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How am I going to do my job without free will?

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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27 March 2018 09:32
 
GAD - 27 March 2018 09:20 AM
nonverbal - 27 March 2018 09:01 AM

But hard-determinism amounts to a philosophy rather than a scientifically-vetted fact. This is what I was saying in my Reply #2 on the previous page of this thread. It’s inappropriate to consider it a fact rather than a logical guess. In my opinion, if you treat hard-determinism as a fact during discussions with patients, then you’re in effect lying to them, or certainly deceiving them.

Hard-determinism is not a philosophy, it is a fact, unless you know some way to get around causality, do you? If so show your work, the world is waiting.

You’re the one making the positive claim. All I’m doing is throwing doubt on it. Link us to the scientific consensus that makes your claim something more than purely philosophical.

 
Serculis
 
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Serculis
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27 March 2018 09:50
 

I consider determinism to be a fact because as an idea, free will makes no coherent sense. By implying the existence of free will, you have to break the physical law of cause and effect as GAD mentioned. Things don’t just pop into existence without a cause in our observable universe. And even if it did, it did so randomly, which again shows that there’s no such thing as free will.

If you could intentionally break the laws of physics and go against cause and effect, well that intention itself is the reason why you’re doing something, so it’s still not a ‘free’ choice.

I’m not actually into philosophy too much, so I know you’re probably well equipped to argue back and say a fact can only be derived through scientific experiments, and you can’t test free will, therefore you can’t disprove its existence. Or you could argue and say “what is a fact in the first place” but I’m sure you know what I mean.

How can free will exist if it doesn’t even make sense as an idea? The definition of free will contradicts itself already. If you can intentionally choose freely, your intention to make a final choice is the cause of that choice, and is therefore deterministic.

That’s why I consider determinism to be a fact, and not just a philosophy that can be logically argued against.

[ Edited: 27 March 2018 09:56 by Serculis]
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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27 March 2018 10:04
 
nonverbal - 27 March 2018 09:32 AM
GAD - 27 March 2018 09:20 AM
nonverbal - 27 March 2018 09:01 AM

But hard-determinism amounts to a philosophy rather than a scientifically-vetted fact. This is what I was saying in my Reply #2 on the previous page of this thread. It’s inappropriate to consider it a fact rather than a logical guess. In my opinion, if you treat hard-determinism as a fact during discussions with patients, then you’re in effect lying to them, or certainly deceiving them.

Hard-determinism is not a philosophy, it is a fact, unless you know some way to get around causality, do you? If so show your work, the world is waiting.

You’re the one making the positive claim. All I’m doing is throwing doubt on it. Link us to the scientific consensus that makes your claim something more than purely philosophical.

Look it up, homey don’t play that game.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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27 March 2018 10:13
 
GAD - 27 March 2018 10:04 AM
nonverbal - 27 March 2018 09:32 AM
GAD - 27 March 2018 09:20 AM
nonverbal - 27 March 2018 09:01 AM

But hard-determinism amounts to a philosophy rather than a scientifically-vetted fact. This is what I was saying in my Reply #2 on the previous page of this thread. It’s inappropriate to consider it a fact rather than a logical guess. In my opinion, if you treat hard-determinism as a fact during discussions with patients, then you’re in effect lying to them, or certainly deceiving them.

Hard-determinism is not a philosophy, it is a fact, unless you know some way to get around causality, do you? If so show your work, the world is waiting.

You’re the one making the positive claim. All I’m doing is throwing doubt on it. Link us to the scientific consensus that makes your claim something more than purely philosophical.

Look it up, homey don’t play that game.

Look up what? You sound almost like Mario sometimes. “It’s self-evident that God created everything.” But it’s not.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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27 March 2018 10:15
 
Serculis - 27 March 2018 09:50 AM

I consider determinism to be a fact because as an idea, free will makes no coherent sense. By implying the existence of free will, you have to break the physical law of cause and effect as GAD mentioned. Things don’t just pop into existence without a cause in our observable universe. And even if it did, it did so randomly, which again shows that there’s no such thing as free will.

If you could intentionally break the laws of physics and go against cause and effect, well that intention itself is the reason why you’re doing something, so it’s still not a ‘free’ choice.

I’m not actually into philosophy too much, so I know you’re probably well equipped to argue back and say a fact can only be derived through scientific experiments, and you can’t test free will, therefore you can’t disprove its existence. Or you could argue and say “what is a fact in the first place” but I’m sure you know what I mean.

How can free will exist if it doesn’t even make sense as an idea? The definition of free will contradicts itself already. If you can intentionally choose freely, your intention to make a final choice is the cause of that choice, and is therefore deterministic.

That’s why I consider determinism to be a fact, and not just a philosophy that can be logically argued against.

Indirectly related to your specific OP concern, it seems to me to be a mistake to focus on the notion of non free-will as a way to persuade prosecutors to radically alter the way they work—just in case that’s what you ultimately feel strongly about. It’s a fine thing to work toward causing radical changes in a criminal-justice system, but the issue of free will is religious and for that reason, out of place in the secular legal world. Attorneys don’t usually argue with each other about the logical ins and outs of baptism, confession, or communion. It’s a waste of time and a great deal of mental energy that could instead be aimed directly at informing courts or legislators about how the human mind actually works, including the fact that we don’t have much control over our behavior at various times, due to different ways our brains process our emotions. Such an approach might actually result in something radically positive, though it would of course take tremendous effort and patience.

It seems insane to be focusing on how great the world will be once everyone realizes that all anyone is is a puppet! A previous contributor to this forum, Halo Girl (I think that was her name), was utterly charming in her dedication to such nonsense.

 
Serculis
 
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Serculis
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27 March 2018 11:14
 
nonverbal - 27 March 2018 10:15 AM

Indirectly related to your specific OP concern, it seems to me to be a mistake to focus on the notion of non free-will as a way to persuade prosecutors to radically alter the way they work—just in case that’s what you ultimately feel strongly about. It’s a fine thing to work toward causing radical changes in a criminal-justice system, but the issue of free will is religious and for that reason, out of place in the secular legal world. Attorneys don’t usually argue with each other about the logical ins and outs of baptism, confession, or communion. It’s a waste of time and a great deal of mental energy that could instead be aimed directly at informing courts or legislators about how the human mind actually works, including the fact that we don’t have much control over our behavior at various times, due to different ways our brains process our emotions. Such an approach might actually result in something radically positive, though it would of course take tremendous effort and patience.

It seems insane to be focusing on how great the world will be once everyone realizes that all anyone is is a puppet! A previous contributor to this forum, Halo Girl (I think that was her name), was utterly charming in her dedication to such nonsense.

Thanks for an informative reply. I’ve asked this question, plus the other question “so how are we gonna change society” because I wasn’t informed on how well determinism meets reality.

Are you saying it’s better to inform the courts -how- an action came about and where the causes were, instead of just “there are causes”? If so, yeah that makes sense. It’s hard to be emotionally moved by a vague “well there were a bunch of causes to their behaviour so it’s not their fault”, but if you could point to the causes (e.g. a brain tumour) then it would be much more convincing.

I personally think most of society believe that we have free will, but it’s extremely limited, as shown by biological/psychological/sociological evidence. It takes a smart ass to know that free will doesn’t exist 100%, but anyone can believe the vague notion of “our thoughts and actions are heavily influenced by genes/personality/environment”.

I think I can understand Halo Girl. The difference is I know how erratic society can be when introduced to new ideas, and the success rate of adapting to that idea can be quite low, and if it does get accepted, it takes a long time to come about.

There’s actually one real-life application for preaching the nonexistence of free will however. And that’s to anyone in the psychological field. They study the causes of behaviour itself, and they can believe it. I personally believe you need to reject free will to do a great job in a psychological career. It helps you not judge anyone whatsoever no matter how evil they are (I’ll need it as a counsellor) and you always know there is a cause behind any behaviour no matter how hidden.

Also, I’m starting to doubt the idea that a deterministic society would even be good. All I can imagine is too many non-philosophers getting seriously depressed over the meaningless of life, lots of laypeople becoming fatalistic, and nobody wanting to say sorry for their actions because it wasn’t their fault. Although free will costs a huge fucking tonne of suffering to the world, it’s the only thing keeping society together.

 
nonverbal
 
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27 March 2018 12:53
 
Serculis - 27 March 2018 11:14 AM

. . .

Are you saying it’s better to inform the courts -how- an action came about and where the causes were, instead of just “there are causes”? If so, yeah that makes sense. It’s hard to be emotionally moved by a vague “well there were a bunch of causes to their behaviour so it’s not their fault”, but if you could point to the causes (e.g. a brain tumour) then it would be much more convincing.

I personally think most of society believe that we have free will, but it’s extremely limited, as shown by biological/psychological/sociological evidence. It takes a smart ass to know that free will doesn’t exist 100%, but anyone can believe the vague notion of “our thoughts and actions are heavily influenced by genes/personality/environment”.

. . .

Yes—and in informing the courts and legislators, the more specific and scientifically derived your opinion is, the better. Someday, both defense attorneys and prosecuters will be experts in certain aspects of brain science. Reform is possible. I wish such reform were inevitable, but it’s not. So let’s not waste our efforts selling something that doesn’t matter and is wasting our efforts?

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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27 March 2018 13:08
 
Serculis - 27 March 2018 11:14 AM

. . .

There’s actually one real-life application for preaching the nonexistence of free will however. And that’s to anyone in the psychological field. They study the causes of behaviour itself, and they can believe it. I personally believe you need to reject free will to do a great job in a psychological career. It helps you not judge anyone whatsoever no matter how evil they are (I’ll need it as a counsellor) and you always know there is a cause behind any behaviour no matter how hidden.
. . .

I completely agree. But I think that the wording you propose, which invokes a religious concept, could be better at conveying what I suspect you’re trying to say. That is, there are perhaps more fruitful ways of explaining mental activity than by negating an ancient religious concept. In other words, how much can be understood about the concept of free will if it’s a delusion in the first place? Nothing, right? Why even lean on its negation rather than allowing for unconscious processesing of morality to continue to function until some other storage method has been devised? Er. . . so to speak.

 
Serculis
 
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27 March 2018 14:43
 
nonverbal - 27 March 2018 01:08 PM

I completely agree. But I think that the wording you propose, which invokes a religious concept, could be better at conveying what I suspect you’re trying to say. That is, there are perhaps more fruitful ways of explaining mental activity than by negating an ancient religious concept. In other words, how much can be understood about the concept of free will if it’s a delusion in the first place? Nothing, right? Why even lean on its negation rather than allowing for unconscious processesing of morality to continue to function until some other storage method has been devised? Er. . . so to speak.

 

What part of my wording are you referring to that evokes religion? If it’s my use of the word ‘preach’, I don’t mean it literally. I just mean giving public talks like Sam Harris, talking to a team of employees, even just talking about its implications on a psychological society forum etc.

If you mean that free will is a religious concept, then yeah that’s true, but I can’t think of many people who think of “free choice” in any way but secular.

I do think it is useful to lean on its negation however. I can’t say X is the cause of behaviour Y, but by mentioning that there IS a cause in the first place, it can vastly help psychologists perform their jobs productively and efficiently.

Imagine, there are some psychologists who, despite being naturally empathic, still believe certain people to deserve suffering, and this could bias their treatment towards them. As understanding and ethical as most psychologists are, naturally, their treatment towards certain people can be really biased which has awful consequences.

There are probably some behaviours that no psychologist dares to investigate because it is agreed to be morally apprehensible and that’s that. It’s like “okay, you’ve gone way too far, you don’t deserve the least bit of empathy through studies that can make you seem understandable and relatable.”

Another thing that can rejecting free will can help with (in -some- psychologists) is dispassion. The ability to think and act with clarity in an emotionally charged situation is a very important skill in certain psychological disciplines, and if you can be as half as calm and dispassionate as Sam Harris when he’s talking on stage, you’re doing pretty damn good. I know you will still feel horrible that the man before you raped a child, and you’ll feel horrible because of the event, but a lot of the negative emotions you’ll feel is because of the fact the man consciously and freely “chose” to do it. Rejecting free will has the potential to increase the dispassionate attitude of many psychologists. Of course not all, but a lot.

When it is convenient for me, I view horrible human beings as skinner rats, a collection of a trillion trillion non-sentient chemical reactions, or any other thing that doesn’t represent a human. I’ve only been able to do this after accepting determinism and a materialistic view of the world. It really, really, really helps me consider things with utter clarity and not let my emotions skew my judgement.

[ Edited: 27 March 2018 15:00 by Serculis]
 
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