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.

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RE: "(Dear God, I pray that I might someday be given just 5 more minutes to edit my posts. I promise I will work faster, too.)"

Would you believe he heard you and decided to suspend time for five minutes the next time you post?

(This has been a gullibility check - we now return you to your local discussion.)

Actually, the word I most often hear is "amazing!"

I wonder if all this dark matter is hiding in a rather obvious place: black holes.

RE: "Actually, the word I most often hear is 'amazing!'"

You know what they say about people who talk to themselves --

RE: "I wonder if all this dark matter is hiding in a rather obvious place: black holes."

No, I have no source to back me up (read it years ago), but I've read that it has been observed - or at least its effects have - on the outskirts of galaxies.

I mean it's a dysfunction if our brain can't control our body. At least, that's the way it is in MY universe. What problem do you have with the word?

I followed your link and the post it took me to didn't seem to have my so-called definition of free will.

Actually, I maintain that the entire concept doesn't make sense. Simply stringing two words that make sense individually doesn't necessarily result in a construction that makes sense.

The real problem is the word "will," which (other than legal context, "making a will and testament") seems to be something of a myth. What is will? Is it the ability through a sheer act of mind to make things happen? As in the movies Carrie, Firestarter, or Poltergeist?

What problem do you have with the word?

No problem any more. Makes perfect sense to me now. Thanks for explaining.

I followed your link and the post it took me to didn't seem to have my so-called definition of free will.

Haha, yup, I confused your definition of free will with your definition of spirituality. I see the two definitions as intimately connected, so much so that I wasn't even remembering their differences.

(I.e. the usual definition of spirituality infers that free will is dual from the brain. You and I both agree that it can't be dual.)

What makes us believe we have free will is that we feel like we are in full control of our actions, but control itself requires a deterministic framework to build the belief of control around.

I have to agree. It all sounds a little 'woo woo' to me.


It just sounds like new age mysticism using the word 'quantum' to support the bs oft spouted. I am not really well read on the subject, book's in the post. If I can't fathom it, let me know you address.

John - let's take this private, before we get CENSORED!

Unseen: "...we are bound to do whatever our brains would have us do."

Nonsense, until you change it to"...whatever our desires would have us do, our experience or knowledge tells us the likely consequences, and we decide to avoid or minimize those consequences."

I regularly tell people that talking about free will keeps theologians employed. See it for what it is: a clever, and obfuscating, explanation by religious people to preserve the status quo.

Freethinkers more than any others can conclude that a society's rules were made by people WHO ONCE RULED IN THAT SOCIETY and are enforced by people WHO NOW RULE IT.

This discovery several decades ago led to postmodernism's correct claim that every law or custom and its supporting narrative benefits the dominant group and burdens one or more other groups.

Get off the free will train before the frailties of old age have you denying that those who have the keys to the prisons rule!

Nonsense, until you change it to"...whatever our desires would have us do, our experience or knowledge tells us the likely consequences, and we decide to avoid or minimize those consequences."

Nonsense. Science is telling us that our decisions are done in our preconscious mind, a part of the mind over which we have no control whatsoever:

The experiment helped to change John-Dylan Haynes's outlook on life. In 2007, Haynes, a neuroscientist at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin, put people into a brain scanner in which a display screen flashed a succession of random letters1. He told them to press a button with either their right or left index fingers whenever they felt the urge, and to remember the letter that was showing on the screen when they made the decision. The experiment used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal brain activity in real time as the volunteers chose to use their right or left hands. The results were quite a surprise.

"The first thought we had was 'we have to check if this is real'," says Haynes. "We came up with more sanity checks than I've ever seen in any other study before."

The conscious decision to push the button was made about a second before the actual act, but the team discovered that a pattern of brain activity seemed to predict that decision by as many as seven seconds. Long before the subjects were even aware of making a choice, it seems, their brains had already decided.

Read more here:


Assuming the evidence is true, it means that there really is no such thing as a "conscious decision" to do anything.

So bear with me here - I just fell off a turnip truck - are you saying that no criminal is responsible for his behavior, in that he is incapable of making a conscious decision to commit a crime? Is that the tactic all criminal defense attorneys should take, to cite that study as proof that their client is not guilty by reason of - not just diminished capacity, but no capacity at all? That premeditated murder CANnot be a crime, since we are incapable of premeditating ANYthing?

I thought I had made plans to mow the lawn today, but according to that reasoning, I guess I didn't - I CAN still guess, can't I?

And if I DO actually end up mowing it, it wouldn't be because of any conscious decision I made to mow it? Could we call that sleep-mowing?

Responsibility means nothing at all in a deterministic environment ON ONE LEVEL. On the other, a person does what he does because of what he is. People do what is in their nature. Would you have it any other way?

As for the prosecutor and defense, they will do what they do for preconscious reasons, not conscious ones. We are who we are. Free will would seem to claim that we are not.

If you became conscious of an intent to mow the lawn, that intent was actually formed in your brain in the preconscious mind a few seconds before that intention entered your mind.



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