# Compatibilism: What's that About?

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
When I said 'literally' I meant - literally; Adverb; exactly, actually, precisely, strictly - (Merriam Webster) That's all. Nothing controversial.

Right. There's nothing controversial about the notions of literally and figuratively, except perhaps the problem where "literally", "actually", "really", "exactly" are employed as rhetorical intensifiers, where they are literally used figuratively to communicate the very opposite of what they actually mean.

For example, when you insist that determinism means that there is no "actual" choosing happening, when we can empirically observe the people in a restaurant doing exactly that, choosing what they will have for dinner, from a list of alternative possibilities, then your claim is empirically false. Your claim does not reflect reality.

Your claim that there are no alternate possibilities in a deterministic system is also empirically false, because there is the restaurant menu, filled with alternate possibilities. So, again, your claim is false.

The reason your claim is false is because you are speaking figuratively, rather than literally. You are employing philosophical abstractions that literally contradict physical reality.

So, that's the only reason I bring it up.

The fact is that determinism entails that everything...meaning all objects and events, within the system proceed according to past states of the system. That including human activity. There are no exceptions.

Correct!

Options are not chosen, they are determined before they happen.

False!

Options are literally chosen. The causal mechanism by which an option is realized is called "choosing". Choosing causally necessitates the choice to realize that specific option.

And the choosing itself was causally necessary from any prior point in eternity. It will and does happen in empirical reality, and it necessarily happens. Just like every other event.

Events must inevitably lead to option A for you, option B for your partner, etc,

Correct!

where option A was never a possibility for your partner and option B was never an option for you.

False!

Both the steak and the salad were options for both of us, because they both appeared on the menu.

I considered both of those options. And my friend also considered both of those options. I chose the salad because I recalled having bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. She chose the steak because she had toast and orange juice for breakfast and a salad for lunch.

Had they not been real options then neither of us could have considered them both. But both were as real as any option ever gets to be, as a real possibility for consideration when making our choices for dinner.

Realizable alternatives do not exist within a deterministic system.

OBVIOUSLY THEY DO!

Hence, there is no choice. Choice entails the ability to have done otherwise.

And of course, there was, in empirical reality, a choice being made, and there was, in empirical reality the ability to have done otherwise within that choosing operation.

I chose the salad, for my own reasons, even though I could have chosen the steak.
She chose the steak, for her own reasons, even though she could have chosen the salad.

'Could have Done otherwise' does not exist within deterministic systems.

OBVIOUSLY IT DOES!

There are no choices. Any and every action taken is not chosen, it is determined. It is inevitable, Fixed, Set, Necessitated, done and dusted, no alternatives.

So, the next question is, How did you manage to get such false conclusions from the empirical evidence?

You are simply getting trapped through your own figurative thinking. Your claim that "there are no choices" can only be supported figuratively, and falsely, by suggesting that, with determinism, "it is AS IF there are no choices".

And from that false conclusion you simply built one false claim upon the other, "Well, if there are no choices, then there is no choosing, and if there is no choosing, then there are no alternatives being considered".

False, false, and false. One falsehood upon the next. Pull one string and it all unravels.

Conscious thought and deliberation come too late in the causal sequence to be effective in producing 'freely willed' actions, it is instead, unconscious neural states that determine actions.

Conscious thought and deliberation come precisely when they are needed, to explain our behavior to ourselves and others.

"What are you ordering?"
"I'm going to have the salad, because I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. What about you?"
"I had a light breakfast and a salad for lunch, so I'm all in for the steak."

Both of us are awake and consciously aware as we have this conversation. And that is all that is required neurologically to be responsible for our decisions.

That, essentially, is the death knell for the notion of free will.

Compatibilism fails to make a case for free will because it tries to redefine both freedom and will.

Compatibilism simply uses the operational definitions of freedom, will, and free will, the ones that everyone is familiar with, and in the fashion that everyone normally uses these terms.

I'm sorry, but I do not accept homework assignments. If the article was sufficient for you to get the correct understanding of things as they are, then you should be able to present the key points yourself. But if it did you no good, then why should you ask me to read it and then have to explain to you?

#### DBT

##### Contributor
When I said 'literally' I meant - literally; Adverb; exactly, actually, precisely, strictly - (Merriam Webster) That's all. Nothing controversial.

Right. There's nothing controversial about the notions of literally and figuratively, except perhaps the problem where "literally", "actually", "really", "exactly" are employed as rhetorical intensifiers, where they are literally used figuratively to communicate the very opposite of what they actually mean.

Red Herring. What I meant was that each and every state of the system physically (literally) determines the next, which determines the next, etc.

Which obviously does not allow freedom of choice or freedom of will because each and every state of the system is determined by its antecedents, which is neither chosen or willed.

Not being chosen or willed, there is no case to be made for free will within a deterministic system.

That's all.

For example, when you insist that determinism means that there is no "actual" choosing happening, when we can empirically observe the people in a restaurant doing exactly that, choosing what they will have for dinner, from a list of alternative possibilities, then your claim is empirically false. Your claim does not reflect reality.

What you see is each and every person acting doing whatever the system determines, an interaction of information between the environment and the brain as an information processor.

You know that determinism allows no alternate actions, therefore each selection of an action and shelf item is the only possible action in that place and moment in time.

No possible alternatives. If Aunty Marge selects Corn Bread at 8:45am at the Supermarket, there is no possibility of choosing Rye or Sourdough.

The action she took at 8:45 is it, no possible alternatives.

With no possible alternatives, there was no actual choice.

Her action was determined before she even entered the Supermarket.

''All of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.'' - Marvin Edwards, Determinism.

Your claim that there are no alternate possibilities in a deterministic system is also empirically false, because there is the restaurant menu, filled with alternate possibilities. So, again, your claim is false.

I have explained multiple options several times. Multiple options are related to multiple people...again: someone takes this option, someone takes that option.

All options may be taken by someone, but no single person in any given instance in time has multiple options, just what is determined in that instance in time by the state of the system.

Each action necessitated by the past states of the system.

That is determinism. There are no deviations.

Nobody gets multiple possible actions in any given instance in time......that would be Libertarian Free Will.

You are arguing for Compatibilism.

The reason your claim is false is because you are speaking figuratively, rather than literally. You are employing philosophical abstractions that literally contradict physical reality.

So, that's the only reason I bring it up.

Nothing of the sort. You misconstrued what I said and ran with it.

The fact is that determinism entails that everything...meaning all objects and events, within the system proceed according to past states of the system. That including human activity. There are no exceptions.

Correct!

Yes, correct. Including its implications for freedom and the status of will. Not to mention no possibility of alternate decisions or actions in any given instance in time, where all actions are necessitated and not freely chosen from a set of alternatives.

Determinism, according to the very definition you agree with, allows no alternative, just what is determined

I'm sorry, but I do not accept homework assignments. If the article was sufficient for you to get the correct understanding of things as they are, then you should be able to present the key points yourself. But if it did you no good, then why should you ask me to read it and then have to explain to you?

It wasn't meant for my understanding. The article provides information on incompatibilism for anyone who may be interested.

I didn't think that you would read it. I assume that there are other readers.
.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
obviously does not allow freedom of choice or freedom of will

You cannot change from the compatibilist definition of free to argue that it does not exist. At least not if you are to be taken seriously, anyway. To do so is to argue against a position that someone else does not hold, which is the very definition of "straw-man argument".

Free, in the compatibilist context, is "freedom to requirement"; "freedom from all constraints to the requirement".

Will is "a series of instructions with requirement(s)"

Choice is "selection of a thing from a set of things".

When a will is free, it is "a series of instructions that shall or is meet(ing) it's requirement(s)".

When a choice is free, it is "selection of a thing from a set of things by a given process NOT some other set of things or by some other process".

When a will is not free, it is "a series of instructions that shall fail it's requirement"

When a choice is not free, it is "selection of a thing outside of the aforementioned set or process".

And when we say "free will" without denoting which will is intended, it is a reference to a specific will, in the moment, satisfying it's requirement.

"He had free will" unpacks to "the will he held had a requirement freely chosen by a given process (the process' not-coerced branch)."

It is not about being able to go down either branch in the moment! It is about which branch is actually, objectively utilized.

If you refuse to pick up these definitions
and produce the contradiction you claim exists within that syntax, then you ought accept that you cannot, either by force of will or virtue of ideas, defend incompatibilism, because you will not be defending incompatibilism.

No possible alternatives

And no true Scotsman!
If Aunty Marge selects Corn Bread at 8:45am at the Supermarket, there is no possibility of choosing Rye or Sourdough
Also laughably false. She could select all three.

Fallacy of the false dichotomy, anyone?

You know, me ordering the salad doesn't exclude me from the steak too.

Maybe just bring me the lot, and a bucket.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
What I meant was that each and every state of the system physically (literally) determines the next, which determines the next, etc.

Correct. And I've repeatedly confirmed the statements that conform to empirical reality.

Which obviously does not allow freedom of choice or freedom of will because each and every state of the system is determined by its antecedents, which is neither chosen or willed.

False. And I'll repeatedly disagree when you draw false conclusions that clearly contradict empirical reality.

We observe people making choices. We assume that every step in the choosing process is determined by antecedents. We are consciously aware of the antecedent reasons for our choices. For example, I chose the salad instead of the steak because I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.

We observe people acting upon their choices. Every step in the acting is determined by antecedents, and one of these antecedents is clearly the choosing that each person just performed.

So, it is false to claim that choosing and willing are outside of determinism.

Not being chosen or willed, there is no case to be made for free will within a deterministic system.

The choosing of the intent and the acting upon that intent are fully deterministic and fit right into a deterministic system.

Thus free will, a deterministic event in which a person chooses for themselves what they will do while free of coercion and undue influence, fits right into that same deterministic system.

What you see is each and every person acting doing whatever the system determines, an interaction of information between the environment and the brain as an information processor.

I do not see any external system determining what the person will do.

What I do see is the deterministic system we call "a person" reading the menu and placing the order.

If I look for the causes of the person's actions, I find most of them within the persons themselves. The biological need for food is part of the person, and is located within each person, and is not located in any system external to each person's own biology.

This individual need for food is one of the causes of restaurants being built and people going into those restaurants to buy dinner.

You know that determinism allows no alternate actions, therefore each selection of an action and shelf item is the only possible action in that place and moment in time.

Sorry, but you have no clue as to what a "possibility" actually is and how the notion of possibility functions within the deterministic system known as a "person".

Your claim that there are no alternate possibilities in a deterministic system is empirically false, because there is the restaurant menu, filled with alternate possibilities. And, unless someone walks into the restaurant already knowing what they will order, each person will select their dinner from among many alternate possibilities.

I have explained multiple options several times. Multiple options are related to multiple people...again: someone takes this option, someone takes that option.

No. You haven't explained how possibilities work. There is no requirement for multiple people in order for one person to have multiple possibilities.

During the choosing process there will always be multiple possibilities that a single person can choose from, even though they will choose but one of them. That is how the notion of possibilities functions.

Determinism, according to the very definition you agree with, allows no alternative, just what is determined

Determinism not only allows alternate possibilities, it guarantees that they will appear within the causal chain exactly when and where they do!

Every thought is an event, reliably caused by prior events. The restaurant menu caused us to see and consider multiple possibilities for dinner ("considering" is a deterministic series of thought events).

The point of compatibilism is that there is no need to step outside of causal necessity in order to find free will. Free will is when we decide for ourselves what we will do while free of coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less. Freedom from causal necessity is not a requirement for free will.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
Which obviously does not allow freedom of choice or freedom of will because each and every state of the system is determined by its antecedents, which is neither chosen or willed.

False. And I'll repeatedly disagree when you draw false conclusions that clearly contradict empirical reality.

You appear to be misconstruing determinism. Quite simply, without realizable alternatives, there is no choice.

That is not a false conclusion. It's how determinism works.

A system where every action is determined by the previous state has no place for choice.

If actions are determined they are not chosen. They are set by antecedent states of the system.

There is no possibility of choosing or doing something different.

This is according to the agreed upon definition of determinism.

We observe people making choices. We assume that every step in the choosing process is determined by antecedents. We are consciously aware of the antecedent reasons for our choices. For example, I chose the salad instead of the steak because I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.

We observe people taking actions. We cannot observe the antecedents of these actions or the information processing activity that puts it into action.

We have no access to the underlying activity that makes it happen, information input, processing, action initiation. We see what is happening, not how it happens.

That is the role of neuroscience.

When you say we 'observe people making choices' you imply that they have alternatives, but of course determinism by definition allows no alternatives.

People must necessarily perform their actions as determined. The actions are performed without restrictions as determined. People move freely.

We observe people acting upon their choices. Every step in the acting is determined by antecedents, and one of these antecedents is clearly the choosing that each person just performed.

Their choices are not free, they are determined. There are no possible alternatives. Determined actions necessitated not chosen.

So, it is false to claim that choosing and willing are outside of determinism.

Nobody has made that claim. The issue is that 'choosing' is an illusion. Each and every action is determined by the state of the system. People are aspects of the system. Each and every brain state is a consequence of the previous and it is brain state that determines what we think and what we do. Inputs, processing, narrator function, motor action initiation milliseconds prior to awareness, etc, etc...

Not being chosen or willed, there is no case to be made for free will within a deterministic system.

The choosing of the intent and the acting upon that intent are fully deterministic and fit right into a deterministic system.

Thus free will, a deterministic event in which a person chooses for themselves what they will do while free of coercion and undue influence, fits right into that same deterministic system.

You are slapping the free will label where it has no place. It's not the 'person' who chooses, but brain state, and unfortunately, brain state is not chosen.

So it is that which is not chosen - brain state - that determines behaviour, and not free will.

As it is not free will that governs or determines our actions, free will is a false label.

What you see is each and every person acting doing whatever the system determines, an interaction of information between the environment and the brain as an information processor.

I do not see any external system determining what the person will do.

It's an interaction of inputs and brain state.

Sensory inputs come from the external world.

Input is information from the external world.

Information input is the external world acting upon the system.

The brain responds to information from the external world.

The brain itself is an aspect of the system at large.

What I do see is the deterministic system we call "a person" reading the menu and placing the order.

According to information interaction between the brain and its environment. The person as a conscious entity is whatever the brain is doing in any given instance.

If the brain fails in some way, the person fails accordingly.

If I look for the causes of the person's actions, I find most of them within the persons themselves. The biological need for food is part of the person, and is located within each person, and is not located in any system external to each person's own biology.

This individual need for food is one of the causes of restaurants being built and people going into those restaurants to buy dinner.

Neither the causes or the state of the system is a matter of choice.

State equals output. There are no alternatives. Determinism allows none.

Necessity:
''Necessity is the idea that everything that has ever happened and ever will happen is necessary, and can not be otherwise. Necessity is often opposed to chance and contingency. In a necessary world there is no chance. Everything that happens is necessitated.''

Social Conditioning
''Human behavior is affected both by genetic inheritance and by experience. The ways in which people develop are shaped by social experience and circumstances within the context of their inherited genetic potential. The scientific question is just how experience and hereditary potential interact in producing human behavior.

Each person is born into a social and cultural setting—family, community, social class, language, religion—and eventually develops many social connections. The characteristics of a child's social setting affect how he or she learns to think and behave, by means of instruction, rewards and punishment, and example. This setting includes home, school, neighborhood, and also, perhaps, local religious and law enforcement agencies. Then there are also the child's mostly informal interactions with friends, other peers, relatives, and the entertainment and news media. How individuals will respond to all these influences, or even which influence will be the most potent, tends not to be predictable.

There is, however, some substantial similarity in how individuals respond to the same pattern of influences—that is, to being raised in the same culture. Furthermore, culturally induced behavior patterns, such as speech patterns, body language, and forms of humor, become so deeply imbedded in the human mind that they often operate without the individuals themselves being fully aware of them.''

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
there is no choice
You seem to be misconstruing choice.

Again:

obviously does not allow freedom of choice or freedom of will

You cannot change from the compatibilist definition of free to argue that it does not exist. At least not if you are to be taken seriously, anyway. To do so is to argue against a position that someone else does not hold, which is the very definition of "straw-man argument".

Free, in the compatibilist context, is "freedom to requirement"; "freedom from all constraints to the requirement".

Will is "a series of instructions with requirement(s)"

Choice is "selection of a thing from a set of things".

When a will is free, it is "a series of instructions that shall or is meet(ing) it's requirement(s)".

When a choice is free, it is "selection of a thing from a set of things by a given process NOT some other set of things or by some other process".

When a will is not free, it is "a series of instructions that shall fail it's requirement"

When a choice is not free, it is "selection of a thing outside of the aforementioned set or process".

And when we say "free will" without denoting which will is intended, it is a reference to a specific will, in the moment, satisfying it's requirement.

"He had free will" unpacks to "the will he held had a requirement freely chosen by a given process (the process' not-coerced branch)."

It is not about being able to go down either branch in the moment! It is about which branch is actually, objectively utilized.

If you refuse to pick up these definitions
and produce the contradiction you claim exists within that syntax, then you ought accept that you cannot, either by force of will or virtue of ideas, defend incompatibilism, because you will not be defending incompatibilism.

No possible alternatives

And no true Scotsman!
If Aunty Marge selects Corn Bread at 8:45am at the Supermarket, there is no possibility of choosing Rye or Sourdough
Also laughably false. She could select all three.

Fallacy of the false dichotomy, anyone?

You know, me ordering the salad doesn't exclude me from the steak too.

Maybe just bring me the lot, and a bucket.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
You appear to be misconstruing determinism. Quite simply, without realizable alternatives, there is no choice.

And yet we objectively observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives. So, obviously determinism cannot claim that this is not happening.

I am saying that you are misconstruing determinism if you believe determinism makes such menus and such choices impossible.

My claim is that determinism simply makes possibilities and choices inevitable. This is the correct understanding of determinism.

A system where every action is determined by the previous state has no place for choice.

And yet there is choice, and choosing, right there in front of us. So, you need to adjust your understanding of determinism to match reality, or you should leave the explanation of determinism to those of us who can.

If actions are determined they are not chosen. They are set by antecedent states of the system.

And what if choosing happens to be the antecedent state of the system that brought about the next state in which we had a choice in hand?

There is no possibility of choosing or doing something different.

Whenever there is choosing there will always be the possibility of doing something different. This is a logical necessity of the choosing operation. And we see that operation happening every day.

Not just by individuals, but also choosing by groups, such as legislatures, clubs, committees, and your local Parent Teacher Association. Are we to tell these groups that they are only having an illusion of choosing?

This is according to the agreed upon definition of determinism.

I believe you do not fully understand the definition that we've agreed upon. You still insist it has implications which I have demonstrated do not exist. For example, choosing is actually happening within that definition.

We observe people taking actions. We cannot observe the antecedents of these actions or the information processing activity that puts it into action.

The action we observe everyone taking in the restaurant is choosing from the menu what they will have for dinner.

If we want to discover the antecedent causes of those choices, we can just ask them why they ordered the salad instead of the steak. "I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch, so I figured I had better balance that with a healthy salad for dinner". Now the antecedent causes of their choices are known.

We have no access to the underlying activity that makes it happen, information input, processing, action initiation. We see what is happening, not how it happens.

We know enough to hold the person responsible for paying the bill. They ordered that dinner voluntarily, of their own free will (a choice free of coercion and undue influence).

That is the role of neuroscience.

The role of neuroscience is to map the physical processes to the mental experiences, the thoughts and the feelings that we had as we considered the steak versus the salad for dinner.

But it is the role of the waiter in the restaurant to hold each customer responsible for their bill.

When you say we 'observe people making choices' you imply that they have alternatives, but of course determinism by definition allows no alternatives.

Determinism, by definition, makes it inevitable that every item on the menu will be a real possibility, something that the person can choose or not choose, as they please. Determinism, by definition, insures that each thought we have, about the bacon and eggs for breakfast, and about the double cheeseburger for lunch, will be represented in some fashion within the physical processes of the brain, and that these will cause the choice that orders the salad for dinner.

People must necessarily perform their actions as determined.

People must necessarily perform the actions determined by their own choosing. Their own choosing will necessarily be preceded by antecedent causes resulting in the person being who and what they are at that moment, that moment when they, and they alone, actually do the choosing for themselves.

It's an interaction of inputs and brain state.

No kidding.

Sensory inputs come from the external world.

Sensory inputs also come from within ourselves. For example, the hunger that causes me to seek a restaurant at dinner time, is an integral part of who and what I am. (A variation in species that lacked that hunger would quickly become extinct).

It would be misleading to suggest that sensory inputs only come from the external world.

Input is information from the external world.
Information input is the external world acting upon the system.

Not all information is external either. When choosing what to have for dinner, we have food preferences that we've learned from our own internal reactions to each food we tasted. This is all part of who and what we are, rather than about the external world.

The brain itself is an aspect of the system at large.

No no. Not in this venue. You are speaking of the universe or the world at large as if it created the brain for its own purposes. That's supernatural nonsense.

Social Conditioning
''Human behavior is affected both by genetic inheritance and by experience. The ways in which people develop are shaped by social experience and circumstances within the context of their inherited genetic potential. The scientific question is just how experience and hereditary potential interact in producing human behavior. ...

"Hereditary potential". If we were to look about in the world, where would we expect to find this "hereditary potential"? It is uniquely located within each individual. Hereditary potential includes all of the person's innate abilities. Among these abilities is the ability to make choices. As babies grow, parents give them more choices, "would you like the peas or the carrots?". Parents encourage the development of the child's ability to exercise more control over their lives, making bigger choices. They choose for themselves what college they will attend. They grow into adults and become fully responsible for their own choices.

The ability to imagine alternative possibilities, to evaluate them, and to choose from among these possibilities the specific things that they will do is a hereditary potential of every human being.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Why is the menu full of real possibilities? Because, assuming this is Marvin's Cafe, where they don't let people order off-menu, those are the only things you could possibly order, even if you ordered "the lot, and a bucket".

#### DBT

##### Contributor
You appear to be misconstruing determinism. Quite simply, without realizable alternatives, there is no choice.

And yet we objectively observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives. So, obviously determinism cannot claim that this is not happening.

I am saying that you are misconstruing determinism if you believe determinism makes such menus and such choices impossible.

My claim is that determinism simply makes possibilities and choices inevitable. This is the correct understanding of determinism.

Determinism entails events set in motion on fixed pathways.

There are no alternate possibilities.

What happens must necessarily happen.

What you perceive to be possibilities are necessary actions for some and impossibilities for others, actions that can never to be taken or realized.

A system where every action is determined by the previous state has no place for choice.

And yet there is choice, and choosing, right there in front of us. So, you need to adjust your understanding of determinism to match reality, or you should leave the explanation of determinism to those of us who can.

Not if there is no alternative. A choice requires the possibility of taking another option.

Taking another option (in any given instance) cannot happen within a determined system.

What you see are people necessarily 'selecting' (performing) their only possible action in any given instance in time, with no possible or realizable alternative.....where, by the accepted definition of free choice - the possibility of choosing an alternative - does not exist.

Actions performed through a process of necessitation means that there is no freedom to choose something else.

If actions are determined they are not chosen. They are set by antecedent states of the system.

And what if choosing happens to be the antecedent state of the system that brought about the next state in which we had a choice in hand?

The state of the self in relation to the state of the system at large (being an aspect of it) any given moment in time is it. There is nothing else, no homunculus, no special quality that overrides the process of events as they unfold as determined.

There is no leeway in determinism.

''Determinism cannot exclude the effects of biological organisms that transform their environments, like tree seedlings changing bare land into a forest. Determinism cannot exclude the effects of deliberate choices, like when the chef prepares me the salad that I chose for lunch. All of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.'' - Marvin Edwards.

By your own definition of determinism, what you call 'deliberate choices' are fixed by the progression of events before you even think of them or carry them out - ''they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.' - Marvin Edwards.

There is no possibility of choosing or doing something different.

Whenever there is choosing there will always be the possibility of doing something different. This is a logical necessity of the choosing operation. And we see that operation happening every day.

No there is not.

There is absolutely no possibility of doing something different within a determined system.

The operation of what you call 'choosing' is a process of necessitation of events, which being determined, must necessarily proceed as determined.

No deviation. No alternate action. No choosing otherwise. No multiple options for anyone in any given moment in time.

Each and every action leading precisely as determined to the next, which determines the state of the next moment, ad infinitum.

A system where there is no room for freedom of will: choosing or doing otherwise.

A system where all actions proceed unforced, unrestricted as determined.....which is the point where Compatibilists pin their hope for the notion of free will - acting according to one's will without coercion or force, but fail to prove the proposition - freedom of will - for the given reasons.

Put simply, according to your given and accepted definition of determinism, actions are not freely willed, they are determined, ie, all actions including brain activity is fixed by antecedents.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Determinism entails events set in motion on fixed pathways.
Yes. This statement is true. Some of those events are along the pathway "us deciding ourselves what we will do and whether."
There are no alternate possibilities.
And then you stepped off the definition of compatibilism of "alternate possibility"

When a compatibilist, or anyone really, says "alternate possibilities" they mean one of two things. Either they are taking of the contents of the set the choice function operates upon, or that they do not understand the choice function being executed and that the result from their position appears chaotic (a discussion of subjective imaginary possibility). The second of these is not what we are talking about in this thread as compatibilists in the discussion here. We are talking about the set the choice function operates on.

They are not in any way saying all or any of these things necessarily shall happen.

They are saying "this is the contents of the set upon which the choice function operates".

It is not about the results of listA.pop() as to what the "possibilities" are. It is about the contents of the listA object, about "what it objectively contains".

After the choice function operates, listA still contains the possibilities. they can be observed in the structure of listA, and in fact listA can pop a second, third, fourth time, until it is empty, and THEN it will contain no more possibilities. It will contain "the empty set" of "possibilities" which in this case, for listA, is "a real number".

"Possibilities" here encompass "the set the choice function operates upon".

In the case of the menu, the menu actually MUST be there for the choice function to operate on the possibilities as it does. Different possibilities mean a different choice function output!

If salad were not on the menu, he would have selected soup. If there was no soup, he would have selected the fried veggie wrap.

If the only option on the menu was steak, he would have sighed and ordered the steak.

A choice function is any object of the form "select X from Set".

A possibility is "an element of a set that has been presented to a choice function".

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
(1) We observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives.
(2) We observe groups of people making decisions together: legislatures, committees, clubs, parent-teacher associations.

Determinism cannot claim that these events are not happening. If it makes such a claim, it would be foolish for anyone to believe it.

But determinism may make other claims which are reasonable. For example, it may reasonably claim that all events are reliably caused by prior events. This is the notion of "reliable cause and effect", and we observe ourselves and others reliably causing effects in the real world. So, this claim is reasonable.

Determinism cannot claim that free will means "freedom from causal necessity". The notion of "freedom from reliable cause and effect" is paradoxical, because every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. It is a self-contradiction to require any freedom to be free of the very thing that every freedom requires. Thus, the notion of "freedom from causal necessity" is fundamentally irrational, paradoxical, and cannot be used as the definition for anything.

Free will can be operationally defined as a choice we make for ourselves while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. And this is the definition that is applied when assessing a person's moral or legal responsibility for their actions. It requires nothing magical, nothing supernatural, and makes no claim to any uncaused choice.

Determinism, when limited to making reasonable claims, and free will, when defined operationally and stripped of the irrational notion of "freedom from causal necessity", are compatible notions.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
(1) We observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives.
(2) We observe groups of people making decisions together: legislatures, committees, clubs, parent-teacher associations.

Determinism cannot claim that these events are not happening. If it makes such a claim, it would be foolish for anyone to believe it.

No and those who espouse it don't have to either. You can claim, as a retort, that your statements are what happens in a determinist world.

However you have to show that they do happen as the result of actual determinism.

You don't. You put it on determinists to explain how these happenings are consequent of determinism.

We point out that you fail to show any deterministic basis for the acts you think you see. We also point out that the acts you see are self-defined acts, not objective determined acts.

You reply they are not self defined even though they arise from your observation of what you see.

We determinists respond what you see is not actually determined material evidence.

Rather it is derived from evolved adaptations for sensing anything from the outside world. Those anything's clearly are not the actual events and energies extant. Rather they are secondary this or that adaptation to those events that is good enough for you to get by.

Humans exist thanks to the nature of statistics in the real world. There are a range of responses to reality that are good enough for organisms to continue being.
That clearly is not the same as existence being determined.

So you need to demonstrate why and how a probabilistic existence is proof of any level of determinism.

What is the transformation that leads from reality to probability of existence?

My answer is develop responses that are good enough for continuing existence. As a collateral jaryhn should adapt his 'deterministic' models to being good enough statistical models.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
However you have to show that they do happen as the result of actual determinism
Oh, we do, and I very much did, and you pulled out a No True Scotsman Determinism.

I showed a will, I showed a choice function, I showed a set of possibilities, I showed things "free" by compatibilist definitions as a result of deterministic functions on a state field.

And you called it subjective because you failed and fail and will again in the future most likely fail to understand the difference between mutability, as describes an object with easily and arbitrarily configured object properties and subjectivity as describes an opinion, emotion, or personal taste.

It is no person's opinion or personal taste or emotion that determines that the transistor is on or off. It may happen, in some bizarre way, to have come to be as result of some absurdity of human emotion, but the thing itself is unarguably an object and unarguably observable, quantifiable and empirically verifiable.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
However you have to show that they do happen as the result of actual determinism
Oh, we do, and I very much did, and you pulled out a No True Scotsman Determinism.

I showed a will, I showed a choice function, I showed a set of possibilities, I showed things "free" by compatibilist definitions as a result of deterministic functions on a state field.

And you called it subjective because you failed and fail and will again in the future most likely fail to understand the difference between mutability, as describes an object with easily and arbitrarily configured object properties and subjectivity as describes an opinion, emotion, or personal taste.

It is no person's opinion or personal taste or emotion that determines that the transistor is on or off. It may happen, in some bizarre way, to have come to be as result of some absurdity of human emotion, but the thing itself is unarguably an object and unarguably observable, quantifiable and empirically verifiable.
What's your problem Jarhyn? I suggested you could do what you did to show how such as humans can get to an understanding of how determinism is different from how humans try to interpret it within human perspectives. All we need do is keep the material experiment as unique and change our perspective from that of subjective to objective without handwaving.

I keep determinism within the scientific method parameters of reality. I insist that what you do and Marvin proposes are illegitimate bastardizations of any logical determinism construction.

But, I offer ways out of your logical quagmires to reconcile what we observe with what is determinism.

We are pretty close to a meeting point here. I keep physics and you shift from statistical interpretations to reductionist interpretations.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
All we need do is keep the material experiment as unique and change our perspective from that of subjective to objective without handwaving
This is nonsense. Like, it does not parse. complete blueberry waffle tango bella.

"Keep the material experiment as unique"

As I pointed out, you again fail to understand the difference between objectivity and mutability.

The experiment is oh so simple: open up an actual object, see a thing satisfying the definition "series of instructions unto a requirement", and then see that thing meet it's requirement, enter the same situation where the requirement shall be contingently missed instead.

We did that with Urist.

We even did that with listA.
I keep determinism within the scientific method parameters of reality
And again with your butterfly follow green flange.

The scientific method does not in the first place define "parameters of reality". People following it may discover parameters of reality, but they are not defined by the scientific method.

Your inability to keep these straight in your post does not bode well.
illegitimate bastardizations of any logical determinism construction
And there it is!
You pulled out a No True Scotsman Determinism

The fact is, even stupid little dwarves can and do display lists of instructions with requirements, and those requirements may have their requirements met contingently on the basis of the configuration of their physics, which also happens to say things of our physics because it is hosted inside our physics: their "physics" cannot allow anything to happen in our world that our world does not allow! If they can have free will, such may exist for us as well: both are deterministic systems.

The definitions of Free and Will have been satisfied, in the object properties of an empirically observable system.

Now that we have observed little objects in a big object encoding in their material form a thing satisfying the definition "list of possibilities", and that "list of possibilities" having a real observable truth value "whether shall meet requirement".

There is nothing "statistical" about this, it is a hard black and white true/false binary that is determined by an object's state. It is no different than observing the bear trap trigger. Shall the trap close? The trap itself is a will by this definition. The trigger itself is a requirement. The thing that makes the will free to it's requirement is the person objectively stepping on it. There's nothing subjective about what happens there.

"BuT BeAr TrApS DoNt HaVe WiLlS!"

Oh, they do. They WILL close IF the requirement of the trigger is satisfied. This is a function of their structure.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
(1) We observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives.

The action that is taken by each and every diner in the restaurant is the only possible action in the instance that it is necessarily taken.

What you see are actions being performed. You have no access to, or awareness of the underlying process that brings people to that point in time and place, each performing their only possible action in each and every instance in time in a progression of determined event (we are talking determinism after all.)

By your own definition of determinism, no alternate possibilities exist for anyone at any given instance in time.

Each person, entailing a different set of conditions, has their own unique set of actions, Bob goes with Steak, his Wife Marge takes Caeser Salad....

Rather than decisions in the sense that they have possible alternatives (being determined, there can be none), they are entailed actions.

The proposition here is determinism, not probabilistic outcomes.

(2) We observe groups of people making decisions together: legislatures, committees, clubs, parent-teacher associations.

No alternatives exist within a determined system. If our four-dimensional deterministic world could be rewound, like a movie, everything would play out precisely as the first time, all the same events, thoughts, words, action with no variation.

''All of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.'' - Marvin Edwards.

Determinism cannot claim that these events are not happening. If it makes such a claim, it would be foolish for anyone to believe it.

Sure, they happen. They must happen. They happen as determined. No deviation, no alternate actions possible.

But determinism may make other claims which are reasonable. For example, it may reasonably claim that all events are reliably caused by prior events. This is the notion of "reliable cause and effect", and we observe ourselves and others reliably causing effects in the real world. So, this claim is reasonable.

Determinism is far more than 'reliable cause and effect' - determinism fixes all actions and all outcomes. Your decision to choose Steak was determined before you were aware of it. Freely willed? Not even willed. Determined.

Determinism cannot claim that free will means "freedom from causal necessity". The notion of "freedom from reliable cause and effect" is paradoxical, because every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. It is a self-contradiction to require any freedom to be free of the very thing that every freedom requires. Thus, the notion of "freedom from causal necessity" is fundamentally irrational, paradoxical, and cannot be used as the definition for anything.

Without possible alternatives, where is freedom of choice? You 'choose' what you must necessarily choose. You can't do otherwise. Is that free will? It's not even a matter of will.

Free will can be operationally defined as a choice we make for ourselves while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. And this is the definition that is applied when assessing a person's moral or legal responsibility for their actions. It requires nothing magical, nothing supernatural, and makes no claim to any uncaused choice.

Free will is an ideological notion, one that is not compatible with determinism, where all actions are fixed by initial conditions and how things go ever after as a matter of natural law...

Determinism, when limited to making reasonable claims, and free will, when defined operationally and stripped of the irrational notion of "freedom from causal necessity", are compatible notions.

There is no freedom from natural causality, and it is natural causality/determinism that fixes all events - including brain, mind, thoughts, feelings, deliberations, etc, from initial conditions until the end of time.

That is the point.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
The action that is taken by each and every diner in the restaurant is the only possible action in the instance that it is necessarily taken
No, this abandons the definition of "possibility", or steps away from the context of determinism into imagination (in which case you are using a non-sequitur as what you think of in your imagination rightly has nothing to do with determinism).

A "possibility" is "an object in a set presented to a choice function".

ListA listA();//listA = ∅;
listA.push(1); //possibilities of listA = {[1,1]};
listA.push(2); //possibilities of listA = {[1,2], [2,1]};
Real result = listA.pop(); //result = 2; possibilities of listA = {[1,1]}

It does not matter that this construction will never return with result = 1. 1 is a "possibility" because listA contains, in it's set, [n,1], because "a possibility" is what it is owing to it's containment in the set presented to the choice function.

Failure to observe this is failure to observe the definitions of such within compatibilism and so a failure to argue in good faith against it. A possibility does not need to be selected to be a possibility of the choice function.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
(1) We observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives.
(2) We observe groups of people making decisions together: legislatures, committees, clubs, parent-teacher associations.

Determinism cannot claim that these events are not happening. If it makes such a claim, it would be foolish for anyone to believe it.

However you have to show that they do happen as the result of actual determinism.

Actually, no. There are no "results of actual determinism", because determinism doesn't actually do anything.

Determinism is simply the belief (-ism) that all events are reliably caused by prior events. Determinism is not some causal agent that goes about in the world making things happen in a certain way. Determinism is never itself a prior event.

Determinism itself is just us taking note of the fact that we can actually explain why most events happen in terms of specific causes that naturally resulted in those specific effects. And, it makes the hopeful assertion that there are likely to be reliable causes for any events for which we have not yet discovered the causes.

You put it on determinists to explain how these happenings are consequent of determinism.

Determinism itself has no consequences. Punching a guy in a bar has consequences; most likely the guy will punch back. But it was the choice to throw the first punch that reliably causes the return punch. Determinism simply makes note of the fact, by asserting "I told you that would happen!".

We also point out that the acts you see are self-defined acts, not objective determined acts.

Both the first punch and the retaliatory punch are commonly defined as "acts where one person forms a fist and presses that first, hard and fast, into someone else's body".

These are not self-defined acts, but acts which are well defined and understood by everyone (with the possible exception of a philosopher of metaphysics).

You reply they are not self defined even though they arise from your observation of what you see.

And you give us no reasonable alternative to our own observations of what we see. After all, we can duplicate this experiment in pretty much any laboratory that creates the conditions of drunken people making each other angry. We can even have a researcher, as a plant, to spur them on (this technique of having a plant is not uncommon in psychological or sociological experiments).

We determinists respond what you see is not actually determined material evidence. Rather it is derived from evolved adaptations for sensing anything from the outside world. Those anything's clearly are not the actual events and energies extant. Rather they are secondary this or that adaptation to those events that is good enough for you to get by.

And this problem is solved the same way that we solve the solipsism problem or the brain-in-a-vat problem: with Pragmatism. If that is the only reality to which we have any access, then that is as real as our reality ever gets to be.

Humans exist thanks to the nature of statistics in the real world. There are a range of responses to reality that are good enough for organisms to continue being. That clearly is not the same as existence being determined.

The thing to be clear about is that determinism never determines anything. One actual thing actually determines another actual thing. Determinism itself is not an actual thing. Believing determinism to be an actual thing is what gets everyone into trouble and makes them say very silly things.

The punch in the bar was an actual event caused by one actual guy's actual arm pushing his actual fist into the actual face or actual body of another actual guy. Determinism merely sat in the corner, taking notes. It did not actively participate.

So you need to demonstrate why and how a probabilistic existence is proof of any level of determinism.

The only proof that is ever offered that we live in a world of reliable cause and effect is the formal (scientific method) and informal (the rest of us) observations of one thing reliably causing another thing to happen.

What is the transformation that leads from reality to probability of existence? My answer is develop responses that are good enough for continuing existence.

Hallelujah for Pragmatism!

#### pood

##### Senior Member
DBT writes:

No alternatives exist within a determined system. If our four-dimensional deterministic world could be rewound, like a movie, everything would play out precisely as the first time, all the same events, thoughts, words, action with no variation.

And this is the whole point.

Notice, first, that we cannot run this experiment. We can run no experiment to prove your hard determinism. We can run plenty of experiments that show determinism, but none that show hard determinism. And yes, they are different, no matter how much you insist otherwise. Your hard determinism is the secular equivalent of Calvinistic predestination, with Mr. Hard Determinism taking over the supernatural celestial robes from Mr. God.

But suppose could run this experiment.

In the first iteration, from the big bang to the present moment, Marvin orders salad for dinner.

The second iteration is an exact replay of the first. And once again we find … Marvin orders salad.

Third iteration, Marvin orders salad. Fourth iteration, Marvin orders salad. Fifth iteration … on to infinity.

What have we proved? Have we proved hard determinism?

Certainly not. What we have proved is that Marvin orders salad for reasons of his own based on antecedent circumstances. In all the iterations, for example (since they are exactly alike), Marvin had a big breakfast, and so for dinner he decides to eat light — to eat salad instead of steak, say.

This is why I have emphasized throughout this thread that one must avoid the modal fallacy — one must not confuse WILL do x (order salad, in this case) with MUST do x. The hard determinist illicitly conflates contingency (WILL) with necessity (MUST). Marvin does not HAVE TO order salad in all the iterations, he just DOES (of his own free will, provided there is no outside coercion) because he WANTS to.

I will finish up by adding that in your most recent post, you yet again made the mistake of saying that future events are “fixed by natural law.” In addition to constantly making the modal fallacy, as just described, you constantly and without even thinking about it, it seems, invoke “natural law” as PREscriptive, whereas in fact it is DEscriptive. There is no law that makes it be the the case that two bodies in space orbit their common barycenter. In fact they just do that very thing, and general relativity (and to less approximation Newton) DESCRIBE that behavior.

There is no such thing as a Mr. Natural Law and a Mr. Hard Determinism serving as secular stand-ins for the Mr. God of Calvinistic predestination. Your hard determinism and mistaken notion of the role of natural law in the world is just God updated for the modern world. It is not and can never be supported by science or empiricism in any form. Just the opposite — empiricism shows people freely making choices every moment of every day.

Marvin wrote:

The thing to be clear about is that determinism never determines anything. One actual thing actually determines another actual thing. Determinism itself is not an actual thing. Believing determinism to be an actual thing is what gets everyone into trouble and makes them say very silly things.

Exactly. Like believing God is an actual thing.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
(1) We observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives.

The action that is taken by each and every diner in the restaurant is the only possible action in the instance that it is necessarily taken.

You are scrambling the context of actualities with the context of possibilities. They are like oil and water. They do not mix. You are free to use one or the other, and alternate between them, according to well established grammatical rules, but if you conflate their meaning you will destroy their meaning, and end up with nonsense.

Let me sort them out for you. Within the context of deterministic reality, we have people in a restaurant who are uncertain what they will choose for dinner. They face a menu of alternate possibilities and find that they must choose what they will order before they will get anything to eat.

They are initially uncertain as to what they will choose. So, they cannot yet tell the waiter "I will have this" or "I will have that". They simply do not know at this time what they will inevitably choose. They are uncertain about the deterministic reality of what they "will" do.

So, they leave the grammatical context of things that they will do and enter the grammatical context of things that they can do. Within the context of things they can do, they will think about different items on the menu that they might enjoy. Each item on the menu is something they "can" choose. But none of them are as yet something that they "will" choose.

Within the context of deterministic reality, what they will choose has not yet been meaningfully caused. No event is ever fully determined (caused to happen) until its final prior causes have played themselves out (and that play will not be over until the fat lady sings, "I will have the Chef Salad, please").

In the meantime, we are considering the steak and the salad. We "can" order the steak. We "can" order the salad. While considering the steak we recall that we had the bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. So, we decide to order the salad.

Now, finally, we know for certain what we "will" do. We tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please."

Note that we do not tell the waiter, "I can have the Chef Salad". If we said, "I can have the Chef Salad" the waiter would assume we were asking a question, and answer "Yes", and still wait for us to tell him what we will have. "I can" and "I will" mean two entirely different things, and we need to retain those two distinct meanings.

So, when you say something like, "The action that is taken by each and every diner in the restaurant is the only possible action in the instance that it is necessarily taken", you are confusing what "can" happen with what "will" happen, and creating nonsense.

The nonsense is in suggesting that, in the context of deterministic reality, ordering the salad was the only "possible" action, the only thing that "could" have happened.

The only correct assertion we can make in the context of deterministic reality is that ordering the salad was the only "actual action", and the only thing that "would" happen under those same circumstances.

You see, it was causally necessary that, in the context of deterministic reality, we would enter the context of possibilities during the choosing operation. Within the context of possibilities there are always multiple possibilities and multiple things that we can do.

Within the context of deterministic reality, one cannot use the term "possibility" without immediately shifting to the context of possibilities!

Do you see this yet?

What you see are actions being performed. You have no access to, or awareness of the underlying process that brings people to that point in time and place, each performing their only possible action in each and every instance in time in a progression of determined event (we are talking determinism after all.)

But we do have access to that knowledge in a general sense. We know, for instance, that the brain is performing our decision making, and the brain is composed of neurons grouped into areas according to their specialized functions with the brain. And we know that these areas work together, in some fashion, to present itself to us and the world as a single person.

In the restaurant, we presume that each person has their own goals and interests, and their own reasons for the choices they make. And these goals, interests, and reasons reliably cause the choice they make, and what they end up telling the waiter to serve them for dinner.

Thus, their dinner orders are both reliably caused (deterministic) and reliably caused by them (chosen by them while free of coercion and undue influence, which is to say, a "freely chosen will").

By your own definition of determinism, no alternate possibilities exist for anyone at any given instance in time.

Not by my definition, but only by your own false assumption that, in coming to the single actuality, we never consider multiple possibilities. That is a false assumption, not justified by the facts of our deterministic reality.

We even observe groups of people making decisions together: legislatures, committees, clubs, parent-teacher associations.

There is a group decision making technique called "brainstorming", where everyone is encourage to suggest alternative possibilities, however strange, within a non-judgmental context, on the theory that even a crazy idea may spur a different idea that is actually practical.

That is how things actually work within our deterministic reality.

... determinism fixes all actions and all outcomes.

That's worse than nonsense. That is superstitious nonsense. You've assigned causal agency to an abstract concept. No sir. You do not understand what determinism is really about. Only the actual objects and forces that make up the physical universe can cause events.

And, as to free will, determinism cannot claim that free will means "freedom from causal necessity". The notion of "freedom from reliable cause and effect" is paradoxical, because every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. It is a self-contradiction to require any freedom to be free of the very thing that every freedom requires. Thus, the notion of "freedom from causal necessity" is fundamentally irrational, paradoxical, and cannot be used as the definition for anything.

Free will can be operationally defined as a choice we make for ourselves while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence. And this is the definition that is applied when assessing a person's moral or legal responsibility for their actions. It requires nothing magical, nothing supernatural, and makes no claim to any "uncaused" choice.

Free will is an ideological notion ...

Only if we stupidly define free will as "freedom from causal necessity". That, my friend, is an ideological notion. And, unfortunately, it is a notion held by many otherwise intelligent people. But, that's what a paradox can do, drive people crazy.

Determinism, when limited to making reasonable claims, and free will, when defined operationally and stripped of the irrational notion of "freedom from causal necessity", are compatible notions.

There is no freedom from natural causality,

And, fortunately, no "freedom from natural causality" is required by the operational definition of free will. All that is required is freedom from coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
DBT writes:

No alternatives exist within a determined system. If our four-dimensional deterministic world could be rewound, like a movie, everything would play out precisely as the first time, all the same events, thoughts, words, action with no variation.

And this is the whole point.

Notice, first, that we cannot run this experiment. We can run no experiment to prove your hard determinism. We can run plenty of experiments that show determinism, but none that show hard determinism. And yes, they are different, no matter how much you insist otherwise. Your hard determinism is the secular equivalent of Calvinistic predestination, with Mr. Hard Determinism taking over the supernatural celestial robes from Mr. God.

But suppose could run this experiment.

In the first iteration, from the big bang to the present moment, Marvin orders salad for dinner.

The second iteration is an exact replay of the first. And once again we find … Marvin orders salad.

Third iteration, Marvin orders salad. Fourth iteration, Marvin orders salad. Fifth iteration … on to infinity.

What have we proved? Have we proved hard determinism?

Certainly not. What we have proved is that Marvin orders salad for reasons of his own based on antecedent circumstances. In all the iterations, for example (since they are exactly alike), Marvin had a big breakfast, and so for dinner he decides to eat light — to eat salad instead of steak, say.

This is why I have emphasized throughout this thread that one must avoid the modal fallacy — one must not confuse WILL do x (order salad, in this case) with MUST do x. The hard determinist illicitly conflates contingency (WILL) with necessity (MUST). Marvin does not HAVE TO order salad in all the iterations, he just DOES (of his own free will, provided there is no outside coercion) because he WANTS to.

I will finish up by adding that in your most recent post, you yet again made the mistake of saying that future events are “fixed by natural law.” In addition to constantly making the modal fallacy, as just described, you constantly and without even thinking about it, it seems, invoke “natural law” as PREscriptive, whereas in fact it is DEscriptive. There is no law that makes it be the the case that two bodies in space orbit their common barycenter. In fact they just do that very thing, and general relativity (and to less approximation Newton) DESCRIBE that behavior.

There is no such thing as a Mr. Natural Law and a Mr. Hard Determinism serving as secular stand-ins for the Mr. God of Calvinistic predestination. Your hard determinism and mistaken notion of the role of natural law in the world is just God updated for the modern world. It is not and can never be supported by science or empiricism in any form. Just the opposite — empiricism shows people freely making choices every moment of every day.

Marvin wrote:

The thing to be clear about is that determinism never determines anything. One actual thing actually determines another actual thing. Determinism itself is not an actual thing. Believing determinism to be an actual thing is what gets everyone into trouble and makes them say very silly things.

Exactly. Like believing God is an actual thing.
So, you're not entirely right. We can take a causal determinism with fixed rules, start it from Last Thursday, and watch what something does.

We can watch them walk into the room to install the statue. You can watch them choose their need to FIGHT as one to resolve, of the set of their current needs. You can watch the path get calculated, and you can watch them start executing steps. You can watch them try to open the door. You can look at the return result of that operation.

You could do it a million times and still Urist would be standing at that door, holding a will to open it that is in the very process of being determined "unfree".

You can watch the tantrum happen as a result too.

Every time, you get to open the debugger and look at the list of "possibilities", watch the choice function return one of those "possibilities", and watch as that "possibility" becomes "an actual will" and then as that will becomes, as it would always become, unfree.

It's almost like when you can actually be a god, you can actually answer the question directly.

But as always, I would certainly hope I'm not the god of this; I really don't expect there to be one.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
(1) We observe people in a restaurant making choices from a literal menu of realizable alternatives.

The action that is taken by each and every diner in the restaurant is the only possible action in the instance that it is necessarily taken.

You are scrambling the context of actualities with the context of possibilities. They are like oil and water. They do not mix. You are free to use one or the other, and alternate between them, according to well established grammatical rules, but if you conflate their meaning you will destroy their meaning, and end up with nonsense.

I am not scrambling a thing.

Based on the given and accepted definition of determinism, alternate actions do not exist within a deterministic system.

Without the possibility of alternate actions, there is no freedom to select between options.

The action that is taken is necessarily taken.

Let me sort them out for you. Within the context of deterministic reality, we have people in a restaurant who are uncertain what they will choose for dinner. They face a menu of alternate possibilities and find that they must choose what they will order before they will get anything to eat.

There is nothing to sort out.

Determinism can have no uncertainty, each and every step of each and every action within a determined system proceeds as determined.

We are not discussing probabilistic systems.

That people feel a sense of uncertainty is the state of the system in that instance in time, insufficient information in relation to the means of production. There is no feedback loop between consciousness and its neural information processing substrata.

The brain is processing information and the exchange of information between cells and regions creates a sense of uncertainty during the transition between input and action taken.

An illusion of consciousness, insufficient information, but never the possibility of an alternate action.

You can't have it both ways.

You can't have determinism, yet claim that alternate actions are possible can indeed be chosen.

That is contravening the very definition of determinism that you gave.

They are initially uncertain as to what they will choose. So, they cannot yet tell the waiter "I will have this" or "I will have that". They simply do not know at this time what they will inevitably choose. They are uncertain about the deterministic reality of what they "will" do.

Again, the given your definition of determinism, there can be no alternative actions, therefore any sense of uncertainty is an illusion formed during the transition between sensory inputs and determined action, ie, the brain has not fully processed its inputs.

If actual rather than perceptual uncertainty exists within a determined system, it is not - by definition - determinism.

''Each state of the universe and its events are the necessary result of its prior state and prior events. ("Events" change the state of things.)

However, in order for determinism to be true, it must include all events. For example, determinism cannot exclude the effects of natural forces, like volcanoes and tidal waves or a meteor hitting the Earth. Determinism cannot exclude the effects of biological organisms that transform their environments, like tree seedlings changing bare land into a forest. Determinism cannot exclude the effects of deliberate choices, like when the chef prepares me the salad that I chose for lunch.

All of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.'' - Marvin Edwards.

So, when you say something like, "The action that is taken by each and every diner in the restaurant is the only possible action in the instance that it is necessarily taken", you are confusing what "can" happen with what "will" happen, and creating nonsense.

The nonsense is in suggesting that, in the context of deterministic reality, ordering the salad was the only "possible" action, the only thing that "could" have happened.

The only correct assertion we can make in the context of deterministic reality is that ordering the salad was the only "actual action", and the only thing that "would" happen under those same circumstances.

Not merely 'would' it happen as determined, but it must necessarily happen precisely as determined.

This is not nonsense. It's precisely how determinism is defined. You appear to be drifting into probabilistic territory.

The issue is agency; 'freely chosen' versus 'necessarily chosen'

Freely chosen implies that alternate actions are possible, that you could have gone with tea instead of coffee, for instance (something that is not permitted by the given definition of determinism.)

Necessarily chosen allows no alternatives, the action that is taken is necessarily taken, with no possibility of 'choosing' otherwise.

'Freely chosen' is something that cannot - based on the given definition - exist within a deterministic system.

All actions must necessarily proceed as determined, not freely chosen.

Without realizable alternatives or alternate actions, nothing is freely willed or chosen, everything within a determined system is necessitated, making free will incompatible with determinism.

Dr. Robert Sapolsky: The basic theme is that we are biological creatures, which shouldn't be earth-shattering. And thus all of our behavior is a product of our biology, which also shouldn't be earth-shattering—even though it's news to some people.

If we want to make sense of our behavior—all the best, worst, and everything in between—we're not going to get anywhere if we think it can all be explained with one thing, whether it's one part of the brain, one childhood experience, one hormone, one gene, or anything. Instead, a behavior is the outcome of everything from neurobiology one second before the action, to evolutionary pressure dating back millions of years.''

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Without the possibility of alternate actions, there is no freedom to select between options.
"Without being able to do BOTH you cannot do either" is abject nonsense.

The freedom to select between objects, by the definitions offered of "freedom" "possibility" and "choice" is proven out by the fact that a set was presented to the choice function and one of that set happened.

You seem to have a really big issue with figuring this out.

You are stepping off the definitions, yet again.

The action that is taken by each and every diner in the restaurant is the only possible action in the instance that it is necessarily taken
No, this abandons the definition of "possibility", or steps away from the context of determinism into imagination (in which case you are using a non-sequitur as what you think of in your imagination rightly has nothing to do with determinism).

A "possibility" is "an object in a set presented to a choice function".

ListA listA();//listA = ∅;
listA.push(1); //possibilities of listA = {[1,1]};
listA.push(2); //possibilities of listA = {[1,2], [2,1]};
Real result = listA.pop(); //result = 2; possibilities of listA = {[1,1]}

It does not matter that this construction will never return with result = 1. 1 is a "possibility" because listA contains, in it's set, [n,1], because "a possibility" is what it is owing to it's containment in the set presented to the choice function.

Failure to observe this is failure to observe the definitions of such within compatibilism and so a failure to argue in good faith against it. A possibility does not need to be selected to be a possibility of the choice function.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
Based on the given and accepted definition of determinism, alternate actions do not exist within a deterministic system.

And yet there they are, right in front of our noses. Which ice cream would you like? Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry? Who will you be voting for in the upcoming races, Republicans or Democrats? Which necktie goes best with this shirt?

Within a fully deterministic system, there is only one thing that actually "will" happen. But there are many different things that actually "can" happen.

We will necessarily choose the single thing that we will do from among the many things that we can do. "I better have a salad for dinner considering what I've already eaten for breakfast and lunch today".

The context of possibilities provides the logic and the grammar required by the rational causal mechanism in order to do its job. And we cannot break this mechanism without threatening the survival advantage that it has provided to our species.

Insisting upon a single actuality is perfectly fine. But insisting upon a single possibility is totally irrational. So, get the fork over it.

Determinism can have no uncertainty, ...

Determinism can neither have certainty nor uncertainty, because it lacks a brain, not to mention lacking a body, and lacking any interests in any outcomes, etc. Determinism is simply the belief that all events are reliably caused by prior events. It is a rational belief, at least until people start drawing all kinds of false conclusions about its implications.

That people feel a sense of uncertainty is the state of the system in that instance in time, insufficient information in relation to the means of production.

Exactly! Thus the grammatical and logical context of possibilities, abilities, things that can happen, may happen, might happen, etc.

There is no feedback loop between consciousness and its neural information processing substrata.

That's scientifically false. Consciousness is not a free floating spiritual entity, operating outside the brain.

Consciousness is just another function, connected to the many other functions, within the same neural apparatus.

The brain is processing information and the exchange of information between cells and regions creates a sense of uncertainty during the transition between input and action taken.

And what do you think this "sense" of uncertainty is for, if not to reflect our logical uncertainty prior to completing our own choosing? The rational causal mechanism deals with uncertainty by shifting to the context of multiple possibilities until choosing is complete, and we have resolved the question: "What will we do?".

An illusion of consciousness, ...

An illusion is incapable of performing a function. Conscious awareness performs a function. It manages attention to a given task. It reinforces neural pathways during the recall of information. It explains the reasons for our chosen actions. It is certainly not an illusion. It is as real as any other function within the brain.

In order for determinism to be true, it must include all events. For example, determinism cannot exclude the effects of natural forces, like volcanoes and tidal waves or a meteor hitting the Earth. Determinism cannot exclude the effects of biological organisms that transform their environments, like tree seedlings changing bare land into a forest. Determinism cannot exclude the effects of deliberate choices, like when the chef prepares me the salad that I chose for dinner.

All of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment.' Included in these events are the possibilities that appeared on the restaurant menu, my considering the steak, my considering the salad, and finally my own decision, free of coercion and undue influence, to order the salad.

You appear to be drifting into probabilistic territory.

Not at all! But you appear to be grasping at straws.

The issue is agency;

Indeed. For example, determinism has no agency. But you and I have plenty of agency, as witnessed by this very long thread.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Ok, so, let's consider a second choice function on listA: sort_top_2

Code:
bool ListA.sort_top_2(real &a, real &b)
{
bool success = false;
a = ∅;
b = ∅;
If (this.size > 2)
{
real temp1 = this.pop();
real temp2 = this.pop()

If (temp1 > temp2)
{
a = temp1;
b = temp2;
}
else
{
a = temp2;
b = temp1;
}
success=true;
}
return success;
}

An interesting facet of this particular choice function is that it incorporates other choice functions.

Another interesting fact about this choice function is that it REQUIRES more than a single possibility to be "free". If it does not have them, it will fail to select at all.

Not only does determinism not rule out possibilities, sometimes for a choice function to be "free" at all, it needs more than a "single possibility".

Observe it is still absolutely deterministic on the list.

listA needs two possibilities and returns two actualities in the operation of this choice function.

You could as easily do "top_2_of_3", and have a choice function that takes three possibilities, returns 2 of them as actualities, and then necessarily re-inserts the remaining popped element as a possibility again: A deterministic choice function that requires remaining possibilities for to be "free" at all.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Ok, so, let's consider a second choice function on listA: sort_top_2

Code:
bool ListA.sort_top_2(real &a, real &b)
{
bool success = false;
a = ∅;
b = ∅;
If (this.size > 2)
{
real temp1 = this.pop();
real temp2 = this.pop()

If (temp1 > temp2)
{
a = temp1;
b = temp2;
}
else
{
a = temp2;
b = temp1;
}
success=true;
}
return success;
}

An interesting facet of this particular choice function is that it incorporates other choice functions.

Another interesting fact about this choice function is that it REQUIRES more than a single possibility to be "free". If it does not have them, it will fail to select at all.

Not only does determinism not rule out possibilities, sometimes for a choice function to be "free" at all, it needs more than a "single possibility".

Observe it is still absolutely deterministic on the list.

listA needs two possibilities and returns two actualities in the operation of this choice function.

You could as easily do "top_2_of_3", and have a choice function that takes three possibilities, returns 2 of them as actualities, and then necessarily re-inserts the remaining popped element as a possibility again: A deterministic choice function that requires remaining possibilities for to be "free" at all.
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism. No if-then or else please. Such would be entirely human in origin, showing clearly the derivative nature of human interaction with deterministic world which I put in 'good enough' theory.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Ok, so, let's consider a second choice function on listA: sort_top_2

Code:
bool ListA.sort_top_2(real &a, real &b)
{
bool success = false;
a = ∅;
b = ∅;
If (this.size > 2)
{
real temp1 = this.pop();
real temp2 = this.pop()

If (temp1 > temp2)
{
a = temp1;
b = temp2;
}
else
{
a = temp2;
b = temp1;
}
success=true;
}
return success;
}

An interesting facet of this particular choice function is that it incorporates other choice functions.

Another interesting fact about this choice function is that it REQUIRES more than a single possibility to be "free". If it does not have them, it will fail to select at all.

Not only does determinism not rule out possibilities, sometimes for a choice function to be "free" at all, it needs more than a "single possibility".

Observe it is still absolutely deterministic on the list.

listA needs two possibilities and returns two actualities in the operation of this choice function.

You could as easily do "top_2_of_3", and have a choice function that takes three possibilities, returns 2 of them as actualities, and then necessarily re-inserts the remaining popped element as a possibility again: A deterministic choice function that requires remaining possibilities for to be "free" at all.
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism. No if-then or else please. Such would be entirely human in origin, showing clearly the derivative nature of human interaction with deterministic world which I put in 'good enough' theory.
I already did. "Possibility" in compatibilism is "a member of the set upon which the choice function operates".

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism.

Possibilities exist solely in the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. We can only drive a car across an actual bridge.

However, we cannot build an actual bridge without first imagining a possible bridge. So, the notion of a "possibility" serves an essential function in our logical reasoning.

In deterministic reality, we encounter problems or issues where we must make a choice before we can continue. Will I turn left or right? Will I order the steak or the salad? Will I wear the red tie or the blue tie?

The logic of decision making is fully deterministic. Each step is causally necessary. And, from any prior point in eternity it will have been causally necessary that I would have two neckties to choose from, and that I, and I alone, would be making that choice.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism.

Possibilities exist solely in the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. We can only drive a car across an actual bridge.

However, we cannot build an actual bridge without first imagining a possible bridge. So, the notion of a "possibility" serves an essential function in our logical reasoning.

In deterministic reality, we encounter problems or issues where we must make a choice before we can continue. Will I turn left or right? Will I order the steak or the salad? Will I wear the red tie or the blue tie?

The logic of decision making is fully deterministic. Each step is causally necessary. And, from any prior point in eternity it will have been causally necessary that I would have two neckties to choose from, and that I, and I alone, would be making that choice.
Imagination, as far as I know, exists only in the brains of some mammals. Pretty pathetic rationale for what requires logical concrete.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism.

Possibilities exist solely in the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. We can only drive a car across an actual bridge.

However, we cannot build an actual bridge without first imagining a possible bridge. So, the notion of a "possibility" serves an essential function in our logical reasoning.

In deterministic reality, we encounter problems or issues where we must make a choice before we can continue. Will I turn left or right? Will I order the steak or the salad? Will I wear the red tie or the blue tie?

The logic of decision making is fully deterministic. Each step is causally necessary. And, from any prior point in eternity it will have been causally necessary that I would have two neckties to choose from, and that I, and I alone, would be making that choice.
Imagination, as far as I know, exists only in the brains of some mammals. Pretty pathetic rationale for what requires logical concrete.
Ironically, the concrete logic also exists only in the brains of some mammals. Your gun appears to shoot backward as well as forward.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Pretty pathetic rationale for what requires logical concrete.
This is nonsense. Please revise it.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism.

Possibilities exist solely in the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. We can only drive a car across an actual bridge.

However, we cannot build an actual bridge without first imagining a possible bridge. So, the notion of a "possibility" serves an essential function in our logical reasoning.

In deterministic reality, we encounter problems or issues where we must make a choice before we can continue. Will I turn left or right? Will I order the steak or the salad? Will I wear the red tie or the blue tie?

The logic of decision making is fully deterministic. Each step is causally necessary. And, from any prior point in eternity it will have been causally necessary that I would have two neckties to choose from, and that I, and I alone, would be making that choice.
No, possibilities exist as objects in the set on which the choice function operates.

It just happens in the discussion of "wills" that these "possibilities" reference algorithms or seeds of algorithms that are being selected of for execution by some agent.

They are imaginary in terms of their function and freedom but they are real in terms of their structure and existence as phenomena, and in their presentation to the choice function as a set. That set is named "the possibilities of the choice"

In terms of a concrete example: I fill a bag full of marbles. I open the neck of the bag enough for one marble to be squeezed out.

The set of marbles in the bag are the possibilities. They are actual physical objects.

When I squeeze the bag, a marble pops out: the choice function has operated.

This behavior is a choice function of the bag of marbles.

It's very clear that this language works, makes sense, and is fairly easy to grasp.

Ascertaining these relationships is the entire reason we study physics at all. Moreover, the only useful constructions of language that exist, except for describing useless language as a warning to others, are constructions that are not contradictory, with themselves or with reality.

The fact of the marbles existing inside the bag, and there being a choice function on the bag as a product of the physical mechanics of marbles and bags, is not subjective in the least.

Thankfully, in broad terms, there is nothing contradictory with viewing the set of marbles in the bag as "possibilities of the choice function on squeezing a marble out", because this is what those words have been designed to address.

"Possibilities" is just another word for the mathematical concept of "set" as applied to "objects presented to a choice function".

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
... possibilities exist as objects in the set on which the choice function operates.

Yes, that makes perfect sense.

It just happens in the discussion of "wills" that these "possibilities" reference algorithms or seeds of algorithms that are being selected of for execution by some agent.

And the agent is choosing what it will do from that set of doable functions.

Intelligent species are basing that choice on the likely outcomes of performing this function versus performing that function. They have their own interests at stake in the outcomes of their choices. This would be a key distinction between the person versus the program.

They are imaginary in terms of their function and freedom but they are real in terms of their structure and existence as phenomena, and in their presentation to the choice function as a set. That set is named "the possibilities of the choice"

Sounds right.

In terms of a concrete example: I fill a bag full of marbles. I open the neck of the bag enough for one marble to be squeezed out.
The set of marbles in the bag are the possibilities. They are actual physical objects.
When I squeeze the bag, a marble pops out: the choice function has operated.

In a fashion, yes. But it is like the thermostat in my room. It has no interest in how hot or cold the room is. But I do have such an interest. And the thermostat is serving my interests, not its own.

With the bag of marbles, there is apparently no interest in which marble happens to squeeze out. If you had such an interest, then you would require a different mechanism.

... the only useful constructions of language that exist, ... are constructions that are not contradictory, with themselves or with reality.

Absolutely. That's why freedom cannot include "freedom from causal necessity", because it contradicts itself, and cannot be observed at all in empirical reality. So, we're limited to using "freedom from coercion and undue influence" as the definition of free will.

The fact of the marbles existing inside the bag, and there being a choice function on the bag as a product of the physical mechanics of marbles and bags, is not subjective in the least.

But that particular mechanism of choosing provides no freedom to control which marble will appear. For example, if you wanted to give each person a random marble, to make sure no one is shown favored treatment, then use the squeezing bag mechanism. But for other purposes a different mechanism may be required.

Thankfully, in broad terms, there is nothing contradictory with viewing the set of marbles in the bag as "possibilities of the choice function on squeezing a marble out", because this is what those words have been designed to address.

Well, one of the concerns in the free will controversy is whether we still have the freedom to control what happens. But the bag of marbles offers us no such freedom (except when we actually desire to get a random distribution, like a bingo number).

"Possibilities" is just another word for the mathematical concept of "set" as applied to "objects presented to a choice function".

I don't think any concepts are "mathematical". I think the language of mathematics may be used to speak of the same concept that we speak of using English. The same concepts may be expressed and used in many different languages.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
that particular mechanism of choosing provides no freedom to control
It doesn't need to. Right now I'm not discussing freedom of will or people, I am referring to freedom of a choice function. Going back to requirements, this is the freedom to "the requirement to produce a marble rather than not-a-marble", of the choice function of the bag.

While the bag contains marbles bag_squeeze_choice is free. If no marbles, bag_squeeze_choice is not free. Or conversely it's not free to produce a marble. It is free to produce ∅.

You don't need "freedom of control", that's just part of the chaotic operation of the choice function of the bag.

The marbles are the physical instances of possibility.

It could be anything squeezing the bag. It could be a machine, or a natural phenomena. It could be something not-a-bag. It could be a stream, the marbles molecules, the mouth of the bag a delta to the ocean. It could be an arbitrary line across the river itself. Objectively, the water is on a different side. Which water? It is a choice function of chaotic flow. The possibilities in the set are the molecules that spray past a spring head at time T1, until T2, the requirement being passage of the line at Tfinal.

It's all choice functions. Will is a choice function that operates a cogitation on the nature of the thing chosen upon, and then a secondary choice function with its own special name kept separate for context: the requirement.

There is a choice on some thing, arbitrary, but of itself an object -- Like the trigger on a bear trap -- which determines whether the system throws, the will gets freed up, and then the system ends up back in the "pick an intent" phase.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism.

Possibilities exist solely in the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. We can only drive a car across an actual bridge.

However, we cannot build an actual bridge without first imagining a possible bridge. So, the notion of a "possibility" serves an essential function in our logical reasoning.

In deterministic reality, we encounter problems or issues where we must make a choice before we can continue. Will I turn left or right? Will I order the steak or the salad? Will I wear the red tie or the blue tie?

The logic of decision making is fully deterministic. Each step is causally necessary. And, from any prior point in eternity it will have been causally necessary that I would have two neckties to choose from, and that I, and I alone, would be making that choice.
Imagination, as far as I know, exists only in the brains of some mammals. Pretty pathetic rationale for what requires logical concrete.
Ironically, the concrete logic also exists only in the brains of some mammals. Your gun appears to shoot backward as well as forward.
Most living things conduct experiments ever moment. That's the concrete to which one should adhere. Logic is much less than that.
Pretty pathetic rationale for what requires logical concrete.
This is nonsense. Please revise it.
Check my response to Marvin.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Please explain how more than one possibility conforms to determinism.

Possibilities exist solely in the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. We can only drive a car across an actual bridge.

However, we cannot build an actual bridge without first imagining a possible bridge. So, the notion of a "possibility" serves an essential function in our logical reasoning.

In deterministic reality, we encounter problems or issues where we must make a choice before we can continue. Will I turn left or right? Will I order the steak or the salad? Will I wear the red tie or the blue tie?

The logic of decision making is fully deterministic. Each step is causally necessary. And, from any prior point in eternity it will have been causally necessary that I would have two neckties to choose from, and that I, and I alone, would be making that choice.
Imagination, as far as I know, exists only in the brains of some mammals. Pretty pathetic rationale for what requires logical concrete.
Ironically, the concrete logic also exists only in the brains of some mammals. Your gun appears to shoot backward as well as forward.
Most living things conduct experiment every moment. This is the concrete to which I refer. It's much better than rational logic.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
Most living things conduct experiment every moment. This is the concrete to which I refer. It's much better than rational logic.

After some thought, I think that you're probably right about concrete logic. It would be like math and the concept of "the counting of things". Similar things can be grouped and counted. Another pile of the same type of things can be stacked beside them, and we get the concrete logic of addition. It is something that would seem to be independent of language, and a notion that every language would have to represent in its own words. The words of each language can be mapped to such objects, enabling languages to be translated, because we can know what each other is talking about: that same concrete object. The object(s) sitting there outside of the brain, make the languages and the logics concrete.

So, where does that leave imagination? Well, imagination will also be based upon concrete examples, our experiences with the objective world, such that imagination becomes more accurate in its modeling and its estimates about the likely outcomes of our actions.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Most living things conduct experiment every moment. This is the concrete to which I refer. It's much better than rational logic.

After some thought, I think that you're probably right about concrete logic. It would be like math and the concept of "the counting of things". Similar things can be grouped and counted. Another pile of the same type of things can be stacked beside them, and we get the concrete logic of addition. It is something that would seem to be independent of language, and a notion that every language would have to represent in its own words. The words of each language can be mapped to such objects, enabling languages to be translated, because we can know what each other is talking about: that same concrete object. The object(s) sitting there outside of the brain, make the languages and the logics concrete.

So, where does that leave imagination? Well, imagination will also be based upon concrete examples, our experiences with the objective world, such that imagination becomes more accurate in its modeling and its estimates about the likely outcomes of our actions.
The thing about concrete logic is of the sort that builds this "math outside of language" is exactly that nobody gets to have their own math.

As some folks have mentioned, math is a system of axiom, and concrete logic at best gives us a derivation to those shared axioms.

Many thousands of years of work have been done to prove that either someone has some set of fixed axioms in mind, or their math contains contradictions and they believe in some nonsense.

As it is, all the objects I'm talking about in terms of dwarves and lists exist on the computer, an object outside the human mind, even if it was birthed from it.

The end result? Everything I discuss is observable. You can observe the concrete object of the dwarf's will. You can observe the concrete object of the possibilities of intents to seek satisfaction of. You can observe the concrete object of the need itself. You can observe the concrete object of the requirement.

That are concrete objects. You can do experiments on them even. You can watch the whole system operate down to it's basic fundamental particle of the "bit" which has two states: "on" and "off".

You can see this system is deterministic even in ways we cannot validate of our own host system. Because the "guest system" is entirely contained inside the host, it cannot have any properties or relationships impossible of the host, and because it is deterministic (superdeterministic, in fact), any properties it does have CANNOT be discounted of determinism.

Dwarves, in a deterministic system contained in our own deterministic system can hold wills, therefore "things in our own deterministic systems may hold wills".... Therefore our determinism does not prevent us from holding wills.

Dwarves' wills can be free, or constrained by the offered definitions too. We can observe things satisfying the properties that we attach the word "free" to: the concrete object of the requirement either causes the will (in the system it is called the 'task' or 'job') to be "complete" or "cancelled".

Therefore, by the same mechanism by which observable objective Dwarven wills are observably, objectively "free", by the same mechanism that they consider "possibilities" and make "choices", we also may have such.

I could remove every textual representation, every pixel representation, every arbitrary thing so that the only way the system can be read would be the raw assembly and bits, and still I would be able to identify the object of the dwarf, the object of it's "will", identify the will as "a series of instructions of some kind" and the exit conditions from that series of instructions, as well as the exact exit condition that will eventually be hit.

A pattern will emerge wherein there are two general categorizations of the result: succeeds requirement; fails requirement. Or even +++; ---.

And then we are right back to where we were before: identifying that the ___ has a °°° that is ••• contingently on whether the *** is deterministically +++ or ---.

And then the homology between these relationships is exposed in that we can use words of English on the sentence above to make it intelligible: the dwarf has a will that is free contingently on whether the requirement is deterministically satisfied or missed.

The dwarf exists, just like their simulated universe really exists, albeit as a collection of bits being cogitated by an x86 (yet another object) inside a box in my office. It is no less what it is despite the fact that it is invented, configured, altogether bizarre, purposeless, and presented without other context: the computer is an object. Mutable, but objective and concrete in it's operations.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Most living things conduct experiment every moment. This is the concrete to which I refer. It's much better than rational logic.

After some thought, I think that you're probably right about concrete logic. It would be like math and the concept of "the counting of things". Similar things can be grouped and counted. Another pile of the same type of things can be stacked beside them, and we get the concrete logic of addition. It is something that would seem to be independent of language, and a notion that every language would have to represent in its own words. The words of each language can be mapped to such objects, enabling languages to be translated, because we can know what each other is talking about: that same concrete object. The object(s) sitting there outside of the brain, make the languages and the logics concrete.

So, where does that leave imagination? Well, imagination will also be based upon concrete examples, our experiences with the objective world, such that imagination becomes more accurate in its modeling and its estimates about the likely outcomes of our actions.
The thing about concrete logic is of the sort that builds this "math outside of language" is exactly that nobody gets to have their own math.

As some folks have mentioned, math is a system of axiom, and concrete logic at best gives us a derivation to those shared axioms.

Many thousands of years of work have been done to prove that either someone has some set of fixed axioms in mind, or their math contains contradictions and they believe in some nonsense.

As it is, all the objects I'm talking about in terms of dwarves and lists exist on the computer, an object outside the human mind, even if it was birthed from it.

The end result? Everything I discuss is observable. You can observe the concrete object of the dwarf's will. You can observe the concrete object of the possibilities of intents to seek satisfaction of. You can observe the concrete object of the need itself. You can observe the concrete object of the requirement.

That are concrete objects. You can do experiments on them even. You can watch the whole system operate down to it's basic fundamental particle of the "bit" which has two states: "on" and "off".

You can see this system is deterministic even in ways we cannot validate of our own host system. Because the "guest system" is entirely contained inside the host, it cannot have any properties or relationships impossible of the host, and because it is deterministic (superdeterministic, in fact), any properties it does have CANNOT be discounted of determinism.

Dwarves, in a deterministic system contained in our own deterministic system can hold wills, therefore "things in our own deterministic systems may hold wills".... Therefore our determinism does not prevent us from holding wills.

Dwarves' wills can be free, or constrained by the offered definitions too. We can observe things satisfying the properties that we attach the word "free" to: the concrete object of the requirement either causes the will (in the system it is called the 'task' or 'job') to be "complete" or "cancelled".

Therefore, by the same mechanism by which observable objective Dwarven wills are observably, objectively "free", by the same mechanism that they consider "possibilities" and make "choices", we also may have such.

I could remove every textual representation, every pixel representation, every arbitrary thing so that the only way the system can be read would be the raw assembly and bits, and still I would be able to identify the object of the dwarf, the object of it's "will", identify the will as "a series of instructions of some kind" and the exit conditions from that series of instructions, as well as the exact exit condition that will eventually be hit.

A pattern will emerge wherein there are two general categorizations of the result: succeeds requirement; fails requirement. Or even +++; ---.

And then we are right back to where we were before: identifying that the ___ has a °°° that is ••• contingently on whether the *** is deterministically +++ or ---.

And then the homology between these relationships is exposed in that we can use words of English on the sentence above to make it intelligible: the dwarf has a will that is free contingently on whether the requirement is deterministically satisfied or missed.

The dwarf exists, just like their simulated universe really exists, albeit as a collection of bits being cogitated by an x86 (yet another object) inside a box in my office. It is no less what it is despite the fact that it is invented, configured, altogether bizarre, purposeless, and presented without other context: the computer is an object. Mutable, but objective and concrete in it's operations.
Analogy is not replication. Nor is computation reality.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Most living things conduct experiment every moment. This is the concrete to which I refer. It's much better than rational logic.

After some thought, I think that you're probably right about concrete logic. It would be like math and the concept of "the counting of things". Similar things can be grouped and counted. Another pile of the same type of things can be stacked beside them, and we get the concrete logic of addition. It is something that would seem to be independent of language, and a notion that every language would have to represent in its own words. The words of each language can be mapped to such objects, enabling languages to be translated, because we can know what each other is talking about: that same concrete object. The object(s) sitting there outside of the brain, make the languages and the logics concrete.

So, where does that leave imagination? Well, imagination will also be based upon concrete examples, our experiences with the objective world, such that imagination becomes more accurate in its modeling and its estimates about the likely outcomes of our actions.
The thing about concrete logic is of the sort that builds this "math outside of language" is exactly that nobody gets to have their own math.

As some folks have mentioned, math is a system of axiom, and concrete logic at best gives us a derivation to those shared axioms.

Many thousands of years of work have been done to prove that either someone has some set of fixed axioms in mind, or their math contains contradictions and they believe in some nonsense.

As it is, all the objects I'm talking about in terms of dwarves and lists exist on the computer, an object outside the human mind, even if it was birthed from it.

The end result? Everything I discuss is observable. You can observe the concrete object of the dwarf's will. You can observe the concrete object of the possibilities of intents to seek satisfaction of. You can observe the concrete object of the need itself. You can observe the concrete object of the requirement.

That are concrete objects. You can do experiments on them even. You can watch the whole system operate down to it's basic fundamental particle of the "bit" which has two states: "on" and "off".

You can see this system is deterministic even in ways we cannot validate of our own host system. Because the "guest system" is entirely contained inside the host, it cannot have any properties or relationships impossible of the host, and because it is deterministic (superdeterministic, in fact), any properties it does have CANNOT be discounted of determinism.

Dwarves, in a deterministic system contained in our own deterministic system can hold wills, therefore "things in our own deterministic systems may hold wills".... Therefore our determinism does not prevent us from holding wills.

Dwarves' wills can be free, or constrained by the offered definitions too. We can observe things satisfying the properties that we attach the word "free" to: the concrete object of the requirement either causes the will (in the system it is called the 'task' or 'job') to be "complete" or "cancelled".

Therefore, by the same mechanism by which observable objective Dwarven wills are observably, objectively "free", by the same mechanism that they consider "possibilities" and make "choices", we also may have such.

I could remove every textual representation, every pixel representation, every arbitrary thing so that the only way the system can be read would be the raw assembly and bits, and still I would be able to identify the object of the dwarf, the object of it's "will", identify the will as "a series of instructions of some kind" and the exit conditions from that series of instructions, as well as the exact exit condition that will eventually be hit.

A pattern will emerge wherein there are two general categorizations of the result: succeeds requirement; fails requirement. Or even +++; ---.

And then we are right back to where we were before: identifying that the ___ has a °°° that is ••• contingently on whether the *** is deterministically +++ or ---.

And then the homology between these relationships is exposed in that we can use words of English on the sentence above to make it intelligible: the dwarf has a will that is free contingently on whether the requirement is deterministically satisfied or missed.

The dwarf exists, just like their simulated universe really exists, albeit as a collection of bits being cogitated by an x86 (yet another object) inside a box in my office. It is no less what it is despite the fact that it is invented, configured, altogether bizarre, purposeless, and presented without other context: the computer is an object. Mutable, but objective and concrete in it's operations.
Analogy is not replication. Nor is computation reality.
Computation, of a real computer, is reality. It is a real object with real parts operating in reality. Your repeated inability to understand this is not mine nor anyone's problem.

It is merely a description of the behavior of an object.

The fact that this assembly of objects exists satisfying the relationship form you claim cannot possibly exist in terms of a deterministic system invalidates your claims.

So you are at "No True Scotsman Deterministic System" despite the fact that the deterministic system, if the universe is deterministic, must inherit our universe's determinism.

That you do not wish to accept this is down to your religion, not your capacity for reason.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
Based on the given and accepted definition of determinism, alternate actions do not exist within a deterministic system.

And yet there they are, right in front of our noses. Which ice cream would you like? Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry? Who will you be voting for in the upcoming races, Republicans or Democrats? Which necktie goes best with this shirt?

I have explained the terms of reference too many times that - by your given definition of determinism - there can be no alternate action in any given instance in time.

If you claim that you could have chosen either option in any given instance in time, it could have been chocolate or vanilla, etc, in any instance in time, you are contradicting your own definition of determinism.

Which means that you are not a Compatibilist at all, but a Libertarian.

Again, if ''all of these events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time. And they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment'' - Marvin Edwards - there is necessarily one possible action in any given instance in time, without deviation (by your own definition.)

Within a fully deterministic system, there is only one thing that actually "will" happen. But there are many different things that actually "can" happen.

Not possible. According to your definition, there are is no deviation. Therefore, that which has been determined to happen - initial conditions and the way things go is fixed by natural law - is what must necessarily happen.

Your own definition stipulates that different things cannot happen;

''they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment'' - Marvin Edwards

We will necessarily choose the single thing that we will do from among the many things that we can do. "I better have a salad for dinner considering what I've already eaten for breakfast and lunch today".

What we do is fixed before we think or act; ''they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment'' - Marvin Edwards

The context of possibilities provides the logic and the grammar required by the rational causal mechanism in order to do its job. And we cannot break this mechanism without threatening the survival advantage that it has provided to our species.

Insisting upon a single actuality is perfectly fine. But insisting upon a single possibility is totally irrational. So, get the fork over it.

I don't insist on anything. The given definition of determinism stipulates no deviation, initial conditions and how things go ever after fixed by natural law.

This is not my definition, or something I insist on, it is the given definition of determinism: your definition.

Determinism can have no uncertainty, ...

Determinism can neither have certainty nor uncertainty, because it lacks a brain, not to mention lacking a body, and lacking any interests in any outcomes, etc. Determinism is simply the belief that all events are reliably caused by prior events. It is a rational belief, at least until people start drawing all kinds of false conclusions about its implications.

It doesn't need a brain, one state evolves into the next according to natural law, cause and effect, each cause an effect and each effect a cause forming an unbreakable web of necessitated actions, with no deviations or alternate possiblities.

That is the nature determinism. It is your given definition.

That people feel a sense of uncertainty is the state of the system in that instance in time, insufficient information in relation to the means of production.

Exactly! Thus the grammatical and logical context of possibilities, abilities, things that can happen, may happen, might happen, etc.

But they cannot happen. It is our limited perspective of the system that gives us the impression of multiple realizable options when in fact the system, if determined, does not allow multiple options in any given instance.

There is no feedback loop between consciousness and its neural information processing substrata.

That's scientifically false. Consciousness is not a free floating spiritual entity, operating outside the brain.

That's not what I said, or suggested. I was talking about brain function in terms of Libet, et al, sensory input preceding transmission and processing of information, which occurs milliseconds prior to, and feeding into conscious activity.

I have posted countless studies and references. Hallet, Haggard, Gazzaniga's narrator function, etc.

The personal narrative
''For example, in one study, researchers recorded the brain activity of participants when they raised their arm intentionally, when it was lifted by a pulley, and when it moved in response to a hypnotic suggestion that it was being lifted by a pulley.

Similar areas of the brain were active during the involuntary and the suggested “alien” movement, while brain activity for the intentional action was different. So, hypnotic suggestion can be seen as a means of communicating an idea or belief that, when accepted, has the power to alter a person’s perceptions or behaviour.''

''All this may leave one wondering where our thoughts, emotions and perceptions actually come from. We argue that the contents of consciousness are a subset of the experiences, emotions, thoughts and beliefs that are generated by non-conscious processes within our brains.''

The brain is processing information and the exchange of information between cells and regions creates a sense of uncertainty during the transition between input and action taken.

And what do you think this "sense" of uncertainty is for, if not to reflect our logical uncertainty prior to completing our own choosing? The rational causal mechanism deals with uncertainty by shifting to the context of multiple possibilities until choosing is complete, and we have resolved the question: "What will we do?".

Uncertainty is a state of incomplete information. If an event has low predictability, we cannot be certain it will happen as predicted or hoped for.

An illusion of consciousness, ...

An illusion is incapable of performing a function. Conscious awareness performs a function. It manages attention to a given task. It reinforces neural pathways during the recall of information. It explains the reasons for our chosen actions. It is certainly not an illusion. It is as real as any other function within the brain.

Consciousness has a function. Which doesn't mean that consciousness has complete access to its substrata, the brain's underlying information processing activity, inputs, memory integration, etc....which occurs milliseconds prior to conscious representation.

You appear to be drifting into probabilistic territory.

Not at all! But you appear to be grasping at straws.

I am referring to your own definition of determinism, which clearly stipulates no deviation, yet you seem to suggest multiple realizable options - 'And yet there they are, right in front of our noses. Which ice cream would you like? Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry? Who will you be voting for in the upcoming races, Republicans or Democrats? Which necktie goes best with this shirt?'' - Marvin Edwards.

The issue is agency;

Indeed. For example, determinism has no agency. But you and I have plenty of agency, as witnessed by this very long thread.

Determinism fixes all actions and outcomes, initial conditions and events ever after, no deviation, a system where free will has no place or agency, where all actions - by definition - are necessitated, not freely chosen.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
...
As it is, all the objects I'm talking about in terms of dwarves and lists exist on the computer, an object outside the human mind, even if it was birthed from it.

The end result? Everything I discuss is observable. You can observe the concrete object of the dwarf's will. ...

But we do not have a concrete dwarf. We have a computer program with a collection of routines that we are calling a "dwarf". And that's the problem.

You can observe the concrete object of the possibilities of intents to seek satisfaction of. You can observe the concrete object of the need itself. You can observe the concrete object of the requirement.

Again, nothing concrete, but rather an analogy. The analogy is used to communicate certain characteristics of an actual dwarf. But it leaves out the most important characteristics.

An actual dwarf is a living organism with biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce. These drives animate the living organism to obtain food, shelter, a mate, etc. An actual dwarf is also an intelligent species, that can learn from its experiences which options are most likely to satisfy his needs. And he can build upon what he has learned by inventing new ways to achieve those goals and satisfy those needs. These are characteristics of the concrete dwarf which are not replicated in the computer program.

You can do experiments on them even. You can watch the whole system operate down to it's basic fundamental particle of the "bit" which has two states: "on" and "off".

But there is no need to experiment, because we already know what the program will do. Rather than experimenting, we are simply testing the logic, to see that it is doing what we intended (our intentions are driving the behavior of the "dwarf", not his own).

You can see this system is deterministic even in ways we cannot validate of our own host system. Because the "guest system" is entirely contained inside the host, it cannot have any properties or relationships impossible of the host, and because it is deterministic (superdeterministic, in fact), any properties it does have CANNOT be discounted of determinism.

Ironically, the concrete dwarf has properties that are impossible to its host system, the universe. The concrete dwarf has a brain. The universe does not. The concrete dwarf can imagine new possibilities. The universe, lacking a brain, cannot imagine anything at all. The concrete dwarf can make a plan and take deliberate actions, but the universe, lacking a brain, can neither plan nor deliberate.

So, the concrete dwarf has abilities that the universe, its host, is lacking.

On the other hand, the programmed dwarf also has abilities that its host, the computer hardware, lacks. The programmed dwarf has its programmer's purpose. And that purpose controls what the program does, which in turn controls what the computer does. The computer provides the architecture, but provides no purposes, goals, or plans. These exist within the programmer, but not within the computer.

Dwarves, in a deterministic system contained in our own deterministic system can hold wills, therefore "things in our own deterministic systems may hold wills".... Therefore our determinism does not prevent us from holding wills.

Well, that's a stretch for an analogy. The concrete dwarf's will is motivated by biology and directed by deliberation. The computer dwarf's will is basically the programmer's will for it.

Therefore, by the same mechanism by which observable objective Dwarven wills are observably, objectively "free", by the same mechanism that they consider "possibilities" and make "choices", we also may have such.

On the one hand we have intelligence and then we have "artificial" intelligence. Artificial intelligence attempts to be an analog of actual intelligence, rather than vice versa. The capabilities that we have are different in nature from the capabilities that a computer has.

So, it seems a bit of a stretch to prove our capabilities by the fact that we may create an artificial analogy for a certain limited set of our capabilities.

We must first assume the capability in us before we can attempt an analogy of it on the computer.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
I have explained the terms of reference too many times that - by your given definition of determinism - there can be no alternate action in any given instance in time
Nobody has asked for alternate action. What is demonstrated repeatedly is the existence of possibilities of the choice function.

As has been pointed out repeatedly, the existence of the possibilities, concrete objects presented to a choice function, is trivially true.

If you claim that you could have chosen either option in any given instance
He doesn't. He claims that you could only actually choose one option in any given instance, OF the possibilities. The possibilities were there, are there, will always have been there. They just could not have been chosen.

This is why I brought up listA, whose possibilities are equally real, the momentary second of which shall never be chosen by pop. The second object in the list is still in "the set of possibilities" despite the fact that it deterministically shall not be returned.

What we do is fixed before we think or act
No, the state upon which we think or act is fixed, but what we do is fixed BY the thinking, fixed BY the acting.

It is similar to saying "what the ring of +/* on integers does is fixed by it's definition". Yes, but you still need to supply operands for the operation to have meaning.

In many ways, this means that X+Y=Z is fixed by only when given an X and a Y. The phrase otherwise is "variably dependent".

The thinking and acting still has to operate for the result to happen. You still have to do the thinking before the acting, and you are responsible for both.

The given definition of determinism stipulates no deviation, initial conditions and how things go ever after fixed by natural law...
And the continued state, of which we are a part, and so we bear momentary responsibility for the part we each play.

different things cannot happen
And there you fail. It is not that different things cannot happen, merely that different things will not happen.

Different things absolutely CAN happen. I can take all the same raws, all the same configuration values, change the seed (the initial conditions), and watch different things happen.

Determinism merely describes a fixed process on a GIVEN configuration.

That process quite often involves "many possibilities go into a choice function, some subset of those possibilities results."

With perfect knowledge of the determinism of the choice function, you can end up knowing which possibility shall be selected but it makes the unselected ones no less "possibilities" in the framework of compatibilism.
But they cannot happen
Again mixing contexts. "Cannot" used here is really an attempt to say "will not" with sloppy language. Of course sloppy language is allowed, but not when it steps as this does upon a conflation.

They CAN happen, they just WILL NOT happen.

To make this clear, when someone stands before someone else holding a sword, and the other is standing with a rifle pointed at the swordsman from some paces away, the rifleman might say to the swordsman "you can, but you won't," and this is a valid statement of English without contradiction. This is because it is a compound statement that states two things in two different contexts: that the swordsman has in his list of possibilities one which if you were to stop the universe, and modify the arrangement of particles inside his head in the very specific and minimal nature required to cause a signal to travel that "accepts" the one which roughly translates to "run at the rifleman with the sword, accept the pain of being shot, and stab him before bleeding out" that "run at the rifleman with the sword, accept the pain of being shot, and stab him before bleeding out" is what will happen.

This universe, while deterministic, cannot be stopped and tinkered in that way to the best of our knowledge.

Even so, this tells us about what is meant by "can" and informs us that such imaginings are sensible things to discuss.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
But we do not have a concrete dwarf. We have a computer program with a collection of routines that we are calling a "dwarf". And that's the problem.
It's only a problem if you can't understand that when you say dwarf here in this conversation, you are really abstracting a replacement to "the collection of routines that exists as a collection of bits relative to this other collection of routines that exists as a collection of bits that both exist adjacent to some behavioral system with a set of truths defined by arrangement of switches with binary activation energies and state transition models of the same through a clocked time phase."

If we can both accept we don't mean "a stout humanoid of quarks and gluons and carbon chemistry that happens to be fond of drink and industry" that isn't an issue.

The point is to show objects doing this stuff, and the "dwarf" is an object. If I could shove all that code that defined a dwarf into a box and characterize and can enough behavioral Algorighm to make it operate a real robot in a real space, it would just be doing so much more work just to prove the same damn point.

You can observe the concrete object of the possibilities of intents to seek satisfaction of. You can observe the concrete object of the need itself. You can observe the concrete object of the requirement.

Again, nothing concrete, but rather an analogy. The analogy is used to communicate certain characteristics of an actual dwarf. But it leaves out the most important characteristics.
As I said, what the real concrete shape of the dwarf is, is described above.

It is the use of common names to describe incredibly complex things for the sake of demonstrating one very important relationship among them: the presence of a series of instructions, which contains a requirement, which has a truth value of "whether it shall be met".

The "door", the "hallway", all of it is formed of a very complex arrangement of "bits", binary charges of electrical potentials, and machinery that operates upon those charge potentials.

I already understood this going into it. The point is that it demonstrates the existence of the relationship acting in reality. It is a physical proof that the relationship is not "nonsense"
An actual dwarf is a living organism with biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce. These drives animate the living organism to obtain food, shelter, a mate, etc. An actual dwarf is also an intelligent species, that can learn from its experiences which options are most likely to satisfy his needs. And he can build upon what he has learned by inventing new ways to achieve those goals and satisfy those needs. These are characteristics of the concrete dwarf which are not replicated in the computer program.
As stated I'm not talking about an organic being. I  know I am not talking about an organic being. It's unimportant to demonstrate this being done by an organic being because its not possible with current technology to do this with organic beings. The point is to demonstrate the relationship is sensible with some objects that we can interrogate properly.

Did you not pick up on this when often I couch DF objects as "door" rather than door?

Color charged particles are not literally emitting wavelengths of light. We just use those words because it's a convenient metaphor for the thing that it is.

The reality of what it is does not detract from the relationship that is being demonstrated.

As a computer scientist I work with the tools I have, not with the tools I lack. I have complicated arrangements of electron charges on bits of heavily modified sand, I demonstrate my definitions operating between those.

The claim was "reality is deterministic", "not in determinism", therefore "not in reality".

If I can show "in reality", it propagates back to "not in determinism" being false. And then we can consider what relevance it has for us, namely the fact that "lists of instructions", "requirements" and "a truth value of whether the requirement(s) were met" are all valid things to discuss among deterministic systems which can host such relationships as these words describe.

You can do experiments on them even. You can watch the whole system operate down to it's basic fundamental particle of the "bit" which has two states: "on" and "off".

But there is no need to experiment, because we already know what the program will do. Rather than experimenting, we are simply testing the logic, to see that it is doing what we intended (our intentions are driving the behavior of the "dwarf", not his own).
It stopped being my intention the moment I hit go, the same way it stopped being "casual necessity's" intention the moment this all stepped off of temporal singularity.

It became only and exactly what it is. In the same way our prior causes became us making decisions, it's prior causes became it making decisions.

That it accomplished making decisions in different ways, that someone very painstakingly set up a set of initial conditions in the raw files, it means that reality was coerced into hosting that, yes, the existence of the system is by my will, and I am responsible for it, all the "pain" and "suffering" and "madness" and death.

Our concept of "door" is actually the metaphor for what the Dwarven door is, not the other way around. But  will a real observable series of instructions operating on that object, with a real requirement, is not a metaphor. It just happens to operate, in the proof, on things that if we were to approach them without metaphor we would quickly go about as insane as... Well, you've seen my posts, ya?

You can see this system is deterministic even in ways we cannot validate of our own host system. Because the "guest system" is entirely contained inside the host, it cannot have any properties or relationships impossible of the host, and because it is deterministic (superdeterministic, in fact), any properties it does have CANNOT be discounted of determinism.

Ironically, the concrete dwarf has properties that are impossible to its host system, the universe. The concrete dwarf has a brain. The universe does not. The concrete dwarf can imagine new possibilities. The universe, lacking a brain, cannot imagine anything at all. The concrete dwarf can make a plan and take deliberate actions, but the universe, lacking a brain, can neither plan nor deliberate.
And isn't it the truth! But the dwarf of doped silicon and electrons is no less concrete. Although it doesn't exactly think with the thing that is described as it's "brain".

Instead it thinks with a parameterized common function of it's universe, wherein the parameters used are the Dwarf object's instance data.

In a very strange way, the universe both of the dwarf and of ourselves, has exactly the many brains it does: our brains.
So, the concrete dwarf has abilities that the universe, its host, is lacking.

On the other hand, the programmed dwarf also has abilities that its host, the computer hardware, lacks. The programmed dwarf has its programmer's purpose. And that purpose controls what the program does, which in turn controls what the computer does. The computer provides the architecture, but provides no purposes, goals, or plans. These exist within the programmer, but not within the computer.
Exactly my point. Once the computer steps off of go, while I'm responsible for putting the dwarves there, they are responsible for what they do now that they ARE there.

Remember that I am talking about an object as concrete, of it's form, as cells of organic flesh.

I'm not going to belabor the point though any further.
Dwarves, in a deterministic system contained in our own deterministic system can hold wills, therefore "things in our own deterministic systems may hold wills".... Therefore our determinism does not prevent us from holding wills.

Well, that's a stretch for an analogy. The concrete dwarf's will is motivated by biology and directed by deliberation. The computer dwarf's will is basically the programmer's will for it.
Excepting that both types of dwarf are concrete objects.
Therefore, by the same mechanism by which observable objective Dwarven wills are observably, objectively "free", by the same mechanism that they consider "possibilities" and make "choices", we also may have such.

On the one hand we have intelligence and then we have "artificial" intelligence. Artificial intelligence attempts to be an analog of actual intelligence, rather than vice versa. The capabilities that we have are different in nature from the capabilities that a computer has.
Well, the point I make here is that the dwarf's intelligence is a relatively simple arrangement of operating algorithms. We are much more complicated and expressed with significantly different chemistry and physical instantiation.

But fundamentally, I don't need to prove HOW we hold wills to prove, once wills have been proven exist at all as sensible observed objects, that we satisfy the relationship of a thing which can interact meaningfully with a "will" as observed and defined previously, that these wills can have requirements, and that these requirements can be free or constrained in any given moment.

The point is first to disprove all that nonsense about "determinism invalidates 'choice' and 'will' and 'free' in linguistic usage" by sticking a nice metaphorical adamantium axe of physical mathematical proof in it's metaphorical skull.
So, it seems a bit of a stretch to prove our capabilities by the fact that we may create an artificial analogy for a certain limited set of our capabilities.

We must first assume the capability in us before we can attempt an analogy of it on the computer.
I am not attempting to prove our capability. I am attempting to disprove the hard determinist's claim of absolute incapability.

Once we've left hard determinism in the dust, the person who wishes to leave their responsibility behind will have to argue "neurons can't execute algorithms like that".

Which is why I made a very long argument some pages back about "neurons can accomplish any algorithmic form a Turing machine may", and so it implies that neurons CAN do that.

Then the burden of proof falls on the irresponsible person to demonstrate that we can't possibly be doing those things.

It puts a crack in the hard determinist's foundation that cannot be recovered from.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
But we do not have a concrete dwarf. We have a computer program with a collection of routines that we are calling a "dwarf". And that's the problem.
It's only a problem if you can't understand that when you say dwarf here in this conversation, you are really abstracting a replacement to "the collection of routines that exists as a collection of bits relative to this other collection of routines that exists as a collection of bits that both exist adjacent to some behavioral system with a set of truths defined by arrangement of switches with binary activation energies and state transition models of the same through a clocked time phase."

If we can both accept we don't mean "a stout humanoid of quarks and gluons and carbon chemistry that happens to be fond of drink and industry" that isn't an issue.

The point is to show objects doing this stuff, and the "dwarf" is an object. If I could shove all that code that defined a dwarf into a box and characterize and can enough behavioral Algorighm to make it operate a real robot in a real space, it would just be doing so much more work just to prove the same damn point.

You can observe the concrete object of the possibilities of intents to seek satisfaction of. You can observe the concrete object of the need itself. You can observe the concrete object of the requirement.

Again, nothing concrete, but rather an analogy. The analogy is used to communicate certain characteristics of an actual dwarf. But it leaves out the most important characteristics.
As I said, what the real concrete shape of the dwarf is, is described above.

It is the use of common names to describe incredibly complex things for the sake of demonstrating one very important relationship among them: the presence of a series of instructions, which contains a requirement, which has a truth value of "whether it shall be met".

The "door", the "hallway", all of it is formed of a very complex arrangement of "bits", binary charges of electrical potentials, and machinery that operates upon those charge potentials.

I already understood this going into it. The point is that it demonstrates the existence of the relationship acting in reality. It is a physical proof that the relationship is not "nonsense"
An actual dwarf is a living organism with biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce. These drives animate the living organism to obtain food, shelter, a mate, etc. An actual dwarf is also an intelligent species, that can learn from its experiences which options are most likely to satisfy his needs. And he can build upon what he has learned by inventing new ways to achieve those goals and satisfy those needs. These are characteristics of the concrete dwarf which are not replicated in the computer program.
As stated I'm not talking about an organic being. I  know I am not talking about an organic being. It's unimportant to demonstrate this being done by an organic being because its not possible with current technology to do this with organic beings. The point is to demonstrate the relationship is sensible with some objects that we can interrogate properly.

Did you not pick up on this when often I couch DF objects as "door" rather than door?

Color charged particles are not literally emitting wavelengths of light. We just use those words because it's a convenient metaphor for the thing that it is.

The reality of what it is does not detract from the relationship that is being demonstrated.

As a computer scientist I work with the tools I have, not with the tools I lack. I have complicated arrangements of electron charges on bits of heavily modified sand, I demonstrate my definitions operating between those.

The claim was "reality is deterministic", "not in determinism", therefore "not in reality".

If I can show "in reality", it propagates back to "not in determinism" being false. And then we can consider what relevance it has for us, namely the fact that "lists of instructions", "requirements" and "a truth value of whether the requirement(s) were met" are all valid things to discuss among deterministic systems which can host such relationships as these words describe.

You can do experiments on them even. You can watch the whole system operate down to it's basic fundamental particle of the "bit" which has two states: "on" and "off".

But there is no need to experiment, because we already know what the program will do. Rather than experimenting, we are simply testing the logic, to see that it is doing what we intended (our intentions are driving the behavior of the "dwarf", not his own).
It stopped being my intention the moment I hit go, the same way it stopped being "casual necessity's" intention the moment this all stepped off of temporal singularity.

It became only and exactly what it is. In the same way our prior causes became us making decisions, it's prior causes became it making decisions.

That it accomplished making decisions in different ways, that someone very painstakingly set up a set of initial conditions in the raw files, it means that reality was coerced into hosting that, yes, the existence of the system is by my will, and I am responsible for it, all the "pain" and "suffering" and "madness" and death.

Our concept of "door" is actually the metaphor for what the Dwarven door is, not the other way around. But  will a real observable series of instructions operating on that object, with a real requirement, is not a metaphor. It just happens to operate, in the proof, on things that if we were to approach them without metaphor we would quickly go about as insane as... Well, you've seen my posts, ya?

You can see this system is deterministic even in ways we cannot validate of our own host system. Because the "guest system" is entirely contained inside the host, it cannot have any properties or relationships impossible of the host, and because it is deterministic (superdeterministic, in fact), any properties it does have CANNOT be discounted of determinism.

Ironically, the concrete dwarf has properties that are impossible to its host system, the universe. The concrete dwarf has a brain. The universe does not. The concrete dwarf can imagine new possibilities. The universe, lacking a brain, cannot imagine anything at all. The concrete dwarf can make a plan and take deliberate actions, but the universe, lacking a brain, can neither plan nor deliberate.
And isn't it the truth! But the dwarf of doped silicon and electrons is no less concrete. Although it doesn't exactly think with the thing that is described as it's "brain".

Instead it thinks with a parameterized common function of it's universe, wherein the parameters used are the Dwarf object's instance data.

In a very strange way, the universe both of the dwarf and of ourselves, has exactly the many brains it does: our brains.
So, the concrete dwarf has abilities that the universe, its host, is lacking.

On the other hand, the programmed dwarf also has abilities that its host, the computer hardware, lacks. The programmed dwarf has its programmer's purpose. And that purpose controls what the program does, which in turn controls what the computer does. The computer provides the architecture, but provides no purposes, goals, or plans. These exist within the programmer, but not within the computer.
Exactly my point. Once the computer steps off of go, while I'm responsible for putting the dwarves there, they are responsible for what they do now that they ARE there.

Remember that I am talking about an object as concrete, of it's form, as cells of organic flesh.

I'm not going to belabor the point though any further.
Dwarves, in a deterministic system contained in our own deterministic system can hold wills, therefore "things in our own deterministic systems may hold wills".... Therefore our determinism does not prevent us from holding wills.

Well, that's a stretch for an analogy. The concrete dwarf's will is motivated by biology and directed by deliberation. The computer dwarf's will is basically the programmer's will for it.
Excepting that both types of dwarf are concrete objects.
Therefore, by the same mechanism by which observable objective Dwarven wills are observably, objectively "free", by the same mechanism that they consider "possibilities" and make "choices", we also may have such.

On the one hand we have intelligence and then we have "artificial" intelligence. Artificial intelligence attempts to be an analog of actual intelligence, rather than vice versa. The capabilities that we have are different in nature from the capabilities that a computer has.
Well, the point I make here is that the dwarf's intelligence is a relatively simple arrangement of operating algorithms. We are much more complicated and expressed with significantly different chemistry and physical instantiation.

But fundamentally, I don't need to prove HOW we hold wills to prove, once wills have been proven exist at all as sensible observed objects, that we satisfy the relationship of a thing which can interact meaningfully with a "will" as observed and defined previously, that these wills can have requirements, and that these requirements can be free or constrained in any given moment.

The point is first to disprove all that nonsense about "determinism invalidates 'choice' and 'will' and 'free' in linguistic usage" by sticking a nice metaphorical adamantium axe of physical mathematical proof in it's metaphorical skull.
So, it seems a bit of a stretch to prove our capabilities by the fact that we may create an artificial analogy for a certain limited set of our capabilities.

We must first assume the capability in us before we can attempt an analogy of it on the computer.
I am not attempting to prove our capability. I am attempting to disprove the hard determinist's claim of absolute incapability.

Once we've left hard determinism in the dust, the person who wishes to leave their responsibility behind will have to argue "neurons can't execute algorithms like that".

Which is why I made a very long argument some pages back about "neurons can accomplish any algorithmic form a Turing machine may", and so it implies that neurons CAN do that.

Then the burden of proof falls on the irresponsible person to demonstrate that we can't possibly be doing those things.

It puts a crack in the hard determinist's foundation that cannot be recovered from.
I still prefer to attack the hard determinists metaphorical view with empirical observation and pragmatic analysis. The ultimate goal is to get at the truth, and metaphors are not reliable guides to the truth. All figurative statements are literally false.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
But we do not have a concrete dwarf. We have a computer program with a collection of routines that we are calling a "dwarf". And that's the problem.
It's only a problem if you can't understand that when you say dwarf here in this conversation, you are really abstracting a replacement to "the collection of routines that exists as a collection of bits relative to this other collection of routines that exists as a collection of bits that both exist adjacent to some behavioral system with a set of truths defined by arrangement of switches with binary activation energies and state transition models of the same through a clocked time phase."

If we can both accept we don't mean "a stout humanoid of quarks and gluons and carbon chemistry that happens to be fond of drink and industry" that isn't an issue.

The point is to show objects doing this stuff, and the "dwarf" is an object. If I could shove all that code that defined a dwarf into a box and characterize and can enough behavioral Algorighm to make it operate a real robot in a real space, it would just be doing so much more work just to prove the same damn point.

You can observe the concrete object of the possibilities of intents to seek satisfaction of. You can observe the concrete object of the need itself. You can observe the concrete object of the requirement.

Again, nothing concrete, but rather an analogy. The analogy is used to communicate certain characteristics of an actual dwarf. But it leaves out the most important characteristics.
As I said, what the real concrete shape of the dwarf is, is described above.

It is the use of common names to describe incredibly complex things for the sake of demonstrating one very important relationship among them: the presence of a series of instructions, which contains a requirement, which has a truth value of "whether it shall be met".

The "door", the "hallway", all of it is formed of a very complex arrangement of "bits", binary charges of electrical potentials, and machinery that operates upon those charge potentials.

I already understood this going into it. The point is that it demonstrates the existence of the relationship acting in reality. It is a physical proof that the relationship is not "nonsense"
An actual dwarf is a living organism with biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce. These drives animate the living organism to obtain food, shelter, a mate, etc. An actual dwarf is also an intelligent species, that can learn from its experiences which options are most likely to satisfy his needs. And he can build upon what he has learned by inventing new ways to achieve those goals and satisfy those needs. These are characteristics of the concrete dwarf which are not replicated in the computer program.
As stated I'm not talking about an organic being. I  know I am not talking about an organic being. It's unimportant to demonstrate this being done by an organic being because its not possible with current technology to do this with organic beings. The point is to demonstrate the relationship is sensible with some objects that we can interrogate properly.

Did you not pick up on this when often I couch DF objects as "door" rather than door?

Color charged particles are not literally emitting wavelengths of light. We just use those words because it's a convenient metaphor for the thing that it is.

The reality of what it is does not detract from the relationship that is being demonstrated.

As a computer scientist I work with the tools I have, not with the tools I lack. I have complicated arrangements of electron charges on bits of heavily modified sand, I demonstrate my definitions operating between those.

The claim was "reality is deterministic", "not in determinism", therefore "not in reality".

If I can show "in reality", it propagates back to "not in determinism" being false. And then we can consider what relevance it has for us, namely the fact that "lists of instructions", "requirements" and "a truth value of whether the requirement(s) were met" are all valid things to discuss among deterministic systems which can host such relationships as these words describe.

You can do experiments on them even. You can watch the whole system operate down to it's basic fundamental particle of the "bit" which has two states: "on" and "off".

But there is no need to experiment, because we already know what the program will do. Rather than experimenting, we are simply testing the logic, to see that it is doing what we intended (our intentions are driving the behavior of the "dwarf", not his own).
It stopped being my intention the moment I hit go, the same way it stopped being "casual necessity's" intention the moment this all stepped off of temporal singularity.

It became only and exactly what it is. In the same way our prior causes became us making decisions, it's prior causes became it making decisions.

That it accomplished making decisions in different ways, that someone very painstakingly set up a set of initial conditions in the raw files, it means that reality was coerced into hosting that, yes, the existence of the system is by my will, and I am responsible for it, all the "pain" and "suffering" and "madness" and death.

Our concept of "door" is actually the metaphor for what the Dwarven door is, not the other way around. But  will a real observable series of instructions operating on that object, with a real requirement, is not a metaphor. It just happens to operate, in the proof, on things that if we were to approach them without metaphor we would quickly go about as insane as... Well, you've seen my posts, ya?

You can see this system is deterministic even in ways we cannot validate of our own host system. Because the "guest system" is entirely contained inside the host, it cannot have any properties or relationships impossible of the host, and because it is deterministic (superdeterministic, in fact), any properties it does have CANNOT be discounted of determinism.

Ironically, the concrete dwarf has properties that are impossible to its host system, the universe. The concrete dwarf has a brain. The universe does not. The concrete dwarf can imagine new possibilities. The universe, lacking a brain, cannot imagine anything at all. The concrete dwarf can make a plan and take deliberate actions, but the universe, lacking a brain, can neither plan nor deliberate.
And isn't it the truth! But the dwarf of doped silicon and electrons is no less concrete. Although it doesn't exactly think with the thing that is described as it's "brain".

Instead it thinks with a parameterized common function of it's universe, wherein the parameters used are the Dwarf object's instance data.

In a very strange way, the universe both of the dwarf and of ourselves, has exactly the many brains it does: our brains.
So, the concrete dwarf has abilities that the universe, its host, is lacking.

On the other hand, the programmed dwarf also has abilities that its host, the computer hardware, lacks. The programmed dwarf has its programmer's purpose. And that purpose controls what the program does, which in turn controls what the computer does. The computer provides the architecture, but provides no purposes, goals, or plans. These exist within the programmer, but not within the computer.
Exactly my point. Once the computer steps off of go, while I'm responsible for putting the dwarves there, they are responsible for what they do now that they ARE there.

Remember that I am talking about an object as concrete, of it's form, as cells of organic flesh.

I'm not going to belabor the point though any further.
Dwarves, in a deterministic system contained in our own deterministic system can hold wills, therefore "things in our own deterministic systems may hold wills".... Therefore our determinism does not prevent us from holding wills.

Well, that's a stretch for an analogy. The concrete dwarf's will is motivated by biology and directed by deliberation. The computer dwarf's will is basically the programmer's will for it.
Excepting that both types of dwarf are concrete objects.
Therefore, by the same mechanism by which observable objective Dwarven wills are observably, objectively "free", by the same mechanism that they consider "possibilities" and make "choices", we also may have such.

On the one hand we have intelligence and then we have "artificial" intelligence. Artificial intelligence attempts to be an analog of actual intelligence, rather than vice versa. The capabilities that we have are different in nature from the capabilities that a computer has.
Well, the point I make here is that the dwarf's intelligence is a relatively simple arrangement of operating algorithms. We are much more complicated and expressed with significantly different chemistry and physical instantiation.

But fundamentally, I don't need to prove HOW we hold wills to prove, once wills have been proven exist at all as sensible observed objects, that we satisfy the relationship of a thing which can interact meaningfully with a "will" as observed and defined previously, that these wills can have requirements, and that these requirements can be free or constrained in any given moment.

The point is first to disprove all that nonsense about "determinism invalidates 'choice' and 'will' and 'free' in linguistic usage" by sticking a nice metaphorical adamantium axe of physical mathematical proof in it's metaphorical skull.
So, it seems a bit of a stretch to prove our capabilities by the fact that we may create an artificial analogy for a certain limited set of our capabilities.

We must first assume the capability in us before we can attempt an analogy of it on the computer.
I am not attempting to prove our capability. I am attempting to disprove the hard determinist's claim of absolute incapability.

Once we've left hard determinism in the dust, the person who wishes to leave their responsibility behind will have to argue "neurons can't execute algorithms like that".

Which is why I made a very long argument some pages back about "neurons can accomplish any algorithmic form a Turing machine may", and so it implies that neurons CAN do that.

Then the burden of proof falls on the irresponsible person to demonstrate that we can't possibly be doing those things.

It puts a crack in the hard determinist's foundation that cannot be recovered from.
I still prefer to attack the hard determinists metaphorical view with empirical observation and pragmatic analysis. The ultimate goal is to get at the truth, and metaphors are not reliable guides to the truth. All figurative statements are literally false.
Except it is not a figurative statement. It is recognition of objects of much more concrete nature in fact when you look at a "Dwarven door" versus a "door". Things get fuzzy and complicated and more an exercise in general math rather than granular specifics when you look at the dwarf, and that complicated mess is where the hard determinist generally waves their hands and says "causal determinsm".

As a result they fail utterly to recognize that the relationships we discuss here are relationships of things that are complicated instances of the same general relationship, proven possible as a matter of course through instantiation of a visible example with a computer.

In other words, I assumed the inverse, and disproved that assumption with counterexample.

This relationship is "lists of instructions with requirements" lurking among our neurons, being executed of and by them, and some operations to create many, select one or two, and let the rest be pruned, and a recognition that the requirement can go one of two general ways: success and failure.

Images of these wills are objects selected of. "Images" are objects, but the things they imagine... Well, "this is not a pipe" pretty much sums it up. It is however "a picture of a pipe".

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Most living things conduct experiment every moment. This is the concrete to which I refer. It's much better than rational logic.

.
Computation, of a real computer, is reality. It is a real object with real parts operating in reality. Your repeated inability to understand this is not mine nor anyone's problem.

It is merely a description of the behavior of an object.

The fact that this assembly of objects exists satisfying the relationship form you claim cannot possibly exist in terms of a deterministic system invalidates your claims.

So you are at "No True Scotsman Deterministic System" despite the fact that the deterministic system, if the universe is deterministic, must inherit our universe's determinism.

That you do not wish to accept this is down to your religion, not your capacity for reason.
Its reality Iff it is material, measured, referenced, and observed in experiment. It is not if it is designed by minds that only use what they sense.

Real computers are bits of electronics organized IAW experimental result. What they do isn't anything more than run programs executing, as far as I know, human fashioned procedures in IAW logic consisting of operations which are carried out IAW someone's wet dream.

Ergo real computers aren't reality. Can't analogize reality.

What's your problem? You keep avoiding the importance of direct controlled nd measured observation of the world and go back to some ancients (Plato and Aristotle) notion of how things should be seen.

I'd say grow up, quit attributing your deficiencies as those of others.

Do you see experiment or association with existing confirmed realities anywhere in what you posted? I don't. Not mechanism, not logic, not test, not observation, not confirmation, not, not, not.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Most living things conduct experiment every moment. This is the concrete to which I refer. It's much better than rational logic.

.
Computation, of a real computer, is reality. It is a real object with real parts operating in reality. Your repeated inability to understand this is not mine nor anyone's problem.

It is merely a description of the behavior of an object.

The fact that this assembly of objects exists satisfying the relationship form you claim cannot possibly exist in terms of a deterministic system invalidates your claims.

So you are at "No True Scotsman Deterministic System" despite the fact that the deterministic system, if the universe is deterministic, must inherit our universe's determinism.

That you do not wish to accept this is down to your religion, not your capacity for reason.
Its reality Iff it is material, measured, referenced, and observed in experiment. It is not if it is designed by minds that only use what they sense.
It is material: elections on silicon.

It is referenced. In fact the whole thing has reference, a schematic, a design, a truth table...

It's clearly observed. It's sitting right there on the floor with a debugger open and displaying memory states. So it's clearly measured.

You are, however, failing at your assertion that "being designed by minds that only use what they sense" deals any injury to the objectivity of what it happens, materially, to be.

A rose by any other name is still exactly the reproductive organ of a particular family of shrubs and shrub like thorned plants.

And a "dwarf" by any other name is still a complicated series of charge patterns on doped silicon and copper.

Real computers are bits of electronics organized IAW experimental result. What they do isn't anything more than run programs executing, as far as I know, human fashioned procedures in IAW logic consisting of operations which are carried out IAW someone's wet dream.
No, they are bits of electronics organized with respect to each other. The experiment did not need to be run for matter arranged so to be what it is. The fact is that it is exactly what it is: an object holding subordinate objects of charge patterns with a relationship such that they hold lists of instructions with requirements.

It doesn't matter why the silly thing exists, only that it disproves the assertion that such relationships are "impossible in deterministic systems".
real computers aren't reality.
nonsense! They are clearly real objects, just as the structures of charge patterns upon them are real objects.
Do you see experiment or association with existing confirmed realities anywhere in what you posted? I don't. Not mechanism, not logic, not test, not observation, not confirmation, not, not, not.
Then your head might be buried somewhere, perhaps in your "hard determinism".

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Senior Member
I have explained the terms of reference too many times that - by your given definition of determinism - there can be no alternate action in any given instance in time.

And I've explained many times that the definition of determinism means that there will not be any alternate action, even though there always could have been alternate actions.

What can happen constrains what will happen. If it cannot happen then it will not happen.

But what will happen never constrains what can happen or what could have happened. What can happen is only constrained by our ability to make it happen, should we choose to do so. If we have that ability, then we can, in fact, do it. Even if we choose not to do it, we still retain that ability. Here, watch...there, did you see? I just raised my right hand, which proves that I had that ability all along.

And if, right now, I can raise my right hand, then it will be the case later on that I could have raised my hand right now, even if I didn't.

If you claim that you could have chosen either option in any given instance in time, it could have been chocolate or vanilla, etc, in any instance in time, you are contradicting your own definition of determinism.

Determinism asserts that every event will be the reliable result of prior events. Thus only one thing will happen.

But it is ridiculous for determinism to assert that only one thing can happen or only one thing could have happened. Such a notion corrupts the meaning of these terms, and leads to absurdities and paradoxes.

Remember the waiter who told the customer that there was only one thing that the customer could order for dinner, but could not tell the customer what that one thing was? That's a paradox. And it is absurd.

Remember that red light that we slowed down for, because it could have remained red, even though it turned green? And then our hard determinist insisted that it could not have remained red, because it did not, and then asked us again to explain why we slowed down? You can't go around disabling the meaning of words like "could have".

Which means that you are not a Compatibilist at all, but a Libertarian.

Baloney. Compatibilists understand the difference between things that "will" happen versus things that "can" happen. Only the incompatibilists, both the hard determinists and libertarians, remain confused about the difference between saying something "can" happen versus saying that something "will" happen.

The fact that all events, including my choices, were causally necessary from any prior point in time, and that they all proceeded without deviation from the Big Bang to this moment, does not logically imply that things could not have turned out differently under different circumstances.

Every use of the term "could have" always carries the logical implication that (1) it didn't happen that way, and, (2) that it only would have happened that way under different circumstances.

Within a fully deterministic system, there is only one thing that actually "will" happen. But there are many different things that actually "can" happen.

Not possible.

Sounds strange to you, I know, but that is only because you've heard determinism explained repeatedly with the notion of "could not have done otherwise". Sorry, but that's the fault of others, not me.

According to your definition, there are is no deviation.

Correct. But no deviation from what will happen is ever required in order to entertain the possibility of something else happening.

Thus, we had the possibility that the light would remain red even though it never would have done so.
Thus, we have the possibility of ordering each item on the menu, even though we would never choose anything but the salad.

As soon as you start suggesting that there was only a single possibility, you stop making coherent and sensible statements. And we end up having to choose between a single possibility or the impossibility of dealing with our uncertainty as to whether the light would remain red or change green. The results of this logical error are paradox and absurdity.

So, kindly stop doing that. Oh, and you might mention this problem to your philosophy professor to clue him in as well.

I have posted countless studies and references. Hallet, Haggard, Gazzaniga's narrator function, etc.

I've already responded to most of them, pointing out that they are using the libertarian definition of free will and not the operational definition. The compatibilist notion of free will, the one that most people grew up with, is simply a voluntary choice that a person makes for themselves while free of coercion and undue influence. It does not require freedom from causal necessity.

Here's an example you've posted before and are repeating here:
The personal narrative
''For example, in one study, researchers recorded the brain activity of participants when they raised their arm intentionally, when it was lifted by a pulley, and when it moved in response to a hypnotic suggestion that it was being lifted by a pulley.

Similar areas of the brain were active during the involuntary and the suggested “alien” movement, while brain activity for the intentional action was different. So, hypnotic suggestion can be seen as a means of communicating an idea or belief that, when accepted, has the power to alter a person’s perceptions or behaviour.''

''All this may leave one wondering where our thoughts, emotions and perceptions actually come from. We argue that the contents of consciousness are a subset of the experiences, emotions, thoughts and beliefs that are generated by non-conscious processes within our brains.''

First, the narrator function provides accurate descriptions when it has accurate information, but when it's garbage in then it will be garbage out. Manipulation by hypnosis or other means during an experiment is designed to provide inaccurate information to the narrator function, and will cause confabulation.

Second, we are not in the dark as to where our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions actually come from. They come from within us. And, by "within us", we may include their being generated by non-conscious processes within our brains. It is still us. It is still our brain.

Third, the Libet-styled experiments do not address operational free will. To see operational free will in action, observe the people being asked whether they would like to participate in the study. Some will choose to participate. Others will choose not. In either case, it is a voluntary choice, a choice made while free of coercion and undue influence. So, we see operational free will before the experiment even begins.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius

Do you see experiment or association with existing confirmed realities anywhere in what you posted? I don't. Not mechanism, not logic, not test, not observation, not confirmation, not, not, not.
Then your head might be buried somewhere, perhaps in your "hard determinism".
From

Determinism often is taken to mean causal determinism, which in physics is known as cause-and-effect. It is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states.

Determinism should not be confused with self-determination of human actions by reasons, motives, and desires. Determinism is about interactions which affect our cognitive processes in our life.[3] It is about the cause and the result of what we have done in our life. Cause and result are always bounded together in our cognitive processes. It assumes that if an observer has sufficient information about an object or human being, that such an observer might be able to predict every consequent move of that object or human being. Determinism rarely requires that perfect prediction be practically possible.

On the last point I believe determinism, to be causal, reduces experiments to a single cause resulting in a single effect. That is why I care that the scientific paradigm be reductive. It is the only practical way to get to reality.