Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Freedom versus determinism

Expand Messages
  • devogney
    I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you couldn t have it both ways. I believe
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 28, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus
      determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you couldn't
      have it both ways. I believe we are free to have it both ways. I
      believe it is empowering to be able to have more than one paradigm
      through which to perceive life. I think that for some endeavors
      determisism can be a paradigm that allows us to perceive directions and
      progressions.Whereas in many other areas of life, the paradigm of
      freedom is a more empowering mode. I understand in quantum physics,
      that in one mode the universe can be seen as one energy wave, and in
      another mode it is seen as particles.

      I believe the freedom to have things both ways, or maybe even three or
      four ways is very much a part of the evolution of human freedom itself.
      As the nation state gained more authority over the individual minds of
      humans, monotheism repaced polytheism and there was now only one way.
      The penalty for heresy of course was burning at the steak in this life,
      and burning in hell afterward for all eternity.

      Tom
    • chris lofting
      ... Sure - you can work as a particular of the species and process information etc as a genetically-determined being OR as a singular being, free to make
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 28, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of devogney
        > Sent: Sunday, 1 March 2009 12:38 PM
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [existlist] Freedom versus determinism
        >
        > I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus
        > determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you
        > couldn't have it both ways. I believe we are free to have it
        > both ways. I believe it is empowering to be able to have more
        > than one paradigm through which to perceive life.

        Sure - you can work as a particular of the species and process information
        etc as a genetically-determined being OR as a singular being, 'free' to make
        choices (to a degree, your singular being is always operating WITHIN the
        bounds set by the biology).

        Consider consciousness as an agent of mediation in LOCAL contexts and that
        includes serving as a 'randomiser' of the set of behaviours available; as
        such consciousness can let you escape false reasoning by being intentionally
        'irrational'. We can interpret this as consciousness manifesting Darwin's
        mutation now internalised and working 24/7.

        > I think
        > that for some endeavors determisism can be a paradigm that
        > allows us to perceive directions and progressions.Whereas in
        > many other areas of life, the paradigm of freedom is a more
        > empowering mode. I understand in quantum physics, that in one
        > mode the universe can be seen as one energy wave, and in
        > another mode it is seen as particles.
        >

        This is a product of methodology where we cover precision vs approximation
        in the context of acts of mediation. As such HOW you observe determines WHAT
        you observe. Nothing magical about that once you understand the dynamics of
        meaning derivation in the presence of indeterminacy. The wave/particle
        duality issue is built-in to our methods of processing information and so
        will appear in experiments that touch on such in high precision across the
        microcosm, mesocosm, macrocosm. QM has been demanding of our intellects and
        so we project all possible forms of interpretation onto our experiments and
        then get surprised with the findings where such reflect more a failure to
        understand our methodology in processing information.

        > I believe the freedom to have things both ways, or maybe even
        > three or four ways is very much a part of the evolution of
        > human freedom itself.

        ? consciousness actually LIMITS freedom buy reducing the degrees of freedom
        available - it serves to suppress/repress and as such covers top-down
        dynamics of regulation to aid in making the 'best fit' choices. Since the
        brain can only deal with 7+/-2 concepts at the same time, so as we work
        through choices we drop some to pick up others - given lots of others this
        can be experienced consciously as lots of choices being available - and if
        one is ignorant of unconscious activity then a spanner can be thrown into
        the works very quickly.

        Our more differentiating parts of the brain work of probabilistic thinking,
        subjective probabilities (Bayesian statistics), high risk, partials focus,
        anti-symmetric. The subjectivity sorts the set of posssibles into a
        dimension from 'best fit' to 'worst fit'. Objectivity is useful to aid in
        refining the subjectivity and so making the dimension better fit 'reality as
        is'.

        The more choices in the set of probabilities means we exceed that 7+/-2
        limit. We are naturally attracted to the 'best fit' end of the dimension and
        so work from there 'down'. The point is that ALL of the dimension applies to
        a moment such that elements of the 'worst fit' can still contribute in a
        small way to the WHOLE experience and we can, do, often miss this (unless
        one is naturally anxious and so uses imagination to try and cover all
        possibilities - but this can lead to a failure to act!)

        Chris
        http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/AbstractDomain.html
      • louise
        This post is totally off-topic. From past experience, all questions are answered in self-referential manner, as though only forms of existential enquiry
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 1, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          This post is totally off-topic. From past experience, all questions
          are answered in self-referential manner, as though only forms of
          existential enquiry approved by Chris Lofting himself will receive any
          attention. Persistent enquiry will yield to loss of surface aplomb
          and retreat to juvenile mockery. All of this should not go unnoticed.
          The general habit of thought is cultic and subtly (for those who are
          attracted by technocratic expression) subversive of humane values.
          That is, what may please some may easily damage others. This is
          evidently characteristic of institutional religions and sects in
          general, which is why open enquiry and intelligent satire is a
          desirable part of a free society. I maintain, however, that there is
          very little understanding, in mainstream Western cultures, of the
          major religious traditions, and that this accounts for the frequent
          failures of comprehension when 'believers' debate with 'sceptics' or
          'atheists'. Courtesy is not a superficial social practice. It has
          evolved over long centuries of conflict and the hurt that arises from
          conflict. Feelings are important, even though it may not be possible
          in many cases to respect the arguments of those with different
          beliefs. The complexity and tension of awareness involved is
          desirable. It is part of civilised living.

          Louise


          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "chris lofting" <lofting@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > > [mailto:existlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of devogney
          > > Sent: Sunday, 1 March 2009 12:38 PM
          > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: [existlist] Freedom versus determinism
          > >
          > > I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus
          > > determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you
          > > couldn't have it both ways. I believe we are free to have it
          > > both ways. I believe it is empowering to be able to have more
          > > than one paradigm through which to perceive life.
          >
          > Sure - you can work as a particular of the species and process
          information
          > etc as a genetically-determined being OR as a singular being, 'free'
          to make
          > choices (to a degree, your singular being is always operating WITHIN the
          > bounds set by the biology).
          >
          > Consider consciousness as an agent of mediation in LOCAL contexts
          and that
          > includes serving as a 'randomiser' of the set of behaviours
          available; as
          > such consciousness can let you escape false reasoning by being
          intentionally
          > 'irrational'. We can interpret this as consciousness manifesting
          Darwin's
          > mutation now internalised and working 24/7.
          >
          > > I think
          > > that for some endeavors determisism can be a paradigm that
          > > allows us to perceive directions and progressions.Whereas in
          > > many other areas of life, the paradigm of freedom is a more
          > > empowering mode. I understand in quantum physics, that in one
          > > mode the universe can be seen as one energy wave, and in
          > > another mode it is seen as particles.
          > >
          >
          > This is a product of methodology where we cover precision vs
          approximation
          > in the context of acts of mediation. As such HOW you observe
          determines WHAT
          > you observe. Nothing magical about that once you understand the
          dynamics of
          > meaning derivation in the presence of indeterminacy. The wave/particle
          > duality issue is built-in to our methods of processing information
          and so
          > will appear in experiments that touch on such in high precision
          across the
          > microcosm, mesocosm, macrocosm. QM has been demanding of our
          intellects and
          > so we project all possible forms of interpretation onto our
          experiments and
          > then get surprised with the findings where such reflect more a
          failure to
          > understand our methodology in processing information.
          >
          > > I believe the freedom to have things both ways, or maybe even
          > > three or four ways is very much a part of the evolution of
          > > human freedom itself.
          >
          > ? consciousness actually LIMITS freedom buy reducing the degrees of
          freedom
          > available - it serves to suppress/repress and as such covers top-down
          > dynamics of regulation to aid in making the 'best fit' choices.
          Since the
          > brain can only deal with 7+/-2 concepts at the same time, so as we work
          > through choices we drop some to pick up others - given lots of
          others this
          > can be experienced consciously as lots of choices being available -
          and if
          > one is ignorant of unconscious activity then a spanner can be thrown
          into
          > the works very quickly.
          >
          > Our more differentiating parts of the brain work of probabilistic
          thinking,
          > subjective probabilities (Bayesian statistics), high risk, partials
          focus,
          > anti-symmetric. The subjectivity sorts the set of posssibles into a
          > dimension from 'best fit' to 'worst fit'. Objectivity is useful to
          aid in
          > refining the subjectivity and so making the dimension better fit
          'reality as
          > is'.
          >
          > The more choices in the set of probabilities means we exceed that 7+/-2
          > limit. We are naturally attracted to the 'best fit' end of the
          dimension and
          > so work from there 'down'. The point is that ALL of the dimension
          applies to
          > a moment such that elements of the 'worst fit' can still contribute in a
          > small way to the WHOLE experience and we can, do, often miss this
          (unless
          > one is naturally anxious and so uses imagination to try and cover all
          > possibilities - but this can lead to a failure to act!)
          >
          > Chris
          > http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/AbstractDomain.html
          >
        • jimstuart51
          Tom, You write: I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you couldn t have it
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 1, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Tom,

            You write:

            "I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus
            determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you couldn't
            have it both ways. I believe we are free to have it both ways. I
            believe it is empowering to be able to have more than one paradigm
            through which to perceive life. … I believe the freedom to have
            things both ways, or maybe even three or four ways is very much a
            part of the evolution of human freedom itself."

            I don't think freedom includes the freedom to believe in
            contradictions. If someone said to me he believed on Sundays that God
            existed, but on the other six days of the week he was an atheist, I
            would not admire his freedom to believe in two paradigms, rather I
            would think he was an idiot.

            Whilst there may be ingenious ways of thinking in which a person
            could both believe in determinism and human freedom, the onus is on
            that person to spell out these ingenious ways.

            The way I think of it is this: The human brain is just as much a part
            of nature as the human liver, my pet cat, and my favourite eucalyptus
            tree. If so, then the human brain obeys the deterministic laws of
            nature. Given this, how am I anything other than a fully determined
            animal without any genuine freedom?

            Jim
          • Herman B. Triplegood
            Tom: We all wish that were true. We want to have our cake and eat it too. There s two. With some ice cream. That s three. But just look at the predicament that
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 1, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Tom:

              We all wish that were true. We want to have our cake and eat it too.
              There's two. With some ice cream. That's three.

              But just look at the predicament that physics, the paragon of
              determinism, has got itself into. The Heisenberg Uncertainty
              Principle. Relativity. The Big Bang.

              The whole enterprise is based upon an unquestioned faith in the
              Principle of Sufficient Reason. The possibility of the indefinite
              causal explanatory regress. A deterministic regress. So we have
              nitpicked for a while about whether or not that regress is actually
              infinite, and have settled, more or less, for the more indefinite
              indefinite regress.

              But it does not matter that we quibble over whether it is infinite or
              indefinite. The pickle remains the same. And we are in it.

              It all hinges on the assumption that a next step in the regress is
              always, at least theoretically, possible. But it isn't even factually
              possible. Physics has hit at least three brick walls within the past
              one hundred years. Brick walls that demonstrate that the next step in
              the regress isn't always possible. It is, indeed, factually
              impossible, in at least those three cases.

              What that means, in a nutshell, is that the Principle of Sufficient
              Reason cannot be a "principle" at all. It is merely a heuristic. A
              heuristic that ultimately breaks down and fails to explain anything.
              Anything at all. And the points at which it breaks down are in
              physics, the supposedly hard core science, with all of its fancy
              mathematics.

              Physics tries to give us a "complete" explanation of the following
              three things:

              1. The ultimate nature of matter,
              2. The nature of space and time,

              and

              3. The very origin of the universe itself.

              But it can't give us "complete" explanations of any of those things.
              Only theories; i.e., only hypotheses. And the so-called "principles"
              upon which those hypotheses are founded, causality, determinism, are
              also just "hypotheses."

              How can the determinist find any "solace" in all of that?

              If a Principle of Sufficient Reason isn't universally applicable, it
              isn't a principle. Therefore, it cannot be a sufficient reason for
              belief in determinism. The whole enterprise of "knowing it all" in
              effect pulls the rug right out from underneath itself.

              Hb3g

              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "devogney" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus
              > determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you
              couldn't
              > have it both ways. I believe we are free to have it both ways. I
              > believe it is empowering to be able to have more than one paradigm
              > through which to perceive life. I think that for some endeavors
              > determisism can be a paradigm that allows us to perceive directions
              and
              > progressions.Whereas in many other areas of life, the paradigm of
              > freedom is a more empowering mode. I understand in quantum physics,
              > that in one mode the universe can be seen as one energy wave, and
              in
              > another mode it is seen as particles.
              >
              > I believe the freedom to have things both ways, or maybe even three
              or
              > four ways is very much a part of the evolution of human freedom
              itself.
              > As the nation state gained more authority over the individual minds
              of
              > humans, monotheism repaced polytheism and there was now only one
              way.
              > The penalty for heresy of course was burning at the steak in this
              life,
              > and burning in hell afterward for all eternity.
              >
              > Tom
              >
            • mary.josie59
              We must carefully disambiguate causality from its close relatives certainty, determinism, necessity, and predictability. We have causality in the world, in the
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 1, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                We must carefully disambiguate causality from its close relatives
                certainty, determinism, necessity, and predictability.

                We have causality in the world, in the sense that for every event we
                can always find preceding events that contributed to the outcome. But
                some events involve an irreducible randomness or chance. They are
                unpredictable, uncertain, and indeterministic. We can describe such
                events with the ancient concept of the uncaused cause or causa sui.

                Although almost all philosophers became language philosophers in the
                twentieth century, they have been notoriously sloppy with definitions
                of philosophical terminology. They have been especially confused when
                they attempt to prove things with logic and language about the world.

                For example, they like to say that if determinism is false,
                indeterminism is true. This is of course logically correct. Strict
                causal determinism with a causal chain of necessary events back to an
                Aristotelian first cause is indeed false, and modern philosophers know
                it, though most hold out hope that the quantum mechanical basis of
                such indeterminism will be disproved someday and declare themselves
                agnostic.

                These agnostic philosophers go on to argue that the principle of
                bivalence requires that since determinism and indeterminism are
                logical contradictories, only one of them can be true. The law of the
                excluded middle allows no third possibility. Now since neither
                determinism nor indeterminism allow the kind of free will that
                supports moral responsibility, they claim that free will is
                unintelligible or an illusion. This is the standard argument against
                free will.

                Finally, despite their claim that professional philosophers are better
                equipped than scientists to make conceptual distinctions and evaluate
                the cogency of arguments, they have confounded the concepts of "free"
                and "will" into the muddled term "free will" despite the clear
                warnings from John Locke that this would lead to confusion. Locke said
                very clearly, as had some ancients like Lucretius, it is not the will
                that is free (in the sense of undetermined), it is the mind.

                The practical empirical situation is much more complex than such
                simple black and white logical linguistic thinking can comprehend.
                Despite quantum uncertainty, there is clearly adequate determinism in
                the world, enough to permit the near-perfect predictions of celestial
                motions, and good enough to send men to the moon and back. But this
                "near" (Honderich) or "almost" (Fischer) determinism is neither
                absolute nor required in any way by logical necessity, as Aristotle
                himself first argued against the determinist atomists.

                The core idea of causality is closely related to the idea of
                determinism. But we can have causality without determinism. We call it
                "soft" causality. The departure from strict causality is very slight
                compared to the miraculous ideas usually associated with the "causa
                sui" (self-caused cause) of the ancients.

                Causality is a rhetorical tool, It is ad hoc reasoning to identify
                preceding events that contributed to a current event. We can always
                find a reason (λόγος) or reasons for events, leading to the ancient
                dictum "every event has a cause."

                And certainty, necessity, and predictability are all closely related
                to determinism, but they have their main applicability in slightly
                different fields - mathematics, logic, and physics - which gives rise
                to ambiguity when used outside those fields.

                Certainty is a powerful idea that has mesmerized philosophers, and
                especially religious leaders, throughout the ages. Belief in absolute
                and certain truth has all too often justified the most inhumane
                behavior toward those not sharing that truth and that belief.

                Certainty is the case of a mathematical probability equal to one.

                Necessity is often opposed to chance. In a necessary world there is no
                chance. Everything that happens is necessitated. In our real physical
                world nothing is necessary. There is nothing logically true of the world.

                Necessity is just a useful tool as part of our deductive reasoning in
                logic, where chance is theoretically non-existent.

                Predictability is a characteristic of law-governed phenomena. When the
                laws are expressible as mathematical functions of time, knowledge of
                the initial conditions at some time allows us to predict the
                conditions at all later (and retrospectively earlier) times.

                Predictability in like circumstances is the key to the
                hypothetical-deductive method of experimental science.

                Excerpt from:
                http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/disambiguation.html

                Mary
              • mary.josie59
                In existentialist terms, choice carries moral/ethical consequences. Responsibility & freedom underpinnings and all that, according to Sartre et al. We often
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 1, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  In existentialist terms, choice carries moral/ethical consequences.
                  Responsibility & freedom underpinnings and all that, according to
                  Sartre et al. We often feel we could not act otherwise, when we know
                  that we could have. We actually had a choice. We didn't want to live
                  with the consequences. There's nothing wrong with that. Some choose
                  differently, and that's where others want to tell us, we chose
                  wrongly. The existential way is solitary, because we can't, don't
                  need, or want to justify our decisions. Freedom and free will are not
                  the same. Determinism and fate are not the same. We don't have to love
                  our mistakes, or our intentions, but they do have consequences which
                  are never as simple or obvious as the laws of physics.

                  Mary
                • nr_rajkumar
                  I have just finished a bit of a heavy reading of some of the back references left by Chris Lofting on the web.  I am now inclined to think of the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 3, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I have just finished a bit of a heavy reading of some of the back references left by Chris Lofting on the web.  I am now inclined to think of the possibilities as immense but the limited capability stands in the way of refining, sharpening the processes and procedures to come to grips with precise reality of the moment and retain the focus - whether it is "out there" or "in here" - and allow a meaningful relationship to develop  between them. 
                     
                    The thermodynamic time and space giving way to light and precision, the complexities, the oscillations, the yin/yang, A/Not A, the context, metaphors, the expressions they all narrow down to participation with involvement and detachment as well as it comes nearer home and to a single chain of unbroken consciousness, interpretations and potential possibilities. There is so much happening in the objective world, the subjective world and the subjective self that go under the label of  acceptance and rejection and selection and treatment - the choice available to the individual self in search of variety and certainty, in the face of the ordering and dialogue that is taking place as expression of cause and effect chain/relationship to be meaningful implies that devices representing the phenomenon of ordering, control and performance must share linear,  cohesive or purposeful or opposite relationships.
                     
                    NRR
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     


                    --- On Sun, 3/1/09, chris lofting <lofting@...> wrote:


                    From: chris lofting <lofting@...>
                    Subject: RE: [existlist] Freedom versus determinism
                    To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Sunday, March 1, 2009, 7:50 AM








                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: existlist@yahoogrou ps.com
                    > [mailto:existlist@yahoogrou ps.com] On Behalf Of devogney
                    > Sent: Sunday, 1 March 2009 12:38 PM
                    > To: existlist@yahoogrou ps.com
                    > Subject: [existlist] Freedom versus determinism
                    >
                    > I recall a few weeks or so ago the question of freedom versus
                    > determinism was being discussed here. Someone said that you
                    > couldn't have it both ways. I believe we are free to have it
                    > both ways. I believe it is empowering to be able to have more
                    > than one paradigm through which to perceive life.

                    Sure - you can work as a particular of the species and process information
                    etc as a genetically- determined being OR as a singular being, 'free' to make
                    choices (to a degree, your singular being is always operating WITHIN the
                    bounds set by the biology).

                    Consider consciousness as an agent of mediation in LOCAL contexts and that
                    includes serving as a 'randomiser' of the set of behaviours available; as
                    such consciousness can let you escape false reasoning by being intentionally
                    'irrational' . We can interpret this as consciousness manifesting Darwin's
                    mutation now internalised and working 24/7.

                    > I think
                    > that for some endeavors determisism can be a paradigm that
                    > allows us to perceive directions and progressions. Whereas in
                    > many other areas of life, the paradigm of freedom is a more
                    > empowering mode. I understand in quantum physics, that in one
                    > mode the universe can be seen as one energy wave, and in
                    > another mode it is seen as particles.
                    >

                    This is a product of methodology where we cover precision vs approximation
                    in the context of acts of mediation. As such HOW you observe determines WHAT
                    you observe. Nothing magical about that once you understand the dynamics of
                    meaning derivation in the presence of indeterminacy. The wave/particle
                    duality issue is built-in to our methods of processing information and so
                    will appear in experiments that touch on such in high precision across the
                    microcosm, mesocosm, macrocosm. QM has been demanding of our intellects and
                    so we project all possible forms of interpretation onto our experiments and
                    then get surprised with the findings where such reflect more a failure to
                    understand our methodology in processing information.

                    > I believe the freedom to have things both ways, or maybe even
                    > three or four ways is very much a part of the evolution of
                    > human freedom itself.

                    ? consciousness actually LIMITS freedom buy reducing the degrees of freedom
                    available - it serves to suppress/repress and as such covers top-down
                    dynamics of regulation to aid in making the 'best fit' choices. Since the
                    brain can only deal with 7+/-2 concepts at the same time, so as we work
                    through choices we drop some to pick up others - given lots of others this
                    can be experienced consciously as lots of choices being available - and if
                    one is ignorant of unconscious activity then a spanner can be thrown into
                    the works very quickly.

                    Our more differentiating parts of the brain work of probabilistic thinking,
                    subjective probabilities (Bayesian statistics), high risk, partials focus,
                    anti-symmetric. The subjectivity sorts the set of posssibles into a
                    dimension from 'best fit' to 'worst fit'. Objectivity is useful to aid in
                    refining the subjectivity and so making the dimension better fit 'reality as
                    is'.

                    The more choices in the set of probabilities means we exceed that 7+/-2
                    limit. We are naturally attracted to the 'best fit' end of the dimension and
                    so work from there 'down'. The point is that ALL of the dimension applies to
                    a moment such that elements of the 'worst fit' can still contribute in a
                    small way to the WHOLE experience and we can, do, often miss this (unless
                    one is naturally anxious and so uses imagination to try and cover all
                    possibilities - but this can lead to a failure to act!)

                    Chris
                    http://members. iimetro.com. au/~lofting/ myweb/AbstractDo main.html
















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • louise
                    Mary, Thanks for your research work and selection. It is a clarifying excerpt, and a useful site in general. Good to know you re here to help steady the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 3, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Mary,

                      Thanks for your research work and selection. It is a clarifying
                      excerpt, and a useful site in general. Good to know you're here to
                      help steady the ship, as once again the list weathers a storm.

                      Louise

                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "mary.josie59" <mary.josie59@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > We must carefully disambiguate causality from its close relatives
                      > certainty, determinism, necessity, and predictability.
                      >
                      > We have causality in the world, in the sense that for every event
                      we
                      > can always find preceding events that contributed to the outcome.
                      But
                      > some events involve an irreducible randomness or chance. They are
                      > unpredictable, uncertain, and indeterministic. We can describe such
                      > events with the ancient concept of the uncaused cause or causa sui.
                      >
                      > Although almost all philosophers became language philosophers in the
                      > twentieth century, they have been notoriously sloppy with
                      definitions
                      > of philosophical terminology. They have been especially confused
                      when
                      > they attempt to prove things with logic and language about the
                      world.
                      >
                      > For example, they like to say that if determinism is false,
                      > indeterminism is true. This is of course logically correct. Strict
                      > causal determinism with a causal chain of necessary events back to
                      an
                      > Aristotelian first cause is indeed false, and modern philosophers
                      know
                      > it, though most hold out hope that the quantum mechanical basis of
                      > such indeterminism will be disproved someday and declare themselves
                      > agnostic.
                      >
                      > These agnostic philosophers go on to argue that the principle of
                      > bivalence requires that since determinism and indeterminism are
                      > logical contradictories, only one of them can be true. The law of
                      the
                      > excluded middle allows no third possibility. Now since neither
                      > determinism nor indeterminism allow the kind of free will that
                      > supports moral responsibility, they claim that free will is
                      > unintelligible or an illusion. This is the standard argument against
                      > free will.
                      >
                      > Finally, despite their claim that professional philosophers are
                      better
                      > equipped than scientists to make conceptual distinctions and
                      evaluate
                      > the cogency of arguments, they have confounded the concepts
                      of "free"
                      > and "will" into the muddled term "free will" despite the clear
                      > warnings from John Locke that this would lead to confusion. Locke
                      said
                      > very clearly, as had some ancients like Lucretius, it is not the
                      will
                      > that is free (in the sense of undetermined), it is the mind.
                      >
                      > The practical empirical situation is much more complex than such
                      > simple black and white logical linguistic thinking can comprehend.
                      > Despite quantum uncertainty, there is clearly adequate determinism
                      in
                      > the world, enough to permit the near-perfect predictions of
                      celestial
                      > motions, and good enough to send men to the moon and back. But this
                      > "near" (Honderich) or "almost" (Fischer) determinism is neither
                      > absolute nor required in any way by logical necessity, as Aristotle
                      > himself first argued against the determinist atomists.
                      >
                      > The core idea of causality is closely related to the idea of
                      > determinism. But we can have causality without determinism. We call
                      it
                      > "soft" causality. The departure from strict causality is very slight
                      > compared to the miraculous ideas usually associated with the "causa
                      > sui" (self-caused cause) of the ancients.
                      >
                      > Causality is a rhetorical tool, It is ad hoc reasoning to identify
                      > preceding events that contributed to a current event. We can always
                      > find a reason (λόγος) or reasons for
                      events, leading to the ancient
                      > dictum "every event has a cause."
                      >
                      > And certainty, necessity, and predictability are all closely related
                      > to determinism, but they have their main applicability in slightly
                      > different fields - mathematics, logic, and physics - which gives
                      rise
                      > to ambiguity when used outside those fields.
                      >
                      > Certainty is a powerful idea that has mesmerized philosophers, and
                      > especially religious leaders, throughout the ages. Belief in
                      absolute
                      > and certain truth has all too often justified the most inhumane
                      > behavior toward those not sharing that truth and that belief.
                      >
                      > Certainty is the case of a mathematical probability equal to one.
                      >
                      > Necessity is often opposed to chance. In a necessary world there is
                      no
                      > chance. Everything that happens is necessitated. In our real
                      physical
                      > world nothing is necessary. There is nothing logically true of the
                      world.
                      >
                      > Necessity is just a useful tool as part of our deductive reasoning
                      in
                      > logic, where chance is theoretically non-existent.
                      >
                      > Predictability is a characteristic of law-governed phenomena. When
                      the
                      > laws are expressible as mathematical functions of time, knowledge of
                      > the initial conditions at some time allows us to predict the
                      > conditions at all later (and retrospectively earlier) times.
                      >
                      > Predictability in like circumstances is the key to the
                      > hypothetical-deductive method of experimental science.
                      >
                      > Excerpt from:
                      > http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/disambiguation.html
                      >
                      > Mary
                      >
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.