## Determinism

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### Re: Determinism

iambiguous wrote:Committing a crime is, generally, regarded as immoral. (I am not claiming that it is immoral. I'm talking descriptively about general beliefs.) Yet people see the practical question of whether the criminal is likely to commit the same crime again, as being in conflict with the "moral" question of whether the criminal had free will. If you have no free will, they say, you can do the wrong thing, and be moral; or you can do the right thing, and not be moral.
I found this not clear at all. So if you know what he is trying to say, can you paraphrase it.

If there is no free will then whatever we call human interactions [inside or outside the law] is in turn necessarily embedded in the laws of matter.
Do you mean 'is determined' by 'is embedded in the laws of nature?.

So, what difference [ultimately] does it make regarding discussions and debates like this, if they are determined/fated/inexorably compelled by nature to unfold only as they must.
Well, it does seem like if one truly believed in determinism one would be interested in other activities. That's my take. I'd rather eat cake. Of course, the determinist can argue that he or she is compelled to participate in the discussion, but then, I find it odd that their belief in determinism wouldn't compell them to lose interest in such discussions. What odd machines they are?

You can never choose autonomously to do either the right or the wrong thing in a determined universe. Why? Because "right" and "wrong" are just words that were compelled to be invented by those compelled to speak the English language embedded in the psychological illusion of free will. Which is then embedded ontologically in whatever brought into existence nature and its material laws.

If, again, that, in and of itself, can ever actually be known for sure.

Or, again, I am missing something crucial here.
It seems like you are saying that determinism, if it is the case, precludes morality. I think I agree. We might still desire to punish people. We might loathe and dislike certain acts. But moral judgments seem odd, yes. Unlike peacegirl, I do not see any of this necessitating turning the other cheek. I will still be interested in responding to slaps with a slap. At least in many cases. I will still want certain people behind bars. But I may be missing things in your post. I found your writing a bit hard to understand. I think I agree, but I might be misunderstanding you.
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### Re: Determinism

You can never choose autonomously to do either the right or the wrong thing in a determined universe. Why?
Well, if "autonomous" is the the opposite of "determined" then it's just true by definition.
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### Re: Determinism

phyllo wrote:
You can never choose autonomously to do either the right or the wrong thing in a determined universe. Why?
Well, if "autonomous" is the the opposite of "determined" then it's just true by definition.
yes. Though it gets even muddier if it was Kant's idea of autonomous.

(in Kantian moral philosophy) acting in accordance with one's moral duty rather than one's desires.

Not that desires necessarily offer autonomy, but one's moral duty, it would seem to me, often comes from outside oneself-like in Kant's time from the church. That hardly seems autonomous.

And if we look in brains, than this kind of moral duty would include some parts of the brain that one's desires would not. It's like saying that if this part of me is in charge than I am free and if this part of me is in charge I am not.

It's like we've given up having an internal unity or democracy.
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### Re: Determinism

Yes.

One has to wait for a clarification because the entire post was confusing.
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### Re: Determinism

Phil Goetz wrote:Committing a crime is, generally, regarded as immoral. (I am not claiming that it is immoral. I'm talking descriptively about general beliefs.) Yet people see the practical question of whether the criminal is likely to commit the same crime again, as being in conflict with the "moral" question of whether the criminal had free will. If you have no free will, they say, you can do the wrong thing, and be moral; or you can do the right thing, and not be moral.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I found this not clear at all. So if you know what he is trying to say, an you paraphrase it.

Well, from my frame of mind, he is suggesting that those behaviors most folks distinguish as either moral or immoral can be called one rather than the other by folks who assume that if there is no free will what difference does it make.

I'm merely suggesting that it "makes no difference" because in a determined universe anything that we think, feel, say or do is only as it every could have been.

The tricky part here for those who profess to believe in a determined universe is that they either do or not not acknowledge that even their own analysis of it is only and always in sync with the laws of matter.

Whereas I have taken a particular leap here and now to determinism but I have no way in which to grasp all that can be known about existence itself in order to pin this down...such that I am actually able to demonstrate to others that we do in fact live in a determined universe.

As with "I" in the is/ought world, "I" contemplating quandaries this mind-boggling are at a loss to anchor the "self" to anything solid enough to compel confidence in whatever happens to be believed here and now "in ones head".

"I" might have a new experience, engage in a new discussion or come upon new information and knowledge, that changes my mind about all of this. Thus, only in what appears [to me] to be the rock solid either/or world do I feel more confident about what I believe.

If there is no free will then whatever we call human interactions [inside or outside the law] is in turn necessarily embedded in the laws of matter.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Do you mean 'is determined' by 'is embedded in the laws of nature?.

I mean this: if the human brain turns out to be no less an inherent, necessary manifestation of nature's physical, material, phenomenological etc., laws then you were compelled by these laws to type those words. Just as I was compelled to read them and am now compelled to type these words in turn.

Nothing that is matter would seem to be exempt.

Only I have no way in which to go beyond my very own intellectual assumptions here in demonstrating that.

So, what difference [ultimately] does it make regarding discussions and debates like this, if they are determined/fated/inexorably compelled by nature to unfold only as they must.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Well, it does seem like if one truly believed in determinism one would be interested in other activities. That's my take. I'd rather eat cake. Of course, the determinist can argue that he or she is compelled to participate in the discussion, but then, I find it odd that their belief in determinism wouldn't compell them to lose interest in such discussions. What odd machines they are?

Bottom line [mine]: If determinism is in fact as I understand it -- though what are the odds of that? -- all that is "inside my head" is seamlessly intertwined in all that is "out in the world" to be the only possible reality.

Unless...

...unless human consciousness is [somehow] not like other matter. Call it a ghost in the machine, call it a spirit, call it a soul. But something so phenomenal it is actually able to choose among options in the manner in which most free will advocates understand it.

But: If either side has presented an irrefutable argument and/or a mountain of evidence to demonstrate it one way or the other, I myself have missed it.

You can never choose autonomously to do either the right or the wrong thing in a determined universe. Why? Because "right" and "wrong" are just words that were compelled to be invented by those compelled to speak the English language embedded in the psychological illusion of free will. Which is then embedded ontologically in whatever brought into existence nature and its material laws.

If, again, that, in and of itself, can ever actually be known for sure.

Or, again, I am missing something crucial here.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:It seems like you are saying that determinism, if it is the case, precludes morality. I think I agree.

No, my point is more in the way of suggesting that even this exchange itself precludes any measure of autonomy. I ponder the meaning of "I" as dasein confronting conflicting goods in a world propelled by political and economic power. But only because I am compelled by nature to. And what you think you agree or disagree regarding is no less embedded necessarily in the only possible reality.

But that can only be predicated on assumptions that I make. I am not a neuroscientist engaged in the sort of fMRI experiments that probe these things "for all practical purposes". But even they themselves are unable to finally pin the whole truth down. To the best of my knowledge anyway.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:We might still desire to punish people. We might loathe and dislike certain acts. But moral judgments seem odd, yes. Unlike peacegirl, I do not see any of this necessitating turning the other cheek. I will still be interested in responding to slaps with a slap. At least in many cases. I will still want certain people behind bars. But I may be missing things in your post. I found your writing a bit hard to understand. I think I agree, but I might be misunderstanding you.

Unlike you being unlike peacegirl, I presume that the manner in which we are like or dislike others is all merely a manifestation of human dominoes being toppled by the laws of matter having been set up by...by what exactly? By God? By whatever brought into existence, existence itself?

I am or am not compelled by nature to think that many folks are or are not compelled by nature to be perturbed by my points here. Why? Because right from the start, I am suggesting that anything that we think, feel, say or do is "beyond our control".

And that, even to the extent that it is within our control, we will go to the grave ignorant of so much that we still don't know about existence itself.

It's just that some [compelled or not] find that frame of mind bleaker than others.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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### Re: Determinism

phyllo wrote:
You can never choose autonomously to do either the right or the wrong thing in a determined universe. Why?
Well, if "autonomous" is the the opposite of "determined" then it's just true by definition.

We're all seemingly in that boat though. We come to the part where the words we use here are connected more to the definitions and the meaning that we give to them in our intellectual contraptions.

Rather than in any capacity we have to demonstrate that, even if we can agree on the definition and the meaning, we are then able to actually prove that human interactions either are wholly determined or are within some measure of our control autonomously.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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### Re: Determinism

We come to the part where the words we use here are connected more to the definitions and the meaning that we give to them in our intellectual contraptions.
The words are connected to something in the world. That's why the words were created in the first place. Not just words like "cat" or "water" but words like "right", "wrong", "good", "bad" have that connection.
Rather than in any capacity we have to demonstrate that, even if we can agree on the definition and the meaning, we are then able to actually prove that human interactions either are wholly determined or are within some measure of our control autonomously.
Nobody has to prove those things. That's not a requirement for anything in life. Autonomy or determinism, one makes the same decisions in exactly the same way.
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### Re: Determinism

phyllo wrote:
We come to the part where the words we use here are connected more to the definitions and the meaning that we give to them in our intellectual contraptions.
The words are connected to something in the world. That's why the words were created in the first place. Not just words like "cat" or "water" but words like "right", "wrong", "good", "bad" have that connection.

Yeah, we've been over this many times on those threads in which the assumption is made [on my part] that we do possess some measure of free will.

Only it's one thing to connect the word "water" to the practice of waterboarding. It is what it is. And it is what it is to both the one doing the waterboarding and the one being waterboarded. Water is water.

But when the discussion shifts to connecting the word "waterboarding" to the words "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad", what then?

In any event, on this thread the focus is on the extent to which the act of waterboarding is interchangable with our reaction to it. Interchangable because in a wholly determined universe both are inherently, necessarily intertwined in what could only ever be.

The is/ought world is embodied only in the psychological illusion of free will.

Rather than in any capacity we have to demonstrate that, even if we can agree on the definition and the meaning, we are then able to actually prove that human interactions either are wholly determined or are within some measure of our control autonomously.

phyllo wrote:Nobody has to prove those things. That's not a requirement for anything in life.

It's just something that interests you.

On the contrary, in a determined universe as I understand it, human beings "proving things" is just another necessary manifestation of nature. It's not whether one sets out to prove that he can prove his own autonomy, but whether he can choose of his own volition to set out to prove this in the first place.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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### Re: Determinism

But when the discussion shifts to connecting the word "waterboarding" to the words "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad", what then?
Why do you think that morality got created in the first place?

Why do you think that the words "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad" were created?

You post as if it was all completely arbitrary.
On the contrary, in a determined universe as I understand it, human beings "proving things" is just another necessary manifestation of nature. It's not whether one sets out to prove that he can prove his own autonomy, but whether he can choose of his own volition to set out to prove this in the first place.
Okay, it's his own volition. Okay, it's not his own volition.

What difference does it make it for anything?

What do you get by proving that it's one way or the other?
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### Re: Determinism

I found the post I respond to below rather confusing: is Iamb saying he is a determinist or not. Is he saying he is trying to convince others it is the case or not? Is his new focus on determinism making people uncomfortable or would it if he proselytized for it? Was he when he wrote about morals and determinism saying that determinism precludes them? When I asked he said it was really about the conversation itself and not the morals? Or maybe both. Instead of asking a lot of questions I just went with what my best guess was that he was saying and responded to that.
iambiguous wrote:Well, from my frame of mind, he is suggesting that those behaviors most folks distinguish as either moral or immoral can be called one rather than the other by folks who assume that if there is no free will what difference does it make.

I'm merely suggesting that it "makes no difference" because in a determined universe anything that we think, feel, say or do is only as it every could have been.

The tricky part here for those who profess to believe in a determined universe is that they either do or not not acknowledge that even their own analysis of it is only and always in sync with the laws of matter.
Yes, I have pointed this out to determinists. Once you decide that your own thoughts are utterly determined, then you have wonderful grounds to question their objectivity, and their application to others. Determinists rarely want to consider that. And, of course, perhaps they are compelled to not consider it, rather like a broken calculator.

I mean this: if the human brain turns out to be no less an inherent, necessary manifestation of nature's physical, material, phenomenological etc., laws then you were compelled by these laws to type those words. Just as I was compelled to read them and am now compelled to type these words in turn.

Nothing that is matter would seem to be exempt.
Sure. That's determinism.

No, my point is more in the way of suggesting that even this exchange itself precludes any measure of autonomy. I ponder the meaning of "I" as dasein confronting conflicting goods in a world propelled by political and economic power. But only because I am compelled by nature to. And what you think you agree or disagree regarding is no less embedded necessarily in the only possible reality.
Yes, I am pretty sure most of us get what determinism entails. Just some avoid applying it to their belief in determinism and how they arrived at that belief.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:We might still desire to punish people. We might loathe and dislike certain acts. But moral judgments seem odd, yes. Unlike peacegirl, I do not see any of this necessitating turning the other cheek. I will still be interested in responding to slaps with a slap. At least in many cases. I will still want certain people behind bars. But I may be missing things in your post. I found your writing a bit hard to understand. I think I agree, but I might be misunderstanding you.

Unlike you being unlike peacegirl, I presume that the manner in which we are like or dislike others is all merely a manifestation of human dominoes being toppled by the laws of matter having been set up by...by what exactly? By God? By whatever brought into existence, existence itself?

I don't see that as different from my conception of determinism, though you end your presumption in a question so I don't really know what your presumption is.

I am or am not compelled by nature to think that many folks are or are not compelled by nature to be perturbed by my points here. Why? Because right from the start, I am suggesting that anything that we think, feel, say or do is "beyond our control".
I am sure they may perturb people who are free will advocates. And from the determinist perspective, they can't help that.

And that, even to the extent that it is within our control, we will go to the grave ignorant of so much that we still don't know about existence itself.

It's just that some [compelled or not] find that frame of mind bleaker than others.
Or there are other facets of their lives that thin that bleakness out. And then there are agnostics.
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### Re: Determinism

phyllo wrote:
But when the discussion shifts to connecting the word "waterboarding" to the words "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad", what then?
Why do you think that morality got created in the first place?

Why do you think that the words "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad" were created?

You post as if it was all completely arbitrary.

Again, in a determined universe as I understand it, nothing can be arbitrary if everything unfolds only in sync with the laws of matter.

And even to extent that we do possess free will, morality is ever embedded in particular historical and cultural contexts. And in the actual unique sets of experiences we have as individuals apart from what can be the very, very different experiences that others have.

What part of that are you STILL compelled to not understand!?

On the contrary, in a determined universe as I understand it, human beings "proving things" is just another necessary manifestation of nature. It's not whether one sets out to prove that he can prove his own autonomy, but whether he can choose of his own volition to set out to prove this in the first place.

phyllo wrote:Okay, it's his own volition. Okay, it's not his own volition.

What difference does it make it for anything?

What do you get by proving that it's one way or the other?

My point is no one has yet to convince me [one way or the other] that I am typing these very words of my own volition. My "gut" tells me that I am, but my mind is able to convince me that I'm not.

Here and now.

So, going back to the complete understanding of existence itself, what has anyone been able to demonstrate as the one true proof?

You tell me.

After all, what could possibly be more important to know than this?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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### Re: Determinism

My point is no one has yet to convince me [one way or the other] that I am typing these very words of my own volition. My "gut" tells me that I am, but my mind is able to convince me that I'm not.

Here and now.

So, going back to the complete understanding of existence itself, what has anyone been able to demonstrate as the one true proof?

You tell me.

After all, what could possibly be more important to know than this?
Really? That's the most important thing to know?

You're just fucking with me now.
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### Re: Determinism

iambiguous wrote:My point is no one has yet to convince me [one way or the other] that I am typing these very words of my own volition. My "gut" tells me that I am, but my mind is able to convince me that I'm not.

Here and now.

So, going back to the complete understanding of existence itself, what has anyone been able to demonstrate as the one true proof?

You tell me.

After all, what could possibly be more important to know than this?
Practical stuff like finding a job to pay the bills without creating too much suffering - for me that's vastly more important than working out if free will or determinism is the case, how to resovle conflicting goods - I thought that was the most important to you-, how to heal a fractured self? - sometimes that seems to be the most important thing to you. How to reconcile with an estranged child? - must be the most important thing to someone. important to whom? is part of what I am getting at....

Isn't the evaluation 'important' a value and thus an appeal to objectivism?

After all, what could possibly be more important to know than this?
IOW this question carries with it universalism - we do not have to find out whom it is important to - and objectivity - it is presumed that some issues are more important than other, and you are incredulous that another issue could be more important.

And then there is the absence of a demonstration why it is important at all, even to you, let alone universally and objectively.
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### Re: Determinism

phyllo wrote:Really? That's the most important thing to know?

You're just fucking with me now.

Maybe, but I still have access to no argument [let alone demonstrable proof] able to convince me that I either am or am not compelled by nature's laws to be fucking with you.

And then there's the part where some confront such things as the Nazi death camps and the Communist gulags without the capacity to know for certain that blame is embedded in an utterly confirmed human autonomy.

But you know me. I suggest that, even given some measure of free will, our reactions to those things are only existential contraptions rooted in dasein.

Though, so far, nature has compelled you to fiercely deny that.

It is still fierce, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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### Re: Determinism

Maybe, but I still have access to no argument [let alone demonstrable proof] able to convince me that I either am or am not compelled by nature's laws to be fucking with you.

And then there's the part where some confront such things as the Nazi death camps and the Communist gulags without the capacity to know for certain that blame is embedded in an utterly confirmed human autonomy.

But you know me. I suggest that, even given some measure of free will, our reactions to those things are only existential contraptions rooted in dasein.

Though, so far, nature has compelled you to fiercely deny that.

It is still fierce, right?
Sure. I have no control over how you respond to my posts.

You can change the subject. You be a smartass. You can deny all responsibility. You can do whatever.

But where does it get you?

Is proving or demonstrating determinism/freewill the most important thing? I think that's a legitimate question which may be worth answering.

Gulags and death camps destroyed a lot of lives. Am I certain about that? Yes. I don't need to know everything about existence to be certain about it.

Are pain, suffering and death only existential contraptions? No.

Why is my reaction to it "only an existential contraption"?

Why isn't my reaction simply in the nature of being human? Why isn't it embedded in the structure of the universe?

You can find somebody who doesn't care? And that proves that it's all an existential contraption? Is that it?
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### Re: Determinism

IOW, why are our reactions to be considered existential contraptions?
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### Re: Determinism

promethean75 wrote: there is now a new binary opposition of 'internal' and 'external'. now it's not the fact that such a dichotomy would be irrelevant to what and how causation works - there is not a space or enclosure or limit at which causation starts or stops working... so 'inside' and outside' are fortuitous terms here - but that even if there were such a difference of space, of 'inside' and 'outside', nobody using the term could define clearly where it was. and yet, they flow right on with the discussion as if this idea is taken for granted and understood by everyone using the term.
This is a good point, which I tried to raise in one of these threads. One problem is that one almost has to list the supposedly different 'realms' to make sure that the other people realize you are including both
and
so that they then explain who the
I is
or whatever it is
that is free from causation.
Usually this is posited on the inside of the body.

So one must show that why the internal is free from causation.

One way I have been trying to do this is by asking what my reasons are for making my free choice (since it will not be caused by internal or external causes). And if it does not include my desires and does not reflect my experiences, if these are not causal, then
it's not really me making the choice anyway.

From a Derridian perspective this me or not me may not matter, but its besides the point since I am reacting to people advocating free will who are talking about choices they make - rather than choices made from the ether.

I think determinism also has problems, but I have found myself tired of arguments that seem facile to me. Face the fears...I have.
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### Re: Determinism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Practical stuff like finding a job to pay the bills without creating too much suffering - for me that's vastly more important than working out if free will or determinism is the case, how to resovle conflicting goods - I thought that was the most important to you-, how to heal a fractured self?

Almost all men and women assume that the practical stuff is within reach of their autonomy. But almost none of them come into venues like this to explore this autonomy much beyond those assumptions.

Now, the hard guys are exploring this experimentally. And, who knows, they may well pin it down one day. I'll know for sure that I had or did not have a real choice in creating this post.

But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

And a fractured dasein entangled in conflicting goods is something I explore only in assuming "I" do have some measure of autonomy interacting with others in the is/ought world.

Now, to the extent that one wants to wrap all of this around an understanding of objectivity and universality can revolve more or less around a scholastic discussion or an exchange that focuses more on what is deemed to be important to someone in a particular context.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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### Re: Determinism

iambiguous wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Practical stuff like finding a job to pay the bills without creating too much suffering - for me that's vastly more important than working out if free will or determinism is the case, how to resovle conflicting goods - I thought that was the most important to you-, how to heal a fractured self?

Almost all men and women assume that the practical stuff is within reach of their autonomy. But almost none of them come into venues like this to explore this autonomy much beyond those assumptions.

Now, the hard guys are exploring this experimentally. And, who knows, they may well pin it down one day. I'll know for sure that I had or did not have a real choice in creating this post.

But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

And a fractured dasein entangled in conflicting goods is something I explore only in assuming "I" do have some measure of autonomy interacting with others in the is/ought world.

Now, to the extent that one wants to wrap all of this around an understanding of objectivity and universality can revolve more or less around a scholastic discussion or an exchange that focuses more on what is deemed to be important to someone in a particular context.

Hello iambig,

In this attempt You are reducing practical to a level of either/or, and this, or that. You are guilty of the same method that i am constantly accused of , and perhaps we.could or rather SHOULD start from changing tactics.

Which seems to be in vogue nowadays of being centered into an untenable position , whereby then they hold that against You as if that position was chosen in an illusionary manner or worse! (Delusionarily)
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### Re: Determinism

Maybe, but I still have access to no argument [let alone demonstrable proof] able to convince me that I either am or am not compelled by nature's laws to be fucking with you.

And then there's the part where some confront such things as the Nazi death camps and the Communist gulags without the capacity to know for certain that blame is embedded in an utterly confirmed human autonomy.

But you know me. I suggest that, even given some measure of free will, our reactions to those things are only existential contraptions rooted in dasein.

Though, so far, nature has compelled you to fiercely deny that.

It is still fierce, right?

phyllo wrote: Sure. I have no control over how you respond to my posts.

But this thread revolves more around the question of whether or not it can be ascertained definitively that you had any measure of autonomous control in posting that which I am [here and now] uncertain as to whether or not I have any measure of autonomous control in responding to it.

Thus, this sort of "retort" from you...

phyllo wrote: You can change the subject. You be a smartass. You can deny all responsibility. You can do whatever.

...was no more within the reach of any actual autonomy on your part than my own dismissive reaction is within the reach of any actual volition on my part.

Is this exchange only as it ever could have been? And, if so, are we not both off the hook regarding the compelled reactions of others?

phyllo wrote: But where does it get you?

Where does it get a domino compelled to topple over onto another domino? The question is this: how is it determined that these toppling posts of ours were not in turn compelled to topple only as they must given the assumption that our two brains are no less embedded necessarily in the immutable, mechanical laws of matter?

phyllo wrote: Is proving or demonstrating determinism/freewill the most important thing? I think that's a legitimate question which may be worth answering.

Clearly, it is more important to some than to others. Now, is this due entirely to the fact that nature has compelled it to be this way? Or, in fact, did nature somehow evolve into life on earth evolving into human brains evolving into conscious minds evolving into particular "selves" that are somehow able to not be compelled about choosing some things.

Here, in choosing to explore determinism in order to arrive at answers. But this part [in my view] is embedded in the existential contraption that I construe to be daein.

phyllo wrote: Gulags and death camps destroyed a lot of lives. Am I certain about that? Yes. I don't need to know everything about existence to be certain about it.

Capitalism and the global economy have destroyed a lot of lives as well. Am I certain about that? Yes. But, in turn, I have thought myself into thinking only a fool would/could actually be convinced that this particular belief does not require a comprehensive understanding of existence itself.

Especially if that comprehensive understanding includes the fact that human behaviors are entirely intertwined in nature's material laws. And, thus, that the "choices" made by Communists and fascists and capitalists were never able not to have been made.

Such that blaming them for choosing what they did is no less a necessary, inherent component of nature's laws.

phyllo wrote: Why is my reaction to it "only an existential contraption"?

Again, I make that assumption based only on the additional assumption that I do possess some measure of autonomy. And that, of my own free will, given different experiences, relationships and access to information and knowledge, I might have opted to conclude just the opposite.

phyllo wrote: Why isn't my reaction simply in the nature of being human? Why isn't it embedded in the structure of the universe?

Indeed, it might well be. Now, demonstrate to me and others why we might be obligated to believe that. While, concurrently, demonstrating that any conclusion we come to reflects the indisputable fact that we are free to arrive at it autonomously.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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### Re: Determinism

"Defending Free Will & The Self"
Frank S. Robinson in Philosophy Now magazine

Another character in this story is Haidt’s elephant. In The Righteous Mind (2012), Jonathan Haidt likened one’s conscious self to a rider on an elephant, which is one’s unconscious. We suppose the rider is in charge, directing the elephant, but it’s really the other way around. The rider just comes up with rationalizations for what the elephant wants. The conscious mind rationalizes what non-conscious brain processes get it to want. And often we act completely unconsciously.

This just takes us to the part where we try to explain where the rider ends and the elephant begins...given our current understanding of how the brain itself functions as a wholly integrated component of nature. Just one more natural manifestation of existence no less compelled to be in sync with the laws of nature than any other matter.

It's always back to human minds attempting to explain human minds...minds that in some profoundly problematic way have somehow acquired the capacity to actually do this.

We are "inside" a "reality" that we would seem only able to encompass if we could get "outside" of it.

Instead, we become entangled in all the convoluted ways there are in which to think about it:

As Daniel Wegner writes: “The greatest contradictions to our ideal of conscious agency occur when we find ourselves behaving with no conscious thought of what we are doing.” (The Illusion of Conscious Will, 2002). When showering, I go through a sequence of motions on autopilot, requiring no deliberation. My conscious mind might be elsewhere (perhaps pondering free will). And how often have I consciously deliberated over whether to say a certain thing, only to hear the words pop suddenly out of my mouth, the decision having happened without my realizing it?

I still recall an experience I once had in which I was completely absorbed in thinking about a woman while driving nearly 10 miles on "autopilot". Out of the blue I realized I had driven from Iona Terrace to Kenwood Avenue without [seemingly] doing so consciously. I simply didn't remember accelerating of braking or turning the car in a new direction.

Or the times I would read the same book to my daughter over and over again and somehow my mind was able to go to other things while continuing to read the words as though in a trance.

And then those extraordinary dreams I have in which "I" am doing all manner of amazing things that I am not really doing at all.

The mind as matter is really something we are just scratching the surface in understanding.

About this Dennett comments, “Consciousness of the springs of action is the exception, not the rule.” So although there is a decision-maker in here, its operation is not always transparent to the self for whom we imagine it works. Your mind is like an employer who can see the products coming out of the work room but actually has no idea what the employees do in there to produce them.

So, anyone here able to fully explain why?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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### Re: Determinism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Practical stuff like finding a job to pay the bills without creating too much suffering - for me that's vastly more important than working out if free will or determinism is the case, how to resovle conflicting goods - I thought that was the most important to you-, how to heal a fractured self?

Almost all men and women assume that the practical stuff is within reach of their autonomy. But almost none of them come into venues like this to explore this autonomy much beyond those assumptions....[and the rest of the post]
This has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

In the post I responded to you asked with incredulity what could possibly be more important that finding out whether determinism or free will is the case. That's objectivism. As if importance was an objective value. It's not.

In a reply to Phyllo, you seem to understand that the importance of the issue varies from person to person.
Clearly, it is more important to some than to others

Then in response to me you go back to objectivism and universalism. Or to descholastisize this....

You assume everyone is like you when you say....

But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

I don't think it is crucial at all. I don't try to figure out which is true and I spend much more time on looking for better work, doing creative things and spending quality time with my wife. It doesn't make this list. Even her I am not trying to find the answer, though I do find people's ways of justifying their positions interesting, sometimes. But less than I find paintings interesting, and I don't even paint.

I can only assume that people in other cultures with other psychologies also do not think it is important. Most presume they know. Most americans I meet mix in their speech deterministic and free will type explanations for things and seem quite happy with that mix and don't try to resolve it.

We're not all the same, re: dasein, genetics....
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### Re: Determinism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Practical stuff like finding a job to pay the bills without creating too much suffering - for me that's vastly more important than working out if free will or determinism is the case, how to resovle conflicting goods - I thought that was the most important to you-, how to heal a fractured self?

Almost all men and women assume that the practical stuff is within reach of their autonomy. But almost none of them come into venues like this to explore this autonomy much beyond those assumptions.

This has nothing to do with what I was talking about. You asked what could possibly be more important than the issue of free will vs. determinism. It might, just recently have become the most important issue to you, but that doesn't make it objectively important. This has nothing to do with whether we have automomy over practical matters.

I asked that precisely because we are in a philosophy venue and on a particular thread that is devoted to an exploration into determinism.

And over and over and over again, I make it clear that in regard to 1] the is/ought world in an autonomous universe and 2] in exploring questions this inherently problematic all the way our on the metaphysical limb, "I" can only note what "here and now" seems reasonable to me.

If that doesn't seem reasonable enough to you, there is still the possibility that this exchange itself is unfolding only as it ever could. And if that is the case, how can either of us be held responsible for "choosing" only that which nature compelled us to?

In other words, for "choosing" anything at all!

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I spent much more time today on a creative project than I did trying to find out the truth of determinism vs. free will. In fact, even my participation in this discussion is without the aim of resolving that issue.

So what? That doesn't resolve the matter of whether in "choosing" to do this, you were exerting anything in the way of an actual autonomous will.

Now, the hard guys are exploring this experimentally. And, who knows, they may well pin it down one day. I'll know for sure that I had or did not have a real choice in creating this post.

But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Why do you assume everyone is like you? Doesn't dasein and built in temperment lead to different interests values, etc.

Simply unbelievable. Well, if not entirely determined of course.

Note an instance when I have argued that everyone is like me. I merely assume that in the either/or world -- a world of human interactions embedded in some measure of autonomy -- the laws of matter are applicable to all of us.

And that in a wholly determined universe, the laws of nature encompass the psychological illusion on the part of human minds, that the is/ought world is not as well also a necessary component of the laws of matter.

Everything would seem [to me] to be either/or in a determined universe. Including this exchange. Including what either of us "choose" to do in regard to it.

I merely point out that in speculating about all of this, I have no capacity to demonstrate that what I believe is true. Let alone true going all the way back to the most comprehensive explanation of existence itself.

Now, to the extent that one wants to wrap all of this around an understanding of objectivity and universality can revolve more or less around a scholastic discussion or an exchange that focuses more on what is deemed to be important to someone in a particular context

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I find that a hard sentence to parse. I was simply pointing out that your assumption that nothing could be as or more important as this was objectivist.

And I am assuming that in a determined universe as I currently understand it nothing is not part of the only possible objective reality.

I'm merely compelled or not compelled to speculate that in a philosophy venue on a thread such as this one -- and for all practical purposes -- it seems reasonable to me "here and now" that until we can know for certain whether the things we choose we could have opted not to choose, is clearly a very, very important consideration for philosophers in a venue such as this.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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iambiguous
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### Re: Determinism

iambiguous wrote:I asked that precisely because we are in a philosophy venue and on a particular thread that is devoted to an exploration into determinism.
1) your question was framed as incredulous that anything could be more important and framed as if importance was an objective quality. You didn't ask what was important to us.

2) Further I answered your question, explaining what was more important to me and others. You did not respond to that, you acted as if this was me saying something about practical matters being autonomous.

You asked a question. I answered. My answers did not matter to you. You acted like I was arguing practical issues like the ones I raised demonstrated free will, when the context, with quotes, could not have been clearer.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I spent much more time today on a creative project than I did trying to find out the truth of determinism vs. free will. In fact, even my participation in this discussion is without the aim of resolving that issue.

So what? That doesn't resolve the matter of whether in "choosing" to do this, you were exerting anything in the way of an actual autonomous will.
Well, duh. Of course not. It is however relevent to the question

you

could anything be more important.
I pointed out the objecitvism implicit in your formulation of the question. I then answered the question.

Now, the hard guys are exploring this experimentally. And, who knows, they may well pin it down one day. I'll know for sure that I had or did not have a real choice in creating this post.

But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Why do you assume everyone is like you? Doesn't dasein and built in temperment lead to different interests values, etc.

Simply unbelievable. Well, if not entirely determined of course.

Note an instance when I have argued that everyone is like me.

LOL right there in what you quote is one, I pointed out twise. I pointed out two quotes, your question where it is implicit: what could possibly be more important that determinism? (objective speak and universal speak

Then later when you say
But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

There it is. We all, like you, think that answering this issue is crucial.

Right there in 'print´.

But you will deny this.

You're damaged, either freely or via determinism.

REally damaged. I'm sorry. I should have realized this earlier. I thought you were fucking with us. Or something more intentionally pernicious or at least willing to deny things out of stubbornness or ill will. This feels very damaged.

I'll leave you alone.
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: Determinism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:I asked that precisely because we are in a philosophy venue and on a particular thread that is devoted to an exploration into determinism.
1) your question was framed as incredulous that anything could be more important and framed as if importance was an objective quality. You didn't ask what was important to us.

Further I answered your question, explaingin what was more important to me and others. You did not respond to that, you acted as if this was me saying something about practical matters being autonomous.

And over and over and over again, I make it clear that in regard to 1] the is/ought world in an autonomous universe and 2] in exploring questions this inherently problematic all the way our on the metaphysical limb, "I" can only note what "here and now" seems reasonable to me.
Irrelevent. Are you saying that it seems reasonable to you that determinism is objectively important? That goes against other positions you have. Are you now saying that you think it is universally important? that goes against the evidence. Could you produce the evidence for these.

If that doesn't seem reasonable enough to you, there is still the possibility that this exchange itself is unfolding only as it ever could. And if that is the case, how can either of us be held responsible for "choosing" only that which nature compelled us to?
So, you are saying now that if anyone disagrees with you you have no responsibility because determinism might be the case?

Why not have a discussion of whether the issue is objectively important, since you raised that issue. Who cares if you are responsible for your answer or not.

In other words, for "choosing" anything at all!
Well, duh. Do you really think I don't understand the implications of determinism?

Karpel Tunnel wrote: I spent much more time today on a creative project than I did trying to find out the truth of determinism vs. free will. In fact, even my participation in this discussion is without the aim of resolving that issue.

So what? That doesn't resolve the matter of whether in "choosing" to do this, you were exerting anything in the way of an actual autonomous will.
Well, duh. Of course not. It is however relevent to the question

you
fucking

could anything be more important.
I pointed out the objecivism implicit in your formulation of the question. I then answered the question.

Now, the hard guys are exploring this experimentally. And, who knows, they may well pin it down one day. I'll know for sure that I had or did not have a real choice in creating this post.

But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

Karpel Tunnel wrote: Why do you assume everyone is like you? Doesn't dasein and built in temperment lead to different interests values, etc.

Simply unbelievable. Well, if not entirely determined of course.

Note an instance when I have argued that everyone is like me.

I pointed out two quotes, your question where it is implicit: what could possibly be more important that determinism? (objective speak and universal speak

Then later when you say
But somewhere in our head we all know just how crucial it is to know this.

There it is. We all, like you, think that answering this issue is crucial.

Right there in print.

But you will deny this.

What an ass, again.

You're damaged, either freely or via determinism.

REally damaged. I'm sorry. I should have realized this earlier. I thought you were fucking with us. Or something.

I'll leave you alone.

Here we go again.

The problem is me.

The solution is for others to recognize that the manner in which you are exposing me here is really all that matters.

Hoping that maybe, just maybe, we are actually in possession of the free will needed to have this confimed as in fact true. Both existentially and essentially. True because though others might opt for a contrary point of view in an autonomous world, they do so only at the risk...

Of!
Being!!
Wrong!!!

But, okay, let's assume that you really can choose to leave me alone.

If that's the case then really mean it this time.

All you are exposing [to me] in tantrums like this is just how effective I am perturbing your peace of mind.

I suspect that my arguments are beginning to really sink in. And, in your own repetitive way, you need to strike out at me because of this.

You are just one of many, many posters I have bumped into over the years that, convinced they see things as they really are, become really, really disgruntled when I and others don't concur.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

iambiguous
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