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ATTN: kozlo

#1the_hedonistPosted 10/18/2012 12:13:37 PM
Just wanted to continue our discussion on free will. I'm sorry I've been so on and off in this discussion and not responding in a timely manner. Thanks for coming back to discuss :)

If you want to go back to the original topic, here it is:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/263-religion/64141243

I think the way you're looking at it redefines choice, and therefore also redefines moral integrity. It becomes less about who is as a person, and more about what they are as an object.

I am assuming you are missing a word and you meant to say something to the effect "it becomes less about who one is as a person." I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this sentence. First of all, I don't completely understand how my way of thinking about choice does this. Second, what "they are as an object" is a person, and therefore the "what" automatically becomes about "who" one is a person, so we are back to square one anyway. What am I missing here?

An NPC in a video game also has the illusion of choice. Imagining their perspective, there are many things they might do, but from our perspective they only ever act as their code dictates. We can also point to good guys and bad guys in this situation, depending on which choices the NPC makes, but I don't think that is equivalent to holding them morally responsible for their actions.

This is where the rubber hits the road perhaps. And it goes back to the topic we recently posted in. In my framework, an NPC in a video game, regardless of how close it can get to approximating human choice, is not made in the image of God and does not have a God-given purpose of reflecting him image to the extent that humanity does. An NPC is not human; it is not a person.

Within a Christian framework, the question of morality is wrapped around God and what he has required of us - namely to glorify him. This is our purpose, and to the extent that we fail, that is what is immoral. So the humanity of a person has a similar amount of weight in determing how morally responsible an individual is. Animals have choice/consciousness to a certain extent, but because they are not the crown jewel of creation, made in the image of God, they are not held morally responsible in the way humans are. I think both factors (choice and image) play a role in morality and responsibility.

And to go full circle, I do not think I am redefining choice. Going back to your original definition: "A choice is when an entity selects among more than one available option via a process internal to itself."

Here is the catch: I am merely saying that this "process internal to itself" is shaped by external processes. And the external processes are so effective as to render choice illusory from a purely external perspective. But from the internal perspective, the one that seems to me to matter most if we are talking about how moral a person is, a person still has more than one option and still selects an option and it is still an internal process. So the definition remains the same.

I do admit that I am trying to preserve a world in which predestination and free will exists, and I am trying very hard, precisely because this is what the Bible teaches. But it seems to me to be entirely consistent, and I also want to work just as hard to fully understand all the objections to that idea. I am also willing to accept that it is slightly paradoxical, as long as we are using the term in the sense that a paradox is what seems to be self-contradictory on the surface level. I am not aiming for full comprehension, as I do not believe that is possible on a human level, but I do want to strive for as much consistency as possible.
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"Knowing is the responsible human struggle to rely on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit to its reality." -Esther Meek
#2the_hedonist(Topic Creator)Posted 10/18/2012 12:21:24 PM
I should also note that I am merely advocating the position that the possibliity of the coexistence of free will (to some extent, perhaps choice is a better term) and predestination. Indeed, I do not know how an omniscient, omnipotent God is supposed to get out of predestination. And if his desire is to create a world which worships him, then value judgments must be real. And if value judgments are to be real, a corollary is morality and moral responsibility.

It seems to me to be necessarily true that God predestines, and if this predestining God is one who wants worship, than free will and predestination must coexist. So, to this effect, I am trying to defend the possibility.
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"Knowing is the responsible human struggle to rely on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit to its reality." -Esther Meek
#3ThuggernautzPosted 10/18/2012 1:01:29 PM
I know you're talking to Kozlo, but this quote interests me:


This is where the rubber hits the road perhaps. And it goes back to the topic we recently posted in. In my framework, an NPC in a video game, regardless of how close it can get to approximating human choice, is not made in the image of God and does not have a God-given purpose of reflecting him image to the extent that humanity does. An NPC is not human; it is not a person.

Within a Christian framework, the question of morality is wrapped around God and what he has required of us - namely to glorify him. This is our purpose, and to the extent that we fail, that is what is immoral. So the humanity of a person has a similar amount of weight in determing how morally responsible an individual is. Animals have choice/consciousness to a certain extent, but because they are not the crown jewel of creation, made in the image of God, they are not held morally responsible in the way humans are. I think both factors (choice and image) play a role in morality and responsibility.


Are people with brain damage that are unable to make meaningful choices still people? If they were born that way, and unable to fulfill that 'purpose' you described, would you still classify them as such? If so, then clearly there is more to your idea of what defines meaningful choices, morality and humanity. If a person is born with anterior cingulate cortex damage, unable to make choices (and clearly not in the 'image' of the rest of humanity); are they to be treated and judged as not having humanity, by the very definition you just provided?
#4kozlo100Posted 10/18/2012 1:34:32 PM
Here is the catch: I am merely saying that this "process internal to itself" is shaped by external processes. And the external processes are so effective as to render choice illusory from a purely external perspective. But from the internal perspective, the one that seems to me to matter most if we are talking about how moral a person is, a person still has more than one option and still selects an option and it is still an internal process. So the definition remains the same.

This is the crux of it for me, and sort of what I was trying to get at with both my poorly worded initial paragraph and the NPC example.

If the external processes completely dictate the course of action such as to render apparent choices illusory, that necessitates that the internal perspective is also an illusion, including the perception of self. I maintain that a being constrained in such a way is no more a person than an NPC is. They are simply a mechanism acting in accordance to those outside influences, regardless of what illusions they have regarding their own perspective.

It may be that this being was imbued with a specific image and a special importance in terms of purpose, but if that being fails to accomplish that purpose, it is not the fault of anything internal to that being. Even if that being believes itself to have chosen poorly from its illusory inner perspective, it seems odd for God to view that as a failure originating with that being, given that he holds the non-illusory outer perspective.

I think, and this is what I was getting at in that first paragraph, that in such a context 'moral' is simply reduced to meaning 'properly built to accomplish a task' and immoral likewise is reduced to 'improperly built to accomplish a task. You car is acting morally when it starts up in the morning, and immorally when it breaks down.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#5kozlo100Posted 10/18/2012 1:35:29 PM
Oh, and no worries on the timing of your posts. It's perfectly cool with me if this is an on and off discussion. :-)
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#6the_hedonist(Topic Creator)Posted 10/18/2012 2:19:37 PM
Hmm...good food for thought. It'll take me a little time to think about this.
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"Knowing is the responsible human struggle to rely on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit to its reality." -Esther Meek
#7the_hedonist(Topic Creator)Posted 10/18/2012 2:25:59 PM
Thuggernautz posted...
I know you're talking to Kozlo, but this quote interests me:


This is where the rubber hits the road perhaps. And it goes back to the topic we recently posted in. In my framework, an NPC in a video game, regardless of how close it can get to approximating human choice, is not made in the image of God and does not have a God-given purpose of reflecting him image to the extent that humanity does. An NPC is not human; it is not a person.

Within a Christian framework, the question of morality is wrapped around God and what he has required of us - namely to glorify him. This is our purpose, and to the extent that we fail, that is what is immoral. So the humanity of a person has a similar amount of weight in determing how morally responsible an individual is. Animals have choice/consciousness to a certain extent, but because they are not the crown jewel of creation, made in the image of God, they are not held morally responsible in the way humans are. I think both factors (choice and image) play a role in morality and responsibility.


Are people with brain damage that are unable to make meaningful choices still people? If they were born that way, and unable to fulfill that 'purpose' you described, would you still classify them as such? If so, then clearly there is more to your idea of what defines meaningful choices, morality and humanity. If a person is born with anterior cingulate cortex damage, unable to make choices (and clearly not in the 'image' of the rest of humanity); are they to be treated and judged as not having humanity, by the very definition you just provided?


Perhaps you should read it a litlte bit differently. I am saying that moral responsibility for action is rooted in our humanity and our free will, meaning that I am separating the two. What I am saying implied that humanity and free will are actually separated, as opposed to what you said. I did not imply that humanity is rooted in free will (or choice), but that moral responsibility is rooted in free will.

Also, in my framework, every human accomplishes the purpose of reflecting the image of God to some extent, and will do so in an infinite (neverendingly increasing) way into eternity. In addition, every human will, some way along the line, fail in some manner to correctly reflect the image of God. A person who does not correctly reflect the image of God is either sinning or suffering the result of sin (the judgment of corruption).
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"Knowing is the responsible human struggle to rely on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit to its reality." -Esther Meek
#8the_hedonist(Topic Creator)Posted 10/22/2012 6:28:30 AM
bump - should get back to this today
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"Knowing is the responsible human struggle to rely on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit to its reality." -Esther Meek
#9linkkhalid89Posted 10/22/2012 10:11:20 PM
If this board had an MVP, it would be kozlo.
#10LinkFanaticPosted 10/23/2012 12:04:55 AM
linkkhalid89 posted...
If this board had an MVP, it would be kozlo.


Yep.
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SSJ Gotenks is santa clause, because he can fly around the planet in one night. - ShaolinAced