On Wed, Aug 08, 2012 at 12:33:47PM -0400, John Clark wrote:
> 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.

The meaning I use for free will has nothing to do with mysticism. I
spend several pages on free will in my book, and I can sum it up by
the statement that "Free will is the ability to do something stupid".

> 
> 
> > > 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'd like to see you do that. Roulette wheels do what they do, they
never do anything different.

> 
> > > 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
> it.

Fair comment. I don't feel the need to insist on this, which is why to
a regular Christian, I will just say I'm an atheist.

> 
> 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.  

Did you want to take a survey?  I, for one, have no such attachment to
the word God. "Spinoza'a god" is just a label for an idea - I would be
just as happy to use the label Tao, as it seems to describe pretty
much the same thing.

It has nothing to do with morals.

> 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
> 
> -- 
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
> "Everything List" group.
> To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
> everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
> For more options, visit this group at 
> http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.
> 

-- 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- 
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit this group at 
http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.

Reply via email to