"Free will was given to man by god."

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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gaffo
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by gaffo » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:33 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:23 pm
gaffo wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:18 pm
I'm mild (thankfully) Dyslexic...and....when i show up here on this forum i'm usually drunk. 6 beers or more.

so add the two and you get my spelling.
Okay. That makes sense.
I'm a nice guy and do value discussion over invective - I apologize per the above per your assumption of my spelling in prior post - my spelling and insults about it date back to "school days" via thug-kids and i tend to "go off" over it

as i did with being "skinny" - but now all those that were not skinny in the 80 schoolyard are fat - and i just filled out from a beanpole to "normal" -so in that regard i got the last laugh (if i let me ego laugh about that - which i strive not to being a nice guy).

sadly brains (at least mine) never "filled out" to proper spelling, and so my knee-jerkiness per that particular.


I've been here nearly 2 yrs now and do value discussion over vituperation, and offer the peace pipe to you if you are willing to take it.


per, this thread of "freewill" i look toward any and all that wish to post on the theme - including yourself (i know that we are on opposites on this matter).

I welcome the arguments for are against.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:19 am

gaffo wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:33 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:23 pm
gaffo wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:18 pm
I'm mild (thankfully) Dyslexic...and....when i show up here on this forum i'm usually drunk. 6 beers or more.

so add the two and you get my spelling.
Okay. That makes sense.
I'm a nice guy and do value discussion over invective - I apologize per the above per your assumption of my spelling in prior post - my spelling and insults about it date back to "school days" via thug-kids and i tend to "go off" over it
No worries. No harm, no foul.
I've been here nearly 2 yrs now and do value discussion over vituperation, and offer the peace pipe to you if you are willing to take it.
I wasn't at war. I'm not now. I'm happy to take a few puffs.

per, this thread of "freewill" i look toward any and all that wish to post on the theme - including yourself (i know that we are on opposites on this matter).
I'm not sure.

For a person who might have doubts about free will, you seem to assert your own quite confidently. And I think that's a point worth noting...people tend to live as if free will genuinely exists. In fact, nobody at all lives as if it doesn't even if they say it doesn't. I think that should be a good first indicator that the issue needs a better explanation than simple Determinism.

Justintruth
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Justintruth » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:58 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:12 am
Justintruth wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:35 pm
There is no logical connection between a volitional act and any outcome.
That can't be quite true, can it?

I mean, we all undertake volitional decisions aimed at particular outcomes, like brushing our teeth so that they don't decay (as quickly). If there were no logical connection between brushing and tooth maintenance, we'd all be mad to do that, wouldn't we?

So there must be a logical connection, like perhaps a rational link between action (in the first place, tooth cleaning) and certain particular material conditions (in the second, decay prevention), but not perhaps an absolute necessary causal relationship between material conditions in the first place, and volition in the second.
There is a common confusion. The way it goes is this:

Imagine an orange sitting on a table. Imagine no one can get to this orange and nothing can touch it but you. You look at the orange and turn away then look back and it is sitting right where you left it. You are not surprised. You then turn around and turn back and it has moved say two feet to the right. Again no one can touch it and you did not touch it and it moved. You are surprised.

Ok, you are surprised but that does not mean that there is a logical reason that oranges stay where you left them. The surprise comes from a time symmetry experiencing but there is no logical reason for that symmetry. It is, instead, a fact. There is no logical basis for contingent fact.

From a logical point of view, the orange, and oranges in general, can move or not. You cannot derive the fact that they don't logically. You can not derive the facts of the situation.

What we do is to stipulate certain rules that seem to always occur, like "oranges don't just move on their own". Once we have that rule we can the derive logically the fact that the orange will be there when I turn back around.

All of the "laws" that we have operate like that. I put socks in my drawer knowing they will be their tomorrow only due to laws that are determined from the consistency in observations.

On top of these rules some will posit an objective ontology and see the experiencing as a result of it. In other words, they do not just see the fact of the oranges not moving as being a symmetry in their experiencing. Rather they believe that there is a orange their "in itself" as Sartre put it and that it is the cause of its own not moving. And there is a brain that is the cause of their experiencing the symmetry. But ***even if that is true***, and I think it basically is, the fact that it is true cannot be do to logic because it could have been otherwise. There is no logical necessity for the existence of experimental fact.

Possible worlds, each logically consistent and possessing the causal connections do not all necessarily exist.

Even the many world interpretation of quantum mechanics is based on the set of possibilities established not logically, but after having derived the Schrodinger equation and the Standard Model from experiencing and not logically. We say they are "experimentally based". And that is correct.

You can try to resort to an infinite regress in time but that fails for the following reason:

A logical model of A causes B is: Iff A, then B. A. Therefore B.

A logical model of A does not cause B: Iff A, then B. Not A. Therefore not B.

Now take both strings and do an infinite regress. Surprisingly you get the same string:

Alpha: "ab infinitum".....if Xn-2 then Xn-1. If Xn-1 then Xn. if Xn then Xn+1. if Xn+1 then Xn+2......"ad infinitum" Omega.

Notice that that logical sequence is the infinite regress of BOTH the case that it occurs and that it doesn't.

So the logical structure of a world with fully intact natural relations of causality cannot exist because of the logical structure. It requires some additional fact, namely that that particular structure does in fact exist.

So even the infinite regress fails and you cannot establish a fact from it. This was behind the cosmological proof of Aristotle echoed by Aquinas.

So, as human volitional acts occur in the context of contingent fact and also the volitional experiencing itself, as well as the act itself, is contingent, then it is true that...

"There is no ***logical connection*** between a volitional act and any outcome."

Only by stipulating without logical reason that "brushing will prevent tooth decay" can you establish logically that you should brush your teeth. And that stipulation is experimentally based not logically based.

The factual basis of reality is contingent and cannot be derived logically. That is why the laws of physics are different from the proofs of mathematics. It is why creation is the creation of time not in time. Who was it that said that? Some recent theologian I think.

Once you also add the idea of the necessity for cause... something not easy to do if indeed it is possible.... then you have the "first cause" and due to it we can act.

The real issue is between the "first cause" and the "it just is", and how the "just" in "it just is" differs from the wow and exclamations in "It is! Wow!" The answer to that lies in our neurology. "Surprise" is no foundation in itself but it is a characteristic. It is available to us. It is in that Surprise likes the distinction between the "just" in "It just is" and the exclamatory form.

Ultimately, this is induced by our hormone doped brains. But that does not obviate the reality that is the experiencing we have of it. It is like being tickled. It might be due to a finger in your side but that does not erase the fact of the tickling experiencing.

This is tied to the meaning of the gift. I am not advnocating anything but rather interpreting the original statement. in its context.

Belinda
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Belinda » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:29 pm

Immanuel Can, I have read Justintruth's great reply to you and I'd like to add, if Justintruth will excuse me,that the logic of your brushing your teeth is inductive logic. Inductive logic is founded upon constant conjunction of events. Clued up people have explained the constant conjunction of tooth cleaning with delaying tooth decay, and you may even have noticed this constant conjunction from your own experience.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:09 pm

Justintruth wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:58 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:12 am
So there must be a logical connection, like perhaps a rational link between action (in the first place, tooth cleaning) and certain particular material conditions (in the second, decay prevention), but not perhaps an absolute necessary causal relationship between material conditions in the first place, and volition in the second.
There is a common confusion. The way it goes is this:
You mistake my meaning.

I'm suggesting that there is some sort of relationship between our intentions and our actions. That's all. And we can see that this is so, because we do, in fact, aim at things, surmising the methods required to obtain them, and then often obtaining them. I'm suggesting that that fact needs a description, not merely an additional restatement of skepticism.

It's an observable phenomenon. It requires a phenomenological explanation.

I'm not asking for a connection grounded in formal logic. The empirical or phenomenological will do just fine.
Only by stipulating without logical reason that "brushing will prevent tooth decay" can you establish logically that you should brush your teeth. And that stipulation is experimentally based not logically based.
Of course. But that empirical observation raises an important question about your supposition that there is no rational connection between volition and action.
The factual basis of reality is contingent and cannot be derived logically.
Yes, of course; but I have to ask, so what?

We routinely empirically observe probabilistic connections between our actions and outcomes. That fact in itself requires explanation, not a mere glossing over, or an additional statement of skepticism about causal relations. If the situation were as bleak as you seem to suggest, how would intention and action EVER be connected?
Ultimately, this is induced by our hormone doped brains.
Not "induced," I think, but at least, "responded to." I think the word "doped" is excessively negative, too. We don't have evidence that in general, brains are malfunctioning.
But that does not obviate the reality that is the experiencing we have of it. It is like being tickled. It might be due to a finger in your side but that does not erase the fact of the tickling experiencing.
But the "experiencing" is a cognitive product of the physical "being tickled," not merely a "doped" response of a brain. And our tendency to squirm is a product of the fact that, probabilistically, we have come to understand that this action will reduce the contact between tickler and tickled.

In short, what's totally missing from your account is the thinking agent. He's not a mere "dope," nor merely a product of prior forces. And the actions he takes are based (on at least probabilistic) personal estimations of what will constitute efficient action in the world.

It turns out that most of the time, he's right. That fact is what needs explanation.

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henry quirk
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intent & action

Post by henry quirk » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:13 pm

I'm thirsty.

I can walk to the fridge and get me some lemonade.

I can walk to the tap and have a glass of water.

I can hop in the car, travel to the pub, and have myself a beer.

I can do nuthin' (cuz I'm thirsty but I ain't dying cuz of it).

My motivation: thirst.

My intent: to (mebbe) quench my thirst.

My action: what I suss out as the best option for me to see my intent realized.

Tell me, anyone, how there's not a direct, tangible, line through the sequence?

I'm thirsty, I mull over my options to alleviate my thirst, I 'do'.

There's no disconnect. It's all seamless with 'me' as the perceiver, the assessor, the concluder, the doer; with 'me' as the initiating agent.

Free will (the libertarian agent) is real. I'm one. So are 'you'.

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Sculptor
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Sculptor » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:01 pm

-1- wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:00 am
"Free will was given to man by god." This I often hear from theists. I searched the bible and found no support for this from the word of the supposed god.

So this is inference? Or did I miss something.

Will Guffo or somebody else please tell me where the idea of "free will" emerged in christian thinking, and what Christians use as explanation to it in the bible?

I think this directly addresses your question
From the "Skeptics bible"

What the Bible says about Free Will
God determines who is going to heaven ...
And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. -- Acts 13:48
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate.... Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." -- Romans 8:29-30
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." -- 2 Timothy 1:9
He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." -- Ephesians 1:4-5
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation." -- 2 Thessalonians 2:13
and who is going to hell.
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned. -- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation. -- Jude 4
There's nothing you can do about it.
For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. .... For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. -- Romans 9:11-22


http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_ ... _will.html
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Justintruth
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Justintruth » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:26 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:09 pm
Justintruth wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:58 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:12 am
So there must be a logical connection, like perhaps a rational link between action (in the first place, tooth cleaning) and certain particular material conditions (in the second, decay prevention), but not perhaps an absolute necessary causal relationship between material conditions in the first place, and volition in the second.
There is a common confusion. The way it goes is this:
You mistake my meaning.

I'm suggesting that there is some sort of relationship between our intentions and our actions. That's all. And we can see that this is so, because we do, in fact, aim at things, surmising the methods required to obtain them, and then often obtaining them. I'm suggesting that that fact needs a description, not merely an additional restatement of skepticism.

It's an observable phenomenon. It requires a phenomenological explanation.

I'm not asking for a connection grounded in formal logic. The empirical or phenomenological will do just fine.
Only by stipulating without logical reason that "brushing will prevent tooth decay" can you establish logically that you should brush your teeth. And that stipulation is experimentally based not logically based.
Of course. But that empirical observation raises an important question about your supposition that there is no rational connection between volition and action.
The factual basis of reality is contingent and cannot be derived logically.
Yes, of course; but I have to ask, so what?

We routinely empirically observe probabilistic connections between our actions and outcomes. That fact in itself requires explanation, not a mere glossing over, or an additional statement of skepticism about causal relations. If the situation were as bleak as you seem to suggest, how would intention and action EVER be connected?
Ultimately, this is induced by our hormone doped brains.
Not "induced," I think, but at least, "responded to." I think the word "doped" is excessively negative, too. We don't have evidence that in general, brains are malfunctioning.
But that does not obviate the reality that is the experiencing we have of it. It is like being tickled. It might be due to a finger in your side but that does not erase the fact of the tickling experiencing.
But the "experiencing" is a cognitive product of the physical "being tickled," not merely a "doped" response of a brain. And our tendency to squirm is a product of the fact that, probabilistically, we have come to understand that this action will reduce the contact between tickler and tickled.

In short, what's totally missing from your account is the thinking agent. He's not a mere "dope," nor merely a product of prior forces. And the actions he takes are based (on at least probabilistic) personal estimations of what will constitute efficient action in the world.

It turns out that most of the time, he's right. That fact is what needs explanation.
Ok. So the original question was about why free will was characterized as a gift. I traced that to the empirical basis of contingent fact which is, as they say, "given", and not derived, hence the basis of the use of the word "gift". You challenged my assertion that the causality we put into play when we act was empirically, not logically based, by challenging my assertion that there is no *logical* reason why the outcomes of our acts of will occur. I responded by a description of what I meant.

The *fact* that we act is contingently based on a given set of circumstances that our act does not constitute. Without those facts there is no act and there are no consequences. You cannot explain that basis as it is empirically derrived not logically. You can, once you empirically derive the rules by which it operates, use logic to arrive at true statments about what will happen if you do something and then act based on them or not as you choose.

The word "dope" has two meanings. It can mean "someone stupid" but it also occurs when a small amount of something is added to something like a chrystal hence "doping" it. It is that sense that I meant it. No pejorative was intended. In fact, that "doping" is critical to a lot of valuable cognition.

You say: "I'm not asking for a connection grounded in formal logic. The empirical or phenomenological will do just fine." Ok, but neither of those is a result of our action but as a result of those the circumstances that provied the bases of our actions are given. Again, there is the word "given".

You say: "But that empirical observation raises an important question about your supposition that there is no rational connection between volition and action." I didn't say that. I just pointed out that the rational connections are not a result of the act of volition. The fact that my arm moves when I decide to move will not occur just because I decided to move it. Rather, because the contingent circumstances provide the existence of arms and their behavior in such a way that I can form the empirical or phenemenally derived rule that "If I decide to move my arm it will move". Then if I use that rule I can logically derive that if I do perform the volitional act, that my arm will move. And I have then established the rational connection.

Rationality is not limited to empiricism but it includes it.

You say about the fact that I said "The factual basis of reality is contingent and cannot be derived logically.": "Yes, of course; but I have to ask, so what?"

So what? So now you can see why it can be said that it is given and somewhat what it means that it is a gift.

You say: "What's totally missing from your account is the thinking agent." No. the thinking agent is there. It is me, or you, or someone else, thinking. We do disagree on whether a separate agent from our brains, that is somehow attached to our brains, is there. I think our brain just thinks and that means it does more than current physics is capable of describing but that in fact, empirically or phenomenologically as you like, it does.

You say: "But the "experiencing" is a cognitive product of the physical "being tickled," not merely a "doped" response of a brain." You again use that word "merely". You either ignore the logical posibility that a "doped" respnse of a brain might actually be the "cognitive product of the physical 'being tickled'" or else you have failed to establish that it is not, empirically or phenomenologically, by showing how to demonstrate their independence.

There will not be an explanation of any contingent fact except in terms of other contingent facts which means, in the end there is no logical basis for them. The explanations are there already. But they are based on facts the presence of which cannot be explaned further. It is like that here, too. It's just a question of correctly structuring the posits we use in our future explanations in order to provide minimum posits and maximum generality of our explanations.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:50 pm

Justintruth wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:26 am
The word "dope" has two meanings. It can mean "someone stupid" but it also occurs when a small amount of something is added to something like a chrystal hence "doping" it. It is that sense that I meant it. No pejorative was intended. In fact, that "doping" is critical to a lot of valuable cognition.
I was quite aware of the association between "dope" and "dopamine," actually. My intention was rather to suggest that it doesn't much matter whether one is "doped" by one's own body chemicals or "doped" by LSD -- the result would be the undermining of the idea of volition and cognition, and ultimately, of identity as well.
You say: "I'm not asking for a connection grounded in formal logic. The empirical or phenomenological will do just fine." Ok, but neither of those is a result of our action but as a result of those the circumstances that provied the bases of our actions are given. Again, there is the word "given".
But the question is, What does it mean to say "the bases of our actions are given"? Does it mean that we are programmed by our environments, such that volition is not possible? Or does it mean that the first incentive for us to exercise our volitions comes from outside, but our volitions themselves are at our personal disposal?

In other words, to say that we cannot determine our circumstances is not to prove that we cannot determine our reaction to them.
You say: "But that empirical observation raises an important question about your supposition that there is no rational connection between volition and action." I didn't say that.
Oh. Good. Sorry.
I just pointed out that the rational connections are not a result of the act of volition.
That's not quite the matter of contention, it seems to me.

It's not that rationality proceeds from volition, but that action does. I was under the impression we were discussing whether or not volition can be dismissed as a mere epiphenomenon of physiology, in other words.
Rationality is not limited to empiricism but it includes it.
Indeed so. Empiricism is inductive and probabilistic, but that doesn't make it irrational.
You say: "What's totally missing from your account is the thinking agent." No. the thinking agent is there. It is me, or you, or someone else, thinking. We do disagree on whether a separate agent from our brains, that is somehow attached to our brains, is there. I think our brain just thinks and that means it does more than current physics is capable of describing but that in fact, empirically or phenomenologically as you like, it does.
I suppose I'm having difficulty understanding that position. How could a volition that is no more than a product of the physiological actually be said to "exist" in its own right? It sounds sort of like you're saying that "volition" is nothing more than a misnomer for "brain chemicals," or for "physiological causes" generally. Have I misunderstood?
You say: "But the "experiencing" is a cognitive product of the physical "being tickled," not merely a "doped" response of a brain." You again use that word "merely". You either ignore the logical posibility that a "doped" respnse of a brain might actually be the "cognitive product of the physical 'being tickled'" or else you have failed to establish that it is not, empirically or phenomenologically, by showing how to demonstrate their independence.
Well, hold on a sec.

How could a thing like "being tickled," which is a subjective interpretation, be directly induced by a very different physiological phenomenon, like the scraping of a finger across skin, without first being meditatively interpreted by a consciousness? And if that mediative interpretation is key to the event of experiencing "being tickled," then how can we suggest that the physical stimulus is all it is?

A person who had, for example, insensitive skin, could interpret the same action as a "poke," and a person with highly sensitive skin might interpret it as an "attack"...while it would be exactly the same action, with exactly the same real intensity. What is the role of the interpretation here...because clearly it has one.
There will not be an explanation of any contingent fact except in terms of other contingent facts which means, in the end there is no logical basis for them.

Well, the claim that all is composed of contingent facts without logical (or do you mean "rational") basis would be a metaphysical claim, not an obvious truism. As such, it would need showing. And even to explain that it COULD be true would not show that it IS true: to do that, one would have to make a more compelling case, I think.

And I'm not even sure how such a case could be made. I think it's the sort of assumption one has to take or leave a priori. But if you have a conclusive demonstration of it, I'd like to know how it might run.

Thanks for the response.

Justintruth
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Justintruth » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:31 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:50 pm
But the question is, What does it mean to say "the bases of our actions are given"? Does it mean that we are programmed by our environments, such that volition is not possible? Or does it mean that the first incentive for us to exercise our volition comes from outside, but our volitions themselves are at our personal disposal?

In other words, to say that we cannot determine our circumstances is not to prove that we cannot determine our reaction to them.
It means that more is *necessary* for action to occur then our volition. For our volition to result in action requires a system that is not the result of our volition. In fact even the fact of our volition itself seems to require such a system, as I can stop you even from trying to move your arm with an anesthesia which is a purely physical mechanism.

It does not mean that the fact that such enabling systems exist is *sufficient* for an action that is a result of volition - an act of will - to occur. Unless, after I am there and my arm etc is working, I then decide to move my arm, then the arm won't move, or at least won't move as a result of my volition as you can easily demonstrate by just sitting still first then moving your arm a while latter and comparing the result.
It's not that rationality proceeds from volition, but that action does. I was under the impression we were discussing whether or not volition can be dismissed as a mere epiphenomenon of physiology...
To me there are three possibilities all of them real possibilities not dismiss-able yet:

It is possible that our will has an effect on the energy of the system in such a way that the probabilities predicted by statistical quantum mechanics are clearly violated.

It is possible that a normal statistical fluctuation natural to quantum mechanical occurs as a result of our act of will but that the effect cannot rise above the noise floor of the fluctuations themselves. That means that we find that we cannot act fast enough to cause a measurable deviation given the physics of high numbers affecting the count of the normal fluctuations and the time it takes us to act.

(As an aside I knew a physicist who in 1979, nearly 40 years ago, was trying to measure this with respect to whether an act of will could perturb some kind of radioactivity - not in the brain but outside of it. I am sure he would have loved to do that experiment on quantum mechanics of the brain *internally*.)

The physics predicts that the fluctuations from the averages, the averages that we call temperature or pressure macroscopic-ally, are very, very, very, small, that the Gaussian function which looks like a hill with foothills becomes nearly a Dirac delta function, which is a straight up spike. Just imagine a mountain getting higher and higher as its base gets narrower and narrower. Something like that occurs when we look at variations and add particles. And the number of particles in the brain is so high that the averages "are what happens" as one teacher in statistical mechanics puts it.

But there is the possibility of amplification of the effect. In general amplification is required for a quantum measurement by us because in order for our senses and brains to react a large enough signal is needed. Perhaps likewise our outbound signals require amplification.

So, to but it euphemistically, perhaps every action we take is a Schrodinger cat, or perhaps there is some larger signal that does not require such amplification to be seen.

The third possibility is the epiphenomenal one. That there is no effect of our will at all there is just the belief that there is one created in us.

I cannot assign a probability to these outcomes.

It does seem strange to me though that there would be epiphenomenal in the way you mean it. I would be surprise if that was the answer. In other words, it seems an awful coincidence. But that "seeming" itself has a whole lot of baggage. We know that people routinely get wrong certain problems in statistics like the Monty problem or the probability of finding two people with the same birthday in an audience, or with what happens with prior probabilities, and I have a problem understanding primordial entropy and what it even means. For example Wald a very respectable physicist says that the universe was once in equilibrium. Yet now it is not and we know that gravity plays in strange ways in all this with heat flowing from the lower temperature to higher temperatures according to a respected engineer and MIT (Seth Loyd). I am trying to parse through it all but it's very challenging just to get to the starting line.

I am certainly not advocating for any of these.
How could a volition that is no more than a product of the physiological actually be said to "exist" in its own right?
The point is that if it exists "in its own right" then it is a kind of ghost. As a matter of contingent fact and not logical possibility it does not seem to exist in its own right. There is always some primate staring back whenever we look in a mirror. We can't seem to get away from it and look in a mirror and not be there. Oh we can do it with cameras but you know what I mean. That is just extending the optical pathway.

It might not "exist in its own right" but rather be the result of assembling certain materials. If the latter is true then materials are not just what is described in the current physics but rather our notion of it must change radically. But as far as I can see there is no objection to that change as long as we cannot separate the individual from the matter. And it seems to have fewer posits than what you are advocating.

If we could do something to your body so that it becomes destroyed in a certain way. Maybe give you some strange drink then stab you in the heart and incinerate your corpse, and you continue to see and can use your will to move around and even lift a wineglass as if you had a hand, and even type to us that you are still here, then we would definitely have a problem with what I am saying. But if nothing like that happens then it seems that the body is what is aware and is what thinks and is what acts. All of these, consciousness, thinking, action, seem to have the same structure.
It sounds sort of like you're saying that "volition" is nothing more than a misnomer for "brain chemicals," or for "physiological causes" generally. Have I misunderstood?
Completely if by "brain chemicals" you mean what the current physics means. Not at all if you allow the modifications I am suggesting.

You have not yet come up with an objection that I can find holds weight against the idea. The new properties indeed are different in radical ways from any other properties. They form a new class of, oh call them "1st person properties" and the others "3rd person properties" or something. But that does not justify the necessity of positing a separate entity that has those properties and is then in this relation with the brain. You can think that way. But you can't justify thinking that way. At least you haven't.

Arguing against this myself, there would have to be something about having these two classes of properties not consistent with a single subject capable of predication. But I can't find any objection myself and I don't think you have presented one. Or perhaps it is simpler to have two and we have some kind of exception to Occam and Einstein who said also that the simpler the assumptions and the broader the conclusions drives what our theory should be.

You are arguing against that.
How could a thing like "being tickled," which is a subjective interpretation, be directly induced by a very different physiological phenomenon, like the scraping of a finger across skin, without first being meditatively interpreted by a consciousness? And if that mediative interpretation is key to the event of experiencing "being tickled," then how can we suggest that the physical stimulus is all it is?
Well let me just ask why you think it needs to be "meditatively" and not directly interpreted by a body? Especially once we posit that bodies can be tickled and understand that when we say the word "bodies". You are the one that must justify why you think it "must" be meditatively. Why not just admit that bodies are capable of more than you previously conceived?

Why do you add the second entity and attach it to the physiology?
A person who had, for example, insensitive skin, could interpret the same action as a "poke," and a person with highly sensitive skin might interpret it as an "attack"...while it would be exactly the same action, with exactly the same real intensity. What is the role of the interpretation here...because clearly it has one.
Unless their are two identical bodies, and one experiences a poke and the other a tickle or even if the same body at two times achieved the exact same state and at one time remember a tickle and at another a poke then there is no problem.

If we could set up two different times with your brain that it had the same state. Let's imagine I have memory all tricked out and can move the atoms around at will and I set up two identical states at two different times and then we found that you remembered different things then - not the same - same physiology different experience. If something like that could be demonstrated you might have something. But until it is we do not have a need for the second entity you suggest "must" be there.

Frankly speaking, can you say what if any relationship exists between this issue and any religious beliefs you hold. In my mind it is irrelevant. Do you think the same or is there some interest that keeps you clinging to the notion of a second entity over and above the brain.
Well, the claim that all is composed of contingent facts without logical (or do you mean "rational") basis would be a metaphysical claim, not an obvious truism.
I never said "all was composed of contingent facts" and I don't think it is. The laws of mathematics are not contingent. My view of the past is that it is no longer contingent. I again, in my opinion, am being accused of beliefs that I do not hold and I do not think I have ever said that I did hold.

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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:01 pm

Justintruth wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:31 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:50 pm
In other words, to say that we cannot determine our circumstances is not to prove that we cannot determine our reaction to them.
It means that more is *necessary* for action to occur then our volition.
Well, sure. That's obviously true. But it's not really an observation helpful to the present case.

Certainly it's accepted by everyone that there is a physical component to action. A paralyzed man can't lift his foot, no matter how much volition he exercises in the effort. But equally, his foot is equally unlikely to rise if he has no volition, even if he could physically do it. So what we've established is only that both physical capacity AND volition are necessary.

The question, though, is this: what part of that necessary duo is volition contributing?
It's not that rationality proceeds from volition, but that action does. I was under the impression we were discussing whether or not volition can be dismissed as a mere epiphenomenon of physiology...
To me there are three possibilities all of them real possibilities not dismiss-able yet:
Okay.
The third possibility is the epiphenomenal one. That there is no effect of our will at all there is just the belief that there is one created in us.
There's a fourth. It's the hypothesis that human will is a necessary-not-sufficient condition of volitional action, just as physiological capability is a necessary-not-sufficient condition of action.
It does seem strange to me though that there would be epiphenomenal in the way you mean it.
I'm not an epiphenomenalist, so I'm not sure how to respond to this assumption, I confess.
How could a volition that is no more than a product of the physiological actually be said to "exist" in its own right?
The point is that if it exists "in its own right" then it is a kind of ghost.
No, no...I didn't mean "exist in its own right" as meaning "exist entirely unattached to physiology." Not at all. What I meant was "be a real thing that exists," or "be a concept that refers to anything that actually exists." In other words, I meant, "not a mere delusion." My apologies for being ambiguous there.
It might not "exist in its own right" but rather be the result of assembling certain materials.
I see. You're taking for granted the reality of some kind of progressivist development of volition. But that has very serious problems, as a hypothesis.

Firstly, we can't describe it adequately. We can't even come close to saying how consciousness "emerges" from entirely non-conscious matter. Then secondly, we have Jaegwon Kim's "downward causality" problem, meaning that after it has mysteriously popped into existence, this "mind" thing starts dictating back to the physical matter from which it has been said to have "emerged," and thus is causing the materials to do things. But how does something that is said to be a product of the material, or worse, merely a delusion projected from the physical materials, end up being a cause of things in the materials? That looks completely backwards. It's reverse (or "downward") causality.

It would be as absurd as saying, "I'm my own grandfather." :D
...it seems to have fewer posits than what you are advocating.
If you'll forgive me for saying so, I think this fascination with a misunderstanding of Ockham's Law is what's catching in your craw here. Ockham did not say, and it is not true, that the explanation with the fewest posits is always best. He said that the explanation with the fewest NECESSARY posits, that is, the fewest posits one simply cannot do without and still have an adequate explanation, is LIKELY to be the best. He did not say that we could get along with fewer posits than deal with all the observable phenomena, and he certainly did not say that monist explanations are inevitably the best explanations.

So the claim, "I have fewer posits than you do" is not an indicator of a better theory. It would only be, if the posits you had were known to be entirely sufficient to describe the phenomena in question (which they don't actually seem to be, honestly), AND even then, you could only say that your theory looked probably to be more plausible, not that it was actually better.

Whew. So much for Ockham here. He's not helpful, really, on this question. Here, we are dealing with a controversy between a monism and an explanation with only two interrelated posits. So there's not much to choose in pure number terms -- 1 versus 1-1/2 or 2 -- and monism does not seem adequate, so it doesn't seem to have met Ockham's requirement that we have all the necessary posits in place.
You have not yet come up with an objection that I can find holds weight against the idea.
Okay, well, that's honest.
You can think that way. But you can't justify thinking that way. At least you haven't.

I think I have. We seem to be stuck on a point of interpretation. I would point out that all of us, including you, live and act as if volition is a real thing, with causal implications in the material world. Not a single human being acts otherwise. And I would suggest that fact needs good explanation.

In addition, I've pointed out above the terminal problems of coming up with an "emergence" explanation based on evolutionary progressivism of consciousness, and the absurdity of the "downward causality" conclusion. I think these are huge roadblocks to physicalist monism. But if you don't agree, I don't know what I can say more about that.
How could a thing like "being tickled," which is a subjective interpretation, be directly induced by a very different physiological phenomenon, like the scraping of a finger across skin, without first being meditatively interpreted by a consciousness? And if that mediative interpretation is key to the event of experiencing "being tickled," then how can we suggest that the physical stimulus is all it is?
Well let me just ask why you think it needs to be "meditatively" and not directly interpreted by a body?
"Mediatively," meaning, "through a medium," not "meditatively." (That maybe is the spelling-corrector going wrong?) I was trying to say that something mediates our interpretation of exactly the same physical stimulus. In other words, why is what it interpreted as a "tickle" by one person interpreted as a "poke" by another, or as an "attack" by a third? Some kind of mediating "interpreter" is deciding which explanation will count in each case. That is consciousness.
Why not just admit that bodies are capable of more than you previously conceived?
Because physical bodies, qua physical bodies, are not capable of interpretation. For by "physical bodies," we can only be referring to those non-conscious elements of human physiology, like carbon and oxygen, each of which has no more sentience in itself than a rock. Otherwise, we're begging the question of consciousness, by simply rhetorically "moving" the consciousness into the physical matter, or we're supposing some kind of Pantheistic mind-in-matter.
A person who had, for example, insensitive skin, could interpret the same action as a "poke," and a person with highly sensitive skin might interpret it as an "attack"...while it would be exactly the same action, with exactly the same real intensity. What is the role of the interpretation here...because clearly it has one.
Unless their are two identical bodies, and one experiences a poke and the other a tickle or even if the same body at two times achieved the exact same state and at one time remember a tickle and at another a poke then there is no problem.
I can't see that that is true. It looks like a very big problem, to me. There you have identical physical stimuli, on identical physiology, with two different outcomes. That doesn't look like normal causality at all. It looks like a personal interpretation, which requires consciousness and volition.

And it's a routine phenomenon, observable to all of us. So I think that looks hugely problematic for physicalist monism.
Frankly speaking, can you say what if any relationship exists between this issue and any religious beliefs you hold.
Is that a question? It could be a statement...I can't quite tell, because it ends with a period. I'm thinking maybe it's a question, though.
Do you think the same or is there some interest that keeps you clinging to the notion of a second entity over and above the brain.
Only the interest in consciousness as a phenomenon.

I don't find I have to "keep clinging" at all, though; I find it comes back inescapably as a problem, over and over again. As I said, we all act and live as if consciousness exists: that puts the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of someone who wants to say that what we are doing is somehow "not reality." That means the monist has work to do to show it.

But I find it quite inescapable, as a problem.
Well, the claim that all is composed of contingent facts without logical (or do you mean "rational") basis would be a metaphysical claim, not an obvious truism.
I never said "all was composed of contingent facts" and I don't think it is. The laws of mathematics are not contingent.
Perhaps. But they're also entirely immaterial. Numbers themselves have no physical existence. They're just a closed system of concepts, and as such, are "necessary on their own terms."

But the claim that material reality is composed of nothing but contingent facts is a metaphysical claim (and an irrational one too, since it would require an infinite regressive chain of contingent causes, which could never get going in the first place, because it has infinite prerequisites).
My view of the past is that it is no longer contingent.
"Contingent," though, doesn't merely mean "happened already." It means, "did not have to happen as it did," or "could have happened otherwise than it did." In other words, it means "not necessarily so."
I again, in my opinion, am being accused of beliefs that I do not hold and I do not think I have ever said that I did hold.
Not "accused," I hope. I'm not trying to misrepresent you, far less accuse you of something.

I'm finding you're misunderstanding some of what I'm saying, and I think I might be failing to grasp precisely some of what you're saying. So I'm trying to get clarity from what you say, so as to understand what you DO mean. I trust you don't experience that effort as if it were hostile. It's not intended to be.

Take it as an indicator of interest instead.

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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Dachshund » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:00 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:09 pm
Justintruth wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:58 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:12 am
So there must be a logical connection, like perhaps a rational link between action (in the first place, tooth cleaning) and certain particular material conditions (in the second, decay prevention), but not perhaps an absolute necessary causal relationship between material conditions in the first place, and volition in the second.
There is a common confusion. The way it goes is this:
You mistake my meaning.

I'm suggesting that there is some sort of relationship between our intentions and our actions. That's all. And we can see that this is so, because we do, in fact, aim at things, surmising the methods required to obtain them, and then often obtaining them. I'm suggesting that that fact needs a description, not merely an additional restatement of skepticism.

It's an observable phenomenon. It requires a phenomenological explanation.

I'm not asking for a connection grounded in formal logic. The empirical or phenomenological will do just fine.
Only by stipulating without logical reason that "brushing will prevent tooth decay" can you establish logically that you should brush your teeth. And that stipulation is experimentally based not logically based.
Of course. But that empirical observation raises an important question about your supposition that there is no rational connection between volition and action.
The factual basis of reality is contingent and cannot be derived logically.
Yes, of course; but I have to ask, so what?

We routinely empirically observe probabilistic connections between our actions and outcomes. That fact in itself requires explanation, not a mere glossing over, or an additional statement of skepticism about causal relations. If the situation were as bleak as you seem to suggest, how would intention and action EVER be connected?
Ultimately, this is induced by our hormone doped brains.
Not "induced," I think, but at least, "responded to." I think the word "doped" is excessively negative, too. We don't have evidence that in general, brains are malfunctioning.
But that does not obviate the reality that is the experiencing we have of it. It is like being tickled. It might be due to a finger in your side but that does not erase the fact of the tickling experiencing.
But the "experiencing" is a cognitive product of the physical "being tickled," not merely a "doped" response of a brain. And our tendency to squirm is a product of the fact that, probabilistically, we have come to understand that this action will reduce the contact between tickler and tickled.

In short, what's totally missing from your account is the thinking agent. He's not a mere "dope," nor merely a product of prior forces. And the actions he takes are based (on at least probabilistic) personal estimations of what will constitute efficient action in the world.

It turns out that most of the time, he's right. That fact is what needs explanation.


Immanual,



You are a very capable and entertaining philosopher (as your commentary above clearly demonstrates), and philosophising is certainly a worthy pass-time. Though I must say I think it can become an unhealthy obsession, especially for cerebral men like yourself (I hasten to add that I am not suggesting that you personally are obsessed with philosophy in any detrimental/harmful manner).



Western philosophy is the quest for a comprehensive understanding of ultimate social reality/ the Truth. Given this is a philosophy forum and this particular thread has a religious theme, I thought I would re-emphasise how Western philosophy is jam-packed with brilliant "gurus": Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Descartes, Locke, Heidegger, Moore, Hobbes Hegel, Nietzsche, Hume, Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, J.S. Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker and the list goes on and on. As well as its great gurus, Western philosophy, is a broad field of study, and it boasts a tremendous number of different methods/canons of inquiry that have been devised and employed since ancient times by "seekers" of the Truth /the nature of ultimate social reality. These include, but are not limited to: rationalism, empiricism; skepticism; criticism; the dialectic, deductive/inferential/abductive logic; dogmatism, defeasible reasoning, propositional logic, the classical and disjunctive syllogism, the scientific method, phenomenological reduction, emotivism and so on and so forth


For centuries teachers in the academy have taught students of Western philosophy about its great gurus and their key insights, for example: Descarte's realisation: "Cogito Ergo Sum;" Nietzsche's discovery that: "God is dead !"and Kant's "Categorical Imperatives" They have also taught them how to philosophise in the Western style, explaining the principle methods and canons of enquiry, such as the Socratic method , for instance.


It seems to me that while people might find reading philosophy or philosophising for themselves: fun or amusing or intriguing or exciting or therapeutic; ironically the one thing it will can never (by itself) yield for you is knowledge of the Truth - I mean THE, absolute Truth, or if you like, knowledge of the nature of ultimate, social reality,



We do not need the gurus, methods and teachers of Western philosophy to find the Truth. Well then, what IS needed, you might ask?



I'll tell you..



No guru, no method, no teacher
Just Thou and I and Nature
And the Father and The Son and the Holy Ghost
In the Garden all misty wet with rain



Yes ?




Regards


Dachshund

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Immanuel Can
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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:38 pm

Dachshund wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:00 am
It seems to me that while people might find reading philosophy or philosophising for themselves: fun or amusing or intriguing or exciting or therapeutic; ironically the one thing it will can never (by itself) yield for you is knowledge of the Truth - I mean THE, absolute Truth, or if you like, knowledge of the nature of ultimate, social reality,
I almost agree with you entirely here. But not about "social reality" being "ultimate."

I think it's quite obvious it cannot be. For the obvious question, then, would be "which society?" Societies can be good or bad, better or worse, in their condition, I'm sure we all agree. I've never met anyone who thinks, say, present day North Korea, Venezuela or Pol Pot's Cambodia, is not worse than Norway, America or the UK at present.

But if societies can be ranked in this manner, then societies themselves are not "ultimate." Something beyond them is the basis of judgment of them.
We do not need the gurus, methods and teachers of Western philosophy to find the Truth. Well then, what IS needed, you might ask?

I'll tell you..

No guru, no method, no teacher
Just Thou and I and Nature
And the Father and The Son and the Holy Ghost
In the Garden all misty wet with rain

Yes ?
A pretty thought.

I don't know about "the Garden," but as a Christian, I'm all about line 3.

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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by gaffo » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:10 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:19 am
gaffo wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:33 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:23 pm

Okay. That makes sense.
I'm a nice guy and do value discussion over invective - I apologize per the above per your assumption of my spelling in prior post - my spelling and insults about it date back to "school days" via thug-kids and i tend to "go off" over it
No worries. No harm, no foul.
I've been here nearly 2 yrs now and do value discussion over vituperation, and offer the peace pipe to you if you are willing to take it.
I wasn't at war. I'm not now. I'm happy to take a few puffs.

per, this thread of "freewill" i look toward any and all that wish to post on the theme - including yourself (i know that we are on opposites on this matter).
I'm not sure.

For a person who might have doubts about free will, you seem to assert your own quite confidently. And I think that's a point worth noting...people tend to live as if free will genuinely exists. In fact, nobody at all lives as if it doesn't even if they say it doesn't. I think that should be a good first indicator that the issue needs a better explanation than simple Determinism.
I thank you are the kind reply, taking a puff of tobacco now - after a few drinks (both habits suck BTW) - i'd take a puff of that other plant, but - never like it much (makes me paranoid - though like the halusination effects - slowing of time, fingers on my body when i move, flat world/etc.if you have smoked that stuff (and it had some THC - i think you can relate) - in fact, i smoked once last year - my GF smokes sometimes, and offered it to me (she has maybe 10 times in the last 2 yrs we have been together - i declined the other 9 times - prior to that time, last was via my cousin 19 yrs ago! - oh ya, i forgot my best friend (who was anti-drug for since - forever! 1980's until just lately (his GF smokes so its around his house now) - gave me some 2 -weeks ago (rolled me a fat blunt for me to smoke whenever i wished - prob (not really a prob, well sort of - hate to loose the stuff - might like to partake one day in the future/you never know - anyway, i put the "cigarate" in my shirt pocket, then the next morning forgot about it! - and washed my shirt! and the weed! - down the pipe!

lol, oh well, never like the stuff all that much, so no biggie, now if it were a bottle (I like Al) - it would be another matter and i would be crying over the loss.

lol.

I thank you for your honest reply, as for freewill, it just think - Pride, (man as pride, for he is the smartest of the animals to date on earth) - i think though the smartest, is still an ant, and that humility is more my goal personally.

maybe man has freewill - show me how/give examples! that is why we are here, to disscuss the issue!

i just don't see it myself. I'm not happy being alone, but know myself and so at peace with being alone these last 25 yrs (i.e. loving myself via knowing and forgiving myself, allows me to live fully- though alone - as a complete single man, and so i'm ok with it. I'm also "ready" to include a women in my life - assuming her life was similar to mine and so wise and has self knowledge too - i think my current GF is such a person,but of course remain werry with an eye open! relationships include risk.

i'm in my 50's and never had a family (though glad i did not marry ("comandment is to marry by 30 - otherwise "gay" - lol) then get divorced.............and all that aftermath bullshit (a few friends i know went through that - the other 1/2 were like me "i.e. "fuck that i'll live alone forever/or wait until/if a gal shows up that can work with me (yes they like me are in thier 50's now - so single and "must be gay" - lol).

per the original thread, i know of a few references where predestination is affirmed as doctrine, not that of freewill.

if you can provide or others here can, then great!

i welcome discusson on the matter Sir.

_____

thanks for the civil reply sir, this forum is ok - you are a scholar and a gentlemen.

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Re: "Free will was given to man by god."

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:36 pm

gaffo wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:10 am
maybe man has freewill - show me how/give examples! that is why we are here, to disscuss the issue!...i welcome discusson on the matter Sir.
Yes, okay.

I guess we could start with this: that every human being acts as if he/she has free will. And since there are so few beliefs that are truly universal, this, in itself, must be a startling fact. I suggest that this sets the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of the Determinist, who needs to explain why we all believe -- and act like -- we have a thing we simply (according to Determinism) do not have. How did we all come to be so deluded?

There are other roads of approach, of course. How about the belief in ethics/morals? In a predetermined world, that phenomenon makes no sense whatsoever. Why should there be a thing called "morals" in a place in which (according to Determinism) there is no possibility of genuine deliberation on action, no possibility of someone doing anything other than exactly what he/she did in each case?

Or how about the phenomenon of debate? Why do we try to "change each others' minds" when it is utterly impossible (per Determinism) that we should ever think other than the thing we happen to be fated to think by the inexorable march of causal forces preceding our deliberations? Again, the burden of proof must be on the Determinist -- and ironically, if he succeeds in convincing us, contrary to our programming, he has thereby disproved his hypothesis himself! We changed a mind that could not actually be changed, you see.

So my starting point is this: why should we deny the reality of such phenomena, and re-interpret them, contrary to all our natural interpretations, as mere expressions of a Deterministic universe? I think the Determinist owes us a showing of that. And judging by everyone's actions, it would seem we all think that, too.

So stage 1: establishing the burden of proof. It's the Determinist's problem first.
thanks for the civil reply sir, this forum is ok...
You're quite welcome. As you say, I think civil debate is the best. I'm happy we've settled on that. Let's carry on in that spirit.

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