UnderGround Forums
 

PhilosophyGround >> Determinism and your thoughts


9/1/06 5:41 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1342
Sanguine you are still going back to the same stuff you said you understood us sayin. Now you are either trolling (which I doubt) or you don´t understand what we were saying or you think that we were wrong (in which case it would be good if you brought the issue out to the open and explained to us why we are wrong). Why do I think that? Well with your Dennett answer you went back what you said before yourself. 1) we hold people resp. because WE KNOW that this is useful 2)holding people responsible only works when combined with the fact that people can be informed of the fact that they are being held responsible and respond to this state of affairs by CONTROLLING their behavior so as to avoid punishment Now I think we made it perfectly clear to you and you said that you got our point that the talk of KNOWING and CONTROLLING THEIR BEHAVIOUR implies that they have a CHOICE. Since they do not have any if D is true then it doesn´t make any sense to talk like that. You cannot CONTROL your behaviour upon getting some information if you do not have a choice and it is determined anyway. There is no point to talk about the usefulness of moral responsibility if nothing hangs from the fact that WE KNOW that it is so but can´t do anything since all is determined anyway. But I think that Dennett thinks determinism to be something other than what you think it to be. You should also give a reference to the wikipedia quote you gave so we could check out that part for ourselves. I found this from wiki under Freedom_Evolves: "To clarify this distinction, he coins the term 'evitability' as the opposite of 'inevitability', defining it as the ability of an agent to anticipate likely consequences and ACT TO AVOID undesirable ones. Evitability is entirely compatible with, and actually requires, that human action be deterministic." (my stressing) If there is the possibility to ACT TO AVOID undesirable consequences then this sort of determinism is not the determinism you are talking about. "that psychology assumes determinism to be true" I personally think this is bs. Determinism is a philosophical issue and I think that the psychologist couldn´t care less. They work with the common-sensical assumptions about human behaviour. Ask some psychology students and see what they think. I will do it and answer you later in the day. I.
9/1/06 7:05 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Sep-06 11:27 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13303
"Therefore we can say that the cause of JFK's death was Oswald pulling the trigger(since it happens in every possible world) and not the initial state of the universe(which happens in only 1 of an infinite number of possible worlds)" Again, that misses the point. It doesn´t matter if Oswald pulls the trigger in all possible worlds, what matters is that him doing that was 100% determined by the history and the laws of nature, just like determinism claims. Which then means that the original cause of JFKs death is some initial state of the Universe. You need to counter that argument, you can´t just go on repeating the same argument that we already replied to several times. "You are making up a term "initial cause" which is featured nowhere in the argument." not relevant. you can remove the word "initial" if you like, and what I wrote still stands. "So my question to you Fudo is why SHOULDN'T we hold people morally responsible for their actions " For the same reason you don´t hold you toaster morally responsible for burning your toast. People couldn´t have acted differently then how they did (if D. is true that is). "and what should we do instead?" From a practical and utility- perspective, Dennets suggestions is just fine. They are fine because it can be argued that they work, but there is no moral aspect included really (unless you are an Utilitarist). Just like Dennet concludes: "there is no need for moral indignation when people break the rules of proper behavior." Then on the other hand, if Determinism is really true, we *shouldn´t* do anything. we will just do, whatever we were determined by our past to do. "I do think I grasp what Winnidon is saying and his problem is that he can't understand or is ignorant to a compatabilist notion of free will and determinism." No need to assume that. It seems that the one not really understanding what determinism means here is you. The definition of determinism doesn´t change, depending on what view you have on Free Will (compatibilism or libertarian). "That is to misunderstand the nature of causation, Dennett retorts. What really caused me to turn my head was not a set of deterministic links cascading back to the beginnings of the universe - though that certainly exists - but my desire at that moment not to get hit by the baseball. At a different moment I might decide to take a hit in the face, if by doing so I help my team win the game." Dennet sidesteps the issue, instead of replying to it. The argument is that even his desire to either turn his head, *or* not turning it, resulting in him getting hit by the ball is all determined by "a set of deterministic links cascading back to the beginnings of the universe", that he admits exists. Asserting your own definition to be true, doesn´t make it true. He is merely stating his opinion.
9/1/06 2:22 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Sep-06 03:09 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1384
"Now I think we made it perfectly clear to you and you said that you got our point that the talk of KNOWING and CONTROLLING THEIR BEHAVIOUR implies that they have a CHOICE. Since they do not have any if D is true then it doesn´t make any sense to talk like that. You cannot CONTROL your behaviour upon getting some information if you do not have a choice and it is determined anyway. There is no point to talk about the usefulness of moral responsibility if nothing hangs from the fact that WE KNOW that it is so but can´t do anything since all is determined anyway. " I think you are confusing determinism with fatalism my friend. Determinism and choice are perfectly compatible. I made lengthy posts to show you this. Posts that you never responded to. In fact you have just completely ignored those posts and gone back to reitterating the same old stuff. UNDER DETERMINISM YOU STILL HAVE CHOICE. Let me repeat this. UNDER DETERMINISM YOU STILL HAVE CHOICE. Here is the post where I explained it to you. I will repost for you. You have a choice AND determinism is true. How is this done? By slightly changing the definition of choice from 'could have done otherwise' to 'the ability to evaluate different options and go with the best one'. Now we do agree that Deep Blue's actions are determined right? Analogy: If I am playing Deep Blue in a game of chess and suppose I make a silly move that leaves my queen ripe for the taking. Deep Blue will then evaluate the different possibilities and choose the most appropriate move, which in this case would be to take my queen. Did Deep Blue make a choice? It depends on our definition of choice. Could Deep Blue have acted differently under those EXACT same conditions? No. Did Deep Blue evaluate between different options and possible outcomes and go with the best one? Yes. Was it determined? Yes. So under the definition choice "The ability to evaluate between different options and go with the best one", Deep Blue had a choice AND it was determined. Now let's return to one of my examples. You want your friend John to lend you $50. So you wait till he is in a good mood before you ask him. In your head you probably evaluated between asking him at any moment or waiting until he was in a good mood. Am I assuming you have a choice? Yes. Different options have come to your attention, you have evaluated the different possible outcomes and gone with a decision. You have made a choice and it was determined. Please respond to that Indrek. "If there is the possibility to ACT TO AVOID undesirable consequences then this sort of determinism is not the determinism you are talking about. " This is actually exactly the kind of determinism I am talking about. I don't know why think differently. The definition of determinism is this: At any given moment there is exactly one possible future. And what Dennett is claiming and which I agree is that determinism(At any given moment there is exactly one possible future) does not rule out choice (If defined as The ability to evaluate between different options and go with the best one) I will also claim that that physics has shown determinism to be true for anything bigger than Planck's constant and that the human brain is composed of material bigger than Planck's constant and therefore falls under deterministic laws. Those are my claims regarding determinism. "personally think this is bs. Determinism is a philosophical issue and I think that the psychologist couldn´t care less. They work with the common-sensical assumptions about human behaviour. Ask some psychology students and see what they think. " I have taken many psychology classes. DETERMINISM is SO important to Psychology that the entire field would NOT be possible without it.
9/1/06 3:01 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Sep-06 03:26 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1385
"Again, that misses the point. It doesn´t matter if Oswald pulls the trigger in all possible worlds, what matters is that him doing that was 100% determined by the history and the laws of nature, just like determinism claims. Which then means that the original cause of JFKs death is some initial state of the Universe. " Sure, I completely agree. The initial state of the universe set off a chain of events that resulted in Oswald shooting Kennedy. The reason we are having an argument is stemming from a semantic misunderstanding of the word "Cause". For something to have "Caused" something. Three basic things must be shown 1)Causal Necessity 2)Causal Sufficiency 3)Temporal Priority (there are a few other things, but these are the basics.) Philosophers nowadays use counter-factuals to show causal necessity. It is causally necessary that Oswald shot Kennedy in all possible worlds. Any particular initial state of the universe is not causually necessary, because any number of initial states of the universe could have resulted in Kennedy being killed. Kennedy being shot by Oswald satisfies all criteria for causation. The initial state of the universe does not. "For the same reason you don´t hold you toaster morally responsible for burning your toast. People couldn´t have acted differently then how they did (if D. is true that is). " I sure as hell do hold my toaster responsible! If it keeps burning my toast I will throw it out and get a new one! Don't you? Or have you been eating burnt toast for your entire life? "Then on the other hand, if Determinism is really true, we *shouldn´t* do anything. we will just do, whatever we were determined by our past to do. " We will do, whatever we are determined by our past to due. But this doesn't mean that we should or shouldn't do certain things. Doing what we should do, and doing what we are determined to do are not mutually exclusive. Why? Because determinism doesn't mean that one can't learn from their mistakes. And determinism doesn't mean that a person can't make choices( evaluate between different options and go with the best one). "Dennet sidesteps the issue, instead of replying to it. The argument is that even his desire to either turn his head, *or* not turning it, resulting in him getting hit by the ball is all determined by "a set of deterministic links cascading back to the beginnings of the universe", that he admits exists. Asserting your own definition to be true, doesn´t make it true. He is merely stating his opinion. " Keep in mind, that quote was from a book review of his book. Dennett has an entire book devoted to showing why it is true, not merely stating it. Dennett's ENTIRE point and Mine as well is that you can have desire's and they can influence future behavior and DETERMINISM is true at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive, but perfectly compatible. Yes there is a deterministic link cascading back to the beginnings of the universe and yes a players desire influences the action of whether or not he decides to get hit by a pitch. Please refer to my post on Deep Blue's decision making to see why this is true. Deep Blue took my Queen because it was the best possible move AND there was a deterministic link.
9/1/06 6:00 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
winnidon
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Sep-06
Member Since: 11/30/2002
Posts: 187
"I sure as hell do hold my toaster responsible!" -- Fudyo explicitly stated "morally responsible" which you crucially ommitted in your response! "I do think I grasp what Winnidon is saying and his problem is that he can't understand or is ignorant to a compatabilist notion of free will and determinism. He fails to to realize this " --I assure you that I am not ignorant to current views of compatibilism. Again, given your rejoinders you seem to fail appreciate what determinism entails if true. Is it that you are trolling or are you not reading carefully and comprehending what we are saying? In any case, I won't ask further questions because I think that both Indrek and Fudyo have made some very good points that should be addressed.
9/1/06 8:32 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Sep-06 08:59 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1386
FudoMyoo defined Morally responsible as "That they can be blamed for acting wrong. " Well here is me blaming a toaster for acting wrong and a nice summation of our argument *My toast gets burnt, due to faulty mechanic* Me:That toaster is broken. It fucked up my toast. Winnidon/Indrek/Fudo:No! The reason your toast is burnt is due to the laws of the universe and sequence of causes going back to the big bang! The toaster could not have acted differently! Me: Yea, sure there are a sequence of causes going back to the big bang, but still my toast is burnt because the toaster is broken. Winnidon/Indrek/Fudo: No! The toaster is NOT the cause of your burnt toast! It was the laws of the universe! You don't get what determinism entails! *I pick up toaster and throw it out. Buy new toaster and eat perfectly cooked toast along with eggs and bacon* I think I have answered all past questions with my last few posts, if you feel I have missed something please let me know. The ball is in your court to show why those last few posts are wrong.
9/2/06 1:07 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1392
Ok i just read over the entire thread. And I see how you guys could EASILY get confused over my thinking, hell I even did. My whole bit about psychological determinism was somewhat out of place. I was mostly responding to Indrek, who I thought(as he has in the past) has tried to make a case against determinism being true. I was simply trying to point out everyday examples of situations in which people assume psychological determinism is true. Situations that couldn't possibly be the result of some libertarian notion of free will. I was trying to show him the obviousness of the fact that human behavior and decisions are based in materialistic process. My beliefs regarding Determinism(That at any given moment their is one possible future) 1)That science has shown that determinism is true except in the case of quantum mechanics or black holes(it is yet unknown for sure whether they are truly random or there lies some hidden determinism) but these indeterministic possibilities cancel out above planck's constant, which is the level of human thinking and acting. Therefore quantum indeterminancy doesn't really matter to us 2)That even though determinism is true, there is still choice. If choice is defined as the ability to evaluate different outcomes and make a decision. I do not believe people could have acted otherwise. 3)I do believe we can hold people morally responsible, because we all live better lives if we do. Just like I can blame my toaster for burning my bread, and doing something to fix the problem. I hope that clarifies things.
9/2/06 5:11 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1344
Leaving psychological determinism aside you should really clarify what you mean by determinism. Because if you say that "at any given moment there is one possible future" this does not comply well with the notion of choice. When you define choice "'the ability to evaluate different options and go with the best one'" then this still carries an implication that you choose freely to do one or the other based on the fact that one is better. So, either you choose based on the fact that one is better (not-D choice) or you cannot choose and will automatically do what is better in which case there really is no CHOICE. If you think that the second option is choice then this is contrary to any common notion of choice AND it is not the choice needed for moral responsibility. "3) I do believe we can hold people morally responsible, because we all live better lives if we do" AGAIN. You are sentence carries two implications. That we CAN/CANNOT hold people morally responsible. And that we all live better lives if we DO! Now we have made it clear in at least 4-5 posts that these options are not available to you if D is true. If D is true there is nothing for us to choose, no CAN/CANNOT choice (and keep in mind your definition of choice doesn´t help you here). Furthermore.As Winnidon hinted, MORAL Responsibility and holding your toster responsible are very different things. First one is incompatible with D, the second is not. "Me:That toaster is broken. It fucked up my toast. Us: Yes it did. In a way. It couldn´t have done anything else since it was broken. "Me: Yea, sure there are a sequence of causes going back to the big bang, but still my toast is burnt because the toaster is broken." Us: Yes. Your toast is burnt because your toster is broken. Toaster is the CAUSE of your burnt toast. Laws of the universe and prior events are the cause of WHY the toaster burnt your tost. "*I pick up toaster and throw it out. Buy new toaster and eat perfectly cooked toast along with eggs and bacon*" Us: Well go ahead and enjoy your breakfast :) The point is now that MORAL resposibility can not be assigned similarly. Of course if an agent A kills agent B then you say that A was the cause of B-s death. This is not ruled out by determinism. But this doesn´t mean MORAL responsibility. If A did not have any choice (in the regular meaning), if A could not have acted otherwise as he did, then we cannot hold him MORALLY responsible. MORAL responsibility entails moral agency on the part of the agent. Why do you think we do not hold animals morally responsible or very small children - cause they have not yet developed such an AGENCY. They cannot understand the possible consequences of their actions and they act only based on immediate desires without the possibility of rational thought process overriding those desires. So if you hold your toaster responsible you just say that it fucked up your toast, it caused your toast to be burnt. If you hold a moral agent (A) responsible then you imply that he could have done otherwise - if he couldn´t then there is no point of holding him responsible since it wasn´t up to him, he was predetermined to do that action. He can be said to be the thing that caused the death of B, but for that he is no more morally responsible than a brick falling from the rooftop and killing someone. If D is true and you still want to get moral responsibility (compatibilism) then you have to either: a) evoke a different concept of moral responsibility than the regular concept of moral responsibility and show that (1) this different concept will still do the same work as the regular concept, can be used in the same ways and (2) that it can comply with D. or b) you have to show where the relevant difference btw the brick and the person is and why we can´t hold the first one morally responsible (in the regular sense), but we can hold the second one morally responsible (in the regular sense). Greets, Indrek
9/2/06 1:36 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Sep-06 02:26 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1393
"So, either you choose based on the fact that one is better (not-D choice) or you cannot choose and will automatically do what is better in which case there really is no CHOICE. " Indrek, We are going in circles because you FAIL to realize that somebody can choose BECAUSE something is better and it is still deterministic. This is called compatibilism, it is the view that MOST philosophers in this field hold and certainly the most respected ones(Dennett). I have illustrated how this is accomplished in a post using the example Deep Blue. Even though I have begged you to respond to that post, and even posted it TWICE. You have not done so. Once you have done so, I want you to answer these questions? Does Deep Blue operate under deterministic conditions? Did Deep Blue evaluate between different options and go with the best one? "Now we have made it clear in at least 4-5 posts that these options are not available to you if D is true. If D is true there is nothing for us to choose, no CAN/CANNOT choice (and keep in mind your definition of choice doesn´t help you here). " Under determinism there is still choice. I repeat, I have showed you how with the Deep Blue example that you FAIL to respond to(nor has Fudo or Winnidon). The view you hold is in the MINORITY of philosophers who deal with this subject and the most respected ones disagree with you. So obviously your position IS NOT clear. "If D is true there is nothing for us to choose, " Here, watch me make a choice (evaluate different options and go with the bet one) and hold my sister's cat morally responsible at the same time. Lilly sometimes scratches at me when I try and pick her up. Now I can do one of two things 1)Let her behavior continue without punishing her, but if I do this she will just continue to scratch at me or 2)Whenever she tries to scratch at me I will spray her with water, so she will learn through conditioning that if she scratches at me she will get sprayed in the face with water, and eventually she won't scratch me anymore I am going to choose option 2, as it is preferable as I don't like to be scratched. The next time Lilly scratches at me she is getting sprayed! Now did I make a choice? Now remember the definition of choice is "Evaluate between different options and choose the best one" Well I just thought about two different options, evaluated between them and chose option 2 as the best one. So under the definition of choice I DID MAKE A CHOICE. The fact that my choice was also part of a series of events that go all the way back to the Big Bang is irrelevant. Humans have evolved the capacity for rationality, just like we have designed Deep Blue the capacity to choose the best possible move in chess. Imagine if you said, and I'm sure you will "You didn't make the choice because option two was better, it was determined that you made the choice!" Think about what you are saying...are you really implying that the reason I chose option 2 HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT I DON'T LIKE TO BE SCRATCHED?? Indrek:But you couldn't have chosen otherwise. You were determined to choose Option 2 Me:So what? I don't want to choose option 1. It's not like i'm choosing option 2 against my will and the REASON why I chose option 2 is NOT becuase I couldn't have done otherwise. The REASON I chose Option 2 is because I don't want to be Scratched. "The point is now that MORAL resposibility can not be assigned similarly. Of course if an agent A kills agent B then you say that A was the cause of B-s death. This is not ruled out by determinism. But this doesn´t mean MORAL responsibility. " I have no idea what you mean by "moral responsibility." It sounds like some vague ideological notion to me. To me moral responsibility just means we can punish someone for their actions. I have already discussed this with Fudo so you know my stance on the subject.
9/2/06 2:30 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
winnidon
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Sep-06 02:35 PM
Member Since: 11/30/2002
Posts: 188
"I have no idea what you mean by "moral responsibility." It sounds like some vague ideological notion to me. To me moral responsibility just means we can punish someone for their actions." -- Here lies the problem. I (nor do I think Fudyo and Indrek) have issue with the empirical fact (if it is indeed a fact) that we punish people for their actions. The question is given D, how to square a compatible notion of moral responsibility that is robust enough to maintain a meaningful notion of responsibility. "The view you hold is in the MINORITY of philosophers who deal with this subject and the most respected ones disagree with you. So obviously your position IS NOT clear." -- This is simply untrue. The most repected philosophers in the field (i.e., Pereboom, Haji, Fischer, Strawson, Frankfurt, Dennet and Kane are names that immediately come to me) crucially disagree whether given D we can (a) have moral responsibilty of the requisite kind and (b) how to cash out a robust notion of moral responsibility. "Under determinism there is still choice. I repeat, I have showed you how with the Deep Blue example that you FAIL to respond to(nor has Fudo or Winnidon)." -- It's not that we have failed to respond but that you have failed to show anything! It is by no means obvious that--as Indrek states--D is compatible with a meaningful notion of choice. To be clear, your Deep Blue example shows that you continue to overlook the D is a metaphysical view about causal NECESSITY and ignore that the problem is how a robust notion of MORAL responsibility can be couched in D. Furthermore, you hint that you are couching 'choice' with rationality but this only skirts the issue at hand (and moreover compounds the problem because now one has to deal with the contenious issue of 'rationality') because we need a robust notion of 'choice' and your attempt to cash it out as: "(evaluate different options and go with the bet one)" in no way shows how moral responsibility is compatible w/ D. Why? This is because, if it is inappropriate to hold a brick qua brick morally responsible for landing on the head of someone and killing him THEN, given D, it seems inapproprate, prima facie at least, to hold a person morally responsible for anything because--while you might want to say that he went with the best one [option]--he was in no way--just as the brick--in control of "going with the best one" rather, simply put, he acted (if this is even the right word?) as the laws of nature and past facts long ago DETERMINED he would. Having taken a graduate course (Free Will & Moral Responsibility) in 2004 with Ish Haji if you are interested I would be happy to recommend some pertinent literature. *** edited to make it easier to read***
9/2/06 2:58 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02-Sep-06 03:04 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1394
"-- This is simply untrue. The most repected philosophers in the field (i.e., Pereboom, Haji, Fischer, Strawson, Frankfurt, Dennet and Kane are names that immediately come to me) crucially disagree whether given D we can (a) have moral responsibilty of the requisite kind and (b) how to cash out a robust notion of moral responsibility. " A)What I was claiming was that most philosophers in the field are compatibalists. If this is not true, then my philosophy teachers were wrong because that is what they told me. I was not talking about moral responsibility. b)I have no idea what you mean by the term "cash out" , I have only heard that phrase in the context of gambling and bar tabs. "because we need a robust notion of 'choice' and your attempt to cash it out as: "(evaluate different options and go with the bet one)" in no way shows how moral responsibility is compatible w/ D. " I never said it did. I was never making that claim. My basis for "moral responsibility" is utilitarian. It works. We live better lives if we hold people morally responsible. The end. I have simply been trying to show that Given D we still have and make choices. I am unsure if you agree with this or not.Do you or do you not agree that given D you still have a choice? If not please answer this question... Why did Chuck Liddell want to keep his fight with Randy Couture on the feet? Is it because he is a better striker than Randy, or is it because he could not have done otherwise? Now I have to go to NY for a few days and I don't know if Ill have computer access. But please keep posting.
9/3/06 6:28 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Sep-06 09:46 AM
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1346
"But please keep posting." Do we have a choice (in the regular sense). Its all determined anyway ;) Ok. I´ll try to make as clear a post as I can since otherwise we will spend a year continuing with this topic. You are in favor of D. You also are a compatibilist. Compatibilism is the view that D is compatible with moral responsibility. (So please do not make such confusing statements like: " A)What I was claiming was that most philosophers in the field are COMPATIBALISTS. If this is not true, then my philosophy teachers were wrong because that is what they told me. I was NOT talking about MORAL RESPONSIBILITY.") (my stressing). When talking about compatibilism you are talking about moral responsibility tied to D. Ok back to the point. Fudo, winnidon and I on the other hand argue for the incompatibilist position (and also probably for the free will position, but only implicitly). Our claim is: if there is D, no coherent notion of moral responsibility can be formed. Your argument for compatibilism seems to be the following: --- Sanguine Argument 1 (1) D holds (2) Given D we can still make choices if we define choice as "evaluating the options and going with the best one" (lets call it D-choice) (3) D-choices are good enough for holding people morally responsible (4) so we can have COMPATIBILISM --- You sometimes get confused over your argument yourself and state that: "My basis for "moral responsibility" is utilitarian. It works. We live better lives if we hold people morally responsible. The end." But this "utilitarian" or rather teleological justification needs the notion of choice to work. We have to be able to HOLD people morally responsible - if we do not have such a choice then there can be no "utilitarian" justification. So your argument is really dependent on the choice thing - if you disagree then go back and see why the hell did you bring the choice-talk up in the first place. Now WE on the other hand could doubt all your steps in your argument 1. What we have mostly done is granted you (1) and (2) for the sake of the argument. But we have denied that D-choice has the same consequences as the regular notion of choice (FW-choice) and argued that for (3) D-choice is not enough and we have to have FW-choice. This means that (4) is also false. Now lets go into the specifics and consider your notion of choice. I am now gonna respond to your Deep Blue argument. I ignored it beforehand since as winnidon said I think this example fails to show anything. "Analogy: If I am playing Deep Blue in a game of chess and suppose I make a silly move that leaves my queen ripe for the taking. Deep Blue will then evaluate the different possibilities and choose the most appropriate move, which in this case would be to take my queen. Did Deep Blue make a choice? It depends on our definition of choice. Could Deep Blue have acted differently under those EXACT same conditions? No. Did Deep Blue evaluate between different options and possible outcomes and go with the best one? Yes. Was it determined? Yes. So under the definition choice "The ability to evaluate between different options and go with the best one", Deep Blue had a choice AND it was determined. " I agree. Deep Blue did make a choice if you define choice as you do. Let me grant you that for now (although there is a problem with the BEST option part). Now our argument for the denial of (3) in your argument 1 is following. (1) D-choice is compatible with D (2) D-choice enables a person to evaluate between different options and choose the best one (3) D-choice is still determined. A person couldn´t have acted otherwise as he did. (4) For moral responsibility we will have to have a notion of non-determined choice (FW-choice) Why? Because MORAL responsibility is different from CAUSAL "responsibility". If you walk across the street with a friend and a brick falls from a rooftop and kills your friend you say that the brick caused the death of your friend. But you don´t hold the brick morally responsible since it had absolutely no option whether to fall from the rooftop or not. Its falling was determined by the laws of physics and prior events. If you want to find someone MORALLY responsible for your friends death you go on to search WHY the brick fell. Maybe the one who built the building is morally responsible? If not, maybe God is to blame for letting it happen or bringing it about? But anyway. You can´t blame the brick since he had no choice. In the bricks case he had no d-choice nor fw-choice - its falling was completely determined. Now given D and given d-choice a person is exactly the same as a BRICK. A persons actions are completely determined by the laws of nature and prior events. Even if he made a d-choice his route of action was completely determined and he could not have done otherwise. BUT: In everyday life you hold persons responsible, but you do not hold bricks responsible. Compatibilism also requires that you can hold persons morally responsible, but not bricks. To be certain - compatibilism wants to retain the same or similar notion of moral responsibility that we have in practice today. So in order to do that a compatibilist (you in this case) has to show: (1) where the relevant difference btw the brick and the person is and why we can´t hold the first one morally responsible, but we can hold the second one morally responsible. (2) evoke a different concept of moral responsibility than the regular concept of moral responsibility and show that (a) this different concept will still do the same work as the regular concept, can be used in the same ways and (b) that it can comply with D and d-choice and it doesn´t require fw-choice. So choose your path. I think that (1) is completely hopeless and (2) is also pretty hard to achieve. But the route is open for you. Greets, Indrek
9/3/06 6:28 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 03-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1347
One more thing before I end. You continue talking in ordinary language. But ordinary language is filled with fw-choice implications. So you´d have to explain that away (with an error-theory maybe) and at the same time stop using that discourse. Let me give you an example. You said that: "Here, watch me make a choice (evaluate different options and go with the bet one) and hold my sister's cat morally responsible at the same time. "...Lilly sometimes scratches at me when I try and pick her up. Now I can do one of two things..." Your discourse implies that you can DO one of two things while you really CAN´T. I don´t understand how you don´t get it. If you define choice "evaluate the different options and go with the best one" and at the same time say that you couldn´t have acted otherwise then your evaluation will be determined before. We can grant that you have choice in this sense, BUT this sort of choice doesn´t allow you to DO one of the two things based on what is better to you. Your route of action is determined. The whole talk about: "I wouldn´t want to get scratched anyway or I wouldn´t want to choose 1 anyway" is irrelevant. You either can DO one of the two or not. Under D and your definition of choice you really can´t. But you still continue to use that discourse. Greets, Indrek
9/3/06 3:35 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
winnidon
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 03-Sep-06
Member Since: 11/30/2002
Posts: 189
Very nice post Indrek.
9/4/06 12:48 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
prof
82 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Sep-06 12:48 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2969
Fun conversation, guys. *Prof briefly lurks. Would love to get in on this discussion but too busy w. work at the moment*
9/4/06 3:15 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1350
thirdleg "If compatibilists are correct, then we are right to hold people morally responsible. "If incompatibilists are correct, then we are still right to hold people morally responsible because we necessarily hold them responsible." Your second answer makes sense only if you are a Determinist-incompatibilist. You can also be a Free will-incompatibilist.
9/4/06 9:15 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Sep-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13307
nice post Indrek (the long one). and Hi Prof! what an honour to see you here at PhilosophyGround.
9/4/06 11:33 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Sep-06 11:56 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1396
Hey I'm only able to be on the computer for a few minutes , but I did get to read your post Indrek. It was good. But what I hope you can explain tw more things before I respond to you. What EXACTLY is moral responsibility? To me it still seems like some vague notion. Is it possible for you to put Moral responsibility as a definition? Pretend your work for Websters Secondly, "We can grant that you have choice in this sense, BUT this sort of choice doesn´t allow you to DO one of the two things based on what is better to you. Your route of action is determined. The whole talk about: "I wouldn´t want to get scratched anyway or I wouldn´t want to choose 1 anyway" is irrelevant. You either can DO one of the two or not. Under D and your definition of choice you really can´t. But you still continue to use that discourse. " Do you solely have a problem with my discourse? My use of the word "Can or Do"? Or do you NOT believe that the reason I will spray my cat is because I don't want to get scratched? What would you say is the 'reason' I chose option 2?
9/5/06 3:33 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 05-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1351
No, moral responsibility probably cannot "webstered". As I said it is basically attaching a special sort of MORAL blame to person (a moral agent) etc. The special sort of blame does not merely amount to saying that a person caused this or that thing to happen, but that he did something BAD or WRONG by causing that action and can be accordingly punished. This is done with the assumption that the punishing is a) socially beneficial b) accords to some moral facts of the world c) accords to god´s laws or whatever. Stanford Encycl: "A comprehensive theory of moral responsibility would elucidate the following: (1) the concept, or idea, of moral responsibility itself; (2) the criteria for being a moral agent, i.e., one who qualifies generally as an agent open to responsibility ascriptions (e.g., only beings possessing the general capacity to evaluate reasons for acting can be moral agents); (3) the conditions under which the concept of moral responsibility is properly applied, i.e., those conditions under which a moral agent is responsible for a particular something (e.g., a moral agent can be responsible for an action she has performed only if she performed it freely, where acting freely entails the ability to have done otherwise at the time of action); and finally 4) possible objects of responsibility ascriptions (e.g., actions, omissions, consequences, character traits, etc.)." the whole article: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-responsibility/ Wikipedia - Moral Resp: "The term also appears in the discussion of subjects such as determinism and other world views that deny free will, since without such freedom it is difficult to be blamed for one's actions, and without this moral responsibility the nature of punishment and ethics comes into question. In its simplest form, without the complications of morality or existence of free will, responsibility assumes control, for one cannot be held responsible for that which one does not control." A few more interesting links: Agency theory blog: http://gfp.typepad.com/the_garden_of_forking_pat/ Determinism and Freedom webpage: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwIntroIndex.htm
9/5/06 3:38 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Indrek R.
1 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 05-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1352
Sanguine "Do you solely have a problem with my discourse? My use of the word "Can or Do"? Or do you NOT believe that the reason I will spray my cat is because I don't want to get scratched? What would you say is the 'reason' I chose option 2?" The reason you will spray your cat if D holds is that prior events and laws of nature caused you to do that ;) The reason you will spray your cat if D doesn´t hold is that you don´t like it and you decide to spray him because you think that will make him stop his scratching. As to the discourse I just think that ordinary language is completely filled with fw-assumptions. Much of ordinary language doesn´t make any sense if you assume D to be true. I.
9/5/06 7:51 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 05-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1399
Indrek, I'd first like to say that your post was very clear, well thought out and written and I'd like to commend you on that. But I still disagree with you :) Indrek: You are in favor of D. You also are a compatibilist. Compatibilism is the view that D is compatible with moral responsibility....When talking about compatibilism you are talking about moral responsibility tied to D. " Me: This is from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The definition of Compatibilism is "Compatibilism is the thesis that free will is compatible with determinism. Because free will is taken to be a necessary condition of moral responsibility, compatibilism is sometimes expressed in terms of a compatibility between moral responsibility and determinism." Notice how it says that Compatibilism is SOMETIMES expressed in terms of moral responsibility. So the DEFINITION of compatibles is that Free will coincides with Determinism. If a person was stranded alone on an Island we could still argue whether or not compatibilism was true for him. However this is just a little semantic debate and doesn't have much of an effect on our overall project. Indrek: I agree. Deep Blue did make a choice if you define choice as you do. Let me grant you that for now (although there is a problem with the BEST option part). Me: Agreed, the best part sounds a little weird, I just didn't know how else to word it Indrek: "Now given D and given d-choice a person is exactly the same as a BRICK. A persons actions are completely determined by the laws of nature and prior events. Even if he made a d-choice his route of action was completely determined and he could not have done otherwise. BUT: In everyday life you hold persons responsible, but you do not hold bricks responsible. Compatibilism also requires that you can hold persons morally responsible, but not bricks. To be certain - compatibilism wants to retain the same or similar notion of moral responsibility that we have in practice today. So in order to do that a compatibilist (you in this case) has to show: (1) where the relevant difference btw the brick and the person is and why we can?t hold the first one morally responsible, but we can hold the second one morally responsible. " Me: While I think a lot of what you said might be contentious, and that there are probably more options then the two you have given me, I will ignore it for now and GRANT what you said is true. Indrek:1) where the relevant difference btw the brick and the person is and why we can?t hold the first one morally responsible, but we can hold the second one morally responsible. So choose your path. I think that (1) is completely hopeless Me: But haha! Although you say that option 1 is completely hopeless it is actually the avenue I am going to take! The answer is a surprisingly simple one. We can't hold a brick responsible, because it is completely frivolous to do so(Although, I once stubbed my toe on a brick and in a fit of anger tried to smash the 'stupid fucking brick' on the street pavement). What are we supposed to do with a brick that lands on our head? Put it in a jail cell? Scold it for wrongdoing? We can't possibly hope to change the bricks behavior by any sort of punishment/reward system(moral responsibility) and therefore completely silly to hold a brick morally responsible. For humans we have CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES where we place wrongdoer's in hopes of correcting their behavior (you can argue how effective this is, but that's a different topic) and keeping them from hurting others (In much the same way that we ban hazardous chemicals). We send kids to Timeout in hopes they learn what they did was wrong etc... We hold people morally responsible because it is beneficial to do so. We can't do the same with bricks. That is the relevant difference. I'll get to your other post later..
9/6/06 1:08 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
winnidon
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 06-Sep-06
Member Since: 11/30/2002
Posts: 190
For humans we have CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES where we place wrongdoer's in hopes of correcting their behavior....We send kids to Timeout in hopes they learn what they did was wrong etc... -- Why do you say "in hopes"? If D is true this seems crucially no different to the view that I place a brick behind bars in hopes of correcting its behaviour. If D is true it appears to be futile 'to hope' to correct behaviour. Yet you say "We can't hold a brick responsible, because it is completely frivolous to do so". WHY, given D,--and I think this is one of Indrek's key points but in any case it is certainly one of mine--is it crucially different to hold an individual responsible? This is to ask what is it about an individual per se that allows for it to be held responsible in the requisite way for moral approval/disapproval? You answer seems to be: "We hold people morally responsible because it is beneficial to do so. We can't do the same with bricks. That is the relevant difference. " -- You are simply making an empirical claim. To be clear it completely overlooks the METAPHYSICAL issue in question! The issue is whether free will and, as such, moral responsibility is compatible w/ D?! To put it slightly different, how, given D, is a person crucially different from the brick that would seem to allow for a rubust view of moral responsibility?!? As Indrek made very clear, we are not simply taking about causal responsibility. "So the DEFINITION of compatibles is that Free will coincides with Determinism. If a person was stranded alone on an Island we could still argue whether or not compatibilism was true for him. However this is just a little semantic debate and doesn't have much of an effect on our overall project." -- I must confess that I am very tired but what you said here makes no sense to me. If anything, I think it shows that you remain confused about D.
9/7/06 1:21 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 07-Sep-06 04:20 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1408
"-- Why do you say "in hopes"? If D is true this seems crucially no different to the view that I place a brick behind bars in hopes of correcting its behaviour. If D is true it appears to be futile 'to hope' to correct behaviour." What are you trying to say here? That human behavior cannot be corrected if D is true? That is obviously false..so I am going to assume that is NOT what you are saying, even though it appears so. "WHY, given D,--and I think this is one of Indrek's key points but in any case it is certainly one of mine--is it crucially different to hold an individual responsible?" Because by holding people "morally responsible"(punishment/award system) we can affect and change the way an individual acts to the desired outcome. We cannot do so for bricks. Bricks don't respond to being held morally responsible. People do. If I reward humans,dolphins,dogs,cats etc for good behavior they are more likely to act in that fashion again in the future. The METAPHYSICAL difference is that living things are capable of adjusting their behavior in response to being held morally responsible. The reason a brick can't alter its behavior is NOT because it's actions are determined. But because it doesn't have a brain,nervous system, or computer software that allows it to regulate its behavior. I couldn't say this any clearer man. I hope you reread this again when you are not so tired. "-- I must confess that I am very tired but what you said here makes no sense to me. If anything, I think it shows that you remain confused about D." Compatibilism as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy is the notion that Free will and determinism are comptabible. If a person was stranded on an Island we could still(given D) argue over whether or not the person chose to eat the apple or the melon on his own free will. This would have nothing do with "moral responsibility", yet we would still be talking about compatibilism.
9/8/06 6:42 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
winnidon
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 08-Sep-06
Member Since: 11/30/2002
Posts: 191
"What are you trying to say here? That human behavior cannot be corrected if D is true? That is obviously false..so I am going to assume that is NOT what you are saying, even though it appears so." -- as I suspected, you obviously fail to understand determinism. Indrek made things as clear as one could hope and I am tired of typing that D is a metaphysical view so I shall try no further. You just don't get it. Also, you speak of compatibilism as if it is a view that has been convincingly proven. No doubt compatibilism is the view that determinism is COMPATIBLE with moral responsibility but the onus is to convincingly show that it is. What is beyond doubt is that you have failed to show this. And, moreover, this is the entire point of our conversation. Perhaps this is a better tact to take: how given determinism do you suppose one can CORRECT (I capitalize this b/c I assume you mean..can change a person's behaviour) human behaviour? Please answer this question if for no other reason than a persuasive response would merit publication (I mean even above and beyond the glory that is the philosophy ground of the OG ;)
9/8/06 1:46 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 08-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1412
Winnidon, Please don't get impatient. If I simply don't get it(which I doubt) can you please ELABORATE on "Determinism is a metaphysical view". Because if I am to take what you say LITERALLY that translates to Determinism is the nature of reality(although metaphysical is a vague term which cannot have different meanings)..but if this is what you are saying "Determinism is the nature of reality"..then so what? I know. I think you are confusing determinism and fatalism. " how given determinism do you suppose one can CORRECT (I capitalize this b/c I assume you mean..can change a person's behaviour) human behaviour? Please answer this question if for no other reason than a persuasive response would merit publication (I mean even above and beyond the glory that is the philosophy ground of the OG ;) " haha no it wouldn't merit publication. Everything I have said on this thread can be found in Daniel Dennett's books Elbow Room and Freedom Evolves. I obviously cannot write as well as he can. In fact before I go on I want to lay down this challenge to you. FIND ME ONE RESPECTED PHILOSOPHER IN THIS FIELD WHO SAYS IF DETERMINISM IS TRUE THEN WE CAN'T CHANGE HUMAN BEHAVIOR. You seem to think this view is a given, but I am confident once you go looking you will see this is wrong, and nobody still holds this view. From Daniel Dennett's "Freedom Evolves and the subchapter.. "Will the Future Be Like The Past" "And now, at last, we are ready to confront the third major error in thinking about determinism. Some thinkers have suggested that the truth of determinism might imply one or more of the following claims: All trends are permanent, character is by and large immutable, and it is unlikely that one will change one's ways, one's fortunes, or one's basic nature in the future....Clearly such anxieties originate in a vague sense that true possibilities disappear under determinism. But this is a mistake. The distinction between being a thing with an open future and being a thing with a disclosed future is independent of determinism. In general, there is no paradox in the observation that certain phenomena are determined to be changeable, chaotic and unpredictable. What you might find disturbing is that we have a fixed personal FUTURE, but the implications of this notion are entirely distinct from the implications of having a fixed personal NATURE. It could very well be someone's fixed-that is determined-personal future to be blessed with a protean nature, highly responsive to the activity of the self. The total set of personal futures, "fixed" or not, contains all sorts of agreeable scenarios including reformations of character. It could be just as determined that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks and is it is that you can't.......... To say that determinism is true, your FUTURE is fixed is to say...nothing interesting. To say that if determinism is true, your NATURE is fixed, is to say something false. Our natures aren't fixed because we have evolved to to be entities designed to change their natures in response to interactions with the rest of the world. " I can list countless examples of changing the behavior of something that acts under deterministic principles- an air conditioner, a dog etc.. but I don't think you'll care because you seem to think to confuse determinism with fatalism. So here is what I would like you to do. 1.Explain to me the difference between fatalism and determinism so that I know you understand the difference and that I am no longer confused by what you think 2. Find me ONE credible philosopher who still believes that determinism means you can't change one's behavior and the argument they lay out for it. 3. Please read this short and excellent on free will vs determinism. The author only cites Dennett as his sources and therefore this is a good primer on Dennett. It shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes. http://www3.sympatico.ca/saburns/pg0208.htm A short excerpt from the article "The doctrine of Determinism merely asserts that nothing happens without a cause, that every state of affairs is the outcome of a preceding state of affairs. Without this assumption all prediction would be impossible and all reasoning would be futile. The doctrine of Determinism asserts that the past was (in one sense) inevitable, given the physical, social, and individual forces, actions, choices, and decisions that actually took place. It also asserts that the future will be determined in the same way. ........More importantly, Determinism does not assert that a given future will unfold regardless of what you or I may do to promote or prevent it. Yet this is the assumption implicit in Fatalism. Just because a Compatibilist believes that Determinism is true does not imply a Fatalist attitude about the uncontrollability of the future. The future is what we choose to make it. Determinism merely means that our choices are not uncaused. What we choose will be determined by our histories. But that does not conflict with the notion of Free Will. If your choice is uncaused, if your choice is the result of random events, if your choice is not your choice, then it is not an example of Free Will."

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.