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Compatibilism: What's that About?

Marvin Edwards

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There, in the restaurant, choosing must be done. Choosing cannot be avoided. There is no deviation that can get you around the choosing. There is no alternative to choosing. Choosing happens because it must happen, specifically at that place and at that time.

There is no choosing at work in the restaurant or anywhere within a determined system. There is the surface appearance of people selecting their preferences from a list of alternatives.

There is also the surface appearance of people walking in, sitting at the table, opening the menu, and telling the waiter what they chose. Calling these "the surface appearance" of events does not suggest to us that they did not actually happen.

Alternatives exist for the group at large, each option designed to appeal to someone's taste, one orders this, the other orders that....yet in the instance of ordering their meal, no other option is possible, what is ordered in that instance must be ordered and there are no alternatives. It is the illusion of choice

Well, if we're taking a vote on the single thing that we will all have for dinner, then it might make sense to say that "alternatives exist for the group at large". But that is not the case. The menu of alternate possibilities are available for each customer to choose from, and neither the menu nor the choosing is an illusion.

That is how determinism works in each and every instance in time, this then that, x, y, z, no deviation.

Yep. We walk in, we open the menu, we choose what we will order, and we tell the waiter. The waiter brings us our dinner and the bill. As you say, "x, y, z, no deviation".

It's entailment, there are no alternatives in any given action, therefore no choosing. Actions are entailed, necessitated, fixed.

The choosing, just like the walking in, the sitting down, and reading the menu, was "entailed, necessitated, fixed". There is no getting around the choosing. There is the menu, and we have no choice but to choose. Thus saith determinism.
 

DBT

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There, in the restaurant, choosing must be done. Choosing cannot be avoided. There is no deviation that can get you around the choosing. There is no alternative to choosing. Choosing happens because it must happen, specifically at that place and at that time.

Determinism is essentially a process of necessitation. Events evolve as determined, they not chosen.

To choose implies the possibility of doing any number of things. Determinism does not permit any number of things to happen, only one thing can happen.

With no possible alternative (events fixed by antecedents), there is no choice, actions evolve or unfold as they must.



There is no choosing at work in the restaurant or anywhere within a determined system. There is the surface appearance of people selecting their preferences from a list of alternatives.

There is also the surface appearance of people walking in, sitting at the table, opening the menu, and telling the waiter what they chose. Calling these "the surface appearance" of events does not suggest to us that they did not actually happen.

They do all that, yet have no alternatives to realize. Each action in each moment is fixed, entailed by the evolving state of the system as it transitions from prior to current and future state.

Which of course includes brain state, thoughts thought, actions initiated.


Determinism, in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''


Alternatives exist for the group at large, each option designed to appeal to someone's taste, one orders this, the other orders that....yet in the instance of ordering their meal, no other option is possible, what is ordered in that instance must be ordered and there are no alternatives. It is the illusion of choice

Well, if we're taking a vote on the single thing that we will all have for dinner, then it might make sense to say that "alternatives exist for the group at large". But that is not the case. The menu of alternate possibilities are available for each customer to choose from, and neither the menu nor the choosing is an illusion.

There is no vote on the single thing (in any given instance) that any given person is going to order in any given instance in time, that is a foregone conclusion.


That is how determinism works in each and every instance in time, this then that, x, y, z, no deviation.

Yep. We walk in, we open the menu, we choose what we will order, and we tell the waiter. The waiter brings us our dinner and the bill. As you say, "x, y, z, no deviation".

Correct, except the item that you ordered was a forgone conclusion, a selection determined to happen precisely as it does before you yourself knew what you were going to order.

With no alternatives, you did not select from a set of realizable options, you did not choose, events just went as determined.

Choice, by definition, entails selecting between two or more realizable possibilites

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

Determinism doesn't permit two or more possibilities.



It's entailment, there are no alternatives in any given action, therefore no choosing. Actions are entailed, necessitated, fixed.

The choosing, just like the walking in, the sitting down, and reading the menu, was "entailed, necessitated, fixed". There is no getting around the choosing. There is the menu, and we have no choice but to choose. Thus saith determinism.

The term 'choosing' is being asserted. Insisting that something is chosen when there are no alternatives contradicts the definition of both choice and determinism.

Choice

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



The personal narrative;

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

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

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

Marvin Edwards

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There, in the restaurant, choosing must be done. Choosing cannot be avoided. There is no deviation that can get you around the choosing. There is no alternative to choosing. Choosing happens because it must happen, specifically at that place and at that time.

Determinism is essentially a process of necessitation.

Choosing necessarily happens.

Events evolve as determined, they not chosen.

It is not chosen that choosing happens. Choosing happens as events naturally unfold to a point where we must necessarily make a decision.

To choose implies the possibility of doing any number of things.

And the brain's decision making function is only invoked when there are multiple possibilities, two or more things that we actually CAN do. Decision making reduces those multiple CAN DO's into the single WILL DO.

Determinism does not permit any number of things to happen, only one thing can happen.

And only one thing does happen: Choosing. We choose between the multiple things that we CAN DO to causally determine the one thing that we WILL DO. Deterministic causal necessity includes all prior events, the walking into the restaurant, the sitting at the table, the reading the menu, the choosing what we will order, and the telling the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please". ALL of these events were equally causally necessary from any prior point in time, including the choosing.

With no possible alternative (events fixed by antecedents), there is no choice, actions evolve or unfold as they must.

Ironically, deliberate actions must evolve and unfold as we choose. Without the choosing, they simply will not happen. Choosing is the antecedent event that fixes the will upon a specific action. Prior to the choosing, all we have are possibilities and an uncertainty as to what we will do.

You continue to pretend that choosing is not an event that actually happens within a deterministic causal chain. But it clearly does. And it happens, when it happens, because it must happen.

Determinism, in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''

If we wish to indulge the figurative language, then it was also "impossible" for them not to see multiple possibilities and to feel that they must choose between them. Thus it becomes "impossible" for them to conclude that they could not have made another choice.

That is how determinism works in each and every instance in time, this then that, x, y, z, no deviation.

We walk in, we open the menu, we choose what we will order, and we tell the waiter. The waiter brings us our dinner and the bill. As you say, "x, y, z, no deviation".

Correct, except the item that you ordered was a forgone conclusion, a selection determined to happen precisely as it does before you yourself knew what you were going to order.

No, the conclusion was not "forgone". The conclusion was constructed within my brain as it made the choice. Once my brain concluded what it would order, it told the waiter "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

We may theoretically trace the start of the causal chain back to the Big Bang, if you like. But the conclusion happened at that moment in that restaurant. That was when the string of events leading to the choice concluded, according to a deterministic view of events.

With no alternatives, you did not select from a set of realizable options, you did not choose, events just went as determined.

It was determined that I would be sitting in the restaurant, reading a menu of realizable options, requiring me to make a choice. I considered my options and made a choice: "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

Events, as you say, "just went as determined". It was determined that the menu would contain a set of realizable options and that I would select the Chef Salad from that set.

Choice, by definition, entails selecting between two or more realizable possibilities
Choice 1. an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

Correct.

Determinism doesn't permit two or more possibilities.

Ironically, determinism guarantees that I would be facing an actual menu containing multiple possibilities and that I would be choosing from among them. THAT WAS THE SINGLE POSSIBILITY, that there WOULD BE MULTIPLE POSSIBILITIES to choose from.

The personal narrative;

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

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

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

From the same article (highlights mine):
"Just because consciousness has been placed in the passenger seat, does not mean we need to dispense with important everyday notions such as free will and personal responsibility. In fact, they are embedded in the workings of our non-conscious brain systems. They have a powerful purpose in society and have a deep impact on the way we understand ourselves."
 

DBT

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Determinism doesn't permit two or more possibilities.
Of course it does.

It doesn't permit two or more outcomes, but there's no limit to the number of possibilities from which those outcomes are chosen.

All events and outcomes are fixed by the state of the system as it evolves from past to current and future states, no deviations, no alternate actions,

It may be physically possible to turn left or right at a fork in the road, as presented, yet if a left turn is determined, turning right is not a possibility. A determined left turn rules out a right turn.

Turning right may appear to be an option from the driver's perspective, but that's an illusion formed by their limited perspective, they don't have the necessary information.

The state of the system in any given instance in time equates to whatever action is being produced by the system. People are aspects of the system. Brains are aspects of the system that respond to information feeding into their neural networks.

''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.''

There is no freedom of will to be found in determinism. Nothing that is not determined can be willed. Nothing that is not determined can be done.

'Won't do' is equivalent to 'cannot do.' Sorry, determinism is not compatible with the idea of free will.
 

Jarhyn

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Nothing that is not determined can be willed
Plenty of people all over the world will things that are going to be determined against.

This state, when someone wills something that is determined against is called "unfreeness".

The state in which someone wills something that is determined for is called "freeness".

These are clearly not illusory...
 

bilby

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It may be physically possible to turn left or right at a fork in the road, as presented, yet if a left turn is determined, turning right is not a possibility.
You presumably recognise that you are using two different meanings of 'possible/possibility' here, because if both uses carried the same meaning, your sentence would be nonsensical.

So the only problem here seems to be your insistence on the most uncharitable possible meaning when others use the words, so as to needlessly render their utterances nonsensical, so that you can dismiss them as fools.

That's neither reasonable nor polite. You should probably stop doing it.
 

bilby

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Turning right may appear to be an option from the driver's perspective, but that's an illusion formed by their limited perspective, they don't have the necessary information.
Indeed.

And the information that is missing is that they don't yet know which direction they will (inevitably) choose.

Choice is the mechanism by which that information is determined.
 

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Turning right may appear to be an option from the driver's perspective, but that's an illusion formed by their limited perspective, they don't have the necessary information.
Indeed.

And the information that is missing is that they don't yet know which direction they will (inevitably) choose.

Choice is the mechanism by which that information is determined.


It doesn't matter that they don't know. Not knowing is the source of the illusion of choice within a deterministic system

The definition of choice being;

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

Yet determinism does not offer two or more possibilities. The mere appearance of alternate possibilities does not offer choice, only the illusion of choice.

If driver A must necessarily (determinism at work) turn left at the next intersection, he does not have the option of turning right in that instance, he must turn left.

If driver B must necessarily turn right at the same intersection (determinism at work), she does not have the option of turning left in that instance, she must turn right.

One goes left, the other goes right, neither driver has a choice in that instance, or any other as the system evolves without deviation, as it must.

That is how determinism works.

''Determinism, in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''

Causal necessity/determinism is not compatible with freedom of will or choice....where - by definition - no alternatives exist.
 

Jarhyn

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And yet again DBT mangles the meaning of possibility and choice.

Alternatives, here, are reified objects, like marbles or sheets of paper. The "marble" or "sheet of paper" of the sorts of alternatives human brains express are dizzying in complexity, arranged as patterns of impulses across large scale node interfaces. But they are nonetheless sets of real events in some sort of common framing, that are sorted and selected of.

Would DBT deny the marbles exist in a marble sorting machine?

Would DBT deny that the marbles go in one place, and come out in several in a very peculiar, selective way?

I mean hell, DBT has been all up in here talking about evolution, I wonder if they recognize that whole SELECTION part in Survival of the Fittest by Natural Selection?

There are choice functions, clearly, which are part of how deterministic systems operate.
 

fromderinside

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Wow. Paper on a table. Words not spoken. The fact of the menu eliminates choice since all 'options' are in place. No alternative menu only one outcome from menu? Choice. Where? You aren't going to argue that another persons uttering another item is evidence of choice are you? Could have? Didn't! Where's the choice?
 
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DBT

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And yet again DBT mangles the meaning of possibility and choice.

Alternatives, here, are reified objects, like marbles or sheets of paper. The "marble" or "sheet of paper" of the sorts of alternatives human brains express are dizzying in complexity, arranged as patterns of impulses across large scale node interfaces. But they are nonetheless sets of real events in some sort of common framing, that are sorted and selected of.

Would DBT deny the marbles exist in a marble sorting machine?

Would DBT deny that the marbles go in one place, and come out in several in a very peculiar, selective way?

I mean hell, DBT has been all up in here talking about evolution, I wonder if they recognize that whole SELECTION part in Survival of the Fittest by Natural Selection?

There are choice functions, clearly, which are part of how deterministic systems operate.

Just shows that you don't understand the terms and conditions of determinism in spite of having given them yourself.


It must have been copy and paste, posted but not understood.
 

Jarhyn

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Wow. Paper on a table. Words not spoken. The fact of the menu eliminates choice since all 'options' are in place. No alternative menu only one outcome from menu? Choice. Where? You aren't going to argue that another persons uttering another item is evidence of choice are you? Could have? Didn't! Where's the choice?
The fact of the menu FORCES choice.

The fact of your word salad implies that this is all you really have: word salad.

Tell me FDI, how many cards go into the shuffling machine before playing a hand of poker, and how many cards come out?

If you cannot see the operation of a deterministic choice function in the fact that someone picks up several objects and keeps one, and the object they kept was one they had to pick up first, then you really are being willfully blind.
 

Marvin Edwards

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It doesn't matter that they don't know. Not knowing is the source of the illusion of choice within a deterministic system

Not knowing what we will do necessitates actual choosing, which is not an illusion, but a real logical operation. Choosing is just as real as Adding or Subtracting. Choosing is a logical operation that considers two or more things we CAN do and selects from among them the single thing that we WILL do.

The definition of choice being;
Choice
1. an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

Choice is the action of choosing between two or more possibilities.

Yet determinism does not offer two or more possibilities.

Determinism routinely offers two or more possibilities. Where did you think possibilities came from if they were not reliably caused? Steak or Salad? Left or Right? Study or Party? Rain or Shine? Walk or Drive? Now or Later? All of these possibilities that show up in our lives are causally inevitable from any prior point in time. It is as if determinism is constantly offering us two or more possibilities, whether we want them or not.

The mere appearance of alternate possibilities does not offer choice, only the illusion of choice.

Like Adding and Subtracting, Choosing is a logical operation performed by the brain. The fact that we can do it in our heads does not make it an "illusion". It is a real operation performed by a real brain. And it has real consequences in the real world.

If driver A must necessarily (determinism at work) turn left at the next intersection, he does not have the option of turning right in that instance, he must turn left.

First, determinism does not exist as an entity that goes around making things happen. Our "(determinism at work)" is metaphorical, not actual. But the guy driving the car is actual. And if he is UNCERTAIN how to get to his destination, the one thing that he is still CERTAIN about is that, he CAN turn left, he CAN turn right, and he CAN go straight ahead.

He is uncertain of what he WILL do, but he is very certain of what CAN do. So, how will he resolve his three CAN's into a single WILL? He looks at his map and finds his destination relative to this intersection. He needs to turn left to get where he wants to go. And it is his own choosing process that DETERMINES which way he WILL go.

If driver B must necessarily turn right at the same intersection (determinism at work), she does not have the option of turning left in that instance, she must turn right.

Driver B has exactly the same options as Driver A. She CAN turn left, she CAN turn right, and she CAN go straight ahead. But she already KNOWS what she WILL do. She knows that she needs to turn right to get to her destination, so she simply turns right without further thought.

One goes left, the other goes right, neither driver has a choice in that instance, or any other as the system evolves without deviation, as it must.

She already KNEW which way she WOULD go, so she did not need to choose between her three options. He DID NOT KNOW which way he WOULD go, so he HAD TO MAKE A CHOICE, and that required him to read the map.

Both she and he had the same three options at the intersection. They both COULD HAVE turned left, COULD HAVE turned right, and COULD HAVE gone straight ahead. But they each WOULD do what was NECESSARY to reach their destination.

Each WOULD do the one thing they NEEDED to do in order to reach their destination. But what they WOULD do did not in any way change what they COULD do. Each COULD HAVE turned left, turned right, or driven straight ahead.

What they WOULD do was determined by their INTENTION (their "will") to reach their specific destination. He WOULD turn left. She WOULD turn right. What they each COULD do was determined by the physical structure of the intersection.

And that is how determinism works.

''Determinism, in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''

That kind of figurative language is the source of people's confusion about what scientific determinism really means.

It is TRUE to say that determinism means "that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable".

But it is FALSE to say that "it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action". WHY is this false? Because, whenever a decision is being made, there will always be at least TWO things that we CAN do. From them we will select the SINGLE thing that we WILL do. Which leaves us with at least one other thing that we COULD HAVE DONE instead. This is a matter of logical necessity, just like the triangle having three sides.

And when they say "In other words", they give us a clue that they have switched from literal to figurative speech. They might as well have placed "In other words" in front of the first false statement.
 

fromderinside

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Wow. Paper on a table. Words not spoken. The fact of the menu eliminates choice since all 'options' are in place. No alternative menu only one outcome from menu? Choice. Where? You aren't going to argue that another persons uttering another item is evidence of choice are you? Could have? Didn't! Where's the choice?
The fact of the menu FORCES choice.

The fact of your word salad implies that this is all you really have: word salad.

Tell me FDI, how many cards go into the shuffling machine before playing a hand of poker, and how many cards come out?

If you cannot see the operation of a deterministic choice function in the fact that someone picks up several objects and keeps one, and the object they kept was one they had to pick up first, then you really are being willfully blind.
The existence of a list is. It is not the options. It is a list of possible outcomes. You shall perform something on the list. What you perform has already been determined, else it would not be listed.

To create a choice you must demonstrate some sort of control over what is presented. Since the list exists you have no control.
 

Jarhyn

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It is not the options. It is a list of possible outcomes.
Nice contradiction. Make a selection between these two statements saying exactly opposite and contradictory things are true as to which is true and why, and then we can discuss why you just contradicted yourself so badly.
 

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Turning right may appear to be an option from the driver's perspective, but that's an illusion formed by their limited perspective, they don't have the necessary information.
Indeed.

And the information that is missing is that they don't yet know which direction they will (inevitably) choose.

Choice is the mechanism by which that information is determined.


It doesn't matter that they don't know. Not knowing is the source of the illusion of choice within a deterministic system

The definition of choice being;

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

Yet determinism does not offer two or more possibilities. The mere appearance of alternate possibilities does not offer choice, only the illusion of choice.

If driver A must necessarily (determinism at work) turn left at the next intersection, he does not have the option of turning right in that instance, he must turn left.

If driver B must necessarily turn right at the same intersection (determinism at work), she does not have the option of turning left in that instance, she must turn right.

One goes left, the other goes right, neither driver has a choice in that instance, or any other as the system evolves without deviation, as it must.

That is how determinism works.

''Determinism, in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''

Causal necessity/determinism is not compatible with freedom of will or choice....where - by definition - no alternatives exist.

It doesn't matter that they don't know. Not knowing is the source of the illusion of choice within a deterministic system

Not knowing what we will do necessitates actual choosing, which is not an illusion, but a real logical operation. Choosing is just as real as Adding or Subtracting. Choosing is a logical operation that considers two or more things we CAN do and selects from among them the single thing that we WILL do.

The definition of choice being;
Choice
1. an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

Choice is the action of choosing between two or more possibilities.

Yet determinism does not offer two or more possibilities.

Determinism routinely offers two or more possibilities. Where did you think possibilities came from if they were not reliably caused? Steak or Salad? Left or Right? Study or Party? Rain or Shine? Walk or Drive? Now or Later? All of these possibilities that show up in our lives are causally inevitable from any prior point in time. It is as if determinism is constantly offering us two or more possibilities, whether we want them or not.

The mere appearance of alternate possibilities does not offer choice, only the illusion of choice.

Like Adding and Subtracting, Choosing is a logical operation performed by the brain. The fact that we can do it in our heads does not make it an "illusion". It is a real operation performed by a real brain. And it has real consequences in the real world.

If driver A must necessarily (determinism at work) turn left at the next intersection, he does not have the option of turning right in that instance, he must turn left.

First, determinism does not exist as an entity that goes around making things happen. Our "(determinism at work)" is metaphorical, not actual. But the guy driving the car is actual. And if he is UNCERTAIN how to get to his destination, the one thing that he is still CERTAIN about is that, he CAN turn left, he CAN turn right, and he CAN go straight ahead.

He is uncertain of what he WILL do, but he is very certain of what CAN do. So, how will he resolve his three CAN's into a single WILL? He looks at his map and finds his destination relative to this intersection. He needs to turn left to get where he wants to go. And it is his own choosing process that DETERMINES which way he WILL go.

If driver B must necessarily turn right at the same intersection (determinism at work), she does not have the option of turning left in that instance, she must turn right.

Driver B has exactly the same options as Driver A. She CAN turn left, she CAN turn right, and she CAN go straight ahead. But she already KNOWS what she WILL do. She knows that she needs to turn right to get to her destination, so she simply turns right without further thought.

One goes left, the other goes right, neither driver has a choice in that instance, or any other as the system evolves without deviation, as it must.

She already KNEW which way she WOULD go, so she did not need to choose between her three options. He DID NOT KNOW which way he WOULD go, so he HAD TO MAKE A CHOICE, and that required him to read the map.

Both she and he had the same three options at the intersection. They both COULD HAVE turned left, COULD HAVE turned right, and COULD HAVE gone straight ahead. But they each WOULD do what was NECESSARY to reach their destination.

Each WOULD do the one thing they NEEDED to do in order to reach their destination. But what they WOULD do did not in any way change what they COULD do. Each COULD HAVE turned left, turned right, or driven straight ahead.

What they WOULD do was determined by their INTENTION (their "will") to reach their specific destination. He WOULD turn left. She WOULD turn right. What they each COULD do was determined by the physical structure of the intersection.

And that is how determinism works.

''Determinism, in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''

That kind of figurative language is the source of people's confusion about what scientific determinism really means.

It is TRUE to say that determinism means "that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable".

But it is FALSE to say that "it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action". WHY is this false? Because, whenever a decision is being made, there will always be at least TWO things that we CAN do. From them we will select the SINGLE thing that we WILL do. Which leaves us with at least one other thing that we COULD HAVE DONE instead. This is a matter of logical necessity, just like the triangle having three sides.

And when they say "In other words", they give us a clue that they have switched from literal to figurative speech. They might as well have placed "In other words" in front of the first false statement.


Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation. If we have two or more realizable options, and we could have chosen this or that at any given time, it's not determinism and we are not talking about determinism.

If there are two or more realizable options allowing different decisions and alternate actions to happen, this is not determinism. It's a non - determined world and libertarian free will. It contradicts the terms and conditions of determinism and compatibilism..
 

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Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation.
Nice assertion fallacy.

We have shown what possibilities are. Possibilities are just names for objects going into a choice function. If a system can contain two or more "marbles" a system can contain two or more "possibilities", because in the context of some operation of choice upon the marbles, they are also "possibilities" in the operation of the choice function, even if one will certainly never be "the actual marble selected".
 

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Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation.

We've seen two or more possibilities reliably showing up at the beginning of every choosing event. Obviously, two or more possibilities CAN and WILL exist within a system where all events proceed without deviation. There is no getting around them, because, like all events, they must occur without deviation.

If we have two or more realizable options, and we could have chosen this or that at any given time, it's not determinism and we are not talking about determinism.

And, a "realizable option" is just another name for a "possibility". It is something that CAN happen even if it never WILL happen. The notion of things that CAN happen, even if they never DO happen, is built into the rational causal mechanism which causally determines what we WILL choose to do.

Whenever choosing is required, it will always begin with two or more realizable options. It is the fact that we have two or more realizable options that necessitates the choosing operation. "Would you like a salad or a potato with your steak?" means that choosing has just been causally necessitated.

If there are two or more realizable options allowing different decisions and alternate actions to happen, this is not determinism. It's a non - determined world and libertarian free will. It contradicts the terms and conditions of determinism and compatibilism..

I say it doesn't contradict determinism, because both realizable options are there by causal necessity and inevitably must be there.

You are still insisting that determinism must change things in some significant way. I'm simply pointing out that it actually doesn't.
 

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I'll note that I consider Actualities to also be "Possibilities".

To me the state of "freedom" of a possibility, is that it is also an actuality.
 

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Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation
Of course they can. Possibility is a measure of our knowledge of the future; It's perfectly possible for the future to be determined, but not yet known; And for us to nevertheless know what limits there are on the possibilities. If the road turns left or right, we can rule out straight ahead.

The usual way to find out which of these possibilities was the one determined to be chosen is to wait until the choice is made.

In fact, for all but the most banal cases, the fastest physically possible way to find out is to wait until the choice is made.

Sure, you could arrange to take a snapshot somehow of the location and velocity of every particle in a customer's brain as he walks into the restaurant (Heisenberg says you can't, but let's ignore him). You could crunch the numbers in your super computer that precisely models a brain - and three weeks from now, you could tell me what the customer chose.

Or you could just watch what he chooses, and find out in five minutes.
 

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Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation
Of course they can. Possibility is a measure of our knowledge of the future; It's perfectly possible for the future to be determined, but not yet known; And for us to nevertheless know what limits there are on the possibilities. If the road turns left or right, we can rule out straight ahead.

The usual way to find out which of these possibilities was the one determined to be chosen is to wait until the choice is made.

In fact, for all but the most banal cases, the fastest physically possible way to find out is to wait until the choice is made.

Sure, you could arrange to take a snapshot somehow of the location and velocity of every particle in a customer's brain as he walks into the restaurant (Heisenberg says you can't, but let's ignore him). You could crunch the numbers in your super computer that precisely models a brain - and three weeks from now, you could tell me what the customer chose.

Or you could just watch what he chooses, and find out in five minutes.
The problem here is that some folks really don't want, for whatever reason, to acknowledge that despite the fact that they don't know they made the choice until after they made it, it's still them doing it, and they are still responsible for that.

Many folks don't want to acknowledge that the way people make some choices is by training themselves ahead of time, and other times bu doing a lot of fucking work, and yet others by pushing really hard in direct opposition to a whole bunch of other neurons inside one's own greater neural network.

And some people never even discover that this is a thing they can do.

Though I suppose for some, they don't use it for so long it withers away.
 

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Existence of lists doesn't imply possible anything. Choosing is an action independent of being listed. One does not need the statement of what one can be what one might do to do so. He must be capable of doing it. If he is capable of doing it he will do it regardless of whether he is also capable of doing other wise.

The capability for doing otherwise does not signal choice of doing so is an option. It only signals one has the capability to do this or that. Since determinism states one does this then that that is what one does. You have not shown that one has the faculty of choice. You've just shown that a determined one is capable of doing this or that which is not contrary to what determinism states. One does this then that regardless of capability.

You might look at things this way. One has encountered this and that so the capability to do this and that exists. However when this arrives that is determined. Otherwise one would need to know whether this or that were signaled. Obviously that was signaled since that was the result. You need an intervening uncaused variable, implied not evident, to do otherwise. A nonexistent cause to do otherwise is needed.
 
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Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation.
Nice assertion fallacy.

We have shown what possibilities are. Possibilities are just names for objects going into a choice function. If a system can contain two or more "marbles" a system can contain two or more "possibilities", because in the context of some operation of choice upon the marbles, they are also "possibilities" in the operation of the choice function, even if one will certainly never be "the actual marble selected".

No assertion. You need to understand the terms of your own definition of determinism. Put simply, if anything can happen, you could equally turn left or right, or whatever, that is not how determinism is defined, therefore you are contradicting the given and accepted terms.

Determinism: The world is governed by (or is under the sway of) determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a time t, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law.

'Fixed' means FIXED, means nothing can go differently. If turning left is determined, it is FIXED, there is no possibility of turning right in that instance.

No possibility means it cannot happen in that moment in time. If it could, it would not be fixed and it would not be determinism.

You should understand the basics by now.
 

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Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation
Of course they can. Possibility is a measure of our knowledge of the future; It's perfectly possible for the future to be determined, but not yet known; And for us to nevertheless know what limits there are on the possibilities. If the road turns left or right, we can rule out straight ahead.

The usual way to find out which of these possibilities was the one determined to be chosen is to wait until the choice is made.

In fact, for all but the most banal cases, the fastest physically possible way to find out is to wait until the choice is made.

Sure, you could arrange to take a snapshot somehow of the location and velocity of every particle in a customer's brain as he walks into the restaurant (Heisenberg says you can't, but let's ignore him). You could crunch the numbers in your super computer that precisely models a brain - and three weeks from now, you could tell me what the customer chose.

Or you could just watch what he chooses, and find out in five minutes.

A lot of things can happen, generally speaking, however, given determinism - Determinism: the world is governed by (or is under the sway of) determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a time t, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law - whatever happens in any given instance in time must happen as determined, no alternatives, no choosing, no doing something else.

Which is not to say that whatever cannot happen in that instance in time cannot happen at another time or place as the system evolves or unfolds. Anything that can happen may happen, but only as and when determined, with not possible alternatives in the instance of action.
 

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'Fixed' means FIXED, means nothing can go differently. If turning left is determined, it is FIXED, there is no possibility of turning right in that instance.
We have said now many times that choice, the things we are pointing out as happening, are fixed. That the "possibility" exists in the mathematical relationship between this universe, and some other universe that is not necessarily this one.

You can't make a relationship
in the past with a different universe not exist simply because you don't want it to.

At that time in the past, IF the universe had been different in some SPECIFIC way -- that the section of particles there related to the selection of particles here called "you" had one of a large set of microstates relating to a specific macrostate, then the similarly paired group of particles for the car turns left.

This is a fact, a mathematical truth of the universe as relates an identifiable group extension.

There is no randomness or even difference happening.

and when that "different" universe isn't actually different, we call that "what happens" or simply 'the will that was free'.
 

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Two or more possibilities cannot exist within a system where all events must proceed without deviation.

We've seen two or more possibilities reliably showing up at the beginning of every choosing event. Obviously, two or more possibilities CAN and WILL exist within a system where all events proceed without deviation. There is no getting around them, because, like all events, they must occur without deviation.

What we see and what must necessarily happen in any given instance are two different things.

Determinism,in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''

That's how determinism is defined. They are the given terms. So despite the appearance of options, there are no realizable alternatives in any given instance in time, what is done must be done: ''...... it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''
 

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Existence of lists doesn't imply possible anything. Choosing is an action independent of being listed. One does not need the statement of what one can be what one might do to do so. He must be capable of doing it. If he is capable of doing it he will do it regardless of whether he is also capable of doing other wise.

The capability for doing otherwise does not signal choice of doing so is an option. It only signals one has the capability to do this or that. Since determinism states one does this then that that is what one does. You have not shown that one has the faculty of choice. You've just shown that a determined one is capable of doing this or that which is not contrary to what determinism states. One does this then that regardless of capability.

You might look at things this way. One has encountered this and that so the capability to do this and that exists. However when this arrives that is determined. Otherwise one would need to know whether this or that were signaled. Obviously that was signaled since that was the result. You need an intervening uncaused variable, implied not evident, to do otherwise. A nonexistent cause to do otherwise is needed.

The deterministic cause of the choosing operation is our encountering a situation where we are faced with two or more real possibilities and we cannot go forward without making a decision. Thus, the list of options on the restaurant menu, and the social expectations of the waiter, are the prior causes that necessitate our choosing.

So, the choosing is deterministically caused to happen. Within the choosing operation we experience certain thoughts and feelings that will follow one upon the other in a deterministic fashion. We will see the Steak dinner on the menu, recognize it as a real possibility, and experience a desire. Then we will recall our bacon and egg breakfast and our double cheeseburger lunch. Then we will recall our doctor's recommendation that we eat more fruits and vegetables. Then we will see the Chef Salad on the menu, recognize it as a real possibility, recognize that it satisfies the doctor's advice, and tell the waiter "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

If someone asks us about our choice, we can explain why we chose the salad rather than the steak. "I could have ordered the steak, but I already had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. So, I decided I would order the salad instead."

The "could have" refers to the point in the choosing process when we recognized the Steak dinner as a real possibility, something that we could have chosen if we wanted to.
 

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It is impossible that he or she could
Again, no. It is impossible that he or she would. Nothing about could. You can no more eliminate mathematically implied extensions of the universe any more than you can exit this exact universe.

Therefore it is simply not coherent to say they  could not, merely that they  would not.

IOW, pull your head out your Modal Fallacy.
 

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We've seen two or more possibilities reliably showing up at the beginning of every choosing event. Obviously, two or more possibilities CAN and WILL exist within a system where all events proceed without deviation. There is no getting around them, because, like all events, they must occur without deviation.

Determinism,in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''

Only the first sentence is correct. The practical implication of the second and third sentences is this:

Waiter: "What will you have for dinner tonight?"
Customer: "I don't know. What are my possibilities?"
Waiter: "Because determinism makes only one dinner possible, there is only one dinner that you can order."
Customer: "Then what is that dinner that I can order?"
Waiter: "I have no idea."
 

fromderinside

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Existence of lists doesn't imply possible anything. Choosing is an action independent of being listed. One does not need the statement of what one can be what one might do to do so. He must be capable of doing it. If he is capable of doing it he will do it regardless of whether he is also capable of doing other wise.

The capability for doing otherwise does not signal choice of doing so is an option. It only signals one has the capability to do this or that. Since determinism states one does this then that that is what one does. You have not shown that one has the faculty of choice. You've just shown that a determined one is capable of doing this or that which is not contrary to what determinism states. One does this then that regardless of capability.

You might look at things this way. One has encountered this and that so the capability to do this and that exists. However when this arrives that is determined. Otherwise one would need to know whether this or that were signaled. Obviously that was signaled since that was the result. You need an intervening uncaused variable, implied not evident, to do otherwise. A nonexistent cause to do otherwise is needed.

The deterministic cause of the choosing operation is our encountering a situation where we are faced with two or more real possibilities and we cannot go forward without making a decision. Thus, the list of options on the restaurant menu, and the social expectations of the waiter, are the prior causes that necessitate our choosing.

So, the choosing is deterministically caused to happen. Within the choosing operation we experience certain thoughts and feelings that will follow one upon the other in a deterministic fashion. We will see the Steak dinner on the menu, recognize it as a real possibility, and experience a desire. Then we will recall our bacon and egg breakfast and our double cheeseburger lunch. Then we will recall our doctor's recommendation that we eat more fruits and vegetables. Then we will see the Chef Salad on the menu, recognize it as a real possibility, recognize that it satisfies the doctor's advice, and tell the waiter "I will have the Chef Salad, please".

If someone asks us about our choice, we can explain why we chose the salad rather than the steak. "I could have ordered the steak, but I already had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. So, I decided I would order the salad instead."

The "could have" refers to the point in the choosing process when we recognized the Steak dinner as a real possibility, something that we could have chosen if we wanted to.
 Determinism

I take a narrow view since doing otherwise isn't treating determinism. The bit I highlighted from your presentation is not a deterministic statement because It insert self as as aspect of what is determined. There is no self in determinism as the highlighted text in my statement explicitly precludes sit.

Determinism is often used to mean causal determinism, which in physics is known as cause-and-effect. This is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state of an object or event is completely determined by its prior states. This meaning can be distinguished from other varieties of determinism mentioned below.
If you can find room for decisions and choice in my view. I'm willing to discuss since it would be revolutionary to the idea of the meaning of determine. However I haven't found that space in over 60 years of employing the Scientific method.

You have provided no evidence to support your view, you've just presented just-so and platitudinous statements.

On the other hand I, as a Neuroscientist, a career researcher, not just an academic, schooled both in physics and psychology have tested everything from sense data, sensation through brain function, without ever having to invoke your Wundt-like equivocations.
 

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because It insert self as as aspect of what is determined
There is a machine. The machine is operating. The operation of that machine effects choice.

The machine is an object, operating in the deterministic way an engine does. And some engines effect choice, as this one does: of taking multiple things, and spitting out a subset, as determined by a specific and describable process.

Your desire to not exist does not make it so, FDI.
 

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because It insert self as as aspect of what is determined
There is a machine. The machine is operating. The operation of that machine effects choice.

The machine is an object, operating in the deterministic way an engine does. And some engines effect choice, as this one does: of taking multiple things, and spitting out a subset, as determined by a specific and describable process.

Your desire to not exist does not make it so, FDI.
Inventing motive for cause is not possible. What is does IAW demonstrated laws of nature. Emergence is a brain fart it is not a scientific principle. There is no room in science for God.
 

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because It insert self as as aspect of what is determined
There is a machine. The machine is operating. The operation of that machine effects choice.

The machine is an object, operating in the deterministic way an engine does. And some engines effect choice, as this one does: of taking multiple things, and spitting out a subset, as determined by a specific and describable process.

Your desire to not exist does not make it so, FDI.
BS in BS out. You have proclaimed machine as a self when it is merely a machine.

Machine: an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task:
Your hand wave of 'some machines' isn't supported by cause. At least your circling the wagons definition isn't doing the job. You can't breath life into a machine. It's a machine as defined above.
 

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It is impossible that he or she could
Again, no. It is impossible that he or she would. Nothing about could. You can no more eliminate mathematically implied extensions of the universe any more than you can exit this exact universe.

Therefore it is simply not coherent to say they  could not, merely that they  would not.

IOW, pull your head out your Modal Fallacy.

If it is impossible that he or she would, then he or she could not do it. That's what impossible means.

If it's impossible, it cannot happen.

Fixed means that nothing else can happen. If nothing else can happen because the course of events is fixed, by definition, nothing else can happen.
 

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whatever happens in any given instance in time must happen as determined, no alternatives, no choosing, no doing something else.
One of these things is not like the others; One of these things does not belong...

The idea of choosing doesn't belong in a system that permits no alternatives, options or deviations to choose from. Choice, by definition requires two or more realizable options, determinism has a progression of fixed events, the past entails the present which entails the future, no alternate actions, no alternate decisions. The evolving state of the system 'decides' without alternatives.
 

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If you can find room for decisions and choice in my view. I'm willing to discuss since it would be revolutionary to the idea of the meaning of determine. However I haven't found that space in over 60 years of employing the Scientific method.

Then it is very lucky for us that we found that restaurant with all those people making decisions. Each person is determining for themselves what they will order. And we can theoretically view each of their choices as part of a longer causal chain reaching back as far as we can imagine. But the most meaningful and relevant cause within that infinite chain will always be their own brain/mind making the choice.

You have provided no evidence to support your view, you've just presented just-so and platitudinous statements.

There are the people, sitting in the restaurant, browsing the menu, and deciding for themselves what they will order for dinner. What more evidence do you need?

On the other hand I, as a Neuroscientist, a career researcher, not just an academic, schooled both in physics and psychology have tested everything from sense data, sensation through brain function, without ever having to invoke your Wundt-like equivocations.

I, on the other hand, simply ran into Spinoza at an early age, and figured out that determinism doesn't actually change anything. Determinism is not a causal agent. It has no interest in any outcomes. It has "no skin in the game". But we are causal agents. We go about in the world causing things to happen. And we do so for our own goals and reasons.

Causation never causes anything. It is simply a concept we use to explain the interactions of objects and forces as they bring about events.
Determinism never determines anything. It is simply a concept that expresses faith in the reliability of those interactions.
All events are causally determined by the objects and forces that make up the physical universe.
And we happen to be one of those objects, constructed in a way that can exert force upon other objects. We can kick a football and bat a baseball.
And we have evolved brains that allow us to imagine, evaluate, and choose.
 

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If it is impossible that he or she would, then he or she could not do it
Again, no, you are committing the modal fallacy, and ignoring WHY it was impossible that they would: because they could and they chose not to, and that choice created mutual exclusivity against choosing both. Because it's impossible to go back and change the past, it is in fact impossible that they ever would. Even though, as a mathematical feature of that moment in relation to a hypothetical "virtual" universe where they do, they do not.

a system that permits no alternatives
See the case statement outlined in the other thread. "Not an alternative" would be akin to no assembly code being generated "for case 2", no available call to do2(). But it IS there and we call it's presence as an operation around which flow can bypass, an "alternative". It is not about what it is used for, it is about what it is.

Much like I suppose if you never needed to use brakes on a car, say because traffic I your town is slow and you happen to live and park and work on the same long street with no intersections, and get along fine for now without engine brakes... I'm sure you would still want them there. You know, just in case. As an alternative to rear-ending someone.

If you never use brakes in a car, do you need them?

(The answer is yes, even if you somehow never use the brakes in your car you still need them there as an alternative to being otherwise unable to stop).
 

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If it is impossible that he or she would, then he or she could not do it. That's what impossible means.

Nope. What we CAN do constrains what we WILL do, because if we cannot do it, then we will not do it.
But what we WILL do never constrains what we CAN do, because there must be multiple CAN's to get to the single WILL.


If it's impossible, it cannot happen.

Correct. And if it cannot happen, then it will not happen. CAN constrains WILL.

But the reverse is not true, because what WILL happen never constrains what CAN happen. No matter how strongly your intuition pulls you in that direction, it is a logical fallacy that leads to illogical results.

For example:
Waiter: "What will you have for dinner tonight?"
Diner: "I don't know. What are my possibilities?"
Waiter: "Because the universe is deterministic, there is only one possibility, only one dinner you can order."
Diner: "Oh. Okay then, what is the one thing that I can order?"
Waiter: "I'll be happy to tell you that, but only after you've made your choice."

Fixed means that nothing else can happen.

Nope. Fixed means that nothing else WILL happen. The fact that something will not happen does not logically imply that it cannot happen.

If nothing else can happen because the course of events is fixed, by definition, nothing else can happen.

Sorry, but we cannot keep substituting CAN for WILL. The correct statement is this: "If nothing else WILL happen because the course of events is fixed, by definition, nothing else WILL happen".
 

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If it is impossible that he or she would, then he or she could not do it. That's what impossible means.

Nope. What we CAN do constrains what we WILL do, because if we cannot do it, then we will not do it.
But what we WILL do never constrains what we CAN do, because there must be multiple CAN's to get to the single WILL.


If it's impossible, it cannot happen.

Correct. And if it cannot happen, then it will not happen. CAN constrains WILL.

But the reverse is not true, because what WILL happen never constrains what CAN happen. No matter how strongly your intuition pulls you in that direction, it is a logical fallacy that leads to illogical results.

For example:
Waiter: "What will you have for dinner tonight?"
Diner: "I don't know. What are my possibilities?"
Waiter: "Because the universe is deterministic, there is only one possibility, only one dinner you can order."
Diner: "Oh. Okay then, what is the one thing that I can order?"
Waiter: "I'll be happy to tell you that, but only after you've made your choice."

Fixed means that nothing else can happen.

Nope. Fixed means that nothing else WILL happen. The fact that something will not happen does not logically imply that it cannot happen.

If nothing else can happen because the course of events is fixed, by definition, nothing else can happen.

Sorry, but we cannot keep substituting CAN for WILL. The correct statement is this: "If nothing else WILL happen because the course of events is fixed, by definition, nothing else WILL happen".
But Marvin, if DBT must parse things like that then how will they ever liberate themselves or whoever of whatever responsibility that DBT must poof out of existence in a puff of logic?
 

fromderinside

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I, on the other hand, simply ran into Spinoza at an early age, and figured out that determinism doesn't actually change anything. Determinism is not a causal agent. It has no interest in any outcomes. It has "no skin in the game". But we are causal agents. We go about in the world causing things to happen. And we do so for our own goals and reasons.
Sorry you hit that skidmark. Spinosa is a person who is both wrong on determinism even though he agrees we are determined and wrong on reality to which man not tuned.

He goes through an nonexistent God to get to determinism and he clearly errors on evolution justifying reality in man since all evolution does is select for surviving not tuning to reality.

Your restaurant stuff is clearly mind dependent and self serving Pablum having nothing at all to do with whether one has options.
 

Jarhyn

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all evolution does is select for surviving not tuning to reality.
For some, this is clearly the case. For others, not so much. Evolution takes different formats you know.

If one does not have the options of the menu and process of them thus to produce a single one of them, one will not get food in the restaurant.

If you wish to reject language and bury yourself in your "cave", be my guest. The meals there are free, and there's only one thing on the menu: It's the same meal you ate yesterday.
 

DBT

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If it is impossible that he or she would, then he or she could not do it
Again, no, you are committing the modal fallacy, and ignoring WHY it was impossible that they would: because they could and they chose not to, and that choice created mutual exclusivity against choosing both. Because it's impossible to go back and change the past, it is in fact impossible that they ever would. Even though, as a mathematical feature of that moment in relation to a hypothetical "virtual" universe where they do, they do not.

They don't choose. Given your definition of determinism, here are no alternatives to choose from.

What is done must necessarily be done.

When an act must necessarily be done, with no alternatives, the act is not selected from a set of options, therefore not chosen.

Not only not freely chosen, but simply not chosen.

To claim choice where choice does not exist is the model fallacy. Based on the given premises, your own premises, an undeniable fallacy.


No alternatives/what must be done is done equals no choice.



a system that permits no alternatives
See the case statement outlined in the other thread. "Not an alternative" would be akin to no assembly code being generated "for case 2", no available call to do2(). But it IS there and we call it's presence as an operation around which flow can bypass, an "alternative". It is not about what it is used for, it is about what it is.

Much like I suppose if you never needed to use brakes on a car, say because traffic I your town is slow and you happen to live and park and work on the same long street with no intersections, and get along fine for now without engine brakes... I'm sure you would still want them there. You know, just in case. As an alternative to rear-ending someone.

If you never use brakes in a car, do you need them?

(The answer is yes, even if you somehow never use the brakes in your car you still need them there as an alternative to being otherwise unable to stop).

Oh, boy, you clearly don't understand the issue. Barely, if at all.
 

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If it is impossible that he or she would, then he or she could not do it. That's what impossible means.

Nope. What we CAN do constrains what we WILL do, because if we cannot do it, then we will not do it.
But what we WILL do never constrains what we CAN do, because there must be multiple CAN's to get to the single WILL.

Within a deterministic system, we do what we must do. We are not even aware of the elements that act upon us, forming our thoughts, feelings and prompt/will to act.

Nothing else is possible, if turning left at the next intersection is determined, turning right cannot happen. It is impossible to turn right if turning left is determined.

And we are talking determinism, not probability, Libertarian free will or freely taking any option.


If it's impossible, it cannot happen.

Correct. And if it cannot happen, then it will not happen. CAN constrains WILL.

But the reverse is not true, because what WILL happen never constrains what CAN happen. No matter how strongly your intuition pulls you in that direction, it is a logical fallacy that leads to illogical results.

For example:
Waiter: "What will you have for dinner tonight?"
Diner: "I don't know. What are my possibilities?"
Waiter: "Because the universe is deterministic, there is only one possibility, only one dinner you can order."
Diner: "Oh. Okay then, what is the one thing that I can order?"
Waiter: "I'll be happy to tell you that, but only after you've made your choice."

If ordering steak at 8:03pm is determined, nothing else can happen. Steak must be ordered at 8:03pm, no alternatives possible.

What is impossible, as defined, cannot happen

Fixed means that nothing else can happen.

Nope. Fixed means that nothing else WILL happen. The fact that something will not happen does not logically imply that it cannot happen.

Alternate actions won't happen because they cannot happen. That is determinism. A lot of things can happen, but if it does happen, it happens because it is determined that it happens at precisely the time it must happen. And in that moment, nothing else can happen


If nothing else can happen because the course of events is fixed, by definition, nothing else can happen.

Sorry, but we cannot keep substituting CAN for WILL. The correct statement is this: "If nothing else WILL happen because the course of events is fixed, by definition, nothing else WILL happen".

Nothing else will happen because it cannot happen in any other way. If we are talking about determinism, it's a pointless distinction. Everything that happens must happen as determined.

Determinism, in philosophy and science, the thesis that all events in the universe, including human decisions and actions, are causally inevitable. Determinism entails that, in a situation in which a person makes a certain decision or performs a certain action, it is impossible that he or she could have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.''
 

Jarhyn

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They don't choose. Given your definition of determinism, here are no alternatives to choose from
And again, you are wrong. My definition of determinism absolutely allows alternatives, because I'm not treating the universe as a monolith. Rather, I am treating it as a function upon a state variable.

The alternatives are projected virtually, as the result of variances on state. This is known in math as an "extension" of the system, and there are infinite extensions, infinite variances of state that still, nonetheless, would operate as a universe.

It's a lot easier to think about when you've actually done this before, with a whole (small) universe. It's why I keep explaining to you that you really need to pick up that game so you can do the experiment and prove all this out to yourself.

This is a very important thing to understand because considering "could" is doing a thought experiment.

The goal of the thought experiment is to get as close to the following actual experiment as possible:

1. The dwarf is there, and I am going to make them do something, thus I stop my sub-universe and save it's state.

2. I copy the state.

3. I blindly write, to each of the copies, a will into the dwarf's head.

4. I run the system forward to see what is going to happen in each.

5. I find out all the things that the dwarf can "possibly" do, as an extension of the original state. this takes a great deal of time. This actually maps out a function U(x), where x is what is known in math as a "free variable". The free variable here is "the contents of the dwarf's head."

6. Armed with this U(x) function definition on the contents of the dwarf's head, I then set U(x) equal to the desired contents and then solve for x. This tells me what momentary x leads to the desired outcome.

7. I then put x in the dwarf's head, leaving behind the original universe entirely, and continuing with this one in which I mind controlled the dwarf.

Then the next part is that you need to realize there needs be no god or actual mind control going on here because the "dwarf" in our reality has the power to approximate U well enough, in macrophysical scale, to run this process themselves without having to stop time to run the solution.

The end result ends up being something like:


1. I am going to make ME do something, thus I stop my activity and think quickly, before I must make a decision.

2. I imagine a universe as macrophysics describes it, several times. (I make a copy).

3. I blindly write, to each of the copies, a series of stated actions. (I write a will into my own hypothetical head).

4. I run the system forward to see what is going to happen in each.

5. I find out all the things that the I can "possibly" do, in this hypothetical future moment, as an extension of the original state. this takes a little time, but not enough to actually bring me to the real future moment in which a decision must be made. This actually maps out a function U(x), where x is what is known in math as a "free variable". The free variable here is "the contents of my decision".

6. Armed with this approximal U(x) function definition on the contents of the my own head head, I then set U(x) equal to the desired contents and then solve for x. This tells me what momentary x leads to the desired outcome.

7. I then put x in the part of my own head that represents the region of free variance, thus making the decision leaving behind the past entirely, and continuing with this future in which I effectively mind controlled myself.

The fact that it was ME putting that variable there into MY OWN head is, exactly, the proof of free will.

That we can only ever approximate perfection here does not invalidate it, it just means sometimes we're going to be wrong.

When we are wrong, we don't say "we lacked free will", as we still decided for ourselves (that will was free!), But rather "our will to do X was not free".

Note, this does not in any point discuss randomness.
 
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Marvin Edwards

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What we CAN do constrains what we WILL do, because if we cannot do it, then we will not do it.
But what we WILL do never constrains what we CAN do, because the mind logically requires multiple CAN's to get to the single WILL.

Within a deterministic system, we do what we must do.

And one of the things we must do is make decisions when presented with multiple options. For example, when sitting in the restaurant we are presented with a menu of alternate possibilities to choose from, and thus we must decide what we will order for dinner.

We are not even aware of the elements that act upon us, forming our thoughts, feelings and prompt/will to act.

To suggest that there are "elements that act upon us" is superstitious nonsense. Our brain forms our thoughts, makes decisions, and communicates to us and the outside world what we are doing and why. We tell the waiter, "I will have the Chef Salad, please", and when our friends ask us why we didn't have the juicy steak like they did, we tell them "I thought about the steak, but I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. So I decided it would be best to have a salad for dinner."

This is all very simple and straightforward.

Nothing else is possible, if turning left at the next intersection is determined, turning right cannot happen. It is impossible to turn right if turning left is determined.

The notion of possibility evolved in the human brain to deal with the practical problem of uncertainty. We have a logical causal mechanism to resolve this uncertainty.

In the restaurant, we begin with uncertainty about what we "will" order for dinner. To solve this problem, we shift our attention from the immediate reality to a safe sandbox of imagination in which we entertain multiple possibilities. Here, in the sandbox, we can imagine the juicy steak for dinner. Then we can recall what we had for breakfast and lunch. Then we can consider the salad, and discover that it would be the most satisfying choice. And now we know, with certainty, what we will do.

That is how it works.

The irrational claim of hard determinism, that there is only a single possibility and only a single thing that we can choose, builds a wall around the sandbox, preventing us from entering the context of multiple possibilities. And that does not work. How badly it does not work is demonstrated by the example:

Waiter: "What will you have for dinner tonight?"
Diner: "I don't know. What are my possibilities?"
Waiter: "Because the universe is deterministic, there is only one possibility, only one dinner you can order."
Diner: "Oh. Okay then, what is the one thing that I can order?"
Waiter: "I'll be happy to tell you that, but only after you've made your choice."

Insisting upon a single possibility, a single thing that can happen, creates a paradox, and therefore must be rejected.

Alternate actions won't happen because they cannot happen.

That sounds good, but it is inaccurate. Some things will not happen because they cannot happen. Other things will not happen because they simply will not happen, even though they can.

Leaping over the Empire State building will not happen because it cannot happen.
But taking an elevator to the top of the Empire State building can happen, even if we never choose to do so. Thus, despite the fact that it can happen, it won't happen.

That is determinism. A lot of things can happen, but if it does happen, it happens because it is determined that it happens at precisely the time it must happen. And in that moment, nothing else can happen

Any number of things can happen in that moment. But nothing else will happen. For example, we chose to order the salad, even though we could have chosen the steak. While it was never the case that we would have ordered the steak, it was never impossible for us to order it. Our ability to choose something is not affected by what we actually choose to do.
 

DBT

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They don't choose. Given your definition of determinism, here are no alternatives to choose from
And again, you are wrong. My definition of determinism absolutely allows alternatives, because I'm not treating the universe as a monolith. Rather, I am treating it as a function upon a state variable.

The alternatives are projected virtually, as the result of variances on state. This is known in math as an "extension" of the system, and there are infinite extensions, infinite variances of state that still, nonetheless, would operate as a universe.

It's a lot easier to think about when you've actually done this before, with a whole (small) universe. It's why I keep explaining to you that you really need to pick up that game so you can do the experiment and prove all this out to yourself.

This is a very important thing to understand because considering "could" is doing a thought experiment.

The goal of the thought experiment is to get as close to the following actual experiment as possible:

1. The dwarf is there, and I am going to make them do something, thus I stop my sub-universe and save it's state.

2. I copy the state.

3. I blindly write, to each of the copies, a will into the dwarf's head.

4. I run the system forward to see what is going to happen in each.

5. I find out all the things that the dwarf can "possibly" do, as an extension of the original state. this takes a great deal of time. This actually maps out a function U(x), where x is what is known in math as a "free variable". The free variable here is "the contents of the dwarf's head."

6. Armed with this U(x) function definition on the contents of the dwarf's head, I then set U(x) equal to the desired contents and then solve for x. This tells me what momentary x leads to the desired outcome.

7. I then put x in the dwarf's head, leaving behind the original universe entirely, and continuing with this one in which I mind controlled the dwarf.

Then the next part is that you need to realize there needs be no god or actual mind control going on here because the "dwarf" in our reality has the power to approximate U well enough, in macrophysical scale, to run this process themselves without having to stop time to run the solution.

The end result ends up being something like:


1. I am going to make ME do something, thus I stop my activity and think quickly, before I must make a decision.

2. I imagine a universe as macrophysics describes it, several times. (I make a copy).

3. I blindly write, to each of the copies, a series of stated actions. (I write a will into my own hypothetical head).

4. I run the system forward to see what is going to happen in each.

5. I find out all the things that the I can "possibly" do, in this hypothetical future moment, as an extension of the original state. this takes a little time, but not enough to actually bring me to the real future moment in which a decision must be made. This actually maps out a function U(x), where x is what is known in math as a "free variable". The free variable here is "the contents of my decision".

6. Armed with this approximal U(x) function definition on the contents of the my own head head, I then set U(x) equal to the desired contents and then solve for x. This tells me what momentary x leads to the desired outcome.

7. I then put x in the part of my own head that represents the region of free variance, thus making the decision leaving behind the past entirely, and continuing with this future in which I effectively mind controlled myself.

The fact that it was ME putting that variable there into MY OWN head is, exactly, the proof of free will.

That we can only ever approximate perfection here does not invalidate it, it just means sometimes we're going to be wrong.

When we are wrong, we don't say "we lacked free will", as we still decided for ourselves (that will was free!), But rather "our will to do X was not free".

Note, this does not in any point discuss randomness.

Think about determinism as it is defined, as you yourself define it, and realize that you will not do otherwise because, under the given terms and principles of determinism, there can be no do otherwise, what you think, feel and do is inevitable, fixed, set, making will not equivalent to cannot.

Your thoughts, feelings and actions are inevitable, therefore not freely chosen or willed. Free will, alternatives and choice (having two or more realizable options) is not compatible with determinism.
 

DBT

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We are not even aware of the elements that act upon us, forming our thoughts, feelings and prompt/will to act.

To suggest that there are "elements that act upon us" is superstitious nonsense.

Hear! Hear!

Nah, that's silly, we live on a planet, our senses acquire and process information, our brain forms a representation of self and the world, everything we thinks and do is related to our environment, family, friends, work, hobbies, interests, aversions, etc, etc....we respond to the information we (the brain) acquire. It is that information that determines how we respond.
 
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