Poll

Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?

free will
32 (54.2%)
determinism
6 (10.2%)
both
10 (16.9%)
neither
2 (3.4%)
not sure
9 (15.3%)

Total Members Voted: 58

Author Topic: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?  (Read 6905 times)

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Offline HarlequinForest

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #70 on: September 16, 2012, 08:37:00 PM »
Conceptually, it's coherent and plausible based on my experiences in life. There's no "scientific evidence" if that's what you want.

Yes, that is what I want.  Or if there is no evidence, then at least something that is at least logically consistent with what we observe in the natural world.  There's no reason to inject spirituality into it when there is no evidence for it and is inconsistent with what we observe in the natural world.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #71 on: September 16, 2012, 08:53:11 PM »
@Hef: Well, we do know that minds are brains.  There has as of yet been no compelling evidence to suggest that any of the processes of the "mind" are not carried out by the brain.

Regardless, our knowledge of how the brain works is admittedly limited.  We know, for example, what the greater role of each section of the brain is, and how these sections interact with each other.  (Even with only this knowledge, there is tremendous evidence that the workings of the "mind" really just take place in the brain -- for example, damage to specific parts of the brain can cause people to act extremely immorally or to believe irrationally that their parents are impostors.)  We know, from a high-level perspective, that brain cells (neurons) fire in such a way as to excite nearby neurons, and that this process, repeated countless times by the billions of neurons in the brain's network, is responsible for all the wonderful things the brain does.  But that network is so utterly huge and complex that it will be a while until, for example, we have a very in-depth understanding of how the brain is able to represent concepts like "chair" and "love" or perform high-level reasoning.  Regardless, again, just because we don't currently know how the brain does something doesn't mean it doesn't do it.

So, if the question is

Rather than that, wouldn't it be better to default to "We don't know" than to insist that something you don't, in fact, know is the truth?

then the answer is that there is indeed a lot we don't know and that scientists are willing to acknowledge it when there is still work to be done.  Asserting that something you don't know is in fact the truth is not a scientific thing to do at all; that practice lies more within the realm of religion.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #72 on: September 16, 2012, 09:02:30 PM »
Whatever, I'm just fuckin' with ya.
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Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #73 on: September 16, 2012, 09:03:44 PM »
oh alright

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #74 on: September 16, 2012, 09:07:16 PM »
Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline rumborak

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #75 on: September 17, 2012, 08:28:02 AM »
Do they? There's a shitton we don't know about the brain.

Sorry dude, but that's been established beyond doubt at this point, that the brain is the seat of the mind.
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #76 on: September 17, 2012, 08:35:57 AM »
But just because we don't understand very much of it quite yet doesn't mean we have to default to a supernatural explanation.
Rather than that, wouldn't it be better to default to "We don't know" than to insist that something you don't, in fact, know is the truth?

We MUST insist that we know what an answer is (or isnt), even if we dont, in fact, know.  Do say "we don't know" is a breach of etiquitte (especially in P/R) and will surely bring destruction and shame to this forum.  Duh.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #77 on: September 17, 2012, 10:50:54 AM »
Really what this boils down to is the fallacy of naturalism. There's no reason to believe the natural world is all their is based on science, because science can only observe the natural world.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #78 on: September 17, 2012, 11:02:23 AM »
Science would be happy to endorse the existence of the supernatural if there were any evidence the supernatural existed.  Science does indeed deal in things we can't observe directly -- string theory is a great example of a modern scientific idea that's gaining a bit of traction despite still being very theoretical.  All you need is evidence, and if there exists a supernatural world that is affecting the natural world, then there should be some evidence that these interactions are taking place.

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #79 on: September 17, 2012, 11:06:17 AM »
What I'm saying is that dualism does not contradict itself. It is a position that is consistent with science. So, just like The Matrix, just like the brain in a vat, it should be included in our bucket of possible truths.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2012, 11:13:09 AM »
Sure!  But science needs evidence before it can endorse any possible truths.

Offline ehra

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #81 on: September 17, 2012, 11:25:46 AM »
Of course, you're defining that person's will as the consciousness that emerges from the interactions in that same brain, so how can you say they aren't responsible? 

I was under the impression that the argument is that the concept of "free will" or "choice" can't exist if a person will always make the same decision under the same circumstances; since you're just going to break that down as everyone being robots making the only logical conclusions they can. If that's the case then saying a person is "responsible" for their actions is the same as saying any other animal or insect in the world is "responsible" for its actions. A human can understand more complex situations, but it's still just an organism reacting to a stimuli that never had any actual "choices" or "decisions" to make at any point.

Most human interaction kinda hinges on the idea that people consciously choose to perform most of the action they make, not that we're all victims to per-determined biological/psychological reactions to any potential situation. No one arguing from the conclusion that there's no such thing as choice seems to want to make the make the shift in thought that'd be necessary to reconcile with that idea.

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #82 on: September 17, 2012, 11:36:45 AM »
Sure!  But science needs evidence before it can endorse any possible truths.
Even without science's endorsement of the existence of immaterial substances like minds, one can still rationally come to the conclusion that they exist. There are many avenues to truth that do not use science.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #83 on: September 17, 2012, 11:38:05 AM »
Alright, go ahead then.  Prove that you have a mind that is not your brain.

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #84 on: September 17, 2012, 11:44:32 AM »
OK, if you assume the existence of God and the afterlife, then materialism leads to contradictions for a number of reasons. So you can reject materialism.

The point with this example, is that given some starting assumptions (which all belief systems require), it is possible to arrive at materialism.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #85 on: September 17, 2012, 11:48:28 AM »
So you believe in souls because you already believe in God.  That's fine, but don't act as if there's something wrong with the scientific characterization of minds, because nothing that the brain does requires supernatural intervention.

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #86 on: September 17, 2012, 11:51:57 AM »
No there's nothing wrong with it insofar as it being consistent within itself. But there's nothing wrong with a belief system that includes belief in souls and minds either. The latter provides an escape to determinism. And if you've got a possible escape to determinism, you can't say that nondeterminism is impossible.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #87 on: September 17, 2012, 11:53:41 AM »
If you're talking to me in particular, I never suggested that nondeterminism was impossible - I said I didn't know what the correct answer was but that it doesn't make too much of a difference to me.

Offline rumborak

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #88 on: September 17, 2012, 12:54:05 PM »
No there's nothing wrong with it insofar as it being consistent within itself. But there's nothing wrong with a belief system that includes belief in souls and minds either.

Without any evidence for them though, couldn't just about anything be stipulated to exist?
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Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #89 on: September 17, 2012, 12:57:52 PM »
No there's nothing wrong with it insofar as it being consistent within itself. But there's nothing wrong with a belief system that includes belief in souls and minds either.

Without any evidence for them though, couldn't just about anything be stipulated to exist?

Why does your avatar suddenly come to mind? :lol
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Offline jasc15

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #90 on: September 17, 2012, 01:15:29 PM »
No there's nothing wrong with it insofar as it being consistent within itself. But there's nothing wrong with a belief system that includes belief in souls and minds either. The latter provides an escape to determinism. And if you've got a possible escape to determinism, you can't say that nondeterminism is impossible.
You can't just use the realm of the unknown to insert your preferred ideas.  Without anything to support it, any idea attempting to occupy this space is as good as any other.

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #91 on: September 19, 2012, 10:58:53 AM »
I don't think you guys are following correctly. Suppose you have the following in your starting assumptions:

1) God exists
2) the afterlife exists
3) the physical world exists

You can, from these assumptions, logically deduce that the physical world is not all there is. Because if naturalism was true, that would lead to contradictions in your belief system, and something would have to give.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #92 on: September 19, 2012, 11:05:25 AM »
Sure, but there's no evidence for 1) or 2).  So if we grant arbitrary "starting assumptions", you could "rationally come to the conclusion" that anything exists.

EDIT:  Not that the proof you've presented is all that convincing even from a metaphysical logical standpoint, by the way.  As it stands any proof you can derive from those assumptions will basically say "I believe something besides the natural world exists because I believe something besides the natural world exists".
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 11:16:02 AM by theseoafs »

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #93 on: September 19, 2012, 11:55:04 AM »
Sure, but there's no evidence for 1) or 2).  So if we grant arbitrary "starting assumptions", you could "rationally come to the conclusion" that anything exists.
All belief systems have starting assumptions that can't be justified. (Don't take that as me admitting that God has no evidence.)

EDIT:  Not that the proof you've presented is all that convincing even from a metaphysical logical standpoint, by the way.  As it stands any proof you can derive from those assumptions will basically say "I believe something besides the natural world exists because I believe something besides the natural world exists".
That's not where I'm arguing from. Here's where I'm arguing from: the following three statements form an inconsistent triad.

1) God exists.
2) The afterlife exists.
3) Materialism is true.

If you assume those three statements, you can derive contradictions. For example, in the afterlife, if we are resurrected and built back into the particles that originally composed us, some of us would be sharing particles at the hip, which makes no sense. So you've got to reject one or more of those three assumptions.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline theseoafs

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #94 on: September 19, 2012, 12:46:18 PM »
But that's hardly "rationally coming to the conclusion that immaterial objects like minds exist", as you posited earlier in the thread; that's just saying "I believe in God so I can't possibly be materialist". 

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #95 on: September 19, 2012, 12:54:26 PM »
To make it easier, here's my thought process written in argument form regarding souls:

1) The Bible teaches the existence of the immaterial soul.
2) All that the Bible teaches is true.
---
3) The existence of the immaterial soul is true.

Whether or not you believe the premises, the argument is valid, and anyone that accepts the two premises should rationally come to the conclusion that the immaterial soul exists (and thus that an immaterial object exists, contradicting naturalism).
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline jasc15

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #96 on: September 19, 2012, 04:31:14 PM »
As it stands any proof you can derive from those assumptions will basically say "I believe something besides the natural world exists because I believe something besides the natural world exists".
This is the heart of it.  The argument is tautological; just using different wording for the first and second part of the statement.

Offline Ħ

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Re: POLL: Do you believe in free will, determinism, or both?
« Reply #97 on: September 19, 2012, 04:35:30 PM »
The conclusion "something besides the natural world exists" is not hidden within either of those premises. Meaning - It is possible for the Bible to teach the existence of immaterial objects and for materialism to be true. It is also possible for Bible to teach only that which is true and for materialism to be true.
 
An argument that begs the question (i.e. the only way a person will believe one or both of the premises are true is if the person belives the conclusion in the first place) essentially contains the conclusion within the premises. This argument does not do this, so it is not an argument that begs the question.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges