Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby Iamthegodoftruth » Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:54 am

Truth does not “correspond” to reality. Reality is exactly what we mean by the words “truth” or “true”.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:31 pm

Iamthegodoftruth wrote:Compatibilism fails by being a merely academic abnormality involving weirdnesses like “truth makers” and such nonsense.

It’s simply a fact that deterministic causalism is the case. If you don’t believe it then gtfo of philosophy since you won’t be able to do it.
Your version of philosophy seems to be 1) making unsupported assertions 2) making appeals to incredulity and 3) being an ass. You can't have much internet experience. There are millions and millions of people who are your kind of philosopher.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:47 pm

Iamthegodoftruth wrote:Truth does not “correspond” to reality. Reality is exactly what we mean by the words “truth” or “true”.


First of all, given my own own understanding of a wholly determined universe...a universe in which the human brain/mind/"I" is but one more inherent/necessary component of the only possible material truth/reality...you typing the words above then and me reading them now could never have not been the case.

So, in a way that is difficult to explain, say, scientifically, I have to assume that instead we have at least some measure of autonomy in order to argue the point in a way that those who believe in free will insist these things are discussed and debated. Of our own volition.

All the while acknowledging that this in and of itself is only explicable going back to that which wholly explains the existence of existence itself.

Consequently, how would any advocates of compatibilism here react to that?
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 promethean75 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:03 pm

godoftroof, you're right on. As sam harris once put it, 'freewill' is an impossibility for any conceivable material universe. This argument was over a century ago, and yet these philostophers still bang on about it.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:18 pm

promethean75 wrote:godoftroof, you're right on. As sam harris once put it, 'freewill' is an impossibility for any conceivable material universe. This argument was over a century ago, and yet these philostophers still bang on about it.


Okay, so what does this tell us about the arguments unfolding here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=195888

:-k
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 Fixed Cross » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:10 pm

Iamthegodoftruth wrote:Compatibilism fails by being a merely academic abnormality involving weirdnesses like “truth makers” and such nonsense.

It’s simply a fact that deterministic causalism is the case. If you don’t believe it then gtfo of philosophy since you won’t be able to do it.

Yes, deterministic causalism is another word for logic.

The facts, that things are determined more interestingly than humans can generally know, and that causes are more profound than humans dare to know, and that general human grasp on logic is wanting, are not due to any flaws deterministic causalism as such.

To argue against deterministic causalism using logic, which is deterministic causalism, is clearly not going to yield much fruit.
Still and all in order to make a proper logical argument one needs sound knowledge and understanding of all things considered to begin with. And such knowledge and understanding has emerged only quite recently in philosophy.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Artimas » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:40 am

The fact wisdom exists, defeats what determinism is as a whole really. The system itself cannot be understood by itself, which leads to free will. The choice when the ability is had, to understand such system. The world used to be determinism ruled, until consciousness. Determinism effects the subconscious state much more.

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.

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:18 pm

Artimas wrote:The fact wisdom exists, defeats what determinism is as a whole really. The system itself cannot be understood by itself, which leads to free will. The choice when the ability is had, to understand such system. The world used to be determinism ruled, until consciousness. Determinism effects the subconscious state much more.


In other words, the fact that your brain worked this out proves that your brain worked it out of your mind's "I" own free will.

A world of words in which the words are true because they are defined and defended by more words still.

And if you took this intellectual contraption to the neuroscientists who are actually engaging the "scientific method" in probing the brain here experimentally, they would confirm beyond all possible doubt that this is true. Some even being able to go all the way back to explaining how the existence of the human species itself fits into a definitive understanding of why something exists rather than nothing, and why this something and not something else.
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 Fixed Cross » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:15 am

Artimas wrote:The fact wisdom exists, defeats what determinism is as a whole really.

As a linear thing yes, but in a Relativistic universe causality is rounded on all sides, it is just a matter of where you begin attributing cause.

Some philosophers relinquish the will to know a first cause and simply posit their own wisdom as the central cause.

The mind contains future and past and brews them into something which exists in the present but is different from the present; a kind of antagonistic, very limited representation of the factors that go into and come out of the present which attacks it from both the past and the future. Inspiration is in allowing this attack to happen and orchestrate a part in it for oneself indifferently to anything other than the fact of attack.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:34 pm

"An Argument For Compatibilism"
Jason Streitfeld
from the Specter of Reason website

I do agree that many people want free will from a God's-eye view and by appeal to ultimate causality, and they will not be easily satisfied by the psycho-social foundations of free will I have described.


This observation alone encompasses just how problematic discussions like this can become. He says that he agrees but he may well be saying that only because he was compelled by his brain compelled by the laws of nature to say it. Just as we say we are choosing to read his words only in assuming that it was within our own autonomous capacity to choose not to. And then when, compelled or not, we bring God into the discussion that just adds another convoluted layer. After all, if an omniscient God is just another inherent manifestation of a wholly created universe...what then? Or, if, instead, an omniscient God created the universe and then created us to be autonomous how is what we choose to do not already known by God Himself. How here is free will squared with His omniscient nature?

And, again, in reflecting on all of this how is the mind of the compatibilist qualitatively different from the mind of the determinist? What, given the compatibilist perspective, would be any different? In particular, in regard to human interactions down here on Earth.

I have not altered the definition of "free will" or the definition of "moral responsibility." All I have done is shown that the foundation for moral responsibility people think they want is an impossibility. People are mistaken about what could make them deserving of punishment or reward. It cannot be ultimate causality. People might therefore conclude that there is no such thing as moral responsibility. They might say that, if God doesn't exist, nobody is morally responsible for anything. And, indeed, it would seem that there cannot be free will if there is no moral responsibility. However, the way forward is not to simply claim that there is no free will.


These points are embedded in an argument for compatibilism. When all I want to know is how on earth in a determined universe points that could only have been made are somehow in sync with the idea that peacegirl and others raise in distinguishing between choosing to raise them and "choosing" to raise them. I see this as embedded necessarily in the the psychological illusion of free will embedded necessarily in how the human brain must function.

The way forward is to explain why morality does make sense from a psycho-social point of view--why people should invest in their sense of moral responsibility. Of course, you cannot argue that people should embrace moral responsibility without begging the question. But what you can argue for is a coherent picture of the way moral responsibility actually works. If a person can be convinced that moral responsibility does make sense in psycho-social terms, then they will have made room for belief in free will, and no definitions will have been altered.


The way forward [for me] is to explain how the past, present and future move as they do when a distinction is made between hard determinism and compatibilism. What changes in regard to what actually does happen?

And why focus on morality and moral responsibility if one is only ever able to make that the focus in the only argument that one is ever able to make. Isn't that why? If you argue for a coherent picture going all the way back to what brought into existence the laws of matter themselves isn't your argument going to be just another inherent component of that?
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 Sep 03, 2020 5:11 pm

From chaos to free will
A crude understanding of physics sees determinism at work in the Universe. Luckily, molecular uncertainty ensures this isn’t so
George Ellis at the aeon website

The French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827) believed that the Universe was a piece of machinery, and that physics determines everything. Napoleon, who had read up on Laplace’s work, confronted him about the conspicuous absence of a creator in his theory. ‘I had no need of that hypothesis,’ came the reply. Laplace might have said the same thing about free will, which his mechanistic universe rendered superfluous.


Of course it doesn't matter what he might have said, only whether he could have said something entirely different. And then the extent to which, if he could have, we can determine definitively how to demonstrate this.

What is or is not superfluous in regard to matter unfolding into the future?

Since Laplace’s day, scientists, philosophers and even neuroscientists have followed his lead in denying the possibility of free will. This reflects a widespread belief among theoretical physicists that if you know the initial values of the variables that characterise a physical system, together with the equations that explain how these variables change over time, then you can calculate the state of the system at all later times. For example, if you know the positions and velocities of all the particles that make up a gas in a container, you can determine the positions and velocities of all those particles at all later times. This means that there should be no freedom for any deviation from this physically determined trajectory.


Come on, we all know the toppled domino here that brings all of this into question: the evolution of matter into biological life into a central nervous system into a brain into a mind into an "I" actually able to convince itself that any number of things it chooses to think and feel and say and do excludes all of the things it freely chose not to.

This is where scientists and philosophers have been spinning their wheels now going back to the very first mind that tried to grapple with it all the way to the final explanation.

In philosophy it's called an antimony: "a contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions that are in themselves reasonable". Like the one where existence is infinite or it is not. Or the one where existence had a beginning or it did not.

In science, on the other hand, beliefs are tested "in the lab". Actual experiments are conducted with the human brain in order to pin down the empirical relationships between the chemical and neurological interactions. And here the assumption on their part may or may not be that they are going about this of their own 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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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:19 pm

From chaos to free will
A crude understanding of physics sees determinism at work in the Universe. Luckily, molecular uncertainty ensures this isn’t so
George Ellis at the aeon website

Consider, then, that everything we see around us – rocks and planets, frogs and trees, your body and brain – is made up of nothing but protons, electrons and neutrons put together in very complex ways. In the case of your body, they make many kinds of cells; in turn, these cells make tissues, such as muscle and skin; these tissues make systems, such as the heart, lungs and brain; and these systems make the body as a whole.


And then the considerably more problematic part: brains evolving into minds evolving into self-conscious minds evolving into you and I grappling to come up with a definitive understanding of whether or not the understanding itself is only as it could ever have been.

Really, is it any wonder than that, given some explanation for the existence of free will, one of the first things that the minds of mere mortals will do is to invent Gods. Let Him be the explanation. Then we are left only with reconciling human autonomy with the fact that most insist that their own God is omniscient.

It might seem that everything that’s happening at the higher, ‘emergent’ levels should be uniquely determined by the physics operating beneath them. This would mean that the thoughts you’re having at this very moment were predetermined at the start of the Universe, based on the values of the particle physics variables at that time.


It might seem or it must seem? Isn't that the question? And yet try as most of us might [including myself] to wrap our heads around the reality that typing these very words or reading them is really just another manifestation of nature on automatic pilot, it just seems ridiculous. We invent words like "visceral" to connote a sense of certainty that goes beyond simple explanation. We just know we have free will.

After all...

Now you might be forgiven for doubting whether William Shakespeare’s sonnets, Winston Churchill’s speeches and the words in Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time (1988) really came into being in this way. And you would be right to doubt: there are many problems with the skeptics’ position.


True, but there are also "many problems" noted for those on the other side as well: https://www.debate.org/opinions/does-free-will-exist

Let's call these "conflicting assumptions".
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 WW_III_ANGRY » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:37 pm

Wonderer wrote:do you assume that we will eventually be able to understand our nature to the extent that we can rid ourselves of the need or cause for violence?


We can only understand our nature to the extent that we cannot rid ourselves of the need or cause for violence.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:59 pm

From chaos to free will
A crude understanding of physics sees determinism at work in the Universe. Luckily, molecular uncertainty ensures this isn’t so
George Ellis at the aeon website

At very small scales, quantum theory underlies what’s happening in the world. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle introduces an unavoidable fuzziness and an irreducible uncertainty in quantum outcomes. You might know the value of one variable, such as a particle’s momentum, but that means you can’t accurately detect another, such as its position. This seems to fundamentally undermine the allegedly iron-clad link between initial data and physical results. However, this is controversial, so I’ll set it aside for now, as important as it is. Instead, I’ll focus on key aspects of causation that occur in the molecular biology of neurons in the brain.


So, will there ever be a time when it doesn't have to be "set aside"? A time when the world of the very, very large and the world of the very, very small fit together seamlessly in an actual extant "theory of everything". And then the part where the theory can be translated into an explanation for how the human mind fits into it given our day to day interactions? To be or not to be free?

In fact, it's that very fuzziness sustaining all the uncertainties that allows us to voice all manner of conflicting assumptions generating all manner of conflicting conclusions. You might not be correct but no one is able to establish that you are wrong. Compelled or not.

One of the most astounding discoveries of the previous century was that biological activity at the micro level is literally grounded in the physical shape of biological molecules, particularly DNA, RNA and proteins. This discovery became possible only when X-ray crystallography had progressed to the point of allowing us to determine the extraordinarily complex detailed structure and foldings of these molecules.


On the other hand, as MA noted on another thread, "if humans are made out of molecules, and if molecules can't speak, neither can humans" is nonsense. And yet it clearly seems to be the case that somehow we go from the fact of being constructed out of non-conscious atomic and sub-atomic particles to a very much conscious "I".

Doesn't the whole matter of determinism then revolve around how on earth to explain mind itself? Matter becomes mindful. How? Why? The very fact that matter can now ponder matter itself "ontologically" and "teleologically" seems, well, almost surreal to some.

Or, to others, attributable only to God. In particular, their God.
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 Sep 27, 2020 7:23 pm

From chaos to free will
A crude understanding of physics sees determinism at work in the Universe. Luckily, molecular uncertainty ensures this isn’t so
George Ellis at the aeon website

The structure of...molecules is truly the secret of life, as Francis Crick and James Watson exclaimed when they discovered the double helix structure of DNA, helped by the work of Rosalind Franklin. This deservedly led to huge public excitement about how DNA molecules encode our genetic inheritance. However, it is the structure of other molecules – proteins and associated messenger molecules – that in fact makes things happen at the cellular level. DNA is important only because it codes for the proteins that do the real biological work.


Okay, but what of the "structure of molecules" when the brain configures into mind configures into "I"? What of these molecules when, as most intrigues me, one "I" comes into contact with another "I" and fierce conflicts erupt over which set of behaviors will be either rewarded or punished?

What of DNA and proteins and messenger molecules then? Where does nature's code end and our own autonomous free will begin when, say, the conflict becomes entangled in politics such that attempts are made to encode human behaviors through the law? Behaviors actually able to be enforced.

Here's how remarkably mechanical it gets on the biological level:

For example, haemoglobin in blood cells transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Rhodopsin in the eye absorbs light and turns it into electrical signals. Kinesin and dynein are motor proteins that transport materials from one place to another in a cell. Enzymes speed up chemical reactions by such huge amounts that they essentially turn them on and off. Voltage-gated ion channels serve as biological versions of transistors, while ligand-gated ion channels allow messenger molecules (‘ligands’) such as neurotransmitters to convey information from one cell to another in the brain. And so it goes. And all this functioning follows from the details of the complex shapes of these proteins.


And it all unfolds such that, to the best of my knowledge, none of the biological "players" here have the slightest inkling as to why they do this instead of that? How then are the dots connected here between biological imperatives and any one particular "I" using these laws of nature to "instruct" the body -- their own -- to choose one thing over another?

This means that, to link physics and biology, we need to look at the theory that underlies molecular shape. And that theory is quantum chemistry, based in the fundamental equation of quantum physics: the Schrödinger equation. In quantum theory, the state of a system is described by what’s known as its wave function, which determines the probabilities of different outcomes when events take place. The Schrödinger equation governs how the wave function changes with time. For example, it governs the process of quantum tunnelling, which in turn underlies important physical effects such as how the Sun generates energy via nuclear fusion, photosynthesis in plants, and flash memories you use to store data in computer USB flash drives.


Yep, here we go again. Making an attempt at an explanation by noting the manner in which material interactions on the quantum level are often indeterminant. Surreal even. At least in terms of pinning down definitively why and how relationships unfold as they do -- as they must -- "down there". What of cause and effect when the "viewers" themselves somehow determine the outcome? We can only imagine that consciousness itself is explainable in regard to all of the pieces still missing when biologists and physicists either agree or disagree with respect to what is actually happening in a brain derived from DNA derived from matter containing who knows what combinations of these guys: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_particle

And that's before we get to how all of this fits into a definitive understanding of dark matter and dark energy.

What of "I" there?
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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