3 of 22
3
Is beheading more humane than long winded chemical and electricity executions?
Posted: 14 September 2014 10:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20

Well Citizens challenge I’m guessing my last post just made your eyes glaze over.

The thing is if you haven’t given that version of free will much thought you almost certainly
believe in it.

Why? Because we are wired up that way. When we look back at what we or others could have
done we imagine we are thinking about the circumstances as they actually were, rather than
slightly altered circumstances. That combined with the idea of choices being up to us gives rise to
the illusion that the choice was entirely up to us, rather than we would have needed to
have been in slightly altered circumstances (internal or external) to have selected a different option.

What a lot of us experience when we realise this is that compassion and empathy rise and hatred
and the desire for revenge recede as we recognise that there but for circumstances go I and that
“blameworthy” people were merely unfortunate not to be in slightly altered circumstances.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 September 2014 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4253
Joined  2014-06-20
StephenLawrence - 14 September 2014 10:57 PM

Well Citizens challenge I’m guessing my last post just made your eyes glaze over.

The thing is if you haven’t given that version of free will much thought you almost certainly
believe in it.

Why? Because we are wired up that way. When we look back at what we or others could have
done we imagine we are thinking about the circumstances as they actually were, rather than
slightly altered circumstances. That combined with the idea of choices being up to us gives rise to
the illusion that the choice was entirely up to us, rather than we would have needed to
have been in slightly altered circumstances (internal or external) to have selected a different option.

What a lot of us experience when we realise this is that compassion and empathy rise and hatred
and the desire for revenge recede as we recognise that there but for circumstances go I and that
“blameworthy” people were merely unfortunate not to be in slightly altered circumstances.

Yes, true. I, too am a derterminist.  But what should people do to protect themselves and their families from those who are determined to attack and injure? The aggression does not recede because we feel and show compassion for the aggressors. By the time aggression recedes we and our families might be dead or seriously injured. What do we do until they stop being aggressive? Sit back and allow the aggression to work itself out? It could take years, if it happens at all. We have to be able to protect ourselves even if we accept that the aggressors have no control over their actions. How do we do it?

Lois

 Signature 

[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 September 2014 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
LoisL - 15 September 2014 03:42 PM
StephenLawrence - 14 September 2014 10:57 PM

Well Citizens challenge I’m guessing my last post just made your eyes glaze over.

The thing is if you haven’t given that version of free will much thought you almost certainly
believe in it.

Why? Because we are wired up that way. When we look back at what we or others could have
done we imagine we are thinking about the circumstances as they actually were, rather than
slightly altered circumstances. That combined with the idea of choices being up to us gives rise to
the illusion that the choice was entirely up to us, rather than we would have needed to
have been in slightly altered circumstances (internal or external) to have selected a different option.

What a lot of us experience when we realise this is that compassion and empathy rise and hatred
and the desire for revenge recede as we recognise that there but for circumstances go I and that
“blameworthy” people were merely unfortunate not to be in slightly altered circumstances.

Yes, true. I, too am a derterminist.

Yes I know. And the thing is the implications of being a determinist go right over most peoples heads. Yet libertarian free will is the most pervasive false belief of all, so this is very strange and worth trying to do something about.

But what should people do to protect themselves and their families from those who are determined to attack and injure?

We do what’s necessary with the minimum suffering possible. Few determinists will deny this so it’s not the interesting point. If people were generally determinists they wouldn’t have the negative influence of belief in libertarian free will which could lead to them being more compassionate, less hateful, fairer and so there would be less aggressive people.

It’s the benefits of disbelief in libertarian free will and moral responsibility as it’s commonly understood that need to be got at.

Also I suspect GdB is right that we need a concept of free will compatible with determinism too or we can go wrong in other ways although I didn’t want to discuss that, just acknowledging it if GdB is reading.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 September 2014 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6516
Joined  2010-08-15
StephenLawrence - 14 September 2014 10:57 PM

Well Citizens challenge I’m guessing my last post just made your eyes glaze over.

You make me laugh, because you hit it on the nail.  But, not for lack of trying, I’ve read through it a few times and keep chewing on it, probably why I haven’t made a comment about it.

It’s funny how some trains of thought just click in for me and others remain abstract.
I’ve even gone and read a little about “Determinism” to get a better handle on what you’ve written, even read your post out loud to Paula
and appreciate you writing down those thoughts.

I came up with something much simpler regarding “controlling” my life quite early in my traveling experiences and it keeps making sense to me.

I believe many people imagine they can (or should be able to) control their lives the way a dam controls a river.
Whereas, it seems to me it’s the loose control of a kayaker heading down rapids, provides the best analogy for “controlling” our lives.

Lois, did you see my post about how the Albuquerque cops handle a threatening domestic situation? 
I think the devil is in the details, who determines someone else’s level of “determination to attack and injure”.
Also, isn’t your train of though sort of along the lines of the thinking that railroaded all those gullible Americans into climbing onto the Bush/Cheney War for Profits Bandwagon? just ask’n

[ Edited: 16 September 2014 07:02 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
 Signature 

We need each other, to keep ourselves honest

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 September 2014 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
citizenschallenge.pm - 16 September 2014 06:59 AM
StephenLawrence - 14 September 2014 10:57 PM

Well Citizens challenge I’m guessing my last post just made your eyes glaze over.

You make me laugh, because you hit it on the nail.  But, not for lack of trying, I’ve read through it a few times and keep chewing on it, probably why I haven’t made a comment about it.

grin

It’s funny how some trains of thought just click in for me and others remain abstract.
I’ve even gone and read a little about “Determinism” to get a better handle on what you’ve written, even read your post out loud to Paula
and appreciate you writing down those thoughts.

Cool, it’s an important philosophy for me, I’d call myself a determinist here or a Buddhist in other circles, it’s the same thing, central to buddhism is “dependent arising” and the compassion that follows from accepting it.

I came up with something much simpler regarding “controlling” my life quite early in my traveling experiences and it keeps making sense to me.

I believe many people imagine they can (or should be able to) control their lives the way a dam controls a river.
Whereas, it seems to me it’s the loose control of a kayaker heading down rapids, provides the best analogy for “controlling” our lives.

OK, I agree with that but what I and Lois try to get across is the sense in which we have no control whatsoever.

You see if your distant past had been appropriately different you would be a murderer on death row now. Equally a murderer on death row now would not be a murderer if his distant past had been appropriately different. It’s that which we try to get across.The difference is sheer luck since obviously we have no control over our distant past.

That’s assuming determinism and again the reason to assume that is indeterminism can’t make any difference.

[ Edited: 16 September 2014 12:36 PM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 September 2014 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4253
Joined  2014-06-20
StephenLawrence - 16 September 2014 01:26 AM
LoisL - 15 September 2014 03:42 PM
StephenLawrence - 14 September 2014 10:57 PM

Well Citizens challenge I’m guessing my last post just made your eyes glaze over.

The thing is if you haven’t given that version of free will much thought you almost certainly
believe in it.

Why? Because we are wired up that way. When we look back at what we or others could have
done we imagine we are thinking about the circumstances as they actually were, rather than
slightly altered circumstances. That combined with the idea of choices being up to us gives rise to
the illusion that the choice was entirely up to us, rather than we would have needed to
have been in slightly altered circumstances (internal or external) to have selected a different option.

What a lot of us experience when we realise this is that compassion and empathy rise and hatred
and the desire for revenge recede as we recognise that there but for circumstances go I and that
“blameworthy” people were merely unfortunate not to be in slightly altered circumstances.

Yes, true. I, too am a derterminist.

Yes I know. And the thing is the implications of being a determinist go right over most peoples heads. Yet libertarian free will is the most pervasive false belief of all, so this is very strange and worth trying to do something about.

But what should people do to protect themselves and their families from those who are determined to attack and injure?

We do what’s necessary with the minimum suffering possible. Few determinists will deny this so it’s not the interesting point. If people were generally determinists they wouldn’t have the negative influence of belief in libertarian free will which could lead to them being more compassionate, less hateful, fairer and so there would be less aggressive people.

It’s the benefits of disbelief in libertarian free will and moral responsibility as it’s commonly understood that need to be got at.

Also I suspect GdB is right that we need a concept of free will compatible with determinism too or we can go wrong in other ways although I didn’t want to discuss that, just acknowledging it if GdB is reading.


Yes, I agree that taking a determinist approach would lead to more compassionate and effective responses. There has to be a better way than assuming that people are deliberately “bad” and need to be punished into compliance.

But I disagree with GdB that we need a “concept of free will compatible with determinism.” IMO there can be no “concept” of free will that is compatible with determinism because free will and determinism are in complete opposition to each other. Either free will exists or it doesn’t and we shouldn’t try to somehow “compromise” on that simple truth. You can’t have a little bit of free will and a little bit of determinism.  I don’t think it does anyone any good to pretend that some kind of compromise is necessary, useful or possible. To me, that would be like saying that we need a concept of geocentrism that is compatible with heliocentrism.  You can’t compromise on scientific truths, no matter how much it might seem to make the truth easier to swallow.

Lois

 Signature 

[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 September 2014 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
LoisL - 16 September 2014 01:01 PM


Yes, I agree that taking a determinist approach would lead to more compassionate and effective responses. There has to be a better way than assuming that people are deliberately “bad” and need to be punished into compliance.

Yep.

But I disagree with GdB that we need a “concept of free will compatible with determinism.

I know that is because you won’t accept the term free will can be and is used to mean more than one thing.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 September 2014 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6516
Joined  2010-08-15
StephenLawrence - 16 September 2014 12:32 PM

OK, I agree with that but what I and Lois try to get across is the sense in which we have no control whatsoever.

You see if your distant past had been appropriately different you would be a murderer on death row now. Equally a murderer on death row now would not be a murderer if his distant past had been appropriately different. It’s that which we try to get across.The difference is sheer luck since obviously we have no control over our distant past.

That’s assuming determinism and again the reason to assume that is indeterminism can’t make any difference.

No control at all is a big thing.

Controlling your temper, with a loaded gun in your hand, seems a big thing to hang on your distant relative, even if that relative put a fiery temper into your blood.

Do you think it’s realistic to hang Armand Martin’s actions on his grandfather?

 Signature 

We need each other, to keep ourselves honest

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 September 2014 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
citizenschallenge.pm - 16 September 2014 07:54 PM
StephenLawrence - 16 September 2014 12:32 PM

OK, I agree with that but what I and Lois try to get across is the sense in which we have no control whatsoever.

You see if your distant past had been appropriately different you would be a murderer on death row now. Equally a murderer on death row now would not be a murderer if his distant past had been appropriately different. It’s that which we try to get across.The difference is sheer luck since obviously we have no control over our distant past.

That’s assuming determinism and again the reason to assume that is indeterminism can’t make any difference.

No control at all is a big thing.

Yep. But I gave the sense in which it’s sheer luck.

Controlling your temper, with a loaded gun in your hand, seems a big thing to hang on your distant relative, even if that relative put a fiery temper into your blood.

Do you think it’s realistic to hang Armand Martin’s actions on his grandfather?

What’s realistic is that was the only thing he could do given his distant past and so he was unfortunate to have the distant past he had. To have controlled his temper he would have needed to have been fortunate enough to have an appropriately different distant past

No I don’t think it’s realistic to hang his actions on his grandfather.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 September 2014 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6516
Joined  2010-08-15

Sorry but that sort of world makes no sense,
we are back to the clock-maker with everything just being cogs ticking away endlessly.

What’s the point of an introspective life of trying to be the best one can with what we got?
or guess the point is there is no point?

 Signature 

We need each other, to keep ourselves honest

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 September 2014 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6516
Joined  2010-08-15
StephenLawrence - 16 September 2014 08:38 PM

Controlling your temper, with a loaded gun in your hand, seems a big thing to hang on your distant relative, even if that relative put a fiery temper into your blood.

Do you think it’s realistic to hang Armand Martin’s actions on his grandfather?

What’s realistic is that was the only thing he could do given his distant past and so he was unfortunate to have the distant past he had. To have controlled his temper he would have needed to have been fortunate enough to have an appropriately different distant past

No I don’t think it’s realistic to hang his actions on his grandfather.

And where does that leave more proximal conditioners and triggers?

 Signature 

We need each other, to keep ourselves honest

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 September 2014 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
citizenschallenge.pm - 17 September 2014 06:36 AM

Sorry but that sort of world makes no sense,
we are back to the clock-maker with everything just being cogs ticking away endlessly.

Ah but see how you think we would lose control in that sort of world.

What’s the point of an introspective life of trying to be the best one can with what we got?
or guess the point is there is no point?

There is every point because there are good consequences of doing so. grin

But when you succeed it’s sheer luck that the distant past was the way it had to be for you to succeed and visa versa.

[ Edited: 17 September 2014 07:22 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 September 2014 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
citizenschallenge.pm - 17 September 2014 06:38 AM

And where does that leave more proximal conditioners and triggers?

Still there, it’s just the triggers won’t fire unless that’s the only thing they can do given the distant past.

That’s assuming determinism and do remember the reason to assume determinism, it’s because indeterminism can’t make a difference because it can’t gain us control, it’s just a luck factor.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 September 2014 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5506
Joined  2008-08-14
StephenLawrence - 16 September 2014 01:26 AM

If people were generally determinists they wouldn’t have the negative influence of belief in libertarian free will which could lead to them being more compassionate, less hateful, fairer and so there would be less aggressive people.

Seriously? The negative influence of belief in libertarian free-will?
I really don’t even know where to start with this. “....there would be less aggressive people.”
Do you have any frame of reference here?

It’s the benefits of disbelief in libertarian free will and moral responsibility as it’s commonly understood that need to be got at.

You have no idea how Determinism juxtaposes with reality and the mind Stephen. Absolutely no idea at all.
To you it’s an ideology. That’s incorrect on every level.
If you wish to use the default “Philosophy” here, this philosophy is not even balanced.

The concept of trying to reason out a correct way to be deterministic is ridiculous. The concept of trying to override nature to accommodate
an ideological idea of determinism or free-will is ridiculous.

 Signature 

Now with 20% more surfactants!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 September 2014 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6851
Joined  2006-12-20
VYAZMA - 17 September 2014 12:29 PM
StephenLawrence - 16 September 2014 01:26 AM

If people were generally determinists they wouldn’t have the negative influence of belief in libertarian free will which could lead to them being more compassionate, less hateful, fairer and so there would be less aggressive people.

Seriously? The negative influence of belief in libertarian free-will?

It’s an empirical matter Vyazma.

You have no good reason to think the belief isn’t influencing people and it seems reasonable to believe it is as that’s the norm re erroneous beliefs. It would be odd for people on mass to believe in something which isn’t true about such an important subject (moral responsibility) and for it to be doing no harm. Youd need good reason to believe that.

The consensus amongst philosophers is that belief in ultimate responsibility is harmful for what it’s worth.

So really you’re arguing without any rational basis at all, not much point in that.

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 22
3