08-02-2010 , 09:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Why do you think that uncaused = random?

That's not what random means. Random doesn't mean "uncaused."
Uncaused requires randomness in reality at some point of the process. This is certain to me as far as free will is concerned.

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There are all sorts of random events which we think are causal. Whether a Uranium atom decays at any given time is random but there's an underlying physical cause.
That is because we just don't know when a uranium atom will decay. That is not the same thing as the decay (happening at a certain time) being uncaused or truly random. A uranium atom decaying at a certain time seems random because we are incapable of predicting when it will happen. That does not mean that the timing itself is random random in reality.

OR, there is no cause to the timing. This seems silly to me. This is especially so in that the decay of a set of uranium atoms occurs in a normal distribution. Either uranium atoms have some special secret language to let each other know to decay at some point in time, have free will, and are trying to trick us, or they are decaying due to some causal force (whether from within or from without).

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This is a basic conceptual error. This is why we distinguish a class of events that are "stochastic" which implies causal vs merely random which may not.
You are making a distinction between two versions of random. One is that there is randomness as part of reality, and the other is that there is lack of precision in our ability to understand the world. (see above)

(I agree that studying stochastic events requires that the second is true.)

Both would create random variables. We assume the second when studying reality.

The interesting thing is that probability distributions tend to be normal, which implies ununderstood* causality...

So, you are distinguishing stochastic as being studyable (sp?), rather than purely random, which would obviously be silly to try to study for obvious reasons.

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This is why your definition is simply wrong. You were trying to define stochastic = random but the problem is your understanding of randomness is wrong.
I believe we are clear enough. Let me know whether my above distinction is sufficient.

*not stuttering. The two uns are necessary.
02-04-2011 , 09:49 PM
Apparently this thread has become too big to fail...nice.
02-04-2011 , 10:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Apparently this thread has become too big to fail...nice.
Can we just respond to any questions/further comments with "see above, we have already discussed that."?
02-05-2011 , 04:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTheMick
Can we just respond to any questions/further comments with "see above, we have already discussed that."?
There is also this thread
02-05-2011 , 06:45 AM
Here is my repost from the other free will thread:

Quote:
I have one questions for libertarians (I've read the massive thread, but it didn't touch this subject IIRC)

Do you consider having or not having a thought about doing something to be a part of the free will process? For example: I walk past the trash can and it doesn't cross my mind that I can bite it. Did i freely not thought about biting it, or is this deterministic/random event? Does free willed action mean only freely choosing between options that you are aware of at a certain time, or does it mean that you are also freely choosing options you are choosing from?

(I hope I presented my thoughts clear enough)
02-05-2011 , 10:21 AM
For the most part, such things will not be under your control. I'm of the camp that resists belief voluntarism. I think that some thoughts/beliefs will be under your control, however, and these are the ones where you're putting your mind to work whether analytically or creatively. However, I'm skeptical about how much control we have over coming to believe something (I'm not saying that there's none, but it's certainly not as easy as some seem to think).

So it's not a problem for the libertarian if the choices with which one is presented are not freely chosen, what matters is that the choosing between the options is free in the libertarian sense. That is, a decision doesn't need to be free "all the way down" to where the options came from. The final choice just needs to be free in the important sense. Furthermore, a la Kane, the libertarian has won provided that there's only ever been ONE 'free' choice in all time. The libertarian can concede that most of our actions are largely determined (I think this). I think that we're on autopilot most of the time (even though we're conscious). However, we have this ability to deviate and be irrational which, I think, indicates freedom in the libertarian sense.

Last edited by durkadurka33; 02-05-2011 at 10:32 AM.
02-05-2011 , 03:37 PM
That everything in this thread was inevitable gives a certain twist of irony to the whole thing, and adds another reason why the thread can't fail - Aside from its basic utility function for the mod of this forum.

-Zeno
02-05-2011 , 03:49 PM
It should almost become sticked as 'the' free will thread.
02-05-2011 , 03:49 PM
it makes more sense to me inductively that all of the brain activity that is respsonsible for what durka considers to be determined behavior, also determines the part of our behavior that durka considers free. i mean, i understand that each position is unfalsifiable, but it seems to me that the evidence that most of our mind's activity is deterministic implies that the mind activity whose evidence for determism/freewill cannot be accessed is more likely to be deterministic.
02-05-2011 , 03:51 PM
If you've followed this thread carefully, I've argued that such "free" behaviour is indeed influenced by deterministic factors, but such factors "incline without necessitating" when the choices are free.
02-05-2011 , 03:58 PM
sorry to stir the pot, i'm sure you're sick of arguing about this by now, but i'm saying that the non-influenced part of our behavior is more likely to be determined, since it is an activity of the mind, and most of the mind's activity is determined.

kinda like treating the mind as a whole, and making a bayesian inference about the parts that we don't have access to evidence abuot. the non-influenced "free" part of the brain.

is that not a sound argument?
02-05-2011 , 04:22 PM
You're begging the question...so of course it's not a good argument.
02-05-2011 , 04:28 PM
i'm confused, which question am i begging? (if you have time to tell, or feel like getting into it, i understand if u don't.)
02-05-2011 , 04:58 PM
Everything?

That the mind is just the brain.

That you can make the fallacy of decomposition.

That...well, maybe you get the picture.

Yes, I'm in a bad mood...sorry...I just reviewed a bad paper on free will for a conference.
02-05-2011 , 05:05 PM
i wouldn't say that the mind is just the brain, but there's tons evidence that supports that the mind is a direct product of the brain's activity. is it still begging the question if i have evidence to support my position?

i don't know about the fallacy of decomposition, but there is evidence that supports that the individual modules of the brain work together to create the mind and it's behavior.

i'm certain that i don't get the full picture because nobody does. neuroscience is just not that developed, and plus i doubt that our intuitions have strong enough computational power to entirely grasp how all of the processes of the brain work together to result in consciousness. but, i think i have a good general knowledge base of science and philosopy that allows me to discuss this topic intelligently.

am i still begging these questions? why?

btw, i mean to be very respectful, and my only intention is to learn from a trained philosopher. thanks for your time.
02-05-2011 , 11:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorcher863
i wouldn't say that the mind is just the brain, but there's tons evidence that supports that the mind is a direct product of the brain's activity. is it still begging the question if i have evidence to support my position?
Quote:
i don't know about the fallacy of decomposition, but there is evidence that supports that the individual modules of the brain work together to create the mind and it's behavior.
Basically, it is knowing that it is possible that the total may be more than the sum of its parts.

Bone up on "begging the question." Durka claims that this fallacy exists in nearly all posts that he disagrees with. Circular reasoning and tautology come up fairly often as nearly the same (but he usually just says "begging the question"). "Begging the question" is a unpolite way of saying that you haven't actually said anything other than making a naked assertion without an argument for the assertion.

Basically, it is just that your premise contains your conclusion. Googling around for a bit should lead you to an understanding of the concept.

You will note that Durka makes informal errors as well. This was one of his last posts here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
I think that we are responsible for what we do.
Thank you for stating your naked assertion.

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My intuition is that we have a libertarian sense of freedom.
Red herring. "Sense of freedom" has multiple explanations. "Sense of immediate autonomy and self awareness" would explain exacly the same intuition just as well.

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I don't know how...but that's what it is.

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If someone were to prove that determinism is true then I'm a hard determinist
Clearly impossible in terms of epistomology. Not sure of what the error is called, but "setting a high bar" seems apt. "If someone were to prove that spaghetti is our one true god, then I would worship spaghetti." Also, argumentum ad ignorantiam.

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and there's no responsibility, value, choice, etc..
Conflation of "responsibility" with "value" and "choice" and whatever he includes in "etc." Argument from consequence, via mentioning responsibility.

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I think that the compatibilist/soft determinists positions are incoherent.
I agree unless certain liberties are taken in regards to defining "free" as "immediately autonomous."

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Since I can't prove the former, I work on the latter.
Argumentum ad ignorantiam. Can't prove the latter either, so it is just citing personal preference as justification.

NOTE: This doesn't mean that durka is wrong.

NOTE2: Durka got some rhetorical skills.

NOTE3: Durka was not trying to prove free will exists. He was just making a justification for his beliefs. This is very important.
02-05-2011 , 11:57 PM
thanks brian. that cleared alot of stuff up for me.
02-06-2011 , 12:06 AM
Oh Brian...you try so hard but fail even harder.

Most of those statements are just epistemic honesty and are VERY far from fallacious. One's opinion (when stated as an opinion/intuition) CANNOT be a case of begging the question/argument from ignorance.

In fact, your definition of argument from ignorance is incorrect. The fallacy is that "because we don't know that x is the case, therefore x is not the case" which is not at all what I've ever claimed!
02-06-2011 , 12:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorcher863
thanks brian. that cleared alot of stuff up for me.
Wait longer before responding. It makes you seem more thoughtful.

Durka and I disagree, but my personal opinion is equally as problematic as his. Neither one of us is going to be proved correct any time soon.

Still, I am less of a jerk (slightly) than durka, so you should just believe my arguments since they make sense to you.
02-06-2011 , 12:17 AM
lol i think quickly

yea, i get why these things are hard to sort out. the brain is ****in complex.

lol nice falacy at the end there.
02-06-2011 , 12:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTheMick
Wait longer before responding. It makes you seem more thoughtful.

Durka and I disagree, but my personal opinion is equally as problematic as his. Neither one of us is going to be proved correct any time soon.

Still, I am less of a jerk (slightly) than durka, so you should just believe my arguments since they make sense to you.
PFT. Let's name a new fallacy: "I'm less of a dick therefore I'm more likely to be correct." Elenchi ad Briandum.
02-06-2011 , 12:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
Oh Brian...you try so hard but fail even harder.

Most of those statements are just epistemic honesty and are VERY far from fallacious. One's opinion (when stated as an opinion/intuition) CANNOT be a case of begging the question/argument from ignorance.

In fact, your definition of argument from ignorance is incorrect. The fallacy is that "because we don't know that x is the case, therefore x is not the case" which is not at all what I've ever claimed!
Argumentum ad ignorantiam works both ways. It is not limited to just one direction of existance claims. If I am uninformed, I would love for you to educate me on what the definition of your fallacy is. Waiting with baited breath.

See the last line in my post. It is salient and probably the most important. I explicitly stated that you were doing NOTHING more than opining..
02-06-2011 , 12:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
PFT. Let's name a new fallacy: "I'm less of a dick therefore I'm more likely to be correct." Elenchi ad Briandum.
Isn't it a type of Ethical Appeal?
02-06-2011 , 12:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by durkadurka33
PFT. Let's name a new fallacy: "I'm less of a dick therefore I'm more likely to be correct." Elenchi ad Briandum.

I hope that you are enjoying this as much as I am.
02-06-2011 , 12:48 AM
I thought that so much was obvious...though I'm sure that a full bottle of red wine increases my utility.

m