Free Will vs Determinism

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thedoc
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Re:

Post by thedoc » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:53 am

henry quirk wrote:"There are so many dishonest jerks in this world"

Nah, it just seems that way...the dishonest jerks, just robots; the honest, likable types, just robots...that's what determinism sez...me: tired of goin' against the flow...I welcome my shiny, chrome, robot-status...no longer will I defend or justify or explain...don't blame me for jack, I'm just a determined event, just a link in a causal chain.
"The Devil made me do it."

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Re:

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:02 am

thedoc wrote:
henry quirk wrote:"There are so many dishonest jerks in this world"

Nah, it just seems that way...the dishonest jerks, just robots; the honest, likable types, just robots...that's what determinism sez...me: tired of goin' against the flow...I welcome my shiny, chrome, robot-status...no longer will I defend or justify or explain...don't blame me for jack, I'm just a determined event, just a link in a causal chain.
"The Devil made me do it."
Heh. Right. :)

Well, you might have the motivation right, Henry. But that wouldn't show they were wrong, per se; it might indicate that they were right. But interestingly, if they are incapable of blame they would also have to be incapable of genuine change -- which would mean that reformation was an illusion too. Whatever they are, or would have become anyway (because it's all preset, you see), that would not only be the worst they could be, it would also be the best we could reasonably expect them to be. We could not expect to argue them into improvement (since they have no free will actually), so we can't actually help anyone.

Sounds kind of anti-intellectual, anti-humanitarian and awfully restrictive to me. But I guess it does perhaps get one out of the fear of being judged and found guilty...if one can ever actually believe it.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:48 pm

"if one can ever actually believe it"

That there is the nub for me.

I've asked many determinists (as I asked that fella, Dave, just now, in another thread), 'why is it so easy to dismiss the sense thst you choose, that you self-direct, in favor of 'cause and effect'?' As I say, I don't deny cause and effect, but neither can I deny the reality of my choosing and self-directing. I can't pretend my agency is (or that I'm) an illusion, and I wonder how determinists can.

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Immanuel Can
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Re:

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:36 pm

henry quirk wrote:As I say, I don't deny cause and effect, but neither can I deny the reality of my choosing and self-directing. I can't pretend my agency is (or that I'm) an illusion, and I wonder how determinists can.
Some of them talk about it as "liberating." I guess what it can "liberate" you from is any sense that you are expected to achieve anything or that you are wrong for anything you may have happened to do.

But the price is that you live in Max Weber's "iron cage" of Determinism.

If "ought implies can," as the Ethics axiom says, then Determinism tells you you "ought not" simply because you "can not, or cannot not." So you cannot be responsible at all.

Neither can you achieve anything worthy of praise. But that's a price some seem willing to pay...the question of Determinism's actual truthfulness apparently no longer bothering them.

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bahman
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by bahman » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:13 pm

devonmm wrote: I was a Political science major with a minor in philosophy, and I've come to realize that most political debates seem to boil down to a difference in opinion onfree will vs determinism. Free will thinkers are typically conservatives that believe we have the power to make our own choices, and therefor place blame when a negative choice is made. They refute the idea of determinism assuming there'd be no personal responsibility taken in our actions if it were true.

People that believe in determinism are typically liberals who believe that individuals are a product of their inborn traits and the environment, and if society is to change, we'd have to change the environment that shapes the brain as it develops. They refute free will assuming the concept creates blame and hatred.

For example.. Take a criminal. The free will thinker believes that the person chose to be a criminal and deserves punishment for choosing to become one. If things are to change we need harsher punishments etc.

The deterministic thinker believes the person is merely a statistic. 1 out of every x amount of people will become criminals. It's not the persons fault that they became a statistic. If things are to change we need to change society to lower chances of people becoming criminals..

My question is, how can someone actually believe in free will? If free will exists.. molecules and chemicals that drive our actions are being created in the brain from nothing, with no initial cause. It goes completely against the law of cause and effect. I don't see how the thought is logical.. Are you reading this post right now because of free will? or because the topic of free will vs determinism interests you and you circumstantially saw the title of this thread and clicked on it? How can anyone not agree that the latter is the case
This is a little complicated. We first need to realise options, knowing situation, before any further move. We can decide on this step using our free will. We can either go one step further and produce prioritised options. In this step we can either pick up the best option, rational decision, or pick up the option we wish, irrational decision.
Last edited by bahman on Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:02 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Terrapin Station » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:48 pm

devonmm, you don't have the phenomenal experience (which presumably you'd believe is illusory) of making choices? Like going to a restaurant and choosing something from a menu. It doesn't phenomenally seem to you that you're capable of doing that?

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A_Seagull
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by A_Seagull » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:59 pm

I never take any notice of determinists as clearly either they have been programmed to say what they say and have no understanding of the world or they are mistaken in thinking that they are determined. Either way, they can be ignored.

Dave Mangnall
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Dave Mangnall » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:30 am

A_Seagull wrote:I never take any notice of determinists as clearly either they have been programmed to say what they say and have no understanding of the world or they are mistaken in thinking that they are determined. Either way, they can be ignored.
Hi, Mr Seagull. Ignore me if you like, as I am a determinist, but why do you join a discussion forum to say you're not interested in discussion?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:11 pm

Dave Mangnall wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:I never take any notice of determinists as clearly either they have been programmed to say what they say and have no understanding of the world or they are mistaken in thinking that they are determined. Either way, they can be ignored.
Hi, Mr Seagull. Ignore me if you like, as I am a determinist, but why do you join a discussion forum to say you're not interested in discussion?
Well, Dave, to be fair...

Why are you interested in discussing? It doesn't square with your professed belief in Determinism.

As a Determinist, you must believe our opinions are not under any "will" of our own that we can adjust. What Seagull or anyone else was going to believe has been predetermined. So why discuss? Nothing will change. Nothing ever does, in Determinism, unless it was already naturalistically programmed to [appear to, but not really] "change" anyway.

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A_Seagull
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by A_Seagull » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:56 pm

Dave Mangnall wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:I never take any notice of determinists as clearly either they have been programmed to say what they say and have no understanding of the world or they are mistaken in thinking that they are determined. Either way, they can be ignored.
Hi, Mr Seagull. Ignore me if you like, as I am a determinist, but why do you join a discussion forum to say you're not interested in discussion?
Because, David, of the possibility that you might be merely mistaken......(as of course I think you are :))

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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by duszek » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:34 pm

How can a determinist ask a question with a "why" to anyone ?

The only answer for him is always: because it has been determined that way, nobody can help "doing" whatever they do.

Someone is not interested in a discussion and joins it anyway ?

It has been determined that way.

It MUST have been determined that way.

Dave Mangnall
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Dave Mangnall » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:14 am

Sorry, Duszek, it's taken me three months to work out the answer to that one!

As a Determinist, it's determined that I sometimes ask "Why?"

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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Dave Mangnall » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:28 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Dave Mangnall wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:I never take any notice of determinists as clearly either they have been programmed to say what they say and have no understanding of the world or they are mistaken in thinking that they are determined. Either way, they can be ignored.
Hi, Mr Seagull. Ignore me if you like, as I am a determinist, but why do you join a discussion forum to say you're not interested in discussion?
Well, Dave, to be fair...

Why are you interested in discussing? It doesn't square with your professed belief in Determinism.

As a Determinist, you must believe our opinions are not under any "will" of our own that we can adjust. What Seagull or anyone else was going to believe has been predetermined. So why discuss? Nothing will change. Nothing ever does, in Determinism, unless it was already naturalistically programmed to [appear to, but not really] "change" anyway.
Hi, Immanuel.

Everything happens as it must, including both my interest in discussion and any changing of minds, either my mind or that of another, as a consequence of that discussion.

It's always interesting when one of the Free Willies tell me what I must believe when clearly I believe nothing of the sort. Usually, as in your case, the error comes from looking at determinism from within the free will model. So you're saying I could use my free will, the one I don't have, to disengage from discussion because it's so pointless.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:59 pm

Dave Mangnall wrote:So you're saying I could use my free will, the one I don't have, to disengage from discussion because it's so pointless.
No, Dave...I'm saying that given the truth of Determinism, there wouldn't be any point in the discussion at all. For how could "discussion" be thought to "change" anything, when a) the state of a person's mind is not the result of free will, but merely of physical preconditions, and b) "change" is only an appearance, being only our misunderstanding of the deep truth of Determinism -- nothing "changed," really: things just proceeded as they were naturally predisposed to proceed.

Both a) and b), of course, are what you would have to believe in order to be a Determinist.

So I'm asking you why you are "discussing, with a view to "changing" people's views, presumably, when you say you are a Determinist. That's seems inconsistent to me, so I want to see how you're thinking about what you're doing.

Of course, if the only reason you're doing it is because you were "fated" to do so by natural forces, then I suppose no response is required. But I'm thinking that perhaps you don't actually believe it...or rather, you say, you believe it, and even sincerely think you believe it; but like every other Determinist I've ever met, find it utterly impossible to live in consistency with your profession of belief.

So you argue, even though you would have to think that changing minds is conceptually impossible in a Deterministic universe...

thedoc
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Re: Free Will vs Determinism

Post by thedoc » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:49 am

The only importance of demonstrating the lack of free will, or demonstrating the truth of determinism, is for criminals to weasel out of punishment for their crimes. Otherwise things will go on just as they are and no-one will notice.

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