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 My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Mon May 28, 2007 5:55 am

A couple of years ago I came up with a few posts on this topic and I decided I was going to update it for inclusion within the IP Model. I had a devil of a time finding the original posts so I thought I would post them here for my quick reference and as a possible conversation starter for another topic:

If we begin to think of determinism and free will as a ratio more than as a particular given, we can incorporate the idea into that of evolution. Determinism will have more gravity and thus be more fundamental. Free-will will be more valuable and thus that which evolutions "seems" to move towards. This would help to explain why evolution seems to create more complex organisms but simultaneously is grounded in its more fundamental nature. (If you fall down a hole, your body's more fundamental material makeup will override your ego's free will and take it down with it.)

This would also corroborate Maslow's (and other's) findings that humans have a heirarchy of needs. We have to secure the more fundamental natures before higher and more complex forms of being (and thus, free-will) can be realized:

Stage determinstic/free-will

Matter (12/1)
Vegetative life functions (11/2)
Sensation (10/3)
Perception (9/4)
Pleasure/pain (emotions) ( 8/5)
Images (7/6)
Concepts and opinions (6/7)
Logical faculty (5/8 )
Creative Reason (4/9)
Soul/World Soul (3/10)
Nous (intuitive mind) (2/11)
Absolute One (Godhead) (1/12)

As you can see, the number of differentiations can be many, each infinitely shading into the other. If one listed 100 different stages, then (1) wouldn't seem nearly as large as it does on the (1-5) scale. Which is why I noted it was a crude example.

The Crude example:

1 (low) to 5 (high)

Matter (asteroid) : determinism (5) free will (1)
life (squid) : determinism (4) free will (2)
mind (Gehngis Kahn) : determinsim (3) free will (3)
soul (Emerson) : determinism (2) free will (4)
spirit (Buddah) : determinism (1) free will (5)

Here is another way to help imagine "free will" in increasing complexity:

Matter has structural form (A) as its defining characteristic of free will. Vegatative life function has reproduction (B) added to its lesser form of free will (A), or (A+B). Sensation has mobility (C) added to its lesser forms, or (A+B+C). Perception adds fundamental choice (fight or flight) (D), and adds that to its juniors(A+B+C+D). Pleasure/pain adds emotions (E), hence (A+B+C+D+E).

So, while matter may have a very crude form of "free-will" it is the most fundamental form, for if we cannot maintain structural form, none of the other developments can come about and subsequently increase the level of free-will.

On another thread I took a stab at the
determinism/free will argument from the integral perspective:

Stage determinstic/free-will

Matter (12/1)
Vegetative life functions (11/2)
Sensation (10/3)
Perception (9/4)
Pleasure/pain (emotions) ( 8/5)
Images (7/6)
Concepts and opinions (6/7)
Logical faculty (5/8 )
Creative Reason (4/9)
Soul/World Soul (3/10)
Nous (intuitive mind) (2/11)
Absolute One (Godhead) (1/12)

Now, can I take this chart (with a few possible expansions) and explain good and evil? Probably not! But why not give it a try!

A. Matter
B. Vegetative life functions
C. Sensation
D. Perception

These four aspects are pre-personal (or body) and as such cannot form even images of good and evil. If we assume matter to be the base of
manifestation, then we must also assume the world was not created with "good" and "evil". If this is true can we not reasonably assume "good" and "evil" are not inherant aspects of the universe? We must then go to the next stage at where these begin to emerge.

E. Pleasure/pain (emotions)
F. Images
G. Concepts and opinions
H. Logical faculty
I. Creative Reason

These five represent the personal (or mind), and it is from them that "good" and "evil" begin to emerge. What marks these two differentiations, body and mind? The first does not differentiate
much between self and not self, whereas the second slowly, but surely begins to define that split, or dualism.

(E) has the aspects of the impulsive, and the magical. Its primary focus is the body self, the barely awakened "me" in the very immediate sense.

Good and evil are "magical spirits" embodied in the fortune of the individual in relation to its opposition or compliance with its survival. "If it helps me it is "good", if it hurts me, it is "evil". I'll sum this up as the "help/hurt" principle.

(F) forms the basics of narcissism and hedonism. Its primary focus is still the body self, and "me" in a more defined sense.

Good and evil are now likes and dislikes. The individual begins to differentiate between acts of nature and the production or denial of material wants. Spirits become personalized and are to be appeased to gain favor. I'll sum this up as the "likes/dislikes" principle.

(G) seeks safety and power, but still for the "me" in the early concepts. In its later stage it is beginning to comprehend the "us" of family and group, and then form mythic membership
(rule/role).

Good and evil now evolves to the us vs. them. The "us" can be embodied as a tribal leader to citizenship in early city-states with patron deities to monotheisms. Summed up as "us/them" principle.

(H) seeks to break from the "herd" mentality but recognizes rational need for mutual cooperation. It is the late "us" of modern nation-states that produces the "rule of law" despite race, sex or creed. Deitiy is separated from law which now has responsibility for orderly behavior, religion for moral development.

Good and evil are seen as a mark of personal worth, or the character of a person. Summed up as "ethical/corrupt" principle.

(I) looks towards the universal and global, or "all of us" (all humans without exception). Its focus is the rational universal pluralism.

Good and evil are seen in relation to the cultural context in which they arise. The focus is on promoting the very basic rights of human beings. Summed up as "golden rule/crime against humanity" principle.

In this journey what can we conclude about good and evil? It awakens in the mind as a direct threat where it then is expanded to increasingly larger groups where the threat is diffused as it is taken on by the collective more than the individual. The individual then incresingly begins to assert its own moral worth independant of the group but in relation to other members of its group. Members of this higher morality then seek to expand certain rights of humanity to all humans despite political borders, thus attempting to make one large group. Individual to group to individual to group; or differentiate then integrate, differentiate then integrate.

Notice that the focus also seems to enlarge from "me" to "us" to "all of us". The self begins to identify with the larger whole. Spirituality is often described as a "connectiveness" with everything, an increased state of compassion and love. Could it then be said, if such states are true, that true spirituality is the transcendence of the good/evil dualism of the mind? This is why it is claimed by most of the great religions of the world that the Godhead, Absolute One, etc. is "good", because its embrace is the "all" itself, where dualism ceases to exist, thus beyond good and evil?

Now, if your claim is God is "Good", you might be able to more directly address assertions against such:

Q: "If God is good why are there earthquakes?"

A: God is not "magical spirits" in nature that help or hurt us.

Q: "If God is good why am I so miserable?"

A: God is not a personal deity that likes and dislikes.

Q: "If God is good why is their war?"

A: God is not a participant in us versus them mentalities.

Q: "If God is good why do people take advantage of one another?"

A: God is not the manipulator in individual choice.

Q: "If God is good why do people starve all around the world?"

A: God is not the distributor of material goods.

Q: "Then what good is God?"

A: God is the the unmanifest subjective source in which the mind increases its moral worth in relation to its manifest objective surfaces.

OK, now we are getting into the speculative because, as I have always freely admitted, have had no direct experience with the transcendental state on any appreciable basis. So what I offer is based on what I have read, and if it makes
reasonable sense to me. A quick review of other two charts:

Determinism/Free-will

Matter (12/1)
Vegetative life functions (11/2)
Sensation (10/3)
Perception (9/4)
Pleasure/pain (emotions) ( 8/5)
Images (7/6)
Concepts and opinions (6/7)
Logical faculty (5/8 )
Creative Reason (4/9)
---------------------------------
Soul/World Soul (3/10)
Nous (intuitive mind) (2/11)
Absolute One (Godhead) (1/12)
**********************************************
Exterior "good and evil/Interior good and evil

(E) Pleasure/pain (emotions) ( 8/1)
(F) Images (7/2)
(G) Concepts and opinions (6/3)
(H) Logical faculty (5/4)
(I) Creative Reason (4/5)
---------------------------
(J) Soul/World Soul (3/6)
(K) Nous (intuitive mind) (2/7)
(L) Absolute One (Godhead) (1/8 )
***********************************************

First, let's address the free-will aspect. For our mental concept, lets assume God is a sphere that has twelve enfolded spheres within it. Each sphere represents a realm of the divine. The smallest inner sphere is matter, the largest outer sphere is the Absolute One. (This ranking is based on value, not span; if it were span, it would be
inverted with matter largest and the realization of Absolute One smallest).

If the whole sphere represents the entire "pattern" of reality, or God, then free will is the larger perspective of the pattern itself.
The closer to center, the more determined the pattern appears. The closer to the circumfrence, the more one reconizes itself as the pattern. If you are the pattern, you are free-will.

If we follow our current assertion, that "God is Good". God represents "Good" in its absolute nature. The more one identifies with the inner circumfrences (especially those of the egoic realm), the further it is from the Good (God) source at the circumfrence. The ego, because it is dimly aware, but not able to actualize that fact
attempts to "make up for" the amount of separation between it and the Good.

This attempt is the reason for our dualistic outlook. We want the Good, but somehow cannot realize it. We assume our nature, that is, our ego, to already harness a portion of that Good, and that someone or something is denying us the full realization. We divide things then into "me" and "not me". What we slowly begin to recognize is that increased recognition of the Good involves adopting a wider embrace of what "me" also identifies with (or "me" to "us" to "all of us").

But to truly actualize "the Good", we have to be able to transcend our ego identification. This is why one is encouraged to adopt a transcendental practice. Such a practice is not for narrow religious purposes (meant to fortify the ego) but for deep religious purposes (to transcend the ego). The transcendant also may proceed in stages
of development.

The Soul/World Soul is the first stage. Although people who have claimed to have achieved this state claim a deep connectiveness with all things and a lack of conception of where the body ends and everything else begins, there still remains an element of subject/object duality. The person does, though, have an identity with all earthly beings without exception. Such an indivudual begins to look at people not as good or evil, but rather parts of its own being to celebrate or correct, as a parent needs to correct its child
when it misbehaves.

At the nous stage, not only does one feel less of a boundary between the physical self and the outer world, the mind also begins to lose the barrier between the mind of ego and the "mind of God". There is a feeling of intermingling, though this feeling is also the last remenant of dualism. The person's focus of identity now resides with all sentient beings in all realms without
exception.

The last stage of Absolute One dissolves any final dualism. The person is God, not in an egoic, manipulate reality sense. But rather, in a complete identification with all manifest and unmanifest reality. Good is not something one does, but what someone is, in a very immanent sense devoid of egoic pride or motivation.

IF this is true, or even somewhat true, God is not something to be worshiped, but rather identified with. And identification with God would theoretically result in the realization of
serenity that the false promises of materialism and consummerism can never deliver.

Travis

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Mon May 28, 2007 9:38 am

I am sure it took sometime to put this together. It is gonna take me some time to understand it all. But I got this suspicion that there is a problem in the use of language. Rather like those little math quizzes when I was younger where 1+1=3. You had to study carefully all the steps to get there to find the problem. But just to jump on one idea:
Quote :
Good is not something one does, but what someone is, in a very immanent sense devoid of egoic pride or motivation
To imply that good is in the person is to (equally) imply that evil is in the person. I reject that. People do good or evil. It is not an embodiment. This notion that some are ‘good’ and the others evil was a source of much of the agony of the 20th century. You might even say it is why the Romans killed off the Etruscans 2200 years ago. I am not prepared to accept that a person is good or evil: people do good or evil. Most cultures have rewards for doing good and punishments for doing evil. I think there are plenty of reasons beyond the threat of punishment to do good, but you know, it is my choice.
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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Mon May 28, 2007 8:52 pm

Actually, the point, thoughit may have been muddled, is that "good and evil" are really descriptors for "ignorance and knowledge" and represent a proximity towards one or the other. So yes, each person has the capacity for both, but it is the movement towards knowledge and away from ignorance that constiutes finding the "good" already in us.

-Travis

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Tue May 29, 2007 4:55 pm

When I first started to develop my own metaphysical model about 2 or 3 years ago the concept of how open systems develop and evolve in relation to "the laws of nature " and "chaos" was central.

As I thought it through it seemed that the laws of nature provided a deterministic and ordered quality that allowed for the development of systems, while chaos allowed for the possibility of creativity within open systems. It seemed like the more complex and open the system the greater the ability for creativity and "free will".

Based on these observations it seems as if open systems are capable of different levels of free will, but what about things that don't appear to be systematic in nature like a rock? Does a rock really have any free will at all? What about an electron?

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Tue May 29, 2007 7:24 pm

The Family Stone

This discussion of the freewill of inanimate objects intrigues me.

Now I have this hypothesis on rocks and pebbles. I call it the Family Stone Hypothesis. U see, after this initial consolidation of material in our solar system to form the earth, moons, and planets there were a few large boulders near the surface of the earth. The various gravitational forces tugged and pulled on the stones until they fissured. I guess u could call that stone sex, eventually the stone split into several smaller stones (stone reproduction) that generally stayed near the parent stone unless operated on by other forces such as wind, fire, water, gravity, or uplift of earth due to earthquakes or volcanoes. There is a gravitational attraction between the stones that tends to keep the family together, but then there are rolling stones and thrown stones that tend to disperse the stones, so you can say there is a migration of stones. The moon contributes to this by pulling stones to the earth’s surface similar to the pull that creates the ocean tides. Eventually these forces cause the stones to become separated from their families. The stones eventually become very small objects we call soil, which supports life, which we eventually require for agriculture. This sly process makes humans dependant on stones for subsistence.

Now that I am beginning to understand the intelligence of inanimate objects, I am going to rename my hypothesis the Sly Family Stone Hypothesis. I must read more about the freewill of water….
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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Wed May 30, 2007 10:40 am

Yes I remember this "Sly and the Family Stone" hypothesis. Smile

So you're saying that we're actually dependant on "rock-n-roll" then? Wink

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Wed May 30, 2007 10:54 am

I just wanted to bring a few concepts together here.

I'll start with this idea...
Travis Clementsmith wrote:
If we begin to think of determinism and free will as a ratio more than as a particular given, we can incorporate the idea into that of evolution. Determinism will have more gravity and thus be more fundamental. Free-will will be more valuable and thus that which evolutions "seems" to move towards.

Stage determinstic/free-will

Matter (12/1)
Vegetative life functions (11/2)
Sensation (10/3)
Perception (9/4)
Pleasure/pain (emotions) ( 8/5)
Images (7/6)
Concepts and opinions (6/7)
Logical faculty (5/8 )
Creative Reason (4/9)
Soul/World Soul (3/10)
Nous (intuitive mind) (2/11)
Absolute One (Godhead) (1/12)

Which seem to agree with the idea of a holarchy...


Now this is what Ken Wilber has proposed...

Quote :
In the manifest world, what we call "matter" is not the lowest rung in the great spectrum of existence, but the exterior form of every rung in the great spectrum. Matter is not lower with consciousness higher, but matter and consciousness are the exterior and interior of every occasion.



So according to this, matter (or information and energy) should not be on the bottom. It should actually run from the top to the bottom. It's not the most fundamental, it's just what we see on the outside. The other functions like vegetative life functions, sensation, perception, etc... are what are on the inside.

Does that makes sense?

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Thu May 31, 2007 4:27 pm

I guess what we should ask first, then, is:

"Is the free will/determinism question an exclusively upper left quadrant question?"

For if it is, then matter can still be an exterior to every interior dilema. A "rock" is therefore simply matter with very simple "prehension". Perhaps the question is also an left side interior question. Do inter-subjective groups also have inverse relationships of fw/det?

In either case, the exterior are simply the expressions of this question. So instead of calling the right side "matter", maybe it should just be referred to as "exterior", therefore the "exterior" of prehension is "matter".

-TC

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Thu May 31, 2007 5:55 pm

Yes, the more I look at it the less I like Wilber's proposal. I think I know what he's getting at but the semantics get in the way. For instance, IMO "matter" has both interior (information) and exterior (energy) aspects. I think he was trying to account for this by placing "body" on the interior side but I think it just confuses things.

I think the better way to go about it would be to have an internal "body" and an external "body" and so on. In this case the reductionist physical sciences focus on external "body" but often forget about the internal "body".

Now how does this relate to free-will/determinism? Perhaps you're right, maybe the free-will/determinism question is purely internal?

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:32 pm

The more I think about it the less I think free-will/determinism is purely internal. I think the relationship between the internal and external is symbiotic and integral.

Also the question begs to be asked whether "free-will" actually exists in the literal sense at all? Perhaps everything is based upon a cause and effect relationship. It's just that when it comes to something as complicated, and with as many variables as human consciousness, the ability to predict actions becomes impossible. In this case free-will exists in the practical sense but perhaps not in the literal sense.

So in the case of human consciousness perhaps there isn't really "free-will" but then again that doesn't mean that determinism exists either.

This brings us to the idea of emergentism...

From Wikipedia:
Quote :
In philosophy, emergentism is the belief in emergence, particularly as it involves consciousness and the philosophy of mind, and as it contrasts with reductionism. A property of a system is said to be emergent if it is more than the sum of the properties of the system's parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergentism

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:12 pm

Well, my original point was that the fw/det question was actually a misnomer. What I believe happens, and Wilber also points out, is that initially there is no "preset pattern" at any level, but when it finds a sustainable success in this "freedom", it settles into a kind of habit, or Kosmic Pattern. It is this pattern that gives the apperance of determinism, where initially none existed. So while "matter" may look very determined now, that is simply a very entrenched habit that provided the stability for the next level of "freedom". Then that level settles into a habit (or habits) providing the foundation for the next level of freedom, and so on and so forth.

This is what I incorporated into my IP Model as a cone shape in the 3-D version, or the triangle in the 2-D avatar I have. The first emergence of a habit spreads across the expanse of manifestation, which is then the platform for the next, building in a pyramid like fashion. This results in less expanse but more complex structures due to the availibity of the higher levels of freedom. This is why the intellectual level has both large degrees of freedom and some already established habits, which is why it looks like a dilema to us.

So instead of an interior/exterior question, its actuall just a sentient holon question.

-TC

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PostSubject: Re: My Old Freewill vs Determinism Outline   Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:39 pm

Travis Clementsmith wrote:
The first emergence of a habit spreads across the expanse of manifestation, which is then the platform for the next, building in a pyramid like fashion. This results in less expanse but more complex structures due to the availibity of the higher levels of freedom. This is why the intellectual level has both large degrees of freedom and some already established habits, which is why it looks like a dilema to us.

So instead of an interior/exterior question, its actuall just a sentient holon question.

-TC

I agree with just about everything you said, but is this really a question of higher levels of freedom as one moves up the pyramid, or is it just a question of higher levels of pattern complexity as one moves up the pyramid? Are they the same thing? In any case, I believe the pyramid is open ended and therefore non determinate in a practical sense.

Interior and exterior are significant because they (acting in conjunction with the individual and collective) help to develop these patterns.

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