Thread: Free Will
View Single Post
Unread February 11th, 2006, 05:52 PM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dallas
Posts: 257
Default Free Will

This thread is a continuation of a conversation of Free Will that started on page 4 of the "Intelligent Design and Why Not" thread with post #31. Please read those posts if you want the background.

Originally Posted by TomJrzk
Here are Tom's thoughts on free will in a nutshell:

1. All behaviors, personality, thoughts, feelings, and dreams come from our brains. There's nothing supernatural or spiritual.

2. Therefore, whatever choices we make are predetermined, they rely solely on the current conditions of our brains: memories/prior experiences, instincts/personality and what we sense from our environment; there's nothing else to tip the balance between 'yes' and 'no'.

3. Every individual's choices are essential to our collective predetermined future.

4. Criminals and obnoxious people should be pitied for their lack of compatibility with society, not hated.

My predetermined choice to post this has changed your 'prior experiences'. Hopefully, enough of us will realize that we humans are the only beings that can consciously change our futures, and do so for the better. We are all cogs in the machine, there is no omniscient being that will straighten out whatever messes we make.

Originally Posted by alexandra_k
1) Mr X discovers Mrs X in bed with another man. They divorce. Several years later Mr X goes out and buys a gun... He formulates a plan (writes it in his diary, let us say), and goes and shoots her.

2) Mr Y is being held at gunpoint. The person pointing a gun in his face hands him a gun and tells him: 'Either you shoot this person in front of you or I shall shoot that person and I shall shoot 5 other people as well'.

Lets imagine the trial...
Lets also consider moral responsibility...

Do you agree when I say that most people would think that Mr X should be locked up for a very long time (at the very least) whereas Mr Y... Shouldn't be locked up at all?
Yes, the trial would go as you described, as well it should. I appreciate your adding another example to your list but I still go back to my earlier question: "What is the ultimate source of Mr X's 'decision'? If there is a coin flipping in his brain or some other random-number generator then maybe you can call that a choice of some sort.

But, please tell me, maybe in 10 words or less, with what is Mr. X choosing??? When you realize that you can't answer this question without going supernatural on me, you'll be faced with the choice of either being a 'hard' determinist or a non-determinist; there really is no compatibility that I can see. Yet.

Last edited by TomJrzk; February 13th, 2006 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Add Tom's summary
Reply With Quote