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  #1  
Old 12-10-2005, 09:31 PM
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Default Two personal beliefs and their consequences

I am a fatalist; I do not believe in free will. This is because I feel that my actions are controlled by my brain and my brain in turn is controlled by the laws of physics. There is no room in here for independent action.

I also do not believe in the natural value of morality. I do not believe that any actions are in and of themselves inherently right or wrong. While I do in almost all cases act in a moral way (I haven't murdered anyone, for example) I see no real reason to do this.

Because of these beliefs I am ethically off the hock if I kill / rape / steal etc. Not only is it NOT MY CHOICE (because I do not have free will) it's not "wrong" because I don't believe wrong exists.

This seems to me an unsatisfactory solution. What do I do?
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

Setting aside the issue of free will, I would say that your actions are constrained by the laws of physics, not controlled by them. The actions of an inanimate object like a pen are controlled by the laws of physics--if I hold the pen out to my side and let go of it, it will fall to the ground. If I hold my arm out to my side and let go of it, I can make it do anything I want it to do, within the contraints of the laws of physics. So, instead of falling down, I can actually make my arm rise.
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

Can you actually? Think about it for a minute. Can you do anything other than what you actually do? What gives you that ability?

We are no different from highly complicated computers / animals.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

"We are no different from highly complicated computers / animals."

Keep thinking like this and it will become a reality.

Or you can change your mind. Or does your mind change you?
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2005, 10:40 PM
imported_luckyme imported_luckyme is offline
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

[ QUOTE ]
We are no different from highly complicated computers / animals.

[/ QUOTE ]

You speak in a lot of absolutes, you need more crayons. The difference in level of complexity between a frog and my laptop is noteworthy, no?
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

[ QUOTE ]
You speak in a lot of absolutes, you need more crayons.

[/ QUOTE ]

This is a lovely turn of phrase and I'm stealing it.

[ QUOTE ]
The difference in level of complexity between a frog and my laptop is noteworthy, no?

[/ QUOTE ]

Which do you believe to be more complex, your laptop or a frog, just out of curiousity?
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2005, 10:59 PM
imported_luckyme imported_luckyme is offline
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

[ QUOTE ]


[/ QUOTE ] Which do you believe to be more complex, your laptop or a frog, just out of curiousity?

Frogs - 1,000,000 laptops 1 but gaining
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2005, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

[ QUOTE ]
Can you actually? Think about it for a minute. Can you do anything other than what you actually do? What gives you that ability?

We are no different from highly complicated computers / animals.

[/ QUOTE ]

Think about it for a minute? Is that an argument? Am I supposed to 'think about' whether I'm really choosing to move my arm in a certain direction, and from that realize that I'm not? Why? I don't get it.

How about this--you tell me before my arm moves which way it will move--up or down. Now, since I have no say in the matter, you should miss on your prediction about half the time. But I think you will find, amazingly, that you are 100% accurate in your predictions. How could that be if I have no choice in which way my arm moves?
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2005, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Can you actually? Think about it for a minute. Can you do anything other than what you actually do? What gives you that ability?

We are no different from highly complicated computers / animals.

[/ QUOTE ]

Think about it for a minute? Is that an argument? Am I supposed to 'think about' whether I'm really choosing to move my arm in a certain direction, and from that realize that I'm not? Why? I don't get it.

How about this--you tell me before my arm moves which way it will move--up or down. Now, since I have no say in the matter, you should miss on your prediction about half the time. But I think you will find, amazingly, that you are 100% accurate in your predictions. How could that be if I have no choice in which way my arm moves?

[/ QUOTE ]


You must be purposely trying to not understand what I am saying. I have no doubt the ILLUSION of free will is present. I certainly APPEAR to make choices every day. You APPEAR to choose which way to move your arm. My problem is that you do not actually CHOOSE in the strictest sense (that is, being able to move it one way or the other).
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2005, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Two personal beliefs and their consequences

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Can you actually? Think about it for a minute. Can you do anything other than what you actually do? What gives you that ability?

We are no different from highly complicated computers / animals.

[/ QUOTE ]

Think about it for a minute? Is that an argument? Am I supposed to 'think about' whether I'm really choosing to move my arm in a certain direction, and from that realize that I'm not? Why? I don't get it.

How about this--you tell me before my arm moves which way it will move--up or down. Now, since I have no say in the matter, you should miss on your prediction about half the time. But I think you will find, amazingly, that you are 100% accurate in your predictions. How could that be if I have no choice in which way my arm moves?

[/ QUOTE ]


You must be purposely trying to not understand what I am saying. I have no doubt the ILLUSION of free will is present. I certainly APPEAR to make choices every day. You APPEAR to choose which way to move your arm. My problem is that you do not actually CHOOSE in the strictest sense (that is, being able to move it one way or the other).

[/ QUOTE ]

I understand perfectly what you're saying--I know what it means to believe that we do not have free will. I just haven't seen you give any reason for believing it, and when you said 'think about it' it seems to me that thinking about whether or not I can freely choose to move my arm in a certain direction makes it seem very much like I do have free will--as in, "look, I'll move it this way, now this way," etc. So, I don't understand what 'think about it' was supposed to show me. Can you give me a reason for believing that we do not have free will then?
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