Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:52 pm

Dan~ wrote:iambiguous probably sees the potential for disagreement, and applies that to the idea that things can't be known.
Facts were abstracted to the point of no return.
It's like jumping down a wide hole,
instead of just looking down the hole at a safe distance.


Well, let's just say that with any luck, you were never able to not post this and I was never able to not read it.

Otherwise, I might actually possess the freedom to make sense of it.

You know, given a particular context. :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

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 Dan~ » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:09 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Dan~ wrote:iambiguous probably sees the potential for disagreement, and applies that to the idea that things can't be known.
Facts were abstracted to the point of no return.
It's like jumping down a wide hole,
instead of just looking down the hole at a safe distance.


Well, let's just say that with any luck, you were never able to not post this and I was never able to not read it.

Otherwise, I might actually possess the freedom to make sense of it.

You know, given a particular context. :wink:


So, you are willing to talk to me?

I wrote in my own writings, that good birth is based on luck. We don't control who we are born as. We don't say : "I want to be human."
Also i agree with muslim explanation of divine destiny.
If you are rich, don't get egotistical about it and loose humility. It didn't happen because of you.
if you are poor, try not to feel dispare, you didn't do something wrong and are not being punished.
I was lucky in some ways.
The next step after luck, is realizing nobility.
Lucky beings should share their excess. They will have an excess.
They share it to invest in the world.
Nobility is the step needed before human augmentation will end well.
Without nobility, technology destroys itself.

So, first luck, then nobility, then transcendence.

Also we should not hate sinners, for they are unlucky.
And being ill is a kind of punishment/hell on its own.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:23 pm

Dan~ wrote:
So, you are willing to talk to me?


More to the point [on this thread]: do I really have a choice?

And, if I do, then, in regard to this...

Dan~ wrote:
I wrote in my own writings, that good birth is based on luck. We don't control who we are born as. We don't say : "I want to be human."
Also i agree with muslim explanation of divine destiny.
If you are rich, don't get egotistical about it and loose humility. It didn't happen because of you.
if you are poor, try not to feel dispare, you didn't do something wrong and are not being punished.
I was lucky in some ways.
The next step after luck, is realizing nobility.
Lucky beings should share their excess. They will have an excess.
They share it to invest in the world.
Nobility is the step needed before human augmentation will end well.
Without nobility, technology destroys itself.

So, first luck, then nobility, then transcendence.

Also we should not hate sinners, for they are unlucky.
And being ill is a kind of punishment/hell on its own.


...I would ask you to demonstrate why/how all rational men and women are obligated to think the same.

Then in regard to a particular context --- the Trump campaign rally noted above? --- I would ask you to explore the extent to which our individual reactions are rooted in dasein or in the most optimal assessment that serious philosophers are able to provide.

How, in your autonomous view, is luck, nobility and transcendence applicable to the Trump rally?
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 Dan~ » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:46 pm

iambiguous wrote:...I would ask you to demonstrate why/how all rational men and women are obligated to think the same.


They are not obligated to think the same.
However, the truth is always true. And some truths are very obvious, too.
So in that way, a large percent of a group can potentially agree on certain things.

How, in your autonomous view, is luck, nobility and transcendence applicable to the Trump rally?

Trump is a part of a failing system.
He was lucky enough to get rich, but then he skipped in part the nobility part, so he doesn't want to improve the basis of humanity : future genetic engineering.
It only works when it is in the right hands.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:52 pm

His hands are pretty well tied, he has only been hired for comic effect, to the hope less chagrin of most everybody else.

So compatibility has never connected the dots.

But in retrospect everything changes and comatibality can reverse the truth-in truth, by simply exchanging the necessary into the contingent possibility: thereby reversing the naturalistic fallacy
Last edited by Meno_ on Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Berkley Babes » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:50 pm

When I think about free will, I can only see cause and effect. If I don't think about free will, I can only see choices to be made.

Everything changes under the microscope, when examined.

So, for me, it's both. When I ask myself how this could be, my only answer is God. God handles how.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:48 pm

Dan~ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:...I would ask you to demonstrate why/how all rational men and women are obligated to think the same.


They are not obligated to think the same.
However, the truth is always true. And some truths are very obvious, too.
So in that way, a large percent of a group can potentially agree on certain things.


So, in a world where human autonomy is presumed to exist, all you have to do is to insist that what you note above is true. Why? Because it is "the truth". Obviously?

That demonstrating Trump held a rally in Tulsa last night is interchangeable with demonstrating that the points raised in the speech are just another example of the truth always being true?

How, in your autonomous view, is luck, nobility and transcendence applicable to the Trump rally?


Dan~ wrote: Trump is a part of a failing system.
He was lucky enough to get rich, but then he skipped in part the nobility part, so he doesn't want to improve the basis of humanity : future genetic engineering.
It only works when it is in the right hands.


Again, assuming human autonomy, who gets to decide what success and failure are with regard to human social, political and economic interactions? Who gets decide when the truth is always true when those interactions result in fierce conflicts regarding good and bad behavior? How are such things as "nobility" and being in "the right hands" not basically just political prejudices rooted in dasein?

Then we move on to demonstrating that all of this unfolds in a unverse in which free will is compatible with determinism.
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 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 pm

Berkley Babes wrote:When I think about free will, I can only see cause and effect. If I don't think about free will, I can only see choices to be made.

Everything changes under the microscope, when examined.

So, for me, it's both. When I ask myself how this could be, my only answer is God. God handles how.


That's original.
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 Meno_ » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:55 pm

Berkley Babes wrote:When I think about free will, I can only see cause and effect. If I don't think about free will, I can only see choices to be made.

Everything changes under the microscope, when examined.

So, for me, it's both. When I ask myself how this could be, my only answer is God. God handles how.



Exactly: that scintilla of evidence nowadays they call miracles.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Dan~ » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:58 am

iambiguous wrote:Again, assuming human autonomy, who gets to decide what success and failure are with regard to human social, political and economic interactions? Who gets decide when the truth is always true when those interactions result in fierce conflicts regarding good and bad behavior? How are such things as "nobility" and being in "the right hands" not basically just political prejudices rooted in dasein?

Then we move on to demonstrating that all of this unfolds in a unverse in which free will is compatible with determinism.


Some things are obvious.
Success and failure are usually obvious things.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:47 pm

Dan~ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Again, assuming human autonomy, who gets to decide what success and failure are with regard to human social, political and economic interactions? Who gets decide when the truth is always true when those interactions result in fierce conflicts regarding good and bad behavior? How are such things as "nobility" and being in "the right hands" not basically just political prejudices rooted in dasein?

Then we move on to demonstrating that all of this unfolds in a unverse in which free will is compatible with determinism.


Some things are obvious.
Success and failure are usually obvious things.


Well, they are obvious either because we can freely think ourselves into believing this or because this discussion itself is merely a necessary manifestation of a wholly determined universe.

Same with success or failure.

But, given human autonomy, one person's material success can be seen by others as a moral failure.

Then what? Then what is "obvious", right?

For example, to you.

That then seen by me to be the embodiment of dasein.

Though by no means obviously. Let alone necessarily.
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 Dan~ » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:52 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Dan~ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Again, assuming human autonomy, who gets to decide what success and failure are with regard to human social, political and economic interactions? Who gets decide when the truth is always true when those interactions result in fierce conflicts regarding good and bad behavior? How are such things as "nobility" and being in "the right hands" not basically just political prejudices rooted in dasein?

Then we move on to demonstrating that all of this unfolds in a unverse in which free will is compatible with determinism.


Some things are obvious.
Success and failure are usually obvious things.


Well, they are obvious either because we can freely think ourselves into believing this or because this discussion itself is merely a necessary manifestation of a wholly determined universe.

Same with success or failure.

But, given human autonomy, one person's material success can be seen by others as a moral failure.

Then what? Then what is "obvious", right?

For example, to you.

That then seen by me to be the embodiment of dasein.

Though by no means obviously. Let alone necessarily.


Let's apply this to the world as we know it, then.

Would humanity be better off if everyone shared your style of thinking?

Well, they are obvious either because we can freely think ourselves into believing this or because this discussion itself is merely a necessary manifestation of a wholly determined universe.


Obvious as in : easy to sense. Like the sun. It is easy to sense.

But there are people who are senseless, too.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:59 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Well, they are obvious either because we can freely think ourselves into believing this or because this discussion itself is merely a necessary manifestation of a wholly determined universe.

Same with success or failure.

But, given human autonomy, one person's material success can be seen by others as a moral failure.

Then what? Then what is "obvious", right?

For example, to you.

That then seen by me to be the embodiment of dasein.

Though by no means obviously. Let alone necessarily.


Dan~ wrote: Let's apply this to the world as we know it, then.

Would humanity be better off if everyone shared your style of thinking?


Here we clearly approach philosophy differently. My own understanding of the serious philosopher is of someone intent on understanding human interactions not in terms of what makes them "better off" but the extent to which the arguments they pose in grappling with the human condition reflect a more or less reasonable assessment.

My own assessment revolves around the points I raise in my signature threads --- given some measure of human volition. They are either more or less reasonable than the assessments of those who do in fact feel better off in believing what they do.

All we can then do is to explore each other's assumptions by examining them in particular contexts. And, given the nature of this thread, by assuming that the assessments are derived autonomously, of our own free will.

Well, they are obvious either because we can freely think ourselves into believing this or because this discussion itself is merely a necessary manifestation of a wholly determined universe.


Dan~ wrote: Obvious as in : easy to sense. Like the sun. It is easy to sense.

But there are people who are senseless, too.


What on earth does this have to do with the point I raise about compatibilism above? Let's get back 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

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 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:37 pm

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

First, we need a working definition of "free will."


On the contrary, what makes this discussion and debate particularly tricky is that we must first start out with the assumption that any working definition we arrive at is one in which we were free to have chosen another one instead. Right from the beginning we are stuck. So, compelled or not, here we go.

For example:

One philosophically respectable way of defining it is as the ability of a rational agent to choose from among a variety of options in such a way as to satisfy the requirements for moral responsibility. In other words, the extent that a person has free will is the extent to which they are morally responsible for their actions, where moral responsibility is predicated on their ability to make choices. This is not the only possible definition, but it seems flexible enough to fit with everyday intuitions about free will. For that reason, I will adopt it for now. If it needs to be altered, so be it.


What if this philosophically respectable way of defining it is the only possible way that one ever could have defined it? And then around and around we -- everyone -- goes.

Then the part that peacegirl seemed to focus in on: "...the extent that a person has free will is the extent to which they are morally responsible for their actions, where moral responsibility is predicated on their ability to make choices."

The fact that, unlike rocks and other mindless matter, we actually do choose. And, thus, moral responsibility rests entirely on that. Like, say, intuitions themselves are something that rocks don't have and so the matter comprising minds/brains that produce them is qualitatively different from all other matter.

And it surely is that. But if all the consequences/effects that our minds/brains precipitate is also wholly in sync with -- caused by -- the laws of matter that govern rocks, how is responsibility itself not just another manifestation of the only possible reality?

I'm always willing to acknowledge that I'm not thinking this through correctly, if the compatibilists are willing to acknowledge that they were only ever able to think it through as they do.

Then what?

The compatibilist position, therefore, is this: A deterministic universe can contain rational agents which are capable of making choices among a variety of options and therefore carry a burden of moral responsibility. The incompatibilist position is that free will cannot exist in a deterministic universe.


I'm sorry, but given the manner in which I construe a wholly determined universe, human "rationality" produces a man or a woman that like the rock unfolds into the only possible future. Here only the existence of a God, the God allows me to imagine an entity able to create material objects -- us -- in possession of whatever "free will" actually is. And even here there's the problem [for me] of those who insist that their own God is omniscient. How is that squared with human autonomy?
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 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:47 pm

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

Some self-identifying incompatibilists say that the very notion of free will is incoherent.


Think about this.

You argue that the "very notion of free will is incoherent" while convinced that nothing can really be incoherent if it can only ever be what it must be in accordance with the immutable laws of physics.

It's just another example of how language becomes entangled in itself when it is taken this far out on the metaphysical limb.

If that is the case, we should not say, "Free will is compatible with determinism," because the phrase "free will" does not have any denotation. Yet, we should also not say, "free will is incompatible with determinism," and for the same reason.


Should say? Shouldn't say? See the mind-boggling problem here once you conclude that everything you say or don't say is compelled by nature?

Thus...

Thus, this formulation of incompatibilism is problematic. If there is no coherent notion of "free will," then we simply cannot say anything about what is compatible or incompatible with it. We either have to find an acceptable definition of the term or stop using it. Therefore, incompatibilists who think "free will" is incoherent are in a bind. They should not say that free will is incompatible with determinism. They should rather say that they have no idea what "free will" means, or is supposed to mean. They might rather call themselves noncognitivists about free will, instead of incompatibilists. I will come back to this view later.


Indeed, the best way to go about exploring all of this is entirely up in the stratosphere of intellectual abstractions. That way, having or not have free will, or moral responsibility being compatible or not compatible with determinism, can be assessed ever and always academically in a "world of words".

Still, how can we yank the words down to earth when we have no way of knowing for certain that the yank itself could ever have been other than what it must be?

Of course this exasperates some considerably more than others. On the other hand, how could it have been otherwise?

And around and around we go.
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 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:30 pm

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

Other incompatibilists are cognitivists. They think that there is a coherent notion of free will, and they think it is incompatible with determinism because determinism means you never really have a choice. If your behaviour is determined by forces which are beyond your control--by states of the universe that existed before you were even born--then there was never any real choice. There was only the illusion of a choice.


Okay, but they are no less stuck than the compatibilists. Who are no less stuck than the champions of free will. In other words, connecting the dots ontologically [as mere mortals] between what any particular brain thinks and a comprehensive understanding of existence itself. With or without God.

In pondering what may or may not be "beyond our control" we may well be pondering only what we were ever able to ponder.

So we have, on the one hand, the idea that your choice is only real if it is not the inevitable result of forces which are outside your control. A compatibilist, in contrast, will say that the inevitability of our behaviour does not mean we lack a choice.


Yo, peacegirl!

Imagine a tornado bearing down on you. Now, unlike the material elements in the twister itself, the material elements in your brain result in a conscious choice. Matter having evolved to the point where it becomes self-conscious of itself making a choice. A chosen behavior that others may call either rational or not rational. But: the behavior chosen itself like the reactions to that behavior was the only possible behavior and reactions that could have been chosen by brains no less in sync with the laws of nature than any weather phenomenon.

Again, this is the part where I readily admit I am not thinking compatibilism through correctly. But in the manner in which I understand determinism/incompatibilism, I think things through -- all things -- in the only possible way in which I can think them through.

What then am I missing here in the compatibilist argument?

What makes an action a choice is the involvement of rational deliberation. This requires a sort of information processing which represents different patterns as choices. We only have a choice in so far as we represent an option to ourselves as a choice. Whether or not our behaviour is inevitable is not the issue. The issue is whether or not our behaviour entails the rational deliberation of patterns which are represented as choices.


Well, to me [still] whether or not our behavior is inevitable is the only issue. If it is inevitable than how can "the rational deliberation of patterns which are represented as choices", leading up to that behavior not in turn be wholly determined by the laws of matter?
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 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:07 pm

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

If a choice is evitable, it means that it was not the result of deterministic forces. It was, in essence, random or uncaused. That means it was not caused by our beliefs or desires, or mental states of any kind. At least, not necessarily. It was the accidental or random outcome of some processes.


This may well be be even more difficult to wrap one's head around. Clearly we live in an either/or world in which interactions appear to be anything but random and uncaused. Distinctions are made between correlation and cause and effect but a "human condition" governed by "evitable" choices would be...what exactly? Things just "happen" out of the blue for no discernable -- discoverable -- reason at all? Well, maybe in your neighborhood, but it doesn't appear to be that way at all in mine.

Even using the expression "in essence, random and uncaused" would be random and uncaused. As would be our "beliefs or desires of mental states".

Huh? Would someone explain that further please.

Yet, if the action were a random or accidental outcome, we would not be able to claim responsibility for it unless we were already responsible for the decision to act on that random outcome. To deserve responsibility for an action (according to indeterminists), there must be some causal relationship between our action and our beliefs and desires. It cannot all be random.


No, really, instead of demonstrable evidence that brings us closer to the conviction that human autonomy exists only at a minimum, the evidence seemed to suggest that, on the contrary, the outcome of our behaviors were actually dependent more on a maximum of random or accidental encounters. Which would be harder to wrap your head around? And what if it turns out to be that the "human condition" combines both in such a way that we can never know for certain the degree to which we are responsible for the behaviors we choose?

And then into this moral and political quagmire introduce the components of my own thinking here.

Dennett has discussed this in great detail in, for example, his paper, "On Giving Libertarians What They Say They Want." He develops a two-stage model of free will...What he concludes is that we can imagine a scientifically respectable scenario in which human beings have the ability to make rational choices which are not inevitable, which do in fact involve a degree (however large or small) of random processes. The idea is that the construction of our beliefs and desires can entail a large degree of randomization, while the choosing of our actions and judgments can be deterministic.


But what he can't conclude definitively is whether his conclusion itself was only as it ever could have been. Or the extent to which in coming to it, he was embedded in an unfolding reality that included "random or accidental outcomes". Any more than you and I can know beyond all doubt all the factors involved in posting on this thread.

He can only take this particular "intellectual contraption" to the hard guys conducting actual scientific experiments with the human brain in order to determine more substantively -- rigorously, phenomenologically -- what the final determination is most likely to be "here and now".

Leaving aside altogether [for now] the things that most intrigue me philosophically: morality here and now, immortality there and then.

Wow. Could there be a God, a Heaven and a Hell, a reincarnated soul, a Nirvana. But all that too just being some murky intermingling of determined and random 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

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 surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:18 pm

There could be absolutely anything at all that could actually exist even if it might not be understood but whether there is or not will never be known
Omniscience is not something we can ever attain so there will always be gaps in our knowledge and this is a limitation that simply has to be accepted
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:33 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:There could be absolutely anything at all that could actually exist even if it might not be understood but whether there is or not will never be known
Omniscience is not something we can ever attain so there will always be gaps in our knowledge and this is a limitation that simply has to be accepted


So, basically, we just have to, well, live with that. If only from the cradle to the grave.

But that won't stop the moral and political objectivists among us from concluding that not only is their own "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do" in the either/or world, but in the world of moral and political value judgments too. There is practically nothing they are not absolutely convinced starts and stops with what they think, feel, say and do.

Though, sure, they may well be no less compelled by nature to conclude this than I am to conclude what I do. But what of a world in which what we think, feel, say and do really is embedded in the random and accidental interactions of matter?

That is really over my head. Here and now, for example.
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 surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:31 pm

I think its probably a lot deeper than the mere machinations of matter so its possible it is beyond our comprehension
We cannot know what new knowledge we will discover in the future but we do know that that process will never stop
At least until we become extinct at which point our knowledge generating capacity stops functioning for the rest of time
Other intelligent species - if they exist - may carry on where we have left off but we will be not be here to witness them
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:40 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:I think its probably a lot deeper than the mere machinations of matter so its possible it is beyond our comprehension
We cannot know what new knowledge we will discover in the future but we do know that that process will never stop
At least until we become extinct at which point our knowledge generating capacity stops functioning for the rest of time
Other intelligent species - if they exist - may carry on where we have left off but we will be not be here to witness them


Well, to the best of my current knowledge, unraveling all of this and finally resolving it once and for all still seems to be beyond our comprehension. It is certainly still beyond mine. Only for folks like Peacegirl and others, their own intellectual contraptions here do in fact work as the "final solution" for them.

And, as I see it, a factor embedded in the "human condition" if there is some measure of autonomy is this: believing something is enough.

Peacegirl is convinced of her far more hopeful future for mankind. As laid out in The Book. This comforts and consoles her.

I'm not. Here and now, I am still of the opinion [compelled by nature or not] that the past, the present and the future are part and parcel of an essentially meaningless human existence that ends for each of us one by one in oblivion. If there is any comfort and consolation for me at all it lies in my own acknowledgment that this assessment itself is but the embodiment of "I" as an existential contraption rooted in dasein.

And, yes, imagine all of the other possible civilizations out in the staggering vastness of the universe. The multiverse? Civilizations far in advance of our own. What have they come to conclude about all of this.

In fact I often imagine what hypothetically might have happened if that asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 60 odd million years ago, paving the way for us, had come, say, a hundred thousand years earlier. Would we be a hundred thousand years more advanced than we are now? What would those discussions of determinism be like?
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 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:21 pm

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

The point...is not that incompatibilists are correct. It is rather the opposite: Even though we can imagine a scenario in which rational agents make choices from among a variety of randomly-generated options, the making of the choices is still deterministic. It is still a result of forces outside the agent's control, whether or not we introduce non-deterministic elements into the system. So there is no reason to say that it is not "really" a choice in the deterministic universe. Either it is a choice in both scenarios, or it is not a choice at all. Dennett has shown that, even if we give incompatibilists (of a certain stripe) what they say they want, they still have no basis for denying compatibilism. Free will is just as compatible with determinism as it is with indeterminism.


Okay. For those here who subscribe to compatibilism, please explain, beyond intellectual contraptions like the one above, the point being made as it is applicable to, say, me typing these words and you reading them. How do you understand determinism and free will in a way different from how I do. The way that I do revolving around the assumption that even in defending compatibilism there was never any possibility of your not defending it.

What on earth do I keep missing here?

The issue, then, is not whether we make choices, but whether we do so in a way which gives us moral responsibility. The question comes down to whether or not our choices are sufficient to make us morally responsible for our actions. That, I believe, is where the problem of free will needs to be resolved. For now, let's take "morally responsible" to mean "deserving of punishment or reward."


And that is exactly what I focus on as well. Moral responsibility in a world in which it is assumed that, unlike components of nature that lack the capacity to choose, we do in fact opt for these things instead of those.

Thus, given human biological imperatives, if the sex act is performed, one of the possibilities is a pregnancy. And once a new life is created in a particular womb, it goes through what it must go through in order to slide down out of the vagina and out into the world of new born babies. And none of us to my knowledge while in the womb chose to do the things that were needed to be done to bring all of this to fruition in a birth.

And, once we are born, there are any number of things that we do that are basically beyond our control. Others do things to and for us instead.

But eventually we reach the point where we begin to make a distinction between "I" and others. We choose things because we become aware that choosing different things results in different consequences. But how much of this is demonstrably autonomous? And then further we reach the point where we choose things that are judged by others as either the right thing or the wrong thing to do. Or is this too all just a manifestation of a wholly determined universe.
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 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:04 pm

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

Let's imagine a God's eye view, but without the supernatural baggage. Let the term "God" refer to any being powerful enough to create human beings, know whether or not they are morally responsible for their actions, and punish or reward them for their behaviour. Let the term "soul" refer to that aspect of a person which is capable of being morally responsible and which God rewards or punishes. God rewards or punishes according to rules, the source of which is irrelevant for our purposes. Also, God rewards or punishes by measuring ultimate causal determination. (Notice that I am intentionally avoiding any supernatural or theological language here, for the sake of coherence.)


What does it mean to speak of a coherent frame of mind here when God is introduced into the assessment? And if this God can create the human species, know whether they are naughty or nice and then reward or punish them accordingly, how on Earth is the "supernatural" part dispensed with. I must not be understanding his point.

My point though revolves around the extent to which this God is seen to be omniscient. Once He becomes all-knowing, we get into the age old debate in which human autonomy itself is somehow reconciled with that.

Things get all twisted into any number of imagined assumptions regarding His knowing here. Some claim He knows everything that we do but the act of choosing itself is still our own. Then I drag that frame of mind into the individual choosing in the is/ought world as "I" embodied in dasein. And then hundreds and hundreds of both genetic and memetic variables get thrown into the mix. Each mix then embedded in a particular context construed in a particular way. Parts of which are readily communicated and parts of which are not.

Imagine God creates two people, Person A and Person B. Person A follows God's rules, but Person B does not. The question I want to consider is, what could justify God's decision to reward Person A and punish Person B? That is, what could justify God's decision about ultimate causal determination?


This is not intelligible to me. How does one really discuss God, given any degree of "supernatural" power, until one grasps reality going back to the existence of existence itself. Either an ever existing God created the Universe, then us with or without autonomy, or...or what? What's crucial for me of course is that a God, the God is able to create rules that we are free to obey or not obey and and then depending on what we choose of our own volition, He will either reward or punish us. On both sides of the grave.
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 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:33 pm

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

When we want to determine if a person has moral responsibility--remember, this just means whether or not a person can be deserving of reward or punishment--it is a mistake to frame it in terms of whether or not they are the ultimate cause of their choices. If there is moral responsibility, it must be understood in different terms.


Again, what on earth is this supposed to mean?

Joe is a rabid carnivore. He meets Jane who is a rabid vegan. Jane is convinced that eating animal flesh is immoral. That those who do so deserve to be punished and never rewarded. She's even willing to go so far as to endorse laws that punished the eating of animal flesh as a crime. Now how is moral responsibility to be understood here by the compatibilists? If both Joe and Jane think, feel, say and do things because their brains are wholly in sync with the laws of matter, the ultimate cause of the behaviors they choose would necessarily be in sync with the ultimate cause of others reacting to those behaviors as either deserving to be rewarded or punished: with nature itself.

Unless of course in a manner that no one yet understands, "nature itself" re the world of quantum interactions is able somehow to "choose" different outcomes.

Whether or not a person is deserving of punishment or reward could be a psycho-social matter, a matter to be decided by human roles and relationships.


And psycho-social matters in a wholly determined universe...how exactly is that not just another manifestation of the only possible reality? Same with human roles and relationships.

What are the compatibilists arguing here that I keep missing? And how would you determine that your own explanation in and of itself is or is not "beyond your control" in the manner in which we react to that expression in a world where human autonomy does in fact exist.

...people can hold themselves morally responsible, but they are doing so as self-aware agents capable of taking up a moral attitude towards themselves. It is a complex psychological phenomenon, and it is not resolved by appeal to questions of fundamental causality.


Of course what is this but another "general description intellectual contraption"...a world of words that, in no way shape or form, is connected to any substantive empirical evidence derived from actual human experiences, or from any data collected as a result of conducting experiments.

Anyone here able to link us to this sort of thing? Something that settles this age old debate conclusively.
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 Iamthegodoftruth » Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:54 am

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.
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