Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
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15-12-2013, 02:18 AM
Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
I suppose I should clarify my question in the title. I understand that pinpointing one of these ideas as true would have huge implications on a wide scope of topics, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm focusing on our experience with reality in relation to these concepts.

Suppose you visited a number of different universes; some deterministic, some indeterministic, and some free-will based. My question is: would we experience them differently, or would they all appear to operate the same to us? I personally don't think we could notice any differences since we perceive time as linear, and therefore can't test any hypotheses through measuring different outcomes.

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15-12-2013, 02:38 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
I knew you were going to ask that.

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15-12-2013, 02:38 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 02:38 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I knew you were going to ask that.

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15-12-2013, 03:07 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
I don't think we'd notice. In any world we'd feel as if we have free will.
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15-12-2013, 03:40 AM (This post was last modified: 15-12-2013 03:57 AM by Chippy.)
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 02:18 AM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  I suppose I should clarify my question in the title. I understand that pinpointing one of these ideas as true would have huge implications on a wide scope of topics, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm focusing on our experience with reality in relation to these concepts.

Suppose you visited a number of different universes; some deterministic, some indeterministic, and some free-will based. My question is: would we experience them differently, or would they all appear to operate the same to us? I personally don't think we could notice any differences since we perceive time as linear, and therefore can't test any hypotheses through measuring different outcomes.

You wouldn't be able to function in the universe where you and everyone else had contra-causal free-will. You and everyone else would do things for no reason, behaviour would be entirely random and no form of planning or organisation would be possible. Your behaviour would even be decoupled from all of your evolved survival instincts and capacities: no desire to eat, no sense of pain, no desire for sex, no fears, no emotions, no pleasure. The universe in which humans had contra-causal free-will would be the same as the universe in which humans were subject to indeterminism.

The universe with contra-causal free-will would not be "linear" as all behaviour would be completely free of antecedent causes (of any origin). This seems counterintuitive but that is what libertarian or contra-causal free-will entails.

This is why most people that have thought about this matter for a very long time argue that the idea of contra-causal free-will is incoherent.

The consenus view regarding human agency amongst philosophers, neuroscientists and legal scholars is what is termed compatibilism. That view is that:
--humans do have free-will (but not contra-causal free-will as that is an imaginary idea);
--the physical universe is largely (though not entirely) deterministic;
--free-will and determinism are compatible, i.e. not mutually exclusive
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15-12-2013, 03:43 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
If you have "Free will" then you're bound to have a "super consciousness" A.K.A control over your subconscious thought process which you can use to choose your next thought before you think it.
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15-12-2013, 03:56 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 03:43 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  If you have "Free will" then you're bound to have a "super consciousness" A.K.A control over your subconscious thought process which you can use to choose your next thought before you think it.

No, you wouldn't even have that as that would be an antecedent cause that would constrain your contra-causal free-will.

Also, what you are suggesting causes an infinite regress: you must choose to choose the subsconscious thought and then before that you would have to choose to choose to choose that thought....ad infinitum

Contra-causal free-will means that none of your actions are determined by anything else. If you could choose your subconscious thoughts then that choice too must be free of antecedent causes. So how then would you arrive at that choice in a free--i.e. non-determined--fashion?
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15-12-2013, 04:12 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 03:40 AM)Chippy Wrote:  ...
The consenus view regarding human agency amongst philosophers, neuroscientists and legal scholars is what is termed compatibilism.
...

But presumably this is not the view of the deity-driven dogma-dealers.

Can you point me in the direction of the counter-argument so that I can recognise it when I see it.

Cheers.

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15-12-2013, 04:29 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 04:12 AM)DLJ Wrote:  But presumably this is not the view of the deity-driven dogma-dealers.

The "deity-driven dogma-dealers" fall into two broad camps but they are both unified in their support of incompatiblism:

Incompatibilism #1: Free-will is incompatible with determinism and humans are entirely determined, e.g. reformed/Calvinist tradition

Incompatibilism #2: Free-will is incompatible with determinism and humans have some type of free-will (which they gain by virtue of the soul/Holy Spirit), e.g. Arminianism.

Quote:Can you point me in the direction of the counter-argument so that I can recognise it when I see it.

The incompatibilism is the first step of their argument. They will define free-will in contra-causal terms because that is incompatible with determinism. Then they will argue either that contra-causal free-will is impossible or that it is impossible without some special supernatural faculty.
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15-12-2013, 04:31 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 03:56 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Also, what you are suggesting causes an infinite regress: you must choose to choose the subsconscious thought and then before that you would have to choose to choose to choose that thought....ad infinitum
that's the only way "Free will" is possible lol. if you can't have a direct control over your subconscious thought process then you can never really have a free-will.
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