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 Morality Incompatible With Determinism

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PostSubject: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:56 am

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1. Determinism is incompatible with free-will and moral responsibility.

· The world, including man, is constituted by quanta in motion.

· These quanta are strictly determined to behave according to the materialistic principles that govern them. We refer to these principles as the physical and chemical laws of the universe.

· We can predict with reasonable accuracy the outcome of bodily interactions using the laws of the universe as templates.

· These predictions are very good to precise at microscopic and macroscopic levels. On the sub-atomic level, a principle of randomness enters in quantum mechanics and thermodynamics.

· Given the nature of physical entities (quanta) and the laws that govern their behavior, there is no principle of autonomy (free-choice). Quanta cannot make free-will decisions at any level of organization, especially the macroscopic (such as complex organizations of quanta called human beings).

· There are no such things as choices made by free-will. All actions are determined by antecedent causes. Given the antecedent causes, the actions cannot be other than what they are.

· Consequently, there is no such thing as moral responsibility. A machine (a thermostat on the simple scale, a human being on the complex scale) cannot be held morally responsible for what it is determined to do.

Hard-determinists are called "hard" because their position is very strict; all events in the universe (including those of man) are strictly determined. Consequently, there is no such thing as moral responsibility since it is considered by them to be incompatible with determinism.

Let's see where the incompatibility lies.

Suppose the thermostat in my house breaks and turns up the furnace. It keeps it running while I am away on vacation and sets the house on fire. The fire department catches the blaze before it does anything but minor damage. The firemen report to me, upon my return, that I had a faulty thermostat which caused the fire. How should I feel towards the thermostat and what should I do about it?

One thing I could do with the thermostat is to put it outside and let it bake in the sun. Imagine that you see me do this, and ask what I am doing. I respond that, "The thermostat made a bad reaction to stimuli and nearly burned down my house, and that I was punishing it for its mistake. I am mad that it treated me so badly. Such punishment is what it deserves." Given my response, you're going to wonder a bit about me. For one, a thermostat isn't the kind of thing that could even be conscious of punishment; it's a gizmo type of servo mechanism that responds to temperature changes. Considering it to have feelings of guilt that it mistreated someone is making a major category mistake. Not only do thermostats not have feelings, but feelings of human beings towards machines should be tempered with the knowledge that machines don't behave intentionally. Persons are bad in virtue of their intentions, and should be punished if they put into deed those bad intentions. Punishment is just not a concept that applies to such a machine because machines do not have intentions. You would think me nuts were I to say that "The thermostat intentionally planned to burn down my house, and now I'm going to make it pay for it by punishing it with a painful condition." Secondly, I can hold something blameworthy and subject to punishment only if it has done the action intentionally and through free-choice after deliberation. The thermostat certainly doesn't deliberate and obviously doesn't have free-choice. To hold it morally blameworthy is a big mistake.

You would probably take me to the side and say, "Look, the thermostat is just a simple feedback mechanism. It did what it did because there was a malfunction in its circuit. Don't put it out in the sun to "punish" it --that's ridiculous. Just go done to the hardware store and by a new part for the circuit and fix it. Then it will operate properly." Sounds like good advice, and it is for dealing with deterministic machines.


http://www.geocities.com/athens/delphi/2517/Four1.html


How can somthing that is determined or programmed ( Whatever word you like better.) be morally responsible for anything?

How somthing determined be wrong at anything it does through that of actions?
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:56 pm

The rationale may have ironies in it, but the determinist can simply say they are compelled to hold others responsible for their actions and smile.
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:11 pm

creasy wrote:
The rationale may have ironies in it, but the determinist can simply say they are compelled to hold others responsible for their actions and smile.

Perhaps but even then you have the bastard child of preferential relativity which says anything and everything goes. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:29 pm

The Fool wrote:
creasy wrote:
The rationale may have ironies in it, but the determinist can simply say they are compelled to hold others responsible for their actions and smile.

Perhaps but even then you have the bastard child of preferential relativity which says anything and everything goes. Smile
A determinist cannot expect others to follow the conclusions of his or her own logic. This would imply too much freedom - coming from someone who does not believe in any freedom at all.

Even if determinists are correct, people can still say 'Well, I think this is wrong and that is right. You are telling me I am forced to believe this and not freely deciding. So what. It is still how I think.'

Of course, this may, be your message. In which case I agree. A determinist cannot really expect others to follow his or her moral code or that they 'should' since a modal verb like 'should' implies free will. The determinist can say 'The atoms in me are compelled into certain patterns that create my expectations that others should do things, even though I also know this is meaningless.'

Are you a determinist?

If you are, I just want you to know I am trying to be annoying, but with a point. I think determinism is a kind of silly philosophical basis to approach others, even if it is correct.
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:45 pm

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A determinist cannot expect others to follow the conclusions of his or her own logic.

I expect nothing of the sort. I just like criticizing what I view to be absurd.


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This would imply too much freedom - coming from someone who does not believe in any freedom at all.

Look at post above.

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Even if determinists are correct, people can still say 'Well, I think this is wrong and that is right.

Of course because self knowledge and indeed all self conscious is entirely solipsist.

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You are telling me I am forced to believe this and not freely deciding.


Not really. I am fully aware that in a nihilistic cosmos where there is an absense of objective purpose that one can create subjectively a purpose of imaginary social morals and ethics ( Amongst other imaginary expectations and absurdities.)

That's fine. We live in a solipsist world and universe.

You think and believe in whatever you want even if it does not correspond to reality.

( Everyone does at some level.)

However I also know that at the same time in a nihilistic cosmos where there is the absense of objective purpose that people through subjective desires can take away other people's will to live just because they want to.

( Where they can kill,enslave, harm, manipulate, control, and blackmail others. Ect.)

The old days of morality, ethics, and indeed all social authority claiming that knowledge of morals or ethics comes from a source beyond the self is over. It has come to an end.

We have killed god and we have dethroned our leaders in government on many occasions with our latest historical revolutions.

I'm merely trying to bring about a sort of relevation that social behavior today and always has been that of one person's selfishness against anothers. ( There is nothing to it beyond that.)

That moral responsibility is an illusion. That what we expect out of others is absurd.

That noone is obligated to do anything and that anything or everything is permissible even when it comes to the unpopular forms of human cruelty.

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The determinist can say 'The atoms in me are compelled into certain patterns that create my expectations that others should do things, even though I also know this is meaningless.'

They could but you would never hear that in politics or government.

You will always hear:

"One must do this" "One should do that" "To do anything other than what we command is incomprehensible."

That is why we have all these silly illusions and why popular accepted forms of philosophy even after the death of the foolish enlightened era people still cling onto such illusions for dear life.

Without the illusion of security or directional progress disorder on the social level would be inevitable therefore in every generation people try so hard to add onto the illusion cloaking it with terms like that of practicality and economical pragmatism.


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Are you a determinist?

Duh.

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If you are, I just want you to know I am trying to be annoying, but with a point.

Alright.

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I think determinism is a kind of silly philosophical basis to approach others, even if it is correct.

Everything of human thought and existence is silly or absurd. You will get no arguement from me on that.

Life is game. Life is a joke.
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:54 pm

The Fool wrote:

Of course because self knowledge and indeed all self conscious is entirely solipsist.
As opposed to other kinds of knowledge?

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You are telling me I am forced to believe this and not freely deciding.

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Not really.
Well, if it is not really, then you are not a determinist, which is why I asked below.

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You think and believe in whatever you want even if it does not correspond to reality.
In a determinist universe we have no way of knowing if our beliefs correspond to reality. We may think our procedures for arriving at the truth are rational or logical, but they are simply determined and may not make sense at all. A determinist who truly believes in determinism cannot trust any of his own beliefs, even the one in determinism.

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The old days of morality, ethics, and indeed all social authority claiming that knowledge of morals or ethics comes from a source beyond the self is over. It has come to an end.
I don't know where you live, but everywhere I go and am you are quite incorrect.

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We have killed god and we have dethroned our leaders in government on many occasions with our latest historical revolutions.
We have not overthrown the leaders, some of the puppets perhaps.

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I'm merely trying to bring about a sort of relevation that social behavior today and always has been that of one person's selfishness against anothers. ( There is nothing to it beyond that.)
and so the only motivation for telling me this is selfishness. Of course a determinist could never be sure about his or her own motives. In fact the concept of motive is rather moot in a determinist universe. Everyone simply does what they are absolutely compelled to do. It's silly to talk about dominoes with motives.

Quote :
Without the illusion of security or directional progress disorder on the social level would be inevitable therefore in every generation people try so hard to add onto the illusion cloaking it with terms like that of practicality and economical pragmatism.
Actually they do it simply because their atoms are pressed into certain patterns by the previous second's patterns. Again, dominoes are all the determinist has. Psychology is basically moot.


Quote :
I think determinism is a kind of silly philosophical basis to approach others, even if it is correct.
Quote :

Everything of human thought and existence is silly or absurd. You will get no arguement from me on that.
Actually anyone who is a determinist would have no way of knowing this. One they are claiming that everything they themselves think and believe and do is absolutely determined, they must admit they cannot really know what is true somewhere else or with someone else. Whatever seems obvious to them may not be true at all and they would have to, logically, admit this. I can make my computer spit out illogical answers. Determinism eliminates any real possibility of analysis and introspection and certainty.
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:04 pm

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As opposed to other kinds of knowledge?

What other kinds of knowledge is there?

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Well, if it is not really, then you are not a determinist, which is why I asked below.

Explain that.

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In a determinist universe we have no way of knowing if our beliefs correspond to reality.

That may be too.


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We may think our procedures for arriving at the truth are rational or logical, but they are simply determined and may not make sense at all.

Possibly.


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A determinist who truly believes in determinism cannot trust any of his own beliefs, even the one in determinism.

Probally.

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I don't know where you live, but everywhere I go and am you are quite incorrect.

Nods.

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We have not overthrown the leaders, some of the puppets perhaps.

Oh we have ovethrown our leaders it just that through every revolution when the oppressed come to power afterwards they transform themselves into being the new tyrants.

Revolutions are useless. You trade one tyranny for another.

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and so the only motivation for telling me this is selfishness.

You catch on quick.

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Of course a determinist could never be sure about his or her own motives.


Perhaps but everybody likes to believe that they have some level of certainty even when they live in a existence of uncertainty.

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In fact the concept of motive is rather moot in a determinist universe. Everyone simply does what they are absolutely compelled to do. It's silly to talk about dominoes with motives.

Not if you look at everybody's motives as being determined by relative different expiriences that are determined by the world around them.


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Actually they do it simply because their atoms are pressed into certain patterns by the previous second's patterns. Again, dominoes are all the determinist has. Psychology is basically moot.

Above. Psychology is not moot in that it somewhat describes how people form themselves when left in different circumstances and enviroments.

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Actually anyone who is a determinist would have no way of knowing this. One they are claiming that everything they themselves think and believe and do is absolutely determined, they must admit they cannot really know what is true somewhere else or with someone else. Whatever seems obvious to them may not be true at all and they would have to, logically, admit this. I can make my computer spit out illogical answers.

Which brings me to my next post.

Quote :
Determinism eliminates any real possibility of analysis and introspection and certainty.

And yet where determinism leaves a man off to in uncertainty solipsism of the conscious mind picks up.

A man can live in a deterministic universe realizing the real possibility that he cannot know anything for certain yet still create the illusion of certainty to be real in his own mind through solipstic perceivement.

Why not? Afterall we live in a world of the blind leading the blind anyways.
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Incompatible With Determinism   Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:12 pm

[quote="The Fool"]
Quote :
As opposed to other kinds of knowledge?

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What other kinds of knowledge is there?
Well, you were specific with in the inclusion of the adjective 'self' in self-knowledge. If you think that all knowledge is self-knowledge why were you specific?

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Revolutions are useless. You trade one tyranny for another.
It seemed like you had said we had made some progress. Perhaps I misread it.

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and so the only motivation for telling me this is selfishness.

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You catch on quick.
And so, what is your selfish motive for telling people that 1) they are completely determined and 2) essentially, there is no morailty?

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Of course a determinist could never be sure about his or her own motives.


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Perhaps but everybody likes to believe that they have some level of certainty even when they live in a existence of uncertainty.
Sure, but then this means either you do not believe some of what you say OR you have not really accepted the implications of determinism. IOW you don't fully believe it yourself if you are speaking in certainties. This, in a determinist universe, would not be your fault. How could you help but have a few beliefs that contradict each other? This would be compelled to exist just like everything else. Nevertheless once it is pointed out........

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In fact the concept of motive is rather moot in a determinist universe. Everyone simply does what they are absolutely compelled to do. It's silly to talk about dominoes with motives.

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Not if you look at everybody's motives as being determined by relative different expiriences that are determined by the world around them.
If my motives, for example, are simply automatic reactions to the environment - with whatever delays involved - to speak of motives is misleading. MOtives are seen as moving outward from us.

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Actually they do it simply because their atoms are pressed into certain patterns by the previous second's patterns. Again, dominoes are all the determinist has. Psychology is basically moot.

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Above. Psychology is not moot in that it somewhat describes how people form themselves when left in different circumstances and enviroments.
It is moot becuase of its emphasis on the inner life, which, in a determinist universe is a mere epiphenomenon. One that creates illusions like motives and choice.
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Actually anyone who is a determinist would have no way of knowing this. One they are claiming that everything they themselves think and believe and do is absolutely determined, they must admit they cannot really know what is true somewhere else or with someone else. Whatever seems obvious to them may not be true at all and they would have to, logically, admit this. I can make my computer spit out illogical answers.

Which brings me to my next post.

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Determinism eliminates any real possibility of analysis and introspection and certainty.

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And yet where determinism leaves a man off to in uncertainty solipsism of the conscious mind picks up.
yet again you are stating something which in a determinist universe you would have no way of knowing. It might seem logical to you. But that's it.

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A man can live in a deterministic universe realizing the real possibility that he cannot know anything for certain yet still create the illusion of certainty to be real in his own mind through solipstic perceivement.
I think even the grammar of this sentence is misleading. He would not be creating anything. Things happen. Period. He no more created it than he created his hair and fingernails. It happened.
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