# Defense of Freewill Against Determinism

ughaibu

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:20 am
@tomr,
tomr wrote:
I need to show that it is possible to make an exact predition of the entire world?
Of course. Alternatively, feel free to withdraw your claim, now that you know what's wrong with the logic.
tomr wrote:
if I had complete knowledge of the system at a particular point in time I could completely predict the outcome of the system. What is wrong with this logic?

Night Ripper

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:40 am
Imagine two universes each of which contain only a single coin. In one universe, due to deterministic natural laws, the coin flips heads, tails, heads, tails and so on forever. In the second universe, the coin flips heads, tails, heads, tails and so on forever, not because there are any deterministic natural laws, but completely randomly.

There's no testable difference between these two universes. In both universes you will make exactly the same observation of the same exact pattern. The difference between determinism and randomness isn't testable or falsifiable and therefore it's not science.

jeeprs

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:50 am
@Night Ripper,
Quote:
Imagine two universes

no can do. Hard enough to imagine one.

Sorry, flippant comment, I should enlarge on that. If the laws of chance were significantly different, how could life have arisen in the first place?

Pepijn Sweep

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 01:10 am
@jeeprs,
Try a trillion

Pepijn Sweep

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 01:10 am
@jeeprs,

ACB

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 06:04 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:
Imagine two universes each of which contain only a single coin. In one universe, due to deterministic natural laws, the coin flips heads, tails, heads, tails and so on forever. In the second universe, the coin flips heads, tails, heads, tails and so on forever, not because there are any deterministic natural laws, but completely randomly.

There's no testable difference between these two universes. In both universes you will make exactly the same observation of the same exact pattern. The difference between determinism and randomness isn't testable or falsifiable and therefore it's not science.

I am interested in this argument, and have started a new thread on this specific topic (Causality, Randomness and Induction) in which I raise a number of objections. It would be helpful if you could look at my argument there and give me your comments in that thread. I do not have any dogmatic view on the matter, but I think this topic deserves further consideration.

Arjuna

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 08:03 am
@tomr,
tomr wrote:

Quote:
Like in the morning with the whole day ahead of you.... do you walk through it knowing that whereever you find yourself... whatever is happening... there was no other possibility? Like you're in a movie you haven't seen, but the script is set in stone.

Or do you struggle... imagining that there's some right answer... some right thing to be, some right thing to say, some particular goal to achieve?

I feel more the latter than the former. Being determined does not mean I have to stop the struggle.
You said a mouthful there, friend. Not only do you not have to, you never will entirely. Not unless your self is evaculated to the state of the computer you mentioned. You can still sprinkle a little determinism into your outlook. Throw out the ideal. What ever happens next has a 100% chance of happening. It may appear that the degree to which you struggle will affect that... like a gambler thinks his lucky rabbits foot controls the dice. Whatever.

kennethamy

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 08:13 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna wrote:

tomr wrote:

Quote:
Like in the morning with the whole day ahead of you.... do you walk through it knowing that whereever you find yourself... whatever is happening... there was no other possibility? Like you're in a movie you haven't seen, but the script is set in stone.

Or do you struggle... imagining that there's some right answer... some right thing to be, some right thing to say, some particular goal to achieve?

I feel more the latter than the former. Being determined does not mean I have to stop the struggle.
You said a mouthful there, friend. Not only do you not have to, you never will entirely. Not unless your self is evaculated to the state of the computer you mentioned. You can still sprinkle a little determinism into your outlook. Throw out the ideal. What ever happens next has a 100% chance of happening. It may appear that the degree to which you struggle will affect that... like a gambler thinks his lucky rabbits foot controls the dice. Whatever.

But doesn't being determined to stop struggling mean that you must stop struggling? How can he continue to struggle when it is determined that he will stop struggling? I would suggest you struggle with that question, but if determinism is true in the way you seem to think it is true, what good is my suggestion, since whether or no you follow it is already determined? Isn't it a mess when the the thesis of determinism is applied to itself. It just makes my hair hurt. (It also makes me think that there is complete confusion about the relation between determinism and free will). Now, if anything is a mouthful, you have it here!

Arjuna

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 08:37 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Isn't it a mess when the the thesis of determinism is applied to itself. It just makes my hair hurt. (It also makes me think that there is complete confusion about the relation between determinism and free will). Now, if anything is a mouthful, you have it here!
Change one word in that first sentence and you've got it: "when determinism is applied to yourself. As for the rest... KA: you are absolutely right.

Beyond that: notice what happened when I asked about a cessation of struggle? Immediately it's assumed that I presented an ideal and pointed out deficiencies in the actuality. FACE PALM. The ideal is fiction. There is only the actuality.... from a certain point of view.

kennethamy

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 08:53 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna wrote:

kennethamy wrote:

Isn't it a mess when the the thesis of determinism is applied to itself. It just makes my hair hurt. (It also makes me think that there is complete confusion about the relation between determinism and free will). Now, if anything is a mouthful, you have it here!
Change one word in that first sentence and you've got it: "when determinism is applied to yourself. As for the rest... KA: you are absolutely right.

Beyond that: notice what happened when I asked about a cessation of struggle? Immediately it's assumed that I presented an ideal and pointed out deficiencies in the actuality. FACE PALM. The ideal is fiction. There is only the actuality.... from a certain point of view.

I don't think I know what you are saying, but it is clear that if determinism implies that whatever we do we had to do (not that I believe it) then if we struggle, we have to struggle. And if we stop struggling, we have to stop struggling, and neither struggling nor stopping struggling is up to us. That is what hard determinists say. I did not make it up. And I didn't say it.

Fil Albuquerque

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 09:00 am
Side questions...

Fil Albuquerque

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 09:28 am
Speaking on Elegant hypothesis...

Fil Albuquerque

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 09:48 am

tomr

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 10:23 am
@ughaibu,
Quote:
Of course. Alternatively, feel free to withdraw your claim, now that you know what's wrong with the logic.

I will not because I never claimed that I could prove the principle only that I could follow the pattern that an increase in the knowlegdge of systems leads to greater predictibility. If I could solve what you ask I would not need to follow any pattern.

ughaibu

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 10:38 am
@tomr,
tomr wrote:
I will not because I never claimed that I could prove the principle only that I could follow the pattern that an increase in the knowlegdge of systems leads to greater predictibility.
You claimed "if I had complete knowledge of the system at a particular point in time I could completely predict the outcome of the system", as determinism is irreducibly global, this claim can only be relevant to the incompatibilist debate if it's a claim of global prediction. The fact is, that scientists can not make ideal predictions for the simplest possible system of two objects moving apart at a constant velocity in a frictionless medium. So you have no basis for claiming that you can completely predict the behaviour of complex animals in the actual world. Not only that, your claim assumes that, given the required knowledge, you would have the freedom to undertake this project, you yourself are assuming the reality of free will, just like every other free will denier does.

tomr

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 11:09 am
@ughaibu,
No I claimed:

Quote:
I then follow this pattern to the conclusion that if I had complete knowledge of the system at a particular point in time I could completely predict the outcome of the system.

It is not necessary to make ideal predictions because these kind of predictions are not allowed in nature. It is not a requirement to follow the pattern I explained and even apply it to animals. Where is your pattern for the view you hold that you have realisable alternatives. This can never be tested even in principle for the same reasons.

ughaibu

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 11:44 am
@tomr,
tomr wrote:
Where is your pattern for the view you hold that you have realisable alternatives. This can never be tested even in principle for the same reasons.
Rubbish. The denier must surely be aware that disinterested readers can see that they are misrepresenting reality, not just about the matter of primary denial but in their willingness to swear that black is white in support of that denial. You are now the third denier in the last few days to make statements which can be confirmed as false, by anyone reading these threads. This puts the credibility of your position at less than zero.

Fil Albuquerque

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 11:59 am

Fil Albuquerque

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:11 pm

kennethamy

Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:15 pm
@tomr,
tomr wrote:

Where is your pattern for the view you hold that you have realisable alternatives. This can never be tested even in principle for the same reasons.

I think you may be asking for evidence that a person could have done (but did not do) otherwise than he did. The evidence is nothing special. It is common ordinary, inductive evidence. Something we use all the time without thinking about it. For example: This morning I did not take my usual mile walk one I customarily take every day (if the weather is clement enough). Well, today it rained heavily, so I forewent my walk. I did not take it. Could I have taken the walk if I had chosen to ignore the weather? Of course I could have. Why couldn't I have? I was just as capable of taking the walk this morning as I was yesterday morning, and the morning before. The burden of proof would heavily fall on anyone (like you?) who claimed that I couldn't have taken my mile walk. If you claimed that I could not have taken my mile walk I would ask you to support your claim in view of the fact that nothing (as far as I know) had changed today which would prevent me from taking my walk. And, if in response to my challenge to tell me what evidence you had that I could not have taken that walk, you were to give as evidence only that I did not take the walk, I would accuse you (correctly) of simply begging the question, that is, of assuming what is to be proved. It is not a reason to think that I could not have done what I did not do that I didn't do it. That is simply circular reasoning. What you would have to do is to cite something that has changed from when I took my mile walk the day before yesterday, and something (let me emphasize) that is relevant I mean that, for example, to say "Well when you last took your walk it was Tuesday, and today is Thursday" might well be true, but would not be relevant since you have no good reason to believe that that mere fact that today is Thursday and not Tuesday is relevant.