Wed 14 May, 2008 10:52 am
Please note- This seemed obvious to me and my girlfriend but her ethics teacher insists that it is an easily answered problem and not a worth while argument...
And- I don't think free will has that much to do with choices, I think more life style but, for the sake of proving a point to the ethics teacher I will describe free will how she did.
My girlfriends ethics teach was being a bit too much of a christian today at school, apparently. So I wanted to see what you guys thought of the lesson.
So this is the gist of the lesson I want to mention...
In the midst of discussing how to prove miracles and God exists this popped into discussion as some one suggested that God is ALL loving and therefore not capable of inflicting suffering (the usual 'inconsistent triad' stuff)
Teacher responded with the suggestion-
Suffering is a result of free will: When a man is offered two choices (A + B), it is a demonstration of his free will that he can choose A (which is 'wrong') or B (which is 'right)
By choosing the 'wrong' option, he has created suffering.
The example given is Hitler -_-, he chose to kill Jews, it was wrong, he caused suffering not god.
My girlfriend suggested - using a previous discussion on god NOT being limited by our logic (e.g. can he make a four sided triangle? Or, can god create a rock he can't move?)
Why can't god generate free will without entertaining the deterministic result of suffering which is a product of the incorrect choices?
Teacher sais 'don't be silly we would all be robots, robots making the same decisions.' (paraphrase)
Girlfriend sais 'I think you miss the point, we are not removing the options and choice involved in free will, but reworking logic so that the deterministic negative results don't exist. Why can't God be of use here being ALL powerful? Or perhaps god doesn't remove free will, but we simply make all the right choices.' (paraphrase)
Teacher eventually drops discussion reluctant to admit this would be a limitation of logic on Gods behalf.
So any ideas as to how either partys is right or wrong? I was most intruiged by the idea that God could perhaps mask or resolve the negative effects, or- with regards to miracles, simply dissolve the negative effects but keep the detereministic origin, that bad choice. I assumed what the teacher is suggesting is that logic in this one case only is a limitation of God but not when it comes to creating a four sided triangle.
The fault lay with the manufacturer! Accountablity time!!
As I have stated in my new thread, there is no such thing a human action, there is but reaction. Just as the engine of biological evolution is the physical world and the cosmos in evoking change[reaction] in the organism, so to, it is the physical world evoking the behaviours of man, all human behaviours are reactions. This seems elemental to your considerations, relative to the world you have no autonomy, there is no separateness thus no action, there is but relational reaction. Even inaction to a stimulus is reaction, there is no cause and effect, there is but relational reactions, often called strife and/or chemistry.
Boagie, sorry if I misinterpret but here goes anyway... I very much like the sentiment and I'm sure I'll like the implications, I just need to work out what they are
If I may I would like to apply the sentiment I sense to God. So if I was to assume god was ALL knowing, ALL loving and ALL powerful and that he in fact created the earth. What kind of responsibility would he be expected to take (regarding his ALL features) for creating the environment that Hitler reacted to? All relational reactions are still chain reactions if they exist overtime and alter the environment, ready for new reactions, as they go, right? So God being ALL knowing would have a lot to account for... right?
B.t.w- if you reply, link me to your new thread please sir.
No Human Action, It Is All Reaction
I do not find anything in your statements to disagree with, you are indeed correct, relational reactions are in a sense the constant process of setting the stage for further relational reactions.
I do not see how all suffering is the result of free will. Even if humans have 'free will' they do not always utilize this free will.
As for the discussions of God, and miracles especially - people are quick to explain what they do not understand with supernatural claims.
Well I sent a note with said student to the teacher asking where or who I am to assume the deffinition of free will to be from. I think there are some variations here, for I don't think we express free will through descision at all, I think boagies point amplifies this moreso.
imho, debating the characteristics and decisions of a mythical, man-made figure just seems far too problematic to waste time on.
De budding, the "God" argument of the teacher refutes itself in the following manner:
People learn from being harmed. If being harmed prevents future harm by harming someone, does not harming that someone not harm that someone? Thus it refutes itself.
Als I would like to say that your girlfriend should read David Hume's "An inquiry into human understanding". Perhaps the lessons was about that. Hume quite clearly refutes miracles in a very interseting manner.
Hope this helps.
Yep it was a Mr. Hume lesson, she came home and told me about his definition of a miracle, 'a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.' or something close to that.
What made me laugh though was his description of the kind of person who would be a 'valid' witness to a miracle, I think he unknowingly described himself, subconsciously knowing the only person he would trust as a witness would be himself:D.
Well I guess I better order the recommended book before I forget, cheers Arjen!
EDIT: Arjen can you confirm this is the right text? Amazon.co.uk: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: David Hume: Books
It is the right book, however it is edited by some Tom guy. I'd try to find an unedited version. Unfortunately I have a Dutch translation (which I deplore after the fact by the way).
This one is a penguin version and does not seem to be edited: Amazon.co.uk: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Oxford World's Classics): David Hume: Books
Oxford University Press (14 Jun 2007)
I am unsure which of the isbn numbers to use.
Anyway, I hope this helps.
p.s. I thought he was describing himself as well.