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Compatibilism: What's that About?

DBT

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Geez, now there are New Compatibilists? Back when I first ran into the issue in the public library, there were no "compatibilists" at all. There was just determinism, and free will, and the imaginary issue between the two, you know, the "versus".

I've explained in detail in this thread what "the ability to do otherwise" is all about. Whether an incompatibilist can actually hear the explanation or confront it with any valid argument remains an open question.

Whether the Behavioral, Cognitive, and Neurosciences are capable of untangling themselves from the philosophical paradoxes that lead otherwise sane and intelligent people to question free will and personal responsibility is up for grabs. The silly paradox of free will "versus" determinism certainly gathers a lot of (undeserved) attention. But I would suggest that the sciences need to avoid that Chinese Finger Trap unless they are capable of escaping this self-induced hoax.


Compatibilism has not changed over time? The compatibilism of Hobbs is the same as Dennett's ''evitability?''

Semi compatibilism with its claim that responsibility is compatible with determinism, Fischer, et al? Reason responsiveness? Regulative control?

Actions are either caused/necessitated or they are free, there is no middle ground. Determinism necessitates all actions, therefore they are not freely chosen actions. Being determined, actions proceed or unfold as determined.

Wanting to do X is fully determined by prior causes. Once the desire to do X is felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X.


Sorry, but no. A thief points a gun at you and says, "Stop, hand over your wallet!" Hasn't he constrained you from walking away? Hasn't he prevented you from spending your own money according to your own choices?

Both his actions and yours, are causally necessary from any prior point in time, but the fact the he is constraining you does not disappear. Within a perfectly deterministic system, there are still meaningful constraints, and thus there are still meaningful freedoms

Constraint comes in many forms, both external and internal.

Being free of external constraint, the thief with a gun, doesn't free you from the internal constraint of your own condition and information from the external world acting upon you, shaping your character and molding your thoughts and determining your response.

The absence of one - the thief with a gun - doesn't exclude inner necessitation.

''An action’s production by a deterministic process, even when the agent satisfies the conditions on moral responsibility specified by compatibilists, presents no less of a challenge to basic-desert responsibility than does deterministic manipulation by other agents. ''
 

Marvin Edwards

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... The correct understanding of what is going on is this: the brain has a model of reality and a language for performing operations with that model. When we are uncertain as to what we will do, we imagine what we can do to resolve that uncertainty. We use the model to imagine the outcome of choosing option A (one "possible" future). We use the model to imagine the outcome of choosing B (a second "possible" future). The feelings produced by these mental excursions lead us to choose which action we "will" perform in the real world.

Ironically, all this imagining is not "imaginary". Mental events are assumed to be representations of physical events within the brain. And these physical events are taking place in empirical reality within the brain. A human society forms a language for communicating what is happening in our minds, as in "What were you thinking of that made you do that?".

Within this language we have the notion of choosing and how choosing works. We have the notion of multiple, real "possibilities". And we have the notion of a single "actuality".

As it turns out, within the domain of human influence (stuff we can make happen if we choose to), the single actual future will be chosen, by us, from among the many possible futures that we can imagine.

Choosing is a deterministic causal mechanism that exercises control over what we do next, which exercises control over what happens next.

Perhaps these quotes from noted neuroscientists will help:

Instead of using your senses to constantly rebuild your reality from scratch every moment, you’re comparing sensory information with a model that the brain has already constructed: updating it, refining it, correcting it. Your brain is so expert at this task that you’re normally unaware of it.

Eagleman, David. The Brain: The Story of You (Kindle Locations 774-776). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Second, the brain uses internal data to construct simplified, schematic models of objects and events in the world. Those models can be used to make predictions, try out simulations, and plan actions.

Graziano, Michael S. A.. Consciousness and the Social Brain (p. 8). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Bravo. A couple citations. Now explain them.

They simply confirm that the notion of the brain symbolically modeling reality is a common understanding in neuroscience.

If you read Eagleman experimental papers carefully you'll find that sense models are improved by new sense information adding or modifying existing sense templates repeatedly throughout the cortex generating enabling channels for cerebellar activations of routines effector targeted loci, not through manipulation of an existing model stored in brain or memory.

I'm not qualified to read Eagleman's experimental papers. But I do have three of his books, which help ordinary people like me understand the results of neuroscience experiments.

...
Back to the point. What we call consciousness is that narrative, visual, language, tactile, etc. subvocal and other sensory integrated which we must support status of being in order to express it. All those little joy tools you use like 'think', 'decide', 'choose' are built just as are other logical constructions to represent a frame for animating it. They are after the fact justifications for what we do, act, perform.

But I'm not the only one using terms like "think", "decide", and "choose". The whole point of neuroscience is to find the underlying mechanisms that make thinking and deciding possible, to discover how thinking, memory, and choosing are carried out within the neural structure.

For example, neuroscience locates areas of the brain that are involved in specific mental functions so that when these functions are impaired, the neuro surgeon has some clue where to look for the damage.

Once one removes these enablers we are back to this then that or determined behaviors generated in response to complex situations.

No. Once you remove the language you remove the meaning of it all. Memory, choosing, imagining, thinking and feeling, are all meaningful neural functions.

In other words I have no problems with Eagleman and few with Graziani when it comes to what underlies human behavior. What they wrote and how you interpret it is to which I disagree. Pull out the "I do this and I do that" and you have a machine called a human getting along in a determined world.

But how do you describe the behavior of this "machine called a human getting along in a determined world", without including "he decided to do this, instead of that, which caused the pedestrian to be hit in the intersection".

One of the problems with hard determinism (which I keep bringing up) is that it wipes out meaningful distinctions between events as it goes about reminding us repeatedly that every event is causally necessitated, without distinction.

All of the meaning is in the distinctions! For example, freely chosen or coerced.

here is something that might grab your interest from Eagleman

Nope. It didn't.
 

fromderinside

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... The correct understanding of what is going on is this: the brain has a model of reality and a language for performing operations with that model. When we are uncertain as to what we will do, we imagine what we can do to resolve that uncertainty. We use the model to imagine the outcome of choosing option A (one "possible" future). We use the model to imagine the outcome of choosing B (a second "possible" future). The feelings produced by these mental excursions lead us to choose which action we "will" perform in the real world.

Ironically, all this imagining is not "imaginary". Mental events are assumed to be representations of physical events within the brain. And these physical events are taking place in empirical reality within the brain. A human society forms a language for communicating what is happening in our minds, as in "What were you thinking of that made you do that?".

Within this language we have the notion of choosing and how choosing works. We have the notion of multiple, real "possibilities". And we have the notion of a single "actuality".

As it turns out, within the domain of human influence (stuff we can make happen if we choose to), the single actual future will be chosen, by us, from among the many possible futures that we can imagine.

Choosing is a deterministic causal mechanism that exercises control over what we do next, which exercises control over what happens next.

Perhaps these quotes from noted neuroscientists will help:

Instead of using your senses to constantly rebuild your reality from scratch every moment, you’re comparing sensory information with a model that the brain has already constructed: updating it, refining it, correcting it. Your brain is so expert at this task that you’re normally unaware of it.

Eagleman, David. The Brain: The Story of You (Kindle Locations 774-776). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Second, the brain uses internal data to construct simplified, schematic models of objects and events in the world. Those models can be used to make predictions, try out simulations, and plan actions.

Graziano, Michael S. A.. Consciousness and the Social Brain (p. 8). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Bravo. A couple citations. Now explain them.

They simply confirm that the notion of the brain symbolically modeling reality is a common understanding in neuroscience.

If you read Eagleman experimental papers carefully you'll find that sense models are improved by new sense information adding or modifying existing sense templates repeatedly throughout the cortex generating enabling channels for cerebellar activations of routines effector targeted loci, not through manipulation of an existing model stored in brain or memory.

I'm not qualified to read Eagleman's experimental papers. But I do have three of his books, which help ordinary people like me understand the results of neuroscience experiments.

...
Back to the point. What we call consciousness is that narrative, visual, language, tactile, etc. subvocal and other sensory integrated which we must support status of being in order to express it. All those little joy tools you use like 'think', 'decide', 'choose' are built just as are other logical constructions to represent a frame for animating it. They are after the fact justifications for what we do, act, perform.

But I'm not the only one using terms like "think", "decide", and "choose". The whole point of neuroscience is to find the underlying mechanisms that make thinking and deciding possible, to discover how thinking, memory, and choosing are carried out within the neural structure.

For example, neuroscience locates areas of the brain that are involved in specific mental functions so that when these functions are impaired, the neuro surgeon has some clue where to look for the damage.

Once one removes these enablers we are back to this then that or determined behaviors generated in response to complex situations.

No. Once you remove the language you remove the meaning of it all. Memory, choosing, imagining, thinking and feeling, are all meaningful neural functions.

In other words I have no problems with Eagleman and few with Graziani when it comes to what underlies human behavior. What they wrote and how you interpret it is to which I disagree. Pull out the "I do this and I do that" and you have a machine called a human getting along in a determined world.

But how do you describe the behavior of this "machine called a human getting along in a determined world", without including "he decided to do this, instead of that, which caused the pedestrian to be hit in the intersection".

One of the problems with hard determinism (which I keep bringing up) is that it wipes out meaningful distinctions between events as it goes about reminding us repeatedly that every event is causally necessitated, without distinction.

All of the meaning is in the distinctions! For example, freely chosen or coerced.

here is something that might grab your interest from Eagleman

Nope. It didn't.
It should have because it is a strong example of examination of neural processing objective scientific rather than subjective introspective technique.

To wit: ‘Introspectionism’ and the mythical origins of scientific psychology https://cspeech.ucd.ie/Fred/docs/historyOfPsychology.pdf

According to the majority of the textbooks, the history of modern, scientific psychology can be tidily encapsulated in the following three stages. Scientific psychology began with a commitment to the study of mind, but based on the method of introspection. Watson rejected introspectionism as both unreliable and effete, and redefined psychology, instead, as the science of behaviour. The cognitive revolution, in turn, replaced the mind as the subject of study, and rejected both behaviourism and a reliance on introspection. This paper argues that all three stages of this history are largely mythical. Introspectionism was never a dominant movement within modern psychology, and the method of introspection never went away. Furthermore, this version of psychology’s history obscures some deep conceptual problems, not least surrounding the modern conception of ‘‘behaviour,’’ that continues to make the scientific study of consciousness seem so weird. 2006 Elsevier Inc.
It is a shame that introspection is still used because it takes away from the objective interpretation of neural function. We are to try our hardest to come up with Operations, material methods, to attach to our wanderings into our "minds" - a subjective looking at how the nervous system and endocrine systems generate behavior - when subjectively considering what is going on within us for use in experiment.

Most of the twentieth century Philosophy has been about reconciling subjective behaving beings with the demands for objective methods to determine what is and is not reality.

The point is reality is not a story told around a campfire.
 

Marvin Edwards

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It is a shame that introspection is still used because it takes away from the objective interpretation of neural function. We are to try our hardest to come up with Operations, material methods, to attach to our wanderings into our "minds" - a subjective looking at how the nervous system and endocrine systems generate behavior - when subjectively considering what is going on within us for use in experiment.

Psychoanalysis is based upon introspection. Neuroscience is a study of the brain's functioning as it relates to our thoughts and feelings, and other mental facilities.

Most of the twentieth century Philosophy has been about reconciling subjective behaving beings with the demands for objective methods to determine what is and is not reality.

Well, no, neuroscience is not about determining what is "real" and what is "not real". It is about understanding how our brains operate to keep our hearts beating and our thoughts flowing. Neuroscience is about all the specific mechanisms in the brain that enable us to remember, to think, to decide, etc.

The point is reality is not a story told around a campfire.

If reality cannot be told, then we can never learn from the experience of others. Our species would likely be extinct by now. The whole point of having intelligence is to provide a means of conferring information from one generation to the next. Our newborns do not come out fully formed as with many other species. They learn all of the important stuff from others. Whether this information is conveyed around a campfire or in a lecture hall is irrelevant. The key is that we want the information to be meaningful, relevant, and accurate enough to be useful.
 

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It is a shame that introspection is still used because it takes away from the objective interpretation of neural function. We are to try our hardest to come up with Operations, material methods, to attach to our wanderings into our "minds" - a subjective looking at how the nervous system and endocrine systems generate behavior - when subjectively considering what is going on within us for use in experiment.

Psychoanalysis is based upon introspection. Neuroscience is a study of the brain's functioning as it relates to our thoughts and feelings, and other mental facilities.

Most of the twentieth century Philosophy has been about reconciling subjective behaving beings with the demands for objective methods to determine what is and is not reality.

Well, no, neuroscience is not about determining what is "real" and what is "not real". It is about understanding how our brains operate to keep our hearts beating and our thoughts flowing. Neuroscience is about all the specific mechanisms in the brain that enable us to remember, to think, to decide, etc.

The point is reality is not a story told around a campfire.

If reality cannot be told, then we can never learn from the experience of others. Our species would likely be extinct by now. The whole point of having intelligence is to provide a means of conferring information from one generation to the next. Our newborns do not come out fully formed as with many other species. They learn all of the important stuff from others. Whether this information is conveyed around a campfire or in a lecture hall is irrelevant. The key is that we want the information to be meaningful, relevant, and accurate enough to be useful.
Honestly, I find the idea that "the point of reality is not a story to have to tell" a remarkably ignorant position to hold.

It is a fact that every universe I have ever created has been created for the sake of creating a story for to tell others. To then say "that's not the point" is just an argument from incredulity.
 

Marvin Edwards

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The point is reality is not a story told around a campfire.

In many cases you are right. For example, here is the hard determinist's camp fire story:
"Gather around the fire kids, and I'll tell you a scary story. There is a boogeyman in the woods with magical powers. By casting his spell, he turns children like you into zombies. He takes away your control. He steals your freedom. Instead, everything you think and do becomes the thoughts that he instills in your mind without your even knowing it. He makes your choices for you, and you think they are your own. But all you can do is what he tells you to do, and you are trapped as a passive observer within your own head. And, guess what, HE'S ALREADY DONE IT!" (You hear the voices of the children screaming at this point). But the hard determinist continues, "You've heard of the laws of nature? That is a boogeyman! Do you remember what you did yesterday that led up to tonight's story? That is another boogeyman! Together they control every aspect of your life, and you can only sit and watch." (Now the children are sobbing uncontrollably).

Fortunately, for all of us, this is just a fairy tale, a story told around a campfire.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Geez, now there are New Compatibilists? ..
Compatibilism has not changed over time? The compatibilism of Hobbs is the same as Dennett's ''evitability?''

I wouldn't know. I solved the paradox with a simple insight in the public library, without any help from Dennett. I was about 15 years old at the time, which would have made Daniel Dennett about 19, and he probably hadn't written any books on the subject at that age.

The insight was that free will was a causally necessary event, in which I was the most meaningful and relevant cause of the event. Perhaps you'll share in this insight some day.

In any case, that insight has seen me through a lot of these discussions over the years. I've certainly learned many new things since then, but nothing that contradicts that insight.

Semi compatibilism with its claim that responsibility is compatible with determinism, Fischer, et al? Reason responsiveness? Regulative control?

Regulative control would be Patricia Churchland. I've seen a couple of her YouTube videos. I don't know any Fischer (other than Bobby the chess master).

I think the key thing that we all should keep in mind is that there are no experts in the field of philosophy. Everything in philosophy is basically someone sitting down and thinking about something. And my thinking is probably just as good as anyone else's (estimated IQ 127, not "genius", just "superior").

Now, when we get to neuroscience, there is more than just thinking about things, there's experimental evidence. So, I've read several books, by the author's David Eagleman, Michael Gazzaniga, and Michael Graziano.

Actions are either caused/necessitated or they are free, there is no middle ground.

And that is where your insight so far fails you. Surely you can see that freedom, the ability to do something without a meaningful constraint, requires a world of reliable causation. In order to type your comment you need a reliable keyboard, reliable fingers, and a reliable mind. Typing your comment is you causing an effect (the comment).

And, while you have a history of reliable causation stretching back to the Big Bang backing you up, the Big Bang's role in producing your comment is rather incidental. It is not a meaningful or relevant cause of the words you are typing. Is it?

So, we have a world of perfectly reliable causation, in which all events are necessitated by prior events. You are necessitated by your parents. They were necessitated by the evolution of the human species. The species was necessitated by the "random" (deterministic but unpredictable) mutation of DNA molecules, etc.

And now, here you are, causally necessitating your own comments. There is no break in the causal chain of events. You have prior causes and now you are the prior cause of your comments.

Are you "free" to type your comments? Well, freedom is the absence of any meaningful and relevant constraints upon your doing what you want to do. So, having seen your comments, I am convinced by the empirical evidence that you were in fact "free" to type your comments.

And you never had to step outside the causal chain in order to freely type your thoughts.

Actions are either caused/necessitated or they are free, there is no middle ground.

That is false in general. It can only be true in the special case where you find yourself meaningfully constrained by reliable cause and effect itself (as opposed to a specific cause, like the guy holding the gun, or if you are in a pair of handcuffs).

So, explain how reliable causation itself constrains you in any meaningful or relevant way.

Determinism necessitates all actions...

No. Determinism is not a causal agent. It does not go about in the world making things happen. The belief that determinism is a causal agent is superstitious nonsense.

Being determined, actions proceed or unfold as determined.

Yes, as causally determined by their prior causes. For example, your thoughts are the prior causes of your comment. And the "unfolding" happens as you gather your thoughts and type them into the comment box.

Wanting to do X is fully determined by prior causes.

Of course. But every event is always determined by prior causes. That's not a significant fact. In fact, it is probably the most trivial and insignificant fact in the whole universe.

The significant facts are what specifically caused something specific to happen. What we care about are the most meaningful and relevant causes of an event. A meaningful cause efficiently explains why the event happened. A relevant cause is something that we can actually do something about.

For example, rather than posting this response to the Big Bang, I post it as a reply to you. It is you, and not the Big Bang, that is making these false claims about freedom and causal necessity.

Once the desire to do X is felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X.

For goodness sake let's hope not! Men who experience a desire to have sex with a woman and who act upon that desire without thinking are called "rapists".

Constraint comes in many forms, both external and internal. Being free of external constraint, the thief with a gun, doesn't free you from the internal constraint of your own condition and information from the external world acting upon you, shaping your character and molding your thoughts and determining your response. The absence of one - the thief with a gun - doesn't exclude inner necessitation.

Internal constraint also goes by the name "self-control".

''An action’s production by a deterministic process, even when the agent satisfies the conditions on moral responsibility specified by compatibilists, presents no less of a challenge to basic-desert responsibility than does deterministic manipulation by other agents. ''

All actions, without distinction, are productions of deterministic processes. So, again, this is not a significant fact. It is a logical fact, but it is neither a meaningful nor a relevant fact. All of the meaning and relevance comes from the distinctions we make between different actions. For example, the distinction between making love and rape. To lose these distinctions makes everything meaningless. So, stop trying to do that.
 

fromderinside

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It is a shame that introspection is still used because it takes away from the objective interpretation of neural function. We are to try our hardest to come up with Operations, material methods, to attach to our wanderings into our "minds" - a subjective looking at how the nervous system and endocrine systems generate behavior - when subjectively considering what is going on within us for use in experiment.

Psychoanalysis is based upon introspection. Neuroscience is a study of the brain's functioning as it relates to our thoughts and feelings, and other mental facilities.

Most of the twentieth century Philosophy has been about reconciling subjective behaving beings with the demands for objective methods to determine what is and is not reality.

Well, no, neuroscience is not about determining what is "real" and what is "not real". It is about understanding how our brains operate to keep our hearts beating and our thoughts flowing. Neuroscience is about all the specific mechanisms in the brain that enable us to remember, to think, to decide, etc.

The point is reality is not a story told around a campfire.

If reality cannot be told, then we can never learn from the experience of others. Our species would likely be extinct by now. The whole point of having intelligence is to provide a means of conferring information from one generation to the next. Our newborns do not come out fully formed as with many other species. They learn all of the important stuff from others. Whether this information is conveyed around a campfire or in a lecture hall is irrelevant. The key is that we want the information to be meaningful, relevant, and accurate enough to be useful.
Reality is only approached by those subject to it, never told nor realized. It is beyond the observer's kin to fathom reality. Full stop.

It is for this reason that there is relevance to subjective experience. It is all we have unless we tie what we believe to what is known. What is known is what is accomplished by objective, material, observation and analysis. This method, by the by, is the only hope for eventual understanding of at least local reality.

It is in the apparent inevitable push of living things to evolve. Being more capable of functioning, less subject to chaos more tuned to keeping energy longer and better is driving life forward. Finding and sustaining maximum entropies in the physical world guide us to certification of realities.

What you describe is hugging, clinging to, uncertain unproven, self identified, apparent realities can only lead to unforeseen catastrophic ends.

It is as I wrote early on. Philosophy is about rationalization and self evidence. Science is about observing and and building upon objective realities. The first is folly. The latter is continuously becoming more consistent and reliable, improving prospects for understanding over the past 600 years.

It is not about what we believe, what we subjectively know by looking inside ourselves. It is about what we objectively know and with which we can demonstrably exercise control over what is there that leads to actual knowledge.

Just as subjective fails in knowing it also fails in science as we are finding with Psychoanalysis, learning theory, functionalism, structuralism, and a variety of other self attributable isms. All are rotting on failed self insight precepts. Critics were right to throw out the bathwater with Wundt's Introspection, no matter how sincerely he believed in what he was about. We need an objective method.

Skinners counting bullae is not objective beyond observation of turds. Turds must be generated and knowing how and why they are generated might lead somewhere. But that wasn't the result of his method, Instead it was schedules of reinforcement.

Put Skinner there with Wundt. As for Freud find me the mechanics of for energies of ego, id, etc. They aren't there. Drop him into the shit bin as well.

WTF.

Permitting such as your smooth sounding platitude laden subjective declared sieves leads to an empty vessel. No knowledge remains, just empty proclamations.

Fluussshh!
 
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DBT

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Geez, now there are New Compatibilists? ..
Compatibilism has not changed over time? The compatibilism of Hobbs is the same as Dennett's ''evitability?''

I wouldn't know. I solved the paradox with a simple insight in the public library, without any help from Dennett. I was about 15 years old at the time, which would have made Daniel Dennett about 19, and he probably hadn't written any books on the subject at that age.

The insight was that free will was a causally necessary event, in which I was the most meaningful and relevant cause of the event. Perhaps you'll share in this insight some day.

In any case, that insight has seen me through a lot of these discussions over the years. I've certainly learned many new things since then, but nothing that contradicts that insight.
That term 'free will' is being asserted as a causally necessary event for the purpose of constructing an argument. All events within a determined system are 'causally necessitated events,' alternatives do not exist. A web of unfolding events where will plays no role in decision making. And if will plays no regulative role in decision making, how is it meant to be free?

Saying something is free doesn't make it free. Unimpeded but necessitated actions do not equate to freedom of will. Will is neither the originator or decision maker.

Semi compatibilism with its claim that responsibility is compatible with determinism, Fischer, et al? Reason responsiveness? Regulative control?

Regulative control would be Patricia Churchland. I've seen a couple of her YouTube videos. I don't know any Fischer (other than Bobby the chess master).

I think the key thing that we all should keep in mind is that there are no experts in the field of philosophy. Everything in philosophy is basically someone sitting down and thinking about something. And my thinking is probably just as good as anyone else's (estimated IQ 127, not "genius", just "superior").

Now, when we get to neuroscience, there is more than just thinking about things, there's experimental evidence. So, I've read several books, by the author's David Eagleman, Michael Gazzaniga, and Michael Graziano.

The evidence from neuroscience doesn't support free will. Actions are initiated by brain regions based on input and memory function and brought to consciousness. Will is not the regulator or the means by which thoughts and actions are generated.

We are whatever a brain is doing, architecture, inputs, memory function, mind, thought, action. We have will, but it is not 'free will.' Free will is merely an ideology built on semantics.



Actions are either caused/necessitated or they are free, there is no middle ground.

And that is where your insight so far fails you. Surely you can see that freedom, the ability to do something without a meaningful constraint, requires a world of reliable causation. In order to type your comment you need a reliable keyboard, reliable fingers, and a reliable mind. Typing your comment is you causing an effect (the comment).

What I said is just the nature of determinism. I pointed out that necessitated action, being determined, cannot have constraints, they must proceed as determined. The earth's orbit around the sun is not restrained, for instance, yet it is determined, gravity, mass, etc.

And, while you have a history of reliable causation stretching back to the Big Bang backing you up, the Big Bang's role in producing your comment is rather incidental. It is not a meaningful or relevant cause of the words you are typing. Is it?

So, we have a world of perfectly reliable causation, in which all events are necessitated by prior events. You are necessitated by your parents. They were necessitated by the evolution of the human species. The species was necessitated by the "random" (deterministic but unpredictable) mutation of DNA molecules, etc.

And now, here you are, causally necessitating your own comments. There is no break in the causal chain of events. You have prior causes and now you are the prior cause of your comments.

Are you "free" to type your comments? Well, freedom is the absence of any meaningful and relevant constraints upon your doing what you want to do. So, having seen your comments, I am convinced by the empirical evidence that you were in fact "free" to type your comments.

And you never had to step outside the causal chain in order to freely type your thoughts.

I type whatever is coming to mind. Thoughts are formed in response to the stimuli.

What comes to mind is determined by what I am being presented with - your argument - by reading your posts, which is sensory input, 'my' brain processes the acquired information according to neural architecture, memory function/past experience (brain information state) generating lines of thought. Which is not known until the necessary information is acquired and processed followed by related actions.

Which has very little to do with 'will' beyond the consciously felt impulse to respond, nothing whatsoever to do with 'free will.'

The cognitive process does not equate to free will.





No. Determinism is not a causal agent. It does not go about in the world making things happen. The belief that determinism is a causal agent is superstitious nonsense.

'Determinism'' refers to how the world works, its laws, principles, attributes. We have been through this. Nobody is saying that determinism is an entity or agent.



Once the desire to do X is felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X.

For goodness sake let's hope not! Men who experience a desire to have sex with a woman and who act upon that desire without thinking are called "rapists''

That's not what I meant, which I'm certain you know.


All actions, without distinction, are productions of deterministic processes. So, again, this is not a significant fact. It is a logical fact, but it is neither a meaningful nor a relevant fact. All of the meaning and relevance comes from the distinctions we make between different actions. For example, the distinction between making love and rape. To lose these distinctions makes everything meaningless. So, stop trying to do that.

Nobody is equating love to rape, being forced at gunpoint, etc, with acting according to ones will.

The issue here is: even when acting according to one's will, unimpeded, unrestricted, we are acting in accordance to inner necessity.

If an action is determined, wanting to do something is fully determined by prior causes and nothing prevents that person from doing what he wants, both the desire or will to act and the action is determined.


''Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity'' - Einstein.
 

The AntiChris

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The evidence from neuroscience doesn't support free will.

You keep making the same mistake.

Of course "neuroscience" doesn't support incompatibilist free will - nothing does!

But "neuroscience" has nothing to say about compatibilist free will. To think that it does is to misunderstand the claims of compatibilists.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Reality is only approached by those subject to it, never told nor realized. It is beyond the observer's kin to fathom reality. Full stop.

It is for this reason that there is relevance to subjective experience. It is all we have unless we tie what we believe to what is known. What is known is what is accomplished by objective, material, observation and analysis. This method, by the by, is the only hope for eventual understanding of at least local reality.

It is in the apparent inevitable push of living things to evolve. Being more capable of functioning, less subject to chaos more tuned to keeping energy longer and better is driving life forward. Finding and sustaining maximum entropies in the physical world guide us to certification of realities.

What you describe is hugging, clinging to, uncertain unproven, self identified, apparent realities can only lead to unforeseen catastrophic ends.

It is as I wrote early on. Philosophy is about rationalization and self evidence. Science is about observing and and building upon objective realities. The first is folly. The latter is continuously becoming more consistent and reliable, improving prospects for understanding over the past 600 years.

It is not about what we believe, what we subjectively know by looking inside ourselves. It is about what we objectively know and with which we can demonstrably exercise control over what is there that leads to actual knowledge.

Just as subjective fails in knowing it also fails in science as we are finding with Psychoanalysis, learning theory, functionalism, structuralism, and a variety of other self attributable isms. All are rotting on failed self insight precepts. Critics were right to throw out the bathwater with Wundt's Introspection, no matter how sincerely he believed in what he was about. We need an objective method.

Skinners counting bullae is not objective beyond observation of turds. Turds must be generated and knowing how and why they are generated might lead somewhere. But that wasn't the result of his method, Instead it was schedules of reinforcement.

Put Skinner there with Wundt. As for Freud find me the mechanics of for energies of ego, id, etc. They aren't there. Drop him into the shit bin as well.

WTF.

Permitting such as your smooth sounding platitude laden subjective declared sieves leads to an empty vessel. No knowledge remains, just empty proclamations.

Fluussshh!

I wouldn't know a Wundt from a Bundt cake. I've read a little B.F. Skinner and probably some Watson many years ago. But my understanding is that modern methods like Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) take the most practical and direct approach and have the best success. I'm a William James Pragmatist, and very fond of things that actually work.

As to "reality", we are limited to our perceptions, and out attention is often easily distracted and deceived by professional magicians. So, our neural modeling mechanism sometimes produces illusions. But the model is our only access to reality. We can educate ourselves to interpret what we see differently, but we're kinda limited to a "what you see is what you get" view. We must deal with what we can see, hear, touch, etc.

That's the solution to the "brain-in-a-vat" and the "solipsism" paradoxes. If we were indeed a brain in an evil scientist's vat, and what we perceived of reality was totally controlled by the signals the scientist provided by wires going into our head, then as far as we could know, that would be our reality. We would never perceive the vat or the wires, but only the dreams the scientist induced. So, that would, for all practical purposes, be our "reality".

The same applies to the question, "What if we the only being that existed, and we were asleep, and everyone and everything we experienced was merely a dream?" (solipsism). Again, everything we dreamt would, for all practical purposes be our "reality'.

If there is nothing one can know, other than what we think we are seeing and hearing and smelling and touching, then that, for all practical purposes, is the only reality. And, since that is the case, we call it "reality".

Science extends our vision with telescopes and microscopes. It lets us see things that we would not otherwise be aware of. Things which still remain invisible, like the protons in the atom, are tracked by their electromechanical effects in the giant colliders. But they were theorized to exist by models before they could be detected.

Some models are more useful than others. And some models have proven to be false.

But for most practical human problems, we have sufficient objective information to provide useful descriptions of what is going on in the real world. We test our language, our words and concepts, as we use them everyday to do our everyday things.

Free will, to the mind uninfected by the philosophical paradox, remains a choice we make for ourselves when free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. It empirically distinguishes the voluntary, deliberate choice we make for ourselves, from those choices imposed upon us by someone or something else. And that is its practical utility, what William James would call the "cash-value" of the concept.

Pragmatism, on the other hand, asks its usual question. “Grant an idea or belief to be true,” it says, “what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?” The moment pragmatism asks this question, it sees the answer: True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate and verify. False ideas are those that we cannot. That is the practical difference it makes to us to have true ideas; that, therefore, is the meaning of truth, for it is all that truth is known-as.

James, William. Pragmatism (Dover Thrift Editions) (p. 67). Dover Publications. Kindle Edition.
 

Jarhyn

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It's beyond the observer's Ken to understand reality?

This is trivially false. If it were true I would not have a job. My job is, as an observer, to understand reality well enough not only to make good decisions that react to that reality in a way that brings me closer to my goals... And then to describe exactly the reasons I made those decisions for the purposes of collaboration and advancing public understanding.

It is possibly beyond an observer's ken to implement the reality we find ourselves in in total, but even that is questionably true. To describe and understand it? Not so much.

In fact, unning on my CPU I can have a full virtualization of that selfsame CPU. All of the laws of processing reality may be written down and modelled inside a process inside that reality!

I can have a virtual x86 with 2000mb of virtual address space running on an actual x86 with 2000mb of physical address space. Then on that I could have a other simulation of the same thing inside the simulation. As long as it does not run up against certain resource limits owing to recursion, I could even have a process which reads it's next instruction, runs other instructions that calculate the result, and then rewrites the next instruction based on whether it executes or generates an exception that never even happened "in reality".

Nothing in reality prevents this, so why would you think that reality itself prevents the architecture of reality itself from being so modelled. Is it the "complexity" of the architecture that trips you? Because that's not a qualitative difference.
 

fromderinside

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It's beyond the observer's Ken to understand reality?

This is trivially false. If it were true I would not have a job. My job is, as an observer, to understand reality well enough not only to make good decisions that react to that reality in a way that brings me closer to my goals... And then to describe exactly the reasons I made those decisions for the purposes of collaboration and advancing public understanding.

It is possibly beyond an observer's ken to implement the reality we find ourselves in in total, but even that is questionably true. To describe and understand it? Not so much.

In fact, unning on my CPU I can have a full virtualization of that selfsame CPU. All of the laws of processing reality may be written down and modelled inside a process inside that reality!

I can have a virtual x86 with 2000mb of virtual address space running on an actual x86 with 2000mb of physical address space. Then on that I could have a other simulation of the same thing inside the simulation. As long as it does not run up against certain resource limits owing to recursion, I could even have a process which reads it's next instruction, runs other instructions that calculate the result, and then rewrites the next instruction based on whether it executes or generates an exception that never even happened "in reality".

Nothing in reality prevents this, so why would you think that reality itself prevents the architecture of reality itself from being so modelled. Is it the "complexity" of the architecture that trips you? Because that's not a qualitative difference.
Reality, the whole of existence. It isn't beyond our ability to know? ARE YOU SERIOUS! We live on a dot in another bigger dot in a system of bigger dots that that seem to be organized into even bigger systems of dots. They are beyond our ability to even see remotely, much less experience. Humanity will never experience even a mote of what exists. If you think we can know the cosmos by looking at it with limited senses and tools you are a deluding yourself.

The energy to which we have access can break things down to infinitesimally small things. Imagine what the energy of the entire universe can do. We have an imaginary scheme which we believe represents what is there and seems to work locally. Now that's hutzpah.
 

Marvin Edwards

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That term 'free will' is being asserted as a causally necessary event for the purpose of constructing an argument.

No. I'm not interested in arguments. I'm simply trying to keep the empirical facts clear.

All events within a determined system are 'causally necessitated events,'

Yes, but they are not necessitated by any abstract notion of causation nor by any abstract notion of necessity. They are necessitated by real causes, you know, the actual interactions of real objects and real forces.

For example, Babe Ruth hit a home run. The home run was an event necessitated by Babe Ruth's swing of the bat which caused the bat to hit the ball in such a way that it caused the ball to fly over the outfield fence.

But causal necessity itself played no part in that event. Babe Ruth himself causally necessitated this event. And it is the same for all of the prior causes of Babe Ruth. None of his prior causes were "causal necessity". But each of his prior causes were real entities. For example, his father and his mother, by their actions, causally necessitated a baby to be born.

... alternatives do not exist.

We've covered that. Realizable alternatives (or options) are possibilities, things that "can" happen even if they never "will" happen. Possibilities exist solely within the imagination. A "real" possibility is something that we can make happen if we choose to make it happen. Something that we cannot make happen, even if we choose to, is an impossibility. But the fact that we do not choose to make it happen does not make it an impossibility, it only makes it an alternative that we did not choose.

It is still a realizable alternative, even if we never choose to actualize it.

Within the big machine (universal causal necessity), there are little machines (humans) that each contain another machine (the brain) that settles matters of uncertainty by choosing what to do next. All alternatives exist within the choosing machine as logical tokens that are necessary for its successful operation.

A web of unfolding events ...

Yes, a lovely metaphor.

... where will plays no role in decision making.

And that is because it is the decision making that forms the will. For example, "Will I have eggs or will I have pancakes? I don't know, let me think about it". We think about it and we decide "I will have pancakes". That sets our intent upon fixing pancakes, and that intent motivates and directs our subsequent actions: mixing the batter, heating the griddle, cooking the pancakes, and eating them.

And if will plays no regulative role in decision making, how is it meant to be free?

Free will is not a "free floating" or "uncaused" will. I don't know where you guys get that bit of silliness.

Free will is literally a freely chosen "I will". It is about the choosing of the will. Are we free to choose for ourselves what we will do (e.g., eggs or pancakes) or is this choice imposed upon us by someone or something else (e.g., a five year old who wants pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner versus his health-conscious mother who imposes her will upon him).

Saying something is free doesn't make it free.

Saying something is NOT free requires the identification of a meaningful and relevant constraint. In the absence of such a constraint, freedom is logically presumed.

Unimpeded but necessitated actions do not equate to freedom of will.

Causal necessity is neither a meaningful nor a relevant constraint. In the absence of a meaningful and relevant constraint, freedom is logically the default case.

Will is neither the originator or decision maker.

Will is not the decision maker, it is the causally necessary result of the decision. However, once we've set our minds to a task, the task itself may require additional decisions to be made.

Our will is the originator of our subsequent actions.

The evidence from neuroscience doesn't support free will.

No. The evidence from neuroscience does not support the notion of any "free floating" or "uncaused" will. But neuroscience is very aware that we make choices that determine what we will do. This is an empirical fact that cannot be denied (except perhaps by the hard determinists, due to their illusions).

Actions are initiated by brain regions based on input and memory function and brought to consciousness. Will is not the regulator or the means by which thoughts and actions are generated.

The brain, when seated in a restaurant and facing a menu, must decide what to order, otherwise the brain will suffer hunger. The brain making choices is a causally necessary event.

The brain's freely chosen "I will" regulates the body's actions as it tells the waiter, "I will have the steak dinner."

... Free will is merely an ideology built on semantics.

Free will makes the significant distinction between a deliberate or voluntary act, versus a coerced act, versus an insane act. This distinction has practical consequences in the real world.

Universal causal necessity/inevitability, on the other hand, is an insignificant logical fact, that should have no practical consequences at all in the real world.

What I said is just the nature of determinism. I pointed out that necessitated action, being determined, cannot have constraints, they must proceed as determined. The earth's orbit around the sun is not restrained, for instance, yet it is determined, gravity, mass, etc.

Well, inanimate objects, like the earth and the sun, are not likely to experience freedom or constraints, they have no interests in exercising control over their fates.

But to us, constraints that prevent us from doing what we want are experienced negatively, and when such constraints are lifted, we experience the freedom positively. Otherwise freedom and constraint would be meaningless.

So when the hard determinist tells us we are not free, and even worse, when he suckers us into the illusion that ordinary cause and effect makes us slaves, then we naturally object.

The correct understanding of reliable causation is that it enables us to do things. It is the very source of every freedom we have. So when the hard determinist perversely presents reliable causation as a boogeyman that robs us of our free will, our control, our responsibility, and other human traits of great value to our species, he does moral harm to us all.

I type whatever is coming to mind. Thoughts are formed in response to the stimuli.

What comes to mind is determined by what I am being presented with - your argument - by reading your posts, which is sensory input, 'my' brain processes the acquired information according to neural architecture, memory function/past experience (brain information state) generating lines of thought. Which is not known until the necessary information is acquired and processed followed by related actions.

Which has very little to do with 'will' beyond the consciously felt impulse to respond, nothing whatsoever to do with 'free will.'

The cognitive process does not equate to free will.

Which "free will" are you referring to? The paradoxical "freedom from causal necessity" or the operational definition "freedom from coercion and undue influence".

If you are using the so-called "philosophical" definition, "a choice we make for ourselves that is free from causal necessity", then you owe us an explanation as to what you think that means, and how it is supposed to work in a deterministic universe.

If you cannot defend the use of that definition, then I suggest you stop using it.

Once the desire to do X is felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X.

For goodness sake let's hope not! Men who experience a desire to have sex with a woman and who act upon that desire without thinking are called "rapists''

That's not what I meant, which I'm certain you know.

Of course. But that is what your words literally mean when you say, "Once the desire to do X is felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X." You are saying that the desire is sufficient to cause the act, and that nothing constrains the act.

The issue here is: even when acting according to one's will, unimpeded, unrestricted, we are acting in accordance to inner necessity. If an action is determined, wanting to do something is fully determined by prior causes and nothing prevents that person from doing what he wants, both the desire or will to act and the action is determined.

Yeah, but all actions are equally causally necessary and equally causally determined. So what? How does this logical fact change anything? For example, in what way does it change the operational meaning of free will?

''Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity'' - Einstein.

“If no practical difference whatever can be traced, then the alternatives mean practically the same thing, and all dispute is idle.” William James

James, William. Pragmatism (Dover Thrift Editions) (p. 16). Dover Publications. Kindle Edition.
 

fromderinside

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Reality is only approached by those subject to it, never told nor realized. It is beyond the observer's kin to fathom reality. Full stop.

It is for this reason that there is relevance to subjective experience. It is all we have unless we tie what we believe to what is known. What is known is what is accomplished by objective, material, observation and analysis. This method, by the by, is the only hope for eventual understanding of at least local reality.

It is in the apparent inevitable push of living things to evolve. Being more capable of functioning, less subject to chaos more tuned to keeping energy longer and better is driving life forward. Finding and sustaining maximum entropies in the physical world guide us to certification of realities.

What you describe is hugging, clinging to, uncertain unproven, self identified, apparent realities can only lead to unforeseen catastrophic ends.

It is as I wrote early on. Philosophy is about rationalization and self evidence. Science is about observing and and building upon objective realities. The first is folly. The latter is continuously becoming more consistent and reliable, improving prospects for understanding over the past 600 years.

It is not about what we believe, what we subjectively know by looking inside ourselves. It is about what we objectively know and with which we can demonstrably exercise control over what is there that leads to actual knowledge.

Just as subjective fails in knowing it also fails in science as we are finding with Psychoanalysis, learning theory, functionalism, structuralism, and a variety of other self attributable isms. All are rotting on failed self insight precepts. Critics were right to throw out the bathwater with Wundt's Introspection, no matter how sincerely he believed in what he was about. We need an objective method.

Skinners counting bullae is not objective beyond observation of turds. Turds must be generated and knowing how and why they are generated might lead somewhere. But that wasn't the result of his method, Instead it was schedules of reinforcement.

Put Skinner there with Wundt. As for Freud find me the mechanics of for energies of ego, id, etc. They aren't there. Drop him into the shit bin as well.

WTF.

Permitting such as your smooth sounding platitude laden subjective declared sieves leads to an empty vessel. No knowledge remains, just empty proclamations.

Fluussshh!

I wouldn't know a Wundt from a Bundt cake. I've read a little B.F. Skinner and probably some Watson many years ago. But my understanding is that modern methods like Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) take the most practical and direct approach and have the best success. I'm a William James Pragmatist, and very fond of things that actually work.

As to "reality", we are limited to our perceptions, and out attention is often easily distracted and deceived by professional magicians. So, our neural modeling mechanism sometimes produces illusions. But the model is our only access to reality. We can educate ourselves to interpret what we see differently, but we're kinda limited to a "what you see is what you get" view. We must deal with what we can see, hear, touch, etc.

That's the solution to the "brain-in-a-vat" and the "solipsism" paradoxes. If we were indeed a brain in an evil scientist's vat, and what we perceived of reality was totally controlled by the signals the scientist provided by wires going into our head, then as far as we could know, that would be our reality. We would never perceive the vat or the wires, but only the dreams the scientist induced. So, that would, for all practical purposes, be our "reality".

The same applies to the question, "What if we the only being that existed, and we were asleep, and everyone and everything we experienced was merely a dream?" (solipsism). Again, everything we dreamt would, for all practical purposes be our "reality'.

If there is nothing one can know, other than what we think we are seeing and hearing and smelling and touching, then that, for all practical purposes, is the only reality. And, since that is the case, we call it "reality".

Science extends our vision with telescopes and microscopes. It lets us see things that we would not otherwise be aware of. Things which still remain invisible, like the protons in the atom, are tracked by their electromechanical effects in the giant colliders. But they were theorized to exist by models before they could be detected.

Some models are more useful than others. And some models have proven to be false.

But for most practical human problems, we have sufficient objective information to provide useful descriptions of what is going on in the real world. We test our language, our words and concepts, as we use them everyday to do our everyday things.

Free will, to the mind uninfected by the philosophical paradox, remains a choice we make for ourselves when free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. It empirically distinguishes the voluntary, deliberate choice we make for ourselves, from those choices imposed upon us by someone or something else. And that is its practical utility, what William James would call the "cash-value" of the concept.

Pragmatism, on the other hand, asks its usual question. “Grant an idea or belief to be true,” it says, “what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?” The moment pragmatism asks this question, it sees the answer: True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate and verify. False ideas are those that we cannot. That is the practical difference it makes to us to have true ideas; that, therefore, is the meaning of truth, for it is all that truth is known-as.

James, William. Pragmatism (Dover Thrift Editions) (p. 67). Dover Publications. Kindle Edition.
Isn't that cute. You claim little knowledge of psychology - your denial of knowing an alleged father of psychology - then you use the work of a relativity minor psychologist as your "ode de triumph". The world is full of pragmatists. Not one of them ever contributed to our increased understanding of ourselves or the world we live in. Sure they give comfort to our inner impulses. But a "Eureka"? Never.
 

fromderinside

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Free will is an illusion based on an incomplete understanding of the underlying deterministic processes. Compatibilism ignores this and attempts to define free will into existence through semantics.
I only got this far in the thread before I realized it had been locked, because I tried to respond and couldn't. The staff unlocked it. Thanks guys.

Full disclosure: I'm not well versed in philosophy.

I never understood "compatibilism". But reading this, it sounds like me. I see "free will" as an illusion, created by our inability to recognize our own motivations. We humans aren't really all that smart or perceptive. Illusions are an extremely important part of the human experience. That's just how we are.

From horizons to literature to randomness to ideologies to mathematics, the human experience is dominated by abstractions. Things that have no objective existence. But we don't define them into existence.

I see free will the same way. It is abstract, but very real.

What I find aggravatingly dishonest is theists insisting that free will has objective existence. Because otherwise their omnimax benevolent God becomes utterly incoherent and internally inconsistent. That's the whole point to much of Genesis. Claiming that God is Almighty. The reason He appears to be a bumbling sky king, with superpowers, is because we humans have free will and are therefore responsible for all the suffering.

Eve tied God's Hands.

Tom
When I first ran into the determinism "versus" free will paradox, I don't think the word "compatibilism" was in use. I was a teenager in the public library who had just read something by Spinoza that suggested free will did not exist due to every event being reliably caused by prior events. This bothered me, so I tried to come up with someway to escape inevitability. I decided this would be easy to do. The next time I had a choice between any two things, say A and B, and I found myself leaning heavily toward A, I would simply choose B instead. So easy. But then it occurred to me that my desire to thwart inevitability had just made B the inevitable choice. So, to escape inevitability, I had to choose A.

Hmm. It was an infinite loop. No matter what I chose, there would always be a reason that caused my choice to be inevitable! That's when it dawned on me. The only reason for my choice changes was to escape inevitability. But the only person in the room was me. I had imagined inevitability as something that I had to escape. But inevitability wasn't there. Only I was. And it occurred to me that, if inevitability actually were such an entity, it would be sitting in the corner laughing at me, for having caused me such distress just by thinking about it.

Once I realized that what I would inevitably do was exactly identical to me just being me, doing whatever I chose to do, inevitability ceased to be a problem. It was not a real constraint. It was precisely what I would have done anyway.

So, from my perspective, causal necessity is not a threat to free will. Free will is nothing more or less than what we choose to do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Free will was never free from reliable causation. And it needn't be, because reliable cause and effect is not a meaningful or relevant constraint.

The initial illusion, is that reliable cause and effect (causal necessity) is some kind of causal agent exercising control over us (hard determinism). That illusion creates the second illusion, that we must be free of reliable cause and effect in order to have free will (libertarian free will). Both are illusions.

As you point out, it is a matter of abstractions. Causal necessity is an abstraction that consolidates all of the simple cause and effect events into one notion.

But reliable cause and effect is instantiated daily, as we reliably cause events, like fixing breakfast, driving to work, etc. And free will is instantiated daily as people decide for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

As to God's problem, if an entity is omniscient and omnipotent, then it is also omni-responsible. Free will provides no "get out of jail free" card for God.
Riiight. Fortunately another observation works better. There is no God!
 

Jarhyn

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It's beyond the observer's Ken to understand reality?

This is trivially false. If it were true I would not have a job. My job is, as an observer, to understand reality well enough not only to make good decisions that react to that reality in a way that brings me closer to my goals... And then to describe exactly the reasons I made those decisions for the purposes of collaboration and advancing public understanding.

It is possibly beyond an observer's ken to implement the reality we find ourselves in in total, but even that is questionably true. To describe and understand it? Not so much.

In fact, unning on my CPU I can have a full virtualization of that selfsame CPU. All of the laws of processing reality may be written down and modelled inside a process inside that reality!

I can have a virtual x86 with 2000mb of virtual address space running on an actual x86 with 2000mb of physical address space. Then on that I could have a other simulation of the same thing inside the simulation. As long as it does not run up against certain resource limits owing to recursion, I could even have a process which reads it's next instruction, runs other instructions that calculate the result, and then rewrites the next instruction based on whether it executes or generates an exception that never even happened "in reality".

Nothing in reality prevents this, so why would you think that reality itself prevents the architecture of reality itself from being so modelled. Is it the "complexity" of the architecture that trips you? Because that's not a qualitative difference.
Reality, the whole of existence. It isn't beyond our ability to know? ARE YOU SERIOUS! We live on a dot in another bigger dot in a system of bigger dots that that seem to be organized into even bigger systems of dots. They are beyond our ability to even see remotely, much less experience. Humanity will never experience even a mote of what exists. If you think we can know the cosmos by looking at it with limited senses and tools you are a deluding yourself.

The energy to which we have access can break things down to infinitesimally small things. Imagine what the energy of the entire universe can do. We have an imaginary scheme which we believe represents what is there and seems to work locally. Now that's hutzpah.
I can describe the whole of a computer on a tiny bit of paper. I can describe the whole of a massive yet deterministic output that sits in gigabytes of memory with 20kb of code. Yes, you can describe a whole universe, "understand" it's basis, in less space than it takes to implement the universe. Because of this reality of possibility, seen through the transform of us doing exactly that thing, yes it is possible as an architectural curiosity that the architecture hosts a perfect description of the code that produces it.

It's possible for a set that describes a set of points to include the description which defined the set, if one of the varieties of points it describes is of the form "functional description as point".

You confuse implementation and understanding.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Isn't that cute. You claim little knowledge of psychology - your denial of knowing an alleged father of psychology - then you use the work of a relativity minor psychologist as your "ode de triumph". The world is full of pragmatists. Not one of them ever contributed to our increased understanding of ourselves or the world we live in. Sure they give comfort to our inner impulses. But a "Eureka"? Never.

All I can do with that is follow this wise man's advice:
Fluussshh!
 

fromderinside

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It's beyond the observer's Ken to understand reality?

This is trivially false. If it were true I would not have a job. My job is, as an observer, to understand reality well enough not only to make good decisions that react to that reality in a way that brings me closer to my goals... And then to describe exactly the reasons I made those decisions for the purposes of collaboration and advancing public understanding.

It is possibly beyond an observer's ken to implement the reality we find ourselves in in total, but even that is questionably true. To describe and understand it? Not so much.

In fact, unning on my CPU I can have a full virtualization of that selfsame CPU. All of the laws of processing reality may be written down and modelled inside a process inside that reality!

I can have a virtual x86 with 2000mb of virtual address space running on an actual x86 with 2000mb of physical address space. Then on that I could have a other simulation of the same thing inside the simulation. As long as it does not run up against certain resource limits owing to recursion, I could even have a process which reads it's next instruction, runs other instructions that calculate the result, and then rewrites the next instruction based on whether it executes or generates an exception that never even happened "in reality".

Nothing in reality prevents this, so why would you think that reality itself prevents the architecture of reality itself from being so modelled. Is it the "complexity" of the architecture that trips you? Because that's not a qualitative difference.
Reality, the whole of existence. It isn't beyond our ability to know? ARE YOU SERIOUS! We live on a dot in another bigger dot in a system of bigger dots that that seem to be organized into even bigger systems of dots. They are beyond our ability to even see remotely, much less experience. Humanity will never experience even a mote of what exists. If you think we can know the cosmos by looking at it with limited senses and tools you are a deluding yourself.

The energy to which we have access can break things down to infinitesimally small things. Imagine what the energy of the entire universe can do. We have an imaginary scheme which we believe represents what is there and seems to work locally. Now that's hutzpah.
I can describe the whole of a computer on a tiny bit of paper. I can describe the whole of a massive yet deterministic output that sits in gigabytes of memory with 20kb of code. Yes, you can describe a whole universe, "understand" it's basis, in less space than it takes to implement the universe. Because of this reality of possibility, seen through the transform of us doing exactly that thing, yes it is possible as an architectural curiosity that the architecture hosts a perfect description of the code that produces it.

It's possible for a set that describes a set of points to include the description which defined the set, if one of the varieties of points it describes is of the form "functional description as point".

You confuse implementation and understanding.
Understanding can explain things but do they really explain things. For instance will the impact of another instance of all the energy in the big bag produce another identical universe? If so , why waste our time on multiple universes if what takes place is identical to that which took place? Is a probabilistic model of the world what reality comes down to?

Humanity is at the very beginning of understanding the world we find ourselves? Why not think that we might go from rational models to material models to models that include what we can imagine like travelable dimensions.

I confuse nothing. You, on the other hand seem arrogant with your little knowledge. We know less about what reality is than we know what history was. Now in that pairing there is an analogy with your notion about knowing and understanding.

We have the bones, history, evidence, but we aren't sure what they mean. Was it because we went to the sea when things were really bad about 40 thousand years ago, used sea protein, then evolved religious capabilities. Are humans 200,000 or closer to 40,000 years old?
 
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fromderinside

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Isn't that cute. You claim little knowledge of psychology - your denial of knowing an alleged father of psychology - then you use the work of a relativity minor psychologist as your "ode de triumph". The world is full of pragmatists. Not one of them ever contributed to our increased understanding of ourselves or the world we live in. Sure they give comfort to our inner impulses. But a "Eureka"? Never.

All I can do with that is follow this wise man's advice:
Fluussshh!
Great. You do that. Be sure you wipe up all that glad handing Pollyanna stuff you wrote.
 

DBT

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The evidence from neuroscience doesn't support free will.

You keep making the same mistake.

Of course "neuroscience" doesn't support incompatibilist free will - nothing does!

But "neuroscience" has nothing to say about compatibilist free will. To think that it does is to misunderstand the claims of compatibilists.

No mistake. Nothing does support freedom of will, not even the compatibilist definition of it, which, as pointed out numerous times is merely a semantic construct.

Yet again;

Semantic constructs prove nothing;

Definitions or ontological arguments prove nothing.

1)God is love.
2)Love can be experienced.
3)Love exists.
4)God exists.

The common definition of free will is equally meaningless:

1)Free will is the ability to make conscious decisions.
2)Conscious decision making can be experienced.
3)Conscious decision making exists.
4) Free will exists.

1) Free will is the ability to act in accordance with our will.
2) We are able to act in accordance to our will
3) We have free will.


Which of course ignores the means by which actions, including will are produced by external information acting upon non chosen neural networks, which is internal necessity, not freedom.


''An action’s production by a deterministic process, even when the agent satisfies the conditions on moral responsibility specified by compatibilists, presents no less of a challenge to basic-desert responsibility than does deterministic manipulation by other agents. '


Necessitated actions - being determined - are by definition are neither chosen, negotiable or alterable, events that proceed or unfold deterministically according to antecedent events and the laws of nature. Necessitated actions are not freely willed actions.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Necessitated actions - being determined - are by definition are neither chosen, negotiable or alterable, events that proceed or unfold deterministically according to antecedent events and the laws of nature. Necessitated actions are not freely willed actions.

If it is causally determined that I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If it is causally determined that a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

As always, causal necessity itself, makes no difference. It is a background constant, always present on both sides of every equation, and can be subtracted from both sides without affecting the result. For example, here are the same two statements, minus the unnecessary qualifier:

If I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.
 

DBT

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That term 'free will' is being asserted as a causally necessary event for the purpose of constructing an argument.

No. I'm not interested in arguments. I'm simply trying to keep the empirical facts clear.

All events within a determined system are 'causally necessitated events,'

Yes, but they are not necessitated by any abstract notion of causation nor by any abstract notion of necessity. They are necessitated by real causes, you know, the actual interactions of real objects and real forces.

For example, Babe Ruth hit a home run. The home run was an event necessitated by Babe Ruth's swing of the bat which caused the bat to hit the ball in such a way that it caused the ball to fly over the outfield fence.

But causal necessity itself played no part in that event. Babe Ruth himself causally necessitated this event. And it is the same for all of the prior causes of Babe Ruth. None of his prior causes were "causal necessity". But each of his prior causes were real entities. For example, his father and his mother, by their actions, causally necessitated a baby to be born.

I didn't say anything about abstract notions of necessity. Necessity refers to physical determinism, how determinism works through real objects, real events and how real information acts upon the neural networks of a brain to produce consciousness, mind, self, thought and response, which is not the role of 'free will,' where actions, if determined, necessarily proceed accordingly.


... alternatives do not exist.

We've covered that. Realizable alternatives (or options) are possibilities, things that "can" happen even if they never "will" happen. Possibilities exist solely within the imagination. A "real" possibility is something that we can make happen if we choose to make it happen. Something that we cannot make happen, even if we choose to, is an impossibility. But the fact that we do not choose to make it happen does not make it an impossibility, it only makes it an alternative that we did not choose.

It is still a realizable alternative, even if we never choose to actualize it.

Within the big machine (universal causal necessity), there are little machines (humans) that each contain another machine (the brain) that settles matters of uncertainty by choosing what to do next. All alternatives exist within the choosing machine as logical tokens that are necessary for its successful operation.

We don't make anything happen that has not been determined to happen. Within a determined system, the external world acts upon the brain (being an inseparable part of it), shaping and forming character, personality, likes dislikes, hate, fear, irritations, beliefs, thoughts, including the will and actions that follow from that essential condition.

Again, nothing to do with 'free will.'

And that is because it is the decision making that forms the will. For example, "Will I have eggs or will I have pancakes? I don't know, let me think about it". We think about it and we decide "I will have pancakes". That sets our intent upon fixing pancakes, and that intent motivates and directs our subsequent actions: mixing the batter, heating the griddle, cooking the pancakes, and eating them.

What you have for breakfast is determined by what you do or do not like, information acquired by the brain through experience with various foods, and what is currently on the menu. Your brain processes that information and initiates the only possible response in this instance in time ( alternatives being impossible within a determined system, events being fixed as a matter of natural law and antecedent events), information processing that has nothing to do with free will or freely willed decisions.

Information processing is not free will.

''If one had the murderous impulses of an Eichmann or a Himmler, is one’s situation necessarily improved by being able to flexibly respond to the logistical problems of machine-gunning large numbers of people? Is the murderous intelligence involved in industrialising genocide ever a gain? Similarly, if we knew that we were going to have passions that we have not chosen, is it obvious that we would ask for the ability to pursue these passions flexibly and imaginatively? Perhaps if we knew that we were to have unknown passions and be held responsible for our actions, we would choose to be incompetent. Perhaps the priority would be first to do no harm: one could not risk being good at being bad.

It is not obvious then that we would choose to be caused by our own desires rather than coerced by others; and nor is it obvious that we would choose to be able to successfully pursue our desires if we did not know what those desires were to be.''


I'll stop there for the sake of brevity, and to avoid further repetition.
 

DBT

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Necessitated actions - being determined - are by definition are neither chosen, negotiable or alterable, events that proceed or unfold deterministically according to antecedent events and the laws of nature. Necessitated actions are not freely willed actions.

If it is causally determined that I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If it is causally determined that a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

As always, causal necessity itself, makes no difference. It is a background constant, always present on both sides of every equation, and can be subtracted from both sides without affecting the result. For example, here are the same two statements, minus the unnecessary qualifier:

If I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

That is information processing. The state of the brain is the state of you. The brain acts according to architecture, memory and inputs. Inputs determine how the brain responds in terms of drives, desires, thoughts and actions. Which is not freely willed, or even willed at all.

Will is present, but not free will. The loss of memory function alone brings it undone.
 

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It's beyond the observer's Ken to understand reality?

This is trivially false. If it were true I would not have a job. My job is, as an observer, to understand reality well enough not only to make good decisions that react to that reality in a way that brings me closer to my goals... And then to describe exactly the reasons I made those decisions for the purposes of collaboration and advancing public understanding.

It is possibly beyond an observer's ken to implement the reality we find ourselves in in total, but even that is questionably true. To describe and understand it? Not so much.

In fact, unning on my CPU I can have a full virtualization of that selfsame CPU. All of the laws of processing reality may be written down and modelled inside a process inside that reality!

I can have a virtual x86 with 2000mb of virtual address space running on an actual x86 with 2000mb of physical address space. Then on that I could have a other simulation of the same thing inside the simulation. As long as it does not run up against certain resource limits owing to recursion, I could even have a process which reads it's next instruction, runs other instructions that calculate the result, and then rewrites the next instruction based on whether it executes or generates an exception that never even happened "in reality".

Nothing in reality prevents this, so why would you think that reality itself prevents the architecture of reality itself from being so modelled. Is it the "complexity" of the architecture that trips you? Because that's not a qualitative difference.
Reality, the whole of existence. It isn't beyond our ability to know? ARE YOU SERIOUS! We live on a dot in another bigger dot in a system of bigger dots that that seem to be organized into even bigger systems of dots. They are beyond our ability to even see remotely, much less experience. Humanity will never experience even a mote of what exists. If you think we can know the cosmos by looking at it with limited senses and tools you are a deluding yourself.

The energy to which we have access can break things down to infinitesimally small things. Imagine what the energy of the entire universe can do. We have an imaginary scheme which we believe represents what is there and seems to work locally. Now that's hutzpah.
I can describe the whole of a computer on a tiny bit of paper. I can describe the whole of a massive yet deterministic output that sits in gigabytes of memory with 20kb of code. Yes, you can describe a whole universe, "understand" it's basis, in less space than it takes to implement the universe. Because of this reality of possibility, seen through the transform of us doing exactly that thing, yes it is possible as an architectural curiosity that the architecture hosts a perfect description of the code that produces it.

It's possible for a set that describes a set of points to include the description which defined the set, if one of the varieties of points it describes is of the form "functional description as point".

You confuse implementation and understanding.
Understanding can explain things but do they really explain things. For instance will the impact of another instance of all the energy in the big bag produce another identical universe? If so , why waste our time on multiple universes if what takes place is identical to that which took place? Is a probabilistic model of the world what reality comes down to?

Humanity is at the very beginning of understanding the world we find ourselves? Why not think that we might go from rational models to material models to models that include what we can imagine like travelable dimensions.

I confuse nothing. You, on the other hand seem arrogant with your little knowledge. We know less about what reality is than we know what history was. Now in that pairing there is an analogy with your notion about knowing and understanding.

We have the bones, history, evidence, but we aren't sure what they mean. Was it because we went to the sea when things were really bad about 40 thousand years ago, used sea protein, then evolved religious capabilities. Are humans 200,000 or closer to 40,000 years old?
Understanding in this way says the shape of the thing. Now sometimes the shape is such that it implies things about the framework fits in. Sometimes it says absolutely nothing about that framework.

You can claim you understand these things, or even wave your hands around incredulously, but it doesn't change the fact that you don't seem to really grasp it at all. You confuse implementation with understanding.

There are exactly two things to understand OF reality, and then myriad things to be understood about metaphysics and we know for certain we CAN understand it to the extent that any thing can be tested and confirmed experimentally: the rules which govern the probability of events (why do the dice turn out the way they do?), A perhaps impossible question to answer; the rules which determine which loci may replace whichever other loci when a probabilistic event happens.

You keep confusing implementation and understanding. Understanding is knowing the equation and being able to plot points on it.

I focus on what architecturally defined reality, in various respects.

Your initial claim was that we cannot understand reality, which is downright silly. I understand reality exactly well enough to hammer some.of that reality with some reality into a long bit of reality, connect that reality to some other reality, and then some of the reality will end up in the center of that other long bit of reality that I made and connected, or to go away from it. I know this happens because on a fundamental level reality only pops and jives a certain way. I UNDERSTAND this. We can complete this understanding, as I described previous.

Now, being fully aware of history, being OMNISCIENT and also being confined to existing "only within" the universe... That would be impossible. In fact, we understand that it is impossible, and have proven it: a system cannot contain a complete implementation of itself.

It's one of the reasons why math can't express a set that contains all sets. But a set can contain a description, an understanding of itself... Just not the whole thing in truth.

Do not call me arrogant again with knowledge that you have not bothered to take the time to understand.

Come to me when YOU have taken the time. Maybe spin up a universe and then meditate on the geometry and facts of what happened and what this implies about universes, and try to puzzle out what information and understanding about itself that it may contain and which that it may not, and whether the particular implementation is the only reason for some of these limitations.

As to trivia about what exactly happened within the confines of an architecture which implies a fixed but also probabilistically bounded outcome with apparently impenetrable randomness, I don't really give a shit. I just want to understand the system, so I can attain greater power to self-actualize in a mutually non-destructive way.

Knowing HOW "the present" functions does not require knowing what the present was doing in the past except to know that it functioned as "the present" always has, and that the present will now function as the present did yesterday. This can give us clues as to the state, but I don't care about the state. I care about the shape of the basic unit of the state machine's architecture.

I am a process existing in a machine attempting not to read the memory but to write into memory a reverse engineered description of the platform it runs on.

Necessitated actions - being determined - are by definition are neither chosen, negotiable or alterable, events that proceed or unfold deterministically according to antecedent events and the laws of nature. Necessitated actions are not freely willed actions.

If it is causally determined that I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If it is causally determined that a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

As always, causal necessity itself, makes no difference. It is a background constant, always present on both sides of every equation, and can be subtracted from both sides without affecting the result. For example, here are the same two statements, minus the unnecessary qualifier:

If I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

That is information processing. The state of the brain is the state of you. The brain acts according to architecture, memory and inputs. Inputs determine how the brain responds in terms of drives, desires, thoughts and actions. Which is not freely willed, or even willed at all.

Will is present, but not free will. The loss of memory function alone brings it undone.
So you know, this is a "no true Scotsman" fallacy. Just because I can bring a car undone by emptying the gas tank no more changes that when it has gas, that it moves forward.

Just because you can change things about a system to change how reality filtered through it, does not mean that thing was any less itself before you broke it.

This thing you call "will" is describable as "free" or "constrained" on the basis of the relationships that exist between the locus of one will and the locus of another and the geometry between them.
 

Marvin Edwards

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I didn't say anything about abstract notions of necessity. Necessity refers to physical determinism, how determinism works through real objects, real events and how real information acts upon the neural networks of a brain to produce consciousness, mind, self, thought and response, which is not the role of 'free will,' where actions, if determined, necessarily proceed accordingly.

Okay, then! Once we've taken the abstract notions of "causation", "determinism", and "necessity" off the table of "causal agents", we are indeed left with the actual physical objects and the forces between them that, together, are doing all of the causing in the universe.

Now, we can observe those actual objects exerting force upon other objects, causing them to change in form or function or in some other way.

For example, I break the eggs. I pour them from the shell into the frying pan. I may scramble them and have them with ketchup, or perhaps have them sunny side up or over light with a little salt and pepper. That was me, doing the actual causing, changing the eggs into a meal.

I am not the abstraction of causal necessity, I am the actual cause that is necessitating what happens to the eggs. And it is I, and no other object in the physical universe, that gets to choose whether the eggs will be scrambled or sunny side up or over light.

Did I myself have prior causes? Well, of course. Everything always has prior causes. But over the years, I have also been one of the most significant prior causes of what I became at the time I chose how I would prepare the eggs. There were other causes, of course. When I was young I had to watch others as they fixed eggs in different ways in order to learn how to fix them myself. And there was the whole string of prior causes going back to my birth, back to the evolution of the human species, back to the Big Bang, and back to whatever preceded that.

But if you want to know who used up the last three eggs, making it impossible for you to fix french toast this morning, you will not complain to the Big Bang, you will complain to me, because you know that I am the most meaningful and relevant cause of there being no eggs left for you. And if you want to have french toast tomorrow, you might remind me to pick up a dozen at the store on my way home tonight.

Any complaints to the Big Bang, or Determinism, or Causal Necessity will fall upon deaf ears, since they have none.

We don't make anything happen that has not been determined to happen.

We don't need to make things happen "outside of causal necessity", because we are that which causally necessitates that the eggs are scrambled.

Nothing prior to us causally determined that the eggs would be scrambled. Everything prior to us guaranteed that it would be us making that decision for ourselves, and guaranteed that no other object prior to us at that moment would participate in making that choice.

Within a determined system, the external world acts upon the brain (being an inseparable part of it), shaping and forming character, personality, likes dislikes, hate, fear, irritations, beliefs, thoughts, including the will and actions that follow from that essential condition.

Again, nothing to do with 'free will.'

Exactly. Nothing at all to do with free will. Everyone knows that we are products of our nature and nurture, shaped by our prior experiences and our genetic dispositions. So, why bring it up?

Free will is when we decide for ourselves what we will do, when free of coercion and undue influence. Neither our nature nor our nurture is in itself coercive or undue. Everyone is affected by their nature and their nurture, so that cannot in itself be considered an undue influence.

What you have for breakfast is determined by what you do or do not like, information acquired by the brain through experience with various foods, and what is currently on the menu. Your brain processes that information and initiates the only possible response in this instance in time ( alternatives being impossible within a determined system, events being fixed as a matter of natural law and antecedent events), information processing that has nothing to do with free will or freely willed decisions.

Information processing is not free will.

Free will is when a person decides for themselves what they will do, when free of coercion and undue influence. It is nothing more and nothing less than that.

Events that constitute information processing would include the specific process of choosing what we will do. So, free will is an instance of information processing, but not all information processing is free will.


''If one had the murderous impulses of an Eichmann or a Himmler, is one’s situation necessarily improved by being able to flexibly respond to the logistical problems of machine-gunning large numbers of people? Is the murderous intelligence involved in industrialising genocide ever a gain? Similarly, if we knew that we were going to have passions that we have not chosen, is it obvious that we would ask for the ability to pursue these passions flexibly and imaginatively? Perhaps if we knew that we were to have unknown passions and be held responsible for our actions, we would choose to be incompetent. Perhaps the priority would be first to do no harm: one could not risk being good at being bad.

It is not obvious then that we would choose to be caused by our own desires rather than coerced by others; and nor is it obvious that we would choose to be able to successfully pursue our desires if we did not know what those desires were to be.''


I'll stop there for the sake of brevity, and to avoid further repetition.

Well, that was a fascinating article by Dr. Craig Ross. He did tip his hat to several compatibilists, Hobbes, Hume, and Dennett, which was a nice touch. Then he presented his specific argument.

Ironically, his argument suggests that under certain circumstances a person might choose (presumably of his own free will) to be coerced. His thought experiment suggests that we begin by imagining we are free floating entities being told by God that he plans to instill a set of desires into us and send us to earth as humans. Would we prefer to be at the mercy of these desires that might corrupt us, or would we rather be coerced into doing what is right and good (his scenario assumes we begin as entities with a strong desire to do what is right).

We don't really need a supernatural scenario to consider that. Some people, knowing that they are a danger to others, will choose to commit themselves for psychiatric treatment. Someone else, not caring that they will harm others, would choose not to commit themselves. In both cases, the choice is not coerced, but in the second case, the choice may be unduly influenced by the same mental illness that causes them to be a threat to others.

He then addresses Dennett's problem with "inevitability". Dennett apparently suggested that over time mankind has gained some control over events that were previously considered inevitable, such as the recent experiment at modifying the path of an asteroid to avoid it inevitably hitting the earth, thus making the inevitable, "evitable". Ross suggests that even the desire to make the inevitable evitable was causally necessary, being caused by our own desire to avoid the disastrous effects of the collision. So, it was still a matter of causal necessity.

I agree with with Ross on the Dennett matter. His insight is similar to the one I had in the public library after reading about the determinism versus free will issue in something by Spinoza. I'll detail it here for anyone who hasn't seen it:

The idea that my choices were inevitable bothered me, so I considered how I might escape what seemed like an external control. It struck me that all I needed to do was to wait till I had a decision to make, between A and B, and if I felt myself leaning heavily toward A, I would simply choose B instead. So easy! But then it occurred to me that my desire to thwart inevitability had caused B to become the inevitable choice, so I would have to switch back to A again, but then … it was an infinite loop!

No matter which I chose, inevitability would continue to switch to match my choice! Hmm. So, who was controlling the choice, me or inevitability?

Well, the concern that was driving my thought process was my own. Inevitability was not some entity driving this process for its own reasons. And I imagined that if inevitability were such an entity, it would be sitting there in the library laughing at me, because it made me go through these gyrations without doing anything at all, except for me thinking about it.

My choice may be a deterministic event, but it was an event where I was actually the one doing the choosing. And that is what free will is really about: is it me or is someone or something else making the decision. It was always really me.

And since the solution was so simple, I no longer gave it any thought. Then much later, just a few years ago, I ran into some on-line discussions about it, and I wondered why it was still a problem for everyone else, since I had seen through the paradox more than fifty years ago.
 

fromderinside

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It's beyond the observer's Ken to understand reality?

This is trivially false. If it were true I would not have a job. My job is, as an observer, to understand reality well enough not only to make good decisions that react to that reality in a way that brings me closer to my goals... And then to describe exactly the reasons I made those decisions for the purposes of collaboration and advancing public understanding.
Let me be clear.

 Reality

I mean: Reality: the sum or aggregate of all that is material or existent within a system - the system all things physical in existence - as opposed to that which is only imaginary or not beyond our material grasp. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence.[1] In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown.[2]

I do not mean: Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition.

 Knowing

I mean: a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts (descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects (acquaintance knowledge) contributing to ones understanding.[1] By most accounts, knowledge can be acquired in many different ways and from many sources, including but not limited to perception, reason, memory, testimony, scientific inquiry, education, and practice.

Our understanding of reality is very incomplete mainly because we don't have access to enough knowledge about what is physical reality, primarily because we aren't capable of ever having that understanding due to material limitations in perception, reason, memory, testimony, scientific material for inquiry, education, nor practice.

Why ? I'm a determinist and trained scientist. I'm not an engineer as you appear to be Jarhyn.

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
 
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Marvin Edwards

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Necessitated actions - being determined - are by definition are neither chosen, negotiable or alterable, events that proceed or unfold deterministically according to antecedent events and the laws of nature. Necessitated actions are not freely willed actions.

If it is causally determined that I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If it is causally determined that a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

As always, causal necessity itself, makes no difference. It is a background constant, always present on both sides of every equation, and can be subtracted from both sides without affecting the result. For example, here are the same two statements, minus the unnecessary qualifier:

If I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

That is information processing. The state of the brain is the state of you. The brain acts according to architecture, memory and inputs. Inputs determine how the brain responds in terms of drives, desires, thoughts and actions. Which is not freely willed, or even willed at all.

Will is present, but not free will. The loss of memory function alone brings it undone.

Again, free will is a freely chosen will. The freedom is in the choosing. The issue is who or what is actually doing the choosing.

You seem to keep imagining that free will has to do with some kind of free floating will that is outside of the string of causation. Is that what you think free will is? Do you have any evidence to support that notion?

If not, then it would seem insincere to insist that free will be something that you believe cannot exist. That would be the ultimate straw man argument.

Einstein fell into the same trap. He said:
"In a sense, we can hold no one responsible. I am a determinist. As such, I do not believe in free will. ... Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being."

Page 114 of "The Saturday Evening Post" article "What Life Means to Einstein" "An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck" (Oct 26, 1929)

Note that his position is incoherent, because he asserts that he does not believe in free will or responsibility, and yet he must act as if he does.
 

Marvin Edwards

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"The best way to escape causal necessity is to fully embrace it. Once you see it everywhere, it disappears." MBE

The notion of universal causal necessity is logically derived from the presumption that we live in a world of reliable cause and effect. There is nothing exotic about reliable causation. We all take it for granted in everything we see and everything we do. Perhaps the exception to this rule are magic tricks, where the magician makes cards or coins show up as if out of nowhere, and then disappear again into nowhere. But we know that's "magic", we don't know how the trick is done, but we know it is a trick, and the cause of the trick is the magician.

Even if we do not know the cause, we always assume there is one. We care about causes because knowing the cause of an event often gives us some control over it. For example, knowing that a virus causes a disease, and knowing that our immune system can be primed to fight that disease with the proper vaccine, we now have control over many illnesses, and have freed ourselves from the sickness it caused. We have nearly eliminated Polio and Measles from the world through routine childhood vaccinations.

In our early history we invented gods to be the causes of events when the real causes were still unknown. And we prayed and made offerings to them to try to control the good or bad things that happened to us. So, the notion of reliable cause and effect, and the control it gives us over events, is pretty much ingrained into our nature.

If we know the causes, then can reliably predict the event. If we can reliably predict the event, then we may control its occurrence. If we can control its occurrence, then we are free to make it happen if it is a good event (planting seeds to grow crops), and free to prevent it from happening if it is a bad event (preventing disease through vaccination).

Reliable causation is our friend. We depend upon reliable causation for our freedom and for our control. Every ability we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. Without it, we could do nothing.

However, in addition to allowing us to cause effects, it also means that we ourselves are the effects of prior causes. Each of us has a history of how we got here and how we have grown and developed over the years.

History embodies the notion of causal necessity. Everyone has taken history courses in school. History traces the past events that have led naturally over time to current events. For example, the industrial revolution, led to the movement of populations from rural areas into cities as workers are required by factories. As we have invented new machines, new power sources, and new production techniques, we cause changes in our environment and those changes in turn affect us.

There's nothing surprising in the notion of causal necessity. It simply points out that every event has a history of prior events that caused it to happen precisely when, where, and how it did.

Yet many philosophers and even some scientists today view causal necessity as a threat to our freedom. They suggest to us that we cannot be "truly" free unless we are also "free from our own prior causes". But they never explain how such a thing is possible. Instead, they further suggest that our prior causes are the responsible causes of our actions, and that our current selves are not responsible for anything we do. One would think that such ideas would be dismissed out of hand as absurdities. But a false suggestion, presented in a believable fashion, often seduces the mind of even the most intelligent listener.

There was a philosopher named Zeno who created paradoxes for fun. One paradox involved the problem of getting from one place to another, for example, from one's chair to the doorway. You cannot get to the doorway without first getting halfway from the chair to the door. But you cannot get to the halfway point without first getting halfway to the halfway point. And you cannot get halfway to the halfway point without first getting halfway to the halfway of the halfway point. And so on. So, logically, due to the infinite number of steps required, it must be impossible to get from your chair to the door.

What is the false, but believable suggestion that created this paradox? The suggestion that you would travel to the halfway point rather than simply traveling to the door itself.

Returning to causal necessity, the false suggestion is that you must first be free of prior causes before you yourself can be the "true" cause of something else. But this requirement, that you cannot have any prior causes, creates an absurdity. Why? Because none of your prior causes can pass that test. Thus there would be no "true" causes, anywhere. So, reasonable minds would discard such a test because it creates a paradox that results in an absurdity. Just like Zeno's paradox that creates the absurdity that you cannot travel from your chair to the door.

The fact that we have prior causes leading up to who and what we are right now, does not prevent us from being the most meaningful and relevant cause of our choices and our actions.

But what about causal necessity itself? Isn't it the "true" cause of our choices and actions? No, not at all. Causal necessity is a concept used to describe the fact that each event is reliably caused. It is never a cause itself. Causal necessity is not some entity that goes about in the world controlling what people think and do. Rather, causal necessity is about what the people themselves are thinking and doing on their own, and how their behavior causally necessitates what will happen next.

Is causal necessity a meaningful or relevant constraint? Is it indeed something that we must be "free of" in order to be "truly" free? No, of course not. What we will inevitably do is exactly identical to us just being us, choosing what we choose, and doing what we do. So, no, causal necessity is not a meaningful constraint. It is not something that we need to be free of. In fact, reliable causation is the source of every freedom we have to do anything at all. So, it is nothing to be feared. It's just us, doing our thing.
 
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Jarhyn

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It's beyond the observer's Ken to understand reality?

This is trivially false. If it were true I would not have a job. My job is, as an observer, to understand reality well enough not only to make good decisions that react to that reality in a way that brings me closer to my goals... And then to describe exactly the reasons I made those decisions for the purposes of collaboration and advancing public understanding.
Let me be clear.

 Reality

I mean: Reality: the sum or aggregate of all that is material or existent within a system - the system all things physical in existence - as opposed to that which is only imaginary or not beyond our material grasp. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence.[1] In physical terms, reality is the totality of a system, known and unknown.[2]

I do not mean: Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition.

 Knowing

I mean: a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts (descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects (acquaintance knowledge) contributing to ones understanding.[1] By most accounts, knowledge can be acquired in many different ways and from many sources, including but not limited to perception, reason, memory, testimony, scientific inquiry, education, and practice.

Our understanding of reality is very incomplete mainly because we don't have access to enough knowledge about what is physical reality, primarily because we aren't capable of ever having that understanding due to material limitations in perception, reason, memory, testimony, scientific material for inquiry, education, nor practice.

Why ? I'm a determinist and trained scientist. I'm not an engineer as you appear to be Jarhyn.

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Nice way of moving goalposts Mr scientist.

Now, the thing is, I am also a trained scientist as well as engineer, and a hobby mathematician.

Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
 

Marvin Edwards

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Free will is an illusion based on an incomplete understanding of the underlying deterministic processes. Compatibilism ignores this and attempts to define free will into existence through semantics.
I only got this far in the thread before I realized it had been locked, because I tried to respond and couldn't. The staff unlocked it. Thanks guys.

Full disclosure: I'm not well versed in philosophy.

I never understood "compatibilism". But reading this, it sounds like me. I see "free will" as an illusion, created by our inability to recognize our own motivations. We humans aren't really all that smart or perceptive. Illusions are an extremely important part of the human experience. That's just how we are.

From horizons to literature to randomness to ideologies to mathematics, the human experience is dominated by abstractions. Things that have no objective existence. But we don't define them into existence.

I see free will the same way. It is abstract, but very real.

What I find aggravatingly dishonest is theists insisting that free will has objective existence. Because otherwise their omnimax benevolent God becomes utterly incoherent and internally inconsistent. That's the whole point to much of Genesis. Claiming that God is Almighty. The reason He appears to be a bumbling sky king, with superpowers, is because we humans have free will and are therefore responsible for all the suffering.

Eve tied God's Hands.

Tom
When I first ran into the determinism "versus" free will paradox, I don't think the word "compatibilism" was in use. I was a teenager in the public library who had just read something by Spinoza that suggested free will did not exist due to every event being reliably caused by prior events. This bothered me, so I tried to come up with someway to escape inevitability. I decided this would be easy to do. The next time I had a choice between any two things, say A and B, and I found myself leaning heavily toward A, I would simply choose B instead. So easy. But then it occurred to me that my desire to thwart inevitability had just made B the inevitable choice. So, to escape inevitability, I had to choose A.

Hmm. It was an infinite loop. No matter what I chose, there would always be a reason that caused my choice to be inevitable! That's when it dawned on me. The only reason for my choice changes was to escape inevitability. But the only person in the room was me. I had imagined inevitability as something that I had to escape. But inevitability wasn't there. Only I was. And it occurred to me that, if inevitability actually were such an entity, it would be sitting in the corner laughing at me, for having caused me such distress just by thinking about it.

Once I realized that what I would inevitably do was exactly identical to me just being me, doing whatever I chose to do, inevitability ceased to be a problem. It was not a real constraint. It was precisely what I would have done anyway.

So, from my perspective, causal necessity is not a threat to free will. Free will is nothing more or less than what we choose to do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. Free will was never free from reliable causation. And it needn't be, because reliable cause and effect is not a meaningful or relevant constraint.

The initial illusion, is that reliable cause and effect (causal necessity) is some kind of causal agent exercising control over us (hard determinism). That illusion creates the second illusion, that we must be free of reliable cause and effect in order to have free will (libertarian free will). Both are illusions.

As you point out, it is a matter of abstractions. Causal necessity is an abstraction that consolidates all of the simple cause and effect events into one notion.

But reliable cause and effect is instantiated daily, as we reliably cause events, like fixing breakfast, driving to work, etc. And free will is instantiated daily as people decide for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

As to God's problem, if an entity is omniscient and omnipotent, then it is also omni-responsible. Free will provides no "get out of jail free" card for God.
Riiight. Fortunately another observation works better. There is no God!
And if there were, any entity whose behavior is governed by their own goals and reasons would exhibit behavior that is reliably caused, i.e., deterministic behavior. And since free will is deterministic, he would qualify as having free will as well. His choices would be both reliably caused and reliably caused by himself. You know, exactly the same as our own free will. (Which makes sense, because we created him in our own image).
 

fromderinside

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We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

 

Jarhyn

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We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
 

fromderinside

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We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
 

DBT

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˙uoıʇdǝɔǝp ɟlǝs ɟo ɯɹoɟ ɐ sı ɥʇıɐℲ
The external world is the 'god' that acts upon the brain. The external world is the source of information that a brain responds to. Responding, not according to its will, but its unchosen neural architecture and information processing activity.
 

DBT

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ɹǝpunuʍop puɐן
Basic Beliefs
˙uoıʇdǝɔǝp ɟlǝs ɟo ɯɹoɟ ɐ sı ɥʇıɐℲ
Necessitated actions - being determined - are by definition are neither chosen, negotiable or alterable, events that proceed or unfold deterministically according to antecedent events and the laws of nature. Necessitated actions are not freely willed actions.

If it is causally determined that I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If it is causally determined that a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

As always, causal necessity itself, makes no difference. It is a background constant, always present on both sides of every equation, and can be subtracted from both sides without affecting the result. For example, here are the same two statements, minus the unnecessary qualifier:

If I must make a choice for myself, then I have no choice but to choose for myself what I will do. That is free will.
If a guy with a gun forces me to do what he chooses. Then my will is subject to his, and is not free.

That is information processing. The state of the brain is the state of you. The brain acts according to architecture, memory and inputs. Inputs determine how the brain responds in terms of drives, desires, thoughts and actions. Which is not freely willed, or even willed at all.

Will is present, but not free will. The loss of memory function alone brings it undone.

Again, free will is a freely chosen will. The freedom is in the choosing. The issue is who or what is actually doing the choosing.

Neural network response to stimuli is the decision maker. The action being 'chosen' being an inevitable action based on the state of the system in that moment in time. Not really a decision in the true sense because determinism doesn't allow an alternative choice.

The action that taken is the only possible action. Nothing else is possible. Outcomes are determined by how events interact and unfold.

Nobody can take a different option.

Which is, as pointed out, why freedom is incompatible with determinism.


  1. You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.
  2. In order to be ultimately responsible for what you do, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are—at least in certain crucial mental aspects.
  3. But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.
  4. So you can’t be ultimately responsible for what you do. - Galen Strawson.



You seem to keep imagining that free will has to do with some kind of free floating will that is outside of the string of causation. Is that what you think free will is? Do you have any evidence to support that notion?

If not, then it would seem insincere to insist that free will be something that you believe cannot exist. That would be the ultimate straw man argument.

Einstein fell into the same trap. He said:
"In a sense, we can hold no one responsible. I am a determinist. As such, I do not believe in free will. ... Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being."

Page 114 of "The Saturday Evening Post" article "What Life Means to Einstein" "An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck" (Oct 26, 1929)

Note that his position is incoherent, because he asserts that he does not believe in free will or responsibility, and yet he must act as if he does.

Acting is unavoidable. We have to act. How we act is determined by the information we have. The information we have is acquired by the brain (acting upon the brain) and presented in conscious form and action.

We thus know what effects the behaviour of others, the threat of punishment deters many (but not all), from behaving badly, therefore we have rules and regulations with penalties attached. Information acts upon the brain and modifies behaviour, enables skills and insights that would not be otherwise possible. Free will, which is just an idea, plays no part.

''Behavior modification is the process of changing patterns of human behavior over the long term using various motivational techniques, mainly consequences (negative reinforcement) and rewards (positive reinforcement). The ultimate goal is to swap objectionable, problematic, or disagreeable behaviors with more positive, desirable behaviors.''


Interaction;
''To successfully interact with objects in the environment, sensory evidence must be continuously acquired, interpreted, and used to guide appropriate motor responses. For example, when driving, a red light should motivate a motor command to depress the brake pedal. Single-unit recording studies have established that simple sensorimotor transformations are mediated by the same neurons that ultimately guide the behavioral response. However, it is also possible that these sensorimotor regions are the recipients of a modality-independent decision signal that is computed elsewhere.''

Consciousness, determined by inputs and neural architecture, has no special privileges within a determined system. Free will plays no part in information processing, response, behaviour modification, intelligence or learning.

An intelligent system is not necessarily a 'free will' system. The brain is an intelligent parallel processor.
 

The AntiChris

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2002
Messages
574
Location
UK
Basic Beliefs
Positive Atheist
  1. You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.
  2. In order to be ultimately responsible for what you do, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are—at least in certain crucial mental aspects.
  3. But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.
  4. So you can’t be ultimately responsible for what you do. - Galen Strawson.

Strawson is talking about something he calls "ultimate" responsibility. Nobody on this thread has been arguing for ultimate responsibility - it's a nonsensical concept.

Strawson acknowledges that although ultimate responsibility cannot exist he has no problem with normal, everyday moral responsibility:

Strawson (in an interview in March 2003) said:
I just want to stress the word “ultimate” before “moral responsibility.” Because there’s a clear, weaker, everyday sense of “morally responsible” in which you and I and millions of other people are thoroughly morally responsible people.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
9,139
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
 

Marvin Edwards

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
816
Location
Virginia
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
Neural network response to stimuli is the decision maker. The action being 'chosen' being an inevitable action based on the state of the system in that moment in time.

"A decision in the true sense" is "an inevitable action based on the state of the system in that moment in time".

Not really a decision in the true sense because determinism doesn't allow an alternative choice.

Nope. A decision is a decision! The fact that it was inevitable changes nothing. Where it happened, specifically within my own neural network, means that it was I and no other object in the universe, that actually made that choice.

The fact that you squeeze the process into "a response to stimuli" doesn't change anything other than to remove the key distinction between the two different sets of stimuli: one set that includes the guy with a gun (coercion) and the other set without him (free will).

You can't go around destroying meaningful distinctions without losing significant information. That distorts the truth. So, stop doing that. And tell the people you are quoting to stop doing that.

The action that taken is the only possible action.

Wrong.
Literal Fact: The action that is taken is the only action that will be taken.
Figurative deception: It is AS IF it were the only action that can be taken. Which is literally false.

Nothing else is possible.

Wrong again.
Literal Fact: If things were different then other things could have happened instead.
Figurative deception: It was AS IF there were no other possibilities. Which is literally false.

Outcomes are determined by how events interact and unfold.

Of course. And if things were different, then they would have interacted and unfolded differently. When anyone says "I could have done something else", it always carries the implication that (1) "I did not do something else" and that (2) "things would have had to be different in order for me to have done something else".

Nobody can take a different option.

Wrong.
Literal fact: If things were different, then I would have chosen differently. That is what "I could have done otherwise" literally implies. It always carries two logical implications: (1) things would have had to be different and (2) they weren't, so, as a matter of fact, I did not do otherwise.
Figurative deception: Things were not different, so it is AS IF I could not have chosen differently under different circumstances.

Which is, as pointed out, why freedom is incompatible with determinism.

There is no freedom without reliable cause and effect. Therefore, freedom, the ability to do what we want, requires a world of reliable causation, where our chosen actions have a reliable effect. Without it, any intention we might have would be ineffectual.

The only question you have is whether determinism is allowed to contradict freedom or is allowed to enable it.

I say that the only way that determinism can be true is if it affirms our ability to do things.

If we are not doing what we do, then who or what is doing it?
If we are not choosing what we do, then who or what is doing the choosing?

If everything has a cause (determinism), then ante up the cause, or remain silent.

  1. You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.
  2. In order to be ultimately responsible for what you do, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are—at least in certain crucial mental aspects.
  3. But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.
  4. So you can’t be ultimately responsible for what you do. - Galen Strawson.

Let's straighten out Mr. Strawson with a little pragmatism. We "hold responsible" the meaningful and relevant causes of an event. If it is a harmful event, then we need to correct the causes if we want to avoid future harm. If the cause of the harm is coercion, then we hold the guy with the gun responsible and subject him to correction. If a mental illness is responsible for the behavior, then we treat the illness in a secure psychiatric facility. If the cause of the harm is a person's deliberate choice to profit at the expense of others, then we attempt to correct the offender's way of thinking about these things in the future, through rehabilitation if possible, or through permanent incarceration if necessary to prevent significant harm.

The "cash-value" of the notion of responsibility is that it identifies the nature of the cause and once the cause is known we have a better idea what needs to be done. That's ultimately what responsibility is all about.

Strawson's notion that we must concern ourselves with "ultimate responsibility" rather than "practical responsibility" is a dead end, because there is nothing we can do about the Big Bang or Causal Necessity or Determinism. Thus, any "cause" that cannot be corrected or altered in any way obviously cannot be held responsible. Such causes are irrelevant, and a waste of time to bring to the table. So, Mr. Strawson, please go sit at the children's table.

You seem to keep imagining that free will has to do with some kind of free floating will that is outside of the string of causation. Is that what you think free will is? Do you have any evidence to support that notion?

If not, then it would seem insincere to insist that free will be something that you believe cannot exist. That would be the ultimate straw man argument. ...
Acting is unavoidable. We have to act. How we act is determined by the information we have. The information we have is acquired by the brain (acting upon the brain) and presented in conscious form and action.

Close, but please continue.
We thus know what effects the behaviour of others, the threat of punishment deters many (but not all), from behaving badly, therefore we have rules and regulations with penalties attached.

Yes, of course.

Information acts upon the brain and modifies behaviour, enables skills and insights that would not be otherwise possible.

Almost, but not quite. The brain/person acquires new information, decides whether it affects the person or not, and if it seems relevant to the person's welfare, accepts the information into its working model of reality. The information itself is not performing these functions upon the brain, rather, the brain is performing these functions upon the information. The brain transforms the information into "skills and insights" that open it to imagining new possibilities, new options, new alternatives. You know, all the stuff involved in choosing.

And the reason rehabilitation provides information, through counseling, education, skills training, etc., is to help the offender to make better choices in the future.

Free will, which is just an idea, plays no part.

No. Free will is the whole point of providing the information, so that the criminal offender will make better choices, on his own, and no longer commit harmful criminal acts upon others.

Free will is when the offender chooses for himself what he will do. And it is precisely those choices that rehabilitation is attempting to modify. There's nothing rehab can do about the cases where the someone is holding a gun to the offender's head forcing him to do something. Rehabilitation can only affect the offender's own choices.

One cannot tell the offender that, due to determinism, he had no control over his past behavior, because determinism will still be the case after he is released, and this means that he will also have no control over his future behavior! See the problem?

''Behavior modification is the process of changing patterns of human behavior over the long term using various motivational techniques, mainly consequences (negative reinforcement) and rewards (positive reinforcement). The ultimate goal is to swap objectionable, problematic, or disagreeable behaviors with more positive, desirable behaviors.''

Great advice for dog training. But we don't usually use such blatant manipulation of humans, not even in prison settings. The goal of rehabilitation is to change how a person actually thinks about their behavior, so that they make better choices, on their own, without someone with a doggie treat around to provide reinforcement.

Interaction;
''To successfully interact with objects in the environment, sensory evidence must be continuously acquired, interpreted, and used to guide appropriate motor responses. For example, when driving, a red light should motivate a motor command to depress the brake pedal. Single-unit recording studies have established that simple sensorimotor transformations are mediated by the same neurons that ultimately guide the behavioral response. However, it is also possible that these sensorimotor regions are the recipients of a modality-independent decision signal that is computed elsewhere.''

You keep posting these references to irrelevant information. We're talking about someone deciding whether to rob a convenience store. We're not talking about habits acquired through repetition of sensorimotor functions. Please be more selective in your sources. Thanks!

Consciousness, determined by inputs and neural architecture, has no special privileges within a determined system. Free will plays no part in information processing, response, behaviour modification, intelligence or learning.

Free will, being a choice we make for ourselves to do something, would include our choice to pick up a book, or attend a college, specifically to acquire the information we wish to process.

An intelligent system is not necessarily a 'free will' system. The brain is an intelligent parallel processor.

Intelligence is about providing our species with behavioral adaptability. Unlike species that can only act upon instincts, we get to choose what we will do. We imagine new possibilities, like flying in the sky as birds do, and we imagine creating a machine that enables flight, and we imagine different ways to do this (propeller, jet, helicopter), and we choose which possibility we will actualize, and different people choose other possibilities. And that is how the single actual future comes about, by us deciding for ourselves what we will do.

Within the domain of human influence, the single inevitable future will be chosen by us from among the many possible futures that we can imagine.
 

Marvin Edwards

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Messages
816
Location
Virginia
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
The external world is the 'god' that acts upon the brain. The external world is the source of information that a brain responds to. Responding, not according to its will, but its unchosen neural architecture and information processing activity.
No, the external world is just a planet we live on. It doesn't care whether our species survives or not. The interests that motivate us are the biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce, that exist within us. The control that causally determines what we will deliberately do is a choosing operation performed by our own brains. Our fate is in our own hands and our future is one of our own choosing.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,531
Location
Local group: Solar system: Earth: NA: US: contiguo
Basic Beliefs
optimist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
You're right you can create whatever you please within known circumstances or not. You aren't Appling acknowledged material knowledge though. You are creating in your mind then replicating on screens.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about integrating all knowable material information within a mathematical statement. We will never get there. We can't because we don't and won't have access to enough information about the world in which we live to develop such a construct. All statements will have errors so large as to ultimately be unusable.

You can invent much. You might actually hit upon the correct solution but you won't be able to verify it because you will always be missing critical information. It's that verify thing that will get you if nothing else.

I'm convinced we will never get to the point of imagining the possibility of what is really the world. Just too much information beyond our grasp.

Genetics tells us there were as few as several thousand humans about 40 thousand years ago. We are now approaching eight billion persons. Even if we collineate available systems, those within our practical reach, there will never be enough to assure we explore the entirety of the universe. Not enough time of universe existence for that.

Do your damnest, you won't be able to imagine even what will be humanity in 10K years.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
9,139
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
You're right you can create whatever you please within known circumstances or not. You aren't Appling acknowledged material knowledge though. You are creating in your mind then replicating on screens.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about integrating all knowable material information within a mathematical statement. We will never get there.
And there's the faith without verification. I have disproved that this is a reasonable assertion to make of "universes" and have not in 40 years from you or anyone else, especially the hard determinists, an argument that adequately demands this.

I acknowledge that the "seed" may not be calculable, but if the basis is known, and the seed is guessed, it will work all the same to be algorithm+architecture+seed to do what you describe.

We are most of the way to the real questions already, for which answers may be solved. If the basis of sequence is unsolvable, then the extent of possible understanding is algorithm+architecture, which let's you extrapolate any chemistry you please arbitrarily. We are talking a different kind of "knowability" perhaps even.

Verification happens through disproof.

We can't because we don't and won't have access to enough information about the world in which we live to develop such a construct. All statements will have errors so large as to ultimately be unusable.
There's that blind faith again.

You don't know what we will and won't be able to figure out and test.
You can invent much. You might actually hit upon the correct solution but you won't be able to verify it because you will always be missing critical information. It's that verify thing that will get you if nothing else.
So Mr scientist, how does verification work in the scientific method?

That's rhetorical. The answer is "disproof".

You put your weight on the understanding and see if it holds firm under you, and then you kick it as hard as you can repeatedly every way you can think of until nothing you can do displaces it and then you walk past it, but with a bit of distrust, still, and maybe an occasional thought at how to keep prodding it.

Either way, that won't tell us a lick or tittle about the metaphysics. I mean, you need to know a damn lot of metaphysics to derive physics that way, but it does not add stuff like "what is the series of moves that will beat a grandmaster at the next game you play with him".

This is not just reality but metaphysics, everything about all levels of every abstraction that may ever be expressed, and the nature of many things that may be expressed in different frameworks.

Rightly, this set U is something that is not coherent, is proven incoherent in set theory.
I'm convinced we will never get to the point of imagining the possibility of what is really the world. Just too much information beyond our grasp.

Genetics tells us there were as few as several thousand humans about 40 thousand years ago. We are now approaching eight billion persons. Even if we collineate available systems, those within our practical reach, there will never be enough to assure we explore the entirety of the universe. Not enough time of universe existence for that.
My point here is that this is exactly what I'm talking about.

You do not need to explore the universe to know based on it's statistical realities, that some thing can or cannot be expressed at the physical level of reality, or more appropriately, to describe the behavior of the thing so constructed.

It's just generally more useful to describe higher abstractions than the physical.

At any rate we probably won't make it off this rock; I expect that the scorpion will sting us before we get across.

The best we may explore it is glorying in what it may do, in naming it, and knowing the words of creation before what it does do is open the door to a bad-faith actor ending us all.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,531
Location
Local group: Solar system: Earth: NA: US: contiguo
Basic Beliefs
optimist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
You're right you can create whatever you please within known circumstances or not. You aren't Appling acknowledged material knowledge though. You are creating in your mind then replicating on screens.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about integrating all knowable material information within a mathematical statement. We will never get there.
And there's the faith without verification. I have disproved that this is a reasonable assertion to make of "universes" and have not in 40 years from you or anyone else, especially the hard determinists, an argument that adequately demands this.

I acknowledge that the "seed" may not be calculable, but if the basis is known, and the seed is guessed, it will work all the same to be algorithm+architecture+seed to do what you describe.

We are most of the way to the real questions already, for which answers may be solved. If the basis of sequence is unsolvable, then the extent of possible understanding is algorithm+architecture, which let's you extrapolate any chemistry you please arbitrarily. We are talking a different kind of "knowability" perhaps even.

Verification happens through disproof.

We can't because we don't and won't have access to enough information about the world in which we live to develop such a construct. All statements will have errors so large as to ultimately be unusable.
There's that blind faith again.

You don't know what we will and won't be able to figure out and test.
You can invent much. You might actually hit upon the correct solution but you won't be able to verify it because you will always be missing critical information. It's that verify thing that will get you if nothing else.
So Mr scientist, how does verification work in the scientific method?

That's rhetorical. The answer is "disproof".

You put your weight on the understanding and see if it holds firm under you, and then you kick it as hard as you can repeatedly every way you can think of until nothing you can do displaces it and then you walk past it, but with a bit of distrust, still, and maybe an occasional thought at how to keep prodding it.

Either way, that won't tell us a lick or tittle about the metaphysics. I mean, you need to know a damn lot of metaphysics to derive physics that way, but it does not add stuff like "what is the series of moves that will beat a grandmaster at the next game you play with him".

This is not just reality but metaphysics, everything about all levels of every abstraction that may ever be expressed, and the nature of many things that may be expressed in different frameworks.

Rightly, this set U is something that is not coherent, is proven incoherent in set theory.
I'm convinced we will never get to the point of imagining the possibility of what is really the world. Just too much information beyond our grasp.

Genetics tells us there were as few as several thousand humans about 40 thousand years ago. We are now approaching eight billion persons. Even if we collineate available systems, those within our practical reach, there will never be enough to assure we explore the entirety of the universe. Not enough time of universe existence for that.
My point here is that this is exactly what I'm talking about.

You do not need to explore the universe to know based on it's statistical realities, that some thing can or cannot be expressed at the physical level of reality, or more appropriately, to describe the behavior of the thing so constructed.

It's just generally more useful to describe higher abstractions than the physical.

At any rate we probably won't make it off this rock; I expect that the scorpion will sting us before we get across.

The best we may explore it is glorying in what it may do, in naming it, and knowing the words of creation before what it does do is open the door to a bad-faith actor ending us all.
We both know what the other is saying. I prefer verify to disproof or falsify because every new query provides another test of whether the theory stands. If verification fails then one needs to design additional corollaries or theorems for theory then test again.

We don't usually try to disprove something. We generally try to verify, improve, or modify something already developed and tested. When one theory among a system of theories fails the other elements become subject to test. It is a consistent systematic development of material support, test, for the theory on which theory stands.

I'm sorry. Metaphysical is always subjective based and that is exactly why Rationalism didn't work out. Forget abstraction ladders and such. Not useful. Just apply material methods, operationally defined processes and good experimental practices. You shouldn't go wrong.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
9,139
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
You're right you can create whatever you please within known circumstances or not. You aren't Appling acknowledged material knowledge though. You are creating in your mind then replicating on screens.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about integrating all knowable material information within a mathematical statement. We will never get there.
And there's the faith without verification. I have disproved that this is a reasonable assertion to make of "universes" and have not in 40 years from you or anyone else, especially the hard determinists, an argument that adequately demands this.

I acknowledge that the "seed" may not be calculable, but if the basis is known, and the seed is guessed, it will work all the same to be algorithm+architecture+seed to do what you describe.

We are most of the way to the real questions already, for which answers may be solved. If the basis of sequence is unsolvable, then the extent of possible understanding is algorithm+architecture, which let's you extrapolate any chemistry you please arbitrarily. We are talking a different kind of "knowability" perhaps even.

Verification happens through disproof.

We can't because we don't and won't have access to enough information about the world in which we live to develop such a construct. All statements will have errors so large as to ultimately be unusable.
There's that blind faith again.

You don't know what we will and won't be able to figure out and test.
You can invent much. You might actually hit upon the correct solution but you won't be able to verify it because you will always be missing critical information. It's that verify thing that will get you if nothing else.
So Mr scientist, how does verification work in the scientific method?

That's rhetorical. The answer is "disproof".

You put your weight on the understanding and see if it holds firm under you, and then you kick it as hard as you can repeatedly every way you can think of until nothing you can do displaces it and then you walk past it, but with a bit of distrust, still, and maybe an occasional thought at how to keep prodding it.

Either way, that won't tell us a lick or tittle about the metaphysics. I mean, you need to know a damn lot of metaphysics to derive physics that way, but it does not add stuff like "what is the series of moves that will beat a grandmaster at the next game you play with him".

This is not just reality but metaphysics, everything about all levels of every abstraction that may ever be expressed, and the nature of many things that may be expressed in different frameworks.

Rightly, this set U is something that is not coherent, is proven incoherent in set theory.
I'm convinced we will never get to the point of imagining the possibility of what is really the world. Just too much information beyond our grasp.

Genetics tells us there were as few as several thousand humans about 40 thousand years ago. We are now approaching eight billion persons. Even if we collineate available systems, those within our practical reach, there will never be enough to assure we explore the entirety of the universe. Not enough time of universe existence for that.
My point here is that this is exactly what I'm talking about.

You do not need to explore the universe to know based on it's statistical realities, that some thing can or cannot be expressed at the physical level of reality, or more appropriately, to describe the behavior of the thing so constructed.

It's just generally more useful to describe higher abstractions than the physical.

At any rate we probably won't make it off this rock; I expect that the scorpion will sting us before we get across.

The best we may explore it is glorying in what it may do, in naming it, and knowing the words of creation before what it does do is open the door to a bad-faith actor ending us all.
We both know what the other is saying. I prefer verify to disproof or falsify because every new query provides another test of whether the theory stands. If verification fails then one needs to design additional corollaries or theorems for theory then test again.

We don't usually try to disprove something. We generally try to verify, improve, or modify something already developed and tested. When one theory among a system of theories fails the other elements become subject to test. It is a consistent systematic development of material support, test, for the theory on which theory stands.

No. Still disproof. It's kind of like coincidence is always coincidence no matter the magnitude of causal adjacency.

Every test of a theory and manipulation of the sharpest edge of understanding is a test, another kick to the foundation, because the results making sense depend heavily on the underlying material. And every test, too, is a kick at the hypothesis at the very edge, knocking off a falsehood or failing too, and then adjusting again.

It does not matter what you prefer. Only math proves out, and implementations of a system of axioms cannot prove the axioms. There is no certainty, even in truth itself. One must always accept that one can be surprised, and wrong.

Anything else is building foolish faith.

Trust but verify.

Verify through rigorous attempts at disproof.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,531
Location
Local group: Solar system: Earth: NA: US: contiguo
Basic Beliefs
optimist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
You're right you can create whatever you please within known circumstances or not. You aren't Appling acknowledged material knowledge though. You are creating in your mind then replicating on screens.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about integrating all knowable material information within a mathematical statement. We will never get there.
And there's the faith without verification. I have disproved that this is a reasonable assertion to make of "universes" and have not in 40 years from you or anyone else, especially the hard determinists, an argument that adequately demands this.

I acknowledge that the "seed" may not be calculable, but if the basis is known, and the seed is guessed, it will work all the same to be algorithm+architecture+seed to do what you describe.

We are most of the way to the real questions already, for which answers may be solved. If the basis of sequence is unsolvable, then the extent of possible understanding is algorithm+architecture, which let's you extrapolate any chemistry you please arbitrarily. We are talking a different kind of "knowability" perhaps even.

Verification happens through disproof.

We can't because we don't and won't have access to enough information about the world in which we live to develop such a construct. All statements will have errors so large as to ultimately be unusable.
There's that blind faith again.

You don't know what we will and won't be able to figure out and test.
You can invent much. You might actually hit upon the correct solution but you won't be able to verify it because you will always be missing critical information. It's that verify thing that will get you if nothing else.
So Mr scientist, how does verification work in the scientific method?

That's rhetorical. The answer is "disproof".

You put your weight on the understanding and see if it holds firm under you, and then you kick it as hard as you can repeatedly every way you can think of until nothing you can do displaces it and then you walk past it, but with a bit of distrust, still, and maybe an occasional thought at how to keep prodding it.

Either way, that won't tell us a lick or tittle about the metaphysics. I mean, you need to know a damn lot of metaphysics to derive physics that way, but it does not add stuff like "what is the series of moves that will beat a grandmaster at the next game you play with him".

This is not just reality but metaphysics, everything about all levels of every abstraction that may ever be expressed, and the nature of many things that may be expressed in different frameworks.

Rightly, this set U is something that is not coherent, is proven incoherent in set theory.
I'm convinced we will never get to the point of imagining the possibility of what is really the world. Just too much information beyond our grasp.

Genetics tells us there were as few as several thousand humans about 40 thousand years ago. We are now approaching eight billion persons. Even if we collineate available systems, those within our practical reach, there will never be enough to assure we explore the entirety of the universe. Not enough time of universe existence for that.
My point here is that this is exactly what I'm talking about.

You do not need to explore the universe to know based on it's statistical realities, that some thing can or cannot be expressed at the physical level of reality, or more appropriately, to describe the behavior of the thing so constructed.

It's just generally more useful to describe higher abstractions than the physical.

At any rate we probably won't make it off this rock; I expect that the scorpion will sting us before we get across.

The best we may explore it is glorying in what it may do, in naming it, and knowing the words of creation before what it does do is open the door to a bad-faith actor ending us all.
We both know what the other is saying. I prefer verify to disproof or falsify because every new query provides another test of whether the theory stands. If verification fails then one needs to design additional corollaries or theorems for theory then test again.

We don't usually try to disprove something. We generally try to verify, improve, or modify something already developed and tested. When one theory among a system of theories fails the other elements become subject to test. It is a consistent systematic development of material support, test, for the theory on which theory stands.

No. Still disproof. It's kind of like coincidence is always coincidence no matter the magnitude of causal adjacency.

Every test of a theory and manipulation of the sharpest edge of understanding is a test, another kick to the foundation, because the results making sense depend heavily on the underlying material. And every test, too, is a kick at the hypothesis at the very edge, knocking off a falsehood or failing too, and then adjusting again.

It does not matter what you prefer. Only math proves out, and implementations of a system of axioms cannot prove the axioms. There is no certainty, even in truth itself. One must always accept that one can be surprised, and wrong.

Anything else is building foolish faith.

Trust but verify.

Verify through rigorous attempts at disproof.
Gotta disagree. Most often theory failure comes when one tries to add new consequences to an existing theory. I've read very few papers where the Theory fails that went out to disprove a theory. It's usually because someone wants to extend the scope of data covered by a theory that leads to Theory falsification.

Most of those with axes to grind get caught up in dancing too close to the edge of proper process, are exposed and fail in that way to disprove what may be a weak theory.

Just sayin ...
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
9,139
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
You're right you can create whatever you please within known circumstances or not. You aren't Appling acknowledged material knowledge though. You are creating in your mind then replicating on screens.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about integrating all knowable material information within a mathematical statement. We will never get there.
And there's the faith without verification. I have disproved that this is a reasonable assertion to make of "universes" and have not in 40 years from you or anyone else, especially the hard determinists, an argument that adequately demands this.

I acknowledge that the "seed" may not be calculable, but if the basis is known, and the seed is guessed, it will work all the same to be algorithm+architecture+seed to do what you describe.

We are most of the way to the real questions already, for which answers may be solved. If the basis of sequence is unsolvable, then the extent of possible understanding is algorithm+architecture, which let's you extrapolate any chemistry you please arbitrarily. We are talking a different kind of "knowability" perhaps even.

Verification happens through disproof.

We can't because we don't and won't have access to enough information about the world in which we live to develop such a construct. All statements will have errors so large as to ultimately be unusable.
There's that blind faith again.

You don't know what we will and won't be able to figure out and test.
You can invent much. You might actually hit upon the correct solution but you won't be able to verify it because you will always be missing critical information. It's that verify thing that will get you if nothing else.
So Mr scientist, how does verification work in the scientific method?

That's rhetorical. The answer is "disproof".

You put your weight on the understanding and see if it holds firm under you, and then you kick it as hard as you can repeatedly every way you can think of until nothing you can do displaces it and then you walk past it, but with a bit of distrust, still, and maybe an occasional thought at how to keep prodding it.

Either way, that won't tell us a lick or tittle about the metaphysics. I mean, you need to know a damn lot of metaphysics to derive physics that way, but it does not add stuff like "what is the series of moves that will beat a grandmaster at the next game you play with him".

This is not just reality but metaphysics, everything about all levels of every abstraction that may ever be expressed, and the nature of many things that may be expressed in different frameworks.

Rightly, this set U is something that is not coherent, is proven incoherent in set theory.
I'm convinced we will never get to the point of imagining the possibility of what is really the world. Just too much information beyond our grasp.

Genetics tells us there were as few as several thousand humans about 40 thousand years ago. We are now approaching eight billion persons. Even if we collineate available systems, those within our practical reach, there will never be enough to assure we explore the entirety of the universe. Not enough time of universe existence for that.
My point here is that this is exactly what I'm talking about.

You do not need to explore the universe to know based on it's statistical realities, that some thing can or cannot be expressed at the physical level of reality, or more appropriately, to describe the behavior of the thing so constructed.

It's just generally more useful to describe higher abstractions than the physical.

At any rate we probably won't make it off this rock; I expect that the scorpion will sting us before we get across.

The best we may explore it is glorying in what it may do, in naming it, and knowing the words of creation before what it does do is open the door to a bad-faith actor ending us all.
We both know what the other is saying. I prefer verify to disproof or falsify because every new query provides another test of whether the theory stands. If verification fails then one needs to design additional corollaries or theorems for theory then test again.

We don't usually try to disprove something. We generally try to verify, improve, or modify something already developed and tested. When one theory among a system of theories fails the other elements become subject to test. It is a consistent systematic development of material support, test, for the theory on which theory stands.

No. Still disproof. It's kind of like coincidence is always coincidence no matter the magnitude of causal adjacency.

Every test of a theory and manipulation of the sharpest edge of understanding is a test, another kick to the foundation, because the results making sense depend heavily on the underlying material. And every test, too, is a kick at the hypothesis at the very edge, knocking off a falsehood or failing too, and then adjusting again.

It does not matter what you prefer. Only math proves out, and implementations of a system of axioms cannot prove the axioms. There is no certainty, even in truth itself. One must always accept that one can be surprised, and wrong.

Anything else is building foolish faith.

Trust but verify.

Verify through rigorous attempts at disproof.
Gotta disagree. Most often theory failure comes when one tries to add new consequences to an existing theory. I've read very few papers where the Theory fails that went out to disprove a theory. It's usually because someone wants to extend the scope of data covered by a theory that leads to Theory falsification.

Most of those with axes to grind get caught up in dancing too close to the edge of proper process, are exposed and fail in that way to disprove what may be a weak theory.
Which is why you will continue to be wrong and ignorant of it. Can't say I didn't try.

The scientific method:

Observe;
Hypothesize the basis of phenomena;
Test this hypothesis in some way designed to attempt it's disproof;
Repeat from Observe

Theory fails happen when the hypothesis is reliant in some part on some thing that the attempt to disprove renders evidence against a parent object and causes a backpropagation of disproof.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
15,531
Location
Local group: Solar system: Earth: NA: US: contiguo
Basic Beliefs
optimist

We see problems differently. I am not going to choose just among the options available to me while you obviously are doing so.

That said, our objective methodology has produced impressive results and we are learning more all the time. What we 'know' serves very well as a stand-in for material reality. It is usable for most material endeavors. Our telescope/microscope of understanding is useful in choosing probable outcomes of more than we can test, but it is nowhere near capable of deriving all.
Let's explore the metaphysics here using an example.

I have a function written down. It says y=x^2

I also have a line drawn out on a piece of paper.

I cannot know all values this paper describes. You could not fit the description of even something so simple as an entire parabola in the entirety of every particle in the observable universe, or even in the entire interactive universe WRT your reference frame. All that is "big" but infinity is still "bigger".

You cannot, in this universe, "know" all of Y=X^2.

However you can understand it: I can describe just for the asking what any given Y value is for any given X. I could operate on Y=X^2 and get a description of all functions that intersect through this set. I can understand that set, too.

I just can't know every point.

I can do the same thing with a function that instead of describing an infinite universe of 'parabola' defines instead 'universe like ours', and the nice thing about a 'universe like ours' is that they are robust enough to contain a description of their own architecture, a macroscale object that behaves faithfully as it's microscale behaves.

In many ways there are things also that can be understood but not predicted: we can understand the series of events that happens from (particle configuration A) that is unstable and capable of forming one of (set of outcomes from destabilization event). We can understand that this will resolve in a random selection from an infinite set. We can understand 'random' too, and the character of the infinite* set. We can't "know" what will happen but that is not a lack of understanding, but in many ways, an attainment of it.

*Possibly finite? I wonder at times if there is a quantization happening with the interaction wave that behaves more like a graph connection or association than a macroscale "impact"
I'll make one more attempt to communicate.

At the time of the renaissance, Scholars were counting angels on the heads of pins.

Archimedes' didn't get through around 200 BC when he noted mass displaces liquids with "Eureka", Western white man ignored the material demonstration and continued counting angels on pinheads. It took Galileo with a telescope found satellites orbiting around Jupiter tried to publish those material findings in Religious Press to kick start material analysis worked quite well explaining physical behavior while Rational analysis just generated interesting truisms and fallacies. Yeah, it didn't hurt that the printing press was there to reproduce the discussions.

https://www.bnl.gov/newsroom/news.php?a=119023 Collisions of Light Produce Matter/Antimatter from Pure Energy

"The primary finding is that pairs of electrons and positrons—particles of matter and antimatter—can be created directly by colliding very energetic photons, which are quantum “packets” of light. This conversion of energetic light into matter is a direct consequence of Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, which states that energy and matter (or mass) are interchangeable. Nuclear reactions in the sun and at nuclear power plants regularly convert matter into energy. Now scientists have converted light energy directly into matter in a single step."

The God particle was discovered when the Hadron collider accelerated protons to 99.9999991% of the speed of light, or three meters per second less than light speed. Accomplishing that acceleration looks to require about 13 teraelectronvolts.

Obviously, exponentially higher energies of accelerating force may produce theory-changing results. That is why I look to getting a bit closer to the energies at the big bang which is theorized to be a lot higher than those possible with Hadron Collider before I'm ready to say "we know it."

We will come up with a few new wrinkles to produce similar effects.

I know you think its strange but you know it's coming.

The Next Particle Collider Will Be Three Times Bigger Than the LHCIt will also be seven times more powerful https://futurism.com/the-next-particle-collider-will-be-three-times-bigger-than-the-lhc

Your patronizing bullshit aside, you're still failing, not to communicate but to understand.

I am not saying that we know the exact architecture yet that describes and "understands" all that we see.

You are arguing "we do not know what the universe behaves like in some edge cases" and then pushing that argument into an implication that the universe cannot possibly contain a complete understanding of itself.

I can create a universe of quanta that contains a description of its own architecture, and which even executes exactly the host OS in a client. I can even make a universe which implements the behavior of instructions not directly present on the metal.

Honestly, it's not dissimilar from a tarball I saw the other day that decompresses to itself. Yes, you heard that right. The fact that these things can and do exist implies the universe can host an understanding of itself.
We're cascading back to a world of belief controlled by impulse and mood rather than toward a world of material knowledge subject to what we know about it. If a person uses free will which he hasn't or understands which he doesn't he ultimately exists within the narrow range of strongly held beliefs of his own ability to understand and work. You create a digital universe that is self-generated therefore it works from self to realization rather than from material necessity to material execution.

How then can you claim you understand? You only do what you believe based on those beliefs rather than do what is demanded of you by circumstances around you.
No, we aren't. We are exploring "mathematical possibilities" rather than "disproved and this definitely false bullshit".

I have disproved you through example: universes, especially ones with fixed quanta that can in macroscale be mutated to reliably mirror the statistical realities of their resolution, are self-understandable. As to whether they will ever be self-understood is a different matter.

You have three times made an argument from incredulity.

How have we been posting here and you have not in fact once recalled something I have said an obnoxious number of times:

Trust But Verify

This is what it means to doubt.

I have verified that a universe of rearrangeable stuff capable of arbitrary expression of metaphysics may be capable of describing itself in abstract, as to the way that stuff may be rearranged.

As we have seen, we are capable of doing that thing.

You understand completely when what you trust continues to fail to be disproven despite effort, hopefully well directed at any invention of fancy that people place a God into.

Just because you cannot say certainly or honestly from inside "I am right *", you can definitely actually BE right.
You're right you can create whatever you please within known circumstances or not. You aren't Appling acknowledged material knowledge though. You are creating in your mind then replicating on screens.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about integrating all knowable material information within a mathematical statement. We will never get there.
And there's the faith without verification. I have disproved that this is a reasonable assertion to make of "universes" and have not in 40 years from you or anyone else, especially the hard determinists, an argument that adequately demands this.

I acknowledge that the "seed" may not be calculable, but if the basis is known, and the seed is guessed, it will work all the same to be algorithm+architecture+seed to do what you describe.

We are most of the way to the real questions already, for which answers may be solved. If the basis of sequence is unsolvable, then the extent of possible understanding is algorithm+architecture, which let's you extrapolate any chemistry you please arbitrarily. We are talking a different kind of "knowability" perhaps even.

Verification happens through disproof.

We can't because we don't and won't have access to enough information about the world in which we live to develop such a construct. All statements will have errors so large as to ultimately be unusable.
There's that blind faith again.

You don't know what we will and won't be able to figure out and test.
You can invent much. You might actually hit upon the correct solution but you won't be able to verify it because you will always be missing critical information. It's that verify thing that will get you if nothing else.
So Mr scientist, how does verification work in the scientific method?

That's rhetorical. The answer is "disproof".

You put your weight on the understanding and see if it holds firm under you, and then you kick it as hard as you can repeatedly every way you can think of until nothing you can do displaces it and then you walk past it, but with a bit of distrust, still, and maybe an occasional thought at how to keep prodding it.

Either way, that won't tell us a lick or tittle about the metaphysics. I mean, you need to know a damn lot of metaphysics to derive physics that way, but it does not add stuff like "what is the series of moves that will beat a grandmaster at the next game you play with him".

This is not just reality but metaphysics, everything about all levels of every abstraction that may ever be expressed, and the nature of many things that may be expressed in different frameworks.

Rightly, this set U is something that is not coherent, is proven incoherent in set theory.
I'm convinced we will never get to the point of imagining the possibility of what is really the world. Just too much information beyond our grasp.

Genetics tells us there were as few as several thousand humans about 40 thousand years ago. We are now approaching eight billion persons. Even if we collineate available systems, those within our practical reach, there will never be enough to assure we explore the entirety of the universe. Not enough time of universe existence for that.
My point here is that this is exactly what I'm talking about.

You do not need to explore the universe to know based on it's statistical realities, that some thing can or cannot be expressed at the physical level of reality, or more appropriately, to describe the behavior of the thing so constructed.

It's just generally more useful to describe higher abstractions than the physical.

At any rate we probably won't make it off this rock; I expect that the scorpion will sting us before we get across.

The best we may explore it is glorying in what it may do, in naming it, and knowing the words of creation before what it does do is open the door to a bad-faith actor ending us all.
We both know what the other is saying. I prefer verify to disproof or falsify because every new query provides another test of whether the theory stands. If verification fails then one needs to design additional corollaries or theorems for theory then test again.

We don't usually try to disprove something. We generally try to verify, improve, or modify something already developed and tested. When one theory among a system of theories fails the other elements become subject to test. It is a consistent systematic development of material support, test, for the theory on which theory stands.

No. Still disproof. It's kind of like coincidence is always coincidence no matter the magnitude of causal adjacency.

Every test of a theory and manipulation of the sharpest edge of understanding is a test, another kick to the foundation, because the results making sense depend heavily on the underlying material. And every test, too, is a kick at the hypothesis at the very edge, knocking off a falsehood or failing too, and then adjusting again.

It does not matter what you prefer. Only math proves out, and implementations of a system of axioms cannot prove the axioms. There is no certainty, even in truth itself. One must always accept that one can be surprised, and wrong.

Anything else is building foolish faith.

Trust but verify.

Verify through rigorous attempts at disproof.
Gotta disagree. Most often theory failure comes when one tries to add new consequences to an existing theory. I've read very few papers where the Theory fails that went out to disprove a theory. It's usually because someone wants to extend the scope of data covered by a theory that leads to Theory falsification.

Most of those with axes to grind get caught up in dancing too close to the edge of proper process, are exposed and fail in that way to disprove what may be a weak theory.
Which is why you will continue to be wrong and ignorant of it. Can't say I didn't try.

The scientific method:

Observe;
Hypothesize the basis of phenomena;
Test this hypothesis in some way designed to attempt it's disproof;
Repeat from Observe

Theory fails happen when the hypothesis is reliant in some part on some thing that the attempt to disprove renders evidence against a parent object and causes a backpropagation of disproof.
from:   Scientific Method

  1. Define a question
  2. Gather information and resources (observe)
  3. Form an explanatory hypothesis
  4. Test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data in a reproducible manner
  5. Analyze the data
  6. Interpret the data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for a new hypothesis
  7. Publish results
  8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)
It's a good idea to not try to win an argument by proffering just a part of a method.

The System in which I published (American Institute of Physics) papers aimed primarily on extending knowledge about disciplines such as Astronomy, Physics, Psychophysics (my specialty), etc., which use experiments extensively. It is not a knockout forum. Either you don't publish much or you don't publish at all because some philosophers' options on disproof and falsification are not the engine that drives scientific advance.
 

Copernicus

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...Nor is it a matter of me 'digging in my heels.'

In case you haven't noticed, there are two sides to this argument, compatibilism and incompatibilism. The reasons why compatibilism is inadequate to prove the proposition of free will have been explained and supported by quotes and references...

You simply prove my point in your reply. Nobody is denying that there are two sides to the argument, and your quote is nothing more than a reference to Pereboom's convoluted "manipulation argument", which has lots of critics and supporters in the literature. Like you, I don't see Pereboom seriously advocating the abolition of criminal law on the grounds that people don't actually have free will. It is really hard to argue for a conclusion that one does not take seriously, so I think that Pereboom deserves some credit for being really good at defending an absurd conclusion. Would you like references to some of his critics, or can you handle the Google search on your own? ;)

Of course there are critics, everyone has a point of view. I have read what Pereboom's critics have to say. Just as there are critics of compatibilism.

What you say about ''advocating the abolition of criminal law on the grounds that people don't actually have free will'' indicates that you don't understand the issue.

Actions that are taken in terms of law, regulation, punishment, are made in response to human behaviour and are meant to modify or prevent undesirable activity, crime, etc.

The knowledge that there are consequences acts as a deterrent for most people, so of course nobody is suggesting abolition of the law.

Some are calling for a review.

Again;

The law
''Because most behavior is driven by brain networks we do not consciously control, the legal system will eventually be forced to shift its emphasis from retribution to a forward-looking analysis of future behavior. In the light of modern neuroscience, it no longer makes sense to ask "was it his fault, or his biology's fault, or the fault of his background?", because these issues can never be disentangled. Instead, the only sensible question can be "what do we do from here?" -- in terms of customized sentencing, tailored rehabilition, and refined incentive structuring.''


On the neurology of morals
''Patients with medial prefrontal lesions often display irresponsible behavior, despite being intellectually unimpaired. But similar lesions occurring in early childhood can also prevent the acquisition of factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior.''
I did not respond to this earlier, because I was on vacation and had very limited time and internet connectivity, so I'll make my response now.

You aren't a philosopher, and I seriously doubt that you have any comprehensive grasp of the criticism that has been directed at Pereboom. Nor have I, for that matter, but it is easy to see that he has attracted a lot of commentary pro and con. You are using him here to bolster your position, because you sense that he is an authority, but arguments from authority are known to be invalid. You need to discuss arguments rather than just cite what other people have written and take it as received wisdom.

Your quote regarding "the law" is interesting, because it makes a prediction that "the legal system will eventually be forced to shift its emphasis from retribution to a forward-looking analysis of future behavior." This is exactly the kind of nonsensical claim that free will eliminativists have been trying to make as a justification of their position. In reality, there are no signs that the legal system is being forced into any such position at all by "modern neuroscience" or ever will be. It is pure baloney--an example of scientism at its worst. The author seems to be aware of this, so he shifts to the excuse that "these issues can never be disentangled" and then goes on to ask a question that he fails to even propose an answer to: "what do we do from here?" Instead, he makes vague handwaving gestures at "customized sentencing, tailored rehabilition [sic], and refined incentive structuring'', leaving it up to the reader to make guesses about what that is supposed to mean.

I confess that I have no idea why you inserted that quote from the paywalled online article "On the neurology of morals", but I suppose that you feel the inaccessibility of its content absolves you from having to show its relevance to this discussion. We aren't talking about brain lesions or other pathological conditions. We are talking about free choices that people with healthy brains make.
 

Jarhyn

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...
from:   Scientific Method

  1. Define a question
  2. Gather information and resources (observe)
  3. Form an explanatory hypothesis
  4. Test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data in a reproducible manner
  5. Analyze the data
  6. Interpret the data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for a new hypothesis
  7. Publish results
  8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

You are failing to properly explode the bolded portion.

You've added extra unnecessary language and hidden the important shit behind a wall of obfuscation.

Testing the hypothesis is to aim an honest attempt of disproof at it.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
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Messages
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Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
...Nor is it a matter of me 'digging in my heels.'

In case you haven't noticed, there are two sides to this argument, compatibilism and incompatibilism. The reasons why compatibilism is inadequate to prove the proposition of free will have been explained and supported by quotes and references...

You simply prove my point in your reply. Nobody is denying that there are two sides to the argument, and your quote is nothing more than a reference to Pereboom's convoluted "manipulation argument", which has lots of critics and supporters in the literature. Like you, I don't see Pereboom seriously advocating the abolition of criminal law on the grounds that people don't actually have free will. It is really hard to argue for a conclusion that one does not take seriously, so I think that Pereboom deserves some credit for being really good at defending an absurd conclusion. Would you like references to some of his critics, or can you handle the Google search on your own? ;)

Of course there are critics, everyone has a point of view. I have read what Pereboom's critics have to say. Just as there are critics of compatibilism.

What you say about ''advocating the abolition of criminal law on the grounds that people don't actually have free will'' indicates that you don't understand the issue.

Actions that are taken in terms of law, regulation, punishment, are made in response to human behaviour and are meant to modify or prevent undesirable activity, crime, etc.

The knowledge that there are consequences acts as a deterrent for most people, so of course nobody is suggesting abolition of the law.

Some are calling for a review.

Again;

The law
''Because most behavior is driven by brain networks we do not consciously control, the legal system will eventually be forced to shift its emphasis from retribution to a forward-looking analysis of future behavior. In the light of modern neuroscience, it no longer makes sense to ask "was it his fault, or his biology's fault, or the fault of his background?", because these issues can never be disentangled. Instead, the only sensible question can be "what do we do from here?" -- in terms of customized sentencing, tailored rehabilition, and refined incentive structuring.''


On the neurology of morals
''Patients with medial prefrontal lesions often display irresponsible behavior, despite being intellectually unimpaired. But similar lesions occurring in early childhood can also prevent the acquisition of factual knowledge about accepted standards of moral behavior.''
I did not respond to this earlier, because I was on vacation and had very limited time and internet connectivity, so I'll make my response now.

You aren't a philosopher, and I seriously doubt that you have any comprehensive grasp of the criticism that has been directed at Pereboom. Nor have I, for that matter, but it is easy to see that he has attracted a lot of commentary pro and con. You are using him here to bolster your position, because you sense that he is an authority, but arguments from authority are known to be invalid. You need to discuss arguments rather than just cite what other people have written and take it as received wisdom.

Your quote regarding "the law" is interesting, because it makes a prediction that "the legal system will eventually be forced to shift its emphasis from retribution to a forward-looking analysis of future behavior." This is exactly the kind of nonsensical claim that free will eliminativists have been trying to make as a justification of their position. In reality, there are no signs that the legal system is being forced into any such position at all by "modern neuroscience" or ever will be. It is pure baloney--an example of scientism at its worst. The author seems to be aware of this, so he shifts to the excuse that "these issues can never be disentangled" and then goes on to ask a question that he fails to even propose an answer to: "what do we do from here?" Instead, he makes vague handwaving gestures at "customized sentencing, tailored rehabilition [sic], and refined incentive structuring'', leaving it up to the reader to make guesses about what that is supposed to mean.

I confess that I have no idea why you inserted that quote from the paywalled online article "On the neurology of morals", but I suppose that you feel the inaccessibility of its content absolves you from having to show its relevance to this discussion. We aren't talking about brain lesions or other pathological conditions. We are talking about free choices that people with healthy brains make.
Even people.with brain lesions and disconnected hemispheres have choices that are made from their own reference frame, their own locus, even if not all choices made by the meat they inhabit are made by that single locus; someone might be forced to play a two player game and not have awareness of the reasoning of player two, with player two not having access to communicative potential.

These are still choices, made freely by the localities that determine them.
 
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