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Unread February 17th, 2006, 02:42 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 271
Default Re: A Free Will Challenge

Tom said: Yes, you're saying that the final decision is entirely emotional and the intellect reasons (perhaps without emotion) outside the decision-making process; but that still means that it has an effect on the final decision.
I never said our intellectual conclusions don't affect our decisions. And in most decisions we make they have a great effect. Those would be the thousands of decisions we make every day (like solving a mathematical problem) where our identity beliefs are not at stake (except perhaps our belief that we are a competent mathemetician). We make those decisions all the time. In fact, that constant activity of our intellect creates the illusion that it is driving the bus.

But sometimes we make more important decisions, like whether to take our sick child to the doctor or pray for their health. It is those identity related decisions where our intellect is somtimes at a disadvantage.

If you see yourself as a child of God who loves most those who believe in Him and whose destiny is in His hands - or you see yourself as subject to natural laws for which medical science provides the best current explanation - will greatly determine your decision. And it will be determined by the strength of the emotional markers that are attached to those identity beliefs in your mind weighed against those of your other instincts, dispositions and intellectual conclusions.

The reason that our intellect is so powerful is that it can operate logically (without emotion) outside our decision making process. It's an objective rather than subjective tool which gives us two complimentary ways to look at reality. And that really is very cool.

In each mind and in each context it will be given more or less weight to affect our decisions. That's good, not bad - and even though we humans often make spectacular judgement errors I believe that mechanism is the best that evolution has yet devised for any creature coping with the hostile and seemingly chaotic world that we live in.

(Fred's reply will take a little longer.)


Last edited by Margaret McGhee; February 17th, 2006 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Grammar
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