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Free will vs. determinism

 
 
Zetherin
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 03:41 pm
@peacegirl,
Determinism is a metaphysical view. This talk about man moving in the direction of greater satisfaction, seems to be a socio-psychological view.

I'm not sure how the two have anything to do with eachother here, but what I do know is that until you can present an argument in some sort of rigorous form, you're not going to be getting any responses that will help you flesh this out.
peacegirl wrote:
I can't reduce it. I can give you the page numbers.

If you truly understand the author's position, you should be able to give us a simplified argument or at least a synopsis. We don't want page numbers.
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 05:07 pm
@Zetherin,
I can't do better than actually give you the important pages. I have already tried to explain why man must move in the direction of greater satisfaction. You say determinism is a metaphysical view and moving toward greater satisfaction is a psycho-social view, so right off the bat you are refuting what you haven't even heard. That's why things can get very convoluted and why I would rather you understand the author's own words than my inferior version. It will not do it justice. This does not mean I don't understand it, as some people have asserted. How could I not understand it if I was the one that compiled the author's 7 books? If you choose not to read it because it's not in the form you want, or it's too long, this is your choice. If you decide to read it and have relevant questions, I will do my best to answer them.

The dictionary states that free will is the power of
self-determination regarded as a special faculty of choosing good
and evil without compulsion or necessity. Made, done, or given of
one’s own free choice; voluntary. But this is only part of the
definition since it is implied that man can be held responsible,
blamed and punished for doing what is considered wrong or evil
since it is believed he could have chosen otherwise. In other words,
it is believed that man has the ability to do other than he does, if he
wants to, and therefore can be held responsible for doing what he is
not supposed to do. These very words reveal the fallacy of this
belief to those who have mathematical perception: Man is held
responsible not for doing what he desires to do or considers right,
better or good for himself under his particular set of circumstances,
but for doing what others judge to be wrong or evil, and they feel
absolutely certain he could have acted otherwise had he wanted to.
Isn’t this the theme of free will? But take note. Supposing the
alternative judged right for him by others is not desired by himself
because of conditions known only to him, what then? Does this
make his will free? It is obvious that a great part of our lives offers
no choice; consequently, this is not my consideration. For example,
free will does not hold any person responsible for what he does in an
unconscious state like hypnosis, nor does it believe that man can be
blamed for being born, growing, sleeping, eating, defecating,
urinating, etc.; therefore, it is unnecessary to prove that these
actions, which come under the normal compulsion of living, are
beyond control.

Supposing a father is desperately in need of work to feed his
family but cannot find a job. Let us assume he is living in the
United States and for various reasons doesn’t come under the
consideration of unemployment compensation or relief and can’t get
any more credit for food, clothing, shelter, etc., what is he supposed
to do? If he steals a loaf of bread to feed his family the law can
easily punish him by saying he didn’t have to steal if he didn’t want
to, which is perfectly true. Others might say stealing is evil, that he
could have chosen an option which was good; in this case almost any
other alternative would have sufficed. But supposing this individual
preferred stealing because he considered this act good for himself in
comparison to the evil of asking for charity or further credit
because it appeared to him, at that moment, that this was the better
choice of the three that were available to him — so does this make
his will free? It is obvious that he did not have to steal if he didn’t
want to, but he wanted to, and it is also obvious that those in law
enforcement did not have to punish him if they didn’t want to, but
both sides wanted to do what they did under the circumstances.

In reality, we are carried along on the wings of time or life
during every moment of our existence and have no say in this matter
whatsoever. We cannot stop ourselves from being born and are
compelled to either live out our lives the best we can, or commit
suicide. Is it possible to disagree with this? However, to prove that
what we do of our own free will, of our own desire because we want
to do it, is also beyond control, it is necessary to employ
mathematical (undeniable) reasoning. Therefore, since it is
absolutely impossible for man to be both dead and alive at the same
time, and since it is absolutely impossible for a person to desire
committing suicide unless dissatisfied with life (regardless of the
reason), we are given the ability to demonstrate a revealing and
undeniable relation.

Every motion, from the beating heart to the slightest reflex
action, from all inner to outer movements of the body, indicates that
life is never satisfied to remain in one position for always like an
inanimate object, which position shall be termed ‘death.’ I shall
now call the present moment of time or life here for the purpose of
clarification, and the next moment coming up there. You are now
standing on this present moment of time and space called here and
you are given two alternatives, either live or kill yourself; either
move to the next spot called there or remain where you are without
moving a hairs breadth by committing suicide.

“I prefer...” Excuse the interruption, but the very fact that you
started to answer me or didn’t commit suicide at that moment
makes it obvious that you were not satisfied to stay in one position,
which is death or here and prefer moving off that spot to there,
which motion is life. Consequently, the motion of life which is any
motion from here to there is a movement away from that which
dissatisfies, otherwise, had you been satisfied to remain here or
where you are, you would never have moved to there. Since the
motion of life constantly moves away from here to there, which is an
expression of dissatisfaction with the present position, it must
obviously move constantly in the direction of greater satisfaction.
It should be obvious that our desire to live, to move off the spot
called here is determined by a law over which we have no control
because even if we should kill ourselves, we are choosing what gives
us greater satisfaction, otherwise, we would not kill ourselves. The
truth of the matter is that at any particular moment the motion of
man is not free for all life obeys this invariable law. He is constantly
compelled by his nature to make choices, decisions, and to prefer of
whatever options are available during his lifetime that which he
considers better for himself and his set of circumstances. For
example, when he found that a discovery like the electric bulb was
for his benefit in comparison to candlelight, he was compelled to
prefer it for his motion, just being alive, has always been in the
direction of greater satisfaction. During every moment of man’s
progress he always did what he had to do because he had no choice.
Although this demonstration proves that man’s will is not free, your
mind may not be accustomed to grasping these type relations, so I
will elaborate.

Supposing you wanted very much of two alternatives A, which
we shall designate something considered evil by society, instead of
B, the humdrum of your regular routine; could you possibly pick B
at that particular moment of time if A is preferred as a better
alternative when nothing could sway you from your decision, not
even the threat of the law? What if the clergy, given two
alternatives, choose A, which shall now represent something
considered good, instead of B, that which is judged evil; would it be
possible for them to prefer the latter when the former is available
as an alternative? If it is utterly impossible to choose B in this
comparison, are they not compelled by their very nature to prefer
A; and how can they be free when the favorable difference between
A and B is the compulsion of their choice and the motion of life in
the direction of greater satisfaction? To be free, according to the
definition of free will, man would be able to prefer of two
alternatives, either the one he wants or the one he doesn’t want,
which is an absolute impossibility because selecting what he doesn’t
want when what he does want is available as an alternative is a
motion in the direction of dissatisfaction.

To give you a more familiar example, let us imagine that a
woman has a special business meeting to attend and must quickly
choose between two dresses because she is running late. If both
dresses are undesirable, she is compelled to select the dress that is
the least undesirable of the two, therefore her final choice in this
comparison is the better alternative. Obviously, she has other
options; she could leave both dresses and wear something from
home, continue to shop and call in late, etc. This is a hypothetical
situation for the purpose of showing that once she decides to buy a
dress as a solution to her problem, she is compelled to prefer the one
that gives every indication of being the best possible choice. It is
true that her choice will be influenced by many variables such as
price, quality, color, etc., but regardless of the factors that
contribute to her final decision she is compelled by her very nature
to pick the dress that is the most preferable after weighing the pros
and cons. For example, if cost is an important consideration she
may desire to buy the less expensive dress because it is within her
price range and though she would be happier with the more
expensive dress, she moves in the direction of greater satisfaction by
picking the dress that appeals to her the least. This is where people
get confused. Moving toward greater satisfaction does not mean
that we are always satisfied. It just means that when comparing the
options that are available to us, we are choosing [what we believe to
be] the best alternative under our particular circumstances. [Note:
This does not mean that we have considered all possible options;
only those that have come to mind or have been brought to our
attention at any given moment in time. Nor does it mean that our
choices are unlimited, for the availability of choices depends on a
myriad of cultural, economic, and social factors]. After coming
home and trying on the dress, she may have a change of heart and
wish she had splurged on the more expensive dress. She may decide
to go to the store to make an exchange, or she may decide to just
keep the dress even though she isn’t that happy with her choice.
Each moment offers a new set of options but always in the direction
of greater satisfaction. I will now put the conclusive proof that
man’s will is not free to a mathematical test.

Imagine that you were taken prisoner in war time for espionage
and condemned to death, but mercifully given a choice between two
exits: A is the painless hemlock of Socrates, while B is death by
having your head held under water. The letters A and B,
representing small or large differences, are compared. The
comparison is absolutely necessary to know which is preferable.
The difference which is considered favorable, regardless of the
reason, is the compulsion of greater satisfaction desire is forced to
take which makes one of them an impossible choice in this
comparison simply because it gives less satisfaction under the
circumstances. Consequently, since B is an impossible choice, man
is not free to choose A. Is it humanly possible, providing no other
conditions are introduced to affect your decision, to prefer exit B if
A is offered as an alternative?

“Yes, if this meant that those I loved would not be harmed in
any way.”

“Well, if this was your preference under these conditions, could
you prefer the other alternative?”

“No I couldn’t, but this is ridiculous because you really haven’t
given me any choice.”

“You most certainly do have a choice, and if your will is free,
you should be able to choose B just as well as A, or A just as well as
B. In other words, if B is considered the greater evil in this
comparison of alternatives, one is compelled completely beyond
control to prefer A. It is impossible for B to be selected in this
comparison (although it could be chosen to something still worse) as
long as A is available as an alternative. Consequently, since B is an
impossible choice, you are not free to choose A for your preference
is a natural compulsion of the direction of life over which you have
absolutely no control.

The definition of free will states that good or evil can be chosen
without compulsion or necessity despite the obvious fact that there
is a tremendous amount of compulsion. The word ‘choice’ itself
indicates there are preferable differences otherwise there would be
no choice in the matter at all as with A and A. The reason you are
confused is because the word ‘choice’ is very misleading for it
assumes that man has two or more possibilities, but in reality this is
a delusion because the direction of life, always moving towards
greater satisfaction, compels a person to prefer of differences what
he considers better for himself and when two or more alternatives
are presented he is compelled, by his very nature, to prefer not that
one which he considers worse, but what gives every indication of
being better for the particular set of circumstances involved.
Choosing, or the comparison of differences, is an integral part of
man’s nature, but, once again, he is compelled to prefer of
alternatives the one he considers better for himself, and even though
he chooses various things all through the course of his life he is
never given any choice at all. Although the definition of free will
states that man can choose good or evil without compulsion or
necessity, how is it possible for the will of man to be free when
choice is under a tremendous amount of compulsion to choose the
most preferable alternative each and every moment of time?”

“I agree with all this, but how many times in your life have you
remarked, ‘You give me no choice’ or ‘it makes no difference’?”
Just because some differences are so obviously superior in value
where you are concerned that no hesitation is required to decide
which is preferable, while other differences need a more careful
consideration, does not change the direction of life which moves
always towards greater satisfaction than what the present position
offers. What one person judges good or bad for himself doesn’t
make it so for others especially when it is remembered that a
juxtaposition of differences in each case present alternatives that
affect choice. My friend, still believing he could prove that man
can move in the direction of dissatisfaction, offered the following
example.

“Let us imagine that of two apples, a red and a yellow, I prefer
the yellow because I am extremely allergic to the red, consequently
my taste lies in the direction of the latter which gives me greater
satisfaction. In fact, the very thought of eating the red apple makes
me feel sick. Yet in spite of this I am going to eat it to demonstrate
that even though I am dissatisfied — and prefer the yellow apple —
I can definitely move in the direction of dissatisfaction.”

“Do you honestly think this proves freedom of the will? Isn’t it
obvious that regardless of the reason you decided to eat the red
apple, and even though it would be distasteful in comparison, this
choice at that moment of time gave you greater satisfaction
otherwise you would have definitely selected and eaten the yellow?
The normal circumstances under which you frequently ate the
yellow apple in preference were changed by your desire to prove a
point, therefore it gave you greater satisfaction to eat what you did
not normally eat in an effort to prove that life can be made to move
in the direction of dissatisfaction. Consequently, since B (eating the
yellow apple) was an impossible choice at that moment, you were
not free to choose A.”

Regardless of how many examples you
experiment with, the results will always be the same because this is
an invariable law. From moment to moment, all through life, man
can never move in the direction of dissatisfaction, and that his every
motion, conscious or unconscious, is a natural effort to get rid of
some dissatisfaction or move to greater satisfaction, otherwise, as
has been shown, not being dissatisfied, he could never move from
here to there. Every motion of life expresses dissatisfaction with the
present position. Scratching is the effort of life to remove the
dissatisfaction of the itch; as urinating, defecating, sleeping,
working, playing, mating, walking, talking, and moving about in
general are unsatisfied needs of life pushing man always in the
direction of satisfaction. It is easy, in many cases, to recognize
things that satisfy, such as money when funds are low, but it is
extremely difficult at other times to comprehend the innumerable
subconscious factors often responsible for the malaise of
dissatisfaction. Your desire to take a bath arises from a feeling of
unseemliness or a wish to be refreshed, which means that you are
dissatisfied with the way you feel at that moment; and your desire
to get out of the bathtub arises from a feeling of dissatisfaction with
a position that has suddenly grown uncomfortable. This simple
demonstration proves conclusively that man’s will is not free
because satisfaction is the only direction life can take, and it offers
only one possibility at each moment of time.

The government holds each person responsible to obey the laws
and then punishes those who do not while absolving itself of all
responsibility; but how is it possible for someone to obey that which
under certain conditions appears to him worse? It is quite obvious
that a person does not have to steal if he doesn’t want to, but under
certain conditions he wants to, and it is also obvious that those who
enforce the laws do not have to punish if they don’t want to, but
both sides want to do what they consider better for themselves
under the circumstances. The Russians didn’t have to start a
communistic revolution against the tyranny that prevailed; they
were not compelled to do this; they wanted to. The Japanese didn’t
have to attack us at Pearl Harbor; they wanted to. We didn’t have
to drop an atomic bomb among their people, we wanted to. It is an
undeniable observation that man does not have to commit a crime
or hurt another in any way, if he doesn’t want to. The most severe
tortures, even the threat of death, cannot compel or cause him to do
what he makes up his mind not to do. Since this observation is
mathematically undeniable, the expression ‘free will’ which has
come to signify this aspect — that nothing can compel man to do
what he doesn’t want to do — is absolutely true in this context
because it symbolizes what the perception of this relation cannot
deny, and here lies in part the unconscious source of all the
dogmatism and confusion since MAN IS NOT CAUSED OR
COMPELLED TO DO TO ANOTHER WHAT HE MAKES UP
HIS MIND NOT TO DO — but that does not make his will free.

In other words, if someone was to say — “I didn’t really want
to hurt that person but couldn’t help myself under the
circumstances,” which demonstrates that though he believes in
freedom of the will he admits he was not free to act otherwise, that
he was forced by his environment to do what he really didn’t want
to do, or should he make any effort to shift his responsibility for this
hurt to heredity, God, his parents, the fact that his will is not free,
or something else as the cause, he is obviously lying to others and
being dishonest with himself because absolutely nothing is forcing
him, against his will, to do what he doesn’t want to do, for over this,
as was just shown, he has mathematical control.”
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 05:22 pm
peacegirl wrote:
You say determinism is a metaphysical view and moving toward greater satisfaction is a psycho-social view, so right off the bat you are refuting what you haven't even heard.

I've not refuted a thing.
Quote:
This does not mean I don't understand it, as some people have asserted.

Well, it would be a sign of your understanding if you were able to concisely reiterate what the author's main points were. More importantly, it would help others understand more clearly why you made this thread and what you wish to address here. Don't you think?

If you really have compiled seven of his books, I am utterly surprised that you can't restate any of his arguments. But perhaps it isn't your fault. He may not actually have any argument, and you may have simply been tricked into believing he did. Some people are good at trickery.

Sorry, but I'm just not reading all of that. I'll wait for you, or someone else, to summarize it. Or better yet, I'll just trust in joe's summarization.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 05:31 pm
@peacegirl,
peacegirl wrote:
People need to understand how determinism is defined, not just take your word for it.

Actually, people need to take Lessans's word for his "mathematical proof" of determinism, since he doesn't really do much in the way of proving it.

peacegirl wrote:
That is wrong. Obviously you do not understand the two-sided equation. There is no way we can just stop blaming people. He explained that in Chapter Two. Only when the basic principle becomes a permanent condition of the environment, is not blaming even possible.

Perhaps, but I was briefly summarizing his argument. I left out all the unimportant intermediate steps.

peacegirl wrote:
Retaliation is not the only reason why people hurt others; it's one reason. People hurt others because they can pay a price, if caught. They can go to jail, or worse, be put to death. Some people are willing to take that chance. Therefore threats of punishment are not a deterrence for them.

Well, that doesn't make any sense. People hurt others because they can pay a price? What does that mean? And threats of punishment can't deter anyone, largely because nothing can deter anyone. Remember, all actions are determined.

peacegirl wrote:
Come on Joe, this is getting ridiculous. If someone is hurt, then it is a normal reaction to retaliate, but we are talking about a world where striking a first blow will be prevented, so how can someone strike back when they haven't been hurt first? Your whole thing about satisfaction is completely off base.

Again, I omitted the uninteresting bits in my summary. When you talk about your pony, nobody wants to hear about the horseshit.
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 06:10 pm
@Zetherin,
No problem.
0 Replies
 
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 06:16 pm
@joefromchicago,
peacegirl wrote:
People need to understand how determinism is defined, not just take your word for it.
Actually, people need to take Lessans's word for his "mathematical proof" of determinism, since he doesn't really do much in the way of proving it.

peacegirl: You're wrong. But I'm not going to argue with you.

peacegirl wrote:
That is wrong. Obviously you do not understand the two-sided equation. There is no way we can just stop blaming people. He explained that in Chapter Two. Only when the basic principle becomes a permanent condition of the environment, is not blaming even possible.

Joe: Perhaps, but I was briefly summarizing his argument. I left out all the unimportant intermediate steps.

peacegirl: Unimportant? You didn't even come close Joe.

peacegirl wrote:
Retaliation is not the only reason why people hurt others; it's one reason. People hurt others because they can pay a price, if caught. They can go to jail, or worse, be put to death. Some people are willing to take that chance. Therefore threats of punishment are not a deterrence for them.

Joe: Well, that doesn't make any sense. People hurt others because they can pay a price? What does that mean? And threats of punishment can't deter anyone, largely because nothing can deter anyone. Remember, all actions are determined.

peacegirl: Please don't twist my words. You obviously read nothing, or you didn't retain what you read. I will post this one part, but I'm not going to continue the conversation with you.

Blame itself which is a condition of free will and a part of the present
environment permits the consideration of hurt for it is the price man is
willing to pay for the satisfaction of certain desires; but when blame is
removed so that the advance knowledge that it no longer exists becomes
a new condition of the environment, then the price he must consider to
strike the first blow of hurt is completely out of reach because he cannot
find satisfaction in hurting those who will refuse to blame him or
retaliate in any way. To hurt someone under these conditions he would
have to move in the direction of conscious dissatisfaction, which is
mathematically impossible.

If will was free we could not accomplish
this because we would be able to choose what is worse for ourselves
when something better is available. From a superficial standpoint it
might still appear that man would take advantage of not being blamed
and punished and risk hurting others as a solution to his problems, but
this is a mathematical impossibility when he knows that blame and
punishment are required for advance justification. In other words, the
challenge of the law absolves his conscience with threats of ‘an eye for
an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ which is payment in full for the risks he
takes. He may risk going to prison or be willing to pay the ultimate
price with his life for the satisfaction of certain desires. An individual
would not mind taking all kinds of chances involving others because he
could always come up with a reasonable excuse to get off the hook, or
he could pay a price, if caught. If he borrowed a thousand dollars and
was unable to pay all of it back, he could easily say, “Sue me for the
rest.” If he tries to hold up a bank, however, and fails, the legal system
does not allow him to excuse himself and he is sent to prison. Without
the knowledge that he would be blamed and punished should he fail;
without this advance justification which allowed him to risk hurting
others, the price of this hurt is beyond his purchasing power.

peacegirl wrote:
Come on Joe, this is getting ridiculous. If someone is hurt, then it is a normal reaction to retaliate, but we are talking about a world where striking a first blow will be prevented, so how can someone strike back when they haven't been hurt first? Your whole thing about satisfaction is completely off base.
Again, I omitted the uninteresting bits in my summary. When you talk about your pony, nobody wants to hear about the horseshit.

Joe: Very demeaning and I'm through.
Zetherin
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 07:07 pm
Peacegirl,

Why create a thread on the matter if you didn't wish to discuss it? All you seem to be doing is pasting large excerpts from some guy's work, and then scolding others for not understanding or reading all of it. And then when I ask for you to reiterate since it's not our responsibility to read 500 pages of text in order to discuss an issue with you, you say you're unable to.

Seriously, if you can't even reiterate the position of which you are claiming true, how on earth do you wish us to partake in this discussion?! Do you wish for us just to take your word on the matter? Perhaps come to an agreement, secretly, with you? It's just so incredibly strange to me that you're not trying to discuss a matter you made a thread on. You really can't do anything more than paste large amounts of text from someone else's work? Why not try to think through the matter yourself, and then discuss with us what your reasoning is? If you can't explain in your own words why you even agree with the guy, I'm going to have to conclude you don't know what you're talking about.
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 07:19 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin: Why create a thread on the matter if you didn't wish to discuss it? All you seem to be doing is pasting large excerpts from some guy's work, and then scolding others for not understanding or reading all of it. And then when I ask for you to reiterate since it's not our responsibility to read 500 pages of text in order to discuss an issue with you, you say you're unable to.

peacegirl: I never said you had to read 500 pages unless you found it interesting. I posted the most important pages in the 500 page book, just for you guys. And no one is appreciative.

Zetherin: Seriously, if you can't even reiterate the position of which you are claiming true, how on earth do you wish us to partake in this discussion?! Do you wish for us just to take your word on the matter? Perhaps come to an agreement, secretly, with you? It's just so incredibly strange to me that you're not trying to discuss a matter you made a thread on. You really can't do anything more than paste large amounts of text from someone else's work? Why not try to think through the matter yourself, and then discuss with us what your reasoning is? If you can't explain in your own words why you even agree with the guy, I'm going to have to conclude you don't know what you're talking about.

peacegirl: I don't expect you to take my word for it. Why do you think I posted these pages. So you could read it and come to your own conclusions. BTW, I did not post such large amounts of text. I believe it would take you 5 minutes to read the whole thing. Do you not think I have thought through the matter myself? I have been with this knowledge my whole life, and I know what I'm talking about, but I cannot convey it to you until you read the author's explanation. Then I can clarify things if you need more help.


URL: http://able2know.org/reply/post-4329558
0 Replies
 
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 07:25 pm
@peacegirl,
peacegirl wrote:


then the price he must consider to
strike the first blow of hurt is completely out of reach because he cannot
find satisfaction in hurting those who will refuse to blame him or
retaliate in any way. To hurt someone under these conditions he would
have to move in the direction of conscious dissatisfaction, which is
mathematically impossible.
So you're saying that when the idea of blame disappears, the villian would be hurting people who make no judgements and see no reason to retaliate, because they know the villian has no choice. Therefore villiany fades away... along with morality in general.

I could respond to that, but.... is that really what you mean?
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 07:31 pm
peacegirl wrote:
I don't expect you to take my word for it. Why do you think I posted these pages. So you could read it and come to your own conclusions. BTW, I did not post such large amounts of text. I believe it would take you 5 minutes to read the whole thing. Do you not think I have thought through the matter myself? I have been with this knowledge my whole life, and I know what I'm talking about, but I cannot convey it to you until you read the author's explanation. Then I can clarify things if you need more help.

You've been with this knowledge your whole life, yet you can't construct a 5-6 point summarization on the position akin to joe's, or even present one, just one, argument?

No, this doesn't make any sense. If you knew what you were talking about, you would be explaining your/his position. That you're just not or unable to, indicates to me that you don't understand things as clearly as you think you do.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 07:44 pm
@Arjuna,
She actually didn't say any of that - it was copied and pasted from that guy. What she thinks about the matter, she hasn't shared. At least not since I've been here.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2010 07:57 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:

She actually didn't say any of that - it was copied and pasted from that guy. What she thinks about the matter, she hasn't shared. At least not since I've been here.
Interesting. Oh well.
0 Replies
 
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 08:04 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna: So you're saying that when the idea of blame disappears, the villian would be hurting people who make no judgements and see no reason to retaliate, because they know the villian has no choice. Therefore villiany fades away... along with morality in general.

I could respond to that, but.... is that really what you mean?

peacegirl: No, that's not all what the author means. What you just just said is only one part of the two-sided equation. How can you have an equation with one half of the part missing? In other words, how can there be retaliation when no one has been hurt. You are assuming that people will have to turn the other cheek even though they have been hurt. This is not what the author means. He stated over and over again that if someone is already hurt, it is natural to strike back. We are talking about preventing the very first blow. If no one has been hurt first, then how can they desire to strike back or turn the other side of their face.

peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 08:10 am
@Zetherin,
You've been with this knowledge your whole life, yet you can't construct a 5-6 point summarization on the position akin to joe's, or even present one, just one, argument?

peacegirl: I could simplify it, but people will get more confused than they are now. There will be more questions because of it. I've been there and done that, and I choose not to do it again, not because I don't understand this knowledge, but because I know how difficult it is to explain this work given that it is is so unfamiliar. I mean, come on, would you be able to objectively discuss Nietszche's work if you had never read him? It's not fair that people expect a cliff note on such an important topic. I'm not going to jeopardize this work just to prove to people that I understand this knowledge myself.

Zetherin: No, this doesn't make any sense. If you knew what you were talking about, you would be explaining your/his position. That you're just not or unable to, indicates to me that you don't understand things as clearly as you think you do.

peacegirl: So be it.

0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 08:43 am
@peacegirl,
peacegirl wrote:
Blame itself which is a condition of free will and a part of the present
environment permits the consideration of hurt for it is the price man is
willing to pay for the satisfaction of certain desires; but when blame is
removed so that the advance knowledge that it no longer exists becomes
a new condition of the environment, then the price he must consider to
strike the first blow of hurt is completely out of reach because he cannot
find satisfaction in hurting those who will refuse to blame him or
retaliate in any way. To hurt someone under these conditions he would
have to move in the direction of conscious dissatisfaction, which is
mathematically impossible.

If I want to go to the circus, then I get satisfaction by fulfilling my desire to go to the circus. If I want to hurt you, why would I not get satisfaction out of fulfilling my desire to hurt you? I don't get satisfaction from going to the circus because I'm "willing to pay the price" for going to the circus -- whatever that might mean. So I don't understand why, if I want to hurt you, I can only gain satisfaction from hurting you by being willing to pay the price for hurting you.

peacegirl wrote:
Without
the knowledge that he would be blamed and punished should he fail;
without this advance justification which allowed him to risk hurting
others, the price of this hurt is beyond his purchasing power.

This is simply inane. If I want to go to the circus, and I know that no blame will attach to my action if I go to the circus, why would that reduce my satisfaction in going to the circus? Likewise, if I want to rape and murder an eight-year old girl, and I know that no blame would attach to my actions, why would that reduce my satisfaction in raping and murdering an eight-year old girl? It seems to me that the absence of blame would enhance my satisfaction. Lessans is positing nothing less than a sociopath's paradise.

peacegirl wrote:
Very demeaning and I'm through.

You didn't come here for a discussion, you came here for an affirmation. Yet you can't even summarize the position that we're all supposed to accept. I'm inclined to agree with Zetherin: you really don't know what you're talking about.
gentoguy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 09:06 am
I rate it she might have gone to this one too: forum.theworldstrike.com it looks brand new and it seems theists are trying to get there first to dominate it.. lol wont be long until it gets swamped with refutes...
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 09:56 am
@peacegirl,
peacegirl wrote:

peacegirl: No, that's not all what the author means. What you just just said is only one part of the two-sided equation. How can you have an equation with one half of the part missing? In other words, how can there be retaliation when no one has been hurt. You are assuming that people will have to turn the other cheek even though they have been hurt. This is not what the author means. He stated over and over again that if someone is already hurt, it is natural to strike back. We are talking about preventing the very first blow. If no one has been hurt first, then how can they desire to strike back or turn the other side of their face.
Peacegirl, you mischaracterized my question. You dicatated to me what my assumptions are. And you did a good job of winning an argument with yourself.

But notice how the discussion has progressed. The bulk of it has focused on you and your method of presentation. Is that what you wanted? If not, then how could you have shaped the discussion so that the focus was on the idea that is important to you?

Here's the thing about ideas and philosophy (from my point of view): it may start out that you're exploring someone else's perspective. This is ultimately the most superficial aspect of it, though. It's when ideas come into relation to your own experience of life... by comparison and contrast with your own thoughts and feelings... broadening and defining your own outlook... that's when it's gone deeper.

So far, you have taken responses to your project as rejection. This creates a situation where it's either agree with you or reject you. The measures you take to persuade seem to be saying: read the essay... it will persuade you. Inevitably, people are going to sniff out from that... that you haven't really thought through the ideas. This is similar to a preacher who has read the Bible, but never connected with it in a profound way. One could speculate on why he would preach something that he himself only experiences as verbage.

Life gives us many opportunities to put into practice what we believe. That in turn shapes what we believe so that we can speak from our hearts. See what I mean?

peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 12:16 pm
@joefromchicago,
peacegirl: Blame itself which is a condition of free will and a part of the present environment permits the consideration of hurt for it is the price man is willing to pay for the satisfaction of certain desires; but when blame is
removed so that the advance knowledge that it no longer exists becomes
a new condition of the environment, then the price he must consider to
strike the first blow of hurt is completely out of reach because he cannot
find satisfaction in hurting those who will refuse to blame him or
retaliate in any way. To hurt someone under these conditions he would
have to move in the direction of conscious dissatisfaction, which is
mathematically impossible.

Joe: If I want to go to the circus, then I get satisfaction by fulfilling my desire to go to the circus. If I want to hurt you, why would I not get satisfaction out of fulfilling my desire to hurt you? I don't get satisfaction from going to the circus because I'm "willing to pay the price" for going to the circus -- whatever that might mean. So I don't understand why, if I want to hurt you, I can only gain satisfaction from hurting you by being willing to pay the price for hurting you.

peacegirl: Joe, one of the reasons (not the only reason) you are able to hurt me is because you know that if you are caught, you will definitely be blamed and punished, or you will have to give some kind of reasonable excuse to the authorities. Threats of blame and punishment actually give you the advance justification you need in order to act on your desires. If you did not have this justification, your conscience would not allow you to go ahead with your actions. Going to the circus hurts no one, so you don't need any justification. It's only when you are contemplating hurting something to hurt another that conscience comes into play.

peacegirl wrote:
Without
the knowledge that he would be blamed and punished should he fail;
without this advance justification which allowed him to risk hurting
others, the price of this hurt is beyond his purchasing power.

joe: This is simply inane. If I want to go to the circus, and I know that no blame will attach to my action if I go to the circus, why would that reduce my satisfaction in going to the circus? Likewise, if I want to rape and murder an eight-year old girl, and I know that no blame would attach to my actions, why would that reduce my satisfaction in raping and murdering an eight-year old girl? It seems to me that the absence of blame would enhance my satisfaction. Lessans is positing nothing less than a sociopath's paradise.

peacegirl: It would be insane if we suddenly stopped blaming people. The author explicitly stated that this would make matters worse. People would take everything that is not nailed down. This law of our nature has to be understood and applied worldwide for this to be an impenetrable deterrent. Until the, we must continue to live in a world of judgment, blame, and punishment where police, politicians, and government have to control people's behavior.

peacegirl wrote:
Very demeaning and I'm through.
You didn't come here for a discussion, you came here for an affirmation. Yet you can't even summarize the position that we're all supposed to accept. I'm inclined to agree with Zetherin: you really don't know what you're talking about.

joe: I don't need any affirmation. I came here to share knowledge, that's all. And if you really don't think this author has anything to offer, you can move on to another thread. I don't mind answering your questions, but if you do stay here, I am asking you to stop belittling the author or I will choose, in the direction of greater satisfaction, to ignore you.
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 12:19 pm
@gentoguy,
What the hell? It just shows how easy it is for someone, who doesn't know anything about this discovery, believes now that it has to do with theology.
0 Replies
 
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 12:46 pm
@Arjuna,
peacegirl: No, that's not all what the author means. What you just just said is only one part of the two-sided equation. How can you have an equation with one half of the part missing? In other words, how can there be retaliation when no one has been hurt. You are assuming that people will have to turn the other cheek even though they have been hurt. This is not what the author means. He stated over and over again that if someone is already hurt, it is natural to strike back. We are talking about preventing the very first blow. If no one has been hurt first, then how can they desire to strike back or turn the other side of their face.

Arjuna: Peacegirl, you mischaracterized my question. You dicatated to me what my assumptions are. And you did a good job of winning an argument with yourself.

peacegirl: I was not dictating what your assumptions were. I assumed certain things based on what you said to me. I have no desire to dictate what your assumptions are unless you give me reason to assume.

Arjuna: But notice how the discussion has progressed. The bulk of it has focused on you and your method of presentation. Is that what you wanted? If not, then how could you have shaped the discussion so that the focus was on the idea that is important to you?

peacegirl: I'm really not sure Arjuna because I know that the only way real progress is going to be made is if the book is if the first two chapters are read with a fine tooth comb. Otherwise, we're not going to get anywhere. If there is refutation after reading the first two chapters, I don't mind clarifying anything that is confusing.

Arjuna: Here's the thing about ideas and philosophy (from my point of view): it may start out that you're exploring someone else's perspective. This is ultimately the most superficial aspect of it, though. It's when ideas come into relation to your own experience of life... by comparison and contrast with your own thoughts and feelings... broadening and defining your own outlook... that's when it's gone deeper.

peacegirl: That's true to an extent. It really depends on what is being discussed. If I learn in math class that one plus one is two, this is objective knowledge. It doesn't change with personal opinions or points of view. It is true that in life there is a mixture of personal experience and factual knowledge. It is the factual knowledge that I am trying to bring to the table, even though you don't see this as factual at this point.

Arjuna: So far, you have taken responses to your project as rejection. This creates a situation where it's either agree with you or reject you. The measures you take to persuade seem to be saying: read the essay... it will persuade you. Inevitably, people are going to sniff out from that... that you haven't really thought through the ideas. This is similar to a preacher who has read the Bible, but never connected with it in a profound way. One could speculate on why he would preach something that he himself only experiences as verbage.

peacegirl: I have experienced this knowledge in a personal way. It has helped me tremendously to understand myself and the world around me. But there is only so much personal experience that can be gained. In order for this knowledge to live up to its claims, it must first be recognized by science. It must then be disseminated on a global scale. It will then have the capability to prevent war, more crime, and more hatred; something no one has thought possible until now.

Arjuna: Life gives us many opportunities to put into practice what we believe. That in turn shapes what we believe so that we can speak from our hearts. See what I mean?

peacegirl: I see what you mean. This knowledge has shaped me, but to do more it requires the world to understand that man's will is not free so that this knowledge can be used for man's betterment.

 

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