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  1. #1
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    Free will is utterly pointless

    Yes, the title is provocative, the actual subject here is to say that whether we have free will or not changes nothing about how we life our lives.

    Case for free will
    I would say that human beings live life with the perception that we have free will. We tend to cite our ability to make seemingly arbitrary decisions as the primary evidence for this. As we can cite no strong causal source for our decision, it seems to us to come from a kind of self determination rather than determination from outside of self.

    Case against
    Those arguing for determinism would point out that the notion of self is something of an illusion since all of us are composed of the same matter as everything else, and that for the most part the physical universe seems determinate. Very accurate predictions of cause and effect can be observed. There is also little direct evidence for some irreducible agency for that free will. In rebuttal to the arbitrary decisions, it is pointed out that just because the causality is not known, does not mean it is not there. Plausible explanations for any given choice can be postulated. And indeed many can predict or influence what are thought to be arbitrary decisions with great accuracy, calling into question our perception that they are actually arbitrary.

    And of course there are theological arguments on both sides as well, though by and large free will dominates in most religions.

    But who cares?
    If we postulate the two possible states and the meaning it would have for any practical action we could hope to take, you quickly come to discover it makes little if any practical difference.

    If the person who favors free will, were to be convinced there was no free will, then whatever opinion they now have, or action they now take, was predetermined anyhow. The revelation itself was part of deterministic outcome. You can't choose to stop making choices because that would be an act of will, you either will or you won't.

    If a person who favors determinism is convinced of free will, then they had always had the choice of action even if they felt it was fate. Whatever destiny they thought favored them was none the less the product of thinking there was destiny and the agency of having it, thus there is no reason for them to change course upon the revelation. They were self determined before, and they remain self determined now. If they had tried to not make choices and exercise their will, then even that itself was an act of choice you were acting on.

    If you think you have free will but you are wrong, well id doesn't matter since you don't actually have a choice whether to think you have free will or not.

    If you think the world is determinate and you are wrong, well you are still making decisions and acting thus exercising your free will even though you assume its predetermined since you are unable to know what the future actually holds.

    Even if you un-stick in time, its still pointless.
    If there is free will you can't see the future since its not known in the present, you can only fudge along with your best guess as to the outcome of your actions.

    If there is no free will you can see in the future but can do nothing about it and must trudge along on the predetermined path to meet the pre-determined outcome.


    Your challenge... Prove it matters in the slightest if we have free will by illustrating the practical difference in outcomes for a person acting in the same situation under one assumption and the other.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    I don't think it's an issue of outcomes Sig...but of value of actions themselves and the consequences (justification) that distinguish between the two.

    If one has free will, then one is accountable for one's actions. These actions would have intrinsic value and in many facets (morally, culturally, psychologically, politically, socially, etc...). If one has no free will, one cannot be said to be held accountable. Furthermore, such actions would have substantially less value in many occasions as they would not necessarily be actions per se, but more of just inevitable outcomes, the role of a dice that is influenced by preceding die rolls.

    For religions, at least for many of them, especially Christianity, free will is incredibly important as their philosophy hinges upon the necessity of voluntarily giving oneself to God.

    In a secular world, I don't think that anything really matters at all. The values of a purely secular world is arbitrary and void of actual value. That kind of value is illusory IMO. However, that type of argument may steer the thread off track so I'll stop there.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Prove it matters in the slightest if we have free will by illustrating the practical difference in outcomes for a person acting in the same situation under one assumption and the other.
    Exercise of no free willl

    Meet Michelle. Housewife, mother of three children, married to a hard-working husband, middle class family. She works part time and volunteers part time at her local YMCA in a program that mentors young boys with no fathers. Her husband likes to drink alcohol. In fact, he likes to drink it a little too much. He started getting abusive with Michelle about 4 years ago and it's gotten much worse. The bruises from his rants are starting to show up on her body and the children are noticing it. Michelle feels completely trapped. She feels like she is a victim in her own home. She feels like she has no options (choices) out of this nightmare. She knows (or thinks) she can't survive on her own financially with her children. So, she tolerates the abuse for years. It tears her up mentally, emotionally and physically everyday. She threatens to leave her husband if he doesn't clean up his act. But she knows she's bluffing because that's not a given option for her (so she thinks). He knows it too. She recommends that he get help. Nothing changes. Her children even tell her to leave before something terrible might happen, but she knows that's not a choice. She feels she has no choice, no freedom to change the circumstance. She has nowhere to go. In her mind, she is a victim of circumstance and her only hope is that her husband might change and stop drinking and abusing her.

    The day comes when she can't live with the abuse and dysfunctionality any longer. She takes her own life, not even considering what will happen to her children.


    Exercise of free will

    Meet Joan: Housewife, mother of two children, married to a hard-working successful engineer; middle class family. She works part time and volunteers part time at her local Church. Her husband likes to drink alcohol. He started getting abusive with her during the second year of their marriage and it's gotten progressively worse. The bruises from his rants are starting to show up on her body and the children are noticing it. Joan feels trapped. She feels like she's a victim. She feels like she has no options (choices) out of this nightmare. She knows (or thinks) she can't survive on her own financially with her children. So she tolerates the abuse for years. It tears her up mentally, emotionally and physically everyday. She threatens to leave him if he doesn't clean up his act. But she knows she's bluffing because that's not a given option for her. He knows it too. She recommends that he get help. Nothing changes. Her children even tell her to leave before something terrible might happen, but she knows that's not a choice. She has nowhere to go. In her mind, she is a victim of circumstance and her only hope is that her husband might change and stop drinking and abusing her.

    One morning she wakes up and decides that she would rather live on the street, with the homeless than continue to live in her current abusive circumstance. She makes the brave and bold choice to leave him even though she thought she was a victim of circumstance. She packs up her and her children's belongings and leaves. She and her children are now free of the abuse.

    Outcome 1: Michele did not exercise her free will choice because she believed she did not have it to exercise. She ended up dead and her children have no mother to raise them.

    Outcome 2: Joan in a very similar situation did exercise her free will choice and is now free and alive with her children starting a new life.

    Does it matter? Joan is alive. She could be dead also if she hadn't decided to be brave and bold and exercise her free will.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    Those arguing for determinism would point out that the notion of self is something of an illusion
    If that were true, then the argument for determinism would be an illusion itself.
    The argument is thus self defeating and requires no response. Unless we are to take illusions as truth; that of course is absurd, because if an illusion were truth, then it wouldn't be an illusion.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Outcome 1: Michele did not exercise her free will choice because she believed she did not have it to exercise. She ended up dead and her children have no mother to raise them.
    But she did make a choice. Whether she was destined to make that choice, or made that choice by an act of will, neither system changes it. you can have free will and still feel powerless. I cannot turn invisible or take a bullet in the head even if I will it, choice is not power its choice and its backed by whatever power you may have.

    If this world was one of free will, then she made the choice to die, if it is a world of fate, then she was fated to die.

    Outcome 2: Joan in a very similar situation did exercise her free will choice and is now free and alive with her children starting a new life.
    It was not a different situation at all. She only made a different choice. There is nothing in that story precluding this escape from being her destiny, pre-determined by her inherent strength of character and past expereinces that gave her a sense of hope. Or she could have free will and made a choice to fight rather than surrender.

    Does it matter? Joan is alive. She could be dead also if she hadn't decided to be brave and bold and exercise her free will.
    You did not highlight a difference between free will and fate, you highlighted a difference between hope and hopelessness, between a choice to fight and one to surrender. Choices are not limited in a system of predetermination, they are simply inevitable but they are still decision points. It is just that those decisions are inevitable.

    Free will or Destiny, both stories are equally plausible.

    ---------- Post added at 12:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:33 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If that were true, then the argument for determinism would be an illusion itself.
    The argument is thus self defeating and requires no response. Unless we are to take illusions as truth; that of course is absurd, because if an illusion were truth, then it wouldn't be an illusion.
    You may misunderstand (I didn't really explain). What I mean by self as an illusion is that all individuals are actually part of a greater whole. Each ant in a colony is an individual, it is also part of a whole. You are an individual, you are also a colony of individual cells acting in unison, and you are an individual acting as part of an interconnected society which is in turn made of matter held in place by the gravity of the planet and warmed by the son. Take away any individual part and the whole changes in some fashion. You cannot be fundamentally separate from everything around you. Without all that is other than you, you could never be as you are. That is what I mean by self (separate self) being an illusion in a deterministic reality.

    ---------- Post added at 01:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:37 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I don't think it's an issue of outcomes Sig...but of value of actions themselves and the consequences (justification) that distinguish between the two.
    This is the best line of counter argument I think but I also think it requires a theistic view to approach it.

    If one has free will, then one is accountable for one's actions. These actions would have intrinsic value and in many facets (morally, culturally, psychologically, politically, socially, etc...). If one has no free will, one cannot be said to be held accountable. Furthermore, such actions would have substantially less value in many occasions as they would not necessarily be actions per se, but more of just inevitable outcomes, the role of a dice that is influenced by preceding die rolls.
    A deterministic world view requires a somewhat different view of self and accountability. But I would say its no less accountable. Your choices, even if they are inevitable are still "yours" that is you are the agency of them and reactions to your agency, while also deterministic are causal to your actions. Should you murder then you are accountable to the murder as any reaction resulting from it also stems from you, the agent of action.

    Nor really could we do anything but hold you accountable if the causal chain of events leads us to determine that we think you are or not if we think you are not. A man who sleeps on a hill during a lightning storm is accountable for his actions though fate may or may not enact judgement, still the action and reaction, be they deterministic are not arbitrary, they are connected by action and consequence.

    In a sense, free will would free us from necessarily consequence and lead to a more arbitrary conclusion of any given action. Though we would still have no power to know if it were arbitrary or necessitated.

    For religions, at least for many of them, especially Christianity, free will is incredibly important as their philosophy hinges upon the necessity of voluntarily giving oneself to God.
    It has a theological consequence certainly. Though again, you could never distinguish between a universe where god has pre determined who will submit and who will not, and one where folks do or don't by their own choice. You can ascribe to the different outcomes a meaning, but ultimately, you have no way to judge if there is such a meaning because either truth could easily lead to the same events.

    But.. if you believe in a religions system that has free will intrinsic to its theology, then again, its not even a question for you to explore and thus why bother with it? Really, to what purpose would the argument serve anyone vs arguing for your faith itself which comes with the free will as a package ad on and was the primary reason you accepted the proposition.

    God leads to free will, free will does not lead to god, free will could just be a product of a universal uncertainty.

    In a secular world, I don't think that anything really matters at all. The values of a purely secular world is arbitrary and void of actual value. That kind of value is illusory IMO. However, that type of argument may steer the thread off track so I'll stop there.
    I started the topic to go places so that's fine. A secular world has plenty of meaning and nothing is arbitrary in a causal universe, everything has connected meaning with everything else and no event is unconnected or arbitrary. What you can't do just decide what that meaning is beyond what it means to you.

    One of my problems with a religious philosophy is that it ascribes the real world as meaningless. Only the spirit matters, all else is just a shell or facade that hides the "real" meaning behind it. In a secular world the physical is everything and every bit of it has utmost significance for there is no "greater" significance. For me, my actions and choices are the most important thing there is. I cannot pawn them off to the responsibility or actions of some higher purpose or other agency. I have to own everything I am all the time.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    But she did make a choice. Whether she was destined to make that choice, or made that choice by an act of will, neither system changes it. you can have free will and still feel powerless. I cannot turn invisible or take a bullet in the head even if I will it, choice is not power its choice and its backed by whatever power you may have.
    There's an equivocation issue here IMO.

    I think you need to define free will.

    Free will isn't traditionally meant "the ability to do anything"...for that is the nature of power (something you admitted free will is not). Instead, free will is having the will to freely choose; to choose without coercion or manipulation.

    Determinism is manipulation (it lays out the path of actions for the individual subsequently). Indeterminism lays no such path and instead, says that the individual has the will to make their own path through free will.

    You seem to use "free will" and "decision" synonymously. In your opening argument you say that this does not exist in determinism, in the next argument you say it does exist. If you make a distinction between the two, it isn't stated, can you do so now?

    It was not a different situation at all. She only made a different choice.
    How does one make a choice in a universe where one cannot make a choice (determinism)? That's logically impossible.

    Furthermore, the universes were different in that hope exists in one, and does not exist in the other. In a deterministic worldview, how is it possible for hope to exist?

    A deterministic world view requires a somewhat different view of self and accountability. But I would say its no less accountable. Your choices, even if they are inevitable are still "yours" that is you are the agency of them and reactions to your agency, while also deterministic are causal to your actions. Should you murder then you are accountable to the murder as any reaction resulting from it also stems from you, the agent of action.
    One cannot be held accountable for any action for which they did not have control over or were manipulated in doing. That is the nature of "accountability" - the justification of one's actions. It requires the actions to actually be "of the one", not "of the destiny" or "of someone else" or "of another agent".

    In a deterministic model, the actions of one cannot be truly said to belong to the agent as they are not the agent's to make, but of something else's that manipulates or coerces the agent.

    Now it could be said that the punitive consequences that result are not born out of accountability, but rather causation. That is, it's just another link in the inevitable chain of determinism (destiny). That's fine. But then, there is no such thing as ethical justice.

    So here, as we explore, there becomes a wider gap between the philosophies. And each will absolutely influence the values, views and even actions that one takes (because I don't believe in determinism). If one is deterministic, one doesn't need to believe in justice or accountability. One can really do whatever one wants and believe "it's fate", or "it's out of my hands" or "I'm just going to do what I'm going to do". This allows all sorts of evils.

    Furthermore, if it is the case that there is no free will, then we cannot speak prescriptively. That is, even ethics no longer exists. We can't say one should and should not do X because to do so, implies that one actually can or cannot do X willingly and freely.

    God leads to free will, free will does not lead to god, free will could just be a product of a universal uncertainty.
    This seems to be saying that free will cannot exist in a secular philosophy. If so, it's a mighty bold claim that I think lacks any serious foundation to stand. There are plenty of secular philosophies and moral standards that invoke free will.

    I started the topic to go places so that's fine. A secular world has plenty of meaning and nothing is arbitrary in a causal universe, everything has connected meaning with everything else and no event is unconnected or arbitrary. What you can't do just decide what that meaning is beyond what it means to you.
    It's illusory. Nothing really matters. You FEEL significance for loved ones or passion about hobbies or ideas...but in the end, it makes no difference at all. In 1,000 years from now, any values you had are wiped, gone, irrelevant. Even curing cancer is irrelevant in the scheme of things as we are just all here but a brief blink of an eye, it doesn't matter HOW we live or die, in the end, millions of years away, all life will end anyway.

    One of my problems with a religious philosophy is that it ascribes the real world as meaningless.
    I have no doubt that there are some religions that do this, but I'm just unawae of any. Certainly none of the "Big 3" do that. What religions (probably fringe cults that no one really knows of or has heard of do...but then this would be a biased sample fallacy).

    Only the spirit matters, all else is just a shell or facade that hides the "real" meaning behind it.
    In Christianity, both worlds matter. Both have meaning. Both are to be taken into consideration. One is just eternal and so with this knowledge, values need to be put into perspective and with different priority placement. This is not the same as "physical world has no meaning".
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  7. #7
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    But she did make a choice. Whether she was destined to make that choice, or made that choice by an act of will, neither system changes it.
    Sure it does, because destiny does not have to dictate the outcome -- our choice dictates the outcome.

    choice is not power its choice and its backed by whatever power you may have.
    OK

    If this world was one of free will, then she made the choice to die, if it is a world of fate, then she was fated to die.
    Fate doesn't have to dictate our lives. The man who survives a terrible accident, yet crushes almost every bone in his body including sustains major injury to his spinal column and is told by doctors, "you will never walk again; you will live in a wheel chair all your life, that is your fate because that's what every medical test and xray clearly shows us." He doesn't have to accept this fate. He can "will" a different fate, a different outcome and some people have done just that.

    It was not a different situation at all.
    I thought your OP said to use similar situations. Maybe I didn't understand it clearly.

    She only made a different choice. There is nothing in that story precluding this escape from being her destiny,
    Do you believe in destiny? If so, how are you defining destiny since many atheists don't generally believe in this concept.

    You did not highlight a difference between free will and fate,
    Free will is the freedom to choose between the possibilities and the probabilities in life. Fate is "a supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events." (probabilities)

    Joan used her free will and chose the possibility, while Michelle allowed the probability to play out by her choice not to leave.

    The paralyzed man in the example above, chose the possibility, though he was destined to live in a wheel chair the rest of his life (the probable). He made the free will choice and said to life:

    "I understand this is the fate that life has delivered to me at this time as the probable and inevitable, which my doctors tell me is the only option -- that I'm not going to walk again. But I'm going to will (choose) a different fate for my life, if you don't mind. In that I'm grateful to be alive and I am most grateful to even be able to exercise my free will, I hereby now choose a different possible fate instead of the probable fate that life has given me, because I don't want to live in a wheelchair all my life."

    And he did and so do others.

    Choices are not limited in a system of predetermination, they are simply inevitable but they are still decision points. It is just that those decisions are inevitable.Free will or Destiny, both stories are equally plausible.
    However, destiny (the probable) does not have to dictate the outcome. The probable does not have to be our choice. We are not forced to choose the probable (destiny). And because of this freedom, it certainly does matter on how the outcome plays out.

    Even science now recognizes that we live in a world of possibilities vs probabilities (uncertainty) until we choose.



    Thus, if we live in a world of uncertainty until we choose, reason and common sense would certainly point to the fact that our free will decisions certainly do matter because nothing is set in stone until we make the choice.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I think you need to define free will.
    The power to defy physical causality by a supernatural act of will. It is saying you have the power to break a chain of cause and effect and create an uncased effect. It is to say that at some fundamental level, your decisions arise from the individuality of a supernatural spirit that influences the outcome of the physical world by virtue of that physically uncased decision.

    An analogy would be if I wrote a computer program, and instead of doing as it was instructed at a decision point, it instead simply did what it wanted to do without any instruction or programming on my part. That would be a demonstration of free will by the computer.

    Free will isn't traditionally meant "the ability to do anything"...for that is the nature of power (something you admitted free will is not). Instead, free will is having the will to freely choose; to choose without coercion or manipulation.
    Yes and no. Free will is a power it is the power to overcome coercion and manipulation. Every atom of the universe in a direct or indirect way exerts coercion and manipulation on us all the time. Determinism says there is no escape from that, free will states you have a power that overcomes those basic influences of cause and effect. So free will is at its root a power. Its not as big or forceful a power as what superman has, but its a fundamental one that does change reality (if reality is causal which I think it is).

    Determinism is manipulation (it lays out the path of actions for the individual subsequently). Indeterminism lays no such path and instead, says that the individual has the will to make their own path through free will.
    Determinism is only manipulation if there is a master manipulator who sets the path. If the path is simply an un-planned but inevitable outcome, its not manipulation, it just is fact. The outcome may be determined, but it is not known by any intelligence or entity. (at least in a naturalist view) In a theistic determinate view, yes it is all planned manipulation. I can't argue for that view.

    You seem to use "free will" and "decision" synonymously. In your opening argument you say that this does not exist in determinism, in the next argument you say it does exist. If you make a distinction between the two, it isn't stated, can you do so now?
    The English language doesn't make the distinction so its challenging. I will try to illustrate it.

    I use the world decision to refer to a situation where you have two or more possible outcomes based on an actors actions. Inputs are consulted and a decision is made to take a given action. In a deterministic wold the decision is inevitable but unknown until it occurs.

    So... consider a computer (its my job to do that so it weights heavily in my outlook). Most of us will not say a computer has free will, it does as it is programmed to. So far no computer has acted in a way that we can verify is contrary to its programming. Yet a computer makes decisions. Most of my computer programs take outside input, input that I as a programmer do not have control over. It then has decision systems that examine the input, and based on that, decides a further course of action.

    Now whatever input comes into the system, absolutely determines the action of the system in conjunction with its programming. But I as an observer of the computer have no control or full predictive scope of what information will come into the computer at any given moment. As I interact with the system, I witness it making decisions that were not planned by me. I know the range of outcomes, but I don't know what the actual outcomes will be. For all practical purposes, I must treat the computer as if it has free will, so long as I cannot know the full range of input into its system. I know that it does not have free will, but I am powerless to take advantage of that.

    That is a decision, an known range of outcomes with an unknown outcome due to the agency of the decider.

    A choice in the free will sense, is the power to break all programming and all determining factors and despite the fact that you are programmed to choose among a range of options based on inputs, you ignore the inputs or the range of options and you make an uncased decision that would be causally impossible otherwise. You become like a tiny supernatural god with only enough power to shift enough atoms around to make your brain come up with an outcome that otherwise could never happen in a purely physical world.

    For human beings, both systems are unpredictable. In the first we simply aren't aware of what the causal chain is, even though we recognize there is one. In the second we simply know causality can be bypassed (though we are still ignorant of what causality there is).

    How does one make a choice in a universe where one cannot make a choice (determinism)? That's logically impossible.
    Because of our perception. Ignorance of causality is indistinguishable from uncased effect.

    Furthermore, the universes were different in that hope exists in one, and does not exist in the other. In a deterministic worldview, how is it possible for hope to exist?
    Incorrect. There is hope in a deterministic universe because you don't know with certainty what the outcome is. You can certainly hope that fate is kind.

    One cannot be held accountable for any action for which they did not have control over or were manipulated in doing. That is the nature of "accountability" - the justification of one's actions.
    No. I can certainly hold my car accountable for breaking down. I can hod the sun accountable for rising in the sky. Indeed I would be somewhat insane to blame the sun for my car breaking down or my car for the sun rising in the sky.

    Justification is about decisions, and I have explained how decisions can be causal or not, and we would never know. We have no choice but to hold a decision maker responsible for their decisions be they causal or not.

    Consider a serial killer that claims he is possessed by a demon and it makes him kill people. Would you put the demon on trial and let him go if you have no way of distinguishing the demon from the man? You have no choice but to treat the two supposed entities as one because for all practical purposes they are. If you can tell them apart, what you really care about is what actor perpetuated the deeds, not why.

    Lets say you have a non possessed killer, and he has a brain tumor that medical science determines has destroyed his cognitive sense of social rights and wrongs. Justice now comes down to a sense of agency. Did he kill people or did the tumor do it? Does he have free will or is it determinate? Unless you can seperate the tumor from the man, he is a killer for all intents and purposes. If you can sperate the tumor and restore his function of determining right and wrong, is he still a killer or not? If the tumor is why he kills, then that totally questions whether free will even exists. If it doesn't you have to say that the tumor had nothing to do with his murdering. If you call it a matter of scale, you need to figure out at what point you are your physical brain or you are some spirit power and then you have to question what level of physical malfunction is culpable and what level isn't.

    My solution is to wash my hands of that and say that no matter what chemistry or biology a person has, they are still the agent of action. If you can change them and be certain of the change, then go for it. If not you have no choice but to take caution and treat the person as a killer who needs to be removed as a danger be it a magic will that makes them kill or a determinate matter of biology.

    In a deterministic model, the actions of one cannot be truly said to belong to the agent as they are not the agent's to make, but of something else's that manipulates or coerces the agent.
    But for practical purposes we can control cause by locking up the killer whatever its their tumor doing the killing or their magical will. Doesn't matter. In the face of any uncertainty you have to act based only upon identified agency.

    If I have a robot going around killing people, I have to stop the robot even if we know it's programmed to kill. Its motives only matter if we have the deterministic power and knowledge to manipulate them.

    Now it could be said that the punitive consequences that result are not born out of accountability, but rather causation. That is, it's just another link in the inevitable chain of determinism (destiny). That's fine. But then, there is no such thing as ethical justice.
    So long as there is uncertainty, there is the notion of justice and injustice.

    So here, as we explore, there becomes a wider gap between the philosophies. And each will absolutely influence the values, views and even actions that one takes (because I don't believe in determinism). If one is deterministic, one doesn't need to believe in justice or accountability. One can really do whatever one wants and believe "it's fate", or "it's out of my hands" or "I'm just going to do what I'm going to do". This allows all sorts of evils.
    No. They are indeterminate from one another. The acts we deem evil are the same acts either way, just the causes are different. In one it is physical in the other supernatural but killing is killing regardless. A machine can be programmed to kill for greed or altruism as we define them. Whether you are a predator by instinct or intent, you are none the less a predator.

    Furthermore, if it is the case that there is no free will, then we cannot speak prescriptively. That is, even ethics no longer exists. We can't say one should and should not do X because to do so, implies that one actually can or cannot do X willingly and freely.
    No we can say what should or should not happen any time we like. If you want X outcome you need to perform Y action. If you want to stop a killer you must take action to stop a killer or they will go on killing. Free will does not change that in any way. Just because you don't will things, doesn't mean things don't happen.

    This seems to be saying that free will cannot exist in a secular philosophy.
    No, it says that a secular philosophy does not require free will, but that the Christian doctrine (or at least yours) does.

    It's illusory. Nothing really matters. You FEEL significance for loved ones or passion about hobbies or ideas...but in the end, it makes no difference at all.
    Wrong, it is not illusory, it is absolute. Your feelings are what they are, feelings. They have a cause and they have an effect. We are programmed to care about surviving and love and many other things. If I program a computer to care about winning a game, it cares. its care drives it inevitably to play and attempt to win. I could program in it a chance to delete itself if it looses. I could then program an awareness of that and a fear that it will happen and a chance that its fear will overcome its desire to play. And I could do it all in a way where I would not be able to predict, even though I coded it, what decisions it would make. When it would retire from play or kill itself in despair.

    You want to say that just because there is cause and effect, nothing has an impact... yet that means everything has an impact. Only with free will is there any possibility for the arbitrary. With determinism the reality of the human condition is not a lack of meaning, its a lack of understanding what the true meaning is.

    In 1,000 years from now, any values you had are wiped, gone, irrelevant. Even curing cancer is irrelevant in the scheme of things as we are just all here but a brief blink of an eye, it doesn't matter HOW we live or die, in the end, millions of years away, all life will end anyway.
    Yep. But who is to say I'm so important that this is a necessity? Under your beliefs the actions of a sinner are likewise erased from relevance. God already knows the outcome of all decisions you will ever make because he is transcendent of time. Whatever you do, will have no meaningful impact on God. He doesn't require your love or attention, only wants it for his own desires.

    In my philosophy there is not future or past, only here and now. The future is only in our imaginations, a predictive fictive model used to make decisions with. Now is far more important than eternity because eternity is just an imaginary idea and now is the eternal truth. (ya that's rather poetic and kind of non-sense but I see it as a profound truth that is hard to express well)

    I have no doubt that there are some religions that do this, but I'm just unawae of any. Certainly none of the "Big 3" do that. What religions (probably fringe cults that no one really knows of or has heard of do...but then this would be a biased sample fallacy).
    So if you turned from God, what impact would that have on God? Now tell me again how this world matters in the sense of the ultimate.

    In Christianity, both worlds matter. Both have meaning. Both are to be taken into consideration. One is just eternal and so with this knowledge, values need to be put into perspective and with different priority placement. This is not the same as "physical world has no meaning".
    But you just got done telling me that a world without the eternal one was nothing at all, utterly meaningless. So how is that same world meaningful only because the eternal spirit world is real? Doesn't that mean that it is this spirit world of yours that is the true meaning?

    Otherwise the physical world alone would simply be less meaningful in a naturalist view, not utterly meaningless.

    ---------- Post added at 12:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:03 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Sure it does, because destiny does not have to dictate the outcome -- our choice dictates the outcome.
    But the point is that you have no way of recognizing the difference.

    Fate doesn't have to dictate our lives.
    Then it wouldn't be fate would it?

    The man who survives a terrible accident, yet crushes almost every bone in his body including sustains major injury to his spinal column and is told by doctors, "you will never walk again; you will live in a wheel chair all your life, that is your fate because that's what every medical test and xray clearly shows us." He doesn't have to accept this fate. He can "will" a different fate, a different outcome and some people have done just that.
    Except the doctors could simply have been wrong. Doctors often make mistakes. Its been a well documented phenomenon. Just because they don't understand how something happens, doesn't mean the cause of the event is supernatural.

    Do you believe in destiny? If so, how are you defining destiny since many atheists don't generally believe in this concept.
    I don't care, that is the point of my OP. It doesn't matter to me in the slightest if we are destined or not. My decision making and actions will be identical in either case. Either I have my will or I am causal, either way I can't know and must simply act.

    Joan used her free will and chose the possibility, while Michelle allowed the probability to play out by her choice not to leave.
    No. Joan chose to fight and Michelle chose not to... or Joan was predestined to fight and Michelle was predestined not to. You cannot show which statement is true.

    Your notion of free will is limited to being defiant of the actions of other agents. But a deterministic world could easily pit two rivals to fight against each-other. If Joan and Michelle were computer programs I could give them each a propensity to do exactly what they do in the stories and they would be unaware of my manipulation in their decisions.

    The paralyzed man in the example above, chose the possibility, though he was destined to live in a wheel chair the rest of his life (the probable). He made the free will choice and said to life:
    You don't know that. You do not know he recovered because of will or that he would have remained paralyzed if he felt hopeless. You have no way to prove it either way and either possibility can have the same outcome.

    The probable does not have to be our choice.
    Probability is not destiny, it is only an uncertain prediction.

    Even science now recognizes that we live in a world of possibilities vs probabilities (uncertainty) until we choose.
    The video guy makes a number of mistakes but they all center around a given one which is this: Just because we don't know something, doesn't mean it isn't fixed.

    Uncertainty, is just that, a lack of perfect knowledge. Just because we don't know where the electron is, doesn't mean it actually is in two places at once, it means we can't determine which place it is in and that we may never be able to make the determination. He said that newtonian physics would let us know the future but it can't. It would be impossible to do the calculations needed sense the variables are the size and scope of the entire universe. You should need a second universe with the same or large scope to calculate the outcome of the other one. Quantum mechanics only tells us we must remain ignorant at a certain level, not that there is no truth.

    And that is my point. Our fundamental ignorance means there is no perceived difference for us between fate and determinism. Whichever is true, we can never know because our ability to determine causal proof is limited such that even if we are all determinate, we can never fully use that to predict outcomes absolutely. We must always act with uncertainty, even if the world outside ourselves is certain.

    Thus, if we live in a world of uncertainty until we choose, reason and common sense would certainly point to the fact that our free will decisions certainly do matter because nothing is set in stone until we make the choice.
    Our decisions always matter. If I program a computer to add numbers, it adds numbers. The fact it had no free will has no impact on the outcome of its actions. A rock does what a rock does free will or no free will. So too with us. If you decide to reply to this post, it doesn't matter why you did so, only that you did.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Cstamford from another thread
    The thought experiment: There is a man who is ten minutes away from starving to death, let us say. He only has the use of one of his hands. A plate containing two perfectly identical dates is brought to him, and placed in front of him. In reality there is not a molecule of difference between them. He is incapable of picking up both dates simultaneously, so he must choose which to pick up first and eat. In the scenario, then, there is no possible cause for him to choose the one over the other to eat first. If there is no such thing as free will, he will starve for lack of a caused choice, if there is, he will be able to choose between them uncaused by anything, and live. Clearly, it is absurd to think for a second any starving man would starve to death in such a scenario. Ergo, free will, the ability to choose between perfectly equal alternatives, must exist. Thus any strict determinism is undercut.
    A: The two dates cannot have the same molecules and be different dates. One is left the other is right, they are at different locations in space and thus have a distinguishable difference. Indeed if two dates were indeed indistinguishable there would be no mechanism for choice to be made. So the dates are distinct and different, just by a very limited property.

    B: Just because the two dates are similar does not mean he has no means of causal decision making. Perhaps he always favors his right hand, so he will choose the date most accessible to it. Perhaps there is a wind blowing to the left and his instinct is to move to the right for shelter and this lean causes him to favor the right side date. Just because the choice is arbitrary to the dates themselves, or because the chooser is unaware of them, does not mean the decision is in fact random or caused by a magical will that defies causality.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    But the point is that you have no way of recognizing the difference.
    According to who? Just because you and some people may not be aware of a certain destiny, does not mean all people are not aware of what they should or should not be doing.

    Then it wouldn't be fate would it?
    You're the one that called it fate.

    Just because they don't understand how something happens, doesn't mean the cause of the event is supernatural.
    Why is free will supernatural when it doesn't conform to the probable?

    I don't care, that is the point of my OP. It doesn't matter to me in the slightest if we are destined or not. My decision making and actions will be identical in either case. Either I have my will or I am causal, either way I can't know and must simply act.
    But you can know, Sig. Just because most people simply choose (consciously or unconsciously) not to know, doesn't mean we can't know.

    No. Joan chose to fight and Michelle chose not to... or Joan was predestined to fight and Michelle was predestined not to. You cannot show which statement is true.
    Just because you can't show which statement is true doesn't mean it does not matter. It could just mean we're just still a little ignorant (by choice) about how the possibilities and probabilities play out.

    You don't know that.
    What matters is that he knows it. His doctors know it. His family knows it and probably millions of people that he has influenced and know his story know it.

    either way and either possibility can have the same outcome.
    No, the other outcome, if he chose it, would have made him a vegetable all his life and he knew that because he was experiencing it. He also knew that his mind was intact and he used it to change the outcome.

    Probability is not destiny, it is only an uncertain prediction.
    OK, if you want to define it way. It's a probably that doesn't have to be chosen. However, whether or not we know the significance and relevance of our choice depends on the perception of the person. Some people are more perceptive then others. Some people know.

    The video guy makes a number of mistakes but they all center around a given one which is this: Just because we don't know something, doesn't mean it isn't fixed.
    Well, if you want to go up against the uncertainty princple and Werner Heisenberg, you might want to line up your support.

    Uncertainty, is just that, a lack of perfect knowledge.
    Humm, interesting perspective. I would think that idea would strongly then imply that there IS a perfect, absolute knowledge. That could be interesting philological debate.


    Just because we don't know where the electron is, doesn't mean it actually is in two places at once, it means we can't determine which place it is in
    It also means based upon Quantum theory that the observer (You and I and our free will) determines what happens to it. In other words, there is no phenomenon until it is observed.

    and that we may never be able to make the determination.
    "The observer effect however, relates to the influence the observer has on a system." Thus, it doesn't matter if we make that determination or not. What matters is that any given phenomena, any given circumstance, any given cause and effect sequence, is influenced by how we observe it. There are no givens, there is no permanency until we observe it.

    Thus, in my example of the paralyzed man, his mind did not accept the given by his doctors and experts. His doctors observed his test results based upon their scientific and medical knowledge of the facts. He observed his circumstance differently. He saw a different outcome for his life and through that observation he went to work with his mind and his will to bring into the physical world his observation. Did he know the outcome? He knew it in his mind. If he didn't know it with a high degree of certainty, he would have remained a vegetable.

    Quantum mechanics only tells us we must remain ignorant at a certain level, not that there is no truth.
    That almost sounds like a god of the gaps argument.

    And that is my point. Our fundamental ignorance means there is no perceived difference for us between fate and determinism.
    But you're making the grand assumption that everyone has this ignorance and that all people are not ware of the significance of their choices.

    Whichever is true, we can never know because our ability to determine causal proof is limited such that even if we are all determinate, we can never fully use that to predict outcomes absolutely.
    Absolutely is not necessary in a relative world. Also, ignorance is a choice, not a given.

    A rock does what a rock does free will or no free will.
    A rock does not have self-awareness. You and I do.

    What matters is that you and I can choose an outcome and we can also be aware of the relevance of the outcome if we choose.
    I agree with that. We can be aware of the possible outcomes and the probable outcomes, and we can make our free will choice of which one we want played out in the world of causation.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    You're the one that called it fate.
    I did not, I said fate could be responsible. Fate is by definition inevitable.

    Why is free will supernatural when it doesn't conform to the probable?
    It is not. It is supernatural if it defies causality. The improbable is still quite possible. Only if will can do the impossible can you demonstrate it exists.

    But you can know, Sig. Just because most people simply choose (consciously or unconsciously) not to know, doesn't mean we can't know.
    That is not my justification. We don't actually choose what we know or don't, that is not a decision. Once you know, you cannot un-know a thing. You can forget it but that is very different from willing yourself not to know. I dare you to willfully forget by name, good luck with that.

    Just because you can't show which statement is true doesn't mean it does not matter. It could just mean we're just still a little ignorant (by choice) about how the possibilities and probabilities play out.
    Actually it does mean that. If I roll a dice your are not ignorant of the outcome (before it falls) by choice but by ability. You simply don't have the brain power to tell me the outcome with certainty. No human does. You might be able to build a machine that does, but that is only a very simple problem of causality. The outcome of the entire universe is beyond any human ability to predict.

    What matters is that he knows it. His doctors know it. His family knows it and probably millions of people that he has influenced and know his story know it.
    They don't know, they guessed.

    No, the other outcome, if he chose it, would have made him a vegetable all his life and he knew that because he was experiencing it. He also knew that his mind was intact and he used it to change the outcome.
    I could also choose never to walk again regardless if I've been in an accident but that by no means demonstrates that I have defied fate, it could simply mean it was my fate to make that decision.

    OK, if you want to define it way. It's a probably that doesn't have to be chosen. However, whether or not we know the significance and relevance of our choice depends on the perception of the person. Some people are more perceptive then others. Some people know.
    They don't know. They can't. What they do is guess based on incomplete information. It may be enough to guess right, it may not. You won't know unitl it happens or doesn't.

    Well, if you want to go up against the uncertainty princple and Werner Heisenberg, you might want to line up your support.
    Been there and done that, lots of people don't actually understand it that well. It is saying not that reality is uncertain, but that we can never be certain of reality. What is the practical difference? None. Either way we remain uncertain. All Heisenberg says is you can't know the actual answer to quantum measurements, you have to have some unknowns. He then offers means to make practical predictions including these unknown factors.

    Humm, interesting perspective. I would think that idea would strongly then imply that there IS a perfect, absolute knowledge. That could be interesting philological debate.
    That is my opinion, but I would never be able to actually prove it to you because I am incapable of actually knowing if it is true myself. I think that there is truth because I observe the world to have a consistency one would expect with an entirely causal universe and I observe little that would demonstrate events uncased. However its easy to recognize our own limits of perception and knowledge and the results of these limitations on our thought and decision making.

    Thus I contend we have a True universe with uncertain perception of it.

    It also means based upon Quantum theory that the observer (You and I and our free will) determines what happens to it. In other words, there is no phenomenon until it is observed.
    That is a misunderstanding that derives from trying to illustrate the uncertainty principle in terms relatable to a more everyday phenomena.

    "The observer effect however, relates to the influence the observer has on a system." Thus, it doesn't matter if we make that determination or not. What matters is that any given phenomena, any given circumstance, any given cause and effect sequence, is influenced by how we observe it. There are no givens, there is no permanency until we observe it.
    No, it does have permanency we just don't know what it is. And if we go look at what it is, we disturb it.

    Its like flipping on the light to see if someone is sleeping. Your observation wakes them up but you can't see if you don't turn on the light. If you don't turn on the light, they may be a sleep or they may be awake, you just don't know even though you might have a guess.

    Thus, in my example of the paralyzed man, his mind did not accept the given by his doctors and experts.
    So what? If they had told him all he could walk, that would not change whether he could walk or not. Aside from physically stopping him they are not having a significant affect, none of their opinions matter one iota as to whether he actually heals or not. They are not causal agents, only prognosticators.

    His doctors observed his test results based upon their scientific and medical knowledge of the facts.
    Most folks who do the lottery will loose, but not all of them do. Some of them win despite the long odds and knowing their chances are slim. So what?

    He observed his circumstance differently. He saw a different outcome for his life and through that observation he went to work with his mind and his will to bring into the physical world his observation. Did he know the outcome? He knew it in his mind. If he didn't know it with a high degree of certainty, he would have remained a vegetable.
    No, he didn't heal his body with positive thinking. It healed because that is what bodies do, and no doubt he made a decision to work towards the goal of walking which certainly helps one walk. I could decide never to walk again, but that doesn't mean I have supernatural powers to not walk. It means that my mental decisions have a causative effect on my physical actions. That said, those mental decisions have in turn their own causes.

    That almost sounds like a god of the gaps argument.
    It isn't, its not an explanation, it is just an observation.

    But you're making the grand assumption that everyone has this ignorance and that all people are not ware of the significance of their choices.
    So if I drop a bag of dice on the floor, is there any human being that can tell me with 100% certainty how the dice will fall?
    If I bring you a comedian can anyone tell me the next words out of his mouth with certainty?
    Can you tell me everything you will say tomorrow today?

    We are awash in uncertainty.

    Absolutely is not necessary in a relative world.
    What? If you mean we don't need to know to act, yes, that is my whole point. Whether you have free will or not, you have no choice but to make due with what you know and what you don't.

    Also, ignorance is a choice, not a given.
    I Challenge to support a claim.you to be ignorant of this sentence! Oh no, you have just failed the challenge!

    A rock does not have self-awareness. You and I do.
    My point is your free will cannot change reality. You cannot wish the rock to vanish. You have to take causal action to interact with the rock in any meaningful way.

    I agree with that. We can be aware of the possible outcomes and the probable outcomes, and we can make our free will choice of which one we want played out in the world of causation.
    Or you could be operating on a purely causal basis and never know because you lack the awareness of your own programming. But you will never be able to know if that is true or not so its pointless to even ponder the question.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The power to defy physical causality by a supernatural act of will.
    Which implies that free will can only exist in a secular universe, something you disagreed with. It's contradictory.

    It's also a poor definition of free will, one I do not subscribe to, and one that I know of no other human being ever subscribing to. Admittedly, I don't know all human beings, and I'm sure that there do exist at least some who hold this type of belief or understanding about free will. But since it's a fringe philosophy, and one that I don't think that anyone here at ODN holds to be the case...I don't think that there is much to discuss here since you and I are talking about completely different types of free will. Your free will can never apply to my philosophy (or to almost anyone's I would imagine), and the traditional understanding of free will cannot be applied to your philosophy since you adopt a different position that is contingent upon a specific type of free will (Sig's definition of free will).

    That being the case, there isn't much to address, we found the divergence of the reasoning here and each takes us down a completely different path not based on the understanding of that fork...but due to having a completely different fork altogether.

    I will address a couple issues however...

    Determinism is only manipulation if there is a master manipulator who sets the path.
    Manipulation does not require a sentient being, merely a cause. A ship in a storm can be manipulated off course and it is definitely unplanned.

    So... consider a computer (its my job to do that so it weights heavily in my outlook). Most of us will not say a computer has free will, it does as it is programmed to. So far no computer has acted in a way that we can verify is contrary to its programming. Yet a computer makes decisions. Most of my computer programs take outside input, input that I as a programmer do not have control over. It then has decision systems that examine the input, and based on that, decides a further course of action.
    A decision requires a consideration. There is a difference between problem analysis and decision making that you do not seem to be making.

    More on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_making

    Let's call what YOU call here (what your computer does) "decisiby". Let's call what a human does when making a decision "decilis". The former is merely analysis, the latter is consideration, these are not synonymous, they are not the same at all.

    That is a decision, an known range of outcomes with an unknown outcome due to the agency of the decider.
    It's decisiby, it lacks any consideration.

    Incorrect. There is hope in a deterministic universe because you don't know with certainty what the outcome is. You can certainly hope that fate is kind.
    True, but it's a different type of hope. In the deterministic it is merely lottery hope. In the indeterministic it is practical hope. In the former, one has no reason or justification in being disappointed, what will happen will happen. In the latter are introduced a variety of variables that give reason to believe that change not only can happen, but should happen through events caused by the agent. But this gets into the difference in opinion and understanding on what free will is, so I'll stop there.

    No. I can certainly hold my car accountable for breaking down.
    How? It did what it was supposed to. Without preventative maintenance, it is supposed to break down. Furthermore, it isn't your car's fault for breaking down, your car did not cause itself to breakdown, physical laws did.

    I can hod the sun accountable for rising in the sky. Indeed I would be somewhat insane to blame the sun for my car breaking down or my car for the sun rising in the sky.
    Which is why isn't it a consideration here. Just because we can SAY something, doesn't mean it is so. I can say I'm a purple rhesus monkey who eats kittens and poops Bi-Centennial quarters all day long...that doesn't make it so.

    Justification is about decisions, and I have explained how decisions can be causal or not, and we would never know. We have no choice but to hold a decision maker responsible for their decisions be they causal or not.
    Decisions are about consideration, and I've explained the difference between the differences of these decisions: "decisiby" and "decilis".

    No, it says that a secular philosophy does not require free will, but that the Christian doctrine (or at least yours) does.
    This is contradictory to your first statement. Unless you wish to redefine secularism to include the supernatural.

    Wrong, it is not illusory, it is absolute. Your feelings are what they are, feelings.
    Having feelings is irrelevant to having value or meaning. Having feelings is having feelings. Having intrinsic worth is something entirely different.

    Yep. But who is to say I'm so important that this is a necessity? Under your beliefs the actions of a sinner are likewise erased from relevance.
    Not at all. Since such actions and beliefs may determine what happens in the afterlife, they absolutely have value. And the actions of some helping others and bring them to God, thus saving those, influencing people to do the same, spreading God's word, all resulting in more people being saved eternally...these actions do have substantial and actual value.

    A secular world has none, nada, zip, nothing at all. You live, you do, you die. It doesn't matter. In a secular world, there is absolutely no difference between a mass murderer and a philanthropist. One can be exceedingly evil, or do great good. In the end, none of it matter, it was all arbitrary. Men did what they wanted because it "felt" right right, or it "feels good", not because it actually was good.

    There is no actual good in a secular universe, it's arbitrary good, it is what feels good or what works at the time, nothing more.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Which implies that free will can only exist in a secular universe, something you disagreed with. It's contradictory.
    A theist universe can and generally does include free will. God creates spirits that can exact control over the physical reality to some degree. In this case it allows their brains to work in a non-caused way, thus no matter the influences, the person can make a will based decision. I find it much harder to suggest free will in a natural universe. You have to allow for the notion that natural events can simply be uncased and that somehow biological minds are able to spark these uncased events.

    It's also a poor definition of free will, one I do not subscribe to, and one that I know of no other human being ever subscribing to.
    Seems pretty much standard for philosophical arguments to me. Care to offer your own definition so I can compare them?

    Manipulation does not require a sentient being, merely a cause. A ship in a storm can be manipulated off course and it is definitely unplanned.
    The definition of manipulation generally includes the notion of an intelligent agent doing the manipulating...

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/manipulate
    1.to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate people's feelings.
    2.to handle, manage, or use, especially with skill, in some process of treatment or performance: to manipulate a large tractor.
    3.to adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one's purpose or advantage.

    But, I think I get what you mean now that you have explained your definition of manipulate to be any outside cause and hopefully you understand the distinction I was making.

    A decision requires a consideration. There is a difference between problem analysis and decision making that you do not seem to be making.
    More on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_making
    Also a difference I am not understanding. How can I differentiate consideration from analysis? I see nothing in that article making any such distinction and a number of things that support my use of the word decision.

    Let's call what YOU call here (what your computer does) "decisiby". Let's call what a human does when making a decision "decilis". The former is merely analysis, the latter is consideration, these are not synonymous, they are not the same at all.
    I will only use these terms if you can explain to me what the distinction is other than whether a human is doing it.

    True, but it's a different type of hope. In the deterministic it is merely lottery hope. In the indeterministic it is practical hope. In the former, one has no reason or justification in being disappointed, what will happen will happen. In the latter are introduced a variety of variables that give reason to believe that change not only can happen, but should happen through events caused by the agent.
    Different kinds of hope? Lottery hope? All hope is is a desire that there will be a given outcome and expectation that such an outcome is in the realm of possible predicted outcomes.

    Determinism doesn't happen despite your actions, determination happens because of your actions, which happen because of other actions outside yourself and within yourself.

    Determinism is not (no matter what I do, X will happen) it is, because that happen, this will happen and in turn that other thing will happen and so on. Its not like fate decided by the gods but defied by the hero, that is just a contest of free wills with opposing goals. In a deterministic view, your actions matter, its just that if someone knew you well enough, they could predict what your actions will be before you ever make them because they are the necessarily result of your life and the unfolding universe up to that point. Only if you an break that chain of causality and do something uncased do you have free will.

    How? It did what it was supposed to. Without preventative maintenance, it is supposed to break down. Furthermore, it isn't your car's fault for breaking down, your car did not cause itself to breakdown, physical laws did.
    My car is supposed to break down. That's news to me. I thought I bought it with the expectation it will function as a car. I can blame my car for being a poorly made car, or for being less of a sturdy car than I need. It would be ridiculous to assume anything not related to the car in some way is the cause of the car's failure.

    Decisions are about consideration, and I've explained the difference between the differences of these decisions: "decisiby" and "decilis".
    You didn't you just threw out some new words and claimed a difference with no distinction other than one is done by humans and one isn't.

    This is contradictory to your first statement. Unless you wish to redefine secularism to include the supernatural.
    Good catch, kind of. I'll revise and say I find it very hard to imagine free will in a secular universe, but I allow that it is possible without a god, so long as supernatural agents of limited power exist to break causality or if the whole of the natural world is not based on causality as we perceive it to. (You can have the supernatural and not be religious after all.)

    Having feelings is irrelevant to having value or meaning. Having feelings is having feelings. Having intrinsic worth is something entirely different.
    I never claimed intrinsic meaning. Extrinsic meaning is what humans apply to things and its the only kind of meaning we can really access in my philosophical view. Emotion is a significant part of Extrinsic meaning.

    Not at all. Since such actions and beliefs may determine what happens in the afterlife, they absolutely have value. And the actions of some helping others and bring them to God, thus saving those, influencing people to do the same, spreading God's word, all resulting in more people being saved eternally...these actions do have substantial and actual value.
    Why? What value is there to saved souls exactly?

    A secular world has none, nada, zip, nothing at all. You live, you do, you die. It doesn't matter. In a secular world, there is absolutely no difference between a mass murderer and a philanthropist.
    Absurd. There is a big different between a mass murderer and a philanthropist. One brings pain and suffering and oblivion and the other gives people money. We like philanthropists and we dislike mass murderers (except as entertainment).

    One can be exceedingly evil, or do great good. In the end, none of it matter, it was all arbitrary.
    Arbitrary to the planet or the stars or the rivers or even to the wildlife, but not arbitrary to us at all. Thus my moral philosophy is humanism, that human meaning is the foundation of moral meaning and also its limit.

    Men did what they wanted because it "felt" right right, or it "feels good", not because it actually was good.
    Welcome to our world. That is why people do things. Because they feel or think it is good or not and because they want to do good or not.

    There is no actual good in a secular universe, it's arbitrary good, it is what feels good or what works at the time, nothing more.
    You are wrong. Good is simply limited to the scope of the human condition in a secular universe. It does however exist within that context. It is not arbitrary, it is limited to the source of the cause.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Seems pretty much standard for philosophical arguments to me. Care to offer your own definition so I can compare them?
    I provided a definition 2 posts back. I'll provide as a reference, Stanford Univ's Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2 separate links there). There is also the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (peer reviewed articles and essays from academics in philosophy).

    If you think that your definition is traditionally supported, it should be defended with traditional sources. To my knowledge, none agree that it is contingent upon a supernatural force.

    Your definition:
    Sig (post #8): Free will - The power to defy physical causality by a supernatural act of will.


    ---------- Post added at 06:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:17 PM ----------

    In addition to the claim that there is no meaningful difference between the existence of free will and its non-existence: "Free will also appears to be a condition on desert for one's accomplishments (why sustained effort and creative work are praiseworthy); on the autonomy and dignity of persons; and on the value we accord to love and friendship." (from the above source).

    So there are:

    1) moral values
    2) value of accomplishments
    3) autonomy and dignity of persons
    4) value of love and friendship

    In a deterministic model, there is no value to these. In an indeterministic there is. Putting aside the religious argument for a moment, these alone expose the flaw of thinking there is no difference.

    Lastly, while action and will are not synonymous, the significance of free will (over it's non-existence), is the freedom of that action that follows. You argued for decision making (action), but in order for it to exist, so too must will. It is the will that is first, followed by the action. That is, the decision to carry out the action follows what is willed.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; December 15th, 2011 at 07:29 PM.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Fate is by definition inevitable.
    It's a false assumption. We are not victims of our fate.

    It is not. It is supernatural if it defies causality.
    Not being aware of a cause/effect sequence does not mean something is supernatural. It just means we're not aware of the cause/effect history and it does not mean it does not exist as an energy pattern.

    That is not my justification. We don't actually choose what we know or don't, that is not a decision.
    What we choose is to be aware of the known or we can choose to stay willfully unaware of the known (sometimes referred to as ignorance is bliss or denial.)

    Once you know, you cannot un-know a thing.
    We can choose not to recognize and be aware of whatever we don't want to let into our world of awareness. Free will is a powerful tool and it cuts both ways.

    I dare you to willfully forget by name, good luck with that.
    But I like your screen name Sig. I have no reason to want to forget it. However, if I wanted to not be aware of your presence on this forum, I could effectively block your posts from my view and eventually, I would lose awareness of your presence here, because I would not see any of your comments. Now, I'm not sure if that feature works on moderators, which you are, but you should get the point. Thus, I could become unaware of your presence on ODN. That willful choice of mine, of course, would not make the reality of your presence insignificant or non-relevant. It would simply mean that I have chosen to not be aware of you.

    Actually it does mean that. If I roll a dice your are not ignorant of the outcome (before it falls) by choice but by ability.
    The young child who knows he is going to be a doctor when he grows up and becomes a doctor, has little to do with the roll or dice. It has much to do with his clear-focused objective and thinking and knowing that he will be a doctor.

    You simply don't have the brain power to tell me the outcome with certainty.
    Brain power is not required to have insight, certainty and clear focused, mindful thinking. Many of history's movers and shakers where not educated men/women with great brain power. They just had a clear knowing, a clear vision of what they wanted to create against the odds of their given time.

    They don't know, they guessed.
    No guessing involved. As sure as you know that you love your wife and kids, people can know in their mind with a high degree of certainty what an outcome can be.

    I could also choose never to walk again
    You could indeed choose that. And if that was your dominant thought and chosen objective, with a high decree of certainty and focus, that you did not want to walk, day in, day out, for months or years depending on how focused and mindful you were, after a while you would eventually lose your ability to walk -- hopefully temporarily -- until you came back to your reasonable senses.

    They don't know. They can't.
    Sure they can. The paralyzed man knew he was going to walk again. All he had left was his mind and he used it wisely and effectively. There was no guessing involved. Now you may not agree with his knowing and thinking and certainty and method, but that doesn't mean his knowing and thinking and certainty and method were not valid.

    Been there and done that, lots of people don't actually understand it that well. It is saying not that reality is uncertain, but that we can never be certain of reality. What is the practical difference? None. Either way we remain uncertain. All Heisenberg says is you can't know the actual answer to quantum measurements, you have to have some unknowns.
    Right, we live in a world of chance among possibilities vs probabilities.

    Uncertainty Principle finds its main importance in the everyday world by the change in perspective it brings about in fundamental physical principles, which must necessarily have consequences in the interpretation of physical phenomena on all length scales. It suggests that one of the most influential and fundamental physical laws is one of chance.
    That is a misunderstanding
    Not much of a misunderstanding, once time and space become doomed.

    No, it does have permanency we just don't know what it is. And if we go look at what it is, we disturb it.
    Schrödinger's cat, is neither alive nor dead until observed * until that time, the cat is both alive and dead.

    A practical analogy of this in our everyday world could be: The probabilities and possibilities of life are both viable to play out, side by side simultaneously. We influence them by our attention/intention (observation) and then bring one or the other into play in the physical world at any given moment by our choices.

    So what? If they had told him all he could walk, that would not change whether he could walk or not.
    Well, if that were the case, he might have been able to walk sooner than eight months.

    Aside from physically stopping him they are not having a significant affect, none of their opinions matter one iota as to whether he actually heals or not.
    Right, he recovered because he knew in his mind with a high degree of certainty that we would walk and breath on his own, despite the hard real circumstances facing his life of living in a wheel chair and not breathing on this own the rest of his life.

    Most folks who do the lottery will loose, but not all of them do. Some of them win despite the long odds and knowing their chances are slim. So what?
    Most people allow life's hard circumstance to control and dictate their life. Some people, on the other hand, don't allow hard circumstances to control and dictate their life because they know that circumstances do not have to control and constrain our life. Perhaps the first group can learn something from the second group. There's no rocket science involved.

    No, he didn't heal his body with positive thinking.
    Not only positive thinking, but willful, mindful, laser-sharp focused, clear thinking. Did you know that positive thinking has now gained scientific credibility.

    The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility. Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff...with implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history.”
    It healed because that is what bodies do,
    Then every other person in a similar paralyzed condition at that time should of been healed.

    So if I drop a bag of dice on the floor,
    You must really like dice; it's your third time bringing them up ....

    is there any human being that can tell me with 100% certainty how the dice will fall?
    100% certainty is not required to know something, especially in a relative world. That doesn't mean one can't perceive with a high degree of certainty through insight and perception how an event will play out.

    We are awash in uncertainty.
    I would say we are awash with possibilities vs probabilities. What's kind of exciting and challenging in life is giving birth to the possible when the probable are the odds.

    What? If you mean we don't need to know to act, yes, that is my whole point.
    No, my point is that we don't need to know something absolutely to validate it. We live in a relative, changing, non-permanent world where there are few absolutes, Spirit being one of them.

    You probably think and know that you love your wife and kids absolutely and I can say the same thing about knowing that I love my husband and kids absolutely. And that knowing allows us to act accordingly. But if you or I lie to our spouse for whatever reason or did something to offend them, there goes the absolute perfection of our knowing. Does that mean we don't know we love our spouse and kids? No

    Whether you have free will or not, you have no choice but to make due with what you know and what you don't.
    There's several problems with this premise. Here's just one:

    If someone is a child abuser who is a determinists, his thinking is:

    "I like and enjoy sexually abusing children. I have always been this way and there is nothing I can do to not enjoy sexually abusing children because the causes have already been set in motion somewhere in the universe and it is inevitable and necessary that I am a child abuser. It is a given. Nothing can change my choices. Now, I know I can go to jail if I get caught abusing children, but even if I get caught, I can't be reformed, I can't change. I will always sexually abuse children even when I get out of fail, assuming I get caught, because it is inevitable that I will always be a child abuser. I was abused as a chid and I now abuse other children. It is an inevitable chain of events and I will continue the pattern of abusing children. It doesn't bother me because I lost my sense of conscience a long time ago and I don't even believe I have one anyway. I do not have free will to change the current condition of my psychology -- it is a given. It cannot be changed. My actions to abuse children have already been predicted and I will gladly fulfill them. And even if I go to jail and they try to reform me, it will not work. The pattern is set and cannot change."

    Now, there's a certain amount of unhealthy attitude in this deterministic approach that I trust you recognize. But as some determinists believe, this is the way it is. We live in a unhealthy world. I can only do my part and it doesn't matter anyway. We can substitute sexual child abuser to rapist or murder or thief or human trafficker or compulsive liar, etc. According to your position, this child abuser has no option, no other choice but to fulfill his so called given destiny because it's a given. The pattern is set and it doesn't matter one way or the other. His choice doesn't matter because he will continue to sexually abuse children until he is caught. But because he is smart, he's been free and abusing children for a while now and getting away with it. And even if he is caught, there's 500 other sexual child abusers growing up who will abuse children soon because the pattern is set and their choice is inevitable as well. Thus, the unending, inevitable pattern of sexually abusing children continues, below the radar, but continues nevertheless. As it does with the determinist mind set of rapists, murders, human traffickers, thieves, compulsive liars, etc. This makes for a great and progressive society.

    The free will approach to this type or other type of negative forms of behavior is:

    We can choose to change negative human patterns in our psychology, thus changing the cause/ effect sequence -- arresting the pattern and creating a new pattern. This is possible, nothing is set in stone that can't be changed. We live in a changing, non-permanent world. It's not always easy to arrest negative psychological human habit patterns, but free will does indeed give us that option and freedom and power if we want to use it, just as we have the power to miss-use it. How do we know we can change these patterns? By observation. We can clearly see that people can change their patterns of behavior. In that we can't see the invisible energy patterns that govern the cause/effect sequences, we can observe the outer manifestation that people can indeed choose to change. They can choose to arrest the negative psychological pattern.

    It doesn't matter how deep or how long the negative pattern (cause/effect sequence) is. We can arrest and stop the pattern by choice, simply willing to do it.

    Is it easy? No. That doesn't mean it can't be done.

    We have an entire psychological professional industry that makes billions of dollars a year helping people through therapy and counseling change negative behavioral patterns as well as many other issues. How do they do this? It's a long rigorous process, but it works for many people and for a few it doesn't.

    Faith and the spiritual community is another avenue that can help people change and often transform.

    So as far as does it matter ? Sure it matters, because the determinist will continue to abuse children under the false, yet deeply psychological assumption that he has no choice in the matter, when indeed he does have a choice to stop the negative pattern of his psychology and simply is not aware and empowered with the choice to arrest the cause/effect sequence of sexually abusing children.


    I Challenge to support a claim.you to be ignorant of this sentence!
    I choose not to be aware of your thinking process and deny your sentence. What sentence? or how about: I can choose not to be aware that thousands of viable babies are aborted every year.

    One can choose not to be aware, through denial of just about anything they don't want to be aware of. Which after a while, in their mental state, the denial will become their truth.

    Now, that doesn't mean their conscience will allow them to rest and sleep peacefully at night. And it doesn't mean that their denial and willful ignorance will not have some other type of consequence in different parts of their life, work, relationship, consciously or unconsciously. All it means is that we can choose ignorance and denial is an option. It also means that millions of dollars are spent on shrinks every year.

    My point is your free will cannot change reality.
    Free will doesn't change reality. Free will allows us, if we choose, to be a "creator " (or co-creator depending on our perspective) instead of a "reactor" to what the conundrum of the human experience which we call reality, dishes out. It's this creative process that makes the 'possible' play out instead of the 'probable.' The reactive choice simply perpetuates the cause/effect sequence of the negative patterns thus enabling the negative pattern to continue. However, when we choose to create instead of react to circumstances (events) that life presents us with something new, different and positive, then we take part in the process of changing the negative pattern (cause/effect sequence) to something else - and a new pattern is created. Negative reaction simply keeps the destruction pattern in play. This teaching by Jesus in the Bible has some interesting connotations.

    "And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles." Mark 2:22

    You cannot wish the rock to vanish. You have to take causal action to interact with the rock in any meaningful way.
    That's one option. However, if the rock is on a probable course to fall and crush you, free will can help you not be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Or you could be operating on a purely causal basis and never know because you lack the awareness of your own programming.
    We are not machines. We have self-awareness.

    But you will never be able to know if that is true or not so its pointless to even ponder the question. []
    I think a healthy inquiring mind, never stops asking questions.
    Last edited by eye4magic; December 16th, 2011 at 02:07 PM.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    So there are:

    1) moral values
    2) value of accomplishments
    3) autonomy and dignity of persons
    4) value of love and friendship

    In a deterministic model, there is no value to these.
    Could you explain more about the reasoning behind this conclusion? Why can't a determinist value (1)-(4)? I see why a determinist wouldn't value them for the same reasons as a free-will adherent would, but that doesn't mean the determinist couldn't value them for some other reason.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    You may misunderstand (I didn't really explain). What I mean by self as an illusion is that all individuals are actually part of a greater whole. Each ant in a colony is an individual, it is also part of a whole. You are an individual, you are also a colony of individual cells acting in unison, and you are an individual acting as part of an interconnected society which is in turn made of matter held in place by the gravity of the planet and warmed by the son. Take away any individual part and the whole changes in some fashion. You cannot be fundamentally separate from everything around you. Without all that is other than you, you could never be as you are. That is what I mean by self (separate self) being an illusion in a deterministic reality.
    Well, you don't need to be absolutely separate from everything, in order to still exist separate.
    Like your ant example, only from the other angle, if the entire colony (save one) were to disappear.. the one would still be the same. That is because he is a separate entity that doesn't have it's existence depend on others. It isn't the self that is the illusion, it is the "collective".


    --free will and argumentation--
    If free will is pointless, then so is argumentation. Presenting an argument assumes a free will. Otherwise be saying "(literally)blah, blah, blah" as a response is equally as convincing as "(formate) you are wrong/right for X, Y, Z reasons". By abandoning free will as relevant, you destroy the purpose of argumentation.

    So free will is not pointless in regards to argumentation and reason, it is essential. As the OP attempts argumentation to reject free will, it is again a self defeating argument.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, you don't need to be absolutely separate from everything, in order to still exist separate.
    I get you. Its just that exactly where you draw the line is partly a matter of perspective. Most likely your lone ant would quickly die much like a cell in your body left to its own devices.

    --free will and argumentation--
    If free will is pointless, then so is argumentation. Presenting an argument assumes a free will.
    Nope. Causality is not thrown out the window in a deterministic universe. You are still looking at determinism through the perspective of free will and human uncertainty. What you are saying is is like claiming a rock will fall even if there is no gravity.

    If the world is determinate you will make the argument and I will or will not be convinced. There is no "might as well do X" because if X isn't your destiny, your not going to do it. If X is your destiny, that is what you will do whether you know it or not and there is no, might as well, because you only have one determinate course and that choice will have one determinate outcome.

    The purpose of argumentation is to have the effect that argumentation will have. Free will is the system where things happen without cause. Determinism is where what you do will always have a given impact. With free will, no matter how convincing your argument, no matter if you used the most advanced brain control in the world, even if you wired my brain for remote control, I could still choose to not agree.

    In a deterministic world, if your argument has the right properties, it will work because it is assumed the world is causal.
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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    I get you. Its just that exactly where you draw the line is partly a matter of perspective. Most likely your lone ant would quickly die much like a cell in your body left to its own devices.
    The lines may seem arbitrary, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    Nope. Causality is not thrown out the window in a deterministic universe. You are still looking at determinism through the perspective of free will and human uncertainty. What you are saying is is like claiming a rock will fall even if there is no gravity.

    If the world is determinate you will make the argument and I will or will not be convinced. There is no "might as well do X" because if X isn't your destiny, your not going to do it. If X is your destiny, that is what you will do whether you know it or not and there is no, might as well, because you only have one determinate course and that choice will have one determinate outcome.

    The purpose of argumentation is to have the effect that argumentation will have. Free will is the system where things happen without cause. Determinism is where what you do will always have a given impact. With free will, no matter how convincing your argument, no matter if you used the most advanced brain control in the world, even if you wired my brain for remote control, I could still choose to not agree.

    In a deterministic world, if your argument has the right properties, it will work because it is assumed the world is causal.
    I think you miss the point.
    What you are advocating destroys the meaning of argumentation. IE there is no such thing as argumentation.
    What we are doing now, is not exchanging "IDEAS", we are involved in a chain of stimuli. Which means that the meaning of what I say is irrelevant, it is only the stimuli.

    So there is no more argumentation going on here in this thread, than there is in a glass of water between molecules.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Free will is utterly pointless

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I provided a definition 2 posts back. I'll provide as a reference, Stanford Univ's Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2 separate links there). There is also the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (peer reviewed articles and essays from academics in philosophy).
    Looking two posts back I don't see a clear definition you provide. I think you will need to reiterate clearly for me to see it. These links of yours provide lots of definitions for free will. Many of which I find perfectly compatible/synonymous with mine. I guess the world supernatural is throwing you off, not sure. I'm just saying free will is when individuals have the power to ignore causation in their decision making. I consider non causative actions to be "magical" or "supernatural" as it is my contention that nature is causal. Anything originating a cause without in turn being caused, is to me supernatural or magical. Those articles simply say things like "originates" or "ultimate source" but it means the same thing, the power to be independent of other causes.

    There was at least one looser definition that simply says free will is a matrix of first and second order desires in thinking minds without specifying that those desires were uncaused. I find that definition compatible with determinism, but....

    It still doesn't matter (my central thesis) because whatever the case, it has no impact on how people behave or how they should behave. Either your actions are a result of causation from the outside or they are a result of your will on the inside, but as we can either not predict them with any certainty either way, we have nothing we can practically do about it. Actions are either beyond our certain control, or beyond our certain prediction, and either way they are beyond us.

    In addition to the claim that there is no meaningful difference between the existence of free will and its non-existence: "Free will also appears to be a condition on desert for one's accomplishments (why sustained effort and creative work are praiseworthy); on the autonomy and dignity of persons; and on the value we accord to love and friendship." (from the above source).
    Allow me to clarify... I'd say there is no practical difference, not that there is no meaningfull difference. I think the meaning of free will is different than determinism. But, I think that whatever the meaning, we have no way to practically take advantage of either of the possible truths with respect to the other. Anyone you convince of the alternate truth, will behave exactly the same as they did before hand if they are rational actors.

    I reject the idea that free will is required for praise or credit. Just because a person is the product of a long chain of causal events, doesn't mean the person or their actions is without value with respect to other causal persons who don't have those desired qualities. I can single out cars for praise based on their qualities over other cars that have less desirable ones. Social judgments are social because they are in a social context by social actors. Praise of a car has no impact on the car as its non-reactive to praise. Praise of a person is interactive as it may have a causal impact on those people. Praise is a social signal that can channel additional resources to especially productive members and can motivate the targets of praise and those competing with them to continue the praised behavior. None of that is true of cars even though both cars and people have desired and undesired properties and behaviors. It is the interactive nature of people to social actions that gives pragmatic meaning to morality and individual value judgement.

    So there are:
    1) moral values
    2) value of accomplishments
    3) autonomy and dignity of persons
    4) value of love and friendship

    In a deterministic model, there is no value to these. In an indeterministic there is. Putting aside the religious argument for a moment, these alone expose the flaw of thinking there is no difference.
    False, each has pragmatic deterministic functional value. These are descriptions of attitudes and actions that have determinate outcomes we desire so they are encouraged in our social structure. Indeed it is not some intrinsic value that drives each of them but a cause and effect chain that necessarily encourages them.

    Lastly, while action and will are not synonymous, the significance of free will (over it's non-existence), is the freedom of that action that follows. You argued for decision making (action), but in order for it to exist, so too must will. It is the will that is first, followed by the action. That is, the decision to carry out the action follows what is willed.
    Decision making does not require will. I demonstrated a system where no will is present that can make decisions. Now you can call an engine of decision making a will, that's fine, but I think it somewhat robs it of the meaning I intend to debate. If you want to call any logical system with unpredictable outcomes will, that's OK by me... but it still doesn't matter for any pragmatic purpose.

    ---------- Post added at 09:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I think you miss the point.
    What you are advocating destroys the meaning of argumentation. IE there is no such thing as argumentation.
    What we are doing now, is not exchanging "IDEAS", we are involved in a chain of stimuli. Which means that the meaning of what I say is irrelevant, it is only the stimuli.
    Nope, I hear that loud and clear, I'm saying you are discounting the value of stimuli. Stimuli has an effect it persuades in the case of argument. If your argument is effective it will persuade. If we have free will, your argument could be the most amazing ever crafted and have no impact what so ever. If the world is determinate then your argument must be one that will have a given effect if you wish to cause that effect. Either way, you won't know if it works until it does.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

 

 
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