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Critique My Philosophy of Life?
Posted: 26 February 2014 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 241 ]
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TimB - 26 February 2014 03:27 PM
Lois - 26 February 2014 12:59 PM

It is possible, though, to understand the actual process and still feel as if you are in control. It isn’t that hard to do. Any intelligent person can do it. It’s a little like watching a movie.  You get caught up in the story and you suspend disbelief. But you never lose sight of the fact that it’s only a movie.

Lois

I think we had this discussion a long while back, but I don’t mind going through it again.  It is an interesting problem.  I think that the “person watching a movie” analogy breaks down, when you must consider (if you are being fair) the possibility that our awareness of the story line could actually be a factor in changing the story.  This doesn’t happen when you watch a movie.  But it may well happen (and I think most probably does) in our actual lives.

Yes, of course, it probably does, since anything that happens to us can affect what determines our thoughts and actions later. Analogies are never perfect. They are just a device for making a complicated concept a little easier to understand. They don’t always work and they are naturally sketchy.

Lois

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Posted: 26 February 2014 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 242 ]
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Lois - 26 February 2014 09:26 PM

Yes, of course, it probably does, since anything that happens to us can affect what determines our thoughts and actions later. Analogies are never perfect. They are just a device for making a complicated concept a little easier to understand. They don’t always work and they are naturally sketchy.

And sometimes they hide the weakness in an argument, in this case, yours.

The point I have been making all the time (most recently here, where you did not react yet), is exactly the point that is omitted by your comparison with a movie, and that Tim put his finger on: that “our awareness of the story line could actually be a factor in changing the story”. Awareness, reasons, wishes, beliefs, etc, etc: they all belong to the causal history of my actions. If in this constellation certain conditions are met, especially that your actions are in accordance with your wishes and beliefs (and not someone else’s), then a compatibilist says these actions are free. Still determined, of course, but free.

Now you should be able to see why I ‘accused’ you of fatalism: as Stephen rightly noted, you wrote “If you are going to have regrets, you will have them.  This could happen to anyone, including you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself that you are immune.” You are saying: whatever I think, whatever I will do to change my feelings, it will make no change. Doesn’t that mean that “that everything is set in stone from the beginning”? (Your words).

You yourself are a living example against your own statements. Long ago in the endless free will discussions, you said giving up your belief in free will had a relieving effect on you: you could be better in peace with yourself, with the errors you have made in your past. So by changing your thoughts, your beliefs, you changed the way you feel. You had some control on your feelings: something you furiously deny in every second sentence you write about free will.

Now also think why Philo said that the links you provided here, are no evidence against the effectivity of CBT at all.

I would suggest to continue the discussion here, so we do not kidnap Philo’s thread again…

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GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

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Posted: 27 February 2014 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 243 ]
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GdB - 26 February 2014 11:30 PM

I would suggest to continue the discussion here, so we do not kidnap Philo’s thread again…

Thank you for your consideration, GdB.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 244 ]
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GdB - 26 February 2014 11:30 PM
Lois - 26 February 2014 09:26 PM

Yes, of course, it probably does, since anything that happens to us can affect what determines our thoughts and actions later. Analogies are never perfect. They are just a device for making a complicated concept a little easier to understand. They don’t always work and they are naturally sketchy.

And sometimes they hide the weakness in an argument, in this case, yours.

The point I have been making all the time (most recently here, where you did not react yet), is exactly the point that is omitted by your comparison with a movie, and that Tim put his finger on: that “our awareness of the story line could actually be a factor in changing the story”. Awareness, reasons, wishes, beliefs, etc, etc: they all belong to the causal history of my actions. If in this constellation certain conditions are met, especially that your actions are in accordance with your wishes and beliefs (and not someone else’s), then a compatibilist says these actions are free. Still determined, of course, but free.

Now you should be able to see why I ‘accused’ you of fatalism: as Stephen rightly noted, you wrote “If you are going to have regrets, you will have them.  This could happen to anyone, including you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself that you are immune.” You are saying: whatever I think, whatever I will do to change my feelings, it will make no change. Doesn’t that mean that “that everything is set in stone from the beginning”? (Your words).

You yourself are a living example against your own statements. Long ago in the endless free will discussions, you said giving up your belief in free will had a relieving effect on you: you could be better in peace with yourself, with the errors you have made in your past. So by changing your thoughts, your beliefs, you changed the way you feel. You had some control on your feelings: something you furiously deny in every second sentence you write about free will.

Now also think why Philo said that the links you provided here, are no evidence against the effectivity of CBT at all.

I would suggest to continue the discussion here, so we do not kidnap Philo’s thread again…


The point is that no matter what factors determine our thoughts and actions, we have no control over whether or when or how much they influence us, and it doesn’t matter if we are aware of some factors.  Other factors can always take precedence without our knowledge or permission. And, no, I don’t think I (or anyone) has any control of our feelings, nor do we control how those feelings may or may not determine our future thoughts or actions. They can have an effect but we are not in charge of whether they do or not. That’s my position. You can argue till the cows come home, I am unlikely to change my mind—unless a host of other factors intervene. I can only say that as far as I can tell, your arguments are a very weak or non-existent force on my position.

Lois

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