Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
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15-12-2013, 10:10 PM (This post was last modified: 15-12-2013 10:24 PM by Chippy.)
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 02:05 PM)chandlerklebs Wrote:  I think though that an entirely deterministic universe would basically be a lifeless one where conscious thought was impossible. In that case, there would be no concept of "experience".

No, the opposite is the case. Conscious thought and subjective experience depends on determinism being true. How would you be able to solve any problems if determinism were false? How would you ever learn to hunt, start fires and learn from your mistakes if determinism were false?

Determinism entails that the same cause produces the same effect.
Indeterminism entails the same cause can produce different effects.

If determinism were false then explanation and prediction become impossible.

The universe isn't entirely deterministic but is mainly deterministic and if it weren't evolution by natural selection wouldn't work. Indeterminism is needed to generate the variation but the selection mechanism must be deterministic for adaptation to be possible. Problems must be solved and they can only be solved if the same cause (almost always) produces the same effect.
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15-12-2013, 10:20 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 02:35 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If we consider "free will" to be the mind controlling the brain rather than the brain controlling the mind then I would think that this would lead to a magical existence.

The idea that the mind can control the brain is incoherent. Mind is what brain does, it is a verb not a noun. There is no entity called the mind. It is a reification error to speak of the mind controlling the brain. Brain stands to mind as TV screen stands to image.

There is no formulation of contra-causal free-will that is coherent.
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15-12-2013, 10:23 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 06:09 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Is there a five minute, YouTube version?
Big Grin

There may be a Dennett lecture. I'll look.

But Dennett is a good writer and you learn all these fascinating things from biology and neuroscience along the way.
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15-12-2013, 10:36 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 06:09 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Is there a five minute, YouTube version?
Big Grin

10 minutes



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15-12-2013, 10:36 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 10:23 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(15-12-2013 06:09 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Is there a five minute, YouTube version?
Big Grin

There may be a Dennett lecture. I'll look.

But Dennett is a good writer and you learn all these fascinating things from biology and neuroscience along the way.

I am enjoying Freedom Evolves tremendously. SO much information, though - I feel like I should take notes. Big Grin

I've always thought a lot of theists I've spoken with were confused about free will but, I just either couldn't put my finger on it or when I could, I just couldn't articulate it.

This book really puts a clear perspective on the subject. Thumbsup

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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15-12-2013, 11:20 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 10:20 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(15-12-2013 02:35 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If we consider "free will" to be the mind controlling the brain rather than the brain controlling the mind then I would think that this would lead to a magical existence.

The idea that the mind can control the brain is incoherent. Mind is what brain does, it is a verb not a noun. There is no entity called the mind. It is a reification error to speak of the mind controlling the brain. Brain stands to mind as TV screen stands to image.

There is no formulation of contra-causal free-will that is coherent.
What about a supernatural soul possessing the property of a mind, free from material constraints (except that for some magical reason<God did it> it has a connection to a specific brain)
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16-12-2013, 12:20 AM (This post was last modified: 16-12-2013 12:31 AM by Chippy.)
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 11:20 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What about a supernatural soul possessing the property of a mind, free from material constraints (except that for some magical reason<God did it> it has a connection to a specific brain)

If the behaviour can be understood in terms of antecedent causes--even if those causes are supernatural--it isn't contra-causal. If the soul causes an evil man to perform a charitable act when he never would otherwise have performed such an act that man has not gained contra-causal free-will. His behaviour was determined by his soul (and the soul is as it is because of God and so on). His soul caused him to act as he did even though his brain would have caused him to behave in another way. The intercession of his soul amounts to an alteration of causes not their suspension.

Contra-causal free-will is incoherent because it demands that behaviour be without motivation--because that would be a cause and the behaviour would consequently be determined--but a rational creature doesn't act without some motivation. Unmotivated random behaviour is not the sort of behaviour that the religious person wants to ascribe to the soul but that is all that is left is when we thoroughly purge the will of all deterministic influences.
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16-12-2013, 12:29 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 09:56 PM)Chippy Wrote:  No, your definition of free-will is logically incoherent.
Well what is your definition of "Free will" then ? everyone seem to have their own anecdotal definitions for free will.
Quote:You are the one that is separating your brain from your self so ask yourself that question.
No you were the one who asked "Who would choose the subconscious thought process?" and i said you can't be aware of your subconscious.
Quote:You implied that if you were aware of your subsconscious processes you would be able to control your brain.
No.. i merely cited that if you were aware of your subconscious then you could have "Free will" because you would be aware of every thought process before it happens.

many tests have proven that when you are tasked in making a choice your subconscious already makes the choice 8 seconds before it enters your conscious


Quote:Assume you had an app that revealed all of your subsconscious thought processes. How would you choose which thoughts to have?
I don't think there's a choice here,you can't "choose" which thought to process you just would be aware of that thought process taking birth.
Quote:What does "self-automated" mean? Is the brain an uncauses cause
No,your brain is not an "uncased cause" it is quite the opposite.

"Self automated" means it doesn't need manual inputs for it to function it regulates in and on itself.
(15-12-2013 01:04 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  I think Chippy means that your definition of free will is incoherent.
And I suppose that with "is suppose to be" you mean, what you want it to be.
"Free will" is such an anecdotal term.
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16-12-2013, 12:59 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(15-12-2013 02:06 PM)kim Wrote:  
(15-12-2013 01:45 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I'll get back to you once I've got my head around that.

Dodgy You might not be hearing from me for some time.

Try Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett . ... I haven't made it through it yet, but it's in there... and I Blink ... it's starting to gel for me.

It's one I will need to be going over a few times though, before it becomes a set thing that I can use anywhere.

I'm on with the same book now and in the same position. It's going to take me a while for it to sink in. It's also why I've shut up about free will for now but follow every thread about it closely Smile

A man blames his bad childhood on leprechauns. He claims they don't exist, but yet still says without a doubt that they stole all his money and then killed his parents. That's why he became Leprechaun-Man

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16-12-2013, 01:11 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 12:29 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Well what is your definition of "Free will" then ? everyone seem to have their own anecdotal definitions for free will.

My definition of free-will is the compatibilist one and that is the only logically coherent conception of free-will.

An agent As behaviour B is freely-willed if A wanted to perform B. If B is consistent with As intention then A has acted with free-will.

Quote:No.. i merely cited that if you were aware of your subconscious then you could have "Free will" because you would be aware of every thought process before it happens.

And how would that enhance your freedom? If you were then able to edit your subsconscious thoughts such that you chose which thoughts entered your consciousness what would your choice be based on? If your choice is determined by something else how is your choice any more free?

Quote:many tests have proven that when you are tasked in making a choice your subconscious already makes the choice 8 seconds before it enters your conscious

Yes and that has no bearing on the compatibilist conception of free-will.

Firstly, there is no such thing as "your subsconscious" there is only thought that you are not conscious of. There is no organ called the "subconscious mind".

Secondly, you are your brain so you can't treat parts of it as external influences. What would they be external influences on? You made the choice and then you became conscious of it ~8 seconds later, there is no homunculus in your brain operating it.

Thirdly, if you were fully conscious of all of the processing that your brain is performing how would that enhance your freedom? That would not alter your preferences. If you became aware of all the processing that occurs to produce your revulsion to a certain food that would not change your revulsion.

Fourthly, if you were fully conscious of the processing that your brain was performing you would still need to use your brain to choose which thoughts to act upon. What would drive that choice? When you become conscious of the processing involved in that choice what then would drive which thoughts to act on?...And so on to an infinite regress.

Quote:I don't think there's a choice here,you can't "choose" which thought to process you just would be aware of that thought process taking birth.

You explicitly stated that such an insight would give you some sort of "free-will".

Quote:]No,your brain is not an "uncased cause" it is quite the opposite.

So then how would being consciously aware of all of its processing enhance your freedom?

Quote:"Self automated" means it doesn't need manual inputs for it to function it regulates in and on itself.

No the brain depends on the body for survival and it is affected by hormones and nervous stimulation that originate outside of it.

Quote:"Free will" is such an anecdotal term.

Do you know what "anecdotal" means?
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