselves

I have no real idea about most things and the older I get the less I know anyway but I try to have something I can hold onto

Nice :)

Just something that will make my temporary existence bearable before that which I cannot control actually finally happens

The thing controlling all your decisions will also make that decision.
Serendipper
Philosopher
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Determinism

Postby peacegirl » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:12 pm

Serendipper wrote:
Either a will is free or it is not ( assuming a will exists as a thing in the first place )

And this kind of free will doesnt exist because we ARE bound by our biology and environment which drive our choices.


Serrendipper wrote: A will can be both free and unfree in the sense that some choices can be made while others cannot [ for whatever reason ]
It is therefore wrong to present the free will question in binary form between zero free will or absolute free will with nothing in between. The will is free in some senses and not in other senses, but within the context of one sense, it is either free or not. That's closer to what I meant.


Serreptitious wrote:But that's inaccurate. You cannot be free to do otherwise and not be free to do otherwise. You are trying to conflate different definitions of "free" like the compatibilists do to make it appear like a non-contradiction.


peacegirl : if free will doesnt exist then how are we able to make any choices ?

Serrendipper wrote:How does a computer make choices?


They don't. They just follow the program. This is dissimilar to humans in the sense that humans do make choices and CAN SAY NO if a choice is not to their liking.

Serrendipper wrote:But humans cannot choose what they like, so "their liking" is a programmed yardstick to evaluate choices the same as a computer uses code that it didn't write to determine what it will freely choose.


You can compare humans to robots if you want to. Humans cannot choose what they like, so "their liking" is a programmed yardstick to evaluate choices as a computer uses code that it didn't write to determine what it will UNFREELY choose. How can it be free when it can only choose one option? The fact that it is not constrained by external force does not mean the choice is free. You really need to understand this because there is no wide range between free and unfree when it comes to man's will.

I think that free will exists but with legal / moral / psychological / physical limitations so I am free to do anything that I can do and would want to do
Serrendipper wrote:I am also free to do anything that I can do but would not want to do but still do anyway [ usually because my moral / psychological resistance to do so has been sufficiently compromised ] Also things can be done / not done that were later regretted [ for whatever reason ] and suggests that it matters
more than at the actual time the things in question were done / not done.


We are always trying to make the best choice possible between the options that are available to us. If we find out that our choice was not the best, we learn from that and don't make the same mistake the next time. That is called growth. When you say you can do but would not want to do but do anyway, you are still choosing, at that moment, what gives you greater satisfaction even with the knowledge that it might not be the best choice for you. For example, you are dying for a piece of chocolate cake, and you can't resist it even though you know you will feel guilty later and will have to cut out sweets for the next day. But at that moment eating the cake gave you greater satisfaction over not eating it, therefore once the cake is eaten you could not have done otherwise because only one choice was possible at that moment rendering not eating the cake an impossibility. Later on, you may choose not to eat the cake which gives you greater satisfaction (because this time you have more willpower and don't want to get diabetes) rendering eating the cake an impossibility at that moment. Each moment presents a juxtaposition of differences in each case that present alternatives that affect choice.

Serrendipper wrote:Yes, certainly the capability exists for you to choose chocolate or vanilla, but the choice you will make is not under your control because you cannot make yourself prefer one to the other.

Scientists can be aware of your choices before you are and by a margin of 7 seconds! https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

So if you've made your decision before you even knew it, then how could you be in control of making it? The you that you think you are lives in the past and is always last to know ;)


Because the "I" or "self" or "agent" has control over giving permission to follow through on an action. You cannot say, for example, my brain made me kill that person because in order for your brain to kill someone, it requires your approval.

Serrendipper wrote:You only moved the goal posts since now it's a choice of whether or not to accept the brain's choice which must again be decided by the brain. Whether or not you choose to accept the choice could also be discerned by scientists before you were aware of it yourself. It seems there is no way out of this one.


I gave this as an example as to how schizophrenic this becomes when scientists use the idea that neuronal impulses are making choices before we consciously make them. The motivation for a choice that may be hidden in the subconscious mind does not remove the conscious mind from the equation because the choice is still up to the agent or the "I" that the brain is contained in. It takes the conscious mind to say "yes" to an action even if there is a gap of 7 seconds where the brain has already made a decision. The agent can veto that decision if within those 7 seconds something changes the mind of the agent where he chooses not to act on that impulse. I don't know if there ever will be a time that scientists will know exactly what choice you will make before you make it having a 7 second delay. More importantly, it wouldn't matter what choice was made if the choice hurt no one. What scientists are trying to work on is determining if a person is a high risk, thus the intervention by scientists would be employed to identify those people and quarantine them. But this would be unnecessary if we knew that we could never desire to hurt anyone as a preferable choice under changed conditions of the new world.
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 Meno_ » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:50 pm

Removed -
Meno_
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5589
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:30 pm

peacegirl wrote:
I am not criticizing you, but you will not let me move forward when you say over and over "as though you were ever actually free not to." You're right, we were never free not to do what was done, so let's move on from here. If you still don't get it, maybe somebody else can help explain what you're not getting.


I'm sorry but my reaction here is the same. From my frame of mind [which might be the problem] you are arguing that 1] I'm not letting you move forward and that 2] I could only choose to not let you move forward.

To build or not to build Trump's wall. To be or not to be a socialist. To abort or not to abort the unborn baby. What here does improve the human condition?


peacegirl wrote:That's a fair question. Many of the questions you have are answered in the economic chapter. The question of walls is irrelevant because there will be no need for walls. Abortion will be less and less a desirable option not because it's morally wrong, but because people will have the kind of marriages where they will have economic security and will want the child if a pregnancy happens unexpectedly. Do you see how you're jumping to conclusions without considering that these questions would be answered if you took the time to read the book?


What this amounts to [to me] is the assumption that if everyone thinks like you [and the arguments made in the book] this will be the future.

Again, as though in chosing not to do this now, which they could never have not not chosen, that's the problem.

People don't look at these relationships as you do now because they never could have chosen to look at them that way. Or, had the laws of matter been different, they could never have chosen anything other than to look at them as you do and to share them.

Either way it will only have been as it ever could have been.

peacegirl wrote:You are missing what I'm trying to convey because you refuse to read anything that I've offered. You're making assumptions that flesh and blood human beings cannot alter their behavior when the particular contexts (or conditions) they find themselves in, are altered.


As you noted above, someone else will have to figure out a way to explain to me how I could only have chosen to refuse to read what you have written and that you are justified in pointing that as the problem. I'm not arguing that people can't alter their behaviors, only that in a wholly determined universe it would seem that these new choices are only as they could ever have been.

This part:

iambiguous wrote:Here we go again: I'm missing what I could never have not missed. I chose not to read the first three chapters because I could never have chosen to read them. But somehow [from my point of view] you still seem to hold me responsible for making the wrong choices.


peacegirl wrote:Pallleeease iambiguous, you're playing games now. I am not holding you responsible for anything. If you don't want to read the first three chapters, then don't, but you can't expect to understand this discovery if you don't.


If I am not actually free to choose to read those chapters and you are not actually free to point that out to me, then this exchange would seem to be in sync with a wholly determined universe.

I don't know how to not think of it like that if I was never really free to think about it any other way.

peacegirl wrote:You can choose to read if you want to. You can choose not to read if you don't want to. You have the autonomy to make that choice for yourself, and that choice will become the choice that you could not not have made.


If I have the autonomy to make that choice myself then I am clearly missing your point of view. It makes no sense to me that you would argue that.

Sure, once I freely choose to do something I am never able to not choose to do it. But free-will advocates also embrace that.

I am now just all that much more confused about your point of view.

iambiguous wrote:The dominoes do only what they must do in toppling over. John does only what he must do in setting them up. You clearly see more of a distinction here than I do. The dominoes are mindless components of nature. The human brain is a mindful component of nature. Thus "everything that has been done or will be done could not be otherwise."

The dominoes and John both being "natural" components of this. But nature in ways that are different in so many crucial respects.


peacegirl wrote:The distinction is that we make choices. Dominoes do not. And although the choices we make are not free, we have the capacity to say "no" to a choice that we don't want. Dominoes are not capable of this.


Yes, we've been over this. John makes a choice to set up the dominoes in a determined universe where he was never really free to say "no, I won't set them up". The dominoes were going to be set up by John. Period. Why? Because that is wholly in sync with matter [be it dominoes or brains] in sync with immutable laws.

iambiguous wrote:How about the choices that our brains force us to make in dreams? In the dream I am utterly convinced that I am making the choices that I want to make. But we know better, right?


peacegirl wrote:We know that it's a dream when we wake up, at least most people do. Most people do not act out their dreams in real life.


But why would it not be reasonable to argue that in a wholly determined universe the brain merely shifts gears from the dream world to the waking world. The difference being that in the dream world we are oblivious to the brain creating a world while in the waking world we embody the psychological illusion that somehow "mind" [or "soul" for some] function on a level that transcends mere matter. "I" call the shots "for real" when I am awake.

Or maybe not?

iambiguous wrote:As long as John is not able to choose 1] not to set up the dominoes or 2] not to set them up as he does, it's all matter unfolding in what may or may not be a set of immutable laws.


peacegirl wrote:But John IS able to choose, that's just the point. Being able to choose (without external restraint) does not grant us free will. It is true that we are unfolding the way it had to be, but...under new environmental conditions we are able to veer in a different direction yet still be unfolding according to nature's immutable law.


Around and around and around...

We "veer" in the only direction that we were ever going to veer. In the only direction that we ever could have veered. But unlike the unconscious dominoes, we "choose" to topple in this new direction.

External constraint, internal constraint. It would seem to be all "at one" with nature unfolding as a matter mechanism.

peacegirl wrote: No one made you pull the trigger. You had control over whether to pull the trigger or not. You pulled the trigger because the option to not pull the trigger was less desirable at that moment. This is not trivial and leads to an important observation.


iambiguous wrote:Again, the irony here [for me] is that this is precisely the sort of argument you would expect from someone who champions free will. Though I am more than willing to agree that the point is anything but trivial; and that the problem revolves around my not grasping it.


peacegirl wrote:The reason it appears that I am championing free will is due to the fact that both of these ideologies are reconciled (i.e., an eye for an eye with turn the other cheek). Will is not free but responsibility for one's actions is increased with this knowledge.


If will is not free how is responsibility not just an inherent component of that? We think we are more or less responsible but it was never within our capacity to think any other way.

peacegirl wrote:Many philosophers down through the ages have thought that responsibility would be decreased with the knowledge of determinism. This book shows us why this is false, and why we can create a world of peace due to the fact that man's will is not free. We could not achieve a peaceful world otherwise.


If the knowledge we acquire is knowledge that we are only ever able to acquire, then so too is our sense of responsibility. Then so too is that which we either achieve or do not achieve. It's all and always in sync with the nature of existence itself.

iambiguous wrote:On the other hand, would you ever be willing to admit that the problem here revolves instead around your failure to understand my own points?

Could you ever be willing?


peacegirl wrote:I'm reading your posts, aren't I? I'm doing the best I can to answer your questions but you need to meet me halfway.


From my frame of mind [still], you are telling me I need to do something I am either able to freely need to do or was only ever going to need to do...and was then only ever going to either do or not do.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 33115
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:09 pm

"Compatibilism"

Craig Ross in Philosophy Now magazine

Some believe that humans have free will; others that each of our actions and choices is caused by prior events. Compatibilism is the theory that we can be both caused and free.


Try as I might I am unable to wrap my head around this. Even as a "theory" it doesn't make sense to me. If prior events caused me to invent the theory, how can it be argued in turn that I was free to invent it? I was never able to not invent it but I still "willed" it's invention.

Hobbes famously said that man was as free as an unimpeded river. A river that flows down a hill necessarily follows a channel, but it is also at liberty to flow within the channel. The voluntary actions of people are similar. They are free because their actions follow from their will; but the actions are also necessary because they spring from chains of causes and effects which could in principle be traced back to the first mover of the universe, generally called God.


The river is mindless. It chooses nothing. It volunteers nothing. It flows wholly in accordance with the laws of nature. A thing doing only what it must do. Period.

Or "period" to the extent this can be understood given the gap between what I think I know here and now and all that can be known about existence itself.

If my will is also wholly in sync with a brain wholly in sync with the laws of nature then my choosing to swim in the river is actually my "choosing" to swim in the river. A psychological concoction that is no less wholly determined.

No one forced me to go into the river but I was still never able to not go into the river.

That's the part about being "free" that won't sink in.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 33115
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], MSN [Bot]