Free Choice
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29-01-2013, 10:52 PM
RE: Free Choice
It matters tremendously in the context of free will v. determinism. Letters didn't form gradually, as in one line of the three lines that make up an a manifesting every ten generations. Someone put thought of something he hadn't experienced before into the creation of a written character that would symbolize one of many phonetics within the spoken language.

Evolution didn't do that, it facilitated its doing. Likewise, it wasn't drawn from a cache of previous experiences within one human's brain. If it was either of the former, no determinist has ever been able to explain to me how and, no determinist (that I know of) has ever offered a different, yet plausible theory.
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29-01-2013, 11:12 PM
RE: Free Choice
(29-01-2013 10:52 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  It matters tremendously in the context of free will v. determinism. Letters didn't form gradually, as in one line of the three lines that make up an a manifesting every ten generations. Someone put thought of something he hadn't experienced before into the creation of a written character that would symbolize one of many phonetics within the spoken language.

Evolution didn't do that, it facilitated its doing. Likewise, it wasn't drawn from a cache of previous experiences within one human's brain. If it was either of the former, no determinist has ever been able to explain to me how and, no determinist (that I know of) has ever offered a different, yet plausible theory.
Those darn determinists, don't know anything do they. Language is not an area of interest for me so I don't think about it's first appearance or evolution.

Why does there need to be a deterministic angled explanation of such a thing? Do you have one that is dependant upon free will?

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29-01-2013, 11:36 PM
RE: Free Choice
I don't dispute the fact that past experiences influence our decisions. In fact, I argue that they are the primary factor in our actions and decisions.

And no, I don't have an explanation of how our brains are capable of making decisions we haven't experienced or of creating that which we have no experience of. But then, I'm not the one making the claim that human beings have no control over their actions.
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31-01-2013, 11:43 AM
RE: Free Choice
I think that here you guys are falling into the mistake of thinking in black-and-white paradigms. Nobody says that we have ABSOLUTE freedom. But there is a very interesting area between absolute freedom that only a God could have and no freedom at all, like a rock. Our actions are constrained by many circumstances, both natural and human, however, I still believe that we as individuals can decide what to do in a limited but yet incredibly important way.

Antitheist - Tooth Fairy Agnostic - Rationalist - Humanist - Individualist - Libertarian Minarchist

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31-01-2013, 11:55 AM
RE: Free Choice
(31-01-2013 11:43 AM)GodlessnFree Wrote:  I think that here you guys are falling into the mistake of thinking in black-and-white paradigms. Nobody says that we have ABSOLUTE freedom. But there is a very interesting area between absolute freedom that only a God could have and no freedom at all, like a rock. Our actions are constrained by many circumstances, both natural and human, however, I still believe that we as individuals can decide what to do in a limited but yet incredibly important way.

Looking at the answer as either black and white? perhaps. Although I have and always do consider that there could be a answer in the grey. It's just my opinion that those things we 'decide' to do are completely dependant upon things out of our control. There certainly is no absolute freedom, however where does the wiggle room come from that gives us any freedom at all?

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31-01-2013, 11:46 PM
RE: Free Choice
Quote: But then, I'm not the one making the claim that human beings have no control over their actions.
Acting on what we decide to do is important. But how do we decide what we decide to do? If an option doesn't occur to us to do at the time of the decision, how would we have been free to choose that option? Even if every possible option is explored before deciding to do something, the option we choose is chosen before we consciously realize by a forest of processes we have no actual control over and don't understand.

A beautiful song or a painting doesn't lose value just because the artist was limited by the tools they carry or the scope of their imagination.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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01-02-2013, 09:50 AM
RE: Free Choice
"~the option we choose is chosen before we consciously realize by a forest
of processes we have no actual control over and don't understand."


If we don't understand something can we make truth claims about it?
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09-02-2013, 12:31 AM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2013 12:34 AM by SingingBear.)
RE: Free Choice
I don't follow you.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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09-02-2013, 12:39 AM
RE: Free Choice
I mean. We have things in our lives that we hold as truths even if we don't understand them. We simply know that they do what they do, in many cases.

My furnace produces heat. In my ignorance of mechanics, I don't understand how it does, but I can feel the results and I hold the first statement as true.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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09-02-2013, 12:14 PM
RE: Free Choice
Exactly, you know that your furnace makes heat but not how it makes heat.

And we know that we make decisions but we don't know how we make them. In the text I quoted, you made a truth statement about the how.
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