View Single Post
#111
08-07-2019, 05:18 PM
 Guest Join Date: Aug 2017 Location: Florida, USA Posts: 1,592
Quote:
 Originally Posted by begbert2 'Imagine you're blue. In this allegory you're blue, therefore you're really blue.' ... The Demon doesn't actually see into the future; it only extrapolates from the data available in the present.
I fail to see any functional difference between extrapolating the future with 100% accuracy and actually seeing the future. The point of the allegory was not to proclaim that you or reality is fictional, but to show that your "choice" is pre-determined just like a character's choices in a fiction movie.

I wasn't totally sure that you admitted this stipulation, but it is clear now that you do.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by begbert2 Mental math on these preferences is carried out, concluding with the decision that I should eat the strawberries. ... That "mental math"? That's a choice.
As I said before, you must be using an unorthodox definition of "decision". Normally it is nonsensical to talk of a person making a decision where only one option is presented. Could you elaborate on this?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by begbert2 Now, for some reason you are saying that choices don't matter if the outcome is predictable. This is, of course, false - if my mental math had mechanically resulted in me eating the ghost peppers, I can say with confidence the resulting agony would have mattered to me, what with pain not being my friend. (The knowledge of that being why my mechanics would probably direct me not to eat them.)
Having stipulated that your "choices" are all pre-determined, I can only guess that you have redefined "choice". In my understanding of the word, a choice between one option only is no choice at all. It is not even a Hobson's choice. Your mental cognition could not, or should I say will not result in you eating the ghost peppers; that would be physically impossible. You do not have it in your power to eat the ghost peppers, or to eat neither. You think you can choose otherwise, but to the demon this is demonstrably false because it is physically impossible for you to "choose" anything except the strawberries. You say that is a choice, but how can it be a choice if you have not the power to effect an alternative result?

You say "if my mental math had mechanically resulted in me eating the ghost peppers", but this is moot because if the demon predicts that you will eat the strawberries, your mental math cannot result in you eating the ghost peppers.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by begbert2 And honestly, I don't see why I should be bothered by the fact that the mechanics of my brain and mind and thoughts determine what I'm going to do.
I'm not bothered when you bring up predeterminism, and I am not necessarily bothered with the union of predeterminism and free will (depending on the definition of free will). I am bothered when you say predeterminism is compatible with the ability for people to make decisions or choices, because it would seem that makes a contradiction.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by begbert2 Because what's the alternative?
A lack of appealing alternatives does not remove the apparent incohesiveness of your own philosophy. One alternative is found in dualism. Another alternative is found by rejecting free will. Yet another alternative is a rejection of free will and determinism.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by begbert2 Of course the murderer had a choice; his brain went through with the process of assessing his situation, options, opinions, feelings, and beliefs, and based on that weird stew of emotion, stimulus, and sociopathy he chose to do something terrible.
Here you are redefining "choice" to include a situation where only one path is physically impossible, or perhaps I misunderstand. How can it still be a choice if it is physically impossible to select any other option? Assuming predeterminism, I could only say he did something terrible, or that he appeared to choose to do something terrible, not that he chose to do something terrible.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by begbert2 In any case, the fact that Sandy Hook was predeterminied (presuming no random events occur) does not by any measure mean that we shouldn't hold criminals responsible for their actions. Sure their choices were ultimately determined by their state and environment, but the bulk of the state that resulted in those decisions was in their head, so removing that head from a position where it can decide to do more crimes will result in a more pleasant experience for everybody else.
I don't understand you. Metaphysically you are saying that everything, everything can be determined by the previous state of the universe. That includes the murderer's state of mind. The murderer's state of mind at the moment he fires into a schoolhouse can be determined with 100% accuracy by looking at the state of the universe at the previous instant. The murderer's state of mind at the previous instant can be determined by looking at the state of the universe the instant before that. Etcetera until we reach the point where the murderer's mind exists in one instant and does not exist in the previous instant, or if you want to avoid the sorites paradox, at some point the murderer did not exist at all yet with enough information we could extrapolate exactly when and where he will shoot schoolchildren. There is no room for alternatives - our prediction, if we were as informed as Laplace's demon, would be exact.

For you to assign culpability is then to redefine culpability, because in the normal sense of the word there is no culpability when one has no power to effect an alternative; there is no culpability if one has no choice. Let's say you had a neurological disorder which caused you to constantly pinch and unpinch your thumb and forefinger as if you were using a television remote. This specific disorder also makes it so that your brain is essentially hotwired to consciously perform this action; you want to pinch your fingers together. I place an unarmed button-style nuclear detonator in your hand, such that it cannot be removed, and tell you not to press the button or millions of people will die. Your neurological disorder means you want to press the button anyways, so you do so. Your "decision" takes place entirely within your head. I tell you the button will be armed in one minute. One minute later some city blows up. I am obviously a monster, but I escape while you are caught by the authorities. Assuming you can prove exactly what happened, do you have any sort of culpability?

~Max