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Free will

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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #45 on: April 05, 2012, 10:08 AM »
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Would you really want to meet an all powerful being who has allowed childhood leukaemia for example. I wouldn't.

@ Clydey, I find this theory neither especially interesting or especially threatening. It's not going to alter my belief system or the way I behave. If I thought it might alter Government policy regarding prisoners, delinquent kids or the mentally ill, I might be more interested, but alas experience shows that scientific research has little impact. Probably because there are so few scientists in H of C. In fact I suspect more in H of Ls.
However, where does taking responsibility for what you do, fit into this? Because taking that away, surely does impact on Society big time.

It absolutely impacts society. I don't necessarily think we should base our legal system entirely on the notion that we have no free will, despite how concrete the evidence is for the claim. I think it would be dangerous to absolve people of their responsibility, since punishment acts as a deterrent. However, I would like to see a system based less on punishment and more on rehabilitation, with the recognition that bad people are no more responsible for being bad than you and I are responsible for being good.

To paraphrase Sam Harris, there is no extra part of me that would make me not become a serial killer if I had Ted Bundy's genes and experiences. Psychopaths are profoundly unlucky to be born that way, just as paedophiles are unlucky to be attracted to children. The fact that I am not a serial killer is not an accomplishment of mine, but rather is based on pure luck.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #46 on: April 05, 2012, 10:21 AM »
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You're confusing determinism with fatalism.
I blame the way you've tried to explain it rather than confusion on my end.

If you tell me that our environment and genes 100% decides my choices in life, then that is fate. If you instead tell me it will cause a strong inclination for a certain direction in my decision making, then I still have my free will.

I will watch the video soon but I'm finding it fun to discuss beforehand for some reason even if it does lead to embarrassment on my end.
[ Last edit by Mark April 05, 2012, 10:24 AM ] IP Logged
Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #47 on: April 05, 2012, 10:35 AM »
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I blame the way you've tried to explain it rather than confusion on my end.

If you tell me that our environment and genes 100% decides my choices in life, then that is fate.

No, it isn't. Fate means that the future is already set. Determinism and fatalism are not the same thing. Fatalism suggests that the future is set, but does not necessarily say anything about free will. In other words, you could be a fatalist who believes entirely in free will, but you would be unable to avoid getting married to Julia in 10 years, since that is what is fated to happen.

Determinism states that human action is dictated by prior causes that we have no control over. I may not have given you a thorough enough explanation before, but do you see the difference now? A determinist would say that choices still matter, even if we do not consciously author them or take responsibility for them. A classic way to confuse determinism and fatalism is to say, 'Why not just lie in bed and what will be will be?'

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If you instead tell me it will lead me to have a strong inclination for choices in my life, then I still have my free will.

It's not a mere inclination. The entirety of who you are can be reduced to genetics and environment, which you have no control over. Therefore, those things determine all of your choices and actions. Indeed, even if you believe in a soul you still cannot refute the argument, since you would be no more responsible for the soul you are born with.

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I will watch the video soon but I'm finding it fun to discuss beforehand for some reason even if it does lead to embarrassment on my end.

It won't lead to embarrassment. It isn't necessarily an easy concept to come to grips with, nor are people enthusiastic about accepting it.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #48 on: April 05, 2012, 11:28 AM »
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Time to listen to the video me thinks.
[ Last edit by Mark April 05, 2012, 11:49 AM ] IP Logged
Sir Panda
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Re: Free will « Reply #49 on: April 05, 2012, 11:51 AM »
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I watched 30 mins of it, my attention span sadly doesn't stretch to over an hour on YouTube. Very Happy Some very convincing arguments, have always enjoyed watching Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris on  YouTube, the best way to spend 10-20 mins each day.
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Bevc
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Re: Free will « Reply #50 on: April 05, 2012, 12:00 PM »
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You've changed your post Mark, but to quote from the book that I haven't yet read...

It has been suggested that people who exhibit criminal behaviour are more likely to have the mutation that prevents dopamine bonding (to neurons).  This is controversial but the notion ties in with our general understanding of reward centres of the brain.  Extroverts certainly show the tendency to think about the rewards rather than the possible negative consequences of their actions. 

What it goes on to say is that executives seeking thrills (to get their dopamine fix) can go bungee jumping or sky diving whereas people from poorer backgrounds go joy riding or take up petty theft.

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blueberryhill
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Re: Free will « Reply #51 on: April 05, 2012, 12:10 PM »
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It absolutely impacts society. I don't necessarily think we should base our legal system entirely on the notion that we have no free will, despite how concrete the evidence is for the claim. I think it would be dangerous to absolve people of their responsibility, since punishment acts as a deterrent. However, I would like to see a system based less on punishment and more on rehabilitation, with the recognition that bad people are no more responsible for being bad than you and I are responsible for being good.




Totally agree with you there. Wow flowers
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #52 on: April 05, 2012, 12:28 PM »
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I've got to 35mins and have stopped because it feels to have lost some momentum. I should give the book a try instead.

I found the arguments interesting and his interpretations of the science seem valid. But, I did not find them utterly convincing. His philosophical arguments are very thought provoking and logical but once again, I didn't find myself convinced, just opened minded to the possibility.

When Dawkins explains evolution, I'm left with no choice to believe him, I didn't feel like that at all with this. Maybe because it's a fairly new idea and given time there will be better ways to articulate and argue the case.

Or maybe it could be because I don't want it to be true but then again I didn't like coming to the realisation of there probably not being a God.
[ Last edit by Mark April 05, 2012, 12:49 PM ] IP Logged
Littlebuddha
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Re: Free will « Reply #53 on: April 05, 2012, 12:38 PM »
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You do not have free will when this crappy government tells you you have to work in a dead end job because you cant get a descent one with a reasonable wage.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #54 on: April 05, 2012, 12:42 PM »
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You've changed your post Mark, but to quote from the book that I haven't yet read...

It has been suggested that people who exhibit criminal behaviour are more likely to have the mutation that prevents dopamine bonding (to neurons).  This is controversial but the notion ties in with our general understanding of reward centres of the brain.  Extroverts certainly show the tendency to think about the rewards rather than the possible negative consequences of their actions. 

What it goes on to say is that executives seeking thrills (to get their dopamine fix) can go bungee jumping or sky diving whereas people from poorer backgrounds go joy riding or take up petty theft.
I totally accept all that. I feel sorry for criminals, paedophiles and serial killers because they have an uphill battle but I do feel they can override the immoral actions their impulses lead them to.
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Hazybear
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Re: Free will « Reply #55 on: April 05, 2012, 01:31 PM »
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I've got to 35mins and have stopped because it feels to have lost some momentum. I should give the book a try instead.

I found the arguments interesting and his interpretations of the science seem valid. But, I did not find them utterly convincing. His philosophical arguments are very thought provoking and logical but once again, I didn't find myself convinced, just opened minded to the possibility.

When Dawkins explains evolution, I'm left with no choice to believe him, I didn't feel like that at all with this. Maybe because it's a fairly new idea and given time there will be better ways to articulate and argue the case.

Or maybe it could be because I don't want it to be true but then again I didn't like coming to the realisation of there probably not being a God.

hug That's because there's a bit of you that knows God's real - and then the annoying Christians exits again  bolt
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #56 on: April 05, 2012, 01:34 PM »
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hug That's because there's a bit of you that knows God's real
Not in the slightest, I just wish there was an afterlife.
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Re: Free will « Reply #57 on: April 05, 2012, 02:26 PM »
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I wish there was life before death.
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michelle
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Re: Free will « Reply #58 on: April 05, 2012, 02:43 PM »
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I wish there was life before death.
Surely that's up to you. Whistle
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #59 on: April 05, 2012, 03:20 PM »
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I've got to 35mins and have stopped because it feels to have lost some momentum. I should give the book a try instead.

I found the arguments interesting and his interpretations of the science seem valid. But, I did not find them utterly convincing. His philosophical arguments are very thought provoking and logical but once again, I didn't find myself convinced, just opened minded to the possibility.

When Dawkins explains evolution, I'm left with no choice to believe him, I didn't feel like that at all with this. Maybe because it's a fairly new idea and given time there will be better ways to articulate and argue the case.

Or maybe it could be because I don't want it to be true but then again I didn't like coming to the realisation of there probably not being a God.

You didn't find his way of expressing ideas compelling? I think the man is unparalleled at communicating complex ideas, so that surprises me.

By the way, there's also a Q&A at the end, so he may answer some of the questions you have.
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