Message from discussion Why free will cannot exist
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Subject: Re: Why free will cannot exist
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 14:08:37 -0700 (PDT)
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On 12 avr, 22:50, John Stockwell <john.19071...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:22:48 PM UTC-6, marc.t...@wanadoo.fr wrote:
> > On 12 avr, 21:30, John Stockwell <john.19071...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > "Energy exists" is not an hypothesis?
> > > No. "Energy exists" is an ontological statement. It is not an hypothesis in the scientific sense, because
> > > hypotheses are generated by theoretical constructs
> > > called 'theories'.
> > > Science is about the clever use of epistemological structures as a stand-in for ontological statements.
> > > The old time philosophers made the mistake of attempting to axiomatize reality in terms of many ontological statements and then attempted to explain the structures observed in the universe by deductions from those axioms. This method always fails. It has failed for every religion, every philosophy, because we do not possess knowledge at a very deep level.
> > > The reason science is successful is that the game has been taken out of the realm of "name that ontology" to the game of "the last epistemological structure standing".
> > > -John
> > I am sorry but, to me at least, you are not clear enough.
> > For instance can you, in simple words (particularly for a non-English
> > speaker), clarify your sentence: "... the game has been taken out of
> > the realm of "name that ontology" to the game of 'the last
> > epistemological structure standing' "?
> "Ontology" is the problem of existence and anything
> related to that is "ontological". "Epistemology" is the problem of knowledge and anything related to what we think we know is "epistemological".
> Basically the old time philosophers made laundry lists stating that the world is "thus and such" and then tried to explain the world by deducing from those lists things that they observed in the world.
> In science, what we say the world is, is very simple. We have some notions. First of all, we treat the world as something we can chop up in to pieces "things" or "objects". We believe based on our experiences that there is a principle of "causality", that our experience of the universe tells us that we wake up in more or less the same world we went to sleep in. This leads us to the notion of "uniformity".
> Given causality, uniformity, persistence of phenomena, and objectifiability, that's it. That is all we say reality is.
> Now, what do we do about it? Do we try to guess attributes that represent "existence" (ontology)?
> No. That is what old time philosophers and religionists tried to do, and they failed miserably.
> What we do is observe, we communicate and discuss what we observe, and try to make sense of it. The way we try to make sense is reduce what we observe to descriptions called "laws", and propose theories that
> make testable predictions called "hypotheses", and we
> proceed to test those hypotheses.
> The theories that describe what is observed the best
> and allow us to make the best predictions are kept, and
> the others are discarded or become less interesting. We don't have truth. What we have is continually a
> game of "the last theory standing".
In other words: "old time philosophers and religionists" thought it
was possible to understand "why" while science, most often using the
fabulous tool of mathematics, demonstrates it is possible to
understand at least "how", right?