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A place to discuss topics/games with other webDiplomacy players.
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ssorenn (0 D X)
27 Jun 14 UTC
who wants to game?
WTA,ANON,24 hour phases, and FULL PRESS

1 reply
Open
Yellowjacket (835 D (B))
27 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
On nationalism and immigration
Seems legit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsPDT5qHtZ4
0 replies
Open
Kallen (1169 D)
26 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
Coastal Movement
Normally, when two units make a move to each other's territories, it causes a bounce (Rhur moves to Munich while Munich moves to Rhur). However, would coasts be treated as different territories for fleets? For example, could a fleet in Spain (nc) move to MAO while another fleet in MAO moved to Spain (sc)? Same with Bulgarian coasts and Constantinople. Thanks in advance!
14 replies
Open
mapleleaf (0 D X)
25 May 14 UTC
(+1)
Elliot Rodger shoots a whole bunch of students.
Thank God they were all americans. 6 of them died. Hee hee. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
211 replies
Open
obiwanobiwan (248 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
The Favorite Author Tournament: THE FINAL FOUR!
OK, sorry for the delay...and the continued delay--we'll start Midnight tonight. ORWELL! DICKENS! POE! TOLKIEN! Who will advance?

And a bonus question, just for schnicks and giggles--what's the first book you read after high school (or, if it was a while ago, the earliest book you can remember reading after high school?) Just curious to see what we get.
136 replies
Open
Kallen (1169 D)
27 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
America Hate Thread
Putin, mapleleaf, and anybody else who feels the need to express disdain about the US, please feel free to share your feels in here. Everyone else, don't click open and have one less thing to piss you off =]
19 replies
Open
NigeeBaby (100 D (G))
27 Jun 14 UTC
You can put lip-stick on Ann Poulter but ........
http://www.salon.com/2014/06/26/ann_coulter_no_american_whose_great_grandfather_was_born_here_is_watching_soccer/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow
29 replies
Open
Dunecat (5899 D)
27 Jun 14 UTC
Starting a new game, my friends. It's been a minute.
New game, open to all. Classic map, 500 D buy-in, winner takes all.

http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=143927
0 replies
Open
ILN (100 D)
27 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
'Lazy Greeks' aren't so lazy after all
http://euobserver.com/social/124761#.U6wWJN4c02x.facebook

0 replies
Open
obiwanobiwan (248 D)
26 Jun 14 UTC
Worst Non-Sitcom TV Show You've Ever Watched? (4 Episodes Minimum)
Friends were raving about this Netflix show, "Orange is the New Black." Watched. ..It's awful. Wall to wall. The main lead (not the actress herself, she seems to be trying, at least) is like the adult equivalent of Bella Swann meets Every Yuppie Character Ever. Every character's a stereotype. Every guy is a perv, sex-crazed ass, douche, OR just has no life whatsoever. The writing is as bad as I've seen...and yet, this won awards? xD So, worst shows?
73 replies
Open
NigeeBaby (100 D (G))
25 Jun 14 UTC
Is it just me or .....
..... is there a lot of death and destruction going on at the minute.
91 replies
Open
ssorenn (0 D X)
26 Jun 14 UTC
JMO = King Mod
We all want to thank JMO for his service to the site.

No crying from the Mods!!!!!!!!!
23 replies
Open
glisbao (185 D)
25 Jun 14 UTC
Populism and Democracy
I've heard in here that populism is the plague that affects democracy (the topic praising appeasement). I would like people to elaborate on the subject - how does populism undermine the democratic principles, and what can we learn about this in history?
56 replies
Open
ArmaGGedon (100 D)
26 Jun 14 UTC
live game
hi, someone to anime live game :P
3 replies
Open
NigeeBaby (100 D (G))
26 Jun 14 UTC
The link between having a large penis and self-confidence
Here is something you guys should all know something about, please share your thoughts if you've got the balls to do so :-)
11 replies
Open
peterwiggin (15279 D Mod (S))
25 Jun 14 UTC
Man walks into McDonald's with knife in back
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-mcdonalds-knife-back-20140625-story.html
12 replies
Open
rayanking (0 D)
25 Jun 14 UTC
join fast victory 4 $$$
it's a great and a live game, it cost only 10 D and in classic map. So let the game start.:)
2 replies
Open
jmo1121109 (3812 D Mod)
18 Jun 14 UTC
Many open games
Today's number is 38. I suggest everyone check out some of the open games. Post here with any games you take over for the next 48 hours and you'll get reimbursed for them. PM me for anonymous games. Games with more then 1 banned cheater will probably be cancelled so don't join them.
58 replies
Open
Putin33 (111 D)
25 Jun 14 UTC
Appeasement: unfairly maligned strategy?
I've been reading quite a bit about British & French foreign policy at the turn of the century, and it seems like appeasement (reduction of tensions through concessions) has gotten an unnecessarily bad reputation.
19 replies
Open
Tolstoy (1958 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
Can atheists believe in free will?
If our consciousness is simply a product of the mushy 3-dimensional circuit board we call a brain, governed entirely by the fixed and unchanging laws of physics and chemistry, is there any kind of free will? Or are all our decisions in life predetermined, like a computer program running through its code, simply responding to various inputs?
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Crazy Anglican (715 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
Why atheists, in particular?
President Eden (2721 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+5)
I view it in the same light as your senses. You can't ultimately prove that you're physically experiencing anything you think you are -- things you see, hear, even remember are all ultimately beyond your ability to verify them, because you have to rely on them to verify them. But whether you can verify their existence or not, your senses are how you experience the world, and you have to live within it, like it or not. So it's ultimately not a helpful question to ask whether or not the totality of your experience is real or constructed. (Naturally it's helpful in smaller degrees -- "did I just hear a scream, or am I imagining something?" being a totally reasonable inquiry.)

Freewill is the same way. Whether or not it actually exists, you certainly experience it, and short of actually being compelled against your will to do something, it's not really useful to ask whether you really had control over the choice you made or didn't make. If you don't have control over your own choices, then you can't actively live -- you're a captive of your own body and are effectively watching an 80-year-long movie of someone's life from their point of view. And if you can't actively live then basically every other meaningful question about your existence is moot, because you're powerless to act on it. If you want to have any impact on your world, or improve yourself in any way, you have to accept that your experience of freewill is genuine and that you are in control of your own actions.

So yes, you can -- because in order to live, instead of merely observing, you must, and a "life" of observation isn't a life at all.
damian (675 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+3)
Agnostic here, lets just say I've done a lot of thinking about this. I'm just going to copy paste a blog post of mine on the subject here.

Throughout recorded history many philosophers, scientists, theologians and ordinary peoples from all walks of life have contemplated the free will problem. Briefly the problem they are contemplating is: how can a human, a collection of atoms, make choices? There have been various attempts to solve this problem many of which have been discussed in incredible depth by brilliant individuals. Rather than engages with these attempts, I’m going to provide a brief outline of some of the major attempts, before delving into my own attempt at answering the problem.

Those who attempt to solve the problem often do so in one of two ways. Members of the first camp, typically called determinists, solve the problem by doing away with free will. These thinkers argue either that when we are created by God (or the gods) our fate is pre-determined, or that each and everyone of our “decisions” could be predicted with 100% certainty if we understood all of the laws of physics and could measure your starting state. Determinists are typically sub-divided into two camps, the hard-determinists and the soft-determinists or compatabilists. Hard determinists are usually characterized by their argument that because human action is predestined human action is fundamentally amoral or meaningless, think Calvinism. In contrast the compatabilists are characterized by their argument that despite your actions being predetermined every act still has moral value, and your actions are meaningful.

In contrast to the various kinds of determinists, we have a second camp, which argues that humanity has free will. People within this camp are a diverse bunch, and some argue that God, or various divine forces, have bestowed humanity with a soul which is immaterial, or intangible. Because the soul is not material it is frees it from the confines of the physical world, making it independent from physical laws and thus non-predictable. Other thinkers who believe in the existence of free will suggest that it arises as an emergent property of the interactions of the various cells and systems within the human body. Thus while individual cells may not have free will, but will instead respond in a predictable fashion to external stimulus, the interactions between these cells can produce something which is not present in the individual cells.

My own argument, which will follow below, is in the final camp. Although I believe it contains a critical variation that makes it distinct from a standard emergent properties argument.

For those of you who don’t know I study neuroscience, specifically computational neuroscience, so I am going to attempt to approach the problem from this perspective. I’ve always found it depressing talking to other neuroscientists about free will, every one who I’ve asked has said something like: “I’d love to believe that I have free will, but as we come to understand the brain better, it is increasingly evident that we are controlled by the actions of simple cells, whose “emergent” properties are related entirely to physical characteristics, such as the arrangement of the neurons and the ability of the connections between neurons to change”. Naturally I’m paraphrasing, however the gist of our conversations seems to be, you cannot be a neuroscientist and believe in free will without a cognitive dissonance.

You might ask, how then is it that I’m proposing a neuroscience inspired mechanisms for free will? Fundamentally it comes down to probability. Neurons function by what scientists call stochastic processes. What this is means is that neurons do not simply turn on or off when the appropriate input is applied, but instead when the input to neuron reaches the necessary threshold various processes have an increased chance of occurring. For this reason when we write computer simulations of neurons we use probability functions to determine if the neuron will fire based on its input. This variability is essential to my argument, because it means that given the same input, the same neuron could do two different things. For simplicity, lets say the neuron could either fire, or not fire, the probability function would tell us for that input what the chance of each action occurring would be, for example 25% chance of firing and 75% chance of not firing.

When we scale this type of processing up to larger networks, some of the variability is worked out, and the more likely outcome will predominate, however less likely outcomes can still occur. In any instance were one input can produce two different outputs the causative principles which determinism depends on will break down. (There is a certain level difference between the inputs which I am describing as the same for the sake of brevity I am going to gloss over the issue here, but I think there is a solution to be found in quantum physics and I would be happy to discuss it in another post if people are interested)

Imagine this same process occurring at psychological level. A human being is presented with two options, for example, eat a piece of cake, or don’t eat the piece of cake. Lets say the decision is neutral, the human has a 50% chance of taking either decision. One might argue that since the choice is random, regardless of the probability that no moral value can be assigned to it. However if we consider what the probabilities represent in this example then we can assign a moral value to the action. Lets say the 50% chance of not eating the cake is signals from the impulse control centre of the brain telling our human not to eat the cake because it belongs to someone else. While the 50% chance of eating the cake is a signal sent from the hypothalamus indicating hunger. If the person ate the cake we can claim they had poor impulse control. But based on the model we have so far can we blame them for their action? No.

However if we now consider that the brain is capable of learning, and evaluating problems using baeysian style inferences, to modify the probabilities of each choice over time based on prior experience or other inputs. It becomes clear that the choice between the two actions is indeed a choice, a weighing of the inputs and a learning to act in a favourable…”moral” way over time, where the action chosen cannot be determined before hand based solely on the input, because the action will be chosen probabilistically.

tldr; free will is an emergent property of a large stochastic network of neurons. Our will represents perhaps not an external driving factor that allows us to 'choose', but instead our will is the culmination of our learned reactions.


damian (675 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
To clarify, although the process is stochastic, we experience it as a decision making process. But the actual decision, much like everything else is stochastic. If faced with the same situation several times, a person isn't always going to perform the same action.

(And yes, I realize my blog posts are shit, my rule is sit down, write, publish.)
NigeeBaby (100 D (G))
22 Jun 14 UTC
Free will is very subjective.
One persons idea of free will is not the same as anothers.
steephie22 (182 D (S))
22 Jun 14 UTC
Indeed, what NigeeBaby said. By my definition of what free will is, atheists believe in free will and, for example, followers of various specific branches of christianity believe it exists, but consider using it a sin in many cases.
So essentially you have the right to use your free will, but if you exercise it you are likely to go to hell.
steephie22 (182 D (S))
22 Jun 14 UTC
And if you believe everything is exactly by God's design, including this message I'm posting, there's of course no free will I'd say, except perhaps for God, but that's arguable as well.
TheMinisterOfWar (509 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
@damian: nice blog mate! You just pump that stuff out so easily? Respect.
damian (675 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
Thank you Minister, I'm glad you enjoyed it, I think you guys may actually be the first people who have ever read a blog post of mine (I write mostly for myself). I've got the advantage of having spent hours of my life thinking about most of the topics I blog about. Since I only blog when I particular event inspires me, and I feel like I've finally come to an insight on a problem that is bothering me.

@ Steephie "And if you believe everything is exactly by God's design, including this message I'm posting, there's of course no free will I'd say, except perhaps for God, but that's arguable as well."

Arguable indeed. Frankly I hate determinism with fiery passion, I think no idea is more useless. Since regardless of if our actions are preordained--and regardless of if the results are preordained, we still have to experience it and in everyday the doing is most important part of living.

And if everything is God's design, why couldn't there be multiple possible futures, based on the decisions of every man, women and child, and God's omnipotence simple allows him to see all of the outcomes.
Tyran (938 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
A man chooses, a slave obeys! -Andrew Ryan
SYnapse (0 D X)
22 Jun 14 UTC
Quantum physics theory explains the problem for me. Atoms do not have a destination that can be predicted by studying the atom; the act of living causes life to be unpredictable hence "free"
steephie22 (182 D (S))
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
"Arguable indeed. Frankly I hate determinism with fiery passion, I think no idea is more useless. Since regardless of if our actions are preordained--and regardless of if the results are preordained, we still have to experience it and in everyday the doing is most important part of living. "

Absolutely agreed. If there truly was an omnipotent god though, I see how people could feel comfortable knowing this.
Why? Read on.

"And if everything is God's design, why couldn't there be multiple possible futures, based on the decisions of every man, women and child, and God's omnipotence simple allows him to see all of the outcomes. "

If truly *EVERYTHING* is God's design, then that includes the decisions of every man, woman and child. Sure, he (I would say He but I don't want to leave the wrong impression) would be able to see what would happen depending on what every man, woman and child decides, but in the end, he decides what every man, woman and child decides, either directly or by doing nothing about something specific, but then it's still bound to happen as a consequence of previous decisions God made, and he knew that those decisions would have the consequence that every man, woman and child decides something if he would decide later to do nothing.
You could even take that further, saying God already knows what he's going to decide next if he decides something now, because he already knows what to take into account then and he already knows what he feels about it then. If you take a tiny step from there, the entire universe is essentially based on one mega-decision in which God decided what to do and what not to do, knowing that that decision would make me notice that crumble on my keyboard at 16:28:48 in the Netherlands according to the clock on my laptop, on this Sunday.
Some could consider that reassuring because you would know that we would be heading for what is by definition the best result possible from God's perspective.
I don't care much, but for me the world is much more impressive knowing it started with a small thing that didn't know anything, and that small thing indirectly caused me to look at the beautiful sky with a smile at ~16:36:08 according to the clock on my laptop.

This is also what makes me think that omnipotence is ultimately a really bad curse for someone personally, although the potential for the world is amazing. The very first fraction of a second you will have made the decision over what will happen and what will be decided, and when. You will know it for every moment left in the universe, and every moment that has already passed. The rest of your life, you will just be deciding and experiencing everything you decided in that mega-decision in that fraction of a second, and let's be honest: you would know for a fact that that mega-decision wasn't really a choice, since you were always going to choose what you consider best, knowing every single fact that is, ever was and ever will be.
steephie22 (182 D (S))
22 Jun 14 UTC
In the last paragraph, I actually meant someone who knows everything rather than controls everything. Don't have Latin :)

Being the best friend of someone who knows everything could be awesome though, unless you start pitying him, but since he/she knows everything, he/she wouldn't tell you he/she knows everything if he/she knows that you would start pitying him if he/she does...
So you'd be pretty much covered, no matter what you do, although you may not know.
damian (675 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
"If truly *EVERYTHING* is God's design, then that includes the decisions of every man, woman and child. Sure, he (I would say He but I don't want to leave the wrong impression) would be able to see what would happen depending on what every man, woman and child decides, but in the end, he decides what every man, woman and child decides, either directly or by doing nothing about something specific, but then it's still bound to happen as a consequence of previous decisions God made, and he knew that those decisions would have the consequence that every man, woman and child decides something if he would decide later to do nothing."
Honestly when I comes to an all knowing all powerful god, I think it comes down to the paradox that is so often brought up. Could god create a door he could not open?

My answer is an unequivocal yes. Free will is the embodiment of that paradox. God created man with the free agency to decide to be saved or not (if you believe in such things). That choice is only meaningful if it must be played out to be known. Imagine each man or women is like a metaphorical pair of dice. You and I know that 7 is the most common result, followed by 6 or 8. And that a 12 or 2 is very unlikely. We can know every single thing about the dice, but until they are rolled we won't know what the result will be.

damian (675 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
At this point all I'm trying to do is demonstrate that an omniscient God, doesn't mean determinism must exist.
steephie22 (182 D (S))
22 Jun 14 UTC
Omnicient God doesn't just know everything about the dice though, he knows *everything*. He knows how to roll a die to get a certain number on top, because he knows about all the forces that influence the die.

You don't even need to be omnicient to manipulate the dice, honestly. With a good understanding of physics, all information about the dice and a steady hand, you're pretty much there with some calculations. Alternatively, just try. If you hold and throw the die the exact same way in the exact same situation each time, it will land the exact same way each time. If it doesn't, you know the situation wasn't exactly the same.
obiwanobiwan (248 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
Before I read damian's tome, my own bit--

I'll first say that I don't think that the Abrahamic Religions are compatible with free will.

You can say God gives free will all you want, but frankly, I don't see the logic there--if God knows all, sees all, and has a Perfect Plan, then at best free will is either an illusion or a sort of "color in the lines" type of free will (ie, God allows for A, B, and C, but you cannot do D if D is outside the Plan/the way God has already seen/already arranged the universe to play out.)

The BEST argument I can see for God allowing for free will is absurdity itself, ie, if God doesn't have to obey the laws of logic, He can warp it so something can both be and not be at the same time, so you can have a pre-ordained universe of His design and planning while still having spontaneous free actions, even if actions in the latter point conflict with the former.

That point seems self-defeating to me, however, as if that's the case, then the absurd being the absurd, it'd seem that'd eat its own tail--you're just going to have an infinite regress of paradoxes, and if logic doesn't apply anyway, the conversation's moot, as without logical deduction, the question can't be grasped.

All of this naturally already assumes there IS a God and that it IS this specific Judeo-Christian God with THE specific version of the Plan as Denomination X interprets it to be...aaaaaaaaand as you might guess I see no reason to accept ANY of those conditions (at least on face value.)

So, I don't think religion offers a better answer or, again, free will.

So, deity-free, then--

I'd first say that before we can answer whether or not we have free will we need to determine where it comes from, and before that, what it is.

It being Sunday, let's borrow from the Bible again and use a "simple" case study--Adam, Eve, God, the Serpent, and the Apple.

Let's pretend for the moment that God's not...erm...God, but just a regular player in this, stripped of all his God-mode powers and whatnot.

What is a free choice in this story?
Neither Adam nor Eve choose to be created, but presumably, God chooses to make them.
Those are two actions--are they free actions?
Free of what?

Presumably, free to occur or not occur absent of an outside force necessitating their happening, as that sort of thing we just said is NOT free will (ie, Adam and Eve not choosing, freely, to be created, they are, in true Douglas Adams-style, created most certainly without their consent and, of course, this has since come to be widely viewed as a bad idea.) ;)

So, is anything influencing God's actions and necessitating He create either of them?

With Eve, perhaps, since Adam's lonely state gives rise to his creating Eve...whether or not that's free will we'll get back to in a second, but we can at least agree for the moment there was external influence on that decision (again, for the moment discarding God's omniscience and Godly traits and just treating him on par with an Age of Empires player, or what have you, clicking things into existence.)

With Adam?

You could argue that the world is created and its absence of human life causes God to want to put that in there, but that's presupposing a motive.

So, whether God made the Earth with the intent of putting Adam down there, or else just decided on the spot to create him in this version, either way, it doesn't seem as if God was influenced by an outside force or was necessitated to act, so the creation of Adam is an action free of external coercion or influence, and its only connection being to time itself, which is inescapable for our non-God God, sans the shackles of time, we can say that this is a free action (while remembering the time factor for later.)

Now, Eve. Does creating Eve count as a free action, even if it's in response to someone or something? Could God NOT have created Eve?

The answer would seem to be yes, nothing suggests that he HAS to create Eve...you could argue that he's compelled to make a decision to create her because of Adam's loneliness, and that that influences his decision-making process, but it only influences it insofar as time itself mandates--that is, our God would HAVE to be aware of past decisions, lest he have permanent amnesia and have every action be a free one by virtue of it being a first action free of any influence because he can't remember any external influences.

(This is another reason why the Genesis story fails, in my view, theologically--THAT God is supposed to exist outside space and time in such a way as to be omnipotent and omnipresent, so any wrath or immediate anger He feels in relation to the present moment seems misplaced and short-sighted...WE feel anger, because we're influenced and bound by the set limits and actions of the time we inhabit, but God can, supposedly, look at the big picture, so while we might react in anger at our car breaking down because we're late and car repair costs money, God would know WHY we're late and IF we're going to make it and WHAT the repair would cost and HOW to fix the car and, most importantly of all, WHAT the outcome of all that would be, and what preceded it, and so on and so forth in both directions until it becomes silly to rage at one blip on the tapestry of the larger picture of cause and effect. Really, raining down wrath on 3rd and 4th generations seems vindictive period, but for a being that's omnipotent to do so seems petty and silly. But I digress.) :)

Anyway, we have two variations of free will posited so far--

Free will sans a prior influencing cause, and free will that's in relation to but not necessitated by a prior cause.

Case 1 = Eve eating the Apple of her own free will with no influencing cause.

This does not happen in the story, so we can test Case 2--

Case 2 = Eve eating the Apple because the Serpent told her to eat the Apple and she chose to listen to the Serpent's influence.

Does Eve have free will here, again, sans all the theology?

She's making a choice, an influenced one, so as per our prior points on that, we need to ask, is this a choice that was necessitated, or could she have chosen not to make the choice, ie, answer that influence in another way?

If she could have chosen otherwise, what could she have chosen?
To not eat the Apple, to ask Adam, to ask God.
Why doesn't she choose any of those three options?

The traditional answer is that she defies God, ergo, she's defying a prior influence, ergo, she's making a free decision to disobey, ergo, free will.

I would argue that she LACKS the capacity for any of that, however, precisely because she lacks the capacity for an INFORMED decision.

Can you make a free, uninformed decision?

Free in the sense that--so far as we have our logic thus far--you can operate without a previous force acting on you, but not free insofar as you can act upon your WILL.

That is, after all, half the equation--free WILL.

You will yourself, you exercise your will...we could even go Biblical again and say "thy will be done"...

Without "will," we're merely "free," which is what I'd submit Eve is here.

She's free of sin/experience, and so while she's technically free to make a decision without prior influence, that lack of influence means she likewise has a lack of personalized will...we have a sense of "will" because of time again--over time, we establish a personality and wants and desires and, most importantly of all in this case, a decision-making process.

Eve lacks that--she may have a basic want or desire to eat the Apple (though I'd argue that she's merely parroting a desire the Serpent gives to her and that this therefore isn't a desire she's created and thus not really "her" desire, in the same way a 3-year old parroting a krellin anti-Obama rant isn't really espousing his or her own political views so much as they're just mimicking a clown) BUT she doesn't have the necessary software to go with her hardware for free will (again remembering that we're not dealing with this theologically, so neither "a soul" nor "God giving her free will" counts as that here, as we couldn't count that as an atheistic, secularized account of free will for us.)

We can assume that if God's making all of these things, He probably has the software as well as the hardware, or else his hardware just comes with that program inextricably installed, if you will.

Adam and Eve are created free.

Eve makes a free choice via acting on the Serpent's urging, but doesn't have a unique will, and therefore we can't say it's HER action, but rather an action that she simply does, if that makes sense.

What of Adam eating the Apple?

That one's trickier, but we can backtrack to an earlier point int he story for an easier case--

Eve DECIDING to trick Adam into eating the Apple.

As Eve now knows what the Apple does, she has a basis for making her decision here, she has the rudimentary foundations of a decision-making progress.

An objection here might be to state that God told her that they would perish if they ate from the Apple, but I'd argue that this IS like telling a 3-year old not to touch a stove...they may here the words, but lacking the experience, they won't comprehend the meaning, and correlate stove = hot = pain = don't touch to make the free, influenced decision not to touch the hot painful stove.

We'll get to if this is "necessary" for God in a minute.

For now, I think we can say Eve here, at least, has free will--she was already free, and now she's exercising her own, unique will by responding to a situation wit her own decision...she has other options, but she chooses that one, and while most of US have a clutter of experiences to sift through spanning decades...

Eve has a very small span of experience, and nothing in there would suggest that she's making this decision to trick Adam for reasons other than her own.

She's influenced, as she knows the power of the Apple now, and may feel threatened that Adam may get a new wife and she'll get destroyed if God finds out and Adam isn't ruined, too, but all of that plays a role in her process--

Does Eve HAVE to make this decision in a 1 + 2 = 2 way?

I'd say no. There are other options available, there are even other options available to her if we presume she'd act out of fear, so that she chooses this one among others shows a unique thought process based on wants and needs and the capacity to UNDERSTAND those wants and needs and therefore make a decision that's free and with accordance of her now-established will, ergo, it's an act of free will.

But is this action "necessary?"

The traditional response to this goes that God had to let them be tempted by the Apple in order for them to truly have free will.

But I'd ask--again, free, perhaps, but what will?

Will is absent without knowledge and understanding.

If I act without knowing or understanding what I'm doing, and I act against my will, or have no will, I'd submit that's not an action of free will but rather my being puppeted about.

Say that by hitting send here and forcing this new tome upon WebDip I will incidentally incinerate all the First Folio editions of Shakespeare--

That would most DEFINITELY be against everything we know about my individual will. If I knew I would do that, I wouldn't hit send. So, I am free to hit send, but for it to be free WILL, I need to at least understand how my action impacts my will and the wills of others--

Eve didn't know what would happen when she ate the Apple. God told her, but again, she had a mind devoid of experience and so, like a child, she didn't KNOW.

Her eating the Apple cannot be an act of defiance, as she lacks the capacity to defy, as she lacks capacity for will period, as she has no experience with which to forge a will in the first place.

Her tricking Adam to eat, on the other hand, IS free will--she knows what she's doing, to whom she's doing it to, why she's doing it, and what the immediate consequences will be for both herself and Adam, and from that knowledge, she makes a choice, one which is not the only choice and which is not mandated by an outside, causal, 1 + 1 = 2 sort of setup, or so it would seem.

But does God NEED to have Eve act freely and without will to get her to trick Adam with free will so both can have free will...and sin...and suffer?

I would say no--there's no logic in saying one must burn a hand on the stove and therefore learn not to touch a hot stove if the knowledge that stove = hot = pain can be implanted from the start.

If GOD has that implanted from the start (and we have to assume He has, otherwise HE lacks free will and the whole enterprise of creation vanishes in a poof of what the fuck) then it seems implausible to suggest that, if Adam is supposed to be "made in His image," that Adam wouldn't therefore be compatible with that same kind of, erm, software that God has in his hardware that allows for free will upon boot-up, no add-ons or trial periods or banishings from Gardens required.

So even if God didn't know what would happen with Adam and Eve (as God doesn't have his Godly-omnisience here) a being which possesses X as part of its makeup should seem able to pass on X to a creation of its own wherein X is a non-random component AND the being has full control over whether X gets passed on or not.

To be clear, this isn't Lamarkian "Crab has big claw, ergo, offspring inherit big claw."

Rather, this is:

1. My laptop has a hard drive
2. That hard drive contains programs
3. We'll say when I buy it it comes pre-loaded with certain programs
4. For the sake of argument, we'll say Word is one of them (even though you DO have to buy this for yourself in real life, we'll say it comes pre-loaded anyway)
5. I have another laptop...crappier than Laptop A, compatible
6. Being compatible, I CAN download Word from Laptop A to B so both have Word
7. This is a non-random component, it's not passing on genetics in biology
8. This is a specific program on a specific Laptop
9. I have full control over whether I download this onto Laptop B, ergo
10. It is fully up to me if I choose to give Laptop B word from the get-go.

Ditto God and Adam (and Eve, for that matter.)

They're compatible,
He creates them free,
He does NOT create them with will,
If he DOES create them with will, they're not innocent and pure, as
Will requires knowledge and understanding to truly exist and
That is PRECISELY what Adam and Eve are supposed to have LACKED so
They do NOT have will at the outset even though
God COULD have given it to them and
WITHOUT will, free will cannot exist, ergo
Eve eating the Apple is not necessary for nor an example of free will.

Ergo, omnipotent or no...God's a prick. :p

So, are you free?
Do you have a will?
The latter requires influence, so--
Can you maintain the former and the latter within the confines of influence?
If the latter requires influence, I'm going to assume so (with limits, as stated) so...

That gets us to limited free will with the "free" part still a caveat.

How free does one have to be in order to qualify as "free?"

Is it Eve before the Fall, wherein she's a blank slate and can presumably act in any way, shape or form, even if she lacks a will?
If so, then no, free will doesn't exist, as none of us are that free, as we all have knowledge, which is what Eve lost in the Fall, and we're all post-Fall/in a universe where human beings are created "fallen" (or the atheistic equivalent thereof.)

Is it the post-Fall Eve, though, who is free insofar as she is bound by influencing forces of time, situation and experience BUT free enough to choose one of many different responses to those influences and do so in accordance with her will?

If so, I think that's the best case for free will under atheism that I can put in an Obi-length tome...which you have the free will to skip, unless A. You're a spineless fuck who lacks will or B. I'm wrong and we all live in a 100% Calvinistic Deterministic nightmare, in which case...mwuhahahahahahaha, enjoy, suckers!

The Rest is Silence! :p
steephie22 (182 D (S))
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+3)
2944 words. I could look who wrote them, but then I'd have to scroll up pretty far, and it can only be one person anyway...
damian (675 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
Steephie, there is a reason I was referring to a metaphorical dice roll, rather than a literal dice roll. Metaphorically I was referring to a random number generator with a unpredictable outcome, that generates numbers in a normally distributed fashion.

Can God create a puzzle he cannot solve? Or a do he cannot open? To say he can is to limit his power, to say he can't is to limit his power. The later limits his power more than the former. Ergo, he can produce a something beyond his power to know. Which means free will is a hypothetical possibility even in the presence of an all-powerful God.
Crazy Anglican (715 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
Since it's stated as a hypothetical and not "atheists, do you believe..."

Can't atheists believe in pretty much whatever they want as long as it isn't a god.
Crazy Anglican (715 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
(+1)
Interesting ideas damian, btw.

some parts of it were very similar to something I wrote years ago in a discussion about free will and an omnipotent / omniscient God.
damian (675 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
Thanks CA, I spent a bunch of time thinking about it. I was really dissatisfied with someones answer to the question. Which was essentially, God knows exactly what you're going to do, but the fact that you do it is what condemns or saves you.

I think you're right about the question. What is probably meant by it is... is a rational to believe in free will. Personally I think that believing in free will is the only rational choice. Though many others have disagreed. There is a common theme among a lot of my peers that while it would be nice to believe in free will, their understanding of the brain doesn't allow for that kind of conception. While my solutions isn't free will in the traditional sense I think it explains why we experience the sensation of free will, and how our actions aren't necessarily determined.
I find this to be a rather interesting (if somewhat cliché) question. As such I would like to bring an interesting argument to this discussion.
First, let us define free will as the ability to freely make decisions, decisions which have a measurable affect the outside world (you could argue that this is not necessary, but it relates to my point). Now, we will move on to a hypothetical situation such as the type coffee you decided to have this morning, which for all intents and purposes will be black.
Now, I will begin by proving such a trivial thing could have a affect on the world. Simple enough, whether or not you like the type of coffee (which is not really a choice) you had could affect your mood for the day, your performance, etc. So clearly the true question here is could you have chosen to have a different type of coffee. You will probably answer, "OF COURSE!" but you can not prove that your cells were not programed to make that decision, a long with that response.
Unless you could prove that you had the capacity to make an alternate decision, you are stuck. However, I will purport that not only could you have made a different decision, but you already have. By the many worods interpretation of quantum physics (a.k.a the multiverse)if there is any action (whether a decision, chain of events or outcome of a probability function) that had more than one outcome, there is a universe with said outcome. Therefore your choice must have been a free one because under the exact same circumstances, you made an alternate decision. Of course all this relies on the many worlds interpretation being correct, so I guess for those going
TL;DR my point is this
If there is in fact a multiverse, there must be free will. Also, my mind is really strange.
dirge (768 D (B))
22 Jun 14 UTC
@vashtaneurotic
Why would a multiverse need to be tied to human phenomenology? Or vice versa?

You are stacking propositions resulting in a tenuous conclusion, at best.
@dirge: Well, the multiverse is an outgrowth of quantum physics, which is supposed to be applicable to our entire universe and everything within, phenomenolgy included. Besides, It is not like the multiverse has not been linked to other aspects of philosophy (such as the existence of fictional characters, modal realism, ect.). I will refer you to this quote from a blog post (not very scientific I know) I recently found (the whole post: http://aellaabroad.com/2013/04/11/on-inevitability-free-will-and-the-multiverse/): "This aside – assuming that humans have some sort of free will that is not simply a product of a monumental chain reaction is a hugely difficult thing, and it might provide the multiverse theory credence. If choice is not an illusion, then there might easily be many worlds in which we have chosen different things."

"You are stacking propositions resulting in a tenuous conclusion, at best."
When it comes to philosophy, aren't most conclusions tenuous?
Thucydides (864 D (B))
22 Jun 14 UTC
Good question. I don't see why not. There's no reason an atheist has to buy into every single mainstream materialist/scientist worldview. You can believe in free will and just say it isn't from God. You can believe in a soul and be atheist even, under the strict definition. But normally, such people, such as myself, would not describe themselves with such a term. I'm not a good example though. I do believe in souls and in God. All matter is animated by spirit. Spirit is the answer to the question "why does something exist rather than nothing?" - to the extent that it can be answered. And spirit, to me is, is also agency. Humans have souls because they are free agents. But the universe has spirit or a soul of its own, in entirety, and the laws of nature, whose source is shrouded in mystery, constitutes agency just as much as does the mysterious source of selfhood.
dirge (768 D (B))
22 Jun 14 UTC
"When it comes to philosophy, aren't most conclusions tenuous?"
yes, agreed.
Thucydides (864 D (B))
22 Jun 14 UTC
And lastly I believe, unlike most other theists, that the relationship between beings and All Being or The Great Being is the most important aspect. God, without us, is dead. The universe, unperceived, has no meaning. It has spirit because we see that it does. Otherwise, it's just rocks slamming on rocks on the far side of the moon - unknown and non-existent.

But just the same, beings alone are dead without nature. Solipsism is as empty as materialism. The spirit, the meaning, the animation, comes from their relationship, which is mysterious as the very existence of each is.

One manifestation of that mystery is where the universe starts and I stop. Someone is in my head, but where is my head? In olden times they had a simple view of free will - you were your own, and your body was under your control. But even they must have known better. A drunk man is not himself. Neither a sick man. But now we know that even much of our own brain is our body, is nature, is the universe, and isn't us. Not under our direct sway.

But it is a murky line. Meditation is an exploration of the mystery. You can lose the self in the universe and feel connected to the whole through meditation. Ego death. But, in seeming contradiction, meditation can also being autonomic processes of the body line heartbeat and body temperature under conscious control.

This is what makes meditation so compelling. It expounds on the mystery of Being
JECE (1322 D)
22 Jun 14 UTC
Tolstoy: (I haven't read any posts but your original one.) You can hold both beliefs simultaneously. To calculate every interaction of every proton, neutron, ion, wave, etc. would take and extraordinary processing power. I would estimate that the most efficient machine wouldn't calculate it in over the age of the current universe.
dirge (768 D (B))
22 Jun 14 UTC
As for the OP, hm, I'd say Thucy summed it okay.

Anyway, whether or not neurons firing based immutable natural laws is incompatible with free will, I don't know. It is a question for philosophers, which basically means any answer is without any real meaning.

One thing I do know--every thought and feeling a Christian experiences as free will (or Calvinist non-freewill) is a result of neurons in his/her brain firing and releasing chemicals into his/her synaptic gaps.

Just the same as for athiest and jews and hippie new agers.

What you believe is immaterial.

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126 replies
rojimy1123 (597 D)
25 Jun 14 UTC
Taking over CDs
I have recently taken over 2 positions in games where players left. I am wondering why my profile says I haven't taken over CD's at all.
8 replies
Open
obiwanobiwan (248 D)
20 Jun 14 UTC
Again--This is NOT a Christian Country...
http://news.yahoo.com/republicans-obama-must-defend-christian-values-192212780--election.html Christians live here--AND Jews, AND Muslims, AND Buddhists and Hindus and Atheists (fastest growing group!) AND dozens of others (including, hey, all those Native American tribes and religions...many of which were criminalized in part until the 1970s)...WHY? Why must Obama defend the values of a specific sect, when the Constitution clearly is anti-favoritism in terms of religion?
74 replies
Open
Birchford (167 D)
25 Jun 14 UTC
Parameter 'fromTerrID' set to invalid value '32'
Hello, has anyone encountered this error before, and if so do you have a fix for it? Thanks for your help.
13 replies
Open
dr. octagonapus (210 D)
24 Jun 14 UTC
Commenting on ongoing gunboat games
I realise of course that you are not allowed to circumvent the no talking rule, like press via email or pm or f2f talking etc. but why is discussing the board in general disallowed? I get that I should not say who I am in the game but if someone is to talk about the board unbiased and without revealing who they are would this be acceptable?
23 replies
Open
ssorenn (0 D X)
09 Jun 14 UTC
Two team members per country game?
Would anyone be interested in creating a game, that each of the 7 clasic countries were comprised of two team members consulting together. I understand that only one can actually be listed in the game itself, but maybe create a side pot for the second team members that would pay out equally at end of game
236 replies
Open
KingCyrus (511 D)
24 Jun 14 UTC
Boys State
Anyone familiar with this program?
5 replies
Open
Buzzle (1531 D)
23 Jun 14 UTC
multi-players
What if you have strong suspicions that someone is multi-playing in a game? Who do you contact to check into it?
38 replies
Open
fulhamish (4134 D)
24 Jun 14 UTC
US constitution
I readily admit to starting from a low base on this one, but.....
23 replies
Open
SYnapse (0 D X)
24 Jun 14 UTC
Jihadists in Syria
Right now David Cameron is going on about the "threat" from Jihadists leaving the UK to go fight in Iraq and Syria.
Am I missing something? Why are Jihadists fighting in Syria a threat here? To me, it seems no more different than Orwell fighting in Spain.
28 replies
Open
obiwanobiwan (248 D)
24 Jun 14 UTC
Putin on Putin: An Open Invitation to Putin33 on the Russia/Ukraine/Syria Crisis
Welcome BACK, Putin33...my oh my, how the world of international politics has exploded since you last graced us with your presence...are you ready to decry your namesake for the scourge of the world that he is? Most assuredly not, but let this be an open letter and open invitation for you to give YOUR take on the whole of the crisis--and your namesake in particular--as so many have been wondering if you'd capitulate to common sense and call him out for the thug Big Bad Vlad is.
26 replies
Open
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