Thursday, October 27, 2016

627: The Determinism of Spinoza

In the previous lecture we paid attention to the problem of Modality, that is, the question whether something necessarily exists or only possibly exists.
When you look at physics, matter seems to exist necessarily. Spinoza used the word Substance. It can take many shapes, but eventually it necessarily exist.
Thinking as a mode of existing of the substance must be necessary too. You can not deny the fact without facing a contradiction. “I do not think” is a thought too.
In my view all these views are the product of our brain. It is a tool and in such considerations  you also experience its limitations.
But all this leads to the next confrontation with our limitations. We all may have asked ourselves once the questions “Where do I come from, Where does the universe come from?”
And we are inclined to say….there has to be some explanation. And science puts indeed a lot of effort in finding the answers.
Thus is born the Principle of Sufficient Reason. It is the expression of our attitude to assume that eventually for everything there has to be a reason or explanation.
A simple formulation of the principle is as follows: For every fact F, there must be a sufficient reason why F is the case.
This looks like a rather intuitive rule. You are easily inclined to accept it. We will not start a debate on the question what is or is not a fact,
but yet we have to answer the question what kind of things require a reason? Do we give a reason for the existence of things only or also for the non-existence of things?
Another question is, of course, what may count as a explanation? A logical deduction? Empirical evidence  or a belief in something?
We run into a big problem: if we accept that everything has an explanation, we end up in an infinite regress…
We have an explanation for A, which explanation is explained by an explanation which is itself explained by ad infinitum….
This would mean, that there are no brute facts, facts that have no explanation. But then at least explain why they do not have an explanation !
Spinoza’s earliest statement of the Principle of Sufficient Reason appears in his first published work, 
the 1663 geometrical exposition of Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy. The eleventh axiom of Part I of the book states:
Nothing exists of which it cannot be asked, what is the cause or reason, why it exists.
Each link in a causal chain is preceded by infinitely many causes and is followed by infinitely many effects. Each link also provides at least part of the explanation for the existence of the following link.
This problem of the infinite regress and the question of a possible first uncaused cause is deeply rooted in the way our brain operates.
The Ancient Greek’s brain operated already like that. Anaximander, one of the earliest of the pre-Socratics, born 610 bce, is usually credited  with being the first to make use of it. 
Due to our necessary condition to understand our reality in terms of causality, our wish to have an explanation for everything, we also invent  an explanation of  all causes, the uncaused cause.
That is where religious thinking comes  from and Spinoza put an end to that by assuming Substance as the uncaused cause.

Spinoza had to accept another serious consequence of his point of view. When EVERYTHING has a cause, can be explained,
then everything is determined by its preceding cause, in other words, whole reality is one determined chain of causes and effects. No room for free will, for instance, then.
Just think it over…..Thank you ^_^

The Discussion

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thinks
[13:25] herman Bergson: Don't keep your thoughts under your hat, Gemma ^_^
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Spinoza accepts uncaused cause
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hard one to swallow
[13:25] herman Bergson: HE had to yes
[13:25] CB Axel: That's what I had been saying weeks ago. We have no free will because the interactions in our brains were started long ago. °͜°
[13:26] CB Axel: Back when we were all stardust.
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm tricky idea indeed
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i can see why most of his writings were kept private
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): for a long time
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but maybe not everything have a root cause and is determined from long back
[13:26] herman Bergson: yes we have a serious problem  here
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it might be just partial
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some things I do might be based on things happening around me. For ex a friend comes to visit saturday since he have some time over
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and thus that determines my cations a bit for that day
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): action
[13:28] herman Bergson: What strikes me in matters like this is that we have no means to solve this problem
[13:28] CB Axel: Yes, Bejiita, but your friend's actions were also set in motions eons ago. Nothing is random.
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:28] herman Bergson: I mean...on the one hand we think in terms of causality....
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be but indeed it is impossible to think in a such way
[13:29] herman Bergson: on the other hand we think in terms of begin and end
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and time
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): time is an invention of mankind
[13:30] herman Bergson: I see philosophers struggle with is....and then?
[13:30] herman Bergson: Spinoza got into a lot of problems with his views of absolute determinism
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i guess he did
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did he solve these problems?
[13:31] herman Bergson: You can spend the rest of your life on studying what is all written about this subject regarding Spinoza....
[13:32] herman Bergson: But also that makes me wonder....
[13:32] herman Bergson: Typically philosopher's thing...
[13:32] herman Bergson: Nobody understands Spinoza (and other philosophers too).....
[13:33] herman Bergson: You get tons of interpretations....
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some things are more complex then we can grasp
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well then we are in good company
[13:33] herman Bergson: I try to see Spinoza as a normal human being.....
[13:34] herman Bergson: living his own life....not as this huge MIND primarily
[13:34] herman Bergson: So I think he was a jewish boy completely done with this Jahweh.....this personal god
[13:35] herman Bergson: and influenced by Descartes he creatded his own materialist philosophy.....
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think so too
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: bending in all directions to prevent being accused of blasphemy and atheism
[13:36] herman Bergson: and yet wishing to propagate his ideas...
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): seems so for sure
[13:36] herman Bergson: That is my impression of Spinoza
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he had a lot of time to think while he was making lenses, he was working al alone
[13:36] CB Axel: He was born at the wrong time.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmm
[13:36] herman Bergson: In what sense, CB?
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that could be said of many philosophers who developed new ideas
[13:37] CB Axel: If he had been born now, his ideas wouldn't be considered so dangerous.
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i'm not sure about that
[13:37] herman Bergson: But you also could put it this way....
[13:37] CB Axel: He would be more free to express his ideas and get feedback.
[13:38] herman Bergson: due to the fact that HE had such ideas they are nowadays no longer a danger
[13:38] CB Axel: Yes. As I was saying what I said, that thought did come to me. °͜°
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is what happens
[13:38] CB Axel: Thank you, Spinoza!
[13:38] herman Bergson: :-)
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): new thought appears and all the philosophers think
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): about it
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe yes
[13:39] herman Bergson: In his way Spinoza was rather unique in his time....
[13:40] CB Axel: Some get assassinated. But at least their sacrifice gets us thinking.
[13:40] herman Bergson: tho atheism is of all ages and times of course
[13:40] herman Bergson: And for many the uncaused cause was god of christianity a personal god
[13:41] CB Axel: Ya know, I don't mind if people want to call the uncaused cause god as long as that god doesn't start telling me how to live my life.
[13:42] herman Bergson: I guess we all still have to ponder about necessity of existence and the principle of sufficient reason and causality :-)
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): YES
[13:42] CB Axel: As far as I'm concerned, god can have started the universe, but then he needed to butt out.
[13:42] CB Axel: He caused enough trouble just putting us here. °͜°
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe
[13:43] herman Bergson: What puzzles me most is the question...Why on earth starts a homo sapiens thinking about some personal creative force?
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me too a bit
[13:44] herman Bergson: If you take the principle of sufficient reason.....what REASON is there to think along that lines?
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: me not at all ,)
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at that time we needed an explanation
[13:44] herman Bergson: Explain Ciska ....:-)
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: simple psychology
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the problem today is people refuse to give up on religion even there is science and instead use the religion to oppress others to gain power and start wars
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: when you have no idea u take what you see
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: what you see is people and relationships
[13:45] CB Axel: I think we all want to know why something has happened so that maybe we can cause or prevent that something from happening again.
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: then you put the unexplainable in the same pattern
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: and make it bigger
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bet many scientists are very religious
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: hirarchy thinking
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and very scientific
[13:45] herman Bergson: Ahhh yes sure, that is what I assume too....but many take their ideas for can THAT be?
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: that works form caveman on
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be but hopefully they dont think about religion as a means of power and to control others
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause thats where things get nasty
[13:46] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i am happy to be here! thanks stork *blond grins*
[13:46] herman Bergson: No Bejiita....let's stick to psychology of the individual
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): politics and religion for ex dont mix
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true
[13:46] herman Bergson: Bergie :-)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): altho many try to make that be
[13:47] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): as an aside this sim looks terrible!!!!!!!!
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): gets worse very year!!!
[13:48] herman Bergson: The point is.....and other have tried  that already often.....if you explain this behavior which evolves into religious behavior  from still do not convince the religious person, that he lives in phatasies
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no you never can
[13:49] CB Axel: So, Ciska, you feel that people look at their relationships with one another and use that as a basis for looking at everything in the world?
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thats how it started cb
[13:49] CB Axel: And so they create a personal god.
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thats how religion started
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: and then it was taken over
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: to control and organize
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: bigger units of people
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: from tribe
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: to bigger tribe
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: to landcapes
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: and such
[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): might be
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: it made it possible to suppress people
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: and to gain power for individuals
[13:51] herman Bergson: But even when we assume this is true Ciska....why don't get religious people convinced of it too :-)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: because of its hierarchy
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: well because peoples ideas of what "God" is change
[13:51] herman Bergson: you mean..when the leaders of the tribe believe, all members of the tribe believe?
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): most of them
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: u can look at it from psychological point of view
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and those that don’t try to leave
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and find another tribe
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: when u are a kid of 5 you do not grasp the concept of quantumphysics
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): or they were not allowed to meave
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: and you need to learn social rules of your surrounding
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i stil dont!!!!!!
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): leave
[13:52] herman Bergson: I did :-)))
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: how do you do that?
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): forget 5
[13:52] CB Axel: Me, too, Gemma!
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: hehehe
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or string theory
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which is more the going thing
[13:53] herman Bergson: I played guitar as a kid :-)
[13:53] herman Bergson: Well...I guess we aren't going to solve the issue today :-)))
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nope as usual 
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: of course we can use fairy tales instead
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: and we do
[13:53] herman Bergson: So I guess we need another lecture :-)
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: or we use coca cola advertising and we do
[13:54] CB Axel: I consider religion to be a fairy tale.
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: ;)
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: see?
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: yes u can see it like that
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: so the interessting point is
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: what happens to humanity
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: if you stop telling fairy tales
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): btw i am dressed this way because i am working on halloween stories
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree CB
[13:54] herman Bergson: Maybe extinct like the dinosaurs one day...
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: is it psychologically possible to live without?
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: and organize us in bigger unites like states?
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: or not
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): actually we stil have some dinos around...... in teh sky
[13:55] CB Axel: Ciska, that's like saying that without god we'll all become murderers, because we need god to give us morals.
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the birds yes
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: no it is not
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: i'm really curious about this world
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: if we do not replace belief
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: and extinct it completely
[13:56] herman Bergson: I agree Ciska...
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: what will happen?
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: for example
[13:56] CB Axel: I'd sure like to try it.
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in some cases religion make us to murderers, look at IS
[13:56] herman Bergson: That fascinates me too
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: the belief in our  economic system is a fairy tale too
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bej they are not religious
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: there is no reality to it
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they are just using that as a cover
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: just the one we give it
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or a reason to be
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: so that one can be the next to be extincted
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe i will make it home in time tuesday
[13:57] herman Bergson: You have to keep in mind that we are still limitied creatures...
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we will see
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm might be indeed.
[13:58] herman Bergson: close to the other primates
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: we need to see that we use beliefs to organize our every day lives
[13:58] CB Axel: The economic system is a bit of a fairy tale, but people are experimenting with new models all the time: bitcoin, air b&b, Uber...
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its so complex everything
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: all of us- atheists as well
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: which are fairy tales again
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: because its about relational stuff
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:58] CB Axel: Ciska, we have laws to organize our lives. And we don't need a god to agree to what laws get enacted.
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: I spent yet another 2 hours of discussing economics with an American friend
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): time to move on
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): herman
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: who does not seem to grasp the concept that we put worth to stuff
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and all
[13:59] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs Gemma
[13:59] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty herman & Class
[13:59] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma....:-)
[13:59] Ciska Riverstone: take care
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and everyone else
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:59] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:59] herman Bergson: Thank you all again.....^_^

No comments:

Post a Comment