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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 09 May 2011 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1006 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 03:12 AM

but what you must swallow is that you can make no difference between these forms of determinism in practice, it makes no difference for the world we live in, for our daily decisions and our judgments.

More than happy to swallow it, just need an argument for it.

The difference is obvious, without alternative possibilities we don’t influence the future.

If we don’t influence the future we don’t have free will.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1007 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:02 AM

GdB says it makes no difference but of course it does and amusingly the very idea of anything making a difference relies on alternative possibilities.

Just on some possibilities somewhere, sometime, in the universe? Would that be enough for free will?

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:39 AM

All thinking about the future does is adds confusion, much more sensible to think about alternative possibilities in the past.

But when you are deciding, you are thinking about the future!

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:50 AM

[The difference is obvious, without alternative possibilities we don’t influence the future.

You see, you do not understand what I am asking for. You, Stephen Lawrence, stands for the decision to cook or not. What a difference does it make to believe in necessitarianism or determinism? Does one of the two help you in some way? Can you observe that we live in a necessitated world or a determined world?

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:50 AM

If we don’t influence the future we don’t have free will.

But we have influence! Of course, we are influenced too. We are caused to cause what we do. But we have causal powers. That is what matters. Beliefs and wishes play a causal role, and therefore we have free will.

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Posted: 09 May 2011 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1008 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 11:49 AM


It rains—> the antecedent can be contingent or not

the causal antecedent must be contingent.

if it rains, the streets become wet, is a true conditional.
Now we see that it rains.
Is ‘the streets become wet’ contingent?

Yes because if it had not rained (all things being equal) the streets would have been dry.

It raining is what made the difference between the two possibilities wet or dry.

You, in this universe, can’t see the difference between necessitarianism and determinism: in what way would the world look differently? You decide and judge in exactly the same way. It has no practical consequences.

It has the practical consequence that I don’t influence the future and so don’t have free will.

So nothing has causal power! A ball on its path to a window has a causal power, namely to break the glass.


Not if necessitarianism is true no, that’s the whole point, the ball does not break the window.

That’s the bit you don’t get. Having causal power does not mean that something, the ball or me, is not caused on its turn.

Of course I get that, the point is causes are contingent and effects are contingent.

So necessitarianism makes causes and effects impossible.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1009 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 11:59 AM

But when you are deciding, you are thinking about the future!

Yes but it causes confusion between what is possible for all we know (epistemic possibilities) and other types of possibilities that we are interested in such as physical possibility.

What we are discussing is cause and effects/ influences. These have nothing to do with epistemic possibilities, the rain influences the pavement whether we know it or not.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1010 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 12:03 PM

Yes because if it had not rained (all things being equal) the streets would have been dry.

It raining is what made the difference between the two possibilities wet or dry.

But we know it rains. It rains! Will the streets be wet or not?

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 12:03 PM

You, in this universe, can’t see the difference between necessitarianism and determinism: in what way would the world look differently? You decide and judge in exactly the same way. It has no practical consequences.

It has the practical consequence that I don’t influence the future and so don’t have free will.

That is not practical, that is theoretical.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 12:03 PM

Not if necessitarianism is true no, that’s the whole point, the ball does not break the window.

Then there are no causal powers at all. Can we even think about what determinism is, when there is no causality?
And if necessitarianism is not true, then the ball does break the window? And if yes, do I have causal powers then?

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Posted: 09 May 2011 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1011 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 12:11 PM
GdB - 09 May 2011 11:59 AM

But when you are deciding, you are thinking about the future!

Yes but it causes confusion between what is possible for all we know (epistemic possibilities) and other types of possibilities that we are interested in such as physical possibility.

What we are discussing is cause and effects/ influences. These have nothing to do with epistemic possibilities, the rain influences the pavement whether we know it or not.

But epistemic possibilities are a necessary base of free will! This is the bit you do not get. It is my thinking about what is possible, that are a determinating factor of future events, not some metaphysical possibilities..

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Posted: 09 May 2011 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1012 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 12:16 PM

But epistemic possibilities are a necessary base of free will! This is the bit you do not get.


I get that but they are not a necessary base of having causal power or influencing the future.

the future was being influenced long before we had any knowledge.

It is my thinking about what is possible, that are a determinating factor of future events, not some metaphysical possibilities..

we are thinking about epistemic possibilities and metaphysical possibilities.

We can see that more clearly by looking back at the past to what we could have done.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1013 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 12:13 PM


And if necessitarianism is not true, then the ball does break the window? And if yes, do I have causal powers then?

The point is if necessitarianism is true you don’t.

And so free will is not compatible with necessitarianism

You do have causal power if what you do makes a difference which at the very least requires contingency.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1014 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:39 AM

All thinking about the future does is adds confusion, much more sensible to think about alternative possibilities in the past.

Stephen

Alternate possibilities in the past seems like an idea a politician would dream up… at first.  cool hmm

However, it could be true that we could have arrived at the current state of things by different possible means.

So like the street are wet. Could have been cause by the rain or a broken fire hydrant.

However I’ve no need to know how the streets being wet were caused for the wet streets to influence my decisions.

I just need to experience/see the wet streets, to maybe decide to bring an umbrella to to work.

IOW it wasn’t necessary for it to rain to cause me to grab my umbrella.

So the actuality of it raining in the past is not contingent to my actions. My actions are contingent only on seeing the wet streets. Of course the streets being wet are contingent on whatever caused it. However that remains completely separate *from the decision making process* and not *necessarily* relevant to my actions. 

It doesn’t matter to me the initial conditions that caused the streets to be wet.

It doesn’t necessarily matter what the initial conditions of the universe was to a particular decision I make. What matters is my current perception, understanding and knowledge of the current state of things.

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 02:14 PM by Gnostikosis ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1015 ]
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It’s amazing how a disagreement over something so simple can get into such a muddle and start looking complicated.

I do wonder if GdB thinks free will is incompatible with logical determinism?

I’m assuming under the umbrella of determinism we are including logical determinism.

In order to be able influence the future it is necessary (assuming logical determinism) that what is true about the future could be false.

Could in the above refers to subjunctive contingent possibilities.

As being able to influence the future is a necessary condition of having free will, subjunctive contingent possibilities are a necessary condition of having free will

Necessitarianism is the theory that there are no subjunctive contingent possibilities. Everything that is possible is actual and there is one actual world, this one.

Therefore free will is incompatible with Necessitarianism.

Stephen

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 11:07 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1016 ]
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Gnostikosis - 09 May 2011 01:28 PM

However, it could be true that we could have arrived at the current state of things by different possible means.

So like the street are wet. Could have been cause by the rain or a broken fire hydrant.

If you think it’s true then you are not a necessitarian.

However I’ve no need to know how the streets being wet were caused for the wet streets to influence my decisions.

No but you do require necessitarianism to be false.

Stephen

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Posted: 10 May 2011 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1017 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:15 PM

If you think it’s true then you are not a necessitarian.

I’m not much of anything.  tongue rolleye

I rather think I don’t know enough about how the universe works to take a firm stand behind anyone particular ideology. Similarly in talking to a friend of my, he has some idea about how the universe works but ultimately just wants to determine and support whatever is correct.

No but you do require necessitarianism to be false.

Stephen

That’s kind of like saying in order to be a atheist you need the concept of God to be false.

I don’t know if necessitarianism is true or false, however it is not, IMO, a practical POV in which to go about life.

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Posted: 10 May 2011 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1018 ]
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Gnostikosis - 10 May 2011 08:24 AM

That’s kind of like saying in order to be a atheist you need the concept of God to be false.

Not at all.

In order for an atheist’s belief to be true It needs to be the case that there is no God.

But of course somebody can be an atheist regardless of the truth of the matter.

You believe you influence the future. If you’re belief is a true belief then necessitarianism is false.

Stephen

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Posted: 10 May 2011 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1019 ]
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StephenLawrence - 10 May 2011 11:45 AM
Gnostikosis - 10 May 2011 08:24 AM

That’s kind of like saying in order to be a atheist you need the concept of God to be false.

Not at all.

In order for an atheist’s belief to be true It needs to be the case that there is no God.

But of course somebody can be an atheist regardless of the truth of the matter.

You believe you influence the future. If you’re belief is a true belief then necessitarianism is false.

Stephen

Not to be picky, ok maybe a little picky

You say for an atheist’s belief to be true, “X” has to be false.
While for my belief to be true, “X” has to be false.

The only difference is what X is. God vs necessitarianism.

Also the moon influences the future. I suspect I can do at least as much.

The real difference IMO between necessitarianism and determinism is that of certainty of a fixed future. Necessitarianism is equivalent to fatalism without any of the religious baggage.

Still the concept of necessitarianism is impractical regardless of whether it’s true which is kind of weird.

Why judge OBL, Bush, Tea party’ers, someone as a liar, people who cheat on their spouses. Anybody really.

If that is the ideology you are trying for, just invite them all over for coffee and donuts. They had no more choice in their actions then you in being a “good” guy. If I kill you, beat your wife and dog, hey it was all necessary.

If you were to forgive me, there’s no reason to acknowledge you did anything. My forgiveness was necessitated by how the big bang banged.

Whether it’s true or not, the ideology of necessitarianism seems dangerous. Perhaps as dangerous as the Christian Hell?

Let us, well at least I will continue to hope it is not true.

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Posted: 10 May 2011 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1020 ]
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Gnostikosis - 10 May 2011 01:20 PM


The real difference IMO between necessitarianism and determinism is that of certainty of a fixed future.

1) We are uncertain regardless.

2) The future is “fixed” given the past applies to determinism and necessitarianism.

3) the difference is not only is the future “fixed” given the initial conditions but the initial conditions are “fixed” too.

Necessitarianism is equivalent to fatalism without any of the religious baggage.

Right, that’s what I’m saying to GdB, free will is compatible with determinism not necessitarianism.

And so unfixed inititial conditions are required in order to have free will.

That’s what GdB is denying.

If that is the ideology you are trying for, just invite them all over for coffee and donuts. They had no more choice in their actions then you in being a “good” guy. If I kill you, beat your wife and dog, hey it was all necessary.

Take this up with GdB, it’s him who’s trying to argue that free will is compatible with necessitarianism.

If you were to forgive me, there’s no reason to acknowledge you did anything. My forgiveness was necessitated by how the big bang banged.

Now you are confusing determinism with necessitarianism.

If determinism is true your forgiveness was necessitated by the big bang.

Same past same future, that’s determinism.

Stephen

[ Edited: 10 May 2011 11:42 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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