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Atheism, Slavery, And The Moral High Ground...

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  • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
    It's not true that we have no choices. We can make choices, and those choices can help us get what we want (at least to a greater extent than if we were locked in a prison). It's just that ultimately we are not in control of what we want.
    So you make choices but have no control over those choices or even your wants.

    I don't think it's so terrible that we don't have ultimate control over what we want, and I've never seen a cogent explanation of how we could possibly have ultimate control over what we want (i.e. how libertarian free will could possibly exist).
    I have never seen a cogent argument demonstrating that what goes on in your mind corresponds to reality. But we take it as fact. Our experience is that demonstrates freedom of the will. How it works, my be a mystery.

    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

    Comment


    • Originally posted by seer View Post
      So you make choices but have no control over those choices or even your wants.
      I've already said that we ultimately have no control over our wants. (We do have limited control over some wants, but that tends to be because of something else that we want even more. For example, we might take pills to control our appetite because we want the health/social benefits that come from weighing less.)

      But we do have a lot of choices to make, and in general we have a lot of control over those choices. (There are certainly exceptions, like addictive behavior and various mental disorders, etc.)

      The fact that we make those choices based on what we want (and what is possible) seems acceptable to me. On what other basis would you make choices?

      I have never seen a cogent argument demonstrating that what goes on in your mind corresponds to reality. But we take it as fact. Our experience is that demonstrates freedom of the will. How it works, my be a mystery.
      Our experience demonstrates that we have free will in the sense of being able to do what we want (Dennett calls it "freedom" in order to avoid confusing it with LFW).

      The assumption that what goes on in my mind corresponds to reality (at least to a large extent), is necessary. There is no reasonable alternative.

      The assumption that LFW exists is not necessary. We can accept that we want what we want, and have no real control over it, and then make decisions based on what we want.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by seer View Post

        Yep, and we do it all the time. Not always completely free but human rationality can and does rise above such things.
        Well, given your inherited genetic make-up, your social-conditioning and sub-conscious memories, how do you know which decisions are "free" and which are "conditioned?
        “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
          I've already said that we ultimately have no control over our wants. (We do have limited control over some wants, but that tends to be because of something else that we want even more. For example, we might take pills to control our appetite because we want the health/social benefits that come from weighing less.)

          But we do have a lot of choices to make, and in general we have a lot of control over those choices. (There are certainly exceptions, like addictive behavior and various mental disorders, etc.)

          The fact that we make those choices based on what we want (and what is possible) seems acceptable to me. On what other basis would you make choices?



          Our experience demonstrates that we have free will in the sense of being able to do what we want (Dennett calls it "freedom" in order to avoid confusing it with LFW).

          The assumption that what goes on in my mind corresponds to reality (at least to a large extent), is necessary. There is no reasonable alternative.

          The assumption that LFW exists is not necessary. We can accept that we want what we want, and have no real control over it, and then make decisions based on what we want.
          By that reasoning an automaton is free and makes choices, and the assumption that what goes on in my mind corresponds to reality is not necessarily true (Matrix, brain in a vat, etc...) And there is no way you can demonstrate otherwise empirically or deductively. And if LFW is not the case you are not morally responsible for your actions (you may be legally responsible) but concepts of moral shame or praise or even personal guilt are nonsensical. As rationality would be nonsensical. You just spit out what you were programmed to. Not based on the truth or falseness of an idea but because the laws of physics determined it. Those laws care nothing about truth or falseness, nor do they intend towards truth finding. You give up a lot Stoic, like everything that makes us human.
          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

            Well, given your inherited genetic make-up, your social-conditioning and sub-conscious memories, how do you know which decisions are "free" and which are "conditioned?
            Why would I have to know specifically?
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • Originally posted by seer View Post
              By that reasoning an automaton is free and makes choices,
              The amount of freedom it has depends on how well it can predict the consequences of its choices, and how wide a range of choices it has available to it. (Similarly, an intelligent person has more freedom than a stupid person, and a wealthy person has more freedom than a poor person.)

              and the assumption that what goes on in my mind corresponds to reality is not necessarily true (Matrix, brain in a vat, etc...)
              Right. If it was necessarily true, it would not be an assumption.

              And there is no way you can demonstrate otherwise empirically or deductively.
              You'll notice I'm not trying to demonstrate otherwise.

              And if LFW is not the case you are not morally responsible for your actions (you may be legally responsible)
              Perhaps not as you envision moral responsibility.

              but concepts of moral shame or praise or even personal guilt are nonsensical.
              Emotions have their place, but they are not rationally driven.

              As rationality would be nonsensical. You just spit out what you were programmed to.
              What you spit out might be rational, or it might not be. To some extent, it depends on whether you want it to be rational.

              Not based on the truth or falseness of an idea but because the laws of physics determined it. Those laws care nothing about truth or falseness, nor do they intend towards truth finding.
              The laws of physics care nothing about truth or falseness. That doesn't mean that we don't care about truth or falseness. They are pretty important concepts with respect to our ability to get what we want.

              You give up a lot Stoic, like everything that makes us human.
              Such a view might make you feel bad. But that doesn't mean it's wrong.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                Perhaps not as you envision moral responsibility.


                Emotions have their place, but they are not rationally driven.
                I don't understand, why would moral shame or praise have their place since you never had the liberty to do otherwise?


                What you spit out might be rational, or it might not be. To some extent, it depends on whether you want it to be rational.
                But you have no actual choice in the matter - you will spit out that which you were determined to. Rational or not.


                The laws of physics care nothing about truth or falseness. That doesn't mean that we don't care about truth or falseness. They are pretty important concepts with respect to our ability to get what we want.
                So the process that created us cares nothing about truth or falseness but magically we do? How does that work?


                Such a view might make you feel bad. But that doesn't mean it's wrong.
                It make humanness unrecognizable. We are no more than biological automatons.

                Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                Comment


                • Originally posted by seer View Post
                  I don't understand, why would moral shame or praise have their place since you never had the liberty to do otherwise?
                  You could have done otherwise if you had wanted to.

                  Moral shame and praise have their place in determining what you want.

                  But you have no actual choice in the matter - you will spit out that which you were determined to. Rational or not.
                  But you do have a choice, as I've been trying to point out.

                  So the process that created us cares nothing about truth or falseness but magically we do? How does that work?
                  How is it that we can have brains, when the laws of physics don't have brains?

                  There are a lot of things that are true of us that are not true of the laws of physics. Don't act like that's hard to understand.

                  It make humanness unrecognizable. We are no more than biological automatons.
                  Perhaps you should have a higher opinion of biological automatons.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                    You could have done otherwise if you had wanted to.
                    But you already said our wants are determined.

                    Moral shame and praise have their place in determining what you want.
                    So if an automaton was programmed to kill - the sense of shame would be an appropriate response? Why? Is it morally shameful for a tiger to kill and eat a sambar deer? Are we not just as determined as the tiger?

                    But you do have a choice, as I've been trying to point out.
                    So an automaton has a choice?


                    How is it that we can have brains, when the laws of physics don't have brains?
                    Yet our brains are governed by the laws of physics - they very processes that do not care about truth or falseness. But magically we do?

                    There are a lot of things that are true of us that are not true of the laws of physics. Don't act like that's hard to understand.
                    But said laws created and govern us.

                    Perhaps you should have a higher opinion of biological automatons.
                    Perhaps you should have a higher opinion of humans.

                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by seer View Post
                      But you already said our wants are determined.
                      Yes, and other people play a part in determining what you want.

                      So if an automaton was programmed to kill - the sense of shame would be an appropriate response? Why? Is it morally shameful for a tiger to kill and eat a sambar deer? Are we not just as determined as the tiger?
                      If it was programmed to kill, then a sense of shame wouldn't be useful.

                      So an automaton has a choice?
                      Even a thermostat has a choice.

                      Yet our brains are governed by the laws of physics - they very processes that do not care about truth or falseness. But magically we do?
                      I don't see anything magical about it.

                      The laws of physics don't care if we live or die, and yet we do. But that doesn't seem magical, either. In fact, it seems to be pretty obvious given natural selection, which also doesn't seem magical.

                      But said laws created and govern us.
                      Yes, and I'm unable to figure out why you think that's a problem.

                      Perhaps you should have a higher opinion of humans.
                      I have a very high opinion of humans, and the existence or non-existence of LFW doesn't change that.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by seer View Post

                        Why would I have to know specifically?
                        How would you otherwise know which of your decisions are truly free or which are conditioned by subconscious factors such as your inherited genetic make-up, your social-conditioning and long-term memories?
                        “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                          Yes, and other people play a part in determining what you want.
                          Of course they are determined too - it is turtles all the way down.


                          If it was programmed to kill, then a sense of shame wouldn't be useful.
                          So how is shame an appropriate response of useful for any moral evil we do - since were were determined too?

                          Even a thermostat has a choice.
                          Really? Is that what we commonly mean by choice?


                          I don't see anything magical about it.

                          The laws of physics don't care if we live or die, and yet we do. But that doesn't seem magical, either. In fact, it seems to be pretty obvious given natural selection, which also doesn't seem magical.
                          The very process that created how we think and act did not intend for such things, claiming natural selection is begging the question. Since nothing in this picture, including NS, is aimed at rationality, truth, self awareness, conceptual thinking, etc... In other words the forces of nature created qualities completely foreign to their nature. As a matter of fact qualities opposite of their nature.

                          Yes, and I'm unable to figure out why you think that's a problem.
                          If the forces of nature created a rational phrase on the beach, in the sand like "Jimmy loves Sue" would you find that strange?

                          I have a very high opinion of humans, and the existence or non-existence of LFW doesn't change that.
                          Why would you since we are just meat puppets? Accidental by products of nature. As Dawkins said: "DNA just is, and we dance to its music."

                          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                            How would you otherwise know which of your decisions are truly free or which are conditioned by subconscious factors such as your inherited genetic make-up, your social-conditioning and long-term memories?
                            So Tass, now answer me - is everything you think do or say determined - yes or no...
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by seer View Post
                              Of course they are determined too - it is turtles all the way down.
                              Exactly.

                              So how is shame an appropriate response of useful for any moral evil we do - since were were determined too?
                              The easy response is that shame is determined also.

                              But even though something is determined, it can be illuminating to consider what sort of things are determining it, which in this case include interactions with other people, like parents and peers.

                              Really? Is that what we commonly mean by choice?
                              Perhaps not, though I think it counts.

                              If you prefer, we can talk about a computer choosing a chess move, since that's something they can do better than we can.

                              The very process that created how we think and act did not intend for such things, claiming natural selection is begging the question. Since nothing in this picture, including NS, is aimed at rationality, truth, self awareness, conceptual thinking, etc... In other words the forces of nature created qualities completely foreign to their nature. As a matter of fact qualities opposite of their nature.
                              I don't know of any rule that says that the forces of nature have to create qualities that are similar to those forces.

                              My intuition tells me that this is not a thing, given how reasonable it is that evolution, which doesn't care whether we live or die, tends to impart creatures with a desire to live, for perfectly understandable reasons.


                              If the forces of nature created a rational phrase on the beach, in the sand like "Jimmy loves Sue" would you find that strange?
                              If you are not counting human beings as a part of those forces of nature, then yes. It would be hard to explain as a result of wind and wave action, the tides, solar radiation, gravity, etc.

                              Why would you since we are just meat puppets? Accidental by products of nature. As Dawkins said: "DNA just is, and we dance to its music."
                              Probably because I'm one those meat puppets.

                              If I was a member of an advanced alien race, I might not have such a high opinion of humans.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by seer View Post

                                So Tass, now answer me - is everything you think do or say determined - yes or no...
                                Again, which of your decisions are truly free and which are conditioned by subconscious factors such as your inherited genetic make-up, your social-conditioning and long-term memories? Or do you deny these factors have any influence over your decision-making process?
                                “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                                Comment

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