# Defense of Freewill Against Determinism

Emil

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 05:39 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;144874 wrote:
Why is it a necessary relation though? Why isn't it a contingent relation?
[...]

I think he simply meant a causal relation, which is sometimes called a necessary connection (owing to Hume I think), and not a logically (or metaphysically if you wish) necessary connection.

kennethamy

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 06:02 pm
@Emil,
Emil;144881 wrote:
I think he simply meant a causal relation, which is sometimes called a necessary connection (owing to Hume I think), and not a logically (or metaphysically if you wish) necessary connection.

Yes, I meant physically necessary. ( At least compatible with the laws of physics).

Night Ripper

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 06:04 pm
@Emil,
Emil;144881 wrote:
I think he simply meant a causal relation, which is sometimes called a necessary connection (owing to Hume I think), and not a logically (or metaphysically if you wish) necessary connection.

How can you tell if a relationship is one of causation or perfect correlation?

Let's imagine two logically possible worlds:

1. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, causes the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius to explode. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

2. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, does nothing at all. Coincidentally, the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius
explodes. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

What experiment could determine which world the experimenter was in?

Fil Albuquerque

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 07:41 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;144886 wrote:
How can you tell if a relationship is one of causation or perfect correlation?

Let's imagine two logically possible worlds:

1. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, causes the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius to explode. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

2. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, does nothing at all. Coincidentally, the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius
explodes. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

What experiment could determine which world the experimenter was in?

I thought on this already, and my answer so far, specially in a metaphysical aproach in which to my "a priori" view, time is suppressed, is that, what one considers causation refers always to perfect correlation as a bruit fact for the entire reality...in any case its a synonym...I am not debating the nature, reason of the Law, but I am asserting that the Law has a first and final cause and is "a priori"... which is the same to say that having/being a perfect correlation does not alter a thing, considering for ground what I have just said. Reality, out of time, just is...
...is what it is all Times as it is...is instantaneous !
Indeterminism defenders, solve the problem anyway you can ! :whistling:

---------- Post added 03-27-2010 at 08:51 PM ----------

...a small detail to ad clarification, as ONE Reality must be coherent...what it is, cannot in fact be otherwise, considering it already is, all times, exactly what it is !...

Arjuna

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 09:35 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;144921 wrote:
I thought on this already, and my answer so far, specially in a metaphysical aproach in which to my "a priori" view, time is suppressed, is that, what one considers causation refers always to perfect correlation as a bruit fact for the entire reality...in any case its a synonym...I am not debating the nature, reason of the Law, but I am asserting that the Law has a first and final cause and is "a priori"... which is the same to say that having/being a perfect correlation does not alter a thing, considering for ground what I have just said. Reality, out of time, just is...
...is what it is all Times as it is...is instantaneous !
Indeterminism defenders, solve the problem anyway you can ! :whistling:

---------- Post added 03-27-2010 at 08:51 PM ----------

...a small detail to ad clarification, as ONE Reality must be coherent...what it is, cannot in fact be otherwise, considering it already is, all times, exactly what it is !...
In your all-simultaneous, are you imagining a single stream of events? What you know did happen and what could have happened are distinguished how?

OntheWindowStand

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:00 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;144617 wrote:
Causal determinism is not a threat to freewill.

The key word in the above paragraph is "necessitated". It's this term that gives the argument its weight. It's also this term that is decidedly unscientific. There's no possible way to test if an event is necessary i.e. it has to happen. You could flip a coin once a second and have it land on heads for the next 1,000 years but you still wouldn't have observed anything necessary. There's no possible way to test between something that has to happen vs. just does happen. In all cases we can only observe what happens. Even if something always happens that doesn't therefore mean that it must happen.

If the following statement is true...

1. You will wear a yellow shirt tomorrow.

...then it is true only because, tomorrow, you, in fact, wear a yellow shirt.

Likewise, if the following statement is true...

2. Nothing accelerates faster than the speed of light.

...then it is true only because, at all times and places, nothing, in fact, ever accelerates faster than the speed of light.

Statements take their truth from the world. The statement "the cat is on the mat" is true iff the cat is on the mat.

Though, some people have it curiously twisted. They think that, in fact, nothing accelerates faster than the speed of light because the statement "nothing accelerates faster than the speed of light" is true! Instead of the statement being true because it corresponds with reality, reality conforms itself to the truth of the statement. That sounds much like the way chanting a magic spell such as "open sesame" can make the world conform to its power.

At this point, most people would say...

"But if it's true that nothing accelerates faster than the speed of light then I can't accelerate faster than the speed of light!"

This is a retreat to logical determinism and this is also a form of the modal fallacy. Strictly speaking, it's not that you can't. It's that you won't. Let's go back to a mundane example. If it's true now that..

3. Tomorrow I will wear a yellow shirt.

...then it seems like I have no choice but to wear a yellow shirt. I can't change my mind. That's false though. The solution to the problem is that (3) is only true because I don't change my mind. If I do change my mind then (3) won't be true. By saying (3) is true we're also implying "I will change my mind and wear blue instead" is false.

If we take this further and make it a law-like statement...

4. Night Ripper only wears yellow shirts.

...then (4) is true only if I never decide to wear a different color of shirt. If one day I decide to wear blue then (4) is false. However, we're already taking (4) as true now. Therefore, I don't (not that I can't) ever change my mind.

The universe isn't governed in the sense that the universe has to behave a certain way. It's rather that the universe can be described with law-like statements. The truth of these statements don't thereby force us into doing anything, however.

This post is a strawman and shows a remarkable lack of understanding.

Determinsm isn't a force that molds the universe, it just describes it. The theory simply is stating that everything is pre-determined this is a fluid process. (So fluid that it it always happening without your knowledge) Your main objection seems to be that arbitrary choices can somehow get around all of this. This is completely false. The only way this can be concluded if you stop deconstructing the reasons for things(when further deconstruction could be done). For instance- I decide to change my mind this is caused by an outward or inward stimuli. If someone tries to disprove determinism by making an arbitary choice they are actually are proving its existance. Their choice was determined by their nature as a human (which is determined by genes which were determined by their parents and the rest was determined by their enviroment, their enviroment was caused by something else as well) and by the outward stimuli of being told about and then knowing what determinsm is.
EVERYTHING that exists that has happned can be deconstructed. The only way to disprove determinsm is if you could prove that something outside of the universe could enter it or interact with what was inside of it. The burden of proof is on the person who believes in free will. Determinsm is the default position someone who believes in free will simply because of its apparent existance is making the same mistake theist make when they claim to be the default position just because their view is more widely held and has been around longer.

The example I gave wasn't fully deconstructed to do this I would have had to deconstruct to the beginning of existance if there is such a thing.
Do not attack the example because the concept is completely accurate( I would say self evident but its impossible to prove that something is obvious.) its possible the EXAMPLE wasn't deconstructed completely or accurately but the idea is right on. If you want to disprove determinism there is only one way to do that. Have fun trying (I stated how above.)

Jebediah

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:10 pm
@Night Ripper,
Onthewindowstand, I agree that determinism doesn't mold the universe, it just describes it. But this seems to me like an argument for free will. I don't see why you think it's the other way around.

OntheWindowStand

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:10 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;144886 wrote:
How can you tell if a relationship is one of causation or perfect correlation?

Let's imagine two logically possible worlds:

1. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, causes the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius to explode. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

2. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, does nothing at all. Coincidentally, the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius
explodes. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

What experiment could determine which world the experimenter was in?

This scenario only SEEMS to pose a problem in reality it doesn't. This situation only exists in concept form and because of this has been defined by YOU to pose a problem. If you do not say why or how the heads explode than the scenario holds no bearing on the discussion because, it no longer holds any station in reality. the answer to your question is that it seems to have no cause because you have given it none in your mind. Find me a real life example of anything similar to this happening. This post is an appeal to ignorance btw just because you don't why that doesnt mean there is no why.

(I realize the post was made quickly and has poor grammer so im going to simplify all i said)

Your situation appears random and without cause because you DECIDED that it did. This is the flaw if your reasoning. If you simply state again that the heads exploding is random you have presented a situation that isn't consistent with reality. If you were to say you don't know why they explode than it is a incomplete scenario. If you give a reason you have validated determinism

---------- Post added 03-28-2010 at 12:23 AM ----------

Jebediah;144977 wrote:
Onthewindowstand, I agree that determinism doesn't mold the universe, it just describes it. But this seems to me like an argument for free will. I don't see why you think it's the other way around.

I realize that my posts are quickly done so I will clarify briefly with less details. (You had to have gleaned a reason from my post though?)

The existance for a fluid state of happening or being is evidence for a predictable universe (if you were omniscient this would be the case.)
Even without being omniscient many things are still predictable btw!!
A more abstract supporting argument for determinism is that because it existed/happned is was ment to be. I can say this because it DOES happen and it DOES exists and the other possibilities melted away into nonexistance and non possibilities. The very existance of a universe that isnt shifting in and out of existance and that regardless of what is in the system (the universe) will have a future existance.

(Below is a tangent on why a omniscient god that allows free will is impossible.
(Omsnience is impossible if free will exists, this is because a choice born of free will is the ability to arbitarily choose something without reference or reason. If we are operating under the defintion that omscience is all knowledge of present events and existance than in a free will system it is impossible.) (Free will would be a process of the future happenings of the universe coming to fruition.) (This is a good argument against a omscient god who allows free will btw this is why i went on a tangent )

Jebediah

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:27 pm
@Night Ripper,
Oh I see what you mean. But I think you are assuming that determinism and free will are mutually exclusive. I didn't state it specifically, but I would say they go hand in hand. It seems like determinism is even a requirement for free will.

Determinism doesn't force our choices on us, it just describes our choices.

Emil

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:28 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;144886 wrote:
How can you tell if a relationship is one of causation or perfect correlation?

Let's imagine two logically possible worlds:

1. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, causes the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius to explode. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

2. I'm given a button which, upon pressing, does nothing at all. Coincidentally, the head of a randomly selected person within a mile radius
explodes. Whenever I push the button, boom. If I don't push the button, nothing. Eventually, the police take the button away from me and the killings stop.

What experiment could determine which world the experimenter was in?

I don't know.

I don't know.

Why do you ask me, if you did. English is particularly annoying with the word "you" functioning both as a general pronoun for any person, and for a particular person with whom the speaker or the writer is speaking or writing to. To avoid this confusion I use the word "one" instead. Perhaps you should too.

Also, be aware that the usual nonsense spewers have invaded this thread, and so it will probably be filled with crap in a short time.

north

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:28 pm
@kennethamy,
determinism , instinct

ughaibu

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:29 pm
@OntheWindowStand,
OntheWindowStand;144975 wrote:
This post is a strawman and shows a remarkable lack of understanding.

Determinsm isn't a force that molds the universe, it just describes it. The theory simply is stating that everything is pre-determined this is a fluid process.
A determined world meets three conditions:
1) at all times that world has an exactly describable and definite state
2) there are laws of nature that are the same in all times and places
3) given the state of the world at any time, the state of the world at all other times is exactly specified by the given state in conjunction with the laws of nature.
This means that, in principle, a determined world can be fully described mathematically. As such, if the calculation could be performed, and the result included the fact that you will fall off your bicycle tomorrow at 3:00am, do you think that you can avoid this prediction?

OntheWindowStand

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:32 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;144987 wrote:
Oh I see what you mean. But I think you are assuming that determinism and free will are mutually exclusive. I didn't state it specifically, but I would say they go hand in hand. It seems like determinism is even a requirement for free will.

Determinism doesn't force our choices on us, it just describes our choices.

I think I understand your position now but this is why I don't agree. As a human being we never do anything that contradicts our identity if we do something than it came from our identity. If we could arbitraily choose our identity than we would have free will. But our identity is something that cannot be changed in a absolute way (even if it could it be determined by what the current identity wanted to be and the identity would want a certain identity because of previous events). It can slightly changed by the enviroment (determinism). Hence no free will.

north

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:34 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;144990 wrote:
A determined world meets three conditions:
1) at all times that world has an exactly describable and definite state
2) there are laws of nature that are the same in all times and places
3) given the state of the world at any time, the state of the world at all other times is exactly specified by the given state in conjunction with the laws of nature.

Quote:
This means that, in principle, a determined world can be fully described mathematically. As such, if the calculation could be performed, and the result included the fact that you will fall off your bicycle tomorrow at 3:00am, do you think that you can avoid this prediction?

of course

the tire went flat before the ride

OntheWindowStand

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:35 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;144990 wrote:
A determined world meets three conditions:
1) at all times that world has an exactly describable and definite state
2) there are laws of nature that are the same in all times and places
3) given the state of the world at any time, the state of the world at all other times is exactly specified by the given state in conjunction with the laws of nature.
This means that, in principle, a determined world can be fully described mathematically. As such, if the calculation could be performed, and the result included the fact that you will fall off your bicycle tomorrow at 3:00am, do you think that you can avoid this prediction?

Not if the equation accounted for me knowing its prediction which would cause the need for a new equation and then knowing the results of that equation you would need another and so on and so fourth. even If the equation was done and results incorporated the person doing the equation knowing the results you would have to constantly make new equations for the new information being added to the person. Which ironically the knowledge would have been predetermined as well

north

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:38 pm
@OntheWindowStand,
Quote:

This means that, in principle, a determined world can be fully described mathematically. As such, if the calculation could be performed, and the result included the fact that you will fall off your bicycle tomorrow at 3:00am, do you think that you can avoid this prediction?
of course

the tire went flat before the ride

OntheWindowStand

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:38 pm
@Emil,
Emil;144988 wrote:
I don't know.

I don't know.

Why do you ask me, if you did. English is particularly annoying with the word "you" functioning both as a general pronoun for any person, and for a particular person with whom the speaker or the writer is speaking or writing to. To avoid this confusion I use the word "one" instead. Perhaps you should too.

Also, be aware that the usual nonsense spewers have invaded this thread, and so it will probably be filled with crap in a short time.

Deal with bad grammer its the internet as long as you know the ideas being presented it doesnt matter.

ughaibu

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:39 pm
@OntheWindowStand,
OntheWindowStand;144994 wrote:
Not if the equation accounted for me knowing its prediction which would cause the need for a new equation and then knowing the results of that equation you would need another and so on and so fourth. even If the equation was done and results incorporated the person doing the equation knowing the results you would have to constantly make new equations for the new information being added to the person. Which ironically the knowledge would have been predetermined as well
In other words, you could override any such prediction, as a matter of free will.

OntheWindowStand

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:41 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;144998 wrote:
In other words, you could override any such prediction, as a matter of free will.

No in other words you can't make a math equation for it, because the equations existance and the knowledge of that equations results are intoducing variables that the previous equation did not account for. This would go for eternity, so the equation you have presented is self contradicting.

north

Sat 27 Mar, 2010 10:42 pm
@ughaibu,
Freewill is change