Free will, meaning, and the “self”

PSI Blog 20170517 Free will, meaning, and the “self”

From joogabah:

And I completely deny free will. But the determinants are on the level of meaning, not physical motion.

[GB: Sorry, but the universe does not have any meaning. If you want that, you will have to invent it yourself. All determinants are physical. That is what it means “to deter.” Not having free will means that any meaning you devise is the product of a long chain of events.]

Language gives us the ability to self program, instead of relying on static instinctual responses, and it is this uniquely human ability that I believe people confuse as "free will".

[GB: Sorry, but there is no such activity as “self programming.” Any phrases with the word “self” in them are attempts to claim free will where there is none. It is the vain attempt of systems philosophers to isolate the microcosm from the macrocosm. All actions are univironmental.]

Even tho everything is determined, it is also true that humans are self-programmable to an extraordinary degree.

[GB: Not possible at all. There is no “self programming” in the same way that Newton’s body cannot change itself. The only possible changes come from a collision from the outside—nothing “self” about that. Every activity is causal (F=ma). If you want the illusion of "changing yourself," you will have to change your environment.]

Instead of punishing people for bad behavior (unless that is the only possible check at a particular level of social development) it would be far more productive to discover and control the social and linguistic determinants that lead to undesirable behavior.

[GB: Agree.] 


Bligh said...

Agree with GB except that behavior is also determined. So, it is our responsibility to protect society from the effects of criminal or nasty behavior. and to do it economically as well.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Your "behavior is also determined" is no different than what I have said all along. UD states that the motion of a microcosm is determined by the motion of the submicrocosms within and the supermicrocosms without. You are correct in that we protect ourselves from the bad guys by locking them up.