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A revolution in thought

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Thinker13
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#26 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 3:47 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:
Another curious thing about determinism which just occurs to me is that it negates causality. That is, causality does not exist in a deterministic universe.

Counter-intuitive, yes, but true.

The reason is that a deterministic universe is actually static. It doesn't really move or change. It is written and completed at the outset.

A deterministic universe is like a novel. It only exists from cover to cover, and it does not nor can it possibly deviate from the series of words contained therein. It is written once and is unchangeable for all time. But nothing really 'happens' relative to the book. There is no real motion, no movement in timespace, no interactions, no physicality, etc. You can't really say that one character's actions in the first chapter 'cause' effects in the next chapter.

A novel, though we can break it down into component pieces, has no working 'parts'.

Neither does a deterministic universe.

Hence, causality is negated (i.e. it is a meaningless concept).

8)



Indeed. In case of a 'scripted' universe causality does not arise. In fact, those devotees of lord, who have totally dedicated themselves to him, suggest, that you need not worry about anything as everything is already scripted. Causality is an exercise of mind and exists for a very brief span, for a fragment taken apart for analysis by mind. Causality is useful for mind and mind can analyze the limited. Wherever unlimited and beyond come into the picture, the mind is turned off for it becomes it cannot analyze something out of its scope and hence causality also disappears.
Thinker13
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#27 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 3:53 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:
God is a very inefficient chap as a creator. He's always building a big universe but making sure it doesn't function correctly for endless millennia just so it can eventually correct itself. To what end? Only for his pleasure at producing equal amounts of bliss and suffering.

rolling eyes


Theory of 'Lila' suggests that this universal molecular play is nothing but the recreation of the 'ultimate'; but there exists no suffering on the whole, only the bliss, which is a synonym for his name. The bliss is not the opposite of suffering but beyond it.
smokinpristiformis
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#28 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 4:29 AM:

WTH? Possibly the most bizarre thread since the restart. sticking out tongue But it's cool. Randomness is great fun!
Thinker13
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#29 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 6:06 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
WTH? Possibly the most bizarre thread since the restart. sticking out tongue But it's cool. Randomness is great fun!


I agree. Randomness makes threads alive at times. peace
peacegirl
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#30 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 6:51 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:
Here's the whole jist of the thing (and what do you know, it IS possible to state it in a single sentence sisyphus ):




There's nothing new or remarkable about this. Philosophers have been debating determinism for milennia. Most reject determinism because of the moral consequences. Others reject it because the position itself seems incoherent on some level.


No, it is NOT possible unless you want to skew what's being said. Most reject determinism because of moral consequences, which has been the dilemma for milennia, which is true. How this moral issue is overcome IS the purpose of this book. You are stating what everyone knows. How it is resolved involves READING THE BOOK.

"Monk" wrote:
If determinism is a fact, then there is no such thing as 'morality' in the traditional sense. And of course, no such thing as responsibility. Or, put a better way, only God is responsible for anything that happens.


Yes, that is the current thinking, and no one could get beyond the implications. In other words, most philosophers have rejected determinism because of this unsolved dilemma of moral responsibility.

"Monk" wrote:
Thus God is responsible for all the births and horrible, horrible deaths, the nice things and the gruesome things. No individual is responsible for these events, even if they are participants, because they are only parts of the causal chain and not instigators or initiators of it.


That is true to an extent. People think in these terms: If man's will is not free, they are truly not to blame, but how can God be responsible for such pain in the world? Religion had to separate good from evil where only God performs good and Satan came into being as a result of this separation. According to this line of thinking man had to have free will in order to choose good over evil.

"Monk" wrote:
Here's some more of the idea:

Unfortunately, I don't think the writer has much idea of what constitutes 'mathematics' or 'logic'. But aside from that, the reasoning is pretty straightforward.

There is no free choice because reality is what it is. History is what it is and cannot be changed; there is a direct causal path of one action to another, one event to another, and no indication of 'possibility' in that chain of events, hence no way to justify that things 'could have been different'.


That is NOT his reasoning. Did you read any of Chapter One at all?

"Monk" wrote:
However, the immutability of the past has never been in question. It is the unpredictable nature of the present moment that is at issue. The razor's edge is where all freedom takes place. In order to prove that human beings (or any agent for that matter) are not free it is necessary that one PROVE that spontaneous action cannot exist.


Yes, according to the conventional definition of determinism. But this author shows where there has been confusion due to the definition itself. Nothing causes man to do what he doesn't want to do, but this does not make his will free.

"Monk" wrote:
Is this proven in the book, I ask?


Yes.


"Monk" wrote:
The problem with all deterministic theories is that they cannot advocate change. They can only be descriptive at best. Because if determinism is true then things will only be as they are, and become as they will become. There is no such thing as 'anticipating the future' because the essence of reality is fixed.

In other words, such theories cannot be prescriptive.


Once again, you are taking the definition of determinism as a fixed entity where nothing can be anticipated or altered. The razor's edge IS that moment we all choose one option over another, which remains intact. But the choice, whatever it is, is not a free one (since we are compelled to move in the direction of greater satisfaction), therefore choice is an illusion.

"Monk" wrote:
At best people can digest them with apathy, since nothing they do will affect the nature of reality. Either war and death will continue endlessly or not. Since the path of reality is fixed, there's no sense bothering about it. Changing the status quo is not necessary. In fact, change, REAL CHANGE, is impossible.


You are misunderstanding the meaning of determinism in this context. Your confusion lies in the definition you are using since you believe everything is fixed beforehand. Determinism, according to this author, does not mean man doesn't have the ability to think, ponder, weigh alternatives, and finally make a choice after weighing the pros and cons, but this does not make his will free. You need to first understand the author's definition in order for us to have a solid basis for communication.





Edited by peacegirl on 03/14/11 - 7:00 AM
peacegirl
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#31 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 8:50 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:
God is a very inefficient chap as a creator. He's always building a big universe but making sure it doesn't function correctly for endless millennia just so it can eventually correct itself. To what end? Only for his pleasure at producing equal amounts of bliss and suffering.

rolling eyes


You are using the term 'God' in a very literal way, and if you do this, there is no way you will be able to see God as the laws that govern the universe in toto. These laws are the same laws that govern our solar system, which is why everything had to be the way it was up until this point in time. But this does not in any way mean this has to be the same way in the future. This is what you are not quite getting.
peacegirl
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#32 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 8:52 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
WTH? Possibly the most bizarre thread since the restart. sticking out tongue But it's cool. Randomness is great fun!


I'm curious why you think this is the most bizarre thread? Isn't there room for controversy or is this issue a done deal in most people's minds (i.e., man has free will)? I'm just wondering if you are taking this thread seriously, because it couldn't be more serious than if Socrates were sitting with us right now.

Edited by peacegirl on 03/14/11 - 9:00 AM
smokinpristiformis
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#33 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 9:40 AM:

I'm curious why you think this is the most bizarre thread? Isn't there room for controversy or is this issue a done deal in most people's minds (i.e., man has free will)



Well, in a nutshell, at first it almost seems like a classic spam thread, which is the reason it got moved to Dust Bunnies. Afterwards it subsequently turned into a guessing game, a zealous outcry WITH CAPS and at the end, of course, a semantics discussion.

I am sorry for any apparant disrespect, but I'm really not going to take this thread seriously unless you're going to provide is with some real input as opposed to:
- read the book
- read chapter one of the book
- have you read the book?
- read the definitions of the book
- read the friggin' book already
You know ...
Anyway don't take it hard. You should know that I'm really not a serious philosopher. I'm really here for some lazy beer-, couch-, or pillowphilosophizing (depending on who I'm talking with and when). Ooh, that reminds me to tell Thinker to bring crackers from the shop.


Always room for controversy at the couch though, don't worry.


because it couldn't be more serious than if Socrates were sitting with us right now.



That'd be downright creepy !


Makes you wonder... hmm. What if one of us is really the skeleton of Socrates sitting behind a keyboard somewhere under a pink parasol with a view on the Acropolis. We can't really know for sure, can we?


Cheers !
peacegirl
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#34 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 9:48 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:



Well, in a nutshell, at first it almost seems like a classic spam thread, which is the reason it got moved to Dust Bunnies. Afterwards it subsequently turned into a guessing game, a zealous outcry WITH CAPS and at the end, of course, a semantics discussion.


So you are judging this book because the administrator moved this to a classification that she believed was appropriate? Is that what you are saying? I am just trying to clarify things in my mind.

"smokin" wrote:
I am sorry for any apparant disrespect, but I'm really not going to take this thread seriously unless you're going to provide is with some real input as opposed to:
- read the book
- read chapter one of the book
- have you read the book?
- read the definitions of the book
- read the friggin' book already


How can anyone have a fair discussion without having the material read? Tell me and I will tell people not to read the book because conversation without a premise is a wonderful way to discuss ideas.

"smokin" wrote:
You know ...
Anyway don't take it hard. You should know that I'm really not a serious philosopher. I'm really here for some lazy beer-, couch-, or pillowphilosophizing (depending on who I'm talking with and when). Ooh, that reminds me to tell Thinker to bring crackers from the shop.


How cool! Just because you are doing this as a 'lazy' philosopher, in my mind does not make you lazy at all. In fact, you might have more interest in something that is not 'status quo' and I welcome your renegade attitude because of that. smiling face


"smokin" wrote:
Always room for controversy at the couch though, don't worry.


Awww, thank you so much smokin, you have no idea how your words impacted me. I hope you continue to engage in the conversation, if there turns out to be one. lol



"smokin" wrote:
That'd be downright creepy !


Makes you wonder... hmm. What if one of us is really the skeleton of Socrates sitting behind a keyboard somewhere under a pink parasol with a view on the Acropolis. We can't really know for sure, can we?


Cheers !


I would have the same creepiness. I was just trying to use Socrates as someone who would be LISTENING TO THE PROOF, if he were alive. That's all I meant by this. wink
libertygrl
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#35 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 10:01 AM:

smoki wrote:
well, in a nutshell, at first it almost seems like a classic spam thread, which is the reason it got moved to Dust Bunnies.

it did seem like spam at first, but that's not why i moved it here, for anyone who's curious. i've mainly intended the thinking spot for housing topics which pose a question of some sort.

in any case, i think there's some interesting discussion taking place here, and by all means, please feel free to carry on, peacegirl. thumb up
peacegirl
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#36 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 10:07 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

it did seem like spam at first, but that's not why i moved it here, for anyone who's curious. i've mainly intended the thinking spot for housing topics which pose a question of some sort.

in any case, i think there's some interesting discussion taking place here, and by all means, please feel free to carry on, peacegirl. thumb up


Thank you for your kind response. You have no idea how people have misinterpreted what I am here for. You are giving me a second chance, in a way, and that means a lot to me. I hope we can all continue the conversation, without anger. It all depends on how people interpret what I am saying. I am also happy that you don't think this is a junk thread. It means more to me than you know.
smokinpristiformis
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#37 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 10:11 AM:

So you are judging this book because the administrator moved this to a classification that she believed was appropriate? Is that what you are saying? I am just trying to clarify things in my mind.


Not the book. The thread! And no. That's not what I'm saying. I strongly believe in judging things on merit. This thread isn't going places yet. Sorry.


How can anyone have a fair discussion without having the material read? Tell me and I will tell people not to read the book because conversation without a premise is a wonderful way to discuss ideas.


Well, the thing is, I'm not so interested in the book. I could be interested in any groundbreaking ideas within the book though. So if you would be so kind as to outline them for us. It'd be much appreciated.

How cool! Just because you are doing this as a 'lazy' philosopher, in my mind does not make you lazy at all. In fact, you might have more interest in something that is not 'status quo' and I welcome your renegade attitude because of that.


renegade? renegaaade? reeeeeeenegade ?? renegade. renegade. renegade, renegade, renegade,.... *walks off to ponder on a sudden existential crisis*


I would have the same creepiness. I was just trying to use Socrates as someone who would be LISTENING TO THE PROOF, if he were alive. That's all I meant by this.


Proof isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
The only time in my life that I have seen proof. I mean real, actual, solid proof, was during maths and it was proof within a very neat, very simple, abstract, artificially constructed, imaginary world. It was proven that two parallel lines were going to keep the same distance from eachother indefinitely. QED. And then in physics class we learned that in the actual universe gravity bent time and space and this simply wasn't true anymore. Ah well.

You can interest me with a good story, or a fresh idea, though.
smokinpristiformis
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#38 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 10:13 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

it did seem like spam at first, but that's not why i moved it here, for anyone who's curious. i've mainly intended the thinking spot for housing topics which pose a question of some sort.

in any case, i think there's some interesting discussion taking place here, and by all means, please feel free to carry on, peacegirl. thumb up



Ah, it appears that I spoke before my turn. So the world turns. smiling face
Thinker13
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#39 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 10:47 AM:

Willem wrote:
Ooh, that reminds me to tell Thinker to bring crackers from the shop


Cheers !

laughing Sure!!

peacegirl
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#40 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 10:55 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:


Not the book. The thread! And no. That's not what I'm saying. I strongly believe in judging things on merit. This thread isn't going places yet. Sorry.

[quote="smokin"]Could it be that you have some preconceived ideas that you have to remove? Just a thought.


Well, the thing is, I'm not so interested in the book. I could be interested in any groundbreaking ideas within the book though. So if you would be so kind as to outline them for us. It'd be much appreciated.


No, I have given you the book for free. I cannot bend over backwards by spoonfeeding this knowledge to you without you actually spending the energy to read it. Sorry! shaking head


"smokin" wrote:
Proof isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
The only time in my life that I have seen proof. I mean real, actual, solid proof, was during maths and it was proof within a very neat, very simple, abstract, artificially constructed, imaginary world. It was proven that two parallel lines were going to keep the same distance from eachother indefinitely. QED. And then in physics class we learned that in the actual universe gravity bent time and space and this simply wasn't true anymore. Ah well.

You can interest me with a good story, or a fresh idea, though.


This is the most carefully constructed proof there ever was. The problem is with your off the cuff response that the proof is flawed. Maybe when it is accepted by the world's scientists that you will give this author the benefit of the doubt. So much for independent thought. raised eyebrow
Monk2400
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#41 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 12:14 PM:

peacegirl wrote:

You have no idea how people have misinterpreted what I am here for.


Not hard to do. I'm still amazed after all these years of discussion forums and the burgeoning 'new media' craze that people still have no concept of netiquette. Forums are communities. Most folk don't like when some passer-by shows up at the doorstep, rings the bell, holds out a pamphlet and says 'this will change your life' afore disappearing into the wind.

But if said person came round legitimately, ate a few meals with them folk, shared a few wines, and then decided to share said pamphlet, its a different story.

That effect can be amplified in a small community like this. Thankfully for some, the folk here are forgiving.

Carry on!

8)
Monk2400
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#42 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 12:46 PM:

More comments/responses...

peacegirl wrote:

No, it is NOT possible unless you want to skew what's being said.


I quoted it directly. That's the principle the whole book is based on. No skewing at all.



peacegirl wrote:

Most reject determinism because of moral consequences, which has been the dilemma for milennia, which is true. How this moral issue is overcome IS the purpose of this book. You are stating what everyone knows.
...
In other words, most philosophers have rejected determinism because of this unsolved dilemma of moral responsibility.


Insofar as philosophers reject determinism on this basis throughout history, and not because of a solid logical reason, then they are and have been in error. Its human nature to reject things we don't like or that inconvenience us.



peacegirl wrote:

That is true to an extent.


No, its true to the fullest extent. And its 'mathematical' too.

Only a First Cause can inherit any responsibility for a causal stream. Where 'responsibility' means only that without the action of the First Cause no subsequent events would occur. No event within the series bears any responsibility because it exists only as a link in the chain. The chain-maker is the First Cause, i.e. God.

However, it is human bias that wants to attribute to God human values of good and evil. Nature, of course, is neither good nor evil, that is, values are not properties of things or events. So one might take the view that God is responsible, but so what, since nothing God does is really evil (or good), so our traditional concept of moral blame is meaningless in that context.



peacegirl wrote:

That is NOT his reasoning.


That's exactly the reasoning, as I quoted above.

The idea that man's will is not free is based on the observation that the past is fixed.



peacegirl wrote:

Yes, according to the conventional definition of determinism. But this author shows where there has been confusion due to the definition itself. Nothing causes man to do what he doesn't want to do, but this does not make his will free.


Doesn't answer the question. Can the author demonstrate that spontaneous action cannot possibly exist?

You say yes, so please provide us the demonstration/reasoning as to why this is the case.



peacegirl wrote:

Once again, you are taking the definition of determinism as a fixed entity where nothing can be anticipated or altered.


That is what determinism implies--a static world in all dimensions.



peacegirl wrote:

The razor's edge IS that moment we all choose one option over another, which remains intact. But the choice, whatever it is, is not a free one (since we are compelled to move in the direction of greater satisfaction), therefore choice is an illusion.


This is the same thing as saying that all beings are moving along a railway track that they can't get off of. Ever. And it's just the same as saying that the world is static in all dimensions.

The razors edge is not really and edge at all. You couldn't shave a yak with it. And it makes no difference whether you say agents are pushed into the future (along a track; compelled by Necessary causes) or pulled into the future (along a track; compelled by Final causes).

But this is more supposition.

What's the evidence against spontaneous action?



peacegirl wrote:

You are misunderstanding the meaning of determinism in this context. Your confusion lies in the definition you are using since you believe everything is fixed beforehand. Determinism, according to this author, does not mean man doesn't have the ability to think, ponder, weigh alternatives, and finally make a choice after weighing the pros and cons, but this does not make his will free. You need to first understand the author's definition in order for us to have a solid basis for communication.


I think the author doesn't understand the implications of his own principles.

You can't have it both ways. You can't have a world where everything appears as though it were random and chance existed and choice were possible AND say that nothing is random, chance is illusion, and choice isn't real.

Heh, I used to be a staunch determinist and made many of these same arguments, including the argument from the immutability of the past. Today I lean more towards freedom based on an analysis of the nature of consciousness. But not to fear, my concept of the multiphasic manifold does in fact embody the best of both worlds--pure freedom and pure determinism together at last.

8)
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#43 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 1:00 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:


Not hard to do. I'm still amazed after all these years of discussion forums and the burgeoning 'new media' craze that people still have no concept of netiquette. Forums are communities. Most folk don't like when some passer-by shows up at the doorstep, rings the bell, holds out a pamphlet and says 'this will change your life' afore disappearing into the wind.


Hmmm. I can see why people would be wary, but I don't know any other way to introduce this work other than what I'm doing.

"Monk" wrote:
But if said person came round legitimately, ate a few meals with them folk, shared a few wines, and then decided to share said pamphlet, its a different story.


Hey, if I could invite everyone over, I would pay for the wine. nod But that's impossible to consider, sooooo...that's why I'm here. But I'm not just saying this will change the world without something to back it up. If you actually knew what this author went through to get this book published, you might have a different perspective.

"Monk" wrote:
That effect can be amplified in a small community like this. Thankfully for some, the folk here are forgiving.

Carry on!

8)


The saying, "Good things come to those who wait" is fitting here. I am not sure what I need to be forgiven for, but I understand what you meant.
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#44 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 1:18 PM:

peacegirl wrote:
If you actually knew what this author went through to get this book published, you might have a different perspective.

tell us what happened, if you don't mind? i would love to hear about the behind-the-scenes.
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#45 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 1:44 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:
More comments/responses...



I quoted it directly. That's the principle the whole book is based on. No skewing at all.


No, that is not what the whole book is based on. The fact that man's will is not free is NOT the discovery. Just knowing this fact is only one half of the solution.





"Monk" wrote:
Insofar as philosophers reject determinism on this basis throughout history, and not because of a solid logical reason, then they are and have been in error. Its human nature to reject things we don't like or that inconvenience us.


But even if their reason has been logical, it was incomplete. No philosopher to date was able to get beyond the impasse of blame and moral responsibility.





"Monk" wrote:
No, its true to the fullest extent. And its 'mathematical' too.

Only a First Cause can inherit any responsibility for a causal stream. Where 'responsibility' means only that without the action of the First Cause no subsequent events would occur. No event within the series bears any responsibility because it exists only as a link in the chain. The chain-maker is the First Cause, i.e. God.


This is the crux of the problem. There has been much confusion over the word 'cause', therefore the author is not using the standard definition only because it is not completely accurate. The truth is NOTHING can cause you to do anything you don't want to do, not heredity or environment. In other words, a person can't say "My genes caused me to hurt this person since my will is not free", which would allow people to get off scott free. This is what has turned philosophers off to determinism.

"Because of this misinterpretation of the expression ‘man’s will
is free,’ great confusion continues to exist in any discussion
surrounding this issue for although it is true man has to make
choices, he must always prefer that which he considers good not
evil for himself when the former is offered as an alternative. The
words cause and compel are the perception of an improper or
fallacious relation because in order to be developed and have
meaning it was absolutely necessary that the expression ‘free will’
be born as their opposite, as tall gives meaning to short. Nothing
causes man to build cities, develop scientific achievements, write
books, compose music, go to war, argue and fight, commit terrible
crimes, pray to God, for these things are mankind already at a
particular stage of his development, just as children were sacrificed
at an earlier stage. These activities or motions are the natural
entelechy of man who is always developing, correcting his
mistakes, and moving in the direction of greater satisfaction by
better removing the dissatisfaction of the moment, which is a
normal compulsion of his nature over which he has absolutely no
control.

The fact that will is not free
demonstrates that man has been unconsciously developing at a
mathematical rate and during every moment of his progress was
doing what he had to do because he had no free choice. But this
does not mean that he was caused to do anything against his will,
for the word ‘cause’, like choice and past, is very misleading as it
implies that something other than man himself is responsible for
his actions. Four is not caused by two plus two, it is that already."

"Monk" wrote:
However, it is human bias that wants to attribute to God human values of good and evil. Nature, of course, is neither good nor evil, that is, values are not properties of things or events. So one might take the view that God is responsible, but so what, since nothing God does is really evil (or good), so our traditional concept of moral blame is meaningless in that context.


Our traditional view of moral blame is meaningless, I agree, but that does not mean the justice system is going to stop punishing those who have committed a crime. Unfortunately, threats of punishment only go so far. This law of our nature does a much better job.



"Monk" wrote:
The idea that man's will is not free is based on the observation that the past is fixed.


Yes, the past is fixed, but that doesn't mean that we are predestined to repeat the same mistakes of the past. The definition of determinism does not take away our ability to choose that which is most preferable among the alternatives that are available. When this law is applied on a global scale, war will no longer be necessary, as the lesser of two evils.


Monk" wrote:
Doesn't answer the question. Can the author demonstrate that spontaneous action cannot possibly exist?

You say yes, so please provide us the demonstration/reasoning as to why this is the case.


This knowledge does not stop spontaneous action. It doesn't change anything except for the desire to hurt others with a first blow, when not to hurt others becomes the preferable option, under the changed conditions.



"Monk" wrote:
That is what determinism implies--a static world in all dimensions.


Noooo, you are going back to the old definition. Until you are clear on the author's definition of determinism, we are not going to make any headway.


"Monk" wrote:
This is the same thing as saying that all beings are moving along a railway track that they can't get off of. Ever. And it's just the same as saying that the world is static in all dimensions.

The razors edge is not really and edge at all. You couldn't shave a yak with it. And it makes no difference whether you say agents are pushed into the future (along a track; compelled by Necessary causes) or pulled into the future (along a track; compelled by Final causes).

But this is more supposition.


Do you know what the author's definition is? Did you read that part? Do you understand that nothing causes us to do anything against our will? If you want to get off a track, nothing is stopping you, for over this you have absolute control. But this does not make your will free.

"Monk" wrote:
What's the evidence against spontaneous action?


There is none, but that in no way negates determinism in the way it is defined in the book.


"Monk" wrote:
I think the author doesn't understand the implications of his own principles.

You can't have it both ways. You can't have a world where everything appears as though it were random and chance existed and choice were possible AND say that nothing is random, chance is illusion, and choice isn't real.


You need to read pages 46-59 and then we can discuss this further. Until then, we are comparing apples to oranges.

"Monk" wrote:
Heh, I used to be a staunch determinist and made many of these same arguments, including the argument from the immutability of the past. Today I lean more towards freedom based on an analysis of the nature of consciousness. But not to fear, my concept of the multiphasic manifold does in fact embody the best of both worlds--pure freedom and pure determinism together at last.


Sorry, you can't have it both ways. You can't be dead and alive at the same time. By the same token, you can't have free will and no free will; they negate each other. But when you understand what determinism really is, you will realize that nothing is being taken away from anyone. And even though man's will is not free, we still get the best of both worlds. wink I hope I answered your questions considering part of your post was missing (the part where I spoke).




Edited by peacegirl on 03/14/11 - 1:55 PM
Monk2400
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#46 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 3:05 PM:

If you don't mind peacegirl, rather than point us to the book and telling us to read it, why not present the key points and discuss them? Since you seem to be well familiar with the content, you can introduce the ideas to us. I'm sure if anyone gets interested after that they will go to the source.

You can start a thread in the Thinking Spot and present the mathematical arguments one by one. That way we can all get into the meat of the stew and have a taste.

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#47 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 3:40 PM:

peacegirl wrote:

No, that is not what the whole book is based on. The fact that man's will is not free is NOT the discovery. Just knowing this fact is only one half of the solution.


So you're saying that "SINCE MAN’S WILL IS NOT FREE, THOU SHALL NOT BLAME ANYTHING HE DOES." (68) is not the main principle of this book?



peacegirl wrote:

But even if their reason has been logical, it was incomplete. No philosopher to date was able to get beyond the impasse of blame and moral responsibility.


Not even one??? Does the book have a detailed and exhaustive review of all modern and contemporary philosopher's take on the isuse...?



peacegirl wrote:

This is the crux of the problem. There has been much confusion over the word 'cause', therefore the author is not using the standard definition only because it is not completely accurate. The truth is NOTHING can cause you to do anything you don't want to do, not heredity or environment. In other words, a person can't say "My genes caused me to hurt this person since my will is not free", which would allow people to get off scott free. This is what has turned philosophers off to determinism.


I don't think that many philosophers care for the idea that people who do things we see as evil do them because they want to. But those philosophers are just idealists!!


peacegirl wrote:

"Because of this misinterpretation of the expression ‘man’s will
is free,’ great confusion continues to exist in any discussion
surrounding this issue for although it is true man has to make
choices, he must always prefer that which he considers good not
evil for himself when the former is offered as an alternative."


When there is an 'always' necessitating the outcome of a 'choice' then of course the choice is not free. But then, as such, there is no such thing as 'choice'! You simply can't say that man makes choices but that he always chooses one particular outcome. The very idea of choice means that it is possible to select any of the outcomes, and that no outcome is necessitated or determined, that is, the outcome is not predictable. Without that there is no 'choice' and the concept of 'choice' looses all meaning and significance.

All you are saying is that human beings take a trajectory through life, sometimes turning left, sometimes right, but always according to a law which they are absolutely subject to and which they cannot override or ignore. What 'choice' does a train have on a single track?


peacegirl wrote:

" The words cause and compel are the perception of an improper or
fallacious relation because in order to be developed and have
meaning it was absolutely necessary that the expression ‘free will’
be born as their opposite, as tall gives meaning to short. Nothing
causes man to build cities, develop scientific achievements, write
books, compose music, go to war, argue and fight, commit terrible
crimes, pray to God, for these things are mankind already at a
particular stage of his development, just as children were sacrificed
at an earlier stage. These activities or motions are the natural
entelechy of man who is always developing, correcting his
mistakes, and moving in the direction of greater satisfaction by
better removing the dissatisfaction of the moment, which is a
normal compulsion of his nature over which he has absolutely no
control."


Why should we believe that there is any 'entelecy' of man or that there is a directionality to human existence or that said direction is unidirectional or that it has anything to do with satisfaction?


peacegirl wrote:

The fact that will is not free
demonstrates that man has been unconsciously developing at a
mathematical rate and during every moment of his progress was
doing what he had to do because he had no free choice. But this
does not mean that he was caused to do anything against his will,
for the word ‘cause’, like choice and past, is very misleading as it
implies that something other than man himself is responsible for
his actions. Four is not caused by two plus two, it is that already."


LOL. The connection between 4 and 2+2 is a necessary one, formed only by certain assumptions inherent in LOGIC. Yes it is not a causal relationship because it does not take place in time, i.e. it is not an event, which is the realm of causation. But it is necessary and binding all the same, although it is entirely relative to the initial axioms of the mathematical system in which it is valid.

Furthermore, all you are doing is making 'will' the ultimate cause for action, saying that all action accords with will, and hence no man can act against his will. And what determines the will, exactly? The entelechy of man perhaps. Which is to say that reality is static in all dimensions.


peacegirl wrote:

Yes, the past is fixed, but that doesn't mean that we are predestined to repeat the same mistakes of the past.


Who said anything about repetition? Although it is pretty clear that the unfolding nature of reality is such that repetition is pretty much the basis of everything we observe. If not for repetition, for patterns, all would be chaos.



peacegirl wrote:

The definition of determinism does not take away our ability to choose that which is most preferable among the alternatives that are available.


Again, this simply isn't a 'choice'.

If you program a robot to always choose 'ice cream' when asked what it wants to eat, and program it to 'like ice cream the best' you can't say that when the robot selects ice cream because it is most preferable to it that it is really making a choice. The so-called alternatives do not really exist for the robot. Neither do they exist for a being that will not and cannot ever choose them!


peacegirl wrote:

When this law is applied on a global scale, war will no longer be necessary, as the lesser of two evils.


I'm entirely doubtful that there is any rigorous logical connection here.


peacegirl wrote:

This knowledge does not stop spontaneous action. It doesn't change anything except for the desire to hurt others with a first blow, when not to hurt others becomes the preferable option, under the changed conditions.


You can't 'change' anything is a deterministic universe. It is what it is for ALL TIME.

Furthermore, if you allow spontaneous action, you have undermined your entire system.

Spontaneous action is an event that is free from the preceding causal series. It is a First Cause, undefined by anything prior. It is not limited by external factors or will. Or, put another way, it is the pure exercise of will as a raw power of activity. But it is not governed by final causes or necessary causes. It just is. It is a point upon which responsibility is hung.

In order to banish freedom you have to demonstrate that such an event is impossible. But of course, such an event is already possible in the system, given that the universe is created by one. That would seem to make the system itself inconsistent.



peacegirl wrote:

There is none, but that in no way negates determinism in the way it is defined in the book.


I should say it does. The possibility of the spontaneous is the crux of all freedom and the demise of all determinism.



peacegirl wrote:

Sorry, you can't have it both ways.


Hey, that's my line!



peacegirl wrote:

You can't be dead and alive at the same time.


Schrödinger's cat to the contrary.



peacegirl wrote:

By the same token, you can't have free will and no free will; they negate each other.


Not really. It depends what is free and how it exists. In my system the phenomenal world is perfectly determined, fixed for all eternity, a static presentation of events. Further, every possible world exists as a finite manifold of such events, defining a unique manifold of phenomena. Only consciousness is free because it is not attached to any single possible world. It has nothing 'to' it except the power to 'look'. And in doing so, it ranges over all possible worlds, skipping from this track to that track, from one deterministic series to the next, seamlessly at decision points. It might follow a single world along a track from beginning to end, or it might move through an infinite number of possible worlds, carving out a unique path through the possible. Which ever happens it is not determined in the essence of consciousness itself.


8)
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#48 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/14/11 - 5:32 PM:

Monk2400 wrote:


So you're saying that "SINCE MAN’S WILL IS NOT FREE, THOU SHALL NOT BLAME ANYTHING HE DOES." (68) is not the main principle of this book?


That is the final result. It is the extension of the two-sided equation. You can't just take this one concept and think that people are going to take it seriously. In fact, it's not correct if the equation is not understood. Gandhi did not blame; he turned the other cheek and got struck on the first cheek over and over again. This is not what Lessans is advocating. That's why he kept saying over and over that you must read in a step by step fashion, otherwise the book will appear like a fairy tale.



"Monk" wrote:
Not even one??? Does the book have a detailed and exhaustive review of all modern and contemporary philosopher's take on the isuse...?


It's not difficult to get an exhaustive review as to the contemporary thought on this issue, and no one has come up with this breakthrough. It could be that some unknown person has made the same discovery because this knowledge is part of reality, but none that I have seen even since his death in 1991.



"Monk" wrote:
I don't think that many philosophers care for the idea that people who do things we see as evil do them because they want to. But those philosophers are just idealists!!


I'm not sure why you say they are idealists. People often do things because of the circumstances they are in. Sometimes they have no better choice.


"Monk" wrote:
When there is an 'always' necessitating the outcome of a 'choice' then of course the choice is not free. But then, as such, there is no such thing as 'choice'! You simply can't say that man makes choices but that he always chooses one particular outcome. The very idea of choice means that it is possible to select any of the outcomes, and that no outcome is necessitated or determined, that is, the outcome is not predictable. Without that there is no 'choice' and the concept of 'choice' looses all meaning and significance.


You are correct. No one can predict the necessary outcome until the choice is made. It's not like I know what choice I am going to make even one minute before I choose it. He states, "Choosing, or the comparison of differences, is an integral part of man's nature. The word 'choice' itself indicates there are preferable differences otherwise there would be no choice in the matter at all, as with A and A. The
reason you are confused is because the word ‘choice’ is very
misleading for it assumes that man has two or more possibilities,
but in reality this is a delusion because the direction of life, always
moving towards greater satisfaction, compels a person to prefer of
differences what he considers better for himself and when two or
more alternatives are presented he is compelled, by his very nature,
to prefer not that one which he considers worse, but what gives
every indication of being better for the particular set of
circumstances involved.

"Monk" wrote:
All you are saying is that human beings take a trajectory through life, sometimes turning left, sometimes right, but always according to a law which they are absolutely subject to and which they cannot override or ignore. What 'choice' does a train have on a single track?


That is true. We are subject to this law of 'greater satisfaction', and there are no exceptions.


"Monk" wrote:
Why should we believe that there is any 'entelecy' of man or that there is a directionality to human existence or that said direction is unidirectional or that it has anything to do with satisfaction?


Now you're getting into questions that can't be answered without reading his explanation of determinism.


monk" wrote:
LOL. The connection between 4 and 2+2 is a necessary one, formed only by certain assumptions inherent in LOGIC. Yes it is not a causal relationship because it does not take place in time, i.e. it is not an event, which is the realm of causation. But it is necessary and binding all the same, although it is entirely relative to the initial axioms of the mathematical system in which it is valid.


All we have is the present; nothing from the past causes man to do anything at all. That's a delusion. Man's will is not free not because he is being caused to hurt someone, but because it gives him greater satisfaction under his particular circumstances.

"monk" wrote:
Furthermore, all you are doing is making 'will' the ultimate cause for action, saying that all action accords with will, and hence no man can act against his will. And what determines the will, exactly? The entelechy of man perhaps. Which is to say that reality is static in all dimensions.


All action does accord with will (of course I'm not talking about forced action). In other words, when you make a decision it is you, no one else, that is doing the choosing. When I mentioned 'against your will', I was referring to others. No one can make you do anything against your will. If you knew that by talking, your family would die, can they make you talk against your will? Of course not. Our will is part of our inheritance. This ability to compare alternatives is unique to humans, but it does not remove the fact that our choices, once made, are not free because the alternative gave us less satisfaction, not more.

"monk" wrote:
Who said anything about repetition? Although it is pretty clear that the unfolding nature of reality is such that repetition is pretty much the basis of everything we observe. If not for repetition, for patterns, all would be chaos.


I must have been referring to my repeating certain things. I wasn't referring to the repetitiveness of nature.


"monk" wrote:
Again, this simply isn't a 'choice'.

If you program a robot to always choose 'ice cream' when asked what it wants to eat, and program it to 'like ice cream the best' you can't say that when the robot selects ice cream because it is most preferable to it that it is really making a choice. The so-called alternatives do not really exist for the robot. Neither do they exist for a being that will not and cannot ever choose them!


With humans though, part of the decision making process involves contemplation, weighing the pros and cons to figuring out which alternative is the best (even though once the choice is made it could never have been otherwise).




"monk" wrote:
I'm entirely doubtful that there is any rigorous logical connection here.




You can't 'change' anything is a deterministic universe. It is what it is for ALL TIME.

Furthermore, if you allow spontaneous action, you have undermined your entire system.

Spontaneous action is an event that is free from the preceding causal series. It is a First Cause, undefined by anything prior. It is not limited by external factors or will. Or, put another way, it is the pure exercise of will as a raw power of activity. But it is not governed by final causes or necessary causes. It just is. It is a point upon which responsibility is hung.


Responsibility is hung on the fact that there are two sides to this equation. One side is that man's will is not free; the other side is that nothing can make you do to another what you choose not to do. I hope we can get into this in greater detail because, without a clear understanding of the core of this discovery, nothing is going to make sense.

"monk" wrote:
In order to banish freedom you have to demonstrate that such an event is impossible. But of course, such an event is already possible in the system, given that the universe is created by one. That would seem to make the system itself inconsistent.


Humans are not robots. We are not a software program that spits out ready-made results. We cannot predict what will move someone to pick a certain choice, but that choice (and this is where determinism comes into play) once it is made, had to be the one that gave greater satisfaction.


"monk" wrote:
I should say it does. The possibility of the spontaneous is the crux of all freedom and the demise of all determinism.


Not if you understand this definition. It does not remove spontaneity whatsoever. In fact, it increases the range of choices that can be made. Eventually, you will see why if you don't bail out.


"monk" wrote:
Hey, that's my line!





Schrödinger's cat to the contrary.





Not really. It depends what is free and how it exists. In my system the phenomenal world is perfectly determined, fixed for all eternity, a static presentation of events. Further, every possible world exists as a finite manifold of such events, defining a unique manifold of phenomena. Only consciousness is free because it is not attached to any single possible world. It has nothing 'to' it except the power to 'look'. And in doing so, it ranges over all possible worlds, skipping from this track to that track, from one deterministic series to the next, seamlessly at decision points. It might follow a single world along a track from beginning to end, or it might move through an infinite number of possible worlds, carving out a unique path through the possible. Which ever happens it is not determined in the essence of consciousness itself.


I don't see how consciousness could ever be completely unattached, It seems to me that the closest to a free consciousness would be a baby who is more or less a blank slate when it is born, with no prior conditioning. An interesting concept, for sure.




Edited by peacegirl on 03/14/11 - 10:12 PM
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#49 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 5:46 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

tell us what happened, if you don't mind? i would love to hear about the behind-the-scenes.



hihi. Gossipgirl !


But not to fear, my concept of the multiphasic manifold does in fact embody the best of both worlds--pure freedom and pure determinism together at last.


Yo, phlogi. Does your view lean onto the 'emerging patterns' of chaos theory? I find the idea that a foundation of deterministic 'fun and games' on a fundamental scale can result in a complex, unpredictable (living) being on macro scale fascinating.

Edited by smokinpristiformis on 03/16/11 - 7:46 AM
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#50 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/16/11 - 6:06 AM:

peacegrl wrote:
All we have is the present; nothing from the past causes man to do anything at all. That's a delusion. Man's will is not free not because he is being caused to hurt someone, but because it gives him greater satisfaction under his particular circumstances.


This I do not agree with. Except a Buddha, there is not even a single person who is not affected by past, in fact, every action of a man is affected by past. Only a Buddha lives so totally in the present moment that the past is wiped out. Rest of the human beings are reacting towards situations and these reactions are not free from past but rather 'programmed', built upon experiences of past.
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