Joined: Jan. 2006
To my surprise, my critical comment actually got posted at UD.
Your response shows that you have absolutely no interest in advancing the discussion of ID vs. materialism. Clive has shown much patience to you, but you do not reciprocate. Your comments on the “Uncommonly Dense” thread had shades of 1984 or Animal Farm. Perhaps your unique history has resulted in deterministic factors, which allowed you to respond in no other way. Or perhaps you are materialist fundamentalist. My vote is for the latter.
If you had only called him “smarmy,” that would be one thing, but you said:
|Extreme illness calls for extreme treatment. I prescribe solitary confinement with a forced diet of Burroughs and Bukowski. Once that has had the desired effect, we can begin to introduce him gradually to the reality-based world.|
So, Rib…are you interested in advancing the discussion, treating Clive like a fellow human being, and are open to alternative arguments, or are your responses completely determined by your previous experiences?
My reply, which is in moderation:
|To the moderator(s) who allowed my critical comment (#48) through: thank you. I appreciate your willingness to permit public criticism, and I hope that you'll allow this comment through as well.|
The "Uncommonly Dense" thread, as its name makes obvious, was not created to praise UD. It is a place for people to marvel at, mock, satirize, and protest the goings-on at UD. Many -- perhaps even most -- of the commenters ended up there after being arbitrarily banned from UD. There is an entire thread at AtBC documenting the dozens of threats and bannings that have occurred at UD since January of 2006.
As with any website, you're free to frequent AtBC if you find it to your liking or to avoid it if you find it to be distasteful. You're also free to start your own site mocking us at AtBC if you so desire. I would not object.
I should also mention that you and other ID supporters are welcome to comment at AtBC (DaveScot is one exception, having been banned, if I recall correctly, for issuing threats at the parent site, Panda's Thumb).
I called Clive "smarmy" in the "Uncommonly Dense" thread, where it is appropriate (and rather mild). I have not done so here, where it would only serve to derail the discussion. If you examine my comments here at UD, I think you'll find that they compare favorably to those of ID supporters in terms of constructiveness.
Last, you accuse me of having "absolutely no interest" in advancing the discussion. Take a look at the following comment, which I tried to post to this thread yesterday, and ask yourself who was more interested in advancing the discussion: I, or the moderator who deleted my comment?
Your opening post indicates that you find compatibilism self-contradictory, tantamount to claiming that your existence is compatible with your non-existence. That's a common reaction, but in my opinion it is mistaken.
In past discussions I've had on the topic, people have expressed their objections to compatibilism like this, more or less: "If the universe is deterministic, then I'm not really deciding anything. It's all predetermined, and I'm just along for the ride."
Implicit in that view is the proto-dualist intuition that we -- our core selves, including our wills -- are separate from our bodies. If that were true, then we truly would be "just along for the ride" in a deterministic universe. Our bodies would act out their predetermined dance, and our separate selves -- our souls -- would be unable to control them in any way.
Now look at the problem from the materialist perspective, and you'll see that the problem disappears. In a materialist world, you are no longer a "passenger" in your body, merely along for the ride. You are your body (including your brain, of course). When your brain makes a decision and executes it via the body, it is you making the decision and performing the action.
Keeping that in mind, look what happens when you make a decision under a materialistic, deterministic scenario:
1. You gather information according to your habits and inclinations.
2. You evaluate the information using your own intellect, taking into account your own experiences, your own learning, and your own memories.
3. You mull over alternatives, weighing them against each other, predicting future possible outcomes, and gauging your emotional reactions to them.
4. You make a decision based on your own personality and temperament, choosing the outcome that you prefer.
5. You act accordingly.
To me, that sounds like the perfect description of a free choice. At every stage you do exactly what you want to do, based on your own personality, temperament, intellect, emotions, memories and learning. You can even decide, on a lark, to flip a coin instead of deliberating, if that's what you want to do. The outcome utterly depends on you, as a person, and could have been vastly different if someone else had been in your place.
In what significant way does this fall short of "free will"?
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number. -- Joe G
Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF