Determinism vs Dependent origination

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
chownah
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by chownah » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:55 pm

Was not that your own definition :shrug:
For me, determinism means that all things (events) have outcomes which can be predicted from the previous conditions for all of time. This does not allow for probability of what outcome will appear.....all outcomes are 100% predictable (in theory) if the prior conditions are known.
That was not meant as a definition although I see that it clearly can be taken that way. That was meant to address a post where probability was conflated with determinism and I was trying to make a statement to clearly show that in my view this is not appropriate.....a sloppy reply on my part. I was trying to show that if predictions are made they would not be probabalistic. Sorry for the confusion.

See how cause and effect pervades the discussion....even though I call it an optional accessory to what I hold to be determinism simpliciter it snuck into my post when I was in too much of a hurry to make the proper reply!
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Bundokji
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by Bundokji » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:55 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 pm
That was not meant as a definition although I see that it clearly can be taken that way. That was meant to address a post where probability was conflated with determinism and I was trying to make a statement to clearly show that in my view this is not appropriate.....a sloppy reply on my part. I was trying to show that if predictions are made they would not be probabalistic. Sorry for the confusion.

See how cause and effect pervades the discussion....even though I call it an optional accessory to what I hold to be determinism simpliciter it snuck into my post when I was in too much of a hurry to make the proper reply!
chownah
Even your other posts where you tried to present it as optional, you was explaining be-cause. So even if it is not there explicitly ....
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

chownah
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by chownah » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:13 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:55 pm
chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 pm
That was not meant as a definition although I see that it clearly can be taken that way. That was meant to address a post where probability was conflated with determinism and I was trying to make a statement to clearly show that in my view this is not appropriate.....a sloppy reply on my part. I was trying to show that if predictions are made they would not be probabalistic. Sorry for the confusion.

See how cause and effect pervades the discussion....even though I call it an optional accessory to what I hold to be determinism simpliciter it snuck into my post when I was in too much of a hurry to make the proper reply!
chownah
Even your other posts where you tried to present it as optional, you was explaining be-cause. So even if it is not there explicitly ....
I don't understand this post.

It seems that you are saying that determinism implies cause and effect. I explicitly said "A determinate world does not necessarily have to function through cause and effect" and "to ask how DO works is kind of silly in a determinate world without cause and effect" and "IN a determinate world (either with or without cause and effect)".......so I think my ideas about determinism show that I do not rely on an implication that it must be accompanied by cause and effect.....and that " I define determinism to mean what it says pretty much i.e. it is the belief that all things and actions are determined and that there is nothing which can cause a deviation from that determination. The two most common views as to what "makes" the determination are God (or gods) and cause and effect. But in absolute terms it is not necessary to define how or why or what "makes" the determination.".
You're joking....right?
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Bundokji
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by Bundokji » Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:37 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:13 pm
Bundokji wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:55 pm
chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 pm
That was not meant as a definition although I see that it clearly can be taken that way. That was meant to address a post where probability was conflated with determinism and I was trying to make a statement to clearly show that in my view this is not appropriate.....a sloppy reply on my part. I was trying to show that if predictions are made they would not be probabalistic. Sorry for the confusion.

See how cause and effect pervades the discussion....even though I call it an optional accessory to what I hold to be determinism simpliciter it snuck into my post when I was in too much of a hurry to make the proper reply!
chownah
Even your other posts where you tried to present it as optional, you was explaining be-cause. So even if it is not there explicitly ....
I don't understand this post.

It seems that you are saying that determinism implies cause and effect. I explicitly said "A determinate world does not necessarily have to function through cause and effect" and "to ask how DO works is kind of silly in a determinate world without cause and effect" and "IN a determinate world (either with or without cause and effect)".......so I think my ideas about determinism show that I do not rely on an implication that it must be accompanied by cause and effect.....and that " I define determinism to mean what it says pretty much i.e. it is the belief that all things and actions are determined and that there is nothing which can cause a deviation from that determination. The two most common views as to what "makes" the determination are God (or gods) and cause and effect. But in absolute terms it is not necessary to define how or why or what "makes" the determination.".
You're joking....right?
chownah
Is not that what you said:
A determinate world does not necessarily have to function through cause and effect....it may be that there are hard wired things that are "causes" and others that are "effects" of those "causes" but it doesn't have to be that way.....it could just be that we are pre-determined to view events that way
So, in your attempt to make cause optional, you could not help but provide causes for your opinion
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

chownah
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by chownah » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:14 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:37 pm
A determinate world does not necessarily have to function through cause and effect....it may be that there are hard wired things that are "causes" and others that are "effects" of those "causes" but it doesn't have to be that way.....it could just be that we are pre-determined to view events that way
So, in your attempt to make cause optional, you could not help but provide causes for your opinion
I think you are changing the subject being discussed from the content of what I have said to the way in which I present it. Whether I provide causes for my opions I think is of no importance.....I could just be mistaken.....

I don't see that I have "provided causes" for my opinions....perhaps you could explain what you mean by this.....what I am trying to say is that I don't claim to know how the world works; perhaps there is some active principle of "cause and effect" or perhaps "cause and effect" might be a delusional construct like the buddhist concept of a delusional self....I don't claim to know which of these is the way the world works or if perhaps it might work another way entirely .....that the world appears to operate through cause and effect is a commonly held belief but does not mean that it must be that way....it might be completely wrong.

If I provide causes for my opinions (which I am doubting but willing to be shown) then this might just show that I am under the spell of a delusional sense of "cause and effect". Think about gamblers.....some of them think that crossing their fingers (or other things) brings them luck until they loose their money.....we are all easily deluded (think identity view here).

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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by Bundokji » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:43 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:14 pm
I think you are changing the subject being discussed from the content of what I have said to the way in which I present it. Whether I provide causes for my opions I think is of no importance.....I could just be mistaken.....
I think its importance is related to clear communication. Suppose i claim that the sky is green (which is different than how the majority of human perceive it). In order to be taken seriously and to be considered conveying something meaningful and useful, i need to explain why i believe the sky is green.
I don't see that I have "provided causes" for my opinions....perhaps you could explain what you mean by this.....what I am trying to say is that I don't claim to know how the world works; perhaps there is some active principle of "cause and effect" or perhaps "cause and effect" might be a delusional construct like the buddhist concept of a delusional self....I don't claim to know which of these is the way the world works or if perhaps it might work another way entirely .....that the world appears to operate through cause and effect is a commonly held belief but does not mean that it must be that way....it might be completely wrong.
We are discussing two theories/laws explaining the world, aint we? Hence the need for definitions arose. We are not discussing our personal opinions about the world, but analyzing the world through the two laws in hand, and by doing so, trying to understand the similarities and the differences between the two.

Even if cause and effect as a commonly held belief does not make them necessarily right, but that does not make them wrong. In fact, the topic of this discussion is not discussing whether cause and effect are real or not, but comparing/contrasting determinism and DO in which causes and effects seem integral to both. Instead of focusing on the main issue, you focused on something completely different which is the validity of cause and effect, not by providing evidence, but by mere speculation. Notions such as "cause and effect might be a delusion" do not add anything useful, do not lead to clarity, but to confusion in my opinion.
If I provide causes for my opinions (which I am doubting but willing to be shown) then this might just show that I am under the spell of a delusional sense of "cause and effect". Think about gamblers.....some of them think that crossing their fingers (or other things) brings them luck until they loose their money.....we are all easily deluded (think identity view here).
I have already shown you when i quoted you.

Also in my mind, when you say that this might just show that you are under the spell of delusional sense of cause and effect, you did the following:

1- provided a speculative/imaginary/uninformative view
2- Presented it as if it was the truth
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

chownah
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by chownah » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:08 pm

Again I think you are no longer replying to the meaning of what I am saying and instead discussing the way I present it. I'm not interested in going there. It seems you have nothing to say about the meaning of what I have said in recent posts.

I think your discussion is more of an explication of how causal determinism and DO are similar. They can be taken as being similar or quite different. It depends on whether you think that DO is the kind of thing which deals with questions like on such and such a date mr. so and so will cut his nose hairs....will he first cut them from the left nostril or the right nostril and will the mouse which watches him take the opportunity to raid the cheese cupboard?

Of course this is ridiculuous but a strict interpretation of causal determinism claims that given adequate knowledge what will happen inre can be obtained today. So....to avoid this nonsense one can say we only need consider causal determinsim to relate to more important things which is fine but then you have a highly restricted type of causal determinism and of course this makes it easier to say it is comparable to DO and then upon further analysis one can reduce causal determinism to the causal view of DO and then....voila....they are without doubt very similar.

Perhaps the title of this thread should be "Severely Restricted Causal-Determinism vs DO"....to me that would make sense if finding a way to show similarity is desired....."Determnism vs DO" can only show a similarity to the extent that one wants to paint determinism with the brush of "cause and effect".....might as well all the thread "Cause and Effect vs DO".....but then it would be a very old and well worn discussion about whether DO was timeless or not...."no fun"...."been there, done that" many people say.
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Bundokji
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by Bundokji » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:55 am

chownah wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:08 pm
Perhaps the title of this thread should be "Severely Restricted Causal-Determinism vs DO"....to me that would make sense if finding a way to show similarity is desired....."Determnism vs DO" can only show a similarity to the extent that one wants to paint determinism with the brush of "cause and effect".....might as well all the thread "Cause and Effect vs DO".....but then it would be a very old and well worn discussion about whether DO was timeless or not...."no fun"...."been there, done that" many people say.
This thread was an attempt to investigate why many Buddhists are determinists as per Dr. David's post on another thread. Cause and effect may be the reason.

I don't understand the deeper meaning of DO nor i have the authority to impose on you a specific definition of determinism. However, i do not recall the Buddha ever denied cause and effect. In a way, similar to death. From the deathless point of view, one can claim that death is a delusion, but the Buddha encouraged us too contemplate death.

I think unless one is free from cause and effect or death, denying them leads nowhere.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:25 pm

Determinism hardly applies to a system without a beginning like Samsara

justindesilva
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by justindesilva » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:58 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:25 pm
Determinism hardly applies to a system without a beginning like Samsara
I sincerely feel that determinism exists in theistic religions where God is supposed to determine the future of people and everything else mentioned as omnipotence.

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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by budo » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:13 am

justindesilva wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:58 am
rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:25 pm
Determinism hardly applies to a system without a beginning like Samsara
I sincerely feel that determinism exists in theistic religions where God is supposed to determine the future of people and everything else mentioned as omnipotence.
Have you heard of Raymond M Smullyan? He's one of the most notable logicians and mathematicians of our time he received his PhD at princeton university, but also attended Yeshiva university (a religious jewish institution).

Anyway he wrote a piece of work about determinism vs free will, and religion, called "Is God a Taoist?", it's a long read but you may find it really interesting.

http://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writ ... aoist.html

In short, you can have free will and determinism at the same time.

justindesilva
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by justindesilva » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:24 am

budo wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:13 am
justindesilva wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:58 am
[quote=rightviewftw post_id=489187

Have you heard of Raymond M Smullyan? He's one of the most notable logicians and mathematicians of our time he received his PhD at princeton university, but also attended Yeshiva university (a religious jewish institution).

Anyway he wrote a piece of work about determinism vs free will, and religion, called "Is God a Taoist?", it's a long read but you may find it really interesting.

http://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writ ... aoist.html
Thanks Budo , it is interesting . I may take time to understand it.

chownah
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by chownah » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:47 am

budo wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:13 am
In short, you can have free will and determinism at the same time.
If you apply restrictions and qualifications to determinism you can have both at the same time...if you apply restrictions and qualifications to determinism you can have it with anything you want.....you can even have determinsim with non-determinism at the same time if determinism is adequately restricted and qualified.
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by budo » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:08 pm

chownah wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:47 am
budo wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:13 am
In short, you can have free will and determinism at the same time.
If you apply restrictions and qualifications to determinism you can have both at the same time...if you apply restrictions and qualifications to determinism you can have it with anything you want.....you can even have determinsim with non-determinism at the same time if determinism is adequately restricted and qualified.
chownah
As I said earlier, to try to make determinism and free will conflict with eachother is like trying to make the process and the outcome separate when they are indeed one and the same. You assume that everything is sequential and orderly based on time, but if time does not exist (and it really doesn't), then you have probability. Hence why on a macro perspective (a slow large perspective) everything seems causal, but on a quantum or micro perspective everything seems probabilistic.

In other words, God, the universe, or dependent origination, is a process that are both deterministic and probabilistic. Anyway, that's why I said I'll settle on the middle ground that the process is deterministic and the outcome is probabilistic.

As quoted in Smullyan's work "Is God is a Taoist?"
What I said was misleading in two respects. First of all it is inaccurate to speak of my role in the scheme of things. I am the scheme of things. Secondly, it is equally misleading to speak of my aiding the process of sentient beings attaining enlightenment. I am the process. The ancient Taoists were quite close when they said of me (whom they called "Tao") that I do not do things, yet through me all things get done. In more modem terms, I am not the cause of Cosmic Process, I am Cosmic Process itself. I think the most accurate and fruitful definition of me which man can frame -- at least in his present state of evolution -- is that I am the very process of enlightenment. Those who wish to think of the devil (although I wish they wouldn't!) might analogously define him as the unfortunate length of time the process takes. In this sense, the devil is necessary; the process simply does take an enormous length of time, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. But, I assure you, once the process is more correctly understood, the painful length of time will no longer be regarded as an essential limitation or an evil. It will be seen to be the very essence of the process itself. I know this is not completely consoling to you who are now in the finite sea of suffering, but the amazing thing is that once you grasp this fundamental attitude, your very finite suffering will begin to diminish -- ultimately to the vanishing point.

chownah
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Re: Determinism vs Dependent origination

Post by chownah » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:27 pm

budo wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:08 pm
As I said earlier, to try to make determinism and free will conflict with eachother is like trying to make the process and the outcome separate when they are indeed one and the same. You assume that everything is sequential and orderly based on time, but if time does not exist (and it really doesn't), then you have probability. Hence why on a macro perspective (a slow large perspective) everything seems causal, but on a quantum or micro perspective everything seems probabilistic.

In other words, God, the universe, or dependent origination, is a process that are both deterministic and probabilistic. Anyway, that's why I said I'll settle on the middle ground that the process is deterministic and the outcome is probabilistic.
You seem to be of the view that you can use the six senses to make a decisive determination as to whether things are deterministic or if things are free-will-istic. You can not make that determination as far as I can tell. It seems that you are trying to make a decisive determination from your observations and/or readings. It still remains that in a purely deterministic world anyone could observe the same things as you have observed and read the things you have read and make the same posts that you have made and it would all be wrong.

I'm not claiming to know what is deterministic and what is not but it really seems that you do not have an understanding of what all is implied by the concept of a purely deterministic world....in a purely deterministic world probability does not apply because probability requires and uncertainty and in a purely deterministic world when there is full knowledge there is no uncertainty as to how things are and how they will be.
chownah

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