## Free Will vs Determinism

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davidm
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:08 pm
davidm wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:50 pm
...it fails to show that an actual infinite is not possible....
Actually, I've given you a solid demonstration of it.

Start counting forward from an infinitely receded starting point, if you can. That's a perfect demonstration of why an actual infinite regression of causes is impossible.

And so far, you're not counting, are you?
Right, as has been demonstrated, one can successively add to an actual infinity and continue to form an infinite. This is rather elementary. What part of it don't you get?

davidm
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:08 pm
davidm wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:50 pm
...it fails to show that an actual infinite is not possible....
Actually, I've given you a solid demonstration of it.

Start counting forward from an infinitely receded starting point, if you can. That's a perfect demonstration of why an actual infinite regression of causes is impossible.

And so far, you're not counting, are you?
From here.
If you form a collection by adding one member after another, each addition increases the number of members in the set by a finite amount. In other words, the number of members in the set progresses higher on the scale of natural numbers with each addition. Since no natural number is the immediate predecessor of actual infinity, a set formed in this manner can never reach the point when the number of members in the set is equal to actual infinity. Hence, a collection formed by successive addition, even one progressing indefinitely into the future, would merely be a potentially infinite set. The principle that underlies this reasoning is often called the impossibility of traversing the infinite—it is impossible to progress from a finite set to an actually infinite set through successive addition.

This principle is certainly sound, but it is important to note that it only applies to finite sets. Thus, if this principle is going to serve as a part of a valid argument in support of (5)—a collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite—then Craig must make the additional assumption that:

7. All collections formed by successive addition are finite at some point.

This assumption seems, at the very least, contestable. It is not immediately apparent why all collections formed by successive addition must be finite at one point, and, as far as I can tell, Craig offers no explicit reason to de- fend this assumption. We can certainly conceive of a collection formed by successive addition that was at no point finite—consider an actual infinite collection that has always been an actual infinite and is being added to successively.

In fact, Paul Draper points out that if the universe is eternal, then the temporal series of events in time would be such a collection. Draper is worth quoting at length:

"If the temporal regress of events is infinite, then the universe has never had a finite number of past events. Rather, it has always been the case that the collection of past events is infinite. Thus, if the temporal regress of events is infinite, then the temporal series of events is not an infinite collection formed by successively adding to a finite collection. Rather, it is a collection formed by successively adding to an infinite collection. And surely it is not impossible to form an infinite collection by successively adding to an already infinite collection."
Bottom line: You and Craig are just wrong.

davidm
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Everyone should also note that Ican has failed to respond to this post:

davidm wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:37 pm
Imagine this a different way. I tried to illustrate this graphically, but the shitty software here won't let me.

Imagine a line, a double vector: there is a line with two arrows at each end. The arrow at the left end of the line points left, and the arrow at the right end points right. We're going to label this line "space." The left-pointing arrow is labeled "west" and the the right-pointing arrow is labeled "east."

In the middle of the line, equidistant from the left- and right-pointing arrows, are the words: YOU ARE HERE.

QUESTION: Is there any reason to believe that the west pointing arrow, and the east pointing arrow, don't go on forever in their respective spatial directions?

Now we are going to duplicate this double-arrowed vector and label it "time."

The left-pointing arrow is labeled "past" and the right-pointing arrow is labeled "future."

In the middle of the line, equidistant from the left- and right-pointing arrows, are the words: YOU ARE NOW.

QUESTION: Is there any reason to believe that the past-pointing arrow, and the future-pointing arrow, don't go on forever in their respective temporal directions?

Remember that under general relativity, space and time are fused: spacetime. This means that every event in spacetime has four coordinates: three of space and one of time. From this it follows automatically that if space is infinite, so is time.

Belinda
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Davidm wrote:
I understand what you mean by an event. But you didn't say who is the authority who defined.
This is a consequence of general relativity. All events in spacetime are defined by four coordinates. Moreover, all of them exist. The past, present and future all exist.

Your answer, Davidm , is about a model of reality, (don't you physicists call it the Standard Model?) but it's not reality, it's a highly predictive model of reality.

I don't necessarily refer to the ever-retreating thing in itself; because it may be the case that the other models of reality (arts and maybe mysticism) together with the physics model, will reveal reality to us.

davidm
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Belinda wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:47 am
Davidm wrote:
I understand what you mean by an event. But you didn't say who is the authority who defined.
This is a consequence of general relativity. All events in spacetime are defined by four coordinates. Moreover, all of them exist. The past, present and future all exist.

Your answer, Davidm , is about a model of reality, (don't you physicists call it the Standard Model?) but it's not reality, it's a highly predictive model of reality.

I don't necessarily refer to the ever-retreating thing in itself; because it may be the case that the other models of reality (arts and maybe mysticism) together with the physics model, will reveal reality to us.
All we have are models of reality. The scientific models of reality are the only consistently successful ones. I pick science over bullshit.

Belinda
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

That's your cards on the table then, Davidm.

I 'm agnostic. If science is more than shut up and calculate I respect it more.

davidm
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Belinda wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:56 am
That's your cards on the table then, Davidm.

I 'm agnostic. If science is more than shut up and calculate I respect it more.
Well, it is more than shut up and calculate, for some scientists like Einstein. Others, not so much. I'm not quite sure what you're agnostic about.

Belinda
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Davidm wrote:
Well, it is more than shut up and calculate, for some scientists like Einstein. Others, not so much. I'm not quite sure what you're agnostic about.
Science is the main model for me too. To be honest I think the arts and mysticism not to mention religion and philosophy are failing as models. However the argument is not over. I don't know who can argue against science's status as the one and only model of reality . But it's not right to mistake the pointer for the moon.

Robert Pirsig maybe, regarding quality.
"Good is a noun. That was it. That was what Phaedrus had been looking for. That was the homer, over the fence, that ended the ball game. Good as a noun rather than as an adjective is all the Metaphysics of Quality is about. Of course, the ultimate Quality isn't a noun or an adjective or anything else definable, but if you had to reduce the whole Metaphysics of Quality to a single sentence, that would be it
My point is that truth including scientific truth is a subset of good.

Wyman
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Belinda wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:21 am
Wyman wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:56 pm
Belinda wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:40 pm
It's a sign of freedom that you have responsibilities. It's a weak and therefore unfree man who shrugs off responsibilities.

If there really was Free Will, what a responsibility that would be! The only person capable of bearing the responsibility of Free Will would be God.
"If we concede that human life can be governed by reason, the possibility of life is destroyed." - Tolstoi, War and Peace
But Free Will is not the same as non-rational behaviour. Free Will is neither rational or non-rational: it's random.

Why I said that God is the only person who can bear Free Will is that God is accepted as the only being who knows everything. In our human ignorance the only freedom of which we are capable is relative freedom.
If we are governed by physical laws (the laws of physics) then free will is impossible. Laws are discovered and understood by reason. The impossibility of free will leads to nihilism, which destroys the possibility of life.

Nick_A
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Belinda
If we are governed by physical laws (the laws of physics) then free will is impossible. Laws are discovered and understood by reason. The impossibility of free will leads to nihilism, which destroys the possibility of life.
The creature of reaction called animal man is governed by universal laws as is the rest of organic life on earth. Everything that happens is a result of the interactions of universal laws.

However, the universe is also governed by consciousness. Where animal man is a creature of mechanical REACTION, conscious man is capable of conscious ACTION and conscious action requires understanding how to manipulate universal laws and the free will necessary to make conscious action possible. The fact that we lack free will is nothing to be nihilistic about but rather it inspires some to make the inner efforts necessary to acquire human consciousness and free will.

Belinda
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Nick, Wyman not I wrote what you quoted.

I agree with your reply which if I understand you I myself could have written

SpheresOfBalance
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Location: On a Star Dust Metamorphosis

### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

The facts are, (the truth is), that for animals, free will exists within the framework of determinism. PERIOD!!! Once we consider brains it's self evident. All that led up to animal existence was universally determined, and all that any particular animal is capable of, is also universally determined, but within the realm of animal capability exists a small amount of variability, that is not universally determined, and that exists within brains, the minds of animals. It's called choice. When a predator chases a herd of prey, they scatter in all directions. The directions in which they scatter is based upon both determinism and free will. All life can have the "WILL" to survive, but it's not necessarily so, as some may have the "will" to give up and succumb to life's greatest fear, death! The animals can run until they die of their own accord, run themselves to death, or they can simply quit running, thus choosing to die, because they're tired of running. Within that moment, there was free will, to run oneself to death or relax and accept death freely. Free Will can only exist in the mind of an animal. No where else is it universally possible for free will to exist, as the physics of the universe dictate, determine, everything about the physical makeup of everything, including the mind, yet the mind can choose some things. So the fact that it can choose is deterministic, but what it chooses, while bound by the laws of determinism, is free to choose, the choice is not fully determined, only what can be chosen is.

Within the choosing of any "one," of all the variables of what can be chosen, lies free will.

One can choose that they have had enough education to finalize any particular decision, or they can choose to study some more, so as to better inform that decision. They can also revise a previous decision as new experience from the environment informs, so by chance they can revise, or depending upon the scope of revision, decide that the gain would not be worth the effort. This is not determinism at work, rather it's free will. As no two people, while being unique as to experience, thus aim, will choose the same resolve. Even if all the finer details are explained such that they are both capable of seeing the benefit of revision, what they have decided to believe in long ago, also informs their decision, determines it, but it was their choice to believe in that which others may not believe, that informs their decision. So our choices, (free will), can in fact be deterministic as well as that which the universe has determined.

Still, belief in a god or otherwise is proof of free will, if not for free will, we would know all truths of the universe, we would all agree, and we would all be correct. The physics of the universe is not variable, it is set in stone, it has been since the beginning of time, yet mankind's understanding of it has only ever increased, and that which has allowed us to progress, as slowly as we have, as to our understanding of it, is the minds "free will" to learn about it.

The fact that we argue about this topic is proof that all human interest is not determined, that in "fact," free will exists, within the framework of determinism!

For all you hardcore determinists: Are we all exactly the same, or is there a variance between us? Within that variance is contained free will! Sure it's small, universally speaking, but it exists none the less.

Happy Holidays to all!

And if you don't celebrate any of the upcoming holidays, relax, take a deep breath, and celebrate life, as it is in fact a gift, worth celebrating!

Londoner
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

SpheresOfBalance wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:29 pm
The facts are, (the truth is), that for animals, free will exists within the framework of determinism. PERIOD!!!
I'd say that if we describe things scientifically then that is true, but only because science does not concern itself with certain types of experience.

Science does not claim those experiences do not exist. It simply disregards them.

davidm
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Time, Change and Freedom

A free online book that I discovered yesterday and then read all the way through. It touches on virtually everything that has been discussed in this thread, in some detail. It agrees with me. Logical determinism, theological determinism and causal determinism pose no threat to free will. Distinctions made between libertarian and compatibilist free will. Note especially Dialogue 2, which concerns the possibility of an actually infinite past. Not only does it agree with me that such a past is possible, but it explains in some detail why this is so (similar to my explanations but much more fleshed out). To reiterate, ICan’s argument that there must be a first cause, because there cannot be an infinite past, has utterly collapsed.

Bear in mind, to say that there is an infinite past, is not to say that there is an infinitely past event. It is to say, rather, that there are an infinite number of finitely past events.

Nick_A
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### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Consider the question from a Buddhist perspective:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions ... se_1.shtml

Notice that the various realms are fixed accept for that of humanity:
• The realm of humanity: although humans suffer, this is considered the most fortunate state because humans have the greatest chance of enlightenment
So without enlightenment, there is no free will or choice and continual existence is determined by the interactions of universal laws.

God cannot be first cause from this perspective but rather is the NOW, the continual source from which the life forces emanate and existence takes place. Conscious choice being made available through enlightenment and experiential awareness of the human condition is a potential for an individual. The rest will argue into eternity.

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