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Universal causal determinism

stubs
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8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.
HelterSkelter
Posts: 281
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8/6/2012 10:32:50 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

I think it's a pretty weak argument. All it does is claim that determinism isn't an intellectually superior position since determinist s were fated to believe it. That doesn't negate it at all. It basically boils down to name-calling.
truthseeker613
Posts: 464
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8/6/2012 10:35:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
It does show that any determist who thinks he is right, is a fool for doing so.
(On the other hand he probably thinks he didn't have much of a choice.)
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popculturepooka
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8/6/2012 4:19:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 10:32:50 AM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

I think it's a pretty weak argument. All it does is claim that determinism isn't an intellectually superior position since determinist s were fated to believe it. That doesn't negate it at all. It basically boils down to name-calling.

If true, it basically boils down to the claim that you'd never be rationally justified in believing or espousing determinism - i.e. you have no good reason to affirm determinism. That's not namecalling at all.
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Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons. So, yeah, the choice to accept determinism is deterministic. If you accept determinism for any other reason than randomness, then you're not evaluating arguments. If you evaluate arguments, then you're making a philosophical decision for some specific reason, which is deterministic.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism. The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp.
jedipengiun
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8/6/2012 5:50:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Do people like William Lane Craig?
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phantom
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8/6/2012 8:41:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

Argument is poor. It's similar to a refutation you would see from someone who can't grasp the concept of our thoughts being determined and follows those lines. I also don't see how it succeeds in its attempt to discredit determined logic.
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The_Fool_on_the_hill
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8/6/2012 11:58:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

The Fool: I am going to build of your answer.. In a complinatary sense.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons.

The Fool: I would agree I would Free=0 aka This is for Free, or free from charge. ITs an absent, a non-existence. So it not can't be a predicate of anything because its does'nt exist. Here is a fun thought experiment try to think of the concept of Free, in you mind. Not the emotional/connotative sense, because that is feeling good. Not a physical Symbol, 0 or the word free. But The Free. And ofcourse not space or darkeness. But just Free in itself.

That is what is the IS! of Free? lol. I say you got nothing going on there!

I would say Will is better defined as desire. As in will is want. want is will. Therefore will=want. (its consitent with etymology) because we may will something which we can't choose. Or will that there is a God, without reasons. Its more Clear(inuitive) and distinct(Crisp demarcation).

The point is that: (Ignorace of determiniation), has no demacation from (not being determined). Via Liebnez Law they are Identical. Unless you could demonstrate the demarcating factor. In my logical system it The Law of demarcation. What is different must have a difference. That is it must have atleast ONE factor which it doesn't share with other entities.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism.

The Fool: But determinism is necessary to even put together thoughts togther Or even to determine if something is true or false. Therefore indeterminism=free=Ignorance.

The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp, derp, and derp
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/11/2012 9:34:27 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

"One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis."

So? The brain is quite capable running through the best options, whether your choices are free or not. Once you put your ideas in the pool with others, your brain will throw out older bad arguments and intake new ones. The freedom of choice, has nothing to do with whether it was a good choice or not. You can make a good choice, even if it's not freely chosen. Thus, this argument is embarrassing and elementary.

"The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe."

What makes you think a free choice means a more accurately valid one? How do you know you can freely make better choices then if mechanical deterministic processes did it? I mean, a computer who doesn't have free will can destroy a human who can. So this argument here is utterly horrible.

"When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. "


Sure. What does something being outside your control though, have to do with you making bad choices? What makes you think that you wouldn't mess up with your choices even more, if they were free?

"Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

This makes no sense. Who said rational thought had to be free, if it was completely free it wouldn't be rational, because ration follows a strict set of rules which a deterministic brain is quite capable of following.

Now, I'm no determinist, but this attack on determinism is a blunder of sorts. It literally has no grounds. Being completely free, means being completely free to make bad choices as well. If a brain is wired naturally not to this in a deterministic fashion, you will likely get better results without free will.
Jon1
Posts: 314
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8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons. So, yeah, the choice to accept determinism is deterministic. If you accept determinism for any other reason than randomness, then you're not evaluating arguments. If you evaluate arguments, then you're making a philosophical decision for some specific reason, which is deterministic.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism. The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp.

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)
Wnope
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8/11/2012 7:13:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

Determinism is no more than the realization that the self is part of a larger causal system. Why would this make the conclusions of the self about the larger system "false?"

Craig's definition of determinism is a strawman that treats determinism as though it claimed human thought processes were determined solely by an external causal system.

To speak of "control/free will" is to ask to what extent the causal system of the "self" influences whatever is considered external to the self and vice versa. Free will and a predictable causal system of self are not mutually exclusive unless free will necessitates thought processes that have no causal relationships to each other.
Wnope
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8/11/2012 7:22:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:
At 8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons. So, yeah, the choice to accept determinism is deterministic. If you accept determinism for any other reason than randomness, then you're not evaluating arguments. If you evaluate arguments, then you're making a philosophical decision for some specific reason, which is deterministic.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism. The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp.

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

Except everything we have learned from the sciences points towards our cognition doing exactly what we predict: acting heuristically and pragmatically. Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

What your "God first" explanation fails to explain is the myriad of cases where the "rational brain" is overwhelmed by cognitive biases that are precisely evolved for our primordial environment but completely at odds with the "rational actor" model.

Even a quick glance at a wiki page shows nearly a hundred empirically verified cognitive biases found to be entirely pervasive in human thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Cognitive biases under evolutionary theory are predicted. Under "God-first" they make no sense.

So you see, your adherence to the rational actor actually undermines your argument for God by denying a well-known empirical reality. It's like claiming Jesus throws lightning bolts from space after we learn about electrons. It hurts more than it helps.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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8/11/2012 9:27:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/11/2012 7:22:19 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:
At 8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons. So, yeah, the choice to accept determinism is deterministic. If you accept determinism for any other reason than randomness, then you're not evaluating arguments. If you evaluate arguments, then you're making a philosophical decision for some specific reason, which is deterministic.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism. The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp.

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

Except everything we have learned from the sciences points towards our cognition doing exactly what we predict: acting heuristically and pragmatically. Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

What your "God first" explanation fails to explain is the myriad of cases where the "rational brain" is overwhelmed by cognitive biases that are precisely evolved for our primordial environment but completely at odds with the "rational actor" model.

Even a quick glance at a wiki page shows nearly a hundred empirically verified cognitive biases found to be entirely pervasive in human thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Cognitive biases under evolutionary theory are predicted. Under "God-first" they make no sense.

So you see, your adherence to the rational actor actually undermines your argument for God by denying a well-known empirical reality. It's like claiming Jesus throws lightning bolts from space after we learn about electrons. It hurts more than it helps.

The Fool: This is false:"Do you want to debate on it.?

Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
YYW
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8/11/2012 9:34:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 4:19:16 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 8/6/2012 10:32:50 AM, HelterSkelter wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

I think it's a pretty weak argument. All it does is claim that determinism isn't an intellectually superior position since determinist s were fated to believe it. That doesn't negate it at all. It basically boils down to name-calling.


If true, it basically boils down to the claim that you'd never be rationally justified in believing or espousing determinism - i.e. you have no good reason to affirm determinism. That's not namecalling at all.

That is a much more polite way of saying what I was thinking, so I'll stick with this.
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Wnope
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8/12/2012 11:01:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/11/2012 9:27:51 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 8/11/2012 7:22:19 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:
At 8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons. So, yeah, the choice to accept determinism is deterministic. If you accept determinism for any other reason than randomness, then you're not evaluating arguments. If you evaluate arguments, then you're making a philosophical decision for some specific reason, which is deterministic.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism. The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp.

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

Except everything we have learned from the sciences points towards our cognition doing exactly what we predict: acting heuristically and pragmatically. Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

What your "God first" explanation fails to explain is the myriad of cases where the "rational brain" is overwhelmed by cognitive biases that are precisely evolved for our primordial environment but completely at odds with the "rational actor" model.

Even a quick glance at a wiki page shows nearly a hundred empirically verified cognitive biases found to be entirely pervasive in human thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Cognitive biases under evolutionary theory are predicted. Under "God-first" they make no sense.

So you see, your adherence to the rational actor actually undermines your argument for God by denying a well-known empirical reality. It's like claiming Jesus throws lightning bolts from space after we learn about electrons. It hurts more than it helps.

The Fool: This is false:"Do you want to debate on it.?

Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

It'd have to be more specific. For instance, I'd argue that the differences we see between the cognition of homo sapiens sapiens and Pan Troglodytes is due to social/sexual evolutionary pressures as opposed to resource competition with the environment. The aspect of "rational thinking" that we possess but no other primate does (which is what you refer to) evolved via this mechanism.
Wnope
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8/12/2012 11:11:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 11:01:40 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/11/2012 9:27:51 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 8/11/2012 7:22:19 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:
At 8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons. So, yeah, the choice to accept determinism is deterministic. If you accept determinism for any other reason than randomness, then you're not evaluating arguments. If you evaluate arguments, then you're making a philosophical decision for some specific reason, which is deterministic.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism. The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp.

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

Except everything we have learned from the sciences points towards our cognition doing exactly what we predict: acting heuristically and pragmatically. Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

What your "God first" explanation fails to explain is the myriad of cases where the "rational brain" is overwhelmed by cognitive biases that are precisely evolved for our primordial environment but completely at odds with the "rational actor" model.

Even a quick glance at a wiki page shows nearly a hundred empirically verified cognitive biases found to be entirely pervasive in human thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Cognitive biases under evolutionary theory are predicted. Under "God-first" they make no sense.

So you see, your adherence to the rational actor actually undermines your argument for God by denying a well-known empirical reality. It's like claiming Jesus throws lightning bolts from space after we learn about electrons. It hurts more than it helps.

The Fool: This is false:"Do you want to debate on it.?

Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

It'd have to be more specific. For instance, I'd argue that the differences we see between the cognition of homo sapiens sapiens and Pan Troglodytes is due to social/sexual evolutionary pressures as opposed to resource competition with the environment. The aspect of "rational thinking" that we possess but no other primate does (which is what you refer to) evolved via this mechanism.

Or, to be more formal: Evolutionary Theory predicts Abstract Thinking in homo sapiens sapiens but not other primates.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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8/12/2012 1:48:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 11:11:34 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/12/2012 11:01:40 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/11/2012 9:27:51 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 8/11/2012 7:22:19 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:
At 8/6/2012 4:45:48 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/6/2012 9:53:14 AM, stubs wrote:
Excerpt from a William Lane Craig article

"Universal causal determinism cannot be rationally affirmed. There is a sort of dizzying, self-defeating character to determinism. For if one comes to believe that determinism is true, one has to believe that the reason he has come to believe it is simply that he was determined to do so. One has not in fact been able to weigh the arguments pro and con and freely make up one's mind on that basis. The difference between the person who weighs the arguments for determinism and rejects them and the person who weighs them and accepts them is wholly that one was determined by causal factors outside himself to believe and the other not to believe. When you come to realize that your decision to believe in determinism was itself determined and that even your present realization of that fact right now is likewise determined, a sort of vertigo sets in, for everything that you think, even this very thought itself, is outside your control. Determinism could be true; but it is very hard to see how it could ever be rationally affirmed, since its affirmation undermines the rationality of its affirmation."

Just wondering what other people thought of this.

That's a misunderstanding of determinism. I mean, look. The notion of "free will" is just dumb. "Free" is defined to mean "contra-causal", and "will" is defined as choosing something for reasons. So, yeah, the choice to accept determinism is deterministic. If you accept determinism for any other reason than randomness, then you're not evaluating arguments. If you evaluate arguments, then you're making a philosophical decision for some specific reason, which is deterministic.

Craig seems to be gesturing to some incomprehensible notion of freedom that's both causally traceable--because you come to a decision based on prior inputs, which include your psychological state, your reaction to evidence, etc.--and contra-causal--because the choice mechanism is somehow non-deterministic--which makes zero sense. He uses the notion of external causality--"causes outside oneself--as if intra-mental causality is somehow not determinism.

tl;dr Either everything is caused by prior conditions, in which case you have determinism, or you have randomness, which is indeterminism. The idea of free will, besides being definitionally self-defeating, just assumes that you can somehow have informed choices motivated by facts without those choices being "determined" by those inputs.

In other words, derp.

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

Except everything we have learned from the sciences points towards our cognition doing exactly what we predict: acting heuristically and pragmatically. Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

What your "God first" explanation fails to explain is the myriad of cases where the "rational brain" is overwhelmed by cognitive biases that are precisely evolved for our primordial environment but completely at odds with the "rational actor" model.

Even a quick glance at a wiki page shows nearly a hundred empirically verified cognitive biases found to be entirely pervasive in human thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Cognitive biases under evolutionary theory are predicted. Under "God-first" they make no sense.

So you see, your adherence to the rational actor actually undermines your argument for God by denying a well-known empirical reality. It's like claiming Jesus throws lightning bolts from space after we learn about electrons. It hurts more than it helps.

The Fool: This is false:"Do you want to debate on it.?

Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

It'd have to be more specific. For instance, I'd argue that the differences we see between the cognition of homo sapiens sapiens and Pan Troglodytes is due to social/sexual evolutionary pressures as opposed to resource competition with the environment. The aspect of "rational thinking" that we possess but no other primate does (which is what you refer to) evolved via this mechanism.

Or, to be more formal: Evolutionary Theory predicts Abstract Thinking in homo sapiens sapiens but not other primates.

The Fool: How do they predict that?
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Sidewalker
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8/12/2012 6:04:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 11:11:34 AM, Wnope wrote:

Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

It'd have to be more specific. For instance, I'd argue that the differences we see between the cognition of homo sapiens sapiens and Pan Troglodytes is due to social/sexual evolutionary pressures as opposed to resource competition with the environment. The aspect of "rational thinking" that we possess but no other primate does (which is what you refer to) evolved via this mechanism.

Or, to be more formal: Evolutionary Theory predicts Abstract Thinking in homo sapiens sapiens but not other primates.

That isn't "more formal", it's just incorrect, Evolutionary theory is not predictive, it's retrodictive.

It presumes "survival of the fittest" and then looks at the fact that the survivors are the ones that survived and then tries to come up with the fitness characteristics we think are the reasons they survived.

That's making a good prediction, like shooting at the side of a barn and then drawing a bullseye around where the bullet landed makes you a good marksman.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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8/12/2012 6:55:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 6:04:14 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 8/12/2012 11:11:34 AM, Wnope wrote:

Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

It'd have to be more specific. For instance, I'd argue that the differences we see between the cognition of homo sapiens sapiens and Pan Troglodytes is due to social/sexual evolutionary pressures as opposed to resource competition with the environment. The aspect of "rational thinking" that we possess but no other primate does (which is what you refer to) evolved via this mechanism.

Or, to be more formal: Evolutionary Theory predicts Abstract Thinking in homo sapiens sapiens but not other primates.

That isn't "more formal", it's just incorrect, Evolutionary theory is not predictive, it's retrodictive.

It presumes "survival of the fittest" and then looks at the fact that the survivors are the ones that survived and then tries to come up with the fitness characteristics we think are the reasons they survived.

That's making a good prediction, like shooting at the side of a barn and then drawing a bullseye around where the bullet landed makes you a good marksman.

The Fool: yeah that is what I think too. I am very suspecious of it. When something has an explaination for everything there is something FISHY> Very FISHY.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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8/12/2012 6:58:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The Fool: I don't trust is at all! I definetly believe it has a historical account of life on earth. But I don't trust the mechanism. Its way to convient!!
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Cody_Franklin
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8/12/2012 7:12:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

1. If it rains, the ground will be wet. The ground is wet; therefore, it has rained.

If you get why that's wrong, then you'll also get why "If the world is created by God..." is wrong.

2. "Free to believe the right notions" is meaningless. Either you have causality, ergo determinism, or randomness, ergo indeterminism. Free will is definitionally self-defeating, so you're not even advancing a proposition that's truth-apt.

3. "Complete rationality" and "complete irrationality" are not the only two options. Imperfect rationality, mediated by non-rational neurochemistry, is the big thing. If our mental activity consisted only in rationality, we would be glorified computers. Even though we are computational, that's tempered by the fact that we have interests and values. Like, the idea that truth matters is emotional, and we believe it because it helps us get by/gives us satisfaction. If we were completely rational, we just process whatever was fed to our brains and spit out a result. We'd be passive. But we seek out problems, we want to know what's true, and we're generally proactive. It's not "rational", but whatever.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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8/12/2012 7:51:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 7:12:41 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

1. If it rains, the ground will be wet. The ground is wet; therefore, it has rained.

If you get why that's wrong, then you'll also get why "If the world is created by God..." is wrong.

2. "Free to believe the right notions" is meaningless. Either you have causality, ergo determinism, or randomness, ergo indeterminism. Free will is definitionally self-defeating, so you're not even advancing a proposition that's truth-apt.

3. "Complete rationality" and "complete irrationality" are not the only two options. Imperfect rationality, mediated by non-rational neurochemistry, is the big thing. If our mental activity consisted only in rationality, we would be glorified computers. Even though we are computational, that's tempered by the fact that we have interests and values. Like, the idea that truth matters is emotional, and we believe it because it helps us get by/gives us satisfaction. If we were completely rational, we just process whatever was fed to our brains and spit out a result. We'd be passive. But we seek out problems, we want to know what's true, and we're generally proactive. It's not "rational", but whatever.

The Fool: really I don;t think there is such thing as a irrational. In that there is no opposite. But that the when there is less rational, it is just ill guided motivation(emotion).
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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8/12/2012 7:54:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 7:51:20 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 8/12/2012 7:12:41 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/11/2012 2:42:37 PM, Jon1 wrote:

If the world is created by God, it is highly probable that your mental faculties are working properly, hence you are free to believe the right notions. Otherwise, you believe what you believe regardless of reason. In other words, you believe not to be rational, which is kind of funny when you think about it :)

1. If it rains, the ground will be wet. The ground is wet; therefore, it has rained.

If you get why that's wrong, then you'll also get why "If the world is created by God..." is wrong.

2. "Free to believe the right notions" is meaningless. Either you have causality, ergo determinism, or randomness, ergo indeterminism. Free will is definitionally self-defeating, so you're not even advancing a proposition that's truth-apt.

3. "Complete rationality" and "complete irrationality" are not the only two options. Imperfect rationality, mediated by non-rational neurochemistry, is the big thing. If our mental activity consisted only in rationality, we would be glorified computers. Even though we are computational, that's tempered by the fact that we have interests and values. Like, the idea that truth matters is emotional, and we believe it because it helps us get by/gives us satisfaction. If we were completely rational, we just process whatever was fed to our brains and spit out a result. We'd be passive. But we seek out problems, we want to know what's true, and we're generally proactive. It's not "rational", but whatever.

The Fool: really I don;t think there is such thing as a irrational. In that there is no opposite. But that the when there is less rational, it is just ill guided motivation(emotion).

The Fool: Thoughts Cody?
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Wnope
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8/12/2012 8:50:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 6:04:14 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 8/12/2012 11:11:34 AM, Wnope wrote:

Our abstract "rational" thinking is also predicted by dynamics of human social (sex selection) evolution.

It'd have to be more specific. For instance, I'd argue that the differences we see between the cognition of homo sapiens sapiens and Pan Troglodytes is due to social/sexual evolutionary pressures as opposed to resource competition with the environment. The aspect of "rational thinking" that we possess but no other primate does (which is what you refer to) evolved via this mechanism.

Or, to be more formal: Evolutionary Theory predicts Abstract Thinking in homo sapiens sapiens but not other primates.

That isn't "more formal", it's just incorrect, Evolutionary theory is not predictive, it's retrodictive.

It presumes "survival of the fittest" and then looks at the fact that the survivors are the ones that survived and then tries to come up with the fitness characteristics we think are the reasons they survived.

That's making a good prediction, like shooting at the side of a barn and then drawing a bullseye around where the bullet landed makes you a good marksman.

So you want to claim Evolution cannot make predictions? You realize that would also mean that no possible discovery, including a fully-formed human skeleton riding a T-Rex, would falsify Evolutionary Theory.

You sure you want to make that claim?

Either way, the prediction would stem from the conditions under which homo sapiens sapiens evolved.

For instance, if we talk about a species of butterfly that has two general variations: one with coloring that matches local fauna and one that does not. We would predict that the "matching color" phenotype to gain dominance over the "wrong color" phenotype.

In the case of homo sapiens sapiens, the question is what would be predicted if we look at selection environments of early man (after homo erectus) and our genetic relatives.

I would argue that long gestation periods, bipedalism, increased pair bonding, the evolutionary economics of hunter gatherer human groups versus, say, chimps, and other factors would lead to evolution geared towards guessing intentionality, recursive thinking, and other features of a highly complex mind where being the biggest and strongest may not get you far.

Even when we look to apes, we see many preliminaries of what you call "abstract thought" including forward planning, expected utility, empathy, etc.
Wnope
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8/12/2012 8:53:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'd add that Evolutionary Theory would make an unique prediction that "rational man" hypothesis would not: our mental faculties should be geared more towards results which lead to increased evolutionary fitness, not mathematical truth. While we maintain the ability to think rationally, it is a relatively small component of how we make decisions.

This takes the form of cognitive heuristics.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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8/12/2012 10:49:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 8:53:11 PM, Wnope wrote:
I'd add that Evolutionary Theory would make an unique prediction that "rational man" hypothesis would not: our mental faculties should be geared more towards results which lead to increased evolutionary fitness, not mathematical truth. While we maintain the ability to think rationally, it is a relatively small component of how we make decisions.

This takes the form of cognitive heuristics.

The Fool: Why what are some predictions? I really am not that familiar many..
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Wnope
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8/12/2012 11:42:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 10:49:21 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
At 8/12/2012 8:53:11 PM, Wnope wrote:
I'd add that Evolutionary Theory would make an unique prediction that "rational man" hypothesis would not: our mental faculties should be geared more towards results which lead to increased evolutionary fitness, not mathematical truth. While we maintain the ability to think rationally, it is a relatively small component of how we make decisions.

This takes the form of cognitive heuristics.


The Fool: Why what are some predictions? I really am not that familiar many..

Well, the predictions stem from the main difference cognitively between our current environment and the primordial human environment is information content.

Since humans have been without city-states and agricultural for over 80% of their evolution (over 95% if you consider homo erectus and all), evolution would predict that our cognitive processes are geared towards primordial environments.

In the primordial environment, the problem was too little information and too little time to process it (you have decide whether a lion is pissed quicker than deciding which bag of potato chips better fits your diet). Primordial man developed a set of cognitive "tools"(with some social analogues found in chimps) which are both fast and useful until you reach an information-rich environment. Then cognitive heuristics then manifest themselves as "cognitive errors."

Here is an example list of cognitive biases (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Each is "irrational" in some manner which tends to be detrimental in modern society but useful in a primordial society. Feel free to point out any and ask for an evolutionary explanation.

These are things which are dismissed as "bits of irrationality" but what empirically has been found pervasive in all aspects of our daily choices and lives.

A textbook example is a cognitive heuristic of patternicity where we find patterns where none exist (one of the reasons even atheists ted to be, ironically, superstitious in trivial, day-to-day matters like a lucky sock). Some references to genetic and neural studies are in the following paper which gives the basic explanation:

"The problem is that we are very poor at estimating such probabilities, so the cost of believing that the rustle in the grass is a dangerous predator when it is just the wind is relatively low compared with the opposite. Thus, there would have been a beneficial selection for believing that most patterns are real. Through a series of complex formulas that include additional stimuli (wind in the trees) and prior events (past experience with predators and wind) the authors conclude that "the inability of individuals — human or otherwise — to assign causal probabilities to all sets of events that occur around them will often force them to lump causal associations with non-causal ones. From here, the evolutionary rationale for superstition is clear: natural selection will favour strategies that make many incorrect causal associations in order to establish those that are essential for survival and reproduction.""
http://www.michaelshermer.com...

As you can imagine, this is related to confirmation bias and a host of other tools

To actually see whether man is "rational" you would use predictions coming from comparing basic game theory (rational actors) to behavioral game theory (applied game theory). For instance, current theory predicts that cognitive errors/heuristics would be pervasive in certain experiments while more rational, thought-out process will be subsumed.

An usual example here would be an experiment which tests someone's "rational actions" (see Ultimatum Game) after rational-related priming (for instance, being given a set of math problems to do) and after priming some cognitive heuristic like the "endowment effect" or "Contrast Effect" (done by changing the wording the game without changing expected utility and by first showing the actor an extremely high or low price to set their base rate, respectively). A rational actor in the Ultimatum Game would, give up as little money as possible while still getting the Decider the agree that they both take the money. However, priming cognitive heuristics/errors lead to offers the Decider is more likely to consider "unfair," hurting both parties.
Illegalcombatant
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8/18/2012 8:57:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I don't like the idea that determinism is true, therefore it is false and/or can't be rationally affirmed, not a good argument.

I have no idea what distinction Craig is making between something could be true but can't be rationally affirmed. I will take a guess, that in his view or the view of others that for something to be rationally affirmed it has to come from some sort of free will decision. No free will decision, no rationally affirmed belief. But is that the case ?

"If you pay attention you can see you no more decide the next thing you think than the next thing I say."

Sam Harris
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12