Author Topic: Free-will or determinism - a question.  (Read 8166 times)

Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #200 on: February 27, 2018, 07:53:58 PM »
Avoidance avoidance avoidance.

For three years now all you've been doing is repeating that the origin of your conscious will lies in your conscious will, which is patent nonsense.

Things do not originate in themselves. You are going round in circles.
I am just repeating my most basic concept of reality.  And no amount of your theorising can change the truth that I am in control of what I do, think and say, and the origin of this control does not trace back ad infinitum.  It originates in what constitutes me - my soul.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #201 on: February 27, 2018, 07:58:12 PM »
Doing what you want doesn't demonstrate anything significant at all. That ability is completely consistent with:

Why not have the courage to face the logic or admit that you don't care about it?
Please do not mis quote me by hiding the rest of this post - I am sure it is against the rules of this forum.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #202 on: February 27, 2018, 08:56:57 PM »
I am just repeating my most basic concept of reality.  And no amount of your theorising can change the truth that I am in control of what I do, think and say...

Which is not in dispute.

...and the origin of this control does not trace back ad infinitum.  It originates in what constitutes me - my soul.

But you do not control what constitutes you - you are what your nature, nurture, and life experience has made you.

Please do not mis quote me by hiding the rest of this post - I am sure it is against the rules of this forum.

I didn't misquote you - there was a link back to your post and I indicated where I had removed part of a sentence. My whole point was to juxtapose the two parts of your post and point out that what you think is a demonstration of something else was actually perfectly consistent with what you claimed was the alternative to it.

It's not as if you'd posted anything that you haven't posted endless times before. You've got a hell of a nerve to question my answers when you have repeatedly completely ignored all the main points that have been put to you, in favour of just repeating your dogmatic blind faith statements in the pretence that they are some sort of answer.

When will you have to guts to face up to the points put to you and answer them?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 09:01:16 PM by Stranger »
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Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #203 on: February 27, 2018, 09:14:35 PM »
Which is not in dispute.

But you do not control what constitutes you - you are what your nature, nurture, and life experience has made you.

I didn't misquote you - there was a link back to your post and I indicated where I had removed part of a sentence. My whole point was to juxtapose the two parts of your post and point out that what you think is a demonstration of something else was actually perfectly consistent with what you claimed was the alternative to it.

It's not as if you'd posted anything that you haven't posted endless times before. You've got a hell of a nerve to question my answers when you have repeatedly completely ignored all the main points that have been put to you, in favour of just repeating your dogmatic blind faith statements in the pretence that they are some sort of answer.

When will you have to guts to face up to the points put to you and answer them?
I do not know what there is to answer that I have not already answered.  You seem to believe that your logic is sound and can't be refuted.  But I believe that I have control over my actions.  I agree that this control can't be explained by human logic, and this is why I attribute my ability to exert conscious control to the power God has given me through the gift of free will in my human soul.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

enki

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #204 on: February 27, 2018, 10:31:03 PM »
I do not know what there is to answer that I have not already answered.  You seem to believe that your logic is sound and can't be refuted.  But I believe that I have control over my actions.  I agree that this control can't be explained by human logic, and this is why I attribute my ability to exert conscious control to the power God has given me through the gift of free will in my human soul.

Has anyone read 'Freedom Regained, The Possibility of Free Will' by Julian Baggini? Despite the title, Baggini is a world away from Alan's views. If anything his views would more align with those of Stranger and others here, even though what he is trying to do is actually re-define what free will actually means. For those who haven't read it, just a little from his chapter on the artist:
Quote
Thinking about the freedom of the artist should change how we see free will for everyone. First of all, artists help us to understand that to be free is for your choices to flow from you, whether they are entirely conscious or not. Second, to be free is to be able to generate highly personal outputs from the inputs of nature, nurture and society, not to be free from their influences, able to create from nothing. Free choices are ones where the individual contributes something indispensible to the choice, even if the ability to make that contribution is something that is in one sense simply the result of nature and all past experience - for what else could it be the result of? Third, to be free is to make choices in the knowledge that there are other options and without being forced or coerced one way or another. This can be the case even if, from a certain point of view, the choice you actually make is the only one you would ever have made in that situation.
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Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #205 on: February 27, 2018, 10:57:22 PM »
I do not know what there is to answer that I have not already answered.  You seem to believe that your logic is sound and can't be refuted.

You have been singularly unable to refute the logic or even make an attempt. The question you keep avoiding is how can you possibly make a choice that isn't deterministic or random (in some combination)?

You also don't seem to be paying any attention to what is actually being said to you, as your next sentence demonstrates yet again...

But I believe that I have control over my actions.

For (what seems like) the ten millionth time: nobody is questioning the fact that you have control over your actions..

I agree that this control can't be explained by human logic...

It can be explained by (human - which is the only kind that we have access to) logic - it's deterministic*: you are the product of your nature, nurture, and lifetime of experience and what you want to do is the result of those things - hence you can do what you want and still be a deterministic being.

...and this is why I attribute my ability to exert conscious control to the power God has given me through the gift of free will in my human soul.

If you are going to reject the only logical explanation, without even attempting to refute it, then you have to admit that you are placing faith above reasoning.


* Almost certainly chaotic in the mathematical sense and possibly with some random or pseudo-random element.
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Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #206 on: February 27, 2018, 11:14:39 PM »
You have been singularly unable to refute the logic or even make an attempt. The question you keep avoiding is how can you possibly make a choice that isn't deterministic or random (in some combination)?

You also don't seem to be paying any attention to what is actually being said to you, as your next sentence demonstrates yet again...

For (what seems like) the ten millionth time: nobody is questioning the fact that you have control over your actions..

It can be explained by (human - which is the only kind that we have access to) logic - it's deterministic*: you are the product of your nature, nurture, and lifetime of experience and what you want to do is the result of those things - hence you can do what you want and still be a deterministic being.

If you are going to reject the only logical explanation, without even attempting to refute it, then you have to admit that you are placing faith above reasoning.


* Almost certainly chaotic in the mathematical sense and possibly with some random or pseudo-random element.
But it is not the only explanation.
I am using my faith to offer an alternative, more realistic explanation for our concept of free will, showing that our freedom to make a choice which is not pre determined is not an illusion.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

ippy

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #207 on: February 28, 2018, 01:06:57 AM »
But it is not the only explanation.
I am using my faith to offer an alternative, more realistic explanation for our concept of free will, showing that our freedom to make a choice which is not pre determined is not an illusion.

Good job job to see that people like you're on the way out with your soppy beliefs, 53% of the U K population non-religious last year, it'll be interesting to see this years figures when they come out, what d'you recon Alan?

This post of yours oh dear never mind.

Necessarily the very kindest of regards to you Alan, ippy

torridon

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #208 on: February 28, 2018, 06:27:47 AM »
But it is not the only explanation.
I am using my faith to offer an alternative, more realistic explanation for our concept of free will, showing that our freedom to make a choice which is not pre determined is not an illusion.

Where did you demonstrate that your concepts around free will are not illusory ? Give us the post number so we can check out your reasoning.  You keep insisting that a choice is not random and 'not random' means determined, so your claim is of a choice that is determined and not determined simultaneously.  No one can demonstrate that which is undemonstratable.  Are you planning to demonstrate how to draw a four sided triangle next ?

If you come to a fork in the road you have to go left or right; you could toss a coin and go with random; or you could examine the paths to try to discern which route looks most promising.  In that case, there will be some factor that sways your eventual choice one way or the other; that will be the determining factor.  We might still claim superficial freedom in the making of that choice, there was no policeman directing traffic, so in that trivial sense we are free. But in the deeper sense, we are never free of the things that influence us;  we could not operate in a vacuum.

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #209 on: February 28, 2018, 07:39:23 AM »
But it is not the only explanation.
I am using my faith to offer an alternative, more realistic explanation for our concept of free will, showing that our freedom to make a choice which is not pre determined is not an illusion.
No,  you are using your faith to ignore the fact that you haven't presented a logically coherent concept of fee will. Your 'explanation' is worth as much as 'cheese toasties harvest all the young dudes' logically.

Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #210 on: February 28, 2018, 08:40:27 AM »
But it is not the only explanation.

You have been unable to either challenge the logic that says it is, or present an alternative.

I am using my faith to offer an alternative, more realistic explanation for our concept of free will...

That statement is simply untrue. You have offered no explanation at all as to how decisions get made. Using logically meaningless phrases such as the "will of the human soul" does not count as an explanation any more than "I make my choices by jiwnelhatlux".

...showing that our freedom to make a choice which is not pre determined is not an illusion.

Once again: I don't think your freedom to choose is an illusion in the sense that you can do whatever you want. However, what you decide you want must be determined by reasons or no reason (random), or a combination.
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Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #211 on: February 28, 2018, 10:37:50 AM »
'not random' means determined,
But it does not necessarily mean pre determined.
I am simply making the point that whatever I choose has not been inevitably pre determined by everything which has taken place since the beginning of time.  My conscious awareness has the divinely enabled ability to intervene in the otherwise pre determined chains of events in order to implement my conscious choice.  I have the power to choose between good and evil, as has every other conscious human being.
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Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #212 on: February 28, 2018, 10:57:42 AM »
But it does not necessarily mean pre determined.

Since the only things that can determine an action must be present prior to said action, yes it does.

I am simply making the point that whatever I choose has not been inevitably pre determined by everything which has taken place since the beginning of time.

It's not a point, it's an assertion that you have been unable to justify.

My conscious awareness has the divinely enabled ability to intervene in the otherwise pre determined chains of events in order to implement my conscious choice.

Once again sidestepping the point; which is how that "conscious awareness" makes up its mind how to intervene. Its choice must be determined by (pre-existing) reasons or by no reason (which means random) - or a combination.

I can see no way in which you haven't grasped this point, given your other posts. It's very difficult to see how you ignoring it and pretending that an outside "intervention" is an answer can anything other than dishonesty. Although I have to admit that you may be too frightened or too blinded by your faith to admit the problem to yourself...
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Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #213 on: February 28, 2018, 11:07:23 AM »
Since the only things that can determine an action must be present prior to said action, yes it does.

It's not a point, it's an assertion that you have been unable to justify.

Once again sidestepping the point; which is how that "conscious awareness" makes up its mind how to intervene. Its choice must be determined by (pre-existing) reasons or by no reason (which means random) - or a combination.

I can see no way in which you haven't grasped this point, given your other posts. It's very difficult to see how you ignoring it and pretending that an outside "intervention" is an answer can anything other than dishonesty. Although I have to admit that you may be too frightened or too blinded by your faith to admit the problem to yourself...
Once again, I can only witness to the reality I perceive, which is that I have the willpower to make conscious choices which are not pre determined (otherwise it would not be a choice!).
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

torridon

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #214 on: February 28, 2018, 11:31:59 AM »
Once again, I can only witness to the reality I perceive, which is that I have the willpower to make conscious choices which are not pre determined (otherwise it would not be a choice!).

And the reality I perceive is that the moment of making a choice is a moment of identifying which of the available options best suits my purpose; and given that I have no control over what values I have, over what my preferences are, over what my hopes and fears are, that feeling of freedom must be in a sense illusory.  We cannot choose our values or preferences.  How could I choose what values to have except by reference to a system of values ?  You keep saying you have a god-given gift to be able to witness to your faith.  Well you already want to do that, so what kind of freedom is it that gives you something you already have ? And conversely the freedom to want something that you don't want would likewise be a pointless freedom.  The way things actually work, makes sense. People makes choices for reasons.

Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #215 on: February 28, 2018, 12:18:36 PM »
Once again AB runs away from facing the logic...

Once again, I can only witness to the reality I perceive, which is that I have the willpower to make conscious choices...

Up to this point in your sentence is fine: that is people's perception and it's as obvious as it is irrelevant.

However, the rest of your sentence:

...which are not pre determined...

is not something you can possibly directly perceive at all. It is something you are simply assuming is the case despite the logical argument that says that it can only be the case if there is some randomness involved. How do you think your experience would differ if the person you are and the way you think was fully determined by your history and your choices where fully determined by who you are?

The last bit:

...(otherwise it would not be a choice!).

is just playing a silly word game.

Cue AB totally ignoring the logic and the question, yet again.......
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Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #216 on: February 28, 2018, 12:21:45 PM »
And the reality I perceive is that the moment of making a choice is a moment of identifying which of the available options best suits my purpose; and given that I have no control over what values I have, over what my preferences are, over what my hopes and fears are, that feeling of freedom must be in a sense illusory.  We cannot choose our values or preferences.  How could I choose what values to have except by reference to a system of values ?  You keep saying you have a god-given gift to be able to witness to your faith.  Well you already want to do that, so what kind of freedom is it that gives you something you already have ? And conversely the freedom to want something that you don't want would likewise be a pointless freedom.  The way things actually work, makes sense. People makes choices for reasons.
Yes, my faith does prompt me to witness to the truth of this faith, but I still have the freedom to choose how I answer that prompt, or whether to be lazy and choose to ignore it.  The choice is mine.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Nearly Sane

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #217 on: February 28, 2018, 12:31:45 PM »
Yes, my faith does prompt me to witness to the truth of this faith, but I still have the freedom to choose how I answer that prompt, or whether to be lazy and choose to ignore it.  The choice is mine.
Alan, this is an example of why I think you don't read what people post. No one has been arguing that the choice isn't yours and they have stated multiple times that the choice is yours. That isn't the issue so your post just reads as if you have ignored what's been written with all the discourtesy that involves, and repeated something that no one is arguing anyway.

Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #218 on: February 28, 2018, 01:06:57 PM »
Yes, my faith does prompt me to witness to the truth of this faith, but I still have the freedom to choose how I answer that prompt, or whether to be lazy and choose to ignore it.  The choice is mine.

Nobody is suggesting that it isn't.

How about answering the actual points being made instead of the ones you wish had been made...?
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wigginhall

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #219 on: February 28, 2018, 01:11:00 PM »
Good point by Stranger above, that it's fair enough if AB says he believes that his choices are not determined by anything, but he keeps saying that he perceives this.   How is that possible?   I can't perceive any determining factors really, especially as many of them are unconscious and/or unknown.  He must have X-ray eyes.
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Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #220 on: February 28, 2018, 01:14:38 PM »
Cue AB totally ignoring the logic and the question, yet again.......

And so it came to pass.
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Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #221 on: February 28, 2018, 02:38:25 PM »
Alan, this is an example of why I think you don't read what people post. No one has been arguing that the choice isn't yours and they have stated multiple times that the choice is yours. That isn't the issue so your post just reads as if you have ignored what's been written with all the discourtesy that involves, and repeated something that no one is arguing anyway.
The problem is that I am trying to answer two slightly differing points of view.
Torridon seems to claim that any conception of freedom to choose is an illusion.
Stranger claims that I have freedom, but this freedom itself is determined.

So if I tailor my reply to Torri saying that I have freedom to choose, I get rebuked by stranger because he points out that we have this freedom.
I can't win!

But in any case, I have to say that Stranger's idea of determined freedom seems to be a contradiction in terms.  Freedom by definition can't be pre determined.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32

Nearly Sane

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #222 on: February 28, 2018, 02:55:30 PM »
The problem is that I am trying to answer two slightly differing points of view.
Torridon seems to claim that any conception of freedom to choose is an illusion.
Stranger claims that I have freedom, but this freedom itself is determined.

So if I tailor my reply to Torri saying that I have freedom to choose, I get rebuked by stranger because he points out that we have this freedom.
I can't win!

But in any case, I have to say that Stranger's idea of determined freedom seems to be a contradiction in terms.  Freedom by definition can't be pre determined.

I think you are mistaken here. Both torridon and Stranger believe you make a choice. Both think that it is determined. Ant 'difference' is just about slightly different questions. I would suggest that rather than try and point out differences, which to me don't exist you try And pit forward a case. Your above post reads like an attempt at evading yet again the logical incoherence of your idea.

Stranger

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #223 on: February 28, 2018, 03:25:47 PM »
The problem is that I am trying to answer two slightly differing points of view.
Torridon seems to claim that any conception of freedom to choose is an illusion.
Stranger claims that I have freedom, but this freedom itself is determined.

torridon will have to speak for himself but I see no difference in the detail of what we are saying. If you look at his post #214 where he says "And the reality I perceive is that the moment of making a choice is a moment of identifying which of the available options best suits my purpose; and given that I have no control over what values I have, over what my preferences are, over what my hopes and fears are, that feeling of freedom must be in a sense illusory.  We cannot choose our values or preferences.  How could I choose what values to have except by reference to a system of values ?" - I completely agree with his description of how choices are made - I just wouldn't have chosen to add that the freedom is "in a sense illusory" - although I see what he means.

Now (as I see it) we are both saying that we can choose to do what we like but we cannot choose the way we make that choice because it's made according to our values, desires, hopes, fears and so on (who we are) and we can't choose those.

To me, that makes the choice as free as it is possible to be and your 'alternative' is simply incoherent, illogical, and nonsensical.

But in any case, I have to say that Stranger's idea of determined freedom seems to be a contradiction in terms.  Freedom by definition can't be pre determined.

Nonsense: "freedom The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants." [my emphasis].

Being 'free' of what you want to do, makes no sense.

The extent to which you exclude influences from a choice, including all the things that make you the person you are and hence inclined to make different decisions from other people, is the extent to which the choice is without any influences, which once again, means random.

The only way to make the choice that you want, without any randomness, is if the choice is determined by what you want - and what you want is determined by who you are, which is determined by your nature, nurture, and lifetime experience.
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Alan Burns

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Re: Free-will or determinism - a question.
« Reply #224 on: February 28, 2018, 05:07:34 PM »

The extent to which you exclude influences from a choice ....
Just to point out that I have never suggested that choices are devoid of influence.
Influence does not infer that the choice is pre determined, just that it can be influenced by certain factors, and after consciously driven consideration of these factors we make a final choice.  Torridon and yourself may imply that this consciously driven consideration is itself a pre determined process, but I have to say that I perceive this as a process in which I (my spiritually aware self) have overall control.
The truth will set you free  - John 8:32