# Demystifying Determinism

#### DBT

##### Contributor
There are no possible alternatives at any point during the evolution of the system. Your own definition of determinism stipulates this.

There is the menu. Determinism says the menu was causally necessary. Do you disagree?

Of course its causally necessary. That is the very point that negates the notion of free will, that all actions, including brain activity and will as a function is causally necessary.

What happens, must happen. Nobody picks and chooses, ''well, maybe this, maybe that.''

There are the people, picking and choosing what they will order for dinner, thinking to themselves, things like, "Well, maybe the Steak, but wait, I had the bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. Hmm. Maybe the Salad instead"

The appearance does not necessarily represent how the system works;

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.'' https://www.britannica.com/topic/determinism

Determinism says that picking and choosing was causally necessary. Do you disagree?

Picking and choosing are the wrong words to use in relation to determinism...please refer to britannicas description of the decision making process.

Actions are are, in your own words, causally necessary rather than freely picked or chosen.

There can only be one outcome at any point in time, and that outcome is entailed, not chosen.

Determinism says that choosing is entailed. Do you disagree?

Wrong wording, determinism entails, not chooses. its not choice because there is only one outcome, that which is entailed by prior conditions in the system.

But it is not fixed by choosing.

Then how do you account for the dinner order? The causal mechanism clearly requires a selection from many items on the menu. Without choosing, there is no explanation as to how the state of the brain gets from (a) uncertainty as to what we will order to (b) certainty as to what we will order.

The dinner order is causally necessitated. Each customer according to their own state and condition, procilivities that are not chosen, yet fix outcomes.

Determinism: given the state of the world at any moment in time, there is only one way it can be at the next moment.

Every action is entailed long before it comes to the cognitive process of thought and deliberation, which also has no deviation and thereby leads to the inevitable conclusion: the determined action.

No, that will not do. That is like answering the question, "why did the child die" with "every action is entailed long before it happens", while pretending that she never caught Covid-19 and there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. You see, had her parents chosen to vaccinate their child, she would have lived.

Nothing of the sort. You yourself gave a definition of determinism that expresses this very principle. Your objection does not relate to what i said, nor your given definition.

If the parents get their children vaccinated, that is entailed by who they are and how they think. Some of course dont.....perhaps they dont trust the system, object to how the crisis is handled, or any number of elements that make them who they are, how they think and what they do in any given situation.

”If the neurobiology level is causally sufficient to determine your behavior, then the fact that you had the experience of freedom at the higher level is really irrelevant.” - John Searle.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
first off, you are pulling stuff out of you know where
You really don't know what randomness is in a mathematical sense, do you?

Look it up, actually study it.
First off, the definition DBT applies to randomness is not apt. Steve actually covered that at some point insofar as that randomness is a term referring to the inability to derive a function through statistical tests on it's output

first off, you are pulling stuff out of you know where.

Where exactly is this definition that I supposedly apply to randomness?

Second, deviation, real deviation where someone chooses steak and not salad, but also chooses salad but not steak (and the universe splits in to at the moment of to reject the contradiction from being observable) is nonsensical, unobservable, and an untestable hypothesis, and furthermore is unnecessary. All we have ever seen or contemplated, there is just the one life, the one "play-through" as it were.

There is, after all, a real world we return to when we wake from our simulations inside ourselves. Even these dreams are in their own way real, real enforced relationships between data whose manipulation acts relatively to objects outside. But still... one must dream of deviations for us to make choice of these dreams as to which to realize.

I may not know which dinner I want. It may take some mental exercise to figure it out, put together some choices, and actually choose.

Sometimes it takes putting together a list, enumerating that list upon a rock's face, and letting the rock's form of fixed choice of "how it settles following being provided a moment of force across a surface" be what ends up rendering the decision. In this case alternatives are usually regions of stable potential relative to the center of mass of the material.

This is a different kind of choice function.

I wonder if DBT would dispute that the dice does not have sides? Sides here are alternatives. Alternatives continue to exist, to have existed, because they were made as a potential, not necessarily an actual.

The rock may not have carved itself into a dice, but the shape of the dice as it is, as it continues to be, is essentially to the choices made by it.

If the dice makes "bad" choices, fails to represent a flat distribution across a large number of rolls, the dice may be regulated: cut the dice down or build the dice up somehow to produce flat faces and an evenly distributed mass.

Alternatively, it may be favored by another sort of metaphorical "dice" that tends to make "bad" choices.

The thing is, this second "dice" that makes "bad" choices has available to it the means to sculpt its own selection surface as it were. Metaphorically shave it's faces down.

Responsibility is about seeing that dice roll in a way where all the dice get to participate in all the rolls, as it were.

In this gross oversimplification the "dice" in question are given leave to shape themselves as they see fit, metaphorical arms that may shoot out to cut down or add material as is available.

Self regulation is possible.

It's possible to describe all sorts of systems which self-modify.

So, it seems that you believe words have intrinsic meaning regardless of how those words are commonly used and, at the same time you believe the meanings of words are represented by their definitions (statements of common usage).

These two views are contradictory. They can't both be true. You can believe both but that would just mean that you are confused.

You missed the point. Which is that words are just symbols, language, used to convey information in the form of references to objects, events, ideas, concepts, etc. Which doesn't mean that because words have meanings that what they refer exists; God, gods, angels, demons, etcetera.
No, I haven't missed your point. If you recall I already agreed with the point you're making in post #1247 ("If you define God as a supernatural entity, then many reasonable people would agree God doesn't exist").

But if you want to level this criticism at the compatibilist definition of free will then the onus on you is to show that the referent of the definition is nonexistent.

The basic definition of compatibilist free will is: Acting while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence.

For your argument to hold, you have to be claiming that no one ever acts without coercion or undue influence. Is this what you're claiming?

Or, are you adding 'coercion' and 'undue influence' to 'free', 'freedom' 'choose' and 'choice' as words that have no meaning in a deterministic universe?
He would have to add "here" and "there" to the list of words without meaning then.

Substantively, the idea of "undue influence" is a discussion, spatially, of "did the influence come from here (inside the brain), at the time of the decision, or did it come from there (outside the brain)?"

if when he orders the salad one can observe the immediate chain of decisionmaking in "order salad I've got a gun", the influence came from "there", not "here".

And wherever the decision came from and the nature of it determines who gets the bill, even if the bill is "police, drop the gun!" and payed in blood.

You are making all the same errors, over and over, errors that have been pointed out way too many time, to no evail.

The sad truth is that you still havent grasped the implications of your own definition of determinism, and most likely never will.

I dont have the time to explain it to you again, only to see that you failed to grasp the basics.

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.''

https://www.britannica.com/topic/determinism
Sorry, but saying "you're wrong because (definition)" doesn't actually establish a fact of wrongness.

Someone else committing the modal fallacy makes it no less a modal fallacy.

#### The AntiChris

##### Senior Member
So, it seems that you believe words have intrinsic meaning regardless of how those words are commonly used and, at the same time you believe the meanings of words are represented by their definitions (statements of common usage).

These two views are contradictory. They can't both be true. You can believe both but that would just mean that you are confused.

You missed the point. Which is that words are just symbols, language, used to convey information in the form of references to objects, events, ideas, concepts, etc. Which doesn't mean that because words have meanings that what they refer exists; God, gods, angels, demons, etcetera.
No, I haven't missed your point. If you recall I already agreed with the point you're making in post #1247 ("If you define God as a supernatural entity, then many reasonable people would agree God doesn't exist").

But if you want to level this criticism at the compatibilist definition of free will then the onus on you is to show that the referent of the definition is nonexistent.

The basic definition of compatibilist free will is: Acting while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence.

For your argument to hold, you have to be claiming that no one ever acts without coercion or undue influence. Is this what you're claiming?

Or, are you adding 'coercion' and 'undue influence' to 'free', 'freedom' 'choose' and 'choice' as words that have no meaning in a deterministic universe?

I have already explained that words are symbols. Symbols that refer to objects, events, ideas, concepts, etc.

The word Tree does not mean a body of water, mountain does not refer to a cloud, and so on.

Now as the issue here is free will something that we call free has specific references, as does the word will - so what we call will must be free as the word is defined

To reiterate, if it is claimed that free will exists, will needs to be free.

But of course, that is not what compabilists do, where unforced or uncoersed is declared to be free will, disregarding inner necessity, etc, and makes compatibilism a quagmire of evasion.

This has been explained countless times over a period of decades, quotes, citations given....
Once again, given a question which you're uncomfortable answering, you ignore it and revert to a standard response.

If I've learned nothing else from this latest exchange, it's that you obviously believe that certain words (free, will, choice etc.) have uniquely correct meanings and that any other interpretations are simply wrong. I've persistently attempted to discover on what basis you justify your claim to know the correct meanings of the disputed words/phrases but to no avail - you simply deflect/obfuscate when questioned.

As I've said before, this is predominately a semantic dispute.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
There are no possible alternatives at any point during the evolution of the system. Your own definition of determinism stipulates this.
There is the menu. Determinism says the menu was causally necessary. Do you disagree?

Of course its causally necessary. That is the very point that negates the notion of free will, that all actions, including brain activity and will as a function is causally necessary.

So, we agree that the restaurant menu was causally necessary.

What happens, must happen. Nobody picks and chooses, ''well, maybe this, maybe that.''
There are the people, picking and choosing what they will order for dinner, thinking to themselves, things like, "Well, maybe the Steak, but wait, I had the bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. Hmm. Maybe the Salad instead"
The appearance does not necessarily represent how the system works;

That's okay. We can pretend that the person is a black box. We feed in the restaurant menu and it outputs a dinner order. What shall we call the operation that selects one dinner order from a list of many possible dinner orders? How about "choosing"?

It would appear, to any objective observer, that choosing is undeniably happening in the restaurant, and that the customers are all doing it.

And that appears to us to be exactly how the system actually works.

But what about the claim that every choice is causally necessary from any prior point in time? Hey, that's fine too! Both the choosing and the choice are causally necessary from any prior point in time.

Both facts are equally supported, and neither fact contradicts the other.

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 would have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could would have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.'' https://www.britannica.com/topic/determinism

I'm sorry, but we still cannot say that it is "impossible" for anyone to have made another choice, because it also remains a fact that every customer "could have" ordered anything on the menu, even if they would only order what they did order.

Choosing logically requires at least two real possibilities. If there is only one possibility then choosing never begins.

Consider the menu. If there were only one possibility on the menu, then the waiter would bring that meal to everyone, and no one would have to choose anything.

But that is not how the system works. The menu has multiple possibilities and our customers must somehow condense that list to a single dinner order. Everything on the menu is something that the customer can order, even if the customer orders something else instead. Although the customer would order only one dinner, every other item on the menu remains something that he could have ordered instead.

Ironically, the Britannica authors seem to have lost their command of the English language. But that is what happens when people think figuratively rather than literally. With determinism, it is AS IF the customer "could not have" ordered differently and it is AS IF all the other items on the menu were "impossible". But, of course, neither of those figurative statements are literally true, because "could" and "would" are not the same notion, and choosing not to do something never makes it "impossible" to do.

Actions are are, in your own words, causally necessary rather than freely picked or chosen.

All deliberate actions are both causally necessary and chosen. Those are my own words. Stop pretending that your words are mine. It is dishonest.

There can only be one outcome at any point in time, and that outcome is entailed, not chosen.
Determinism says that choosing is entailed. Do you disagree?
Wrong wording, determinism entails, not chooses. its not choice because there is only one outcome, that which is entailed by prior conditions in the system.

So, you're going to continue to insist that choosing is not happening, even when we see it happening with our own eyes in the restaurant?

Choosing is obviously entailed to happen, or we wouldn't be seeing it happen so often.

Your claim is based in figurative thinking. We say to ourselves that "if it is entailed then it is AS IF choosing isn't happening". But, nevertheless, it is happening, and thus we must concluded that it is entailed to happen, exactly as it does.

The causal mechanism clearly requires a selection from many items on the menu. Without choosing, there is no explanation as to how the state of the brain gets from (a) uncertainty as to what we will order to (b) certainty as to what we will order.

The dinner order is causally necessitated. Each customer according to their own state and condition, proclivities that are not chosen, yet fix outcomes.

My unchosen proclivity was to order the juicy Steak for dinner, but the bacon and eggs I had for breakfast and the double cheeseburger I had for lunch led me to resist that proclivity, and to order the Salad instead. It was not my proclivity, but my choosing that fixed the outcome.

But, if you continue to ignore choosing as a valid causal mechanism that fixes outcomes, then you will never understand determinism correctly.

Determinism: given the state of the world at any moment in time, there is only one way it can will be at the next moment.

Note the correction. And, the statement, as corrected, is correct. Given the menu at time t, choosing will happen at time t+1, and a choice will be output at time t+2.

If the parents get their children vaccinated, that is entailed by who they are and how they think. Some of course dont.....perhaps they dont trust the system, object to how the crisis is handled, or any number of elements that make them who they are, how they think and what they do in any given situation.

It is either entailed that they will choose to get their children vaccinated, or, it is entailed that they will choose not to get them vaccinated. You cannot claim that they have no choice when, regardless of what they choose, they actually do choose.

And the reason we try to educate parents about the vaccines is to help them to make the right choice.

”If the neurobiology level is causally sufficient to determine your behavior, then the fact that you had the experience of freedom at the higher level is really irrelevant.” - John Searle.

This quote does not improve with age. Choosing is a mental operation performed by the central nervous system. We don't merely "feel" that we are able to choose, we actually observe ourselves choosing what we will order from the restaurant menu. These are not subjective experiences, but objective observations. And they are confirmed by the waiter, who brings us our dinner and the bill.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
first off, you are pulling stuff out of you know where
You really don't know what randomness is in a mathematical sense, do you?

Look it up, actually study it.

That confirms it, you dont have a clue about the terms of this debate.

Ill try again; the argument is related to the compatibility of free will in relation to determinism.

Determinism just as you and other compatibilists define it, minus the word choosing.

Once again: randomness is irrelevant to the debate, the issue here is whether free will exists within a deterministic system

Once more for luck, whether or not there are random events in the world has no bearing on the issue of compatibility of free will and determinism.

Whether the notion of free will is compatible with randomness is a different debate.

Are you at least able to grasp that much?

#### DBT

##### Contributor
So, it seems that you believe words have intrinsic meaning regardless of how those words are commonly used and, at the same time you believe the meanings of words are represented by their definitions (statements of common usage).

These two views are contradictory. They can't both be true. You can believe both but that would just mean that you are confused.

You missed the point. Which is that words are just symbols, language, used to convey information in the form of references to objects, events, ideas, concepts, etc. Which doesn't mean that because words have meanings that what they refer exists; God, gods, angels, demons, etcetera.
No, I haven't missed your point. If you recall I already agreed with the point you're making in post #1247 ("If you define God as a supernatural entity, then many reasonable people would agree God doesn't exist").

But if you want to level this criticism at the compatibilist definition of free will then the onus on you is to show that the referent of the definition is nonexistent.

The basic definition of compatibilist free will is: Acting while free of coercion and other forms of undue influence.

For your argument to hold, you have to be claiming that no one ever acts without coercion or undue influence. Is this what you're claiming?

Or, are you adding 'coercion' and 'undue influence' to 'free', 'freedom' 'choose' and 'choice' as words that have no meaning in a deterministic universe?

I have already explained that words are symbols. Symbols that refer to objects, events, ideas, concepts, etc.

The word Tree does not mean a body of water, mountain does not refer to a cloud, and so on.

Now as the issue here is free will something that we call free has specific references, as does the word will - so what we call will must be free as the word is defined

To reiterate, if it is claimed that free will exists, will needs to be free.

But of course, that is not what compabilists do, where unforced or uncoersed is declared to be free will, disregarding inner necessity, etc, and makes compatibilism a quagmire of evasion.

This has been explained countless times over a period of decades, quotes, citations given....
Once again, given a question which you're uncomfortable answering, you ignore it and revert to a standard response.

If I've learned nothing else from this latest exchange, it's that you obviously believe that certain words (free, will, choice etc.) have uniquely correct meanings and that any other interpretations are simply wrong. I've persistently attempted to discover on what basis you justify your claim to know the correct meanings of the disputed words/phrases but to no avail - you simply deflect/obfuscate when questioned.

As I've said before, this is predominately a semantic dispute.

Its not even controversial. The word is not the thing, the word tree is not a tree, the word moon is not the moon...words are symbols used in reference to objects, events, ideas, beliefs, etc...the words are not the ideas or beliefs, they refer to them for the purpose of communication.

The term free will is not free will. Its just a set of words, a term, used in reference to several different concepts, lIbertarian free will being different to compatibilism, which differs from common perception, the ability to choose any option at any given moment in time, which of course contradicts the terms of determinism.

That is the answer. You evade the answer. If you cannot accept or understand it, that is not my problem.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
There are no possible alternatives at any point during the evolution of the system. Your own definition of determinism stipulates this.
There is the menu. Determinism says the menu was causally necessary. Do you disagree?

Of course its causally necessary. That is the very point that negates the notion of free will, that all actions, including brain activity and will as a function is causally necessary.

So, we agree that the restaurant menu was causally necessary.

What happens, must happen. Nobody picks and chooses, ''well, maybe this, maybe that.''
There are the people, picking and choosing what they will order for dinner, thinking to themselves, things like, "Well, maybe the Steak, but wait, I had the bacon and eggs for breakfast and a double cheeseburger for lunch. Hmm. Maybe the Salad instead"
The appearance does not necessarily represent how the system works;

That's okay. We can pretend that the person is a black box. We feed in the restaurant menu and it outputs a dinner order. What shall we call the operation that selects one dinner order from a list of many possible dinner orders? How about "choosing"?

It would appear, to any objective observer, that choosing is undeniably happening in the restaurant, and that the customers are all doing it.

And that appears to us to be exactly how the system actually works.

But what about the claim that every choice is causally necessary from any prior point in time? Hey, that's fine too! Both the choosing and the choice are causally necessary from any prior point in time.

Both facts are equally supported, and neither fact contradicts the other.

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 would have made any other decision or performed any other action. In other words, it is never true that people could would have decided or acted otherwise than they actually did.'' https://www.britannica.com/topic/determinism

I'm sorry, but we still cannot say that it is "impossible" for anyone to have made another choice, because it also remains a fact that every customer "could have" ordered anything on the menu, even if they would only order what they did order.

Choosing logically requires at least two real possibilities. If there is only one possibility then choosing never begins.

Consider the menu. If there were only one possibility on the menu, then the waiter would bring that meal to everyone, and no one would have to choose anything.

But that is not how the system works. The menu has multiple possibilities and our customers must somehow condense that list to a single dinner order. Everything on the menu is something that the customer can order, even if the customer orders something else instead. Although the customer would order only one dinner, every other item on the menu remains something that he could have ordered instead.

Ironically, the Britannica authors seem to have lost their command of the English language. But that is what happens when people think figuratively rather than literally. With determinism, it is AS IF the customer "could not have" ordered differently and it is AS IF all the other items on the menu were "impossible". But, of course, neither of those figurative statements are literally true, because "could" and "would" are not the same notion, and choosing not to do something never makes it "impossible" to do.

The britannica authors are correct in what they say about the nature and implications of determinism.

It is precisely what you yourself say in your definition of determinism, except for one detail, your inclusion of choosing, which, for the given reasons, is false.
Actions are are, in your own words, causally necessary rather than freely picked or chosen.

All deliberate actions are both causally necessary and chosen. Those are my own words. Stop pretending that your words are mine. It is dishonest.

Entailment is not choice. If events proceed as they must, what must happen is not a matter of choice, and to label it as choice is false.

There can only be one outcome at any point in time, and that outcome is entailed, not chosen.
Determinism says that choosing is entailed. Do you disagree?
Wrong wording, determinism entails, not chooses. its not choice because there is only one outcome, that which is entailed by prior conditions in the system.

So, you're going to continue to insist that choosing is not happening, even when we see it happening with our own eyes in the restaurant?

Choosing is obviously entailed to happen, or we wouldn't be seeing it happen so often.

Your claim is based in figurative thinking. We say to ourselves that "if it is entailed then it is AS IF choosing isn't happening". But, nevertheless, it is happening, and thus we must concluded that it is entailed to happen, exactly as it does.

The causal mechanism clearly requires a selection from many items on the menu. Without choosing, there is no explanation as to how the state of the brain gets from (a) uncertainty as to what we will order to (b) certainty as to what we will order.

The causal mechanisms entail, they fix, they do not choose.

The dinner order is causally necessitated. Each customer according to their own state and condition, proclivities that are not chosen, yet fix outcomes.

My unchosen proclivity was to order the juicy Steak for dinner, but the bacon and eggs I had for breakfast and the double cheeseburger I had for lunch led me to resist that proclivity, and to order the Salad instead. It was not my proclivity, but my choosing that fixed the outcome.

But, if you continue to ignore choosing as a valid causal mechanism that fixes outcomes, then you will never understand determinism correctly.

I ignore nothing. I am abiding by the terms and references of determinism as you define it, minus the inclusion of choosing, which of course does not relate to a system where everything proceeds as determined, not chosen.
Determinism: given the state of the world at any moment in time, there is only one way it can will be at the next moment.

Note the correction. And, the statement, as corrected, is correct. Given the menu at time t, choosing will happen at time t+1, and a choice will be output at time t+2.

Its not a correction. It is a rationale. Choice doesnt come into it because all actions are fixed. Fixed is the antithesis of choice....which requires the ability to take any one of a number of alternatives.

But of course, according to your definition, alternate actions cannot happen within a deterministic system.

If the parents get their children vaccinated, that is entailed by who they are and how they think. Some of course dont.....perhaps they dont trust the system, object to how the crisis is handled, or any number of elements that make them who they are, how they think and what they do in any given situation.

It is either entailed that they will choose to get their children vaccinated, or, it is entailed that they will choose not to get them vaccinated. You cannot claim that they have no choice when, regardless of what they choose, they actually do choose.

And the reason we try to educate parents about the vaccines is to help them to make the right choice.

As I said, each act is fixed according to their own state and condition, their own set of proclivites.

Keep in mind that your definition of determinism stipulates fixed by antecedents.

”If the neurobiology level is causally sufficient to determine your behavior, then the fact that you had the experience of freedom at the higher level is really irrelevant.” - John Searle.

This quote does not improve with age. Choosing is a mental operation performed by the central nervous system. We don't merely "feel" that we are able to choose, we actually observe ourselves choosing what we will order from the restaurant menu. These are not subjective experiences, but objective observations. And they are confirmed by the waiter, who brings us our dinner and the bill.

Its a simple fact. If outcomes are set prior to consciousness and will has no regulative ability when it comes to response, will has no freedom. There is no choosing because all outcomes are fixed, therefore no choosing between options, just entailment.

Thats all I have time for today.

#### The AntiChris

##### Senior Member
The term free will is not free will. Its just a set of words, a term, used in reference to several different concepts,

That's a good start. You apparently acknowledge that the term 'free will' can refer to more than one concept.

The problem is that you refuse to accept any usage which refers to a concept of free will which is not your preferred usage - you dismiss alternatives as incorrect usage.

You simply don't understand how language usage works. When a word/term has more than one meaning in common usage then no single usage is 'correct'.

I suppose you may be implying (though you don't explicitly make the claim) that the compatibilist usage is in some sense wrong because it's really not what people mean by the term. However, bearing in mind that 60% of professional philosophers "accept or lean towards" compatibilism (20202 PhilPapers Survey ) this would be a tough position to support.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
Entailment is not choice. If events proceed as they must, what must happen is not a matter of choice, and to label it as choice is false.

The determinism you're using is merely a skeleton, a series of abstract notions that conflict with the empirical evidence of how the world, and the people in it, actually work. It is unscientific.

The determinism I'm using is fleshed out with all the causal mechanisms in play. It can be safely embraced by science without becoming entrapped by all of the nonsensical statements that result from figurative thinking. Scientists are empiricists.

The causal mechanisms entail, they fix, they do not choose.

Without choosing, there is no dinner order. The restaurant menu becomes a meaningless object. And the restaurant itself is rendered useless. That's how things work out with the incompatibilist definition of determinism.

With a compatibilist definition of determinism, everyone gets to choose for themselves what they will order for dinner, even if their choice was always going to happen, because it was always going to be them making that choice.

Choosing is a deterministic causal mechanism performed by the central nervous system. We don't merely "feel" that we are able to choose, we actually observe ourselves choosing what we will order from the restaurant menu. And our objective observations are confirmed by the waiter, who brings us our dinner and the bill.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
That confirms it, you dont have a clue about the terms of this debate
You realize that one of the things I study is cryptology, yes?

Randomness is not an easy thing to talk about.

At any rate, I keep inviting you to find where I actually demand there must be randomness (I don't, beyond pointing out that there are events in the universe whose resolution has no correlation to other events which happen).

As it is, I've discussed this again and again, because YOU are the one who keeps bringing it up!

I've presented a compatibilist choice, an event wherein an agent with many alternatives presented to it, based on proclivity, reduces the set of alternatives to a subset. Really we're just naming the objects in the set "alternatives", because we are discussing a selection of the set, a "choice".

In a software example, an example that produces a machine language rendition of such a structure:
Code:
int proclivity;
int A = 5;
Int B = -5;
.
.
.
int Fn(int var)
{
static int A = 5;
static int B = -5;
if ((A+1)< A)
A=5;

if ((B-1) > B)
B=-5;

if (var < proclivity)
return A++;
else if (var >= proclivity)
return B--;

}

This is a function. A human mind could contain this function. My human mind does contain a slowly functioning version of this function.

This creates a structure that, for argument sake, does not get to decide upon its own proclivity on whether to return A or B (whether it returns a positive or negative number). It does, however, self-regulate the A and B it returns when it does.

It creates a private A and B inaccessible to other functions (an aspect of "itself"). It regulates those aspects of "self", even if it does not regulate proclivity (which from the perspective of the function may even be accessed as a constant).

Would you disagree that this function CAN return a positive or negative number?

Would you disagree that this function cannot possibly return 0?

This function is not even restricted to a single possible return for a given var.

At best the reader can say, dependent on the state and number of calls, what it would return if called with a value.

It did not need to write its own machine code to have the function it does. It does not need to decide it's own proclivities to be structure which decides based on those proclivities.

It is a choice function, because it is a function that takes an input (var), and uses that to render a subset (the return value) from a set ({A, B}).

Now, the compatibilist would say "well, given this model (the text) of this system (the machine code), I can design a function that will, with a single execution, render 5,-5."

Assuming 16 bit integers in two's compliment...

Assuming that an unknown and unknowable number of calls to Fn have occurred, what is the greatest number of calls required to produce this output?

What is the greatest number of calls to reach N,-N?

N,M?

From a previous solution what is the function that will produce an accurate count of the number of calls to transition from N,M to J,K?

What can be said about the unknown and unknowable number of calls made to Fn previously, as a function of the return values?

How do these change when the proclivity is not accessible to read?

Does being unable to read the proclivity but being able to write blindly to it change this in any way?

How about for n-bit integers in two's compliment?for n*b width signed modulo counters?

To answer any one of these questions which describe objective facts about all things which implement this function one must accept the idea of "may" and "if". One must accept that certain entailments can be calculated on without actually doing a direct entailment, accept that representation may occur.

I can make an object in the universe that behaves this way, and know how it will behave before it ever does any behaving.

I can have a function which is set up to call Fn some number of times, sleep on that thread, release the user of Fn, and have the thread wake just in time to observe the log output of the system hitting an overflow and going to 5,-5 on the other thread, and then go to sleep again without actually checking whether it "caught" the event.

I could have a function that observes memory for that event of the overflow to locate the addresses of A and B and violate the privacy of Fn's static values, and so violate the "free will" of Fn". Depending on security of architecture, the memory may have additional fields which protect the address of A and B from writes off of a program counter other than the writes done by Fn, and forbids writes at all to Fn's code segment. In this way I can make undue influence on Fn's will possible or impossible, depending on implementation.

But I can only even think about these things when I accept that wills can be free or constrained, that choices can be made, and that functions can be represented.

But the point is, this requires deterministic function to be, well... Deterministic! It is exactly determinism that makes simulation and thus prediction using simulations of futures which "may" happen* "if prerequisites to that future are met."

One must accept that fantasy is useful in this way before they can even think about a function that can fantasize about the time it takes another function to run, and be right about it's predictions, for example.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
The term free will is not free will. Its just a set of words, a term, used in reference to several different concepts,

That's a good start. You apparently acknowledge that the term 'free will' can refer to more than one concept.

Give it a break. We have been through this countless times. Stop acting like every post is the first time. its more than a little ridiculous.

The problem is that you refuse to accept any usage which refers to a concept of free will which is not your preferred usage - you dismiss alternatives as incorrect usage.

For heavens sake, the topic of these theads happens to be the compatibilist definition of free will, where compatibilists argue for the affirmative and incompatibilists argue why its not sufficient to prove the proposition.

You simply don't understand how language usage works. When a word/term has more than one meaning in common usage then no single usage is 'correct'.

The problem is that you fail to grasp the simple fact that the word is not the thing, that the word tree is no more a tree than the compatibilist definition of free will is free will.

Or more to the point, why it fails as a definition.

I suppose you may be implying (though you don't explicitly make the claim) that the compatibilist usage is in some sense wrong because it's really not what people mean by the term. However, bearing in mind that 60% of professional philosophers "accept or lean towards" compatibilism (20202 PhilPapers Survey ) this would be a tough position to support.

You are way off the mark. I could try to explain again, but as it has been explained too many times and I feel it would be a waste of my time.

Maybe I will when I get back home.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
That confirms it, you dont have a clue about the terms of this debate
You realize that one of the things I study is cryptology, yes?

Randomness is not an easy thing to talk about.

At any rate, I keep inviting you to find where I actually demand there must be randomness (I don't, beyond pointing out that there are events in the universe whose resolution has no correlation to other events which happen).

As it is, I've discussed this again and again, because YOU are the one who keeps bringing it up!

I've presented a compatibilist choice, an event wherein an agent with many alternatives presented to it, based on proclivity, reduces the set of alternatives to a subset. Really we're just naming the objects in the set "alternatives", because we are discussing a selection of the set, a "choice".

In a software example, an example that produces a machine language rendition of such a structure:
Code:
int proclivity;
int A = 5;
Int B = -5;
.
.
.
int Fn(int var)
{
static int A = 5;
static int B = -5;
if ((A+1)< A)
A=5;

if ((B-1) > B)
B=-5;

if (var < proclivity)
return A++;
else if (var >= proclivity)
return B--;

}

This is a function. A human mind could contain this function. My human mind does contain a slowly functioning version of this function.

This creates a structure that, for argument sake, does not get to decide upon its own proclivity on whether to return A or B (whether it returns a positive or negative number). It does, however, self-regulate the A and B it returns when it does.

It creates a private A and B inaccessible to other functions (an aspect of "itself"). It regulates those aspects of "self", even if it does not regulate proclivity (which from the perspective of the function may even be accessed as a constant).

Would you disagree that this function CAN return a positive or negative number?

Would you disagree that this function cannot possibly return 0?

This function is not even restricted to a single possible return for a given var.

At best the reader can say, dependent on the state and number of calls, what it would return if called with a value.

It did not need to write its own machine code to have the function it does. It does not need to decide it's own proclivities to be structure which decides based on those proclivities.

It is a choice function, because it is a function that takes an input (var), and uses that to render a subset (the return value) from a set ({A, B}).

Now, the compatibilist would say "well, given this model (the text) of this system (the machine code), I can design a function that will, with a single execution, render 5,-5."

Assuming 16 bit integers in two's compliment...

Assuming that an unknown and unknowable number of calls to Fn have occurred, what is the greatest number of calls required to produce this output?

What is the greatest number of calls to reach N,-N?

N,M?

From a previous solution what is the function that will produce an accurate count of the number of calls to transition from N,M to J,K?

What can be said about the unknown and unknowable number of calls made to Fn previously, as a function of the return values?

How do these change when the proclivity is not accessible to read?

Does being unable to read the proclivity but being able to write blindly to it change this in any way?

How about for n-bit integers in two's compliment?for n*b width signed modulo counters?

To answer any one of these questions which describe objective facts about all things which implement this function one must accept the idea of "may" and "if". One must accept that certain entailments can be calculated on without actually doing a direct entailment, accept that representation may occur.

I can make an object in the universe that behaves this way, and know how it will behave before it ever does any behaving.

I can have a function which is set up to call Fn some number of times, sleep on that thread, release the user of Fn, and have the thread wake just in time to observe the log output of the system hitting an overflow and going to 5,-5 on the other thread, and then go to sleep again without actually checking whether it "caught" the event.

I could have a function that observes memory for that event of the overflow to locate the addresses of A and B and violate the privacy of Fn's static values, and so violate the "free will" of Fn". Depending on security of architecture, the memory may have additional fields which protect the address of A and B from writes off of a program counter other than the writes done by Fn, and forbids writes at all to Fn's code segment. In this way I can make undue influence on Fn's will possible or impossible, depending on implementation.

But I can only even think about these things when I accept that wills can be free or constrained, that choices can be made, and that functions can be represented.

But the point is, this requires deterministic function to be, well... Deterministic! It is exactly determinism that makes simulation and thus prediction using simulations of futures which "may" happen* "if prerequisites to that future are met."

One must accept that fantasy is useful in this way before they can even think about a function that can fantasize about the time it takes another function to run, and be right about it's predictions, for example.

Poor Jarhyn, you missed the point entirely and now you are running naked through the briars and brambles of complete irrelevancy.

Get back on track, the issue is whether the notion of free will is compatible with determinism, just as you define it to be, no randomness....which means the system develops with no deviations or alternate action, just as you define it.

Try to keep focused.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
Entailment is not choice. If events proceed as they must, what must happen is not a matter of choice, and to label it as choice is false.

The determinism you're using is merely a skeleton, a series of abstract notions that conflict with the empirical evidence of how the world, and the people in it, actually work. It is unscientific.

The determinism I am using is precisely the same determinism that you use, minus the inclusion of choosing, because all actions are fixed by prior states of the system, with no deviations - just as you defined - therefore events within the system, including the brain activity that fixes the following action, are not chosen, they are determined, entailed, fixed, set, an immutable progression of events that involve no randomness or deviation.

Now that certainly is a problem for both choice and the idea of free will.

Determined actions of course proceed freely, without impediment and restriction just as determined, as they must.

The determinism I'm using is fleshed out with all the causal mechanisms in play. It can be safely embraced by science without becoming entrapped by all of the nonsensical statements that result from figurative thinking. Scientists are empiricists.

The only difference is the assertion of choosing. Choosing by definition requires the possibility of taking any one of a number of options at any time.

Yet your own definition does not allow alternate actions.

The causal mechanisms entail, they fix, they do not choose.

Without choosing, there is no dinner order.

Where did that come from? Of course there are orders placed. Each customer acts and orders according to their own proclivities....which nobody gets to choose, yet determine how and what you think and do in any given instance in time.

Each and every customer places their order accordingly, not as matter of free will but inner necessity.

Something that compatibilists tend to brush under the carpet.

The restaurant menu becomes a meaningless object. And the restaurant itself is rendered useless. That's how things work out with the incompatibilist definition of determinism.

Nothing of the sort. Nobody is the same. The menu caters for a range of tastes.

With a compatibilist definition of determinism, everyone gets to choose for themselves what they will order for dinner, even if their choice was always going to happen, because it was always going to be them making that choice.

Choosing is a deterministic causal mechanism performed by the central nervous system. We don't merely "feel" that we are able to choose, we actually observe ourselves choosing what we will order from the restaurant menu. And our objective observations are confirmed by the waiter, who brings us our dinner and the bill.

Prior states of the system setting current state of the system setting future states of the system is the causal mechanism of determinism. Choice doesnt come into it.

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.''

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
That confirms it, you dont have a clue about the terms of this debate
You realize that one of the things I study is cryptology, yes?

Randomness is not an easy thing to talk about.

At any rate, I keep inviting you to find where I actually demand there must be randomness (I don't, beyond pointing out that there are events in the universe whose resolution has no correlation to other events which happen).

As it is, I've discussed this again and again, because YOU are the one who keeps bringing it up!

I've presented a compatibilist choice, an event wherein an agent with many alternatives presented to it, based on proclivity, reduces the set of alternatives to a subset. Really we're just naming the objects in the set "alternatives", because we are discussing a selection of the set, a "choice".

In a software example, an example that produces a machine language rendition of such a structure:
Code:
int proclivity;
int A = 5;
Int B = -5;
.
.
.
int Fn(int var)
{
static int A = 5;
static int B = -5;
if ((A+1)< A)
A=5;

if ((B-1) > B)
B=-5;

if (var < proclivity)
return A++;
else if (var >= proclivity)
return B--;

}

This is a function. A human mind could contain this function. My human mind does contain a slowly functioning version of this function.

This creates a structure that, for argument sake, does not get to decide upon its own proclivity on whether to return A or B (whether it returns a positive or negative number). It does, however, self-regulate the A and B it returns when it does.

It creates a private A and B inaccessible to other functions (an aspect of "itself"). It regulates those aspects of "self", even if it does not regulate proclivity (which from the perspective of the function may even be accessed as a constant).

Would you disagree that this function CAN return a positive or negative number?

Would you disagree that this function cannot possibly return 0?

This function is not even restricted to a single possible return for a given var.

At best the reader can say, dependent on the state and number of calls, what it would return if called with a value.

It did not need to write its own machine code to have the function it does. It does not need to decide it's own proclivities to be structure which decides based on those proclivities.

It is a choice function, because it is a function that takes an input (var), and uses that to render a subset (the return value) from a set ({A, B}).

Now, the compatibilist would say "well, given this model (the text) of this system (the machine code), I can design a function that will, with a single execution, render 5,-5."

Assuming 16 bit integers in two's compliment...

Assuming that an unknown and unknowable number of calls to Fn have occurred, what is the greatest number of calls required to produce this output?

What is the greatest number of calls to reach N,-N?

N,M?

From a previous solution what is the function that will produce an accurate count of the number of calls to transition from N,M to J,K?

What can be said about the unknown and unknowable number of calls made to Fn previously, as a function of the return values?

How do these change when the proclivity is not accessible to read?

Does being unable to read the proclivity but being able to write blindly to it change this in any way?

How about for n-bit integers in two's compliment?for n*b width signed modulo counters?

To answer any one of these questions which describe objective facts about all things which implement this function one must accept the idea of "may" and "if". One must accept that certain entailments can be calculated on without actually doing a direct entailment, accept that representation may occur.

I can make an object in the universe that behaves this way, and know how it will behave before it ever does any behaving.

I can have a function which is set up to call Fn some number of times, sleep on that thread, release the user of Fn, and have the thread wake just in time to observe the log output of the system hitting an overflow and going to 5,-5 on the other thread, and then go to sleep again without actually checking whether it "caught" the event.

I could have a function that observes memory for that event of the overflow to locate the addresses of A and B and violate the privacy of Fn's static values, and so violate the "free will" of Fn". Depending on security of architecture, the memory may have additional fields which protect the address of A and B from writes off of a program counter other than the writes done by Fn, and forbids writes at all to Fn's code segment. In this way I can make undue influence on Fn's will possible or impossible, depending on implementation.

But I can only even think about these things when I accept that wills can be free or constrained, that choices can be made, and that functions can be represented.

But the point is, this requires deterministic function to be, well... Deterministic! It is exactly determinism that makes simulation and thus prediction using simulations of futures which "may" happen* "if prerequisites to that future are met."

One must accept that fantasy is useful in this way before they can even think about a function that can fantasize about the time it takes another function to run, and be right about it's predictions, for example.

Poor Jarhyn, you missed the point entirely and now you are running naked through the briars and brambles of complete irrelevancy.

Get back on track, the issue is whether the notion of free will is compatible with determinism, just as you define it to be, no randomness....which means the system develops with no deviations or alternate action, just as you define it.

Try to keep focused.
The point is that you use language in a way that prevents you from answering any of those questions without violating your declaration that the words "if, could, may" are nonsensical. Would you LIKE me dogging and quoting you on all the rest of the forums where you casually slip so that everyone can see how silly you have been?

"if, could, may" allow calculating: knowing a system "shall, if" in turns allows "want && can" to be the deciding momentary factor to "inevitably shall" and then finally "did".

It's not about the system developing deviations. It's about the system being one which allows representation of its own general rules.

The operation of forward planning, decision making, it's all just that, using a representation of your target, but one that operates the same way.

In the above questions, if I were to move to say, int_64, you would grow old and die before it managed to reach the target value. If you put your target M,N out of range, say 0,0, then it would never terminate itself without undue influence.

That doesn't require randomness except in the statistical relational sense, the sense of correlation, and the only place that kind of randomness, ie, "an event impacting to but whose origin is uncorrelated or only chaotically correlated with the local state", and only that because such is necessary for mutations.

The capability which I am asking you to display, and which I am sure @Marvin Edwards could accomplish, is the display of showing that you can predict the behavior of a system without operating the system.

In fact you can predict all possible behaviors of a system, such that this representation of possible behaviors can be used to properly select a behavior from that set or even do some cheeky shit with memory access.

Only after reading the menu can an order at the restaurant take place. If reality is entailed, and for the sake of this discussion we all accept it can be such, then the menu describes freedoms in a vast infinity of constraints. Then when that list of freedoms meets internal necessitation, it further gets reduced. "What you can order" gets translated into a "single option you will order", and then as Marvin says the element whose internals rendered that process of isolating menu to selection gets the bill, because that's what it means to make a choice and to be responsible for it.

#### The AntiChris

##### Senior Member
You simply don't understand how language usage works. When a word/term has more than one meaning in common usage then no single usage is 'correct'.

The problem is that you fail to grasp the simple fact that the word is not the thing, that the word tree is no more a tree than the compatibilist definition of free will is free will.

This response bears absolutely no relationship to the text you quoted.

It's clear that you're totally convinced that the term 'free will' can only refer (legitimately) to a single concept (libertarian/contra causal free will)- any alternative usages in your dogmatic way of reasoning are somehow wrong. This isn't how language works.

Or more to the point, why it fails as a definition.

The only reason a dictionary definition could possibly fail is if it doesn't accurately reflect common usage.

Last edited:

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
The determinism I am using is precisely the same determinism that you use, minus the inclusion of choosing, because all actions are fixed by prior states of the system, with no deviations - just as you defined - therefore events within the system, including the brain activity that fixes the following action, are not chosen, they are determined, entailed, fixed, set, an immutable progression of events that involve no randomness or deviation.

No, the denial of choosing as a real event makes your determinism invalid. Choosing is just as real as walking, adding numbers, or brushing your teeth. These are all real events that actually happen in the real world. And every one of these events is as deterministically entailed as any other.

Every one of these events is a causal mechanism that alters the state of things. Choosing something from the menu causes the waiter to bring you that meal. Walking is how you got from the restaurant door to your table. The waiter adding the cost of the main course, the dessert, and the drinks produces the bill you must pay on the way out. Brushing your teeth helps prevent cavities and improves your smile.

Now that certainly is a problem for both choice and the idea of free will.

No, the problem is that the incompatibilist is denying that real events, events that we all can see, are actually happening, leaving us to conclude that the incompatibilist's claims are delusional.

Determined actions of course proceed freely, without impediment and restriction just as determined, as they must.

Choosing, just like walking, adding, or brushing your teeth must happen. If we claim that all events are determined to happen in exactly the way that they do happen, then all events must necessarily be included.

The determinism I'm using is fleshed out with all the causal mechanisms in play. It can be safely embraced by science without becoming entrapped by all of the nonsensical statements that result from figurative thinking. Scientists are empiricists.

The only difference is the assertion of choosing. Choosing by definition requires the possibility of taking any one of a number of options at any time.

Another problem with the incompatibilist's notion of determinism is that it conflates the notion of possibility with the notion of actuality. It figuratively assumes that if there is only one actuality, then it is AS IF there is only one possibility, and that if there is only one thing that will happen, then it is AS IF there is only one thing that can happen.

The flaw in that theory is that the notion of possibility is the logical token by which we deal with matters of uncertainty. When we do not know what will happen, we imagine what can happen, to prepare for what does happen. Will the traffic light be red or green when we arrive? We don't know. But we do know that it COULD be red and it also COULD be green when we arrive.

The notion of possibility is used in choosing, inventing, planning, and other human activities that utilize our imagination. The notion of multiple possibilities cannot be corrupted by conflating it with the single actuality without destroying these human abilities.

The figurative thinking that conflates multiple possibilities, the many things that we can do or the many things that can happen, with the single thing that we will do or the single thing that will happen, is only okay when we do not take it literally.

Literally, multiple things can happen but only one thing will happen.
Literally, there are multiple possibilities on the menu, but only one of them will become the actual meal.

Yet your own definition does not allow alternate actions.

My definition does not fork things up by confusing the many things we can choose with the single thing that we will choose.

The items on the menu are called "possibilities". They are "real" possibilities because any one of them can actually be realized.
The meal on the table is called an "actuality". It is the single thing that was ordered, prepared, and set on the table in front of me.

Unlike the incompatibilists, I can tell the difference between a possibility and an actuality.

Each item on the menu is an alternate action, a real possibility that can become an actual meal if I choose to order it. That's an empirical fact. Only one of those items was always going to be chosen by me tonight. That is another empirical fact. These two facts are both true, and neither fact contradicts the other.

Without choosing, there is no dinner order.

Where did that come from?

If I fail to order something from the menu, then obviously the waiter will bring me no dinner.

Of course there are orders placed.

Indeed there are orders placed, because everyone knows that they must decide what they will order, and they all go about considering the many possibilities on the menu, choosing what they would like, and telling the waiter what they will have for dinner.

Each customer acts and orders according to their own proclivities...

And those proclivities may be satisfied by any number of items on the menu, that is why choosing is required.

Each and every customer places their order accordingly, not as matter of free will but inner necessity.

The inner causal mechanism that necessitates the choice is called "choosing".
When that choosing is free of coercion and undue influence, it is called "free will".

Something that compatibilists tend to brush under the carpet.

The only things brushed under the carpet are the incompatibilist claims that what we observe happening is somehow not really happening.

... The menu caters for a range of tastes.

More than that, the menu allows for one person's tastes tonight to be different tomorrow night. Each person gets to choose from multiple possibilities what they will have for dinner each night.

Prior states of the system setting current state of the system setting future states of the system is the causal mechanism of determinism. Choice doesnt come into it.

Sorry, but your premise does not justify your conclusion. Choosing is a real causal mechanism that must be included if your determinism is to be valid. Currently, your determinism is not valid.

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.''

Correct. All of the possibilities on the menu will present themselves to us without randomness or variation. And we will consider these alternate possibilities exactly as we do consider them, and choose from them the single dinner order that we were always going to choose, without randomness or variation. Everything happens just so, exactly as it does happen. You see the choosing? Each person deciding for themselves what they would order, free of coercion and undue influence? It was always going to happen just so. It was always inevitable that it would be a choice of their own free will.

When viewed objectively, determinism doesn't actually change anything, ever.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
That confirms it, you dont have a clue about the terms of this debate
You realize that one of the things I study is cryptology, yes?

Randomness is not an easy thing to talk about.

At any rate, I keep inviting you to find where I actually demand there must be randomness (I don't, beyond pointing out that there are events in the universe whose resolution has no correlation to other events which happen).

As it is, I've discussed this again and again, because YOU are the one who keeps bringing it up!

I've presented a compatibilist choice, an event wherein an agent with many alternatives presented to it, based on proclivity, reduces the set of alternatives to a subset. Really we're just naming the objects in the set "alternatives", because we are discussing a selection of the set, a "choice".

In a software example, an example that produces a machine language rendition of such a structure:
Code:
int proclivity;
int A = 5;
Int B = -5;
.
.
.
int Fn(int var)
{
static int A = 5;
static int B = -5;
if ((A+1)< A)
A=5;

if ((B-1) > B)
B=-5;

if (var < proclivity)
return A++;
else if (var >= proclivity)
return B--;

}

This is a function. A human mind could contain this function. My human mind does contain a slowly functioning version of this function.

This creates a structure that, for argument sake, does not get to decide upon its own proclivity on whether to return A or B (whether it returns a positive or negative number). It does, however, self-regulate the A and B it returns when it does.

It creates a private A and B inaccessible to other functions (an aspect of "itself"). It regulates those aspects of "self", even if it does not regulate proclivity (which from the perspective of the function may even be accessed as a constant).

Would you disagree that this function CAN return a positive or negative number?

Would you disagree that this function cannot possibly return 0?

This function is not even restricted to a single possible return for a given var.

At best the reader can say, dependent on the state and number of calls, what it would return if called with a value.

It did not need to write its own machine code to have the function it does. It does not need to decide it's own proclivities to be structure which decides based on those proclivities.

It is a choice function, because it is a function that takes an input (var), and uses that to render a subset (the return value) from a set ({A, B}).

Now, the compatibilist would say "well, given this model (the text) of this system (the machine code), I can design a function that will, with a single execution, render 5,-5."

Assuming 16 bit integers in two's compliment...

Assuming that an unknown and unknowable number of calls to Fn have occurred, what is the greatest number of calls required to produce this output?

What is the greatest number of calls to reach N,-N?

N,M?

From a previous solution what is the function that will produce an accurate count of the number of calls to transition from N,M to J,K?

What can be said about the unknown and unknowable number of calls made to Fn previously, as a function of the return values?

How do these change when the proclivity is not accessible to read?

Does being unable to read the proclivity but being able to write blindly to it change this in any way?

How about for n-bit integers in two's compliment?for n*b width signed modulo counters?

To answer any one of these questions which describe objective facts about all things which implement this function one must accept the idea of "may" and "if". One must accept that certain entailments can be calculated on without actually doing a direct entailment, accept that representation may occur.

I can make an object in the universe that behaves this way, and know how it will behave before it ever does any behaving.

I can have a function which is set up to call Fn some number of times, sleep on that thread, release the user of Fn, and have the thread wake just in time to observe the log output of the system hitting an overflow and going to 5,-5 on the other thread, and then go to sleep again without actually checking whether it "caught" the event.

I could have a function that observes memory for that event of the overflow to locate the addresses of A and B and violate the privacy of Fn's static values, and so violate the "free will" of Fn". Depending on security of architecture, the memory may have additional fields which protect the address of A and B from writes off of a program counter other than the writes done by Fn, and forbids writes at all to Fn's code segment. In this way I can make undue influence on Fn's will possible or impossible, depending on implementation.

But I can only even think about these things when I accept that wills can be free or constrained, that choices can be made, and that functions can be represented.

But the point is, this requires deterministic function to be, well... Deterministic! It is exactly determinism that makes simulation and thus prediction using simulations of futures which "may" happen* "if prerequisites to that future are met."

One must accept that fantasy is useful in this way before they can even think about a function that can fantasize about the time it takes another function to run, and be right about it's predictions, for example.

Poor Jarhyn, you missed the point entirely and now you are running naked through the briars and brambles of complete irrelevancy.

Get back on track, the issue is whether the notion of free will is compatible with determinism, just as you define it to be, no randomness....which means the system develops with no deviations or alternate action, just as you define it.

Try to keep focused.
The point is that you use language in a way that prevents you from answering any of those questions without violating your declaration that the words "if, could, may" are nonsensical. Would you LIKE me dogging and quoting you on all the rest of the forums where you casually slip so that everyone can see how silly you have been?

"if, could, may" allow calculating: knowing a system "shall, if" in turns allows "want && can" to be the deciding momentary factor to "inevitably shall" and then finally "did".

It's not about the system developing deviations. It's about the system being one which allows representation of its own general rules.

The operation of forward planning, decision making, it's all just that, using a representation of your target, but one that operates the same way.

In the above questions, if I were to move to say, int_64, you would grow old and die before it managed to reach the target value. If you put your target M,N out of range, say 0,0, then it would never terminate itself without undue influence.

That doesn't require randomness except in the statistical relational sense, the sense of correlation, and the only place that kind of randomness, ie, "an event impacting to but whose origin is uncorrelated or only chaotically correlated with the local state", and only that because such is necessary for mutations.

The capability which I am asking you to display, and which I am sure @Marvin Edwards could accomplish, is the display of showing that you can predict the behavior of a system without operating the system.

In fact you can predict all possible behaviors of a system, such that this representation of possible behaviors can be used to properly select a behavior from that set or even do some cheeky shit with memory access.

Only after reading the menu can an order at the restaurant take place. If reality is entailed, and for the sake of this discussion we all accept it can be such, then the menu describes freedoms in a vast infinity of constraints. Then when that list of freedoms meets internal necessitation, it further gets reduced. "What you can order" gets translated into a "single option you will order", and then as Marvin says the element whose internals rendered that process of isolating menu to selection gets the bill, because that's what it means to make a choice and to be responsible for it.

So what part of 'compatibilism does not relate to either random or probabilistic events' do you find hard to understand?

There is nothing further that I need to explain. Incompatibilism - the reasons why free will is incompatible with determinism and why the compatibilist definition fails has been thoroughly explained.

The problem is your inability or unwillingness to understand the issue, the implications of your definition of determinism, that randomness is irrelevant in relation to compatibilism, that computers are not conscious as you have claimed, etc.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
So what part of 'compatibilism does not relate to either random or probabilistic events' do you find hard to understand?
As I said, if you want to make such a claim and sway anyone with the power to do logical reasoning you will find where I invoke either randomness deviation in that post. Just highlight it red*.

Next time you accuse me of trying to bolster an argument with something I do not use to bolster an argument I will make a hyperbolic example of the same caliber just so people see how ridiculous and dishonest you are being here.

*This is a trick question. You cannot because it is not there.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
You simply don't understand how language usage works. When a word/term has more than one meaning in common usage then no single usage is 'correct'.

The problem is that you fail to grasp the simple fact that the word is not the thing, that the word tree is no more a tree than the compatibilist definition of free will is free will.

This response bears absolutely no relationship to the text you quoted

It is relevant to your rationale; 'that's how people use words and terms.'

Don't you think that was the point?
It's clear that you're totally convinced that the term 'free will' can only refer (legitimately) to a single concept (libertarian/contra causal free will)- any alternative usages in your dogmatic way of reasoning are somehow wrong. This isn't how language works.

Not again. Are you even reading what I say?

Do I have to chant "Libertarian free will, Compatibilist free will, common usage/making choices, etc." over and over? Just to get a response like nothing was ever said? This has to be groundhog day every day?

Or more to the point, why it fails as a definition.

The only reason a dictionary definition could possibly fail is if it doesn't accurately reflect common usage.

For heavens sake, common usage alone does not prove the proposition, God, satan, angels, etc, are no more established as actual entities by common usage than does the common usage of the term 'free will' establish that will is indeed free.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
So what part of 'compatibilism does not relate to either random or probabilistic events' do you find hard to understand?
As I said, if you want to make such a claim and sway anyone with the power to do logical reasoning you will find where I invoke either randomness deviation in that post. Just highlight it red*.

Next time you accuse me of trying to bolster an argument with something I do not use to bolster an argument I will make a hyperbolic example of the same caliber just so people see how ridiculous and dishonest you are being here.

*This is a trick question. You cannot because it is not there.

You have invoked deviations and alternate actions on many occasions, just quickly:

"There is, after all, a real world we return to when we wake from our simulations inside ourselves. Even these dreams are in their own way real, real enforced relationships between data whose manipulation acts relatively to objects outside. But still... one must dream of deviations for us to make choice of these dreams as to which to realize." Jarhyn Post 1302

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
So what part of 'compatibilism does not relate to either random or probabilistic events' do you find hard to understand?
As I said, if you want to make such a claim and sway anyone with the power to do logical reasoning you will find where I invoke either randomness deviation in that post. Just highlight it red*.

Next time you accuse me of trying to bolster an argument with something I do not use to bolster an argument I will make a hyperbolic example of the same caliber just so people see how ridiculous and dishonest you are being here.

*This is a trick question. You cannot because it is not there.

You have invoked deviations and alternate actions on many occasions, just quickly:

"There is, after all, a real world we return to when we wake from our simulations inside ourselves. Even these dreams are in their own way real, real enforced relationships between data whose manipulation acts relatively to objects outside. But still... one must dream of deviations for us to make choice of these dreams as to which to realize." Jarhyn Post 1302
Except that fantasies aren't actual deviations. They are dreams and fantasies, images, and while the rules applied for generating them, when used to this end, are strictly enforced as the same general rules of function of reality, imagined deviations are not actually deviations at all.

The line on the menu that says steak represents a series of the actions the kitchen MAY do IF you say "steak". It doesn't actually contain a whole universe where you say steak. It only suggests that the laws of the universe are aligned such that IF you say "steak please" THEN the predictable result WOULD be the steak on your plate.

This is not a deviation in reality so determinism does not have the power to rule it out, because there is nothing ruling it in! The only thing that would rule such a thing in is the decision to do so, and the person evaluating it in the diner that we are hypothetically observing is not going to. They are going to do exactly one thing, and only after reading and evaluating the menu: they will say "salad".

Nowhere does that change the fact that IF any diner sits in a seat and says STEAK, then they will get a steak and a bill for steak and IF any diner sits in a seat and says SALAD, they will get a salad and a bill for salad.

No actual deviations are happening here.

Actual alternatives do not necessitate alternalities. They are just objects in a set presented to decision.

If I send an array to a POP function, the elements of the array are there and are defined as alternatives not because they are selected or ever will be; they are identified as alternatives because that's just the contextual word for "members" when the "members" are in the set presented to a choice function.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
The determinism I am using is precisely the same determinism that you use, minus the inclusion of choosing, because all actions are fixed by prior states of the system, with no deviations - just as you defined - therefore events within the system, including the brain activity that fixes the following action, are not chosen, they are determined, entailed, fixed, set, an immutable progression of events that involve no randomness or deviation.

No, the denial of choosing as a real event makes your determinism invalid. Choosing is just as real as walking, adding numbers, or brushing your teeth. These are all real events that actually happen in the real world. And every one of these events is as deterministically entailed as any other.

It's not my determinism. It is determinism. There is no mention of 'choosing' in determinism except when it slipped in by compatibilists seeking to support their contention of free will.....which is not actually based on choosing between options because there are no alternate actions within the system.

Every one of these events is a causal mechanism that alters the state of things. Choosing something from the menu causes the waiter to bring you that meal. Walking is how you got from the restaurant door to your table. The waiter adding the cost of the main course, the dessert, and the drinks produces the bill you must pay on the way out. Brushing your teeth helps prevent cavities and improves your smile.

Events don't alter because they are chosen. They alter according to prior states of the system where all events progress and evolve as they are determined, not chosen, and proceed without deviation.

Now that certainly is a problem for both choice and the idea of free will.

No, the problem is that the incompatibilist is denying that real events, events that we all can see, are actually happening, leaving us to conclude that the incompatibilist's claims are delusional.

You know that your definition does not permit deviations or choosing alternate actions.

So insisting that real choices are being made is to ignore the very terms and conditions that compatibilists describe.

Determined actions of course proceed freely, without impediment and restriction just as determined, as they must.

Choosing, just like walking, adding, or brushing your teeth must happen. If we claim that all events are determined to happen in exactly the way that they do happen, then all events must necessarily be included.

If all events must necessarily happen as determined, there is no choice involved.

A singular action that has no alternatives is hardly a matter of choice.

The determinism I'm using is fleshed out with all the causal mechanisms in play. It can be safely embraced by science without becoming entrapped by all of the nonsensical statements that result from figurative thinking. Scientists are empiricists.

The figurative thinking lies at the feet of compatibilism, with those who insist on inserting the word 'choosing' within the definition of a system that has none because there are no alternate actions.

The only difference is the assertion of choosing. Choosing by definition requires the possibility of taking any one of a number of options at any time.

Another problem with the incompatibilist's notion of determinism is that it conflates the notion of possibility with the notion of actuality. It figuratively assumes that if there is only one actuality, then it is AS IF there is only one possibility, and that if there is only one thing that will happen, then it is AS IF there is only one thing that can happen.

Nope, the terms of your own definition of determinism does not permit alternate actions.

Incompatibilists abide by the given terms. Compatibilists try to circumvent their given definition through word play and subterfuge.

The flaw in that theory is that the notion of possibility is the logical token by which we deal with matters of uncertainty. When we do not know what will happen, we imagine what can happen, to prepare for what does happen. Will the traffic light be red or green when we arrive? We don't know. But we do know that it COULD be red and it also COULD be green when we arrive.

That has no bearing on how the system evolves. In fact every step of our process of thoughts and imaginings must necessarily lead to the inevitable action, every thought and imagining being themselves a part of the unfolding system, therefore inevitable.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
For heavens sake, common usage alone does not prove the proposition, God, satan, angels, etc, are no more established as actual entities by common usage than does the common usage of the term 'free will' establish that will is indeed free.

Well, let's go to the restaurant(). If we saw God, Satan, or angels in the restaurant, then that would convince us that they were actual entities. But, we don't see them, not there nor anywhere else. So it is reasonable to presume that they do not exist.

But we do see people open the menu, consider their options, and tell the waiter what they will have for dinner. So, we cannot reasonably deny that choosing exists. Choosing, like walking or chewing gum, is something that we all observe people doing. So these are not imaginary events. They are quite real.

A determinist cannot deny the existence of any real event, because the whole notion of determinism is based upon the assumption that every event is reliably caused by prior events. And if you start erasing events, the causal chains collapse.

There is no way to get from the event "opening the menu" to the event "ordering a meal" without "choosing from the menu what we will order" between them.

Although you would like to use some other term, such as "information processing", the proper term is "choosing", because it distinguishes one form of information processing from another, such as "performing math calculations" or "reading a book" or "solving a puzzle". All of these mental activities are included within "information processing". And you will find all of them: choose, calculate, read, and solve described in our dictionaries. Each represents a different real operation that actual people actually perform. Thus, we cannot reasonably claim that these operations do not exist.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
DBT, no matter how many times you screech that because there are no alternalities that there are no alternatives it does not establish your claim.

Alternatives are observable all over. And you're right, determinism does not mention choices any more than the definition of television makes mention about jumping over sharks on waterskis.

The problem with your reasoning on that front is that while determinism does not mention choosing in the definition and while television does not mention shark jumping, neither does this omission of a possible state rule* it out!

All that is required is the formulation of a menu and the presentation of that menu to an entity which will read it and make a choice of it's elements such that a subset, determined by the predelictions of the entity, is returned.

That's it. That's all that's required. It requires the statement "IF this then that" to be true. It does not require "this" to be true; It is a statement about the rules of entailment, not the contents of what is being entailed upon.

*Note the use of RULE here. The RULES do not forbid it. The state, however, may.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
So what part of 'compatibilism does not relate to either random or probabilistic events' do you find hard to understand?
As I said, if you want to make such a claim and sway anyone with the power to do logical reasoning you will find where I invoke either randomness deviation in that post. Just highlight it red*.

Next time you accuse me of trying to bolster an argument with something I do not use to bolster an argument I will make a hyperbolic example of the same caliber just so people see how ridiculous and dishonest you are being here.

*This is a trick question. You cannot because it is not there.

You have invoked deviations and alternate actions on many occasions, just quickly:

"There is, after all, a real world we return to when we wake from our simulations inside ourselves. Even these dreams are in their own way real, real enforced relationships between data whose manipulation acts relatively to objects outside. But still... one must dream of deviations for us to make choice of these dreams as to which to realize." Jarhyn Post 1302
Except that fantasies aren't actual deviations. They are dreams and fantasies, images, and while the rules applied for generating them, when used to this end, are strictly enforced as the same general rules of function of reality, imagined deviations are not actually deviations at all.

You imply it in your wording when you say: "one must dream of deviations for us to make choice of these dreams as to which to realize" - you must realize that 'dreaming of deviations' does not make the outcome a choice because, as you say, the dreaming of deviations is itself fixed by the system as it evolves, as is the following action.

Which makes you use 'make choice' misleading and false, because at no point is there a deviation or choice. Not in the necessary primary imagining of deviations (an illusion) or the action that follows.

What you say is inheritly contradictory.

And you imply it here: "I may not know which dinner I want. It may take some mental exercise to figure it out, put together some choices, and actually choose." - Jarhyn post #1297

You so called clarification does not work "put together some choices and actually choose" does not work because every mental event is subject to natural necessity and leads inevitably to the one action, where nothing is chosen, not your musings, not your thoughts, not your imagining and not the action that necessarily follows.

So, again, be it intentional or unintentional, your wording - "put together some choices, and actually choose" is false and misleading.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
DBT, no matter how many times you screech that because there are no alternalities that there are no alternatives it does not establish your claim.

Alternatives are observable all over. And you're right, determinism does not mention choices any more than the definition of television makes mention about jumping over sharks on waterskis.

The problem with your reasoning on that front is that while determinism does not mention choosing in the definition and while television does not mention shark jumping, neither does this omission of a possible state rule* it out!

All that is required is the formulation of a menu and the presentation of that menu to an entity which will read it and make a choice of it's elements such that a subset, determined by the predelictions of the entity, is returned.

That's it. That's all that's required. It requires the statement "IF this then that" to be true. It does not require "this" to be true; It is a statement about the rules of entailment, not the contents of what is being entailed upon.

*Note the use of RULE here. The RULES do not forbid it. The state, however, may.

Screech? I remind you of the terms of your own definition of determinism. To no evail because you still bang on about "put together some choices and actually choose" regardless of this assertion contradicting your own terms of reference.

That you are yet to grasp the nature of choice or the terms of your own definition of determinism by invoking "actually choose" demonstrates that you don't undersand either.

You don't understand that to 'actually choose' requires the possibility of alternate actions.

Which you both imply and deny.

The screeching you hear is yours, Sweetie.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
For heavens sake, common usage alone does not prove the proposition, God, satan, angels, etc, are no more established as actual entities by common usage than does the common usage of the term 'free will' establish that will is indeed free.

Well, let's go to the restaurant(). If we saw God, Satan, or angels in the restaurant, then that would convince us that they were actual entities. But, we don't see them, not there nor anywhere else. So it is reasonable to presume that they do not exist.

But we do see people open the menu, consider their options, and tell the waiter what they will have for dinner. So, we cannot reasonably deny that choosing exists. Choosing, like walking or chewing gum, is something that we all observe people doing. So these are not imaginary events. They are quite real.

A determinist cannot deny the existence of any real event, because the whole notion of determinism is based upon the assumption that every event is reliably caused by prior events. And if you start erasing events, the causal chains collapse.

There is no way to get from the event "opening the menu" to the event "ordering a meal" without "choosing from the menu what we will order" between them.

Although you would like to use some other term, such as "information processing", the proper term is "choosing", because it distinguishes one form of information processing from another, such as "performing math calculations" or "reading a book" or "solving a puzzle". All of these mental activities are included within "information processing". And you will find all of them: choose, calculate, read, and solve described in our dictionaries. Each represents a different real operation that actual people actually perform. Thus, we cannot reasonably claim that these operations do not exist.

Once again, your own definition of determinism does not permit alternate actions, and without the possibility of alternate actions, there is no 'choosing' because 'choosing' by definition requires the possibility of alternate actions.

Given that the system just evolves without deviation, all events are subject to natural necessity, not choice.

#### The AntiChris

##### Senior Member
You simply don't understand how language usage works. When a word/term has more than one meaning in common usage then no single usage is 'correct'.

The problem is that you fail to grasp the simple fact that the word is not the thing, that the word tree is no more a tree than the compatibilist definition of free will is free will.

This response bears absolutely no relationship to the text you quoted

It is relevant to your rationale; 'that's how people use words and terms.'

Don't you think that was the point?

No.

Your "the word tree is no more a tree than the compatibilist definition of free will is free will" is baffling. Of course the compatibilist definition of free will is free will - that's the point of a definition. I suspect what you really mean is that it's not your preconceived notion of free will.
Or more to the point, why it fails as a definition.

The only reason a dictionary definition could possibly fail is if it doesn't accurately reflect common usage.

For heavens sake, common usage alone does not prove the proposition,
I have no idea what "the proposition" is here. Claiming common usage simply establishes that a community of competent English speakers use a word/term in a particular way, nothing more.
God, satan, angels, etc, are no more established as actual entities by common usage than does the common usage of the term 'free will' establish that will is indeed free.

The fact is that they can be, dependent on the referents of the particular definition (usage). Remember my Clapton is God example (Clapton exists, supernatural beings don't exist)? Are you aware that wealthy entrepreneurial investors are also known as angels?

The referent of libertarian free will (contra-causal will) doesn't exist in reality. Given the libertarian definition, free will does not exist.

The referent of compatibilist free will (human activity without coercion or other forms of undue influence) clearly does exist. Given the compatibilist definition, free will does exist.

So, it turns out that it is possible for free will to exist and to not exist, dependent on the definition in use. That's the nature of language.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
The denial of choosing as a real event makes your determinism invalid. Choosing is just as real as walking, adding numbers, or brushing your teeth. These are all real events that actually happen in the real world. And every one of these events is as deterministically entailed as any other.

... There is no mention of 'choosing' in determinism except when it slipped in by compatibilists seeking to support their contention of free will.....

There is no mention of 'brushing your teeth' in determinism either. But, just like choosing, it is a deterministic event. Would you deny that 'teeth brushing' is a real event, claiming it is slipped in by the American Dental Association, to support their contention that the 'teeth brushing' event is a true causal mechanism that reduces cavities?

The definition of determinism does not require a list of all of the events that it encompasses. Determinism simply asserts that ALL events are reliably caused by prior events. This includes the events of walking, talking, chewing gum, calculating sums, and choosing what we will have for dinner.

... which is not actually based on choosing between options because there are no alternate actions within the system.

And yet there is the menu, filled with alternate actions, and we must choose one of them if we are to have our dinner. And if you smile in a mirror, you can see the multiple teeth that you need to brush. And you had best hope that if you ever get a cavity, that your dentist will choose the correct tooth to drill!

Choosing is a real event that takes place in the real world. Determinism, to be valid, may not erase any real events, because if it does, the causal chains collapse. So, choosing not only will happen, it necessarily must happen in a deterministic world.

Events don't alter because they are chosen. They alter according to prior states of the system where all events progress and evolve as they are determined, not chosen, and proceed without deviation.

Nothing is being altered. Choosing causally determines what we will have for dinner. And it was always going to happen that we would be making that choice from the restaurant menu, according to our own goals and reasons, exactly as we did.

Determinism doesn't change anything that happens. Determinism doesn't change why anything happens. It simply asserts that all events will be reliably caused by prior events. Choosing is the prior event that causes our dinner order. And, because it was actually us doing the choosing, the waiter will bring the meal, and the bill for it, to us, and to no one else.

You know that your definition does not permit deviations or choosing alternate actions.

My definition permits everything that actually does happen to happen. Choosing happens, and determinism does not prevent it from happening, but rather necessitates that it will happen, exactly as it does happen.

The incompatibilist cripples their determinism, by asserting that events that obviously are happening are not "really" happening. It is a delusion caused by figurative thinking.

So insisting that real choices are being made is to ignore the very terms and conditions that compatibilists describe.

I have explicitly given you the very terms and conditions that my compatibilism describes. Everything that happens is reliably caused by prior events. We, ourselves, in nearly all cases, happen to be the most meaningful and relevant prior causes of our deliberate actions. The act of deliberation is normally the most meaningful and relevant cause of the deliberate act (exceptions would include things like a significant mental illness, in which case the illness is held responsible).

If all events must necessarily happen as determined, there is no choice involved.

Clearly false, as easily demonstrated in any restaurant.

A singular action that has no alternatives is hardly a matter of choice.

The alternatives are there on the restaurant menu. We have no alternative but to consider the alternatives. The series of events that takes us through the choosing process are deterministic, of course. But that series of events, that proceed without deviation, constitute the choosing operation itself.

Choosing is a deterministic event. And free will is likewise a deterministic event.

Free will does not require freedom from deterministic causal necessity, it only requires freedom from coercion and undue influence. Nothing more. Nothing less.

We may be tempted into figurative thinking, such as picturing causal necessity AS IF it were someone holding a gun to our head or otherwise forcing us to do something against our will. But that is never the case with causal necessity. What we will inevitably do by causal necessity is exactly identical to us just being us, doing what we choose to do. It is not a meaningful constraint. It is never something that we can or need to be "free of". It is nothing more than ordinary cause and effect, something that we all take for granted.

The determinism I'm using is fleshed out with all the causal mechanisms in play. It can be safely embraced by science without becoming entrapped by all of the nonsensical statements that result from figurative thinking. Scientists are empiricists.

The figurative thinking lies at the feet of compatibilism, with those who insist on inserting the word 'choosing' within the definition of a system that has none because there are no alternate actions.

The test for figurative thinking is simple: compare what is said to what is actually observed to be happening. Are the people in the restaurant actually choosing from the menu what they will order for dinner? Yes. Choosing is a logical operation that inputs multiple options, applies some criteria of comparative evaluation, and outputs a single choice. There is the literal menu containing multiple options, there is the literal dinner order given to the waiter. The criteria of evaluation is not directly observable to us, but we can ask any customer how they went about deciding to order that meal, and most of them will be able to tell us.

So, choosing literally (actually, objectively, really and truly) happened. The compatibilist's claim is literal. Only the incompatibilist's claim is figurative.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Screech? I remind you of the terms of your own definition of determinism. To no evail because you still bang on about "put together some choices and actually choose" regardless of this assertion contradicting your own terms of reference
Yes. Screech. And here in the above is yet more screeching.

You claim a contradiction, I challenge you to find it. You have not, do not, and cannot.
You don't understand that to 'actually choose' requires the possibility of alternate actions
You really don't understand what is meant by possibility.

Again, "possibility" just says "given some set of rules and some presented momentary state under those rules, this is what would happen".

It is possible for a neutron star to continue to exist below the Chandrasekhar limit, IF it already existed.

It is not possible for a neutron star to form well below the Chandrasekhar limit in this region of spacetime, as far as we know.

Thus while it is possible for such a small neutron star to exist, it is not possible for it to exist here and now. It is not clear whether one would ever exist anywhere, ever, be without having been engineered on purpose.
you must realize that 'dreaming of deviations' does not make the outcome a choice because, as you say, the dreaming of deviations is itself fixed by the system as it evolves, as is the following action.
Your error in logic comes in your accusation that it is the dreaming that makes it a choice. It is it. It is not the dreaming but the material reality that the dreams were dreamed, and the images of them now exist.

What makes it a choice is that there is a list of objects, the list is presented to some algorithm, and the algorithm returns some subset of a set on the basis of the set presented to it.

Of set, select subset. That's a "choice". "Of set, select subset" is allowed to be determined by fixed process. It is in fact totally agnostic to the "how" of the selection.

The point is that we can watch and identify the fixed process, and in many cases modify it, knowing the nature of the selection from the apparatus of the selector. By so identifying responsible elements in a choice process, we can change what choices it makes.

This is why we make identification of which wills are free and why and in identifying responsibility unto corrections.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
You simply don't understand how language usage works. When a word/term has more than one meaning in common usage then no single usage is 'correct'.

The problem is that you fail to grasp the simple fact that the word is not the thing, that the word tree is no more a tree than the compatibilist definition of free will is free will.

This response bears absolutely no relationship to the text you quoted

It is relevant to your rationale; 'that's how people use words and terms.'

Don't you think that was the point?

No.

Your "the word tree is no more a tree than the compatibilist definition of free will is free will" is baffling. Of course the compatibilist definition of free will is free will - that's the point of a definition. I suspect what you really mean is that it's not your preconceived notion of free will.

It's baffling to you because it doesn't suit your needs.

Otherwise it's quite simple: words being symbols used for the purpose of communication, using words doesn't mean the object that is being referred to necessarily exists. Anyone should be able to understand this.

Or more to the point, why it fails as a definition.

The only reason a dictionary definition could possibly fail is if it doesn't accurately reflect common usage.

For heavens sake, common usage alone does not prove the proposition,
I have no idea what "the proposition" is here. Claiming common usage simply establishes that a community of competent English speakers use a word/term in a particular way, nothing more.
God, satan, angels, etc, are no more established as actual entities by common usage than does the common usage of the term 'free will' establish that will is indeed free.

The fact is that they can be, dependent on the referents of the particular definition (usage). Remember my Clapton is God example (Clapton exists, supernatural beings don't exist)? Are you aware that wealthy entrepreneurial investors are also known as angels?

For Heavens sake! Hey, I used the word 'Heaven,' does that mean that Heaven is a proven proposition?

The referent of libertarian free will (contra-causal will) doesn't exist in reality. Given the libertarian definition, free will does not exist.

The referent of compatibilist free will (human activity without coercion or other forms of undue influence) clearly does exist. Given the compatibilist definition, free will does exist.

So, it turns out that it is possible for free will to exist and to not exist, dependent on the definition in use. That's the nature of language.

Lordy, Lordy, what a muddle.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
Screech? I remind you of the terms of your own definition of determinism. To no evail because you still bang on about "put together some choices and actually choose" regardless of this assertion contradicting your own terms of reference
Yes. Screech. And here in the above is yet more screeching.

That's you Sweetie. It's called desperation.
You claim a contradiction, I challenge you to find it. You have not, do not, and cannot.

I have just pointed out your contradiction using quotes of what you have said.

Here it is again.

"I may not know which dinner I want. It may take some mental exercise to figure it out, put together some choices, and actually choose." - Jarhyn post #1297

The contradiction lies between the claim that you can "actually choose" and your definition of determinism that allows no alternate actions, randomness or deviation.

The reasons why you have presented a contradict lies in the nature and definition of choice or choosing.

Choice requires two or more realizable options, the actual possibility of taking any option at any given time, that is choice and in your words, 'actually choosing."

However, as it happens that your definition of determinism does not have sets of realizable options at any given moment in time, there can be none of you claimed 'actual choosing' at any time.

So you have a contradiction between your claim of 'actually choosing' and your definition of determinism that has no alternate action and no 'actually choosing'

Here is what said;
You imply it in your wording when you say:

You imply it in your wording when you say: "one must dream of deviations for us to make choice of these dreams as to which to realize" - you must realize that 'dreaming of deviations' does not make the outcome a choice because, as you say, the dreaming of deviations is itself fixed by the system as it evolves, as is the following action.

Which makes you use 'make choice' misleading and false, because at no point is there a deviation or choice. Not in the necessary primary imagining of deviations (an illusion) or the action that follows.

What you say is inheritly contradictory.

And you imply it here: "I may not know which dinner I want. It may take some mental exercise to figure it out, put together some choices, and actually choose." - Jarhyn post #1297

You so called clarification does not work "put together some choices and actually choose" does not work because every mental event is subject to natural necessity and leads inevitably to the one action, where nothing is chosen, not your musings, not your thoughts, not your imagining and not the action that necessarily follows.

So, again, be it intentional or unintentional, your wording - "put together some choices, and actually choose" is false and misleading.

So how is 'actually choosing' within a deterministic system supposed work? Random or probabilistic events in the brain?

#### The AntiChris

##### Senior Member
it's quite simple: words being symbols used for the purpose of communication, using words doesn't mean the object that is being referred to necessarily exists. Anyone should be able to understand this.

Right now, it looks as if you're deliberately attempting to misrepresent me. I've clearly responded to this mistaken criticism of my position on at least 4 previous occasions:

I guess what you're trying to say is that defining a concept doesn't establish its existence in reality and, of course, you're right...

You may define God as the Creator of the universe, for instance, but your definition has absolutely no bearing on whether a Creator of the universe exists or not.

That's exactly what I said in the piece you quoted : "I guess what you're trying to say is that defining a concept doesn't establish its existence in reality and, of course, you're right, "

You missed the point. Which is that words are just symbols, language, used to convey information in the form of references to objects, events, ideas, concepts, etc. Which doesn't mean that because words have meanings that what they refer exists; God, gods, angels, demons, etcetera.
No, I haven't missed your point. If you recall I already agreed with the point you're making in post #1247 ("If you define God as a supernatural entity, then many reasonable people would agree God doesn't exist").

God, satan, angels, etc, are no more established as actual entities by common usage than does the common usage of the term 'free will' establish that will is indeed free.

The fact is that they can be, dependent on the referents of the particular definition (usage). Remember my Clapton is God example (Clapton exists, supernatural beings don't exist)? Are you aware that wealthy entrepreneurial investors are also known as angels?

The referent of libertarian free will (contra-causal will) doesn't exist in reality. Given the libertarian definition, free will does not exist.

The referent of compatibilist free will (human activity without coercion or other forms of undue influence) clearly does exist. Given the compatibilist definition, free will does exist.

So, it turns out that it is possible for free will to exist and to not exist, dependent on the definition in use. That's the nature of language.

Lordy, Lordy, what a muddle.

What precisely do you disagree with? What's the "muddle"?

#### DBT

##### Contributor
The denial of choosing as a real event makes your determinism invalid. Choosing is just as real as walking, adding numbers, or brushing your teeth. These are all real events that actually happen in the real world. And every one of these events is as deterministically entailed as any other.

It's not a denial. The issue here is choice or 'choosing' in relation to determinism.
The problem is that choice is defined as the ability to take any one of a number of options at any given moment, while determinism on the other hand does not permit alternate actions at any given moment.

The singular action that is taken at any given moment must necessarily be taken, with no possible alternate action....consequently there is no choosing between options within a deterministic system, and no choice.

Everything that you think and do is related to and entailed by external and internal conditions that were set in motion - according to your own definition - before you were born (no randomness or deviation within a deterministic system)

... There is no mention of 'choosing' in determinism except when it slipped in by compatibilists seeking to support their contention of free will.....

There is no mention of 'brushing your teeth' in determinism either. But, just like choosing, it is a deterministic event. Would you deny that 'teeth brushing' is a real event, claiming it is slipped in by the American Dental Association, to support their contention that the 'teeth brushing' event is a true causal mechanism that reduces cavities?

Determined events are not chosen. Natural necessity, not choice is the driver of determinism.

The definition of determinism does not require a list of all of the events that it encompasses. Determinism simply asserts that ALL events are reliably caused by prior events. This includes the events of walking, talking, chewing gum, calculating sums, and choosing what we will have for dinner.

It's more than reliable. Fixed is the word you are looking for. That which is fixed by the prior state of the system cannot be claimed to be freely chosen.

... which is not actually based on choosing between options because there are no alternate actions within the system.

And yet there is the menu, filled with alternate actions, and we must choose one of them if we are to have our dinner. And if you smile in a mirror, you can see the multiple teeth that you need to brush. And you had best hope that if you ever get a cavity, that your dentist will choose the correct tooth to drill!

We have been through all of this. Different people, different tastes, different sets of proclivities equates to different actions and a menu that caters for those who are attracted to the style of food on offer, Thai, Italian, Greek, Chinese....

Choosing is a real event that takes place in the real world. Determinism, to be valid, may not erase any real events, because if it does, the causal chains collapse. So, choosing not only will happen, it necessarily must happen in a deterministic world.

If the world is deterministic, every action is a matter of natural necessity, not choice.

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.''

Events don't alter because they are chosen. They alter according to prior states of the system where all events progress and evolve as they are determined, not chosen, and proceed without deviation.

Nothing is being altered. Choosing causally determines what we will have for dinner. And it was always going to happen that we would be making that choice from the restaurant menu, according to our own goals and reasons, exactly as we did.

No, what you call "choosing" is not exempt from natural necessity, where every incremental step in the process must necessarily lead to its inevitable conclusion: the determined action.

That is the antithesis of choice.

A determined action is clearly not a choice. No event is an isolated action, there are no independent agents, everything that happens is an interaction between many events. Every cause an effect and every effect a cause. A web of causality that does not allow freedom of will or taking alternatives/choosing.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
The contradiction lies between the claim that you can "actually choose" and your definition of determinism that allows no alternate actions, randomness or deviation
The reasons why you have presented a contradict lies in the nature and definition of choice or choosing.
The definition of "choice" being discussed here is "set presented to process being reduced to subset."

Nowhere does this require that the process returns "any".

Nowhere does this deny process or causal necessity.

The problem is that when I say choice, I mean something completely different than you.

Real alternatives, things that would happen IF there were a situation as described as it's preconditions, do not require real deviations, they just require a combination of facts to be true, which generally are.

They don't require the test of the IF statement to pass for the "then" of the statement to be executable... it merely requires it for it to be executed.

Dreaming of deviations does not "make" the choice it makes the options of the choice. Without the dreams there are no options. The choice is made by a fixed process of evaluation upon the options.

On one hand you deny or hand wave away the process which creates options (dreaming, creating simulations as opposed to creating alternalities), and on the other hand you hand wave away the process which reduces those options on the basis of mutual exclusion and feasibility.

You cannot choose something that is not an option. You cannot choose from multiple options if you don't make yourself develop multiple options before choosing, and you cannot review your choice process unless you make an effort to observe it and it's reasons.

But that's hard work, and you really seem to have an aversion to that.

Your persistent failure to understand that is the problem at hand.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
The issue here is choice or 'choosing' in relation to determinism.

Agreed.

The problem is that choice is defined as the ability to take any one of a number of options at any given moment, while determinism on the other hand does not permit alternate actions at any given moment.

An 'ability' is defined as something that you 'can' do, if you choose to do it. An ability does not disappear just because you decide not to do it. So, we are having more than just a problem with the definition of choosing, we are also having a problem with the definition of an 'ability'. To have an ability means that it is possible for you to do it, even if you do not actually do it.

Whether you 'will' do it, or not, is fully addressed by determinism. Whether you are 'able' to do it or not is a separate question, a question that is not answered by knowing what you 'will' do.

Regardless what you will choose for dinner, you are able to choose any item on the menu and the restaurant is able to provide you with that meal. Every item on the menu is a realizable alternative, a real possibility.

Am I making an empty assertion? No, and here is why. The series of deterministic events that make up the choosing operation include certain assumptions that are part of the logical operation. First, it is logically necessary that we see two or more options. Second, it is logically necessary that we believe that we can choose either one of them. If we believe we can only choose one option, then the series of mental events immediately stops, and we order that option without any further consideration of anything else on the menu. So, in order for the deterministic series of events to continue, it is logically necessary that it is true that we have at least two real possibilities and we have the ability to choose either one.

Thus, the "ability to do otherwise" is hard coded into the deterministic series of events. It is part of the logical operation, just like having at least two numbers that can actually be added together is required by the logical operation of addition.

The singular action that is taken at any given moment must necessarily be taken,

Yes. And in this deterministic series of events each item that we consider choosing will appear to the mind as a realizable option. Any item that appears unrealizable will be rejected as impossible, and is never given any consideration at all. Thus, every item that you spent a single thought considering was necessarily believed to be a real possibility, something that you could actually order if you chose to.

The individual thoughts, of each of the many things that you 'could' order, were just as causally necessary as the final thought of what you 'would' order.

with no possible alternate action....consequently there is no choosing between options within a deterministic system, and no choice.

And that's where you fork things up. There is no alternate to the actual series of thoughts that will take place. But within that actual series of thoughts we find the thoughts of each item on the menu being considered as a real possibility, even though we decide not to order it.

The ability to see the menu this way is necessary to produce our dinner order. And if you break the ability to see the menu as a list of real possibilities, each of which is something that we can order, then you break the human ability to have dinner in a restaurant. So, please, stop trying to fork this up.

I've demonstrated the logical paradox that results when conflating what we can do with what we will do. There must be multiple things that we 'can' choose to do in order to logically work our way to the single thing that we 'will' choose to do. Limiting what we 'can' do to what we 'will' do is a blunder of language and logic.

Everything that you think and do is related to and entailed by external and internal conditions that were set in motion - according to your own definition - before you were born (no randomness or deviation within a deterministic system)

Yes, but that doesn't really matter. Universal causal necessity doesn't actually change anything, because what I will inevitably do is exactly identical to me just being me, doing what I choose to do. That's not a meaningful constraint. It is not something that anyone can or needs to be 'free of'. It's basically 'what I would have done anyway'.

Oh, and we ourselves have been a part of that causal chain from the day we were born. So, please stop forgetting that we are causal agents that go about in the world causing stuff to happen, and doing so for our own reasons and interests, which are not found in any other objects.

Nothing is being altered. Choosing causally determines what we will have for dinner. And it was always going to happen that we would be making that choice from the restaurant menu, according to our own goals and reasons, exactly as we did.

... what you call "choosing" is not exempt from natural necessity, where every incremental step in the process must necessarily lead to its inevitable conclusion: the determined action.

Of course. But it is not just what I call "choosing", I'm pretty sure you call it choosing as well. If you didn't, then you could not answer the simple question: "What did you choose for dinner?" or "Which college did you choose to attend?" or "Why do you choose to spend so much time arguing over determinism and free will?"

That is the antithesis of choice.

Obviously it is not. Choosing actually happens. It is a real event that happens in the real world. From a determinist's viewpoint, it necessarily happens, and cannot be avoided.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
The contradiction lies between the claim that you can "actually choose" and your definition of determinism that allows no alternate actions, randomness or deviation
The reasons why you have presented a contradict lies in the nature and definition of choice or choosing.
The definition of "choice" being discussed here is "set presented to process being reduced to subset."

Nowhere does this require that the process returns "any".

Nowhere does this deny process or causal necessity.

The problem is that when I say choice, I mean something completely different than you.

Real alternatives, things that would happen IF there were a situation as described as it's preconditions, do not require real deviations, they just require a combination of facts to be true, which generally are.

They don't require the test of the IF statement to pass for the "then" of the statement to be executable... it merely requires it for it to be executed.

Dreaming of deviations does not "make" the choice it makes the options of the choice. Without the dreams there are no options. The choice is made by a fixed process of evaluation upon the options.

On one hand you deny or hand wave away the process which creates options (dreaming, creating simulations as opposed to creating alternalities), and on the other hand you hand wave away the process which reduces those options on the basis of mutual exclusion and feasibility.

You cannot choose something that is not an option. You cannot choose from multiple options if you don't make yourself develop multiple options before choosing, and you cannot review your choice process unless you make an effort to observe it and it's reasons.

But that's hard work, and you really seem to have an aversion to that.

Your persistent failure to understand that is the problem at hand.

It's not my persistent failure to understand how choice is defined, or what choice means, it is yours.

It is not my persistent failure to understand the implication of determinism as you define it, it is yours.

It is not my persistent failure to understand that how choice is defined, or that what it means does not relate to determinism as you define it, that's you, Sweetie.

It is you who fails to grasp that determinism - as you define it - does not permit alternate actions, therefore no choosing between options, where what is done in any moment happens necessarily with no possible alternatives (as you define determinism), so given there is no 'actual choosing' - as you put - to make that claim contradicts the terms of your definition.

That you are unable or unwilling to grasp such a simple thing is surprising, yet in other ways, not all that surprising.

You do know how choice is defined, right?
You do know how you defined determinism, right?

Now try to put two and two together.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
The issue here is choice or 'choosing' in relation to determinism.

Agreed.

The problem is that choice is defined as the ability to take any one of a number of options at any given moment, while determinism on the other hand does not permit alternate actions at any given moment.

An 'ability' is defined as something that you 'can' do, if you choose to do it. An ability does not disappear just because you decide not to do it. So, we are having more than just a problem with the definition of choosing, we are also having a problem with the definition of an 'ability'. To have an ability means that it is possible for you to do it, even if you do not actually do it.

The definition of 'choice' or 'choosing' is not controversial;

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

The terms of the definition of determinism has been agreed to be that events proceed without deviation based on antecedents, which includes brain activity and thought processes that must necessarily result in a single action regardless of the number of options that are presented. They are options for other people, each their own necessary action.

That determinism. The non controversial definition of choice does not relate to a system that permits no deviations, no alternate actions, therefore no choice.

Whether you 'will' do it, or not, is fully addressed by determinism. Whether you are 'able' to do it or not is a separate question, a question that is not answered by knowing what you 'will' do.

Determinism is a matter of what must happen, as determined, not chosen, no picking or choosing.
It is not choice but natural necessity that drives a deterministic system.

Regardless what you will choose for dinner, you are able to choose any item on the menu and the restaurant is able to provide you with that meal. Every item on the menu is a realizable alternative, a real possibility.

That completely and utterly contradicts the terms and conditions of your own definition of determinism....all events fixed as a matter of natural law, no deviation.

Am I making an empty assertion? No, and here is why. The series of deterministic events that make up the choosing operation include certain assumptions that are part of the logical operation.

There is no 'choosing operation' because fixed by natural necessity permits no alternate actions. Everything that happens, happens necessarily, set, fixed, immutable, no negotiation.

First, it is logically necessary that we see two or more options. Second, it is logically necessary that we believe that we can choose either one of them. If we believe we can only choose one option, then the series of mental events immediately stops, and we order that option without any further consideration of anything else on the menu. So, in order for the deterministic series of events to continue, it is logically necessary that it is true that we have at least two real possibilities and we have the ability to choose either one.

What we see and what must necessarily happen in any given moment are two different things.
''To a determinist, all choice is illusory. The literal meaning of choice is that there are multiple options, and the person selects one of them. Thus, choice requires multiple possible outcomes, which is a no-no to determinism. To the determinist, the march of causality will make one outcome inevitable, and so it is wrong to believe that anything else was possible. The chooser does not yet know which option he or she is going to choose, hence the subjective experience of choice. Thus, the subjective choosing is simply a matter of one's own ignorance - ignorance that those other outcomes are not really possibilities at all."

And of course, we are talking about determinism, and compatibilists are 'determinists.'

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
It's not my persistent failure to understand how choice is defined, or what choice means, it is yours
No, it's pretty clearly that you persistently fail to understand what I mean when I say "choice"

[No] alternate actions, therefore no choosing between options
And yet again you fail to accept anyone else's usage, instead shoehorning your own in.

Choosing between options does not require "alternalities". It just requires a process that takes a set and returns a subset.

A set of marbles is contained in a narrow tube. They are undeniably inside the tube.

A subset of marbles pops out the end of the narrow tube.

This choice process is "last in, first out."

That only the last in that has not been taken out is selected by this process does not change the fact that it conforms to the compatibilist definition of choice. It may only return a single specific marble, and yet it is still a "choice: a process by which a subset is selected from a set".

What makes the alternatives alternatives are not their ability to be selected at random access; they cannot be selected at random access. Rather, they are "alternatives to the choice process" because they are in the tube.

You could ask "which alternative is next to be picked" and then say "the top one, duh". It doesn't make them any less alternatives because they won't be picked immediately. They are alternatives because they are in a tube waiting to be shaken out, even if they never are.

You have invented a flimsy stick that you can interject into your wheel spokes because you don't like being expected to try riding a bike, metaphorically speaking.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
The definition of 'choice' or 'choosing' is not controversial; Choice; an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

Yes, that is called "choosing". It is a logical operation that inputs two or more possibilities, applies some criteria of comparative evaluation, and outputs a single choice. When we observe someone doing this, such as our customers in the restaurant who open the menu, consider their options, and place their order, we correctly say that "choosing" has just happened.

The terms of the definition of determinism has been agreed to be that events proceed without deviation based on antecedents, which includes brain activity and thought processes that must necessarily result in a single action regardless of the number of options that are presented.

Correct. Choosing is a deterministic process. Given the person's current dietary goals and reasons, what they had earlier for breakfast and lunch, and any other factors in play, their choice is theoretically predictable even if not practically predictable.

They are options for other people, each their own necessary action.

That's where you go astray. The multiple options on the menu are input to each person's own choosing operation. They cannot be discarded as "options for other people". Each person is inputting the same menu with its multiple options. The choices are different because the people are different. Different people have different dietary goals and reasons. Different people had different thigs for breakfast and lunch. It is the difference in the people that account for the different choices. But every person has exactly the same menu.

Every person has multiple possibilities to choose from. The menu is an indisputable empirical fact.

The notion that only one option is a possible choice for each person is another example of figurative thinking. It seems to you that it is AS IF each person had a different menu, and each person's menu had only one item. That accounts for your claim that "they are options for other people". The fact is that all of the options on the menu are there for each customer.

That determinism. The non controversial definition of choice does not relate to a system that permits no deviations, no alternate actions, therefore no choice.

When reason leads you to contradict empirical facts, you need to examine your reasoning. For example, the fact that each step in the choosing operation was inevitable does not contradict the fact that choosing is happening.

You continually insist that it must be one or the other, either by causal necessity or by choice. But that is a false dichotomy. Choice, like every other logical operation, proceeds deterministically according to its specific steps. These steps include the consideration of multiple options, estimating the likely outcomes of each, and selecting the option with the best outcome.

The same is true for other logical operations, like simple mathematical calculations such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.
All of these operations are deterministic, proceeding according to its own logical process, the same inputs reliably producing the same outputs.

For choosing, the inputs include the restaurant menu, our memory of what we ate earlier in the day, our current dietary goals, and probably many other factors. When those things are all the same, the choice will also be the same.

Regardless what you will choose for dinner, you are able to choose any item on the menu and the restaurant is able to provide you with that meal. Every item on the menu is a realizable alternative, a real possibility.

There is no 'choosing operation' because fixed by natural necessity permits no alternate actions. Everything that happens, happens necessarily, set, fixed, immutable, no negotiation.

Again, there is no contradiction between the fact that choosing proceeds deterministically and that choosing is actually happening. Your constant posing of "necessity versus choice" is an illusion. Choosing is both deterministically necessitated (for example, when we open the restaurant menu) and proceeds logically through a deterministic series of steps (we consider the various options in terms of our goals and reasons and choose the one that seems best to us at that time).

And any negotiation with ourselves as to what best fits our goals for this specific dinner will be performed deterministically as well.

It is not one or the other. It is both.

What we see and what must necessarily happen in any given moment are two different things.
''To a determinist, all choice is illusory. The literal meaning of choice is that there are multiple options, and the person selects one of them. Thus, choice requires multiple possible outcomes, which is a no-no to determinism. To the determinist, the march of causality will make one outcome inevitable, and so it is wrong to believe that anything else was possible. The chooser does not yet know which option he or she is going to choose, hence the subjective experience of choice. Thus, the subjective choosing is simply a matter of one's own ignorance - ignorance that those other outcomes are not really possibilities at all."

And of course, we are talking about determinism, and compatibilists are 'determinists.'

Hello, Roy Baumeister! I know of you indirectly through the studies of the ill effects of free will skepticism on behavior that Eddy Nahmias and others have quoted. And I notice that you follow William James, another psychologist, who rejects determinism.

But I wonder how you would approach treating a patient who, like DBT, is fixated upon your "hard" definition of determinism. Can you provide the key insights needed to escape the paradox? Or will you insist that your patient reject the notion of reliable cause and effect?

Key Insight #1: There is no "no-no" in deterministic causal necessity. Everything that we empirically observe happening is actually happening, including the multiple possibilities on the menu and our ability to choose any one of those options for dinner. The fact that every event is causally necessary from any prior point in time does not change any of the meaningful and relevant causes of those events. Choosing still happens, and it is still us doing the choosing.

Key Insight #2: The single actuality does not constrain the many possibilities. So, it is wrong to believe that nothing other than the inevitable was every possible. Possibilities are part of the logic and language that we evolved to cope with our uncertainty as to what will happen or what we will choose. We invoke the context of possibilities whenever there are multiple things that can happen or multiple things that we can choose. The very notion of such things are encoded in the words 'can', 'may', 'might', etc. And while what can happen constrains what will happen (if it can't happen then it won't), what will happen never constrains what can happen (the fact that it won't happen does not imply that it could not have happened under different circumstances). Trying to limit what can happen to what will happen creates a paradox, because it conflates two entirely different contexts.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
determinism - as you define it - does not permit alternate actions, therefore no choosing between options, where what is done in any moment happens necessarily with no possible alternatives
You appear to be struggling with the difference between the present and the future.

"Alternate actions" and "options" are statements of uncertainty about the future.

Choosing is the act of playing the present forward to that future moment, where we discover what "necessarily happens". It is itself an unavoidable consequence of the prior state of reality.

There can only be one present; But unless you're an omniscient god, the path to discovery of what the future holds runs through your necessity of imagining many potential futures, and necessarily and unavoidably acting to attempt to bring about the one you imagine to be best for you. That imagining is often a very important input into the final situation, and when one individual's imagination becomes reality, we say that he is "responsible" for the situation. Because he is.

Choosing happens all the time. It cannot be otherwise, because we live in a deterministic universe, in which choosing was always destined to happen.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
determinism - as you define it - does not permit alternate actions, therefore no choosing between options, where what is done in any moment happens necessarily with no possible alternatives
You appear to be struggling with the difference between the present and the future.

No, there is no struggle. Determinism is defined by prior state determines current state, which in turn determines future states of the system. Determined means fixed. fixed means no alternate actions. That's determinism, not as I define it, but how compatibilists define it....with the contradictory inclusion of 'choosing' where - by definition - there is none.
"Alternate actions" and "options" are statements of uncertainty about the future.

Choosing is the act of playing the present forward to that future moment, where we discover what "necessarily happens". It is itself an unavoidable consequence of the prior state of reality.

There can only be one present; But unless you're an omniscient god, the path to discovery of what the future holds runs through your necessity of imagining many potential futures, and necessarily and unavoidably acting to attempt to bring about the one you imagine to be best for you. That imagining is often a very important input into the final situation, and when one individual's imagination becomes reality, we say that he is "responsible" for the situation. Because he is.

Choosing happens all the time. It cannot be otherwise, because we live in a deterministic universe, in which choosing was always destined to happen.

The definition of choice - selecting between a set of realizable options - contradicts the given definition of determinism - only one possible outcome at any given time, the outcome set by antecedents - therefore incompatibalism.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
It's not my persistent failure to understand how choice is defined, or what choice means, it is yours
No, it's pretty clearly that you persistently fail to understand what I mean when I say "choice"

[No] alternate actions, therefore no choosing between options
And yet again you fail to accept anyone else's usage, instead shoehorning your own in.

Usage alone doesn't prove the proposition, Sweetie....the terms and references need to be considered, not ignored.

Shoehorning is inserting the term 'choosing' into a concept that does not permit alternatives.

Choosing between options does not require "alternalities". It just requires a process that takes a set and returns a subset.

The very definition of choice is based on freely selecting between a set of realizable options. Which means that any of the options can be chosen at any given time: the outcome is not fixed.

Determinism on the other hand......

A set of marbles is contained in a narrow tube. They are undeniably inside the tube.

A subset of marbles pops out the end of the narrow tube.

This choice process is "last in, first out."

That only the last in that has not been taken out is selected by this process does not change the fact that it conforms to the compatibilist definition of choice. It may only return a single specific marble, and yet it is still a "choice: a process by which a subset is selected from a set".

What makes the alternatives alternatives are not their ability to be selected at random access; they cannot be selected at random access. Rather, they are "alternatives to the choice process" because they are in the tube.

You could ask "which alternative is next to be picked" and then say "the top one, duh". It doesn't make them any less alternatives because they won't be picked immediately. They are alternatives because they are in a tube waiting to be shaken out, even if they never are.

You have invented a flimsy stick that you can interject into your wheel spokes because you don't like being expected to try riding a bike, metaphorically speaking.

Well, gosh, that's quite a semantic shuffle you have going. You must have given it some thought. Pity it doesn't relate to the issue of compatibility, choice or determinism.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
The definition of 'choice' or 'choosing' is not controversial; Choice; an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

Yes, that is called "choosing". It is a logical operation that inputs two or more possibilities, applies some criteria of comparative evaluation, and outputs a single choice. When we observe someone doing this, such as our customers in the restaurant who open the menu, consider their options, and place their order, we correctly say that "choosing" has just happened.

The problem is, as pointed out: if determinism is true, what we perceive to be people selecting between options is a matter of natural necessity, not choice.

We see it as choice because we have no access to the underlying processes that determine that Bob necessarily orders steak, while his wife June necessarily orders salad, which - given the terms of determinism, is the only thing possible in that instance in time, not just possible, but inevitable.

Consequently, the no choice principle of determinism.

The terms of the definition of determinism has been agreed to be that events proceed without deviation based on antecedents, which includes brain activity and thought processes that must necessarily result in a single action regardless of the number of options that are presented.

Correct. Choosing is a deterministic process. Given the person's current dietary goals and reasons, what they had earlier for breakfast and lunch, and any other factors in play, their choice is theoretically predictable even if not practically predictable.

There is no choosing within a deterministic process, where there are no possible alternatives.

They are options for other people, each their own necessary action.

That's where you go astray.

No, I don't. The system - as defined by you - permits no alternate actions.
The multiple options on the menu are input to each person's own choosing operation. They cannot be discarded as "options for other people". Each person is inputting the same menu with its multiple options. The choices are different because the people are different. Different people have different dietary goals and reasons. Different people had different thigs for breakfast and lunch. It is the difference in the people that account for the different choices. But every person has exactly the same menu.

It's only a choosing operation if alternative are possible. As there are no possible alternatives within a deterministic sytem, what you call choosing is natural necessity, inner necessity, not choice.

Compatibilists make the error of insisting on choice where there is none.

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.''

Every person has multiple possibilities to choose from. The menu is an indisputable empirical fact.

The notion that only one option is a possible choice for each person is another example of figurative thinking. It seems to you that it is AS IF each person had a different menu, and each person's menu had only one item. That accounts for your claim that "they are options for other people". The fact is that all of the options on the menu are there for each customer.

There is no if, maybe or perhaps if the world was different, the menu was different, if Bob was a different man, "if Bob's brain was in a different state he could have..." This is all irrelevant.

Nothing can be different. Everything must necessarily proceed - not as chosen - but determined as a matter of natural necessity.

What we see and what must necessarily happen in any given moment are two different things.
''To a determinist, all choice is illusory. The literal meaning of choice is that there are multiple options, and the person selects one of them. Thus, choice requires multiple possible outcomes, which is a no-no to determinism. To the determinist, the march of causality will make one outcome inevitable, and so it is wrong to believe that anything else was possible. The chooser does not yet know which option he or she is going to choose, hence the subjective experience of choice. Thus, the subjective choosing is simply a matter of one's own ignorance - ignorance that those other outcomes are not really possibilities at all."

And of course, we are talking about determinism, and compatibilists are 'determinists.'

Hello, Roy Baumeister! I know of you indirectly through the studies of the ill effects of free will skepticism on behavior that Eddy Nahmias and others have quoted. And I notice that you follow William James, another psychologist, who rejects determinism.

The issue is not who accepts or rejects determinism. The issue is the proposition: is free will compatible with determinism as it is defined.

The answer: no it is not.

James called compatibilism a quagmire of evasion, and this remains true because of the given terms of determinism, and remains true regardless of his or anyone's position on determinism.

#### Marvin Edwards

##### Veteran Member
The problem is, as pointed out: if determinism is true, what we perceive to be people selecting between options is a matter of natural necessity, not choice.

As we've pointed out repeatedly, choice is a matter of natural necessity.

We see it as choice because we have no access to the underlying processes that determine that Bob necessarily orders steak, while his wife June necessarily orders salad, which - given the terms of determinism, is the only thing possible in that instance in time, not just possible, but inevitable.

Access to the underlying processes would not change anything. Suppose, for example, that we took the physicist approach, and reduced every event to the motion of quarks. In order to meaningfully communicate what is happening and what we are doing, we would find meaningful repetitive patterns of quark behavior and give them shortened names. This pattern of quark behavior is "a person walking down the street" and that smaller pattern of quark behavior is "the person's dog walking beside him".

Eventually we will encounter the pattern of quark behavior that we call "a restaurant", containing other patterns we call "customers", and when we see their "hands" holding a "menu" we know that they will soon be telling the "waiter" what they will have for "dinner". We call this operation "making a choice".

Consequently, the no choice principle of determinism.

In the same fashion, given a deterministic description of the universe, we will still see the inevitable person, inevitably walking down the street, with his inevitable dog, inevitably walking beside him. And we will still see the inevitable restaurant, where the inevitable customers will each inevitably open the menu, inevitably go through an inevitable mental operation that inevitably leads them to inevitably tell the waiter, "I will have X for dinner, please."

That inevitable mental operation that inevitably reduces the inevitable menu of inevitable possibilities into a single inevitable dinner order, is what people on Earth call "choosing what I will have for dinner".

And, since it was inevitable that each person would inevitably perform this operation, while they were inevitably free of coercion and undue influence, we would inevitably call this "choosing what I will have for dinner, of my own free will".

Deterministic reductionism doesn't actually change anything. All of the events are the same, and each event still requires a meaningful name if we are to continue to communicate what is actually happening in the real world.

For simplicity, not to mention clarity and utility, we eliminate unnecessary words from our speech. Because deterministic causal necessity/inevitability is a universal constant of all events, the intelligent mind eliminates the unnecessary redundancy of repeating this fact, and we end up with simpler statements, like: "There is a person walking down the street with their dog". And, "There are the people in the restaurant, each choosing for themselves what they will have for dinner."

There is no choosing within a deterministic process, where there are no possible alternatives.

The "no choice principle" does not follow naturally from deterministic inevitability. It is a self-deception, created by figurative thinking.

Compatibilists make the error of insisting on choice where there is none.

Incompatibilists make the error of insisting on "no choice" when everyone else can clearly see choosing actually happening in the real world.

There is no if, maybe or perhaps if the world was different, the menu was different, if Bob was a different man, "if Bob's brain was in a different state he could have..." This is all irrelevant.

The notion of possibility evolved (and survives) because it is a meaningful and useful tool that allows the mind to imagine, create, invent, plan, and choose.

Or, as Roy Baumeister said in the article you referenced:
"For psychological science, however, a belief in choice seems more plausible and useful than determinism. Choice is fundamental in human life. Every day people face choices, defined by multiple possibilities. To claim that all that is illusion and mistake is to force psychological phenomena into an unrealistic straitjacket.

Also, psychological causality as revealed in our labs is arguably never deterministic. Our studies show a change in the odds of one response over another. But changes in the odds entail that more than one response was possible. Our entire statistical enterprise is built on the idea of multiple possibilities. Determinism denies the reality of this. Statistics are just ways of coping with our ignorance, to a determinist—statistics do not reflect how reality actually works."

The issue is not who accepts or rejects determinism.

Correct. What Baumeister and James say about determinism is only useful if it is meaningful and useful. You quoted the top of Baumeister's article because it reflects the incompatibilist's view of determinism. As does the sentence from William James that you interject from time to time without going into which compatibilists he is referring to.

The compatibilist accepts a deterministic view of reality on the basis that it is no more complex than simple cause and effect, something that everyone understands and agrees with. The compatibilist also accepts the normal, operational meaning of free will, as a choice we make for ourselves while free of coercion and undue influence, something that everyone understands and agrees with.

The issue is the proposition: is free will compatible with determinism as it is defined.

You've seen the operational definition of free will, as a choice we make for ourselves while free from coercion and undue influence.
You've seen the operational definition of determinism, as the natural and orderly progression of events in which each event is reliably caused by prior events.
You've seen the compatibility of these two definitions demonstrated repeatedly.

The only source of incompatibility is figurative thinking, which are imaginary problems, not real problems.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Usage alone doesn't prove the proposition
The usage is the usage. the thing the usage applies to clearly exists: set goes in, subset comes out.

There are plenty of processes that implement or reflect this definition of "choice". There is indeed nothing to "prove", as the definition is also functional with respect to the discussions to be had over responsibility, freedom, and will, assuming again that all the terms used are compatibilist usages.

The only thing that determinism forbids is alternalities. It is quite agnostic to alternatives, because alternatives are just "members of a set provided to any process which renders a subset from a set".

The very definition of choice is based on freely selecting between a set of realizable options
You're adding a lot of unnecessary verbs here. I've struck all the extraneous not-even-wrong shit out.

Choice is agnostic to "freedom". Choice must always happen by process.

The options don't even need to be "realizable" although in this context "realizable" is satisfied on the basis that they are members of the set to be rendered to a subset by the process.

If you look back in the thread to yet another post in which I discuss the choice function of ListA.pop(), you would see what is meant by the language.

it doesn't relate to the issue of compatibility, choice or determinism.
It does if you actually pay attention to it. It involves identification of a deterministic (LIFO in this case) function upon which a choice (a choice here of which alternative of the set of alternatives) is made.

Observe there is nothing random, and when the compatibilist definitions of choice and alternative are applied, one can identify the structures responsible for that outcome, namely the narrowness of the tube.

If one wishes, one can modify how the choice function operates by modifying the tube.

This makes for the recognition that when a system created by a configuration of matter causes that configuration to generate choices that cause a failure elsewhere, one has the power to modify the configuration of matter so as to make it choose by a different function.

Or IOW, "when a person has bad behavior, it is possible to adjust and regulate how they behave."

This creates of purely compatibilist terms a recognition of responsibility.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
determinism - as you define it - does not permit alternate actions, therefore no choosing between options, where what is done in any moment happens necessarily with no possible alternatives
You appear to be struggling with the difference between the present and the future.

No, there is no struggle. Determinism is defined by prior state determines current state, which in turn determines future states of the system. Determined means fixed. fixed means no alternate actions. That's determinism, not as I define it, but how compatibilists define it....with the contradictory inclusion of 'choosing' where - by definition - there is none.
"Alternate actions" and "options" are statements of uncertainty about the future.

Choosing is the act of playing the present forward to that future moment, where we discover what "necessarily happens". It is itself an unavoidable consequence of the prior state of reality.

There can only be one present; But unless you're an omniscient god, the path to discovery of what the future holds runs through your necessity of imagining many potential futures, and necessarily and unavoidably acting to attempt to bring about the one you imagine to be best for you. That imagining is often a very important input into the final situation, and when one individual's imagination becomes reality, we say that he is "responsible" for the situation. Because he is.

Choosing happens all the time. It cannot be otherwise, because we live in a deterministic universe, in which choosing was always destined to happen.

The definition of choice - selecting between a set of realizable options - contradicts the given definition of determinism - only one possible outcome at any given time, the outcome set by antecedents - therefore incompatibalism.
The only possible outcome at any given time is a consequence of all the prior necessities that have an influence on that outcome.

Key amongst these is the unavoidable and completely determined attempt to predict the future that we call "choosing"; We are completely unable not to do this thing, which is an unavoidable consequence of our internal necessities.

Of course there's only one possible outcome at any given time, but that outcome is dependent upon the choosing that was itself the only possible outcome at some earlier point in time.

We are discussing a set of events happening at different times. Choosing itself is a series of related events, some external (menus, waiter's recommendations, special offers, etc.) and some internal (How hungry I am, what I think the wife will think of my selection, what previous experiences have I had, etc.). These events occur at a range of different times, with each being influenced by its predecessors - to produce one single new event, which then goes on to form part of the basis for the next.

Your objection, which you yourself describe as applying only "at any given time", is therefore irrelevant.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
The problem is, as pointed out: if determinism is true, what we perceive to be people selecting between options is a matter of natural necessity, not choice.

As we've pointed out repeatedly, choice is a matter of natural necessity.

Natural necessity is not a choice mechanism, there is only one way the world can be and only one way the events of the world can unfold.

That is certainly not the definition of choice, no matter how you look at it.

What happens within the circuits and connection of a brain in response to information input, given determinism, in no more a matter of choice than the progression of numbers A > B > C > D is a choice. It is this, then that, no deviation.
We see it as choice because we have no access to the underlying processes that determine that Bob necessarily orders steak, while his wife June necessarily orders salad, which - given the terms of determinism, is the only thing possible in that instance in time, not just possible, but inevitable.

It changes your perception because you'd see that one state leads inevitably to the next without the possibility of anything else being chosen, hence what does happen must happen and there was no choice it making it happen. It happens regardless of choice.

Suppose, for example, that we took the physicist approach, and reduced every event to the motion of quarks. In order to meaningfully communicate what is happening and what we are doing, we would find meaningful repetitive patterns of quark behavior and give them shortened names. This pattern of quark behavior is "a person walking down the street" and that smaller pattern of quark behavior is "the person's dog walking beside him".

Eventually we will encounter the pattern of quark behavior that we call "a restaurant", containing other patterns we call "customers", and when we see their "hands" holding a "menu" we know that they will soon be telling the "waiter" what they will have for "dinner". We call this operation "making a choice".

Not if it is fixed before it happens. A fixed race is not a real race because it has a predetermined ending.

The mug punter, having no idea that the race is fixed blows his hard earned cash because he is not privy to insider information....he naively sees a real race.

That's all i have time for, flying home in the morning.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
determinism - as you define it - does not permit alternate actions, therefore no choosing between options, where what is done in any moment happens necessarily with no possible alternatives
You appear to be struggling with the difference between the present and the future.

No, there is no struggle. Determinism is defined by prior state determines current state, which in turn determines future states of the system. Determined means fixed. fixed means no alternate actions. That's determinism, not as I define it, but how compatibilists define it....with the contradictory inclusion of 'choosing' where - by definition - there is none.
"Alternate actions" and "options" are statements of uncertainty about the future.

Choosing is the act of playing the present forward to that future moment, where we discover what "necessarily happens". It is itself an unavoidable consequence of the prior state of reality.

There can only be one present; But unless you're an omniscient god, the path to discovery of what the future holds runs through your necessity of imagining many potential futures, and necessarily and unavoidably acting to attempt to bring about the one you imagine to be best for you. That imagining is often a very important input into the final situation, and when one individual's imagination becomes reality, we say that he is "responsible" for the situation. Because he is.

Choosing happens all the time. It cannot be otherwise, because we live in a deterministic universe, in which choosing was always destined to happen.

The definition of choice - selecting between a set of realizable options - contradicts the given definition of determinism - only one possible outcome at any given time, the outcome set by antecedents - therefore incompatibalism.
The only possible outcome at any given time is a consequence of all the prior necessities that have an influence on that outcome.

Not merely influences, but given determinism as it is defined, sets of inputs that determine how the system evolves into the future, which includes the working of the brain and the determined thoughts and actions it generates.

Key amongst these is the unavoidable and completely determined attempt to predict the future that we call "choosing"; We are completely unable not to do this thing, which is an unavoidable consequence of our internal necessities.

Of course there's only one possible outcome at any given time, but that outcome is dependent upon the choosing that was itself the only possible outcome at some earlier point in time.

No, the so called choosing is a process fixed by the evolution or development of the system. The brain and its activity is an inseparable part of the evolution of the system, so is shaped and formed by the system and its events and responds according to, not choice, but state and condition, neural architecture, memory and input.

We know what happens if any of these suffer misfunction.

We are discussing a set of events happening at different times. Choosing itself is a series of related events, some external (menus, waiter's recommendations, special offers, etc.) and some internal (How hungry I am, what I think the wife will think of my selection, what previous experiences have I had, etc.). These events occur at a range of different times, with each being influenced by its predecessors - to produce one single new event, which then goes on to form part of the basis for the next.

Your objection, which you yourself describe as applying only "at any given time", is therefore irrelevant.

It is absolutely relevent because there is no point in time in the evolution of the system where any event could have been different to what it was, is and will be in the future.

Given determinism, every event proceeds in the only way it can proceed, including of course brain activity, thoughts and actions.

That is determinism.

#### DBT

##### Contributor
Usage alone doesn't prove the proposition
The usage is the usage. the thing the usage applies to clearly exists: set goes in, subset comes out.

There are plenty of processes that implement or reflect this definition of "choice". There is indeed nothing to "prove", as the definition is also functional with respect to the discussions to be had over responsibility, freedom, and will, assuming again that all the terms used are compatibilist usages.

The only thing that determinism forbids is alternalities. It is quite agnostic to alternatives, because alternatives are just "members of a set provided to any process which renders a subset from a set".

The very definition of choice is based on freely selecting between a set of realizable options
You're adding a lot of unnecessary verbs here. I've struck all the extraneous not-even-wrong shit out.

Choice is agnostic to "freedom". Choice must always happen by process.

The options don't even need to be "realizable" although in this context "realizable" is satisfied on the basis that they are members of the set to be rendered to a subset by the process.

If you look back in the thread to yet another post in which I discuss the choice function of ListA.pop(), you would see what is meant by the language.

it doesn't relate to the issue of compatibility, choice or determinism.
It does if you actually pay attention to it. It involves identification of a deterministic (LIFO in this case) function upon which a choice (a choice here of which alternative of the set of alternatives) is made.

Observe there is nothing random, and when the compatibilist definitions of choice and alternative are applied, one can identify the structures responsible for that outcome, namely the narrowness of the tube.

If one wishes, one can modify how the choice function operates by modifying the tube.

This makes for the recognition that when a system created by a configuration of matter causes that configuration to generate choices that cause a failure elsewhere, one has the power to modify the configuration of matter so as to make it choose by a different function.

Or IOW, "when a person has bad behavior, it is possible to adjust and regulate how they behave."

This creates of purely compatibilist terms a recognition of responsibility.

Usage alone doesn't prove the proposition
The usage is the usage. the thing the usage applies to clearly exists: set goes in, subset comes out.

There are plenty of processes that implement or reflect this definition of "choice". There is indeed nothing to "prove", as the definition is also functional with respect to the discussions to be had over responsibility, freedom, and will, assuming again that all the terms used are compatibilist usages.

The only thing that determinism forbids is alternalities. It is quite agnostic to alternatives, because alternatives are just "members of a set provided to any process which renders a subset from a set".

The very definition of choice is based on freely selecting between a set of realizable options
You're adding a lot of unnecessary verbs here. I've struck all the extraneous not-even-wrong shit out.

Yet no matter how I try to put it, you still haven't grasped the basic principles of the nature of choice, and likely never will. Just as with determinism.

Choice is agnostic to "freedom". Choice must always happen by process.

The options don't even need to be "realizable" although in this context "realizable" is satisfied on the basis that they are members of the set to be rendered to a subset by the process.

If you look back in the thread to yet another post in which I discuss the choice function of ListA.pop(), you would see what is meant by the language.

it doesn't relate to the issue of compatibility, choice or determinism.
It does if you actually pay attention to it. It involves identification of a deterministic (LIFO in this case) function upon which a choice (a choice here of which alternative of the set of alternatives) is made.

Determinism by definition does not permit alternatives. That is where you go wrong by trying to circumvent the terms of your own definition through illogical and irrelevant semantics.

Observe there is nothing random, and when the compatibilist definitions of choice and alternative are applied, one can identify the structures responsible for that outcome, namely the narrowness of the tube.

You describe illusions and false labelling, not choice. According to your own definition, there are no alternatives within a deterministic system, yet you and other compatibilists try to shoehorn the idea of choice into a place where, with no alternate actions, it literally cannot exist.

If one wishes, one can modify how the choice function operates by modifying the tube.

This is where you go Tropo. What 'one wishes' does not pop out of a vaccum, what one wishes is subject to the same determinants as everything else that happens as the system unfolds without deviation.

You naively try to slip in an element of freedom from necessity (perhaps sneakily) which is simple not there. You contradict the given terms without realising what you are doing.