Old 06-29-2009, 09:53 PM   #46
Sternwallow
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But I digress. Your banana example is not really an example of free will, as theologians and philosophers use the term. Free will involves moral choices. It has nothing to do with whether I wear my pink pajamas tonight or the yellow ones or whether I spread butter or peanut butter on my toast tomorrow.
Nonsense! Free will is simply the ability to make a choice among alternatives without constraint from any determining influence. Bovina has no more free choice for butter than she has for celibacy.
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From a Christian perspective there is no one answer about free will but a number of different views with a very long history of argument. Some say no. Others, like the adherents of "open theology" say yes because God does not know the future until it happens (or some such thing. I have no doubt that I am not stating their position quite accurately). Most of us, I think, hold to a variant that says that God foreknows our free moral choices but that God's foreknowledge does not CAUSE our free moral choices, rather our free moral choices cause God's foreknowledge.
Nonsense! God's foreknowledge, which is clearly stated in the Bible, does not cause our choice, it simply proves that the choice, an established fact, is fixed and unalterable by us.
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The fact that the effect seems to precede the cause here is nullified when we understand that God exists outside of time and space (as the cause of both). Thus it only appears that the effect precedes the cause, whereas from a timeless perspective this is not the case.
Bovina has not a clue what being "outside of time and space" mean so she is not entitled to include it as part of an explanation for anything.
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I must say that free will is a problem for the deniers, as well. In fact, if materialism (or naturalism) is true, we are all just products of our biological makeup and have no more free will than a fruit fly-- a fact that would eliminate any coherent account of morality, as well. But some materialists hold that we do have free will (I would argue that everyone believes in their own free will in practice, even if they deny it in principle), and that morality is a real, and not just an imaginary, phenomenon. So, I think those who want to deny free will are on the spot to give a coherent account of morality (the idea that it is some sort of adaptive mechanism rooted in evolution is not coherent. Just sayin').
Nonsense!
To deny that behaviors, including adeherence to morality, have developed and evolved, is deeply and deliberately ignorant.
That's just classic Bovina.

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Old 06-29-2009, 10:12 PM   #47
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Lily is simply an old maid with a Christ-psychosis infected brain that's starving to get laid. Jesus is used as a living dildo made reality in her brain...imagination is hers, for that's the only thing a Christianity infected brain is full of....but that's that.

Wrinkles will make her face their home and senectude will make her breasts fall & fall they will, till the science provided by atheism will make them stand up again...with breast implants & a face lift...but with a christ-psychosis infected brain what the use? Penis-Christ will not visit her except in a platonic way, her forte.

The realm of delusions is hers for the taken as is in all Christians who believe in heaven, those deluded folks stuck in the past where the only happiness is Jesus the Christ that product of schizophrenia infected minds, whose starving caves & cocks only exist in the past....a lost youth that'll never come back.

I feel very sorry for Christians, wasting the only life they have...sad.

Christians and other folks infected with delusional beliefs think and reason like schizophrenics or temporal lobe epileptics. Their morality is dictated by an invisible friend called Jesus.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:40 AM   #48
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Stern wrote
Bovina has no more free choice for butter than she has for celibacy.
That reminds me of a scene from Last Tango. Brando didn't give Maria Schneider a choice for the butter and she simultaneously wasn't celibate. (Although she might have skated on a technicality.)

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:41 AM   #49
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Can't every choice be presented as a moral choice? Butter rewards livestock husbandry which starves people that can't afford meat. Peanut butter will give you salmonella.
I don't think so. Certainly my decision this a.m. to open a fresh bar of Dial instead of Zest doesn't seem to carry any moral baggage. Your example is a bit strained, though. Livestock husbandry doesn't starve people nor does peanut butter give you salmonella. Both of those have to be misused (or misprocessed) to have baleful consequences. I think we should draw a distinction between things that have a proper use but which can be misused and those things that are intrinsically immoral.

Having said that, I am painfully aware that we are caught in a sort of web of evil whether we want to be or not. I despise the exploitation of children and would never deliberately do anything to encourage it but who is it that knots the fringe on the Indian carpets I admire in the homes of the well off? My clothes are made all over the world-- what I am wearing right now was made in Indonesia and in China. Was slave labor involved? Were underpaid, exploited children or women? If the answer is yes, can I find any place to buy clothes that were made only by happy, contented workers from cloth that was made by happy, contented workers, from materials produced by happy ... ?

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Why don't you think it's coherent? We like living. Clawless and fangless our survival is dependent on the herd. Our relative morality has facilitated group cohesion so we adapt to the morality of our day.
Using the word in such a way renders it meaningless. Even if I grant your usage for the moment, it explains nothing but, rather, explains it all away. Even if free will is an illusion, we all still act as though we can make voluntary choices (which is what free will amounts to). A materialist account of mind has to be able to adequately account for free will, self-awareness, subjective experience, and the sense of personal identity. The basic strategy has been to try to show that these things are either illusory or else simply emergent properties of brain function. But simply pretending that mind doesn't really exist in an ontological sense is hardly a solution.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:14 AM   #50
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A materialist account of mind has to be able to adequately account for free will, self-awareness, subjective experience, and the sense of personal identity. The basic strategy has been to try to show that these things are either illusory or else simply emergent properties of brain function. But simply pretending that mind doesn't really exist in an ontological sense is hardly a solution.
The funny thing though, is that I think it does adequately account for all of those, in a manner that your Christian woo does not, so who is really doing the pretending here, Lily?

"It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance." -Ann Druyan
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:14 AM   #51
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. I think we should draw a distinction between things that have a proper use but which can be misused and those things that are intrinsically immoral.
Bovina continues to show her disdain for reality. Any decision we make has consequences whether we do so freely or not and whether there is a moral dimension involved or not.

Invoking morals in the question of free will is begging the question. It presumes free will, without which moral choice is moot.
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Having said that, I am painfully aware that we are caught in a sort of web of evil whether we want to be or not. I despise the exploitation of children and would never deliberately do anything to encourage it
Catholic indoctrination, being brainwashed by the horrendous lies of sick old men, is severe child abuse and exploitation. It is wicked.
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...
Using the word [relative morality] in such a way renders it meaningless. Even if I grant your usage for the moment, it explains nothing but, rather, explains it all away. Even if free will is an illusion, we all still act as though we can make voluntary choices (which is what free will amounts to). A materialist account of mind has to be able to adequately account for free will, self-awareness, subjective experience, and the sense of personal identity. The basic strategy has been to try to show that these things are either illusory or else simply emergent properties of brain function. But simply pretending that mind doesn't really exist in an ontological sense is hardly a solution.
Only someone with as little mind as Bovina would imply that someone else says that the mind is illusory or emergent. Illusion is different from emergent.

Personal identity: we know how to turn it on and off and what part of the brain supports it.

Free will: a convenient personal fiction that enables us to believe we have a cosmic purpose (for those who need more than reality has to offer).

Self awareness: qualitatively the same as the governor mechanism that monitors and moderates the speed of a steam engine.

Subjective experience: a memorable sense of the activity of the mind. Recalling a past event is a subjective experience. Remembering that you recalled a past event is itself a subjective experience.

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Old 06-30-2009, 06:00 PM   #52
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I wonder if Lily has a governor mechanism that monitors and moderates the speed of her steam engine.

The Leprechauns do not forbid the drawing of Their images, as long as we color within the lines. ~ Ghoulslime H Christ, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Masturbator
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:43 AM   #53
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Personal identity: we know how to turn it on and off and what part of the brain supports it.

Free will: a convenient personal fiction that enables us to believe we have a cosmic purpose (for those who need more than reality has to offer).

Self awareness: qualitatively the same as the governor mechanism that monitors and moderates the speed of a steam engine.

Subjective experience: a memorable sense of the activity of the mind. Recalling a past event is a subjective experience. Remembering that you recalled a past event is itself a subjective experience.
Stern, I am very interested in this group topics. I can understand most of what you have said, but I would like to understand these things more systematically. Can you be bothered to recommend a good book (or two) to me that covers most of this area, for a (grown-up) layman?
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:33 PM   #54
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Stern, I am very interested in this group topics. I can understand most of what you have said, but I would like to understand these things more systematically. Can you be bothered to recommend a good book (or two) to me that covers most of this area, for a (grown-up) layman?
I don't know of a single book that covers all of these topics. I have found out what I presented in the previous post in bits and pieces.

Personal identity: we know how to turn it on and off and what part of the brain supports it. Magazines like Scientific American have had articles on brain function and, in particular, that section that enables and can disable the sense we call personal identity.

Free will: a convenient personal fiction that enables us to believe we have a cosmic purpose (for those who need more than reality has to offer). This is my own conclusion based on the easily demonstrated universality of cause and effect (with certain very specific and limited acausal elements). Free will, in the sense of human decisions made without any cause and yet not simply random is not physically possible. That we are so certain we have it must be due to some other mechanism in the brain. The probable answer is that we maintain the fiction to ourselves so that we can function in life. Our mind has such a tremendous capability for imagination and memory that it would spiral out of control leaving us literally helpless if there weren't a throttle or governor like the feeling of being in control.

Self awareness: qualitatively the same as the governor mechanism that monitors and moderates the speed of a steam engine. It is not at all far-fetched for there to be a section of the brain/mind that monitors the condition of the rest of the brain and the body as well. When someone asks you how you feel, part of you takes inventory and may report "I am both sad and hungry". This window or point-of-view is sensed internally as "I".

Subjective experience: a memorable sense of the activity of the mind. Recalling a past event is a subjective experience. Remembering that you recalled a past event is itself a subjective experience. As above, subjective experience is just one part of the brain/mind watching the operation of another. It is the sense that some idea or scene that crosses our mind is real or a dream, that it just happened or was long ago, that we felt good or bad about whatever it was, that it aroused emotions on its way through our thoughts. Because the brain is built to fill information gaps (as it does constantly for visual information for instance), this subjective experience can literally lie to us. It sometimes makes recent experiences seem ancient to us leading to deja vu. It can label a dream as absolutely real thus making a completely convincing hallucination. It can actually make us feel good about experiences we had no such reaction to when they happened. They can, though mere memories, themselves padded by our perceptions, arouse us just as though we were living through them this very moment. Much of this information was developed as part of the analysis I did years ago for an information system with embedded AI components.

It turns out that we humans are incredible, magnificent, noble, lovely and wonderful wind-up tin toys.

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:46 AM   #55
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It turns out that we humans are incredible, magnificent, noble, lovely and wonderful wind-up tin toys.
wow, a little cynical, but nevertheless inarguable!
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:18 AM   #56
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Thanks Stern. It seems that there is no short cut after all. I just need to work harder.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:51 AM   #57
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We notice that yesterday was John Calvin's birthday. (He turned 500.)

I bring it up here because one of his principle contributions to humanity was his thesis that humans are inevitably evil -- they have no choice but be evil -- and yet still possess free will. (I don't understand it, either.)

There are a number of theologians like Calvin who were learned, prolific writers, deep thinkers, etc., yet when you examine everything they said or wrote, you'll find nothing of use to humanity. There are exceptions -- Aquinas wasn't a total waste of a life, e.g. -- but did Calvin contribute a single idea of any value whatsoever to the world?

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Old 07-11-2009, 09:30 AM   #58
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We notice that yesterday was John Calvin's birthday. (He turned 500.)

I bring it up here because one of his principle contributions to humanity was his thesis that humans are inevitably evil -- they have no choice but be evil -- and yet still possess free will. (I don't understand it, either.)

There are a number of theologians like Calvin who were learned, prolific writers, deep thinkers, etc., yet when you examine everything they said or wrote, you'll find nothing of use to humanity. There are exceptions -- Aquinas wasn't a total waste of a life, e.g. -- but did Calvin contribute a single idea of any value whatsoever to the world?
Are the writings of schizophrenics good to mankind? Yes, to the neurobiologist who study their dysfunctional brains.

Don't forget in those days of deep psychosis science was shunned & freethinking deemed
sinful, demonic punishable by purification at the stake.

Aquinas was not a waste of a life if someone could find his DNA. His writings, like Summa Theologica are excellent examples of a brain going demented perhaps having ingested one entheogen too many. The man was obviously insane just like that crazy sex starving abbess of the 11th Century Hildegard of Bingen.

Calvin idea of humans being evil came from the dualism of the Cathars whom Luther had studied & Calvin imitated with utter confusion. The body is evil no matter what, the earth is evil no matter what. So, why the retards do not follow the pious example of Jim Jones, Koresh & Applegate is beyond me. To be born is to begin to die, so why the idiots do not expedite the process..what are they waiting for when they could be with Jesus right away?

One can be evil & posses freewill, since the world has various degrees of evil. One can choose the lesser of the evils, an inevitable dualism that would persist for the life of the retarded infected with christ-psychosis. In the moment a person dies it ceases to be evil for according to the retards the souls leaves evil behind in the rotting flesh..

can you imagine being born in the 14th Century surrounded by those crazy retarded folks?

Christians and other folks infected with delusional beliefs think and reason like schizophrenics or temporal lobe epileptics. Their morality is dictated by an invisible friend called Jesus.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:57 PM   #59
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but did Calvin contribute a single idea of any value whatsoever to the world?
Didn't he say, "Fuck the Pope"? That's a start.

thank goodness he's on our side
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:33 PM   #60
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wow, a little cynical, but nevertheless inarguable!
Of course it can be argued! Sternwallow is completely and comprehensively wrong. Always has been, always will be.
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