Desert, free will, determinism

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Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 12th, 2018, 12:56 pm 

It seems the incompatiblist and the compatibilist differ on the following key point: According to the incompatibilist, one can have free will, iff the agent could have done otherwise, given an identical set of antecedent circumstances. The incompatibilist argues that in a deterministic universe, the agent could not have done other than what she did, given identical prior circumstances; and hence does not have free will. From this it seems to follow that an agent cannot be held ultimately responsible for her actions.

The compatibilist agrees that in a deterministic universe, it would not have been possible for an agent to do other than what she did, given identical antecedent circumstance.What the compatibilist denies is the relevance of this fact, either to free will or desert (being praiseworthy or blameworthy).

For the compatibilist, it is enough to say that the agent could/would have done otherwise, given slightly different antecedent circumstances, or perhaps slightly different “governing” laws of physics. That is, the agent chooses freely what to do, based upon prior circumstances; had prior circumstances been even slightly different, she would perhaps have chosen differently. On this account, an agent is subject to praise or blame, even though she could/would not have done differently in identical prior circumstances.

Of course all of this is hotly debated; Kant called the compatibilist stance a “wretched subterfuge.” Schopenhauer noted that we can do what we will, but cannot will what we will. Derk Pereboom of Cornell maintains that desert holds iff agent-causal libertarianism holds; since there is no evidence that ACL is true or even can be true, Pereboom denies desert. (Others dispute that ACL is impossible.) Pereboom is a hard incompatibilist, denying desert regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is foundational.

It may be that we need to tend to the difference between “could” and “would.” Do you wish to say that given identical prior circumstances, an agent could not have done other, than what she did; or is it closer to the mark to say that such an agent would not have done, other than what she did? To say that she could not have done otherwise, is arguably a modal fallacy, illicitly implying that a contingent act is actually a necessary one. If this objection goes through, it seems that free will (and desert) gets a transfusion. The compatibilist can simply say that given identical circumstances, the agent would always do the same thing, even though she could have actually done otherwise, which reduces to: Sure, I freely chose to do some act, because I weighed prior circumstances; given the same prior circumstances, I would do the same thing — why not? If prior circumstances cause it to rain, I will take an umbrella. Why wouldn’t I? Even though it remains possible that I could have left the umbrella at home, why would I do that, given that I don’t want to get wet?

Of course this whole issue is further complicated by the fact that claims on all sides are entirely non-empirical; we cannot “back up” the history of the world like computer data, replay it, and find out what an agent does or does not do.

There is another view on offer, sometimes called “neo-Humean compatibilism,” which objects to the following, fairly common formulation: The laws of physics that “govern” the world, in conjunction with antecedent events, entail all future events, including all future human actions.

The objection is that the laws of physics do not “govern” the world, but merely describe it. In correspondence theory, truth inheres in descriptive propositions, which take their truths from what actually happens in the world.

Perhaps the foremost exponent of this idea is Prof. Norman Swartz, who maintains that once we drop the idea that laws “govern” the world, the alleged incompatibility of free will with determinism is eliminated — the problem simply dissolves. He does not even argue for compatibilism, arguing that to say free will is compatible with determinism is just word play, like saying noses are compatible with itches. They are, but so what? They are in two different ontic categories. The upshot, says Schwartz, is that if we really could “back up” the world and replay it, then an agent really could have done other that what she did at some particular time, because the laws of physics do not “govern” behavior (human or otherwise), but instead, take their truths from, what actually happens. If this right, then desert — praise or blame — is wholly justified.

For those interested, Swartz’s extended arguments on free will and determinism can be found in two long chapters in his book, The Concept of Physical Law. The book is free for downloading.

The relevant chapters are:

Chapter 10, Free Will and Determinism

Chapter 11, Predictability and Uniformity
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 13th, 2018, 4:23 pm 

The first question that comes to my mind here is why would anyone’s choice in life to attempt to do whatsoever they wanted, actually be determined in advance(or pre-determined) by any outside factor? And if so, by who? By what?

The future state of all existence already exists, so we don’t have any free will to do whatsoever we want to do today, because the ‘choices’ we would like to make today, and the effects of the same, cannot change what is called the future in any way(or is already determined/pre-determined) What is only called the future today, has no distinct physical objective existence, so it does not really exist anywhere in objective reality, or can actually influence in any way, the free will choices we want to make today.

God knows today, exactly how a future state of all existence will turn out, and this future in turn, must turn out exactly the same way because of this: so man has no free will whatsoever to attempt to do whatever he wants to do in this life, because his choices today, and the effects of the same, cannot change in any way, the future state of all existence God already knows about today. This kind of thinking is also wrong.

What was the question here again davidm...or was this all rhetorical?
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 13th, 2018, 5:03 pm 

ronjanec » September 13th, 2018, 2:23 pm wrote:
What was the question here again davidm...or was this all rhetorical?


There was no question, just an effort to illustrate the nuances of the free will debate, including up to the present day (Pereboom on desert) and hopefully stimulate a discussion. As to your own post, I can't even parse it, so won't respond except for this.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 13th, 2018, 5:10 pm 

Yeah, I know. I was in a hurry and posted it before it was ready. Take another look. I think it’s ok now.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby Braininvat on September 13th, 2018, 6:33 pm 

Swartz does seem to offer a path to moral agency, in a world where physical laws are not edicts. Descriptive, rather than prescriptive. Propositions take their truth from what happened, but they have no causal status in compelling events to happen. I suspect those of us who read the relevant chapters will be digesting this for a while. Part of me does want to split up physical laws into two distinct types, where one is more prescriptive than the other, but I see Swartz's point (er, the Martian's point) on how this may not be warranted. It does seem to make certain kinds of scientific reductionist accounts suspect -- consciousness for example. Many reductive theories of a state of mind, like "C-fibers firing" seem to go towards a prescriptive set of natural laws.

Well, much to chew on. Great OP.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby DragonFly on September 14th, 2018, 6:49 pm 

Because quantum possibility actualizes into a random output, the descriptive "laws" leak; so these "laws" are approximate and statistical. The larger the relevant assemblage of material is, the better the description, but it never gets to zero error from the "law".

Doyle, referenced in another thread, picks up on this and takes it further, that indeterminism in the micro mind, while it does not directly go outright into one's decision, provides more alternatives for the more classical deterministic macro mind to chew on.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 15th, 2018, 10:34 am 

This paragraph:

The first question that comes to my mind here is why would anyone’s choice in life to attempt to do whatsoever they wanted, actually be determined in advance(or pre-determined) by any outside factor? And if so, by who? By what?


Apparently contradicts this paragraph:

The future state of all existence already exists, so we don’t have any free will to do whatsoever we want to do today, because the ‘choices’ we would like to make today, and the effects of the same, cannot change what is called the future in any way(or is already determined/pre-determined) What is only called the future today, has no distinct physical objective existence, so it does not really exist anywhere in objective reality, or can actually influence in any way, the free will choices we want to make today.


The first graph seems to suggest that we have free will, while the second seems to argue that we don’t. In fact, now that I look at it, the second sentence of the second paragraph also apparently contradicts the first sentence of the same graph.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 15th, 2018, 10:54 am 

ronjanec » September 13th, 2018, 2:23 pm wrote:God knows today, exactly how a future state of all existence will turn out, and this future in turn, must turn out exactly the same way because of this: so man has no free will whatsoever to attempt to do whatever he wants to do in this life, because his choices today, and the effects of the same, cannot change in any way, the future state of all existence God already knows about today. This kind of thinking is also wrong.



Again, I am confused about what you are trying say. Does the last sentence, which I bolded, mean that you disagree with everything prior to it? Because I disagree with the argument too, it being a non sequitur.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 15th, 2018, 11:23 am 

If God foreknows everything that I will do in my life even before I was born, it does not mean that I must do those things, merely that I will do those things. The distinction is crucial.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby Braininvat on September 15th, 2018, 11:54 am 

And really tricky, due to the notion that most people have of foreknowledge. If a complete knowledge of my future actions is to be had, then from my temporal perspective there is the appearance of a set course from which I may not deviate. It's not so much I must do certain things, as it is that I must NOT do other things. Of course there is no actual compulsion given that I won't want to deviate from the timeline that an omniscient being perceived. Of course it gets tricky when people do thought experiments using time travelers. A time traveler from the future can introduce godlike levels of foreknowledge into my previously limited perspective - don't walk down the beach at Penzance, Cornwall on March 12, 2028 because you will meet an untimely end when a suitcase from a private plane falls on your head. So you rethink your beach plans that day, don't go, and the timeline is changed. (which means the time traveler then never appeared and warned you... paradox ensues) But perhaps from the truly omniscient perspective, this "loop" was always meant to be.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 15th, 2018, 12:42 pm 

I think that time travel paradoxes, and the alleged incompatibility of omniscient foreknowledge and free will, are resolved under a rigorous logical analysis of the situations at hand.

I am confronted with a choice between x and y. God, being omniscient, knows in advance that I will pick x. The worry is that I am fated to pick x, that given God’s infallible foreknowledge, I cannot pick y.

But it isn’t so. The claim is an error of logic, the error represented thus:

If God knows in advance that I will pick x, I must pick x and not y.

The above constitutes the modal fallacy, wherein necessity is illicitly imparted to a contingent consequent.

What is necessary is only that the consequent and the antecedent match.

The correct formulation is:

Necessarily, (If God knows I will pick x, then I will [not must!] pick x.)

But I am free to pick y. If I do pick y, then God’s foreknowledge would have been different, as follows:

Necessarily, (If God knows I will pick y, then I will [not must!] pick y.)

IOW, what God foreknows depends on what I freely do, and not the other way around: that what I do, depends on what God foreknows.

This is also the correct solution to Aristotle’s sea battle problem, which has an identical logical structure.

As to time travel, there can be no paradoxes. It is not logically possible that I travel back in time and kill my grandfather before he birthed my father. This is guaranteed to be true in virtue of the fact that I exist. Were I to travel back in time and try to kill my grandfather, I would fail, or change my mind, or something.

The alleged paradoxes of time travel arise from the unwarranted assumption that if I were to travel back in time, I should be able to change the past. But I can’t change the past — or the present or the future, for that matter. What I can do make the past, present and future be, what they were, are, and will be. This ability grounds free will, as I see it.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 1:09 pm 

I am a very religious person: and I also believe that God knows everything today that will happen in what is called the future;

What I am saying here, and if this is actually true, this does not mean that man does not actually have the free will to at least attempt to do whatsoever he wants to do in this life.

God knowing in advance today exactly what choices we will make in this life, does not mean that we are unknowingly forced in advance to make our free will choices today exactly correspond to the future that God already knows about. The knowledge of this unchangeable set in stone future basically only exists in the mind of God(some will say that a particular future event(s) that God is aware of today may also be made known to man in the Bible);

So our attempting today to make any free will choices we want does not in any way change the future God already knows about, or again unknowingly force us to make any of same free will choices correspond to the future existing in God’s mind. Ergo man has the free will to attempt to do what he wants.

(This is what I was leading up to in my post davidm: I was actually waiting for someone to challenge me on this)
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 1:18 pm 

davidm » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:23 am wrote:If God foreknows everything that I will do in my life even before I was born, it does not mean that I must do those things, merely that I will do those things. The distinction is crucial.


For once we actually agree on something davidm!
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 1:29 pm 

davidm » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:42 am wrote:I think that time travel paradoxes, and the alleged incompatibility of omniscient foreknowledge and free will, are resolved under a rigorous logical analysis of the situations at hand.

I am confronted with a choice between x and y. God, being omniscient, knows in advance that I will pick x. The worry is that I am fated to pick x, that given God’s infallible foreknowledge, I cannot pick y.

But it isn’t so. The claim is an error of logic, the error represented thus:

If God knows in advance that I will pick x, I must pick x and not y.

The above constitutes the modal fallacy, wherein necessity is illicitly imparted to a contingent consequent.

What is necessary is only that the consequent and the antecedent match.

The correct formulation is:

Necessarily, (If God knows I will pick x, then I will [not must!] pick x.)

But I am free to pick y. If I do pick y, then God’s foreknowledge would have been different, as follows:

Necessarily, (If God knows I will pick y, then I will [not must!] pick y.)

IOW, what God foreknows depends on what I freely do, and not the other way around: that what I do, depends on what God foreknows.

This is also the correct solution to Aristotle’s sea battle problem, which has an identical logical structure.

As to time travel, there can be no paradoxes. It is not logically possible that I travel back in time and kill my grandfather before he birthed my father. This is guaranteed to be true in virtue of the fact that I exist. Were I to travel back in time and try to kill my grandfather, I would fail, or change my mind, or something.

The alleged paradoxes of time travel arise from the unwarranted assumption that if I were to travel back in time, I should be able to change the past. But I can’t change the past — or the present or the future, for that matter. What I can do make the past, present and future be, what they were, are, and will be. This ability grounds free will, as I see it.


There is an even more important reason why time travel is impossible davidm(maybe I’ll start a new thread on this next week)
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 15th, 2018, 2:57 pm 

I did not say time travel is impossible. It is logically possible and may even be physically possible. What is impossible, as a matter of logic, is to travel to the past, and also change the past. Note that traveling to the past does not, in and of itself, change the past. If you travel to the past, you were always in the past -- nothing changed!
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 3:20 pm 

davidm » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:57 pm wrote:I did not say time travel is impossible. It is logically possible and may even be physically possible. What is impossible, as a matter of logic, is to travel to the past, and also change the past. Note that traveling to the past does not, in and of itself, change the past. If you travel to the past, you were always in the past -- nothing changed!


No, you did not actually say that. My apologies davidm.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 15th, 2018, 3:20 pm 

Any argument purporting to show that God’s omniscient foreknowledge of all future events precludes human free will can be shown to be either invalid or unsound. Here is the demonstration:

gKD
~◊(gKD & ~D)
————————
∴ ☐D

Translated:

God knows D
It is not possible for God to know D, and for D not to be true.
Therefore, D is a necessary truth.

The above argument is invalid — the conclusion does not follow from the premises. For the argument to become valid, there is a missing premise that must be added, which is: gKD ⊃ ☐D. Translation: if God knows D, then D is necessarily true.

Now we have:

gKD
~◊(gKD & ~D)
gKD ⊃ ☐D
————————
∴ ☐D

God knows D
It is not possible for God to know D, and for D not to be true.
If God knows D, then D is necessarily true.
Therefore, D is a necessary truth.

The above argument is now valid. But for an argument to be true, it must be both valid and sound. To be sound, it must be the case not only that the conclusion follows from the premises, but that all the premises are true. If even one premise is untrue, the argument collapses.

The premise just added to make the argument valid — gKD ⊃ ☐D — is untrue. It commits the modal fallacy. The modal status of any truth is logically independent of anyone’s knowledge, including God’s infallible foreknowledge. Moreover, the modal status of a truth can never change. Contingent truths are necessarily contingent, and necessary truths are necessarily necessary. It therefore, logically, cannot be the case that God’s simply knowing D, even in advance of D, can render D necessary. If D is not necessary then ~D is possible and therefore the argument is unsound.

Any argument, usually pursued by atheists, that God’s omniscient foreknowledge rules out human free will is therefore logically false.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 3:37 pm 

“Any argument, usually pursued by atheists, that God’s omniscient foreknowledge rules out human free will is therefore logically false”;

I definitely agree davidm(and just said something that is basically the same as what you are saying here in one of my very recent posts). I had this same type of debate with one of our atheist forum members a number of years ago, and I showed the poor fellow the (same) error of his ways.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby DragonFly on September 15th, 2018, 4:27 pm 

Forget pre-determinism, either by 'God' or otherwise. Chance/random/indeterminism is ontological, by QM's possibility/probability function actualizing into a random particle. This obliterates/destroys pre-determinism, as well as necessity (possibility is the opposite of necessity). The random bedrock of Reality permeates everything. Everything leaks; "laws" are statistical and approximate although adequate at large numbers, but never reach 100%.

Nevertheless, a less than 100% determinism ensues at large numbers, with indeterminacy mostly washing out, but there is still a kind of 'free' (see Doyle) in the gap, that pertains only to the pool of alternatives to the will, for indeterminacy may enlarge the pool through thermal and quantal noise errors induced in memory, which the 'will' then deterministically carries out, this providing not only for novel information to appear but also for that someone could have chosen differently. So, there is 'free', as to input during deliberation and 'will' after, meaning 'free' and 'will' not 'free will' with 'free' as an adjective upon 'will.

Of course, for the "differently", the same universe would have to be run again, but in our present universe the actually is still what happened, with no 'if' option.

In sum, no new information can be produced in a Newtonian universe that is 100% pre-deterministic, but an indeterministic universe can do so. Something immaterial but still physical is introduced by Doyle, this being information, it being embodied in material (such as neurons), its communication achieved through energy.

We do see that information is ever increasing in the areas where entropy decreases, thanks to indeterminism, so, libertarians may be on to something after all, although a bit less than they hoped, while compatibilists get a bit more. This information gives some local purpose to life to obtain new information to survive, but not of a Purpose beforehand.

At the Big Bang, there is zero information, in the form of its maximum disorder, but as the universe expands, a space opens up for new information due to lower entropy in open systems since the maximum possible entropy increases overall.


I hate to add to suppositions about unestablished 'God' intervening, but if 'God' is perfect and has everything laid out then there can be no change/correction though Him achieved by prayer. Or, take away one of the O's and then He loses the tic-tac-TOE game, maybe even to X-X-X.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 5:09 pm 

DF,

“but if ‘God’ is perfect and has everything laid out then there can be no change/correction through Him achieved by prayer”? What do you mean by “has everything laid out”?
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby DragonFly on September 15th, 2018, 6:32 pm 

All wise, all seeing, all knowing, perfect, no flaws, no mistakes, the utmost planner, thinker, design, implementer, all good, all powerful, all everything… eternal, etc.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 15th, 2018, 6:37 pm 

ronjanec » September 15th, 2018, 11:29 am wrote:
There is an even more important reason why time travel is impossible davidm(maybe I’ll start a new thread on this next week)


K stands for killing grandfather. T stands for time travel. Argument:

◊K
~◊ (T&K)
————————
∴ ~◊T

1. It is possible to kill grandfather.
2. However, it is not possible to travel to the past and kill grandfather.
3. Therefore, it is not possible to travel to the past.

The argument is invalid, as the conclusion does not follow from the premises. The real conclusion is that it is possible (logically) to travel the past, but it is logically impossible to travel to the past and change anything about it, including killing gramps, though a few more supporting premises may be required to back that conclusion.

Some may argue that it is possible to travel to the past and kill gramps, but if you do, it creates a new time line that splits off from the original time line. So now there is a time line with gramps dead and one with him alive.

This does not alter the modal logic of the situation at all. If this happens, the time lime in which you originated remains the one in which gramps did not die. More important, you were always in the past to make the new time line. Nothing about the past has changed at all!
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 7:30 pm 

DragonFly » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:32 pm wrote:All wise, all seeing, all knowing, perfect, no flaws, no mistakes, the utmost planner, thinker, design, implementer, all good, all powerful, all everything… eternal, etc.


Ok, I believe this to be basically true DF: but God still permits man(or permits man to at least attempt to make any free will choices that he decides to make during the course of his life), to go against his perfect plans for each and every one of our lives(or what is called God’s will for our lives); But many times, each and every one of us will do things or make choices in our lives that go against God’s perfect will for our lives(knowingly or unknowingly), and then get ourselves in all all kinds of trouble.

I believe that if someone prays to God for help in getting themselves out of the mess they got themselves into by not doing or obeying God’s perfect will for their lives(their free will choice), God will sometimes help them get out of the mess they got themselves into(by praying about this and asking for help) in a number of different ways(sometimes only partially): and sometimes God (still) answers their prayers in such a way that they basically have to tough it out and mostly deal with the mess they created for themselves. I unfortunately speak from much experience here :)
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby DragonFly on September 15th, 2018, 8:32 pm 

Well, anyway, how about the info in my two posts that actually addresses the topic of the OP. Anyone?
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 15th, 2018, 9:19 pm 

davidm » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:37 pm wrote:
ronjanec » September 15th, 2018, 11:29 am wrote:
There is an even more important reason why time travel is impossible davidm(maybe I’ll start a new thread on this next week)


K stands for killing grandfather. T stands for time travel. Argument:

◊K
~◊ (T&K)
————————
∴ ~◊T

1. It is possible to kill grandfather.
2. However, it is not possible to travel to the past and kill grandfather.
3. Therefore, it is not possible to travel to the past.

The argument is invalid, as the conclusion does not follow from the premises. The real conclusion is that it is possible (logically) to travel the past, but it is logically impossible to travel to the past and change anything about it, including killing gramps, though a few more supporting premises may be required to back that conclusion.

Some may argue that it is possible to travel to the past and kill gramps, but if you do, it creates a new time line that splits off from the original time line. So now there is a time line with gramps dead and one with him alive.

This does not alter the modal logic of the situation at all. If this happens, the time lime in which you originated remains the one in which gramps did not die. More important, you were always in the past to make the new time line. Nothing about the past has changed at all!


I personally have for all practical purposes: no knowledge, and no education in regards to formal logic davidm: so this part of your post, and the formal logic proof you are offering in support of your conclusion, is going way over my head.

Having said this, I still would like to ask you why your are highlighting my particular comment in regards to what you are trying to say and prove here?
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby Positor on September 15th, 2018, 11:11 pm 

DragonFly » September 15th, 2018, 9:27 pm wrote:Nevertheless, a less than 100% determinism ensues at large numbers, with indeterminacy mostly washing out, but there is still a kind of 'free' (see Doyle) in the gap, that pertains only to the pool of alternatives to the will, for indeterminacy may enlarge the pool through thermal and quantal noise errors induced in memory, which the 'will' then deterministically carries out, this providing not only for novel information to appear but also for that someone could have chosen differently. So, there is 'free', as to input during deliberation and 'will' after, meaning 'free' and 'will' not 'free will' with 'free' as an adjective upon 'will.

Wouldn't such indeterminacy almost certainly produce 'junk' rather than 'information' - a stream of incoherent thoughts rather than anything stable on which the 'will' could act? Even in the unlikely event that the product was coherent, it would be so by accident and would not carry any true informational content.

In order to preserve a picture of reality, the indeterminacy would have to be negligible. But then the amount of leeway for input to the 'will' would also be negligible.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby DragonFly on September 16th, 2018, 11:40 am 

Positor » September 15th, 2018, 10:11 pm wrote:Wouldn't such indeterminacy almost certainly produce 'junk' rather than 'information' …


Most likely, "almost".

Doyle says, "The Cogito model simply identifies the source of randomness as the inevitable noise, both thermal noise and quantum noise, that affects both proper storage of information and accurate retrieval of that information at later times. These read/write errors are an appropriately random source of unpredictable new ideas and thoughts that provide alternative possibilities for action."

So, in this last ditch, we have in some cases that one could have chosen differently if the universe were able to be rerun, which leaves the future open, along with the universe being contingent in the first place and later due to material cause and effect getting disrupted sometimes.

It seems good enough to doom Necessity, Pure Determinism, the Block Universe, and 'God'.

QM also gives us discreteness, granting the stability of digital over analog.

Overall, there would be but one World, that of QM, all the way up, its indeterminism always there but ever greatly diminishing, although never going to zero.

Information, then, is not conserved, as it would be in determinism with nothing being able to be added or taken away, but in indeterminism can be created or destroyed.

In stars, gravity produced information that was rather passive, but in living beings the information can be active.

Well, maybe it's not much, as still trial and error happenings, but the additional accidental trials may contribute something now and then.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby davidm on September 16th, 2018, 11:59 am 

So, in this last ditch, we have in some cases that one could have chosen differently if the universe were able to be rerun, which leaves the future open, along with the universe being contingent in the first place and later due to material cause and effect getting disrupted sometimes.


The philosophical question is to ask whether, given exactly the same set of circumstances, including the identical quantum noise, we could/would have done other, that what we did?

I find the question idle. First, we obviously can’t run this experiment. But even if we could and it turned out the person did the same thing every time, then, as Daniel Dennett asked— so what? Only the incompatibilist claims this is a defeater for free will and hence for desert.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby DragonFly on September 16th, 2018, 1:03 pm 

I'm concluding that the future is open, but that for our decisions random outputs don't count toward a meaningful free will because they are uncontrolled accidents.
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Re: Desert, free will, determinism

Postby ronjanec on September 16th, 2018, 2:32 pm 

davidm » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:37 pm wrote:
ronjanec » September 15th, 2018, 11:29 am wrote:
There is an even more important reason why time travel is impossible davidm(maybe I’ll start a new thread on this next week)


K stands for killing grandfather. T stands for time travel. Argument:

◊K
~◊ (T&K)
————————
∴ ~◊T

1. It is possible to kill grandfather.
2. However, it is not possible to travel to the past and kill grandfather.
3. Therefore, it is not possible to travel to the past.

The argument is invalid, as the conclusion does not follow from the premises. The real conclusion is that it is possible (logically) to travel the past, but it is logically impossible to travel to the past and change anything about it, including killing gramps, though a few more supporting premises may be required to back that conclusion.

Some may argue that it is possible to travel to the past and kill gramps, but if you do, it creates a new time line that splits off from the original time line. So now there is a time line with gramps dead and one with him alive.

This does not alter the modal logic of the situation at all. If this happens, the time lime in which you originated remains the one in which gramps did not die. More important, you were always in the past to make the new time line. Nothing about the past has changed at all!



“The real conclusion is that it is possible (logically) to travel the past, but it is logically impossible to travel to the past and change anything about it, including killing gramps, though a a few more supporting premises may be required to back that”

Even if it was possible to travel back to the past, it would be impossible for someone to go back to the past and not change something/anything;

Say the same person goes back to the past and steps on a Black Widow spider and then kills it; If you never went back, the very same poisonous spider would have eventually killed a politician who was going to be elected to a very important political office back then: so your traveling back to the past would of then changed the course of history in a very big way(also kids maybe not being born because of this etc.)

So it would be impossible to travel back to the past at least within the parameters of this particular scenario. Ergo, time travel still might not be possible, because a person could not go back and not change something/anything.
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