( i actually proofread this one a little )
Fate, Time & Language
An Essay on Free Will
An Anthology of Essays from:
Fatalism by Richard Taylor
With Responses by:
John Turk Saunders, Peter Makepeace, Bruce Aune, Raziel Abelson, Richard Sharvy, Steven Cahn & Charles D. Brown
Terminating with An Essay by David Foster Wallace
“Richard Taylor’s “Fatalism” and The Semantics of Physical Modality
Edited by Steven M. Cahn & Maureen Eckert
With An Meandering Introduction by James Ryerson
And An Epilogue by Jay Garfield
i have for some time become more & more disillusioned by The Search for Deep Truths by ‘Philosophers’. Many idle thinkers prior to this have come to this conclusion quite some time ago; That philosophy is just a lot of hooey.
i have been holding out for some time, but this book is The Lynchpin of All Hooey.
The Initial Essay; By Richard Taylor; “Fatalism”
Which is built up as a major consideration for all deep philosophical thought, Consists of a brow beating to The very Simple Idea of Determinism;
If p Then q
The unique flavor of this argument, twists this around to suggest that p is either true or false ( Eliminating The Grey Area of Reality ) according To The Philosopher’s Law of The Excluded Middle.
i had some considerable difficulty after this first principle, as i have been developing my own Propositional Logic for many years that is based on A Fractional Continuum of Truth Values from 0 to 1.
This system requires a complete reworking of Propositional Operators that allows for The Use of AND, OR, XOR, IFT and so on, so that they can manipulate these fractional values.
Taylor’s Argument then goes on to assert that The Truth Value of p is dependent upon whether q turns out to be True or False at some Future Time.
( ! )
Then he twists this around some more in an attempt to create a dichotomy between whether or not this Law of The Excluded Middle ( Which he assumes to be a fundimental Axiom of Logic & Sound Reasoning ) or That Fatalism ( known to most of us as Determinism ) is Real.
His implied Conclusion ( Completely Unsupported by any Intervening Argument ) is that Fatalism is -Obviously- Wrong, Therefore This Presumed Premise, which can not be wrong ( ? ) is Wrong.
He seems to have attempted to have created an Argument by Absurdum, which he then proves his Absurd Conclusion, and then failed to show us why it’s Absurd.
What is so very annoying about this book is that Taylor’s whole argument is so silly and then The Authors & David Foster Wallace consider it so Serious & Important.
( sigh. )
In The Spirit of Full Disclosure,
i did not read The Entire Book.
i found The Introduction, which pretty much covered The Contents of The Entire Book so Tedious & Redundant, And Taylor’s Essay so Silly, that i only flipped through The Remainder of The Book.
If There was some deeply subtle idea concerning Freewill in any of these essays, They sorrowfully Neglected to Bring it or them to light.
My own idea of Fractional Propositional Logic is based on The Idea that while in some Cartoon Reality Occupied by Sherlock Holmes, Plato or Kant, They may insist that any given proposition must be either True or False.
This False Dichotomy is The Principle reason why Computers have been so Astonishingly Lame in Modeling Real World Problem Solving, because we can just Never Really Know if Some Statement (x is True or False.
i often use The Expression; As True as Elephants ( in Africa ).
Are there Elephants in Africa?
i believe that there are, But it’s entirely conceivable that there aren’t.
There might not even be an Africa. It could be that all The Books i’ve read on Africa were faked for some Nefarious Reason.
So i give The Statement that there are Elephants in Africa a Truth Value of .8 .
Most things that we encounter in our daily lives are True or False to a more certain degree, but there should always be some reasonable doubt.
If you’re going to construct a ‘Real World’ Argument Using Fractional Propositional Argument for The Guilt or Innocence of An Accused Murderer, Who Killed JFK, Who was behind 911 or Whether Flying Saucers are occupied by Aliens from Other Worlds;
The Problem is: How do you Initially Determine What The Truth Values should be for all of your Assumed Premises ? ( !!! )
The Solution that i would propose is to simply & entirely arbitrarily, give all these statements a Truth Value of .5 ( Completely Unknown ) And then let The Argument, as Worked through inside a Super Computer, Churn through it Recursively, Back & Forth, Round & Round, Changing these Values according to How Often & To What Degree The Other Statements believe that some Other Statement is True or False.
Ultimately; The Process will only find The Conclusion to be True to Some Fractional Value of Truth;
But i believe that this result would be considerably better than The Usual Way that People Decide if some Conclusion is True or Not,
Based on how Pleasant it is to Believe or Not.
A Methodology for Determining if FreeWill is Necessary
Given a Simple Environment & One Rule,
How Much Complexity Could Conceivably be Created?
Since it seems to me that if we are living in a universe that actually is,
Pretty much as it seems to be - -
As Opposed to living in universe that is completely different than as it seems to be.
- - Then; Given that The Fundamental Unit of Reality must be just one thing ( ? )
( It seems to me that if there were two fundamental particles, then in order for them to interact, they would have to have common properties, and thus have parts. )
So that The Universe as we know it is The Result of just such a scenario.
One particle with One Rule.
Of course; Given that there must be a whole bunch of this one ( kind of ) particle, There would have to be some underlying substrata that tells all these particles to be exactly The Same.
What is this SubStrata made of?
Never mind that.
Is there some way to calculate how much complexity may result from a given number of Rules, and additionally measure The Complexity of These Rules,
And from that:
Determine how many Rules would be required to Produce this Reality.
The Question Being :
Does The Universe Contain more Complexity than The Number of Rules Warrant?
Another way of looking at this;
Given that The Universe must ( ? ) consist of a given number or structural rules,
Which allow The Fundamental Units of Matter or Energy or Forces,
To Make all of Our Familiar Leptons & Quarks, & Elements,
And Then These may combine to form Suns & Planets,
And possibly even Self Replicating Molecules - -
There is a problem ( ? ) at some point ( ? ) where The Complexity of The Universe,
Particularly in Any Fully Actualized Organic Environment
or Post Literate Culture of Sentient Beings - -
Become Too Complex for This Kind of Model of ( x ) Rules ?
It seems to me that it would indeed be Very Curious if The World,
As it is Observed,
Could be Created from a Fixed Number of Simple Rules.
Is it -More Reasonable- to simply Assume that There Exists a Different Kind of Determinism ( That we call Freewill ) ?
It has occurred to me previously that if you made a Common Fly, and tried to build into it, All The Rules of Behaviour that would be Necessary to make it behave like a Common Fly - -
A Better Example may be if you Substituted The Fly with a Bee or Ant )
- - Or Would it Be More Reasonable to Build into It, A Conscious Sentience that Could Act Appropriately to A Wide Variety of Unexpected Circumstances without trying to Incorporate All The Behavioural Routines in Neural Synapses that had to be Encoded into a limited number of DNA Shoelaces.
The AntiThesis to The Approach is that given ‘humanimals’ that are presupposed to possess Sentience, They Clearly Contradict this model of Consciousness that allows for Intelligent Behaviour without A Foundation of Built in Behavioural Instincts.
People just appear to be amazingly stupid in all The ways that this Cognitive Sentience Model is Supposed to Prevent.
This may be The Definitive Approach to Lots of Different Questions.
Is it more reasonable to assume that Magic explains ( x ) or Some Insanely Complex System of InDefensible NonSense ?
When it comes to Evolution, The Big Bang Theory or Quantum Mechanics, Biologists, Astronomers & Physicists are so Entrenched in their Pet Dogma that They are willing to Allow Their InDefensible NonSense to Take on Greater & Greater Tiers of Accumulative Silliness to Argue Against whatever Evidence is presented that Contradicts their Theories as they were defined a few moments before.
They simply refuse The Possibility of Either Magic or The Unknown.
At some point; Magic is The Least Crazy Alternative.
Free Will :
A Deterministic Universe...
Implies that Everything that is happening at any given point in time (x) is The consequence of An ( infinite & holistic ) Chain of Falling Dominoes that Preceded it.
This model means The Apparent Order & Structure of Our World was ( Decided ) at The Moment ( or AntiMoment ) of Creation.
-[ Very Improbable; But in An Infinite Universe, One would -Expect- a bubble appearing exactly like ours, not only eventually, but this exact ‘Universe’ occurring an Infinite Number of Times - - But still; It seems -wrong- because we believe that we have freewill, but this may be a consequence of our -real- experience of -conscious awareness- ! What is substantially less palatable though, is that while this Awareness is Real, We experience it only as observers, Not as Controllers. ]-
A Deterministic Universe, Whose Determinism Constructs The Laws of Physics
The First Scenario Implies that as A Line of ( Chaotic ( Deep Complexity ) ) Dominoes; There is No Structural Overview of This Process.
But of course; There -Must Be- Some Mechanical -Rules- That govern The Toppling Process. ( ? )
There is also ( Slight Digression ) The Side Issue that seems to be mislaid in these discussions; Why are all The Electrons in The Universe Exactly The Same?
This implies that they’re all getting their instructions from ( Where? ).
The Chinese Called it The Dao, And i call it The Kitchen Floor.
The Bottom of The Universe.
Where The True Reality Resides.
This Magical Realm decides what is really possible & impossible.
Asking Crazy Questions like : What is below The Kitchen Floor?
Is like asking, Who Broke that Vase?
or Why did they Cancel my Favorite TV Show?
End of Digression.
But This Option Considers that The Initial Determinism Constructs a More Expansive Physical Process, Which is then responsible for Allowing Stars to become Fusion Furnaces and even Chemistry to Produce Self Replicating Molecules.
This Strikes me as Rather Odd Though; In that This -Structural Orderliness- somehow side-steps The Purely Deterministic Universe by Applying A Blind Watchman.
If anything; It Implies that There May Be Determinism AND A Directional Force that Creates Order & Patterns, Albeit; A Blind & Deaf Gawd without Any Plans for Tomorrow.
If you’re going to allow that We are living in A Deterministic Universe,
That is Governed by The Most Elemental -Dominoes- Physics,
AND A Second Kind of ( Unique ) Structuralism that Gives Rise to A More Complex Collection of Physical Rules - -
AND We allow that -Awareness- & -Benign Consciousness- Are Real - -
THEN Is it so Unreasonable to allow for Still Another kind of Orderliness that gives rise to A Finer Structural Mechanism?
Granted; This Finer Layer of Structural Orderliness remains Completely Undefined & Unknown, But There is That Pesky Loose Shoe Lace of Consciousness that needs to be fitted into The Standard Model + Gravity.
If anything; This Crude Analysis suggests that There are Layers of Determinism.
Many Time Traveling Skiffy Stories Suggest that It is Possible to Go Back in Time and Change some Detail so that Event (A is Severely Altered or Eliminated, While The Events Surrounding it are Substantially NOT Changed !
i have always found this Analysis of Chronological Determinism rather ludicrous, as it defies my basic understanding of Domino Determinism.
If you change any, Any little thing at some point in Time, It is going to have Gigantic Chronological Effects to Everything down The Road.
i am thinking that there is another kind of Determinism that certainly allows for this kind of ‘Small Changes Have No Effect’ Determinism.
The Easiest Example would be a Cloud of PreStellar Material that is Collapsing into a Solar System. If you could Duplicate this Cloud Exactly Several Dozen Times, And then Stir Up Each Copy, i would assert that each will then collapse into very Similar, Perhaps even Indistinguishable Versions.
The Kind of Star, The Number & Size of The Planets would be determined by Global Variances, and Depend very little on The Local Distribution of The Elements.
( ? )
While i allow that A Single Neuron that Discharges or Not may radically change future events, Would The Elimination of any Given Cell in your body change your future behaviour at all ?
While Every Particle in The Universe Effects ( Most Every Other ) Particle in The Universe; There are also likely to be Local Events that may seem to Causing Dramatic Global Events, Then be Washed Out or Diluted by Some Other Catastrophic Event that Much More Dramatically Changes Future Events, but Even this, May only Strongly Influence Relatively Local Events.
This still doesn’t explain or provide a model for Consciousness or Freewill,
But - -
It does continue to suggest that There are Numerous Distinct Layers, Tiers or Classes of Determinism.