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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:28 am 
 

Necessitarian wrote:
My take is that I'm perfectly comfortable with life ultimately consisting of lifeless things, but freedom consisting of unfree actions I can make no sense of. Life doesn't have to be a magical concept, but for freedom to exist in the way people think it does (I did one thing, but was free to do another) there would have to be a supernatural explanation.

I disagree. It boils down to how you define the freedom of potentionally rational beings, and it is easy to define it away by using physicalism, but I don't think that definition is reasonable. It is obviously a word that has its uses in our language: We can make a difference between free and unfree actions, and even a free and an unfree state of mind (for example, the reflected will of a mentally healthy person able to make rational decisions based on empirical data is generally seen as free, whereas a mentally ill person whose will is influenced by mania is seen as substantially less free - especially in law). So defining freedom in a way that does not consider this factor - with the word even becoming useless as a result - is not really beneficial and may possibly lead to an unhealthy outlook on life (indifference) in a person who cannot properly differentiate between their own definition of freedom and the general use in language.

If you don't want to use different standards for atoms and humans when defining freedom, the logical step is to say that atoms are neither free nor unfree because such categories simply do not apply to them.
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Last edited by inhumanist on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
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matras
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:38 am 
 

This is an interesting read to mull a bit over:

http://io9.com/5975778/scientific-evide ... -free-will

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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:44 am 
 

See my previous post for my opinion about those neuroscientists.
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Necessitarian
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:20 am
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:41 am 
 

inhumanist wrote:
Necessitarian wrote:
My take is that I'm perfectly comfortable with life ultimately consisting of lifeless things, but freedom consisting of unfree actions I can make no sense of. Life doesn't have to be a magical concept, but for freedom to exist in the way people think it does (I did one thing, but was free to do another) there would have to be a supernatural explanation.

I disagree. It boils down to how you define the freedom of potentionally rational beings, and it is easy to define it away by using physicalism, but I don't think that definition is reasonable. It is obviously a word that has its uses in our language: We can make a difference between free and unfree actions, and even a free and an unfree state of mind (for example, the reflected will of a mentally healthy person able to make rational decisions based on empirical data is generally seen as free, whereas a mentally ill person whose will is influenced by mania is seen as substantially less free - especially in law). So defining freedom in a way that does not consider this factor - with the word even becoming useless as a result - is not really beneficial and may possibly lead to an unhealthy outlook on life (indifference) in a person who cannot properly differentiate between their own definition of freedom and the general use in language.

If you don't want to use different standards for atoms and humans when defining freedom, the logical step is to say that atoms are neither free nor unfree because such categories simply do not apply to them.

I have to disagree in return. I've never argued that the word has no uses at all, but that if you're going to use it in front of the word 'will', there is always going to be a huge caveat to it (namely that it's not free, at least not in the sense people think it is). I still think that you're the one who's getting the definition wrong, the definition most people would use when asked to explain the concept of free will (the one that Nochielo seems to use; and he seems like an intelligent bloke, imagine how many other people misunderstand this) - that there's a choice being made that could have just as easily gone the other way. I'm simply taking the facts to their logical conclusion, the word becomes useless because it truly means nothing at that point. You're arguing for the illusion of free will, which I'm not denying; it certainly seems like I'm free to do whatever I please at any given moment.

If you have the time, read this: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/free ... -free-will

I think it illustrates our differences just as well as the ones between Dennett and Harris. Basically we agree about everything, except which definition of free will is more important or makes most sense, or which is the one commonly used.

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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:36 am 
 

To Grave_Wyrm: Christianity started out as Judaism and then broke off over the whole Jesus debate so people don't really have a problem believing the history aspect cause of the Judaism history. Now where it gets tricky (also where I loose all knowledge of the subject) is the pre judaic history for that I have no clue. No sure if this answers your question or not, if not just say so and I'll try to do better when I get home.

To your faith question: I don't have faith because I'm told to I have faith because of all that I've been through and through what I've experienced. I can share if you like.

As far as stuff that chaps my ass that my fellow religious people do goes I would for sure say the whole anti gay marriage thing as a big one. Another would be the general bigotry and hate that some of these uber conservatives have. It just baffles me how you can call yourself a Christian (or whatever religion you are) and preach all that hate. Somebody put a picture in here a few pages back of a child wearing an anti gay shirt, if I had seen that in person I Probably would've slapped the parent across the face.
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mindshadow
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:34 am 
 

re: anti T-shirt, that probably answers your previous question as you should receive sanctuary in any church, no matter what sexual orientation, colour or creed you may be.


John; “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him".


not to judge
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:41 pm 
 

Exactly NOT TO JUDGE that's what I hate about a lot of religious people, and why I pretty much left organized religion. I still identity as Christian but I doubt most Christians would agree that I am other than the fact that I believe in Jesus and what not. Any ways I thought of another thing that the catholic church does that really pisses me off, their refusal to offer their employees birth control in their health insurance. I don't know if this is a problem else where in the world (I'm sure it is though) but yeah not everyone who is catholic wants to leave how many babies they have up to God. Let alone all the other reasons people take birth control, plus wouldn't it be cheaper for them to just offer it and not have to pay hospital bills for having children?
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:47 pm 
 

Erosion, I feel the need to remind you that the Catholic Church is the same institution that tells the inhabitants of countries infested with AIDS that condoms don't actually work.
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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:52 pm 
 

matras wrote:
@Nochielo

I don't assume people have the intelligence of rocks. You were the one bringing up rocks in an example of lack of free will, and then made an example of causality (i.e. rocks rolling down a hill). I said it was a bad example and to point out how bad it was I made an example with people getting pushed down.

And I said you missed the point: what isn't human will not question the impulse, but merely act on it. If the factors are all the same, the what isn't human will do the same thing. Humans, however, will take the impulse and make a decision, regardless if they can act upon their decision or not. Now, I am not arguing for free will over the laws of physics. In your example, what those people want will not change that they will get pushed off. I argue for the "want" part. They may not be able to resist the impulse, but they are either making a choice, or have pondered on the subject before and made a decision prior.
matras wrote:
All of a sudden you bring in intelligence (not the same as 'free will'), assumed knowledge of plausible outcome (not the same as 'free will') and survival instinct (not the same as 'free will'), all without bringing them up in the original example. That's intellectually dishonest.
You brought in the rocks, not me.

If our concept of "human" is similar, then the inclusion of everyone of those factors is implicit. You cannot separate a something from its intrinsic components.

matras wrote:
Would you come to the same conclusion when it comes to animals? Do you think they have free will?

If we define an animal as living being that cannot reason, then it does not have free will, since it can consider different outcomes and make a choice of one over the other consciously. There may be exceptions, there is a quantity of very smart animals, but I'm no zoologist and thus know nothing of their capabilities.
Necessitarian wrote:
But, still, I take it you don't believe in anything science has taught us then?

I am not ignoring science at all. I am ignoring your conclusion. You see, no premise here leads to the conclusion you so sternly defend. The thing is, you need all premises to naturally lead to the conclusion, and such a thing does not happen here. You play the science card in a vacuum. Literally any piece of argument can be validated by leaving a blank premise.
Necessitarian wrote:
Right now all you're doing is arguing against the possibility of ever knowing or predicting anything, it seems to me.

Not really, I am arguing against your notion that a philosophical concept can be reduced to quantifiable data.
Necessitarian wrote:
I still think that you're the one who's getting the definition wrong.

My point's exactly. The gap between word and meaning widens right here and makes the entire thing collapse. Again, you can't argue anything without agreeing on the definition of things.

Necessitarian, I ask that you quit referencing me after we agreed to conclude our previous discussion. Especially when you are launching thinly veiled insults at me (“Nochielo is a smart guy but I am smarter because I concluded differently!”).
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:58 pm 
 

@ Xl: you don't need to remind me of that, I'm fully aware of the shameful deeds of the catholic church. But again that's why it pisses me off plus it actually fits the OP rather nicely.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:27 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
Erosion, I feel the need to remind you that the Catholic Church is the same institution that tells the inhabitants of countries infested with AIDS that condoms don't actually work.

This the reason I make a point of distinguishing between religious people who are assholes and religious people who are not. Still, that bullshit gets the religious put on social trial. Erosion (et al), you're advocating the same belief system they do, so it's understandable to treat adherents as at least loosely connected.


EoH wrote:
Christianity started out as Judaism and then broke off over the whole Jesus debate so people don't really have a problem believing the history aspect cause of the Judaism history. Now where it gets tricky ... is the pre judaic history

Judaism's history is likewise under suspicion. To take one religion seriously because of another seems a kind of 3 card monty.


EoH wrote:
I have faith because of all that I've been through and through what I've experienced. I can share if you like.

I find that kind of thing very interesting. Whenever you have the time.


EoH wrote:
a picture in here a few pages back of a child wearing an anti gay shirt, if I had seen that in person I Probably would've slapped the parent across the face.

Thus daring them to turn the other cheek. I like your approach. :) It's clear that those people are emotional sideshows.

Ever thought of going out and protesting idiot Christians for taking the Lord's name in vain?
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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:38 pm 
 

inhumanist wrote:
Necessitarian wrote:
My take is that I'm perfectly comfortable with life ultimately consisting of lifeless things, but freedom consisting of unfree actions I can make no sense of. Life doesn't have to be a magical concept, but for freedom to exist in the way people think it does (I did one thing, but was free to do another) there would have to be a supernatural explanation.


There is a long line of atheistic philosophy going back to Epicurus, Marx and into the present that reconcile materialism and freedom, you know.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:56 pm 
 

To Grave_Wrym: So I'll spare you the whole I see God in the beauty and design of the universe and nature (which I do) speech cause I'm sure you're looking for something a little different. I have three things that I will share with you, they are the best examples I can think of. Here goes.

1) When I was younger there was a kid in my high school as well as my church whose mom got really sick from toxic shock syndrome and she almost died. It was really really bad her hair fell out and everything and the doctors didn't know whether she would live or not. So my church held prayer services for her and not too long after we started holding them she actually made a turn for the better and wound up making a full recovery. Now I know that this could be chalked up to coincidence but I give that one to God (as I always do :-P )

2) This one time I was at church and I was nodding off during a very very boring sermon and during my state of being half awaken I felt somebody put their arms on my shoulders. It was one of the most unexplainable experiences of my life. I felt as though nothing would ever be wrong again, all my problems and worries drifted away and I felt inexplicably whole, like I had never felt before, and to this day have never felt again.

3) Some time ago (4-5 years) during the winter I was at work driving down Devon Ave. in the city coming up to a light and as I started to slow down I started to jack knife due to the shitty weather. So there's parked cars on my right and traffic on my left and my trailer is sliding closer and closer to the parked cars and I just know that I'm gonna hit something, and I said something to the effect of please Jesus help me here. So as I'm sliding down the road just waiting for impact I come to a spot where there is no car parked (a single parking space) as my trailer passes by the spot it slides in between the cars and then starts to come back out into my lane of traffic. I actually avoided all the cars and barely made it by (I'm talking inches here). This was actually during a time where I didn't have much faith anymore and this specific incident started my renewal in my faith.

Edit: I forgot to answer your question at the end there. No I've never thought about before, and I probably wouldn't ever do it, all I see it doing is wasting my time and getting me labeled as a false Christian cause they're too dumb to see what they're doing is wrong in the first place.
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SladeCraven
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:22 pm 
 

I'm pretty sure this is satire, but man is it funny.

http://ome7.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-t ... heist.html
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The_Beast_in_Black
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:42 pm 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
1) When I was younger there was a kid in my high school as well as my church whose mom got really sick from toxic shock syndrome and she almost died. It was really really bad her hair fell out and everything and the doctors didn't know whether she would live or not. So my church held prayer services for her and not too long after we started holding them she actually made a turn for the better and wound up making a full recovery. Now I know that this could be chalked up to coincidence but I give that one to God (as I always do :-P )

Now here's the unfortunate implications of such thinking: why didn't God help the countless millions of other people who have prayed to him to save them from equally unfortunate circumstances or worse? Why did God decide to answer these prayers but forsake millions of starving Africans and other such folk?

I'd be willing to bet everything I own and my eternal non-existent soul that far more prayers go unanswered than are answered.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:37 am 
 

EoH: I know what you mean. It's difficult to NOT see a pattern when fortunate things keep happening. Jung made something of a study of synchronicity. There's no denying that reality is complex.

So that would account for the feeling of being one of the Chosen, no?
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Thexhumed
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:48 am 
 

Napero wrote:
Thexhumed wrote:
It saddens me that nobody took the time to answer my question about evolution and morality. Perhaps, people took at as an example of stupid things religious people say :(

Which one? I thought I answered them all. Must have missed one.



This one:

Thexhumed wrote:
What is curious about morals and values, is that we human beings seem to be born with no morals and values at all, in fact, we tend to do the opposite, one has just to see how children are raised. Kids are often told to NOT do what naturally springs from them, like lying, stealing or hurting others. Now, if this selfish, harmful nature is proper to us, then how did morality evolved along the human race? In what moment did it appear in our lives?

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Atrocious_Mutilation
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:32 am 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
To Grave_Wrym: So I'll spare you the whole I see God in the beauty and design of the universe and nature (which I do) speech cause I'm sure you're looking for something a little different. I have three things that I will share with you, they are the best examples I can think of. Here goes.

1) When I was younger there was a kid in my high school as well as my church whose mom got really sick from toxic shock syndrome and she almost died. It was really really bad her hair fell out and everything and the doctors didn't know whether she would live or not. So my church held prayer services for her and not too long after we started holding them she actually made a turn for the better and wound up making a full recovery. Now I know that this could be chalked up to coincidence but I give that one to God (as I always do :-P )

2) This one time I was at church and I was nodding off during a very very boring sermon and during my state of being half awaken I felt somebody put their arms on my shoulders. It was one of the most unexplainable experiences of my life. I felt as though nothing would ever be wrong again, all my problems and worries drifted away and I felt inexplicably whole, like I had never felt before, and to this day have never felt again.

3) Some time ago (4-5 years) during the winter I was at work driving down Devon Ave. in the city coming up to a light and as I started to slow down I started to jack knife due to the shitty weather. So there's parked cars on my right and traffic on my left and my trailer is sliding closer and closer to the parked cars and I just know that I'm gonna hit something, and I said something to the effect of please Jesus help me here. So as I'm sliding down the road just waiting for impact I come to a spot where there is no car parked (a single parking space) as my trailer passes by the spot it slides in between the cars and then starts to come back out into my lane of traffic. I actually avoided all the cars and barely made it by (I'm talking inches here). This was actually during a time where I didn't have much faith anymore and this specific incident started my renewal in my faith.

Edit: I forgot to answer your question at the end there. No I've never thought about before, and I probably wouldn't ever do it, all I see it doing is wasting my time and getting me labeled as a false Christian cause they're too dumb to see what they're doing is wrong in the first place.

1) Was she receiving professional medical attention? Because that's probably what cured her.

2) This one is a little more tricky. This could be from a concoction of neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin that causes euphoria. However, recent evidence has shown that the structures that maintain the structural integrity of nerve cells can be responsible for phenomena such as out-of-body experiences (see: quantum soul hypothesis). It could be a combination of the two, but able to be explained rationally nonetheless.

3) Coincidence, pure and simple.

One thing I really dislike about monotheistic religion is how readily people attribute anything good to the powers of the almighty deity but anything bad is just the twist of chance. You can't cherry pick things in religion, otherwise you're just confirming what you want to believe.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:16 am 
 

To The Beast: yeah I would say more prayers go unanswered than answered, I don't have any reason for this but I know that there is no denying it.

To Grave: I guess you could say that but I would probably word it differently. Maybe something like I attribute it to my faith that God will take care of me and won't give me more than I can handle. Rather than saying being a chosen one, which (to me at least) implies that you did nothing to deserve it you were just chosen.

To Atrocious: This debate can and will go on forever I believe it was the work of God because I believe in God. If you don't believe in God then sure it just seems like chance or coincidence, I get that I really do. I have struggle with my faith enough to be able to look at it objectively, but again I still have faith. So this is an area where we will just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.
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The_Beast_in_Black
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:19 am 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
To The Beast: yeah I would say more prayers go unanswered than answered, I don't have any reason for this but I know that there is no denying it.

Then why do you put your good fortune down to answered prayer? You just happened to be the one who got lucky one time out of the millions upon millions of people praying for help.

You say you've got faith, but if this is your justification of it I would say that "faith" is synonymous with "willful delusion".
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:22 am 
 

^ Like I said, I have faith. Again we could go on forever like this, I choose to believe, you don't plain and simple. Let's just agree to disagree and move on.
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Necessitarian
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:45 am 
 

Nochielo wrote:
Necessitarian wrote:
But, still, I take it you don't believe in anything science has taught us then?

I am not ignoring science at all.

You, on the previous page said: "My stance on determinism is that it is true for all things that do not involve humans". Where do you get that? What exempts us from the laws of physics?

And even if we are somehow exempt from them, does randomness fit your idea of free will? You are no more in control over random events than events predetermined by prior causes.

Nochielo wrote:
Necessitarian wrote:
I still think that you're the one who's getting the definition wrong.

My point's exactly. The gap between word and meaning widens right here and makes the entire thing collapse. Again, you can't argue anything without agreeing on the definition of things.

Well let's fix the point we're going to argue over then, cause otherwise this has no hope but to go around in circles. Let's start from the beginning. I'm arguing against the possibility of the causal chain at any point in time having two possible outcomes. That's my definition of freedom. I find that impossible. If you agree with that (even when your definition of freedom is something different), then we agree about everything and that's that.

Nochielo wrote:
Necessitarian, I ask that you quit referencing me after we agreed to conclude our previous discussion. Especially when you are launching thinly veiled insults at me (“Nochielo is a smart guy but I am smarter because I concluded differently!”).

There was no insult intended there. Smart people are perfectly capable of being mistaken. The point was that if you can be mistaken about it, then there are going to be millions and millions of people who are as well, and that therefore that notion of free will which I'm denying is worth disproving. It's quite an obvious compliment. Also, I see no reason for you to ask this from me; if you're going to throw your opinions out on the table, then don't be surprised to find yourself referenced while those views are discussed.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:28 pm 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
To Grave: I guess you could say that but I would probably word it differently. Maybe something like I attribute it to my faith that God will take care of me and won't give me more than I can handle. Rather than saying being a chosen one, which (to me at least) implies that you did nothing to deserve it you were just chosen.

First of all, I'm glad you survived quite innocuously what could have been a terrible maiming, by whatever means.

If God is taken as a given, its method of answering prayers is either preferential treatment, an obfuscated grand plan, or some kind of prayer raffle. It's times like this that I remember Hitchens talking about the difference between atheists who hold that there is no God and anti-theists who hope very much that no God exists because if there were such a God, they would be very upset about it.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:13 pm 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
I choose to believe, you don't plain and simple.

The_Beast_in_Black wrote:
I would say that "faith" is synonymous with "willful delusion".

This is, essentially, the intractable core of the conflict.

The way our thought process rationalizes events is almost entirely due to cultural conditioning and reinforcement. I'm not just playing the reductionist card, here, this is from psychological study. It's virtually entirely relative. There are many factors we don't know about the jack-knife scenario, too; the speed of the objects, the shape of the street, the insanely subtle adjustments of control your highly-adrenalized brain and body were accomplishing, etc.. There's also the point that the experience of the woman in the hospital that EoH described was hardly in a controlled experiment (as pointed out by Atrocious_Mutilation), whereas the child's death that Kveldulfr described was much closer to it.

Because events are tied together by physics, not one of them existing in isolation lacking context and environmental factors, to the skeptical (and those on the reverse of the coin of faith, the incredulous) faith often appears much like a panacea, far too subjective to survive long in the open air under peer review. Much like any epiphany had while under the influence of psychedelics or in dreams, for that matter: [ed:] a potentially transformative exploitation of the untapped resource of imagination.
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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:57 pm 
 

Let's get this out of the way:
Necessitarian wrote:
Also, I see no reason for you to ask this from me; if you're going to throw your opinions out on the table, then don't be surprised to find yourself referenced while those views are discussed.

Exactly. Reference what I've written, don't imply about how smart or stupid, tall or short, skinny or fat I am. My wording could have been better, I apologize for that. I have been taught to not say anything about the other person when arguing, else risk committing (or receiving) an ad hominem. Again I apologize if that seemed somehow inappropriate. No hard feelings, I hope.

Necessitarian wrote:
You, on the previous page said: "My stance on determinism is that it is true for all things that do not involve humans". Where do you get that? What exempts us from the laws of physics?

And how are abstract concepts like ideas and choices (which are only possible to humans) affected by the laws of physics? Let's not mistake the physical realm with the abstract realm. Our bodies are subject to physics, sure, but the concepts that we form in our minds are not.
In case you missed it, have a gander of part of my response to matras in which I address a related point which may be able to clear my viewpoint:
Nochielo wrote:
Now, I am not arguing for free will over the laws of physics. In your example, what those people want will not change that they will get pushed off. I argue for the "want" part. They may not be able to resist the impulse, but they are either making a choice, or have pondered on the subject before and made a decision prior.

Necessitarian wrote:
You are no more in control over random events than events predetermined by prior causes.

We can control events predetermined by prior causes given that we can identify said causes and change them. We cannot control the random because there is no cause to change. It's obvious, I'm sure you agree.

Necessitarian wrote:
Well let's fix the point we're going to argue over then, cause otherwise this has no hope but to go around in circles. Let's start from the beginning. I'm arguing against the possibility of the causal chain at any point in time having two possible outcomes. That's my definition of freedom. I find that impossible.

I agree for the most part. Without coherent reasoning, the causal chain has only one outcome. That is settled. I argue that reasoning is a "wild card" of sorts. No one can claim to know, without a margin of error, what a human will do next. I don't think anything can predict what a human will do next either, even if the event that we could somehow accurately measure thought. My reasoning is that take for example this theorem that says that we cannot measure particle speed and position simultaneously (was it Hendrickson? The name escapes me at the moment) because measuring one makes the other lose meaning. This is has parallels to thought. If we identified what a person is thinking (akin to position, for purposes of the analogy) we would then have to measure the thought process that occurs between the thought and the action (speed, again for the analogy). Now, like the example above, measuring one makes the other parameter lose meaning, because we can only quantify after the thought is set in, and at this point, it's not really predicting anything. For something to predict what we will do, it would have to know the future.
When you say “that’s my definition of freedom” you imply that we are talking semantics, and this is dangerous ground. I would not want to argue over semantics out of respect to you and the so far pleasant exchange we've had.

Necessitarian wrote:
Smart people are perfectly capable of being mistaken.

No objection here.

Necessitarian wrote:
The point was that if you can be mistaken about it, then there are going to be millions and millions of people who are as well, and that therefore that notion of free will which I'm denying is worth disproving.

But you have so far done nothing to disprove it. All that you have said is that you have a different definition of free. I can respect you having a different definition of free, but you have explicitly said that your definition is right and if you think differently, you're wrong. I can't let that go.
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Ancient_Sorrow
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:17 pm 
 

Quote:
[...] how are abstract concepts like ideas and choices (which are only possible to humans) affected by the laws of physics? Let's not mistake the physical realm with the abstract realm. Our bodies are subject to physics, sure, but the concepts that we form in our minds are not.


That very much depends if your a dualist or not. If one is a materialist about mind, then determinism holds as much sway on mind as it does on matter, because mind is matter - mind is in your body. Likewise, if you bite the bullet and go for dualism, you've got to escape the possibility for causally determining chains of mental substance having the same effect.
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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:30 pm 
 

And at this point we would reach a stalemate, because here each person will reach a conclusion based on hypothetical statements and abstract concepts, and we all draw the line in different places. There is no consensus on which one counts as "evidence" to support one or the other. We wouldn't even be able to use words without the process of abstraction subject to a concept, which is immaterial.

Whether mind is matter or not is another argument in itself, though definitely not unrelated. It is an argument I haven't thought about extensively, so it is also one I will not partake in.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:15 pm 
 

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:21 pm 
 

This is disappointing, this is the original French dub. It's lazy.
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Necessitarian
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:20 am
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:29 pm 
 

Nochielo wrote:
Let's get this out of the way:
Exactly. Reference what I've written, don't imply about how smart or stupid, tall or short, skinny or fat I am. My wording could have been better, I apologize for that. I have been taught to not say anything about the other person when arguing, else risk committing (or receiving) an ad hominem. Again I apologize if that seemed somehow inappropriate. No hard feelings, I hope.

No hard feelings whatsoever. I did reference what you had written, though, did I not? The rest was necessary to corroborate my account. A low method perhaps, but not a dishonest one, so I don't care. :)

Nochielo wrote:
And how are abstract concepts like ideas and choices (which are only possible to humans) affected by the laws of physics? Let's not mistake the physical realm with the abstract realm. Our bodies are subject to physics, sure, but the concepts that we form in our minds are not.
In case you missed it, have a gander of part of my response to matras in which I address a related point which may be able to clear my viewpoint:
Nochielo wrote:
Now, I am not arguing for free will over the laws of physics. In your example, what those people want will not change that they will get pushed off. I argue for the "want" part. They may not be able to resist the impulse, but they are either making a choice, or have pondered on the subject before and made a decision prior.

Well, what Ancient_Sorrow said. The only way you're going to have any argument there is if you endorse dualism and reject physicalism. That's not a particularly popular standpoint in modern science as far as I understand. I can't offer much more than an argument from authority here, but I'll mention that all of my views come from the viewpoint of physicalism. Granting me those - determinism and physicalism - would you still have an argument against my rejection of free will as I defined?

Nochielo wrote:
We can control events predetermined by prior causes given that we can identify said causes and change them. We cannot control the random because there is no cause to change. It's obvious, I'm sure you agree.

I think my take on this is very predictable; our identifying and changing them are also determined by prior causes. Hence no real changing takes place at all.

Nochielo wrote:
I agree for the most part. Without coherent reasoning, the causal chain has only one outcome. That is settled. I argue that reasoning is a "wild card" of sorts. No one can claim to know, without a margin of error, what a human will do next. I don't think anything can predict what a human will do next either, even if the event that we could somehow accurately measure thought. My reasoning is that take for example this theorem that says that we cannot measure particle speed and position simultaneously (was it Hendrickson? The name escapes me at the moment) because measuring one makes the other lose meaning. This is has parallels to thought. If we identified what a person is thinking (akin to position, for purposes of the analogy) we would then have to measure the thought process that occurs between the thought and the action (speed, again for the analogy). Now, like the example above, measuring one makes the other parameter lose meaning, because we can only quantify after the thought is set in, and at this point, it's not really predicting anything. For something to predict what we will do, it would have to know the future.

1. What's your opinion on the fact that neuroscience can predict (in simple, pick one or the other experiments) what you're going to choose 5 or whatever seconds before you're actually conscious of the decision. It was talked about before, and inhumanist dismissed it as not relevant to free will. But to what I understand your definition of free will to be, this seems very important. Read the link that matras gave if you haven't already.

2. You mean this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle

But this can only give you randomness, something which, while not predetermined, can not give you freedom. You said so yourself. I'm also not that sure that this even has any effects on the level of the mind. (edit: I think I got things mixed up a bit here - this is not the part of quantum physics that implies randomness)

Nochielo wrote:
When you say “that’s my definition of freedom” you imply that we are talking semantics, and this is dangerous ground. I would not want to argue over semantics out of respect to you and the so far pleasant exchange we've had.

What's so bad about discussing semantics? It can be an important point to argue. Though, I wasn't really arguing semantics there, I just presented my understanding of the word, so that we could have a concrete definition to either accept or reject.

Nochielo wrote:
But you have so far done nothing to disprove it. All that you have said is that you have a different definition of free. I can respect you having a different definition of free, but you have explicitly said that your definition is right and if you think differently, you're wrong. I can't let that go.

Well, if you think your definition is right, you also tacitly imply that mine is wrong. There's no two ways about it. Might as well just say it out.

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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:59 pm 
 

Necessitarian wrote:
Well, what Ancient_Sorrow said. The only way you're going to have any argument there is if you endorse dualism and reject physicalism. That's not a particularly popular standpoint in modern science as far as I understand.

Ad verecundiam and ad populum. No one can claim universal knowledge of abstract concepts, for they are neither right or wrong. Before you bring it up, there is a difference between abstract concepts like economics and concepts like love. Economics are clearly defined and very specific. But we can disagree about what love is, and none of us would be right. Free will (or lack thereof) are part of the latter.

Necessitarian wrote:
Granting me those - determinism and physicalism - would you still have an argument against my rejection of free will as I defined?

As you defined, yes. Problem is, that's not how I define it. If I use the word "tree" for the same concept as you use the word "sun", we can't argue about what the sun is. If I asked you the same question you just asked me, your answer would be the same.

Necessitarian wrote:
Nochielo wrote:
We can control events predetermined by prior causes given that we can identify said causes and change them. We cannot control the random because there is no cause to change. It's obvious, I'm sure you agree.

I think my take on this is very predictable; our identifying and changing them are also determined by prior causes. Hence no real changing takes place at all.

This sums up why this argument is taking place.

Necessitarian wrote:
1. What's your opinion on the fact that neuroscience can predict (in simple, pick one or the other experiments) what you're going to choose 5 or whatever seconds before you're actually conscious of the decision. It was talked about before, and inhumanist dismissed it as not relevant to free will. But to what I understand your definition of free will to be, this seems very important.

I will say there's very little thought in the activity of making an inconsequential, 2 possibility decision. Most of the time, our brain is working on auto-pilot, we don't have to consciously think we need to lift an arm, we don't consciously go "step, step, step" every time we take a stroll. Complex actions require thought and consideration. You could argue that we are not there yet to, through technology, achieve the full disclosure of thought and decision making, and I could argue if we will ever be there, because it can't be done, and we could go "uh-huh", "nah-uh" 'til we die.

Necessitarian wrote:
2. You mean this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle

But this can only give you randomness, something which, while not predetermined, can not give you freedom. You said so yourself. I'm also not that sure that this even has any effects on the level of the mind.

Yeah, that's it, can't believe I forgot the name. It has absolutely nothing to do with the mind. It's just an explanation, by way of comparison using a well-known concept so we could be in the same page.

Necessitarian wrote:
What's so bad about discussing semantics? It can be an important point to argue. Though, I wasn't really arguing semantics there, I just presented my understanding of the word, so that we could have a concrete definition to either accept or reject

Words and meaning are different things. Semantics can't be discussed because we all form our concepts (which cannot be faithfully described) and assign them to a word. When arguing semantics, I don't really know what your concept is and you don't really know mine. An appropriate definition must be agreed upon for any argument to progress otherwise we are talking about different things, and there is no point to the discussion because we would reach no conclusion. The bold part is basically the definition of semantics, maybe you weren't trying to bring it up, but that's certainly what you did.

Necessitarian wrote:
Well, if you think your definition is right, you also tacitly imply that mine is wrong.

Never. I'm saying that this is one of those things that can't be argued because it comes down to personal preference (whether it is predetermined or not, I guess). It is basically my take on religion: I made a decision, other make their decision and that's that. Just don't tell me I'm wrong if your argument is hollow. My argument is hollow too, but I accept that there is nothing to discuss.

On that thought, I will leave this here. I value the exchange, but will proceed no further. Thank you for your time and input. This has given me much to think about.
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Necessitarian
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:20 am
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:35 pm 
 

Nochielo wrote:
On that thought, I will leave this here. I value the exchange, but will proceed no further. Thank you for your time and input. This has given me much to think about.

I agree, it's well past time to put an end to this. My pleasure, and thanks to you as well. But could you clarify this one last thing? You said, "As you defined, yes". Does that mean you would still have an argument, or did you just phrase it badly? I promise I'll probe no further whatever your answer.

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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:15 pm 
 

Oh, must have been a typo. I meant that if I accepted determinism and physicalism then I would wholeheartedly agree to your conclusion. That's why I continuously stressed the important of settling on a definition. I don't like this "philosophical labeling" thing because I would like to limit my biases to a contrary idea, that's all. I like to philosophize often (and read about it too) but refuse to identify myself to a school of thought, and that often manifests itself in arguments like these. I hope this has been a satisfactory answer and that this exchange betters (not necessarily changes) your take on the world and its designs as I hope it does to me.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:40 pm 
 

Speaking of cultural background and what not where do you hail from Grave?
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:39 pm 
 

Culturally, from low-stakes new agers. Geographically, the Bay Area.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:47 pm 
 

I've never been out there though I hear it's nice. My cousin just moved to San Diego not really sure if that's the same area or not. Anyways I do put stock into cultural and geographical locations effecting upbringing. I must admit that growing up where I did almost certainly played a huge role (at least in my early years) as to why I was a Christian. I grew up in Wheaton, Il just Google it and you'll see what I mean. And I came from a blue collar middle class working family as well, nothing fancy.
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King_Hands
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:46 am
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:31 am 
 

This has been passed around facebook recently. Doesn't seem to make any sense to me. If God is intervening constantly in our everyday lives, then why does he do it in such an ineffective roundabout way? Why not prevent the druck driver's car from starting instead? Seems to be a very self centered view of a divine plan. Plus, the guy talking to God sounds like a whiny bitch.

Spoiler: show
Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won't get mad
...
God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I'm Sorry God

God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...

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mindshadow
Echoes in an empty cranium

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:44 am 
 

^ if God constantly intervened to keep us from harm, what would be the point in making us? How would our character develop with no danger? You'd behave carefree and recklessly as no harm would come, life wouldn't mean anything or be precious.

We're all subject to the laws of science here, which means shit is going to happen, then many blame/question God, but maybe the reason we're here is to learn from the experiences we have - though this would seem very harsh "schooling" from what some people go through.


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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:14 am 
 

It's funny Mindshadow, I've been trying to think of how to answer that post all morning and you did a better job than I ever could have. And 70-80 years isn't long compared to life that lasts forever. It isn't so much what life gives you its what you give life.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:15 pm 
 

mindshadow wrote:
^ if God constantly intervened to keep us from harm, what would be the point in making us? How would our character develop with no danger? You'd behave carefree and recklessly as no harm would come, life wouldn't mean anything or be precious.

We're all subject to the laws of science here, which means shit is going to happen, then many blame/question God, but maybe the reason we're here is to learn from the experiences we have - though this would seem very harsh "schooling" from what some people go through.

Do you see the logical gymnastics that have to go on in order for that to make sense, and that with this cavalier musing you're justifying truly revolting callousness and completely heinous behavior?
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