Defense of Freewill Against Determinism

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Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 07:54 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
So you do acknowledge the relationships between occurrences, but you are just uncomfortable saying saying that X caused Y?
1) it depends on which occurrences and what kind of relationship
2) where have I stated that I'm uncomfortable saying that X caused Y?
Unless there is a satisfactory theory of cause, cause remains a folk notion, it is vague and ambiguous. This makes statements on the lines of "everything has a cause" meaningless.

If you're not uncomfortable stating that X causes Y, at least in some instances, then I am unsure what finding a satisfactory theory of cause would change for you. Suppose you did find a satisfactory theory of cause - how would that change how you use the notion today, and how would it make anything more clear? What things would it make clearer? Can you be specific?

My point is that cause is not necessarily vague and ambiguous, barring context. If we do not provide the context and detail, it can most certainly be vague. But I believe that if I point a gun at someone's head, pull the trigger, and that person dies, it is not vague to say that I caused that person to die - despite there being a (possible) unquantifiable number of conditions. Do you think it is vague? If so, what exactly is vague to you here?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:07 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
what exactly is vague to you here?
It's not a question of vagueness in specific examples, it's vagueness within the notion of cause.
For example; you appear to think that "oxidation causes rust" is a normal usage. Analysing this, some oxidised iron is called "rust", so you have the usual problem, not all oxidation causes rust. Also, some collections of cut flowers are called bouquets, do you think that "collecting causes bouquets" is a normal usage? Some cut finger nails are sacred, does cutting cause sacredness? Et cetera.
 
north
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:08 pm
@Zetherin,

Zetherian ;

Quote:
My point is that cause is not necessarily vague and ambiguous, barring context. If we do not provide the context and detail, it can most certainly be vague. But I believe that if I point a gun at someone's head, pull the trigger, and that person dies, it is not vague to say that I caused that person to die - despite there being a (possible) unquantifiable number of conditions. Do you think it is vague? If so, what exactly is vague to you here?


pulling the trigger though was following , affect and effect before the cause
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:18 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
what exactly is vague to you here?
It's not a question of vagueness in specific examples, it's vagueness within the notion of cause.
For example; you appear to think that "oxidation causes rust" is a normal usage. Analysing this, some oxidised iron is called "rust", so you have the usual problem, not all oxidation causes rust. Also, some collections of cut flowers are called bouquets, do you think that "collecting causes bouquets" is a normal usage? Some cut finger nails are sacred, does cutting cause sacredness? Et cetera.

But that not all oxidation causes rust, does not mean that oxidation isn't a cause of rust. And even if scientists found another cause for rust, so what? We still know that oxidation is a cause of rust.

When doctors say that smoking causes cancer, they are not claiming that there aren't cases where smoking does not cause cancer. They are acknowledging a correlation between smoking and cancer. They are not saying in some metaphysical sense that smoking, absolutely and without doubt, brings about cancer. Much of it is about correlation and probabilities.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:30 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
No one ever employs cause in this general, overarching sense.
But, if there is to be a satisfactory theory of cause, then at least philosophers will need to have a general and consistent usage of the term "cause".
Zetherin wrote:
It is obviously dependent on context and specific examples.
Because it is a vague and ambiguous term! It's a folk notion, it is not the kind of notion which forms the basis of philosophical theories, because it itself has no supporting theory.
 
north
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:31 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:

ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
what exactly is vague to you here?
It's not a question of vagueness in specific examples, it's vagueness within the notion of cause.
For example; you appear to think that "oxidation causes rust" is a normal usage. Analysing this, some oxidised iron is called "rust", so you have the usual problem, not all oxidation causes rust. Also, some collections of cut flowers are called bouquets, do you think that "collecting causes bouquets" is a normal usage? Some cut finger nails are sacred, does cutting cause sacredness? Et cetera.

But that not all oxidation causes rust, does not mean that oxidation isn't a cause of rust. And even if scientists found another cause for rust, so what? We still know that oxidation is a cause of rust.

When doctors say that smoking causes cancer, they are not claiming that there aren't cases where smoking does not cause cancer. They are acknowledging a correlation between smoking and cancer. They are not saying in some metaphysical sense that smoking, absolutely and without doubt, brings about cancer. Much of it is about correlation and probabilities.


fore now , I'll leave it to you two here

north
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:35 pm
ughaibu wrote:
Because it is a vague and ambiguous term! It's a folk notion, it is not the kind of notion which forms the basis of philosophical theories, because it itself has no supporting theory.

I'll admit to the term needing clarification from a rigorous philosophical standpoint, but how we use the term is not vague at all!

And if it is, then we must delve back into a specific example and you must tell me what is vague! If I point a gun at someone's head, pull the trigger, and that person dies, what is vague about saying that I caused the death of the person?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 08:58 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
If I point a gun at someone's head, pull the trigger, and that person dies, what is vague about saying that I caused the death of the person?
How many more times will it take for you to get this? Examples are irrelevant to the fact that cause is a vague notion, "cause" doesn't refer to anything general or specific.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:05 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
If I point a gun at someone's head, pull the trigger, and that person dies, what is vague about saying that I caused the death of the person?
How many more times will it take for you to get this? Examples are irrelevant to the fact that cause is a vague notion, "cause" doesn't refer to anything general or specific.

But can you answer my question? What about that is vague? Many people would understand what I mean by, "Zetherin shooting Bill was the cause of Bill's death", given my example. In fact, people would understand very clearly what that means: That Zetherin killed Bill.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:12 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
But can you answer my question? What about that is vague? Many people would understand what I mean by, "Zetherin shooting Bill was the cause of Bill's death", given my example.
Where have I said that this example is vague? Or that people dont understand it?
Can you answer my questions:
1) how does "there is no satisfactory theory of cause in philosophy" translate to a belief that we can not understand relationships between occurrences?
2) how are "the progression of science, free will, and our use of inductive reasoning" dependent on a "satisfactory theory of cause in philosophy"?
3) do you think that "collecting causes bouquets" is a normal usage?
4) does cutting cause sacredness?
5) how many more times will it take for you to get this?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:26 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:
Where have I said that this example is vague? Or that people dont understand it?

Then what the hell do you mean that the term "cause" is a vague notion, if you don't find the usage of the term vague?!
Quote:
Can you answer my questions:
1) how does "there is no satisfactory theory of cause in philosophy" translate to a belief that we can not understand relationships between occurrences?

Your thinking that our understanding of "cause" is unsatisfactory, leads me to question how you interpret our understanding of relationships between occurrences. For if you think it is vague to say X causes Y [but you say that you don't find this vague - which leads me back to: Then what the hell do you mean that "cause" is a vague notion?!], then you may question what we can know about the relationship between two occurrences.
Quote:
2) how are "the progression of science, free will, and our use of inductive reasoning" dependent on a "satisfactory theory of cause in philosophy"?

And thus it makes me wonder what you think of pursuits or theories which the relationships of occurrences is a basis of...
Quote:
3) do you think that "collecting causes bouquets" is a normal usage?

No.
Quote:
4) does cutting cause sacredness?

I don't know what this means.
Quote:
5) how many more times will it take for you to get this?

If you don't want to answer my questions, stop responding. It may take another dozen times. Hell, maybe even two dozen. Stop at will.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:33 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
Where have I said that this example is vague? Or that people dont understand it?
Then what the hell do you mean that the term "cause" is a vague notion, if you don't find the usage of the term vague?!
I have explained this and I have illustrated it with examples, I do not see where the leeway, to continue to fail to get this very very simple point, lies.
If you think that cause is not a vague notion and that your example points this out, then state what it means for C to cause E and demonstrate that this is generally and consistently applicable.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:37 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
Where have I said that this example is vague? Or that people dont understand it?
Then what the hell do you mean that the term "cause" is a vague notion, if you don't find the usage of the term vague?!
I have explained this and I have illustrated it with examples, I do not see where the leeway, to continue to fail to get this very very simple point, lies.
If you think that cause is not a vague notion and that your example points this out, then state what it means for C to cause E and demonstrate that this is generally and consistently applicable.

It doesn't even make sense to say it will be "generally and consistently applicable" because that is just ignoring the conditionals that we already acknowledged exist.

You're asking for us to give you a theory that states that X will always, barring this rigor, consistently and without exception, cause Y. Not only can't I give you what you want, but it doesn't even make sense for you to demand it.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:40 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
It doesn't even make sense to say it will be "generally and consistently applicable" because that is just ignoring the conditionals that we already acknowledged exist.

Not only can't I give you what you want, but it doesn't even make sense for you to demand it.
In short, there is no satisfactory theory of cause in philosophy, no consistent use of "cause" in the sciences and no notion of cause in fundamental physics. From which, it should be quite obvious that when philosophers talk about determinism, they are not proposing anything based on cause.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:46 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
It doesn't even make sense to say it will be "generally and consistently applicable" because that is just ignoring the conditionals that we already acknowledged exist.

Not only can't I give you what you want, but it doesn't even make sense for you to demand it.
In short, there is no satisfactory theory of cause in philosophy, no consistent use of "cause" in the sciences and no notion of cause in fundamental physics. From which, it should be quite obvious that when philosophers talk about determinism, they are not proposing anything based on cause.

That there are different conditions for any given 'X causes Y' relationship, does not mean that we don't use the term in a consistent manner. That would be like saying that since we don't have an all-inclusive definition for the term "game", that it is always vague what we mean when we say that X is a game. But it's not - we use it in a consistent manner. We clearly understand what someone means when they say that X is a game, just as we can clearly understand what someone means when they say X causes Y.

 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:52 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
we can clearly understand what someone means when they say X causes Y.
Then why is it that you still haven't told me what it means?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 09:57 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Zetherin wrote:
we can clearly understand what someone means when they say X causes Y.
Then why is it that you still haven't told me what it means?

So you really don't understand the relationship between occurrences?

You have no clue what it means to say that "Zetherin is the cause of Bill's death"?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 10:02 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
Zetherin wrote:
we can clearly understand what someone means when they say X causes Y.
Then why is it that you still haven't told me what it means?
So you really don't understand the relationship between occurrences?
You have no clue what it means to say that "Zetherin is the cause of Bill's death"?
I'll take that as confirmation, you can not tell me what it means. The reason that you cant tell me what it means for C to cause E, is that there is no satisfactory theory of cause. That's the state of play, either live with it or produce a satisfactory theory.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 10:07 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:
I'll take that as confirmation, you can not tell me what it means. The reason that you cant tell me what it means for C to cause E, is that there is no satisfactory theory of cause. That's the state of play, either live with it or produce a satisfactory theory.
It means that Y results from X. I've already told you that, and I've demonstrated what I mean with countless examples. That you choose to ignore what I say it means, is not my problem.

What did you mean when you said this:

ughaibu wrote:
1) it depends on which occurrences and what kind of relationship

What kind of relationships do you understand then, since you cannot understand relationships of causation?

And why did you say this:
ughaibu wrote:
where have I stated that I'm uncomfortable saying that X caused Y?

If that means you are comfortable saying X caused Y, then what gives?

Complete confusion.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 10:21 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
It means that Y results from X.
So, if I ride my bicycle and am injured, riding bicycles causes injuries. You really cant see that this definition is unsatisfactory, and hopelessly vague.
 
 

 
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