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Everything posted by SoAMadDeathWish

  1. I have to agree with Ba'al here. Constitutions and laws change whenever the people with the authority to change them find it expedient to do so. Even if old legal concepts are incorporated into new constitutions, a revolution or a coup can wipe out centuries of legal developments. History is written in iron and blood, and words on paper are just words on paper. Selmy: "Those were the king's words." Cersei: "We have a new king now."
  2. It seems that everyone is a realist when it comes to policies they don't like, and an idealist when it comes to polices they do like.
  3. There's a problem, robot, you assume these are "weaknesses," but how could you possibly know or that it's in turn not a weakness of yours? Because people often succeed despite their shame, guilt, fear, and self-doubt and never because of them. My intent is to learn. And I've learned quite a lot. You're not gonna ignore me though. Let's face it, we both know that I am far too interesting to stay on anyone's ignore list for very long.
  4. You're the one here who believes that choice is an illusion and that your own behavior is nothing more than determinant chemical reactions. You freely chose to own that view. I sure didn't. Would you like to amend the description of the view you have already expressed? People here are kind of piling on and that is only causing you to double down on your hand. I don't mind opposing views because I know that short of a genuine life threatening experience, you'll take the view you chose and all of its just and deserved consequences with you to your grave, just as I will. So there is no such thing as "convincing" others to change their view... ~especially~ in this virtual world of interactive public television... because only the objective reality of getting exactly what you deserve for your choices in life has the power to do that. It's ok... you can hide behind that to save face since you can't even account for your own chosen view. After all, you already have your hands full trying to deal with the others. Greg Your modus operandi is nothing more than argument from intimidation, something Ayn Rand wrote about here: I don't know what kind of people you're used to dealing with that would lead you to think that these underhanded tactics would work on me. The lack of any rational substance in your "you have your opinion and I have mine" arguments is painfully obvious (and kind of sad, really), and if you think that I am fooled, you've only succeeded in fooling yourself. How you can honestly call yourself an objectivist with your de facto rejection of reason in favor of epistemological relativism is beyond me. PS: I could care less about saving face. One thing my alexithymia blesses me with is complete freedom from human weaknesses like shame, guilt, fear, and self-doubt. I will say whatever I please, and I will do so with certainty you can only dream about. Pffft. Feathers on an anvil, and the hammer is coming down fast.
  5. I don't know what "the argument" is (it sounds oddly like "the Messiah" in this context ) and where you get the idea that "we know every physical process that can be known." That not only sounds like an unwarranted conceit, it is. None of the things you've said here address the logic of my arguments. You're just trying to diminish an argument you can't rationally disagree with by misconstruing my words and dragging them through the mud. It is.
  6. What would make you think that? What do you mean by "you"? Unless you believe in the existence of a soul, I don't see how you can avoid being nothing more than your brain.
  7. Until my brain decides to do otherwise, then yes. *shudders* Don't put those images in my head.
  8. Never said that, nor is it implied by anything I said. It's a strawman. Bullshit. You just said it. But I'm tired of playing this game. It does not lead to understanding, new knowledge or wisdom. Just mind games. I prefer to illude myself with other pursuits (i.e, choose something different to do that I can't help but choose ). Michael No, I said that one of the assumptions we make in the argument is that we know every physical process that can be known, not that every process that is known is physical, which is an important distinction unless you believe that free will is a physical process that both can and cannot be known.
  9. This could not be a better example of rationalism. If it ain't already in the human head within a category called physical, it does not exist (or is "supernatural" meaning imaginary). And what's in the head is an illusion, anyway. That's a really fucked up life-view prancing about as if it were true knowledge. Another term for this is deducing reality from principles and logic, rather than observing reality, then arriving at principles and logic to measure it and understand it. When science-minded people decide to explain to philosophers what real philosophy is, they generally screw it up like this. What's worse, when you go down to their foundation and principles of existence, all you find is storytelling, not science. They make myths out of math and deductions, then preach their own brand of either-or nonsense. If true science is the value, this is fraud. Michael Never said that, nor is it implied by anything I said. It's a strawman.
  10. You are affirming the consequent. If a communist believes that the sky is blue, and you also believe that the sky is blue, then are you a communist? I agree that you freely chose to believe that thought. For you there is absolutely no reason that you would ever regard moral accountability for your own choices in life as a rational thought. Greg An ad hominem once again. It's called "logic" Greg. It's a beautiful thing. You should try it sometime.
  11. This is a false dichotomy and I quote you, "Assertions are not arguments." It's not a mere assertion. There's a whole chain of reasoning above that quote that you're ignoring. It isn't a false dichotomy either. If it is, then what is the third alternative? One of the premises of my argument is not that we know everything we do know but that we know everything that can be known about the physical processes underlying a person's choice. Any further factors, are, by definition, either a physical process that cannot be known (an absurdity) or they are supernatural causes.
  12. I don't understand this part at all. What are you trying to say, exactly?
  13. Only "choice" in the sense of "having chosen one could always have chosen otherwise" is an illusion. Then there is no choice and there is no moral accountability. You're quoting me out of context, and your argument is based on a non-sequitur. Of course it's nonsense in your view that you have no free will to choose, and so there is no personal moral accountability for your own behavior. This is a strawman. Your statement reveals the root of the difference between our two views. In my view, people are uniquely moral beings who constantly make moral choices, and so are morally accountable for their own personal behavior... while in your view they are not. Your view of choice being only an illusion is the current popular collective consensus of the secular libertine narcoculture that holds behavior is simply an amoral physical chemical process. So you are deterministic about the act of choosing itself... while I am deterministic only about the just and deserved consequences we set into motion by our choices. Greg A strawman argument again, along with an ad hominem thrown into the mix. Nothing you've said here can even remotely be considered a rational thought.
  14. But there is no sense in which "you" exist as entity distinct from the physical causes that constitute "you". Do you see? This conception of "you" is the illusion. "You" are not a disembodied entity floating above nature and "deciding" whether or not to go along with the physical processes that make up your brain. This belief is like the homunculus argument which simply begs the question and leads to an infinite regress. What I'm trying to say is that, in the analogy above, you are not on the merry-go-round, you are the merry-go-round.
  15. How do these arise? Automatically? (Well... some actually do, but not all.) Michael No one knows how exactly consciousness arises from neural activity, but it's ridiculous to believe that it doesn't. This is pure rationalistic gibberish. It is a distinction that is not based on what one can observe, starting with agency itself. Michael Assertions are not arguments. In your view, is it possible that, given a complete description of a person's neurology, beliefs, preferences, values, and deliberations and a proof that those factors (absent any other factors not taken into account here) will cause the person to choose X, that that person could choose something other than X? If so, what would be the cause of the person choosing "not-X"? The common retort from determinists is an all or nothing one, which is a false alternative. Of course, what went before has weight in one's life. What one can determine for oneself, one can, and the degree is fluid and increasing, not fixed. The cause of a person choosing "not-X" is self-interestedly wanting more (or less), or wanting different. I think it begins with realizing 'the possibility' through awareness and self awareness. Convictions and character are then perceivable and attainable, and they are the essential conscious foundation of chosen actuality. Well then let's say we take this cause of the person's having chosen not-x into account along with every other event in reality that could potentially be a cause of a person's choice. The way I see it, if we take every physical cause of a person's choice into account, then obviously, there can be no further physical causes that would allow the person to choose other than what the physical causes dictate. The only way that a person would then be able to choose other than what these causes dictate would be through a supernatural cause. So either you believe that a person's free will stems from a supernatural source, or you see some other way in which free will is a) based entirely in deterministic natural causes but b) is not itself deterministic.
  16. Illusion? btw - How do you prove anything since proof is based on choice? Is all proof based on illusion? Michael If it is given, somebody gave that. If if they gave that, they chose what to give. Did they suffer from an illusion when they so chose? Seeing that all choice is an illusion. And if so, why on earth would anyone take an illusion from another seriously? Inquiring minds so desperately seek enlightenment to escape the constant illusions that keep one up at night... Michael Your questions are all based on an equivocation of two entirely different meanings of the word "choice". I did not claim that the phenomenon of choice itself is an illusion, but rather that choice, in the sense of "having chosen, it is always possible one could always have chosen otherwise" (the first meaning), is an illusion. What choice really is, is the outcome of the beliefs, values, preferences, and deliberations of a person's mind, themselves products of purely deterministic processes. Choice, in this second sense, is not an illusion. My position was never purely determinist, it was always compatibilist.
  17. In your view, is it possible that, given a complete description of a person's neurology, beliefs, preferences, values, and deliberations and a proof that those factors (absent any other factors not taken into account here) will cause the person to choose X, that that person could choose something other than X? If so, what would be the cause of the person choosing "not-X"?
  18. Only "choice" in the sense of "having chosen one could always have chosen otherwise" is an illusion. Having made a certain choice, we can infer the beliefs, preferences, and values of the person and can conclude that they would always make the same choice under identical circumstances. However, they do have the "freedom" to make a real choice regardless, as long as we understand that an individual's choice depends only on his own beliefs, preferences, values, and deliberations. As for the second question, it is nonsensical because it presupposes the possibility of choice in the first sense. You first have to demonstrate that that kind of free will is possible, but this will be difficult for you since that kind of free will contradicts the known laws of physics.
  19. Having expressed those two statements... do you regard humans as being morally accountable for their actions? Greg Yes.
  20. I don't think the root of the problem was nationalism, and it isn't a good idea to treat the assassination as an ordinary crime. Consider things from the viewpoint of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor. Some filthy foreign commoner just murdered your son and heir in broad daylight in a country known for its official criticism of your regime and the whole world knows it. Who will be your heir now, and what do people think of him? Could his accession create a succession crisis leading to civil war, threatening the stability of your federation? What will the rest of the nobility think if you extend justice to the lowborn scum who just murdered the second most important person in the Empire? Furthermore, how could you justify yourself to them when you turn down an excellent opportunity to crush Serbia and bring it under the control of your regime? The trouble is that the assassination of a prince has such wide-reaching consequences for imperial politics that it may as well be an act of war. If you try to treat the murder as an ordinary crime, your dynasty will appear weak and in decline. Which is not at all a good thing when you have like a million cousins with claims to your throne and a growing number of people who would want to replace you with them. Thus, I think one of the most important causes of the war was the existence of the Austro-Hungarian empire itself. Its feudal-like institutions tied The Emperor's hands in such a way that any response other than a declaration of war would be unthinkable.
  21. Taking a stab at the bolded, I think it's because it is possible to circuitously restrain the liberty of the press using only powers explicitly granted in the constitution. For example, levying a 100% tax on all news company profits would effectively outlaw any state-independent news organization.
  22. There is a complementarity between colorless and furious governed by the Heisenberg Indeterminacy Principle Ba'al Chatzaf Ha! I just got it.
  23. Part 7