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by guenther
Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:56 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

That's true. If they reject it because they reject the scientific method, then that's a good reason to label them as anti-science. But that's not the example I'm putting forth.
by guenther
Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

you can't just say an entire field of science is bunk without actually showing that it's bunk. You can, it just means you have a weak argument. But that still doesn't make it accurate to say that you're against science. Again, I realize this makes things harder, because people do not like being tol...
by guenther
Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:17 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

ucim wrote:Again, it becomes an issue of observation, not an intrinsic property of the entity.

Can you give some examples of things that are intrinsic properties of the entity? And what would free will look like if it were an intrinsic property?
by guenther
Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:12 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

If you think the speed limit isn't a traffic law--and hence you speed as much as you'd like-- your actions are in opposition to traffic laws . You just don't realize it. And if you think Dendrochronology isn't science--and hence you ignore the consequences of Dendrochronology-- you're opposing scie...
by guenther
Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

If you say 'Dendrochronology is wrong', then what you are saying is 'the scientific method is wrong'. If someone is rejecting the scientific method, then I agree that it's fair to say they're rejecting science. But what if they object to it on other grounds, like the researchers are biased to selec...
by guenther
Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:59 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

I thoroughly, but respectfully, disagree. If you oppose some science, you oppose all science. That's pretty much the way science works: It's not an all-you-can-eat buffet. You either embrace it or you reject it. You don't get to leave out the bits of science you don't like . First of all, I reject ...
by guenther
Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

If Technical Ben did not oppose science, I would expect Technical Ben to embrace the validity of all fields of science. If Technical Ben did not oppose person-to-person contact, I would expect Technical Ben to embrace all forms of person-to-person contact, like, say, stabbing in the chest. Now that...
by guenther
Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:18 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

Thanks, and while I understand it looks like I'm against science and kindness for some reason, I can assure you I'm not. While I find it unlikely that you oppose kindness, I find it very likely that you oppose science. I don't think you're lying when you say you don't oppose science--I think you ju...
by guenther
Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

"Abstraction" does not embody the idea that the thing being abstracted, "free will", is actually not a property of what it looks like it's a property of. "Illusion" does. This is why I prefer "illusion". What does free will look like it's a property of? What ...
by guenther
Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:40 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

As a consequence, "free will" and "determinism" are not opposites at all. They are complements, like particles and waves...which is actually what you are saying in what I quoted, if I am reading you correctly. Yes, that is what I'm saying. I didn't realize that our positions wer...
by guenther
Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:36 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Yes, I agree. We don't change the entity by examining it. But we change what it is we are looking at, and thus how we can meaningfully talk about it. It ceases to be meaningful to talk about will when the box is open. There's nothing in the box to "have" will. Close the box up, and it's m...
by guenther
Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:30 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

So a "free will" would be an unrestricted faculty. You could very well use the brain as this faculty, and this definition has no issue with determinism at all. An unrestricted faculty would then be "a person who is not limited in an action they can initiate." The restriction wou...
by guenther
Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:12 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

As a consequence, we might think that we have free will, but to an observer that is much farther up on the scale of complexity (a super advanced alien?) , they may find us to be eminently predictable and not very "free" at all. Both views would be valid. This is actually very similar to a...
by guenther
Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:06 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Thank you for not mincing words. I'm not fully confident you understood what I wrote, but for the reasons I've explained, I'm perfectly comfortable with using "free will", not just will. I see no reason to wait for later to decide whether free is appropriate to add.
by guenther
Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:25 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Well, before we can define "free will" we need to define "will", without regard as to whether it is free or not. Then we need to decide what we mean by "free" in this context. I'm fine with your take on "will", but I have a different take regarding freeness. ...
by guenther
Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:12 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

It seems to me that the question "Do you have free will?" is defective, but not because of a problem with the definition of free will. Rather, it is because of a problem with the definition of "you", in the context of the question. But this still depends on the definition of fre...
by guenther
Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:14 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

You seemed to acknowledge that our own evolution took countless (hundreds or thousands?) of generations to cross this fuzzy line to being fully human, and yet are "not sure how important that is" to revising this binary definition. A related idea: if mankind evolves another thousand gener...
by guenther
Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Or does it seem more reasonable to imagine a process over countless generations and related species with gradually increasing degrees of consciousness and self-awareness that is used to leverage instincts and increasingly longer-ranged desires, step by step into what we know think of as free will, ...
by guenther
Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:15 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: What the hell is corporate personhood.
Replies: 43
Views: 11843

Re: What the hell is corporate personhood.

I approve this message. (Paid for by Make America Awesome.)
by guenther
Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:46 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

One hallmark of actual faith is a willingness to consider or accommodate ideas which challenge one's own beliefs. I think someone can have faith in a belief without making any effort to consider opposing beliefs. But conversely, I do think that faith is very much compatible with this type of consid...
by guenther
Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

And, no, I didn't mean anything magical at all by "freely wished", I was trying to describe things that happen before an action as being "freely wished", in contrast to actions made that reflect your ultimate choices and were "freely willed", i.e. part of you may have ...
by guenther
Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:44 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

While not trying to get too hung up on definitions, I have found it useful to separate what is freely wished (the higher orders of desire, which have almost no constraint), from what I have in mind as "free will", with the latter very much constrained by actions available to you at each m...
by guenther
Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:19 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Seriously though, throughout the above you are talking about second order desires , of which I can totally relate. Yet then you briefly mention without explanation that this is "kind of built in to the concept of free will". Built in to the concept of free will "that I had in mind.&q...
by guenther
Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:45 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

I've had debates with people about whether we're more likely to see someone's true self when they're anonymous or when they're with someone they know and trust very well. For the former, they can say what they want without fear of reprisal, but in the latter there's a different sort of openness wher...
by guenther
Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Sorry for the late response, this way of looking at it makes it a little clearer to me than calling any particular decision or other "nonfreedom". But I am still strugggling to see what is really added to the idea of free will by this? Sure there can be vastly different amounts of deliber...
by guenther
Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:09 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legal justification of church activities
Replies: 46
Views: 7219

Re: Legal justification of church activities

Or perhaps a more recently in America, the idea that praying can change the direction and impact of hurricanes. I think that such claims can be proven to be false and as such would make them 'fraudulent'. A claim that's not true is wrong. If I know it's wrong, then it's lying or a hoax. If I know i...
by guenther
Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:55 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Yes, this may or may not extend beyond determinism. This begins a whole different discussion... is statement 1 (the future observation is infallible) possible? Is the concept of a "future observation" a valid concept? Why or why not? I don't think I've made any progress in my thinking abo...
by guenther
Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Religion: The Deuce
Replies: 5301
Views: 547805

Re: Religion: The Deuce

I can't help but feel completely confused by what He is trying to explain. Follow god's word blindly? Another way to say this is "If you are blind, you should still follow God's word", but that doesn't mean we should promote blindness or discourage the blind from trying to learn to see. A...
by guenther
Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:01 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Let's start with the prophecy "Agent F will do X" under determinism. 1. The prophecy (Agent F will do X) is infallible (!B) (This may not be a stated prophecy, just a determined statement about the future) 2. It is impossible that Agent F will not do X (definition of determinism) Sorry if...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:16 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Yeah, if it existed and was perfect, that's functionally the same as a time traveler. It creates a paradox. Would a completely physically deterministic universe imply that such a computer would be possible in theory (if not in practice)? Well, I think you have an answer right there. One way to disp...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

The other definition of choice (in this thread) says that it is not a choice if the other outcome is of zero-probability. To define "choice" there must be the possibility of a different outcome. I personally prefer the latter because "you have a choice of one explicit outcome" d...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:09 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

This is what I find interesting... a PKIC is indistinguishable from a time traveler in its predictability (given determinism... and here I mean the generic version of "everything is determinable" and not necessarily the more discrete "the universe is physically deterministic"). ...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

NOTE: this isn't specific to the time-traveler scenario but also to determinism, using the time traveler example is simpler. With time travelers, you can have real paradoxes, and it's not clear how it gets resolved, or maybe time travel is simply impossible. And perfect prophets with a magical abil...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:25 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legal justification of church activities
Replies: 46
Views: 7219

Re: Legal justification of church activities

I'm honestly not sure, is that fraud? The definition seems to say yes, but the fact that such claims continue to be made would suggest that it's not. Why claiming to provide happiness is not fraud is an interesting question which is very related to what I originally wanted to know. If they made a c...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:49 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legal justification of church activities
Replies: 46
Views: 7219

Re: Legal justification of church activities

I'm talking about a religion's inherent nature. A religion by it's nature has claims that are not provably true and possibly some that a provably false. What I want to know is whether this is treated differently from a company that makes false claims. First of all, you are comparing a company makin...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:33 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legal justification of church activities
Replies: 46
Views: 7219

Re: Legal justification of church activities

Short answer: for a statement to be fraud, it has to be (a) demonstrably false, and (b) known to be such by the speaker. Wouldn't this imply that lying is fraud and thus would be illegal? As I said, I'm no expert, but I thought fraud was about deceptively tricking someone for personal gain or somet...
by guenther
Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:24 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Legal justification of church activities
Replies: 46
Views: 7219

Re: Legal justification of church activities

What I want to know is whether deception by a religion is treated the same as deception by a company. Also, why or why not? I am not a lawyer, but if a church is fraudulent in, say, they're collection and use of the offering, they will suffer legal consequences just like any other case of fraud. Ar...
by guenther
Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:40 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

To Guenther, no, my wording was poor and hurried. "XXXXXX" was meant to be discrete and knowable. Given perfect knowledge and determinism, it is in no way vague, it's very precise. I lack this perfect knowledge, so I cannot be more specific. It's no longer a meaningless tautology when fil...
by guenther
Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

Another source of disagreement is over what "possible" means, as in "Is there more than one possible future in a deterministic universe?". I think one can reasonably use "possible" to conclude both ways. But I assert that if we say no, then the same is true for a single...
by guenther
Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:34 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Definition of Free Will
Replies: 728
Views: 143423

Re: Definition of Free Will

As guenther suggests, this is a problem with determinism, it is incompatible with the actual ability to make a choice because it is inviolable by definition. You can no more choose than a flipped coin can "choose" which side to land on, your "choices" are completely calculable g...

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