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Source: (consider it) Thread: Compatibilist vs Libertarian free-will
anteater

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Hopefully not a dead horse, though it often comes up in debates between Calvinists and The Rest.

I have a lot of time for Calvinist Universalism, of which there are quite a few eloquent proponents. This takes the shock horror (flee from the psycho) response that believers in the double predestination doctrine get. However, there is still quite a lot of opposition to any divine determinism on the grounds that it sucks reality out of the idea of love and relationship.

And this touches on the difference between compatibilist and libertarian free-will. I have always accepted compatibilism since it just makes sense to me (maybe because I was exposed to logical positivism at an impressionable age). What is says is that the common sense view of free will means that I experience no constraint on my ability to do what I want. Clearly we don't experience this all the time, but when we say our will is unachievable, we are talking practical and understandable restrictions: I've not got the money, I'm 70 so . . . various things - fill in your own. Etc.

I have never been able to get what it is that libertarians dislike about this. What more is it that they want, that they could put into words that I could understand?

SFAIK compatibilism is the mainstream view within mainstream contemporary philosophy but is really disliked by many christians. I genuinely don't see what they seem to see.

Can anyone explain?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Hopefully not a dead horse, though it often comes up in debates between Calvinists and The Rest.

I have a lot of time for Calvinist Universalism, of which there are quite a few eloquent proponents. This takes the shock horror (flee from the psycho) response that believers in the double predestination doctrine get. However, there is still quite a lot of opposition to any divine determinism on the grounds that it sucks reality out of the idea of love and relationship.

Yeah, because being created to get fucked over is sooo wonderful and so compatible with Jesus message?
quote:

SFAIK compatibilism is the mainstream view within mainstream contemporary philosophy but is really disliked by many christians. I genuinely don't see what they seem to see.

Can anyone explain?

Schopenhauer's "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills." is just moving the lack of choice down the road one step.
It is not substantively different to determinism; still no free will.
Which negates Jesus entirely.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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Hold on a minute there Bald Eagle, how does the meaninglessness of free will obviate Jesus?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Hold on a minute there Bald Eagle, how does the meaninglessness of free will obviate Jesus?

First, Bald Eagle?
Second, if there is no free will, then WTF did Jesus die for? If we cannot choose what we do, sin is a meaningless concept.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Dafyd
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I find myself caring less about this as I grow older. I used to be a believer in metaphysical free will (i.e. an anti-compatibilist); now I don't think it matters so much.

What I think used to matter to me were three thoughts. One was theodicy: the free-will defence. The second is that our phenomenal experience is libertarian - it seems to us that the outcome of our decisions and judgements is not determined by the foregoing (or we wouldn't be deciding). The third is that it is harder to defend a robust doctrine of non-manipulative interaction with other people. By non-manipulative interaction I mean attempting to persuade people by appeals to reason, as opposed to coercion or ulterior motive. It's easier to maintain the distinction if you hold libertarian views.

As I say, those arguments seem to me a bit less persuasive now.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Gramps49
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Erasmus and Martin Luther debated the idea of free will. While Erasmus was a proponent, Luther in his tome, The Bondage of the Will, panned it completely. Luther argued that do to our enslavement to sin, we are not free to know Christ or come to him, even though we may have (some) liberties to make civil decisions. But, here is the kicker, even after we become Christian our will needs to be submitted to a new master--Christ.

Luther gets into his simil justus et picater, (saint and sinner) syndrome as he talks about this.

Luther also did not accept the thought of double predestination. For him, he argued that God wants all to come to the knowledge of the truth. As a modern Lutheran, I am only willing to say it is all up to God.

A personal story. My mother grew up in a congregation that preached double predestination. As a teenager, she was convinced that she was predestined to hell. She said it was a relief to her to hear the Lutheran understanding of the Gospel.

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Demas
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If I have 'free will' it is bound within the constraints of my physical brain and body. A bottle of merlot will not only cause my body to not obey my mind, it will also change and impair my actual 'free' choices. I choose differently when drunk, and I cannot choose not to choose differently.

If no free will means no Jesus, then what Jesus can there be?

Or is this a strange sort of theological free will, the only truly free choice I have being to cut myself off from God in pain and suffering, such choice (unlike every other in my life!) not being conditioned and constrained by circumstance.

I can't see anything in physics or biology which gives a platform to build 'free will' on. Determinism reigns. And I'm not sure I can see anything in the Bible which clearly preaches this type of metaphysical free will either.

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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lilBuddha
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Rubbish. I cannot control the laws of relative motion, but I can choose whether to press the accelerator pedal or brake.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Demas
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You are not a disembodied rational decider in a body which refuses to obey you at times. The mechanism which you use to make decisions itself is subject to time and circumstance. Getting drunk isn't a matter of a sober me being unable to get my body to do what I want. Getting drunk changes the choices I make and the way I make them. I speed dangerously if I drive drunk not because I can't make my foot press the brake but because the drunk me says "Wheee!"

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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lilBuddha
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In the simplest of terms, then.
Lacking complete control =/= completely lacking control.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Demas
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Sure, but that still has the rational supra-physical homunculus lurking within.

There is no decision I take which is not taken through and with my physical brain: neurons and atoms obeying physical, determinist laws.

If my experience of choosing things is to be taken as real and not just an illusion, then that action of choice must be compatible with the hard laws determining how that choice/action is made; but there doesn't seem to me to be any realistic argument for a choice which is independent of or prior to those laws.

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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anteater

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lilBuddha:
quote:
I cannot control the laws of relative motion, but I can choose whether to press the accelerator pedal or brake.
So can I. I chose to frame this post. I could have chosen not to. It was up to me.

Whereas I could not have chosen to do so had my computer crashed, and various other things would have impaired it to the point of unlikelihood if not impossibility - like a stroke.

I see no way in which you experience the world that is different from mine. Do you? What in concrete terms does your free-will give you that I don't have?

That's what I don't get.

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anteater

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lilBuddha:

Except I just thought of this.

Maybe you feel I have a false consciousness, i.e. that in my conscious experience I am aware of being free, but in some way that is beyond any perceptions (or explanation?) I am being determined, so my consciousness is not accurate.

Maybe. Because, frankly that does not bother me. I am more interested in living my conscious life than philosophising about it.

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hatless

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What about shared decisions and judgements, and the effect of having several people involved in decisions?

One of the problems for hard determinism is that it appears to make reasoning impossible. If my thoughts and judgements are physically determined, then it's hard for me to know that they are being determined by arguments or evidence. My determined thoughts may line up with the evidenc, but they may not, and how can I tell?

A scientist's judgement about data from an experiment and the right conclusion to draw, need to be fully dependent on the experiment and what happened. That is how science is supposed to work. But if the scientist's thoughts are determined by biochemistry and prior experience and what have you, her judgements are scientifically unreliable. The brain biochemistry may line up with the data, but how can we be sure?

Well, science is not done alone. Scientists repeat, check and corroborate. They work together, which would expose false results caused by some neurochemical influence, these things being, presumably, different for different experimenters in different times and places.

And, of course, we tend to talk about most of our experiences and decisions, and often experience and value the broadening of perspective and greater confidence that results.

Perhaps we can have a philosophy of free will that doesn't rely on freeing the mind from the brain, but locates choice in the space language creates between us and others. (A space that can, to an extent, be hosted within a person, as when we say 'I wonder what Uncle would do?')

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anteater

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Dafyd:
quote:
What I think used to matter to me were three thoughts. One was theodicy: the free-will defence.
I have never been impressed by that at all. I want to avoid Equine Death, but to paraphrase Bentley-Hart: You stand a decent chance of an approach to Theodicy given Universal Salvation. With the moral lunacy of Hell, you're stuffed. Add predestination and you're double-plus stuffed.

quote:
The second is that our phenomenal experience is libertarian - it seems to us that the outcome of our decisions and judgements is not determined by the foregoing (or we wouldn't be deciding).
I agree, and in reflection, the difference between me and lilBuddha (on this specific point) is that what I neither understand intellectually nor experience in my consciousness cannot weigh at all with me. I certainly cannot will to get wound up about it.

quote:
The third is that it is harder to defend a robust doctrine of non-manipulative interaction with other people. By non-manipulative interaction I mean attempting to persuade people by appeals to reason, as opposed to coercion or ulterior motive. It's easier to maintain the distinction if you hold libertarian views.
But in all versions I have heard of compatibilism, coercion by human forces is viewed as a restriction on even compatibilist freedom and so is to be opposed.

It could be argued that for compatibilists, there is not much wrong with Huxley's Brave New World and all its conditioning of people. But sadly it seems to work, and this is a strong argument for compatibilism.

So whilst I say I'm not bothered, that does not mean that I am not aware of character limitations which I would rather not have, and which (in my view) have been largely determined by evolution and the specific genetic inheritance that I have. It would be nice to create oneself as one would ideally like to me.

Is that the Libertarian dream?

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Hold on a minute there Bald Eagle, how does the meaninglessness of free will obviate Jesus?

First, Bald Eagle?
Second, if there is no free will, then WTF did Jesus die for? If we cannot choose what we do, sin is a meaningless concept.

It's a John Wayne quote.

And DA-DAH!

It's not meaningless. It's cultural, psychological, existential but NOT legalistically ontological, i.e. it's not some judgement from on high. It's so, contingent: we're buggered. And it's NOT our fault. It's nobody's fault. I feel guilty and ashamed, a failure all the time. So? I've led a weak, messy, ignorant life. So? That's creation for you.

For me Jesus didn't die for all that schlock in any substitutionary sense. For me He died to be resurrected and validate His revelation of the Father. He lived and died and lives to free me, SAVE me, from fear of meaningless temporary existence and all its consequences. He assumed me. Took on my mantle. Walked miles in my shoes and does yet.

Where does free will come in to any of that? It's utterly meaningless for me. Brings nothing to my party whatsoever. Does God have it, whatever it is?

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
Sure, but that still has the rational supra-physical homunculus lurking within.

There is no decision I take which is not taken through and with my physical brain: neurons and atoms obeying physical, determinist laws.

If my experience of choosing things is to be taken as real and not just an illusion, then that action of choice must be compatible with the hard laws determining how that choice/action is made; but there doesn't seem to me to be any realistic argument for a choice which is independent of or prior to those laws.

I just assume that Christians don't accept the idea of a deterministic universe. For one thing, the soul is not part of this, is it? Although it seems odd to say that the soul makes choices.

The idea of unconscious choices is an interesting addendum to these arguments, how about an unconscious homunculus? Well, Jung got close to this with his notion of the Self.

I suppose lots of people do believe in a homunculus, which 'watches' stuff and makes decisions.

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no path

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Martin60
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It's irrelevant what Christians think about the nature of all they think they know about reality, which is psychological upon physical with the intrusion of God in Jesus recorded in less than 2000 days 2000 years ago. I.e. it's irrelevant that some don't like theological determinism whereas Calvinists do of course and many others here seem to believe that the future has already happened in God's now. Which is all nonsense of course. Apart from the rejection of predestination and other predeterminism. What matters is what science says. Common sense is that we have causal and adequate determinism. Anything else is as real as free will, whatever that is.

[ 26. April 2017, 09:21: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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I suppose that determinism operates in both a physical universe, and a non-physical realm. Plus, of course, some elements of randomness, maybe.

So if the soul, say, is viewed as immaterial, it is still subject to antecedent causes?

[ 26. April 2017, 09:33: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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no path

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I suppose that determinism operates in both a physical universe, and a non-physical realm. Plus, of course, some elements of randomness, maybe.

The problem with using randomness as a way around determinism is that it removes responsibility, and doesn't really introduce free-will anyway.

Not sure about your other point (don't Christians actually believe in a spirit rather than a soul?), the soul/spirit doesn't really have a completely independent existence outside some kind of God given substrate, does it?

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quetzalcoatl
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I wasn't connecting free will with randomness. It's actually nullified by it, I would think.

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no path

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Martin60
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Stuff that God is thinking, whether material or transcendent former 'just' material or made of, concretized in 'spirit' never having been material (angels and the furniture of third heaven) is all causally determined. Not just from Him thinking it. He thinks it having a story, a series of causally determined nows, of befores and afters. In His now.

To suggest that we are four dimensional plus with respect to time in the resurrection is to suggest that He is. He ain't. There's only now. Simultaneity makes it interesting for sure.

I accept that God is beyond all space-time definition; transcending, encompassing, beyond the facts of infinity and eternity. But they are facts. There are none greater, more obvious. He didn't start doing just one universe 13.7 Ga aGo.

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Love wins

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Demas
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What Martin said in his second last post - our world is what it is whether we approve or not. There is such beauty and power in the equations we have discovered; whatever the deeper truth is it cannot be less beautiful.

To circle round to the Calvinist Universalists who made an appearance in the OP, I so often see in these discussions a mutual support pact between 'hell' and 'free will'. Hell must be possible, it is argued, because otherwise we deny free will. And the existence of hell, it is argued, shows God's abiding respect for our freely willed choices.

So I disagree with anteater - hell does destroy theodicy, but predestination in the end destroys hell. Historically, it is from the hardest of TULIPs that the post-Reformation universalists have come. It is by putting aside the fig leaf of respectability that 'free will' gives 'hell' that the question of the completeness of God's restoration swims into view.

[ 26. April 2017, 10:20: Message edited by: Demas ]

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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anteater

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Hatless:
quote:
One of the problems for hard determinism is that it appears to make reasoning impossible.
I know the argument well, and it is used effectively by C S Lewis. I would assume that atheists are materialists and therefore determinists like Dennet.

But Christians believe in a spiritual reality, and I certainly do. But spiritual does not, SFAIK, imply libertarian free-will.

Calvinists routinely deny any belief in physical determinism, but they do, of course, believe that God is the determining cause of all.

--------------------
Schnuffle schnuffle.

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Demas
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Calvinists routinely deny any belief in physical determinism, but they do, of course, believe that God is the determining cause of all.

What's the difference?

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Hatless:
quote:
One of the problems for hard determinism is that it appears to make reasoning impossible.
I know the argument well, and it is used effectively by C S Lewis. I would assume that atheists are materialists and therefore determinists like Dennet.

But Christians believe in a spiritual reality, and I certainly do. But spiritual does not, SFAIK, imply libertarian free-will.

Calvinists routinely deny any belief in physical determinism, but they do, of course, believe that God is the determining cause of all.

You mean compatibilists like Dennett, believing in free will AND determinism.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
lilBuddha:

Except I just thought of this.

Maybe you feel I have a false consciousness, i.e. that in my conscious experience I am aware of being free, but in some way that is beyond any perceptions (or explanation?) I am being determined, so my consciousness is not accurate.

Maybe. Because, frankly that does not bother me. I am more interested in living my conscious life than philosophising about it.

This is the sense of the various speculations about the unconscious, isn't it? Well, at first this stuff was highly speculative, as with Nietzsche and Freud, but latterly, seems to be more empirically based, in neuroscience, I mean.

I'm not sure if amounts to a false consciousness, maybe a narcissistic consciousness, which tends to say, 'I am monarch of all I survey', or 'I make decisions' or other I-phrases.

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no path

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
You mean compatibilists like Dennett, believing in free will AND determinism.

He was specifying "libertarian free-will", which compatibilists like Dennett do not believe in.
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anteater

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Demas:
quote:
What's the difference?
Most atheists like Dennett do not acknowledge any spiritual reality. Physical causes determine what happens.

Christians still believe in spiritual reality. But do not necessarily think that implies libertarian freewill. Also, for Dennet any determination is non teleological - it is essentially random.

In determinist theism it is teleological.

I think that's a difference. But I do not think my consciousness of freedom is anything different from Dennet's. So in that sense there is no difference.

But I do believe there are valid reasons for rejecting a thorough-going materialist interpretation of reality.

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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hatless

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Why can't physical causes be spiritual?

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Dafyd:
quote:
What I think used to matter to me were three thoughts. One was theodicy: the free-will defence.
I have never been impressed by that at all. I want to avoid Equine Death, but to paraphrase Bentley-Hart: You stand a decent chance of an approach to Theodicy given Universal Salvation. With the moral lunacy of Hell, you're stuffed. Add predestination and you're double-plus stuffed.
I agree that predestination without universalism is not really morally defensible.

quote:
quote:
The second is that our phenomenal experience is libertarian - it seems to us that the outcome of our decisions and judgements is not determined by the foregoing (or we wouldn't be deciding).
I agree, and in reflection, the difference between me and lilBuddha (on this specific point) is that what I neither understand intellectually nor experience in my consciousness cannot weigh at all with me. I certainly cannot will to get wound up about it.
Except that what I think we cannot experience consciousnly is determinism. What we experience is free will. A determinist can argue that this is only an artifact of the fact that the processes by which we decide cannot anticipate the result. But free will is what we (well, I at least) are conscious of.

quote:
quote:
The third is that it is harder to defend a robust doctrine of non-manipulative interaction with other people. By non-manipulative interaction I mean attempting to persuade people by appeals to reason, as opposed to coercion or ulterior motive. It's easier to maintain the distinction if you hold libertarian views.
But in all versions I have heard of compatibilism, coercion by human forces is viewed as a restriction on even compatibilist freedom and so is to be opposed.

It could be argued that for compatibilists, there is not much wrong with Huxley's Brave New World and all its conditioning of people. But sadly it seems to work, and this is a strong argument for compatibilism.

The libertarian argument would be that a morally decisive difference is between methods that respect the free will of the people affected and methods such as conditioning that override it.

That said, I think the version of libertarianism that sees choices as made in an existentialist vacuum with no input from personality is clearly wrong. There is a problem in that we tend to think about freedom as an absence of determinism thus letting deterministic categories frame the concept.

[ 26. April 2017, 19:49: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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hatless

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Dafyd said:
Except that what I think we cannot experience consciousnly is determinism.
I think this is true. It seems to me that consciousness is dependent on the growing sense of self which develops as part of the awareness of other selves.

So the interpersonal world that language makes possible is necessary for consciousness, the sense of self, and for reasoning and freedom (which isn't quite what we think it is).

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anteater

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Hatless:
quote:
Why can't physical causes be spiritual?
I don't have a ready answer to that. And I'm not convinced that it is that important a matter, although it certainly seems to be.

Most people see enough problems with mind-body dualism a la Descartes, to avoid it. I think if we try to be precise in distinguishing setting limits physical causes we may well end up without the language to do it (aka talking bullshit).

What interests me, is just like many are unhappy with compatibilism whereas I am not, I have to admit to being unhappy with physical determinism whereas others are not.

Is it, after all, just different strokes for different folks?

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
You mean compatibilists like Dennett, believing in free will AND determinism.

He was specifying "libertarian free-will", which compatibilists like Dennett do not believe in.
Where?

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
He was specifying "libertarian free-will", which compatibilists like Dennett do not believe in.

Where?
From anteaters post you were quoting:

"But Christians believe in a spiritual reality, and I certainly do. But spiritual does not, SFAIK, imply libertarian free-will."

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Martin60
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?

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
Sure, but that still has the rational supra-physical homunculus lurking within.

There is no decision I take which is not taken through and with my physical brain: neurons and atoms obeying physical, determinist laws.

I suppose lots of people do believe in a homunculus, which 'watches' stuff and makes decisions.
What I don't believe in is a homunculus which watches and would like to make decisions but finds that the levers by which it is expected to control the body are locked by molecular-level determinism.

If what we do is fully determined, there is no "us" beyond that deterministic system.

So we're still responsible for our actions.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

So we're still responsible for our actions.

Responsible in the causal sense certainly, whether we are 'morally responsible' or what that even means is where I suspect the debate would start back up,
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I agree that predestination without universalism is not really morally defensible.

In a Christian context, predestination no matter what else, is not morally defensible. Everybody gets a happy ending isn't sufficient, they still suffer for naught.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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Brilliantly obvious!

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I agree that predestination without universalism is not really morally defensible.

In a Christian context, predestination no matter what else, is not morally defensible. Everybody gets a happy ending isn't sufficient, they still suffer for naught.
Is anything morally defensible in a Christian universe? An omnimax God presiding over a world full of suffering and evil? Ah, but we caused it, I suppose. All better now.

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no path

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Martin60
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The initial cause is Him. Everything else is evolution. The alternative is?

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Demas
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The initial cause is Him. Everything else is evolution. The alternative is?

That's just deism. You can't escape that way - we've already tried it.

More to the point, how does the chess analogy work for libertarian free will people - if I play a chess game against Magnus Carlsen I will inevitably lose, although all my moves are freely chosen. Does this work with my having libertarian free will?

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I agree that predestination without universalism is not really morally defensible.

In a Christian context, predestination no matter what else, is not morally defensible. Everybody gets a happy ending isn't sufficient, they still suffer for naught.
Is anything morally defensible in a Christian universe? An omnimax God presiding over a world full of suffering and evil? Ah, but we caused it, I suppose. All better now.
The concept of Christian God as generally presented v. the world that is, has many problems.
But predestination is severely OTT.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I agree that predestination without universalism is not really morally defensible.

In a Christian context, predestination no matter what else, is not morally defensible. Everybody gets a happy ending isn't sufficient, they still suffer for naught.
Is anything morally defensible in a Christian universe? An omnimax God presiding over a world full of suffering and evil? Ah, but we caused it, I suppose. All better now.
The concept of Christian God as generally presented v. the world that is, has many problems.
But predestination is severely OTT.

Your phrase 'they suffer for naught' stuck out like a sore thumb, as it seems to sum up the bankruptcy of the Christian world-view. Predestination is just a further bizarre excrescence on it.

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no path

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The initial cause is Him. Everything else is evolution. The alternative is?

That's just deism. You can't escape that way - we've already tried it.

More to the point, how does the chess analogy work for libertarian free will people - if I play a chess game against Magnus Carlsen I will inevitably lose, although all my moves are freely chosen. Does this work with my having libertarian free will?

As you know Demas, (classical) deism was in abeyance 200 years ago because its rationalist implications made it seemingly irrelevant at the time.

As deism recently enjoyed the most rapid growth of all theologies, that is because it has made itself relevant by fully embracing rational faith.

[ 03. May 2017, 12:06: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I agree that predestination without universalism is not really morally defensible.

In a Christian context, predestination no matter what else, is not morally defensible. Everybody gets a happy ending isn't sufficient, they still suffer for naught.
Is anything morally defensible in a Christian universe? An omnimax God presiding over a world full of suffering and evil? Ah, but we caused it, I suppose. All better now.
The concept of Christian God as generally presented v. the world that is, has many problems.
But predestination is severely OTT.

Your phrase 'they suffer for naught' stuck out like a sore thumb, as it seems to sum up the bankruptcy of the Christian world-view. Predestination is just a further bizarre excrescence on it.
If God could miss out suffering, don't you think He would? He obviously can't. And not for any absurd 'moral' reason. It can't be done.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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It can't be done. Not even in heaven?

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no path

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Martin60
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Of course not. There is story to that effect.

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Love wins

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