Why Fatalism is true

Chaoslord2004
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Why Fatalism is true

This argument will only work if one excepts the existence of propositions and the correctness of classical logic.  A rejection of either of these two, will allow one to escape the fatalist conclusion.  However, I think we can all agree that propositions exist and that classical logic is in fact a good system of logic.  Here is the argument:

P1:  The Law of Excluded Middle - For any P, either it or its negation is true

P2:  Propositions about the future exist

P3:  Since every proposition is either true or false, every proposition which asserts something about the future,

must be either true or false.

C1:  Since every proposition has a definite truth value, the future is not up to us; the future is already decided.

C2:  Thus, freedom is an illusion 

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axiom
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1. The future can not be

1. The future can not be changed; this concept of ‘changing the future’ has been refuted as incoherent. The future is by definition ‘what will happen’ you can not change ‘what will happen’ to something else since that entails contradictions. Absolutely no view of the universe avoids this. Indeterministic universes or deterministic universes.

2. the word ‘freedom’ is not defined

3. The claim that freedom is therefore an illusion simply assumes the libertarian notion of freedom which is absurd, incoherent and false.


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OK, my mind has been

OK, my mind has been blown.

Could this argument be attacked via P2?

I would accept "I will be dead tomorrow or I will not die tomorrow" as a proposition. But how could I assign a truth value to "I will be dead tomorrow" today? I'd have to wait until tomorrow. So is "I will be dead tomorrow" a proposition?

EDIT: Maybe I should say, could this argument be attacked via C1. That is, the propositions about the future wouldn't determine the future.


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Chaoslord2004 wrote: This

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

This argument will only work if one excepts the existence of propositions and the correctness of classical logic. A rejection of either of these two, will allow one to escape the fatalist conclusion. However, I think we can all agree that propositions exist and that classical logic is in fact a good system of logic. Here is the argument:

P1: The Law of Excluded Middle - For any P, either it or its negation is true

P2: Propositions about the future exist

P3: Since every proposition is either true or false, every proposition which asserts something about the future,

must be either true or false.

C1: Since every proposition has a definite truth value, the future is not up to us; the future is already decided.

C2: Thus, freedom is an illusion

 

I think I would challenge this at P3. While every proposition about the future may be either true or false at the point that it occurs, until that point a truth value can not be subscribed to it. The truth value of a yet to occur action would, it seems to me, be a type of a Schroedinger's cat, having probabalistic values of both truth and falsehood until it was measured. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Vastet
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Vessel

Vessel wrote:
Chaoslord2004 wrote:

This argument will only work if one excepts the existence of propositions and the correctness of classical logic. A rejection of either of these two, will allow one to escape the fatalist conclusion. However, I think we can all agree that propositions exist and that classical logic is in fact a good system of logic. Here is the argument:

P1: The Law of Excluded Middle - For any P, either it or its negation is true

P2: Propositions about the future exist

P3: Since every proposition is either true or false, every proposition which asserts something about the future,

must be either true or false.

C1: Since every proposition has a definite truth value, the future is not up to us; the future is already decided.

C2: Thus, freedom is an illusion

 

I think I would challenge this at P3. While every proposition about the future may be either true or false at the point that it occurs, until that point a truth value can not be subscribed to it. The truth value of a yet to occur action would, it seems to me, be a type of a Schroedinger's cat, having probabalistic values of both truth and falsehood until it was measured. 

Agreed.

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Yiab
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Alright, let's get started:

Alright, let's get started: What can you possibly mean by "propositions exist"? They don't have a physical form, they are linguistic constructions imbued with abstract meaning by interpretation within consciousness. Saying that they "exist" implies that they have have properties independant of the intersubjective clusterfuck of human socio-linguistic thought.

Once again, claiming that classical logic is "correct" requires already that there is an objective truth to which classical logic can correspond. Modern logic is essentially a syntactic excercise and there are numerous working alternatives to classical logic. Additionally, classical logic interpreted in terms of verisimilitude consists only of tautologies.

 

P1: Given classical logic, this is true, but there are other logics which explicitly reject it - most notably intuitionistic logic.

 

P2: Classical logic consists only of truth-value connectives such as (not, and, or, implies, etc...) and cannot actually make propositions about the future, nor can it decide the truth or falsehood of those statements without another system to include within it.

Typically, quantifier logic is used to place inside classical logic in order to make propositions about things other than the relationship between truth values, but classical quantifier logic is fundamentally incomplete. If we interpret provability within quantifier logic to mean truth of the interpreted statement, then there are some statements which are neither true nor false. Notice, though, that we need to do this interpretation to even make that step - there are some statements which cannot be proven or disproven within quantifier logic, but this does not say anything about their verisimilitude unless we draw a connection between provability and truth.

If we wish to include temporal terms as part of logic rather than as some bizarre interpretation of relations or functions in quantifier-enhanced classical logic, we are moving into the territory of modal logic. While modal logic is certainly an interesting subject it differs significantly from classical logic and really obeys different rules, meaning that we won't necessarily have an obvious interpretation of truth values to our intuitive ideas of "true" and "false". Additionally, modal logic is not classical logic, so it is not covered in your assumptions.

 

P3: This is true, given that time is a part of the universe and that these propositions are being evaluated independantly of time. Once time is laid out in front of you in the form of a spatial dimension, we don't have a meta-time in which to "change time" or some other such nonsense, so this statement essentially boils down to "shit happens and other shit doesn't happen."

 

C1: Once again, once time is sitting as a completed entity which can be evaluated from an atemporal standpoint, yes, time is fixed. If time is fixed, time is fixed.

 

C2: Assuming that "freedom" is incompatible with a deterministic reality, yes. 


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Chaoslord2004 wrote: This

Chaoslord2004 wrote:

This argument will only work if one excepts the existence of propositions and the correctness of classical logic. A rejection of either of these two, will allow one to escape the fatalist conclusion. However, I think we can all agree that propositions exist and that classical logic is in fact a good system of logic. Here is the argument:

P1: The Law of Excluded Middle - For any P, either it or its negation is true

P2: Propositions about the future exist

P3: Since every proposition is either true or false, every proposition which asserts something about the future,

P3 is false. A proposition can have an undetermined truth value. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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todangst
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Yiab wrote:Alright, let's

Yiab wrote:

Alright, let's get started: What can you possibly mean by "propositions exist"?

A proposition is a term with a positive identity. There is no ontological problem here.

Quote:

They don't have a physical form, they are linguistic constructions imbued with abstract meaning by interpretation within consciousness.

Linguistic constructions have a physical form. They exist as abstractions - which in turn exist as neurons in a physical brain, they exist as 'indirect' communication (electronically stored, electronically transmittedl) and/or demonstration (i.e. speech).

We'd be unable to discuss them in any positive way, at all, if they had no physical form. Unless you are prepared to give me a postive ontology for immateriality, you must concede that linguistic constructs exist, and exist as matter/energy. 

Quote:

Saying that they "exist" implies that they have have properties independant of the intersubjective clusterfuck of human socio-linguistic thought.

Saying that they 'exist' implies that they have properties. Period.

All properties, as far as we know, are material. This includes 'intersubjective clusterfucks'. Immateriality is a broken concept, it has no postive ontology, as you yourself indirectly note.

But intersubjectivity 'exists', ergo we can say it has positive attributes. And it does. It  involves thought, which is material. And interactions, which are behavioral/material.

 

Quote:

Once again, claiming that classical logic is "correct" requires already that there is an objective truth to which classical logic can correspond.

I'd agree with this. Logic is not 'true' or 'correct', logic is a method, a means for assessing argument forms for soundness, etc.

Quote:

Modern logic is essentially a syntactic excercise and there are numerous working alternatives to classical logic. Additionally, classical logic interpreted in terms of verisimilitude consists only of tautologies.

Agreed, any deductive argument amounts to a tautology. The value of deduction is mainly clarity.

......................

As for the examination of the argument, I see that P3 commits a false dichotomy error, and I stop there.

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Yiab
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todangst wrote: A

todangst wrote:
A proposition is a term with a positive identity. There is no ontological problem here.

Okay, so what does it mean for a term to "exist"? What does "identity" mean when referring to abstractions of patterns? I hope you are not claiming that a term's identity is the identity of its component wavicles, because no terms would ever have a consistent form in that case.

 

todangst wrote:
Linguistic constructions have a physical form. They exist as abstractions - which in turn exist as neurons in a physical brain, they exist as 'indirect' communication (electronically stored, electronically transmittedl) and/or demonstration (i.e. speech).

I disagree. Abstractions are patterns within the structure of neurons in the brain as interpreted by another pattern in that same brain. In order to give a proposition existence independant of which mind is thinking it, we need to abstract a further level and say that a proposition is a pattern in the brain which, when interpreted by consciousness, refers to the similarities between patterns which could exist in any sufficiently complex structure which, when interpreted by consciousness, in turn refer to the similarities between a variety of sorts of patterns of markings on surfaces and pattens of sequential sounds within social contexts.

Essentially, my objection here is that I don't believe that a "pattern" exists any more than I believe that "meaning" exists. Patterns are inferred and meaning imbued, but they have no objective existence.

 

todangst wrote:
We'd be unable to discuss them in any positive way, at all, if they had no physical form. Unless you are prepared to give me a postive ontology for immateriality, you must concede that linguistic constructs exist, and exist as matter/energy.

In fact, we have a very difficult time understanding the most basic of physical forms (the smallest known subatomic particles), but we can easily discuss and understand gigantic collections of particles with structures that vary in a variety of ways (everything macroscopic) and we speak of these entities as though their "identity" was somehow independant of their constituent components. In this case, we are speaking of "percieved identity" rather than some kind of "objective identity" and I hope it is clear that "percieved identity" is highly subjective.

I need no ontology for immateriality since I am not claiming that linguistic constructs exist in some immaterial sense, I am claiming that linguistic constructs only have interpreted existence or imbued existence, not objective existence.

Perhaps my ontological criteria for objective existence are too harsh, but I haven't yet heard any reason to believe that.


todangst wrote:
Saying that they 'exist' implies that they have properties. Period.

All properties, as far as we know, are material. This includes 'intersubjective clusterfucks'. Immateriality is a broken concept, it has no postive ontology, as you yourself indirectly note.

But intersubjectivity 'exists', ergo we can say it has positive attributes. And it does. It involves thought, which is material. And interactions, which are behavioral/material.

Once again, properties are interpretations. Properties are patterns used to aid in the understanding of an entity by a mind, they are not objective and have no objective reality. To one person a rug is red, to another green (if one of them is colourblind or if they are moving at vastly different speeds). Some case can be made for the electrical and gravitational properties of the most basic subatomic particles, but even those are relative to interaction with other subatomic particles and not truly objective.

Everything that exists and is concieved of by consciousness is ascribed properties by that consciousness, since consciousness can only understand things through the properties is percieves to be present. Consciousness ascribes properties to many non-existent entities as well through this same method (non-existent entity: A pattern within a consciousness which is interpreted by that consciousness as potentially possessing a semantic referrent but which possesses no such referrent).

Similarly, intersubjectivity is a gigantic web of patterns interpreting each other where each pattern also attempts to interpret the whole. Since I do not accord patterns with objective existence, clearly I cannot accord intersubjectivity with objective existence, merely existence which is imbued by the patterns within itself and which is a matter of interpretation.

 

todangst wrote:
Agreed, any deductive argument amounts to a tautology. The value of deduction is mainly clarity.

An additional use of deductive disciplines is to enable chains of deductive reasoning which are too long to be understood by the human mind to be nevertheless recognised as sound (this is basically what I consider all of math to be - not just for clarity but also for greatly extending the available length of deductive chains).


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Chaoslord2004 wrote:

Chaoslord2004 wrote:
C1: Since every proposition has a definite truth value, the future is not up to us; the future is already decided.

I dispute that this conclusion follows from the premises.
Propositions of the future are up to us as they depend causally on our decisions. The fact that our decisions are predetermined does not change this.

Quote:
C2: Thus, freedom is an illusion.

As C2 follows from C1, it also fails.
Freedom of will is that our future depends on our choices.
This is still true, even if our choices are determined.


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axiom wrote: The future is

axiom wrote:
The future is by definition ‘what will happen’

So?  A fatalist like myself would argue that you are correct.  But so what?  What will happen, is bound to happen.  If I am to eat a ham sandwitch tomorrow, it is already predecided.

 

axiom wrote:
you can not change ‘what will happen’ to something else since that entails contradictions.

yeah, and this is fatalism.  You can't change what will happen, unless fatalism is false.  Then you can, ipso facto, change what will happen.

 

axiom wrote:
Indeterministic universes or deterministic universes.

Fatalism does not imply determinism, nor does determinism imply fatalism.  This is fairly easy to prove.

 

axiom wrote:
3. The claim that freedom is therefore an illusion simply assumes the libertarian notion of freedom which is absurd, incoherent and false.

Agreed.  Compatablist freewill is a mere ad hoc manuever.  It is a desperate attempt to save have freedom and determinism; in other words, to have your cake and eat it too.  Determinism is true...hard determinism. 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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Vessel wrote: I think I

Vessel wrote:
I think I would challenge this at P3. While every proposition about the future may be either true or false at the point that it occurs, until that point a truth value can not be subscribed to it.

Hence, there must be a truth-maker for a proposition.  Hence, there must be some fact that exists to make it true.  While prima facie, compelling, it crumbles upon analysis.  Take past events.  Is it true that Ceaser was stabbed to death?  Yes.  Why?  The fact does not exist...since the past doesn't exist.  Thus, your rebuttle has the unfortunate concequence of propositions about the past, not true, since there is no truth-maker.

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


Chaoslord2004
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todangst wrote: P3 is

todangst wrote:
P3 is false. A proposition can have an undetermined truth value.

Fine, then you reject classical logic, meaning you reject the LEM.  The price you pay, is that disjunctive syllogism is no longer a valid inference rule.  Moreover, neither is reductio:  (P --> (Q ^ ~Q)) --> ~P 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


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(I like to think that the

(I like to think that the reason why Chaoslord hasn't replied to my post is because he has found my argument unassailable and has not managed to find an objection to it! Wink)