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Tags free will , predeterminism

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Old 19th June 2019, 05:04 AM   #161
Robin
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
Again: Even if everything is deterministic, we can still have a reasonable model of blame and merit based on a unity of cause and intent.
If you intentionally did X and X is a bad thing, we can blame you for X.
If you intentionally did X and X is a good thing, we can praise you for X.
Predeterminism or not, we can still have reward and punishment, and we can still teach individual responsibility and discipline. So the free will discussion is not practically relevant in the manner in which some try to direct the discussion.
But then again you could blame someone for something they didn't do if you wanted to. There are no rules about who you can and can't blame.

But here is the thing - would you feel responsible for something that you couldn't possibly have prevented?

Would you feel responsible for something that no-one could possibly have prevented?

Would you feel responsible for an event that was already inevitable long before you were born?

If determinism is true then nothing that you do is something that you could have possibly prevented.

If determinism is true then nothing that you do is something that anyone could possibly have prevented.

If determinism is true then everything that you have done and will ever do was already inevitable long before you were born.

So why would you feel responsible for anything if determinism was true?

On the other hand I am not sure that indeterminism would help either.
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Old 19th June 2019, 05:41 AM   #162
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For the question in the OP, this is the best I could do:

Imagine that one day science finds a way of sending information back in time. Maybe faster than light particles, maybe some weird solution to the Einstein equation, or whatever.

So you are participating in an experiment. You are seated at the table and you are watching a video of everything that you will be doing from 3pm to 4pm that afternoon.

You are offered one million dollars if you can avoid doing just one thing that the video shows you doing.

For example the video shows you taking a sip of coffee at exactly 3:10 pm. So if you can avoid taking that sip until 3:11 pm then you will be one million dollars richer. One million dollars for delaying a sip of a cup of coffee for one minute. Maybe you know in advance that it isn't very good coffee.

But you pick up the cup of coffee and take a sip at 3:10, foregoing the million dollars.

Taking it a step further, you see in the video that you grasp your throat and start choking, coughing up blood - the coffee was poisoned.

You keep on taking sips of the coffee that you know is poisoned, already knowing the painful death that will result.

It does not seem to me that I would do that. I feel that this is enough to be a little skeptical that about determinism. I am not saying that this is conclusive, but enough to think that *maybe* determinism is wrong.
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:20 AM   #163
dann
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Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
Trying to understand the debate topic, I have some simple questions, if I may.

If I believed in my free will does it mean that I believe that I have a soul that "can" make me make decisions free from (or even against) the influences of my body and my experiences and my surrounding world?

People make decisions against "the influences of" their bodies all the time. Ask any person with anorexia nervosa.

Quote:
Is there an agenda in the free will argument for supernatural agencies?

Why do you think that there is only one "free will argument"?

Quote:
Is the argument for free will scientific in its origin?

The argument?! But no. (Wikipedia)
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Old 19th June 2019, 10:19 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Considering that what is repeatedly stated is that if you take decisions for reasons, you can't be morally blamed for anything you do, I'm not sure how personal responsibility is even possible in that setup.
I may have misunderstood you. It seems we're saying the same thing, but using somewhat different terms.

Just to confirm:

In as much as causality can be seen as responsibility, yes, there is responsibility. Beyond that, there is no such thing as responsibility.

And nor is this a bad thing, if we can keep our heads.

Just like a theist coming to realization of God's non-existence may well go nuts, but, in practice, if we keep our heads, we function just fine with an atheist worldview. Thus with determinism.

Are we on the same page?
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Old 19th June 2019, 10:26 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am not going to prove that determinism is true or false. I am going to show a logical/moral consequence of admitting determinism.

I am not averse to discussing this, it is an interesting enough subject, but why pick on that topic? It has nothing to do with this thread.

The effects of determinism is a non sequitur, as far as its truth value, which is what this thread is about. As Hans put it clearly enough in his post.

How does it matter, the effects of determinism, after all? You won't pretend it is false, after all, despite its being true, just because its effects are baleful, will you now?

Do you have a view on whether or no the universe is deterministic?
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Old 19th June 2019, 11:11 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It does not seem to me that I would do that. I feel that this is enough to be a little skeptical that about determinism. I am not saying that this is conclusive, but enough to think that *maybe* determinism is wrong.

I think it's a better reason to be a lot skeptical about the possibility of sending information back in time. What you've ended up with is a straightforward time travel paradox, in that with the information from the future, you would not do what that information said you would do(/had done).

Take away the time travel and there's no longer any "force of determinism" making you do something detrimental for no reason. You're at a meeting about to have your regular cup of coffee. Someone says, "I've just got credible information from a reliable source that that coffee's poisoned!" Would you drink it anyhow, just because in the absence of any such information you would have drunk it normally just as you'd done any other day? No; your brain would do what it always does and is evolved to do: keep you alive, by stepping on the path and not over the cliff.


ETA: You can do your time-message thought experiment with a completely deterministic machine and have the same problem. The machine starts in state A, and is programmed to remain that way, unless there's a message from the future that says it's in state A in the future, in which case it's programmed to switch to state B. Now the message from the future comes that says it remained in state A. Would some force prevent the machine from switching to state B as it's designed to do in that situation? If so, it's not the removal of free will causing that, because it never had any in the first place.
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Old 19th June 2019, 12:35 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I may have misunderstood you. It seems we're saying the same thing, but using somewhat different terms.

Just to confirm:

In as much as causality can be seen as responsibility, yes, there is responsibility. Beyond that, there is no such thing as responsibility.

And nor is this a bad thing, if we can keep our heads.

Just like a theist coming to realization of God's non-existence may well go nuts, but, in practice, if we keep our heads, we function just fine with an atheist worldview. Thus with determinism.

Are we on the same page?
Well, it was David Mo, not I, who was proposing that if you believe in determinism you'll want to gas the retarded like Hitler did and whatnot. Personally I expect people to basically do whatever they were doing anyway, good or bad, and then find some way to rationalize away the stuff they're not proud of.
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Old 19th June 2019, 12:51 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
For the question in the OP, this is the best I could do:

Imagine that one day science finds a way of sending information back in time. Maybe faster than light particles, maybe some weird solution to the Einstein equation, or whatever.

So you are participating in an experiment. You are seated at the table and you are watching a video of everything that you will be doing from 3pm to 4pm that afternoon.

You are offered one million dollars if you can avoid doing just one thing that the video shows you doing.

For example the video shows you taking a sip of coffee at exactly 3:10 pm. So if you can avoid taking that sip until 3:11 pm then you will be one million dollars richer. One million dollars for delaying a sip of a cup of coffee for one minute. Maybe you know in advance that it isn't very good coffee.

But you pick up the cup of coffee and take a sip at 3:10, foregoing the million dollars.

Taking it a step further, you see in the video that you grasp your throat and start choking, coughing up blood - the coffee was poisoned.

You keep on taking sips of the coffee that you know is poisoned, already knowing the painful death that will result.

It does not seem to me that I would do that. I feel that this is enough to be a little skeptical that about determinism. I am not saying that this is conclusive, but enough to think that *maybe* determinism is wrong.
That is not what (most flavours of) determinism says. The idea is not that you're magically predestined to do something even if you don't want to.

The idea is more like, the same "voting" pro and con an action goes in your head as an MRI shows, and you only do it if there are better reasons to do it than not to. (Immediate gratification does count as a pro, btw.) However, since the data that goes into the pro and con columns is your previous experiences, determinists say that you can't take any other decisions GIVEN THAT DATA.

If you change the data by telling the guy that the coffee is poisoned, OF COURSE it's still expected that he'd use the new data and maybe choose something else.

In essence it would only be pre-determined in the same sense as a domino chain. Everything you saw, heard, or did previously sets up the next domino piece, and so on. But if you move a domino piece, it may not continue down the same path at all.


Just for the record: In reality, all the synapses involved in those pathways have a chance to fire or not, even if you have an association. The brain does a sort of (very loosely speaking) bayesian learning, but the synapses don't do analogue values and they don't do binary coded reals like a computer. So what they do instead, is they have a chance to fire or not to fire for a given association.

So basically if you've always flipped the switch and the light came on, that's almost guaranteed to fire, but if you got zapped twice this year by a faulty switch, that actually might not fire as a reason not to flip the switch when you do the action on auto-pilot, so to speak.

Since there is some quantum randomness involved in the synapse firing or not, actually there is very very often a real chance to take the opposite choice. Just because a different set of pros and cons actually fired or didn't fire when the brain did the vote whether to do the action or not. It may be very improbable, but it' still possible.

So, yeah, personally I'm not a determinist.
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Old 19th June 2019, 01:24 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
1. If every human behaviour is caused or determined by a sequence of causes a man is not morally responsible of his acts. The same that you don't blame (morally) a rock for the damages caused by its fall.

Can we pass to the following premise?

Suppose I did morally blame the rock for the damages caused by its fall, in all the same ways I morally blame a person. What actions might I then take as a result of this blaming?

- I could scold or lecture the rock. But I know the rock does not comprehend speech, nor experience emotions such as guilt, so I don't bother.

- I could punish the rock corporally, by striking it or beating it. But I know the rock doesn't experience pain or regret, so I don't bother.

- I could place the rock somewhere it's unlikely ever to cause harm by falling again. Now, this actually makes sense to do. (Who would put the rock back up on the high place it fell from, risking another likely fall and further damage?) Note that I could also do the same to a person I blamed for a misdeed, and it would be considered a harsh punishment.

- I could break the rock into pieces, or otherwise destroy it to varying degrees. This might also make sense to do, under certain circumstances, such as if the rock were too large to remove it from the place it had fallen in one piece. Note that doing the equivalent to a person would be considered an extremely harsh punishment.

- I could look for other rocks that present a similar danger of falling and causing damage, and take measures to prevent that happening, such as by securing them more firmly in place, or moving them to low ground where they're not able to fall. This also is a reasonable thing to do, and is in fact routinely done (e.g. by landscapers and highway engineers). Doing the equivalent to people would be considered punitive, and in most cases unjust, but history has plenty of examples of it being done.

So, let's say you observe a rock has fallen and damaged something of mine. You subsequently observe me moving the rock from where it had fallen and putting it in a far low corner of my yard. You then observe me checking for other loose rocks near where the rock had fallen from, and moving some of them to the same place. Based on this, could you determine whether or not I blamed the rock morally for the damage it caused? If not, what other information would you need?

(See "deodand" in English common law for cases of inanimate objects being blamed for people's deaths in a manner involving practical consequences, that was in effect for some seven centuries.)
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Old 19th June 2019, 07:57 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
People make decisions against "the influences of" their bodies all the time. Ask any person with anorexia nervosa.




Why do you think that there is only one "free will argument"?




The argument?! But no. (Wikipedia)
Thanks for taking the time to enlighten me. I bookmarked the link. This topic has been in the back burner for me. Couldn't resist following the post.
I've only read Chapman Cohen's book on this, which was written exactly a 100 years ago
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Old 19th June 2019, 08:52 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Since there is some quantum randomness involved in the synapse firing or not, actually there is very very often a real chance to take the opposite choice. ...
So, yeah, personally I'm not a determinist.

It seems to me that quantum randomness makes the issue non-binary.

Absolutely, given randomness, true determinism is not possible -- provided quantum randomness does impact things meaningfully at the macro scale.

On the other hand, even if you otherwise believe in free will, nevertheless this randomness alone would probably make true free will impossible, in the exact same way that it makes true determinism impossible.

Perhaps it may make sense to take a step back and define our terms first. What is will'? And 'free' of what? It could be that we sometimes argue across one another by using these terms differently from one another.
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Old 19th June 2019, 10:57 PM   #172
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This is my complete argument (first part):

1. If every human behaviour is caused or determined by a sequence of causes a man is not morally responsible of his acts. You can't morally condemn a killer for killing. The same that you don't blame (morally) a rock for the damages caused by its fall.
2. If freedom does not exist the arguments including moral premises or rights are false. The only premise I can admit is in terms of personal usefulness: it suits me or it doesn't suit me. The good is what suits me and the bad is what doesn't suit me.
3. Application of the two previous premises: It is not convenient for me that the state is maintaining mentally retarded or seriously chronically ill . They produce expenses that I pay for and they do not produce any benefits for me.
4. Therefore, the elimination of retarded, chronically ill and other similar members of society is a good thing and should be carried out.

NOTE: The argument can be used with other disadvantaged or minority groups by changing the means and results a little.

COROLLARY: It is obvious that this conclusion repulses our moral sense and, in fact, whenever it has been posed in to a deterministic he has tried to avoid it in some inconsistent way. Generally they covertly introduce the free decision. The Nazis and others like them are not so inconsistent.

This concludes the first part of my argument. If there are no objections I can move on to the second part.
I would ask to all those who are doing general objections to my argument to wait it is over. If you have particular objections to what I have write above, this is the moment.
Thank you.
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Old 19th June 2019, 11:05 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, it was David Mo, not I, who was proposing that if you believe in determinism you'll want to gas the retarded like Hitler did
You should notice that there is a difference between don't have arguments against and don't want. If you don't see the difference you will not understand my argument.
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Old 19th June 2019, 11:07 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I am not averse to discussing this, it is an interesting enough subject, but why pick on that topic? It has nothing to do with this thread.
The subject of this thread is what kind of argumentation can a sceptic (sic) oppose to determinism. I am skeptical (sic) and have an argument against determinism. I have a view about what the principle of causality applied to men is. I am not out of the thread.

I remind you the subject of the thread:

Is there a skeptical/scientific argument against predeterminism?

Where is said that I cannot refer to consequences of determinism as a part of my argument?

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Old 19th June 2019, 11:22 PM   #175
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True. That's one way to interpret the OP, sure. Agreed.

But what is the point of this line of thought? Determinism is either true, or it is not.

If it is true, and if you find that its effects are harmful, then do you propose deliberately pretending it isn't true? Surely not?

And if it is false, and you find that its effects are beneficient, then again, do you propose to deliberately pretend that it's true?

I really don't see the point of this line of thought.

But sure, as an academic exercise, absolutely, it's a valid topic. And you're right -- and I'm wrong -- in that the wording of the OP means this is not off-topic.


ETA :
I agree, studying the effects of determinism in order to align those effects as best we can with our own interests, makes sense. But isn't that putting the cart before the horse? Because if it turns out determinism is false, then this becomes moot! So surely the question to ask, first, is whether the universe is actually deterministic, or not?

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Old 19th June 2019, 11:36 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Suppose I did morally blame the rock for the damages caused by its fall, in all the same ways I morally blame a person. What actions might I then take as a result of this blaming?

- I could scold or lecture the rock. But I know the rock does not comprehend speech, nor experience emotions such as guilt, so I don't bother.

- I could punish the rock corporally, by striking it or beating it. But I know the rock doesn't experience pain or regret, so I don't bother.

- I could place the rock somewhere it's unlikely ever to cause harm by falling again. Now, this actually makes sense to do. (Who would put the rock back up on the high place it fell from, risking another likely fall and further damage?) Note that I could also do the same to a person I blamed for a misdeed, and it would be considered a harsh punishment.

- I could break the rock into pieces, or otherwise destroy it to varying degrees. This might also make sense to do, under certain circumstances, such as if the rock were too large to remove it from the place it had fallen in one piece. Note that doing the equivalent to a person would be considered an extremely harsh punishment.

- I could look for other rocks that present a similar danger of falling and causing damage, and take measures to prevent that happening, such as by securing them more firmly in place, or moving them to low ground where they're not able to fall. This also is a reasonable thing to do, and is in fact routinely done (e.g. by landscapers and highway engineers). Doing the equivalent to people would be considered punitive, and in most cases unjust, but history has plenty of examples of it being done.

So, let's say you observe a rock has fallen and damaged something of mine. You subsequently observe me moving the rock from where it had fallen and putting it in a far low corner of my yard. You then observe me checking for other loose rocks near where the rock had fallen from, and moving some of them to the same place. Based on this, could you determine whether or not I blamed the rock morally for the damage it caused? If not, what other information would you need?

(See "deodand" in English common law for cases of inanimate objects being blamed for people's deaths in a manner involving practical consequences, that was in effect for some seven centuries.)
The difference between a rock and a person from a moral point of view is that the rock is not free. Therefore, the rock has no rights.

The difference in practice is that if the rock threatens my property the most effective way to prevent it is to destroy the rock. And no one will condemn me for it. If a person threatens my property the most effective way to avoid the threat is to eliminate him. But I will end up in a criminal court. Why? Because human have rights.

For a determinist this doesn't make much sense because the human being is not free. He should look for some explanation to why we can't eliminate the human beings that bother us just like we do with rocks. I don't know that explanation.
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Old 19th June 2019, 11:38 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
True. That's one way to interpret the OP, sure. Agreed.

But what is the point of this line of thought? Determinism is either true, or it is not.

If it is true, and if you find that its effects are harmful, then do you propose deliberately pretending it isn't true? Surely not?
It would be absurd.
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Old 20th June 2019, 12:20 AM   #178
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@David Mo

Well, point 2 is where you start to go into gaga land already.

The problem is that just because both have "moral" as an adjective, doesn't mean that any serious theory of morality hinges on appointing moral blame. In fact no serious school of moral philosophy depends on that at all. They all actually deal with what is best for everyone, or at least for the largest number of people.

As a self-proclaimed philosopher that is something you should know.

E.g., since you proclaimed yourself to favour intersubjectivism in another thread -- never mind that then you actually argued AGAINST actual intersubjectivism -- the focus there is basically optimizing that most people get as much of what they actually want (e.g., not being murdered), in as much as possible. Apportioning blame is NOT a part of the optimization problem there. It's not even a factor.

Neither is the requirement that people's decisions are random or anything. IF things are deterministic, it just makes the optimization problem easier.


Which incidentally is also something that has no reason to change, regardless of how one believes that decisions are taken. You just pull out of the butt the postulate that then suddenly it would become about personal usefulness for one person, i.e., basically just everyone becoming an amoral sociopath. But you have presented no reason why for example utilitarianists would suddenly give up on the consideration of what's best for the largest number of people and just go full tilt sociopath just because they can't point fingers at someone. It's not the apportioning blame that they're trying to maximize, silly.

Hell, even proponents of State Consequentialism, which seem the most in line with the considerations you propose -- i.e., determinist consequences for the state -- didn't manage to come up with the nonsense idea that then they should just gas the mentally retarded if they can't blame someone.


But generally, I think point 2 and the other thread give me the idea of what got you into gaga land with that thought process: in the other thread you were hammering on -- and rationalizing around -- maximizing freedom as the only criterion. Or at least the main one.

Point 2 seems to just be saying that if you can't work on that one variable, then you're packing your toys and slamming the door behind you. *AHEM* I mean basically giving up on morals altogether.

But the problem is that that's just YOU and your own misunderstanding of morals.

Even the rest of intersubjectivism can still concern themselves with the actual things that other people want, same as it always did. Such as staying alive, for example. Virtually nobody else will do the brainfart that if they can't maximize the one variable they unilaterally proclaimed to be the only one that matters, then they'll give up on the whole optimization problem. Or at least nobody who actually understands how multi-variable optimizations actually work.


And it's based on your own equivocation of "freedom" at that. Because you're equivocating between the "freedom" as in, whether someone is forcing you to do something, and "freedom" as in you whatever constraints are in your own head when you take a decision. And not only they're not the same thing, but most of the time they're actually at odds with each other. Most people are actually quite able to distinguish between the two.


Point 3 though gets an honourable mention for pencils-up-the-nose underpants-on-head stupidity too. Mainly because it's already been pointed out to you that that's not a given, and just repeating it one more time won't magically make it true. Yet instead of supporting it, what do you do? Yeah, repeat it as a bare postulate one more time

AGAIN, the wellbeing of a country depends on a lot more factors than saving a few bucks on caring for literally 0.001% of its citizens. Which, one sigma for IQ being defined as 15 points, is literally how many are below the threshold of 35 IQ, i.e., worse than moderate retardation. It's not some hyperbole number, it's literally what the maths works out to for 34 IQ or lower.

In fact, if it helps with the morale, national unity, etc, of the other 99.999% of your citizens, giving some help to the 0.001% is probably the best bang per buck you can get in government investments. Even if you gave each of them a full time personal nurse, that's using another 0.001% of the population to keep the other 99.998% happier and more productive.
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:13 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The subject of this thread is what kind of argumentation can a sceptic (sic) oppose to determinism. I am skeptical (sic) and have an argument against determinism. I have a view about what the principle of causality applied to men is. I am not out of the thread.

I remind you the subject of the thread:

Is there a skeptical/scientific argument against predeterminism?

Where is said that I cannot refer to consequences of determinism as a part of my argument?
Well, I think it was still kinda implied that you'd know elementary logic. Or at the very least what the words mean in logic. In both logic and more generally philosophy, an argument is intended to determine the degree of truth of the conclusion.

So, yes, if you go into any other considerations than its truth value and still call it an argument for or against X, then you are committing a fallacy. And specifically if what you are considering are the consequences of X, and still call it an argument for or against X, then you are comitting specifically the appeal to consequences fallacy.
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Old 20th June 2019, 02:17 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Suppose I did morally blame the rock for the damages caused by its fall, in all the same ways I morally blame a person. What actions might I then take as a result of this blaming?

- I could scold or lecture the rock. But I know the rock does not comprehend speech, nor experience emotions such as guilt, so I don't bother.

- I could punish the rock corporally, by striking it or beating it. But I know the rock doesn't experience pain or regret, so I don't bother.

- I could place the rock somewhere it's unlikely ever to cause harm by falling again. Now, this actually makes sense to do. (Who would put the rock back up on the high place it fell from, risking another likely fall and further damage?) Note that I could also do the same to a person I blamed for a misdeed, and it would be considered a harsh punishment.

- I could break the rock into pieces, or otherwise destroy it to varying degrees. This might also make sense to do, under certain circumstances, such as if the rock were too large to remove it from the place it had fallen in one piece. Note that doing the equivalent to a person would be considered an extremely harsh punishment.

- I could look for other rocks that present a similar danger of falling and causing damage, and take measures to prevent that happening, such as by securing them more firmly in place, or moving them to low ground where they're not able to fall. This also is a reasonable thing to do, and is in fact routinely done (e.g. by landscapers and highway engineers). Doing the equivalent to people would be considered punitive, and in most cases unjust, but history has plenty of examples of it being done.

So, let's say you observe a rock has fallen and damaged something of mine. You subsequently observe me moving the rock from where it had fallen and putting it in a far low corner of my yard. You then observe me checking for other loose rocks near where the rock had fallen from, and moving some of them to the same place. Based on this, could you determine whether or not I blamed the rock morally for the damage it caused? If not, what other information would you need?

(See "deodand" in English common law for cases of inanimate objects being blamed for people's deaths in a manner involving practical consequences, that was in effect for some seven centuries.)
I would just like to say that this and other posts by Myriad do a good job of exposing the errors of thought that I see in much of the discussion in this thread (and in regards to free will in general, both on and off this forum).

Because Myriad has always been much better at expressing himself than I am, I think I'll leave my contribution to this thread as simply a recommendation for those who may have passed over his posts to give them another look and carefully consider the implications of what he is saying. That's actually good advice in regards to Myriad's posts in general, to be honest.

Of course you may be no more inclined to listen to me than to him. If so fair enough.
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Old 20th June 2019, 09:14 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The difference between a rock and a person from a moral point of view is that the rock is not free. Therefore, the rock has no rights.

The difference in practice is that if the rock threatens my property the most effective way to prevent it is to destroy the rock. And no one will condemn me for it. If a person threatens my property the most effective way to avoid the threat is to eliminate him. But I will end up in a criminal court. Why? Because human have rights.

If you were, for instance, a warlord in ancient China, you could eliminate the person presenting a threat to your property with no more consequences or remorse than destroying a rock. Does that mean ancient Chinese commoners lacked free will? I would think any definition or determination of free will that applies to humans has to be independent of cultural or historical circumstances.

Rights do not depend entirely on free will either. A person in an irreversible vegetative state in a hospital still has rights. You can be prosecuted for mishandling or mistreating a human corpse. That is not because corpses have free will.

Quote:
For a determinist this doesn't make much sense because the human being is not free. He should look for some explanation to why we can't eliminate the human beings that bother us just like we do with rocks. I don't know that explanation.

I tell a loose overhanging rock not to fall on me, because it would cause me harm. This is ineffective. There is no correlation between doing so and the likelihood of the rock falling.

I tell a person not to switch on the circuit breaker panel while I am working on the wiring, because it would cause me harm. This is usually effective. There is an extremely strong (negative) correlation between doing so and the likelihood of being electrocuted.

What's the explanation of the difference? In the latter case I'm interacting with an entity that has a brain.

As I've repeatedly pointed out, and you've made no attempt to refute, determinism does not imply that brains cannot function.

We have lots of different models and terminologies for evaluating the outcomes of brain function. If the person I tell not to turn on the panel turns it on anyhow, because he was having a petit mal seizure at the time and didn't hear me, we regard that as a medical or more specifically neurological problem. If he turns on the panel because he's having delusions that a demon is forcing him to do so, we regard that as a mental health problem. If he turns on the panel because he forgot what I told him a few minutes earlier, we call that carelessness or irresponsibility and regard that as a character flaw. If he turns on the panel because he hates me and wants me to die, we call that attempted homicide and regard it as a criminal and/or immoral act.

But those are all just mental and philosophical models that we use to evaluate patterns of behavior. There is nothing special about the last one, which we sometimes call morality, that requires nondeterministic causes of behaviors in order to be applicable. Like all the others, it only requires brains generating behaviors, and social standards to evaluate those behaviors.

Also, those models, the distinctions between them, and the ways we use them to manipulate future human behavior to our own or society's general advantage, are not fixed. A few centuries ago, the person with the delusions might have been subjected to a traumatic or even lethal exorcism, the person with the seizures might have been honored as a mystic, the irresponsible person might have been executed for damages caused by his lapses in judgment, and the homicidal person might have been able to justify his actions on the grounds of vendetta for some past wrong or insult, and gained in reputation from it. We apply different standards today. Yet I don't think the universe is any more or any less deterministic now than it was then.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:22 AM   #182
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To address this too:

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The difference between a rock and a person from a moral point of view is that the rock is not free. Therefore, the rock has no rights.

The difference in practice is that if the rock threatens my property the most effective way to prevent it is to destroy the rock. And no one will condemn me for it. If a person threatens my property the most effective way to avoid the threat is to eliminate him. But I will end up in a criminal court. Why? Because human have rights.
Nice to see that the whole notion of enlightened self-interest completely missed you in all these years.

In the most simple terms, if you build a society where one can eliminate anyone they don't like, for as little reason as that they bother one, there is nothing to keep one from being eliminated by someone else who thinks they would profit from THAT. Meanwhile, if people help each other, chances are someone will help you at some point.

IF one thinks that that kind of decisions are deterministic, then the cause-effect relationship for both is actually stronger. It just eliminated the possibility that one would choose to kill you instead of helping you just because they can, no matter how high you stack the incentives the other way around. Thus the reason to make sure that there is as much motivation as possible to help you, and as little motivation as possible to just shoot you in the head, is actually higher if you believe in determinism.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
For a determinist this doesn't make much sense because the human being is not free.
Only because equivocate between the many meanings of freedom, and especially between the normal one and one that isn't really used by almost anyone else. People tend to want freedom in the sense that they can make their decisions, based on their own reasons and motivations. They DON'T want to be free of reasons for their decisions. In fact, the whole POINT is that they very much want that whatever actions they do to NOT be free of whether it fits their motives and reasons.

The two senses of freedom are in fact at odds. The less you're free, in the tyranny sense, the less your actions have to do with your own motives and reasons, and are more because someone else is deciding for you. Conversely, the less tyrannical the system, the more your actions are "determined" (and I'm using that term very loosely) by your own motives and reasons. So treating them as the same notion is utterly counter-productive.

And nobody wouldt lose much sleep in devising some philosophical system to ensure that whatever they do is free of reasons, anyway. Because if they wanted to minimize the amount of reasons that go into their actions, they could just roll some dice for what to do next.

The whole notion that THAT's the only variable you should optimize for, and that if you can't, then the devil may take it all, is absurd. Nobody asked for maximum chaos as their society's moral compass.


But equally importantly, can you actually point out at some serious proponent of determinism who actually wrote something to that effect? Because otherwise you're fighting your own strawman. And it's getting tiresome by now to watch you bravely fighting with stuff from your own imagination.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
He should look for some explanation to why we can't eliminate the human beings that bother us just like we do with rocks.
I just gave you one off the top of my head, and it didn't even take much trying. As would have even hitting Wikipedia for any actual school of moral philosophy. None of their goals change by one iota if humans take their decisions deterministically.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't know that explanation.
And THAT is actually what should worry you. Because you seem to be the only one for whom such rationalizations seem to make any sense.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:51 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It would be absurd.

Well?

I mean, you've read the rest of my post, and followed my actual question, right? Since you agree, here, that it would be absurd to disbelieve in determinism simply because its effects are baleful, then what is the point of attempting that study into its effects without first finding out whether it is, in fact, true?

Suppose you did establish that determinism has truly horrific effects, what then? What will you do with that information, without also establishing whether determinism is true?


ETA:
Which is not to discourage you from undertaking that exercise, let me hasten to add. As you've rightly pointed out, the wording of the OP makes that in topic for this thread. Probably it would be an intersting exercise, too, if done well. It's just that I'm not clear what the point of it is, without also addressing the truth value of determinism.

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Old 20th June 2019, 06:59 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
It seems to me that quantum randomness makes the issue non-binary.

Absolutely, given randomness, true determinism is not possible -- provided quantum randomness does impact things meaningfully at the macro scale.

On the other hand, even if you otherwise believe in free will, nevertheless this randomness alone would probably make true free will impossible, in the exact same way that it makes true determinism impossible.

Perhaps it may make sense to take a step back and define our terms first. What is will'? And 'free' of what? It could be that we sometimes argue across one another by using these terms differently from one another.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:07 PM   #185
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@David Mo

Well, point 2 is where you start to go into gaga land already.

The problem is that just because both have "moral" as an adjective, doesn't mean that any serious theory of morality hinges on appointing moral blame. In fact no serious school of moral philosophy depends on that at all. They all actually deal with what is best for everyone, or at least for the largest number of people.

As a self-proclaimed philosopher that is something you should know.

E.g., since you proclaimed yourself to favour intersubjectivism in another thread -- never mind that then you actually argued AGAINST actual intersubjectivism -- the focus there is basically optimizing that most people get as much of what they actually want (e.g., not being murdered), in as much as possible. Apportioning blame is NOT a part of the optimization problem there. It's not even a factor.

Neither is the requirement that people's decisions are random or anything. IF things are deterministic, it just makes the optimization problem easier.


Which incidentally is also something that has no reason to change, regardless of how one believes that decisions are taken. You just pull out of the butt the postulate that then suddenly it would become about personal usefulness for one person, i.e., basically just everyone becoming an amoral sociopath. But you have presented no reason why for example utilitarianists would suddenly give up on the consideration of what's best for the largest number of people and just go full tilt sociopath just because they can't point fingers at someone. It's not the apportioning blame that they're trying to maximize, silly.

Hell, even proponents of State Consequentialism, which seem the most in line with the considerations you propose -- i.e., determinist consequences for the state -- didn't manage to come up with the nonsense idea that then they should just gas the mentally retarded if they can't blame someone.


But generally, I think point 2 and the other thread give me the idea of what got you into gaga land with that thought process: in the other thread you were hammering on -- and rationalizing around -- maximizing freedom as the only criterion. Or at least the main one.

Point 2 seems to just be saying that if you can't work on that one variable, then you're packing your toys and slamming the door behind you. *AHEM* I mean basically giving up on morals altogether.

But the problem is that that's just YOU and your own misunderstanding of morals.

Even the rest of intersubjectivism can still concern themselves with the actual things that other people want, same as it always did. Such as staying alive, for example. Virtually nobody else will do the brainfart that if they can't maximize the one variable they unilaterally proclaimed to be the only one that matters, then they'll give up on the whole optimization problem. Or at least nobody who actually understands how multi-variable optimizations actually work.


And it's based on your own equivocation of "freedom" at that. Because you're equivocating between the "freedom" as in, whether someone is forcing you to do something, and "freedom" as in you whatever constraints are in your own head when you take a decision. And not only they're not the same thing, but most of the time they're actually at odds with each other. Most people are actually quite able to distinguish between the two.


Point 3 though gets an honourable mention for pencils-up-the-nose underpants-on-head stupidity too. Mainly because it's already been pointed out to you that that's not a given, and just repeating it one more time won't magically make it true. Yet instead of supporting it, what do you do? Yeah, repeat it as a bare postulate one more time

AGAIN, the wellbeing of a country depends on a lot more factors than saving a few bucks on caring for literally 0.001% of its citizens. Which, one sigma for IQ being defined as 15 points, is literally how many are below the threshold of 35 IQ, i.e., worse than moderate retardation. It's not some hyperbole number, it's literally what the maths works out to for 34 IQ or lower.

In fact, if it helps with the morale, national unity, etc, of the other 99.999% of your citizens, giving some help to the 0.001% is probably the best bang per buck you can get in government investments. Even if you gave each of them a full time personal nurse, that's using another 0.001% of the population to keep the other 99.998% happier and more productive.
You're increasing the number of insults. I gather that the first part of my argument irritates you. Me too. It's something I need to solve and I don't see how to do it easy. I understand that you find my position irritating. It is because you are used to people who come here with easy and definitive solutions. I come here to raise a problem that does not admit easy solutions. And I'm afraid not definitive either.

But your objections are inconsistent.

I don't know what "serious" moral theories you're talking about. The ethics I know are concerned with establishing the validity of moral judgments, which include the condemnation of evil and its perpetrators. Isn't that "blaming"? Since I don't know what you're talking about, I'll refer to your own moral theory.

It's not easy to know where you're going with your moral theory, because you fall into constant contradictions.

First you say that a moral theory doesn't deal with condemning anyone. And then you call the moral egoist a "sociopath". If this isn't a condemnation or blaming, I don't know what it is.

In addition you include two contradictory things in the same statement. And it's an important contradiction because it concerns the principle of your theory of morality. "Something is good if it is what all of humanity, or at least the majority, wants". There are few things that all of humanity wants and gets without friction. That doesn't pose any moral problem. However, it is usual that different groups or particular people to compete for the same good. Here there are frictions between particular desires or goods. In that case a problem of majorities and minorities will arise. How do you justify that what the majority wants is moral and not what the minority wants? How do you justify that what the majority wants is moral and not what I want in my exclusive benefit? You have no way of deciding it if you do not introduce another specifically moral criterion that is not based on the simple criterion of utility. It is difficult for this criterion not to imply the freedom and rights of individuals. Therefore it falls under my argument.

Therefore, what we are discussing here is whether a standard can be established without appeal to freedom and moral dignity of individuals. But determinism says that free will and dignity are illusions. At least Skinner's version, which is the one I'm commenting on. Maybe there is another determinism. I would like to know how it can contradict my initial assumptions.
This concerns point 2. When we're done, we can move on to point 3.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:08 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I think it was still kinda implied that you'd know elementary logic. Or at the very least what the words mean in logic. In both logic and more generally philosophy, an argument is intended to determine the degree of truth of the conclusion.
Logical truth is not empirical truth. The word is the same, not its meaning.
Logical truth refers only to consistency. A logical conclusion is true if it is deduced from the premises. Even if these are false. I think you have not read well your own quote:
The validity of an argument depends, however, not on the actual truth or falsity of its premises and conclusion, but solely on whether or not the argument has a valid logical form. The validity of an argument is not a guarantee of the truth of its conclusion. Under a given interpretation, a valid argument may have false premises that render it inconclusive: the conclusion of a valid argument with one or more false premises may be either true or false.
In addition, there are informal logics in which the value of truth is somewhat more complicated.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:19 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Skinner affirms that familiar or social pressure determines the behaviour. Therefore a person can be influenced if he is blamed by a parent or a friend. But this is not due to moral reasoning but to personal or social influence. Therefore this personal influence can be used in more efficient ways than moral sermons.

Determinism does not imply any kind of too compassionate morality. Quite the opposite.
If either what matters is only efficacy or morality is only a weaker way to modify the behaviour, aggressive means are justified over compassionate ones. If a brutal beating is more efficient than reasoning, go and beat your son until you got tired. If cutting off the hand of the thief in a public square prevents robberies, go and cut off hands, take off eyes, heads and every else you need to.

If efficiency is the rule, there are no limits to violence. It is not a comfortable conclusion for the determinist.
I'm trying to understand how the connection between determinism and a not-too-compassionate moral implication is established.
And how free will would change above conclusions.

When I know of a person's background to be consistent with his "bad" behavior I tend to be less angry with him and more interested in helping him get out of the realm he's in rather than punishing him. Does that make me an indeterminist ?
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:22 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
If you were, for instance, a warlord in ancient China, you could eliminate the person presenting a threat to your property with no more consequences or remorse than destroying a rock. Does that mean ancient Chinese commoners lacked free will? I would think any definition or determination of free will that applies to humans has to be independent of cultural or historical circumstances.

Rights do not depend entirely on free will either. A person in an irreversible vegetative state in a hospital still has rights. You can be prosecuted for mishandling or mistreating a human corpse. That is not because corpses have free will.

(...)
As I've repeatedly pointed out, and you've made no attempt to refute, determinism does not imply that brains cannot function.
I am talking about the concepts of ethics and morals in the contemporary world and modern societies.

The rights of a person in a permanent vegetative state depend on still being considered a person. It is a controversial subject that cannot be used as an example. In any case no one can hold a person in a vegetative state morally responsible of anything. HIs rights must be adapted to this circumstance.

I'm sorry I can't respond to the avalanche of comments that are directed at me. My time is limited. I try to respond to those who address my initial argument directly. If you think that I have not responded to something, express it in a more synthetic way. Thank you.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:50 PM   #189
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Like many people I grew up in the shelter of a religion.

Started with getting out of the society that put that shelter on me (immigration did it), then the religion, then it's specific god, then the concept of a creator of everything, then the idea of an afterlife, then the idea of having a soul, then the idea of having an autonomous will went out of me as I read and read.

Seemed like everything flew up in the air once the shelter was gone.
I don't know much about no argument for this or that.

This is my contribution.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:52 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Logical truth is not empirical truth. The word is the same, not its meaning.
Logical truth refers only to consistency. A logical conclusion is true if it is deduced from the premises. Even if these are false. I think you have not read well your own quote:
The validity of an argument depends, however, not on the actual truth or falsity of its premises and conclusion, but solely on whether or not the argument has a valid logical form. The validity of an argument is not a guarantee of the truth of its conclusion. Under a given interpretation, a valid argument may have false premises that render it inconclusive: the conclusion of a valid argument with one or more false premises may be either true or false.
In addition, there are informal logics in which the value of truth is somewhat more complicated.
None of that irrelevant handwaving changes the fact that addressing the consequences is the appeal to consequences fallacy. Nor the fact that a fallacy makes the argument INVALID, so that quote doesn't change anything.

Plus, all that says is that you also need to support the premises. Which is in fact what I kept asking you to do. It does not say oh, then it's ok to use nonsense fallacies if you don't have supportable premises either

And in fact that the same does go for informal logic too.

Frankly, if THAT nonsense handwaving is your defense for why you've been arguing fallacies and trolling to derail the talk into your fallacies, it just makes the case that indeed you don't even understand elementary logic.
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:07 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Nice to see that the whole notion of enlightened self-interest completely missed you in all these years.

In the most simple terms, if you build a society where one can eliminate anyone they don't like, for as little reason as that they bother one, there is nothing to keep one from being eliminated by someone else who thinks they would profit from THAT. Meanwhile, if people help each other, chances are someone will help you at some point.

IF one thinks that that kind of decisions are deterministic, then the cause-effect relationship for both is actually stronger. It just eliminated the possibility that one would choose to kill you instead of helping you just because they can, no matter how high you stack the incentives the other way around. Thus the reason to make sure that there is as much motivation as possible to help you, and as little motivation as possible to just shoot you in the head, is actually higher if you believe in determinism.
I'm not assuming a society where everyone fights everyone. I'm talking about modern society. We live in a society where many people dedicate themselves to cheating, stealing and even killing others without any risk. Because it bothers their personal interests. It depends on their ability to deceive, the power they have and/or the number of people who support their action. These people consider their actions much more rational than those who donít allow themselves to carry them out.

Rational selfishness is very nice, but totally idealistic. In any case it is an ethical theory among others. And I don't know how it solves our problem. As far as I know, ethical egoists are usually indeterminist. The idealism of ethical selfishness resides in something I have already said, but you have overlooked. Like other contract theories it works more or less when conflicts are light. At times when two parties are facing each other over a good that one of the parties doesn't want or can't divide, goodwill contracts end and the fight and power relations begin. This is where you have to set moral limits. Based on what? Don't tell me that in the goodwill contract, because it is insufficient.

Of course, the political concept of freedom is not the same as the moral concept of freedom. But I am posing the moral problem that, in good democratic ethics, sets the limits of the political. Can a majority decide to eliminate an annoying minority? It was the case with Hitler and the forced euthanasia that you constantly elude. If you want more current cases I can propose some.
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:13 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Suppose you did establish that determinism has truly horrific effects, what then? What will you do with that information, without also establishing whether determinism is true?
I suppose that you have no objection to the first part of the argument. The alleged deterministic has harmful effects.
Now comes the second part. In it I will try to answer your question.
But if I have to answer so many comments I'm afraid it won't come right away. It's just that writing in English isn't as easy for me as it is for you. I do what I can.

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Old 20th June 2019, 11:23 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
I'm trying to understand how the connection between determinism and a not-too-compassionate moral implication is established.
And how free will would change above conclusions.

When I know of a person's background to be consistent with his "bad" behavior I tend to be less angry with him and more interested in helping him get out of the realm he's in rather than punishing him. Does that make me an indeterminist ?
Because the concept of morality implies freedom. I cannot hold a person responsible for an act if the act has not been freely performed. If you fall from a building and crush an old man who is sunbathing, no one will condemn you for it. Why? Because you don't crush this man willingly.
Therefore, someone who believes that people are like machines does not have to respect them morally. Does he morally respect a computer?
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:28 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
None of that irrelevant handwaving changes the fact that addressing the consequences is the appeal to consequences fallacy. Nor the fact that a fallacy makes the argument INVALID, so that quote doesn't change anything.

Plus, all that says is that you also need to support the premises. Which is in fact what I kept asking you to do. It does not say oh, then it's ok to use nonsense fallacies if you don't have supportable premises either

And in fact that the same does go for informal logic too.

Frankly, if THAT nonsense handwaving is your defense for why you've been arguing fallacies and trolling to derail the talk into your fallacies, it just makes the case that indeed you don't even understand elementary logic.
I was telling you that my argument is analytical and based on assumptions, not true statements. Don't change the subject.

Whether it is a fallacy or not will be seen when I finish it. At the moment it seems that you recognize the logic of the first part of the argument. Because you do not make valid objections.
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:38 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You're increasing the number of insults. I gather that the first part of my argument irritates you. Me too. It's something I need to solve and I don't see how to do it easy. I understand that you find my position irritating. It is because you are used to people who come here with easy and definitive solutions. I come here to raise a problem that does not admit easy solutions. And I'm afraid not definitive either.
So basically, bla, bla, bla, playing the victim, bulverism, irrelevant handwaving, more polishing own statue.

Look, being deep and profound is kind of like being a lady. If you have to TELL people that you are, you probably aren't. Just support your case. Polishing your own statue about how the problems you think about are so hard and deep is not a substitute for actually having a coherent argument. If the problem is too hard for you, maybe let the ones who know what they're talking about handle it?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
But your objections are inconsistent.

I don't know what "serious" moral theories you're talking about. The ethics I know are concerned with establishing the validity of moral judgments, which include the condemnation of evil and its perpetrators. Isn't that "blaming"? Since I don't know what you're talking about, I'll refer to your own moral theory.
Yes, I gather that you don't actually know much about moral philosophy.

Otherwise you'd already know that the actual goal is figuring out what kind of things are best for society as a whole, and "blaming" even appears only in as much as one can say that certain actions are detrimental. Whether free will gets in the way of apportioning moral blame or not doesn't change the fact that you CAN say that something is good or detrimental to society. "Moral evil" is simply saying that something bad was called intentionally or by inaction by a human agent, so nothing changes if they were in fact the victims of determinism. At the end of the day, they still caused the outcome. But even if you dispense with the concept entirely, you can still say that an action was merely "bad", so you can still pass judgment on whether it should or shouldn't be done.

It's an optimization problem. Apportioning moral blame is not how you solve one.

To use an analogy, you can say that it's detrimental to traffic to have a giant pothole in the middle of the road, even if you can't assign moral blame to the water freezing that caused it. Or that concerning the people, maybe they SHOULD build the roads more robust like they do in Germany, and SHOULDN'T save a few bucks on road construction if it impedes traffic every winter. Whether you can wag a finger at someone and call them evil for saving a few bucks at the expense of ruining the infrastructure, doesn't change what the solution to the actual problem is.

But more importantly, again, show which actual proponent of determinism actually proposed that the conclusion is to gas the retarded, or admit that it was your own strawman. Handwaving some more doesn't change the fact that you haven't actually met that burden of proof. It's that simple.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It's not easy to know where you're going with your moral theory, because you fall into constant contradictions.
Only because you don't know what you're talking about, and seem to think that handwaving and spewing irrelevant nonsense is an acceptable substitute. Point in case about not knowing what you're talking about:

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
First you say that a moral theory doesn't deal with condemning anyone. And then you call the moral egoist a "sociopath". If this isn't a condemnation or blaming, I don't know what it is.
It's a medical term, silly. It has an actual definition in the DSM. Look up words if you don't know them. They mean stuff.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In addition you include two contradictory things in the same statement. And it's an important contradiction because it concerns the principle of your theory of morality. "Something is good if it is what all of humanity, or at least the majority, wants". There are few things that all of humanity wants and gets without friction. That doesn't pose any moral problem. However, it is usual that different groups or particular people to compete for the same good. Here there are frictions between particular desires or goods. In that case a problem of majorities and minorities will arise. How do you justify that what the majority wants is moral and not what the minority wants? How do you justify that what the majority wants is moral and not what I want in my exclusive benefit? You have no way of deciding it if you do not introduce another specifically moral criterion that is not based on the simple criterion of utility. It is difficult for this criterion not to imply the freedom and rights of individuals. Therefore it falls under my argument.
Yes, optimization problems with large numbers of variables are HARD. Arguments about how to resolve such frictions is why whole tomes get written on the topic. But it doesn't mean that if it's hard, it's somehow just as valid to just give up and claim some simplistic nonsense instead, like you've been doing.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Therefore, what we are discussing here is whether a standard can be established without appeal to freedom and moral dignity of individuals. But determinism says that free will and dignity are illusions.
You can start by not using equivocations to nonsense redefinitions of the words. Again, nobody except you really proposes to maximize "freedom" as in 'your actions are free of having any reasons', which is the only one that determinism gets in the way of.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
At least Skinner's version, which is the one I'm commenting on.
Ok, then: where does Skinner propose to gas the retarded? Or generally, that the solution to some people being a bother is to eliminate them? Otherwise it was your own strawman all along.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Maybe there is another determinism. I would like to know how it can contradict my initial assumptions.
You need to first support them, not ask that someone contradicts them. That's literal argument from ignorance fallacy.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This concerns point 2. When we're done, we can move on to point 3.
So basically you just found an excuse for why you can STILL not address point 3?
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:42 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I was telling you that my argument is analytical and based on assumptions, not true statements.
Which in logic terms just means, quite literally, that your argument is unsound. I don't know why you think that's a saving grace, since it just means we can ignore your conclusion.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Don't change the subject.
I'm not. You are. The subject being that you've been doing a literal textbook appeal to consequences fallacy.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Whether it is a fallacy or not will be seen when I finish it. At the moment it seems that you recognize the logic of the first part of the argument. Because you do not make valid objections.
Oh, it is that fallacy by definition when you address the consequences instead of the truth value of the proposition. There's nothing that remains to be seen there. Your being ignorant of elementary logic doesn't make it a mystery to be yet solved. We already solved the mystery of whether addressing that bit instead is a fallacy, oh, about 2500 years ago. It just makes you ignorant of elementary logic.
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Old 21st June 2019, 12:41 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am talking about the concepts of ethics and morals in the contemporary world and modern societies.
If your moral system doesn't apply to ancient China, then it is flawed.

Quote:
The rights of a person in a permanent vegetative state depend on still being considered a person. It is a controversial subject that cannot be used as an example. In any case no one can hold a person in a vegetative state morally responsible of anything. HIs rights must be adapted to this circumstance.
If a person in a vegetative state has rights, then it's by virtue of something other than his free will, which in his case doesn't exist. This shows that even without free will there is reason for moral consideration, and thus serves as a reductio ad absurdum for your argument.
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Old 21st June 2019, 02:18 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
It seems to me that quantum randomness makes the issue non-binary.



Absolutely, given randomness, true determinism is not possible -- provided quantum randomness does impact things meaningfully at the macro scale.



On the other hand, even if you otherwise believe in free will, nevertheless this randomness alone would probably make true free will impossible, in the exact same way that it makes true determinism impossible.



Perhaps it may make sense to take a step back and define our terms first. What is will'? And 'free' of what? It could be that we sometimes argue across one another by using these terms differently from one another.
If quantum randomness is truly random then we are affected by it at macro levels as a single photon can be detected by the eye.
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Old 21st June 2019, 02:20 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This is my complete argument (first part):



1. If every human behaviour is caused or determined by a sequence of causes a man is not morally responsible of his acts. You can't morally condemn a killer for killing. The same that you don't blame (morally) a rock for the damages caused by its fall.

2. If freedom does not exist the arguments including moral premises or rights are false. The only premise I can admit is in terms of personal usefulness: it suits me or it doesn't suit me. The good is what suits me and the bad is what doesn't suit me.

3. Application of the two previous premises: It is not convenient for me that the state is maintaining mentally retarded or seriously chronically ill . They produce expenses that I pay for and they do not produce any benefits for me.

4. Therefore, the elimination of retarded, chronically ill and other similar members of society is a good thing and should be carried out.



NOTE: The argument can be used with other disadvantaged or minority groups by changing the means and results a little.



COROLLARY: It is obvious that this conclusion repulses our moral sense and, in fact, whenever it has been posed in to a deterministic he has tried to avoid it in some inconsistent way. Generally they covertly introduce the free decision. The Nazis and others like them are not so inconsistent.



This concludes the first part of my argument. If there are no objections I can move on to the second part.

I would ask to all those who are doing general objections to my argument to wait it is over. If you have particular objections to what I have write above, this is the moment.

Thank you.
An argument is only meaningful if its premises are correct, you need to show your premises are correct.
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Old 21st June 2019, 06:40 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Because the concept of morality implies freedom. I cannot hold a person responsible for an act if the act has not been freely performed. If you fall from a building and crush an old man who is sunbathing, no one will condemn you for it. Why? Because you don't crush this man willingly.
Therefore, someone who believes that people are like machines does not have to respect them morally. Does he morally respect a computer?
I don't think I'm seeing answers to my questions.
I didn't ask how the concept of morally implies freedom.
I asked about how determinism implies "not too compassionate a morality".
And how/why free will implies differently.

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