Open Side Menu Go to the Top
Register
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC)

05-22-2010 , 03:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanb9
So, why do you think that you can determine that it is more likely that not-unicorns than unicorns?
so....
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Start naming names and systems.
Any social/reciprocal/behavioral definition of responsibility is dependent on determinism but not on free will.

Quote:
Actually, for the most part, discussions of responsibility try to avoid the free will question as much as possible.
That kind of undermines your position. Most systems of responsibility don't even invoke free will in the first place, which wouldn't even be possible if you were right that responsibility depends on indeterminism. If responsibility did depend on indeterminism, then indeterminism would be a necessary premise and an integral part of any description of responsibility.

Quote:
Furthermore, the intuition that people can't be responsible in locally fatalistic cases is common even among compatibilists. If you're handcuffed to a chair, are you responsible for not being able to leave the room? If I take your hand and beyond your control punch someone, are you reponsible?
Um, no, because I wasn't a cause of the punch or a cause of being unable to leave the room. This has nothing to do with free will. This has to do with determinism. The factor that determined that you would not leave the room was your being tied up in the chair. A prior condition (being tied up in the chair) determines the outcome (your not being able to leave the room). You are not the cause of your not being able to leave the room, so you are not responsible for not being able to leave the room. The question of who is responsible varies depending on the particular flavor of responsibility you accept.

According to most definitions of responsibility, only outcomes that your choices cause are relevant. Some are a bit murkier, but regardless your choices need to have some impact in order for an example to be relevant.

If you choose not to leave the room because you prefer to stay in the room (a prior factor - that's determinism), then you are responsible for not leaving the room. If you choose to murder someone because you are a nasty sociopath (again, a prior factor determining your choice), then you are responsible for your actions. Nobody would say "his action was determined by his being a bad person, therefore he has no responsibility." That would be absurd. In fact, part of the reason we lock people up is that we can predict that a person who has commit crimes in the past is likely to commit crimes in the future. Which implies that there are prior factors determining the crimes (or at least influencing them to some extent).

In most cases when we discuss responsibility, we assign more responsibility the less free will applies. When someone does something on a whim or as an act of passion (potentially an action heavily freely willed as it is hard to draw a deterministic causal chain to the action), we consider that a mitigating factor. But when someone carefully plans a crime and has a history of violent behavior and an absence of empathy (there is a clear deterministic causal chain leading up to the crime), then we throw the book at the person.

We also treat criminals more harshly the more we can justify a prediction that they will commit further crimes in the future. That is, the more predictable (less freely willed) their crimes are, the more responsible they are for those crimes.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalf
The way I see agnosticism described, is the belief that the knowledge of Gods existence is unknowable, which is completely different from atheism, which goes to belief.
Whether or not you think something can be ultimately known, you do know if you believe it.

I do not see why you can claim to know what atheists think. Asking for evidence is not necessarily the same as rejecting the claim; besides, is it not a general part of critical thinking, that the person making the claim should be able to demonstrate it?
If a person claims to have knowledge of something extraordinary, but refuses to show me, are you seriously suggesting I am not justified in rejecting it until they can produce evidence?
You need to analyze my definitions on their face, not on the way you see x described. You're describing Agnosticism, not agnosticism. Why can't I claim to know what atheists think? I used to be one, and basically all of my friends/colleagues are.

What are you suggesting that I need to prove that I haven't?
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibninjas
Could you please briefly formalize such a system? This is something that I have never understood how it can be possible either.
Sure, fairly trivial to do so in short:

1. Responsibility is assigned based on a person's choices.
2. A person's choices are determined by that person's brain processes (in a deterministic manner).
3. Therefore, responsibility is assigned based on deterministic (brain) processes.

Or for a more complex (and if you ask me more realistic) view:

1. Responsibility is a social construct that facilitates stable societies and communities through the mechanism of providing a disincentive toward unwanted behavior and an incentive toward acceptable behavior.
2. The mechanism of incentives is effective because when those incentives are in place, the frequency of unwanted behavior predictably decreases and the frequency of acceptable behavior predictably increases.
3. Predictable alterations in the frequencies of behaviors based on existing incentive structures is an example of action predictably influenced by prior factors.
4. Freely willed actions are by definition neither predictable nor determined by prior factors.
5. Influences of prior factors are determined by prior factors.
6. Predictable alterations in the frequencies of behaviors based on existing incentive structures is not a function of free will.
7. The mechanism of responsibility is not a function of free will.
8. Responsibility is assigned on the basis of the mechanism of responsibility.
9. Responsibility is not assigned on the basis of free will.

This is sloppy and leaves out many intermediate steps, if you'd like something more formal let me know, I can put it together but it will take time.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanb9
so....
SOOOO sorry that your little post gets lost in the flood of posts that I need to respond to. Chill out.

We can know what constitutes evidence for their existence or evidence of their non existence with respect to unicorns (it's not really a falsifiable hypothesis, now is it?). Given the problem of induction we can never conclusively determine that unicorns don't exist, but I don't require that for epistemic warrant (which should be clear from other threads on epistemology).

However, what counts as evidence for God? What counts as evidence for not God? When you say that it is more likely that not-God than God, what evidence are you pointing to? On what do you base your conclusion?

Answer that, and you might have your response.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by madnak
Sure, fairly trivial to do so in short:

1. Responsibility is assigned based on a person's choices.
2. A person's choices are determined by that person's brain processes (in a deterministic manner).
3. Therefore, responsibility is assigned based on deterministic (brain) processes.

Or for a more complex (and if you ask me more realistic) view:

1. Responsibility is a social construct that facilitates stable societies and communities through the mechanism of providing a disincentive toward unwanted behavior and an incentive toward acceptable behavior.
2. The mechanism of incentives is effective because when those incentives are in place, the frequency of unwanted behavior predictably decreases and the frequency of acceptable behavior predictably increases.
3. Predictable alterations in the frequencies of behaviors based on existing incentive structures is an example of action predictably influenced by prior factors.
4. Freely willed actions are by definition neither predictable nor determined by prior factors.
5. Influences of prior factors are determined by prior factors.
6. Predictable alterations in the frequencies of behaviors based on existing incentive structures is not a function of free will.
7. The mechanism of responsibility is not a function of free will.
8. Responsibility is assigned on the basis of the mechanism of responsibility.
9. Responsibility is not assigned on the basis of free will.

This is sloppy and leaves out many intermediate steps, if you'd like something more formal let me know, I can put it together but it will take time.
This is basically agent causation...but what does describing x as a PERSON or AGENT add to the story? Do we hold rocks responsible for falling? Do we hold clouds responsible for "choosing" to rain?
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Wat? Hard determinists accept the incompatibility thesis. Soft determinists and compatibilists deny it. Libertarians, soft determinists, and hard determinists take very clear positions on the existence of free will/responsibility. Compatibilists take a position on the nature of free/will responsibility but just don't take a position on the deterministic thesis.

Wat?
Wat? So you take a position favoring the existence of free will/responsibility. You also take a position that free will/responsibility is not compatible with determinism. By implication you therefore take a position against determinism.

(Free Will/Responsibility + Incompatibility) ==> Non Determinism

You cannot take a stand on the two on the left and deny taking a stand on what they imply.

PairTheBoard
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
SOOOO sorry that your little post gets lost in the flood of posts that I need to respond to. Chill out.

We can know what constitutes evidence for their existence or evidence of their non existence with respect to unicorns (it's not really a falsifiable hypothesis, now is it?). Given the problem of induction we can never conclusively determine that unicorns don't exist, but I don't require that for epistemic warrant (which should be clear from other threads on epistemology).

However, what counts as evidence for God? What counts as evidence for not God? When you say that it is more likely that not-God than God, what evidence are you pointing to? On what do you base your conclusion?

Answer that, and you might have your response.

Idk what you mean by god. If you are talking about Yahweh please just say so. Yahweh is not falsifiable either. So you are saying unicorns are as likely as non-unicorns and Yahweh is as likely as non-Yahweh? If you think unicorns are less likely than Yahweh please, tell me why.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
You need to analyze my definitions on their face, not on the way you see x described.
Both based on the original definitions of atheism and agnosticism and based on their current dictionary definitions, the two are not mutually exclusive.

You're speaking as though they are. Admittedly, I think Huxley believed that atheism and agnosticism were compatible, but I'm pretty sure he also defined atheism as a strict positive denial of the existence of God (which has never been a definition with any academic support, despite its frequently high level of popular support).
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PairTheBoard
Wat? So you take a position favoring the existence of free will/responsibility. You also take a position that free will/responsibility is not compatible with determinism. By implication you therefore take a position against determinism.

(Free Will/Responsibility + Incompatibility) ==> Non Determinism

You cannot take a stand on the two on the left and deny taking a stand on what they imply.

PairTheBoard
Here's how: IF it's the case that onen could confirm the deterministic thesis, then I'd immediately become a hard determinist. Basically, my brand of libertarianism is a little more subtle than the traditional brand which includes taking a position on the deterministic thesis. I provisionally take the position that determinism is false...but I'm not fully committed to its truth.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanb9
Idk what you mean by god. If you are talking about Yahweh please just say so. Yahweh is not falsifiable either. So you are saying unicorns are as likely as non-unicorns and Yahweh is as likely as non-Yahweh? If you think unicorns are less likely than Yahweh please, tell me why.
Just GOD...however you spell it out I don't particularly care. Anselm, Aquinas, I don't care.

It's not about falsifiability...I asked you what counts as EVIDENCE either way. We know what would count as evidence for a unicorn (some horse skeleton with a horn...or observing a living one) but what counts as evidence for God?! What counts as evidence for not-God?!

We can answer that for a unicorn...can you answer it for God?
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by madnak
Both based on the original definitions of atheism and agnosticism and based on their current dictionary definitions, the two are not mutually exclusive.

You're speaking as though they are. Admittedly, I think Huxley believed that atheism and agnosticism were compatible, but I'm pretty sure he also defined atheism as a strict positive denial of the existence of God (which has never been a definition with any academic support, despite its frequently high level of popular support).
I've defined my terms...I don't care how others have. That's not important.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:56 PM
I think that one problem is that agnosticism is a poorly understood and used word. On the other side, the much more common word atheism is a bit too strong word. Maybe it just fits in well in this time to say one believes "in something". Why take the effort to totally clean the table?
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by plaaynde
I think that one problem is that agnosticism is a poorly understood and used word. On the other side, the much more common word atheism is a bit too strong word. Maybe it just fits in well in this time to say one believes "in something". Why take the effort to totally clean the table?
Welcome to philosophy. I've defined my terms.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibninjas
Zeno, please do not lock this. This is not a religious discussion, but a discussion about free will. I want to hear what Durka has to say. This is about justification of the belief in free will devoid of belief in the bible.

This is an accusation that constantly comes up (whether or not OP was making it or not) and I want to hear from atheists that believe in free will.
I should also say here that I think you're missing something about the "only believe in free will because of the Bible claim."

I'm sure some people may say that belief in the Bible causes belief in free will and it's as simple as that.

But what I mean when I say it is that the cultural heritage of the Bible and the cultural heritage of our modern (Western) notion of free will are inextricable. Of course, there are plenty of people who believe in one but not the other. However, the ideas are transmitted through largely the same means. The Bible (and Christianity in general) plays a huge role in all of Western culture. I doubt you could find me a single episode of a single television show produced in the US that doesn't have Biblical references of some kind. Many of these shows are secular, and the writers may not even be aware that this saying comes from the KJV, or that symbol comes from Christian mysticism, but the fact remains. Our culture has been hugely influenced Christianity, and that influence is still present. Even in remote areas of the world, Hollywood movies and American television are increasingly popular - and the underlying Biblical ideas are also becoming increasingly widespread even among the secular. Look at places like Japan and watch how their values and beliefs have changed over the last 100 years - you will see the Bible.

Anyhow, I think our current notion of free will was invented by Christians and propagated by Christians, and while some earlier notions of free will may seem very similar, I think any careful analysis will reveal key differences. Unfortunately this is speculation as I'm no expert on the subject, but I'm fairly confident that it's true. It's my opinion that everyone who believes in free will has indirectly received their belief through Christian teachings, even if the direct mechanism of transmission was secular.

However, many of the ancient philosophers who posited free will never even suggested libertarianism, and focused all their efforts on attacking predestination, which was a common concept back then. I believe that some of them were determinists themselves, but they never seemed to oppose determinism much.

Predestination is basically the idea that the outcome determines the sequence of events. Determinism is the idea that the series of events determines the outcome. I haven't personally seen any ancient philosopher attack the latter idea, but plenty of them have attacked the former. However, when Christianity came around, people started ignoring predestination (maybe it died out in the civilized world) and started attacking determinism.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 03:59 PM
boy the garbage some of you guys come up with to try and justify your beilief in childish gods and superpowers is incredible.

Glad the bible didnt say you should eat your own feces, cuz all you fools would have spoonfuls of sht in your mouth right now just lovin it!!!!!
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
I've defined my terms...I don't care how others have. That's not important.
Fair enough. Just be careful not to equivocate. Most of the self-described atheists here are probably not atheists according to your definitions.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Just GOD...however you spell it out I don't particularly care. Anselm, Aquinas, I don't care.

It's not about falsifiability...I asked you what counts as EVIDENCE either way. We know what would count as evidence for a unicorn (some horse skeleton with a horn...or observing a living one) but what counts as evidence for God?! What counts as evidence for not-God?!

We can answer that for a unicorn...can you answer it for God?
Depends on what god you are talking about.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Here's how: IF it's the case that onen could confirm the deterministic thesis, then I'd immediately become a hard determinist.
So you would then immediately say that criminals are not responsible for their actions?
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by madnak
Fair enough. Just be careful not to equivocate. Most of the self-described atheists here are probably not atheists according to your definitions.
I am very careful not to equivocate...and I agree with your final statement. But, I think that it's an important distinction.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanb9
Depends on what god you are talking about.
No, it doesn't. I said pick a sense of Christian "God" and discuss the evidence problem. The precise characterization isn't important for the problem that I'm discussing. I don't care about specific cases of evidence: I care about what COULD count as evidence.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by madnak
So you would then immediately say that criminals are not responsible for their actions?
If determinism is true? Then, no...no one is responsible for anything. That's the incompatibility thesis.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
No, it doesn't. I said pick a sense of Christian "God" and discuss the evidence problem. The precise characterization isn't important for the problem that I'm discussing. I don't care about specific cases of evidence: I care about what COULD count as evidence.
same as what counts for unicorns. idk what you mean
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by madnak
The Bible (and Christianity in general) plays a huge role in all of Western culture.
Im starting to doubt this. Maybe things would have developed in a similar way anyhow.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote
05-22-2010 , 04:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanb9
same as what counts for unicorns. idk what you mean
I believe that you don't know.

Does a unicorn exist? Well, we know what COULD count as evidence. For example, observing a horse-like animal with a real horn. Or, rather than a living one, we could suppose that finding a horse-like skeleton with what appears to be a horn (and not a fake) could count as evidence for unicorns.

I've given you an explanation of what could count as evidence for unicorns. What would count as evidence of them not existing? Well, perhaps some biological argument that a horse couldn't have a horn (though I doubt that such an argument could be made); perhaps we have reason to believe that we have a complete fossil record of the clade that includes horses...and none of them indicate the development of a horn at any stage let alone a fully developed one that a unicorn would have. This would be something that COULD be evidence against their existence.

Now, do that for God. What COULD count as evidence for God's existence? What COULD count as evidence against God's existence.

I'll give you a hint: lots of people think that evil is evidence against God's existence.

Your turn.
durkadurka, you only believe in free will because....(LC) Quote

      
m