A Critique of Pure Taj, or how I arrived at free will.

A critique of pure Taj, or how I arrived at free will.

I struggled with the idea of free will this year.

I had taken up the point because I challenged what I knew, or at least took for granted.

I thought it was obvious that free will existed. But, if this is a deterministic universe (which I am not so sure of but had to approached the idea as a certainly possible), then there is no such thing as right or wrong, or moral responsibility, or moral choice.

And if there is no moral responsibility then there is no Karma (my Karma an over my Dogma).

So I approached it from the point of resolving the dilemma of moral responsibility.

I did a deep study going back to the earliest known proponent of determinism, Leucippus around the 5th century B.C.E. to the present day.

There are actually three views on this all surrounding this conditional statement: If determinism is true, then we don’t have a free will.

Those who defend the notion of free will are called libertarians (not to be confused with the political view). They say we have free will and determinism is not true.

Those who deny free will are called hard determinist. They say determinism is true and therefore we have no free will.

The third group rejects the conditional statement altogether and say it is a mistake to think that determinism has any direct significance on whether or not we have a free will.

There is actually a fourth view, which is the one I adapted and was sitting right under my nose all along, but I will save that for last.

The next obvious questions are: What is free will? What would we have to be like in order to have free will? What is required for us to be morally responsible?

I went back and forth on this, sometimes getting so depressed when I consider determinism might be true.

Then I would switch back to the idea of there being free will.

And that would depress me even more because if free will is true then we a one screwed up species!

I arrived at the view that much of what we do is determined.

Genetics, environmental and social factors, moral education through the family and society, and even language, all have a hand in determining what we do.

I hate the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers.

I am proud to be an American, although there are some Americans of which I’m not so proud.

I like chocolate and vanilla ice cream, but not strawberry ice cream, so when I am asked which one I want, I say chocolate or vanilla.

To what extent all these things are determined by environment and social factors and experiences is hard to pinpoint exactly.

But picking chocolate over strawberry is not as important as moral questions.

I came to the conclusion that for moral choices we do have free will.

We may have different standards as to what is right or wrong, but we do have a choice on moral decisions.

And how I pull myself out of the quagmire of conflicting ideas and came to this conclusion was due to the fact that I overlooked something vital I had learned previously from one man: my beloved Kant.

Along with Plato and Aristotle, Kant is the greatest philosopher.

He was the main philosopher of the Enlightenment, and his ideas transformed the world.

But these days, his ideas are being lost.

When I hear people ask “Why is the world and things so crazy or going wrong?” I merely say “We’ve forgotten Kant.”

I will make another post giving Kant’s ideas.

He is a tricky one to understand, but I will do my best to explain Kant in simple language and make his ideas useful again.

They are worth knowing and understanding.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 
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Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
Thought of you yesterday evening, dude. I saw a documentary about Amit Goswami's quantum physics books. Ever hear of him? I had the thought that you would like it.

I'm sure much of what he said went right over my head. But the parts I understood really resonated with me.
 
uhh...

well...

this debate has been going on for some time taj

the physical universe appears to be utterly governed by immutable "laws". we as living creatures are bound to the earth by gravity and to our needs for shelter and sustenance and our inevitable mortality as creatures

but...

how can the complete works of shakespeare be the product of determinism?

we can CHOOSE

and from this we can do so much more transcendent of materialist determinism and even the esoteric bonds of fate

now route yourself to the E/O and get off your w/h's, do your conditions, clear up your mu's, get back on post, connect to command intention and get the goddam stats up!
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
. . .
I went back and forth on this, sometimes getting so depressed when I consider determinism might be true.

Then I would switch back to the idea of there being free will.
. . .

Went back and forth?

That's free will right there, my dear TAJ.

(Unless, for some reason, your own brain is not a part of the universe under study. Out of this world, perhaps... but outside of reality? No. Congratulations... you're one of us.)

It's not all that often that Birdsong and I agree, so make the most of it. And, I'm glad you enjoyed (or found useful, anyway) Kritik der reinen Vernunft. I think Friedrich Nietzsche can still teach us a thing or two today, as well.
 
Went back and forth?

That's free will right there, my dear TAJ.

(Unless, for some reason, your own brain is not a part of the universe under study. Out of this world, perhaps... but outside of reality? No. Congratulations... you're one of us.)

It's not all that often that Birdsong and I agree, so make the most of it. And, I'm glad you enjoyed (or found useful, anyway) Kritik der reinen Vernunft. I think Friedrich Nietzsche can still teach us a thing or two today, as well.

Pendelums go back and forth. Is that free will?

It is not that simple. You'll see when I post Kant's reasoning.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 
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Dave B.

Maximus Ultimus Mostimus
Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer
Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer
The future's uncertain, and the end is always near

Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, all night long

[video=youtube_share;5XWQrt00_NM]http://youtu.be/5XWQrt00_NM[/video]
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
Pendelums go back and forth. Is that free will?
. . .

You need to learn to discern the difference between when philosophy discusses someTHING that is actually useful, and when it's simply argumentative semantic wanking around, grasshopper.

Hint: most philosophers spend most of their time trying to be 'clever', in the eyes of their peers and contemporaries. Perhaps they have no choice in the matter. John Stuart Mill notwithstanding.

Ah, well. Maybe we should discuss Isene some more. The motivations of a Ronbot are liable to be simpler, and more predictable.
 

I told you I was trouble

Suspended animation

I've been waiting for this ... I was aware that something meaningful was going on with you in the last year Taj and hoped you would think of us and share the results even if they are still on-going, I know that we matter to you and I feel cared for when you write like this.

I really mean that.

:)
 

What's It All About

Patron with Honors
Since I can't say this any better in my own words, I'll contribute a short (ish) quote from the Seth material delivered by deceased trance medium and writer Jane Roberts: from http://www.the-office.com/seth/


The Nature of Reality
"As words would give little hint of the reality of color or sound to someone who did not experience these, so words can only give insight into the nature of reality. I have been sent to help you, and others have been sent through the centuries of your time, for as you develop you form new dimensions, and you will help others.


There is never any justification for violence. There is no justification for hatred. There is no justification for murder. Those who indulge in violence for whatever reason are themselves changed, and the purity of their purpose adultered.


If you do not like the state of your world, it is you yourselves that must change, individually and en masse. This is the only way that change will be effected.


The responsibility for your life and your world is indeed yours. It has not been forced upon you by some outside agency. You form your own dreams and you form your own physical reality. The world is what you are. It is the physical materialization of the inner selves which you have formed.


It is wrong to curse a flower and wrong to curse a man. It is wrong not to hold any man in honor, and it is wrong to ridicule any man. Your must honor yourselves and see within yourselves the spirit of eternal validity. You must honor all other individuals, because within each is the spark of this validity. When you curse another, you curse yourselves, and the curse returns to you. When you are violent, the violence returns.


I speak to you because yours is the opportunity to better world conditions and yours is the time. Do not fall into the old ways that will lead you precisely into the world that you fear.


There is no man who hates but that hatred is reflected outward and made physical, and there is no man who loves but that love is reflected outward and made physical.


Beyond myself there is another self and still another, of which I am aware. And that self tells you that there is a reality beyond human reality and experience that cannot be made verbal or translated into human terms. And to that self, physical reality is like a warm breath forming in the winter air..."

Exerpted from the teachings of SETH




Why quote her/him? Because when I read this material many moons ago, I had a sense of recognition. I know that others do as well. This is the only world view I've encountered that makes any sense to me. And it emphasizes, over and over, that we "make our own reality".

Since we are chips off the old creative block that is the energy of the big bang, or God, or Nature or whatever you choose to call it, it stands to reason that we are also creative and expanding, as that vaster creative energy, as far as we can tell, is also expanding.


We may be infinitesimally small, but none the less, we are creative and have free will. That doesn't mean that we can re-create an amputated leg (although evidently little kids can regrow parts of fingers), but it does mean that we can choose how to deal with our condition, and to change it at will.
 
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You need to learn to discern the difference between when philosophy discusses someTHING that is actually useful, and when it's simply argumentative semantic wanking around, grasshopper.

Hint: most philosophers spend most of their time trying to be 'clever', in the eyes of their peers and contemporaries. Perhaps they have no choice in the matter. John Stuart Mill notwithstanding.

Ah, well. Maybe we should discuss Isene some more. The motivations of a Ronbot are liable to be simpler, and more predictable.

We wouldn't have useful things without philosophy.

Like education, and science, and law, and the United States Constitution.

Theser things are the result of philosophy applied to things versus semantic arguments.

The difference between a society based on philosophy and one based on superstition is reflexted in the places like Western countries and Afghanistan.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 

I've been waiting for this ... I was aware that something meaningful was going on with you in the last year Taj and hoped you would think of us and share the results even if they are still on-going, I know that we matter to you and I feel cared for when you write like this.

I really mean that.

:)

Thanks. That was really touching.

I hope I can live up to your expectations.

I would be proud if I could.

The Anabaptist Jacques
 
G

Gottabrain

Guest
I will make another post giving Kant’s ideas.

He is a tricky one to understand, but I will do my best to explain Kant in simple language and make his ideas useful again.

They are worth knowing and understanding.

The Anabaptist Jacques

WAITING! Please post this. :begging:

Would LOVE to hear your insights on Kant, TAJ.

I must try to be patient... :waiting: :angel:
 

Gib

Crusader
Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer
Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer
The future's uncertain, and the end is always near

Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, all night long

[video=youtube_share;5XWQrt00_NM]http://youtu.be/5XWQrt00_NM[/video]

I don't believe that. I can always predict my future by saying to myself I am going to do this tomorrow. And I can do it.

It's as simple as washing the car tomorrow. I can do it. But if it rains, why do it.
 

programmer_guy

True Ex-Scientologist
I thought it was obvious that free will existed. But, if this is a deterministic universe (which I am not so sure of but had to approached the idea as a certainly possible), then there is no such thing as right or wrong, or moral responsibility, or moral choice.

In my opinion:
Moral (or ethical) responsibility is most often couched in an "individual living in society" context.
In this context, the notion of "free will" is a "red herring".

The notion of "free will" is not necessary for accountability because accountability (i.e. behavioral expectations) is just another part of the big complex equation of human behavior and influence.

For example:
I am a parent. I taught my daughter accountability and personal responsibility whether she possessed anything called "free will" or not.
In short, I "programmed" her brain in some aspects by controlling her behavior from childhood.
 
G

Gottabrain

Guest
How we view things is predetermined by experience as well as genetics.

I agree with TAJ, that on matters of decisions of personal ethical codes, a person can and does make their own decisions - colored by these experiences, genetics, etc.

One normally decides in favor of their own group, country, etc. and favors that above others.

The more we associate with those different from us, the less this occurs.

We have a strong instinct to group and to rise at the top of the group. Fighting the group pressure is difficult at best. We don't always realise when our views are colored by experience or preference to our group, either.
 
In my opinion:
Moral (or ethical) responsibility is most often couched in an "individual living in society" context.
In this context, the notion of "free will" is a "red herring".

The notion of "free will" is not necessary for accountability because accountability (i.e. behavioral expectations) is just another part of the big complex equation of human behavior and influence.

For example:
I am a parent. I taught my daughter accountability and personal responsibility whether she possessed anything called "free will" or not.
In short, I "programmed" her brain in some aspects by controlling her behavior from childhood.

So if you taught her not to steal but she steals, is she accountable?

The Anabaptsit Jacques
 
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