Defense of Freewill Against Determinism

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ACB
 
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 08:50 pm
@Zetherin,
I was not arguing for or against determinism. I was just trying to summarise what I believe to be ughaibu's argument, as some were having difficulty in understanding it. Ughaibu will no doubt reply to your objections.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 08:57 pm
@ACB,
Well, I'm not too thrilled to have ughaibu reply, since I never understand what ughaibu means. I did understand what you meant, though, and that's why I'm asking for clarification. I didn't really object to anything, by the way.

Is it true what I say in regards to my cancer and basketball examples? All related inactions are deemed negative causes of a thing?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 09:13 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
Is it true what I say in regards to my cancer and basketball examples? All related inactions are deemed negative causes of a thing?
These weren't proposed as negative causes, they're negative conditions in a (possibly infinite) list of conditions required for C to cause E.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 09:18 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:
These weren't proposed as negative causes, they're negative conditions in a (possibly infinite) list of conditions required for C to cause

I thought that they were proposed as negative causes. ACB said this:

ACB wrote:
But there were other causes also - some positive (the person had a certain level of susceptibility to the virus, he/she was exposed to it for a certain length of time, the ambient conditions were conducive to infection, etc) and some negative (he/she did not take the vaccine, did not die from another illness, etc).
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 09:22 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:

ughaibu wrote:
These weren't proposed as negative causes, they're negative conditions in a (possibly infinite) list of conditions required for C to cause

I thought that they were proposed as negative causes. ACB said this:

ACB wrote:
But there were other causes also - some positive (the person had a certain level of susceptibility to the virus, he/she was exposed to it for a certain length of time, the ambient conditions were conducive to infection, etc) and some negative (he/she did not take the vaccine, did not die from another illness, etc).

In that case, you'll need to ask ACB. I dont know what's meant by a negative cause.
 
wayne
 
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 11:48 pm
@fast,
fast wrote:

Does the following make sense to you? Some events are necessary events?


I think that, at any given time, this statement must be true.

For example, I'll begin with the air disaster at Tenerife as the event.
FAA investigators have already shown that the collision of airliner A with airliner B occured as the result of a multitude of causes, both primary and secondary.
For my purpose here Let's focus on the point in time where it became necessary that A collide with B, the point of no return. For reasons that don't need discussion yet, this particular event makes that point relatively easy to discern.
If we can reasonably assume that all events must reach this same point of no return (there are reasons that this is not always so easy to discern), then it must follow that at any point in time there are any number of events that are necessary.

Therefore, at any time, the statement " some events are necessary events" is true.

Does it then follow that this statement be true?

Some events are necessary events, and some events are not necessary events.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 03:09 am
@ughaibu,
If we do not consider them as causes but conditions, then how is this a problem for causality? I ask because you said earlier that all notions of causality suffer from a problem.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:00 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
If we do not consider them as causes but conditions, then how is this a problem for causality? I ask because you said earlier that all notions of causality suffer from a problem.
The overall problem is the difficulty of producing a satisfactory general theory of causation which matches usage. The problem highlighted by ACB is that a set of additional clauses is needed if we want anything like if C is the cause of E, then if C occurs, E follows, and if E occurs, C precedes it. This tends to make the model trivial, C causes E if C causes E, so there doesn't appear to be any prospect of a satisfactory theory of cause resulting from this approach.
I dont see this as a serious problem, if cause is accepted to be a vague notion.
 
ACB
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 06:13 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
These weren't proposed as negative causes, they're negative conditions in a (possibly infinite) list of conditions required for C to cause
I thought that they were proposed as negative causes. ACB said this:
ACB wrote:
But there were other causes also - some positive (the person had a certain level of susceptibility to the virus, he/she was exposed to it for a certain length of time, the ambient conditions were conducive to infection, etc) and some negative (he/she did not take the vaccine, did not die from another illness, etc).

OK, let's call them "negative conditions", and restrict the term "causes" to the positive conditions.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 06:41 am
@wayne,
wayne wrote:

fast wrote:

Does the following make sense to you? Some events are necessary events?


I think that, at any given time, this statement must be true.

For example, I'll begin with the air disaster at Tenerife as the event.
FAA investigators have already shown that the collision of airliner A with airliner B occured as the result of a multitude of causes, both primary and secondary.
For my purpose here Let's focus on the point in time where it became necessary that A collide with B, the point of no return. For reasons that don't need discussion yet, this particular event makes that point relatively easy to discern.
If we can reasonably assume that all events must reach this same point of no return (there are reasons that this is not always so easy to discern), then it must follow that at any point in time there are any number of events that are necessary.

Therefore, at any time, the statement " some events are necessary events" is true.

Does it then follow that this statement be true?

Some events are necessary events, and some events are not necessary events.


And "necessary" means?
 
ACB
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 06:46 am
@wayne,
wayne wrote:
For example, I'll begin with the air disaster at Tenerife as the event.
FAA investigators have already shown that the collision of airliner A with airliner B occured as the result of a multitude of causes, both primary and secondary.
For my purpose here Let's focus on the point in time where it became necessary that A collide with B, the point of no return. For reasons that don't need discussion yet, this particular event makes that point relatively easy to discern.
If we can reasonably assume that all events must reach this same point of no return (there are reasons that this is not always so easy to discern), then it must follow that at any point in time there are any number of events that are necessary.

But there is a range of possible sequences of events that all involve A colliding with B in some way, but with differences of detail (slightly different points of impact, slightly different locations, etc). It may be that (if determinism is true) only one of all the possible histories of the universe results in A colliding with B in exactly the way it actually did. And I mean "exactly" right down to a microscopic level.
 
ACB
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 06:50 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
And "necessary" means?

Physically necessary, I presume (not logically necessary).
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 07:12 am
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

wayne wrote:
For example, I'll begin with the air disaster at Tenerife as the event.
FAA investigators have already shown that the collision of airliner A with airliner B occured as the result of a multitude of causes, both primary and secondary.
For my purpose here Let's focus on the point in time where it became necessary that A collide with B, the point of no return. For reasons that don't need discussion yet, this particular event makes that point relatively easy to discern.
If we can reasonably assume that all events must reach this same point of no return (there are reasons that this is not always so easy to discern), then it must follow that at any point in time there are any number of events that are necessary.

But there is a range of possible sequences of events that all involve A colliding with B in some way, but with differences of detail (slightly different points of impact, slightly different locations, etc). It may be that (if determinism is true) only one of all the possible histories of the universe results in A colliding with B in exactly the way it actually did. And I mean "exactly" right down to a microscopic level.


What I don't understand is whether anyone is claiming that it is logically impossible that the crash might not have happened? That to assert the non-occurrence of the the crash would be to assert a contradiction?
 
fast
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 07:52 am
@wayne,
Wayne,

I understand (or at least I try to understand) what "some events are necessary events" means. What I didn't know is if Ughaibu understands it.

The planes did not have to crash, yet the planes did have to crash. That would be contradictory if by “have” I meant the same thing in both instances.

The planes did not have to crash, for the fact that each plane took off is a contingent truth, not a necessary truth. Even after the planes crossed the point of no return, it’s still so that the planes did not have to crash, and I say that because I’ve already established that they did not have to crash by showing the fact that each plane took to the air is a contingent truth. (The logical must)

Yet, the planes did have to crash. Once the planes passed the point of no return, the crash was inevitable. No other real possibilities existed that would allow a mere close call. Guaranteed by the laws of our universe, events were set in motion that would lead to no outcome other than the planes crashing. (The physical must)

If on the one hand I’m saying that the planes did not have to crash yet on the other hand saying that the planes did have to crash, then how is what I’m saying not a contradiction? Because on the one hand I’m talking about the logical must and on the other hand I’m talking about the physical must. They are compatible!

Logically speaking, the fact that the planes crashed is not a necessary truth but rather a contingent truth, and because the fact is not a necessary truth, the planes did not have to crash. This fact (that it’s a contingent truth) does not detract from the reality of what did happen after the planes crossed the point of no return. Sad are we that simply describe the events as something that did happen (and not something that must happen) since what did happen was what happened AFTER the point of no return.

By the way, the peculiar view of determinism that I’ve mentioned a couple times would say that the planes did have to (the physical must) crash, but not only does it say that the planes had to crash after the point of no return, it also says that the planes had to crash (the physical must) even before the point of no return was reached. Way before.
 
ACB
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 08:01 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
What I don't understand is whether anyone is claiming that it is logically impossible that the crash might not have happened? That to assert the non-occurrence of the the crash would be to assert a contradiction?

If I am understanding correctly, this isn't about logical possibility. It is about physical possibility, given the laws of nature. It is of course logically possible that the laws of nature could be violated at any moment, but I don't think that is what is being discussed here.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 03:02 pm
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

kennethamy wrote:
What I don't understand is whether anyone is claiming that it is logically impossible that the crash might not have happened? That to assert the non-occurrence of the the crash would be to assert a contradiction?

If I am understanding correctly, this isn't about logical possibility. It is about physical possibility, given the laws of nature. It is of course logically possible that the laws of nature could be violated at any moment, but I don't think that is what is being discussed here.


It is a little hard to tell. But if a crash is inconsistent not only with the laws of nature that are applicable, but also with the initial conditions which obtained, then of course, it is physically impossible that there should not have been a crash. And that only means that with the applicable laws of nature, and the initial conditions as premises, and the occurrence of the crash as a conclusion, then the resulting argument is sound.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:56 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

wayne wrote:

fast wrote:

Does the following make sense to you? Some events are necessary events?


I think that, at any given time, this statement must be true.

For example, I'll begin with the air disaster at Tenerife as the event.
FAA investigators have already shown that the collision of airliner A with airliner B occured as the result of a multitude of causes, both primary and secondary.
For my purpose here Let's focus on the point in time where it became necessary that A collide with B, the point of no return. For reasons that don't need discussion yet, this particular event makes that point relatively easy to discern.
If we can reasonably assume that all events must reach this same point of no return (there are reasons that this is not always so easy to discern), then it must follow that at any point in time there are any number of events that are necessary.

Therefore, at any time, the statement " some events are necessary events" is true.

Does it then follow that this statement be true?

Some events are necessary events, and some events are not necessary events.


And "necessary" means?


I think in this context I'll go with #2. inevitable.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 01:02 am
@ACB,
ACB wrote:

wayne wrote:
For example, I'll begin with the air disaster at Tenerife as the event.
FAA investigators have already shown that the collision of airliner A with airliner B occured as the result of a multitude of causes, both primary and secondary.
For my purpose here Let's focus on the point in time where it became necessary that A collide with B, the point of no return. For reasons that don't need discussion yet, this particular event makes that point relatively easy to discern.
If we can reasonably assume that all events must reach this same point of no return (there are reasons that this is not always so easy to discern), then it must follow that at any point in time there are any number of events that are necessary.

But there is a range of possible sequences of events that all involve A colliding with B in some way, but with differences of detail (slightly different points of impact, slightly different locations, etc). It may be that (if determinism is true) only one of all the possible histories of the universe results in A colliding with B in exactly the way it actually did. And I mean "exactly" right down to a microscopic level.


Sure, i'll go along with that, but it doesn't matter as far as point of no return is concerned. Any and all events reaching the point of no return become necessary, regardless of how small the detail.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 01:18 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

ACB wrote:

wayne wrote:
For example, I'll begin with the air disaster at Tenerife as the event.
FAA investigators have already shown that the collision of airliner A with airliner B occured as the result of a multitude of causes, both primary and secondary.
For my purpose here Let's focus on the point in time where it became necessary that A collide with B, the point of no return. For reasons that don't need discussion yet, this particular event makes that point relatively easy to discern.
If we can reasonably assume that all events must reach this same point of no return (there are reasons that this is not always so easy to discern), then it must follow that at any point in time there are any number of events that are necessary.

But there is a range of possible sequences of events that all involve A colliding with B in some way, but with differences of detail (slightly different points of impact, slightly different locations, etc). It may be that (if determinism is true) only one of all the possible histories of the universe results in A colliding with B in exactly the way it actually did. And I mean "exactly" right down to a microscopic level.


What I don't understand is whether anyone is claiming that it is logically impossible that the crash might not have happened? That to assert the non-occurrence of the the crash would be to assert a contradiction?


I really don't see his point either.
I think you got what I was saying about the line between occurrence and non- occurrence, I used tenerife simply because the line is so clear, microscopic just makes it harder to discern it still has to be there though.
There was a long period of time, relatively speaking, when A must collide with B and nothing could be done to change it.
Of course A could have exploded but there was still a point where that option would fail.
The point of no return may actually be the line between present and past, and may even be infinitely small.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 01:44 am
@fast,
Hi Fast;

I think the influence here is that infinite enemy of human understanding, TIME.
The event at tenerife became the present in which we now exist, yet at any point prior to the point of no return was only one possible future of an infinite of possible futures. The fact of it's occurrence creates a new infinite of possible futures.
That's the thing with infinite, it contains no definite. We just can't pursue it to an end. I think that determinism places a restriction on the infinite that just can't be. Infinity is not dimensional as our minds are able to think. To say determinism is to say that there is one infinity, that is not true, there are infinite infinities etc etc etc. Beyond the grasp of finite mind centered in dimension.
 
 

 
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