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Author Topic:   Do I have a choice? (determinism vs libertarianism vs compatibilism)
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 46 of 210 (358232)
10-23-2006 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by DominionSeraph
10-22-2006 11:53 PM


So it's random? There really is no method to your madness?

No it is not random. There is no basis for jumping from no equation to random.

nwr writes:

And I don't expect that there ever will be such an equation.

If it ain't random, there is one.


You appear to be making some seriously mistaken assumptions.


Compassionate conservatism - bringing you a kinder, gentler torture chamber
This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by DominionSeraph, posted 10-22-2006 11:53 PM DominionSeraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by DominionSeraph, posted 10-23-2006 12:32 AM nwr has responded

  
DominionSeraph
Member (Idle past 2920 days)
Posts: 365
From: on High
Joined: 01-26-2005


Message 47 of 210 (358233)
10-23-2006 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by Rob
10-22-2006 10:06 PM


Rob writes:

if I choose to stay the way I am, then I become my own creator by imposition of my will

No you don't, as you didn't create your will. Whatever is at the beginning of the chain of creating/fiddling is responsible for your will being the way it is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Rob, posted 10-22-2006 10:06 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Rob, posted 10-23-2006 1:16 AM DominionSeraph has responded

  
DominionSeraph
Member (Idle past 2920 days)
Posts: 365
From: on High
Joined: 01-26-2005


Message 48 of 210 (358234)
10-23-2006 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by nwr
10-23-2006 12:11 AM


nwr writes:

There is no basis for jumping from no equation to random.

So you're saying that there's a nonrandom set that cannot be described by an equation?

nwr writes:

You appear to be making some seriously mistaken assumptions.

It would be a conclusion.
So, can you reconcile 'nonrandom' with 'follows no formula'?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by nwr, posted 10-23-2006 12:11 AM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by nwr, posted 10-23-2006 1:05 AM DominionSeraph has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 49 of 210 (358235)
10-23-2006 1:05 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by DominionSeraph
10-23-2006 12:32 AM


So you're saying that there's a nonrandom set that cannot be described by an equation?

I'm not convinced the expression "nonrandom set" has any meaning.

So, can you reconcile 'nonrandom' with 'follows no formula'?

The orbit of the moon is usually considered to be nonrandom, but it follows no formula.


Compassionate conservatism - bringing you a kinder, gentler torture chamber
This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by DominionSeraph, posted 10-23-2006 12:32 AM DominionSeraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by DominionSeraph, posted 10-24-2006 12:25 AM nwr has responded

  
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 485 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 50 of 210 (358236)
10-23-2006 1:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JavaMan
10-20-2006 1:03 PM


What does ineviatble mean?
Now that I've got to the end of this essay, am I entirely free to post it or not to post it? Or is my action of posting it (or not posting it) already predetermined as I write these words?

According to the hard determinist position, if I post my message then that event was inevitable, it could not have occurred in any other way. But let's imagine that I read through the message one last time and realise that it's a crock-of-sh*te. I decide to save my face and don't send it. Again the hard determinist would say that this outcome is inevitable.

But hold on a minute - five seconds previously, a different outcome was inevitable, wasn't it? This inevitability seems to be a bit evanescent - it's like a will o' the wisp. Is there any point at which you can say beforehand that such and such an event is inevitable, or is hard determinist inevitability an after-the-event thing, a kind of philosophical told-you-so?

To elaborate on nwr's point about randomness. Note the difference between the situation I've just described here and the case where I don't post the message because I've lost contact with my internet provider. That is an example of my actions being determined by random events over which I have no control, quite a different thing than me choosing not to send the post for reasons of my own.

ABE: Although randomness doesn't really help our argument about free will, it does make a mockery of the claim of inevitability. To return to my original scenario, imagine that my daughter starts crying before I make my final read through the message. As a result of this random event (random from my point of view rather than hers, of course) I post it, still confident that it makes sense. It's still my choice to post it, of course, but what has happened is that some random event has intervened to influence (not cause) my actions.

Edited by JavaMan, : Added paragraph

Edited by JavaMan, : typos


'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4015 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 51 of 210 (358238)
10-23-2006 1:16 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by DominionSeraph
10-23-2006 12:15 AM


DominionSeraph writes:
Whatever is at the beginning of the chain of creating/fiddling is responsible for your will being the way it is.

Ok, I'll accept that!

God created Satan, so that makes Him accountable.

But if we're given a choice to change, who is responsible then? The sin is that you want to keep doing what is wrong, not so much the wrong itself. Yu are using your freedom to stay a slave to your own will when you can call on Him to redeem you.

God offers His will to you...

Also, there is only one faith in the world in which God Himself took that responsibility; Christianity.

He paid the price on the cross. Justice and mercy all satisfied in one perfect sacrifice.

Now do we hate Him for that, or follow Him?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by DominionSeraph, posted 10-23-2006 12:15 AM DominionSeraph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Parasomnium, posted 10-23-2006 5:01 AM Rob has responded
 Message 74 by DominionSeraph, posted 10-24-2006 12:14 AM Rob has responded

    
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 485 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 52 of 210 (358253)
10-23-2006 4:16 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by JustinC
10-22-2006 7:24 PM


That isn't Hume's fork
Humes Fork: Either our actions are determined, in which case we are not responsible for them, or they are the random, in which case we are not responsible for them.

Sorry to be pedantic, but that isn't Hume's fork. This is:

Hume writes:


All the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic ... [which are] discoverable by the mere operation of thought ... Matters of fact, which are the second object of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the foregoing.

A Treatise of Human Nature


'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang
This message is a reply to:
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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 862 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 53 of 210 (358254)
10-23-2006 5:01 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Rob
10-23-2006 1:16 AM


Contortionist rhetoric about free will
Rob writes:

You are using your freedom to stay a slave to your own will

Cadit mandibula.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Rob, posted 10-23-2006 1:16 AM Rob has responded

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 Message 58 by Rob, posted 10-23-2006 9:41 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2261 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 54 of 210 (358256)
10-23-2006 6:18 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by JavaMan
10-23-2006 1:05 AM


Re: What does ineviatble mean?
I'd say that most hard determinist positions hold that there never was a point where a different outcome was inevitable, you were always going to change your mind.

Your thought experiment doesn't work because it relies on the positing of two different alternative outcomes when hard determinism only allows for one.

It is not an after-the-event phenomenon, but it is not one which is useful to humans either. A belief in hard determinism does not mean that one can in fact predict what is going to happen. If one were posessed of both complete knowledge about every factor affecting an event, including any factors our science does not yet recognise, and of the neccessary computing or mental power to accurately calculate the effects of all those factors then one should be able to predict the future with 100% acuracy.

Such a depth of knowledge is clearly impossible for us especially since we don't know if there are other hidden factors which might be involved.

As well as being practically impossible such knowledge may also be theroretically impossible if there is a truly random fundamental basis to the behaviour of certain elements affecting the event.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
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JavaMan
Member (Idle past 485 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 55 of 210 (358259)
10-23-2006 7:32 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by DominionSeraph
10-22-2006 2:18 PM


Life isn't a videotape
I'm much more impressed by someone predicting the inevitable outcome before it occurs.
In my next viewing of Episode IV, the Rebels will blow up the Death Star. If I un-blow-up it using the << button, the Rebels will just blow it up again.

Edit: Did it 6 times. (It's chapter 47, BTW.) Rebels done blown it up every time.

Life isn't a videotape. You can't rewind it and play it again to prove that an event was inevitable. All you can do is assert that it was inevitable because it happened. Like I said, if you told me what was inevitable before it happened, then I might be impressed.


'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang
This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by DominionSeraph, posted 10-22-2006 2:18 PM DominionSeraph has responded

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JavaMan
Member (Idle past 485 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 56 of 210 (358262)
10-23-2006 7:54 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Tusko
10-22-2006 5:54 PM


Re: Free Willy
I don't see any room for 'choice' - that is that a person could choose to do two different actions at a particular point if you reran the tape of history. I don't think that could ever happen and that's the only way I can see choice as being meaningful.

I don't really understand this argument. Does it mean that 'choice' would be meaningful only if both outcomes had occurred? (This seems to be the implication of the argument that because only one outcome occurred, then the action leading to that outcome was inevitable.)

I simply don't think that there is such a thing as an unconstrained choice. I cant choose to fly and I won't be able to choose to come back to life when I die,

Neither can I :).

and I don't believe that I could ever choose to do something other than what I have done and will do

You certainly can't change what you've already done, but are you saying that what you will do for the rest of your life is already mapped out in some way? Are your future actions already inevitable, and if not, at what point will they be inevitable?

Edited by JavaMan, : typo


'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang
This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Tusko, posted 10-22-2006 5:54 PM Tusko has responded

Replies to this message:
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JavaMan
Member (Idle past 485 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 57 of 210 (358263)
10-23-2006 8:09 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by working out eating chips
10-20-2006 1:23 PM


Welcome back

What area of the world were you raised in: industrial, rural, etc?

What religion did your parents hold?

What culture were you immersed in?

Mention a few qualities or values that you were raised to have.

This should or should not be more comprehensive but before one could decide whether one's action was free one must tell us or remember a little about one's own environment.

I'd happily answer these questions if I understood the relevance. I'm quite aware that the range of options available to me is limited by my environment.

I'm not arguing that I have perfect freedom to do anything, simply that the notion of making free choices is meaningful even within a deterministic model of the world.


'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4015 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 58 of 210 (358278)
10-23-2006 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Parasomnium
10-23-2006 5:01 AM


Re: Contortionist rhetoric about free will
You're free to keep believing that, like a true believer. I am not going to try and change your mind because you have free will. I spent too much time in the past trying to argue. Do what you don't have to do now if you have to. But when you put time into the equation, or eternity, then it's not such a conundrum. It may be, that in time, you'll have to do something else.

Your choice, at the appropriate time (which is not your choice).

So many of us, trapped here in finitude, and actually believing we are God. Isolated in a universe so vast, and we cannot even escape our own Solar system. Yet we think it is our life, to do with as we please and make havoc out of reason. :(


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15047
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 59 of 210 (358281)
10-23-2006 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by JustinC
10-22-2006 7:24 PM


quote:

I still cannot see how determinism and free will are compatible. The options must be different future states. In order for a future state to be to be considered an option it must be possible for that future state to come about.

That depends on how you define "possible". If you define it as requiring that there must be a non-zero probability that you will choose either option (given tht EXACT situation), and where that probability is not simply an expression of ignorance then you are requiring a random element in decision-making.

But how is that "free will" ? Surely that random element cannot be called "will" nor does it offer any freedom worth having. So I conclude that the premise - that "free will" requires such a possibility - is false.

However if we remove that constraint we end up with compatibilism.

quote:

Can you explain why it would be wrong to say "the moon chose to orbit the earth" and it makes sense to say "I chose to write this post" if determinism is true?

That's easy. The moon isn't a thinking decision-making entity. You are.

quote:

Humes Fork: Either our actions are determined, in which case we are not responsible for them, or they are the random, in which case we are not responsible for them.

Compatibilism denies the idea that deteminism in itself removes responsibility. It may remove ultimate responsibility, but unless we assume an omniscient creator there is no entity to take on that burden.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


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AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 210 (358288)
10-23-2006 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by Rob
10-23-2006 9:41 AM


Way off topic rob
Your last few posts have had NOTHING to do with the topic and have been nothing but advertising.

Stop it.

If you continue with the advertising your posting privileges will be restricted.

Please take any comments about this response to the appropriate thread.


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