Lay it all out!

Science can end this discussion. Philosophy is such a hippie useless subject.

Sep 29, 2017
CrashCourse posted:
Compatibilism: Crash Course Philosophy #25
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Science can end this discussion. Philosophy is such a hippie useless subject.
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Oct 7, 2017
It is not an issue of science, but an issue of semantics. If you define "determinism" as the absence of free will, or if you define "free will" as the absence of determinism, then you can't have both. So, stop doing that. Consider this instead: https://marvined...d-how-to-fix-it/
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Oct 7, 2017
Marvin Edwards said:
It is not an issue of science, but an issue of semantics. If you define "determinism" as the absence of free will, or if you define "free will" as the absence of determinism, then you can't have both. So, stop doing that. Consider this instead: https://marvined...d-how-to-fix-it/
I think my iq just dropped by reading the article linked by you. It's just yet another article written by a scientifically illiterate person who claims that science can't explain everything.
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Oct 7, 2017
Marvin Edwards said:
It is not an issue of science, but an issue of semantics. If you define "determinism" as the absence of free will, or if you define "free will" as the absence of determinism, then you can't have both. So, stop doing that. Consider this instead: https://marvined...d-how-to-fix-it/
determinism, free will, however you wanna frame it, is very much related to science. Just because something makes sense logically doesn't make it correct, that is why newtonian physics has been replaced by quantum physics even the latter doesn't make any intuitive sense to vast majority of the people.
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Oct 7, 2017
So, you didn't actually read it, then? I said that Physics cannot explain everything. To understand living organisms requires Biology, etc. To understand intelligent species requires Psychology, Sociology, etc.
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Oct 7, 2017
And, of course, Newtonian physics has not been "replaced" by quantum mechanics. You must still apply the correct science at each level of organization.
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Oct 7, 2017
Marvin Edwards said:
And, of course, Newtonian physics has not been "replaced" by quantum mechanics. You must still apply the correct science at each level of organization.
In case you didn't already know, every branch of science (biology, psychology etc.) is reducible to physics; just because newtonian physics produces highly accurate result at the macroscopic scale doesn't mean it's correct, we still use it because it simplifies calculation. I'd strongly suggest you to get educated in some modern physics concepts first before you even enter the discussion of free will.
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Oct 8, 2017
Vira, We observe that material objects behave differently according to their level of organization as follows:

(1) Inanimate objects behave passively, responding to physical forces so reliably that it is as if they were following “unbreakable laws of Nature”. These natural laws are described by the physical sciences, like Physics and Chemistry. A ball on a slope will always roll downhill.

(2) Living organisms are animated by a biological drive to survive, thrive, and reproduce. They behave purposefully according to natural laws described by the life sciences: Biology, Genetics, Physiology, and so on. A squirrel on a slope will either go uphill or downhill depending upon where he expects to find the next acorn.

(3) Intelligent species have evolved a neurology capable of imagination, evaluation, and choosing. They can behave deliberately, by calculation and by choice, according to natural laws described by the social sciences, like Psychology and Sociology, as well as the social laws that they create for themselves. A child will ask permission of his mother, or his father, depending upon which is more likely to say “Yes”.

A naïve Physics professor may suggest that, “Physics explains everything”. But it doesn’t. A science discovers its natural laws by observation, and Physics does not observe living organisms, much less intelligent species.

Physics cannot explain why a car stops at a red traffic light. This is because the laws governing that event are created by society. The red light is physical. The foot pressing the brake pedal is physical. But between these two physical events we find the biological need for survival and the calculation that the best way to survive is to stop at the red light.

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Oct 8, 2017
All you're saying is that we need different branches of science to explain reality, not just physics alone. This view ignores the fact that all branches of science ultimately boil down to pure physics. Let's pretend quantum mechanics doesn't exist, then the actions of an organism (e.g. stopping at a red light) can be entirely explained by Newtonian physics alone. Intelligent beings or any objects for that matter, regardless of how complex their actions are, must be bound by the laws of physics since we are nothing but a collection of fundamental particles. In a Newtonian universe, knowing the initial conditions of all the particles can allow you to predict the future with infinite precision. So a car stopping at a red light is nothing but the predetermined actions of a bunch of particles with particular initial conditions. This applies to all actions made by any living organisms. With biology, under the framework of simple survival and reproduction, I can't see how you can ever predict the actions with infinite precision. Human developed different branches of inexact science because studying macroscopic systems using pure physics/mathematics is simply too complex for humans to comprehend, not because it's theoretically impossible.
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Oct 8, 2017
Each science derives its natural laws by observing the behavior of a given class of objects. Physics, and quantum mechanics, and chemistry, and the other physical sciences, observe only inanimate objects. Certain properties of biological organisms do not exist within inanimate objects. Certain properties of intelligent species do not exist within bacterium or viruses.

Atoms do not perform math or logic. But people do. Atoms cannot imagine alternate ways to solve a problem. But people can.

Without the concept of a "person", it would be impossible to explain why those molecules of water flowed down the hill, while these molecules of water hopped into a car and went to the grocery store.

You would have to redefine physics to include all the other sciences if you wanted to claim that physics could predict these events. Nor could you predict these events by an analysis of the water molecules themselves.

These sciences cannot be broken down into physics. You have to move up the chain into the other sciences before any practical predictions can be performed.

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Oct 8, 2017
So somehow intelligent beings can transcend/defy the laws of physics? Human or whatever beings are just a collection of atoms doing what atoms are supposed to do according to the laws of physics. I agree that knowing the physical/mathematical descriptions of an atom wouldn't be very helpful at predicting how a human behaves at a practical level, but it's NOT because it's impossible; it's just that human's brain is limited. The only reason why we aren't using fundamental physics to explain things happening at the macroscopic scale is because we don't have the intelligence and computation power. If we had the intelligence and computational power, and if a so-called "Theory of Everything" had been discovered, why would you even bother using inaccurate theories to make predictions?
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Oct 8, 2017
Vira, I'm actually not sure how to answer the question "can intelligent beings transcend/defy the laws of physics". If we were to drop a bowling ball and a human being off the leaning tower of Pisa, both would hit the ground at the same time. On the other hand, if the human being were equipped with a parachute, and chose to pull the cord, he would land gently on the ground much later than the bowling ball. Does this qualify as "defying or transcending the laws of physics"?

And that brings up an interesting contrast between us and the bowling ball. We can "use" the laws of physics, but the bowling ball can't. The bowling behaves passively in response to physical causation.

But intelligent species can acquire knowledge of how physical forces work, and actively use these rules to accomplish a purpose which is unique to that living organism. And if you've ever tried to give a cat a bath, you'll find it actively squirming and scratching to avoid the threat of drowning.

It is highly improbable that any "Theory of Everything" will be found at any level of reality above quantum mechanics. And it may eventually prove necessary to treat quantum mechanics as just another macro description, as we delve into the smallest parts of the smallest parts.

But none of that is necessary. We can have a perfect determinism at the human level, simply by including purpose and reasoning, in addition to passive responses to physical causation, in our list of actual causes.

Every choice that any human makes is the inevitable result of some combination of physical (passive), biological (purposeful), or rational (deliberate, calculated) causation.

Now, it happens that we humans call "deciding for ourselves what we will do, when free of coercion or undue influence" a "freely chosen will", or simply "free will". That is what we call this empirical event.

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Oct 8, 2017
Vira, I'm actually not sure how to answer the question "can intelligent beings transcend/defy the laws of physics". If we were to drop a bowling ball and a human being off the leaning tower of Pisa, both would hit the ground at the same time. On the other hand, if the human being were equipped with a parachute, and chose to pull the cord, he would land gently on the ground much later than the bowling ball. Does this qualify as "defying or transcending the laws of physics"?

And that brings up an interesting contrast between us and the bowling ball. We can "use" the laws of physics, but the bowling ball can't. The bowling behaves passively in response to physical causation.

But intelligent species can acquire knowledge of how physical forces work, and actively use these rules to accomplish a purpose which is unique to that living organism. And if you've ever tried to give a cat a bath, you'll find it actively squirming and scratching to avoid the threat of drowning.

It is highly improbable that any "Theory of Everything" will be found at any level of reality above quantum mechanics. And it may eventually prove necessary to treat quantum mechanics as just another macro description, as we delve into the smallest parts of the smallest parts.

But none of that is necessary. We can have a perfect determinism at the human level, simply by including purpose and reasoning, in addition to passive responses to physical causation, in our list of actual causes.

Every choice that any human makes is the inevitable result of some combination of physical (passive), biological (purposeful), or rational (deliberate, calculated) causation.

Now, it happens that we humans call "deciding for ourselves what we will do, when free of coercion or undue influence" a "freely chosen will", or simply "free will". That is what we call this empirical event.

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