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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 08 May 2011 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 991 ]
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StephenLawrence - 08 May 2011 03:42 AM

As that is obviously equivalent to what I was saying, yes, you were denying that and have now chosen to lie, having seen it from someone you consider to be an authority and learned.

Don’t call me a liar, just because you are not able to understand the consistence of what I am proposing all the time. Again, you have a misrepresentation of my ideas in your head.

StephenLawrence - 08 May 2011 03:34 AM
GdB - 08 May 2011 03:21 AM

Determinism is the view that all of the events in the universe are determined by the laws of nature, except the initial condition, assuming that the world had a beginning.

I did never deny that.

Yes you did because that was all I was saying.

Determinism is usually determinism with one indeterministic moment, the initial conditions.

This is your misconception. Determinism means that from a certain state of a system (even when this system is the whole universe) follows every next state according to natural laws. It does not matter how this ‘certain state’ came into being. If it was a scientist setting up his experiment, or a scientist just observing a part of the universe, it does not matter. This is no indeterminism. That is the point where I disagree with you, no, even stronger, where you are plainly wrong. Indeterminism is when given a certain state of a system, different followup states are possible.

StephenLawrence - 08 May 2011 03:34 AM

I said it does not matter for the concept of compatibilistic free will.

Of course it matters GdB because unless you generate alternative possibilities some how in your model there are no contigent ifs…...... and so no causes/influences.

Your misunderstanding of language and logic is outrageous. For the 100th time: you don’t know the difference between reality and our talking about it, you even deny that this difference is of any importance. Without seeing this importance, you cannot else than misrepresent me. You remember you thought you got support of faithlessgod when he jumped into the thread? Didn’t you realise that it was because you misrepresented me?

StephenLawrence - 08 May 2011 03:34 AM

Free will is only compatible with determinism with a little indeterminism

You turn it around 180 degrees: for agency and free will we need at least some measure of determinism. Every piece of indeterminism introduced in the idea of agency, makes the actions of him less his actions, and more and more twitches of the brain.

You better base your ideas on solid scientific and conceptual grounds if you want to be taken seriously by LFWers. Doug, faithlessgod me and several others have offered you these grounds many times, but you just don’t get it, and then become offensive. That is the whole reason that I get so angry and impolite too.

[ Edited: 08 May 2011 06:43 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 08 May 2011 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 992 ]
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GdB - 08 May 2011 05:37 AM

Don’t call me a liar,

It’s taken a long time to come to the point at which I call you a liar GdB.

But there it is, you are a liar.

just because you are not able to understand the consistence of what I am proposing all the time. Again, you have a misrepresentation of my ideas in your head.

Rubbish, this has nothing to do with it.

I was saying that 100% determinism is necessitarianism and that the determinism you are speaking of, or as generally understood, has an indeterministic first moment.

It’s determinism with an incy wincy bit of indeterminism.

You denied it and now you are not and saying you didn’t deny it.

You are a liar.

Determinism means that from a certain state of a system (even when this system is the whole universe) follows every next state according to natural laws.

Right.

Your misunderstanding of language and logic is outrageous. For the 100th time: you don’t know the difference between reality and our talking about it,

horse shit.

Look, if it’s true that given the past there is one possible future, it follows that multiple possible futures require multiple possible pasts.

In order for them to be possible it has to be the case that they could be actual.

How?

They couldn’t be, given the past , obviously, they are mutually exclusive possibilities, after all.

They could be actual because the actual past could be otherwise.

How??????

Because the initial conditions could have been indeterministically different.

This is not a misunderstanding, it’s the only way for there to be alternative possibilities.

Stephen

[ Edited: 08 May 2011 10:18 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 08 May 2011 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 993 ]
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Guys, let’s try to tone down the rhetoric here a few notches. I understand the desire to keep hammering away, but if the dialogue gets to the point that you can’t trust each other’s motives, best to move along.

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Posted: 08 May 2011 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 994 ]
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dougsmith - 08 May 2011 10:01 AM

Guys, let’s try to tone down the rhetoric here a few notches. I understand the desire to keep hammering away, but if the dialogue gets to the point that you can’t trust each other’s motives, best to move along.

Ok Doug.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 995 ]
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GdB,

GdB - 08 May 2011 05:37 AM

Determinism is usually determinism with one indeterministic moment, the initial conditions.

This is your misconception.

As a matter of fact the above contradicts the following

Determinism is the view that all of the events in the universe are determined by the laws of nature, except the initial condition, assuming that the world had a beginning.

That is because any exception to determinism is indeterminism.

That is the first indubitable mistake.

The second apparent mistake is to think this does not matter as it’s apparently the indeterministic moment which produces contingent if’s necessary as part of causal claims.

But I’ll leave it there as I know you have no ideas on how to overcome this.

Stephen

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 12:49 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 996 ]
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Stephen,

For the sake of the argument, suppose we live in an eternal and endless determined universe. Every event is caused by previous events, ad infinitum. In every closed system in it I can observe that every event is determined by other events in that system. That is per definition of what a closed system is. Now I increase the size of my closed system to the complete observable universe. Again, per definition, all events in it are caused by events in the system. Right?

Now in any closed system in this determined universe, all events are determined, of course. But if I see this, does it then really matter how the initial conditions of this subsystem came about? Does it matter if the initial conditions randomly have gotten these values, or that they were determined by previous events (in or outside the system) in themselves?

Now again: what does determinism say: Determinism means that from a certain state of a system (even when this system is the whole universe) follows every next state according to natural laws. It does not say anything about the initial conditions.

Now in this light, look at Doug’s statement: Determinism is the view that all of the events in the universe are determined by the laws of nature, (except the initial condition, assuming that the world had a beginning).
(Put in brackets to show on what the ‘except’ is referring)

Determinism just has nothing to say about the initial conditions. The only thing needed for determinism is that from one given state the next follows according to exact natural laws.

Now, what has your decision to cook or not to do with these initial conditions, from your perspective, not from some third party view?
Must your wife take into account that what happens now is determined by some initial conditions that lie way before your both’s births, when she decides to ‘punish’ you by not doing household tasks anymore?

StephenLawrence - 08 May 2011 09:55 AM

You don’t know the difference between reality and our talking about it,

...
Look, if it’s true that given the past there is one possible future, it follows that multiple possible futures require multiple possible pasts.
In order for them to be possible it has to be the case that they could be actual.
...
This is not a misunderstanding, it’s the only way for there to be alternative possibilities.

But we do not require multiple possible futures in reality, that is exactly what compatibilism is all about! What we need is consciousness that makes deliberations, and that these deliberations are causally effective. The possibilities exist in our fantasies about what the future could look like dependent on our view of the given state of the universe, what we know about causal connections, and our actions. And if we talk, or think about it verbally, we put our thoughts in the form of ‘if then else’ sentences. Here lies the essence of why it is important that one distinguishes between reality and language. “If then else” sentences in science are abstractions from observations of many events, and per definitions abstractions do not exist in reality. Abstractions can be true, but they cannot be real.

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 02:00 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 02:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 997 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 01:25 AM

For the sake of the argument, suppose we live in an eternal and endless determined universe. Every event is caused by previous events, ad infinitum.

1) we are assuming a beginning so lets keep it simple and stick to that.

2) In the case of a universe with no beginning the idea is that contingency comes from infinite if’s though I don’t buy it.

The point is we need infinite if’s (let’s assume it works) or indeterminism to produce alternative possibilities.

 

does it then really matter how the initial conditions of this subsystem came about?


Yes, it matters because it needs to be the case that it didn’t necessarily come about GdB.

Because otherwise not only is it true that given the initial state of the system everything must follow as it does.

But also that everything must follow as it does full stop.

Compatibilists say this is the modal scope fallacy but it only is if there is a way the initial conditions could have been different.

Determinism just has nothing to say about the initial conditions. The only thing needed for determinism is that from one given state the next follows according to exact natural laws.

It does if we are to divide up forms of determinism, the strongest form being necessitarianism.

You need a way to distinguish “ordinary” determinism from necessitarianism unless you want to argue that free will is compatible with necessitarianism.

But we do not require multiple possible futures in reality, that is exactly what compatibilism is all about!

1) That is not what compatibilism is all about, Doug for instance does believe in ontological possibilities as you know.

Compatibilism is about not needing alternative possibilities from the same past.

2) And as I’ve said this isn’t the point.edit:( I mean the debate over modal realism and modal fictionalism)

Either way we do require that what is true could be false, which requires that what is actual could not be actual and something else could be actual instead.

The question you don’t address is how? Edit: You see I address it and answer it by starting the model of the universe off with an indeterministic first moment.

And it’s by refusing to address the question that 1) You miss the point and 2) you manage to think you are being logical.

What I mean by that is there is apparently a logical contradiction in your philosophy and you simply don’t see it because you refuse to look.

Looking would be answering how alternative possibilities could be actual.

What we need is consciousness that makes deliberations, and that these deliberations are causally effective.


Right, and it’s at the point of causal effectiveness that the problem comes in for a necessitarian because the if’s in causal claims are and need to be contingent.

The possibilities exist in our fantasies about what the future could look like dependent on our view of the given state of…..

I’ve cut the whole thing off by mistake but the only point I wanted to make is you’re using the word dependent which is interchangeable with contingent.

Stephen

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 02:58 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 03:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 998 ]
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You did not answer these questions yet:

1.Now, what has your decision to cook or not to do with these initial conditions, from your perspective, not from some third party view?

2. Must your wife take into account that what happens now is determined by some initial conditions that lie way before your both’s births, when she decides to ‘punish’ you by not doing household tasks anymore?

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 02:37 AM

Compatibilism is about not needing alternative possibilities from the same past.

Yep. Isn’t all said with this? We do not need alternative possibilities.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 02:37 AM

you’re using the word dependent which is interchangeable with contingent.

No. In “If it rains the streets become wet” the antecedent might be contingent or not. But, given that it rains and given that the conditional is true, the streets becoming wet is not contingent anymore.

The possibilities you think to see have nothing to do with free will. The world is as is just now, and from here I go on. If the world would have had different initial conditions, a person in that world would find a world for him ‘just now’, and he has to go from there.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 02:37 AM

1) we are assuming a beginning so lets keep it simple and stick to that.

What also could help if you illustrate these sentences of you with a more or less real life example:

Yes, it matters because it needs to be the case that it didn’t necessarily come about GdB.

Because otherwise not only is it true that given the initial state of the system everything must follow as it does.

2) In the case of a universe with no beginning the idea is that contingency comes from infinite if’s though I don’t buy it.

The point is we need infinite if’s (let’s assume it works) or indeterminism to produce alternative possibilities.

I am trying to explain something to you, and if you do not let me do that, we can stop again. You don’t have to buy number 2, 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. That’s why you still must answer the question about the cooking. All your speculations about the determined or not determined initial conditions before your birth do not make any difference. In fact a few pages ago you admitted this already (here).

Please explain following sentences with help of a more or less real life example (something like my cooking example), I really do not understand what you are saying here. If these sentences mean something, you must be able to illustrate them with a real life example.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 02:37 AM

Yes, it matters because it needs to be the case that it didn’t necessarily come about GdB.

Because otherwise not only is it true that given the initial state of the system everything must follow as it does.

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 08:27 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 999 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 01:25 AM

Now, what has your decision to cook or not to do with these initial conditions, from your perspective, not from some third party view?
Must your wife take into account that what happens now is determined by some initial conditions that lie way before your both’s births, when she decides to ‘punish’ you by not doing household tasks anymore?

Just fleshing out a thought here.

If in considering an individual a process and making a decision part of that process…

Say the wife, instead of making a decision based on past experience/knowledge, flips a coin.

Yes, physical forces act upon the coin to determine whether it lands heads or tails. However this process is external to to the “normal” internal decision making process. The wife’s action was influenced by something other then the normal deterministic decision making process.

In the course of a lifetime, numerous events occur which influence the normal process by which an individual makes a decision. These all can alter the “normal” deterministic decision making process. After the event’s occurrence they would, going forward, become integrated into the normal decision making process. Because of this external event the course or direction of that individual’s otherwise deterministic life has been altered.

Of course from the mythical Laplace’s Demon or God view, nothing is external. Except the Demon/God. Yet if you now try to account for this Demon/God, i.e. include it within the set of all things. You then have to consider the existence of processes external to this “set of all processes”. It becomes a problem ad infinitum. This “Set of all Processes” becomes indeterminable.

However, lets get back to the normal, known, “self” process.

Concepts of morality, social pressure, rewards, punishment exist as influences that are external to the self process. They alter the course of what would otherwise be, within the set of self processes, a deterministic process.

An individual with leadership skills can alter the normally deterministic process of numerous individual (self processes). Education, being shown kindness etc…

Philosophy tries to throw a monkey wrench into an otherwise understandable reality by positing the unsolvable “set of all processes”. If one adds to their argument/equation the “set of all process” they create an argument that has no answer. An equation that cannot be solved.

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 09:49 AM by Gnostikosis ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1000 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2011 03:12 AM

No. In “If it rains the streets become wet” the antecedent might be contingent or not. But, given that it rains and given that the conditional is true, the streets becoming wet is not contingent anymore.

Worth having a second look at this.

Of course it’s contingent unless you want to argue the streets are necessarily wet.

Stephen

OOPS sorry GdB I replied to all your points but then edited by mistake.

[ Edited: 09 May 2011 11:35 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1001 ]
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Gnostikosis - 09 May 2011 09:44 AM

Concepts of morality, social pressure, rewards, punishment exist as influences that are external to the self process. They alter the course of what would otherwise be, within the set of self processes, a deterministic process.

The seemingly obvious point I’m trying to get across Gnostikosis is that there is no otherwise without alternative possibilities.

That’s why causes / influences always are and must be contingent.

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.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1002 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:02 AM

The seemingly obvious point I’m trying to get across Gnostikosis is that there is no otherwise without alternative possibilities.

That’s why causes / influences always are and must be contingent.

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.

Stephen

Yes but they exist only as counterfactual cognitive distortions. At least in the present tense moment of decision making.

The future moment you have in mind as an alternate possibility has yet to posses the property of actual existence.

Ok wait, I’m missing something here…

Sorry for having to ask but contingent on what?

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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1003 ]
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Gnostikosis - 09 May 2011 11:19 AM

Sorry for having to ask but contingent on what?

It doesn’t matter what it is contingent upon, it’s enough that whatever it’s contingent upon could be otherwise.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1004 ]
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Gnostikosis - 09 May 2011 11:19 AM
StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 11:02 AM

The seemingly obvious point I’m trying to get across Gnostikosis is that there is no otherwise without alternative possibilities.

That’s why causes / influences always are and must be contingent.

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.

Stephen

Yes but they exist only as counterfactual cognitive distortions. At least in the present tense moment of decision making.

The future moment you have in mind as an alternate possibility has yet to posses the property of actual existence.

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

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2011 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1005 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

I didn’t answer because I felt/feel it’s not relevent.

Exactly. Sorry that I translate that as ‘My thinking about free will and determinism has no relevance at all’. What you think about free will and determinism has no influence on your decisions, only in your theoretical musings about them.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

But I don’t buy into this third person view business.

That’s a pity, because you are using it all the time. Determinism cannot be ‘discovered’ if you only experience your own thoughts and feelings, and those of your companions.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

If she thinks it’s fair, that fairness should be compatible with it being the luck of the draw ,yes.

No idea what you are saying here. Please explain.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

We need it to be the case that what is true is not necessarily true, that requires alternative possibilities.

Yes, they are essential to free will.

??? So you need some other possibilities, somewhere in the universe, and then from there everything is determined, that make free will possible?

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

No. In “If it rains the streets become wet” the antecedent might be contingent or not. But, given that it rains and given that the conditional is true, the streets becoming wet is not contingent anymore.

No, the if is always contingent in causal claims and must be.

??? I say:
It rains—> the antecedent can be contingent or not
if it rains, the streets become wet, is a true conditional.
Now we see that it rains.
Is ‘the streets become wet’ contingent?

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

You don’t have to buy number 2, 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.

Yes it does because if necessitarianism is true, we don’t have free will.

Again, you don’t get meaning of what I am saying. 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.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

And that is because we don’t have causal power, we don’t influence the future.

So nothing has causal power! A ball on its path to a window has a causal power, namely to break the glass. And then you say we have no causal power? It is of course not the choice of the ball, it has no beliefs, no wishes, and no knowledge of the world. But we have.

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.

StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

I cannot cook because without it being possible for me to heat the water or not, it is not possible for me to make the water boil.

That is because if I boil the water by heating it, it has to be the case that had I not heated it (all things being equal) it would not have boiled.

And this needs to be possible, so it needs to be possible that I did not boil the water even though as it happens I did.

It is possible. When you decide to cook the water, and all other circumstances are the same, you cook the water. It is caused by your choice.
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2011 10:57 AM

OOPS sorry GdB I replied to all your points but then edited by mistake.

Well, saved at least part of it…

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