JCC If you don't believe in free will, you are bad and should feel bad

Discussion in 'Community' started by ophelia, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Congratulations, now we're just stuck in a loop.
    Last edited by Ramza, Jan 22, 2014
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  2. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Congratulations, now we're just stuck in a loop.
  3. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Bless you, Jabba-wocky and Saintheart, for adding Shakespeare to my philosophy thread. It is like milk and Oreos. Mmmmmmm.

    @Moviefan2k4 Non-denominational Christianity is a type of theism.

    Yes, but you haven't answered the question. How do we know that the whisperings of God are not, say, nascent schizophrenia? Is it our reason that tells us, or is it faith? Alternately, are some aspects of God accessible to reason, while others can only be discerned by faith? The reason I ask is that I'm trying to pinpoint where you fall on the philosophical map. I can't debate you or agree with you until I know more precisely what you're saying. Now, I can intuit that you're a Libertarian and a mind/body dualist, but other than that I have no idea.
    Last edited by ophelia, Jan 22, 2014
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  4. Asterix_of_Gaul Force Ghost

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  5. Saintheart Chosen One

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  6. Moviefan2k4 Force Ghost

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    I know; I was just clarifying.

    I'd say its a combination of the two, depending on how you're defining "faith". My experiences have shown me that the mind isn't mutually exclusive from the soul. There's an important distinction between "faith that" and "faith in"; the first involves the intellect, while the second is a choice of the will. Regarding politics, I'd describe myself as "90% conservative, 10% moderate".
  7. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Metaphysical libertarian, not economic/politic libertarian.
  8. Moviefan2k4 Force Ghost

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    I'm not sure what that means.
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  9. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Just click on the hyperlink ophelia's provided on the word "Libertarian", that'll take you to the Wiki entry...
  10. Moviefan2k4 Force Ghost

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    After skimming the first few paragraphs in that article, it seems to be about the age-old "free will vs. predestination" debate, just like this thread. I'm of the opinion that God's knowledge of the future doesn't hinder our free will, because He's not pulling our strings to make us take any course of action. Knowledge and action are two entirely different concepts.
  11. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Edit: Saintheart beat me to it. I'm leaving my handy-dandy chart, though.

    Chart

    I'm not inserting the image itself because it's freaking huge. :p If you're going to go in for Christian apologetics, you really need to know what a metaphysical libertarian is. Not knowing, in Tender_Sai speak, renders you "he who does not lift."

    For the rest of this post, hover your mouse over the text to see if there's a link below. There are some.

    Also, I think you just said that some aspects of God can be known via reason, while others are revealed only to faith. That's fine--you are probably some form of Thomist. Plenty of people are.

    I am not a Thomist. This is because Thomism's arguments for knowing God via reason are generally considered to be awful by everybody who isn't a Thomist. I am a fideist. It's worthwhile knowing what that is, especially if you're going to be debating the merits of religion with non-religious people.

    I am a big fan of Kierkegaard. If you, as a Thomist of socially-conservative bent, felt like attacking my philosophy, it would probably be on the point of relativism. If God can only be known by faith, and faith is opaque to reason, then how do you tell faith in a false God from faith in the true God? I'd say you can't, except perhaps to take Matthew's advice: "By their fruit you will recognize them."

    So this is how it's going to go down. I mock you for using dreadful logic and call into question your ability to even evaluate such a thing as a causal chain, and you call me a dirty Godless hippie. And probably a Communist. Sound good? Good. :p

    Also, Asterix, I always knew you enjoyed being a vindictive ****head. :p
    Last edited by ophelia, Jan 23, 2014
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  12. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    This is a great thread. I'm scarcely well-equipped to participate, which is why I haven't so far, but ophie has requested my presence and I cannot say no to her.

    Therefore I'll interject myself into two arguments:

    @Saintheart @Jabba-wocky your discussion with wocky reminds me of issues if character. Insofar a courage a a virtue, I suppose it's the same discussion. Is a man good who behaves out of fear of consequences or behaves well even if he knows there are no consequences to misbehavior? Similarly with courage: is it objective or subjective a notion? What's courageous, the deed itself or the deed in response to known conditions and risks? I admit my own position on this may be contradictory -- I'm more inclined to state that one who does good solely out of self-regard is not necessarily good or not as good, but would be willing to state that courage is in the act. But were I challenged to be consistent, I feel like I may as well say that courage is a quality of character and not a quality of the act and therefore someone who acts out of certain knowledge that he or she is immune from danger is not necessarily courageous even though he or she may appear to others to be such.

    @epic your point about empathy reminds me about my brief reading into the French criminal justice system. The American system is very "just the facts please" -- was the wrong committed? There are mitigating factors as affirmative defenses or as parts of the elements of the crime, but otherwise value judgments are only made during sentencing. On the other hand, the French want to know why a person did what they did. They want to know about his or her character, or what brought this person to that juncture. It's as much about society as the accused.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
  13. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Here's a question: If you know that you will not suffer any consequences no matter what you do, but you see someone drowning in a lake, do you save them or walk on knowing you will not get punished for neglecting to save them?
  14. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    I think this is actually ill-defined as a hypothetical question because one cannot construct a system wherein an action has no repercussions whatsoever. Even given a total absence of other observers, you personally are going to be aware of the actions you have taken and they're going to either conform to or conflict with your morals, beliefs, self-perception, etc. And that's all before you get into the myriad ways one could ostensibly be connected to the drowning individual - are they a friend, an enemy, a total stranger, etc.?

    Consequently, I think the entire line of inquiry would have to be discarded.
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  15. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Agreed on both your points about fate, Jello. :) I think that doing the right thing when it is easy has benefits for society, so I certainly can't condemn it. But to really take a measure of someone's character, you have to look at what they do when doing the right thing is hard.

    And Internets, if I'm very honest, I'd admit that practical considerations would determine my decision. Saving someone from drowning, if you're not trained to do it (and I'm not), is dangerous as hell. So the question might really be, "Would you risk your life on the chance of rescuing a stranger?" I probably wouldn't. I would call 911, though.
  16. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    I didn't phrase that question correctly then I guess.
  17. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    ah yes, the phil collins dilemma
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Jan 23, 2014
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  18. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Character and morals to me are closely allied concepts. Character is tied up inherently with the concept of morals, since "character" has both a subjective and an objective face to it -- how the person sees himself and how others see him -- and character to me might be termed as a statement of one's adherence to one's moral code. Choice still underlies all of them as concepts, though.

    Is a man good who behaves out of fear of consequences or behaves well even if he knows there are no consequences to misbehavior?

    To answer that I think you have to define the term "good" first. As formulated in the question, asking whether the man is "good" under certain circumstances assumes--
    (a) there exists a moral standard that can be held by more than one person
    (b) that moral standard has a concept of 'good'
    (c) that moral standard is objective in the sense that the audience saying the man is "good" can agree on what it means to be "good" and that there are unchanging markers of what constitutes "good" behaviour.

    Relative moral standards rule here. And that's only dealing with the "objective" observer to an act; subjectivity is a whole other ball game.

    Is a man good who behaves out of fear of consequences? It seems to me that would depend on the relative value the moral standard in question places on obedience to authority as opposed to initiative in a given context. If you're faithful to your wife only because you fear the economic consequences that will follow from getting caught in flagrante delicto with another woman, I think intuitively we could say there's something wrong there; that it is not good. On the other hand, if you follow orders as directed in the armed forces because you fear that by disobeying you'll screw up a military operation - a consequence of your behaviour - then in that context your actions might well be seen as good. And even then, as Nuremberg shows up, following orders alone is not a get-out clause to morality.

    Is a man good who behaves well even if he knows there are no consequences to misbehaviour? On a tangent, that's similar to the old saying that "Character is who you are when nobody is watching." One thought bubble I had on that one was that there's a bit of the Heisenberg about this: assuming the "good" in question is a moral standard held by people other than yourself, and there are no observers around to see what you are doing, are you even capable of good by that objective moral standard since there is nobody around to judge your behaviour? Does a moral standard require an outside observer to bring it to life?
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    But doesn't a string of Christian thought argue God has a plan for everyone? Are these irreconcilable positions?

    Also, @ophelia - "Tender Sai" - [face_laugh] [face_love]
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  20. timmoishere Force Ghost

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    Another contradiction in Christian thought....if God has a plan, then why do Christians bother with praying?
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  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Timmo, I was genuinely interested in his response and not carrying on the anti-religious jihad. The points we would have scored here just aren't enough to justify the effort.
  22. harpua Chosen One

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    Yeah,. this thread is actually an interesting read. Can we not turn this into another timmo/moviefan ****show?
    Last edited by harpua, Jan 23, 2014
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  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Implicit in Moviefan's post is that he isn't saying there's not a school that says God has a plan for everyone; he personally just seems to eschew that stance. I'm interested in this, and with no sinsiter "aha! GOTCHA!" moment attached.
  24. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

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    Free will exists right up until the point in which it doesn't.
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  25. harpua Chosen One

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    Maik's "Phil Collins dilemma" post should have gotten a lot more love.
    Last edited by harpua, Jan 23, 2014
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