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Thread: ***Official*** Religious Discussion Thread

  1. #751
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    Quote Originally Posted by wellAlbidarned View Post
    Whether we have free will or not is one of those things where I literally don't care. If it turns out we don't I'm going to live my live pretending I do.
    But if freewill does happen to be an illusion then an appreciation of that fact should change the way that we view other people and their actions, not to mention how societies organise themselves. That is, societies will need to concentrate on creating good systems of socialistic and compassionate government rather than emphasising 'personal responsibility' and 'libertarianism'.

    On a broader level the notion of freewill has major implications for monotheism and the doctrine of ' judgement'.
    Last edited by watson; 06-04-2015 at 04:31 PM.
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  2. #752
    International Coach wellAlbidarned's Avatar
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    Believing in a degree of free will doesn't mean the same as saying everyone has total control over all of their actions. Most of our daily lives consist of small, instinctual or habitual actions which we don't directly control, which are the result of long-term thinking patterns and living conditions.
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    Yes, everybody's so-called autonomy is conditioned by all sorts of external influences.

  4. #754
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    On a broader level the notion of freewill has major implications for monotheism and the doctrine of ' judgement'.
    Massive implications. This was a real area of interest of mine a while back.

    I've talked about my dislike of the notion of a literal everlasting hell before in this thread, but when you couple a belief in a literal, everlasting hell with a theological underpinning like Hyper-Calvinism, a horrid undercurrent of elitism develops within that church culture and they lose focus entirely of what Jesus' message actually was.

    In reality, if this belief system was somehow shown to the world's population to be true somehow, humanity would be best served by forming some sort of union movement! Hyper-Calvinism/pre-destination is a pretty horrid belief system imo.


  5. #755
    Hall of Fame Member Hurricane's Avatar
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    I will conjure up a response a bit later - not that anyone will be waiting with baited breath. My effort will require a bit of research.
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  6. #756
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    But if freewill does happen to be an illusion then an appreciation of that fact should change the way that we view other people and their actions, not to mention how societies organise themselves. That is, societies will need to concentrate on creating good systems of socialistic and compassionate government rather than emphasising 'personal responsibility' and 'libertarianism'.
    this is as strong an argument for free will existing as i've heard in some time.

    more seriously, the concept of "free will" insofar as there is an irreducible element of indeterminacy in any physical system (i.e. the state of a physical state at any point in time is not precisely a well-deefined function of the state at any point in previous time) is very well-established in science and if not quite "fact", it is very, very unlikely to be wrong.
    Last edited by Spark; 07-04-2015 at 03:54 AM.
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  7. #757
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    hey guys did you know that religion is the cause behind most wars? interesting eh?
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    Hall of Fame Member Hurricane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    hey guys did you know that religion is the cause behind most wars? interesting eh?
    There were 3-4 people in this thread who made that point ad nauseum so I expect they will respond seriously despite the tone and intent of your post.

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    i think we can all agree there is only one true Great Satan

    his name is anton devcich
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    yes i am here for cheap devcich jokes. what of it?
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  11. #761
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    this is as strong an argument for free will existing as i've heard in some time.
    Not really sure how this is the case at all.
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  12. #762
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Halsey View Post
    Not really sure how this is the case at all.
    was being facetious.

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    Ah, apologies, ignore me.

  14. #764
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    this is as strong an argument for free will existing as i've heard in some time.

    more seriously, the concept of "free will" insofar as there is an irreducible element of indeterminacy in any physical system (i.e. the state of a physical state at any point in time is not precisely a well-deefined function of the state at any point in previous time) is very well-established in science and if not quite "fact", it is very, very unlikely to be wrong.

    Brain Scanners Can See Your Decisions Before You Make Them

    You may think you decided to read this story -- but in fact, your brain made the decision long before you knew about it.

    In a study published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience, researchers using brain scanners could predict people's decisions seven seconds before the test subjects were even aware of making them.

    The decision studied -- whether to hit a button with one's left or right hand -- may not be representative of complicated choices that are more integrally tied to our sense of self-direction. Regardless, the findings raise profound questions about the nature of self and autonomy: How free is our will? Is conscious choice just an illusion?

    "Your decisions are strongly prepared by brain activity. By the time consciousness kicks in, most of the work has already been done," said study co-author John-Dylan Haynes, a Max Planck Institute neuroscientist.

    Brain Scanners Can See Your Decisions Before You Make Them

    The strongest evidence against the idea of freewill are MRI operators who can predict a decision made by the subject seconds before they become aware of their choice. In most experiments it's the choice whether to push a button or not.

    Put simply, the philosophical conundrum is this - if consciousness is merely playing 'catch-up' to a decision already made by the brain then how can the individual have freewill? The assumption being of course that consciousness should control all decision-making involved in choice, not just become aware of the individual's decision after the fact.
    Last edited by watson; 07-04-2015 at 04:13 PM.

  15. #765
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    'Consciousness' is a pretty freaking mind boggling concept in itself. IIRC Dawkins speaks of consciousness and sexual reproduction as two difficult puzzles to solve from perspective of their utility in perpetuating life. Think if we are trying to understand consciousness using consciousness, we are going to struggle.
    Last edited by ankitj; 08-04-2015 at 04:49 PM.
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