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Thread: Murder is okay.

  1. #1 Murder is okay. 
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    Murder should not be punished, nor should any crime for that matter. If the universe is wholly deterministic, then choice is a delusion, and any and all concepts of culpability and responsibility are erroneous.
    Well okay, I don't really think so. But for those who have stated their belief in absolute determinism, this would be the logical conclusion of such.
    I will return later to the philosophical consideration of determinism, right now I would like to examine the purely physical aspects of such.

    Let's begin with Quantum Mechanics, the science of the smallest and moat basic constituents of the physical universe.
    Surely a certain kind of particle always behaves a certain way in specific circumstances?
    Well, not really.
    Quantum Mechanics as it is currently practiced deals in probabilities.
    That's right, quantum mechanics doesn't say this or that will happen, it say's there is such and such a chance of this happening and such and such a chance of that happening instead.
    Don't believe me? Go ask in the physics subforum. Use the word "Stochastic", it will help you look smart. Or, ask about "Monte Carlo".

    But if the basis of the universe is probabilistic wouldn't everything just be chaos?
    Ah, but there is the observation considering large numbers.
    Let's consider a simple probabilistic model, a coin. When flipped, the coin can return a value of heads(H), or tails(T).
    If flipped only a few times, 10 or so, it is rare to get an even distribution of H to T.
    When we flip the coin many times, 10^4 or so, the average distribution of H to T over just a few, or many trials, is much closer to 50/50.
    Hence, the deterministic nature of Newtonian Mechanics is emergent from the probabilistic (or stochastic) nature of Quantum Mechanics.

    So, empirical observation and the scientific method have lead us to a probabilistic basis for nature.
    What of the philosophical implications of such a view?
    How about choice, and personal responsibility. Such concepts are prima fascia components in the daily operation of our society.
    And the antithesis, absolute determinism? A mere marionette existence which would put to the lie, the entirety of all human endeavor.

    I think that those who advocate a wholly deterministic view have simply not thought about it very well.

    Edit; I "bolded" a pre-existent line.


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  3. #2 Re: Murder is okay. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    If the universe is wholly deterministic, then choice is a delusion, and any and all concepts of culpability and responsibility are erroneous..
    I bet you felt compelled to say that.


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  4. #3 Re: Murder is okay. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    If the universe is wholly deterministic, then choice is a delusion, and any and all concepts of culpability and responsibility are erroneous..
    I bet you felt compelled to say that.
    Obviously, I couldn't help it.
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    Even if the universe was wholly deterministic and choice was an illusion, why would that necessarily mean criminals should not be punished?

    Actually, assuming your premise was correct, and that we could build up an adequate profile, murderers and criminals should actually be punished before they commit the crime. If choice is an illusion, there is no way they would avoid the destined outcome unless society stepped in, locked them up, and prevented them from doing so.

    Don't we put down rabid dogs regardless of rather they have bitten somebody or not?
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    Free will is a hypothesis that needs testing. Neuro-scientists are trending towards the concept as illusory, but not enough evidence currently exists. The assumption of free-will is implicit in all human endeavour, no reason to change that unless we know for sure otherwise.

    There are Frequentist and Bayesian interpretations of statistics. Frequentist interpretations see probability as a feature of the universe (but one we can only estimate based on a sample) while Bayesian interpretations see statistics as a feature of how we interpret the universe. My math is weak; i've asked on the maths forum for some clarification on this point but no-one will bite - maybe you'd have more luck.

    Also raises the issue of reducibility versus emergence. Can all things be reduced to physics? Can anthropology ultimately be found to have causal pathways down to quantum mechanics? I don't know. I think we tend towards saying yes in the scientific community (at least theoretically if not practically)?

    So the indeterminism of electrons may or may not be a feature of those electrons and may or may not translate to indeterminism at larger scales.

    Determinism is not necessarily incompatible with free will. Conceived of as an agent causing an effect while itself having no antecedent conditions, the theory of agency argues that there can be a self-originating cause. this is not incompatible with determinism as all things still have a cause.

    You could also argue against the causal principle, after all it is empirical impossible to verify.

    Lastly, the inconvenience a lack of free will would impose upon society is irrelevant to its truth. It is highly relevant, though, to how we would structure our ethics. Personally the concept of memes as a source of ethics appeals to me if free-will is found to be illusory - but i think we're a long way from that.
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    Cogito ergo sum.

    You will notice I said "choice". There is will, but it's not free.

    @whoisjohngalt; Apparently, you didn't read very closely. I was arguing against absolute determinism, not for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Lastly, the inconvenience a lack of free will would impose upon society is irrelevant to its truth. It is highly relevant, though, to how we would structure our ethics. Personally the concept of memes as a source of ethics appeals to me if free-will is found to be illusory - but i think we're a long way from that.
    If absolute determinism is true, then there will be no choice in how we structure our ethics, meme based or otherwise. I hold that absolute determinism is absolute bunk, hogwash, and field fudge cowpie, road apples even.
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    I read it closely and I understood your point. I was merely pointing out that you made several logical errors along the way. Your basic premise was that if none of us have a choice in what we do, then there should not be consequences for those actions, therefore Murder is Okay.

    You created an unreasonable and untennable position and then proceded to argue against it and concluded that since the position failed, your point was proved.

    Well okay, I don't really think so. But for those who have stated their belief in absolute determinism, this would be the logical conclusion of such.
    I merely accepted your premise as presented and gave you a different logical conclusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    I read it closely and I understood your point. I was merely pointing out that you made several logical errors along the way. Your basic premise was that if none of us have a choice in what we do, then there should not be consequences for those actions, therefore Murder is Okay.

    You created an unreasonable and untennable position and then proceded to argue against it and concluded that since the position failed, your point was proved.

    Well okay, I don't really think so. But for those who have stated their belief in absolute determinism, this would be the logical conclusion of such.
    I merely accepted your premise as presented and gave you a different logical conclusion.
    Reductio ad absurdem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Cogito ergo sum.
    There's a ghost in the machine?

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    You will notice I said "choice". There is will, but it's not free.
    Not sure i understand. So we have choices. The will makes these choices; but the will is not free to make these choices. By my reasoning that means choice is determined. Obviously you don't believe this, so what am i missing/misunderstanding in your interpretation?


    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    If absolute determinism is true, then there will be no choice in how we structure our ethics, meme based or otherwise. I hold that absolute determinism is absolute bunk, hogwash, and field fudge cowpie, road apples even.
    Fair enough, i only offer memes as a more palatable alternative to accepting murder, but it's irrelevant in this context anyway.

    Hopefully in the next few decades the problem will move from a philosophical problem to an empirical one, and prove it either way. The more interesting problem (to me at least), is how this transition occurs (the true function of philosophy to my mind).

    By rejecting determinism you are rejecting the causal principle (they are usually taken to mean the same thing)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    I read it closely and I understood your point. I was merely pointing out that you made several logical errors along the way. Your basic premise was that if none of us have a choice in what we do, then there should not be consequences for those actions, therefore Murder is Okay.

    You created an unreasonable and untennable position and then proceded to argue against it and concluded that since the position failed, your point was proved.

    Well okay, I don't really think so. But for those who have stated their belief in absolute determinism, this would be the logical conclusion of such.
    I merely accepted your premise as presented and gave you a different logical conclusion.
    Reductio ad absurdem.
    P.S. Ayn Rand sucks.
    Reductio ad absurdem implies that the conclusion you reached was logical. I provided you a different logical conclusion that was much easier to defend. Reductio ad absurdem fails in this case.

    P.S. Evil sucks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    There's a ghost in the machine?
    I rather like the idea of a ghost in the machine, of course such would need a physical explanation. A structuralized, subtly interacting exotic matter, or some such. Truly, I consider a ghost in the machine to be an open question.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Not sure i understand. So we have choices. The will makes these choices; but the will is not free to make these choices. By my reasoning that means choice is determined. Obviously you don't believe this, so what am i missing/misunderstanding in your interpretation?
    I meant that we are never presented with infinite degrees of freedom in our choices, and also that some choices are difficult to make, physically and, or, emotionally.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    By rejecting determinism you are rejecting the causal principle (they are usually taken to mean the same thing)?
    Notice I said "absolute determinism". A chain of dominoes, of course, behaves in a regular way. When it comes to consciousness, think, stochastic algorithm.

    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    P.S. Evil sucks.
    Not nearly as much as an 80 page single character monologue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Even if the universe was wholly deterministic and choice was an illusion, why would that necessarily mean criminals should not be punished?

    Actually, assuming your premise was correct, and that we could build up an adequate profile, murderers and criminals should actually be punished before they commit the crime. If choice is an illusion, there is no way they would avoid the destined outcome unless society stepped in, locked them up, and prevented them from doing so.

    Don't we put down rabid dogs regardless of rather they have bitten somebody or not?
    You claim to have understood what you've read...the above proves that you did believe that GiantEvil was being serious. You either lack reading comprehension skills or don't speak English well. FAIL either way.

    Nice synopsis of Minority Report in the second paragraph by the way.
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    Choices are decisions the brain makes based on its understanding of the circumstances, desires, calculation of risk and other factors. Being deterministic makes it all the more certain the person making the decision was responsible for the decision. It in no way anulls or mitigates the level of responsibility for committing a murder--in fact is makes it all the more certain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Even if the universe was wholly deterministic and choice was an illusion, why would that necessarily mean criminals should not be punished?

    Actually, assuming your premise was correct, and that we could build up an adequate profile, murderers and criminals should actually be punished before they commit the crime. If choice is an illusion, there is no way they would avoid the destined outcome unless society stepped in, locked them up, and prevented them from doing so.

    Don't we put down rabid dogs regardless of rather they have bitten somebody or not?
    You claim to have understood what you've read...the above proves that you did believe that GiantEvil was being serious. You either lack reading comprehension skills or don't speak English well. FAIL either way.
    I do understand what I read. I don't think he was being serious. I merely think he made a poor argument. I was debating his logic and the title of this thread.
    Nice synopsis of Minority Report in the second paragraph by the way.
    Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Choices are decisions the brain makes based on its understanding of the circumstances, desires, calculation of risk and other factors. Being deterministic makes it all the more certain the person making the decision was responsible for the decision. It in no way anulls or mitigates the level of responsibility for committing a murder--in fact is makes it all the more certain.
    Notice I said "wholly deterministic" and "absolute determinism", and I am arguing against them.
    Absolute determinism precludes any notion of choice and defines any notion of will as illusory.
    I notice you used the words "choices" and "decisions", we probably are actually in agreement.
    I went back and "bolded" an existent statement in my OP, for clarity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Absolute determinism precludes any notion of choice and defines any notion of will as illusory.
    I disagree. It's HIS brain and circumstance that made that decision. If it was a forgone conclusion (something we really can't ever measure) it doesn't matter. He is responsible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Absolute determinism precludes any notion of choice and defines any notion of will as illusory.
    I disagree. It's HIS brain and circumstance that made that decision. If it was a forgone conclusion (something we really can't ever measure) it doesn't matter. He is responsible.
    And I am arguing against "forgone conclusions" as exclusive in all instances, hence responsibility does apply. We are half in agreement.
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    If his decision wasn't a forgone conclusion than he shouldn't be held as responsible. It would mean that there were random elements in his perceptions or the way his brain evaluated their choices which could lead him to different conclusions--there's little evidence of that and those random things would mean he was less responsible for coming up with the wrong decisions. It seems your conclusions are exactly opposite of what they should be.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    If his decision wasn't a forgone conclusion than he shouldn't be held as responsible. It would mean that there were random elements in his perceptions or the way his brain evaluated their choices which could lead him to different conclusions--there's little evidence of that and those random things would mean he was less responsible for coming up with the wrong decisions. It seems your conclusions are exactly opposite of what they should be.
    Who is responsible for the content of the show, the marionette, or the puppet master?

    P.S. I don't intend for "puppet master" to be a theistic or an atheistic metaphor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Who is responsible for the content of the show, the marionette, or the puppet master?
    Inside the head of the decision maker they are one and the same, which is why he is responsible for that decision. In some hypothetical where you could go back in time replay the identical situation it's quite likely he'd make the same decision over and over--even if he believed that he started with choices. (is there some evidence for a tiny quantum effect in brains?) It's the very fact that his perceptions, values etc lead him to the decision that we can attribute responsibility to the decision maker and we might punish him if it was a "wrong" decision (i.e. unacceptable to society).

    As outside observer we might be able to identify his choices but it's the very process that went on in the perpetrators brain leading him to the wrong one what we hold him responsible for--if it was inevitable, that only improves our confidence that his brain was sick and adds to our certainty.

    If he knew about his former decision during one of the replays than he conditions wouldn't be identical so the comparison would break down and you couldn't attribute a different decision to real choice.
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    And there is that word again, "decision".
    My argument is that, yes indeed, we make decisions. And therefore the human endeavor of justice is legitimate.
    If there is absolute determinism, which I am arguing against, then the concept of decision is erroneous.
    If the concept of "decision" is erroneous, then justice would be without it's moral basis of personal responsibility.
    Which is all beside the point in the case of an absolute determinism, because then the whole of human experience would be predetermined at the beginning of time and there would be zero potential of deviation.
    I am not actually arguing that murder is okay.
    How have I failed to make that clear?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    If the concept of "decision" is erroneous, then justice would be without it's moral basis of personal responsibility.
    We clearly have completely different ideas what the moral basis is. In my view whether it being absolutely deterministic makes attribution of personal responsibility all the more precise and certain--it was his brain, without possibility of random element, that came up with the decision and therefore makes it a certainty that he is responsible. The moral basis of personal responsibility can't have a firmer foundation than that which exist in a deterministic universe. On the other hand if it's non-deterministic (something for which there's little actual proof), than some random element influencing his brain resulted in a different decision and thus undermine the moral basis of personal responsibility.
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    Neither am I speaking of a wholly indeterministic universe, that would also preclude any notion of choice, or coherent consciousness.
    Really, when and where have I used the word "random"?
    Absolute determinism is linear, no variation in possibilities. A marionette existence where choice is illusory.
    In absolute determinism, there is no steering wheel.
    What did you have for lunch? Do you think there was any choice involved, or do you think it was predetermined since the origin of existence?
    My point is that there are "one or the other" situations possible in the dynamic operation of the universe, especially with the addition of the component of consciousness.
    And go ask over on the physics subforum, "Is Quantum Mechanics inherently deterministic or stochastic?".
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    And go ask over on the physics subforum, "Is Quantum Mechanics inherently deterministic or stochastic?".
    The more relavent question would be: do quantum mechanics effect the macroscopic brian? My guess is that the answer is probably not, or at least not most times, because brian structures are a few orders of magnitude too large to have significant quantum effects.

    Also, it's not a question of pre-determination since the beginning of time--it's a question of predetermination from the start of the thought process to the final choice that was made. Even if that entire thought process is predetermined, it does not mean the person didn't have choices (or freewill), because it is the very process inside the person's brain, his brain's perceptions, his brain's weighing of the consequences, his brain's emotional state, his brain's priorities, his brain's ability to reason etc which we consider "freewill." His decision is still uniquely his and he is responsible.
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    The movement of electrons is a quantum process.
    The chemical interactions between molecules is behavior emergent from quantum processes.
    Movement of electrons and chemical interactions are two documented aspects of human cognition.
    In absolute determinism there is no possibility of the cognitive processes to result in any but one specific result.
    If we're talking about a line of dominoes, where is there any choice, will, or decision?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    The movement of electrons is a quantum process.
    The chemical interactions between molecules is behavior emergent from quantum processes.
    Movement of electrons and chemical interactions are two documented aspects of human cognition.
    The scale differences are huge. If there is a quantum effects on the brain they are pretty small and almost certainly insufficient to change a decision.

    If we're talking about a line of dominoes, where is there any choice, will, or decision?
    That very line is the choice, will and decision. That very line is the reason we can hold the person responsible. If as you try to imply there were randomness, say like someone firing an air soft gun at the dominoes so they topple in a different order, than he'd still not have choice as you seem to want to define it, the outcome would only be more random between the original line of dominoes and the new pattern of their falling. Nor would we be as able to hold him responsible. Consciousness, which is some awareness of the process in our brains also doesn't change a thing--it just adds more dominoes, those extra dominoes representing the extra brain processes necessary for consciousness.

    Lets continue your domino metaphor a bit more. Lets say he's started to think about deciding something--the dominoes have started falling. Even if his conscious mind predicts there were two possible conclusions, say the last domino of two paths, he would not know which one will be the last to fall because his very thought process depends on the sting of dominoes falling at that time. Even if an external omnipotent entity know the outcome with absolute certainty or it was inevitable from physics that one path will be the "winner," it would not change the perception that there were two possible paths when the dominoes started falling. Even having completed process the thinker or external observer would still recognize that there was an appearance of two outcomes whether or not there ever really was. The very dominoes falling pattern was the decision process that led to one or the other. The falling pattern is the very reason we can hold him responsible because to put it simply "that's how the dominoes fell."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The scale differences are huge. If there is a quantum effects on the brain they are pretty small and almost certainly insufficient to change a decision.
    As a meteorologist I'm fairly confident that you are at least passingly familiar with Edward Lorenz? And chaos theory, and the butterfly effect?
    Apparently insignificant variations in initial conditions can have large scale effects in the evolution of a system.

    When I say Absolute Determinism, I am invoking the idea's of Pierre-Simon Laplace. Best summed in the following quote;
    We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.
    —Pierre Simon Laplace
    Absolute Determinism does not allow for any variation in the evolution of a system from it's initial conditions.
    It seems painfully obvious to me that Absolute Determinism is incompatible with the concept of choice, or free will if that is the term people like.
    Hence, if Absolute Determinism is in operation, then choice and free will are wholly illusory.

    P.S. I have yet to use the word "random" in expounding my argument at any point in this entire thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    As a meteorologist I'm fairly confident that you are at least passingly familiar with Edward Lorenz? And chaos theory, and the butterfly effect?
    Apparently insignificant variations in initial conditions can have large scale effects in the evolution of a system.
    Absolutely it's one of the cornerstone's of the field.
    Chaos theory still applies even in entirely deterministic systems. It doesn't effect this conversation one bit. Why? Because those initial conditions are still inside the brian.

    It seems painfully obvious to me that Absolute Determinism is incompatible with the concept of choice, or free will if that is the term people like.
    Hence, if Absolute Determinism is in operation, then choice and free will are wholly illusory.
    It's only illusionary because you seem to want to treat the perceptions of choices as somehow external to the process of thinking. The brain identifies choices, and processes thoughts until one is chosen--that is the very definition of free will. If he picks murder, you are certain his brain made the decision.

    I use the term random to indentify elements and things that might effect and change the processes which aren't deterministic. Interestingly if the brain's decision making process, which led to murder, wasn't deterministic and tended to be sensitive to initial conditions, than those decisions could not be attributed to the particular brain's standard processes and hence it would be more difficult to hold the person responsible for murder. Once again it's the opposite conclusion that the initial post reaches.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    It doesn't effect this conversation one bit. Why? Because those initial conditions are still inside the brian.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The brain identifies choices, and processes thoughts until one is chosen--that is the very definition of free will.
    Here your second statement contradicts your first.
    Your second statement of course, is correct.

    Let's look at a mathematical object, the function "f(x)".
    A proper function returns one and only one specific value for any particular input.
    A function is wholly, or absolutely deterministic.
    There is no "choice" involved in the operation of a proper function.
    To even use the word "choice", "choose", "chosen", etcetera, we must consider a stochastic element to be present in the event, or chain of events, under consideration.
    As opposed to the word "stochastic", I might also use the word "noise", in the manner of, but not necessarily specific to "a ghost in the machine".

    The current formulation of the standard model of QM is in fact stochastic, not wholly deterministic.
    Whether QM is the stochastic element that provides for "choice" in human consciousness, I do not know. I have provided it as an example to demonstrate that there are stochastic processes at work in the physical universe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I use the term random to indentify elements and things that might effect and change the processes which aren't deterministic.
    Under this definition "random" is an almost perfect word for replacing "stochastic" or "noise".
    I only hesitate to use "random" because it lacks a connotation of "consideration".
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    wasn't deterministic and tended to be sensitive to initial conditions, than those decisions could not be attributed to the particular brain's standard processes
    Let's return for a moment to a proper function, "f(x)".
    The output is wholly dependent on the initial condition, supersensitive to initial conditions in the case of absolute determinism.
    It is with the random element that variant results can be obtained. Let me add that in the case of human consciousness I consider the "random element" to be "considered".
    Absolute determinism does not allow for "consideration".

    To believe in "Absolute Determinism" without consideration of stochastic element is to believe that, "A person can not change their star's".
    Absolute Determinism is a necessary element to astrology, palmistry, precognition, and many other form's of divination.
    Absolute Determinism is the root of Manifest Destiny; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_Destiny.
    A philosophy of ethnocentrism leading to the wholesale murder of native peoples and reckless misuse of natural resource.
    Absolute Determinism allows for moralizing any act as predetermined beyond an individuals control. It was destined, what could I do?
    If the chain of thought preceding an act is a moralization, then the act is commonly immoral.

    The logical conclusion to the concept of Absolute Determinism is that choice is illusory, and hence so is any concept of personal responsibility.

    If all of existence is predetermined, then why have democratic elections? Why not just flip a coin?
    But then the fact that there would be a pointless election, who would vote in it, and who they would vote for, and who would win, well it all was predetermined beyond anyones will to change or choose anything different.

    None of us can provide a definitive answer to the Absolute Deterministic or stochastic nature of the universe.
    In the event it is Absolutely Deterministic, well, it doesn't matter what we think, all is predetermined.
    In the event it is stochastic, and choice is not an illusion, then it behoofs us to embrace a philosophy of responsibility in the interest of acting on a better world.
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    Do you, GiantEvil, accept that everything has a cause?
    Even quantum mechanics?
    I say yes- there is a reason why there is a probability of so and so, and a reason why that probability is the way it is.

    Me and Zinjanthropos have been having a discussion about this topic on A Discourse On Time.

    This doesn't mean murder is OK, it merely means that the man that commited murder is not to be blamed, but he should be punished, or else the lack of punishment would cause more murders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    The logical conclusion to the concept of Absolute Determinism is that choice is illusory, and hence so is any concept of personal responsibility.
    I think your logic is flawed because you insist on treating the perception of choices in our head as something external from the process of thinking that leads us to the bad decision. Call that illusionary or not it doesn't matter, the fact is every bit of thinking involves deterministic processes inside our brains--when that process leads to bad decisions, such as murder, it is determinism that gives others full confidence that the thinker's brain is responsible for the bad decision. In the terms 15uliane introduces, they can be blamed because non other than their brains came up with the bad decision.

    I'm not sure how I could make this any clearer. Determinism reinforces personal responsibility unless you somehow separate people's thoughts from their brains which is a clear impossibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Do you, GiantEvil, accept that everything has a cause?
    Even quantum mechanics?
    I must say that I don't know, in fact I am unprepared to hazard a guess as to causality in general.
    As far as QM goes, it could be it's own cause. QM seem's to be the axiomatic basis for almost the whole of the rest of science. Certainly chemistry, and hence biology.
    Also Mechanics(Classical physics), except for gravity as explained by General Relativity. There is still not a solid theory of Quantum Gravity, although QED(Quantum Electro Dynamics) is relativistically reconciled.
    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    I say yes- there is a reason why there is a probability of so and so, and a reason why that probability is the way it is.
    Then please present your argument as to why.
    By the way, probability is an inherently non deterministic concept. By invoking the term "probability", you are contradicting the concept of Absolute Determinism.
    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Me and Zinjanthropos have been having a discussion about this topic on A Discourse On Time.
    Yeah, I've noticed that one. So far this one hasn't been mucked up with anthropic speculation concerning deity.
    This doesn't mean murder is OK
    No, murder is not OK. Did you read the whole OP, or just the title?
    See; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum.
    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    it merely means that the man that commited murder is not to be blamed,
    The logical conclusion to an assumption of Absolute Determinism. My point this whole thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    but he should be punished, or else the lack of punishment would cause more murders.
    And under the auspices of Absolute Determinism, punishment, or the lack thereof, is a moot point because all outcomes are predetermined without any potential for variance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    you insist on treating the perception of choices in our head as something external from the process of thinking
    Could you please point out, where in my writings you have come by this assumption.
    If I have been unclear in my exposition I need to know.
    That is not at all anything I have attempted to express.

    In this thread I am considering thinking as a physical process involving, in general, electrons and molecules in the brain.
    Now we can't consider the brain a completely closed system. There is input, from wives, bosses, college professors etc... And there is output, actions, murder even maybe. Or for a kinder, gentler metaphor, the feeding and petting of kittens.

    Now either this brain-system is Absolutely Deterministic, and is like a mathematical function f(x).
    Where depending on the function, f(x)=x^2, or f(x)=x+3, etcetera, there is ever only one possible output for any particular input.
    The function has no choice as to the output. The function doesn't reason.

    Or the brain-system is not Absolutely Deterministic, and is not like a mathematical function.
    That there is in place some mechanism whereby one or another output might be produced from a specific input. One would hope, predicated on reason.

    In essence I am arguing that there is no Absolutely Deterministic system which allows for choice.
    I am confident in the soundness of my logic.
    In the meantime I am greatly enjoying this discussion and would like to thank all the other participants for their contributions.
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    Under the deterministic point of view which i share as well nothing matters. Every "event" is the only "event" that could have ever happened and the murderer isn't the only one subject to these laws, the people persecuting him are as well and so is anyone who shares any kind of opinion on murder. obviously everyone is subject to the laws but i only mentioned the ones that pertain to the topic/situation at hand.
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    Could you please point out, where in my writings you have come by this assumption.
    It is implicit in your argument. I'll attempt to show where.

    In this thread I am considering thinking as a physical process involving, in general, electrons and molecules in the brain. ...
    Now either this brain-system is Absolutely Deterministic, and is like a mathematical function f(x).
    Where depending on the function, f(x)=x^2, or f(x)=x+3, etcetera, there is ever only one possible output for any particular input.
    The function has no choice as to the output. The function doesn't reason.
    If the brain is like a function, those physical processes you mention, than it in fact DOES REASON, because it is part of the brain's processes. You can't separate the reasoning from the brain.

    Than you appear to do it again.

    Or the brain-system is not Absolutely Deterministic, and is not like a mathematical function.
    That there is in place some mechanism whereby one or another output might be produced from a specific input. One would hope, predicated on reason.
    Again the reasoning seems to be treated as something different, when it is in fact part of the brain.

    If a person knows how to reason, he might well reach a different conclusion than if he didn't know how to reason, but that doesn't imply in the least that his brain wasn't a like a function--it only implies that he was using a different function.

    --
    As a fun exploration I considered using the composite function as a metaphor for our thinking f (g(x)) where g(x) was our primitive brains and f () represented our consciousness. (I haven't the time now to fully develop)
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    Mainly relying on punishment to me is a caveman-ish approach. If people fall off balconies by accident and sometimes causing loss of property or injuries to what ever is below the appartment building the solution is not to make a law that makes falling off balcony's illegal but to change the environment, designing balconies with a fence, to prevent most people from falling.

    When it comes to many social problems we do the exact opposite, we fail to change the environment that facilitates the problem, let everything thats causing the problem as is and are using a punishment to adress the 'symptoms'. We say that guy that fell but smashed the parked car, he's the problem, if he makes it alive with every bone in his body broken and recovers he should go from the hospital straight to the prison, that will show him, lets not change anything in the evironment or the way anything functions or is designed and pat ourselves on the back for being though on crime. Saying people fall and theres nothing we can do about it because it is predestined is even more ineffective, be active and change the environment so that catastrophies are less likely and better quality of life is more likely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    In essence I am arguing that there is no Absolutely Deterministic system which allows for choice.
    My apologies for repeating myself, but in case you missed that line, that is the gist of what I am attempting to say.

    Let's consider a trivial choice. Whether or not to have another drink of decent quality coffee from a still warm, half-full cup before going to take a shower.
    There are no specific constraints to your time this day, it's your day off and there are no errands to run.
    The weather itself, while not inhospitable, is not pleasant enough to draw you immediately from your domicile.
    The coffee mug is sitting on an active warming pad, the coffee will still be pleasantly warm after your shower.

    Now let's assume a decision is made and then acted on, to take another drink of coffee now, or to wait till after the shower. It's a trivial decision, doesn't matter which. Anyway, we'll call this result "A".
    Now let's do something fantastically impossible, except in mind experiments. Let's rewind the situation, time, the persons brain, the whole enchilada, to just before the decision and subsequent action.
    Now, with the same brain and it's state, the precise exact same set of inputs as before, which decision is made?

    If Absolute Determinism is assumed, one specific and only one specific result can and will be returned from our experiment, result "A", even with multiple trials.
    Even though the subject of our experiment might have experienced the sensation of choosing, there is zero probability of any result other than the one specific result determined by the brain, it's state, and set of inputs, result "A".
    Without any potential for a "B" result, the definition of choice can not be met.

    Choice; http://www.thefreedictionary.com/choice.
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    Quantum Mechanics as it is currently practiced deals in probabilities.
    That's right, quantum mechanics doesn't say this or that will happen, it say's there is such and such a chance of this happening and such and such a chance of that happening instead.
    Chance simply describes the possible results varying variables can bring about when the variables are unknown. For example, I toss a regular U.S. quarter, if you were to name mathematics related to such a situation one of the things you will most likely say is that the coin has a 50% of landing on either side, but that is only because you do not know where my thumb will strike the coin, with how much force it will strike the coin, and other variables that effect the movement of the coin such as wind and solid objects with varying heights on which the coin may land. Now if you had knowledge of all these variables and you had perfect knowledge of physics then you would be able to determine on which side the coin lands and all of the sudden the notion of chance seems ridiculous. Scientists use chances to determine various variables because they do not yet know or understand the forces that cause them to act the way they do. Chance only makes sense in the theoretical sense, there cannot be chances in the universe because if there is a 50% chance an event will occur, what determines if that event occurs or not? it cannot determine itself for it does not exist yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleverusername
    Quantum Mechanics as it is currently practiced deals in probabilities.
    That's right, quantum mechanics doesn't say this or that will happen, it say's there is such and such a chance of this happening and such and such a chance of that happening instead.
    Chance simply describes the possible results varying variables can bring about when the variables are unknown. For example, I toss a regular U.S. quarter, if you were to name mathematics related to such a situation one of the things you will most likely say is that the coin has a 50% of landing on either side, but that is only because you do not know where my thumb will strike the coin, with how much force it will strike the coin, and other variables that effect the movement of the coin such as wind and solid objects with varying heights on which the coin may land. Now if you had knowledge of all these variables and you had perfect knowledge of physics then you would be able to determine on which side the coin lands and all of the sudden the notion of chance seems ridiculous. Scientists use chances to determine various variables because they do not yet know or understand the forces that cause them to act the way they do. Chance only makes sense in the theoretical sense, there cannot be chances in the universe because if there is a 50% chance an event will occur, what determines if that event occurs or not? it cannot determine itself for it does not exist yet.
    You are, I presume, speaking of the theory of hidden variables; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_variable_theory.
    There is currently no definitive proof for or against hidden variables.
    The fact remains however that the current mathematical formulations of the Standard Model of Quantum Mechanics as it is practiced and taught at Universities worldwide is inherently stochastic.

    By the way, welcome to the forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    You are, I presume, speaking of the theory of hidden variables; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_variable_theory.
    There is currently no definitive proof for or against hidden variables.
    The fact remains however that the current mathematical formulations of the Standard Model of Quantum Mechanics as it is practiced and taught at Universities worldwide is inherently stochastic.

    By the way, welcome to the forum.
    Almost anything one says in philosophy can be traced back to some kind of theory, i was just referring to my own path of logic, but judging by the name of the theory it is very likely that it accurately represents my ideas. Just as there is no proof for or against the theory of hidden variables there is also no proof that the things scientists use chances to calculate are actually random and dependent on chance. In my perspective the former is more logical so that is what i believe, but views differ.
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    You do realize that bothering to post any opinion on any sort of discussion board is antithetical to the philosophy of nihilism?
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    You do realize that bothering to post any opinion on any sort of discussion board is antithetical to the philosophy of nihilism?
    I don't care.
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    No, murder is not OK. Did you read the whole OP, or just the title?
    I read the whole thing. I thought you were proving that Determinism cannot be b/c Murder is not OK. Ill go back and read again though.

    Then please present your argument as to why.
    Well, the probability of the particle is described by it's wavefuction, which is a direct mathematical result of certain variables (deterministic).

    So far this one hasn't been mucked up with anthropic speculation concerning deity
    Agreed. I was talking about omniscience (how an omniscient person could hypothetically predict the future.) Then God came up.

    And under the auspices of Absolute Determinism, punishment, or the lack thereof, is a moot point because all outcomes are predetermined without any potential for variance.
    But nessesary (never spell it right) as in order to stick to moral principles which are separate of physical determinism, you need punishment. Maybe my opinions vary a little form hardcore determinists.
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    Damn, i've been missing the best discussion on this sub-forum. Nice one guys. Catch up time.

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    I rather like the idea of a ghost in the machine, of course such would need a physical explanation. A structuralized, subtly interacting exotic matter, or some such. Truly, I consider a ghost in the machine to be an open question.
    So as i understand your position; stochastic mechanisms, working on currently unknown levels but perhaps quantum, mean that in a chain of events related to human agency, there is possible more than one outcome which cannot be predicted even knowing all antecedents?

    Would it be fair to surmise then that, in your opinion, the ghost in the machine is these collective stochastic occurrences? If so this would not be consistent with traditional interpretations of Cartesian dualism (of which the 'ghost' criticises) which postulates the existence of an immaterial substance itself outside of the world but acting on the world. It seems to me if you see stochasticism as a feature of the material world there is no need to invoke Cartesian dualism - which i don't think you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    None of us can provide a definitive answer to the Absolute Deterministic or stochastic nature of the universe.
    Indeed. The question is whether the problem can be reduced to empirical verification, deductive reasoning or remain unknowable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleverusername
    Now if you had knowledge of all these variables...
    This is also indicative of Bayesian statistics in which our knowledge is the determinant of probability, as opposed to being an innate feature of the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    ...because it is the very process inside the person's brain, his brain's perceptions, his brain's weighing of the consequences, his brain's emotional state, his brain's priorities, his brain's ability to reason etc which we consider "freewill."
    I would until that point have agreed with GiantEvil that absolute determinism would preclude responsibility. But the above interpretation is exactly what the law courts assume, i.e. there was a cause (he slept with my wife) for this murder and that cause can be traced back to the thought processes of a person. That the perpetrator could have acted no differently given the exact initial conditions does not absolve him of responsibility - because that is the very definition of responsibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    If all of existence is predetermined, then why have democratic elections? Why not just flip a coin?
    If meme theory proves correct: we are simply serving a successful meme.

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    In essence I am arguing that there is no Absolutely Deterministic system which allows for choice.
    The theory of agency attempts to do so but this harkens back to Cartesian dualism.

    As i see it the main issues seem to be:

    Is the universe truly stochastic or is this simply a feature of perception? Can this be answered empirically?

    If stochastic at the quantum level, does this feature mean chemical, biological, sociological... levels also feature some stochasticism? Or are these levels emergent and not bound by preceding levels? Can this be answered empirically?

    What is the nature of mind? Is it an epiphenomenon of material conditions or does it possess some faculty outside of material conditions? Can this be answered empirically?

    Phew, just about caught up i hope...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    Well, the probability of the particle is described by it's wavefuction, which is a direct mathematical result of certain variables (deterministic).
    From the Wiki; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability_theory
    Quote Originally Posted by 15uliane
    separate of physical determinism,
    Then you are agreeing that there are non-deterministic aspects to the universe?

    @Prometheus, I have to think awhile and study up some of the terminology you used before I answer your latest post. It might be a couple of day's, or maybe an hour or so.
    In the meantime, here is what I believe is the most concise post concerning my position, so far.
    GiantEvil wrote:
    In essence I am arguing that there is no Absolutely Deterministic system which allows for choice.

    My apologies for repeating myself, but in case you missed that line, that is the gist of what I am attempting to say.

    Let's consider a trivial choice. Whether or not to have another drink of decent quality coffee from a still warm, half-full cup before going to take a shower.
    There are no specific constraints to your time this day, it's your day off and there are no errands to run.
    The weather itself, while not inhospitable, is not pleasant enough to draw you immediately from your domicile.
    The coffee mug is sitting on an active warming pad, the coffee will still be pleasantly warm after your shower.

    Now let's assume a decision is made and then acted on, to take another drink of coffee now, or to wait till after the shower. It's a trivial decision, doesn't matter which. Anyway, we'll call this result "A".
    Now let's do something fantastically impossible, except in mind experiments. Let's rewind the situation, time, the persons brain, the whole enchilada, to just before the decision and subsequent action.
    Now, with the same brain and it's state, the precise exact same set of inputs as before, which decision is made?

    If Absolute Determinism is assumed, one specific and only one specific result can and will be returned from our experiment, result "A", even with multiple trials.
    Even though the subject of our experiment might have experienced the sensation of choosing, there is zero probability of any result other than the one specific result determined by the brain, it's state, and set of inputs, result "A".
    Without any potential for a "B" result, the definition of choice can not be met.

    Choice; http://www.thefreedictionary.com/choice
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    You do realize that bothering to post any opinion on any sort of discussion board is antithetical to the philosophy of nihilism?
    The beautiful thing about nihilism is if you believe it you cannot be a hypocrite when it comes to it because when you believe nothing matters then literally nothing matters which includes anything you might say or do no matter how anti-nihilistic it may be.
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    Coming back to this one because it might help illustrate the differences in our thinking about this subject:
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    And under the auspices of Absolute Determinism, punishment, or the lack thereof, is a moot point because all outcomes are predetermined without any potential for variance.
    Obviously if someone has committed a crime, punishment can not change the past.

    It will however become part of the person's and others memories who might find themselves thinking about committing the same crime in the future. As such, knowing about potential punishment will be included in their brain's environment, its future thinking and decision-making processes to the degree we hope the individual decides not to commit the same type of crime. Using the function metaphor to represent the decision-making process, the punishment experience is one of independent variables and will result in a different decision. Past punishment has an effect on future deterministic thinking and the thinker is responsible for his brain's solution. Punishment is not moot because it can influence subsequent thinking processes even if they are deterministic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    So as i understand your position; stochastic mechanisms, working on currently unknown levels but perhaps quantum, mean that in a chain of events related to human agency, there is possible more than one outcome which cannot be predicted even knowing all antecedents?

    Would it be fair to surmise then that, in your opinion, the ghost in the machine is these collective stochastic occurrences? If so this would not be consistent with traditional interpretations of Cartesian dualism (of which the 'ghost' criticises) which postulates the existence of an immaterial substance itself outside of the world but acting on the world. It seems to me if you see stochasticism as a feature of the material world there is no need to invoke Cartesian dualism - which i don't think you are?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleverusername
    The beautiful thing about nihilism is if you believe it you cannot be a hypocrite when it comes to it because when you believe nothing matters then literally nothing matters which includes anything you might say or do no matter how anti-nihilistic it may be.
    I guess you got me there.
    If I thought I were an nihilist, and one day I woke up next to a donkey, and there was a used condom lodged in my sphincter, I doubt I would consider it as something that didn't matter. Just say'n.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    It will however become part of the person's and others memories who might find themselves thinking about committing the same crime in the future. As such, knowing about potential punishment will be included in their brain's environment, its future thinking and decision-making processes to the degree we hope the individual decides not to commit the same type of crime. Using the function metaphor to represent the decision-making process, the punishment experience is one of independent variables and will result in a different decision. Past punishment has an effect on future deterministic thinking and the thinker is responsible for his brain's solution. Punishment is not moot because it can influence subsequent thinking processes even if they are deterministic.
    Yes, punishment would be a significant variable in a deterministic or stochastic algorithm.

    I am using algorithm as a metaphor for the person, and their brain. Variables are the data set to be considered by the brain(input).

    I am considering the algorithm to reflect the nature of the universe.
    An absolutely deterministic universe produces absolutely deterministic algorithms.
    A stochastic universe with parameters produces a stochastic algorithm with parameters. When I say parameters, I mean basically the laws of physics.

    The deterministic universe will produce a determined set of variables, from which the deterministic algorithm can only determine one output specific to the variable set.
    If the variable set in conjunction with the algorithm returns a value of "murder", then "murder" is the only possible output.

    It is only in the stochastic universe that when the impetus of the variable set in conjunction with the algorithm is toward "murder", that the algorithm might return a value of "do not murder".

    While in a deterministic universe, punishment retains it's practical uses, it is only in the stochastic universe that punishment has a moral impetus predicated on the concept of "choice".
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    Like any philosophical argument we should probably define our terms. Your definition of choice obviously has little to do with mine.

    From the point of view of reaching a decision, I'll define choices as a clearly distinguishable potential decisions. In the examples of deciding to murder or not to murder, or even simpler case of deciding whether to complete drinking the coffee or taking a shower, the potential decisions are valid. They are distinguishable at any point during the actual process by the maker or after the fact by both the decision maker or a jury. They remain choices regardless of internal thought process of the decision maker.
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    Now that I think about it, no. I don't agree . The morals are a result of human interactions (and so on), therefore, they are not independent of determinism.

    Ouch. That's a blow (the wiki). My only, feeble response is that we do not know enough, and there is a logical reason to the random variables etc. (as a child thinks a coin toss is random). Maybe there is another way this can work- the random variables/stochastic events are not in themselves deterministic, but their reason for being/ how they came about and/or properties are. A more lenient theory could allow for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Like any philosophical argument we should probably define our terms. Your definition of choice obviously has little to do with mine.

    From the point of view of reaching a decision, I'll define choices as a clearly distinguishable potential decisions. In the examples of deciding to murder or not to murder, or even simpler case of deciding whether to complete drinking the coffee or taking a shower, the potential decisions are valid. They are distinguishable at any point during the actual process by the maker or after the fact by both the decision maker or a jury. They remain choices regardless of internal thought process of the decision maker.
    For there to be a choice, there must be some possibility that either of two or more results could occur.
    In absolute determinism there is zero possibility that any but one result ever occurs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    For there to be a choice, there must be some possibility that either of two or more results could occur.
    An entirely too narrow definition. It's like arguing there's no point in discussing the chance and probability of dice roll results because it too is deterministic. What's the chance of rolling a one? You say "there is no chance if dice rolling is deterministic." The reality is dice rolling, being many magnitudes above quantum stochastic processes, is deterministic, but we cant know the result ahead of time so we call that chance.

    In a similar manner, if it is impossible for even the thinker to accurately forecast the result with certainty, than it doesn't matter. During his thinking process, deterministic or otherwise, he will make that choice. It is the person's thinking process so we attribute him responsible for the murder.

    Furthermore, lets say there is really is some influence that makes thinking indeterministic. Unless you could also prove that the thinker had control of that influence through a process other than thinking, than you could not attribute blame to him for deciding to murder. This is why I think your ideas on the this matter are not only reach an illogical conclusion, but hold implicit that somehow human decision making are not bound by the physical processes of the brain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    For there to be a choice, there must be some possibility that either of two or more results could occur.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    An entirely too narrow definition.
    Now that is just silly.
    How can red drapes or red drapes, and, apple pie or apple pie be a choice?
    0.9998<1
    1.00001>1
    1=1
    x<>y
    x=x
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    I have no idea what your example means.

    Would you call a dice roll chance? Under your narrow and semantical definition it clearly wouldn't be. Because even if there's no way anyone could absolutely predict the outcome--which is the case for most complex deterministic processes (e.g. dice rolls, thinking processes, hurricane formation etc), you'd still claim it wasn't.
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    I'm going to be busy for a few day's, but I'm not abandoning this thread. I will be back with another explanation.
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    "A few days later..."

    A dice roll is far from random. If we could somehow collect every piece of information in the situation containing the die, even just the simple physics, an accurate prediction would be made.

    That's for a dice roll. I'm sure hurricane formation isn't chaotically random either.

    If a certain amount of information is known, then it is possible to predict anything like dice rolling. Right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevDog32
    "A few days later..."

    A dice roll is far from random. If we could somehow collect every piece of information in the situation containing the die, even just the simple physics, an accurate prediction would be made.

    That's for a dice roll. I'm sure hurricane formation isn't chaotically random either.

    If a certain amount of information is known, then it is possible to predict anything like dice rolling. Right?
    Wrong; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem.
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    Not sure what Bell's theorem has to do with chaotic behaviour? It simply means that there are some events in nature that are truly random. But a chaotic event need not include true randomness. For instance, if you know all the starting parameters of the die dropping precisely, you would be able, in principle, to predict exactly how the die will roll.

    I think you and Lynx are talking past each other and are basically saying the same thing.

    My stance is that given the exact same parameters during a decision, you will have the same outcome every time. If truly random events play a role in steering decisions, then the person can still not be held responsible, because it is not as if he had any say in the outcome of the random event. So, the implication is that given the exact same set of environmental factors impacting on the genetics from conception, an individual will turn out exactly the same every time and make the exact same decision along the way. Given that, we can not really blame anyone for what they do. We have to separate them from society if they are prone to anti-social behaviour though and make an attempt at rehabilitation, though our ability to effect rehabilitation is severely limited at the moment.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    The main point of my argument is against an absolute determinism.
    I bring up quantum mechanics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics) because it is inherently probabilistic.
    Bells theorem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem) reinforces this view.
    What doe's the motion of subatomic particles have to do with a macroscopic object like a die?
    What is the die made of?
    What are our physiological brains made of?
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    If truly random events play a role in steering decisions, then the person can still not be held responsible, because it is not as if he had any say in the outcome of the random event.
    Damn, and thanks. What you say here is logically consistent, but probability is still necessary to my definition of choice below.


    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    My stance is that given the exact same parameters during a decision, you will have the same outcome every time.
    Under these conditions the use of the word "decision" is fallacious.
    Either will (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_(philosophy)) is wholly illusory, or there is some method by which a consciousness makes a choice.
    I am defining choice to be analogous to multiple trials of an isotropic experiment which returns both A and B values.
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    free will shoots out the window, there is no such thing as choice, like the famous movie. The only way that a fair determination can be made is to unlock the secrets of the universe that govern "fate" since there is no free will and to adjust the mechanisms of fate
    Imagination is key to the logic of thought, a greatest eternal truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiguelSR1
    free will shoots out the window, there is no such thing as choice, like the famous movie. The only way that a fair determination can be made is to unlock the secrets of the universe that govern "fate" since there is no free will and to adjust the mechanisms of fate
    Which famous movie?
    If there is no free will, then the "mechanism of fate" is wholly unadjustable. Try again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Quote Originally Posted by MiguelSR1
    free will shoots out the window, there is no such thing as choice, like the famous movie. The only way that a fair determination can be made is to unlock the secrets of the universe that govern "fate" since there is no free will and to adjust the mechanisms of fate
    Which famous movie?
    If there is no free will, then the "mechanism of fate" is wholly unadjustable. Try again.
    the movie where they stopped the crimes before happening with I think Tom Cruz, well with no free will then it can be argued that we do not control our fate/ destiny but despite that fate is still present. I'm new my name's Miguel
    Edit: ah i got confused yeah your right we cannot counter it
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    I believe the movie you are alluding to is Minority Report. It is, of course, fiction.
    My position is that free will is the truth while fate is the fiction.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem
    Check out the above link's, then come back and tell me if you still think Pierre-Simon Laplace is right.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplace%27s_demon
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    Laplace sounds like Astrology mixed with mathematical insights. Such intellect if even plausible must exist in all possibilities of reality to digest all information, who knows how multiverse events affect each other if there is a multi. With quantum mechanics suggesting the movement of atoms by probability not certainty then an empty hole exists between Laplace and Quantum theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    I believe the movie you are alluding to is Minority Report. It is, of course, fiction.
    My position is that free will is the truth while fate is the fiction.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem
    Check out the above link's, then come back and tell me if you still think Pierre-Simon Laplace is right.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplace%27s_demon
    I also believe that free will is the truth. But tell me, is your belief based on quantum theory where particles move in randomness and chance thus giving room for free will in movement?
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    MiguelSR1:
    Before you post a reply, make sure to uncheck the tick-boxes under your response that say "Disable HTML in this post" and "Disable BBCode in this post"
    (-b^_^)-b
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiguelSR1
    who knows how multiverse events affect each other if there is a multi.
    I would rather avoid having the concept of "multiverse" enter this conversation. It's a bit like trying to wrestle with, "invisible pink unicorn ghosts".
    Quote Originally Posted by MiguelSR1
    I also believe that free will is the truth. But tell me, is your belief based on quantum theory where particles move in randomness and chance thus giving room for free will in movement?
    I prefer to not use the word "believe" when discussing non-trivial issues.
    For example;
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    I believe the movie you are alluding to is Minority Report. It is, of course, fiction.
    Here I used the word "believe", but only in conjunction with a trivial matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    My position is that free will is the truth while fate is the fiction.
    Here I have avoided the use of the word "believe".

    The stochastic nature of QM is a convenient loophole for escaping a conclusion of absolute determinism. However, as pointed out by KALSTER, it doesn't wholly provide the mechanism for conscious choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    If truly random events play a role in steering decisions, then the person can still not be held responsible, because it is not as if he had any say in the outcome of the random event.
    My definition of choice is this;
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    I am defining choice to be analogous to multiple trials of an isotropic experiment which returns both A and B values.
    I, of course, have no adequate definition for consciousness.
    My latest musing's seem to be leading me towards the question, "Is consciousness an axiomatic property of the universe, or emergent, or somehow reciprocus between the two"?
    I don't know what to even guess yet.
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