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How does "fate" differ from "determinism" here. What you are trying to prove, via deduction, is that something that has to be derived from or induced from the evidence at hand by reintroducing it as an "influence that cannot be accounted for".

 

Or as you couched it, A+B=X happens until A+B≠X at which point the question arises, what is the influence that cannot be accounted for here, i.e. C.

Identify C, at which point C simply becomes another B. A is the identification of C, turning it into B. "Fate" becomes a matter of applying a proper method of identification or subscribing that such a method is determined by some form of a "basic particle".

Arguments for fate, predestiny and determinism are hard to avoid.  Even if one could prove a butterfly caused a hurricane, another could ask, what caused the butterfly?  C cannot become another B without identity, and until that happens the chain of knowledge is incomplete; that's where I keep getting stuck.  As I see it, randomness and chaos fall into the same trap due to the inability to account for every variable in a causal chain of events.  So long as C remains undefined one cannot know if volition is actual or simulated.  And yet one must act according to the evidence at hand, which appears to support free will as a causal agent without proof that is the case...

 

"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed" ~ Francis Bacon

Without free will it's all obeyance.

 

"Half the truth is often a great lie." ~ Benjamin Franklin

What does this say about acting on evidence at hand that is inherently incomplete?

 

Can everything be determined and chaotic??

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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In which case, you might as well ask how could you know anything until you know everything?

 

The chain of knowledge is necessarily "incomplete". We continue to add new links to that chain as our knowledge expands. The key issue is not to identify that the chain is incomplete, rather to identify what the chain is attached to, and is it attached properly.

 

Omniscience is not a prerequisite to certainty.

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In which case, you might as well ask how could you know anything until you know everything?

 

The chain of knowledge is necessarily "incomplete". We continue to add new links to that chain as our knowledge expands. The key issue is not to identify that the chain is incomplete, rather to identify what the chain is attached to, and is it attached properly.

 

Omniscience is not a prerequisite to certainty.

Is this a case of the fog of reality?

 

A chain of knowledge is only as strong as its weakest link; that being causal influences that can't be identified, but exist nonetheless.  Even if it were possible to become virtually omniscient by minimizing the effect of unidentified causal influences, one couldn't be certain that one was exercising free will, or simply being caused to behave according to some predetermined stimulus; causal agents, or puppets with delusions of grandeur?

 

For clarity, I'm not arguing against knowing enough to act decisively, which one must do in order to survive.  But knowing that free will cannot be validated with certainty is really annoying, especially as it constantly creates an equal opportunity for Determinists and Priests to exploit an intellectual weakness that essentially reduces to unattainable proof.

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Consider some observations that may be available to you.

 

You introspect and recognise the ability to choose between chocolate and vanilla.

You look outward and observe people engaged in disagreement.

You look outward and observe people engaged in the attempt to persuade someone with whom they disagree of their error.

 

People choose their beliefs from the only source beliefs can be derived from: existence or reality.

Why the plethera of different conclusions?

If there is the implicit understanding that one chooses one's beliefs, projecting this implicit understanding on others as the basis that they too possess a similar faculty 'justifies' engaging them in presenting a persuasive argument: they may just change their mind.

I find it somewhat amusing that many a 'determinist' try to forward a contrary argument to free-will as if an advocate of free-will could be persuaded by it. In that sense, it is a blatent contradiction.

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Everything IS determined and chaotic.

And the incompleteness of knowledge does necessarily make it impossible to distinguish between actual and illusory free will (hypothetical "could'ves"); what then does this tell us about the terms we've framed the issue in?

If I asked you how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, how would you respond?

---

Stop searching for a way to prove that you could've chosen otherwise; there is none. The problem isn't insufficient knowledge but the nature of causality (it's equally impossible to "prove" any other counterfactual empirically, even concerning physical facts).

When the subject isn't verifiable, it's all conjecture; approach it in terms of theory instead of observation.

And any determinist who uses the nature of causality to excuse evil (because he couldn't help it) is no longer referring to causality, but introspection.

---

Free will, as I think you're referring to it (as the possibility of personal change; basis of responsibility) is self awareness; it's our capacity as human beings to reevaluate and modify our own ideas.

And in that sense, the possibility of "could've" is about as relevant as dancing angels; anyone who chooses not to be aware of themselves is choosing not to live UP TO human nature.

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"The past can hurt. But, the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it."

The immutability of the past doesn't negate our current introspective capacity; we can change ourselves NOW.

I think you'll find that the best-laid traps of determinists dissolve around that little fact.

---

Men are not "puppets with delusions of grandeur" for the same reason that such a statement is even possible.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold

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"The past can hurt. But, the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it."

The immutability of the past doesn't negate our current introspective capacity; we can change ourselves NOW.

I think you'll find that the best-laid traps of determinists dissolve around that little fact.

---

Men are not "puppets with delusions of grandeur" for the same reason that such a statement is even possible.

Well said.

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Everything IS determined and chaotic.

And the incompleteness of knowledge does necessarily make it impossible to distinguish between actual and illusory free will (hypothetical "could'ves"); what then does this tell us about the terms we've framed the issue in?

If I asked you how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, how would you respond?

---

Stop searching for a way to prove that you could've chosen otherwise; there is none. The problem isn't insufficient knowledge but the nature of causality (it's equally impossible to "prove" any other counterfactual empirically, even concerning physical facts).

When the subject isn't verifiable, it's all conjecture; approach it in terms of theory instead of observation...

I agree, and thanks for the input.  I've been wrestling with this issue for some time, and you've identified the fundamental error of my inquiry.

 

... And any determinist who uses the nature of causality to excuse evil (because he couldn't help it) is no longer referring to causality, but introspection.

---

Free will, as I think you're referring to it (as the possibility of personal change; basis of responsibility) is self awareness; it's our capacity as human beings to reevaluate and modify our own ideas.

And in that sense, the possibility of "could've" is about as relevant as dancing angels; anyone who chooses not to be aware of themselves is choosing not to live UP TO human nature.

I think this is why the issue of free will is so important to me; it presumes (self evidently) in ones fundamental choice of responsibility for ones actions.  For lack of proof, there's really only one reason to dismiss free will; to avoid personal accountability.  That is the original sin, self inflicted, and the basis of a proper evaluation and validation of ethics.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Consider some observations that may be available to you.

 

You introspect and recognise the ability to choose between chocolate and vanilla.

You look outward and observe people engaged in disagreement.

You look outward and observe people engaged in the attempt to persuade someone with whom they disagree of their error.

 

People choose their beliefs from the only source beliefs can be derived from: existence or reality.

Why the plethera of different conclusions?

If there is the implicit understanding that one chooses one's beliefs, projecting this implicit understanding on others as the basis that they too possess a similar faculty 'justifies' engaging them in presenting a persuasive argument: they may just change their mind.

I find it somewhat amusing that many a 'determinist' try to forward a contrary argument to free-will as if an advocate of free-will could be persuaded by it. In that sense, it is a blatent contradiction.

Well said.

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...

 

Yet there is no prime mover, no basic particle, and everything that exists is a configuration of ... ultimately everything else that exists, at all scales.

Does this imply an infinite configuration, or is the amplitude of configuration irrelavent??

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"If there is the implicit understanding that one chooses one's beliefs, projecting this implicit understanding on others as the basis that they too possess a similar faculty 'justifies' engaging them in presenting a persuasive argument: they may just change their mind."

Well said.

Thanks.

In retrospect, I'd modify the beginning of that statement to be "With the implicit understanding...", as it is not a matter of "If", it is a matter of converting it from an implicit to an explicit understanding.

Edited by dream_weaver

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Grames said:

"Another way to describe the flaw in determinist reasoning is that it is eliminative. In a proposed causal chain such A > B > C > D the determinist thinks it is valid to simply claim A caused D and eliminate consideration of B and C, that A has special status because it is somehow more real and more causal than B and C. It is alot like a "prime mover" argument, in that what is first has special status in a hierarchy of existence. This is what I mean when I and others claim determinists rely on metaphysical hierarchy in their argument.

Yet there is no prime mover, no basic particle, and everything that exists is a configuration of ... ultimately everything else that exists, at all scales."

Grames do you realize this is a tacit agreement with the idea that there are no particulars?

Or as the terrible paper puts it:

"Although there is much for physics yet to resolve, the general direction is becoming clear enough for some conclusions of metaphysical significance to be drawn. According to our best science, there are no elementary ‘particles’, or basic particulars, at all; everything is composed of quantum fields."

Nevermind that it explicitly want physics to tell us what metaphysics has to say.

Oh and:

""only entities are metaphysical primaries"

ITOE

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That's not a flat "no", so in principle "some" kind of "field" could qualify, the question would be can we define/find it... 

 

but the real question is do we actually observe such a one.  If we don't observe one, it really does not matter whether we could formulate one which qualifies.

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You're welcome, DA.

SL: There's a very simple and intuitive measurement that's omitted from the concept of "particle;" spatial accuracy.

---

I usually say that I'm six feet tall but I'm actually closer to 5' 11.5". But I'm not actually that height either; I'm closer to 5'11.65", to be slightly more specific.

All measurements are approximate, within a certain margin for error.

The concept of a point-particle assumes (as Plasmatic does) that this applies all the way down and that fundamental particles actually have no size, whatsoever. But on what is this assumption based?

If one considers these point-particles not to be literal objects, but the mathematical centers of physical "fields," whose specified margins of approximation may be raised or lowered arbitrarily, well. . . I think that's what Grames means.

And honestly, which makes more sense: an object without any size or the hypothetical central-point of an extended field?

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Imagine a Lagrange point, where the gravitational force of one object (such as the moon) exactly balances the pull of another object (such as the Earth). Now we could specify that this point lies somewhere within a cubic mile, yard, foot or inch, correct?

Now as we analyze this point with greater accuracy, Plasmatic presumably thinks that we'll reach a point where the Higgs Bosons are spread rather unevenly (like a mountain range) while Grames thinks the curvature of the field will remain somewhat uniform at any magnification.

So that's what I've gleaned. It's rather bizarre to imagine yourself as a persistent wrinkle in several overlapping fields but, hey, at the subatomic level everything's wierd as Hell anyway.

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I don't know how a "process" could curve whatsoever.

Edit: its probably a good idea to stop trying to speak for Grames and I. I know for me your not even close and I don't have time to correct all these attributions to me. Im not trying to be a dick and I know you say "presumably"

"And honestly, which makes more sense: an object without any size or the hypothetical central-point of an extended field? "

Neither can be asserted without violating the principles that preserve meaning.

Edited by Plasmatic

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When asked what is acting in the offending "processes" Grames replied "fields" which, by definition, have varying degrees of strength (what I meant by curvature) instead of a spatial limit.

Both statements, on processes and curvature, were admittedly sloppy semantics which conveyed perfectly valid concepts.

I think you're accurate; the concept of a literally sizeless point-particle negates its own foundations (it's conceptual theft since "size" is a critical component of "object").

If it's equally invalid to specify a hypothetical "point" of greatest strength, within a field, then most meteorological thought is invalid- not to mention Astrophysics.

If there are no such points of least strength either then explain Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.

And if you will not grace us with any elaboration then we have no other recource but to attempt to infer your thoughts, vocally or not.

If I have erred in this attempt then please point out where and I will gladly remedy that.

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Harrison said:

"When asked what is acting in the offending "processes" Grames replied "fields" which, by definition, have varying degrees of strength (what I meant by curvature) instead of a spatial limit.

Both statements, on processes and curvature, were admittedly sloppy semantics which conveyed perfectly valid concepts."

The paper Grames linked to defined the fields as a "process" explicitly. The words "quantum fields exist" tell you nothing about the hypothetical existents architecture. However the paper endorsed lays out its own ontology, and its garbage.

Edit:

Harrison said:

"And if you will not grace us with any elaboration then we have no other recource but to attempt to infer your thoughts, vocally or not."

The statement:

"The concept of a point-particle assumes (as Plasmatic does) that this applies all the way down and that fundamental particles actually have no size, whatsoever. But on what is this assumption based?"

This is a claim imputed to me when I have not said anything like that.

Strictly Logical understood what I actually said enough to ask questions that showed cognizance of what I actually said and what needed clarity.

Edited by Plasmatic

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... The paper Grames linked to defined the fields as a "process" explicitly. The words "quantum fields exist" tell you nothing about the hypothetical existents architecture. However the paper endorsed lays out its own ontology, and its garbage...

 

"...The critical point is that quantum field processes have no existence that is independent of their configurations: quantum fields are processes, and can only exist in various patterns. Those patterns come in many sizes, of many different physical and temporal scales, some as large as a human person, or a social institution – but they are all equally patterns of processes. There is no ‘bottoming out’ level in quantum field theory – it is patterns of process all the way down, and all the way up..." ~ from Grames link

 

For clarity, aren't fields composed of elements?

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DA :

Ask a physics professor about the ontology of fields, energy, etc. and 9.5x out of ten they will tell you " Thats philosophy not physics". I am working on this topic myself. Its a work in progress and personally for the purposes of this forum I think only the epistemological part of the query is germane to this forum. Besides I'm not giving away something that useful.

The paper in question wants the macro world of entities to emerge from processes thats why it differentiates its ontology from that of an entity-particular one.

Edited by Plasmatic

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DA: It depends on what you mean by "element." Could you clarify?

Plasmatic: The gist of the paper was that on the quantum level, spatially distinct particles cannot be grasped accurately in isolation; hence the holistic emphasis on FIELDS and CONFIGURATIONS. What's wrong with that?

Doesn't it logically follow from Q entanglement anyway?

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H D said:

"Plasmatic: The gist of the paper was that on the quantum level, spatially distinct particles cannot be grasped accurately in isolation; hence the holistic emphasis on FIELDS and CONFIGURATIONS. "

Uh, no. What made you think that?

The paper said:

"But recent developments in physics tell against that presupposition. What our best contemporary physics reveals is that there are no elementary ‘particles"

Edited by Plasmatic

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DA :

Ask a physics professor about the ontology of fields, energy, etc. and 9.5x out of ten they will tell you " Thats philosophy not physics". I am working on this topic myself. Its a work in progress and personally for the purposes of this forum I think only the epistemological part of the query is germane to this forum. Besides I'm not giving away something that useful.

The paper in question wants the macro world of entities to emerge from processes thats why it differentiates its ontology from that of an entity-particular one.

Good luck with your work, and thank you for your patient feedback.  I have to admit I'm struggling to make sense of the dispute (if there is one) between your position and Grames...

 

I asked about fields because I presume fields to be populated with elements, such that the identity of any particular entity would still exist in a field.  A field has an identity too, doesn't it??  So if Objectivism asserts that only entities are capable of action, precluding action resulting from nothing, it seems that field action is as valid as entity action so long as fields aren't devoid of entities.  Grames link asserts they're no fundamental particulars; only configurations of particulars at all scales.  This seems to me different than asserting that observable action is presumed to arise from nothing...

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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