gimboarretino t1_je157jj wrote

Determinism (or absolute causality) is not directly observable in the world around us.

Causality is directly observable to some degree, but we don't empirically observe absolute causality everywhere all the time.

We experience (phenomenologically and empirically) choiche/free will (which can be an illusion, but still, an empirical illusion). More in general, we don't have any empirical experience beyond our limited subjective experience.

In terms of empirical evidence, it is very difficult to argue that it can be demonstrate conclusively that any given agent has not the ability to do otherways than he does in any given situation.

So determinsm is mainly a logic deduction/generalization based on the assumption that all the universe operates according to natural laws that govern the behavior of all matter and energy. Which is kind of circular but anyway.

We experience limited causality, and we find somehow reasonable to extentend causality to all things.

So determinism is a philosophical position that should be challenged or confirmed based on its logical correctness.

  1. one could argue that jumpinig from personal experience of limited causality to the existence of universal laws of determinism can be considered an example of the ontological leap fallacy.

While it is true that we may experience causality, it does not necessarily follow, from a logical point of view, that these concepts are absolute or universally applicable.

  1. epistemologically speaking, if determinism is true, then every statement, including "determinism is true" and "determinism is false," would be determined by prior causes. Both statements would be determined by prior causes in a deterministic universe: whether a person affirms "determinism is true" or "determinism is false" would entirely depend on their "personal", specific set of prior causes.

Which "set of prior causes" guarantees the most correct statements? In a deterministic universe, there is no objective way to determine which set of prior causes is "more true" or has higher epistemological value, as both would be ultimately determined by prior causes themselves. An epistemological inherent and non-eliminable uncertainty is not particulary desiderable for a philosophical theory.

  1. The epistemological uncertainty above could be seen as a self-defeating position. If is true that all our beliefs, true of false, are causally determined, we are bound to hold them no matter what, whether they objectively true or false, irrespective for any validating criteria (all validating criteria are also, whether true or false, causally determined).

All our beliefs are therefore suspect, "undecidable" and non-assessable, including the belief in the truth of determinism.

So... determinism seems to be phenomenologically counterintuitive, empirically doubtful and logically precarious (at best).

It raises more problem than it solves in many areas (e.g. law, morals, human relations).

Why should I "embrace" it?


gimboarretino t1_jd9shff wrote

I would say that this only moves the problem backwards.

If you are forced to consider the empirical evidence for the Big Bang more convincing than the Bible because of a chain of cause-effect stretching back to the Big Bang, why should I rate this opinion higher/better than being forced consider the empirical evidence for the Big Bang less convincing than the Biblical claims because of the same invincible chains of cause-effect?


gimboarretino t1_jd7z6wv wrote

If the theory of evolution by natural selection is the inevitable result of ancient chains of cause-and-effect, stretching back far into the Big Bang, and the hardcore biblical creationism is the inevitable result of ancient chains of cause-and-effect, stretching back far into the Big Bang, why should I "rate higher", ""consider more reliable/correct/true" the first one


gimboarretino t1_jd2veid wrote

Have you ever noticed that many philosopher, scientists and thinkers that negate Free Will, very rarely admit having been irresistibly coerced and forced into believing that? (and everything else btw). On the contrary, they tendt to act like they came to this conclusion after careful reflection, sound logical reasoning, deep discussions and critical thinking.

They expose their opinion almost as if they really weighed the alternatives, selected and then chose (!) the best thesis.

Isn't that strange? Is there a philosophical explanation behind this curious behaviour?


gimboarretino t1_j7ovkg3 wrote

I very much agree with "All knowledge must be built upon our instinctive beliefs. If these are rejected, nothing is left".


I agree less with the second concept .

Russel said "It is of course _possible_ that all or any of our beliefs may be mistaken, and therefore all ought to be held with at least some slight element of doubt.

But we cannot have _reason_ to reject a belief except on the ground of some other belief.

Hence, by organizing our instinctive beliefs and their consequences, by considering which among

them is most possible, if necessary, to modify or abandon, we can arrive, on the basis of accepting as our sole data what we instinctively believe, at an orderly systematic organization of our knowledge"


He is therefore implicitly asserting that "the fact of systematically organising instinctive beliefs guarantees greater 'gnoseological power" is itself an instinctive belief, on the basis of which to accept or reject other instinctive beliefs.
And it could be. Putting things together, coherence, add something to our knowledge, we can feel it.

However, it is not justified why systematic, rational organisation, should be elevated tosome sort of 'the belief of all beliefs', 'the instinct of all instincts' on the basis of which to select others.
I believe it should be treated on a par with any other instinctive belief. Accepted, as it is, and with the limits it has, and used to decode and know reality without the pretence of making it an absolute or putting it in a superordinate hierarchical above other instinctive beliefs.


gimboarretino t1_ixhyjxq wrote

but I'm talking about actual, main-stream theories, with at least a vague verisimilitude, clues and evidence, however potentially misleading and misinterpreted.The US government did 9/11, Covid is a lab virus, the government knows about UFOs, moon landing is fake etc.

Not "every high-fantasy/sci-fi setting that you might imagine"


gimboarretino t1_ixhcq8a wrote

Mmm no, because no man above 100 feet tall has ever been observed. While on the other hand, many times in history it emerged that the official, authority-approved version of the facts was false. And the alternative, unofficial, "conspiratory" version was true. For example, the German Reichstag was indeed burn down by the nazi Government, and not (as the German goverment and mass media claimed) by the commies. Or the Tonkin incident... or the fact that tobacco companies were indeed aware of the harms of smoking and wrestling plotting against anti-smoking legislation and scientific evidences... etc.

So there is nothing absurd/unlikely to assume that a little % of the current "official versions of the facts" are not true or not entirely true.


gimboarretino t1_ixgq1yj wrote

>That's what logic does to intuition. If you can't prove your intuition false, that's generally when you feel like you "know" a thing, or have "proven" a thing to be true.

yes and no.

the very concept of "proving something false" implies a number of assumptions.
the existence of a subject, a critical thought, an external reality that follows decipherable rules and patterns, a language bearing meaning, the existence of the very intuition I am about to disprove.
I would say that these 'core intuitions' cannot be refuted by any rational proof, since rational proof itself presupposes them.


gimboarretino t1_ixgpg0x wrote

because they are not imaginary scenarios. They are scenarios based on known facts, however distorted and misinterpreted.

Exactly like in a criminal trial, whare you have to put together pieces, fragments of facts: no matter how hard you try to do it in the most rational and methodical way possible, there will always be the suspect for whom 90% of the evidence seems to lean towards his innocence, who is actually guilty, and vice versa.


gimboarretino t1_ixc3anv wrote

I have always thought that, statistically, out of 1000 conspiracy theories, it is simply impossible for all 1000 of them to be totally wrong.

Almost certainly a couple are 100% correct and another couple come closer to the truth than the official version.

We will never know which ones they are but we will have to keep this statistical element in mind.


gimboarretino t1_ixc2sgq wrote

The power of intuitions

If you reject the value of primary and fundamental intutions (for example, I exist, the external world exists, it is composite, there is a "becoming in time" , there is a consciousness, an intentionality etc.). , in favor of some kind of all-around rational-scientific "proof"... we should ask ourselves first: why are we inclined to give more weight and validity to that proof, rather than to the primal intuitions?

Because we have a rational-scientific proof of the validity of the rational-scientific "proof? And What about a proof of the proof of the validity of the proof? And so on and so forth ad infinitum?

Nope, the reason is that the belief in the validity of the rational/scientific proof is itself a primal intuition, or rather, a corollary of the intuition that rationality has strong descriptive and explanatory power of reality (or that reality is intrinsically intelligible)

so... to deny all the other primal and core intuitions in favor of this other core intuition... well it makes little sense, I guess. Why would you do that?

As Husserl said "every original presentive intuition is a legitimizing source of cognition: everything originarily -- so to speak, in the flesh -- offerd to us in intuition is to be accepted simply as what it is presented as being, but also only within the limits in which it is presented there"


gimboarretino t1_iwklwv4 wrote

hard determinism has the same problem as the "teleological argument"

A) the deterministic argument is based on the empirical experience/observation of causality in the world

B) but that empirical experience/observation, per se, never provides evidence of necessary and inevitable causality (hard determinism).

C) thus hard determinism is something separate from the strictly empirical experience/observation

D) thus the step from the "degree of causality indicated by experience/observation" to the "highest possibile degree of causality" (which is inevitable causality --- hard determinism) is something demanded by pure reason

E) and this is an unjustifiable "ontological leap".

The modus operandi is the same as the (fallacious) teleological proof of God.

I experience a certain order, an intelligent (or intelligible) design in the world (the "fine tuned universe").

Therefore, from the solid ground of (empirical/ontological) experience, I attempt a desperate leap to fly into the thin air of pure (logical) possibility of the actual existence of a Being embodying that order and that intelligent design at the highest possible degree (God), without even admittind I left the ground.


gimboarretino t1_iuiv5bi wrote

Let's say that there is no free will.

This necessarly means that we are making the statement above only and soley because we are deterministically (or randomly) compelled to do so, and not because of critical thinking and rational choiche.

Ok, fine. So how we determine whether our (100% compelled and coerced) statement is true?

It's no easy. There is no critical thinking left. No proving of persuading people that A is more sound than B, no act of choosing between two or more possibilities.
There are only pre-determined (or random) outcomes. Reality compelling some of us to think A rather than B, or B rather than A.

So, it seems to me, our best and only option is to faithfully believe that reality is (deterministically or randomly) somehow, mysteriously and benevolently forcing us - but not all of us... why? Why are we so blessed? - toward the correct conclusions.

Is this a good scientifical approach?


gimboarretino t1_iu9w4jv wrote

yes, the argument can be logical per se, internally coherent let's say, but if we "zoom out" taking with us the results and "update" our knowledge with that, the consequence is that epistemological objection.

you believe that reality is deterministic just because you are deterministically forced to believe so.

Logic does not give any additional value or to that belief, being logic reasoning nothing more than a deterministc phenomenon forcing you to that conclusion.


gimboarretino t1_iu8dkkn wrote

I don't think so.

Let us assume that Reality is indeed deterministic, and that this inevitably and certainly leads to the impeccable logical inference of the non-existence of free will, of choice, of critical thinking etc.

OK, only one thing remains to be asked. Why would logical reasoning be a good method of dealing with the problem?

The only answer can be: because logical reasoning, it's election as a method, its development and its inevitable conclusions -- the full package -- is also, inevitably given and pre-determined.
If reality is deterministic, we are deterministically driven to use logic to prove that reality is deterministic.
And there you are, stuck in a circular reasoning, therefore invalid according to the canons of logic itself.