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Thread: The Great Contradiction

  1. Top | #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    First, understanding what you say is quite different from believing what you say. Obviously I understand what you say. I just don't accept your saying as evidence of what you claim as an ability since you provide no independent evidence to that end. I don't even know what you are saying when you claim "I".

    As long as you are using yourself as a reference for what you claim you are not providing evidence. As long as I'm not seeing you do what you say you can't claim "... beyond reasonable doubt" since it is actually unreasonable to accept hearsay.

    Full Stop!
    There is a big difference between saying that I have conclusive evidence that I have the ability to move the mouse on my desk and saying that you have conclusive evidence that I have the ability to move the mouse on my desk. The experiments I do provide evidence to me. The fact that I tell you about them provide also evidence to you, even if weaker.

    Now, as it happens, you also have conclusive that humans normally do have the ability to move small objects in their vicinity, and in particular, that I do have the ability to do that, because if were paralyzed from the neck down (at least), I would not be debating you. If you fail to realize that, your brain is doing something wrong. However, that is not even the point. Rather, in this context, it is enough for me to say it is beyond a reasonable doubt given the information available to you that you have the ability to move small objects in your vicinity - like your mouse if you have one, or your keyboard, or whatever device you are using to write these posts -, and similarly, it is beyond a reasonable doubt given the information available to you that you are writing your posts of your own accord. Evidence? Just mirror my argument - i.e., check around for people threatening you to write, etc., but you don't really have to, as it is obvious to you, when you are not in the grip of a theory that results in your claiming that you do not even understand what I mean by "I" - which of course you do understand, as it requires much less working knowledge of English than you have to understand the term "I", and as you show when you reply to me but aren't making that sort of ludicrous claim.

    As it happens, it is also beyond a reasonable doubt given the information available to you that I am writing this of my own accord, as the probability of someone forcing me is astronomically low, and drugs would not force me to write. But even that is not the point. It's enough that it's beyond a reasonable doubt given the information available to you that you are writing your posts of your own accord, even if - again - you fail to recognize you because of some false theory that you have, and which is leading you to clearly misguided assessments.

    By the way, you say "Obviously I understand what you say.", but then go on to say "I don't even know what you are saying when you claim "I"." That looks like a contradiction. Do you understand what I say, or do you not understand what I say?

    Of course, the "I" you do understand; you just have a false theory on the basis of which you mistakenly assess that you do not understand what I mean by "I". It is not clear to me however whether you understand the rest of my posts. In short, the obvious parts (like what I mean by "I") you do understand even if you believe that you do not; the rest I take no stance on whether you understand.
    Last edited by Angra Mainyu; 01-20-2020 at 03:56 AM.

  2. Top | #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    First, understanding what you say is quite different from believing what you say. Obviously I understand what you say. I just don't accept your saying as evidence of what you claim as an ability since you provide no independent evidence to that end. I don't even know what you are saying when you claim "I".

    As long as you are using yourself as a reference for what you claim you are not providing evidence. As long as I'm not seeing you do what you say you can't claim "... beyond reasonable doubt" since it is actually unreasonable to accept hearsay.

    Full Stop!
    But that is your problem, not his, and not mine since I accept what he says and am 100% sure that he could demonstrate it again and again. Unless he is a liar and had someone or something do these things (lift the pebble, do the typing) for him. But I will say that is extremely unlikely. What is certain is that his free will (and yours and mine) is free but not unlimited; its limits being set by his parental DNA and the internal and external history of that DNA. Had he wanted to see, with his unaided eyes, the infra-red or ultraviolet light that so many living creatures can see and react to, or with his unaided ears hear the infrasonic sounds of other creatures, he would not be able to do it. His power, his will to do these things is limited by his "I", a function of his DNA with all its bag and baggage of atoms, electrons. quantums of particles waving photons or vibrating strings and IDK what else...
    Last edited by 4321lynx; 01-20-2020 at 04:04 AM.

  3. Top | #313
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Not my problem. What Angra Mainyu presented was private testimony. It is not and can not be evidence. What you did was treat her claim as testimony which is fine in a court of law or at a commemorative dinner but even then it must be corroborated.

  4. Top | #314
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Not my problem. What Angra Mainyu presented was private testimony. It is not and can not be evidence. What you did was treat her claim as testimony which is fine in a court of law or at a commemorative dinner but even then it must be corroborated.
    That is false. If I tell you I have 10 fingers, that is obviously evidence that I have 10 fingers, and you should lower the probability you assign to the hypothesis that I have a different number, if you ever bothered to consider it (and yes, I have 10 fingers). Moreover, as explained, I was telling you why I have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that I have the ability to move a mouse or press the keys on a keyboard. My telling you is evidence that I have that ability, though it is of course less strong that my observing doing it is evidence for me.

    And again, see this post.

    Incidentally, I am a man. And my telling you that is evidence that I am a man. Since the percentage of people who claim to be men but aren't is very low (not sure how many, but certainly very low and you must know that), then you should decrease the probability that you assign to the hypothesis that I am a woman, which was apparently pretty high. Testimony is, of course, evidence, which has to be considered in conjunction with all other pieces of evidence. But then, that was neither my point nor necessary to make it. As you can see in earlier in our exchange, my point was about the evidence about my abilities that was available to me, not to you (though, of course, it is also beyond a reasonable doubt given the information available to you that I have the ability to move small objects, even if the information available to you is obviously much less than the evidence available to me).

  5. Top | #315
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    So, now that we've established that the answers you gave to Angra Mainyu's questions weren't any good, are you willing to take another stab at them?
    I haven't read through your recent posts thoroughly yet, but at this point I strongly suspect that 'we' haven't established that yet, or that it has in fact been established.

    I need to work now. I'll try to get back to you at some point. If something has been conclusively demonstrated, I'll admit it. At this point, consider me somewhat skeptical about that.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  6. Top | #316
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Imagine you were sitting on a jury in a lawsuit, in a case where business owner P was suing neighboring business owner D, because P and D had signed a contract specifying that P would pay D half a million dollars and D would convert his night club to some quiet business, so that the employees and customers of P's tax preparation business could hear themselves think, and P had then paid D half a million dollars, and D had then kept his night club open and cranked the music up louder than ever, so P sued D. Would you decide in D's favor, on the grounds that the contract isn't valid, because D literally, actually had no way of freely willing himself to do otherwise than sign the contract?
    As I've already said to someone else (Angra I think) something not being freely-willed wouldn't necessarily change court decisions in that way. That's effectively a straw man. My answer is therefore similar to the one I gave Angra about not acquitting.

    And, as I said before, things such as legal consequences are secondary anyway, to the primary question, 'do we have free will?'


    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    You keep making that accusation and that analogy. It's nonsense. We're not fudging the definition; you are! Your accusation amounts to claiming that you and remez et al. own the word "free". You don't own it. The people who use the word "free" for your vague undefined concept -- a concept that apparently isn't the opposite of determinism but is incompatible with it for reasons you refuse to expound upon -- stole it from us!. The word "free" in its modern sense goes back about three thousand years, to proto-Germanic. It meant "not a slave". Where the heck do you lot get the gall to seize for yourselves a word that's already in common use, make up a new meaning for it -- a new meaning whose relation to its pre-existing meaning was based on a bunch of misconceptions -- and then tell the people who keep using it in the conventional way that we're using the word incorrectly? Get a grip.

    You all might as well collectively start worshiping fire, then use "fire" to mean "sacred", then realize actual literal fire worship is stupid and decide what you worship is sacred invisible metaphysical fire, which you subsequently call "fire", then realize that's stupid too and announce that you've become afirists and fire doesn't really exist, and then finally, at the end of that evolution of your subculture's thought, accuse your neighbors of being foolishly wedded to outmoded primitive belief in sacred invisible metaphysical fire and fudging the definition and denying the likely actual truth, on account of how we doggedly insist on using "fire" to refer to what we get when we throw a match into a pile of kindling.
    I don't know what the half of that is all about, especially citing the way terms were used 3000 years ago, and I would remind you that a number of Ancient Greeks raised the same issues as I'm raising, so I'm not sure there was ever any consensus about 'free' when it comes to this particular issue, the existence of slavery notwithstanding.....

    ...but, first, the contested term is 'free will' not just 'free'.

    And in any case, we are all, it seems (absent some explanation to the contrary) literally slaves to and fully constrained by determinism, mostly without realising it, so even 'free' is dubious of itself, if one merely analyses deeply enough, never mind the 'willed' part. In short, a slave can't, actually, really, be freed. Colloquially perhaps, but thats all. And neither you nor anyone else has ever explained how it could possibly be otherwise.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-20-2020 at 05:08 PM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  7. Top | #317
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by remez
    By free will I simply mean the opposite of determinism.
    The people who use that definition -- both dualists like you and also anti-compatibilism materialists like r.s. -- do not use that definition consistently.

    I do not use that definition (see above).
    Yes, you certainly do. <exhibits snipped>

    Good catch. It seems I did use the same definition as remez. On reflection I think I was inaccurate and incorrect. The opposite of determinism is indeterminism.
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    In post 206, remez said,

    By free will I simply mean the opposite of determinism.
    Randomness is the opposite of determinism. Nobody thinks free will and randomness are the same.
    Indeed.
    So, now that we have conclusively established that you have been using "free will" inconsistently -- using it for more than one concept -- are you willing to seriously consider the possibility that your views on this topic resulted from an equivocation fallacy?

    What I perhaps should better have said was that free will and determinism are mutually exclusive, and thus their (supposed) compatibility is effectively a contradiction.
    What reason do you have for believing that? Now that we're in agreement that proving it by using remez's definition is not a good reason to believe it, what else have you got? Now that you're prepared to no longer use "free will" to mean "the opposite of determinism", just what is it that you do mean by "free will"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    Could you derive the contradiction, please?
    For example: Assume that the real word is deterministic - not even randomness. Assume I wrote this of my own free will. Derive a contradiction. Could you do that, please?
    Something that is causally determined (and/or random) is not freely willed or freely done. I don't think I know how to put it any more simply than that. It's like saying up is down or black is white. One is not the other.
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post

    Clearly, that argument is invalid by its form, unless it has implicit premises:

    Premise 1: X is determined.
    Conclusion: X is not freely done.

    The argument has the same form as:

    Premise 1: X is clever.
    Conclusion: X is not freely done.

    That is not valid. Of course, you might have implicit premises that make your argument valid. Could you please make a valid argument, making the required premises explicit?
    That makes no sense whatsoever, I'm afraid.

    Because freely-willed and determined (constrained) are effectively opposites.

    Premise 1: X is up
    Conclusion: X is not down
    So, now that we've established that the answers you gave to Angra Mainyu's questions weren't any good, are you willing to take another stab at them?
    I have answered these points already. No fallacies. I was inaccurate when saying free will is the opposite of determinism, that's all. I would refer you to my previous posts and ask you not to waste our time repeating points already addressed.

    In a nutshell, and to repeat myself, if everything you do is the result of all the deterministic factors up to when you did it, and if because of that you could literally not have freely-willed to do otherwise, because you were fully constrained by prior determinism at every possible instant, even without you (your system) realising it, then it's clearly and obviously not free will in any actual sense. Hume fudged it, by only considering certain, 'obvious' and/or 'external' deterministic factors and not others, internal and less obvious (I don't think Hume even knew that neurons existed so his understanding of the relevant processes was very limited). Compatibilism does the same, so it's a fudge too.

    Compatibilism, imo, is possibly a malaise of colloquialism affecting philosophers in modern times. Science seems to be chipping away at its foundations. Most likely, future explanations, or clues to them, however far they manage to get us (the issue may never be fully resolved, who knows) are likely going to come mostly as a result of more science (genetic, neuro, etc) not what is essentially introspection, as fromunderside has been saying. Philosophers, as has often been the case in modern times, will be trying to hang onto the coat tails of science. That is not to say they won't have a valuable contribution to make in analysing the results obtained by scientists. I'm not anti-philosophy. In some ways really good philosophy is arguably more rigorous than really good science, imo. It's just not often (or here) the initial cutting edge for knowledge nowadays. See fromunderside's remarks about striving for more objectivity, which is possibly what's so impressive about science, and why it's now mostly in the driving seat.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-20-2020 at 05:49 PM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  8. Top | #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Compatibilism, imo, is possibly a malaise of colloquialism affecting philosophers in modern times. Science seems to be chipping away at its foundations.
    What is your understanding of 'compatibilist free will' and how, in your view, does science chip away at it's foundations?

    I understand how science is completely at odds with incompatibilist (contra-causal or libertarian) free will (it's nonsense) but I didn't think that current neuroscience was a problem for most compatibilist views of free will.

  9. Top | #319
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The AntiChris View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Compatibilism, imo, is possibly a malaise of colloquialism affecting philosophers in modern times. Science seems to be chipping away at its foundations.
    What is your understanding of 'compatibilist free will' and how, in your view, does science chip away at it's foundations?

    I understand how science is completely at odds with incompatibilist (contra-causal or libertarian) free will (it's nonsense) but I didn't think that current neuroscience was a problem for most compatibilist views of free will.
    One can google and readily find articles, papers and videos discussing how both modern neuroscience and genetics are undermining the concept of free will.

    As to my understanding of compatibilist free will, it's an oxymoron, imo.

    What more can I say? Are you a compatibilist? If so, why do you say there's free will, exactly? I can't see how there even possibly could be, in the final analysis. Can you?

    I'm not saying compatibilism isn't convenient, or in many ways pragmatic (in some ways not entirely unlike saying the sun goes around the earth). I'm just saying it's actually incorrect, apparently, to explain 'what's really happening', or at least that no way that it could possibly be correct has ever been explained, even in principle. Basically, how would it even work?
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  10. Top | #320
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    The AntiChris, I can show you a picture of God. No kidding. Well, not all of him. Click on this:


    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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