Is free will possible in a deterministic universe?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Sarkus, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    You consider walking to be defying gravity?
    All of my actions were predetermined by the universe before I existed. Gravity on the other hand has been granted special status by the universe and is allowed to do what ever it wants.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Dunno. You never have. You have posted only stuff like this:
    And so your "answer" avoids the subject of the driver's observed capabilities, once again.

    Instead, you want to talk about the future behaviors of the light, the driver, the car, whatever - a matter about which you are also badly confused, partly because in your "script" metaphor you not only lose track of higher order feedback processes but also (and more bizarrely) the basic role of time in a causally deterministic universe (the future does not affect the past - causation does not operate backwards in time).
    I explicitly excluded all consideration of behavior (including any "action") from my illustrative example, on purpose.

    This has been pointed out and explained to you a half a dozen times now, and you need to start paying attention: capabilities exist regardless of whether they were, are, or will be, ever, at any time, employed. They exist physically. They are products of past deterministic events, outcomes of the past. They are among the defining or characteristic features of the entity we name the "driver", and the three in focus were explicitly included: to stop, to go, to choose which depending on the color of a light.
    The driver may or may not make the selection, in the future, far away and long after the situation at hand has passed. That may be a topic of discussion - with its own illustrative examples, different from this one - after the basic physical situation of the example at hand has been recognized and established - my guess is maybe a year from now. As predicted, you guys are not quick on the uptake.
    The driver's future behavior is explicitly excluded. Nothing in the future affects the example at hand.
    Nevertheless, the chain of determining events has not reached time of this selection yet - the example was chosen to be of a time and place prior to the selection. The matter under discussion is a particular set of conditions established by the outcomes of the determining events at that place and time along that chain, specifically the existence and nature of an entity we name the "driver", and the three capabilities characterizing the "driver" at that place and time.

    Any time you wish to address that would not be too soon.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Including your acts of predetermination... sure...
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    All acts of self-predermination by humans are predetermined.
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    What you can't seem to get you head around is that self determination in humans is fully predetermined well before they evolved.
    Thus free will is fully predetermined by those starting conditions.

    I even drew a simple diagram to demonstrate it all with only 5 human supplicants.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  9. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    The drivers capabilities at any given time are what is scripted by the universe. Observed capabilities are not what the driver could do, but what the driver is determinately scripted to do. If the universe hasn’t scripted a capability for a given moment, it was never a capability. It’s never a question of the driver being able to do one thing or another, it’s always a certainty of just doing one specific predetermined thing.
    The only capabilities that exist for the driver at any given moment are those that are predetermined before the existence of the driver.
    Whatever the driver does in a deterministic universe is predetermined before the existence of the driver, the same goes for any other element you include in your example.
    If all of the drivers actions are scripted by the universe before the driver existed, then what’s the point of considering the driver’s capabilities?
    I’ve addressed that very subject over and over. How many times does it have to be explained to you that all of the chains of determining events in a deterministic universe are scripted long before they ever occur, like from the beginning of the universe, assuming it had a beginning. Every future outcome is already scripted to occur as ordained by the universe. At any moment in the driver’s existence it cannot deviate from that age old deterministic script, so it doesn’t matter what the imagined capabilities of a driver are if they don’t reflect the reality of the predetermined conditions.
    If all of my actions were determined before I existed, then how does a non existent me determine any of my actions?
    Not when all acts of humans were determined before their existence.
    If humans can self determine, then they exist outside of the deterministic universe, their inclusion would violate the conditions of a deterministic universe. If you grant that condition to humans, then all other entities get the same exemption, and the universe is no longer deterministically ordered.
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    because it was and is predetermined to be so...
    it was predetermined that humans predetermine their actions...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I know you don't like the idea but unless you can offer sound logic and reasoning for why you unnecessarily limit your universe your unsupported claims will be treated as such. That is to say they are unsupported!
    nonsense... no need to exist outside the universe. In fact it is essential that they exit inside of it to be predetermined.
    By doing what they are predetermined to do they are not violating the conditions of a deterministic universe. If humans can not predetermine their actions they would indeed be in violation of a deterministic universe and die or not be borne to begin with. Being able to predetermine is essential for human life.
    irrelevant strawman and incorrect any how!
    We are talking about humans..

    Free will = Free movement.
    Is freedom of movement an illusion as well?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In this case, the "script" says the driver can go, stop, and choose between those two capabilities based on the color of light.
    Your "script" analogy is confusing, apparently - scripts exist all at once in one place, the events of the universe happen in temporal sequence and over spatial separations. The causally deterministic universe is the play, not the script.
    No, they aren't. They are named subsets of what the driver is capable of doing at the time of observation.
    The future is not observed, remember. It hasn't happened yet. It has no effect on present reality.
    In this case: to go, to stop, to choose based on the color of a light.
    The observed capabilities do reflect the "reality of the predetermined conditions" - otherwise, they would not exist to be observed. We assumed that, if you recall.
    The existent you - you are part of the determined universe, remember? - acts, and thereby determines the consequences of those actions. That's how the universe determines those consequences, according to the age old script: it determines your existence - with your capabilities, fingers, dreams, etc - and thereby your actions, just as the script laid out, and thereby the outcomes of your actions, just as the script laid out.

    The driver's choice from among their capabilities is one of the means by which the universe causes the car to behave. We observe that. It's an objective fact.
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  12. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    Not until I can trust your intellectual honesty, where you've repeatedly demanded inconsistently applied stipulations that beg the question. If we play by your rules, they have to be consistent and agreed upon.
    All irrelevant, if your own stipulations were consistent. You're the one who keeps insisting the only relevant question is the thread's title.
    Smoking is a very specific input, which is why lumping it in with something as broad as war covers all the bases.
    Smoking has a chance of causing something like heart disease, and that has a chance of causing a heart attack, and that only has a chance of causing death. No one input is a deterministic system's A must always cause B.
    So your deterministic system does not allow any of those, smoking, heart disease, or heart attacks, to cause death. You simply can't have it both ways without begging the question.
    Nope. When you allow something because it gives you the desired result but forbid the same thing when it doesn't, that's very obviously cherry picking and begging the question.
    Irrelevant, by your own inconsistent stipulations.
    So you don't think we could claim that stars were possible before knowing exactly what they were?
    That doesn't follow.
    Your stipulation, if intellectually honest, that only the thread's title (and presumption of a solely deterministic system) is relevant, makes anything beyond its existence/possibility irrelevant.
    Sure, as soon as I have some notion that you will not dismiss it by simply begging the question, just as you've repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to do.
    Who said otherwise?
    Nonsense, but even granting the point, no one effect of smoking is a completely deterministic cause of death either. You know, where if A caused B, A must always cause B.
    "but some will" is probabilistic. Again, not allowed in a deterministic system.
    Now you're just playing irrelevant number games. You're trying to apply the probability over several iterations to the probability from one input. That's not intellectually honest.
    Not possible for such inputs, as those "similar properties" are the probabilities.
    In a deterministic system, anything except direct cessation of physical function cannot be said to cause death. So it follows that in such a system most deaths cannot be attributed to any cause at all, since A must always cause B could not hold. And that means that a deterministic system allows for results that have no cause discernible by any means available to the system. Shit just happens. Claiming a cause of death otherwise could only be an appearance, since again, a deterministic system only allows effects that ALWAYS follow from the same cause.
  13. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    No, still just your ignorance of the most accepted interpretation of QM.
    In the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, the wave function is the most complete description that can be given of a physical system. Solutions to Schrödinger's equation describe not only molecular, atomic, and subatomic systems, but also macroscopic systems, possibly even the whole universe.ödinger_equation
    You need to learn what parsimony is too. Indeterministic empirical results are all we get from QM, so anything else is making assumptions. Please, if you can't learn some physics, at least crack a dictionary.
    If you can't bother to read, understand, and sensibly attempt to refute citations, I really can't take you seriously. Claiming the Copenhagen interpretation is instrumentalism is just heaping ignorance on top of ignorance. Instrumentalism is essentially agnostic, refusing to guess at the underlying reality, while Copenhagen accepts the indeterministic results as indicative of the underlying reality. And either is better than your unsupportable and unparsimonious presumption of determinism, "without the ability or the apparent intention to verify it."
    "can't currently" is the dogmatic belief in scientism, and worse, further isolated to determinism.
    We can know the initial state of a quantum system, when we collapse the wave function by making an observation or create the system ourselves. From there we can use that result as the initial condition for the evolution of the Schrodinger equation, which has verifiable predictive power. The depth of your ignorance seems to know no bounds.
  14. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    There is zero inconsistency.
    I can't be held accountable for your inability to comprehend the issue.
    Not irrelevant at all.
    So far you've alluded to a freewill that is akin to something that exists but can have zero impact.
    Since there is the hidden assumption that any notion of freewill, to be taken seriously that is, needs to have an impact, that leaves you... where, exactly?
    Because it's not in this thread so far.
    No, smoking is not a very specific input.
    At best it can be described as a vast set of specific inputs, the set of which we conveniently label as "smoking".
    The specific input is the precise location, vector, every parameter of every single element/factor that makes up what we label a case of "smoking".
    Because you are not looking at specific causes but at a set of specific causes, and it is the set that we label as "smoking" or "war" etc.
    Until you can grasp that "smoking" covers a vast set of different inputs, you're not even discussing anything relevant, and there is little point in continuing with you.
    There is no cherry-picking, just recognition of what the equation is being applied to.
    If one applies it to something that is inherently indeterministic, it doesn't matter that the process is deterministic, you are still in the realms of indeterminism, and that is outside the scope of the deterministic universe.
    They are consistent, and it is simply your inability to apply yourself to them that is causing you your grief.
    Your projection is noted, though.
    Where have I said otherwise?
    To be able to claim that stars are possible we at least need to have some idea, some definition of what we are calling "stars", do we not.
    Even if that is "pin-prick of light in the night sky", or "big ball of yellow in the daytime sky" etc.
    No, it's non-existence and impossibility is also entirely relevant.
    But to assess either one, we must first have an idea of what we mean by "freewill".
    There is no dishonesty or question begging involved.
    If you wish to assert that free will is possible in a deterministic universe (and yes, we are working with the hidden assumption that any notion of freewill must capable of impacting) then go for it: explain your notion and how it might be possible.
    If you wish to assert that it is not possible, again, explain your notion of free will and why you think it is not possible.
    There has been no demonstration of it either directly or by implication.
    You seem to be just looking for an excuse not to actually engage.
    You've accused me of unduly cherry-picking.
    And now you're saying not disputing that indeterministic outputs (whether part of a deterministic process or not) are out of scope??
    Rather ironic inconsistency from you, is it not.
    I never said "one effect of smoking", I referred to specific inputs that fall within the set that we label "smoking".
    And this specific input, if repeated exactly, would result in exactly the same output.
    If it caused death the first time then it would cause death the second time.
    But in reality the exact same input will never be repeated.
    I'm not doing that at all.
    I am highlighting the difference between looking at the probability across the entire set of inputs, and looking at a specific input.
    It is not only honest to do so but essential to the question.
    In a deterministic system probabilistic causation only arises when you consider the entire set of micro-level inputs that you have grouped together under a macro-level label.
    You then look at that macro-level label (e.g. "smoking") and go "oh, look, same input but different outputs!".
    That is what is irrelevant, here, because when you say "same input" they are not actually the same.
    They are just merely members of the same set that we have labelled "smoking".
    That's not why it's not possible.
    It's not possible because of the complexity of the system.
    Randomly shuffling a deck of cards will only produce the same results 1 in c.10^68 times.
    Now try doing that with every component of the complex system involved with smoking: the location, and velocity of each atom involved etc.
    Nothing to do with the properties or the probabilities.
    And again you're back to looking at macro-level labels as your input, when in fact the label covers a vast array of specific inputs, each different, some of which do cause death, some of which do not.
    Until you stop treating those macro-labels as inputs in and of themselves, you're simply not in the ball-park of a meaningful conversation here.
    Needless to say, if one of those members of the set of "smoking" is the input and causes death, it always will whenever there is that same input to the system.
    And yes, the specific input is the exact state (position, velocity etc) of every single constituent part of the system.

    So, what do you consider freewill to be, and why do you think it im/possible in a deterministic universe?
    I.e. care yet to engage with the actual discussion, or just here to make more noise?
  15. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    Bare assertions are not refutes. I've already spelled out the inconsistencies. Or do I need to repeat them more slowly, so you can understand? You can either try to refute each or continue making empty, unsupported assertions. Or better yet, simply quit being inconsistent, so we can discuss initial conditions. You know, something crucial to a deterministic system.
    No, it's just your straw man that free will can have zero impact. I simply said that "impact" is irrelevant to the scope of this thread. That doesn't weigh in on "impact" either way. Only that "impact" is a separate question from possibility/existence, and that should be obvious and uncontroversial to everyone. Duh.
    The act of inhaling tobacco smoke is a specific input, with precise location, vector, etc.. Or are you claiming that a person taking one drag from a cigarette isn't actually "smoking"? That's complete nonsense. It baffles me that you can't see the obvious, immediate absurdities of many of your arguments.
    Until you can grasp that "smoking" includes a single act of inhaling tobacco smoke, you're not even discussing anything rational. Look, all you have to do is simply admit that, in a deterministic system, smoking cannot possibly cause death. Period. No mealymouthed bullshit about appearances. Own the logical consequences of your own stipulations. What are you afraid of?
    Since I've already stipulated that indeterministic results can have no bearing on a deterministic system, how could the Schrodinger equation possibly apply to "something that is inherently indeterministic" in said system? It can't. So you are just cherry-picking its application in an obvious attempt to ensure your foregone conclusion, even against whatever future argument against it you're imagining.
    Since I'm not the one making bare assertions, I think we all know who is projecting. Hell, I'm not the one with all the stipulations here, inconsistent or not. You are. I'm just trying to play along.
    Do you think we don't have "some definition of what we are calling" free will?
    If we do have one, then we can obviously answer the question of if it exists. Like your example of stars, there's no need for our definition to be definitive, much less include "impact".
    Prior to your straw man about the "impact" of free will, I did already define "genuine free will", and with a compatibilist. Go look for yourself.
    But I'm not playing by your stipulations until they are consistent. If you simply refuse to make them so, that's fine by me. Just an easy out for you to avoid further debate. No skin off my nose if you essentially beg off.

    But if you're even marginally intellectually honest you'll admit that:
    • A deterministic system allows all wholly deterministic processes, so long as no indeterministic results are allowed. No mealymouthed caveats. All or nothing.
    • A deterministic system is one in which, if A causes B, A must always be followed by B. If this means that there can be no external cause of death in said system (because no external cause ALWAYS causes death), that is a logical consequence that must be accepted as well. Again, no question begging caveats. There either are probabilistic causes or there are not. Period.
    • The existence/possibility of a thing is not contingent upon it being meaningful or having an impact upon anything else.
    • Definitive definitions are not necessary to discussing the possibility/existence of a thing.
    Nope, you're just arguing a straw man since I decided to play along with your stipulations. Quit jumping at that shadow.
    Nope, one instance of smoking is equally called "smoking". You're still jumping at arguments you're anticipating I might make, but haven't.
    Are you really trying to claim that smoking isn't a probabilistic cause of death?
    No, I'm saying that only cessation of brain function causes death in a deterministic system, as that's the ONLY thing that ALWAYS causes death, regardless of the internal/external means. Stipulating no probabilities logically requires no other cause of death. There is no further cause, because any further cause would also have to abide by A always being followed by B. That's the consequence of YOUR OWN STIPULATION. When is that going to sink in? Well, then we're back to awaiting your intellectual honesty.
    Hey, I'm trying to get you squared away on your own demanded stipulations. I can't help it if you haven't thought them through.

    Simply agree to that list I just gave you, and we can immediately start discussing initial conditions, and how it relates to whether free will can exist in a wholly deterministic system. Choice is yours.
  16. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    I have refuted the accusations of being inconsistent the first time you raised each point.
    I am under no obligation to repeat myself.
    But feel free to expand on why you think the initial conditions are crucial to a deterministic system, or more importantly, to the issue of freewill within that system that, you know, is actually what the thread is about.
    I have never said that free will can have zero impact, nor that you have said it.
    I have said that your analogy was akin to a freewill that had zero impact, and that there was a hidden assumption that any notion of freewill should have an impact.
    I.e. to highlight why your analogy was flawed with regard being relevant.
    No, it’s not irrelevant, for the reason I have explained numerous times now, and that I can only assume you are wilfully refusing to acknowledge.
    There is a hidden assumption that any notion of freewill being discussed/proposed is one that has an impact.
    If all to this discussion.
    There are certainly vast sets of specific inputs that we would refer to as inhaling tobacco, yes.
    But inhaling tobacco is not in and of itself a specific input.
    There is a difference, again as already explained, between a specific input and the set of those specific inputs.
    The whole set is not an element of that set.
    No, that’s not what I’m claiming.
    Your analysis of your strawman is thus irrelevant.
    Where have I said that smoking does not include that?
    Enough with your strawmen already!
    I am owning the logical consequences, thanks.
    Smoking can cause death in a deterministic universe.
    That is the logical consequence.
    And every time that same specific input is repeated, the same outcome occurs.
    The issue here is that you seem unable to grasp what a specific input actually is.
    It is not one inhale, it is not one person having the same brand of cigarette, it is the complete state of the system, every molecule, every atom.
    That is one specific input to the system.
    If one molecule’s location is different, that is another input, and a different result might transpire.
    THAT is the logical consequence.
    THAT is what you have simply failed to comprehend, let alone address, as you keep going on about smoking or inhaling itself being a specific cause.

    The system is not just the mechanics between input and output, but the nature of the input and output as well.
    If the output is inherently indeterministic, the entire system is indeterministic.
    If the output of the equation is a probability function, you are in the realms of indeterminism.
    If the output is specific, results in only one possible reality, and such that you plug the same starting condition in and always get the same output/reality, then you are in the realm of a deterministic system.
    Still no cherry-picking, as explained.
    If you can’t fathom or stick to what it means for something to be deterministic, that is not my issue.
    I am under no obligation to repeat the refutations of your criticisms.
    You might be trying to play along, but at the moment you’re doing nothing but disrupting the game through your inability to comprehend the rules.
    You tell me.
    I have yet to read what yours is.
    Feel free to start, then.
    Given that you have been told repeatedly that there is the hidden assumption that any notion of freewill must include that it must be capable of impact... is your aim here to simply demonstrate your unwillingness to play ball?
    No straw man, as explained.
    If you have, apologies, I have missed it.
    Please do point me to the post number?
    The stipulations are consistent, and you have yet to show how they are not in any manner that has survived rebuttal.
    And all you keep doing is spouting more of the same irrelevancies, more strawmen, as if it is me trying to avoid debate.
    The first has never been disputed, except by your strawmen.

    The second is a failure by you to grasp what a specific cause is, as you are labelling two distinct specific causes under the same label.
    A causes B and always causes B.
    C doesn’t cause B.
    A and C are not the same specific cause but are labelled under the same banner of “smoking”.
    It may be just one molecule that is different, but they are different,
    And then you claim that “smoking” is a specific cause.

    The third is not disputed in general, but as it applies to this debate, as explained numerous times now, there is the hidden assumption that any notion of freewill must be one that has an impact.

    As to the fourth, I agree and have not said otherwise.
    The definition must be sufficient for purposes of discussion.
  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    … cont’d
    No strawman.
    If it is a point you are saying you have already conceded, however, then apologies, it got lost amongst the white noise you’re throwing up.
    I have never said that it isn’t rightly called “smoking”.
    But thanks for the strawman.
    I am explaining to you, yet again, that “smoking” is not a single specific cause but an entire set of them.
    It is your insistence on using the entire set as the input that leads to this entire irrelevancy about probabilistic causation.
    You continue to look at a macro label as a specific cause.
    As I said, you’re just not in the same ball park.
    I’m at a loss as to how you could possibly get that as your takeaway from what I said.
    No, I am not claiming, just explaining what actually makes the repetition of a specific cause impossible.
    And here you are again only looking at the macro labels that we ascribe to sets of similar but non-identical inputs.
    A starting condition that causes death, whether that be a specific case within the set of “smoking” or some other specific case, will always cause death if the starting conditions repeat.
    There are starting conditions within the set of “smoking” that do not cause death, and never will whenever that starting condition is repeated.
    I have not stipulated no probabilities.
    Stop making shit up, and put the strawmen away!
    I have explained where I think probability is acceptable, and where it is not.
    If the probability is in the output from a specific cause, then this is not allowed, as that is indeterminism.
    If the appearance of probability arises when looking at a macro label such as “smoking” then this is allowed, as already explained, because there is zero violation of the deterministic nature of the system when looking at specific causes.
    “Smoking” in this instance is not a specific cause but a macro label for a vast set of specific causes.
    I have been entirely honest throughout, and have explained my positioning.
    In a deterministic system, smoking can cause death.
    This is entirely consistent with everything I have been saying, it abides by the stipulations of this debate, and I am genuinely struggling to see why you can’t grasp it.
    They have been thought through, and the struggles are your own.
    No, the choice has been yours from the outset, but instead you have raised strawman after strawman, and a failure on your part to comprehend that “smoking” is not a specific cause, but a set of specific causes / initial conditions that we have labelled as “smoking”, and it is the analysis of the set, of how all the individual specific causes play out, that gives rise to the quite acceptable view of probability, applicable to the macro-label but not applicable to the individual specific causes within the set.
  18. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    I've already told you that genuine free will has an impact, so you repeating this straw man, that I've even hinted otherwise, is completely pointless. You seem to be conflating indeterminism with free will, as if they are the same thing, or anyone has even implied they were. So when I say indeterminism can have no impact on a deterministic system, you inexplicably keep reading it as free will can have no impact on said system. I've agreed to your every stipulation. Yes, a deterministic system cannot allow indeterministic results. Yes, genuine free will should have an impact. All I've asked in return is that said stipulations be minimally consistent. That there be no special pleading exceptions to them that raise the specter of begging the question. You SHOULD be on board with all that, but you seem far too insecure with your own argument to simply allow a straight forward application of your own strictures on the discussion.
    • When you stipulate a wholly deterministic system, a natural and logical consequence is that things like blunt force trauma or even getting shot on the head (which can't be disputed for being specific, single causes) cannot be said to cause death in said system. If you wish to allow "blunt force trauma causes death" to be a valid statement in such a system, you have to allow probabilistic causes, which makes it a more realistic deterministic system than an idealized one. I'm fine with either choice. Either blunt force trauma can never cause death or probabilistic causes are allowed. Your choice. Simply pick one and quit hedging to leave an out for you to beg the question. And quit fixating on smoking. Name any other external cause of death and the logic still holds.
    • When you stipulate a wholly deterministic system, a logical consequence is that any wholly deterministic process is allowed, as such a system only explicitly denies indeterministic processes. This should be uncontroversial and agreed upon by any intellectually honest person. Anything less is a special pleading to beg the question.
    Simple determinism, as contrasted with a deterministic system, simply means that every event has a deterministic cause. As such, real world determinism allows for probability, where even though one cause may not always lead to the same effect, all effects do have deterministic causes. Indeterminism simply means that some effects have no causes or indeterministic causes. As such, indeterminism and probability are not the same, as you seem to believe. You can have probability in deterministic causes without ever introducing indeterminism at all. As with free will and indeterminism, you seem to conflate probability and indeterminism.

    If you'd ever be intellectually honest with your own stipulations, we could finally move on to how initial conditions are both crucial to a deterministic system (and if you don't understand that much, you're way out of your depth) and allow for free will. But so far, you don't really seem to want to have that discussion. At least not in any context that would bar you from readily begging the question. No skin off my nose. It just makes you look very insecure in your own position.
  19. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Post #938: "That something can exist in your hypothetical universe but have no observable impact upon it. That's a direct analog for free will, where, even if it doesn't impact a deterministic universe, that does not, itself, preclude its existence in one."
    If you have since admitted that your "direct analog for free will" was not actually such, and have since admitted that you think genuine free will does have an impact, then I missed it.
    Care to provide the post where you admitted your mistake in post #938?
    I'm not conflating them at all.
    I am simply trying to avoid irrelevancies by discussing indeterministic notions, as such is outside the remit of the thread - unless one is concluding that free will requires an indeterministic universe, and thus answering the question with "no - free will is not possible in a deterministic universe".
    No, I read it as you saying that indeterminism can have no such impact.
    Since indeterminism has no place, and by definition does not even exist, in a deterministic system, it is only logical that indeterminism can have no impact.
    They are.
    There isn't.
    I am secure with my argument, thanks.
    I am merely trying to correct your misunderstandings.
    To wit:
    "Blunt force trauma" or "getting shot on [sic] the head" are once again labels for a vast range of specific cases, some of which do cause death, some of which do not.
    It is thus entirely acceptable, natural, and logical, to conclude that some cases we label as "blunt force trauma" cause death and some do not, since that would be the reality in a deterministic system.
    If you group all those specific cases into the set, and try to argue that "blunt force trauma" is a single, specific cause, then that is your misconception with regards the deterministic system.
    It isn't a single specific cause that is exactly repeated the next time you have "blunt force trauma", but rather it is a set of specific causes, no two of such cases being the same.
    But if two identical cases ever do arise, the same result will occur.
    I have explained all this to you repeatedly.
    There is just deterministic system, not an idealised one and a non-idealised one.
    Further "blunt force trauma causes death" is not valid where the set of possible causes under the label of "blunt force trauma" does not always result in death.
    "Blunt force trauma can cause death" is valid, as this means that the within the set we have labelled "blunt force trauma", the subset of specific causes that can cause death is non-zero.
    I have quite clearly stated that probabilistic causes are allowed where the "probabilistic cause" is not due to inherent indeterminism.
    I have already clearly spelt this out to you.
    This is not cherry-picking but rather a clear distinction between the probabilistc causation arising from inherent determinism within a single specific cause, rather than arising from the grouping of multiple specific causes under a single label.
    I have never stated otherwise, so please drop the strawman.
    I do no such thing, and any honest reading of what I have written would reveal that.
    But you continue to use display confusion when you say that in "real world determinism... one cause may not always lead to the same effect".
    This is simply nonsense, unless by "one cause" you actually mean one set of causes that we group under a certain label, such as "smoking", or "blunt force trauma", or nearly any macro-level "cause", where the group of causes within the set lead to different results.
    But the set is not an actual cause.
    The actual cause is the specific member of that set.
    It is only when analysing the set as a whole that we talk of probabilistic causes.
    And that is because we do not look at the specific cause, just the overall set that we labelled.
    I have been honest throughout.
    I am merely being more specific with what I'm talking about as being causes than you are, recognising the actual cause not as the labelled set but as the specific member of that set.
    I am talking about those individual causes, not the set as a whole.
    Talking about the set as a whole as being the "cause" allows for probability, which I have stated and agreed numerous times already, but it needs to be understood that the set is not a specific cause, just as the set of whole numbers is not 1.
    I do want to have that discussion.
    I have been waiting from the outset of your arrival in this thread for you to actually provide something other than preparing your excuses.
    So have at it.
    Please explain how the initial conditions are both crucial to a deterministic system and allow for free will.
    Naturally it is the second of these that I am most interested in.
  20. just me Registered Senior Member

    all things are determined by their cause, I agree, because events which are not caused by anything are caused by nothing, and events which are not caused by nothing are caused by something else, so everything has a cause and that cause is either nothing or something.

    however, if decision is to be defined as the capacity to make something happen, to be the cause of it yourself, then free will could exist in a universe, or other realm, subject to complete determinism.

    but the entity with free will would have to be able to determine events in this universe, to be the cause of them itself.
    and, as mentioned previously, everything has a cause, either nothing or something, so in order for an entity to be the cause of an event, it would have to cause itself to cause the event, which is the equivalent of the entity causing itself to cause itself to cause itself to cause itself, and so on indefinitely, to cause an event.

    and to that would take care of the infinite causal chain needed to precipitate an event due to the fact that everything must have a cause.

    basically, decision, in an entirely deterministic scenario, (and every scenario is entirely deterministic because there is no such thing as a thing without a cause) must be a process of self influence.
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Welcome to Sciforums!

    A place where every one is a friendly ( mostly) protagonist.
    I suggested earlier in this thread that there is a need to define "cause and effect"more thoroughly, and perhaps we can start here...

    Please elaborate on how you feel "Nothing" can be a cause? ( I actually agree btw but perhaps for differing reasons)
  22. just me Registered Senior Member

    I don't believe that nothing can be a cause but I don't believe that it can not be either, because I can't disprove it.
    so, unless it is disproved, I am going to stay open to the possibility.
    if nothing can't be the cause of anything, however, then every event must be caused by something instead because for an event to not be caused by nothing is for the event to be caused by something, as something is the absence of nothing.
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    try dualism:

    0 = x + (-)x
    0 = infinity + (-)infinity
    0 = everything
    nothing = everything
    if true then
    everything, which sums to nothing, can be a cause as everything is something...

    also try:
    "The seating ticket prices in the theater were discounted on the night because some seats were empty."
    Thus the existence of nothing ( the absence of something) caused the effect of discounted tickets.

Share This Page