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Martian

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  1. This is the hard part for me to understand. When you call consciousness 'natural' you are saying that it exists based on understandable laws. If you say that consciousness is not understandable based on physical laws, then it is supernatural. There is no difference between saying that a clump of matter has free will and saying that a soul exists to direct that matter. You cannot have it both ways. Only if the mind is based on natural laws, can it be understood to be natural. See the problem? You can't claim that matter can act in an uncaused manner (not natural) without making an equal claim on the existence of the soul. I need this to be clarified, because it doesn't make any sense.
  2. I think you're right, because I don't think that that explanation of free will is correct. As far as I can see, it is synonymous with saying that a soul exists. Because, it seems like that is the definition of a magical event. But let me explain what I think free will really is. Sure, our actions are caused by other things. But our brain exists in a way so that it is isolated from physical interactions, meaning that in normal cases the "hardware" (brain) is not being changed by external forces. Also, our minds are influenced only by interaction with information that it receives, for that is what a mind needs to think about. But this is okay, because that's what rational minds do. They record information and through rational processes to make a choice. For example, if you were eating a sandwich and I showed you proof that I spit in that sandwich, you can stop eating it or continue eating it. You'd probably stop eating the sandwich because most people are disgusted with other people's saliva. So, your mind is *technically* determined by this information, but only in the sense that it helped you make a choice. But you weren't compllled by the information to make a certain choice; it was based on what your brain, your will, thought was important. Determinism still applies. This is a hard topic to discuss, so if you have any disagreements, they are probably just misunderstandings from my explanation. But I want people to respond with any disagreement that they might have. Now, when I said that the brain is isolated in normal situations, it is still able to be physically changed by external forces. For example, lobotomies were done on people with mental disorders. A lobotomy involves scratching up a person's frontal lobe. As a result, there was dramatic personality *changes*, which we accept as affecting the mind. There are many other examples that can happen as well and might include: physical damage leading to a coma, alcohol, antidepressant pills, brain damage, amnesia from trauma, and so on. All these things affect the brain, and at the same time, affect the mind. This means that the mind is, in reality, constructed by materials, and changes in those materials affect the mind. So to say that a choice is made on a fundamental level that is uncaused, is not valid in light of this evidence.
  3. I'm a little bit annoyed by your question dodging. I have gone through the effort to try to get some dialog with you. I want to discuss this with you and find out what you mean. INSTEAD, you preach the same claims to me nonstop from your very first post in this thread, even though I honestly want to know what you're saying. I suppose the neural net between my ears had something to do with it. Since when people use it they happen to go through the process of thinking. So, I guess I did think and choose these questions. I'm not sure what you mean when you say, "burp them up". Is it supposed to make sense? I'm getting the feeling that you're putting effort into making it seem like thinking doesn't nvolve a physical process. Care to explain yourself? Your sarcastic comment doesn't make sense. Reading your post entails optical scanning. Also, thinking is a physical process. I thought about my options (what I have the potential to do) and decided to reply because it was my highest desire. It was my highest desire. It was my highest desire? You don't have to make another preaching post. Rather, make one that explains the claims that you are making so that I can get a picture of what you're saying. I have provided a sound argument for free will and determinism. Won't you do the same for me? Also, even though you deny that your brain follows the laws of physics, your brain still follows the laws of physics. And of course you have a choice in the matter. If it's your highest desire make a post, you'll do it. If not, you won't do it. If you can, would you explain what you meant by "a choice on a fundamental level"? Because, I can't imagine a fundamental chooser being anything but a soul. And a soul is supernatural. So, what do you mean? In addition, explain how "a choice on a fundamental level" can come about through biological details. Why do you think a bunch of biological cells, made up by smaller particles, can make "a choice on a fundamental level"? Please, answer my questions. I don't want to have to deal with another question-dodging-sarcastic-post.
  4. Please, explain further. What does a "choice on a fundamental level" mean? Please, explain further. What do you mean by, "We don't know the details of how that comes about biologically"? Do you think that man's mind is fundamental?
  5. I agree with you here. I agree. I was just saying that you can look at yourself "from an outside perspective" to figure out if your parts *were* obeying the laws of physics. Granted, you cannot do this very well in real time because, like you said, it leads to infinite regression. Though, you can still look back and see what happened so that you can check to see if brain contradicted the principle of determinism. But, like I said, that would be silly to check it, just to make sure. Nevertheless, I agree with what you said here. Indeed. I am saying the same thing. People can't shrug away responsibility. That is because they have the ability to comprehend. If you either choose to do wrong, or just refuse to think about it, you will still be held responsible. Very good. I agree that you cannot say that your will is determined by 'X'. That is because 'X' is an abstraction. It isn't irreducible. There is more information to it than that, and by saying just 'X' you don't account for exactly what is gong on with the particles that compose it. For you and I agree our particles are deterministic. Well, yeah. This is the hard part when talking about "can". The fact is that a person can only make one choice in a give state. Of course, during their thought process they considered other options which they are capable of doing, but they refused them because they wanted the thing that they chosen, the most. So, yeah, I totally agree. I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. The way that 'X' affects you is by being information that your mind considers. If 'X' is someone poking around in your brain triggering your neurons, then you don't have free will because your mind is subject to outside influence that is other than information. Of course, this is rarely the case. The brain is in isolation and is only affected by information under normal conditions. If that is what you're saying, then I agree. I agree with this. I think we're saying the same thing. Do you confirm that we are in agreement on this issue?
  6. I think I see what you're saying here. But, I want to show you that the idea that is widely accept as an explanation free will, is false. To say that your molecules are not obeying the laws of physics is just a bad inference. It's like assuming that an illusionist is doing real magic. Tell me this, do you think that the matter in your body follows that laws of physics? Tell me this, do you think that the matter in the illusionist's "magic" is following the laws of physics? If you say "yes" to both questions, then you are a determinist. If you say "no" to both questions, then you are not a determinist, and we cannot continue a discussion on this because we have different premises. If you said "yes" to one, and "no" to the other, I'd like you to explain how this can be. What does "from an outside perspective" mean? I can look at myself from an outside perspective. I can record what my parts do. I can have others record it for me. But, of course, that would be pointless because I already assume that the laws of physics apply to all matter. I don't agree with what you have said here. For your first sentence in this quote, you have to justify it. I disagree with you, because I believe that I am determined, yet I still think the same as I normally would. The fact that my body is a mechanism that follows the laws of physics doesn't change my decisions. For your second and third sentences in this quote, you are assuming that things other information are affecting your decisions. You see, the brain is normally isolated from the world. It is only affected by observations of incoming information to make a choice, but that doesn't go against the concept of free will. If you don't want to think, then you are allowing your subconscious mind to make choices for you. But, this doesn't mean that the free will concept is damaged by the idea of determinism, as I have just shown you. First off, you make the assumption that people "blindly grab random items". Why do you say this? What is the significance of using this scenario? Nobody does this. Your hypothetical is just not applicable to real life. Could you please refine the story so that it applies to what we're talking about? I provided an applicable scenario near end of post #191. (the pizza scenario) Take a look at that and come back to me. Yes, but you must use your mind to make a choice. I don't see how someone else would make a choice for me unless they knew the inner workings of my brain, was able to directly influence it, and did so. Otherwise, they are just giving your brain information to process. Edit: I noticed that you quoted my challenge, too. If you were attempting to answer it, then you haven't even touched upon the concepts which you needed to. (How does the mind work if not with the laws of physics? Do you need to accept the existence of the soul?)
  7. That is true, we cannot choose our will. But that doesn't matter because that would render the will meaningless. Also, to try to separate the processes within a person's brain that determine his/her choice and the person itself, is not valid. That is because they are the same. [TO ALL] Basically, I agree that free will exists, but I also think that the definition that is commonly used is flawed. Free will is defined as the ability to violate cause and effect laws of matter, while the will itself is based on an irreducible soul. This is obviously false because it violates our objective observations. The way that we must consider free will is, as the ability for an entity to examine a wide variety of options and determine which fits its will. In addition, introspective analysis cannot reveal the nature of the atoms that compose a person. I don't understand why this subjective information trumps objective information in this case within the philosophy of Objectivism. This is just too ironic. It all makes sense under determinism. No other explanation works. I challenge anyone to present a valid counterargument. If you call for the existence of the soul, explain what you mean.
  8. I don't see what honesty has to do with it. You haven't shown any contradiction. You haven't even explained how volition can exist without determinism. This is the turning point of the discussion. You are misrepresenting my position by assuming what my claim is. I said I accept volition AND determinism. You are saying they are not compatible. But, you haven't explained why determinism is not compatible with volition. Of course, if you define volition or free will or whatever else as not being deterministic, then yeah, it does contradict the idea of determinism. But, that's not what free will is. Free will is the property of conscious entities to make an effect based on information. That doesn't mean a person can choose to violate inertia, or any other physical law. My question to you, or anyone else that claims this is so, how can free will exist apart from determinism? (Because the opposite of determinism is randomness). I merely propose that, just like all that we have seen in nature, our materialistic parts follow the same laws, and that our mind is the emergent property based on these laws. What you are proposing is the existence of the soul, you do realize this? For your first question, no, it doesn't have much of anything to do with what we're discussing. I was just pointing out to lex_aver that what he said in that sentence wasn't true. For your second question, yes, all movements must obey the laws of inertia. Are we debating the validity of physics now? For your third question, yes, all actions are determined. For your fourth and fifth question, yes, the man's actions are determined. (mind you, that this is what makes his will) Don't you remember? I accept free will, I have never denied it. I'm saying that based upon the identity created up from deterministic parts, does the mind and will exist. Indeed, things must have happened one way (or it would be random). Why do you propose that it would have happened differently? To say that a person acted differently then to what he would have chosen based on his identity, is nonsense. You cannot be serious. If you reject this, then things are arbitrary and the concept of will is meaningless. I accept free will. I don't accept that the will is free from itself. You are speaking in terms of information when you say there is a disagreement. No contradictions? Information can contradict. Also, infinite loops are fine, we used to program games with one long repeating loop. There is no problem with this, an infinite loop isn't necessarily wrong. But in this case, your loop doesn't even apply. As for the crystal ball, there is no problem. That is because if the crystal ball gives information to a mind, that information will change the mind. Causing different outcome. This is explained entirely though the principle of determinism. It is only possible (by possible I mean able to if we had enough computability and information, which we absolutely do not have) to affect minds that are not given additional information to change. There is no loop. I'm saying that the brain has an identity which cannot act against itself. I'm saying that from our observational point of view, anything could have happened, as far as we can see. That doesn't mean that something could have happened differently, it just means that we can't predict what an entity will do, due to a lack of information and computability. But, it still has an identity. For example: If we put a slice pizza in front of a hungry man, we could think to ourselves, what is he going to do: eat the pizza, or not eat the pizza? The thought process he goes through results in a choice of action. He follows his greatest desire and either he eats the pizza or doesn't eat the pizza. Let's say he eats the pizza. Later on, we approach this man and talk to him about his choice. Let's say he claims that he ate the pizza because it was his favorite food, and he was pretty hungry. He goes on to say that he could have chosen to not the pizza, had he so desired (as part of his identity). But, that wasn't his desire (meaning it wasn't part of his identity). Let's put the idea to the test. If we offer him another slice of pizza, and he really wants it, he can still reject it to show that he can choose to not eat the pizza. You would say, that is because he can choose anything. But that is not so. He chose not to eat the pizza because his desire to show that he can choose to not eat the pizza is greater than his desire to eat the pizza. As you can see, man always follows his desires. His desires/will are created from deterministic parts. There is no free will force or spirit or soul or whatever you want to call it that violates physical laws. Our will must be anchored into a deterministic world, or they are arbitrary an pointless, as I have said before. If we educate him of the dangers of eating pizza, that it is not good for his health (lets pretend that pizza is very damaging to one's health), things would possibly be different. When he is hungry again, we offer him a slice of pizza. Again, he will follow his greatest desire. If his greatest desire is for good health, then he will reject the pizza. If his good health is not important to him, and he is hungry and loves pizza (making eating pizza his greatest desire), then he will eat the pizza. Of course there are many other reasons that he could accept or reject the pizza. I just simplified this situation to help convey the idea. I hoped this helped. This volitional behavior comes out of nowhere. Your proposal for the soul is unnecessary. If you don't propose the soul, explain what you're saying. A-okay. What I really want you to do, is to explain where volition comes from. Because, electrons, protons, neutrons and such will still act according to their natures (like you said, cause and effect). What makes them act otherwise to become "animated". What makes the brain have this property and everything else not? Or perhaps, they follow their natures to come together to form this emergent property called the mind? I'm making an effort to explain these things, but all of this has been explained. See the two other posts: by Anmae and by Grames
  9. Better late than never. I think there is a big misunderstanding of what Determinism is. It appears that things could have been different because of our lack of knowledge about what's going to come next. If you throw a football into the air, which way will it bounce? Oh. Is there a possibility that it will bounce in any direction? Well, yeah, as far as we can tell it could have bounced in any direction, but that is because any minute change in the football will result in it bouncing completely different. We don't see these minute changes. So, the difference in the bounces coupled with the seemingly no difference in its motion leaves us to believe that it has the ability to bounce in any way it pleases because it has free will. Or... not? Perhaps the ball is Deterministic, and the word "possible" means our rough prediction of what we think might come next. But really, there is no other way the ball would have bounced given the same conditions. Right, our choices are created by our identities (I should have used this word before, but I learned about it only recently). Our identities are made of Deterministic parts. To say that a man chooses differently, against his identity, is to say that he chooses without his own Will. Well, if you're trying to say that we have pre-existing purpose, then I don't agree with you. I say that purpose is created by the identy of man, which is created by his Deterministic parts. I disagree with this. Is flower-growing axiomatic? It's apparent that it grows, and we don't understand how it does this exactly. So, there must be a flower-growing axiom to explain it. I don't think so. A flower is Deterministic, simple as that. My identity is pre-Determined. You confuse Determinism with Fatalism. It's true. Everyone is confusing Determinism with Fatalism. But, of course, to refute Fatalism does not refute Determinism. This is a rather large blunder on the part of many of the people posting here.
  10. No. That's a false assumption. In fact, I went to great lengths to describe the mind and how it must exist in a Deterministic world. Yet, you still made the assumption. Well, they have different inertia based on their mass and such, but they still move according to the principle of inertia. I started this topic to answer the question: "Why do Objectivists deny Determinism?" All that I got was empty claims. "It looks as though I have free will through introspection, so Determinism is false." I never got an explaination as to why people think that Free Will does not allow Determinism, or rather, how it can exist without Determinism. People were just repeating the claim over and over. Anyways, this question has been answered already. The question, which had become a discussion, is over. There was plenty of time for people to object to my thoughts, which were without contradiction. I even asked someone to show where they thought the contradiction lay: No one said a thing. No one provides a model of what's going on, they just say Free Will exists and Determinism must not exist as a consequence. Perhaps people are confusing Determinism with Fatalism. That would explain a lot. In any case, here is everything explained nicely by other posters. They did a better job than I ever could, but that's okay. At least it's been made clear.
  11. A man in space will still not be able to violate the laws of physics. He will continue in inertial motion until affected by an external force. But, I agree with the rest of your post.
  12. I'd say that raps everything up nicely. QED
  13. What is your disagreement with Determinism? What are the contradictions? Please state them if you can.
  14. The truth value of Determinism is not dependent on man's ability to predict the future. In the definition of Determinism, "in principle predictable", meant that the future was possible to be predicted ignoring the restrictions of man's ability. Tensorman meant, from what I can tell from the context, that it was not possible to predict the future state of the system if it is part of it. They may seem the same, but they meant different things based on the context. I agree, this was not stated well enough for someone who is trying to understand the concept. I hope this clears it up.
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