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Hi all.  I was searching for a site that might cover this topic, but I'm probably looking in all the wrong places.  Can someone out there give me a heads up?

 

Cheers.

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In multiple cities the ambulance is going the whole day without a specific reason. It's all punishment, everyone is dying. Punishment can occur also if people fight each other, or raids or one groups kills the other.

 

Clear videos of arabs setting bombs are not there.

Edited by Abu Turab
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Sorry Abu Turab, I'm not quite understanding your response to my request. Could you please clarify your meaning for me.

Cheers,

Olaf.

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Well good people, were the events in Paris not of interest or worthy of discussion or comment; or is every one secretly enjoying the deaths and mayhem, or are you all cowed into silence?  Which is it?  Could someone please enlighten me?

 

Cheers,

 

Olaf.

Edited by Olaf

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From a cause and effect perspective, this is quite easy to explain.

But if you have free-will, then you are not influenced by external forces and are impervious to the forces of the outside world...

Whether you are enjoying the mayhem, or cowing in silence, it is a result of the circumstances of your creation.

 

Please disregard any post that group Arabs together with Muslims; these two labels are not synonymous.

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Hey Donald_M , I thought there was no free will involved . Just stardust eating and/or killing stardust eh ?  Circumstances of our creation , as you put it , whatever you may mean by that .

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That is correct, Eclipse. I mention free-will only to illustrate the other side of the argument (which I do not support).

 

We can't explain the work in progress, that is you, without understanding the (most immediate) causes (circumstances) of your creation.

The reason you are not a member of the KKK, is cause and effect. Not your entirely free (un-obstructed) decision to behave otherwise.

And, if there are enough 'obstacles' inside your head, it may not be possible for you to become a member of the KKK, ever!!

 

If you have free-will, then there need not be an external cause for any of your thoughts. There'd be no cause that would adequately explain each of your actions...

The physical properties aside, you and I are but a long list of likes & dislikes... This 'arrangement' is the filter that limits your behaviour and effectively makes you who you are.

 

It may help to think of it as follows:

Do you remember those kid's toys that had plasticine forced through their heads to create various sizes and shapes?

Well. The position of the toy's holes, represent the differences between person A and person B. The plasticine we force through it, represents our energy/food.

The outcome is you. Or me.

 

You are here at this site, because your physical self brought you here. Not because you 'made' a decision that was free of physical cause (and therefore, reason).

Edited by Donald_M

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Keep dazzling them with your B.S. Donald . I would be open to the proposition that YOU have no free will . But that's not likely , one must choose in which way to react to external forces . Or do you think you had no choice in that ? If that were the case then everyone in a group with common experiences would react in a uniform and predictable way to any particular external stimulus , unless of course it involved involuntary physical reflexes .

 

Tell me Donald , if "my physical self brought me here " , how then did my body promulgate and perform the actions to accomplish that ?  The body follows commands from the brain , and the brain which possesses consciousness wills the body to do what it wills it to do . And in the middle of that process I have the ability to change my mind .

 Consciousness although intangible, exists at least in the minds and brains of humans , and with that consciousness comes free will . And since everything that is in the Universe is part of the Universe , indeed created from elements existing in the Universe [stardust] , then consciousness and free will are just as much a part of the Universe as are stars ,planets and galaxies .

Edited by ECLIPSE

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So. Because you FEEL like you're making a choice... You say that you MUST be free?

Sounds like a common, flimsy argument for the existence of God...

 

then everyone in a group with common experiences would react in a
uniform and predictable way to any particular external stimulus

 

But they do, do they not?

The children born into the ISIS have something in common that can help us to predict many things.

Same too for those that are raised elsewhere. The more we know about them, the easier it is to see why they did what they did.

Common experiences DO NOT create identical people and yet still they can have a predictable quality.

 

Consciousness although intangible, exists at least in the minds and
brains of humans , and with that consciousness comes free will

 

How do you know consciousness comes complete with free-will?

I do not have a single piece of evidence to support this notion of free-will

& could not entertain the idea any more than I could the god of the Bible, or the spaghetti monster.

 

Please offer an example of a decision that does not have a cause.

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I said consciousness in humans comes with free will .

 

As for other species on the planet ? They may have consciousness , but it would be hard to  distinguish instinct from free will . All creatures with a brain , are the product of evolutionary experience in that species .That's how birds instinctively know how to build a nest etc. But no one knows if they have free will . They are nurtured and when able fly off on their own . Other species are taught by their parenthow to hunt ,like Leopards etc . Still no indication of free will .  Their actions and reactions are instinctual .In the animal kingdom there is no clear evidence of free will .

   But I qualified my statement did I not ?    I stated Humans have free will , and for proof , just look at yourself . YOU CHOSE to argue this point with me . You could have simply ignored my statements and I yours . You exercised free will .Just as you do in every stroke of your keyboard and every word you choose . You say you have no evidence of free will ?  It is all around you , literally .

 You seem to be obsessed with connecting free will and religious beliefs , and that is because you feel yourself as a 
"non-religion "  , after all you state it in your profile  . Why should free will have anything whatsoever to do with religious beliefs , when free will is a biological fact in human beings, therefore a result of the Universe . After all stardust comprises many things from rocks , trees, fish ,mountains and humans .If we are the result of stardust , then so is consciousness and free will , for there is nothing in the Universe that is not OF the Universe .

 

Would you also deny consciousness ? Both are intangibles in that there is no physical proof they exist . There is no biological matter that one can point to and say, this is responsible for consciousness . In the animal kingdom we can not discount consciousness until such a time ,when and where we can communicate with them . We can teach them to respond and react like Pavlov's dogs , and we can measure varying degrees of intelligence ,  like with Dolphins , but we can not ascertain what we consider consciousness and/or free will is present .

 

 I'll give you a simple everyday example - I walk out my door , and I choose to walk north or south , fast or slow, a long walk or a short one .I can choose to go to the park and look at trees and wild life , or go to the sea coast and watch the waves .There is no "cause and effect " this is by choice , and that choice by free will . If it was raining heavily and I then chose to stay home and watch TV , reda a book , or argue with you on the computer , there would be a bit of cause and effect -The Rain , but still I had choices ,and exercise my free will .

 Sometimes Donald , people obsess on the obscure and are totally oblivious to the obvious  . Or - sometimes those heavily involved in science are not want to admit to the existence of free will , because THEN , there exists personal responsibility , and of course the next step in the mind of scientists is , responsibility to WHO .Thus they find themselves edging towards forbidden territory -the mythical /philosophical .  But that is an unfounded fear borne out of predisposed bias .  There need not be a connection to free will and a deity or deities .  In addition , because consciousness can not be explained , no molecule or atom  can be pinpointed as a source even though we know what neurons and synapses are , it is nonetheless a natural part of the natural Universe . Free will simply compounds their paradox .

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I stated Humans have free will, and for proof, just look at yourself.
YOU CHOSE to argue this point with me. You could have simply ignored
my statements and I yours. You exercised free will. Just as you do in
every stroke of your keyboard and every word you choose. You say you
have no evidence of free will? It is all around you, literally.

 

Again. This argument is like the one used by some for the existence of God. (The evidence is all around us, literally!)

 

As I have said many a time, 'free' is equal in meaning to 'without constraint'.

If we use this universal definition of 'free' to 'unpack' your words,

we are left with something that is far from free and all but unworkable...

 

I am limited by my:

Keyboard, the language I use, the words I know, how many fingers I have, fatigue, obstacles, other ideas... etc.

I can't stand up and do whatever I want. I am restricted by the contents of my ability.

 

So. If I were to ignore a post you made, that decision to ignore you, would also have a cause;

Distraction, rather do something better, suffered a heart attack, persuaded to go to the shop, answered the call of a hungry cat... etc

 

You seem to be obsessed with connecting free will and religious beliefs,

and that is because you feel yourself as a "non-religion", after all you state it in your profile

 

Not at all. Religion just wouldn't work without free-will. We can't condemn people to an eternal hell-fire if they are not responsible for their actions.

For free-will to exist, there must be some 'type' of dualism. If you are a physical being obeying the laws of physics, what part of you, is capable of change without physical cause?

 

How can a decision that does not have a cause, be attributed to anyone?

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Hey Donald , who said anything about religion and people burning in hell ? As I said you seem obsessed on the mystical . Of course free will is necessary for religion , but by you stating that  " religion just wouldn't work without free will " you have in effect affirmed it's existence .

 

LOL...did you mean to do that or is it a Freudian slip ?

 

Physical limitations are no indicator that free will does not exist , that's just like saying -I want to fly ,but because I can't physically fly ,I therefore have no free will . That is a ridiculous conclusion .

 

Curious how you again fall back to the metaphysical by using the term "dualism " . Why must free will be a form  or an indication  of dualism ??  To be aware of one's existence and propagate through that existence making decisions literally every waking minute , and those themselves not based in instinct but by personal choice  is indeed free will and destroys any argument that free will does not exist .

 When I said it is literally all around you , that simply means that there are in fact some 7 billion other human beings around you , exercising their free will as human beings , all products of the evolutionary process all composed of atoms which were created in supernovae [ stardust ] So it is quite natural , for the evolutionary process to produce free will once consciousness exists in certain branches of life [ humans ] .

   You in fact CHOSE to read my reply ,and CHOSE to respond to it . If for some reason your reply was so long that you eventually tired and could no longer type , that is not an indication of no free will , it is the result of the limitations of bodily functions . THAT is cause and effect , you stayed up too long , now you are tired , and must rest . The fact that most all humans need about the same time of sleep , that is no indicator of a lack of free will . You still had choices to finish your statement , you could have called a friend to continue your typing , or you could have purchased a dictation program and simply spoke your reply . You've always had choices , from the moment you awoke , choices that have nothing to do with any evolutionary primitive/survival instinct.

 

Why you choose to include notions like religion and condemnation to hell ? In this discussion is not only illogical but borders on irrational .

 Simply because Science can not explain consciousness or free will , they are simply discounted as non-existent , in view of a mountain of evidence that they do . That is called denial and depending on the depth of that denial , it becomes predisposed bias .

 

However , Donald , you are free to believe that all you do, does not involve free will , and that you are merely like an ant in a colony with no choice but to do what your physical body was designed to do - that is your opinion , but you can only mount a weak argument in favor of that . Any number of motives can be at work , should you reply to this, and these motives put to work by CHOICE /FREE WILL .

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who said anything about religion and people burning in hell?

This is a religious site. And nobody's talking to just you - alone.

 

Of course free will is necessary for religion , but by you stating that 
" religion just wouldn't work without free will " you have in effect
affirmed it's existence .

Greater specificity please.

 

Physical limitations are no indicator that free will does not exist ,
that's just like saying -I want to fly ,but because I can't physically
fly ,I therefore have no free will . That is a ridiculous conclusion .

You're right. It is a ridiculous conclusion. Your example is of false equivalence.

 

EVERYTHING you've typed in your responses can be said in these few words:

We have free-will because we make choices.

 

This is obviously not an argument you have spent much time thinking about.

But I would encourage you to continue, despite your preliminary 'findings'.

 

What sort of decisions/choices are completely without cause?

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Hey Donald , what difference does it make who's listening ? What has free will to do with religion , you obviously are trying to make a case that religious people are acting out of something other than free will. You are naming cause and effect as a precursor for any actions taken.

   You know as well as I , that this thread was opened by Olaf to evoke a response to the Paris massacre. Well do you see anyone else responding ?  Aside from a non-sequitur by Abu Turab , You CHOSE to respond and change the direction of discussion to what you feel was a result of a lack of free will , action influenced soley by outside pressure and circumstances -I totally disagree .  

 

Whenever humans take  actions such as those we have witnessed in Paris , it is always a result of free will.  YOU obviously have spent too much time stuck in a scientific mold , one in which because there is no scientific explanation for consciousness and the resultant FREE WILL that comes with consciousness , in human beings. Both are a natural phenomena of the Universe , created by the Universe with material and mechanisms of the Universe .

 

You don't even realize that by YOUR first reply on this thread , you have diverted the direction of discussion from the religious and offered a cause and effect , scientific , yet False explanation. That is crystal clear by every word you typed.

 

 You don't need any "greater specificity " in my analogies or examples. You simply believe that humans do not have free will , whilst there is proof in about 7 billion examples on this planet that there is indeed free will and it is exercised virtually every day by each of those 7 billion people who possess it.

 

 It seems to me Donald , that you  in fact have not spent enough time thinking about this . And in your arguments there is a clear lack of objectivity  and logic. Choices are in fact a result of free will , and simply because there is not an infinite number of choices, you conclude that any choice made can not be by free will, due to the fact that in any given situation there is a finite number of choices. So you are basing your entire argument on the fact that any man given any situation, has a finite number of options , thus there can be no free will , and that is simply false.

 

There is a reason that Olaf has chosen to bow out of the discussion he opened .And that is he didn't get the response he wished to evoke . There is a reason why no one else has joined the discussion , given the title of the thread , yes , even though we are on a religious website .  I'm sure you are able to connect the dots Donald.

 

Donald you exclude what science has no explanation for , yet it exists and you refuse to acknowledge that it exists , by calling it something else. That is what is known as pre-disposed bias.  A Galileo Syndrome in reverse.

 

 Returning to the topic /title of the thread , it is absurd to state that the Paris attack did not involve free will.

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Look at all those words above. This is your 4th or 5th post on the topic and all you've said is effectively this:

 

7 billion people make choices, so 7 billion people must have free-will.

What sort of argument is this? What sort of neuronal firing is responsible for un-caused thought?

 

You don't even realize that by YOUR first reply on this thread , you
have diverted the direction of discussion from the religious and offered
a cause and effect , scientific , yet False explanation. That is
crystal clear by every word you typed.

True and false are objective. Can you point to the evidence?

 

Choices are in fact a result of free will

Another objective claim?

 

it is absurd to state that the Paris attack did not involve free will.

What about this claim... Anything to support it?

 

There is a reason that Olaf has chosen to bow out of the discussion he
opened .And that is he didn't get the response he wished to evoke .
There is a reason why no one else has joined the discussion , given the
title of the thread , yes , even though we are on a religious website . 
I'm sure you are able to connect the dots Donald.

Like I said... There's a cause for everything.

 

Donald you exclude what science has no explanation for , yet it exists
and you refuse to acknowledge that it exists , by calling it something else.

You say this with a confidence that I, for one, cannot match. Not even in my denial of free-will.

 

If decisions are truly free, then we can do nothing to encourage or promote them in others.

If criminals are truly free, how do we expect punishment to prevent further crime?

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Donald , asking what can be done to prevent further crime by criminals , has nothing to do with existence of free will . Free will is the factor involved in criminal behavior .

 

Your sentiment on encouraging free will is a non-sequitur - you can not encourage what already exists . So "how do you encourage or promote it in others " is a meaningless question .

Punishment is used as a deterrent , rehabilitation is not 100 % successful as everyone knows, a large percentage of criminals are repeat offenders , and usually the level of their crimes progresses , and that is a result of the individuals choice and/or the prison environment .Either way those who choose to commit crimes do so with the idea they can do it and not get caught .They have a choice , and they gamble . Punishment is not used to promote free will , it is used to change behavior .Sometimes it works , sometimes not .

 I don't know about you , but as I grew up , there were several crossroads at which I made choices , many of which saved my life , and several which kept me from going to jail . All kids make those choices when they decide on their friends and associates ,they decide whether or not to participate in activities that will be detrimental to their lives ,as they have the free will to disassociate themselves with those who are headed for trouble .  But what of those who do not ? Are they devoid of free will ? Of course not . In all my experiences with such friends , a choice was made by them, to choose actions with known consequences , yet they felt the odds in their favor of not getting caught . And maybe they were , but they failed to consider the law of averages. As a result some went to jail , others did not survive their youth. Free will in all it's glory , as it were . Humans are unpredictable due to free will , which is both good and bad .

 

 

 

 

You are fee to go through your life claiming you have no free will . That is your personal choice and psychological condition . What brought that about can be anyone's guess .  

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Your sentiment on encouraging free will is a non-sequitur - you can not
encourage what already exists . So "how do you encourage or promote it
in others " is a meaningless question .

Free-will must be pre-supposed for this argument to work... Nice try though.

 

Punishment is used as a deterrent , rehabilitation is not 100 %
successful as everyone knows, a large percentage of criminals are repeat
offenders , and usually the level of their crimes progresses , and that
is a result of the individuals choice and/or the prison environment .

The 'choices' available to the criminal are a result of his circumstances though, as we've already established.

 

Either way those who choose to commit crimes do so with the idea they
can do it and not get caught .They have a choice , and they gamble .
Punishment is not used to promote free will , it is used to change
behavior. Sometimes it works , sometimes not .

How is it possible to 'cause' behaviour in someone else if the will is free from influence?

 

I don't know about you , but as I grew up , there were several
crossroads at which I made choices , many of which saved my life , and
several which kept me from going to jail . All kids make those choices
when they decide on their friends and associates ,they decide whether or
not to participate in activities that will be detrimental to their
lives ,as they have the free will to disassociate themselves with those
who are headed for trouble .  But what of those who do not ? Are they
devoid of free will ? Of course not . In all my experiences with such
friends , a choice was made by them, to choose actions with known
consequences , yet they felt the odds in their favor of not getting
caught . And maybe they were , but they failed to consider the law of
averages. As a result some went to jail , others did not survive their
youth. Free will in all it's glory , as it were . Humans are
unpredictable due to free will , which is both good and bad .

This is another form of, 'we make choices therefore we have free-will'.

 

You and I feel as though we make choices. People are not 100% predictable.

And some of your friends never made it out of criminal rehabilitation...

Is this your evidence for free will?

 

You are fee to go through your life claiming you have no free will .
That is your personal choice and psychological condition . What brought
that about can be anyone's guess .

Thanks. But I could not have become the things that I am, without the causes to explain why. Just like you.

 

If it was possible for you to act differently at any given moment, then you would have done. But you did not.

One urge/desire grew stronger than another & this was the 'cause' of any action/decision you took.

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Donald , you have my sympathy . I can not imagine going through life under the impression , that you are not free to exercise your own will , outside of external circumstances and pressures .

 I don't know about you , but I couldn't have become what I am, without making the decisions I've made , which were comprised of choices . Simply because there was a finite quantity of choices , is no indication that free will does not exist . To me it is self-evident that it does .

 As for the example of those friends of mine who never rehabilitated themselves , and those who made choices that eventually lead to their untimely demise ? All of that was a result of free will . For others in those very same circumstances ,did in fact CHOOSE by free will, against prior tendencies , in spite of social circumstances  , upbringing , etc ., nonetheless  did in fact manage to turn their lives around . 

 We all have freev will Donald , and I'm glad that you too possess it , even though you don't believe you have it . :yes: 

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Donald , you have my sympathy . I can not imagine going through life
under the impression , that you are not free to exercise your own will ,
outside of external circumstances and pressures.

This is a common feeling, more so attributed to fatalism than the workings of determinism.

 

I don't know about you , but I couldn't have become what I am, without
making the decisions I've made , which were comprised of choices .
Simply because there was a finite quantity of choices , is no indication
that free will does not exist . To me it is self-evident that it does.

Paraphrased: We have choices and therefore we have free-will.

 

As for the example of those friends of mine who never rehabilitated
themselves , and those who made choices that eventually lead to their
untimely demise ? All of that was a result of free will.

Paraphrased: My friends make choices and therefore they have free-will.

 

For others in those very same circumstances ,did in fact CHOOSE

by free will, against prior tendencies , in spite of social circumstances,

upbringing , etc. nonetheless did in fact manage to turn their lives around .

Nobody's circumstances are the same. And those that 'turned their lives around'

had the necessary components in place to counteract the external encouragement.

 

We all have freev will Donald, and I'm glad that you too possess it, even though you don't believe you have it.

Thanks. If you find anything to suggest that we have free-will, I'd be more than happy to hear it.

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You're funny Donald . Have a good life , ruled by your instincts and external forces . I guess thinking out of the box is a non-sequitur for you . Oh well .

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Well, thanks guys.  I'm not sure if or how your rather private debate addressed my initial post.  I note nonetheless that no comments have been posted by our Muslim brothers.  Does this reflect something in the nature of Islam? 

Edited by Olaf

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I guess the crickets won again Olaf .  However I do not think any sane person would have spoke up in  any kind of favor, support, or approval of the savages that perpetrated the Paris attacks .  Hopefully all have condemned this incident , if not publicly but atleast in their hearts .

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BTW Olaf , the conversation did get sidetracked , but it was in fact relevant to a degree, in that Donald_M put forth the proposition that  , by his implication, this act was not a matter of free will , but the consequence of outside pressures and influences . I obviously disagreed ,then the conversation became sort of cerebral in that the  very existence of free will came into question .

 

Basically what Donald_M was trying to sell ,was that incidents such as that which occurred in Paris, did not involve free will .

 

Note his first post after yours .

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Yes, thank for your comments.  The controversy surrounding 'free will' is always as interesting as it is vexing.  You would no doubt be familiar with Sam Harris' essay on the subject.  But leaving that matter to simmer in its own juices, it intrigues me just the same that despite nearly 500 views, there have not been any responses to my original appeal. 

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Maybe the rules of the website make it very difficult to respond to such a thread, for various reasons.

Perhaps it is simply an emotionally uncomfortable topic to discuss, even for those who might consider the killings to be justified.

 

But it is nonetheless vital to note the influences that have played a part in each and every one of our lives.

We grow and develop as a result of the data we receive from our senses, thanks to the external world.

 

The influence of these components, does not magically leave us at the age of 20 for example.

We will forever consider these influences and all future influences when a 'choice' is made.

 

We can convince people of anything. And so long as the idea enjoys relatively little conflict, it will remain.

 

People become/remain Muslim, because the number of additional ideas they have supporting the idea, is greater than the number opposing it.

People become/remain non-believers, because the number of additional ideas they have supporting the idea, is greater than the number opposing it.

 

All ideas are discarded for a replacement when the value of another idea becomes greater - We have no choice in the matter.

Having people acknowledge that they are constrained by their experience in this way, will go a long way in helping to fix many a societal problem.

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