compatibilism

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iambiguous
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

What Is Free Will?
Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.
Metaphysically, rather than politically speaking, I’m a libertarian. I believe in free will. That is, I believe there is autonomous mental deciding, at least as far as circumstances allow.
And if I were to ask him how he would go about demonstrating that any of what he believes here he believes because he did opt freely to believe it, how would he go about accomplishing this? Instead, he is in the same boat we're all in. He "just knows" deep down inside that being a metaphysical libertarian reflects the most reasonable frame of mind. And, sure, maybe someday the "hard guys" will confirm this. If they themselves are not confirming only what they were never able not to confirm.
Put another way: as a libertarian, I think my choices, although constrained and given direction by circumstances, are not determined by circumstances, or ultimately, by anything but my mind.
Same thing, of course. It is the profound mystery that is human consciousness itself that makes everything here all the more problematic. On the other hand, given some measure of free will, the fact that, as with all the rest of us, his choices are rooted historically, culturally and experientially in uniquely personal sets of circumstances...? Thus even assuming free will, his political choices might fall anywhere up and down the ideological spectrum. The parts rooted in dasein.
Even though we’re constrained, there’s always at least options of thought we can choose between. Indeed, even if my thinking were beyond my control right up to the point of the choice itself, this wouldn’t stop the moment of choice itself being free.
Again, all I can do here is to ask those who believe this to explain how, in regard to Mary aborting her unborn baby, the thinking that compelled her to kill the baby, suddenly becomes a free choice?! And thus she is morally responsible for doing so?

Instead, this is all "demonstrated" to be true by simply believing that it is true:
And as long as the moment of choice itself is free, there’s free will. So we can further define free will as an ability to specify mental contents which is not absolutely determined by external circumstances. I call such power ‘sovereign choice’; so free will is the capacity for sovereign choice. It means, for your choice to be free, nothing must ultimately determine the choice in the moment of choice except you.
Except the author may well be wholly compelled to believe this in turn. Or back to those profoundly mysterious "internal" components of the brain that just "somehow" allows us to at least believe we are free?
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Re: compatibilism

Post by popeye1945 »

All life on the planet in all its forms untied in essence are reactive creatures tied to the greater reality of the earth and the cosmos. If this were not so evolutionary adaptation could not occur. The Earth plays its organisms as an instrument and the melody it plays through them resonates through time and space, an open system in constant reaction to the shifting constitution of Mother Earth. The spheres govern the tides of one's circulating blood and the earth itself is the cause of the reactions of all organisms, for there is no such thing as human actions, there are but human reactions, and in turn, the reactions of organisms contribute as cause no matter how slight to the continuing changing of the constitution of the Earth. The term context defines takes on a meaning beyond our comprehension, we are functional aspects of our world the world is our larger self our life support, and the governor of all biological life. The concept of free will is but a highly functional illusion severing the organism in its struggle for survival and in its delusion as the self-sufficient agent of the will to life. Life's procreation itself is the will of the species governing the individual, an involuntary movement if you will, in which this individual claims agency. This presumed agency delusional as it is, is then called free will, and used to crucify the individual's lack of perfection in following the codes of behavior whose foundation is built upon ignorance of the life processes of a governing world. This is an impersonal process and deals out more death than life, the price paid by the individual for the continuation of the species. One might think over the eons that human compassion for his fellow creatures would enable the species to see through this oppressive burden of free will and console and deal with the necessities of those dealt a greater burden than one's own. Transform the judicial system and rid ourselves of the instrument of torture the concept of sin. Perhaps it is not too late to mitigate the sufferings of humanity and its fellow creatures, what say you?
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Re: compatibilism

Post by Iwannaplato »

popeye1945 wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:36 am One might think over the eons that human compassion for his fellow creatures would enable the species to see through this oppressive burden of free will and console and deal with the necessities of those dealt a greater burden than one's own. Transform the judicial system and rid ourselves of the instrument of torture the concept of sin. Perhaps it is not too late to mitigate the sufferings of humanity and its fellow creatures, what say you?
How do we determine which leads to less suffering: believing in determinism or believing in free will? I do understand the arguments you presented here for why you think believing in free will leads to suffering, but at the same time people's resistance to believing in determinism or thinking about it that way indicates that there may be good reasons for believing in free will even if it is incorrect and also that people may suffer the belief in determinism. So, how do we determine this?
And further, is there are third option or more options? Not necessarily to those two overriding ontological positions but rather another way to look at a solution and beliefs?
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Re: compatibilism

Post by popeye1945 »

Iwannaplato wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 5:34 am
popeye1945 wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:36 am One might think over the eons that human compassion for his fellow creatures would enable the species to see through this oppressive burden of free will and console and deal with the necessities of those dealt a greater burden than one's own. Transform the judicial system and rid ourselves of the instrument of torture the concept of sin. Perhaps it is not too late to mitigate the sufferings of humanity and its fellow creatures, what say you?
How do we determine which leads to less suffering: believing in determinism or believing in free will? I do understand the arguments you presented here for why you think believing in free will leads to suffering, but at the same time people's resistance to believing in determinism or thinking about it that way indicates that there may be good reasons for believing in free will even if it is incorrect and also that people may suffer the belief in determinism. So, how do we determine this? And further, is there are third option or more options? Not necessarily to those two overriding ontological positions but rather another way to look at a solution and beliefs.
Suffering is part of life, a substantial part of it. Your beliefs can either mitigate that suffering or increase it. The belief in free will in my opinion increases human suffering and hardens the heart toward others. To believe in free will is to consider the individual utterly self-responsible for his present condition and status in life when this couldn't be further from the truth. It was a pinched mind that came up with the idea of sin and eternal suffering which for some people is a cause of existential torment, not to mention the terrorizing of children. One cannot have this most unfortunate process of tainting the taste of life without the concept of free will, it is a burden humanity could well do without. The judicial system is very punitive due to its historical religious input of sin and free will but has softened somewhat due to secular influences. Those born into unfortunate circumstances and in life are battered about more than most, are supposed to somehow formulate a good character even where the individual has been shown little in the way of humanity from day one. I cannot help but believe that the concept of free will is a highly functional illusion, even a considerable element of egocentricity seems present. If you see a broken man on the street he is to most pretty much an object of disdain, an object in the here and now with no apparent history; the chain of events that brought him down to this level may have brought anyone down, but the belief in free will says he should pick himself up show some character, make something of yourself all of the fine advice flowing out of ignorance which free will makes sacred. I truly don't believe we can make much evolutionary advancement in our humanity until society as a whole embraces the knowledge of the complexity of existence, and the burdens of the human psyche under unfavorable conditions. As it stands, the concept of free will inhibits the compacity of human compassion, and most often punishes the victim.
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Re: compatibilism

Post by Iwannaplato »

popeye1945 wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 6:34 am Suffering is part of life, a substantial part of it. Your beliefs can either mitigate that suffering or increase it. The belief in free will in my opinion increases human suffering and hardens the heart toward others. To believe in free will is to consider the individual utterly self-responsible for his present condition and status in life when this couldn't be further from the truth.
In theory some people believe this, but in practice very few people are so binary. They will all speak using language that is implicitly both free willish and deterministic-ish. And even if they think in philosophical terms and claim some kind of total free will you will find them talking about things they and others had to do in specific instances.
It was a pinched mind that came up with the idea of sin and eternal suffering which for some people is a cause of existential torment, not to mention the terrorizing of children. One cannot have this most unfortunate process of tainting the taste of life without the concept of free will, it is a burden humanity could well do without
.
But this is a wider belief system, you can believe in free will and not believe in these other things. and you can be Calvinist and believe in what is essentially determinism and still believe in those pernicious ideas.
The judicial system is very punitive due to its historical religious input of sin and free will but has softened somewhat due to secular influences.
I'm not sure that's why it softened. I think there has been a generalized softening. And one can have deterministic attitudes related to the need for punishment and its consequences. Hell, even Jesus implied we should be very merciful about punishing sin. I think other factors have led to the reduction, in general, of the degree of punishment.
Those born into unfortunate circumstances and in life are battered about more than most, are supposed to somehow formulate a good character even where the individual has been shown little in the way of humanity from day one.
And many people who believe in free will believe this They will talk about the importance of parenting, for example, and what kind of parenting. This may or may not contradict their official position, but regardless they speak and act like experiences affect behavior.
I cannot help but believe that the concept of free will is a highly functional illusion, even a considerable element of egocentricity seems present. If you see a broken man on the street he is to most pretty much an object of disdain, an object in the here and now with no apparent history; the chain of events that brought him down to this level may have brought anyone down, but the belief in free will says he should pick himself up show some character, make something of yourself all of the fine advice flowing out of ignorance which free will makes sacred.
Again, I think people have very mixed views about people who are doing worse than them, and this is true of both determinists and freewillers.

I don't know how to measure what would happen if everyone went from their in practice mixed positions to all believing in determinism. I don't know what effects that would have.
As it stands, the concept of free will inhibits the compacity of human compassion, and most often punishes the victim.
I'm sure it does. I'm just not sure what seeing everything as determined would actually do if everyone shifted to that believe alone. And would it have the same effects on everyone. Perhaps those who now believe in determinism are generally less likely to be fatalistic. But others would become that. Perhaps there would be greater depression. Perhaps they would view people as more fixed, as many who believe in a kind of genetic determinism believe, at least statistically. That behavior showed what he is. You can be a determinist but believe that internal causes trump experiences. Perhaps more people would feel like their pasts justify their behavior. Even if determinism is correct, it may lead to deleterious self-relation - I am poor and had a bad childhood SO I will do these things and I won't manage to do those things. Perhaps people would tend to be less optimistic about change in others and themselves, whether they should be or not logically. Perhaps the current most common pattern, where people mix both deterministic and free will type metaphors and explanations for behavior is the best mix.

As a kind of parallel example, coaching that says you can do X, generally works better than you might be able to do X or you might be someone who won't be able to. The former pattern works better, even though the latter coaching is the truth and the former includes an unjustified universalism.

Perhaps we should listen to how people actually think about responsibility, change, causation, the lack thereof, freedom, rather than focusing on what their official position is on free will vs. determinism.

And perhaps we should realize that generally speaking most people are not claiming to make uncaused choices. They are not claiming that their desires, values, interests, emotions and goals did not lead to what they do. Their free will generally means they thing we have options in relation to external causes.
Last edited by Iwannaplato on Thu Mar 21, 2024 5:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: compatibilism

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What Is Free Will?
Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.
Determining Against Determinism

So let’s now consider the most popular reason to not believe in free will: determinism. As I’ve already hinted, there are varieties of determinism. Strong or hard determinism is the doctrine that every physical event in the universe, including in the brain, is caused by preceding physical events; alongside the doctrine that there are only physical causes, not distinct mental ones, either because they say there are no distinctly non-physical minds (that view’s called physicalism) or because minds have no feedback into the physical world (that view is called epiphenomenalism).
Then back to the bottom line [mine]: That, to the best of my current knowledge, there is not a scientist or a philosopher or a theologian anywhere on Earth who is able to provide us with what is in fact the definitive description of and explanation for the human brain. We may have free will, we may not. But arguing that we do is nowhere near the same as actually demonstrating that we do.

Unless, of course, someone here would beg to differ.

In other words, an assessment such as this...
But there being no mental causation affecting our brains, either through physicalism or epiphenomenalism, would mean that what appear to be choices are mere illusions of choice. So strong determinism says there is no choice, only predetermined brain activity – alongside the illusion of thoughts making a difference to what that brain activity would be, which we call ‘free will’.
...is just that: words strung together along with other words to convey what the author's particular brain thinks is going on in regard to the free will debate. Here and now. Then you and I making our own assessments of human autonomy. While, alas, pertaining to all of us, being able only to make an intuitive leap to "I just know I am able of my own volition to think this instead of that." Or "I just know that I am unable to think other than what my brain compels me to think. About everything."
Strong or hard determinism is distinct from weak or soft determinism. Weak determinism puts external causes for our choices of our thoughts and actions in less absolute terms. So, rather than saying our thoughts are physically predetermined, it says that our choices are all influenced by external events.
Those mysterious internal components of the human brain that "somehow" managed, when biological matter evolved over millions -- billions? -- of years into us here on planet Earth, to create autonomy. Even though the hard guys and gals haven't quite figured out how. Let alone why.

Or, sure, just flip the switch to God.
For instance, a weak determinist might say that someone is a criminal because of experiences that made and make him what he is. In the most immediate sense, this might refer to his addiction to crystal meth, for instance – but this was itself provoked by a violent upbringing and being moved from home to home…
Though, again, the weak determinists -- and the compatibilists? -- have absolutely no way of demonstrating that they think this only because they were never able not to.
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Re: compatibilism

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What Is Free Will?
Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.
Soft determinism is undeniably true.
First, of course, it comes down to how, philosophically or otherwise, someone defines soft determinism. Then the part where we grapple with whether or not the definitions we use, we use only because our brains compel us to use them. What does it mean to speak of anything being either undeniably true or false regarding the human brain given this:
All of this going back to how the matter we call the human brain was "somehow" able to acquire autonomy when non-living matter "somehow" became living matter "somehow" became conscious matter "somehow" became self-conscious matter.
On the other hand -- click -- I do concur regarding this:
Our individual characters are all to a significant degree the result of factors beyond our control. These include our genes; our family circumstances; the number of siblings we have and whether they are older or younger; our cultural environment; and the specific set of personal experiences unique to our lives.

Let us be absolutely clear that to affirm that people have free will does not imply that their freedom is unlimited. Even the most ardent libertarian allows that our choices are somewhat constrained, even to some extent directed, by factors beyond our consciousness, including the accidents of history which have made us what we are.
The parts I attribute to my own rendition of dasein. And it's not only control that factors in here but also understanding as well. After all, the control we do seem to have is predicated in large part on our indoctrination as children, and the social, political and economic parameters of the world we are "thrown" into at birth.

In other words, even accepting that "somehow" we did acquire free will, there are any number of factors in our lives that are beyond our either fulling grasping or controlling.
What gives us free will is that, even given all the factors coercing or otherwise influencing our decisions, there’s still room for the making of choice not absolutely determined by these influences.
Those mysterious "internal components" of the human brain that have somehow transcended the laws that govern all other matter? God-given perhaps? Or did the universe itself "somehow" acquire the capacity to achieve a self-conscious state...through us?

Maybe. Nothing can be ruled out entirely here. It's just that, again, philosophers go about arguing their conclusions into existence in forums like this one. As though that was demonstration enough.

For example...
Whatever forces act upon someone to influence or constrain their choice, free will means there is nevertheless a degree to which they choose a thought simply because they choose it. Again, free will requires only that the moment of choice itself must be free.
Now, your argument?
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Re: compatibilism

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What Is Free Will?
Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.
Some freedom at the moment of choice is not often denied on the weaker determinism, in which case we say that external factors are mere influences on our choices. Free will is only denied on the strong determinist account, in which choice, or any idea of your mind causing anything, is only an illusion.
And around and around philosophers have been going here for thousands of years now. Not even scientists exploring all this experientially and experimentally can explicate precisely what is going on at the "moment of choice".
However, the idea that there’s no mental causation – the idea that human beings do not have free will – is a bad assumption which cannot be justified. It can’t be justified because strong determinism is false.
All I can do here is to ask the author how he would go about demonstrating that his own conlusion here is not in turn one that he was never able not to come to.

Unless, of course, all of this has been resolved and I am simply not yet aware of what would be truly astounding news...news that would be everywhere on the internet. Link me to it, if that is the case.

All assumptions and all justifications in a wholly determined universe would seem to be interchangeable. After all, what does it really mean to make assumptions and to justify things when you are never able to opt freely not to?
To establish strong determinism as plausible, for a start, a whole batch of evolutionary questions about consciousness need to be answered, such as, If conscious causation is not real, why did consciousness evolve at all? What would be the function of awareness if it can’t change behaviour? How could an impotent awareness evolve if it cannot change what the brain’s going to do help the human body or its genes survive?
Not unlike my own "somehow" questions above. All the author is doing in my view [compelled or otherwise] is acting out the psychological illusion that he does have free will. He "just knows it" intuitively deep down inside him? As though a belief of this sort is what makes him free.
A related but slyly different questioning is, If there’s no choice, why did the appearance of choice evolve, so that the mind consistently misinforms itself of its own power? What exactly is being selected for there? Since determinism cannot answer these questions, we can know determinism is false. Or we can at least say we have good reasons to distrust strong determinists until they can give good answers to such basic evolutionary ideas.
But there is choice!! Those aliens observing us from the free will sector of the universe note that we make choices all the time. But unlike them the choices we make are compelled by brains wholly in sync with the laws of matter.

As for why anything evolved to be what it is in this staggeringly vast and profoundly problematic universe?

Sure, one can say, "we have good reasons to distrust strong determinists until they can give good answers to such basic evolutionary ideas", but that's not the same as demonstrating you could have freely opted to conclude something else instead. Same thing, however, with the hardcore determinists. What they believe may well be open to the autonomous reactions of others.

We just don't know.

Unless, of course, you do.
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Re: compatibilism

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What Is Free Will?
Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.
Some freedom at the moment of choice is not often denied on the weaker determinism, in which case we say that external factors are mere influences on our choices. Free will is only denied on the strong determinist account, in which choice, or any idea of your mind causing anything, is only an illusion.
And around and around philosophers have been going here for thousands of years now. Not even scientists exploring all this experientially and experimentally can explicate precisely what is going on at the "moment of choice".
However, the idea that there’s no mental causation – the idea that human beings do not have free will – is a bad assumption which cannot be justified. It can’t be justified because strong determinism is false.
All I can do here is to ask the author how he would go about demonstrating that his own conlusion here is not in turn one that he was never able not to come to.

Unless, of course, all of this has been resolved and I am simply not yet aware of what would be truly astounding news...news that would be everywhere on the internet. Link me to it, if that is the case.

All assumptions and all justifications in a wholly determined universe would seem to be interchangeable. After all, what does it really mean to make assumptions and to justify things when you are never able to opt freely not to?
To establish strong determinism as plausible, for a start, a whole batch of evolutionary questions about consciousness need to be answered, such as, If conscious causation is not real, why did consciousness evolve at all? What would be the function of awareness if it can’t change behaviour? How could an impotent awareness evolve if it cannot change what the brain’s going to do help the human body or its genes survive?
Not unlike my own "somehow" questions above. All the author is doing in my view [compelled or otherwise] is acting out the psychological illusion that he does have free will. He "just knows it" intuitively deep down inside him? As though a belief of this sort is what makes him free.
A related but slyly different questioning is, If there’s no choice, why did the appearance of choice evolve, so that the mind consistently misinforms itself of its own power? What exactly is being selected for there? Since determinism cannot answer these questions, we can know determinism is false. Or we can at least say we have good reasons to distrust strong determinists until they can give good answers to such basic evolutionary ideas.
But there is choice!! Those aliens observing us from the free will sector of the universe note that we make choices all the time. But unlike them the choices we make are compelled by brains wholly in sync with the laws of matter.

As for why anything evolved to be what it is in this staggeringly vast and profoundly problematic universe?

Sure, one can say, "we have good reasons to distrust strong determinists until they can give good answers to such basic evolutionary ideas", but that's not the same as demonstrating you could have freely opted to conclude something else instead. Same thing, however, with the hardcore determinists. What they believe may well be open to the autonomous reactions of others.

We just don't know.

Unless, of course, you do.
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

What Is Free Will?
Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.
Determinism is also contradicted by every experience of making a choice you’ve ever had.
There's always that, of course. And I'm no exception. Like most of us here, there's a part me truly convinced the choices I do make [here or elsewhere] are derived from the fact/"fact" that I "just know" I have at least some measure of autonomy. The intuitive self that "just knows" lots of things like this.

On the other hand, like everyone else here, I have no capacity to actually demonstrate this...scientifically? philosophically?

We just don't know. Still, the most fascinating thing about the human brain is just how far removed it is from all other matter.
But why would you discount that evidence unless you’ve already made up your mind it doesn’t count? Determinists unjustifiably ignore the evidence of our experience of choice because they want to put their metaphysical assumption that all causation is physical above that evidence.
And how is a more or less blind "leap of faith" to autonomy, really any different? If there was hard evidence to support free will, would not the brain scientists themselves have discovered it? And for those who claim that science has established this, where is that evidence?
On the contrary, I would say our experience of choosing is too authentic to plausibly be an illusion.
Oh, so that need be as far as it goes? Your "gut" tells you that free will is authentic, so it must be? Okay, what does your gut tell you about your dream "experiences"? The part where you wake up and realize you experienced nothing other than what your brain duped you into believing that you had experienced?
So what if we can’t yet say how it works? Evidence is not evidence because we can explain it; it’s evidence because we can’t just think it away. This is the case with the experience of choosing, ever-present in our waking lives. The onus is on the determinist to show why this doesn’t count. They must prove free will is an illusion, not just assert it is.
Can you believe this? It is up to the determinists to prove that their own set of assumptions here are the real deal. And even though the author flat-out acknowledges he doesn't know how the brain "works" here, he's not obligated himself to prove that his own set of assumptions are the real deal?
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Re: compatibilism

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If, one is to ponder the complexity of existence in both the cosmos and the earth. With the mind-boggling chemistry of one's biology and the fact that all organisms are reactionary organisms attuned to an ever-changing world. It is at the very least arrogance not to ponder the absurdity of free will. The idea, I believe is a highly functional illusion, in much the same sense as identity, the sense of identity arising in the constitution of an organism from its reactions to its defining environment context which also determines its adaptation or death in the Malstrom of change. Free will is an insult to human intelligence, for ancestors it is more understandable in that they understood little of the complexity of existence. The concept places a terrible burden upon the human organism holding humanity to an unreasonable degree of accountability, as it snips in the bud one's compassion. That which is apparent should always be challenged, our reality is called apparent for a reason. Apparent reality is a biological readout a reactionary response to the energies surrounding us that alter the standing state of our biological nature. One must be moved within before one can move without and this is called motivation, to respond to a motivation is to react not to act. The physical world as an object is the cause of all biological reactions of organisms, and those reactions in turn become causes of the ever-changing world. We will advance in our humanity when we cease to consider ourselves acceptations to the nature of life forms, life is of one essence.
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Re: compatibilism

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There is no sense in which the will is free, but we may feel free to the extent we are ignorant of causality.
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Re: compatibilism

Post by popeye1945 »

Advocate wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 3:34 pm There is no sense in which the will is free, but we may feel free to the extent we are ignorant of causality.
EXCELLENT!!
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Re: compatibilism

Post by iambiguous »

What Is Free Will?
Grant Bartley wants to know what the problem with freedom is all about.
Determinists have a big problem with morality, too. Ethics needs free will. How can we blame a burglar or a murderer if his burgling or murdering is the result only of causes he didn’t himself choose?
No, determinists only have a problem with morality if they do in fact have free will and could have opted to think it all through in another way...coming up with a different conclusion. But if all of our assessments of morality reflect the only possible assessments we were ever able to arrive at given the only possible reality, then these sort of "problems" or "solutions" are entirely interchangeable. They reflect but the psychological illusion of free will inherently embedded in brains that are but more matter.
Perhaps, you might suggest, this shows that morality itself is an illusion. But I would say if you don’t think that things such as rape, torture, the killing of innocents, racism, sexism, and many other evils, are actually morally wrong, then you are either lying or a sociopath.
The same assumption. Because many are appalled by certain behaviors...does that in and of itself "demonstrate" that we must have free will? We might be appalled when male bears or lions attack, kill and even consume cubs. But their brains propel them to do so instinctively. Nothing in the way of a philosophical discussion of morality is pertinent then. It's simply "natural" behavior.

And many sociopaths start with the assumption that in No God world morality itself revolves around "me, myself and I".
So another argument for choice can be put in the form of the logical syllogism called modus tollens.
Arguments. Intellectual assessments -- logic -- pertaining to brains that have scarcely begun to grapple with an understanding of brains themselves. Even utilizing the scientific method, nothing really gets pinned down.

As for this...
It goes like this: If strong determinism is true, there is no such thing as moral responsibility. But there is such a thing as moral responsibility. So strong determinism is not true.
How is this not just another philosophical contraption? Again, as though the existence of moral responsibility revolves around those mysterious "internal components" of the brain that "somehow" transcend the laws of matter applicable to all other matter.

Then back again to our interactions with others in dreams. The nature of morality there.
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Re: compatibilism

Post by popeye1945 »

All organisms are reactive creatures and so react to the world around them, but there is no choice in that, that is what organisms do, it's called belonging to a greater reality as a functioning part, you are the world. It is debatable whether one can even choose one's focus of reaction but one thing is certain, you will react to the world around you unless you are dead, again this is what it is to be an organism. Even if one decides not to respond/react to a given stimulus that too is a reaction to your environment. Free will is an absurd idea as seemingly obvious as it is to us. It fortifies our ignorance of the complexity of existence and places unnecessary limitations on our minds and humanity.
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