Author Topic: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...  (Read 8381 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #174 on: January 08, 2013, 06:37:21 AM »
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I'm not going to do anything.

er, what about the Rules, Anf? I know I've been away from the Forum for a while, but surely calling a bunch of people 'stupid cunts' is some kind of transgression?

So you were aware when you transgressed that it was against the rules?

I am not going to take action, as I believe its a conflict of interest.  Same reason that police forces don't let policemen investigate crimes against themselves, or their families.  But I have flagged it with the other moderators, and I am sure they will take action.
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: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #175 on: January 08, 2013, 06:47:53 AM »
Thus when we act on the basis of reasons (as opposed to other causes) we call that process choosing. Whether or not we could have acted otherwise is simply not relevant. This ability to act on the basis of reasons (as opposed to other causes) is exactly what we mean by “free will”.

How would you phrase it?

Its really a personal thing - I feel that "will" implies that there really IS a different course that could potentially be taken in a particular circumstance.  On a day to day practical level, as I've said, its not really an issue (and indeed the concepts are so steeped in the language that it is extremely hard to break out - phrases I've used like "I feel", "I believe" and so on, should perhaps correctly be stated as "the view that I have to take" every time.  When I talk to a friend about why I went to see this film instead of that, I WILL use words like "I thought" and "I decided", rather than say "it was an inevitable outcome based on my past history" - even though that is what I believe is the case).

What would I prefer to call it?  Well, in the fully determined universe, there IS no difference between the "trip" and the "dive" - both are equally inevitable.  So what words would I prefer?  Hmmm....I'll have to think on that one.  To be honest, its generally only in threads like this that it tends to matter - and, to be fair, in any conception of a created-universe where being ABLE to make a genuine choice becomes a necessary part of salvation. 
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 pianodwarf

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #176 on: January 08, 2013, 07:07:34 AM »
What a bunch of stupid cunts you are.

Gnu, you've been here long enough to know better than that.  Dial it down.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #177 on: January 08, 2013, 08:30:36 AM »
Hi, PD. Thanks for responding to my Report so promptly. I'm impressed.

There's a slight problem though; I'd like to be judged by a Mod who believes that I'm a meat robot (for the obvious reason that they will understand and accept my defense), and I'm not sure whether you do.

So, if you don't object too much, I'm going to pretend that your post came from Anf or Graybeard (or Screwtape), and continue the conversation. I don't want to waste your time on this.

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Gnu, you've been here long enough to know better than that.  Dial it down.
I don't think I can, Anf. As you said:
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I realise that you didn't "choose" to call me that, it was just inevitable given your life so far.
Well, quite. As you say, I'm a meat robot. I'm not responsible for my words or actions. 

Part of me wants this thing to stop; but another much stronger part wants to... wants to... oh god... say you're a stupid c**t again.

Oh dear. Now I'm in more trouble...

I need your help, Anf. Please don't punish me; I don't deserve it, you know that.

Can you rehabilitate me?  I certainly hope so.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 08:39:47 AM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #178 on: January 08, 2013, 08:47:12 AM »
Hi, PD. Thanks for responding to my Report so promptly. I'm impressed.

I aim to please.

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There's a slight problem though; I'd like to be judged by a Mod who believes that I'm a meat robot (for the obvious reason that they will understand and accept my defense)

That's not how moderation works, at least not here.  Reported posts can be handled by any mod or admin whose responsibility extends into that particular forum, and GRD is one of mine.  Reportees do not have the option of choosing who moderates a report, even in the case of someone who is "turning himself in" in an attempt to make a point.

It is, of course, obvious what you're trying to pull here.  The fact that I (rather than one of the mods/admins you indicated) responded to your self-reported post was the mods' and admins' way of subtly attempting to inform you that it wasn't going to work.  Apparently subtlety is lost on you, so I am forced to state it explicitly.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline plethora

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #179 on: January 08, 2013, 09:08:50 AM »
Damn ... I'm late to this party.

Well, I've read the thread and although a lot has been going on since the OP ... I think I'll go ahead and address that.

(btw ... thanks to @shnozzola a couple of posts of mine in the thread).  ;)

Ok then, lets get to it...

The universe was created in the big bang, or some other process that we don't know about, doesn't really matter. Then hydrogen made stars which made more and more elements, And any ways we end up here, earth. Life is spontaneously created and now humanity flourishes. That is all fine and dandy.

Okay. I would re-word 'created' to 'came into existence' but hey ...

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However, there is no natural way to create a random event. f you drop a dice the exact same way onto the exact same surface from the exact same height it will always give you the same value.

The dice analogy is a bad example. Also, note that we do have artificial, human developed systems in place to create situations with random, unpredictable results ... i.e. the lottery machine with the numbered balls.

... but okay ... for the sake of argument, I'll grant this on the basis that I am taking this as a thought experiment.

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Random does not exist in nature, it is a purely human concept that more refers to our inability to predict.

I'm in thought experiment mode to I'll grant this for the sake of argument ... I don't want to spend time explaining the stochastic properties of the universe at quantum levels ...

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This then implies that every thing that has ever happened is the effect of previous events. There is no chance. The entirety of human history is defined by how the big bang went of and how the hydrogen came together into the original stars.

Okay. Let's assume this.

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Every thought you are currently happening has no meaning

Why? Why would my thoughts have no meaning? Just because they are caused by deterministic events in this hypothetical universe doesn't mean the thoughts themselves don't have meaning. They mean something to me.

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it is simply a chemical reaction and a result of previous events. So this brings us to free will, every action you have and will take has been predetermined by nature. You can try and break that by doing something random, but you are unable it is simply action and reaction. We cannot change the future, because the future is already been determined.

Yup ... in a fully deterministic universe, where there were no random events, then indeed we would have no 'free will' and the future would be determined.

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So in conclusion I would contend that in a Godless universe there is no free will...

I thought you said "god" had nothing to do with this discussion. So I don't understand why you would feel the need to describe it as "godless" in your conclusions.

It serves the same purpose to mention anything that doesn't exist in this hypothetical universe ... for example:

"So in conclusion, I would contend that in a universe without Bigfoot there is no free will."

The lack of free will in this universe you are describing has nothing to do with it lacking a god.


... and now, can I ask ... what is the point of your OP? To demonstrate that in a fully deterministic universe that lacks randomness and the existence of a god there is no free will? Okay... granted. So what now?


----------

Here's an additional note to clarify my actual position on free will and the universe ...

The universe has both deterministic and stochastic (random) properties. Neither of these give rise to 'free will'. The future is not predetermined. Many things can be predicted to a certain degree of accuracy, others are impossible to predict.

For more info, and in case you missed shnozzola's reference to it, here is my position on 'free will':
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22045.msg491978.html#msg491978
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 09:10:46 AM by plethora »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #180 on: January 08, 2013, 09:34:09 AM »
Here's an example of what I mean by self-determination.  Take it as you will.

There have been times when I write posts, both here and elsewhere, when I've started writing something that expresses how angry and upset I am, usually through saying nasty things to or about the person who aroused my ire.  Usually, I edit those out before I actually post it, though, but not always.  Why?  Because such things don't really help my case, and simply make me look like an ogre.  It really depends at which point I decide to hit the post button.  The longer into it I go, the more likely I am to have a change of heart and remove the offending material.

In other words, I wanted to be ogreish because of my emotional responses, which I have little choice in deciding about, since they're based on habits and other things which are heavily deterministic.  But as I write a post, I wear away at my emotions so I can decide to act differently than I would have if I had remained under the influence of those emotions.  I'm not inevitably locked into posting in the initial manner that was dictated by my emotions.

So, how deterministic was that process?  Well, the initial anger was highly deterministic - emotions don't think.  I don't choose to get angry.  But my rational thought processes can override an emotional outburst, if I decide it's called for (though it's generally not especially quick).  Yet I can also decide to leave the angry response in my post.  I don't know if that qualifies as "choosing to do other than what I did", in the sense penfold means (perhaps not, since I hadn't actually publish the post at that point), but it is me choosing to do other than what I could have done.

Offline plethora

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #181 on: January 08, 2013, 09:36:05 AM »
However, the second friend recommended a book that he's read, Freedom EvolvesWiki, which makes a strong case for free will (defined as freedom to make decisions without duress, rather than the religious definition, freedom from causality).  Basically, that decisions aren't inevitable, because we can anticipate the consequences and act to avoid undesirable ones.  But for that to work, it requires causality.  You can't have that ability to make decisions and anticipate consequences without it.

I read that book a few years ago and I'm familiar with Dennett's work. I love Dan Dennett ... and I turned to his work to try and support the case for "free will" after hearing Denis Loubet (dloubet) argue against it.[1] Unfortunately, I found that Dennett's definition of "free will" is really just an elaborate definition of "will"... of how agents adapt to attain certain desired outcomes.

In a nutshell, he argues that agents are highly evolved 'avoiders' and are also highly evolved at doing the opposite of avoiding ... which doesn't have a precise word in English but perhaps you could say highly evolved 'attainers'.

So agents evolve, learn to predict future courses and take action to avoid things and to attain other things. The ability to perform actions that drive to certain goals in the future is his concept of "free will".

However, he also fully acknowledges that these actions are motivated by underlying desires that are hardwired by nature into our brains, provoked by external stimuli and for other reasons simply beyond the control of the actual agent itself.

So in reality, what he is doing is making an elaborate description of how agents make choices based on underlying desires. I'm sorry but this is a description of "will" and I fail to see how this is "free".

As I've already stated in other threads, although we do not have "free will", this does not mean we do have the ability to choose between A or B. My point is that our desires inform our choices and actions and we have no hand in what these underlying desires are.

 1. Thank you Denis!
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #182 on: January 08, 2013, 09:44:31 AM »
Well, the initial anger was highly deterministic - emotions don't think. 

No?  What leads you to that opinion?
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: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #183 on: January 08, 2013, 09:57:24 AM »
Because they're effectively hardwired responses.  You might as well say that a reflex thinks.

Offline plethora

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #184 on: January 08, 2013, 09:57:47 AM »
The longer into it I go, the more likely I am to have a change of heart and remove the offending material.

There you go. Your brain state is fluctuating as time goes by. As your level of anger wanes, your desires change and so your decisions are influenced by that.

We all have several desires at one given time and sometimes they conflict with each other. For example, you may simultaneously feel the desire to tell that person off but you know that that course of action would conflict with your desire to avoid a breakdown in the conversation. In the end, your desire to avoid a breakdown in conversation may override your desire to tell him off.

But you can't choose your desires ...
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #185 on: January 08, 2013, 10:12:36 AM »
It is, of course, obvious what you're trying to pull here.
What I was trying to do was reproduce a microcosm of a deterministic justice and prison system here in the forum, with Anf and GB as the Judges, the ER as prison, Screwtape as the Appeal Judge, banning as the death penalty and me as the hapless fallguy. One goal was to get a better idea of what Anf meant by rehabilitation.

I don't know what would have happened, to be honest; and for some reason you guys didn't want to find out. Anf ducked my first two insults, and when I reported myself he passed the buck to you, thus ending the game.

So I made a point of some kind, I guess.



So, I'm no longer pretending to be a robot and I re-enter the world of moral responsibility; I apologize, sincerely this time, for my insults; and I choose of my own free will not to repeat them.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 10:16:14 AM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #186 on: January 08, 2013, 10:34:45 AM »
What I was trying to do was reproduce a microcosm of a deterministic justice and prison system here in the forum, with Anf and GB as the Judges, the ER as prison, Screwtape as the Appeal Judge, banning as the death penalty and me as the hapless fallguy. One goal was to get a better idea of what Anf meant by rehabilitation.

Right, and we all understood that.  Like I said, it was obvious.

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Anf ducked my first two insults, and when I reported myself he passed the buck to you, thus ending the game.

Anf didn't pass the buck.  As is typically the case with mods and admins, he was reluctant to act as a moderator in a discussion that he had been actively participating in because that would be a conflict of interest, so he declined to do so and instead notified the other mods and admins what was going on, at which point, I volunteered to step in.

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So, I'm no longer pretending to be a robot and I re-enter the world of moral responsibility; I apologize, sincerely this time, for my insults; and I choose of my own free will not to repeat them.

OK, these aren't the droids you're looking for... move along.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #187 on: January 08, 2013, 10:56:42 AM »
for some reason you guys didn't want to find out. Anf ducked my first two insults, and when I reported myself he passed the buck to you, thus ending the game.

You forgot about the "nobody will ever play along, without tedious instructions" rule on forums. It's almost as solid as the rule "nobody will answer your question on the first post, but will try to convince you that you don't want to ask that question" rule.

It's almost like people have no free will.... doomed to repeat

I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #188 on: January 08, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »
There you go. Your brain state is fluctuating as time goes by. As your level of anger wanes, your desires change and so your decisions are influenced by that.
Sorry, but I didn't buy a similar argument from Anfauglir and I'm not going to buy yours either.  People are not simply slaves to competing desires, with whichever desire happens to be strongest determining what people happen to do.  Ultimately, that line of reasoning pretty much results in absolving people of responsibility for the things they do.  As Anfauglir has said several times (jokingly, I hope), he didn't have any choice but to write what he wrote, and thus I shouldn't blame him for it.

Frankly, I find that to be a singularly useless way of looking at the world.  A person might not be able to choose which desires they have, but they can choose how to express them; they can choose whether to emphasize a desire, or alternately to de-emphasize it.  They don't have to act on the desire, even if they possess it.  Now, I suppose you could argue that them not acting on a desire simply means that some other desire has taken its place, but that's basically sophistry.  I'll grant that it's based on the logical premise that as the small goes (neurons), so goes the large (the brain), that the large is nothing more than the small writ large.

The problem is that this premise depends on there not being anything other than what we already know to be the case.  That the rules as we understand them are the sum and total of the way the universe works.  I don't think we can afford to say that at this point.  We've made discoveries about things just within the past century that changed the established model of the way things are understood.  If we try to explain away the ability to make decisions as an algorithm that just creates the illusion of decision-making, then we're making the presumption that this is the only case that matters, as opposed to considering alternatives that might be true.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #189 on: January 08, 2013, 06:55:32 PM »
Ultimately, that line of reasoning pretty much results in absolving people of responsibility for the things they do.

Ultimately, the biggest influence in people's lives is not their own thoughts, but who they just happen to bump into, and what happens to them. The biggest cause of criminality is a person falling in with some other people who find it acceptable.
I strive for clarity, but aim for confusion.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #190 on: January 09, 2013, 04:31:45 AM »
Because they're effectively hardwired responses. 

Why can they not be influenced by the same quantum complexity that you say can influence thoughts?  They run through the same neural connections, don't they?

As Anfauglir has said several times (jokingly, I hope), he didn't have any choice but to write what he wrote, and thus I shouldn't blame him for it.

No.  No joke at all.

People are not simply slaves to competing desires, with whichever desire happens to be strongest determining what people happen to do......A person might not be able to choose which desires they have, but they can choose how to express them; they can choose whether to emphasize a desire, or alternately to de-emphasize it. 

Should it not then be that case that damage to the neural pathways would have little or no effect on the decisions that are made?  That altering levels of particular chemicals in the brain would have no effect on the decisions that the person takes?


The problem is that this premise depends on there not being anything other than what we already know to be the case.  That the rules as we understand them are the sum and total of the way the universe works.  I don't think we can afford to say that at this point.  We've made discoveries about things just within the past century that changed the established model of the way things are understood.  If we try to explain away the ability to make decisions as an algorithm that just creates the illusion of decision-making, then we're making the presumption that this is the only case that matters, as opposed to considering alternatives that might be true.

While I quite agree with everything you've said there, in this instance it appears to be a plea for agnosticism on the entire subject.  Of course we should not stop looking for the next level of answers, and I would be supremely happy to one day read an explanation that details how we can have free will (as I've defined it).  But at the moment, the vast majority of the evidence seems to point to events being a causal/random cross, with no defined means of being able to overrule those processes - hence I subscribe to the view that (as far as I've seen) carries the most evidence.

To take the discussion away from neurons and the immediately physical though, and stick in the realms of thought and experience.....can I ask a question at that level?

At any particular point in time, you will be the sum of your experiences.  You will have a specific amount of information to make a "decision", in a very specific set of circumstances.  You will "consider" your memories, your knowledge, your moral code, your politcal ideas, and so forth, and will come to a conclusion.

My question is: with the same information and the same character, on what basis are you able to come to different conclusions?  With no new information, no changes to how you feel and look at the world, how could you come to different conclusions about a situation?
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 shnozzola

Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #191 on: January 09, 2013, 07:51:52 PM »
 
At any particular point in time, you will be the sum of your experiences.  You will have a specific amount of information to make a "decision", in a very specific set of circumstances.  You will "consider" your memories, your knowledge, your moral code, your politcal ideas, and so forth, and will come to a conclusion.

My question is: with the same information and the same character, on what basis are you able to come to different conclusions?  With no new information, no changes to how you feel and look at the world, how could you come to different conclusions about a situation?

I do love this free will argument.  It is one of the most addictive on this website.  I'm over my head posting with the minds here, but I cannot stop. 

I do not own a gun.  I have shot bee bee guns, 22s, muzzle ball, and 30 odd 6. I have gone deer  hunting with a friend and absolutely loved being in the woods and having white tailed doe walk 20 feet from me.  But I never used my borrowed gun hunting.   I have no interest in buying/owning  a gun.  Do I have the free will to walk out of the house and buy a gun? Can I buy a gun?  It goes against my values, my morals, my politics, my core beliefs to buy a gun. 

No, I do not believe I have the free will to go against all of my judgment and buy a gun.

But let's say my wife gets killed on a street corner, and I believe me carrying a gun would have prevented it.  That may change everything.  I do not know.

I agree with Anfauglir's argument.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #192 on: January 09, 2013, 11:01:29 PM »
What I was trying to do was reproduce a microcosm of a deterministic justice and prison system here in the forum, with Anf and GB as the Judges, the ER as prison, Screwtape as the Appeal Judge, banning as the death penalty and me as the hapless fallguy. One goal was to get a better idea of what Anf meant by rehabilitation.
Right, and we all understood that.
Who is this 'we', PD? Who exactly are you speaking for? You're not speaking in green any more, so I presume you don't mean 'the moderators'.

We all think that you should speak for yourself.

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Like I said, it was obvious.
Yes, you said that before. I didn't realize there was a problem with saying something obvious. I'd better check the Rules again. Or is it simply that you enjoy being condescending?


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Anf ducked my first two insults, and when I reported myself he passed the buck to you, thus ending the game.
Anf didn't pass the buck.  As is typically the case with mods and admins, he was reluctant to act as a moderator in a discussion that he had been actively participating in because that would be a conflict of interest, so he declined to do so and instead notified the other mods and admins what was going on, at which point, I volunteered to step in.
That is totally disingenuous, PD. First, there was no conflict of interest - nothing that I would have complained about, anyway; two, you already said that the selection of you as the Mod to respond to my report was intended as an implicit message to me and as a conclusion to the thought-experiment:

The fact that I (rather than one of the mods/admins you indicated) responded to your self-reported post was the mods' and admins' way of subtly attempting to inform you that it wasn't going to work. Apparently subtlety is lost on you, so I am forced to state it explicitly.
So please don't pretend your appointment was routine. It was obviously tailored to the situation and intended to be a message to me.

Also, I didn't 'indicate' anybody. I was of course expecting that one of the Mods involved in the discussion would respond, as they would understand the purpose of the faux-report; I hoped that they would be interested in continuing the thought-experiment. Evidently I was wrong.

And I note further condescension, PD. Apparently I don't pick up on subtlety. Since you wrote that in green I know better than to complain about your considered judgment. So thanks for the feedback.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 11:05:37 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline mhaberling

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #193 on: January 10, 2013, 12:07:39 AM »
Damn ... I'm late to this party.

Well, I've read the thread and although a lot has been going on since the OP ... I think I'll go ahead and address that.

(btw ... thanks to @shnozzola a couple of posts of mine in the thread).  ;)

Ok then, lets get to it...

The universe was created in the big bang, or some other process that we don't know about, doesn't really matter. Then hydrogen made stars which made more and more elements, And any ways we end up here, earth. Life is spontaneously created and now humanity flourishes. That is all fine and dandy.

Okay. I would re-word 'created' to 'came into existence' but hey ...

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However, there is no natural way to create a random event. f you drop a dice the exact same way onto the exact same surface from the exact same height it will always give you the same value.

The dice analogy is a bad example. Also, note that we do have artificial, human developed systems in place to create situations with random, unpredictable results ... i.e. the lottery machine with the numbered balls.

... but okay ... for the sake of argument, I'll grant this on the basis that I am taking this as a thought experiment.

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Random does not exist in nature, it is a purely human concept that more refers to our inability to predict.

I'm in thought experiment mode to I'll grant this for the sake of argument ... I don't want to spend time explaining the stochastic properties of the universe at quantum levels ...

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This then implies that every thing that has ever happened is the effect of previous events. There is no chance. The entirety of human history is defined by how the big bang went of and how the hydrogen came together into the original stars.

Okay. Let's assume this.

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Every thought you are currently happening has no meaning

Why? Why would my thoughts have no meaning? Just because they are caused by deterministic events in this hypothetical universe doesn't mean the thoughts themselves don't have meaning. They mean something to me.

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it is simply a chemical reaction and a result of previous events. So this brings us to free will, every action you have and will take has been predetermined by nature. You can try and break that by doing something random, but you are unable it is simply action and reaction. We cannot change the future, because the future is already been determined.

Yup ... in a fully deterministic universe, where there were no random events, then indeed we would have no 'free will' and the future would be determined.

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So in conclusion I would contend that in a Godless universe there is no free will...

I thought you said "god" had nothing to do with this discussion. So I don't understand why you would feel the need to describe it as "godless" in your conclusions.

It serves the same purpose to mention anything that doesn't exist in this hypothetical universe ... for example:

"So in conclusion, I would contend that in a universe without Bigfoot there is no free will."

The lack of free will in this universe you are describing has nothing to do with it lacking a god.


... and now, can I ask ... what is the point of your OP? To demonstrate that in a fully deterministic universe that lacks randomness and the existence of a god there is no free will? Okay... granted. So what now?


----------

Here's an additional note to clarify my actual position on free will and the universe ...

The universe has both deterministic and stochastic (random) properties. Neither of these give rise to 'free will'. The future is not predetermined. Many things can be predicted to a certain degree of accuracy, others are impossible to predict.

For more info, and in case you missed shnozzola's reference to it, here is my position on 'free will':
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22045.msg491978.html#msg491978

Thanks for joining the conversation, First off... The reason I say in a godless universe has to do with me being a theist and my perspective on the universe. For me... This is a thought experiment that I believe is contrary to reality (my opinion only) so when I was writing this it was something of added emphasis due to my perspective. In retrospective it doesn't make a lot of sense from your perspective.

Next, I don't feel like you disagree with me, reading your opinion. However I would say that anything that is not deterministic in the universe is completely illogical... And I would ask you to defend the ability of something being random....

Also.. there is no now what, it was just a thought experiment... No consequences to the conclusion that I really see.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #194 on: January 10, 2013, 06:12:23 AM »

Anf ducked my first two insults, and when I reported myself he passed the buck to you, thus ending the game.
Anf didn't pass the buck.  As is typically the case with mods and admins, he was reluctant to act as a moderator in a discussion that he had been actively participating in because that would be a conflict of interest, so he declined to do so and instead notified the other mods and admins what was going on, at which point, I volunteered to step in.
That is totally disingenuous, PD. First, there was no conflict of interest - nothing that I would have complained about, anyway; two, you already said that the selection of you as the Mod to respond to my report was intended as an implicit message to me and as a conclusion to the thought-experiment:

To clarify my position.  When I first saw your post, I focussed on the argument about "going round in circles", which I thought was the point.  When you made clear that it was the insult that was important, I continued to deal with it as a person involved in the thread - which, frankly, was all I was interested in.  No report had been raised, I did not feel bothered (for the reasons I gave)...and being brutally honest, involved as I was in the discussion and understanding the position you were making in the context of the thread, I didn't see it as a moderation issue.  Perhaps I am at fault for that.

Once a report had been raised, I did not feel I could deal with it, since the complaint involved me.  I therefore asked for another moderator who was not involved in the discussion to deal with it.  It's irrelevant whether you'd have been happy for me to deal, the point is that I wasn't happy to deal.

I understand your desire for an experiment to:

....reproduce a microcosm of a deterministic justice and prison system here in the forum, with Anf and GB as the Judges, the ER as prison, Screwtape as the Appeal Judge, banning as the death penalty and me as the hapless fallguy. One goal was to get a better idea of what Anf meant by rehabilitation.

...but it isn't practical.  I can't run you through a system as if it were MY system, if that system doesn't work my way.  If I felt, for example, that bare-bottom spankings were the best penalty for someone found guilty of jaywalking, we CAN'T have you get arrested for jaywalking, and me then try to convince the judge to use my preferred penalty - it's not on the books, it can't be applied, same as if I tried to insist that a trance medium should be used to communicate evidence from the deceased in a murder trial.



<<edit: Fixed quotes>>
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 07:53:49 AM by Anfauglir »
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #196 on: January 10, 2013, 09:44:36 AM »
Thanks for joining the conversation, First off... The reason I say in a godless universe has to do with me being a theist and my perspective on the universe. For me... This is a thought experiment that I believe is contrary to reality (my opinion only) so when I was writing this it was something of added emphasis due to my perspective. In retrospective it doesn't make a lot of sense from your perspective.
And yet that isn't what you said in reply to me, in post #47
Quote from: you
Bertaberts... The entire argument in this thread operates under the assumption of a lack of god. That is why its called "A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will
Which implies a god. So as plethora has stated, You could have just as well said ""So in conclusion, I would contend that in a universe without Bigfoot there is no free will."

Next, I don't feel like you disagree with me, reading your opinion. However I would say that anything that is not deterministic in the universe is completely illogical... And I would ask you to defend the ability of something being random....

Also.. there is no now what, it was just a thought experiment... No consequences to the conclusion that I really see.
[/quote]
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline mhaberling

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #197 on: January 10, 2013, 10:53:55 AM »
Thanks for joining the conversation, First off... The reason I say in a godless universe has to do with me being a theist and my perspective on the universe. For me... This is a thought experiment that I believe is contrary to reality (my opinion only) so when I was writing this it was something of added emphasis due to my perspective. In retrospective it doesn't make a lot of sense from your perspective.
And yet that isn't what you said in reply to me, in post #47
Quote from: you
Bertaberts... The entire argument in this thread operates under the assumption of a lack of god. That is why its called "A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will
Which implies a god. So as plethora has stated, You could have just as well said ""So in conclusion, I would contend that in a universe without Bigfoot there is no free will."

Next, I don't feel like you disagree with me, reading your opinion. However I would say that anything that is not deterministic in the universe is completely illogical... And I would ask you to defend the ability of something being random....

Also.. there is no now what, it was just a thought experiment... No consequences to the conclusion that I really see.
[/quote]
His question was to why I said it twice, not to why I said it at all
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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #198 on: January 10, 2013, 11:36:39 AM »
Thanks for joining the conversation, First off... The reason I say in a godless universe has to do with me being a theist and my perspective on the universe. For me... This is a thought experiment that I believe is contrary to reality (my opinion only) so when I was writing this it was something of added emphasis due to my perspective. In retrospective it doesn't make a lot of sense from your perspective.
And yet that isn't what you said in reply to me, in post #47
Quote from: you
Bertaberts... The entire argument in this thread operates under the assumption of a lack of god. That is why its called "A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will
Which implies a god. So as plethora has stated, You could have just as well said ""So in conclusion, I would contend that in a universe without Bigfoot there is no free will."

Next, I don't feel like you disagree with me, reading your opinion. However I would say that anything that is not deterministic in the universe is completely illogical... And I would ask you to defend the ability of something being random....

Also.. there is no now what, it was just a thought experiment... No consequences to the conclusion that I really see.
His question was to why I said it twice, not to why I said it at all
[/quote]Lol. Yeh! You go on thinking that.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline penfold

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #199 on: January 10, 2013, 12:03:19 PM »
MokusatsuWiki

Sorry to go off topic but this was such a nice link - thanks  ;D

ps following a link from the wiki article is this unclassified NSA document http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/tech_journals/mokusatsu.pdf
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #200 on: January 11, 2013, 06:42:48 PM »
{Yadda yadda yadda}

MokusatsuWiki

(Wiki: Mokusatsu is a Japanese word meaning "to ignore" or "to treat with silent contempt".)


So your post is self-refuting, PD. If you announce to me, in public, that you are ignoring me with silent contempt, you're not actually ignoring me silently, are you? But you are expressing your contempt, which no doubt was your intention.

Which is another good example of your disingenuousness and condescension.

And I note that you dodged the entire content of my post.

Offline screwtape

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #201 on: January 12, 2013, 08:14:14 AM »
If you announce to me, in public, that you are ignoring me with silent contempt, you're not actually ignoring me silently, are you? But you are expressing your contempt, which no doubt was your intention.

to be fair, silent contempt is tough to get across on an internet forum.  It looks exactly like when a member is logged off and having a nap or having a go at the wife or digging a hole in his back yard.  Explicit verbal contempt is what this medium excels at. 

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Re: A thought on a Godless universe and its implications on free will...
« Reply #202 on: January 12, 2013, 01:03:20 PM »
So your post is self-refuting, PD. ...

I guess it was self-refuting when the Japanese said it about the Americans, too.  As it was self-refuting every single other time it was used.

The same standard applies.
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