Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
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19-12-2013, 09:03 AM (This post was last modified: 19-12-2013 09:09 AM by Free.)
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
Just checking in.

I have randomly determined that Chippy & black_squirrel have this argument covered.

Now checking out.

Please continue.

Drinking Beverage

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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19-12-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(18-12-2013 04:08 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(18-12-2013 11:46 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Unless of course you believe in something else that is in the mix. Something that can't be found in physics or chemistry books. Maybe an essence or "soul" that makes "you" different from "me", that makes "you" in some way morally accountable for your actions?

If subsequent evolution of the system involves chaotic or probabilistic elements - it does - the the systems would diverge over time.
Yes, if evolution were to start off in exactly the same conditions then we would get a different result. If the Big bang were to start off in exactly the same conditions then we would get a different result.
This is because there are random quantum events in the mix.

But this doesn't account for "free will". Not until someone can prove that quantum events can be influenced by "will power".

If we had two exactly the same systems (humans) with exactly the same configuration of matter and energy, enduring the same forces, then until a significant quantum event makes them differ, they would behave the same way. Make the same "choices".
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19-12-2013, 09:21 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(18-12-2013 05:53 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I'm not appealing to contra-causal free-will, I don't believe such a thing exists.
My whole argument is based on atoms, electrons and energy because that is what everything is entirely made of.
It is the forces acting between these that causes all events within the universe.
You cannot have an event without these things being the cause.
Given that these things are autonomous and the forces are constant, then where does that leave us?
Events happen because they must. There are no choices to be had.

I think what we are differing on is semantic, but I'm not 100% sure.

I think Chippy wants to define "free will" in a limited fashion. Ignoring the fact that contra-causal free will is impossible. Ignoring the fact that all events are caused by natural forces and that all electron movement, energy exchanges etc occur because they must, ignoring that there are no options.

I feel that Chippy is looking at free will in an abstract context.
It would be analogous to a computer game playing by itself.
In the game there is a person, and a maze. The maze has walls so the person has a constraint on the directions it can go in. This constraint is not seen as an impact on free will.
The game also has invaders with guns. These invaders are trying to kill the person. The person can see bullets coming and can move to dodge those bullets. Thus the person in animate rather than inanimate. The walls are inanimate. The person is seen as being sentient because it "makes decisions", when it gets to an intersection it can move left, right, straight ahead or turn around and go backwards.
If a group of invaders are to the right then this takes away the option of the person to turn right. This is seen as an infringement on the person's "free will". This person cannot choose to go right because then they will die.
There are innocent bystanders in the game. They walk around and sometimes block doorways. The person can "choose" to shoot and kill the bystanders and thus remove them as a block to the doorway, the person can then proceed to go through the doorway. This action would be deemed as "immoral" but it has no impact on the game, no loss of points etc.
As outsiders to the game, we know that the person (the sprite) does as it must because the computer program is pre-written. Although the person's moves are not predefined, there is a ruleset that allows a moment in time (state) to be assessed and a course of action to be decided. The decision is based on a set of predefined rules. Given the same state the same course of action will be "decided" everytime.
However in Chippy's definition of "choice" this well known cause and effect is to be "ignored" and instead it is to be deemed that a choice has been made out of many possible options. The person could have gone straight ahead but he decided to turn left.

I would state that these choices are illusionary because the person did as it must. Although I do recognise that a different person, with a different state, may have made a different "choice".
I feel Chippy redefines "choice" because as he knows unconstrained choice is impossible. Or in his words "contra causal free will is incoherent" thus instead of using the phrase "illusion of free will" Chippy uses the phrase "free will".
So in a way it is a semantic thing. My "illusion of free will" = Chippy's "free will".

I just like it to be explicit when recognising that cause and effect are impossible to avoid where I think Chippy takes the implicit road where he assumes everyone already knows that all of our actions are dictated by the forces of nature thus maybe he feels it redundant to highlight such a thing?

Although I still struggle with the idea of choices and morality. Even in an abstract view of "illuson of free will". As the person in the game I could worry about whether I have made the best choices or not, but given my programming and state at the time, it was impossible for me to make another "choice". Thus guilt or dwelling is no point. Obviously we can use lessons learnt from the past to "reprogramme" or "re-weight" our rule set.
With regards to morality, if killing that bystander had no impact on my game then why would I care about whether it was moral or not? Why would I care if there were other player's killing bystanders. As long as players aren't killing players then there is no impact and no consequence.
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21-12-2013, 09:51 AM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(19-12-2013 09:21 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I think Chippy wants to define "free will" in a limited fashion. Ignoring the fact that contra-causal free will is impossible. Ignoring the fact that all events are caused by natural forces and that all electron movement, energy exchanges etc occur because they must, ignoring that there are no options.

I feel that Chippy is looking at free will in an abstract context.
It would be analogous to a computer game playing by itself.
Basically a puppet loving his strings doesn't change the fact that he's still a puppet.

Free will is what an individual wants it to be rather than a concrete definition which everyone generally agree on very much like the idea of the God perhaps.Consider
Quote:The person can "choose" to shoot and kill the bystanders and thus remove them as a block to the doorway, the person can then proceed to go through the doorway. This action would be deemed as "immoral" but it has no impact on the game, no loss of points etc.
[Image: gta-v-online-logogta-5-online-gameplay-t...lhi2hd.jpg] Free will:The Game XD
Quote:So in a way it is a semantic thing. My "illusion of free will" = Chippy's "free will".
LOL exactly its just an illusion by definition(that is if everyone agrees on one).

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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21-12-2013, 06:40 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(19-12-2013 08:18 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(18-12-2013 04:08 PM)cjlr Wrote:  If subsequent evolution of the system involves chaotic or probabilistic elements - it does - the the systems would diverge over time.
Yes, if evolution were to start off in exactly the same conditions then we would get a different result. If the Big bang were to start off in exactly the same conditions then we would get a different result.
This is because there are random quantum events in the mix.

But this doesn't account for "free will". Not until someone can prove that quantum events can be influenced by "will power".
Free will IS brain activity. So quantum events ARE part of free will.
Quote:If we had two exactly the same systems (humans) with exactly the same configuration of matter and energy, enduring the same forces, then until a significant quantum event makes them differ, they would behave the same way. Make the same "choices".
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21-12-2013, 07:09 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
I think it is silly to view free will as an illusion.

A chair is made out of atoms. Atoms are mostly empty space. So the chair is mostly
empty space. So this means that chairs are illusion? So we conclude that chairs do not exist?

You are made out of atoms. Atoms are dead. So the idea that you are alive is an illusion.
So we conclude that you are dead?

Free will is made out of brain activity. The brain is made out of atoms. Atoms don't make choices.
So this means that our free choices are illusions. So we conclude that free will does not exist?


In my opinion, chairs DO exist, people ARE alive, and free will DOES exist!
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21-12-2013, 07:55 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
... which comes back to Compatibilism[1]. That's the idea that the universe is deterministic (quantum weirdness aside perhaps, but still statistically speaking deterministic), but that determinism still allows free will to exist in so far as it matters. This view basically says that if you can do what you want to do then you have free will to the extent that free will matters at all. It doesn't matter that your actions could potentially have been predicted or known before you were born. What matters is that you act in accordance with your will.

Of course your will is still subject to the laws of physics of this universe, as are your actions. This makes your free will dependant upon the physics of the universe and the starting state of the universe. Does this matter enough to say that you don't really have free will? For practical purposes probably not. Probably.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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21-12-2013, 09:46 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(19-12-2013 08:18 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But this doesn't account for "free will". Not until someone can prove that quantum events can be influenced by "will power".

The idea that 'quantum events can be influenced by "will power"' is incoherent, i.e. it doesn't make sense. It either leads to an infinite regress or requires indeterminism, whch contradicts the notion of "will power", i.e. volition. Hence there is no good reason to appeal as a contrast in an attempt to demonstrate what is lacking from the notion of free-will.

Quote:If we had two exactly the same systems (humans) with exactly the same configuration of matter and energy, enduring the same forces, then until a significant quantum event makes them differ, they would behave the same way. Make the same "choices".

Yes and that is a good thing. Were it not the case then the notion of moral responsibility would become vacuous, social science would become impossiblle and human behaviour would be utterly confusing.
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21-12-2013, 10:13 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(19-12-2013 09:21 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I think what we are differing on is semantic, but I'm not 100% sure.

What is happening is that you are using a rhetorical trick on yourself and others to reveal an apparent deficiency in the compatibilist conception of free-will. You keep rhetorically appealing to contra-causal free-will as if it were a coherent idea.

Quote:I think Chippy wants to define "free will" in a limited fashion. Ignoring the fact that contra-causal free will is impossible. Ignoring the fact that all events are caused by natural forces and that all electron movement, energy exchanges etc occur because they must, ignoring that there are no options.

Contra-causal free-will is impossible because it is logically incoherent. It can't be made to work. Despite its logical incoherence you repeatedly invoke it to induce a contrastive pattern of thinking in your readers (and yourself).

Quote:I feel that Chippy is looking at free will in an abstract context.
It would be analogous to a computer game playing by itself.

This is what Dennett terms an misuse of an intuition pump. The vital point--which the analogy obfuscates--is that there is no computer programmer. The physical universe is not an agent, it has no intentions and it is not working toward some goal.

Quote:However in Chippy's definition of "choice" this well known cause and effect is to be "ignored" and instead it is to be deemed that a choice has been made out of many possible options. The person could have gone straight ahead but he decided to turn left.

No that is a gross distortion of what I have been arguing. If a person has acted in the way that they wanted then they have acted in a manner consistent with free-will.

Quote:I would state that these choices are illusionary because the person did as it must.

The notion of "did as it must" is just an emotive caricature of determinism that has the rhetorical intention of obscuring the distinction between determinism and fatalism.

Quote:Although I do recognise that a different person, with a different state, may have made a different "choice".

Or the same person 'with a different state, may have made a different "choice"'.

Quote:I feel Chippy redefines "choice" because as he knows unconstrained choice is impossible. Or in his words "contra causal free will is incoherent" thus instead of using the phrase "illusion of free will" Chippy uses the phrase "free will".
So in a way it is a semantic thing. My "illusion of free will" = Chippy's "free will".

No, I am not redefining anything. The compatibilist conception of free-will is the consensus view amongst philosophers and legal scholars. The legal system is predicated on a compatibilist conceptiion of free-will. If anyone is redefining anything it is you.

There is no "illusion of free-will", there is only an illusion of an illusion of free-will that is sustained by appealing to incoherent conceptions of free-will.

Quote:I just like it to be explicit when recognising that cause and effect are impossible to avoid where I think Chippy takes the implicit road where he assumes everyone already knows that all of our actions are dictated by the forces of nature thus maybe he feels it redundant to highlight such a thing?

Yes, "cause and effect are impossible to avoid" but that doesn't diminish free-will.

Quote:Although I still struggle with the idea of choices and morality.

Yes, because your conception of free-will is flawed. The notion of moral responsibility depends on determinism being true.
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21-12-2013, 10:17 PM
RE: Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter?
(21-12-2013 09:51 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Basically a puppet loving his strings doesn't change the fact that he's still a puppet.

The environment is not an agent; only in superstition and religion is the physical universe bestowed with agency.

There is no puppeteer.
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