• Truth Seeker
    423
    Some of the determinants and constraints can be changed.

    For example:
    1. Gene therapy.
    2. Changing the environment by moving to a different part of the Earth.
    3. Giving aid to famine victims who are dying from not having enough nutrients.
    4. Rescuing people from modern slavery and giving them treatment for PTSD if necessary.

    Of course, many of the determinants and constraints can't be changed by the subjects and they need external help from others e.g. doctors, aid workers, police officers, paramedics, etc.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k

    Wow! This is really long!
    Multiple choices turned into multiple subjects. :grin:
    Although, "Is solipsism true?", "Is hard determinism true?" etc. they seem only rhetorical questions
    BTW, I have to note something here: solipsism, hard determinism, etc. are concepts and views and as such cannot be said to be "true" or "false". They can only be said to be "right" or "wrong", "correct" or "erroneous", "valid" or "invalid", etc.

    I am agnostic about a lot of things.Truth Seeker
    I believe it is a healthy thing to be agnostic. (BTW, the term refers mainly to God of gods.)
    If I had to chose a label for myself, most probably this is what I wpuld have chosesn.
    Known agnostics that I like a lot were Einsten and Sagan.

    However, I believe that you pull the cord of agnosticism too far. It reminds of "One thing I know that I know nothing" attributed Socrates, for which there no evidence at all. Indeed, Socrates was not that modestm and one of the main elements in his teahings was wisdom. Therefore, such a statement would discourage his students! Besides, it's a self contradictiory statement!

    So, don't try to look that modest. You know well that you know much more and can reason much better that what you say you do.

    I am completely certain of the following:Truth Seeker
    ... I'm sure you missed quite a few ... Don't you know how to ride a bicycle? :grin:

    I am almost certain of the following:Truth Seeker
    I don't believe that you are "almost cerain", i.e. there a possiblity that you won't die
    On the other hand, I believe you are justified to think about a possibility that we and the whole Univers as wa know it are part of a simulation, dream, etc.,

    Humans and other organisms do not have free will.Truth Seeker
    I'm really surprised that you equate humans with all other organisms. At least, you could equate them with primates, esp. apes.

    My definition of free will is a will that is free from determinants and constraints. To prove me wrong, you would have to do the following:Truth Seeker
    This might be fun ...

    1. Live forever without consuming any oxygen, fluids, or food.
    A living organism is an autonomous system. You can have only little control ove it. The mind however, acts only in part as an autonomous system. You can have a lot and good control over it. Free will comes in here, you are free to change your mind, to think this or that way, to solve a problem, to learn things, to d this or that ... It all depends on your will, your free will.

    2. Do things other organisms e.g. tardigrades, dolphins, chameleons, etc. can do.
    As I said above, one can have very little control over one's own organism. Much less over an organism that is different. Except of course if one practices mimicry, which is a superficial action. But yes, to do that one needs to apply one's free will.

    3. Teleport everywhere and everywhen.
    This is just fantasy or sci-fi or wishfull thinking.

    4. Prevent all suffering, inequality, injustice, and deaths.
    Only a god could do that --based on an appropriate concept of "god" of course. Anyway, there's isn't one around. And if I am wring and there is one, he doesn't do any of that; he can't care less. :smile:

    5. Make all living things (including the dead ones and the never-born ones) forever happy.
    Ditto.
    6. Be all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful and make all the other beings also all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful.
    Ditto.
    7. Own an infinite number of universes and give all beings an infinite number of universes each for free.
    Ditto.

    Well, eventually it wasn't so fun ... Very little challenge. You must try better, Truth Seeker.

    I am the Truth Seeker, not the Truth Knower.Truth Seeker
    Well, that's a noble and honest endeavor. And you seem indeed a honest person.
    But if you really seek the truth, you must either apply strong reasoning yourself or see and accept a truth when it is presented to you.
    And allow me to say that your questions and requests in this topic and subect lack of strong reasoning; they are quite superficial. I have shown that more than once in this thread. You also seem to not see the truth about free will that I have described also more than once in this thread. I mean, you have not presented counter arguments to mine or your own arguments or a clear position regarding free will. The questions/requests that you have presented in this thread are not arguments or a position on free will.
    But then, this is only me talking. :smile:
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    I am suffering from depression and CPTSD which affects my thoughts and emotions. I find reading, critically evaluating ideas, etc. very difficult due to my illnesses. You could argue that I do not have a sound mind. When I asked "Is solipsism true?" what I meant is that "Is solipsism real? i.e. am I the only real entity in all of reality?"

    Yes, I know how to ride a bike, how to walk, how to read and write, what my address is, the names of my parents, and millions of other things. I don't have the time to list millions of things.

    I think we are using very different definitions for free will. Although you have not stated which definition of free will you are using. I am inferring that your definition is "Free will is the ability to decide what to do independently of any outside influence." My definition of free will is a will that is free from determinants and constraints. I am talking about both internal (e.g. genes) and external (e.g. environments) determinants and constraints.

    If I had the genes of a banana tree, would I be able to type this post? No. I have seen many banana trees and none of them can read or type or even know English. They are probably not even sentient.

    If the zygote that was I when I was conceived was placed inside an oven at 250 degrees Celsius for an hour would I have become the adult I am now? No. The lethal environment would have destroyed the zygote.

    If the zygote that was I when I was conceived was deprived of all nutrients would I have become the adult I am now? No. The lack of nutrients would have killed the zygote.

    If the zygote that was I had all the correct genes and was in the correct environment and received the correct nutrients then I would have been born as a healthy human baby. If that baby had different experiences from me such as learning Japanese instead of English, I would not be typing this message.

    So, do you now see the roles played by my genes, environments, nutrients, and experiences in the typing of this post? This is why I am convinced that we don't have free will. Do you understand my thoughts and reasoning?

    I gave you a list of tasks to complete to prove that your will is free from determinants and constraints, but you failed to do the tasks. You claimed that the mind is free but it is not actually free. Can you become fluent in 6000 languages you don't know in one nanosecond? No, you can't because your mind is not free. Your thoughts are most likely the product of the electrochemical activities of your brain and they are subject to the laws of physics. The state of your brain not only depends on the laws of physics but also depends on your genes, your environments from conception to the present, all the nutrients you have consumed from conception to the present, and all the experiences you have had from when you were in the womb until the present. Therefore, your mind is not free from determinants and constraints. If you can prove to me that your mind is free from determinants and constraints, please do.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k
    I am suffering from depression and CPTSD which affects my thoughts and emotions.Truth Seeker
    I'm very sorry to hear that, TS.

    You could argue that I do not have a sound mind.Truth Seeker
    I don't believe this is true.

    When I asked "Is solipsism true?" what I meant is that "Is solipsism real? i.e. am I the only real entity in all of reality?"Truth Seeker
    I know. I think I said that myself too.

    I think we are using very different definitions for free will. Although you have not stated which definition of free will you are using.Truth Seeker
    Yes, most probably. For me, free will is simply what it says: freedom to act on one's own will. It should not get mixed with foreign substances. Not even with determinism, which is usually opposed to. Because once you do that, it gets more and more complicated as a concept and its essence is lost.

    I am inferring that your definition is "Free will is the ability to decide what to do independently of any outside influence."Truth Seeker
    Correct. You can infer dozens of things. It's essence won't change. But it may be lost, as I said.

    My definition of free will is a will that is free from determinants and constraints. I am talking about both internal (e.g. genes) and external (e.g. environments) determinants and constraints.Truth Seeker
    I see. Well, can anyone eliminate all determinants and constraints, both internal and external as you say? This could only be done by some god, if in its definition we included the omnipotent element. However this is fantasy. In reality, and for humans, there are always determinants and constraints. But the issue here is not to eliminate them but base our decisions and actions after taking them into consideration. This does not prevents us from acting voluntarily, at our own will.
    I believe you agree in that ...

    If the zygote that was I had all the correct genes and was in the correct environment and received the correct nutrients then I would have been born as a healthy human baby. If that baby had different experiences from me such as learning Japanese instead of English, I would not be typing this message.Truth Seeker
    Certainly. I see your point. So, language is a limitation in our communication with other people. But it's only that, Not being able to speak Japanese does not mean that I'm not able to speak at my own will.
    And, vice versa, if I were able to speak all the languages in the world, that wouldn't mean that I could always speak at my will. There could be other restrictions. Restrictions are always there. They have nothing to do with our free will.

    ***

    So, it it is time I think to talk about the opposite of free will: deteminism or simply total lack, inexistence of free will. And it I would like from you to answer this question me: If my actions are not based on my free will where are they based on? What exactly is that determines them?

    There are some theories that explain this. I also make up one myself. What is yours?
  • Corvus
    3k
    Some of the determinants and constraints can be changed.

    For example:
    1. Gene therapy.
    2. Changing the environment by moving to a different part of the Earth.
    3. Giving aid to famine victims who are dying from not having enough nutrients.
    4. Rescuing people from modern slavery and giving them treatment for PTSD if necessary.

    Of course, many of the determinants and constraints can't be changed by the subjects and they need external help from others e.g. doctors, aid workers, police officers, paramedics, etc.
    Truth Seeker

    But do you think that humans with the restricted abilities are able to deal with the inherent determinants and constraints efficiently, even if they tried?

    Would you not agree that the inherent determinants and constraints are rather in the domain of God, who are omniscient and omnipotent?
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    Thank you for your sympathy. I understand what you mean by "freedom to act on one's own will" but the problem is that our will is never free from determinants and constraints. I don't know if any all-knowing and all-powerful being exists. If such beings exist their Wills won't be constrained the way our wills are. I don't know whether or not their Wills will be determined by variables or not.

    You asked "If my actions are not based on my free will where are they based on? What exactly is that determines them?" Our wills are determined and constrained by our genes, environments from conception to the present, nutrients from conception to the present, and experiences from the womb to the present. This is why most of the choices made by me when I was 4 years old were different from most of the choices made by me when I was 18 years old even though our genes have not changed. Please note that epigenetic changes also affect our wills.

    In my explanation above, I am assuming what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell actually exist and are not simulations or hallucinations or dreams or illusions.
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    We can't change all determinants and constraints but we can change some determinants and constraints. It varies from person to person depending on their genes, environments from conception to the present, nutrients from conception to the present, and experiences from the womb to the present. I have not assessed how efficiently we deal with our determinants and constraints.

    I don't know if Gods exist and if they are all-knowing and all-powerful. I am agnostic about the existence and nature of all Gods. Humans have believed in and still believe in many Gods. That does not mean that they exist.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k
    the problem is that our will is never free from determinants and constraints.Truth Seeker
    You have stated that already, But you have not backed it up with some explantion. arguments and esp. examples. I believe that anyone who hears this would need some explanation ...

    Our wills are determined and constrained by our genes, environments from conception to the present, nutrients from conception to the present, and experiences from the womb to the present.Truth Seeker
    Well, this applies mainly to the body and maybe a little to the mind and consciousness. Moreover, it does not change the fact that if such a thing prevents free will and determines our thinking, decisions and actions, we are simple puppets, doing what our genes dictate, what they tell us to do or makes us do. Or like animals, we are at the mercy of our instincts. Even a cat looks more "alive" and free than that!

    If all this seem to be the way things are and makes sense to you, I cannot do anything else than accept your way of looking at the subject.
  • Corvus
    3k
    We can't change all determinants and constraints but we can change some determinants and constraints. It varies from person to person depending on their genes, environments from conception to the present, nutrients from conception to the present, and experiences from the womb to the present. I have not assessed how efficiently we deal with our determinants and constraints.

    I don't know if Gods exist and if they are all-knowing and all-powerful. I am agnostic about the existence and nature of all Gods. Humans have believed in and still believe in many Gods. That does not mean that they exist.
    Truth Seeker

    I agree with you that some people make good efforts for improving and bettering the human living conditions which are under the negative inherent determinants and constraints. I do hope they will make good progress, and suppose that is actually what most of the public works are about.

    You also mentioned the existence of God, and your agnostic attitude on the existence.
    I think it is an interesting comment. It tells me that you think you know what God is, but you are not convinced it exists. Because one cannot be agnostic without having reasons for being agnostic, and it follows that one cannot have reasons for being agnostic without knowing the concept of God.

    Therefore it follows that your thinking and knowing God's existence doesn't necessarily warrant the existence of God to yourself.

    What would give you 100% certainly of the knowledge for the existence of God? What do you need for you to believe in God's existence with 100% certainty?
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    I carried out experiments to test the roles played by our genes, environments from conception to the present, nutrients from conception to the present, and experiences from the womb to the present. These experiments were not published in any journals because I carried them out alone and I was my only test subject. I compared myself with myself under different situations e.g. how lack of oxygen affected my decision making, how lack of water affected my decision making, how lack of food affected my decision making, how lack of sleep affected my decision making, how cold and heat affected my decision making, etc. I also compared myself to how I was before significant life events with how I was after significant life events. By significant life events I mean being kidnapped, being raped, watching people murder each other, being in natural disasters which killed lots of people, relatives being murdered, etc. The more I experimented and compared, the more it became clear to me that our wills are determined and constrained by our genes, environments from conception to the present, nutrients from conception to the present, and experiences from the womb to the present.

    How much do you know about neuroscience? Have you ever seen PET scans and functional MRI scans of humans? I have. If you want to learn more about how choices arise in brains, I recommend that you start by reading this book: "Determined: Life Without Free Will" by Robert M. Sapolsky. It is available on Amazon Kindle. If you want to discuss the book with me, I am happy to discuss it.
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    I have studied most of the religions on Earth. The Gods in various religions differ from each other. For example, the Allah of the Quran is very different from the Jesus of the Bible. They are both very different from the Hindu God Brahma who is very different from the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi. They are all very different from the Norse Gods such as Thor or Odin.

    I don't know if any god or goddess exists. I have never met any. I don't know what they are like except for how they are portrayed in religious books.

    If God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses made me all-knowing and all-powerful, I would be convinced that it is possible to be all-knowing and all-powerful and I would then know that God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses exist and what God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses are actually like.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k

    My goodness! Has all that really happened to you? I makes one feel quite uncomfortable.

    I'm also very impressed by your findings. Extraordinary!

    I know little about neuroscience. I know about and I have seen MRI scans but not live.

    I'll check about the book.
  • Corvus
    3k
    I don't know if any god or goddess exists. I have never met any. I don't know what they are like except for how they are portrayed in religious books.Truth Seeker

    So you studied all the religions in the world, and also the concepts of God extensively. You think about God much of your life. However, you are still agnostic until you actually meet God yourself face to face. Is it correct?
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    Yes, they happened to me. I am sorry you are feeling uncomfortable. Don't worry - I will spare you the gory details.

    You can do the experiments on yourself - it's not necessary to take my word for it.

    Thank you for taking an interest in the book.
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    I have studied most of the religions on Earth but not all of them. I have tried praying to many gods and goddesses. None of them answered my prayers. If God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses made me all-knowing and all-powerful, I would be convinced that it is possible to be all-knowing and all-powerful and I would then know that God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses exist and what God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses are actually like.
  • Corvus
    3k
    If God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses made me all-knowing and all-powerful, I would be convinced that it is possible to be all-knowing and all-powerful and I would then know that God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses exist and what God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses are actually like.Truth Seeker
    Would it be the only way that you could know the existence of Gods and Goddesses? No other ways?

    Since you have studied the world religions extensively in the past, another questions would be, are Gods always in both sexes? Why are there so many Gods? Should it not be the only one God for the whole universe? If there are so many Gods, then which one is the real God?

    I have studied most of the religions on Earth but not all of them. I have tried praying to many gods and goddesses. None of them answered my prayers.Truth Seeker
    Could it be the case you might have had prayed to the unreal or fake Gods, and there were no response for your prayer from them?
  • ENOAH
    288
    have studied most of the religions on Earth but not all of them. I have tried praying to many gods and goddesses. None of them answered my prayers.Truth Seeker

    Could it be the case you might have had prayed to the unreal or fake Gods, and there were no response for your prayer from them?Corvus

    Right, and a variation on Corvus, could it be they answered your prayers in a "language" you have closed yourself off to?

    I'm not saying I agree with the depiction of God Gods Godesses here. Who knows, i might agree more with Truth Seeker's view of God/No God.

    But, if God exists as Ultimate Reality, I dont think we can establish, judge, understand, discuss God in our terms. So, though I am yet to be a reader or student of Wittgenstein, I've come across enough to say, and I paraphrase, that of which we cannot speak, we must remain silent.

    But that doesn't mean the door is closed on God. Only that God cannot be accessed by our Minds. Other means must be employed...
  • AmadeusD
    1.8k
    that of which we cannot speak, we must remain silent.ENOAH

    This seems to contradict itself (not uncommon with Witt, and the main reason I think he's a load of bollocks). If we cannot speak on something, we need no imperative not too. We cannot.
    And if we can, we must.
  • ENOAH
    288


    As for who is morally culpable. Here's my take.

    From the perspective of human Consciousness, collective consciousness, or History, we must settle upon the belief (making it a truth) that an individual is morally culpable. History functions under that "we know but we act as if," mechanism best in this scenario. If we were to settle upon the belief that we are all culpable, there would be a need not just for a radical paradigm shift, but one that would take generations to assimilate into functionality.

    But from the perspective of an outsider, a being not, like we all are, "trapped" in History, we all built history together, and we continue to do so. Every expression of a single mind to at least one other, triggers at least one reaction (no matter how minute), and so on, building history. Thus given the interconnectedness of all things mediated by human mind, i.e., all things human, we are all morally culpable and all morally credited for every action in said history. Not because there aren't degrees of culpability from locus to locus, but because it is ultimately one structure. As painful a pill to swallow, maybe there is something to the Catcher in the Rye killing Lennon.
  • ENOAH
    288


    Yah I didn't bother looking it up. Do you know the Wittgenstein line?
  • ENOAH
    288
    If we cannot speak on something, we need no imperative not too. We cannot.AmadeusD



    Ha. True. But, and this might have been the point (?) , yet how we do.

    Hey, myself more than the next guy! It's irresistible.
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    I don't know the answers to your questions because I have never met any God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses. It's possible that they are all fictitious. I am agnostic about it.
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    I prayed for the prevention of all suffering, inequality, injustice, and deaths. I prayed that all living things (including the dead ones and the never-born ones) became all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful. Neither of the prayers were answered. I prayed in multiple languages. That didn't make any difference. I am agnostic about the existence and nature of deities.
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    The problem is that our wills are not free from determinants and constraints. As we don't have free will, any culpability is merely assigned culpability, not actual culpability.
  • Corvus
    3k
    I don't know the answers to your questions because I have never met any God or Goddess or Gods or Goddesses. It's possible that they are all fictitious. I am agnostic about it.Truth Seeker

    Fair enough. At least you are honest with you answer on the questions, which deserves respect. Not knowing can be start of new investigative discussions and analysis. Not knowing can be better position than knowing incorrectly.

    Anyhow, I have asked the questions regarding Gods, because I believe that morality can have close connection with existence of God. For example, we can ask where does morality come from? Is morality based on human reasons? Or social customs and rules? Or on God?

    If morality is based on human reason or social customs, then does it have absolute right or wrong in the judgements? In this case, would it be right to ask who is morally culpable?

    For something to be absolute right in judgements, should it not be from something absolute in knowing and existing?
  • Corvus
    3k
    So, though I am yet to be a reader or student of Wittgenstein, I've come across enough to say, and I paraphrase, that of which we cannot speak, we must remain silent.ENOAH

    When W. said that of which we cannot speak, we must remain silent, was he not saying something already on something of which we cannot speak?, which implies that it is impossible for a language possessor to remain silent on things one feels inquisitive? Therefore he broke his own code as soon as he uttered the sentence?
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    As far as I know, morality is made up by humans. This is why it varies across time and place. Morality is a matter of subjective opinions. People ascribe morality to various deities who allegedly communicated with us through religious books. I have read many religious books and I am not convinced that any of them were authored by one or more deities.
  • Michael
    14.2k
    However, if hard determinism is true, then it is inevitable that X murdered Y. In that case, X is not actually culpable. The actions of X are as determined and inevitable as death by an earthquake. We don't hold earthquakes culpable for murder, but we hold adult humans of sound mind culpable for murder. Should we though?Truth Seeker

    Your question presupposes that we can choose to hold people responsible or not, i.e. that hard determinism is false. If hard determinism is false then we should hold people responsible.
  • Michael
    14.2k
    If hard determinism is true, then no one is morally culpable.

    I am not sure if this follows. Consider a basic sketch of compatibalist free will as one's relative degree of self-determination:Count Timothy von Icarus

    Compatibilism is soft determinism, not hard determinism. If hard determinism is true then compatibilism is false.
  • Truth Seeker
    423
    I think hard determinism is true.
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