JLeeMagnetic comments on YT video, Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will, and Unseenstrings replies

JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:07 AM

what blows me away about determinists is the countless amount of times they argue over and over and call other people stupid for not believing them. I mean if it was determined, you would think they would understand to accept people for following their own destiny. It’s so funny. Then you have people who say oh no, it was determined they would get mad at the people who believe in free will. But then again… GIVE me a break!! hahaha the typical destiny excuse..
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@JLeeMagnetic, when people talk about an event being causally determined, most don’t mean that “fate” or “God” predestined the event. They simply mean that the oil-spill on the curve of the busy road meant that an accident was inevitable. To take the position that The Big Bang or God predestined the spill and ensuing accident is a religious position, because it is unfalsifiable, thus unscientific.

Also, determinism is a general philosophical thesis with variation. Read the Wikipedia article.

Also, it can be argued that the “determinists” who get mad do so because the anger was cause by something, just like the ignorance of individuals has a cause.

Hairy, my son’s 5 lb Chihuahua was murdered by the 90 lb pit bull next door. Neither talking about free will nor determinism will cause our anger and grief to go away. Humans are animals and feel an intense desire to bite back in such situations.

Disproving determinism doesn’t prove free will. Quantum randomness isn’t freely chosen.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:33 PM

Forget about causation for a moment. Outside of that, I feel that most people on YT preaching determinism/singularity seem to be pretty negative about it. They don’t seem happy and when they see someone believing in free will, they seem even less happy. I don’t really understand the point of trying to prove determinism. What are the benefits of that? On the other hand, people who talk about free will do seem atleast happier. That’s from what i have observed.
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@JLeeMagnetic, you are so deluded by a belief in free will that you assume a “determinist” can freely choose to act as you presume he would–instead of as nature has made him. The fact is, a person’s behavior is determined his genetic endowment, which is traceable to the evolutionary history of the species, and by the environmental circumstances to which as an individual he has been exposed.

Also, anecdotal evidence is often more fantasy than fact; therefore, such is not accepted by science.

Have you ever heard the adage, “ignorance is bliss.” There is much truth in the statement. In fact, some of the writers of the Old Testament noted the same phenomena in The Book of Ecclesiastes. The author(/s) went on to say that it is better to be wise and miserable than to be a fool living in bliss. And I’ll agree. But of course, one can not freely choose to be wise. Wisdom is determined by the same factors that determine a person’s behavior, mentioned above (genetic-environmental interaction)
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:37 PM

@unseenstrings I also don’t get that. If the dog was killed based on determinism, then yea i can see determinists people determined to not get mad at all, but instead understand that it was out of anybodies control. If i were a determinists i don’t think i would get mad about the dog. Instead, i would be like a robot because i would understand this was the only thing that could have happened. So i still find humor in the fact that determinists people still act like they have free will.
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@JLeeMagnetic you keep harping on and on about determinism and I’ve already pointed out that determinism is a complex philosophical position with much variation. I couldn’t imagine you rambling on and on about determinism if we were trying to ascertain the innerworkings of a porpoise brain. So why do you bring so much irrelevancy into discussions concerning the complex physical system that is commonly referred to as the “human” brain? Free will is a pseudoexplanation. Define free will if you can

How do you suppose a robot with AI on par with human intelligence is suppose to act? The same survival mechanism evolution built into humans would need to be built into a “Terminator” type robot in order for it to function efficiently. Suppose the human brain were reverse engineered. Suppose nano-technology and new discoveries in quantum mechanics allowed AI researchers to built a robot with a quantum computer brain as intelligent as you. Would you claim the machine had free will or just humans?
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:38 PM

@unseenstrings see that’s what i don’t get about determinists. They choose to continue to argue and act like they have free will. Then they say well it’s only because something caused me to get mad. But then it’s like you can use that excuse every time and it’s just that, an excuse. After a while who cares if you say something caused it or i say you caused it, still an excuse.
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@JLeeMagnetic, you cannot logically assert “They continue to argue and act like they have free will.” You can say that in your blissful state of ignorance and limited awareness they seem to you to have free will. And I couldn’t argue against that point. But of course, I could try to point out some the the causal factors involved

In split-brain research, individuals have made choices with one side of the brain that the other was ignorant of. The ignorant side makes up excuses (reasons) for why
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:39 PM

@unseenstrings Well you can say that there anger is caused by something, but like i said i thought u were gonna say that, seems to me like an excuse either way. If i were a ”determinist” i would accept everything and never get mad at other peoples opinions. Disproving determinism doesn’t prove free will, but in order to have free will you have to have atleast these 2 things, which are the ”feeling” of free will and we have to have indeterminism. So with that said, atleast it’s better..
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@JLeeMagnetic, let me see if I have this correct: if a nonhuman animal gets angry, then the anger has a cause? But if the human animal gets angry, then you say we cannot say there was a cause because you would then say that is an excuse and not a reason why. Interesting. I think your state of confusion is primarily caused by your blind belief in free will.

A feeling you are God doesn’t make you God. A feeling you have free will doesn’t mean you do. Indeterminism doesn’t prove free will.

Einstein said, “Schopenhauer’s words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,’ accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me.” And Richard Dawkins pointed out that we are “inconsistent,” which I referred to as hypocrites. Your sweeping generalization about all “determinists” is quite illogical. Some “determinists” TRY not to get mad because of their awareness that free will is an illusion.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 4:24 PM

@unseenstrings Oh come on. Most animals are not as smart as humans. A human has an ability to rationalize. Im saying humans can make excuses. Animals are not even smart enough to make excuses. I didn’t say indeterminism doesn’t prove free will. But neither does determinism. Im saying it opens the gate for free will. Determinism would completely rule it out. And in order to have free will, you have to at the very least feel it. If you feel like a robot, you don’t have it for sure.
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@JLeeMagnetic, I’m “rationalizing.” You’re “rationalizing.” But we don’t agree. Philosophers are the best “rationalizers” in the world and they vehemently differ in their rationalizations. Seems you put too much faith in the human ability to be rational. In fact, I’ve already mentioned that the findings of split-brain research indicate patents use the linguistic side of their brain to “rationalize” behavior initiated by the opposite side–behavior that the linguistic side was wholly ignorant of.

No doubt one person will “rationalize” homosexual behavior & another will “rationalize” heterosexuality. The Christian will “rationalize” a belief in “God.” And the atheist will rationalize just the opposite. What you really mean is the human robot experiences particular feelings–feelings that it did not freely choose. And this biological robot is driven to & fro by the feeling, but makes up excuses for the ensuing behavior. Yet he calls his own excuses, rational, & claims others invent excuses

@JLeeMagnetic, 2 points invalidate your argument. 1) You can not logically state what being a robot would feel like unless you were a robot. (This is besides the fact that, in a sense, you are a biological robot created by natural selection.) 2) Awareness of possible threats and awareness of available options determine choice behavior more-so in certain instances than so called, “intelligence.” (We humans have learned to use the greater awareness of our dogs to our advantage.)

Naturalism Org
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 4:25 PM

@unseenstrings And you just said that im in a state of confusion. Im not because you haven’t got me understood. Im saying once you know better, you can’t keep making the same excuse over and over. Otherwise that is being immature.
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@JLeeMagnetic, wow, you keep making up the same excuse over and over for human behavior. Now you’re saying the person who does so is immature. I say you are merely being illogical for repeating that human behavior is caused by a magic thing that you call free will. And I say your actual maturity has nothing to do with whether your “premise” is logical or not.

Free will is superfluous. It adds nothing to our understanding of the way the human brain functions in the real world

Naturalism Org
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:53 PM

@unseenstrings I also believe you have the free will for what your sexual orientation is.
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@JLeeMagnetic, so you’re saying you’re personally driven by nature to feel equal attraction regarding both homosexual relationships and heterosexual relationships. But you choose to have one type of relationship instead of the other. Interesting. Maybe you’re bisexual. That would explain why you feel attracted to men and women, but choose–for whatever reason (I still cannot imagine a human choosing to do something without feeling the choice was necessary or desirable)–one over the other.

Once I felt a need to make a decision but was in the dilemma of indecision. The necessary strength of feeling didn’t bubble into conscious awareness to stimulate me into choosing. So, to fulfill the choice requirement, I flipped a coin. Now be aware that just because a person cannot predict the outcome of a coin toss with over what is considered pure chance, the outcome of the coin toss is causally determined. A lack to predict outcome does not mean the phenomena was free from causality.

@JLeeMagnetic, would you make all the same choices that you now make, providing you’d never been taught language? No, you wouldn’t, because language and how you’ve learned to use it is a causal factor that has an effect on the way you think. You can do what you will, but you cannot will yourself to experience a particular will without first experiencing the will to do so, i.e., you can do what you WANT, but you can not freely choose the WANT before it is experienced. watch?v=v6fk8m3WxwI (my vid)
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Friday, September 23, 2011 8:13 AM

@unseenstrings but that is common sense, has nothing to do with free will. that paragraph you wrote does not prove or disprove anything.
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@JLeeMagnetic, free will is akin to God in the sense that it is a metaphysical claim. And such claims cannot be proved nor disproved by physical beings functioning in a physical world according to physical laws. However, love, pain, learning, hunger, thirst, fear, are a few of many words that make no sense in a world ruled by free will. Your choices are determined by such factors in combination with “who you are.” And, like a robot, you had to develop into “who you are” before you could choose.

@JLeeMagnetic, when I stated some common causal factors that have an influence on choice behavior, you said, “but that is common sense…” And you went on to deny the factors contradicted free will. WTF? Now, that’s sad.

Yes, its true that the facts I stated are common sense. But here is another fact for you: Free will is common nonsense. It is an illusion passed down to us from our ignorant ancestors.

Very much intelligence can be wasted in ignorance when the need for illusion is great.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Friday, September 23, 2011 4:35 PM

@unseenstrings Yea but if i was determined to say that, then there was no other possibility. So I really believe that it is completely insane for a determinists to judge anyone for there actions. It is insane. Because it’s like interacting with a rock. Im a rock. There is nothing that is going to change my path. Knowing that, you should agree and say hmm he’s right. That motherfucker.
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@JLeeMagnetic, you’re a dynamic physical system. A rock isn’t. A very sophisticated robot with AI would also be a dynamic physical system. A rock can’t do what such a robot could do. But that doesn’t mean the robot would have free will any more than it means you have free will.

The fact that causality is true means that our conversation could effect the way each of us think. Free will would mean that you are not only free from such influences but from all influences–even “supernatural” ones.

If you had free will then you would be more like a rock rolling down a hill than the dynamic physical system that you are. No words could alter your path. No threats of hell-fire could make you afraid to think certain thoughts or question what you’d been taught. You could decide today to believe in a different god every day of the year. And you could start off the New Year as an atheist. Your mind would be free from the psychological ploys of salesmen, politicians and preachers alike. Free will?
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:54 PM

@unseenstrings Robot? I never said anything about being a robot. I am not sure what you are trying to say. I don’t think you read what i wrote and just started to write whatever you felt like.
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@JLeeMagnetic, you said, “If you feel like a robot, you don’t have it for sure.” You insinuated that a robot would feel like a robot. I stated that unless you were a robot then you cannot state what it would feel like to be a robot. And since you are a biological robot of sorts created by natural selection, and since you’ve developed the feeling of having free will, then a robot can be programmed to feel as if it had free will. You don’t seem to understand what you said or what I stated in reply
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:56 PM

@unseenstrings Yes a complex rock. You are no more free than a rock. Even if you are more complex and move around, you are no more free. If causality is true, you cannot affect the way one thinks. The reason is because that was predetermined and was supposed to happen that way. You did not change anything. you feel like you did. You are still a rock. Just like rocks bouncing off each other. There is no error.
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@JLeeMagnetic, earlier you stated that if someone keeps using the same excuse then he is immature. I found the word usage a bit unsophisticated. Now I suspect your reasoning and word usage may have revealed a bit about you. You’re a kid–a rebellious adolescent who thinks he has everything figured out. Now I could be wrong because naiveness isn’t exclusive to youth. I’ve met older people who had lived sheltered lives that seemed to be as naive as you

You are spouting lots of logical fallacies

So far seems every time you open your mouth you puke out a logical fallacy. I see an argument from ignorance. I see an argument from repetition. I see a continuum fallacy. I see an equivocation fallacy. I see a circular cause and consequence fallacy (free will). I see a false dilemma fallacy. I see fallacy of the single cause. I see an irrelevant conclusion fallacy. I see a mind projection fallacy. I see the hasty generalization fallacy. I see an appeal to ridicule fallacy & exaggeration fallacy

@JLeeMagnetic a dog isn’t a rock. He is a dynamic physical system. I can use vocalizations to have a causal effect on a dog’s mind. I can use vocalizations (words) to have a causal effect on the human mind too. But you want to call the human “a rock.” And you want to deny the fact that words can causally effect the human mind. I pointed out that a person with free will would be more akin to a rock than we are. Free will could not be influenced by anything. But you seemed to have ignored the fact
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:57 PM

@unseenstrings Unseenstrings, you are absolutely insane. The reason is because whatever i thought, was not my fault. Therefore for you to say stuff like wtf? and that’s sad, is insane. I am just like a rock bouncing down a hill, i have no control over what i do. You should be the person to understand that. You keep pulling a switch on me and saying but, if, yea. There is no butt. It is the way it is. You are doomed my friend. so am i.
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@JLeeMagnetic, “insane,” now there you go with the ad hominem fallacy. And if any fallacy can be construed as evil in the world of logic, the ad hominem fallacy would be at the top of the list. You see, the ad hominem is an attack on the person instead of the argument being presented. It is quite irrelevant whether you are a naive bisexual young man or not. It is quite irreverent whether you are under psychiatric care. What matters in the world of logic is the argument you present, nothing else.

I can ask “WTF?” when I notice how my statements are being misrepresented. Did you read the Wiki article on determinism as I suggested. You are still spouting the same fallacious BS. Knowing the facts increases your awareness. You seem to be afraid to face up with the facts. What causes you to call a complex dynamic physical system a “rock.” A rock isn’t a complex dynamic physical system. Dogs are. Humans are. But not rocks. What causal factors have you in a state of denial? Its all your fault.

The San Andreas Fault is the earth’s fault. But I try to avoid use of the word “fault” because it is incompatible with reality. You see, one sense of the word requires “free will” to be assumed. And I already know free will is an illusion. Therefore, one meaning of the word promotes an illusion.

I’ll remind you again: when people talk about an event being causally determined, most don’t mean that “fate” or “God” predestination the event. Read the Wikipedia article as suggested please.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:58 PM

@unseenstrings You are not free to do anything unseenstrings.
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@JLeeMagnetic, your apparent ignorance and denial of the facts is sad. You see, I can do anything I WANT, providing it is within my physical limitations. However–and this is extremely important–I do not consciously create the WANT that I experience. Why did I WANT butter pecan ice cream in one instance but strawberry cheese-cake flavor in another? I did not choose to WANT one or the other. I merely experienced the want and chose accordingly. Now I WANT more to keep my blood glucose level down.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:59 PM

@unseenstrings you are insane to even try to convince me since im a rock.
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@JLeeMagnetic, yes its sad that you are so naive and represent determinism in such a distorted fashion. But, I do realize that if you are a young person as I suspect, then maybe life will teach you some important lessons as you continue to grow and get older–thereby increasing your awareness. However, if you happen to be a naive older person, then that would be really sad. Well, I guess if you died at a ripe old age in a blissful state of ignorance, it wouldn’t be so very sad for you personally
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Saturday, September 24, 2011 9:44 PM

@unseenstrings Unseenstrings, you’re saying i represent determinism in a distorted fashion? With all due respect, isn’t determinism just determinism? I mean aren’t I correct that if determinism is true, then that means i was determined to act naive? So how is that sad if I can’t do anything about it? You understand what Im saying? Say it in a way that makes sense to me.
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@JLeeMagnetic, well if you have a reading comprehension problem and couldn’t quite grasp the Wikipedia article, then why didn’t you say so. I’ll try to explain as simply as possible. Determinism is an idea with variations that are hotly debated in philosophical circles. Are you a academic philosopher? I’m not. And I cannot imagine entering into a argument about something that even professional philosophers can’t agree on. However, causality is a simplified form of determinism used by everyone.

You use it. I use it. Science uses it. The doctor, when you go for a check up, uses it. Police investigators use it. The school cook uses it. When you set your alarm to awake in the morn, you assume causality. When I press the brake-pedal in my car, I’m assuming causality. When the doctor finds a disease, he assumes causality. When the police investigate a robbery, they look for profile, motive and other causal factors. Pretending the robber had free will is reserved mainly for court-room drama.

No one starts engaging into deep philosophical disputes concerning determinism when we discuss the functions of a car. No one engages into deep philosophical disputes concerning determinism when he wonders about the disease he has be diagnosed with. In fact, we can talk about the universe and the formation of our sun and solar system, yet no one starts engaging into hotly debated philosophical issues. The human brain is the only issue that gets infected with hotly debated philosophical disputes.

The logic boils down to this: If hotly debated philosophical issues are irrelevant to the scientific study of all other complex physical systems then it is irrelevant to the study of the human brain. In fact you can never truly understand any system when disputes abound. Science lets philosophers hammer out disputes between each other and science gets down to being scientific. Science has even been able to provide empirical data that contradicted long held philosophical beliefs

Naturalism Org

@JLeeMagnetic, one last causal factor relevant to why you appear like a rock, seemingly unaffected by my words: when a gazelle sees a lion attack and kill another gazelle, the imagery stored in memory is long-lasting and hard to erase. The human had an evolutionary history that also resulted in such terrifying memories being long-lasting and hard to erase. Furthermore, once the human has been effectively taught language, words can be used to create terrifying imagery and even illusions, etc, etc
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Sunday, September 25, 2011 11:00 PM

@unseenstrings So then it’s not my fault then right Unseenstrings? Im just a victim of the history of humans.
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@JLeeMagnetic, remember what I said about the word, “fault?” Of course it is your fault, providing you consider the way you are a fault. The San Andreas Fault is the earth’s fault. If you had brown eyes and considered that a “fault,” then that would be your fault too. Yet I must ask, why do you want to use a word that isn’t clear and concise? It can only cause confusion. How about instead the word defect? Of course you have a defect, providing you consider yourself defective. Thats your opinion.

However as I’ve pointed out before: Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one. And they don’t pop into existence by magic but develop according to physical laws.

You really don’t seem to be reading or absorbing my previous replies. I guess that is another defect

Are you insinuating that if you’d been placed in a sterile room at birth and attended by masked caretakers, never taught language or how to potty, and let out yesterday, then all your choices would be exactly as they now are?
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Monday, September 26, 2011 8:07 AM

@unseenstrings But from a practical sense, it is not my fault. If it was preordained it was not my fault. Just agree with me dammit.
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@JLeeMagnetic, of course it is your fault just as much as the continental plates colliding are the earth’s fault. The San Andreas Fault isn’t a fault that I have or that you have, it is the earth’s fault. Likewise, your faults are none other than your own.

But I must ask, “Are you wanting to play the blame game?” Is it the metaphysical and ignorantly moralistic sense of the word that you mean? If so, then why not come out and state the fact clearly, concisely, and coherently? Why be vague?

There you go again trying to inject your superfluous belief in predestination. Practicality requires you to be practical. Trying to figure out the infinite regress of causes and effects for any physical system is not only impractical, it can prevent one from learning the immediate aspects of what causes the system to function. In fact, since all the causal factors that have acted on any given system are more like a network than a chain, backtracing each to the starting point would be impossible.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Monday, September 26, 2011 8:10 AM

@unseenstrings Let me ask you a question. Do you talk like this in your everyday life with your peers/coworkers? I have to admit that I am really really really confused with most of the things you are pointing out. I cannot wrap my head around it. Now your confusing me with ”fault.” And talking about lions. Do you think like this all day long?
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@JLeeMagnetic I find it ironic that you want to ask me another question but you’ve failed to answer any of the questions I’ve asked

At one time I was trying to keep up with the Joneses and didn’t have time to ponder life’s experience. All my conversations with peers/coworkers were rather superficial. Now I don’t have coworkers. I’m an elder. I’ve retired. I have no peers, per se. I didn’t move into a retirement community nor am I a socializer. I can sit back and take a look at the big picture

Most of my friends are Christian, which is understandable, since personal experience determines perception. And this is a country that at one time provided primarily only experiences conducive to developing Christians. Times change. Christians have boycotted corporations in the past and in turn corporations have become less friendly toward Fundamentalism.

When I read Einstein, Sam Harris, d’Holbach, and other intellectuals, I realize I’m in good company. They too saw free will as an illusion.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Monday, September 26, 2011 6:56 PM

@unseenstrings Because im lost in the questions you asked. Ok let me ask you this. If you just met your grandaughters friend. Are you going to start talking to her about determinism right away? Say this is when she’s older. Also, you sound semi convincing when you wrote that letter. But i believe that if you were to pretend to believe in something else, you would also sound just as convincing
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@JLeeMagnetic, you don’t even realize you are contradicting the notion of free will when you say I sound “convincing.” Remember, free will would mean the will is free from any influence, regardless of whether that influence is natural or supernatural

If I just met my granddaughter’s friend, and she was having a problem with self-acceptance, then I may mention some of the causal factors involved. Otherwise, the belief in free will is tied to too many other concepts for me to tackle all at once

Just be aware that the open letter to my granddaughter wasn’t just to my granddaughter. It was directed toward anyone who now has children or who may one day have some.

The people who play the blame game with their children are not acting in the child’s best interest. When the child misbehaves, then the parent should wonder why instead of blaming the child for being as any normal child would be under the circumstances. And attempts should be made to “correct” the child without playing the blame game.

I probably couldn’t “pretend” to believe in something I didn’t believe and be convincing. But no doubt some actors and actresses can. Mirror neurons in your brain can make you feel and thus react to the emotional displays of others. That is the reason drama is such an effective tool in the hands of the propagandist.

Note that nowhere have I attributed the thoughts or behavior of individuals to free will. That is because the notion of free will effectively stops one from wondering about causes
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Monday, September 26, 2011 6:57 PM

@unseenstrings Also I realized if randomness comes into play, then it means that you have a free will. You did say so yourself that it might come into pay. I myself believe that randomness in its whole is the same thing as free will or partly. Determinists have yet to figure everything out and it doesn’t look like they will disprove free will anytime soon. If I believe something, you can’t prove me wrong because it’s just a belief. I can believe in unicorns and if i do it’s a true statement.
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@JLeeMagnetic, causal determinism would mean you don’t have free will. And causal indeterminacy would mean you don’t have free will. I’ve already pointed those facts out. Sam Harris put it something like this: If you are magically in charge of your actions, somehow separated from your physical brain, but every once in awhile some form of randomness enter the equation, then that wouldn’t be free will but insanity. I gave the example of choosing to change the baby but instead killing the president

Should you happen to believe in unicorns then a true statement would be that you BELIEVE in unicorns. No statement of the truth or falsity of your belief is possible merely based on your firm conviction that it is true. The same applies to any metaphysical claim–even if it happens to be claims of a soul or of free will

When you say “determinists,” do you mean philosophers? Please define the word since you keep using it

Also, no one has “everything figured out” and I doubt such can ever be
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Monday, September 26, 2011 7:00 PM

@unseenstrings The thing is if somehow hypothetically speaking, more evidence suggested a soul or free will (Im not saying it is) But if it did and your logic was not in favor, I think you would get pissed. You do not want people to have freedom. You want them to be spectators, but not have a say in anything. Your whole joy in life is debunking free will and if you couldn’t do it, you would probably become suicidal im guessing. On other hand if determinism is true, then i don’t feel shame.
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@JLeeMagnetic, you’re thinking is a false presumption. I believed in free will for many years, because that is what I had been taught. But when I stepped back and saw that Iran was creating Muslims, India was creating Hindus, and Tibet had for many years created Buddhists, then I started wondering. The more I looked into the issue the more I saw that free will was an illusion. Why would I get pissed if suddenly scientific evidence were produced proving free will is true? Thats silly for sure.

No doubt I would experience a very unsettling paradigm shift similar to the one I experienced when I realized free will is an illusion. And likewise the adjustment might be a bit painful to me. But I don’t see where it would make me suicidal, unless you mean it would make me start playing the blame game. And the blame game might make me experience so much resentment and rage that I may become suicidal. Is that what you mean? Is that what you feel? Would you like to kill all the “bad” people?
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 7:54 AM

@unseenstrings But there r many smart people who also believe every bit as much as u, but they believe free will isnt an illusion. I cant say that your more convincing then them, although your convincing. So i can’t be on your side just like that. The reason y u might get pissed if scientific evidence suggested free will, is cuz u would think you wasted your time and maybe taught your grand daughter the wrong thing in the letter, when you could have chose otherwise. That’s what im guessing.
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@JLeeMagnetic, but I couldn’t have chosen otherwise, not based on my character and the fact I realize free will is an illusion. I was compelled to do what I felt was best for my granddaughter. It made me feel good to teach her something that could give her an edge in life.

“Most scientists today subscribe to a mechanistic view of the mind.” – Richard Dawkins

You may know some smart people who are ignorant about the most recent findings of science. Free will is a belief based on ignorance.

@JLeeMagnetic, the primary reason you feel, ” i can’t be on your side just like that” is because evolutionary forces have not fashioned your mind to flip-flop back and to between contradictory beliefs. I already covered that. I covered that also in my video, “What Caused TheWoodsOfJordan?” (watch?v=Vriw4vIntBQ). Bear in mind that YT User, TheWoodsOfJordan was flip-flopping back and to between different versions of Christianity (not perfectly contradictory), and he was also on psychotropic drugs.
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JLeeMagnetic has made a comment on Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 7:54 AM

@unseenstrings Here’s my next question. can the future be predictable? Why or why not? My friend says everything can be calculated, even knowing what your gonna eat at what time tomorrow, lets say its tuna. He said i could not prove the prediction wrong. The scary thing is EVEN if i TRIED, i would lost control of my body and i would be forced to eat the tuna. Now that is ANTI free will to me. Can that happen? If you could calculate the future, you can’t eat something else? HOW SCARY. explain.
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@JLeeMagnetic, the future may be predictable providing all causal factors are known. However, we are too ignorant to make an absolute prediction of the future. We can say the future will turn out like so-and-so providing such-and-such factors don’t change. And we may make some fairly accurate prediction about the future of one small segment, such as the future of space research. Otherwise, accurate prediction concerning every future state and event is impossible.

Now in order to predict what you are going to eat tomorrow, one would need to know your eating habits, what time you usually get hungry, what food is available, and whether you will be subjected to anything that could effect your appetite, such as medications or stimulating advertisements. I doubt your friend would have enough knowledge to make an accurate prediction.

The only way you could be forced to eat tuna is if you were literally forced, or if you couldn’t get anything to eat but tuna.

By the way, I cannot read but 961 characters of the personal message you sent (the portion that was sent along with notification of the personal message to my email address). You see, I can login to reply to comments. But when I try to view my YT Channel or my Inbox, I get the message that I MUST create a Google account and link it to my You Tube account. Fuck Google.

Google’s motto is to “do no evil.” But more people have been killed and tortured in the name of “good” than any other reason.
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11 thoughts on “JLeeMagnetic comments on YT video, Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will, and Unseenstrings replies

  1. Unseenstrings, I do not believe you are on YT to make people hate you, i think somewhere deep down there is a good side. And maybe we can come to a resolution in the future. Anyways i have this really bad issue, and was wondering if you could relate and help. You gave your granddaughter information to give her an edge. If free will doesn’t exist, i can’t ever get used to it. The feeling will haunt me forever. I need you help to make me feel better if you can. I can’t continue to live like this and be crazy. People in the past have been very mean to me when they say i have no free will. Right now i have this one friend named Alex who basically says im a prisoner. Who wants that? How could i not be depressed about that? Who wants to be in jail for eternity? He believes in pre determinism to the fullest. But here is the thing. It’s not just that he won’t believe in anything else, but he also makes the statement that not only do we live in a pre determined universe, but we live in a PREDICTABLE universe. He said everything can infact be calculated if it is predetermined. Infact he has already predicted that he will become the Anti Christ, the Messiah of the world, and the future Chinese President of the United States. No, he is not smoking crack, he may be crazy, but he’s rich and he believes it with every ounce in his brain. There is no doubt in his mind. He knows that it will come true inevitably based on physics. He wrote a book on Chinese I ching and he claims to me that he is able to calculate any future event. Now of course when i ask him whats the score gonna be in the game tonight,he makes excuses as fast as he can about why he can’t predict it. Like how he’s too lazy, etc.. But he also said this. If he could calculate what im going to eat for lunch tomorrow, then there is NOTHING i can do to prove him wrong. He said it cannot be proven wrong. He said even if I knew my entire future hour to hour minute to minute, he said there is nothing i can do to prove him wrong. If he knows and i know that i will eat tuna tomorrow for lunch, then i cannot prove him wrong and eat peanut butter. And even if i tried, then it would be like Final Destination where strange things would happen every single time to stop you from eating peanut butter. It would be like you are a robot being controlled by a controller on a nintendo screen. Now i can’t think of anything more depressing than being a prisoner like that. But even if it is not predictable, being a PRISONER is worse than anything else. Is there anything you can tell me that can make me feel better about all this? And im asking you to please not try to confuse me with words, like comparing my fault to the Earths fault, the San Andreas fault. Is there anything you can say that I may be able to relate to in a practical sense, so i don’t have to one day be suicidal or crazy about all this? I believe you can see where im coming from to a degree, because you yourself used to believe in free will. I want to be a good person. And if it is pre determined that i will be a bad person, than that would SUCK big time. I think im going crazy thinking about this. If you have any suggestions, i would appreciate it. There must be something I can accept and still be happy. Any analogy that could help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Was there something about my channel or comments that you feel would cause people to hate me but you suspect that was not my purpose? Or did you at first hate me because I said free will is an illusion? What “resolution” in the future do you hope we come to? Your statements confuse me.

      A paradigm shift can be somewhat traumatic if the shift is rather radical. When my perception shifted from being a believer to a skeptical agnostic, the shift took around 5 years to be fully realized and was quite painful. I had nightmares on more than one occasion as a result of the experience. Nothing really changes about the world. But the feelings you experience make it seem as if the whole world is changing. However, as I previously pointed out, evolution didn’t design us to quit believing that a lion had killed and eaten one of our own. The imagery stored in memory is long-lasting and hard to erase. Likewise words can be used to create imagery that is long-lasting and hard to erase from memory–even when the imagery is based on illusions. This is the reason your present paradigm shift–from believing in free will to realizing free will is an illusion–is so difficult for you.

      Your friend does seem to suffering from severe misconception. I’m hesitant to call him crazy since it is such a vague term and means different things to different people. Many individuals are “maladapted” or “maladjusted,” meaning that the environmental circumstances to which he had been exposed as an individual has resulted in him developing into a social misfit. Now I’m not saying that some abnormality doesn’t exist in his brain. I’m saying that even trained professionals are sometimes too quick to blame the problems of an individual on brain abnormalities instead of learned behavior abnormalities due to previous environmental circumstances.

      Tell you what, ask your friend to make a prediction about the future and place the prediction in a sealed envelope. Make sure the prediction isn’t vague, like Nostradamus’s predictions or The Book of Revelation. Also, make sure the prediction isn’t one that is common sense or published in scientific journals–such as an earthquake will happen in Japan in the next five years. Try to get him nailed down to something specific, so that you can see he is basically a con artist.

      Most religious believers will tell you that nothing can disprove God as they perceive him. Sounds like your friend is saying the same thing that a religious fanatic says. He presumes it will come true inevitably based on physics. However, who is doing the “physics” calculations? I suspect your friend was using the claim of being scientific in order to con you and pass on some of his misconceptions to you.

      No, you cannot prove your friend wrong when he says your behavior has a cause, since the past is a chain of events linked to the present. But we cannot trace the chain of events back to the beginning of time. And he certainly can’t ascertain the whole network of causal factors that have made you into who you are. So his claim is more of a religious belief rather than a scientific statement.

      Why do you want to call yourself a prisoner when you consider all the factors that have combined into making who you are? How could it be any other way? Had you rather believe in magic than reality? What influences could have caused you to think as you do?

      You have lived every moment of your life without free will. The only thing that has changed is now you have been made aware that free will is an illusion. Now when you have a compulsion to shop till you drop, you can wonder what causal factors may have resulted in you feeling the desire.

      Listen, on average more money goes into packaging and advertising than into the product itself. Studies have been done that reveal what section of the shelf that the customer is most likely to buy from, the type of packaging that is most appealing, and the particular advertising most effective for grabbing your attention and getting you to remember a product. I’m sure you used to believe that when you WANTED a product, you did so of your own volition. You had no idea at how subtle and persuasive advertising campaigns can be. See, being aware that free will is an illusion gives you an advantage over the blind believer.

      Listen, I know that a paradigm shift for an individual can be painful. And I know evolution has shaped us in such a way that we tend to cling to certain ideas–especially when the ideas seem to afford some sort of protection. But you claim that thinking about free will as an illusion makes you suicidal. Is that the reason you thought my perspective (concerning free will) would make me suicidal, because you are? Maybe you should seek professional help.

      Remember causation is not predestination.

      And “good” and “bad” are relative. The people of Germany felt their leader was a near perfect man. And Hitler thought of himself as being a “good” guy, only doing what was best for his country. Other people in the world thought Hitler was a “bad” guy. However, regardless of whether you think of him as “good” or “bad,” he didn’t create himself. He grew up into who he was because of the particular environmental circumstances to which he had been exposed as an individual.

      Now if someone calls you “bad,” you can step back and compare yourself to your peers. You can evaluate whether you really would fit the description of “bad” within the culture that you live. And if so, then you can be a little more forgiving of yourself, because you know you didn’t make yourself into who you are. And your present awareness–the realization that free will is an illusion–can guide you into a program that may help you become who you WANT to be. (Just bear in mind that when you WANT to change, something about your life’s experiences has stimulated that desire into you. A person with free will would be free from such causality.)

      Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven. Could you do that as a Christian? Jesus said the “weeds” in the vicinity of the seed, the nourishment available during critical stages of growth, and other environmental factors–inevitably determine the particular development of the seed, regardless of whether that seed is of plant or human origin. (Mark 4:3-9) Science tells us that free will is an illusion; that the individual’s neuroanatomy and physiological chemistry determines his thoughts and behavior; that he didn’t nor couldn’t foreordain his brain development; and that after his brain had developed, all his choice behavior would be determined by a brain that he did not choose to have. Jesus and science agree in basic principles. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian that forgives seventy times seven and loves his neighbor as himself, or a science-minded individual who knows rewards and punishments are merely to encourage and discourage certain behaviors, but not because some individual “deserves” such treatment.

      In my video, “Naturalization of Mind (Patricia S. Churchland, UCSD) Pt.1, Pt.2,” she said that even though we now understand the great majority of the causal factors that result in a person falling in love, it doesn’t make the experience of love any less profound. For instance, knowing that free will is an illusion can help you take better care of your children, but it certainly won’t make you love them any less. In fact, you would be a much more aware and thus a much more understanding parent.

      I don’t know what else to tell you. Ask if you have any more questions.

  2. Ok I suppose that makes more sense Unseenstrings. However there are still a couple of issues I would like you to address. You said that it would be an unsettling shift if somehow a device would give you results as far as what you would do tomorrow second by second and you couldn’t do anything about it. But I would say you shouldn’t rule out this possibility. In the event of scientists constructing a device that did measure your day to day future this precisely, then my understanding is that even ”IF” you knew the results, then you could not change it. To me, that is the case. If the machine was accurate enough, and showed that even ”if’ i knew the results that tomorrow i would have captain crunch in the morning, a tuna sandwhich for lunch and a chicken for dinner, then there is absolutely nothing i can do to eat something different. And again Im not saying that having a device like this is possible, but im saying hypothetically if it was that strong and accurate, then that would be the case. You would realize that you are just kinda watching a movie and just following along. There is no reason that what i just described would not happen, it’s just that we aren’t there yet in science. But you would not be able to go against what the test results were and that would be the point where you felt even more like a machine, LITERALLY. I could see this as a possibility, how bout you? It’s just we aren’t there yet. And im sure we both would agree this would be very unsettling but we would have to live with it.

    The other thing i wanted to suggest is that even if we are the product of everything in our brain, then if there was the slightest randomness because of quantum mechanics (Im not saying that there is) but if there was the slightest randomness that was not explainable in any way whatsoever by even a hypothetical mathematical GOD, and there was not a clear path where you end up, then i would think that means you have free will. If your future is not fully determined by nature or by the most intrinsic level of our universe, then I just don’t see how you could say that you don’t have free will. Isn’t that kind of the opposite of determinism which is ”Non” free will? I mean if you are in harmony with all the choices you are making and not being forced all the time to do anything and you feel like you have free will. And at the same time there is the slightest randomness, isn’t that kind of like having free will Unseenstrings? That is the one thing im having a hard time understanding. You said determinism means no free will but you also said Indeterminism or randomness means no free will either. I just don’t see how they could all have different results but still mean no free will. Something doesn’t add up if you get what im saying. Please explain it a little more explicit.. thanks.

  3. jleemagnetic said, “You said that it would be an unsettling shift if somehow a device would give you results as far as what you would do tomorrow second by second and you couldn’t do anything about it.” I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never said any such thing. I said that a paradigm shift might be unsettling. And I gave a link to the Wikipedia article on the subject. I never said a square circle was possible or any other logical contradiction (such as the one you are talking about). You must have been discussing the fantasy with someone else. Read my post again and you’ll see.

    No device is logically possible that can predict the future when a future prediction can be used to change the future. Knowledge of the future prediction and any possible changes that could occur because of that knowledge would have to be written into the prediction equation or the prediction would be wrong. See, there is sufficient reason not to believe that what you described would happen or could be possible because such is a logical contradiction. The human is capable of getting entangled in lots of elaborate nonsense. Words are a curse but they are our salvation too.

    Quantum randomness, providing it is true as some physicists suspect, would make free will as impossible as pure determinism. I’ve already explained that fact to you. If there were some uncaused causer within you that could pick and choose what random events would happen and what causal effect the events would have, then the events wouldn’t be random. If the events are completely separated from the influence of an uncaused causer then the events wouldn’t be freely chosen. The events would actually interfere with choice, like background static sometimes interferes with the music you are listening to. Again I remind you that indeterminism does not provide evidence for free will. Apparently your vivid imagination has again led you into a logical contradiction.

    And a fact you don’t seem to comprehend is that when you use the word “forced” to mean no free will you are using an incongruous word that causes confusion. As previously stated, you are not forced in the sense of somebody twisting your arm. Psychological causality only means that the WANTS and needs you feel are not chosen by you. You merely experience the sensation and react according to the nature you have developed. I don’t feel a need or WANT to steal from another person because my life’s experiences have made the thought repulsive to me. My nephew chooses to drink. I choose not to, because my personal experience has made alcohol undesirable to me. It is not because I have more “moral integrity” than my nephew. My choice is determined by all the combined factors that have made me into who I am, none of which I freely chose. And remember, when you WANT to change, the WANT is an experience you did not freely choose to have. The WANT was stimulated into existence by factors you personally experienced but did not preordain.

    Determinism means no free will. Randomness (indeterminism) means no free will. And not having free will doesn’t mean you can’t do what you WANT. It only means that the choices you make are determined by the neuroanatomy and physiological chemistry of your brain. Who you are is the result of developmental processes that were beyond your conscious control. If one should happen to WANT to intervene into his psychological development, the neuroanatomy and physiological chemistry of his brain must be developed to the point that he is able to function. But at that point he is choosing to function with a brain that he did not consciously create for himself. Every individual is who he is because of factors beyond his conscious control. Free will is a mental construct that you have been taught primarily because it makes it easy to subjugate you with shame and guilt. BAD BOY! It’s all your fault. I’m sure you’ve heard the BS many times. In fact, listen to this:

    When I was a child and would be rambunctious and hyper as every little boy is at one time or another, my father would ask why I misbehaved. And like most children, I didn’t understand all the factors that were influencing me to act as I did. So, quite honestly I would say, “I don’t know daddy.” Then he would reply, “I know.” And I would ask, “Why daddy?” And he would say that it was because I wanted him to beat me. I would start crying and say, “No daddy, that’s not the reason why.” At that point he would grab me and precede with the beating, all the while screaming, “You calling me a liar boy?”

    My dad believed in free will. If he hadn’t, very possibly he may have been a little more understanding toward his kids.

    Here is the real clincher: Free will would mean a beating couldn’t causally influence the person who is beaten. The fact that rewards and punishments do influence the way individuals think and act should make it obvious that free will is a false premise.

    In fact, you only believe you have free will because you’ve been told a thousand times over and a thousand different ways that free will is real. If you had never been deluded into thinking free will is real, then you probably could easily see that it isn’t.

    Oh, and one last point, some philosophers feel a belief in free will is necessary for social control, just as some philosophers feel belief in “God” is necessary for social control. And some of the philosophers underhandedly redefine “free will” into existence, and even use arguments once used against the notion of free will to prove their new version of free will is true. Their version of free will is a fully caused physical process. However, their insistence of “free will” being true keeps the old delusion alive in the public mind.

    One philosopher in particular insist that free will is merely the ability to avoid getting caught by predators. And he says that humans are the best avoiders of all. Yet, his supposition completely ignores the fact that when two men avoid engaging into homosexual relationships, one could be avoiding the relationships because he WANTS to conform to social expectations. The other could be avoiding the relationships because he is not homosexual–he merely doesn’t feel the same desires and pressures the other man feels; the avoidance hypothesis is completely irrelevant to the issue.

    Free will is an illusion that has in the past and continues to have many detrimental effects. The Buddha said that Illusion is the primary cause of human suffering. No doubt the illusion of free will has been the cause of much human misery.

  4. Well i do think that if you have no free will, then morality goes out the window. You also said there is no right or wrong. So if free will were proven false tomorrow and was in the news, then i would think a lot of violence would take place. Gangs would kill people and say that it’s because they were caused to do that, and that would infact be just as true as anything that has happened. So if free will goes, then i believe that morality goes out the window too. What i see with a lot of people who claim to believe in determinism, is they pretend like they have free will. Like my friend said, he said that the future is certain and set in stone. But he also claims he can use his dream to help him for the future, since it predicts future events. I told him he can’t be helped even if he knows the future because it’s still set since he’s a determinist. Then he gets confused and says oh yea, that’s true. Again this is the same guy (Alex Chiu) (famous inventor, you can google him). And then he says no the dreams are like a guide, they tell me what i can avoid. My coin tossing tells me what to avoid. I can achieve ANYTHING with this technology! Then i reminded him again that it’s all predestined and he can’t change the future based on what he knows. Then he goes, YES but im a human being! I have to atleast pretend i have free will for fun! And at the least i know based on the dream that I will be the messiah! And so that’s an example of how people believe in determinism but then they still go about their lives as if they could really make a difference. That’s what it seems like Alex is doing. He says he talks in first person point of view (free will) to have fun. Since he says he can’t predict the future, it’s fun for him. But then again, he contradicted himself because he always says he ”can” predict the future. So it’s just a total contradiction on his part. He claims everything is physics but uses the bible and his dreams for predicting the future. And he says his dreams are NEVER NEVER EVER wrong. God promised Immortality by 2000 according to the bible. And Alex claims the bible is infact based on science. Says 55 prophecies were fulfilled. So he invented Immortality before 2000. He has rings that he claims makes you live forever. I can’t ever talk him out of any of his beliefs. It’s hard for me to understand why people who are determinists still talk like they are making choices or potentially gonna make a difference. Maybe it’s because they wanna have fun and pretend?

    • Morality goes out the window only if you were the only human in existence. Otherwise, morality is necessary for two or more individuals to function together efficiently and effectively. In fact, in a sense, the BS about a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other trying to guide your decisions is actually a misinterpretation of very real processes.

      You see, there is an internal conflict within you. You have a pack/troop/group instinct that conflicts with a purely self-interest instinct. The purely self-interest instinct is more primitive and thus most basic. You couldn’t survive alone without it. However, for the greatest part of the evolution of our species, we have clustered together in packs/troops/groups. Therefore, some of our strongest instincts will be for existing under such circumstances.

      Furthermore, the pack/troop/group instinct can be preyed upon to instill behaviors not conductive to the well being of the pack/troop/group. The Jonestown Massacre in Guyana is but one example. This means that when the “angel” (pack/troop/group instinct) is on one shoulder in conflict with the “devil” (self-interest instinct) on your other shoulder, the “angel” may be the result of you having been deceived. The angel-devil analogy is itself deceptive.

      There is no struggle within you between the spirit and the flesh. But you do experience internal conflicts between what-you-have-been-told-is-best and what-you-feel-is-best. Yet, when you’ve been told something and the necessary imagery is combined with what you’re told, then you start to feel what you’ve been told is best. (Preachers use lots of vehemence and imagery in an attempt to have their sermons produce the desired effect.)

      Cars don’t have free will; but that doesn’t mean that rules shouldn’t be established according to how cars should function within society. If you wish to call those “rules” morals, I guess that is your opinion.

      If a particular car were made that was determined to have brake-failure at predictable times, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about it.

      Most people who believe in free will don’t believe brain-damaged individuals have it; but that doesn’t mean the people are going to allow brain-damaged individuals to run amok and cause all sorts of harm to themselves and others. What in hell does free will have to do with pack/troop/group animals acting to protect themselves? Like Sam Harris said, “We would lock up tornadoes and hurricanes if we could.”

      Also, I didn’t say there was no right and wrong. I said such concepts are relative to the mindset of the individual. What Hitler and the great majority of Nazi Germany had learned was “right” and “wrong” is not what the major of people in this country have learned is “right” and “wrong.” Be aware that some people in the world, including some people in this country, do not believe Hitler was “wrong.”

      No one truly feels he is “wrong” in his own mind. Otherwise, the sensation would make him WANT to change so that he might be “right.” Our argument is the result of you thinking you are “right” and me thinking I’m “right.” But really, if we both understood every factor perfectly, and the known facts fit the feelings we have acquired about the matter, then we would probably be in complete accord.

      Dreams are a form of intuition one experiences while sleeping but carry over into the conscious state. Intuition is a form of generalized memory relevant to a situation. Perfect recall of every memory relevant to a situation isn’t possible for most individuals. Thus intuition is an evolved shortcut. However, during the great majority of the evolution of our species, events weren’t faked. Now events can be faked and actors and actresses can feign emotions not relevant to the situation. Thus intuition can now be fooled, which means also that dreams can be the result of faked events and feigned emotions. In other words, dreams and intuition can be the result of false impressions. Both should be questioned for that reason.

      You tell me your friend is “crazy” (your word); but then you go on to spew a lot of nonsense said by your friend. Seems to me your tactic counterproductive to our conversation.

      You also seem to have a comprehension problem. I’ve told you many times that “determined” has more than one meaning. You are being deceptive when you generalize and put all people into a single category who look upon phenomena from a “deterministic” perspective. Also, philosophers clarify meaning and go into much greater detail when discussing issues than the general public does. If you WANT to discuss “determinism,” then you need to go to a philosophical forum (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6). Maybe they can help you become aware of just how illogical some of your arguments are. My purpose here is to try to understand some of the cause-effect relationships within a complex physical system, i.e., the human brain. The type of determinism I am talking about when I say “determinism” is causal determinism, an idea known in physics as cause-and-effect.

      Besides, as previously pointed out many times, proving determinism would indeed disprove free will, but disproving determinism does not prove free will any more than disproving determinism would prove the tides rise and fall of their own accord. Therefore, you are asserting and maintaining a false dichotomy.

      And you are still very confused concerning the fact that people who believe in determinism also know no reason exists to assume they cannot make a difference. (Remember, determinism is not predestination, which I’ve also told you many times.) You see, if I am caused to think a particular way because of the way nature and nurture has developed the neuroanatomy and physiological chemistry of my brain, there is no reason to presume that I can’t causally effect you with words to possibly help you become aware of some of the facts that I have become aware of.

      Do you believe in free will because you want to have fun and pretend? Or has your particular personal experiences resulted in free will seeming real to you?

  5. Well thanks for the response, Im surprised you are able to have time to respond in such detail. Yea i have read a few times that you said determinism doesn’t mean predestination. I don’t know what you mean by that, they are the same. What i am understanding is that they result in the same exact thing. Determinism means that it is determined where you will be 10 years from now in the same way that destiny means it is determined what you will eat in 10 years. If some young kid were to just refuse to go to school and run away from home and that kind of thing and blamed it on determinism and that no other way could have happened, would you feel compassionate for him? I mean that would be kinda funny if some kid did that most of their life and blamed it on determinism. But then when you take a step back you think, wow the kid was right! He was simply following the path of the universe! It could have only went that way for him! It was preordained. What if one of your grandkids (hypothetically) purposely did something bad over and over and blamed it on determinism? My understanding is you would never punish them, just try to correct them? But if you were not able to correct them, then im assuming it’s because it was determined you couldn’t correct them. I was watching a philosophers video and he really makes a lot of sense. He says there is no truth in a determinist world. No morality, no nothing. you just do what you want, no consequences, no preferred states. I guess I see in a way what your saying but i also am having hard time understanding it at all. Like for instance you say determinism doesn’t mean predestination. I mean i guess one sounds more religious but i mean they are the same thing more or less. Predestination might not mean causal i guess, but the concept is the same. I know you told me this a few times but i dont recall you telling me how they are different. And no I am not saying you have fun by believing in free will, I was really referring to my friend. He says everything is predestined and he knows the future. War with china will happen in 2013. He will be president in 2016. But then i ask him why he doesn’t do anything different than god’s plan and he says he must follow gods plan in order to to his job.

    • Words can have more than one meaning. And sometimes the meanings are contradictory. HERE is a list of such words.

      Philosophers spend as much or more time defining the words they use than they do arguing a point. You’ve answered practically none of my questions nor do you clarify issues, other than just repeating the same-old-thing over and over. Seems earlier you called that tendency, “Repeatedly making up the same excuse.”

      This time instead of providing just a link, I shall provide the definition and a link to where the definition was found:

      Determinism n
      1. (Philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that all events including human actions and choices are fully determined by preceding events and states of affairs, and so that freedom of choice is illusory. Also called necessitarianism.
      2. (Philosophy) the scientific doctrine that all occurrences in nature take place in accordance with natural laws.
      3. (Physics / General Physics) the principle in classical mechanics that the values of dynamic variables of a system and of the forces acting on the system at a given time, completely determine the values of the variables at any later time.
      determinist n & adj
      deterministic adj

      Note meaning number two: The scientific doctrine that all occurrences in nature take place in accordance with natural laws. When I use the word I mean the scientific doctrine that when the speeding car enters the curve where the oil was spilled, natural laws will result in the car spinning out of control and possibly crashing. I do not mean “fate” or some god predestined the accident before you and I were born. Got it? Now if you continue to insist on using your meaning of the word instead of the meaning I intended when used it, then I will be forced to delete your post and put an end to such ignorance/arrogance.

      If one of my grandchildren were to skip school but blame the act on predestination. I would tell my grandchild that predestination is a religious belief I do not believe. And I would add that even though he (or she) was causally determined to act in such a way, caretakers still find the act unacceptable. This means the child has a defect that needs correcting. And steps would be taken to causally effect the way the child thinks about the matter.

      You seem to have gotten the meaning of free will and causality reversed. Here is what you are saying in other words:

      The gazelle went to the watering hole and was attacked by the lion. But the gazelle managed to escape with only minor wounds. The next time the gazelle got thirsty, he paraded down without fear to the watering hole directly in front of the lion, because the gazelle had free will, thus previous experience couldn’t have any effect on the way the gazelle thought and acted.

      You talk about causality as if it were free will and free will as if it were causality. Causal determinism literally means the relationship between cause and effect. You talk about causal determinism as if there were no cause and effect, exactly what one would expect if free will were true. You want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to have free will, so you redefine it to mean causally determined. Some philosophers are guilty of the same BS.

      And again I remind you that philosophers are always arguing among themselves. And they engage in lots of mental masturbation. That is one way they get pleasure. Philosophers are also professionals at selling ideas. That is how they make a living–using words to sell ideas. No doubt some philosopher has sold you the effect of his mental masturbation. And apparently you swallow.

      You asked me if people are determinists “because they wanna have fun and pretend?” I asked in return, “Do you believe in free will because you want to have fun and pretend?” I was trying to show you just how ridiculous your question was.

      In order for you to have a little firmer grasp on what causal determinism is, permit me to partake with you a little thought experiment:

      Now when I visit your YouTube profile, I really don’t see a profile. Maybe that is because I’m browsing with Opera. So I’m going to assume you are from the US, since you claim to be friends with 40-year-old, Alex Chiu (Alexander Yuan-Chun Chiu). Okay, on with the show.

      Suppose that new advances in science and technology provided the knowledge necessary to build a “transporter” device, like the one portrayed on the Star Trek Series. Suppose that another earthquake hit Haiti, and you volunteered to go there and help rebuild the devastated area. Suppose in the process of “beaming” you to Haiti, the “transporter” malfunctioned and a copy of you remained on the platform, even though your atoms had been beamed to Haiti and reassembled there. Now according to the doctrine of free will, any difference between the you that was beamed and the you that remained would be result of uncaused causers within each one of you. But according to causal determinism–which, as stated, is a principle of science–any difference between the you that was beamed and the you that remained would be the result of the environmental circumstances to which each one of you would have been exposed to as individuals.

      A belief in free will is a belief in non-sense, because it doesn’t refer to any sort of sensory input effecting the individual. Whereas, causal determinism is not a belief in non-sense, because it does investigate the various causal forces that mold and shape the individual into who he (or she) is.

      According to causal determinism, if 100 clones had been made of you at your birth and scattered around the world, the difference in each clone would have been directly related to the difference in the environmental circumstances to which each clone had been exposed to as an individual. The Dogma of Free Will basically says, “Do not think about it, because people freely choose to be different without cause.” The Dogma of Free Will works effectively to stop the believer from thinking.

      I’m desperately trying to help you overcome your detrimental belief in free will and start thinking again.

      Oh, and by the way, you can tell your friend, Alex Chiu that if by chance the US did go to war with China in 2013, only two years away, then he isn’t going to be president in 2016, because an all-out war between superpowers would mean nuclear weapons. And that in turn would mean possibly no Alex or country would be left. If China is going to make war on the US, it is going to be something much more subtle, such as an economic war, which wouldn’t involve weapons of mass destruction.

  6. JLeeMagnetic says: Unseenstrings I kinda get what you’re saying. But even if predestination and causality are not the same thing, they still are the same idea.

    Unseenstrings replies: Wow, your brain seems filled with the ejaculate from some philosopher’s mental masturbation. You just said that predestination and causality are not the same thing, but they are. Don’t you realize your contradiction?

    JLeeMagnetic says: Predestination means that ”God” or some unnatural power forced you to do this or that. Causality is the exact same thing except it did not involve God or fate.

    Unseenstrings replies: Wrong. Predestination is a religious belief. It can’t be falsified. It is not scientific. Besides, must I remind you again that philosophers don’t mean the same thing when they use the word “determined” as the average person? Didn’t I tell you that determinism is an idea with variations that are hotly debated in philosophical circles? Didn’t I ask you if you are you an academic philosopher? Didn’t I state the fact that I’m not? Well, neither is the average reader. And I cannot imagine entering into a “philosophical” argument about something with you or anyone else that even professional philosophers can’t agree on. Furthermore, I have previously repeatedly pointed out that “determinism” BS isn’t injected into discussions of porpoise’s brains nor discussions of any other complex physical system. Why would you or anyone else WANT to keep dragging such superfluous bull shit as “free will” into discussions of a complex physical system, only when that system happens to be the human brain? Actually I know why you do. It is because of confirmation bias, another contradiction of free will.

    JLeeMagnetic says: To me, an Omniscient God that knows everything is exactly the same thing as a Predetermined Universe. The only difference is that causality is more scientific. If God omnisciently knows someone will be a poor bum, than that is his destiny. But if it were ”determined” that the man would be a bum, it makes no difference. He is still a bum. See even in a free will/omniscient world the man still is a bum. In a deterministic world, the man still is a bum. YOUR RIGHT!! By definition, they have COMPLETELY different meanings. But the end result is still exactly the same. You still have no free will. Destiny means no free will. Determinism means no free will.

    Unseenstrings replies: Earlier you stated that people who look upon reality from a deterministic perspective call you stupid. And I’ll admit, you apparently do have a form of ignorance that is difficult for me to over come. For example, in other words this is what you just asserted: “If the gazelle hadn’t learned from previous experience not to avoid the lion, then no experience can ever make him avoid the lion.” Can’t you see that you speak as if the gazelle–or in your case, the “bum”–has a will free from the laws of cause and effect. You completely ignore what we do know about causality and jump into a mode of thinking that requires a religious belief in a predetermined form of causality. And I ask again, do you use this tactic when the complex physical system under consideration is not the human brain? Also, philosophical determinism might mean no free will. But what does it matter since free will doesn’t exist anyway? And what does that matter since you do what you WANT or FEEL is necessary, even though you don’t freely choose the WANT or FEELING of necessity that you experience, and even though who-you-are (your personality and character as a result of previous development) determines the choice you would make in any given instance?

    JLeeMagnetic says: So I kinda think i know why this was unsettling for you. The reason why this would be unsettling for me is because I realize that you can’t change anything. What’s set is set. What a human wants the most is freedom. Black slaves did not want to be slaves. They wanted to have a sense of freedom. And by knowing you have no freedom, the experience is wasted. I think it would be much better to just take the ”other” pill, like Neo did in the Matrix. In this case, ignorance really is bliss.

    Unseenstrings replies: The reason a belief in free will is so unsettling to me is because I know it is a detrimental fiction. A belief in free will makes you unaware of the causal forces acting upon you and your loved ones. A belief in free will works effectively to stop the individual believer from thinking and asking questions. The Dogma of Free Will basically says, “Do not think about your situation or the situation of anyone else, because people freely choose to develop into who-they-are without cause.” A belief in free will helps protect and maintain the Status Quo. Also, most slaves might not WANT to be slaves, yet the WANT, which is not chosen but experienced, combined with previous learning, determines the strivings of the slave in such circumstances. This fact is one you seem compelled to ignore. You like to pretend that once the individual has become a slave, causal determinism would mean the individual would be predestined to be a slave forever, which is very deceptive of you. The WANT not-to-be-a-slave, which the slave did not choose to experience but did experience, could cause the slave to seek a way out of bondage.

    JLeeMagnetic says: Giving up a belief in free will, means giving up a belief that you can ever achieve any kind of success in life. Because if it was determined that Point A led to C to D to Z, then no matter how much you wanted to be successful, no matter how hard you tried, it just wasn’t meant to happen. Accepting determinism means giving up any hope of anything and pretty much just accepting the fact that you can’t change. You can’t improve. You are just ”stuck” like a rock.

    Unseenstrings replies: Realizing free will is a fiction handed down to us by our ignorant ancestors is a form of heightened awareness. And whether a person is successful or not isn’t determined by the toys the individual is able to collect during a lifetime, but whether he (or she) feels successful. And you do not consciously create the feelings you experience. However, nearly everyone WANTS to be successful. Nevertheless, WANTING to be successful, being aware of opportunities and not having feelings of helplessness, could result in the individual seizing the opportunities and thus satisfying the WANT. You keep twisting and distorting causal determinism to fit your narrow philosophical perspective of the term, even though I’ve advised you more than once of the meaning I intended. You seem unable to improve. You apparently are stuck like a rock. But I know your defect is not the result of free will on your part but partially the result of a belief in free will. Now since you are stuck like a rock, since you keep repeating the same old BS over and over and making up the same old excuses time and time again, since you keep distorting the meaning of causal determinism instead of using the meaning I provided straight from the dictionary, then I feel I have no other choice but to make this comment your last. Sorry. By the way JLee, you may be interested in watching some lectures (Playlist) titled, “Course | Human Behavioral Biology” by Professor Sapolsky on YouTube’s StanfordUniversity Channel. And you may be interested in doing some reading at Naturalism Org. Oh, one last fact, you were not the same at 18 as you were at 8; you were not the same at 28 as you were at 18 (providing you are older than that); you will not be the same at 38 as you were at 28; et cetera and et cetera. You shall change. That is inevitable (a word Dan Dennett doesn’t like).

    • Chaos theory holds that the behavior of some dynamic systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions, popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. The reason the weather in some cases is extremely hard to predict is explained by chaos theory. Chaos theory is completely deterministic.

      Quantum mechanics, is an umbrella term for describing all quantum physics. Quantum physics deals with phenomena on the subatomic level–a level many times smaller than the “microscopic” level. Some quantum theories explain quantum phenomena by using multi-dimensional (more than 3) models of the universe. Some use other models. No theory perfectly explains all aspects of quantum phenomena. And no unified quantum theory exists at this time.

      Now when we combine chaos theory with the findings of quantum mechanics, we can see that a quantum event could–or at least in some extreme cases–contribute to the butterfly effect of an otherwise completely deterministic system. And if such is the case, a predetermined universe cannot exist. Of course, a predestined universe could exist because an omniscient being–such as the one we imagine and call, “God“–would know every event acting on the system and could compensate for any phenomena that appears random to us.

      What does all this mean? It means that to say the Big Bang determined that RMS Titanic would sink on April 15, 1912 is a claim not backed up by science. It is more of a religious statement than a scientific one–even though practically every intellectual agrees the sinking of Titanic was causally determined. We not only don’t know enough about “reality” to make such a claim, “random” quantum events, providing they do indeed exist, could have cause a “Butterfly Effect” that would have made such a prediction impossible. And that means the sinking was not perfectly determined by the causal events of the Big Bang.

      A person can be deterministic in his approach to studying the causes and effects of the sinking but not believe the sinking was predetermined/predestined from the beginning of the universe.

      (Hmmm. I wonder if Stephen Wolfram’s Mathematica Software is capable of adding wee bits of quantum “randomness” ever so often to the calculations as it is running an equation?)

      Now should the “Butterfly Effect” of quantum “randomness” be true, this would mean that all physical systems are subjected to the phenomena. And this in turn means that should a person bring up quantum mechanics when discussing the human brain, then that person would be logically required to apply the same line of reasoning to all complex physical systems.

      Besides, no amount of quantum “randomness” can give rise to free will, because the “randomness” could not be freely chosen, since that would be a contradiction of “random,” and because free will is an illusory mental construct created by our ignorant ancestors. Also, I’m not so sure that a child who had never been infected with the notion of free will would automatically invent the mental construct for himself (or herself).

      And lastly, all this means that an argument directed against determinism in an effort to prove free will is logically fallacious, since disproving determinism doesn’t prove free will. In fact, arguing against determinism in such a case results in the issue getting bogged down in unnecessary complexity and irrelevancy. Of course, if the human feels a strong enough need or desire to redefine “free will” into existence, then he (or she) shall be compelled to do so. Yet the new definition would do little more than keep the old illusion alive in the public mind.

    • JLeeMagnetic, you don’t seem to understand that my whole point was that arguing whether determinism has someone’s fate written in stone, or whether randomness is for real are both questions that are irrelevant to the issue of free will. We have learned enough about human development to say when a person with a particular gene is exposed to specific variables during critical stages of development, then the genetic-environmental interaction has a high probability of resulting in the individual developing violent tendencies in later life. We can equally consider the variables within a genetic-environmental interaction of a flower or a tree and likewise make pretty accurate predictions concerning a future outcome.

      Freewill/”Free will” is commonly used to mean an uncaused causer. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1975) defines “free will” as “the power asserted of moral beings of choosing within limitations or with respect to some matters without restraint of physical or divine necessity or causal law.” Thus, an uncaused causer is an “agent” or “agency” that can have an effect without itself being an effect and/or without being effected by anything.

      Can you imagine tossing aside all we have learned in just the area of childhood development alone, because believers in free will claim the child develops into the adult free from the world of cause and effect? I mean, for a person to insinuate that human development is free from cause and effect seems downright crazy to me. How is such thought possible (providing the individual takes time to reflect on the matter) without something being inherently wrong with the cognition of the person making the claim?

      We do know enough to say water doesn’t run uphill. We do know enough to say don’t spit into the wind (actually the adage goes, don’t piss into the wind, but I suspect Jim Croce changed the piss to spit in his song to escape censorship). We do know enough to say that the child who is locked in a basement and neglected during critical stages of development will grow up to be a severely retarded adult.

      I suspect the notion of free will may have been imagined as a result of a person projecting an image of himself into another person and assuming he would have chosen differently under identical circumstances. Of course, that is beside the point, because he (or she) hadn’t developed the same brain as the other person. And two different brains would have probably chosen differently, providing the personal circumstances of those brains were sufficiently different during critical stages of development.

      My point is that no one brings up super-complex questions about whether the Big Bang has determined every minute detail of all there is in our universe when discussing the weather forecast or the migration of birds. Such a stratagem would be seen for the superfluousness that it is. The stratagem is no less superfluous when discussing the human brain.

      One is much less likely to win a public debate about free will should he (or she) allow the debater to drag unnecessary complexity into the issue. Besides, the average person would feel the idea is ridiculous of the Big Bang causing him to brush his teeth this morning. Debate lost because a seemingly absurd and certainly pointless issue hadn’t been banned from the argument (for being irrelevant), since indeterminism doesn’t prove free will.

      And, by the way, I’ll agree that we at this time have no way of ascertaining whether randomness can exist at the quantum scale or whether some unknown causal events or forces can be triggering events that appear random to us. Still, add that fact to the fact that when one takes into consideration the immensity of he universe, the number of unknown events that have happened since the beginning of time, and all the other factors that we are unaware/ignorant of, then he (or she) cannot say for sure determinism nor indeterminism is true in all places and for all time. One ought to assume the humility of Richard Feynman in regard to the determinism-indeterminism issue:

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MmpUWEW6Is). Also, this next YouTube video is relevant to my previous statements: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeBkMzSLA8w

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