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Determinism and moral responsibility

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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03 February 2013 13:31
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 03 February 2013 12:20 PM
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 12:00 PM

If you’re interested in this breakthrough, I am asking you to reserve any judgments before the verdict is in.  I know this sounds unbelievable and therefore untrustworthy, but many discoveries have been made that have turned out to be true.  So give him a chance, okay?

Sure, I’ll give him a chance. But it’s been oversold.

For some reason, “snake oil” keeps running through my mind.

 
 
Jeff M
 
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Jeff M
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03 February 2013 13:54
 
halo2040 - 02 February 2013 05:57 PM

Hi everyone,

I would like to introduce myself since I’m new to this forum.  I just came from Sam Harris’ other forum which didn’t get many responses.  I was told that this place is more active, so I’m going to give it a whirl. 

I made my first post on the SH forum too, then came here, not an unusual pattern.

halo2040 - 02 February 2013 05:57 PM

I’m interested in discussing the topic of determinism relative to moral responsibility because it seems like one negates the other, therefore there’s been no resolution on this issue.  I am glad to be in the company of people who already believe in determinism for the most part.  But this seems to be the crux of the problem between these two positions, and continues to be an unsolvable factor that has eluded the most well-respected philosophers.  It goes something like this:  If man’s will is not free, he is not responsible for what he does, and if he’s not responsible for what he does, he is given a free pass.  This is the elephant in the room and doesn’t sit right with the majority of society. 

 

I think the term “moral responsibility” is a bit vague.  I think what you are shooting for is the issue of ‘desert’.  Or specifically the issue of desert of punishment, or whether people deserve to suffer.

Although Kant argued we can deserve to suffer, Derek Parfit took Kant’s argument and turned it on its head. Parfit’s position on desert of suffering is the one I believe at the moment.

I agree that the issue of Free Will, Determinism and Desert are bound to each other in important ways.

Parfit:

In most cases, for it to be relevantly true we could have acted differently, it need only be true that

(H) we would have acted differently if we had wanted to, and had chosen to do so.

We can call this the hypothetical, motivational sense of ‘could’.  This sense of ‘could’ is compatible with determinism.  You could have helped the blind man cross the street in the sense that you would have done so if you had chosen to do so.  It is irrelevant whether, given your actual desires and other mental states, it was causally inevitable that you did not choose to act in this way.

 

Parfit:

Such questions, however, can be well worth asking.  What we often do depends on our beliefs about what we ought to do.  And if we come to believe that some act of ours is wrong, or irrational, because we ought to have acted differently, this belief may lead us to try to change ourselves, or our situation, so that we do not act wrongly, or irrationally, in this kind of way again.  These changes in our situation may affect what we later do.  It does not matter that, for us to have acted differently in the past, we would have had to preform some miracle.  If we come to believe that we ought to have acted differently, this change in our beliefs may cause it to be true that in similar cases, without any miracle, we do in the future act differently.  That is enough to make it worth asking whether we ought to have acted differently.

 

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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03 February 2013 14:14
 
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 12:40 PM
Dennis Campbell - 03 February 2013 12:31 PM
Ecurb Noselrub - 03 February 2013 12:20 PM
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 12:00 PM

If you’re interested in this breakthrough, I am asking you to reserve any judgments before the verdict is in.  I know this sounds unbelievable and therefore untrustworthy, but many discoveries have been made that have turned out to be true.  So give him a chance, okay?

Sure, I’ll give him a chance. But it’s been oversold.

For some reason, “snake oil” keeps running through my mind.

That’s understandable, but you have to give this man a chance.  If this knowledge is valid it would be a tragedy if extreme skepticism prevented this knowledge from ever being brought to light.

As Bruce noted, I’ll wait and see.  Present the evidence before the claims; claiming with such hype tends to turn off skeptics.  We’ve all here seen a lot of world-shaking claims, so we’re more than a tad cynical. Ball is in your court, but half the audience is already leaving, and I’m standing at the door out.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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03 February 2013 14:43
 

Well, I am not going to confuse you all by giving snippets of the book which often leave people with more questions.  This has to be read in the order it was written.  I plan on offering the first couple chapters to people so they can study it carefully.  Otherwise, this discussion will have no meat and it will seem like hype.

So far, what has been presented and cited is hype.  Suggest you present a hype-free synopsis, then the propositions and/or evidence.  People here read, a lot.  Suggest you not seek to have them conclude the significance before hand.  Your time on the internet is not relevant, that neither qualifies nor disqualifies you.

 
 
Jeff M
 
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Jeff M
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03 February 2013 14:46
 
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 01:31 PM

This
natural law, which reveals a fantastic mankind system, was hidden so
successfully behind a camouflage of ostensible truths that it is no
wonder the development of our present age was required to find it. By
discovering this well concealed law and demonstrating its power a
catalyst, so to speak, is introduced into human relations that compels
a fantastic change in the direction our nature has been traveling
performing what will be called miracles though they do not transcend
the laws of nature.

Waiting on you.

 
Jeff M
 
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Jeff M
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03 February 2013 14:58
 
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 01:54 PM

It didn’t work because the file was too large.

Break it up into smaller posts.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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03 February 2013 14:59
 
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 10:13 AM
GAD - 02 February 2013 10:00 PM
halo2040 - 02 February 2013 08:59 PM

  But the implications of determinism are such that if man’s will is 100% not free, how can he be held blameworthy?

But if he is blamed and the implications of determinism are such that if man’s will is 100% not free,, how can he NOT be held blameworthy?

Sorry I know you have a book and all that you want to go through, but right here is the impasse, you say that I can’t hold someone accountable for their actions if their (mans) actions aren’t free, but that means my actions aren’t free and like they had no choice in their actions neither do I in mine. The two sides of the argument cancel each other out.

I’m not saying you can’t hold someone accountable for their actions, because we have no better way to prevent that which we don’t want, but the system of justice that exists is not working to the extent that we want it to.  There are plenty of people who don’t care whether they go to jail if they are caught doing something that is morally unacceptable.  They want what they want, and that’s all they care about.  Yes, both sides are doing what they are compelled to do, but this knowledge that I am presenting takes this a step further by extending the corollary of determinism to see where it leads.  I hope you can be patient because I can only go so fast.

That sounds more like Psychology then determinism.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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03 February 2013 14:59
 

Ms. Halo, you must concede that the presentation so far has only an opening fanfare. What happens when the horns fade away?

How does a new understanding of determinism end war? What could President Assad read that would change events in Syria? What’s the connection between a free will argument and what happens?

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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03 February 2013 15:16
 
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 01:48 PM
Dennis Campbell - 03 February 2013 01:43 PM

Well, I am not going to confuse you all by giving snippets of the book which often leave people with more questions.  This has to be read in the order it was written.  I plan on offering the first couple chapters to people so they can study it carefully.  Otherwise, this discussion will have no meat and it will seem like hype.

So far, what has been presented and cited is hype.  Suggest you present a hype-free synopsis, then the propositions and/or evidence.  People here read, a lot.  Suggest you not seek to have them conclude the significance before hand.  Your time on the internet is not relevant, that neither qualifies nor disqualifies you.

A synopsis won’t do it justice.  I’ve tried.  The only way to prevent any misunderstanding is to offer the actual chapters.  I don’t want to lose the opportunity to share this knowledge with like minded people (those who already believe in determinism).  Is that okay with you?

Your call, our judgment.  Just posting chapters here is a no-go.  We can link if we wish to do so.  Better you post your best as to why we should bother to read.  Promising too much results in quick disinterest.  Best wishes.

 
 
Halo2040
 
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Halo2040
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03 February 2013 15:16
 
Jeff M - 03 February 2013 01:58 PM
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 01:54 PM

It didn’t work because the file was too large.

Break it up into smaller posts.

I want it to remain in a .pdf format, but I will give people the introduction for starters.  People unfairly said he spoke with an arrogant tone.  In order to understand his way of writing, you have to take into consideration the many years he tried to get his knowledge investigated, but to no avail.  His experiences led him to a defensive posture, but he was not an arrogant man.  If you can, try to put yourself in his position and maybe you won’t judge him quite so harshly.  I hope the introduction piqures your interest.  I have not put the title of the book online because I don’t want people finding me on google.  They will join here and try to take over the thread.  I just hope the moderators won’t let that happen.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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03 February 2013 15:20
 
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 10:24 AM
GAD - 02 February 2013 10:59 PM

The forward had a familiar smell to it.

In any case I found this on the web.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/08/prweb274544.htm

GAD, you heard of the book?  You said the foreword had a familiar smell to it?

I think I have but could not find the reference or thread I was thinking of. The familiar smell I was referring to is bullshit. In any case people come through here regularly with some great secret or discovery that will change/save the world if only people would listen. The very fact that no one else will listen and so they are here on PR trying to sell it to the whopping 20 or so regular posters gives it that smell and thus far following that smell has lead to a pile 100% of the time.

 
 
Halo2040
 
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Halo2040
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03 February 2013 15:21
 
GAD - 03 February 2013 01:59 PM
halo2040 - 03 February 2013 10:13 AM
GAD - 02 February 2013 10:00 PM
halo2040 - 02 February 2013 08:59 PM

  But the implications of determinism are such that if man’s will is 100% not free, how can he be held blameworthy?

But if he is blamed and the implications of determinism are such that if man’s will is 100% not free,, how can he NOT be held blameworthy?

Sorry I know you have a book and all that you want to go through, but right here is the impasse, you say that I can’t hold someone accountable for their actions if their (mans) actions aren’t free, but that means my actions aren’t free and like they had no choice in their actions neither do I in mine. The two sides of the argument cancel each other out.

I’m not saying you can’t hold someone accountable for their actions, because we have no better way to prevent that which we don’t want, but the system of justice that exists is not working to the extent that we want it to.  There are plenty of people who don’t care whether they go to jail if they are caught doing something that is morally unacceptable.  They want what they want, and that’s all they care about.  Yes, both sides are doing what they are compelled to do, but this knowledge that I am presenting takes this a step further by extending the corollary of determinism to see where it leads.  I hope you can be patient because I can only go so fast.

That sounds more like Psychology then determinism.

He discovered a psychological law of man’s nature, but it rests on the knowledge of determinism

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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03 February 2013 16:07
 

Read it all.  All we’re missing is a tent and a pulpit.  Snake oil.  Bullshit.  All noise and no signal.  Paranoids do have enemies.  Casting oneself as a victim does not validate what that person stands for.  Don’t give up your day job.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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03 February 2013 17:13
 

BTW, here on this forum we have mathematicians, physicists, psychologists, attorneys, neurologists:.many of whom have published books and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals.  In other words, the very class of people your admired author decries for ignoring him.  I strikes me as a better bet that their reactions are more likely to be relevant than one person’s self-pitying complaints that he’s not appreciated.  So far, what you’ve posted is a lot of hype absent substance, pages of it, that so far has no thesis statement.  I’m a psychologist, with more than a few years of experience; so I’m interested in the claim that “all will be solved.”  My guess, perhaps wrong is that this is a variant of “God’s truth,” dressed up in pseudo mathematical
language and allusions.

The burden of proof is yours, not ours.  So far, IMO, you’ve failed badly.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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03 February 2013 17:49
 

Get your copy here. At $41 it’s a steal, better hurry only 1 left.

http://www.amazon.com/Decline-Fall-Evil-Seymour-Lessans/dp/1553953304

 
 
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