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Old 08-28-2019, 05:00 PM
Max S. is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Falsifiable claims are just claims that can be proven wrong one way or the other. The term tends to be associated with physicality because the bulk of important non-falsifiable statements in common parlance are about things that nobody can show to exist, but the term is not limited to the non-material, and being nonmaterial doesn't mean that statements about you are nonfalsifiable.
Personally I have a different definition of falsifiability but I see no harm in adopting yours. We can go back to post #128 where I wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Minds demonstrate a reasonable consistency of state - they change, but not with wild randomity. It's a flow from one state to another based on causes that drive it from one state to another; it's not like static snow on a screen without a signal, where the random mess of static one moment is completely unrelated to the snow a moment before.
It does not follow. Just because minds do not change with "wild randomity", doesn't mean every change in state flows from a cause. For example, a nonmaterial mind may change randomly for no cause, but still never change with wild randomity. How could you know? Nonmaterial claims are nonfalsifiable. This marks the first assumption: every change in mental state flows from a cause.

Also note that the causes themselves can be random or otherwise nondeterministic, regardless of whether the causes are physical or nonphysical in nature.
If I may now revise that:
It does not follow. Just because minds do not change with "wild randomity", doesn't mean every change in state flows from a cause. For example, a nonmaterial mind may change state randomly for no cause, but still never change with wild randomity. How could you know? You cannot directly examine a nonmaterial mental state. You cannot apply the laws of physics to the nonmaterial substance, so you cannot possibly test a hypothesis concerning the inner workings of the mind. As such, your claim that minds "flow from one state to another based on causes" is not a testable claim, and cannot possibly be disproven by science. This marks the first assumption: every change in mental state flows from a cause.


Also note that the causes themselves can be random or otherwise nondeterministic, regardless of whether the causes are physical or nonphysical in nature.
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Being a theorized nonmaterial entity/object doesn't make something immune from being logic'd about and even disproven, no matter how much people might wish that was the case.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Naah, my argument is fine with my mind being the only mind in existence. I'm only making an argument about all the minds that work the way that I observe my mind to work. If solipsism happens to be true, my argument is content to merely prove that my mind (the only mind!) operates in a functionally deterministic way such that free will and choice cannot sensibly rely on nondeterministic factors.

I mean, if I have the only mind in existence, then that's all the free will there is to talk about, right?
Alright.

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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Tell you what - I'm willing to be entirely unconcerned with cases where small random perturbations damage the stability of any part of mental state, because I recognize that logically it makes no damn sense to consider any introduction of randomity as an addition of will.
I disagree. Randomity is merely the lack of a definite pattern or method. Random is the exact opposite of deterministic. I touched on this before, but if a God-like entity is above physics, it is random by definition. Free will without a random element is not free will at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
It doesn't matter if randomity is slightly screwing with your ability to make decisions, or if it's slightly screwing with your ability to remember things, or if it's slightly screwing with your ability to clearly read your senses. There could be small random perturbations all over the place - we just know that for most people (which is to say me, since as you say we're all solipsists here) the amount of randomity isn't sufficient to upend the entire apple cart. I mean, I'm not senile, not yet anyway.
Don't confuse randomness with equiprobability. Equiprobability (equal probability) leads to chaos and is only one form of randomness. Equiprobability is wild randomity. Randomness is not necessarily wild. If there's a general pattern, but the pattern is not 100% predictable, that is still randomness. If things usually happen for physical reasons, but sometimes happen for no reason at all, that is still randomness. If random things happen, but the results are strictly confined to a number of physically valid outcomes (assuming multiple solutions are possible), that is still randomness.

Just because your mind isn't constantly effecting chaotic physical changes, doesn't mean your mind isn't random.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
And we are talking about damage here. In a discussion like this one where I'm not restricting myself to minds located in the physical universe, non-determinism only comes in one flavor: not determined by anything, be it physics, souls, or gods. Pure randomity. That's what non-determinism means: randomity. Pure mindless randomity.
What is wrong with souls or gods being the agent of randomness? If a soul has the power to effect an alternate reality, to actually make a single choice or not, and if the soul can make this choice freely, and is not absolutely bound to one choice, then the soul acts randomly, the soul has free will, and reality is nondeterministic. The same goes for a god, if you replace "soul" with "god". I build this argument a priori.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
And I have no idea why you thing I'm talking about equprobablity. I'm quite confident I never mentioned the term; I can't even spell it.
I have a strong feeling that what you call random, I call chaotic. To me, random and non-deterministic are synonyms. Random does not mean "nobody gets to choose", that would be physical randomness. Maybe I need to ask. What exactly do you mean when you say random?

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
In any case I'm willing to ratchet back my assertions about where randomity is in the mind - I'm willing to allow that there is a constant hiss of random static all throughout the mind everywhere, conditioned on the realization that its effect on cognition is contained and very close to nil. The static doesn't wipe out the thoughts, it doesn't erase the emotions, it doesn't fuzz out the opinions, it doesn't snow away all the knowledge and memories. Not immediately, anyway.
So there are limitations on how random the mind can "act". That's fine. Any physical effects have to follow the laws of physics. It does not follow that randomness is inconsequential, iff the laws of physics allow for multiple solutions AND reality does not constantly split into multiple Schr÷dinger-esque universes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Dude, I've been trying very hard (and imperfectly) to keep the physicalness out of it. I'm talking about how minds observably work, regardless of where they're housed. And when I define "cognition" I only mean "that thing that's doing the thinking and decision-making that I'm clearly observing to be happening". If your definition is incompatible with that, then I'm not sure what discussion we're even having.
I can use that definition for cognition. That is also the definition I use for the mind. If we go back to post #134, you wrote:
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Again, this conclusion is based on observation of behavior - we know randomity is not a major part of human cognition because minds don't act random.
Now, I replace "cognition" with "mind":
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Again, this conclusion is based on observation of behavior - we know randomity is not a major part of [the] human [mind] because minds don't act random.
Just because the outputs are constrained does not mean the inputs are constrained, too. And I don't think it has been established that minds act without any randomness, or that the randomness is inconsequential. So I am denying both of your premises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
And that's all the agreement I need, really.

The things that can influence your mind's behavior are exclusively limited to:
1) Your mental state, which is a major factor in your subsequent mental states.
2) Randomity messing around with your developing mental state.
3) Things that are not part of your mental state, influencing it from the outside.

That's the entire possible list. Anything you might mention: gods, souls, the enticing aroma of strawberries - those all fall into one of those categories, because A ∨ ČA covers all bases by definition. (The randomity also falls under either A or ČA by defintion, and I don't particularly care where you put it, because it can't possibly impart will anyway because randomity isn't willful.)

...
A ∨ ČA, yo. In that sentence I considered randomity to be in the ČA category, because it totally is; random perturbations can't be part of your mental state because they only occur as perturbations in the advancement from one mental state to another. A given fixed snapshot of a mental state doesn't have chunks of 'determined randomity' sitting in it; the closest you could get is a chunk of the mental state that has a value that is completely not determined by anything about the mental state immediately prior.
I can agree with that classification, not with your distinction between randomity and (free) will. If the mind itself can be random, within constraints, that constitutes the mind's free will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
A mental state, by definition, is a state. A state, by definition, has a state. Things that are random don't have a state while they're being random; they only have a state once they've resolved out to one outcome or another. Even if you have some kind of nexus of randomity it will produce an actualized outcome at some point; whatever its outcome happens to be at the moment the state is examined can be taken as the static condition of that part of the state at that moment.

Randomity, if it's occurring, can only be perturbing things as you change from one state to the next. That's literally the only place it can be.
A probability function describes quantum state, and unless you subscribe to some form of hidden variable or multiverse theory, that wave function is the state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
And the rules most certainly aren't off - there is a rule that the thing that is causing the minds is causing the minds...
Unless the mind does things without causes some of the time, in which case the things that usually cause the mind don't fully cause the mind or don't exist. Have we ruled out that possibility? Certainly some of the time I think as if my thoughts were immune from the laws of physics, as if I could think of almost anything I want, as if I could determine what I want to think about at will.

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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I love debates like this!
Aw jeez, sorry to keep you waiting. I must have accidentally marked this thread as read without reading it.

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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Actually in my experience proponents of libertarian free will never, ever talk about godly power or souls...

A libertarian free will proponent most certainly wouldn't say anything about the grace of the mind. Remember, libertarian free will argues from a presumed materialist framework where the mind is located in the physical brain and isn't graceful at all...
An interesting read, but still besides the point. Such a position as the one I laid out is libertarian by virtue of affirming free will and denying determinism. Tu quoque.

I am less interested in what you think of generic libertarian arguments, and more interested in what you think of mine, because I am here to defend myself, even if I have not set my heart on libertarianism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
People discussing souls usually just say "but souls!" and stand there smugly, without bothering to acknowledge that we can totally examine the behavior of souls by examining the behavior of the people they allegedly control.
Can you though? You can't observe them, only what they do. They don't necessarily follow the laws of physics, it's not like they are invisible or can be found or looked at or have physical parts. Yes they function somehow, but as far as I am concerned, they function by magic, because they don't physically exist but they produce physical events. They can have preferences and be influenced by physical things, but we cannot conclude that they are deterministically controlled by such things.

If you want to criticize this position as unscientific, you are within your rights. If you want to say it is demonstrably wrong, inconsistent, or incompatible with facts or science, I challenge you to back up that assertion.

~Max