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Free will definitely exists

dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/23/2013 9:17:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'd like to know DDO's opinion of the following excerpt I've taken from Chris Langan's The Art of Knowing (http://download-files.net...==)I'm convinced.

I apologize for the awkward formatting:

Determinacy and indeterminacy"at first glance,
there seems to be no middle ground. Events are either
causally connected or they are not, and if they are not, then
the future would seem to be utterly independent of the past.
Either we use causality to connect the dots and draw a
coherent picture of time, or we settle for a random scattering
of independent dots without spatial or temporal pattern and
thus without meaning. But there is another possibility after
all: self-determinacy. One can be the author of one"s own
personal "causality", setting up a volitional feedback loop
between one"s will and one"s goals, where "goals" include
everything from spontaneous bodily movements to the fruits
of long labor and well-laid, well-executed plans.
Self-determinism is a rather subtle concept. It means
that one determines one"s own path independently of general
laws of causality, where "independence" describes a
situation in which one is constrained by, but also free to
exploit at will, the laws of physics and biology. It therefore
implies that neither randomness nor the laws of causality
have the final word in the determination of reality; there is
enough room between them for human beings, who are
themselves parts of reality, to "get a word in edgewise". But
how is this possible, given that the general laws of causality,
linear and chaotic, are the only things short of "quantum
randomness" that can possibly account for the structure of
reality as a whole? It is possible only if there is more to the
overall structure of reality than randomness or the laws of
causality can fully determine, and only if human beings
possess a means of shaping this extra structure at will.
To expand further on the concept of volition, we must
take a closer look at its meaning. When we do, we find that
"meaning" is precisely what volition entails. Concisely, to
"have meaning" is to play a critical role, to make a crucial
difference, in something of value, where value is reckoned in
practical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual (edificative)
terms. So to be meaningful, volition must enable one to
advance, in a way transcending the laws of causality and
imparting value beyond that of causality alone, toward
freely-chosen goals which themselves possess meaning or
value. But for goals to have meaning, the system in which they
reside must have meaning. If reality were meaningless, there
would be no basis on which to ascribe meaning to anything
in it; "valueless value" is no value at all. So if meaningful
volition exists, reality itself must have meaning, and there
must be an objective, meaningful scale on which its value
can be gauged.
But now there arises a problem: in order to be
"objective", something must be real. On what real, objective
scale can reality be measured? If we define "reality" in the
most straightforward and tautological way, namely as "that
which contains all and only that which is real", no such
thing as an external scale is possible. For by our definition,
anything real enough to quantify reality from the outside is
already included in reality and therefore on the inside! Since
this is a logical contradiction, the idea that reality can be
externally evaluated is logically invalid. This implies that in
order to possess meaningful existence and thus be capable of
supporting meaningful volition, reality must be "self-
evaluating". All of its value scales must be internal to it, and
its meaning must be intrinsic.
In fact, we can go somewhat farther. In the traditional
view of science, that which is not random must be created or
selected according to ambient (externally extended)
principles of causality. But where external causality requires
external scales against which to be defined, it can no more
possess real existence than the external scales themselves.
Again, anything real enough to affect reality from the
outside is already included in reality and therefore on the
inside, and since this is a logical contradiction, the idea of
external causality is a priori invalid with respect to reality.
This implies that in order to possess meaningful existence
and therefore support meaningful volition, reality must be
"self-caused". But this comprehensive kind of self-causation
entails an even deeper form of self-determination than that
usually associated with volition; reality must not only
determine its own structure independently of external
causality, but must do so starting with nothing but itself! In
other words, the universe must possess a global analogue of
free will that lets it internally define and calibrate the very
scale on which its intrinsic value is internally measured.
But wait a minute. Aren"t we ignoring the possibility
that the universe is simply "random", i.e. uncaused? Not
really, for externally speaking, that"s exactly what it is! In
deducing that the universe is unaffected by external
causality, we find that it is externally acausal or "random" in
that specific sense of the term. The operative distinction, of
course, is that which holds between internal and external
causality. And since our observations of a coherent, well-
regulated, profoundly ordered universe rule out the
possibility of internal randomness from the start " there is no
way that a system as coherent and complex as the real
universe can be accurately described as "randomly
disordered" - we"ve got the issue of cosmic randomness
sufficiently well-covered for present purposes.
So reality, being self-determinative but externally
unconstrained, possesses a global, self-enabling analogue of
free will that generates its own means of realization. If these
means can be utilized by human beings within reality, then
human beings possess free will, and because they are
included in reality, they can use it to contribute to the
realization of the global Self-structuring imperative. On the
other hand, even if human beings cannot avail themselves of
free will, they can still be used by it for the same purpose. In
either case, human beings are integral parts of reality that
contribute to its structure, and must either be using the
inherent freedom of reality to do so, or be freely used as
tools by some higher level of realty to the same end. So
while the using-versus-used question remains up in the air,
one fact has nevertheless been rationally established:
whether it belongs exclusively to the universe or to man as
well, free will exists. (Q.E.D.)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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11/24/2013 10:01:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Wouldn't a system be self-determined when the means for its future operation are contained within its present operation? And wouldn't a system possess freewill when its activity has no causal precedent in order to satisfy the condition of freedom.... yet still possesses a causal precedent such that it is willed?

I believe the author uses both terms interchangeably.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/24/2013 10:35:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 10:01:40 AM, 000ike wrote:
Wouldn't a system be self-determined when the means for its future operation are contained within its present operation?

Yes, but the laws which the operation carries out are self-configured by the universe and reflect the universe's ability to shape itself at will..that is, without laws.

And wouldn't a system possess freewill when its activity has no causal precedent in order to satisfy the condition of freedom.... yet still possesses a causal precedent such that it is willed?

The will would be 'caused unto itself', and the activity would be the expression of that will. Since this activity and the will which it reflects are completely synonymous, our participation in the universe shapes and is shaped by the will, meaning we are active participants in the will of the universe and thus of the universe itself.


I believe the author uses both terms interchangeably.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/24/2013 10:53:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.

I don't understand your argument... and it seems you don't understand his.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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11/24/2013 10:54:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 10:53:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.

I don't understand your argument... and it seems you don't understand his.

Yeah I probably don't : P I'll try to comprehend it again tomorrow when I'm more awake.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/24/2013 11:25:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 10:01:40 AM, 000ike wrote:
Wouldn't a system be self-determined when the means for its future operation are contained within its present operation? And wouldn't a system possess freewill when its activity has no causal precedent in order to satisfy the condition of freedom.... yet still possesses a causal precedent such that it is willed?

I believe the author uses both terms interchangeably.

Basically, determinacy within the universe is determined by - not the determiner of -the will of the universe. Since reality is a constant process of self-reference and self-causation, the will is not 'bound' to any prior will. Every instance is brand new and self-chosen.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/24/2013 12:00:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 11:25:27 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:01:40 AM, 000ike wrote:
Wouldn't a system be self-determined when the means for its future operation are contained within its present operation? And wouldn't a system possess freewill when its activity has no causal precedent in order to satisfy the condition of freedom.... yet still possesses a causal precedent such that it is willed?

I believe the author uses both terms interchangeably.

Basically, determinacy within the universe is determined by - not the determiner of -the will of the universe. Since reality is a constant process of self-reference and self-causation, the will is not 'bound' to any prior will. Every instance is brand new and self-chosen.

In other words : "The self-configuration of reality involves an intrinsic mode of causality, self-determinacy, which is logically distinct from conventional concepts of determinacy and indeterminacy but can appear as either from a localized vantage. Determinacy and indeterminacy can thus be viewed as "limiting cases" associated with at least two distinct levels of systemic self-determinacy, global-distributed and local-nondistributed. The former level appears deterministic while the latter, which accommodates creative input from multiple quasi-independent sources, dynamically adjusts to changing conditions and thus appears to have an element of "randomness"."
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/24/2013 1:46:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 10:54:35 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:53:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.

I don't understand your argument... and it seems you don't understand his.

Yeah I probably don't : P I'll try to comprehend it again tomorrow when I'm more awake.

If you still don't understand by tomorrow, he explained the concept in another way which might make more sense to you:

"Self-determinacy is like a circuitous boundary separating the poles of the above dichotomy [between determinism and randomness] ... a reflexive and therefore closed boundary, the formation of which involves neither preexisting laws nor external structure. Thus, it is the type of causal attribution suitable for a perfectly self-contained system [reality]."
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/25/2013 11:15:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 10:01:40 AM, 000ike wrote:
Wouldn't a system be self-determined when the means for its future operation are contained within its present operation?
I want to clear some things up:

Since reality is a totally self-contained system, determinacy alone cannot establish the causal relations which comprise it, because that would entail a causal loop whose origin and fundamental basis (existence) are left unaccounted for. Randomness cannot fulfill this role either, for it requires a medium which must support, maintain and bring itself into existence with nothing but itself, meaning it must actively select itself for existence. In order to exist, reality must provide itself with everything it needs, which means it must possess an intrinsic form of self-causation, because that is the only form of determination that could function without the laws and structure only it can supply.

And wouldn't a system possess freewill when its activity has no causal precedent in order to satisfy the condition of freedom.... yet still possesses a causal precedent such that it is willed?

The casual chain would end at the self-caused will of the universe, which is required for self-containment. This is the will that is definitely free, as it is a necessary condition of reality. But I was being presumptuous earlier when I said that humans can shape the will of the universe. It is totally feasible, and even likely, as we have the potential to direct the universe from the point of self-actualization.

I believe the author uses both terms interchangeably.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/25/2013 7:35:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 10:54:35 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:53:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.

I don't understand your argument... and it seems you don't understand his.

Yeah I probably don't : P I'll try to comprehend it again tomorrow when I'm more awake.

Have you read it again?
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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11/25/2013 9:56:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2013 1:46:35 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:54:35 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:53:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.

I don't understand your argument... and it seems you don't understand his.

Yeah I probably don't : P I'll try to comprehend it again tomorrow when I'm more awake.


If you still don't understand by tomorrow, he explained the concept in another way which might make more sense to you:

"Self-determinacy is like a circuitous boundary separating the poles of the above dichotomy [between determinism and randomness] ... a reflexive and therefore closed boundary, the formation of which involves neither preexisting laws nor external structure. Thus, it is the type of causal attribution suitable for a perfectly self-contained system [reality]."

I'm not able to understand any sort of positive definition of self-determinacy being parsed from this - is it just a negation of those other concepts? (Ie, not determinist, not random, not involving pre existing laws nor external structure..) If something is 'self-caused', does that instance of causation trace back to a prior cause 'for it'? I'm not understanding how exactly it's getting around the dichotomy the way it proposes to.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/25/2013 10:37:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 9:56:11 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 1:46:35 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:54:35 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:53:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.

I don't understand your argument... and it seems you don't understand his.

Yeah I probably don't : P I'll try to comprehend it again tomorrow when I'm more awake.


If you still don't understand by tomorrow, he explained the concept in another way which might make more sense to you:

"Self-determinacy is like a circuitous boundary separating the poles of the above dichotomy [between determinism and randomness] ... a reflexive and therefore closed boundary, the formation of which involves neither preexisting laws nor external structure. Thus, it is the type of causal attribution suitable for a perfectly self-contained system [reality]."

I'm not able to understand any sort of positive definition of self-determinacy being parsed from this - is it just a negation of those other concepts? (Ie, not determinist, not random, not involving pre existing laws nor external structure..)

Self-determinacy means the ability to 'cause' without being caused, and in the context of the universe, the ability to form its structure and laws without casual direction.

If something is 'self-caused', does that instance of causation trace back to a prior cause 'for it'?

No. This would imply determinism, which cannot account for the laws themselves. I misspoke earlier when I was answering Ike. What I meant to say is that the universe chooses states according to the laws it recognizes, but is not bound to or directed by them.

I'm not understanding how exactly it's getting around the dichotomy the way it proposes to.

You'd be better served by going directly to the source (CTMU) and reading his section of the topic (it's one of the first ones I believe). I can answer specific questions, but any broad explanation I give will not be as good as the one he provided.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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11/26/2013 9:49:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/25/2013 9:56:11 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 1:46:35 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:54:35 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:53:11 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 11/24/2013 10:25:32 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

You're expanding reality to be 'a little more than it is', and then naming that gap between the understood and 'reality' "free will". The implied conception of reality in this paradigm would be basically [understood parts of reality +undefined abstract]; but you can't propose a word to name something which is basically a group of things we don't understand and then use the word as if it makes sense in an ontologically 'positive' manner. If I said 'djfufufn exists' and you asked, 'what is that', and I replied 'we don't know, it's beyond understanding, that's the point'.. Obviously the best response I could possibly expect would be for you to conclude the new term I've coined is entirely meaningless and irrelevant.

I don't understand your argument... and it seems you don't understand his.

Yeah I probably don't : P I'll try to comprehend it again tomorrow when I'm more awake.


If you still don't understand by tomorrow, he explained the concept in another way which might make more sense to you:

"Self-determinacy is like a circuitous boundary separating the poles of the above dichotomy [between determinism and randomness] ... a reflexive and therefore closed boundary, the formation of which involves neither preexisting laws nor external structure. Thus, it is the type of causal attribution suitable for a perfectly self-contained system [reality]."

I'm not understanding how exactly it's getting around the dichotomy the way it proposes to.

Basically, both sides of the dichotomy presume a reality syntax which, according to the self-containment principle, the universe must create without using any external syntax as a medium, as anything external to reality is unreal and is acasual with respect to the universe. Determinacy and randomness both rely on structures which don't have the means to support themselves, and require a self-caused determination... the only kind of causation which can account for a self-contained universe (the only kind). And since free will is a necessary condition of reality, it is confirmed by the existence of reality.

This might be useful too:

"One might at first be tempted to object that there is no reason to believe that the universe does
not simply "exist", and thus that self-selection is unnecessary. However, this is not a valid
position. First, it involves a more or less subtle appeal to something external to the universe,
namely a prior/external informational medium or "syntax" of existence; if such a syntax were
sufficiently relevant to this reality, i.e. sufficiently real, to support its existence, then it would be
analytically included in reality (as defined up to perceptual relevance). Second, active self-selection
is indeed necessary, for existence is not merely a state but a process; the universe must internally
distinguish that which it is from that which it is it not, and passivity is ruled out because it would again imply the involvement of a complementary active principle of external origin."
johnlubba
Posts: 2,892
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1/24/2014 1:41:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/22/2014 8:26:57 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Bump

Try asking the user called Phantom, he has good arguments concerning free will.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/24/2014 2:09:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

I found what I consider to be an inconsistency here:

Self-determinism is a rather subtle concept. It means
that one determines one"s own path independently of general
laws of causality, where "independence" describes a
situation in which one is constrained by, but also free to
exploit at will, the laws of physics and biology.


I challenge this notion of "independence". You are not "free to exploit at will" choices you do not understand. Those choices are brought to your attention via the laws of physics and biology, i.e. if you turn your head around, you may become unaware of a choice that would have otherwise been staring right at your face. In this sense, choice is constrained by physics and biology, meaning that free will is constrained, meaning that free will is an inconsistent concept.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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1/24/2014 3:20:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 2:09:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

I found what I consider to be an inconsistency here:

Self-determinism is a rather subtle concept. It means
that one determines one"s own path independently of general
laws of causality, where "independence" describes a
situation in which one is constrained by, but also free to
exploit at will, the laws of physics and biology.


I challenge this notion of "independence". You are not "free to exploit at will" choices you do not understand. Those choices are brought to your attention via the laws of physics and biology, i.e. if you turn your head around, you may become unaware of a choice that would have otherwise been staring right at your face. In this sense, choice is constrained by physics and biology, meaning that free will is constrained, meaning that free will is an inconsistent concept.

Free will does not entail omnipotence or omniscience. It never has. It merely means the ability to freely choose one state over another from the choices that are available to you.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/24/2014 3:31:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 3:20:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 2:09:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

I found what I consider to be an inconsistency here:

Self-determinism is a rather subtle concept. It means
that one determines one"s own path independently of general
laws of causality, where "independence" describes a
situation in which one is constrained by, but also free to
exploit at will, the laws of physics and biology.


I challenge this notion of "independence". You are not "free to exploit at will" choices you do not understand. Those choices are brought to your attention via the laws of physics and biology, i.e. if you turn your head around, you may become unaware of a choice that would have otherwise been staring right at your face. In this sense, choice is constrained by physics and biology, meaning that free will is constrained, meaning that free will is an inconsistent concept.

Free will does not entail omnipotence or omniscience. It never has. It merely means the ability to freely choose one state over another from the choices that are available to you.

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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1/24/2014 3:46:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 3:31:30 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:20:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 2:09:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

I found what I consider to be an inconsistency here:

Self-determinism is a rather subtle concept. It means
that one determines one"s own path independently of general
laws of causality, where "independence" describes a
situation in which one is constrained by, but also free to
exploit at will, the laws of physics and biology.


I challenge this notion of "independence". You are not "free to exploit at will" choices you do not understand. Those choices are brought to your attention via the laws of physics and biology, i.e. if you turn your head around, you may become unaware of a choice that would have otherwise been staring right at your face. In this sense, choice is constrained by physics and biology, meaning that free will is constrained, meaning that free will is an inconsistent concept.

Free will does not entail omnipotence or omniscience. It never has. It merely means the ability to freely choose one state over another from the choices that are available to you.

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?

It is not predetermined, it is constrained in a specific sense. Essentially, free will acts in conjunction with physics and biology. Our actions would thus be the product of both our free will and the laws of nature. As Chris Langan puts it: free will would allow us to "get a word in edgewise".
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/24/2014 3:49:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 3:46:38 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:31:30 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:20:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 2:09:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

I found what I consider to be an inconsistency here:

Self-determinism is a rather subtle concept. It means
that one determines one"s own path independently of general
laws of causality, where "independence" describes a
situation in which one is constrained by, but also free to
exploit at will, the laws of physics and biology.


I challenge this notion of "independence". You are not "free to exploit at will" choices you do not understand. Those choices are brought to your attention via the laws of physics and biology, i.e. if you turn your head around, you may become unaware of a choice that would have otherwise been staring right at your face. In this sense, choice is constrained by physics and biology, meaning that free will is constrained, meaning that free will is an inconsistent concept.

Free will does not entail omnipotence or omniscience. It never has. It merely means the ability to freely choose one state over another from the choices that are available to you.

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?

It is not predetermined, it is constrained in a specific sense.

Those constraints are predetermined.

Essentially, free will acts in conjunction with physics and biology.

Right, so free will is constrained by predetermination, i.e. free will IS predetermination, i.e. free will is definitionally unsound.

Our actions would thus be the product of both our free will and the laws of nature. As Chris Langan puts it: free will would allow us to "get a word in edgewise".
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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1/24/2014 4:01:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 3:49:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:46:38 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:31:30 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:20:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 2:09:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 11/24/2013 9:28:21 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Anyone?

I found what I consider to be an inconsistency here:

Self-determinism is a rather subtle concept. It means
that one determines one"s own path independently of general
laws of causality, where "independence" describes a
situation in which one is constrained by, but also free to
exploit at will, the laws of physics and biology.


I challenge this notion of "independence". You are not "free to exploit at will" choices you do not understand. Those choices are brought to your attention via the laws of physics and biology, i.e. if you turn your head around, you may become unaware of a choice that would have otherwise been staring right at your face. In this sense, choice is constrained by physics and biology, meaning that free will is constrained, meaning that free will is an inconsistent concept.

Free will does not entail omnipotence or omniscience. It never has. It merely means the ability to freely choose one state over another from the choices that are available to you.

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?

It is not predetermined, it is constrained in a specific sense.

Those constraints are predetermined.

Constraints are enforced by the will of the universe.They appear as predetermined from a localized vantage, but they are not (see post). But that's all irrelevant, and so is your point. Constraints are not what makes our will free.


Essentially, free will acts in conjunction with physics and biology.

Right, so free will is constrained by predetermination, i.e. free will IS predetermination, i.e. free will is definitionally unsound.

No. Free will occupies the space between what the laws of physics and biology would say and what has been said.


Our actions would thus be the product of both our free will and the laws of nature. As Chris Langan puts it: free will would allow us to "get a word in edgewise".
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/24/2014 4:10:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 4:01:44 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:49:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?

It is not predetermined, it is constrained in a specific sense.

Those constraints are predetermined.

Constraints are enforced by the will of the universe.They appear as predetermined from a localized vantage, but they are not (see post). But that's all irrelevant, and so is your point. Constraints are not what makes our will free.

So biology and physics are products of free will and not determinism? I suppose we will have to fundamentally disagree then.

Essentially, free will acts in conjunction with physics and biology.

Right, so free will is constrained by predetermination, i.e. free will IS predetermination, i.e. free will is definitionally unsound.

No. Free will occupies the space between what the laws of physics and biology would say and what has been said.

This doesn't make any sense.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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1/24/2014 4:12:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 4:10:21 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/24/2014 4:01:44 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:49:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?

It is not predetermined, it is constrained in a specific sense.

Those constraints are predetermined.

Constraints are enforced by the will of the universe.They appear as predetermined from a localized vantage, but they are not (see post). But that's all irrelevant, and so is your point. Constraints are not what makes our will free.

So biology and physics are products of free will and not determinism? I suppose we will have to fundamentally disagree then.

They are the product of the free will of the universe, not a product of ours. Read the OP.

Essentially, free will acts in conjunction with physics and biology.

Right, so free will is constrained by predetermination, i.e. free will IS predetermination, i.e. free will is definitionally unsound.

No. Free will occupies the space between what the laws of physics and biology would say and what has been said.

This doesn't make any sense.

To you.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/24/2014 4:15:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 4:12:41 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 4:10:21 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/24/2014 4:01:44 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:49:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?

It is not predetermined, it is constrained in a specific sense.

Those constraints are predetermined.

Constraints are enforced by the will of the universe.They appear as predetermined from a localized vantage, but they are not (see post). But that's all irrelevant, and so is your point. Constraints are not what makes our will free.

So biology and physics are products of free will and not determinism? I suppose we will have to fundamentally disagree then.

They are the product of the free will of the universe, not a product of ours. Read the OP.

Again, we will have to fundamentally disagree. Just because you found a post somewhere that states that doesn't make that post right or wrong...after all you can't substantiate either way (free will vs determinism) so I'm not going to bother arguing with you over it.

Essentially, free will acts in conjunction with physics and biology.

Right, so free will is constrained by predetermination, i.e. free will IS predetermination, i.e. free will is definitionally unsound.

No. Free will occupies the space between what the laws of physics and biology would say and what has been said.

This doesn't make any sense.

To you.

You can't even explain it yourself, so there's no reason to take you or what you believe to be compelling in any manner.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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1/24/2014 4:19:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/24/2014 4:12:41 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 4:10:21 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/24/2014 4:01:44 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 1/24/2014 3:49:12 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

How could you say such a will is free then if your choices are predetermined by physics and biology?

It is not predetermined, it is constrained in a specific sense.

Those constraints are predetermined.

Constraints are enforced by the will of the universe.They appear as predetermined from a localized vantage, but they are not (see post). But that's all irrelevant, and so is your point. Constraints are not what makes our will free.

So biology and physics are products of free will and not determinism? I suppose we will have to fundamentally disagree then.

They are the product of the free will of the universe, not a product of ours. Read the OP.

BTW, the section I quoted from the OP is pretty clear that he views the laws of physics and biology to be "laws of causality", meaning that your interpretation of your own quote is wrong.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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1/24/2014 4:44:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Preliminary clarifications: first, what does it mean to determine something independently of causality? He defines independence such that it entails simultaneously ontological constraints and recursive capacity to manipulate those constraints, but that doesn't seem much like the usual case of "self-determination" to which I'm accustomed. It might be more sophisticated than what a plant could do, but neuroscientists would probably suggest that both are equally deterministic, merely governed by sets of equations of different cardinalities (where the cardinality of the human set would arguably be higher).

Second, it seems like his argument, at the point of the introduction of words like "meaning" and "volition", relies on the hesitation determinists often display in accepting that, should determinism be true, there are certain potentially unsettling implications for human action (e.g., that our decision-making mechanisms, while appearing to us as independent volition, are just the sophisticated, macro-level, heuristic representation of strictly deterministic micro-level goings-on).

His response seems to be recursion/nesting somewhat analogous to the usual "agent causation line" pushed by most soft determinists--you get a self-contained feedback loop nested within, and somewhat independent from (by virtue of not being inert), the global causal loop [so, unlike a rock, which just "takes it", intelligent, sentient creatures get to consciously push back and behave seemingly autonomously], which, in its own right, is less a rejection of determinism than pointing out that deterministic systems behave like fractals (which is why he can try to push free will out onto the universe just as much as claim human decisions occur in a nested, somewhat-sequestered loop by which the universe more or less slides down to "act" on "itself"), which wouldn't really be anything new (unless he tried to claim, which I don't think he did, that the loops aren't level-crossing).

Anyhow, when he says that meaningful volition entails choosing/advancing goals for trans-deterministic reasons, I'm curious whether one couldn't just consistently deny (whether you're a determinist or an indeterminist) that our choices are actually meaningful and free [in the sense of independent from global causality <meaning: choosing anything non-deterministically is syntactically unproblematic but semantically untenable, and vague intuitions to the contrary are just mistaken/ascribable to human cognitive limitations or ignorance>]. If you imagine the universe as a globally [topologically] flat plane, it seems like one could just say that, even if there is considerable local curvature (in the form of intelligent life) in some places, it isn't as if those points occupy a place outside the field merely because they can be written as a single ordered pair (or ordered triple, if you want to think of it in three-space). So, deny the cogency of meaning of any kind, whether objective [in the sense of external] or recursively-generated, and supplement by arguing that, regardless, humans are more or less incapable of acting otherwise (i.e., we couldn't act as if we didn't value anything, even if we tried [which trying would defeat the attempt anyway]).
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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1/24/2014 4:52:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I do have to admit to liking somewhat--dubious though it is to just stipulate a "bottom turtle" by defining your object as "everything"/"the entire stack of turtles"--the idea that, in a system which, by definition, has no outside, you have no other choice but spontaneous, infinitely-recursive self-organization. It's a nice one to entertain.