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Old 24th January 2019, 09:45 PM   #41
Wonder234
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
This appears to be assuming a consequent in that there must be a god, so let’s work back from there and oh dear, we now need to have free will as a factor.

Free will is irrelevant to your argument if you don’t start with an assumption of a god.
The point about free will INDICATES that there is a God. If the universe can only begin through free will, and the universe exists, and free will must belong to a being, then a being must exist that used its free will to begin the universe.
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Old 24th January 2019, 09:51 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
To be honest, I doubt that what they saw actually was indeterministic because indeterminism violates logic. It's saying that there is no mechanism behind an event. Rather, I think it's a different kind of determinism but determinism nonetheless.
That's what Einstein thought too, when he said "God does not play dice". But he was wrong, and so are you.
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Old 24th January 2019, 09:51 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The point about free will INDICATES that there is a God. If the universe can only begin through free will, and the universe exists, and free will must belong to a being, then a being must exist that used its free will to begin the universe.

Who used his free will to begin God? Supergod?


Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's what Einstein thought too, when he said "God does not play dice". But he was wrong ....

I wouldn't go that far. I'd say that the evidence does not show that he was right. I can't think of a possible way to test any of this, but perhaps someday somebody will. In the meantime, there is no reason to believe anything not borne out by evidence.
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Old 24th January 2019, 09:52 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I am not religious and am actually as against religion as most atheists. I have no interest in validating a certain God of a certain religion because I think that all religions, at least the ones I know of, are wrong. I am a secular theist, therefore, I don't attach to God all the attributes that religion has attached to God. What I am referring to when I talk about God, is a being with a mind and free will that created the universe.
What purpose beyond creating the universe does such a god serve? Does it intervene directly in human affairs? Did it create the universe specifically for humans to inhabit? Does it dictate laws that humans must follow, and does it provide a place for people who follow those laws to go after they die?
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Old 24th January 2019, 10:02 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
What purpose beyond creating the universe does such a god serve? Does it intervene directly in human affairs?

He's the guy who changes the menu at Burger King from breakfast to lunch at 10:30.


Quote:
Did it create the universe specifically for humans to inhabit?

Only insofar as it relates to Burger King.


Quote:
Does it dictate laws that humans must follow

Yes. They can't order from the breakfast menu after 10:30.


Quote:
and does it provide a place for people who follow those laws to go?

Yes. They can go to McDonalds, which now serves breakfast all day.
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Old 24th January 2019, 10:22 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Imagine a domino that is standing upright. Imagine that it all of a sudden falls over. If it doesn't have a cause for falling over, that's indeterminism, because indeterminism essentially means "uncaused event".

If you look up the definition of determinism, it states:The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision, is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.

The important part is "is the inevitable consequence of antecedent affairs" meaning an event brought about by determinism must have a prior cause.
Be it well that the arguments of different thoughts debated in fora here and there stimulate the mind at a particular interval in a life, in the end, of what worth is it really to you?
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Old 24th January 2019, 10:26 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
He's the guy who changes the menu at Burger King from breakfast to lunch at 10:30.

Only insofar as it relates to Burger King.

Yes. They can't order from the breakfast menu after 10:30.

Yes. They can go to McDonalds, which now serves breakfast all day.
Get out of here, you.
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Old 25th January 2019, 01:21 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Imagine a domino that is standing upright. Imagine that it all of a sudden falls over. If it doesn't have a cause for falling over, that's indeterminism, because indeterminism essentially means "uncaused event".

If you look up the definition of determinism, it states:The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision, is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.

The important part is "is the inevitable consequence of antecedent affairs" meaning an event brought about by determinism must have a prior cause.
Naughty naughty. I see what you did there. The important part of that quote is the use of the plural case: “... states of affairs”. So, no prior CAUSE for you. And no soup for you either.
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Old 25th January 2019, 03:39 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Tell me what you think of the following argument for God.
Although Magrat gave the tl;dr answer, let's examine your premises point by point:

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
1. There are three ways that events come about in the world: free will, determinism and indeterminism.
"Free will" is not part of this equation. "Determinism" and "indeterminism" form a mutually exclusive and exhaustive set of all possible ways that events can come about. At best, "free will" is a subset of "indeterminism".

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
2. The universe came into existence.
... or the universe has always existed.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
3.The coming into existence of the universe is an event.
If it did.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
4. The coming into existence of the universe can not be due to determinism. (This is because every deterministic event requires a prior event to bring it about and that event requires another event and so on to infinity. A deterministic system can not just initiate action out of nowhere or from a state of rest.)
You are assuming that prior to the universe there was nothing. There is no objective evidence that proves such an assumption. Something may have existed prior to the universe.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
5. The coming into existence of the universe can't be due to indeterminism.
Same problem.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
6. Therefore, the universe must have been brought into being through an act of free-will.
See point 1.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
7. Only beings have free will. (Free will requires a mind in order to judge various options and choose)
An assumption that has not been proved. Although many will claim that we could not create a sentient computer with free will, I am not convinced that this is the case since computing algorithms get closer to mimicking the structure of the human brain everyday.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
8. Therefore, a being is responsible for the universe.
Since the previous statements can be called into question, this is by no means a foregone conclusion.

In short:
Originally Posted by Magrat View Post
Personally, I think this is a lot of words to say very little, and none of which is empirically correct or provable.
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Old 25th January 2019, 03:51 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Tell me what you think of the following argument for God.

1. There are three ways that events come about in the world: free will, determinism and indeterminism.

2. The universe came into existence.

3.The coming into existence of the universe is an event.

4. The coming into existence of the universe can not be due to determinism. (This is because every deterministic event requires a prior event to bring it about and that event requires another event and so on to infinity. A deterministic system can not just initiate action out of nowhere or from a state of rest.)

5. The coming into existence of the universe can't be due to indeterminism (Since the macroscopic world is largely deterministic rather than indeterministic, what I'm referring to with this premise is the quantum or sub-atomic world. The reason the quantum world can not be indeterministic is because indeterminacy is incoherent and incoherent things can not exist. This turns quantum indeterminacy into determinism since it has causes rather than not having causes and since determinacy has already been ruled out as causing the universe, so too is the option of the universe beginning from quantum mechanical events ruled out.)

6. Therefore, the universe must have been brought into being through an act of free-will.(This is because there are only three ways events can happen and because determinism and determinism are insufficient, the only other thing that can bring the world into existence is free will. Free will works because it avoids the problem of determinacy (always needing prior events) by being able to begin a chain of events without needing a prior event.)

7. Only beings have free will. (Free will requires a mind in order to judge various options and choose)

8. Therefore, a being is responsible for the universe. (Since this description matches the idea of God, we can call this being God. But if not God then simply the creator of the universe.)
1. Suspect. There is no evidence whatsoever for free will. Indeed, all the scientific evidence so far gathered points against it.

2. That's true.

3. A moot statement, because everything can be seen as an event.

4. Broadly true.

5. Not true. It's an inherent attribute of the quantum world that events can occur without cause.

6. No, because of 1) and 5).

7. Again, there is no evidence for that.

8. No. And even if it were true, you're back to step 1: How did the being get here?
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Old 25th January 2019, 05:04 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The point about free will INDICATES that there is a God. If the universe can only begin through free will, and the universe exists, and free will must belong to a being, then a being must exist that used its free will to begin the universe.
Then how did that being come into existence?
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Old 25th January 2019, 06:05 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
An act of free will does not have a prior cause that initiates it.
Says who? Seems to me that acts of free will are caused by the operation of a brain, clearly a prior event or events.
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Old 25th January 2019, 06:33 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
Says who? Seems to me that acts of free will are caused by the operation of a brain, clearly a prior event or events.
https://dilbert.com/strip/1993-05-30
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Old 25th January 2019, 08:21 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
An act of free will does not have a prior cause that initiates it. A deterministic event would just determine it. If free will were indeterministic then your actions would be erratic and not orderly. The act and cause of free will happen simultaneously. Where acts of determinism are dictated by physical laws, free will, although it must act within the boundaries of physical laws, is not dictated by them, rather it's dictated by the person.

And the part about God being a person: I don't believe that God is a human being. What I meant by person is a being with a mind and free will. I don't imagine how God could have free will without also having a mind in order to determine it's decisions.
Ok, you have doubled back on your definitions for determinism and indeterminism to the point you are left with nothing. Free will is in the same boat, and you have introduced being as something that may distinguish among determinism, indeterminism, and free will.

Care to try again? How do you define the three terms so they are pairwise disjoint while covering all possibilities?
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Old 25th January 2019, 09:18 AM   #55
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Actually, here's a thought that ought to scare believers: DOES God actually have free will, of the totally non-determinist kind? Do you really want him to?

Because a God who has that much free will and is totally non-determinist, could for example decide that you may have been good, but you're still going to Hell because he doesn't like your stupid face. I mean, if he can't do that, he doesn't have that kind of free will. Better yet, he could decide tomorrow that his previous commandments are boring, and he wants to see who does the most creative murdering this time. Even better yet, he could decide that he's founding a totally new religion. Even better, forget about this screwed up planet entirely: he's making a new and improved universe altogether, and care about THOSE guys instead of you. Etc.

All of those are things that none of the religion proponents can actually deal with. Hell, they can't even really deal with Euthyphro: the moment God has the free will to have whatever the hell morals he wants, and to change his mind about those, instead of being chained to a set of rules, you have a big problem.

In fact, most want a God who's totally deterministic and has no choice but to stick to the same rules, same morals, same promises he once made.

So never mind the OP argument being total bollocks. Do you actually WANT a God who has the non-deterministic free will to maybe create another universe, and maybe not, and maybe destroy an old one on a whim, and maybe change his mind about what he said 2000 years ago, etc? Because it seems to me like then you have a bigger problem.
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Old 25th January 2019, 12:18 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Tell me what you think of the following argument for God.

1. There are three ways that events come about in the world: free will, determinism and indeterminism.

2. The universe came into existence.

3.The coming into existence of the universe is an event.

4. The coming into existence of the universe can not be due to determinism. (This is because every deterministic event requires a prior event to bring it about and that event requires another event and so on to infinity. A deterministic system can not just initiate action out of nowhere or from a state of rest.)

5. The coming into existence of the universe can't be due to indeterminism (Since the macroscopic world is largely deterministic rather than indeterministic, what I'm referring to with this premise is the quantum or sub-atomic world. The reason the quantum world can not be indeterministic is because indeterminacy is incoherent and incoherent things can not exist. This turns quantum indeterminacy into determinism since it has causes rather than not having causes and since determinacy has already been ruled out as causing the universe, so too is the option of the universe beginning from quantum mechanical events ruled out.)

6. Therefore, the universe must have been brought into being through an act of free-will.(This is because there are only three ways events can happen and because determinism and determinism are insufficient, the only other thing that can bring the world into existence is free will. Free will works because it avoids the problem of determinacy (always needing prior events) by being able to begin a chain of events without needing a prior event.)

7. Only beings have free will. (Free will requires a mind in order to judge various options and choose)

8. Therefore, a being is responsible for the universe. (Since this description matches the idea of God, we can call this being God. But if not God then simply the creator of the universe.)
Nice construction, however we don't know anything about where the universe came from our the conditions 'before' or 'outside' the universe, so it is also an overgeneralization.

Secondly in the universe we have QM, which may or may not be deterministic or somewhere in between. So that is big no on your trilogy.
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Old 25th January 2019, 01:40 PM   #57
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Free will, however defined, also requires an antecedent, so it must be ruled out the same way as determinism.

On the other hand if you say the free willer just exists uncreated, then why can't the antecedent of a deterministic.or random event just exist, uncreated?

By the way, free will, however you are defining it will either be deterministic or indeterministic.

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Old 25th January 2019, 02:21 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
In fact, most want a God who's totally deterministic and has no choice but to stick to the same rules, same morals, same promises he once made.

So never mind the OP argument being total bollocks. Do you actually WANT a God who has the non-deterministic free will to maybe create another universe, and maybe not, and maybe destroy an old one on a whim, and maybe change his mind about what he said 2000 years ago, etc? Because it seems to me like then you have a bigger problem.

I think most deists would be inclined to believe that their god, being perfect, created a perfect system right from the start. So, although he has the power to change things, he doesn't because he got it right the first time.

I don't think that argument is either logically or experimentally worth the pixels used to type it. And, in fact, it brings up even more problems: Why do people pray for things? Why pray for a person's health or for some event to occur? If God made a perfect system, he shouldn't need to intervene. If God is willing to throw his whole plan away just because one person (or a million) prayed for some event, then why bother following any preset rules to begin with?

The answer: I have no idea.
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Old 25th January 2019, 03:19 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The point about free will INDICATES that there is a God. If the universe can only begin through free will, and the universe exists, and free will must belong to a being, then a being must exist that used its free will to begin the universe.
I notice a lack of demonstration that free will exists...
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Old 25th January 2019, 04:14 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by jsfisher View Post
Ok, then:



determinisim -- events have a prior cause.

indeterminism -- events do not have a prior cause.



I accept your definitions, but I will also note that you didn't leave any room for "free will", however you might choose to define it.
Something can have a prior cause and yet be indeterministic, for example a photon fired at half silvered mirror and setting off a detector. There is only a 0.5 probability of it setting off a given detector, but it is still true that the cause of the detector going off was the electron being fired at the mirror.

I would have thought that 'deterministic' meant, as Ed Lorenz defines it "there being one and only one possible next state"
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Old 25th January 2019, 04:16 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Determinism is when a previous EVENT causes another event.



Free will is not caused by an event but by a person.
Caused by the event of a person forming an intention and taking action.
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Old 25th January 2019, 04:26 PM   #62
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And also, a reasonable person would understand the sentence: "This damage was caused by a group of teenagers acting on their own free will"
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Old 25th January 2019, 04:43 PM   #63
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Also, plug the definitions into premise 1, you get
Quote:
1. There are three ways that events come about in the world: free will, prior cause and no prior cause
Then ask, does something brought about by free will have a prior cause?

If yes, then it becomes, by the definition, determinism. If no, then it becomes, by the definition, indeterminism.
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Old 25th January 2019, 05:04 PM   #64
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If free will is to be neither deterministic, nor indeterministic, by these definitions then you are saying that it is not the case that there was a prior cause and also not the case that there was no prior cause.

But doesn't "not the case that there was no prior cause" just mean that there was a prior cause?
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Old 25th January 2019, 05:15 PM   #65
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And of course there is the fact that "free will" as we experience and observe it in the world is best explained as the higher level description of the combined action of lower level physical events.
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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"

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Old 25th January 2019, 06:17 PM   #66
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There is also this problem: are you sure the universe 'begun' ? It's possible it was always here.

Also .. if there was God before universe, could we really say there it was 'before' universe ? Isn't God part of universe ? Doesn't universe mean 'all that is' ?

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Old 25th January 2019, 07:01 PM   #67
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I'm going to build on the points raised by psionl0 and Robin (good to see you posting again, by the way).
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
1. There are three ways that events come about in the world: free will, determinism and indeterminism.
Determinism and indeterminism is already a dilemma. Free will cannot be a third option. Whatever free will is, it must either is or is not deterministic.

By making this three options, it's kinda like saying, "My neighbor's new pet must either be a cat, a black animal, or a non-black animal." The first choice just complicates things.

The fact that you later go on to remove both options of a logical dichotomy is one hell of a problem.

Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
4. The coming into existence of the universe can not be due to determinism. (This is because every deterministic event requires a prior event to bring it about and that event requires another event and so on to infinity. A deterministic system can not just initiate action out of nowhere or from a state of rest.)
Quote:
Determinism is when a previous EVENT causes another event.

Free will is not caused by an event but by a person.
Your "clarification" regarding the nature of determinism and free will belies a great deal of confusion. Take a simple deterministic event:

A rain drop lands on my forehead.
What are the factors that led to this event?

That question most certainly has an answer.

Now for the free will version.

I choose to eat a sandwich for lunch.
What are the factors that led to this choice?

Even if you have an extremely liberal view of free will, this question still has an answer: I was getting hungry. I like sandwiches a lot. This restaurant had some good reviews, etc.

It's extremely difficult to deny that events affect our choices, and that choices are themselves just a different type of event.
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Old 25th January 2019, 07:33 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
The point about free will INDICATES that there is a God. If the universe can only begin through free will, and the universe exists, and free will must belong to a being, then a being must exist that used its free will to begin the universe.
Have any response to the Law of Entropy yet?

I can also give you a refutation based on free will if you want. But first things first!
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Old 25th January 2019, 07:50 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Something can have a prior cause and yet be indeterministic....
Yes, I know. My goal was to capture what I thought the OP had posted but in simplified form and let him provide any corrections.
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Old 25th January 2019, 08:13 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by jsfisher View Post
Yes, I know. My goal was to capture what I thought the OP had posted but in simplified form and let him provide any corrections.
Yes, I realised later that I might have come across as attributing those definitions to you. I didn't mean to do that.

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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
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Old 25th January 2019, 08:42 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Yes, I realised later that I might have come across as attributing those definitions to you. I didn't mean to do that.

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Tis all good, then.
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Old 25th January 2019, 08:52 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
I choose to eat a sandwich for lunch.
What are the factors that led to this choice?

Even if you have an extremely liberal view of free will, this question still has an answer: I was getting hungry. I like sandwiches a lot. This restaurant had some good reviews, etc.

It's extremely difficult to deny that events affect our choices, and that choices are themselves just a different type of event.


Hey man, I wrote all that stuff first with my example of eating an apple. Get your own metaphor.

Also, I wonder whatever happened to the OP. He hasn't really answered much, despite asking for our thoughts on his argument. And even then, he mostly said something like, "Open your mind to the possibility that illogical and self-contradictory arguments might be true and you'll discover that they actually are true in your heart." I may be paraphrasing.
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Old 25th January 2019, 09:23 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Hey man, I wrote all that stuff first with my example of eating an apple. Get your own metaphor.
I swear I skimmed over it... of my own free will, of course.
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Old 25th January 2019, 09:23 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
An act of free will does not have a prior cause that initiates it.
I think maybe this is begging the question. Once you include "free will" in your premise, you are already positing dualism. If you are already positing dualism, you are adding magic to the mix. We'd say an amoeba does not have free will, right? Then where in the process of evolution did free will develop, and what caused that free will?

So you start your reasoning off with the premise that magic exists.

It's not that I find materialism to be such an appealing philosophy, but it's more coherent than saying free will occurred spontaneously at some point in evolution.

I don't even try to pretend I understand quantum fluctuations and the mathematics behind a universe from nothing. Yes, it violates my intuition, but my intuition is severely constricted by how much math and physics I understand. And I'd bet that at least 99 percent of people who philosophize about quantum mechanics are similarly constrained. Hell, probably a lot more than that. I'd be shocked if 1 in 10,000 people who are attracted to these ideas understands the equations and particle physics involved.
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Old 25th January 2019, 09:35 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Because it's possible for the universe to have come into existence inteterministically. Obviously.
If that's "obvious" to you, you must be way better informed than I am. I mean, maybe it's obvious to Stephen Hawking, but without his actual knowledge it's far from obvious to me. So I wonder, how did you become well-informed enough to arrive at the point where it's obvious to you? What is obvious is that very smart cosmologists have concluded it could have happened, and obviously they know more than I do, and I trust them not to have ulterior motives, so it's obvious to me that I have good reason to trust them on this. But it's still trust driving me, not some kind of self-evident conclusion I arrived at independently.

I really would like to know how I can reach the level of understanding that allows non-physicists to speak confidently about what is a plausible origin of the universe. Is there a shortcut? How can I get there?
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Old 25th January 2019, 09:40 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
This appears to be assuming a consequent in that there must be a god, so let’s work back from there and oh dear, we now need to have free will as a factor.
What I was getting at in the long-winded post responding to Wonder 234. As I asked arth above, how did you become well-informed enough in physics to make an independent judgment? All I manage to do is grasp clumsy analogies aimed at lay readers, put forth by physicist/mathematicians.

Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Free will is irrelevant to your argument if you don’t start with an assumption of a god.
Yes, this.

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Old 25th January 2019, 10:02 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
What I was getting at in the long-winded post responding to Wonder 234. As I asked arth above, how did you become well-informed enough in physics to make an independent judgment? All I manage to do is grasp clumsy analogies aimed at lay readers, put forth by physicist/mathematicians.

Yes, this.
Interesting question, as I regarded Wonder's assertion as being related to philosophy, rather than physics, with the failure being in construction of the claim and the logic applied.

Yes, I do have tertiary physics qualifications and my careers have required application of same - but I don't think I (consciously) used that knowledge in this case. If that was necessary, I'd be turning to others in the forum with much greater knowledge of that field than I.
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Old 25th January 2019, 10:42 PM   #78
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[quote= Robin (good to see you posting again, by the way).[/QUOTE]
Thanks, good to be back posting.



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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
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Old 26th January 2019, 02:49 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Imagine a domino that is standing upright. Imagine that it all of a sudden falls over. If it doesn't have a cause for falling over, that's indeterminism, because indeterminism essentially means "uncaused event".



If you look up the definition of determinism, it states:The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision, is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.



The important part is "is the inevitable consequence of antecedent affairs" meaning an event brought about by determinism must have a prior cause.
Look up radioactive isotopes and how they decay, especially their half lives.
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Old 26th January 2019, 03:24 AM   #80
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The most famous version of this argument comes from Richard Swinburne, that wacky Oxbridge professor of philosophy who thinks that gay is a disease that needs to be cured.

Philosophers! Don't you just love them?

Here is his version:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...7fDKpzuIPK9YsC



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