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Tags free will , predeterminism

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Old 21st June 2019, 07:31 PM   #201
Robin
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
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).
Under determinism there would be no time travel paradoxes. You go back to kill your grandfather and you would just find that you were unable to do it.
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Take away the time travel and there's no longer any "force of determinism" making you do something detrimental for no reason.
It wouldn't be for no reason, it would be for the reason that this is the only possible thing that can happen, given the prior state, which is the only reason anything happens under determinism.

There is no logical reason why determinism would not work given a large amount of information from the future.

But the deterministic force would be the same, whether or not you knew in advance the thing that was inevitably going to happen.
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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.
Yes, under determinism something would go wrong with the machine so that it would not operate as programmed. That presents no more logical problem than the fact that if you programmed a robot to walk through a solid wall then it would just crash into the wall.

Remember I did not mention 'free will' or say that was the problem.

Again there is no logical problem involved in a deterministic system working with any amount of information from the future, just as you can have a deterministic sequence of numbers where the 4th term depends on the 8th term.



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Old 21st June 2019, 10:28 PM   #202
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GENERAL WARNING.
Some of you don't quite understand the problem. I will put it another way: It's not a question of whether indeterminism or determinism drives people to do bad things. Probably the proportion of evil will be the same or similar in both cases. The problem is that if we admit that certain behaviours are morally undesirable what is the ethical theory that can best explain why they are.

In my opinion, determinism cannot do that (Part 1 of my argument). We'll have to look elsewhere.

But if determinism were a scientifically true theory we would have a problem. Morality and science would be in contradiction. And we couldn't choose one or the other without costs.
There is an explanation that solves this contradiction: determinism is not true... neither false.
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Old 21st June 2019, 10:32 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
GENERAL WARNING.
Some of you don't quite understand the problem. I will put it another way: It's not a question of whether indeterminism or determinism drives people to do bad things. Probably the proportion of evil will be the same or similar in both cases. The problem is that if we admit that certain behaviours are morally undesirable what is the ethical theory that can best explain why they are.

In my opinion, determinism cannot do that (Part 1 of my argument). We'll have to look elsewhere.

But if determinism were a scientifically true theory we would have a problem. Morality and science would be in contradiction. And we couldn't choose one or the other without costs.
There is an explanation that solves this contradiction: determinism is not true... neither false.
Determinism and morality are not in conflict.

If they were in conflict that wouldn't tell us which is true.
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Old 21st June 2019, 10:41 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Under determinism there would be no time travel paradoxes. You go back to kill your grandfather and you would just find that you were unable to do it.
Determinism does have problems with time travel.

Determinism doesn't just imply that you can predict the future from the past, but also that you can work the laws in the reverse and predict the past based on the future. Knowing the state of the universe at any point in time you can run the laws of physics either forward or backward and give the state at any other time.

So let's say we have a closed timelike curve. An electron enters said curve, travels forward through time, curves to travel backward for a bit, then returns back to it's starting point and continues on that same path.

Look at the state of the universe ten years later (as measured by some distant clock). That electron is no where to be found. Let's run the state backward. How do we get that electron back?

I may be missing something about closed timelike curves that causes them to give off radiation that would be absorbed elsewhere and thus carry information about them into the future of the rest of the universe, but otherwise this seems like a problem for determisim with respect to time travel. And I think it will be similar for any sort of time travel: when information from the future goes to the past it is lost from the future.
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Old 21st June 2019, 10:47 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
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?



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.



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:



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.



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.



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.



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.



You need to first support them, not ask that someone contradicts them. That's literal argument from ignorance fallacy.



So basically you just found an excuse for why you can STILL not address point 3?
You think that changing words fixes problems you don't know how to solve and probably don't understand.

To say "optimize" does not say anything about how moral conflicts of interest are resolved.
By saying "society as a whole" does not solve the problem that there are conflicts of moral interests that do not allow us to give a definition of good that fits all of them.
Etc. etc.
Your comment is totally empty. It consists in using other words what had already been refuted.

I think it's because you don't understand what I'm saying. For example. I did not say that Skinner defends the gas chambers, quite the opposite. Trying to avoid the undesirable consequences of his determinism, he ends up introducing concepts that are contrary to him. Like intentionality. Now do you understand? Try to understand my preceding comment. Perhaps then we can have a more sensible discussion.

By the way, since you know so much about ethics, I'd like to know which authors you're talking about when you say "moral philosophy says" and where you got the information about them. We could contrast our sources.

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Old 21st June 2019, 10:58 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
If your moral system doesn't apply to ancient China, then it is flawed.

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.
Excuse me, but I am not discussing my moral system, but whether determinism is compatible with the contemporary moral systems of our society. I'm not trying to explain the morality of a Neandertahl man. If such a thing existed.

Rights are a part of morality. Duties and responsibilities are another part. It is this second part that I am discussing. You cannot hold a person in a vegetative state responsible for anything. You cannot expect a person in a vegetative state to justified.
The rights that person may have do not rest in his moral nature. So it's a case apart. But they would pose the same problem: can they be eliminated because they bother me? That is a moral problem.
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Old 21st June 2019, 11:00 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
An argument is only meaningful if its premises are correct, you need to show your premises are correct.
See my comment 186, please.

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Old 21st June 2019, 11:13 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
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.
And I don't see what you don't see. You don't answer my questions either. We are tied.

I have not mentioned any "compassion". I was speaking of equity and responsibility.
Are you suggesting that morality is not a question of equity but compassion?

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Old 21st June 2019, 11:22 PM   #209
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I would like to see if people here will say explicitly that people can be held morally responsible for things that were already inevitable before they were born

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Old 21st June 2019, 11:23 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Determinism and morality are not in conflict.

If they were in conflict that wouldn't tell us which is true.
It's the first part I'm interested in. I have shown that this conflict exists. If a man is like a machine you have no moral responsibilities to him. Is it not so?
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:15 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It's the first part I'm interested in. I have shown that this conflict exists. If a man is like a machine you have no moral responsibilities to him. Is it not so?
Let me repeat the point again: whether man is like a machine or not, you can still say that certain behaviours are beneficial on the a whole, and others are detrimental.

I gave the example about potholes in a highway for a reason. The main reason they happen after every winter is that water gets into cracks, freezes, thus expands and pushes creating more cracks. The whole process is as deterministic as it gets. Water freezes into cracks because of rain, gravity and capillarity. It freezes at a fixed temperature. It expands a very deterministic amount. The maximum pressure it can generate in the process is determined by the physical properties of ice, including compressibility. Etc. Water has no free will whether to do that or not. Nobody would assign moral blame to water for freezing.

And the same applies to every bit of asphalt, concrete and rubble that go into making that road. Whether this bit of gravel let itself be pushed away from that other bit by the freezing water, and whether the asphalt holding them together allowed it, is purely a mechanical and material properties problem. None of the elements involved had any free will in it.

Yet that doesn't make anyone do the idiocy you proclaim here as inevitable if things are deterministic: just give up on designing a better road just because they can't blame someone.

The same applies to designing a better society, silly. That's all I'm saying.


And none of your silly excuses hold any water, especially since they are the SAME regardless of whether things are deterministic or not.

Yes, there are conflicts of interest, and yes things can't be solved to a PERFECT state. That's why we went at figuring out even just the legal system for at least the last 5000 years straight, and are still at perfecting it. Yes, it's a hard problem. But guess what? It's still hard regardless of whether things are deterministic or not. And nobody sane is giving up on the problem entirely just because it's hard.

You accused ME of wanting simple answers. But actually in the whole thread YOU are the only one proposing to go by just the over-simplistic notion that only one thing matters, and to just give up on solving the problem at all, if things are too hard.

In fact, what YOU do is the standard idiocy that you see done by dysfunctional self-proclaimed perfectionists on really any other domain. They invariably decide to just proclaim one variable as the only one that matters, and solve that over-simplification instead of the real optimization problem. Whether it's about society, or whether ONE decision in IT (e.g., run Linux) is all that's needed to solve everything that matters -- because they just proclaimed everything else not to matter -- that's the kind of crap solution you get from that kind of twit. And they'll think it's the PERFECT solution, or indeed the only one, because look, it maximizes one thing, but that's just them being unqualified to solve the real problem so they'll solve the wrong one instead.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:20 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I would like to see if people here will say explicitly that people can be held morally responsible for things that were already inevitable before they were born

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I think so, yes, and I think Myriad has done a good job of explaining why.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:21 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It's the first part I'm interested in. I have shown that this conflict exists. If a man is like a machine you have no moral responsibilities to him. Is it not so?
No, it is not so.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:25 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Excuse me, but I am not discussing my moral system, but whether determinism is compatible with the contemporary moral systems of our society. I'm not trying to explain the morality of a Neandertahl man. If such a thing existed.
The morality of modern society is applicable to ancient China. If it were not it would be no morality at all.

The ancient Chinese weren't Neanderthals, by the way.

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Rights are a part of morality. Duties and responsibilities are another part. It is this second part that I am discussing. You cannot hold a person in a vegetative state responsible for anything. You cannot expect a person in a vegetative state to justified.
So, your argument doesn't state that those without free will don't deserve moral consideration?
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Old 22nd June 2019, 04:16 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Determinism does have problems with time travel.



Determinism doesn't just imply that you can predict the future from the past, but also that you can work the laws in the reverse and predict the past based on the future..
The concept of determinism doesn't imply reversibility. You can have a deterministic non-reversible system.

Determinism doesn't even imply that the future can be predicted from the past.

All the concept of determinism means is that there is only one possible next state.

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Old 22nd June 2019, 04:24 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
The concept of determinism doesn't imply reversibility. You can have a deterministic non-reversible system.

Determinism doesn't even imply that the future can be predicted from the past.

All the concept of determinism means is that there is only one possible next state.
Fair enough.

In our universe the laws of physics are actually time reversible. As such if the universe is deterministic in the sense that any present state has one and only one possible future state then it's also the case that any present state also has one and only one possible past state.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 04:41 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I think so, yes, and I think Myriad has done a good job of explaining why.
I will have to try re-reading, because I am not getting it. You could say that a person was responsible, in the sense that you would say a loose bolt was responsible for an engine failure.

But I can't see how you could hold someone morally responsible for something that was already inevitable before there was life on Earth.

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Old 22nd June 2019, 04:50 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I will have to try re-reading, because I am not getting it. You could say that a person was responsible, in the sense that you would say a loose bolt was responsible for an engine failure.

But I can't see how you could hold someone morally responsible for something that was already inevitable before there was life on Earth.
I can hold a person responsible for their actions in the same way that I can hold my computer is responsible for beating me in chess.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:35 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Under determinism there would be no time travel paradoxes. You go back to kill your grandfather and you would just find that you were unable to do it.

No, determinism allows for and requires physical cause and effect. "Just finding that you were unable" is an effect without a physical cause.

Under your particular fictional interpretation of how time travel would work, you say there would be no paradoxes. But (1) that's still just fiction because as far as we know time travel is not possible, and (2) being unable to act (or the machine malfunctioning) for no physical reason is just as much a contradiction of your premises (that determinism is in effect) as killing your grandfather would be.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:41 AM   #220
Robin
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I can hold a person responsible for their actions in the same way that I can hold my computer is responsible for beating me in chess.
Which is pretty much the same way that a loose bolt can be said to be responsible for an engine failing.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:42 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Which is pretty much the same way that a loose bolt can be said to be responsible for an engine failing.
Okay. And?
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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:46 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
No, determinism allows for and requires physical cause and effect. "Just finding that you were unable" is an effect without a physical cause.
Of course there would be a physical cause. If time travel was physically possible then killing your grandfather would be physically impossible. The specifics of why it was physically impossible would be impossible to say as they would depend on the situation, a combination of many things.

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Under your particular fictional interpretation of how time travel would work, you say there would be no paradoxes. But (1) that's still just fiction because as far as we know time travel is not possible, and (2) being unable to act (or the machine malfunctioning) for no physical reason is just as much a contradiction of your premises (that determinism is in effect) as killing your grandfather would be.
I didn't say time travel was possible. Time travel was not even part of the thought experiment I presented. Others mentioned time travel.

And it is not my fictional interpretation of time travel, that is pretty much what everybody has meant by it from Edward Page MItchell onwards.

If you think that there are time travel paradoxes under determinism, just state what the paradoxes are.
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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:49 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Okay. And?
Well since I have already agreed that you can say someone is responsible for an action in the same sense as a loose bolt can be said to be responsible for an engine failing then you are just being repetitive.

Are you saying that moral responsibility has just the same meaning as this?
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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:52 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Well since I have already agreed that you can say someone is responsible for an action in the same sense as a loose bolt can be said to be responsible for an engine failing then you are just being repetitive.

Are you saying that moral responsibility has just the same meaning as this?
Yes.

ETA: I do think that the moral implications of that responsibility are much clearer in a decision making process such a computer, which is why I used that example. Since you say that they are equivalent I think that you might better understand my viewpoint if you look at it through that lens rather than only considering the simpler situation of a loose bolt.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:59 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I have not mentioned any "compassion". I was speaking of equity and responsibility.
I thought you did here:

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Determinism does not imply any kind of too compassionate morality. Quite the opposite.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:15 AM   #226
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Let's clarify something.

If I have "OK" and "Cancel" on my phone screen and am trying to decide which to choose, under determinism at least one of these options is already physically impossible, right?

But you can't say exactly what the physical reasons would be.

But just because you can't state these reasons doesn't mean that there is no reason.

So "no physical cause that can be explicitly stated" does not mean "no physical cause"

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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:15 AM   #227
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@Robin
As I was saying to David, in moral philosophy "moral evil" is defined simply as "bad" that was caused by the deliberate action or inaction of a human agent. But even if we gave up on the notion of "evil" entirely, then it just reverts back to being "bad".

Why I'm saying that is that even if we lost every single applicable meaning of "responsible" or whatnot, it would still simply revert to some stuff is "good" and some stuff is "bad". We still would try to have more of the former and less of the latter. So essentially nothing changed.

Ultimately the goal still is to have more "good" stuff and less "bad" stuff, whether a certain meaning of responsibility applies or not.

If you want an analogy with an engine, we can decide that engines failing and setting a tank on fire (as actually happened to some German tanks in WW2) is "bad", while a more robust engine is "good", whether or not we find a meaning of responsibility that applies to a mechanical piece. And strive to design an engine that will at least get the tank from the railway station to the fight in any case.

Or as an example that involves humans, let's say we're a small village half-way up a wooded mountain in medieval Germany, and wolves kill some kid playing outside the village now and then. We sure as heck can't apply moral judgments to wolves, so we can't call them "evil", and there was no human attracting the wolves or anything. We don't have an "evil" person to blame and drag before the local lord to judge and sentence. BUT we can still decide it is "bad" to have kids get torn apart by wolves, and it might be "good" for example if we posted a guard or two to watch out for them. Or while we can't call the kids "evil" for wanting to play with other kids outside, we can decide it's "bad" if kids are that completely unsupervised and vulnerable, and it might be "good" if they stayed at least within hearing range of an adult that could help. And decide to educate them to do just that.

Essentially what I'm trying to say is: whether we can find a meaning of "responsible" that applies, or someone responsible at all, is ultimately of very little consequence. We can still solve the same problem anyway.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:16 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yes.

ETA: I do think that the moral implications of that responsibility are much clearer in a decision making process such a computer, which is why I used that example. Since you say that they are equivalent I think that you might better understand my viewpoint if you look at it through that lens rather than only considering the simpler situation of a loose bolt.
What do you think the moral implications of a computer beating you at chess are? I can't think of any.

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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:19 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I will have to try re-reading, because I am not getting it. You could say that a person was responsible, in the sense that you would say a loose bolt was responsible for an engine failure.

Imagine Tesla Corp, as an offshoot of their self-driving car technology, develops a smart bolt. The smart bolt has a powerful internal processor integrated with multiple redundant sensor systems (position sensors, internal stress sensors, vibration sensors, optical sensors, temperature sensors, even chemical contact sensors) for determining how tight it is, and a mechanism for tightening itself if it starts coming loose. It also has multiple signaling devices (audible alarms, lights, wired and wireless interfaces to multiple independent computer systems, it can even make cell phone voice calls) for warning the engine's owners and operators whenever its self-tightening mechanism needs to be activated. Or if that mechanism fails, putting it at risk of coming loose. Or if its tightness changes in any way that puts it at risk of coming loose in the future. Or even, despite no changes in its tightness, if it predicts, based on past patterns of the variables it tracks, that its operating conditions make some change in tightness likely to happen in the future. It's that smart!

Despite all this, the bolt comes loose and the engine fails. Investigation shows that the loosening was gradual, the self-tightening mechanism never activated, and the smart bolt didn't issue any alarms or warnings at any time.

I wouldn't blame the "bolt," if by that you mean the shaft, the threads, the mechanical parts that were loosened by vibration or thermal cycling. That's just physical forces acting on a passive object. But I would blame the smart bolt system for failing to sense and act as it should have. I'd say, "so-called smart bolts are proven unreliable and should be taken out of service, tested, and their faulty behavior corrected."

We blame things (systems) as well as people based on their perceived capacity to sense, decide, and act. That's why we don't blame young children or the intellectually disabled when they do some things we would blame neurotypical adults for. It's not because we suppose the behavior of young children or the intellectually disabled is somehow more deterministic than that of neurotypical adults. It's because we have lower expectations of good social decision-making from them (or from rocks or bolts) than from other people.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:26 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
What do you think the moral implications of a computer beating you at chess are? I can't think of any.

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I can't think of any either, but the more general case of a computer reacting to inputs and going through a decision making process before giving some output has some.

For instance I heard a computer that was used to analyse the suitability for parole of some prisoners. The moral implications of that decision seem obvious to me.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:40 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
See my comment 186, please.
Doesn't solve your problem.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:47 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Fair enough.



In our universe the laws of physics are actually time reversible. As such if the universe is deterministic in the sense that any present state has one and only one possible future state then it's also the case that any present state also has one and only one possible past state.
But that's just our model, I'd say if entropy is a correct description of reality then we could be in a deterministic universe and still not be able to roll the clock back because some information of the past state has been "lost".
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Old 22nd June 2019, 07:04 AM   #233
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I'd say: not really, no.

IF the universe acted perfectly deterministically, as it was believed to be before 1900, and basically every particle were a billiards ball, then no past information has really been lost at any point. If you knew the current position and speed of all the balls (which is why I said "before 1900"), you could just and reconstruct the past by seeing what happens when you reverse the speed vector. Well, or more accurately speaking, running the time axis in reverse.

The entropy could still be calculated just the same, as an overall measure of how chaotic the system is, but that's not all the information you have. If you actually have complete information, then that's really what matters.

Or to be even more precise, it doesn't even matter if any human could ever have the complete information. Just that it exists.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 07:50 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But that's just our model, I'd say if entropy is a correct description of reality then we could be in a deterministic universe and still not be able to roll the clock back because some information of the past state has been "lost".
There's a distinction between the information being inaccessible and not existing. Entropy increases and information becomes less an less accessible.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 08:02 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The morality of modern society is applicable to ancient China. If it were not it would be no morality at all.

The ancient Chinese weren't Neanderthals, by the way.

So, your argument doesn't state that those without free will don't deserve moral consideration?
Chinese and Neanderthals would be equally astonished by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the individualism of modern Europe.
Leave Chinese alone and concentrate on our modern concept of morality.

Of course I would grant rights to people in irreversible coma, but they would be very different from freewill people. For example, as I have been saying, I would not hold them responsible for their passivity. What I would do with a person with all his faculties. So the difference would be in responsibility, which depends on freedom. But I'm not a metaphysical deterministic, like most people in this forum.

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Old 22nd June 2019, 08:06 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I can hold a person responsible for their actions in the same way that I can hold my computer is responsible for beating me in chess.
How can I be responsible for an action I haven't committed? If my grandfather killed his neighbor I cannot be responsible for that death.
You use metaphorical language when you say that the computer is responsible for your defeat. We are talking about moral responsibility. You don't ask to put the computer in jail. Go to the police station and try. They'll look at you like you're crazy.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 08:11 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
I thought you did here:
I was quoting HansMustermann
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Old 22nd June 2019, 08:13 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Excuse me, but I am not discussing my moral system, but whether determinism is compatible with the contemporary moral systems of our society.

The contemporary moral systems of our society is an imperfect human design, that's different from the human moral systems of the past (which is why I brought up ancient China) and will likely change again in the future.

Whether or not the universe (including but not limited to human cognition) is deterministic, causal but stochastic, or something else (such as Schopenhauer's monism of will), is an intrinsic quality of the universe.

Therefore, even if contemporary moral systems are incompatible with determinism (which you have not shown), that points to a possible flaw in the design of contemporary moral systems, not to any logically valid argument that the universe cannot be deterministic.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 08:16 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
.

I wouldn't blame the "bolt," if by that you mean the shaft, the threads, the mechanical parts that were loosened by vibration or thermal cycling. That's just physical forces acting on a passive object. But I would blame the smart bolt system for failing to sense and act as it should have. I'd say, "so-called smart bolts are proven unreliable and should be taken out of service, tested, and their faulty behavior corrected."

We blame things (systems) as well as people based on their perceived capacity to sense, decide, and act. That's why we don't blame young children or the intellectually disabled when they do some things we would blame neurotypical adults for. It's not because we suppose the behavior of young children or the intellectually disabled is somehow more deterministic than that of neurotypical adults. It's because we have lower expectations of good social decision-making from them (or from rocks or bolts) than from other people.
You blame a device in a different sense than you blame a person. You don't put a car in jail because failed brakes, but you denounce the guy who cut the brake lines for responsibility. The difference is obvious: one did it because he wanted to and the other did not.

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Old 22nd June 2019, 08:16 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
How can I be responsible for an action I haven't committed? If my grandfather killed his neighbor I cannot be responsible for that death.
I don't know what you mean by this. I didn't say you are responsible for actions you haven't committed.


Quote:
You use metaphorical language when you say that the computer is responsible for your defeat.
No, I'm being literal.

Quote:
We are talking about moral responsibility. You don't ask to put the computer in jail. Go to the police station and try. They'll look at you like you're crazy.
Why would I want to put the computer in jail? Would doing so impact it's future actions, or the actions of others?

The problem here, I think, is that we have different views of moral responsibility. Myriad has given a good explanation of the reasons that we treat people in certain ways, including punishing them. All of those reasons are based on the outcome of the action of punishment, absent those repercussions I don't believe that punishment for moral wrongdoing is a good thing.

The issue here isn't that I'm metaphorically equating computers to humans. I'm literally equating humans to computers.
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