Is the future predetermined?
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11-03-2017, 11:09 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(11-03-2017 08:00 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  I think that what I've been getting at is the exact opposite. That our choices, our idea of free-will, is a post hoc rationalization of a process that we appear to have surprising little active control over. That our choices aren't really determined by ourselves, or at the very least we have far less influence and control than we're comfortable with admitting. If something as mundane as the temperature or weight of a object being held in the hand can so influence our decisions without our knowledge, just where on that gradient do we place a line in the sand and say 'this is the bounds of my responsibility'?

If it is just the bounds of the physical self, that effectively torpedoes any idea of coercion, does it not? I mean, how could you resolve the idea of extenuating circumstances if the physical self is the only meaningful boundary of choice?

There is no doubt that many people are not terribly self-aware or self-critical, and are therefore subject to any number of coercive agencies. Just witness our present political situation as proof. But where is this idealized "self" who is not subject to such influences? Subjectivity, by its very nature, is partial and slanted. It evolved to serve our survival instincts. It is therefore willful. Our lack of information about the full range of our choices does not mean we have no freewill. We have the ability to choose even if we only have two bad choices, like cooperating with evil or killing ourselves.

Perhaps you want to establish some ethical or legal understanding of freewill, and I don't think that's possible. Even in our legal system, we are only working by approximations.
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11-03-2017, 11:13 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(11-03-2017 08:12 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(11-03-2017 08:00 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  ...
I'm genuinely curious, this is the most interesting conversation I've had in ages.

I too am curious... are you more or less curious when holding a cup of tea?

How about coffee?

Consider

If I knew, I might tell you. Wink

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11-03-2017, 11:37 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(11-03-2017 11:09 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  There is no doubt that many people are not terribly self-aware or self-critical, and are therefore subject to any number of coercive agencies. Just witness our present political situation as proof. But where is this idealized "self" who is not subject to such influences?

My quibble isn't the influence per se, it's the lack of awareness of said influence. If you are aware, you could potentially attempt to correct for it or otherwise adjust. The most important and worrisome thing to take away from realization that the temperature or weight of a held object has such an affect, it's that when questioned after the fact nobody would attribute any influence to the held object in their decision making process. They operated under the illusion that the decision was their own, entirely unaware of how that decision was influence by something so mundane.

It the idea of being unknowingly manipulated that bothers me. The knowledge that I am not pulling all of my own strings; that I alone am not the puppet master. And if there are other things pulling the strings, what does that say about the common perception of free will, responsibility, and culpability?


(11-03-2017 11:09 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  Subjectivity, by its very nature, is partial and slanted. It evolved to serve our survival instincts. It is therefore willful. Our lack of information about the full range of our choices does not mean we have no freewill. We have the ability to choose even if we only have two bad choices, like cooperating with evil or killing ourselves.

I'm not sure how comfortable I am with labeling evolutionary adaptations as 'willful'. Our object oriented thinking was a evolutionary advantageous adaptation, allowing us to more quickly compartmentalize our surroundings and cut down reaction times.

Call it what you want, I just think that the concept of free-will is just a whole hell of a lot less free and willful than most people are cognitively aware. We may like to think that we are the authors of our own thoughts and decisions, and our societies and justice systems operate with this assumption. The worrisome part is, as I've been trying to express, that such an assumption is like trying to pick a point or boxes in an area on a massive gradient. There may be slightly smaller or larger boxes with a greater or lesser acceptance of circumstance and context for such things, but I don't think we're ready to handle the implications of causality and neuroscience. One would hope such an understanding would at least move us closer to empathy for circumstance, and aware from a desire for retribution.


(11-03-2017 11:09 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  Perhaps you want to establish some ethical or legal understanding of freewill, and I don't think that's possible. Even in our legal system, we are only working by approximations.

It's the shortcoming of such approximations, and how we handle them when they inevitably shatter upon the bow of our increasing understanding of the universe and the mind, that worries me.

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11-03-2017, 11:50 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(11-03-2017 11:09 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  ...
Perhaps you want to establish some ethical or legal understanding of freewill, and I don't think that's possible.
...

That's already been done.

See Dan Dennett on Moral Competence.

Wink

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11-03-2017, 11:57 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
Is the future predetermined? Isn't there some kind of built in, ass-backward redundancy there?
Consider It just feels odd.
There's the future.
And
There's predetermined. (or "causal determinism" just to be all fancy)
To me, they are separate things.
I know... probably just me. Dodgy
***

Anyway, something can be predetermined all it wants to be ... but that doesn't mean there's gonna be a future for it. Wink

Evolution, muthafukuhas!
****

Here's an interesting thought...
There are some indigenous peoples (I forget where- Amazon rainforest, perhaps) who view the future to be behind them while the past is in front of them.
Why? Because they can not see something which is behind them while, they have a very clear view of the past right in front of them.
Neat perspective, huh? Shy


Now, back to your regularly scheduled predetermined discussion. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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11-03-2017, 12:45 PM
Is the future predetermined?
(10-03-2017 06:38 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  [Image: example2.png]

Where exactly does it cease to be red and start to be blue? Where exactly is purple or violet?

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12-03-2017, 05:58 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(11-03-2017 11:50 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(11-03-2017 11:09 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  ...
Perhaps you want to establish some ethical or legal understanding of freewill, and I don't think that's possible.
...

That's already been done.

See Dan Dennett on Moral Competence.

Wink

Thanks for the reference. I'll check out the lecture on Youtube when I have the time.
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12-03-2017, 06:11 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(11-03-2017 11:37 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  My quibble isn't the influence per se, it's the lack of awareness of said influence. If you are aware, you could potentially attempt to correct for it or otherwise adjust.

It the idea of being unknowingly manipulated that bothers me. The knowledge that I am not pulling all of my own strings; that I alone am not the puppet master. And if there are other things pulling the strings, what does that say about the common perception of free will, responsibility, and culpability?

Call it what you want, I just think that the concept of free-will is just a whole hell of a lot less free and willful than most people are cognitively aware. We may like to think that we are the authors of our own thoughts and decisions, and our societies and justice systems operate with this assumption.

I certainly agree people should become more aware of the often deceptive pressures which influence them, especially since so many are contrary to their own self-interests. But isn't that a separate issue from the question of whether our choices are somehow predetermined, at least in the classical sense of that argument as necessitated by materialism? It is the latter idea which I object to.

I also agree that many people overestimate their own freewill because of their lack of awareness of such prejudicial influences. In fact, I think it is a great failure that our educational system doesn't teach more about logical fallacies, human psychology, and the distortions of subjectivity in general.
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12-03-2017, 06:28 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(12-03-2017 06:11 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  
(11-03-2017 11:37 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  My quibble isn't the influence per se, it's the lack of awareness of said influence. If you are aware, you could potentially attempt to correct for it or otherwise adjust.

It the idea of being unknowingly manipulated that bothers me. The knowledge that I am not pulling all of my own strings; that I alone am not the puppet master. And if there are other things pulling the strings, what does that say about the common perception of free will, responsibility, and culpability?

Call it what you want, I just think that the concept of free-will is just a whole hell of a lot less free and willful than most people are cognitively aware. We may like to think that we are the authors of our own thoughts and decisions, and our societies and justice systems operate with this assumption.
I certainly agree people should become more aware of the often deceptive pressures which influence them, especially since so many are contrary to their own self-interests. But isn't that a separate issue from the question of whether our choices are somehow predetermined, at least in the classical sense of that argument as necessitated by materialism? It is the latter idea which I object to.

Ah, I am sorry, I must have missed that part. Personally I think that, given what little we know about reality at the quantum level, the best you can get to are estimations of probability. I think that the past does set the stage for the present, but the present in the moment is not set, rather it is probabilistic. Exactly what those probabilities are, and what all exactly can have an effect on such probabilities, is still something we have a lot to learn about.


(12-03-2017 06:11 AM)Jay Vogelsong Wrote:  I also agree that many people overestimate their own freewill because of their lack of awareness of such prejudicial influences. In fact, I think it is a great failure that our educational system doesn't teach more about logical fallacies, human psychology, and the distortions of subjectivity in general.

Agreed.

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12-03-2017, 06:33 AM
RE: Is the future predetermined?
(11-03-2017 12:45 PM)KUSA Wrote:  
(10-03-2017 06:38 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  [Image: example2.png]

Where exactly does it cease to be red and start to be blue? Where exactly is purple or violet?

[Image: 4531dcc11f16de3b76db2b095aabe792.jpg]

Missing the point Kusa. Where exactly does each start, or stop? If purple starts at the left side arrows, that's clearly a different color from the right side arrows. At exact which point is it purple? When does it stop being purple? How many other people agree that the point you pick is purple? How many other people pick a different point on the spectrum?

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