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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2441628 - 03/17/04 01:34 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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OfflineFrog
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2441632 - 03/17/04 01:35 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
You don't believe you have the capacity to act volitionally? Every action you take, every thought you experience is pre-ordained? You are nothing more than a helpless passenger along for the ride aboard the vessel that is your body?

Bummer.

pinky




I agree. 

"Baron Paul Henri d Holbach (1723-1789) (a hard determinist) compared humans on the earth to the fly in an ancient fable:

? ?The fly in a fable?: D?Holbach tells the story of the fly, who alights on a large carriage (coach) being pulled by horses. The fly begins to think that it (the fly) is determining where the carriage will go.

o Humans on the earth are comparable to the fly, according to d?Holbach

? Both (fly and human) think they are free, but they are not free? because there are forces that determine what they do."

What I believe, was said best by Emerson:

"A little consideration of what takes place around us every day would show us, that a higher law than that of our will regulates events; that our painful labors are unnecessary, and fruitless; that only in our easy, simple, spontaneous action are we strong, and by contenting ourselves with obedience we become divine.

Belief and love, ? a believing love will relieve us of a vast load of care. O my brothers, God exists. There is a soul at the centre of nature, and over the will of every man, so that none of us can wrong the universe.

It has so infused its strong enchantment into nature, that we prosper when we accept its advice, and when we struggle to wound its creatures, our hands are glued to our sides, or they beat our own breasts.

The whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey. There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word.

Why need you choose so painfully your place, and occupation, and associates, and modes of action, and of entertainment? Certainly there is a possible right for you that precludes the need of balance and wilful election.

For you there is a reality, a fit place and congenial duties. Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right, and a perfect contentment.

Then you put all gainsayers in the wrong. Then you are the world, the measure of right, of truth, of beauty. If we will not be mar-plots with our miserable interferences, the work, the society, letters, arts, science, religion of men would go on far better than now, and the heaven predicted from the beginning of the world, and still predicted from the bottom of the heart, would organize itself, as do now the rose, and the air, and the sun."

In the almighty words of fireworks_god, "Peace".  :grin:


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2442883 - 03/17/04 12:36 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I see that there is a lot of confusion regarding this topic. And even if Mr.Mushrooms tries to clarify concepts with long and elaborate posts, it makes me wonder if such a demonstration of intellectual refinement does not make matters even more obscure and the truth harder to see. Truth is after all simple (although it may be infinitely deep).

I`ll try to clarify my view... Some of my statements is not graspable in terms of Flatland-logical thought patterns so look within and beyond.

What do we mean by a free choice? Certainly not a random choice?
If it is not random, then, what is it?
Something that is not random is presumably part of an order, ja?

But what is order?

It is really not easy to define what exactly order is. It does not confine to any particular theory, but lays rather in the whole infrastructure of ideas, concepts and values. It's in the very framework in which human thought is understood and action carried out.

As I have argued before, perhaps order is the language of meaning?

"Meaning to whom?", you may ask. Well, the human body is also ordered, a relatively stable structure (all structures are relatively stable) that has somehow emerged from some primordial soup. Why should we have meaning if we are only matter?

But what is matter then?
Matter is structure and structure is an order that is somewhat stable.

But if all is order, who are there to interpret all this?
"The most incomprehensible thing about creation is comprehensibility"- Albert Einstein

Where does the ability to understand come from?

To answer this we first have to introduce the concept of a context.

A context is a system of order by which other systems of order is understood. The word implies something that holds the text together. If anything is to be understood it has to be understood in a context.

The human brain is thus a context by which to measure order. But the context itself is also an ordered system! And by understanding something trough a context, the context is also changed (Thus we have a non-linear system, i.e. the system is implicit in the varibles defining the system).

But back to the question; why is there such a thing as understaning?

Because order is the manifestation of meaning. Meaning is being! To ask "where does meaning come from?", would be like chasing your own tale; you do not realize that the tail is an inherent part of you!

The will commands the body, and the body obeys, but what commands the will?
Thought is a subtle order which is able to inluence matter. Matter is able to influence thought. The awareness that this is so, is a new perspective, a new order, which carries higher meaning.

As I have argued, matter is structure, and so is thought. Thought is more subtle, that is 'finewoven', than matter. But in essence there is really no difference.

The feeling of exhilaration following a serotonin boost goes hand in hand with the chemical activities in the brain. But once again; there is no dualism in this. It is ONE process.

Mr.Mushrooms said that the will has a tendency to flow towards good.
I will rather phrase it like meaning has a tendency to flow towards coherence.

Higher meaning has a wider horizon of action, thus avoiding inconsitencies and incoherence. You may wander lost, but sooner or later you will encounter incidents which leads you onto the path of higher meaning flowing towards the sea of coherence, which is Go(o)d.

Will is the ability to establish a structure that carries out higher meaning and thus is able to overrule lower orders of meaning (i.e. the pursuit of pleasure).

Higher meaning 'is gained' as a consequence of increased awareness.

You may then ask "is it not determined then, if I get higher awareness, or is not my ability to exersice free will a part of the way I was raised?"

Well once again you chase your own tale. Ultimately there are no separation between you and the universe. The outside is the inside is the internal is the external is the manifested is the unmanifested is the implicate is the explicate is the unfolded is the enfolded is the Brahman is the Athman and so on. You determine the universe as the universe determines you.

Let me introduce the Klein bottle, a moebius strip rotated around its mirror image.



What is special with this mathematical construction, is that you can follow the surface of it, and without any breake in continuity you will pass from the outside 3D bottle to the 4D space 'inside' the bottle.

If we equate the inside 4D-space with your awareness and the outside 3D-space with your body (or the external universe), we see that it is the combined system that gives meaning. A single 3D bottle is empty of soul, and a inner 4D space has no expression. It is one process!

No wonder that ancient civilizations have used the snake that eats its own tale as a symbol of the universe. If you get hold of your own tale and swallow yourself you have trancended into the Klein-bottle realm.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2443087 - 03/17/04 01:40 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

First off, I read that huge thing and I understand it, but I don't see how the hell I will be able to reply to it all, because that would mean I would have to construct my own huge fucking writing with the same type of structured words that suck the meaning right out of it.. don't have the time or that much of a structured mind. :grin:

I do have some things I wish to address of that writing, however, and a lot to say on my own, to try to fully bring my point acrossed.

Well, I definitely won't argue with the fact that we experience free will.... observation proves that. A thought in my mind decides to move my arm parallel with my shoulder, and then my arm moves. I can even choose to stop it half way and pause for a second, and then I see that it physically does happen.. I've observed my making a choice and then that choice being externally carried out.

Quote:


Mr. Mushrooms said:
This type of "freedom applies to the will when we speak of "free will, and we mean that the will is free from intrinsic necessity or determination in at least some of its acts. Hence, when it is said that the will is "free," it is implied that the will is not necessitated by its nature to act in a determined manner, but is capable of choice even when all the conditions for acting are present.




I guess that would be a good definition of freedom of the will... but I don't see how it is true in our case, with our will. Every thought and our mental programming that we use to make choice is all determined.

We are NOT free of cause and effect. Remember me moving my arm before? Well, to map out specifically what all caused my arm to actually move would take quite awhile.. which is why creating artificial intelligence isn't so easy. :grin:

But we all know the physical aspect of it. Once "we" decided to move our arm, the impulse was sent out (cause and effect), and everything necessary for the movement of our arm carried out in sucession. Every little step along the way was the effect of the previous step, which was the cause for that effect. From the thought that set into motion the movement of the arm, we have a small chain of cause and effect that carried out the process of the arm moving. 

Now does that say anything agansit free will? Of course not, we still made the choice to move the arm, right? That was just the physical result of our choice, and there was no conscious choices being made along the way, just physical processes......

Well, then let us speak of the mind itself. It gets pretty damned complicated here... However, in the spirit of striving to share perspective with others, here we go!  :smirk:

Let me ask this: Is our mind free of cause and effect? Nope. On closer inspection, it is impossible to be free of cause and effect. If we WERE free of cause and effect, we would inevitably be Gods in the sense that we would beyond the workings of time and space.

Of course, first off, all our thoughts and the way we look at the world and judge new experiences and situations was determined. Our interations with the system that we are in make us who we are.

So, then, the way we treat every new moment and what that moment consists of depends on the moments before. Every single thought we think was led up to being thought by the previous thought. Not only that, but our environment also has an effect on our mind as well, in each moment.

So, at this point, I say, "yes, I know that, although limited options are available for choices and that our experiences create who we are, we still have the ability to experience making a free choice." That isn't the issue.

What I am saying, first of all, is that our decision making processes ARE determined. We certainly experience making a free choice, but experience and what is actually happening are a different story. There has NEVER been a human that has made an action that has been free of influence.

Every action, and every thought (which, of course, is still an action) has a cause, and is the cause of the next effect. When we enter a moment, there is an interaction of us and the moment. "Us" has already been determined in the moments before, and is going to act in this moment according to what has led them up to the moment and what is being presented in the moment. Furthermore, the interaction between us and the moment, as well as every other variable in the moment, thereby leads up to the next moment. 

There is NO seperation between us and the moment and all the other variables also in this system. My whole point I am trying to make comes from a perspective outside of the individual perspective (although, of course, it is accessed by an individual perspective. :grin:)

It is obvious that everything that we consider ourselves to be came from our interactions with the system we are in, and that every single moment interacting within this system that we are also a part of further creates our meaning and our perspective and our way of thinking.

In the sense that we experience making a free choice, that is a result from our individual perspective. It is a blessing and a curse.. I don't think it is possible altogether to escape the individual perspective, at least in this lifetime, but I do believe it is possible to expand our understanding to the very brink of losing it entirely..... There is a lot of perspective and understanding that requires expanding from the indivdual perspective to realize. It is out there and to someone else who is confined in a stricter sense of vantage point, and hasn't experienced it, then it wouldn't make sense.

Quote:


Mr. Mushrooms said:
In other words, the determinist is living a lie; he or she is saying one thing but acting contradictory to what is said; he or she is affirming one thing in theory and the opposite in practice; to put it bluntly, the determinist is a con artist promoting a philosophical fraud.




:rolleyes:

Well, I can't speak for a "determinist", but I can speak for myself. What I am proposing, or at least attempting to, doesn't involve any contradictions between my understanding and how I actually live. I fully acknowledge the experience of free will and hell, the understanding that I have come to find allows this experience to take place, and it fits within that understanding.

We are within a system and an active part of that system and there is quite the interaction there. The seperateness and the freedom from this system is an illusion and a necessary one. The fact that it is an illusion and that we are not free in any way from cause and effect does not subtract from, in any way, our experience of free choice. The view that it does is simply a misunderstanding of what cause and effect really is.

So ja.. I guess I will just end with asking for an example of any situation that has ever laid outside of the realm of cause and effect.... :lol:
Peace.  :mushroom2:


--------------------
: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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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2443155 - 03/17/04 01:58 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Oohh, killer fucking post! Du er sikkert fremskreden i tanke. (Did I say that right?) :grin:
Peace.  :mushroom2:


--------------------
: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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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Registered: 02/16/04
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2443330 - 03/17/04 02:37 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Takk, takk  :smile2:
You are getting hold of the Norwegian language, ja? :thumbup:


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2443440 - 03/17/04 03:11 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Nei. Jeg kjenne lite.  :frown:

No, I got lazy and didn't actively pursue learning it, and I just kept shrugging it off... see, I'm even talking in the past sense, even though I still have two months yet to learn. :grin:

And I can type more than I can say... I can't carry on a conversation with anyone in Norsk or anything. hehe. But I still intend to learn it, even if I don't pick it all up during my stay here....

I still experience consciously choosing to desire learning it! :lol:
Peace.  :mushroom2:


--------------------
: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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Invisiblemuhurgle
Turtles all theway down

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 299
Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2443455 - 03/17/04 03:15 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Mr.Mushrooms said that the will has a tendency to flow towards good.
I will rather phrase it like meaning has a tendency to flow towards coherence.


That meaning flows towards coherence might be true.

The article posted by Mr.Mushrooms assumes that there is an independent concept of good and evil, that there is a universal metric to measure these things by. If one chooses to believe that, that's fine, but it's still a belief. Assuming this without reservations is religion.

Equating good with coherence takes an even greater leap of faith.


--------------------
"To make this mundane world sublime
Take half a gram of phanerothyme."

Aldous Huxley


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: muhurgle]
    #2443512 - 03/17/04 03:27 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

When something is coherent it is whole unto itself. That is, there is no conflict within. I see this as good, and it fits right into common definitions of what good is.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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Invisiblemuhurgle
Turtles all theway down

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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2443608 - 03/17/04 03:48 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Ok, that's fine. So good = coherent is one way of defining good. But what is 'good'? Common defintions are just common definitions.

Moral relativism is not a fringe philosophy. Asserting moral absolutism, without even mentioning it, to 'prove' free will, is in my opinion absurd.


--------------------
"To make this mundane world sublime
Take half a gram of phanerothyme."

Aldous Huxley


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: muhurgle]
    #2443669 - 03/17/04 04:03 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

>>Asserting moral absolutism, without even mentioning it, to 'prove' free will, is in my opinion absurd.

So that was the reason I rephrased what Mr.Mushrooms said in the first place. Coherence is a neutral phenomena.

>>Ok, that's fine. So good = coherent is one way of defining good. But what is 'good'? Common defintions are just common definitions.

What definitions do you want?

And by the way; we are off topic...


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2443742 - 03/17/04 04:16 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

And by the way; we are off topic...

Time to take it to tha STREETS!

OTD TIME!

:wink:

(seriously, I'd love to see this topic get subjected to the pool of piranhas over there :grin:)


--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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Invisiblemuhurgle
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2443767 - 03/17/04 04:27 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

So that was the reason I rephrased what Mr.Mushrooms said in the first place. Coherence is a neutral phenomena.

You also said that you see coherence as good.. :smile: But this is beyond the point is was trying to make.

What definitions do you want?

Give me an objective definition of 'good' :smile:


--------------------
"To make this mundane world sublime
Take half a gram of phanerothyme."

Aldous Huxley


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: muhurgle]
    #2443872 - 03/17/04 05:06 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

>>Ok, that's fine. So good = coherent is one way of defining good.

Well you agreed yourself :wink:

That coherence is good is pretty objective if you ask me.

Your problem is that once I have given you this definition of good, you compare it with other definitions and start to pull in moral values. You ask for objectivity, but are unable to clear the word 'good' from its subjective connotations.

What we do here is developing meaning as we go along. If you know of other aspects of the word good that you feel lack in my definition, then come with them, and let us have a dialouge. But that is again probably the domain of another topic.

Im off into dreamspace then :yawn:


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2444012 - 03/17/04 06:11 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I'm not a determinist, and I DO "observe" free will (whatever that means), but my problem with philosophical "evidence" for the existence of free will is that it seems to boil down to one thing:

determinism is self-defeating

my question is this:
"why can't the universe be self-defeating"?

who says there has to be a purpose?
who says the universe has to be coherent?
who says truth has to be "good"
aren't these basically human value judgements?

I freely admit that I believe in free will because I want it to be true, and because it is practical, not because I see any compelling evidence for it. I don't claim that free will is Truth. and anyone who claims to have "solved" the problem of free will through "observation" or "philosophical examination" is merely making value judgements.


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: ]
    #2444902 - 03/17/04 10:50 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Cheers.....:beer:
And again ......:beer:
And one more time.......:spliff:


You guys I would like to refocus this a bit. There are obviously a lot of sharp minds here, but this is going off in all kinds of (fascinating) directions.

Mr M: I read a little bit from each of those essays and they didn?t do much for me. It seemed like the content and level-headedness of the articles would provoke as much fruitful debate as Pinksharkmark's comments (not much).

The Visionare, Fireworks God: Great posts. I definitely need to reread them and consider implications. I'm hoping this might meet Mr Mushrooms and friends at their level.

The question I posted was "how do you reconcile the notion of cause and effect with our belief in freewill?" (something like that)



These are generally the positions:

Compatibilists: Prove to me that I don?t have free will. It is plain as day that I can choose what I want to do. Yes there are restrictions, but I clearly can exercise choice when behaving when I want to. SEE! I chose to write this! And what would happen if we didn?t? Ahh.. the consequences!

Incompatibilitists: Prove to me that every behavior we engage in is not the result of a infinitely complex chain of causality. Show me that even your most evolved, higher-order abilities, are not EXTREMELY complex reactionary behavior in response to stimuli.


Each places the burden of proof on the other because neither can conclusively prove his position. But THIS is why I side with the compatibilisits currently: An object that has an effect on the world that is not the result of past causes, an object that can apparently go in and out of the causal chain- can exert an influence on things, but itself not be influenced by things- simply does not fit with the casual order of things as we know it. Acknowledging freewill is analogous to explaining the reason the river is flooding is because it is not pleased with the acts of the nearby community or that a person is schizophrenic because of demonic possession.

Saying that freewill is ?self-evident? is bunk. This is not an argument. There are many things that people consider to be self-evident- some people think that reincarnation is self-evident. But this belief is not the result of rational analysis. It?s not rational. I?m not saying therefore it is bad or wrong, we all have such metaphysical beliefs, but they?re just not rational. Perceptions deceive.

And pointing out the consequences of not accepting the doctrine of freewill is also not a valid argument against freewill. I?m not saying that we should all deny freewill and plunge our society into absolute chaos (which would no doubt happen at this time). But this has not bearing on whether or not we can ?freely? choose to act. This is just pragmatism.



It comes down to parsimony. Shall we explain human behavior in terms of cause and effect, a useful framework that we apply to other aspects of reality? Or should we invoke some metaphysical object that is sometimes a cause-effect object and sometimes not? This is the same as the existence of God discussion.

Conclusion: If you are going to include cause and effect into your way of looking at things, you cannot also coherently accept freewill, to ANY degree, without introducing some metaphysical object, and this object needs to be accounted for if your view is rational.

SO THE QUESTION(S) IS: How do you account for it? Many of the freewillers here would not be to keen on accepting the idea of a ?soul? or some other spiritual idea. How do you EXPLAIN it? From where does it arise? In what dimension does it exist? Incompatibilists have cause and effect- all things are things that are effects of causes, which in turn are themselves effects of causes- what do compatibilists have? What is this theory of freewilling things, the framework through which a self-causing, freely choosing object makes sense? You have to have some framework. Is it just willy-nilly right? We all know that our senses can deceive us. What is the rational explanation to accompany your perception? No, social consensus does not count.


--------------------
Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2445908 - 03/18/04 03:04 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Buttonion writes:

But THIS is why I side with the compatibilisits currently: An object that has an effect on the world that is not the result of past causes, an object that can apparently go in and out of the causal chain- can exert an influence on things, but itself not be influenced by things- simply does not fit with the casual order of things as we know it.

I have never stated or implied that the objects outside the materialist "causal chain" -- i.e. those entities which possess volition -- are not themselves influenced by things.

Saying that freewill is ?self-evident? is bunk. This is not an argument.

Since free will can only be demonstrated ostensively, there is no other way to say it. It isn't an argument, correct. It is axiomatic.

Your above statement has implications broader than just the question of free will. It extends not just to actions (volitional or otherwise) but also to entities. The only way to prove the existence of the lighter I just used to ignite my fine Dominican cigar is to toss it to you. I need not "prove" the existence of the lighter to you. Once you have it in your hand its existence is self evident.

There are many things that people consider to be self-evident- some people think that reincarnation is self-evident.

And those people are mistaken. People who believe the existence of the Earth is self-evident are not mistaken.

But this belief is not the result of rational analysis. It?s not rational.

Something which can be directly experienced need not be analysed rationally.

Perceptions deceive.

All perceptions?

Conclusion: If you are going to include cause and effect into your way of looking at things, you cannot also coherently accept freewill, to ANY degree, without introducing some metaphysical object, and this object needs to be accounted for if your view is rational.

Correct.

SO THE QUESTION(S) IS: How do you account for it?

My best guess is that there is some component of volitional entities (the driving force behind volitional action -- the "initiator", if you will) which is capable of acting in the observable four-dimensional universe, but is not entirely of the observable universe.

In what dimension does it exist?

Perhaps in the fifth dimension. Or the sixth. Many physicists are at least halfway convinced there are more than six dimensions. It helps them resolve some stubborn problems in quantum mechanical theory.

A fairly famous thought experiment involves hypothetical creatures inhabiting a three dimensional world rather than our four dimensional world. These creatures live on an infinitely thin plane -- one with just width and breadth, but no height (an X and Y axis but no Z axis). Their third dimension is time, just as our fourth dimension is time.

These hypothetical creatures, being incapable of directly perceiving the dimension of "height", would be hard-pressed indeed to explain how the four legs of a chair (one of our four dimensional chairs, of course) could possibly move in unison. They perceive only four apparently unconnected disks (the bottom of the chair legs), yet when they push one disk, the other three move as well. Magic!

pinky

edited for typo


--------------------


Edited by pinksharkmark (03/18/04 03:20 PM)


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2446087 - 03/18/04 05:07 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

buttonion said:
The question I posted was "how do you reconcile the notion of cause and effect with our belief in freewill?"




In a short answer, I would have to say that one would go about resolving cause and effect and our experience of free will by realizing that our experience of free will is created by and continues the process of cause and effect.

Quote:


And pointing out the consequences of not accepting the doctrine of freewill is also not a valid argument against freewill.




Especially since the experience of having free will is still being experienced by all. It is entirely possible to continue to experience making free choices while knowing that there is no actual free choice. After I dream I know that the experiences that seemed so real were in fact just a dream, just an experience produced by my mind.... but yet every night, I continue to experience it. Knowing that our experience of free will is just an illusion (an essential one at that), but yet we continue to experience it, can be seen in the same light.

Quote:


Conclusion: If you are going to include cause and effect into your way of looking at things, you cannot also coherently accept freewill, to ANY degree, without introducing some metaphysical object, and this object needs to be accounted for if your view is rational.




Well, the experience of having free will can be accepted without introducing some metaphysical object. Cause and effect and the experience of making free choices, as I understand it, coexist in perfect harmony. Cause and effect shows how this moment and all it encompasses was arrived at by the previous moments, and the interaction between all the variables in the system in this moment inevitably creates the next moment and what interactions take place in that moment. I don't understand how this can be escaped or what could possibly lie beyond this.

Meanwhile, the experience of free will, I think, comes about from the fact that we have developed awareness and our minds are capable of advanced thought processes. We experience free will because it serves as a means of making more advanced actions that are impossible without some sort of consciousness and self reflection; advanced understanding... while this does, in fact, really advance and make more complex the cause and effect process, it isn't by any means free from it.

The experience of free will and the principle of cause and effect can coexist without any need of a metaphysical object. :wink:

Quote:


SO THE QUESTION(S) IS: How do you account for it? Many of the freewillers here would not be to keen on accepting the idea of a ?soul? or some other spiritual idea.




Well, I am one to believe that we have a soul, something beyond this physical reality that is attached to us in order to learn and to experience, for further evolution... but that's just a spiritual belief of mine, and I certainly don't try to pin free will as coming from that source, especially since I see that said soul as an impartial observer, like someone in a play's audience that doesn't interact with the people on stage (hehe, although it is possible for the people in the play to be aware of the presence of the audience, so to speak. :grin:). :lol:

Why look to something beyond this reality as we know it for free will when we can already find why we experience it here in this one?  :smirk:
Peace.  :mushroom2:


--------------------
: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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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2446455 - 03/18/04 10:11 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

buttonion said:
But THIS is why I side with the compatibilisits currently: An object that has an effect on the world that is not the result of past causes, an object that can apparently go in and out of the causal chain- can exert an influence on things, but itself not be influenced by things- simply does not fit with the casual order of things as we know it.




There are higher orders that can penetrate the lower orders in a seemingly acausal way, measured from the perspective of the lower order.

But when I exersice free will it comes from a sense of purpose and meaning. This purpose and meaning do not depend on anything then? How can anything act with purpose and meaning from an unmanifested realm if there is no sense of purpose and meaning in this realm?

If A is to influence B it means that A cannot be separate from B, because they are really 'parts' of the same system. One process, remember?

So if there is an effect (will) that influence an element (the causal chain) it means that the effect and the element influenced is both part of a 'higher' system! They can NOT be separate from each other!

Quote:

buttonion said:
There are many things that people consider to be self-evident- some people think that reincarnation is self-evident. But this belief is not the result of rational analysis. It?s not rational. I?m not saying therefore it is bad or wrong, we all have such metaphysical beliefs, but they?re just not rational.




It would be useful to define what socalled rational analyzis really is. Rationality stems from ratio, that is relationships. We could i.e. have a relationship between two elements measured from some kind of categorization. But we can also have relationships of realtionships and so on indefinetely.

Rationality is thus and order that measures relationships, and indeed the essential order of thought.

True rationality is when the order of thought reflects the order of the universe.

So a belief in reincarnation can be quite rational if this is what honest investigation leads you to believe (yes there are ways in which to investigate these things).

Quote:

buttonion said:
Perceptions deceive.




Perceptions does not deceive, but the interpretations of these can deceive if we are not careful. Interpretation meaning the categorization of the percieved within your tought-system. The only way to develope a categorization system that does not decieve is to try and fail. There is no safe haven, but we help each other along right :smile:

Quote:

buttonion said:
It comes down to parsimony. Shall we explain human behavior in terms of cause and effect, a useful framework that we apply to other aspects of reality? Or should we invoke some metaphysical object that is sometimes a cause-effect object and sometimes not? This is the same as the existence of God discussion.




One man's metaphysics is another man's reality. If one fish was taken from the sea and lifted into space, how could he convey what he saw to his fellow fish? This fish would at first hardly know what he saw himself. But then he might get to know some space-man friends that took him at regular trips to space. And although space always reveals new mysteries the fish will certainly have a more stable opinion of what space is as his visits continues.

Now, how shall he proceed in convincing the other fish that their sea is on a planet that floats in space? He can`t. His theories would be deemed metaphysical and crazy. Truth is something that is shared and the proof of the pudding is in eating it.

The fish sees the sun from below the surface, and certainly the moon, and perhaps also some stars. So instead of like the deepwater fish, gnawing his jaws, and thinking that there can be anything or nothing 'up there', why not like the fly-fish develop wings and take a closer look?

A consitent theory is a boat and a inquireous mind the wind in the sail,
together plowing the waters of life, towards the horizon of truth.
And if the boat is leaking you'll have to tighten the hole, and if there is no wind, then damn it use your lungs!

Some like to sail,
some like to stay at their respective reality-island.

Quote:

buttonion said:
Conclusion: If you are going to include cause and effect into your way of looking at things, you cannot also coherently accept freewill, to ANY degree, without introducing some metaphysical object, and this object needs to be accounted for if your view is rational.




Yesterdays metaphysics is todays science.

Free will and causality go together like hand in glove, causality is the houshold of meaning (and will). Like the kleinbottle is the home of the genie :grin:


Quote:

buttonion said:
Many of the freewillers here would not be to keen on accepting the idea of a ?soul? or some other spiritual idea. How do you EXPLAIN it? From where does it arise? In what dimension does it exist? Incompatibilists have cause and effect- all things are things that are effects of causes, which in turn are themselves effects of causes- what do compatibilists have? What is this theory of freewilling things, the framework through which a self-causing, freely choosing object makes sense? You have to have some framework. Is it just willy-nilly right? We all know that our senses can deceive us. What is the rational explanation to accompany your perception? No, social consensus does not count.




You show the strength and weaknesses of each standpoint, but I think the view I hold reconciles these two views.

As Hegel taught, every thesis (free will) when explored, leads to it's antithesis (determinism), thereby creating a paradox which can only be solved going to a higher (or deeper) level.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2446501 - 03/18/04 10:42 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I'm glad you brought this back.

My take on the free will issue is that there must be a mechanism for it, something that avoids the strict constraints of the cause and effect doctrine and the omnipotent being doctrine. The omnipotent being doctrine cannot be addressed; there is no argument that cannot be refuted by making recourse to an omnipotent being. There is no evidence for it and it's a logical dead end. If you want to believe in an omnipotent being, fine. I have lost interest in discussing it with you.

As to the cause and effect argument, which posits that every action is the inevitable result of previous actions, we require that there be some mechanism for creative activity, something that steps outside of the linear cause and effect stream. Since I believe that humans are in essence biological machines and that there is no mystical soul force involved, and that the biological processes are a direct result of the effects (quantum mechanicals) of the particles we are made of, there must be some method for the introduction of creativity (I use this in the sense of non-linear cause and effect activity).

There is a concept in physics of the Conservation of Information. This says that if you know the current state of all the particles in the universe you can essentially run the tape backwards and be able to describe the state of the universe at any time. If this is so, then the idea of free will has real problems. But I do not believe this to be so. The idea of Conservation of Information runs into difficulty when particles are lost into black holes, their information is gone. There is also the matter of particles popping into existence out of nothing all the time. (Strange as it seems this is accepted by most physicists). These are known as virtual particles and they are usually anihilated by their anti-particles, but not always. Then there is the nebulous nature of electrons, they mostly exist as probabilities. Likewise the existence of radioactive decay. We can say with certainty that half of the particles in a radioactive sample will decay in a certain period of time (half-life) but we can say nothing about when a specific particle will decay. It gives no clue that it is about to, it just does.

This may seem somewhat removed from human behaviour, but I believe that humans are the sum total of their particles, no less and no more, and this is how I refute the strict cause and effect guys. There is no arguing with the god people so I don't (well maybe a little but not here).

The line of reasoning which goes that there is no point in arguing free will because without believing it we would have chaos is valid in the sense that this discussion is just a glorious wank. But if you're gonna have a wank it might as well be a good one and this is one of my favorites.


--------------------


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