On Tue, Aug 7, 2012  Russell Standish <li...@hpcoders.com.au> wrote:

> > I do claim to know what I mean by "free will",

Well maybe you do know what free will means but the trouble is you are
unable to communicate that understanding to any of your fellow human beings
and certainly not to me.  That's the trouble with mystical experiences,
even if they really do give you a deeper understanding of the world and are
not just caused by indigestion,  that new understanding helps only you and
nobody else. I've never had a mystical experience but if I ever do I intend
to keep quiet about it for that very reason.

> > I also note that there tends to be no agreement on the term,

I will agree on any meaning of the term provided it is self consistent and
non-circular and provided you don't complain when I use nothing but that
definition and pure logic to take you to places you may not want to go,
like endowing Roulette Wheels with free will.

> > I believe in Spinoza's god.

I don't. When somebody says "I believe in Spinoza's god" it just means
there is so much mystery complexity and beauty in the universe that it
causes me to feel a sense of awe. I'm awed by the universe too but that is
so many light years away from the original meaning of "God" that I believe
both Spinoza and Einstein blundered in using the same word for both very
different things; it just invites misunderstanding, it virtually begs for

I think the problem is that even many hardcore atheists have a residual
feeling that if you don't believe in something called G-O-D then you're
somehow a morally bad person, so they redefine the word "God" in such a way
as to make it impossible for anyone to disbelieve in it.  For some reason I
just don't have as much affection for that particular word as most people,
perhaps because no other word has caused more human misery or ignorance.

  John K Clark

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