I had an argument with my twin brother once about free will and determinism. I was merely trying to encourage discussion which he tends to get annoyed with me by because it exhausts him and distracts him from his other obligations. Anyways, he was flabbergasted that I would claim that determinism is the essence of science. He felt that I was out of my mind because he got the impression that only religion has claimed such a theory from the start. The idea that destiny or fate guaranteed your future is religious, is it not?
I don’t feel any confusion over the matter whatsoever and find it weird that this discussion should trouble anyone. I didn’t read this whole thread and don’t plan on it. From the first few pages I gathered that the frustrations to make sense of it for some is rather due to an emotional dissonance due to inappropriately defining and accidental transitioning the concepts to mean something different in contexts.
In one case, Gdb, I think, seemed to think that determinism entailed causation where free will did not.
Re: post 13
From my point of view, you only deny the existence of free will in the following sense: as not caused (otherwise it is determined), ...
Now, normally we presume time like a math function: for any given input(s), there is one unique result. But reality can be like a mathematical relationship instead: for any set of given input(s), a relationship can have multiple outputs. [A function is a restricted type of relationship] So in reality, you can have multiple determined options, given the relationship is possible, and yet have different results. In other words, all the options that are possible, exist; but the results can’t be experienced in the same plane of reality—they are in an alternate place, a parallel dimension. You may have a hard time presenting a physical proof. But a logical (or mathematical) one can be found to show that this is at least a possibility and maybe even probable.
In post 24, Write4U implicitly defined “determinism” as the failure to get what he chose, the lack of getting his “free will” to become satisfied just because the option was not available. But where the options were available, he felt he had “free will”.
Here’s the excerpt:
I am not sure when something is free-will or predetermined.
Example: My friend and I both like raspberry swirl icecream.
At the ice cream shop we both order a raspeberry swirl, but the shop keeper tells us he is out of that swirl. As a second choice I order a straight raspberry, which the shopkeeper immediately presents. My friend orders a vanilla substitute, but the shop keeper advises him that he is also out of vanilla. So my friend also orders a raspeberry, which is promptly placed in front of him.
As it was predetermined that we would not have the swirl, we both ended up with raspberry icecream, except my second choice was from free will (choice between raspeberry and vanilla), while my friend received his raspberry due to the unavailability of his second choice of vanilla.
It is likely that he transferred the term “determinism” from a physical description of reality to the alternate meaning of our everyday use in language to describe how we are capable of getting what we want, as in, “I am determined to get what I want!”
I didn’t follow VYASMA’s argument in post 8, but when he said if he intends to mean that this argument is about semantics, I agree. A little imagination helps too.