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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-26-2010, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Liddellianenko View Post
The whole "particle collisions negates free will" argument is trivial, because it get's stuck in the philosophical chicken or egg conundrum ... is our free will influencing/controlling the particle collisions that compose us or are they influencing/controlling us? Philosophically, there can never be a testable proof of either.
It's generally accepted that mind is caused by the presence of structure and matter in the world. Will, intentionality, consciousness, or whatever mental structure you want to refer to is the product of mind.

Searle talks about this with respect to direction of fit.

But that's actually not really relevant here.

What's relevant is that, so long as we accept that individual behaviors are conditioned on the presence of circumstance and predisposition, neither of which the individual has agent-control over, which the entire practice of psychology, neurology and neuro-physiology does, then we are accepting that the force which underlies decision making is not the agent itself.

Either way, as far as all particle mechanics being completely predictable and predetermined, this has also been proven wrong or unreliable at the very least through some of the modern developments in randomness of quantum mechanics and chaos theory.
Great. So subatomic particles have free will. Clearly, we are still subject to circumstances and our preconditions.

Sounding smug and technical doesn't invalidate anecdotal and emotional content as completely irrelevant. Concrete scientific evidence it will never be and I never claimed it as such, but an argument it definitely is.
It's not an issue of being smug. It's an issue of what actual counts as evidence.

You can have an experience of the world that makes you believe a thing, but that doesn't mean your experience constitutes sufficient evidence to believe the thing is true. In some cases, we treat it that way, for practical purposes.

Clearly it's not totally without value. It has value for you. But it's still not evidence because it does not follow from your experience of the world that the particular state of affairs (God existing, the presence of free will, etc.) has any correspondence to reality.

Because argument will always be most effective when it appeals on all three levels - Logos - logic, such as the free will philosophy, Pathos - emotional and anecdotal evidence such as my own and other christians in this case, and Ethos - reputation of speaker, in this case a 4 year member of this forum with some, i hope, decent posts to his name. And since this is an MMA forum, just about every top fighter like GSP, Andy, Fedor, Franklin, Page, Wandy, Shogun, Couture, Belfort, Lesnar, Carwin, Bones etc. that is a devoted Christian and a great role model. I'm just using all the tools at my disposal.
A few of the guys you named in there aren't as devoted Christians as you think they are. But I'm not going to get into a debate about the value of being Christian. The reality is, the vast majority of Americans and Brazilians are Christian, and the vast majority of modern MMA fighters come from those two countries, so there are bound to be some good examples.

There aren't a whole lot of professional fighters. The ones who are out and open about their atheism (Mike Thomas Brown, for instance) are also excellent role-models.

I notice that you left out a few Christians who aren't particularly good role models (Matt Hughes is generally treated that way) but it doesn't particularly matter. Even if Christians were better people, generally, than non-Christians (which, studies have shown, is absolutely not the case) it still wouldn't constitute evidence for the truth of the proposition.

There's some Aristotle right back at you .
If I accepted Aristotle as authoritative at all, that would be fine. I don't, because I think that (a) his theological arguments are crap and (b) his moral arguments are seriously disturbing.

Like Plato, Aristotle is a quasi-fascist who supports a number of institutions that basically all modern people reject, most notably, slavery.

So just because you say it's a bad argument means I have to "trust you" that it is? Talk about smug.
You're welcome to try it. It was just me trying to give you a heads up. It has nothing to do with smugness.

By the way, attacking demeanor is ad hominem. And it's a little irritating, especially since you can't read tone of voice through the internet.

Firstly, in a philosophical perspective it is irrelevant to allot an "owner" to the theory of virtue, predating the church, such as Aristotle, since by philosophical definition God and virtue exist since creation and the knowledge of right/wrong is built into human conscience to some degree. I imagine there were some dudes running around in bearskins long before Aristotle who felt bad about stealing from their neighbor etc.
Guilt and theories of virtue are not different things. Apart from the fact that we have no record about the internal states of cavemen, virtue ethics is totally different.

Firstly, there is no philosophical definition of God.

Secondly, the philosophical definition of virtue is laid out by Aristotle. So what's wrong with attributing it to him.

If I made up a term and then, subsequently, used it to define an ethical theory, I hope it would be attributed to me. Otherwise, it would be plagiarism.

There are innumerable scrolls and hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt, Babylonia etc. that also point to morality and virtue, far predating Aristotle. The point is that the vague knowledge of virtue and it's rewards is built into man's soul but clouded by selfishness/evil and what have you... and Jesus would be the one who sort of came down to clarify it all to the confused humans. Jesus and the Church didn't create virtue, they help clarify it .. as you yourself admit by expanding on charity, love etc.
Again, Aristotle used the term, he wrote the texts, so we credit him with doing both of those things. When someone pioneers a theory, the presence of similar theories in other parts of the world doesn't undermine the significance of the innovator who influences later thinkers.

Those Egyptian and Babylonian thinkers have their ideas in later remnants, though much less pronounced. If I was talking about ideas descended from theirs, I'd have made reference to them. But Christianity clearly takes virtue ethics from Aristotle, not from any thinking in Egypt.

As far as the divine command morality contradicting Jesus' ethics, that is exactly the kind of thing Jesus says he came to get rid of. I would concentrate on the Gospels more than Old Testament in that regard, since a lot of the OT stuff would be what I would consider unreliable rituals evolving over time that ignored the original message, the kind that Jesus abhorred.
Where does it say that Jesus abhorred ritual? That's a pretty strange claim.

Tito is a pretty bad example for you to use, I mean he pretty much proves my point. One could use him as a prime example of a talented guy who's nothing now and wasted most of his career because of his arrogance, whereas humble, focused guys maintained long and relatively unblemished careers of dominance like GSP, Fedor, Anderson (well he tries to be humble ) etc. Maybe they will fade someday from age too, but not as comically as Tito who gets trashed by C levels in his early 30s and makes excuses about cracked skulls.
Tito was arrogant when he was the greatest fighter in the world. Tito is arrogant now.

Your argument is that Tito is bad now because he's arrogant? Have you watched his fights? It has nothing to do with being arrogant and everything to do with being old and not having evolved as a fighter. Both of those things happen to humble fighters, too.

As far as Moderation goes, I'm assuming you're referring to the virtue of Temperance? Because most Christian virtues are pretty black and white ... humility, love etc. for instance, they don't espouse "moderate" lust, arrogance and so on.

The virtue of Temperance in Christian morality deals basically with excess food and drink, and the rough guidelines for "what is the right level" is built into your own body. If you're getting fat, weak, getting lifestyle health problems etc. you're going too far with food. If you're drinking to the point of doing stupid things you wouldn't otherwise or compromising your other values/virtues, you're going too far with drink. I'll give you it's one of the more abstract ones, but it still has intuitive guidelines based on our own bodies and nature, and not just circular logic.
That's great, but you haven't addressed my critique about circularity at all.

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