BE ALERT!!!! (Like the world needs more lerts ...) - PhoebeKnowsAll
Captain Cynic Guides
Administrative Contact
Talk Talk
Philosophy Forum
Religion Forum
Psychology Forum
Science & Technology Forum
Politics & Current Events Forum
Health & Wellness Forum
Sexuality & Intimacy Forum
Product Reviews
Stories & Poetry Forum
Art Forum
Movie/TV Reviews
Jokes & Games
Photos, Videos & Music Forum

Solve Buriden's Ass

User Thread
 61yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Hobbes Choice is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Solve Buriden's Ass
Buriden's Ass.

Here's a problem devised to challenge ideas of free will and determinism.

An ass is hungry and can see two bales of identical straw, one the the left and one to the right, at an equal distance.
There seems to be no advantage to eating on or the other, and so he is unable to make a choice as the conditions for either one are exactly equal.
As the problem assumes that the ass has to go to the nearer bale the ass starves to death.

Normally the puzzle is conducted between water and hay - both being of equal good. But I think having just hay makes the problem resist to the objection that the 'goods' are not equal.


Aristotle used it in ridiculing the Sophist idea that the Earth is stationary simply because it is circular and any forces on it must be equal in all directions. Al-Ghazali discusses the application of this paradox to human decision making, asking whether it is possible to make a choice between equally good courses. Averoes used this to suggest it is not possible to choose between two equally good choices. And Buriden used it to satirise moral determinism, though it oddly does not appear in his writings!

| Permalink
 68yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that thx1137 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I am not exactly sure how this demonstrates between freewill and determinism. If both are equal, there is no wrong choice except no choice at all. But if the donkey eats from either, it neither proves or disproves freewill choice. If the donkey starves, the cause could be either complete indecision (freewill), or hemorrhaging instinct (determinism).

Still, an excellent vehicle to discuss opportunity cost.

| Permalink
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that pickup is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
the thing with determinism is that the equation that determines everything in the universe since the great bang is larger than anything we will ever be able to understand

not understanding this creates the illusion of free will

the fun part is in either case people can still change and decide there own destiny and whether or not it was pre determined by everything that preceded it they will never know.

| Permalink
"I like carl sagans spin on that, we are all made of the same stuff therefore we are all one and should love one another as an extension of ourselfs"
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that pickup is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Thank you for clarifying the riddle, I was not versed with the readings he was describing and I didn't analyze the example explaining the paradox more accurately.

I just knew the sort of paradox that exists between free will and determinism, I think determinism has a bit more merit to it but things like the quantum zero theory and my agnostic leanings still holds hope for free will

either way we live in a world of perspective and illusions, it's nice to know that we have the illusion of free will

Decius I would really appreciate your opinion on another thread

I got overheated and maybe you can shed a light on the primary argument as well as the sideshow after little john decided to play devils advocate or is just a total ass.

http://www.captaincynic.com/thread/96657/what-economic-governmental-syte
m-works-best-and-how.htm

| Permalink
"I like carl sagans spin on that, we are all made of the same stuff therefore we are all one and should love one another as an extension of ourselfs"
 25yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that agentchaos is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
animals and humans are capable of picking things randomly, so this paradox cannot be real

| Permalink
 68yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that thx1137 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
AgentChaos, The argument about freewill is an age old philosophical one. If there is freewill, then you cannot have prophesy, prediction, nor a deterministic universe. Therefore a most of the world's established religions immediately become nothing but fantasy. This is why it has been argued for several centuries.

The only reasonable argument to the contrary was Saint Augustine's view of a God above time. But that would preclude action at a distance, miracles, personal interaction and personal infusion (aka Holy Spirit).

Therefore, if you believe random behavior, you must concede that all is chaos. Given your moniker, I assume that you are in agreement with that.

The argument for deterministic behavior is based upon that fact that although we cannot perceive the complexity of the equation, everything can be determined by causation. Every action is a result of a cause. (You burnt your finger. You shout in pain. The finger blisters. Predictable. Deterministic).

These are mutually exclusive. You cannot have both.

| Permalink
Solve Buriden's Ass
  1  
About Captain Cynic
Common FAQ's
Captain Cynic Guides
Contact Us
Terms of Use
Privacy Policy
General Forum Rules
Cynic Trust Levels
Administrative Contact Forum
Registration
Lost Password
General Discussion
Philosophy Forums
Psychology Forums
Health Forums
Quote Submissions
Promotions & Links
 Captain Cynic on Facebook
 Captain Cynic on Twitter
 Captain Cynic RSS Feed
 Daily Tasker
Copyright © 2011 Captain Cynic All Rights Reserved.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy