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.
I've come to accept that people will follow their nature. Bad people are judged according to what we believe to be bad, likewise with good people who are praised according to our concept of the good.
People do what is in their nature. We hold them accountable, if we do, according to our own nature, because we feel they are accountable and that feeling is NOT a matter of choice on our part. It has to do with who we are.
To try to prove free will by invoking the need for accountability is quite exactly the same, logically, as proving God exists because if he didn't the bad wouldn't be punished.
Why do you accept the logic of one and irrationally reject the logic of the other?
John - don't neglect to account for all of those quantum fluctuations --
John, frankly I don't think you're missing anything - Unseen, however, despite his touted degree in Philosophy - could well be missing a marble or two.
the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will. Some philosophers have taken determinism to imply that individual human beings have no free will and cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.
So on that basis, I'd have to say that your rock and your man are on equal footing, equally guilty or equally innocent - give or take a few quantum fluctuations, of course.
Consciousness is what is called an epiphenomenon of a physical state of affairs.
An epiphenomenon is "a secondary effect or byproduct that arises from but does not causally influence a process."
Another familiar epiphenomenon would be a rainbow, an epiphenomenon of the of the refraction of light in water mist. A rainbow doesn't really exist in space, though it appears to.
If you want to call consciousness the soul, fine, but it doesn't control the body. If it does, what is the physical mechanism? You see, it's not a cause, it's an effect. It's passive.
You may have to rephrase that question. I'm having a hard time parsing it.
Just let me say that effects become causes. That is how you get causal chains.
So consciousness, whatever it is, can be a cause of something? Or are you saying it is incidental or uninvolved in determining actions?
I'm not sure what difference it would make. Subconscious actions have conscious effects which themselves have effects. Still, consciousness is passive. We are only conscious of what appears to our consciousness, aren't we? The real activity is going on behind the scenes in our brain where we can't see it.