The dumbest and best argument against free will...

Sapient
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The dumbest and best argument against free will...

If I have free will, why can't I fly?

Because I can't fly, God clearly has placed restrictions on free will, and since he has why did he not restrict free will in such a way so that evil didn't have to exist?

He restricted us from flying, but didn't restrict us from murdering? Loving? I think not.

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The best arguments against

The best arguments against free will are likely to come from neuroscience. Unfortunately, it'll probably take many years for this to be worked out, and even then most conservative Christians will probably find some "reason" to dismiss it.


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The free will argument is

The free will argument is one of the easiest holes to exploit within religion. Their god is omniscient, and knows everything everyone will do in their lives for the entirety of the human species existance, so free will is an illusion at best. At worst a cruel lie.

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1. God's knowledge cannot

1. God's knowledge cannot be wrong.
2. God knows that I will do A.
3. If I have free will, then (I can do A) and (I can do ~A).
4. If I can do ~A, then it is possibly true that I will do ~A.
5. If it is possibly true that I will do ~A, then God's 'knowledge' that I will do A is possibly false.
6. If God's knowledge that I will do A is possibly false, then God's knowledge can be wrong.
7. Therefore, God's knowledge that I will do A is not possibly false.
8. Therefore, it is not possibly true that I will do ~A.
9. Therefore, I cannot do ~A.
10. Therefore, it is false that (I can do A) and (I can do ~A).
11. Therefore, I don't have free will.

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Do you guys have any links

Do you guys have any links to solid free will arguments?  I'm really interested in this.

 

 

I like your point Sapient. 


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wow I just have to say again

wow I just have to say again how much I fucking love that argument saps, may I call you saps? (lol) how can any strong believer in the whole God giving us free will thing, counter that?  It truly is the best argument against free will is it not?


Sapient
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Vastet wrote: The free will

Vastet wrote:
The free will argument is one of the easiest holes to exploit within religion. Their god is omniscient, and knows everything everyone will do in their lives for the entirety of the human species existance, so free will is an illusion at best. At worst a cruel lie.

I'm willing to excuse them on this point or at least keep this argument out of my repertoire, I can believe that an all knowing and all powerfule being would allow me to make my own choices, and simply know the choices I would choose freely in advance.  This doesn't mean I don't have free will.  However, not being able to fly clearly shows that God has placed restrictions on free will and if he has, then why didn't he place restrictions restricting evil.  Since he didn't we can know that the God character of the Buy-Bull is not all loving, and therefore can't possibly exist.

- Brian Sapient


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Spot on. It sounds silly

Spot on. It sounds silly but it shows a flaw in the tradition Christian argument. "He didn't give us free will about flying, why not restrict us things he doesn't want us to do?"
It will force them to find a difference between flying and 'sin', why God would restrict one and not the other. I wonder what sort of crazy stuff they'd come up with. One of us will certainly have to try this on a Christian forum sometime! :d 


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The bible denies free will

The bible denies free will explicitly.
How can we be punished for what god makes us do?

Romans 8 - 11.

OMNISCIENCE PROOF TEXTS

OLD TESTMENT

[Jeremiah. 1:5]Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee.
[Is. 41:23]Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods"
[Isaiah 46:10]9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

NEW TESTMENT

[John 21:17]Lord, thou knowest all things?
[1 John 3:20]God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
[Acts 15:18]Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
[Romans 2:16]In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
[1 Peter 1:2]2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,...

God had no time to create time.


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Y'know, I've actually heard

Y'know, I've actually heard the same argumet to refute evolution. It may have been on this board or youtube, I can't remember.

Someone said humans evolved, and some guy said something like, "Well, if evolution is real,  then how come humans haven't evolved the power to fly? That would be a genetic advantage."

It made me laugh. It definitely works better in your argument, Sapient. 


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GlamourKat wrote: Someone

GlamourKat wrote:

Someone said humans evolved, and some guy said something like, "Well, if evolution is real, then how come humans haven't evolved the power to fly? That would be a genetic advantage."

 

Apperently this guy thinks evolution trumps physics. 

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GlamourKat wrote: Someone

GlamourKat wrote:
Someone said humans evolved, and some guy said something like, "Well, if evolution is real, then how come humans haven't evolved the power to fly? That would be a genetic advantage."

The correct answer is that we already did. It's just that in humans, the organ that allows us to fly works differently from the flight organs of birds and bats, sits above our necks in a calcified shell, and evolved for many more purposes than just flight.

 

What, did the Wright Brothers' brains just pop spontaneously out of nowhere?

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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We have free will and are

We have free will and are determined by God


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I would think that your

I would think that your definition of free will is wrong.

I think that free will is not the ability to do anything you want, but the ability to choose to do anything in the scope of what you can do. What you can do is only restricted by what is humanly possible. Hence having God powers is not the same thing.


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Response to last post

 thank God for someone posting on here with half a brain, if we have free will why can't we fly and shoot fire balls huh? grow up, as said earlier its simple physics, free will is the idea that one has a choice in actions not the ability to do anything which one may will themselves to do


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Anonymouss wrote:I would

Anonymouss wrote:
I would think that your definition of free will is wrong. I think that free will is not the ability to do anything you want, but the ability to choose to do anything in the scope of what you can do. What you can do is only restricted by what is humanly possible. Hence having God powers is not the same thing.

If free will = being able to do what we're able to do, then god could have made us unable to do evil and we would still have free will. So why didn't he?

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Sapient wrote:If I have free

Sapient wrote:
If I have free will, why can't I fly?

 

because flight isn't a pre-requisite of free will. And you can fly if you can afford a ticket.

 

Quote:

Because I can't fly, God clearly has placed restrictions on free will,

 

I don't think so. You can't fly because humans evolved without flight ability. You are free to do whatever you are capable of. Just because you aren't physically capable of doing something(yet), doesn't mean you don't have free will. How about you develop the technology to create a human with flight ability? Nothing is stopping you.

 

Quote:

and since he has why did he not restrict free will in such a way so that evil didn't have to exist?

 

I do not believe any god(let alone the christian one) can restrict free will.

 

Quote:

He restricted us from flying, but didn't restrict us from murdering? Loving? I think not.

 

The christian god didn't restrict anyone from flying. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI does that. Murder is a legal term, and the gods don't control our legislation.

 

Also free will in the way you're using it isn't actually what people mean by free will. Free will just means you have a choice in how your life goes. You play the hand you're dealt, so to speak.


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The Point

The point (as I understand it) is that if God* could make us incapable of flight, why couldn't he** just make us incapable of sin***?

It's clearer if we use "travel faster that lightspeed" or somesuch

God* made a universe where it is impossible to travel faster than light.  Why couldn't he** just make a universe where it is impossible to sin***?

 

*Insert your creator here.

**Insert pronoun appropriate to aforementioned creator here.

***Insert your undesirable actions here.

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http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKLAbWFCh1E

Great speech by Dennett. 


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Zaq wrote:The point (as I

Zaq wrote:

The point (as I understand it) is that if God* could make us incapable of flight, why couldn't he** just make us incapable of sin***?

 

It's clearer if we use "travel faster that lightspeed" or somesuch

God* made a universe where it is impossible to travel faster than light.  Why couldn't he** just make a universe where it is impossible to sin***?

 

*Insert your creator here.

**Insert pronoun appropriate to aforementioned creator here.

***Insert your undesirable actions here.

 

That's assuming a god created us.


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Ciarin wrote:Zaq wrote:The

Ciarin wrote:

Zaq wrote:

The point (as I understand it) is that if God* could make us incapable of flight, why couldn't he** just make us incapable of sin***?

 

It's clearer if we use "travel faster that lightspeed" or somesuch

God* made a universe where it is impossible to travel faster than light.  Why couldn't he** just make a universe where it is impossible to sin***?

 

*Insert your creator here.

**Insert pronoun appropriate to aforementioned creator here.

***Insert your undesirable actions here.

 

That's assuming a god created us.

 

"Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven. Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. And recks not his own rede."


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Well, what does flight

Well, what does flight capability have to do with free will then?


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Ciarin wrote:Well, what does

Ciarin wrote:

Well, what does flight capability have to do with free will then?

How the hell should I know? I was just pointing our that the entire premise of this post is based on the assumption that a god created us. If he didn't then there would be no reason to attribute free will to him, and thus no post. 

"Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven. Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. And recks not his own rede."


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The subject line says "the

The subject line says "the dumbest and best argument against free will". What does free will have to do with a god creating us or not? Why do we have to assume a god created us in order to make an argument against free will?

 

And why are we arguing against free will? isn't free will a good thing?


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Anonymous111 wrote:We have

Anonymous111 wrote:

We have free will and are determined by God

You're clearly insane.  The two propositions are mutually exclusive.  Besides which, free will isn't real.


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Ciarin wrote:And why are we

Ciarin wrote:
And why are we arguing against free will? isn't free will a good thing?
Well, free will doesn't exist.  It is an illusion.  The universe is very clearly deterministic.  Which is to say that events follow each other from preceding events.  The appearance of choice to you is just that, the appearance of choice.  In retrospect it is easy to see that you actually had no choice.


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Ciarin wrote:The subject

Ciarin wrote:

The subject line says "the dumbest and best argument against free will". What does free will have to do with a god creating us or not? Why do we have to assume a god created us in order to make an argument against free will?

 

And why are we arguing against free will? isn't free will a good thing?

PROTIP: This book right here...

...not about bird-hunting.

 

"Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, show me the steep and thorny way to heaven. Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. And recks not his own rede."


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Ciarin wrote:The subject

Ciarin wrote:

The subject line says "the dumbest and best argument against free will". What does free will have to do with a god creating us or not? Why do we have to assume a god created us in order to make an argument against free will?

 

And why are we arguing against free will? isn't free will a good thing?

Because  the idea of an omniscient god ans free will existing simultaneously is a tenet of Christian theology.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Ciarin
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Thomathy wrote:Ciarin

Thomathy wrote:

Ciarin wrote:
And why are we arguing against free will? isn't free will a good thing?
Well, free will doesn't exist.  It is an illusion.  The universe is very clearly deterministic.  Which is to say that events follow each other from preceding events.  The appearance of choice to you is just that, the appearance of choice.  In retrospect it is easy to see that you actually had no choice.

 

 

 

I disagree. Do you have any evidence that the universe is deterministic?


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jcgadfly wrote:Because  the

jcgadfly wrote:

Because  the idea of an omniscient god ans free will existing simultaneously is a tenet of Christian theology.

 

I'm pretty sure the concept of free will exists outside of their construct.

 

Perhaps he should have followed his argument with "in christian mythology only", cause whining about not being able to fly isn't a very good argument against free will, let alone the "best" argument.


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If my free will is

If my free will is constrained by reality, is it truly free?


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Ciarin wrote: I'm pretty

Ciarin wrote:

 

I'm pretty sure the concept of free will exists...

What's is your idea of freewill?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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aiia wrote:Ciarin

aiia wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

 

I'm pretty sure the concept of free will exists...

What's is your idea of freewill?

 

I'll jst copy and paste it for you: "Free will just means you have a choice in how your life goes. You play the hand you're dealt, so to speak."


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If I recall, your gods are

If I recall, your gods are non-interventionist beings at the moment, right?

The problem comes when you mix free will and interventionist deities.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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KSMB wrote:If my free will

KSMB wrote:

If my free will is constrained by reality, is it truly free?

 

Well I guess that would depend on your definition of free will. In my opinion I think you are truly free when someone else's will isn't controlling yours.


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Ciarin wrote:Thomathy

Ciarin wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

Ciarin wrote:
And why are we arguing against free will? isn't free will a good thing?
Well, free will doesn't exist.  It is an illusion.  The universe is very clearly deterministic.  Which is to say that events follow each other from preceding events.  The appearance of choice to you is just that, the appearance of choice.  In retrospect it is easy to see that you actually had no choice.

 

 

 

I disagree. Do you have any evidence that the universe is deterministic?

...You're serious?  If the universe isn't deterministic, by which I mean that events follow each other in a causal chain, then there would be no meaningful discoveries in science.  We couldn't have any meaningful knowledge.  Events in this universe follow a causal chain.  You're welcome to show me how that is not true.  Simply disagreeing doesn't cut it.  As proof, I ask you to drop a ball.  That, or sit below an apple tree during harvest season.  Or, try to change what you did five minutes ago.  Afterward, you can explain to me how the universe doesn't follow a causal chain; how it isn't deterministic.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Ciarin
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Thomathy wrote:Ciarin

Thomathy wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

Ciarin wrote:
And why are we arguing against free will? isn't free will a good thing?
Well, free will doesn't exist.  It is an illusion.  The universe is very clearly deterministic.  Which is to say that events follow each other from preceding events.  The appearance of choice to you is just that, the appearance of choice.  In retrospect it is easy to see that you actually had no choice.

 

 

 

I disagree. Do you have any evidence that the universe is deterministic?

...You're serious?

Yes.

 

Quote:

If the universe isn't deterministic, by which I mean that events follow each other in a causal chain, then there would be no meaningful discoveries in science.  We couldn't have any meaningful knowledge.  Events in this universe follow a causal chain.

 

Yes, I've read about determinism.

 

Quote:

You're welcome to show me how that is not true.

The burden falls to you, the claimant.

Quote:

  Simply disagreeing doesn't cut it.

Simply claiming you're right doesn't cut it either. This is why I ask for evidence.

 

Quote:

  As proof, I ask you to drop a ball.  That, or sit below an apple tree during harvest season.  Or, try to change what you did five minutes ago.  Afterward, you can explain to me how the universe doesn't follow a causal chain; how it isn't deterministic.

 

No, you need to cite evidence that indicates the universe is deterministic and that our minds are included in that deterministic system.

 


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jcgadfly wrote:If I recall,

jcgadfly wrote:

If I recall, your gods are non-interventionist beings at the moment, right?

The problem comes when you mix free will and interventionist deities.

 

some in my faith believe the gods interfere. I think it's possible for the gods to interfere but they don't automatically do so. Unlike the christian god, they don't have a "master plan" for everyone and everything.


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Ciarin wrote:KSMB wrote:If

Ciarin wrote:

KSMB wrote:

If my free will is constrained by reality, is it truly free?

 

Well I guess that would depend on your definition of free will. In my opinion I think you are truly free when someone else's will isn't controlling yours.

 

I agree that is certainly the way in which free will is best thought of by most people, and entirely reasonable.

It is the philosophical/metaphysical/theological concept of 'free will' which is more problematic.

What is a theoretical 'free choice' based on? How is it distinguished from a coin-flip random decision? If your choice takes into account any other knowledge/desires/mood/ etc, what makes it non-deterministic?

The evidence from centuries of scientific progress is that the progression of events in observable reality follow from a combination of the nett effects of all preceding events, combine with a degree of pure randomness, as per Quantum Mechanics.

Quantum randomness may reflect some underlying 'deterministic' interaction between a massive number of elemental sub-sub-atomic particles which is indistinguishable from 'true' randomness, just as the motion of individual molecules in the atmosphere is effectively random, even though they follow precise laws of mechanics in bouncing off other molecules.

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Sapient, you fail to do a

Sapient, you fail to do a number of things, and thus your reasoning fails for it. First off, you fail to define "Free Will". What kind of "Free Will" are you arguing for (or against)?

 

Does Free Will mean no restrictions on Natural Laws? No one influencing your decisions? No one menacing you to make a choice? This is the first of many problems arising from this. I have no idea what kind of Free Will you are arguing against.

 

You begin with "I have free will, why can't I fly?"

First off, you haven't even proven you have free will, but suppose we concede the [unbased] assumption. Boy, this is hard to do without you even defining "Free Will".

 

Tell you what. First define Free Will, then we can talk.

 

 


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First, define "Free Will".

First, define "Free Will". Second, prove you have it.

 

I am willing to grant a free assumption that Free Will exists.

 

Then, we'll discuss it.


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This reasoning is flawed.

This reasoning is flawed. First off, you fail to define free will. Second off, you fail to prove you even have Free Will.

 

But suppose I base my counter-arguement on the Dictionary.com definition of Free Will:

"Free Will: free and independent choice; voluntary decision"

and suppose we grant the assumption that Free Will does indeed exist.

 

Okay, now I'm all set for my rebuttal.

 

"I have Free Will, why can't I fly?"

[What do you mean by "I can't fly"? You never heard of an airplane?]

Physics. But note how free will is defined as an "independent choice". This means you can make the choice to [attempt to] fly. Never in the definition of Free Will is it stated that your choice has the desired effect.

You can make the choice that you want to fly, but in the end not end up flying. That is not an arguement against free will. It's just an arguement [sic] against the methods you used to try and fly. But you still had the choice to attempt flight.

 

Second off, you make the assertion that we have the Free Will to murder someone. Quite so.

 

But we have to use the right physics. Suppose I wanted to murder a healthy person stabbing them with a Cheetoh. I won't murder them. I made the choice to attempt murder with a Cheetoh, but, again, I did not get the desired effect.

So, using your logic, God (and free will) HAVE placed limitations on evil too!

Just the same as I can't murder someone with a Cheetoh and not get the desired effect, you can't hope to fly using the wrong mechanisms and physics. You can try (a testament to Free Will), but you wont get the desired effect).

Seriously, this arguement is rather inane...A non-sequitur.

 

 

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

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Well, sir, that raises some

Well, sir, that raises some questions. Your brain's perception of events is subjective. Being subjective, each perception is unique to each individual's brain.

 

Thus, each brain reaches a different conclusion from any other brains, even if they share the same experiences (off which you [presumably] base your next choice on). This seems to prove "free will", which is commonly defined as "free and independent choice".

Unless one wants to make the case that the brain is a restriction to Free Will.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

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Zaq
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Missing the Point?

Guys, this isn't really an argument against free will.  If you treat it as such you'll miss the point.

 

The basic idea can be applied to any belief system that has a creator.  I have no idea what your belief systems involve, but if they involve a creator than you can apply the OP's point to your system.  Most theistic religions involve some supernatual being that creates mankind.

 

The point is that if such a creator could create beings incapable of flight, then why wouldn't that creator create beings incapable of wrongdoing?

 

The title doesn't seem all that descriptive of the actual point... oh well.

 

Ciarn: "That's assuming a god created us."

Yes, that's pretty common among theism.  While not strictly universal, this argument is still pretty wide in scope.  The point in the post was to demonstrate the flaw in claiming both a creator god and free will.  It seems the post wasn't using the assumption of a creator to disprove free will, it was just demonstrating the self-contradictory nature of the beliefs of the majority of theists.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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The real definition of free will can be found in "determinism"

As a sophomore in college, I took a class on free will called the Philosophy of Free Will.  This is one of the best courses I took in my college career.

The academic defintion of free will has nothing to do with religion perse (unless religion via the belief in god/gods could be seen as a symptom of a belief in indeterminism or determinism).

In fact free will is more about if you actually believe that you are completely free to choose your actions.  I will give an example.  At the begining of the course, the professor asked us- "how many of you believe in free will"?  Being a class of mostly 19 and 20 year old, well educated students at a liberal-arts college, the result was as you'd expect- roughly 80% of us raised our hands.  On the last day of class he asked us again how many believed in free will, roughly 20% raised their hands this time.

I am one of the people who changed my mind during that course.  Today, I label myself as a determinist (i.e. I don't believe in free will) because I believe that the science and logic of the situation prove this is the most likely course of how my mind works.  This decision was reached because of science, not because of faith.  I can't summarize my findings in this forum, as I am a computer scientist not a philosopher.  However, suffice it to say that IF you believe in science (cause and effect), it's not a huge leap to believe that choices we make are because of past experience.  Furthermore, with the overwhelming evidence lately shown by neuroscience, the very idea of thought patterns and brain activity is becoming much less mysterious. 

 

This forum is a bit odd to me because you have athiests saying they believe in free will, this seems like an unrelated topic (which isn't mutually exclusive) OR, perhaps more likely- no one on this forum understands the academic definition of free will. 

According to the commonly accepted academic definnitions of free will, it's more likely that christians would believe in free will I would think, by guilt of association.  Here is a quote from a summary of determinism vs. free will:

In a deterministic universe, there is no free will, no miracles, and no chance events.

The above is summarizing the determinist view point, that is defined as:

Determinism the philosophical view that all events (including mental events) have a cause.

This can be contrasted with indeterminism:

Hence, indeterminism allows for free will, miracles, laws of nature, causality, chance, and chaos.

Specifically, the entire definition is:

Indeterminism: The philosophical doctrine that denies determinism is true. More specifically, not all events (either mental or physical) are determined by past events. There is a certain amount of free play between events, possibly due to chance, free choice, or chaos. Some events are caused, and some events are not caused.

The full summary article is here: http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/determinism.html

Obsioussly if you really want to understand why determinism is more likely you will need to read alot of white papers and books (mentioned in the above link).  This is NOT a question of faith, its a question of the philosophical rules of logic and again back to the scientific method.  It's not inconcievable to imagine a scientist who believes in indeterminism.  But it's much more likely that a scientist would be a determinist.  Therefore, IF it's true that athiests are basing their preference for belief (or rather their preference for lack of a belief) in the doctrines of science, you would think that most of them would be determinists and reject the idea of free will.

On a personal level, I believe we all have choices.  But I believe the outcome of these choices could be predicted via sufficient investigation and science (put on your tinfoil caps!).  Our choices are never truly random.  If you choose to do something randomly you are still choosing to do it, and you are choosing to do so because you want to do something random.  But there is still a cause for that choice.  

However, this choice still exists!  Which is why I'm what's called a "soft determinist".  I believe in our ability to choose and THINK we have free will (which is very powerful) but due to science (not due to god) we don't actually have free will.

 

 

 


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Well said!

BobSpence1 wrote:

I agree that is certainly the way in which free will is best thought of by most people, and entirely reasonable.

 

It is the philosophical/metaphysical/theological concept of 'free will' which is more problematic.

What is a theoretical 'free choice' based on? How is it distinguished from a coin-flip random decision? If your choice takes into account any other knowledge/desires/mood/ etc, what makes it non-deterministic?

The evidence from centuries of scientific progress is that the progression of events in observable reality follow from a combination of the nett effects of all preceding events, combine with a degree of pure randomness, as per Quantum Mechanics.

Quantum randomness may reflect some underlying 'deterministic' interaction between a massive number of elemental sub-sub-atomic particles which is indistinguishable from 'true' randomness, just as the motion of individual molecules in the atmosphere is effectively random, even though they follow precise laws of mechanics in bouncing off other molecules.

 

Well said!


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Sapient wrote:If I have free

Sapient wrote:
If I have free will, why can't I fly? Because I can't fly, God clearly has placed restrictions on free will, and since he has why did he not restrict free will in such a way so that evil didn't have to exist? He restricted us from flying, but didn't restrict us from murdering? Loving? I think not.

Why point out inconsistancies? That makes the theists heads explode.

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Determinism?

I'm not a philosopher, so I often get confused when people mention determinism because I can think of determinism as referring to two completely different things, and often times they are erroneously interchanged.

 

1.  Given a specific set of circumstances, outcome X and only outcome X will necessarily occur

2.  What happens now is a result of prior events plus universal laws

 

The first is clearly false due to quantum randomness.  The second is backed by the evidence, but it does not imply the first.  Just because what happens now is "determined" by the past plus laws doesn't mean what happens couldn't have not happened.  #2 allows for "deterministic randomness" being part of the laws, while only #1 makes free will utterly impossible.

 

Using definition 2 as "determinism," I would support determinism, but would not claim that the deterministic nature of the universe precludes free will.  Also I'd be hesitant to lable this "determinism" because it in no way implies that it's possible to determine events from their causes, nor does it imply that everything is pre-determined.

 

Basically what I think/do is based entirely on the past plus natural laws.  Yet this does not mean that I could not possibly have thought/done something different.  Also, remember that most of the cause of my thoughts and my actions are my neruons, which are part of me, so in a sense I'm causing my thoughts and actions via natural laws.  So I caused myself to do/think X, yet it was entirely possible for me to have caused myself to do/think Y.  Could this be free will within a "deterministic" universe?

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Zaq wrote:The first is

Zaq wrote:
The first is clearly false due to quantum randomness.

Are you assuming you know everything there is which affects quantum particles thus eliminating every possible future discovery of what is currently unknown that affects quantum particles?

Wouldn't that require omniscience?

 

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Um... no?

No, I'm not assuming that.  I don't know where you got that from.

 

The uncertainty principle destroys the first interpretation of determinism.

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http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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Whatever the ultimate

Whatever the ultimate 'mechanism' behind what we see as quantum indeterminacy/randomness, the fact remains that the statistical behavior of quantum events makes them the closest we see in nature to a random phenomenon. This is what makes radio-active decay so useful in dating objects, because it appears so immune to being affected by other events and environmental conditions.

It may be due to some underlying interactions between an enormous number of more fundamental 'entities' of some kind, analogous to the way the determinist process of colliding molecules of atmospheric gases leads to the virtually random, ie practically unpredictable, trajectory of any individual molecule.

 

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