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Quote of the Day

“When you cannot even act as if what you say is true, you really should reconsider your beliefs.”

William J. Murray

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9 Responses to Quote of the Day

  1. 1

    It becomes apparent that people are blowing hypocritical smoke when they argue that morals are subjective, as if pursuing the truth of such a matter was a moral virtue, and as if the traditional or current social morals they are arguing against are somehow more than just personal, subjective perspectives. For a moral relativist, arguing that homophobia or racism is wrong is like arguing that enjoying chocolate or painting your kitchen walls beige is wrong, yet their advocacy and argument belies the idea that they actually consider it “subjective” or “relative”.

    They will often refer to social consensus as their governor of what is moral, but then they themselves refuse to adhere to or follow the social consensus – demonstrating that, even if they don’t admit it, they know there is a more valid/authoritative basis for discerning what is good and what is evil than social norms or social authorities. Further, if all they were really authorizing was individual taste – then why do they care what society or others do or how they feel, and why do they argue and try to get others to change their minds about morality?

    It makes no sense. It’s hypocrisy born of unexamined principles built on irrational, intellectual smugness.

    The same can be said of those that claim there is no libertarian free will; they can argue it all they want, but they cannot live or even think as if it was true that we have no free will. The very arguments they tender are steeped with the expectation that those listening have the free will capacity to change their minds and beliefs based upon an objective examination of the argument and evidence offered. If they truly believed they were talking to biological automatons that merely reacted in a machine-like way, with no free capacity to arbit their own views and mental habits, why bother talking at all?

    If there is no free will involved, debating becomes nothing more than two trees making noises as the chemical wind blows through them.

    In daily life, we hold people responsible for their choices and judge them accordingly as if they (and we) have libertarian free will. How can we be angry, upset or disappointed with anything that biological automatons have been programmed by natural forces to do? Why argue with them as if “truths” matter, when “truth” would be nothing more than what we and they are programmed to think?

    Once again, if you cannot live as if what you say is true, why are you believing those things? You cannot live as if morality doesn’t refer to an objective good which is good regardless of what any so-called authority or social consensus says; you cannot live as if free will doesn’t exist, because everything you do and think and expect and argue assumes it exists.

    Arguing otherwise is just hypocritical nonsense.

  2. William J Murray posted this:

    For a moral relativist, arguing that homophobia or racism is wrong is like arguing that enjoying chocolate or painting your kitchen walls beige is wrong, yet their advocacy and argument belies the idea that they actually consider it “subjective” or “relative”.

    If you think that homophobia or racism is wrong, then why?

    If you think that homophobia or racism is correct, then why?

  3. William J Murray, I have to say that you put that very well. I especially liked how your ‘poetic reflection’ captured the essence of it:

    If there is no free will involved, debating becomes nothing more than two trees making noises as the chemical wind blows through them.

    I hope you don’t mind if I repost your thoughts to my FB timeline.,,, As well, as to your comment here:

    you cannot live as if free will doesn’t exist, because everything you do and think and expect and argue assumes it exists.

    I don’t know if you saw this bit I posted yesterday, but if not, it may be a pleasant surprise for you to see just how deeply this ‘free will assumption’ is woven into our ‘scientific’ understanding of reality:

    ,,,In the following video, at the 37:00 minute mark, Anton Zeilinger, a leading researcher in quantum teleportation with many breakthroughs under his belt, humorously reflects on just how deeply determinism has been undermined by quantum mechanics by saying such a deep lack of determinism may provide some of us a loop hole when they meet God on judgment day.

    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    Personally, I feel that such a deep undermining of determinism by quantum mechanics, far from providing a ‘loop hole’ on judgement day, actually restores free will to its rightful place in the grand scheme of things, thus making God’s final judgments on men’s souls all the more fully binding since man truly is a ‘free moral agent’ just as Theism has always always maintained. And to solidify this theistic claim for how reality is actually constructed, the following study came along a few months after I had seen Dr. Zeilinger’s video:

    Can quantum theory be improved? – July 23, 2012
    Excerpt: Being correct 50% of the time when calling heads or tails on a coin toss won’t impress anyone. So when quantum theory predicts that an entangled particle will reach one of two detectors with just a 50% probability, many physicists have naturally sought better predictions. The predictive power of quantum theory is, in this case, equal to a random guess. Building on nearly a century of investigative work on this topic, a team of physicists has recently performed an experiment whose results show that, despite its imperfections, quantum theory still seems to be the optimal way to predict measurement outcomes.,
    However, in the new paper, the physicists have experimentally demonstrated that there cannot exist any alternative theory that increases the predictive probability of quantum theory by more than 0.165, with the only assumption being that measurement (*conscious observation) parameters can be chosen independently (free choice, free will, assumption) of the other parameters of the theory.,,,
    ,, the experimental results provide the tightest constraints yet on alternatives to quantum theory. The findings imply that quantum theory is close to optimal in terms of its predictive power, even when the predictions are completely random.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-quantum-theory.html

    So, just as I had a small hint of after watching Dr. Zeilinger’s video, it is found that a required assumption of ‘free choice, free will’ in quantum mechanics is what necessarily drives the completely random (non-deterministic) aspect of quantum mechanics. Moreover it was shown in the paper that one cannot ever improve the predictive power of quantum mechanics by ever removing free choice, free will as a starting assumption in Quantum Mechanics!

    of note:

    *The act of ‘observation’ in quantum mechanics is equivalent to ‘measurement’,,

    further notes:

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    Alain Aspect speaks on John Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – video
    http://vimeo.com/38508798

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    technical note:

    Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – 2010
    Excerpt: The Delayed Choice experiment changes the boundary conditions of the Schrodinger equation after the particle enters the first beamsplitter.
    http://www.physics.drexel.edu/.....elayed.pdf

    Here’s a recent variation of Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment, which highlights the ability of the conscious observer to effect ‘spooky action into the past’, even to the point of effecting not only the path of the photon but also effecting the specific particle state, thus further solidifying the conclusion that consciousness, and ‘free will’s, are of foundational importance to reality;

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

  4. 4

    WJM: “The very arguments they tender are steeped with the expectation that those listening have the free will capacity to change their minds and beliefs . . .”

    Those arguments are also based on an implicit “except me” provision. It would be amusing if it were not so tragic. Every single argument against free will presumes that the arguer has the free will to make the argument.

  5. Mr. Arrington,

    Do you think it would be a worthwhile tactic to ask a person who is an exhaustive determinist when and why they became convinced there is no libertarian free will?

    It seems that they cannot have been born thinking this way ( because it is a very complicated subject requiring a mature mind to really think through) and at some point in their lives exercised some free will to become a determinist in the first place.

  6. 6

    BA77: Thanks for those links – I love that stuff. I’ve been reading QM material for quite a while now, and have long been amazed at how materialists are content to simply ignore that accumulation of experimental results that is so devastating to their position.

    B Arrington: It also presumes the listener has the free will capacity to arbit the argument. It’s like watching a person saying “I’m not talking, and you cannot hear me.” It’s madness.

  7. Homophobia is wrong because it’s a fear, and we Christians have nothing to fear.

    Racism is wrong because it denies that men are made in the image of God and the death of Christ.

    Frankly, I’ll take that over atheist “reasons” anyday.

  8. Homophobia is wrong because it’s a fear, and we Christians have nothing to fear.

    Racism is wrong because it denies that men are made in the image of God and the death of Christ.

    Frankly, I’ll take that over atheist “reasons” anyday.

    Oh. Personally (and I’m an atheist) I think both are wrong because I think the Golden Rule is a good guide to live by: it helps us all get along with each other.

    Actually, here’s a theological question – why aren’t you arguing that homophobia are racism are wrong because they both go against Christ’s teaching to love thy neighbour as thyself? Isn’t that justification enough?

  9. why aren’t you arguing that homophobia are racism are wrong because they both go against Christ’s teaching to love thy neighbour as thyself?

    And why are you taking Christ’s statement out of context?

    That “teaching” wasn’t stated in isolation.

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