Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:58 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:There’s No Such Thing as Free Will.

Then you must not be free to say that.


Look, Kid, iambiguous didn't say that. Stephen Cave did when he created a title for his article.

And, unlike you and James S. Saint, who actually take pride in having freely chosen to post the didactic [pedantic] objectivist dogmas that you and he pedaled/pedal here, I flat out admit that I have no capacity to demonstrate my own autonomy.

Now, how about a youtube video? :lol:
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Re: Determinism

Postby obsrvr524 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:10 pm

iambiguous wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:There’s No Such Thing as Free Will.

Then you must not be free to say that.


Look, Kid, iambiguous didn't say that. Stephen Cave did when he created a title for his article.

The quote has your name on it.

iambiguous wrote:And, unlike you and James S. Saint, who actually take pride in having freely chosen to post the didactic [pedantic] objectivist dogmas that you and he pedaled/pedal here, I flat out admit that I have no capacity to demonstrate my own autonomy.

And yet you do nothing else.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:26 pm

iambiguous wrote:And, unlike you and James S. Saint, who actually take pride in having freely chosen to post the didactic [pedantic] objectivist dogmas that you and he pedaled/pedal here, I flat out admit that I have no capacity to demonstrate my own autonomy.


obsrvr524 wrote:And yet you do nothing else.


Look, Kid, there's no way in hell that I'd expect someone of your ilk to grasp the points that someone of my ilk is making here.

Just suffice it to say that if you're lucky you really don't have any choice but to post what you do. And, if I'm lucky, I am compelled by the laws of nature to read your crap. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby Ecmandu » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:04 pm

Iambiguous,

It’s quite simple. If freedom doesn’t exist in any way shape or form; it’s logically impossible to hypothetically suppose it.

This means that freedom necessarily exists in some way, shape or form. That form may not be appreciated right now (Not what we want it to be) by us in the way we want it to be, but it does exist.

You cannot refute that.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:13 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

In recent decades, research on the inner workings of the brain has helped to resolve the nature-nurture debate—and has dealt a further blow to the idea of free will. Brain scanners have enabled us to peer inside a living person’s skull, revealing intricate networks of neurons and allowing scientists to reach broad agreement that these networks are shaped by both genes and environment. But there is also agreement in the scientific community that the firing of neurons determines not just some or most but all of our thoughts, hopes, memories, and dreams.


Uh-oh?

Right, like this settles it. Consider: if, out of the blue, I type, "the green hornet on Maple street stole the only copy of the document definitively establishing the Christian God as in fact the Devil", was that only as a result of whatever set into motion the laws of matter going back to...where and when exactly?


We know that changes to brain chemistry can alter behavior—otherwise neither alcohol nor antipsychotics would have their desired effects. The same holds true for brain structure: Cases of ordinary adults becoming murderers or pedophiles after developing a brain tumor demonstrate how dependent we are on the physical properties of our gray stuff.


Then it ever and always comes down to how far this can be taken. Up to and including everything we think, feel, say and do? After all, look at all of those who are afflicted with brain tumors that don't become murderers and pedophiles. And what becomes particularly unnerving for most is the idea that they are themselves murderers and pedophiles...but it's all beyond their control. Unless of course you think it is all in your control and you murder someone or rape a child and someone comes along and tells you that you aren't really responsible because there is no way you could have not murdered someone or raped a child.

Clearly, this gets all tangled up in what we think we know and what we'd like to to believe is so given a particular set of circumstances.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:38 am

Gamer wrote:If we hold that the universe is deterministic and free will is a non-starter, then shouldn’t we be a bit more mindful of the role luck plays in well-being?

And if that’s the case, why do we lack compassion when we see people struggle; why do we blame them for their moral failings, stupidity, or lack of hard work?


Again, this rendition of it!

We hold that, "the universe is deterministic and free will is a non-starter", and then ask if we should be a bit more mindful of luck, as though anything that we are mindful of here is not also embedded inherently, necessarily in a wholly determined universe!!

Look, I'll admit I'm just not thinking this through correctly, but if "I" is derived from a mind that is derived from a brain that is no less matter wholly in sync with the immutable laws of matter, being mindful about anything is only what we were ever able to be mindful of.

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

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:54 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

Many scientists say that the American physiologist Benjamin Libet demonstrated in the 1980s that we have no free will. It was already known that electrical activity builds up in a person’s brain before she, for example, moves her hand; Libet showed that this buildup occurs before the person consciously makes a decision to move. The conscious experience of deciding to act, which we usually associate with free will, appears to be an add-on, a post hoc reconstruction of events that occurs after the brain has already set the act in motion.


Of course the difficulty here revolves around conducting an experiment embedded in a demonstration in which all of these steps are explained in the manner in which, say, we explain the functions of a human heart:

"* Pumping oxygenated blood to the other body parts.
* Pumping hormones and other vital substances to different parts of the body.
* Receiving deoxygenated blood and carrying metabolic waste products from the body and pumping it to the lungs for oxygenation.
* Maintaining blood pressure. the human heart functions"


How do we do the same with the human brain such that in the end we are able to demonstrate that the demonstration itself is or is not only as it every could have been. With the heart it's like explaining the functions of an automobile engine. With the brain it's like explaining the capacity of the brain to explain itself.

Or, rather, to the extent that [compelled or otherwise] my own explanation here is actually reasonable. And what can then be the comfort embedded in the conclusion that if it is not I cannot really be held responsible for getting it wrong. Not if I was never able not to get it wrong.

The 20th-century nature-nurture debate prepared us to think of ourselves as shaped by influences beyond our control. But it left some room, at least in the popular imagination, for the possibility that we could overcome our circumstances or our genes to become the author of our own destiny. The challenge posed by neuroscience is more radical: It describes the brain as a physical system like any other, and suggests that we no more will it to operate in a particular way than we will our heart to beat. The contemporary scientific image of human behavior is one of neurons firing, causing other neurons to fire, causing our thoughts and deeds, in an unbroken chain that stretches back to our birth and beyond. In principle, we are therefore completely predictable. If we could understand any individual’s brain architecture and chemistry well enough, we could, in theory, predict that individual’s response to any given stimulus with 100 percent accuracy.


This is clearly as good a description as any of where we are stuck. And, of course, we would seem to have no definitive capacity to disentangle ourselves from the conflicting sets of assumptions in order to know in, say, a comprehensive epistemological sense which assessment is the right one.

I merely muddy the waters all the more by introducing my own set of assumptions: that even given some measure of autonomy "I" in the is/ought world is embedded in and derived from all manner of variables that are are beyond our understanding and control. "I" is largely an existential contraption rooted subjectively in dasein. And that in turn it seems reasonable to construe "I" here as "fractured and fragmented" such that any particular individual's value judgments are, at least in some sense, "illusory" even given free will.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby Dan~ » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:51 pm

Even if the brain builds up a charge before it makes an internal action,
doesn't mean we have no free will.
That is a crappy argument / idea.
The subconscious and the conscious are always doing their thing.
I'm not saying we're absolutely "free".
I'm saying we make choices. No matter what someone else says.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:56 pm

Dan~ wrote: Even if the brain builds up a charge before it makes an internal action,
doesn't mean we have no free will.
That is a crappy argument / idea.


I think the point above is that those who have considerably more expertise regarding the functioning brain are considerably more skeptical of that. Let's hear your own less crappy argument/idea. And the evidence that you have collected in conducting your own experiments to back it up.

Dan~ wrote:The subconscious and the conscious are always doing their thing.
I'm not saying we're absolutely "free".
I'm saying we make choices. No matter what someone else says.


I certainly agree there is no evidence available that I am aware of that settles it once and for all.

And the fact that we do make choices seems clear enough. That's what peacegirl kept coming back to. The "choice"/choice antinomy.

Also, in my own dreams, I clearly do seem to make choices too. In them there is no doubt of my autonomy.

As for making the assumption that we are not absolutely free if we are in fact free I noted this:

I merely muddy the waters all the more by introducing my own set of assumptions: that even given some measure of autonomy "I" in the is/ought world is embedded in and derived from all manner of variables that are are beyond our understanding and control. "I" is largely an existential contraption rooted subjectively in dasein. And that in turn it seems reasonable to construe "I" here as "fractured and fragmented" such that any particular individual's value judgments are, at least in some sense, "illusory" even given free will.


The part whereby I always challenge the objectivists here to go in order to explore their own sense of identity in regard to their spiritual, moral, political and esthetic values.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:19 pm

From the Free Will thread at KT:

apaosha wrote: To see your will as in opposition to and other than your genetically programmed impulses, instincts that emerged over millions of years of natural selection is to see your will as in opposition to itself.


Free will does exist. It is defined and deduced into existence by the assumptions of people like this. No actual experimental or experiential evidence provided...they just know that it does.

Now of course all we need to do is to pin down which human behaviors are more in sync with those millions of years of natural selection on the biological level. In regard to race and gender and sexual preferences. In regard to the masters and the slaves.

Not sure? Ask them.

Then arcane intellectual contraptions like this:

apaosha wrote: There's no dichotomy here. The past is not an other, determinism is not an other. They are the will of the past manifesting as presence. You.
You can overcome yourself and the past and what you have inherited from it, obviously. But you will do so as the effect of past. Your will to overcome the past is the past's will to overcome itself.


But: does he take this down out of the clouds and note how "for all practical purposes" it is applicable to the life that he lives, to the behaviors that he chooses in making that distinction between genes and memes in regard to conflicting goods in a particular set of circumstances?

Well, if he ever has, please link me to it.

satyr wrote: In an absolutely ordered universe free-will would also be determined, so overcoming would not be an accomplishment, it would be part of your fate.
Nothing to be proud about.


Here, in my view, we get closer to the part that is of most importance to the Ubermen. It is one thing to become a master and not a slave when there was never any possibility of this not being your fate in a wholly determined universe. Even to the extent that you feel pride, you were never able not to.

No, for the Ubermen here at KT, it is of vital importance to assume that they are the masters because despite thousands of years in which societal memes have succeeded in feminizing most men, they chose to remain what all white Anglo-Saxon heterosexual men really are...naturally.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:24 pm

Here is as close as satyr will come to bringing free will "down to earth":

satyr wrote:
So when a woman judges it prudent to choose to dress in a particular way when going to a particular place then what occurs may not be entirely foreseeable, because other wilful agencies are involved, but her choices, based on her judgments, will increase the probability of something occurring rather than not occurring.

Another example...if a woman chooses to sleep with multiple men, as is her right to choose to do so, then the probable consequences are predictable....within a range of probabilities.
If she then demands the collective pay for her mistake, or the chance she took, it is so that she can continue to behave with impunity.


Again the initial assumption being that women are in fact able to choose of their own free will to dress and to have sex in a particular way.

He offers no definitive scientific, empirical, material evidence in which to adduce this. He simply thinks it is so and that makes it so.

And it must be so for him, otherwise he is not free to judge these behaviors as either more or less in sync with nature's way in regard to gender.

The fact that throughout the course of human history and given countless unique and different cultural contexts and individual experiences, individual women have thought about the clothes they wear and the sex they pursue in vastly different ways, is moot. There is but one natural behavior [as he assesses it] and women are either wholly in sync with it or are not.

As though this objectivist mentality doesn't tell us far more about him and his clique/claque than the women themselves.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:31 pm

satyr responding to Dan [our Dan] at KT:

satyr wrote: So, if you want to dismiss free-will, because you want to absolve yourself of all your judgments and choices that resulted in undesirable outcomes...


Instead, his point is actually aimed more in the other direction. In other words, that he embraces what he believes in his head to be true about free will because this allows him to pat himself on the back for having made all of the rational judgments and choices that, wholly in sync with nature, enable him to freely feel contempt for all of those who refuse to think about it exactly as he does.

As for this...

satyr wrote: ...you define "freedom" absolutely, and will mystically, obscurely....ridiculing or deifying a concept that can be observed, i.e., experienced.


...how is it not just another abstruse intellectual contraption that tells us nothing about the world of actual human interactions.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:45 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

This research and its implications are not new. What is new, though, is the spread of free-will skepticism beyond the laboratories and into the mainstream. The number of court cases, for example, that use evidence from neuroscience has more than doubled in the past decade—mostly in the context of defendants arguing that their brain made them do it. And many people are absorbing this message in other contexts, too, at least judging by the number of books and articles purporting to explain “your brain on” everything from music to magic. Determinism, to one degree or another, is gaining popular currency. The skeptics are in ascendance.


Here again however those on both sides of the debate will use this [however true it actually is] to bolster their own claims. The advocates of free will scoff that this is just further proof of how so many refuse to shoulder the responsibility for their own behaviors. Beyond blaming society for all the shit that comes their way, they can even blame their own brains. Either way, they certainly do not deserve to be punished for the things they do. Then it's just a matter of how much wiggle room they are willing to allow for some autonomy. Like for example regarding all of the good things that they do.

Then there are those who really do believe science and "popular opinion" confirms that it's all "beyond my control". Some are even willing to go so far as to include the good that things they do too. The important thing though is that the punishment not be too severe. At least for those here who are in turn willing to accept that in meting out punishment not everything is compelled by nature.

On the other hand, there are still plenty of folks around hell bent on assuming that Donald Trump, Joe Biden and their followers are fully and wholly responsible for flushing American down the toilet.

This development raises uncomfortable—and increasingly nontheoretical—questions: If moral responsibility depends on faith in our own agency, then as belief in determinism spreads, will we become morally irresponsible? And if we increasingly see belief in free will as a delusion, what will happen to all those institutions that are based on it?


Whether the belief in determinism spreads or not the actual gap between what is believed and what is able to be established as autonomous belief still remains the crucial unknown. It's like the belief in God and the actual existence of God. Or the belief in the matrix and the actual existence of the matrix. Or the belief in a conspiracy and the actual conspiracy itself. Only with determinism the gap can't possibly be more fundamental. It's not about what is believed but the nature of belief itself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:58 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

First of all, let's step back.

Here's a man writing an article on free will in The Atlantic Magazine. A magazine that I subscribe to. He seems to be convinced that we really don't have free will. The science, he notes, seems rather certain about it. So somehow billions of years ago a Big Bang resulted in stars exploding...producing all of the heavier elements that somehow configured into living matter that somehow configured into self-conscious thinking matter that created the internet that allows us to communicate about determinism here and now. And all of this is entirely embedded in "immutable laws of matter" such that none of it could never have not happened.

Don't even pretend to think you know if this is true. Well, unless, of course, one way or the other you can demonstrate that it either is or is not.

Does this?

In 2002, two psychologists had a simple but brilliant idea: Instead of speculating about what might happen if people lost belief in their capacity to choose, they could run an experiment to find out. Kathleen Vohs, then at the University of Utah, and Jonathan Schooler, of the University of Pittsburgh, asked one group of participants to read a passage arguing that free will was an illusion, and another group to read a passage that was neutral on the topic. Then they subjected the members of each group to a variety of temptations and observed their behavior. Would differences in abstract philosophical beliefs influence people’s decisions?


See the problem? If in fact human autonomy is entirely an illusion wholly subsumed in the only possible reality there can ever be given the immutable laws of matter, it makes no difference what any of them [any of us] think, feel, say or do...they [we] were never able not to think, feel, say and do them.

Same thing:

Yes, indeed. When asked to take a math test, with cheating made easy, the group primed to see free will as illusory proved more likely to take an illicit peek at the answers. When given an opportunity to steal—to take more money than they were due from an envelope of $1 coins—those whose belief in free will had been undermined pilfered more. On a range of measures, Vohs told me, she and Schooler found that “people who are induced to believe less in free will are more likely to behave immorally.


Or, again, is this all me? Is a point being made here that I keep missing? And how on earth do I go about determining if I am missing it because I am free not to miss it or if I was never able to not miss it until one day I am in fact free not to miss it, get it, and my whole frame of mind here changes.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:30 am

Hijacking a thread from 09.

You afta appreciate the tenacity.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:44 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:Hijacking a thread from 09.

You afta appreciate the tenacity.


Yakking about a thread from 09.

You have to appreciate the stupidity.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:14 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

It seems that when people stop believing they are free agents, they stop seeing themselves as blameworthy for their actions. Consequently, they act less responsibly and give in to their baser instincts. Vohs emphasized that this result is not limited to the contrived conditions of a lab experiment. “You see the same effects with people who naturally believe more or less in free will,” she said.


Again, how surreal this can all become! We don't have any way to determine if in fact, beyond all possible doubt, we do have free will. But if tomorrow a team of scientists published a paper that caught the attention of the media around the globe...a paper that did claim to establish beyond all doubt that we do not have free will, how might different people react to it? What would change? What could change?

There doesn't appear to be any definitive way in which to demonstrate such a proof. So one of us might conclude that she is not morally responsible and do what she assumes she could never have not done anyway. But she might do it to someone still convinced that we are morally responsible. And here we are grappling to come to a conclusion about what exactly it all amounts to. For example, for all practical purposes.

In another study, for instance, Vohs and colleagues measured the extent to which a group of day laborers believed in free will, then examined their performance on the job by looking at their supervisor’s ratings. Those who believed more strongly that they were in control of their own actions showed up on time for work more frequently and were rated by supervisors as more capable. In fact, belief in free will turned out to be a better predictor of job performance than established measures such as self-professed work ethic.


Which just takes us back to whether or not Vohs and his colleagues were or were not compelled by nature to measure whether these day laborers were or were not compelled by nature to believe they either did or did not have free will. Based on whether their supervisors were or were not compelled by nature to rate them as they did. Then you just keep going farther and farther back in time until you come to an ontological understanding of existence itself. Or God.

Though sure if we really do have free will but you or others are able to convince you that we don't, to what extent can we be held responsible for doing things that we honestly and sincerely believe that we had no choice regarding.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby Artimas » Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:59 pm

Dan~ wrote:Even if the brain builds up a charge before it makes an internal action,
doesn't mean we have no free will.
That is a crappy argument / idea.
The subconscious and the conscious are always doing their thing.
I'm not saying we're absolutely "free".
I'm saying we make choices. No matter what someone else says.


Our will is free to the extent of our understandings of knowledge. It only grows in its freedom unless one makes the -choice- not to. Which a lot of people do not choose knowledge and so they remain trapped in cycles of victimizing themselves to context.

Determinism determined itself free through the usage of a staircase that is consciousness and wisdom. It may never be absolute freedom, unless wisdom and consciousness ceases in its infinite expanding. An infinity cannot be both infinite and absolute. But freedom does not have to be one or the other, it may be both or neither. Reality is not black nor white, it is a variety of grey shades and colors.

Even nothing, is something.
If one is to live balanced with expectations, then one must learn to appreciate the negative as well, to respect darkness in its own home.

All smoke fades, as do all delicate mirrors shatter.

"My ancestors are smiling on me, Imperials. Can you say the same?"

"Science Fiction today ~ Science Fact tomorrow"

Change is inevitable, it can only be delayed or sped up. Choose wisely.

Truth is pain, and pain is gain.


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Re: Determinism

Postby Meno_ » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:27 pm

Artimas wrote:
Dan~ wrote:Even if the brain builds up a charge before it makes an internal action,
doesn't mean we have no free will.
That is a crappy argument / idea.
The subconscious and the conscious are always doing their thing.
I'm not saying we're absolutely "free".
I'm saying we make choices. No matter what someone else says.


Our will is free to the extent of our understandings of knowledge. It only grows in its freedom unless one makes the -choice- not to. Which a lot of people do not choose knowledge and so they remain trapped in cycles of victimizing themselves to context.

Determinism determined itself free through the usage of a staircase that is consciousness and wisdom. It may never be absolute freedom, unless wisdom and consciousness ceases in its infinite expanding. An infinity cannot be both infinite and absolute. But freedom does not have to be one or the other, it may be both or neither. Reality is not black nor white, it is a variety of grey shades and colors.





https://www.azquotes.com/quote/345105?ref=determinism
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Re: Determinism

Postby Artimas » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:42 am

Meno_ wrote:
Artimas wrote:
Dan~ wrote:Even if the brain builds up a charge before it makes an internal action,
doesn't mean we have no free will.
That is a crappy argument / idea.
The subconscious and the conscious are always doing their thing.
I'm not saying we're absolutely "free".
I'm saying we make choices. No matter what someone else says.


Our will is free to the extent of our understandings of knowledge. It only grows in its freedom unless one makes the -choice- not to. Which a lot of people do not choose knowledge and so they remain trapped in cycles of victimizing themselves to context.

Determinism determined itself free through the usage of a staircase that is consciousness and wisdom. It may never be absolute freedom, unless wisdom and consciousness ceases in its infinite expanding. An infinity cannot be both infinite and absolute. But freedom does not have to be one or the other, it may be both or neither. Reality is not black nor white, it is a variety of grey shades and colors.





https://www.azquotes.com/quote/345105?ref=determinism



It is true, that is the fun and beauty in conversation and real discussion, criticism and all. It is the crossing of the language barrier, to achieve understanding, not of only oneself, but to understand another as well. I feel that at the root of things, we all wish to live happy and to free one another, not an easily accomplished task, it begins and ends inside.

Even nothing, is something.
If one is to live balanced with expectations, then one must learn to appreciate the negative as well, to respect darkness in its own home.

All smoke fades, as do all delicate mirrors shatter.

"My ancestors are smiling on me, Imperials. Can you say the same?"

"Science Fiction today ~ Science Fact tomorrow"

Change is inevitable, it can only be delayed or sped up. Choose wisely.

Truth is pain, and pain is gain.


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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:24 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

Another pioneer of research into the psychology of free will, Roy Baumeister of Florida State University, has extended these findings. For example, he and colleagues found that students with a weaker belief in free will were less likely to volunteer their time to help a classmate than were those whose belief in free will was stronger. Likewise, those primed to hold a deterministic view by reading statements like “Science has demonstrated that free will is an illusion” were less likely to give money to a homeless person or lend someone a cellphone.


Okay but who is going to do the study that pins down once and for all whether the students with a weaker belief in free will were never able to not have a weaker belief in free will. Any more than those primed to hold a deterministic view were in fact wholly primed by the immutable laws of nature themselves.

More to the point [mine] why don't the authors of articles like this point that part out? Perhaps because the universe was set into motion such that they were never ever free to point it out?

Further studies by Baumeister and colleagues have linked a diminished belief in free will to stress, unhappiness, and a lesser commitment to relationships.


I would imagine just the opposite. Assuming we have the free will to believe that we do not have free will -- or a greatly diminished free will -- would seem to suggest that we either have no moral responsibility for the things we think, feel, say and do, or very little responsibility. Wouldn't that tend to make things less stressful in that we could merely note that it wasn't like anything could ever have been any different. Or that only a very small number of things could have been. Same with relationships.

So, what am I missing here?

They found that when subjects were induced to believe that “all human actions follow from prior events and ultimately can be understood in terms of the movement of molecules,” those subjects came away with a lower sense of life’s meaningfulness. Early this year, other researchers published a study showing that a weaker belief in free will correlates with poor academic performance.


Huh?

If they came to conclude that life is essentially meaningless then, in a wholly determined universe, even this is something that they could have not concluded.

Then this whole thing about a "weaker" belief? In what sense? That if someone who believes this gets a cee or a dee on their report cards there is some possibility that they have gotten a higher grade if they could figure out a way to know for sure how much if it either is or is not "beyond their control"?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:26 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

Few scholars are comfortable suggesting that people ought to believe an outright lie. Advocating the perpetuation of untruths would breach their integrity and violate a principle that philosophers have long held dear: the Platonic hope that the true and the good go hand in hand.


On the other hand, if I believe that the assumption I make about lies in the is/ought world is merely a manifestation of determinism, than the fractured and fragmented sense of reality that I feel is as well. But what troubles most about the assumption I make that, with regard to moral and political value judgments, truths and lies are merely the embodiment of a particular accumulation of variables encompassed subjectively in political prejudices, is unthinkable and/or profoundly disturbing in a world where we do have free will.

Why? Because you can pat yourself on the back for having freely chosen one set of behaviors rather than another. But than I come along and suggest that this actually resolves nothing. What does it really matter if both sides in the abortion wars are able to select behaviors of their own volition, if that volition is merely entangled in this:

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

Saul Smilansky, a philosophy professor at the University of Haifa, in Israel, has wrestled with this dilemma throughout his career and come to a painful conclusion: “We cannot afford for people to internalize the truth” about free will.


If what we afford for people is of our own choosing then in regard to what?

I would merely tap him on the shoulder and say, "The truth? Given what set of circumstances"? In a world where, say, it can be established that both the Israelis and the Palestinians possess free will.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:51 pm

There’s No Such Thing as Free Will
But we’re better off believing in it anyway.
Stephen Cave in The Atlantic

Smilansky is convinced that free will does not exist in the traditional sense—and that it would be very bad if most people realized this. “Imagine,” he told me, “that I’m deliberating whether to do my duty, such as to parachute into enemy territory, or something more mundane like to risk my job by reporting on some wrongdoing. If everyone accepts that there is no free will, then I’ll know that people will say, ‘Whatever he did, he had no choice—we can’t blame him.’ So I know I’m not going to be condemned for taking the selfish option.” This, he believes, is very dangerous for society, and “the more people accept the determinist picture, the worse things will get.”


Dangerous? Well, if we do live in a wholly determined universe and all of this unfolds, the danger and the individual reactions when encountering it? Well, so what?

On the other hand, if we do actually have the capacity to make autonomous choices and an increasing number of us become convinced that we do not, that would become...what exactly? And that's before we get to the argument of those like me. I can presume to have free will [and in fact have it] but it doesn't make this freedom any less subsumed in the arguments I make regarding identity, conflicting goods and political economy.

Determinism not only undermines blame, Smilansky argues; it also undermines praise. Imagine I do risk my life by jumping into enemy territory to perform a daring mission. Afterward, people will say that I had no choice, that my feats were merely, in Smilansky’s phrase, “an unfolding of the given,” and therefore hardly praiseworthy. And just as undermining blame would remove an obstacle to acting wickedly, so undermining praise would remove an incentive to do good. Our heroes would seem less inspiring, he argues, our achievements less noteworthy, and soon we would sink into decadence and despondency.


Yes, it works both ways. We can blame others for committing evil acts but we were never able not to blame them. Anymore than they were ever able to not do those acts. And, in turn, evil itself is subsumed in a universe and everything in it literally at one with itself. Same with praising others for doing good deeds. All super heroes and villains become interchangeable in the only possible reality.

The stakes here could not possibly higher. On par, given human autonomy, with the existence of a loving just and merciful God or an essentially meaningless and purposeless world.

Take your pick.

Ah, but then go on to demonstrate why all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to pick the same thing.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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