Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Challenge to Dualists

(This is a bit of a condensed version of my post about the problems with dualism, to give you a quick and dirty explanation of dualism's problems.)

I am going to assume that you are a mainstream dualist: you believe that there is a metaphysical, thinking soul separate from the body that interacts with our bodies. This is your hypothesis. I am a monist - I believe that my body contains and generates all my mental processes. Normally if you have a hypothesis and if you are clever, there is a way to test it. I will play along that the soul is metaphysical and cannot be directly observed. Fear not, dear dualists. Many things in science cannot be directly observed by individuals - black holes, history, and the mind. But we can study thing we would anticipate around those unobservables - galaxies being sucked towards a single spot with black holes, buildings and documents with history. We can observe around the soul as well.

Your hypothesis is that the soul interacts with the body. We should be able to view this interaction, and this should be the focus of all of your research if you believe this to be true. There are many questions you, using science, should be researching to answer.

Where does the soul interact? The brain? Why the brain? Why not the muscles it wants to move? Is there something special about the brain? If not, why bother with the brain at all? Does the brain contain a soul-perceptive structure, or chemical? If so, we should be able to observe those chemicals or structures changing and moving with no discernable outside influence. If you believe in dualism, finding this chemical or structure is paramount. Once you have found it, you have to answer the question of why the soul limited to one person's specific brain. Why can't it influence other people's brains? Is the soul just very polite about controlling other people?

And then there is the problem of the body influencing the mind. Why do physical mind-altering substances (drugs), alter our minds? Not just drugs, but drugs that are able to move through the blood brain barrier frequently influences how our minds think. Why? Why would caffeine excite us? Or alcohol affect us? Why do we feel joy in the embrace of a loved one - an emotion that correlates to neural and chemical signals? Why are these earthly signals able to influence our thoughts? Does the body pass along these mental changes to the soul through the brain? If so, then we can exactly observe those signals that are sent along to the soul.

The body must collect and send its information with accordance to the laws of the physical world, and therefore to correctly interpret them the soul must collect them according to the rules limited by the brain. We should be able to see mental pathways leading to soul-sending sensitive areas or structures or chemicals - parts that the soul can interpret data from. (If the soul does not need a specific structure to read from, then what's the point of sending information to the brain in the first place?) Once the soul has received the information, the mental process pathway that informed it should not continue to fire, and especially not trigger a mental response such as a word or deed. If a continuous neural pathway can be show to have gathered the information and then sent back a reply, where did the soul come in? The soul needs to change or influence that pathway, and that should be demonstrable by any scientist to evidence the dualist hypothesis.

To the dualist who still believes that the mental processes happen all in the brain and are merely shuffled back and forth to the body through the brain - let me ask you this. What do you make of people who have had brain damage, who are left unable to remember, unable to form sentences, unable to see, unable to say nouns? What about those who are chemically depressed or unbalanced? Do you believe that there's nothing actually wrong with the mental abilities of the person, just something wrong with the soul's ability to interact?

Let us give you a thought-experiment. You are captured by psychopaths who have ensured you will never have contact with anyone else ever again. They offer you a choice - they will use anesthetic to remove either a limb of your body, or the forebrain (where cognition mostly occurs, removed in lobotomies). Would you allow them your brain, safe in the knowledge that your actual mind would be intact? You would not be interacting with anyone else in the future, so your ability to interact with them does not matter. It's just for your own mind. Or what if they offered you the choice between being torture you for a week, then killed vs. them just killing you right away? Would you choose death knowing that your mind would be intact and you would have spared yourself the torture? Indeed, if your mind remains intact, why bother with this life at all? Why not get to heaven sooner rather than later?

I realize that this is not as quick and dirty as I originally intended it to be upon its completion, but more of a re-hashing of all the problems faced with dualism. I am sorry, but it is quite an annoying thing and something that just needs to be approached logically and scientifically. If dualism were true, we would see these sorts of evidence for its existence. When you do apply a rigorous standard, however, the hope of dualism quickly crumbles just as any other fantasy. "Dualism" and "soul" are easy words to throw around, but what they actually imply is far greater, far more complex than anybody realizes when they say it. And far more unlikely too.

25 comments:

  1. I would hate to do this but you give me no choice. I have a much better "thought experiment".

    How do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, on what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change, and how is it possible to know anything for certain according to YOUR worldview?

    I will ask how it is possible for you to know anything, before I give a response. You see, if you can’t know anything, then you have no basis for evaluating any response I give, or whether or not I have even given one, and I would just be wasting my time. Also, what is the justification for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic you wish to use to evaluate my response?

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  2. Easy, the Flying Spaghetti Monster made it so. Now unless you can disprove that statement, why don't you answer at least one of the problems with dualism?

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  3. Have you ever read any literature on dualism?
    Have you read any of the problems with physicalism?

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  4. "The problems with physicalism."

    That's it? Your answer to her post is a completely unspecific "Just read something somebody else wrote, I'm sure you'll find the answer in there somewhere"? I would think you'd at least make an argument of some sort.

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  5. Huh I wasn't responding to the challenge. I just wanted to see whatshe knew on the subject.

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  6. I'd like to know the *real* problems with physicalism. As far as I know, there are none.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physicalism/

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  7. So... what you're saying is that you don't actually have anything to contribute to the conversation. You were just attempting to look clever by posting open-ended questions.

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  8. Well if I did decide to respond it would be useful to know what level of understanding they have of dualism. Plus oftentimes atheists attack strawman positions of what theists actually hold t. I think Dawkins' polemic against dualists in the God Delusion is one of the biggest strawmen I have ever seen.

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  9. For someone claiming to be concerned about straw men, you certainly seem reluctant to express any kind of opinion. Why don't you tell us what you find compelling about dualism? Otherwise, it just sounds like you're fishing for an excuse to claim that people are mischaracterizing you.

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  10. Or at least address one of the problems expressed with dualism I have very clearly laid out? You have no case, so you are throwing up these vague "you guys are sooooo wrong!" like a drunken dart-board player. Can you address at least one, two or three problems with dualism? That was the challenge. If not, then I guess you accept the problems and acknowledge you have a deeply flawed system.

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  11. Ok
    I'll take the bait.
    1) I don't know. This is not a problem any mnore than the fact than I do not know how my ignition starts my car is a problem for me when driving. I don't know exactly what is going on in my car or my brain. All I know is that I think of stuff and it causes reactions in my brain.
    2)As to people with brain damage, imagine if you damaged the monitor on your computer. The keyboard and processor work just fine, but it still will not function as a whole. In the same way the mind and the brain act together and when one is damaged they do not function.
    3)"Or what if they offered you the choice between being torture you for a week, then killed vs. them just killing you right away? Would you choose death knowing that your mind would be intact and you would have spared yourself the torture?"
    Yes.
    Is that all . A few counter questions
    1)What if there was this man who had a machine that could scramble and disperse all the molecules of an object and reassemble they a couple months later. Since you believe all your brain is a is a configuration of molecules in a certain order, would you stick your head in this machine, and have it reassembled later?
    2)Radio-Isotope turnover rates from animals indicate that most likely what you call your brain now is not composed of the same molecules it was seven years ago. Are you still the same person?
    BONUS Q
    Are you freely and rationally thinking about your responses to my questions , or are your thoughts governed by predetermined and non-rational chemical reactions taking place in your brain?

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  12. 1) Sure, it's not a problem if you personally don't know how it works. It is a problem when no-fucking-anyone knows how it works. Now there are times when admitting ignorance is a good thing. It's humble, and shows a willingness to learn. If this were a normal thing that people believed actually existed, there would be research experiments all kinds looking into the soul and how it interacts. But this is not a normal thing, because the problems I have outlined are conceptually real. When something fails on a conceptual level, it is very difficult to see where the investigation can go from there.

    I just spent the morning scouring through journal articles, and after hundreds I found none biologically looking at a soul. Every time I got excited by "dualism" it was about the split-brain hypothesis. Every time I saw "soul" it was a book review or literary addition. Nobody is even looking into it seriously. If this is what Christians truly believe, then it should be a high priority to investigate and show as evidence to everyone else. You know what I did find?

    Articles like, "Scientifically How to Study Consciousness Scientifically
    (John R. Searle
    Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, Vol. 353, No. 1377)", "Consciousness Review: An Envisioning of Consciousness", and "Brain Mechanism" (as well as more daunting articles such as "Do Mental Events Cause Neural Events Analogously to the Probability Fields of Quantum Mechanics? Do Mental Events Cause Neural Events Analogously to the Probability Fields of Quantum Mechanics?").

    All these articles were about demonstrating how consciousness could be measured and quantified on a biological basis. There is plenty of evidence for a biological brain. There is none for a soul. Which leads me into ...

    2. You admit that parts of the brain can be damaged and interrupt brain functioning. Let's go with damage to the Wernicke's area, which has to do with understanding speech. People with damage to this area can hear words but not understand their meaning. They can also say words, but it comes out as a word salad, with sentences such as, "tomato bowling heater box" conveyed with utmost conviction. This means that you accept that the ears hear words, send the sound information to the auditory cortex, then to the Wernicke's area, then to the soul for processing, then back to the Wernicke's area, then to the rest of the brain to produce a response. Well, guess what. The Wernicke's area is already involved in processing the information (as is the primary auditory cortex). It has brain connections in place to analyze the data. The soul has no place where it would make any significant input, if it even did.

    Counter-questions.
    1) What if a demon had a metaphysical machine that could scramble and disperse all the sections of your soul (memory, emotions, etc.) and reassemble them a couple of eons later. Since you believe the brain is a collection of soul-parts in a certain order, would you stick your soul in this machine, and have it reassembled later? Or, if you posit that the soul cannot be separated because it is all in one spot (a ridiculous notion since it would be impossible to store all the data of yourself - your personality memory etc. on a single metaphysical non-divisible spot, but I will allow it to be entertained), would you allow the demon to poof away your soul for a few eons if God promised to poof it back when he felt like it?

    2. No, I'm not the same person. I don't know if you had all the same ideas, values, mental knowledge, and such 7 years ago, but I certainly didn't. I've recently ran into someone I haven't seen for 5 years, and he was surprised and remarked on how different I was. Do you think that if you and your childhood former self were lined up in a room, the two of you would be anything alike? Sure, your DNA would be the same, but that's true of twins as well, and nobody claims they are the same person. The difference? Experience - biological configurations of memory. Sure I have some memories from my former selves, and those contribute to who I am today, but they are not me. I see nothing wrong with admitting the limits of my existence.

    Bonus Q:
    Neither. Perhaps you are making non-rational decisions and thoughts based on chemical reactions taking place in your brain, but my chemical thought-reactions are quite rational. Why does the reality of brain biology offend you? And why would you choose to believe something just because it doesn't offend you? And why would a soul whose movements must also be pre-determined (or else you accept that God is not all-knowing) offend you less?

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  13. I've noticed an interesting double standard in trying to defend dualism, creationism, ID, etc. When people wish to dispute science as an explanatory mechanism for natural processes, they nearly always demand a thorough and exhaustive explanation of process X (where X is flagellum, eye, blood clotting, etc). Since scientific knowledge is always in an unfinished state, there are many values of X for which the answer is "We don't know all the details" and therefore the response is "Then it must be supernatural and/or the work of a designer."

    But when probed for details about the workings of this designer, suddenly this high standard for an explanation is not only relaxed; it appears to vanish entirely. Then you get answers like "I don't know. This is not a problem any mnore than the fact than I do not know how my ignition starts my car is a problem for me when driving. I don't know exactly what is going on in my car or my brain. All I know is that I think of stuff and it causes reactions in my brain."

    In my estimation, that is a perfectly fine and reasonable answer. But since that is an acceptable response, it does kind of eliminate the supposed justification for invoking God in the first place.

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  14. I don't think any design theorists argue the way you say they argue Kazim. The ones I know (W. Dembski and M. Behe) argue that certain biological systems reflect certain kind of complexity (irreducible complexity(IC) for Behe and complex specified information(CSI) for Demski) that are features of designed systems or best explained by design.
    They don't argue "we don't know therefore designer".
    Now you might dispute whether the system in question does possess IC or CSI (as ID critics like Miller have disputed) but the fact remains that they are not arguments from ignorance

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  15. I don't think any design theorists argue the way you say they argue Kazim.

    I think they do.

    Behe used to say that evolutionary processes cannot possibly account for something like the flagellum; that there is no feasible evolutionary pathway by which the flagellum could have come into existence, except by some large dramatic shift which is unaccountable through (what he calls) "Darwinism."

    Several people have proposed realistic evolutionary pathways, and therefore Behe's position has shifted over time. Essentially, he and his cohorts now say that unless the opposition can accurately identify the exact evolutionary path that was really taken in producing the flagellum, they have not responded.

    For example: In Theflagellum unspun, biology professor and theist Ken Miller describes a pathway by which a flagellum might have evolved. Responding to this, William Dembski wrote an article called "Still spinning just fine." Dembski's rebuttal is this:

    At best the TTSS represents one possible step in the indirect Darwinian evolution of the bacterial flagellum. But that still wouldn't constitute a solution to the evolution of the bacterial flagellum. What's needed is a complete evolutionary path and not merely a possible oasis along the way. To claim otherwise is like saying we can travel by foot from Los Angeles to Tokyo because we've discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Evolutionary biology needs to do better than that.

    This is missing the point. Behe claimed that the flagellum was irreducible. Miller went ahead and reduced it. Dembski responded by moving the goalposts.

    So you see, it's not that the flagellum "resembles something that's designed." Dembski's standards require that scientists have a perfectly omniscient grasp of all evolved systems at all times. ANY incomplete explanation is regarded as "evidence" that a designer has to exist. Right?

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  16. Mr. Free Thinker's arguments have been thoroughly shredded and he's throwing this smoke bomb about ID, trying to ignore and distract from all the unanswered arguments. All he can do is attempt to thwart attention from the fact that he's been schooled. Unless of course, you'd care to deal with the actual issues?

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  17. Let me point out some definitions here

    Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things.
    (from wikipedia)
    Dualism holds that there is a distinction between mental properties and physical properties.
    Substance dualism is a subset of dualism that says that there is a nonphysical mental substance (like a soul/spirit) that gives rise to mental properties.

    Physicalists (like Daniel Denett) usually deny the reality of things like consciousness or subjective experience.
    John Searle is a property dualist

    1) Sure, it's not a problem if you personally don't know how it works. It is a problem when no-fucking-anyone knows how it works. Now there are times when admitting ignorance is a good thing. It's humble, and shows a willingness to learn.
    OK

    If this were a normal thing that people believed actually existed, there would be research experiments all kinds looking into the soul and how it interacts. But this is not a normal thing, because the problems I have outlined are conceptually real. When something fails on a conceptual level, it is very difficult to see where the investigation can go from there.
    And what kind of reasearch would you prescribe? It is difficult to see what you mean. I know there are some psychologists who presume dualism in their reasearch but I don't see how one can study things like subjective experience using physical science. A lot of philosophers feel the same way.

    I just spent the morning scouring through journal articles, and after hundreds I found none biologically looking at a soul. Every time I got excited by "dualism" it was about the split-brain hypothesis. Every time I saw "soul" it was a book review or literary addition. Nobody is even looking into it seriously. If this is what Christians truly believe, then it should be a high priority to investigate and show as evidence to everyone else. You know what I did find?
    You are looking in the wrong kind of journal. It would be more in the philosophical and philosophy of mind journals and in books.

    Counter-questions.
    1) I going to stick with the idea that my soul is nonphysical and doesn't have any parts. But if god was going to put it back, why not?

    2. No, I'm not the same person.
    Should we let people out of jail after 7 years too? According to your logic we do not have the same person who did the crime.


    Bonus Q:
    Neither.

    What?? Do you believe that your mind is produced by a physical brain or not. It is plain to see that matter and physical substances are not rational or free.

    Perhaps you are making non-rational decisions and thoughts based on chemical reactions taking place in your brain, but my chemical thought-reactions are quite rational.
    How are they rational?

    Why does the reality of brain biology offend you?
    The reality of brain biology does not offend me. The reality of my subjective experience where I experience freedom and the power to act in a rational manner not predetermined or mechanical also does not offend me. Do they offend you?
    And why would a soul whose movements must also be pre-determined (or else you accept that God is not all-knowing) offend you less?
    To quote Jason Dulle
    "Knowing something will happen is not the same thing as making it happen. God has a priori knowledge (before experience) about everything that will occur, but He does not write the script. It is like a stoplight. As I approach a red light, I have foreknowledge that it will turn green soon, but I did not, and cannot make it turn green. Someone else was responsible for that. Gods foreknowledge of future events does not determine the course of events, rather the course of events that will be acted out in the future by freewill determines some of what God knows about the future."

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  18. It just makes me tired looking at so much to refute all at once, and since you are such a close-minded troll that you cannont consider your position incorrect (and instead make up shit to explain the shit that's already made up, such as your soul not having parts. gold.) there's really no point in me replying to you except for the benefit of others who might be reading, and this post is a bit older, so forgive me if my explanations are brief.


    You are looking in the wrong kind of journal. It would be more in the philosophical and philosophy of mind journals and in books.


    Bullshit. If it has a biological basis, it can be discovered. There are plenty of articles for the biological causes of love, for example, and that's something that's very philosophical. If all you have is philosophy, you might as well just be claiming that an evil demon is deceiving us all. As soon at these philosophers have any evidence, it will go into the correct journal.

    But if god was going to put it back, why not?

    Then I guess you join the rest of the Star Trek crew with your support of transporters. I personally side with Sulu.


    Should we let people out of jail after 7 years too? According to your logic we do not have the same person who did the crime.


    Indeed, that's why we do have boards that examine people to see if they (their mentality) has changed. People do.


    What?? Do you believe that your mind is produced by a physical brain or not. It is plain to see that matter and physical substances are not rational or free.
    How are they rational?


    Sigh, it's sad when people are too thick to see they are being made fun of. My brain is nothing more than chemical reactions that summate into a rational world-view. Your brain is nothing more than chemical reactions that summate into a non-rational world-view.

    "Knowing something will happen is not the same thing as making it happen. God has a priori knowledge (before experience) about everything that will occur, but He does not write the script. It is like a stoplight. As I approach a red light, I have foreknowledge that it will turn green soon, but I did not, and cannot make it turn green. Someone else was responsible for that. Gods foreknowledge of future events does not determine the course of events, rather the course of events that will be acted out in the future by freewill determines some of what God knows about the future."


    So you are saying, in your analogy where people are the stoplight and god a person waiting for the light to change, that god doesn't even have the power to change a stoplight? Or that god doesn't know when the stoplight is going to change? He seems a bit weak to me then.

    Wouldn't the person who made the stoplight and set up its timing schedule know when its going to flip? Or perhaps you posit that the timing schedule is random, and thus even the creator can't say for sure when the light will change. Do you think your actions are random? Or do they follow a pattern? Do you wear clothes and act civilly one day and run around screaming, naked the next?

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  19. dualism as meta-belief has interesting properties

    really, the cosmic truth is NON-DUALITY. Monist is even incorrect.

    but if i were able to manifest things in this reality that we experience, due to the belief factor, the metaphysical idea behind it, are those dreams not just as real?

    your belief in science is just as dangerous as a theistic belief in God or Gods or anything Divine, because one thing science cannot dissect or duplicate is the world that spawns it

    to really realize non-duality the tool of your Mind is insufficient, its analysis of the phenomenal world only suffice IN the phenomenal world itself

    if you are looking to determine the 'beyond,' what use are your senses, they are rooted in THIS

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  20. Wow, I could not actually read thru all of that discussion back and forth...its too much tedious and unneccesary detail for me. I am simple minded.
    I think this issue was resolved at a more fundamental level. And here I am only adressing the big question of a Designer, and only indirectly the concept of spiritual "soul". A Designer, whether it be an ultra advanced alien or a "god" or a "God", by using this argument, it too must have been designed by a greater DDesigner, and so forth ad infinitum, thus leading to a ridiculous proposition. It is much more economical and reasonable to accept, as evolutionary theory suggests, that all living creatures and their organs evolved slowly over time by natural selection. Complexity emerging out of simplicity. You take any simple set of laws or rules and repeat again and again over time..and more complex rules and patterns emerge..as in John Conway's game of Life. No need for a "God" or a soul.

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  21. Actually my brain/body does not communicate with my soul...they were out of souls when I was born, so my brain communicates with an invisible pink rabbit that is always invisible and right on top of my head......what?? is that so ridiculous? ok..you're right..it is.

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  22. Jorge are you suing Dawkins' argument here?
    It is a bad argument. I don't see how accepting that one thing has a designer leads to the conclusion that the designer had to be designed as well.
    It don't think it follows.
    See here.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5493

    I don't have a problem with what you're saying about evolution and I know nature's laws can produce complex structures and sequences though.


    Out of curiosity Jorge, Do you believe that you have free will i.e. You can make rational and free decisions, or that your behavior is completely determined by the laws of nature?

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  23. Mr Free Thinker,
    I read the article from reasonablefaith.org that you posted. The argument there is about as garbled as religion itself.

    My argument is very simple, and in its simplicity it is elegant. Yes it is Dawkins argument, is it every atheist's argument.

    It is of course the Intelligent Design proponents that make the argument that the universe and the life within it must have been designed due to its complexity. The onus is on the people making the argument to prove it, not the other way around.
    We know based on evidence that complexity arises out of simple beginnings, that is the basis of evolution.

    The defeat of the Intelligent Design claim is very simple:
    You propose a logical argument that complexity breeds the neccesity for a designer, yet you don't apply the same logical principle to your designer.
    Why is it not a much more elegant answer, if we are going to give "God" the attribute of "eternal" thus having no need of a designer/creator, why not give the attribute of "eternal" to "matter/energy and fundamental laws" , we save an entire uneeded and purely speculative entity, "God".
    We know that matter/energy exists and that fundamental laws of physics exist..as far as "God", he is as mythical a figure as the tooth fairy.

    How can something come out of nothing? How can God come out of nothing?... "God is eternal", ...no...matter/energy is eternal.

    Your argument is easily defeated.

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  24. "Out of curiosity Jorge, Do you believe that you have free will i.e. You can make rational and free decisions, or that your behavior is completely determined by the laws of nature?"

    Mr Freethinker,
    This is another of those peculiar topics that religionists typically bandy about. Lets stop and consider that much of this is semantics.
    But having said that, I will answer your question as best I can based on what I think you are actually asking.

    Yes, I have some free will, but it is not absolute, I have some free will, limited within the constraints of natural laws.
    For example, I have the free will to eat either a cherry pie or an apple pie today, or to believe in Jesus or not, but I do not have the free will to fly like a bird does, or to read your mind, or to transport myself to another galaxy by snapping my fingers, etc.
    Do the laws of nature predetermine whether I will today choose an apple or a cherry pie to eat...I don't think so.
    Do the laws of nature predetermine that, as a hetero male with my particular and unique biochemical makeup, I am prone to seek a mate and enjoy sex, yes, that I become hungry every day..yes, that I thirst for water and need to be at a comfortable temperature every day...yes, that I have the instinct to survive and prosper..yes.
    So there are many aspects of my behavior that indeed are to a global extent, dictated by nature... I can do virtually nothing about those things. But details such as walking left or right along the hiking trail..or choosing what clothes to wear today...those things are my free will.
    An argument can in fact be made, which I would support, that general tendencies, such as the tendency to have blind faith in some religion, can be to some degree biologically influenced. Its a very similar tendency, such as that for why one child is unruly and malbehaved and his sibling is docile and obedient, those type of general attributes are very much governed by our biochemical makeup.


    But that is not really what I want to say about "free will", this so-called gift that "God" gave us all, lol. This is what I want to say about it:
    If we are to believe, say, the Bible, God created us in his own image and supposedly for his pleasure so that we can praise him and go forth and multiply, etc etc. And he gave us "free will".

    Free will to do "bad" things.
    What a preposterous proposition for a "Creator".

    Why oh why, give us the free will to do "evil"?
    As if we actually had complete "free will" in the first place.

    Our supposed "free will" is constrained on many fronts. I have the will to buy a mansion in Miami Beach, but ...oops I dont have the money, so no free will to do that, I have the will to go to Washington and impose my political views...but oops , I am constrained by details such as electoral laws and the will of other voters..darn.
    I have the will to not go to work next week, but ..oops..my boss would probably fire me ..so can't do that.
    There are an infinite number of things that we could will to do but simply cannot..I have the will to travel thru the universe..travel through time...fly like a bird..have the strength of superman...but I do not have the power to do those things.

    Would I also like to "delete" for myself the power (free will) to do "stupid things" or "evil"? sure...as long as I get to define the meaning of "stupid things" and "evil".

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  25. Why would a Creator give us the free will to do things he does not want us to do?...its preposterous...we could have been much better off designed perfectly...that is..without the option of doing "evil",as defined by the Creator, much the same as we do not have the option of snapping our fingers and turning into frogs.

    That is akin to a human inventor designing a machine that has the "free will" to break down at its own whim. Of course an inventor would like to design a machine that never breaks down or makes errors! Doing "bad things" is never a part of a pre-meditated design!
    The whole concept of having the "free will" to disobey God is preposterous.

    "But then you would be an automaton, a robot"... Yes I am an automaton.. a human robot...and so are you, you can only do the things that a human can do...nothing else.

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