Biological Will

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Re: Biological Will

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:07 pm

@Silhouette

Consider "Black Swan Theory". Was the absence of evidence of black swans evidence of their absence? Well clearly such evidence wasn't very good, because black swans turned out to exist! Think of germ theory: there was an absence of evidence simply because people couldn't see things that were too small for the naked eye to distinguish. Was that evidence that micro-organisms and bacteria and viruses didn't exist? Was it evidence that it was spirits all along because the bible was evidence enough for that? The same goes for any newly discovered thing - and thinking in line with what you said would mean we'd all still be back in the dark ages. There's huge importance to not falling for that fallacy.

The more you look for something and fail to find it is nothing more than evidence that there's an issue in looking for that something - the issue could be that it doesn't exist, it could be that it's hard to find, but a lack of a gain in knowledge is not a gain in knowledge one way or another. It just means you still don't know. What's the rush to fill the gap of "don't know yet" with "I know <gap filler> now"? It doesn't have to be one or the other, it's neither. I expect the compulsion to fill in the gaps is to avoid the cognitive dissonance of an unresolved case where both yes and no are still possible. It reminds me of Derrida's commentary on zombies being an example of an "undecidable", which is what adds to their horror - they are living dead, yet neither living nor dead.

Firstly, both order and disorder are a presence of something, not an absence of something.
Order is as much an absence of disorder as disorder is an absence of order.
I don't have to say there is no (relative) order in x, I can say there is (relative) disorder in x, at least at this scale, at this point in space-time, as far as whatever instruments I'm using can detect.
For example if my desk is messy, I can say it's messy, I don't have to say it's not tidy or it contains no tidiness.

Secondly, I'm going to ask you a question.
Does tyrannosaurus rex reside on planet earth?
Is he hiding in your attic?
Yes, no, probably, probably not, maybe?

You can know something is false absolutely if it shows contradiction, like Free Will.

Why can't freewill exist?

I don't get where your picture of science comes from, as though it's some kind of strict and absolute club or something - everyone can engage in science. Funding is the only issue, but that's just Capitalism, not because of science.

No rich academic will give a poor unacademic the time of day.

It's an unfortunate truth that most cheap experiments have been done to death, and if you want to get somewhere new you need money to acquire the measuring devices you require, and for that you have to appeal to the people who have it.

As far as I know, there've been few academic studies done on the efficacy of cheap, DIY, homemade remedies because there's little-no money to be made in them, but there's a litany of so called skeptics and debunkers who'll ridicule and defame you if you do one.

All good scientists, particularly statisticians are studying randomness - and not just on paper, and they are certainly not a minority. You're remarkably presumptuous, no? Did you know that there's a huge scientific field to predict times of chaos like riots or disease outbreaks? The police, for example, really do use this data to better position and apportion their limited resources. There's all kinds of applications - and obviously there's the famous Chaos Theory. There are literally mathematical models that you can use to model "chaotic" systems as well as statistics to measure all kinds of metrics to make as much sense of it as you can in all kinds of useful ways, even given the seeming lack of sense at a glance. You should find out about these things before you comment on them, in my opinion.

But there's no scientist looking for acausality.
For them, disorder = complex causality, not acausality.
And there's no team of scientists measuring how much disorder there is in the cosmos.
Of course order and disorder are at least somewhat relative, but nearly everyone, academic and layman alike, seems to assume there's far more order than disorder and that this disorder is complex causality.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Silhouette » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:14 pm

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Ah but you do have a horse in the race, everybody does.

I guess the irony here goes straight over your head...

Here you are saying "the universe is Undetermined", and yet you can determine with certainty, about everyone, that they have a horse in the race. Convenient, no?

I think I see what's going on here.

Being the living embodiment of "Free-Will", your will is so free that you can will anything you want to be true, even in the face of logical contradiction, right?
I can be the "Abrahamic-Nihilistic type" yet also secular and have a horse in the race - in direct contradiction respectively - at the same time! Under Free Will anything you want is possible, so of course you can simply decide you're not wrong when you are free from reason =D>

You have no idea how easy you make this for me to point out all your hilarious inconsistencies. I used to find it frustrating, but it's actually fun to have you provide for free all this practice in spotting fallacies and biases. It's a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but at least you're brilliant at showing how ridiculous your position is for the benefit of other people here who might have otherwise been tempted by it - keep it coming, my good friend and ally.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Just don't pretend I'm wrong when I'm not.

Unfortunately I can't pretend you aren't arguing in favour of "¬A = A" with free (indeterminate) will (determinacy).

Here we have a situation where more self-knowledge means being more able to determine why you do things, why things happen to you, and how the world around you works - self-knowledge literally scales with Determinism. I guess you can tell how self-knowing somebody is by the degree to which they are in favour of Determinism and against Free Will... by definition: knowledge = ability to determine.

Gloominary wrote:Firstly, both order and disorder are a presence of something, not an absence of something.
Order is an as much an absence of disorder as disorder is an absence of order.
I don't have to say there is no or relatively less order in x, I can say there is or relatively more disorder in x, at least at this scale, at this point in space-time, as far as whatever instruments I'm using can detect.
For example if my desk is messy, I can say it's messy, I don't have to say it's not tidy.

An interesting notion that disorder is a presence of something, since the definition of a thing requires order. How do you define something as present if its bounds of identification as a specific present thing are disorderly? Of course in practice, order and disorder are not absolute, and come in tandem with one another to some relative degree in terms of both quantity and quality. The more disorderly the harder it is to be specific. You've probably come across the term "entropy" which is commonly associated with disorder, but is more a measure of relative energy states from smaller to bigger scales, and how much they have reached equilibrium (higher entropy) - in this sense, you don't even have to worry about saying messy or tidy because there's a measure you can use to encapsulate the whole thing.

But given this, I'm still not exactly sure what your point is here?

Gloominary wrote:Secondly, I'm going to ask you a question.
Does tyrannosaurus rex reside on planet earth?
Is he hiding in your attic?
Yes, no, probably, probably not, maybe?

Devise an experiment to test this question. Define T-rex and what suffices as knowledge that a T-Rex does not currently reside on planet earth? For example: are there conditions under which T-Rex cannot currently be on earth? You might require that "looking everywhere" is the only sufficient test, but even then, as soon as you look in another place, perhaps evidence appears where you were looking before but you've moved on from looking there now. An essential element of science is to know and state variables and such that you have not controlled for. Another thing you do is define scope and parameters for what you're testing, sample sizes and whatnot. No serious science considers searching the entire globe, not least because of the costliness - it's unfeasible in many respects, so any conclusions you come to will be short of this. This is why the incentive is to be creative with your questions and approaches to investigating answers to your questions. For example, I could write a particularly short study on your attic hypothesis by stating that I do not have an attic. Conclusion: T-Rex cannot be hiding in my attic. More seriously though, you might have to consult some second-hand studies on the conditions necessary for a T-Rex to survive - perhaps identifying different oxygen concentrations in the atmosphere that we no longer have but are necessary to keep a T-Rex alive - perhaps identifying its food sources and investigating them, assuming any still exist.

Does that help you at all in clarifying what the scientific process really is? Obviously you intended for me to resort to common sense and either say no or qualify no with some relative and unbacked probability, but I thought it would be better to illuminate how it's not as simple as that.

Gloominary wrote:Why can't freewill exist?

I don't think you've been around over the past 15 months that I've been arguing this - participating in any of the threads that I was concerning this topic, at least. There's a few reasons.

I summed up some of the main themes in 3 arguments:
1) Free Will as "could have done otherwise" is unfalsifiable, as you cannot recreate the exact same universal conditions where you made one choice in order to test whether you could indeed have chosen otherwise. To claim you could requires a conflation of "possibility" with "actuality" - you imagine that it was perfectly possible for you to have chosen otherwise, based on knowledge of options within physical (and to an extent social) constraints, but there was always a reason that determined why you chose one and not another. Choosing the initially unchosen option at a later date is a different choice, which is just as determined by the new environment and preferences. In turn, each environment you find yourself in, and all preferences you have at any one point are not just determined by prior conditions, but those prior conditions were determined be conditions even prior to that - and so on beyond the point you were even born.
2) Free Will implicitly requires Substance Dualism in order for the mind to be "free" from matter, and this requires a resolution of the "mind-body problem". If they are separate, what bridges them such that they correspond to and can interact to any extent? A third substance? If so, what connects the third to the first and second, and if even if a third could be posited, this would violate the separation between mind and body that Free Will requires. This needs solving before Free Will can even be on the table.
3) Since mind needs to be free from matter in order for Free Will to make sense, it is a contradiction to claim that the mind can be informed about the world in order to make a rational decision on how to act upon that which it is supposed to be free from, whilst also not being influenced by information about the world so as to be free from it.

There's also my argument that "Free" requires indeterminacy, whilst "Will" requires determinacy, and ¬A^A is a logical contradiction. If "will" were not determined by anything, it would be random which is not will, and if it did not determine anything it would be useless and invalid as something that could have the agency that Free Will requires.

Basically, it's unfalsifiable, requires the resolution of an insurmountable problem, and contains contradictions. ALL of these issues need to be resolved in order to even begin to treat it as a valid concept.

Gloominary wrote:No rich academic will give a poor unacademic the time of day.

I would argue that this would only be true if "richness" was in terms of fame and number of citations etc., and even then, genuine scientists are basically humble by virtue of being attracted to science and being able to be good at it. You have to be able to embrace the objectivity element, eliminating as much personal subjective influence as possible, in order to arrive at acceptable theories - because you are constantly subject to intense scrutiny by the rest of the scientific community, who all (including yourself) "gain points" by proving one another wrong. It's the only realm where "perfect competition" really functions. To take all this criticism and persevere equally requires humility - I think if an academic rich in monetary wealth didn't give a poor academic the time of day, it would be because they were snooty about their wealth irrespective of the fact that they were an academic.

Gloominary wrote:As far as I know, there's few-no academic studies being done on the efficacy of cheap, DIY, homemade remedies because there's little-no money to be made in them, but there's a litany of so called skeptics and [i]debunkers[/I} who'll ridicule and defame you if you do one.

Scientists generally aren't after money from inventing new things, remedies or otherwise - they just want to be able to justify their funding to maintin their career of trying to publish their findings, and there isn't much money in this even if they are operating far beyond the realms of cheap, DIY, homemade inventions. Even if a scientist did find a remedy, perhaps even intending to make money from it, this is where capitalists take over who have all the business contacts, experience and knowledge about businesses and markets. The scientists who have been able to do this all themselves are such icons because of the very fact that they are so unbelievably rare. The vast vast majority of the time, the scientists remain behind the scenes doing all the actual work and making someone else money. The argument that Capitalism rewards creativity is almost an absolute myth - it makes money and takes credit from the creativity of others, and calls their business the creation. But back on topic, skeptical debunking is part and parcel of science - from all corners, and even from you - but the challenge is to be legitimate about it, thus respected and cited by people who equally want to be respected and cited. All the quacks and trolls have no influence on the scientific world - they influence the political world, and the best they can do is wrestle political and financial motivations away from something you're studying perfectly legimately and scientifically. This should never ever happen, but it does appear that there is a bit of overlap going on in certain areas like gender science. But to be perfectly clear - this isn't because of science, it's because of politics.

Gloominary wrote:But there's no scientist looking for acausality.

All scientists are looking for phenomena. If causality can be attributed, then so be it. If it necessarily shows that no causality can be attributed then so be it. Everything is on the table, but to be perfectly clear again, if indeterminacy becomes the best theory, this still does not open the door for Free Will. We have to be careful of the false dilemma fallacy here. "Not Determinism" does not mean "Free Will" - the issues I laid out above remain the ultimate barrier - and by contrast I am quite open to the model of Determinism being replaced by indeterminacy - but you have to legitimately prove why first. Determinism may have a mountain of legitimate evidence to support it, but it is falsifiable because such a mountain can be conquered like all scientific theories can - just show the legitimate proof.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:05 pm

Let's go back to the issue of gravity.

Gravity does different things at different scales and in different regions of the cosmos.

Which's the simpler explanation?

1. Gravity behaves differently across space-time.

2. Gravity only appears to behave differently across space-time, but there's an imperceptible, intangible mass we call dark matter scattered throughout the cosmos, which explains why there's more gravity in some regions than there ought to be, given the amount of perceptible, tangible mass.

The former is the simpler explanation, because it's just acknowledging what is, it's not unnecessarily introducing any mysterious entities to explain away what is.

Now this has a bearing on freewill, because if matter-energy is at least partly acausal, than that means the brain-mind, which is at least partly composed of matter/energy, is in all likelihood partly acausal.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:19 pm

For me, freewill isn't something we turn on when we behave consciously and deliberately, it's ever-present, even when we're behaving subconsciously and indeliberately.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby WendyDarling » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:56 pm

From the people I know in person and online, it seems that the victim mentality is forever a part of those who believe in determinism. Has anyone else noticed this?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

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

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:09 am

Excellent observation and very true. The torture our resident determinists have to suffer every time they read a post by a libertarian, indeterminist, or freewillist is not unlike being intellectually waterboarded. It can be absolutely agonizing.

Determinist's lives matter, wendy, and we demand to be heard.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Silhouette » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:20 am

Gloominary wrote:Let's go back to the issue of gravity.

Gravity does different things at different scales and in different regions of the cosmos.

Which's the simpler explanation?

1. Gravity behaves differently across space-time.

2. Gravity only appears to behave differently across space-time, but there's an imperceptible, intangible mass we call dark matter scattered throughout the cosmos, which explains why there's more gravity in some regions than there ought to be, given the amount of perceptible, tangible mass.

The former is the simpler explanation, because it's just acknowledging what is, it's not unnecessarily introducing any mysterious entities to explain away what is.

Now this has a bearing on freewill, because if matter-energy is at least partly acausal, than that means the brain-mind, which is at least partly composed of matter/energy, is in all likelihood partly acausal.

An appeal to Occam's Razor is reasonable and it's what science tends towards as well.

However, there is a difference between "explaining" something away and offering something with potentially better explanatory power. Explaining something away (e.g. "God did it") is simpler still to what you suggest, but the compromise on explanatory power is too high. Simplicity? Yes, but not for its own sake at the cost of explanatory power. So let's say gravity behaves differently across space-time: how does it do this? In what way quantitatively? How does explaining things in such a way improve our current understanding and predictive/explanatory power over reality? It simply seals a box with no further elaboration.

I would guess that you might think the same of "Dark Matter"? Unfortunately I'm not too clued up on the concept, but generalising on motivations within the scientific community, it at the very least likely provides grounds upon which we can investigate more specifically than simply saying "oh it just changes in some or other way because it does". That's not to say you're necessarily wrong, but there needs to be grounds to suggest specificity in the way in which gravity changes across spacetime. There needs to be something to work towards rather than waving around some non-specific words to close a door for the sake of being able to say it's closed.

Sorry if that's insufficient for gravity in particular, but that's the scientific rationale in general.

To your last line about a bearing on Free Will, as I said Indeterminacy =/= Free Will. You ignored my "3+ arguments" - as has everyone without exception so far who has been arguing in favour of some degree of Free Will. Indeterminacy I am open to, but Free Will is firmly in a coffin. How can it be ever-present if it is unfalsifiable, implies insurmountable problems and contains plural contradictions?

WendyDarling wrote:From the people I know in person and online, it seems that the victim mentality is forever a part of those who believe in determinism. Has anyone else noticed this?

I feel victimised by this accusation ;)

Seriously though, if there's a way in which you regard my mentality as one buried in victimhood I would like to be made aware so I can rectify my flaws.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Gloominary » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:27 am

WendyDarling wrote:From the people I know in person and online, it seems that the victim mentality is forever a part of those who believe in determinism. Has anyone else noticed this?

I'm not so sure one follows form the other.
Metaphysically speaking, in order to be a total victim, everything in your life, including your behavior, would have to be completely determined, whereas the perp and everything in their life, would have to be completely undetermined, including their behavior.
Because if the perp is determined, than it's not their fault either.
The ultimate in victim metaphysics would be where some individuals and demographics had no agency, while others had total agency.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby WendyDarling » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:41 am

No, I'm talking about them always feeling slighted and not responsible for their choices. It was the environment that shaped their existence and they remain helpless pawns unable to change environments even as adults.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

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

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

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:17 am

i'll be damned. one of the freewillists finally got it right. speaking of black swan events, this is almost like one. those who believe in freewill are so attuned to thinking of human behavior in terms of its benevolence/malevolence, it comes naturally to them to imagine determinists attribute the same and are therefore capable of being victims, too.

but gloom, a bit of an anomaly here, did not exhibit the typical reasoning of the freewillist. a true black swan event here at ILP.

the concept of 'victim', for the freewillist, brings with it something more than just the fact of experiencing the effects of someone or something, and loads the concept with moral reprehension. let me give an example of the two approaches - the determinist and freewillist - to a particular kind of experience.

these two guys are on a ship, and the ship wrecks into a coral reef because the captain made some mistake or whatever. both the determinist and freewillist are 'victims' in the sense that the captain's actions caused them some degree of harm. now the freewillist is morally outraged at the negligence of the captain and claims that what has happened is unfair, inconsiderate, insulting, even down right evil; the incident is not just unfortunate, but exceptionally so because the captain had freewill, and could have chosen not to neglect his duties. this gives the offense a special, additional quality that raises it to the next level. the freewillist is not just the victim of an unfortunate event, but the victim of a malevolent, conspiratorial force that made a conscious decision to completely disregard his welfare and put him into harm's way.

the determinist, on the other hand, divulges no such nonsense in his judgement and directs his concentration only to the circumstances which could have led to the event; the captain was unqualified, or incompetent, or couldn't pay attention, or made calculated mistake, whatever... but what doesn't cross his mind is this; i am the victim of a deliberate choice to put me in danger.

the irony here is gorgeous. the freewillist spends his time focusing on the fact that he is a victim, and has little to no interest in examining the causal circumstances which led up to the event... while the determinist suffers no genuine offense at the event and is interested only in examining the factors that caused it to happen.

the freewillist here can only mistake the interests of the determinist as a symptom of the similar feeling of 'victimhood' that the freewillist feels. if a determinist protests something, it must mean that he feels morally wronged by someone with freewill. this is the only way the freewillists can understand what is happening.

the narrow-minded freewillist points the finger at the captain. the wizened determinist points the finger at the institutions, environments, conditions and circumstances, whole systems of causes, that make possible the event 'captain wrecks ship'.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:44 am

At this point, the Determinists are Determined and have their heels dug into the ground, Sil and Prom. If you two won't listen to Reason, and the arguments become circular, unwilling to listen and respond to the main points, then no progress will be made. But I will repeat myself anyway. Now it's more valid than ever to consider the reasons and causes why most people are "Determined", and have no Free-Will, while some people are Undetermined, and do have Free-Will. Is it a mere matter of belief, is it subjective? If you believe you are free, then you are free, and if not, then not? A criminal is in a jail cell. Does him believing he is free, make himself free? No, of course not. So the physical attribute of Free or Not, is obvious. But there is a mental aspect. What does believing you are free actually do for a person?

And is there something to being physically free and mentally free? What does it mean to realize all aspects of freedom, to move and think freely?

To restart some of the core arguments, and Prom mentioned before, most of humanity has deep investments in their beliefs and values. This includes Freedom or Not, Slavery and Determinism. If a family has been Christian for 1000 years, and they've been wrong the entire time, are they going to simply give-up on God? Or, even when the evidence mounts, and they are wrong to the very core, they will still hold onto the error and blind themselves to their indictments? They won't turnover and admit defeat. They dig deeper into their position.

What must it had been like when Geocentricism was overturned by Heliocentricism, and the world had to be convinced they were wrong about such a simple fact? Did humanity merely "give it up", or didn't they fight for it? And how was this fight waged, except in the education/Indoctrination of children, for generations?

Because mass-beliefs have to be engineered in such a fashion. You don't change the minds of all humanity overnight. You indoctrinate their children, who indoctrinate their children, who indoctrinate their children, etc. until Geocentricism switches-over to Heliocentricism, or the Abrahamic Christian-Jew-Moslem Nil God, is turned-over to the Pagan Gods. It takes multiple generations, centuries or millenniums, not an overnight process.

So I don't suspect the one who is mentally enthralled, Slave-Dialectic, to just turn-over and admit to the possibility of Free-Will either.


Here's the Crux though. You can change the disposition of the human masses over lifetimes and generations, but does that further the Understanding? Does humanity then comprehend the reasons and causes that they now believe Heliocentricism and not Geocentricism? No, instead, they merely do as they are told. They are followers of ideas and thoughts, of Reason, and not leaders of it. Thus they are not free and not part of the Master-Dialectic. Because to understand the reasons and causes, would necessitate that most people understand the changing of Paradigms, or the Conversion of this or that god, to the other. And it is not a fast process, nor overnight, but the domination of one Culture over another.

Thus even if USA builds a "Truly Free Society", people repeat mantras that "we are free", but don't necessarily understand why or how. And that is the "Determinist" position as I see it here, and I believe it's been presented thus far. They can argue "we are not free" to the same degree, without any progress. But the hang-ups and barriers are becoming visible, which I thank Sil for his courage to admit his ignorance. It is both enlightening and comedic. "Absence of evidence is evidence of Absence", blah blah blah. Freedom is not an apparent condition, ever. How could anybody know they are free, when they may or may not be? I asked this question early-on, never got sufficient answers.

If you believed yourself free, and you actually were free "objectively", then there maybe no way to "Determine" it, thus being Indeterminable but a probability nevertheless. No Authority above to Dictate or indoctrinate, whether you are free or not. No directions, no instructions, no conditions, aren't these the prerequisite to Freedom anyway? Can a person be 'above' the rules of humanity, of the Abrahamic Nil God? Outside the boundaries of Causality? To 'Cause' events and actions, but in-turn not be "caused" by them. To impose will upon others, but others do not impose will upon you??

Isn't this the meaning of Power, that you can do what you want to others, or existence, but it cannot do the same to you? If you answer yes then my arguments are at the very least reasonable, as I've laid everything out from start-to-finish, multiple times.

And if you agree power, then you will be forced to admit Moral Agency. If Freedom is possible, then you have to begin taking responsibility and accountability for it all, and for everything.

Because people do Cause things to be, especially, harm against each-other. This much is obvious, common sense. Sil, you can keep avoiding these points all you want. You have already, but this is why you're now cycling backward to your logical fallacies and errors of judgment. Mental blind-spot.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:56 am

A criminal is in a jail cell. Does him believing he is free, make himself free? No, of course not.


According to the great thinker janis joplin, the bobby mcgee principle/stratagem states otherwise:

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Nothin', don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free, no no
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:01 am

promethean75 wrote:i'll be damned. one of the freewillists finally got it right. speaking of black swan events, this is almost like one. those who believe in freewill are so attuned to thinking of human behavior in terms of its benevolence/malevolence, it comes naturally to them to imagine determinists attribute the same and are therefore capable of being victims, too.

but gloom, a bit of an anomaly here, did not exhibit the typical reasoning of the freewillist. a true black swan event here at ILP.

the concept of 'victim', for the freewillist, brings with it something more than just the fact of experiencing the effects of someone or something, and loads the concept with moral reprehension. let me give an example of the two approaches - the determinist and freewillist - to a particular kind of experience.

these two guys are on a ship, and the ship wrecks into a coral reef because the captain made some mistake or whatever. both the determinist and freewillist are 'victims' in the sense that the captain's actions caused them some degree of harm. now the freewillist is morally outraged at the negligence of the captain and claims that what has happened is unfair, inconsiderate, insulting, even down right evil; the incident is not just unfortunate, but exceptionally so because the captain had freewill, and could have chosen not to neglect his duties. this gives the offense a special, additional quality that raises it to the next level. the freewillist is not just the victim of an unfortunate event, but the victim of a malevolent, conspiratorial force that made a conscious decision to completely disregard his welfare and put him into harm's way.

the determinist, on the other hand, divulges no such nonsense in his judgement and directs his concentration only to the circumstances which could have led to the event; the captain was unqualified, or incompetent, or couldn't pay attention, or made calculated mistake, whatever... but what doesn't cross his mind is this; i am the victim of a deliberate choice to put me in danger.

the irony here is gorgeous. the freewillist spends his time focusing on the fact that he is a victim, and has little to no interest in examining the causal circumstances which led up to the event... while the determinist suffers no genuine offense at the event and is interested only in examining the factors that caused it to happen.

the freewillist here can only mistake the interests of the determinist as a symptom of the similar feeling of 'victimhood' that the freewillist feels. if a determinist protests something, it must mean that he feels morally wronged by someone with freewill. this is the only way the freewillists can understand what is happening.

the narrow-minded freewillist points the finger at the captain. the wizened determinist points the finger at the institutions, environments, conditions and circumstances, whole systems of causes, that make possible the event 'captain wrecks ship'.

Seems to me like the Determinist would be the 'Victim' of circumstance here; I have no clue why you're linking victimization with Free-Will.

After all, it was the choice of the Free-Willest to board the ship and join the crew. He willingly gave his authority over to the Captain. The Determinist is the victim of circumstances, beyond his control. The Determinist never had control, ever, even in boarding the ship. The Free-Willest was the one making choices along the way.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:59 am

ah but this freewillist reasoning reveals something equally absurd at the other end of the spectrum. according to your logic, one should feel no offense at being hit by a stray bullet because they chose to walk out the front door. clearly, that's ridiculous.

so your position is wavering between two extreme and inescapable absurdities, and at both ends the real problem is never addressed. either the shooter is the bad guy, or the person shot is the irresponsible one. fortunately for you, neither is the case. the shooter had no choice, and the person shot by the stray bullet was not unreasonable to believe he should be able to walk out his front door without getting shot. in the first case 'responsibility' is erroneously given, in the latter, erroneously taken.

in very many of my own experiences with what the freewillist could only understand as 'victimization', i was not unlike the guy hit by the stray bullet. for example; if i commit crime x, knowing in advance the possible consequences of doing so and willing to accept them with no objection, if caught, but am charged with crime y instead, when caught, we wouldn't say that i am responsible for suffering consequences of crime y because i commited crime x... no sooner than we would say the guy who got hit by the stray bullet was responsible because he chose to walk outside. in the same way that it was reasonable for him to conclude that it was safe to walk outside, it was reasonable for me to conclude that i'd only be charged with a crime i committed.

how stupid would it sound if i said to you 'if you get in a car accident tomorrow, it's your fault because you didn't kill yourself today and prevent the accident from happening'?

identifying, dividing up, and allocating responsibility is not as easy as the freewillist assumes... but it is always convenient, because it is simpler. freewill is a very simple theory and requires little thought. one of the reasons it has persisted so long. that, and its use as a weapon of ressentiment and envy. it was after all the impotence of the slaves that sequestered the re-evaluation of the deeds of the masters. the slave says 'we can't have such power ourselves, such freedom from restriction, therefore those who have it are wrong for choosing to wield it.' thus began the slave's moral revolt, freewill being instrumental in this. where one cannot directly control with physical force, one resorts to psychological force and cunning. poisoning the conscience of those who have no experience of impotency, and therefore more freedom.

freewill was not devised by the strong - they had never thought twice about a deed because they thought it might be immoral, and never struggled with 'choosing'. but they did, like anyone, suffer the phenomenological illusion of freewill in that their decisions always preceded their deeds. it was only because this illusion took so long to get over, philosophically, that the moral element of the theory became so embedded in it. what began as a harmless idiosyncrasy of human experience became weaponized by morality. freewill became the illusion that kept on giving.

two things though. i'm not saying morality is not possible... only that not all people are under the conditions of the same moral order. what is a crime for one can be a privilege for another. it all depends on circumstances. second, i'm not giving you the go-head to start rambling about freewill again. what i spoke of above are contexts of freedom, not freewill.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:30 am

You seem to be obfuscating things. Somebody shooting a gun, is responsible for where the bullet goes. If it hits somebody, the shooter is responsible, although as you are implying, he is not. But people need to be accountable of their actions, and especially when they harm others. Why do you imply that people shouldn't be responsible for harming others? Does that reasoning then imply that you should be harmed anytime by anyone? Surely not, so you're forming a double-standard.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:07 pm

of course he's responsible, which really only means he's responsive... he'll respond to the consequences and either protest or go easy. but hitherto this word has been a very nasty slippery slope, and it's had to be because the only alternative - a radical reassessment of the epistemology that the theory of freewill is founded on, as well as radical political/social changes in an effort to drastically modify the environment and lower criminal statistics - would challenge the powers-that-be. if you generate a society that produces a lot of crime, those who gain advantage from that society will have to come up with a way to make that crime more manageable. they're certainly not going to change the society... because then they wouldn't profit from it... so they have figure out a way to indirectly keep crime at a minimum without modifying the environments that produce that crime. to date the most effective way to do this has been with the meme of freewill. so if you can make the criminally inclined believe not only that there are objective values of 'right' and 'wrong', but also that each of them has both the intelligence to know these values, and the freewill to choose between them... you got em. what makes this affair such a nasty slippery slope is that neither of these claims are true... so effectively, society is being managed with a set of lies by those who would not be able to profit if society were such a way that it produced far less crime, if any at all.

so it comes down to a couple options. either make an effort to prevent crime at the highest levels- which would compromise the economic freedoms of the ruling classes, i.e., a major redistribution of wealth to improve the quality of life for the lower, blue-collar criminal classes so that they're no longer inclined to commit crime - or, do nothing to change the circumstances and continue to use lies to keep them under control.

there's a lot more going on here than you'd like to think, junior. you've only just caught a glimpse of the monster of freewill... and you're only just beginning to understand its modus operandi.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:13 pm

of the Abrahamic Nil God?


i sorry, but what is that? i think i saw a phrase like that in one of L. Ron Cupboard's books once, but i can't be sure.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Gloominary » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:15 pm

@Silhouette

Explaining something away (e.g. "God did it") is simpler still to what you suggest

It isn't because you're introducing another invisible entity to explain the phenomenon, this time an anthropomorphic one with freewill, yet somehow simultaneously omnibenevolent (problem of evil, etcetera), omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
It's very convoluted, whereas I'm just acknowledging the phenomenon, that gravity varies in intensity across space-time.

So let's say gravity behaves differently across space-time: how does it do this?

I'm not sure.
There could be elaborate ways in how it does it, but conversely it may just do it.
There's no need to believe it's complex, unless it's been observed to be.
As you said Ockham's razor.

In what way quantitatively?

I'm not sure.
On the one hand, it may turn out there's no pattern in this variation of gravitational intensity, on the other it may turn out that there are a few patterns, but no more than chance would allow if randomly generated, or it may turn out there are many patterns, more than chance would allow if randomly generated.
Who knows what these patterns may look like if they exist.
Maybe there're gravity intensifying zones, maybe these zones are in the shape of spheres, tetrahedrons or other Euclidian shapes, we should just follow wherever the data leads.

How does explaining things in such a way improve our current understanding and predictive/explanatory power over reality?

It improves it because we're not making assumptions, or unnecessarily devoting resources to idle speculations, attempting to ascertain which invisible entity best explains the data, instead of not concluding anything beyond the data.

To your last line about a bearing on Free Will, as I said Indeterminacy =/= Free Will. You ignored my "3+ arguments" - as has everyone without exception so far who has been arguing in favour of some degree of Free Will. Indeterminacy I am open to, but Free Will is firmly in a coffin. How can it be ever-present if it is unfalsifiable, implies insurmountable problems and contains plural contradictions?

I'll have a look at those 3+ arguments.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Silhouette » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:57 pm

Urwrongx1000 wrote:Because people do Cause things to be, especially, harm against each-other. This much is obvious, common sense. Sil, you can keep avoiding these points all you want. You have already, but this is why you're now cycling backward to your logical fallacies and errors of judgment. Mental blind-spot.

So silly of me, it sounds like you're suggesting that pointing out fallacies and biases in your questions is a mental blind-spot... of mine?

Urwrongx1000 <asks a question>
Silhouette: "the question is invalid because it contains fallacies and biases"
Urwrongx1000: "You are not answering the question"
Silhouette: "to answer a fallacious and biased question represents neither truth nor my view"
Urwrongx1000: "You are avoiding the question and keep cycling back to using logic due to a mental blind spot"
--- and Urepeatx1000 ---

Condense a list of questions in their simplest form that you want me to answer so I can continue to point out their fallacies and biases. You can then repeat that it's me who has the mental blind-spot - you like repetition, right? I get to hone my skills and show everyone precisely how Urwrongx1000 - we both win.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:A criminal is in a jail cell. Does him believing he is free, make himself free? No, of course not. So the physical attribute of Free or Not, is obvious. But there is a mental aspect. What does believing you are free actually do for a person?

That'll be the Motte and Bailey fallacy again.

Urwrongx1000 wrote:"Absence of evidence is evidence of Absence", blah blah blah

Yeah, who cares about big dumb logic when you can be freeeeeeee from reason [-o<

Gloominary wrote:I'll have a look at those 3+ arguments.

You goddamn hero.

Urwrongx1000 won't touch them with a Footx1000pole.

Gloominary wrote:It isn't because you're introducing another invisible entity to explain the phenomenon, this time an anthropomorphic one with freewill, yet somehow simultaneously omnibenevolent (problem of evil, etcetera), omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
It's very convoluted, whereas I'm just acknowledging the phenomenon, that gravity varies in intensity across space-time.

It's true that the God-did-it explain-away is actually convoluted upon further examination so is doubly insufficient - the point I'm making is that you need to be proposing something with attributes that can be tested. Dark Matter has these things, like being "non-baryonic" - according to Wikipedia, and it may consist of an elementary particle, the existence of which can be tested for. It's not just some random invisible entity, a cursory skim of Wikipedia shows no sign of it definitely existing "and that's the end of the story" - it just looks like compared to other theories it's so far the most compelling avenue to explore at this point. But Wikipedia also brings up other avenues that are also being explored - listing "various modifications of the standard laws of general relativity, such as modified Newtonian dynamics, tensor–vector–scalar gravity, or entropic gravity", which don't need Dark Matter to explain things. "Gravity varying in intensity across space-time" would be included here.

Basically it's not like alternative hypotheses are ignored in favour of the currently most mainstream one - I imagine much of the Dark Matter hype in the media and outside of the scientific community is that its name is cool and mysterious. Inside the scientific community, like I said, as long as you're proposing something falsifiable that you can test for then it's fair game - the more explanatory power your findings provide, the more you'll tip the balance. The history of science is littered with once mainstream theories being discarded in favour of an underdog. Proposing something measurable is all that matters.

Much of what you're suggesting is all just fine so long as you can construct an experiment to identify something measurable and test it: time will tell. "There's no need to believe it's complex, unless it's been observed to be" is bang on, but it's not all about Occam's razor, explanatory power is the aim - and the more complex model will win over the simpler one if the explanatory power is sufficiently superior.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby WendyDarling » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:19 pm

Sil wrote
Seriously though, if there's a way in which you regard my mentality as one buried in victimhood I would like to be made aware so I can rectify my flaws.

You're a causal victim, right? Of course, the irony is you will never have the freedom to rectify your flaws nor can anyone else.

To Prom,

People choose to be criminals. But Jo the criminal can blame it on Tom, Dick, or Harry, the rich, the poor, the police, the old spinster down the street for all I care, but the criminal chose their route.

To whomever,

Perhaps determinists only feel they have choices, freedom, when they can do something good, but when they do something bad, they were a pawn in a predetermined fate. Also it seems that determinists tend to favor extreme socialism or outright communism.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:12 pm

So the whole thing with historical materialism and determinism got off the ground when the young hegelians, marx being one of them, sought to establish the primacy of the material relations of people over their 'ideas', rather than maintaining the hegelian notion of spirit holding primacy over the material.... one such example would be the Cartesian second substance acting on matter in the form of freewill. It was becoming more and more important to check the theory of freewill during and after the industrial revolution because it distracted thinkers away from the reality of material life. You'll see an example of this at work in the ridiculous claim that 'people choose to be in poverty':

https://socialistworker.org/2011/10/28/ ... aterialist

But all this stuff is pretty complicated and we don't really want to get all philosophical. So forget it, wendy. Let's get out of here...
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Silhouette » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:58 am

WendyDarling wrote:You're a causal victim, right? Of course, the irony is you will never have the freedom to rectify your flaws nor can anyone else.

A "victim" of cause?

Or a victor through cause?

I mean it works both ways, right? Determinism is the attribution of the cause of said flaws and the way to determine how to rectify them.


It's like Free Will proponents forget that Determinism is the exact way to determine how figure out problems in the first place, and instead jump straight to "well you're just using it as an excuse". Well no, it is a model for applying reasons for things happening... it's a reason for the bad stuff for sure, and a reason for the good stuff and everything else. It's an acknowledgement of what causes the change either way, and an understanding of what causes the change in the other.

You need to be able to see both sides to "get" Determinism I guess. It seems like suspicion about how you could "use it for evil" is all the Free Will proponents see. I'm no victim, I seek to master all that's going on - and Determinism is the way to understand how to cause this, that, and what caused this and that - and so on.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:24 am

Sil wrote
the way to determine how to rectify them.

You do not have the freedom or the will to rectify them, no? You are not an active participant in your future, nor a participant who determined his past either. Everything else determined your past and everything else, not you will determine your future.

If you can't see how the past manifests as the present and how you make choices in the present that decide both your past and your future then you may be screwed.
Last edited by WendyDarling on Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:27 am

promethean75 wrote:ah but this freewillist reasoning reveals something equally absurd at the other end of the spectrum. according to your logic, one should feel no offense at being hit by a stray bullet because they chose to walk out the front door. clearly, that's ridiculous.

so your position is wavering between two extreme and inescapable absurdities, and at both ends the real problem is never addressed.

This isn't true at all, and sounds more like Sil hyperbole. We can identify the causes and choices rather easily. The random man chose to walk outside of his house or apartment. He did not choose to get shot by a stray-bullet. The shooter chose to drive-by attack his rival gang, or to fire his gun off in the middle of the city. He did not choose the unintended target. Accidents happen, but, the shooter did choose to shoot and the victim did choose to step outside, leading to an unintended and accidental circumstance.

Ultimately, as common sense does and should dictate, when you are firing your gun, it is your responsibility to ensure the bullet goes where it ought to. The above is a case of negligence and the shooter is at fault. It maybe an accident but it is a crime nevertheless. The next problem begins when the Shooter begins denying responsibility for shooting an innocent bystander, and refuses to pay for the harm. That is when the law-system and retribution takes effect. If he will not own-up to paying the harm back then society enforces the retribution, and sends him to jail or worse.


promethean75 wrote:either the shooter is the bad guy, or the person shot is the irresponsible one. fortunately for you, neither is the case. the shooter had no choice, and the person shot by the stray bullet was not unreasonable to believe he should be able to walk out his front door without getting shot. in the first case 'responsibility' is erroneously given, in the latter, erroneously taken.

You can claim that "nobody is at fault" but that doesn't make it true. According to Determinism, somebody or something is always at-fault. So your position is contradictory. You cannot be a Determinist and have a general attitude that "nobody is at fault" for crimes and harm, unless you further admit, that humans are incapable for causing things, which humanity is not. I think your issue is more a matter of who gets to decide the cause and place the actual blame, which admittedly, can be erroneous. But it is necessary, which is why people elect Judges and Juries.


promethean75 wrote:in very many of my own experiences with what the freewillist could only understand as 'victimization', i was not unlike the guy hit by the stray bullet. for example; if i commit crime x, knowing in advance the possible consequences of doing so and willing to accept them with no objection, if caught, but am charged with crime y instead, when caught, we wouldn't say that i am responsible for suffering consequences of crime y because i commited crime x... no sooner than we would say the guy who got hit by the stray bullet was responsible because he chose to walk outside. in the same way that it was reasonable for him to conclude that it was safe to walk outside, it was reasonable for me to conclude that i'd only be charged with a crime i committed.

how stupid would it sound if i said to you 'if you get in a car accident tomorrow, it's your fault because you didn't kill yourself today and prevent the accident from happening'?

It sounds personal and so you do admit a vested emotional interest. Maybe you're innocent, maybe not. But who are you trying to convince, exactly?


promethean75 wrote:identifying, dividing up, and allocating responsibility is not as easy as the freewillist assumes... but it is always convenient, because it is simpler. freewill is a very simple theory and requires little thought. one of the reasons it has persisted so long. that, and its use as a weapon of ressentiment and envy. it was after all the impotence of the slaves that sequestered the re-evaluation of the deeds of the masters. the slave says 'we can't have such power ourselves, such freedom from restriction, therefore those who have it are wrong for choosing to wield it.' thus began the slave's moral revolt, freewill being instrumental in this. where one cannot directly control with physical force, one resorts to psychological force and cunning. poisoning the conscience of those who have no experience of impotency, and therefore more freedom.

freewill was not devised by the strong - they had never thought twice about a deed because they thought it might be immoral, and never struggled with 'choosing'. but they did, like anyone, suffer the phenomenological illusion of freewill in that their decisions always preceded their deeds. it was only because this illusion took so long to get over, philosophically, that the moral element of the theory became so embedded in it. what began as a harmless idiosyncrasy of human experience became weaponized by morality. freewill became the illusion that kept on giving.

two things though. i'm not saying morality is not possible... only that not all people are under the conditions of the same moral order. what is a crime for one can be a privilege for another. it all depends on circumstances. second, i'm not giving you the go-head to start rambling about freewill again. what i spoke of above are contexts of freedom, not freewill.

I've mentioned countless times now that power and willpower are fundamentally connected with freedom and free-will. Everybody can and does "want to be free" but fewer are willing to actually do work, take risks, and prepare sacrifices. Historically, the "masters" of society are the ones who did so, and won. Victory, Success, and Achievement underpins the social elite. Most often, such positions are earned, whether you agree with how it was done or not, resulting in a disparity of power (and freedom) within the society.

People generally get upset when the difference between rich and poor, master and slave, is too profoundly different, unjust, and readily apparent throughout the society. Slaves tend not to complain when they are well-fed, treated well, housed, and generally comfortable. But if you start whipping, beating, raping, killing the slaves, then they revolt.

It's all context.
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Re: Biological Will

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:36 am

promethean75 wrote:of course he's responsible, which really only means he's responsive... he'll respond to the consequences and either protest or go easy. but hitherto this word has been a very nasty slippery slope, and it's had to be because the only alternative - a radical reassessment of the epistemology that the theory of freewill is founded on, as well as radical political/social changes in an effort to drastically modify the environment and lower criminal statistics - would challenge the powers-that-be. if you generate a society that produces a lot of crime, those who gain advantage from that society will have to come up with a way to make that crime more manageable. they're certainly not going to change the society... because then they wouldn't profit from it... so they have figure out a way to indirectly keep crime at a minimum without modifying the environments that produce that crime. to date the most effective way to do this has been with the meme of freewill. so if you can make the criminally inclined believe not only that there are objective values of 'right' and 'wrong', but also that each of them has both the intelligence to know these values, and the freewill to choose between them... you got em. what makes this affair such a nasty slippery slope is that neither of these claims are true... so effectively, society is being managed with a set of lies by those who would not be able to profit if society were such a way that it produced far less crime, if any at all.

so it comes down to a couple options. either make an effort to prevent crime at the highest levels- which would compromise the economic freedoms of the ruling classes, i.e., a major redistribution of wealth to improve the quality of life for the lower, blue-collar criminal classes so that they're no longer inclined to commit crime - or, do nothing to change the circumstances and continue to use lies to keep them under control.

there's a lot more going on here than you'd like to think, junior. you've only just caught a glimpse of the monster of freewill... and you're only just beginning to understand its modus operandi.

I'm not afraid of all that goes on, are you?

The system does profit from the crimes and faults of underlings. But why not? If random injustices happen, and they don't let to revolt, then the System will overlook them. Innocent men have been killed on death-row and executed, throughout history. That doesn't stop the System. What does stop the System, is grave-injustice on a mass scale. Brutalizing a slave population for centuries, will lead to revolt. Intentionally genociding and exterminating specific political or ethnic groups, will lead to revolt. Injustice beyond the scale of normalcy, is historic. One person going to jail for standing at the wrong place at the wrong time, in the middle of a police-riot, will not lead to revolt. Justice and Injustice has a scale, and some deeds are heavier than others. Most are content and happy with the Western system, and if the cost/sacrifice is some males go to jail who shouldn't, or stay in jail too long, then society would accept that injustice in favor to keep general peace.
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