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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
Space Monkey

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 132
Loc: North American Plate.
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2431061 - 03/14/04 01:34 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

No, all is particular, and what is particular we have far less of than we'd generally like to think... I guess I'm an eliminativist when it comes to various things---qualia, holes, fictional characters, etc. etc.

It's good that you brought up God, because I think that there are many parallels to the free-will debate. It's ultimately a matter of faith---there's nothing that one can point to and say "that's free-will". At best you can point to something, X, and say "X is evidence of free-will". It strikes me as the same for God. I can raise my arm---that is not free will, but it _could_ be evidence of free-will.

And now, for some fun and to see what you people think, I will paraphrase Ryle's argument against freedom of the will:

When we say some act Q is undertaken volitionally by an agent, what we mean is that this act, Q, was selected from a set of possible actions that the agent could have undertaken. But it seems that the selection of Q, the act Q`, must also have been a volitional act of the same type. The selection of Q`, therefore, Q``, must have been of a similar type. Therefore it seems as though in "willing" an action, there would be an infinite regress involved. Is this problematic? It seems to me that at no point can any of the Q-primes ever stop, otherwise we would be admitting that our actions would be predicated on unwilled antecedents...but how can this happen? We certainly do not do an infinite number of things before raising our arms, do we?


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"Better Dead than Red."


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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2431067 - 03/14/04 01:42 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
Space Monkey

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 132
Loc: North American Plate.
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2431083 - 03/14/04 01:49 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Well, I believe that we have terms which refer to things, and we have terms which refer to classes of things, but at no point does this necessitate a universal thing. We certainly have fancy webs of reference and complex relationships between our referants---that is, if you were to model the way we do "real life" reference inside of language as a formal system, it would probably be quite complex.

I guess that one way to justify what I've said (well, "justify"---this is not a rigorous argument) is Berkeley's statement, I guess, of what qualifies as a ground for ontological committment to a thing.

"esse est percipi". To be is to be perceived.

I've never perceived a universal; only a particular. In fact, I have trouble thinking about how I could ever perceive a universal---if I did, would it not have to be a particular and therefore not _really_ a universal?

(Is dogmatic empricism really so much worse than dogmatic realism? =])


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"Better Dead than Red."


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2431097 - 03/14/04 01:54 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

You're free to choose a belief that free will exists or that it doesn't, that doesn't change the facts. Think of the consequences for people if no one was held accountable for their actions, if it was universally accepted that no one has free will...

"Oh those poor Nazi's, they couldn't help themselves. Imagine the horror they must have felt knowing that all those Jews would be horribly put to death and they had no choice in their actions."

"It's not my fault the investors were defrauded and they lost all their retirement money, I had no choice in the matter, my actions were predetermined."

"Sorry about sodomizing and killing all those teenage boys detective, but I have no free will." "That's okay son, destiny has made the decision so it's not your fault and I can't make a decision about what to do about you..."


Ideas have consequences.

I choose not to elaborate any more.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
Space Monkey

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 132
Loc: North American Plate.
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Evolving]
    #2431124 - 03/14/04 02:02 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Yes, and if everyone's actions really _were_ pre-determined, there would be no use saying that the nazis could have helped themselves. Your final example is probably the best for seeing why this is not a problem. The sodomy and killing were deterministic outcomes of the universe running its course---so is whatever moral outrage or lack thereof that the detective has. If we have no free will and determinism is true:

We are perfectly justified in assigning moral responsibility for an action to the person who performed it, basically, because we have no _choice_ in the matter.

A lack of free-will doesn't just mean you aren't free to kill or rape or murder---it applies to everything, from mundane to incredible. You have no more choice as to whether to put jam or butter on your toast in the morning than whether or not you hold a murderer morally responsible.

It is an interesting question how interactions between free and non-free people might need to go, but I think that it is more an exercise in "what if" than an exercise in some problem that is likely to happen. It seems as though we are either all free or none of us are free.


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"Better Dead than Red."


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Evolving]
    #2431178 - 03/14/04 02:18 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Indeed, there is no practical value in adopting a absolute determinist view of the universe, inclusive of human behaviour. There is a concept in physics regarding the Conservation of Information which states that if you know the current state of all the particles of the universe you can run this backward to any point in time and know the state of the universe at that time. This however runs into some difficulty when particles, and their information, disappear into black holes. There is also the problem of virtual particles popping into existence all the time, usually to be annihilated immediately by their antiparticles, but not always. Another inconsistency is illustrated by half-life. Given a piece of uranium we can say with absolute certainty that half of it will decay in a certain period of time. However we can say nothhing about when a certain, single particle will decay. Schroedinger's cat and all. There seems to be enough indeterminacy here to allow for the actual existence of free will. But, more importantly, there is no value in denying it.


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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2431204 - 03/14/04 02:22 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
Space Monkey

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 132
Loc: North American Plate.
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2431332 - 03/14/04 02:56 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Sure.
I don't think that gets us universals.
I don't quite see how solipsism is self-refuting---it's just not very _useful_. A solipsist can't really draw useful ethical conclusions for living within a society. So I can completely agree with you, for a moment, that if enough people perceive X, we can reliably infer that there is an X. But this gets us some particular X, not any sort of universal of which X is a particular instantiation.

Also, I think that your characterization of hallucination is incorrect. We have one way in which we perceive, but it does not seem to be the only thing that I might call perception. A bat, for example, performs activities which I would like to call perception, but can I ever know what they are? Nagel's question is can I ever know "what it is like" to be a bat? And his answer is no, and I agree.

I don't think that reversing the maxim fundamentally changes it. I don't think that your translation of the reversal is quite the fullest scope of the reversal. Literally, (Six credits of latin, so, if this is incorrect, I apologize!) To be perceived is to be. And in this case, "to be" seems to mean "exist"

And so, we end up with:

Esse est percipi => To be is to be perceived => To exist is to be perceived
Percipi est esse => To be perceived is to be => To be perceived is to exist.

I think I can agree with both of those statments without being inconsistent and without assenting to universals.


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"Better Dead than Red."


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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2431407 - 03/14/04 03:28 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/12/02
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2431457 - 03/14/04 03:45 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Out of curiousity, do you feel that I was on the mark or off, in my last reply up there? Did what I say hold water? I'm interested 'cause if not then I have to do a whole lot of serious thinking because that was really deep of me... a lot of stuff I think about has to be rethunk if so.  :confused:
Peace.  :mushroom2:


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:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2431474 - 03/14/04 03:50 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2431484 - 03/14/04 03:53 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
Space Monkey

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 132
Loc: North American Plate.
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2431578 - 03/14/04 04:25 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

P1 Nothing immaterial exists.
P2 Universals sound to me like they cannot be material---material things are particular. (Is this wrong?)

C1 And so universals do not exist.

Is P1 the place to attack this argument? P2? Both? I'm certainly open to your arguments...

I'm not so sure about which definitions we're disagreeing on... Is it universal/particular? It seems to me that a universal, if one believes in such a thing, is a thing such that it receives no particular instantiation but is the general thing referenced by any given particular. For example, a given car references the Universal Car. Or a given blue is the particular instance of Blueness. Perhaps with colours this makes more sense. I see these things---and all of my thoughts about them---as fundamentally material. I do not see where these universals could come.


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"Better Dead than Red."


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
illusion

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 3,040
Loc: there
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2431579 - 03/14/04 04:25 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Of course universals exist, they exist in the mind.

this is a completely meaningless and contradictory statement.

Truth does not emanate from a three pound mass of flesh within a human skull, no matter how bloated and self-important it may be. how arrogant of man to think that on this speck of dust in a sea of stars, we have found "Truth" or "universals" by examining human thoughts in human minds. we are bit players in the cosmic drama, IT is greater than anything you can possibly comprehend. to think that human beings can grasp TRUE universals by examing the HUMAN mind is laughable at best.
simply put, this is a philosophy from another era, when the earth was thought to be the center of creation.
I hope the more progressive minds here can see it for what it is - the death throes of a dying philosophical paradigm.

seeing universals in the human experience is a bit like looking for God on the insides of your eyelids... he's always there...
I guess if your desperately seeking something, you'll eventually find it, somewhere.



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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
Space Monkey

Registered: 07/31/03
Posts: 132
Loc: North American Plate.
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2431681 - 03/14/04 05:12 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Slightly more rhetorical than argumentitive, but well said =]


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"Better Dead than Red."


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
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Last seen: 6 years, 9 months
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2431902 - 03/14/04 06:35 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

fireworks_god writes:

How did you come to the conclusion that there is free will?

Through observation.

The fact that we are living entities and are capable of self reflection and making conscious choices doesn't say anything for free will.

It says everything about free will. If you make a conscious choice, then by definition you are exercising free will. If there is no such thing as free will, there is no such thing as a choice, either.

pinky


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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2433050 - 03/15/04 12:32 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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Invisiblekaiowas
lest we baguette
 User Gallery

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 5,501
Loc: oz
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2433210 - 03/15/04 01:06 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

the ability to make a conscious choice...what does that mean exactly? 

I have a question for people here...can you or can you not control your emotions?? Why is this important?  well it may not be important, but isn't it your emotions that will ultimately determine HOW you are going to act?  Maybe I've been cut off in traffic 3 times and that 3rd time was "enough" for me and so I snap, honking and yelling at them. Why did I act that way?  because the world didn't fit what I thought it "should be" What my ego has an idea of the way "the world should be"  This was a desire that wasn't met and so I got pissed.

Could I, my awareness, ask myself, hey...why am I getting mad?  there's no reason to because I can never change the world around me, just my inner world (the way I see things happening with an emotional response). 

What i am getting at is the whole idea that everything is predetermined.  If everything is based off of cause and effect, then can I ever "catch" myself in the moment of me getting emotional and say, "hey why am I doing this?"  the ability to ask yourself and self reflect..I dunno, I guess you could say that something that happened before could have made me look at myself.  But if I make the choice of trying to determine my own emotional responses...can that be free will?

Can I work on myself over and over and consciously focus, and then realize why I feel the way I do when something I don't like happens?  I like to see this as a computer.  The mind is a the computer, you are not the computer.  you are the operator.  how you feel emotionally, depends on what programming you have had in your past life. If I focus enough, I (the operator) can erase one program and replace it with another.  The operator to us is our conscious-awareness, the thing that doesn't change no matter what happens in the world around you. 

so maybe it's our mind (ego and rational mind) that is based on cause and effect.  My mind (the computer) can change often.  If I (the operator) put a new program in, then what happens in my mind (the computer) is determined by my conscious-awareness (the operator).

heh...hope I didn't confuse :grin: 

Infidel...you bring up a really good point about the mind and universal truths. Why do we have the idea in our heads that there is something such as "universal truth"??  Why is it that humans came up with math?  we all know that 1+1=2 and that's a fact. surey ou can say that's a concept that we made up, but isn't everything around us made up? And the best aprt of all is that science works a lot of the time using math. If you look at things, most things involve math.  how did it come down to this?

you could say that math doesn't prove anything in here, but that fact that we can use math to PROVE, and that these proofs have a real tangeakbe effect says to be that the mind is capable of grasping what a universal truth IS.  :stoned:


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Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.


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Offlinepsikooz
Stranger
Registered: 07/19/03
Posts: 1,023
Loc: Los Angeles
Last seen: 10 years, 9 months
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2433354 - 03/15/04 01:48 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

This is very interesting. At the root of all action there is one simple drive that controls all other actions: procreation. By default we are driven towards the opposite sex, and we will use other higher level actions to come closer to procreation with the opposite sex.

We have a certain degree of free will. We can choose what tv show to watch. What car to buy. what food to eat, etc...
But we really have no choice to eat, breathe, be attracted, etc...


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OfflineSquishySquid
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Registered: 01/23/04
Posts: 6
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2433848 - 03/15/04 05:35 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Do universals exist? I don't know.

What is a universal? To me, the word implies not only that it is something that applies to everything, but something that applies equally to everything at all times. We make distinctions based on differences. Generally, the more universal something is, the less aware of it we are. How often do you notice the nature of the air you breathe? Probably when some change brings your awareness to it, like an odor, or change in temperature, humidity, etc. Some change from the norm. If something always applies equally to all things, there is nothing to bring our awareness to it.


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