Author Topic: athiesm and free will  (Read 3557 times)

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Offline wigglytuff

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athiesm and free will
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:17:39 PM »
I have found a strange dialogue online and one point from it rather bugs me... this person said that if athiesm espically the naturalistic version was true that freewill cannot exist, i dont quite understand his objection, can you guys clear it up for me and how would you refute his claims?

http://covenant-theology.blogspot.ca/2009/08/problem-of-evil-answered.html?showComment=1388113092816#c1599412316182132118   it began with talking about the problem of evil but ended up with athiesm and freewill.... but still i am left wondering,he said that if there was no free will rational dialogue is impossible and that there was no point trying to prove your point by challenging others convictions

Offline Willie

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 01:34:00 AM »
Free will could not exist in an entirely deterministic universe, but thanks to quantum mechanics, our universe appears not to be entirely deterministic, so no need to invoke the supernatural for free will to exist. Whether it actually does exist could be the source of endless speculation and debate, but the idea that a purely natural universe excludes the possibility is nonsense.

....he said that if there was no free will rational dialogue is impossible and that there was no point trying to prove your point by challenging others convictions

If there were no free will, there would also be no point in not challenging others convictions. Either you will do so, or you will not, and either it will convince some of them, or it will not. No matter which way you go, and no matter the result, neither you nor they would have had any actual choice about it, only an illusion of choice. Even the act of speculating about it, and this very conversation, would not be a choice. I disagree that rational dialogue would be impossible without free will. It's just that both its presence and its outcome would be predestined.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 01:36:10 AM by Willie »

Offline G-Roll

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 09:30:59 AM »
The link is blocked so I can't access the actual post and conversation.
But on atheism and free will, how does an atheist not have free will? If there is no supernatural force to pull the strings of fate then what is stopping me from making my own decisions with no supernatural consequence? Grant it one could argue that we are all just slaves to hormones and chemical reactions thus no free will. We are prisoners within our own heads.
I don’t understand how a deterministic universe can exist without a supernatural force. I feel like I am missing out on some kind of mind blowing post!

Offline wigglytuff

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 12:48:12 PM »
The link is blocked so I can't access the actual post and conversation.
But on atheism and free will, how does an atheist not have free will? If there is no supernatural force to pull the strings of fate then what is stopping me from making my own decisions with no supernatural consequence? Grant it one could argue that we are all just slaves to hormones and chemical reactions thus no free will. We are prisoners within our own heads.
I don’t understand how a deterministic universe can exist without a supernatural force. I feel like I am missing out on some kind of mind blowing post!

why is it blocked it works fine for me?

Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 12:56:00 PM »
I have found a strange dialogue online and one point from it rather bugs me... this person said that if athiesm espically the naturalistic version was true that freewill cannot exist, i dont quite understand his objection, can you guys clear it up for me and how would you refute his claims?

http://covenant-theology.blogspot.ca/2009/08/problem-of-evil-answered.html?showComment=1388113092816#c1599412316182132118   it began with talking about the problem of evil but ended up with athiesm and freewill.... but still i am left wondering,he said that if there was no free will rational dialogue is impossible and that there was no point trying to prove your point by challenging others convictions

Sam Harris on "free will":



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g
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Offline wigglytuff

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 01:31:51 PM »
so again how should i respond to him?

Online shnozzola

Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 04:38:32 PM »
Respond in whatever way you feel comfortable.  These arguments make us all think.  If the person you respond to insults you, it may not be worth your time.  You decide.  If you search threads for free will, you come up with a lot.  Here is one where plethora gives a good argument against free will.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22045.msg491978.html#msg491978

I believe the 1 hour Sam Harris lecture is directly after it.

Here are some others:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22045.58.html
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,24252.msg539731.html#msg539731
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 04:42:03 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline MadBunny

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 11:41:10 PM »

If you want to understand the idea of illusory free will take some time and read up on game theory.
Specifically how decision trees, minimal nodes and pruning work.
In short, you want the player to think it has control of some sort, yet inevitably wind up at fixed points.  There are lots of obvious reasons for this, not the least of which is simplicity.

In the case of religion, it's impossible to include all the other religions comparatively so each of them by default claims the others are incorrect.  They've pruned those choices from the tree.  No Christian will ever try to convert someone Islam for a year to 'prove' how real Christianity is.  It's a self defeating choice.  Instead they'll add mini-games like St. Anselm's proof or Pascal's Wager.

Q: Save the princess?

Y: attempt to save the princess, get captured and thrown in jail with the princess escapes with magician.
N: run away, get arrested and thrown in jail with the magician, escape with princess.
Abort: play 'bones' with the guards till they accuse you of cheating, get thrown in jail meet magician and princess.



Here is an interesting site that covers some basics.
http://gametheory101.com/Backward_Induction.html


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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2013, 03:23:46 AM »
I have no option but to join this thread..... ;D
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 jetson

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 09:16:00 AM »
I have no option but to join this thread..... ;D

Damn you, I really thought I was going to skip this reply.

Offline wigglytuff

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2014, 05:15:33 PM »
Respond in whatever way you feel comfortable.  These arguments make us all think.  If the person you respond to insults you, it may not be worth your time.  You decide.  If you search threads for free will, you come up with a lot.  Here is one where plethora gives a good argument against free will.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22045.msg491978.html#msg491978

I believe the 1 hour Sam Harris lecture is directly after it.

Here are some others:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22045.58.html
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,24252.msg539731.html#msg539731
so if there is no free will then wouldnt that mean putting people in prison is pointless

Offline albeto

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2014, 08:51:24 PM »
so if there is no free will then wouldnt that mean putting people in prison is pointless

Not at all. The idea behind imprisoning people who are a danger to society is in sparing society from dangerous people.

However...

It does mean that the more we understand what compels a person to follow a socially deviant and maladaptive instinct, the more we can identify these traits in younger years, explore what environmental and genetic conditions contribute to a greater risk, and address them to avoid suffering. Our prison system is in need of a huge, fundamental overhaul.   I think it's inevitable in time if we pursue knowledge regarding human behavior with the same respect we've pursued knowledge regarding disease and health.

Also, human behavior is easily shaped by conditioning. This was made famous by the Russian Pavlov, whose research showed how operant conditioning works. When certain behaviors are identified as detrimental to society such that they are defined as "criminal," a general negative association is made with them.

 You might find the following link interesting to offer more information with regard to behavior and justice:

The Brain on Trial


Life Without Free Will
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 08:53:19 PM by albeto »

Offline Mooby

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 01:13:01 AM »
so if there is no free will then wouldnt that mean putting people in prison is pointless
If there's no free will, the person putting you in prison does not have the free will to not put you in prison.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 05:10:03 AM »
If there's no free will, the person putting you in prison does not have the free will to not put you in prison.

Aye - that's the quandry behind everyone on my side of the debate.  Whether we talk, or do not talk, about the lack of free will is not something we can control.  Once it is out there in the world, we may as a society move towards that position, but we can't choose to move there.  We either will, or we won't, you're quite right!
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?

Online shnozzola

Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 07:13:37 AM »
Wigglytuff,
           I wonder how you are thinking about this topic by now?  Did you read the link " Life Without Free Will" blog that Albeto provided (Thanks, Al - I enjoy your posts).  I particularly like this from Sam Harris:

Quote
Imagine that you are enjoying your last nap of the summer, perhaps outside in a hammock somewhere, and are awakened by an unfamiliar sound. You open your eyes to the sight of a large bear charging at you across the lawn. It should be easy enough to understand that you have a problem. If we swap this bear for a large man holding a butcher knife, the problem changes in a few interesting ways, but the sudden appearance of free will in the brain of your attacker is not among them.

Quote
A person’s conscious thoughts, intentions, and efforts at every moment are preceded by causes of which he is unaware. What is more, they are preceded by deep causes—genes, childhood experience, etc.—for which no one, however evil, can be held responsible. Our ignorance of both sets of facts gives rise to moral illusions.

Quote
Seeing through the illusion of free will has lessened my feelings of hatred for bad people. I’m still capable of feeling hatred, of course, but when I think about the actual causes of a person’s behavior, the feeling falls away. It is a relief to put down this burden, and I think nothing would be lost if we all put it down together. On the contrary, much would be gained. We could forget about retribution and concentrate entirely on mitigating harm.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 07:16:00 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline albeto

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 11:56:03 AM »
(Thanks, Al - I enjoy your posts).

Thank you!

:)

Quote
Seeing through the illusion of free will has lessened my feelings of hatred for bad people. I’m still capable of feeling hatred, of course, but when I think about the actual causes of a person’s behavior, the feeling falls away. It is a relief to put down this burden, and I think nothing would be lost if we all put it down together. On the contrary, much would be gained. We could forget about retribution and concentrate entirely on mitigating harm.

I agree with this sentiment so very much, and I think we do ourselves a huge disservice when we approach justice with the biblically culturally accepted practice of revenge-for-punishment. The idea that justice includes revenge requires a belief in free will. There is no way to justify our vengeance based justice system without it. It's such an important component to learn about and know, we really can't afford to keep our heads in the clouds just because exposing an illusion forces us to rethink what we've always believed.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 12:36:22 PM »
And to add a further irony, people who don't believe free will exists nonetheless act as if they do have free will (that is to say, the ability to make decisions which aren't predetermined ahead of time).

I personally feel that while we're biologically programmed to favor things that we're used to doing, we aren't deterministically locked into it, not the way a computer is.  I mean, we can see a distinct difference in the way the human brain operates and the way a computer processor operates.  The processor literally has no choice but to follow the instructions given it.  It doesn't matter what the instructions are, the processor will execute them if it's possible to.  The brain, on the other hand, has imperatives that it follows, but it doesn't necessarily have to follow them.  A person can decide to go against their biological and societal programming instead of following it with the same unbending faithfulness we get from computers.

The point is that we simply don't know what makes us different than a computer.  Is it the result of the interaction between our biological imperatives and evolution?  Is it caused by the way our brains are made up?  Is it a factor of the complexity of the human brain?  Or is it some combination thereof?  We simply don't know.  That's why I think it's more than just merely premature to declare that there is or isn't such a thing as free will.  We don't know, and we won't know for a very long time, if we ever figure it out.

That aside, I don't think you need a belief in free will to justify vengeance.  I think to a very large degree, vengeance is simply a psychological imperative - it's an attempt to dissuade someone else from doing something similar in the future.  If you retaliate against someone by doing them more harm than they did you, other people are likely to be scared into avoiding doing you harm.  The problem is, since it is a psychological imperative, what happens a lot of the time is that you get other people who then retaliate even more forcefully against you[1].  It doesn't have a thing to do with free will, except that some people use that as an excuse for vengeance.

In short, the capacity for vengeance is independent of whether one believes in free will or not, and is ingrained in the human psyche to the point of almost being instinctive.  So saying that if we didn't believe in free will, we wouldn't have vengeance-driven "justice" is beside the point.  If free will doesn't actually exist, then they already aren't linked, so trying to create a purely artificial link between the two won't do a single thing to deal with vengeful punishment.
 1. think along the lines of a blood feud

Online shnozzola

Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 06:44:43 PM »
Quote
So saying that if we didn't believe in free will, we wouldn't have vengeance-driven "justice" is beside the point.

Jaimehlers,
That's an interesting sentence, I should probably study it longer.  I am not sure "believe" is the best word there.  So do you think that a prison and justice system could or should change based on a realization that the criminal did not have free will, and is merely the sum of his or her life processes forcing the person into a path?  Would you say that the criminal is evil?  I did not like Sam Harris using the word "evil" in the blog linked to.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 06:51:11 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 07:26:38 PM »
So do you think that a prison and justice system could or should change based on a realization that the criminal did not have free will, and is merely the sum of his or her life processes forcing the person into a path?
I flat out disagree.  The circumstances that someone is in can limit their options, and most people who break the law do so in order to increase their available options[1].  But to say they have no choice but to do what they did is basically giving them an excuse.  So the object should be to make more options available to them so they're not tempted to break the law in order to create those options.  If they do so anyway, then you limit their options without harming them (such as putting them in prison or undergoing psychiatric treatment).

Quote from: shnozzola
Would you say that the criminal is evil?
No, I wouldn't.  That's more than a bit silly, in my opinion.  People who break the law almost never fit the trope of the mustache-curling villain or other such evildoers.  They have reasons why they broke the law, and claiming that they're 'evil' for doing it is just as bad as claiming that they had no choice but to do it.
 1. whether it's to help feed their children or family, or to acquire more stuff, or whatever

Offline plethora

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2014, 06:41:30 AM »
Sorry to jump in on your response ...

The circumstances that someone is in can limit their options, and most people who break the law do so in order to increase their available options.  But to say they have no choice but to do what they did is basically giving them an excuse.

It's not giving them an excuse, it's stating the facts of the circumstances surrounding the events and putting them into perspective so that we can stop focusing on imprisonment as a form of punishment because that's what the perpetrator 'deserves' for what they've done.

Fact is, they did what they did because the circumstances were what they were.

Once we understand this and remove the 'revenge/punishment' mentality, we can deliver justice in a way that focuses on the rehabilitation of the perpetrators while protecting the greater public from dangerous individuals.
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline bertatberts

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2014, 08:17:08 AM »
Quote from: plethora
It's not giving them an excuse, it's stating the facts of the circumstances surrounding the events and putting them into perspective so that we can stop focusing on imprisonment as a form of punishment because that's what the perpetrator 'deserves' for what they've done.

Fact is, they did what they did because the circumstances were what they were.

Once we understand this and remove the 'revenge/punishment' mentality, we can deliver justice in a way that focuses on the rehabilitation of the perpetrators while protecting the greater public from dangerous individuals.
Of course it is giving them an excuse. Humans are not just sentient beings they are sapient, they don't just do that which is their nature, they can make choices, the cat kills even though it is not hungry, people do nearly everything through choice. Rehabilitation is the assumption that people are not permanently criminal. Rehabilitation may be ok for burglars etc..
How do you get a child murderer to understand the pain they had caused their victim/victims, and the pain they have caused the families of their victims. By giving them therapy or educating them, not likely. Without having them feel similar pain themselves rehabilitation is worthless.
Where there is a victim, who has been  harmed/killed. Their is no rehabilitation without having the criminal suffer. They need to understand what they did was wrong. Not patting them on there back and saying "there! there" I know you were a victim too, let mummy kiss it better.
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 Anfauglir

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2014, 09:01:38 AM »
Where there is a victim, who has been  harmed/killed. Their is no rehabilitation without having the criminal suffer. They need to understand what they did was wrong. Not patting them on there back and saying "there! there" I know you were a victim too, let mummy kiss it better.

Absolutely correct - though I would go further, and say that this applies to every criminal, whether there is an identifiable "victim" or not.  If we have free will to choose, then the sole defence would be ignorance of the law in question (which our current system rightly will not recognise as a defence).  Because we have free will, every decision to commit a crime is done by free choice.  Sure, there may be circumstances that have restricted the range of alternatives, but in every situation the person was left with the choice of "commit the crime, or do not commit the crime". 

And they chose to do it, freely and with full knowledge.  So I quite agree, there should be no "sympathy" for these deliberate criminals.  And while I agree with jaime that we shoudl increase people's circumstances from a hunamitarian point of view, the notion we should do so to prevent crime is pure hogwash.  We have free will, we commit crimes because we decide to do so.  The fact that not everyone in similar circumstances turns to crime just shows that those who do make a choice to do so, while others deliberately choose not to.

What you do, you choose to do - and no amount of personal history and poor living conditions is an excuse, because always and in every situation, that person could have chosen not to.  And while I don't agree that "evil" is quite the right label, certainly we can label them "bad" for making that choice, because as we've established, it was a choice - and a choice that the "good" do not make.

So no sympathy for any criminal - and I would go so far as to consider removing parole as well.  What matter is surely not what they might do in the future, but that they made the deliberate choice in the past.  Them saying "I won't do it again" should carry no weight, at any point they could choose to do it again.

We also tend to give leniency to someone who was drunk, or on drugs, when they committed the crime.  But that too I oppose.  Drink and drugs surely do not interfere with free will, so even when drunk you still take the decision.  Likewise anything done "in heat of the moment" - we're not animals, not robots, after all, no matter what the circumstances we decide, we choose what we do.  We exercise our free will, every time.

This goes wider than crime, of course.  If you smoke, you do so through choice, so I see no need for National Health Service help to quit - you just make the choice to stop.  Equally, being obese is a choice (unless there is an imbalance in the way the body metabolises things) - you choose to eat more, you choose to diet, so anyone who is fat has chosen to become and remain that way. 

Actually, thinking about it, pretty much ANY problem one suffers from is the result of choices made.  "Stuck" in an abusive relationship?  Just choose to walk out.  Feeling depressed?  Just snap out of it - you can choose to be happy.  "Alcoholic"?  No such thing - every time you pick up a bottle, you chose to do so.  In fact, I find it very hard to feel sympathy for anyone, because in the vast majority of cases, they can choose to alter their position.  They have free will to do so, and while sure some decisions may be hard to make, we still always have the choice to make them.

It works at the trivial level as well as the more serious.  Nothing anyone does happens by accident, so if you do the wrong thing at work you must have chosen to do it wrong.  Say the wrong thing to your wife?  That wasn't an accident, pal, you chose those words to speak, how could they leave your mouth by accident?  Not even "I wasn't paying attention" is an excuse, because - at the very least - you chose not to pay attention in the first place, it wouldn't - couldn't - "just happen".

Free Will - everything is your own responsibility, its always your choice to do whatever you do. 
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 LoriPinkAngel

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2014, 09:23:49 AM »
Feeling depressed?  Just snap out of it - you can choose to be happy.

You are quite wrong.  Clinical depression is a serious condition and can not be "snapped out of."
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2014, 09:29:36 AM »
Feeling depressed?  Just snap out of it - you can choose to be happy.

You are quite wrong.  Clinical depression is a serious condition and can not be "snapped out of."

You can take the decision to seek help though

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2014, 10:35:32 AM »
Feeling depressed?  Just snap out of it - you can choose to be happy.

You are quite wrong.  Clinical depression is a serious condition and can not be "snapped out of."

You can take the decision to seek help though

That depends on a couple of factors.  Sometimes a person is so deep in the hole he/she isn't even able to seek help for him/herself.  Some do not have affordable or competent mental health coverage.  Some do not have access to that coverage due to lack of funds, transportation, knowledge of how to acquire it, etc.  And a depressed individual is generally exhausted and fatigued and may not possess the energy let alone the motivation and know how to find help. Often there are waiting lists for public mental health care where if you do not state you are going to harm yourself (which then gets you permanently labelled) you may have to wait months for any assistance so you just give up.  So choosing to be happy is really not that simple.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2014, 10:49:59 AM »
That depends on a couple of factors.  Sometimes a person is so deep in the hole he/she isn't even able to seek help for him/herself.  Some do not have affordable or competent mental health coverage.  Some do not have access to that coverage due to lack of funds, transportation, knowledge of how to acquire it, etc.  And a depressed individual is generally exhausted and fatigued and may not possess the energy let alone the motivation and know how to find help. Often there are waiting lists for public mental health care where if you do not state you are going to harm yourself (which then gets you permanently labelled) you may have to wait months for any assistance so you just give up.  So choosing to be happy is really not that simple.

Help doesn't have to be medical, speaking to family, friends, a forum full of strangers can be cathartic. As can someone doing your washing or hoovering your living room or posting that cheque to the utilities company that you just can't bring yourself to send.
Of course with clinical depression medical assistance is the best option, but it's not the only one.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2014, 11:03:09 AM »

Help doesn't have to be medical, speaking to family, friends, a forum full of strangers can be cathartic. As can someone doing your washing or hoovering your living room or posting that cheque to the utilities company that you just can't bring yourself to send.
Of course clinical depression medical assistance is the best option, but it's not the only one.

This is what people who have never been in a deep depression do not comprehend.  People can get in such a dark place that none of the above are options.  They can become too withdrawn to even ask for help.  Some people don't have anyone hovering around to check on them.  There are people who are completely alone.  A depressed person in a major episode may be beyond reaching out for help.  Their home becomes a cave of misery which they can not escape from.  Getting out of bed is like climbing a mountain.  They are too afraid of judgment to speak to anyone because they are so accustomed to being told to snap out of it or that they should be choosing to be happy so they tell no one how they feel and end up speaking to no one.

I have experienced this both as a person dealing with depression and as a nurse dealing with depressed patients.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 11:06:15 AM by LoriPinkAngel »
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2014, 11:18:56 AM »
This is what people who have never been in a deep depression do not comprehend.  People can get in such a dark place that none of the above are options.  They can become too withdrawn to even ask for help.  Some people don't have anyone hovering around to check on them.  There are people who are completely alone.  A depressed person in a major episode may be beyond reaching out for help.  Their home becomes a cave of misery which they can not escape from.  Getting out of bed is like climbing a mountain.  They are too afraid of judgment to speak to anyone because they are so accustomed to being told to snap out of it or that they should be choosing to be happy so they tell no one how they feel and end up speaking to no one.

I have experienced this both as a person dealing with depression and as a nurse dealing with depressed patients.

I disagree. There is always a choice, especially if you have had it before and recognise the symptoms. The fact that you describe yourself as "as a nurse dealing with depressed patients." means that they have either sought help or been referred by a concerned third party.
Even admitting there is a problem is a step to recovery. That admission is a choice.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: athiesm and free will
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2014, 02:46:22 PM »

I disagree. There is always a choice, especially if you have had it before and recognise the symptoms. The fact that you describe yourself as "as a nurse dealing with depressed patients." means that they have either sought help or been referred by a concerned third party.
Even admitting there is a problem is a step to recovery. That admission is a choice.

The patients were not referred to me for depression.  They were referred after hospital admissions for various other things.  The depression was discovered in the comprehensive assessment that I was required to do rather than the tunnel vision approach patients usually get when the practitioners focus only on a single diagnosis and not on the whole patient.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.