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Sorry for the delay in replying. No, I don't have any objection to the reading of the counterfactual. However I fail to connect it to the question I posed.

In a determined universe, the future is completely determined whether any conscious entity in it can predict it or not. No actions, considerations, beliefs of any entity have any more significance on the future than those of another simply because they cannot alter it.

Determinism, like solipsism, is a logically consistent system of belief. It cannot be proven wrong anymore than solpsism can be, since the only "evidence" disproving it, if any, lies with the entity believing it, not outside.

Do you feel that you are a purposeless entity whose actions and beliefs have no significance whatsoever on the future? If so, your feelings are very much consistent with your belief in determinism. If not, it may be time to take into consideration the evidence in the form of your feelings.

Thank you all for your time!

Actually you brought in the counterfactual argument to attempt to explain the significance (or "purpose") of an approach called consequentialism (as opposed to others) in a determined universe.

A deterministic universe can contain a correct implementation of a calculator that returns 2+2=4 or an incorrect one that returns 2+2=5.

Sure it can. But it is possible to declare one of them as valid only because you are outside of both and you have a notion of what the result should be.

But to avoid the confusion over the use of words I will restate what I said earlier slightly differently.

In a deterministic universe, neither of a pair of opposites like valid/invalid, right/wrong, true/false etc has more significance than the other. Everything just is. Every belief and action is just as significant as any other because that is exactly how each of them has been determined to be.

If delusions presented only survival dsiadvantages and no advantages, you are right. However, that need not be the case.

The delusion about an afterlife can co-exist with correct cognition in matters affecting immediate survival and when it does, it can enhance survival chances. So evolution doesn't automatically lead to/enhance correct cognition. I am not saying correctness plays no role, but isn't the sole deciding factor, at least not in the case of evolutionary selection.

Just to clarify, in a deterministic universe, there are no "invalid" or "wrong" things. Everything just is. Every belief and action is just as valid as any other because that is exactly how each of them has been determined to be.

Large useless brain consumes a lot of energy, which means more dangerous hunting and faster consumption of supplies when food is insufficient. The relation to survival is straightforward.

Peacock tails reduce their survival chances. Even so peacocks are around. As long as the organism survives until it is capable of procreation, any survival disadvantages don't pose an evolutionary disadvantage.

Sounds like a group selection to me. And not much in accordance with observation.

I am more inclined towards the gene selection theory, not group selection. About the only species whose delusions we can observe are ourselves. So it is difficult to come out wth any significant objective observational data.

Although I don't believe the Jews believe in their chosenness on genetical grounds, even if they did, they aren't much sucessful after all.

I didn't mean Jews, I meant human species. If delusions are not genetically determined, what would be their source, from a deterministic point of view?

The elaborate hypothetical is the equivalent of saying what if the programming of Alice had been altered in the minor way, that nobody notices, to order eggplant parmesan instead of fettucini alfredo which her earlier programming would have made her to order? Since there is no agent external to the world that can do it, there is no possibility of that happening. Or it could mean that any minor changes from the predetermined program are possible in a deterministic universe as long as nobody notices them, which would imply an incompletely determined universe.

Forming and holding any belief is costly. The time and energy you spend forming delusions can be used elsewhere.

Perhaps. But do not see why that should present an evolutionary disadvantage if they do not impact survival and procreation. On the contrary it could present an evolutionary adavantage. A species that deluded itself inot believing that its has been the chosen species, might actually work energetically towards establshing its hegemony and gain an evolutionary advantage.

An example would be helpful. I don't know what evidence you are speaking about.

The evidence was stated in the very next line, the Darwinian evolution, something that is not required to describe the evolution of non-biological systems.

What is the difference between respecting physical laws and not violating them?

Of course, none. The distinction I wanted to make was one between respecting/not-violating and being completely determined by.

Physical laws (and I am speaking mainly about the microscopical ones) determine the time evolution uniquely. Once you know the initial state in all detail, the future is logically fixed, there is no freedom for additional laws. That of course doesn't mean that the predictions of future are practically feasible or even easy.

Nothing to differ there as a definition of determinism. It was exactly the point I was making too. If biological systems are, like us, are completely determined by physical laws, the apparent choice of making a decision by considering consequences is itself an illusion.

Consequentialism doesn't require either. The choices needn't be principially unpredictable to be meaningful.

In which case every choice every entity makes, regardless of how it arrives at it, is meaningful. In other words there are no meaningless choices in the real world.

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