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Old 2013-01-06, 22:02   Link #61
monster
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Originally Posted by ZGoten View Post
if something happens that is solely the result of immediate causes inside a person's body, with no outside influence at a given moment, then it can be considered free will
Is free will defined as being free of outside influence? I find it hard to believe that anybody could be free of outside influence.

With Asuras's example:

To me, they're both influenced by their situations. The man living at home finds himself in an unrestricted environment while the man in chains finds himself in a restricted environment. Yet, both people still have their own free will. The only difference is that the person living at home is more capable of acting according to his will than the man in chains.

In other words, it's not that the man in chains has necessarily lost his free will, rather he lost the freedom to act on his will. Both men are influenced by external factors, yet can retain free will.
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Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky View Post
It rests on the definition of what 'you' are.
Many religions and other spiritual directions have the idea of a 'soul' that is somehow more than the body.
It resides in the body and steers it (I get the image of a mecha...), but is a seperate, yet invisible part. 'You' are a soul, the body is merely a vessel for your intellect.

In this thinking, if the body decides what 'you' do, of course there is no free will any more.

If 'you' and your body are the same thing, this problem does not arise.
'You', the system that is your body, comes up with a choice and this is then a free choice, no matter how it got created internally.
There is another alternative: The soul, mind and body are separate, but together, they make "you."
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Old 2013-01-06, 23:17   Link #62
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@Qilin:

It's not my view that human behaviour and choice is unaffected by the deterministic logic. It would be however, if souls did indeed exist and were not part of the physical world. The thing is, predictability of the future in different degrees is elemental to the definition of some variations of determinism, but not to others, making it possible for souls and determinism to coincide in some cases, but not in all of them. It's a bit hard to find common ground in mind games like these, especially since there's probably about 1000 definitions of what a soul is.

@monster:

That's apparently how this Mr. Stance defines it, but I'd disagree on that.
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Last edited by ZGoten; 2013-01-06 at 23:30.
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Old 2013-01-07, 04:46   Link #63
erneiz_hyde
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Let me throw in something into consideration:

Multiverse.

A concept so sci-fi and seemingly out there is now widely accepted among Theoretical Physicist.

If you refer to my earlier post about my take of "fate", then add in the idea that "all possible outcome that happened is as real as any that didn't". There are infinite number of world "composition" and infinite number of how that composition could play out, and they are all "real".

This way, Determinism and Freewill can coexist just fine.
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Old 2013-01-07, 05:41   Link #64
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZGoten View Post
@Qilin:

It's not my view that human behaviour and choice is unaffected by the deterministic logic. It would be however, if souls did indeed exist and were not part of the physical world. The thing is, predictability of the future in different degrees is elemental to the definition of some variations of determinism, but not to others, making it possible for souls and determinism to coincide in some cases, but not in all of them. It's a bit hard to find common ground in mind games like these, especially since there's probably about 1000 definitions of what a soul is.
I'm mostly arguing here for the classical definition of determinism that was originally established. The way I interpreted it, certain prediction of the future of the universe was the sticking point of the entire theory. If you take that away, can such a theory still be called "determinism" in the first place?

But whatever. As with a lot of philosophy, nearly everything boils down to language games after a certain point.

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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Let me throw in something into consideration:

Multiverse.

A concept so sci-fi and seemingly out there is now widely accepted among Theoretical Physicist.

If you refer to my earlier post about my take of "fate", then add in the idea that "all possible outcome that happened is as real as any that didn't". There are infinite number of world "composition" and infinite number of how that composition could play out, and they are all "real".

This way, Determinism and Freewill can coexist just fine.
You're right that multiverse theory would indeed make that possible. However, if we assume the multiverse theory to be the truth, then the very idea of determinism would at that point lose all meaning and become mere commonsense. After all, there is no meaning in predicting anything if every single possibility is a reality in itself. The entire argument comes to nil.
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Old 2013-01-07, 06:06   Link #65
erneiz_hyde
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
You're right that multiverse theory would indeed make that possible. However, if we assume the multiverse theory to be the truth, then the very idea of determinism would at that point lose all meaning and become mere commonsense. After all, there is no meaning in predicting anything if every single possibility is a reality in itself. The entire argument comes to nil.
I don't quite agree. There is still meaning if said multiverse cannot interact with each other. Besides, there is no way for us to know for sure which multiverse we are currently at (not yet anyways) except by hindsight and since the multiverse is constantly branching out, there is still meaning in predicting the future. The idea only gave "reality" or "value" to those things which didn't happen, but everything else remains the same as before.
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Old 2013-01-07, 08:51   Link #66
Qilin
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I don't quite agree. There is still meaning if said multiverse cannot interact with each other. Besides, there is no way for us to know for sure which multiverse we are currently at (not yet anyways) except by hindsight and since the multiverse is constantly branching out, there is still meaning in predicting the future. The idea only gave "reality" or "value" to those things which didn't happen, but everything else remains the same as before.
But if we interpret determinism within the context of individual multiverses, we go back to the original problem of traditional determinism negating the possibility of free will. If we only exist within a single multiverse (assuming no interaction with other multiverses), all our thoughts and behaviors would still be governed by the causal relationships of the particular multiverse are part of, as long as we assume reality to be purely materialistic.

Just to make my position here clear, determinism, to me, is equated to the possibility of absolute prediction of the future based on knowledge of all causal relationships within a system, the system in this case being the particular multiverse in question. Anything else that isn't that is not something I would label as true determinism.

EDIT:

Reading up a bit on compatibilism makes your position a bit clearer to me. The way I understand it, compatibilists have a somewhat different conception of "free will", which allows them to accept the coexistence of "free will" and determinism. I can acknowledge that. See, this is what inconsistent definitions can do to otherwise intelligent discussions.
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Old 2013-01-07, 10:04   Link #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qilin
I'm mostly arguing here for the classical definition of determinism that was originally established. The way I interpreted it, certain prediction of the future of the universe was the sticking point of the entire theory. If you take that away, can such a theory still be called "determinism" in the first place?
Yes it can be, since the common ground of all the definitions is a relation of cause and effect with only one possible outcome.
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Old 2013-01-07, 10:47   Link #68
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Yes it can be, since the common ground of all the definitions is a relation of cause and effect with only one possible outcome.
Wouldn't this one possible outcome qualify as an absolutely certain prediction of the future?
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Old 2013-01-07, 11:16   Link #69
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We are moving in circles, I have adressed that already. In a world without divine intervention through gods or souls, you are correct. In one with that kind of stuff, predictability of the future is not mandatory with the lightest deterministic approach. That's how I understand it.
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Old 2013-01-07, 11:22   Link #70
Qilin
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We are moving in circles, I have adressed that already. In a world without divine intervention through gods or souls, you are correct. In one with that kind of stuff, predictability of the future is not mandatory with the lightest deterministic approach.
It's going in circles because you said that:

Quote:
the common ground of all the definitions is a relation of cause and effect with only one possible outcome.
How is this any different from saying that the future can be predicted with absolute certainty? Once you narrow down all the possibilities to a single outcome, it's no different from predicting what will happen.
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Old 2013-01-07, 11:26   Link #71
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And another turn ...

The smallest common ground of all determinstic approaches is that there is a cause-effect-relation that affects everything (physical I should say), with only one possible outcome. Nothing more, nothing about predictability. In a purely physical world, this definition, however, must inevitably mean predictability of the future, even though it's not part of the definition. In a universe that is not entirely physical, though, predictability is not a given, because the non-physical part (souls, godly intervention) of it may not abide by the same logic as physical material or no logic at all. The definition of determinism therefore has two different kinds of consequences depending on which universe we are talking about.
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Old 2013-01-07, 11:36   Link #72
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And another turn ...

The smallest common ground of all determinstic approaches is that there is a cause-effect-relation that affects everything, with only one possible outcome. Nothing more. In a purely physical world, this must inevitably mean predictability of the future. That however, is not part of the lightest definition of determinism, which is why in a universe that is not entirely physical, predictability is not a given.
I still don't get it. Care to explain for me?

How does "one possible outcome" not equate to "certainty of the future"? The moment you limit the future to "one possible outcome", the very concept of choice becomes nothing more than an illusion regardless of whether some ethereal agent is working behind the scenes. Having just one possible outcome automatically discounts the possibility of anything having the power to choose anything else.

What I'm trying to say here is that having just one possible outcome cannot coexist with the idea of free will, which refers to the capacity to choose between several different outcomes. Let's forget about the "soul" for a moment. This doesn't make any logical sense to me.
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Old 2013-01-07, 12:28   Link #73
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I'm sorry, I can't make it any clearer. No, let's not forget about souls, because that is precisely what we are talking about. Souls, if they existed, may not abide by natural laws and are therefore outside the deterministic equation, meaning that everything would be predictable until the soul decides to take action. So for somebody who does believe that his individuality is bound to a soul, free will and determinism are compatible. But I'm getting tired of repeating the same thing over and over, sorry.
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Old 2013-01-07, 12:45   Link #74
Qilin
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So I'm just supposed to accept that you're contradicting the definition of determinism you gave to begin with?

My personal disagreement is more a matter of the logical form of your claims rather than the content itself. I'm not going to press you any further on this, but let me just say a lot of it reads to me like: "A is B and A is not B".

Unless you mean that the "one possible outcome" you referred early on doesn't take the soul into account just yet?
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Old 2013-01-07, 12:50   Link #75
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Of course the definition doesn't take souls into account, which is why I am not contradicting myself, but instead mentioning two distinct consequences of the definition based on whether or not spiritual or divine intervention exists in a universe. If they don't, future is predictable, if they do, it may be not.
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Old 2013-01-07, 13:04   Link #76
Qilin
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Of course the definition doesn't take souls into account, which is why I am not contradicting myself, but instead mentioning two distinct consequences of the definition based on whether or not spiritual or divine intervention exists in a universe. If they don't, future is predictable, if they do, it may be not.
Ah. Fine. I misunderstood you then. I apologize.

Even so, I still can't in good faith call such an idea "determinism" in that distorted state. Maybe that's just me, but whatever.
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Old 2013-01-07, 13:11   Link #77
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Well, what's not distorted about a theistic world view anyway.
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Old 2013-01-07, 16:21   Link #78
monster
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
See, this is what inconsistent definitions can do to otherwise intelligent discussions.
That is why semantics, among other things, can be important.
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Well, what's not distorted about a theistic world view anyway.
The answer to your question can range from everything to nothing and everything in between, as with any non-theistic world view.
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