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

RE: [existlist] Freedom versus determinism

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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.