Choices
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31-10-2014, 01:40 AM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 01:33 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  As identity is a function of decision space limited by environment, that probability is essentially zero.

I made no claims retaining my identity if that's even what you are implying? I don't understand ' identity is a function of decision space limited by environment' what are you saying? Please explain how we have derived a test to measure this that is valid.
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31-10-2014, 01:54 AM
RE: Choices
Interesting thoughts. I think I could challenge a few of them just to give you a few things to consider, but instead I believe I will give you my personal observation on choices.

Without exception, I am the sum total of every choice I have ever made. We always have a nearly limitless amount of choice before us, and our choices define our paths and ultimately they define who we are and what we are.

One's religious belief has nothing to do with one's intelligence or maturity. It takes diligence to develop both, and people many times on both sides lack diligence.
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31-10-2014, 02:07 AM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 01:54 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  ...
We always have a nearly limitless amount of choice before us, and our choices define our paths and ultimately they define who we are and what we are.

One's religious belief has nothing to do with one's intelligence or maturity. It takes diligence to develop both, and people many times on both sides lack diligence.

Implying that people don't make passive / lazy choices?

Oft heard around these parts:
"Why am I a muslim? Because I was born that way, I guess."

Many of my un- / less educated acquaintances have simply never considered other options.

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31-10-2014, 05:32 AM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 02:07 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(31-10-2014 01:54 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  ...
We always have a nearly limitless amount of choice before us, and our choices define our paths and ultimately they define who we are and what we are.

One's religious belief has nothing to do with one's intelligence or maturity. It takes diligence to develop both, and people many times on both sides lack diligence.

Implying that people don't make passive / lazy choices?

Oft heard around these parts:
"Why am I a muslim? Because I was born that way, I guess."

Many of my un- / less educated acquaintances have simply never considered other options.

No one is born a muslim or a Christian or an atheist. We are born as humans. Now it could be that we are born into a family that is religious or non religious. Most people are born into a religious family. But we still make our decisions and we are still a sum total of those decisions. I "decided" to study every day. I "decided" to look deep into my religion. I decided it was good to be educated. I decided to pursue it. I decided my religion makes better sense than Atheism.

I don't think you can say "no we are not the sum total of our decisions" Smile

Every one of us, myself writing now, and those reading this later, are exactly where we are right now because every decision we have ever made brought us here to this vey moment.
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31-10-2014, 05:58 AM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 01:54 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  Interesting thoughts. I think I could challenge a few of them just to give you a few things to consider, but instead I believe I will give you my personal observation on choices.

Without exception, I am the sum total of every choice I have ever made. We always have a nearly limitless amount of choice before us, and our choices define our paths and ultimately they define who we are and what we are.

One's religious belief has nothing to do with one's intelligence or maturity. It takes diligence to develop both, and people many times on both sides lack diligence.

It doesn't necessarily take diligence for one to become an atheist. I didn't read about religion, I didn't care about religion, I just gradually stopped thinking it was important, and then I just realized I didn't believe.

Our choices are not the only things that define who we are. There are always external factors and "unconscious" processes of the brain. Realization isn't a choice.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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31-10-2014, 06:42 AM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 05:58 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  It doesn't necessarily take diligence for one to become an atheist. I didn't read about religion, I didn't care about religion, I just gradually stopped thinking it was important, and then I just realized I didn't believe.

Our choices are not the only things that define who we are. There are always external factors and "unconscious" processes of the brain. Realization isn't a choice.

Hi and thanks for posting! I will be gone for a while but I wanted to address your post and at least thank you. Big Grin

Im going to agree and disagree... so dont take my disagreement as anything personal, it's just based on my observations.... I agree that external factors have an effect in defining us, but only because of how we react to them and the choices we make in their regard. We are still defined by our choices. For instance in confrontations some can decide to shrink away, or they can decide to confront in return. We can choose to fight or run from a fight. We are known then by our decision and either proud of our choice, or not.

To say we aren't a sum total of our choices is to say we are victims, tossed where we may be tossed with no hope. I don't believe in being victimized, but determining my own destiny making my own decisions.

We all choose to handle things in our own way, but our choices regarding how we handle external forces are still defining us.

I also believe realization comes about because of our choices... as well as our choice to study situations or not to.
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31-10-2014, 07:23 AM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 06:42 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  I agree that external factors have an effect in defining us, but only because of how we react to them and the choices we make in their regard. We are still defined by our choices. For instance in confrontations some can decide to shrink away, or they can decide to confront in return. We can choose to fight or run from a fight. We are known then by our decision and either proud of our choice, or not.

Confrontations are not the only external factors that define who we are. It's a much more complicated process. To say that external factors don't define us is to say that the way we are brought up, traumatic experiences, accidents, illness don't define us.

These are all things we cannot control and they can change the way we feel, think and perceive our environment. It's not simply a matter of "fight or run". You are trying to simplify things that can't be simplified.

(31-10-2014 06:42 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  To say we aren't a sum total of our choices is to say we are victims, tossed where we may be tossed with no hope. I don't believe in being victimized, but determining my own destiny making my own decisions.

We all choose to handle things in our own way, but our choices regarding how we handle external forces are still defining us.

No, it doesn't mean that at all (bold part).
We are a sum total of our choices, of external factors, of biology, of many, many factors.

That is also a false dilemma. It's not "either we are a sum of our choices or we are victims with no hope." There are things we can control and things we can't. That's far from being a hopeless victim.

(31-10-2014 06:42 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  I also believe realization comes about because of our choices... as well as our choice to study situations or not to.

Not really. You cannot choose to realize things. Realization is an automatic process of the brain.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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31-10-2014, 10:09 AM
RE: Choices
Belief - an assertion of fact (or myth!) such as "Billy exists"

Trust - to lean upon, to rely upon - "Billy will take care of this situation"

While someone may choose to believe a truth or deny a truth, the Bible is saying one may trust or distrust Jesus. That is a choice.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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31-10-2014, 10:14 AM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 01:40 AM)Switz5678 Wrote:  
(31-10-2014 01:33 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  As identity is a function of decision space limited by environment, that probability is essentially zero.

I made no claims retaining my identity if that's even what you are implying? I don't understand ' identity is a function of decision space limited by environment' what are you saying? Please explain how we have derived a test to measure this that is valid.

If you don't retain your identity, the whole concept of an afterlife is meaningless. You are either seriously confused, or you are doing a very bad job of getting your point across. There is no evidence for any afterlife. We don't need any "valid test" to determine that. We tend not to believe things for which there is no evidence, regardless of how nice it would be if they were true.
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31-10-2014, 06:59 PM
RE: Choices
(31-10-2014 05:32 AM)Wolfbitn Wrote:  
(31-10-2014 02:07 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Implying that people don't make passive / lazy choices?

Oft heard around these parts:
"Why am I a muslim? Because I was born that way, I guess."

Many of my un- / less educated acquaintances have simply never considered other options.

No one is born a muslim or a Christian or an atheist. We are born as humans. Now it could be that we are born into a family that is religious or non religious. Most people are born into a religious family. But we still make our decisions and we are still a sum total of those decisions. I "decided" to study every day. I "decided" to look deep into my religion. I decided it was good to be educated. I decided to pursue it. I decided my religion makes better sense than Atheism.

I don't think you can say "no we are not the sum total of our decisions" Smile

Every one of us, myself writing now, and those reading this later, are exactly where we are right now because every decision we have ever made brought us here to this vey moment.

But you're missing something.

We have 4 memory storage systems which our biochemistry uses to facilitate decision-making / choices.

You seem to be focusing on only one of these.

I often consider the influences that helped me 'decide' that I was (already) an atheist... David Attenborough, Douglas Adams, the bible, etc. but I sometimes need to be reminded that not all decisions are within my control.

I just watched a documentary on Dave Allen.

I was too young to remember much about his shows so I don't think he was a direct influence on me but the documentary reminded me of his contribution to the changing zeitgeist in the 60s and 70s and the undermining of and challenging of the accepted authority of the church.

So, I will say that we are not the sum of our decisions.

Unless 'our' is used in a societal sense.

Smartass

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