atheism... naturalism ... determinsim

tofu87
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atheism... naturalism ... determinsim

 hello...

i would like to know your thoughts on atheism, naturalism (metaphysical), and determinism... i'm so  confused  and new to everything.  i'd appreciate your help so much. Smiling  you see i'm an atheist... and i find myself leaning towards naturalism (although i'm obviously still not sure)  but leaning towards naturalism... wouldn't that mean knocking out free will ?

Sad helpppp 


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tofu87 wrote:  hello... i

tofu87 wrote:

 hello...

i would like to know your thoughts on atheism, naturalism (metaphysical), and determinism... i'm so  confused  and new to everything.  i'd appreciate your help so much. Smiling  you see i'm an atheist... and i find myself leaning towards naturalism (although i'm obviously still not sure)  but leaning towards naturalism... 

Sad helpppp 

Hello, welcome to RRS.

My understanding of this subject is extremely limited, but we can at least try to define these terms. 

atheism: most dictionaries would describe atheism as a disbelief or denial of a supernatural deity or deities. I've noticed that atheism is also often argued to be a positive statement. However, we define it broadly as the lack of a belief in God.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist

http://www.rationalresponders.com/agnosticism_and_its_many_misconceptions

naturalism: wikipedia- naturalism is the metaphysical position that "nature is all there is and all basic truths are truths of nature."

metaphysics: wikipedia- is the branch of philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science.

Quote:
wouldn't that mean knocking out free will ?

Don't you mean that determinism might knock out free will?

I'm not sure if this addresses your question, since Hamby is discussing brain function while you're comparing philosophies, but...

http://www.rationalresponders.com/free_will_why_we_don039t_have_it_and_why_that039s_good_thing

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


BobSpence
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In a sufficiently complex

In a sufficiently complex system of interacting elements, the course of events is still going to practically unpredictable, even if each elementary interaction is strictly deterministic. Our personal choices are ultimately determined by our entire personal history, our current sensory input, our personal predelictions and emotional state, etc, all of which can be considered as determined by the combined effect of many other things, and so on.

What 'extra' factor could your choices be based on, other than your own experience and personal weighing up of all the influences on your thoughts at that moment? Would you want your choice to be affected by something other than your own  judgement and preferences, all of which can be considered as 'determined' by your cumulative life-history interacting with your genetic makeup.

As I see it, the problem with the way 'deterministism' is characterised by people see 'free-will' being inconsistent with determinism, is that they over-simplify what a deterministic universe would be like, as analogous to some simple, robotic, mechanical system.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


tofu87
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 thanks so much! that

 thanks so much! that really helped. could you explain soft determinism for me a little better then?


BobSpence
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This seems to me to be a

This seems to me to be a good article on the subject:

instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/FREE.HTM

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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We have 'free will' in the

We have 'free will' in the sense that we make decisions in our own brains that we can act upon to acheive our personal goals, independent of some kind of mastermind puppeteer that makes our decisions for us. That is the only kind of free will that is important or relevant to human life. This kind of free will is what makes it make sense for us to have laws that deter people from committing crimes, etc.

The kind of 'free will' that we do not have is the kind where a disembodied spirit makes decisions, and then somehow magically influences our brains to cause our bodies to take action. This is the kind of free will that theists are scared that naturalism eliminates. However, it is a completely unnecessary kind of free will, because it has nothing to do with morality or anything relevant to human life. It is only important to theists because without it, there is no need for a soul, and hence, no need for heaven or hell, and hence no need for god.

Free will (supernatural) is dead. Long live free will (natural).

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BobSpence
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You are right, Natural, the

You are right, Natural, the need to have a 'soul' that can be rewarded or punished after death is a strong incentive for the religious to argue against any theory or view-point which suggests that the idea of an independent 'soul' is unnecesary, at the very least, and maybe actually in conflict with scientific observations.

So they will seize upon any hint that some scientist is actually entertaining the idea, any 'loophole' that might seem to be a way for the 'soul' to interact with the body, such as quantum effects.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


tofu87
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 thanks you guys! i

 thanks you guys! i discussed this with my philosophy teacher today as well. what you guys just said is pretty much what he said. 

 

i have a much clearer understanding now Smiling

 

thaaank you


I AM GOD AS YOU
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Indeed, RRS rocks.

Indeed, RRS rocks. Consciousness always relates to freewill discussions. A rrs Swith89 previous posting,

"Simplifying the Hard Problem of Consciousness"

http://evanlouissheehan.home.comcast.net/~evanlouissheehan/Simplifying_Consciousness.htm


And about Sartre and his, "Man is Condemned to Free" is worth a read.

http://www.nimbinaustralia.com/zenwatt/condemnedtobefree.html

           What the heck is going on ???      

 


 


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You don't have to assume

You don't have to assume determinism to eradicate free will. It is very enough if you understand that random chance -- so something completely unconditional, non-determined, non-influenced(-able), etc. -- is fatal, that means: inevitable.

By understanding this, you will see that no God, or moral imperative, or anything, wants from you that you change your destiny (because it's impossible by definition), there is just no such task or "God's will": and so, what remains is laws of nature, which are determined directly by the will of God, so also you are not responsible.

Just try to see it that throughout your past and future you are shaped by the laws of nature... and if random chances happen, you can do nothing anyway. Nothing before they appear, and after they appear it's already too late, so such things shouldn't bring any interest of anyone, any obligation, etc.

No God wants you to change the laws of nature -- and no God wants you to change your destiny. That is enough. 'Sin' came to the world because of errors of reason.


Hambydammit
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 Free Will: Why we don't

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism