Free Will vs Determinism

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:13 am

Belinda wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:14 pm
But man's freedom to be good is not all or nothing. Each person can be relatively free to be a good person. One of the means to be free to be a good person is to understand one's own emotional reactions.
In a world without God, the term "good person" means nothing. Why shouldn't a person be "bad" if he or she thinks it serves his or her purposes, he or she wants to do it, and he or she thinks it's possible to get away with it? Who then will call you to account? And whose standard must you obey when your own inclines you to evil, and you're certain nobody else can stop you?

Nick_A
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Nick_A » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:46 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:13 am
Belinda wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:14 pm
But man's freedom to be good is not all or nothing. Each person can be relatively free to be a good person. One of the means to be free to be a good person is to understand one's own emotional reactions.
In a world without God, the term "good person" means nothing. Why shouldn't a person be "bad" if he or she thinks it serves his or her purposes, he or she wants to do it, and he or she thinks it's possible to get away with it? Who then will call you to account? And whose standard must you obey when your own inclines you to evil, and you're certain nobody else can stop you?
How good bad music and bad reasons sound when we march against an enemy. Friedrich Nietzsche
In a world without God, good and bad actions are determined by mood. The quickest way to turn good into bad and calling it good is by marching against an enemy. Create an enemy and march. You will be justified. This is real magic.

davidm
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by davidm » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:49 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:13 am
Belinda wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:14 pm
But man's freedom to be good is not all or nothing. Each person can be relatively free to be a good person. One of the means to be free to be a good person is to understand one's own emotional reactions.
In a world without God, the term "good person" means nothing.
Of course it does. "Good" and "bad" are man-made concepts. There is no good or bad outside of sentient agents. Our conception of good and bad is partly a result of our nature as evolved social species, and partly cultural and therefore contingent.
Why shouldn't a person be "bad" if he or she thinks it serves his or her purposes, he or she wants to do it, and he or she thinks it's possible to get away with it?
You mean like Catholic priests who molest children? Oh, wait ...
Who then will call you to account?
The courts?
And whose standard must you obey when your own inclines you to evil, and you're certain nobody else can stop you?
So you're saying that if one just pretends there is a god, then he will not commit an evil act because ...? How did that work out for child-molesting catholic priests?

This is just the old chestnut that unless we believe in god, we will run amok. Strangely, I have never run amok, killed anyone, molested any children, etc. etc. yet I don't believe that any god exists.

Dostoevsky had one of his characters say, "If god does not exist, all is permitted." Zizek overturned this: "If God exists, all is permitted." Try to think why.

davidm
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by davidm » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:04 am

Belinda wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:31 pm
davidm wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:29 pm
Belinda wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:07 pm
If an event was a determined event that event necessarily happened.
No.
Could you possibly explain please ?
A determined event, assuming it is determined, is nevertheless still a contingent occurrence. The only necessary truths are those that, if one were to conceive them otherwise, a logical contradiction would arise.

davidm
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Re: Re:

Post by davidm » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:30 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:27 pm
davidm wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:22 pm
I, myself, have never met a compatibilist who pulled such a card. I have to wonder if you know the definition of compatibilism.
I have to wonder what you mean by "Compatibilism" too.

Please enlighten me.
Compatibilism has been debated for many centuries. Not a single compatibilist has ever argued, "Well, somehow, mysteriously, these things turn out to be compatible." Now you may think that is what compatibilist arguments amount to, and if so you are entitled to your opinion. But it is not true that compatibilists say this as part of their argument, which is what you claimed.

Classical compatibilism does not hide determinism in a "closet," and moreover holds that determinism is necessary for free will, for if the world were indeterministic there would be no way to predict the outcome of our actions. Causal determinism need not be undermined by quantum indeterminism, either, since it appears that QM indeterminism is washed out at the classical level (ours) into something that closely tracks determinism.

The classical compatibilist holds that while our motives are determined, we are free to act upon them unless some external factor blocks us from doing so. And this, they say, is a sufficient account of freedom. Of course there is much more to compatibilism, and a wide variety of variations (none of them involving your "mysteriously") but that should be sufficient for now. Also, you shouldn't assume that I am a compatibilist.

Belinda
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Belinda » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:59 am

davidm wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:04 am
Belinda wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:31 pm
davidm wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:29 pm


No.
Could you possibly explain please ?
A determined event, assuming it is determined, is nevertheless still a contingent occurrence. The only necessary truths are those that, if one were to conceive them otherwise, a logical contradiction would arise.
Please bear with my unwillingness to abandon my faith in strong causal determinism, and thanks for your explanation. I think that your point of view regards causal chains in time only, and thus far it is true. However once that causal determinism is viewed as an entire network of connectivity, in other worlds once that causal determinism is absolute , there would be a logical contradiction between what happened and what was contingent .

I have been thinking about modal, and epistemic, possibility. With those as models it's epistemically possible for a temporal event to be contingent, and for the same event to be modally, eternally, impossible i.e. what I called "absolute" causal determinism, and "an entire network of connectivity".
Last edited by Belinda on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Belinda
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Belinda » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:59 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
In a world without God, the term "good person" means nothing. Why shouldn't a person be "bad" if he or she thinks it serves his or her purposes, he or she wants to do it, and he or she thinks it's possible to get away with it? Who then will call you to account? And whose standard must you obey when your own inclines you to evil, and you're certain nobody else can stop you?
There are other criteria than God's revelation regarding good.

Some of those criteria are inherent in mammals who live socially; other criteria are enshrined in traditions which it's true were significantly mediated by religions.

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Noax
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Noax » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:26 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:09 am
It wasn't a definition. It is just the logical consequence of the view.
Unbacked assertion.
Noax wrote:Consider an automaton robot in a factory rejecting bad parts as they pass by. The robot's function is to make choices and act on them.
This is an incorrect way to put it. Robots do not "make choices": they follow their programming.
That's why I selected that example. A robot makes choices. It does not "make choices". I defined what it is to do that. The robot comprehends enough to make the choice. It needs to comprehend the difference between a part to be kept or not. A rock does not choose where it rolls or when it splits. The difference between what the rock does and what the robot does is choice.
The robot might work without programming at all, but a computer one would indeed be following its programming. The volition is genuine, and it has free will if its choice is not inhibited from effecting the choice made. This definition is not confined to one or the other view. It works for your view as well where the robot has a mind, but no free will because the mental part has (by your assertion) no way of effecting its choice. So the physical programming does its cause/effect job. Supposedly humans do have a way to do that, but if there actually was, it would be physics, not metaphysics. So actually your way is impossible by your own definitions. Your will cannot act, because if it could, it would be part of the material.

This, BTW, is what I meant several posts ago when I say you don't state your position. You don't answer that question. You don't say what the purpose of this soul is beyond nametag and epiphenomenal qualia, or via what mechanism it effects any difference to something physical. I don't care how it works (black box), but it is pure fantasy without positing an empirical effect. The view is open to black box falsification and utterly fails the test.
So will seems to be the result of any choice making process, be it physical or not.
This is incorrect. You should read Searle's "Chinese Room" thought experiment, and you'd understand why it's wrong.
I have. Was unaware that it was about 'will', but then I didn't draw Searle's concluson either. It was a poor conception of something designed to fail a black box Turing test. The China-brain was more white box, and closer to the mark. If feel sorry for China, which seems to have become a synonym for incomprehensible, or land-of-minions.

Anyway, it is not 'incorrect'. I'm defining will here, since you persist in your strawman definitions when asserting how these words must be defined for a view you desire to be contradictory. 'Will' is what a thing wants to do, the output of 'choice'. If a thing makes no choices, it has no will. The robot vs. rock example illustrated the difference. If you disagree with the definitions, point out where it doesn't work without using your biased premises, especially the 'humans are special' premise. But all your arguments seem to revolve around "that's not my conception of those words", which carries no weight.

IC wrote:The Materialist would have to be willing to accept that his or her very natural and understandable distaste for such explanations would not count as any reason against them being true.
Read the bold above again, and you'll see I've refuted that impression already. I assert no such thing.
I included that quote because it asserted that I must find the consequences distasteful. But only when not thought out. There's a great comfort to it, even if not an intuitive first guess.
I'm saying that when an ideology leads to nothing but misery, either accept the misery or change the ideology. Either way, be consistent. But the Materialist has to say, "I cling to my horrid ideology because I want unrestricted moral and volitional "freedom", but will not follow its logical conclusions, which are that I don't matter, there is no morality, and freedom is an illusion." It is that duplicity against which I am speaking.
I find zero misery in it. Horrid?? Where do you get this? The materialist has to say none of this. You seem to demonstrate zero comprehension of the view and have instead painted this mutilated picture lest you be tempted by the consistency of it. The JWs actually forbid thinking about it for exactly that reason. It is a sin to be rational.

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Sir-Sister-of-Suck
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:52 am

It's never been something I've taken an exborant interest into, so I'd feel dishonest to pretend I'm not far from the best person to object to it one way or the other.

But one objection I've always found to be interesting was one based on 'Gödel's incompleteness theorem'. It was basically an argument stating the incapability for a conscious entity to obtain full information even in a deterministic universe. Assuming there was a supercomputer capable of looking into the neural patterns of your brain and predict what you're about to do, the neural pattern would change once presented with the information that supercomputer would show you. The problem is that this presents a potentially (or arguable, a necessary) infinite loop of a supercomputer (and you) reformulating its predictions based on what you'd do with the information presented to you if the information was presented to you that the information was presented to you, and so on and so forth.

But that doesn't actually disprove a 'deterministic' universe that philosophers typically describe. It just means that particular (or any) supercomputer is incapable of gathering all the information needed to show you the ultimate outcome of your own actions. The presentation of the information is not possible to a being that can change its information if it sees the presentation of that information. Of course 'change' is probably the wrong word here, because it's really just that the theorem cannot be completed.

However, if it's true it will always be logically impossible to predict ones own actions, it doesn't mean that the information isn't still pre-set. It can still be predicted by something or someone outside its influence. For example, with this supercomputer, I could predict what someone else is going to do, assuming their actions don't involve me in any way. My main point to all this, I think this raises the question whether 'determinism' is actually the right word to describe a pre-set universe. If it can be admitted that certain strands of information can't actually be determined by a conscious entity, is it really 'determined' at all?

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Noax
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Noax » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:31 pm

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:52 am
But one objection I've always found to be interesting was one based on 'Gödel's incompleteness theorem'. It was basically an argument stating the incapability for a conscious entity to obtain full information even in a deterministic universe. Assuming there was a supercomputer capable of looking into the neural patterns of your brain and predict what you're about to do, the neural pattern would change once presented with the information that supercomputer would show you.
Gödel's theorem did not particularly involve conscious entities. Prediction of a future state cannot be done from within a deterministic universe even if it could get perfect information (it can't in ours: Heisenberg's uncertainty) because the predictor would need to simulate itself, being part of the state of the universe on which the predicted outcome is based. No computer can simulate itself faster than it runs, or else we would not need to design faster computers, but just simulate them with slower ones.
That's the proof in a nutshell.

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PauloL
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by PauloL » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:01 pm

.




I have a question for determinism and free will experts:

Is it deterministic whether a person wins a lottery? Or determinism doesn't apply to anything outside human behavior?

I think determinism even applies to rolling dice, but I'm not sure.




.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:34 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:46 am
How good bad music and bad reasons sound when we march against an enemy. Friedrich Nietzsche

In a world without God, good and bad actions are determined by mood. The quickest way to turn good into bad and calling it good is by marching against an enemy. Create an enemy and march. You will be justified. This is real magic.
Quite so. :!:

Or, to put it another way, "this is real power."

Nietzsche said first (but Foucault developed) the idea that the secret behind all apparent "morality" is simply a power play by one group against another, an attempt to "enslave," as he put it. Thus, "right" becomes nothing other than the ideology used by the more powerful to tyrannize the less powerful, and "wrong" is the contrary position held by the oppressed.

There is indeed something "magical" -- we might say "black-magical" -- about the alchemy that turns "right" into nothing but the propaganda of oppression and "wrong" into the 'virtuous' cry of the oppressed. That is a transformation indeed.

Well said.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:42 pm

davidm wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:49 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:13 am
In a world without God, the term "good person" means nothing.
Of course it does. "Good" and "bad" are man-made concepts.
You just agreed with me, without realizing it, apparently. That which is "man-made" merely cannot be justified or legitimized. It's fictive, not real.
There is no good or bad outside of sentient agents.
God is a sentient Agent, of course.
Our conception of good and bad is partly a result of our nature as evolved social species, and partly cultural and therefore contingent.
Again, you agree with me. If there' s no God, then morality is merely an evolutionary oddity like the "vestigial tail": a thing we might just as likely get over as regard with any special concern. It's an "IS" without any "OUGHT." It's existence is a fact, but it imparts no duty or value (Hume).
Why shouldn't a person be "bad" if he or she thinks it serves his or her purposes, he or she wants to do it, and he or she thinks it's possible to get away with it?
You mean like Catholic priests who molest children? Oh, wait ...
Exactly like that.

Why not use "virtue" as a Nietzschean cover for oppression and exploitation? Why not, for...
Who then will call you to account?
The courts?
Which courts? The Western courts will pronounce the priest in question a pedophile; the Sharia courts will award him additional child slave-"brides." Both are courts.

And if the priest is crafty, and does not get caught at all, then what?
And whose standard must you obey when your own inclines you to evil, and you're certain nobody else can stop you?
So you're saying that if one just pretends there is a god, then he will not commit an evil act because ...? How did that work out for child-molesting catholic priests?
No. Pretending will not do. Nor will having just any God.
This is just the old chestnut that unless we believe in god, we will run amok. Strangely, I have never run amok, killed anyone, molested any children, etc. etc. yet I don't believe that any god exists.
This would perhaps prove you're a better person than your creed. But it doesn't suggest the creed gave you any reason not to do these things.

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Sir-Sister-of-Suck
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:43 pm

Noax wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:31 pm
Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:52 am
But one objection I've always found to be interesting was one based on 'Gödel's incompleteness theorem'. It was basically an argument stating the incapability for a conscious entity to obtain full information even in a deterministic universe. Assuming there was a supercomputer capable of looking into the neural patterns of your brain and predict what you're about to do, the neural pattern would change once presented with the information that supercomputer would show you.
Gödel's theorem did not particularly involve conscious entities. Prediction of a future state cannot be done from within a deterministic universe even if it could get perfect information (it can't in ours: Heisenberg's uncertainty) because the predictor would need to simulate itself, being part of the state of the universe on which the predicted outcome is based. No computer can simulate itself faster than it runs, or else we would not need to design faster computers, but just simulate them with slower ones.
That's the proof in a nutshell.
The Godel incompleteness theorem isn't actually an objection to determinism at all, I'm just saying this was an objection inspired from it that I've seen made on forums before. It's an interesting one, because it actually makes me think of our consciousness in a different and unique way. We're one of the only things whose variables can depend on the mere presentation of another variable.

I've seen extrapolations which state that this means that no prediction could ever be made about anything, because this alone messes with the butterfly effect. I think that's a bit of a stretch, though. Are you a determinist?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:54 pm

Noax wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:26 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:09 am
It wasn't a definition. It is just the logical consequence of the view.
Unbacked assertion.
I can back it. Just try to show that that is not where Determinism goes: you can't. Logic leads you there.
The robot comprehends enough to make the choice.
"Comprehends" is not a verb one can use literally about robots. They "comprehend" nothing at all.

See Searle's "Chinese Room".
It needs to comprehend the difference between a part to be kept or not.
It "comprehends" nothing. It mechanically responds to an algorithm specifying that when a sensor inputs X, then Y is the next command, and when Z is inputted, A is the next command. It knows nothing at all about what it is being made to do.
Your will cannot act, because if it could, it would be part of the material.

This, BTW, is what I meant several posts ago when I say you don't state your position.
If I understood your question, I would attempt an answer. Your question doesn't make any sense to me: what "position"? :shock: And what "question"? :shock: I don't even see a question-mark there, so how can I answer what has not been asked? :shock:
This is incorrect. You should read Searle's "Chinese Room" thought experiment, and you'd understand why it's wrong.
I have. Was unaware that it was about 'will', but then I didn't draw Searle's concluson either. It was a poor conception of something designed to fail a black box Turing test.
You've misunderstood the Turing Test if you suppose it's a rejoinder to the Chinese Room problem. Turing was interested in quite a different question than Searle. Searle wanted to ask, "Can computers think?" and Turing wanted to say, "Forget that: can computers fool people into imagining that they are thinking beings?" These are separate issues.
IC wrote:The Materialist would have to be willing to accept that his or her very natural and understandable distaste for such explanations would not count as any reason against them being true.
Read the bold above again, and you'll see I've refuted that impression already. I assert no such thing.
I included that quote because it asserted that I must find the consequences distasteful. But only when not thought out. There's a great comfort to it, even if not an intuitive first guess.[/quote]
I'm interested in that. What "comfort" do you get from Materialism or Determinism?
The JWs actually forbid thinking about it for exactly that reason. It is a sin to be rational.
Good thing I'm not a JW. :D I wouldn't cotton to that.

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