Determinism vs Free Will

  
Via:  TᵢG  •  2 months ago  •  206 comments

Determinism vs Free Will
Where would these free decisions, the ones that launch entirely new causal chains, come from?

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We have had several thread-sourced discussions on free will.   This short video provides a good baseline that might make future discussions on free will more productive.

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TᵢG
1  seeder  TᵢG    2 months ago

From the video:

You think that what goes on in your head when you make a choice is not at all like bats and balls.   But, well, mental states are brain states, or at least they’re tied directly to your brain.  And brain states are biological.  And biological states are physical states.  And the physical world – as we already said – is deterministic.  There’s just no room for free will in this picture.
We think we’re free - but we’re not.
 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1    2 months ago

Essentially, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't, right? jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1    2 months ago

It is difficult to imagine how we could actually have free will.    To have free will we would need the ability to create a new physical causal change with our minds alone.   Our minds could not be the result of our brains since our brains are part of a prior physical causal chain.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.1    2 months ago
To have free will we would need the ability to create a new physical causal change with our minds alone. 

It would also require stopping any or all outside stimuli which might produce a causal change and decision making process.

Our minds could not be the result of our brains since our brains are part of a prior physical causal chain.

Whoa, mind...blown jrSmiley_30_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.3  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.2    2 months ago

Yeah I know.   The free will concept, when one truly thinks about it, is mind blowing.

Then investigate the findings of neuroscience which suggest that consciousness is passive; that what we think we are doing is simply taking credit for what lower biochemical processes have already decided.   Yikes.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.3    2 months ago
Then investigate the findings of neuroscience which suggest that consciousness is passive; that what we think we are doing is simply taking credit for what lower biochemical processes have already decided.

Kind of like being controlled without even realizing it. jrSmiley_29_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.5  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.4    2 months ago

Yeah.   Like we are part of an incomprehensibly complex machine and have the means to introspect but with the illusion that we are making our choices when in reality we are not.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.6  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.4    2 months ago
Kind of like being controlled without even realizing it.

Another segment on the mind that applies here:

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.7  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.5    2 months ago

We are but small cogs in a great machine. 

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
1.1.8  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.2    2 months ago

 You don’t actually believe that do you ?

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.9  MUVA  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.7    2 months ago

Not me I'm my own machine.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.10  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  MUVA @1.1.9    2 months ago
Not me I'm my own machine.

None of us are.   We are all interdependent.   We all share the same environment.    Our behavior is a function of many factors outside of our control.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1.11  MUVA  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.10    2 months ago

What if you live in the woods and are off the grid and live off the land I was purposely obtusejrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gifI understand the point. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.12  Gordy327  replied to  Freedom Warrior @1.1.8    2 months ago

I was trying to be philosophical. jrSmiley_7_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
luther28
1.2  luther28  replied to  TᵢG @1    2 months ago
We think we’re free - but we’re not.

Too much data bumbling around in our minds to allow a free thought, conflicting notions, outside input etc.. A mind at war with itself so to speak.

 
 
 
luther28
1.2.1  luther28  replied to  luther28 @1.2    2 months ago

I meant to add, nice find made me think. Thank you.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2  Nerm_L    2 months ago

In the absence of volition, what is the purpose of knowledge?

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @2    2 months ago

What we call knowledge is just the accumulation of information. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1    2 months ago
What we call knowledge is just the accumulation of information. 

Which only refines the question:  in the absence of volition, what is the purpose of accumulating information?

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.1    2 months ago

Simply to accumulate knowledge for knowledge sake? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.3  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.1    2 months ago

Here is one way to think of it.

Each sentient entity has the ability to accumulate and act on information.   Think of a smart phone which accumulates information and acts on same.   The question is if the consciousness of the sentient entity is freely acting (making choices) or if it is merely an observer taking credit for the actions of the agent of which it is part.

Smart phones have no consciousness and are clearly not sentient.  They have no (conscious) volition yet still have a purpose for accumulating information.

Apply the same reasoning to a sentient entity who merely has the illusion of free will but is ultimately a passive observer.


To wit, answering your refined question:  the purpose of the sentient entity accumulating information is to enable it to perform its function as part of the greater reality.

( In this post I am, of course, assuming that there is no free will. )

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.4  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.2    2 months ago
Simply to accumulate knowledge for knowledge sake? 

But that only describes the activity, that does not provide a purpose for the accumulated information (or knowledge).  What that suggests is that accumulating knowledge isn't any different than accumulating sand for sand's sake.

Does knowledge have a purpose?

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.5  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.4    2 months ago

Perhaps knowledge helps the activity along, and the activity is accumulating more knowledge? 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.6  Nerm_L  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.5    2 months ago
Perhaps knowledge helps the activity along, and the activity is accumulating more knowledge?

That postulate is premised on the causal continuum being inviolate which indicates accumulating information (knowledge) is unnecessary.  The outcome would be the same with or without knowledge of cause.  Knowledge of cause will not alter outcome; therefore, knowledge serves no purpose.

If knowledge serves no purpose then what is the function of reason or logic?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.7  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.3    2 months ago
To wit, answering your refined question:  the purpose of the sentient entity accumulating information is to enable it to perform its function as part of the greater reality.

And what is the function of sentience?  

(In this post I am, of course, assuming that there is no free will.)

Yes, that is understood as a practical matter for philosophical inquiry and debate.   

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.8  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.6    2 months ago

The only purpose we can derive is what the universe determines. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.9  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.7    2 months ago
And what is the function of sentience?  

I do not know.   What do you think the function would be?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.10  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.6    2 months ago
If knowledge serves no purpose then what is the function of reason or logic?

See TiG @2.1.3

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.11  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.9    2 months ago
I do not know.   What do you think the function would be?

The apparent function of sentience would be to accumulate information as knowledge. 

In the absence of volition, outcome is determined by cause and knowledge of cause will not alter outcome.  In the absence of volition, knowledge serves no purpose; therefore, sentience serves no purpose.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.12  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.11    2 months ago

The purpose of knowledge is to enable function.  See TiG @2.1.3

I do not know the purpose of sentience.   But I see no reason to conclude it has no purpose.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.13  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.12    2 months ago
I do not know the purpose of sentience.   But I see no reason to conclude it has no purpose.

The function of sentience appears to be to accumulate information as knowledge.  In the absence of volition, outcome is determined by cause and knowledge will not alter that outcome.  Since sentience would be an outcome of causation, sentience could not establish its own purpose in the absence of volition.

Purpose indicates intent.  In the absence of volition, sentience and knowledge could only have a purpose by having that purpose imposed upon the causal continuum through intent.   

Essentially the logic resolves to three possible conclusions:  1) sentience has no purpose, 2) sentience has a purpose that was imposed upon causality, 3) sentience includes the capacity for volition which allows sentience to establish its own purpose.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.14  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.13    2 months ago
In the absence of volition, outcome is determined by cause and knowledge will not alter that outcome. 

You continue to ignore (or not understand) what I outlined @2.1.3    I have linked this instead of repeating myself.    The effect (the function) operates on the current state of information.   A fully deterministic environment does not mean that function will operate without data.   The accumulated information would be knowable and the effect of the function is thus knowable.   But the dynamic is still function operating on data.

Purpose indicates intent. 

Yes and I see no reason from your post that shows we should conclude that there is no purpose.   We simply do not know.

Essentially the logic resolves to three possible conclusions:  1) sentience has no purpose, 2) sentience has a purpose that was imposed upon causality, 3) sentience includes the capacity for volition which allows sentience to establish its own purpose.

Sentience either has purpose or has no purpose.   If there is a purpose then likely there will be various possibilities for the origin of the purpose.

Unless you can illustrate how we might know one way or the other, all that we can conclude at this point is that we do not know.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1.15  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.12    2 months ago
I see no reason to conclude it has no purpose

And the reality is, sentience may have served a purpose at one point in our evolution that perhaps is no longer necessary much like the many vestigial parts humans still have even though we no longer need or use like male nipples, wisdom teeth or coccyx. I personally think our sentience, our ability to perceive and feel things and remember them, our being self aware, was integral in our ancient ancestors evolution. As they came out of the trees and were forced to cover long distances to find new sources of food I can only assume sentience would have been a boon. Those who were more self aware and were able to remember events that were perhaps harbingers of death like impending famines caused by draught or some other natural disaster, would be able to survive while others did not. Those able to recognize what those signs and portents might mean for their future survival were able to take action to prevent the harms or mitigate the damage such disasters could potentially cause survived and passed on those survival traits in their descendants.

So even if one cannot find some functional purpose for sentience today, that doesn't necessarily mean it never had one, just like that little coccyx bone which is still there even though we no longer have tails.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.16  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.14    2 months ago
You continue to ignore (or not understand) what I outlined @2.1.3    I have linked this instead of repeating myself.    The effect (the function) operates on the current state of information.   A fully deterministic environment does not mean that function will operate without data.   The accumulated information would be knowable and the effect of the function is thus knowable.   But the dynamic is still function operating on data

Yes, the function does depend upon accumulating information but that function does not describe a purpose.  The purpose has been imposed upon the function and the smart phone (nor its function) did not establish that purpose.

Sentience either has purpose or has no purpose.   If there is a purpose then likely there will be various possibilities for the origin of the purpose. Unless you can illustrate how we might know one way or the other, all that we can conclude at this point is that we do not know.

The topic of debate is volition (free will).  In the absence of volition, it doesn't matter what we know or don't know.  In the absence of volition, knowledge is unnecessary.

In the absence of volition, what is the function of stating "I don't know" when knowing or not knowing won't alter the outcome?  Isn't the statement "I don't know" an expression of purpose for knowledge?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.17  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.16    2 months ago
Yes, the function does depend upon accumulating information  |  …

Stopping you right there.  That was the point.

The purpose has been imposed upon the function and the smart phone (nor its function) did not establish that purpose.

Strawman.   Has nothing to do with the point I made.

In the absence of volition, knowledge is unnecessary.

So you recognize that the function requires information yet still are arguing that knowledge (accumulated information) serves no purpose.   

In the absence of volition, what is the function of stating "I don't know" when knowing or not knowing won't alter the outcome?  Isn't the statement "I don't know" an expression of purpose for knowledge?

One states 'I do not know' when one does not know.  jrSmiley_98_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.18  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.17    2 months ago
So you recognize that the function requires information yet still are arguing that knowledge (accumulated information) serves no purpose.   

In the absence of volition, accumulation of information is a function of the causal continuum without intent or purpose; therefore, the accumulated information does not have a purpose.  The causal continuum determines if the smart phone functions or does not function but that function is an outcome and not a purpose.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.19  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.18    2 months ago

The accumulated information enables the function.   That is the purpose of accumulating information.   The greater purpose is unknown.

Regardless of how a user might use their smart phone, the functions of that smart phone require certain information to be gathered.   The gathering of info by the smart phone is required to enable functions.   The purpose of the smart phone (and how the user might use the functions) is unknown.   The purpose of gathering the information, however, is known.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.20  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.19    2 months ago
Regardless of how a user might use their smart phone, the functions of that smart phone require certain information to be gathered.   The gathering of info by the smart phone is required to enable functions.   The purpose of the smart phone (and how the user might use the functions) is unknown.   The purpose of gathering the information, however, is known.

In the absence of volition, the smart phone only performs a function according to the causal continuum.  And causality determines whether the smart phone performs that function or it does not.

The smart phone does not establish its own purpose because the smart phone does not possess volition; the smart phone only functions or does not function.

Any purpose for the smart phone has been imposed onto the smart phone.  If the smart phone serves a purpose then the function of accumulating information was intended to be imposed onto the smart phone.  The purpose of the smart phone was not a result of the causal continuum.  It is unlikely there would be a smart phone without intent and purpose imposed onto the smart phone.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.21  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.20    2 months ago

The smart phone analogy applied to the question of information having value to enable the function even if the function is not used (or if the intent for using the function is not known).

You are stretching that analogy now into the entire question of universal intent.   

I have lost interest in running around in circles with you Nerm.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.22  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.21    2 months ago
he smart phone analogy applied to the question of information having value to enable the function even if the function is not used (or if the intent for using the function is not known).

But that is only a function and says nothing about purpose.  The function may need information to allow accumulation of more information but that doesn't impart a purpose onto the information.  In fact, if the information is discarded without allowing it to accumulate the function could continue indefinitely so accumulation of information would be an impediment to sustaining the function.  Retaining information eventually forces the function to stop so the retention of information would seem to have little value for the smart phone.

The smart phone does not intend to accumulate information for a purpose; the smart phone does not possess the ability to exert influence over it's function or behavior by choice.  If the smart phone's function breaks down that is the result of causality and not a result of choice; either the information is not available or retention of information forces the function to stop.

If humans were similar to smart phones lacking volition then the information that is accumulated would only be an outcome of causality.  Humans would only be performing a function without ability to exert influence over that function by choice.  

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.1.23  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.8    2 months ago

God has given us all a purpose if only we use our free will to chose to believe in Him and follow Him.  

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.24  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @2.1.23    2 months ago

If there is a god, then there is no free will.

 
 
 
WallyW
2.1.25  WallyW  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.1    2 months ago

in the absence of volition, what is the purpose of accumulating information?

No volition is needed.

An infant's mind is collecting incredible amounts of information

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.26  Nerm_L  replied to  WallyW @2.1.25    2 months ago
No volition is needed. An infant's mind is collecting incredible amounts of information

The information is already there, no need to collect it.  And collecting the information doesn't change the information.  A camera can record a large amount of information, too.

But in absence of volition, what is the purpose of that recorded and collected information?  In the absence of volition, what is the purpose of knowledge?

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.1.27  Heartland American  replied to  Gordy327 @2.1.24    2 months ago

There is a God He created us with a free will.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.28  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Heartland American @2.1.27    2 months ago

Technically this is proselytizing.   It is also two truth claims of staggering grandeur.   

To not be proselytizing you would need to back up your claims. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.29  Gordy327  replied to  Heartland American @2.1.27    2 months ago

That's nice, prove it! Otherwise, you're only (and unsurprisingly) parroting the usual BS baseless claims!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2.1.30  Greg Jones  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.26    2 months ago

I would have to disagree. The child is essentially a blank slate, it has no thoughts or vocabulary. It has no volition to do anything. All it can do is to discover the outside world by the senses. Every sensory input is being sorted and stored and somehow put into some kind of order by processes we really don't understand.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.31  Nerm_L  replied to  Greg Jones @2.1.30    2 months ago
I would have to disagree. The child is essentially a blank slate, it has no thoughts or vocabulary. It has no volition to do anything. All it can do is to discover the outside world by the senses. Every sensory input is being sorted and stored and somehow put into some kind of order by processes we really don't understand.

Yes, that describes the function.  A hard disk begins blank.  A DVD begins blank.  Information can be collected and stored on both through a function described by causality; the function of accumulating information is deterministic according to a sequence of causes that can be easily traced.

Does the accumulated information have a purpose if volition is not involved?  Is the information stored on the blank slate predetermined by a first cause?  

If volition is not involved in the accumulation of information then what is the purpose of reason and logic?

 
 
 
CB
2.1.32  CB   replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.31    2 months ago
If volition is not involved in the accumulation of information then what is the purpose of reason and logic?

Also, what would be the point of individuality?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.33  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.32    2 months ago

What if there is no 'point'?

Seriously think about that possibility.

 
 
 
CB
2.1.34  CB   replied to  TᵢG @2.1.33    2 months ago

Seriously think about it 'why'? I think every thing (relevant to this discussion) which interacts in nature does so individually. Why would I want to think about there not being a point to individuality?

May be you can elaborate further. Because, I am envisioning a flat, non-dynamic, lack of feeling, lack of emotion, and expression-less existence when there is no point to individuality.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.35  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.34    2 months ago

Because you are eliminating an entire realm of consideration if you presume everything must have a purpose (a 'point').

 
 
 
CB
2.1.36  CB   replied to  TᵢG @2.1.35    2 months ago

I added to my comment while you wrote.

Okay, to your point. I would like more information to consider. In any case, let's have diversity: A point and a lack of a point to individuality. What say you?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.37  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.34    2 months ago
Because, I am envisioning a flat, non-dynamic, lack of feeling, lack of emotion, and expression-less existence when there is no point to individuality.

Why?

The reality that you and I both observe might have no creator, no purpose.   We cannot tell either way so if you want to see reality without a creator, just look around.   Creator or not, what you see is possible.

 
 
 
CB
2.1.38  CB   replied to  TᵢG @2.1.37    2 months ago
Why?

Relevant to this discussion, we see a world full of individuals 'thrown together' and utilizing 'purpose.'

Creator? Where did I mention a creator in this discussion?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.39  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.38    2 months ago

You did not mention creator, I did. 

 
 
 
Karri
2.1.40  Karri  replied to  Greg Jones @2.1.30    2 months ago
The child is essentially a blank slate,

I must disagree.  We know that temperament is inborn.  Genetics impact the way the child will interact with the environment.  We also know that events that occur during pregnancy impact the embryo/fetus.  (If you doubt, ask any parents of more than one child; each is different despite having the same parenting techniques.)

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
2.1.41  igknorantzrulz  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.33    2 months ago
What if there is no 'point'?

I don't know, but it sounds

Dull

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2    2 months ago
In the absence of volition, what is the purpose of knowledge?

In the absence of volition what is the purpose of anything except to perpetuate the purpose (if any) of the greater reality?

What is the purpose of a cog other than to perpetuate the purpose of the machine?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.2    2 months ago
In the absence of volition what is the purpose of anything except to perpetuate the purpose (if any) of the greater reality?

Yes, the central question resolves to purpose.  If anything has a purpose then that raises questions of intent.

In the absence of volition (and intent), events have a cause but do events have a purpose?  

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.2  Gordy327  replied to  Nerm_L @2.2.1    2 months ago

Perhaps the event itself is the purpose of the cause. Events serve the purpose of the cause, so events are their own purpose. jrSmiley_87_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.3  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.2.1    2 months ago
In the absence of volition (and intent), events have a cause but do events have a purpose?  

No way of knowing.

As I noted:

TiG@2.2 In the absence of volition what is the purpose of anything except to perpetuate the purpose (if any) of the greater reality?
 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.2.4  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.3    2 months ago
No way of knowing.

In the absence of volition (and intent), the inviolate casual continuum indicates that knowledge is unnecessary.  More accurately, there is no need to know.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.5  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.2.4    2 months ago

See TiG @2.1.3

Would you argue that the decision logic and stored data of a smart phone is unnecessary?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.2.6  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.5    2 months ago
Would you argue that the decision logic and stored data of a smart phone is unnecessary?

In the absence of volition, yes, smart phones as a tool for accumulating information are unnecessary.  In the absence of volition, knowledge will not alter outcome; therefore, knowledge is unnecessary.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.7  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.2.6    2 months ago
In the absence of volition, yes, smart phones as a tool for accumulating information are unnecessary. 

That is not the scenario I presented.   The accumulation of information is necessary for the smart phone to perform its function.   Without knowing your current location, for example, a smart phone cannot provide a list of restaurants near you.   Without recording your WiFi points the smartphone cannot automatically reconnect you to a hot spot when you return to it.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.2.8  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.7    2 months ago
The accumulation of information is necessary for the smart phone to perform its function.

The function of the smart phone was designed, by intent, to fulfill a purpose.  The smart phone did not establish its own purpose.

In the absence of volition, the apparent source of intent and purpose would be first cause imposing purpose upon the causal continuum.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.9  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @2.2.8    2 months ago
The function of the smart phone was designed, by intent, to fulfill a purpose.  The smart phone did not establish its own purpose.

Not the point.   My point in the analogy was to illustrate why a non-sentient entity would accumulate information.

In the absence of volition, the apparent source of intent and purpose would be first cause imposing purpose upon the causal continuum.  

If there is intent and purpose then there would be an intender.    That can be postulated but the existence of intent remains unknown.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.2.10  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.9    2 months ago
If there is intent and purpose then there would be an intender.    That can be postulated but the existence of intent remains unknown.

Yes, the smart phone was intentionally designed to accumulate information as a purpose.  That purpose was imposed onto the smart phone by an intender.

Humans designed smart phones for the intended purpose of accumulating information.  The ability to impose purpose onto reality by intent is an indicator of volition.  Therefore, humans possess volition.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  JohnRussell    2 months ago

Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Human beings experience free will.  It is, in fact, impossible for them to not experience free will. 

What is the PURPOSE of deciding otherwise? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 months ago
It is, in fact, impossible for them to not experience free will. 

Human beings do indeed experience free will at least in the sense that it 'feels like' free will.

But you seem to be declaring that human beings do indeed absolutely certainly have free will; that it is impossible for us to not have free will.

Please explain how you know that we have free will.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @3.1    2 months ago

It doesnt matter if we don't have free will. What matters is that we experience having it, and cannot experience otherwise. 

How do you explain that every human being experiences free will for every second they are alive?

I understand the philosophical argument that everything is determined, but what is the purpose of saying that ? 

Isn't it something like an argument about the number of angels that can stand on the head of a pin?  It very well might be true, but then what? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.1    2 months ago
It doesnt matter if we don't have free will. What matters is that we experience having it, and cannot experience otherwise. 

Okay, so you are simply stating that it appears to us that we have free will.   Yes, it does seem that way.  

How do you explain that every human being experiences free will for every second they are alive?

We are all conscious sentient entities and, as such, it appears to us that we have free will.   That feeling, of course, does not mean we do have free will.   But it most definitely feels like we do.

I understand the philosophical argument that everything is determined, but what is the purpose of saying that ? 

What is the purpose of thinking about anything John?   In this case, the purpose is to try to advance our understanding and to continue our pursuit of truth.    

Isn't it something like an argument about the number of angels that can stand on the head of a pin?  It very well might be true, but then what? 

What if our continued thinking and research ends up finding an immaterial substance that is the source for individual volition?    Would you complain that discovering that apparent truth is worthless simply because we cannot figure out how to immediately act on the knowledge?   In other words, human beings explore and reason because we have a desire to answer unanswered questions ... to discover 'truth' (or the approximation thereof).   Do you object to that?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4  JohnRussell    2 months ago

If we don't have free will than no one should ever be put in prison, ever, for anything. Whatever they did wasn't their fault, it was the universe's fault. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @4    2 months ago

Lousy universe. jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @4    2 months ago

Yes, that is the immediate problem if we collectively determine that we do not have free will.

The solution is to presume free will and act accordingly.   Thus a murderer will be punished as if s/he was operating on individual volition.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.1  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2    2 months ago
The solution is to presume free will and act accordingly.

You are having cake AND eating it, too. "The solution" indicates there is a choice to be made. So does "act accordingly". According to your argument there is no solution. Just causal action. 

Put another way, nothing you've said here (or at any other time in your life) has been due to intellect. There is no intellect. There is just cause and effect and whatever causes are particular to you has determined the things you've said, not intellect. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.1    2 months ago
You are having cake AND eating it, too. "The solution" indicates there is a choice to be made. So does "act accordingly". According to your argument there is no solution. Just causal action. 

If we were to determine conclusively that there is no free will then society has a serious problem.   Do we excuse all murderers, et. al. because they had no choice?   That is a problem, right?

My solution is for us to act accordingly.   That would be consistent with the dynamics of how human beings have operated.   I have no control over what would actually happen should we discover there is no free will so I am not stating how I or any other human being would make things work.  I am stating how things could continue to work as normal.   That is the solution.

If there is no free will then the agents (e.g. human beings) are not actually affecting the future.   We are indeed cogs in the machine.   So my proposed solution will either happen or it will not and the human agents themselves will have nothing to do with it other than effecting the actions like good machines.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.3  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.2    2 months ago
If we were to determine conclusively that there is no free will then society has a serious problem.   Do we excuse all murderers, et. al. because they had no choice?   That is a problem, right?

If there is no free will, that is, if determinism is the correct view of existence, then, no, it is not a problem. Whatever happens, happens because it was predetermined based on prior causes. There is no volition, therefore, there is no problem to be solved. Just cause and effect, regardless of how we perceive it. If there is no volition our excusing murders would  not be an actual choice but just some effect brought about by a prior cause. In other words, there can be no problems in a deterministic existence. There can only be cause and effect.

My solution is for us to act accordingly. That would be consistent with the dynamics of how human beings have operated. I have no control over what would actually happen should we discover there is no free will so I am not stating how I or any other human being would make things work. I am stating how things could continue to work as normal. That is the solution.

I do not find this much of a solution as it doesn't actually get us anywhere in the debate. That is, it does not actually address whether or not we have free will. But even so, as a "solution" it is meaningless in a deterministic existence. "Solution" indicates a problem we have to decide how to solve. There is no deciding in a deterministic existence. There is only cause and effect. 

Your solution is that, (in your view as far as I can tell), even if existence is deterministic, we may as well keep on behaving as if it is not because that's how humans operate. But if existence is deterministic, we can't really make that choice or existence would not be deterministic. That is, there cannot be a choice in a deterministic existence. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.4  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.3    2 months ago
If there is no free will, that is, if determinism is the correct view of existence, then, no, it is not a problem. Whatever happens, happens because it was predetermined based on prior causes. There is no volition, therefore, there is no problem to be solved. Just cause and effect, regardless of how we perceive it. If there is no volition our excusing murders would  not be an actual choice but just some effect brought about by a prior cause. In other words, there can be no problems in a deterministic existence. There can only be cause and effect.

A paraphrase of what I wrote.  So you understand the position I have described, but just do not consider it a 'problem'.   Okay, your assessment/opinion is noted.   You would not label this a 'problem'.   Use whatever label you wish here Drakk;  it does not matter.

I do not find this much of a solution as it doesn't actually get us anywhere in the debate. That is, it does not actually address whether or not we have free will.

I am talking about a spin-off situation so of course it is not addressing whether or not we have free will.   If you only want to talk about whether free will exists or not why on Earth did you spend your time opining on this aspect?   Why not write a post on the question that interests you rather than complain about semantics?

But even so, as a "solution" it is meaningless in a deterministic existence. "Solution" indicates a problem we have to decide how to solve. There is no deciding in a deterministic existence. There is only cause and effect. 

Still, you are merely objecting on the semantics.   Again, I am pleased you understood what I wrote and am okay if you prefer to not label the situations as 'problem' and 'solution'.   Call them 'alpha' and 'beta' if you wish.

There is only cause and effect. 

You write this as if you are telling me something different from the scenario I have outlined (the one in which we do not have free will).   Stating what I have stated does not advance the discussion.   I am pleased that you understand what I wrote, but what am I supposed to do with a reply that simply complains about labels?

What do you want to discuss Drakk?   

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.5  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.4    2 months ago
 If you only want to talk about whether free will exists or not why on Earth did you spend your time opining on this aspect?   Why not write a post on the question that interests you rather than complain about semantics?

In order to illustrate that you cannot even talk about your subject in terms other than free will. Hence my comment about trying to have cake and eat it, too. 

I am pleased that you understand what I wrote, but what am I supposed to do with a reply that simply complains about labels?

Don't blame me, blame determinism. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.6  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.5    2 months ago
In order to illustrate that you cannot even talk about your subject in terms other than free will.

Do you reject the possibility that free will could be discussed in a deterministic reality?

In other words, what specifically prevents two agents from discussing free will as cogs in a deterministic machine?

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.8  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.5    2 months ago
Don't blame me, blame determinism. 

Blame determinism for what, precisely?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.9  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.8    2 months ago
Blame determinism for what, precisely?

For what you claim are complaints about labels on my part. If determinism is true, no one has any choice about anything they say. It is not as if I could have volition to say something different. No one chooses what they say, cause and effect does. Determinism means that this conversation was already determined about a picosecond after the Big Bang. 

Do you reject the possibility that free will could be discussed in a deterministic reality?

I cannot categorically reject it but my opinion is that the probability approaches zero with intelligence that is sentient. It is difficult to come up with a definition of sentience that doesn't include the ability to choose based on information gathered. In the video you posted, free will is claimed to fail because it is based on the feeling that we have free will. Yet, determinism fails on similar grounds. It insists it is the correct view even though it also cannot prove the causes for a seeming choice. These causes are simply assumed. 

In actuality, neither is entirely true by itself. Our actions are largely a result of what we have done previously, but we can choose to alter our course. We can act against our self interest for another after a lifetime of self interest. The smallest amount of free will destroys determinism. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.10  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.9    2 months ago
If determinism is true, no one has any choice about anything they say.

Correct.   What we are going to say is a function of cause & effect.   Thus we would not choose (as individuals) what we will do or say.

It is not as if I could have volition to say something different. No one chooses what they say, cause and effect does.

Correct.

Determinism means that this conversation was already determined about a picosecond after the Big Bang. 

Who said the Big Bang was the beginning of the causal chain?   The Big Bang would be part of the causal chain too, right?

I cannot categorically reject it [the possibility that free will could be discussed in a deterministic reality] but my opinion is that the probability approaches zero with intelligence that is sentient.

In a deterministic reality, sentience would indeed lack the capacity for individuals to spontaneously affect the causal chain.   The notion of sentience would take on a different meaning.

It is difficult to come up with a definition of sentience that doesn't include the ability to choose based on information gathered.

Why do you think a choice would not be made based on information gathered?   A deterministic reality simply means that all of reality is one big complex network of causal relationships.   What an individual agent does is a function of the agent's cognitive state and the information / stimuli at the moment.   A deterministic function (e.g. a brain) will produce different results depending upon the input.   It is just that the input, in a deterministic reality, is also determined (in the sense that only one input state is going to be presented at that moment).

In the video you posted, free will is claimed to fail because it is based on the feeling that we have free will.

Claimed to 'fail'?   Where is this found in the video (time mark)?

Yet, determinism fails on similar grounds. It insists it is the correct view even though it also cannot prove the causes for a seeming choice. These causes are simply assumed. 

I am not following this.   What do you mean by correct view and how does determinism insist on it?


For what you claim are complaints about labels on my part.

On this, recognize that when I noted the problem and solution of a deterministic reality I was in a third person perspective (the perspective you and I occupy while discussing free will and determinism).   I am looking at the situation where entities (not us) become 'aware' that there is no free will.   (This means that the deterministic reality has evolved to the point where that is now part of the information base.)  The question then is how, without changing the rules of their reality, would they be able to operate?   The solution is that they continue to operate as if they had free will.  Murderers are still punished, etc.    All of this, however, is outside of the choice of the agents.   I am not saying that the agents in the deterministic scenario would spontaneously choose to pretend they had free will.    The problem and the solution are simply academic from the perspective of looking at a deterministic reality from the outside (the perspective you and I occupy) and seeing how it could continue even with free will being non-existent as part of the base of information.   ‘Free will does not exist’ emerges as a known truth but the deterministic reality can indeed continue (without major disruption) by operating as though it did exist.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.11  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.10    2 months ago
Who said the Big Bang was the beginning of the causal chain?   The Big Bang would be part of the causal chain too, right?

There is no evidence to support such a claim. 

In a deterministic reality, sentience would indeed lack the capacity for individuals to spontaneously affect the causal chain. The notion of sentience would take on a different meaning.

Which would be???

Why do you think a choice would not be made based on information gathered?

You seem not to understand my statement. I do not think such. I think the opposite. People make choices on information gathered, even if they choose to ignore the information. 

A deterministic function (e.g. a brain) will produce different results depending upon the input.

You yourself have indicated this isn't true. For instance, people of faith will believe what they believe regardless of input according to you. 

Claimed to 'fail'? Where is this found in the video (time mark)?

I will not bother. Surely you remember the part where it was said that the free will advocate's basis for their argument is that they "feel" they have free will? If you do not, I do not know what a time stamp would do to clarify. 

What do you mean by correct view and how does determinism insist on it?

The advocate for determinism is putting forth what they feel is the correct view. Do you disagree? If you do, why do they hold such a view? Regardless, I note that you do not disagree that their view is no more substantiated than their opponents. 

On this, recognize that when...

Thank you for explaining but I already understood this. Let me assure you that I understand what you are saying perfectly. This is an unsolvable argument. I wonder if you understand that? I believe we have free will. I do not believe it is unlimited. I believe our will is restricted not only by the nature of the world in which we live, but in human nature and the prior choices we have made. For instance, an individual who, through prior choices on multiple levels, becomes addicted to some substance. Such an individual has employed both determinism and free will at the same time. 

I would give determinism more credence if humans acted more like the rest of existence. A mass dropped in a gravity well will always act the same way regardless of the well or the mass. Sentience, and even non-sentient, life does not act in the same manner. 

 
 
 
CB
4.2.12  CB   replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.11    2 months ago

Well-rounded answer.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.13  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.11    2 months ago
There is no evidence to support such a claim. 

The Big bang is the origin of the known universe.   Why do you presume that the Big Bang is the origin of everything?   Clearly you do not presume that Big Bang created God so you are predisposed to thinking of existence outside of our known universe.  Further, the notion of time being created with the Big Bang does not mean that all causality necessarily started then.  What that means is that space-time within our universe - the movement from low entropy to high entropy - started at the inception of our universe.    Time itself (in the most general sense) is not necessarily limited to our known universe.

To wit, given the Big Bang did not emerge from a literal nothing (something was there, we just do not understand anything about that something other than it was very low entropy) I would suggest we do have evidence hinting that there is something outside of the known universe and thus we should not presume causality started with the Big Bang.

Which would be???

The kind of sentience you see in smart devices is a fine example.   The most intelligent technologies you can find are all ultimately deterministic.   They are based on programs and data; given a specific program state and a specific data state there is a specific next state that can be determined.    The sentient agents in a deterministic reality could appear to be absolutely brilliant (by observation) but under the covers the sentience (and thus the ability to spontaneously make individual choices) reduces to a causal chain.   The sentience would take on a different meaning:  

You seem not to understand my statement. I do not think such. I think the opposite. People make choices on information gathered, even if they choose to ignore the information. 

Well if I do not understand, what you just wrote is not helping.  Of course people make choices on information gathered (even if they ignore it).   So now look at what you wrote @4.2.9:  "It is difficult to come up with a definition of sentience that doesn't include the ability to choose based on information gathered."   You could not come up with a definition of sentience that omitted the ability to choose based on information gathered.   Makes sense to me; sentience and choice based on information go hand-in-hand.   Thus I asked you why you thought a choice would not be made based on information gathered?  In other words, why struggle to define sentience without choosing based on information?   To what end?

Note how I defined the special sentience above.   A deterministic smart device is making choices based on information.   That analogy illustrates how sentience (special sentience) could operate in a deterministic environment.   The choice is made based on information (including ignoring it) even though the choice was a mindless result of causality.

You yourself have indicated this [A deterministic function (e.g. a brain) will produce different results depending upon the input.] isn't true. For instance, people of faith will believe what they believe regardless of input according to you. 

An odd way to interpret my words (in blue).   Here is a simple example of what I was stating:   a calculator is totally deterministic.   If you enter 3 + 4 you will always get 7 (predetermined).   If you instead input 4 + 4 you will get 8.   Now look again at what I wrote:

A deterministic function (e.g. a brain) will produce different results (e.g. an 8 vs. a 7) depending upon the input (e.g. 4+4 vs. 4+3).

For instance, people of faith will believe what they believe regardless of input according to you. 

Now on this (sidebar), many people of faith are so stubbornly set in their beliefs (and armed with plenty of mechanism to keep them faithful such as confirmation bias) that most every input is deflected and the function (the faith) gives the same output every time (belief).   Some, however, do come across input that triggers some change as evidenced by the fact that there are indeed believers who have 'lost their faith' and are no longer convinced there is a God.

What you claim as my position is not my position.   It is a simplistic and very cynical distortion of it.

I will not bother.

Then I will do likewise.

The advocate for determinism is putting forth what they feel is the correct view. Do you disagree?

I do not presume this person is an advocate for determinism.   He teaches all sorts of courses.   He seems to be teaching, not selling.

Regardless, I note that you do not disagree that their view is no more substantiated than their opponents. 

We do not know if our reality is deterministic or not.   Just as we really do not know if there is a creator or not.

Let me assure you that I understand what you are saying perfectly. 

Demonstration is far better than 'assurance'.   Through past experience I have observed you claim understanding and then demonstrate the exact opposite and then blame me (in various ways).  So, ...

This is an unsolvable argument.

Suggests you do not understand what I wrote.  

I believe we have free will. I do not believe it is unlimited. I believe our will is restricted not only by the nature of the world in which we live, but in human nature and the prior choices we have made. For instance, an individual who, through prior choices on multiple levels, becomes addicted to some substance.   Such an individual has employed both determinism and free will at the same time. 

Typically one does not speak of determinism as being sometimes in effect and sometimes not in effect.   Clearly you believe we have free will in the sense that we can all make spontaneous choices.   That it is possible for an agent to make a spontaneous choice which effects a tiny portion of the future in real time.   The future is written at every instance (i.e. in real time) in result to the state of the universe and the collective choices of sentient agents.   If this is your belief, it does not surprise me.  But it has nothing to do with the problem / solution scenario so it does not encourage me that you understood what I wrote.

I would give determinism more credence if humans acted more like the rest of existence. A mass dropped in a gravity well will always act the same way regardless of the well or the mass. Sentience, and even non-sentient, life does not act in the same manner. 

Seems to me that is reasoning by incredulity.   You are okay with the intuitive scenarios (those which correlate with real life experiences that you can directly sense).  My guess is that you cannot imagine a human choice reduced down to particle interactions (where a single photon effects a tiny portion of the future).   Thus, in reverse, you plausibly cannot imagine particle dynamics atomic dynamics chemistry biology brain  mental choices.   In other words, an inability to imagine choices being deterministic.

And, again, none of this has anything to do with the problem / solution scenario that you assure me you fully understand.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.14  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.13    one month ago
Why do you presume that the Big Bang is the origin of everything? 

You already know the answer to this.

...so you are predisposed to thinking of existence outside of our known universe.

I do not know what you mean here. 

What that means is that space-time within our universe - the movement from low entropy to high entropy - started at the inception of our universe. Time itself (in the most general sense) is not necessarily limited to our known universe.

You are referring to a concept, not known fact. Time, for all practical purposes within our existence, began with the Big Bang.

To wit, given the Big Bang did not emerge from a literal nothing...

This is not a given.

The kind of sentience you see in smart devices is a fine example.

No, actually, it is not. If you take 100 "smart devices" of the same model, programed in the same manner, all 100 will act in the same way, assuming no defects within the devices. This is why cell phones work.  Cell phones work reliably precisely because they do not have free will, nor are they sentient. You cannot do the same with 100 people. Not even if they are soldiers, as a soldier can decide to reject the programming. A cell phone cannot. 

Thus I asked you why you thought a choice would not be made based on information gathered? In other words, why struggle to define sentience without choosing based on information? To what end?

I wouldn't know, since I am not trying to define sentience in such a way. 

Of course people make choices on information gathered (even if they ignore it).

One cannot advocate determinism and, at the same time, use words like "choice". This is the point. There cannot be choice in determinism. That's what determinism means. 

A deterministic smart device is making choices based on information.

Not at all. No choices are being made by the smart device. That is why, when you speed dial your wife, you don't get Dominos Pizza. It isn't thinking "Well, my user apparently wants to call his wife, but do I really feel like making the connection? Maybe I think he really wants to call Dominos." In order for your analogy to work, smart devices would need to have the ability to consciously make some other choice other than what it was programmed to do. 

An odd way to interpret my words (in blue). Here is a simple example of what I was stating: a calculator is totally deterministic. If you enter 3 + 4 you will always get 7 (predetermined). If you instead input 4 + 4 you will get 8. Now look again at what I wrote:
A deterministic function (e.g. a brain) will produce different results (e.g. an 8 vs. a 7) depending upon the input (e.g. 4+4 vs. 4+3).

The problem here is you are assuming that the brain and a calculator being equivalent is a given. It is not. 

What you claim as my position is not my position. It is a simplistic and very cynical distortion of it.

Um, yeah. Then you go on to say exactly what I was referring to...

Now on this (sidebar), many people of faith are so stubbornly set in their beliefs (and armed with plenty of mechanism to keep them faithful such as confirmation bias) that most every input is deflected and the function (the faith) gives the same output every time (belief).

So, what was your point again? 

I do not presume this person is an advocate for determinism.

I wasn't referring to a specific individual but, rather, the person or persons who hold the view of determinism. 

Demonstration is far better than 'assurance'. Through past experience I have observed you claim understanding and then demonstrate the exact opposite and then blame me (in various ways). So, ...

Apparently, you have determined that unless I agree with your point of view I can't understand it. If I did understand it I could not help but agree with it. You do this a lot. 

Suggests you do not understand what I wrote.

No, it suggests I do not agree with your point of view. 

But it has nothing to do with the problem / solution scenario so it does not encourage me that you understood what I wrote.

Sorry you feel that way. Apparently, you do not understand my point is that in order to address your problem/solution scenario, it first actually has to be a problem, which I do not think that it is. Specifically because determinism isn't true. It is as if you are trying to argue that water is dry and, because I reject the idea, I must not understand it. 

My guess is that you cannot imagine a human choice reduced down to particle interactions (where a single photon effects a tiny portion of the future). Thus, in reverse, you plausibly cannot imagine particle dynamics ➠ atomic dynamics ➠ chemistry ➠ biology ➠ brain ➠ mental choices. In other words, an inability to imagine choices being deterministic.

Then you guess incorrectly. I just don't agree. You, on the other hand, seem not to understand determinism, since you keep putting it in terms of "choice". 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.15  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.14    one month ago
You already know the answer to this.

If I could read your mind I would not ask the question.  

I do not know what you mean here. 

You recognize that the known universe is not everything.   In case that is not clear, you believe there is a supernatural existence that is outside of the known universe.   You believe there is a god outside of the known universe.   I could go on but this should be crystal clear.

You are referring to a concept, not known fact. Time, for all practical purposes within our existence, began with the Big Bang.

I stated the fact that time as we know it is a manifestation of our universe and correlates with increasing entropy.   Look it up.   Your presumption that there is no notion of time (causal progression) outside of the known universe is unfounded.   That is, you cannot support your presumption that time (in general; causal progression) can only exist within the known universe.  

This is not a given.

Yes it is.   Physics holds that the Big Bang singularity is not literally nothing; it is held to be a zero net-energy state.   When people like Lawrence Krauss talks about nothing he is not talking about absolute nothingness.   Quantum fluctuation held to be the trigger of the Big Bang is indeed something.

No, actually, it is not. If you take 100 "smart devices" of the same model, programed in the same manner, all 100 will act in the same way, assuming no defects within the devices. This is why cell phones work. 

Correct.  So that is an example of determinism in devices that are making decisions.

Cell phones work reliably precisely because they do not have free will, nor are they sentient.

Which is why I stated this would be a special kind of sentience.   Note, I was describing sentience in a deterministic reality.   In a deterministic reality the sentience would be different than in a reality where sentient agents can create brand new causal chains.   

You cannot do the same with 100 people. Not even if they are soldiers, as a soldier can decide to reject the programming. A cell phone cannot. 

Ergo the special adjective.   (It is a common practice to use 'special' to distinguish a factor in an unusual circumstance from the same factor in the assumed circumstance.)   You note that 'special sentience' is different than 'sentience' and that is exactly correct!  I used a different term on purpose to distinguish sentience as we understand it under the presumption of non-determinism (sentience) vs. what appears to be sentience in a deterministic reality (special sentience).   Call it whatever you want:  how about 'drakkishness'.  The label is irrelevant (although I thought I offered an intuitive label).   It is the concept that is important.   

One cannot advocate determinism and, at the same time, use words like "choice". This is the point. There cannot be choice in determinism. That's what determinism means. 

So now you want to exclude the word choice?    So in the Hobbit (a story is analogous to a deterministic reality), when Bilbo chooses to sign the contract with the Dwarfs you deem the word 'chooses' to be invalid.   We cannot even describe this deterministic scenario using the word 'choice' or any of its forms?   What value do you think comes from trying to hobble the English language?    

So what do we call this:  'special choice'?   No, clearly not since you reject special sentience.   'Deterministic' choice?   Probably not.   I guess we call it something meaningless like 'flogilation'.   So we have Bilbo in a deterministic scenario who uses his quality of drakkishness to make a flogilation to sign the contract.

The problem here is you are assuming that the brain and a calculator being equivalent is a given. It is not. 

You reject using analogies too?   Just deem English invalid and you will have a perfect excuse to avoid every challenge and anything else that brings your views into question. 

Um, yeah. Then you go on to say exactly what I was referring to...

Amazing that you cannot see the difference between these two:

Drakk @4.2.11  - ... people of faith will believe what they believe regardless of input according to you. 

and

TiG @4.2.13 - ... many people of faith are so stubbornly set in their beliefs (and armed with plenty of mechanism to keep them faithful such as confirmation bias) that most every input is deflected and the function (the faith) gives the same output every time (belief).  Some, however, do come across input that triggers some change as evidenced by the fact that there are indeed believers who have 'lost their faith' and are no longer convinced there is a God.

Your statement is a generalization claiming that everyone with religious faith ignores all input.   That all people of faith never consider input.   I noted that this is not correct (and is cynical) and then illustrated why I disagree with this (see blue above): "there are indeed believers who have 'lost their faith' and are no longer convinced there is a God".

See?   I disagree that every person of faith rejects all input contrary to their faith.

I wasn't referring to a specific individual but, rather, the person or persons who hold the view of determinism. 

So when you wrote this ...

Drakk @4.2.11 - The advocate for determinism is putting forth what they feel is the correct view. Do you disagree? If you do, why do they hold such a view? Regardless, I note that you do not disagree that their view is no more substantiated than their opponents. 

... in context of this video where a single person is (per you) advocating determinism you were actually not referring to the speaker but all those who advocate for determinism.

Okay, then my comment is this.   You are asking me if I agree that all advocates for determinism are (by virtue of their advocation) putting forth what they feel is the correct view.   In short, you are asking if all people who advocate X feel their view is correct.   

Seems like a pointless question.   I would say that is correct if they are honestly advocating (rather than faking).   This is obvious is it not?   So let's move on to the rest of your question in this section:

Drakk @4.2.11 - If you do, why do they hold such a view?

If I disagree I am supposed to answer the above.   Apparently I agree.   But if I did disagree, you are asking me why anyone in general who advocates for determinism would hold the view that determinism is correct.   My answer is that they have become convinced that determinism is correct.   What other answer can one offer to such a basic, generic question?   Unless we are talking about an individual (e.g. the speaker in the video) and we have access to additional information, how does one provide an interesting answer to your question?

Apparently, you have determined that unless I agree with your point of view I can't understand it. 

No, I am observing your responses.   If your response has missed the point then I conclude you do not understand what I wrote.   Seems to me that is what we all do.  I suppose I could instead claim that your answer is dishonest ... that you are arguing a strawman, deflecting, etc.   But I prefer to start with the more generous assumption that a response which misses the point and/or incorrectly expresses what I wrote is an innocent misunderstanding.

Apparently, you do not understand my point is that in order to address your problem/solution scenario, it first actually has to be a problem, which I do not think that it is. Specifically because determinism isn't true. It is as if you are trying to argue that water is dry and, because I reject the idea, I must not understand it. 

I see, so you think that this:

Drakk @4.2.11 - I believe we have free will. I do not believe it is unlimited. I believe our will is restricted not only by the nature of the world in which we live, but in human nature and the prior choices we have made. For instance, an individual who, through prior choices on multiple levels, becomes addicted to some substance. Such an individual has employed both determinism and free will at the same time. 

... is addressing the problem of a deterministic reality in which free will was exposed as an illusion?   You do not even mention the problem or the solution.   Not buying that Drakk.

So let's move to what you just wrote (regardless of its inapplicability to the problem / solution).   

Drakk @4.2.11 - I believe we have free will.

You believe we have free will.  Fine.  You have illustrated that you are speaking from the bias that we have free will.   I am speaking without that bias:  my position is that we do not know if we have free will or not. 

Drakk @4.2.11 - I do not believe it is unlimited. I believe our will is restricted not only by the nature of the world in which we live, but in human nature and the prior choices we have made.

If we have free will that is certainly demonstrated.   If, per your example, we had unlimited free will we would be omnipotent.   So, sure, free will is necessarily limited.

Drakk @4.2.11 - For instance, an individual who, through prior choices on multiple levels, becomes addicted to some substance. Such an individual has employed both determinism and free will at the same time. 

That is not determinism.   That is cause and effect.   What you described is a non-deterministic reality.    Individuals do not 'employ' determinism;  that is an attribute of reality, not of individuals.

I just don't agree. 

That cliche is both a poor rebuttal and a non-answer.

You, on the other hand, seem not to understand determinism, since you keep putting it in terms of "choice". 

You have to think a little deeper than superficial semantics (i.e. getting confused over a single word instead of applying that word in different contexts/usages and thus with slightly different meanings). 

Seems to be quite a few folks who are somehow able to speak intelligently of choice within a deterministic reality.   Other people seem to be able to grasp the concept of how choice works in a non-deterministic reality in contrast with how choice (deterministic choice) works in a deterministic reality.   After all, understanding that is the crux of understanding what a deterministic reality actually means.

In a deterministic reality all the factors that went into the agent making a choice are theoretically knowable (and this 'choice' is appropriately qualified as a special choice or a deterministic choice because it is different from the 'free' choice we commonly define with the assumption of non-determinism) .   The knowability of all those factors is the primary defining characteristic of a deterministic reality.   Because a deterministic choice is pure cause & effect, it is different from a free choice of a non-deterministic reality in which each such free choice creates a brand new causal chain.   The deterministic choice is an illusion of free choice.   It appears to be a free choice because it depends on all sorts of factors (as does the free choice) but all those factors are themselves deterministic and thus the resulting choice is deterministic.   

By extension, free-will in a deterministic reality would also be an illusion.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.16  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.15    one month ago
Your presumption that there is no notion of time (causal progression) outside of the known universe is unfounded.   That is, you cannot support your presumption that time (in general; causal progression) can only exist within the known universe.  

There is no presumption other than your own. I didn't state that time exists only within our universe. I stated that the only time we can observe is within our universe. Anything else is speculation. 

Yes it is. Physics holds that the Big Bang singularity is not literally nothing; it is held to be a zero net-energy state. When people like Lawrence Krauss talks about nothing he is not talking about absolute nothingness. Quantum fluctuation held to be the trigger of the Big Bang is indeed something.

Um, no, it's not. It cannot attain the status of fact unless it is testable. Is it testable?

Correct. So that is an example of determinism in devices that are making decisions.

Seriously? Perhaps we have a different understanding of the word "decision". The device is not making a decision. Your phone is not going to decide to call someone on it's own. It is as if you aren't actually reading what I wrote. 

Which is why I stated this would be a special kind of sentience. Note, I was describing sentience in a deterministic reality. In a deterministic reality the sentience would be different than in a reality where sentient agents can create brand new causal chains.

So you have to redefine sentience in order to make your argument work? A smart phone has zero awareness. If it is not aware, how can it have any type of sentience?

Ergo the special adjective. (It is a common practice to use 'special' to distinguish a factor in an unusual circumstance from the same factor in the assumed circumstance.) You note that 'special sentience' is different than 'sentience' and that is exactly correct! I used a different term on purpose to distinguish sentience as we understand it under the presumption of non-determinism (sentience) vs. what appears to be sentience in a deterministic reality (special sentience). Call it whatever you want: how about 'drakkishness'. The label is irrelevant (although I thought I offered an intuitive label). It is the concept that is important.

Okay. Apparently, your "special" definition of sentience seems to be, "something that can do something". That means water is sentient because it can make something wet. Sorry, but you don't get to invent new definitions like that. A smart phone cant "do" anything. It takes a user for that. To ascribe sentience to a smart phone would be no different than ascribing sentience to a circular saw. It can do stuff too, but it takes a user, a sentient user, to get it to do anything. 

So now you want to exclude the word choice? So in the Hobbit (a story is analogous to a deterministic reality), when Bilbo chooses to sign the contract with the Dwarfs you deem the word 'chooses' to be invalid. We cannot even describe this deterministic scenario using the word 'choice' or any of its forms? What value do you think comes from trying to hobble the English language?

If you want to discuss determinism, choice is unavoidably excluded. That is what determinism means. Do you not understand that? Determinism means that present action is determined by past events, not by present choice. There are no choices in determinism. 

So what do we call this: 'special choice'? No, clearly not since you reject special sentience. 'Deterministic' choice? Probably not. I guess we call it something meaningless like 'flogilation'. So we have Bilbo in a deterministic scenario who uses his quality of drakkishness to make a flogilation to sign the contract.

I reject "special choice" or special determinism because it doesn't exist. Nor is Bilbo in a deterministic scenario. If he were, he would have no choice but to sign the contract. Past events would make him sign it. Choice would not be a factor. That is what determinism means. 

You reject using analogies too?

No. Just invalid ones. If you put 2 + 2 into a calculator, it has no ability to return anything but 4. But if you ask something sentient, such as a child, you could get any answer. If someone asked me the same equation, I could say the answer is 5, even though I know it is not. A calculator cannot do that.  While there are similarities between a brain and a calculator they are not equivalent.

Your statement is a generalization claiming that everyone with religious faith ignores all input.

No, it isn't. It is a statement regarding your general view of people of faith. 

I noted that this is not correct (and is cynical) and then illustrated why I disagree with this (see blue above): "there are indeed believers who have 'lost their faith' and are no longer convinced there is a God".

There is no cynicism in my remark. It is simply a statement of how you view people who have faith in God. Nothing you have said so far has proven this wrong. In fact, you only prove my point. That some fall away from faith is irrelevant. It is why some hold on to their faith that is relevant. According to you, such people believe in spite of what you consider evidence to the contrary. 

See? I disagree that every person of faith rejects all input contrary to their faith.

Which has nothing to do with my comment. My comment referred to how you view people of faith in spite of how you feel about evidence against faith. 

So when you wrote this ...

It's pretty simple. I was not referring to any specific individual but, rather, to those who hold to determinism. 

That is not determinism. That is cause and effect.

Um, cause and effect is the definition of determinism. What do you think determinism is???

The knowability of all those factors is the primary defining characteristic of a deterministic reality.

Nope. The defining characteristic of a deterministic reality is that prior causes determine current events. We do not have to know what those prior causes are. 

This is getting boring. I'm tired of you trying to redefine words like choice. That there is some special meaning to the word when we talk about determinism. Choice means that there are more than one possible avenues of action, each resulting in a different outcome that is possible to take. Determinism eliminates all avenues except one, which is determined by past evens, not current consideration. No matter how "special" you make choice, it cannot work in a deterministic frame. 

 
 
 
CB
4.2.17  CB   replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.14    one month ago
If you take 100 "smart devices" of the same model, programed in the same manner, all 100 will act in the same way, assuming no defects within the devices. This is why cell phones work.  Cell phones work reliably precisely because they do not have free will, nor are they sentient. You cannot do the same with 100 people. Not even if they are soldiers, as a soldier can decide to reject the programming. A cell phone cannot. 

This is,. . . quite interesting.

One cannot advocate determinism and, at the same time, use words like "choice". This is the point. There cannot be choice in determinism. That's what determinism means. 

There is partial choice in soft determinism.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.18  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.16    one month ago
I'm tired of you trying to redefine words like choice.

I am beyond tired of you looking for (and sometimes literally creating out of whole cloth) petty things to complain about rather than stand up and actually engage on the content.   

That said, I did not redefine the word 'choice'.  To cater to your inability (or lack of desire) to deal with choice in a non-deterministic reality versus the different kind of choice in a deterministic reality I explicitly labeled a new usage 'deterministic choice'.   There really is no catering to you Drakk.  You complain, I try to accommodate and you still complain.   When I explicitly note that there is a semantic difference between these two usages of 'choice' I am doing the exact opposite of redefining a term.

( It is a challenge to continue to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are genuinely trying to discuss the content. )

I didn't state that time exists only within our universe. I stated that the only time we can observe is within our universe.

Let's just go with that phrasing.   Then you accept the possibility that time (in general) could exist outside of our known universe but it would be a different kind of time since our time is based on increasing entropy within our known universe.   Right?   All good?   

It cannot attain the status of fact unless it is testable. Is it testable?

Actually that is not quite correct.   It [singularity] cannot attain the status of theory unless it is falsifiable.   The singularity is an hypothesis.   Current physics (the math) turns into infinities in the Planck Epoch so science basically notes that the nature of the singularity is not yet known.   But science does not maintain that the singularity is nothing, quite the opposite.   It is considered to be a zero net energy state of enormous density that, when triggered, expanded into the known universe (and beyond).   This speculative view fits the physics after the Planck Epoch so indirectly it has a ton of support.   But the singularity, due to our inability to get inside the Planck Epoch, remains well-founded scientific speculation (aka an hypothesis - the dominant hypothesis but an hypothesis nonetheless).

Seriously? Perhaps we have a different understanding of the word "decision". The device is not making a decision. Your phone is not going to decide to call someone on it's own. 

Well, Drakk, time to open your mind a little.   Devices have been making non-trivial decisions for decades.   They have inputs which they consider and then possibly act upon.   Nowadays the decisions are growing closer to the kinds of decisions we would think only possible by human beings.   When you engage in a voice interaction with a call center, you will often have automation which is making decisions on what your audio patterns are expressing in terms of words.   The words are parsed into sentences (more decisions) and the sentences are interpreted into meaning.  That meaning is used to make all sorts of decisions on what you likely want or need and, importantly, to formulate the next exchange in the dialogue.   There is nothing trivial about what is going on here and real decisions are being made at every step (including judgment calls - especially with the voice recognition phase).

My phone is not going to call someone on its own (although it might in the future with an appropriate app).   But it would be based on stimulus (input) just like your decision to call someone will be based on stimulus.   Something is prompting you to make a call.   

Also, telemarketing firms use AI technology to intelligently target customers and make decisions as to what phone number to use, what message to provide, etc.   The technology does indeed decide to call people up and has a decided plan in case they answer.   

Imagine also the decisions made with fraud detection, determining who and what to advertise, etc.?

Finally, when would you consider a decision by a bot to be a 'decision'?   What criteria do you have?   Say you have an AI surveillance robot that detects violence on the street.   When it decides to call the police station and then intercede is that not a decision?

Words like decision and choice are, like virtually every other word in natural language, dependent upon usage.   The meaning changes per usage.   This is normal.   

Thus choice in a deterministic reality and choice in a non-deterministic reality both have the structure of making a decision based upon available information.   But the choice in a deterministic reality will not create a new causal chain but rather simply continue an existing causal chain.   In contrast, the choice in a non-deterministic reality (what we assume is our reality) will create a new causal chain.

Choice, decision, etc. in non-deterministic reality forges the future at each instant.    Choice, decision in a deterministic reality (where the future is knowable) is simply another domino falling in the chain.


I have dropped trying to qualify words since that did not help.   So I am relying upon context and normal usage semantics again.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.19  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.16    one month ago

Rather then continue this clearly pointless process I am going to try something different.

Pretend we have a person, Fred, operating in a non-deterministic reality (the one we assume is our reality) vs. Fred operating in a deterministic reality (dFred).

Today, Fred chooses to have a mushroom omelette for breakfast.   That choice was the result of an incomprehensibly large set of factors that are almost entirely out of Fred's range of consciousness.   Things like his body chemistry, the temperature, what he dreamed of when he slept.   And these factors continue down to his neurology, his cells, the atoms within his cells, etc.  In addition, he is influenced by his environment in his home and outside.   Noises, smells, weather, radiation, etc.   Anything that could be sensed at any level could theoretically influence his choice for breakfast.

Fred's simple choice for breakfast reduces to a network of enormous complexity.   Almost none of it is known to Fred (i.e. mostly not part of Fred's consciousness).

Fred chose an omelette but even a tiny change in one of the myriad factors (e.g. an additional synapse firing due to a change in body chemistry based on showering with a different soap and triggering a chain reaction in the brain) might have resulted in Fred choosing fried eggs with an English muffin.    Tomorrow the state of Fred and his environment will clearly be different and unless Fred is a habitual omelette guy, he probably will make a different choice based on those different factors.


Now, let's place Fred in a deterministic reality.   Deterministic Fred (dFred) has not changed a bit.   He is the same person with the same body, mind, memories, genetic dispositions, behavior, etc.   Let's also align the deterministic reality to be identical to that of the non-deterministic reality described above.   So the state of dFred and dFred's environment (down to the quarks) is absolutely identical to that of Fred and Fred's environment.

dFred will choose to have a mushroom omelette for breakfast.

Why?


Now let's make a tiny change in dFred's environment.   Say dFred wakes up to a very warm day.   The deterministic state is clearly not the same as the original.   So dFred might choose to have a bowl of cold cereal rather than an egg breakfast.

dFred chooses cold cereal.

Now, let's align our non-deterministic reality to the warm day reality we just visited.  Fred is identical to dFred and Fred's environment is identical to dFred's environment.  It is thus a warm day for Fred.

Does Fred choose to have a bowl of cold cereal?


First Point (the easy one)

The key difference between a non-deterministic reality and a deterministic reality is that in the non-deterministic case the actual factors that go into Fred's breakfast choice are not determined until the instant of Fred's decision.   In the deterministic case, the actual factors that go into dFred's breakfast choice are determined in the causal chain well before dFred makes his choice.

But it does not matter if the factors are determined dynamically or pre-determined, both Fred and dFred 's choices are a consequence of these factors.   The factors, in aggregate, determine the choice.

Secondary Point (the hard one)

You will naturally claim that the non-deterministic reality has a factor that is not in the deterministic reality.   This is the factor that makes things non-deterministic.   

Where is it?

It cannot be a quantum fluctuation because that is also part of deterministic reality.  And, besides, that is such a low level factor that you really cannot claim that to be part of Fred's conscious choice.

So other than factors not being determined until the instant of the breakfast choice, how is Fred any different from dFred?   How is his choice any different from dFred's.   This special factor necessarily is outside of Fred's physicality because, if not, it would be part of the factors of reality (just like the deterministic case).   

But if it is outside of Fred how can it be part of Fred's conscious choice?    How is it considered part of Fred's conscious decision?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.20  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.18    one month ago
deterministic choice

I'm done here. You do not seem to understand that there is no version of choice in determinism. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.21  Drakkonis  replied to  CB @4.2.17    one month ago
There is partial choice in soft determinism.

There is no such thing as "partial determinism." The moment choice becomes a valid thing, determinism is destroyed. I am, of course, speaking of sentient beings. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.22  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.18    one month ago
That said, I did not redefine the word 'choice'.  To cater to your inability (or lack of desire) to deal with choice in a non-deterministic reality versus the different kind of choice in a deterministic reality I explicitly labeled a new usage 'deterministic choice'.

Okay, Tig. Choice in a deterministic reality. How about you explain this? Determinism demands that a particular action is guaranteed by past events. Do you understand this??? So explain how "choice" is a factor in an event that is already predetermined by past events??? Do you not understand that choice means that something not associated with past events can occur? Do you remember the game show "Let's make a deal"? Determinism states that the contestant chose door #2 because prior events made it impossible that any other door could be chosen. Determinism states that, if we had the ability to see and recognize all relevant prior events, the selection of door #2 would be inevitable. Doors #1 and #3 are irrelevant, since there is no possibility that they could be chosen under determinism. 

Let's just go with that phrasing. Then you accept the possibility that time (in general) could exist outside of our known universe but it would be a different kind of time since our time is based on increasing entropy within our known universe. Right? All good?

What is your point? My point was that the only time we can observe is within our universe.

Actually that is not quite correct.

Actually, it is. The scientific method...

  1. Ask questions
  2. Research
  3. Hypothesis
  4. Experiment
  5. Analyze data
  6. Accept/reject hypothesis
Well, Drakk, time to open your mind a little.

Go for it.

Devices have been making non-trivial decisions for decades. They have inputs which they consider and then possibly act upon.

No, they have not. That is, not decisions in the manner I am speaking of. Sentience. If you build a device and program it to do certain things, every other device you build in the same manner and with the same programming will always do exactly the same thing as the original. There is no choice on the part of the device. There is no "consideration". There is only if/then. 

Nowadays the decisions are growing closer to the kinds of decisions we would think only possible by human beings.

I do not believe this to be true. The only way it could be is if the device were self aware. Sentient. No matter how advanced they seem they are still if/then processes. Look at what you say...

When you engage in a voice interaction with a call center, you will often have automation which is making decisions on what your audio patterns are expressing in terms of words.

"It" is not making decisions. Those decisions were made by the programmer. Essentially, the program is "listening" for a yes or no and progresses from there. What the program does isn't decided by the program but by the programmer. 

Also, telemarketing firms use AI technology to intelligently target customers and make decisions as to what phone number to use, what message to provide, etc. The technology does indeed decide to call people up and has a decided plan in case they answer.

Again, no. The tech does not target the customer. The programmer who wrote the tech makes the decision. The tech doesn't do what it does because of it's own intelligence but because of the programmers intelligence. You are anthropomorphizing the situation. 

Finally, when would you consider a decision by a bot to be a 'decision'?

When it does something completely outside its programming. 

Say you have an AI surveillance robot that detects violence on the street. When it decides to call the police station and then intercede is that not a decision?

When it decides to compose music instead. Comes up with a new recipe for chili. When it talks about how depressed it is having to watch the same street day after day. 

Words like decision and choice are, like virtually every other word in natural language, dependent upon usage. The meaning changes per usage. This is normal.

Not really. Perhaps you can give me an example? I mean, I get how you are using the word to define what a program does but those really aren't example of actual decisions by the program. They are decisions by the programmer and the program has no alternative but to execute them. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
4.2.23  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.19    one month ago
Rather then continue this clearly pointless process I am going to try something different.

Except you don't. Your deterministic and non-deterministic examples are both the same. Deterministic. In your first Fred example, Fred's choice of breakfast is determined by prior causes, although you seem to feel this is non-deterministic. This makes me think that you do not understand the definition of determinism. 

My favorite breakfast is link sausage, eggs over easy and hash browns. I absolutely love it. When I ate such a breakfast I actually couldn't wait to wake up in order to cook it. But these days, I seldom ever eat it. Instead, I eat an omelet. Swiss cheese, mushroom (lots) onion and bell pepper. The reason I do so is information has enlightened me that such a breakfast is healthier for me than what I would rather cook. The understanding of this doesn't make me choose the second breakfast. I choose it because of desire. 

You will naturally claim that the non-deterministic reality has a factor that is not in the deterministic reality. This is the factor that makes things non-deterministic.
Where is it?

I can't say, because both your examples are deterministic as far as I can see. 

So other than factors not being determined until the instant of the breakfast choice, how is Fred any different from dFred?

Indeed. Since they are both deterministic there is no difference to choose from. If you wanted to differentiate Fred from dFred you should have set Fred up to make his decisions regardless of prior events. That is, I would have my sausage, eggs over easy and hash browns for no other reason than that I want them. 

Today, Fred chooses to have a mushroom omelets for breakfast. That choice was the result of an incomprehensibly large set of factors that are almost entirely out of Fred's range of consciousness.

Can you not see that, although you are attempting to present a non-deterministic scenario, what you have presented is entirely deterministic? Fred's choice was determined by factors outside himself. "That choice was the result of an incomprehensibly large set of factors..." There is no difference between Fred and dFred. You apparently can't encompass the idea that Fred, the sentient individual, desires the breakfast that he does simply because he desires it, regardless of external imput. 

When I eat my favorite breakfast I don't do so because of external input. External input tells me it isn't a good choice. I do so simply because I enjoy it and in spite of the knowledge it isn't the best choice. 

But if it is outside of Fred how can it be part of Fred's conscious choice? How is it considered part of Fred's conscious decision?

Simple. It is based on Fred's desire. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.24  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.22    one month ago
Do you not understand that choice means that something not associated with past events can occur?

That is spontaneity.   Choice is a decision based on (input) factors.   Spontaneity is precisely referring to something that is not bound by causal chains.   A choice can involve a factor of spontaneity (non-deterministic reality) or not (deterministic reality).

How about you explain this? Determinism demands that a particular action is guaranteed by past events. Do you understand this???  So explain how "choice" is a factor in an event that is already predetermined by past events??? Do you not understand that choice means that something not associated with past events can occur? Do you remember the game show "Let's make a deal"? Determinism states that the contestant chose door #2 because prior events made it impossible that any other door could be chosen. Determinism states that, if we had the ability to see and recognize all relevant prior events, the selection of door #2 would be inevitable. Doors #1 and #3 are irrelevant, since there is no possibility that they could be chosen under determinism. 

In a deterministic reality, the choice of door 2 is pre-determined by the causal chain.   Door 2 will be selected.   There is no possibility that doors 1 or 3 will be selected.

The agent (the player) in this deterministic reality will perform a function that involves many factors (the vast majority of which are not conscious considerations) which resolve to door 2.   That function is a choice.   No matter how many times we replay this scenario, the factors at the instant of this choice will be the same and thus the choice will always be door 2.

(pause)

Now, create a copy of this deterministic reality and modify a few of the factors.   In result we have a different reality albeit still deterministic.   In this alternate deterministic reality the agent chooses door 3.

Why?

Because choice is a function of factors such as brain state, environment, hunger, etc.   Change the factors and you potentially change the choice.  And this notion of factors determining the choice applies in a non-deterministic reality too.

(pause)

In a deterministic reality all the factors are themselves pre-determined by the causal chain.   The deterministic reality leading to door 2 will always lead to door 2 no matter how many times we 'play out' the causal chain.   The alternate deterministic reality leading to door 3 will always yield the choice of door 3 on each 'play out'.   The causal chain is like a storyline; the choices of the characters are pre-determined.

In contrast, in a non-deterministic reality (which we assume to be the case with our reality) the factors are not pre-determined by a causal chain.   The factors (in aggregate) are not determined until the very instant of the choice.   But if the factors in a non-deterministic reality were to exactly align with those of the door 2 deterministic reality then the choice will indeed be door 2.   

So is there some factor in non-deterministic reality that produces a spontaneous result - one that is independent of all other factors in reality?   A factor that is missing in deterministic reality?  A factor which enables the creation of new causal chains rather than being bound to a long predetermined chain of cause and effect?

Non-deterministic reality apparently has a spontaneity factor.   What do you suppose that is?   

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.25  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.22    one month ago

Addressing some of the miscellaneous stuff now just for the sake of doing it.

What is your point? My point was that the only time we can observe is within our universe.

My point was that we cannot presume the Big Bang singularity is not a consequence of a causal chain.

Actually, it is. The scientific method...

Where do you even mention 'fact' in your 'rebuttal'?   I explained to you that it is theories that correlate with what you called 'fact' and that it is theories that are required to be falsifiable.   What I told you is demonstrably correct, look it up.

No, they have not. That is, not decisions in the manner I am speaking of. Sentience. If you build a device and program it to do certain things, every other device you build in the same manner and with the same programming will always do exactly the same thing as the original. There is no choice on the part of the device. There is no "consideration". There is only if/then. 

You really want to restrict words like choice and decision to a dogmatically narrow meaning.   That is just not how things are working so you might as well get used to it.   An algorithm makes decisions.   Those If/Then conditionals are bona fide decisions.   The algorithm does indeed choose among alternatives.   

That said, an algorithm will indeed make the exact same decision when presented with the exact same inputs (factors).    And why do you think sentient entities are necessarily different?   If we could turn back time so that all of reality (including you) was at the exact same state when you decided what you would have for breakfast this morning, on what grounds would you choose something different?   Where is the thing that accounts for the difference (given the state of reality is identical)?

I do not believe this to be true. The only way it could be is if the device were self aware. Sentient. No matter how advanced they seem they are still if/then processes. Look at what you say...

A device does not have to be self aware to make decisions approaching that of a human being.   Drakk, we have automatons that can accurately recognize faces.   They are not self-aware.   The neural networks that translate natural languages are not self aware but currently rival human interpreters.   Have you ever tried to imagine the sophistication of devices such as the Mars Rover?   Self-awareness is not a requirement.

A simpler example is Alpha Zero.   Alpha Zero is an advanced AI system that was developed from the Alpha Go technology which learned the game of Go (the most complex board game on the planet) to the level where it beat the best human player.   Alpha Zero learned how to play chess on its own (unsupervised machine learning).   It was given the rules of the game and then it experimented (playing against itself) until it had achieved a level in which it now can beat all other chess systems.   And, of course, no human player can hold a candle to it.   None of this requires self-awareness.    

What you believe is not necessarily correct.

"It" is not making decisions. Those decisions were made by the programmer. Essentially, the program is "listening" for a yes or no and progresses from there. What the program does isn't decided by the program but by the programmer. 

Well then I could argue that you are not making decisions because all of your decisions were made by your programmer.   Algorithms are not simplistic mechanisms that you envision.   Nowadays 'programmers' do quite a bit more than give extremely detailed instructions that a computer program simply executes at a high speed.   The algorithms that qualify as AI are substantially different in that the 'programmer' is enabling the automaton to reason.   It is more like building a brain than it is providing a recipe.    Your understanding of how this all works is very dated (this is my field Drakk).

Again, no. The tech does not target the customer. The programmer who wrote the tech makes the decision. The tech doesn't do what it does because of it's own intelligence but because of the programmers intelligence. You are anthropomorphizing the situation. 

And you clearly presume to know far more than you do.   Your comments demonstrate that you are very much not aware of the state of the art.   Not trying to insult you but rather trying to get you to stop mistaking personal confidence for truth (which is what I suspect is happening).

When it does something completely outside its programming. 

Read up on Alpha Zero (one of many examples, but this one is easy to understand).   Read up on Watson.

When it decides to compose music instead. Comes up with a new recipe for chili. When it talks about how depressed it is having to watch the same street day after day. 

How about when it invents a novel Chess strategy (that works and actually assists grandmasters ... teaches them)?

 
 
 
mocowgirl
4.2.26  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @4.2.25    one month ago
Well then I could argue that you are not making decisions because all of your decisions were made by your programmer.

If I am understanding correctly, there are human programmers are creating programs that can reason above the level of the programmer.

If there is a God, it programmed its creations to never be intelligent enough to understand anything close to the level of the programmer.  Why would a perfect being create imperfection if God has a master plan and can't be surprised?  

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.27  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @4.2.26    one month ago
If I am understanding correctly, there are human programmers are creating programs that can reason above the level of the programmer.

Yes.   But in selective areas.   The human brain is still kicking butt (for now) when it comes to general purpose thinking.   Note that AI is in its infancy.

If there is a God, it programmed its creations to never be intelligent enough to understand anything close to the level of the programmer.  Why would a perfect being create imperfection?  Amusement?

Good question for Drakk.

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.28  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.23    one month ago
Fred's choice was determined by factors outside himself. "That choice was the result of an incomprehensibly large set of factors..." There is no difference between Fred and dFred. You apparently can't encompass the idea that Fred, the sentient individual, desires the breakfast that he does simply because he desires it, regardless of external imput. 

Just to be complete.   

Do you recognize that human behavior (including our choices) is influenced by factors other than strictly what we consider to be our consciousness?

(If not then I totally understand why you are struggling with this.)

Do you understand that the aforementioned 'incomprehensibly large set of factors' includes every factor (conscious and not) (internal and external)?

If Fred, when in the exact same state as dFred —when all the factors in reality are identical— makes a different choice, then what is the explanation for that?   Just calling that 'desire' totally avoids the question.   If 'desire' does not ultimately reduce into those factors then what, precisely, do you mean by 'desire'?   Where is the 'desire' located?   What is its nature?   How is it controlled by the conscious mind?

 
 
 
CB
4.2.29  CB   replied to  Drakkonis @4.2.21    one month ago
There is no such thing as "partial determinism."

Are you certain soft determinism is not a thing, Drakkonis? Because I have a definition for it. Can you look, please?

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.30  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @4.2.29    one month ago

If you are interested, here is the lesson from this series on compatibilism (aka soft determinism).

 
 
 
CB
4.2.31  CB   replied to  TᵢG @4.2.30    one month ago

I watched it, Frankly, I watched it even before you posted in below at @7.1.8. Thank you for sharing it, with me and the group!

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.32  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @4.2.31    one month ago

I suspected you had watched it already.

Part of my reason for posting the link was to put the philosophical concept of compatibilism back on the table since it has been covered up with additional discussion.

It most definitely is an ancient piece of worldwide philosophy.   Whether or not it is correct and whether or not I buy the argument, there is no doubt that the concept exists.

 
 
 
CB
4.2.33  CB   replied to  TᵢG @4.2.32    one month ago

The announcer in the article video truly related information to his audience, but he did not bother to give it purpose. Has it been something of the goal of this article to 'ramble along' without making a leading declaration on hard determinism? That is, to be purposeless.?

 
 
 
TᵢG
4.2.34  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @4.2.33    one month ago
Has it been something of the goal of this article to 'ramble along' without making a leading declaration on hard determinism?

The purpose of this article, originally, was to expose people to a very good presentation on the subject of determinism vs. free will and to then discuss whatever ensues from that.

 
 
 
CB
4.3  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @4    2 months ago

Unless we us policies, rules, and laws to determine that an offense is worthy of jail-time. (Smile.)

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5  JohnRussell    2 months ago

There is a story about a monk in India who was being chased by a tiger. And the monk comes to the end of the road, a sheer cliff leading hundreds of feet straight down. He can decide if he wants to be eaten by the tiger or jump to his death off the cliff. But when he gets to the edge he sees a small branch a few feet below him sticking out of the side of the cliff.  So he lowers himself onto the branch and gets away from the tiger. But then the branch begins to break. As he is hanging there grasping onto this breaking branch and seconds from certain death he notices a flower protruding out from a small crevice in the cliff off to his side, and he thinks "what a beautiful flower". 

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
6  Freedom Warrior    2 months ago

KNOWING

 
 
 
CB
7  CB     2 months ago

Whew! I sped the video up to "1.5" to see if this guy's sales pitch would end faster (it didn't). So, I guess he saw that coming when he started to explain my anger about why he seemed to drone on and on and on. . . . Anyway, now that I am finally done listening. I can go to the top and start down the list of comments (and see how far I get before it is "determined" that I should be shut down as is usual around 'these parts').

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @7    2 months ago
I sped the video up to "1.5" to see if this guy's sales pitch would end faster (it didn't).

If you view this as a sales pitch you have biased your interpretation.

 
 
 
CB
7.1.1  CB   replied to  TᵢG @7.1    2 months ago

Experience has taught me that people who speak in a manner indicative of run-on sentences, routinely are selling something—which goes beyond simple persuasion. This man casted in the role of spokesman wants us to accept that everything we do is determined already, question: What is the point of telling us this - unless he is implying that some are unaccepting of the viewpoint. Thus, implying that we can (freely) change our point of view?

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @7.1.1    2 months ago

This is part of a long series which covers many different subjects; not just Philosophy.  This video is one of 46 on Philosophy alone.   The style of this series is fast paced, energetic, high-level instruction.

He is not making up the content of this course.   This is what you would expect to find (albeit in more detail) in university courses.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.3  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @7.1.1    2 months ago
What is the point of telling us this - unless he is implying that some are unaccepting of the viewpoint. Thus, implying that we can (freely) change our point of view?

If one were to operate as though there were no free will, then one would likely cease trying to do anything (but, of course that would be impossible since that would be a choice).  Further, I am not sure what would motivate someone to try to sell people on the notion that free will does not exist.   What do they have to gain by selling something that is not known to be true?

The point of this seed is to put ideas on the table for deep consideration and discussion.

 
 
 
CB
7.1.4  CB   replied to  TᵢG @7.1.2    2 months ago

I agree! Moreover, I appreciate the pace and uptempo. (It is a 'crash-course.') The point being: acceptance. . . .

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.5  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @7.1.4    2 months ago
The point being: acceptance. . . .

Not sure what you mean.   Are you saying the fast pace format is designed to mitigate one's ability to contemplate and thus simply accept?   A form of indoctrination?

 
 
 
CB
7.1.6  CB   replied to  TᵢG @7.1.3    2 months ago
 What do they have to gain by selling something that is not known to be true?

I don't know. This video is casting a broad net around and dips in on universal, human, and individual determinism. Emphasis on hard determinism. I simply point this out. To what end this discussion will determine.

I wonder how the spokesman would compare hard determinism with soft determinism? Because he is doing a fine job of developing hard determinism here majorly.

 
 
 
CB
7.1.7  CB   replied to  TᵢG @7.1.5    2 months ago

No. No. The point of acceptance of hard determinism. If hard determinism exist-it does alone. There can be no other option to consider, can it?

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.8  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @7.1.6    2 months ago
I wonder how the spokesman would compare hard determinism with soft determinism?

Here is the series video on compatibilism:

 
 
 
CB
7.1.9  CB   replied to  TᵢG @7.1.8    2 months ago

original

The universe may determine humans (humanity) must eat to survive, thus a smorgasbord of animal and plant life is provided individuals as eatables versus a simple mixture of porridge or gruel.

 
 
 
Gordy327
7.1.10  Gordy327  replied to  CB @7.1.9    2 months ago
The universe may determine humans (humanity) must eat to survive, thus a smorgasbord of animal and plant life is provided individuals as eatables versus a simple mixture of porridge or gruel.

But the same universe has also made a lot of plant and animal species toxic or inedible for human consumption too. The universe can sure be finicky at times.

 
 
 
CB
7.1.11  CB   replied to  CB @7.1.9    2 months ago

These present choices.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.12  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @7.1.11    2 months ago
These present choices.

Your point being what?

 
 
 
CB
7.1.13  CB   replied to  TᵢG @7.1.12    2 months ago

I agree with your @4.2 and more so with soft determinism.

 
 
 
PJ
8  PJ    2 months ago

Determinism is total BS offered and supported by those who need an excuse to justify their bad choices.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  PJ @8    2 months ago
Determinism is total BS ...

How do you know this?

 
 
 
PJ
8.1.1  PJ  replied to  TᵢG @8.1    2 months ago

Who in the world would come up with that word and definition but some kook who was looking to assign a reason why people do stupid things.

It's no different than someone claiming the devil made them do it. 

It's no different than claiming god told them to do it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  PJ @8.1.1    2 months ago

Is this another one of those times where you do not want to answer the question.  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
PJ
9  PJ    2 months ago

I answered the question based on what I think. 

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10  mocowgirl    2 months ago

I absolutely love this seed and will most likely watch all videos available on youtube.

According to Aquinas, I have no choice in the matter because God is making me.  LOL! 

Is personality a choice?   Is the ability to operate within a societal's rules/standards a choice?  Is conformity or non-conformity to the society that a person is born into a choice?

I have watched a few videos about the philosophy of freewill.  I will link one that I enjoyed in the past month.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10    2 months ago

I see you are a fan of CosmicSkeptic too.  jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.1.1  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.1    2 months ago
I see you are a fan of CosmicSkeptic too.

And Rationality Rules, Matt Dillahunty, Seth Andrews, Aron Ra and many others that I have discovered in the last year.   Their videos have had a meaningful impact on improving the quality of how I view and deal with my personal life experience and how I deal view and deal with others.

According to CosmicSkeptic, I watch these videos because it brings me pleasure...and he is absolutely correct.  LOL!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.2  JohnRussell  replied to  mocowgirl @10    2 months ago

I watched about half the video. When he got into wanting to want or not wanting to want, that was enough. 

What is the point of all this? What is the point of this entire seed for that matter. 

All we need to know about free will is that we cannot give it up.  Try and convince yourself that you are not going to decide what kind of ice cream you want tonight. Try and convince yourself that your choice of ice cream is predetermined.  You can't, when it comes time to eat the ice cream it will still be because you chose chocolate over vanilla. AND if you say it was predetermined what you were going to do, saying it was predetermined is also a choice. You had the choice to say it was predetermined and the choice to keep your mouth shut and just eat the ice cream. 

Imagine a character in a novel.  If we the reader know from peeking ahead 3 pages that the little boy is going to steal the apple pie off the farmer's window, does that mean that the little boy was predetermined to steal the pie? 

Not to him, it wasnt. 

What good comes from deciding that everything is predetermined? Does "knowing" that make you happy? 

The truth is that it isnt possible for human beings to NOT experience free will.  Now that sounds to me like something that actually matters. 

 
 
 
CB
10.2.1  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @10.2    2 months ago

Hi JR! This post is for everybody who cares to comment.

On this point of Want.

For the sake of argument @ 8:15 in the video, the CosmicSkeptic says we have concluded we can not control our wants/desires.  But, have we concluded that?

What takes place when we have to decide between one, two, or several wants/desires? For example, Lasagna, fish, cake, and beer. Do we smash all four foods into our mouth at once? Or, walk away with nothing? Or, choose which to consume first?

Has this skeptic clearly indicated why a want is not free-will?

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @10.2    2 months ago
Try and convince yourself that you are not going to decide what kind of ice cream you want tonight. Try and convince yourself that your choice of ice cream is predetermined. 

Why do you think this is a way to test if we have free will?    Using intuition alone will not distinguish between genuine free will or the illusion of free will.

Not to him, it wasnt. 

The illusion of free will.

What good comes from deciding that everything is predetermined? Does "knowing" that make you happy? 

You do not understand why human beings consider philosophical questions?

The truth is that it isnt possible for human beings to NOT experience free will.  

Because ... ?


What is the point of this entire seed for that matter. 

A real mystery to you, eh?   You might not be required to be here.   If have free will, you can go elsewhere.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.2.3  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @10.2.2    2 months ago

Now that you think you understand that human beings dont have free will, please tell us what you have accomplished? 

Also , give me an example of how someone would EXPERIENCE not having free will.  Go ahead and try, which should be interesting, because it is impossible.

The truth is that it isnt possible for human beings to NOT experience free will.  
Because ... ?

When you decide that you don't have free will you are experiencing free will. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.2.4  JohnRussell  replied to  CB @10.2.1    2 months ago
What takes place when we have to decide between one, two, or several wants/desires? For example, Lasagna, fish, cake, and beer. Do we smash all four foods into our mouth at once? Or, walk away with nothing? Or, choose which to consume first? Has this skeptic clearly indicated why a want is not free-will?

Probably the dumbest part of the video (of the half I watched) is when he says our choice of chocolate or vanilla is predetermined by our wants. 

Gee, I don't know about him but I might want to eat chocolate and then ten minutes later decide I also want vanilla. Which one was my true want? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.5  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @10.2.3    2 months ago
Now that you think you understand that human beings dont have free will, please tell us what you have accomplished? 

Where do you get the idea that I hold we do not have free will?    I made no such claim.    Indeed I have stated that we do not know and that we certainly could not tell simply with our intuition.   If we are in a purely deterministic reality every choice that we think we are making is simply an illusion of choice (determined by cause and effect down to the lowest level of reality).   How do you propose we test to see if reality is deterministic?    If you know I suggest you write a paper and become famous.

Also , give me an example of how someone would EXPERIENCE not having free will.  Go ahead and try, which should be interesting, because it is impossible.

You are again not paying attention.   In my post I noted that a human being would not be able to tell.   Here, read this:

TiG @10.2.2 Why do you think this is a way to test if we have free will?    Using intuition alone will not distinguish between genuine free will or the illusion of free will.

See John, you are not even reading what I am writing.   You are blindly attacking with a strawman that I have already debunked.

When you decide that you don't have free will you are experiencing free will. 

Back up your claim.   How can you possibly (as an individual) know that the decision you think you made was not simply an illusion of free will?    How do you use your senses to make that call?   Explain; do more than simply make claims.

Extra Credit:   Identify where the free will exists.   Is free will part of the physical brain or is it something e~l~s~e?

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.2.6  mocowgirl  replied to  JohnRussell @10.2.4    2 months ago
Gee, I don't know about him but I might want to eat chocolate and then ten minutes later decide I also want vanilla. Which one was my true want? 

Both were your true want at different times.  If you wanted chocolate and vanilla at the same time then you would have chosen both if that was an option.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.2.7  JohnRussell  replied to  CB @10.2.1    2 months ago
Has this skeptic clearly indicated why a want is not free-will?

Not as far as I can see. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.8  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.2.6    2 months ago

The idea (for those who are genuinely trying to understand this) is to consider what factors drove you to pick chocolate.   Our brains are extremely complex biochemical organs that are affected by body chemistry and the current state of the environment.   Of course our choices are also affected by the state of our brain (e.g. what we know - the state of all of our neurons, neurotransmitters, etc.).    All of these myriad factors ultimately determine our choice of chocolate or vanilla.

Thus, the choice for chocolate was determined by some difference in the aggregate state versus the choice for vanilla.   If there was no difference in the aggregate state then there is no factor (that science is aware of) that would cause a different choice to be made.    That is, if John chooses vanilla at 5:03pm last Thursday then if it were possible to rewind time and get the entire universe (and that includes all of John) back to the aggregate state it was in at 5:03pm last Thursday then John would again choose vanilla.

Now John will come back and simply repeat his claim that he could have chosen chocolate.   That is why I have asked him to explain where the difference that leads to chocolate comes from.   If he says that it is part of the physical brain then that part would also be part of the aggregate state and thus his answer fails.   Indeed this varying part must be outside of all physicality.   But then how is it attached to the individual?    How does it work with the brain?   All sorts of unraveling questions ensue.

The topic is far more complex than John recognizes.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.2.9  mocowgirl  replied to  JohnRussell @10.2    2 months ago
You had the choice 

My "choice" will be based on either what I want to do or what I have to do.

What are my other options in regards to making a choice?

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.10  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.2.9    2 months ago

... and what comprises the 'want'?  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

Reducing the want down to neuroscience would be quite intriguing.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.2.11  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.2.8    2 months ago
The topic is far more complex than John recognizes.

I believe the topic of brain function is critical to research and understand so we might have the ability to save our species from destroying each other because of our differences and differing abilities to understand ourselves and others.

I am surrounded by people who would most likely be more comfortable burning people at the stake for disagreeing with them than trying to unravel the complexities at work in the human brain.

There is a series on Amazon Prime that had an episode about computer printing the brain of a mouse.  The series stated that it would take ALL of the world's computing power to computer print the human brain.  I can't recall the series or specific details.  I have watched so many programs on this issue in the last 2 years that much of it is jumbled.  

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.2.12  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.2.10    2 months ago
... and what comprises the 'want'? 

Pleasure or the avoidance of pain.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.13  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.2.11    2 months ago

And even if we could print it, we still would not understand (deeply) how it works.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.14  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.2.12    2 months ago

... and much much more.    Down to things as seemingly insignificant as having an itching mosquito bite, a slight chill, an imperceptible dryness in the mouth (and the underlying factors for each).

 
 
 
CB
10.2.15  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @10.2.7    2 months ago

Neither I.This topic seems to have rapidly departed from hard determinism (no free-will whatsoever) into soft determinism (partial freewill). I am not clear if we all are in agreement at this point or not!

 
 
 
CB
10.2.16  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.2.9    2 months ago

This is the point of choices.  A fork in the road so to speak. Choose a direction or path based on experience or based on risk.

What is the 'challenge' here?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.2.17  JohnRussell  replied to  mocowgirl @10.2.9    one month ago

Tig has a habit of believing that unless people agree with his explanations of various things they lack understanding of the 'complexities' of the  topic. 

According to what is being proposed here, it was your destiny to dislike your father, and it was his destiny to be vile or however you characterize his behavior. It was Hitler's destiny to be a murderous monster, someone who spends their life in the service of others didnt choose to do so, it was simply the result of influences of circumstance and predetermination, and even what we type on this thread are not our own chosen thoughts but the result of a cause and effect based on biology, chemistry and physics.  Even if human actions can be explained solely in terms of physical precursors, what is the point of such explanations. Tig says it is knowledge for its own sake. 

Dismissing the reality of free will has an intrinsic worth because it is advances knowledge?  It's hard to see. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.18  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @10.2.17    one month ago

Don't resort to personal derogatory comments John.   If you have a rebuttal of substance use that.    For example, here is my rebuttal to your allegation.   Read this from you:

John @10.2.3 Now that you think you understand that human beings dont have free will, please tell us what you have accomplished? 

Here you tell me that I think I understand that human beings do not have free will.   This is a direct evidence that you are not following what I am writing.   Nowhere have I claimed that human beings do not have free will.   Instead I have noted that we do not know for sure that we do have free will and that there currently is no method to determine if we do or do not based simply on our intuition.   That is, a human being cannot sit in a room and use reason alone to determine (find truth) if s/he has free will.

You have directly demonstrated that you either do not understand what I wrote or you are making things up and attributing them to me.   Which is it?   Is it a case of misunderstanding (being generous) or is it malicious?

Now consider this from you:

John @10.2.3 Also , give me an example of how someone would EXPERIENCE not having free will.  Go ahead and try, which should be interesting, because it is impossible.

You are asking for an example of how one would experience not having free will; where one's intuition will reveal something that detects a lack of free will.   If you understood that free will (or the lack thereof) is not something that is intuitively detected you would not have asked for this example.   That established, what do you think it means when I wrote:

TiG @10.2.2 Why do you think this is a way to test if we have free will?    Using intuition alone will not distinguish between genuine free will or the illusion of free will.

Asking me a question I had just addressed demonstrates that you do not understand what I wrote.   (Again, being generous and writing this off as misunderstanding rather than malicious.)

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.19  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @10.2.17    one month ago
According to what is being proposed here, it was your destiny to dislike your father, and it was his destiny to be vile or however you characterize his behavior. It was Hitler's destiny to be a murderous monster, someone who spends their life in the service of others didnt choose to do so, it was simply the result of influences of circumstance and predetermination, and even what we type on this thread are not our own chosen thoughts but the result of a cause and effect based on biology, chemistry and physics. 

The Oedipus scenario in the video is hypothetical.   It is not claiming that there is no free will, it is describing what would happen IF reality were deterministic (and thus no free will).

Dismissing the reality of free will has an intrinsic worth because it is advances knowledge?  It's hard to see. 

Where do you see anyone here dismissing the possibility of free will?   This is questioning if free will exists or not; not dismissing it as non-existent.   Beyond that you imply that free will is dismissed in order to advance knowledge.   No, John, nobody is suggesting that dismissing free will advances knowledge.   That is such a ridiculous (nonsensical) notion I would have expected you to reread whatever gave you that impression.  In other words, the absurdity of the notion you 'understood' should have been a red flag that maybe you missed something.

Even if human actions can be explained solely in terms of physical precursors, what is the point of such explanations. Tig says it is knowledge for its own sake. 

It is remarkable to observe you twice now appear perplexed as to why anyone would consider philosophical questions.   And my answer was not 'knowledge for its own sake'.  Read what I actually wrote (I was encouraging you to answer your own question):

TiG @10.2.2 - You do not understand why human beings consider philosophical questions?

Philosophy is a tool to help us better understand reality.   It is the pursuit of wisdom.   This wisdom had been historically applied in the real world from the formation of societal law to the architecture of central processing units in computers.   Is it really necessary for someone to explain why philosophy is valuable??

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.2.20  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  CB @10.2.1    one month ago
Has this skeptic clearly indicated why a want is not free-will?

An excerpt from the transcript:

Let's begin by considering what would have to be true in order for us to truly have total free will–to be able to have acted differently.  Well firstly, we would need to be aware of everything that is influencing our actions, including environmental factors, our precise mood, the influence of other people, the influence of past experiences, and more.  Secondly, we would need to be in complete control of every one of them.  Neither of these are true, or even possible. 

Now, you might concede this, but not think it a problem.  Okay, you say, so I can't control all of the factors that led me to like the taste of ice cream, but on a more mundane level, I'm still in complete control over whether I choose chocolate or vanilla.  Not so fast.  Again, consider this most simple of choices: chocolate or vanilla.  Or, if it's easier, consider the last mundane choice that you had to make.  (Walk or drive this morning, go out or stay in tonight)  Think about why you chose one or would choose one over the other.

So what would make me choose vanilla over chocolate?  Well there is only one possible answer, which I'll elaborate on shortly.  I would need to want it more than chocolate.  In order to choose vanilla, I'd need to want vanilla, but... is this something I can control?  Can I control what it is that I want? 

Not a chance.  Consider the fact that you, presumably, don't want to punch your mother in the face.  Can you choose to want to do that?  This isn't the same thing as choosing to do it; could you choose to want to?  No, no more than I could choose to want vanilla over chocolate.  I just want chocolate more than vanilla.  That's just a fact about myself that I can't change.  But okay, let's go further, you say.  Of course I can't choose to want vanilla over chocolate when I really want chocolate, but what if I just decided, in the full knowledge that I prefer chocolate, to go for vanilla anyway, just for the sake of regaining my free will and nothing else?

Well, I'm afraid you'd still face the same problem, the exact same problem, in fact.  In order to do that, you'd need to "want" to regain your free will, as you see it.  Why is your desire to prove a point like this stronger than the desire to to have the ice cream you prefer?  It just is, and if it happened not to be, you'd have chosen the ice cream that you do prefer. 

The key takeaway is this: you cannot determine your wants.  Think of something you want.  Try to not want it.  Think of something you don't want and try to want it. It's not possible.  And even if it were, in order to change a don't want into a want, you'd need to want to want it.

Presented as a public service.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.2.21  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.2.20    one month ago
This isn't the same thing as choosing to do it; could you choose to want to? 

This ties in with sexuality is hardwired, not a choice.  Some people cannot even accept this concept on any level even after being presented with the fact that homosexuality occurs in numerous other animals.

We are also born with and acquire cognitive biases that we did no choose.  The cognitive biases impact our decisions and limit our choices.  In order to possess absolute free will, we would have to be born without or acquire cognitive biases.

 
 
 
CB
10.2.22  CB   replied to  TᵢG @10.2.20    one month ago

Strawman: Let's begin by considering what would have to be true in order for us to truly have total free will.

1. Who is stating we have total free-will here? This skeptic or some imaginary character in his illustration? It certainly is not myself.

2." The key takeaway is this: you cannot determine your wants.  Think of something you want.  [Cake, as a treat] Try to not want it.  Think of something you don't want [Castor oil.] and try to want it [as a medicine]. It's . . . possible.  And even if it were, in order to change a don't want into a want, you'd need to want to want it."

In 2, it starts out asserting wants cannot be determined, but we often have 'wants' plural based on other factors than a desire (see blued items for example). Then, the statement ends with a determined change in wants. 

Again, all signifying what?

 
 
 
CB
10.3  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10    2 months ago

Of course we are products of our world and its environments, that is a given. To go deeper: 1. What is the role of need in all this? 2. Is force the same as need?

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.1  mocowgirl  replied to  CB @10.3    2 months ago
Of course we are products of our world and its environments, that is a given.

Really?  I was raised in a racist, sexist redneck community of religious fanatics.  There was probably a church for every 50 people.

As a child, I did not understand how a just, loving God would allow mistreatment of people because of their color or gender.  

So why did I not buy the propaganda that was readily accepted by the people around me?  What made me a doubting Thomas, a non-conformist, a rebel?    Why was I willing to endure disapproval (and abuse) for having the daring to question the accepted "truths" of the society that I was born into?

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.1    2 months ago

We are also products of our genetics and the extremely complex events (from conception to adulthood) that shape how we think (in very unexpected ways too).   Being brought up in a red-neck community is certainly a factor, but another critical factor is the time you spent with your mother and the tone of her voice.   And, of course, the nutrition available to you at each critical stage of development, diseases you were exposed to ... on and on and on.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.3  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.3.2    2 months ago
We are also products of our genetics and the extremely complex events (from conception to adulthood) that shape how we think (in very unexpected ways too).   Being brought up in a red-neck community is certainly a factor, but another critical factor is the time you spent with your mother and the tone of her voice.   And, of course, the nutrition available to you at each critical stage of development, diseases you were exposed to ... on and on and on.

My parents were uneducated hillbillies.  My mother died when I was an infant.  My 28 year old father gave my sister to one of my mother's sisters and gave me to his 17 year old sister-in-law to raise.  When the SIL divorced my uncle, she gained custody of me and her infant daughter.  She allowed her next husband to abuse both of us from the time they married.  We were a constant reminder of her shame of having a failed marriage and being a divorced woman in the Bible Belt of the late 1950s.

I feel extremely fortunate that my adopted mother's mother loved me.  

I met my biological father when I was 17.   One of the most loathsome, manipulative creatures that I have ever had the displeasure of having in my life in any manner.  

I have spent most of my life trying to understand the inhumanity that members of our species has gotten by with throughout the recorded history of our species.

I count myself extremely lucky that I did not have to survive in the times of the Spanish Inquisition, the rule of Bloody Mary Tudor, and the Salem Witch Trials.

I live with the hope that we can do better if we give up superstitions that allow, justify or even demand barbaric treatment of others to appease mythical beings.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.4  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.3    2 months ago

That and many more details ultimately made you who you are.   

If you have checked out Professor Sapolsky's course on behavioral biology you will appreciate how unbelievable complex this is (and how advanced the science coupled with how much more work is needed to even remotely get close to explaining human behavior).

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.5  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.3.4    2 months ago
If you have checked out Professor Sapolsky's course on behavioral biology you will appreciate how unbelievable complex this is (and how advanced the science coupled with how much more work is needed to even remotely get close to explaining human behavior).

I love that series.  I have it bookmarked.  I have watched most of it twice and plan on watching it again.  It is a lot of information and I struggle with some of the terminology because of my limited science education.   I recommended that series to my anti-vaxxer school chum.  I don't know how much she watched, but at least she quit sending me links to the propaganda that she views to fuel her anger against vaccines.  She has at least one autistic grandson, but I'm pretty sure that several of her grandchildren have learning difficulties - probably the same ones that I recall her having.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.6  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.5    2 months ago

Yeah it gets heavy, but it is well worth it.   We have all along thought psychology was the key to understanding human behavior.   Well, no, not even close.

He also has an awesome book (Behave).   Tons of information but it takes work to get through it.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
10.3.7  igknorantzrulz  replied to  TᵢG @10.3.6    2 months ago
Tons of information but it takes work to get through it.

if U, say it takes work, to get through it, I'd have to infer it is not for too many to consume, as it will not digest well, if at all, know matter how much knot understood by the known, even if

well known, unknowns' too men e,

as many R  unknown, but too deep.

As my well, being too deep, for N E to here

my cries fir pleas n help n thank U, is just impolite ,

, but

pushed in the dark,

all can be not im polite, yet the spot,

is

in the light, of

Good Knght

Sorry T.i.g.

.

not attempting to disrupt your thought provoking discussions, just reading some of comments and commentary, and finding them interesting.

I guess now, I have to open up links and video, and stuff, cause from discussions and interaction on said thread, make me sew

curious, but can't always buy  it, cause

I can't A Ford

even a Great

Pumpkin, unless times buyed bought square pie, in a round a bout weigh,

equals incongruent parallels , jogging, not running parallel to incongruences,

my memory wants jogged

to improve it's cardio, cause I try and  exercise my Demons, so as they have extremely

good cardio

vascular arteries, though, sumtimes done in vane

due

to the whether, or not, it tied in my noose

too loose,

so as not to fit inn where I can't

hang

in around a Sicilian Pie in the sky,

just cause I was round,

,

have to grab last

round

now

n Joy, and educate on

 
 
 
CB
10.3.8  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.1    2 months ago

What is not a given is that every time I write religious tones and overtones will sprang forth! I would not have thought it of you either. That being said, I am steeped in faith in God and my specific brand of religiosity. However, it is not the sum total of this man.

I choose to present my religious side more often than not!

 
 
 
CB
10.3.9  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.1    2 months ago

Because you checked out the racist attitudes, sexism, and religious fanaticism and was left disillusioned. In some way you continue to be a product of that world for you write on it often to some degree in discussions on NT.

That is okay, too.

We could say that you walked away from the attitudes of your 'superiors' because you chose to leave those attitudes behind. You were 'turned off' to them.

 
 
 
CB
10.3.10  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.3    2 months ago

Forgive me for stating this: But much of what you write trickles down a path to nuanced religion. There certainly appears to be external factors are at work on you to cause this.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.11  mocowgirl  replied to  CB @10.3.9    one month ago
In some way you continue to be a product of that world for you write on it often to some degree in discussions on NT.

I still live in that world - a world where evangelicals believe that Armageddon is near and are joyful about it because it means that they will be raptured and all of their enemies (everyone who is not a member of their church) will be tortured for the remainder of their mortal lives and then for eternity. 

The nicest people that I know are not religious.  They are humanists who care about life and are awed by existence.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.12  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.11    one month ago
I still live in that world ...

You deal with it well!

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.13  mocowgirl  replied to  CB @10.3.10    one month ago
Forgive me for stating this: But much of what you write trickles down a path to nuanced religion.

Forgiveness is not necessary.  What you view as religious, I view as basic human instinct seeking social interaction, cooperation, and understanding in order to make existence better for all life on a hostile planet that is indifferent to our survival.

I prefer peace to war.  I try to understand the people who are hardwired to prefer war to peace.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.14  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.3.12    one month ago
You deal with it well!

Only because I have internet access and limit my time spent with the fanatics.   

I watch the videos of the people who have openly acknowledged their atheism in the Bible Belt.  I see their pain from being rejected from loved ones.  I have always experienced the same rejection for opposing sexism and racism, but was somewhat acceptable because I was a believer (even though I was accused of being a minion of Satan more than once (LOL)).

I often get lonely, but thanks to Matt, Seth, Cosmic, Rationality and my fellow atheists on Newstalkers, I am not always alone.  It is the best that I can hope for, but it is far more comfort than I have ever had in all of the previous decades of my life.

I experience life with an attitude of gratitude for the pleasures and work to lessen the pain of myself and others through understanding.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.15  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.14    one month ago

Well I am always happy to discuss things with you.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.16  mocowgirl  replied to  TᵢG @10.3.15    one month ago

And I truly appreciate it.  Often I just enjoy reading the comments and thinking about the points made by both sides in the discussion.

I have many home projects ongoing that I enjoy and limit my time online.

Life is good!

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
10.3.17  igknorantzrulz  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.16    one month ago

i enjoy reading T.i.g.'s thought provoking writings and the comments they produce, unless produce is produced by actual produce, as that is what i sometimes feel some can only.

.

Have steered clear of news and blogging as of late, as it is apparently futile attempting to put forth logical and most plausible arguments with so many, but as i stated last evening, i enjoy T.i.g.'s unwavering steadfast reasoning ability, and his consistent consistency coherently condemning incoherent arguments, while backing up, (all that can be), with facts.

.

Being self uneducated and not very well read, it is interesting to read conflicting view points on various thought provoking arguments, 

like religion , philosophy, and various unprovable unknowns/knowns.

i believe he is also responsible for many upgrades to sight, though unseen, which most which i would remain...

Have a good day, all reasonable posters, even if unreasonable, cause i won't, but just living the dream., in artificial reality, with most, critical,

of my thinking,   who'd of   Thought ?

 
 
 
CB
10.3.18  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.11    one month ago

For the sake of the other side of the toss: Have you ever encountered mean or dangerous humanists? What is that dynamic like?

To be clear, I get that dangerous Christians are about - several on Newstalkers have recently made their wants and intents plain.

(Will address other comments later. Running out now.)

 
 
 
CB
10.3.19  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.13    one month ago
What you view as religious. . . .

What I have come to view as spirit. . . is more precise. (Smile.)

 
 
 
CB
10.3.20  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.14    one month ago

So sad. Don't take this the wrong way, but you definitely need a change of atmosphere. Can you move away?

Your 'story' is so devastating. I am a homosexual Christian, who for years has abstained from sexual relations as I pursue a spiritual state of mind, and now I observe myself surrounded by heterosexuals who adore me if only because they find me non-threatening. I seek spirituality. I am aware that they see "non-threatening" or sameness in me—even when on occasion my natural state is 'read.'

Still, I am not overwhelmed. If I were, I would move away. . . .

This is not the subject matter, but I feel compelled to speak up.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.21  mocowgirl  replied to  CB @10.3.20    one month ago
you definitely need a change of atmosphere. Can you move away?

No.  I live in a rural area with few close neighbors.  It is quiet and peaceful.  Most of the time I am fairly content.   If I really want human interaction, I can go to Lowes and have polite conversation with just about anyone shopping there.  

There will always be differing personalities regardless of where a person lives.  

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.22  mocowgirl  replied to  CB @10.3.20    one month ago
now I observe myself surrounded by heterosexuals who adore me if only because they find me non-threatening.

In my experience, I often wonder about the true personality of heterosexual males who find homosexual males so threatening.

Maybe they have bisexual tendencies.  Or maybe, the predator heterosexual male is fearful because they believe the homosexual male looks at them the same way that they look at women as prey instead of people.

Whatever the reason, the fear is real and a lot of men have a tendency to become violent when placed in a situation where they are fearful.  Unfortunately for all of us, fear shuts down the brain's ability to reason.

 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.23  mocowgirl  replied to  CB @10.3.18    one month ago
For the sake of the other side of the toss: Have you ever encountered mean or dangerous humanists? What is that dynamic like?

I don't personally know anyone who would self-identify as a humanist.  

Do humanists have a rule book that lays out transgressions and punishments for those transgressions?

What basis would a humanist have to want to see their fellow human spend eternity being tormented?

 
 
 
CB
10.3.24  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.23    one month ago

There you go again. This comment is not about religion really at all. It is about humanist-think.

I don't personally know anyone who would self-identify as a humanist.

 Thank you for your answer!

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.25  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.22    one month ago
In my experience, I often wonder about the true personality of heterosexual males who find homosexual males so threatening.

I think it boils down to the seemingly innate biological behavior of picking on those who are different.    Stronger males (mammals) tend to bully weaker males (Sapolsky).   Homosexuality is not considered a manly trait by most males; ergo the bullying and discredit.   To some Neanderthals it is considered to be an offense to masculinity.   You no doubt have seen this many, many times.

 
 
 
CB
10.3.26  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.22    one month ago
I often wonder about the true personality of heterosexual males who find homosexual males so threatening. Maybe they have bisexual tendencies.  Or maybe, the predator heterosexual male is fearful because they believe the homosexual male looks at them the same way that they look at women as prey instead of people.

No. What I have observed (that is of consequence) is heterosexual males love their women or wives for life. Therefore, a "protection gene" seems to rise up in them the moment something gives an appearance of threatening their wife, their role in a marital relationship, or how the plans they have for raising up offspring. (Protection - mode.)

Heterosexual males, for whom homosexuality is not a dividing issue, can be "bosom buddies" with homosexuals—in this new order. As long as they feel respected as the man they want to be. But, the instance they feel uncomfortable about a 'situation' a longing look, - you can literally see their facial expression register surprise, horror, or yes even they will literally stop looking in your direction- until their "equilibrium" in the moment can be restored.

Bottomline: I find heterosexual males to be some of the "bestest" of friends who hold deep friendships with other men. Even will give a man the clothes off their back or share their food-stuff.  On the other-hand, most heterosexual males do not know what to do with a 'second' male sex. (Smile.) So, if that is what is sought after, that friendship and the closeness dissolves. Their love for a woman and women (any woman/women). . . priceless.

NOTE:  Since domestic violence laws have been put and kept in place, over the last twenty years, I have not seen or happened upon a woman being slapped, caught weeping, or being battered by a single male they are involved with. Does not mean it does not happen, but I have not encountered it. And growing up in my life, such moments were pervasive.

 
 
 
Ender
10.3.27  Ender  replied to  TᵢG @10.3.25    one month ago

I have also seen and know some gay people that could beat the shit out of some so called he men.

I think that is marginalizing a little.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.28  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Ender @10.3.27    one month ago
I think that is marginalizing a little.

I cannot cover every possible scenario in a post.  Of course there are homosexual males who could beat the shit out of heterosexual males.

 
 
 
Ender
10.3.29  Ender  replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.11    one month ago
a world where evangelicals believe that Armageddon is near and are joyful about it because it means that they will be raptured and all of their enemies (everyone who is not a member of their church) will be tortured for the remainder of their mortal lives and then for eternity

I know people that think similar yet they spend their days complaining about decorating the church. How dare the new pastors wife want to decorate it. 'We have a committee for that and do it ourselves'. It is sad to me to think that is what their lives consist of.

I would want more...to expand my mind.

 
 
 
Ender
10.3.30  Ender  replied to  TᵢG @10.3.28    one month ago

I know, wasn't trying to start anything. We all know that gay people are marginalized. 

I know you are a good guy, just saying stereotyping is a cousin to marginalization.

Saying that gay people are perceived as weak gives the impression that they are weak.

This probably isn't coming out right.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.3.31  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Ender @10.3.30    one month ago

Okay, I understand.

 
 
 
CB
10.3.32  CB   replied to  TᵢG @10.3.25    one month ago

Many people, including some homosexuals, are flabbergasted by sissification. "Sissy" is a genre under the homosexual classification.

 
 
 
Ender
10.3.33  Ender  replied to  CB @10.3.32    one month ago
"Sissy" is a genre under the homosexual classification

Not necessarily.

My point was one cannot classify people as a whole in certain ways. Gay people are just like every one else. There are big, small, loud, demure, etc.

Putting people that are just regular people into one category or another is in itself false.

I mainly commented because most gay people I know and have come out have been through a lot, just from being stigmatized if nothing else. Most of them are stronger mentally than a lot of other people I know.

 
 
 
Ender
10.3.34  Ender  replied to  Ender @10.3.33    one month ago
Once upon a time
Somebody say to me
What is your Conceptual Continuity?
Well I told him right then
It should be easy to see
The crux of the biscuit
Is the Apostrophe
 
 
 
mocowgirl
10.3.35  mocowgirl  replied to  CB @10.3.26    one month ago
NOTE:  Since domestic violence laws have been put and kept in place, over the last twenty years, I have not seen or happened upon a woman being slapped, caught weeping, or being battered by a single male they are involved with. Does not mean it does not happen, but I have not encountered it.

Not surprising -most domestic violence is not public.  Domestic violence is epidemic in the US across all racial / economic groups. 

The US has made the Top 10 list as one of the most dangerous nations for women.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/relationships/a37005/statistics-about-domestic-violence/

Domestic violence is, in many ways, a quiet epidemic. Though in plain sight, victims are often invisible, fearfully denying their situation and hiding behind the facade of a happy home. But the statistics reveal a shocking reality. Every nine seconds, a woman in America is assaulted or beaten, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. A mind-boggling one in three women (and one in four men) has been a victim of physical brutality by an intimate partner, the group also reports. That makes intimate partner violence "the single greatest cause of injury to women," per the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

Hard to imagine the scope we're talking about? Consider this: The number of women killed by a current or former male partner added up to nearly doublethe soldier lives lost in war in Afghanistan and Iraq during the same 11-year time frame, The Huffington Post calculated last year.

The uncomfortable truth? The majority of marriages will include some violence. The Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP) reports that the FBI "estimates violence will occur during the course of two-thirds of all marriages.

Women between 25 and 34 are reportedly the most vulnerable to partner violence. And while 85% of domestic abuse victims are women, the U.S. Department of Justice's 2000 National Violence Against Women Survey's findings suggest that women's experiences are hardly equal: "Lesbian couples experience less intimate partner violence than do heterosexual couples."

And on the flip side, men who endure domestic abuse living with male intimate partners are the most victimized male group. Nearly double the percent of cohabitating men reported "being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked by a male cohabitant" compared to those residing with, or married to, women.

Bolding about male on male violence is mine.  I have been in discussions where men have tried to say that women are as violent as men and the stats "prove it".  I believe it is important to read stats on a line by line basis to understand the issue and then try to resolve it.  Most critical is understanding the root cause of male violence to benefit women specifically and society as a whole.  

Our biology drives us to mate, but at what point will our brains evolve to tell us to avoid it if we want to survive?  Could it already be happening as marriage rates decline and so does fertility where women are educated and can choose a life that is more beneficial to their well-being?  Is this an example of "free will" or the instinct to survive the environment that we are raised in?

 
 
 
CB
10.3.36  CB   replied to  mocowgirl @10.3.35    one month ago

Hi mocowgirl. Just goes to show you that as we age we don't see as much as we used to see. Especially between the younger relationships. Although, I question that people are simply 'taking it' when society has provided them ample ways and means out!

That said, I have seen the news accounts of people (usually men) 'breaking' into parties, killing a mate, former mate, and others in the domain/area.

Thank you. I will file this in the back of my mind for reflection.

No, I am most definitely not in agreement with a plan that all of us should go running around 'fornicating at leisure' as  conducive to a workable society either. Especially for children. Who truly need stability in their growing and developing ages.

Is this an example of "free will" or the instinct to survive the environment that we are raised in?

Thank you for question also. I appreciate an observation to return to the original discussion. I believe we have partial freewill in life. There being universals we can not avoid, but other 'devices' let up to our discretion based on where we find ourselves at any given moment in time. Even so, there are times when the best 'solution' is to stand still in place.

 
 
 
CB
10.3.37  CB   replied to  Ender @10.3.33    one month ago

I fully agree, Ender. I "go" through a lot—even as a well-established Christian believer. I call 'em 'phases,' and similar to aging - I feel difference shades of me wanting to develop and embark. (Smile.)

Actually, I'll confide in you, I am in a 'phase' of my existence now.

 
 
 
CB
10.3.38  CB   replied to  Ender @10.3.34    one month ago

HA!

That went right over my head without touching a hair on it! But, I certainly enjoyed its wind! Perhaps you can explain it at some point to me, us.

 
 
 
Ender
10.3.39  Ender  replied to  CB @10.3.37    one month ago

I think we all go through phases. Haha

I still think what I was trying to express sounded better in my mind than it came across.

Ah well.

Kind of like why I stay out of religious articles. Some try to classify all Christians as the same, all Muslims as the same, etc, when that is not the case.

There is good and bad in most things.

Also sorry TiG. Didn't mean to derail.

 
 
 
Ender
10.3.40  Ender  replied to  CB @10.3.38    one month ago

Ha.  It was a Frank Zappa song. In my mind it kind of fit within this overall thread.

My mind sometimes works in strange ways.

 
 
 
evilgenius
11  evilgenius    one month ago

Perhaps this has already been discussed. I do not have time to read through the whole thread. My pardons if it has.

So assuming determinism is true, I'd also stipulate cause & effect were baked into the equation from conception (conception of creation that is). An outside observer that could move back and forth through time would never be able to make any change and there might only be one time line from a beginning to an end.

So what really bakes my noodle is if there isn't only one time line, but an infinite pattern where all causes and all effects are equally valid and exist in time. I can't even think of them as "parallel". It's might look like a quantum time soup to my theoretical observer. Considering some of quantum physics' weirder (spooky) actions this might actually be closer to the truth.

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  evilgenius @11    one month ago
 
 
 
evilgenius
11.1.1  evilgenius  replied to  TᵢG @11.1    one month ago
 
 
 
TᵢG
11.1.2  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  evilgenius @11.1.1    one month ago

Good grief.

 
 
 
CB
12  CB     one month ago

The way I view free-will:

As a believer, God is over all things as Alpha and Omega. So our free-will as a creation is based on God's foreknowledge and design for us. Therefore, I view humanity has having been set apart and adrift in an ocean of stars and planets to develop and mesh together with many other creatures under a wide and roaming set of guidelines, which span the distance from utter madness to upper serenity.

It is as if an expansive room has been prepared in a truly universal house and everything we are in this creation has been shunned off into it. That we have been supplied "governing rules" only and that many other rules are to be located like treasure dug up from nature.

Self-governing stewards of the Earth. Instructed to make choices of what is 'good,' even though 'bad' is its equal.

I dare to call the whole history of the world one universal 'experimental' class in the school of eternity.

 
 
 
Gordy327
12.1  Gordy327  replied to  CB @12    one month ago
So our free-will as a creation is based on God's foreknowledge and design for us.

Having foreknowledge (and presumably omniscience) and a design for us contradicts the very notion of having free will.

 
 
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