I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity." Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."
A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?
Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.
True, but irrelevant. The rainbow looks different from different angles and appears to be in different places. The refraction you see from where you stand takes place in different places in the mist cloud for different observers in different locations.
The rainbow exists in your eye and mind as a multicolored arc. There really is no multicolored arc out there where the rainbow appears to be. You never see rainbows from the side as would be the case if a rainbow existed as a physical object in space.
Also, any other object, be it a horse or a table or a building, you can walk around and see it from the side or back. You'll only ever see a rainbow (other than in something like a photo or other graphic reproduction) with your back to the sun. A rainbow isn't an object in the same sense as most other objects.
I assume that Penrose's reasoning is similar, but it still made me wonder. Would random chance in decision making actually make free will seem more likely?
My problem (and @unseen's probably ahead of me) is in how the hell do we define free will? I'm thinking now that, since it has always seemed and felt like I have free will, then perhaps I have never defined it properly to start with. I.e., it feels like I am making instant decisions, without coercion, or at least without outside coercion.
Perhaps more importantly, I'm sure I want my unconscious to help me make decisions. I often have a feeling about things before making a decision, even if it seems like a sudden revelation when I suddenly realize the decision I "need" to make.
What if it only took a microsecond of pre-thought for the brain to come to a quick decision, and what if all those pre-decision-making neurocircuits were doing the same thing that takes seconds now, but only faster? Would that somehow make the whole process seem more acceptable?
I have no answers to these questions yet. Hey, guess what... I need to think about it more, or maybe even sleep on it!
I've always said (several times on TA alone) that the REAL problem with "free will" is the "will" part. What could it possibly mean. All that comes to mind for me is movies like Carrie, Firestarter, and Poltergeist, where the protagonist has the ability to move physical objects by thinking about it. Perhaps that is how we control our bodies. If so, we live in a world where magic is real.
The problem with free will is: What does the personal identity accept as proof?
The problem with understanding personal identity resolves in the word "understanding" and in the meaning of the personal pronouns.
You freely assume the use the personal pronouns along with words like "meaning", "understand" and "know" is useful.
Get a grip on these basics, or at least experiment with not using the words to communicate with others.
No. The question is what meets universally scientifically accepted standards of proof based upon what we know about how the world works.
Everyone will form their own understanding, some based on science, some on feeling, some on what they've been told in church.
"You freely assume the use the personal pronouns along with words like "meaning", "understand" and "know" is useful." This sentence is ungrammatical, which is why I have no idea what you are attempting to say.
I see no compelling evidence I need to get a grip on anything I don't already have a firm grip on, and you've provided no evidence that I'm missing something.
So you're saying that if I will my hand to reach out and pick up a pencil, such an action is akin to utilizing telekinesis - do you ever actually listen to own arguments?
I also want you as well as those who seem dead set on defending free will, that I, too, FEEL like I have it and act as if I do, without thinking about the nonsense involved i the word "will." I have simply, after a lengthy examination, as a person with a degree in philosophy, found the truth of it to be inescapable based on what I know. That truth being that free will isn't possible both due to our inability to escape the determinism of the world we live in as well as the impenetrable vagueness of the word "will."
Feeling free means little, as I sometimes experience deja vu or feel that I have lost something in one place but discover it elsewhere. I don't think randomness extends to household objects. A more likely explanation is that I can't trust my feelings about some things.
We're on the same page, I think. I've felt for a while that free will's probably a delusion, and I'm ok with that because 1) it truly doesn't matter (at least at the intellectual level) and 2) it also means there is no outside agent or consciousness controlling me. So even if free doesn't exist, the only entity that's making any actual decision is the entity that's in my cranium, my brain, my consciousness (er, I mean my subconsciousness?), belonging to no other "outside" force.
So who really cares if it's done in just a bag of chemicals? After all, shouldn't we be thankful that we're not consciously managing every one of the billions of chemical reactions happening inside of us every second?
I think I'm done hijacking the thread now. But I'm not sure. @Wretched, perhaps you're enjoying this atheist pandemonium?
We are all free. Free of God for sure. We're as free as everything is. We're as free as the universe, the galaxies and nebulae, the planets, the rocks, the atoms, and everything on down to the unimaginably tiny strings which may be the ultimate building blocks of everything.
We're also bound in exactly the same way and to exactly the same degree.
We are not special. We are not an exception. We certainly are not a miracle.