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Author Topic: Is belief in free will compatible with atheism?  (Read 10638 times)
yowhound
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« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2013, 02:09 pm »

Where do you live?

No, not being creepy and stalkerish - I am talking about your body map. Where is your consciousness located. I'd have a guess - between your eyes and about a thumbs depth into your skull. Vision is our most important sense and the focal point of both eyes together is naturally about that deep.

Why should you even think that? Your brain is just a bunch of cells, cooperating to keep themselves alive. All you are is a random firing of neurons. If that is all you are - why can you locate yourself so accurately?
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Kybard
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« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2013, 02:15 pm »

what point are you trying to make, and in service of which argument against whom?
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yowhound
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« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2013, 02:29 pm »

what point are you trying to make, and in service of which argument against whom?

I guess I am one who believes that we are more than just the meat that makes our bodies. The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts - but there is a discontinuity.

A car is just metal and plastic and glass, cunningly fashioned. While I have had temperamental ones, none of them have driven off on their own or decided to take a left when we need to go right.

A horse will do that, constantly.

Just looking at the concept of free will and complexity. Sort of thinking in text, if you will.
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jimbob
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« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2013, 03:41 pm »

I had a couple of cars that did that.
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yowhound
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« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2013, 04:09 pm »

I had a couple of cars that did that.

Get the tracking checked.

Though we did have one car .... Wonderful thing - MG Midget. Started first time, every time. Unless we were in a rush.
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Bettytron
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« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2013, 04:42 pm »

But when a horse changes direction, is it reacting to a series of internal or external stimuli that, theoretically, could be identified? Or is there some ineffable Horse Spirit that thinks "I want to go this way instead, for reasons"? What about so-called lower mammals or insects? The difference between life and inanimate objects is attributable to many many more measurable factors than the idea of a mysterious will.
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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2013, 04:48 pm »

For those of you who believe there is something more controlling you and giving you free will, where do you draw a line for what has free will?

A rock, unless you are animist of some form, probably doesn't. Does a virus? A bacterium? An amoeba? A sponge? Algae? A tree? A nematode? A spider? A mouse? A horse? A lemur? An elephant? A dolphin? A gibbon? An orangutan? A gorilla? A chimpanzee? A bonobo? Did Homo heidelbergensis? Did Homo neanderthalensis?

Neanderthals had art, burial rites, and language so maybe they had a soul and free will, but if not, some humans have up to 10% neanderthal DNA, so do they only have 90% of a soul and so only have mostly free will?

Homo heidelbergensis did not have art or burial rites, so maybe they didn't have a soul, but they still had language. But so does Kanzi the bonobo and, though disputed, Koko the gorilla seems to as well. Kanzi the bonobo can independently request for wood, matches, and marshmallows then roast marshmallows. Kanzi can craft stone tools such as knives and hand axes then use them, can play and do well at PacMan. Kanzi has independently taught his sister at least 1 word, which she understands.

Where in this long line are things more than just meat? My answer to this question is there is no place where things are more than meat and it's not necessary to add it in to explain anything. To me the question of belief in free will is meaningless because we experience things as if we have free will so any distinction is without a difference.
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2013, 04:55 pm »

I don't think the distinction is meaningless.  You may experience things as if you have free will.  But if, practically you don't, then getting mad at other humans for bad behavior is no different than getting mad at the dog for humping your knee.  That's not to say we can't punish behavior (after all, behaviorism) but punishment has a different purpose.
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« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2013, 05:05 pm »

I've just realised that I referred you to the wrong book. I meant to say Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose.
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yowhound
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« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2013, 06:04 pm »

I've just realised that I referred you to the wrong book. I meant to say Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose.

I'll grab it. I enjoyed The Emperors New Mind. Very thought provoking. Hat tip to Carl Sagan for recommending it - I think in "The Demon Haunted Word".

fermun - I don't know where the cut off point is. Right now I got a one year old and two cats asleep in the room. They have a lot in common. Demand attention, eat, shit and sleep. When they sleep, they dream.

I have seen one of the cats forward planning on his hunting expeditions. My daughter's idea of forward planning is to cross her eyes just before she shits herself. I have a horse. Evil sod, tries to kill me every single time we ride. Stick a kid on him and he's as placid as a rock.

So where is the cut off? Honestly - don't know.

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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2013, 06:21 pm »

I've just realised that I referred you to the wrong book. I meant to say Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose.

Everything I know about Penrose I read on Wikipedia, so sorry if I'm missing something. Nothing on there suggests that he's actually arguing for "will" as I understand it.  It seems that his argument is that quantum effects, which are statistical in nature rather than strictly deterministic, prevent the human mind from being forecasted simply on the basis of an initial state. 

Am I missing something?
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yowhound
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« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2013, 06:25 pm »

Try the book I just referenced.

Solid science and the conclusion is that the known laws of physics can not explain consciousness. It is also well written and entertaining.
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yowhound
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« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2013, 06:27 pm »

fucking trackpad - sorry.

You can not have free will without consciousness. Agreed?

You need to know not only where you are but who you are to make a decision.
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DiegoInglewood
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« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2013, 02:49 am »

Mate - I think if you read a book about atheism - you'll find that it does not directly correlate to free will. Really - you think what you want to think - just as you have control over your body - and then you do-as-you-want-to-do
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yowhound
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« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2013, 05:19 am »

Any suggestions? Not Dawkins, please - he reminds my of a hellfire and brimstone evangelist, just from the other direction.
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