Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Use this forum to discuss the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Free Will, Do You Have It? by Albertus Kral
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Sushan
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Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Sushan »

This topic is about the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month,
Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral



The author constantly speaks about a theory that he names as 'Procirclism', which he defines as cycles of brain processes that are influenced by previous such processes, and will make the next outcome a pre-determined one, rather than a choice which comes from nowhere. This is his main argument to prove that we do not have free will.

As per my opinion, the author has given just another name for the concepts like determinism, destiny, God's will, etc. And if what he claims is true, we are unable to choose our actions, so we cannot be held responsible for our actions, and there are no moral values in our lives.

What are your opinions on this concept? Are all our actions pre-determined? Are we accusing people for their wrong doings and appreciating people for good deeds for no valid reasons, since all such acts are just a result of brain processes, but not the choice of a particular person or a group? Can we just get away after doing anything claiming 'That was God's Will' or 'That was the fate'?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Elephant »

It seems we have a double standard when it comes to the idea of free will. On the one hand, there's culpability of moral actions -- we are responsible for the correctness of our behavior and we are punishable for wrongdoings. This implies that we have free will to choose the correct path, and if we misbehaved, it means we've chosen the wrong path.

Then you get philosophers like Hume, whose take on rational thinking and inference involves habits of the mind. It means we cannot help but think one way and not the other. We are stuck with in mindset. Granted, his purpose is to expose this bad habit of the mind and stir us towards rationality or correct thinking.
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by ernestm »

Well I would say, Richard Dawkins has made quite a lot of money on that idea, but to consider Dawkins one might also remember Nietaxsche saying all philosophy is no more than an autobiography.

That is because Dawkins greatest achievement was to advocate that altruism is a social gene. At first his idea was mocked by the naive science community for decades, but eventually computer models were developed that demonstrate his version of the 'hawks versus doves' concept is true. Putting the specifics of that aside, what next happened to Dawkins was that atheists realized they could use his idea to advocate 'socail Darwinism' as a complete explanation of all human behavior. They stole his idea, restarted it, and made it an anti-religious argument to remove discussion of Creationism from the US Public School system.

When Professor Dawkins retired, he had an amazing idea that would only come from someone with two PhDs who ran All Souls College for years. He decided to make a book saying the atheists were right, called the 'God Delusion.' It purports to provide 'evidence' that God does not exist via determinism. As a scientist Dawkins himself knows it is impossible to model the 100 trillion neurons in the human brian with sufficient accuracy to verify the hypothesis, but the 'evidence' he provided has been interpreted as 'proof' by atheists, who are also emotionally enamored with his criticisms of religious institutions. The irony is that Dawkins is now making a **** of money from the people who previously scorned him and then stole his ideas, that is, he found a way to exploit the hawks. Pretty much entirely by himself. An amazing accomplishment.

So what you will find is people who advocate that determinism disporves the existence of free will, etc. However the problem remains that it is likely humanity will NEVER be able to build a computational engine of sufficient complexity to prove it true, so it remains an unproven hypothesis. That's not what you will hear from them. But it is what Dawkins actually thinks, and he is their hero. lol.
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by ernestm »

So that was what I have to say on determinism.

Regarding moral values, there is a problem with what has come to be called the distinction between 'normative' and 'descriptive; ethics. That is, there is a meta-ethical problem with ethics in general, and I discussed the problem in section 7 of this article:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17827

The problem originally arose because of objections to Kant's notion which is now referred to as 'intrinsic goodness.' The thread discusses its implications to the existence of divine forces, which was the larger question leading to a reformulation of Hume's guillotine as 'the naturalistic fallacy' as described by Moore and Whitehead at the turn of the last century, and the issue has remained pretty much as it was in the centuries since.

There have been many attempts to bypass the naturalistic fallacy but in terms of meta-ethics, I'm not aware of any that definitively resolve the problem. If there is, I would be glad to hear about it.
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by stevie »

Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm The author constantly speaks about a theory that he names as 'Procirclism', which he defines as cycles of brain processes that are influenced by previous such processes, and will make the next outcome a pre-determined one, rather than a choice which comes from nowhere. This is his main argument to prove that we do not have free will.
...
What are your opinions on this concept? Are all our actions pre-determined?
In some sense the author may be right. However to infer an absolute lack of free will from brain processes being influenced by previous ones is ungrounded. Why? Because based on an existing preconditioning and depending on intelligence and eduction humans can decide to influence their cognitive processes which is why humans have relatively free will.
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm Are we accusing people for their wrong doings and appreciating people for good deeds for no valid reasons, since all such acts are just a result of brain processes, but not the choice of a particular person or a group? Can we just get away after doing anything claiming 'That was God's Will' or 'That was the fate'?
To organize collective life there have to be norms. Depending on culture different collectives have different reasons to censure some behaviours but praise other behaviours.
mankind ... must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them [Hume]
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by ernestm »

ernestm wrote: February 5th, 2022, 3:41 am Well I would say, Richard Dawkins has made quite a lot of money on that idea, but to consider Dawkins one might also remember Nietaxsche saying all philosophy is no more than an autobiography.

That is because Dawkins greatest achievement was to advocate that altruism is a social gene. At first his idea was mocked by the naive science community for decades, but eventually computer models were developed that demonstrate his version of the 'hawks versus doves' concept is true. Putting the specifics of that aside, what next happened to Dawkins was that atheists realized they could use his idea to advocate 'socail Darwinism' as a complete explanation of all human behavior. They stole his idea, restarted it, and made it an anti-religious argument to remove discussion of Creationism from the US Public School system.

When Professor Dawkins retired, he had an amazing idea that would only come from someone with two PhDs who ran All Souls College for years. He decided to make a book saying the atheists were right, called the 'God Delusion.' It purports to provide 'evidence' that God does not exist via determinism. As a scientist Dawkins himself knows it is impossible to model the 100 trillion neurons in the human brian with sufficient accuracy to verify the hypothesis, but the 'evidence' he provided has been interpreted as 'proof' by atheists, who are also emotionally enamored with his criticisms of religious institutions. The irony is that Dawkins is now making a **** of money from the people who previously scorned him and then stole his ideas, that is, he found a way to exploit the hawks. Pretty much entirely by himself. An amazing accomplishment.

So what you will find is people who advocate that determinism disporves the existence of free will, etc. However the problem remains that it is likely humanity will NEVER be able to build a computational engine of sufficient complexity to prove it true, so it remains an unproven hypothesis. That's not what you will hear from them. But it is what Dawkins actually thinks, and he is their hero. lol.
Of course, I have to respond myself to cynics who say that my interpretation of Dawkins' position is wrong. So I am obliged to add, professors at All Souls think what Dawkins has done is very funny, and moreover agree he deserves to make money off the people Pinker et al. got to believe they are original thinkers. So the 'evidence' I am right is this. If a person of such esteem as Dawkins, who ran the postgraduate college at Oxford University for years, had actually written a book which actually proved the non existence of God, there would be a huge rush by hundreds, if not thousands, of PhD dissertations and dozens of books from Oxford University professors on its implications in history, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, and theology, let alone philosophy.

But no one has written anything expanding on Dawkins' thought from Oxford University. Nothing. Try to explain that if you don't agree with what I said.
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Gertie »

Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm This topic is about the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month,
Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral



The author constantly speaks about a theory that he names as 'Procirclism', which he defines as cycles of brain processes that are influenced by previous such processes, and will make the next outcome a pre-determined one, rather than a choice which comes from nowhere. This is his main argument to prove that we do not have free will.

As per my opinion, the author has given just another name for the concepts like determinism, destiny, God's will, etc. And if what he claims is true, we are unable to choose our actions, so we cannot be held responsible for our actions, and there are no moral values in our lives.

What are your opinions on this concept? Are all our actions pre-determined? Are we accusing people for their wrong doings and appreciating people for good deeds for no valid reasons, since all such acts are just a result of brain processes, but not the choice of a particular person or a group? Can we just get away after doing anything claiming 'That was God's Will' or 'That was the fate'?
It sounds like the author is basing their position on physical causation (material brains) being able to causally account for all our behaviour.

That might be true, but we also have these parallel psychological explanations which are also coherent, and make sense from an evolutionary utility standpoint too - we retreat from painful things which injur us, eat when hungry, etc.

The basic problem is we don't understand the mind-body relationship, the relationship between our mental states and our brain. Can mental states intervene in some way in physical processes, are the the physical and mental somehoe fundamentally the same thing, or are our mental states useless epiphenomenal baggage with no causal role, just a way we explain our actions to ourselves? Any or none of such mind-body interpretations could be true, but we simply don't know. And it's difficult to see a way we could find out, unless we crack what Chalmers calls the Hard Problem of consciousness.

As you say, if it turns out we don't have some form of free will, the ability to choose or influence our actions, morality and responsibility as we think of them are out the window. But we'd still have the problem of what to do with people who harm others, so some sort of institutional safety net like prison would still be necessary I think, tho we'd have to re-evaluate its role in deterrence and rehabilitation too.
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Sushan »

Elephant wrote: February 5th, 2022, 12:31 am It seems we have a double standard when it comes to the idea of free will. On the one hand, there's culpability of moral actions -- we are responsible for the correctness of our behavior and we are punishable for wrongdoings. This implies that we have free will to choose the correct path, and if we misbehaved, it means we've chosen the wrong path.

Then you get philosophers like Hume, whose take on rational thinking and inference involves habits of the mind. It means we cannot help but think one way and not the other. We are stuck with in mindset. Granted, his purpose is to expose this bad habit of the mind and stir us towards rationality or correct thinking.
A person can either choose the correct path or the wrong path, and he/she has the right and freedom to do so. But if the thought or knowledge about the consequences hinder that person from choosing whatever the path, then the question about free will rises.

And, if as per Hume the mind is having habitual ways of thinking, then there cannot be a free will at all.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Sushan »

ernestm wrote: February 5th, 2022, 3:41 am Well I would say, Richard Dawkins has made quite a lot of money on that idea, but to consider Dawkins one might also remember Nietaxsche saying all philosophy is no more than an autobiography.

That is because Dawkins greatest achievement was to advocate that altruism is a social gene. At first his idea was mocked by the naive science community for decades, but eventually computer models were developed that demonstrate his version of the 'hawks versus doves' concept is true. Putting the specifics of that aside, what next happened to Dawkins was that atheists realized they could use his idea to advocate 'socail Darwinism' as a complete explanation of all human behavior. They stole his idea, restarted it, and made it an anti-religious argument to remove discussion of Creationism from the US Public School system.

When Professor Dawkins retired, he had an amazing idea that would only come from someone with two PhDs who ran All Souls College for years. He decided to make a book saying the atheists were right, called the 'God Delusion.' It purports to provide 'evidence' that God does not exist via determinism. As a scientist Dawkins himself knows it is impossible to model the 100 trillion neurons in the human brian with sufficient accuracy to verify the hypothesis, but the 'evidence' he provided has been interpreted as 'proof' by atheists, who are also emotionally enamored with his criticisms of religious institutions. The irony is that Dawkins is now making a **** of money from the people who previously scorned him and then stole his ideas, that is, he found a way to exploit the hawks. Pretty much entirely by himself. An amazing accomplishment.

So what you will find is people who advocate that determinism disporves the existence of free will, etc. However the problem remains that it is likely humanity will NEVER be able to build a computational engine of sufficient complexity to prove it true, so it remains an unproven hypothesis. That's not what you will hear from them. But it is what Dawkins actually thinks, and he is their hero. lol.
Using hypotheses which are difficult to either accept or deny for personal gains is seen throughout the history. What you explained is an example for such a scenario. Dawkins has given the atheists and their opposing parties a topic to argue for years.

But if altruism is really a social gene, then there is no need to give credit to such altruistic people, and no one has the right to criticize anyone for being not altruistic.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Sushan »

stevie wrote: February 5th, 2022, 4:06 am
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm The author constantly speaks about a theory that he names as 'Procirclism', which he defines as cycles of brain processes that are influenced by previous such processes, and will make the next outcome a pre-determined one, rather than a choice which comes from nowhere. This is his main argument to prove that we do not have free will.
...
What are your opinions on this concept? Are all our actions pre-determined?
In some sense the author may be right. However to infer an absolute lack of free will from brain processes being influenced by previous ones is ungrounded. Why? Because based on an existing preconditioning and depending on intelligence and eduction humans can decide to influence their cognitive processes which is why humans have relatively free will.
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm Are we accusing people for their wrong doings and appreciating people for good deeds for no valid reasons, since all such acts are just a result of brain processes, but not the choice of a particular person or a group? Can we just get away after doing anything claiming 'That was God's Will' or 'That was the fate'?
To organize collective life there have to be norms. Depending on culture different collectives have different reasons to censure some behaviours but praise other behaviours.
The author too is speaking about human brain about which we all agree to have higher cognitive functions to make us distinctive from other species. But the author is telling us that those higher functions act in an autonomous way, considering only the logical inputs that it get from previous brain processes, which does not include the emotional and rational thinking that we assume to use in making decisions and doing stuff. Seemingly with the development of the brain we have lost our free will.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Sushan »

Gertie wrote: February 6th, 2022, 8:48 pm
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm This topic is about the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month,
Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral



The author constantly speaks about a theory that he names as 'Procirclism', which he defines as cycles of brain processes that are influenced by previous such processes, and will make the next outcome a pre-determined one, rather than a choice which comes from nowhere. This is his main argument to prove that we do not have free will.

As per my opinion, the author has given just another name for the concepts like determinism, destiny, God's will, etc. And if what he claims is true, we are unable to choose our actions, so we cannot be held responsible for our actions, and there are no moral values in our lives.

What are your opinions on this concept? Are all our actions pre-determined? Are we accusing people for their wrong doings and appreciating people for good deeds for no valid reasons, since all such acts are just a result of brain processes, but not the choice of a particular person or a group? Can we just get away after doing anything claiming 'That was God's Will' or 'That was the fate'?
It sounds like the author is basing their position on physical causation (material brains) being able to causally account for all our behaviour.

That might be true, but we also have these parallel psychological explanations which are also coherent, and make sense from an evolutionary utility standpoint too - we retreat from painful things which injur us, eat when hungry, etc.

The basic problem is we don't understand the mind-body relationship, the relationship between our mental states and our brain. Can mental states intervene in some way in physical processes, are the the physical and mental somehoe fundamentally the same thing, or are our mental states useless epiphenomenal baggage with no causal role, just a way we explain our actions to ourselves? Any or none of such mind-body interpretations could be true, but we simply don't know. And it's difficult to see a way we could find out, unless we crack what Chalmers calls the Hard Problem of consciousness.

As you say, if it turns out we don't have some form of free will, the ability to choose or influence our actions, morality and responsibility as we think of them are out the window. But we'd still have the problem of what to do with people who harm others, so some sort of institutional safety net like prison would still be necessary I think, tho we'd have to re-evaluate its role in deterrence and rehabilitation too.
Although it is difficult to prove the mind-body relationship, I think we know by experience how similar things get different reactions from people depending on various moods and emotions. For a quantitative analysis we can use productivity against mood.

And if our brains do all the bad stuff and the physical body is not aware or responsible about them, then it is unfair to keep the body in a prison for the faults of the brain.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by stevie »

Sushan wrote: February 15th, 2022, 4:41 am
stevie wrote: February 5th, 2022, 4:06 am
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm The author constantly speaks about a theory that he names as 'Procirclism', which he defines as cycles of brain processes that are influenced by previous such processes, and will make the next outcome a pre-determined one, rather than a choice which comes from nowhere. This is his main argument to prove that we do not have free will.
...
What are your opinions on this concept? Are all our actions pre-determined?
In some sense the author may be right. However to infer an absolute lack of free will from brain processes being influenced by previous ones is ungrounded. Why? Because based on an existing preconditioning and depending on intelligence and eduction humans can decide to influence their cognitive processes which is why humans have relatively free will.
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm Are we accusing people for their wrong doings and appreciating people for good deeds for no valid reasons, since all such acts are just a result of brain processes, but not the choice of a particular person or a group? Can we just get away after doing anything claiming 'That was God's Will' or 'That was the fate'?
To organize collective life there have to be norms. Depending on culture different collectives have different reasons to censure some behaviours but praise other behaviours.
The author too is speaking about human brain about which we all agree to have higher cognitive functions to make us distinctive from other species. But the author is telling us that those higher functions act in an autonomous way, considering only the logical inputs that it get from previous brain processes, which does not include the emotional and rational thinking that we assume to use in making decisions and doing stuff. Seemingly with the development of the brain we have lost our free will.
I cannot follow your differentiations "logical inputs" and "emotional and rational thinking".
The author may be telling us many things, however has he ever considered whether he has thought about and concluded based on his relatively free will or whether he had no choice but to tell us like a remotely-controlled machine without relatively free will?
With the developement of the brain we have actually achieved a degree of free will that cannot be found in animals. E.g. based on relatively free will humans can decide to suppress instincts animals cannot suppress.
mankind ... must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them [Hume]
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Sushan »

stevie wrote: February 15th, 2022, 5:42 am
Sushan wrote: February 15th, 2022, 4:41 am
stevie wrote: February 5th, 2022, 4:06 am
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm The author constantly speaks about a theory that he names as 'Procirclism', which he defines as cycles of brain processes that are influenced by previous such processes, and will make the next outcome a pre-determined one, rather than a choice which comes from nowhere. This is his main argument to prove that we do not have free will.
...
What are your opinions on this concept? Are all our actions pre-determined?
In some sense the author may be right. However to infer an absolute lack of free will from brain processes being influenced by previous ones is ungrounded. Why? Because based on an existing preconditioning and depending on intelligence and eduction humans can decide to influence their cognitive processes which is why humans have relatively free will.
Sushan wrote: February 4th, 2022, 9:44 pm Are we accusing people for their wrong doings and appreciating people for good deeds for no valid reasons, since all such acts are just a result of brain processes, but not the choice of a particular person or a group? Can we just get away after doing anything claiming 'That was God's Will' or 'That was the fate'?
To organize collective life there have to be norms. Depending on culture different collectives have different reasons to censure some behaviours but praise other behaviours.
The author too is speaking about human brain about which we all agree to have higher cognitive functions to make us distinctive from other species. But the author is telling us that those higher functions act in an autonomous way, considering only the logical inputs that it get from previous brain processes, which does not include the emotional and rational thinking that we assume to use in making decisions and doing stuff. Seemingly with the development of the brain we have lost our free will.
I cannot follow your differentiations "logical inputs" and "emotional and rational thinking".
The author may be telling us many things, however has he ever considered whether he has thought about and concluded based on his relatively free will or whether he had no choice but to tell us like a remotely-controlled machine without relatively free will?
With the developement of the brain we have actually achieved a degree of free will that cannot be found in animals. E.g. based on relatively free will humans can decide to suppress instincts animals cannot suppress.
Maybe you are correct about the author. He may just have wrote what his brain told him to write depending solely on its prior processes, but not considering any of the author's own thoughts. He may just have been a puppet of his own brain, and he may not had any free will at all. That all thought makes me doubt the validity of all of his concepts, and even my ones too. Is it possible that all of us are mere prisoners of our brain processes, without any sort of free will? Can what we experience as relatively free will be an illusion?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by stevie »

Sushan wrote: February 17th, 2022, 10:40 pm
stevie wrote: February 15th, 2022, 5:42 am
Sushan wrote: February 15th, 2022, 4:41 am
stevie wrote: February 5th, 2022, 4:06 am
In some sense the author may be right. However to infer an absolute lack of free will from brain processes being influenced by previous ones is ungrounded. Why? Because based on an existing preconditioning and depending on intelligence and eduction humans can decide to influence their cognitive processes which is why humans have relatively free will.


To organize collective life there have to be norms. Depending on culture different collectives have different reasons to censure some behaviours but praise other behaviours.
The author too is speaking about human brain about which we all agree to have higher cognitive functions to make us distinctive from other species. But the author is telling us that those higher functions act in an autonomous way, considering only the logical inputs that it get from previous brain processes, which does not include the emotional and rational thinking that we assume to use in making decisions and doing stuff. Seemingly with the development of the brain we have lost our free will.
I cannot follow your differentiations "logical inputs" and "emotional and rational thinking".
The author may be telling us many things, however has he ever considered whether he has thought about and concluded based on his relatively free will or whether he had no choice but to tell us like a remotely-controlled machine without relatively free will?
With the developement of the brain we have actually achieved a degree of free will that cannot be found in animals. E.g. based on relatively free will humans can decide to suppress instincts animals cannot suppress.
Maybe you are correct about the author. He may just have wrote what his brain told him to write depending solely on its prior processes, but not considering any of the author's own thoughts. He may just have been a puppet of his own brain, and he may not had any free will at all. That all thought makes me doubt the validity of all of his concepts, and even my ones too. Is it possible that all of us are mere prisoners of our brain processes, without any sort of free will? Can what we experience as relatively free will be an illusion?
From my perspective it's quite simple: the concept of 'free will', absulutely free or relatively free, is necessarily connected with the concept of personal 'self'. If one rejects the reality of personal self then one won't be able to talk about 'free will' at all because then there can't be an owner of any kind of will and thus the differentiation 'free vs non-free' doesn't make sense. If one accepts the reality of personal 'self' then one will necessarily have to come to the conclusion that there is free will when observing one's own decision making in the context of its degrees of freedom. If one accepts the reality of personal 'self' but still asserts that there is no free will then one is ignorantly abiding in the 'realm of mere abstract thought' without taking notice of one's own degrees of freedom when it comes to one's own decisions.
mankind ... must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them [Hume]
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Re: Procirclism, Determinism, and moral values

Post by Sushan »

stevie wrote: February 18th, 2022, 3:38 am
Sushan wrote: February 17th, 2022, 10:40 pm
stevie wrote: February 15th, 2022, 5:42 am
Sushan wrote: February 15th, 2022, 4:41 am

The author too is speaking about human brain about which we all agree to have higher cognitive functions to make us distinctive from other species. But the author is telling us that those higher functions act in an autonomous way, considering only the logical inputs that it get from previous brain processes, which does not include the emotional and rational thinking that we assume to use in making decisions and doing stuff. Seemingly with the development of the brain we have lost our free will.
I cannot follow your differentiations "logical inputs" and "emotional and rational thinking".
The author may be telling us many things, however has he ever considered whether he has thought about and concluded based on his relatively free will or whether he had no choice but to tell us like a remotely-controlled machine without relatively free will?
With the developement of the brain we have actually achieved a degree of free will that cannot be found in animals. E.g. based on relatively free will humans can decide to suppress instincts animals cannot suppress.
Maybe you are correct about the author. He may just have wrote what his brain told him to write depending solely on its prior processes, but not considering any of the author's own thoughts. He may just have been a puppet of his own brain, and he may not had any free will at all. That all thought makes me doubt the validity of all of his concepts, and even my ones too. Is it possible that all of us are mere prisoners of our brain processes, without any sort of free will? Can what we experience as relatively free will be an illusion?
From my perspective it's quite simple: the concept of 'free will', absulutely free or relatively free, is necessarily connected with the concept of personal 'self'. If one rejects the reality of personal self then one won't be able to talk about 'free will' at all because then there can't be an owner of any kind of will and thus the differentiation 'free vs non-free' doesn't make sense. If one accepts the reality of personal 'self' then one will necessarily have to come to the conclusion that there is free will when observing one's own decision making in the context of its degrees of freedom. If one accepts the reality of personal 'self' but still asserts that there is no free will then one is ignorantly abiding in the 'realm of mere abstract thought' without taking notice of one's own degrees of freedom when it comes to one's own decisions.
I think it goes far more deep when we think about the existence of 'self'. People accept and deny various things as per their beliefs, knowledge, experience, etc. But that does not alter the objective truth, but only affects the subjective perspectives. There can be flaws in individual thought processes, and that is why all three groups of people that you mentioned exist. But what is the reality? Is there a thing called 'self'?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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