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In August 2016 … we (my wife and I) had fortieth wedding anniversary. There were forty or so people outside for a barbeque. I must admit I was well oiled. I was sitting next to Ann (Madeleine's Buddhistically inclined octogenarian guru). She's a really nice lady. Joseph would get on well with her. She was talking to two ladies, I did not know well, and explaining to them how they need the ability to be able to forgive themselves. I think the ladies were of a Christian persuasion. 

Anyway the conversation died down, and I knew Ann also did not believe in free will. So I quietly said to her something like, "If we don't have free will, then there is nothing to forgive." She replied "Baby steps". 

 

Edited by romansh
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  • 2 months later...
8 minutes ago, thormas said:

Still, none can predict the future

This type of thing is often used in context of free will debate. OK here it is a little out of context. Nevertheless:
I make predictions all the time.
Some are more accurate than others fair enough. I predict the sun will 'rise' tomorrow in this part of the world, a near certainty and I will live to see it, a far less certain prediction, but not a bad one I hope.

So when someone says we can't predict the future that is a fallacy. At first glance it seems reasonable but prediction here gets confounded with absolute certainty. I don't think this is an intentional thing, but for one of those subliminal things. This is not so much for the benefit of thormas, but for others, just evaluate the language being used.

an example of a predictable chemical reaction

 

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3 minutes ago, romansh said:

This type of thing is often used in context of free will debate.

Actually I was using the line to comment on knowing the future not free will debate. 

Of course people make predictions and although I don't think of it as prediction, I get your example of the sun rising tomorrow. And you could probably extend that into 20 years from now (hopefully). Angelina Jolie, once she was tested, was able to make a prediction that she would probably get a certain form of cancer and took action. But did that precision rule out all forms of cancer? And is it a prediction if we have the results of a test? Could she still get skin cancer?

So, can you predict that you'll be around when the sun rises in 20 years or would that be a guess or even a hope. So too cancers and fires. You hopefully have a good handle on the safety of your electrical wiring but can you predict that someone won't set your house on fire - just cause they're a bit wacko? Or that you won't get a cancer as you age?

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, thormas said:

Actually I was using the line to comment on knowing the future not free will. 

You must have missed:

5 minutes ago, romansh said:

OK here it is a little out of context.

 

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4 minutes ago, romansh said:

yep

I'm bored already: either have a discussion or do what you always do...........

But for me it's tea time in NC.

Edited by thormas
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  • 10 months later...

I thought I'd give this a Bump ... oh yeah says Paul.

I notice Kellerman is a research scientist and I wondered what his thoughts are on free will, from a scientific point of view ... noting that determinism, indeterminism or some combination rules.

Edited by romansh
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On 04/02/2021 at 5:46 PM, romansh said:

I thought I'd give this a Bump ... oh yeah says Paul.

I notice Kellerman is a research scientist and I wondered what his thoughts are on free will, from a scientific point of view ... noting that determinism, indeterminism or some combination rules.

I was a research scientist, and then I was a doctor. 

Truthfully, I don't give it much thought because I don't see much utility in it. 

I've studied a few subject matters to the very extreme limit of understanding and learned that that's where everyone shrugs and says "we have no idea". 

So I have a rather different relationship with "evidence" than most do, and quite a bit more comfort in total cluelessness. 

I can't define God and I can't even begin to answer this question, and I feel absolutely no discomfort with either. 

I long ago stopped trying to psychologically control what I can't understand with information and education. 

Don't get me wrong, I still study constantly. I love knowledge and information, but I seek more to understand what is knowable, not navel gaze about what isn't. 

There's so much that is known and knowable in this world, and I spend a lot of time immersing myself in that. I find that more I understand, the more connected with the world and at ease with it I feel, but it does nothing to address what I can't know, and I'm okay with that. 

ETA: of course, when I say "known and knowable" I mean those things that are comprehensible within our existing construct, which is painfully limited. 

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