Atheistic Materialism Automatically Disqualifies Free Will

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This isn't a philosophical problem, though.

I'm adament that thinking philosophically about the "oh, so complicated problem of free will" is not how to go about this.

It is a SCIENTIFIC issue. It is as scientific as learning about nature and the cosmos and our human bodies and the study of animals and the sky and trees and everything else!
I think you have fundamentally misunderstood the role science plays in this discussion. You see the research that says a choice is evident in the brain slightly before the person is conscious of making it, which ends the debate for you. This isn't terribly unreasonable by itself. What is unreasonable is assuming this decision itself is scientific.

Science can (possibly) tell us if the beginnings of a choice come before our full awareness of it. But it can't tell us if that's a good way to define choice to begin with. It can't tell us if not being immediately conscious of a choice is the same thing as not making it. It can't tell us if lower consciousness choices are the same thing as unconscious choices. These are questions of definition and philosophy, not science. Suggesting they have scientific answers is like saying you can prove how warm it has to be to quality as "hot."

Also, the more I read about the specific experiments, the more obvious it seems that they have other potential interpretations. They are not half as conclusive as you seem to be suggesting. They are certainly consistent with the claims you're making, but they are not inconsistent with all of the alternatives.

But really, even if you disagree with all of this, it should be obvious that telling people they're wrong over and over--yes, even with those persuasive capital letters--isn't going to do anything. And you shouldn't expect it to.



I think you have fundamentally misunderstood the role science plays in this discussion. You see the research that says a choice is evident in the brain slightly before the person is conscious of making it, which ends the debate for you. This isn't terribly unreasonable by itself. What is unreasonable is assuming this decision itself is scientific.

Science can (possibly) tell us if the beginnings of a choice come before our full awareness of it. But it can't tell us if that's a good way to define choice to begin with. It can't tell us if not being immediately conscious of a choice is the same thing as not making it. It can't tell us if lower consciousness choices are the same thing as unconscious choices. These are questions of definition and philosophy, not science. Suggesting they have scientific answers is like saying you can prove how warm it has to be to quality as "hot."
I'm not exactly sure what you're saying, especially in regards to "lower consciousness choices" and unconscious choices.

Also, the more I read about the specific experiments, the more obvious it seems that they have other potential interpretations. They are not half as conclusive as you seem to be suggesting. They are certainly consistent with the claims you're making, but they are not inconsistent with all of the alternatives.
Well, I don't know what the alternatives or where you're coming with this exactly is.

But really, even if you disagree with all of this, it should be obvious that telling people they're wrong over and over--yes, even with those persuasive capital letters--isn't going to do anything. And you shouldn't expect it to.
Why not? It certainly could. That's where you and I differ on opinions. I absolutely think that maybe one of these days my screaming might influence people, if it isn't already.



We have no choice but to deny the truth and SC has no choice but to repeat himself. Forever. There is no way out of this tangent universe time loop, no Jake Jillyboy to take a jet engine to the face and save us all.

Doom.

Doom.

Forever.



I really do think that it's just not easy for you guys to accept the idea that there's no free will because of the makeup of your mind. I can see myself not believing it all really either years ago. Maybe. If I did, I would have attached a more spiritual/religious/God thing to it, I'm sure. I kinda do now, even.

I've actually been open to this possibility before I discovered Sam Harris and before I read his Free Will book. It was an internet search I made on this subject that led to me finding all of this stuff last year, anyway. In fact, it was around this time last year. But BEFORE that happened, I really wasn't convinced of it like I am now. That book and reading what other people said about this changed everything. I did suspect that we were basically under the control of our brain, genes, etc. But I didn't really realize... how much so. It never really dawned on me that everything I was thinking and everything I was doing was really being created first and foremost by my brain, without my control of it. I should have figured that out, though.

It makes total sense to me. We are just evolving creatures, changing and adapting every day. You learn something new -- it's added to the web of your self. It's like a patchwork quilt -- you just keep adding patches and patches and patches that add on to the total you. All I can possibly do depends on what patches I have. A year from now, I'll have new patches. I and everyone else constantly evolves. If you don't have a certain patch yet, that's not available to you. You can't consciously know something until it's patched onto you. And it's really random in regards to how you end up patched. Because you're never in control at all. Something you do comes from another patch of yourself. So, if you guys can't accept that there's free will, it's because you haven't been patched yet to accept it as the truth. I cannot control if you'll be patched or not and neither can you. If it happens, it happens.



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
1731 "Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude."


http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1731.htm



F*** it!!!! I'm not here often enough to change it
"Luther argued that although human beings could will, they could only will evil. Anything good that appeared to come from humanity actually came from God; the human creature is merely an agent of divine providence."

Thanks guys! Now I am seriously confused about my religion.

Seriously!



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
I disagree with Luther. I believe man can will good as well as evil. Free will is given to us so that we may love God freely. He doesn't force us to do anything.


"And they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment." ~ John 5:29


"Be not overcome by evil: but overcome evil by good." ~ Romans 12:21


"Turn away from evil and do good: seek after peace and pursue it." ~ Psalms 34:14


"Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will." ~ Luke 2:14



I really do think that it's just not easy for you guys to accept the idea that there's no free will because of the makeup of your mind. I can see myself not believing it all really either years ago. Maybe. If I did, I would have attached a more spiritual/religious/God thing to it, I'm sure. I kinda do now, even.

I've actually been open to this possibility before I discovered Sam Harris and before I read his Free Will book. It was an internet search I made on this subject that led to me finding all of this stuff last year, anyway. In fact, it was around this time last year. But BEFORE that happened, I really wasn't convinced of it like I am now. That book and reading what other people said about this changed everything. I did suspect that we were basically under the control of our brain, genes, etc. But I didn't really realize... how much so. It never really dawned on me that everything I was thinking and everything I was doing was really being created first and foremost by my brain, without my control of it. I should have figured that out, though.

It makes total sense to me. We are just evolving creatures, changing and adapting every day. You learn something new -- it's added to the web of your self. It's like a patchwork quilt -- you just keep adding patches and patches and patches that add on to the total you. All I can possibly do depends on what patches I have. A year from now, I'll have new patches. I and everyone else constantly evolves. If you don't have a certain patch yet, that's not available to you. You can't consciously know something until it's patched onto you. And it's really random in regards to how you end up patched. Because you're never in control at all. Something you do comes from another patch of yourself. So, if you guys can't accept that there's free will, it's because you haven't been patched yet to accept it as the truth. I cannot control if you'll be patched or not and neither can you. If it happens, it happens.
We're all very happy for you, SC. Now be quiet.



Attila's Avatar
Registered User
Answering the question: "does free will exist?" seems to necessitate a coherent definition of consciousness; what is consciousness? A conscious entity, AKA a sentient agent with free will choices, would have the ability to make spontaneous actions and have spontaneous creative thoughts, unconstrained by previous sequences of constrained modalities. There is the hard problem of consciousness, that entails explaining things like qualia and phenomenal experiences.

If we do not have free will then are we nothing more than just complex materialistic machines, controlled completely by natural deterministic laws? That also brings up the whole can of worms regarding the future of cyborg implants and the human brain. Would a software blueprint of your brain in the hard drive of a computer be conscious? I suspect that the answer is no. It appears that a machine, no matter how complex, cannot have free will. There must be a soul and a spirit, in order for free will to exist.



Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
Boko Haram: an example of the abuse of Free Will.


A Sudanese woman chooses death rather than renounce her faith in Christ: The ultimate example of the right use of Free Will.