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    Freewill contra Determinism

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    Zoot Allures

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    Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:08 pm

    according to hume, a close examination of the free will/determinism controversy would reveal that there is no real problem. the difficulties, he says, arise from metaphysical notions introduced into the matters of liberty and necessity:

    hume wrote:if i be not much mistaken, we shall find that all mankind, both learned and ignorant, have always been of the same opinion with regard to this subject, and that a few intelligible definitions would immediately have put an end to the whole controversy.

    hume shows that all anybody ever meant by 'necessity', or 'connection', is that two events are constantly conjoined. when we see one, we expect the other to follow. in this sense there is as much necessity in human behavior as there is in any other aspect of the universe. everyone is aware that there is a conjunction between our motives and our voluntary actions. so hume argues that there is necessity in human behavior.

    but then at the same time, there is agreement that there exists liberty in human actions. now it seems at first glance that there is an obvious problem here; either things are determined or they are not. they can't be 'kinda' determined.

    hume bypasses this matter and takes a compatibalist's position (soft-determinsim)... which in fact doesn't dodge the problem... only conceals it. he says that we are not free to choose our drives and desires, but we are free to choose to act on them or not.

    he avoids having to address this by stating first that we can't experience causality, only make the inference that it exists by explaining contiguous events as an instance of causal connection.

    this is pretty slick, really, because for him, determinism can't be postulated in the first place... so he isn't in fact avoiding it... because it doesn't exist.

    hume believes that philosophers have complicated the matter by seeking to establish that every event has a cause, or, on the other hand, claiming that there could be an uncaused event in the sense that an event can take place without being influenced by another event in the universe.

    now since we can't tell by experience whether or not an event is necessarily produced by another, but experience every event standing in some conjunction to another, there is no opposition of alternatives here.

    the controversy between freewill and determinism exists solely because of the induction fallacy.




    has hume gotten around the problem?

    discuss.

    Zoot Allures

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:04 am

    smuggled in from Revleft.com. this was a post that forever changed my understanding of the freewill/determinism debate, many years ago.

    Big Rosa wrote:Ok, here is my summary [of my ideas on 'determinism'], but comrades should not expect a water-tight solution to such a knotty problem in a few paragraphs. I am only posting this because I was asked to do so.

    [I will however be publishing an essay specifically about this in the next few years, where I will substantiate what I have to say below far more fully.]

    This issue has always revolved around the use of terminology drawn from traditional philosophy (such as "determined", "will", "free", and the like), the use of which bears no relation to how these words are employed in ordinary speech.

    For example, "determine" and its cognates are typically used in sentences like this "The rules determine what you can do in chess", "The time of the next train can be determined from the timetable", or "I am determined to go on the demonstration" and so on. Hence this word is normally used in relation to what human beings can do, can apply, or can bring about.

    As we will see, their use in traditional thought inverts this, making nature the agent and human beings the patient. No wonder then that the 'solution' to this artificial problem (i.e., 'determinism' and 'free will') has eluded us for over 2000 years.

    To use an analogy, would we take seriously anyone who wondered when the King and Queen in chess got married, and then wanted to know who conducted the ceremony? Or, whether planning permission had been sought for that castle over in the corner? Such empty questions, of course, have no answer.

    To be sure, this is more difficult to see in relation to the traditional question at hand, but it is nonetheless the result of similar confusions. So, it is my contention that this 'problem' has only arisen because ideologically-motivated theorists (from centuries ago) asked such empty questions, based on a misuse of language. [More on this below.]

    When the details are worked out, 'determinism', for instance, can only be made to seem to work if nature is anthropomorphised, so that such things as 'natural law' 'determine' the course of events -- both in reality in general and in the central nervous system in particular -- thus 'controlling' what we do.

    But, this is to take concepts that properly apply to what we do and can decide, and then impose them on natural events, suggesting that nature is controlled by a cosmic will of some sort. [Why this is so, I will outline presently.]

    So, it's natural to ask: Where is this law written, and who passed it?

    Of course, the answer to these questions is "No one" and "Nowhere", but then how can something that does not exist control anything?

    It could be responded that natural law is just a summary of how things have so far gone up to now. In that case, such 'laws' are descriptive not prescriptive -- but it is the latter of these implications that determinists need.

    Now, the introduction of modal notions here (such as 'must', or 'necessary') cannot be justified from this descriptive nature of 'law' without re-introducing the untoward anthropomorphic connotations mentioned above.

    So, if we say that A has always followed B, we cannot now say A must follow B unless we attribute to B some form of control over A (and recall A has not yet happened, so what B is supposed to be controlling is somewhat obscure). And if we now try to say what we mean by 'control' (on lines such as 'could not be otherwise', or 'B made A happen') we need to explain how B prevented, say, C happening instead, and made sure that A, and only A took place.

    The use of "obey" here would give the game away, since if this word is used with connotations that go beyond mere description, then this will imply that events like A understand the 'law' (like so many good citizens), and always do the same when B beckons, right across the entire universe --, and, indeed, that this 'law' must exist in some form to make things obey it. Of course, if it doesn't mean this, then what does it mean?

    Now, I maintain that any attempt to fill in the details here will introduce notions of will and intelligence into the operation of B on A (and also on C) -- and that is why theorists have found they have had to drag in anthropomorphic concepts here (such as 'determine', 'obey' 'law' and 'control') to fill this gap, failing to note that the use of such words does indeed imply there is a will of some sort operating in nature. [But, note the qualification I introduce here, below. There were ideological reasons why these words were in fact used.]

    If this is denied then 'determine' (etc.) can only be working descriptively, and we are back at square one.

    Incidentally, the above problems are not to be avoided by the introduction of biochemical, neurological, and/or physiological objects and processes. The same questions apply here as elsewhere: how can, for example, a certain chemical 'control' what happens next unless it is intelligent in some way? Reducing this to physics is even worse; how can 'the field' (or whatever) control the future? 'The field' is a mathematical object and no more capable of controlling anything than a Hermite polynomial is. Of course, and once more, to argue otherwise would be to anthropomorphise such things -- which is why I made the argument above abstract, since it covers all bases.

    This also explains why theorists (and particularly scientists who try to popularise their work) find they have to use 'scare quotes' and metaphor everywhere in this area.

    As I noted earlier, this whole way of looking at 'the will' inverts things. We are denied a will (except formally) and nature is granted one. As many might now be able to see, this is yet another aspect of the alienating nature of traditional thought, where words are fetishised and we are dehumanised.

    And this should not surprise us since such questions were originally posed theologically (and thus ideologically), where theorists were quite happy to alienate to 'god' such control over nature and our supposedly 'free' actions'. Hence, we too find that we have to appropriate such distorted terminology if we follow traditional patterns of thought in this area.

    No wonder Marx argued:

    The philosophers have only to dissolve their language into the ordinary language, from which it is abstracted, in order to recognise it, as the distorted language of the actual world, and to realise that neither thoughts nor language in themselves form a realm of their own, that they are only manifestations of actual life. [Marx and Engels (1970), p.118.]

    And:

    The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance. The individuals composing the ruling class possess among other things consciousness, and therefore think. Insofar, therefore, as they rule as a class and determine the extent and compass of an epoch, it is self-evident that they do this in its whole range, hence among other things rule also as thinkers, as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are the ruling ideas of the epoch. For instance, in an age and in a country where royal power, aristocracy, and bourgeoisie are contending for mastery and where, therefore, mastery is shared, the doctrine of the separation of powers proves to be the dominant idea and is expressed as an 'eternal law.' [Ibid., pp.64-65.]

    These concepts "rule" us too if we are suitably uncritical.

    Many of these ideas are not original to me (but the Marxist application of them is). They first appeared, as far as I am aware, in Bertrand Russell's essay:

    Russell, B. (1917a), 'On The Notion Of A Cause', in Russell (1917b), pp.132-51.

    --------, (1917b), Mysticism And Logic (George, Allen and Unwin).

    These ideas can be found explicitly stated in the following (but not from a Marxist angle):

    Gallop, D. (1962), 'On Being Determined', Mind 71, pp.181-96.

    I have also followed this analysis of 'law':

    Swartz, N. (1985), The Concept Of A Physical Law (Cambridge University Press).

    --------, (2006), 'Laws Of Nature', Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

    A PDF of the former can be downloaded here:

    http://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/physical-law/

    The latter is found here:

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/lawofnat/

    Influential Wittgensteinian criticisms of modern scientistic philosophies of 'mind' can be found here:

    Bennett, M., and Hacker, P. (2003), Philosophical Foundations Of Neuroscience (Blackwell).

    --------, (2008), History Of Cognitive Neuroscience (Blackwell).

    Those who think an appeal to ordinary language is inappropriate here should re-read what Marx said above, consult the first half of following, and then think again:

    Button, G., Coulter, J., Lee, J., and Sharrock, W. (1995), Computers, Minds And Conduct (Polity Press).

    The bottom line is that Marxists have been too quick to appropriate concepts and forms-of-thought from traditional (alienated ruling-class) philosophy without subjecting them to close enough scrutiny. Unfortunately, this means that while our politics seems radical enough, our theory (both here and in relation to dialectics, for example) is thoroughly traditional -- and, if I may say so, disconcertingly conservative.

    I explain why I say this in the first few sections of the following:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2002.htm

    Finally, I'd try to get this material published in Marxist journals, etc., but I am generally treated as a pariah, and face emotive and irrational hostility wherever I try to present such ideas.

    Seems "ruling ideas rule" comrades who are editors, too.

    Of course, the above does not imply I believe in something called 'The Freedom of the Will'.
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    Magnus Anderson

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Magnus Anderson on Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:22 am

    Zoot wrote:hume shows that all anybody ever meant by 'necessity', or 'connection', is that two events are constantly conjoined. when we see one, we expect the other to follow. in this sense there is as much necessity in human behavior as there is in any other aspect of the universe. everyone is aware that there is a conjunction between our motives and our voluntary actions. so hume argues that there is necessity in human behavior.

    That's correct. Hume is a hardcore thinker.

    but then at the same time, there is agreement that there exists liberty in human actions. now it seems at first glance that there is an obvious problem here; either things are determined or they are not. they can't be 'kinda' determined.

    Why is it impossible for things to be "kinda" determined?

    This kind of determinism, the "kinda determined" determinism, is also known as statistical determinism.

    Here's a bit of it somewhere on the Internet:
    http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/adequate_determinism.html

    I'm now going to show to you what it means for two variables to be in a relation that is "kinda" causal.

    The two variables under our consideration would be a light switch and a light bulb. At any point in time, the two variables can only be in one of the two states. A light switch can either be "up" or "down" and a light bulb can either be "on" or "off". Also, there is only a one-way causation between the two variables. This means that changing the state of the light switch (e.g. by pressing the light switch) can change the state of the light bulb (i.e. it can make it emit light or it can make it stop emitting light) but changing the state of the light bulb cannot change the state of the light switch. This is one-way causation. Now, a strict one-way causality between the two variables would mean that each time the light switch is "up", the light bulb is "on"; and each time the light switch is "down", the light bulb is "off". That would be strict determinism. A relaxed form of determinism, a "kinda type" of determinism, would be the one where there are situations when the light switch is "up" but the light bulb is "off". This is what happens in practice. You press the light switch and most of the time the lights turn on. The emphasis is on "most of the time" because sometimes this is not the case e.g. when the light bulb goes out or when there is a power outage.

    now since we can't tell by experience whether or not an event is necessarily produced by another, but experience every event standing in some conjunction to another, there is no opposition of alternatives here.

    If you have a sequence of events such as "A B A B A B" you are forced to conclude that each time A happens it is immediately followed by B. Not by another A, not by C, not by D, not by any other event, but by B. You can also say that each time B happens it is immediately followed by A. That's quite simply what causality is. Hume merely described what causality is. The fact that we can be wrong does not mean that causality does not exist. Further experience can lead to an updated sequence of events such as "A B A B A B A C". This contradicts our previous model of causality but it does not mean there is no causality. It simply means that A does not always cause B. Sometimes, it can cause C. This would be "kinda" determinism. In 3 out of 4 cases, event A causes B. In 1 out of 4 cases, event A causes C.

    Zoot Allures

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:15 am

    andy wrote:This is what happens in practice. You press the light switch and most of the time the lights turn on. The emphasis is on "most of the time" because sometimes this is not the case e.g. when the light bulb goes out or when there is a power outage.

    if the bulb doesn't come one, it would be because of a new factor that changed, or prevented, rather, the causal relationship between the switch and the bulb. if the bulb is blown, the switch doesn't cause it come on when it's up, but not because it no longer determines if the bulb will come on. the fact that the bulb is blown does not change the causal relationship between it and the switch. it changes the state of the bulb so that it can no longer be turned on by the switch. but now we're talking about a different bulb; a blown bulb. you've changed a variable.

    andy wrote:It simply means that A does not always cause B. Sometimes, it can cause C. This would be "kinda" determinism. In 3 out of 4 cases, event A causes B. In 1 out of 4 cases, event A causes C.

    no way dude. either A causes B, or it causes C. if it causes C, we don't say the A B A B A sequence is now only 'kinda' causal. you simply have a new sequence now that involves C, that's all; A B A B A C A B, etc.

    now this is granting that causality exists just for the sake of argument. we cannot prove it exists... we don't experience causality, we infer that it is happening. btw, causality was one of kant's synthetic a priori categories that's so disputed.
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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Satyr on Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:28 am

    The causal chain is reinforced with repetition.
    precedent makes the cause effect link increasingly probable, without making it absolutely certain.
    Each time you turn on the switch you have more than a link between currents and bulb, but environment affecting the entire system.
    Everything from gravity to infinitesimally small bosons, are interacting with bulb and wires and electromagnetism.
    Bulb is not absolute, it is deteriorating as you watch it....the wires and switching mechanism also not absolute...and the electricity is not so.
    No part of the sequence is indivisible, immutable, eternal.
    Electromagnetism itself will fragment into two forces....and the four known forces were once two, as we get closer to the near-perfect singularity we name Big Bang.

    Absolute: immutable, indivisible, whole, singularity, not-contingent...
    You can use the word absolute to express degree of certainty, degree of suffering, love, or whatever...but you cannot show us an absolute. You can only speak of it.
    Why?
    Because the abstraction in your mind, the noumenon, the idea/ideal, is an artificial absolute,a s the mind cannot think without it.
    How?
    Ambiguity.
    Vagueness.

    What is an abstraction?
    A synthesis of data, sensually collected, translated into a form the body can transmit to the brain and there interpreted into sensation, idea, abstraction.
    I call this translation/interpretation simplification/generalization....meaning the translation eliminates dimensions, like a photo eliminates them to create a representation, an image of a fluid event.
    so the mind deals in approximations of reality.
    Probabilities.
    The quantity and quality of the precedent establishes the rule....like 'all swans are white'...not an absolute certainty. The most probable.



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    Satyr

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Satyr on Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:12 am

    I recall a youtube clip by Greene, I think, describing how walls are not necessarily solid...and that every time you lean on a wall there is a small chance that your hand will go through it.
    Can't find it at the moment.
    if anyone has seen it they can link it.

    In fluid time/space where all is dynamic, nothing is absolutely certain. Reality is probabilistic, not absolute.
    The mind constructs absolutes called abstractions and then assumes they are real outside his mind....he projects.
    This gives the impression that the mind is creating reality, when it is interpreting world and then orienting itself according to these interpretations.
    Mind does not create reality, it translates (interpret) it and then faces the consequences of the accuracy of its translations.

    So world...
    objective reality - fluid not static, not absolute
    subjective interpretation - also fluid trying to constantly adjust to the first

    noumenon >>> symbols/language >>> phenomenon
    If the symbol does not refer to something in world, the apparent, it is pure idea(l).
    Mind can manipulate ideas....and invert the real.
    Abrahamism is an inversion of the real.



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    Magnus Anderson

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Magnus Anderson on Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:16 pm

    Zoot wrote:no way dude. either A causes B, or it causes C.

    Alright. You can say that either A causes B or it causes some other event such as C. You can say that's how the word is defined; that there is nothing in between; that you cannot say that in most cases A causes B and that in rare cases A causes C. You can say that a relation between two variables must be unambiguous in order for it to be considered causal. The relation, in other words, must be that of a mathematical function. Note that mathematical function is defined as a relation between two sets where every element from the first set is associated with exactly one element from the second set. In plain terms, each input must have exactly one output. But what about the kind of relation where each input can have more than one output? A multivalued function is a relation where each input is associated with at least one output. Consider square root. The square root of any real number greater than zero has two outcomes: the positive one and the negative one. The square root of 4 is either +2 or -2. Given that you don't want to call such a relation, when it exists between empirical variables, causal, how would you call it? Maybe correlation? However you choose to call it, the fact remains that there IS such a thing as "kinda" deterministic relation. You just have to understand what that means.

    The first step is to understand one's concepts. This is the logical or rational step. The second step is to check whether one's concepts have a match in reality. This is the empirical step.
    I think that you're stuck on the first step.

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:11 pm

    yeah i'm not too good with math, bro. i failed math on purpose so i could stay in consumer math and avoid the algebra and everything that follows. calculus, trigonometry, no thank you. i just need to know how to use a calculator and i'll let it do the work for me.

    i can probably say this, though. my gut immediately tells me that mathematical functions and processes do not involve any physical, causal relationships, as they express only a language of symbols. so i'm not sure if because there are multivalued functions in that language, it necessarily follows that physical causality can also have the same characteristic. i'm not sure this is a legitimate point though, because i don't pretend to fully understand what that even means... and i'll be honest, i'm not gonna read it and try to understand what it means.

    i understand causality like this:

    X can cause one or many things at once. anything that is an effect of X may also be effected by something else, but that effect does not interfere or change the fact that X had an effect. X either had an effect, or it did not. X either contributed to the cause of a body's change of motion and/or quality, or it did not. X cannot 'sort of' be a cause, and it's effect cannot be 'sort of' an effect of X.

    a deterministic relationship involves an influence of something, on something, or it does not.
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    Magnus Anderson

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Magnus Anderson on Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:06 am

    Zoot wrote:i can probably say this, though. my gut immediately tells me that mathematical functions and processes do not involve any physical, causal relationships, as they express only a language of symbols.

    We use symbols to represent reality.

    We can represent the relation between a light switch and a light bulb using a weighted multivalued function (or by using a probabilistic function.)

    so i'm not sure if because there are multivalued functions in that language, it necessarily follows that physical causality can also have the same characteristic.

    That's correct. It does not follow that just because something exists within the conceptual realm that it also exists within the physical realm. Dragons exist within the conceptual realm but they do not exist within the physical realm. So, multivalued functions do not exist in reality merely because they exist in imagination. They are said to exist in reality because what we know about reality suggests that they do. But before we can determine whether any given concept has a match in reality, we must first understand that concept. Would you agree with that? And I think that your problem is that you do not understand the concept of multivalued functions, or specifically, the concept of "kinda" deterministic relationships.

    i understand causality like this:

    X can cause one or many things at once.

    Expressions such as "X causes Y", "X influences Y", "X affects Y" and so on are all rather vague in relation to Hume's expression which goes something like "when X occurs Y occurs". And even Hume's expression is vague because it does not specify the precise point in time these events must occur. Hume's expression can be read as "when X occurs at some point in time Y occurs at some point in time". This expression permits the two events to occur at the same time. But if they occur at the same time, how can we determine which one is the cause and which one is the effect? We can't. Or rather, we can, but then, it's an arbitrary choice. I think that the words "cause" and "effect" are defined in such a way that the word "cause" refers to an event that occurs at an earlier point in time than the event that is represented by the word "effect". So, a better expression would be "when X occurs then Y follows". The word "follows" suggests that the event Y occurs after the event X. But this is still vague because it does not specify the temporal distance between the two events. The truth of the matter is that we can say that the temporal distance between the two events can be any or we can say that it must be within some range and so on. It's up to us. For example, we can say "when X occurs then Y occurs at some point before the next occurence of X". Such an expression would match the sequence of events such as "X A B C Y D X Y X Y A X" but it won't match a sequence of events such as "X Y X X" because Y does not occur at some point between the last two occurences of X. Or we can say something like "when X occurs then Y follows immediately". Such a statement would match the sequence of events such as "X Y X Y" but it won't match a sequence such as "X A Y X Y" because the first occurence of X is not immediately followed by Y. There is literally an infinite number of ways we can specialize a statement such as "when X occurs then Y follows". We have to choose one for the sake of simplicity. I will choose the latter for the purpose of this post.

    So your statement "X can cause one or many things at once" will be interpreted as "when X occurs then any number of events other than X can immediately follow". For example, a specialized version of this statement can be something like "when X occurs then A, B and C immediately follow and in that order". Such a statement would match a sequence such as "X A B C X A B C" but it won't match a sequence such as "X A B X A B C" because the first occurence of X is not immediately followed by the entire sequence "A B C". And I agree that this represents causality. In other words, an event X can cause a number of different events at once.

    anything that is an effect of X may also be effected by something else

    This can be interpreted as a conjuction of statements "when X occurs then Z immediately follows" and "when Y occurs then Z immediately follows". Such a conjunction of statements wouuld match a sequence such as "X Z Y Z X Z". I agree with this too. The same event can be caused by different events.

    X either had an effect, or it did not.

    But then you deny the relaxed rule that goes something like "in most cases, when X occurs Y immediately follows". Such a statement would match a sequence such as "X Y X Z X Y X Y" because most of the time X is immediately followed by Y. But it won't match a sequence such as "X Y X Z X Z" because most of the time X is not immediately followed by Y.

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:26 am

    andy wrote:We can represent the relation between a light switch and a light bulb using a weighted multivalued function (or by using a probabilistic function.)

    there is a probability of the switch turning the light on, yes, but whether or not it does is absolutely certain. it cannot both turn it on and not turn it on. this mutlivalued function stuff cannot reflect the actual empirical event of 'turning on or not turning on'. there are two values here dude; ON OR OFF. if the bulb comes on because the switch turned it on, the flipping of the switch caused the bulb to go on (or was one cause among many; connection of a circuit, flow of electricity, etc.)

    the probability of this happening has nothing to do with what happens, IF it happens. it is simply a way of calculating the likelihood of it happening. all things being the same, the switch should turn the light on when it is flipped.

    but even probability has its problems. how do we determine the likelihood of that happening? how do we assign a 'percent chance' of that happening? there is a 100% chance the switch will work if the circuit connector isn't corroded. what is the 'percent chance' of the circuit connector not being corroded? there is a one 100% chance the circuit connector won't be corroded if the moisture level doesn't increase in the room. what is the 'percent chance' of the moisture level not increasing in the room? see where this is going? every factor involved in the probability calculations depends on other factors remaining the same... but those too depend on yet more factors remaining the same, etc., etc., etc.

    about this conceptual realm stuff you're talking about. a mathematical language only functions according to the axioms we set for its functioning. these are purely linguistic, and while they may reflect and represent physical processes, they aren't physical processes. this multivalued function is a characteristic of a certain kind of rule we've established for the relationships between symbols. it is not a rule for how things in the world actually behave, as in the case of the impossibility of an event being what it is and not what it is, simultaneously. the event- the causal relationship between the switch and the bulb- is one such example.

    i'm NOT saying we can know the switch actually does cause the bulb to come on, because of the induction problem. these two events- the flipping and the lighting up- are contiguous (or nearly so), and that's all we can know. but if, indeed, there IS a causal relationship, and this relationship can be predicted according to its probability of happening, it will either happen or not happen. there is no third alternative.

    you know what's so great about being mathematically illiterate? you can cut through the bullshit. that's the advantage i have over you. i'm dumb, you aren't.

    yes, i agree with all the XYXYXY stuff. you appear to understand it all quite well... but i think you think all that somehow refutes what i'm trying to say. it doesn't, and can't.









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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:03 pm

    at this very moment you are typing frantically on a notepad, mad fingers dashing back and forth across a keyboard; oops... a typo.... backspace, correction... sip pepsi... proceed.... dammit, another typo... backspace, etc.

    don't worry about it, andy. i surrender. whatever it takes to stop talking about light bulbs and multivalued functions. really man, either i am too dumb to understand what you are telling me, or you are wrong. in either case, we are going nowhere fast.



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    Magnus Anderson

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Magnus Anderson on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:11 pm

    So you'd rather not move at all than move forward one step at a time?

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:19 pm

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Magnus Anderson on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:44 am

    Zoot wrote:the probability of this happening has nothing to do with what happens, IF it happens. it is simply a way of calculating the likelihood of it happening. all things being the same, the switch should turn the light on when it is flipped.

    You don't have to know anything about probability in order to understand the difference between the two types of determinism. So forget about it. What you need to understand is the difference between the word "all" and the word "most". That's all.

    If strict causality can be represented with a statement such as "All Ps are followed by Q" then relaxed causality can be represented with a statement such as "Most (but not all) Ps are followed by Q". That's all there is to the difference between the two types of causality.

    What does a statement such as "All Ps are Qs" mean? What does it say? What does it specify? It does not tell you how many Ps there are in the universe, that's for sure. The number of Ps in the universe could be any. It could be zero. It could be a trillion. It could be an infinite number. What it does tell you is that the number of Ps in the universe that are not Qs is equal to zero. That's all it tells you.

    And what about a statement such as "Most Ps are Qs"? What does it say? It tells you that the number of Ps that are Qs is greater than the number of Ps that are not Qs. That's all it tells you. Such a statement suggests that the number of Ps in the universe is finite because if it is not finite the statement is meaningless since it makes no sense to say that one infinite number is larger than another infinite number. (Georg Cantor argued that there are infinite numbers that are bigger and infinite numbers that are smaller i.e. an infinite number of Ps that are Qs can be larger than an infinite number of Ps that are not Qs. I agree with this, but because it is not easy to explain, it's better to simply ignore it for now.)

    Let the number of Ps in the universe be finite. Let this number be one. So, there is exactly one P in the universe. If this P is a Q then the number of Ps that are Qs is equal to one and the number of Ps that are not Qs is equal to zero. This means that both statements "All Ps are Qs" and "Most Ps are Qs" are satisfied. The first statement is satisfied because the number of Ps that are not Qs is zero and the second statement is satisfied because the number of Ps that are Qs (= one) is greater than the number of Ps that are not Qs (= zero.) On the other hand, if there are three Ps in the universe and if two of these Ps are Qs and one of them is not Q then the statement "All Ps are Qs" is no longer satisfied. If all of them are not Qs then both statements are unsatisfied.

    Strict causality:
    "All Ps are followed by Q"

    Examples that match this statement:
    "P Q"
    "P Q P Q"
    "P Q P Q P Q"
    "P Q P Q P Q . . ."

    The above statements represent relevant portions of reality. I focus on the sequence of events that are either P or Q ignoring all other types of events that occur before, in between and after these events because the statement "All Ps are followed by Q" imposes no constraints on them i.e. they could take any form and the statement would still be satisfied. For example, instead of "P Q" we could have "P R R R R Q" and the statement "All Ps are followed by Qs" would still be satisfied.

    Examples that do not match the statement:
    "P"
    "P P . . ."
    "P Q P R"
    "P Q P Q P R"

    Relaxed causality:
    "Most (but not all) Ps are followed by Q"

    Examples that match this statement:
    "P Q P Q P R"
    "P Q P R P Q P R P Q"
    "P Q P Q P R P Q P Q P R . . ."

    Examples that do not match this statement:
    "P Q P R P R"
    "P Q P Q P Q"

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:08 pm

    lucky for you i got rained out of work today, andy.

    ...

    so, are we on light bulbs or swans now? there are two distinct arguments here, and minding our Ps and Qs doesn't change anything i've said about either swans or light bulbs.

    i'm saying a switch either contributes, as a cause, to the bulb coming on, or it does not.

    i'm saying the statement 'all swans are white' can never be proven to be true, but it can be proven to be false, by finding a single swan that isn't white.
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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Satyr on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:10 pm

    Determinism is the past that manifests as presence. Also called nature.
    It is determining and immutable because it is past.
    Some call this 'God.

    But in an absolutely ordered cosmos the past absolutely determines the present, not requiring consciousness to intervene. Consciousness would be superfluous in this case.
    Consciousness is necessary, or useful, only in a cosmos where all is not absolutely ordered, but the random factor (chaos) is part of it.
    In this case consciousness adjusts the determined past to the ongoing flux, we can also call (inter)activity.
    Chaos makes freedom from past possible.
    It is only because all past does not absolutely determine the present, but only does so to a degree, that consciousness as an adjustment of the past to the ongoing present is essential.
    The degree to which the past does not follow the same paths, does not repeat, absolutely, the same interaction of patterns resulting in the same outcome, where freedom from the past enters as a choice, adjusting this past to a fluctuating present.

    Free-will is determined by the degree randomness affects the outcome of patterns, of order, interacting.

    Programming is DNA, memory...consciousness is the adaption of this programming to ongoing interactions that do not always lead to the same outcomes.
    The adaptation alters to adapt to the different outcomes.



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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:42 pm

    satyr wrote:But in an absolutely ordered cosmos the past absolutely determines the present, not requiring consciousness to intervene. Consciousness would be superfluous in this case.

    so a disordered cosmos requires conscious intervention? and, consciousness in an ordered cosmos would be different from consciousness in a disordered cosmos?

    you have your own peculiar way of understanding things, dude, which has for years made it difficult for me to discuss much of anything with you. sometimes you're hot, sometimes you're not. this time, you're not.

    first, 'order' should not be anthropomorphized. the cosmos is always ordered, by the strict definition of the word; things and processes interact in a certain way... that certain way is the 'order' of such interaction. but when we observe the cosmos, we tend to want to say that there are instances of disorder... but that's only because we cannot be aware of the whole system of things and processes, which has complete order. what would it mean if a person pointed at something in the nature and said 'that is disordered'? it would mean, if anything at all, that an unexpected course of events occurred. but it certainly wouldn't mean that nature wasn't ordered in the observed phenomena, because disorder is simply impossible. any system of things and processes, which constitute 'events', must have an order, because they proceed to happen in a space and time.

    neither an ordered or disordered cosmos 'requires' consciousness, and the very concept of a disordered cosmos is fallacious in the first place. and finally, consciousness could be considered superfluous in either case, because of its epiphenomenal quality; that it has no causal effect on the world, but vice-versa, only. this makes any 'intervention' by consciousness, physically impossible.

    satyr wrote:but the random factor (chaos) is part of it.


    ... and chaos theory is a problem of observation, not of actuality. a system is said to be chaotic depending on how accurately its future states can be predicted. but predicting accurately has nothing to do with whether or not the system is ordered.

    so you have to get rid of this 'randomness' idea you have. nothing is random... not even in an indeterminate system, because if you eliminate external causes for a things activity, you still get stuck with some kind of agent causality; the thing causes itself to do what it does.

    nothing is random in the purest sense of the word.

    now all the stuff you said pertaining to determinism and freewill is interesting, but doesn't cut to the meat of the problem. first, i'd refer you to the Rosa quote i put in the above post (first one, i think), to get an understanding of the problems involved in using the word 'determined' to describe causal processes.

    the phrase 'free will' also has its own problems... both with the meaning of the word 'free' and the word 'will'.

    personally, i have not resolved the determinism/freewill debate for myself, yet. despite how i recognize hume's points, i still can't shake the notion of causality. i am very tempted to accept kant's synthetic a priori category of causality.







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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Satyr on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:11 pm

    Zoot Allures wrote:
    satyr wrote:But in an absolutely ordered cosmos the past absolutely determines the present, not requiring consciousness to intervene. Consciousness would be superfluous in this case.

    so a disordered cosmos requires conscious intervention?
    You jump form one extreme, absolute order, to the other, absolute chaos.
    Cosmos is both....patterned energies and non-patterned energies.
    It is the non-patterned that necessitate a dynamic consciousness...otherwise a absolutely ordered, determined uni-verse would not require any adaptation.....actions and reactions would be pre-determined.


    Zoot Allures wrote:and, consciousness in an ordered cosmos would be different from consciousness in a disordered cosmos?
    Both absolutes are the approach to the negation of reality from a different perspective. One as absolute negativity, chaos, and the other as absolute positivity, order, singularity.
    If you show me a singularity...not tell me, show me...I'll conceded.
    Show me one ONE.

    Zoot Allures wrote:you have your own peculiar way of understanding things, dude, which has for years made it difficult for me to discuss much of anything with you. sometimes you're hot, sometimes you're not. this time, you're not.
    Yes...ad this way is called the 'correct way".
    But, I told you you've been raised in Abrahamism and you reacted aggressively.
    It seems you cannot think outside good and evil, absolute good and absolute bad, absolute order and chaos.

    This of the cosmos as an energy field of localized vibrations/oscillations...some are consisted, repeating and patterned.....others are not.
    Order/chaos coexist...Yin/Yang.....no absolutes. All is process, all is movement/momentum.
    We are ordering being so we find order attractive....we feed on it and we admire it - symmetry proportionality we call beauty....what offers probabilities we enjoy.

    Zoot Allures wrote:first, 'order' should not be anthropomorphized.
    Agreed...and absolute order is anthropomorphized as God.

    Zoot Allures wrote:the cosmos is always ordered, by the strict definition of the word; things and processes interact in a certain way... that certain way is the 'order' of such interaction. but when we observe the cosmos, we tend to want to say that there are instances of disorder... but that's only because we cannot be aware of the whole system of things and processes, which has complete order. what would it mean if a person pointed at something in the nature and said 'that is disordered'? it would mean, if anything at all, that an unexpected course of events occurred. but it certainly wouldn't mean that nature wasn't ordered in the observed phenomena, because disorder is simply impossible. any system of things and processes, which constitute 'events', must have an order, because they proceed to happen in a space and time.
    No the cosmos is not all ordered...it does not all follow laws. If it were free-will would be a joke and life would be superfluous.
    Why become aware of what follows the same patterns. All that would develop is action and reaction...no awareness required.

    Yes...randomness means that anything is possible. That's absolute same/time.
    But randomness, like order, is not absolute.
    Randomness would explain how life emerged...or how the cosmos goes into cycles. as possibilities increase the possibility of a new Big Bang becomes inevitable. Randomness (chaos) means a localized space/time vibratino that does not have A rhythm, a pattern, is unpredictable.
    Like matter emerging from nowhere in space and then disappearing again. It indicates energy that is unpredictable, as opposed to energies that are predictable.
    We can only perceive order...being organisms of order....and we perceive disorder as part of order, which produces change and the unpredictable...which consciousness must adapt to in real time.
    Because chaotic energies cannot harmonize, like patterned ones, they remain on the infinitesimal, decreasing in size as space/time fragments - expands.
    But it still interacts....but not consistently.
    Existence = dynamic.

    Zoot Allures wrote:neither an ordered or disordered cosmos 'requires' consciousness, and the very concept of a disordered cosmos is fallacious in the first place. and finally, consciousness could be considered superfluous in either case, because of its epiphenomenal quality; that it has no causal effect on the world, but vice-versa, only. this makes any 'intervention' by consciousness, physically impossible.
    No, in a cosmos of both order and disorder does consciousness become useful.

    Zoot Allures wrote:so you have to get rid of this 'randomness' idea you have. nothing is random... not even in an indeterminate system, because if you eliminate external causes for a things activity, you still get stuck with some kind of agent causality; the thing causes itself to do what it does.
    forget about causality for a moment.
    The predictable and the unpredictable participate in the consequence, the outcome, which the mind perceived after-the-fact.
    Randomness is integrated in the apparent.
    Random is the cause that cannot be predicted....not traced back from the consequence.

    Zoot Allures wrote:nothing is random in the purest sense of the word.
    Everything is random and ordered...these energies interact....and we call it Flux.

    If all is ordered, all is determined....so we are onlookers to our own existence...for not reason at all.
    To participate we must be able to intervene and change the course, or intervene where the course changes to adjust it.

    Still stuck on the Marxist Rosa?
    You have a thing for smart chicks.
    Your bottom head suppresses the top heads normal skepticism. You go ga-ga.



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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Satyr on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:32 pm

    Free-will is an absolutely ordered cosmos is a contradiction.
    You do not will what you already are, or what you already possess.

    Of course, degenerates can use all sorts of circular linguistics to justify it - mystify an answer....like; Will wills its own willing.
    Love, loves its won loving.
    Thinking thinks thoughts
    God creates himself.....circular.  
    It seems like something profound is being said, an explanation is given, when nothing is being said.
    God is renamed using another word - a verb, as opposed to a noun, to represent fluidity.
    Any positive verb can be used. Add a pronoun or an adjective....and you have a full circle - a whole, a solution.
    One ones oneness.
    Power empowers power.

    Everything can be justified in this way.
    How do plants grow?
    Plants grow by growing.
    Sun shines by shining shine.
    Language used as a Gordian Knot....to give the mind the impression of closure. A safe womb to tie itself in.
    All nihilists use words/symbols in this way - esoteric, turning back to self, inward - narcissistic.
    Self-referential, self-consistent.
    If you mix words you can create the illusion of something deep being explained...like abstract art. the fArt, as I call it, simply provides a triggering surface for the observer to reflect itself back to itself.
    It finds a patterns, that looks like something....and then extrapolates meanings it projects. This is what psychotherapists do, sometimes using dreams.
    This is not philosophy...it is psychology, used as marketing and/or politics. how to mange humanity, or how to orientate yourself in humanity, and how to cast a route through humanity, or within it.

    Love of wisdom about world, is now love of self, in relation to world - a study of man's reactivity.
    Navel gazing - solipsism, narcissism.
    But this is effective only if there's a sheltering system present to protect the mind from the repercussions of this detachment.

    How does life emerge?
    Life lives living.
    You need an adjective and a verb, a noun and/or a pronoun, and you can construct a sentence that seems to be saying something when ti is not saying a thing.
    Words referring to words.....and if you substitute them it seems like you invented something new, you made a breakthrough, you has an insight.  

    like Christians suing 'love' to define their abrahamic God.
    The positivity of the word used is supposed to inhibit skepticism in the host - it reduces questioning.
    The mind wants it to be so, so it ignores the inconsistencies and the self-referential 'logic'.

    There's no external natural order, no phenomenon, to refer to...so the mind uses words to refer to words that refer to words....no break outward...all inward.
    The break outward is hypocritical...it refers to text outside the mind...so words again, but in a book, or another's mind.
    At no time is the word connected to the world.

    See the clownishness?
    It's effective.....it has worked for centuries. With the same types.  
    Instead what is offered is romantic imagery, pretty words, imagery triggered by words.
    Mysticism.


    Last edited by Satyr on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:42 pm

    You jump form one extreme, absolute order, to the other, absolute chaos.
    Cosmos is both....patterned energies and non-patterned energies.

    a pattern does not need to be repetitious to be a pattern. it simply means 'sequence', and each event is an organization of forces, things, and processes. so, the cosmos is totally patterned.

    It is the non-patterned that necessitate a dynamic consciousness...otherwise a absolutely ordered, determined uni-verse would not require any adaptation.....actions and reactions would be pre-determined.

    if they were predetermined, the presence of consciousness would also be part of that determination, not extraneous to it. but what you say is a false dilemma, anyway, because there is no 'non-patterned'.

    again, the addition of 'consciousness' to the animal does not magically give it freewill. if there is pre-determination, consciousness, and any alleged 'choices' it makes, would also be pre-determined.

    If you show me a singularity...not tell me, show me...I'll conceded.
    Show me one ONE.

    i don't unnderstand the question. define 'singularity'.

    But, I told you you've been raised in Abrahamism and you reacted aggressively.
    It seems you cannot think outside good and evil, absolute good and absolute bad, absolute order and chaos.

    it's unfortunate something that should be easy to understand proves to be a major obstacle for you.

    the ONLY thing that can be absolute is order and truth value... not morality, not good and evil. you are taking a word from one context and moving into another where it doesn't work the same way. you have attached 'baggage' to the word 'absolute', and then you assume that i carry the same baggage.

    Order/chaos coexist...Yin/Yang.....no absolutes.

    you create a set of opposites, and then declare they are not absolute. why then conceive of them? is yang the same as yin? if it isn't absolutely different, there should be no dichotomy.

    i'm not saying such opposites exist...YOU'RE saying they exist, and then you immediately imply, by there being no absolutes, that they aren't what they are, absolutely. so maybe yang could be yin, and yin, yang... and if that's the case, it is meaningless to create such opposites in the first place.  

    did you bump your head this morning?

    Agreed...and absolute order is anthropomorphized as God.

    more baggage. you're gonna need a uhaul by the time we get done with this post.

    we add nothing to nature by calling it 'god'.

    Still stuck on the Marxist Rosa?
    You have a thing for smart chicks.
    Your bottom head suppresses the top heads normal skepticism. You go ga-ga.

    wtf, dude. she's like eighty years old by now. gimme a break. still you will never find anyone else in the world who has beaten hegel so unmercilessly, as big Rosa has. she opened up a can of whoop-ass on that dude like you've never seen, man.

    besides, my heart belongs to someone else, someone who stood by me. ergo, i'm forever hers, faithfully...
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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Satyr on Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:00 pm

    Zoot Allures wrote:a pattern does not need to be repetitious to be a pattern. it simply means 'sequence', and each event is an organization of forces, things, and processes. so, the cosmos is totally patterned.
    A sequence that repeats.

    Zoot Allures wrote:if they were predetermined, the presence of consciousness would also be part of that determination, not extraneous to it. but what you say is a false dilemma, anyway, because there is no 'non-patterned'.
    Whatever you say.
    You want to be a joke....so let's laugh.
    Consciousness has been predetermined, for no function....just to become aware of its superfluity and laugh.

    Zoot Allures wrote:again, the addition of 'consciousness' to the animal does not magically give it freewill. if there is pre-determination, consciousness, and any alleged 'choices' it makes, would also be pre-determined.
    So, we are all onlookers to our own predetermined existence.
    I now understand your cynicism.

    Zoot Allures wrote:i don't unnderstand the question. define 'singularity'.
    Absolute probability - certainty.
    Singularity contradicts space/time where space is possibility.
    All probabilities are one. A certainty...another way to define God, the abrahamic one.

    Zoot Allures wrote:it's unfortunate something that should be easy to understand proves to be a major obstacle for you.
    Retribution....I like.

    Zoot Allures wrote:the ONLY thing that can be absolute is order and truth value... not morality, not good and evil. you are taking a word from one context and moving into another where it doesn't work the same way. you have attached 'baggage' to the word 'absolute', and then you assume that i carry the same baggage.
    So selective, for no reason at all.
    I'm wondering why you refused the van clan Messiah, now.
    Masculine rejection of authority...his condescending self-aggrandizement turned you off, made you more resistant.
    The clown cannot see how he is his own worse enemy.

    But, who knows, you may come around...in time.

    Zoot Allures wrote:you create a set of opposites, and then declare they are not absolute. why then conceive of them? is yang the same as yin? if it isn't absolutely different, there should be no dichotomy.
    Not absolute....different in that one is ordered and the other chaos, properly understood.
    The shape they give them is one representing dynamism, fluidity.

    Zoot Allures wrote:i'm not saying such opposites exist...YOU'RE saying they exist, and then you immediately imply, by there being no absolutes, that they aren't what they are, absolutely. so maybe yang could be yin, and yin, yang... and if that's the case, it is meaningless to create such opposites in the first place.  
    no, I'm saying these opposites are based on human binary logic and how it uses an external standard, or self as the standard to discriminate between energies.
    Matter/energy differ in relation to human metabolic rates,a s a group of energies that are faster, and/or slower.
    Differences between patterns are rhythmic....sequences repeating.

    Zoot Allures wrote:did you bump your head this morning?
    How did you know?
    Creepy.

    Zoot Allures wrote:more baggage. you're gonna need a uhaul by the time we get done with this post.

    we add nothing to nature by calling it 'god'.
    Not I, they do.
    I use the word to refer to natural processes....ordered.
    So, gods, for me, like for Kazantzakis, are fighting on the same side against chaos.

    Zoot Allures wrote:besides, my heart belongs to someone else, someone who stood by me. ergo, i'm forever hers, faithfully...
    Can only be one of two people.
    Which one?


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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:16 pm

    satyr wrote:Whatever you say.
    You want to be a joke....so let's laugh.
    Consciousness has been predetermined, for no function....just to become aware of its superfluity and laugh.

    ah, but it's something we can't get around, so we still act as if we had freewill. the question you need to ask yourself is: are you prepared to accept that everything might, indeed, be superfluous.

    you cannot wish this possibility away simply because you find it disagreeable. but to be able to laugh in the end... if it turns out to be true... that is something special. to carry a burden you can neither bear nor through off, and learn to laugh at it. one must imagine sisyphus happy, as camus once said.

    satyr wrote:So, we are all onlookers to our own predetermined existence.
    I now understand your cynicism.


    the stoics believed so, but didn't necessarily become cynical because of that.

    i'll have to skip all that other stuff because i rarely understand anything you say, and when i do, i usually disagree with it. not to say you don't got any good stuff once in a while. you certainly do... much more than many others around these parts.

    satyr wrote:Can only be one of two people.
    Which one?


    a female deputy at the jail that smuggled some doritos in for me.







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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Satyr on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:26 pm

    Zoot Allures wrote:
    ah, but it's something we can't get around, so we still act as if we had freewill. the question you need to ask yourself is: are you prepared to accept that everything might, indeed, be superfluous.
    i do not wish away anything...i bring to light.
    A joke implies a prankster.

    Zoot Allures wrote:you cannot wish this possibility away simply because you find it disagreeable. but to be able to laugh in the end... if it turns out to be true... that is something special. to carry a burden you can neither bear nor through off, and learn to laugh at it. one must imagine sisyphus happy, as camus once said.
    I find it absurd...not diagreeable.
    What would be more agreeable than to discover life was a tragedy or a comedy set-up by god.

    Zoot Allures wrote:i'll have to skip all that other stuff because i rarely understand anything you say, and when i do, i usually disagree with it. not to say you don't got any good stuff once in a while. you certainly do... much more than many others around these parts.
    No problem...i'll be unpacking it one by one, piece by piece, allowing you to digest it over time.
    And if you don't...so be it.

    Like I said elsewhere, metaphysics is secondary. It must only be in harmony with the physical, experienced world, and not contradict it.
    Metaphysics is the foundation supporting the empirical, structure. You can build a structure with no foundations but it's vulnerable to shifts...Flux.
    My metaphysics are perfectly aligned with the structure....everything I say about world and humans, in particular.
    I am far more interested in the human condition, psychology, language, the games people play, the methods, the madness, the loves the hatred.....psychology.

    Zoot Allures wrote:a female deputy at the jail that smuggled some doritos in for me.
    Did she have big guns?


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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Zoot Allures on Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:47 pm

    satyr wrote:I find it absurd...not diagreeable.
    What would be more agreeable than to discover life was a tragedy or a comedy set-up by god.

    excellent. man elevates himself and becomes exalted when he finally accepts the absurd... or is at least prepared to accept it. and when he accepts it he transcends himself, stands beside himself and says as if to a dear friend 'just look at this absurd mess we're in, old boy. oh well. we did what we could, and that's all we can ask.' everybody does this, and nobody can touch us when we do it. in that moment, that fatalistic surrender to the absurd, is when man is most authentic. nothing can take away from this admission... not how great you are or aren't, what you've done or not done, if you've lied or been honest, etc. that admission is THE GREAT LEVELER of dasein. and it is in the shared melancholic ecstasy we experience in this admission, that bonds dasein together most strongly. together we have something the universe doesn't have, and that's our power over it. we know absurdity, have to endure it, and finally learn to laugh in the face of existence.

    a poor man broken by christianity once said something very profound (that almost redeemed him of his christianity):

    "Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him. but even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. The universe knows none of this." - pascal

    satyr wrote:Did she have big guns?

    didn't carry guns. was a security risk; what if i got that gun from a deputy?

    they carried pepper-spray. and that shit is so serious you can taste it in the air even if its sprayed in another block. it gets into the air system and comes out of the cell vents.

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    Re: Freewill contra Determinism

    Post by Magnus Anderson on Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:31 pm

    Zoot wrote:so, are we on light bulbs or swans now?

    We are on Ps and Qs now.

    i'm saying a switch either contributes, as a cause, to the bulb coming on, or it does not.

    You claimed in your original post that it makes no sense to say that there is both necessity and liberty in human behavior. That's what I am responding to.

    Here's the relevant part of your OP:
    hume shows that all anybody ever meant by 'necessity', or 'connection', is that two events are constantly conjoined. when we see one, we expect the other to follow. in this sense there is as much necessity in human behavior as there is in any other aspect of the universe. everyone is aware that there is a conjunction between our motives and our voluntary actions. so hume argues that there is necessity in human behavior.

    but then at the same time, there is agreement that there exists liberty in human actions. now it seems at first glance that there is an obvious problem here; either things are determined or they are not. they can't be 'kinda' determined.

    Notice the bolded part? You are saying "either things are determined or they are not, they can't be kinda determined". That's what I am responding to.

    Necessity isn't a particular. It isn't something that exists between two particular events. Rather, it is a universal. It is best represented with a statement such as "Every P is followed by Q". That's a universal statement. That's what Hume is saying. Liberty, too, is a universal. It can be represented with a statement such as "P is followed by all events in equal measure".

    i'm saying the statement 'all swans are white' can never be proven to be true, but it can be proven to be false, by finding a single swan that isn't white.

    Yes, that's basically Popper. But Popper's negative opinion of induction is excessive. There's nothing wrong with induction.

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