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Free will and determinism sub-forum

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chewybrian
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Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by chewybrian » February 3rd, 2019, 10:36 am

I think it might be a benefit to create a separate sub-form for discussions about the existence of free will or the truth of determinism.

There are quite a few threads in several different sub-forums right now which are simply variations on this theme. They are all in effect asking if we have a free will, or if we are morally responsible for our actions. I suppose we could choose to ignore such discussions, but I would prefer to fence them off in a separate section, moving them when they intrude on other sub-forums.

Sadly, it might expose the fact that there is often precious little else being discussed. But, hopefully, it would also encourage some of us to discuss something else.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Scott
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Re: Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by Scott » February 3rd, 2019, 2:16 pm

We could do that. Another option for relatively specific sets of topics (in this case those pertaining to determinism and/or free will) is that we could create a curated list of topics. So we could find all the topics in the forums about free will or determinism and then list the links to all of them in a topic. And we could also create key topics for the key questions or debates if they don't already exist. For determinism and free will we can find or create topics such as the following:
  • 1. Is the world causally deterministic?
  • 2. What is free will?
  • 3. Is free will compatible with determinism?
  • 4. Is free will compatible with randomism?
  • 5. Do we have free will?
  • 6. If an omnipotent and omniscient god exists, does that god know the future in the sense of being able to predict it perfectly?
  • 7. If an omnipotent and omniscient god exists who knows and can perfectly predict the future, can that god have free will?

Maybe we could even come up with some kind of topic of the week or topic of the month system in which a discussion leader posts or features a series of questions like the above one at a time each day over the course of the week. That could be great because many times it makes much more sense to discuss and debate the questions in a certain order, like asking what is free will before asking if it exists.
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Arjen
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Re: Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by Arjen » February 3rd, 2019, 3:54 pm

I want to speak out against this. The strength of discussing the same topic from the perspective of different disciplines is that other perspectives will be highlighted. A special subforum for the topic will not add anything in my opinion. I can imagine different subfora that would add to the forum as a whole, by inviting to a certain topic or perspective.

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Burning ghost
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Re: Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by Burning ghost » February 4th, 2019, 12:40 am

Yeah, seems a little pointless. At a push you could make a forum for “Philosophy of Mind” but then you simply open up the flood gates to other categories like a whole sub-forum on religious debate about evolution and pro-life.

I think the sections are broad and encompassing enough as they are.
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Arjen
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Re: Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by Arjen » February 4th, 2019, 7:47 am

More subfora for the different philosophical disciplines, different philosophers or writings of our own are great in my opinion. Also a philosophy of mind subforum sounds good to me. Perhaps others would use it in the way @Burning ghost said. But I think philosophy of mind is more about psychoanalysis. Maybe logic. But logic might deserve a seperate subforum on it's own.

Anyway, that is my opinion.

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chewybrian
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Re: Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by chewybrian » February 4th, 2019, 8:09 am

Burning ghost wrote:
February 4th, 2019, 12:40 am
Yeah, seems a little pointless. At a push you could make a forum for “Philosophy of Mind” but then you simply open up the flood gates to other categories like a whole sub-forum on religious debate about evolution and pro-life.

I think the sections are broad and encompassing enough as they are.
I do like the idea of 'philosophy of mind' to gather up this topic of free will along with other topics. I think the forums are fine as they are, but the overwhelming presence of this one subject bugs me. It is odd in a forum so heavily moderated that that it seems to be hands off for determinism or free will debates. I'd put them all in epistemology, at least, to be consistent with actions in which many other threads are moved around.

The topic of free will is enticing, but also too safe for everyone to jump in. You can make convincing arguments for both sides, and neither can be knocked down without accepting or denying the assumptions that underlie either. You can accept the impression we all have of free choice, and the unpredictability of human actions as 'proof' of free will, or you can point to the rules of cause and effect and the inability to prove they do not apply to living things to 'prove' determinism.

My though is that until we fence off this subject, it will continue to dominate sub-forums where we could and should be discussing other things.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Re: Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by Burning ghost » February 4th, 2019, 9:51 am

Chewy -

It’s a subject matter that will wax and wane. It is also usually a topic that first brings people to forums so I’m for leaving it in “general philosophy”.
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Arjen
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Re: Free will and determinism sub-forum

Post by Arjen » February 6th, 2019, 7:21 am

@chewybrian I can imagine why this topic bugs you. But, please realise it is a thing that people need to work out. I think burning ghost said that it is areason for people to come here. To start investigating. If we help them, their minds might develop inquisitively and originally. In turn, they will enrich us.

That is independent of where the new members post their thoughts. :)

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