Cory: And I am trying to suggest that one can surrender to the truth and still be an agent which causes things.
sam: Being a free agent is not consistent with preaching strict causation. So why would you want to do both?
Cory: I didn't say anything about being a free agent. I said, one can surrender to the truth and still be an agent which causes things.
An agent which causes things IS a free agent!
Cory: What about a robot who has programmed values, who has a goal of overcoming an obstacle? Under causation, is this nonsense?
sam: What does it mean for a robot to have a goal?
Cory: It means the robot has a programmed set of values which causes it to act in a particular way.
sam: So could it act in a wrong or ignorant way?
Cory: If it was programmed to survive - it would have to make judgments. For instance, if the robot had an injury, it would judge the injury as wrong and would judge a remedy to the injury as right. Furthermore, the robot might not know initially how to fix it's injury. It would judge itself as ignorant about it's injury and would then strive to overcome the ignorance by analyzing it's condition and trying to come up with a solution.
First, an injury isn't right or wrong, it is a condition. Second, a robot may not know a lot of things but lack of knowledge isn't ignorance per se. You don't call children ignorant because they don't have PhD's. Third, you didn't answer the question. I'll make it even simpler. A hammer is a tool in the same way a robot is a tool, only less sophisticated. Can a hammer be ignorant? Can a hammer strike a nail "wrong"?
sam: What is the efficacy of teaching causation to those who are already under its sway?
Cory: That's just like asking what the efficacy is of teaching a child about the world who is already under it's sway. Just because a child is immersed in the world is no reason for not teaching the child about the world.
sam: Except that a child can effect his or her world. You cannot effect causation but only act under it.
Cory: Causation is something that you literally are. You and causation are not two separate things.
This is my point, not yours. Would you teach a human to be human? So why teach causation to causation?
sam: I am not saying you can't do anything you want with your life. I am saying that if you teach causation you are still left with causation which is where you began.
Cory: Where a person begins is ignorance of causation. Ideally, a person ends with an awareness of causation. Big difference.
But what is the difference? Is it just another piece of "knowledge" or does it change how you act? If you act no differently than you otherwise would, of what use is it?
sam: Whether you commit to a woman or not does not effect causation.
Cory: It certainly effects your awareness of causation.
sam: But if you believed you are caused to do what you do, either way would be perfectly okay. You would just accept the outcome without pride or regret.
Cory: It's because one is aware of causation that pride and regret can be overcome.
Again, this is my point, not yours. That is a surrender to causation which is what I have been pointing to from the start.
sam: What is it you are trying to accomplish by teaching causation that isn't already happening?
Cory: Pleasure and pain, peace and war, love and hate - the causal relationship between these opposites is rarely acknowledged. People should be made aware that they are sowing the seeds of sorrow. If they realized the truth in what they were doing - they would cease doing it.
Cory: That's just like asking why people refrain from smoking cigarettes after they are educated about it's dangers.
So causation means what? Pleasure not pain, peace not war, love not hate? You still haven't said why.
sam: Why can't you accept whatever they do since you believe it to be caused?
Cory: That's just like asking why I don't let my garden become infested by weeds. Yes, I believe my garden is caused, but that doesn't stop me from intervening and guiding my garden in a desirable direction.
The point isn't not to do anything, it is to accept the results of what you do without pride or regret. You yourself already agreed with this and here you are arguing with it? What's up with that?
sam: You say you want to help people, isn't that treating them as free agents and yourself as well?
Cory: Just because I give fertilizer to a garden of lettuce - does not mean that I'm treating the lettuce as free agents.
sam: Treating lettuce as lettuce is accepting causation.
Cory: Yes, and treating a human being interested in learning as a human being interested in learning is accepting causation as well.
But they already have causation! They are fully caused already! Would you teach addition and subtraction to a PhD. in math?
Likewise, just because I give truth to humanity - does not mean that I'm treating them as free agents.
You are expecting them to act differently with their new knowledge, are you not? Why else would you teach them?
sam: You want to be a cause, that is treating yourself as a free agent.
Cory: Just because the sun is a cause, doesn't mean it's a free agent.
The sun doesn't desire to be a cause, you do. Besides, the point is free agents see themselves as causes, that's why they act. You are doing no differently than they are by your own reasoning. If your actions are justified in the same manner as those of free agents, what is the value of seeing yourself in terms of causation? You are insisting on a distinction without a difference.
sam: You want humanity to do something besides what they would otherwise do.
Cory: Without sunlight and water, life will wither and die. I want life to grow, and growing is not something that will necessarily happen unless the right causes are in place.
Again, this is a free agent argument. You want to create the right causes to reap the right effects. How is this different than any free agent might act?
Cory: Purpose and determination is always an effect - an inheritance.
sam: This is like saying the earth is determined to spin and the purpose of the sun is to shine. In fact, those are qualities you are projecting. It doesn't mean those qualities exist apart from your projection.
Cory: It's impossible for anything to exist unless it's a projection. Things exist precisely because they are a mental projection.
So what are you a projection of?