## Free Will vs Determinism

For all things philosophical.

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henry quirk
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### "some variable is causing Henry to be intransigent in the matter of Free Will.

Not a 'variable': just simple obvious reality.
Belinda
Posts: 4292
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: "some variable is causing Henry to be intransigent in the matter of Free Will.

henry quirk wrote: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 pm Not a 'variable': just simple obvious reality.
how do you know what's real?
henry quirk
Posts: 9271
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm
B,

You wonder about my stubbornness which really just acknowleging what is.

Consider: someone tells you fire freezes. You insist 'no, fire burns'. The other insists 'fire freezes' and wonders how it is you can be 'bedazzled' and 'intransigent'. You, on the other hand, wonder how sumthin' so obvious (fire burns) can be denied by the other.

Would you take kindly to the other attemptin' to 'school' you in 'fire freezes'?

Probably not.

Here's where we -- you and me -- sit: i am certain I am a free will; you are certain you are not.

Very much, it's irresistible force vs immovable object.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

### Re:

henry quirk wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:54 pm B,

You wonder about my stubbornness which really just acknowleging what is.

Consider: someone tells you fire freezes. You insist 'no, fire burns'. The other insists 'fire freezes' and wonders how it is you can be 'bedazzled' and 'intransigent'. You, on the other hand, wonder how sumthin' so obvious (fire burns) can be denied by the other.

Would you take kindly to the other attemptin' to 'school' you in 'fire freezes'?

Probably not.

Here's where we -- you and me -- sit: i am certain I am a free will; you are certain you are not.

Very much, it's irresistible force vs immovable object.
As an impartial observer to this interaction let me point out what I see.

One person (A) claims to be a jugonwarmupf. The other person (B) claims that A is not a jugonwarmupf.

Neither the self-proclaimed jugonwarmupf nor the jugonwarmupf-objector have actually come to any sort of consensus on whether they use the word 'jugonwarmupf' in a similar way and whether they mean the same thing (empirically).

Yay! Internet arguments. People talking right past each other.
henry quirk
Posts: 9271
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm
L,

I think both B and me have defined (through example and description) what our individual positions are. I don't think we're talkin' past each other. I hear her, she hears me: we just fundamentally disagree with each other.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

### Re:

henry quirk wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:57 pm L,

I think both B and me have defined (through example and description) what our individual positions are. I don't think we're talkin' past each other. I hear her, she hears me: we just fundamentally disagree with each other.

The thing with irresistible forces and immovable objects... it's resolvable by experiment. Make them crash. Either the object will move or it won't...

And as Aumann's agreement theorem goes...
In game theory, Aumann's agreement theorem is a theorem which demonstrates that rational agents with common knowledge of each other's beliefs cannot agree to disagree.
To agree to disagree is to refuse to unpack it as deep as it needs to be unpacked...
henry quirk
Posts: 9271
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

### "To agree to disagree is to refuse to unpack it as deep as it needs to be unpacked"

It can also mean a body has ridden a particular pony enough times to know when to get off (cuz the pony just keeps goin' 'round and 'round).

I've ridden this pony many times, for pages and pages and pages, through experiment and example, in this forum and others, and the results are always the same (no one budges).

You'll forgive me, L, if I decline to waste even more time than I have already.
Belinda
Posts: 4292
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re:

henry quirk wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:54 pm B,

You wonder about my stubbornness which really just acknowleging what is.

Consider: someone tells you fire freezes. You insist 'no, fire burns'. The other insists 'fire freezes' and wonders how it is you can be 'bedazzled' and 'intransigent'. You, on the other hand, wonder how sumthin' so obvious (fire burns) can be denied by the other.

Would you take kindly to the other attemptin' to 'school' you in 'fire freezes'?

Probably not.

Here's where we -- you and me -- sit: i am certain I am a free will; you are certain you are not.

Very much, it's irresistible force vs immovable object.
That's 'empirical reality', it's learning from experience . We all do it and intelligent other animals do it too. However there 's no evidence nor learning from experience about metaphysical reality. Free Will /Determinism is a debate about metaphysics not empirical reality. It's clear to me that your idea of free will is ability of a rational free man to make voluntary decisions and choices. I guess that is most people's idea of what 'free will ' means

But that's not what Free Will means when philosophers compare Free Will and Determinism.

You and I have very little choice but to withdraw our hands from a burning hot surface. Likewise we have little choice about being born into a poor or a criminal family. The man who believes in philosophical Free Will believes that there are occasions when he can choose without having been caused to choose. The man who believes in Determinism believes that his choices may feel free to himself but are caused by events most of which he isn't aware of, and that he could not have chosen otherwise than he did.
henry quirk
Posts: 9271
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm
"It's clear to me that your idea of free will is ability of a rational free man to make voluntary decisions and choices."

Yeah, that's not right.

#

"The man who believes in philosophical Free Will believes that there are occasions when he can choose without having been caused to choose."

No, such a man (like me) knows he is the cause.
henry quirk
Posts: 9271
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm
Agent Causation (my position): an agent can start new causal chains not determined by prior events. This is in contrast to Causal Determinism (your position).

[goin' make some money...back later]
Belinda
Posts: 4292
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re:

henry quirk wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:24 pm "It's clear to me that your idea of free will is ability of a rational free man to make voluntary decisions and choices."

Yeah, that's not right.

#

"The man who believes in philosophical Free Will believes that there are occasions when he can choose without having been caused to choose."

No, such a man (like me) knows he is the cause.
I'd say that he is never the originator of his actions. I think that the whole set of causes and effects is the originator of what a man chooses to do. If this man knows a lot about what causes what he will have a lot of choices.
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

### Re: Re:

Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:36 pm
henry quirk wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:24 pm "It's clear to me that your idea of free will is ability of a rational free man to make voluntary decisions and choices."

Yeah, that's not right.

#

"The man who believes in philosophical Free Will believes that there are occasions when he can choose without having been caused to choose."

No, such a man (like me) knows he is the cause.
I'd say that he is never the originator of his actions. I think that the whole set of causes and effects is the originator of what a man chooses to do. If this man knows a lot about what causes what he will have a lot of choices.
This book pretty much tackles the discussion in an approachable way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fooled_by_Randomness - it translates the key consequences of probability theory into English.

That you have no "total control" is certain.
That you have a choice in how to manage your lack of control so you don't go bust is far more important.
Belinda
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Logik, when that book about probability talks about 'randomness' , does it mean uncaused, or does it mean impossible to discern the cause?
Belinda
Posts: 4292
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:13 am

### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Logik, when that book about probability talks about 'randomness' , does it mean uncaused, or does it mean impossible to discern the cause?
Logik
Posts: 4041
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

### Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Belinda wrote: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:57 pm Logik, when that book about probability talks about 'randomness' , does it mean uncaused, or does it mean impossible to discern the cause?
From a consequentialist viewpoint the distinction is immaterial.

From a 1st person perspective things are either in your control or out of your control.

Everything that happens to you is caused.

Who or what it is caused by (even your own stupidity) is moot.

Part and parcel of all risk management is how to avoid catastrophe while taking into account that which you can/cannot predict and that which you can/cannot control.

We can predict/control very little and we have finite resources to focus our attention on problems that need fixing. Everything we put our energy towards is an insurance policy. Hospitals, higiene, fire station, road safety standards.

The expectation is that with all those safety mechanisms in place we reduce overall risk.

Still, the cynics in my field would say: prevention is better than cure, but amputation is better than death.

You do the best you can with the options and resources at your disposal.