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How to tell if free will exists or not - if determinism is true or false - step by step instruction

 
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 11:21 am
Everyone here could argue for eons about free will / determinism and never agree, or have their children agree, decidedly on one answer, yet we know both can't be true - they are incompatible with each other, you either have absolute determinism, or you have wiggle room such as free will.

How you reach your conclusions on your perspective and beliefs about the world around you is even more important than your beliefs themselves. For example, if you stumble across a belief that happens to be true and adopt it because you misunderstood its structure, then even though your belief is correct, your mind is still primitive - lacking the training to reason with complexity.

In order to figure out what reasoning is, and how to better reason, think, and solve your own deepest questions concerning life, the universe, and everything, you simply need to look at historical follies and mistakes people have made - there have been countless good examples. You will notice that the current "truth" usually got to where it is today progressively, past humans didn't just jump into the right answers for everything, and many popular beliefs are still incorrect. By looking at historical "whoops" and "doh!'s" you can see for yourself how human errors are structured and made, and find similar lines of thought in past justifications you've had for some of your beliefs. You can also investigate argumentative techniques, such as the "Straw Man". You can investigate the story of Galileo Galilei. You can watch A Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan to get an idea of how small you are in the universe, and that current modern knowledge isn't perfect either. One day, our prison system will be looked at as barbaric just as we look at past humans as barbaric for killing scientific thinkers for proposing the world wasn't flat. Those humans had just about the same DNA we did, just about the same brain hardware. Those were our brains. That is what you have, and unless you investigate how wrong it has been in the past, you too, will be a ridiculous fool in the eyes of history. Research how your brain works, train it, and use it well. Good "luck".
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dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 11:49 am
@anon determinist,
Thanks for that, Anon. It seems the fewer causal factors the more nearly determined, from which the greater complexity the less easily predicted; one might conclude, in accordance with the general principle that nothing is entirely anything while everything is partly something else, that the total number of potential causal factors is infinite, than nothing is determined

Yes I sounds like nonsense and well it might be but I'm perfectly serious so Anon you ought mull it over anyhow
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 01:03 pm
@dalehileman,
The way I see it there are three possible scenarios in the imagination to things being determined
everything is determined
some things are determined
nothing is determined

if you really feel you have already trained your mind to reason well, and know the mistakes of past humans, your scale in the universe, and common follies in justification methods, then try to simulate a universe in each of the 3 scenarios, and pick which one correlates most to ours. if multiple correlate, pick which one correlates best. the one you end up with depends on how you structured your mind, which is why structuring it correctly is what people really need to be doing, rather than trying to force-feed an incompatible mind an idea they can't reason with.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 01:13 pm
@anon determinist,
Quote:
The way I see it ……...everything …...some things…..nothing is determined
Can;t quite agree Anon, 'cuz according to the principle quoted above if anything is then everything is , at least to some extent

Quote:
if you really feel you have already trained your mind…..what people really need to be doing,….pick…..one rather than…. reason with.
Anon had you entertained a third possibility, that it might be a purely semantic issue, like dualism
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 01:30 pm
@anon determinist,
But Anon, if all is predetermined, there's no need to bother for anything since we can't change anything anyway...
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 01:30 pm
@dalehileman,
I can't completely understand your partial quoting of my paragraphs or the intended meaning you are trying to convey, but my best attempt at a response:

I clarified that the three scenarios exist in the imagination, I didn't clarify that only one can actually be true, but it should be obvious. Reasoning which two to exclude as irrational has many different approaches, which can only be made better by training your mind to become aware of its flaws in reasoning, you can use elements of human history to do this, then build on very simple logic.

The difference between a deterministic and non deterministic reality isn't a semantic one - one can be traced and behaves, and one doesn't. They are polar opposites, the most opposite any two ideas could possibly be, they could be used as a definition or primary example for non-semantic analogy.
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 01:33 pm
@Olivier5,
You are perceiving determinism as having a loss of control where once there was happy feelings of control. This is an emotional response which causes you to feel that everything would be pointless. This stems from your previous programming that the "why" of something has to be in your control. A roller-coaster ride is fun and enjoyable and therefore purposeful to many people even though they don't control which way it goes. Change happens constantly, you can't stop it or control it (if you believe in determinism), but if you believe in determinism, your life unfolds differently from then on than if you don't. Whether you believe it or not, was always bound to happen (in the context of a deterministic view), but at some point you actually have to weigh your reasoning in and decide, you didn't know you'd end up doing that (or not doing that), or what you're bound to decide if you do decide again, or 10 more times, you had no clue what your result would've been when you were 1 years old, 5 years old, etc., isn't that a fun turn or set of turns in your life?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 01:58 pm
@anon determinist,
Not at all. I simply wonder what possible practical consequences there could be to adhering to determinism... It looks self-contradicting to me.

If all minds and their deliberations were predetermined by the laws of physics, then there would be no point in "structuring one's mind correctly" for instance, because any agency whatsoever would be an illusion. Also, any idea proposed by anyone (including the philosophical idea of determinism itself) would be pre-determined, a pure product of deterministic molecules and neurons and what not, and not a product of careful observation and reason. Therefore science would have no meaning at all.

The only way to avoid debasing all thoughts as a consequence of determinism, is to assume that our human intellect is indeed determined but still having cause-to-effect mechanisms in its own right.

In that perspective, all is determined including thoughts, but these thoughts are active and important parts of the machine: thoughts are not only effects but also causes themselves; they in turn determine other things, like my thoughts determine what I type to you now. That's IMO the only way to be deterministic and not contradict oneself.

Personally, I reject determinism altogether.
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 02:22 pm
@Olivier5,
Here's a practical example that may help you

A person named Charlie likes cheese.
There is a maze before Charlie, he knows that if he navigates the maze, he will get cheese.
Charlie believes the maze is random, and gets pleasure out of its seemingly infinite permutations. This pleasure is added to the pleasure he gets from getting the cheese.

The same person later discovers a pattern in the mazes permutations and realizes they aren't random at all, but are still beyond his human ability to predict (the calculations are too complex). The same person can still derive pleasure from the beauty of the pattern, and complexity, of his maze-existence, and certainly still gets pleasure from getting the cheese. Charlies behavior does not change regarding his pleasure, but once you introduce another human into the maze, then Charlie would get along a lot better with that new person if he believes that persons behavior is based on patterns and variables outside of their control, rather than being solely to blame for their actions. Forgiveness becomes not just a hollow temporary and forced acceptance of ones behavior, but a deep and inherent understanding of the persons behavior that gives you peace and solace that they are not trying to anger you, they are just themselves. Then, it is easier for that person to grow on you, for you to derive pleasure from their companionship. Which Charlie would say his life involving the companion has more practical consequences, the intolerant-of-annoying-companion Charlie or the one who sees the annoying person as not annoying (not to blame for their behavior) in the first place, but merely a person?

Until you structure your mind to reason well by looking at the plethora of relevant information, you will have to rely on very slow responses containing spoonfed stories/analogies like this one to reveal very obvious facts about determinism you can decipher yourself at seemingly light-speed (compared to waiting on someone else). I encourage you to try to entertain an idea to be possibly useful, rather than confront it with controversy before researching it as much as it deserves.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 02:38 pm
@anon determinist,
I couldn't make sense of your example, unless it's a rehash of Spinoza's Ethics (where he says that one should be happy to be determined, since it erases all responsibility).

But we can do better than that. Determinism has no scientific basis, is contradicted by Quantum Mechanics, has no moral basis either, and most versions are self-contradictory. Indeterminism, on the other hand, is compatible with modern science and with common sense... That's good enough for me.
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 02:53 pm
@Olivier5,
With determinism, Charlie understands peoples behavior as not being their responsibility.

Without determinism, Charlie blames the person for behaving "badly" (as good/bad exist in this view).

This has nothing to do with happiness, and everything to do with getting along with others - a profound impact on humanity. Do you make sense of it now? You asked for practical consequences to determinism, that is one.

The rest of your claims are undone by rudimentary logic. Your mind is not sufficiently structured yet, no amount of conversing with me will help you until you research past human mistakes and see why connecting dots like quantum mechanics to determinism the way you did is a fundamental reasoning error (a claim to a portion of authority - a select few Quantum Mechanics experiments which suggest things are random, not necessarily indeterminate, like the infinite numbers of pi are 0-9, not "randomword", there is structure there).
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 03:07 pm
@anon determinist,
As I see it, accountability is an essential part of living with others. Without it, we're back to 'might is right'. If Charlie had been raped, or if his children had been murdered, would he still think that peoples behavior are not their responsibility?

We can't forgive everything all the time. I won't in any case. Do as you wish.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 03:31 pm
@anon determinist,
Quote:
I can't completely understand your partial quoting of my paragraphs
Just a means of saving space, encouraging others to read on. No logical inferences whatever

Quote:
or the intended meaning you are trying to convey,
1. Absolute determinism might be impossible in an environment where the number of determinants is potentially infinite

2. The apparent impasse between determinism and freewill might be an illusion owing to the inadequacy of our present means of communication

but my best attempt at a response:

Quote:
I clarified that the three scenarios exist in the imagination,
Yes, and so I shoulda said mine was a fourth not a third

Quote:
I didn't clarify that only one can actually be true, but it should be obvious.
Unless of course Anon that my fourth is legitimate
………….
Quote:
The difference between a deterministic and non deterministic reality isn't a semantic one - They are polar opposites
Entire books have been written on assertions of greater apparent certainty. I say Jesus wasn't supernatural in any way and so He was not supernatural

The fact they're opposite doesn't necessarily mean one's true and the other's false. Perhaps they're both dead wrong; or both partly right depending on one's definitions
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 03:39 pm
@dalehileman,
By opposite, I should have said "completely contradictory". It isn't a semantic issue any more than anything else is, but you do have to have definitions the rest of the world understands. If you cannot agree that the universe is either deterministic or not, then you have a semantic issue of not understanding the meaning of words, which the rest of us do not. So, in a sense, it's a semantic issue isolated only to your inability to understand the meaning of the English words at hand, but the issue itself is not a semantic one.

The ridiculousness of your post warrants a report as trolling, it is completely nonsensical. If you try it again I will report it as it's derailing a thread.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 04:50 pm
@anon determinist,
Quote:
If you try it again I will report it as it's derailing a thread.
Anon
Don't know what to say
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2015 05:12 pm
@dalehileman,
Anon is just another fool. Oh well... :-)
0 Replies
 
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 07:30 am
@Olivier5,
Accountability and responsibility are different things. This can be confusing for non determinists, but that doesn't mean it's any less true. For example, if a cell in your body becomes mutated and starts replicating itself (tumor) and it eventually grows so large it harms you, what is the best course of action? If it can, your body will treat it as a threat and other cells of your same body will try to eliminate the threat. Does it think the tumor is evil or inherently responsible for its behavior? No. It simply knows it's a threat - accountability for it's actions, even though it isn't to blame, the environment caused the mutation. Similarly, human beings aren't born good or evil, such concepts don't even exist outside the imagination as labels for types of behavior, humans are shaped by society and their environment, in the deterministic view.

Similarly, imprisonment and even executions are a means to an end to control threats, but harsher treatment than necessary in order for payback or "getting what they deserve" is just frivolous and inhumane when you realize that human beings as individuals are no more in control than the collection of their human cells.

Like I said in my original post, no amount of correcting your multitude of reasoning flaws will help you stop making dozens of reasoning errors every single day, it is too slow a learning method, investigate what controls human behavior yourself.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 10:35 am
@anon determinist,
Sorry, I don't talk to molecules...
anon determinist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 12:13 pm
@Olivier5,
Here's a rephrased example you can talk to,

Accountability and responsibility are different things. This can be confusing for non determinists, but that doesn't mean it's any less true. For example, if a parrot in a persons house develops the behavior of biting guests, what is the best course of action? Obviously, to put the parrot in a bird cage to prevent it from biting guests. The parrot is treated as a threat to the guests and locked up in order to prevent it from doing harm - regardless of it being an innocent creature. It is held accountable for its actions, and action is taken (caging) to prevent its biting behavior from affecting others. It is not held responsible as an inherently evil parrot (except maybe by some jokes and laughter).

Similarly, human beings aren't born good or evil, such concepts don't even exist outside the imagination as labels for types of behavior, humans are shaped by society and their environment, in the deterministic view.

Similarly, imprisonment and even executions are a means to an end to control threats, but harsher treatment than necessary in order for payback or "getting what they deserve" is just frivolous and inhumane when you realize that human beings as individuals are no more in control than the collection of their human cells.

Like I said in my original post, no amount of correcting your multitude of reasoning flaws will help you stop making dozens of reasoning errors every single day, it is too slow a learning method, investigate what controls human behavior yourself.

You can substitute dogs/cats/toddlers and biting with the same story, if you prefer to talk to dogs or cats or humans, once you realize they are all animals, born from circumstances out of their control, and raised in an environment they didn't create. Also, why you need to be able to talk to the things in the example is beyond me, perhaps that's free-will believer logic. Also, molecules and cells aren't quite the same stuff.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2015 12:51 pm
@anon determinist,
Just give me one reason why I should pay any attention to the noise produced by the heap of predetermined molecules that you say you are.
 

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