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Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
#26

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
And the book is like a program. It has conditional statements. But even those can be erased and a lot of it is obviously going to be established.
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#27

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
And free-will and the if statements in that book, they both have a role for the future. This is what Ahlulbayt (a) meant, by middle ground between two extremes. It's not that God is passive and all free-will nor is that God is going to decide everything without free-will factoring at all.
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#28

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
Even if Allah changes his plans from time to time, Allah still is the final planner.
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#29

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 03:41 PM)Link Wrote:
(03-24-2020, 03:08 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Seems as if that should not be an insurmountable problem for a "god."  Of course, you invent him and define him so in that sense YOU are the creator.  Much as Jim Henson created the Muppets.

Bro, for once there is a civilized discussion. Bring your red herrings now, and I'm not addressing them anymore.


You may think it is civilized.  I think you are babbling about bullshit.  As always.

Produce real evidence that 'allah' exists or go blow your koran out your ass.
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#30

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
@Cheerful Charlie

I think your inquiry is analogous to the philosophical problem of determinism versus free will. If we can show the two are compatible, it would also address the well-known problem of the absolute power of God and the will of man. 

I think this problem can be resolved by understanding that realities and their causal relations exist on different levels, such that higher levels are not reducible to lower levels. e.g. biological realities cannot be reduced to physical realities.

You are the cause of your actions and responsible for them, at the same time, your "will" is nothing but a high-level phenomenon, emerged from the activity of billions of interconnected neurons, and this high-level reality is irreducible to the lower-level reality of neurons and their activities. By irreducible, I mean "will" is a completely new reality that is not present at the level of neurons. 

So it is not justified to shift the responsibility and say: "The neurons did it, it wasn't me!" there is no such direct causal relation.

Because, the realities of (i) 'actions' and (ii) 'I' are at the same level, namely, the level of consciousness, so there can be a valid causal relationship between the two. But 'neurons' belong to a lower level of biochemistry and there cannot be a direct causal relation between 'actions' and 'neurons'.

As an analogy, there is no direct causal relationship between the thermostat turning on and the movement of air molecules, the thermostat turns on because of the temperature rises, and the temperature is nothing but a high-level reality emerged from the movement of air molecules. 

The reverse is also true, a higher-level cause cannot be directly related to a lower-level reality. You are not the direct cause of any of your neurons firing. 

Similarly, within a religious context, if we consider man and God being on different levels of reality, the incompatibility does not arise. At the same time, man is the only direct cause of his conscious actions, and God is the ultimate cause, and shifting the responsibility is not justified, in the same sense that it cannot be shifted to neurons.
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#31

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 06:26 PM)Hussein Wrote: @Cheerful Charlie

I think your inquiry is analogous to the philosophical problem of determinism versus free will. If we can show the two are compatible, it would also address the well-known problem of the absolute power of God and the will of man. 

While I am sympathetic to emergentism and its top-down causation as an addition to bottom-up causation, I don't see how that is analogous.  God's power is said to be absolute.  The only way absolute power is compatible with free will is with pantheistic God-concept.  All of human consciousness and power would then be subsets of God's.
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#32

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 06:41 PM)Alan V Wrote: While I am sympathetic to emergentism and its top-down causation as an addition to bottom-up causation, I don't see how that is analogous.  

Given the assumption of emergentism, as we move upwards from lower-level realities to higher-level ones, from elementary particles towards human consciousness, there should be a maximal point. Perhaps this maximal point can be perceived as a God concept?
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#33

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 06:59 PM)Hussein Wrote:
(03-24-2020, 06:41 PM)Alan V Wrote: While I am sympathetic to emergentism and its top-down causation as an addition to bottom-up causation, I don't see how that is analogous.  

Given the assumption of emergentism, as we move upwards from lower-level realities to higher-level ones, from elementary particles towards human consciousness, there should be a maximal point. Perhaps this maximal point can be perceived as a God concept?

It is certainly interesting to speculate, and I spent quite a bit of time in my life doing just that.  Unfortunately for my speculations, once the attributes of consciousness and willfulness dropped out of my God-concept, I was left with a concept of truth instead.

So the real question, which atheists ask again and again, is what warrants a God-concept at all?  What aspect of the real world, what evidence, could possibly require one?  Why assume any overarching truth must have all the attributes assumed of God?  Why must it be conscious and willful for instance?
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#34

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 07:36 PM)Alan V Wrote: So the real question, which atheists ask again and again, is what warrants a God-concept at all?  What aspect of the real world, what evidence, could possibly require one?  Why assume any overarching truth must have all the attributes assumed of God?  Why must it be conscious and willful for instance?

I also don't see any reason to believe truth must share certain attributes with humans such as human willfulness and consciousness, it can be a habit of personification. 

But if we take willfulness as causation and consciousness as integrated information, I think it's reasonable to assume an overarching truth is both the ultimate cause (in a top-down manner) and the maximal integrated information.
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#35

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
Islamic theologians have been arguing all of this for centuries. My list of verses, free will and anti-free will contradict each other, so it is a problem of reconciling that which is really, not reconcilable. Once one has read the relevant verses, it is obvious that there is going to be a fruitless pursuit of theological arguments on the whole issue. At bottom, Islam and Christianity have the same problem. Why does God choose some to be the elect while choosing some to not be elect? Why does Allah choose who Allah will lead and who Allah will lead astray?

When a supposed revelation from God contains these problems, that calls the concept of an all powerful God who is fair, just, merciful and compassionate into question. Islam and Christianity both claim God predestines all. And finally, we have the question, does God forsee the future, or create all and thus the future?
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#36

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 07:36 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(03-24-2020, 06:59 PM)Hussein Wrote:
(03-24-2020, 06:41 PM)Alan V Wrote: While I am sympathetic to emergentism and its top-down causation as an addition to bottom-up causation, I don't see how that is analogous.  

Given the assumption of emergentism, as we move upwards from lower-level realities to higher-level ones, from elementary particles towards human consciousness, there should be a maximal point. Perhaps this maximal point can be perceived as a God concept?

It is certainly interesting to speculate, and I spent quite a bit of time in my life doing just that.  Unfortunately for my speculations, once the attributes of consciousness and willfulness dropped out of my God-concept, I was left with a concept of truth instead.

So the real question, which atheists ask again and again, is what warrants a God-concept at all?  What aspect of the real world, what evidence, could possibly require one?  Why assume any overarching truth must have all the attributes assumed of God?  Why must it be conscious and willful for instance?

As I pointed out in another thread, Xenophanes was first known thinker to create the concept of a maximal, theoretical perfect God.  This is what theologians have been trying to graft onto the God of Islam, and Christianity.  Once one has had that concept, it is hard to downgrade the God concept to a much lesser God to avoid these sort of theoretical problems, free will vs omniscience, God's goodness and omnipotence and the existence of moral evil.  We have the concept I have laid out of the creation of man and design of mankind's moral nature, bad, indifferent or good.  The perfect maximalist God concept soon collapses under it's own internal contradictions.  Paul, the writer of Job and Mohammed didn't have a solution in the end to any of these issues.

This is as clear as I can lay it all out.
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#37

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 08:10 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Islamic theologians have been arguing all of this for centuries.  My list of verses, free will and anti-free will contradict each other, so it is a problem of reconciling that which is really, not reconcilable.  Once one has read the relevant verses, it is obvious that there is going to be a fruitless pursuit of theological arguments on the whole issue.  At bottom, Islam and Christianity have the same problem. Why does God choose some to be the elect while choosing some to not be elect?  Why does Allah choose who Allah will lead and who Allah will lead astray?

When a supposed revelation from God contains these problems, that calls the concept of an all powerful God who is fair, just, merciful and compassionate into question.  Islam and Christianity both claim God predestines all.  And finally, we have the question, does God forsee the future, or create all and thus the future?

If everything is determined by a God (or whatever), does it mean humans have no free will?

Quote:Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are mutually compatible and that it is possible to believe in both without being logically inconsistent.
From Wikipedia.

Am I missing your point?
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#38

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
Compatibilism is a false solution. That does not deal with the underlying problems. Again, the problem of man's moral nature..
If God creates man, God must design that creation, including our moral nature. God has three choises.

A. Bad moral nature
B. Indifferent moral nature
C. Good moral nature

Our free will can only be what our innate moral nature, designed by God allows. The large amounts of moral evil do not support a good, all powerful God who chose C.

If God is essentially omniscient, knowing the future, which is dogma in both Islam and Christianity, and creates all, then God must choose an initial state of creation, from which, because God is essentially omniscient, must unfold based solely on God's choice of that initial state of creation. Free will is impossible. And so is compatibilism.

If one wishes to avoid that conclusion, and abandons God's ability to see the future, then that eliminates the idea that God is outside of time and sees all things as One Big Now. Now we must discuss where time comes from, so powerful, God must obey time's power. Since we know time is related to our speed, mass and dimensions as per relativity, that means God's powers are undermined whole sale and naturalism is established as being outside and beyond god, not God's creation, and limiting any possible God.

And how far does that naturalism extend? To the existence of perhaps all physics, the existence of dimension, matter, energy, and laws of nature? The whole God proposition starts unravelling when one starts examining the theological claims about the maximal, perfect being of theology.

Can anyone create a lesser God that avoids these issues and seem still worth worshipping? Of demonstrating the truth of the existence of such a God beyond mere theorizing? When we start examining the issues created by theological claims, these issues seem to me to be rather sobering.
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#39

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 08:07 PM)Hussein Wrote:
(03-24-2020, 07:36 PM)Alan V Wrote: So the real question, which atheists ask again and again, is what warrants a God-concept at all?  What aspect of the real world, what evidence, could possibly require one?  Why assume any overarching truth must have all the attributes assumed of God?  Why must it be conscious and willful for instance?

I also don't see any reason to believe truth must share certain attributes with humans such as human willfulness and consciousness, it can be a habit of personification. 

But if we take willfulness as causation and consciousness as integrated information, I think it's reasonable to assume an overarching truth is both the ultimate cause (in a top-down manner) and the maximal integrated information.

IIT is all about defining the characteristics a system must have to be conscious.  Can a God be a system?

As for personifying God, as far as I am aware, all common God-concepts include the attributes of consciousness and willfulness.  Yet such attributes do not seem necessary for an over-arching truth.  If you talk about a God without such attributes, you may as well not use the word "God" at all, since you wouldn't be talking about what most other people define as God.
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#40

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
Impassibility of God. The theological theory that God does not have emotions like us. That all such verses in the Bible that indicate God does are mere anthropomorphisms. Of course some try to save some concepts, like God's goodness, mercy and compassion that imply consciousness, will and emotion. The whole subject is a swamp of theological navel gazing and theorizing. Otherwise, God would seem to be more like a non-conscious computer with a very complex programming. And then, who programmed it?

Isaiah 55:8-9
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
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#41

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 10:20 PM)Alan V Wrote: IIT is all about defining the characteristics a system must have to be conscious.  Can a God be a system?

The system must be unified and irreducible to its parts. In that case, why not?

Quote:As for personifying God, as far as I am aware, all common God-concepts include the attributes of consciousness and willfulness.  Yet such attributes do not seem necessary for an over-arching truth.  If you talk about a God without such attributes, you may as well not use the word "God" at all, since you wouldn't be talking about what most other people define as God.

I'd agree, I find the word God to be ambiguous and mostly associated with mythology. I also prefer to refer to the notion of the highest reality as 'the truth', I don't find a more accurate word in English.
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#42

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
Arche

From wikipedia
In the ancient Greek philosophy, arche is the element and the first principle of existing things. This is considered as a permanent substance or nature (physis) either one or more which is conserved in the generation of rest of it. From this all things first come to be and into this they are resolved in a final state. This source of entity is always preserved. (Aristotle-Metaph.A, 983, b6ff). Anaximander was the first philosopher that used arche for that which writers from Aristotle onwards called "the substratum" (Simplicius Phys. 150, 22).[11] The Greek philosophers ascribed to arche divine attributes. It is the divine horizon of substance that encompasses and values all things.

----

Now the argument is, what is the nature of arche? Is it the simple God of theology? Phyics, atoms and the void? Apeiron?

Wikipedia
The apeiron is central to the cosmological theory created by Anaximander, a 6th-century BC pre-Socratic Greek philosopher whose work is mostly lost. From the few existing fragments, we learn that he believed the beginning or ultimate reality (arche) is eternal and infinite, or boundless (apeiron), subject to neither old age nor decay, which perpetually yields fresh materials from which everything we can perceive is derived.

One thing or many? (Parmenides)
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#43

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 08:56 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Compatibilism is a false solution.  That does not deal with the underlying problems.  Again, the problem of man's moral nature...
If God creates man, God must design that creation, including our moral nature.  God has three choices.

A.  Bad moral nature
B.  Indifferent moral nature
C.  Good moral nature

Our free will can only be what our innate moral nature, designed by God allows.  The large amounts of moral evil do not support a good, all-powerful God who chose C.

If God is essentially omniscient, knowing the future, which is dogma in both Islam and Christianity, and creates all, then God must choose an initial state of creation, from which, because God is essentially omniscient, must unfold based solely on God's choice of that initial state of creation.  Free will is impossible.  And so is compatibilism.

This is what I understand:

Compatibilism is the wrong solution because:
1. Everything is supposedly determined by 'good' standards, observation of evil defies it.
2. The creation unfolds according to God's choices, so humans cannot have any choices.

Compatibilism does not address the first problem.

But it can solve the second problem, it can be understood within a wider framework:

2'. The universe unfolds according to natural laws, so humans cannot have any choices.

Compatibilism addresses this problem and demonstrates free will is possible. Now if you replace 'natural laws' with 'God's will', it doesn't make any difference, as compatibilism shows determinism is compatible with free will in general. It doesn't assume this determinism is as a result of natural laws, God's will or anything else. So the conclusion of compatibility remains true under the assumption that God has determined everything.
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#44

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
Nothing inspires amateur philosophers better then a "holy" book! Have at it Chumps!
Trump is so convinced that everything is about him he has convinced his followers that everything is about him.
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#45

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 11:18 PM)Hussein Wrote:
(03-24-2020, 08:56 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Compatibilism is a false solution.  That does not deal with the underlying problems.  Again, the problem of man's moral nature...
If God creates man, God must design that creation, including our moral nature.  God has three choices.

A.  Bad moral nature
B.  Indifferent moral nature
C.  Good moral nature

Our free will can only be what our innate moral nature, designed by God allows.  The large amounts of moral evil do not support a good, all-powerful God who chose C.

If God is essentially omniscient, knowing the future, which is dogma in both Islam and Christianity, and creates all, then God must choose an initial state of creation, from which, because God is essentially omniscient, must unfold based solely on God's choice of that initial state of creation.  Free will is impossible.  And so is compatibilism.

This is what I understand:

Compatibilism is the wrong solution because:
1. Everything is supposedly determined by 'good' standards, observation of evil defies it.
2. The creation unfolds according to God's choices, so humans cannot have any choices.

Compatibilism does not address the first problem.

But it can solve the second problem, it can be understood within a wider framework:

2'. The universe unfolds according to natural laws, so humans cannot have any choices.

Compatibilism addresses this problem and demonstrates free will is possible. Now if you replace 'natural laws' with 'God's will', it doesn't make any difference, as compatibilism shows determinism is compatible with free will in general. It doesn't assume this determinism is as a result of natural laws, God's will or anything else. So the conclusion of compatibility remains true under the assumption that God has determined everything.

Natural law in older form was seen as a problem for a physical Universe.  Epicurus suggested that atoms from time to time swerved at randon, breaking the chain of physical determinism.  (Clinamen).  It was derided as ad hoc in his day.  However now, quantum physics is not strictly determiante and so serves as Epicurus's swerve.  Even classical physics is held as not being truly determinate.  The idea of a perfectly determinate universe (God or no God withstanding) is no longer held by physicists as being a viable theory.  The Universe is in a real sense, chaotic.
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#46

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
The only way Islam would be a consideration regarding my free will is if I lived under an Islamic theocracy.
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#47

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-24-2020, 11:40 PM)Chimp3 Wrote: Nothing inspires amateur philosophers better then a "holy" book! Have at it Chumps!


[Image: education-teaching-recession-graduate_op...53_low.jpg]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#48

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-25-2020, 12:47 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Natural law in older form was seen as a problem for a physical Universe.  Epicurus suggested that atoms from time to time swerved at randon, breaking the chain of physical determinism.  (Clinamen).  It was derided as ad hoc in his day.  However now, quantum physics is not strictly determiante and so serves as Epicurus's swerve.  Even classical physics is held as not being truly determinate.  The idea of a perfectly determinate universe (God or no God withstanding) is no longer held by physicists as being a viable theory.  The Universe is in a real sense, chaotic.

That is not accurate. Quantum mechanics can be interpreted as being determinism-agnostic, deterministic or non-deterministic. See below:

[Image: ONRbQ53.jpg]
From Wikipedia.

Copenhagen interpretation, a non-deterministic interpretation, is the most commonly adopted interpretation in modern physics. Mainly due to its convenient mathematical formalism.

Quote:No experimental evidence exists that distinguishes among these interpretations.
 
Same source.

So, while a non-deterministic universe is a common interpretation in modern physics, it doesn't mean deterministic interpretations are ruled out.

By the way, this is a new topic and is irrelevant to determinism versus free will.
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#49

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
(03-25-2020, 01:29 AM)Chimp3 Wrote: The only way Islam would be a consideration regarding my free will is if I lived under an Islamic theocracy.

I actually live under an Islamic theocracy (Iran). They have adopted some democratic elements, there are parliamentary and presidential elections. But the representatives are overseen and limited by a Guardian Council, a group of Islamic jurists who can veto decisions made by elected representatives when they are against the Islamic principles. 

We even had a secular president for 8 years, he and the parliament tried so hard to pass bills, limiting the council and extending their own authority, of course, bills were rejected by the council and they failed.
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#50

Islam And Our Lack Of Free Will
Interesting story in the NYT a couple of years ago...

How Iran Became an Undemocratic Democracy.

"Presidential elections in Iran raise a puzzling contradiction: How can the government include both an
unelected supreme leader and a president who is chosen in votes that are treated as serious contests?

Put another way, is Iran a democracy or a dictatorship?"
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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