• Possibility
    413
    Those 3 attributes will produce a happier life in the long run but i wish i could say that means that there is free will. I go back and forth on the issue of scientific determinism or predestination. At its core i have the concept but my logic circuits at this present time dictate that it is true.christian2017

    Logic is one way of relating to the significance of an experience - one of many different systems or structures that we can use to ‘determine’ what is true. Through logic you would see @“Terrapin Station”’s 99-1 odds and discard the 1% as negligible. Yet if those numbers described the odds of your child dying from cancer, for instance, you might be looking for any other way to evaluate the experience than logically. Because a 1% chance of survival has more value to you in this experience than the 99.

    Why do you wish there is free will?
  • frank
    3k
    There was a poster who used to pop by here who turned me on to actualism, which is close to my homebase way of thinking.

    As opposed to being caught up in how things happen, it focuses on something apriori: that every event can only have one outcome. The actualist asks what it could mean to say that X was possible if X didn't happen.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    The actualist asks what it could mean to say that X was possible if X didn't happen.frank

    It wasn't precluded from happening, given physical facts as they are. Some things are precluded from happening. Those things are (and were) not possible. But not everything possible happens.
  • frank
    3k
    It wasn't precluded from happening, given physical facts as they are. Some things are precluded from happening. Those things are (and were) not possible. But not everything possible happens.Terrapin Station

    Read the article.
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k


    I'm familiar with it. It doesn't really address my take on this, which isn't the same as either actualism or possibilism.
  • Echarmion
    500
    It wasn't precluded from happening, given physical facts as they are. Some things are precluded from happening. Those things are (and were) not possible. But not everything possible happens.Terrapin Station

    That only works if we presume ontological randomness exists though, right? Because otherwise physical facts determine all outcomes precisely.
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    Part 2 of a series…

    Willing the Will That Wills?

    What is the ‘secret’ of human behavior,
    One that’s really so much the savior
    That we may even keep it from ourselves
    Rather than very far into it try to delve?

    What is it that should be so confidential,
    Classified, and undisclosed—its potential
    Kept under wraps, so very contra;
    Informally: hush-hush; formally: sub rosa?


    Well it’s a revelation of splendor,
    One that’s often good to surrender
    But is also very well to remember.

    Is the will free to will one’s actions otherwise?
    Can antecedent conditions be ignored?
    Can the self be an unmoved mover?

    And what of those tendencies of evo’s realm
    That have been imprinted on one’s genetic film—
    Those of temperament, role preferences,
    Emotions, responses,
    And even one’s most revered moral choices—
    Those invoices from which one rejoices?


    Well these are not choices
    At all in and of any free will voices;
    In essence, from the basis of one
    And from all that one has become

    From life’s total behavioral reactions,
    There are probabilities of actions—
    Some patterns that are very likely
    And some patterns highly unlikely.

    Is free will a necessary fiction,
    A kind of a religion?


    No and yes if it’s to provide an essential berth
    For one’s morality, meaning, and worth.

    So then, with this ‘free will’ become,
    One might then succumb
    To systematic deception
    About one’s causal connection

    To that of nature,
    A roadblock, a detour
    That’s neither possible,
    Necessary, nor desirable.


    The enemies to these willing motifs
    Would be the mythical cultural beliefs
    That explain behaviors and feelings
    In terms of unknowable forces and beings.

    But to protect one’s moral virtues
    Should one still believe oneself’s purview
    To be as an ultimately responsible agent, lo—

    A self creation ex nihilo,
    A God-like, miniature first cause who chooses
    Without it being determined by one’s own muses?


    Well maybe, but nay, really not, nil,
    For there is no contra-causal free will.

    What the good then of this fix we’re in?

    Such it is then that we can gain a measure of peace
    Rather than the anger of resentment’s crease
    When someone does or says something bad,
    Even those close relatives you once had.

    Should we imprison for punishment?

    For the civil-law-breakers
    And all those ungiving takers
    We’ll no longer incarcerate
    For punishment, being so irate at the jail’s bait,
    But so that society will be protected
    And that they might emerge corrected

    From the swill of a prison mill,
    Fulfilled with a new fixed will
    That points more toward goodness
    Or at least away from badness.

    Thus the action
    Of metaphysical justification
    For a total retribution
    Then greatly softens,
    A relief from the stress so often,
    For it’s no longer induced
    From the abuse produced.

    Really?

    Truly.

    Indeed, we become less self-conscious,
    More playful, less noxious, more gracious,
    Less callow, and less likely to wallow

    In the sorrow that is so hollow and shallow
    In its excessive self-blame, pride,
    Envy, or resentment—now all put aside.

    Aren’t we changing the will here as we go?

    Yes, but the will adds what we can know.

    Then we are learning—
    The only hope for larger earnings
    From the will’s then wider yearnings!


    Yes, we’re overturning.

    What if to learning we are averse?

    What a curse! Might as well call the hearse.

    So then, all in all, though a tempt,
    It is that we humans are not exempt
    From the laws of physics—as a preempt,

    Although we’ve been wired to make the attempt—
    A seeming violation by nature
    Of its own universal law and structure.


    No, it’s not a violation I would call,
    For science still does tell us all.
    It’s all part of the structure;
    One can never cheat Mother Nature.

    Hail, then, to the physic.

    Well it’s not so bad, is it?—
    Although we can never will the will,
    Its motives ever our intent to fulfill;
    It is that we have no free will.

    True, plus we can expand the will’s horizoning

    Through our broader learning’s wisening.

    Yes, learn today and by tomorrow, say,
    The will may have a different sway.

    I wouldn’t want it any other way,
    For then I wouldn’t be me—my screenplay.

    What other ways can we improve the play?


    Well, we have patience and delay,
    For we don’t have to act right away.

    Until a more creative solution appears?

    Yes, from any frontier, Shakespeare.

    Hear, hear!
  • Terrapin Station
    11.7k
    That only works if we presume ontological randomness exists though, right? Because otherwise physical facts determine all outcomes precisely.Echarmion

    Yeah, it doesn't work if one is a strong (thoroughgoing) determinist.

    I'm not a strong determinist.
  • Possibility
    413
    The terms ‘existing’ and ‘actual’ are not interchangeable in my view. Actual is a (4D) form of existing, but what exists and interacts with our (5D) experience of the world is not necessarily actual. This is different to ‘possibilism’, though. We cannot experience all possibilities, yet we can experience and interact with what exists ‘potentially’.

    This is not a logic based argument for me, but one based on experience. Every potential event I experience can only have one actual outcome or occurrence, but my capacity to manipulate that occurrence operates in the realm of 5D experience: what is significant, not just logically or physically, but emotionally, culturally, ideologically, historically, etc. This is where I can be ontologically creative, inasmuch as I am aware of, connected to and collaborating with the process of evaluation.

    The more aware, connected and collaborating I am with what is significant to the potential of an event in relation to what is significant to me and to other events in my experience (past, present and future), the more freedom I have to interact with the experience both in and beyond its actuality.
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    my capacity to manipulate that occurrence operates in the realm of 5D experiencePossibility

    The sizing up of all possible world-lines unto all their ends to see what works the best, and then in 6D jump into the best one?
  • frank
    3k
    Every potential event I experience can only have one actual outcome or occurrence, but my capacity to manipulate that occurrence operates in the realm of 5D experiencePossibility

    So you aren't really focusing on possibility at all. You're concerned with your own power.
  • ZhouBoTong
    388
    What you’re explaining here is, in my view, a five dimensional subjective experience. The ‘conscious self’ (‘I’) exists as an experience of interacting four dimensional events, both internal and externally observable. The ‘evidence’ I have that my self exists consists of the experience of internal events; your ‘evidence’ that I have a ‘conscious self’ comes from your experience of externally observable events. Yet neither of us are certain that what we experience (‘know’) is ACTUAL, except that we agree on the experience (‘knowledge’) that these events interact with what we can agree is actual by its relationship to mutually observable/measurable data: the body, heart rate, etc.

    Thoughts exist in much the same way. They’re ‘real’ because of the relationships that exist between 5D subjective experiences of 4D events interacting with 3D observable objects consisting of measurable data.

    It is in this 5D structure of the mind that the experience (knowledge or understanding) of any event in spacetime has the capacity to interact with the experience of any other event.
    Possibility

    I have never thought of these things as extra dimensions, but it does not seem unreasonable. Aside from having to do a bit of research on dimensions, I think I would agree with everything up to this point.

    It is here that I think this ‘ontological freedom’ is ours: insomuch as we are aware of, connecting and collaborating with the potential in each experience. We have the capacity to intervene, to prevent predicted events from occurring, to change the causal conditions of future events, even to alter the ongoing effect of past causes, etc. by changing how we relate to the significance of an experience.Possibility

    This is where philosophy gets complicated for me. At first glance, what is said here can only seem true. Especially if we consider common language usage. However, once I am in philosophy mode (haha, whatever the heck that means), I can't help but see questions:

    to prevent predicted events from occurringPossibility

    doesn't knowing the prediction give a "cause" for your changed behavior?

    All of my other questions would probably be tied to the idea that if we completely understood thought (along with everything in the first 4 dimensions), MAYBE we could establish a causal chain?

    I can't fully accept determinism until it is shown (until it is 100% proved, I can't 100% dismiss the emotional feeling of having a choice).

    But I don't find arguments for "free will" all that convincing (you are causing me to rethink, but not quite convincing :smile:). I end up feeling like we are just using certain words differently. So, I don't find (the good) free will arguments to be wrong, but more insignificant (sure that MIGHT be true, so what?).

    If I had to guess, I would think it is MOSTLY (like 99%) determinism, but it makes sense to leave room for some randomness. However, it starts to feel like a 'god of the gaps' argument the more events are shown to be determined.

    To be fair, overall, I don't find the free will argument to matter as long as everyone admits that MOSTLY we did not have a lot of control in who we are today. We were born with 'x' genes and raised in 'y' environment. Sure free will MAY have played a small role in the development of a few humans (mostly those who are naturally inclined to 'buck the trends' so to speak), but I don't see it as a particularly significant force.

    Unfortunately, an unfiltered belief in free will (christians, libertarians, et al) leads to bigotry and dysfunction. (if life is ALL free will and ZERO determinism, then everyone DESERVES exactly what they have).
  • Possibility
    413
    Not directly in relation to free will - focusing on possibility only confuses the issue. I’m responding to determinism - ie. a lack of potential.

    If you want to equate capacity with ‘power’, that’s your choice, not mine. I’m thinking now the word ‘manipulate’ probably brings that connotation. That was not my intention.

    Our capacity is always tied to awareness, connection and collaboration: what I have called ‘manipulation’ is achieved only in this way, never as an individual force acting in isolation.

    Sorry for the confusion.
  • Possibility
    413
    However, once I am in philosophy mode (haha, whatever the heck that means), I can't help but see questions:

    to prevent predicted events from occurring
    — Possibility

    doesn't knowing the prediction give a "cause" for your changed behavior?

    All of my other questions would probably be tied to the idea that if we completely understood thought (along with everything in the first 4 dimensions), MAYBE we could establish a causal chain?
    ZhouBoTong

    Yes, this is why I’ve said that all actions are still determined, even if our will is free. When you look back on actual events where you’ve experienced ‘choosing’, it presents as an unbroken causal chain, with no evidence of your interaction at all. The extent of your interaction is with the causal conditions of the potential event, thereby establishing the causal chain itself.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t think this is a case of EITHER determinism OR free will. We need to get away from this dichotomy and the ‘apologists’ of compatabilism in order to understand and develop a practical model of the will.

    To be fair, overall, I don't find the free will argument to matter as long as everyone admits that MOSTLY we did not have a lot of control in who we are today. We were born with 'x' genes and raised in 'y' environment. Sure free will MAY have played a small role in the development of a few humans (mostly those who are naturally inclined to 'buck the trends' so to speak), but I don't see it as a particularly significant force.ZhouBoTong

    I would say that we don’t have ANY control (right now) in who we are up until today, but we have so much more freedom than most of us realise in who we can be in each moment, and therefore in who we can be in the future. Free will isn’t a force, it’s a capacity within us to be aware of, connect and collaborate with the potential in our experience of interacting with the unfolding universe. It doesn’t really matter to the past (that’s already been determined) - only to our experience of what lies ahead.
  • Possibility
    413
    The sizing up of all possible world-lines unto all their ends to see what works the best, and then in 6D jump into the best one?PoeticUniverse

    In 5D it’s more about potential than ‘possible world-lines’ - as I explained to frank. When we see potential, we not only see what’s possible, but also how it can become actual.

    I think I follow what you’re saying, but I find the description of ‘jumping’ into ‘possible world-lines’ to be misleading (however poetic). Many-worlds and multiverse theories imply an alternate physical reality, but that’s not how dimensions appear to work. It isn’t a matter of travelling, but of developing the capacity to correlate between multiple levels of integrated information at once.
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    When we see potential, we not only see what’s possible, but also how it can become actual.Possibility

    The brain/will collapses scenarios of consequences into a choice, in regular dimensions.
  • Dzung
    53
    boils down to three assertionsPossibility
    my question may due to not getting what you wanted to say:
    how about the case "I choose not to eat this food"? which of the 3 categories would you place it?
  • frank
    3k
    Not directly in relation to free will - focusing on possibility only confuses the issue. I’m responding to determinism - ie. a lack of potential.Possibility

    What are you calling "potential"?

    I don't think I'm following what you're trying to do with dimensions. It appears that you're positing "4D" as a base reality that you engage through experience? And that this adds another dimension?
  • Possibility
    413
    how about the case "I choose not to eat this food"? which of the 3 categories would you place it?Dzung

    They’re not categories, they’re more like gates to enable or disable interaction.

    This discussion has been a work in progress - you might need to read further through the thread to follow.

    For me to explain the case “I choose not to eat this food”, I’d need to know more about the particular experience of choosing to eat or not eat the food.

    For instance, my son always used to turn his nose up at any food he couldn’t identify. He wasn’t a fussy eater: if you could somehow get him to try something, nine times out of ten he would then happily eat it. But his first response was always “I don’t like this” despite never having tried it. Forcing a toddler to eat when they’ve chosen not to is never a good idea, and reasoning with them about health implications has no effect. In his case, a decision to not eat certain food was usually based on a lack of awareness. He needed more information about the option to be chosen.

    When he was about three, I got him to taste cucumber by telling him that it was ‘a bit like apple, only not sweet or tangy’. It was his choice to be more aware by listening to someone else describe the experience of eating cucumber. It was his choice to also connect to this information: trusting my word and knowing that he liked apples. And it was his choice to then collaborate with the information: to conclude that he might actually like the experience of eating something ‘a bit like apple only not sweet or tangy’ himself, and act on it. It worked, and he’s eaten it ever since.

    Of course, I could choose not to eat this food because I’m aware of how long it’s been sitting in the fridge...
  • ZhouBoTong
    388
    As I’ve said before, I don’t think this is a case of EITHER determinism OR free will. We need to get away from this dichotomy and the ‘apologists’ of compatabilism in order to understand and develop a practical model of the will.Possibility

    Well I may have missed your first mention (more likely I was just overly focused on some other point), but I definitely like where you are going here. We just need the idea to catch-on.

    Free will isn’t a force, it’s a capacity within us to be aware of, connect and collaborate with the potential in our experience of interacting with the unfolding universe. It doesn’t really matter to the past (that’s already been determined) - only to our experience of what lies ahead.Possibility

    I like the sound of this. But I would imagine a lot of people (like me) might get hung up on perceived definitions (their understanding of free will); I hope you have a lot of patience (so far so good, haha) as you get this idea out there.

    Your final sentence actually brought it together for me and helped really understand what you were getting at...and as of now, to me, it seems accurate.

    Is there anything I could be reading, particularly on that last sentence
    It doesn’t really matter to the past (that’s already been determined) - only to our experience of what lies ahead.Possibility
    , that could help thoroughly explain the idea? Or are you sort of inventing it as you go along? (I hope that doesn't come across negatively, in my mind, all of the now-famous philosophers were "inventing it as they went along")
  • christian2017
    441
    Of course. There are often people registering here and posting that ‘free will is an illusion’. When I can be bothered, I ask if if they did so voluntarily. If they claim they didn’t, then I say discussion is pointless as they cannot be persuaded to change their minds. If they say they did, then they don’t have a case.Wayfarer

    Absolutely. Under scientific determinism your views and thoughts and the guy who believes in scientific determinism are entirely predetermined. The fact that he/she trys to persuade you of anything is nothing more than a domino effect that started billions of years ago. I find it both liberating and at the same time it just makes me want to play video games all day. To me i compare it to going to work everyday with a slight buzz. No wrong answer, we all have a part to play as Gandhi would say.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    at the same time it just makes me want to play video games all day.christian2017

    Like I said - it's simply an excuse for avoiding responsibility. Nothing is absolutely pre-determined, there is an element of chance in everything. Even physics proves that, it annoyed Einstein, who said he couldn't accept 'god playing dice'.
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    god playing diceWayfarer

    The bedrock of existence, having no input, whether 'God' or not, would have to play dice.
  • Wayfarer
    8k
    Do you understand the reference? Do you know why Einstein said it? Do you know what, if anything, it has to do with determinism?
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    Do you understand the reference? Do you know why Einstein said it? Do you know what, if anything, it has to do with determinism?Wayfarer

    Yes, Einstein was against QM's randomness/uncertainty/probabilities, thinking that Nature wouldn't play dice (as random), and for hidden variables indicating determinism, when talking to Born.

    I'm noting that the Ground of All would produce outputs from no inputs, i.e., random, such as in the posit of quantum fluctuations.
  • Possibility
    413
    What are you calling "potential"?frank

    Potential is defined as an ability to develop, achieve or succeed that has not been realised. Many interpret this as that an acorn becomes an oak tree or else it fails in its singular potential. But the way I see it, an acorn that becomes food for a squirrel is not a failure; it simply realises an alternative potential: one the squirrel was aware of, connected with and collaborated with. Absolute determinism suggests that the squirrel’s acorn was always determined to never be an oak tree, but I disagree.

    I don't think I'm following what you're trying to do with dimensions. It appears that you're positing "4D" as a base reality that you engage through experience? And that this adds another dimension?frank

    I don’t see 4D as a ‘base reality’ - I start there because I figure most people would agree that the universe has four dimensions, even if we can’t ‘picture’ how to map it. We can map changes to 3D objects over time, just as we only know a 2D shape is really 3D by how different it appears in relation to a variable viewing direction, increasing awareness of a third dimensional aspect to our viewpoint. So a 3D object that appears different in relation to a variable time of observation is better understood as a 4D event, and increases awareness of a fourth dimensional aspect to our observation. And a 4D event that appears different in relation to a variable observer is better understood as a 5D experience, increasing awareness of a fifth dimensional aspect to the observer.

    So it doesn’t really add another dimension - you are developing awareness of another dimensional aspect to how we experience the universe, but it was always ‘there’.
  • frank
    3k
    Potential is defined as an ability to develop, achieve or succeed that has not been realised. Many interpret this as that an acorn becomes an oak tree or else it fails in its singular potential. But the way I see it, an acorn that becomes food for a squirrel is not a failure; it simply realises an alternative potential: one the squirrel was aware of, connected with and collaborated with. Absolute determinism suggests that the squirrel’s acorn was always determined to never be an oak tree, but I disagree.Possibility

    The concept of potentiality I'm familiar with isn't about any success. Success is a judgment. The acorn's potential is something we recognize by looking at it in context. The potential we're really seeing is that of the whole universe. There are thousands of ways the acorn could become a tree. We could think of this as thousands of possible worlds. In each one, the universe was just the way it needed to be to produce the tree in that possible world.

    Likewise there are possible worlds in which the acorn was eaten or buried (so as to plant a hickory tree in my boxwoods, which actually happened. :razz: )

    Among all of these worlds is a very special one: the actual world.
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