77
   

Proof of nonexistence of free will

 
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 05:48 am
@fresco,
Quote:
I suspect your argument could amount to a tautology.


Didn't Strawson say that indeterminists were using " obscure and panicky metaphysics"?

How can La Mettrie's man as a machine have free will? Machines have no will. Determinism, which he must adhere to, is the thesis that all our mental states and acts, including choices and decisions, are effects necessitated by preceeding causes. That our future is as fixed as our past. Even our choice of determinism or indeterminism is not free.

The atheist, it seems to many people, is committed to determinism. Only some metaphysical entity provides an escape and the atheist cannot allow such a thing as his ground has gone from under him if he does.

But can the atheist abide not having free will? If he can't, which he usually can't, and he also can't allow a metaphysical entity he can only get involved in "obscure and panicky" verbal operations in which technical language is deployed in order to persuade himself, and others, that he can have it both ways when in fact he can't.

But, of course, these "obscure and panicky" verbalisations, allow him, if they persuade him satisfactorily, or solipsistically, to escape from the inhibitions the culture, and particularly the religious institutions, seek to use to control his behaviour and so he is "out free" of any guilt or responsibility regarding sexual matters simply by his having woven the winds to his own design.

Neat I must admit.

But Bertrand Russel, who admitted he wrote for money, warned us of "big-wordism" and to suspect any writings which depart from the ordinary use of language.

Fundamentally, the belief in free will is religious and the Roman Catholic church supports the concept. The Marquis de Sade and Charles Manson opposed it. Gratitude and resentment are ridiculous without it.

I once wrote a song entitled She's a Machine.

GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 10:42 am
@Razzleg,
I am a purely descriptive linguist by trade, writing in general is not as related to language as its prestige might suggest, feel free to mispell use creative punctuation, whatever you feel like.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 10:46 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
I am a purely descriptive linguist by trade, writing in general is not as related to language as its prestige might suggest, feel free to mispell use creative punctuation, whatever you feel like.
Nevertheless, I'm glad he edited out the "both".
0 Replies
 
litewave
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 11:08 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
What makes you think that Group 2 functions "logically", at all? Please support your argument with proofs...

And "how" should they function?

Quote:
N.B.: Is there anything that makes you think that Group 1 is logical in nature? What has logic to do with it? For what reason do you find erotics easily separable from all other casual factors, vs. fluid dynamics, say? What is it about the use of logic that makes all causal powers irreversible?

Group 1 factors are intentional and Group 2 factors are unintentional. I divided them thusly because a free choice is supposed to be intentional. That's all.
0 Replies
 
litewave
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 11:12 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
Do you believe that all "causal" powers operate in the "same" way? If not, does this difference make a difference in the way you regard "desire (intentionality)"? What is the cause of intentionality? Why should "free will" be identified with "control"?

I only build on what people seem to regard as free will: having control over one's actions, translating one's intention into action.
litewave
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 11:15 am
@GoshisDead,
Quote:
There are basically two kinds of factors that determine your choice:

Group 1: force
Group 2: all other factors

The division was meant to distinguish between intentional and unintentional factors, because free will acts are regarded as intentional.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 11:51 am
@litewave,
I was simply demonstrating the arbitraryness explanations through grouping strategies. Anything that has more than one category has two categories. Anything that has more than two categories has two categories.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jul, 2010 12:23 pm
@litewave,
litewave wrote:

Quote:
Do you believe that all "causal" powers operate in the "same" way? If not, does this difference make a difference in the way you regard "desire (intentionality)"? What is the cause of intentionality? Why should "free will" be identified with "control"?

I only build on what people seem to regard as free will: having control over one's actions, translating one's intention into action.


"Only"? But isn't that what "free will" means? What is "only" about it?
0 Replies
 
guigus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 05:45 am
@spendius,
spendius wrote:
Only some metaphysical entity provides an escape [from determinism] and the atheist cannot allow such a thing as his ground has gone from under him if he does.


Determinism results from denying the existence of possibility, a denial that eliminates the essence of all free will: determinism allows only for actuality to exist. But possibility must exist, since:

1. If you actually exist and your existence becomes impossible, precisely then you cease to actually exist: your actual existence and its necessary possibility are simultaneous.

2. If the possibility of your existence were identical to its actuality, then it would become the necessity of your existence, rather than its necessary possibility.

3. Hence, the possibility of your existence must be both different from the actuality of that same existence and simultaneous to it.

Finally, for being both different from and simultaneous to your actual existence, your possible existence must exist: its nonexistence would require its being either identical or asynchronous to your actual existence.

So the essence of determinism is the confusion between the necessary possibility of any actuality and its necessity, which manifests itself in the following paradox:

If I know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove myself wrong. However, despite my having actually walked 300 steps tomorrow would have been necessarily possible, it would not have been necessary.
analog mind
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 07:25 am
To prove the nonexistence of free will is contradictory, in the sense that any proof implies the existence of someone (the prover) who has the freedom, intention and ability to produce the proof and therefore, she has free will.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 07:37 am
@guigus,
guigus wrote:


If I know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove myself wrong. However, despite my having actually walked 300 steps tomorrow would have been necessarily possible, it would not have been necessary.


First of all, if you do know that you will walk 3oo steps tomorrow, then it follows that you will walk 300 steps to tomorrow. So that if, tomorrow, you walk 301 steps, you will have shown that you did not know that you would walk 300 steps, and not that you knew it, but that you were wrong. What you would then show is that you did not know it in the first place, but you only believed you knew it.

Second of all, whatever is possible is necessarily possible. That is a theorem of modal logic. And of course, if some proposition is possible (and therefore) necessarily possible, it does not follow that proposition is necessary. For example, it is possible (and therefore necessarily possible) that I will take a walk tomorrow. But it is clear that my taking a walk tomorrow is not a necessary truth. But you probably mean (since you are confused about what "necessary" means) only that although I might take a walk tomorrow, I don't have to take a walk tomorrow. And, of course, unless someone forces me to take a walk tomorrow, that is true. But that has nothing to do with modal logic, or any other kind of formal logic. It just has to do with how we ordinarily use the terms, "possible" and "necessary". What is possible might or might not happen, but what is necessary has to happen. So, since I might or might not take a walk, it is possible that I will. But since I will not be forced to take a walk, I won't necessarily take a walk. But, of course, necessarily I will either take a walk or I will not take a walk. Although neither my taking a walk nor my not taking a walk is necessary.
ACB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 07:53 am
@guigus,
guigus wrote:
Finally, for being both different from and simultaneous to your actual existence, your possible existence must exist: its nonexistence would require its being either identical or asynchronous to your actual existence.

This makes no sense to me. The words I have underlined are contradictory (even if "being" is used as a verb).
guigus wrote:
If I know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove myself wrong.

If you walk 301 steps, you did not know that you would walk only 300. Knowledge implies truth.
[EDIT - I see that kennethamy has just pointed this out.]
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 10:45 am
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

guigus wrote:
Finally, for being both different from and simultaneous to your actual existence, your possible existence must exist: its nonexistence would require its being either identical or asynchronous to your actual existence.

This makes no sense to me. The words I have underlined are contradictory (even if "being" is used as a verb).
guigus wrote:
If I know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove myself wrong.

If you walk 301 steps, you did not know that you would walk only 300. Knowledge implies truth.
[EDIT - I see that kennethamy has just pointed this out.]


I imagine (and "imagine" is the right word here) that what he means by "your possible existence must exist" is that necessarily if you exist, then it is possible that you exist. Which is true, since what is impossible cannot exist. Of course, it makes no sense to think that a the possibility that X exists occurs at the same time as the actuality that X exist (synchronous) since the relation between actuality and possibility is logical, and therefore, non-temporal (just as it makes no sense to say a figure being triangular is synchronous with that figure being trilateral). There is a confusion (and that is a kind way of putting it) between necessary relations and contingent relations. But that this has to do with free will remains a mystery.
guigus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 07:25 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

guigus wrote:
If I know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove myself wrong. However, despite my having actually walked 300 steps tomorrow would have been necessarily possible, it would not have been necessary.


First of all, if you do know that you will walk 3oo steps tomorrow, then it follows that you will walk 300 steps to tomorrow. So that if, tomorrow, you walk 301 steps, you will have shown that you did not know that you would walk 300 steps, and not that you knew it, but that you were wrong. What you would then show is that you did not know it in the first place, but you only believed you knew it.


I don't believe you have never doubted any previous knowledge of yours, then tried to disprove it. But if it pleases you, then you can rewrite my post in the following manner - it will make no difference to me:

If, according to some deterministic theory, I must believe I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove determinism wrong. After which, despite my having actually walked 300 steps would have been necessarily possible, it would not have been necessary.

kennethamy wrote:
Second of all, whatever is possible is necessarily possible. That is a theorem of modal logic. And of course, if some proposition is possible (and therefore) necessarily possible, it does not follow that proposition is necessary.


Sorry, but where did I say that a proposition being necessarily possible resulted in its being necessary? What I said is that if you take the necessary possibility of an actuality to be identical to that actuality, then that possibility becomes the necessity of that same actuality.

kennethamy wrote:
For example, it is possible (and therefore necessarily possible) that I will take a walk tomorrow. But it is clear that my taking a walk tomorrow is not a necessary truth.


And who said it was?

kennethamy wrote:
But you probably mean (since you are confused about what "necessary" means) only that although I might take a walk tomorrow, I don't have to take a walk tomorrow.


The meaning of what I said would include that, yes, at least in English (it seems it is you that are confused about what I did say and what I did not).

kennethamy wrote:
And, of course, unless someone forces me to take a walk tomorrow, that is true.


You mean that will be true. For now it is is just a possibility, since you have no way of being sure about what will happen.

kennethamy wrote:
But that has nothing to do with modal logic, or any other kind of formal logic. It just has to do with how we ordinarily use the terms, "possible" and "necessary".


I wouldn't go that far: it has things to do with modal logic, as also with other kinds of formal logic, despite going beyond all of that.

kennethamy wrote:
What is possible might or might not happen, but what is necessary has to happen. So, since I might or might not take a walk, it is possible that I will.


And snow is white.

kennethamy wrote:
But since I will not be forced to take a walk, I won't necessarily take a walk.


Will not? How can you be so sure?

kennethamy wrote:
But, of course, necessarily I will either take a walk or I will not take a walk. Although neither my taking a walk nor my not taking a walk is necessary.


So that you succeeded once again in changing the subject completely! Now could you please go back to my reasoning and point out where exactly I got mistaken? Here it is (just in case):

1. If you actually exist and your existence becomes impossible, precisely then you cease to actually exist: your actual existence and its necessary possibility are simultaneous.

2. If the possibility of your existence were identical to the actuality of that existence, then it would become the necessity of your existence, rather than its necessary possibility.

3. Hence, the possibility of your existence must be both different from the actuality of that same existence and simultaneous to it.

Finally, for being both different from and simultaneous to your actual existence, your possible existence must exist: its nonexistence would require its being either identical or asynchronous to your actual existence.
guigus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 08:14 pm
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

guigus wrote:
Finally, for being both different from and simultaneous to your actual existence, your possible existence must exist: its nonexistence would require its being either identical or asynchronous to your actual existence.

This makes no sense to me. The words I have underlined are contradictory (even if "being" is used as a verb).


Don't worry, perhaps I can help you: if the possibility of your existence was identical to the actuality of that existence, then your possible existence and your actual existence would be the same (which is what being identical usually means, even in symbolic logic). So the whole possibility of your existence would be already the actuality of that existence, by which it would be no longer the possibility of that same existence, but rather its necessity.

ACB wrote:
guigus wrote:
If I know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove myself wrong.

If you walk 301 steps, you did not know that you would walk only 300. Knowledge implies truth.
[EDIT - I see that kennethamy has just pointed this out.]


To understand my argument, you must imagine someone trying to decide what to believe in, rather than someone being certain about it. I could rewrite:

If I possibly know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove that knowledge wrong.

However, this is unnecessary, since the original sentence begins with neither "as I know" nor "if I knew," but rather with "If I know."
ACB
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 08:33 pm
@guigus,
guigus wrote:
If, according to some deterministic theory, I must believe I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove determinism wrong.

If the theory merely states that you must believe you will walk only 300 steps, then (assuming you do believe it until you take the extra step) walking 301 will not prove the theory wrong; it will only show that your belief was false.

If the theory states that you will walk only 300 steps, then walking 301 will only disprove that particular theory, not determinism itself. Likewise, if it falsely predicts that you will believe X, your failure to believe X will only disprove that specific theory.
guigus
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 08:47 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I imagine (and "imagine" is the right word here) that what he means by "your possible existence must exist" is that necessarily if you exist, then it is possible that you exist.


This you got right.

kennethamy wrote:
Which is true, since what is impossible cannot exist.


Not exactly a remarkable discovery, but fine.

kennethamy wrote:
Of course, it makes no sense to think that a the possibility that X exists occurs at the same time as the actuality that X exist (synchronous) since the relation between actuality and possibility is logical, and therefore, non-temporal (just as it makes no sense to say a figure being triangular is synchronous with that figure being trilateral).


Your sense for "logical" is the scientific one, while mine is the philosophical one, so it is not of much use in our discussion your saying that this or that is "logical." It is precisely what is "logical" that is in dispute here. And if you do not accept that, then you cannot be an honest contender.

But what precisely in the scientific sense of logic prevents you from seeing the simultaneity between an actuality and its necessary possibility? Simply the rejection of their difference. This is why they become both "atemporal" to you: identity alone is atemporal. So, since you let yourself to conceive of the possibility of an actuality as being necessary only by conceiving it as nothing else than that actuality, you must conceive it as ultimately nonexistent. And when I say that a possible existence is different from the actual existence it makes possible - hence also simultaneous to it, since actualities are necessarily possible - those words pass through you as if you were simply not there.

kennethamy wrote:
There is a confusion (and that is a kind way of putting it) between necessary relations and contingent relations. But that this has to do with free will remains a mystery.


So let me solve you the mystery: determinism is the confusion between possibilities and actualities.
0 Replies
 
ACB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 08:50 pm
@guigus,
guigus wrote:
If I possibly know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove that knowledge wrong.

However, this is unnecessary, since the original sentence begins with neither "as I know" nor "if I knew," but rather with "If I know."

But this is still a misuse of the word "know". If you prove that X is untrue, then by definition you didn't know X. Replace "know" with "believe".
guigus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 09:17 pm
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

guigus wrote:
If, according to some deterministic theory, I must believe I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove determinism wrong.

If the theory merely states that you must believe you will walk only 300 steps, then (assuming you do believe it until you take the extra step) walking 301 will not prove the theory wrong; it will only show that your belief was false.


Another one that likes to play with words. What is in question is if determinism is true or false: if it is true, then I must believe it (so as to believe in what is true), and if it is false, then I would better believe in free will. This is the meaning of "if, according to some deterministic theory, I must believe I will walk 300 steps tomorrow..." It would take you less effort if you just focused on the first thing my words mean to you.

However, if some theory states that I will walk 300 steps and I walk 301 instead, and I believed in that theory, then both my belief was false and that theory is wrong: this is precisely how science invalidates theories - by confronting the facts with the predictions that follow from that theory (tell me, how can I falsely believe in a theory I correctly understand without believing in a false theory?).

ACB wrote:
If the theory states that you will walk only 300 steps, then walking 301 will only disprove that particular theory, not determinism itself. Likewise, if it falsely predicts that you will believe X, your failure to believe X will only disprove that specific theory.


Here you are correct: I am not proposing that example as a method for disproving determinism, even if the guy in the example is desperate enough to try to do that. Instead, my proposal to disprove determinism is this reasoning:

1. If you actually exist and your existence becomes impossible, precisely then you cease to actually exist: your actual existence and its necessary possibility are simultaneous.

2. If the possibility of your existence were identical to the actuality of that existence, then it would become its necessity, rather than its necessary possibility.

3. Hence, the possibility of your existence must be both different from and simultaneous to the actuality of that existence.

Finally, for being both different from and simultaneous to your actual existence, your possible existence must exist: its nonexistence would require its being either identical or asynchronous to your actual existence.
guigus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 09:57 pm
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

guigus wrote:
If I possibly know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow, then I can walk 301 simply to prove that knowledge wrong.

However, this is unnecessary, since the original sentence begins with neither "as I know" nor "if I knew," but rather with "If I know."

But this is still a misuse of the word "know". If you prove that X is untrue, then by definition you didn't know X. Replace "know" with "believe".


Now I must be definitely clear: the problem here is the duality of truth. Any certainty depends on your forgetting that it is also a belief, otherwise it becomes doubtful. So your problem is not with the word "know": you are in trouble with the dual nature of truth. When I know that I will walk 300 steps tomorrow (by no matter which theory), I forget this is my belief. Then I remember that I can still walk 301 steps tomorrow, by which I remember that my "knowledge" was also my belief, hence doubtful. And stop trying to capture this with symbolic logic: you won't, since for symbolic logic truth is unary.

Now could you please falsify my reasoning at the end of post http://able2know.org/topic/138901-19#post-4299751?
 

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