Fluff piece

The title comes from something Titanmachia said about a different post.
This is my latest blog. I went to see an old friend, a pastor. It was a Palm Sunday service. He has quite the talent for bringing the old stories into modern focus. I disagreed with him on the part about people being “just minerals”, but I didn’t spoil our lunch together, I just blogged about it later.
I turned it into a commentary on free will, so, have it, Tita, Lois, et al.
http://winter60.blogspot.com/2016/03/palm-sunday-2019.html

The title comes from something Titanmachia said about a different post. This is my latest blog. I went to see an old friend, a pastor. It was a Palm Sunday service. He has quite the talent for bringing the old stories into modern focus. I disagreed with him on the part about people being "just minerals", but I didn't spoil our lunch together, I just blogged about it later. I turned it into a commentary on free will, so, have it, Tita, Lois, et al. http://winter60.blogspot.com/2016/03/palm-sunday-2019.html
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois
... Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois
You are persistent in being wrong about this. You might as well say that taking a gear out of an intricately working watch, would have no effect on its functioning.
The title comes from something Titanmachia said about a different post. This is my latest blog. I went to see an old friend, a pastor. It was a Palm Sunday service. He has quite the talent for bringing the old stories into modern focus. I disagreed with him on the part about people being "just minerals", but I didn't spoil our lunch together, I just blogged about it later. I turned it into a commentary on free will, so, have it, Tita, Lois, et al. http://winter60.blogspot.com/2016/03/palm-sunday-2019.html
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois If you are correct, then someone who claimed they came to the conclusion that they didn't need to give anything any consideration, that they didn't need to think before they acted, would be no different than someone who did plan and did ponder. But I'm not sure how you can be correct since conscious thinking is a thing that does happen. Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect. So saying conscious thinking doesn't have an effect is saying it is not part of reality. Obviously it is.
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do.
If you are correct, then someone who claimed they came to the conclusion that they didn't need to give anything any consideration, that they didn't need to think before they acted, would be no different than someone who did plan and did ponder. But I'm not sure how you can be correct since conscious thinking is a thing that does happen. Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect. So saying conscious thinking doesn't have an effect is saying it is not part of reality. Obviously it is. Well said. This is clearly one of the strongest confusions that Lois suffers from.
... Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois
You are persistent in being wrong about this. You might as well say that taking a gear out of an intricately working watch, would have no effect on its functioning. You claim I am wrong but you have not presented any evidence that would support that contention. Whan it comes to free will, consciousness would have to be a factor in our decisions. No one has shown that it is. Most people like to think it's true, and it often feels as if it's true but we have no evidence that it is true. If you have some evidence, please present it. Evidence, please, not just opinions and arguments. So far the only actual evidence we have about decision-making is that we make decisions several seconds before we are consciously aware of them. This has been shown to be true with brain scans under laboratory conditions. If you want to refute that, please show similar evidence that your refutation is valid instead of making baseless assertions. Brain activity predicts decisions before they are consciously made. http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous http://causalconsciousness.com/Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous.htm Lois
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do.
If you are correct, then someone who claimed they came to the conclusion that they didn't need to give anything any consideration, that they didn't need to think before they acted, would be no different than someone who did plan and did ponder. But I'm not sure how you can be correct since conscious thinking is a thing that does happen. Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect. So saying conscious thinking doesn't have an effect is saying it is not part of reality. Obviously it is. Well said. This is clearly one of the strongest confusions that Lois suffers from. I've avoided this discussion, as I'm sure you've noted, since I've actively said I'm avoiding it, but it's kinda fun. You just rearrange the words a little and it can seem like you're saying something logical. Lois asks for evidence, but that's the problem isn't it? We don't have a good definition of what consciousness is, we have not yet figured out how to put a thought in a bottle. As she notes, we are just getting to where we can see what happens first. She knows all that, yet insists her conclusion is correct. It really amounts to nothing more than "you can't prove I'm wrong".
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois
If you look at what I said again, I did very nearly say that we can't stop or start thinking. Making a decision that you think you should stop doing that would be nothing more than a continuation of it. No matter where those thoughts come from, how they form, and whether or not you can alter them before they happen is irrelevant to the fact that you are having them. So if you conclude that you should just let go of what you think you are thinking, and let nature guide you, just respond to stimulae with a lizard like reaction, with no thought about the consequences, well that's a stupid conclusion. It's a justification for laziness.
If you have some evidence, please present it. Evidence, please, not just opinions and arguments.
There is a presupposition behind your question you are not aware of: you define a cause only as a cause if it is not caused by other events in its turn. This is absurd. Say, ball A collides with ball B, and B collides with C, then you would say that the cause of ball C moving has nothing to do with B's collision with C. You said:
Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do.
You defend this as follows:
So far the only actual evidence we have about decision-making is that we make decisions several seconds before we are consciously aware of them. This has been shown to be true with brain scans under laboratory conditions.
You said:
Brain activity predicts decisions before they are consciously made. http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html
Look at this experiment you refer to:
The volunteers were asked to press one of two buttons when they felt the urge to.
Just the urge? No reason for it all? That is the same poor setup as the original Libet experiments. The volunteers were asked to press a button without any reason. (Would that be a good model for an action of free will? To do something for no reason at all, just when you feel the urge?) At the same time they were instructed to do so before the experiment started. Would they have done exactly the same when they would not have been instructed? Did the instruction, and their conscious understanding of their task, play no causal role in what they did: press a button at some arbitrary moment? Imagine I would be put in the tube, and did not press a button at all? And if they ask why I did not do it, I would say 'I did not feel the urge. Couldn't you measure that?' As a naturalist I have no problem that conscious states have a causal prelude. But that does not mean that conscious states have no causal effects. From your Quotes:
Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous http://causalconsciousness.com/Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous.htm
Arthur Schopenhauer "A man can surely do what he wills to do, but cannot determine what he wills."
So the will has causal influence. To cite Lausten again:
Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect.
Compare with the following situation: your 8 year old daughter has her birthday party this afternoon, and has invited several friends. You are in the supermarket with your spouse, going to buy stuff for the party, and suddenly you realise that you do not know exactly how many friends she invited. So you start recounting 'Jessica, Phoebe, Susi...' and you ask your spouse: 'Did the mother of Janet call yesterday? Would she come?' Etc, etc. So in the end you together find out that 8 friends will come, so you buy 9 portions of stuff X. (include your own daughter). Now what you are saying is that all these thoughts have no causal influence??? That this situation compares with lying in a tube with the task to press a button for no reason at all? Late night edit: The translation of Schopenhauer's quote is pretty bad. In German: Der Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will. Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants. It happens to be exactly the formulation I used several times to show the absurdity of libertarian free will, and the meaning of compatibilist free will, in its short version: the capability to do what you want.

I’d rather talk about other parts of this. Like:

According to probabilities, you don't really overcome the odds, it's just that some people make it and some don't. But if we knew exactly why some do and some don't, we wouldn't need probabilities, we would have certainty. Certainty is a good thing to have when you are thinking about jumping off from a high place. When you are a poor person speaking up against a powerful empire, expecting to be heard, we call that crazy, but fortunately, a few keep doing it. If you are living in a free society, where you can speak your mind with minimal consequences, it is because someone did that.
Am I using the word "probability" correctly?

I’m 16 sermons down, 140 to go. Not bad, since I’ve also been doing the web development too.]
I’ve been learning about google bots and things.
It’s still a bit of a pre-release mode, since the first lectionary week I cover is for May 22. I’ll be using my facebook page to make weekly announcements. Not sure if I’ll increase outreach after a while or not.
That first one contains some personal history that describes a particular liberal progressive church, and how I think that is more valuable than people arguing about theodicy.
The next couple weeks include mythological Jesus, the importance of Elijah, and the symbolism of death. The week of 6/12 has some theology. The plan is to offer something for everyone, except the most fundamentalist, and keep rotating who I’m addressing. That way, if you are willing to read at least 3 or 4 posts, you should see something that interests you.
Comments can be left by going to the Blog, use the button at the top.

... Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois
You are persistent in being wrong about this. You might as well say that taking a gear out of an intricately working watch, would have no effect on its functioning. If I'm wrong, prove it. A human being--or any animal, is nothing like an intricately working watch. Read some biology, or, better yet, have someone read it to you. Lois
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do.
If you are correct, then someone who claimed they came to the conclusion that they didn't need to give anything any consideration, that they didn't need to think before they acted, would be no different than someone who did plan and did ponder. But I'm not sure how you can be correct since conscious thinking is a thing that does happen. Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect. So saying conscious thinking doesn't have an effect is saying it is not part of reality. Obviously it is. Well said. This is clearly one of the strongest confusions that Lois suffers from. I've avoided this discussion, as I'm sure you've noted, since I've actively said I'm avoiding it, but it's kinda fun. You just rearrange the words a little and it can seem like you're saying something logical. Lois asks for evidence, but that's the problem isn't it? We don't have a good definition of what consciousness is, we have not yet figured out how to put a thought in a bottle. As she notes, we are just getting to where we can see what happens first. She knows all that, yet insists her conclusion is correct. It really amounts to nothing more than "you can't prove I'm wrong". And you can't. Lois
The title comes from something Titanmachia said about a different post. This is my latest blog. I went to see an old friend, a pastor. It was a Palm Sunday service. He has quite the talent for bringing the old stories into modern focus. I disagreed with him on the part about people being "just minerals", but I didn't spoil our lunch together, I just blogged about it later. I turned it into a commentary on free will, so, have it, Tita, Lois, et al. http://winter60.blogspot.com/2016/03/palm-sunday-2019.html
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois If you are correct, then someone who claimed they came to the conclusion that they didn't need to give anything any consideration, that they didn't need to think before they acted, would be no different than someone who did plan and did ponder. But I'm not sure how you can be correct since conscious thinking is a thing that does happen. Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect. So saying conscious thinking doesn't have an effect is saying it is not part of reality. Obviously it is. I never said it was not part of reality. I said it is not what drives our actions. You have yet to show any evidence that it does. All you have done is deny my position, which is based on objective science.
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do.
If you are correct, then someone who claimed they came to the conclusion that they didn't need to give anything any consideration, that they didn't need to think before they acted, would be no different than someone who did plan and did ponder. But I'm not sure how you can be correct since conscious thinking is a thing that does happen. Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect. So saying conscious thinking doesn't have an effect is saying it is not part of reality. Obviously it is. Well said. This is clearly one of the strongest confusions that Lois suffers from. I've avoided this discussion, as I'm sure you've noted, since I've actively said I'm avoiding it, but it's kinda fun. You just rearrange the words a little and it can seem like you're saying something logical. Lois asks for evidence, but that's the problem isn't it? We don't have a good definition of what consciousness is, we have not yet figured out how to put a thought in a bottle. As she notes, we are just getting to where we can see what happens first. She knows all that, yet insists her conclusion is correct. It really amounts to nothing more than "you can't prove I'm wrong". What are the confusions you are suffering from? I can detect many.
The title comes from something Titanmachia said about a different post. This is my latest blog. I went to see an old friend, a pastor. It was a Palm Sunday service. He has quite the talent for bringing the old stories into modern focus. I disagreed with him on the part about people being "just minerals", but I didn't spoil our lunch together, I just blogged about it later. I turned it into a commentary on free will, so, have it, Tita, Lois, et al. http://winter60.blogspot.com/2016/03/palm-sunday-2019.html
Interesting. One thing, though: You wrote, "Even if you accept the theory that we are completely lacking free-will, that everything we do is a product of some chemical reaction, that does not lead to the conclusion that you should stop thinking and stop planning." If we are completely lacking free will, we can't stop (or start) thinking and planning. We have no control over the factors that make us think and plan. Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois If you are correct, then someone who claimed they came to the conclusion that they didn't need to give anything any consideration, that they didn't need to think before they acted, would be no different than someone who did plan and did ponder. But I'm not sure how you can be correct since conscious thinking is a thing that does happen. Lack of free will is not lack of cause and effect. So saying conscious thinking doesn't have an effect is saying it is not part of reality. Obviously it is. If it's so obvious you shouldn't have any trouble proving it with objective evidence. I'll wait.
... Our conscious thinking and planning would have no effect on what we actually do. Lois
You are persistent in being wrong about this. You might as well say that taking a gear out of an intricately working watch, would have no effect on its functioning. If I'm wrong, prove it. A human being--or any animal, is nothing like an intricately working watch. Read some biology, or, better yrt, have someone read it to you. Lois Implying that I cannot read is another example of your poor logic. If I couldn't read, I couldn't respond to your posts. But if the watch analogy is offensive to you, I will try an analogy with organisms. You suggested humans, so I'll go with that. A human walks into a bar... He thinks to himself "I just got my 90 day chip and I'm in a bar. I better call my sponsor. What was that number? Oh, yeah, it's 999-867-5309." He calls his sponsor and avoids relapse. One thought leads to another. If the human had not consciously brought the phone # of his sponsor to mind, would he have called his sponsor? If he had never been aware of his idea of calling his sponsor, would he have tried to remember the phone #? If his 1st thought, after walking into the bar, that he self-observed was "I'm not here to drink. I'm just here to meet the ladies." instead of "I just got my 90 day chip and I'm in a bar." would he have wound up calling his sponsor? In your way of thinking, the human would have called his sponsor anyway. Whether he had a conscious memory of the number would be irrelevant. AND, in your way of thinking the human, if he did indeed have those conscious thoughts, he would only have been aware of them as an "observer". AND, in your way of thinking any thought that the human "observed" himself having would not have effected any subsequent thought that he had. Can you prove that one thought has no impact on a subsequent thought? And can you prove that our awareness of our thoughts have no impact on anything that we do? That is your claim. That is an extraordinary claim. You should be the one that is providing extraordinary proof that your claim is correct. And you cannot.
Brain activity predicts decisions before they are consciously made. http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html
From the article: section heading - On the button Haynes and his colleagues imaged the brains of 14 volunteers while they performed a decision-making task. The volunteers were asked to press one of two buttons when they felt the urge to. Each button was operated by a different hand. At the same time, a stream of letters were presented on a screen at half-second intervals, and the volunteers had to remember which letter was showing when they decided to press their button. When the researchers analysed the data, the earliest signal the team could pick up started seven seconds before the volunteers reported having made their decision. Because of there is a delay of a few seconds in the imaging, this means that the brain activity could have begun as much as ten seconds before the conscious decision. The signal came from a region called the frontopolar cortex, at the front of the brain, immediately behind the forehead. ... Its a rote activity they are testing. Maybe its analogous to me doing a carpentry or painting or food prep chore. Sure part of my mind may anticipate before I am conscious of my next move. But, that's not the only kind of mental processing we do. We find our selves in situations where we can't anticipate the near future - no one's tested that. Or the process of learning about and absorbing a variety of new information and then having to process that information and amalgamate those tidbits into a new coherent whole.
Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous http://causalconsciousness.com/Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous.htm
Yipes, that place reminded me too much of a religious site. Besides, from the quotes I looked at, seemed like he was better at creating straw men to burn down, then offering any clarity, sorry. Free Will is a dead horse. But your brand of determinism doesn't cut it either. There is something more subtle going on.
It really amounts to nothing more than "you can't prove I'm wrong".
And you can't. Lois I used that particular phrase because I wanted to compare you to a fundamentalist Christian who refuses to consider any other points of view.
Brain activity predicts decisions before they are consciously made. http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080411/full/news.2008.751.html
From the article: section heading - On the button Haynes and his colleagues imaged the brains of 14 volunteers while they performed a decision-making task. The volunteers were asked to press one of two buttons when they felt the urge to. Each button was operated by a different hand. At the same time, a stream of letters were presented on a screen at half-second intervals, and the volunteers had to remember which letter was showing when they decided to press their button. When the researchers analysed the data, the earliest signal the team could pick up started seven seconds before the volunteers reported having made their decision. Because of there is a delay of a few seconds in the imaging, this means that the brain activity could have begun as much as ten seconds before the conscious decision. The signal came from a region called the frontopolar cortex, at the front of the brain, immediately behind the forehead. ... Its a rote activity they are testing. Maybe its analogous to me doing a carpentry or painting or food prep chore. Sure part of my mind may anticipate before I am conscious of my next move. But, that's not the only kind of mental processing we do. We find our selves in situations where we can't anticipate the near future - no one's tested that. Or the process of learning about and absorbing a variety of new information and then having to process that information and amalgamate those tidbits into a new coherent whole.
Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous http://causalconsciousness.com/Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous.htm
Yipes, that place reminded me too much of a religious site. Besides, from the quotes I looked at, seemed like he was better at creating straw men to burn down, then offering any clarity, sorry. Free Will is a dead horse. But your brand of determinism doesn't cut it either. There is something more subtle going on. So what is it? People posit free will but never show a scintilla of evidence that humans have it. They just keep on stating it, as if stating it will make it true. Meanwhile we kniw that our actions are determined. There is plenty of scientific evidence for determinism. The existence of free will is as likely as the existence of a god. People will continue to proclaim it is true without any objective evidence backing it up. It's still up to those making the claim to show evodence that it is true. No one has done this. Everyone, whether speaking of the existence of free will or god, takes the position that if it feels as if such things exist, they must exist. Does no one on this forum have the least understanding of the burden of proof and the scientific method? Can someone explain to me why theories of god and free will should be exempt from the burden of proof and the scientific method we use for all other claims? Lois