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Old 08-25-2020, 04:15 PM   #1
Squawk
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Determinism vs Free Will

I was discussing this with a friend the other day. His point was that the brain is governed by physical laws which determine sequences of physical events in the brain. Mental thoughts ride in tandem with such neural activity but it is the physics which does the work, therefore we are effectively automatons lacking Free Will. I know that sounds pretty bad, but we are saved by being extremely complex systems, and as such we behave in a way that we can say we are individuals with distinct characteristics and personalities. I think I'd have to agree with him in the end.
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Old 08-25-2020, 04:31 PM   #2
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Is Flint your friend?
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Old 08-25-2020, 04:35 PM   #3
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Is Flint your friend?
I'm afraid I don't really know Flint, and I've certainly never met him IRL. I take it he's a Determinist then...?
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:02 PM   #4
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And yet, you instinctively want to compare ideas and/or convince us of our lack of free will. If you truly believed we all had no free will, you would view this conversation as meaningless: each of us would already be biologically predisposed to agree with you, or not. In a deterministic outlook, how does one categorize that inherent urge to spread your internal physics to others?
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:20 PM   #5
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In any situation my reaction can be a myriad of possibilities, but being a reasonably sane person would narrow them down to ones of my benefit.
Those few are further narrowed by the society I live in down to at most two or three.
So it's modified free choice unless I'm at the point where I'm mad as hell and hand grenade time.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
If you truly believed we all had no free will, you would view this conversation as meaningless: each of us would already be biologically predisposed to agree with you, or not. In a deterministic outlook, how does one categorize that inherent urge to spread your internal physics to others?
I don't personally believe this conversation is meaningless, but I suppose I would never have had it if I hadn't spoken to my friend about it. There is a causal chain which links back to that prior event. Its' memory popped into my mind when I was thinking of what thread I could start on here, which was also part of a causal chain. The thing about free will is it requires that thoughts can 'come out of thin air' and become physical actions, but there is currently no physical evidence or scientific theory which can support that as far as I'm aware. The urge to spread ideas I would say is a psychological trait, but when you get down to the nitty gritty perhaps psychology can be reduced to physics. For example, when we are using a computer program such as a word processor we see a piece of paper on a screen containing text, but underpinning that are binary code operations in the computer's processor.


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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
In any situation my reaction can be a myriad of possibilities, but being a reasonably sane person would narrow them down to ones of my benefit.
Those few are further narrowed by the society I live in down to at most two or three.
So it's modified free choice unless I'm at the point where I'm mad as hell and hand grenade time.
Sanity and social norms certainly moderate our behaviour. But I think the deterministic argument is saying that everything moderates our behaviour, to the extent that ultimately we don't have any choice.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:42 PM   #7
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Right... My question is what happens to the determinist who becomes "self aware" of his determinism. You say you brought up the topic because of a cause-and-effect chain--but *knowing* that fact inherently alters the chain. It's not about "what made you do X," it's about "what is STILL making you do X now that you know what made you do X?"

You want to convince me of determinism, right? But as a determinist, you have to believe that whether I will agree with you is preordained by the chain of events that led ME here. Determinism, in this case, means the outcome you desire has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me. You can't actually have any effect on me, because I'm already primed for the outcome I always would have had. A true determinist has no reason to bother interacting with anyone. And yet you are--which means either determinism isn't real, or else you don't really believe in it like you think you do.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:58 PM   #8
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Chicken and the egg
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:01 AM   #9
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chickegg. Now what?
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
Right... My question is what happens to the determinist who becomes "self aware" of his determinism. You say you brought up the topic because of a cause-and-effect chain--but *knowing* that fact inherently alters the chain. It's not about "what made you do X," it's about "what is STILL making you do X now that you know what made you do X?"

You want to convince me of determinism, right? But as a determinist, you have to believe that whether I will agree with you is preordained by the chain of events that led ME here. Determinism, in this case, means the outcome you desire has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me. You can't actually have any effect on me, because I'm already primed for the outcome I always would have had. A true determinist has no reason to bother interacting with anyone. And yet you are--which means either determinism isn't real, or else you don't really believe in it like you think you do.
I can't really see how anything you've said is an argument against determinism. Whether I believe myself to be a determinist or not does not in my view change the fact of the matter. I like to think of myself as a free agent, but that's not to say that I actually am. People often hold beliefs which are false or contradictory. And subconscious thought processes can sometimes be the true drivers of behaviour, despite our conscious attributions. I don't like the implications of determinism, but I have mentioned it here because it seems to be a strong argument. I'm happy to hear counter-arguments and I'm prepared to be convinced that I'm wrong.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:04 AM   #11
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It's mental exercise. Thinking about something with a brain you've constructed out of things you've eaten, heard, and seen... It all goes around in a circle. The choices you made about what to eat hear and see led to the thoughts you think. But the choice was influenced by the result of previous choices.....

Tasting your own tongue.
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:02 PM   #12
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We have Free Will granted by God and nothing can change that.
http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/...out-Free-Will/
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Old 08-26-2020, 03:33 PM   #13
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I no longer subscribe to Christian mythology.
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Old 08-26-2020, 04:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I no longer subscribe to Christian mythology.
I'm sorry.
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Old 08-26-2020, 04:08 PM   #15
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Evolution instructs animals, and us, how to behave by having many generations succeed or fail. Animals are bound within that structure and do not have much free will. But humans then evolved a new trick: we imagine and play out different outcomes in our heads, without having to actually experience them.

~ it is why we write fiction and enjoy compelling stories; we are fulfilling evolutionary destiny ~

This was such an advance that humans immediately had a tremendous advantage, and were then able to survive and thrive on every location on earth

Free will is built in, it's part of the design. But the evolutionary lower levels still exist within us; and so, without realizing it, we are bound to use our free will to fulfill the same evolutionary goals as every other beast: survive, reproduce the dna, eat and drink, have comfort, raise the young, build tribes, kill the opposing tribes.
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