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Re: Big gods – little g ods Keeping the myth of ...

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  • Fred Pauser
    Stephen, When I was a FWer I thought I had the power to do (to choose to do) the right thing based upon current information and an innate ethical sense. It
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2007

      When I was a FWer I thought I had the power to do (to choose to do)
      the "right" thing based upon current information and an innate
      ethical sense. It seemed like at any point in present time I should
      be able to over-ride old data and over-ride any internal impulses,
      feelings, emotions, that conflicted with doing the "right" thing. I
      thought also that others had this same power, the power of free will.
      It just *felt like* people have this ability that we call free will.

      What the FW position fails to take into account is the fact that our
      genetic drives and abilities, feelings, emotions, and past cultural
      conditioning, interact in complex ways and exert their influences in
      largely unconscious ways. It is not possible to "rise above" or
      separate oneself from all of this in order to make a decision -- not
      on the basis of FW or by any other means. When we analyze our
      decisions, it becomes apparent that our decisions are caused by
      complex factors, determinants, that make us who and what we are, and
      cause our decisions to be as they are. Free Will is an ILLUSION!

      Stephen, sometimes you come up with some interesting new ways to look
      at things, and sometimes your posts just do not make sense. This
      current post of yours is in the latter category. (At least I cannot
      make sense of it.) I appreciate your efforts to get a better handle
      on FW/NFW, but it seems like you try so hard sometimes to dissect and
      explain these issues that you wind up going into absurdity.


      --- In naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com, stephenlawr0001@...
      > In a message dated 23/02/2007 19:41:16 GMT Standard Time,
      > philosopherknight@... writes:
      > Here you say, “We can attack the illusion as well…” Well
      what illusion are
      > you talking about, you just made the assertion that there is no
      > not at all we experience illusions but when people believe that
      free will is
      > an illusion they then jump to the conclusion it is one of the
      illusions they
      > experience.
      > Then in the next breath you reference “the illusion”. Do you
      see how this
      > is a bit unstable?
      > I see the mistake you have made.
      > In closing you say, “I know I'm only repeating a point I've made
      before but
      > I think it's important enough to bring it up again occassionaly.”
      > Obviously it seem important to you, Stephen. But it does nothing
      to advance
      > anyone’s understanding of naturalism or NFWism, so I’m not
      sure anyone else
      > on this forum shares your feeling that it is of any importance
      that you keep
      > trying to advance the idea that there is no FW illusion.
      > Yes, it can help a great deal, if I am correct.
      > I have just been talking to someone who thinks if we have no free
      will, we
      > have no choice and no control.
      > The reason is they think if we have no free will then these things
      > illusions, rather than understanding that we have control, we make
      choices but
      > free will is not required to do these things.
      > Believing free will is an illusion is very damaging if in fact it
      is not
      > true.
      > 1. because the belief is what causes people to jump to all sorts of
      > conclusions about what it means not to have it.
      > 2. because people will continue to argue that it is best to live
      with the
      > illusion (the one they presume to be the free will illusion) as it
      is a useful
      > fiction.
      > We can keep the fiction and stop the erroneous belief ,relatively
      easily but
      > challenging both is much harder and generates unnecessary
      resistance and
      > confusion.
      > As the fiction may be useful and is not what is doing the harm, why
      > it?
      > The erroneous belief is the problem. I keep trying to come up with
      > definitions of this.
      > My latest effort is the belief that we have a kind of power that
      would make
      > us responsible for the fact that we are who we are and do what we
      > It is this belief that makes people think others are deserving of
      > happens to them and causes callousness, cruelty, hatred, blame,
      > resentment, guilt, shame and so on and so on.
      > I don't think we experience any illusion that would give us this
      > and when I've challenged you to describe the illusion you've
      either said the
      > illusion is that there is a seperate I controlling the mind and
      body, which
      > would not give us the responsibility I mentioned, or a vague notion
      of a
      > feeling of being able to do otherwise, which would not seriously
      count as an
      > illusion.
      > Come up with a better answer as to what the illusion is and I may
      > you.
      > while you can't come up with any evidence I'll continue to doubt,
      with the
      > motivation that I believe the best way forward is to dispel this
      myth too, if
      > indeed I'm right to think it is.
      > Stephen
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