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  1. #51
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    However, free will can also be thought of as freedom from direct, practical influences. For instance, if a man looses his job, he may be influenced to be depressed, yet he can choose instead to be resilient. This kind of belief in free will is indeed plausible.
    How do you reconcile this with your previous assertions? According to your theory, everything is, for lack of a better term, predestined.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #52
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    How do you reconcile this with your previous assertions? According to your theory, everything is, for lack of a better term, predestined.
    Indeed it is. However, the psychological illusion that we can make choices is inescapable. Inevitably we will be put in a situation where we will have to engage in an activity that we regard as making choices.

    For example, consider the case of the aforementioned man who has lost his job. He will necessarily act in a certain way because of his psychological dispositions and the external circumstances available to him. For instance, he will be resilient if he has the quality of resilience ingrained in his psyche and if his circumstances are not severe enough to prevent him from acting resiliently. All of his thoughts or psychological states are entailments of his previous psychological states of mind. One of such states of mind is his belief that he can make choices and his belief that at some point he is making a choice. Hence, the man was resilient because his psychological dispositions and external circumstanceswere such that resilience was a necessary entailment of his previous mindset. However, along the course of this activity he will have the belief that he has made a choice. Thus, because one will always have the illusion in mind with regard to his own ability and necessity of making choices, it is merely prudent that one also engages in the activity that we regard as taking responsibility for one's choices.

    At the deepest metaphysical level, man has no free will at all. Yet when one confronts a situation where an ethical decision needs to be made, or a decision with regard to how one must live his life, one will inevitably rely on what he knows or thinks he knows. What one believes to know is that one has to make a choice, yet is completely unaware that one truly does not have such a choice to make. The crux of this doctrine is as follows, all actions have a cause.

    The doctrine of practical free will is important strictly from ethical standpoint, specifically, with regard to self-help. For all that we know, we engage in activities that we think are to be regarded as 'choice-making', and those of us who take responsibility for our actions lead happier lives. The fact that all of our actions are a necessary entailment of previous occurences is not relevant. In essence, the choice is not between taking responsibility for our actions or not doing so, as inevitably, whatever we do is an entailment of previous occurrences, thus we do not have an earnest choice to make. The real question is whether or not we want to be in the position where we think we chose to take responsibility for our actions or in the position where we think we chose not to take responsibility for our actions. For instance, when a doctor takes responsibility for the well being of his patients, he did so because his psychological dispositions were such that it was impossible for him to do otherwise under the circumstances that he dealt with. However, he cannot avoid believing that he must make a choice of being responsible or of being irresponsible. If he ends up believing that he chose to be responsible his results will be different from the situation that would have ensued as a result of his current situation where he opted to be irresponsible.

    If that is true determinism is true. If that is false, than magic is exists, or some things happen completely uncaused, or without any reason at all for their happening.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  3. #53
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    - The economy or "state" of any given man's psychology is the sum of the choices he has made.
    - His external circumstances are the result of the choices he has made.
    - The combination of the "state" of his psychology and his external circumstances determine what choices are truly available to him at any given juncture.

    - While at the deepest metaphysical level everything is predestined, this is largely irrelevant to us in our day-to-day lives.

    Would you say these are acceptable interpretations of your stance?
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  4. #54
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    - The economy or "state" of any given man's psychology is the sum of the choices he has made.?
    The proper terminology would be the 'perceived choices'. His mindstate is an aggreggate of the impact all of the choices 'perceived choices' made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    - - His external circumstances are the result of the choices he has made.
    - The combination of the "state" of his psychology and his external circumstances determine what choices are truly available to him at any given juncture.

    - While at the deepest metaphysical level everything is predestined, this is largely irrelevant to us in our day-to-day lives.

    Would you say these are acceptable interpretations of your stance?
    That is correct.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  5. #55
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Then again, you'll forgive me for sounding pat, but doesn't this give people cause to simply throw their hands up in the air and say, "Well, he couldn't help being a murderer, what can you do, right?"
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  6. #56
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Then again, you'll forgive me for sounding pat, but doesn't this give people cause to simply throw their hands up in the air and say, "Well, he couldn't help being a murderer, what can you do, right?"
    Correct. This certainly does not mean that one should not be punished for murdering.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    RaptorWizard's responce to SolitaryWalker's Essence of Apriori thread:

    SolitaryWalker asks if it is possible to have knowledge prior to experience. This could be possible if knowledge is innate, that is, if it is stored in our unconscious. If so, we could not only acquire knowledge, but also recover it. He defines knowledge as a true set of beliefs from which we can refer to choose. He also asks to ask to what degree one’s natural talents result from what is innate versus one’s influence from the external world. Newton saw the world as a dynamic machine of cause and effect, from which point A leads to B from which follows C to result in D and so forth. This view however cannot explain the source from which the first cause came, a question of how something could have come from nothing. Our minds translate the infinite realm into finite terms, which make such questions that impose limits incapable for explanation.

  8. #58
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I'll quote this even though it's very old:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Then again, you'll forgive me for sounding pat, but doesn't this give people cause to simply throw their hands up in the air and say, "Well, he couldn't help being a murderer, what can you do, right?"
    Actually no, because this person is also so determined.

    If the murderer is destined to kill, then justice is also destined to punish them (or not, as the case may be) If the murderer can't change then neither can you, and it is clear that we have a propensity to punish crimes regardless of whether it can be helped or not.

    Hypothetically speaking, that is.

  9. #59
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Interesting thread. I'll quote this even though it's very old:



    Actually no, because this person is also so determined.

    If the murderer is destined to kill, then justice is also destined to punish them (or not, as the case may be) If the murderer can't change then neither can you, and it is clear that we have a propensity to punish crimes regardless of whether it can be helped or not.

    Hypothetically speaking, that is.
    Since that post I've actually become a determinist myself, so LOL I guess? You're absolutely right.

    I've just generally come to think of things from two perspectives: the grand, metaphysical, "ultimate truth" perspective, and a practical, day-to-day perspective. From the former perspective, yes, I believe everything is going to play out the way it's going to play out. From the latter perspective, we should absolutely have institutions in place to deter people from being a menace to others, and to catch them if they choose to be so anyway.

    Aside: SolitaryWalker, if you're out there lurking, you should come back! Your posts made me rise from my own dogmatic slumber, so your work here was not in vain.

    The simple truth is that I've opted for the pursuit and application of empirical truth in my life, so it was hugely illuminating to have someone around to present important philosophical ideas and theses in a comprehensible fashion. (I.e., someone to present the philosophy rather than the science.) I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt that way.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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