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StrictlyLogical

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  1. I could be completely wrong about the origin of that idea... and how it got into my head... for some reason I associate it with some thinker who I think was Roman. As for the circle demonstration, it strikes me as mysterious that the circle could, not only be progressed forward infinitely, it could also be reversed infinitely... and all across the number of rotations the coincidence would only occur at one point. Of course one could write down a function, distance between the points as a function of the "number" of circumferential surfaces the inner circle has engaged contact with the outer circle, while rolling, and it would have precisely one zero... but it's still somewhat counterintuitive... I had set out to find an example where the incommensurate-ness seemed to make sense intuitively, but it seems that I have achieved the opposite.
  2. @Boydstun I was trying to think of a thought experiment to concretize the "incommensurate" nature of various mathematical quantities as demonstrated by irrational numbers, to better help visualize this sort of thing. I have a concretized example... but as to whether it is intuitive... is another question. So far I have this. Imagine a mathematical circle with a diameter of 1, rolling inside a second mathematical circle with a circumference of 10. Now imagine a moment when the smaller circle is at the very bottom of the larger circle, touching/intersecting at a single point at the bottom of both circles. Imagine "marking" those points on the smaller circle's circumference and the larger circle's circumference (even though the larger circle never moves). Now imagine rolling the smaller circle within the larger one and waiting to see when that smaller circle's dot coincides again with the larger circle's dot... Once you have proven to yourself the answer... ask what this might say about the old (Roman?) idea of infinite loops of time repeating giving rise to every possibility including living again....
  3. @Boydstun I think you have implicitly identified (yet another) false dichotomy, a "you" - "us" dichotomy as the foundation for the "good". I do not claim that you explicitly hold this as part of your philosophy, only that my understanding of it, points in this direction. Polarized concepts such as "the one" and "the group" dominate the discussion of ethics. On the one hand selfishness, on the other collectivism (or a sort of arithmetical utilitarianism). When pushed to recognize the issues with such a choice, the response is often a sort of "through one approach ... the concern of the other is answered" and we thus have the claims of "other people being a value to a selfish person" as well as "the individual plays a pivotal role in the collective", and that although both benefit, really seeing only through one lens has importance or primacy. But the stark sense of a binary and forced choice is kept. The concept of the good traditionally is either based on the good for "You" or for "Us". I find in your writings a different nexus for the good, neither wholly in "you" or "us" but in the recognition that the ultimate good IS in both, and that (perhaps ironically for you) NO sacrifice need be made from either to the other. Ironically also Rand touched on an economic version of this in the trader principle and the concept of building wealth, i.e. a win-win between atomistic agents... but this did not carry over to any direct win-win relationship between an individual and society or others. What I am hearing is that You (and We) can go forward recognizing that every moral choice (by groups and individuals) can be aimed at the flourishing of both, and that the responsibility being centred around each individual and society at large, not only is the "one" and the "many" protected in every sense, so too is the "one" and the "many" responsible for the other. The relationship of the "You" and the "Us" flourishes as a result of both individuals and society flourishing. [I note, this does not negate the alternative of life versus death, without individuals a society dies and without society, others, loved ones the individual cannot flourish. Also, implies no sacrifice of any individual and no sacrificing of the group or others. As such, predation on any one or the many is immoral.] It seems that in every moral consideration, it cannot be just about me or just about others, and so it can never not be about me or not be about others.
  4. No. Not if you mean by "intrinsic value" a so-called value which is wholly independent of any and all valuers. Proposing "life" as holding a place as "value" (which seems reasonable), is OK, however only "life" can value anything, so only by virtue of being valued as a value by a valuer can "life" be a value... which is not independent of all valuers
  5. My personal answer is, of a certainty my life has infinite value to me, and I suspect the universe values nothing, but that is of no consequence.
  6. Are you familiar with Rand's answer to such a question?
  7. Not really. One thing to note is that free will could be attributed to a whole mind, even if various parts of a mind participate in that free will by setting in motion a choice prior to other parts experiencing that choice has been made. The intention to make a choice precedes both the perceived initiation of the exercise of choosing and the introspection of the time of having made it.. plus the exercise of choice although overseen by consciousness is often self experienced as spontaneously arising. This is consistent with an initiation of choosing, followed by actual choice somehow... some gestalt of factors... followed by a slightly delayed experience of having decided. It's fun to think about.
  8. Question: Is your question answerable (provable?) within the realm of the application of sound (proven?) philosophical principles alone (not mere speculation), or does an answer to the particular problem of free will require evidence, observation, empirical experiment, etc.... i.e. does it fall within the realm of philosophy or the special sciences?
  9. Right, but they are asking you to deny the certainty and primacy of existence "out there", i.e. independent reality, as opposed to some kind of consciousness thing whether an individual, collective, or spiritual/godlike consciousness being primary or the only type or existence. My point only was that the conclusions we reach from a mountain of evidence is not to be thrown aside in face of a claim which amounts to little more than a groundless maybe.
  10. I not think the unconscious generates a feeling of free will. I do not believe humans experience free will as a feeling. I believe humans experience the performance of free will as a sort of action, one upon reflection which is such that "I could have chosen otherwise".
  11. The totality of self-experience, all of it, from your earliest moment to your experience of being and choosing in the very moment, all of it amounts to an understanding of your subjective experience and your free will. Some philosophers have said do not trust that existence exists, perhaps it is all illusion, but they fail to see they are asking you to ignore everything you have ever perceived, experienced, felt, indeed everything you know. The answer is to reject such a call to complete and utter ignorance with no evidence forming the basis for such abandonment, as groundlessly silly. Just as denying existence runs contrary to everything you know, so too attempting to deny the introspective truth of free will is an attempt to persuade you to choose not to believe in free will. Such is asking you to evade everything about your life... morality, choice, meaning, without providing any real reason or evidence to do so, simply put we do not understand nearly enough about the universe to come anywhere near proving free will does not exist, and in the absence of said evidence, entertaining such a notion is tantamount to a groundless, baseless abdication of life... all of it. Knowing this full well, how could anyone take such musings, such an invitation to self abdication, self immolation... seriously? As for the unconscious, it seems odd that an unconscious would evolve to create a feeling of free will. Such a mechanism would imply something like an attempt (by the unconscious) to cause the self or consciousness to act or refrain from acting a certain way, but if the self or consciousness was already determined wholly, such an additional urge by feeling... to feel choosy... would be wholly superfluous, and in the end ineffectual. In a predetermined universe the unconscious would not ever need to create a feeling of free will.
  12. "arguing that free will has to exist or there will be consequences" That is not the "argument", and even if it were, it would NOT be any kind of proof of the existence of free will.
  13. You ask: "Does free will exist, or are our choices predetermined by prior causes?" "Free will" defined properly, exists. Our choices are influenced by prior causes, primarily and importantly the chooser's identity/nature. Rand's philosophy of "being" is wholly predicated upon identity, and as such no action or cause in nature proceeds in contradiction with identity. No thing is supernatural, everything is natural, including people, brains, and yes minds. As a property of mind, one of the things a brain "does", any proper definition of free will must take that (identity, non-contradiction) into account. You are who you are at a time of choice, all your memories and tendencies, your mood, your body, everything is part of your nature/identity of what you exactly are at the time of choice, and one cannot evade these important facts when thinking about free will. Free will and the choice made by it of course depend upon and are influenced by one's identity/nature. If one defines free will as simply (and properly) "one could have chosen otherwise" then that freedom becomes bounded ... the different possible outcomes are specific (otherwise you would not be you... you would be able to be anyone), and moreover, in order to not be deterministic the actual outcome cannot be pre-determinable or even theoretically knowable with certainty. Without fully understanding why or how, identity plus "freedom" to choose, is functionally describable in probabilistic terms... a probability function of all possible choices (which probabilities all add up to 1) describes the outcome of the system. Proof is not necessary to embrace free will. It is an introspective truth. Moreover, it would be pointless to assume free will does not exist... i.e. nothing is gained from it. There are two possibilities, either free will does not exist or it does. (Assuming you choose to ignore introspection) you NOW have a choice to reject or embrace free will. IF free will does not exist, in a very fundamental way whether you "choose" to reject it or not is meaningless, not only is it not up to you in that your choice was not free and was predetermined anyway, in such a universe all choices are morally and existentially inconsequential, we and all things being tinkertoys of mechanistic certainty. IF free will DOES exist, choosing to reject it risks abdication of (or negligence in the use of) your ability to choose in very important and meaningful or otherwise morally and existentially important moments in your life and the lives of those around you, potentially causing suffering when you could have chosen otherwise creating happiness/peace, or pursuing your values etc. and of course IF free will DOES exist and you choose to embrace it, really exercise your ability and responsibility to guide your actions and affect your life and the lives of those around you, then you maximise your potential for meaning, happiness, and attaining your values in life. In essence one does not "prove" free will exists. One understands, accepts, and "proves" it would be utterly pointless (in academic philosophy and in life) to choose to believe and act as though free will does not exist.
  14. I second that. "Publish" it here in a new thread, they seem to be unable or not willing to block your access to this site.
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