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Free will/Determinism, Mind/body -problems

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by dosoner, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. dosoner

    dosoner Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2000 Messages: 3,735 Likes Received: 26
    free will/determinism -problem
    Firstly, in our familiar and also in our scientific insight, every event seems to be followed from an other event, according to a rule. For example if some event happens (it could be whatever, arbitrarily choosen event), we always seek a cause from which it follows. And by identifying cause, we explain an event which is that causes effect. And in this way an event as a cause determines an event as an effect. That doctrine is called determinism.

    Secondly, we also think, especially in moral contexts, that it is in our own hands, what we just choose to do. So, that it is somehow under our own power or will what we do. And we think that we are free to choose, what to do and we do what we choose to do. It seems very obvious to us that we have that kind power to do something with a free will.

    Now, there is certain kind of problem which cocerns the connection of these two obvious views. Firstly, an event is determined by an antecedent event and that event which is determined, determines the next event and that determines an other event ad infinitum. Secondly, that kind of chain of causes and effects do not allow us to think that we are free (rational and moral) agents. So, we are in a puzzle...

    In the one hand, we are free, and in the other we are not!

    Mind/body -problem

    When we are considering something, we use to think . If we, for example, deside to be sceptics, we have to consider each thigs and itchings existence and be sceptic about their reality. We could say: there is computer beside me, but I don`t believe that it is REALLY beside me; I just don`t believe that there is computer or anything, I think I`m fooled!! There is bad demon out there, who always fools me and I can`t do anything, but think I`m fooled. BUT YEEEES, I think. The demon can make all wrong, but I`m THINKING. So what ever could be the situation, I`m thinking being. (Cogito ergo sum).

    In the other hand it is absolutely true that there is computer in front of me. It is physical fact, that there is certain pieces of matter (particles) that are constructed to be a computer; and that matter of fact is right at front of me and nothing, really nothing, could ever makes me sceptic about that fact. And after all I am physically constructed piece of matter too, my mind is only certain kind of structured matter.

    So, there`s an other little problem too. That problem is concentrated between the distinction of the mind or thinking thing (so-called immaterial substance) and the matter or exteded thing (material substanse).

    In the one hand we are spirits and in the other we are not!

    I have presented two interelated problems which are, in my opinion, perhaps the most fundamental philosophical problems of our culture, which we could somehow handle. There are of course many related subproblems in these problems; these problems are just the stablest ones presented in as cencentrated manner as I can manage.
  2. ASER1NE

    ASER1NE Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 15, 2001 Messages: 7,577 Likes Received: 2
    interesting read , i never thought about those thing quite like that before , if this was written with proper grammer it would be even better
  3. *Police Chief Wiggum*

    *Police Chief Wiggum* New Jack

    Joined: Sep 23, 2001 Messages: 36 Likes Received: 0
    hahahahahahaha your so gay, you make me laugh

    REGULATOR Elite Member

    Joined: Sep 6, 2001 Messages: 3,383 Likes Received: 0
    holy shit aser coming up on 3000 posts??? damn you get out much?:D
  5. ASER1NE

    ASER1NE Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 15, 2001 Messages: 7,577 Likes Received: 2
    you had to point that out didnt you
  6. dosoner

    dosoner Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2000 Messages: 3,735 Likes Received: 26
    my bad grammer comes from my lazyness and lack of attention to details
  7. ASER1NE

    ASER1NE Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 15, 2001 Messages: 7,577 Likes Received: 2
    oh shit i dint know YOU wrote it , i thought it was some article badly written ........no big this aint english class , and its even better if those are your own original ideas

    how can you not believe in miracles , man i sure do , thers some things that are just so amazing that they can only be described as miracles......for instance , a few months ago this guy was driving along the highway here in bc , and he crashed and whatever and went down a steep embankment into some trees , anyhow , his family and the police , and many others ALL searched for him for a week , helicopters and all , no one could find him yet they knew which route he travelled in .........8 days later a jogger found him still alive without food or water in a wrecked car with minimal clothing in winter.........
  8. dosoner

    dosoner Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2000 Messages: 3,735 Likes Received: 26
    never read it, ill have to check it out.

    i hated philosophy class, i think better alone, without someone giving me anything to think about. mabye you had a better teacher than i did though
  9. dosoner

    dosoner Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2000 Messages: 3,735 Likes Received: 26
    First, I'll ask this: can you possibly have a conception of something that is outside of mind? Have you ever experienced non-mind? Could you?
    That keyboard in front of you seems like it is out there, but I insist it is entirely a mental construct. How do I know? I know because you are perceiving it. Any perception is a mental event, by necessity. You can't possibly think of anything that is not an idea. Even "that which is outside of mind" is a conception. Even "nothing" is an idea. You live in a landscape of ideas and feelings which are entirely constructed in your mind and ultimately are your mind. Isn't it silly to question the existence of mind when you have never experienced anything else? You can't question the questioner. There is a context for a question, and it is mind. To question the existence of the context for questions is absurd. Matter is a property of mind, not the reverse. What you think of as your brain is an idea contained within your mind. How can the contents be the totality? All of that cosmos out there and your body rest in the space of your mind. Your mind is the context for the existence of all things. Anything you can possibly name or conceive of or intuit or point at or know is itself a mental construct. Physicalists say that matter is fundamental. What is the context for the existence of matter? Where are the laws that govern matter located? For anything to be said to exist, there must be a description. I submit to you that the basic operators of descriptive grammar are more fundamental than matter. How fundamental is logic? Is logic a property of matter and energy? I think not. Matter and energy obey logic. Where is this logic located? I argue that it is located in your mind. It is part of the structure you impose on perception. Without a basic grammar, nothing can be said to exist, since no description is possible. Where is form located, like basic geometry? Where is the circle and the cube and so on? Did they emerge with the Big Bang? Don't be ridiculous! The Big Bang must have occured in some context, within a set of nonlocal "rules." To claim to think objectively is self-deception. It is absolutely impossible to be objective in the least. To attempt to find an objective description is absurd. Claiming that there is an "outside" is an objective claim. Objective descriptions cannot be relative, by definition, right? What would you say about the cosmos if you were describing it from the point of view of nowhere and everywhere and notime and everytime? Is it big? Is it hot? Relative to what? Is it over there or down there? Is it full or empty? What is it like? I tell you there is no possible description of a truly objective character. If the whole could be known from the whole, nothing would be known from the whole. It is like a rock, in a void where nothing else has ever existed, trying to describe itself. If there is nothing else, comparison and association are impossible. Try it. Try to describe your mouse objectively. Is this mouse you are trying to describe "out there?" What color is it? Does color exist apart from our perception of it? See, what we have is not the light itself, but an experience of a highly processed sense-organ measurement that exists in our mind. This experience is all we have. We cannot apprehend the actual mouse in any way. It cannot be said to actually exist or not exist. Either assertion would be ludicrous if it is meant objectively. When you think of the label "mouse," the referent is delusionally thought to be the thing-in-itself. You cannot imagine something that is beyond or outside of your imagination. The referent of the label, of any label for that matter, is itself an imagining, an idea, a conception, a feeling, something mental one way or another. You naturally think that the sensation of your finger on the mouse is happening "outside," between the mouse and the skin, right? Is it really? Does that sensation actually have a location? It is inside your mind. Is your mind inside your head? That is a tricky question indeed. Isn't everything you see, even the night sky, happening in your mind? If your mind contains all that you have ever known or ever will know, how can one of your mind's contents, i.e. the head, contain the mind? Can a part contain the whole? Isn't your head just an idea inside your mind? Isn't death an idea? What if you died, wouldn't the context for the existence of death cease to exist? Wouldn't the context for cessation of existence be gone? Wouldn't death violate logic? If all things are contingent upon your awareness of them, the cessation of your awareness would necessitate the cessation of the context for the cessation of your awareness. It gets real tangled doesn't it? Once you are dead, the point of view or the relative perspective is gone, right? If that is so, how can it be said that you have died. "Have died" is past tense, implying a current temporal perspective, which would violate the lack of perspective. How can there be a "now" which is "after" your death? While aware, all time is defined relative to your current temporal location. When there is no current temporal location, can you be said to be dead? Are you dead or yet-to-be-born or alive or all three simultaneously? Time, like space, is entirely relative to the point from which it is being described. Lose the context for temporal description and you must also lose temporal descriptions like "dead." I can say that my great grandfather is dead because I am aware and there is a context and a point of reference. Anyway, this idea presents weird problems for the possibility of multiple perspectives. The claim that other perspectives exist is one that is prone to the same problems as is the claim that things exist apart from mind. I think that the whole problem of solipsism is almost solved if we suggest that there is only one self and that this self experiences all things and that the experiencer we refer to when we say "I" is that Universal Witness. This also neatly unravels the Schrodinger's Cat problem! The cat can go ahead and die without necessitating that the universe bifurcate to allow it. The cat's absolute self is still aware, so the cat can die without losing the context for its death. This "person" I refer to as myself can die while the awareness itself which holds this idea of this person and experiences this person's life can continue to exist. It is as though you had multiple personality disorder and one of those personalities stopped emerging to activity. An ego died, nothing more. The actual experiencer is not the ego. The identity is a construct formed inside the mind. It is not the mind. The identity can die while the mind lives on. I think this sort of thing is true on a cosmic level. The Great Self or whatever you want to call it is what we all are. God is me. To say that I am God would be incorrect, however, if when saying "I" I think of my ego. God is my ego, along with everything else, but my ego is not God. It is tricky, since it is like the bud on the tip of a branch of a tree asking what it is. "Am I a bud or a tree?" Ultimately, when referring to self, I must be referring to that which is inseperable from me, which is ultimately everything. This body is hardly independent of the cosmos. The cosmos is my body. I am the great "is." Matter is a thing that exists inside this mind-space. It is nothing more than a set of properties, a description of sorts. Can substance be seperated from form? What is form? Where are the Laws of Form? What is the context for "property?"
    As for free will/determinism, they are both true in a strange sense. All describable things, including choices, follow universal causation. I am the cause of my choices, but what caused me to be what I am? Doesn't the nature of who I am determine how I choose? Something influenced who I am. This follows a chain of cause and effect all the way to the First Uncaused Cause if there can be such a thing (quite absurd, as is the alternative, which is: no first cause). If indeterminism is true, then the choice is uncaused, meaning I cannot have willed it since to will is to cause. To make an undetermined choice is absolutely absurd. If you chose, you determined. Either all things follow cause and effect, or not all things follow cause and effect. If something does not follow cause and effect, it is uncaused and therefore not chosen. If it follows cause and effect, it is determined and therefore not freely chosen. To freely choose would require not only that I choose according to my character, but that I choose the nature of that character. For me to choose or to somehow cause my nature to be what it is would necessitate that I am a self-contingent being that can exist before it exists to provide a context for its existence. It is absurd. What and who I am is determined by my innate nature and my experience. Those things were determined by the context in which I exist. What and who I am defines how I choose. My choices are nothing more than effects of causes coming from outside this local body of mine. Free will is impossible from the individual human perspective. There is a Cosmic Will, and it is Cause and Effect. My actions are executed by the Cosmic Will. If we say that my true self is the Whole or God, then that is the source of all causes and is itself uncaused or indetermined or free or something. It runs into absurdity. According to our feeble logic, all things must exist in a greater context. All things are contingent. But if the chain of contingency is infinite, what do we have? I don't have a clue! If I say that the floor of a cave is infinitely far down there, can I really claim that there is a floor? The same problem exists for an infinite chain of contingency. Saying that the cause is infinitely far back on an infinite chain of causation is another way of saying that there is no cause. It is a strange universe, no? Even causation occurs in the context of time. In what context does time exist? If time is contingent, causation must dissolve there. After that point in the chain of contingency, one cannot have a "before" or "after," which is necessary for any causative description. Is there a "before time began?" If there is no time, how can there be a "before?" What is the cause of time? "Cause" requires antecedence, and thus the requires context of time. For time to be the context for its own cause is absurd. Time cannot be caused, and yet it exists. Something is wrong here. They say that wherever you have an apparent paradox, at least one premise must be false. Which one is false? The same problem exists for space. In what does it rest? What is "outside?" Where is it? When it popped into existence, where did it appear? What is the context for spacetime? It cannot be a caused thing, but still, according to our logic, requires a higher appeal to something more fundamental. If the foundations of reality are infinitely far beneath us, then we are basically in a reality without foundation. There is no "absolute" or "non-contingent" thing. Either there is or is not a "most fundamental" thing. Either way is unsatisfactory to our intellects. Either choice is utterly absurd. The free-will/determinism problem cannot be solved until we answer this question, which is unanswerable. Can God will that his creation be beyond his will? Can God create a rock heavier than he can lift? Maybe logic itself is absurd and philosophy is useless. That's what I have decided. Reason is the slave of the passions and should remain so. We should pay more attention to Hume and Wittgenstein. Reason cannot be appealed to to explain "all things" since it itself exists as a part of "all things." A piece of a thing can never contain the thing. A system cannot be described in its own terms. A more complex system must be appealed to, ad infinitum. Kill reason, I say. It does little but haunt our minds. Use it to help you find your lunch and take it no further. That is what it is for anyhow. Reason cannot justify your wanting lunch. If you are ruled by reason, you cannot get off of the couch, since no action is justified! Really, there is no reason to stay on the couch either. Reason will dump you into limbo in no time! Start examining morality with reason and you'll get into serious trouble! Reason is a great slave and a terrible master. Keep it in its place. The free will/determinism and mind/body problems are the products of reason extended beyond its capacity. Leave them alone, that is unless you enjoy insanity. Don't take me too seriously. Nothing I say is really an assertion. My apparent assertions are only intended to stimulate thought and discussion. I have dispensed with objective truth altogether and so have no objective beliefs. My beliefs and guiding principles are selected for their aesthetic qualities, not for their truth or falsity. So don't tell me I am wrong, because I really didn't make an objective claim. I never said the universe beyond me does not exist. I said that it cannot be said to exist within the bounds of clean reasoning. Liguistics is a sort of cosmology. Examine the roots of language and you are examining the foundations of the phenomenal world. I argue that the logical operator which we label with the word "and" is more fundamental than the referent of the word "universe." To say that there is a universe assumes the existence of the operators labeled in English with "is" and "it" and "not." It is, as opposed to what is not. It is there. Where? It lies in the context of description itself. What is that? You decide.
  10. 23578

    23578 Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 2, 2000 Messages: 2,521 Likes Received: 0
    Elixir for the mind. I truly think the most sane people are the most confused. Good reading. . .what I could comprehend.
  11. dosoner

    dosoner Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 8, 2000 Messages: 3,735 Likes Received: 26
    bump because im still thinking about it, someone talk back
  12. blahblahblah

    blahblahblah Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 30, 2001 Messages: 5,527 Likes Received: 0
    was it seech that said cause and effect doesn't exist?

    read the politics of experience. You're on the lines of semi-philosophy/semi-psycology(sp?)....good stuff but leads you in circles
  13. Cracked Ass

    Cracked Ass Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 24, 2001 Messages: 7,898 Likes Received: 47
    No quantity of words can solve the puzzles you present. In fact those puzzles rely in part on the fact that words are inadequate representers of ideas, and that the formation of ideas in the human brain is not fully understood yet. So I choose not to participate in the conversation beyond this observation, and am comfortable operating provisionally in my environment as I understand it - through the perceptions of my senses, which are definitely adequate for provisional operation even if they don't solve the mysteries of reality for me. Same with religion - I don't know the answers, and prefer science to hysteria and fables, so I live operating by a provisional moral sense rather than subscribing to any faith.
  14. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 174
    you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
    if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
    you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path that's clear, I will choose freewill...
  15. Xeroshoes

    Xeroshoes Senior Member

    Joined: Apr 16, 2001 Messages: 1,413 Likes Received: 0
    Like Cracked Ass said "No quantity of words can solve the puzzles you present." I don't really know what to say...