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Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Donít
NY Times ^ | 2 January 2007 | Dennis Overbye

Posted on 01/02/2007 5:08:42 AM PST by shrinkermd

“Is it an illusion? That’s the question,” said Michael Silberstein, a science philosopher at Elizabethtown College in Maryland. Another question, he added, is whether talking about this in public will fan the culture wars.

“If people freak at evolution, etc.,” he wrote in an e-mail message, “how much more will they freak if scientists and philosophers tell them they are nothing more than sophisticated meat machines, and is that conclusion now clearly warranted or is it premature?”

Daniel C. Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Tufts University who has written extensively about free will, said that “when we consider whether free will is an illusion or reality, we are looking into an abyss. What seems to confront us is a plunge into nihilism and despair.”

Mark Hallett, a researcher with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said, “Free will does exist, but it’s a perception, not a power or a driving force. People experience free will. They have the sense they are free.

“The more you scrutinize it, the more you realize you don’t have it,” he said.

That is hardly a new thought. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, as Einstein paraphrased it, that “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: free; freewill; will
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Now the NYT tells me they have no "free will" but out of my "free will" must come the will to pay them $50 a year to read their premium service.

If I had only known! I had better donate to FR before it is too late.

1 posted on 01/02/2007 5:08:45 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

" Daniel C. Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Tufts University who has written extensively about free will, said that “when we consider whether free will is an illusion or reality, we are looking into an abyss. What seems to confront us is a plunge into nihilism and despair.” "

Funny -- this plays into an idea that I've been playing with for a little while now.

I throw this out for what it's worth --

"The core difference between the Conservative Mindset and the Liberal, is that Conservatives believe in - and accept - "free will"; Liberals don't."


2 posted on 01/02/2007 5:13:39 AM PST by Uncle Ike ("Tripping over the lines connecting all of the dots"... [FReeper Pinz-n-needlez])
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To: shrinkermd

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, as Einstein paraphrased it, that “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”



Well said. The will is a slave to the heart.


3 posted on 01/02/2007 5:15:25 AM PST by freedomfiter2 ("Modern, bureaucratic, unionized education is a form of intellectual child abuse." Newt Gingrich)
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bump


4 posted on 01/02/2007 5:22:47 AM PST by Dark Skies ("He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that" ... John Stuart Mill)
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To: shrinkermd

Good!

This idiot has provide my defense for when I hit him in the face!


5 posted on 01/02/2007 5:25:39 AM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: freedomfiter2
Freedom says, "Well said. The will is a slave to the heart." VI personalities can spout hyperbole like Schopenhauer does here, but let a layman try erecting such a strawman argument! The "will" in one usage is DIFFERENT than that which Schopenhauer tries to infer it is . . .!!! This is a snide crack at religion . . .
6 posted on 01/02/2007 5:27:21 AM PST by tadowe
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To: shrinkermd

Upon what grounds does Dennett, and other rabid atheists, attack theist? After all, if there is no free will, how can I be held responsible for what I believe?


7 posted on 01/02/2007 5:39:34 AM PST by Lucas McCain (The day may come when the courage of men will fail...but not this day.)
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To: freedomfiter2
"The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, as Einstein paraphrased it, that “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”

Well said. The will is a slave to the heart.

Actually, this is untrue and indeed what liberals believe. That's how they can cover for a man like Saddam, and overlook their hero Clinton's devastating missteps.

However, our will is not a slave to our heart but rather to our mind. We can choose to do what our feelings rebel against doing. However, when we choose to believe/think on Truth, our will and our feelings will follow suit.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

8 posted on 01/02/2007 5:40:02 AM PST by TruthSetsUFree
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To: shrinkermd
We have no choice but to believe in free will.

-ccm

9 posted on 01/02/2007 5:47:18 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: shrinkermd

bkamrk


10 posted on 01/02/2007 5:49:19 AM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/optimism_nov8th.htm)
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To: shrinkermd

God's will trumps your free will.


11 posted on 01/02/2007 5:53:53 AM PST by Delta 21 ( MKC USCG - ret)
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To: shrinkermd
Daniel C. Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Tufts University who has written extensively about free will, said that “when we consider whether free will is an illusion or reality, we are looking into an abyss. What seems to confront us is a plunge into nihilism and despair.”

Not if you're a Calvinist or a Muslim.
12 posted on 01/02/2007 5:57:59 AM PST by aruanan
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To: freedomfiter2

"I think; therefore I am; I think.


13 posted on 01/02/2007 6:00:02 AM PST by tom paine 2
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To: TruthSetsUFree

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7)

You would seem to agree with me. Until God quickens a man's heart, his desire will be to go his own way. Once he is given a desire to seek and follow God he will choose to do so.


14 posted on 01/02/2007 6:00:05 AM PST by freedomfiter2 ("Modern, bureaucratic, unionized education is a form of intellectual child abuse." Newt Gingrich)
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To: shrinkermd
Perhaps "free will" is not the place to begin. The fact is, we make choices. Our choices may be variously conditioned, but in the final analysis we are all conscious of choosing. This then leads to the question of making the right choices, which is what all the fuss is about.
15 posted on 01/02/2007 6:04:01 AM PST by sphinx
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To: freedomfiter2
But at the end of the day, it is God's will we're supposed follow...not our own.

sw

16 posted on 01/02/2007 6:04:53 AM PST by spectre (Spectre's wife)
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To: shrinkermd
All of this is nothing new. These questions have plagued humanity since Plato and before. Does man have free will or is everything rigged and we are just puppets?

Calling someone a "science philosopher" or couching the question in terms of describing man as a "meat machine" changes nothing nor adds to the discussion.

This is just another aspect of the Darwinian anti-religionist viewpoint. Man is a product of evolution and is nothing more than a meat machine dancing to the tune of his hormones and genetic coding. God does not exist.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtin, he does not exist.

17 posted on 01/02/2007 6:05:16 AM PST by Dogrobber
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To: freedomfiter2
The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, as Einstein paraphrased it, that “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”

Well said. The will is a slave to the heart.


That's not quite what this says. It doesn't say that you cannot choose whether or not to act on what you want, it just says that what you want is not an act of will. In saying that desire is not an act of will, it is also not saying that the scope and quality of one's desires is not amenable to choice.

Learning to control the output of one's actions in spite of the input of one's desires is the essence of learning to live a moral life. Those who aren't even aware of the difference are mostly under the age of six. Those who know but don't care are mostly hedonists or criminals.
18 posted on 01/02/2007 6:12:01 AM PST by aruanan
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To: shrinkermd
That is hardly a new thought.

Duh!!

Welcome to another A vs C thread war!

19 posted on 01/02/2007 6:17:22 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: shrinkermd
Run into such arguments regularly these days.

Several arguments refute this sophomoric conceit. (The person forwarding the argument always refuses the refutation, of course.) Here are four.

First, there is a circularity refutation. "If there is no free will, then you, who claim there is no free will, are merely a thing without moral standing, simply a voice box, a meat tinker toy and not even a robot since "robot" implies some autonomy. If your hypothesis is correct then by your own argument listening to you is not different from watching a movie, a television commercial, or even the clouds. Who should pay attention to you at all? Why should I? If your hypothasis is correct then your "opinion" is meaningless in the same way you yourself are meaningless.

Secondly, your argument is not disprovable and so cannot be scientific. Your argument has no mathematical structure (nor even a logical structure, as shown by the first proposition. It makes neither falsifiable nor verifiable predictions and is therefore mere matter of faith, that is, an opinion.

Third, organic structures work on the quantum level. Examine biochemistry and physical chemistry. Therefore organic structures are not bound by "causality" in the same way as, and for the same reason, as electrons in the two slit experiment. Therefore by their nature organic structures are not predictable except statistically.

Fourthly, you are advancing an hypothesis and therefore the burden of proof lies with you. I do not have to refute your argument but instead you must convince me you are correct. You have not done so.

Each of these arguments is sufficient unto itself.

An irrational belief without evidence is in psychiatry technically a "delusion", I believe. Therefore we can categorize your belief are "delusion" in exactly the same way we can so describe the arguments of a schizophrenic.

Q.E.D."

20 posted on 01/02/2007 6:17:24 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Iris7

Please excuse the typos and most awkward construction. Editing errors on my part.


21 posted on 01/02/2007 6:21:42 AM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: tadowe

I don't think it's a crack at religion. Schopenhauer lived in the 19th century, which was a time of intense, religious, philosophical enquiry. He saw the world as evil and full of suffering (which the realm of the Prince is, so no conflict with religion there), and he believed in salvation. The 'will' is opposed to 'perception', which agrees with the Christian view of God's will versus the worldly and sensuous. We are so worldly, and our perceptions are so flawed, so influenced by the realm of Satan, that we must work very hard to submit to the will of God. Free will? You bet! We are free to be evil -- it is the easiest thing, in fact... but we are also free to obey the will of God. The word 'will' is applied from two perspectives, our free will and God's divine will.


22 posted on 01/02/2007 6:22:05 AM PST by Thywillnotmine
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To: Iris7

Your premis is unclear, and so what is your conclusion?

Meat machine, or decider . . . ?


23 posted on 01/02/2007 6:24:05 AM PST by tadowe
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To: Iris7
"Secondly, your argument is not disprovable and so cannot be scientific."

With apologies to Karl Popper, this statement is itself not disprovable and so cannot be scientific. Sorry!

I happen to agree with you otherwise.

24 posted on 01/02/2007 6:33:49 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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Nanster says, "I don't think it's a crack at religion. Schopenhauer lived in the 19th century, which was a time of intense, religious, philosophical enquiry." It was a crack at the notion that man can change the laws of nature via "will" (walk-on-water, etc.) As I mentioned, this is NOT the "will" which is discussed when "psychology" takes the floor and arrogantly denies the idea of "free choice," or when a "journalist" attempts to translate that chutzpah into layperson's vocabulary/understanding . . .
25 posted on 01/02/2007 6:36:25 AM PST by tadowe
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To: aruanan

Check out more pictures of the dastard Calvinist jihadis at: http://www.oldtruth.com/blog.cfm/id.2.pid.503

26 posted on 01/02/2007 6:53:28 AM PST by bahblahbah
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To: shrinkermd
“If people freak at evolution, etc.,” he wrote in an e-mail message, “how much more will they freak if scientists and philosophers tell them they are nothing more than sophisticated meat machines, and is that conclusion now clearly warranted or is it premature?”

Meat machines, eh? Someone needs to tell this guy about the many documented cases of human beings with tiny, atrophied brains who nevertheless had full mental function. For example, British pediatrician Dr. John Lorber recorded several famous cases of normally-functioning (and even high-IQ) patients whose brain tissues were less than 1mm in thickness — or who lacked any brain tissue at all. If the human mind were only a program running on a meat computer (the brain), then these people should have been drooling vegetables — but they weren't.

I don't buy it.

27 posted on 01/02/2007 6:55:14 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: freedomfiter2
Well said. The will is a slave to the heart.
---
The will might be a slave to the heart, but the mind is not.

1) I wanted to drink, so I did.

2) I wanted to drive, so I did.

3) I hit and killed that woman and her 4 children.

4) Since I am merely a meat puppet, what purpose is served by punishing me? I don't have free will - when I get out I will drink and drive again. Because I don't have free will.

The logical extension of this is laws are useless, they can't control people, so why have them?

That way brutal and murderous anarchy and the death of society lie. I killed him because I'm a meat puppet, I molested the child because I'm a meat puppet, I cheated on my taxes because I'm a meat puppet. (Ya think the IRS will buy that one?)

Laws and punishment have utility only if people can control their will. It adds additional incentive to those who might otherwise be inclined to follow their will. Punishment and the threat thereof can only work if the mind can control the will.
28 posted on 01/02/2007 6:57:11 AM PST by Cheburashka ( World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
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To: shrinkermd

The liberal NYTimes making more excuses for people who behave badly.


29 posted on 01/02/2007 6:57:28 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Uncle Ike
" Daniel C. Dennett, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at Tufts University who has written extensively about free will, said that “when we consider whether free will is an illusion or reality, we are looking into an abyss. What seems to confront us is a plunge into nihilism and despair.”

If he believed that, how could he be capable of writing those words? It's like all those leftists, published in paper, TV, and internet, saying that America stifles their free speech.

30 posted on 01/02/2007 7:04:30 AM PST by 300winmag (Overkill never fails)
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To: Cheburashka

Laws and punishment have utility only if people can control their will.


Wrong. Punishment changes the perspective. A selfish individual may still want to steal his neighbors car, but the likelyhood and severity of punishment makes it not worth it to him. He still is acting out the desires of his heart.


31 posted on 01/02/2007 7:09:10 AM PST by freedomfiter2 ("Modern, bureaucratic, unionized education is a form of intellectual child abuse." Newt Gingrich)
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To: Dogrobber
Calling someone a "science philosopher" or couching the question in terms of describing man as a "meat machine" changes nothing nor adds to the discussion.

If we were mere meat machines, we would not be conscious. Only a tiny fraction of people have brains wired so badly that they can't keep from acting out their impulses.

As Buford T. Justice used to say, "You can think about it, just don't do it."

32 posted on 01/02/2007 7:12:12 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Iris7
Good arguments all. I especially liked your third argument:

Third, organic structures work on the quantum level. Examine biochemistry and physical chemistry. Therefore organic structures are not bound by "causality" in the same way as, and for the same reason, as electrons in the two slit experiment. Therefore by their nature organic structures are not predictable except statistically.

It seems to me that much of the philosophical basis for determinism lies in Newtonian science and the belief in a mechanistic, clockwork universe. It seems that philosophy hasn’t been updated to account for quantum mechanics. As I understand it, the result of some quantum experiments depend on an act of will. Somewhat similar quantum events happen within the brain. Perhaps one holds one thought, or another, by a similar act of will. This corresponds to my experience, and perhaps is good science too. The thought one holds, the thought one rejects, can be crucial. Hold one thought, ruminate, return to it again later, and later again. These actions provide the basis for habits and rewiring of the brain. It seems to me that acts of will are as as real and “scientific” as anything else science or philosophy can consider.
33 posted on 01/02/2007 7:31:55 AM PST by ChessExpert (Reagan defeated America's enemies foreign and domestic. I hope Bush can do the same.)
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To: freedomfiter2
Wrong. Punishment changes the perspective. A selfish individual may still want to steal his neighbors car, but the likelyhood and severity of punishment makes it not worth it to him. He still is acting out the desires of his heart.
---
You are talking about how and why he controls his will.

If he's a meat puppet he can't control his will, no matter what the threatened punishment is. Therefore punishment is useless.

You can't be selfish or generous if you're a meat puppet. You do everything you do the way you do it because you're a meat puppet. You have no free will.
34 posted on 01/02/2007 7:35:13 AM PST by Cheburashka ( World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
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To: Iris7

In fact, without a soul, you cannot possibly have "free will".

I'll "prove" it. All of your actions are based on inputs and how those inputs are processed. Your brain is like a computer, albeit as you note a living organism. It stores previous information, and generates signals which cause reactions, including your thoughts.

Given a sufficiently advanced technology, I should be able to build a perfect replica of your brain, and i should be able to program it with precisely the current state of your brain. Maybe I'll clone you with an accelerant for growth, and then I'll dump your current synaptic pattern into your brain. (Think "6 days", with Arnold S.).

Now I can control precisely the input to your brain. If there is nothing controlling you outside of the things that make up your physical nature, when I provide identical inputs to you and your doppelganger, both of you will take the same action.

You could argue that both of you would choose the same way, that you both had free will. OK, now I put you in a sensory deprevation unit, and feed an input to your doppelganger. Then I bring you out and feed you the same input, and you do exactly what I already KNEW you would do.

You had no real free will, you simply did exactly what all of your prior history, along with your genetic makeup, led you to do.

Wait, though, these ARE biological organism, there is random variation.

Quite right. So in fact I can't be certain what you are going to do. But on the other hand, a random variation causing you to do something different isn't really "free will", because you can't control the random variation. If you CONTROLLED it, you and your doppelganger would control it in the same way.

But there is still some variation possible. Suppose you and your doppelganger decide to flip a coin to make a decision. You could get different results. But it still isn't free will, you both chose the same way based on your prior existance and input to allow a coin to control your destiny, and the coin was hardly "free will", unless you had a way to force it to land the way you wanted -- in which case your doppelganger would have done the same.

The only way in which there can be true "free will" is if there is a soul that exists outside the physical limitations of our body, and that soul has "god-like" properties which include the attribute of free will, by design.

I realise we can't create your doppelganger, but I merely argue that it is theoretically possible to do so, if not by our current technology.

BTW, even though I do believe in free will based on a soul, it isn't a completely free actor. We all have the ability at some level to accurately predict how other people will react to input. Some people are very good at it, and can uncannily "forsee" what others will do, especially people they know really well.

How often do married couples complete each others sentences correctly? Is this not anecdotal evidence that most of what seems to be "free choice" is in fact the foregone conclusion of our history and inputs?

My conclusion: Without God, there is no free will, only the illusion of it based on forced choices. With God, there is free will, but only so far as he has granted that attribute to us, subject to his control.

Realise that if you believe in a God that knows the future exactly, then you could have "free will" but not "free choice" since God's knowledge already sets the results in stone. And if you believe in a God that actually can control your life (even if it is only to the extent you submit to Him), that control must certainly include controlling those around you.

If you believe Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins, you must necessarily believe that God controlled the actual people around Jesus for his entire life to ensure nobody decided to kill him before the appointed time.

That's just the most obvious example of religious infringement on "free will". If God has appointed the hour of my death, I don't have the free will to choose to kill myself


35 posted on 01/02/2007 7:39:44 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Uncle Ike

Good point.

LOL. . . . So a Calvinist Conservative is a contradiction in terms?

I think a number would protest that conclusion.


36 posted on 01/02/2007 7:39:49 AM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: Uncle Ike
Not sure it's really relevant as such. Like Clinton had trouble defining the meaning of the word "is", when it was convenient to do so, these "intellectuals will redefine "free will" as it fits their own anti-God agenda.

Free Will is a Biblical concept to demonstrate that God loves us so much, He will allow us to do what we decide to do, regardless of what He wishes for us. His granting of Free Will is an act of supreme humility and what makes him a loving God instead of a fascist tyrant.

To take a definition out of context, then use the perverted definition to "prove" it doesn't exist is asinine. Of course, most self-named "intellectuals" do tend to be asinine, but their Kool-Aid always seems to find some parched lips...

37 posted on 01/02/2007 7:42:03 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: Cheburashka

You are talking about how and why he controls his will.


No, I'm talking about how and why he controls his actions. A will that you can control isn't free. If you are saying that your mind can control your will then what makes some want to control their will and others not?

Not having a free will doesn't mean we are meat machines it simply means we will tend to make choices that often contradict what our intellect says is logical.


38 posted on 01/02/2007 8:24:33 AM PST by freedomfiter2 ("Modern, bureaucratic, unionized education is a form of intellectual child abuse." Newt Gingrich)
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To: Delta 21

I apologize if that was a joke, but God gave out free will, to use it is all part of the plan, right?


39 posted on 01/02/2007 8:29:44 AM PST by Unassuaged (I have shocking data relevant to the conversation!)
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To: shrinkermd
The thrust of the article seems to say that it's an either/or situation.

I think the reality is simply that "people are complicated."

Ultimately, I think the lab experiments described cannot control for all of the possible factors behind one of the decisions they're purporting to measure. The so-called "finger-twitch" experiment, for example: how much of the respective "twitching" decisions were pre-determined by the fact that the subject knew in advance that he was going to be asked to move things randomly?

People just have too much previous history and experience for our actions to be neatly placed into either "deterministic" or "free will" boxes.

40 posted on 01/02/2007 8:32:17 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Uncle Ike
I throw this out for what it's worth --

"The core difference between the Conservative Mindset and the Liberal, is that Conservatives believe in - and accept - "free will"; Liberals don't."

I prefer the explanations given by Thomas Sowell in A Conflict of Visions.

His thesis revolves around the concept of the "constrained" versus the "unconstrained" vision of the world. Conservatives generally accept that there are real constraints--absolute laws of physics, economics, etc, absolute good and evil, etc.--within which a person must function.

Liberals don't think that way, and that all such constraints are arbitrarily imposed by others. In short, they tend to deny/ignore reality and seek to operate in defiance of it.

41 posted on 01/02/2007 8:36:09 AM PST by TChris (We scoff at honor and are shocked to find traitors among us. - C.S. Lewis)
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To: shrinkermd
“The more you scrutinize it, the more you realize you don’t have it,” he said.

What he means is that the Dems are in charge of Congress.

42 posted on 01/02/2007 8:46:29 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: TruthSetsUFree

I've been performing some word studies in the anthropology of man in Scripture recently.

Here is one model I've found to be consistent:

The heart is recognized as that thing within man from which our outward work proceeds. Call it, the heart, an output stage.

God has created man in three components (first and second Adams were similarily created in Body, soul and spirit).

Our soul includes the mind and the heart.

Our spirit is discernible from the soul. Spiritual things are perceived in truth by the living Human spirit through faith in Christ.

Temptation occurs with a thought in the mind. The temptation alone is not sin. When we add volition or a will independent of God to the temptation, then we have a sin.

When we are in fellowship with Him, we are sanctified in a process where th LOGOS is preached and heard. The Holy Spirit makes the LOGOS perceptible to the human spirit. The Holy Spirit Makes the LOGOS heard become GNOSIS or an intelletual knowledge in our mind susceptible to rationalism and logic or reason. The Holy Spirit turns the GNOSIS into EPIGNOSIS in our heart portion of the soul. This is still without our volition other than our will placing our faith in Christ and putting on the mind of Christ.

When we then perceive situations in life upon which we may respond through faith in Christ, we utilize the tools in our heart and produce works. If our heart is influenced by past scarred 'wrong-thinking', our works are simply things of wood, hay and stubble which will be burnt up in Final Judgment. Those things which are of the heart from God, will be found good for rewards.

Our hearts may be evil or good, depending upon the amount of sanctification performed on them through faith in God the Holy Spirit. Interestingly in this process, all faith is from God.


43 posted on 01/02/2007 8:49:20 AM PST by Cvengr
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To: shrinkermd
“how much more will they freak if scientists and philosophers tell them they are nothing more than sophisticated meat machines

Not at all. We are sophisticated meat machines. However, the sophistication is that we have SOULS and cows don't. God saw to that.

Have a happy.

TS

44 posted on 01/02/2007 8:49:56 AM PST by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: shrinkermd

The left can't accept the idea of free will, because they think that we are nothing but matter and that mind is an illusion. Leftists believe in materialism = that there is nothing more than matter.
Also, accepting the idea of free will would mean that people can be responsible for their actions. Leftism says that no one is responsible for his/her actions.


45 posted on 01/02/2007 8:54:50 AM PST by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (liberalism = brain cell deficiency)
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To: shrinkermd
every physical system that has been investigated has turned out to be either deterministic or random.

So, does that mean that immaterial systems have to be either deterministic or random?

Not.

46 posted on 01/02/2007 9:29:08 AM PST by mjp
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To: shrinkermd

I have free will. I'd rather not be around people who think they don't.


47 posted on 01/02/2007 9:47:45 AM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged; TChris
Thanks in advance for posting your thoughts.

The left can't accept the idea of free will, because they think that we are nothing but matter and that mind is an illusion. Leftists believe in materialism = that there is nothing more than matter.

Also, accepting the idea of free will would mean that people can be responsible for their actions. Leftism says that no one is responsible for his/her actions.


Basically, I think you are right. Just a little hair splitting in this paragraph. There are complications, because neither left nor right are monolithic. There is the religious left, and the agnostic/atheist right. But they are a small percentage of the population. The atheist left and religious right are highly populated. Generally speaking, the first places it’s faith in Government, the second places its faith God. Your statements apply to the agnostic/atheist left, in my opinion.

The ironic thing is that the atheist left denies free will but is very willful! Perhaps post 41 provides an explanation. Conservatives accept constraints. They are part of the great design. This includes both physical and moral constraints. The left is unmoored. If everything is a “construct” of the individual human mind, all is possible. If everything is material in origin, there is no reason to condemn anyone for their actions. Yet many will condemn President Bush. No, they are not consistent. Consistency is just another (moral?) constraint that they ignore when in suits their emotions, or their “passions” (18th century usage).

48 posted on 01/02/2007 10:18:19 AM PST by ChessExpert (Reagan defeated America's enemies foreign and domestic. I hope Bush can do the same.)
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To: Cvengr

Thanks for sharing the results of your study. Man is indeed a multi-faceted creature and how those components work together are as mysterious and difficult to understand as the Trinity. How God's sovereignty and the free will He gave to man works together is something we will forever seek to understand this side of heaven. But I do believe that studies such as yours help us to understand it a little better. Thanks again for sharing.


49 posted on 01/02/2007 10:31:47 AM PST by TruthSetsUFree
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To: Iris7
Editing errors on my part.

Nah....

You are programmed that way.

50 posted on 01/02/2007 12:01:56 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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