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Author Topic:   Free will vs Omniscience
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 1108 of 1444 (881093)
08-18-2020 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1101 by Sarah Bellum
08-17-2020 2:08 PM


Re: Introducing An Old Argument Revisited
Sarah Bellum writes:
It's an interesting question of how the super-smart being somehow "relinquishes some smartness" in order to allow free will to happen.
I agree. And, even, perhaps it's not 'relinquishing' it, but gaining more power to be able to do this.
After all, if a being exists that cannot create a universe with free-will (because they cannot "relinquish some smartness") - wouldn't it be a more powerful being if one could, actually, create a universe that contained free-will?
Interesting questions.
And I think it all goes to show - that this is all just imagination, and not reality.
Or, at least, we have no evidence that any of this can actually happen. Just something interesting to think about.
Think of a young Clark Kent. How does he know (because he has x-ray vision) that things have "surfaces"?
My guess is that the "power" isn't on all time.
Sometimes Clark would see surfaces, sometimes he would not. By touching things (perhaps accidentally smashing them?) he would learn things. Eventually, he gains control over the "power" and can turn his x-ray vision on and off.
Is it more powerful to have a power on all the time?
Or more powerful to be have control over the power and be able to turn it on and off at will?
Think of an "all-powerful" being. How does it understand a "day of rest" when for it there is no difference between strenuous work and no work at all?
I think the concept of "all-powerful" is immature.
As described above - what is "all-powerful?" a being with powers they cannot control? Or a being with powers that then can control?
When you control a power, you have the ability to turn it on and off.
When you turn a power off - you are "less powerful."
But having the ability to turn it on and off at will, makes you "more powerful."
This proves that the concept of being "all-powerful" in some sort of binary, instantaneous-sense - is immature, and silly.
A more mature way to think of the concept is "being powerful enough to do whatever is necessary for the situation at hand."
As the situation changes - the being's powers can adapt as necessary.
Sometimes being more/less powerful in different situations - but always being 'powerful enough' to deal with any situation at any particular time.
...but that's just one more step in the "My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad" progression of Gods getting stronger and stronger as we imagine their possible abilities over time.
And one more idea that shows... these Gods/beings... are all made up and not real.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1101 by Sarah Bellum, posted 08-17-2020 2:08 PM Sarah Bellum has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1112 by Sarah Bellum, posted 08-18-2020 9:26 AM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1225 of 1444 (881451)
08-24-2020 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1112 by Sarah Bellum
08-18-2020 9:26 AM


Re: Introducing An Old Argument Revisited
Sarah Bellum writes:
But if you add another property, "existence", then things get more interesting. A unicorn is something that exists, has four legs, tail, mane, horn, etc. Does it exist? Yes, of course, by definition!
Heh
The Ontological Argument?
I always roll my eyes at that one.
It's hard to imagine that someone smart enough to come up with such a string-of-thought would be silly enough to accept that it's an actual "proof of existence" for anything.
And, if we look into Anselm's history, he didn't think it was "proof" of anything, either:
quote:
Anselm's argument was not presented in order to prove God's existence; rather, Proslogion was a work of meditation in which he documented how the idea of God became self-evident to him.
Personally, I see this as:
"I live in a time where Religious Fools run the world and are inescapable. They also easily kill those who say anything they disagree with.
Therefore, I'll do what I can to appease these nutcases so that I can live in relative ease amongst them."
Or, so I like to think, anyway

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1112 by Sarah Bellum, posted 08-18-2020 9:26 AM Sarah Bellum has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1226 of 1444 (881454)
08-24-2020 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1102 by Tangle
08-17-2020 4:29 PM


Tangle writes:
Stile writes:
I have free will, because I could choose to kill a baby despite not feeling like doing it.
But you couldn't actually could you?
Actually, I could.
Tangle writes:
Your freewill to actually do it is severely constrained by your sense of morality.
It would be difficult, yes. But I could still do it.
What makes you think I couldn't?
Nope, you have no constraints preventing you putting out the trash
What constraints are you talking about? I have massive difficulties taking out the trash. I hate doing it.
You know that you can't (kill a baby), why pretend?
I'm not pretending. I could kill a baby. You saying I can't doesn't mean anything. What's preventing me?
Only a psychopath could casually kill a baby. Are you a psychopath?
I agree.
I didn't say I could casually kill a baby.
I said I could kill a baby. I would feel regret, and horrible-ness and may not even be able to sleep for a long time after.
But I could still do it.
I'm trying to wonder why you can't seem to understand this.
I can come up with 2 reasons.
1. Perhaps you think that because you are not capable of doing something - than others couldn't possible be able to do it either?
-I doubt this one.
-Obviously people can do plenty of things you cannot. Like Usain Bolt being much faster than you. Or anyone in Cirque Du Solei being much more co-ordinated that you are.
-Feelings, and "dealing with feelings" are just like these sorts of things. Some are affected by them more, some less. Some can deal with them better, some worse.
2. Maybe you're under the impression that one has to actually do something before they are capable of making the decision to do it?
-this, to me, is just as immature as #1, but you do seem to be leaning in this direction?
I've never been presented the option to eat shark fin soup.
But even if I was presented the option - I would choose not to eat it because sharks are endangered (in large part because of the soup...)
Do you really think, though - that I am physically incapable of putting shark fin soup into my mouth and slurping it down?
I could eat shark fin soup - I don't think it's very difficult. I don't personally know a lot of sharks.
Do you also claim that it's impossible for me to eat shark fin soup?
What about suicide?
No one alive has ever committed suicide - or else they would be dead.
Therefore, according to your "theory" - it must be impossible for anyone to choose to commit suicide!
Well done! No one will ever die from suicide again! Tangle's identified that it's impossible simply because each individual hasn't actually done it yet!
Do you want to bet that another suicide will happen in the future?
You'll lose that bet just as much as you lose your argument that I cannot kill babies.
Someone's going to die by suicide again one day - because they'll choose to do so, even though they've never done it before.
And I am capable of killing a baby or eating shark fin soup - even though I've never done either so far and (hopefully) never will.
Your argument is foolish.
You have nothing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1102 by Tangle, posted 08-17-2020 4:29 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1227 by Tangle, posted 08-24-2020 1:56 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1260 of 1444 (881566)
08-25-2020 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1227 by Tangle
08-24-2020 1:56 PM


Tangle writes:
It's seems a perfectly obvious point to make that our freewill is bounded. We are restrained to varying degrees by our sense of morality - empathy.
Absolutely true.
I also can't decide to ignore gravity. I can greatly reduce it's affects (by going into space) or counter act them (by blowing forced air up in order to 'float') - but I can't decide to ignore it.
I also can't choose to create matter ex nihilo.
Neither can I choose to change the mind of a stubborn donkey.
And I can't decide to kill a baby without feeling remorse.
But none of these things indicate that I do not "have this thing we call freewill."
This is what I was first responding to:
Message 981
Tangle writes:
All you people who think they have this thing you call freewill, can you tell me whether you feel capable of shooting a child in the head tomorrow?
Forgetting whether our secular society and your god's justice systems would frown on it, could you do it?
A robot could do it - the very thing that you claim we would be if we had no free will. A psychopath could do it - they actually do possess free will; they are not hampered by any sense of inborn and learnt empathy, so if they wanted to, they could.
Personally my free will to do many of the things that are morally wrong - stealing, raping, pillaging etc - I am incapable of. I can't even covet an ox, that's how fettered I am. And I'm an atheist - the very devil!
Free will is a religious fiction.
I may not be able to do any of the things above, due to the constraints upon my freewill.
But - I still have freewill and I do not think it is a religious fiction.
Because I can choose pink lemonade over white lemonade.
Because I can choose to kill a baby or not to kill a baby.
Because I can choose to take classes in school or play video games or go for a drive or hang out with friends and family.
Because I can choose to say these words or those words when speaking.
Because I can choose to try and be nice, or disregard other people's feelings on purpose.
Sure - empathy is one of the many, many things that constrains (to varying degrees) my ability to choose "whatever I want."
Freewill is more of a "in this situation vs. that situation" choice-out-of-available-options kind of thing. Not some sort of "if you can't choose one specific, detailed thing - then you cannot ever choose anything" binary nonsense. It just so happens that most people alive find themselves in situations where they do have available options and the ability to choose out of them.
When we have such choices, and the "choice" comes from the being and not controlled by external forces - we call this "having freewill."
Even if we don't have "all options."
Tangle writes:
Stile writes:
I didn't say I could casually kill a baby.
I know you didn't but that was my requirement.
If I mis-understood you, and you just meant that constraints exist upon our freewill, even though we still have freewill...
Then I absolutely agree.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1227 by Tangle, posted 08-24-2020 1:56 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1262 by Tangle, posted 08-25-2020 3:16 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1264 of 1444 (881576)
08-25-2020 4:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1262 by Tangle
08-25-2020 3:16 PM


Tangle writes:
With the exception of killing the baby, you are not able to do those things at all, ever. They are not humanly possible. It is not your alleged freewill that prevents you, it's physics.
You're still misrepresenting yourself.
I can kill a baby.
What I can't do - is "kill a baby without feeling (lots of) remorse."
But I still have freewill to choose to kill a baby.
Just as I can take out the trash.
What I can't do - is "take out the trash without feeling (a little) remorse."
But I still have freewill to choose to take out the trash.
Empathy does not "prevent me" from killing a baby or taking out the trash.
It only "prevents me" from doing them without any feeling of remorse.
But "feeling remorse" doesn't "remove freewill."
Because I can still choose to kill a baby or take out the trash.
I wasn't comparing "killing a baby" to "ignoring gravity."
You moved the goalposts to "killing a baby without feeling remorse."
So I then compared "killing a baby without feeling remorse" to "ignoring gravity" - and neither of these "constraints" remove my ability to have free will.
I can still kill a baby.
I actually say that because our freewill is bounded by all sorts of constraints, some simply internal, we do not actually have freewill in the religious sense at all. It's simply another religious fiction. Our ability to choose between good and evil is not entirely possible.
I think I still don't understand what you're getting at.
I can't choose to "kill a baby without feeling remorse."
But I can choose to "kill a baby."
Since, to me, "killing a baby" (while feeling remorse or not) is evil... and "not killing the baby" would be good... I am choosing good over evil by choosing to not kill babies, even though I could (the feelings or remorse I would have are irrelevant to the action being evil - to me.)
I suspect this is a difference in how I think of freewill/choices/good-evil and you-think-religions-think about freewill/choices/good-evil.
Without understanding, specifically, what you mean by "religious sense of freewill" and "choosing between good and evil" - I can no longer comment.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1262 by Tangle, posted 08-25-2020 3:16 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1265 by Tangle, posted 08-25-2020 4:26 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1266 of 1444 (881616)
08-26-2020 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1265 by Tangle
08-25-2020 4:26 PM


Tangle writes:
I don't believe that you could actually kill a baby just because you wanted to, or to prove that you could.
Your belief is as good as anyone's belief that the world is flat, or that The Flood occurred 5000 years ago.
My belief is that I could kill a baby just because I wanted to, or prove that I could - but I choose not to.
And the (currently available, but incomplete on the subject) evidence is on my side:
-people are capable of doing things they've never done before
-people are capable of doing things they regret, even if they know they will regret them beforehand
-killing a baby is well within my "physical ability" as a human
The odds are against you being a psychopath and even further against you being the kind that kills.
You're talking about the difference between not being able to do something, and choosing not to do something.
For some reason, against the evidence, you've decided that the answer is "you can't possibly do it."
Why would you pick that?
So unless you want to tell me that you are a psychopath, I saying that you, like most of us can't just kill babies on a whim.
I am not a psychopath.
I could kill a baby on a whim.
I simply choose not to do so.
Edited by Stile, : Spelling and grammar and forgotten words

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1265 by Tangle, posted 08-25-2020 4:26 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1280 of 1444 (881687)
08-27-2020 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1269 by Juvenissun
08-26-2020 6:51 PM


Juvenissun writes:
If we do not have free will, then there is no need for Christianity. Or, more precisely, there is no Christianity.
As well, even if we do have free will - there is still no need for Christianity.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1269 by Juvenissun, posted 08-26-2020 6:51 PM Juvenissun has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1285 by Juvenissun, posted 08-27-2020 5:26 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1302 of 1444 (881806)
08-31-2020 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1285 by Juvenissun
08-27-2020 5:26 PM


Juvenissun writes:
Fine, that says we do have free will.
I don't think we can say such a thing so definitively yet.
I act as if I have free will.
But even what I have certainly isn't an "all-the-time" thing.
Things like panic, anxiety, surprise and instincts also exist.
When acting under such aspects - humans can be said to "have no free will" as their actions are reflexive and not "chosen."
This line between acting without free will, and acting by intellectually choosing between various options ("having free will") is different for all people and can vary greatly.
It's generally more productive to discuss having free will in specific situations/examples as opposed to attempt discussing it as a single attribute and assuming it's "on" all the time (as this is highly likely to be false.)
And we also need to remember that "having free will" at all is also still an assumption based upon incomplete evidence.
We do not fully understand the human mind and how it works and whether or not determinism is in play.
Maybe we have free will.
Maybe we only have an illusion of free will.
We don't know for sure yet - we don't know enough to such such a thing.
Without such knowledge - even our assumptions and conclusions that are based on the available evidence need to be reminded that they are not "as confident as things like math."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1285 by Juvenissun, posted 08-27-2020 5:26 PM Juvenissun has not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1343 of 1444 (882883)
10-23-2020 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1326 by PaulK
10-22-2020 8:23 AM


Re: Introducing An Old Argument Revisited
PaulK writes:
But that is not what I am saying. You are leaving out the whole question of certain foreknowledge, despite the fact that you intentionally introduced that element and in spite of the fact that it is an essential part of the assignment of responsibility. Indeed, we had already agreed that simple creation without understanding the consequences is different.
What do you think I'm attempting to say?
Because I don't think you understand what's going on.
This is my run-down:
Stile: "God can create a universe where free will exists and He can know the future."
PaulK: "A universe cannot be created with perfect foreknowledge of it's events and have free will existing."
Stile: "Yes, I agree with that. However, a universe can be created without perfect foreknowledge where a play-back recording of it occurs. During this play-back recording, God can have "perfect foreknowledge" (because He has seen the full playback) and free-will can still exist (as the choices were made during the real-creation-and-run-through-of-the-universe - where God did not have any foreknowledge at all.) Therefore, although perfect-foreknowledge and free-will cannot co-exist; we can consciously run-through the experiences of a universe where free-will exists and God has fore-knowledge of events "before-they-happen-within-that-run-through." That is, it can seem to us that we are in a universe where free-will and God-having-fore-knowledge are co-existing, even though that's not exactly what's going on."
...
PaulK: "A universe cannot be created with perfect foreknowledge of it's events and have free will existing."
Stile: "Yes - um... I agree. But the universe I describe can also exist, or, at least, it can be imagined as a possible idea if any God is powerful enough to create it as such."
PaulK: "You are leaving out the question of certain foreknowledge."
Stile: "Yes - it was removed on purpose in order to have God "know all" (about the recording...) while also preserving free-will (from the real, non-physical universe where the choices were made and God didn't know what they would be.) That was the point of my scenario after agreeing with your initial point."
PaulK: "You are unable even to accurately represent my position."
...
Okay then - perhaps I do not understand your position.
What is your position?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1326 by PaulK, posted 10-22-2020 8:23 AM PaulK has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1346 by Phat, posted 10-24-2020 2:40 AM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1364 of 1444 (882945)
10-27-2020 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1346 by Phat
10-24-2020 2:40 AM


Re: Introducing An Old Argument Revisited
Phat writes:
In other words, Paul is charging that God does not get to change His mind and play back the tape but that PaulK does hypothetically get to change his own mind and thus have a perfect free will which is unencumbered by God knowing the decisions after the fact. Does that make sense?
No, it doesn't make sense.
It's a playback of a recording.
No one is "actually making any decisions at all."
It's impossible for anyone (God or human) to "change their mind" during the playback because... it's just a playback.
That's like contemplating "well, what if he wants to say other words?" during the 100,000'th copy made of an original Michael Jackson song.
He can't change his words in the recording because it's a recording - there's no one actually "singing the song live" in the sense that they're choosing their words again.
But PaulK usually has some sort of logical reasoning behind his issues.
I doubt that he's concerned about "getting to change his own mind" - I assume he's fine understanding that this is a hypothetical situation we're talking about and isn't taking it personally.
I just think I'm not explaining it right, or he's not understanding, or both.
Which isn't an "I'm right and PaulK's wrong" or "PaulK's right and I'm wrong" kind of thing... just an issue with communication and language and understanding.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1346 by Phat, posted 10-24-2020 2:40 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
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