RE: [naturalismphilosophyforum] Re: CHDO
That was a very clear overview. It was easy to read and restates the basics of what we’re on about. Thanks.
I’m really happy with my understanding of the world based on what I understand Naturalism to be telling me. In the past I’ve found that I was coming up with theories, then when I came across a theory that made sense I was applying it, but it never went smoothly, something always came up that didn’t fit in with my theory. So I jumped from theory to theory until finding Naturalism in July 2007. 18 months is probably the longest that I’ve had a theory that I’ve applied to my life where in 18 months I’ve not yet had a contradiction to the reality that I’ve experienced. I feel enlightened. I tell my friends this and they’re not sure what to think. When things go wrong in my marriage and I ‘attempt’ to speak with my mother about it – she tells me ‘well you’ve made your choices’, so then I tell her, I don’t have free will, she seems to think I’m trying to cop out of something and is very disapproving of me. In fact most people are disapproving of my belief in NFWism. I’m just really sorry they don’t ‘get it’. NFWism allows me complete acceptance of what is. It allows me to have compassion for all people. it allows me to make informed decisions and respond to everyone with the understanding that they ‘couldn’t have done otherwise’. This is an emancipating position. Yet still people look at me and think I’m some how being a smart arsed shirker of responsibility, who hasn’t quite understood how life works yet – a dreamer who really doesn’t get it! Ironic that they have it so back to front – and yet my world view allows me to have total compassion for them and their attitude – whilst they look at me in judgment. It really throws the Christian door knockers J LOL
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto: email@example.com ] On Behalf Of Ken Batts
Sent: Monday, 2 March 2009 10:49 am
Subject: [naturalismphilosophyforum] Re: CHDO
Tom: The answer is, in a word, education, and all the complexity, repetition, reiteration,
personal research, stating conclusions, etc. that involves. There's no shortcut, no single
way of stating our case that's going to win people over. We're dealing with something
which is as deep as religion, it IS religion, and religion doesn't change easily or rapidly.
And, it doesn't change just because someone has come up with a good way of explaining
its errors. It however will never change unless we speak clearly and in one voice, get better
at our explanation. People are psychologically invested in those errors; just because
people aren't converting doesn't mean there's a problem with our method; most people
are beyond conversion. All the more reason to stick to our core materials, among others
the Guide to Naturalism, Encountering Naturalism, and hope for the best.
Like atheists who cannot avoid stating that they don't believe in god, I believe we have to
state clearly that we don't believe in any sort of free will other than the no one's holding a
gun to my head sort, and not even exaggerate the significance of that. If we do, we lose all
the guilt/shame/ retribution relief we'd otherwise be able to provide. And, that this does
not mean we are connection-less, compassion-less, or control-less. Quite the opposite,
we see this insight as the key to a new greater sense of connection, compassion and
control than has been seen before, than any supernatural religion has been able to
We will lose most people when they understand what we are saying, which, though
unfortunate, is unavoidable, if we are to be clear. And we must be clear. Because reading
the conversation that's taken place here over the last few days almost anyone would reach
the conclusion that we're not at all sure what the implications of naturalism are. We need
to state clearly that no one has the ability to, in a given circumstance, to do other than
they actually do. And, that that is not required for morality, compassion, self-compassion,
creativity, political freedom, etc.
My own part in diminishing this internal squabbling is to shift my efforts back to the other
list, I invite anyone who feels they are on board with the ideas expressed in the Guide to
Naturalism to join me there.
> In your running race example you could have won the race if you hadn't lost the race but won it instead.
>you could have won the race if you hadn't run at that speed but had run faster instead.
I think these two points cover the compatibilist position quite well.
I think they just cover what anybody means when they say something like this.
But, of course, they believe in something more too and that something is not compatible with determinism.