Author Topic: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?  (Read 16790 times)

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Offline Gill

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #406 on: December 30, 2011, 11:16:48 AM »
But none of those physical senses are a logical proof that I must sleep.   Yet, I knew that I must sleep.  

Why do you know this?

How do you know this?

And perhaps more pertinently, how often do you "know you need sleep", when there are NO physical, mental, or environmental signs?

You miss my point.  Which is that senses, such as feeling tired, can be sources of knowledge about reality.   

You feel tired,  you admit this is a sign you need to sleep.   Yet, if you feel a sense of responsibility for a degree of your actions,  you dismiss this sense as an illusion.   Why?

Have we been given some senses which are accurate, yet others which are simply there to delude us?   Doesn't seem reasonable to me....

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #407 on: December 30, 2011, 11:18:45 AM »
Quote
Civilization depends on us not adopting determinism half-way - the bare fact of it, without a mature reaction to it.
I have no idea what you mean by 'mature' in that context. Can you clarify what you mean? (I hope you're not just telling me to grow up. That's a rather feeble argument).

No, not telling you to grow up, not at all!  ;)  I didn't mean anything like that.  What I meant was that some beliefs require a maturation/harmonization period after they're adopted.  A good example is the theist who believes that God is the one true source of all morality...and who then becomes an atheist.  Until that theist's idea of morality matures into its new paradigm, (s)he is going to have some really wierd ideas about morality (or lack thereof).  A new understanding of morality, one which harmonizes with the newly held beliefs (or lack thereof), is needed.  Just like new personal-responsibility ideas (etc.) are needed after giving up belief in the "free will" god.

Which seems to mean, acting as if free will is real. Let's treat people as if they were responsible for their actions, even though we know they're not.   

From the perspective of a free-willer, I'm sure it looks that way.  Similarly, morally-behaving atheists are acting like the Christian god is real, even though they think it's not...or so it looks, from the perspective of a Christian.

Because I don't see it. What is the reality of determinism ? You haven't said. You want me to accept that everything is determined, that freedom is an illusion, that we are all, in dloubet's metaphor, just stones bouncing down a mountain? No choices, no responsibility, no morality - just bouncing down the hill...

I choose not to believe that.

Given your belief that those ideas cannot be harmonized to physical fact, I can see why you might want to reject physical fact.  But such harmonization is the alternative I'm talking about.  The stuff I struck out does not necessarily follow from determinism, just as amorality does not necessarily follow from atheism.

Is the theist who chooses to retain their god-beliefs on the grounds that they need a moral foundation, making a reasonable choice?  Because that's no different from what you're doing here.

And of course, by your argument, it is inevitable that I choose that. It is inevitable that on this issue I value freedom more than truth. How can I do otherwise?

It was inevitable.  We don't have future knowledge.
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Offline Gill

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #408 on: December 30, 2011, 11:22:12 AM »
The universe isn't some giant intellectual exercise.   Emotions play an integral role in reality.   This is why, determinism will never work, you're only focusing on logic, one aspect of the whole.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #409 on: December 30, 2011, 11:25:01 AM »
Emotions are important to how we react to reality, Gill - and to what we want to do to reality.  That much is true.  And that's why they have to be trained to react appropriately to new ideas.  They have to mature into one's new understanding.

Without that step, determinism really does have problems.  So do most facts.
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Offline Gill

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #410 on: December 30, 2011, 11:29:24 AM »
Well let me restate what I said, because I'm sure it might be misinterpreted by some...

I think determinism does work, and is useful, when focusing on certain aspects of reality,  but not the whole.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #411 on: December 30, 2011, 11:41:38 AM »
Gill, have you read the book '1984' by George Orwell?
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Offline Gill

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #412 on: December 30, 2011, 12:03:10 PM »
No.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #413 on: December 30, 2011, 12:13:58 PM »
Good read.  I think you'd enjoy it.  Anyway, I was going to make a reference to "doublethink" but you don't have the reference.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #414 on: December 30, 2011, 01:29:21 PM »
You feel tired,  you admit this is a sign you need to sleep.   Yet, if you feel a sense of responsibility for a degree of your actions,  you dismiss this sense as an illusion.   

Nope.  I can look at the cause and effect - I can see the actions, and compare them to the societal norms that I identify with.  No illusion there at all - its analagous to "feeling sleepy".

What YOU have been claiming is that you can "intuit" things as true without any definable and verifiable evidence.  And you have been trying to claim that such claims should be given equal weight as other claims that CAN be verified.  That's a very dishonest way of doing things.  The two claims are not alalogous for precisely that reason.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline rickymooston

Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #415 on: December 30, 2011, 04:53:04 PM »
However, the problem with evolution is the proposed mechanism, natural selection.

Problem? Wow, I can see why this thread got 414 replies in such a relatively short period of time.

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Natural selection is a deterministic philosophy.  It is attributing the causality of survival of an organism to the initial genes an organism inherits.  There is no attribution to the free-will or choices of the organism in the cause of the survival.

Actually, I don't think this is correct. It's a probability based model. Organisms with certain decisive traits have a better change to survive and reproduce.

Moreover, we can observe this. There are numerous examples that prove this is true.

Quote
As is so, Darwin himself did not believe in free-will.   Therefore,  it would seem he is arguing for his own imprisonment, to the uncontrollable mechanism of his genetics which will determine his survival. 

Unsure what Darwin believed when he went to bible school. Darwinism, as you call it, is no longer constrained to Darwin.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #416 on: December 31, 2011, 08:57:03 PM »
You want me to accept that everything is determined, that freedom is an illusion, that we are all, in dloubet's metaphor, just stones bouncing down a mountain? No choices, no responsibility, no morality - just bouncing down the hill...

Yup.  Doesn't sound very nice, I agree.
Quite. A world without belief in responsibility and morality would be a nightmare.

Quote
Quote
It is inevitable that on this issue I value freedom more than truth. How can I do otherwise?
You can't....yet.  But us determinists know that - given the appropriate amount of additional information - your position may change.  Would have to change....if we pressed the right buttons.
   
I'm not a machine, Anf, and I have no buttons. If I set my mind to something, you can't change it. That's autonomy. That's freedom.

Christianity is a prison.

Determinism is a prison.

Offline dloubet

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #417 on: January 01, 2012, 03:44:51 AM »
Quote
Quite. A world without belief in responsibility and morality would be a nightmare.

Why? Do all creatures other than humans live in a nightmare? You don't need belief in responsibility or morality if you have actual empathy. We have mirror neurons, what more do we need.

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I'm not a machine, Anf, and I have no buttons. If I set my mind to something, you can't change it. That's autonomy. That's freedom.

Christianity is a prison.

Determinism is a prison.

Your nature is a prison.
Denis Loubet

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #418 on: January 01, 2012, 04:20:50 AM »
Why? Do all creatures other than humans live in a nightmare? You don't need belief in responsibility or morality if you have actual empathy. We have mirror neurons, what more do we need.

Psychopaths don't have empathy and sociopaths can ignore it. Without the belief in responsibility or morality, I think we'd be seeing a lot more of both[1].

Your nature is a prison.

People can act against their nature. It's not easy, but it's possible.


NOTE: I am not saying that we should keep the truth about free will versus determinism from people (assuming it's proven beyond reasonable doubt). I'm just saying that it would be bad.
 1. In the sense that they'd both be harming a lot more people.
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Offline dloubet

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #419 on: January 01, 2012, 02:28:36 PM »
Quote
Psychopaths don't have empathy and sociopaths can ignore it. Without the belief in responsibility or morality, I think we'd be seeing a lot more of both[1].

So all this belief in responsibility and morality isn't for normal people, it's just for psychopaths and sociopaths? I don't believe you.

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People can act against their nature. It's not easy, but it's possible

No. It's impossible. The only way one can seem to act against their nature is if their nature forces them to. That one acts according to their nature is a tautology.

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NOTE: I am not saying that we should keep the truth about free will versus determinism from people (assuming it's proven beyond reasonable doubt). I'm just saying that it would be bad

Only because they'd refuse to believe it doesn't inform their actions. ;-) But seriously, I don't believe in free will or determinism. I believe in a stochastic universe that operates mechanically, but accommodates random input. In other words, the universe would be deterministic if not for the presence of random quantum events such as atomic decay that prevent the future from being determinable.
Denis Loubet

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #420 on: January 01, 2012, 02:53:16 PM »
So all this belief in responsibility and morality isn't for normal people, it's just for psychopaths and sociopaths? I don't believe you.

No. It's not "just" for psychopaths and sociopaths, but the belief in responsibility does keep some of them at bay.

No. It's impossible. The only way one can seem to act against their nature is if their nature forces them to. That one acts according to their nature is a tautology.

False.
Explain theists who come here and exhibit clear signs of sociopathic nature and yet do not act on it.[1]

Only because they'd refuse to believe it doesn't inform their actions. ;-)

I don't understand what this means. dictionary.com didn't help either.

But seriously, I don't believe in free will or determinism. I believe in a stochastic universe that operates mechanically, but accommodates random input. In other words, the universe would be deterministic if not for the presence of random quantum events such as atomic decay that prevent the future from being determinable.

Irrelevant to the argument.
 1. Five molecules of oxygen to who can tell me where this (the whole "False. Explain____." thing) is from.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline rickymooston

Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #421 on: January 01, 2012, 06:55:38 PM »
So all this belief in responsibility and morality isn't for normal people, it's just for psychopaths and sociopaths? I don't believe you.

We are social animals. We naturally form rules just like we naturally create languages.

The rules evolve over a long period of time but many of them have rather obvious advantages for the society in which they evolved.

Our morality affects our conscience. If you are not a sociapath, you are likely to feel guilt.

As for empathy, that instinct is certainly partly at work here. Its not the only thing at work.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #422 on: January 01, 2012, 06:57:39 PM »
No. It's not "just" for psychopaths and sociopaths, but the belief in responsibility does keep some of them at bay.

This is probably wrong. Fear of getting caught and or shamed probably keeps them at bay; by definition, sociapaths are not bound by a conscience and hence a "belief" in something doesn't sound like something that would bind them

I could be wrong. Maybe they just don't have empathy.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #423 on: January 01, 2012, 07:07:31 PM »
No. It's not "just" for psychopaths and sociopaths, but the belief in responsibility does keep some of them at bay.

This is probably wrong. Fear of getting caught and or shamed probably keeps them at bay; by definition, sociapaths are not bound by a conscience and hence a "belief" in something doesn't sound like something that would bind them

I used "responsibility" in the sense that they'd be punished for their crimes. Some of them believe they will be, others believe they can get away with it. Which do you think causes harm?
Also, I don't think sociopaths or psychopaths feel shame. At least not when they do something wrong.

I could be wrong. Maybe they just don't have empathy.

Some psychopaths[1] are also sociopaths, so this is correct for some of them.
 1. Psychopathy is a lack of empathy.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 07:25:23 PM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #424 on: January 01, 2012, 07:24:42 PM »
I used "responsibility" in the sense that they'd be punished for their crimes.

This "responsbility" is entirely compatible with determinism and is irrelevant to free-will, for the record.
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Offline rickymooston

Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #425 on: January 01, 2012, 07:49:55 PM »
Lucifer, I stand corrected.  :o

 
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #426 on: January 02, 2012, 07:00:26 AM »
You want me to accept that everything is determined, that freedom is an illusion, that we are all, in dloubet's metaphor, just stones bouncing down a mountain? No choices, no responsibility, no morality - just bouncing down the hill...

Yup.  Doesn't sound very nice, I agree.
Quite. A world without belief in responsibility and morality would be a nightmare.

It could be a nightmare - it could be a dream.

Consider - our system of justice at the moment is based on the principle that - ultimately - people choose to break the law.  We have an awful lot of evidence that points to deprivation and lack of education (to pick just two) being significant contributors to crime - but the "free will" bullshit always means there will be many who say "yes, but they still CHOOSE to break the law", and this blocks a lot of moves to eliminate those social problems.

But imagine if we knew - and accepted - that how you were raised, how you were educated, how you had to live.....that all of these things made it quite inevitable that some people would commit crimes?

I like to think that it would mean a concerted effort to really reduce the conditions that lead to crime.  But I accept that there is equally the chance that it would be used in a "Minority Report" way to just lock up anyone from a bad neighbourhood.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #427 on: January 02, 2012, 07:01:40 AM »
I'm not a machine, Anf, and I have no buttons. If I set my mind to something, you can't change it. That's autonomy. That's freedom.

Good show.

You can tell me where my "save-game-universe" model is flawed, then?   ;)
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #428 on: January 03, 2012, 10:10:12 AM »
Good show.

You can tell me where my "save-game-universe" model is flawed, then?   ;)
Can you demonstrate it to be true[1]?  If not, then it is flawed, the same way as the philosophy of the Greeks was flawed.  You might be familiar with some of their flawed ideas, that they either did nor or could not test, such as Aristotle's conception of four basic elements.  We know that to be flawed now, but it lasted for thousands of years because his argument was so convincing and compelling.

Your argument about a save-state universe is hard to argue against, much the same as how Aristotle's conception of elemental natures was hard to argue against - you will note that Democritus's idea of atoms was far closer to the reality of things, but there was no way to actually tell for sure at the time and thus it came down to human persuasiveness rather than how things actually worked.  The fact that an argument is convincing does not make it correct.

I'm reminded of something I read in a book - one of the arguments in favor of advancing human civilization is to free us from the determinism of nature, including the determinism of our own natures (the last is my own addition).  As long as people don't understand that human nature tends to be deterministic (we tend to rationalize doing things the same way we always have, for whatever reason), they can't overcome it.  That doesn't mean that overcoming it is easy - it's cursed difficult under most circumstances, but understanding how it actually works makes it easier.
 1. not just give a compelling thought experiment, but show via experiment or demonstration

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #429 on: January 03, 2012, 10:22:55 AM »
Good show.

You can tell me where my "save-game-universe" model is flawed, then?   ;)
Can you demonstrate it to be true[1]?  .....  The fact that an argument is convincing does not make it correct.
 1. not just give a compelling thought experiment, but show via experiment or demonstration

Oh, quite.

But if nobody can even begin to point out where it is flawed....then surely the only rational thing to do is to accept it is correct? 

The whole "argument" behind free will as opposed to determinism is that - given the same circumstances - we have the ability to act differently in a way that is not simply random.  All the save-game-universe model does is ask them to explain how that works.....even to try to explain how it would work.  And nobody ever even tries.

Clearly it is impossible to prove the save-game-universe model one way or the other, since we have no way of saving the universe for reload and retry!  So all we can do is look at everything we DO know about the way the brain works, and say "yes - this model would accurately portray that".

Not - as I so often hear in response - to just say "well, I don't feel determined.....so it must be wrong."  I'd be very pleased to see the model given a logical kicking!
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #430 on: January 03, 2012, 11:41:21 AM »
Oh, quite.

But if nobody can even begin to point out where it is flawed....then surely the only rational thing to do is to accept it is correct?
You mean like everyone accepted Aristotle's elements as correct, even though it was completely wrong?  I don't agree with accepting an idea - any idea - as being correct simply because it's an elegant one. 

Quote from: Anfauglir
The whole "argument" behind free will as opposed to determinism is that - given the same circumstances - we have the ability to act differently in a way that is not simply random.  All the save-game-universe model does is ask them to explain how that works.....even to try to explain how it would work.  And nobody ever even tries.
I think you'd better check your memory.  People can and do try to explain it; the fact that they have a hard time of it is no cause to pretend that they don't even attempt to.

Quote from: Anfauglir
Clearly it is impossible to prove the save-game-universe model one way or the other, since we have no way of saving the universe for reload and retry!  So all we can do is look at everything we DO know about the way the brain works, and say "yes - this model would accurately portray that".
You think it's impossible?  You don't have to reset the whole universe, you just have to make a model of what you're testing.  For example, model a human brain (and body, naturally) inside a computer, with an environment to provide stimuli.  Pick an arbitrary point to start from, which will be the save state.  Let it run for some length of time, then reset and let it run again for the same length of time.  Do this a few dozen or hundred times, and see if the actions ever differ in ways that are clearly not random.

It's out of our reach for now, that's true, but it isn't impossible to prove it.

Quote from: Anfauglir
Not - as I so often hear in response - to just say "well, I don't feel determined.....so it must be wrong."  I'd be very pleased to see the model given a logical kicking!
I agree that this response is not effective.

I don't know that this would be counted as a "logical kicking", but the uncertainty principle argues against determinism on at least some levels.  In order to observe something at a quantum level, we have to bounce energy off of it; thus, the mere fact of observing it changes it slightly so that future predictions of its position will be progressively less and less correct.  In other words, the decision to observe it can change its future outcome, in ways that can't be predicted before the observation is made.

In other words, in order to observe the current state of things at the quantum level in your save-state universe (which is what you suggested), you have to perform measurements which affect its future states.  Otherwise you can't really be sure that it did indeed proceed along the same path, even though it might have ended up at the same destination.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #431 on: January 03, 2012, 12:03:07 PM »
I'm not a machine, Anf, and I have no buttons.

A wet, hairy, noisy, smelly, organic machine that churns out imperfect replicas is still a machine. 
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What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #432 on: January 03, 2012, 12:08:32 PM »
I'm not a machine, Anf, and I have no buttons.

A wet, hairy, noisy, smelly, organic machine that churns out imperfect replicas is still a machine. 

I think Gnu meant/understood "machine" in the sense of "automaton (without free will) created to fulfill a specific purpose".
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We choose our own gods.

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #433 on: January 03, 2012, 12:13:08 PM »
I think Gnu meant/understood "machine" in the sense of "automaton (without free will) created to fulfill a specific purpose".

I saw an opportunity to call him hairy and smelly, so I took it.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Evolutionists, arguing for their own imprisonment?
« Reply #434 on: January 03, 2012, 12:17:23 PM »
Having been created to fulfill a specific purpose is not an attribute of the machine, but an attribute of the creator.

Anyway, who says machines don't have free will, Luci?  Can you prove they don't?
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