On Apr 27, 11:55 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 25, 2012  Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>  It's standard use of language that if something is not determined it is
> > random.
> > I have never heard of that in my life.
> YOU HAVEN'T??!!! Good God man it's time you got out more and get educated,
> or at least allow yourself 5 minutes to sit down and do nothing but think.

Could you perhaps point out the tome in which this pearl of wisdom is
published? Who is it other than you that claims that the proposition
that all possible things are either random or determined is true by
virtue of it being a 'standard use of language'?

> > Did you say that because you had no choice or was it random?
> I can't speak for him but when I say something I say it for a reason and
> when I do something that others don't understand and they ask me "why did
> you do that?" I have a answer for them.  The day I start saying things for
> no reason is the day I run to the doctor for fear I'm having a stroke or
> some sort of epileptic seizure.

Sure you have reasons, but they are *your* reasons. You reasoned them
into existence yourself. You are ultimately responsible for choosing
which of those sets of reasons you prefer to privilege and elevate to
the level of expressions and actions.

> > Random is determined [...]
> That is ridiculous. If it's determined then it's not random and if it's not
> random then it's determined.

Not at all. Random is that which is determined randomly. That is a
perfectly valid definition of the word random. Why do you assume that
it is some separate category? Everything appears externally to be some
combination of random and determined, while everything internally
appears to be some combination of free will and conditioning.

> > [...] randomly.
> Ah now I see, you hold the rather uncontroversial view that random means
> random. Well I can't disagree with you about that but I think there may be
> more useful definitions, like random is a event without a cause.

Why is random without a cause? It just has a random cause, or more
likely, a multitude of indeterminable causes which we shorthand as

> > >Free will is determined intentionally.
> So now you're back to thinking "free will" is determined. Remind me again
> what we're arguing about.

Free will is not determined *for* us, free will is determined *by* us.
What we are arguing about is that this ordinary feature of every human
life violates your edict that all things must either be determined (by
causes other than our own will) or random.

> > Word games.
> No not word games, it's called critical thinking.

Critical thinking can be an obstacle to understanding consciousness
too. It is like looking for shadows with a flood light.

> > The criminal justice system is designed to do one thing only: assess
> > guilt, ie degree of intentionality in a criminal act, and punish
> > accordingly.
> The criminal justice system was designed by attorneys and judges who were
> almost as mesmerized, confused and distracted by the noise "free will" as
> you are, and that's why the criminal justice system is such a inconsistent
> chaotic mess.

Perhaps you should turn your critical thinking on yourself here.
Really no rule of law could make sense in a universe that was already
deterministic. Every crime could only be considered an innocent act of
nature, and that consideration could have no effect on crime in

> > Without free will, we are all sleepwalkers.
> Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII string "free will" means.

Except that you do know what it means. Or are you saying that you are
arguing against something that you are incapable of understanding?

> >  we are able to choose what our behavior will be.
> Yes, and you made that choice for a reason or you did not make that choice
> for a reason, there is no third alternative.

The third alternative is that I made the reason. I reasoned it. It has
no existence unless and until I bring it into being intentionally
within myself.


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