Author Topic: Ethics of Psychically Influencing Other People  (Read 3871 times)

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December 17, 2015, 08:32:11 PM
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Steve

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So I suggested to Rayn that he start a new thread for discussing the moral/ethics of the project I'm going to be working on, but decided why not just start it myself?

A list of topics where this has already been covered, either more generally, or in a similar-but-different topic

http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,3791.msg49067.html Morals of Sugestive thoughts
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22512.msg217636.html The Ethics of Forced Love
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,16267.msg174640.html The ethics of Cursing
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,1069.msg14894.html Age and Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20655.msg204194.html Is this ethical?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20400.msg201843.html Is This Unethical?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22973.msg220185.html Ethics of a binding and banishing spell (This one might look familiar, Rayn ;))

And a couple on different-different topics, but still about morals/ethics (more topics found by searching for ethics than morals)
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,19869.msg197625.html Medical ethics and brain regeneration
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,19618.msg196176.html Ethics of Killing
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20481.msg202776.html A Discussion of Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,9314.msg103855.html Is there a Ethical Code for the Psionic Practice?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,18441.msg190182.html Dissolution of Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,14478.msg158230.html Ethics in Magick

There's been some discussions about ethics over the years. We don't crowd every single topic with the discussion of ethics because that would just mire *everything* down in the one branch of sociology.

But if anyone wants to start a new discussion, or just throw their 2 cents in, regarding the ethics of psychically working on or influencing people without their knowledge, especially if it ties back to my thread about the project I will be working on, be my guest.


As for me and my project: I do not consider it a breach of any major ethics due to a few simple but important considerations.
For purposes of cross-referencing, my project thread http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,23590.new.html

1) I already influence people purely in the mundane, through psychology, talking with people, body language, influencing lines of communications between people, pushing them to do or not do certain things, and in the sharing or retaining of secrets. However, it's not like I outright control people; I merely enjoy the place I'm currently working at and would like it to remain peaceful between people, so that is the result I strive for in all of the ways that I influence people.

2) I also already psychically influence people, for the same purpose as above. This will be little different except that it would be mostly automated through the use of constructs, and involve more people than I am currently already involving.

3) It's for a good cause, one that the company already sets out in their policy guidelines, so there is no friction there.

4) It will be restricted in it's use to a single set of workings. (In other words, it is not overly ambitious)

5) This is not forcing or even coercing; as I described before it would be more like a tickling of thoughts in the back of their mind with a set of answers to a question they themselves are asking.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 18, 2015, 04:10:36 AM
Reply #1

Akenu

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Every form of communication with another person is a form of manipulation, but that's not the point. Every person walks some path and for some the manipulation with others is not acceptable while others are ok with it.

There are two major reasons why influencing others seems unethical, belief and fear. Some people believe it is "forbidden" by some entity (God, nature, divine providence, etc) and therefore unacceptable, some people are scared this might happen to them so that's why they are against it.

I think it is a good idea to have a separate thread for ethics to transition some repetitive discussions there.

December 18, 2015, 09:46:17 AM
Reply #2

Rayn

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As for me and my project: I do not consider it a breach of any major ethics due to a few simple but important considerations.
For purposes of cross-referencing, my project thread http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,23590.new.html

1) I already influence people purely in the mundane, through psychology, talking with people, body language, influencing lines of communications between people, pushing them to do or not do certain things, and in the sharing or retaining of secrets. However, it's not like I outright control people; I merely enjoy the place I'm currently working at and would like it to remain peaceful between people, so that is the result I strive for in all of the ways that I influence people.

On that note, I will go into a few tools I have on hand right now. I will ask if I should use it, based on your reasoning.

I have a type of seal that is designed to reject the presence of a particular branch of thoughts and emotions probabilistically. One has to keep in mind that chemical reactions that occur in a person's brain, and mind, are probabilistic, so if I constrain the larger outcome that can happen, it constrains the smaller ones in such a way that there is a psychokinetic influence on a person's brain and body to create the experience that leads to whatever goal I had it mind. Or, I could make a variation of it that out right rejects the presence of a person in such a way that it manipulates their experience, perception, and decision to even come to this forum(it essentially creates an illusion). Now, I prefer this place to be peaceful, contrary to what is thought about me, so I could simply link sites, forums, channels, so on and so forth to an active seal in such a way that it creates that effect. So, if you find it ethical to do what you intend to do, would it be equally ethical for me to do that on this forum to keep the peace? Would you like it if someone put something into play, that I described, to create a type of pseudo-conscience for you as per this site? I also have learned how to telepathically jam psychic abilities. See, when a person consciously uses psi, there is a way it seems, or there is an experience that is associated with the actualization. If you block a person's ability to connect with that experience, you mitigate  their ability to do anything metaphysical. This can be done via a type of illusion. There are a few other ways. Via experimentation over the years, I have created a series of seals designed to do just this. I don't go around using these things. Should I use these things I have created in situations like what you described in what I quoted on this site? Do you believe I should?

http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22973.msg220185.html Ethics of a binding and banishing spell (This one might look familiar, Rayn ;))

It looks familiar, because of the what I just proposed to you.

Edit:

Every form of communication with another person is a form of manipulation, but that's not the point. Every person walks some path and for some the manipulation with others is not acceptable while others are ok with it.

There are two major reasons why influencing others seems unethical, belief and fear. Some people believe it is "forbidden" by some entity (God, nature, divine providence, etc) and therefore unacceptable, some people are scared this might happen to them so that's why they are against it.

I think it is a good idea to have a separate thread for ethics to transition some repetitive discussions there.

No, I am a secular atheist. I am just libertarian. The dynamics of telepathy, as laid out by Steve, is what the problem is. Consciousness can be thought of as something reasoning to itself about its experience in such a way that it is reflexive. This allows it to make decisions. Or, the conversations reference itself. You are dealing with a concept of identity. Telepathy, like what Steve proposed, works via there being a blurring of boundaries between Steve's identity and the identity of the people he seeks to reference in such a way that a particular experience is introduced which factors into the reasoning process from which choices are derived. In other words, changing a person's identity, subtly, is intrinsic to what Steve is trying to do. This implies that Steve is compromising their individuality to bring them more in line with an entity that is the job. That part is descriptive and not prescriptive, so in that sense, I am not arguing ethics; rather, I am just speaking of the mechanics that are involved. Steve's desire and intention to do this is an extension of his consciousness, which is different that other people's, so if that is implicit in a construct he creates to influence people like so, on a telepathic level it will create particular changes that compromise the original integrity. Consciousness can be treated as a chaotic and dynamical system in such a way that introducing that "tickling in the back of the brain" can lead to a derived decision would not have happened without that where that is reflective of Steve's consciousness. It is kind of the basis of illusions, to be frank. 

Now, people have that job because they decide to have it, and if people decide to do things that don't play into the company's policies, it is their choice to, over time, leave that job based on their individual responses. A consequence of Steve meddling is an alteration to their identity, however slight, in such a way that their experiences with their job change in such a way they may make choices of staying there they would not have made. So, while one can argue it is good for the company or what have you, I would argue it is bad for the individual in that it compromises a person's civil liberties.

Also, this whole communication is equal thing is silly. Consciousness can be modeled as a dynamical system, so while it does change, one can ascribe "fixed" rules to it in such a way that it only changes so much. For example, due to having a human brain, there is no amount of communication that can make a human think like, and thus have the consciousness of, a dog, because the stochastic nature of consciousness is fixed by the dynamical system of the brain. Another example of a dynamical system is your body. While the biological processes that happen in your body are stochastic and noisy, it is dynamic enough for such things as cell fate to occur. Telepathic influence can introduce a fundamental change which changes those fixed rules which would not have been changed via simple communication. As I said in the thread Steve is referring to, I have extensive experience in this area in that I don't use an energy based model; rather, my approach uses a phenomenal, or mental, model that is more telepathic than anything.   
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 10:34:03 AM by Rayn »
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but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence.

December 18, 2015, 03:05:49 PM
Reply #3

Steve

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I pulled these from the main project thread, as they were either about ethics/philosophy or they were enough off topic (or my replies are):

Quote
where people should follow policy in the form of rules just like one should follow laws in a society.
Not even close to the same thing. Going to a job in order to earn money is a CONTRACT that a person enters into. Following the mores of society is much more sketchy because there are so many groups that have different concepts and ideas.

A job is not like society, and following the rules of a job in order to keep getting paid so you can eat food and have shelter and whatnot, is not the same as following the laws of a society, or rather the laws of a nation.

Secondly, as already noted in the opening post of the project page: this is not *pushing* people to do anything. This is THE PERSON THEMSELF realizing they need help, and the network kicking in to give them WHAT THEY WANT in order to help them do their jobs better. Someone who doesn't want to follow the rules won't kick in the network; they'll deal with management regarding contractual obligations in an entirely separate set of circumstances, but that has nothing to do with this.

To reiterate: This will be EXACTLY THE SAME as the person asking for help with a group of other trained staff, and each of the staff giving their input. This is the second best choice, because the best choice would be plopping the book of standard operating procedures down in front of the person and telling them to read up.

Quote
To be frank, I can think of
Congrats, so can I. I decided on this one for a variety of reasons, which I spelled out more than enough of them in the opening post. As for invasive: I don't care. As for ethical: you haven't given one reason to believe that what I'm doing is unethical (the best I can figure out from your posts is that you care that I'm not getting conscious buy-in from the people it will affect).

Quote
My area of expertise is finding practical and workable solutions to problems.
Congrats. Guess what I'm especially good at? Gathering and analyzing information, and also putting that towards practical solutions. The biggest reason people don't listen to me: their own emotions get in the way as they have emotional reactions to stuff rather than logical arguments. I've tried, for a while, taking peoples' emotions into account and decided I just don't care. If people want to fail to implement a solution solely because they're butthurt over something stupid, then fuck them because I have better things to do with my time than help a spoiled brat feel better about problems that they don't really want to fix.


From this thread:

Quote from: Rayn
I have a type of seal that is designed to reject the presence of a particular branch of thoughts and emotions probabilistically.
If it's within yourself, use it as much as you want. No ethics involved. But since we are talking about ethics, you probably mean that this is a seal you can place on others.

In which case, it's the same line of reasoning that all forms of interactions between people involve.

1) Society is a make up of a LOT of individuals, all interacting with each other.
2) All individuals have their own personal beliefs, views, etc. These personal things may come from other people, but once they've been adopted by the individual, they become part of the individual until that individual chooses to change them.
3) The interactions between any group of people eventually comes to the point where a generalized consensus on the rules for "how people are allowed to interact with one another" (hereafter referred to as "social interactions") are generally agreed upon.
4) Where there are schisms between groups who have different ideas for the rules on social interactions, they will create mostly-distinct groups of people (known as cliques, sub-cultures, sub-societies, etc) where like-minded individuals will group together with other like-minded individuals. (Many people can and do belong to multiple groups, as individuals have a variety of beliefs, views, etc, and there are loads of different groups that congregate based on different topics)
5) There will be times and places, sometimes short events and othertimes long term environments, where different-minded individuals do come together and interact with one another, for whatever reasons (usually due to jobs, or overarching cultural events like holiday festivals).
6) Where different groups come together, there will be different views on how the different groups should interact with one another. There will be friction in some places, and there will be transcending camaraderie in other places.

What you're asking about is point 3. Different groups are schismed because of different outlooks, thus leading to different rules within different subcultures. Some people will say that you are perfectly valid in doing whichever thing you want; others will say you are not; all of these people will tell you that you are validated or invalidated based on their own personal beliefs.

Thus, fuck it all I'll do what I choose. And so will you. You're not looking for my buy-in to your actions and ideologies; I'm not looking for your buy-in to mine. Thus, if we disagree on something, it is either because there is miscommunication, or because we just flat out have different views and neither of us are willing to change them for the other person. Hence, we arrive at point 6, because Veritas is a place denoted in point 5.

Next we have the actual actions taken by people of various groups towards others of different groups; in other words, person A from culture X interacts with person B in culture Y, while person C from culture Z looks on. Then it goes from theoretical interactions, to actual actions. And with actual actions comes a whole slew of other considerations, but which basically all boil down to: Might Makes Right (not right as in ethics, but right as in more-fundamental-than-privilege such as "you have a natural right to defend yourself if you're being attacked"; these rights are not given to you by society and called "rights": they are mine and they are yours, inherently).

I have the Might to do something. I will be doing it (I also have reasons for what I'm doing, so it's not merely a whimsical choice to abuse my Might). You disagree with me on what you say are moral/ethical guidelines, so you have the right to make the choice to either attempt to interfere, or just let me do what I do (everyone else who sees this has the same right to make the same choice). You're interfering through communication, which is all well and good; nothing wrong with that. But you could also attempt to interfere through the application of Might as well.

Either way, you don't seem to get that your views of ethics are of no consequence to me, so you continually saying "unethical, unethical, unethical" doesn't matter (especially when you're not being very clear on which parts, in your mind, are unethical, versus which parts are simply poor project design). If you wish to use communication to change my mind, do so with statements like what you said about re-purposing cultural symbols that already exist; that will at least have a chance of influencing my project, as opposed to just saying it's unethical.


Akenu:
Quote from: Akenu
Every form of communication with another person is a form of manipulation
I would say that's a large part of the point. If you're already manipulating one another on one level, and this is not a rhetorical question, then how does it change when you take it to another level? For instance, body language accounts for more manipulation than spoken language does, yet we've developed psychological manipulations based on words as well: why did we bother, and is it any more or less different than the body language manipulations?

I agree with your post, though.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 18, 2015, 06:17:48 PM
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Akenu

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Quote from: Akenu
Every form of communication with another person is a form of manipulation
I would say that's a large part of the point. If you're already manipulating one another on one level, and this is not a rhetorical question, then how does it change when you take it to another level? For instance, body language accounts for more manipulation than spoken language does, yet we've developed psychological manipulations based on words as well: why did we bother, and is it any more or less different than the body language manipulations?

I agree with your post, though.

~Steve

I do not see any difference in that but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.

December 19, 2015, 08:20:41 AM
Reply #5

Rayn

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« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 09:01:43 AM by Rayn »
Noein - A Resource on Psi, Science, and Philosophy
but sorcery refuses to be a metaphor for mere literature--it insists that symbols must cause events as well as private epiphanies. It is not a critique but a re-making. It rejects all eschatology & metaphysics of removal, all bleary nostalgia & strident futurismo, in favor of a paroxysm or seizure of presence.

December 19, 2015, 09:59:49 AM
Reply #6

Steve

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Quote from: Akenu
I do not see any difference in that
My apologies, I should have made it more clear. I was agreeing with you, and restating your statement in a different fashion.

Quote from: Akenu
but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.
The discussion is different than the actions. The discussion of ethics is the same regardless of the specific actions, which is why I seperated it out. If you don't want to discuss ethics, don't :)

~Steve
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 06:42:39 AM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 20, 2015, 04:16:13 AM
Reply #7

Akenu

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Steve, I knew you were agreeing with me, I just wanted to make clear that majority of people won't identify with our moral codes

December 21, 2015, 06:43:42 PM
Reply #8

Steve

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Akenu: Okay.

Am I mistaken, or were you going to post more of your thoughts on the matter? (from "but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.")

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 22, 2015, 02:59:48 AM
Reply #9

Akenu

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Akenu: Okay.

Am I mistaken, or were you going to post more of your thoughts on the matter? (from "but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.")

~Steve

When it comes to ethics we can discuss anything from morality up to the concept of karma as mistakenly understood in western occultism or the fact that if you want a truly free will, you need money.

December 22, 2015, 09:38:27 AM
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Steve

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I posted my thoughts on morality (in that it's a construct of social agreement), so if you'd like to comment on that then feel free. Pretty sure the karma topic has been done to death, so not touching that.

Let's talk about the money, as I disagree. Even for those with money, there are still rules to follow (such as, don't murder people, and continually invest your money to make more of it), so they do still have to do certain things regardless of whether they want to or not. I mean, sure, they could say fuck it all and murder someone anyway, but then other people like police and lawyers and judges start getting involved and those people start taking away the free will of the "person with money". Though, I do agree that in a more positive sense, the money absolutely helps people build the future they want, and helps a lot; hard to say that you have free will when you're begging for money to eat, after all. But the money is just a smoke screen in the end. If you need food, then you need food; money can typically get you food, but you can't eat the money (for nutrition). So if I can go my whole life by taking care of my needs in fashions other than by using money, like animals do, then I'm still set :)

Properly trained and used magic could allow for truly Free Will, as a capable enough magician should be able to Will their overall Life in the direction/shape they want it to go. For instance, I want peace, so I shrouded about a fairly totalitarian blanket of peace over my life. Now, even those short outbursts when I want conflict, they don't occur in the real world (not talking about arguments here on Veritas). Things go quite smoothly; I don't have much to worry about, and now have been spending a lot of time wondering what I should do with my life. See the world? Get into the emerging renewable energy market in order to help the future of humanity? Rework the overall education systems, and social views that go with them, around the world so as to produce more intelligent people over all? (And so many more possibilities) It's hard to consider when I start looking at a potential path and realize there are already people who are doing these things, and they already have the specialized training to tackle the issues, whereas I would need to spend a few years learning what I'd need to. Unless I took on a more managerial role, but I hate that. But then, none of this has to do with morality and ethics.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 22, 2015, 04:01:57 PM
Reply #11

Akenu

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@Steve: Well, you got it partially right with the money. It's true you cannot run around murdering people whether you are rich or not, but on the other side if all the money you earn is just enough to assure your survival, then it is slavery. I would say a free person earns enough money not only for survival, but also for his/her hobbies and also for the savings. I would say only a free person can have the free will, on the other side a slave of the system cannot be free.

Anyway, just to make it clear, I do agree with your post and all its points :).

December 23, 2015, 02:33:50 PM
Reply #12

Steve

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I would say nobody is truly free, because we're all slaves to the universe itself. We were not born of our own Will, and most of us will not die by our own Will, and instead will die because the universe has been set up in such a way that living things such as us die. Even for the span of our lives, our time is dictated to us mostly by our needs, and even after we meet our needs we only think we have "free will" but instead we have "free time after having satiated our various needs for the moment, with which we can do any other random thing that we want eventhough we don't really know what to do with that time until we (almost arbitrarily) decide on what to do with it".

On the other hand, then we have the question of whether free will is defined only by the positive choices we make in what we want to do, or does it include the limitations placed upon us by external factors such as bears and bullets and winter and time? For instance, I may *want* to drive to the store, but if my car won't budge in the snow and ice, and it's literally too cold to walk, then what's my "free will" worth?

Or, to tie this back to ethics, what if I want to shoot (and kill) someone, but they want to live? Who has Free Will: only the one who succeeded?

EDIT: And then to tie this back to psychic influences: what if I want someone to trip and fall in order to embarrass them in front of certain people? Is it "my" free will to do such things to others as though they are objects, no different than it is my free will to pick up a cup? (I think we'd both agree that it is my free will, as I am creating an active "force" that influences reality according to my will/choices/plans)

~Steve
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 02:37:56 PM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 23, 2015, 03:59:04 PM
Reply #13

Rayn

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I would say nobody is truly free, because we're all slaves to the universe itself. We were not born of our own Will, and most of us will not die by our own Will, and instead will die because the universe has been set up in such a way that living things such as us die. Even for the span of our lives, our time is dictated to us mostly by our needs, and even after we meet our needs we only think we have "free will" but instead we have "free time after having satiated our various needs for the moment, with which we can do any other random thing that we want eventhough we don't really know what to do with that time until we (almost arbitrarily) decide on what to do with it".

On the other hand, then we have the question of whether free will is defined only by the positive choices we make in what we want to do, or does it include the limitations placed upon us by external factors such as bears and bullets and winter and time? For instance, I may *want* to drive to the store, but if my car won't budge in the snow and ice, and it's literally too cold to walk, then what's my "free will" worth?

That says nothing of your ability to make a decision to go to the store; rather, it says something of your ability to actualize it. The ability to actualize such a thing would thus be your power(I am using these concepts in a conventional Metaphysical sense), so that says something of your power and not so much your decisions. Also, your argument is illogical, because it presupposes that if something is finite, it is determined; however, that is an unproven assumption within that reasoning. You say that we were not always here so we are born(that implies a degree of being finite) and we die(this also implies finite) where this is how things were set up(this implies something teleological and determined designed the universe as so) where our will in this is not relevant in whether we are born or die. You have not proven the third point, which is your first axiom, and something being finite simply says there are boundaries but it, in itself, does not specify the different configurations within that boundary unless we come up with additional postulates which are not supported by things being finite, alone; therefore, in virtue of us being finite, we cannot say our will is determined. We cannot say versus having free will, we only have free time. This is not even how it physically works, for your brain is not a determined thing. The chemical processes in the genetic and cellular interactions are stochastic and thus nondeterministic. Before you start crying that I straw manned your argument, I am aware you said we can do whatever random thing we want; however, you said that instead of the ability to do this freely(you conflated a decision with the ability to carry out this decision), we have the free time to do this. A finite amount of time, in itself, does not dictate or grossly mitigate the randomness of something; rather, it says something of the number of independent states one can possibly have. This, in itself, does not specify which state you'll get at any given time, statistically speaking. It seems like you have contradicted yourself in that you are arguing that being finite takes away from free will(which it does not) all the while stating we still can randomly do things(again, you conflated decisions with carrying out those decisions, for willfully thinking about getting a glass of water is a willful act though you might not actually ever get the water).

I have found arguing ethics in a strictly philosophical sense to be a dead end, and, instead, I prefer to argue it from an empirical stance. For example, in a failed state(in the sense of a dystopian government), there is a high amount of violence. This means there is a lot of murder and a lot of deaths. In societies where that is not the case, senseless violence and murder are not as prevalent. From this, we can make empirical observations and derive a code of ethics(we should not go around murdering people for no reason, because it makes for an unstable society where humans as a whole are not likely to survive in such a state).  It then simply becomes of a matter of statistics in terms of what things result in the optimal fitness of human beings where a code of ethics can thus be derived from that. For example, in the United States, I have the right to express myself. That is an ethical ideology, but it also has the effect of a pool of ideas being gathered, evaluated, and practiced in such a way that better ones are selected than if that were not the case, so this has positive consequences on humanity as a whole by advancing us. This can be evaluated statistically. I reject the idea of moral and cultural relativism.     

Or, to tie this back to ethics, what if I want to shoot (and kill) someone, but they want to live? Who has Free Will: only the one who succeeded?

That makes no sense. The problem is that you have conflated the internal volition and decision to do something with the ability to actually go about doing it in the real world. Metaphysically, the later is called power. Power is really the ability to do or the capacity that a person has to make a change in the world. This means you have your ability to decide and your ability to do things. This does not mean your ability to decide is your ability to do things. This means that if a person lacks power to protect their life, that does not imply they did not have free will to decide that they wanted to live.

The issue I have with fatalistic and deterministic sounding ideologies is that it implies a  mitigation of personal responsibility which is ethically problematic. Individual responsibilities are things I am big on. The brains that produce our physical consciousness are stochastic yet dynamical systems that are not deterministic and finite boundaries do not imply determined configurations within those boundaries; rather, it implies that the boundaries are exhaustive of whatever is inside them. Without an additional postulation, we can say that something can randomly be any given thing in those boundaries. If what is in the finite box are all the possible choices you could make, it says nothing of what choice you are determined to make. A finite universe with the Physics we have makes for some funky geometry that can create implications that are counter-intuitive to what you are thinking.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 06:47:51 PM by Rayn »
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December 23, 2015, 07:28:00 PM
Reply #14

Steve

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Okay, done editing now.

Quote from: Rayn
That says nothing of your ability to make a decision to go to the store; rather, it says something of your ability to actualize it. The ability to actualize such a thing would thus be your power(I am using these concepts in a conventional Metaphysical sense), so that says something of your power and not so much your decisions.
But see, that's the problem. You've started with two basic assumptions, 1) that this has to do with metaphysical power, and 2) that it has to do with actualization.

Yet the mundane world talks about free will as well, and the mundane people do not have metaphysical power to actualize their intentions via magic, and so they must utilize mundane methods in order to actualize their intentions. So, because a mundane person cannot "guarantee" the outcome via magic, it's hard or impossible for them to assume that the results of their efforts need automatically be included in the definition of free will. ("Actualization" is just a fancy word for "Well, I tried and I just so happened to have succeeded." Failure to actualize means "I tried, but failed." Refusing to attempt to actualize in the first place means "I didn't even try.")

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Also, your argument is illogical, because it presupposes that if something is finite, it is determined; however, that is an unproven assumption within that reasoning.
I do not presuppose that.

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You say that we were not always here so we are born(that implies a degree of being finite) and we die(this also implies finite)
Yes and yes. Both easily noted by looking at the real world.

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where this is how things were set up(this implies something teleological and determined)
Not at all. This is merely an observation of the real world, much like observing gravity. Observing that something happens does not mean that it was set up for the very purpose of happening that way. We are born, and we die. This is the way that the universe is set up, not necessarily because that's the purpose, but because that's the reality. Teleological has to do with reasons for things, not mechanics of things. I'm talking about the mechanics of things.

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where our will in this is not relevant in whether we are born or die.
I think the first is fairly easy to prove; I did not have a choice in whether I was born. The second will be a matter for when I die, and will be determined based on how I die, whether by my own choice or not. Ie, if I put a gun to my own head then I've used my own will, but if I die of old age then it is not my will that made me die, and instead the mechanics of (not "the reason for") the universe.

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You have not proven the third point
Third point.. third point...

The one about "so that says something of your power and not so much your decisions"?
Since the first point you made was "rather, it says something of your ability to actualize it"
and the second was " The ability to actualize such a thing would thus be your power(I am using these concepts in a conventional Metaphysical sense)"

Unless you grouped all that together in a single point, in which case point three would be the statement right before the statement about the third point:
"You say that we were not always here so we are born(that implies a degree of being finite) and we die(this also implies finite) where this is how things were set up(this implies something teleological and determined) where our will in this is not relevant in whether we are born or die."

In which case, no I didn't "prove" it, just like I didn't prove much of what I said, as I was providing arguments rather than proofs. But, as I said in this point, the proof is pretty much universally available to anyone who wants to look and see that we are born not by our own choice, and whether we die by our own choice or not is partially a matter of choice (if you're mulling it over, but get hit by a bus, then you didn't really enact your own will). But I never said anything about the mechanics of how things are set up being the reason for why things are set up the way they are; that's your argument, not mine.

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We cannot say versus having free will, we only have free time.
Well, actually I can say that, and I did. And I will expound upon that a bit more, since you seem to have confused "Free Will" with "Will".

If I am "free" from jail, it means I have no shackles holding me down, I am not in a jail cell, I don't have guards and other inmates telling me what to do, and restricting me from doing what I want to do. It means I am "free" to make my own decisions about how I want to go about my daily life and do whatever I want to do. Yet, we're not "free" from the universe because we have inherent shackles that are a part of our physiological condition, such as our need to eat. If we attempt to enact our "free" will by refusing to eat, I'm pretty sure we could agree that at least 99.999999% of the humans on the planet would die. Thus, it's not much of a "free" will if it automatically leads to our destruction. Thus, we are not free. Thus, we do not have "free will", but we do have "will", in the sense that I can still refuse to eat.

Unless, of course, you want to disengage the making of one's choices and actions from the results of one's choices and actions. In which case "free will" is just the ability to try, rather than the ability to succeed. (Ie, disassemble "actualization")

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This is not even how it physically works, for your brain is not a determined thing. The chemical processes in the genetic and cellular interactions are stochastic and thus nondeterministic.
On the other hand, if that were true, then how are 99% of humans created according to the genetic programming? If it were purely unpredicable due to certain random variables, then humans wouldn't have a fairly easily recognizable form.

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It seems like you have contradicted yourself in that you are arguing that being finite takes away from free will(which it does not)
Seems like, but not quite. As I explained with the jail explanation, being finite in itself is not what takes away free will; being shackled does. We could, in the big picture, equate shackles to finite, and if we did that then we would indeed find that being finite detracts from a "big picture" concept of Free Will, in that I cannot Will myself to live forever in whatever form I desire. Thus, limitations, thus shackles, thus not so much free to do entirely as we please, even if we still have a pretty large sandbox within which we can do lots of different things.

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all the while stating we still can randomly do things(again, you conflated decisions with carrying out those decisions, for willfully thinking about getting a glass of water is a willful act though you might not actually ever get the water)
Herein, I would disagree with two things: 1) As I stated before, whether one includes the results in the definition is a matter of definition (and you yourself "conflated decisions with carrying out those decisions" when you brought in the word "actualization"), and 2) While one could say that having a thought is itself an act, I would disagree here because the way I am using the concept of "action" in this topic is for the express purpose of attempting "to fulfill a choice", or "to actualize one's Will". So somewhere else I might agree that having a thought is an act in itself, but for this topic I'm defining willful actions to be actual actions, not merely thoughts of such (because thinking about getting a glass of water isn't going to quench your thirst, and is therefore, in reference to "actualization", entirely useless on its own).

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I have found arguing ethics in a strictly philosophical sense to be a dead end, and, instead, I prefer to argue it from an empirical stance. For example, in a failed state(in the sense of a dystopian government), there is a high amount of violence.
So you're arguing backwards, from results to reasons, rather than forwards. I counter with Machiavelli: "In judging policies we should consider the results that have been achieved through them rather than the means by which they have been executed." Machiavelli holds one of the major camps in this issue, but there are others.

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In societies where that is not the case, senseless violence and murder are not as prevalent. From this, we can make empirical observations and derive a code of ethics(we should not go around murdering people for no reason, because it makes for an unstable society where humans as a whole are not likely to survive in such a state).   
The problem being that most codes of ethics aren't done that way. Most codes of ethics are formulated by many many interactions between individuals, where each individual in the interaction has a desired outcome, and they utilize various forms of communications and forces to figure out which is the resultant path "here and now", and over the course of many of these events "a" (actually several) "ill-defined but still fairly concrete" code of ethics emerges that defines a society (where the society is the group of people who are interacting). Very much a grass roots series of events rather than a top down enforced decision. Even now, as we talk, we are defining ethical interactions within this society, as are the people who remain silent.

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That makes no sense. The problem is that you have conflated the internal volition and decision to do something with the ability to actually go about doing it in the real world.
How does that not make sense? You yourself defined exactly that as "actualization". I'm not saying that's the "right answer" to the question of ethics, but have pointed it out as one of the major camps in the discussion. It does make sense, however, and you've already agreed elsewhere that it makes sense. As above, without the action to accompany the thought, of what value is the thought in itself? What good is it to think "I'm thirsty. I need water" if you never get off your ass and get some water?

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This means that if a person lacks power to protect their life, that does not imply they did not have free will to decide that they wanted to live.
According to some it does, especially if they attempted to enact their Will to live, yet failed. They obviously didn't have the "Freedom" to live, thus lack of "free" will. They still enacted their will, but whether that will is free or not could indeed be defined entirely on whether it succeeded. Though I'm not saying it is that way; I'm merely noting that is one major possibility that cannot be so easily discounted, due to the various possible definitions of various words used in the debate.

Yes, it yet again comes down to linguistics in this case, because there is no physical object of "Free Will" or "Freedom" or "Will" that can be taken into a laboratory, cut into pieces, studied with all sorts of fancy cutting edge technologies, and have a definitive answer be brought back. Thus, we do the only thing we can do, which is argue over it because it is just words (and the thoughts that go with them, before anyone becomes a smart ass).

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The issue I have with fatalistic and deterministic sounding ideologies is that it implies a  mitigation of personal responsibility which is ethically problematic.
I don't believe there's anything in the topic of "define free will as including the results" that has anything to do with personal responsibility in regards to ethics. Will and Ethics are not the same topic.

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The brains that produce our physical consciousness are stochastic yet dynamical systems that are not deterministic
And yet... scientists can poke around in the brain and cause people to have all sorts of weird experiences and sensations... And there is the theory regarding "keep tracing every action to smaller and smaller effects, and eventually you'll see that it is all deterministic, even if the resultant determinations would be mind-bogglingly loaded with factors" (though, I disagree with this theory myself, it is still popular among some).

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and finite boundaries do not imply determined configurations within those boundaries
I absolutely agree with this. Unless you're using it to mean something else.

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rather, it implies that the boundaries are exhaustive of whatever is inside them.
Potentially so. If I have a 6 sided die and roll it 1 million times, theoretically each side should come up at least once. But then, statistically, there should be runs, eventually, of dice rolls which did not include one or more sides. But a six sided die has the potential to roll any of the six sides within its limits, but is not required to roll any specific one of them (determinism bad, except in the case of double-slit experiments >_>), and cannot roll a 7, is what I think you're mostly getting at.

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Without an additional postulation, we can say that something can randomly be any given thing in those boundaries.
If you're talking Schrodinger's cat style experiment, where we've purposefully put everything in a box and we don't know what's happening because we remain willfully ignorant, then sure, I can agree to that.

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If what is in the finite box are all the possible choices you could make, it says nothing of what choice you are determined to make.
I agree. Unless the box includes requirements for choices you will make (we are, for instance, genetically programmed to mate. even if a single individual may choose to forgo this, over the course of the species we will mate). But that talks about actions, rather than ethics.

~Steve
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 07:53:10 PM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?