• BlueBanana
    900
    You don't exist. I don't exist.Rich

    Yes we do. Our conscious experiences are illusions (yet they exist as illusions), but we still exist.

    Particles don't exist.Rich

    Yes they do. We perceive them, that perception is an illusion, that illusion is accurate and true.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Yes they do. We perceive them, that perception is an illusion, that illusion is accurate and true.BlueBanana

    Ok. We are an illusion and all illusions are accurate reality. Reality are illusions. Illusions are reality. There are no particles bouncing iiffeach other and there are. You exist and you don't. I exist and I don't. I'm talking to you and I am not. As said, everything has become meaningless. No surprise. Quite Hindu.
  • SonJnana
    243
    Universal generalisations are not empirical facts, nor are they even empirical statements. Rather they are proposed rules for generating new hypotheses for pragmatic purposes. For example, accepting my previous universal statement means that I condone the invention of a testable hypothesis such as "the next ten swans observed will be white".sime

    Yes they are generalizations for generating new hypotheses for pragmatic purposes. However, as a determinist, if you are accepting those generalizations, then you are accepting that those generalizations also apply to the human. So for pragmatic reasons it would be rational to look at consciousness as though the generalizations that also apply to it. I don't see how you could interpret determinism in a way that gives you consciousness that also isn't dependent on the deterministic generalizations, unless you believe that consciousness isn't dependent on the brain (that it is some sort of soul).
  • SonJnana
    243
    I've studied quite a bit of philosophy, especially metaphysics, and I've come to realize that the same principles which make reality intelligible are also the principles which support the notion of free will. This starts with the fundamental difference between past and future which we all recognize in our daily existence.Metaphysician Undercover

    I'm interested to hear this. So how do we go from our understandings of past and future to free will?
  • BlueBanana
    900
    Ok. We are an illusion

    In one sense.

    and all illusions are accurate reality

    Not all.

    Reality are illusions.

    No, just out perceptions of it.

    Illusions are reality.

    On some subjective, irrelevant to the topic, level, perhaps.

    There are no particles bouncing iiffeach other

    Yes there are.

    You exist

    True.

    and you don't.

    False.

    I exist

    True.

    and I don't.

    False.

    I'm talking to you

    If we define text-based discussion to be talking, yes.

    and I am not.

    If we define text-based discussion to not be talking, no.

    everything has become meaningless.

    Maybe to you on subjective level, which I'm sorry to hear. As an objective truth, that claim is false.



    Wow, what a wall that was to write. Are you purposefully making a straw man out of physicalism? It does not make the world an illusion, it doesn't make us not real, it doesn't make anything meaningless, it's not directly connected to hinduism.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Physicallism makes consciousness an Illusion as you just did. But you decided to go one step further making illusions an accurate depiction of reality, which was simply great. The ultimate in meaningless.An inevitable ending when one attempts to develop all of life out of a string of bouncing particles. It is preposterous but people like playing the game.
  • sime
    198
    Yes they are generalizations for generating new hypotheses for pragmatic purposes. However, as a determinist, if you are accepting those generalizations, then you are accepting that those generalizations also apply to the human. So for pragmatic reasons it would be rational to look at consciousness as though the generalizations that also apply to it. I don't see how you could interpret determinism in a way that gives you consciousness that also isn't dependent on the deterministic generalizations, unless you believe that consciousness isn't dependent on the brain (that it is some sort of soul).SonJnana

    It is because what we do and think partly 'determines' what we mean by something 'being determined'.

    To see this, consider the following string, and imagine that it represents the history of a binary universe up to a present time

    010101010

    By definition this is currently all the information that the universe consists of. Now does it make sense to ask if this universe thus far is determined?

    Imagine a determinist saying

    "i can imagine the sequence oscillating forever and forever! 010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101..."

    All i am saying is, the determinist has entirely expressed all that he means and the dots are where his determinism ends.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    I'm interested to hear this. So how do we go from our understandings of past and future to free will?SonJnana

    Do you recognize that things of the past (whether or not they've been observed or recorded), have a fixed, determined existence, i.e., that they cannot be changed? And do you recognize that things of the future are not absolutely necessary, that they may or may not occur, depending on whether or not they are caused to occur, and this is why we say that the existence of temporal things is "contingent"?
  • SonJnana
    243
    010101010

    By definition this is currently all the information that the universe consists of. Now does it make sense to ask if this universe thus far is determined?
    sime

    If you are a determinist and determinism is your way of interpreting the information/code of the universe, then you can't interpret human desires (that we don't control), which our decisions are based off of, as also not being apart of this information/coding/cause and effect of the universe. If you can say that a tree fell because it of prior causes, you must also say that the human brain wants what it wants because of prior causes.
  • SonJnana
    243
    Do you recognize that things of the past (whether or not they've been observed or recorded), have a fixed, determined existence, i.e., that they cannot be changed? And do you recognize that things of the future are not absolutely necessary, that they may or may not occur, depending on whether or not they are caused to occur, and this is why we say that the existence of temporal things is "contingent"?Metaphysician Undercover

    Not to argue for determinism, but it doesn't seem like that to me. It seems more that the things of the future are necessary because they are part of the causal chain of events or else they wouldn't be the future. But yes, I do experience the contingency.
  • sime
    198
    If you are a determinist and determinism is your way of interpreting the information/code of the universe.....SonJnana

    Don't you mean to say that the very assumption that a code is representative of, or is generated by, a particular underlying function is what determinism means here?

    To use our example, doesn't it mean that the determinist understands 010101010 as being generated by a particular function? Yet in my example, i explicitly defined that string to represent all of the current information that exists in that universe. So where is this ghostly 'particular' function that is proposed to exist over and above the string and control its existence supposed to live?

    Of course the string was generated by something transcendental of that universe, for it was me who determined it. And of course I literally exist in the same physical world as the string i wrote, hence an outsider could represent me with a binary hash number, say #Sime and crudely represent my creative act by concatenating me and the string together in some way.

    But then the same problem arises as before. To what principle can the determinist now turn to, in order to interpret my act of creating the string as being representative of some transcendentally predetermined act of creation? Presumably the "laws" of physics. But then after we encode our understanding of those laws as binary information and add them to the picture, the determinist has nowhere else to turn to justify his metaphysical determinism unless he appeals to the invisible hand of god, or insists upon a hard distinction between mind and matter, thereby interpreting physics as being a principle transcendental of consciousness.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    Not to argue for determinism, but it doesn't seem like that to me. It seems more that the things of the future are necessary because they are part of the causal chain of events or else they wouldn't be the future. But yes, I do experience the contingency.SonJnana

    So this is the issue right here, the difference between free will and determinism. The determinist sees things in the future as necessary because they are part of a causal chain of events, and that causal chain is already in motion. The free willist experiences the capacity to interfere with that causal chain of events, to bring into existence what is desired, and to avoid what is unwanted in the future.

    Now we have to account for each of these two apparently different ways of seeing reality, and this requires an ontology. We need to describe what it means to exist, what it means to be a part of a causal chain of events. The causal chain of events describes a continuity of existence, and this continuity is assumed to extend right from the past, through the future, such that the present has no real influence. The free willist sees a break in the continuity, at the present, and this allows that a causal chain of events can be started or stopped at any moment of the present, by an act of free will.
  • SonJnana
    243
    The free willist experiences the capacity to interfere with that causal chain of events, to bring into existence what is desired, and to avoid what is unwanted in the future.Metaphysician Undercover

    If you define determinism as just acting on what you want to do as most compatiblist say, then that's fine. I have no disagreement. However it's just redefining the word free will. If people's choices is an effect of the cause of their desires and their desires are also part of cause and effect, then their choices are still part of the cause and effect chain.
  • SonJnana
    243
    Don't you mean to say that the very assumption that a code is representative of, or is generated by, a particular underlying function is what determinism means here?

    To use our example, doesn't it mean that the determinist understands 010101010 as being generated by a particular function? Yet in my example, i explicitly defined that string to represent all of the current information that exists in that universe. So where is this ghostly 'particular' function that is proposed to exist over and above the string and control its existence supposed to live?
    sime

    So now you are suggesting that you might not be determinist without a reason to believe in a transcendental function?

    Of course the string was generated by something transcendental of that universe, for it was me who determined it. And of course I literally exist in the same physical world as the string i wrote, hence an outsider could represent me with a binary hash number, say #Sime and crudely represent my creative act by concatenating me and the string together in some waysime

    What makes you transcendental?

    But then the same problem arises as before. To what principle can the determinist now turn to, in order to interpret my act of creating the string as being representative of some transcendentally predetermined act of creation? Presumably the "laws" of physics. But then after we encode our understanding of those laws as binary information and add them to the picture, the determinist has nowhere else to turn to justify his metaphysical determinism unless he appeals to the invisible hand of god, or insists upon a hard distinction between mind and matter, thereby interpreting physics as being a principle transcendental of consciousness.sime

    I'm not sure. That's up to the determinist if he wants to assert determinism is true. This is why I had originally said that we may not understand the universe well enough to decide if it's deterministic or not.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    If you define determinism as just acting on what you want to do as most compatiblist say, then that's fine. I have no disagreement. However it's just redefining the word free will. If people's choices is an effect of the cause of their desires and their desires are also part of cause and effect, then their choices are still part of the cause and effect chain.SonJnana

    The point with free will though, is that the particular choice is not caused by any desire, it is caused by the will, which is free from that chain of causation. This is why the nature of time is so important to free will. The causal chain exists as a continuity between past and future. That is what we know as temporal existence. The will exists at the present, and breaks the continuity, i.e. it breaks the causal chain.
  • SonJnana
    243
    The point with free will though, is that the particular choice is not caused by any desire, it is caused by the will, which is free from that chain of causation.Metaphysician Undercover

    How is the will free from the chain of causation? What are you defining as the will?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k

    The will is the cause of our free choices. It's free from the temporal existence which we know of as the chain of causation, because it is immaterial, like the soul.
  • SonJnana
    243
    The will is the cause of our free choices. It's free from the temporal existence which we know of as the chain of causation, because it is immaterial, like the soul.Metaphysician Undercover

    What reason do you have for thinking that this will you speak of is immaterial and not dependent on the physical brain, or that there is some sort of immaterial soul?
  • sime
    198
    So now you are suggesting that you might not be determinist without a reason to believe in a transcendental function?SonJnana

    Sort of. i am saying that the grammar of determination involves a relation between two designated roles - the determiner and the thing determined. Determinists automatically assume the presence of something transcendental or external to any given custom or state of affairs, even when it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of something transcendental, such as when discussing the history of everything that is by definition said to exist.

    One of the reasons for this tendency i suggest is because determinists and their mathematical cousins the platonists tend to treat ambiguity as being the same thing as incomplete information that is representative of something non-ambiguous and external to what is present.

    For example, when we were taught the 'law' of addition in mathematics, each of us was presented with only a small number of examples of addition. Yet we insist on thinking that there is a predetermined and transcendental 'law' of addition that we are assenting to and that determines the truth of our arithmetical statements.

    Now of course we are expected to generalise from presented examples and we possibly share innate tenancies to answer in similar ways. Pupils who behave appropriately on a small number of additional examples when tested are said to then "know" the law of addition.

    Yet there are infinitely many examples of what we might call 'addition' that the world has never calculated and never will. Each of us gives different answers to addition questions when we are presented with suitably large numbers. Who gets to decide who is making mistakes here? God? An infallible super-computer locked up in a vault somewhere? the fallible teacher or the trusty calculator? Isn't it really the case that there is no transcendental justification or particular external justification we can give for what we call our 'mistakes' and 'correct' answers?

    So it only makes sense to speak of a "law" of addition in very pragmatic sense. There aren't two things, namely our custom of addition and a platonic realm of addition that justifies our practices, and our law of addition is infinitely ambiguous. The law of addition is essentially a family of precedent laws, one law for each individual, where each of us continually extends our precedent law by citing earlier cases of addition that were accepted by our shared custom, where the judge is the success of our personal applications. But Platonists find this ambiguity and diversity of the concept hard to accept, so they invent a myth, a god, in order to pretend to themselves that things really are determined in a simple way for themselves and everybody else.
  • Cuthbert
    216
    That's a great post, sime. Would you say the same applies to the concept 'cause' as to the concept 'addition'?
  • SonJnana
    243
    I like the points tou’ve made. I’m still a little unclear on your position.

    Are you saying that determinism requires something transcendental? and if so, what is this transcendental thing?

    Or are you saying that determinism doesn’t require transcendental? And if not, then what allows the universe to be determined? It just is?
  • charleton
    1.2k
    Determinists automatically assume the presence of something transcendental or external to any given custom or state of affairs, even when it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of something transcendental, such as when discussing the history of everything that is by definition said to exist.sime
    I do not think this is true in any sense. Whilst is it almost impossible to describe determinism, or simply to talk about cause and effect without using transcendental ideas, that is not the same as saying that determinists rely on something transcendental for necessity of cause and effect to be to the case. Determinism is true whether of not there are determinists, or compatibilists trying to describe the universe. Clearly determinism relies on inductive knowledge. but the claim of determinism can only be described by transcending the brute reality of cause and effect to conceptualise and vocalise the findings of indiuction.

    For example, when we were taught the 'law' of addition in mathematics, each of us was presented with only a small number of examples of addition.sime

    This example is not relevant. The numbering system we use is analytically true, and established a priori on matters of fact devised by human cognition. Numbers are not phenomena that relate to causality, but have their own idealistic meanings.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    so they invent a myth, a god, in order to pretend to themselves that things really are determined in a simple way for themselves and everybody else.sime

    The myth in this case are the Laws of Nature (which is both undefinable and transcendental) which are determining everything. This concept replaced God. And who is it that represent themselves as the priests who are the one and only ones that have direct knowledge of the all powerful Laws of Nature?

    Bottom line, the Laws of Nature were invented in the same manner and the same way as God for precisely the same reason.
  • sime
    198
    I do not think this is true in any sense. Whilst is it almost impossible to describe determinism, or simply to talk about cause and effect without using transcendental ideas, that is not the same as saying that determinists rely on something transcendental for necessity of cause and effect to be to the case.charleton

    But causal necessity is neither empirically meaningful nor true by definition. There is no physical justification for causal necessity, and science has no need of the concept, for science is only concerned with describing regularity and predicting finitely ahead into the future. Indeed the history of science is nothing but a graveyard of falsified 'necessary' laws.

    There is nothing mysterious about our use of the word "determinism", for it is never uttered in response to an infinite number of factual justifications. We merely use it to forcibly express our beliefs and ideals in face of under-determined and shaky evidence.

    Determinism is true whether of not there are determinists, or compatibilists trying to describe the universe. Clearly determinism relies on inductive knowledge. but the claim of determinism can only be described by transcending the brute reality of cause and effect to conceptualise and vocalise the findings of indiuction.charleton

    Nobody has ever provided an irrefutable example of causal necessity that does not beg the question or that does not appeal to metaphysics.

    This example is not relevant. The numbering system we use is analytically true, and established a priori on matters of fact devised by human cognition. Numbers are not phenomena that relate to causality, but have their own idealistic meanings.charleton

    It is relevant in the sense of highlighting the platonism responsible for intuitions of causal necessity. And your description of numbers as being analytically true, possessing idealistic meanings and being 'established' a priori on 'matters of fact' sounds close to an appeal to a transcendental principle of divine certainty rather than practical custom.
  • sime
    198
    Are you saying that determinism requires something transcendental? and if so, what is this transcendental thing?

    Or are you saying that determinism doesn’t require transcendental? And if not, then what allows the universe to be determined? It just is?
    SonJnana

    I'm saying that in ordinary language, physics and in mathematics, to determine something is to make a comparison. So it only makes sense to employ the concept when relating states of affairs or parts of the universe to each other. It doesn't make sense to describe the universe as a whole as being determined or undetermined.
  • SonJnana
    243
    I'm saying that in ordinary language, physics and in mathematics, to determine something is to make a comparison. So it only makes sense to employ the concept when relating states of affairs or parts of the universe to each other. It doesn't make sense to describe the universe as a whole as being determined or undetermined.sime

    If you're saying it doesn't make sense to describe the universe as a whole as being determined or undetermined, it sounds like you aren't a determinist. Determinism means all events. Meaning decisions you make (which are events) are also then dependent on causes.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    But causal necessity is neither empirically meaningful nor true by definition. There is no physical justification for causal necessity, and science has no need of the concept, for science is only concerned with describing regularity and predicting finitely ahead into the future. Indeed the history of science is nothing but a graveyard of falsified 'necessary' laws.sime

    If you are going to be silly there is very little point continuing.
    All science including those falsified laws depend on necessity. You can't get out of bed in the morning without necessity.
    That fact is that science thrives on its improvement, and continual refinement. Without determinism we could never have designed a car, build a computer or landed on the moon.
    The universe is such that science has show us reliable descriptions all reliant on determinism to be true.

    Determinism means that with each key you press, and write this silliness you get what letter you expect on the screen. You are proving determinism with every key stroke!!
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.7k
    What reason do you have for thinking that this will you speak of is immaterial and not dependent on the physical brain, or that there is some sort of immaterial soul?SonJnana

    I came to learn this from my study of philosophy, many years of reading. It is a difficult subject requiring much study. Here's something to consider though. A living body consists of parts which are active, and the activity is directed. The activity must be in such and such a way or there would be no living body. The living body would not exist without these parts carrying out their specified activities. If this is the case, then a living body could not come into existence without these parts each carrying out their specific activities. Therefore the formula, or direction (and this is immaterial), as to which parts must carry out which activities, must be prior to the existence of the living body. So we can conclude that this immaterial formula must be prior to the living body. The living body is dependent on the immaterial formula, and follows from it, not vise versa.
  • SonJnana
    243
    I disagree with this because DNA is the formula that directs biology. This can be seen at all levels of life: human, other mammals, reptiles, plants, bacteria, and to some extent viruses as well (even though they are considered nonliving).
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Without determinism we could never have designed a car, build a computer or landed on the moon.charleton

    The Mind (I should say some Minds) created Determinism (for what ever reason) and there were other Minds that created all tools and symbols necessary to get to the Moon. Such an endeavor is possible whether or not one believes their lives are fated (Determinism/Calvinism). In fact, it is probable that most people who were involved in the moon landing believed in God. Didn't make a difference.
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