RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

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RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Admin on Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:44 am

Post your comments on Jeremy's guest spot on the Don Johnson Show here.
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Clint on Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:06 pm

Yeah, that was rough. And honestly, no amount of Luke would have helped out with those guys. It didn't even appear that they had read their own side's literature on the subject.

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D'oh Johnson vs. Jeremy Beahan

Post  CharlatanUK on Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:41 pm

It's interesting to compare their meekness the debate to the snide self-confidence (typical of those from Orange County, home of Robert Shuler) exuded on display in the podcast they take on determinism. For all of the aping of logic and philosophical debate, one would have hoped they would have learned that they shouldn't draw conclusions from faulty analogies.
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Neon Genesis on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:04 am

I don't get why they seemed to think that free will had to exist under a theistic world view when there's no reference in the bible to free will and the bible seems to endorse a predestined view instead. Like there are passages about the elect and passages in Ephesians where it talks about the children of God have been predestined and biblical prophecies that predict the future. And how does one reconcile freewill with an all-knowing god who knows everything before it even happens and who already knows who is going to heaven and hell?

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Aught3 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:06 am

Yeah, not a very good show imo. I think Jeremy should have put an end to the call a lot earlier once he'd dealt with all the central points and it became obvious the conversation wasn't going anywhere.
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Accuser on Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:43 am

Thinking about it, I have a few questions about Christian free will.

So this spirit stuff, by which I mean souls, God, angels, and everything else that's not material, is supposed to give us free will by virtue of being removed from the closed system of cause and effect - right? Or is that wrong?

If it is right, are we then saying that there is no cause and effect in the spirit realm?

Obviously the spirit can affect matter - that's how it gives us free will, apparently. Or how Satan tempts people to evil - unless he's tempting their souls, I suppose. Or how an object is "blessed." But the soul has a particular nature, it makes a decision, and it causes the body to follow through on that decision by manifesting it through electrical signals in the brain. The cause of the soul's decision is its nature, the effect is the body doing something.

And I would think the matter has to affect the spirit - which is how sin is transferred from material action to the soul (unless it's the soul that's sinning by choosing its action, which I suppose raises the question of whether or not one can sin on accident), or how baptisms or marriage work (otherwise the rituals would be unnecessary). This seems like it would be how our souls leave our bodies when we die. The cause is a material

And clearly spirit has to be able to affect spirit - this is how Satan convinced God to test Job. This is how God cast Satan out of Heaven - and why.

So far it doesn't sound as though it's removed from the closed system of cause and effect. It seems like it's just a bigger system.

But if we set all those aside and assume that the spirit is removed from this system, many important Christian events are called into question. Did God have to sacrifice his son to save man? Or could he have simply forgiven man without the need for a blood sacrifice? What happened to God's free will? (Or did God freely choose to sacrifice his only son unnecessarily? Why? If this is one of those, "The nature of Man is such that they needed the sacrifice, not God" answers, then we're still assuming a deterministic framework for humans, which is what we're really trying to figure out. Indeed, isn't the entire concept of the "flawed nature of Man" deeply deterministic?

But then, I can see why Christians wouldn't want to agree to determinism, either. If they do, God essentially set up humanity to fail, and then blamed them for it. While we can reconcile our own moral judgments as an effort to influence the individual's future behavior, God would have specifically built us to sin and then condemned us for doing so, later putting us in his debt by sacrificing his son to atone for sins he made us commit. Hell, I'd be built to not believe in God, then condemned for it. Dick move, God.

So I suppose I can understand why they fight so hard for free will, even if it doesn't really make any sense. It seems that, for every theoretical example we have of the spirit doing anything at all, there's always a cause. Even God creating the universe had a cause - he knew it would be Good.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Lausten on Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:48 pm

Accuser: This is not representative, but I will tell you that in a Lenten study I was in recently, the pastor asked us to identify the mechanism by which we are saved. We took a few shots at it, then he said, "The Bible really doesn't have a good answer on this." This pastor was in the Peace Corps in the 60's and is now near retirement in a small town. He doesn't have much to lose by "letting it all hang out". It will be interesting to see if he is an anomaly or a the beginning of a trend.

I think Jeremy should have put an end to the call a lot earlier once he'd dealt with all the central points and it became obvious the conversation wasn't going anywhere.
I believe there is some value to hanging on and repeating yourself and allowing the moron on the other side to repeat themselves. I see this on John Stewart's extended interviews sometimes. If you end the conversation, the audience is left thinking that you should have given them more time, or they should have been able to elaborate on some point. If you ask the same question 3 times and they give the same non-answer, it becomes pretty obvious that they got 'nuthin. Of course you can't call them a moron, that's what discussion forums are for.

I wish they would have just stated their position, something like, they believe God affects our actions and our thoughts in ways that we will never understand until the end times. Why they were afraid to do that is the real mystery. They seemed very willing to allow that God is not involved a lot of the time and we are affected by our environments and our genetics, but they didn't want to refine where the line is drawn. One of these days Jeremy is going to be in a debate like this and the people on the other side are going say, "holy crap, you're right, there can't be a god, I have wasted my life on this hocus pocus, let's go get a drink." During a couple of their long pauses, I thought it was going to happen this time.
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  MisterChristopher on Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:14 pm

Albeit I'm a bit of a rage-a-holic when it comes to some things like this, I found myself routinely yelling "GODDAMNIT!!!" at Don and his friend when they'd beat away at parts of Jeremy's argument that had nothing to do with the main point. I'm almost convinced they had a bet at the before the show and said "Okay, how far off tangent can we get?"
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  esoteric on Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:35 am

I listened to the original show where they talk about the podcast. Wow. I have to give you huge kudos for going on and discussing it with him.

They spent a great deal of time on this "false dichotomy" you presented wherein either a person is fully physical and changes to the body affect personality, or a person has some ethereal soul in which changes to the body should not affect personality. They say it's a false dichotomy because there could be many other possibilities. I'm assuming they mean an option where a person has a soul, and changes to the body still affect personality, although I can't think of how that would work, but they never actually say what other options they are talking about. They make some vague comment about how they have spoken about how things like sleep effect personality, and something about a "holistic understanding", that we're just not just a body or not just a soul, so it's not one or the other. I don't see how that applies to your original "false dichotomy". Are they trying to say that part of who you are is in your soul, and part of who you are is in your body? They never really say!

They constantly say, "Christianity does say X", for example, that your soul is like a little man inside your body operating it like a machine, but they never elaborate on what Christianity actually does say about how the connection of the soul to the body actually works.

There's lots of niggley little things about them that I just find frustrating. They're playing back out of context clips on the show, and while they are playing, are interjecting commentary, speaking over Jeremy, and constantly snickering. Actually, there's a lot of baseless snickering after making assertions about things you guys said without backing their statements up. Actually, most of their arguments seem to just be: "No, no it's not! <Callous laugh> No, no you're not! <Snickering> What a train wreck! <Ha ha!>".

The other guy says, "You have to take all this 'What it seems like in the world' and just say, 'Nah'" Yes, in the face of evidence this is exactly what you have to do! The world looks flat, covered by a blue watery dome, with lights that move over the surface of it, but there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

"Without free will there is no such thing as trustworthy data?" Ugh, no comment. drunken Why are Christians so in love with the word "accident".

Then they go on to say that they don't agree with the materialistic point of view because every piece of "data" they bring to someone with this point of view can be dismissed by, "Well, it seems that way, but that's not true". What "data" are they talking about, exactly? Personal revelation? The fact that you feel love, but it's "just" a chemical reaction?

One thing that Christians don't seem to understand, and this is one of my biggest issues about their rambling, is that there's a difference between reality and the human experience of it. Love might "just" be a bunch of chemicals and impulses in my brain and body, but it doesn't FEEL that way to me. Reality versus the human experience of it.

But I digress...

Okay, ugh, now that I've devoted an hour listening to their tripe, I suppose I should listen to Jeremy's response to it, but I'm really not looking forward to their snickering.....
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  j on Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:39 pm

I already posted these comments on the blog, but I'll repost them here.

I mentioned a couple of good points brought up by Don. Those couple of good points brought up through the conversation with Don:

1) Determinism requires on a closed system of cause and effect (naturalism and natural explanations).

If there is an interdimensional or external dimension to matter and existence (that is, spiritual or spirit), would determinism still be true?

Does naturalism, indeed, account for all the available data, specifically the extradimensional indications thrown at us by the existence of the DNA code, the organization of the universe, natural laws, and so forth?

2) It would be odd to punish people for their actions in a deterministic universe. I know Jeremy explained it twice, but can we really predict the outcome of our input into a exponential number of metaphysical, interconnected "dominoes"?

3) Jeremy pointed out that there are reportedly some indeterminate events at the quantum level. Is that not the opposite of what you'd expect in a deterministic universe? Why or why not?

(I should note that I don't believe in free will.)

Thanks in advance for any responses...

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  CharlatanUK on Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:34 pm

--Does naturalism, indeed, account for all the available data, specifically the extradimensional indications thrown at us by the existence of the DNA code, the organization of the universe, natural laws, and so forth?).--

What is it about the DNA code, the organization of the universe, and natural laws that suggest they come from outside the natural universe or are influenced by extradimensional forces?

--2) It would be odd to punish people for their actions in a deterministic universe. (I know Jeremy explained it twice, but can we really predict the outcome of our input into a exponential number of metaphysical, interconnected "dominoes"? By way of example, if a person doesn't know the syntax of C++, they can't just throw in something - regardless of its coherence and logic - and expect it to produce the correct output. A person must know how to produce the outcome they want by completely understanding the environment and language that they are working in, whether virtual or real. That is a big claim.)--

Disagreed. Environmental factors like neighborhood, education, family upbringing (or lack of these things) may explain actions, but they do not excuse them. Children raised in circumstances where these factors are left wanting still live in a society that communicate values and behaviors socially beneficial and detrimental, as well as the consequences for detrimental conduct. Throughout life, then, the children "choose" what sort of actions they may take when they arise depending on situation, and the consequences of those actions will further shape which sets of actions they will "choose" in the future. Punishment is the consequence of being caught committing detrimental behavior. This is a deterministic relationship.

Punishment isn't meted out with the expectation that it will produce a specific outcome. Punishment is in response (effect) to and a reflection of the criminal's actions (causes), it is not an indicator of what the future behavior may be. Certainly there is an expectation that a criminal will "learn" from (alter) their behavior as a result of the punishment, but this is not guaranteed, nor is the nature of any alteration of behavior. In fact, any "expert" or "treatment" offering a panacea to the criminal reflex is rightly viewed skeptically, because how can one know how each unique criminal would respond to the same set of treatments given their differing make-up? I view this as entirely consistent with determinism as my abbreviated understanding is that actions and behaviors are the result of prior events and experiences. I think you are reading too much into some statements about predicting future behavior because accurately predicted behavior would only result if two events played out exactly the same way, and when has that ever happened?

Now, you might object to some of the statements above, saying that a person can break with their environmental factors (from ghetto to become successful). But this isn't the norm, and while some would argue it is an example of free will, determinists would argue there are underlying causes (strong family, supportive network of friends) that make this outcome possible.

--3) Jeremy pointed out that there are reportedly some indeterminate events at the quantum level. Is that not the opposite of what you'd expect in a deterministic universe? Why or why not?--

Do we know enough about events occurring at the atomic and subatomic levels to conclude they are without causation? The uncertainty principle (the indeterminism mentioned by Jeremy) states that measurements made at these levels is imprecise, and to gain precise measurement of one characteristic (say, the position of a particle), results in further loss in another (momentum of the particle). The implication is that accurate predictions are not possible, yet probabilities are. What are the implications of this on a deterministic world? I don't know. Jeremy seemed to dismiss it as he claimed it has no bearing on our actions. The indeterminacy at the quantum level doesn't seem to violate our understanding of the physical level, but maybe we'll learn that one day it does. I could try to construct a narrative to fit it, but I'm not well-versed enough to say anything beyond conjecture.

How do you account for quantum indeterminacy?
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epistemology

Post  yogshog on Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:51 pm

About 75 minutes in, one of the two from DJ's show (I don't know which one) seems to think that part of the argument is about verification; "Yeah, but how do we *know*?" Almost as if he thinks that free will gives (or determinism somehow prevents) a method of knowing absolute truth. Or was I misunderstanding him?

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  j on Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:07 am

CharlatanUK wrote:Punishment isn't meted out with the expectation that it will produce a specific outcome. Punishment is in response (effect) to and a reflection of the criminal's actions (causes), it is not an indicator of what the future behavior may be. Certainly there is an expectation that a criminal will "learn" from (alter) their behavior as a result of the punishment, but this is not guaranteed, nor is the nature of any alteration of behavior. In fact, any "expert" or "treatment" offering a panacea to the criminal reflex is rightly viewed skeptically, because how can one know how each unique criminal would respond to the same set of treatments given their differing make-up? I view this as entirely consistent with determinism as my abbreviated understanding is that actions and behaviors are the result of prior events and experiences. I think you are reading too much into some statements about predicting future behavior because accurately predicted behavior would only result if two events played out exactly the same way, and when has that ever happened?

Do we know enough about events occurring at the atomic and subatomic levels to conclude they are without causation? The uncertainty principle (the indeterminism mentioned by Jeremy) states that measurements made at these levels is imprecise, and to gain precise measurement of one characteristic (say, the position of a particle), results in further loss in another (momentum of the particle). The implication is that accurate predictions are not possible, yet probabilities are. What are the implications of this on a deterministic world? I don't know. Jeremy seemed to dismiss it as he claimed it has no bearing on our actions. The indeterminacy at the quantum level doesn't seem to violate our understanding of the physical level, but maybe we'll learn that one day it does. I could try to construct a narrative to fit it, but I'm not well-versed enough to say anything beyond conjecture.

How do you account for quantum indeterminacy?

First, I think that if you listen to Jeremy on the Don Johnson show and Episode 69, I think you'll hear Jeremy saying that the punishment is meted out with the expectation that it will produce (to the best of our knowledge) the intended result. What do you think? Is that what you hear when you listen to them?

And your question about quantum indeterminancy is a great one. The only thing I can say for sure is that there still mysteries to life and the universe that do not make sense in a naturalistic framework* because, as I mentioned, wouldn't the idea that anything exists without a cause or influence would be the opposite of what you'd expect in a naturalistic framework. But don't you think that our present knowledge of that phenomenon is good enough to determine whether or not it is a violation of physical laws? (I have no idea, really, about quantum physics or anything so advance.)

Thanks for your time.

*Another example would be the 4th dimensional / extra dimensional necessity that the existence of information in things like the DNA code push us to consider.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Neon Genesis on Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:41 pm

j wrote:

If there is an interdimensional or external dimension to matter and existence (that is, spiritual or spirit), would determinism still be true?
Calvinists certainly seem to think so. I've asked countless number of Christians before to show me where in the bible it says we have freewill and so far no one has been able to do it. On the other hand, the first chapter of Ephesians clearly states that the sons of Christ have been predestined. As far as I'm aware, the biblical authors seem unaware of the concept of freewill and are operating under a conception of predestination. I wonder if the Doubtcasters can get some Calvinists on the show?


2) It would be odd to punish people for their actions in a deterministic universe. I know Jeremy explained it twice, but can we really predict the outcome of our input into a exponential number of metaphysical, interconnected "dominoes"?

I don't see how it would be odd. We simply would have to change the reason for why we're punishing the person. Are we punishing the person to get revenge or are we punishing the person to protect ourselves from harm? One way to look at is that it's like punishing an insane person who causes you harm. If an insane person went out of control and harmed you, no one would say it was the insane person's fault and everyone regardless if they believed in freewill or not would agree that the insane person couldn't control themselves. At the same time, nobody would say that the insane person shouldn't be kept in a mental hospital to prevent them from causing harm to others or to themselves. By the way, does anyone know of any good books on determinism?

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  vibe1 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:08 pm

j wrote:2) It would be odd to punish people for their actions in a deterministic universe. I know Jeremy explained it twice, but can we really predict the outcome of our input into a exponential number of metaphysical, interconnected "dominoes"?

We can have reasonable expectations of how our actions will affect the behaviour of others. Is it odd to expect that asking someone to pass the salt will lead to them in fact passing the salt? Before you object that this is a more simple case, try to describe in detail the causal chain that leads to them passing the salt.

If you can give some evidence that punishment does not reduce recidivism or deter negative behaviour then yes it would be odd to punish people in light of a deterministic worldview.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Neon Genesis on Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:53 am

I have three questions on determinism myself. If everything is determined, were the hosts of the Don Johnson show predetermined to not understand determinism and be frustrating hosts and so can we really hold them accountable for being frustrating? And if we don't have freewill over our beliefs, then are religious people really delusional if they were predetermined to be religious? If everything is predetermined, then were humans determined to invent the belief in freewill and believing in freewill was inevitable?

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Jeremy on the Don Johnson show

Post  Andrew@EC on Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:05 pm

I wasn't nearly as frustrated as some here -- perhaps that's because I'm an atheist who's not particularly well-versed in the determinism literature in philosophy (and I'm well-versed in the nonsense Don Johnson and his co-host were peddling). As a result, I really felt as though I learned a lot from Jeremy's presentation, albeit that it was interrupted by a lot of irrelevant noise.

I thought the most telling moment was when Jeremy asked, "Are you saying that in a determinist universe, there's no deliberation? There's no cognitive thought?" At the moment the hosts said "yeah," they were conceding that the entirety of their argument was flailing at a straw-man.

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Epic Beat down

Post  dreinisch on Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:24 pm

The staff on the Don Johnson show clearly did not understand determinism whatsoever to even begin to conduct a reasonable debate. Jeremy came well prepared as any regular listener would expect. After about 40 minutes into the show it was nothing more than a stubborn third grader trying to present their case to a PhD on why they were right to say the earth was flat....and getting impatient about it. All I have to say is, once the Vatican opens up “The Courtyard of the Gentiles”, Jeremy has got to try to go there!

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  CharlatanUK on Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:03 pm

--First, I think that if you listen to Jeremy on the Don Johnson show and Episode 69, I think you'll hear Jeremy saying that the punishment is meted out with the expectation that it will produce (to the best of our knowledge) the intended result. What do you think? Is that what you hear when you listen to them?--

I wasn't speaking for Jeremy in my response to your question. I was speaking from my understanding of what determinism means when it comes to the issue of punishment. In episode 69 he makes a much stronger case for rehabilitation than I would. We both see that punishment is given with the expectation of change (as I said before), but when the expectation is to "stop committing felonies for which you will go to prison", I wouldn't consider that a very strong predictor of future behavior. Nor does the government - that's why there are 3-Strikes Laws.

--And your question about quantum indeterminancy is a great one. The only thing I can say for sure is that there still mysteries to life and the universe that do not make sense in a naturalistic framework* because, as I mentioned, wouldn't the idea that anything exists without a cause or influence would be the opposite of what you'd expect in a naturalistic framework. But don't you think that our present knowledge of that phenomenon is good enough to determine whether or not it is a violation of physical laws? (I have no idea, really, about quantum physics or anything so advance.)--

I have to whole-heartedly disagree with you. To say that there's just some extra-dimension we cannot prove, see, feel, or one that continuously shrinks in relation to our expanding knowledge of the natural world and universe is disingenuous. How is it that things that were once thought of as part of the extra-dimensional domain, like any natural disaster and the weather, can now be understood as part of the naturalistic one? And how can you assert the human race has enough knowledge to conclude something as esoteric as quantum mechanics exists outside of the physical world when both you and I have admitted that we don't know enough about it? You haven't explained what it is about this phenomenon you believe demonstrates absence of causation, and you've assumed the burden of proof. The reason I left the implications of quantum indeterminacy on the deterministic worldview open is because it doesn't say a whole lot about determinism one way or another, and because of my own ignorance of the matter.

--*Another example would be the 4th dimensional / extra dimensional necessity that the existence of information in things like the DNA code push us to consider.--

I asked you before to explain this 4th dimensional / extra dimensional necessity in the DNA code. I just happened to listen to an Economist podcast today recapping the last ten years since the draft of the human genome in 2000, and according to them, the scientific community has concluded everything in DNA coding is a product of the natural world. I'm not saying they're right and you're wrong, I just want to know, in your view, what about the DNA code requires some fourth-dimension.

--Thanks for your time.--

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  FurryMoses on Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:42 pm

dreinisch wrote:The staff on the Don Johnson show clearly did not understand determinism whatsoever to even begin to conduct a reasonable debate. Jeremy came well prepared as any regular listener would expect. After about 40 minutes into the show it was nothing more than a stubborn third grader trying to present their case to a PhD on why they were right to say the earth was flat....and getting impatient about it.

These are exactly my thoughts.
However, I would like to say to Jeremy that it was useful - and thank you.
Not wishing to be harsh - but clueless, over-confident, pseudo-intellectuals are not uncommon, so it's useful to hear someone handle them with aplomb.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Lausten on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:41 pm

Calvinists certainly seem to think so. I've asked countless number of Christians before to show me where in the bible it says we have freewill and so far no one has been able to do it. On the other hand, the first chapter of Ephesians clearly states that the sons of Christ have been predestined. As far as I'm aware, the biblical authors seem unaware of the concept of freewill and are operating under a conception of predestination.

In general, I am aware of many OT passages where characters arguing, and sometimes persuading God. Certainly there are many examples of people who "turn away from" God and face consequences for that. Is this not what you consider evidence? I would not expect to see a passage using the term "free will" or addressing it directly, only characters portraying it.

I think this article addresses it pretty well, and is better at siting verses than I am. It has the usual level of glossing over contradictions and cherry picking verses. The one at the top from Deutoronomy was enough for me.

Christian web site answer

You do correctly point out that there are passages that indicate predestination, although I'm not so sure they say every action to the complete exclusion of free will is predestined. Certainly there are significant numbers of Christians who believe in it and many more who accept divine intervention as a normal part of everyday life, such as in finding a good parking spot. Smile
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Neon Genesis on Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:08 pm

But there are other passages in the Hebrew bible where God will punish people for their sins by forcing them to do immoral acts or forcing them to eat dung.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Lausten on Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:16 pm

Well, if you are looking for consistency, the Bible is not a good place to be.

Your statement leads to all sorts of discussion about the meaning of "forced", not to mention "immoral". I think we have been down that road.
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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Brad on Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:30 am

Finally finished listening to this debate in the car tonight.

2 pesos from this corner:

In this week's or last week's New Yorker, Mike Huckabee is reported to have made the observation that a theistic view of how the world works and an atheistic view will naturally and necessarily lead to very different conclusions about all sorts of things. He got that right, if not much else.
While there are still many in the atheistic camp who don't really understand determinism and therefore can't fully embrace its explanatory and practical value, the fact is that theists cannot embrace, or even honestly allow themselves to comprehend, determinism without turning their foundational life concept into mush.
If there is some exception to that rule, I'd sure like to know where and in whom, it exists.
So is it unsurprising that these two Christian radio jabberers would speak as they did and be as obtuse as they were?

Nevertheless, I think there was value in Jeremy's efforts for the reasons he mentioned early in the broadcast; he surely added a bit of awareness, if nothing else, to the chain of events that will influence the thinking of at least a few listeners in the future. They may hear some assertion about the notion of God instilling "free will" in his "children" but recall also hearing a more sensible and logical explanation somewhere...

Like everyone else, I empathize with Jeremy's frustration in the latter parts of the program. At the same time, though, it seemed to me that there were quite a few times that greater impact may have been possible, especially for theist listeners, by allowing the Christian guys to blather on a bit and hang themselves with their own rope of nonsense and irrationality than to interrupt them quite as often as Jeremy did in his efforts to get them to understand a point or to offer examples. But I certainly could be wrong about that...

Last, the more I learn about determinism, the more it seems to track my understanding of Theravaden Buddhist teachings about causation, non-self, and so forth. And the Buddhist canon writers - whoever they really were - had none of the neuroscience or psychology data we have today. They came up with very similar ideas simply with careful empirical thinking. Wow.
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Brad

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Brad on Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:30 am

One more thing:
It seems to me that understanding determinism requires a greater ability to think abstractly and conceptually than many people possess. In that, it strikes me as being a lot like climate change and evolution. If a person is unable to conceptualize circumstances much beyond his or her immediate experience, these complex concepts will remain out of reach (and will often be considered, ironically, "dumb").
And of course, if the person is first steeped in a faulty and/or simplistic, but beloved, dogma that would be invalidated by the more complex understanding, probability of comprehension is even further reduced due to confirmation bias and so forth.

This raises the question, to me at least, of to what degree the inability to comprehend in a given individual or group is one of ignorance, stupidity, or a combination of both those traits. This morning on another freethinker list, for example, someone posted a link to
THIS VIDEO of children and their sad teacher in the infamous Dayton, Tennessee, which illustrates the problem and how it arises all too well.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

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