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  2. Or, consciousness is (real) and the human being meets, acknowledges and names this reality.
  3. Seemingly, morality and ethics, i.e. some sense of what is the Good, is necessary since all/most human societies establish laws (based on something) which seem absolutely necessary for them to function and their society to prosper. As for God/religion, for some, it is what we believe that enables or guides us as we go about our lives.
  4. The good thing is not always and not all Christians, in the history of Christianity, visualized God as the old white guy. However, I wonder if God does not resemble us (or vice versa) in the most important way. The idea of God (ala Spong) as a verb (something to do...and something to become) and us doing what God is (LOVE) seemingly reveals that we (can) resemble God/Being/Love.
  5. I can accept that consciousness exists only in the imagination and that it is a tautology. I can also accept “I think, therefore I am” which is also a tautology. For some reason this made me think about Zhuang Zhou dreaming that he was a butterfly and forever wondering whether he dreamt the butterfly, or the butterfly dreamt him. Now that would be a confused state of consciousness. 😂 I just read this quote from him, which I like …. “To the most trivial actions, attach the devotion and mindfulness of a hundred monks. To matters of life and death, attach a sense of humor."
  6. Today
  7. I certainly agree with this in regards to morality & ethics. While some may believe religion has a strong influence on personality, my experience over the decades has been the reverse; i.e. we express our existing personality through the belief organization and social causes that we join. As for g/God and free will, I would also agree, regardless of what we believe we go about lives, as everyone else does.
  8. I can understand this notion much better than the traditional. Over the past several years I have read, or listened to, a number of books on Islam. It is interesting that “In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension or equal and does not resemble any of his creations in any way.” In contrast, in Christianity we visualize God as the “old white guy”. In traditional Judaism God is the “the absolute one, indivisible, and incomparable being,” some modern interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is a force or ideal. Personally, I prefer the Start Wars version "may the Force be with you." 😀
  9. Wish is linked to want and desire and will is whether or not one decides to bring what is desired/wished for to fruition or into reality.
  10. Perhaps the better way to put it is that most of us accept that we are conscious and indeed self-conscious beings. There is or are moments of autopilot in the day however it is the conscious person, reflecting on themselves (i.e. self conscious) that know this.
  11. And how much do we trust our consciousness? Or is it the confirmation bias for our unconscious chemistry? When I examine my day … I am in autopilot for much of the day.
  12. OK in what way is will, want, wish different from a desire?
  13. The interesting thing is that the belief in notions of g/God, free will and morality are actually unnecessary for us to function, although we may believe otherwise. One of the quibbles theists have with this statement is that it is not a "true" nothing, but real one we experience. Another difference is that atheists would dump this statement if better evidence for another proposition came along. Perhaps accept that our consciousness is imaginary? I imagine I have a consciousness is a tautology is it not?
  14. Yesterday
  15. Just a couple of comments: I've always wonder if the Big Bang or the initial (or, better, the last) moment of nothingness was something and, therefore, not nothing (so to speak). And the theist saying might better reflect a more traditional theism but a more progressive take might be that rather than saying God always existed (which sounds like the existence of just another being, albeit it infinite existence - like all energy?) to say instead that "God" is the very possibility of existence, that anything is - at all. This goes to Paul's letter in which he writes that 'we have our being in God.'
  16. Good summary. I believe I understand and I agree with this sentence (above) however consciousness and self-consciousness couldn't be defined as imaginary. As for free will, that one might be more open to the point you have made. As for getting beyond it, without evidence either way, it seems to be a question of what one believes.
  17. This makes sense to me. In the current discussion it seems to me that the notion of “Free Will” is being responded to in a similar fashion to the notion of “God”. Some deny it while other insist upon it. If we are to assume that we are all physical Automatons; some of us believe there is nothing more than the physical automaton, where as, (by way of analogy) others of us believe the soul sits in the pineal gland as proposed by René Descartes. To me, both notions seem incomprehensible. Similarly, when I consider the existence of God, my simplistic self sees the argument as; · The atheist says, “everything comes from nothing”, which is incomprehensible, however, · The theist says, “everything comes from God, who has always existed”, which is at least equally incomprehensible, hence, · I default to agnosticism, which is a cop out. However, just because something is incomprehensible does not mean that we should throw away the idea. For example, in mathematics we have the imaginary number i2 = -1. From this we get complex numbers and the complex plane. Power engineering makes use of complex numbers. I would venture to say that when a student of mathematics first encounters the imaginary number, they might think of it as incomprehensible. However, as the utility of the imaginary number becomes evident the concern about the incomprehensibility disappears; i.e. “who cares, it works!” Have a look at this 5 minute video Intro to complex numbers. At times I wonder if the denial of the imaginary by some, and the insistence of the imaginary by others is the root of the argument. Is there a way to get beyond this?
  18. Actually, I already suggested the question: as we recognize the reality of consciousness even though we cannot explain how consciousness 'emerges' out of unconsciousness matter, do/should we also recognize the reality of 'free will' even though we cannot explain how it emerges out of (or with the influence and limitations of) heredity and environment. Seemingly, we all, or most of us, accept and trust our consciousness on a daily basis, even though we cannot account for it. It may or may not be a result of cause and effect - the point is we simply don't know and cannot explain it. And there is no denying the effect of 'chemistry' - but the question remains that it does not explain consciousness and it does not eliminate the reality of free will.
  19. Not entirely, but they influence behavior. Epigenetics is a challenge to heredity, and the cognitive mediation of emotions and drive states makes a good bit of environment too unpredictable to be of any practical use.
  20. So the question becomes how much do we trust our consciousness and is it as it seems? And because it is does not have an explanation it does not mean it is not a result of cause and effect. But we are thoroughly aware our so called consciousness is affected by chemistry. Oxytocin, psilocybin, anaesthetics, alcohol are examples.
  21. Last week
  22. Do all or most of us really believe that environment and heredity entirely shape us? Seems more accurate to say most of us believe these are factors but they don't entirely explain our character. And the McVeigh example reflects what I asked about Trump. I was reading a Spong book this afternoon and he wrote: ".....there is no explanation about how consciousness could emerge out of unconscious living things" so too, I suspect, there is no explanation about how free will/choice can emerge out of heredity and environment.
  23. Would you have wishes, actions, decisions without chemistry?
  24. Wish, if acted upon, suggests a decision, a choice to act. Such a decision to act is, for some, more to do with free will than only chemistry. Thanks for the referral.
  25. Exactly where is free suggested in "to wish"? Here Gales Strawson argues in an interview against free will using "to want".
  26. "To wish:" this seems to suggest free choice/will. As opposed to his chemistry being influenced, perhaps it is simply he (if we were so lucky) who would be influenced and then make better (free) choices.
  27. Thank you Our genetics are more a product of our distant past environment, whereas our societal type influences are a product of our more immediate environment. Human genetics change (noticeably) over millennia and society over generations. Our nature and nurture are products of our environment.
  28. I skimmed through the thread and read you 2012 essay on Free Will; it was a good read. What do you mean by "dislocated in time"?
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