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Martian

Objectivism and determinism

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That's a mistake. This is a person (by accident, that's also his name), this is a dog. I don't see how there is any serious confusion over which is which. Are there entities out there that you think might be people, and you're just not sure? It is completely unnecessary to "define" a man; what you need to be able to do it identify one. This talk about definitions is really a waste of time.

OH MY! You are funny. "That there is a man, cuz it look like it, an' that there is a dawg cuz it look like it."

But really, I want an actual definition. Because for all I know, that image could be of a clay model. What makes him a man? (And by the way, we're talking about man as in a person, women still apply to free will, don't you think? I hope you realized this context.) Is it because he has a nose? No... I could chop off his nose and he'd still be a man (and so on with all the unnecessary components: hair, arms, legs, etc.). He is a man (person) because he has a brain. That brain is going through Deterministic processes which define him. Those processes are also able to consider itself, to an extent, making him self-aware. Therefore, he is a man (person) because of his ability to rational and aware of the self.

Lol.

Edited by Martian

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The person in support of Free Will that contradicts Determinism is doing the exact same thing as the stone age man who says that there is a spirit behind the seemingly free will of the weather and the Free Will of a person.

This is where I respectfully bow out.

You've mentioned several times that we were the ones not paying attention to your arguments, when quite the opposite has been the case; it's been my arguments that have been more or less ignored, especially concerning causality. If you accept Objectivism's law of causality, then in logic you couldn't accept Determinism's causality (they are not the same thing), and therefore would have to reject Determinism as a valid theory.

Contra to the "stone age man" you're comparing me to, I pointed to observable facts and made an inference based on the context; that humans possess free will. Contra to your repeated statements, I do not think Free will is a magical or supernatural phenomena, nor do I think that the only alternatives in the universe are Determinism or Indeterminism; like consciousness, I think free will is a natural fact open to scientific study and explanation, and the same goes for the natural fact of "life."

But all of this is beside the point. I've never once disrespected your intelligence or statements (though I did make some funny observations), and yet you've explicitly declared my statements to be no more reality-oriented than some brute going on about magical essences and such nonsense.

Fine, if my statements are so bizarre and unfounded, I hope you do well without them. Goodbye.

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What? Freewill only pertains to volital beings, and is only in issues where one can either make this choice or that choice. It has nothing to do with inanimate objects violating the law of identity (A is A; "things are what they are"). There's no "force" about it; it's all contained within the brain.

Hmm. People around here are arguing that Free Will is violating Determinism, making Determinism false. Therefore, there must be something that affects the brain, making it not act in what it otherwise would act (Deterministically according to the natural order). I agree, there isn't a force like that.

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No, I'm saying that you can't do "the exact same experiment". If you do a similar experiment, it's not the same experiment, and the facts will be different.

When you say the facts will be different, you mean the result would be different. In that case, I agree with that. I know the idea is not physically plausible, but it's the principle at work here. If I throw a ball the same way twice, acting under the same gravitational forces and such, I would get the ball to go to the exact same place. But, even though we can't get it to be done exactly the same way, we can get it to be really close. I think this concept is pretty obvious.

You mean, if I choose to do X, then I choose to do X? Yes, I agree. The question is whether I choose to do X.

But do you realize that I am saying that you are the Deterministic process that "chose" (hehe, softwareNerd) to do X?

This discussion which presupposes that we have knowledge of how subatomic particles in the skull result in consciousness and choice suffers from one fundamental flaw, that we don't know the physical basis of the mind, and especially how men choose. If you can show even one piece of concrete scientific evidence that proves that the human mind is determined by the equations of particle physics, you will have advanced your cause substantialy. But of course you can't, because there is no such evidence.

Yes, I don't know that process which the brain goes through because it is quite complicated (in fact, it's so complicated that it a practically impossible). Now what makes you think that the brain is an exception to the rule of the natural order?

Also, there's plenty of evidence that supposes that the emotional state as well as thoughts are related to brain activity. You could say that the Free Will force makes it act that way since we don't actually know the processes going on in the brain, but that's your creation. I'm going to assume that because I don't have to. At this moment in time, that idea isn't supported by anything but by what it seems to be.

Edited by Martian

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But really, I want an actual definition.
You have to show that a definition is relevant to the argument. Your inability to distinguish men from clay figures isn't going to be resolved by someone trotting out a string of words.
Because for all I know, that image could be of a clay model.
Or, a holographic projection, or a Tussaud museum waxworks dummy, or a mental imagine projected in The Matrix. But now you're deeply into nihilism. It's just not possible to reason with a nihilist, who can automatically say "How do I know it's not something else?".

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You have to show that a definition is relevant to the argument. Your inability to distinguish men from clay figures isn't going to be resolved by someone trotting out a string of words.

Are you kidding me? How is the individual relevant to the argument? Wow. It is claimed that Free Will is something that man has. Therefore, I want to know what you think a man is.

Or, a holographic projection, or a Tussaud museum waxworks dummy, or a mental imagine projected in The Matrix. But now you're deeply into nihilism. It's just not possible to reason with a nihilist, who can automatically say "How do I know it's not something else?".

Come on! Let's talk about the issue. You're calling me a nihilist based on what? Because I wanted to know what you thought a man was. Please!

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How is the individual relevant to the argument?
No, how is the definition relevant to the argument. There is no reason to get sidetracked with your obsession over definitions if there are no instances where you are incapable of distinguishing man from beast, save for a definition. Show me that it matters. (Well, no, don't bother)

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Fine, if my statements are so bizarre and unfounded, I hope you do well without them. Goodbye.

Hey, I'm sorry about what I said to you. I didn't mean to imply you were equivilant to a stone age man. I was just trying to make a point about how the mistake is the same by using the stone age man as a extreme example.

:(

No, how is the definition relevant to the argument. There is no reason to get sidetracked with your obsession over definitions if there are no instances where you are incapable of distinguishing man from beast, save for a definition. Show me that it matters. (Well, no, don't bother)

Sidetracked by definitions? It may be a strange thing to define, but it's good to try to talk about the same thing. By defining what we're talking about we can get somewhere. If you don't, well, what can I do?

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Hey, I'm sorry about what I said to you. I didn't mean to imply you were equivilant to a stone age man. I was just trying to make a point about how the mistake is the same by using the stone age man as a extreme example.

I'll accept your apology, but I'm still not participating in the discussion any longer.

As a few closing statements, not just to Martian but to this thread, I'd like to point out as one of my statements that science is not the fundamental integrator of human knowledge; philosophy is (or is supposed to be). Every scientific hypothesis, theory, and law is informed by some kind of philosophical assumption or explicit statement. The notion of an advanced scientific theory invalidating knowledge directly observed is what should be considered absurd, not what is directly observed; it is tantamount to claiming that there is no base for higher-level knowledge, that it is necessarily detached from what we observe, and all we have to do is merely wait for science to reach all kinds of conclusions which we'll have no means of tying back to the observed facts.

And if people are going to continue to argue against Determinism here, it is it's view on causality which has to be challenged. Without its view of causality, Determinism is completely empty as a theory of how things operate, and should then be given no concern as a consequence.

Thanks for your time.

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Since Martian has said that he meant no insult and I have been keeping up with the thread, I will give him the benefit of the doubt; and the doubt is that I don't think he understands the Objectivist view of the soul or of consciousness (I use those two terms interchangeably). Objectivism doe not -- repeat does not -- say that we have a soul in the Christian sense of the term as something that is metaphysically or physically separable from the human body. If that was Martian's interpretation of what we meant by consciousness or man's soul, then I can understand him saying that we were like primitive man. But that is not the Objectivist viewpoint or understanding.

Fundamentally man's consciousness is his awareness of existence and his awareness of his own mind (which can only be validated via introspection). Via introspection we realize that we are aware of existence -- it's like an awareness of awareness. As far as we can tell, animals that have a consciousness (and most higher-level animals, such as dogs and cats, have a consciousness) are aware of existence by means of their consciousness, but they do not have the ability to introspect and observe what their mind is doing. Man does have that ability. And it is via this ability to observe our minds in action that we can realize that we have free will -- that is the ability to direct our minds according to what we choose to think about. I can choose not to reply to this thread or I can choose to do something else, like watch a science show about super novas, which I just chose to turn off in order to reply to this thread.

My observations of the show on supernovas did not dictate to me that I ought to reply to this thread. In fact, it had no mention of a thread on causation or free will. But I had read the previous posts and chose to reply. That is validated via introspection. I was thinking about this thread while I was watching the show on supernovas, and decided that Martian had a misunderstanding about what Objectivists mean by the soul. We do not mean by that a kind of ghost in the machine of our body that somehow watched the world via the senses and then initiates actions (including thoughts); but rather we ourselves qua individual have control over what we are going to focus on and how we are going to consider it with our minds and how we are going to react to it via our free will.

So free will doesn't mean that we have a non-material ghost in there directing us against the laws of physics; though we can choose to jump up against gravity, it will pull us back down to earth, so it is not a violation of physics.

Similarly, our free will cannot get us to act against the nature of our bodies. We cannot choose to flap our arms rapidly and launch ourselves into the air, because our arms are not wings.

But, and this is the important part that the determinists ignore, we do have the ability to direct our attention and to process the data of our senses according to our free will. We can choose to think about this thread or choose to think about something else. From time to time while writing this essay I freely chose to focus on the supernova show, because it was interesting, but I have chosen to focus primarily on this thread; and so I direct my attention to it. I do that, myself, of my own free will. The previous post did not induce me to reply via some sort of deterministic mechanism inposed on me from outside my body nor imposed on me from inside my body, I chose to reply.

If you now say, "But what do you mean by consciousness?" I can only reply that you can discover what it is via introspection and observing the abilities of your own mind. If you completely deny that ability, then you are not human.

I do respectfully suggest to the moderators that if Martian or Ifatart come back with a reply that we don't have a consciousness or that we don't have the ability to introspect that this thread be terminated. Past a certain point, oo.net ought not to publish materials or positions that are contrary to Objectivism. Consciousness is a very important axiom, and if you deny it and continue to deny that we have free will in the sense that has been proposed on this forum by myself and others, then you ought not be allowed to promote that on this forum.

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Ifat, I don't think that Objectivism holds that free will means random will. In fact it allows that your will is determined, but emphasizes that it is you who determines it.

Well phrased. I agree with this observation about will. The random element I was talking about is if for the (exact) same input the brain can react in a number of different ways. Not because of some factor we don't know, but because this is its nature. Anyway, not the main point here.

to say that the will is free you've got to have some proper contextual understanding of what it is free from. In my view, which I think is compatible with Objectivism, it is sufficient to note (by introspection) that your choice of whether or not to vary your level of focus at a given point in time is free 1. of external control (which means: nothing outside your observed mind controls it) and 2. of internal prior restraint (meaning that you cannot bind your future choices).

I disagree that you can conclude (2) from introspection.

My own introspection shows me that any choice I made was always a result of previously held knowledge, opinions and mood. Even thinking "hmm, do I want to focus now?" and choosing was always according to previously held knowledge. Even if I thought to myself "Alright! let's surprise ourselves now by choosing to focus regardless of previous thoughts!" and then focused on something, that thought itself was a result of some other chain of thoughts leading to it.

So I don't see anything at all suggesting that that chain of thought could have been different. I see that my thoughts are always a process that depend on past thoughts and input.

Still that does not contradict my ability to learn, think, decide and choose things.

So again, I disagree that introspection provides you with evidence that your will is "free", in the sense that had time been reversed, it could have happened differently.

Can you explain some more what you mean by "cannot bind future choices"? Perhaps using simpler words than "bind", which I looked up, but unfortunately cannot make sense of in the context of your sentence.

Both of these are incontestible, provided that you accept (which I believe you have) the validity of introspection as a means of knowing one's own mind.

Well, as I said, I certainly find it contestable, even though I certainly do consider introspection a valid means of knowing one's mind.

the burden on contrary arguments arising from the sciences is not merely high, it is insurmountable. All of the scientific brain scans in the world will not be able to negate that philosophical free will is axiomatic no matter how comprehensive they may be.

If we agreed that "free" will is axiomatic, sure. But we disagree that it is. I choose to reply, to think and to post here, doesn't mean this could have happened differently.

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Equally, you may think that you would do the same thing if "time were reversed", but that doesn't make it so.

Merely thinking doesn't make it so, but that would be at least compatible with our knowledge of physics.

Uh-huh, and I may freely choose to focus on this fact and set aside that fact, which means that my final choice will vary. To the extent that I choose to be rational, to the extent that my knowledge doesn't expand (that is to say, "to no extent") and the world doesn't change, my choices will tend to go in one direction.

But "freely choosing to focus" on a fact is in itself already a choice, so that's merely shifting the problem from one choice to a previous choice.

So if this determinism is invisible, why do you claim it exists? You have the self-evident fact of free will, and the invisible, unproven and unsupportable claim of determinism, so I'm having a hard time understanding why anybody could support the invisible over the obvious.

I do not claim that I can prove that determinism exists. I only claim that the argument that determinism can't be true while we experience "free will" when we introspect, is not valid, as the determinism would be invisible to our introspection. That said, it's not true that there are no arguments for determinism. There is scientific evidence that the brain at the functional level (synapses, firing neurons etc.) can be treated as a classical system. Now all classical systems are deterministic systems (which should not be confused with predictable systems). Claiming that the brain is an exception is an extra hypothesis - and an extraordinary one at that. As I've shown, it is not a necessary hypothesis to explain our perception of "free will" and Occam's razor tells us that we should not multiply unnecessary hypotheses. That we still know very little about the processes in our brain that correspond to our thinking is not relevant, as the principle is quite general and doesn't depend on the specific details. It's the same principle that we use when we reject the claim of the construction of a working perpetual motion machine without knowing the details of that particular machine: the laws of thermodynamics are so strongly validated that there is no need to examine the details of the machine to reject the claim.

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I disagree that you can conclude (2) from introspection.

My own introspection shows me that any choice I made was always a result of previously held knowledge, opinions and mood. Even thinking "hmm, do I want to focus now?" and choosing was always according to previously held knowledge. Even if I thought to myself "Alright! let's surprise ourselves now by choosing to focus regardless of previous thoughts!" and then focused on something, that thought itself was a result of some other chain of thoughts leading to it.

So I don't see anything at all suggesting that that chain of thought could have been different. I see that my thoughts are always a process that depend on past thoughts and input.

Still that does not contradict my ability to learn, think, decide and choose things.

So again, I disagree that introspection provides you with evidence that your will is "free", in the sense that had time been reversed, it could have happened differently.

Can you explain some more what you mean by "cannot bind future choices"? Perhaps using simpler words than "bind", which I looked up, but unfortunately cannot make sense of in the context of your sentence.

It is essential to distinguish control from influence - your previously held knowledge, opinions and mood may influence your choice, but that influence is not controlling (this is another way of saying that you cannot "bind your future choices"). Nothing you think at time t can guarantee what your choice will be at time t+1. Your freedom to choose is always interposed, not only between external stimulus and response, but also between past and future. The same basic choice confronts you at each moment, so that you must choose whether to follow what your previously held knowledge, opinions and mood are suggesting, or not. Do you accept this distinction?

Edited by Seeker

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Merely thinking doesn't make it so, but that would be at least compatible with our knowledge of physics.
To the extent that "running time backwards" is compatible with our knowledge of physics; and to the extent that the alternative conclusion (you doing something different) is also compatible with our knowledge of physics. In other words, our knowledge of physics does not definitively answer these questions. It's not necessary to invent new physical categories in physics to explain the physical basis for free will -- AFAIK no Objectivist claims that there are special physical laws for the brain. What is necessary is discovering what aspects of the laws of nature give rise to free will.

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If I decide of my own free will to accept what some of you are claiming about yourself -- that you have no free will and that it is impossible and that it is not validated via introspection -- if I accept all of that about yourself, but certainly not about myself, then there isn't anything that you say or write that I can take to be an aspect of rationality. In other words, if you are really just a biobot, then you are not capable of being rational -- because rationality means volitionally (of your own free will) adhering to reality in your thought processes. But, if you guys are incapable of doing that -- by your own admission about yourself, because you deny free will -- then anything you say, write, do, etc. is merely an output and has nothing whatsoever to do with rationality. It's like when I plug the numbers into a calculator or into a computer; neither of those devices is being rational -- they just give an output.

So, for those of you who hold that position, I accept your terms -- you are incapable of being rational.

This is what Dr. Peikoff meant in OPAR when he said that will is rationality. That if you use your free will to volitionally adhere to reality, then you are being rational; if you just merely coast along with the outputs of whatever process is going on inside your heads, then that is irrational.

You cannot have it both ways. Either you volitionally adhere to reality and become rational, or you don't have free will and therefore cannot be rational. You cannot say that you don't have free will but you are rational, because that is a contradiction. But, if you want to claim that about yourself, that you can't be rational, then I will accept it, because who am I to argue with you about the nature of your own mind?

Of course, if you throw out free will and therefore rationality, then you can't support any aspect of Objectivism. You certainly cannot claim to know reality as it really is, because your claim of not having free will denies that at the get go -- you just receive inputs and express outputs. You can't claim any aspect of the Objectivist epistemology, which is based upon an introspective knowledge about the nature of the human mind, and which can only be validated via introspection. You can't uphold a rational ethics, because that requires having free will and operating it correctly. You can't uphold capitalism, because that requires knowing that man is a being of free will and not just a biobot. You can't uphold romantic realism, because romanticism according to Objectivism means showing a volitional man adhering to reality or being true to reality in fiction.

In other words, by throwing out volition or free will as a metaphysical possibility, you throw out all of Objectivism. Your outputs may very well tell you something different, but I have already shown that outputs do not equate to rationality.

So, make your choice.

Stand by the proclamations you have made and be irrational; or realize that you do, indeed, have free will and come on to the side of the rationality.

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Just to clarify for those of us who have trouble with the bearing of physics on Free Will, is there some minimum amount of brain matter that is required for Free Will? Obviously 0 is too little but is there some cortical structure you would deem necessary if not sufficient for a person to have Free Will?

Even if you were to leave out the introspection of volition, isn't determinism (in human will) not valid on the basis that it can't be falsified? Its entirely inductive and you have no evidence that (for instance) 10 identical people who act the same way are not actually [choosing to act in the same way.

Edited by softwareNerd

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Stand by the proclamations you have made and be irrational; or realize that you do, indeed, have free will and come on to the side of the rationality.

That is the problem, you're not understanding the argument. That is perfectly clear. Ifatart, Tensorman, and I did not say that Free Will does not exist, just the idea of Free Will that many people have proposed which contradicts Determinism by definition, can't exist.

You can have it three ways. Either the universe has the properties of:

Randomness (indeterminism), where there can't possibly be Free Will because nothing is defined to be consistent.

or

Determinism, where man is structured to exist with will and rationality that can be put into effect with consistency.

or a combination determined parts with random parts.

(Of course you could also suggest that there is a spirit/soul that effects the universe, to make man, but the universe doesn't affect the spirit in return. But we're not mystics, so never mind that.)

Randomness does not make Free Will, it is in fact, the direct opposite of will because it can't retain meaning. Anything random would break it down. Man needs to have a Determined process so that he may exist.

As far as science has been looking at nature, randomness has not been the trend of observation. Science has been working so well because it has been able to predict THE ONE DETERMINED POSSIBILITY, or as close to it as our instruments allow us. Why would we expect anything if there was no Determinable cause and effect to act upon?

There seems to be a misunderstanding about what the Will is "free" from. It is not free from the processes that define it, because that would change it. The Will is free if it is resistant from external coercion and manipulation.

What I want to know is what model of the universe does the Objectivist hold where man, not structured by his components, can have any Will that defines him. Like I said before, I cannot make it work, and apparently no one else has been able to do so in this thread so far. If the issue is not rectified, then there is no counter-argument.

Speaking of which, this thread is winding down, and I'm guessing people are frequenting it less because of their impression of it based on what reputable posters have said in it. But no one addresses the issue, which is annoying. I don't expect this to go any further to try to help clarify some misunderstandings, but that's not up to me. I'm okay with that, because either way I have had my question answered very nicely.

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Hmm. People around here are arguing that Free Will is violating Determinism, making Determinism false. Therefore, there must be something that affects the brain, making it not act in what it otherwise would act (Deterministically according to the natural order). I agree, there isn't a force like that.

It would be improper to say Free Will violates Determinism because the position in Objectivism is that Determinism is invalid, and thus "not there" to violate. My saying "God damn it" violates the ethical code of Christianity, but since it's base is unfounded and its deity arbitrary, I cannot sin against a zero.

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It would be improper to say Free Will violates Determinism because the position in Objectivism is that Determinism is invalid, and thus "not there" to violate. My saying "God damn it" violates the ethical code of Christianity, but since it's base is unfounded and its deity arbitrary, I cannot sin against a zero.

Yeah, well, my original question was about why Objectivism rejects the concept of Determinism; it was said that Determinism violates Free Will and is thusly false. My efforts so far have been to show that Free Will is, in fact, compatible with Determinism and even necessitates it.

Edited by Martian

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Yeah, well, my original question was about why Objectivism rejects the concept of Determinism; it was said that Determinism violates Free Will and is thusly false. My efforts so far have been to show that Free Will is, in fact, compatible with Determinism and even necessitates it.

Maybe this will help, and should at least help me see if my notion of the interaction of physics and free will is on track. Imagine you are the first homo sapien. In comparison to your parents you are probably not all that different in physical capabilities and even brain organization. What you do have is the addition of a sense of what your other senses are doing, you hunger, you thirst and you are aware of these needs and also some concept of what these feelings mean. As a conscious being you now have the capability to direct your focus. Yes there are biological roots to this focus; were you not of the species you are you could not direct your focus toward anything. But beyond that simple fact your ability to abstract is not dependent on any of those inputs (try closing your eyes and ears). Your ability to choose is built into this consciousness.

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Maybe this will help, and should at least help me see if my notion of the interaction of physics and free will is on track. Imagine you are the first homo sapien. In comparison to your parents you are probably not all that different in physical capabilities and even brain organization. What you do have is the addition of a sense of what your other senses are doing, you hunger, you thirst and you are aware of these needs and also some concept of what these feelings mean. As a conscious being you now have the capability to direct your focus. Yes there are biological roots to this focus; were you not of the species you are you could not direct your focus toward anything. But beyond that simple fact your ability to abstract is not dependent on any of those inputs (try closing your eyes and ears). Your ability to choose is built into this consciousness.

Interesting thoughts. Though, I'm not grasping your overall point. Are you trying to ponder the development of man from his origins?

Also, here is a link to a site I found last night. It explains, in completion, the concept I have been trying to describe.

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Speaking of which, this thread is winding down

Yup, I think you wore 'em down. It's hard arguing with a robot, not very satisfying either. But I'm up for some fun. Call me the Devil's Advocate.

What I want to know is what model of the universe does the Objectivist hold where man, not structured by his components, can have any Will that defines him.

You mean how can a man, who is composed of particles that act deterministically, have a will that acts non-deterministically?

Well...yah...how is that possible? In fact we can take that reasoning one step further. How can it be that a man, who is composed of inanimate particles, be animate? I say we are not alive. Which makes your argument completely superfluous. After all, if we are not alive, then we most certainly don't have a will.

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You mean how can a man, who is composed of particles that act deterministically, have a will that acts non-deterministically?

Well...yah...how is that possible? In fact we can take that reasoning one step further. How can it be that a man, who is composed of inanimate particles, be animate? I say we are not alive. Which makes your argument completely superfluous. After all, if we are not alive, then we most certainly don't have a will.

This analogy doesn't hold. The property of being alive is the result of a special configuration of inanimate particles. There is some arbitrariness where we draw the line between living parts and inanimate parts, but in general we can say that a cell is a living entity while it can grow, reproduce itself etc., using the DNA/RNA machinery that forms the basis of all life on Earth, while the individual molecules in the cell like the DNA molecule or a protein molecule are not alive. On the other hand, if we build a system consisting of deterministic subsystems then, no matter how complex the total system is, in a complete description it is still a deterministic system. Due to its enormous complexity the deterministic substrate is in general hidden to us (except when it is the subject of a specialized study done by neuroscientists) and therefore the total system may surprise us with unexpected actions. Conscious thoughts (that we observe by introspection) are not sufficient to determine future thoughts of the brain, they form an incomplete, reduced description that is not deterministic: a given state at that level of description does not contain sufficient information to determine a later state of the system. As we in daily life only deal with consciousness (our own and that of others) in terms of thoughts, we see only a non-deterministic system with "free will", but it would be wrong to conclude that therefore the system in a complete description (in terms of the fundamental building blocks) is also indeterministic. There is no contradiction between the non-deterministic character of the world of thoughts and the fact that it is a deterministic system in a complete description in terms of fundamental building blocks.

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There is some arbitrariness where we draw the line between living parts and inanimate parts, but in general we can say that a cell is a living entity while it can grow, reproduce itself etc., using the DNA/RNA machinery that forms the basis of all life on Earth, while the individual molecules in the cell like the DNA molecule or a protein molecule are not alive.

How are these arbitrary? If you look at a mitochondrion it is not alive (even if it might have been when it was an organism all its own) because of these rules.

On the other hand, if we build a system consisting of deterministic subsystems then, no matter how complex the total system is, in a complete description it is still a deterministic system.

Please look up the word 'irreducible' and tell me if makes any sense to you.

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Yup, I think you wore 'em down. It's hard arguing with a robot, not very satisfying either. But I'm up for some fun. Call me the Devil's Advocate.

What makes you describe me as a robot?

You mean how can a man, who is composed of particles that act deterministically, have a will that acts non-deterministically?

Well...yah...how is that possible? In fact we can take that reasoning one step further. How can it be that a man, who is composed of inanimate particles, be animate? I say we are not alive. Which makes your argument completely superfluous. After all, if we are not alive, then we most certainly don't have a will.

I really suggest that you re-read my post. I am asking the exact opposite. I'm asking, how can a man exist in a world that is not Determined?

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