home
RSS
April 12th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

Where do morals come from?

By Kelly Murray, CNN

Editor's note: The Science Seat is a feature in which our sister blog CNN Light Years sits down with movers and shakers from different areas of scientific exploration. This is the eighth installment.

(CNN)–
Being nice to others and cooperating with them aren't uniquely human traits. Frans de Waal, director of Emory University's Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia, studies how our close primate relatives also demonstrate behaviors suggestive of a sense of morality.

De Waal recently published a book called "The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates," which synthesizes evidence that there are biological roots in human fairness, and explores what that means for the role of religion in human societies.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Science

soundoff (1,276 Responses)
  1. extra resources

    One other issue issue is that video games are normally serious in nature with the primary focus on knowing things rather than amusement. Although, there is an entertainment facet to keep your sons or daughters engaged, each one game is usually designed to work on a specific skill set or program, such as mathmatical or scientific research. Thanks for your article.

    May 24, 2013 at 5:34 am |
  2. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................politicians too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/#comments

    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425142250.htm

    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305145821.htm

    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423134037.htm

    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/.../page4

    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

    Science

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/18/us/planet-discovery/index.html

    May 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  3. De Tail

    Nope, humans are exceptional, are higher amongst all of creation which makes them, as created being to be unique when it comes to moral choices they make.

    April 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  4. Ryan

    Are unicorns mentioned in the bible? No, when you read a bible that accurately render the Hebrew. Nine times the scriptures refer to an animal by the Hebrew term re'em'. The aurochs (wild ox or bull) seems to have become extinct by the 17 century. So the bible does no support the idea of unicorns as renowned in legend. It does draw an accurate picture of the wild bull that existed in biblical times and down into the not-too-distant past. Instead of believing a lie that Richard Dawkins writes in his books about unicorns in the bible, do a little research so that your not so stupid.

    April 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  5. Clarity

    I believe in God. The proof is all around us. In everything we do there is proof that there is a God. Just look at nature, human anatomy. God is real and in control. God bless you all.

    April 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Akira

      Looks like clarity will have to change her handle again...sigh.

      April 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Terry

      I believe in Unicorns. The proof is all around us. In everything we do there is proof that there is a Unicorn. Just look at nature, horse anatomy. Unicorns are real and in control. Unicorn bless you all.

      April 21, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Joe

      I believe in the myth that a frog can turn into a prince. I believe that a lighting bolt struck a mud puddle and poof!!!!!! The origin of life! I believe in fairy tale drawings made by atheist scientist

      April 21, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  6. ME II

    ...from cool wooded areas during May.

    April 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  7. Lawrence

    There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails. If God is like the Moral Law, then He is not soft.

    Morality, like numinous awe, is a jump; in it, man goes beyond anything that can be 'given' in the facts of experience.

    All men alike stand condemned, not by alien codes of ethics, but by their own, and all men therefore are conscious of guilt

    One can regard the moral law as an illusion, and so cut himself off from the common ground of humanity.

    The standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people's ideas get nearer to that real Right than others.
    C.S Lewis

    April 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  8. Joe

    The kid that set the bombs off in Boston grew up as an atheist

    April 19, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Your evidence for that? What is the connection?

      April 19, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • More BS from Joe

      They were ethnic Chechens who spent the first half of their life there. They sure weren't atheists.

      April 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  9. WASP

    to all whom had to listen to CHAD'S drivel on
    DETERMINISM, FATALISM.

    FROM WEBSTER-MERRIAM DICTIONARY.
    -Determinism:
    1a : a theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psych.ological pheno.mena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws
    b : a belief in predestination
    2: the quality or state of being determined
    -Fat.alism:
    : a doctrine that events are fixed in advance so that human beings are powerless to change them; also : a belief in or att.itude determined by this doc.trine
    -Predestination:
    : the act of predestinating : the state of being predestinated
    2: the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation

    next CHAD'S "FREE WILL" arguement.
    FREE WILL:
    1: voluntary choice or decision
    2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

    now seeing god whom is said to be "all powerful, all knowing and always present" thus he controls everything. his "plan, destiny, fate" for you being his follower can't be changed seeing you are
    A) powerless compared to him
    B) don't know the plan to be able to change it
    C) his creation, thus his plaything

    so chad you're a TROLL and a TOOL. :)

    April 18, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • .

      He tries to conflate determinism/fatalism with atheism. It sounds FAR more likely that this is a Christian tenet.

      I choose my future. I influence my future. I control my destiny, and my choices reflect that. In other words, I don't my future is predetermined, so what does that make me?

      This sounds like free will to me...

      April 18, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Robert

      "I control my destiny,"

      To a point. You can't control to some degree if someone is going to hire or fire you. You can't control how others around you will impact your life. Look at the people that were in the Boston bombing, they didn't have control over being part of that destruction. There are degrees of how much we have control in our lives. We don't have control over who our parents were, their status in life and where you lived growing up, all of which impacts to a degree who you become in this life. So I would say you don't really have full control over your life.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • WASP

      @robert: "I control my destiny,"

      that statement makes no logical sense. someone "destined" for anything has no control per defintion. so your point is mute.
      i have no control over when i die unless i take my own life, otherwise it just happens.
      i can control who highers or fires me based on my interpersonal skills to be able to pass an interview or keeping a job by showing out standing workmanship and comradery with my coworkers.

      using the recent event in boston as a point is..........well sick, but ok i'll play.
      those folks did have control over what happen if they had been aware of their surroundings and noticed the guy drop the "backpacks" in that area then walk off. if people are controlled by god, then he solely holds faught for allowing those people under his watch to get hurt because he didn't stop it.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Robert

      "i can control who highers or fires me based on my interpersonal skills to be able to pass an interview or keeping a job by showing out standing workmanship and comradery with my coworkers."

      I am sure if you asked the millions of people who lost their jobs when the housing bubble burst that they did have those exact qualities but they still couldn't control the market crashing the way they did. If you can come up with a reason then you should become in charge of the federal reserve.

      As for the people being aware of the bag, there is no way all 150+ would have been able to see that and what you propose is ridiculous.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Dippy

      WASP, it's "moot," not "mute." Look those words up in your dictionary.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • .

      Robert: God caused the housing bubble and the loss of jobs? Really?

      April 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Robert

      "Robert: God caused the housing bubble and the loss of jobs? Really?"

      Where did I state that?

      April 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • .

      No, you didn't. N fact, God doesn't belong in this conversation at all; but that IS what we were talking about before you decided to try and misrepresent that *I* have control of the choices I make. *My* free will. Which *God* has nothing to do with.
      My future isn't predestined. Get it?

      April 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • .

      "My future isn't predestined. Get it?"

      You're the one trying to put God into this equation not me. I was merely pointing out that NO you do not have full control over your life and to think you do is asinine.

      April 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • .

      Nope, Period. I make my choices. Tough shit if you don't like it. What is asinine is that you expect me to accept that I am not in full control of my choices. Again, tough shit if you don't like that.

      April 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • .

      "What is asinine is that you expect me to accept that I am not in full control of my choices. Again, tough shit if you don't like that."

      Really so you choose your parents? You choose the color of your skin, the color of your eyes, whether your hair will fall out or not, not to grow old? So why didn't you choose to live in a bigger house? Why didn't you choose to buy that ferrari? Why didn't you choose to go to Harvard? Why didn't you choose to take a vacation and rent the house for 10,000 a week with the private beach front? Oh...that's right you choose to be exactly where you are at this moment. So if you have such a free choice prove yourself right and leave work for a month, just because.

      April 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • .

      It sounds to me as if *you're* dissatisfied with your life and *your* choices...not my problem, basically. I don't bother with the choices I never had to make and why I didn't make them. I'm absolutely happy with the choices I *have* made.
      Yep. I control my life. I control my choices.
      Again, tough shit if I'm not a bitter "victim" as you seem to view *yourself*.
      Grow up. People differ. And yep, I'm exactly where I want to be.

      April 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Science

      Mourning WASP

      Chad a twisting ................LOL

      April 19, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • .

      "It sounds to me as if *you're* dissatisfied with your life and *your* choices...not my problem, basically. I don't bother with the choices I never had to make and why I didn't make them. I'm absolutely happy with the choices I *have* made.
      Yep. I control my life. I control my choices.
      Again, tough shit if I'm not a bitter "victim" as you seem to view *yourself*.
      Grow up. People differ. And yep, I'm exactly where I want to be."

      Yup that the excuses you have to tell yourself so you can accept where you are at in this world, but the reality is if you could choose to do anything in the world regardless of money or any other limitations you would not be living the life you have now.

      By the way you're reading into what I am writing and assuming I am unhappy but the reality is I am not. That speaks volumes about where you are in life when you are projecting unhappiness onto others. ;-)

      April 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Science

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/13/pope-asks-cardinals-to-study-church-reform/comment-page-2/#comments

      Peace

      April 19, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • ???

      Science???

      That makes no sense, what's the point?

      April 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Science

      Read comments and leave a comment !

      April 19, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • .

      "Yup that the excuses you have to tell yourself so you can accept where you are at in this world, but the reality is if you could choose to do anything in the world regardless of money or any other limitations you would not be living the life you have now."
      Nope, sorry. You may try to read whatever you like into what I've written, but the bottom line is I'm happy with the choices I've made, and I'm living a wonderful life that I am content with. So sorry if you can't accept that, and have to try and tear down my happiness to satisfy some flaw you cannot get over in yours.

      "By the way you’re reading into what I am writing and assuming I am unhappy but the reality is I am not. That speaks volumes about where you are in life when you are projecting unhappiness onto others."
      No, again. I don't know why you are unable to accept that I am perfectly happy and contented. People can be, you know. I'm living proof.
      Deal with it.
      If you're happy with your life, great!! I'm happy with my life, my choices, *everything*. My question to you is: why on earth would you try to decimate a person who states they are happy and content? That they are fine with their choices, and the profound good in my life *due* to those choices?
      That speaks volumes about you, my dear.
      Sounds like you just want to argue for argument's sake.
      Tough shit.
      Life is great. Deal with it.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • .

      ***Edited to say, MY life is great. Deal with it.

      April 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Science

      Mourning again WASP................backfill !................facts work best for teaching children !

      Evolution wins hands down ..........time for god(s) to get the HELL out of the way................so humanity can evolve !

      Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130418104324.htm

      Source listed above is better than the bible !

      April 21, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • Science

      Hey WASP and education works...............but does it for chad is the question ?

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      No angels the pope kicked them off the team last year !

      Peace

      April 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Science

      Hey WASP ....thought might might enjoy this ..

      Holy Hallucinations 35

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTCRdC8Dlo&w=640&h=390]

      Peace

      April 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
  10. From a frog to a prince

    A 'theory' is not the same as a 'fact'

    April 18, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • birch please

      So please go test the theory of gravity by finding a window in a tall building

      April 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis."

      April 19, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  11. Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

    Where do morals come from? From our ongoing evolution as social animals with big brains.

    April 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Austin

      it started in the reptilian brain stem. That is why aliens are superior.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:03 am |
  12. Chad

    @Chad " "if a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future."

    @Chad: "As you can see, I am clearly referring to determinism."

    @Saraswati "Uh...no you aren't. Read what you wrote to me again and see if you can figure it out."
    Hint: humans are part of the universe and influence it...deterministically.
    What you are discussing above is a type of fatalism.
    You're so far off understanding the concept you aren't even using the right language nor are you understanding a word I say. "

    @Chad "no..
    again, you seem very confused on the definitions of the words.

    Determinism is the philosophical idea that every event or state of affairs, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable and necessary consequence of antecedent states of affairs.
    –source http://www.informationphilosopher.com/

    @Chad "Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future.""

    virtually identical, right?
    I dont think you are very familiar with the terms, especially fatalism..

    Fatalism is the simple idea that everything is fated to happen, so that humans have no control over their future.
    Note that unlike some determinisms, Fatalism does not imply any necessary regularity according to law. Events can be quite arbitrary.

    – source http://www.informationphilosopher.com/

    April 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Austin

      I see so the A & A crowd should be able to put a stop to suicide bombers through education, unless evil really is real.
      According to them.

      Disease , as in the very few people who have smoking related cancer or death, and the one or two who die from drugs , and the other one from alcohol, they need education. That type of death is not an evil grip. Insane death, is not due to sin.

      It is a lack of education that leads to disease.

      April 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Austin

      people who shoot and kill in botched drug robberies are the masterpiece of survival of the fittest. why do they get in trouble?

      April 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • .

      What's the difference between fatalism and Chad's free will if the outcome is the same, and humans have no control over their fate?

      @Austin: you are as original as vanilla. Shhhh.

      And since religion CAUSED suicide bombers...trying to lay a guilt trip on atheists is really laughable. You suck at this.

      April 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Chad

      of note, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fatalism/

      specifically states that the term fatalism is NOT to be used as @saraswati is suggesting it be used...


      Though the word “fatalism” is commonly used to refer to an atti tude of resignation in the face of some future event or events which are thought to be inevitable, philosophers usually use the word to refer to the view that: we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do. This view may be argued for in various ways:
      - first: by appeal to logical laws and metaphysical necessities;
      - second: by appeal to the existence and nature of God;
      - third: by appeal to causal determinism (Causal determinism is the idea that every event is necessitated by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature)

      - When argued for in the first way, it is commonly called “Logical fatalism” (or, in some cases, “Metaphysical fatalism”);
      - When argued for in the second way, it is commonly called “Theological fatalism”.
      -When argued for in the third way it is not now commonly referred to as “fatalism” at all, and such arguments will not be discussed here.

      April 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Austin", but "."'s assertion is quite correct. You, in fact, suck at this.

      April 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Austin

      This is your brain on drugs

      This is your brain on lies.

      This is your brain on truth.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Science

      Chad and his reading railroad getting derailed ?

      April 18, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • Saraswati

      Reposting since I see Chad moved and broke the thread again.

      Old thread for context:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/comment-page-5/#comments

      ======================

      Chad, I really do understand this topic and I guarantee you much better than you think.

      Let's look again at what you wrote:

      Chad: "If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future."

      A determinist sees him or herself as a part of the flow of the universe. His actions "matter" and are important. It is only a fatalist who can see themselves as apart from it, with "no way to change the future". The acts of a determinist are significant and influential in the causal events of the universe. To say there was no point in deterrence would be no different than to say there was no point in not killing oneself. The actions have influence...deterministically. The determinist often uses the terms "make a difference" to refer to this.

      I do know this is a very hard concept for someone who grew up feeling he acted freely to wrap his head around. For that reason, in this particular case, I think you may be genuine in your confusion. I've seen people pick it up in short discussions, but more often it takes days or weeks of reading and discussion to “get it”. I knew two men (unr elated cases) who I ran into years later and when we started to talk I noticed that their vocabularies had changed. It had taken months to years for these two to get it, as they each told me they finally had (one was a soft ware engineer with a background in physics and one a physician).

      Neither of these "hard cases" was a Christian so I don't know if that will make it more difficult for you. I certainly know many Christians who have "got it" and many non- believers or people of other faiths who've had a hard time. My bet is that if anyone is still reading this stuff, half the atheists will be struggling with these concepts, too.

      Anyway, the only way to get it is to put some hard time in thinking about it and reworking some concepts you have deeply mapped out in your neurons. Focus on the fact that you are part of the stream ("of events", if that simplification makes it easier) and not separate from it. You aren't just learning, but unlearning.

      If it makes you feel better, there are people in philosophy who don't get it. These folks are almost always relegated to pop psychology, generally cited only by people outside the field (good money there however!) They say silly things like "no one could function without at some level believing in free will" while ignoring the people around them who report that they do and do just fine. One of the saddest sights is when philosophers try to play at psychology and expose the fact they don't understand the basics of research (yes, psychologists playing philosophy can be pathetic too).

      Anyway, I do hope you get it one day. As English speakers we share a common language and you'll find that when you do get it certain words like "choice" will mean something just slightly different to you. Without sharing these words, of similar but slightly different meaning, between the two groups there would be no point for discussion of actual practical day to day and legal issues, so it will remain that way.

      Anyway, good luck. I find you a total pain to talk to but I still hope you get the experience to getting this because for most people it's one of those exciting moments of insight you don't experience often in life. If you do get it, try to remember where you were before.

      April 18, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      "specifically states that the term fatalism is NOT to be used as @saraswati is suggesting it be used..."

      Reading comprehension problems again. I was never suggesting it be used that way. Go back and reread. You are the one who isn't distinguishing between them properly. You are attributing to determinism characteristics of fatalism. This has been explained to you multiple times on separate threads. A few of the confused things you've said:

      "Here's the thing, your reaction to, and condemnation of my posts indicates that you actually dont believe that free will is an illusion. If you did, you wouldnt vitriolically accuse me of having all these evil intentions. You would fatalistically accept me executing along deterministically as you are. You say that you believe in determinism, and that free will is an illusion, but your behavior betrays a much different belief. Do you get indignant when you get poison ivy? Do you rail against it? "HOW COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING???""

      "Now, as you can see, if (as you believe) the predetermining “power or agency” is the laws that govern our physical universe, then fatalism would seem to be the appropriate response."

      "The distinctions on cause/inevitability are pretty muddied when you consider that in your view this march of deterministic events proceeding from the origin of the world could be called “fate”.. "

      "If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future."

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/12/where-do-morals-come-from/comment-page-5/?replytocom=2287816#respond

      If you ever do realize what's wrong with all this muddling you do between determinism and fate you might understand the things I've said.

      By the way, Dawkins is not considered a leading light in this area. He's a pop philosopher who makes money with a pop audience. I'm not going to do your work for you but as a tip, I wouldn't go around quoting him if you want to sound like you have a clue in this area.

      I have no interest in furthering this conversation with you as you have been unpleasant and dishonest in the extreme. I come back only to clarify the multiple, often intentional, misquotes and paraphrases you make of what I have said as I don't like to see by written word mangled by someone who doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. Throw out distractors and I will ignore them. I will, however, try to fix any mangling you do of my words and I will point out, where necessary, how your vast ignorance on this topic has led to your misunderstanding and how your arrogance has led to your intentional misrepresentations.

      April 18, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Saraswati

      Gospel of Chad:
      (Updated list derived from history of Chad conversations.)

      Atheism:
      1. All atheists agree with everything Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins say, even if it is unrelated to atheism. Hawking and Dawkins disagree on free will, however, but you should ignore this conflict or any atheist who says they disagree.
      2. All atheists agree with one another on everything even if it has nothing to do with atheism. See # 1 for models from which you can derive all their beliefs.
      3. The definition of atheist includes anything that any atheist I disagree with believes or anything I feel like tossing in there. Ignore any definitions in pesky places like dictionaries and philosophical encyclopedias.
      4. If one atheist somewhere on the internet said something, then, since all atheists agree with him/her, I can use that randomly selected example as an argument to address all other atheists.
      5. The definition of atheism includes not just materialism but strict deterministic materialism. Non-believers who might be Buddhists, believe in probabilistic physics, see consciousness as prior to the physical world, believe in, say, witchcraft aren’t really atheists.

      Free will:
      6. All people who use the term “free will” really mean the same exact thing by that term, which matches my personal use of the term “free will” (unless backed into a corner, then I just declare all other meanings irrelevant)
      7. Fatalism and determinism are the same thing. It has been pointed out to me that historically these terms have been used with different meanings, but I find it more convenient to make up my own definitions, as with atheism and free will.

      In fact, I brilliantly argued “If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future.”

      On April 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      After reading a bit more about fatalism and determinism I decided to change my tune to a claim that determinism leads to fatalism (and to pretend this was what I was saying all along). I’m sticking to reading easy pop philosophers, though, and selective websites on the topic as anything more complex makes my head hurt. I have read snippets from a couple of websites now so that ought to put me on par with people who’ve read dozens of books on the topic, understand neurobiology and have written on both the philosophical and cultural aspects of free will and people’s belief in the topic. Oh, yeah, I know what I’m talking about!

      Telling lies:
      8. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      9. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      10. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.

      Science:
      11. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      12. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #8.
      13. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #12 on ignoring anything else.

      General truths about the CNN belief blog:
      14. All non-believers are, by definition, idiots so you can use illogical arguments and they’ll just fall for it.
      15. If I post a quote that has a few key words in it from our discussion I can claim it backs my point even if it actually says the exact opposite thing from what I’m claiming. Atheists, as mentioned above, are too dumb to notice.
      16. There is a huge mass of fence sitters out there who are eagerly reading CNN blog comments in order to decide whether or not to believe in God.
      17. I will personally save all those mentioned in number 16 because I, Chad, am super smart. I know this because I get away with all the above mentioned lies and manipulations. Sometimes people think they are pointing these things out but they really aren’t. Or the stupid atheist masses aren’t reading them anyway.

      April 18, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • midwest rail

      Sara – regarding #'s 16 and 17. I've often wondered what posters like Chad, Austin, Topher, et al hope to accomplish. If indeed the goal is to reach and influence the "fence sitters", then the method certainly is remarkably ineffective. One would think that someone who has been born again would experience a transformation so dramatic that an outside observer would want to know how to achieve the same. For the life of me, I can't imagine a fence sitter desiring whatever it is that the aforementioned "have".

      April 18, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Midwest, yeah, it seems that this is likely a more superficial motivation for many, but I would be hesitant to try diagnosing personality disorders over the internet.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • .

      @Saraswati

      Nice posts! I think you nailed it and I don't think Chad will get it (which is kind of sad) but your right because of Chad’s unwarranted arrogance it blocks their reading comprehension and understanding of what you’re saying.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Thanks "." I don't think he'll get it any time soon, but I kind of think he might in a year or two. In fairness we all have things we're a bit slow on the uptake on and this is a hard one for many. I have found that people who have lived relatively unchallenged, monocultural lives are in general a bit slower because it really just doesn't occur to them that the way they see things could be anything but absolute truth.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

    • @chad, wow! how do you have so much patience? this poster is so deceitful that it has never bothered to answer any of your questions directly. It rambles on and on without any foundational knowledge of the terms it uses. Its thoughts are so incoherent and it keeps dragging you into useless arguments.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • .

      "wow! how do you have so much patience? this poster is so deceitful that it has never bothered to answer any of your questions directly. It rambles on and on without any foundational knowledge of the terms it uses. Its thoughts are so incoherent and it keeps dragging you into useless arguments."

      Yup, that's Chad, see # 9 & 10 on the list above.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I particularly liked the use of the gender neutral "it" as a personal pronoun to camouflage the writing style of whatever mystery person wrote this (or rather repeated it from the original version of the thread). It might have been more convincing with a few other non-native grammar structures thrown in.

      April 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm |

    • @chad, Be very firm when this poster or any of its fake handles pops up. It looks like it uses multiple handles.If it refuses to answer any of your questions directly there is no point in arguing with deceitful posters such as this one as there is no honesty in its position.

      April 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • .

      "it uses multiple handles.If it refuses to answer any of your questions directly there is no point in arguing with deceitful posters such as this one as there is no honesty in its position."

      Oh look Chad's hiding behind another handle because he knows deep down he lost the argument because he just doesn't get it. Dude seriously take a break from the board then come back and read what has been written then just maybe you will start to recognize your poor reading comprehension.

      By the way the question was answered but you just forgot what it was and no I am not Saraswati, just a fan.

      April 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Chad

      First and formost, You are seeking to distinguish fatalism and determinism incorrectly in an attempt to avoid answering the question I pose earlier and reposed below. Hopefully you will now understand the difference, and stop avoiding the question :-)

      Specifically:
      ========
      @Chad: "If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? Determinists believe in an ever marching set of deterministic outcomes based on an existing set of antecedent conditions. Those conditions march back to the origin of the universe, no way to change the past, so no way to change the future."

      @Saraswati “A determinist sees him or herself as a part of the flow of the universe. His actions "matter" and are important. It is only a fatalist who can see themselves as apart from it, with "no way to change the future".”

      @Chad “no..
      Determinists view their current condition as the deterministic outcome of antecedent states. IF by claiming that a determinist feels “His actions "matter" and are important.” you are claiming that he is exercising (in ef fect) free will, then obviously you are contradicting your previous statements.

      However, if by saying “His actions "matter" and are important.” you are merely stating that these actions have an impact, then you aren’t really saying much, since that impact proceeded deterministically from the conditions that existed, and “he” didn’t do anything more than what a tree does when it falls in the woods. “It” has an impact, but its impact is deterministic, it had no “choice” in the matter, it was just executing along determistically (Determinism is the philosophical idea that every event or state of affairs, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable and necessary consequence of antecedent states of affairs.

      Does a tree “make a difference” when it falls in the woods? Well, yes, in the sense that when it fell the squirrel was squashed, but no in the sense that the tree had no free will in the matter, it just fell deterministically.

      You are seeking to distinguish fatalism and determinism incorrectly. The difference between the two is in the reason for the determined outcome. Fatalists ascribe that reason to fate, determinists to the unchanging laws of nature.
      - No human can change the past, thus the existing set of conditions is unchangeable. Everyone believes this, determinists and non-determinists.
      - Determinists see the future as proceeding from an existing set of established and unchangeable conditions.
      - That future will proceed deterministically (everything that happens there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen)

      ===
      While the terms are often used interchangeably, fatalism, determinism, and predeterminism are discrete in emphasizing different aspects of the futility of human will or the foreordination of destiny. However, all these doctrines share common ground.
      Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events. Their view does not accentuate a "submission" to fate or destiny, whereas fatalists stress an acceptance of future events as inevitable. Determinists believe the future is fixed specifically due to causality; fatalists and predeterminists believe that some or all aspects of the future are inescapable, but not necessarily due to causality.
      Fatalism is a looser term than determinism. The presence of historical "indeterminisms" or chances, i.e. events that could not be predicted by sole knowledge of other events, is any idea still compatible with fatalism. Necessity (such as a law of nature) will happen just as inevitably as a chance—both can be imagined as sovereign.
      Likewise, determinism is a broader term than predeterminism. Predeterminists, as a specific type of determinists, believe that every single event or ef fect is caused by an uninterrupted chain of events that goes back to the origin of the universe. Determinists, holding a more generic view, meanwhile, believe that each event is at least caused by recent prior events, if not also by such far-extending and unbroken events as those going back in time to the universe's very origins..

      See also:

      http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/determinism.html

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/

      =====
      So, we close with two STILL unanswered questions from you:
      1. "If a person is a determinist, how in the world does deterrence even come into the picture? If people are just biological machines executing along, what are you deterring??
      @Chad "You seemingly have determined that all animals/humans are essentially the same as rocks..."
      @ Saraswati Yep, more or less, though I don't use the exact terminology you use in the rest of the sentence regarding determinism, but lets go with "close enough". We are conscious rocks in this particular regard. January 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Can a rock be deterred? Does locking one rock up for sinking to the bottom of a lake do anything at all to deter other rocks from doing the same?

      2. You STILL havent addressed your reasoning behind approving of one humans punishment of another human, but at the same time considering Gods punishment of a human immoral. Is it the duration that is the issue?

      April 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And Chad continues to ignore that the human body and environment is way more complex than he would like to admit or understands, and that humans can selectively react to internal and external stimuli and feedback, so even though we may seem to be "programmed," the "program" and its environment are very, very complex. Way more complex than "some unfounded god did it."

      April 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • .

      "let it go already, you are either a TROLL or a complete IDIOT."

      So WASP it looks like he's going to be a complete idiot.

      Give it a rest Chad it is really apparent now you DON"T GET IT!

      April 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • .

      "determinists to the unchanging laws of nature."

      Prove the laws of nature are unchanging Chad.

      April 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm afraid your assertions are quite correct, ".". "Chad", in fact, doesn't "GET IT".

      April 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • .

      "Can a rock be deterred?"

      Yes it can.

      April 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @HotAirAce "humans can selectively react to internal and external stimuli and feedback"
      @Chad A. Personally, I agree with you, as what you are describing is known as free will, since I believe in free will I agree with your statement.
      B. However, you are an atheist.
      How is it that you believe in free will? You dont believe in a soul, right?
      How is Hawking wrong when he says that there is no free will?

      “Do people have free will? If we have free will, where in the evolutionary tree did it develop? Do blue-green algae or bacteria have free will, or is their behavior automatic and within the realm of scientific law? Is it only multicelled organisms that have free will, or only mammals? We might think that a chimpanzee is exercising free will when it chooses to chomp on a banana, or a cat when it rips up your sofa, but what about the roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans—a simple creature made of only 959 cells? It probably never thinks, “That was damn tasty bacteria I got to dine on back there,” yet it too has a definite preference in food and will either settle for an unattractive meal or go foraging for something better, depending on recent experience. Is that the exercise of free will?

      Though we feel that we can choose what we do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets
      . Recent experiments in neuroscience support the view that it is our physical brain, following the known laws of science, that determines our actions, and not some agency that exists outside those laws.For example, a study of patients undergoing awake brain surgery found that by electrically stimulating the appropriate regions of the brain, one could create in the patient the desire to move the hand, arm, or foot, or to move the lips and talk. It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion.”
      — Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design

      April 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad ""Can a rock be deterred?"
      @. "Yes it can."

      =>lol

      that's right up there with free will originating by:

      "@Red Dwarf "ancestors eating certain mind expanding mushrooms which unlcked certain chemical responses in their brains allowing them to effectively look outside the box that was their survivalist existence and begin contemplating the why along with how of survival."

      April 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • .

      "@Chad ""Can a rock be deterred?"
      @. "Yes it can."

      =>lol"

      That's why you don't get it. What's the definitions of deterred and yes notice there's an s at the end. ;-)

      April 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Pete

      Chad did you actually read the entire "The Grand Design" or did you copy and paste it again from some where on the internet like you usually do.

      page 72: “Quantum physics might seem to undermine the idea that nature is governed by laws, but that is not the case. Instead it leads us to accept a new form of determinism: Given the state of a system at some time, the laws of nature determine the probabilities of various futures and pasts rather than determining the future and past with certainty.”

      April 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Chad

      "That's why you don't get it. What's the definitions of deterred and yes notice there's an s at the end. "

      =>A. funny stuff :-)
      B. You are attempting to say that "well, sure, you can deter a rock from sinking by stopping it from being thrown in the water in the first place."
      C. Which, is NOT the context of 'deterrence being a justification for punishment' that @saraswati was talking about.
      Note that she says deterence and keeping people off the street. Making clear the former from the later. The deterrence that she is talking about is the claim that throwing people in jail makes others want to avoid jail, and thereby punishing one prevents others from doing something that will get them thrown in jail.

      @saraswati " I still believe that prisons serve a purpose of deterence and keeping people off the street and (very occassionally) rehabilitation"

      So, no matter how many rocks you lock up for sinking when you throw it in the water, no future rock is going to be "dissuaded" , it can do nothing other than sink. That's the deterministic argument against punishment in a nutshell, under that philosophy it makes no sense to punish something for doing something that it can not avoid doing.

      April 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • .

      "8. It is ethical to lie so long as it promotes Christian beliefs.
      9. Speaking of telling lies, a really good way to do this is to rephrase what your opponent says and then keep repeating the misquote in hopes that he or she will get bored and leave your lie as the last statement. Then you win. You can do this either by rewording as a supposed paraphrase or pulling lines out of context and reordering them. God really loves this and gives you extra endurance to sit at the computer all day and keep repeating it.
      10. One way to use this super endurance to your advantage is to keep posting the same questions over and over again even after they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun.

      Science:
      11. If one scientist says something that backs me, then I can assume all scientists agree with that statement.
      12. If atheist scientists say something, even if it is the view of the majority of people in that science, it should be ignored. See #8.
      13. Atheists are ruled by confirmation bias. I am free of it – it’s just great luck that everything I read and all the “data” around me confirm my strong religious convictions. See #12 on ignoring anything else."

      Hey LOOK everyone, Chad once again proved that these are all true.

      Touche Saraswati!

      April 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @Pete,

      she already dealt with that..

      @ Saraswati “I mean that if a god created us and we live according to known physical laws our behaviors are either deterministic (which they largely would be on the macro scale) or are following a set of probabilistic rules. Either way they do not warrant praise and blame in the sense that Christianity requires, and would ultimately be either random of the creation of God. I have no desire to enter into a debate on free will here, but if one doesn't believe in it, as I do not (at least in the form I believe Christianity requires) then Christianity doesn’t hold together as a system. Please note that I do believe in punishments and prisons, but I think what most Christians and (in the US at least) many non-Christians call free will is an illusion. January 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      April 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • .

      "That's the deterministic argument against punishment in a nutshell, under that philosophy it makes no sense to punish something for doing something that it can not avoid doing."

      Really that's what they said huh? NOT!

      April 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Pete

      "Either way they do not warrant praise and blame in the sense that Christianity requires,"

      = "page 72: “Quantum physics might seem to undermine the idea that nature is governed by laws, but that is not the case. Instead it leads us to accept a new form of determinism: Given the state of a system at some time, the laws of nature determine the probabilities of various futures and pasts rather than determining the future and past with certainty."

      Really? Wow no wonder people stop debating you. Wow talk about deceitful and not anything close. Geez what kind of meds are you on?

      April 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • JMEF

      Chad Sir
      I am still confused, do not understand, fail to grasp, yadda yadda the concept of "soul", how to I get one and what am I supposed to with it as a deist, help me, Chad.

      April 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Science

      Chad you are like the old fruit cake from xmas that won't go away !

      April 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad, one last time. . . Hawking does not definitively say there is no free will! You are taking what he did say and massively misrepresenting it, portraying it according to your warped delusional belief system, in a failed attempt to make some seemingly important, at least to you, point.

      April 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "Really that's what they said huh? NOT!"

      =>actually, as I stated, that is exactly the argument..
      For example: Justification of Punishment in a Deterministic Framework

      http://www.philopolis.net/accueil/en/?post_type=portfolio&p=523

      April 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Pete,

      since you were responding to @saraswats post, I'll assume your accusation of deceitfulness and the query about meds was aimed at her, so along with you I will await her response to your post..

      April 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • .

      "For example: Justification of Punishment in a Deterministic Framework

      http://www.philopolis.net/accueil/en/?post_type=portfolio&p=523"

      You're trying to use an undergraduate's writing as your source of fact. LMAO!

      April 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Pete

      "@Pete,

      since you were responding to @saraswats post, I'll assume your accusation of deceitfulness and the query about meds was aimed at her, so along with you I will await her response to your post.."

      "they’ve been answered 50 times. Just pretend they haven’t been answered and act self-righteous about it. It’s really cool if you can ask this same thing on multiple threads and then claim it was never answered forcing people to waste time on the same thing over and over and over. When they refuse to play your game or you don’t like the answer add some sarcasm, but use an emoticon to soften it so they’ll know your snide remarks are all in good fun."

      Ok Saraswati you are right about this, I see why it's not worth arguing with this imbecile.

      April 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • JMEF

      Chad Sir
      I am a lost deist trying to find if I can have free will without having "soul". Do you deny me your knowledge, do I have to beseech you to impart to me your learned opinion?

      April 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @Pete,

      if you look, you'll notice that @saraswati wrote "Either way they do not warrant praise and blame in the sense that Christianity requires,""

      not I.

      April 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • .

      Chad the more you post the more you prove you have really bad reading comprehension.

      You must be a teenager, stay in school cause you need some serious help.

      April 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • JMEF

      Chad Sir
      Why have you forsaken me? I feel like Jesus himself, dangling from the cross demanding daddy, what the fvck is going down here, am I about to get grounded for the weekend? Soul, why, where, I am confused?

      April 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Saraswati

      What stuns me is that when chad quotes me in this way:

      "if you look, you'll notice that @saraswati wrote 'Either way they do not warrant praise and blame in the sense that Christianity requires,'"

      He actually includes the very bit that disproves his supposed "point" (here the "in the sense that Christianity requires,") and yet still either can't see it or thinks everyone else is so dim-witted they can't. It's the exact same thing he did with the quote on punishments that are eternal where her ignored the eternal part over and over. He really is bat-sh!t crazy.

      April 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It is embarrassing to admit it, but I did think Chad might be sufficiently well informed to hold up his end of an argument and perhaps enjoy doing so such that it would be a friendly and provocative interaction. He's gone off in a really strange direction, though. His God can't be proud of him.

      April 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @HotAirAce,

      lol...see numbers 8,9,10,11,14 and 15

      April 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      OK, I have to admit this is kind of entertaining when it really should be sad. Here he quotes me and then responds:

      "@saraswati " I still believe that prisons serve a purpose of deterence and keeping people off the street and (very occassionally) rehabilitation"

      Chad's response:
      "So, no matter how many rocks you lock up for sinking when you throw it in the water, no future rock is going to be "dissuaded" , it can do nothing other than sink. That's the deterministic argument against punishment in a nutshell, under that philosophy it makes no sense to punish something for doing something that it can not avoid doing."

      He completely ignores my first two main points about the goals of punishment and denies the applicability on the third one I specifically listed as only occassionally relevant! All this, of course, after he spent the last couple of days trying to say I didn't believe in punishment at all. On top of that he's either again confusing fatalism and determinism or talking about a subset of cases. This guy has some serious problems.

      April 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Chad

      <deter Discourage (someone) from doing something, typically by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences.
      Prevent the occurrence of.

      let us look at it :-)

      "@saraswati " I still believe that prisons (1)serve a purpose of deterence and (2)keeping people off the street and (3)(very occassionally) rehabilitation".

      1. What does "serve a purpose of deterrence" mean? What else can it be in this context other than serving to discourage or prevent either the criminal himself, or another who is observing the punishment being meted out? This is the flip side of #3 in that in this case you are convincing the criminal not to commit the crime just due to the fear of it.

      2. "keeping people off the street": well, that's pretty obvious, the only problem with that is (in the determinist view), you are treating the culprit in an immoral way, punishing them for an action they had no option but to commit. THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT YOU INDICT GOD FOR, when you claim that God is immoral for punishing us.

      3. "(very occassionally) rehabilitation": well, this is the flip side of #1 in that in this case you are successful in changing the criminals desire such that they no longer want to commit the crime.

      QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
      1) how can you endorse #2, when you indict God for the same? Duration? What if the criminal is put in jail for life? Isnt that the same as eternal if you don’t believe in life after death? Incoherent.

      2) By what do you endorse #1 and #3? How can a determinist claim to believe that a persons desire, or inclination can be altered? Impossible under the determinist viewpoint. Incoherent again. right?

      cue: avoidance, hem/haw, change subject, name call, etc, etc.. It's the ONLY option you have, since directly addressing any of these questions opens you up to an examination of the incoherency of the determinist viewpoint :-)

      April 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati "On top of that he's either again confusing fatalism and determinism or talking about a subset of cases. "

      =>you probably missed this due to the length of the responses.. hope this helps you understand the difference.

      You are seeking to distinguish fatalism and determinism incorrectly. The difference between the two is in the reason for the determined outcome. Fatalists ascribe that reason to fate, determinists to the unchanging laws of nature.

      ===
      While the terms are often used interchangeably, fatalism, determinism, and predeterminism are discrete in emphasizing different aspects of the futility of human will or the foreordination of destiny. However, all these doctrines share common ground.
      Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events. The determinist view does not accentuate a "submission" to fate or destiny, whereas fatalists stress an acceptance of future events as inevitable. Determinists believe the future is fixed specifically due to causality; fatalists and predeterminists believe that some or all aspects of the future are inescapable, but not necessarily due to causality.

      Fatalism is a looser term than determinism. The presence of historical "indeterminisms" or chances, i.e. events that could not be predicted by sole knowledge of other events, is any idea still compatible with fatalism. Necessity (such as a law of nature) will happen just as inevitably as a chance—both can be imagined as sovereign.
      Likewise, determinism is a broader term than predeterminism. Predeterminists, as a specific type of determinists, believe that every single event or ef fect is caused by an uninterrupted chain of events that goes back to the origin of the universe. Determinists, holding a more generic view, meanwhile, believe that each event is at least caused by recent prior events, if not also by such far-extending and unbroken events as those going back in time to the universe's very origins..
      See also:

      http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/determinism.html

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/

      April 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Excellent, some new beauties in Chad logic!

      18. Thirty or forty years of constraint is the same as eternal torment. Yes, infinity = all finite numbers according to the Chad.

      19. A determinist cannot believe that humans can change. This would, of course, mean that nothing can change. Which would mean…oh…crud…better put my head back up my ass.

      20. Rehabilitation and deterrence are the same thing. Yep…convincing a drug addict not to use drugs in case they are shot dead and getting them off the addiction would be the same by my wondrous Chad logic.

      The best part is that he’s now trying to lecture me on the difference between fatalism and determinism (which he still doesn’t get) as he struggles to extricate himself from his enormously embarrassing pit of ignorance. So we definitely have an example of one of the techniques I left off:

      21. Phase everything as if it’s a lecture so you look like you know what you’re talking about. See the point about atheists being idiots and realize they’ll fall for it and learn to properly worship my brilliance.

      He’s still claiming that I said that you can’t punish people for things they had “no option but to commit” despite this having been explained multiple times as note only nonsensical in its wording but giving him the most minimal premise passes downright false. Keep repeating Chad…that will make it true!

      April 19, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Chad

      cue: avoidance, hem/haw, change subject, name call, etc, etc.. It's the ONLY option you have, since directly addressing any of these questions opens you up to an examination of the incoherency of the determinist viewpoint

      right on cue..

      April 19, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Chad

      Honestly, it seems like at some point you would at least attempt to address the obvious problems with your attempts to misconstrue determinism as fatalism. Especially since I have provided multiple citations that demonstrate the absolute accuracy of what I am saying..

      @Saraswati "A determinist sees him or herself as a part of the flow of the universe. His actions "matter" and are important. It is only a fatalist who can see themselves as apart from it, with "no way to change the future". The acts of a determinist are significant and influential in the causal events of the universe. To say there was no point in deterrence would be no different than to say there was no point in not killing oneself. The actions have influence...deterministically. The determinist often uses the terms "make a difference" to refer to this.

      You are seeking to distinguish fatalism and determinism incorrectly. The difference between the two is in the reason for the determined outcome. Fatalists ascribe that reason to fate, determinists to the unchanging laws of nature.

      Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events. That is the single most important thing that you are failing to understand..

      ===
      While the terms are often used interchangeably, fatalism, determinism, and predeterminism are discrete in emphasizing different aspects of the futility of human will or the foreordination of destiny. However, all these doctrines share common ground.

      Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events
      The determinist view does not accentuate a "submission" to fate or destiny, whereas fatalists stress an acceptance of future events as inevitable. Determinists believe the future is fixed specifically due to causality; fatalists and predeterminists believe that some or all aspects of the future are inescapable, but not necessarily due to causality.

      Fatalism is a looser term than determinism. The presence of historical "indeterminisms" or chances, i.e. events that could not be predicted by sole knowledge of other events, is any idea still compatible with fatalism. Necessity (such as a law of nature) will happen just as inevitably as a chance—both can be imagined as sovereign.
      Likewise, determinism is a broader term than predeterminism. Predeterminists, as a specific type of determinists, believe that every single event or ef fect is caused by an uninterrupted chain of events that goes back to the origin of the universe. Determinists, holding a more generic view, meanwhile, believe that each event is at least caused by recent prior events, if not also by such far-extending and unbroken events as those going back in time to the universe's very origins..
      See also:

      http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/determinism.html

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/determinism-causal/

      April 19, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Science

      Pope asks cardinals to study Church reform

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/13/pope-asks-cardinals-to-study-church-reform/comment-page-2/#comments

      April 19, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • clarity

      Chad, I would venture to guess that others are saying that you are trying to apply the yes/no, white or black constraints that you are able to "bucketize" for your theological notion of free will upon the informal notion from Hawking & Dawkins regarding determinism. First of all, using the quotes you clipped, Dawkins says "If we have free will" and Hawking & Mlodinow conclude with "so it seems". So right off the bat, these are weak statements, much less proofs of anything. In my opinion, being agnostic on many things, I believe we have much more to learn in Dawkins' area of expertise before we can really get to an educated answer to the issue, but that is just a gut feeling, but with serious consideration to what we don't actually know on the issue from these fields of science.

      Someone brought up before, "what kind of determinism?", and I believe they listed several scientific and metaphysical types. You've been going back and forth with others about this for quite some time on several threads, but I have not seen you use but one description for determinism even though it seems the discussions have involved various scenarios that should warrant looking at them with a specific type of determinism in mind for the sake of the discussion.

      For instance, take John Martin Fischer, of UC, Riverside, who is the Pacific Div. President of the American Philosophical Association. He is credited with this notion of "semicompatibilism" which seems to be a branch of compatibilism, a branch of Soft Determinism. The idea of this semicompatibilism regarding morality is that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism, whether free will is present or not. Now that sounds like that doesn't help us with the question you've been wrestling with, but I thought that this example of semicompatibilistic determinism was interesting:

      (it is from: http://www.thomsonedu.com/philosophy/book_content/0495094927_feinberg/introductions/part_4/Compatibilism/fischer.html )

      ================

      [..] Thus determinism cannot be compatible with free will. In order to deal with this problem, Fischer proposes semicompatibilism. Semicompatibilism abandons regulative control (the sort of freedom that involves genuine access to alternative possibilities) and asserts that humans have only guidance control. (Guidance control, says Fischer, is a unique sort of causal connection one can have with the world. When one is driving a car in normal circumstances, one has guidance control; when one sneezes while driving and causes the wheel to jerk to the left, one does not have guidance control.) The Consequence Argument does not touch semicompatibilism, because the Consequence Argument rules out only regulative control, not guidance control. Yet semicompatibilism retains the central advantages of compatibilism: it allows us to confidently attribute moral responsibility to agents even if we are unsure whether determinism is true.

      ================

      April 19, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • ..

      This is what I take away from all of this: Chad thinks that nobody in the world, nobody at all, has free will except Christians who think exactly like him.
      I add "Christians who "think" exactly like him, because I assure you, I am Christian, and I think nothing like him. He is giving Christians a bad name. He needs to stop.

      April 19, 2013 at 11:12 am |

    • @chad, looks like it either lacks the understanding of these philosophical terms or it conveniently hides behind its ignorance to suit its worldview.either ways its verbal diarrhea is proof of its perpetual incontinence.

      April 19, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Chad

      I see it time and time again.. Atheists really have no idea what they actually believe.

      Even though this is the actual definition of the determinist position, @saraswati really cant face it because to do so would be at utter conflict with what she wants to desperately believe (namely that determinists have control of their lives, they can make a difference, etc.. what she is doing is attempting to vest free will into a position that is utterly incompatible with it..).

      She would recoil at the thought that her position actually does claim that the future is fixed specifically due to causality.

      Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events.
      Their view does not accentuate a "submission" to fate or destiny, whereas fatalists stress an acceptance of future events as inevitable.
      Determinists believe the future is fixed specifically due to causality;

      fatalists and predeterminists believe that some or all aspects of the future are inescapable, but not necessarily due to causality

      April 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Nagle

      How old are you, Chad? You act about 15.

      April 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • LMAO

      Chad still doesn't get it, this is hysterical. LOL! LOL!

      April 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • .

      "How old are you, Chad? You act about 15."

      That's what I think too and based on his really bad reading comprehension skills this kid really needs to stay in school.

      April 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @LMAO, No, he doesn't. I originally hoped he might one day get an "aha" moment some day but that's looking increasingly unlikely. I saw this stuff taught to gifted middle schoolers who got at least the basics faster than this.

      I wonder if there's some part of the bible that leads hime to believe that if you say something enough times it will become true. I'd love to get that number and she how close we're getting.

      April 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: please explain how your god has a plan, but you have free will.
      if you are able to make your god change his plans for you, then your god isn't all knowing.
      if your god can't stop you from changing his plans then he isn't all powerful.
      if your god doesn't stop you from changing his plans then he isn't all present.

      please explain how you a little toy of a human can effect your creator to the point that he would change the plan he set in motion eons ago; do you truly believe yourself to be that imprortant to him?
      in reference to importance i would say humans are about as important to god as ants are to us; we see their value, yet don't mind watchingt hem die.

      free will is our ability to change if we were born poor to become rich, it's our ability to change if we were born baptist to become athiest, it's our ability to control most things in our lives................yes even death.
      if you don't believe you can't control when you die, then try drinking poison i'm certain you will die then.
      however the complete control over everything is impossible due to the fact we can't control what other humans choose to do......say like those two bombers in boston.
      now your god was not only there with the bombers but knew ahead of time that they would attack and even allowed them to attack, so unless your god is totally useless those two guys worked according to his plan, thus he condoned what they did.

      if atheists didn't have free will, how could you when you live under a tyrant as your god?

      April 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @WASP "please explain how your god has a plan, but you have free will."
      @Chad "the same way I can have a plan(hopes/aspirations for them) for my children, and they have free will to do what they want. I dont make them do what I think is the right thing for them to do.

      ===
      @WASP "if you are able to make your god change his plans for you, then your god isn't all knowing.
      @Chad "you misunderstand the word "plan", see above.

      ===
      @WASP "if your god can't stop you from changing his plans then he isn't all powerful."
      @Chad "God doesnt change His plan, you misunderstand the word "plan" see above.
      You also misunderstand what omnipotence(all powerful) means, allowing an enti ty under your omnipotence to do something that is contrary to your desire for them, does not mean God isnt omnipotent. Omnipotence means you have the power to allow anything to happen, including things that you would rather have not occurred that way.
      Omnipotence doesnt chain Gods hands.

      ===
      @WASP "iif your god doesn't stop you from changing his plans then he isn't all present."
      @Chad ""all present"?
      no idea what that was supposed to mean..

      ===
      @WASP "please explain how you a little toy of a human can effect your creator to the point that he would change the plan he set in motion eons ago; do you truly believe yourself to be that imprortant to him?"
      @Chad "God doesnt change His plan, you misunderstand the word "plan" see above.
      You also misunderstand what omnipotence(all powerful) means, allowing an enti ty under your omnipotence to do something that is contrary to your desire for them, does not mean God isnt omnipotent. Omnipotence means you have the power to allow anything to happen, including things that you would rather have not occurred that way.
      Omnipotence doesnt chain Gods hands.

      ==
      that also addresses your free will question.
      Gods omnipotence allows Him to extend to us the ability to make our own decisions.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • .

      "the same way I can have a plan(hopes/aspirations for them) for my children, and they have free will to do what they want. I dont make them do what I think is the right thing for them to do.

      Then you’re a bad parent and YES all parents try to make their children do right, like not stealing when they go to a store.

      “You also misunderstand what omnipotence(all powerful) means, allowing an enti ty under your omnipotence to do something that is contrary to your desire for them, does not mean God isnt omnipotent. Omnipotence means you have the power to allow anything to happen, including things that you would rather have not occurred that way. “

      Then you’re god is not all knowing because it would have to know what you’ve already chose in the future.

      Jeremiah 29:11
      For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      .

      Jeremiah 29:11
      For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
      ////////////////////////////////////////////

      Then your god is not very all knowing and in fact has limited powers.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Chad

      Gods omnipotence allows Him to extend to us the ability to make our own decisions.
      Gods omniscience allows Him to know what we will do by the exercise of our own free will.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I see Chad still arrogantly thinks he can determine what others believe merely through the constant assertions of his view. Still just a pathetic, immoral, dishonest little shit.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      @chad
      .
      There is no freewill when the future is already known and set. When the future is known freewill is a delusion. We are playing parts in a play already written by your god. You have to come to terms or simple ignore it. There cannot be 2 possible futures.....the future is what it is if god can see it.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Ted

      Allow me to give Chad's answer:
      "GOD BE MAGIC BITCHES!"

      April 19, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • .

      "Gods omniscience allows Him to know what we will do by the exercise of our own free will."

      Isaiah 46:9 I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

      Isaiah 48:3, I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

      Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan, that can succeed against the LORD

      Proverbs 21:1The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

      I could go on but what for....

      April 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      Chad

      Gods omniscience allows Him to know what we will do by the exercise of our own free will.
      ////////////////////////////////
      Um then if already sees me burning in hell then there is no freewill. Do you even understand what you post and think. Your logic is clearly flawed and your are so delusional that you bend your logic to satisfy your fear. jesus you need help

      April 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      .

      "Gods omniscience allows Him to know what we will do by the exercise of our own free will."

      Isaiah 46:9 I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

      Isaiah 48:3, I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

      Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan, that can succeed against the LORD

      Proverbs 21:1The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

      I could go on but what for....
      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

      Exactly, quoting writings of men about the matter of the gods is quite delusional

      April 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • .

      So Chad have you ever said the "lord's prayer" in church?

      "Your kingdom come,
      your will be done.
      on earth as it is in heaven. "

      That's god's will be done, not yours.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      .

      So Chad have you ever said the "lord's prayer" in church?

      "Your kingdom come,
      your will be done.
      on earth as it is in heaven. "

      That's god's will be done, not yours.
      //////////////////////////////////////////
      .
      Sorry you do not have the authority to speak on behalf of the gods. You offer 0 credibility to the subject matter

      April 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Ted Jones

      How could man possible have the authority to speak on behalf of the gods????????????????????

      April 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • .

      "How could man possible have the authority to speak on behalf of the gods????????????????????"

      having fun trolling? I am not a Christian.

      April 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Akira

      @WASP “please explain how your god has a plan, but you have free will.”

      @Chad “the same way I can have a plan(hopes/aspirations for them) for my children, and they have free will to do what they want. I dont make them do what I think is the right thing for them to do.

      Okay, please tell me why Chad's answer cannot be implemented by your average, one each atheist for themselves OR their children...

      April 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Terry

      The long and short of it is that sad Chad can define me as living in a box in Phoenix all he likes, but I hold nothing that comes from Chad as having any sort of value. I have free will and am an atheist. Fatalism or determinism can suck on my left nut. Chads posts aren't worth the spittle with which he writes them.

      April 21, 2013 at 7:33 am |
  13. Dawkins is stupid

    Where do morals come from? Not from an atheist

    April 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why would that be less desirable than having morals come from idiots like you?

      April 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Glorp

      Glorp "Me no believe in God's but all us cave men should be good to each other because being good is it's own reward of safety and security in an insecure world..."

      Glerp "Glorp stupid! He know nothing! He only cave man, don't listen to him!"

      Glorp "Okay okay, Big Giant invisible cave man in sky tell Glorp that we should be good to each other and he will reward us with safety and security!! Giant Cave Man also say he will punish you just like this.. " – stab – " if you dont!"

      Glerp "Gasp, gasp, Glorp, Glorp..." unghhhh – dead-

      Crowd "Hurray for Big Giant Cave Man! Do as he says! Don't be a Glerp!!"...

      So I guess it was an atheist...

      April 18, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  14. Bob

    Chad, where does Rachel come from? And why doesn't she have a thigh gap yet? Get back on that treadmill and get with your workout problem.

    April 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Jizelle

      Here is the bigger question, have you started reading the scriptures? The scriptures say faith comes from hearing, hearing the word of God. :)

      April 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Rick

      Jiz, the scriptures also say you should slaughter an animal at least weekly...

      April 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • chetisyourbet

        "Rick

        Jiz, the scriptures also say you should slaughter an animal at least weekly.."

        Rick I am sorry but the scriptures do not tell just anyone to sacrifice (your word "slaughter") animals at least weekly. By the way the meat was eaten. The commandments for Israel are not for any other men on earth, and that included stoning a child who curses his parents.

        December 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Gizmo

      Maybe "Jizelle" is Chad too.

      April 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • WASP

      @JIZELLE: "have you started reading the scriptures? The scriptures say faith comes from hearing, hearing the word of God."
      last time i checked reading is internal and hearing is external..............so how do you hear what you read if someone isn't reading it out loud to you?

      April 18, 2013 at 9:45 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.