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Predetermination vs Free Will: The Thread


BruceVC

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2 minutes ago, Malcador said:

Ah, wow, the bold makes it way less visible, the strike is still regular face.  Just link it next time.

You wont believe this but I have just had Deja Vu with you suggesting the same thing and I mean the exact same thing

I have dreams sometimes and then years later I  experience the same thing in RL 

I have always been fascinated by Deja Vu because of what it could mean for the whole time paradox and is the future predetermined because how else could I dream about something that hasnt happened? Anyway I dont have any definitive answers or any explanations how it happens but it happens to me👻

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Déjà_vu

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Probably is just short term memory loss.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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15 minutes ago, Gfted1 said:

Maybe youre a precog? :p If so, please provide me 5 numbers between 01 - 70. Then 1 number between 01 - 25.

Gfted1, and others, do you think our futures are predetermined and if so do you think its possible to see the future in some ways ?

I think we decide our own futures based on choices we make like the famous quote " Two roads diverged in a wood and I  took the one less traveled ... " so I dont think our fates are predetermined 

But I do think you can see possible future choices or outcomes which explains my dream about Malc and what he said to me. Its like a fish swimming down a river, the fish is going to swim past certain inevitable rocks, and trees on the side of river but how he swims will be different and the route  he swims will be different but the fish is always swimming down the river 

Thats how I see the future and  can it be predicted but any prediction is not guaranteed because we have free choice. Im trying to explain  my view in a simple way, Im not sure it makes sense?

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I guess this had to happen... 🙄

 

Reminds me of a recent post of mind claiming there is no true randomness, just systems there are too complex for us to properly understand.

 

Edit: Ok, the word I used then was predict, not understand.

 

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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In what context does an absence of free will matter, as long as we have an entirely believable sense of free will? I'd argue that a free will is consistent with thermodynamic entropy, because we can choose to waste more energy on various pursuits whereas predeterminism only allows a fixed energy budget.

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Rather than keep editing my my post to add links, just another link to a previous discussion about things that may be too complex for humans

 

 

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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7 hours ago, majestic said:

Since she's mentioned in the article, time for more off-topic stuff:

I got through the first video and half of the second before I decided that this lady was a terrible writer for and presenter of her ideas - assuming the idea of her videos is to make your layperson convert to her way of thinking...and I think I support her positions. The amount of samey, repetitive sentences that are also enunciated in the exact same way over and over combined with rapidly switching between low level analogies and high level concepts that she doesn't even slightly try to explain further combined with the generally haughty "you better believe what I'm saying because you're literally completely wrong otherwise" mannerisms pretty much guarantees that nobody that doesn't already agree with her is going to spend more than a minute or two watching these videos, :p. Not the best bit of persuasive writing/speaking that I've heard, that's for sure...and I've been pretty skeptical of the idea of free will most of my entire life, :shrugz:.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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9 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

I got through the first video and half of the second before I decided that this lady was a terrible writer for and presenter of her ideas - assuming the idea of the videos is to make your layperson convert to way her of thinking...and I think I support her positions. The amount of samey, repetitive sentences that are also enunciated in the exact same way over and over combined with rapidly switching between low level analogies and high level concepts that she doesn't even slightly explain further combined with the generally haughty "you better believe what I'm saying because you're literally completely wrong otherwise" mannerisms pretty much guarantees that nobody that doesn't already agree with her is going to spend more than a minute or two watching these videos, :p. Not the best bit of persuasive writing/speaking that I've heard, that's for sure...and I've been pretty skeptical of the idea of free will most of my entire life, :shrugz:.

Believe it or not, these newer videos of her are much better than the ones she made in the past. Not the first scientist to be bad at communication. Certainly not going to be the last. :p

You also wrote one terribly long paragraph that you could have just summed up as: She's German. Yeah, yeah, stereotypes, I know, let me post a jab at our northern neighbors. :p

She also makes terrible music:

 

Edited by majestic

No voice to cry suffering.

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7 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

and I've been pretty skeptical of the idea of free will most of my entire life,

How so ?

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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In this world, is the destiny of mankind controlled by some transcendental entity or law? Is it like the hand of God hovering above? At least it is true that man has no control; even over his own will.

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"but to be fair, the post was (intentional) KP signature bait." - majestic

"...I'm not a girl, so my opinion on such things is eminently worthless" - Bartimaeus

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16 hours ago, Malcador said:

How so ?

I don't understand quantum mechanics, so I'm obviously not going to address it from that angle although it seems there's a pretty serious argument for it just there, but for me, the entire issue starts from the moment of conception. You are a package of genetic material that you had no will in deciding, genetic material that plays a huge deterministic role in many of your earliest base traits, which then set the tone for your development. Speaking of your development, it is shaped by environments and other people you have little to no control over until you are an adult - and what little power you do have in said environments you are still simply a walking, talking underveloped manifestation of your genetic material and its environmental influences, with virtually no ability to intelligently make conscious changes. Finally, at some point, you are an adult and gain some measure of independence...by which time the vast majority of your personality, mannerisms, thinking processes, behaviors et al. have already been by and large decided as a result of your childhood, and the changes that occur to them after that are generally not the result of any "decisions" you will make, but rather a variety of chance environmental interactions that you will or will not pursue or be receptive towards dependent upon...what, exactly? I didn't decide my personality or the environment I was in that made it so one idea would heavily appeal to me while another wouldn't - I am a slave to my "natural" inclinations that I never had a hand in deciding. Sure, I can force myself to do something that I would not naturally be inclined to do, but the very act of doing that simply to resist my nature is some part of my nature and another distinct inclination to do something different in of itself. Once I start thinking about "what makes one person naturally have the ability to be self-aware and be able to 'choose' to do something contrary to their nature while another cannot", my head starts to hurt and existentialism dread starts to set in again.

Ultimately, I agree with rjshae, though - it really doesn't matter in terms of actually living out our lives, and while I think determinism really does make the most sense, I would not use it to excuse anyone's behaviors, thoughts, or actions.

16 hours ago, majestic said:

Believe it or not, these newer videos of her are much better than the ones she made in the past. Not the first scientist to be bad at communication. Certainly not going to be the last. :p

You also wrote one terribly long paragraph that you could have just summed up as: She's German. Yeah, yeah, stereotypes, I know, let me post a jab at our northern neighbors. :p

She also makes terrible music:

Bad music aside, boy howdy indeed if that's the case - I do not want to watch her early videos if this is "much better".

Edited by Bartimaeus
Raithe -> rjshae, whoops
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Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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I'll just leave this here.

13259270. sx318

Harris makes his arguments in fewer than 100 pages, so it should be possible for most anyone to get through in an afternoon.
For those that really just want the YT version:

 

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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4 hours ago, KP wants Blue Velvet said:

In this world, is the destiny of mankind controlled by some transcendental entity or law? Is it like the hand of God hovering above? At least it is true that man has no control; even over his own will.

If so, this is a terrible ARPG.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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6 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

I don't understand quantum mechanics,

Same as me, I like to keep things simple around how I understand them and how they have influenced my lived experience 

So I want to go back to the question " are our futures predetermined " ? The belief in fatalism has been around for centauries. In  WW1 many soldiers on the Western front and particularly soldiers who were involved in " going over the top " started believing in fatalism because of how some people died and some people just survived so soldiers were cynical and fatalism seemed the most realistic form of belief 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fatalism

I dont believe in fatalism as the primary reason for future events. Christians believe in free choice and free will so to me that translates, from a religious perspective, to a future that you decide on the outcome. Some religious people believe a higher power has already decided your future but that doesnt really make sense to me because of free will 

So I dont believe in  accurate prognostications around most human futures but  I do believe in prognostications around very likely world events, like WW1 due to the reality of European nationalism at the time, and obviously we can predict with 100% accuracy future events like Haley's Comet coming back to the earth 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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7 hours ago, rjshae said:

In what context does an absence of free will matter, as long as we have an entirely believable sense of free will? I'd argue that a free will is consistent with thermodynamic entropy, because we can choose to waste more energy on various pursuits whereas predeterminism only allows a fixed energy budget.

I dont understand the argument that we dont have free will, I am not saying you are saying that 

I want to state unequivocally that I have absolute free will on every aspect of my life, if I dont want to pay my rates or go to work I dont have to. Yes I will be fired but its choice 

And if I want to end my life I can, how anyone say we dont have free will boggles my mind ?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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4 hours ago, BruceVC said:

I dont understand the argument that we dont have free will, I am not saying you are saying that 

I want to state unequivocally that I have absolute free will on every aspect of my life, if I dont want to pay my rates or go to work I dont have to. Yes I will be fired but its choice 

And if I want to end my life I can, how anyone say we dont have free will boggles my mind ?

The argument, I think, would be that as you haven't done any of those things that you define as choices, it is an indicator that what you have is the illusion of a choice rather than an actual choice.  That your unique combination of your biology and upbringing and education and so forth (thus the thing that is you) is defined such that your choices aren't choices but the inexorable outcome of all the things that came before you had a 'choice'.  The falling dominoes have a predetermined path - they don't fall in ways contrary to that path.

 

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1 hour ago, Amentep said:

The falling dominoes have a predetermined path - they don't fall in ways contrary to that path.

I think "predetermined" might be getting in the way here.

Behavior is caused. The inputs that go into an action or "decision" are limited, and in some cases even manipulated, but that isn't the same thing as saying they are destined. For instance, if you're craving a soda, you might find yourself at the grocery store agonizing over the choice between Coke or Pepsi. Determinism says that whichever option you ultimately end up going with is the product of your biology and your experience/environment, not "free will" (which would by necessity argue that you are equally "free" to crave RC Cola even though you may have never even heard of the brand)

Added by edit: Another argument against free will - was I free to use the word "pop" instead of "soda" in the example above? Because I know that the terms are geographically/culturally weighted in different part of the U.S., I "should" have had a choice there. However a) I was raised and currently live in a part of the country where "soda" is used and b) I didn't remember the "soda/pop" dichotomy until I was re-reading my post. Therefore my first draft was determined to only contain the word "soda". Now that I've invested time and thought into the point, I'll be more likely to think of the distinction if the example comes up again in the future (unless I forget - another argument against free will). Similarly, I won't be "free" to include any other regional or cultural variations until someone make me aware of them :)

Edited by Achilles
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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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The soda/pop thing reminds me of a conversation I overheard at a fast food place (note I was raised and live in an area where Soda/Pop with a dark caramel color is a Coke regardless of brand).

"Do you want a drink with that?"

"Yeah, I'd like a Coke."

"We only sell Pepsi products."

"I see that, I'll take a Coke."

"You mean Pepsi?"

"Yes, a Coke."

Obviously the Cashier wasn't from around these parts, and neither had the free will to not have had that conversation (as much as, in retrospect, both might have wished it so)! 😄

 

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So what would "free will" be then ?

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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12 minutes ago, Malcador said:

So what would "free will" be then ?

No such thing :)

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Has to be absolute then, I see. Guess good thing it hasn't caught on, criminals would be in luck 😛

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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1 minute ago, Malcador said:

Has to be absolute then, I see.

Compatibilists will argue that it doesn't, but your willingness to throw in with them will largely be dependent upon how desperate you are to maintain a belief in the existence of free will. Many compatiblist definitions of free will are available, but I personally don't see how any of them could be very satisfying. YRMV

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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