Archive for mars 2012

Santayana of the South

Santayana of the South.

viaSantayana of the South.

Determinism frees us!

We determinists find that we can choose on the basis of our character, the sum of our desires due to nature and to nurture. We have causes that help us choose rather than some soul that willy-nilly acts. Psychology finds no soul. That term is no more useful than demons in explaining our behavior. Souls and demons are a relic of the past when the superstition of supernatualism ruled.

                     Determinism, therefore, disinguishes itself from fatalism that we cannot alter our situaltion: events will happen no matter what we do. No, we can choose amongst alternatives that can indeed alter our situation.

                     Nature and nurture aren’t fixed as fatalism would imply but rather change as we live. My taking Celexa has caused my nature to be freer to act as I want rather than be tied to paranoia and terminal shyness. I learn from trial and error and from others such that my nurture also changes.

                    This means that determinism and choice are compatible-soft determinism as opposed to hard determinsm and to that contra-causal -causeless- free will. That new facts determine our changing some view, does not mean that we are caused such that we have no choice but rather that the we follow the inferences.

                  That atoms are our constitutive part does not lead to the non sequitur that we are just atoms as that reflects the fallacy of composition that the whole is the very same as the parts. The atoms each has no mind, but the whole  person has a mind.

                 This mind reflects on the consequences for good or bad to sentient beings and the environment, using its evolved moral sense to do morality. That cultural relatavism is true reflects that fact, yet because of ignorance of the total information and a faulty moral sense, people and cultures can vary widely. We debate to reach a consensus as when the UN decides that human rights are very important, and finds that some government is harming them so that that government must change its policies.

                The causes here are that those with a better moral sense, not just being evolved but also being refined, discern the real effects that indeed do harm people that others with a not so refined moral sense cannot discern. Skeptics look at all the needed information,not just a cherry-picked view. The total information is that, slavery as an example, causes undue suffering to slaves that those with a less generous moral sense cannot discern on their own as with Aristotle, they look at only what the slave owner can accomplish with slaves,dismissing them as  inferior for no reason and to ride as the owners desire.

                Determinism then does entail responsibility! Society sees fit to use prisons as a determinant to get the inmates to change for the better. Rehabilitation and not retribution should cause the inmates to change. To warn others about consequences of their wrongful acts enters the scene as justified.

               The soul ,demons and God lack evidence. No evidence can come forth for them as natural causes rule the Cosmos. The argument from physical mind maintains that we find only minds encased in brains, not disembodied minds so that to aver God as that disembodied mind means to use the ever popular arguments from ignorance and from personal incredulity!

            Causes come into play as without intent per Lamberth’s atelic/teleonomic argument, science finds no divine intent behind Nature and to aver such bespeaks reduced animism. Without the cause of intent, God cannot be Himself and thus cannot exist as Creator, Grand Miracle Monger and so forth.

         Causes rule except at the quantum level, but again people use the fallacy of composition to argue that therefore, no causes might work for our free wills. No! And that same fallacy comes forth when people aver that the cause of Existence must be that divine intent.

         Determinism frees us from the superstition of supernaturalism, allowing us to find the natural causes without introducing that superstition of reduced animism. We then find that we have to have a covenant for our morality so that we will act morally. This covenant is that necessary cause for our acting morally, not God!

         Read Richard Carrier’s ” Sense and Goodness without God: a Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism” for more on determinism and responsibility.