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Old 09-15-2003, 04:33 PM   #31
catbelly
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But Freida, people have choice with respect to their actions. I don't know who originally said this (it's certainly overused by lots of self-help books!), but the difference between people and most animals is that there is a gap between stimulus and response. People can choose to do different things in response to the same stimulus.

Also... your last para. about man dying if everything were known ... are you speaking about man as in the human race? It's kind of a funny concept to me, because IMO the human race has never had a collective consciousness in that sense. Suppose a group of super genius types in Morocco find the answers to life, the universe and everything... does the world end, even for the beer drinking hockey watching Canadian family who have the answers to only a bare minimum of life's questions?
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Old 09-15-2003, 04:36 PM   #32
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with man dying i mean in evolution.

do you really think people have a choice? how would you feel if it turned out that your brain makes you do certain things? and make you believe that you actually had a free will to choose that?

thatīs, technically, exactly what happens inside the brain!
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Old 09-15-2003, 04:49 PM   #33
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Technically... as in scientifically proven to be the case? Can you cite the article, I would like to read about that. I'm skeptical to be honest (without meaning to judge your thoughts or sources, it's just that I have a hard science background and it seems unlikely given my studies).

I would feel terrible if it were proven there was no free will, so to be really frank it's hard for me to discuss this in an unbiased way. I don't believe in fate, I believe in self-determination. I find it difficult to debate this - it's one of those circular arguments that can never be "proven" either way... for instance one person will say that she has chosen to do everything in her life, and she takes full credit / responsibility for the results and where she's ended up. Another person will say, "oh, but you were meant to do that and it's fate that you are where you are today." It's not provable either way, you know?
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Old 09-15-2003, 05:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by catbelly
Technically... as in scientifically proven to be the case? Can you cite the article, I would like to read about that. I'm skeptical to be honest (without meaning to judge your thoughts or sources, it's just that I have a hard science background and it seems unlikely given my studies).
well thereīs several articles and studies, i learned about this when i was studying psychology in university 6 years ago. if i ever visit my parentīs house iīll remember to take my books home and give you some names of researchers.

Quote:
I would feel terrible if it were proven there was no free will, so to be really frank it's hard for me to discuss this in an unbiased way. I don't believe in fate, I believe in self-determination. I find it difficult to debate this - it's one of those circular arguments that can never be "proven" either way... for instance one person will say that she has chosen to do everything in her life, and she takes full credit / responsibility for the results and where she's ended up. Another person will say, "oh, but you were meant to do that and it's fate that you are where you are today." It's not provable either way, you know?
thatīs whatīs so fascinating about it! that it could be possible that the mind (and nature because of evolution, which itself could be created by god) somehow "plays tricks" on itself and is actually acting automatically and by reflex!

oh, and in this theory, thereīs no such thing as fate, thereīs just automated action and reaction, like a very complicated computer script that can keep adding new parameters by itself. hmm.. sounds a bit matrix like.
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Old 09-15-2003, 05:04 PM   #35
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It really is fascinating! I am wondering if we are talking about the same things, though - you know how it is, sometimes language can be very precise when we're talking about science?

From what you posted, I am understanding you to be saying that there is no free will because our brains are hard-wired to do certain things when given a stimulus. Is that what you mean to say?

If that's so, how would you interpret learning? When a person learns to react differently to a stimulus than they have in the past? For example... a child learns not to have a screaming fit in the grocery store ... a person learns to be nice to their boss instead of being sarcastic ... etc.
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Old 09-15-2003, 05:05 PM   #36
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Another person will say, "oh, but you were meant to do that and it's fate that you are where you are today." It's not provable either way, you know?
there we loop back to "faith" again...

i feel it's very important to accept people's beliefs, as long as they don't interfere with anyone's rights. personal freedom stops where it touches someone else's.

so if someone chooses to believe in "fate" or in "god" or in whatever makes them happy and fulfilled, i have only one thing to say: good for you!

i don't like it, though, when at the same time my feelings and beliefs get "rated" -- i believe there is no wrong and right when it comes to faith as long as it makes you strong. i am by no means bitter. "god" has not disappointed me since i don't believe in it. i don't need to be saved. i don't feel lost. i'm just fine!

my son came to me a couple of years back. boy was he excited! he told me that he could prove santa claus' existence. he was so happy! and you know what? if you really really believe in something, it exists. for you. and that's the only thing that counts. be it santa claus or god or the tooth fairy.

equally important are tolerance and understanding.

yes i'm done now.
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Old 09-15-2003, 05:14 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by catbelly
It really is fascinating! I am wondering if we are talking about the same things, though - you know how it is, sometimes language can be very precise when we're talking about science?
i really hope we are talking about the same things here.. english isnīt my first language so i really hope iīm making some sense here..

Quote:
From what you posted, I am understanding you to be saying that there is no free will because our brains are hard-wired to do certain things when given a stimulus. Is that what you mean to say?
i mean to say, that it may seem like we have a free will, but that thatīs all an arrangement the brain is making.

Quote:
If that's so, how would you interpret learning? When a person learns to react differently to a stimulus than they have in the past? For example... a child learns not to have a screaming fit in the grocery store ... a person learns to be nice to their boss instead of being sarcastic ... etc.
i think the brain is a system that can learn and adapt to new situations, while it constantly reviews situations that happened in the past that are stored in itīs memory to see possibilities of how to respond to new stimuli.

i think pain (and reward) are crucial factors in learning. not just physical pain, but emotional pain as well, because that arranges the social behavior that has become more and more important, instead of the physical pain thatīs basic and here to teach us not to put our hands in fire or not to attack elephants bare-handed.
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Old 09-15-2003, 05:28 PM   #38
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I think maybe we are talking more about the concepts of the ego and the id - not physical characteristics of the brain and actual brain functions?
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Old 09-15-2003, 05:34 PM   #39
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i like to see the ego and the id as a product of the physical characteristics of the brain!

it doesnīt necessarily have to be an either-or situation.


but anyway, i love this subject! i have to go now, itīs getting late already..
iīll try and do some more research on this subject and find some articles tomorrow when iīm bored at work.. haha!
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:29 PM   #40
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Although... it doesn't have to be that black and white, IMO. We don't live in a vacuum - we influence others, and others influence us. That doesn't negate free will, although it does temper what we do or don't do.
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:37 PM   #41
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i know, just an example.. a strong, upfront, in your face everyday example i believe
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:41 PM   #42
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weird vibe

I think the moon is in the wrong part of my universe today.
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:45 PM   #43
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I think catbelly is awesome

Quote:
Originally posted by chuckie egg
Of course its a responsibility! Look at it from a believers point of view. I believe I'll be saved when I die. It REALLY grieves me to know that others might not.

This was a good analogy I once heard... not telling people would be like having a cure for cancer, but keeping it to yourself.
How can you say you have any responsibility over my beliefs? I find that outrageously audacious. Although it is in good heart, i think it's very presumptuous. Think of it from a non-believers point of view.

Besides, a cure for cancer would save lives.

Religion is the opiate of the masses.
- Karl Marx

Philosophy is to the real world as masturbation is to sex.
-Karl Marx

Last edited by moel : 09-15-2003 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:47 PM   #44
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moel you are a cheeky monkey!

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Old 09-15-2003, 08:38 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frieda
i like to see the ego and the id as a product of the physical characteristics of the brain!

it doesnīt necessarily have to be an either-or situation.

I love this subject too... and sorry if it's getting O/T re: atheism!

So miz Frieda... even though you say it's not either-or, if you think that physical characteristics determine ego/id ... would you say that you support "nature" rather than "nurture"?
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