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crizon

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  1. This can't be true. Since there is no difference between the mind and the body, the brain is our mind and we are not born with an empty brain. There has to be a preset starting point, like every system has. How can meaningful thought emerge out of nothingness? There must be some ground rules that enable a baby to make sense out of what it's senses send to his mind.
  2. This is not true. If man does not have free will, he does not have to be determined; he could also act (partially) random. You are right, that this experiment would _not_ proof free will (I never said it would), it could merely disproof determinism (if I picked different favours), but the explanation for 2 different actions in twice the same situation could simply be randomness. Here is where one of my problems lies: Volition is supposed to be neither determinism nor randomness, but it offer any information on the level of causation. You wouldn't proof or disproof volition with such an experiment, because it simply does not say where the claim that a human "could have done otherwise" in the same situation differs from randomness. You often said, that I have to make a choice, that choice is in the nature of man, that I can't get around of making choices, but you still have not given me a definition or your understanding of the word choice. Your argumentation rests on the assumption that I do in fact make choices, so I can't agree or disagree until I know what you mean by choice. And I don't understand why you claim that this thought experiment was my "requirement". It was Peikoff who wrote "[...]he could have chosen otherwise." So Peikoff made a claim about the outcome of an impossible experiment, not me. It is not me who argues for the existence of free will.
  3. I think there are important differences between Christianity and Islam on a basic and one a "practical" level. The second testament is a lot more pacifistic than the koran, since Islam was spread by war by the Muhammad himself. Sure you'll find some pretty brutal and violent parts in the first testament, but Jesus did "overwrite" quite a lot of it with stuff like “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” In the Islam on the other hand war against Unbelievers is very prominent, because it was what Muhammad did for most of his life. Now that didn't stop Christians in the middle-ages to do the most terrible things and go to war in the name of god. So the more important difference is the "practical" level: A foremost chritian society managed to come with the concepts of secularism, democracy and individual freedom itself during a long a bloody battle with itself. That is the biggest difference between Islam and Christianity. Christians "learned" to live with those concepts of the modern society over the last 2 centuries or so; they adapted. Today the overwhelming majority of christians in the west do not fight secularism and democracy and advocate a state of god and those who actually do that, do it mostly peacefully (I can't remember a christian motivated act of terrorism). Islam on the other did not undergo such a fundamental reform like Christianity has with guys like Luther. Islam did not develop a secular society, the concept was imported from the west and therefore mainstream Islam (which is conservative Islam) does perceive democracy as a foreign unislamic concept. Even the most modern islamic country turkey, still struggles to unite Islam and Democracy even after ~80 years after Kemal introduced western reforms.
  4. What bugs me mostly about this debate is, that it mostly consits of predictions about the future that are no where certain. And as JeffS said: "We've never had a free market", so we don't have any reference. Just to give you an example: A: "A free market health care would be best, because bad care by a company would cause them a loss of costumers and therefore cause that only the best health providers would stay in the market in the long term." B: "No, only the most profitable companies will stay in the market, which does not necessarliy mean, that they provide the best health care. Denying care or only giving the cheapest will be more profitable than always providing the best treatment, which is why a non-profit solution will be best, because then the aim will not be to do well at the stock market, but to provide good care" A: "That is not true. Health-care companies do want to make profit, but they have to do it by providing care. They sell a product and if theirs is bad, people will soon notice and switch to better products and in order to always provide a good product most of the profit has to be reinvested anyways. So the main-focus will be providing good health-care _through_ profit." B: "That is not true. The maximum profit is achieved by selling the most profitable product, not the best. People don't necessarily have to notice a bad or mediocre product, when the company invest enough to create a positive image of the product with advertising, lobbying and combating critics. Since health-care is a huge industry, big companies can create an enormous pressure on media-companies who intended to broadcast / print negative feedback about their health-care. People who are denied expensive treatment often times don't live very long anyways, which reduces their danger to affect the public opinion negativly" A: "That is not true [...]" And so on and so forth.. I think the only way to find out, is to simply try it out and see if it works. We do have models, but they are noway close to give a prediction of the enourmous complexity that todays economy is. I wouldn't be surprised either if it works very well or if it fails terribly.
  5. Mr. Miovas, Could you please give a definition of the word "choice" since you use it a lot to argue for free will?
  6. Why is doubting free will make it necessary to believe in determinism? I for one deny any proof or indication for the existence of free will and yet don't believe the universe is deterministic. I think there is a fundamental randomness. The problem again with some proofs like "observe yourself making choices" is that they simply try to smuggle in free will by definition. I don't observe myself making "free choices". I observe myself solving problems.
  7. Sorry for my triple-post.. can't seem to edit them though. Don't know how that happened.
  8. I personally have a much wider understanding of the law of identity (against what rand said). I wouldn't consider the coppenhagen interpretation against it. I simply state, that it is in the nature of the electron to act random with all it's implications. It is it's identity to be a fusion of a wave and a particle. Saying it is both, is obviously wrong because of the definition of wave and particle. I don't see how you can reject some QH-Interpretation with the law of identity, because I think it really doesn't tell much at all about reality. It merely says that everything has a certain nature. But what nature that is and how they act is a different story. Saying: "Coppenhagen must be wrong because it violates the law of identity" IMO begs the question.
  9. I personally have a much wider understanding of the law of identity (against what rand said). I wouldn't consider the coppenhagen interpretation against it. I simply state, that it is in the nature of the electron to act random with all it's implications. It is it's identity to be a fusion of a wave and a particle. Saying it is both, is obviously wrong because of the definition of wave and particle. I don't see how you can reject some QH-Interpretation with the law of identity, because I think it really doesn't tell much at all about reality. It merely says that everything has a certain nature. But what nature that is and how they act is a different story. Saying: "Coppenhagen must be wrong because it violates the law of identity" IMO begs the question.
  10. I personally have a much wider understanding of the law of identity (against what rand said). I wouldn't consider the coppenhagen interpretation against it. I simply state, that it is in the nature of the electron to act random with all it's implications. It is it's identity to be a fusion of a wave and a particle. Saying it is both, is obviously wrong because of the definition of wave and particle. I don't see how you can reject some QH-Interpretation with the law of identity, because I think it really doesn't tell much at all about reality. It merely says that everything has a certain nature. But what nature that is and how they act is a different story. Saying: "Coppenhagen must be wrong because it violates the law of identity" IMO begs the question.
  11. Quoting from your links: This ridiculous requirement is obviously in the very definition of volition, which means the same as free will. If you were aware of the fact that you are going back in time to the exact same moment of the "choice", then you have more information compared to the first time, therefore changing the situation. But that doesn't matter, since it's impossible anyways. How do you define choice? I mostly heard Objectivists define choice with the attribute of free will. IE "choice is the exercise of man's volitional faculty" or variations like that. If you define choice similar to that, then no, I do not observe that I make choices and I see no proof or self-evidence for that. Hardly any of those links are definitions. The first one merely states that chance doesn't exist but nothing about what it means. The other ones (except for volitional) aren't that great either, because they touch other topics right and left and are generally quite vague in their formulations and mostly consist of assertions. I heard Dr. Peikoffs Podcast the other day and as part of one of his answers he mentioned that the Oxford Dictionary was his favorite source for definitions. You sound like Objectivism's definitions are the only right ones, which is obviously false. You asked me for my definitions and I gave you mine. Well those are all just assertions: What do you perceive that makes you conclude that free will is self-evident? (please provide your definition of choice here, if you haven't already done so. I have a feeling you will use that word here) Why does the concept of proof or my ability to think require free will?
  12. Well as I said: I don't understand it on the basic level, where it is supposed to be a third option to chance and determinism. (Maybe I did not choose the right words.) I do understand the claim though, that we can do different things in the same conditions. I don't need to understand a concept totally to reject it's proof. I don't need to understand god to deny a proof like: "1+3 = 5, therefore god exists", because 1+3 does not equal 5. I think any claim like "We can do different things, in the same conditions" has no basis and is not observable (or self-evident.. however you like to call it). Now you are getting a bit hairsplitting. I said in my last post, that this was my personal subjective opinion of how the our mind works. I am not claiming that this is a solid proof and I'd have no problem to acknowledge that this is wrong, when I'm pointed to information that contradicts my view. I have no problem with you asking for definitions of words that I use, but maybe you should try to understand what I meant to say before we go into a lengthy discussion about definitions again. But anyways.. random: Any event that has a probability below 100% of occurring or something that follows no pattern. Dictonary definition? Determined: Any event that has a 100% probability of occurring or something that follows a strict pattern (ie when event a, then event b as opposed to when event a then event b or event c) Fundamental randomness: Randomness as a property of reality as opposed to randomness that just occurs because of lack of our information in a complex system, like randomness in weather. In other words that there are entities that act random in a principle way, meaning that even if we had complete information, we still could not forecast it's actions or that all information can't be obtained fundamentally. Causality: Any relation of 2 points in time. You can say event (or point) b in time was caused by event a, without specifying if that relation was random or determined. I'm not sure if thats the dictionary definition, but I think it makes sense. Smart randomness: Well.. somewhat like I described it. I meant that we for one thing don't act random 100%, but also don't act completely determined. As I said I think there is a part in humans that produces random ideas and another part that sorts out ideas worth pursuing. Sort of like if you have a random number generator, and a set of rules that say "Just take numbers that can be divided by 2 and have 5 digits". The output would still be random, but "less random" than the output of the random number generator (who randomly produces numbers without restrictions). I picture the mechanism in our brain similar to that. But again: This all was just my personal view and not part of my argument against the proof of free will. Well.. waiting passively would be solution or result to the problem of "what am I going to do?" But yes you are right, I think. We have to think in order to solve the problems that we are constantly faced with and humans do thinking consciously. Our method of solving problems involves consciouses. I think the only time when a human is not faced with problems (in a wide sense) is when his brain ceases to be active. I think the use of the word "choice" is troublesome here, because it always implies free will, which is why I try to avoid it in such a discussion. That's why I asked you in my last post what you mean by "choice". I can agree with what you wrote here, except for one part but I would formulate this way: a) before taking an action, I am confronted with a problem that I don't know the solution to yet I eventually find a solution to the problem c) After I found a solution I can use the information I obtained from it's effects to reflect on whether or not it was the correct one d) (this is where I disagree because I think the formulation is too vague) I can remember the problem, it's solution and effects and can use these information to help myself find solutions for similar problems. The exact same problem though will never arise again, because knowing that I was in a certain situation before, would alter the situation and the problem, because you now have different information. Your set of mind is part of the problem. The crucial part is though, whether or not you claim that a human can make different choices (or find different solutions), when faced with the exact same problem or situation.
  13. I am not argueing for determinism. The statement: "I will always do the same thing in the same conditions" can also not be proven, because once again: I will never be in the same situation again. I am denying the proof for free will. I am not saying that I can disprove it.. I think free will, as presented by Objectivism is not provable and not disprovable. To your question: I personally don't think that the world is determined. I think there is a fundamental randomness in reality. Concerning our mind, I think that we are "partially" random and "partially" determined, that we have a part in our mind that produces a "stream of consciousness" or a "brainstorming-faculty" that more or less randomly produces ideas and another part that can sort out good ideas from bad onces.. the more reasonable part that decides what ideas are worth pursuing. In fact I believe that a human can make different actions in the same circumstances, but not because of free will, but because kind of "smart randomness". I don't think of myself as an automaton. I am still myself and I'm not less worth or "just a computer" just because I deny a prove of something that I fundamentally can't understand (on a level of causality). But this is just my opinion and clearly not a proof of anything.
  14. edit: this is a response to bluey Well what do mean by choice? If you mean by choice, that I could have done something else, then I don't observe that I made a "choice". In one sense it is correct, when you say "I can either do the laundry or replying to this post", when you fundamentally mean, that you just don't know yet, what you are going to do. Or in other words, you don't know the solution to this problem ("what am I going to do?") yet. The literal sense is obviously false. You can always do only one thing and that is all I can observe. Looking back, I was constantly faced with problems and I always could just pick one option. This is what I observe. I am faced with problems and I find a solution, only one solution. Sure, I have a feeling that I am in control of myself. That I can choose whatever I want. I think this is a result of the fact that we can not predict ourself.. our mind simply can not understand itself on it's own. It's like trying to create a model of a model of a model. I do not reject the concept of "free will" as used in ethics, because one has to acknowledge that this feeling of being in control is human nature and completely rejecting it would be against human nature. What I don't see is any argumentation of why and how free will is in fact a property of reality, because it always implies that you could have done something different in the exact same situation.
  15. I did not say, that I will only choose chocolate in this situation. This is just as baseless, as stating that I could have chosen a different flavor. As I said, the reason why it took me some time to decide is that I (or my mind) can't instantly solve a problem. I need time to process the information I posses to come up with the answer to the question: "what flavor will satisfy my need for ice-cream the most?". I never intended to make a distinction between "my mind" and "I". They are the same thing. I agree with the law of identity. I don't understand your point in the last two sentences. I think free will is unprovable and it is baseless to proclaim it exists (or that we posses free will). Furthermore I think the concept of free will is unthinkable in terms of causality.
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