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Tags free will , predeterminism

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Old 24th June 2019, 07:00 AM   #281
David Mo
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Delete. Duplicated.

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Old 24th June 2019, 07:01 AM   #282
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Deleted. It was duplicated.
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:31 AM   #283
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This means that the postulates of metaphysical determinism leave no room for a morality of compassion. Because determinism is a theory about causes and effects. While a morality of compassion presupposes the priority of some feelings over others, of the altruists over the selfish, something that determinism cannot establish. Attempts such as the common good, what the majority wants, etc. are empty.

As for Hans' memory, don't pay much attention to it. It's very bad. Here he is talking about compassion. By the way, it's a good example of how metaphysical determinism doesn't imply compassion. What counts is effectiveness. Compassion is irrelevant. Ask him why, if it is not sufficiently clear.
Nevertheless, the quote "Determinism does not imply any kind of too compassionate morality. Quite the opposite." was not written by me. As Winter already pointed out, it's YOUR text from message #117, and it's in the part written by you, not in the part quoted from me.

So, I dunno, my memory may not be perfect, but YOU are flat out a liar at this point. As usual. And, as usual, lying about who said what in a forum where it's preserved for everyone to check out is stupid. But then, hey, it's you, so that is what we've all come to expect.


And, as usual, even your attempts to lie about it just illustrate your comprehension problems. Because what you try to pass off as me saying something is an implication of determinism, is a case where I can't say any clearer that it's orthogonal to it. As the words "deterministic or not, free will or not" should have indicated to anyone with even the most basic comprehension skills. What I say there is explicitly NOT conditional of things being either deterministic or non-deterministic.

It also doesn't even mention compassion in any way.

But hey, that's a bit unfair to you. After all, to know that, you'd need to actually be able to comprehend what you read.
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:59 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Nevertheless, the quote "Determinism does not imply any kind of too compassionate morality. Quite the opposite." was not written by me. As Winter already pointed out, it's YOUR text from message #117, and it's in the part written by you, not in the part quoted from me.
"It's really most philosophically useful to me for the purposes of forgiveness and compassion."
"Is it? "
What does that "it" mean? The Galapagos Islands or the camel sura? Well, it doesn't. You are referring to forgiveness and compassion that you try to discredit afterwards with a really... deficient theory.
Am I going to have to teach you English grammar? You were talking about compassion and stop playing.
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Old 24th June 2019, 08:09 AM   #285
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@winter salt
Well, since you're not David, I assume you had no trouble parsing what I wrote in message #101.

But if any clarification is needed: look, regardless of how we believe that the brain works, we must still ultimately acknowledge reality. Not everyone will be nice just because you tell them to be nice. They'll need some more reasons NOT to do something nasty than "mommy said I shouldn't." That is just reality. It won't go away if we ignore it.

And I mentioned Ted Bundy before for a reason. Ted was most certainly aware of the value we all put on a human life. He volunteered at a suicide hotline, for Pete's sake. You can't get much more aware that most people would rather not have other people die. Yet he was a serial killer in his free time.

So at some point you have to also give such people a "you'll get caught and go to jail" reason to, you know, not murder someone. Even if it doesn't work on every single one (there'll always be someone who thinks he's too smart for the cops to catch), nevertheless the empyrical data we have indicates that on the whole it does work.

Compassion can enter the equation in many ways, not the least being compassion for the victims and potential victims. But you still need some deterrence, because while you can be all compassionate, you can't make everyone else be compassionate.

But ultimately, at the end of the day, it all boils down to: we can't just ignore reality. Whether you believe that the brain works in one way or the other, we still have the same data from the real world about what works and what doesn't work in a justice system. And, as they say, reality is that which doesn't go away when you ignore it. The only sane thing to do is still to base our justice on that real world data, rather than try to have some vague unproven ideas overrule reality. The latter would be just magical thinking.
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Old 24th June 2019, 08:14 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
"It's really most philosophically useful to me for the purposes of forgiveness and compassion."
"Is it? "
What does that "it" mean? The Galapagos Islands or the camel sura? Well, it doesn't. You are referring to forgiveness and compassion that you try to discredit afterwards with a really... deficient theory.
Am I going to have to teach you English grammar? You were talking about compassion and stop playing.
Ah, the joys of quoting two words out of context Because the rest of even the same line goes, "One of the purposes -- and arguably the MAIN purpose -- of laws and social norms is deterrence. If everything is forgiven, then there is really no reason not to do something evil."

You'll notice that I'm only talking about forgiveness there. Compassion isn't even mentioned or implied in the whole message.

So basically, yeah, you would have only needed to be able to read and comprehend more than the first two words of a message, and the mystery of the "it" would have been solved. Only when you eventually master THAT skill, yeah, THEN you can presume to teach anyone about it
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Old 24th June 2019, 12:28 PM   #287
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To address this too. Again:

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It's only you getting tangled up one more time.
Aaand more ego wank from you instead of meeting the burden of proof. Why am I not surprised?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I've already exposed where the contradiction resides in Skinner (and other deterministic psychologists). You're the one who says I'm explaining Skinner wrong. If you say so, you must prove it.
No, silly. I'm saying you haven't met that burden of proof.

You've only shown that it conflicts with what YOU postulated to be the only way to go about morality. Which frankly holds about as much water as when Pixie Of Key proclaims that you can't go about using curved space metrics, therefore obviously Einstein is wrong.

It doesn't work that way, no matter how often you proclaim it.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Cite your sources and how I am misleadingly explaining Skinner's position. By quoting. I don't mind quoting Skinner directly. You seem uncomfortable with your sources. Maybe because he doesn't know very well what he's talking about. Quote your sources and I quote mine. Let's see who misinterprets Skinner.
No, silly. You can't just demand to waiver the burden of proof just because you're too... unequipped to even understand it
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Old 24th June 2019, 12:49 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I continue my argumentation (part 3):
1. There is a contradiction between determinism and the justification of moral principles and responsibility or merit.
2. This contradiction can only be solved by the substitution of one of the two parts.
(I set aside the second and concentrate on the first).
3. The contradiction disappears if we replace the concept of metaphysical (or "scientific") determinism with that of methodological determinism.

That is my subsequent line of argument (part 4). .
1. To begin with: determinism is not a scientific concept. It is a philosophical concept.
So basically all you're saying there is that you were doing a big red herring, by way of a really really nonsensical equivocation?

Because that's not what the thread asked. And it's not the kind of determinism it was talking about.

To wit, what the thread asks about is predeterminism: the idea that all events - past, present or future -- were already determined in advance. E.g., that, whatever importance or lack thereof you assign to it, the Russian prince couldn't be anything else than a haemophiliac.

Even reducing it to a softer form of determinism, it is still about actual events being determine in advance.

Meanwhile "methodological determinism" is simply defined as a pragmatic research heuristic: that if two highly similar situations develop seemingly independent of each other and in different ways, a sociologist or similar scientist should first look for a common cause that might have caused both. E.g., that if we see that Feudalism has developed in both Europe in wake of the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and in Japan in the Genpei War, we might want to look at whether similar causes might have been at work in both cases.

But it's just a rule of thumb of where to look first. It doesn't say it will actually be true. Quite trivial example: both Russia and Eastern Germany ended up with a highly similar communist government. So the "methodological determinism" just says, let's look if both had the same underlying cause. Well, it turns out they didn't.

The two have utterly different meanings: one is actually a claim about events being predetermined, while the other is just a methodological heuristic about what to research first. They don't even go in the same direction.

So to claim that "determinism is not a scientific concept. It is a philosophical concept." is nonsense. You can't just replace a word by equivocation like that, just because in a completely different context it's part of an expression that means something completely different. It's like trying to redefine meat to mean candied fruit, because it's used in the composite word "sweetmeat".
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Old 24th June 2019, 02:49 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This means that the postulates of metaphysical determinism leave no room for a morality of compassion. Because determinism is a theory about causes and effects. While a morality of compassion presupposes the priority of some feelings over others, of the altruists over the selfish, something that determinism cannot establish. Attempts such as the common good, what the majority wants, etc. are empty.

As for Hans' memory, don't pay much attention to it. It's very bad. Here he is talking about compassion. By the way, it's a good example of how metaphysical determinism doesn't imply compassion. What counts is effectiveness. Compassion is irrelevant. Ask him why, if it is not sufficiently clear.
I don't understand. You're talking about determinism as if it's an ideology that I can choose to believe or not. Is it an ideology ?
And that it can not establish the kind of morality you seem to regard superior.
I wanted to understand how determinism doesn't imply too compassionate a morality and "quite the opposite". Your response was that you were quoting Hans and he says he never said such a thing, and in your last response you seem to say it.
Seems like you're doing tap dancing. You could've influenced my opinion on this topic but you lost my vote.

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Old 24th June 2019, 04:10 PM   #290
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Well, you can see for yourself what I've written in the thread.
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Old 24th June 2019, 04:31 PM   #291
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That said:

Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
I don't understand. You're talking about determinism as if it's an ideology that I can choose to believe or not. Is it an ideology ?
Determinism is a hypothesis that basically all events are completely determined by the pre-existing causes.

Predeterminism takes it to the extreme where all events were always pre-determined to happen, in the sense that all history of the universe is one big domino chain. Event X causes event Y, which in turn causes event Z, etc. And nothing could have happened in any other way.

Methodological determinism, which David introduced, is just a pragmatic research heuristic, that says that if two highly similar situations happened in very different circumstances, there might have been a common cause that was present for both, and you might want to start by looking for one. E.g., that if both the USSR and East Germany went from being an Empire to a highly similar form of communism, a common cause must have existed for both to happen. In that case, it's obviously not the case, but if you don't know better, you could do worse than starting from that working hypothesis.

The first two quite overtly trespass on the domain of science, in that they make (theoretically) testable claims. The second one is also trivially false, unless all we know about QM is fundamentally false. Anyway, you probably shouldn't believe such claims unless sufficient evidence is provided that they're true. As in, anyone can actually make such falsifiable predictions and have them actually happen. Science isn't a matter of choosing your favourite belief.

The third one is just a methodology heuristic. Kind of like starting by looking for your keys where you usually put them. If that doesn't work, you go from there. It doesn't make any concrete claims that anything is necessarily true, just that it's PROBABLE enough to be true, that you might want to start from that as a working hypothesis. Technically a probability claim would also need evidence, but considering that it's only binding for the researcher choosing to apply it, meh, you can choose for yourself.

Of course, unless you are a historian, sociologist or similar, the third one probably doesn't concern or affect you in the slightest.
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Old 24th June 2019, 06:57 PM   #292
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The randomness factor that you introduced, does that injure both the deterministic hypothesis and the free will hypothesis (if it is) ?
If that becomes very obvious would the way science and ethical philosophies done be effected ?
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Old 24th June 2019, 07:19 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
The randomness factor that you introduced, does that injure both the deterministic hypothesis and the free will hypothesis (if it is) ?
Well, SOME events are still going to be more or less deterministic, others less so. Things that could go either way, well, could go either way. So technically speaking determinism is false.

Free will, well, it depends on how you define it. I'm still under the impression that some people define it in such a way where nothing could possibly qualify as free will.

Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
If that becomes very obvious would the way science and ethical philosophies done be effected ?
Well, science would still go with whatever is the simplest explanation that actually explains the available data. I don't think most science would be affected at all, since almost none depends on any free will. I mean it might be interesting for domains like sociology, but at the end of the day sociology still is basically a sub-category of statistics, i.e., maths. It still deals with the same real world data in the end, and it's still a statistical spread when you deal with large populations.

Philosophy, well, it's all over the place. Philosophy basically just means thinking hard about some topic. As such it includes Descartes, but it also includes Beavis thinking about why is it called taking a dump, when you're not taking it anywhere. It's kinda like a nudist beach: no quality control

But ultimately, either it's based in RL data, in which case the same applies as for science: show me the data and what falsifiable predictions you can do. And then it will still need to deal with the same observed data. Or anything that's not even theoretically falsifiable, well, it's a nice mental exercise that might delay the onset of Alzheimer's, but otherwise nobody else has to take it seriously.
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Old 24th June 2019, 10:00 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You'll notice that I'm only talking about forgiveness there. Compassion isn't even mentioned or implied in the whole message.
This is your present explanation. But what you say in the first comment about forgiveness is the same you say after about compassion. What matters to you is "deterring": Compassion and forgiveness are secondary if not irrelevant. It is consistent with sheer determinism.

In any case, this gallitos' fight is stupid. It is typical mess of people that are out of ideas.
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Old 24th June 2019, 10:43 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

Meanwhile "methodological determinism" is simply defined as a pragmatic research heuristic: that if two highly similar situations develop seemingly independent of each other and in different ways, a sociologist or similar scientist should first look for a common cause that might have caused both. E.g., that if we see that Feudalism has developed in both Europe in wake of the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and in Japan in the Genpei War, we might want to look at whether similar causes might have been at work in both cases.

(...)
So to claim that "determinism is not a scientific concept. It is a philosophical concept." is nonsense.(...)
This is not what I mean. Let me explain this to you. Maybe you can understand it.

Determinism is not a factual theory that can be proven or refuted. Even Skinner recognizes this in a part of Beyond Freedom and Dignity that you know very well. (This is irony, honey). There is not a single article with a scientific demonstration of determinism as a theory of the universe. Name one if you know it. This would say that determinism is a philosophical theory that is discussed in journals and philosophical books with philosophical arguments. I can send you to a philosophical search engine where you will find a lot of material.

What is the meaning of this? First of all, that determinism is a philosophical theory. Is it a metaphysical theory? If this were so, it would be an empty theory. But it is not. Determinism is not a factual theory because it is a methodological mandate: "If you want to know and manipulate things you have to look for their causes" This does not mean that we know that everything has a cause. In fact, we do not know the causes of a large number of human actions (almost all in real life), but this does not mean either that the principle of causality is false. Nor that it is true. It is useful for knowledge.

And that is why determinism cannot be proven by science. And this is the question of this thread. Is it not?
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Old 24th June 2019, 11:03 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
I don't understand. You're talking about determinism as if it's an ideology that I can choose to believe or not. Is it an ideology ?
Metaphysical determinism is an philosophical theory. Methodological determinism is not arbitrary. If you want to know things you have to search causes. This is a necessary condition for knowledge. See my precedent comment to more explanation of this.
Originally Posted by winter salt View Post
And that it can not establish the kind of morality you seem to regard superior.
I wanted to understand how determinism doesn't imply too compassionate a morality and "quite the opposite". Your response was that you were quoting Hans and he says he never said such a thing, and in your last response you seem to say it.
Seems like you're doing tap dancing. You could've influenced my opinion on this topic but you lost my vote.
Sorry for your vote.

In my comment 280 I wrote:
This means that the postulates of metaphysical determinism leave no room for a morality of compassion. Because determinism is a theory about causes and effects. While a morality of compassion presupposes the priority of some feelings over others, of the altruists over the selfish, something that determinism cannot establish. Attempts such as the common good, what the majority wants, etc. are empty.
"Quite the opposite" because a consistent determinism gives priority --frequently as the only tool-- to manipulate causes without any consideration to "sentimental" reasons. In a scientific mode the only interest is this: make things if you can do it. Morality is not a job for science. If a scientist deals with moral issues it is not as such a scientist, but as something that falls outside of his work as such.
Skinner, since we are talking about him, says so verbatim. What matters is behavior modification and feelings is nothing more than a by-product of our way of talking about reinforcements and contingencies (which is the way he calls the causes of behavior). I insist, to avoid misunderstandings, he was not always consistent with this program.

Perhaps you want to plead for moral determinism. I would like to see it.

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Old 24th June 2019, 11:19 PM   #297
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Philosophy, well, it's all over the place. (...) It's kinda like a nudist beach: no quality control
Interesting comparison. But in a market you find many things that don't have a quality control label and you buy them because you need them. Isn't that how we find a partner? This is the case of philosophy.
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Old 25th June 2019, 12:47 AM   #298
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This is your present explanation. But what you say in the first comment about forgiveness is the same you say after about compassion.
Err... mate? I didn't even mention compassion at all. Please show where I said anything like that, or preferably the exact place where that quote from you is supposedly a quote from me.

What you're doing there is what I called reading between the lines and ignoring the actual lines.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What matters to you is "deterring": Compassion and forgiveness are secondary if not irrelevant. It is consistent with sheer determinism.
Not sure how that's relevant, since what I've repeatedly said is that I don't even believe determinism to be true. So essentially what is the claim you've backed into now? That you've done all this show about how determinists think, based on, what? A sample of one, and even that being just your just somehow "knowing" that I'm one even when I say why determinism is false for several pages? Among other things that I may have said I'm against, but the voices in your head assured you I'm secretly for, and viceversa? Or what?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In any case, this gallitos' fight is stupid. It is typical mess of people that are out of ideas.
Yes, I gather that you ran out of ideas a long time ago. At the very last when you started actively baiting and trolling to get the talk derailed into your own dumb collection of red herrings, strawmen, and assorted fallacies. But if it bothers you, stop doing it, silly. You have the power.

I mean, you have the free will, right? You're not a predeterminist, so obviously you can't think that you never had a choice and it was fore-ordained since the dawn of time that you'd pollute the thread with that nonsense, right?
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Old 25th June 2019, 02:38 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Err... mate? I didn't even mention compassion at all. (...)

I mean, you have the free will, right? You're not a predeterminist, so obviously you can't think that you never had a choice and it was fore-ordained since the dawn of time that you'd pollute the thread with that nonsense, right?
"Compassion can enter the equation in many ways, not the least being compassion for the victims and potential victims. But you still need some deterrence, because while you can be all compassionate, you can't make everyone else be compassionate." (By a certain HansMustermann).

Easy, man, easy. Don't get cocky and please reply with reasons and without insults to my comment 296.

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Old 25th June 2019, 03:22 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
"Compassion can enter the equation in many ways, not the least being compassion for the victims and potential victims. But you still need some deterrence, because while you can be all compassionate, you can't make everyone else be compassionate." (By a certain HansMustermann).

Easy, man, easy. Don't get cocky and please reply with reasons and without insults to my comment 296.
That was on page 8 of the thread. So how does that somehow justify your going on about it on page 3, or your claiming that it was somehow a quote from me (that just isn't anywhere on the forum) on pages 6 and 7? Are you going to claim that it's so deterministic that you knew in advance that I'd say that several days in the future? You were quoting from the future, that's it?

Seriously, I get that you're dishonest and trying to back out of the claims YOU made. But trying to pass a message on page 8 as what you were "quoting" from me on page 3 is too dumb even for words. But apparently not for YOU
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Old 25th June 2019, 03:39 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This means that the postulates of metaphysical determinism leave no room for a morality of compassion. Because determinism is a theory about causes and effects. While a morality of compassion presupposes the priority of some feelings over others, of the altruists over the selfish, something that determinism cannot establish. Attempts such as the common good, what the majority wants, etc. are empty.
That is still just your own bare postulates, pulled out of your own posterior, and not supported in any way other than your saying so. By quote from yourself.

At best the above is illustrating a rather silly confusion on your part beween CAUSE and GOAL. It isn't obvious at all that if one believes they can manipulate the CAUSES, they can't have stuff like the common good in mind as a GOAL. In fact, acting to CAUSE an effect or a change is at best random nonsense if one doesn't have a GOAL in mind.

You just POSTULATE that if one believes in certain cause-possibilities, then they'd automatically have the worst possible goals. Like saving a few bucks on the government budget by killing the retarded. But you haven't actually shown that to be the case.

If you want to claim that believing in certain causes is mutually exclussive with certain goals, please do present the evidence for that. Just postulating it to be so is not it.

Myriad was right: you're just preaching. And I'd add, quite fallaciously at that. All you've done is a big case of poisoning the well, if you're too unequipped intellectually to address the truth value or lack thereof of determinism.

Edit: and I'd add that this was already pointed out to you before. So just repeating the same dumbassery and pretending that you're still waiting for an answer, instead of supporting your claims as you were asked, is just more dishonest arguing from you.
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Old 25th June 2019, 11:26 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

At best the above is illustrating a rather silly confusion on your part beween CAUSE and GOAL. It isn't obvious at all that if one believes they can manipulate the CAUSES, they can't have stuff like the common good in mind as a GOAL. In fact, acting to CAUSE an effect or a change is at best random nonsense if one doesn't have a GOAL in mind.

You just POSTULATE that if one believes in certain cause-possibilities, then they'd automatically have the worst possible goals. Like saving a few bucks on the government budget by killing the retarded. But you haven't actually shown that to be the case.

If you want to claim that believing in certain causes is mutually exclussive with certain goals, please do present the evidence for that. Just postulating it to be so is not it.

(...).
I don't understand what you're trying to reproach me for, but I'll try to answer:

It is obvious that if you want to change something you have to have a goal. For a determinist, goals are also effects of previous causes. Also, if you want to decide or judge which goals are better, you will have to base yourself on values. But values are also effects of previous causes. And if you intend to judge the causes, your values will be conditioned by previous causes that conditioned you to have these values. Therefore, either you get to justify a value for reasons independent of the causes or you cannot justify anything morally. In the first case you are no more a deterministic. In the second case you cannot make justified decisions about the “stuff” of common good nor any other.

I haven't "postulated" any "cause-possibility". I don't even know what that means. On “killing the retarded” I have simply said that if you are a determinist you cannot ]rationally condemn forced euthanasia.

Nor have I said that "certain causes are mutually exclusive with some goals". Causes of what? I don't even know what you're talking about.

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Old 26th June 2019, 12:23 AM   #303
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Actually, you have made a claim that goes a lot further than 'whether you can condemn euthanasia.' What you kept banging on for a while was "whether Hitler was right to eliminate the weak-minded who were a burden to the state" (my emphasis) under determinism. Copy and pasted from your message #129. And then you kept banging on how determinism would indeed make gassing the retarded somehow the right decision.

The two are very different questions.

Whether you can CONDEMN it is, well, at least contingent on which meaning of "condemn" you use. It can and has been argued that you can't call it something a "moral evil", if there is no free will. As I was saying before, it just moves it from "moral evil" to "bad", but ok, I can see how one could say it is no longer a moral claim then.

Whether determinism makes it RIGHT, is a completely different claim, though. The claim this time isn't that it would move it from "moral evil" to "bad", but that it somehow would move it to outright "good". And it's a claim I have seen you make repeatedly, but never justify it anywhere near adequately.

In fact, it's been a textbook illustration of the motte and bailey fallacy.

But sure, if you want to strictly claim the former one this time, I can grant that one.
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Old 26th June 2019, 12:39 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, you have made a claim that goes a lot further than 'whether you can condemn euthanasia.' What you kept banging on for a while was "whether Hitler was right to eliminate the weak-minded who were a burden to the state" (my emphasis) under determinism. Copy and pasted from your message #129. And then you kept banging on how determinism would indeed make gassing the retarded somehow the right decision.

The two are very different questions.
.
If you want to interpret what I say without heeding what I say we can go anywhere. I did not say that Hitler eliminated retarded men because he was a determinist, but because he had a weak sense of morality. I didn't say that determinists would gas anyone or justify it (I suppose some would and some wouldn't). I'm talking about the reasons for justifying or condemning an action that almost every normal person finds reprehensible. Which is the same as saying whether Hitler was wrong or right. And I maintain that determinism cannot provide reasons for that. I have explained this quite a few times. Please stick to what I say.

In comment 129 I say nothing else.

For the rest of your comment I have not time now. I will be back.
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Old 26th June 2019, 08:13 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I suppose that you have no objection to the first part of the argument. The alleged deterministic has harmful effects.

No, why on earth would you suppose anything of the kind?

This is strange! As I've made very clear across multiple posts addressed to you -- and as I clarify one last time, now -- what I'm asking is you is what you propose to do with your 'project' to show that determinism throws up less than desirable results.

My question is, suppose you do show that determinism throws up baleful effects -- that's a supposition, not in any way or form a blanket agreement with your idea -- even given that supposition, what use is this information, unless you also examine the truth value of determinism?

You've agreed with me that, no matter how horrific the effects of determinism (or atheism, or a heliocentric universe, or anything at all under the sun) might turn out be, it would be "absurd" to pretend these are false, if in fact they're true. Given that, I find it strange that you seem so eager to leave the truth value of determinism unexamined, while choosing to focus your energies on examining the effects of determinism.



As far as your arguments re. the effects of determinism, I see you've addressed many posts on this to different posters on this subsequent to writing that last post addressed to me, that I haven't yet read. Sure, I'll go through your arguments, as well as those of the others who've posted here -- but you do realize that, despite addressing multiple posts responding to me, you've left my actual question unanswered, don't you?

I'm afraid that sounds to me like what winter salt describes it as: tap dancing!

Surely my question is clear enough? What is your answer? To recap, what I'm asking you is:

(a) Do you think determinism is true? Yes or no?

(b) Whether determinism leads to beneficient effects or wholly horrific effects, in what way is this question at all relevant, without also examining the truth value of determinism? Suppose you find that it has beneficient effects, what then? If baleful, what then? Why is it important to answer this question at all?


Quote:
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.

Take your time, David Mo, whenever you're comfortable responding! As you see, I'm not always very prompt in returning back to posting here myself!

(In fact, I'm yet to read your subsequent posts -- posts addressed to others here, subsequent to your previous posts to me -- so perhaps you've already addressed that question. I'll check out those posts.)
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Old 26th June 2019, 10:56 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
So technically speaking determinism is false.

Free will, well, it depends on how you define it.

I'm not well-versed enough in QM to speak to whether quantum randomness might actually impact our macro world.

If it doesn't, then it becomes a non sequitur as far as both free will and determinism.

If it does, then, like I said before, it would seem the issue become non-binary. Sure, determinism becomes impossible, given randomness. But so does free will!

You seem to be suggesting that there is some definition of free will for which, even given quantum randomness (that impacts our macro world), free will would still operate.

What definition might that be? "Free" of what?
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Old 26th June 2019, 11:30 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't understand what you're trying to reproach me for, but I'll try to answer:

It is obvious that if you want to change something you have to have a goal. For a determinist, goals are also effects of previous causes. Also, if you want to decide or judge which goals are better, you will have to base yourself on values. But values are also effects of previous causes. And if you intend to judge the causes, your values will be conditioned by previous causes that conditioned you to have these values. Therefore, either you get to justify a value for reasons independent of the causes or you cannot justify anything morally. In the first case you are no more a deterministic. In the second case you cannot make justified decisions about the “stuff” of common good nor any other.

I haven't "postulated" any "cause-possibility". I don't even know what that means. On “killing the retarded” I have simply said that if you are a determinist you cannot ]rationally condemn forced euthanasia.

Nor have I said that "certain causes are mutually exclusive with some goals". Causes of what? I don't even know what you're talking about.

It might clarify your argument if you were to give one or two examples of justifying a value for reasons independent of causes.
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Old 26th June 2019, 11:31 AM   #308
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@Chanakya
Free of coercion. I thought I've mentioned it repeatedly.
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Old 26th June 2019, 11:57 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
It might clarify your argument if you were to give one or two examples of justifying a value for reasons independent of causes.
Seems to me like the poor confused puppy is basically saying: you dislike murder only because you've been conditioned to dislike murder, so you can't file it under moral objections. Because it's coming from your previous experiences, basically, rather than being something randomly pulled out of thin air.

It's that concept of being free of any rhyme or reason all over again, really.

Not sure though why he thinks that:

A) it somehow applies only if you believe in determinism. Anthropology can tell you that enculturation is a real thing, regardless of any assumptions about how the brain works.

B) it makes any difference when it comes to judging stuff as good or bad for society. We can tell that people in Somalia are less happy than, say, those in the UK, even if one wants to believe that the only dislike to starvation or being abducted by some pirate warlord is only because you're somehow only conditioned to dislike starving.

But anyway, essentially he seems to have read somewhere the argument that if you don't believe in free will, you can't really morally blame someone. Which is true for certain definitions of moral blame. But he runs with it in all kinds of stupid directions that were not a part of that argument, and aren't really equivalent to it. Like sliding back and forth from the more moderate claim that you can't assign moral blame, to the completely different position that you can't even judge something as good or bad at all.


IF it is intentional, it has the name of Motte And Bailey Fallacy: one makes a grander claim X (e.g., "specifically my God is the real god", or in this case, "determinists would find it justified to gas the retarded") but when pressed, one retreats into defending a much smaller and more defensible claim (e.g., "I only said the universe has a beginning", or in this case "I only said that you couldn't call it MORALLY wrong if Hitler had no free will.") You know, like the defense in early medieval siege warfare worked. Hence the name of the fallacy.

But in his case, I'm starting to suspect that this is genuinely the kind of mental skills he can muster when he's not quoting from some famous dead guy.
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Old 26th June 2019, 01:05 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@Chanakya
Free of coercion. I thought I've mentioned it repeatedly.

You may have. I've only glossed over, just quickly run my eyes through, the mass of posts that came in since I'd last posted here -- the last two or three pages. Apologies if I've made you repeat yourself.

What you're saying makes sense in an everyday -- and limited -- kind of sense. Free of coercion. Like, someone hypnotized has no free will, or someone with a gun to their head, something like that, right? Sure, if you're coerced in that sense, then your will is less free than if you hadn't been so coerced.

But that limited and everyday sense apart, I'd suggest that free will itself has nothing to do with this kind of external impediment. Your "coercion" invesiages an additional barrier placed on, overlain on, something that is otherwise free.

Well, this additional-barrier-less and external-coercion-free 'free will': how would you define it, in a way that lets it retain its free-ness despite quantum randomness spilling over into our macro world? Because it would seem that what we will is itself, in some sense, random -- and so outside our control.
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Old 26th June 2019, 01:57 PM   #311
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Well, what I'm saying is that there is more than one definition of "free will", but obviously each has its limitations and is more fit for some purposes than others. I would say that historically the "nobody's making you do it" one has been the most used, and it was in dealing with issues like God hardening the Pharaoh's heart.

I mean, literally, according to the book the guy had already said to Moses, "OK, you can go." But then God is not done showing off yet, so he magically makes the guy take back his word. Just so God can punish him and the Egyptians some more for it. We're not talking about "free will" as in "free to take it against any good reasons not to" there, but literally being mind-controlled into doing something you didn't want to do in the first place.

You can probably see how that would be a problem if one wants to rationalize a perfectly just god. And thus how it would be of interest to theologians for the last 2000 years straight.

Even that "gun to the head" version, it's why we needed to include concepts like "duress", "self defense", etc, in our legal systems. We recognize that people can be forced to do stuff that they wouldn't normally do, or even wouldn't ever want to do in normal circumstances.

I'm not saying they're the only definitions of "free will", really. But until very modern times we kinda had more pressing matters to deal with than whether taking decisions based on reasons is really free or not.
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Old 26th June 2019, 10:38 PM   #312
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Continuation of comment 304:

First of all: Your sentence “determinism makes it right” is ambiguous. What is “it”? Gassing deficient men? I will suppose you mean this. What “makes” means? I suppose that you mean “to judge”, “justify” or similar.

If this is the meaning of your sentence it is a misunderstanding again. I don’t say that determinism “makes forced euthanasia right”. I say that it has not means to rationally judge it. That is, to say if it is right or wrong.

Of course, I am using “evil” and “bad” in a moral sense. Therefore they are the same. You cannot “to pass” from one to the other. What difference you see between bad and evil in a moral context?
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Old 26th June 2019, 10:56 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
(a) Do you think determinism is true? Yes or no?

Take your time, David Mo, whenever you're comfortable responding! As you see, I'm not always very prompt in returning back to posting here myself!
It has taken me time to compile some of my comments that already answered your first question. We'll leave the second one for when we're done with this one, if you like.



Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Metaphysical determinism is a philosophical theory about the whole universe. Things are not deterministic, but the idea we have of them.
Simply put, determinism states that everything has a cause or set of causes and that the same causes produce the same effects. What I'm saying (it is not said by me only, but it's a fairly widespread philosophical thesis today) is that metaphysical determinism cannot be proven or refuted. That is why it is metaphysical.

But that does not detract value to the principle of causality. It just has to be interpreted in a different way. Hence my question:
"Take the hammer by the handle.
Is it a true or false proposition or neither?
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
"You must take the hammer by the handle."
How do you prove this is true?
A hint: this statement is an order or a recommendation. An order is not true or false.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post

Determinism is not a factual theory that can be proven or refuted. Even Skinner recognizes this it (...). There is not a single article with a scientific demonstration of determinism as a theory of the universe. Name one if you know it. This would say that determinism is a philosophical theory that is discussed in journals and philosophical books with philosophical arguments. I can send you to a philosophical search engine where you will find a lot of material.

What is the meaning of this? First of all, that determinism is a philosophical theory. Is it a metaphysical theory? If this were so, it would be an empty theory. But it is not. Determinism is not a factual theory because it is a methodological mandate: "If you want to know and manipulate things you have to look for their causes" This does not mean that we know that everything has a cause. In fact, we do not know the causes of a large number of human actions (almost all in real life), but this does not mean either that the principle of causality is false. Nor that it is true. It is useful for knowledge.

And that is why determinism cannot be proven by science. And this is the question of this thread. Is it not?
I hope this will answer your first question.

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Old 26th June 2019, 11:14 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
It might clarify your argument if you were to give one or two examples of justifying a value for reasons independent of causes.
You are asking about ethics or philosophy of morality. Almost all theories of ethics are not deterministic. Intuitionism, emotivism, utilitarism, existentialism, rationalism, naturalism, dialogism, etc. They suppose you have reasons, not causes, to act. They suppose that you are responsible for your acts because, even though the stimulus might be strong in a sense, you might have done a different thing than the thing you have effectively done.
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Old 27th June 2019, 12:23 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You are asking about ethics or philosophy of morality. Almost all theories of ethics are not deterministic. Intuitionism, emotivism, utilitarism, existentialism, rationalism, naturalism, dialogism, etc. They suppose you have reasons, not causes, to act. They suppose that you are responsible for your acts because, even though the stimulus might be strong in a sense, you might have done a different thing than the thing you have effectively done.
When a chess computer examines two different moves and the branches that could arise from each, it is in a sense supposing that "you might done a different thing than the thing you have effectively done", and yet that process can be entirely deterministic.

There's no need to remove determinism in order for a process to examine the repercussions of different potential actions before choosing one.
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Old 27th June 2019, 12:41 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Continuation of comment 304:

First of all: Your sentence “determinism makes it right” is ambiguous. What is “it”? Gassing deficient men? I will suppose you mean this. What “makes” means? I suppose that you mean “to judge”, “justify” or similar.

If this is the meaning of your sentence it is a misunderstanding again. I don’t say that determinism “makes forced euthanasia right”. I say that it has not means to rationally judge it. That is, to say if it is right or wrong.
The problem is that you've repeatedly made claims that are more than that. Yet when pressed to defend them, you rush back to saying you only said the above. That's what makes it a Motte And Bailey Fallacy.

If you only want to say the above, then actually do say only the above. Don't post hyperbollic extrapolations that claim substantially more.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Of course, I am using “evil” and “bad” in a moral sense. Therefore they are the same. You cannot “to pass” from one to the other. What difference you see between bad and evil in a moral context?
This on the other hand is just flat out stupid.

The reason some claim you can't judge something as morally evil in a determinist concept is already basically just a word game. It's essentially just claiming that since moral "evil" is just something "bad" for which you hold someone responsible, and (with enough handwaving about what "responsible" means) you can't hold someone responsible in a deterministic concept, then that "bad" doesn't qualify as "evil".

To then go some version of 'but if it's in a moral context BAD would mean EVIL, so then we can't call it BAD either' is trying to sneak back in the holding someone responsible part that was discarded in the first place.


But anyway, the difference is this:

- if the software in the new Boeing 'decides' to fly the airplane into the ground, as happened recently, we call it "BAD". Because the software can't be held responsible in a moral sense, to make it "EVIL".

- if a human 'decides' to fly a full airplane into the ground, it's usually called "EVIL" because it's a "BAD" and you can hold a human responsible for it.

Waivering moral responsibility for the human by claiming that essentially he acted just as deterministically as the software, may stop it from qualifying as "EVIL", but doesn't stop it from qualifying as "BAD" just like it would for the software.

And it sure as heck doesn't stop anyone from using considerations like the good of society or such, in judging whether it's good or bad, and whether it should be prevented in the future.
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Old 27th June 2019, 02:48 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But anyway, the difference is this:

- if the software in the new Boeing 'decides' to fly the airplane into the ground, as happened recently, we call it "BAD". Because the software can't be held responsible in a moral sense, to make it "EVIL".

- if a human 'decides' to fly a full airplane into the ground, it's usually called "EVIL" because it's a "BAD" and you can hold a human responsible for it.
Any person in his right mind would distinguish the evil that a person has committed by an inevitable mistake.

In the case you propose:
An error due to the malfunction of a program, a person with a gun to the back of their neck, and a terrorist who alters the plane's system so that it crashes.

It is obvious that these cases are quite different. Above all, the latter implies a concept that the determinists are unwilling to recognize: intention, consciousness, free will. They are all simple cause-effect relations for him. They are all the same. There is no evil, there is no responsibility that bases the merit or demerit of actions.

But this theory is counterintuitive because it would lead to the rational impossibility of judging, praising or morally censoring. So you and the determinists try to save the right to act morally with some additional principle. You have proposed the principle of happiness: an action is reprehensible when it goes against happiness. (Starvation or abduction are things that everybody try avoiding).

This principle is very insufficient. Happiness is an ambiguous concept. Not all people think that happiness is the same. Worse still, not all people think that happiness is caused by the same things. Worse still, people can be induced to be happy in circumstances that everyone else would consider undesirable. Have you read Huxley's Brave New World? I highly recommend it. If you don't like to read much you can find a summary here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World

Secondly, because of its vagueness, the sheer principle of universal happiness is unsustainable in reality. Some people need things for their happiness that they take away from others. It is then necessary to make choices betseen contradictory options. This has given rise to a casuistry that provokes many controversies between opposite principles. The best known is the lesser happiness of the greater number versus the greater happiness of the lesser number.

I challenge you to respond to this dichotomy without introducing principles other than the determination of behaviors, that is to say the psychological determinism. I would like to see how you do it.

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Old 27th June 2019, 03:05 AM   #318
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But again, the fact that we can't qualify something as "evil", doesn't mean we can't qualify it as "bad". As in, detrimental.

If the plane were hit by lightning, which caused the software to glitch and fly into the ground, nobody would really find someone to call "evil". Nevertheless, we can say that having a plane loaded with 100+ people fly into the ground is "bad". It's undesirable.

And we can think of ways to prevent that from happening again in the future. Like maybe we'll put a farraday cage around the computer, so it can't get EMP-ed out by lightning that easily. Or maybe we'll have redundant computers and hope they can't ALL get EMP-ed out at the same time. Or maybe we'll allow the pilot to temporarily override the computer, and trust his judgment more. Or whatever.

Just the fact that no human can be blamed doesn't change the fact that certain outcomes are less desirable than others, and that we can take measures to increase the odds of the desirable outcomes and reduce the odds of the undesirable ones.

All you can say is perhaps that then it's no longer a morality problem. And sure, that would even be a fair point. But we can still decide it's a problem anyway, and we can still try to solve it.
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Old 27th June 2019, 03:18 AM   #319
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As for the whole 'but happiness is subjective' argument, all I can say is, "well, duh." Didn't stop any of the schools of subjectivism from dealing with it anyway. I would have expected someone who claims to be a proponent of intersubjectivism to be pre-clued, so to speak, that there's a reason it has "subjective" right in the name

In fact, you seem to be the only one who seems to think that any flavour of SUBJECTIVism needs OBJECTIVE everything to work.
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Old 27th June 2019, 02:27 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You are asking about ethics or philosophy of morality. Almost all theories of ethics are not deterministic. Intuitionism, emotivism, utilitarism, existentialism, rationalism, naturalism, dialogism, etc. They suppose you have reasons, not causes, to act. They suppose that you are responsible for your acts because, even though the stimulus might be strong in a sense, you might have done a different thing than the thing you have effectively done.

But reasons have causes. If a man steals food because he's hungry, he's hungry for reasons.

We can judge the evil of his act as lesser, or not, depending on our moral theory. We can assert that he could have acted differently if circumstances were different, such as if he were not hungry, if he had more respect for the law, or if the punishments were harsher. But we can do this with or without accepting determinism.

We could also assert that the food thief could have acted differently if all circumstances were identical, but that's making an assumption of nondeterminism. We cannot then use that argument or the follow-ons from that argument to argue against determinism. That would be begging the question.

If there are moral theories that assume nondeterminism, then those theories are useless in asserting that nondeterminism is true. No matter how many of them there are.
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