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Poll: Which position was better argued and supported?

Be advised that this is a public poll: other users can see the choice(s) you selected.

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  1. #41
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    So you would be taking the position that homosexuality is a personal choice and not a matter of biology?
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  2. #42
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Can you prove that sexuality isn't behavior?
    Someone is holding a gun to your head and threatening to kill you if you don't commit the behaviour of whatever sexual orientation you don't currently define yourself as possessing. After committing the act to save your life, has your orientation changed?

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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Someone is holding a gun to your head and threatening to kill you if you don't commit the behaviour of whatever sexual orientation you don't currently define yourself as possessing. After committing the act to save your life, has your orientation changed?

    Sent from my SHIELD Tablet using Tapatalk
    You're turning a scientific question about sexuality, human development, and instincts vs reasoning in behavior, into an argument over analogies that has every propensity to descend into meaningless platitudes. Hopefully you can proceed in a manner that warrants my habit of charitable interpretations.
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  4. #44
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12
    Youŗe turning a scientific question about sexuality, human development, and instincts vs reasoning in behavior, into an argument over analogies that has every propensity to descend into meaningless platitudes. Hopefully you can proceed in a manner that warrants my habit of charitable interpretations.
    It was just a question, actually, since you made the claim that sexuality and behaviour are inextricably linked. If you choose to commit the behaviour, have you also chosen that sexuality? I am hopeful that your interpretation will be such that it will allow you to answer as truthfully to your beliefs as possible without having to dodge any further with your own platitudes.

  5. #45
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    It was just a question, actually, since you made the claim that sexuality and behaviour are inextricably linked. If you choose to commit the behaviour, have you also chosen that sexuality? I am hopeful that your interpretation will be such that it will allow you to answer as truthfully to your beliefs as possible without having to dodge any further with your own platitudes.
    No, your orientation hasn't changed. Being oriented towards something involves a more significant level of assent than that.
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  6. #46
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    No, your orientation hasn't changed. Being oriented towards something involves a more significant level of assent than that.
    I agree, but then JustMe's point stands that "Any one can choose to have hetero sex.. that however does not make them hetero.. that's just hetero behavior.. not the actual sexuality"

    Of course, such an example is only provided to simplify the question, but there is a noticeable link here to the old free will vs determinism issue.

    There are valid points to be made by looking at my example and what its conclusion implies for other real life situations. Some peoples' orientation isn't so strictly defined and they might find it easier to make a choice of what behaviours or even orientation they will exhibit. Of course, those choices are never made in a vacuum.

    Take your story, for example. Current models regarding free will vs determinism would say that your decision was not as freely made as you initially described.

    Did you choose to hold the beliefs about relationships which ultimately made you unable to continue identifying as gay?
    Probably not directly, or at least not as freely as you have been speaking about choice thus far. One could argue that even in your situation, the change in orientation was not truly a free choice, but a natural reaction to finding yourself in a situation in many ways similar to my example.

  7. #47
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Behavior is based on orientation but orientation is not based on behavior.

    If one has sex with someone because they are attracted to that person, the sexual orientation that makes them desire the person of that gender clearly lead to the behavior.

    But if one if forced to have sex with someone of the gender they are not attracted to, it does not effect their sexual orientation. If a straight man is raped by another man, he has engaged in homosexual sex but that has no effect on his sexual orientation.

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  9. #48
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I agree, but then JustMe's point stands that "Any one can choose to have hetero sex.. that however does not make them hetero.. that's just hetero behavior.. not the actual sexuality"

    Of course, such an example is only provided to simplify the question, but there is a noticeable link here to the old free will vs determinism issue.

    There are valid points to be made by looking at my example and what its conclusion implies for other real life situations. Some peoples' orientation isn't so strictly defined and they might find it easier to make a choice of what behaviours or even orientation they will exhibit. Of course, those choices are never made in a vacuum.

    Take your story, for example. Current models regarding free will vs determinism would say that your decision was not as freely made as you initially described.

    Did you choose to hold the beliefs about relationships which ultimately made you unable to continue identifying as gay?
    Probably not directly, or at least not as freely as you have been speaking about choice thus far. One could argue that even in your situation, the change in orientation was not truly a free choice, but a natural reaction to finding yourself in a situation in many ways similar to my example.
    A debate over free will vs determinism, while interesting and related to the matter at hand, is well outside the scope of this thread. By the way, the delineated positions in that debate aren't simply "free will" and "determinism", but libertarianism, compatibilism, and hard determinism, if you'll pardon my digression. There is little value in hyperbolic analogies. While in typical arguments it tends to highlight cognitive dissonance and the constraints it places on a person's reasoning, in this more sophisticated context hyperbole has little appreciable function.

    There are only three reasonable considerations here in my mind. (a) How predictive is someone's genetic predisposition, which is to say: how much can sexual orientation rightly be called a phenotype or an epigenetic phenomenon? (b) On the other hand, how predictive is a person's development and neuroplasticity? (c) Finally, how much of a person's development when it comes to this is ingrained in conscious choices, and in the enculturation process?

    Given the preponderance of civilizations throughout history that had varying dominant cultural trends on sexuality, and hence the varying behavior patterns that they described as the norm, we can conclude that culture has a significant role to play in sexuality. And what do we know about culture? There are involuntary elements involved because the people in our environment are quite formative for us, yet at the same time culture is simply made up of the aggregate of us asserting ideas, and we each have an affect on our cultural ecosystem ourselves.
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  10. #49
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    A debate over free will vs determinism, while interesting and related to the matter at hand, is well outside the scope of this thread.
    Yeah, but since this thread went outside it's intended scope in post #3, I figure it's okay to let the discussion flow to more interesting topics. Especially when it seems to lead us naturally in the direction we're going. We've only had a mod warn us once, so we're good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    There are involuntary elements involved because the people in our environment are quite formative for us, yet at the same time culture is simply made up of the aggregate of us asserting ideas, and we each have an affect on our cultural ecosystem ourselves.
    Hmm, this sounds quite a lot like the "environmental influences" JustMe provided against the motion that homosexuality is a choice:
    Quote Originally Posted by JustMe View Post
    it is a makeup of genetics, hormonal, and environmental influences.
    In any case, do you feel that these involuntary elements in any way contributed to the path you took?

  11. #50
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Yeah, but since this thread went outside it's intended scope in post #3, I figure it's okay to let the discussion flow to more interesting topics. Especially when it seems to lead us naturally in the direction we're going. We've only had a mod warn us once, so we're good.
    How much are you familiar with the debate on determinism? Just let me know how comfortable you are with these definitions and we can proceed from there:

    1. The liberty of spontaneity- while the resulting choice of an agent is guaranteed, there can still be said to be a range of choices in a real sense, and while there are constraining causes sufficient to guarantee an effect, the will still has "spontaneity", which is to say active assent towards the choice.
    2. The liberty of indifference- there are only non-constraining causes, and the resulting choice isn't guaranteed. Instead, the relationships that an agent has to causes is influence and response.
    3. Libertarianism- the idea that agents possess both liberties.
    4. Compatibilism- the idea that agents only possess the liberty of spontaneity.
    5. Hard determinism- the idea that agents not only can't be indifferent, but there is no range of choices in the first place. There is no element of choice at all.

    Much of the underlying reason for differences between these positions lie in the debate over philosophy of mind.

    Hmm, this sounds quite a lot like the "environmental influences" JustMe provided against the motion that homosexuality is a choice:

    In any case, do you feel that these involuntary elements in any way contributed to the path you took?
    Granting that there are environmental influences, in no way guarantees that those influences are constraining as opposed to non-constraining causes. Of course involuntary elements contributed to my choices. There were also voluntary elements that contributed, and those voluntary elements were just as compelling as enculturation, etc.
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  12. #51
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Granting that there are environmental influences, in no way guarantees that those influences are constraining as opposed to non-constraining causes. Of course involuntary elements contributed to my choices. There were also voluntary elements that contributed, and those voluntary elements were just as compelling as enculturation, etc.
    I guess I've always leaned a little to the deterministic side, since I would say that even the voluntary elements themselves arise from (are caused by) their own combinations of involuntary & voluntary elements.
    So even though you label something as voluntary & imply there is a choice, the voluntary elements leading to & determining the outcome of that choice are so diluted in the sea of countless involuntary causes which led to the situation & resulting decision.

  13. #52
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I guess I've always leaned a little to the deterministic side, since I would say that even the voluntary elements themselves arise from (are caused by) their own combinations of involuntary & voluntary elements.
    So even though you label something as voluntary & imply there is a choice, the voluntary elements leading to & determining the outcome of that choice are so diluted in the sea of countless involuntary causes which led to the situation & resulting decision.
    Clearly you don't believe we have the liberty of indifference. Do we have the liberty of spontaneity? At this point it appears that what you're contributing constitutes more of an opinionated presentation than an argument, and I really mean no offense when sharing that frank assessment. One can reasonably infer from your second sentence here that you are arguing that, when examining a state of affairs, it is impossible to reasonably assess the freedom of will beyond first order consequences on into second and third order consequences. The mere fact that there are a plethora of links in the chain doesn't lend a single iota of credence to your idea, however, because the reasoning you're using amounts to a plea of ignorance.

    While it may be that I am similarly ignorant, because of an inability to assess second order consequences, third order consequences, etc., there's no warrant for a deduction in granting that. Neither is there any warrant for inductive/probabilistic reasoning on those grounds. Of course, it's not necessary for me to grant that our ignorance of far flung members of the causal chain make it necessary for me to take your position or remain utterly skeptical of any conclusions on the matter. Science is a synthesis of Empiricist and Rationalist thoughts.

    Here's a fine example argument we could work through, and apply what we know about modern science to. It's worth noting that I have yet to present an argument for the reality of non-constraining causes. What I am first working to establishing, is the reasonable notion that it is not necessary as a matter of course to assume that any cause is a constraining cause.
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  14. #53
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    One can reasonably infer from your second sentence here that you are arguing that, when examining a state of affairs, it is impossible to reasonably assess the freedom of will beyond first order consequences on into second and third order consequences.
    I'm not saying it's impossible to assess anything - that would be foolish. I often find it beneficial to remind myself to take special care with the language being used so as not to cause confusion - forgive me if that is the case.
    I meant to point out that, even though in a given situation we may feel as though we have freedom of will to decide, the overwhelming amount of involuntary factors which both affect that decision and led to it in the first place make any claim of it being a choice highly suspect & deserving of skeptical inquiry. Indeed, this is the only reasonable assessment it is possible to make regarding the freedom of will given our limited understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Of course, it's not necessary for me to grant that our ignorance of far flung members of the causal chain make it necessary for me to take your position or remain utterly skeptical of any conclusions on the matter.
    I'm not entirely comfortable with the language here. The duplication of "necessary for me" leaves me a bit puzzled as to what you're trying to say, to be honest. In any case, I'd like to avoid making claims of what is necessary. As above, I'd say that skepticism, for the most part, is the more prudent choice (pun intended).
    Last edited by futureboy; February 8th, 2016 at 04:08 AM.

  15. #54
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    As has grown to be my fond habit, I often listen to music as I think. You can listen with me if you like, cutting the silence of this so far soundless page:



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm not saying it's impossible to assess anything - that would be foolish. I often find it beneficial to remind myself to take special care with the language being used so as not to cause confusion - forgive me if that is the case.
    Don't worry about it. There is always naturally going to be some miscommunication, as well as requisite reconnaissance, in involved discussions such as this. I do hope you've enjoyed the discussion so far. Rest assured that it isn't my intention to harangue you with a rhetorical display, or stroke my ego through a vaunted sense of intelligence.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I meant to point out that, even though in a given situation we may feel as though we have freedom of will to decide, the overwhelming amount of involuntary factors which both affect that decision and led to it in the first place make any claim of it being a choice highly suspect & deserving of skeptical inquiry. Indeed, this is the only reasonable assessment it is possible to make regarding the freedom of will given our limited understanding.
    One could also casually list myriads of non-constraining factors as well, given a reasonable amount of exposure to neurology, psychology, and philosophy of mind. Which amount then is "overwhelming"? Is it not also possible to consider constraining factors as limiting the range of total choices, and non-constraining factors as influencing the range of preferred choices?

    If you were a hard determinist, you wouldn't be granting the idea of a non-constraining factor in the first place, rather you would only be granting that there are constraining causes, not factors. For clarity's sake, are you one of the three categories of thinkers I referenced, or are you skeptical of all three as a reasonable conclusion?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm not entirely comfortable with the language here. The duplication of "necessary for me" leaves me a bit puzzled as to what you're trying to say, to be honest. In any case, I'd like to avoid making claims of what is necessary. As above, I'd say that skepticism, for the most part, is the more prudent choice (pun intended).
    Yes, it was actually an unfortunate typo which left the post with a redundant, confusing sentence.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Thank you for the music. It definitely helps this thread remain a discussion rather than a debate, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I love classical in general, but lately have been listening to a lot of Philip Glass - currently, the Aguas da Amazonia album:


    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    One could also casually list myriads of non-constraining factors as well, given a reasonable amount of exposure to neurology, psychology, and philosophy of mind. Which amount then is "overwhelming"? Is it not also possible to consider constraining factors as limiting the range of total choices, and non-constraining factors as influencing the range of preferred choices?
    It think we're talking about two different things here: 1. (non-)constraining factors which affect or determine the outcome of a choice; 2. the factors which cause/lead to the situation in which a choice is made. The point I'm making is regarding the latter, and how any given situation will have an overwhelmingly greater number of causal elements which are out of one's control than are in one's control. This principle applies causally (and temporally) before any considerations can even be made with regards to the factors affecting the decision itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    If you were a hard determinist, you wouldn't be granting the idea of a non-constraining factor in the first place, rather you would only be granting that there are constraining causes, not factors. For clarity's sake, are you one of the three categories of thinkers I referenced, or are you skeptical of all three as a reasonable conclusion?
    For me, skepticism is always preferable, but if pressed to choose, then I guess I'm more of a determinist. My reasoning is that, as above, I'm looking at the bigger picture - not just the choice being made and the (non-)constraining factors deciding it's outcome, but also the causal elements which lead to the situation - I believe we must even consider the causal elements that are out of our control which lead to the existence of (non-)constraining factors deciding the outcome.

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  18. #56
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Thank you for the music. It definitely helps this thread remain a discussion rather than a debate, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I love classical in general, but lately have been listening to a lot of Philip Glass - currently, the Aguas da Amazonia album:
    Phillip Glass, and Lepo Sumera (another chap you may want to look into if you aren't familiar with the name), are great composers in the Minimalist genre, especially in my mind because they are early music enthusiasts and have both implemented elements of Greek hymns and chants in their musical thinking. Sumera here has also written for a variety of ensembles:

    Lepo Sumera's Musica Profana

    As of late, I've primarily been into ars antiqua and ars nova, trying to get into the heads of composers who thought in modal, not tonal, musical idioms.



    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    It think we're talking about two different things here: 1. (non-)constraining factors which affect or determine the outcome of a choice; 2. the factors which cause/lead to the situation in which a choice is made. The point I'm making is regarding the latter, and how any given situation will have an overwhelmingly greater number of causal elements which are out of one's control than are in one's control. This principle applies causally (and temporally) before any considerations can even be made with regards to the factors affecting the decision itself.
    There being cumulatively more uncontrolled causes does not make them invariably constraining causes. Are there 'causes' and 'factors', i.e. influences, or is there really a separate class behind the different phenomena that drive volition? I see little reasoning here, except arbitrary semantic delineation on your part, behind distinguishing between causes and factors in the first place. Are the two somehow metaphysically different?

    We are driving towards a more pervasive metaphysical question here: is the mind purely naturalistic or is it transcendental in any sense? What is our ontology as human beings? If the mind is purely naturalistic, then the 'Self' is a mistaken perception and there are no factors in the first place. If it is transcendental then how is it that a Compatibilist can hold that the mind is ultimately constrained, even though they agree that there is at least a range of choices? I see little to no grounds for Compatibilism without a transcendental mind, and with a transcendental mind accepted I don't see any tenable grounds for choice occurring on a deterministic basis.

    This is where the rubber meets the road, then: if the mind is indeed transcendental, the number of causal elements out of one's control, however overwhelming, irrespective of their variety, quantity, and intensity they only contribute to the choice, as opposed to determining it. E.g. people still choose their convictions and allow themselves to suffer and/or die at the hands of an oppressor.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    For me, skepticism is always preferable, but if pressed to choose, then I guess I'm more of a determinist. My reasoning is that, as above, I'm looking at the bigger picture - not just the choice being made and the (non-)constraining factors deciding it's outcome, but also the causal elements which lead to the situation - I believe we must even consider the causal elements that are out of our control which lead to the existence of (non-)constraining factors deciding the outcome.
    Skepticism is only preferable inasmuch as it is appropriate to exercise reasonable doubt. In response to determinism: none of the context given in the situation and one's prior development can be said to infallibly predict a person's choice. Is it at all possible in the first place for a perfectly exhaustive scan of, and explanation of the import thereof, the contents of the brain, to predict choices, to ask one's self "from whence came the choice" and have a cut and dry answer? If predictability is not possible, then it looks like determinism is in trouble.

    Not to mention that there are of course other arguments for the transcendental nature of the mind, if you are interesting in trudging through those eminently entertaining grounds.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

  19. #57
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    ... constraining causes ... drive volition ...
    Based on the language used it seems like you're talking about factors affecting the outcome of a decision - the former of the two types I mentioned in the first paragraph of my last response. My intention was to differentiate between 1) the factors which determine how you will choose in a given situation, and 2) the factors which cause that situation to exist/happen.

    [Is] the mind purely naturalistic or is it transcendental in any sense? What is our ontology as human beings? If the mind is purely naturalistic, then the 'Self' is a mistaken perception and there are no factors in the first place. If it is transcendental then how is it that a Compatibilist can hold that the mind is ultimately constrained, even though they agree that there is at least a range of choices? I see little to no grounds for Compatibilism without a transcendental mind, and with a transcendental mind accepted I don't see any tenable grounds for choice occurring on a deterministic basis.
    ... and this is where skepticism comes in as the preferable approach ... I'll ask you to define or explain how you are using "transcendental" before we go any further with that doozie.

    This is where the rubber meets the road, then: if the mind is indeed transcendental, the number of causal elements out of one's control, however overwhelming, irrespective of their variety, quantity, and intensity they only contribute to the choice, as opposed to determining it. E.g. people still choose their convictions and allow themselves to suffer and/or die at the hands of an oppressor.
    While it may seem as though different people can choose differently as in your example, I'd argue that there are myriad factors affecting each individual such that, without choosing to or knowing it, one might be predetermined to have weaker/stronger integrity than another in the same situation.

    Skepticism is only preferable inasmuch as it is appropriate to exercise reasonable doubt. In response to determinism: none of the context given in the situation and one's prior development can be said to infallibly predict a person's choice. Is it at all possible in the first place for a perfectly exhaustive scan of, and explanation of the import thereof, the contents of the brain, to predict choices, to ask one's self "[whence] came the choice" and have a cut and dry answer? If predictability is not possible, then it looks like determinism is in trouble.
    As I said, skepticism is preferable for me. I would also add that, based on the trouble you said it may be in, skepticism is the preferred response to anyone claiming hard determinism. However, I do not accept the conclusion your question seems to imply - to wit that, since we are currently unable to take advantage of the predictive possibilities promised by it, determinism as an explanatory model is not true. That way lies the argument from ignorance. Skepticism FTW!

    P.S. I am currently listening to Lepo Sumera. I've always been a fan of Arvo Pärt (another Estonian composer), but had not heard of Sumera before, so thank you for that. Also, your inbox is full, and I am unable to send you a PM!
    Last edited by futureboy; February 19th, 2016 at 11:39 AM.

  20. #58
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    I've been on more of an early music kick myself, lately.





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    Dum resurgeret in iudicio Deus, alleluia!
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    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Based on the language used it seems like you're talking about factors affecting the outcome of a decision - the former of the two types I mentioned in the first paragraph of my last response. My intention was to differentiate between 1) the factors which determine how you will choose in a given situation, and 2) the factors which cause that situation to exist/happen.
    I'm aware of the distinction you made. What I was keying into was the ambiguity between the former, which you called 'factors', and the latter, for which your preferred nomenclature appears to be 'causes'. Would you say that the difference in your mind between 'factors' and 'causes' is the internal components in human behavior vs the external components?

    ... and this is where skepticism comes in as the preferable approach ... I'll ask you to define or explain how you are using "transcendental" before we go any further with that doozie.
    Here's a basic introduction to how terms like 'synthesis', 'noumena/noumenal', 'a priori', 'a posteriori', and 'transcendental' are used in modern philosophy. When I use the expression transcendental, I am not at all using it in one of the myriad haphazard senses that are invoked in the popular vernacular, rather, I mean to invoke the concept of something that is categorically beyond naturalism.

    Just as theoretical physicists and experimental physicists have always complemented one another and mutually driven interest in promising areas of study, metaphysics as an area of philosophy has, since the begin of modern science in the Scientific Revolution, fed science some of it's most significant questions and used science in the great debates over issues such as determinism, or the limits of mathematical reasoning and it's application (see Karl Popper especially on this subject). In science, indirect evidence is often used in a methodologically acceptable manner to reason about phenomena, e.g. black holes, or positing difficult to detect forms of matter under the blanket expression 'dark matter' in order to explain why there doesn't seem to be enough mass in galaxies for them to stay together like they do.

    By extension, it's not methodologically unacceptable to posit phenomena categorically outside the metaphysical confines of naturalism. What we then have is still reasoning about ontology, but without the presupposition that "the only legitimate critical thinking about the issue will posit a natural cause". Science is an epistemological compromise between Rationalism and Empiricism, not necessarily a commitment hampered by confirmation bias towards methodological naturalism. Of course, it is still more reasonable to posit natural causes first. If those causes aren't sufficient, then the floor is open for other explanations.

    What doesn't have a sufficient natural cause, but can still be reasoned about scientifically? Near death experiences, and I don't mean "I saw a light", or other culturally typical lucid experiences, I mean people in various stages of death (most notably people without any recognizable pulse or the requisite level of electrical activity in the brain to do what these people did) reporting to their doctors in detail about the surgical procedures performed on them. As I established before when sharing the epistemological terms and reasoning used in the scientific method, when a reasonable body of facts is accumulated, it is time to try and posit a satisfactory theory.

    While it may seem as though different people can choose differently as in your example, I'd argue that there are myriad factors affecting each individual such that, without choosing to or knowing it, one might be predetermined to have weaker/stronger integrity than another in the same situation.
    Notice how even in your own language here you appear to shy away from the conclusion that the predetermined nature of the events is absolute.

    As I said, skepticism is preferable for me. I would also add that, based on the trouble you said it may be in, skepticism is the preferred response to anyone claiming hard determinism. However, I do not accept the conclusion your question seems to imply - to wit that, since we are currently unable to take advantage of the predictive possibilities promised by it, determinism as an explanatory model is not true. That way lies the argument from ignorance. Skepticism FTW!
    There is a great gulf of difference between presupposing the ultimate truth of a matter, and pointing out that a position lacks sufficient explanatory power. I was engaged in the latter as opposed to the former.
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  22. #59
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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    I'm aware of the distinction you made. What I was keying into was the ambiguity between the former, which you called 'factors', and the latter, for which your preferred nomenclature appears to be 'causes'. Would you say that the difference in your mind between 'factors' and 'causes' is the internal components in human behavior vs the external components?
    My apologies for the confusion - I realise I have been using "factors" & "causes" somewhat freely - for instance, using both the noun & verb forms of "cause" in the same post. I guess I was focusing more on clearly expressing the context in which the terms were used. I would agree with your expression of the difference, but add that we must consider the external components which cause/lead to/affect the existence of the internal components - RE: the big picture mentioned earlier.

    After reading up on some Karl Popper following your mention of him, I have to say that I like his wording when he stated, "freedom is not just chance but, rather, the result of a subtle interplay between something almost random or haphazard, and something like a restrictive or selective control". My only addition to that would be a careful & skeptical acknowledgement of the fact that the "something almost random or haphazard" only seems so to us currently, and that, as above, the "something like a restrictive or selective control" itself has roots in factors and causes which are out of our control, seemingly random, etc.

    When I use the expression transcendental [...] I mean to invoke the concept of something that is categorically beyond naturalism.
    In science, indirect evidence is often used in a methodologically acceptable manner to reason about phenomena, e.g. black holes, or positing difficult to detect forms of matter under the blanket expression 'dark matter' in order to explain why there doesn't seem to be enough mass in galaxies for them to stay together like they do.
    By extension, it's not methodologically unacceptable to posit phenomena categorically outside the metaphysical confines of naturalism. What we then have is still reasoning about ontology, but without the presupposition that "the only legitimate critical thinking about the issue will posit a natural cause". Science is an epistemological compromise between Rationalism and Empiricism, not necessarily a commitment hampered by confirmation bias towards methodological naturalism. Of course, it is still more reasonable to posit natural causes first. If those causes aren't sufficient, then the floor is open for other explanations.
    To me the problem here lies with your extension from "science uses indirect evidence for things like black holes & dark matter", to "it's rational to posit explanations that go beyond methodological naturalism". I just don't see how we are justified in making that leap. The scientific evidence & reasoning (indirect or not) which led to the various models explaining black holes & dark matter have their foundations solidly based in methodological naturalism. Furthermore, there is no "confirmation bias" towards methodological naturalism - what it is instead, is a realisation that we currently have no way of actually investigating anything supernatural and until there is, we're forced to rely on naturalism as our source of knowledge.

    I recall a quote but I can't remember the exact wording or who said it. It went something along the lines of saying that, if we ever had the ability to actually investigate something considered supernatural, the results would invariably & ultimately have naturalistic explanations, or something like that. I remember some responding to this idea as though it was a bias towards philosophical naturalism. However, the real point being made was that, if anything previously considered supernatural was finally made investigable, it would simply be added to our natural realm by the very fact that it was investigable by methodologically naturalistic means. Or in other words, our models would be expanded to include the newly- and naturalistically- discovered things. It's a somewhat similar idea to the old Arthur C. Clarke adage of "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

    What doesn't have a sufficient natural cause, but can still be reasoned about scientifically? Near death experiences, and I don't mean "I saw a light", or other culturally typical lucid experiences, I mean people in various stages of death (most notably people without any recognizable pulse or the requisite level of electrical activity in the brain to do what these people did) reporting to their doctors in detail about the surgical procedures performed on them.
    I disagree that NDEs don't have sufficient natural explanations - those have been provided for most if not all the observed phenomena associated with NDEs, the key word here being "observed", not "reported".

    As I established before when sharing the epistemological terms and reasoning used in the scientific method, when a reasonable body of facts is accumulated, it is time to try and posit a satisfactory theory.
    Unfortunately for the proponents of supernatural explanations, there is still a difference of opinion as to what would be considered a reasonable body of facts to support such an explanation.

    Notice how even in your own language here you appear to shy away from the conclusion that the predetermined nature of the events is absolute.
    Only a Sith deals in absolutes!

    There is a great gulf of difference between presupposing the ultimate truth of a matter, and pointing out that a position lacks sufficient explanatory power. I was engaged in the latter as opposed to the former.
    I agree there is a difference, and I apologise for taking your question's expression of the latter as implying the former! Regardless, my point was about the issue with making any judgement at all based on our current possibilities. Even if humans never achieved the ability to do the full scan & predict & whatnot, that would not justify any sort of judgement on the truth or explanatory power of hard determinism.

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    Re: 1 vs 1 homosexuality w/poll

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    My apologies for the confusion - I realise I have been using "factors" & "causes" somewhat freely - for instance, using both the noun & verb forms of "cause" in the same post. I guess I was focusing more on clearly expressing the context in which the terms were used. I would agree with your expression of the difference, but add that we must consider the external components which cause/lead to/affect the existence of the internal components - RE: the big picture mentioned earlier.
    Would you say then that the internal is no more than a reflection of the external?

    After reading up on some Karl Popper following your mention of him, I have to say that I like his wording when he stated, "freedom is not just chance but, rather, the result of a subtle interplay between something almost random or haphazard, and something like a restrictive or selective control". My only addition to that would be a careful & skeptical acknowledgement of the fact that the "something almost random or haphazard" only seems so to us currently, and that, as above, the "something like a restrictive or selective control" itself has roots in factors and causes which are out of our control, seemingly random, etc.
    Popper and yourself are the same in that you look at the same things, but come into it with presuppositions that are at variance. Your idea that randomness is only an apparent observation, as opposed to a truly representative observation, is as much a presupposition as Popper's stance.

    To me the problem here lies with your extension from "science uses indirect evidence for things like black holes & dark matter", to "it's rational to posit explanations that go beyond methodological naturalism". I just don't see how we are justified in making that leap. The scientific evidence & reasoning (indirect or not) which led to the various models explaining black holes & dark matter have their foundations solidly based in methodological naturalism. Furthermore, there is no "confirmation bias" towards methodological naturalism - what it is instead, is a realisation that we currently have no way of actually investigating anything supernatural and until there is, we're forced to rely on naturalism as our source of knowledge.
    A realization on what grounds? I've just posited a way in which such phenomena could be investigated, and it should be dismissed out of hand because of unwarranted methodological bias? This "we currently have no way", so "we're forced to" is circular reasoning.

    I recall a quote but I can't remember the exact wording or who said it. It went something along the lines of saying that, if we ever had the ability to actually investigate something considered supernatural, the results would invariably & ultimately have naturalistic explanations, or something like that. I remember some responding to this idea as though it was a bias towards philosophical naturalism. However, the real point being made was that, if anything previously considered supernatural was finally made investigable, it would simply be added to our natural realm by the very fact that it was investigable by methodologically naturalistic means. Or in other words, our models would be expanded to include the newly- and naturalistically- discovered things. It's a somewhat similar idea to the old Arthur C. Clarke adage of "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".
    The presupposition there is that only natural causes have natural effects, ruling out supernatural causes. I don't see any sufficient reasons being given for that.

    I disagree that NDEs don't have sufficient natural explanations - those have been provided for most if not all the observed phenomena associated with NDEs, the key word here being "observed", not "reported".
    What then do you make of the work of Schoonmaker, Kubler-Ross, Weiss, Winter, Rawlings, or Zaleski?

    Unfortunately for the proponents of supernatural explanations, there is still a difference of opinion as to what would be considered a reasonable body of facts to support such an explanation.
    What do you consider a reasonable body of facts? Let's not venture into special pleading territory, my friend. If we do posit what we think is a reasonable body of facts for other kinds of explanations it wouldn't be consistent to plead for another standard with explanations that don't comport with your presuppositions. We all necessarily come into each topic with some presuppositions of our own, and it is our consciousness of that fact that engenders progress.

    I agree there is a difference, and I apologise for taking your question's expression of the latter as implying the former! Regardless, my point was about the issue with making any judgement at all based on our current possibilities. Even if humans never achieved the ability to do the full scan & predict & whatnot, that would not justify any sort of judgement on the truth or explanatory power of hard determinism.
    You must realize that this paragraph here is dismissing the entire venture of inductive reasoning. Do you really think that inductive reasoning has no propensity at all to arrive at what is most likely true?
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

 

 
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