• bahman
    530
    Therefore compatibilism is impossible.
    — bahman

    No, if we assume everything before you said is true, then libertarian free will is impossible. Libertarian free will is an incompatibilist position.
    darthbarracuda

    Why?

    Free will in another hand is the ability to initiate or terminate a chain of causality.
    — bahman

    This is the libertarian free will definition. Not compatibilism.
    darthbarracuda

    What is compatibilist definition of free will?
  • sime
    198
    The meaning of determinism is akin to an "infinite for-loop" running inside a computer program that executes the same instruction repeatedly until the external world interrupts it. I find it somewhat remarkable that an infinite for-loop contains less information than a bounded for-loop representing and checking for its own stopping condition. Consequently, infinite for-loops can be implemented on simpler devices than bounded for-loops.

    Like the "forever looping" computer program, scientists who mention determinism aren't saying anything about nature, they are merely expressing the fact that their science customs do not contain the stopping-condition for their obsolescence. Talk of determinism isn't talk of positive epistemic facts, it is merely the expression of intending to do the same thing until interrupted.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    I can still eat ice cream and enjoy the experience.SonJnana

    There is no I in a deterministic world. It is all an illusion. Enlightened Determinists realize that they are not enjoying anything. All is without meaning.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Then the causal chain recedes back in time beyond my birth and I am morally responsible for causal antecedents that occurred before I existed.Cuthbert

    There is no "I" in any form of Determinism. There is only the state of the universe which is all caused by the Big Bang. Any attempt to assert an "I" merely displays a misunderstanding of Determinism and the illusions it creates.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    In other words, it is just an illusion that scientists are discovering anything. They are merely puppets of the Laws if Nature like everyone else.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    All that this indicates is that the compatibilist rejects the traditional understanding of "free willMetaphysician Undercover

    No, there is not one single definition of free will.
    Since we are want to employ the idea of free will commonly, the Compatibilist simply says what free will REALLY is, and from a deterministic perspective. Free will in normal parlance simply means not coerced, and that is a legal definition.

    Philosophers do not own the language. If you were asked in court whether or not you freely made a choice, as a determinist you are able to say yes without obfuscation. Try and tell a judge that all acts are deterministic and therefor I was not free to chose not to steal the car!!!
  • charleton
    1.2k
    Anyway, an amusing corollary is that the theory of Evolution is false, and that we were indeed created.tom

    How does this correlate?
  • tom
    1.3k
    Any attempt to assert an "I" merely displays a misunderstanding of Determinism and the illusions it creates.Rich

    As you know, determinism works both ways. What if the final conditions of the universe require agent freedom to have come into existence?

    I mention this because perhaps determinism as it operates in reality, is not what you think it is.
  • tom
    1.3k
    How does this correlate?charleton

    I find it strange that those who deny free will in the face of determinism, because the two really aren't compatible, baulk at the notion that evolution is therefore also incompatible.

    The case for the incompatibility of determinism with evolution is actually much easier to make. Determinism really means there are no chance events. Evolution requires chance to exist as a ontological ultimate.

    Darwin actually wrote about this in the last chapter of his "The variation of animals and plants under domestication."

    God either plays dice or he does not.
  • SonJnana
    243
    There is no I in a deterministic world. It is all an illusion. Enlightened Determinists realize that they are not enjoying anything. All is without meaning.Rich

    I is the word given to a group of matter that is experienced. Meaning can be given to things through experience even if they don't mean anything in an ultimate sense. Just because there may be no ultimate meaning to a table, doesn't mean I can give meaning to it based off of how I experience it. This is practical knowledge and practical meaning.
  • SonJnana
    243

    You believe in determinism, yes?
    Determinism as I understand it is that for every event there exist conditions that could cause no other event. Therefore the event of one making a decision would be due to past conditions that could cause no other event, yes?

    The only argument that I've come across with compatibilists in the past is that they redefine free will as a power of acting or not acting, according to the determinations of the will. Hume also redefines free will this way (you can correct me if I'm wrong about that).

    However that misses the whole point of what hard determinists mean when they say there is no free will. If you redefine free will that way, you aren't taking a different position than hard determinists in their argument. You are forming a completely different argument because free will has been redefined. I doubt many hard determinists would argue that there isn't a clear difference between a decision where eat pizza because you like it and a decision where you eat pizza because there is a person holding a gun to your head telling you to eat pizza.

    I'm not sure I understand your position on this so could you clarify?
  • charleton
    1.2k
    The case for the incompatibility of determinism with evolution is actually much easier to make. Determinism really means there are no chance events. Evolution requires chance to exist as a ontological ultimate.tom

    I really think you are clueless here.
    Determinism just means that for each effect there are causes. True there is no such thing as chance in an absolute sense. But that does not in any sense invalidate evolution. Chance in a deterministic world just means we've not enough information to predict all outcomes in a complicated world.
    There is no problem here.
    A dice is not random; its landing is determined by the throw, and other causal factors, that are not easy to measure.
  • tom
    1.3k
    I really think you are clueless here.charleton

    OK, let's hope you aren't going to make a fool of yourself.

    Determinism just means that for each effect there are causes.charleton

    Is that all it means? Causes? OK, given quantum entanglement, how does that work out for you?

    True there is no such thing as chance in an absolute sense.charleton

    Heavens Above!

    Chance in a deterministic world just means we've not enough information to predict all outcomes in a complicated world.charleton

    OK "chance" is epistemological.

    A dice is not random; its landing is determined by the throw, and other causal factors, that are not easy to measure.charleton

    Wow!

    As I said Darwin wrote about this. He admitted his theory requires chance as an ontological ultimate.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    I is the word given to a group of matter that is experienced.SonJnana
    A group of matter that is experiencing? Care to take a stab at the line of demarcation and how that group is performing that trick. Are they talking to each other?

    As for meaning, it is all about illusion. Hence, an enlightened Determinist realizes that life has no meaning because they are able to see right through the illusion.

    It's amazing that there are grown adults who actually believe all this.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    As you know, determinism works both ways. What if the final conditions of the universe require agent freedom to have come into existence?

    I mention this because perhaps determinism as it operates in reality, is not what you think it is.
    tom

    Determinism acts in both ways and all ways, because it is more of a religion than a philosophy. All one has to do is assign whatever attributes one wishes to the mystical, omnipresent, omnipotent Laws of Nature and bingo, you have your story. One can appeal to the power of God in the same way.
  • tom
    1.3k
    Determinism acts in both ways and all ways, because it is more of a religion than a philosophy. All one has to do is assign whatever attributes one wishes to the mystical, omnipresent, omnipotent Laws of Nature and bingo, you have your story. One can appeal to the power of God in the same way.Rich

    Although you don't understand how determinism works in Reality, it doesn't matter, because those who deny Free Will because of determinism, but advocate Evolution, don't either.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Although you don't understand how determinism works in Reality, it doesn't matter, because those who deny Free Will because of determinism, but advocate Evolution, don't either.tom

    The Laws of Nature act in mysterious ways and it is not for us to understand them - not that understanding had any meaning anyway.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1k
    According to science, we can change what we will.tom


    What falsifiable, tested and long-unfalsified scientific theory says that?.Michael Ossipoff

    The theory is quantum mechanicstom

    Incorrect. Quantum mechanics doesn't say that we can change what we will.

    But yes, I admit that, at philosophy forums, quantum mechanics has a big pseudoscientific mystique.

    And I also admit that there are some people here who are all confused about the difference between, and the boundaries between philosophy and science (quantum mechanics is particularly popular in that regard).

    Anyway, I didn't say we can't change what we will. Dieters do that all the time (some of them succeed).

    What I said was that a person's actions are the result of their preferences and inclinations--hereditary and acquired.

    You can go on a diet, if you already want to. Ultimately, your wants, preferences and inclinations trace back to your heredity and environment.

    I'm not saying that the criminal isn't responsible for his actions. He still did it because he wanted to...regardless of the ultimately hereditary and environmental reasons why he wanted to.

    I'm not saying that QM doesn't have any philosophical relevance. A recognized authority, a physicist specializing in QM, wrote that QM lays to rest the notion of an objectively-existent physical world.

    The deduction is that the human brain can be arbitrarily programmed; the Mind instantiated on the brain can be changed. This is a basic physical fact.tom

    As I said, your actions are the result of your preferences and inclinations--hereditary and acquired-- and your surroundings.

    And I (and others) said, of course people can sometimes train themselves to have or not have a preference or inclination.

    As I said, that's what people do in dieting.

    The do that because they already want to.


    We already have several techniques for altering Minds, some rudimentary, some relatively sophisticated.

    "We"? :D

    See above.

    In order to erect a barrier to us being able to alter our minds as we choose,

    You haven't read the previous postings to this thread, have you.

    Have you ever tried to reduce your craving for some nutritionally-undesirable kind of food?

    People often train themselves to have or not have some preference or inclination.

    Oh wait, i already said that, didn't I, in a previous posting :D

    ...as have others as well.

    By the way, why is there QM?

    Because life, our kind at least, requires stable atoms, and specific, consistent kinds of them. That requires discrete-valued quantities. A way of achieving that is via standing-waves.

    Hence wave-mechanics, matter-waves.

    ...because, upon investigation and examination, physicists of course unsurprisingly find things that are consistent with our existence.

    Michael Ossipoff



    .
  • tom
    1.3k
    The Laws of Nature act in mysterious ways and it is not for us to understand them - not that understanding had any meaning anyway.Rich

    As I mentioned earlier, this type of determinisn - SUPERDETERMINISM - turns Reality into a conspiracy theory.

    However, the type of determinism that really exists is quite different!
  • tom
    1.3k
    Incorrect. Quantum mechanics doesn't say that we can change what we will.Michael Ossipoff

    So, let me repeat myself. The testable theory that was asked for is Quantum Mechanics. The Guiding Principle is the CTD-Principle, which is proved to be respected by QM.

    The CDT-Principle enjoys the same status as the Principle of Conservation of Energy.

    But yes, I admit that, at philosophy forums, quantum mechanics has a big pseudoscientific mystique.Michael Ossipoff

    OK, pseudoscientific, mystique. Provide references.

    And I also admit that there are some people here who are all confused about the difference between, and the boundaries between philosophy and science (quantum mechanics is particularly popular in that regard).Michael Ossipoff

    I suspect those are the people who have no sincere interest in philosophy or science.

    I'm not saying that QM doesn't have any philosophical relevance. A recognized authority, a physicist specializing in QM, wrote that QM lays to rest the notion of an objectively-existent physical world.Michael Ossipoff

    Ah, the eponymous Recognised Authoritaaaay.

    Have you ever tried to reduce your craving for some nutritionally-undesirable kind of food?Michael Ossipoff

    Sometimes I am simply overwhelmed by the depth of the arguments on this forum!
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