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Compatibilism: What's that About?

DBT

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It has the appearance of choosing.

Can you describe real "choosing".

A real choice means that an alternate action is possible. Determinism does not allow the ability to choose otherwise.

Once again:

If you accept regulative control as a necessary part of free will, it seems impossible either way:
1. Free will requires that given an act A, the agent could have acted otherwise
2. Indeterminate actions happens randomly and without intent or control
3. Therefore indeterminism and free will are incompatible
4. Determinate actions are fixed and unchangeable
5. Therefore determinism is incompatible with free will

Actions, of course, proceed as determined, neither freely willed or freely chosen.
So no,you can't describe "real choosing" because the kind of choosing you demand to do is literally not real according to your broken and nonsensical definition of "possible" and "choice".

It sounds like you don't know what you are talking about.

It was not I who coined the term 'real choosing' - that was you.

I pointed out that there is no choosing, and can be no choosing within a determined system because all events evolve as determined, not chosen.

It is your objection and your logic that is broken because you don't account for the nature and implications of determinism, something that you have yet to grasp, but never will.

Never will understand the implications of determinism because your belief in compatibilism prevents it.

“...compatibilists can make their doctrine seem like robust common sense only by sweeping a mystery under the carpet ...I believe that it is possible to lift the carpet and display the hidden mystery. The notion of ‘not having a choice’ has a certain logic to it. One of the principles of this logic is, or so it seems, embodied in the following thesis, which I shall refer to as the No Choice Principle: Suppose that p and that no one has (or ever had) any choice about whether p. And suppose also that the following conditional (if-then) statement is true and that no one has (or ever had) any choice about whether it is true: if p, then q. It follows from these two suppositions that q and that no one has (or ever had) any choice about whether q.
...The No Choice Principle seems undeniably correct. How could I have a choice about anything that is an inevitably consequence of something I have no choice about? And yet ...the compatibilist must deny the No Choice Principle.” - Van Inwagen
 

Jarhyn

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<Trying really hard to last-word post the response away>
Again, DBT failing to understand "choice", "possibility", and "ability".

For the peanut gallery, this post contains exactly the thing DBT fails to understand:
I guess this all hangs on "ability".

According to determinism a specific state of affairs (SoA) will only ever produce one outcome - that SoA has no capability (ability) to produce any other outcome. There is no possibility that it "could".
So I've been trying to simplify my language for a while, and I will admit, it is HARD because this is a very hard thing to communicate concisely:

"Could", for me and for most, does not operate in the context of "Actual state of affairs".

First we take all the "regular laws" of the universe and keep them.

Then, we take all the state of the universe, copy that, and assume something of it. I will call this "image" of the state of affairs StateB.

So, in a lot more words than normal "could" is "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

Let's assume that this is not the case for the sake of discussion, that SoA is not StateB.

It is a TRUE statement that "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

It will always a true statement. It will have always have been a true statement. This is because the statement does not say anything about the actuality of the SoA being StateB, it only discusses IF it were. It will always have been true that he "could".

What will not be true is that SoA is StateB, and thus while he could, he will not.
 

DBT

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Again, DBT failing to understand "choice", "possibility", and "ability".

Once again Jarhyn failing to understand her own definition of determinism and its implications, where all events proceed without deviation, regulative control or ability to do otherwise (possibilities), consequently; no choice.

choice
[tʃɔɪs] NOUN

1 - an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

The No Choice Principle: ''how could I have a choice about anything that is an inevitably consequence of something I have no choice about? And yet ...the compatibilist must deny the No Choice Principle.” - Van Inwagen
 

Jarhyn

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Again, DBT failing to understand "choice", "possibility", and "ability".

Once again Jarhyn failing to understand her own definition of determinism and its implications, where all events proceed without deviation, regulative control or ability to do otherwise (possibilities), consequently; no choice.

choice
[tʃɔɪs] NOUN

1 - an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

The No Choice Principle: ''how could I have a choice about anything that is an inevitably consequence of something I have no choice about? And yet ...the compatibilist must deny the No Choice Principle.” - Van Inwagen
I am not "her". This is the second time and I have already corrected you once AFAIK.

If you don't know, use an agnostic term. For the record, I prefer no mention made of sex or gender made at all where it isn't important.

The details I keep reserved for my friends.

It's right there in my "gender" tag. Specifically: no pls.

I defined the word possibility and choice through use in context and explained them carefully.

To be clear, this is about the foundational concept that lies underneath "ability", "possibility", and "choice".

You snipped those definitions so you wouldn't have to look at them.

Here they are again:
I guess this all hangs on "ability".

According to determinism a specific state of affairs (SoA) will only ever produce one outcome - that SoA has no capability (ability) to produce any other outcome. There is no possibility that it "could".
So I've been trying to simplify my language for a while, and I will admit, it is HARD because this is a very hard thing to communicate concisely:

"Could", for me and for most, does not operate in the context of "Actual state of affairs".

First we take all the "regular laws" of the universe and keep them.

Then, we take all the state of the universe, copy that, and assume something of it. I will call this "image" of the state of affairs StateB.

So, in a lot more words than normal "could" is "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

Let's assume that this is not the case for the sake of discussion, that SoA is not StateB.

It is a TRUE statement that "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

It will always a true statement. It will have always have been a true statement. This is because the statement does not say anything about the actuality of the SoA being StateB, it only discusses IF it were. It will always have been true that he "could".

What will not be true is that SoA is StateB, and thus while he could, he will not.

Again can we please get to the point where you stop trying to straw-man our positions by substituting different definitions of "could"/"ability"/"possibility" and conflating them with "will"
 

The AntiChris

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Marvin Edwards

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Your argument is based upon the notion that, if the choice was inevitable since the big bang, then it is AS IF choosing never really happened, and it is AS IF we had no choice, and it is AS IF the choice was already made by someone or something else . The problem is that all three of these figurative statements are literally false. Choosing does happen.

Let's consider the other events of that evening. We walked into the restaurant. We considered the menu of possibilities. We chose the salad. We ordered the salad.

Given causal necessity:
It was inevitable that we would walk into the restaurant.
It was inevitable that we would consider the menu of possibilities.
It was inevitable that we would choose the salad.
It was inevitable that we would order the salad.

Was walking into the restaurant an illusion? No.
Was considering the menu of possibilities an illusion? No.
Was choosing the salad an illusion? No.
Was ordering the salad in illusion? No.

You may disagree, but my conclusion is that the only illusion to be found in this scenario is the illusion that there is some kind of illusion. And that "illusion of an illusion" was caused by taking figurative statements literally.

If the World is under the sway of determinism, everything happens as determined, ... The process is not figurative.

Ah! You've found the SEP article on Causal Determinism by Carl Hoefer. Hoefer notes the figurative language himself in section “2.4 Laws of Nature”:

“In the physical sciences, the assumption that there are fundamental, exceptionless laws of nature, and that they have some strong sort of modal force, usually goes unquestioned. Indeed, talk of laws “governing” and so on is so commonplace that it takes an effort of will to see it as metaphorical.

I love the irony in that statement. The notion of the "laws" of nature is a metaphor. The Moon does not consult a legal text to figure out how to orbit the Earth. The term "law" is used to express the reliability of the behavior of the objects involved, it is AS IF they were following an established law. But, they are simply doing what they naturally do, due to their relative masses and the Moon's trajectory. Only the behavior of the physicist is governed by the laws of physics. The laws of physics tell him what he must do to calculate the positions of both the Moon and the rocket to assure that they both show up in the same place and time.

Every action is fixed by prior state. Thoughts, feelings, everything.

Yep. Everything follows upon what went before. Every event is inevitable, including the inevitable thoughts and feelings that we inevitably experience as we inevitably decide for ourselves what we will inevitably do.

Deterministic causal inevitability changes nothing. The notion that it changes how we should view what is going on is an illusion.

Determinism negates the ability to do and choose otherwise.

Apparently that too is an illusion! We can easily demonstrate our ability to order whatever we want from the restaurant menu. The fact that I would inevitably order the salad never altered my ability to order anything else. Do you want to see? Pick anything you want from the menu and watch me order it for you. See? My ability to order the other items is not affected by the inevitability of my ordering the salad for myself.

Of course, what you picked for me to order was causally necessary and inevitable from any prior point in time. But that only means that it was inevitable that you and you alone would pick that item.

You asserted choice in the face of a reality that denies all possibility of doing otherwise, which is the essence meaning of choice'

Determinism never eliminates any possibilities. It simply establishes the actualities, one event at a time, each event reliably caused by prior events, and each event reliably causing subsequent events.

Possibilities do not exist outside of the imagination. A possibility is not an actuality. We can, if we have sufficient ability, convert a possibility into an actuality if we choose to do so. But we need never convert a possibility into an actuality in order for it to remain a real possibility.

1 Compatibilism and the no choice principle

"... One of the principles of this logic is, or so it seems, embodied in the following thesis, which I shall refer to as the No Choice Principle:
Suppose that p and that no one has (or ever had) any choice about whether p. And suppose also that the following conditional (if-then) statement is true and that no one has (or ever had) any choice about whether it is true: if p, then q. It follows from these two suppositions that q and that no one has (or ever had) any choice about whether q.

Ah! So that is where you found the "No Choice Principle", in someone's analysis of something Van Inwagen said.

The analysis is incorrect of course, for the reason I gave earlier: A list of the things we do not choose, however long, does not eliminate anything from the list of things which we do choose.

While I did not choose to build the restaurant and I did not choose what items would be on its menu, I did choose to order the salad, even though I could have chosen to order the steak.

It was inevitable, of course, that I would not order the steak. But, ironically, it was also inevitable that I could have.
 

DBT

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Again, DBT failing to understand "choice", "possibility", and "ability".

Once again Jarhyn failing to understand her own definition of determinism and its implications, where all events proceed without deviation, regulative control or ability to do otherwise (possibilities), consequently; no choice.

choice
[tʃɔɪs] NOUN

1 - an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

The No Choice Principle: ''how could I have a choice about anything that is an inevitably consequence of something I have no choice about? And yet ...the compatibilist must deny the No Choice Principle.” - Van Inwagen
I am not "her". This is the second time and I have already corrected you once AFAIK.

You talked about your husband in the Lounge, so I assumed that you are female. My mistake.

'' I drove half of it to get highway practice (Chicago rush hour was a very cruel initiation, especially learning stick), and one panicked trip to the hospital after my husband suffered a back injury while on the way to visit my parents.'' - Jarhyn - Any cyclist here thread.

If you don't know, use an agnostic term. For the record, I prefer no mention made of sex or gender made at all where it isn't important.

The details I keep reserved for my friends.

It's right there in my "gender" tag. Specifically: no pls.

I defined the word possibility and choice through use in context and explained them carefully.

To be clear, this is about the foundational concept that lies underneath "ability", "possibility", and "choice".

You snipped those definitions so you wouldn't have to look at them.

Here they are again:
I guess this all hangs on "ability".

According to determinism a specific state of affairs (SoA) will only ever produce one outcome - that SoA has no capability (ability) to produce any other outcome. There is no possibility that it "could".
So I've been trying to simplify my language for a while, and I will admit, it is HARD because this is a very hard thing to communicate concisely:

"Could", for me and for most, does not operate in the context of "Actual state of affairs".

First we take all the "regular laws" of the universe and keep them.

Then, we take all the state of the universe, copy that, and assume something of it. I will call this "image" of the state of affairs StateB.

So, in a lot more words than normal "could" is "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

Let's assume that this is not the case for the sake of discussion, that SoA is not StateB.

It is a TRUE statement that "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

It will always a true statement. It will have always have been a true statement. This is because the statement does not say anything about the actuality of the SoA being StateB, it only discusses IF it were. It will always have been true that he "could".

What will not be true is that SoA is StateB, and thus while he could, he will not.

Again can we please get to the point where you stop trying to straw-man our positions by substituting different definitions of "could"/"ability"/"possibility" and conflating them with "will"

I'm not substituting anything. I'm pointing out that the definition of determinism you gave doesn't allow alternate actions or alternate possibilities.

If 'possibilities' means that something else could have happened in any given circumstance, there are no 'possibilities' within a determined system because all events are entailed in time t and all the prior states of the system.

That should not be hard to grasp.
 

DBT

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It has the appearance of choosing.

Can you describe real "choosing".

A real choice means that an alternate action is possible. Determinism does not allow the ability to choose otherwise.

How did you arrive at your belief that "a real choice" requires conditions that, in your view, have never existed and never can?

You tell me, you are the one insisting on using the term real choice tm
 

Jarhyn

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Again, DBT failing to understand "choice", "possibility", and "ability".

Once again Jarhyn failing to understand her own definition of determinism and its implications, where all events proceed without deviation, regulative control or ability to do otherwise (possibilities), consequently; no choice.

choice
[tʃɔɪs] NOUN

1 - an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

The No Choice Principle: ''how could I have a choice about anything that is an inevitably consequence of something I have no choice about? And yet ...the compatibilist must deny the No Choice Principle.” - Van Inwagen
I am not "her". This is the second time and I have already corrected you once AFAIK.

You talked about your husband in the Lounge, so I assumed that you are female. My mistake.

'' I drove half of it to get highway practice (Chicago rush hour was a very cruel initiation, especially learning stick), and one panicked trip to the hospital after my husband suffered a back injury while on the way to visit my parents.'' - Jarhyn - Any cyclist here thread.

If you don't know, use an agnostic term. For the record, I prefer no mention made of sex or gender made at all where it isn't important.

The details I keep reserved for my friends.

It's right there in my "gender" tag. Specifically: no pls.

I defined the word possibility and choice through use in context and explained them carefully.

To be clear, this is about the foundational concept that lies underneath "ability", "possibility", and "choice".

You snipped those definitions so you wouldn't have to look at them.

Here they are again:
I guess this all hangs on "ability".

According to determinism a specific state of affairs (SoA) will only ever produce one outcome - that SoA has no capability (ability) to produce any other outcome. There is no possibility that it "could".
So I've been trying to simplify my language for a while, and I will admit, it is HARD because this is a very hard thing to communicate concisely:

"Could", for me and for most, does not operate in the context of "Actual state of affairs".

First we take all the "regular laws" of the universe and keep them.

Then, we take all the state of the universe, copy that, and assume something of it. I will call this "image" of the state of affairs StateB.

So, in a lot more words than normal "could" is "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

Let's assume that this is not the case for the sake of discussion, that SoA is not StateB.

It is a TRUE statement that "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

It will always a true statement. It will have always have been a true statement. This is because the statement does not say anything about the actuality of the SoA being StateB, it only discusses IF it were. It will always have been true that he "could".

What will not be true is that SoA is StateB, and thus while he could, he will not.

Again can we please get to the point where you stop trying to straw-man our positions by substituting different definitions of "could"/"ability"/"possibility" and conflating them with "will"

I'm not substituting anything. I'm pointing out that the definition of determinism you gave doesn't allow alternate actions or alternate possibilities.

If 'possibilities' means that something else could have happened in any given circumstance, there are no 'possibilities' within a determined system because all events are entailed in time t and all the prior states of the system.

That should not be hard to grasp.
Yes you are substituting something here. We are all trying very carefully to show you what, and I guarantee you we all see exactly what it is you are missing in this conversation.

I have bolded that part which exemplifies what you misunderstand.

Again read my own bolded lines.

In this moment, and for several moments after I will have written this it will be the case that IF my cat shits, I will scoop the box.

My cat will not shit in those moments but IF she does, I will scoop it.

It will always have been true that in those moments IF she had shat in the box I would scoop it.

She won't, but this will be an immortal fact of the crystalline past.
 

DBT

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Your argument is based upon the notion that, if the choice was inevitable since the big bang, then it is AS IF choosing never really happened, and it is AS IF we had no choice, and it is AS IF the choice was already made by someone or something else . The problem is that all three of these figurative statements are literally false. Choosing does happen.

There is no choice to be inevitable. Determinism entails all actions. All actions are inevitable. Determined actions are not chosen. They are entailed - as defined - by prior states of the system.

Let's consider the other events of that evening. We walked into the restaurant. We considered the menu of possibilities. We chose the salad. We ordered the salad.

Given causal necessity:
It was inevitable that we would walk into the restaurant.
It was inevitable that we would consider the menu of possibilities.
It was inevitable that we would choose the salad.
It was inevitable that we would order the salad.

Was walking into the restaurant an illusion? No.
Was considering the menu of possibilities an illusion? No.
Was choosing the salad an illusion? No.
Was ordering the salad in illusion? No.


I didn't say anything about the actions being an illusion. Just that the actions are performed as determined without deviation.

That is entailed in your own definition: no deviation is the point.

You may disagree, but my conclusion is that the only illusion to be found in this scenario is the illusion that there is some kind of illusion. And that "illusion of an illusion" was caused by taking figurative statements literally.

The illusion is the perception or belief that you could have chosen or done otherwise.

Some experiments;
''Over and over, the participants made up just-so stories to account for their nonchoices. Instead of pondering their picks first and then acting on them, the study subjects appeared to act first and think later. Their improbable justifications indicate that we can use hindsight to determine our own motives—just as we might speculate about what drives someone else's behavior after the fact. In their now classic paper, Hall and Johansson dubbed this new illusion “choice blindness.”

''Choice blindness' reveals that not only are our choices often more constrained than we think, but our sense of agency in decision making can be a farce in which we are the first to deceive ourselves.''


Not only 'more constrained than we think,' but if determinism is true, absolutely constrained by the system as it evolves without deviation.

If the World is under the sway of determinism, everything happens as determined, ... The process is not figurative.

Ah! You've found the SEP article on Causal Determinism by Carl Hoefer. Hoefer notes the figurative language himself in section “2.4 Laws of Nature”:

“In the physical sciences, the assumption that there are fundamental, exceptionless laws of nature, and that they have some strong sort of modal force, usually goes unquestioned. Indeed, talk of laws “governing” and so on is so commonplace that it takes an effort of will to see it as metaphorical.

I love the irony in that statement. The notion of the "laws" of nature is a metaphor. The Moon does not consult a legal text to figure out how to orbit the Earth. The term "law" is used to express the reliability of the behavior of the objects involved, it is AS IF they were following an established law. But, they are simply doing what they naturally do, due to their relative masses and the Moon's trajectory. Only the behavior of the physicist is governed by the laws of physics. The laws of physics tell him what he must do to calculate the positions of both the Moon and the rocket to assure that they both show up in the same place and time.

'Natural law' just refers to the properties of matter energy and its interactions, stars, planets, life, people, evolve and interact deterministically, as you define it. Complexity doesn't allow anything or anyone the freedom to will or do otherwise. As we are arguing over compatibility, free will in relation to determinism, that is a problem for the notion of free will




Every action is fixed by prior state. Thoughts, feelings, everything.

Yep. Everything follows upon what went before. Every event is inevitable, including the inevitable thoughts and feelings that we inevitably experience as we inevitably decide for ourselves what we will inevitably do.

Deterministic causal inevitability changes nothing. The notion that it changes how we should view what is going on is an illusion.

Causal inevitability changes everything. It eliminates freedom of will and freedom of choice because your will and its related action is causally inevitable rather than freely willed or chosen. What happens must necessarily happen.

Ah! So that is where you found the "No Choice Principle", in someone's analysis of something Van Inwagen said.

The analysis is incorrect of course, for the reason I gave earlier: A list of the things we do not choose, however long, does not eliminate anything from the list of things which we do choose.

While I did not choose to build the restaurant and I did not choose what items would be on its menu, I did choose to order the salad, even though I could have chosen to order the steak.

It was inevitable, of course, that I would not order the steak. But, ironically, it was also inevitable that I could have.

Found? No, it's not the first time I have referred to or quoted Van Inwagen.

The analysis is correct because, unlike compatibilists, it does not ignore entailment/causal necessitation....which, by its nature and definition, must necessarily eliminate any possibility of alternate actions and choices, consequently Van Inwagen is correct in calling it the no choice principle.

There is no ''could have'' in determinism, only what is; each state of the system entailed by its prior state, no deviation, no choice - the no choice principle is therefore correct.
 

DBT

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Again, DBT failing to understand "choice", "possibility", and "ability".

Once again Jarhyn failing to understand her own definition of determinism and its implications, where all events proceed without deviation, regulative control or ability to do otherwise (possibilities), consequently; no choice.

choice
[tʃɔɪs] NOUN

1 - an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

The No Choice Principle: ''how could I have a choice about anything that is an inevitably consequence of something I have no choice about? And yet ...the compatibilist must deny the No Choice Principle.” - Van Inwagen
I am not "her". This is the second time and I have already corrected you once AFAIK.

You talked about your husband in the Lounge, so I assumed that you are female. My mistake.

'' I drove half of it to get highway practice (Chicago rush hour was a very cruel initiation, especially learning stick), and one panicked trip to the hospital after my husband suffered a back injury while on the way to visit my parents.'' - Jarhyn - Any cyclist here thread.

If you don't know, use an agnostic term. For the record, I prefer no mention made of sex or gender made at all where it isn't important.

The details I keep reserved for my friends.

It's right there in my "gender" tag. Specifically: no pls.

I defined the word possibility and choice through use in context and explained them carefully.

To be clear, this is about the foundational concept that lies underneath "ability", "possibility", and "choice".

You snipped those definitions so you wouldn't have to look at them.

Here they are again:
I guess this all hangs on "ability".

According to determinism a specific state of affairs (SoA) will only ever produce one outcome - that SoA has no capability (ability) to produce any other outcome. There is no possibility that it "could".
So I've been trying to simplify my language for a while, and I will admit, it is HARD because this is a very hard thing to communicate concisely:

"Could", for me and for most, does not operate in the context of "Actual state of affairs".

First we take all the "regular laws" of the universe and keep them.

Then, we take all the state of the universe, copy that, and assume something of it. I will call this "image" of the state of affairs StateB.

So, in a lot more words than normal "could" is "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

Let's assume that this is not the case for the sake of discussion, that SoA is not StateB.

It is a TRUE statement that "in this moment he will IF the SoA is StateB."

It will always a true statement. It will have always have been a true statement. This is because the statement does not say anything about the actuality of the SoA being StateB, it only discusses IF it were. It will always have been true that he "could".

What will not be true is that SoA is StateB, and thus while he could, he will not.

Again can we please get to the point where you stop trying to straw-man our positions by substituting different definitions of "could"/"ability"/"possibility" and conflating them with "will"

I'm not substituting anything. I'm pointing out that the definition of determinism you gave doesn't allow alternate actions or alternate possibilities.

If 'possibilities' means that something else could have happened in any given circumstance, there are no 'possibilities' within a determined system because all events are entailed in time t and all the prior states of the system.

That should not be hard to grasp.
Yes you are substituting something here. We are all trying very carefully to show you what, and I guarantee you we all see exactly what it is you are missing in this conversation.

I have bolded that part which exemplifies what you misunderstand.

Again read my own bolded lines.

In this moment, and for several moments after I will have written this it will be the case that IF my cat shits, I will scoop the box.

My cat will not shit in those moments but IF she does, I will scoop it.

It will always have been true that in those moments IF she had shat in the box I would scoop it.

She won't, but this will be an immortal fact of the crystalline past.

What I said is correct. It's correct because it relates to the terms and conditions of a deterministic system, as given.

What you offered was a fine example of sophistry, a rationale that does not relate to your own definition of determinism, which makes it a poor rationale.

What you say just shows that you still have not grasped the nature or implications of determinism as you yourself have defined it.

Despite incompatibilism having been explained and supported over and over, I think that you are still confused, mistaking compatibilism with Libertarian free will.

''Some aspiring compatibilists maintain that only humans are judged morally because only they could have acted differently. Those who try this argument must realize that they are not compatibilists at all; they are libertarians. The acceptance of determinism is a defining element of compatibilism. It forbids us to say that evil-doers could have done good if only they wanted to. Well yes, if they wanted to, but they were determined to not want to.

Hence, the compatibilist must find a defense for moral judgment that is applicable only to humans and that is safely nonlibertarian. He must look for a psychological feature that is presumably uniquely human and that is involved in the causal chain leading to action. The general version of this feature is self-consciousness and the specific version is intentionality. In other words, a person is judged to have acted freely and (ir)responsibly if he was aware of his desire to do X, foresaw the consequences (e.g., how moralists would judge him if he did X), and endorsed the desire (thereby forming an intention). Notice that a true compatibilist, who has gone on record saying that determinism is a fact of nature, must believe that the events of experiencing a desire, foreseeing the consequences of action, and forming an intention to act on the desire, are all determined. The causal chain leading a human to lift a finger is longer than the chain leading a squirrel to lift an acorn, but it is no less deterministic (he who says that it is less deterministic is not a compatibilist but a closet libertarian).''
 

Jarhyn

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There is no ''could have'' in determinism
Let's look at a smaller system, since you seem to be lost in large deterministic systems.

Let's look at F(x)=5x

There is one input and one output. It's a deterministic function.

Now, let's fully determine an answer: let x=5.

This is "the big bang" of F(5).

In it's singular moment F(x)=25.

It is no less true that F(6)=30.

Our universe is F(SoA).

F(SoA) can in fact contain partial calculation on F(StateB) where StateB is (SoA U (thing)). The only thing it cannot contain is a complete calculation, due to Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.

What we can observe, however, is that some things will be true of F(StateB) even from the perspective of F(SoA) being the only operation ever actually done in completeness.
 

Marvin Edwards

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There is no choice to be inevitable.

Correct. There is no choosing on my part regarding it being inevitable that I would have to make a choice. It was inevitable that I would face the restaurant menu, and it was inevitable that I would consider my options, and inevitable that, for my own inevitable reasons, I would inevitably choose to order the salad rather than the steak.

All events are always causally necessary/inevitable. My point is simply that this doesn't actually change anything. It is still me, choosing from the menu of alternate possibilities what I will order for dinner. And it is still me that the waiter will expect to pay the bill.

Nothing has changed.

The proper way to look at universal causal necessity/inevitability is as a background constant. It always appears on both sides of every equation, and can be subtracted from both sides without affecting the result. And the intelligent brain simply acknowledges it, and then ignores it. The notion has no practical implications for any human scenarios.

The illusion is the perception or belief that you could have chosen or done otherwise.

The notion of "could have done otherwise" is part of the rational causal mechanism that causally determines what we think and do. It is not an illusion, but rather an essential token in the machinery of thought.

When we do not know what we will choose, we imagine what we can choose, and estimate the likely result of each of those choices. Then we select the choice that we expect will produce the best results, in terms of our goals and our reasons.

If you eliminate the notions of "can" and "possibilities", you break the machinery. And that's not a good idea, because the ability to choose what we will do, from a number of different options, has evolved to enable our species to adapt to a variety of challenges we find in our environment. It has enhanced our ability to survive. So, don't fork with it.
 

The AntiChris

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You tell me, you are the one insisting on using the term real choice tm

I'm really not insisting on anything (call it what you like - 'non-illusory' choice?).

In any event, you said:

A real choice means that an alternate action is possible. Determinism does not allow the ability to choose otherwise.
You presumably understood the term 'real choice' when you wrote this, so could you please try to answer my question?

Here it is again:

How did you arrive at your belief that "a real (non-illusory) choice" requires conditions that, in your view, have never existed and never can?
 

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Essentially, the compatibilist argues that physics is a system of rules that can be described as a operation on an arbitrary state, and which can be simplified greatly, statistically, to accomplish this of particular forms of information.

We say "there is a function AND form to the universe and these can be divorced to understand the function on a different form."

It is just also very convenient at least for us that we can simplify the function heavily to accelerate calculation at the expense of having knowable microstate-level resolution information about the different form's resolution.

The reason we do this is so that we can act upon the form such that identifiable operations whose results we don't like or already know we won't like, don't happen, and to act upon the form such that identifiable operations whose results we want to come of the future state do, in fact, happen.

This is all observably sensible given the fact that every piece of technology ever engineered was engineered by such a process, including the phone I'm typing on, an operation such that the future state will contain DBT not really reading this post and just kind of glazing over as they repeat this canard that we can't calculate on "if".
 

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There is no ''could have'' in determinism
Let's look at a smaller system, since you seem to be lost in large deterministic systems.

I am not the one who is lost.

This is not hard to grasp: the given definitions of determinism set the terms and conditions.

As you yourself stipulated, all events proceed without deviation, thus there can be no deviation. Each and every event is fixed by the prior state of the system, which is not subject to will, wish, regulation or choice in the form of alternate actions.

Based on your accepted definition, everything that happens within a determined system is entailed, fixed by prior states of the system, therefore not freely willed or chosen.

Events evolve as they must.

No exceptions.

You are trying to slide around your own definition of determinism. There is no way around it, what is entailed is not freely chosen.
 

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You tell me, you are the one insisting on using the term real choice tm

I'm really not insisting on anything (call it what you like - 'non-illusory' choice?).

In any event, you said:

A real choice means that an alternate action is possible. Determinism does not allow the ability to choose otherwise.
You presumably understood the term 'real choice' when you wrote this, so could you please try to answer my question?

Here it is again:

How did you arrive at your belief that "a real (non-illusory) choice" requires conditions that, in your view, have never existed and never can?

Isn't it clear that I was pointing out that within a determined system, there can be no choice, that 'choice' implies the ability to take any of a number of options as presented - but given determinism, not necessarily realizable, because determinism eliminates the possibility of alternate actions.

You then desperately seized onto my wording and tried to make more of it than was meant with your real choicetmobjection.
 

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There is no choice to be inevitable.

Correct. There is no choosing on my part regarding it being inevitable that I would have to make a choice. It was inevitable that I would face the restaurant menu, and it was inevitable that I would consider my options, and inevitable that, for my own inevitable reasons, I would inevitably choose to order the salad rather than the steak.

All events are always causally necessary/inevitable. My point is simply that this doesn't actually change anything. It is still me, choosing from the menu of alternate possibilities what I will order for dinner. And it is still me that the waiter will expect to pay the bill.

Nothing has changed.

The proper way to look at universal causal necessity/inevitability is as a background constant. It always appears on both sides of every equation, and can be subtracted from both sides without affecting the result. And the intelligent brain simply acknowledges it, and then ignores it. The notion has no practical implications for any human scenarios.

The proper way to look at universal causation is precisely as defined, that all events are fixed at time t and how things go ever after, consequently, nothing is chosen.

That, as described in your definition, all events must necessarily proceed as determined, neither chosen or subject to modification, wish, will or regulation.


1. No one has power over the facts of the past and the laws of nature.
2. No one has power over the fact that the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every fact of the future (i.e., determinism is true).
3. Therefore, no one has power over the facts of the future.


The illusion is the perception or belief that you could have chosen or done otherwise.

The notion of "could have done otherwise" is part of the rational causal mechanism that causally determines what we think and do. It is not an illusion, but rather an essential token in the machinery of thought.

There is no think or do 'otherwise' within a deterministic system. Not by your definition, not by any other definition of the word.

What Does Deterministic System Mean?
''A deterministic system is a system in which a given initial state or condition will always produce the same results. There is no randomness or variation in the ways that inputs get delivered as outputs.''


When we do not know what we will choose, we imagine what we can choose, and estimate the likely result of each of those choices. Then we select the choice that we expect will produce the best results, in terms of our goals and our reasons.

If you eliminate the notions of "can" and "possibilities", you break the machinery. And that's not a good idea, because the ability to choose what we will do, from a number of different options, has evolved to enable our species to adapt to a variety of challenges we find in our environment. It has enhanced our ability to survive. So, don't fork with it.

What we imagine we can choose is just as fixed as what we are entailed to do. You are trying to impose an exemption in the form of imagination.

Imagination is a physical brain activity, signals passed between cells and networks, thereby subject to the same constraint as every other event within the system.

What you imagine doing, you must necessarily imagine doing, as the physical system that is your brain, an aspect of the world at large and no way separate from it, processes information and represents thought in conscious form as imagination.

You may imagine flying through the air like a bird, you may dream that you are flying through the air like a bird, but that is not the same as ability to do. The brain has the capacity to think and imagine, but not do otherwise.
 

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which is not subject to will, wish, regulation or choice in the form of alternate actions.
And then you beg the question again. You and FDI really have your heads lodged QUITE firmly, don't you?

Again,
Let's look at F(x)=5x

There is one input and one output. It's a deterministic function.

Now, let's fully determine an answer: let x=5.

This is "the big bang" of F(5).

In it's singular moment F(x)=25.

It is no less true that F(6)=30.

Our universe is F(SoA).

F(SoA) can in fact contain partial calculation on F(StateB) where StateB is (SoA U (thing)). The only thing it cannot contain is a complete calculation, due to Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.

What we can observe, however, is that some things will be true of F(StateB) even from the perspective of F(SoA) being the only operation ever actually done in completeness.
Of course, the fact is, you have nothing you can actually say to this. It's why you keep snipping this portion and ignoring it, not speaking to it's logic at all.
 

The AntiChris

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How did you arrive at your belief that "a real (non-illusory) choice" requires conditions that, in your view, have never existed and never can?

Isn't it clear that I was pointing out that within a determined system, there can be no choice,

Of course.

In order to declare that choice is not possible in a deterministic universe, you must have in your mind a working definition of choice. It will be a definition which stipulates the conditions under which a choice can be made (conditions which in your view don't, and can never, exist).

The problem here is that your definition doesn't reflect how the majority of competent English speakers use the word. So I'm asking you where you got your definition and, what is your justification for insisting that the majority of English speakers are mistaken?
 

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1. No one has power over the facts of the past and the laws of nature.
2. No one has power over the fact that the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every fact of the future (i.e., determinism is true).
3. Therefore, no one has power over the facts of the future.



The laws of nature entail every fact of the future?

This is why talking with DBT is a waste of time. He repeats this stuff like a mantra, but as I have pointed out a million times, the so-called “laws” of nature describe what happens in the world. They do not prescribe what happens in the world. If he thinks that they do, I challenge him to PROVE IT. He has ignored this challenge every time I have brought it up. It’s as if he never reads what anyone writes and all his answers are pre-formed on a save-get key.
 

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1. No one has power over the facts of the past and the laws of nature.
2. No one has power over the fact that the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every fact of the future (i.e., determinism is true).
3. Therefore, no one has power over the facts of the future.



The laws of nature entail every fact of the future?

This is why talking with DBT is a waste of time. He repeats this stuff like a mantra, but as I have pointed out a million times, the so-called “laws” of nature describe what happens in the world. They do not prescribe what happens in the world. If he thinks that they do, I challenge him to PROVE IT. He has ignored this challenge every time I have brought it up. It’s as if he never reads what anyone writes and all his answers are pre-formed on a save-get key.
Essentially, such a view demands, as a law of nature, a "just-so law", "the rest of the laws only make sense or work in context of the given initial condition given just so".

To which I say [insert rude noises]
 

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My point is simple. Causal necessity does not change anything in any meaningful or relevant way. All events are always the result of prior causes. And this happens to include the "free will" event. Free will is an event in which a person decides for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

All causally necessary events actually happen in physical reality. Even mental events correspond to physical brain processes which are happening in physical reality. So, when choosing happens, it is really happening, as a physical event within a physical brain.

The brain organizes sensory data into a symbolic model of reality. It represents this reality with language and sensory images. With this model, it imagines possible futures (what I can do and what can happen) and possible pasts (what I could have done and what could have happened). It forms plans and sets its intent upon doing specific things (what I will do), either right now (I will have the Chef Salad for dinner) or in the future (my "last will and testament").

Our presumption, that all events are reliably caused, comes from our daily observation of how things happen. I press the "H" key on my keyboard (cause) and an "h" appears in the text (effect). My ability (freedom) to type my thoughts requires a reliable keyboard. If pressing the keys caused random letters to appear in the text, my freedom to type my thoughts would be gone.

Every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. And this applies to the reliability of our thinking brains as much as it does upon the reliability of our computer keyboards.

Consider the notion of determinism. Determinism asserts that all events are causally necessary from any prior point in the past. Causal necessity is derived from the fact of ordinary cause and effect. One event causes another event which causes other events, ad infinitum. In theory (but definitely not in practice), we could trace a history of prior causes all the way back to the Big Bang (or earlier, depending upon your cosmology).

For example, if I roll the bowling ball just so, it will cause all of the pins to fall down. But, how did I happen to be in a bowling alley in the first place? There will be a history of prior causes that led to me being in that place at that time. If we go back farther, we know that there will be a history of prior causes that led to my birth, and my parents birth, and to the evolution of the human race, and the first single celled organisms, and eventually to the Big Bang, a convenient stopping point.

Now, back to the reliability of our thinking brains. Some people, called "hard determinists", would suggest to us that it was not really us that bowled a "strike" (all ten pins falling on the first roll), but rather that it was the Big Bang that actually rolled the strike. The Big Bang would deserve the pat on the back from our bowling team members, and not us. They would argue that our skilled roll of the bowling ball was causally inevitable from the point of the Big Bang forward, so we would deserve no credit for the hours of practice we spent developing our bowling skills.

Basically, they are saying that causal necessity implies that it was not us, but something else that bowled the strike. (We don't often hear a discussion of bowling in the determinism "versus" free will debate. But this is not at all absurd, because we commonly hear the hard determinist using examples involving billiard balls and dominoes).

But the principle is the same. The hard determinist will claim that it was not us, but something else, that chose to order the Chef Salad rather than the Steak for dinner. They claim that "choosing" isn't actually happening in physical reality, which is exactly like suggesting that "bowling" isn't really happening in physical reality.

Choosing, like bowling, definitely happens in physical reality. Choosing happens in our brains. Bowling happens in a bowling alley. But both are actual events that actually happen.

The term "inevitable" is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: "That cannot be avoided; not admitting of escape or evasion; unavoidable. In extended use: that cannot fail or is bound to occur, appear, be used, etc.; that is inherent (in) or naturally belongs to (see also quot. 1893)."

If an event is inevitable, then it will necessarily happen. It cannot be avoided. If I bowled a strike, then, given causal necessity, it was inevitable that I would bowl that strike. If I chose to order the Chef Salad rather than the Steak, then it was inevitable that I would be making that choice myself.

Rather than making choosing impossible, the notion of causal necessity makes choosing inevitable. It is an event that must happen, an event that cannot be avoided. My consideration of the Chef Salad was inevitable. My consideration of the Steak was inevitable. My choosing the salad rather than the steak, because I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch, was inevitable.

And, because it was inevitable that I would not be subject to coercion or undue influence while making that choice, it was inevitable that it would be a choice of my own free will.

When we think of something being "inevitable", we usually imply that it is beyond our control. But within the context of causal necessity, the inevitable also includes the events in which we exercise control by choosing what we will do. Our controlling the events that are within our control, is also inevitable.

Our inevitable reasons, our inevitable goals, our inevitable beliefs and values, our inevitable thoughts and feelings, our inevitable genetic dispositions and prior life experiences, are the inevitable causes of our own inevitable decisions.

When we take causal necessity/inevitability seriously, we discover that all events are always inevitable. It is a background constant of our universe. It is something we take for granted. And, assuming it is a universal constant, it becomes unnecessary to explicitly state it. Like any constant that appears on both sides of an equation, we can subtract it from both sides without affecting the outcome.

Thus, our more complex statement reduces to a much simpler one:
Our reasons, our goals, our beliefs and values, our thoughts and feelings, our genetic dispositions and prior life experiences -- basically all of the things that make us who and what we are -- are the causes our decisions.

Universal causal necessity/inevitability doesn't actually change anything that happens or how anything was caused to happen. It simply points out that there is a history of prior causes behind every event.

We usually only care about the most meaningful and relevant causes of an event. A meaningful cause efficiently explains why an event happened. A relevant cause is one that we might be able to do something about. These are usually the most direct causes, the ones closest to the event. As we trace backward through the causal chain the causes become less meaningful and more incidental.

So, when someone robs a bank, we're not really interested in the Big Bang, but instead concentrate upon how the robber happened to make that choice and what we might do to discourage him from continuing to make such choices.

1. No one has power over the facts of the past and the laws of nature.
2. No one has power over the fact that the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every fact of the future (i.e., determinism is true).
3. Therefore, no one has power over the facts of the future.

1. I am a fact of the past and the laws of nature.
2. I entail certain facts of the future by my choices.
3. I need not exercise control over the laws of nature, because I happen to be an embodiment of those laws, which gives me power over facts of the future that fall within my domain of influence (things I can make happen if I choose to do so).

There is no think or do 'otherwise' within a deterministic system.

And I never have to think or do otherwise than I actually think and do, in order to choose from the restaurant menu whether to order the salad or the steak. After all, both are realizable possibilities (even though only one will be realized and the other will remain an unrealized possibility, that is, something that I could have done, but didn't).


The brain has the capacity to think and imagine, but not do otherwise.

The ability to do otherwise never requires that we actually do otherwise. There is a clear distinction between the things we "can" do and the things that we "will" do. You seem to be assuming that if we will not do something then we could not have done it. And that is an illogical assumption.

If you eliminate the notions of "can" and "possibilities", you break the machinery. And that's not a good idea, because the ability to choose what we will do, from a number of different options, has evolved to enable our species to adapt to a variety of challenges we find in our environment. It has enhanced our ability to survive.
 

fromderinside

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What I don't understand about compatibilists is how can they know know reality when all they have is sense data with which to work. They don't have or use reality in any meaningful way. If they did thy would realized sense is a second order means for exploring what is in the world. What they see, taste, smell, feel, sense as upright and balance are all provided by sensory organs external to mind which they seem to think form the the basis for sensing such as choice, location and the rest. That is a gigantic leap going well beyond what is known.

We know location by experiment. We do not know by experiment whither choice or the rest. There is no experiment establishing mind or its relation to choice or even if there is such. Everybody understands what we think is the product of mind which is enabled by sense. Neither of these have been scientifically established as being determined directly by reality. We have only indirect impressions of the world that we use to get by in the world, not to know the world.

Ergo we don't know we just believe based on what we sense which is pretty close to a fiction. As a retired Sensory Neuro-Psycho-Physiologist I feel pretty comfortable making this assertion. There is no way we actually see, hear, taste smell, feel what is material. Rather we sense enough to provide us the ability to navigate and survive in the world in which we exist. If one examines the science one understands the differences between what we rationally believe and what actually is.

It is and will be my view that we are determined beings in a determined world who believe otherwise and will probably never get past that hurdle because we seem to need being at the center of things.
 
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Jarhyn

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FDI, you are stuck in the same place as DBT of demanding to know silly things in any attempt to make inference.

All YOU have is "sense data".

YOU don't, by such nonsense as you spout, have or use reality in any meaningful way.

As it is, we do know choice by experiment. It's how we defeated the enigma machine. We described choice function mathematically and from there made a machine that did it: that had some aspect conscious to some event, and which would act in that condition.

In fact that describes what a neuron does, in broad terms... It's interesting that sometimes we assume these things have to be so BIG for how important they seem to us, when really they are so small, and only the scale is so big for us that we only see it for the forest and not it's trees.

Getting by still means standing on assumptions and accepting that they are good enough. And that's what reasonable people mean when they utter 'knowledge'.

And lo, when we do treat what assumptions we have that seem good enough as such, we can do some really cool shit. Like making decision engines, operators of mechanical choice functions, and even whole worlds more directly observably deterministic than even our own in which we can watch objects operate choice functions of their own in their own deterministic system.

Of course, we do know our universe has regular and consistent rules. Our brains also have regular and consistent rules because they are built of stuff of our universe.

And it is downright foolish to assume that the initial configuration upon which we "figure" our existence is necessary as a part of those rules, that the rules only function as such upon that configuration.

Such is not a general requirement of systems which meet the mathematical definition of "deterministic"
 

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What I don't understand about compatibilists is how can they know know reality when all they have is sense data with which to work. They don't have or use reality in any meaningful way. If they did thy would realized sense is a second order means for exploring what is in the world. What they see, taste, smell, feel, sense as upright and balance are all provided by sensory organs external to mind which they seem to think form the the basis for sensing such as choice, location and the rest. That is a gigantic leap going well beyond what is known.

We know location by experiment. We do not know by experiment whither choice or the rest. There is no experiment establishing mind or its relation to choice or even if there is such. Everybody understands what we think is the product of mind which is enabled by sense. Neither of these have been scientifically established as being determined directly by reality. We have only indirect impressions of the world that we use to get by in the world, not to know the world.

Ergo we don't know we just believe based on what we sense which is pretty close to a fiction. As a retired Sensory Neuro-Psycho-Physiologist I feel pretty comfortable making this assertion. There is no way we actually see, hear, taste smell, feel what is material. Rather we sense enough to provide us the ability to navigate and survive in the world in which we exist. If one examines the science one understands the differences between what we rationally believe and what actually is.

It is and will be my view that we are determined beings in a determined world who believe otherwise and will probably never get past that hurdle because we seem to need being at the center of things.
The problem is that all we can know of reality is all that we will know of reality. So, it is similar to the "brain in a vat" problem. The solution is that we must deal with the reality that we perceive, because we have no other reality to work with. And, like you say, "We have only indirect impressions of the world that we use to get by in the world, not to know the world." For all practical purposes, what we see is what we get, and we are not going to see anything else. So, we take it for granted that our knowledge of the world is valid, so long as it continues to work for us.

And, we cannot really validate the claim that what we sense "is pretty close to a fiction", because we cannot tell what is fact or fiction without any way to compare the reality we see with anything else. For all we know, reality may be exactly what we observe it to be.
 

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Sorry guys. We have the scientific method which permits us to discover realities not perceived by our senses. Once discovered we can compare these new realities with our sense data and make use of that information. If the sense requirement was valid we wouldn't have relativity or quantum mechanics nor would it be possible for us to create or control the bomb which we obviously can.

Those of us who know this make use of the concept of  Ideal observer analysis in  Psychophysics to reconcile differences between sense data and material reality. It is unfortunate that ideal observer is used so recklessly as to be defined differently between rational and empirical situations. It's greatest value is in resolving such differences within a singular ratio model.
 
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Marvin Edwards

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Sorry guys. We have the scientific method which permits us to discover realities not perceived by our senses. Once discovered we can compare these new realities with our sense data and make use of that information. If the sense requirement was valid we wouldn't have relativity or quantum mechanics nor would it be possible for us to create or control the bomb which we obviously can.
Right. With the scientific method we have multiple observers checking up on each others observations and conducting controlled experiments. But having multiple senses also provides a means of checking our subjective data in different ways. For example, we walk up to what appears to be a bowl of fruit, and pick up an apple, but the apple is too light. We tap on it with our knuckle and it sounds hollow, and it doesn't have an apple's smell. Turns out to be a bowl of artificial fruit, put there for decoration, but not for eating.
 

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Sorry guys. We have the scientific method which permits us to discover realities not perceived by our senses. Once discovered we can compare these new realities with our sense data and make use of that information. If the sense requirement was valid we wouldn't have relativity or quantum mechanics nor would it be possible for us to create or control the bomb which we obviously can.
Not if all we have is our senses, if all we have are the senses of other things, if our senses are the only thing that carry the sense data of those other sensory objects.

We can as easily compare our sense data to... Our own sense data for consistency.

This is the basic form of doing reality checks, and discovering whether you are dreaming!

It's almost as if... We can confirm, in fact what our senses are telling us through consistent output by them, and that again, things may be known and knowledge may be tested.

But your vision of the scientific method is not actually the scientific method. We've been through this, you consider "the academic process" to be "the scientific method" and no It is not.

One person can scientifically break down the whole principle of the operation of the universe all by themselves given enough time and so long as they follow what is actually the scientific method (observe, hypothesize a model, test hypothesis, repeat) requires none of the academic process. The academic process just helps speed things along and allow multiple doubts and tests.

That we use tools to improve them makes the result no less "of our senses", and the evidence our senses shows indicates that there is more to sense.

Those realities are still "perceived by our senses", improved and added upon as they are by additional hardware past the wetware.

It is no less me perceiving and knowing of the tree by my senses when I wear glasses as when I don't. Rather, my senses allow me to use the glasses to KNOW there are some parts of the tree that I'm not seeing very well, and that my knowledge is incomplete and needs to be thoroughly verified by repeating observations.

The fact is, the world doesn't go away when we shut our eyes, and things can be known, particularly the consistent rules of our universe. We know it through tested observation by our senses. We know it to the extent that our senses are reliable and we know their reliability in that respect because we test that too.

This instills a certain level of confidence in our knowledge of the consistent rules of the universe.

And the of course it makes perfect sense to take those well known consistent rules of the universe and ask ourselves "what is the arrangement of stuff which under those rules will transform into X result?"

Sometimes X result is "a cellphone".
Sorry guys. We have the scientific method which permits us to discover realities not perceived by our senses. Once discovered we can compare these new realities with our sense data and make use of that information. If the sense requirement was valid we wouldn't have relativity or quantum mechanics nor would it be possible for us to create or control the bomb which we obviously can.
Right. With the scientific method we have multiple observers checking up on each others observations and conducting controlled experiments. But having multiple senses also provides a means of checking our subjective data in different ways. For example, we walk up to what appears to be a bowl of fruit, and pick up an apple, but the apple is too light. We tap on it with our knuckle and it sound hollow, and it doesn't smell like an apple. Turns out to be a bowl of artificial fruit, put there for decoration, but not for eating.
The scientific method does not give us multiple observers. That is the academic process that gives such.

The scientific method operates suitably fine with a single observer. All that is required is that they test their hypothesis against observation, and the scientific method is satisfied.

Even the output of a single sense may be validated by a single person through careful observation, recording, and tests.

How else do you think I normally figure out when I am dreaming?
 

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Now if you two are through with your preaching maybe you will read and respond to my entire post.
We did. now if you are done with your know-nothing preaching, go tell people you know nothing somewhere else maybe.
 

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which is not subject to will, wish, regulation or choice in the form of alternate actions.
And then you beg the question again. You and FDI really have your heads lodged QUITE firmly, don't you?

It's you.

You persistently contradict your own definition of free will.

Once again: your own definition of determinism does not permit alternate actions. No alternate actions equate to no alternate decisions or actions. No alternate decisions and actions equates to all events proceed as determined by prior states of the system, which includes your experience of will, wish, want, need and related actions, all fixed by antecedents.

Therefore, like it or not, huff and puff if it makes you feel better, but how events evolve is not - according to the terms of your own definition - to will, wish, regulation or choice in the form of alternate actions, just as I pointed out.

'Begging the question' is your rationale, even as you deny the terms of your own definition.
 

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your own definition of determinism does not permit alternate actions
Again with your failure to understand "alternative".

This is your fundamental issue. Perhaps try answering this post:
How did you arrive at your belief that "a real (non-illusory) choice" requires conditions that, in your view, have never existed and never can?

Isn't it clear that I was pointing out that within a determined system, there can be no choice,

Of course.

In order to declare that choice is not possible in a deterministic universe, you must have in your mind a working definition of choice. It will be a definition which stipulates the conditions under which a choice can be made (conditions which in your view don't, and can never, exist).

The problem here is that your definition doesn't reflect how the majority of competent English speakers use the word. So I'm asking you where you got your definition and, what is your justification for insisting that the majority of English speakers are mistaken?
 

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Not if all we have is our senses, if all we have are the senses of other things, if our senses are the only thing that carry the sense data of those other sensory objects.

How else do you think I normally figure out when I am dreaming?
Same way I do, through use of experiment. Oh, wait ..... you don...
 

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1. No one has power over the facts of the past and the laws of nature.
2. No one has power over the fact that the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every fact of the future (i.e., determinism is true).
3. Therefore, no one has power over the facts of the future.



The laws of nature entail every fact of the future?

This is why talking with DBT is a waste of time. He repeats this stuff like a mantra, but as I have pointed out a million times, the so-called “laws” of nature describe what happens in the world. They do not prescribe what happens in the world. If he thinks that they do, I challenge him to PROVE IT. He has ignored this challenge every time I have brought it up. It’s as if he never reads what anyone writes and all his answers are pre-formed on a save-get key.

If you actually understood determinism and its implications, you would understand that that laws of nature refers to the properties of matter/energy and the nature of its interactions and events as they evolve, etc, that if determinism is true, every fact of the future is entailed at time t and the way things go ever after.

Otherwise it's not determinism.

You, Pood, want it both ways: ''determinism'' and ''not determinism'' - in contradiction to the definition of determinism given by compatibilists.

What do you think ''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'' means, if not that all facts of the future are entailed?
 

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Not if all we have is our senses, if all we have are the senses of other things, if our senses are the only thing that carry the sense data of those other sensory objects.

How else do you think I normally figure out when I am dreaming?
Same way I do, through use of experiment. Oh, wait ..... you don...
And of course all you have is nonsense.

It's almost as if, in reality, when we shut our eyes the world does not go away, and when we open them, it is the same world we are observing again, especially when all the same numbers come back again.

Go on. Go pretend you know nothing.
 

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'Begging the question' is your rationale, even as you deny the terms of your own definition.

I don't know who named these logical fallacies, but "begging the question" is a stupid name for "including the conclusion in the premise". Not only that, but a premise is an assumption. If someone wants to challenge the assumption they can do so directly without confusing everyone by calling it "begging the question" (where is the question? where is the begging? wtf?).

Ah! And in Wikipedia we have the answer: "The phrase begging the question originated in the 16th century as a mistranslation of the Latin petitio principii, which in turn was a mistranslation of the Greek for "assuming the conclusion".

The stupid name came from a translation error!

Seems to me we could fix this by renaming the fallacy "assuming the conclusion in the premise".
 

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Sorry guys. We have the scientific method which permits us to discover realities not perceived by our senses. Once discovered we can compare these new realities with our sense data and make use of that information. If the sense requirement was valid we wouldn't have relativity or quantum mechanics nor would it be possible for us to create or control the bomb which we obviously can.
Not if all we have is our senses, if all we have are the senses of other things, if our senses are the only thing that carry the sense data of those other sensory objects.

WTF??? I specified we have the scientific method in addition to our senses. Nobody gives a shit about responding to conditional that is already specified. Go argue with yourself.
 

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Sorry guys. We have the scientific method which permits us to discover realities not perceived by our senses. Once discovered we can compare these new realities with our sense data and make use of that information. If the sense requirement was valid we wouldn't have relativity or quantum mechanics nor would it be possible for us to create or control the bomb which we obviously can.
Not if all we have is our senses, if all we have are the senses of other things, if our senses are the only thing that carry the sense data of those other sensory objects.

WTF??? I specified we have the scientific method in addition to our senses. Nobody gives a shit about responding to conditional that is already specified. Go argue with yourself.
No, we don't. Because the scientific method is... A collection of talking about sense output, which you claim we cannot know.

In your (broken, in fact rejected) language "subjective all the way down I'm afraid". All just "images of images of images processed by imaginations..."

Instead, I would rather expect it's knowledge, understood, with error bars just the same as anything else we sense.
 

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My point is simple. Causal necessity does not change anything in any meaningful or relevant way. All events are always the result of prior causes. And this happens to include the "free will" event. Free will is an event in which a person decides for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

If will is fixed by prior causes, it cannot be defined as a free will event. It's just another determined event, neither chosen or willed.

Actions are not willed. Information interacts with neural networks, information exchange, and an action is initiated and reported in conscious form, in that order of events.

Free will is being asserted, not demonstrated. Asserted in the face of evidence to the contrary, a system that entails all actions, where nothing is freely willed.


All causally necessary events actually happen in physical reality. Even mental events correspond to physical brain processes which are happening in physical reality. So, when choosing happens, it is really happening, as a physical event within a physical brain.

Of course. Free will plays no part in the process of evolution of events as they unfold without deviation.

The brain organizes sensory data into a symbolic model of reality. It represents this reality with language and sensory images. With this model, it imagines possible futures (what I can do and what can happen) and possible pasts (what I could have done and what could have happened). It forms plans and sets its intent upon doing specific things (what I will do), either right now (I will have the Chef Salad for dinner) or in the future (my "last will and testament").

Evolved mechanisms that enable the ability to acquire and process information and respond in complex but deterministic ways, each and every increment of information interaction, however complex, being fixed by the prior state of the system, inputs, processing, memory function, output.

A failure in memory function, for instance, disrupting rational response, etcetera.

Rational does not equate to free will.
 

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What do you think ''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'' means, if not that all facts of the future are entailed?

It simply means that it was inevitable I would not be subject to coercion or undue influence in the restaurant, but that it would be I, myself, that would be choosing the salad rather than the steak, for my own goals and reasons. In other words, it was inevitable that I would make the choice of my own free will.

Every event that happens is always inevitable. It is hardly worth mentioning. One wonders why hard determinists insist upon bringing it up inappropriately, as if it actually made a difference. It does not.
 

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Everyone who agrees with the statement "All we have are our senses" in response to "we have the scientific method" fails.
Of course they don't see that sauce for the good is sauce for the gander.

FDI, the scientific method does not transform sense information to anything but sense information, if you do not accept in the first place that things may be known.

The only difference that you could be possible talking about is the difference of whether the image that constitutes the "knowledge" is inside or outside of a neural network and the fact is that there is no specialness across that boundary.

We are tools, as much as we have them. Some more than others.

As it is, Turing made mince out of that failed and foolish idea that we cannot quantify and observe choice.
 

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My point is simple. Causal necessity does not change anything in any meaningful or relevant way. All events are always the result of prior causes. And this happens to include the "free will" event. Free will is an event in which a person decides for themselves what they will do, while free of coercion and undue influence.

If will is fixed by prior causes, it cannot be defined as a free will event.

But you've seen me do exactly that, simply by using the ordinary, common sense definition of free will: a choice we make for ourselves while free of coercion and undue influence. This is the free will that is used when assessing a person's moral or legal responsibility for their actions. It is the only rational definition of free will.

The definition you're using is the nonsensical "freedom from causal necessity". There is no freedom from reliable cause and effect, because every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. Thus "freedom from causal necessity" is an oxymoron, a self-contradiction, presenting us with the paradoxical question: "How can we be free of that which freedom itself requires?"

It's just another determined event, ...

Choosing the salad was indeed just another determined event. It was causally necessary, from any prior point in time t, that I would be making that choice, for my own reasons, while free of coercion and undue influence, and thus "of my own free will".

neither chosen

The salad was chosen, so "not chosen" is empirically false.

or willed.

The menu of alternate possibilities required me to make a choice. So, I willingly considered my options and chose the salad. So, "not willed" is also empirically false.

Actions are not willed.

And the action that necessarily followed my choosing the salad was to communicate this intent to the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

All of these claims have been refuted repeatedly by the empirical evidence.

Information interacts with neural networks, information exchange, and an action is initiated and reported in conscious form, in that order of events.

You are simply choosing another way to describe the exact same event in order to hide the facts. For example, it was a fact that I considered the juicy steak for dinner. And it was a fact that my goal of eating more vegetables brought to my awareness that I had already had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. And it was also a fact that I then turned my conscious attention to the Chef Salad, and then chose to order the salad instead of the steak. Finally, I told the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

This event is commonly known as "a choice of my own free will". And, of course, it also involved my own physical neural network processing information and involving conscious awareness at key points in the process.

Free will is being asserted, not demonstrated.

Meaningful free will is clearly demonstrated in every restaurant, every day. This is an indisputable fact. So, the claim that free will is not being demonstrated is false.

Asserted in the face of evidence to the contrary, a system that entails all actions, where nothing is freely willed.

Universal causal necessity does not contradict the meaningful definition of free will. It simply means that all free will events are inevitable, just like all coercion events are inevitable, just like all events involving undue influence are inevitable. There is nothing in a world of perfectly reliable cause and effect that happens outside of perfectly reliable causation.

Therefore, the claim that a perfectly deterministic system that entails all actions is "evidence to the contrary", is clearly false. Rather it is evidence that free will events are just as inevitable as all other events.

All causally necessary events actually happen in physical reality. Even mental events correspond to physical brain processes which are happening in physical reality. So, when choosing happens, it is really happening, as a physical event within a physical brain.

The brain organizes sensory data into a symbolic model of reality. It represents this reality with language and sensory images. With this model, it imagines possible futures (what I can do and what can happen) and possible pasts (what I could have done and what could have happened). It forms plans and sets its intent upon doing specific things (what I will do), either right now (I will have the Chef Salad for dinner) or in the future (my "last will and testament").

Evolved mechanisms that enable the ability to acquire and process information and respond in complex but deterministic ways, each and every increment of information interaction, however complex, being fixed by the prior state of the system, inputs, processing, memory function, output.

Yes. However, we've also learned that irrational beliefs can lead to false conclusions, which result in harmful actions. The belief that universal causal necessity absolves us of all responsibility for our actions, is one of those false beliefs. And it can have harmful effects, as summarized by Eddy Nahmias in Why ‘Willusionism’ Leads to ‘Bad Results’: Comments on Baumeister, Crescioni, and Alquist :
"When interpreted in ways that the evidence does not justify, the willusionist claim can lead to ‘bad results.’ That is, telling people that free will is an illusion leads people to cheat more, help less, and behave more aggressively"
 

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What do you think ''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'' means, if not that all facts of the future are entailed?

What part of “I do not accept causal necessity as a valid modal cateogry,” which I have stated about a bazillion times, do you fail to grasp?
 

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Where do you get modal category from investigation? What you think is for you alone. What we know is from all of us via developed methodologies. All you have to do is look things up and connect the thoughts in sequence. You know what underlies sequence don't you. Pro.....
 

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Where do you get modal category from investigation? What you think is for you alone. What we know is from all of us via developed methodologies. All you have to do is look things up and connect the thoughts in sequence. You know what underlies sequence don't you. Pro.....
No, you just said what you know is from your senses including the existence at all of "all of us".

If you want to reject knowledge, the bowl full of solipsism is right over there shining and pure white. I even left a donation in it just recently.
 

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Where do you get modal category from investigation? What you think is for you alone. What we know is from all of us via developed methodologies. All you have to do is look things up and connect the thoughts in sequence. You know what underlies sequence don't you. Pro.....

Is this directed at me? I assume so, based on the question about “modal category.” The rest of it I can’t parse, sorry. Why do you end with “Pro…” What does that mean?

Nothing in science points to a modal category called “causal necessity.” The fact that classical experiments yield cause/effect relationships does not indicate that these relations are necessary, nor do they say anything about free will. They only confirm Hume’s “constant conjunction.” As I have repeatedly argued, the only valid modal category of necessity is logical necessity.

But more, you yourself raised quantum mechanics. The ability of our thought and instruments to extend our evaluation of reality beyond our immediate senses, by your own elaboration, reveals that the world is actually indeterministic. Since the whole world is quantum, it would follow that the classical world of determinism is a statistical artifact and an illusion our our senses. I agree that our senses give us no access to Kant’s noumena. Are you taking a Kantian line?
 
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