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Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

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Eduk
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Eduk » January 28th, 2019, 6:10 am

The reason for my original question was that I had reached the same conclusion (being "slave to randomness" poses similar issues as being "slave to predeterminism"), but I could not see whether there was a way to progress beyond that in order to provide free will a way out.
Yes well put. A lot of people seem to struggle with the idea that randomness (or being able to so otherwise that what you did) doesn't actually help free will at all.
By the way I mostly approach this 'problem' from the opposite direction. Given I experience 'free will' what is 'free will'? I don't have a complete answer but conceptually I have no issues using the concept of 'free will' day to day. This fuzziness seems, for some, to be unbearable though, many feel it must either be defined absolutely or it doesn't exist. I don't have this 'belief' problem that a lot of people seem to have.
Unknown means unknown.

NicoL
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by NicoL » January 28th, 2019, 6:21 am

Felix wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 6:20 pm
"Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?"

Not at all. In general, exponents of free will place the action of the will outside the domain of the physical phenomena studied by science, which makes your premise irrelevant.
I don't know if your above statement is true or false, but I'm not sure that free will necessarily needs to be considered separate from the natural world.

Is it logically impossible for free will to be an emergent property of physical objects (persons), that endows them with the ability to initiate uncaused causes?

NicoL
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by NicoL » January 28th, 2019, 6:32 am

Eduk wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 6:10 am
By the way I mostly approach this 'problem' from the opposite direction. Given I experience 'free will' what is 'free will'? I don't have a complete answer but conceptually I have no issues using the concept of 'free will' day to day.
I am the same. I directly observe acts of free will every day, while I don't directly observe much else. Thus, I have a bit of an issue ignoring so much data for the sake of determinism - or indeterminism if it won't lend me a helping hand :)

I have not made up my mind yet. I don't claim determinism is wrong, or science is wrong, or anything like that. I just don't see why I should discard so much data without good reason, and I frankly don't know that either science or parsimony gives a good logical reason to abandon free will yet.

Eduk
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Eduk » January 28th, 2019, 6:59 am

and I frankly don't know that either science or parsimony gives a good logical reason to abandon free will yet.
Science hasn't given any reason to abandon free will. Some people might interpret that it has but this is not the non controversial consensus of expert opinion.
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Bahman
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Bahman » January 30th, 2019, 2:52 pm

We can live in a deterministic world and still be free provided that we respect laws of nature.

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Ser10Rec1pr0
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Ser10Rec1pr0 » February 2nd, 2019, 1:15 pm

FreeJerry wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:38 pm
... If we run the laws of physics in reverse, we'll end up at the beginning. I think this is irrelevant for the question of free will.
Reminds me of some article from absolutely eons ago, I think in the magazine Discovery, about "the direction of time."

I know I still have the issue but cannot find it, but the article was either in part an interview with Stephen Hawking or based on something he'd written; to the effect that some time in the future the universe will reach an apogee, cease expanding, & contract; at which point (per example in the article) broken teacups will leap up off the floor & reassemble themselves.

As for free will, also eons ago the English actor & stage director Jonathan Miller (who began his adult life in medical school & whose father was a psychiatrist) hosted a multi-part series on PBS called "Madness." (Some episodes or parts of episodes available on YouTube)

He was going on about the brain, how the brain is viewed in neuroscience (before neuroscience became fashionable), & the techno. metaphor of "hard-wired," & suggested that if we believed our personalities et al. were determined by neuro-wiring, then no free will.

My personal view after years of pondering this business of determinism & free will is that we are metaphorically (philosophically) stuck in the 19th century: almost entirely consumed by romanticism or romantic idealism (lovely in literature; horrible in life): the single branch of the tree determinism. We still debate the merits of capitalism & communism, altho both seem to me by-products of determinism.

Often Providence enters the conversation, so we can say "That's the way God planned it," whether to eschew responsibility, suppress imagined inferiors, or both & more.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 2nd, 2019, 4:52 pm

the article was either in part an interview with Stephen Hawking or based on something he'd written; to the effect that some time in the future the universe will reach an apogee, cease expanding, & contract; at which point (per example in the article) broken teacups will leap up off the floor & reassemble themselves.
May be used to illustrate constant conjunction as our entree to how we can know stuff. Constant conjunction works whichever direction the arrow of time goes in, and is sufficient to let us know that we seek patterns, probably so we might survive in a chaotic world.

Cannot be used to illustrate Free Will or Determinism because, unlike constant conjunction, those are ontological and are not about how we can know stuff.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by LuckyR » February 3rd, 2019, 4:36 am

Bahman wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 2:52 pm
We can live in a deterministic world and still be free provided that we respect laws of nature.
Well put. We all agree that the actions of a billiard ball on a table are determined by the laws of physics. In addition we can prove this determinism by predicting it's behavior given a set of starting variables essentially 100% of the time.

OTOH, we also all agree that many neurochemical and psychological factors influence human and animal decision making. Unfortunately for the determinists, the "proof" of this (predicting decision making given a set of starting variables) falls very short of 100% accuracy. For the sake of discussion let's call it 70% accuracy. The difference, 30% is what I call free will. You can call it whatever you want, but until human decision making can be predicted with 100% accuracy, determinism is unproven.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 3rd, 2019, 4:46 am

LuckyR wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:36 am
Bahman wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 2:52 pm
We can live in a deterministic world and still be free provided that we respect laws of nature.
Well put. We all agree that the actions of a billiard ball on a table are determined by the laws of physics. In addition we can prove this determinism by predicting it's behavior given a set of starting variables essentially 100% of the time.

OTOH, we also all agree that many neurochemical and psychological factors influence human and animal decision making. Unfortunately for the determinists, the "proof" of this (predicting decision making given a set of starting variables) falls very short of 100% accuracy. For the sake of discussion let's call it 70% accuracy. The difference, 30% is what I call free will. You can call it whatever you want, but until human decision making can be predicted with 100% accuracy, determinism is unproven.
Unpredictability is not Free Will. The popular notion of free will is founded on feelings of being in control. Gambling on the unknown does not usually give feelings of being in control.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by LuckyR » February 3rd, 2019, 4:53 am

Belindi wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:46 am
LuckyR wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:36 am


Well put. We all agree that the actions of a billiard ball on a table are determined by the laws of physics. In addition we can prove this determinism by predicting it's behavior given a set of starting variables essentially 100% of the time.

OTOH, we also all agree that many neurochemical and psychological factors influence human and animal decision making. Unfortunately for the determinists, the "proof" of this (predicting decision making given a set of starting variables) falls very short of 100% accuracy. For the sake of discussion let's call it 70% accuracy. The difference, 30% is what I call free will. You can call it whatever you want, but until human decision making can be predicted with 100% accuracy, determinism is unproven.
Unpredictability is not Free Will. The popular notion of free will is founded on feelings of being in control. Gambling on the unknown does not usually give feelings of being in control.
True. I never said it was. Unpredictability means determinism is unproven, not that it is impossible. Free will steps in as the alternative until the day (never?) when determinism is proven.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 3rd, 2019, 4:58 am

LuckyR wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:53 am
Belindi wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:46 am
Unpredictability is not Free Will. The popular notion of free will is founded on feelings of being in control. Gambling on the unknown does not usually give feelings of being in control.
True. I never said it was. Unpredictability means determinism is unproven, not that it is impossible. Free will steps in as the alternative until the day (never?) when determinism is proven.
Yes. but the free will you mean in that popular sense of 'free will' is not the same as absolute Free Will. Absolute Free Will is such that it can overrule rational choices.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by LuckyR » February 3rd, 2019, 5:10 am

Belindi wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:58 am
LuckyR wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:53 am


True. I never said it was. Unpredictability means determinism is unproven, not that it is impossible. Free will steps in as the alternative until the day (never?) when determinism is proven.
Yes. but the free will you mean in that popular sense of 'free will' is not the same as absolute Free Will. Absolute Free Will is such that it can overrule rational choices.
Your post makes complete theoretical sense. Yet here on planet earth, folks do irrational things routinely. Finding post hoc explanations for an important decision is not a substitute for proving that everyone with identical antecedents will make the same decision.
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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 3rd, 2019, 5:33 am

LuckyR wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 5:10 am
Belindi wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 4:58 am


Yes. but the free will you mean in that popular sense of 'free will' is not the same as absolute Free Will. Absolute Free Will is such that it can overrule rational choices.
Your post makes complete theoretical sense. Yet here on planet earth, folks do irrational things routinely. Finding post hoc explanations for an important decision is not a substitute for proving that everyone with identical antecedents will make the same decision.
I agree entirely. I'd like to add that often, and I mean often, we get better results from well-honed intuition than from conscious deliberations.By intuition I don't mean untutored emotions! Intuitions are not irrational , they are learned responses which the subject cannot account for.

Also that by "theoretical sense" I take to include that a belief in Determinism does not imply that the future,which is chaotic, can be predicted especially when it concerns the chaotic human.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Jan Sand » February 3rd, 2019, 11:04 am

In the general discussion of will it seems to me it is not a problem concerned with physics but rather psychology- It concerns how a decision is made which is involved with judgement. Each of us develops personal systems of evaluation depending upon our experience and how we react to that experience and understand it. There is no firm absolute system for all thinking people in that area for every individual so the question should be - what should a will be free of? All decisions are based on a choice of relevant factors and these differ between people.

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Re: Does determinism really pose a problem for free will?

Post by Belindi » February 3rd, 2019, 2:46 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
February 3rd, 2019, 11:04 am
In the general discussion of will it seems to me it is not a problem concerned with physics but rather psychology- It concerns how a decision is made which is involved with judgement. Each of us develops personal systems of evaluation depending upon our experience and how we react to that experience and understand it. There is no firm absolute system for all thinking people in that area for every individual so the question should be - what should a will be free of? All decisions are based on a choice of relevant factors and these differ between people.
Good question, Jan. I think that a will that is Free is free , not only of causal influnces from the outer environment , but also free of causes from the body such as emotion-generating hormones, and brain chemicals

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