2 of 5
2
Jeff Schweitzer - Beyond Cosmic Dice: Moral Life in a Random World
Posted: 07 June 2009 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2009-06-07

I am not suggesting that there is absolute free will, simply that all is not predetermined. That is, there is some, if limited, choice between alternatives. Maybe we are not meat puppets,and our actions are not determines completely by our interaction between the environment outside us and our internal machinery. If we gave no choice, then Hitler was predetermined to do what he did. It was just the wiring of his brain interacting with his experience, environment, etc.

Schweitzer says we as a species, are at a crossroads. Just like all other species, we use and consume the available resources of our planet to survive and survive well, reproduce, etc. This at least in great part is biologically wired. It has survival benefit and was evolutionarily favored. Humans are not special over other species, although we have certain characteristics and abilities that exist or differ in degree from other species. One of those is increased cognitive ability. We can invent technology. It may be that this will lead to the extinction of our species. We can use up the resources too fast, overpopulate, pollute, and even destroy ourselves with weapons. Certainly other species have overgrown their resources, and some may have polluted their own local environment. But I doubt that any other species has so far developed weapons that could potentially wipe out themselves and other species. If there is no free will at all, humans have no influence even over the longevity or survival of our species. All conversations about improving the living conditions of our species are meaningless. Indeed, why are we having this discussion if nothing can be changed willfully

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
sate - 07 June 2009 05:26 AM

For the most part I find the question of free will boring and irrelevant. You just said Ultimate Meaning doesn’t exist, why search for Ultimate Responsibility? I know that the feelings I possess which I would call love arise from my genetics, neurotransmitters and so on.. does that change their meaning to me? nah. I don’t enjoy eating less because I know I’m biologically programmed to acquire sustenance. There is no ultimate meaning to love or pleasure but who cares? The proximal meaning is good enough for me. The alternative is, get off the ride early. Maybe there is no free will.. what’s that have to do with anything?

We live in a world in which most people believe in contra causal free will. If they/we didn’t our feelings towards ourselves and each other would be very different to the way they are now. Therefore we would also think very differently to the way we do now and behave very differently also.

It’s what leads us to believe others deserve their bad fortune, or we deserve our good fortune, or visa versa.

Belief in contra causal free will is the most prevelant myth of all and the most influential, as far as human thoughts, feelings and behaviour are concerned.

The idea that people on mass believing in this is irrelevant or perhaps benign seems incredibly unlikely to be true.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20

Hi unified theory,

unified theory - 07 June 2009 06:16 AM

I am not suggesting that there is absolute free will, simply that all is not predetermined. That is, there is some, if limited, choice between alternatives.

We have a tremendous number of options available if we have a will to act upon them. so I think I believe we are less restricted than you. 

Maybe we are not meat puppets,and our actions are not determines completely by our interaction between the environment outside us and our internal machinery.

We are our internal machinery. Anything not determined by our machinery would not be up to us and so, out of our control.

Stephen

[ Edited: 07 June 2009 07:31 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
unified theory - 07 June 2009 06:16 AM

If there is no free will at all, humans have no influence even over the longevity or survival of our species. All conversations about improving the living conditions of our species are meaningless. Indeed, why are we having this discussion if nothing can be changed willfully

This would be true if our will had no causal power. Not if we had no free will.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  262
Joined  2008-06-13
StephenLawrence - 07 June 2009 12:36 AM
Hawkfan - 05 June 2009 08:13 PM

I agree with you that why essentially is asking what causes, from the secular perspective.  But, we know that is not the religious interpretation.  They have a need for the why as purpose.  Why are we here?  Secularists says we are a convergence of chance events and incredible lengths of time.  Religionist says because we are a divine creation to do God’s will.  Both respond to the same question from entirely different perspectives.
Personally, I’ll take the rational (science) over the irrational cool smile .

If science answers the question “Why are we here?” with “by chance”, that is really saying there is no reason why. edit: Which is to deny there is an answer to the question. Is this a justified belief?

Stephen

I’m not sure what you are getting at, Stephen?  My point is that the methods of science, and by extension those pursuing them in any particular area, are not addressing the question why relative to any purpose driven argument beyond nature as we can observe it.  A scientific evolutionist isn’t pursuing knowledge about the history of life on earth in a quest for purpose supporting answers.  She leaves that to those people at the Discovery Institute tongue wink
I don’t see that as denying there is an answer to the question.  It is not a method that is structured to answer that question in the first place.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  227
Joined  2008-07-26
StephenLawrence - 07 June 2009 07:19 AM

Belief in contra causal free will is the most prevelant myth of all and the most influential, as far as human thoughts, feelings and behaviour are concerned.

The idea that people on mass believing in this is irrelevant or perhaps benign seems incredibly unlikely to be true.

I am not familiar with this concept.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  262
Joined  2008-06-13
StephenLawrence - 07 June 2009 07:19 AM
sate - 07 June 2009 05:26 AM

For the most part I find the question of free will boring and irrelevant. You just said Ultimate Meaning doesn’t exist, why search for Ultimate Responsibility? I know that the feelings I possess which I would call love arise from my genetics, neurotransmitters and so on.. does that change their meaning to me? nah. I don’t enjoy eating less because I know I’m biologically programmed to acquire sustenance. There is no ultimate meaning to love or pleasure but who cares? The proximal meaning is good enough for me. The alternative is, get off the ride early. Maybe there is no free will.. what’s that have to do with anything?

We live in a world in which most people believe in contra causal free will. If they/we didn’t our feelings towards ourselves and each other would be very different to the way they are now. Therefore we would also think very differently to the way we do now and behave very differently also.

It’s what leads us to believe others deserve their bad fortune, or we deserve our good fortune, or visa versa.

Belief in contra causal free will is the most prevelant myth of all and the most influential, as far as human thoughts, feelings and behaviour are concerned.

The idea that people on mass believing in this is irrelevant or perhaps benign seems incredibly unlikely to be true.

Stephen

Oh please, not the free will argument again shut eye .  It makes my head hurt every time I try to read through one of those threads shock !

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  227
Joined  2008-07-26
Hawkfan - 07 June 2009 08:48 AM

Oh please, not the free will argument again shut eye .  It makes my head hurt every time I try to read through one of those threads shock !

Ironically, you have no choice but to continue because choice is an illusion. and I have no choice but to taunt you. haw-ha! loser! no one can blame me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 June 2009 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  262
Joined  2008-06-13
sate - 07 June 2009 08:51 AM
Hawkfan - 07 June 2009 08:48 AM

Oh please, not the free will argument again shut eye .  It makes my head hurt every time I try to read through one of those threads shock !

Ironically, you have no choice but to continue because choice is an illusion. and I have no choice but to taunt you. haw-ha! loser! no one can blame me.

Thanks for that grin .  And, whether I chose to or not, it made me laugh!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2009 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
Hawkfan - 07 June 2009 08:40 AM

I’m not sure what you are getting at, Stephen?  My point is that the methods of science, and by extension those pursuing them in any particular area, are not addressing the question why relative to any purpose driven argument beyond nature as we can observe it.  A scientific evolutionist isn’t pursuing knowledge about the history of life on earth in a quest for purpose supporting answers.  She leaves that to those people at the Discovery Institute tongue wink
I don’t see that as denying there is an answer to the question.  It is not a method that is structured to answer that question in the first place.

I agree with you about the question of purpose.
But it’s true that to say, the answer to why we are here is because of chance, as you claimed: “Secularists says we are a convergence of chance events and incredible lengths of time” is to say there is no reason. That’s what chance means, we could be here, we could not be here but we are here, as it happens, for no reason.

I’m not at all convinced that there is justification for believing this.

Stephen

[ Edited: 08 June 2009 12:31 PM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2009 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
Hawkfan - 07 June 2009 09:01 AM
sate - 07 June 2009 08:51 AM
Hawkfan - 07 June 2009 08:48 AM

Oh please, not the free will argument again shut eye .  It makes my head hurt every time I try to read through one of those threads shock !

Ironically, you have no choice but to continue because choice is an illusion. and I have no choice but to taunt you. haw-ha! loser! no one can blame me.

Thanks for that grin .  And, whether I chose to or not, it made me laugh!

Lol of course we make choices.

The free will myth is a disaster of epic proportions!

The “argument” is similar to the argument over the trinity, obviously belief in free will incompatible with determinism is nonsense, just as the trinity is but it’s not the argument that matters, it’s the harm that people believing in it does which matters.

It’s of much greater concern than people believing in God or homeopathy or flying saucers or whatever, because the belief has much greater influence on our behaviour and is held by the vast majority of people.

Stephen

[ Edited: 08 June 2009 12:32 PM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2009 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  227
Joined  2008-07-26
StephenLawrence - 08 June 2009 12:27 PM

The “argument” is similar to the argument over the trinity, obviously belief in free will incompatible with determinism is nonsense, just as the trinity is but it’s not the argument that matters, it’s the harm that people believing in it does which matters.

How do you resolve free will without sacrificing determinism Stephen? Also, where can I get a good pizza in Delaware? Just curious.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2009 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
sate - 08 June 2009 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 08 June 2009 12:27 PM

The “argument” is similar to the argument over the trinity, obviously belief in free will incompatible with determinism is nonsense, just as the trinity is but it’s not the argument that matters, it’s the harm that people believing in it does which matters.

Also, where can I get a good pizza in Delaware? Just curious.

Best to make it yourself. Flour, water, salt, pepper a little yeast and a little olive oil. cheat with the tomato topping, use ketchup and tomato puree.

Roll the doh out thin. Put whatever you fancy on top but the key is to use good ingredients and use them sparingly. Too much and the base won’t cook properly.

hope that helps.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2009 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
sate - 08 June 2009 12:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 08 June 2009 12:27 PM

The “argument” is similar to the argument over the trinity, obviously belief in free will incompatible with determinism is nonsense, just as the trinity is but it’s not the argument that matters, it’s the harm that people believing in it does which matters.

How do you resolve free will without sacrificing determinism Stephen?

There is nothing specific to human freedom to resolve.

The problem of what it means to say I could do numerous things if I wanted to is the same as the problem of what it means to say a golf ball could fly in various directions if hit in any one of those directions. 

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 June 2009 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  227
Joined  2008-07-26
StephenLawrence - 08 June 2009 12:57 PM

There is nothing specific to human freedom to resolve.

The problem of what it means to say I could do numerous things if I wanted to is the same as the problem of what it means to say a golf ball could fly in various directions if hit in any one of those directions. 

Someone more pedantic and philosophically bent than I might reply a golf ball in fact can’t fly in various directions. It can only fly in the direction it does fly, when hit.
Also I find your pizza argument totally unsound as it rests upon the premise that I am able to cook a thing. This is not the case. Further, the skirting of the Delaware issue by you ivory tower eggheads is suspicious.. and I think, telling.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 5
2