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Re: the illusion of conscious will

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  • Fred Pauser
    Tom, you wrote: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You ve repeated your assertion that even non-religious people have a supernatural idea of free will. Please answer my
    Message 1 of 31 , Nov 1, 2005
      Tom, you wrote:
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      You've repeated your assertion that even non-religious people have a
      supernatural idea of free will.

      Please answer my question this time; how do you know? What specific
      aspects of the idea make it identifiable as a supernatural one?
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Let me try to clarify:

      Most people, both religious and non-religious, believe we have the
      sort of free will that enables people to make decisions that can
      over-ride their own biology and environmental/social conditioning.
      When cornered on the matter, religious people may attribute this
      ability to their souls (supernatural).

      Non-religious people sometimes attribute this ability to *the
      ability to consider new data.* But the new data is just another set
      of causal influence(s). And it is weighed against previously
      acquired knowledge and biases by a biologically determined brain and
      biologically determined emotions. In short, there is no way to make
      a decision outside of one's causal network of determinants. To
      believe there is, (to believe that one can `do otherwise,') is to
      believe in magical (contra-causal) free will.

      Supernatural or magical, it's the same difference to those whose
      determinants have led them to desire to learn as best they can, what
      is actually true of reality according to *evidence.*

      What makes the popular notion of free will identifiable as magical
      or supernatural? It is outside of causal (cause-and-effect) chains,
      or causal networks. It is illogical. It makes no sense! It has no
      *connection* to reality.

      (By the way, when Ken said "supernatural," I think he meant outside-
      of-nature, not necessarily supernatural as the term relates to
      religion. I suppose I complicated the issue a bit with the
      supernatural "soul.")

      - - - - - -

      Tom, you are obviously a very bright and knowledgeable person.
      Please consider the possibility you may have a strong bias toward
      seeing yourself as ultimately the master of your own life; and if
      so, how that might influence how you interpret the free will debate.

      Fred





      --- In naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com, Tom McWilliams
      <tom@t...> wrote:
      >
      > You've repeated your assertion that even non-religious people have
      a
      > supernatural idea of free will.
      >
      > Please answer my question this time; how do you know? What
      specific
      > aspects of the idea make it identifiable as a supernatural one?
      >
      > -Tom
      >
      > The supernatural aspect applies especially to religious people who
      > >point to the `soul' as that something by which they can over-ride
      > >biology and environmental conditioning. But non-religious people
      > >have the same notion of their free-willing ability without having
      > >anything to attribute it to. Either way it's magical, contra-
      causal
      > >free will.
      > >
      > >
      > >--- In naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com, Tom McWilliams
      > ><tom@t...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > How can you tell the difference?
      > > >
      > > > -Tom
      > > >
      > > > >Sonny: I'm certain Steve is right: the vast majority of people
      > >are indeed
      > > > >talking about
      > > > >contra-causal free will, most of them in the supernatural
      sense.
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • Fred Pauser
      ... This is a chance for you to improve your image in regard to honesty. ... subjected to ... determinism.
      Message 31 of 31 , Nov 4, 2005
        > > > I did answer that question, contrary to your claims.
        > >
        > >In that case, Tom, I would like to see your original reply. Please
        > >indicate the post number. Thanks.
        > >
        > >Fred
        >
        > Are you worried that I changed my answer?
        >
        > -Tom


        This is a chance for you to improve your image in regard to honesty.






        --- In naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com, Tom McWilliams
        <tom@t...> wrote:
        >
        > At 06:33 AM 11/3/2005, you wrote:
        > > > > For example, I twice asked him the following
        > > > >specific question which he ignored:
        > > > >
        > > > >"EVERY scientific theory (which by definition has been
        subjected to
        > > > >falsifiable testing) is an example of cause-and-effect
        determinism.
        > > > >Isn't that correct????"
        > > >
        > > > I did answer that question, contrary to your claims.
        > >
        > >In that case, Tom, I would like to see your original reply. Please
        > >indicate the post number. Thanks.
        > >
        > >Fred
        >
        > Are you worried that I changed my answer?
        >
        > -Tom
        >
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