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  1. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    11 Jun '17 21:37 / 1 edit
    I know this is an old subject, but I'm still struggling with it. If our feeling and decisions and behavior necessarily follow from the immediate preceding state of reality, then my mind explodes. So right there, my thoughts and opinions just overpowered the deterministic view of our universe. In a self-destructive way, but I don't see a way to let it go.

    I can't go here: hey beloved child, you have no actual choice in what happens to you or where you go or in what you do. Just bend over.

    Newton, let's say, taught us a lot, but we perverted it. Of course balls bounce and rocks fall, but we have choice, and determinism is stupid. I don't see a middle ground.

    I want to hear arguments for a middle ground.
  2. 12 Jun '17 06:56
    Will this be another marathon thread with no consensus and nothing to learn from and will end in chaos?
    Who will be the first to produce the first personal attack?
    Who will be the first to go off-topic?
  3. 12 Jun '17 07:45
    Originally posted by apathist
    I know this is an old subject, but I'm still struggling with it. If our feeling and decisions and behavior necessarily follow from the immediate preceding state of reality, then my mind explodes. So right there, my thoughts and opinions just overpowered the deterministic view of our universe.
    Its not clear what you are saying here. Are you saying that because you reacted deterministically to a previous state of reality, you somehow demonstrated non-determinism?

    I can't go here: hey beloved child, you have no actual choice in what happens to you or where you go or in what you do. Just bend over.
    This all depends on what you mean by 'choice'.
    There really are only two possibilities. Either all actions are fully deterministic, OR they contain some amount of random input.
    So can you go 'hey beloved child, your choices are really just arbitrary'?

    Newton, let's say, taught us a lot, but we perverted it. Of course balls bounce and rocks fall, but we have choice, and determinism is stupid.
    I don't think you have demonstrated that determinism is stupid. You have only demonstrated that you don't like it.

    I want to hear arguments for a middle ground.
    My own view is that our choices are a mix of deterministic and random effects, and I am fine with that. It is still me making the choices. The fact that 'me' is a product of prior states of the universe doesn't bother me all that much - in fact in some ways I think that is more comforting than thinking that 'me' is entirely arbitrary. I like to think that a philosophy course I watched on line DID help me make better decisions.
  4. 12 Jun '17 08:17 / 5 edits
    apathist

    Those that believe in compatibilism generally define 'free will' as this;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism
    "....They define free will as freedom to act according to one's motives without arbitrary hindrance from other individuals or institutions....
    ...
    Arthur Schopenhauer famously said "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills"
    ..."

    The definition they give 'free will' has the desirable attribute that it is clearly i.e. not vague.
    However, that definition can arguably be asserted as invalid because it generally differs from what you and what most people mean by 'free will' in everyday speech which is something generally different and very vague and often exposed to being logically self-contradictory from attempts to define its meaning clearly.
    However, on the other hand, that clear definition can arguably be asserted as valid precisely because the alternative of defining it to reflect what most people generally mean by it would result in a totally vague and self-contradictory nonsense definition.
    Because of this, it is difficult to say whether their definition, clear as it is, is 'valid'.

    So, for you, the long and the short of it is this;
    You can do one of three things;

    Either;

    1, modify what to mean by 'free will' so that it is the same as their meaning, in which case, for you, 'free will' is made to have a clear meaning and be perfectly logically self-consistent and also, if for some reason you wanted this, perfectly logically compatible with determinism.

    Or

    2, don't modify what to mean by 'free will' so that it remains vague and logically self-contradictory, in which case if you continue to use this nonsense meaning of 'free will', you would be forever stuck with a vague nonsense logically self-contradictory concept that will never be logically compatible with anything let alone determinism.

    Or

    3, you can simply completely dismiss the term of 'free will' on the grounds that the meaning most people give it makes absolutely no sense thus it is meaningless.

    Your only rational options is either 1 or 3 i.e. you should reject option 2.
  5. 12 Jun '17 10:05
    Originally posted by humy
    apathist

    Those that believe in compatibilism generally define 'free will' as this;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism
    "....They define free will as freedom to act according to one's motives without arbitrary hindrance from other individuals or institutions....
    ...
    Arthur Schopenhauer famously said "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will w ...[text shortened]... is meaningless.

    Your only rational options is either 1 or 3 i.e. you should reject option 2.
    misedit;

    "...that it is clearly i.e. not vague...."

    should be;

    "...that it is clear i.e. not vague...."
  6. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    13 Jun '17 13:14
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Will this be another marathon thread with no consensus and nothing to learn from and will end in chaos?
    Who will be the first to produce the first personal attack?
    Who will be the first to go off-topic?
    1) time will tell
    2) a determinist, I bet
    3) that would be you
  7. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    13 Jun '17 13:16
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    ...
    This all depends on what you mean by 'choice'.
    There really are only two possibilities. Either all actions are fully deterministic, OR they contain some amount of random input. ...
    False dichotomy. The opposite of, or absence of determinism is not randomness.
  8. 13 Jun '17 13:46
    Originally posted by apathist
    1) time will tell
    2) a determinist, I bet
    3) that would be you
    (1) See you after 500 meaningless postings. Then I will tell you "I told you so!".
    (2) Ah, that's what it is all about. You open a new thread, trying once more?
    (3) You got me there!
  9. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    13 Jun '17 14:03
    Originally posted by humy
    Those that believe in compatibilism generally define 'free will' as this;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism
    "....They define free will as freedom to act according to one's motives without arbitrary hindrance from other individuals or institutions....
    That definition is fine with me as a starting point. It is just an expression of the concept of 'volition'.

    psychology of volition
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745827/
    Volition can be studied from two perspectives. From the third-person view, volitional behaviour is internally generated, rather than being determined by the immediate environmental context, and is therefore, to some extent, unpredictable.
    Compare the bolded part with the compatibilistic definition.

    Arthur Schopenhauer famously said "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills"
    I understand the point, and appreciate that compatibilism acknowledges that we have volition. But the quote makes it clear that compatibilst's view our willed decisions as being 100% deterministic. Our willed decisions were 'programmed' into the universe at the start, and could not possibly have happened any other way.

    The definition they give 'free will' has the desirable attribute that it is clearly i.e. not vague.
    Yet in another thread you insisted that defining free will as 'volition' to be vague!

    However, that definition can arguably be asserted as invalid because it generally differs from what you and what most people mean by 'free will' in everyday speech which is something generally different and very vague and often exposed to being logically self-contradictory from attempts to define its meaning clearly.
    Because of this, it is difficult to say whether their definition, clear as it is, is 'valid'.

    First, you misrepresent my position on the definition for free will. Second, definitions do not become 'invalid' just because other people may use other definitions

    .So, for you, the long and the short of it is this;
    You can do one of three things; Either;

    1, modify what to mean by 'free will' so that it is the same as their meaning, in which case, for you, 'free will' is made to have a clear meaning and be perfectly logically self-consistent and also, if for some reason you wanted this, perfectly logically compatible with determinism.

    Volition is studied by science, which is why I use their definition. But compatibilism adds the requirement that willed decisions are none-the-less deterministic. I'm not a determinist.

    Or
    2, don't modify what to mean by 'free will' so that it remains vague and logically self-contradictory, in which case if you continue to use this nonsense meaning of 'free will', you would be forever stuck with a vague nonsense logically self-contradictory concept that will never be logically compatible with anything let alone determinism.

    I'm curious, what 'nonsense' definition are you talking about here? Anyway, hopefully you'll stop misrepresenting my view.

    Or
    3, you can simply completely dismiss the term of 'free will' on the grounds that the meaning most people give it makes absolutely no sense thus it is meaningless.

    Free will is volition, which is studied by multi-disciplinary science.

    Your only rational options is either 1 or 3 i.e. you should reject option 2.
    But you offered a false trichotomy! I choose to use the definition offered by science, without adding a belief in determinism.
  10. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    13 Jun '17 14:11
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    (1) See you after 500 meaningless postings. Then I will tell you "I told you so!".
    I do bring something new to the table. I keep trying to get it a fair hearing.

    here's a hint:
    "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills"
    That quote is not quite true. We [/i]can[/i] 'will what we will'. And I'm not referring to the fact that the quote is obviously false do to the logical contradiction.

    My boss once said that 'good enough is not good enough'. I knew what he meant, but what he said made the same sort of logical error. I'm sure the fallacy has a name.
  11. 13 Jun '17 14:35
    Originally posted by apathist
    I do bring something new to the table. I keep trying to get it a fair hearing.

    here's a hint:
    "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills"
    That quote is not quite true. We [/i]can[/i] 'will what we will'. And I'm not referring to the fact that the quote is obviously false do to the logical contradiction.

    My boss once said that 'goo ...[text shortened]... ], but what he [b]said
    made the same sort of logical error. I'm sure the fallacy has a name.[/b]
    No no, don't try to involve me in this futile discussion. No, I wont!
    Everything is about definitions. The truth is depended upon you have the same definitions of everything as your debatant. Don't try to agree with any answer if you don't agree of the definitions.

    First define every concept in advance so you know that you are talking about the same thing. If not, you will lose.
  12. 13 Jun '17 15:06
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    No no, don't try to involve me in this futile discussion. No, I wont!
    Everything is about definitions. The truth is depended upon you have the same definitions of everything as your debatant. Don't try to agree with any answer if you don't agree of the definitions.

    First define every concept in advance so you know that you are talking about the same thing. If not, you will lose.
    That depends what you mean by "definition". Do computers have it?
  13. 13 Jun '17 15:13 / 8 edits
    Originally posted by apathist
    That definition is fine with me as a starting point. It is just an expression of the concept of 'volition'.

    psychology of volition
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3745827/
    [i]Volition can be studied from two perspectives. From the third-person view, [b]volitional behaviour is internally generated, rather than being determined by the immedi ...[text shortened]... choose to use the definition offered by science, without [b]adding
    a belief in determinism.[/b]
    That definition is fine with me as a starting point.

    it is not one you would ever agree with unless one day you actually think about it. So if that definition is just the 'starting point', what is wrong with it? If you say it then needs to change, clearly you are thinking there is something wrong with it else it wouldn't need changing.
    It is just an expression of the concept of 'volition'.

    No, it isn't. They didn't even mention the vague word 'volition'.
    I understand the point, and appreciate that compatibilism acknowledges that we have volition.

    You understand nothing here; 'compatibilism' does NOT " acknowledges that we have volition"; you are talking gibberish.

    But the quote makes it clear that compatibilst's view our willed decisions as being 100% deterministic.

    NO, it clearly doesn't. Why cannot 'will' as in 'desire' that can control our decisions originate in part from truly random processes? Nothing they suggest there rules that possibility out.

    The definition they give 'free will' has the desirable attribute that it is clearly i.e. not vague.
    Yet in another thread you insisted that defining free will as 'volition' to be vague!

    That is because I have yet to see a clear definition of it. What about it?

    First, you misrepresent my position on the definition for free will.

    It is impossible to know this as you don't even know your own position on this as you have failed to adequately define it.

    Second, definitions do not become 'invalid' just because other people may use other definitions

    actually a definition generally is invalid if MOST people use other meanings and other definitions for that term. Why do you think the definition of the word 'cat' as meaning 'dog' is invalid?

    Volition is studied by science, which is why I use their definition.

    That makes no sense because;
    1, you cannot rationally claim "Volition is studied by science" until someone can give an adequate definition of the vague word 'volition' so that then it at least has a chance to be studied by real science.
    2, They do NOT use the word 'volition' in their definition.

    But compatibilism adds the requirement that willed decisions are none-the-less deterministic.

    if what you mean by "willed decisions" is THEIR definition of "free will", NO, that is false. So apparently you disagree with them.

    I'm curious, what 'nonsense' definition are you talking about here?

    One that vaguely goes along the unsaid lines;
    You having free will is the combination of;
    1, none of your decisions being controlled.
    2, you control your own decisions.
    1, contradicts 2. I for one say anything that is self-contradictory can be validly asserted as 'nonsense'.
    I choose to use the definition offered by science,

    No, you don't.
  14. 13 Jun '17 16:02
    Originally posted by apathist
    False dichotomy. The opposite of, or absence of determinism is not randomness.
    By the standard definitions of those words, it is a true dichotomy and they are opposites. That you refuse to use standard definitions is fine, just don't impose your definitions on what I say.
  15. 13 Jun '17 17:36
    Originally posted by wildgrass
    That depends what you mean by "definition". Do computers have it?
    Define "definition" in a way that everyone can agree with you. Then you can use the word, relying that everyone use the word in the same way.

    What I mean with "definition" is of no importance. I think this discussion is just futile, nothing more.