if you take JLN's sequentialism (which is difficult to avoid) and add Heisenbergs "principle of indeterminacy" you end up with the seemingly paradox juxatposition that logic is incapable of synthesizing the result with the antecedent. example being that logic dictates that any given phenoma is dictated by its history, when a phenoma enters an event horizon not only does is its existence erase, so does its history. this event/non-event contra-indicates logic. causality becomes inexplicable as a construct for explanation.
perception, It is logical only to the extent it is random. We do have some control of what our future will be, but it's impossible to predict all the variables that may intercede into our plans, both man-made and natural. c.i.
Well, Perception, if you insist we'll continue with our mud bath. I cannot, of course, talk with confidence (not to mention authority) about how the world works. I can only venture ideas that make sense to me of my life experience. I DO feel--although I could not prove--that all things are interconnected--not to the same degree, of course. I think that I would not be sitting here typing this response had Hitler won World War II. An entirely different chain of events would have led to my doing somthing else--assuming I would have survived such a catastrophe. I also think that I would not be typing now had the Big Bang (assuming it happened as astrophysicists argue) not occured. I also would not be typing had the events of today not transpired as they did. And if this is true about how the past has led to this present, I can think of no reason why present events and conditions will not shape(i.e., cause) future events and conditions. You see my point. I do not think that "causes" exist as concrete/discrete phenomena, however. I prefer to think of time occurring in a more fluid fashion, and it thus cannot be cut up, like fudge, into discrete chunks--causes and effects. Causation is a way of thinking about, making sense of, the flow of changing events.
Regarding your inquiry, "efficient causes" are referred to in the scientific literature as antecedent events that were sufficient to bring about an effect. "Necessary causes" are the general conditions which, although not sufficient to bring about the effect, are necessary (in combination with the efficient cause) for its occurence. That's how I understand it. But I would bet my house on it.
Sounds perfectly logical to me.
You say you would or would not bet your house on it?
perception, never mind, i thought this was a adult conversation. i shall bow out.
Sorry, Perception. I would NOT bet my house on it.
Dyslexia, I'm intrigued by, but don't understand, your phrase--"when a phenomenon enters an event horizon not only does its existence erase, so does its history...[it thus] contra-indicates logic. Causality becomes inexplicable as [an explanatory construct]"--refers I assume to events at a sub-atomic level, which is where Heisenberg's principle is applicable. At the macro level of everyday experience, causality IS useful. We use it everyday, in and out of the laboratory. But there is a social scientist who, if I recall correctly, rejects causal analysis for the explanation of current conditions. He argued that an event can be explained only by other current events. Since past events no longer exist they cannot determine an existing event. I think that, as a functionalist, he was only interested in understanding why some condition (an institution most likely) PERSISTS, and concludes that it is kept intact by conditions which support its perpetuation. But most of us would argue that current conditions COME ABOUT as the result of historical processes, like the end of a story derives from the beginning and middle of the same story.
In any case, thanks for the intrigue.
James--it is quite encouraging to think that human beings are capable of determining a future for themselves. it is in this sense that your attempt to redefine the notion of "free will" is really welcome. you purposefully avoided defining free will in ontological and metaphysical sense and finally rest upon a definition of free will which in essence is a political interpretation. and political philosophers in the history were exactly found their theory on political interpretation rather than that in the ontological and metaphysical sense.
what's more, you said that after the redefinition of free conflict, the conflict between free will and determinism vanished. this argument, however, is not correct. if, as you said, the present is determined by nothing other than the past and the future is influenced by nothing other than the present, then is it that your attempt on Fri Apr 04 to redefine the notion of free will is determined by what had happened before that day? and by the same reason, this "something" is in turn determined by something else even earlier. if the logic shown above is exercised N times, you will certainly find that anything is determined by a point on the axis of time. this point is what our reasoning cannot reach. therefore, if this is true, the determinism as you defined also negates the possibility of free will in any sense including your "usable, social concept" of free will.
so no coexistence is possible between free will and determinism as you defined respectively.
Firstly hi to all and I do appologize for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes I make writing this.
In my own oppinion without going to much into it, is that they can both exist as one cant exist without the other. For example every living thing is born and dies. This is a fact. But what ever happens inbetween those fixed events could be chaotic. Also could it be possible that there are numerous fixed events thoughout our lives how ever big or small they may be, that by being chaotic inbetween these events can we learn something to benifit us when we come across a fixed event?
The very fact that you have learned the English language shows not only reality but belief.
You learnt something.
What if neither free will nor determinism really exists? One can say the only thing that truly exists is the now or the moment, and both free will and determinism are illusions. The past only exists in our fragmented memory of the past and our futures only exist as assumptions of what we think the future will bring after a choice, yet both influence our choices. But the greatest influence on choice is the situation of the moment, where we have no choice but to make a choice, that is neither "free" nor determined.
So, do "you" live in la-la land? Nothing is for real; even your participation on a2k.
Good statement Mickymojo. And keep in mind that our subjective memories of the past and our equally subjective anticipations of a future that does not, by definition, exist, means that the present
is essentially the empty process by which the non-existent future becomes the no-longer existing past. It's all illusory: distorted memories and presumptuous anticipations. Everything is interpretation, human construction.
How can my subjective future not exist? I make plans for travel, and eventually accomplish them. It's a subjective choice on destinations, but that's because there are so many choices to choose from. What makes you believe they are "non-existent futures?"
I'll be flying to Mexico City on May 26, barring any unforeseen incident. You're trying to tell me that doesn't exist? That it's illusory?
That's an awful funny interpretation for the over 190 countries I have traveled to; they're all illusory and nonexistent. All those hours I spent at airports, in the plane, on buses, all those foods and drinks consumed, and meeting all those people were all illusory. GOSH! What can I say?
News to me!
BTW, you can share in my illusions by visiting my travel blog at
Free will and determinism are two sides of the same coin. Your free will is my determinism, unless I have more coins than you. Then my free will might be your determinism. If I have many more coins than you, I can buy everything you depend on and make it so that all your choices boil down to "do as I command or starve to death".
"Free will" is a term that contradicts itself. "Will" is the ability to make choices. Without a pre-determined set of options to chose from, "will" is meaningless.
Also, I think the term "free will" comes from religion. It is how they get around the problem of how god can be perfect and all-loving, yet create such suffering. "Free will" was seen as man's ability to deviate from god's plan. Religious nonsense, really.
Also, welcome to a2k
Lol. I saw the date of the OP after I'd posted, and now I can't edit. If I could I would not welcome to a2k someone who's been here for years.
I would like to put forth my opinion that free will does not exist in any shape or form, but is instead an illusion to give us a sense of control and purpose.
And to support the illusion of agency and an egoself.
...free will is a relative concept - that of a sentient being taking decisions to forward its will free from the influence of other wills. ...
I guess bottom line you mean a will has a owner, the one who wills...whether the one who wills is or is not influenced by other wills well that depends on whom is present and whom is missing...
I am saying that free will vs. determinism amounts to a pseudo problem based on a false dichotomy. Will may be said to consist of "drives" (both conditioned and unconditioned), and we are
to a large extent those drives; we are not separate from them nor their "owners" (despite the claims of "determinists" that they are "causes" that are separate from and constraining upon "us."