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Author Topic:   Free will but how free really?
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4888
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 106 of 176 (812244)
06-15-2017 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by New Cat's Eye
06-15-2017 10:46 AM


NCE writes:

For me, religion has been quite useful.

It has personal uses - the opium of the masses and all that - it's a bi-product though; making you feel better about yourself in the here-and-now is not religion's real purpose.

And the fact that it's imaginary is a real problem for man's long-term mental health. Or it would be if it wasn't pretty clear that religion's influence is waning all over the developed world and that countries with the greatest populations of atheists are the happiest overall.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-15-2017 10:46 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Stile, posted 06-15-2017 2:54 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 108 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-15-2017 3:11 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


(1)
Message 107 of 176 (812245)
06-15-2017 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by Tangle
06-15-2017 2:27 PM


Tangle writes:

making you feel better about yourself in the here-and-now is not religion's real purpose.

I don't think it matters what religion's "real purpose" is.
I think it only matters what you use it for. What's its purpose for each of us? Some of us will use it more than others.

And the fact that it's imaginary is a real problem for man's long-term mental health.

I don't think this is true.
I think this is only true for some people.

I think many people require something like religion in order to have good long-term mental health.

Or it would be if it wasn't pretty clear that religion's influence is waning all over the developed world and that countries with the greatest populations of atheists are the happiest overall.

I think this is more because we have a world where most places have religion, and shun atheism.
Those that allow both, thrive much better.

However, if it was reversed... if we had a world where most places had atheism, and shunned religion... I think we'd be in a very similar place. And, again, it would be those areas that allowed both that would thrive.
Which means, in such a world... it would be equivalent for your counterpart to say that "obviously, religion is much healthier overall!"

I think it's a problem to think one or the other is better "in general."
I think they should be used as tools for people.
I think different people require different tools.
I think, in regarding humanity as a whole, we will only work through to be "happiest overall" when we find a way to allow both. By "both" I actually mean "all." That is, any tool and every tool that can be used personally and not affect others negatively.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Tangle, posted 06-15-2017 2:27 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Tangle, posted 06-15-2017 3:13 PM Stile has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11552
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 108 of 176 (812250)
06-15-2017 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by Tangle
06-15-2017 2:27 PM


It has personal uses - the opium of the masses and all that - it's a bi-product though; making you feel better about yourself in the here-and-now is not religion's real purpose.

There is no real purpose to religion. Take your foil hat off.

And the fact that it's imaginary is a real problem for man's long-term mental health.

You don't know that, and i don't believe you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Tangle, posted 06-15-2017 2:27 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4888
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 109 of 176 (812251)
06-15-2017 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Stile
06-15-2017 2:54 PM


Stile writes:

I don't think it matters what religion's "real purpose" is.

I suspect you are a nice liberal religionist.

Most of modern western democracies are recovering religionoholics and generally getting on ok, by not bothering other faiths and non-faiths too much. Their political influence is waning and although their bigotry is still apparent in some areas such as sexuality and birth and death, it's definately on its last legs as far as control is concerned.

But there are some other less benign religions that do feel that it matters what religions real purpose is and are prepared to do some dispiccable things to help it along.

I also think that it really does matter that adults rely on imaginary beings to make them feel better about themselves - that's not healthy.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Stile, posted 06-15-2017 2:54 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Stile, posted 06-15-2017 4:13 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 118 by 1.61803, posted 06-16-2017 10:15 AM Tangle has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2924
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 110 of 176 (812258)
06-15-2017 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by Tangle
06-15-2017 3:13 PM


Tangle writes:

But there are some other less benign religions that do feel that it matters what religions real purpose is and are prepared to do some despicable things to help it along.

Despicable things should be stopped because they are despicable. Regardless of what type of people do them or why.

I also think that it really does matter that adults rely on imaginary beings to make them feel better about themselves - that's not healthy.

I think you're wrong.

Humans have had instincts that rely on imaginary things to make them feel better and keep them safe since before we evolved into "humans."

That's very healthy.
If it wasn't, we either would have evolved other "healthy" mechanisms... or died out as a species long, long ago.

It certainly may not be healthy for you. As it isn't for me.
But there are many things that are not healthy for me, but very healthy for other people.

I don't see a reason to deprive them of it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Tangle, posted 06-15-2017 3:13 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Tangle, posted 06-15-2017 5:12 PM Stile has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4888
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 111 of 176 (812276)
06-15-2017 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Stile
06-15-2017 4:13 PM


Stile writes:

Despicable things should be stopped because they are despicable. Regardless of what type of people do them or why.

Sure, but still they do it at least partly because the believe a fiction. Removing the fiction would remove the problem.

Humans have had instincts that rely on imaginary things to make them feel better and keep them safe since before we evolved into "humans."

We've come along way since we lived in caves and played kill or be killed without iPads. Why do you think we still need these rediculous imaginary beings?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Stile, posted 06-15-2017 4:13 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Phat, posted 06-16-2017 9:15 AM Tangle has responded
 Message 126 by Stile, posted 06-19-2017 9:23 AM Tangle has responded

  
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1740
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 112 of 176 (812295)
06-15-2017 7:14 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Taq
06-14-2017 5:10 PM


It's a concept in quantum mechanics.

The question of free will always comes down to the question of causality and determinism.

Therefore, it really doesn't matter if there is free will in our lives as long as you can close your eyes, throw your hands in the air, have fun, and make it through...

It matters because the self rests in the space left by a break in the causal chain. The question of responsibility relies on the ability of the individual to be a breaking point by conscious decision. And so it comes down to the nature of consciousness and what it means to be aware.

If it turns out that I have no real choices then the house of cards falls to the ground.

edit

Suspension of disbelief is ok for the rollercoaster but not so much for the contemplation of existence.

Edited by ProtoTypical, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Taq, posted 06-14-2017 5:10 PM Taq has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by NoNukes, posted 06-15-2017 8:33 PM ProtoTypical has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9733
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 113 of 176 (812298)
06-15-2017 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by ProtoTypical
06-15-2017 7:14 PM


The question of responsibility relies on the ability of the individual to be a breaking point by conscious decision. And so it comes down to the nature of consciousness and what it means to be aware.

If it turns out that I have no real choices then the house of cards falls to the ground.

Your argument is similar to mine. What is purpose of such concepts as responsibility, punishment, or even deterrence if none of those things can actually work. And how could those concepts work if every human act is predetermined.

One possible counter-argument is that we all have an illusory sense of free will which compels us to act as though our actions have consequences. I don't find such arguments suitable, and akin to the idea that none of are real and we all live in one of Stile's dreams.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson

Not really, it is a theory that is imposed on nature so consistently that you think you are observing it. -- Faith

Some of us are worried about just how much damage he will do in his last couple of weeks as president, to make it easier for the NY Times and Washington post to try to destroy Trump's presidency. -- marc9000


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by ProtoTypical, posted 06-15-2017 7:14 PM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by ProtoTypical, posted 06-15-2017 10:12 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1740
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 114 of 176 (812305)
06-15-2017 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by NoNukes
06-15-2017 8:33 PM


What is purpose of such concepts as responsibility, punishment, or even deterrence if none of those things can actually work. And how could those concepts work if every human act is predetermined.

The fact is that we cant get along without the concept. Where would we be without personal responsibility?

What I find interesting is how the our jurisprudence works better as we appreciate that people are a product of their environment.

One possible counter-argument is that we all have an illusory sense of free will which compels us to act as though our actions have consequences.

That seems unacceptable to me as well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by NoNukes, posted 06-15-2017 8:33 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-15-2017 10:53 PM ProtoTypical has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11552
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 115 of 176 (812306)
06-15-2017 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 114 by ProtoTypical
06-15-2017 10:12 PM


The fact is that we cant get along without the concept. Where would we be without personal responsibility?

What I find interesting is how the our jurisprudence works better as we appreciate that people are a product of their environment.

To make sense, there has to be more people than environments; and so what you do in your environment is what makes you you. People are a product with their environment, not of it. Our wills are, actually, free to operate within their boundaries. That we decide what we will actually do is what puts the onus of our actions upon ourselves. Without this, a lot of our framework could come crashing down. To disregard the concept of free will is a fool's folly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by ProtoTypical, posted 06-15-2017 10:12 PM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by ProtoTypical, posted 06-16-2017 8:04 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1740
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 116 of 176 (812363)
06-16-2017 8:04 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by New Cat's Eye
06-15-2017 10:53 PM


It is an interesting paradigm where we need the process of cause and effect so that we can assign responsibility to the individual and at the same time that process removes responsibility.

To make sense, there has to be more people than environments;

I don't know about 'more' but there has to be at least some input from the individual that originates with the individual.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-15-2017 10:53 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-16-2017 10:51 AM ProtoTypical has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9499
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 117 of 176 (812374)
06-16-2017 9:15 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by Tangle
06-15-2017 5:12 PM


Truth May Be Stranger Than Fiction
Tangle writes:

Removing the fiction would remove the problem.

I'm not sure I agree but perhaps I don't understand.

Why do you think we still need these ridiculous imaginary beings?
Perhaps some of us don't see them as imaginary nor ridiculous. How can you be so sure that evidential reality is all that there is?

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
"as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler

This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Tangle, posted 06-15-2017 5:12 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Tangle, posted 06-16-2017 12:07 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2694
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


(1)
Message 118 of 176 (812388)
06-16-2017 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by Tangle
06-15-2017 3:13 PM


Tangle writes:

I also think that it really does matter that adults rely on imaginary beings to make them feel better about themselves - that's not healthy.

Hi Tangle, interesting points from you.

I will say that me being in the medical field may influence my perspective. It has been shown that stress is one of the leading causes of damage to the body. Anything that can be done to help alleviate that stress will pay dividends in reducing the inflamation and un-healthy effects of damaging stress.

If a person is mollified by the idea of the imaginary sky man and that is how he/she manages his/her stress and anxiety then it is imo a healthy endeavour.

I take my 11 year old to mass on Sundays not because I am a devout Catholic. I do it because it give us a opportunity to do something together. To be social, to sing and listen to the choir, to have a part of my past experiences shared and hopefully instill some good values. Someday she will not believe in the Easter bunny/Santa Clause/ the imaginary sky man. And that's ok too. We can always have that discussion.

I actually envy the devout and faithful because where they have certainty, I have angst and yes probably a extra measure of stress.

And I know you will probably think that I can do something social and together with my daughter that does not involve religion and mythology. But this is after all part of what makes me, me.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Tangle, posted 06-15-2017 3:13 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Tangle, posted 06-16-2017 12:22 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11552
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 119 of 176 (812396)
06-16-2017 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by ProtoTypical
06-16-2017 8:04 AM


To make sense, there has to be more people than environments;

I don't know about 'more' but there has to be at least some input from the individual that originates with the individual.

Being a "product of your environment" looses practicality if every individual has their own unique environment.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by ProtoTypical, posted 06-16-2017 8:04 AM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by ProtoTypical, posted 06-17-2017 9:59 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4888
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 120 of 176 (812420)
06-16-2017 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Phat
06-16-2017 9:15 AM


Re: Truth May Be Stranger Than Fiction
Phat writes:

I'm not sure I agree but perhaps I don't understand.

If you remove the cause, people can't die or live their life for it.

Perhaps some of us don't see them as imaginary nor ridiculous.

Sure, but as they ARE both imaginary and ridiculous .....

How can you be so sure that evidential reality is all that there is?

Because there's absolutely no reason at all to think that there is - certainly nothing a ludicrous as the mythical guy(s) in the Bible. Please point me to non-evidential reality. Does that phrase actually mean something to you?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Phat, posted 06-16-2017 9:15 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
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