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Compatibilism: What's that About?

fromderinside

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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?
Nice post. pro...cess

While I agree that our thought processes support indeterministic views of perceived reality I am nowhere near accepting quantum mechanics as fundamental. Whatever the origin of things there was an origin. Everything we understand points that way including initial temperature indices.

Kant was bright, pompous and, IMHO, wrong. He couldn't shake deity since he couldn't shake logical presumption. And, face it, logical presumption is very far from where I sit. The mind is derived by mind, circling wagons, FCS.

I left the rational route behind long ago, tools made by tools infinitum? I actually spent ten years as a tool tool tool maker. The secret in successfully making tools is understanding what needs to go into the process which is mostly the result of fortuitous circumstances.
 
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fromderinside

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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.
Its not about looking over shoulders it's about discipline in process. If the model is wrong it doesn't matter who is watching the wrong process they are watching the wrong process.
 

DBT

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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?

What you happen to accept or not accept is irrelevant. The issue here is the question of compatibility - free will in relation to determinism as it has been defined by compatibilists.

Your remarks, concerns and objections are irrelevant because you ignore the terms and conditions of the debate.
 

DBT

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neither chosen

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

Choice requires a possible alternative. No possible alternatives exist within a deterministic system, ie, your ''no deviation'' clause. No deviation is essentially the no choice principle of determinism


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.

But you had no free choice to begin with. The no choice principle is entailed in your definition of determinism: all events proceed as determined without deviation.

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".

What you considered is just as fixed as your 'choice' and action. Every step of the 'consideration' process is entailed by prior states of the system. Hence there is no freedom to choose or freedom of will.

Choice, as pointed out requires the possibility to take another option.... Determinism allows no other option, all events must proceed without deviation. Taking a different option is deviation, something that cannot happen in a deterministic system as it has been defined.

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.

It was never a choice. The option and action taken is determined to happen before it happens. That is entailed in your definition of determinism.

There is no way around this. No wriggle room. No back door. No escape clause.

Asserting free will in the face of actions fixed by antecedents does not prove the proposition.


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"


Information alters the state system. Telling someone there is no god, if they are convinced, it changes their view of the world.

Some who come to believe they have no free will may be affected in negative ways, but that has no bearing on the status of free will in relation to determinism.

Plato suggested using the Royal Lie, maintaining the illusion of gods, to keep the masses content and well behaved, so perhaps maintaining a version of the Royal Lie in relation the illusion of free will may be beneficial for some? ;)

''Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control. We do not have the freedom we think we have.'' - Sam Harris.
 

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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?

What you happen to accept or not accept is irrelevant. The issue here is the question of compatibility - free will in relation to determinism as it has been defined by compatibilists.

Your remarks, concerns and objections are irrelevant because you ignore the terms and conditions of the debate.
No, it's because YOU ignore the terms and conditions. You ignore the definition of choice to supplant it with your own.

Your remarks, concerns, objections are all irrelevant because your position is fundamentally a theological one, circular in nature that all depends on this canard that "there is no could".

Of course, to say that, you ignore that "could" is just "shall/is/did, IF ((SoA & X) == X)"

The point is that sometimes IF ((SoA & X) == X) gets satisfied and sometimes it doesn't, but the statement itself is always sensible even when it is not satisfied.

The language we use to describe this phenomena of "how the statement resolved" with respect to particular aspects is "he could and he did" Or "his will was free" or even "he could but he didn't" and "that will was not free"
 

Jarhyn

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Yet I learned to defend myself or chose to take a blow to avoid letting things get out of control. It was all by training design and intention.
Reading through the forums today I came upon this little gem.

It appears FDI does actually believe in choice, given their statement that they have, in fact, participated in making a choice or two.
 

pood

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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?

What you happen to accept or not accept is irrelevant. The issue here is the question of compatibility - free will in relation to determinism as it has been defined by compatibilists.

Your remarks, concerns and objections are irrelevant because you ignore the terms and conditions of the debate.

I’m sorry but you don’t get personally to set “the terms and conditions of the debate.” All this means in practice is that you set the terms and conditions in such a way as to beg the question for hard determinism.

I have already explained why, several times, I part company with Marvin in refusing to accept “causal necessity” as a valid modal category. Would you care to go back and actually address my concerns rather than dismissing my remarks as “irrelevant” just because they disagree with your question-begging definitions? In addition, would you care to answer the following question at last, clearly and succinctly: Do the so-called laws of nature PREscribe what happens in the world, or DEscribe what happens in the world. Which is it?
 

pood

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Since DBT doesn’t seem to read other posts carefully for comprehension, I think he believes that when I reject “causal necessity” it means I am saying that under causal determinism, any old thing can happen, sort of like indeterminism.

I have neither said nor implied any such thing. I am very careful to say I endorse causal determinism, but causal determinism is not the same thing as causal necessity. Perhaps DBT would like to reread the many posts in which I have spelled out what I think are the differences between the two.
 

Marvin Edwards

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No deviation is essentially the no choice principle of determinism

Quite the opposite. No deviation means that choosing will inevitably happen, and there is nothing we can do about it actually happening.

Without deviation, we will choose to have dinner at the restaurant.
Without deviation, we will be confronted with a literal menu of alternate possibilities.
Without deviation, we will consider the steak and reject it because we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.
Without deviation, we will decide it will be better to have the salad rather than the steak for dinner.
Without deviation, there will be no coercion or undue influence involved in our choosing, such that:
Without deviation, it will be a choice of our own free will.

Things will happen just so, without deviation.

But you had no free choice to begin with.

Free from what? Causal necessity? Well, of course not. There is no such thing as "freedom from cause and effect". Why? Because it is an insane notion: (a) because every freedom to do anything at all REQUIRES reliable cause and effect and (b) what we will do by causal necessity is exactly identical to what we would have done anyway!! Causal necessity is not something that we need to be free of! That is the illusion that the hard determinist is pedaling, that causal necessity is something we need to escape.

Free will is when we choose for ourselves what we will do, while free of coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.
 

pood

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The abstract of this paper sums up my own view on the matter of “causal necessity.”

Hume thought that if you believed in powers, you believed in necessary connections in nature. He was then able to argue that there were none such because anything could follow anything else. But Hume wrong-footed his opponents. A power does not necessitate its manifestations: rather, it disposes towards them in a way that is less than necessary but more than purely contingent. In this paper a dispositional theory of causation is offered. Causes dispose towards their effects and often produce them. But a set of causes, even though they may succeed in producing an effect, cannot necessitate it since the effect could have been counteracted by some additional power. This would require a separation of our concepts of causal production and causal necessitation. The most conspicuous cases of causation are those where powers accumulate and pass a requisite threshold for an effect to occur.

The problem with “causal necessity” is that it just doesn’t exist. “Necessity” always refers to logical necessity. A truth is logically necessary iff (if and only if) it is impossible to maintain its converse without instantiating a logical contradiction. Consider the proposition, “triangles have three sides.” If I were to maintain that “some triangles have four sides,” or “some triangles have more or less than three sides,” I have instantiated a logical contradiction, because the proposition “triangles have three sides,” is an analytic truth, like 2+2=4.

Not so Marvin ordering salad for dinner. I can conceive without logical contradiction Marvin ordering steak instead, so Marvin ordering salad can never be a necessary truth about the world.

Since Marvin ordering salad is a contingent truth about the world, this just means that Marvin could have ordered steak, without logical contradiction, but he didn’t. This nicely captures the compatibilist stance that given antecedents x,y,z, Marvin WILL order salad, but it does not follow that he MUST do so.

Similarly, gravity is universal. So far as we know it exists everywhere and has always existed and will always behave in exactly the same way. Nevertheless, gravity is a contingent truth about the world, not a necessary truth. This is because I can imagine without instantiating a logical contradiction the absence of gravity, or gravity behaving in such a way that things fall up. Of course, in such a logically possible world, the “laws” of physics (descriptions of how things are) would have to be different, in the same way that for Marvin to order steak instead of salad, antecedent conditions would be different. This is easy to see. There is a possible world, modally very close to our own, in which Marvin does indeed order steak for dinner because he had a light breakfast, whereas in the actual world he ordered salad because he had a heavy breakfast. The world in which Marvin ordered steak instead of salad is called a possible non-actual world. David K. Lewis believed all possible non-actual worlds are actual to their own inhabitants.
 

Jarhyn

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The world in which Marvin ordered steak instead of salad is called a possible non-actual world. David K. Lewis believed all possible non-actual worlds are actual to their own inhabitants.
I will disagree with Lewis on the many-worlds interpretation, however given the apparent infinitude of this world it MAY be the case that all possible worlds happen at ridiculous spatial separations, causally unhinged from one another as they may be by the fact that our universe is already processing the regions in which these events happen from us at far more than the speed of light.

I accept this, that this may be true.

Even so, retaining the logic of possible non-actual world's is one of the most powerful tools of deduction, engineering, and ethics.

Even non-possible non-actual instantaneous states which nonetheless may be processed without error by the physics are in fact a sensible thing to retain!

It just says "this arrangement of stuff processes this way in physics" when one says 'could (if (SoA&SB)==SB)'
 

Marvin Edwards

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The abstract of this paper sums up my own view on the matter of “causal necessity.”

Hume thought that if you believed in powers, you believed in necessary connections in nature. He was then able to argue that there were none such because anything could follow anything else. But Hume wrong-footed his opponents. A power does not necessitate its manifestations: rather, it disposes towards them in a way that is less than necessary but more than purely contingent. In this paper a dispositional theory of causation is offered. Causes dispose towards their effects and often produce them. But a set of causes, even though they may succeed in producing an effect, cannot necessitate it since the effect could have been counteracted by some additional power. This would require a separation of our concepts of causal production and causal necessitation. The most conspicuous cases of causation are those where powers accumulate and pass a requisite threshold for an effect to occur.

The problem with “causal necessity” is that it just doesn’t exist. “Necessity” always refers to logical necessity. A truth is logically necessary iff (if and only if) it is impossible to maintain its converse without instantiating a logical contradiction. Consider the proposition, “triangles have three sides.” If I were to maintain that “some triangles have four sides,” or “some triangles have more or less than three sides,” I have instantiated a logical contradiction, because the proposition “triangles have three sides,” is an analytic truth, like 2+2=4.

Not so Marvin ordering salad for dinner. I can conceive without logical contradiction Marvin ordering steak instead, so Marvin ordering salad can never be a necessary truth about the world.

Since Marvin ordering salad is a contingent truth about the world, this just means that Marvin could have ordered steak, without logical contradiction, but he didn’t. This nicely captures the compatibilist stance that given antecedents x,y,z, Marvin WILL order salad, but it does not follow that he MUST do so.

Similarly, gravity is universal. So far as we know it exists everywhere and has always existed and will always behave in exactly the same way. Nevertheless, gravity is a contingent truth about the world, not a necessary truth. This is because I can imagine without instantiating a logical contradiction the absence of gravity, or gravity behaving in such a way that things fall up. Of course, in such a logically possible world, the “laws” of physics (descriptions of how things are) would have to be different, in the same way that for Marvin to order steak instead of salad, antecedent conditions would be different. This is easy to see. There is a possible world, modally very close to our own, in which Marvin does indeed order steak for dinner because he had a light breakfast, whereas in the actual world he ordered salad because he had a heavy breakfast. The world in which Marvin ordered steak instead of salad is called a possible non-actual world. David K. Lewis believed all possible non-actual worlds are actual to their own inhabitants.
You may have noticed that, unlike Daniel Dennett, I have no problem with the term "inevitable". And I have no problem with the notion of "causal necessity" or even the word "must". This is because, as long as I still get to choose what I will do, it doesn't really matter that my choice was inevitable, predictable, causally necessary, or something that must happen. It is only when someone or something else is telling me what I must do that I would get upset, that I would feel constrained to do something that I would not choose to do myself.

And this is how it is with a deterministic world. I am still that which is choosing what I will do. I feel I am in control because I empirically observe myself exercising that control as I choose what I will do. This ability is not an illusion, but rather an empirical reality, one that anyone can see. The waiter in the restaurant observed me choosing from the menu what I would order. And he returns with my dinner and the bill, which he expects me, and no other, to pay.

So, determinism has no teeth. It entails no empirical threat to free will. I like to call this train of thought, "defanging determinism".
 

Marvin Edwards

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The world in which Marvin ordered steak instead of salad is called a possible non-actual world. David K. Lewis believed all possible non-actual worlds are actual to their own inhabitants.
I will disagree with Lewis on the many-worlds interpretation, however given the apparent infinitude of this world it MAY be the case that all possible worlds happen at ridiculous spatial separations, causally unhinged from one another as they may be by the fact that our universe is already processing the regions in which these events happen from us at far more than the speed of light.

I accept this, that this may be true.

Even so, retaining the logic of possible non-actual world's is one of the most powerful tools of deduction, engineering, and ethics.

Even non-possible non-actual instantaneous states which nonetheless may be processed without error by the physics are in fact a sensible thing to retain!

It just says "this arrangement of stuff processes this way in physics" when one says 'could (if (SoA&SB)==SB)'

Possibilities exist solely within the imagination. We cannot drive a car across the possibility of a bridge. A possibility is a "real" possibility if we have the ability to actualize it if we choose to do so. But an actualized possibility immediately ceases to be called a possibility and is now called an actuality.

Real possibilities that are never actualized are never called impossibilities. Instead they are referred to as things we could have done.

The fact that a possibility exists solely within the imagination does not mean that it is imaginary. A possibility serves a real and practical function during choosing and planning. We cannot build an actual bridge without first imagining at least one possible bridge. Typically, we will imagine many different bridges as we go about finalizing our bridge design. So, the function of a possibility is both real and meaningful.

Within the domain of human influence (things we can make happen if we choose to), the single inevitable future will be selected by us from among the many possible futures that we will imagine.
 

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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?

What you happen to accept or not accept is irrelevant. The issue here is the question of compatibility - free will in relation to determinism as it has been defined by compatibilists.

Your remarks, concerns and objections are irrelevant because you ignore the terms and conditions of the debate.

I’m sorry but you don’t get personally to set “the terms and conditions of the debate.” All this means in practice is that you set the terms and conditions in such a way as to beg the question for hard determinism.

What part of ''the compatibilists on this forum have set the terms and conditions in their given definition of determinism, and that is what I am responding to'' is hard to grasp?

I have already explained why, several times, I part company with Marvin in refusing to accept “causal necessity” as a valid modal category. Would you care to go back and actually address my concerns rather than dismissing my remarks as “irrelevant” just because they disagree with your question-begging definitions? In addition, would you care to answer the following question at last, clearly and succinctly: Do the so-called laws of nature PREscribe what happens in the world, or DEscribe what happens in the world. Which is it?

My ''question begging definitions?'' Really? Again, it's not my personal definition. It's the definition given by both Marvin and Jarhyn.

Not only that, it's the basic definition of determinism that prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system....and the compatibilist claim is that free will is compatible with determinism as it is defined.

If you can't understand this by now, there is no hope that you ever will. Why argue? Believe whatever floats your boat. I don't care.
 

DBT

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No deviation is essentially the no choice principle of determinism

Quite the opposite. No deviation means that choosing will inevitably happen, and there is nothing we can do about it actually happening.

What will inevitably happen must necessarily happen, which means no deviation and what must necessarily happen is, rather than a matter of choice, entailment.



Without deviation, we will choose to have dinner at the restaurant.

Which happens as entailed by prior states of the system, not choice. Choice implies the ability to do otherwise, entailed means fixed before it happens.

Without deviation, we will be confronted with a literal menu of alternate possibilities.


Which happens as entailed by prior states of the system, not choice. Choice implies the ability to do otherwise, entailed means fixed before it happens.

Without deviation, we will consider the steak and reject it because we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.


Which happens as entailed by prior states of the system, not choice. Choice implies the ability to do otherwise, entailed means fixed before it happens.
Without deviation, we will decide it will be better to have the salad rather than the steak for dinner.

Which happens as entailed by prior states of the system, not choice. Choice implies the ability to do otherwise, entailed means fixed before it happens.

Without deviation, there will be no coercion or undue influence involved in our choosing, such that:
Without deviation, it will be a choice of our own free will.

Things will happen just so, without deviation.

All events being entailed by prior states of the system before they even happen, nothing is freely willed or freely chosen. As defined, everything proceeds as determined.

But you had no free choice to begin with.

Free from what? Causal necessity? Well, of course not.

Nope, if it is claimed that we have freedom of choice or freedom of will, there must be realizable alternatives in any given instance of decision making. Causal necessity does not, by definition, permit alternate decisions or actions.


There is no such thing as "freedom from cause and effect".

Of course there isn't. That's the whole point of incompatibilism.

Free will is when we choose for ourselves what we will do, while free of coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Except that we don't choose for ourselves. We are not separate from the world. Information from the world at large acts upon a brain as it acquires and processing information, unconscious activity that is not subject to control or regulation, where thoughts and actions result from unconscious activity. The world not only influences us, but forms our entire being.

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

Marvin Edwards

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What will inevitably happen must necessarily happen, which means no deviation and what must necessarily happen is, rather than a matter of choice, entailment.

If you really believed that everything is entailed by causal necessity, then you must also agree that choosing will inevitably happen, without deviation. There is nothing we can do about it. It will inevitably happen, exactly as it does happen.

When it comes to choosing, we will have no choice but to choose.

Still waiting for that light bulb to turn on.
 

pood

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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?

What you happen to accept or not accept is irrelevant. The issue here is the question of compatibility - free will in relation to determinism as it has been defined by compatibilists.

Your remarks, concerns and objections are irrelevant because you ignore the terms and conditions of the debate.

I’m sorry but you don’t get personally to set “the terms and conditions of the debate.” All this means in practice is that you set the terms and conditions in such a way as to beg the question for hard determinism.

What part of ''the compatibilists on this forum have set the terms and conditions in their given definition of determinism, and that is what I am responding to'' is hard to grasp?

I have already explained why, several times, I part company with Marvin in refusing to accept “causal necessity” as a valid modal category. Would you care to go back and actually address my concerns rather than dismissing my remarks as “irrelevant” just because they disagree with your question-begging definitions? In addition, would you care to answer the following question at last, clearly and succinctly: Do the so-called laws of nature PREscribe what happens in the world, or DEscribe what happens in the world. Which is it?

My ''question begging definitions?'' Really? Again, it's not my personal definition. It's the definition given by both Marvin and Jarhyn.

Not only that, it's the basic definition of determinism that prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system....and the compatibilist claim is that free will is compatible with determinism as it is defined.

If you can't understand this by now, there is no hope that you ever will. Why argue? Believe whatever floats your boat. I don't care.

What part of “I am a compatibilist and I do not fully agree with the terms and conditions that have been set?” is hard to grasp? I have set my own terms and conditions, repeatedly: causal determinism means effects reliably follow causes (Hume’s constant conjunction), full stop. Such a parsimonious definition says nothing about free will or the alleged lack thereof.

What part of “I reject ‘causal necessity’ as a valid modal category and I have explained why this is so and what follows from my rejection” is hard to grasp?

You, or, for that matter, other compatibilists, do not get to set the terms of this debate. That is because there are different definitions of determinism and even different definitions of compatibilism, and you don’t get to pick and choose what is etched in stone as THE objectively valid definition. For example, as I have explained in the past, there is a variant of standard compatibilism called Humean or neo-Humean compatibilism, and as a matter of fact, my stance on compatibilism is heavily informed by that variant. I have explained all this, and you’ve chosen to ignore it.

Yes, your definition of determinism begs the question in favor of HARD determinism.

If you can't understand this by now, there is no hope that you ever will. Why argue? Believe whatever floats your boat. I don't care.

You persistent unwarranted condescension is repulsive.

Instead of further condesension, why don’t you actually respond to what I write for a change? Why don’t you respond to my post 3,057 in which I challenged you, for about the hundredth time, to tell me whether you think the “laws” of nature PREscribe or DEscribe what happens in the world? Then, why don’t you move on to my post 3,060 in which I give a detailed analysis of my problems with “causal necessity” and respond to that?

But of course you won‘t. You never have and never will. As I noted earlier, all your “responses” are pre-fabricated scripts stored on save-get keys.
 

pood

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We are not separate from the world. Information from the world at large acts upon a brain as it acquires and processing information, unconscious activity that is not subject to control or regulation, where thoughts and actions result from unconscious activity. The world not only influences us, but forms our entire being.

All that is correct. So what?
 

fromderinside

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Yet I learned to defend myself or chose to take a blow to avoid letting things get out of control. It was all by training design and intention.
Reading through the forums today I came upon this little gem.

It appears FDI does actually believe in choice, given their statement that they have, in fact, participated in making a choice or two.
Learning is a deterministic process. In such choice is only descriptive of the process learned, not of volition. Also intention is part of the process learned, again not volition.

If I have to do this for every thing to which you point it's going to be a long night for you.
 
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Marvin Edwards

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Learning is a deterministic process. In such choice is only descriptive of the process learned, not of volition. Also intention is part of the process learned, again not volition.

Every process is deterministic, including volition (will). A person's deliberate will is reliably caused by the process of deliberation, a process in which we decide what we will do. When free of coercion and undue influence, we call this a "freely chosen" will, or simply "free will". The intention/will/volition motivates and directs our subsequent actions until the intent is satisfied.

It is a bit silly to say that a process cannot be both deterministic and deliberate, especially when deliberation itself is a deterministic process that causally determines volition.
 

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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?

What you happen to accept or not accept is irrelevant. The issue here is the question of compatibility - free will in relation to determinism as it has been defined by compatibilists.

Your remarks, concerns and objections are irrelevant because you ignore the terms and conditions of the debate.

I’m sorry but you don’t get personally to set “the terms and conditions of the debate.” All this means in practice is that you set the terms and conditions in such a way as to beg the question for hard determinism.

What part of ''the compatibilists on this forum have set the terms and conditions in their given definition of determinism, and that is what I am responding to'' is hard to grasp?

I have already explained why, several times, I part company with Marvin in refusing to accept “causal necessity” as a valid modal category. Would you care to go back and actually address my concerns rather than dismissing my remarks as “irrelevant” just because they disagree with your question-begging definitions? In addition, would you care to answer the following question at last, clearly and succinctly: Do the so-called laws of nature PREscribe what happens in the world, or DEscribe what happens in the world. Which is it?

My ''question begging definitions?'' Really? Again, it's not my personal definition. It's the definition given by both Marvin and Jarhyn.

Not only that, it's the basic definition of determinism that prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system....and the compatibilist claim is that free will is compatible with determinism as it is defined.

If you can't understand this by now, there is no hope that you ever will. Why argue? Believe whatever floats your boat. I don't care.

What part of “I am a compatibilist and I do not fully agree with the terms and conditions that have been set?” is hard to grasp? I have set my own terms and conditions, repeatedly: causal determinism means effects reliably follow causes (Hume’s constant conjunction), full stop. Such a parsimonious definition says nothing about free will or the alleged lack thereof.

I don't care whether you agree with the given definitions or not. ''Effects reliably following causes'' is just an insipid way of saying effects are entailed by their causes'' - not to mention that effects are causes and causes are effects. If by 'reliably' you are trying to introduce regulation by means of will or decision making, you are wrong because cause/effect and effect/cause must necessarily evolve deterministically, or you can't define the system as being deterministic. You can't have it both ways.
 

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What will inevitably happen must necessarily happen, which means no deviation and what must necessarily happen is, rather than a matter of choice, entailment.

If you really believed that everything is entailed by causal necessity, then you must also agree that choosing will inevitably happen, without deviation. There is nothing we can do about it. It will inevitably happen, exactly as it does happen.


I'm pointing out that it's not a matter of ''choosing.' Not in the sense that you could have taken a different option. Not in the sense that the process is open to modification.

That causal necessity or entailment is not a matter of freely choosing an option. If all actions are entailed by the evolving state of the system before we are aware of making a decision, and the determined action has no alternatives, it is not a decision that has been freely made, rather, a process of entailment where each and every action is inevitable as events within the system progress without deviation, including brain activity, thoughts, feelings, actions.

Is that process of entailment to be called free will?

Hardly.

When it comes to choosing, we will have no choice but to choose.

In other words, no choice at all. Not even a bit. Determinism: the ultimate in compulsion....we don't even know it's happening, yet we feel free to act.

“It might be true that you would have done otherwise if you had wanted, though it is determined that you did not, in fact, want otherwise.” - Robert Kane

''Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X.'' - Cold comfort in Compatibilism.


Still waiting for that light bulb to turn on.

For sure.... the flash of neurons lighting up when it is realized that within a system where everything that happens is inevitable, time t and how things go ever after, that nothing that happens within the system is freely willed or freely chosen.


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.''
 

Marvin Edwards

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I'm pointing out that it's not a matter of ''choosing.'

And yet choosing is the process that causes the choice. It's that cause and effect thing, you know, what determinism is based on.

You see drops of water falling from the sky? That's called "raining".
You see someone browsing the restaurant menu and placing an order? That's called "choosing".

Not in the sense that you could have taken a different option.

Choosing what you will do always requires at least two real options to choose from. There must be at least two things that you can actually do. One of these things that you can do will become the single inevitable thing that you will do. The other things that you can actually do will become the inevitable things that you could have done, but didn't.

What you mean to say is that there is only a single thing that you will do. It would be illogical to claim that there is only one thing that you can do when you are choosing what you will do. It is logically impossible to perform the choosing operation if there is only one thing that you can do. We cannot choose "between" a single possibility.

But it is perfectly logical to choose from multiple things that you can do the single thing that you will do.

Not in the sense that the process is open to modification.

Choosing is a deterministic process in which each event is reliably caused by prior events, without modification or deviation. Every thought follows a rational sequence from the recognition of our options to the declaration of our chosen will to the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

So, if that is the sense you were looking for, then there it is.

That causal necessity or entailment is not a matter of freely choosing an option.

"Freely choosing an option" does not mean freedom from causal necessity or entailment. It simply means freedom from coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Is that process of entailment to be called free will?

Of course, silly. Just like the process of entailment by which drops of water fall from a cloudy sky is to be called "raining".

We call it "free will" when a person makes a choice for themselves as to what they will do, while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence.

Both free will and raining are equally processes of deterministic entailment. We call them different names so that we know what we're talking about. In one case we bring an umbrella.

“It might be true that you would have done otherwise if you had wanted, though it is determined that you did not, in fact, want otherwise.” - Robert Kane

In other words, determinism never compels me to do anything that I don't want to do. I'm cool with that. So, why does it bother you?

Still waiting for that light bulb to turn on.
 

Marvin Edwards

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If by 'reliably' you are trying to introduce regulation ...

Determinism is reliable cause and effect. A specific cause will always produce a specific effect.
Indeterminism is unreliable cause and effect. The effects of a specific cause are unpredictable.

The notion of "reliable" simply distinguishes determinism from indeterminism.
 

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I'm pointing out that it's not a matter of ''choosing.'

And yet choosing is the process that causes the choice. It's that cause and effect thing, you know, what determinism is based on.

If prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system, choosing doesn't come into it. Entailment doesn't involve choice.

You see drops of water falling from the sky? That's called "raining".
You see someone browsing the restaurant menu and placing an order? That's called "choosing".

How is it choosing when you order steak at 8:35pm on Saturday night, as determined, if is just as inevitable as raindrops falling from the sky?

Complexity doesn't transform inevitability into freedom.

We are talking about determinism, not freedom to do other than what is entailed to happen in that instance in time and place.


Not in the sense that you could have taken a different option.

Choosing what you will do always requires at least two real options to choose from. There must be at least two things that you can actually do. One of these things that you can do will become the single inevitable thing that you will do. The other things that you can actually do will become the inevitable things that you could have done, but didn't.

There are no alternate options in any given instance in time. The list of options are there to cater to the tastes of multiple diners, each according to their own.

Each 'selection' for each customer is the only possible action in that specific moment in time.

If any customer could take any option at any given instance in time, it would not be a deterministic system.

As it happens that we are talking about determinism, there are no alternate actions in any given instance in time, ergo, no ''at least two real options to choose from'' even though there are multiple options on the menu (different people, different states and tastes).

That covers it. No possible alternate actions, no real choice. No freedom to do otherwise, No free will. Actions are carried out unimpeded as determined.

Just to add:
''How can we all truly have the freedom to decide our fate when we’re not dealt equal cards from the start? And it’s not just the cards we’re dealt, it’s also the ability to play those cards. Some are simply born better bluffers than others.

When you look at the concept of free will critically, the whole idea seems to crumble pretty quickly. In fact, researchers have come to the conclusion that believing in free will is like believing in religion, neither of them agree with the laws of physics. Think about it, if free will truly exists and if choice is not just a chemical process, then why can things like alcohol and antipsychotics completely change a person’s behavior?

Even worse, we’ve seen brain tumors turn people from pediatricians to pedophiles. Domenico Mattiello was once a respected pediatrician. For 30 years, he was loved by his patients and adored by their parents and everyone in the society. In a shocking turn of events, however, in 2012, he began facing trial after being accused of making pedophilic advances towards his female patients.

Neuroscientific research showed that Mattielo had a 4-inch tumor growing at the base of his brain that changed his behavior.

In 2002, a similar thing happened to an American school teacher. He suddenly started having pedophilic urges towards his step-daughter and was arrested. Then it was discovered that he had an egg-sized tumor growing in the part of his brain that was supposed to be responsible for decision-making. After the tumor got removed, the man’s pedophilic urges stopped completely, and he was able to return to his family.

If free will exists, why can removing a tumor change a person’s choice? Is it then possible that by altering brain chemistry or physical composition, we can completely change a person’s beliefs, ideologies, and choices without the person being able to do anything about it?''
 

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If by 'reliably' you are trying to introduce regulation ...

Determinism is reliable cause and effect. A specific cause will always produce a specific effect.
Indeterminism is unreliable cause and effect. The effects of a specific cause are unpredictable.

The notion of "reliable" simply distinguishes determinism from indeterminism.

Sure, but it appears that some tend to give the impression that 'reliable' suggests the possibility of regulation, determinism merely being 'reliable,' we may bend it to our will and purpose. Something that is reliable is not necessarily fixed, unchangeable, not like a deterministic progression of events that entails no deviation - 'Joe is reliable, but occasionally he may overlook a promise.' Or ''choosing what you will do always requires at least two real options to choose from....''

Multiple options, one possibility: the determined action.
 

Marvin Edwards

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Sure, but it appears that some tend to give the impression that 'reliable' suggests the possibility of regulation, determinism merely being 'reliable,' we may bend it to our will and purpose.

(A) I don't know where you get that impression. If a specific cause, or a specific combination of causes, reliably brings about a specific effect, then the behavior is deterministic. We can employ those causes to bring about a specific effect.

(B) What we do and how we do it will, of course, also be reliably caused, mostly through internal mechanisms, but all of these mechanisms will also have histories of reliable cause and effect, such that there is a more general, all encompassing sense of causal necessity that we also assume to the be case.

However the sense in B does not eliminate the sense in A. And we naturally employ the sense in A routinely every day. But we have no practical use of the sense in B.

Something that is reliable is not necessarily fixed, unchangeable, not like a deterministic progression of events that entails no deviation - 'Joe is reliable, but occasionally he may overlook a promise.'

If Joe occasionally overlooks a promise, then he is, by definition, unreliable. We cannot predict whether Joe will do what he promised or whether he will fail to do what he promised. His behavior cannot be predicted by his promise. In this sense, his behavior is indeterministic.

Of course, in either case, whether he keeps or fails to keep his promise, it will be deterministic, in that it will be reliably caused. If he keeps his promise then that will be reliably caused. If he fails to keep his promise, then that too will be reliably caused. We may not know the specific cause of his erratic (indeterministic in the sense of unpredictable) behavior, but we still presume there is a reliable cause in each case. We just don't know what it is.

Multiple options, one possibility: the determined action.

We cannot escape the logic. An option IS a possibility, and there are always multiple possibilities whenever choosing occurs. Multiple possibilities and a single actuality is built into the logic of the choosing mechanism The determined action will be the single inevitable actuality. Choosing is the deterministic mechanism by which multiple possibilities are reduced to a single intention to make something actual. In the restaurant, there are multiple things that are possible for me to order, but only a single inevitable thing that I actually will order.

It is always the case, with choosing, that there will be multiple possibilities, and our consideration of those possibilities will be the mechanism by which the single inevitable actuality is made known.
 

Marvin Edwards

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If prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system, choosing doesn't come into it.

States of the System:
1. We're hungry, and we've just sat down at a table in the restaurant.
2. We've picked up the menu (in order to satisfy our hunger, we must choose something from the menu).
3. We are considering that juicy Steak.
4. But then we recall that we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.
5. We go back to the menu to look for some vegetables.
6. We find several salads, and the Chef Salad looks good.
7. We have decided to order the Chef Salad.
8. We tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

As you can see, (a) each state of the system entails the next state of the system and (b) choosing was right there in the middle of it.

Once again, the claim that "if prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system, choosing doesn't come into it", is simply and very obviously false.

Choosing not only happens, but it necessarily happens. It was causally necessary/inevitable, from any prior point in eternity, that choosing would happen right then and right there in the restaurant.

And it's not just us, but everybody in the restaurant, obviously choosing what they will have for dinner.

Entailment doesn't involve choice.

Apparently it does. In fact, entailment involves every single event prior to that choice, the events within that choosing, and all events following that choice.

The notion of entailment is not some magic eraser that can be used to remove events from the causal chain. Erase any one of the links and the chain collapses.

How is it choosing when you order steak at 8:35pm on Saturday night, as determined, if is just as inevitable as raindrops falling from the sky?

It simply is what it is. Choosing is inevitable. Raining is inevitable. We cannot claim that raining is not happening due to inevitability. We cannot claim that choosing is not happening due to inevitability. Both claims are equally false.

Complexity doesn't transform inevitability into freedom.

There is no such thing as "freedom from causal necessity/inevitability". Every freedom that we have, to do anything at all, is inevitably us, inevitably deciding for ourselves, according to our own inevitable goals and our own inevitable reasons, what we will inevitably do. Got that?

There is no need to be free from causal inevitability in order to be free to do what we want.

Like Robert Kane said, “It might be true that you would have done otherwise if you had wanted, though it is determined that you did not, in fact, want otherwise.”

If my wants are inevitable, and my choosing from these wants what I will do is also inevitable, then causal inevitability is neither a meaningful nor a relevant constraint upon my doing what I want.

But a guy with a gun, telling me to do what HE wants me to do, rather than what I want, is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon my freedom to do what I want.

We are talking about determinism, not freedom to do other than what is entailed to happen in that instance in time and place.

We've gone over what is entailed to happen in the restaurant above, and have done so repeatedly in our prior comments. And we find that choosing is entailed. And that it was also entailed that we would not be subject to coercion or undue influence, therefore it was our own decision, our own freely chosen "I will" ("I will have the Chef Salad, please").

You keep insisting that we use "freedom from causal necessity/inevitability" as the definition of free will. But there simply is no such thing. It is a bit of silly nonsense. There is no freedom at all without reliable cause and effect.

And what we will inevitably do, due to causal necessity, is exactly identical to us just being us, choosing to do what we choose to do. This is neither a meaningful nor a relevant constraint upon our freedom.
 

pood

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Here is what an actual incompatibility between free will and causal determinism would be like:

I want to order a salad at the restaurant. I begin to point at “salad” on the menu and say to the waiter, “I want to order a …” but at the very moment Mr. Causal Determinism, or the Big Bang, or God or whatever, lays a hand on my wrist and guides my pointing finger to the steak on the menu and forces me to say, against my will, “I want to order a steak.” Since this never ever happens, free will and causal determinism are completely compatible.
 

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Here is what an actual incompatibility between free will and causal determinism would be like:

I want to order a salad at the restaurant. I begin to point at “salad” on the menu and say to the waiter, “I want to order a …” but at the very moment Mr. Causal Determinism, or the Big Bang, or God or whatever, lays a hand on my wrist and guides my pointing finger to the steak on the menu and forces me to say, against my will, “I want to order a steak.” Since this never ever happens, free will and causal determinism are completely compatible.
So... I'm gonna stop you right there. I will say that for you, this apparently never happens.

For me, it only rarely happens.

For Marvin, this hasn't observably happened.

I expect that for some people it happens so often and ubiquitously that they know nothing else, or that there is no construction of a command syntax happening at all.

But it isn't "causal determinism" and it is not "the big bang" and it is not "God, creator of the universe which contains the meat that is making the decision".

Rather, the thing that lays an activation pattern against a set of neurons ("a hand") on their set of neurons indicating what concept to direct at Wernicke's area while activating the affirmative channel to direct this not at the shadow neurons but at the mouth and finger to actually move ("on their finger") and does indeed force them to say no matter what they want to shove out that interface "I'll have the steak".

Or, there's no resistance at all to this activity and they just let it happen.

I will admit inasmuch the times this has happened to me were... Quite awful. I took drugs I knew would give me kidney stones because it was causing me PTSD just to be in the same room as where...

Anyway, enough of thinking about that.

The point is, it is very much something like that can happen, and that such people exist.

But moreover, some part of me is also, perversely enough, being suppressed in the way I describe and observably so, because I'm the "god" that's oftentimes pushing the finger of "something else" away.

Because part of me really does want that steak, and I'm telling it, telling myself "no".
 

Marvin Edwards

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... Rather, the thing that lays an activation pattern against a set of neurons ("a hand") on their set of neurons indicating what concept to direct at Wernicke's area while activating the affirmative channel to direct this not at the shadow neurons but at the mouth and finger to actually move ("on their finger") and does indeed force them to say no matter what they want to shove out that interface "I'll have the steak".

I would say that there is a set of neurons that want the salad and another set of neurons that want the steak, and a third set of neurons weighing the signals from the other two sets and choosing the salad. All of these neurons are integral parts of who and what I am. Thus, it is still me, and no one else, weighing my options and making my choice.
 

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... Rather, the thing that lays an activation pattern against a set of neurons ("a hand") on their set of neurons indicating what concept to direct at Wernicke's area while activating the affirmative channel to direct this not at the shadow neurons but at the mouth and finger to actually move ("on their finger") and does indeed force them to say no matter what they want to shove out that interface "I'll have the steak".

I would say that there is a set of neurons that want the salad and another set of neurons that want the steak, and a third set of neurons weighing the signals from the other two sets and choosing the salad. All of these neurons are integral parts of who and what I am. Thus, it is still me, and no one else, weighing my options and making my choice.
I wouldn't entirely consider such "integral". I would still be "me" if I swapped them out, dissipated, generated, or otherwise changed them.

Still, they are my options and I can make up my own script, too, aside from those things. I can pick up a dice, roll it, and let THAT operate my choice function, too.

My point here is that there's a function that sometimes does, occasionally, do this thing of pulling the finger away.

I very much did not want to be given a concussion from physical abuse endured while hiding in my safe place.... By blows from my own fist.

There is no world where I wanted that. I knew the decision was made, that there was some democratic override of... Me... And that resulted in me being punched repeatedly in the head.

I couldn't be on that couch for a week, right up until I resorted to chemical measures.

I didn't want that.

My point is that this can happen to others almost certainly, to more or less of an extent, that they don't really have free will.
 

Marvin Edwards

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... Rather, the thing that lays an activation pattern against a set of neurons ("a hand") on their set of neurons indicating what concept to direct at Wernicke's area while activating the affirmative channel to direct this not at the shadow neurons but at the mouth and finger to actually move ("on their finger") and does indeed force them to say no matter what they want to shove out that interface "I'll have the steak".

I would say that there is a set of neurons that want the salad and another set of neurons that want the steak, and a third set of neurons weighing the signals from the other two sets and choosing the salad. All of these neurons are integral parts of who and what I am. Thus, it is still me, and no one else, weighing my options and making my choice.
I wouldn't entirely consider such "integral". I would still be "me" if I swapped them out, dissipated, generated, or otherwise changed them.

Still, they are my options and I can make up my own script, too, aside from those things. I can pick up a dice, roll it, and let THAT operate my choice function, too.

My point here is that there's a function that sometimes does, occasionally, do this thing of pulling the finger away.

I very much did not want to be given a concussion from physical abuse endured while hiding in my safe place.... By blows from my own fist.

There is no world where I wanted that. I knew the decision was made, that there was some democratic override of... Me... And that resulted in me being punched repeatedly in the head.

I couldn't be on that couch for a week, right up until I resorted to chemical measures.

I didn't want that.

My point is that this can happen to others almost certainly, to more or less of an extent, that they don't really have free will.

Of course. But they may still exercise control in most other matters of their life. And there are helpers out there, psychologists and therapists, that can provide meaningful assistance to minimize if not eliminate specific problems.
 

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... Rather, the thing that lays an activation pattern against a set of neurons ("a hand") on their set of neurons indicating what concept to direct at Wernicke's area while activating the affirmative channel to direct this not at the shadow neurons but at the mouth and finger to actually move ("on their finger") and does indeed force them to say no matter what they want to shove out that interface "I'll have the steak".

I would say that there is a set of neurons that want the salad and another set of neurons that want the steak, and a third set of neurons weighing the signals from the other two sets and choosing the salad. All of these neurons are integral parts of who and what I am. Thus, it is still me, and no one else, weighing my options and making my choice.
I wouldn't entirely consider such "integral". I would still be "me" if I swapped them out, dissipated, generated, or otherwise changed them.

Still, they are my options and I can make up my own script, too, aside from those things. I can pick up a dice, roll it, and let THAT operate my choice function, too.

My point here is that there's a function that sometimes does, occasionally, do this thing of pulling the finger away.

I very much did not want to be given a concussion from physical abuse endured while hiding in my safe place.... By blows from my own fist.

There is no world where I wanted that. I knew the decision was made, that there was some democratic override of... Me... And that resulted in me being punched repeatedly in the head.

I couldn't be on that couch for a week, right up until I resorted to chemical measures.

I didn't want that.

My point is that this can happen to others almost certainly, to more or less of an extent, that they don't really have free will.

Of course. But they may still exercise control in most other matters of their life. And there are helpers out there, psychologists and therapists, that can provide meaningful assistance to minimize if not eliminate specific problems.
Yes, they "may"... Unless they may not.

Some people are abuse victims of their own mind, and really have so little free will that it's more useful to them to just pretend there is not any rather than accept that there is. Or worse something demented and evil in them treats it like Lucy's Football and tortures them with it.

Indeed getting help would probably be edit almost every such person, quieting the evil and freeing them from the cage it puts them in either through chemical or mindful assistance.

Hard Determinism seems to be such an extreme coping mechanism that I just don't expect to see it forming in healthy minds. As you point out it leads directly to a loss of function, and I don't think most minds gravitate towards abdication of function unless something serious is happening that still, paradoxically, protects overall function.
 

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Sure, but it appears that some tend to give the impression that 'reliable' suggests the possibility of regulation, determinism merely being 'reliable,' we may bend it to our will and purpose.

(A) I don't know where you get that impression. If a specific cause, or a specific combination of causes, reliably brings about a specific effect, then the behavior is deterministic. We can employ those causes to bring about a specific effect.

'Reliably' is not quite the same as 'inevitably.' You don't 'employ' the inevitable, the inevitable employs you. 'Employ' suggests autonomous agency, someone who can employ the reliability of deterministic events and use them for their puroposes.

That's not how determinism works.



(B) What we do and how we do it will, of course, also be reliably caused, mostly through internal mechanisms, but all of these mechanisms will also have histories of reliable cause and effect, such that there is a more general, all encompassing sense of causal necessity that we also assume to the be case.

However the sense in B does not eliminate the sense in A. And we naturally employ the sense in A routinely every day. But we have no practical use of the sense in B.

Not just reliably caused, but fixed, as are all events within a deterministic system, each action and response, thought, will or purpose entailed by the evolving state of the system, neither freely chosen or willed.

If Joe occasionally overlooks a promise, then he is, by definition, unreliable. We cannot predict whether Joe will do what he promised or whether he will fail to do what he promised. His behavior cannot be predicted by his promise. In this sense, his behavior is indeterministic.

I was referring to the use of the word ''reliable'' - which does not exclude unreliability. Something may be considered to reliable or unreliable.

Of course, in either case, whether he keeps or fails to keep his promise, it will be deterministic, in that it will be reliably caused. If he keeps his promise then that will be reliably caused. If he fails to keep his promise, then that too will be reliably caused. We may not know the specific cause of his erratic (indeterministic in the sense of unpredictable) behavior, but we still presume there is a reliable cause in each case. We just don't know what it is.

Sure, that being an example of how we perceive events in terms of reliability or unreliability, in contrast to how the world, if deterministic, actually works. Whatever Joe does is entailed regardless of our perception of reliability or unreliability (limited information).

Reliable and unreliable being relative terms, while 'determined' is fixed, entailed, no negotiation, no regulation, no wriggle room, no deviation.
 

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If prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system, choosing doesn't come into it.

States of the System:
1. We're hungry, and we've just sat down at a table in the restaurant.
2. We've picked up the menu (in order to satisfy our hunger, we must choose something from the menu).
3. We are considering that juicy Steak.
4. But then we recall that we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.
5. We go back to the menu to look for some vegetables.
6. We find several salads, and the Chef Salad looks good.
7. We have decided to order the Chef Salad.
8. We tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

All of this is entailed by the state of the system as it evolves from prior state to current and future state, each state entailing the next.

What you do, you must necessarily do. No alternatives, no multiple or alternate possibilities, everything proceeds as determined, not chosen.

A choice implies the possibility of doing something different.

Determinism - by definition - does not permit deviation, consequently, there is no choice.


As you can see, (a) each state of the system entails the next state of the system and (b) choosing was right there in the middle of it.

What is entailed by the system is not a matter of choosing. Actions unfold as they must.

Once again, the claim that "if prior states of the system entail current and future states of the system, choosing doesn't come into it", is simply and very obviously false.

Not at all. Choosing is defined by the possibility of doing something else, which is something that cannot happen when it comes to determinism.


Choosing not only happens, but it necessarily happens. It was causally necessary/inevitable, from any prior point in eternity, that choosing would happen right then and right there in the restaurant.

There is no alternative. A river doesn't choose its course. The moon doesn't choose its orbit, the brain doesn't choose its own makeup or response.


And it's not just us, but everybody in the restaurant, obviously choosing what they will have for dinner.

No alternatives; '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.

Entailment doesn't involve choice.

Apparently it does. In fact, entailment involves every single event prior to that choice, the events within that choosing, and all events following that choice.

Nothing is chosen, the system evolves without deviation, fixed from condition at time t and how events unfold ever after.

How is it choosing when you order steak at 8:35pm on Saturday night, as determined, if is just as inevitable as raindrops falling from the sky?

It simply is what it is. Choosing is inevitable. Raining is inevitable. We cannot claim that raining is not happening due to inevitability. We cannot claim that choosing is not happening due to inevitability. Both claims are equally false.

Rain doesn't choose to fall. The earth doesn't choose to orbit the sun...

Complexity doesn't transform inevitability into freedom.

There is no such thing as "freedom from causal necessity/inevitability".

That's the point of incompatibilism, and the reason for the failure of compatibilism.

Every freedom that we have, to do anything at all, is inevitably us, inevitably deciding for ourselves, according to our own inevitable goals and our own inevitable reasons, what we will inevitably do. Got that?

Sure, that being the reason why freedom of will is incompatible with determinism.

1)If all future events are perfectly knowable, they are determined events, a fixed future.
2)The future being fixed, there is no possibility of an alternative action.
3)There being no possibility of an alternative action, a person literally cannot choose to do anything other than what has been determined to happen.
4)With no realizable alternative possibility, no decision or action is truly chosen or freely willed.


There is no need to be free from causal inevitability in order to be free to do what we want.

If the action is determined, we must necessarily do what we want.

''Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X.'' - ''Cold comfort in compatibilism' article.



Like Robert Kane said, “It might be true that you would have done otherwise if you had wanted, though it is determined that you did not, in fact, want otherwise.”

If my wants are inevitable, and my choosing from these wants what I will do is also inevitable, then causal inevitability is neither a meaningful nor a relevant constraint upon my doing what I want.

Being inevitable, we don't choose, we think as determined and we act.


But a guy with a gun, telling me to do what HE wants me to do, rather than what I want, is a meaningful and relevant constraint upon my freedom to do what I want.

It is a meaningful distinction, but still doesn't involve free will on the part of any of the participants of the event.



We are talking about determinism, not freedom to do other than what is entailed to happen in that instance in time and place.

We've gone over what is entailed to happen in the restaurant above, and have done so repeatedly in our prior comments. And we find that choosing is entailed. And that it was also entailed that we would not be subject to coercion or undue influence, therefore it was our own decision, our own freely chosen "I will" ("I will have the Chef Salad, please").

Again, 'choosing' implies the idea regulation and the ability to have taken a different option. No such thing can happen within a deterministic system.

You keep insisting that we use "freedom from causal necessity/inevitability" as the definition of free will. But there simply is no such thing. It is a bit of silly nonsense. There is no freedom at all without reliable cause and effect.

I am arguing that free will is incompatible with determinism for all the reasons outlined above.
And what we will inevitably do, due to causal necessity, is exactly identical to us just being us,


Not enough. Everything that exists is the same boat.


choosing to do what we choose to do. This is neither a meaningful nor a relevant constraint upon our freedom.

We cannot 'choose what we choose to do.' The system evolves, and events proceed as they must.
 

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Hard Determinism seems to be such an extreme coping mechanism that I just don't expect to see it forming in healthy minds. As you point out it leads directly to a loss of function, and I don't think most minds gravitate towards abdication of function unless something serious is happening that still, paradoxically, protects overall function.

The human mind is suggestible. I suppose this is a genetic adaptation that aids learning, in a species like ours that enters the world lacking many of the instincts that help lesser animals survive from birth. In any case we are given to beliefs, some true and some false, and not always knowing which is which.

Hard determinism, I believe, is a paradox created by a series of false, but believable suggestions. We have the simple notion of cause and effect, which we use every day in everything we do. Then we have the notion of historical chains of causes. Then it occurs to us that everything that we think and do is part of this infinite chain. And then we lose the details of ourselves in the generality of cause and effect, and become hooked on the false belief that we are being controlled by something bigger than ourselves. Some people then use this to escape the burden of those responsibilities we experience as another part of our daily lives.

In Christianity this is summed up in the bumper-sticker slogan, "Let Go and Let God". The release of turning our will over to God and trusting that He will be responsible for our behavior if we follow His commands, is tempting. It brings a feeling of peace.

But we all have different mechanisms we use to handle stress. I've never felt the need to pummel myself, but I used to have significant bouts of OCD. I remember driving at night, and looking in the rear-view mirror, and then having this obsession that, while I was looking backward, I may have accidentally hit someone, so I end up going around the block again, paying extra attention to what is in front of me to confirm that I hit no one. But it doesn't bother me today.
 

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Hard Determinism seems to be such an extreme coping mechanism that I just don't expect to see it forming in healthy minds. As you point out it leads directly to a loss of function, and I don't think most minds gravitate towards abdication of function unless something serious is happening that still, paradoxically, protects overall function.

The human mind is suggestible. I suppose this is a genetic adaptation that aids learning, in a species like ours that enters the world lacking many of the instincts that help lesser animals survive from birth. In any case we are given to beliefs, some true and some false, and not always knowing which is which.

Hard determinism, I believe, is a paradox created by a series of false, but believable suggestions. We have the simple notion of cause and effect, which we use every day in everything we do. Then we have the notion of historical chains of causes. Then it occurs to us that everything that we think and do is part of this infinite chain. And then we lose the details of ourselves in the generality of cause and effect, and become hooked on the false belief that we are being controlled by something bigger than ourselves. Some people then use this to escape the burden of those responsibilities we experience as another part of our daily lives.

In Christianity this is summed up in the bumper-sticker slogan, "Let Go and Let God". The release of turning our will over to God and trusting that He will be responsible for our behavior if we follow His commands, is tempting. It brings a feeling of peace.

But we all have different mechanisms we use to handle stress. I've never felt the need to pummel myself, but I used to have significant bouts of OCD. I remember driving at night, and looking in the rear-view mirror, and then having this obsession that, while I was looking backward, I may have accidentally hit someone, so I end up going around the block again, paying extra attention to what is in front of me to confirm that I hit no one. But it doesn't bother me today.
To be fair, I never felt or saw the need to pummel myself either. It just... Happened. The worst part was that I knew it was going to happen, not in this dreadful "there he goes again" kind of feeling I empathetically understand from thinking about others being abused but in this "oh God, I can read it's mind, I can see what it's telling my body and I can't stop it."

The most bizarre part is that my awareness of it's intent was not the same kind of signal I get when I implement intent of my own. It was much harder to 'read'.


I just think it pays to observe why some, in the presence of so many competing suggestions, some gravitate to hard determinism, examine it, and judge it to be useful to them.

Some I accept do so as Candide did: they were taught that the world was deterministic by an idiot and then this allowed them to slough off the guilt of not considering the disgusting path they carved through space and time in their lack of consideration.

This of course catches up several times in the form of consequences, often ones that could easily be avoided by starting to recognize this capability to defer action unto some thought about whether they ought, so that they might make better decisions.

Others I expect seek it out, or even come into it themselves, owing to a need to cope with some deep aspect of their lives that is out of their control, perhaps something deeper than a neural mutiny that leads to an automatic blanket party.
 

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The system evolves, and events proceed as they must.

And this happens to be exactly how they must proceed, because it is how they did proceed:
1. We're hungry, and we've just sat down at a table in the restaurant.
2. We've picked up the menu (in order to satisfy our hunger, we must choose something from the menu).
3. We are considering that juicy Steak.
4. But then we recall that we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.
5. We go back to the menu to look for some vegetables.
6. We find several salads, and the Chef Salad looks good.
7. We have decided to order the Chef Salad.
8. We tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

What you do, you must necessarily do.

Exactly. And there it is in front of you, precisely, what it was necessary that I would do, with no deviation.

I did not get to choose whether the choosing would happen or not. It would inevitably happen, exactly as it did happen, with me deciding to order the salad instead of the steak.

A choice implies the possibility of doing something different.

And it was possible for me to order the steak, even though it was inevitable that I would choose the salad. Try not to get confused about the distinction between a possibility and a necessity.

Determinism - by definition - does not permit deviation, consequently, there is no choice.

Determinism - by definition - does not permit deviation, consequently, there necessarily was a choice. It was inevitable that there would be a choice and it was inevitable that I would be making that choice. This is the true consequence of determinism.

Just look at the facts. Everything that happens inevitably happens. If choosing happened, then it was inevitable that it would happen. Every step listed above in the restaurant example was inevitable, including the choosing.

This is the correct understanding of deterministic causal necessity.
 

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The system evolves, and events proceed as they must.

And this happens to be exactly how they must proceed, because it is how they did proceed:
1. We're hungry, and we've just sat down at a table in the restaurant.
2. We've picked up the menu (in order to satisfy our hunger, we must choose something from the menu).
3. We are considering that juicy Steak.
4. But then we recall that we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch.
5. We go back to the menu to look for some vegetables.
6. We find several salads, and the Chef Salad looks good.
7. We have decided to order the Chef Salad.
8. We tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

It is ''must proceed'' that falsifies free will.

What must proceed has no alternatives. As events ''must proceed' as determined before the actions are played out, nothing was chosen, nothing was freely willed, everything that happens is inevitable.

Inevitability is not a foundation for freedom.

Definition of freedom

1: the quality or state of being free: such as
a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action - Merriam Webster

Inevitability is the ultimate constraint on choice and alternate action, ie, it cannot happen.


What you do, you must necessarily do.

Exactly. And there it is in front of you, precisely, what it was necessary that I would do, with no deviation.

I did not get to choose whether the choosing would happen or not. It would inevitably happen, exactly as it did happen, with me deciding to order the salad instead of the steak.

To ''choose'' means to select an action between a realizable set of realizable options...what you said does not involve deciding or choosing because no realizable options are available, only what is inevitable: the determined action.


Choose
A1
to decide what you want from two or more things or possibilities.

A choice implies the possibility of doing something different.

And it was possible for me to order the steak, even though it was inevitable that I would choose the salad. Try not to get confused about the distinction between a possibility and a necessity.

If it is inevitable, fixed by prior states of the system, there is never the possibility of choosing steak when salad is determined.


Determinism - by definition - does not permit deviation, consequently, there is no choice.

Determinism - by definition - does not permit deviation, consequently, there necessarily was a choice. It was inevitable that there would be a choice and it was inevitable that I would be making that choice. This is the true consequence of determinism.

The system entails everything that happens. If the events of the world are determined, you are not an autonomous agent making independent decisions, you act contrary to events entailed by system. According to your own definition, it cannot happen.

As no deviation is the principal element of determinism, all actions are entailed by the system, not chosen by you.

Just look at the facts. Everything that happens inevitably happens. If choosing happened, then it was inevitable that it would happen. Every step listed above in the restaurant example was inevitable, including the choosing.

This is the correct understanding of deterministic causal necessity.

It's not a matter of 'choosing.' There are no alternatives.


Choose
A1
to decide what you want from two or more things or possibilities.

1)If all future events are perfectly knowable, they are determined events, a fixed future.
2)The future being fixed, there is no possibility of an alternative action.
3)There being no possibility of an alternative action, a person literally cannot choose to do anything other than what has been determined to happen.
4)With no realizable alternative possibility, no decision or action is truly chosen or freely willed.

Which comes down to: Determinism makes it impossible for us to “cause and control our actions in the right kind of way'' to qualify as free will.
 

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It is ''must proceed'' that falsifies free will.

It falsifies only the paradoxical definition of free will. But the ordinary definition of free will, as a choice we make while free of coercion and undue influence, is untouched by causal necessity. Ordinary free will fully expects a world of reliable cause and effect, where I can choose to cause certain effects, like writing this comment.

What must proceed has no alternatives.

We've repeatedly demonstrated that the ways things "must proceed" happens to include events where we choose from a literal menu of alternate possibilities what we will order for dinner in the restaurant.

The way things must proceed is that we must order something from that menu if we wish to have dinner.
The way things must proceed is that we will consider the juicy steak.
The way things must proceed is that we will recall the breakfast of bacon and eggs and the double cheeseburger we had for lunch.
The way things must proceed is that we will reject the steak option and turn instead to the salad option.
The way things must proceed is that we will tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please."

The alternatives are all right there, in the way that things must proceed.

I don't see how you can repeatedly ignore this simple empirical fact.

As events ''must proceed' as determined before the actions are played out, nothing was chosen, nothing was freely willed, everything that happens is inevitable.

Each event, as we've gone over many time, was inevitable. The consideration of our options was inevitable. The choosing was inevitable. The fact that we would neither be coerced nor unduly influenced was inevitable.

Yes. Everything that happens is always inevitable. But the fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of alternate possibilities. Nor does the fact of inevitability contradict the fact of choosing. Nor does the fact of inevitability contradict the fact that it would be us doing the choosing. Nor does the fact of inevitability contradict the fact that it would be our own goals and reasons that determined what we would order for dinner. Nor does the fact of inevitability contradict the fact that we would make our choice while free of coercion and undue influence, you know, "of our own free will".

The premise of inevitability does not lead to any of your conclusions.
 

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It is ''must proceed'' that falsifies free will.

It falsifies only the paradoxical definition of free will. But the ordinary definition of free will, as a choice we make while free of coercion and undue influence, is untouched by causal necessity. Ordinary free will fully expects a world of reliable cause and effect, where I can choose to cause certain effects, like writing this comment.

That being the compatibilist definition. Which still does not involve choice. Actions are entailed by prior states of the system, not chosen, and must proceed as determined.

The ultimate in 'coercion' and 'undue influence' to the point where you cannot do otherwise, your actions are fixed by a system
which you have no control over.
What must proceed has no alternatives.

We've repeatedly demonstrated that the ways things "must proceed" happens to include events where we choose from a literal menu of alternate possibilities what we will order for dinner in the restaurant.

But we don't choose. Actions, according to your own definition, are fixed by prior states of the system, which is not freely chosen.

What is ordered, must necessarily be ordered. What all the customer's in the restaurant order, they must necessarily order, each according to their own state and condition, proclivities, etc.

The way things must proceed is that we must order something from that menu if we wish to have dinner.
The way things must proceed is that we will consider the juicy steak.
The way things must proceed is that we will recall the breakfast of bacon and eggs and the double cheeseburger we had for lunch.
The way things must proceed is that we will reject the steak option and turn instead to the salad option.
The way things must proceed is that we will tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please."

The alternatives are all right there, in the way that things must proceed.

I don't see how you can repeatedly ignore this simple empirical fact.

I don't ignore it. I point out the significance of these actions in relation to determinism and the claim of free will.

As events ''must proceed' as determined before the actions are played out, nothing was chosen, nothing was freely willed, everything that happens is inevitable.

Each event, as we've gone over many time, was inevitable. The consideration of our options was inevitable. The choosing was inevitable. The fact that we would neither be coerced nor unduly influenced was inevitable.

The state of the system determines, sets, fixes, all actions. There is no choosing. Not by anyone. The progression of deterministic events determines all actions. There are no alternatives.

If there were realizable alternatives, it would not be determinism. If there were realizable alternatives, you could claim choice.

But, unfortunately for free will and choice, the given definition of determinism allows no deviation, no realizable alternatives, and consequently, no choice.

Yes. Everything that happens is always inevitable. But the fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of alternate possibilities.

The former contradicts the latter. It's an undeniable contradiction.

If events are inevitable, determined by the system as it evolves without deviation, all events must necessarily play out as determined, there can be no alternate possibilities.
Eti
You can't have it both ways. Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening. It's either determinism or indeterminism.

The issue here is the compatibility of the notion of free will in relation to determinism, not alternate possibilities or choosing to do something that is not determined by the system....as if the actor can manipulate a course of events to their favour.
 

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You can't have it both ways.

Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false.

Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening.

Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a real possibility. The fact that I ordered the salad for dinner did not make ordering the steak impossible. It was a real possibility that simply was not chosen. And, we can demonstrate it is really possible, at any time, by simply ordering the steak. Watch closely now, as the waiter brings me the steak. You see?
 

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You can't have it both ways.

Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false.

Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening.

Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a real possibility. The fact that I ordered the salad for dinner did not make ordering the steak impossible. It was a real possibility that simply was not chosen. And, we can demonstrate it is really possible, at any time, by simply ordering the steak. Watch closely now, as the waiter brings me the steak. You see?
It reminds me of that JC chap asking "if it's not random and it's not intelligent, what is it? Randomness cannot do this!"
 

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You can't have it both ways.

Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false.

Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening.

Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a real possibility. The fact that I ordered the salad for dinner did not make ordering the steak impossible. It was a real possibility that simply was not chosen. And, we can demonstrate it is really possible, at any time, by simply ordering the steak. Watch closely now, as the waiter brings me the steak. You see?
It reminds me of that JC chap asking "if it's not random and it's not intelligent, what is it? Randomness cannot do this!"

That doesn't relate to anything I said. What you need to do is actually consider the implications of your own definition of determinism in relation to the notion of free will.
 

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You can't have it both ways.

Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false.

Except that you can't have it both ways. The given definition of determinism doesn't allow the possibility of 'both ways' or taking a selected option. A progression of events that cannot deviate does not select from a range of options. With no alternate options to choose or to take, there is no choosing, hence no 'fact of choosing.'

Choosing, by definition, requires being presented with two or more realizable options where you free to take any one of them.

Determinism entails that every action must proceed without deviation, which means that there are no two or more options to choose from, and all actions proceed, not as chosen, but as they must.

Choice
1 an act or instance of choosing; selection: Her choice of a computer was made after months of research. His parents were not happy with his choice of friends.

2 the right, power, or opportunity to choose; option:The child had no choice about going to school.
the person or thing chosen or eligible to be chosen:This book is my choice. He is one of many choices for the award.

3 an alternative: There is another choice.


Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening.

Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a real possibility. The fact that I ordered the salad for dinner did not make ordering the steak impossible. It was a real possibility that simply was not chosen. And, we can demonstrate it is really possible, at any time, by simply ordering the steak. Watch closely now, as the waiter brings me the steak. You see?

But there is no possibility of an alternate action. Given the terms of the definition of determinism, no alternate possibilities exist as the system evolves from prior state to current state and future state without deviation.

Your example is the system evolving as it must. Given the stipulation of 'no deviation,'' you must necessarily order salad for dinner in that instance in time and place, and that ordering steak must necessarily be impossible.

Claiming that it is possible to take an alternate action, 'steak instead of salad' when ordering salad is the determined action, is breaking the terms and conditions of determinism.
 

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You can't have it both ways.

Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false.

Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening.

Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a real possibility. The fact that I ordered the salad for dinner did not make ordering the steak impossible. It was a real possibility that simply was not chosen. And, we can demonstrate it is really possible, at any time, by simply ordering the steak. Watch closely now, as the waiter brings me the steak. You see?
It reminds me of that JC chap asking "if it's not random and it's not intelligent, what is it? Randomness cannot do this!"

That doesn't relate to anything I said. What you need to do is actually consider the implications of your own definition of determinism in relation to the notion of free will.
If you can't understand how it relates, that goes to my point all the more.

It's been answered a thousand times that you present a false dichotomy between choice and inevitability.

It can be inevitable that I would make the choice.

You are, essentially, demanding to have done something different than you did, for to declare "choice", a nonsensical proposition.

some things going into a function and one of those forms shitting out the other end is choice. The ones that didn't get shit change nothing about the fact they went in, or perhaps the fact that they were always where they ended up.

if you want to declare that not-a-choice because something nonsensical failed to happen (the thing shit out both A and B in the same way at the same time at the same place doing two contradictory and mutually exclusive things), then you simply do not understand what choice is.
 

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The given definition of determinism doesn't allow the possibility of 'both ways' or taking a selected option. A progression of events that cannot deviate does not select from a range of options. With no alternate options to choose or to take, there is no choosing, hence no 'fact of choosing.'

The given definition of determinism is that every event will be the reliable result of prior events, such that everything that happens will have been causally necessary from any prior point in time, such that everything that happens inevitably must happen, without deviation.

We observe the people in the restaurant, choosing, from a menu of possibilities, what they will order for dinner. The people, the restaurant, the menu, the possibilities, the single chosen will ("I will have the Chef Salad, please"), were ALL causally necessary from any prior point in time and inevitably must happen.

There is no honest way to say that these objects and events did not happen or were simply an "illusion".

Choosing, by definition, requires being presented with two or more realizable options where you free to take any one of them.

Each customer was presented with a menu of realizable options, and, they were free to order the one that they deliberately chose.

Determinism entails that ...

Determinism entails exactly what I said it entails: every event will be the reliable result of prior events, such that everything that happens will have been causally necessary from any prior point in time, such that everything that happens inevitably must happen, without deviation.

Choosing is one of those events that happens. Determinism entails that choosing inevitably must happen.

Your example is the system evolving as it must.

Damn straight.

Given the stipulation of 'no deviation,'' you must necessarily order salad for dinner in that instance in time and place, and that ordering steak must necessarily be impossible.

Given the circumstances (bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch), I would not order the steak at that point in time, even though I certainly could have ordered it.

Ordering the steak was never impossible. I've ordered the steak before and I'll likely order the steak again, if I have more fruit and vegetables at breakfast and lunch. If the steak were not on the menu, or if the restaurant ran out of steak, then ordering the steak would be impossible. But none of those conditions were present on the evening when I ordered the salad instead.

Claiming that it is possible to take an alternate action, 'steak instead of salad' when ordering salad is the determined action, is breaking the terms and conditions of determinism.

The terms and conditions of determinism apply to what we will do, but not to what we can do. You are falsely conflating what we can do with what we will do. And this is a consistent error within the incompatibilist understanding of determinism.
 

DBT

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You can't have it both ways.

Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false.

Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening.

Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a real possibility. The fact that I ordered the salad for dinner did not make ordering the steak impossible. It was a real possibility that simply was not chosen. And, we can demonstrate it is really possible, at any time, by simply ordering the steak. Watch closely now, as the waiter brings me the steak. You see?
It reminds me of that JC chap asking "if it's not random and it's not intelligent, what is it? Randomness cannot do this!"

That doesn't relate to anything I said. What you need to do is actually consider the implications of your own definition of determinism in relation to the notion of free will.
If you can't understand how it relates, that goes to my point all the more.

It doesn't relate to your own definition of determinism. You ignore the implications of your definition. That is the point.

It's been answered a thousand times that you present a false dichotomy between choice and inevitability.

It can be inevitable that I would make the choice.

You are, essentially, demanding to have done something different than you did, for to declare "choice", a nonsensical proposition.

I'm not demanding anything. I am pointing to your definition and the implications of it.

There is no 'doing differently' in your definition, that is the point: no possible alternate actions.
 

Jarhyn

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You can't have it both ways.

Apparently we can. If choosing will inevitably happen, then choosing will inevitably happen. The fact of inevitability does not contradict the fact of choosing. You are posing a false dichotomy, which is easily demonstrated to be false.

Events cannot be determined, yet have the possibility of something else happening.

Again, a possibility need not happen in order to be a real possibility. The fact that I ordered the salad for dinner did not make ordering the steak impossible. It was a real possibility that simply was not chosen. And, we can demonstrate it is really possible, at any time, by simply ordering the steak. Watch closely now, as the waiter brings me the steak. You see?
It reminds me of that JC chap asking "if it's not random and it's not intelligent, what is it? Randomness cannot do this!"

That doesn't relate to anything I said. What you need to do is actually consider the implications of your own definition of determinism in relation to the notion of free will.
If you can't understand how it relates, that goes to my point all the more.

It doesn't relate to your own definition of determinism. You ignore the implications of your definition. That is the point.

It's been answered a thousand times that you present a false dichotomy between choice and inevitability.

It can be inevitable that I would make the choice.

You are, essentially, demanding to have done something different than you did, for to declare "choice", a nonsensical proposition.

I'm not demanding anything. I am pointing to your definition and the implications of it.

There is no 'doing differently' in your definition, that is the point: no possible alternate actions.
No it doesn't acknowledge your question-begging. That's the only thing it fails to acknowledge, as if begged questions needed acknowledgement in the first place.

A choice function takes many in, spits one out.

A pile of marbles go into a hopper and one pops out? That was a choice.

So you are clearly missing something, specifically the meaning of the word choice.

It doesn't matter that many could not go in. Choice functions can be both choice functions and deterministic. Deal with it or continue making yourself look like our most recent temporary guest.
 
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