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Absolute determinism and the illusion of free will.

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2004 04:50 pm
Re: truth
JLNobody wrote:
Joe, when I commented that your challenge regarding Popper appeared" to me to be disingeuous, it was a mere subjective reaction. It was not the meat of my response, or my contribution, as I would like to consider it.

Yeah, right JLN. The next time I say that you're being dishonest, I'm certain that you'll understand it's merely a "subjective reaction."

JLNobody wrote:
You DO have a tendency to avoid my (our) theses. I looked back at the post in question I find that I expressed my point quite to my satisfaction. I would appreciate it if you would re-read it again, and respond to IT, not to my passing reaction.

I re-read it. You obviously did not state your point to my satisfaction, since I don't have a clue what you were talking about. Perhaps if you could re-state it, without the snide innuendo, I might be better able to respond.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2004 07:06 pm
truth
Joe, would a judge let you get away with this form of fencing?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2004 10:17 pm
Re: truth
JLNobody wrote:
Joe, would a judge let you get away with this form of fencing?

A really GREAT judge would!
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Feb, 2004 10:22 pm
truth
Laughing
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2004 11:00 pm
I don't know if Centroles is still around, but here's a story about The Amazing Lazarus Dog. Well, maybe not the amazing Lazarus dog, but a pretty spunky dog nonetheless.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2004 11:22 pm
Nope, Centoles's dog died quickly. Damn it, where is that damn dog?
0 Replies
 
Centroles
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2004 11:25 am
nope, that's not the one, sorry.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2004 01:25 pm
This thread will not die,
While the Lazarus dog lives.
The search continues.
0 Replies
 
Randall Patrick
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 05:25 pm
Determinism and free will
I come in late in this discussion but there are two points I always like to raise respecting this debate:

1] In philosophy a discussion about human autonomy and freedom can never be resolved objectively. It is an antimony. Both sides can garner rational arguments that make sense if you subsrcibe to their basic premises. Only there is no way to authenticate unequivocally the logic of the opposite convictions one way or the other.

2] If there is no human freedom there is no rational manner in which to judge human behavior as right or wrong.


So, sans free will it is not reasonable to broach human morality at all; human social interactions can only be seen as as a mechanical sequence of cause and effect such that it is merely an illusion to imagine we are free to do something other than what we "choose" to do.

Thus we have to live our lives acting as though we are free to choose our behaviors even though we can never know with absolute certainty this is true.

RP
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 08:19 pm
truth
Yes RP, i see this as a false issue, a pseudo problem. If we are absolutely free to think and speak as we wish, then our acts are all uncaused, and we can't imagine that. If our behavior is absolutely determined then our social interactions are mechanical sequences of robots. The reality must be some kind of blend of both agency and constraint. From the mystical point of view, my volulntary actions are expressions of an objective universal process, but since I am an essential part of that process, I am both free and unfree depending on angle of perception.
0 Replies
 
JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 08:31 pm
Just a quick question:

Does a theistic belief imply a deterministic Universe? I am relatively new to this subject and am trying to learn.

Thanks,

JM
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2004 10:54 pm
truth
JM, that is not the kind of question I take seriously, but if you ask others, they may answer, depending on their orientation, that God requires free will for his human creatures to be accountable for their moral lives, and another might answer that since God is all-powerful nothing occurs without His willing it. This person might be a determinist.
0 Replies
 
Centroles
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 05:08 am
I admit that I have been unsuccessful in tracking down the original article behind the first though very shortlived step forward in cryogenics. The so called lazarus dog stands as a symbol of my belief that life can arise from nonliving components alone. My opponents in this thread adamantly mock me for this belief. They maintain that there is some magical inexplicable energy behind life that is not grounded in the material world. And this unfounded belief is the basis of much of their refutation of determinism.

They will be soon be proven wrong. There are already efforts underway to synthesize a simple bacterium entirely from nonliving components. I am confident that these efforts will someday soon succeed. And they will prove me right. They will prove that these arguments against determinism are unfounded, and that many of the core beliefs of the people who are so harshly critiqueing my ideas are indeed wrong.

I just hope this thread will be around when this occurs.



Edit: It took me a while. But finally, here's an article backing up the so called Lazarus Dog procedure that CNN covered nearly an year ago.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,15739502-13762,00.html
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 08:49 am
Centroles, I am not going back through this entire thread, but when did anyone say life cannot arise from non-living components?

First ever virus synthesized from chemicals alone

This is a simple virus and it is not possible at present to synthesize the complex cells of bacteria or animals, not is it possible to reanimate a brain that has been dead long enough to start to decay (with few exceptions such as cold-water drowning, paramedics have about 6 minutes to restore the oxygen supply before irreversible brain damage occurs).

Whether "life" can arise from the mechanical components of computers is debatable. The awareness that is the basis of free will relies on biochemical experiences such as a sense of body and emotion. I doubt if that can be synthesized.
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 08:49 am
James, theists who do not believe that God is omniscient and omnipotent are not locked into a deterministic universe.

Free will is a prerequisite for moral accountability and eternal punishment, so even those who believe in predestination usually claim that our decisions are made freely even though God knows in advance what choices we will make.

An omniscient and omnipotent God would also know that circumstances (which are within his control but beyond ours) have tremendous influence on the decisions we make, and he is ultimately responsible for the imperfect brains and characters that lead us to make bad decisions. Free will can be constrained by cultural conditioning, socio-economic status, gender, age, experiences, mental disability/disorders, and other factors.
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 08:50 am
each message posted
could not have been otherwise
you argue with God
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 09:10 am
Terry wrote:
each message posted
could not have been otherwise
you argue with God

I've said it before,
And I'll say it yet again:
Terry, you're profound.

:wink:
0 Replies
 
olobolo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 07:21 pm
If we don't have free will and all of a persons actions/thoughts etc is directly a reaction on something that happened in the past it will logically be possible with 100% accuracy to predict the future if you had all the information about what happened in the past.

But, since the universe is infinite in all directions, in all dimensions, the information about things happened in the past will also be infinite. Every time an atom moves a little there will already have happened an infinite number of things. In that little bit it moved it would have passed an infinite number of points in space. And every time it moved it would interact with everything else in the universe in an infinite number of ways, at least that's what I believe.
It's like throwing a dice, it will have infinite points on which to bounce off, so it could move in an infinite number of ways after it bounced off.

So do we have free will? I think we somehow have, but only limited free will.

My conclusion is that if an definite number of actions happened in the past(i.e. the universe wouldn't be infinite) we would not have free will.
But I can't really argue that we have complete free will if an infinite number of things happened.

Of course there's always the possibility that the universe is shaped like a banana and not really infinite, who knows? Confused
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2004 09:49 am
Terry wrote:
Centroles, I am not going back through this entire thread, but when did anyone say life cannot arise from non-living components?

Unfortunately, Terry, your "Frankenstein virus" is just as elusive as Centroles's Lazarus Dog.

First, it is debatable whether or not viruses are actually "alive." If they aren't, then synthesizing non-living things from other non-living things is about as revolutionary as boiling water. Secondly, as the article pointed out, the synthesized viruses are ineffective: in other words, they cannot reproduce themselves. Given that one of the few life-like actions of a virus is its ability to replicate, it is doubly doubtful that a synthesized non-replicating virus qualifies as "alive" in any meaningful sense.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2004 09:54 am
Centroles wrote:
I admit that I have been unsuccessful in tracking down the original article behind the first though very shortlived step forward in cryogenics. The so called lazarus dog stands as a symbol of my belief that life can arise from nonliving components alone. My opponents in this thread adamantly mock me for this belief. They maintain that there is some magical inexplicable energy behind life that is not grounded in the material world. And this unfounded belief is the basis of much of their refutation of determinism.

Show me one instance where a participant in this thread maintained that there is an "inexplicable energy behind life that is not grounded in the material world."

Centroles wrote:
They will be soon be proven wrong. There are already efforts underway to synthesize a simple bacterium entirely from nonliving components. I am confident that these efforts will someday soon succeed. And they will prove me right. They will prove that these arguments against determinism are unfounded, and that many of the core beliefs of the people who are so harshly critiqueing my ideas are indeed wrong.

Explain how the synthesis of simple life forms from non-living matter would prove determinism.

Centroles wrote:
I just hope this thread will be around when this occurs.

As the Lazarus Dog lives and breathes, I swear I will stick with this thread to the bitter end!
0 Replies
 
 

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