1. Joined
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    10 Jan '06 04:49
    Given that our consciousness is the product of chemicals and their interactions and influences from the environment, and that our thoughts are dictated by predispositions (as the result of inheritance). Then it is impossible that we can truly make a free decision. Hence, we have no free will.
    This also has implications for law. Is a person truly accountable for their actions? given that there is no free will, then there is no accountability.

    If there is no free will, then the passage in genesis explaining God's gift of free will, is false. With the bible being "the word of God," then God lied. Or God doesn't exist, Or some lunatic composed a spurious religious text which is now adhered to by billions of people. In short, all Christians (and probably all other theists) have been lied to in some way as a consequence.

    Anyone disagree?
  2. Colorado
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    10 Jan '06 04:531 edit
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    Given that our consciousness is the product of chemicals and their interactions and influences from the environment, and that our thoughts are dictated by predispositions (as the result of inheritance). Then it is impossible that we can truly make a free decision. Hence, we have no free will.
    This also has implications for law. Is a person truly accountab ably all other theists) have been lied to in some way as a consequence.

    Anyone disagree?
    This is actually a good argument for there being a God. Most people accept that we have free will and are accountable for our actions.
  3. Joined
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    10 Jan '06 06:25
    I dont understand
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Jan '06 06:46
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    This is actually a good argument for there being a God. Most people accept that we have free will and are accountable for our actions.
    The perception of argument is in the eyes of the beholder. I look
    at the same statement and come to agree with it, there is no god.
    Or if there is, it is ignoring earth and we are on our own, which has
    been used by those powermongers who use religious arguments to
    simply build a power base all the while maintaining an exterior
    of devout piousness but inwardly going, YES! I did it, I fooled those
    idiots into believing and at the same time made myself rich.
  5. Colorado
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    10 Jan '06 07:022 edits
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    I dont understand
    Well, you make a lot of assumptions here.

    Given that our consciousness is the product of chemicals and their interactions and influences from the environment, and that our thoughts are dictated by predispositions (as the result of inheritance). Then it is impossible that we can truly make a free decision. Hence, we have no free will.

    It has not been shown that our consciousness is the product of chemical reactions, or that our thoughts are not our own. These are just theories. There are also theories that state that consciousness shapes our material world.

    This also has implications for law. Is a person truly accountable for their actions? given that there is no free will, then there is no accountability.

    Most people hold a criminal responsible for his/her actions. A murder is responsible for the life that he/she took, and must pay the consequences. This is much easier to believe than to say that criminals have no choice in the matter (in most cases that is).

    I can choose to respond to a post or not. So if we have free will, that means that the theory about consciousness you mentioned is false, and there is a God. If we have free will, our actions are not determined by chemical reactions.
  6. Colorado
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    10 Jan '06 07:092 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The perception of argument is in the eyes of the beholder. I look
    at the same statement and come to agree with it, there is no god.
    Or if there is, it is ignoring earth and we are on our own, which has
    been used by those powermongers who use religious arguments to
    simply build a power base all the while maintaining an exterior
    of devout piousness but ...[text shortened]... ing, YES! I did it, I fooled those
    idiots into believing and at the same time made myself rich.
    I agree that these sorts of things go on all the time, but I don’t agree that it is what God wants us to do.

    To look at the actions of those who use religion for evil purposes and say that there is no God because of them is foolish. Ask yourself if those guys are following their scripture. You’ll probably find that in most cases they are not.
  7. Joined
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    10 Jan '06 07:45
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    [b]Well, you make a lot of assumptions here.

    It has not been shown that our consciousness is the product of chemical reactions, or that our thoughts are not our own. These are just theories. There are also theories that state that consciousness shapes our material world.

    Most people hold a criminal responsible for his/her actions. A murder is ...[text shortened]... h easier to believe than to say that criminals have no choice in the matter (in most cases that is).
    Certain genes can presdispose a person to depression. Hence, that person is not accountable for their depression (or their potential suicide).

    Certain chemicals can predispose a person to gambling. Hence, that person is not accountable for their depression (or their potential privation).

    See where i'm going?
    If these psychological phenomenon can be explained as the result of chemical and physical processes, it is safe to assume that it is the same for all other psychological phenomenon. If you ar implying the existence of some "spirit" which transcends these chemical and physical processes, then you might as well reject science altogether.

    As one person on this sight remarked on this site "there is no partial free will, you either have it or you dont" ( i think in the "There is not God" thread). As has just been proven above, there is no "total" free will. Given that there is no partial free will (this assertion you will find correct even among your religious type), then there is no free will altogether. This explains why criminal law is in turmoil. People try to define where accountability stops and starts. You can't. It doesn't exist. That doesn't justify evils, it just means people are not truly resposnible for their actions. They are the product of their genes and the environment. Which is not their fault.
  8. Colorado
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    10 Jan '06 08:081 edit
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    Certain genes can presdispose a person to depression. Hence, that person is not accountable for their depression (or their potential suicide).

    Certain chemicals can predispose a person to gambling. Hence, that person is not accountable for their depression (or their potential privation).

    See where i'm going?
    If these psychological phenomenon ions. They are the product of their genes and the environment. Which is not their fault.
    Certain genes can presdispose a person to depression. Hence, that person is not accountable for their depression (or their potential suicide).

    Certain chemicals can predispose a person to gambling. Hence, that person is not accountable for their depression (or their potential privation).

    See where i'm going?
    If these psychological phenomenon can be explained as the result of chemical and physical processes, it is safe to assume that it is the same for all other psychological phenomenon. If you ar implying the existence of some "spirit" which transcends these chemical and physical processes, then you might as well reject science altogether.


    Again, you assume way too much. I believe it is true that certain genes influence us. The son of an alcoholic for example is four times more likely to become an alcoholic, but guess what, there are plenty of son’s of alcoholics who are not alcoholic. Many see the evils of drinking first hand and decide that they are not going to do it. This is free will.

    Also, to say that everything we do and think from snapping our figures to thinking about a blue ocean is predetermined by genes and chemicals is a very weak theory to say the least. Most scientists don’t believe this.

    As one person on this sight remarked on this site "there is no partial free will, you either have it or you dont" ( i think in the "There is not God" thread). As has just been proven above, there is no "total" free will. Given that there is no partial free will (this assertion you will find correct even among your religious type), then there is no free will altogether. This explains why criminal law is in turmoil. People try to define where accountability stops and starts. You can't. It doesn't exist. That doesn't justify evils, it just means people are not truly resposnible for their actions. They are the product of their genes and the environment. Which is not their fault.

    Not true. Most judges and juries have no problem convicting a defendant who holds up a liquor store and shoots three people, regardless of his/her background.

    Gene theory is only part of the story. Virtually all psychiatrists agree that both nature and nurture are important in shaping an individual. Even here there are plenty of exceptions. I just read a story on CNN the other day where two brothers turned in their dad after he robbed a bank. This goes against both nature and nurture and demonstrates free will.

    We all have free will, but we are also influenced by nature and nurture. This is about as much as gene theory has shown.
  9. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Jan '06 08:45
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    I agree that these sorts of things go on all the time, but I don’t agree that it is what God wants us to do.

    To look at the actions of those who use religion for evil purposes and say that there is no God because of them is foolish. Ask yourself if those guys are following their scripture. You’ll probably find that in most cases they are not.
    The problem with your statement about what god wants us do do
    is this: What you think of about god doesn't come from yourself,
    it comes from what other men have said is what god wants us to do.
    When was the last time GOD HIMSELF told you what he/she/it wants?
    A real god would not need to set up an artificial hierarchy inherent in
    what we regard as the way to communicate with god. Most if not all
    religions are set up in such a way as there are always go-betweens
    between you and god. They tell you the way, you believe them to
    be god-like or enlightened or something. Nowhere in that equation
    is there room for someone just feeling he or she does not need
    that intervention. If you say that, you are branded a heretic or worse.
    Why don't you think about what YOU want to get out of a relationship
    with god without having to cowtow to the trappings of religions?
  10. Standard memberNemesio
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    10 Jan '06 08:48
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    We all have free will, but we are also influenced by nature and nurture. This is about as much as gene theory has shown.
    I think his point is that, on a microscopic level, everything has a cause and effect and, therefore
    is predictable. If something is predictable -- that is, the biochemical pathways are predetermined
    based on starting conditions -- then there is no free will.

    That is, if you 'decide' not to rob a bank, it is because of an infinitude of factors that made up
    your history -- your knowledge, your upbringing, your genetics, your experiences. He is assuming
    that, if he could identically replicate the starting conditions (i.e., before a decision), he would
    guarantee the outcome, just like you always get hydrogen and oxygen when you break down water,
    and not ice cream and hot dogs.

    While perhaps theoretically his statement is true (and I am not yet sure it is), it is a practical
    impossibility, because the microscopic chemical reactions to which he is refering are subject to
    chaos, which is (by definition) immeasurable. That is, initial conditions are neither measurable
    nor predictable. So, even if theoretically there is no 'free will,' practically there is.

    Nemesio
  11. Standard memberOmnislash
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    10 Jan '06 09:05
    If/when we create consciousness from dead chemicals, I will consider entertaining this notion. Being that this has yet to pass, it will have to be forgiven of me that I find the assumptive arguement less than compelling. 😉
  12. Joined
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    10 Jan '06 09:08
    While perhaps theoretically his statement is true (and I am not yet sure it is), it is a practical
    impossibility, because the microscopic chemical reactions to which he is refering are subject to
    chaos, which is (by definition) immeasurable. That is, initial conditions are neither measurable
    nor predictable. So, even if theoretically there is no 'free will,' practically there is.

    Nemesio[/b]
    I am not suggesting determinacy. I believe that the future is indetermined, however this does not justify the free will.

    It is true, that at the quantum level there is uncertainty and that it is impossible to measure a particles position and momentum, hence a single outcome of an event cannot be predicted. But this does not support the free will argument because a person is still the result of chemical reactions.
    According to quantum mechanics, if event A happens, event B, C or even D may happen as a consequence (as opposed to only B). So a human is just resigned to an infiniute number of outcomes which he is not accoutnable for (because he doesn't choose). There is no decision entailed here, despite how chaotic and complex the brain is. Hence, there can be no free will.
  13. Joined
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    10 Jan '06 09:13
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    If/when we create consciousness from dead chemicals, I will consider entertaining this notion. Being that this has yet to pass, it will have to be forgiven of me that I find the assumptive arguement less than compelling. 😉
    Why does not consciousness have to be created?
    We know the brain is composed of chemicals. We know these chemicals influence behaviour (as well as the environment). We accept that behaviour is the manifestation of the mind. Hence, the mind=brain and chemicals+environment=mind. There is not free will in this.
  14. Colorado
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    10 Jan '06 09:181 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The problem with your statement about what god wants us do do
    is this: What you think of about god doesn't come from yourself,
    it comes from what other men have said is what god wants us to do.
    When was the last time GOD HIMSELF told you what he/she/it wants?
    A real god would not need to set up an artificial hierarchy inherent in
    what we regard as ant to get out of a relationship
    with god without having to cowtow to the trappings of religions?
    The problem with your statement about what god wants us do do
    is this: What you think of about god doesn't come from yourself,
    it comes from what other men have said is what god wants us to do.
    When was the last time GOD HIMSELF told you what he/she/it wants?


    Can’t argue with you here. The goal of any religion is to find God for ourselves. Sadly I still have a way to go.

    A real god would not need to set up an artificial hierarchy inherent in
    what we regard as the way to communicate with god. Most if not all
    religions are set up in such a way as there are always go-betweens
    between you and god. They tell you the way, you believe them to
    be god-like or enlightened or something. Nowhere in that equation
    is there room for someone just feeling he or she does not need
    that intervention. If you say that, you are branded a heretic or worse.


    I think your opinion is a bit too categorical here. Interpretations of religion should not necessarily be based on what the followers do, at least not all of them, but rather what the scripture tells them to do. For example, if people had just followed the golden rule given by Jesus, the crusades would never have happened.

    Jesus tells us to pray to his father in the Lords prayer, and Islam tells us that there is no middle man between us and God. Most of the worlds religions in fact teach this, Buddhism is probably one of the most extreme examples.

    Why don't you think about what YOU want to get out of a relationship
    with god…


    Religion and spirituality have to go hand in hand. I agree that without that inner relationship with God, religion means nothing. This is sometimes overlooked.
  15. Standard memberOmnislash
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    10 Jan '06 09:18
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    Why does not consciousness have to be created?
    We know the brain is composed of chemicals. We know these chemicals influence behaviour (as well as the environment). We accept that behaviour is the manifestation of the mind. Hence, the mind=brain and chemicals+environment=mind. There is not free will in this.
    I think you miss the point. If all that is the composition of our consciousness is the random assortment of chemicals eventually producing the correct chain to produce this, then it shouldn't be too terribly insurmountable of a challenge to reproduce it in a controlled enviroment.

    I suppose I could digress further, but I don't think it would be pertinent or helpful. Suffice it to say, I believe your asserition to be over simplistic. Again, I will have to beg the question and retain my scepticism due to the inability to produce the empirical evidence of creating consciousness from dead chemical. If/when that occurs, I will entertain the notion and re-examine the issue. Untill then, everything we 'know' may as well be considered mere conjecture for all the relevance it has.
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