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Aaron C
01-28-2007, 03:43 PM
I want to ask you all a question: do you believe everything happens for a reason? Are you a determinist, one who believes in free will, a fatalist, or one who believes in chance?

"Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences." - Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism

Paul A J Lewis
01-28-2007, 03:47 PM
I believe our actions are dictated by the values instilled in us, from a young age, by our environment: through a socialisation process that encompasses the family, the media, education and any and all number of factors. Our values dictate our behaviour, although an element of cognition comes into play and we have the ability to overturn or challenge the values instilled in us during our youth, and replace them with new values and ideas.

However, I don't believe in fate :D

Aaron C
01-28-2007, 03:51 PM
I wanted to share this, because I find it provocative:

"Fatalism is the view that human deliberation and actions are pointless and ineffectual in determining events, because whatever will be will be.

One ancient argument, called the idle argument, went like this:

1. If it is fated for you to recover from your illness, then you will recover whether you call a doctor or not.
2. Likewise, if you are fated not to recover, you will not do so even if you call a doctor.
3. So, calling a doctor makes no difference.

Arguments like the above are usually rejected even by causal determinists, who may say that it may be determined that only a doctor can cure you. There are other examples that show clearly that human deliberation makes a big difference - a chess player who deliberates should usually be able to defeat one of equal strength who is only allowed one second per move.

Determinism should therefore not be mistaken for fatalism. Although determinists would accept that the future is, in some sense, set, they accept human actions as factors that will cause the future to take the shape that it will - even though those human actions are themselves determined; if they had been different, the future would also be different.

Arguments for fatalism, although rarely accepted, do have a bearing on discussions about the nature of truth. The logical argument for fatalism says that, if there will be a sea battle tomorrow, and someone says "there will be a sea battle tomorrow" then that sentence is true, even before the sea battle occurs. But given that the sentence is true, the sea battle could not fail to take place. This argument can be rejected by denying that predictions about the future have to be true or false when they are made - ie, rejecting bivalence for sentences about the future, though this is controversial."

Which are you, Paul? :D

John G.
01-28-2007, 03:52 PM
do you believe everything happens for a reason?
No... just look at the existence of this thread. ;)

Aaron C
01-28-2007, 03:53 PM
No... just look at the existence of this thread. ;)

It was determined to be, John. You saw it for a reason.

Paul A J Lewis
01-28-2007, 03:55 PM
I wanted to share this, because I find it provocative:

"Fatalism is the view that human deliberation and actions are pointless and ineffectual in determining events, because whatever will be will be.

One ancient argument, called the idle argument, went like this:

1. If it is fated for you to recover from your illness, then you will recover whether you call a doctor or not.
2. Likewise, if you are fated not to recover, you will not do so even if you call a doctor.
3. So, calling a doctor makes no difference.

Arguments like the above are usually rejected even by causal determinists, who may say that it may be determined that only a doctor can cure you. There are other examples that show clearly that human deliberation makes a big difference - a chess player who deliberates should usually be able to defeat one of equal strength who is only allowed one second per move.

Determinism should therefore not be mistaken for fatalism. Although determinists would accept that the future is, in some sense, set, they accept human actions as factors that will cause the future to take the shape that it will - even though those human actions are themselves determined; if they had been different, the future would also be different.

Arguments for fatalism, although rarely accepted, do have a bearing on discussions about the nature of truth. The logical argument for fatalism says that, if there will be a sea battle tomorrow, and someone says "there will be a sea battle tomorrow" then that sentence is true, even before the sea battle occurs. But given that the sentence is true, the sea battle could not fail to take place. This argument can be rejected by denying that predictions about the future have to be true or false when they are made - ie, rejecting bivalence for sentences about the future, though this is controversial."

Which are you, Paul? :D
Neither a fatalist nor a determinist; but someone who accepts that there is an element of truth to the determinist point-of-view.

Paul A J Lewis
01-28-2007, 03:58 PM
Is this inspired by LOST, by any chance, Aaron? Locke (the philosopher, not the character in the show) believed in free will. However, Locke also took into account the idea that our freedom to choose is limited by the array of choices that are available to us, and so to some extent his position adopted an element of determinism.

Aaron C
01-28-2007, 04:00 PM
Neither a fatalist nor a determinist; but someone who accepts that there is an element of truth to the determinist point-of-view.

I've always excepted that for every action, there must be a reaction. What goes up must come down, etc. I also realize that nothing can be put into motion that doesn't have something behind it to move it.

Therefore, what esentially set things in motion, and what can be the first if something had to come before it (essentially, causing it)? There is another argument that human actions come from within - there is no external action that causes us to move and set something else in motion. But what if this is what makes us move? I agree that how we are brought up and raised sets the tone for a lot of what is to come, but who is to say that it wasn't determined how one would be brought up and raised?

Christoffer S
01-28-2007, 04:03 PM
I dont believe in anything. Everything is bullshit.

Paul A J Lewis
01-28-2007, 04:04 PM
I've always excepted that for every action, there must be a reaction. What goes up must come down, etc. I also realize that nothing can be put into motion that doesn't have something behind it to move it.

Therefore, what esentially set things in motion, and what can be the first if something had to come before it (essentially, causing it)? There is another argument that human actions come from within - there is no external action that causes us to move and set something else in motion. But what if this is what makes us move? I agree that how we are brought up and raised sets the tone for a lot of what is to come, but who is to say that it wasn't determined how one would be brought up and raised?
Actions arise from consciousness. But what is consciousness? Is it simply a series of electrochemical reactions in the brain, an awareness of self and surroundings stimulated by the fabric of the muscle of our brain, or is it something more than that? If we are not conscious of an event or of our actions, does that event continue to exist?

Paul A J Lewis
01-28-2007, 04:05 PM
I dont believe in anything. Everything is bullshit.
A, a nihilist. But in believing in nothing, you are in effect believing in something: the belief in nothing :D

Christoffer S
01-28-2007, 04:10 PM
No i actully think that is complete BS aswell.

Paul A J Lewis
01-28-2007, 04:11 PM
No i actully think that is complete BS aswell.
Good comeback :D

Martin N
01-28-2007, 04:14 PM
This shit is deep.

Aaron C
01-28-2007, 04:17 PM
Is this inspired by LOST, by any chance, Aaron? Locke (the philosopher, not the character in the show) believed in free will. However, Locke also took into account the idea that our freedom to choose is limited by the array of choices that are available to us, and so to some extent his position adopted an element of determinism.

Actually, no, the current thread isn't. I got bored yesterday at work and decided to essentially look up everything that is known about our existance, if you will.

What I came across was something that I continue to marvel and ask questions about because I found it very moving.

There is this theory, Paul. It goes something like this:

It relates to "finite status" and outcome. You put a man in a room and you give him a bookcase. There are a certain number of books on this book case. A team of scientists look through a window. Now, do you believe that there is only a set number of things that can happen as soon as this man walks into the room? I'm talking, down to split second variations of what would essenitally look like the same action to the naked eye.

Now, say there is a finite mathematical answer. Something like 234,567,787 to the 400th power of possible outcomes to the situation, whether he reads book one, flips to page four, hits his head against a wall, etc.

According to a Newtonian theory (I think it's Newton), judging by a number of variables and principals, it is possible to know and predict what he will do, and its outcome, and from that, to retrace everythnig that led him to this decision. Of course, too much factors into this, but as long as they know, with certainty, that nothing can happen without it prior being known, than it is possible for man to know an outcome (alluding to the Probability theory and LaPlace's demon). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplace%27s_demon

I found that intriguing. I also found the idea that time is suspended and measured in length intriguing, and that we are actually in a state of timelessness, in which everything is just a reaction of another and all that is isn't necessarily moving "forward."

It was a neat read.

Aaron C
01-28-2007, 04:23 PM
Actions arise from consciousness. But what is consciousness? Is it simply a series of electrochemical reactions in the brain, an awareness of self and surroundings stimulated by the fabric of the muscle of our brain, or is it something more than that? If we are not conscious of an event or of our actions, does that event continue to exist?

"Another argument for incompatibilism is that of the "causal chain." Most incompatibilists reject the idea that freedom of action consists simply in "voluntary" behavior. They insist, rather, that free will means that man must be the "ultimate" or "originating" cause of his actions. He must be a causa sui, in the traditional phrase. To be responsible for one's choices is to be the first cause of those choices, where first cause means that there is no antecedent cause of that cause. The argument, then, is that if man has free will, then man is the ultimate cause of his actions. If determinism is true, then all of man's choices are caused by events and facts outside his control. So, if everything man does is caused by events and facts outside his control, then he cannot be the ultimate cause of his actions. Therefore, he cannot have free will.[20][21][22] This argument has also been challenged by various compatibilist philosophers."

"As an illustration, some strategy board games have rigorous rules in which no information (such as cards' face values) is hidden from either player and no random events (such as dice-rolling) occur in the game. Nevertheless, strategy games like chess and especially Go, with its simple deterministic rules, can have an extremely large number of unpredictable moves. By analogy, "emergentists" suggest that the experience of free will emerges from the interaction of finite rules and deterministic parameters that generate infinite and unpredictable behaviour. Yet, if all these events were accounted for, and there were a known way to evaluate these events, the seemingly unpredictable behavior would become predictable."

Alyss N.
01-28-2007, 04:25 PM
Shut up... all of you.

Aaron C
01-28-2007, 04:31 PM
Shut up... all of you.

See? Determinsim. Because I *knew* you were going to say that.