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Vexen Crabtree 2015

vexen

Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Free Will and Determinism

Free Will and Determinism


your logic is flawed. Your conection of free will and the Uncertainty Principle is erroneous. It becomes eben more erroneous when you decide to use Theological definitions as Omniscience and apply it erroneously. Omniscience DOES NOT contradict free will.

Omniscience alone does not, but combined with being all-powerful, and being the "unmoved mover" means that God, through cause and effect, set up all the factors and influences that control what choices we make, therefore no free will. It says this in the essay.

Also, the essay itself states that the Uncertainty Principle cannot be used (via the quantum soul and Observer uncertainty) to restore free will. I reccommend you read more carefully!

Omniscience and Free Will (Anonymous) Expand

These essays you write have "TRUTH" written all over.

(Anonymous)
Need I say more?
Implacable thought is a wonderful thing. I'm reading your thoughts as if I were reading my own - the conclusions could not be different, it's like maths but much better. And this feeling that it REALLY IS TRUE, that it REALLY MAKES SENSE, it's so different from the daily need to deal with irrationality. I really liked your site (the bits I've been through I mean).

luis.ferreira@clix.pt

Re: These essays you write have "TRUTH" written all over.

(Anonymous)
I don't think you know what is the difference between the truth and a lie. The fact that your feelings and emotions are satisfied by something doesn't mean that thing is true, that is devil specialty to lure you and draw you near him through deception. Of course he won't tell the truth after all, he is the father of lies. I'm sorry to say but you are truly lost.

johnmcdonagh

(Anonymous)
We have to be begin to understand we are locked behind our senses. That is our senses or collectively our consciousness is limited, but not confined.
How do we know? How do we know we know…the answer is we don’t but relative to what we did know and some objective evidence we judge something right or wrong (This I call marginal sense use). Take the study of most scientific endeavours and you shall find no end stage, no beginning with an end point, just more theory. The answer at this end is that we just don’t know.
Imagination and science are attempts to go beyond the senses in order to provide possible clues/answers to hard or paradoxical questions. It has to be understood that paradox signals the limit of human consciousness at this point in time. To go beyond paradox requires an understanding of consciousness and a willingness to increase the developmental evolution of consciousness. Questions such as god, infinity, good and evil could be to us what a human being is to a bacterium. The consciousness distance between being able to know that you have a question and what that question is may have a dimensional context that our consciousness has not reached.
The feeble attempts to answer questions such as ‘Why are free market mechanisms not perfect’ betray themselves as questions beyond our evolutional dimensional consciousness. This is also the problem for A.I. ‘Why won’t the thing think for us if we give it enough information?’ We can go on collecting knowledge but if we are not conscious of why we collect knowledge or by attempting to answer these questions with reference to the big questions – paradoxes, we are effectively citing knowledge as the precursor to greater consciousness; It is this that I disagree with for if I don’t see what I know then I am blind! If greater consciousness begets greater knowledge then perhaps then the big questions will yield; but the paradox of consciousness and knowledge is the paradox of the chicken and the egg.
An example might elucidate this idea. A foetus must have written within it’s DNA an algorithm either for consciousness leading to learning or learning leading to consciousness. What comes first? Perhaps knowledge has blinded us to the pursuit of consciousness and that more attention to consciousness is in order, yes, yes I know this is also the pursuit of knowledge.

jmcb3@lycos.co.uk

Bible specifically says God gave us free will to make our own decisions and mistakes. He gave us the morals and the rules but we are certainly free to break them.

Re: theres my 2 cents

The Bible gets lots of other things wrong, too. What's your point?

Wonderfully put. We are all just animals with the same instincts as others. What makes us different is our higher intelligence. We have the ability to ponder things, and with that comes questions to which we would want answers. This ability of ours is what probably devoloped religion in the first place (or at least why people still look to religion today).

All Beings in existence have free will

(Anonymous)
Your argument fails in the most dramatically simple manner:

You simply don't have enough information to judge any aspect of God.

All you can infer is incomplete data from remarkably biased texts that were written, maintained and promulgated by a politically motivated priesthood. From this morass of confusion can be gleaned precious little about the true nature of God. Even if it was "inspired" by God, it was meant to help people live through the litteral and figurative deserts of the space/time setting and the ignorance of chaotic, primitive screw-heads (respectively).

Furthermore, how simple it is to fathom that God has CHOSEN to be benevolent and thought that this would be neat if people did too.

For God's sake, apply Occam's Razor to the bushy beard of fundamentalist dogma and get over the ego-trap of one-upping God.

Keith T. Syverson
Life=Needs/Wants
Freedom=/Wants/Needs
omnivorius@hotmail.com


There is a God

(Anonymous)
I read one of the essays in this site and I feel that this is the most deceptive site I've ever visited. The fact is, there is a God and he exist as the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost, any person who denies that is a satanist and a fool. When satan thought of himself to be god he lost his precious position and ministry to the Almighty God and now he has deceived you just like he deceived those angels who are now demons. Let me tell you the truth,you can never create God since you are a creature that dies. You can never give life to a God since you need life of your own. God is true, God is self existent and Everlasting, God is THE LORD,THE LORD GOD, merciful and gracious,long-suffering,and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for the thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. Denying the existence of God is like trying to hide from judgment using your own thumb. The fact is Satan is a lair,a thief, a killer and a destroyer. My suggestion is, give up this non-sense of self worship and serving the true living God who loved you that he gave his only Son to die for your sins and all iniquity the you may have life eternal and the name of his son is Jesus the Christ. I can imagine the bondage your are in and at the same time you don't even recognize that you are in bonds and you are being used and soon you'll be worn out and you will be destroyed and you'll burn in hell with out rescue. God lives and he can forgive your sins right now if you repent from them, he can give you a new life, the Bible says,"If a man be in Christ is a new creature old things are passed away, behold all have become new. For all things come from God who have reconciled us unto himself through Jesus Christ,... For he made him sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 You only need to believe in Jesus Christ if you want to have your personal encounter with this God. He has made you for to reign on earth and angels to serve you at his command but now you have chosen to serve the rebellious fallen angel who is meant to serve you, but God can fix that. In conclusion Satan is a loser, he lost the battle in heaven, he lost the battle to Jesus on earth, he lost in the grave yard, and he shall continually lose in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Make haste and repent please, judgment day is nigh and it is not as promising as the devil describes it.

Re: There is a God - ha ha ha!

(Anonymous)
Idiot.

"God is a giant jelly doughnut".

Gee, I said something about God! Supplying no evidence, no facts, not even the tiniest of attempts to link my statement to the real world!
THEREFORE I MUST BE RIGHT!! BECAUSE I SAY SO!! AHAahahaha!!!!
Can I join your club now?! Do I get a special hat?

Even if your God (which you have not, of course, coherently defined) DID exist, you are not helping his cause much with this insane babble. You merely give any educated person MORE reason to avoid it.



What you said about free will, etc. made absolutely no sense. Mindless jabber. Life is meant to be simply understood once you believe in God/Jesus and then read the Bible. You will realize how simple everything is to understand and you will wonder how you came to the silly conclusions you had before.

wow, you seem really intelligent and critical.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I have to say I am really, really impressed with your page and arguments. I have been having the exact same thoughts (drawing the same logical conclusions) for a while now, and thought I was the only one! I have been trying to conving other people of the illogic in "free will" but they just do not get it. I have never succeeded in arguing quite as eloquently as you though.
Still, glad there are people out there who agree with me (too bad it's not an original thought though - I guess I'll never make a bunch of money writing a book...). Keep up the good work!

Amazed

(Anonymous)
My name is Damjan Cvetkov-Dimitrov
I believe of perfect order and predetermined everything
I believe there is no chaos and that we are just experiencing a part of everything. (that is why our world seems so incomplete).
I believe that free will does not exsist and that your actions can be determined to a perfect extent (but not by a human being)
i believe that the electron has a certain place but we are just to different to be able to measure it (yet!)
it is like, let's say 200 years ago when we thought that weather is completly random. (and now look)
slowly we uncover new parts and bits and pieces showing us the perfection of the everyting.
i believe that with enough time and the simplification of everything we can come to understand it (i believe everything is just a proggression of something, and while we cannot know everything we can know something and try to predict everything)
(feelings are social illusions -just a small unrelated thought) and we can manipulate those illusions to almost every extent.
my mail is damjancd@yahoo.com and would appreciate anny comments and suggestions (exept grammar corrections, i know i suck in grammar)

Hi Vexen,

I read (most) of your essay and found it very interesting. You seem to agree with me on some things (predeterminism) but not on others (free will). I've been arguing about free will with a good friend of mine, but I just can't seem to convince him. I just thought I'd try to explain it here, too. Probably pointless, but hear me out.

Sorry this is so long, but it's a difficult concept to explain so I have to write lots...

You (and most people) think that predeterminism and free will are mutually exclusive, but they are not. To say that predeterminism takes away free will is to place far too much importance on time and causality.

Every choice I make, I make myself. Just because I have no choice but to make that choice doesn't mean I didn't make that choice! I did make that choice, so it is still a choice. I am choosing to write this. That is a choice, plain and simple.

Yes, every choice I will ever make is predetermined. But it's still me who will be making the choices. It's not anyone else making the choices, and it's not random. It's me. So if I made the choice, then I am in control of my destiny.

Bear in mind that it's all a matter of perspective, or context. Free will is a concept of the human mind, which is a physical entity. If you're talking about predeterminism, then you're looking at it from an external perspective — from a perspective outside of time. But issues about free will concern people's minds, which are a working part of the physical universe, and are limited by the confines of the space time continuum. So to answer a question about brains, you can't go outside of time and look back in.

To answer the question "am I alive", you can't say: "no, because the time I am alive for is infinitely small relative to all time, which is infinitely large, and therefore the amount of time I spend being alive = 0 and therefore I am not alive. This is confusing a physical, human issue, with an external perspective issue. So too is answering the question of free will with an answer about predeterminism.

As a Christian, I believe God made us and gave us the gift of life (ie free will). His reasons for creating us are irrelevant, but if you assume a God wanted to make us, then he has to create some kind of existence for us, so how else could he do it?

Perhaps you think true free will is something more than this existence? But what more could it be? How could we be any more "alive" than this? No one could live here in this universe unless they were confined by its physical laws. If you wanted to escape predeterminism then you would have to live in some other universe where causality does not apply. But is such a universe possible, or even conceivable? And even if it was, would it be any fun?

If God made the universe for us (which I believe he did), and we can live here and do what we want and have fun here, then surely mission accomplished?

continued...

...continued

You say that God (assuming he exists) did not give us free will because he "planned" everything that will happen. But it's not as simple as that. God designed the universe to be our home, so he "planned" everything that is non-human. He personally designed it. But he did not design our thoughts or our intentions. Yes, he "made" our thoughts and intentions, and he knew exactly what they would be. But that is not the same thing as "planning" them.

Yes, it is hard (if not impossible) to comprehend how God could specifically design the entire universe molecule by molecule with great precision, while at the same time leaving a very specific part of it (ie the human mind) to "chance", thereby giving humans the gift of free will (or sentient life). But this is what he supposedly did, as claimed by God himself (supposedly).

How did he do it? Well since he is omnipotent and omniscient, he can kinda do anything. Lame excuse, I know, but if God exists he's going to be a lot, LOT, smarter than us humans, so you have to accept that there MUST be concpets behind our creation (and his existence) that we can never comprehend.

But to try to help you to comprehend, here are a couple of analogies:

If you think of the universe as a book that is written and cannot be changed, then if I write a book about dogs, that book about dogs is part of the book of the universe, therefore I have written/designed part of the universe. So if I can design part of the universe myself, then I have free will.

Or...

Imagine you're a computer programmer making a short film that is completely computer generated. The film is just a static shot of a park with some dogs running around. You want the film to be "random" so you program the dogs with artificial intelligence. However, every single other thing about the film is under your direct control. So you run the film through and you watch the dogs running around for half an hour and then they both fall in a pond and die. You think the film sucks, so you put a fence next to the pond. Next time, the dogs hit the fence and live, but it's a boring film, so you add a little bird for the dogs to chase. You run the film through in slow motion, controlling every movement the bird takes, while the computer-controlled dogs chase it. At one point, one of the dogs eats the bird, so you wind back the film and move the bird out of the way in time.

Okay, that analogy was a little elaborate, but I just wanted to get across the point that it's theoretically possible to design an entire universe without personally designing certain elements of it, even though you know full well how those elements will behave.

Obviously, you could control whether or not the dogs fell in the pond or not, not by directly controlling them, but by indirectly manipulating them via their environment (like putting the fence there). However, I believe that God DID give us the gift of free will, and, in his infinite omnipotence, had the ability to provide us with a stable universe to live in, while at the same time never allowing his own will to influence the thoughts of humans (either directly or indirectly).

After reading all this, you probably still don't get it, and you probably think I'm wrong (as my friend does). But I am convinced that I am right.

I fully accept that the future is set in stone and everything I ever do cannot be changed. But I still believe I have free will. It's not a contradiction. You just need to really think about it.

Here's another analogy to explain why predeterminism does not negate our free will:

Think of the difference between real life and watching a tape.

Let's say you're watching a tape of your favourite football team playing a game. It's an old game and you already know your team will lose. No matter how many times you watch the tape, the same thing will always happen. So, from your perspective, the football team seem to have no free will, since they can never win the game, no matter how hard they try.

But the thing is it's all relative.

Compared to you, the people on the tape don't have free will. But in real life those people had complete free will. No force prevented them from winning. They lost of their own accord. They could quite easily have done something different if they wanted to.

And if someone watched a tape of you watching the tape of the game, you would seem to have no free will to them, since every time they watched you, you always did exactly the same things.

You could keep going and going, looking further and further out to find some kind of "reality" that isn't trapped by predeterminism. But in the end you would never find it within any universe. Because universes have time and time means causality, and reason, and determinism, and the only way to be free of this is to exist in an infinite, timeless state with no beginning or end, no before or after, no change, no growth, and no kind of thought, or life as we know it. This kind of existence describes God, and I'm fairly sure we would have to be God in order to exist this way.

I don't know if humans are capable of understanding or comprehending such mind-boggling notions. Certainly few are. But this is where you end up when you start moaning about the universe God made for us. I know it seems lazy, but why not just accept that you don't and can't know everything, and you have been given a life (either that or this is all one heck of a realistic simulation), and stop worrying about it, and be thankful.

If you believe predeterminism negates free will then you MUST believe that life is possible without predeterminism, then you must believe that things are capable of happening without a reason. And if you believe things can happen without a reason, then I am right and you are wrong. Why? Because no reason is required.

Pain

(Anonymous)
Pain is better than death? Really? So if you have a choice between an extremely painful life (no pleasure at all) and death, you would still want to live? If so then I don't think you know what you are talking about.

Regards,
Jiri

God and Freewill

(Anonymous)
Your points are good, in that they provoke thought, but there are some hidden presuppositions in your logic which I can't accept:

You state that (a)God is not free because he knows all things (including his own future actions). However, you've taken a big leap in assuming that the amount of knowledge of future events one has is a determinant of freewill. Which is to say, does greater knowledge necessitate a loss of freewill? This must be your point because you say that God (having perfect knowledge) has somehow become a captive of his own knowledge. Yet people commonly have knowledge of future events. And in fact we make choices about future courses of action all the time. It's called planning. If I see a carton of orange juice in my fridge and decide to pour a glass, have I lost my freewill in that respect? I knew what I was going to do before I did it--and that's your point, right? Just because the planning window is shorter, doesn't invalidate the case. Choose a longer planning window if you like: Suppose I plan to take a trip to Europe in the summer--again, have I lost free will? The logic is hopelessly flawed. People knowing their courses of action in advance is as common as rain. And while our knowledge isn't perfect in every case, in near perfect in many--especially when the choice of action is within hand's reach.

Second point: If (a)God is completely moral, does this mean he has no free choice? Again, the presuppositions are contrived. Suppose a man has a wide selection of guns in his home, and that he is a collector. Now each and every day, when he wakes up, he could load some of those weapons and go on a rampage--but he doesn't. In fact, this kind of thinking is so foreign to him that it doesn't even enter into his mind. And why? Because he has made a moral choice. However, his decision to not engage in senseless acts of violence in no way reduces him to some kind of robot who cannot choose. Which is proof that a hard and fixed moral disposition is not a proof against freewill.

Additionally, you mix items when you talk about God being "benevolent" and "all-knowing", as though every choice is a moral one. And yet it is quite clear that life is full of choices which have nothing whatever to do with morality. Again, God is out of your box because he is able to make infinite choices about morally neutral things. Is making the sky blue and clouds white a moral choice? There is a bit of dualism here I think: in that good and evil are being put in counter-balance - which isn't necessarily true. If Good and Evil are not equal, but Good is preeminent, it does not need evil as a reference. In other words, all actions could be bounded under the category of Good (i.e. Heaven, Utopia, etc.) and choice of action would still be in tact.

Finally, your speculations about the nature of an omnipotent God and time do not take into account that if God is indeed Creator of the Universe, he also lives outside of time, since time is a dimension unique to our physical universe. And so, while we are logically driven to see everything in the context of time, a God outside of time would have a completely different perspective.

Re: God and Freewill (a)

Free will of God:
There is a very big difference between our knowledge, which is always incomplete, emotional and subjective, and God's, which would be ABSOLUTE, completely un-doubted and completely binding (i.e., it can't be wrong).

As such, in simply existing God knows in advance, and always has (being incapable of learning anything new), every action that it itself will take. As such, it is completely unable to ever have made choices with regards to those actions. It was a very early Christian theologian indeed (1st Century? I'll have to look it up), who as a result of this, described God as "clockword".

Free Will of us:
OUR freewill IS a different issue, as you say. If it was the case that God ONLY KNEW our future, you'd be right in saying that our choices weren't fixed, from our point of view, and that God simply knows what choices we will freely make.

But choices are made for reasons. Our emotional states, states of mind that lead to the choices we make are determined by our experience in life and our inherent character. Nature and nurture. ALL THE FACTORS that affect what choices we make ARE fixed. This means that indirectly God has, through a long chain of cause and affect, ultimately fixed the free choices of all individuals. THAT is the way in which, using future knowledge and by creating the universe with the initial conditions that it had at the start, God has removed the free will of every being (but for different reasons God itself also has no free will).

Re: God and Freewill (a) (Anonymous) Expand
Re: God and Freewill (a) (Anonymous) Expand
Re: God and Freewill (Anonymous) Expand