UnderGround Forums
 

PhilosophyGround >> Determinism and your thoughts


9/8/06 6:09 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 08-Sep-06 06:44 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13330
"but if this is what you are saying "Determinism is the nature of reality"..then so what? I know." This is just another way of saying that Determinism is a metaphysical view. So if you *know* this above, you agree D. is a metaphysical stance. "and nobody still holds this view" Everyone that denies compatibilism holds that view. and that is quite a few (Peter Van Inwagen that I mentioned in the beginning of this thread is one example that disproves your claim that noone holds this view). But it´s ultimatly a semantical question, because as Indrek has pointed out already, ordinary language is very loaded with "freewill"-words. In one sense you could claim behaviour can be "changed", but then again, if determinism is true, the reason this "change" happened, was simply laws of nature and history, so in reality nothing changed from how it was determined to happen. Then you arbitrarely say that at this or that level (the "brain-level" probably), we will say it´s a person making changes. well, go ahead, just remember its all semantical, you haven´t said anything about reality.
9/8/06 6:40 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 08-Sep-06 06:45 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13331
"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" I´m not winnidon, but this is my 2 cents.. If you are an incompatibilist, there is no difference metaphysically speaking. It´s only if you are a compatibilist there is a difference. But then again, I would argue that this difference isn´t real and that compatibilists doesn´t really understand what Determinism implies.
9/8/06 6:51 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 08-Sep-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13332
The problem here seems to be that sanguine is trying to convince the rest of us that his view is right, while I, winnidon and Indrek just tries to explain that we can´t know what view is right, because this is a metaphysical question. We just explain what determinism logically implies, we don´t say that reality is in a certain way.
9/8/06 7:50 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: 1413
"Everyone that denies compatibilism holds that view. and that is quite a few (Peter Van Inwagen that I mentioned in the beginning of this thread is one example that disproves your claim that noone holds this view)." Show me where Peter Van Inwagen says this. I think you are mistaken. Either that or you have misunderstood what I meant. I want to hear "If Determinism is true than holding people morally responsible doesn't do anything, because you can't change a persons behavior".. I can almost guarantee that is not found ANYWHERE in his writings. Obviously, we have millions of everday examples of people's behaviors being "corrected" ...Kids learning right and wrong from their parents, people going to psychiatrists, somebody taking a class in meditation etc. Therefore it is a FACT of the world that people's behaviors do change. So if you are going to deny that people can change under determinism, then you must deny that determinism is true. It is the only way to salvage this opinion. Of course that would mean coming up with a new scientific theory of how the universe works. Good luck. In one sense you could claim behaviour can be "changed", but then again, if determinism is true, the reason this "change" happened, was simply laws of nature and history, so in reality nothing changed from how it was determined to happen." OF COURSE. I AM NOT DENYING THIS. Obviously there was a CAUSE for the change. I don't think people change randomly. Any change worth wanting HAS TO BE DETERMINED. "But then again, I would argue that this difference isn?t real and that compatibilists doesn?t really understand what Determinism implies" I'd say the opposite. "Indrek just tries to explain that we can?t know what view is right, because this is a metaphysical question. " Right. It is a metaphysical question. One that has been largely answered by science. Determinism is true for anything larger than planck's constant where the rules of quantum mechanics cancel out. So we know that determinism is true at any meaningful human level. The metaphysical question has been answered. Fudo, Please read the article in the link I posted. I'd like to know what you think about it.
9/9/06 7:29 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06 07:32 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13333
"Show me where Peter Van Inwagen says this." It´s in the beginning of this thread. Haven´t you been reading it? It´s Inwagen that formulated the consequenceargument, which was one of the first arguments I posted against compatibilsim in this thread. Also Dogbert above understands that Determinism means that " there is no moral reponsibility". "I want to hear[..]" lol, your exact wording..? this is getting a bit silly. "OF COURSE. I AM NOT DENYING THIS." No need for CAPS. Thanks. "So if you are going to deny that people can change under determinism, then you must deny that determinism is true." No. Then you still don´t understand what almost everyone here is saying. I perfectly understand what you are saying above, but these things you call "people changing" is just an arbitrary semantical solution, that we can implement in society because we have to (sorry, I mean because we were deteremined to do that ;-). Even you have admitted that the real reason for "people changing" is the laws of nature and history. So the "change", like any "change", is 100% determined by factors outside of the agents control, so in fact nothing really changed. It just happened the way it was determined more then 1000 years ago. "Right. It is a metaphysical question. One that has been largely answered by science." Science can´t really answer metaphysical questions. My apologies for perhaps sounding abit impatient now, but I´m getting abit impatient. Sanguine, it´s starting to feel pointless arguing this further, you need to come up with new arguments, you can´t just repeat the same arguments that we already replied to several times. "Please read the article in the link I posted. I'd like to know what you think about it." I´ll try to do that later, I don´t have much time right now.
9/9/06 12:16 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1414
Fudo our problems come not from me not coming up with original arguments, it stems from semantical misunderstandings. "It?s in the beginning of this thread. Haven?t you been reading it? It?s Inwagen that formulated the consequenceargument, which was one of the first arguments I posted against compatibilsim in this thread." Peter Van Inwagen says absolutely nothing of the sort. He says people are not the causes of their actions, he doesn't say people can't change. "Also Dogbert above understands that Determinism means that " there is no moral reponsibility"." Well Prof agrees with me!!! I just wish he could get on this thread. "lol, your exact wording..? this is getting a bit silly." Not that exact wording. But that's what I'm looking for. Which Peter Van Inwagen DOES NOT say anything close to. I think our disagreement comes over what we mean by change. Your idea of "change" means to act differently than what the laws of determinism imply. My idea of change is to change one's behavior to live a more fruitful life. My argument goes as follows We can hold a person morally responsible and not a brick, because by doing so a person can alter their behavior(learn not to steal, not drive while drunk). Holding someone morally responsible is EFFECTIVE. So here are my questions to you FudoMyoo. 1)Do you agree that given Determinism people can change?(change being, changing their behavior *a person who steals, can learn not to steal* this has nothing to do with changing from what they were determined to do) 2)Do you believe that holding people morally responsible can change their behavior *one can learn not to steal* "Even you have admitted that the real reason for "people changing" is the laws of nature and history." 3)No, I wouldn't say that's the real reason. Here is my third question. A gazelle is running away from cheetah. Is it because A)Of the laws of nature and history(determinism, incompatibilist) B)The gazelle doesn't want to get eaten (free will) C) Both A& B(compatibilist) What's your take?
9/9/06 12:59 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06 03:26 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1415
By the way Peter Van Inwagen's argument is known as "Source Incompatibilism". Daniel Dennett lays complete waste to this argument in "Elbow Room",by showing it to be an incomplete, philosophically suspect doctrine. Then in "Freedom Evolves" he shows how the brain works in such a way that even though we have determinism we still have all the varieties of 'self' 'personhood' and 'free will' necessary that we can truly say decisions are ours, and not out of our control. There is too much there for me to possibly explain it to you, considering we can't even seem to agree on basic things.
9/9/06 3:10 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1418
And really man, read that article. It would save both of us a lot of time in the long run.
9/9/06 6:00 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13334
"Which Peter Van Inwagen DOES NOT say anything close to." Let me quote the conclusion then: "C2. Therefore, if determinism is true, we don't have free will (of the kind required for moral responsibility)." To repeat: "of the kind required for moral responsibility". This is the point being discussed here. "I think our disagreement comes over what we mean by change." I agree. " Your idea of "change" means to act differently than what the laws of determinism imply." Yes. "My idea of change is to change one's behavior to live a more fruitful life." I understand that. But then I claim that you have emptied the word "change" of it´s meaning. "We can hold a person morally responsible and not a brick, because by doing so a person can alter their behavior(learn not to steal, not drive while drunk). Holding someone morally responsible is EFFECTIVE." imo this is not an argument. it´s a group of claims. "1)Do you agree that given Determinism people can change?(change being, changing their behavior *a person who steals, can learn not to steal* this has nothing to do with changing from what they were determined to do)" well, according to your definition, obviously Yes, but according to how I understand the word "change", No. I really wonder, how can you talk of *change* if there was never any options? But only an already 100% determined result? "2)Do you believe that holding people morally responsible can change their behavior *one can learn not to steal*" same as above. With your empty definition of the word "change", Yes. With how I understand the word, No.
9/9/06 6:07 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06 06:23 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13335
I said: "Even you have admitted that the real reason for "people changing" is the laws of nature and history." You answered: "3)No, I wouldn't say that's the real reason." Ok, but where are your arguments then????? You keep claiming things but you don´t present arguments against our arguments. That´s the problem in this discussion. Obviously, if you are Determinist, you *must* agree that what´s *causing* people to "change" (in your sense of the word), is ultimatly the laws of nature and history. Agreed? If we agree so far, what is then the difference?
9/9/06 6:23 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13336
" gazelle is running away from cheetah. Is it because A)Of the laws of nature and history(determinism, incompatibilist) B)The gazelle doesn't want to get eaten (free will) C) Both A& B(compatibilist) What's your take? " we are not discussing my view here, we are discussing what Determinism implies. And you have framed the question in a misleading way. I would of course claim that if determinism is true, then the *reason the gazelle doesn't want to get eaten*, is due to laws of nature and history, not because of any real choice it made. Which gives that answer C still doesn´t allow for any free will or options. "There is too much there for me to possibly explain it to you, considering we can't even seem to agree on basic things." You don´t need to explain everything, if you just give us one single argument against our arguments, that would be absolutely fine. Please understand that just repeating your same claims over and over, is not a good argument. It´s perfectly fine to have different opinions and to be convinced by different arguments. I don´t care if you prefer compatibilism or not. I´m only asking you to actually respond to what we are saying. What you need to reply to is my claim that if you never had any options, you don´t have a choice, or then you didn´t "change" anything. It´s not sufficient to just say: -Yes you can. "And really man, read that article. It would save both of us a lot of time in the long run." If there would be a good argument aginst what we are saying, I reckon that you would be able to dig it out and present it for us, no?
9/9/06 10:57 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1419
"What you need to reply to is my claim that if you never had any options, you don?t have a choice, or then you didn?t "change" anything." But I have done this. Multiple, multiple times. My example of explaining choice was given in many different scenarios..through my examples of Deep Blue making choices in chess. Or me making a choice regarding spraying my cat with water. I didn't just CLAIM i had different choices. I SHOWED it. I defined choice as "the ability to evaluate between different options and go with the 'best' one." Indrek even agreed that I correctly showed that people make choices given my definition of choice. Not only have I SHOWN (not just claimed) through example that I have a choice, but that the CAUSE of my choice is based on reason and rationality. To me, you are doing exactly what you claim me to be doing. You simply go back to your original claim..'if you never had any options, you don't have choice' and ignoring my arguments without giving any arguments as to why it is wrong. If you don't believe that my examples of "me spraying my cat" or "deep blue in chess" show CHOICE and that the reason behind my choice is rationality and justification then you NEED TO GIVE REASONS why, instead of just stating your original claim. So please don't lie(i don't think your are, just that you forgot) or say fallacious statements such as "Ok, but where are your arguments then????? You keep claiming things but you don?t present arguments against our arguments. That's the problem in this discussion." Especially when all you do is make claims such as "But then I claim that you have emptied the word "change" of it?s meaning." And you give no reasons as to why your definition of change even fucking matters one iota. Why have I emptied change of it's meaning? What's your argument? Or are you just making claims? The whole reason I brought up change, was in changing behavior. IT HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH CHANGING WHAT THE LAWS OF DETERMINISM IMPLY. I have no idea why you (and winnidon before you) even brought it into discussion. It is completely irrelevant to the CONTEXT that I was using the word in. Indrek's argument went like this 1. Both bricks and people follow deterministic laws and can't choose otherwise. 2. We don't hold bricks morally responsible because they can't do otherwise 3. We therefore shouldn't hold people morally responsible because they can't do otherwise Where I claimed Indrek was wrong was number 2. We don't hold bricks morally responsible NOT because they can't do otherwise, but because it is completely frivolous to do so. Putting bricks in jail, scolding bricks,etc would do nothing to keep bricks from falling on people's heads. However, holding people morally responsible( I.E ticketing them for speeding) can CHANGE their behavior. That was the original CONTEXT in which the word CHANGE was used. Now let's go back in and insert your definition of CHANGE and see if it makes any sense whatsoever to do so. Using my definition of the word change However, holding people morally responsible( I.E ticketing them for speeding) can CHANGE(they'll learn not to speed) their behavior. Using my definition of the word Change the sentence makes sense, doesn't it? Using your definition of the word "Change".. However, holding people morally responsible( I.E ticketing them for speeding) can CHANGE(they'll act differently than the laws of determinism imply) their behavior. Using your definition of the word Change doesn't make any fucking sense, does it? And I have no idea why you even brought your definition of change into discussion. So now that we understand how the word CHANGE was meant to be used (as it was in it's original context) we can both probably agree that Peter Van Inwagen says absolutely NOTHING about determinism and changing human behavior. Therefore, because you have not given any REAL opposition to my argument for holding people morally responsible, it still stands. You are on the clock. Moving on.... "would of course claim that if determinism is true, then the *reason the gazelle doesn't want to get eaten*, is due to laws of nature and history, not because of any real choice it made." Notice you didn't answer the question. You explained why the gazelle doesn't want to get eaten(laws of nature and history) you didn't answer why the gazelle is running. So yes fudo, maybe the gazelle didn't choose to be a gazelle and all the desires that come with being a gazelle. But he spots a cheetah sprinting towards him and takes off running? Does this have NOTHING to do with the fact that he doesn't want to get eaten? Or are you willing to admit that the CAUSE for the gazelle running is that he doesn't want to be eaten? If you say "Yes, he is running because he doesn't want to eaten, but he doesn't want to be eaten due to the laws of nature and history" ...well that's fine. Or you can even say "the reason he is running is because the light from the cheetah went through the gazelle's eye, causing a chain reaction in his brain that caused his nervous system to say'run'" well that's fine too. It doesn't mean that 'he doesn't want to get eaten' is wrong, it's just a different a more descriptive way of saying the same thing. Another example to make that even clearer. John is giving a speech and he hates public speaking. He is on the podium shaking. I could say 'he is scared'. And you could say 'the past laws of nature and history have brought him to this moment where there is an excess level of serotonin in his brain cause him to be shake, sweat etc". Those are just two different ways of saying the same thing. What you said doesn't make what I said wrong.
9/9/06 10:58 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 09-Sep-06 11:26 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1420
Humans beings don't have the requisite knowledge to know all the tiny atomic chain of events. We are also machines that process information and make decisions(just like computers) on the information they are given. I don't know where all the neurons in my Dad's head are, or the other physics going inside his body that cause him to act the way he does. I say to myself "Dad is angry, I better not ask him for a favor"..therefore the REASONS that we base our choices on are not the deterministic laws of the universe, but the more abstract language we use to describe the world. What I am trying to show you is that gazelles(to a lesser extent) and people make choices based on REASONS, such as in my cat example. I choose to spray Lilly because I don't like being scratched. Now maybe I didn't have a choice in the matter of whether or not I am a human being or whether or not I like being scratched. But that is who I am and I don't like being scratched and I can make choices(evaluate between different options and go with the best one) based on rationality and reason that improve my life for the better. Do you agree? If so, we can keep going. You bring up "choosing otherwise" *I will copy and paste from the article I asked you to read* "What does it mean to be able to "choose otherwise" than you did? The cause of your choice was your reasons and justifications. Given those reasons and those justifications, and given your character, beliefs, values, and experiences, you judged the choice you made to be the best of the available alternatives. Unless you learn something new to change your evaluation of the situation, YOU WOULD BE MAKING THE WRONG CHOICE TO CHOOSE OTHERWISE.. Yet it is certainly possible that you would have chosen otherwise, had your reasons and justification been different. It is, therefore, an error in conception to presume that Free Will must involve an ability to choose otherwise, given the reasons and justification that exist. But it is not at all extraordinary to understand Free Will as including an ability to choose otherwise than you did, had the reasons and justifications been different. More importantly, such an understanding of Free Will is not at all inconsistent with Determinism. A Determinist would argue that given the state of the Universe prior to your choice, your choice was inevitable. But all that is saying is that given your character, beliefs, values, and experiences, and the reasons and justifications you perceived at the time, you could not have chosen otherwise. A Determinist would also argue that if the state of the universe were different prior to your choice, you might have chosen otherwise. Which is only to say that if your character, beliefs, values, and experiences, and the reasons and justifications you perceive were different than they were, then you might have chosen otherwise than you actually did" *The question now becomes, considering your choices are based on who and what you are and the rationality you percieve at the moment why would you WANT to be able to choose otherwise?* Moral Judgments from a Compatibilist The primary challenge facing the Compatibilist, is explaining the purpose and function of moral judgments. If Determinism is true, then in any situation of moral choice, one's choice will be determined by one's history. And that means that in any situation of choice, one is not able to choose other than as one does. Despite how free it might appear at the time, the reasons and justifications one perceives are persuasive, and one cannot choose otherwise than one does without violating what one is. And if that is the case, what is the status of moral responsibility and moral judgment? The answer is that we are all learning machines. Choices do not happen in a vacuum. Individually, we make a myriad of choices every day - many of them ethical ones. And individually, we are each a member of a social group where others of our kind make similar kinds of choices just as frequently. Over the course of evolution, "good" choices survived long enough to procreate. "Bad" choices died out. However, evolution is slow. We have evolved the ability to learn. Unlike the chess program, if we replay the match, we will bring to the rerun all the things we have learned in the interim. The human mind does not have a "restart" button. We learn from all experiences, and we can never exactly rerun a "test scenario" and expect exactly the same output. Every time we evaluate our alternatives and make a choice, decision, or judgment, we learn more about ourselves and the world around us. We learn to improve our processes of evaluation and choice by distinguishing "good" choices from "bad" ones. Therefore, as an aide to learning - both for ourselves and for others - it pays to advertise those decisions that are notable for being "good" and "bad". Passing judgment on one's own choices, and the choices of others, serves the purpose of making plain how such choices "ought" to be made. Practice only makes perfect when we can recognize when our aim is off. We assume that other people are just like ourselves. We assume that the best way of teaching other people to make "good" choices, and steer clear of "bad" ones, is to make plain what kind of choices are considered "good" and "bad". Hence a compatibilist's judgments (moral and otherwise) on the choices made or contemplated. Hence the purpose of praise and blame, punishment and reward. Does the morally culpable miscreant deserve to be punished? (After all, the poor clod could not have chosen other than he did.) What is the meaning of "deserve" in this context? The dictionary says it means "be worthy of, merit, earn". Surely then, the miscreant's behavior is worthy of, merits, has earned the punishment? If the objection is that the miscreant could not have chosen other than he did, and is therefore not morally responsible, then the objector must provide a definition of "morally responsible" that includes some element not covered in the above essay. So the answer is "Yes!" For three reasons: (i) to teach the chooser to change the way he evaluates and selects alternatives (punishment tends to reduce repetition, and provide an incentive for better use of learning opportunities); (ii) to teach me what kinds of choices to avoid, and what kinds of standards my social groups apply (I can learn by example); and (iii) to teach you that I mean what I say when I tell you that certain of your choices will result in undesirable consequences for you (advertised punishments make for good deterrents).
9/10/06 6:17 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: 10-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1361
SOME REMARKS: Sanguine : "And you could say 'the past laws of nature and history have brought him to this moment where there is an excess level of serotonin in his brain cause him to be shake, sweat etc". Those are just two different ways of saying the same thing. What you said doesn't make what I said wrong." No those are not two ways of saying the same thing. One offers a phenomenological perspective, other offers a physical perspective. Secondly the talk about evolution sorting out the good and bad is just wrong. The dominant paradigm of evolutionary psychology tells you that our desire-formulation is formed to a large degree by our genetic information which is CONDUCIVE to the better REPLICATION of our genes NOT to which is good or which makes us feel good or happy. So evolutionary pressures are in some way in conflict with our "morality" (in the same time they are also the basis of morality in the narrower law-like sense). Sanguine: "Does the morally culpable miscreant deserve to be punished? (After all, the poor clod could not have chosen other than he did.) What is the meaning of "deserve" in this context? The dictionary says it means "be worthy of, merit, earn". Surely then, the miscreant's behavior is worthy of, merits, has earned the punishment?" Does the man who stole from the store because he was made to by the laws of the universe in any way DESERVE to be punished. The laws of the universe were the CAUSE of his behaviour, it is as if the laws were acting through the agent. So if anyone is culpable it is the laws. Your other suggestion for holding people responsible is different and merits its own discussion but in no way you can say that the D-agent deserves to be punished. Now to the real point: Your whole argument for holding people responsible is predicated on an assumption: (1) Given D - when we give people reasons to act, punish them or give them incentives, they are capable of changing their behaviour because of THOSE incentives/punishments. This is what is at issue here. Me, Fudo and Winnidon all disagree with that premise. We say that (1) is wrong because if people change their behaviour they will have done it because it was already determined by the laws of physics and prior causes. Your whole assumption implies as if we could break the causal chain and enter the process by actually doing something and influencing the behaviour of someone while WE are not really doing anything given D, but the laws act and make us act. Now to the conception of determinism you brought up: ""What does it mean to be able to "choose otherwise" than you did? The cause of your choice was your reasons and justifications. Given those reasons and those justifications, and given your character, beliefs, values, and experiences, you judged the choice you made to be the best of the available alternatives." "A Determinist would argue that given the state of the Universe prior to your choice, your choice was inevitable. But all that is saying is that given your character, beliefs, values, and experiences, and the reasons and justifications you perceived at the time, you could not have chosen otherwise. A Determinist would also argue that if the state of the universe were different prior to your choice, you might have chosen otherwise. Which is only to say that if your character, beliefs, values, and experiences, and the reasons and justifications you perceive were different than they were, then you might have chosen otherwise than you actually did" This whole talk of character, reasons and values is BULLSHIT. How could they be different if they themselves are determined on the lowest level by the laws of the nature ??? (If they aren´t determined by laws of the nature then this isn´t real D) And if they are finally determined by the laws of the universe the whole talk of reasons, values etc. is just superficiality to cover up what is really going on. I.
9/10/06 8:08 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 10-Sep-06 08:16 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13341
sanguine, with all due respect, there is so much that you write that is just semantics, and I see no point replying to it again. I understand the semantics of compatibilism, but I´m not convinced by it. "Notice you didn't answer the question. " of course not. I told you that I think you framed the question in a misleading way. "the CAUSE of my choice is based on reason and rationality." you claim that yes. which is one way of looking at it of course. Let me change strategy: Why do you think I, winnidon and Indrek doesn´t agree with your claim here? "And I have no idea why you even brought your definition of change into discussion." because it´s needed for moral responsability (the issue we are discussing, remember?). Let me try to explain what I mean with change/choice and how it´s morally relevant with an example: Let´s say 6 persons (A,B,C,D,E,F) stand on a line next to a subwaytrack. F being you and you being closest to the subwaytrack. Lets say that A pushes B, which in turn falls on C, that falls on D etc.. all like dominobricks. Eventually E´s body is gonna push your body and then you fall down on the track, just as the train arrives and you loose your leg. You could now argue that the one causing you to fall on the track was person E, which in my analogy is the same as saying that you choose something because your brain is in a certain physical state, that was determined by the laws of nature and history. You arbitrarely pick out one segment in the causal chain that goes back beyond your control, namely the segment that we call our "brain". But is it reasonable to blame person E, for you falling on the track, loosing your leg? I mean after all, person E pushed you because he was pushed by person D, that was in turn pushed by person C etc, all the way back to person A, who started the pushing. Why pick out person E, and blame him? After all, he was never in control. In the same way, your brain, no matter what "decision" the brain makes, was also never in control. Moral responsability implies this kind of control, or an ability to choose, in my sense of the word. "*I will copy and paste from the article I asked you to read*" the part of the article you copy&pasted here doesn´t face the issue, it sidesteps it, just like you are. But I see no point in trying to expain why again. The problem here is still that you are so convinced of one view (compatibilism), it seems you don´t understand what we disagree on. "You are on the clock." lol, no. I think I´ll let this slide now. maybe Indrek, winnidon or someone else feels like continuing here.
9/10/06 1:27 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 10-Sep-06 01:31 PM
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1424
Fudo:because it?s needed for moral responsability (the issue we are discussing, remember?). Me: My whole point is that your definition of CHANGE is NOT needed for moral responsibility,and you have yet to give an argument for why it is. I'm waiting to hear it. You are forgetting that my basis for moral responsibility is completely utilitarian, teleological, pragmatic, whatever you want to call it. Your analogy has absolutely nothing to do with my argument. You blame or punish someone if it FIXES a problem. Punishing person E would do no such thing. It fixes no problem, there is no benefit in punishing E. However, perhaps if you punish A, he will be less likely to push people near train tracks again, and therefore it would be warrented to punish him. A much better example and one that I ALREADY used, was the example of a toaster burning my toast. Yes, there was an infinite chain of causes, but when I throw out my toaster and by a new one am I really just ARBITRARILY selecting one segment in the causal chain? No of course not, I am selecting the segment in the causal chain that FIXES my problem and allows me to enjoy new toast. When you put a murderer in jail, you are not arbitrarily selecting one segment of the causal chain, you are selecting the one that FIXES the problem. Put murderer in jail, less people get murdered.
9/10/06 1:49 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 10-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1425
"Fudo:you claim that yes. which is one way of looking at it of course. Let me change strategy: Why do you think I, winnidon and Indrek doesn?t agree with your claim here? " Because you don't understand the difference between the intentional stance and physical stance and why it is BETTER to use the the intentional stance. "The core idea is that, when explaining and predicting the behavior of an object, we can choose to view it at varying levels of abstraction. The more concrete the level, the more accurate in principle our predictions are. The more abstract, the greater the computational power we gain by zooming out and skipping over the irrelevant details. Dennett defines three levels of abstraction: * The most concrete is the physical stance, which is at the level of physics and chemistry. At this level, we are concerned with things such as mass, energy, velocity, and chemical composition. When we predict where a ball is going to land based on its current trajectory, we are taking the physical stance. Another example of this stance comes when we look at a strip made up of two types of metal bonded together and predict how it will bend as the temperature changes, based on the physical properties of the two metals. * Somewhat more abstract is the design stance, which is at the level of biology and engineering. At this level, we are concerned with things such as purpose, function and design. When we predict that a bird will fly when it flaps its wings, on the basis that wings are made for flying, we are taking the design stance. Likewise, we can understand the bimetallic strip as a particular type of thermometer, not concerning ourselves with the details of how this type of thermometer happens to work. We can also recognize the purpose that this thermometer serves inside a thermostat and even generalize to other kinds of thermostats that might use a different sort of thermometer. We can even explain the thermostat in terms of what it's good for, saying that it keeps track of the temperature and turns on the heater whenever it gets below a minimum, turning it off once it reaches a maximum. * Most abstract is the intentional stance, which is at the level of software and minds. At this level, we are concerned with things such as belief, thinking and intent. When we predict that the bird will fly away because it knows the cat is coming, we are taking the intentional stance. Another example would be when we predict that Mary will leave the theater and drive to the restaurant because she sees that the movie is over and is hungry. " Now that you understand that three different stances, let me give you an example. Imagine I am playing Deep Blue in a game of chess. Now I can't possibly know all the physics and history that will determine Deep Blue's next move. So if I can't use the physical stance. However if I use the intentional stance and posit Deep Blue as an agent that desires to win the game, then I can more accurately predict the moves he will make. Whether to take a particular stance, then, is determined by how successful that stance is when applied. So how does this apply to moral responsibility? "Dennett makes use of his treatment of the intentional stance to argue for compatibilism. Just as the decision to adopt towards a system the intentional stance is a pragmatic one, so too is it a pragmatic decision to adopt towards a system the stance that it is a morally responsible person. Dennett calls this latter stance the personal stance (1973, pp. 157-8). As with the intentional stance, there is nothing metaphysically deep required to interpret legitimately a system as a person (no special faculty of the will for instance). Such systems are morally responsible agents if interpreting them according to the personal stance pays off (1984a, pp. 158-63). And of course, just as the physical (or the deterministic) stance is compatible with the intentional stance, so too, according to Dennett, is it compatible with the personal stance. Furthermore, just as he treats the intentional stance, Dennett argues that, due to the complexity of such systems, it is practically impossible to interpret and predict the system purely from the physical (deterministic) stance. Hence, the physical stance will never supplant the personal stance. We persons involved in the everyday commerce of interacting with each other need the personal stance; it is not threatened by the specter of determinism. " http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/#5.2
9/10/06 4:18 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 10-Sep-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13344
should I perhaps also copy&paste Stanfords entry on incompatibilism? I guess that would settle it.. "You are forgetting that my basis for moral responsibility is completely utilitarian, teleological, pragmatic, whatever you want to call it." not at all - read my first couple of posts on this thread, and you´ll see that I aknowledge a utilitarian stance as a practical solution.
9/10/06 8:07 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 10-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1428
Then what are we arguing about?
9/11/06 4:14 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 11-Sep-06 04:16 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13347
*sigh* lol Thanks for the discussion so far. atleast we have contributed a bit to some life here. :)
9/11/06 11:05 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
sanguine cynic
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 11-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 1432
Arguments like this are always worth it, because they clarify my thinking. And now that I am out of college and no longer in philosophy class this is the only place to get a good argument
9/11/06 12:20 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 11-Sep-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13351
"Arguments like this are always worth it, because they clarify my thinking." I agree. "And now that I am out of college and no longer in philosophy class this is the only place to get a good argument" I guess this can be interpreted as good critique for this subforum. :) It´s what we make of it. I´m happy so many felt like contributing with their thoughts.
9/12/06 8:54 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: 12-Sep-06
Member Since: 07/04/2002
Posts: 1366
Fudo did you throw in the towel because you´re tired of the topic or do you really think that a sort of schmoral responsibility can be introduced if D is true because it is a practical solution? Do you also agree with this then? "(1) Given D - when we give people reasons to act, punish them or give them incentives, they are capable of changing their behaviour because of THOSE incentives/punishments." I.
9/12/06 8:56 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Cabal1
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 12-Sep-06
Member Since: 06/03/2002
Posts: 7955
Well, this has taken off, hasn't it? Sorry, I've been slack. May be a moot point by now, but responding to Fudo's reproduced argument: "P1. We have free will (of the kind required for moral responsibility) only if we are the ultimate causes (sources, originators, first causes) of our actions. P2. If determinism is true, then everything we do is ultimately caused by events and circumstances outside our control. P3. If everything we do is ultimately caused by events and circumstances outside our control, then we are not the ultimate causes (sources, originators, first causes) of our actions. C1. Therefore, if determinism is true, we are not the ultimate causes of our actions. C2. Therefore, if determinism is true, we don't have free will (of the kind required for moral responsibility)." I'd dispute premise one by saying that we have free will if we're the proximal cause of our actions, not the ultimate cause. I think the idea of an ultimate cause is a bit silly (but then I would, wouldn't I?) I'd dispute premise two because, semantically, I think a compatibilist has to have a completely different idea of what it means for something to be within one's control. I think something is within your control if you are able to act in accordance with your own mental state, given that it is not limited in particular ways (e.g. coercion from others). I also think there are levels of control, and by extension levels of freedom of action. So you're responsible for your actions in the case that they satisfy this condition - that they are in accordance with your mental state and not constrained by special external circumstances. Note "special" - I would see examples of these as being intoxicated, having a gun to your head, etc.
9/12/06 4:00 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
FudoMyoo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 12-Sep-06 04:07 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13353
Your input is always welcome of course, even when its late. ;-) "I'd dispute premise one by saying that we have free will if we're the proximal cause of our actions, not the ultimate cause." that´s what I suspected you would do. It seems sanguine has argued along the same lines. "I'd dispute premise two because, semantically, I think a compatibilist has to have a completely different idea of what it means for something to be within one's control. I think something is within your control if you are able to act in accordance with your own mental state, given that it is not limited in particular ways (e.g. coercion from others)." Yes, I understand that. And it seems you also admit this is a semantic (or practical) solution. But then I must ask, semantics aside, do you agree that you are not in fact in control of your mental states, since your mental states are determined by things beyond your control?

Reply Post

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