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that would be funny were it a paradox.


This makes sense, somewhat and now that i realize your not trying to defend compatibilism and can shift gears a bit. I really think that the whole situation might just be a veridical paradox, both being true equally. So in a way i would like to concede to compatibilism, however compatabilist attempts at solving the paradox are pathetic. Not sure if you have heard of Dialetheism, its a growing western philosophy that recognizes true contradictions. If compatibilism is a true contradiction than there will never be an explanation for how it works. It will just have to be accepted as such. The problem for most rationalists is that it takes the wind out of their sails. Also who decides something is a veridical paradox? Graham Priest has several books on the topic which challenges Aristotle's Law of Non Contradiction which is what we base most western debate off of. Perhaps it is time to start rethinking the wheel of some rational solutions..

here is a WIKI link to read more on dialethesim


The reason i said "little effort" is to clarify that one could possibly with much concentration have an effect on the subconscious, However the kind of effect im concerned with is the act of everyday choices that happen in nano seconds. I would welcome some data on "much effort" effects as well.


Any shown tangible research that an agent can manipulate and control with little effort their subconscious mind.

The presence of, would imply a host of things from complete agent responsibility in all areas of life.

The absence of it would not only imply severed liability but also complete meaninglessness.

Most branches of existential philosophy solve meaninglessness by stating one has control over their choices and so creating meaning, If one is stripped of that control than meaninglessness truly abounds.

Of course that is unless one believes in God.


@ orthonormal

you said- I agree. But I think that there is actually some feature of the (deterministic) act of choosing which leads a person to falsely believe that their choice is nondeterministic, and that by analyzing this we learn something interesting and important about cognition.

Very true. so what do you make of reconciling the two? Do we castigate them both in hopes of finding something out that is hiding in the shadows? The nexus of the matter is "belief" and in order to have a sound belief one should know as many facts about the subject as possible. I listened to a long discourse given by Dennet who is a avid compatibilist, he presented an extremely weak argument with nothing to back up his claims, now when i read "the illusion of free will" by wegner its nothing but proof.

Now of course we can poke holes all day in theories derived from test studies. But by what else can we as humans deduct solid reasoning if we don't take what evidence is available to us. To me discussing this topic is not about fascination, its about getting the truth. I might be that crazy to think it's available.


@Thomblake sorry about the message thing. Im still getting used to how this site works..

You substantiate analogies with proof. Basically im saying that your analogies don't hold water perhaps i'm using confusing vernacular.

Let me say one thing before moving on. I hate debating just to debate, for me when i involve myself in a debate it is to gain more insight. So i am totally open to your point of view if it sheds some light on this subject, the bottom line is if someone has a solid angle that i'm missing than i welcome it.

Ok that being said. it sounds like your actually mostly agreeing with me.

You do however trail off with more questions. Like

"If the things we perceive as "choices" are "not really choices", then what is really a choice? What do we mean by "choice"? The problem i have is that if you hold a firm position on compatibilism then you should be able to explain it to a laymen by using real proof.

My question to you is how is proof that our "will" is not really controlled by us as ideal conscious agents irrelevant?

It's absolutely relevant.

"free will" then becomes some untestable enity that is open to all kinds of conjecture and speculation. Reason and philosophy but they can only go so far when answering real life questions. So i stack up the data the best i can and make an intelligent decision based on those facts and my own empirical life evidence that i have lived through, but i will stay out of personalizing the problem.

Please just show me a shred of evidence, supporting the fact that we have real control over our subconscious minds in order to make choices freely.



thanks thanks for the information, honestly i got to this site cause i get e-mail alerts from google with anything about determinism. So when i read the article i thought it was some regular commentator. i had no idea that it was written by someone in a smaller community. That is why i was so harsh in my opening line...

Well now that i have a better understanding of what this site is about, if i make anymore comments i will word them a bit differently thanks again.


Ok i finally get the etiquette thing of this system. :)

Sorry i am a straight shooter. I will work on my wording, however i still stand by my claims of conjecture vrs facts.

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