Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
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16-12-2013, 12:01 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 03:13 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 02:08 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Although I don't know how one consciously "forgets" that everything that occurs at this conceptual layer has a physical representation and that the physical layer is 100% bound to the forces of nature, thus it is the physical layer that is in the driver's seat. The consciousness, which exists not in the physical layer but instead in the conceptual layer, must therefore only be an observer of physical states and events much like a computer program running on a physical CPU and physical memory.

There is no driver's seat. There is no homunculus. There is no observer. There is nothing to "observe".
Physical reality is in the driver's seat. Physical existence a.k.a. atoms and energy and the four forces acting on them. That is where the driver exists, on the physical layer.
The "mind" is the observer, which thinks it is driving but it is not actually driving thus it is an observer.

I agree with you that the mind doesn't physically exist. It is an abstract conceptual layer, just a simplified representation of what is happening at the physical layer. I don't believe in any duality. The "mind" is important part of the running of the machine (brain) it allows for more complex processing than what is possible via subconscious instinct, thus on evolutionary terms it provides a survival advantage.

What I disagree with you on is the classification of "me" as being within an abstract conceptual layer and thus having ability for choices and thus having some kind of moral obligation.
I go for hard determinism (with an understanding that at micro level, quantum events are predictably random)

Quote:
Quote:The program itself is a "dynamic" series of snapshots of hardware states but is ultimately run by the hardware rather then being in control and running the hardware.

That is an ambiguous analogy because most would say that the software controls the hardware. The software is instructions to the CPU.
Then most don't understand how computers work. The program represents a dynamic state of play, where transistors hold charge (thus state). The program is an abstract conceptual representation of the hardware + electric charge. The physical layer is a combination of the CPU, motherboard and the electric charge.
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16-12-2013, 01:20 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 12:01 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I go for hard determinism (with an understanding that at micro level, quantum events are predictably random)
Just because at the quantam level everything is random doesn't mean it isn't deterministic.. we just can't predict the patterns that's all that doesn't mean those sub-atomic particles act without a cause lol
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16-12-2013, 02:28 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 01:20 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 12:01 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I go for hard determinism (with an understanding that at micro level, quantum events are predictably random)
Just because at the quantam level everything is random doesn't mean it isn't deterministic.. we just can't predict the patterns that's all that doesn't mean those sub-atomic particles act without a cause lol
If something is predictably random and this holds (to an extremely high degree of accuracy) no matter what conditions are present, then we can deduce that there are no external factors influencing the event. Without external factors is the same this as saying uncaused.

If, however, external factors (causes) did play a part then we would be able to take advantage of this and hence increase/decrease the probability of quantum events as so desired.
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16-12-2013, 03:48 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 02:28 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If something is predictably random and this holds (to an extremely high degree of accuracy) no matter what conditions are present, then we can deduce that there are no external factors influencing the event. Without external factors is the same this as saying uncaused.
"Predictably random" is that even possible ?
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16-12-2013, 04:38 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 03:48 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 02:28 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If something is predictably random and this holds (to an extremely high degree of accuracy) no matter what conditions are present, then we can deduce that there are no external factors influencing the event. Without external factors is the same this as saying uncaused.
"Predictably random" is that even possible ?

Very much so.

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16-12-2013, 05:04 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 03:48 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  
(16-12-2013 02:28 PM)Stevil Wrote:  If something is predictably random and this holds (to an extremely high degree of accuracy) no matter what conditions are present, then we can deduce that there are no external factors influencing the event. Without external factors is the same this as saying uncaused.
"Predictably random" is that even possible ?
Radioactive decay
Quote:Radioactive decay is a stochastic (i.e., random) process at the level of single atoms, in that, according to quantum theory, it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay.[1] However, the chance that a given atom will decay is constant over time. For a large number of atoms, the decay rate for the collection is computable from the measured decay constants of the nuclides (or equivalently from the half-lifes).
Scientists can accurately measure the age of rocks and fossils using formula based on radioactive decay.

Quantum Tunnelling
Quote:The wave function of a particle summarises everything that can be known about a physical system.[10] Therefore, problems in quantum mechanics center around the analysis of the wave function for a system. Using mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics, such as the Schrödinger equation, the wave function can be solved. This is directly related to the probability density of the particle's position, which describes the probability that the particle is at any given place. In the limit of large barriers, the probability of tunnelling decreases for taller and wider barriers.
Scientists can explain why stars shine via quantum tunnelling and how long a star will live given the predictable rate of quantum tunnelling and the mass and composition of the star.

In quantum physics, absolute cause and effect cannot be known but probabilities can. Thus events are predictably random.
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17-12-2013, 01:22 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 08:09 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  How was your will free if you never had a choice to make it ? lol its not like you are exempt from the domino effect.

You don't need to "exempt from the domino effect" to act in a freely-willed manner. If you have done what you have wanted to do then you have acted freely. The ultimate cause of your behaviour is irrelevant. All rational behaviour is somehow motivated. If I am hungry and I want to eat a steak and I do eat a steak then I have acted in a freely-willed manner. That I didn't choose to be hungry and why exactly I want to eat a steak is irrelevant.

Quote:Whether you'd be able to control your thought process or not is an entirely different subject but if you can't even comprehend your subconscious thought process which makes the bulk of your decisions then you're pretty much oblivious of your own "Free will" if there is any.

The idea of "controlling your subconscious thouht process" is incoherent. It leads to an infinite regress. What will control the cognitive process that will control the subconscious thought process?

Quote:idk no one can do that that's why i said that brain is self-automated you can only control your conscious self even though your unconscious self is like background processes in an operating system.

Your claim that the brain is "self-automated" contradicts your claimed "hard determinism".

Quote:Just for the sake of argument i'd say your original choice has to be an uncased cause and that would make you a really really boring person.. lol like a super unenthusiastic person.

No, it wouldn't. The idea of an "uncaused cause" is inconsistent with hard determinism.

Quote:You're right it isn't! ultimately your brain isn't free from the laws of our universe and therefore free will is impossible.

You are contradicting yourself all over the place. The brain can never be an uncaused cause and it can't be "self-automated".

Contra-causal free-will is impossible and since it is an incoherent idea it is irrelevant to human agency.

Quote:NOPE.. they're the background processes in your brain and they make bulk of your decisions and you aren't even aware of that until it reaches your conscious.

Sorry but the brain doesn't have background process like Unix daemons or Windows services and there is no Cartesian Theatre. You don't know what your liver is doing either but that doesn't mean it has "background processes". There is no such thing as "your conscious". There is no apex of neural processing that culminates in a Cartesian Theatre that a homunculus is watching.

Quote:i"m not i'm just saying that your conscious is merely a faucet of your brain's activity and you're mostly oblivious of whatever else happens inside your brain.

Faucet = tap I think you mean facet. You are oblivious of what is happening with each of your internal organs. Your brain does not contain a quasi-person--a homunculus--watching a stage show put on by your brain. The brain doesn't work that way.

Quote:You're only like 5% responsible for any of your actions !

Your memories are 50% responsible
Your body condition is like 20% responsible
Your surrounding environment&atmosphere is like 20% responsible
Your sub-conscious thought processes are 5% responsible

Sorry but this is nonsense that you just made-up. You are your brain. There is no homunculus--which is you--in your brain watching the brain.

Quote:its basic logic if your sub-conscious automatically makes thoughts for you then where's your "Freedom" ??

No that's not "basic logic", it is a basic confusion. It reveals that you think the brain contains a quasi-person that is watching the brain do things (and that quasi-person is you). Thoughts originate in your brain. How else can your brain work? There is no homunculus--with its own little brain--generating its own thoughts and passing them on to your brain. There is no "subconscious" automatically making thoughts. What you are describing is the fallacy of the homunculus and the Cartesian Theatre.

Quote: you can't have freedom unless you can be aware of your sub-conscious too !

You don't have a "sub-conscious"--there is no such part of the brain. If you disagree then tell me what part of the brain is the "sub-conscious". Do your kidneys also have a "sub-conscious" because you don't know what they are doing? Is there a homunculus controlling your kidneys also?

Quote:As i said earlier it has to be an uncased choice... hence it would make you the most bored out person ever.

You are very confused. If you are going to argue for hard determinism then there is no such thing as an uncaused cause.

Quote:you're looking at it like an organ i'm looking at it like an organic computer with consciousness.

The brain is an organ and it doesn't work like a computer.

Quote:Yes.. it means its an unreliable term which differs from person to person.

No it doesn't. An anecdote is a short narrative, i.e. a story or an account, that is typically unreliable.
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17-12-2013, 01:44 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 12:01 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Physical reality is in the driver's seat. Physical existence a.k.a. atoms and energy and the four forces acting on them. That is where the driver exists, on the physical layer.

But the key point here is that there is no "driver's seat". "Atoms and energy and the four forces acting on them" are not working towards some goal, they have no intentionality. For this reason they can't described as being "in control" of anything. A driver operates a vehicle--there is no equivalent in relation to a cube of lard. Again, there is no sub-atomic homunculus directing the behaviour of a cube of lard.

Quote:The "mind" is the observer, which thinks it is driving but it is not actually driving thus it is an observer.

The mind has a substrate in the brain which is composed of matter. The brain--like all matter--participates in chains of cause and effect. There is no immaterial observerving homunculus. When a person eats because they are hungry the brain is a participant in a causal chain--there is no homunculus watching a show.

Quote:I agree with you that the mind doesn't physically exist. It is an abstract conceptual layer, just a simplified representation of what is happening at the physical layer. I don't believe in any duality. The "mind" is important part of the running of the machine (brain) it allows for more complex processing than what is possible via subconscious instinct, thus on evolutionary terms it provides a survival advantage.

But the brain--even if you want to be physically reductive about it--is participating in chains of cause and effect, it is one of the "dominoes".

Quote:What I disagree with you on is the classification of "me" as being within an abstract conceptual layer and thus having ability for choices and thus having some kind of moral obligation.

No, I am not saying that you are part of an abstract conceptual layer. I am saying that Stevil is Stevil's brain--not Stevil's mind, Stevil's brain.
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17-12-2013, 01:49 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 11:15 AM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  In universe B, choice is a false notion. Given a situation's antecedent conditions, the subject has a predetermined course of action. The apparent option of choice is in fact illusory; there is only one true outcome.

Do you mean that Universe B is fatalistic? Fatalism is distinct from determinism.

Quote:Now, could we, as observers, discern a difference between these two universes, or would they appear to operate the same to us?

That depends on whether you mean Universe B is fatalistic or deterministic.
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17-12-2013, 03:35 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(16-12-2013 08:09 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  its basic logic if your sub-conscious automatically makes thoughts for you then where's your "Freedom" ??

This piece of confusion warrants more detailed attention.

Cognisance of a thought is a result of neural processing, it doesn't come for free. There is no homunculus reclining and watching a show. When you have an idea or solve a problem in mental arithmetic the brain has to work to make you aware of the idea or solution. So there will necessarily be some delay between a thought and awareness of that thought. This doesn't in any way mean that the thought isn't yours.

Beyond the fact that the brain is functionally specialised in different regions and subjective experience needs to be created and not just passively observed by a homunculus there is a profound logical error in your reasoning.

Thoughts necessarily need to originate in such a manner that you aren't immediately aware of them. You can't will a thought into existence because willing is itself a thought and that would require willing which is a thought which would require willing and so on ad infinitum. Consider the following example:

Assume a scheme where I am consciously involved in the creation of all of my thoughts., i.e. I "control" my thoughts:

(1) I want to think of pink elephants;

But before I can do that I must...

(2) Think (1), i.e. Think I want to think of pink elephants

But before I can do that I must...

(3) Think (2), i.e. Think I want to think I want to think of pink elephants

But before I can do that I must...

(4) Think (3), i.e. Think I want to think I want to think I want to think of pink elephants

But before I can do that I must...

ad infinitum

This produces an infinite regress because thinking about thinking is thinking. You can't be consciously involved in the creation of your thoughts because the creation of your thoughts will necessarily involve thinking. Thus it is necessary that you aren't consciously involved in the creation of your thoughts.

The cause of this error is again the fallacy of a homunculus watching a show put on by the brain. The homunculus can watch thoughts and if allowed could even be actively involved in their construction--thereby gaining "free-will". But there is no homunculus, there is no seat in a Cartesian Theatre which permits thoughts to be watched but remains unimplicated in the process of creating thoughts.
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