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#487661 04/18/03 11:14 PM
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Ahh, but they DO follow laws, and because they do follow laws their behavior is once again determinable. If their behavior is determinable then the sum of their parts must also be determinable.

Nika.

#487662 04/19/03 12:48 AM
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I just wanted to add that quantum mechanics does not operate on a different set of laws than the natural world. It all works on under the same set of laws. Its just that we came to realize that Newton was actually not correct. Items do not follow the simple theory of gravity that Newton showed (for example). In truth the law of gravity is much more complicated and has a whole lot of additional variables.

The Universal law of gravitation says that the force between the two masses equals G * (m1 * m2)/D^2

This law of gravitation, however, is simply incorrect. It is not universal. There is a degree of uncertainty to it that is explained by quantum mechanics. In truth, the formula for a "real" universal law of gravitation will also include variables for the three other forces of nature. Now we will quickly see that most of those forces simply have an inconsequential bearing on masses that are larger than atoms, but in truth, the formula is much more complicated than the one given above.

When the true formulas are used then the behavior at the atomic state and the behavior on the macroscopic state are both in agreement with the formulas.

In short, "free" will would require independence from the laws of nature.

Nika.

#487663 04/19/03 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
Ahh, but they DO follow laws, and because they do follow laws their behavior is once again determinable. If their behavior is determinable then the sum of their parts must also be determinable.

Nika.
...and then right after the sum is calculated, the human part comes in (in my philosophy).

Creativity, cooperation, competition, kindness, jealousy, stubbornness, etc. -- all act on the equation further, rendering a result greater than or less than the sum of the associated parts, sometimes in unpredictable, unscientific and non-linear ways.

In my view, there are many planes of reality; there is the linear, arithmatically correct reality, but there is also a concurrent, non-linear, value-based "humanist" reality. Events can be explained using both paradigms, though events cannot be predicted through either.

Usually, when a determinist sets out to predict human behavior (a choice, for example) there is a calculation of physical forces and a tally of the individual's preferences, all resulting in a predictable, determined outcome. This, of course, quickly becomes theoretical -- no one actually makes these calculations and can predict human behavior. If one were to actually try to predict human behavior in a determinist paradigm, the aggregate of probablilites would be impossible to calculate (you'd spend lifetimes trying to build the equation). I say the equation can't even be built -- I think it's a figment of a determinist's imagination that it could be.

This is why I think that actual determinism, whether it includes quantum physics or not, is untenable -- it's based on a false premise. It's based on the premise that an equation could be built that could predict behavior, but then it abstains from actually building the equation -- it leaps to the theoretical exactly when it should remain in the empirical realm. On the other hand, I believe that theoretical determinism (especially when you throw in quantum physics) is tenable, and is a useful paradigm when trying to understand events, not predict them.

For me, the humanist paradigm is more tenable because it remains it remains on a theoretical level throughout the entire philosophy. Determinism is by nature, empirical, and should not have to rely on theoretical equations -- it's "fudging the data", in my view, and feels less than sound.

Now, I realize that humanism, with it's idea that human actions are "more than the sum of their parts" is a system that exceeds the bounds of logic and enters the mystical realm. Even so, if one chooses to accept some other unsupportable humanist premises, then the philosophy can "feel" quite sound.

To summarize, I believe that both determinism and humanism require leaps of faith, and that particular fact renders determinism unsound where humanism can remain intact.

#487664 04/19/03 05:06 AM
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This subjectivity thing has it's limits. Nika will say a Da Vinci is only subjectively preferable to a shitstain on someone's undies, and I will find somebody else to record my album... ;\)

I wonder faced with a person being tortured to death, in a way he could stop, whether Nika would get more or less abstract... you'd hope at some point some vital force other that the cerebellum would intervene.

Seriously thought, chaos theory states that the weather is simply not predictable. It may be unpredictable in a predictable way, but you still can't predict it with any certainty for any specific moment far enough in the future.
I tend to think the race of the water molecules to the sea would be similar.


A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau
#487665 04/19/03 05:17 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ted Nightshade:

I wonder faced with a person being tortured to death, in a way he could stop, whether Nika would get more or less abstract... you'd hope at some point some vital force other that the cerebellum would intervene.


It pains me to see people getting hurt, so if I have the opportunity to intervene I would, on the grounds that it is beneficial for me to see the pain end.

Seriously thought, chaos theory states that the weather is simply not predictable. It may be unpredictable in a predictable way, but you still can't predict it with any certainty for any specific moment far enough in the future.
I tend to think the race of the water molecules to the sea would be similar.


It is only because the sheer amount of data is too large. It is not because it isn't organized and following of very rigid laws, and that each molecule isn't essentially destined to behave in a certain way because of the current state of it and the forces acting on it. It is only because that is simply too much information to fully calculate.

When quantum mechanics enters into play, the river has the greatest chance of flowing in a particular way, with decreasing probabilities of it happening in other ways. That is the nature of the "randomness" I spoke about earlier. But the random element is truly random. It is not controllable by humans or any other means. There is actually a chance that the river would flow uphill, or that the river would disappear, or that the river would suddenly become a tree. All of those are actual possibilities, but are well outside the boundaries of any meaningful amount of probability.

Nika.

#487666 04/19/03 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
Setter,

I think that everyone involved with this thread is pretty much in agreement that we're not big fans of the actions of Stalin or Hitler. You can add Franco, Pol Pot, Mussolini, the Hutu, the Sandinistas, and many others to the list.

Nika.
Quote:
setter:
Nika,you are not a big fan of these guys because of what?

setter
Quote:
Nika:
Setter,

Because their actions did not yield results that I, personally, prefer, given what I know of the situation and the context.

Nika.
I apologize for bringing this up once again but I only get to this computer once in a while when I have a little time to burn.

Nika, this has to be the funniest way to describe Hitler and Co. I know you are trying to be "philosophically" correct I guess but man you're killing me. I suppose that if someone tortured and killed your 2 year old you would then say to the killer that his actions did not yield results that you personally prefer given what you know of the situation and context...

Well, if that happened to me I'd say fuck the philosophy and I would have no problem calling this person evil (and mean it in the universal sense) and then proceed to cut his balls off before stuffing him into a wood grinder feet first and then turning the switch on. I think that even without a belief in higher powers man has a conscience to one degree or another that will let him know that killing, torturing or otherwise hurting another human being is wrong, universally wrong. He might still go ahead and do it maybe even over and over again until his conscience is numb but I bet the moment someone else inflicts pain on him whether by cutting his balls off or by stuffing him into a wood grinder feet first he will become a firm believer in the existence of evil and good and bad and call it that without a hesitation. But that is just my philosophy and I would venture to say that our personal experiences will have a lot to do with our "belief" in right and wrong whether some other philosophy denies its existence.

setter

#487667 04/19/03 05:26 AM
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"When quantum mechanics enters into play, the river has the greatest chance of flowing in a particular way, with decreasing probabilities of it happening in other ways. That is the nature of the "randomness" I spoke about earlier. But the random element is truly random. It is not controllable by humans or any other means. There is actually a chance that the river would flow uphill, or that the river would disappear, or that the river would suddenly become a tree. All of those are actual possibilities, but are well outside the boundaries of any meaningful amount of probability."

I will certainly cede that any given water molecule might disappear, flow uphill, or become part of a tree. With a high degree of probability. Happens every day.

I'll have to go back and see what you said about "randomness". I think if there is room to manipulate all this like gods are said to do, it would be in the random.


A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau
#487668 04/19/03 06:06 AM
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My own morality is basically hedonism with a long view. Cursed with empathy and a conscience, I try to make choices I can live with in comfort later on.

In the long run I find it causes me the most pleasure to do non-exploitative, kind things.
Don't always feel the best in the very short term though.


A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau
#487669 04/19/03 06:36 AM
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Free will and the laws of nature have already been reconciled.

Free will is allowed for and in fact demanded for by the laws of thermodynamics.

You can see the connection here.

It follows that moral codes are universal in that they are a development of our attempts at self-organization towards our primary purpose, which is to produce entropy at the maximum rate given the constraints.


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#487670 04/19/03 04:33 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by dtobocman:
...and then right after the sum is calculated, the human part comes in (in my philosophy).

Yes, I understand. I understand where you come from on this.

One reason that I discount this approach, however, is that we humans are biased toward this type of belief. We are engineered specifically to want to believe in free-will and we are also predisposed to believe in some sort of right and wrong. This is evolutionary sound and relates to our societal successes. We are also evolutionarily predisposed to believe in some sort of spirituality, such as a god, but this all ties in to in incomprehensibility of why we exist.

We as humans work extra hard to try to fit god, spirituality, humanity, right and wrong, etc. into an increasingly smaller space for them to exist as we continue to dig into our understanding of things. I simply take the approach of removing god and all of his derivatives from the equation first and if he becomes necessary to answer some questions I put him back in. Same approach with objective morality. Same approach with spirituality. Etc.

As of yet I have had no need to put them in the equation. In fact, trying to put them in the equation seems to only complicate the equations and make them less cohesive. The equations seem open to a whole host of instabilities when we try to throw some sort of spiritual intervention in.

Thus, I see no room for any of that stuff in the formulas of existence.

Creativity, cooperation, competition, kindness, jealousy, stubbornness, etc. -- all act on the equation further, rendering a result greater than or less than the sum of the associated parts, sometimes in unpredictable, unscientific and non-linear ways.

In my view, there are many planes of reality; there is the linear, arithmatically correct reality, but there is also a concurrent, non-linear, value-based "humanist" reality. Events can be explained using both paradigms, though events cannot be predicted through either.


From my approach this seeems like a very complicated way to change the formulas to force certain things to exist that simply need not be parts of the equation.

Usually, when a determinist sets out to predict human behavior (a choice, for example) there is a calculation of physical forces and a tally of the individual's preferences, all resulting in a predictable, determined outcome. This, of course, quickly becomes theoretical -- no one actually makes these calculations and can predict human behavior. If one were to actually try to predict human behavior in a determinist paradigm, the aggregate of probablilites would be impossible to calculate (you'd spend lifetimes trying to build the equation).

Of course this is correct.

I say the equation can't even be built -- I think it's a figment of a determinist's imagination that it could be.

So you don't believe in science as we understand it so far?

Now, I realize that humanism, with it's idea that human actions are "more than the sum of their parts" is a system that exceeds the bounds of logic and enters the mystical realm. Even so, if one chooses to accept some other unsupportable humanist premises, then the philosophy can "feel" quite sound.

Again, allowing something to exist "in the mystical realm" is akin to trying to really change the formulas to allow things to exist that we are biologically predisposed to believe exist.

To summarize, I believe that both determinism and humanism require leaps of faith, and that particular fact renders determinism unsound where humanism can remain intact.

I see your perspective. To me, determinism is logically tenable and supportable. Humanism does require a leap of faith.

Cheers!
Nika.

#487671 04/19/03 04:37 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by setter:
Nika, this has to be the funniest way to describe Hitler and Co. I know you are trying to be "philosophically" correct I guess but man you're killing me.

Yes, I know you have a hard time seeing this perspective and it seems frustrating to you that it is possible that someone approaches things this way.

I suppose that if someone tortured and killed your 2 year old you would then say to the killer that his actions did not yield results that you personally prefer given what you know of the situation and context...

Yes. This is correct. I've been through this exercise, and my beliefs on the subject have been consistent, even when VERY less than desireable things have happened to me and ones I love.

Well, if that happened to me I'd say fuck the philosophy and I would have no problem calling this person evil (and mean it in the universal sense) and then proceed to cut his balls off before stuffing him into a wood grinder feet first and then turning the switch on.

I understand your desire to do this.

I think that even without a belief in higher powers man has a conscience to one degree or another that will let him know that killing, torturing or otherwise hurting another human being is wrong, universally wrong.

And we clearly part at this point, as you recognize.

Cheers!

Nika.

#487672 04/19/03 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade:
My own morality is basically hedonism with a long view. Cursed with empathy and a conscience, I try to make choices I can live with in comfort later on.

In the long run I find it causes me the most pleasure to do non-exploitative, kind things.
Don't always feel the best in the very short term though.
Ted,

Bingo.

Nika.

#487673 04/19/03 08:32 PM
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It also seems to be in some humans' nature to look for the most complicated explanations for the simplest things.

I think that Occam had it right, and positions that demand endless explanation and caveats should be discarded in favor of clear and concise explanations that manage to simultaneously explain the entire situation and remain simple.

Free will has already been reconciled with natural law. You can understand this by observing natural phenomenon.


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Phil Mann
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#487674 04/19/03 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:

One reason that I discount this approach, however, is that we humans are biased toward this type of belief. We are engineered specifically to want to believe in free-will and we are also predisposed to believe in some sort of right and wrong. This is evolutionary sound and relates to our societal successes. We are also evolutionarily predisposed to believe in some sort of spirituality, such as a god, but this all ties in to in incomprehensibility of why we exist.
I have two problems with your logic here. First, you make certain assertions that seem to me like pure conjecture (we're predisposed, engineered in a certain matter). Second, even if it is to a human's advantage to believe that a "human effect" exists, or even that God exists, which introduces unpredictability into the determinist's equation, that does not in the least, at least to me, discount its existence. Maybe it does for you, but I think that you're straying from logic and treading into belief.

Quote:
We as humans work extra hard to try to fit god, spirituality, humanity, right and wrong, etc. into an increasingly smaller space for them to exist as we continue to dig into our understanding of things. I simply take the approach of removing god and all of his derivatives from the equation first and if he becomes necessary to answer some questions I put him back in. Same approach with objective morality. Same approach with spirituality. Etc.

As of yet I have had no need to put them in the equation. In fact, trying to put them in the equation seems to only complicate the equations and make them less cohesive. The equations seem open to a whole host of instabilities when we try to throw some sort of spiritual intervention in.

Thus, I see no room for any of that stuff in the formulas of existence.
Are you saying that my philosophy, humanism, is a derivative of deism? Isn't this a straw man argument? It seems like you're only talking about God and spirituality because it's an easier concept to refute, then you're trying to associate that refutation to my "human effect" assertion, which is a false connection.

I was trying to stay on your "arithmatic" plane when I made my assertion about the human effect. Please stay with my assertion when you respond or we'll only be continually going sideways.

Quote:
Creativity, cooperation, competition, kindness, jealousy, stubbornness, etc. -- all act on the equation further, rendering a result greater than or less than the sum of the associated parts, sometimes in unpredictable, unscientific and non-linear ways.

In my view, there are many planes of reality; there is the linear, arithmatically correct reality, but there is also a concurrent, non-linear, value-based "humanist" reality. Events can be explained using both paradigms, though events cannot be predicted through either.


From my approach this seeems like a very complicated way to change the formulas to force certain things to exist that simply need not be parts of the equation.
No, exactly the opposite -- you are trying to simplify the formula to suit your needs. I'm not complicating things -- reality is more complicated than you are willing to admit. I'm not "changing the formula", I'm building it a lot more accurately than you are, in my view.

Quote:
I say the equation can't even be built -- I think it's a figment of a determinist's imagination that it could be.

So you don't believe in science as we understand it so far?
Well, when science has to leave its natural habitat, that of the empirical world, and ventures into the purely theoretical realm, it loses it sense of actuality, which is the essence of science, as opposed to, to use your word, spirituality, which deals purely in theory and other non-empirical realms. When science has to shift to the theoretical plane in order to exist, it loses me -- it feels like fudging. So, yes, I do have a devotional belief in science, but only to an extent. When it tries to explain all things, it seems to lose its solidity, and when it tries to predict infinite complexities like human behavior, it delves purely into the theoretical, relying on infinitely complex formulas that could never be built. In short, as science tries to explain morality, it gets just as mystical as humanism or deism.

Quote:
Now, I realize that humanism, with it's idea that human actions are "more than the sum of their parts" is a system that exceeds the bounds of logic and enters the mystical realm. Even so, if one chooses to accept some other unsupportable humanist premises, then the philosophy can "feel" quite sound.

Again, allowing something to exist "in the mystical realm" is akin to trying to really change the formulas to allow things to exist that we are biologically predisposed to believe exist.
Yeah, and science only exists on a non-mystical realm? What about these impossible formulas that I keep bringing up? Don't they require a leap of faith in order to exist, even in one's mind?

The idea that science becomes mystical when it tries to predict human behavior was truly an epiphany for me. Tell me -- isn't determinism just one of many other mystical philosophies, the one that you prefer? ;\)

#487675 04/19/03 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
Requires a belief in the concepts of right and wrong, which I do not have.

My answer is therefore, "mu."

Nika.
I agree 100%, nika.. what you been up to lately?

Kevin Nemrava

#487676 04/20/03 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by tron:
theft is wrong, Iraq own his oil and no one may steal it.

Whats our oil doing under their sand?????


Be a professional musician.
Or just sound like one!
Produce music with THOUSANDS of loops and effects.
#487677 04/20/03 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
[QUOTE] To me, determinism is logically tenable and supportable. Humanism does require a leap of faith.

Cheers!
Nika.
Whilst I agree that humanism, deism and such appear to have a less sound basis in logic and reason than determinism, determinism has it's own set of problems. Of course, each molecule and collection of molecules is acted upon by various forces, and will behave according to the sum of those forces. But this leads us to the conclusion that in order to completely understand any behaviour, we must have all information about everything, in other words, the only accurate model of the universe would be the universe itself (the computational theory). Since we clearly do not have all information about everything, and are clearly incapable of building the universe in order to model itself, we have no rational way in which to test ideas such as determinism or free will, and they must remain as hypotheses.

So we are left with a choice: we can make a leap of faith and believe in some kind of external or objective truth like determinism, humanism, god or whatever, or we admit that we simply don't know - and accept all as being ultimately subjective ie. things are as they are because we take them to be so...

Cheers, Mark

#487678 04/20/03 11:25 PM
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I don't know, and have a hard time taking real seriously anyone who thinks they do.

I'm still looking for a physician who will utter those three words in a row...


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"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau
#487679 04/21/03 07:38 AM
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Another good explanation of free will and natural law:

http://www.molbio.ku.dk/MolBioPages/abk/PersonalPages/Jesper/SemioEmergence.html


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Phil Mann
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#487680 04/21/03 04:51 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by dtobocman:
I have two problems with your logic here. First, you make certain assertions that seem to me like pure conjecture (we're predisposed, engineered in a certain matter).

David,

I understand that they may seem like pure conjecture, and while I have little evidence to support my claims, there, I have not come to this conclusion lightly, and many people I've discussed this with have felt that this concept is not only logically sound, but almost undeniable. My understanding on this started with the reading of Desmond Morris' "Naked Ape" though I don't recall anything that specifically refers to it in there.

Second, even if it is to a human's advantage to believe that a "human effect" exists, or even that God exists, which introduces unpredictability into the determinist's equation, that does not in the least, at least to me, discount its existence.

And I completely agree with that. I am open to the idea that indeed such things DO exist, but have to analyze theories in that regard with equal weighting to other theories, and without a predisposition to believe that it is so. Removing those ideas from predisposition has made it very difficult for me to squeeze them back in somehow.

Are you saying that my philosophy, humanism, is a derivative of deism?

Definitely related. "Spiritualism," "Humanism," and other forms of non-deity based religious or philosophical leanings are still based on the desire to ascribe to "something larger" things that we humans want to exist - notably a purpose and significance to our lives - and free will. I may be oversimplifying, there.

Isn't this a straw man argument? It seems like you're only talking about God and spirituality because it's an easier concept to refute, then you're trying to associate that refutation to my "human effect" assertion, which is a false connection.

No, not really, I don't think (though I am willing to be shown otherwise). They seem intertwined to me as I tried to elucidate above.

I was trying to stay on your "arithmatic" plane when I made my assertion about the human effect. Please stay with my assertion when you respond or we'll only be continually going sideways.

I understand. To me, the concept of the humanist approach simply does not arithmetically compute. It requires variables be put in otherwise adequate equations, wherein said variables require all kinds of other infinite changes to the equation.

David: In my view, there are many planes of reality; there is the linear, arithmatically correct reality, but there is also a concurrent, non-linear, value-based "humanist" reality. Events can be explained using both paradigms, though events cannot be predicted through either.

Nika: From my approach this seeems like a very complicated way to change the formulas to force certain things to exist that simply need not be parts of the equation.

David: No, exactly the opposite -- you are trying to simplify the formula to suit your needs. I'm not complicating things -- reality is more complicated than you are willing to admit. I'm not "changing the formula", I'm building it a lot more accurately than you are, in my view.


I understand your view.

Well, when science has to leave its natural habitat, that of the empirical world, and ventures into the purely theoretical realm, it loses it sense of actuality, which is the essence of science, as opposed to, to use your word, spirituality, which deals purely in theory and other non-empirical realms.

Right. I can see that. Science, however, does depend upon the "scientific process" which requires that a theory be put forth, an experiment conducted to prove or disprove it, and then the "theory" becomes "theorem" or proven fact. Theories are a necessary part of science.

When science has to shift to the theoretical plane in order to exist, it loses me -- it feels like fudging. So, yes, I do have a devotional belief in science, but only to an extent.

I think I understand where you are going with this: that the scientists that are working on the microcosmic and the macrocosmic are dealing in an unprovable realm that seems steeped in "theory." I guess I don't quite see it like that, yet. Those theories are all based on empirical, provable, and tenable evaluations of real world events. Just earlier this year we managed to prove through empirical means that a whole littany of scientific theories were in fact correct. A long standing debate in the world of science had been what the speed of gravity was. Was it instantaneous or was it the speed of light? Or some other speed? Earlier this year the sun eclipsed Jupiter and when it came back around the other side we were able to measure the gravitational impact on the earth from Jupiter and were able to sustain the theory that Einstein put forth that gravity is indeed the speed of light.

This theory is the basis for a ton of additional "theories" that currently exist. I just bring this up as an example of how I don't see the theories on the microcosmic or macrocosmic level as unsustainable or only theoretical. They are in fact necessary in order to understand things in the real world with accuracy. If you want to get in to purely theoretical we could discuss what happened before the big bang. There is absolutely nothing to substantiate that we have any idea what happened before then, and because all matter collapses upon itself at that point, along with time, we will never be able to know what really happened before then. THAT is purely theoretical. The other stuff we're discussing seems much more sustainable to me...

... but then again, that's the nature of the difficulty in evaluating what a "proof" is.

When it tries to explain all things, it seems to lose its solidity, and when it tries to predict infinite complexities like human behavior,...

Human behavior is not infinitely complex.

...it delves purely into the theoretical, relying on infinitely complex formulas that could never be built. In short, as science tries to explain morality, it gets just as mystical as humanism or deism.

We don't see it the same way. We're not close to an overall formula, but we do understand a whole heckuva lot.

The idea that science becomes mystical when it tries to predict human behavior was truly an epiphany for me.

We simply are not in the same place on this one.

Tell me -- isn't determinism just one of many other mystical philosophies, the one that you prefer? ;\)

Determinism is not mystical in any capacity I can see to define the terms.

Nika.

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by masmit:
Whilst I agree that humanism, deism and such appear to have a less sound basis in logic and reason than determinism, determinism has it's own set of problems. Of course, each molecule and collection of molecules is acted upon by various forces, and will behave according to the sum of those forces. But this leads us to the conclusion that in order to completely understand any behaviour, we must have all information about everything, in other words, the only accurate model of the universe would be the universe itself (the computational theory).

Yes. We are in agreement. Determinism doesn't require that we, mere mortals, can ever KNOW the great formula that computes the entire universe's behavior. It only says that there is one.

Since we clearly do not have all information about everything, and are clearly incapable of building the universe in order to model itself, we have no rational way in which to test ideas such as determinism or free will, and they must remain as hypotheses.

Hmm. We can get pretty close to proving determinism correct in closed systems, in that the variables inflicted into the "closed" system by the outside world can yield a degree of accuracy, which can be shown to not be exceeded.

In other words, I take a ping pong ball and put it in a shoebox. The box is a "closed system" to some extent, but molecularly it is tied into the rest of the world. The force exerted to things inside the box from things "outside" the box are very real. So we can determine exactly how much interaction should exist in that capacity and recognize that that is our "error analysis." So we say, "this box is affected by...gravity from the earth in a certain amount." Now we shake the box and observe the actions of the ping pong ball inside the box. Sure enough, its actions seem deterministic. There is some degree of "slop" in our determinism, but if that slop does not exceed the slop that we have assessed would be available from other sources, such as gravity of the earth, then our formulas for the actions of the ping pong ball are highly quantifiable.

This is not to say that it can ever be proven, you are correct. But the intermingling of these various experiments gets us to the point of recognizing the validity of the theory, though still unable to call it "theorem" completely.

Good points, Mark.

Nika.

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Nika -- I don't care what scientists confirmed when Jupiter rounded the sun, unless it confirmed the "shaggy dog story" that is determinism.

You keep responding to my increasingly valid points with "I understand" as if you're my analyst. Please either refute them or admit their validity and incorporate them into your position.

You as a scientist are predisposed to remove the essential human effect from your determinist equation -- see it cuts both ways.

You as a scientist have an intrinsic desire to simplify the universe down to an equation that does not possess the variables that represent human behavior. Unfortunately, this would be a lie. This is the crux of the matter -- where we part paths. You say I'm needlessly complicating the equation by inserting a human effect into the equation. I say you're oversimplifying by removing the phenomenon from the equation. Who is right? I am. Just kidding. Fact is, neither of us will ever know because the equation could never, in anyone's imagination, ever be fucking built, let alone tested. As such, either of our views is a non-scientific, mystical belief that requires a leap of faith to maintain.

You speak of scientific process, which requires that a hypothesis be tested, and yet, you believe in determinism, which is, as I have stated over and over again, impossible to test, let alone prove. Yes, it resembles a scientific approach, but it is purely theoretical. It may be based on science, but it must make the leap of faith that says that an equation could be built to predict human behavior -- it's impossible, theoretical, mystical!. Admit it or refute it with logic (don't just deny it) -- or we'll have, as I suspect, reached the end of our conversation.

I don't accept your idea that macrocosmic science is less than purely theoretical. Because something is based on proveable theories does not make it less theoretical -- the theories that it is based on might be fact -- it doesn't make the new theory any more factual in the least, until it is tested and proven. Sorry -- it's just wishful thinking and perhaps guilt by association as well. Accepting the new theory before it can be tested is nothing more or less than belief.

Remember -- anything that requires a leap of faith is a mystical belief. Prove to me that determinism does not require a leap of faith (I think I've pretty well proven that it does). "I understand your view" is pretty much an end run.

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by dtobocman:
Nika -- I don't care what scientists confirmed when Jupiter rounded the sun, unless it confirmed the "shaggy dog story" that is determinism.

It's all a matter of little parts that build a comprehensive formula.

You keep responding to my increasingly valid points with "I understand" as if you're my analyst. Please either refute them or admit their validity and incorporate them into your position.

I say "I understand" when you make a personal observation or state how you feel about something. If you say "I don't see it that way" I respond with "I understand" meaning that I see it differently but understand your perspective and that we simply disagree. You wrote a paragraph and then wrote "...in my view." I don't agree with your view, have no need to incorporate it into my thoughts on the subject, but do understand that you have that view, and would feel rude not simply acknowledging what you said.

You as a scientist are predisposed to remove the essential human effect from your determinist equation -- see it cuts both ways.

No, I believe that the "human effect" is based on simple laws of nature, as every other aspect of the human that we have observed seems to be.

You as a scientist have an intrinsic desire to simplify the universe down to an equation that does not possess the variables that represent human behavior.

You don't know that it doesn't possess those variables, and the information and empirical evidence I have accured over my lifetime tells me that it does.

This is the crux of the matter -- where we part paths. You say I'm needlessly complicating the equation by inserting a human effect into the equation. I say you're oversimplifying by removing the phenomenon from the equation. Who is right? I am. Just kidding. Fact is, neither of us will ever know because the equation could never, in anyone's imagination, ever be fucking built, let alone tested. As such, either of our views is a non-scientific, mystical belief that requires a leap of faith to maintain.

I am primarily in agreement with your points on this. I can debate a couple of the finer details based on the semantics of the undefined term "leap of faith." I would be sooner to say that neither of us has actually taken one, but that is neither here nor there. Example: Do you have PROOF that Mongolia exists or have you taken a leap of faith on this? Do you have proof that 2+2=4 or have you taken a leap of faith on this?

You speak of scientific process, which requires that a hypothesis be tested, and yet, you believe in determinism, which is, as I have stated over and over again, impossible to test,

Hmmm. It IS possible to test, but only in closed systems and recognizing that a certain amount of "slop" within the systems will pervail based on any error in how "closed" the system is.

let alone prove.

Ahh, that "proof" word again. Different conversation, but there is a valid question raised of what constitutes a proof....

Nika.

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If you put a ping-pong ball in a shoebox and shake it, and manage to factor out gravity, there is one serious problem remaining- what we don't know, and are not aware of not knowing. Or even more dangerously, what we think that we know, but don't.

You can't take the knower out of the equation.


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#487685 04/21/03 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:


Where we differ is in the use of "right and wrong" in respect to morality - i.e. whether an objective truth exists in regards to what "right behavior" and "wrong behavior" is. It is in that issue where I cannot understand where the objective truth in the matter comes from.

compared to

Philter,

Quite frankly I find your posts insulting, arrogant, and annoying, and this is the reason I didn't respond to the first one. Since you push, though...

Here's a perfect example of why we can't separate the knower from the known. In theory, Nika believes one thing, while in practice, he behaves a completely different way.


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#487686 04/21/03 08:50 PM
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So for the above reason, it becomes apparent that we must first understand the knower before we can hope to "factor it out of the equation" and get at the pressing matter of the bouncing ping-pong ball in a box.

The property of consciousness is a development proceeding from natural law.

I would expect argument on that statement from those people religious in a classical sense of the word. But I would not expect argument from scientific thinkers, who might disagree with my belief as to why and how said consciousness developed, but would nonetheless be loath to sign it over to divine cause.


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Quote:
Originally posted by Philter:
Here's a perfect example of why we can't separate the knower from the known. In theory, Nika believes one thing, while in practice, he behaves a completely different way.
The fact that I found the posts to fit a criteria that we have come to define as "annoying," et al, is not to say that you were right or wrong to post it.

Nika.

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O.k. so while I was building a shed in my backyard over the weekend I had a few pragmatic realizations.

Realization #1: Having a plan and an external prime mover does not guarantee any predetermined result. Guaranteed results could only occur under PERFECT conditions.

Realization #2: There is objectively a RIGHT way to build a shed and a WRONG way to build a shed.

Realization #3: The idea that since everything operates according to natural laws and that this somehow makes everything deterministic is a leap of logic and faith.

Realization #4: IF someday everything is known, and it is proven that everything follows deterministic patterns, but the patterns are infinite in variability, how does this in essence differ from free will? It passes the Turing test, if it walks like Free Will and quacks like Free Will, itís Free Will.

Realization #5: If somebody needs to add a mystical component to their reality, who am I to deny their belief?

Realization #6: Iím not near as smart as the philosophers and scientists who have covered this ground way better than I ever will.

Realization #7: Hitting your thumb with the business end of a hammer dispels any subjective ideas post haste.


Tom Cram
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non fui, fui, non sum, non curo
#487689 04/21/03 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
Quote:
Originally posted by Philter:
Here's a perfect example of why we can't separate the knower from the known. In theory, Nika believes one thing, while in practice, he behaves a completely different way.
The fact that I found the posts to fit a criteria that we have come to define as "annoying," et al, is not to say that you were right or wrong to post it.

Nika.
How generous of you!

Nika, the point being, you allowed those same social codes that you so adamantly deny the inherent truth of to nonetheless modify your behavior. In fact, you actually went out of your way to pass judgement on my behavior.

Of course I don't hold it against you. I also didn't expect you to run around freely murdering people or shitting in the street. You are thoroughly civilized and moralized, like the rest of us, regardless of your strenuous opposition to the "truth" of moral codes.

Here is my argument.

Moral codes have an implicit truth in that they cannot be separated from the natural world in which they develop. It is a fallacy to attempt to examine them apart from the natural physical conditions under which they arise.

Communities of human beings spontaneously develop moral codes to suit the needs of their society. It is a trait of our species following from the laws of behavior of the physical universe.

Other species develop social codes too, although ours are much more varied and involved due to the greater flexibility and adaptability of our intelligence and the related complexity of our society.

So there is inherent "truth" in the right and wrong of every society, even if they seem contradictory in practice. The right moral code, for the right society, at the right time.

So if you insist on debating whether there is one universal moral code, I would say no, there are many and each is "true" and "right" at the right place, in right time, for the right people.

(I've linked to good papers on thermodynamics and ecology above if you wish to see how the laws of thermodynamics are interperated to motivate living things.)


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#487690 04/21/03 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cram:
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...unless you believe that there is a master plan.
Oh, I most certainly do. It's called Natural Selection.
Natural selection is a process but is not capable of explaining life.

There is no competition on a planetary level- the earth is evolving as a singularity, which natural selection can't explain.

Natural selection also fails to explain why life struggles to survive in the first place.

However there is a broader concept that contains natural selection as a process....

if you're interested, read this.


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Phil Mann
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