On May 13, 4:17 am, R AM <ramra...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, May 13, 2012 at 6:44 AM, Pierz <pier...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I can see that. But consider that the notion of being able to change the
> > outcome of future society - 'prevent' or 'deter' anything at all - depends
> > on the possibility of variant futures. From the absolute perspective, such
> > variation is impossible (or is merely random and so not subject to reason
> > or 'choice'). So how does one justify any decision? Seen absolutely, it was
> > inevitable and there can be no talk of a good or a bad decision.
>
> I think determinism should not be confused with fatalism (i.e. it does not
> matter what you do, things will turn out the same). In determinism it
> matters what you do, even if what you do is determined. Once an outcome is
> obtained, we can still analyze the contribution of decisions to that
> outcome, evaluate them, and most importantly, learn from them. Next time,
> what we have learned will be taken into account for the next decision. This
> can take place in a purely deterministic world.

What would be the point of learning though? What would be the
difference between any one outcome and any other one if decision
making were determined? It is only because of our own experience of
free will that we can project some significance of any particular
outcome. Evolution doesn't care how species mutate or whether
individuals survive, why should the individuals themselves care
either?

> Even two deterministic
> (with some pseudorandomness added) computer chess players playing against
> each other, can learn from each other mistakes and use what they have
> learned for future competitions.

Only if we program them to act like they are doing that. They never
would learn anything on their own.

>
> The point is not changing future outcomes. In fact we don't know what that
> outcome will be. The point is obtaining good outcomes.

Without the existence of free will as a given, there can be no "good".

Craig

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