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Author Topic:   the intellectual enemies of freedom
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 738 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 16 of 53 (356907)
10-16-2006 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by a servant of Christ
10-16-2006 12:44 PM


Re: Evolutionary Friends of Freedom
There is nothing about a deterministic world-view that necessarily precludes free will.
To the contrary, hard determinism means there are no free actions. By definition, since everything is causally determined; noone acts freely.

No, that isn't true. What is important about my freedom to act is that I do what I want to do, not that I act without cause. If I act without cause I am being arbitrary, not free.

Now, if you can show me a different meaning of freedom, one that requires causeless actions before my will can be considered free, please let me know.

If 'freedom' confers a selective advantage, then doesn't the evolutionary account of human development provide quite an inspiring vision, not at all the clanking, mechanical vision that you seem to observe?
With choices that are endowed only through natural selection, limited through one's environment?

Freedom doesn't mean having an infinite number of choices, it means doing what you want to do. We're limited in all kinds of ways - I'm male and not female, British and not Iranian, born in the 20th century not the 12th. All of these genetic and environental factors limit what I'm free to do.

But, as far as I can tell, I'm the only kind of creature in existence that has any real freedom of choice. My culture protects me to such an extent that I can afford to spend a few idle moments this evening composing messages to you. Instead of listening fearfully for the sounds of predators in the woods outside, standing guard over my wife and daughters, I can relax, drink a glass of wine, and spin out a letter to you over the internet.

And the only reason I have this freedom of action is because I belong to a species that has a brain selected for freedom of action. And there really isn't any other meaning of freedom other than this.


'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 14 by a servant of Christ, posted 10-16-2006 12:44 PM a servant of Christ has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by AdminNWR, posted 10-16-2006 8:40 PM JavaMan has responded

Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 28 days)
Posts: 3811
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 17 of 53 (356937)
10-16-2006 8:30 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Syamsu
10-16-2006 5:16 PM


Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
Hello, Syamsu. I see you've had a stressful day. My sympathies.

I suggest you read post 1 again to find out how Darwinists are destroying knowledge about freedom. Go ahead and address that argument, like as if you care about knowledge.

I have read your opening post several times and have yet to discern an argument. You do make a number of assertions but have offered no reasoned support that I can detect for any of them. I had hoped to elicit some reasoned argument from you by examining both the flaws in your analogies and alternate points of view. I seem to have failed.

I'm giving you a warning, because you asked a question that I already addressed. I'm sort of moderator in this thread, meaning I can ask for you to be removed from the thread, and they've done it before. I know from experience that if I don't moderate you will ask this question 10 times more, ignoring the argument about it.

I appreciate the warning. But the question I asked most recently concerned the foundations of your knowledge of freedom and choice, and you have yet to answer that question.

Nonetheless, if my participation in this thread is too discomfitting for you, you need only say so, and I will stop. Your opening post invited debate, but you seem to resent disagreement.

You argue the decision is very close to the startingpoint of the throw, but a decision on a chance it is nevertheless, no matter if it is mainly decided closer to the start, in the middle of the throw, or at the end of it.

That we find the 6 faces not perfectly represented equally in a thousand throws is mainly due to the decisions turning out one way in stead of another. The variation in the results of a normal throw of a normal die proves this explanation in terms of chances getting decided there and then is consistent with the results. That is to say the outcome is decided per event, in stead of that if 6 would turn up a lot of times, that it would be less likely for 6 to turn up again, which is what would be expected if all outcomes were predetermined.

You misunderstand me, sir. I am arguing that all outcomes are caused, not that all outcomes are predetermined. Your existence, your mind, your knowledge--all these, too, are caused. All your hopes, wishes, desires, joys and sorrows--they, too, are caused.

You can flip a coin forever, but that will not make it free of causation, and the side on which it lands will be determined by the particulars of the coin and the toss, not by a magic randomness insulated from the world of causation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Syamsu, posted 10-16-2006 5:16 PM Syamsu has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Syamsu, posted 10-17-2006 12:34 PM Omnivorous has responded

AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 53 (356941)
10-16-2006 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by JavaMan
10-16-2006 5:55 PM


Re: Evolutionary Friends of Freedom
quote:
There is nothing about a deterministic world-view that necessarily precludes free will.
To the contrary, hard determinism means there are no free actions. By definition, since everything is causally determined; noone acts freely.

No, that isn't true. What is important about my freedom to act is that I do what I want to do, not that I act without cause. If I act without cause I am being arbitrary, not free.



If you want to debate compatibilism with -messenjah of one, I suggest either of you propose a new thread. It seems a little remote from what Syamsu wanted to discuss.


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  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 16 by JavaMan, posted 10-16-2006 5:55 PM JavaMan has responded

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    JavaMan
    Member (Idle past 738 days)
    Posts: 475
    From: York, England
    Joined: 08-05-2005


    Message 19 of 53 (356986)
    10-17-2006 4:13 AM
    Reply to: Message 18 by AdminNWR
    10-16-2006 8:40 PM


    Re: Evolutionary Friends of Freedom
    If you want to debate compatibilism with -messenjah of one, I suggest either of you propose a new thread. It seems a little remote from what Syamsu wanted to discuss.

    Will do. Oh, and thanks for pointing me in the direction of compatibilism. Embarassingly, I've never come across the term before :o. Now I'm off to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to get an education.

    Edited by JavaMan, : too many commas


    '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 18 by AdminNWR, posted 10-16-2006 8:40 PM AdminNWR has not yet responded

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     Message 20 by a servant of Christ, posted 10-17-2006 4:17 AM JavaMan has not yet responded

    a servant of Christ
    Inactive Member


    Message 20 of 53 (356988)
    10-17-2006 4:17 AM
    Reply to: Message 19 by JavaMan
    10-17-2006 4:13 AM


    Re: Evolutionary Friends of Freedom
    Yeah Java, I don't believe it's true either but that's determinism. I guess you could be a soft determinist.

    I should scan some stuff I have
    needed terms to know:
    -traditional compatibilism
    -heirarchal compatibilism
    -second-order volitions which defy instinct i.e. stimuli based
    response.

    edit: I wrote a 1st-rate primer on the problem of free will and all of these terms are defined and I go through all of it. I am with Sartre on this one though, I am a libertarian.

    Edited by -messenjah of one, : provided


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 19 by JavaMan, posted 10-17-2006 4:13 AM JavaMan has not yet responded

    Syamsu 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4009 days)
    Posts: 1914
    From: amsterdam
    Joined: 05-19-2002


    Message 21 of 53 (357054)
    10-17-2006 12:34 PM
    Reply to: Message 17 by Omnivorous
    10-16-2006 8:30 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    As from post 1:
    Q How are Darwinists destroying knowledge about free behaviour?
    A By using the language of free behaviour for things which they consider forced.

    I'm giving you a second warning. Well it's unfortunate there isn't any neutral moderator that points out these sorts of things. But nobody likes it when somebody asks a question already answered, time and time again. I don't like it, so when given this moderating power, I use it of course.

    The point is alternative results. If by caused you mean excluding possible alternatives, then it is predetermined, as I understand the word. If by caused you meant not excluding alternative possible results, then you don't seem to have any point with your argument. So a cause may have several possible effects, according to you, so what does this have to do with anything at issue?

    regards,
    Mohammad Nur Syamsu


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 17 by Omnivorous, posted 10-16-2006 8:30 PM Omnivorous has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 22 by Omnivorous, posted 10-17-2006 1:12 PM Syamsu has responded

    Omnivorous
    Member (Idle past 28 days)
    Posts: 3811
    From: Adirondackia
    Joined: 07-21-2005


    Message 22 of 53 (357064)
    10-17-2006 1:12 PM
    Reply to: Message 21 by Syamsu
    10-17-2006 12:34 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    Very well, Syamsu, let's look at your proposition again, and I will limit myself to plain, unembroidered points.

    As from post 1:
    Q How are Darwinists destroying knowledge about free behaviour?
    A By using the language of free behaviour for things which they consider forced.

    I see several propositions here:

    1. Behavior is free.
    2. Valid knowledge of the freedom of behavior exists.
    3. Darwinists use the language of free behavior to describe behaviors they consider not free.
    4. The language so used by Darwinists acts to destroy the existing knowledge of free behavior.

    Please let me know if I have misconstrued your assertions. Assuming I have not, these are my objections:

    1. Behavior is free.

    Unsupported assertion--many people disagree.

    2. Valid knowledge of the freedom of behavior exists.

    Unsupported assertion--many people disagree.

    3. Darwinists use the language of free behavior to describe behaviors they consider not free.

    You have provided no examples of this language. As I noted previously, writers on matters evolutionary caution their readers that they are employing the informal language of observed behavior--options, choices--as shorthand for lengthy and awkward repetitions of technical descriptions.

    4. The language so used by Darwinists acts to destroy the existing knowledge of free behavior.

    Aside from the already noted objections, how can one person's choice of language destroy another person's knowledge? What is the precise mechanism of this destruction?

    I'm giving you a second warning. Well it's unfortunate there isn't any neutral moderator that points out these sorts of things. But nobody likes it when somebody asks a question already answered, time and time again. I don't like it, so when given this moderating power, I use it of course.

    Yes, it is the nature of power that it will be used.

    However, let me again observe that the question I have asked several times--What are the foundations of your knowledge of free behavior and choice?--remains unanswered.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 21 by Syamsu, posted 10-17-2006 12:34 PM Syamsu has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 23 by Syamsu, posted 10-17-2006 2:21 PM Omnivorous has responded

    Syamsu 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4009 days)
    Posts: 1914
    From: amsterdam
    Joined: 05-19-2002


    Message 23 of 53 (357090)
    10-17-2006 2:21 PM
    Reply to: Message 22 by Omnivorous
    10-17-2006 1:12 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    That many people say there is no valid knowledge of free behaviour only goes to prove that knowledge about free behaviour is being destroyed. I bet you that these many people are mostly actually scientists and more Darwinists, and the intellectuals informed by science, not the population in general. I don't care to answer where my knowledge of free behaviour comes from. I don't want to make this into a deep philosophical discussion, I see no reason to. It is wrong to destroy knowledge of free behaviour in the way Darwinists do.

    I have provided an example with the rabbit and the fox. There are many more. Selection, selfish, success, emotions, mind, choice, etc. etc. normally we consider these things in association to possible alternatives, yet Darwinists use these words in context of forced results.

    For instance it is not possible in natural selection for instance, for the less fit to be selected for. So there are no alternative possiblities in natural selection, rather by force the outcome is predetermined.

    So the "precise mechanism of destruction" is to change the meaning of those words so they become to be understood in a forced way, without possible alternatives. That is the destruction of knowledge about free behaviour, the destruction of knowledge about possible alternatives.

    regards,
    Mohammad Nur Syamsu


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 22 by Omnivorous, posted 10-17-2006 1:12 PM Omnivorous has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 24 by Omnivorous, posted 10-17-2006 4:01 PM Syamsu has responded

    Omnivorous
    Member (Idle past 28 days)
    Posts: 3811
    From: Adirondackia
    Joined: 07-21-2005


    Message 24 of 53 (357106)
    10-17-2006 4:01 PM
    Reply to: Message 23 by Syamsu
    10-17-2006 2:21 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    That many people say there is no valid knowledge of free behaviour only goes to prove that knowledge about free behaviour is being destroyed. I bet you that these many people are mostly actually scientists and more Darwinists, and the intellectuals informed by science, not the population in general. I don't care to answer where my knowledge of free behaviour comes from. I don't want to make this into a deep philosophical discussion, I see no reason to.

    Then you have closed your mind, making it a lockbox of unexamined tenets.

    What, exactly, did you expect to debate?

    If all your steps must be accepted, how can one challenge your destination?

    Thank you for your time. I'll trouble you no more.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 23 by Syamsu, posted 10-17-2006 2:21 PM Syamsu has responded

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    Syamsu 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4009 days)
    Posts: 1914
    From: amsterdam
    Joined: 05-19-2002


    Message 25 of 53 (357115)
    10-17-2006 5:37 PM
    Reply to: Message 24 by Omnivorous
    10-17-2006 4:01 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    As before, I expected to debate whether or not Darwinists are destroying knowledge of free behaviour. As before, all you have done really is to provide evidence indicating that it is actually true.

    Regardless of whether or not any knowledge of free behaviour is valid (which is basicly a non-issue in my opinion), it is still wrong to surreptiously corrupt those words away from their original and intended meaning.

    It is wrong for a dictator to say people have a choice when he rigs the election, and it is wrong for a Darwinist to say the rabbit has a choice when the rabbit doesn't have any alternative but to do what it does by it's genetic programming.

    regards,
    Mohammad Nur Syamsu


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 24 by Omnivorous, posted 10-17-2006 4:01 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded

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     Message 26 by JavaMan, posted 10-18-2006 6:48 AM Syamsu has responded

    JavaMan
    Member (Idle past 738 days)
    Posts: 475
    From: York, England
    Joined: 08-05-2005


    Message 26 of 53 (357202)
    10-18-2006 6:48 AM
    Reply to: Message 25 by Syamsu
    10-17-2006 5:37 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    As before, I expected to debate whether or not Darwinists are destroying knowledge of free behaviour. As before, all you have done really is to provide evidence indicating that it is actually true.

    Regardless of whether or not any knowledge of free behaviour is valid (which is basicly a non-issue in my opinion), it is still wrong to surreptiously corrupt those words away from their original and intended meaning.

    It is wrong for a dictator to say people have a choice when he rigs the election, and it is wrong for a Darwinist to say the rabbit has a choice when the rabbit doesn't have any alternative but to do what it does by it's genetic programming.

    1. Do you believe that free behaviour can only be ascribed to human beings?

    2. Do you believe that ascribing free behaviour to rabbits is insulting to human beings, or cruel to rabbits (because they're being offered the illusion of freedom, when they actually don't have a choice but to behave in the way they do)?

    3. Why do you think a hard determinist (who doesn't believe that either rabbits or men exhibit free behaviour) would seriously ascribe free behaviour to a rabbit? Why is it in his interest to do so?


    '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 25 by Syamsu, posted 10-17-2006 5:37 PM Syamsu has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 27 by Syamsu, posted 10-18-2006 5:23 PM JavaMan has responded

    Syamsu 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4009 days)
    Posts: 1914
    From: amsterdam
    Joined: 05-19-2002


    Message 27 of 53 (357314)
    10-18-2006 5:23 PM
    Reply to: Message 26 by JavaMan
    10-18-2006 6:48 AM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    Well those things weren't actually at issue, but I consider when something can go alternative ways, that it behaves freely, as different from when there are no possible alternatives and the outcome is forced.

    I consider atoms, in the way they spin and shake, to behave freely, so that is basically everything. On a micro-scale, atoms do actually basically behave in a similar way to dice being rolled when you look at them.

    These are not "hard determinists" much, these are science-minded radical atheists, who put the language of morality into science as a substitute for the traditional religion which they dislike. So in scientific theories they talk about "choosing" this and that, talk about "success", and "selfishness" etc. as people generally would do in any religion, and then they turn around and say it's all forced by the laws of the universe.

    So they use this religious-language in science-theories to undercut traditional religion, and to provide some anchorpoint to think about moral and identity-issues for themselves. It is basically scientism, making science into a religion.

    Doing this they are destroying proper understanding of concepts like "choice" and "morality", which appropiately only apply to when there are alternatives.

    regards,
    Mohammad Nur Syamsu


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 26 by JavaMan, posted 10-18-2006 6:48 AM JavaMan has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 28 by Wounded King, posted 10-19-2006 2:31 AM Syamsu has responded
     Message 29 by JavaMan, posted 10-19-2006 7:25 AM Syamsu has responded

    Wounded King
    Member (Idle past 2514 days)
    Posts: 4149
    From: Edinburgh, Scotland
    Joined: 04-09-2003


    Message 28 of 53 (357393)
    10-19-2006 2:31 AM
    Reply to: Message 27 by Syamsu
    10-18-2006 5:23 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    And physicists talk about strangeness, charm and even truth and beauty as properties of sub-atomic particles?

    as people generally would do in any religion

    Or indeed as people might do in general conversation.

    Any rationale for how this can count as specifically 'religious-language'? It doesn't seem in the least bit religious to me. The only word I can see that you might make even a semi-credible argument for would be morality and I would be interested in seeing your example of where this has been subverted through its use in 'science-theories'.

    TTFN,

    WK


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 27 by Syamsu, posted 10-18-2006 5:23 PM Syamsu has responded

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     Message 30 by Syamsu, posted 10-19-2006 11:19 AM Wounded King has responded

    JavaMan
    Member (Idle past 738 days)
    Posts: 475
    From: York, England
    Joined: 08-05-2005


    Message 29 of 53 (357411)
    10-19-2006 7:25 AM
    Reply to: Message 27 by Syamsu
    10-18-2006 5:23 PM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    I consider atoms, in the way they spin and shake, to behave freely, so that is basically everything. On a micro-scale, atoms do actually basically behave in a similar way to dice being rolled when you look at them.

    1. Are you sure your account of free behaviour is correct? Generally there are two things required before you can talk of something having free behaviour:

    (a) A set of alternatives
    (b) An agent capable of choosing between those alternatives

    In the case of the atom and the dice, (b) is missing so they wouldn't generally be considered examples of free behaviour.

    2. Are you sure that determinism necessarily implies a denial of free behaviour? This issue has been a matter of debate for centuries, and in the English empiricist tradition it is generally considered that determinism and free behaviour are compatible. I can't speak about Gould and Dawkins, but Dennett certainly takes this position, and I wouldn't at all be surprised if Gould and Dawkins did too.

    3. Are the words "choosing", "success" and "selfishness" really limited only to religious discourse? From my experience they seem to be more commonly used in discourse about economics. In any case, I can't see that they have any particularly religious significance at all.


    '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 27 by Syamsu, posted 10-18-2006 5:23 PM Syamsu has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 31 by Syamsu, posted 10-19-2006 11:37 AM JavaMan has responded

    Syamsu 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4009 days)
    Posts: 1914
    From: amsterdam
    Joined: 05-19-2002


    Message 30 of 53 (357442)
    10-19-2006 11:19 AM
    Reply to: Message 28 by Wounded King
    10-19-2006 2:31 AM


    Re: Determinism and indeterminacy
    Strangeness and charm are simply not understood by scientists, and they are hardly used at all.

    I never heared of "truth" as some kind of scientifically determined state or quantity.

    Evolution of morality is discussed in Darwin's "Descent of Man", and from there on endlessly by Darwinists.

    It's religious because they use it as a defacto religion. When you go to a Darwinist scientist, they will likely talk about identity -, and morality issues for themselves in the context of natural selection theory. And when you go to a Christian they will likely talk about identity - and moral issues in the context of Christianity etc.

    Besides, you can see that Darwinists are generally opposed to knowledge about choosing with possible alternatives, even openly so. So why would it be unreasonable to suppose that a strong and open opposition to knowledge in terms of alternative possible results, would result in the destruction of knowledge that is in that form?

    regards,
    Mohammad Nur Syamsu


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 28 by Wounded King, posted 10-19-2006 2:31 AM Wounded King has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 32 by Wounded King, posted 10-19-2006 11:52 AM Syamsu has responded

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