Wednesday, February 17, 2016

604: Determinism - Indeterminism

First I want to do is to congratulate Gemma with her appointment as Assistant Professor of The Philosophy Class.

The Board of Directors of the Philosophy Class, of which I am the only member, voted unanimously for her appointment 

to express its appreciation and gratitude for the pleasant cooperation through the many years and her never wavering loyalty to philosophical thinking.

Congratulations, Gemma, you really deserve it….. ^_^

And now back to work….. The idea of being in control of how we act, the “up-to-us-ness” of our actions, is an idea we all share. 

It is a constant and fundamental feature of our thinking, and one that we can all recognize. 

And the idea is irresistible. However sceptical we may become when doing philosophy, 

once we fall back into ordinary life we do all continue to think of how we act as being up to us. 

Thinking of ourselves as being in control of how we act is part of what enables us to see living as something so valuable. 

In so far as we can direct and control how we ourselves act, our lives can be genuinely our own achievement or failure. 

Our lives can be our own, not merely to be enjoyed or endured, but for ourselves to direct and make. 

Or so we think. But are we really in charge of our actions? Is how we act truly up to us as things 

such as the past, the nature of the universe, even many of our own beliefs and feelings, are not? 

The problem of whether we are ever in control of how we act, and what this control involves, is what philosophers call the free will problem.

Most important is, of course, what Isaiah Berlin called the “positive” freedom, the freedom to… to be an individual, in our case.

It is fascinating to see , that the free will problem is as old as philosophy itself. In other words, like ethics, we apparently are not able to answer the fundamental questions in an unambiguous way.

This is understandable, because, as we already saw, free will is closely related to action and thence to the question “Was this a good, just or fair action?”

This could lead to the conclusion, that there would be no ethics at all, if there does not exist a free will. Everything would have a physical cause.

That is pretty extreme. It is counterintuitive. It is not the way we think about ourselves. So let’s summarize our position.

Regarding the  problem of free will, you could see the situation like this: You can not speak of a free will. Our will is our determination to act.

It is like Sartre’s idea of choice. The adjective “free” can not be applied to “choice”. You can not escape to chose.

So, when we are determined to…. or ready to choose to…., then we are free, that is, we are free to act, we have options.

To put it in a simple way: for centuries philosophers wander between on the one hand the idea that whatever we do is just an event in a determined causal chain of events,

while at the other extreme there is the idea whatever we do is totally undetermined. Indeterminism is important for the question of free will 

because strict determinism implies just one possible future. Indeterminism means that the future is unpredictable. 

Indeterminism allows alternative futures and the question becomes how the one actual present is realized from these potential alternatives.

In the previous lectures we studied the development of the concept of “the individual”.  One of the quintessential characteristics of the individual is freedom, call it free will.

In the coming lectures I’ll present you with the answers suggested by a number of philosophers and it will be up to you to take your stand.

Thank you for your attention…the floor is yours ..:-)

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995

Free Will, Ilham Dilham, 1999
On Free will, J.J.C.Smart, Mind 1961
Of Liberty and Necessity, James A. Harris, 2005
Free Will, A very short Introduction, Thomas Pink, 2003

The Discussion

[13:28] herman Bergson smiles
[13:28] herman Bergson: If there  is no free will but everything just a causal event, Iguess you may have all fallen asleep :-)
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): never going to solve it here
[13:29] herman Bergson: the essence is not to solve it Gemma
[13:29] druth Vlodovic: there are so many variables involved in every decision, and many are delicately balanced
[13:29] Velvet (velvet.braham): we have all chosen to fall asleep! Indeterminism
[13:29] CB Axel: Every event since the big bang has determined that I would be speechless right now. °͜°
[13:29] herman Bergson: I knew it :-)
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: almost looks like the illusion of free will is the lack of processing power to crunch the equations
[13:30] herman Bergson: But that is the heart of the debate...
[13:30] CB Axel: I'm going to blame everything that happens to me from now on on the big bang.
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): someone's else's action might interfere with my free will and vv
[13:30] CB Axel: If I get caught speeding I'll just tell the officer, "Sorry. The big bang made me do it."
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: that falls down when others start using that argument on what they do to you CB
[13:31] herman Bergson: That is the Negative freedom, Gemma...
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:31] herman Bergson: Restrictions from outside...
[13:31] druth Vlodovic: sounds a bit like the nature versus nurture debate
[13:31] herman Bergson: Like are forced to stay inside when i heavily rains
[13:32] Velvet (velvet.braham): You can go out!
[13:32] herman Bergson: To some extend it is Druth
[13:32] Velvet (velvet.braham): you still have the choice
[13:32] herman Bergson: Eventually you have Velvet :-)
[13:32] CB Axel: Do you?
[13:32] Velvet (velvet.braham): sure!
[13:32] CB Axel: Not if everything is pre-determined.
[13:33] Velvet (velvet.braham): and if it's not, you're good to go
[13:33] herman Bergson: And that has been the debate for centuries CB...
[13:33] Velvet (velvet.braham): grab your umbrella
[13:33] herman Bergson: to what extend are you free to go out....?
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): singing in the rain Velvet?
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Velvet
[13:34] herman Bergson: To begin are forced to grab ab umbrella
[13:34] druth Vlodovic: you grab your umbrella in order to exercise the radical freedom you have been induced to believe in due to your environment
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no, umbrella is not needed
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): always singin' in the rain
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i use a coat with a hood
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): If you remember, Gene Kelly gave his umbrella away and danced in the rain
[13:34] druth Vlodovic: trapped in a habit of freedom
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): don’t like umbrellas
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tho i have at least 5
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are you free to dance naked in the rain?
[13:35] Velvet (velvet.braham): sure!
[13:35] herman Bergson: We'll going to meet a number pf philosophers who try to find their way in this dilemma of deterministic and indeterministic existence
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): if you like
[13:35] CB Axel: And others are free to arrest you for dancing naked in the rain.
[13:35] Velvet (velvet.braham): that's true
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:36] herman Bergson: And you are free to call me when it rains, Velvet :-))
[13:36] CB Axel: Or to throw a blanket over you, at least.
[13:36] herman Bergson: that is what I would come for, CB :-))
[13:36] Velvet (velvet.braham): it takes more than rain to stop me
[13:36] CB Axel: You'd throw the blanket over the both of you. :p
[13:36] herman Bergson: there...again free will :-)
[13:37] Velvet (velvet.braham): I'm big on choice. It's going to be tough to make me waver on that
[13:37] CB Axel: But if everything is pre-determined, you wouldn't even be aware that you're not making choices.
[13:37] herman Bergson: If you follow Sartre you'd even say that you are condemned to choice, Velvet
[13:37] druth Vlodovic: we have a strong social conditioning to believe in free choice and individual determinism
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): I might be predetermined to believe in choice
[13:38] herman Bergson: we all believe we can choose in many situations
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): So either I am free to choose or I'm not and I believe I am free to choose
[13:39] druth Vlodovic: my conditioning says that is better than being predetermined to believe that you lack choice
[13:39] herman Bergson: Take this example....
[13:39] herman Bergson: Someone commits a crime...
[13:39] Velvet (velvet.braham): If there's no way to tell the difference, then it's the same
[13:39] herman Bergson: free will
[13:40] herman Bergson: In court however the lawyer is caused by his childhood experiences...he couldn’t act differently in that situation
[13:40] herman Bergson: shoudl we take that into account or not?
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that has been used over and over
[13:40] herman Bergson: Indeed it has Gemma....
[13:40] Velvet (velvet.braham): we take everything into account
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I think we always have a choise in that
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): last time it failed miserably
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): kid got off
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): did something he should not have
[13:41] herman Bergson: ok..another one....
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Mother actually fled iwth him to mexico
[13:41] herman Bergson: man attacks woman....
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no he is back in jail
[13:41] herman Bergson: he is her fault..she was wearing such a short skirt...
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): phooey
[13:41] druth Vlodovic: if the person's behaviour is determined by his upbringing to the extent that he cannot act differently then shouldn't he be put away for longer than otherwise?
[13:41] druth Vlodovic: at least until his personal determinism has been restored
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's what happened in Keulen
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje..
[13:42] Velvet (velvet.braham): yeah, the short skirt defence won't work
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are many that think that way
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they couldn't help it because the girls wore not a djalebba
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): idiots
[13:42] herman Bergson: As you see there are close ties between a deterministic interpretation and a free will interpretation of behavior
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): couldn't these man think forthemselves?
[13:43] druth Vlodovic: funny that, if you think about it, fundamentalist Islam's women's dress codes says more negative about the men than the women
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in a group situation probably not
[13:43] herman Bergson: not if it is your upbringing, Beertje
[13:43] Velvet (velvet.braham): apparently men give up free will in exchange for a Y chromosome.
[13:43] CB Axel: I agree, druth. They must be very, very weak men.
[13:43] Velvet (velvet.braham): no offense, Herman.
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): to much progesterone
[13:44] herman Bergson: I know I am a minority here, Velvet :-)
[13:44] CB Axel: You are seriously out-numbered. lol
[13:44] druth Vlodovic: but we can show that reaction to how a woman is dressed has much to do with acclimatisation and socialization
[13:44] Velvet (velvet.braham): you keep up the high standards!
[13:44] druth Vlodovic: even their physiological reactions
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): well, that has nothing to do with with the price of tomatoes
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): as my mother would say
[13:45] herman Bergson: Indeed Velvet...:-)
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): my nipples get hard when it's cold out
[13:46] Velvet (velvet.braham): but I'm really not excited by it
[13:46] druth Vlodovic: if we regard behaviour as uncontrollable physiological reactions then it has much to do with it
[13:46] Velvet (velvet.braham): probably TMI
[13:46] herman Bergson: So, I think we'll have a touch job in figuring out what to do with determinism/indeterminism
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very
[13:46] herman Bergson: For the investigative minds...
[13:47] Velvet (velvet.braham): If a personal has an uncontrollable psychological reaction
[13:47] herman Bergson: the in between is called compatibelism
[13:47] Velvet (velvet.braham): perhaps they need to seek help
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they need education
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very good
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is very true
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): en een pak slaag van hun moeder
[13:48] herman Bergson: I'll take an historical approach in the next lectures to show you how this problem was handled through the ages...
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that will be interesting
[13:48] druth Vlodovic: well,anything taken to an ultimate extreme starts divorcing itself from both reality and sense
[13:48] herman Bergson: So, thank you all again for your participation ......
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thank you
[13:49] druth Vlodovic: it's a shame the middle road is so complicated and boring
[13:49] Velvet (velvet.braham): Thank you!
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will see if i can make it Thursday
[13:49] Velvet (velvet.braham): I dunno druth, the middle sounds pretty good most days
[13:49] herman Bergson: Thank you all...class dismissed :-)
[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:49] Velvet (velvet.braham): life probably sucks on the fringes
[13:50] druth Vlodovic: just because it is true doesn't mean I want to believe in it
[13:50] herman Bergson: the middle road can be interesting....
[13:50] Velvet (velvet.braham): high five on that, druth
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:50] druth Vlodovic: :P
[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you can easily look right and left from there:)
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it is hard sometimes druth
[13:50] Velvet (velvet.braham): Beertje's got it
[13:50] Velvet (velvet.braham): Beertjeology
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nice
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that works
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:51] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman. I'll see you all on Thursday. If the big bang has determined that I will, that is. °͜°
[13:51] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Gemma
[13:51] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma :-)
[13:51] Velvet (velvet.braham): Beertjeology elminates "us vs them" thinking!
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): grins
[13:52] herman Bergson: Yes indeed CB
[13:52] druth Vlodovic: if we were created without free will then it means that our creator wanted us to debate free will which we don't have
[13:52] druth Vlodovic: disturbing
[13:52] druth Vlodovic: thanks for the lecture Herman
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight all
[13:52] herman Bergson: My pleasure Druth :-)
[13:52] Velvet (velvet.braham): thank you everyone! Take notes for me until I can make a class

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

603: Free Will, the problem

Let’s  begin with clarifying what we are dealing with, when we are talking about Free Will and make it subject of philosophical analysis.

We are dealing here with two concepts. On the one hand “Freedom” and on the other hand “Will”.

What do we mean by “will”? In relation to what we have said about the Individual, I would say, that “will” is related to choosing.

When I say “It is my want, that…..”, it is in a situation where I choose one of possible options or outcomes. So, you can say that “will” is not just a property, like a color of an object is, it means acting.

Thus “free will” means “freedom of action”. Freedom of action is the property of being free from constraints, 

especially from external constraints on our actions, but also from internal constraints such as physical disabilities or addictions. 

Political freedoms, such as the right to speak, to assemble, and the limits to government constraints on associations and organizations such as media and religions, are examples of external freedom.

But maybe you know the saying: “You may imprison my body, whatever you like, but you won’t be able to imprison my mind.”

As you see, there seem to be two ways of freedom. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin (1909 - 1997) described it in his inaugural lecture at Oxford University in 1957 called "Two Concepts of Liberty."

He made a distinction between negative and positive freedom. Negative liberty he defined as freedom FROM, that is, the absence of constraints on the person imposed by other people. 

Positive liberty he defined both as freedom TO, that is, the ability, not just the opportunity, to pursue and achieve willed goals and also as autonomy or self-rule, as opposed to dependence on others.

To quote him: “The 'positive' sense of the word 'liberty' derives from the wish on the part of the individual to be his own master. 

I wish my life and decisions to depend on myself, not on external forces of whatever kind. I wish to be the instrument of my own, not of other men's, acts of will.

I wish to be a subject, not an object; to be moved by reasons, by conscious purposes, which are my own, not by causes which affect me, as it were, from outside. I wish to be somebody, not nobody; 

a doer, deciding, not being decided for, self-directed and not acted upon by external nature or by other men 

as if I were a thing, or an animal, or a slave incapable of playing a human role, that is, of conceiving goals and policies of my own and realizing them. - End quote

This sounds like the heart and soul of the individual with a free will. I think, we do not  need to  concern us with this negative freedom. That is obvious.
This notion of positive freedom fits our idea of free will like a glove, but here we go…..

If this individual endowed with this positive freedom is to be true, we have to solve a few problems, especially in a time like this where some say that “we are our brain”

and in a time where people blow themselves up, because they are convinced, that Allah orders them to do so and they are not allowed to make another choice.

In philosophical terms the question is, are we really free, or free to some extend or do we just imagine we act freely?

That is the debate between Determinism and Indeterminism. So, get ready….. 

Thank you again…..the floor is yours……shoot! :-))

The Discussion

[13:17] Velvet (velvet.braham): Can we find a different example?
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I feel my free will getting challenged by my computer, My will to be here
[13:17] herman Bergson: In what sense Velvet?
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hope it holds up now
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:17] Velvet (velvet.braham): Someone who gives their free will to another still has it
[13:18] Velvet (velvet.braham): Our next topic will be the philosophy of RAM!
[13:18] CB Axel: LOL
[13:18] Ciska Riverstone: hehehe
[13:18] Velvet (velvet.braham): because it's a mystery sometimes
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:18] herman Bergson: Think so too...
[13:18] herman Bergson: Swedish RAM to be more precise :-)
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how can you give YOUR free will to another Velvet?
[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): can have been a bad reboot before causing it
[13:19] herman Bergson: Bu twhat was your question Velvet?
[13:19] Velvet (velvet.braham): If I decide to blow myself up because someone tole me to do it
[13:19] Velvet (velvet.braham): I have still made a choice
[13:19] Velvet (velvet.braham): *told
[13:20] Ciska Riverstone: we could make another example like: companies saying they have to exploit 3d world states because the shareholder want it like that
[13:20] herman Bergson: No..because you did it as an act dictated by religion...
[13:20] Ciska Riverstone: well in my case as an act of economy ;)
[13:20] Velvet (velvet.braham): And you have chosen that religion
[13:20] CB Axel: But you can still not follow that religion.
[13:20] herman Bergson: you had not the option to say...I am sorry ..but I wont do it
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if you refuse they kill you....
[13:21] Velvet (velvet.braham): perhaps, but you die either way
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): problem is they are brainwashed, reprogrammed basicaly
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): by the religion
[13:21] Velvet (velvet.braham): and give over their free will
[13:21] herman Bergson: That is th magic CB....people cancel their free will due to religion
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): from birth they get brainwashed to extremists and never get exposed to reality
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats why it turns out like this
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): birth
[13:22] Velvet (velvet.braham): hmmmmm
[13:22] CB Axel: Not necessarily, Bejiita.
[13:22] CB Axel: Some become extremists later in life.
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they believe it 100 % and refuse to accept that it is really not the case
[13:22] herman Bergson: oh yes....
[13:23] Velvet (velvet.braham): refusal means that they considered another option
[13:23] CB Axel: People who are unhappy with their lives seem to be easy to radicalize.
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Islam in itself is no terror religion but some madmen have rewritten it into a system to opress women, kill innocent people and so on
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): It was not like that from start
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and now its out if control
[13:23] herman Bergson: Let's not discuss that issue Bejiita..plz :-)
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with lunatics like IS
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): however we always have a free will
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are not remote controled
[13:24] herman Bergson: that is the question,Bejiita...
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is the value of your free will if you refuse to do something and then they kill your sister?
[13:24] herman Bergson: to what extend can we say we have a free in what sense
[13:24] Velvet (velvet.braham): Exactly, Bejiita, that's where I'm at
[13:25] Velvet (velvet.braham): Your choices can be severely limited, but you've not given up your will
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Its tricky and I can only see it from my perspective since I know i decide always what i want and is free to do so
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and its also part of my personality
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I decide what i want, not any other
[13:26] Velvet (velvet.braham): When would you not have free will?
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): when you die I guess:)
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well are not free at all are victim of your personality :-)))
[13:27] CB Axel: lol
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe well that you can say indeed
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): changing personality is indeed difficult
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but what decide personality, interests and so. Is it genetic?
[13:28] herman Bergson: That was my next thought Bejiita....
[13:28] herman Bergson: let me go one step further....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): can take an example I have always been technically intrested even as a kid, was that determined genetically?
[13:28] herman Bergson: suppose your personality is just the product of the chemistery of yoyr brain....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess so
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems logical
[13:28] herman Bergson: and that chemistry is controlled by physical laws....
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:29] Velvet (velvet.braham): but your personality is a combinatio of genetics and life experience
[13:29] herman Bergson: which are fixed chains of causes and effects....
[13:29] herman Bergson: all that stuff is stored in your brian Velvet
[13:29] herman Bergson: andin genes
[13:30] Velvet (velvet.braham): hmmmm
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true. an example of that can be my interest in street dance and similat
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that i got from a web series called LXD in 2010
[13:30] CB Axel: Then we do not have free will because all of this was set in motion by the big bang and physical laws have brought us to this point.
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so thats not from birth but later influence
[13:30] herman Bergson: Very TRUE CB :-))
[13:30] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): CB... I like that thought
[13:31] Velvet (velvet.braham): So either we all have free will
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but also I’ve always liked to be active in general
[13:31] Velvet (velvet.braham): or we don't and it's an illusion
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe a combination
[13:31] herman Bergson: The fact that we are here together is the result of the BIg Bang indeed :-))
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:31] herman Bergson: Let me give you some hope...:-)
[13:31] Velvet (velvet.braham): I think my brain broke
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:32] herman Bergson: Maybe there a kind of in between...
[13:32] Velvet (velvet.braham): please yes
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (tries to reboot Velvet like my router before) Hmm there is no switch
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:32] herman Bergson: ok..that is for th enext lectures then :-))
[13:32] Velvet (velvet.braham): lol but thanks for trying!
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Its a complicated subject indeed i realize
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Seems so many things affect who you are and how you choose
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i needed that hope, was looking out for it,, andnow I have to wait till Monday....
[13:33] Velvet (velvet.braham): or NOTHING DOES
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes Bejiita....
[13:33] herman Bergson: Till Tuesday Beertje
[13:33] Velvet (velvet.braham): There's no reason to leave this chair
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: maybe try "the big porn experiment" for understanding biology and surrounding ;)
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Basically i have a theory, some of our free will might be decided by our hard coded personality while the rest is completley free
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ahhh yes,, even a day longer :(
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats one way I could descrime it
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): I'm just going to stay here until Tuesday
[13:34] herman Bergson: Hold on.....
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): there's no point
[13:34] herman Bergson: Ciska wants us to look at something....
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: its fun ;)
[13:34] herman Bergson: ok...
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ok
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] herman Bergson: it...
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: it explains addiction
[13:35] herman Bergson: back in a sec or so :-)
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa a TED
[13:35] CB Axel: You can't make me watch anything! lol
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: it just explains addiction and how it works but as people can get rid of it they need a free will
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: so here you have a neurologist explaining experience ( here porn on net) with body reaction
[13:36] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Thank you Herman Going home, enjoy everyone :)
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting indeed
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): Wow, Ciska, I'm 2 minutes in and I see how this will break my brain even more.
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: I hope not
[13:39] Velvet (velvet.braham): Thank you for that! I'm trying to separate making choices & being influenced
[13:39] Velvet (velvet.braham): from having no control over the "choice"
[13:39] herman Bergson: lol..this goes on for 16 minutes Ciska :-)
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: its long yes - but he explains it very well
[13:39] herman Bergson: What doe it explain?
[13:39] herman Bergson: does
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: addiction how it is wired in the brain
[13:40] herman Bergson: My free will?
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: and how giving up
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: makes the brain go back
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: giving up is free will yes
[13:40] herman Bergson: I see...
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are hard coded with a sex drive as well which indeed have an effect on us and that can be very hard to ignore
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): pulling us into it sort of
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): Yes, but that brings my mind back to have a choice
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): which may be against our "code"
[13:41] herman Bergson: wow...just imagine..philosophers mainly love books :-)
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): but we can still do it
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:41] herman Bergson: addicted to page turning :-)
[13:41] Ciska Riverstone: heheeh herman
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:42] Velvet (velvet.braham): and when Herman gets a new book.....
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you still can resist it but it clearly affect you
[13:42] Velvet (velvet.braham): right, but you still have free will
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it doesnt completley overtake your free will
[13:42] Velvet (velvet.braham): high five
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he has a free will to trow the book out o the window...
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: yes it restores the free will somehow but it explains that we can decide against addictions even if they are strong
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:43] Velvet (velvet.braham): still not losing free will
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Its like a magnet pulling on you but its not stronger then that you can pull free if you like
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: you need to want this yes
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: wanting has hormones set free too
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: so
[13:43] herman Bergson: I guess we need to dosme more thinking about free will -)
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: chemical reaction as well
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:44] herman Bergson: otherwise we'll all drowned in porn :-)
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ehehe
[13:44] Door Deluxe Plus: Charles Barth has just entered your land !
[13:44] herman Bergson: in porn :-)
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): looool
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: hahahah
[13:44] herman Bergson: But blame it on Ciska!
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: hahahhahaha
[13:44] CB Axel: lol
[13:44] Velvet (velvet.braham): So I may think I will choose to come to the next lecture, but I will have no choice
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: sorry - he just explains it so well
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: and short
[13:44] herman Bergson: she took our free will :-)
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: for that kind of topic
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: hahaha
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): It's a great video, Ciska
[13:45] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for this pleasant debate...
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): however much porn is not something id like to do for real, good sex feels awesome indeed but the way its often described in porn is exaggerated
[13:45] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we don't have to watch the video ....
[13:45] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ...^_^
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this was interesting indeed and for sure a REAL brain turner
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe need to reboot myself afterwards
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: hahaha
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): omg
[13:46] CB Axel: That's what sleep is. Rebooting. °͜°
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu next time
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] herman Bergson: Just find your RESET button,Bekiita :-))
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: take care
[13:46] herman Bergson: Must be somewhere!
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs all
[13:46] CB Axel: See you Tuesday.
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep
[13:46] CB Axel: Hello, Charles. You just missed the class.
[13:46] Velvet (velvet.braham): You guys are amazing. Thank you!
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: have a good one everyone
[13:47] herman Bergson: Thank are you :-)
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye
[13:47] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Velvet Braham donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight all, sweet dreams:))

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

602: Challenging thoughts......

And here we are…. THE INDIVIDUAL, surrounded by his crown jewels, as collected in the course of history.

The individual has become  a person, conscious of the fact that he is just one single mind, not the master of the Universe,

but able to be a social being, living together in peace with his fellowmen and endowed with natural rights of life, freedom, health and property.

There are no predefined criteria to determine what to choose in life, but he is aware that there are conscious and subconscious forces that drive him.

Altogether, the individual creates and defines himself. Who and what he is, is not predetermined, but the result of his own choices.

In other words, he begins existence like a stone exists, but creates his essence by the choices he makes during his life.

I refer to the individual as a “he/him/his”, but do not worry, that is just a stylistic matter. Wherever you read “he/him/his”, she/her/hers” is meant equivalently.

That the female individual in a number of cultures is not described as I describe the individual here, IS a serious issue, but beyond the scope of this project.

This being said, let’s return to our main theme. Creating your essence by  your choices… sounds intelligible and we all know how choosing works.

You have for instance three options, A, B and C and you say, I choose B and I don’t care whatever anyone thinks of my choice: I want B.

You have the power to do so and others say…”Ahh, she WANTS B…fine”. So everything seems to be in perfect order…….

if it weren’t that there are philosophers and they ask questions. And they ask, what do you think you are doing?!

I guess you’ll answer, that you acts according to your personal preferences and according to your personal will. Thence you feel perfectly free to do so.

And then we have to discover, that our common sense perception of what we might call “our free will” is like Swish cheese: full of big holes.

Ok, free will, the philosopher says….tell me…are you religious? No… Ok, you chose B, was it out of politeness or any other preference?

You frown and think…. did I limit my freedom of choice perhaps….and if not what happened then, when I chose?

And you say….no…nothing of the kind. I picked B completely free from any bias or limitation or whatever…

So, you say it was just at random? Yes!…. But when it was just at random, in what sense was it then your CHOICE?

And you say to the philosopher, “Plz would you excuse me, I need an aspirin and that is not a free choice but mandatory after this conversation…”

“I am so sorry”, the philosopher says. “Just wanted to bring to your attention, that we have some thoughts and questions about the free will issue.”

From its earliest beginnings, the problem of "free will" has been a subject of philosophical analysis and, of course, intimately connected with the question of moral responsibility. 

Most of the ancient thinkers on the problem were trying to show, that we humans have control over our decisions, that our actions "depend on us", 

and that they are not pre-determined by fate, by arbitrary gods, by logical necessity, or by a natural causal determinism.

So, I think, that we have to do some work on the question in what sense the individual, as we have described him, is indeed a free individual,  that is …with a free will and in what sense.

Thank you for your attention….the floor is yours…..^_^

The Discussion

[13:20] herman Bergson: You are free to make remarks or ask questions :-)
[13:20] CB Axel: Well, first...aspirin is not mandatory. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be just as affective for philosopher induced headaches. °͜°
[13:20] herman Bergson: No will at all here? :-)
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ::-)
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol CB
[13:21] herman Bergson: I would NOT recommend Ibuprofen, CB...
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are so many conflicting views on this
[13:21] herman Bergson: Oh yes Gemma and we are going enjoy them all :-))
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I feel like i am using free will
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): when I decide something
[13:22]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): A pity I don't remember the 4 causes theory of Aristotle, but Plato also described the whole issue I believe when he was addressing the matter, we can say we sit here because our (pixel) bones are arranged so and so, or that we decided to ... the problem arrises when one view tries to be exclusive.
[13:22] herman Bergson: the fun is...we all think we do :-)
[13:22] CB Axel: Even if our will is influenced by religion, morals, habit, or custom we choose to be influenced by those.
[13:22] CB Axel: Don't we?
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: jup
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true if we realize it
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): some don’t i think
[13:23] CB Axel: Psychopaths choose not to be.
[13:23] herman Bergson: But when it is the result of education, CB?
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: matter of consciousness
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: ;)
[13:23]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): As for influences, I strongly believe we can emancipate from pretty much everything.
[13:23] herman Bergson: You are born is a religious family and raised that way
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:24] CB Axel: Yeah. We don't get to choose our education, do we? Hmmm.
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: the question is if you question it ;)
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it takes a long time to get over that if ever
[13:24] CB Axel: I have veered far to the left of what my parents taught me.
[13:24] herman Bergson: But suppose someone  stimulates you to question it Csika....
[13:24] Velvet (velvet.braham): me too, CB
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: then I decide if i'm stimulated by it or not - no?
[13:25] herman Bergson: REally?
[13:25] herman Bergson: Supppose you are in love with the person?
[13:25] CB Axel: That someone has probably stimulated someone else to question, too, but hasn't. But that's probably because they've been indoctrinated into not questioning.
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: well as not everyone is responding to listening to a philosophy class  - I guess so ;)
[13:26]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): don't think of a red fox! ;)
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well...a nice bunch of questions already....
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: being in love with someone makes the hormone system more active which might bring a temporary or long term taking over of the love
[13:27] herman Bergson: Ahh a nice one Nick!
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): hehe
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): :)
[13:27] CB Axel: I can't think of a red fox. I'm already thinking of an elephant someone told me not to think about earlier.
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): lol
[13:27] Velvet (velvet.braham): lol
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): CB is always ready
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:27] herman Bergson: I am color blind :-)
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): we are all influenceable
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: sure
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): good one Herman :)
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: but what sticks?
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: don'T we pick and choose that?
[13:28] Velvet (velvet.braham): influence doesn't negate free will
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and later it may change in our minds anyway
[13:28] herman Bergson: Bu tthen we first need to define FREE WILL Velvet...
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: yes gemma ;)
[13:28]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): I think choices build up in a way, like become a path ... Sartre wrote about that I believe
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: (especially when u have two x chromosomes)
[13:28] Velvet (velvet.braham): getting ahead of myself again!
[13:29]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): existential inclination or something
[13:29] herman Bergson: I guess one thing is absolutely become clear here....
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and it is interesting to think that all those guys uttering their thoughts on the individual were mostly thinking male gender anyway
[13:29] herman Bergson: free will si not an easy piece at all....
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and most women around them never really had free will at that time
[13:30]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): it is not indeed :) but nothing is if you think of it in absolutes, and free will begs absolute terms a lot maybe?
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: well they might have had some but they could not live it openly ;)
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or ever thought they did
[13:30] Velvet (velvet.braham): I was probably 15 when I realized I had choices
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I think i was about 40
[13:31] herman Bergson: We had 30+ female philosophers presented here...:-)
[13:31] Velvet (velvet.braham): before that, no free will at all
[13:31] CB Axel: lol
[13:31] herman Bergson: But I admit...they are a minority....
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we studied them
[13:32] herman Bergson: while women are at least 50% of the world population :-)
[13:32] Velvet (velvet.braham): well, that's a sad state of affairs
[13:32] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Sneaks out, enjoy
[13:32] herman Bergson: it is indeed Velvet......
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it was and still is in some places
[13:32] CB Axel: Good night, Chantal.
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye chantal
[13:33] herman Bergson: We almost leave 50% of all intellectual talent in this world unused...
[13:33] Velvet (velvet.braham): Perhaps the women are too busy running things to stop and examine the philosophy of it.
[13:33] herman Bergson: There was a Madame de Curie....
[13:33] herman Bergson: Why not a female Einstein
[13:34] CB Axel: I was thinking along that same line, Velvet. °͜°
[13:34] herman Bergson: but this is another subject :-))
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): Marie Curie was badass.
[13:34] herman Bergson: lol...was she?
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): heck, yes.
[13:34] CB Axel: Pierre Curie was too, for recognizing that Marie could contribute.
[13:35] Velvet (velvet.braham): he was smart enough to recognize her
[13:35] herman Bergson: For those who love the gossip..check them out at Wikipedia or better sources :-)
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:35] herman Bergson: Follow  your own free will here ^_^
[13:35] Velvet (velvet.braham): homework!
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think i remember doing that
[13:36] CB Axel: I've never had gossip assigned as homework before. °͜°
[13:36] herman Bergson: Cool , isnt it, CB :-)
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sometimes it has to be the first time CB:)
[13:36] Velvet (velvet.braham): Philosophy keeps surprising me
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ( it was my free will to write this)
[13:37] herman Bergson: WEll, at least it has become clear that FREE WILL as such is not just a simple issue....
[13:37] herman Bergson: No was caused by the dialog here...:-)
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:37] herman Bergson: so no free will in that :-)
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very involved as usual
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: maybe free will is limited by reality ;)
[13:38] herman Bergson: this is reality..:-)
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): hang on, it was influenced by the discussion
[13:38] CB Axel: Reality. Man I hate that stuff.
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): but Beertje always had free will to participate
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: so for us it looks free because there are so many possibilities that we cannot oversee the combinations
[13:39] herman Bergson: yes Ciska...the many options situation....
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: hence it feels free
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:39]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): I think we always have givens, total emancipation is impossible ... also no view from nowhere ... so our decisions are always based on both givens and partial views.
[13:39] herman Bergson: Just what you say...we FEEL free.....
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: sure
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:40] herman Bergson: That is the randomness situation or total indeterminism as it is called Nick....yes
[13:40] CB Axel: So we are not all individuals since each one of us influences, and therefore takes away, our free will.
[13:40] CB Axel: Each other's free will.
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): no, I don't think influence is the same as taking away
[13:41] CB Axel: Alright, limits then?
[13:41] herman Bergson: Well..CB...your freedom limits mine and mutatis mutandis mine limits yours...
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): well, limits yes, but even those are elf-imposed
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): lol self-imposed
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: I can say : polly wants a cookie
[13:42] CB Axel: LOL. Now elves are influencing me? That explains a lot!
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: does not make sense in the situation here
[13:42] herman Bergson: self imposed or that a free choice Velvet?
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: but i'm free to do so
[13:42] Velvet (velvet.braham): yes!
[13:42]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): I think to get to the core (ontologically) we are more social being then individuals anyway :)
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: so of course I will follow an aim - discussing things here - the topic
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: thats my choice
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: otherwise I would have rezzed somewhere as a bird
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have done that
[13:43] herman Bergson: I think you all feel what this is al about....
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: hahaha gemma
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): been a toucan in class
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we had our own stand too
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that herman made
[13:44] herman Bergson: Picture is on the wall Gemma :-)
[13:44] herman Bergson: up there :-))
[13:44] CB Axel: Nice
[13:44] herman Bergson: to my right
[13:45] herman Bergson: I think it is time for a systematic analysis of this problem of free will....
[13:46] herman Bergson: not right now....we can spend some lectures on the subject :-)
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:46] herman Bergson: philosophers quarreled about a 2300 years about it and still do
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:47] Guestboook van tipjar stand: CB Axel donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:47] CB Axel: So we are carrying on a fine tradition.
[13:47] herman Bergson: SO...for today...thank you all for your stimulating participation again.....
[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dismissed..^_^
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: thanx folks
[13:48] Velvet (velvet.braham): Thank you Professor!
[13:48] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:48] CB Axel: And thanks to everyone for such a good discussion. °͜°
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: have a great week everyone
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to make it thursday
[13:48] CB Axel: See you on Thursday.
[13:48] Velvet (velvet.braham): I'm totally going to research the Curies
[13:48] herman Bergson: Dont get too drunk Gemma :-)
[13:49]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): ty Herman, very cool that you still do these classes :)
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes...must have been a couple, Velvet ^_^
[13:49] Velvet (velvet.braham): well, that much I knew! Thank you again Professor!

[13:49] herman Bergson: My pleasure Velvet...