Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 12281 - 12300 of total 23050 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
MH2

climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 06:42pm PT
"Free" means non-deterministic, meaning that we have a choice that is not beholden to mechanical, antecedent causes, or any causes.


Is the motion of water in a waterfall deterministic? Mechanical? If you were a waterfall would it appear to you that you had Free Will?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 4, 2013 - 06:43pm PT
We should act as we have free will.

Personally, I think we're going to arrive at this conclusion on a number of issues. As Largo noted, we can't have a society based on laws without an idea of free will, imperfect as it may be. We already accept in our legal system that there are mitigating circumstances to the use of free will like extreme parental or spousal abuse that results in parents or spouse being murdered for example. We also recognize that juveniles have less capacity for free will than adults, and that the mentally retarded and insane can not be tried the same as those of normal intelligence.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 4, 2013 - 06:48pm PT
MH2' that's a good point.

Just because life is not deterministic, it doesn't mean we have free will. BUT it doesn't exclude it. Newtonians physics didn't give us that chance.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 4, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
Jan, so what experiment would you propose to detrmine whether free will exists?

Maybe I am too practical, but if we can't back up our statements with science we can say anything.

Just to be sure we are discussing the same subject:
If you have a limited number of choices would you say you have free will? Or we are talking infinity?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
I do believe that Americans in particular believe they have much more free will than they do - one of many myths we live by like every little boy can grow up to be president or a millionaire.

As for devising a scientific experiment, maybe studying identical twins parted at birth as have alcoholism, schitzophrenia, and life similarities studies, would be a start. Instead of just studying similarities and guessing the percentage of genetics vs upbringing one could nowdays do brain scans of them making choices.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
Be honest, do you guys write this stuff just to wind me up - because you know this is my field of work? Is this a vast (far right and far left amateur) conspiracy? Are you guys trying to give me a nervous breakdown?

Largo writes,
"Programs for Living" and all the rest make no sense in a strictly determined world.

Nonsense.

Jan writes,
As Largo noted, we can't have a society based on laws without an idea of free will, imperfect as it may be.

Nonsense.

Moose writes,
Just because life is not deterministic, it doesn't mean we have free will. BUT it doesn't exclude it.

Why do I get the feeling if English were Moose's first language, he'd school everybody.

.....

Jan and Largo are fully-caused beings. But nontheless, if they were to break into Cragman's house late tonight - let's imagine - to steal from him and his, he's going to hold them accountable. Accountable. "Three in the head, one in the ass" accountable. That's your working basis, right there. Think.

.....

Lookie here, Moose is playing with Jan. Moose is a biochemist. He knows every thing is mechanistic - fully caused - from physics to chem to biology. Hence, no supracausal thoughts, feelings or will. Nothing is "above the law."

Whether it is predictable or nonpredictable - in other words, computable or noncomputable - is besides the point. For this discussion. It's causality, all causality, from the very bottom and on up. Causal determinism rules. Get used to it. You've heard it before: Spend your limited energies adapting to the new understanding, not fighting it. Nothing is "above the law."

PS. jstan also addressed this pages ago, apart form BASE and me. But nobody reads posts, they only post them.

Sometimes I wish I wasn't a climber. (Yeah, just kidding. It's the only thing that keeps me sane here.)
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
Quantum mechanics and chaos theory tell us that we can't determine the future

Not quite true in several ways. Complex dynamics (and chaos theory) actually involve situations that are highly predictable (attractors, repellors, etc.) as well as those where that is not the case and sensitive dependence on initial conditions prevails (butterfly effect). QM applies primarily to the microcosm, where we do not dwell.


HFCS: tell us exactly what your work (profession?) is, if you don't mind. This may be common knowledge, but not for me. Thanks.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
Lookie here, Moose is playing with Jan. Moose is a biochemist. He knows every thing is mechanistic - fully caused - from physics to chem to biology. Hence, no supracausal thoughts, feelings or will. Nothing is "above the law."

Yikes.. There is definitely reason to consider the possibility that quantum behavior of particles has something to do with behavior such that it might tie in with the possibility of "free will"

Take the fact that the nervous system operates at small enough scales that random particle behavior might come into play and it opens up some obvious questions.

If there is an "I" that makes choices, is this perhaps the way into the machine?

If there is an "I" that has some control of the machine then why only that particular machine? Why do I not have the same "access to "your" machine?

It's a pretty question that I don't know how to test or answer. But I thinks it's a valid question.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
BAse wrote,
Nobody listens to me other than Fruity, and he just reads my stuff to rip me a new one

That's not true. I just wish you knew others in science could get as passionate about their particular fields as you get about geology - you know when religious folk show their "willful ignorance" etc. concerning the age of the earth. I know you too get passionate about this. I've seen it in your posts.

Also, courage is necessary when you're a minority, a trait the other majority side is all too eager as part of strategy to call arrogant, close-minded etc. Sometimes it's necessary to close ranks and know that there's something of a battle going on.

Dawkins and Harris, to name two of many, are courageous. From the vantage point of the future, this will be evident looking back.

.....

Sometimes I have wondered what a football game would be like if it were played by zombies. My bet: It would be a lot slower.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:11pm PT
I'll leave it to Moosedrool to speak for himself.

As for me deliberately winding you up, sorry but you do that to yourself.
I go with the Buddhist maxim that when you get angry at someone else they are in control, not you.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:32am PT
Klimmer wrote: Seems to me a violation of the second amendment, the separation of church and state. Atheism is a faith, a religion, and it is wielding the law of the land to push its agenda.

that would be the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Unless you are fomenting a rebellion of religious gun owners...

As far as "religion" goes... the all knowing Google pops up this primary sense definition:

Noun: 1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

which is not what atheism is:

Noun: The theory or belief that God does not exist.

Given that this definition is about a "theory or belief" that also works against your rant that atheism is a "belief" it could also be a "theory." Which is interesting to contemplate from a scientist's point of view. We leave open to empirical verification that there is (or is not) a God or gods, personal or otherwise.

Empirical evidence, contrary to your, klimmer's, statements, is decidedly devoid of evidence for the existence of a God or gods being required to explain the universe. One may assume that God/gods are in there somewhere, but so far they haven't been needed in our current understanding of how the universe works.

If atheism is a "theory" then we can test it experimentally, at least in principle.

What empirical tests does it fail?


Dr. Ed,

Yep, I screwed up the Bill of Rights. It was late at night.


... atheism is:

Noun: The theory or belief that God does not exist.

Given that this definition is about a "theory or belief" that also works against your rant that atheism is a "belief" it could also be a "theory." Which is interesting to contemplate from a scientist's point of view. We leave open to empirical verification that there is (or is not) a God or gods, personal or otherwise.



I purport that Atheism is a belief. And contrary to the empirical evidence against it, this belief system is held onto by the practitioners at all costs. Going to the extreme measures of literally sticking fingers in their ears and blabbering na-na-na-na I don't hear you, or just sticking their head in the sand and saying there is no evidence for G-d's existence, therefore no G-d, and purposefully ignoring empirical evidence that is real, not imagined, and way, way beyond mere statistical chance.

But let's say Atheism is a hypothesis, or perhaps more, a theory, then yes it can be tested scientifically, using the scientific method, and therefore has the chance of being falsifiable.

If we can prove with empirical evidence that that word of G-d, The Holy Bible, speaks the truth and is historically accurate, that the word of G-d makes statements regarding the natural Universe and the natural world around us that are scientifically accurate according to our understanding of science today that were mentioned thousands of years prior to our scientific understanding, and that Yeshua did indeed exist and do what what he said he did according to eye witness and historical written accounts, and that the word of G-d has made prophetic claims that have indeed in time come true, then we should be able to validate the written record that G-d exists and he does what he says he has done in The Holy Bible, and we should trust what he says he will do in the future.

If we can do this, then G-d exists. He keeps his word and he is trustworthy. We can know him and know his characteristics. If we can do this ...

Then Atheism is invalidated.

As believers, we don't have blind faith. It is rooted in physical empirical evidence. Lot's of it. There is no other religion/faith that has this overwhelming physical evidence. None.


Let's begin with statements in the Bible that are scientifically valid, that were stated in black and white on parchment thousands of years prior in G-d's word, long, long before it became known to modern science to be true.

(This is gonna take some time. I will go through my notes and the work of others who have delved into this. There are many examples.)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
Yeah, ^^^that's motivating to continue the topic.^^^
.....

As for me deliberately winding you up, sorry but you do that to yourself.

That was tongue in cheek, babe. You missed it. ;)

My heartbeat btw averages 42 at rest, yours?
And nothing is more calming than a secular practice of living, one based squarely and solidly in modernity. How do you like them apples? :)

(Sorry you have the flu.)
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:39pm PT
fructose-

Since I keep missing your points does this mean you are becoming overly subtle?LOL !

And thanks, my fever is down to 100 today so I'm feeling well enough to post on ST and annoy people again.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
..."cause" is a very human concept, it isn't necessary for determinism...

--

Nevertheless, determinism, in it's common usage, means that every thing was determined by some previous thing, that there is an inviolate connection between things, that no thing suddenly emerges, entirely unconnected from all determining factors.

Free will implies "freedom" from this connectedness. So it is natural to ask - from where does an instance of free will emerge.

If the answer is "no thing," or "nothing," this is fundamentally at odds with mechanistic models of reality.

You can't have it both ways, it would seem.

JL
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
Question for Largo specifically:

In my understanding the phenomenal world does not directly emerge from no thing but from dependent origination?

Maybe a Zen vs. Tibetan interpretation.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:56pm PT
Ever had the experience of choosing two things at the same time. It's pretty funny. I have definitely fallen because of that. Or maybe it was changing my mind part way.. kinda hard to tell. I think I've screwed up both ways actually.

Completely free? As in no connection to anything? I don't think I've thought of free will in that way. I suppose I think of it as choice such that you really can choose one out of various different options while being stuck smack dab in the middle of being connected in some way to your surroundings. Hard to prove since one cannot exactly replicate conditions over time to see if a different choice really was possible.
jstan

climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
Nevertheless, determinism, in it's common usage, means that every thing was determined by some previous thing, that there is an inviolate connection between things, that no thing suddenly emerges, entirely unconnected from all determining factors.


In his New Zealand lecture on Quantum Electrodynamics, Feynman shows how we can calculate natural phenomena out to ten decimal places. To do this you have to follow a really imaginative process. When you shoot a single electron or a single photon at a pair of slits, you imagine the single particle goes through both slits, simultaneously. Matter and energy can be in two places at the same time. The real shocker is he shows how even something as mundane as the refraction of light involves a single photon going by all possible paths between two points.

On a larger scale all the data we presently have pretty strongly suggests the same kind of weird thing underlies the creation of the universe. It has been said, when you have nothing, Quantum Mechanics indicates you will get something. All the data fits together. Much is not yet known, but the data is convincing.

The Philosophy that emerged during the classic Greek period was an attempt to derive “wisdom” purely through thought. As a result of a purely mental process.

Mental processes, are influenced by experience in the macroscopic world. It can’t be avoided. As every year has passed since about 1870, the data has grown ever stronger that the world around us, in all of its manifestations, is probabilistic.

Our old Greek ideas about the world, are wrong. Einstein was wrong. God does throw dice. All the time. Even when a photon is refracted by its interaction with matter. Even something that old and familiar.

We have to rethink even what we mean by “determinism.” There may still be something called determinism. But it won’t be what it used to be.


Free will implies "freedom" from this connectedness. So it is natural to ask - from where does an instance of free will emerge.


It does to you. That’s not what it means to me. Here the word “free” is coupled to the word “will”. They have to be read together. The specific discussion posits that the behavior of a living organism cannot be predicted successfully based only upon data found outside of the organism.

If there were a god, that entity’s input would be among the available data external to the organism. This last sentence defines the historic question precisely.

Philosophy as a search for wisdom out of a purely mental process is a waste of time. Until such time as we adequately understand the incredibly weird universe in which we live. Right now even our language is inadequate. Over more than 100 years when students attempted to make the quantum fit into our mental world pictures, the Copenhagen school gave us this advice.

“Shut up and calculate.”

Feynman added, “If you can’t calculate(beforehand the result of your measurement), you don’t know anything.

All, apparently, still good advice.

Socrates would have loved all of this. And he would be calculating up a storm.

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 5, 2013 - 12:13am PT
Credit: TomCochrane

I believe we are a species with amnesia, I think we have forgotten our roots and our origins. I think we are quite lost in many ways. And we live in a society that invests huge amounts of money and vast quantities of energy in ensuring that we all stay lost. A society that invests in creating unconsciousness, which invests in keeping people asleep so that we are just passive consumers or products and not really asking any of the questions.

Graham Hancock
MH2

climber
Feb 5, 2013 - 08:46am PT
Free will implies "freedom" from this connectedness. So it is natural to ask - from where does an instance of free will emerge.

If the answer is "no thing," or "nothing," this is fundamentally at odds with mechanistic models of reality.

You can't have it both ways, it would seem.



You can have it both ways and many points in between.

I guess the "free will" issue has to do with human behavior, although what is special about humans, or perhaps animals is not clear. If events emerged from nothing with no antecedents wouldn't that be apparent in the inanimate world, also? Or is the "free will" question specific to having a nervous system? If so, then if you are curious about the issue it would be a good idea to learn about how nervous systems work.

What one finds in the macroscopic world is that determinism and randomness are opposite ends of a spectrum. You can go smoothly from near-perfect regularity and predictability to a poisson process with no sudden dividing line between the two. You can find this in the firing patterns of neurons.
WBraun

climber
Feb 5, 2013 - 09:24am PT
Unbelievable.

Free will has nothing to do with the nervous system.

You people over complicate just about every simple thing.

No wonder you're all so bewildered ......
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