Dykes, Fags and Homophobes – by Eric Allen Bell

Eric Allen Bell

Eric Allen Bell is a writer, filmmaker and Media Consultant, presently living in New York, NY. While making a documentary about the construction of a 53,000 square foot mega mosque in Murfreesboro, TN he attempted to expose “Islamophobia”. Once he stated that Islam was the biggest threat to human rights in the world today, he was banned from the writing Daily Kos and MichaelMoore.com, after LoonWatch.com created a petition to silence him. His article, “The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam” has been widely circulated and has caused several Liberals to rethink how they look at the Religion of Peace. CHECK OUT MY BLOG AT: http://www.EricAllenBell.com

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96 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    How did the “first cause” cause non-living matter to become living – since matter is is what living organisms are made of?//
    “Life does not come from matter,that is the whole point.” Living organisms are made of matter fact, this is just your religious belief so I am not interested in your “point”.
    ===
    Life on this planet came from non living matter, so life must have begun by a naturalistic process of which science is only theorising about. You also know that we cannot create stars, black holes and the Big Bang in a laboratory right?//
    “What ever limits there is to scientific testing does not relieve you from empirically proving the material cause of life.” Why on earth do I need to show you what the actual cause or process was that brought life into existence? Can you show how the “first cause” created life? Did he just will it into existence of nothing?
    “To suggest otherwise is Special Pleading.The Materialist/Physicalist epistemology insists that all knowledge is derived from scientific experimentation.So the criteria remains.” As I said before I don’t what you mean by materialist, so please stop throwing these terms at me.
    ===
    All we observe is what has ALREADY been decided -that’s all we ever observe – the decision has already been made by the subconscious mind//
    “So the subconscious mind has free will as opposed to the conscious mind.Is that what you’re saying?” No.
    ===
    It means people who are highly dangerous and completely out of control are not morally responsible/competent people//
    “This is very incriminating because it proves that only insane people do not have choice or do not act on it.Therefore Determinism is for the mentally unstable.” Ad hominem calling your opponents mentally unstable. As for your point insane people are not morally competent as they cannot make rational decisions, that’s why the law doesn’t hold them criminally responsible.
    ===
    We know by experiments in neuroscience that different parts of the brain are responsible for moral decisions – it’s not just “correlation”//
    “Well you have failed to prove causation.” it’s just coincidence is it then, that a person who has a tumour in that part of brain which controls impulses engages in impulsive and reckless behaviour ? And when the tumour is removed the behaviour goes away? Guess it’s just coincidence , the tobacco companies used to claim the same “correlation not causation” when shown the statics that smokers are much more likely to get cancer than non-smokers.
    ===
    I am saying our brain has the cognitive ability to understand and be aware of its environment, to predict future actions and to conceive of future possibilities and to make plans for the future based on what we want. Now obviously this ability is not – and more importantly does not need to be – contra causal//
    “You’re describing free will.Before you said we don’t have control over the future because our subconcious minds have already decided for us.You just cannot let go of either free will or determinism can you?” Free will is a cognitive ability unique to humans which is a product of our brains evolution, it is not supernatural.
    ===
    Yes and the legal system (at least to some degree) recognises this Difference for example it does not hold children and people with psychotic mental illnesses criminally responsible. It other words in those cases the law makes a distinction between normal healthy adults and people who have a disorder and who are not aware and cannot control their actions, as well as children because their brain has not developed and who do not have the ability to make intelligent decisions//
    “You must demonstrate how taking control of your actions is a deterministic concept.” If you can respond to reasons and make a judgment about it we say you are legally and morally responsible the people that cannot do that are not part of the moral framework. For example if I ask you to raise your arm, you can think about my request and then based on what you think you decide whether to raise your arm or not. (Since you have 1)The metal ability to understand rationally what is being said to you and 2)You are physically able to raise your arm. Given those 2 things you will be held responsible for your behaviour.
    “I have no reason to believe that what you just said above is compatible with that thesis.Don’t just declare it,forward some type of argument in support of it” You need to tell me why it’s not compatible with determinism?

  2. Steve says:

    \\1) the future is unknown to us so we don’t know whether x event is inevitable or not. 2) We ourselves and our decision making are part of the chain of causality//
    “You say event’s are not inevitable (ie. certain to occur) but you also claim we are part of the chain of causality.” Everything that happens was “inevitable” however since we don’t know what is going to happen in the future we don’t know whether X event is inevitable or not. I have explained this several times before.
    ”The Principle of Universal Causation states that every event has a cause.If X causes Y is true,then X and Y are events,X precedes Y and if X happens Y has to happen”.”
    According to this principle Y is an inevitable effect of X and can therefore be safely predicted to occur whenever X is the case.” We cannot predict the future – at least not with certainty.

    ===
    Causally and logically are the same thing, if causality determines that Y is going to happen then it is logically necessary that Y will happen//
    “Also false.In sentential logic,the proposition does not require the conclusion to be caused by the hypothesis.Simple example to falsify your argument:( If John did not shoot the policeman then it must have been Bob).In this proposition,John is not the cause for Bob’s shooting of the cop.” Eh? if the universe determines that X is going to happen then how is it logically possible that anything other than X can happen?
    ===
    \\The freedom to act according to my values//
    “This is wrong on so many levels.Firstly,you can’t be free to act if you were caused to act the way you did.” According to your understanding of freedom – which I don’t agree with.
    “Secondly,your values is not universal,where you are the benchmark for ethics.A self-fabricated value or ethical system is subjective and dubious,since it revolves around the proclivities of the individual.” Yes our values are subjective their no such thing as “objective” values.
    ===
    This is the very thing that believers in CCFW believe – that you can act contrary to causality which as you admit is impossible//
    “Do they believe they can return to the past and change the course of history or do they believe people can act freely?There’s a huge difference.” You believe you can act independently of time so it certainly seems you believe it.
    ===
    \\It’s not coherent because their is no way In which we can describe reality and make sense of this claim. Either our willing is the result of prior causes in which case we have no ultimate control over it or it is completely uncaused in which case we also have no control over a uncaused thing//
    Once again your understanding of free will is faulty.”The mind is acausal,therefore it is able to influence the body without constraints.” Can it? Before you said our free will is constrained now you say it operates without constraints? If the mind was acausal all human behaviour and thought would be completely chaotic.
    ===
    This doesn’t say anything it may as well as well say their is only one fundamental substance and it doesn’t matter what you call it//
    “It doesn’t matter what you call it then it shouldn’t matter if I call you a Materialist.” You use this term “materialist” to insult your opponent that’s all.
    ===
    No their not since a atheist is a person not believe in any God. Indeed I could argue those who believe in a almighty God should reject the concept of contra causal free will on purely theological grounds – since their God has power over all things and knows exactly what’s going to happen in the future//
    “God’s power doesn’t include bringing about contradictory state of affairs,such as encroaching his will on others.” It’s followers that some since God is allegedly all powerful and all knowing then free will cannot exist. Also believers may say their individual will is simple a part or expression of Gods will and not his “enforcing” his desires on human beings.
    ===
    \\Should we also let the lions loose on the streets?//
    “Is the streets the lion’s natural habitat?” Can a lion function in society? No. Can a serial killer function in society? Again no. So do you think it is a good idea to put serial killers on the streets?
    ===
    We and all our intentions are programmed in us – just like everything a computer does is the result of its programming//
    “&Computers are programmed by conscious intelligent minds.Which conscious intelligent mind programmed us?” None, the causes of consciousness are – by definition- not conscious.
    ===
    \\Yes it means you have acted on intention, if I take a drink of water because I thirsty I act intentional obviously though all intentions also have causes//
    “When you use terms such as “all”,you’re making a universal statement which you cannot prove.” How can any part of consciousness be without cause? An uncaused thing can’t cause anything – by its very nature- so that’s how I know all our thoughts must have a cause.
    “What was the cause of me surfing yesterday? The weather? But there’s nothing intrinsic in weather that causes one to surf.Riding a surfboard on water has no biological neccessity.” Whatever it is that causes it.

  3. Phoenix says:

    How did the “first cause” cause non-living matter to become living – since matter is is what living organisms are made of?//

    Life does not come from matter,that is the whole point.
    ===
    Life on this planet came from non living matter, so life must have begun by a naturalistic process of which science is only theorising about. You also know that we cannot create stars, black holes and the Big Bang in a laboratory right?//

    What ever limits there is to scientific testing does not relieve you from empirically proving the material cause of life.To suggest otherwise is Special Pleading.The Materialist/Physicalist epistemology insists that all knowledge is derived from scientific experimentation.So the criteria remains.

    ===
    All we observe is what has ALREADY been decided -that’s all we ever observe – the decision has already been made by the subconscious mind//

    So the subconscious mind has free will as opposed to the conscious mind.Is that what you’re saying?
    ===
    It means people who are highly dangerous and completely out of control are not morally responsible/competent people//

    This is very incriminating because it proves that only insane people do not have choice or do not act on it.Therefore Determinism is for the mentally unstable.
    ===
    We know by experiments in neuroscience that different parts of the brain are responsible for moral decisions – it’s not just “correlation”//

    Well you have failed to prove causation.
    ===
    I am saying our brain has the cognitive ability to understand and be aware of its environment, to predict future actions and to conceive of future possibilities and to make plans for the future based on what we want. Now obviously this ability is not – and more importantly does not need to be – contra causal//
    You’re describing free will.Before you said we don’t have control over the future because our subconcious minds have already decided for us.You just cannot let go of either free will or determinism can you?
    ===
    Yes and the legal system (at least to some degree) recognises this Difference for example it does not hold children and people with psychotic mental illnesses criminally responsible. It other words in those cases the law makes a distinction between normal healthy adults and people who have a disorder and who are not aware and cannot control their actions, as well as children because their brain has not developed and who do not have the ability to make intelligent decisions//

    You must demonstrate how taking control of your actions is a deterministic concept.I have no reason to believe that what you just said above is compatible with that thesis.Don’t just declare it,forward some type of argument in support of it

  4. Phoenix says:

    \\1) the future is unknown to us so we don’t know whether x event is inevitable or not. 2) We ourselves and our decision making are part of the chain of causality//

    You say event’s are not inevitable (ie. certain to occur) but you also claim we are part of the chain of causality.”The Principle of Universal Causation states that every event has a cause.If X causes Y is true,then X and Y are events,X precedes Y and if X happens Y has to happen”.According to this principle Y is an inevitable effect of X and can therefore be safely predicted to occur whenever X is the case.
    This is also supported by the Auxillary Principle:This asserts that if every event has a cause,then no one could have done anything other than what he in fact did,since the deed is a neccessary effect of the cause.So far I have 2 principles supporting my case,you have none.
    ===
    Causally and logically are the same thing, if causality determines that Y is going to happen then it is logically necessary that Y will happen//

    Also false.In sentential logic,the proposition does not require the conclusion to be caused by the hypothesis.Simple example to falsify your argument:( If John did not shoot the policeman then it must have been Bob).In this proposition,John is not the cause for Bob’s shooting of the cop.
    ===
    \\The freedom to act according to my values//

    This is wrong on so many levels.Firstly,you can’t be free to act if you were caused to act the way you did.Secondly,your values is not universal,where you are the benchmark for ethics.A self-fabricated value or ethical system is subjective and dubious,since it revolves around the proclivities of the individual.
    ===
    This is the very thing that believers in CCFW believe – that you can act contrary to causality which as you admit is impossible//

    Do they believe they can return to the past and change the course of history or do they believe people can act freely?There’s a huge difference.
    ===
    \\It’s not coherent because their is no way In which we can describe reality and make sense of this claim. Either our willing is the result of prior causes in which case we have no ultimate control over it or it is completely uncaused in which case we also have no control over a uncaused thing//

    Once again your understanding of free will is faulty.The mind is acausal,therefore it is able to influence the body without constraints.
    ===
    This doesn’t say anything it may as well as well say their is only one fundamental substance and it doesn’t matter what you call it//

    It doesn’t matter what you call it then it shouldn’t matter if I call you a Materialist.
    ===
    No their not since a atheist is a person not believe in any God. Indeed I could argue those who believe in a almighty God should reject the concept of contra causal free will on purely theological grounds – since their God has power over all things and knows exactly what’s going to happen in the future//

    God’s power doesn’t include bringing about contradictory state of affairs,such as encroaching his will on others.
    ===
    \\Should we also let the lions loose on the streets?//

    Is the streets the lion’s natural habitat?
    ===
    We and all our intentions are programmed in us – just like everything a computer does is the result of its programming//

    Computers are programmed by conscious intelligent minds.Which conscious intelligent mind programmed us?
    ===
    \\Yes it means you have acted on intention, if I take a drink of water because I thirsty I act intentional obviously though all intentions also have causes//

    When you use terms such as “all”,you’re making a universal statement which you cannot prove.What was the cause of me surfing yesterday? The weather? But there’s nothing intrinsic in weather that causes one to surf.Riding a surfboard on water has no biological neccessity.

  5. Steve says:

    “In fatalism and Hard determinism (as opposed to soft determinism),all future events are inevitable.” The fatalist view is that we can’t do nothing about it and should just back and let the future take it’s course, this view ignoranes 2 fact 1) the future is unknown to us so we don’t know whether x event is inevitable or not. 2) We ourselves and our decision making are part of the chain of causality.
    “However,the major difference is that determinism posits all events are due to causality.In fatalism,these events could be causally determined,or theologically or logically.Determinism simply rejects the last two.” Causally and logically are the same thing, if causality determines that Y is going to happen then it is logically necessary that Y will happen.

    “What other freedom could there possibly be?Please pray tell.” The freedom to act according to my values.

    “Your understanding of free will is based on faulty and unreasonable expectations of the concept.Free will has nothing to do with going back into the past and then to act differently.Your demand is impossible and that’s why you make it.” This is the very thing that believers in CCFW believe – that you can act contrary to causality which as you admit is impossible.

    “It’s a coherent concept and it’s observable to the first person,giving it an emprical quality,unlike the Compatibilst thesis which you have yet to prove empirically or even to argue for logically” It’s not coherent because their is no way In which we can describe reality and make sense of this claim. Either our willing is the result of prior causes in which case we have no ultimate control over it or it is completely uncaused in which case we also have no control over a uncaused thing.

    “1.You don’t have access to a dictionary?” “Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions.” This doesn’t say anything it may as well as well say their is only one fundamental substance and it doesn’t matter what you call it.
    “Atheism and determinism are inseperable.” No their not since a atheist is a person not believe in any God. Indeed I could argue those who believe in a almighty God should reject the concept of contra causal free will on purely theological grounds – since their God has power over all things and knows exactly what’s going to happen in the future.

    “Absolutely yes because that is in fact taking Determinism to its full and logical conclusion.” Should we also let the lions loose on the streets?

    “Machines act from derived or secondary intentionality.Humans act from primary or original intentionality.The intention of the computer can be regressed back to the human programmer.Unless the computer is able to do something that it was not programmed to do,then we can say it has original intention” We and all our intentions are programmed in us – just like everything a computer does is the result of its programming.

    “To act wilfully means you have acted deliberately as opposed to accidentally.” Yes it means you have acted on intention, if I take a drink of water because I thirsty I act intentional obviously though all intentions also have causes.

  6. Steve says:

    “The First cause is not non-life,it is life itself.It’s not a being amongst others,he is “being itself”.” How did the “first cause” cause non-living matter to become living – since matter is is what living organisms are made of?

    “And yet you have faith in the impossible (at least in this moment).” Life on this planet came from non living matter, so life must have begun by a naturalistic process of which science is only theorising about. You also know that we cannot create stars, black holes and the Big Bang in a laboratory right?

    ‘but you are able to observe your decisions.What is observation based on,if not experience?” All we observe is what has ALREADY been decided -that’s all we ever observe – the decision has already been made by the subconscious mind.

    “This response is not related to the actual discussion.How does protecting yourself from danger and diseases relevant to moral responsibility?” It means people who are highly dangerous and completely out of control are not morally responsible/competent people.

    “if they are responsible then they caused it too.You cannot be responsible over something which you have no control over.” Yes you didn’t build your brain.

    “Yes,and that’s called correlation” We know by experiments in neuroscience that different parts of the brain are responsible for moral decisions – it’s not just “correlation”.

    “It does indeed contradict physicalism because according to that thesis all mental events supervene on the physical.That is,all mental states (consciousness,thoughts and beliefs) must be be material and causal.” I am saying our brain has the cognitive ability to understand and be aware of its environment, to predict future actions and to conceive of future possibilities and to make plans for the future based on what we want. Now obviously this ability is not – and more importantly does not need to be – contra causal.

    “That mean all physically healthy people should be responsible and physically ill should be irresponsible.Is that correct?” Yes and the legal system (at least to some degree) recognises this Difference for example it does not hold children and people with psychotic mental illnesses criminally responsible. It other words in those cases the law makes a distinction between normal healthy adults and people who have a disorder and who are not aware and cannot control their actions, as well as children because their brain has not developed and who do not have the ability to make intelligent decisions.

  7. Phoenix says:

    It’s customary in debates to respond within 48hrs,not over a week.That’s just bad etiquette.Since you’ve been gone for a while,I assume you’ve managed to clarify your thoughts.Let’s look in:

    Says Steve:\\Fatalism is the view that the future is inevitable (or certain future events) I don’t agree with that view because 1) The future is unknown to us 2)We ourselves are part of the causal chain//

    In fatalism and Hard determinism (as opposed to soft determinism),all future events are inevitable.However,the major difference is that determinism posits all events are due to causality.In fatalism,these events could be causally determined,or theologically or logically.Determinism simply rejects the last two.
    ===
    The kind of freedom you are talking about doesn’t exist//

    What other freedom could there possibly be?Please pray tell.
    ===
    \\Because no one has ever explained how you could have acted differently to what you in fact did do//

    Your understanding of free will is based on faulty and unreasonable expectations of the concept.Free will has nothing to do with going back into the past and then to act differently.Your demand is impossible and that’s why you make it.
    ===
    \\All you have is a hypothesis- a hypothesis without evidence//

    It’s a coherent concept and it’s observable to the first person,giving it an emprical quality,unlike the Compatibilst thesis which you have yet to prove empirically or even to argue for logically
    ===
    1)I don’t know what a “materialist” is. 2)Atheism is not relevant to this discussion//

    1.You don’t have access to a dictionary?
    2.Atheism and determinism are inseperable.Even the compatibilist (soft determinist) cannot let go.
    ===
    \\So you mean we would just let all the serial killers, rapists and pedophiles onto the streets if the justice system accepted the fact that we humans are biological machines?//

    Absolutely yes because that is in fact taking Determinism to its full and logical conclusion.
    ===
    No we “punish” them to try to deter them From doing it again. A machine (which is what we are) can act with intention it doesn’t that the all our intentions, thoughts and impulses are programmed into us//

    Machines act from derived or secondary intentionality.Humans act from primary or original intentionality.The intention of the computer can be regressed back to the human programmer.Unless the computer is able to do something that it was not programmed to do,then we can say it has original intention.
    ===
    It’s doesn’t mean that//

    To act wilfully means you have acted deliberately as opposed to accidentally.

  8. Phoenix says:

    Part2
    \\You didn’t explain how life evolved from non life//

    The First cause is not non-life,it is life itself.It’s not a being amongst others,he is “being itself”.
    ===
    \\Not possible (at least not at the moment)//

    And yet you have faith in the impossible (at least in this moment).
    ===
    No all I can do is observe my thoughts and decisions//

    I don’t get you,you object to experiencing choice but you are able to observe your decisions.What is observation based on,if not experience?
    ===
    \\If we have a sensible definition of free will – without metaphysical nonsense attached to it – then they are perfectly compatible//

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/free%20will

    Let’s turn to the dictionary definitions:
    Free Will:1.voluntary choice or decision
    2:freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

    Determinism;philosophy :the belief that all events are caused by things that happened before them and that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens

    The contraries are so obvious I don’t even need to explicate the definitions any further.
    ===
    It doesn’t contradict it. We also protect ourselves from wild animals, diseases, natural disasters and so on, we don’t need “free will” to protect ourselves from dangerous human beings//

    This response is not related to the actual discussion.How does protecting yourself from danger and diseases relevant to moral responsibility?
    ===
    ”Society” can be wrong//

    Society is always wrong when it defends your opposing views.,
    ===
    Different parts of the brain are responsible for morality.//

    if they are responsible then they caused it too.You cannot be responsible over something which you have no control over.
    ===
    Its does not claim to know its “origin”//

    Then it cannot be morally responsible if the cause is unknown
    ===
    It’s confirmed by experiments In neuroscience .when we make moral – or immoral decisions – different parts of the brain are activated.//

    Yes,and that’s called correlation
    ===
    Free will – if defined as our ability to predict – and plan – future outcomes does exist since such an ability is a cognitive tool that our species has and this clearly does not contradict physicalism//

    It does indeed contradict physicalism because according to that thesis all mental events supervene on the physical.That is,all mental states (consciousness,thoughts and beliefs) must be be material and causal.
    ===
    Harris has not promoted pschopathic behaviour – and nor does determinism//

    Harris is in denial.Materialism/Physicalism is counter intuitive and impractical.
    ===
    Most people are wired to be responsible while those who aren’t must have a problem with their wiring//

    You’d think so but unfortunately it’s not that simple.That mean all physically healthy people should be responsible and physically ill should be irresponsible.Is that correct?

  9. Steve says:

    “There’s no confusion.It seems you’re not the one who understands these concepts.Fatalism and Determinism differs mostly in respects to the origin of the necessitation.Determinists believe events are fixed due to the physical laws of cause and effect.Fatalists believe events are also fixed but due to logical truths and not neccessarily causality” Fatalism is the view that the future is inevitable (or certain future events) I don’t agree with that view because 1) The future is unknown to us 2)We ourselves are part of the causal chain.
    \\We give actions blame or praise to encourage future pro social behaviour//
    “Again,I don’t see how this relates to determinism” Yes I agree it doesn’t have anything to do with determinism.

    “How can Nature grant us freedom if she is bound by physical laws?” The kind of freedom you are talking about doesn’t exist.

    “Because it’s contra causal” is not an argument.It’s a premise without a conclusion.The term “because” in logic is a premise indicator,and since your argument contains no conclusion,it is therefore false until completed.” Because no one has ever explained how you could have acted differently to what you in fact did do.

    “You have just exposed your ignorance of logic.I said “f a person acts freely then his responsible for his actions”.The term “if and then” denotes a conditional statement in which “if” indicates the hypothesis and “then” indicates the conclusion.The onus was on you to point out why the hypothesis leads to a false conclusion.Instead you charge me with a false fallacy.The proposition in a conditional statement must contain the hypothesis I am arguing for,so it cannot be question begging.Pick up a logic text book,then get back to me” All you have is a hypothesis- a hypothesis without evidence.

    ‘You assume because you carry the title Materialist or Atheist and learn a few fallacy names off the web,therefore you are magically endowed with Aristotelian logic,meanwhile the rest of us must actually pick up a book and practise the exercises” 1)I don’t know what a “materialist” is. 2)Atheism is not relevant to this discussion.

    “Under hard determinism,they cannot be held morally responsible.” So you mean we would just let all the serial killers, rapists and pedophiles onto the streets if the justice system accepted the fact that we humans are biological machines?

    “No,we punish criminals because they act willfully (ie with intention).I know under determinism there can be no intention because that implies agency.” No we “punish” them to try to deter them From doing it again. A machine (which is what we are) can act with intention it doesn’t that the all our intentions, thoughts and impulses are programmed into us.

    “Which also mean they have caused their own actions” It’s doesn’t mean that.

    “Life is born from the First Cause” You didn’t explain how life evolved from non life.

    “Then I’d like to see experiments done in labs on how they have arranged matter in a particular way to create life.Since all matter devolves back to quarks and leptons,they must use these and arrange them in a particular way” Not possible (at least not at the moment).

    “So free will is real now? Your problem is that you,like me and most people experience our freedom to decide.” No all I can do is observe my thoughts and decisions.
    “We know intuitively and experientially that we have free will.” We don’t know that.
    ” But you still dogmatically hold onto Determinism too even though the two positions contradict each other.” If we have a sensible definition of free will – without metaphysical nonsense attached to it – then they are perfectly compatible.

    “Okay,I’ll grant you those reasons but this has nothing to do with determinism.In fact it contradicts the concept.” It doesn’t contradict it. We also protect ourselves from wild animals, diseases, natural disasters and so on, we don’t need “free will” to protect ourselves from dangerous human beings.

    “Free will is assumed to exist in nearly all aspects of society.” “Society” can be wrong.

    “First problem:Your link seems uncertain as to where morality is located in the brain.”Neural underpinnings of morality are not yet well understood” Different parts of the brain are responsible for morality.

    “Second problem:Your link only correlates certain brain activities with morality.It does not indicate its origin.” Its does not claim to know its “origin”.
    “Remember that “correlation equals causation” is a logical fallacy and its unscientific.” It’s confirmed by experiments In neuroscience .when we make moral – or immoral decisions – different parts of the brain are activated.

    “Problems here that you must answer for is how can one select something which you consider non-existent and not contradict Physicalism?” Free will – if defined as our ability to predict – and plan – future outcomes does exist since such an ability is a cognitive tool that our species has and this clearly does not contradict physicalism.

    “Because Harris is a hard determinist who proselytize these concepts.” Harris has not promoted pschopathic behaviour – and nor does determinism.

    “Unfortunately for you,this must extend to everyone.We are all not responsible for what we did” Most people are wired to be responsible while those who aren’t must have a problem with their wiring.

  10. David –

    I don’t think you are a “sinner” at all. And the Duck Dynasty person was only stating his point of view. That does not mean he has a phobia, as in “homophobia” does it?

  11. Phoenix says:

    It doesn’t make a difference the fact is we still have values//

    Yes,we still have values but that supports my position,not yours.

    \\We give actions blame or praise to encourage future pro social behaviour//

    Again,I don’t see how this relates to determinism.
    ===
    Nature is what gives us the freedom, so we can never be “free” (whatever that means in this context) from causality//

    How can Nature grant us freedom if she is bound by physical laws?

  12. Phoenix says:

    You are confusing determinism with fatalism//

    There’s no confusion.It seems you’re not the one who understands these concepts.Fatalism and Determinism differs mostly in respects to the origin of the necessitation.Determinists believe events are fixed due to the physical laws of cause and effect.Fatalists believe events are also fixed but due to logical truths and not neccessarily causality.
    ===
    \\because it’s contra causal//

    “Because it’s contra causal” is not an argument.It’s a premise without a conclusion.The term “because” in logic is a premise indicator,and since your argument contains no conclusion,it is therefore false until completed.
    ===
    \\You just asserted that free will exists – you did not provide any evidence for it//

    You have just exposed your ignorance of logic.I said “f a person acts freely then his responsible for his actions”.The term “if and then” denotes a conditional statement in which “if” indicates the hypothesis and “then” indicates the conclusion.The onus was on you to point out why the hypothesis leads to a false conclusion.Instead you charge me with a false fallacy.The proposition in a conditional statement must contain the hypothesis I am arguing for,so it cannot be question begging.Pick up a logic text book,then get back to me.You think at the minor league level,start training before you can join the major leagues.You assume because you carry the title Materialist or Atheist and learn a few fallacy names off the web,therefore you are magically endowed with Aristotelian logic,meanwhile the rest of us must actually pick up a book and practise the exercises.
    ===
    \\The exact opposite- you can become a killer if you are caused to be a killer. Also murderers can only ever make up a tiny percentage of the population – since if everyone or at least most people were murderers we wouldn’t be around for very long//

    Firstly,people who are “caused” to be killers are not responsible for their actions.Secondly,our justice system assumes people have free will and that they could have behaved differently than to what they did.Since people are obligated to adhere to our laws,most will refrain from acting impulsively because they’ll be held accountable.Under hard determinism,they cannot be held morally responsible.
    ===
    \\We put killers away because they are a danger – not because they cause their own actions//

    No,we punish criminals because they act willfully (ie with intention).I know under determinism there can be no intention because that implies agency.

    According to the International Criminal Court,a breach of the statutes includes and is defined as:”Willful killing, or causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health”
    Notice it says “willfull” which means deliberate and intentional.Which also mean they have caused their own actions
    ===
    //So where did life come from then, if not from the pre existing material?//

    Life is born from the First Cause.
    ===
    It an observable fact that life and consciousness is a particular arrangements of matter, when the matter ceases to be arranged in the way that we label “life” or “consciousness” then those things cease to exist – just like if you burn a house (which is materials arranged in a particular way) to the ground then what’s we call a house no longer exists.//

    Then I’d like to see experiments done in labs on how they have arranged matter in a particular way to create life.Since all matter devolves back to quarks and leptons,they must use these and arrange them in a particular way.
    ===
    They choose not to be able to choose, this makes no sense//

    I did not phrase it the way you did above,which is a sort of caricature.
    But yes,People are able to surrender their will.It’s their choice.
    ===
    The act of choosing is not an illusion//

    So free will is real now? Your problem is that you,like me and most people experience our freedom to decide.We know intuitively and experientially that we have free will.But you still dogmatically hold onto Determinism too even though the two positions contradict each other.
    ===
    hese are reasons why in reality we hold people responsible 1)To deter them (and others) from committing crimes in the future 2) To keep them of the streets and protect the society. 3)To try to rehabilitate them//

    Okay,I’ll grant you those reasons but this has nothing to do with determinism.In fact it contradicts the concept.
    ===
    It’s not holding people responsible has to do with changing their future behaviour, not because they magical are the ultimate cause of their own actions//

    Calling free will “magical” does nothing to diminish its reality.Free will is assumed to exist in nearly all aspects of society.
    ===
    See this “How does morality work in the brain? A functional and structural perspective of moral behavior”//

    First problem:Your link seems uncertain as to where morality is located in the brain.”Neural underpinnings of morality are not yet well understood”

    Second problem:Your link only correlates certain brain activities with morality.It does not indicate its origin.Remember that “correlation equals causation” is a logical fallacy and its unscientific.
    ===
    \\Because been aware of our environment and been able to predict what may happen in the future, and the consequences of our actions gave us a survival advantage (as this ability allows us to manipulate the environment around us which obviously helped us survive)//

    This is an ad hoc answer with zero logic and evidence attached.I could just as easily assert that belief in God has helped man to survive better therefore our ancestors selected such a belief,which also allowed us to manipulate the environment.So God must exist if our ancestors selected this belief.The problem with invoking evolution into a paradigm that it has no business being in,means you can create any fantasy and claim it was favorably selected for.Problems here that you must answer for is how can one select something which you consider non-existent and not contradict Physicalism?
    ===
    \\And how is that advocating psychopathic behaviour ?//

    Because Harris is a hard determinist who proselytize these concepts.

    (“Because” is appropriate usage here,since it’s an answer to your question)
    ===
    Yes guilty of malfunctioning//

    Unfortunately for you,this must extend to everyone.We are all not responsible for what we did.

  13. Steve says:

    “No you can’t have values under determinism because you are totally conditioned by the universe” It doesn’t make a difference the fact is we still have values.

    “it makes no sense to speak of moral actions springing from choices and values,or action being worthy of praise or blame.’ We give actions blame or praise to encourage future pro social behaviour.

    “if nature allows you to resist your natural tendencies then she has given you freedm from causality” Nature is what gives us the freedom, so we can never be “free” (whatever that means in this context) from causality..

  14. Steve says:

    “This can’t be true.If I have a history of consuming junk food then I’m condemned to eat at joints like Mcdonalds and cannot choose healthier places” You are confusing determinism with fatalism.
    “My argument was not intended to provide proof for free will.It was in response to your comment that it’s an incoherent concept.” It is incoherent- because it’s contra causal.
    “My deductive argument shows that free is logically consistent (coherent).It’s format is valid as well as true premises” You just asserted that free will exists – you did not provide any evidence for it.

    “.With your reasoning almost anyone can be a killer” The exact opposite- you can become a killer if you are caused to be a killer. Also murderers can only ever make up a tiny percentage of the population – since if everyone or at least most people were murderers we wouldn’t be around for very long.

    “It all depends on how the particles of the universe are arranged at that particular moment,” Yes. “which would also relieve the killer of any responsibility.” We put killers away because they are a danger – not because they cause their own actions.

    “Life born from life is an observable fact.No amount of straw men and false comparisons will change that.” So where did life come from then, if not from the pre existing material?

    “You declare this without any empirical data.A violation of Atheist standards.” It an observable fact that life and consciousness is a particular arrangements of matter, when the matter ceases to be arranged in the way that we label “life” or “consciousness” then those things cease to exist – just like if you burn a house (which is materials arranged in a particular way) to the ground then what’s we call a house no longer exists.

    “There’s no contradiction.They freely chose to relinquish their will power and to yield to their impulses.” They choose not to be able to choose, this makes no sense.

    “Yes,and you said there is only one possible path to choose from.In fact you said the act of choosing is an illusion” The act of choosing is not an illusion.

    “if it’s not self-caused then how can someone be held responsible for something he did not cause?Another inconsistency” These are reasons why in reality we hold people responsible 1)To deter them (and others) from committing crimes in the future 2) To keep them of the streets and protect the society. 3)To try to rehabilitate them.

    -Free will proponents hold people morally responsible because their behavior was caused by them.”This the only sensible and practical doctrine” It’s not holding people responsible has to do with changing their future behaviour, not because they magical are the ultimate cause of their own actions.

    “Then perhaps you can show me images of mri scans where empathy is located in the body”
    See this “How does morality work in the brain? A functional and structural perspective of moral behavior” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3770908/

    “how could evolution could have selected something which is an illusion by your own admission.” Because been aware of our environment and been able to predict what may happen in the future, and the consequences of our actions gave us a survival advantage (as this ability allows us to manipulate the environment around us which obviously helped us survive).

    “in Harris’ Free Will book he posits,all choices are nothing but impulses that override one another” And how is that advocating psychopathic behaviour ?

    “It’s not my choice,the universe made me do it.” The universe is what made you.
    “Hmmm,I wonder if that’s a legitimate defense in court?” Yes guilty of malfunctioning.

  15. Phoenix says:

    We can have values and goals with determinism, we also can have a legal system if you think otherwise then tell me why you think that?//

    No you can’t have values under determinism because you are totally conditioned by the universe and it makes no sense to speak of moral actions springing from choices and values,or action being worthy of praise or blame.
    ===
    Obviously we are constrained (and our will) are constrained by those things. We cannot choose those things which we cannot physically do//

    You’ve reiterated what I’ve said already.
    ===
    We are not free from causality, we can only resist our urges if nature allows us to. Reality is infinitely powerful you and your will are not//

    if nature allows you to resist your natural tendencies then she has given you freedm from causality

  16. Phoenix says:

    Their is the past history universe – which is what determines your choice//

    This can’t be true.If I have a history of consuming junk food then I’m condemned to eat at joints like Mcdonalds and cannot choose healthier places.
    ===
    No you just question begged you basically said people make choices therefore he could have done something different to what he in fact did do (without explaining how that is possible)//

    My argument was not intended to provide proof for free will.It was in response to your comment that it’s an incoherent concept.My deductive argument shows that free is logically consistent (coherent).It’s format is valid as well as true premises.
    ===
    Explain how (given the state of the universe at the time) he could have done something different to what he Actually Did do? The only way we can make sense of this claim is to say if the universe had been in a different state to what it actually was something different would have happened//

    Another highly implausible supposition.With your reasoning almost anyone can be a killer.It all depends on how the particles of the universe are arranged at that particular moment,which would also relieve the killer of any responsibility.
    ===
    Your argument is “the preservation of type argument” however if it were true then milk could only ever come milk, or a lit flame could only ever come from a previous flame, so this argument is demonstrably false//

    Except that ‘a flame could only come from another flame’ was not the argument I made.Life born from life is an observable fact.No amount of straw men and false comparisons will change that.
    ===
    Consciousness and life are products of the universe – just like everything else.Consciousness is a product of evolution you are just special pleading life came about in exactly the same way anything else comes about – by a process of change.What you call life and consciousness is just a particular arrangement of matter it is just your religious belief which holds that life and consciousness are magical and special things//

    You declare this without any empirical data.A violation of Atheist standards.
    ===
    Before you said “Adults who act on every whim and impulse (especially negative ones) are mentally disturbed” Here you say such people are mentally disordered now you say they just freely choose it, so which is it?//

    There’s no contradiction.They freely chose to relinquish their will power and to yield to their impulses.
    ===
    When we are deciding about what to do in the future the options exist as possibilities and that is because we don’t know what is going to happen in the actual future, I have explained this many times now//

    Yes,and you said there is only one possible path to choose from.In fact you said the act of choosing is an illusion.
    ===
    We hold people responsible for their actions in a attempt to deter them from doing it again in the future, not because they are self caused//

    -if it’s not self-caused then how can someone be held responsible for something he did not cause?Another inconsistency
    -Free will proponents hold people morally responsible because their behavior was caused by them.This the only sensible and practical doctrine.
    ===
    Empathy is biological hardwired in most human beings, as for free will it is a cognitive ability which is the result of our brains evolution//

    Then perhaps you can show me images of mri scans where empathy is located in the body.Yes,free will is a mental ability but how could evolution could have selected something which is an illusion by your own admission.
    ====
    As far as I know Harris hasn’t encouraged any such thing//

    in Harris’ Free Will book he posits,all choices are nothing but impulses that override one another.
    ===
    Nope the universe determines what actually happens and it also determines anything you do and will ever do.//

    So we’re back again to hard determinism.It’s not my choice,the universe made me do it.Hmmm,I wonder if that’s a legitimate defense in court?

  17. Steve says:

    “There is still no predetermined factors of why you must eat at macdonalds or at urbanspoon’s organic restaurant” Their is the past history universe – which is what determines your choice.

    “You said before the free will concept is incoherent.” Yes its incoherent because it’s contra causal.
    “Yet I gave you a sound argument which you incorrectly labeled question begging without disputing any premise in particular.So my argument remains valid and sound.” No you just question begged you basically said people make choices therefore he could have done something different to what he in fact did do (without explaining how that is possible).

    I”So expecting bits of information to randomly alter it’s own behavior is ridiculous” Explain how (given the state of the universe at the time) he could have done something different to what he Actually Did do? The only way we can make sense of this claim is to say if the universe had been in a different state to what it actually was something different would have happened.

    “These are all false association fallacies.Instead you could have falsified my statements easily by giving counter examples.” Your argument is “the preservation of type argument” however if it were true then milk could only ever come milk, or a lit flame could only ever come from a previous flame, so this argument is demonstrably false.
    Show me where has minerals or any inanimate objects produced life and consciousness?” Consciousness and life are products of the universe – just like everything else. Consciousness is a product of evolution you are just special pleading life came about in exactly the same way anything else comes about – by a process of change.
    What you call life and consciousness is just a particular arrangement of matter it is just your religious belief which holds that life and consciousness are magical and special things.
    “And I said inanimate objects” Everything in our environment has an affect on us.
    They exercised their will,albeit inappropriately
    Before you said “Adults who act on every whim and impulse (especially negative ones) are mentally disturbed” Here you say such people are mentally disordered now you say they just freely choose it, so which is it?

    “How can you possibly choose alternative paths when they do not exist according to the doctrine of Determinism” When we are deciding about what to do in the future the options exist as possibilities and that is because we don’t know what is going to happen in the actual future, I have explained this many times now.

    ,”which insists people cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.” We hold people responsible for their actions in a attempt to deter them from doing it again in the future, not because they are self caused.

    “Your philosophy can’t account for morality and free will.” Empathy is biological hardwired in most human beings, as for free will it is a cognitive ability which is the result of our brains evolution.
    “In fact your philosophers like Harris encourages people to behave impulsively therefore he’s encouraging psychopathy.” As far as I know Harris hasn’t encouraged any such thing.
    “No,not omnipotent.You do have some power and control over your life and experiences,as opposed to being a slave to the laws of nature” Nope the universe determines what actually happens and it also determines anything you do and will ever do.

  18. Steve says:

    No reason why we cannot have a moral code and a legal system which accepts determinism (also don’t confuse determinism with fatalism).//
    “Give me examples” We can have values and goals with determinism, we also can have a legal system if you think otherwise then tell me why you think that?
    ===
    What kind of constraints are you talking about?//
    “Environmental,genetics and laws of nature” Obviously we are constrained (and our will) are constrained by those things. We cannot choose those things which we cannot physically do.

    Yes your future action is dependent on conditions – since your not omnipotent.//
    “Not being a slave to ones urges does not imply omnipotence,it means you have freedom.” We are not free from causality, we can only resist our urges if nature allows us to. Reality is infinitely powerful you and your will are not.

  19. Phoenix says:

    No reason why we cannot have a moral code and a legal system which accepts determinism (also don’t confuse determinism with fatalism).//

    Give me examples
    ===
    What kind of constraints are you talking about?//

    Environmental,genetics and laws of nature
    ===
    The choice wasn’t made in the past, but since the past state of the universe determines the present state then you could not have chosen anything else//

    You’re fond of playing with words.Yes,you cannot choose anything else because the past determines the present.That’s what I’ve been saying all along
    ===
    Yes your future action is dependent on conditions – since your not omnipotent.//
    Not being a slave to ones urges does not imply omnipotence,it means you have freedom.

  20. Phoenix says:

    Okay then let’s say my choice of whether to eat at a Chinese or Indian restaurant. Again the word choice here has meaning despite the fact that my choice is determined by causes//

    You have the urge to eat,however,according to the minimal free will concept the you still have a choice even within strong urges,such as your examples of choosing to eat chinese,indian,mexican or to prefer healthier options.There is still no predetermined factors of why you must eat at macdonalds or at urbanspoon’s organic restaurant.
    ===
    Your argument is just the begging the question – since it assumes free will exists – you so far have provided no argument or evidence to support the existence of contra causal free will//

    You said before the free will concept is incoherent.Yet I gave you a sound argument which you incorrectly labeled question begging without disputing any premise in particular.So my argument remains valid and sound.
    ===
    The theory is very easy to verify make a recording of when you make a decision and then play it back and you will see that the exact same thing happens every time.//

    I hope you’re aware that when you have a video recording of someone,that the person is not actually in the camcorder or dvd player? The camcorder merely converts visual information into electrosignals,but that representation of you on film has no awareness.So expecting bits of information to randomly alter it’s own behavior is ridiculous.
    ===
    It’s not absurd since according to your reasoning a thing can only come from the same thing (or a thing of the same type) or are you special pleading and trying to claim life and consciousness is fundamentally different to everything else in the universe? This is the same “logic” that creationists use when they claim a species can only ever come from the same species//

    These are all false association fallacies.Instead you could have falsified my statements easily by giving counter examples.Show me where has minerals or any inanimate objects produced life and consciousness?
    ===
    It’s debatable whether viruses are alive or not as they seem to be on the border of living and non living. In any case I said conscious and viruses are not conscious//

    And I said inanimate objects.Virus are neither inanimate nor conscious.Their origins are also in dispute.Besides,they are entirely dependant on a living host to reproduce and they in fact also inherit their genetic mutations,meaning they are not autonomous but completely contingent.Thus your counter example is highly controversial
    ===
    Where is their free will then eh?//

    They exercised their will,albeit inappropriately.
    ===
    Yes and this is completely compatible with determinism, contra causal free will is not needed to be a rational and sane person//

    You are desperately trying to force a position which negates Determinism.The argument from rational deliberation validates dualism and free will.How can you possibly choose alternative paths when they do not exist according to the doctrine of Determinism.The only paths existing are the ones that presupposes a conscious mind that believes he is in possession of free will.Without consciousness and it’s belief in free will there cannot be alternative paths,period.
    ===
    Which is a false belief. In addition we hold people (sane rational people) responsible because without people being accountable and with out people having responsibilities our societies could not function and survive//

    True but that negates Determinism,which insists people cannot be held morally responsible for their actions.
    ===
    Unless you’re a psychopath/sociopath you won’t act on your impulses and hurt and Exploit other people and use them as commodities, and their is no “choice” in you being a rational and empathic person either//

    Correct again but your reasoning does not stem from Materialism and its sub-concepts.These are dualist concepts you are co-opting.Your philosophy can’t account for morality and free will.In fact your philosophers like Harris encourages people to behave impulsively therefore he’s encouraging psychopathy.
    ===
    You’re claiming we could have something different in the past to what we actually did do, or are you know saying we couldn’t have done something different? So it certainly seems you are claiming we (or our free will) is omnipotent since we are the ultimate authors of our thoughts and choices (saccording to you our ability to make choices is not dependent on the past history of the universe)//

    No,not omnipotent.You do have some power and control over your life and experiences,as opposed to being a slave to the laws of nature.
    ===

  21. Steve says:

    @Pheonix
    “Your example refers to the instinctual flight or fight reaction.There’s no deliberation of whether or not to avoid being killed.So it’s another bad example” Okay then let’s say my choice of whether to eat at a Chinese or Indian restaurant. Again the word choice here has meaning despite the fact that my choice is determined by causes.

    “Free Will thesis:
    P1. This states that people have the capacity to act freely
    P2.If a person acts freely then his responsible for his actions
    P3.If his responsible for his actions then he could have willed something other than what he did.
    C.He could have willed something else,hence people have free will.
    I believe the premises are indisputable,and since the structure is valid too,then the argument is logically sound.” Your argument is just the begging the question – since it assumes free will exists – you so far have provided no argument or evidence to support the existence of contra causal free will
    “Your theory is impossible to verify because no two situations are identical.And since it can’t be verified it’s also unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific.Thus determinism = unscientific” The theory is very easy to verify make a recording of when you make a decision and then play it back and you will see that the exact same thing happens every time.
    “The living giving birth to the living is an empirical fact.Your milk analogy is as absurd as it gets.” It’s not absurd since according to your reasoning a thing can only come from the same thing (or a thing of the same type) or are you special pleading and trying to claim life and consciousness is fundamentally different to everything else in the universe? This is the same “logic” that creationists use when they claim a species can only ever come from the same species.
    “in that case this example was also false because biological viruses are alive” It’s debatable whether viruses are alive or not as they seem to be on the border of living and non living. In any case I said conscious and viruses are not conscious.
    “Adults who act on every whim and impulse (especially negative ones) are mentally disturbed.We consider them a danger to themselves or to society.” Where is their free will then eh?
    “Rational sane adults can also experience negative or inappropriate urges but they are able to deliberate and reflect on possible alternative courses then choose the most appropriate one(s).”
    Yes and this is completely compatible with determinism, contra causal free will is not needed to be a rational and sane person.
    “We theists hold people responsible for their actions because we believe they could have done something other than what they did.” Which is a false belief. In addition we hold people (sane rational people) responsible because without people being accountable and with out people having responsibilities our societies could not function and survive.
    “Atheists however,see no problem hence there’s no problem to solve.” That’s because their isn’t any problem, sane and rational people will respond to reasons, can control their impulses and so on. People that can’t do that have something wrong with their brain.
    “You have an impulse (negative or positive) and you then have the right to act on it,without consideration for anyone else.Yeah,this seems like a wonderful world to reside in.” Unless you’re a psychopath/sociopath you won’t act on your impulses and hurt and Exploit other people and use them as commodities, and their is no “choice” in you being a rational and empathic person either.

    “You’re conflating free will with omnipotence.Being in possession of the former does not imply the latter.No proponent of free will claims to have gone back in the past to choose differently.” You’re claiming we could have something different in the past to what we actually did do, or are you know saying we couldn’t have done something different? So it certainly seems you are claiming we (or our free will) is omnipotent since we are the ultimate authors of our thoughts and choices (saccording to you our ability to make choices is not dependent on the past history of the universe).

    “Firstly,there’s no morality under a deterministic system” No reason why we cannot have a moral code and a legal system which accepts determinism (also don’t confuse determinism with fatalism).

    “secondly there cannot be decisions because that imply a will that’s free from constraints” What kind of constraints are you talking about?

    “Thirdly,regulating behavior also imply a responsibility over which you have no control” Yes that responsibility is ultimately given to us.

    “You say my choice has been decided for me in some distant past.But how do I observe the past and the choice being made over there? This is counter intuitive” The choice wasn’t made in the past, but since the past state of the universe determines the present state then you could not have chosen anything else.

    “Exactly,my choice does not guarantee it will happen.Like I said before,free will does not imply omnipotence.I could decide to do something else later even though I have a strong desire or urge to read.” Yes your future action is dependent on conditions – since your not omnipotent.

  22. Phoenix says:

    \\I have explained several times already. We talk about choices from our view of the present moment. Example I am walking in the road and I see a car driving towards me I then choose to walk out the way of the oncoming car. Perfectly legitimate use of language. And we are able to speak about making choices because I didn’t know (at the time) that the universe had predetermined that I would indeed choose to move out the way.//

    Your example refers to the instinctual flight or fight reaction.There’s no deliberation of whether or not to avoid being killed.So it’s another bad example.
    ===
    Then it’s incoherent nonsense//

    Free Will thesis:
    P1. This states that people have the capacity to act freely
    P2.If a person acts freely then his responsible for his actions
    P3.If his responsible for his actions then he could have willed something other than what he did.
    C.He could have willed something else,hence people have free will.

    I believe the premises are indisputable,and since the structure is valid too,then the argument is logically sound.
    ===
    You haven’t explained how our bank robber – back in the exact same position – could have done otherwise. Even if we have souls this doesn’t solve the problem of determinism//

    Your theory is impossible to verify because no two situations are identical.And since it can’t be verified it’s also unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific.Thus determinism = unscientific.
    ===
    Following that reasoning then milk could only ever come from come milk. The universe is indeed extremely hostile to life//

    The living giving birth to the living is an empirical fact.Your milk analogy is as absurd as it gets.
    ===
    I was talking about biological viruses//

    in that case this example was also false because biological viruses are alive

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2837877/
    ===
    We are talking about someone who did indeed act on their impulses, since that happened that’s the reality their was no possible way the person could have not resisted their impulses (given the state of the universe at that time.) Invoking this mysterious magical contra causal supernatural ability does nothing and doesn’t help to solve any problem//

    Adults who act on every whim and impulse (especially negative ones) are mentally disturbed.We consider them a danger to themselves or to society.Rational sane adults can also experience negative or inappropriate urges but they are able to deliberate and reflect on possible alternative courses then choose the most appropriate one(s).We theists hold people responsible for their actions because we believe they could have done something other than what they did.Atheists however,see no problem hence there’s no problem to solve.You have an impulse (negative or positive) and you then have the right to act on it,without consideration for anyone else.Yeah,this seems like a wonderful world to reside in.
    ===
    A different FUTURE path but they obviously cannot change their past//

    You’re conflating free will with omnipotence.Being in possession of the former does not imply the latter.No proponent of free will claims to have gone back in the past to choose differently.
    ===
    The answer to this from the determinist view is that their brain has changed, now it seems their brain is better at making moral decisions as well as regulating any violent and criminal impulses they may have//

    Firstly,there’s no morality under a deterministic system and secondly there cannot be decisions because that imply a will that’s free from constraints.Thirdly,regulating behavior also imply a responsibility over which you have no control.
    ===
    It doesn’t matter if you make your choice in advance it doesn’t change the fact that you can only ever observe what’s already been chosen//

    You say my choice has been decided for me in some distant past.But how do I observe the past and the choice being made over there? This is counter intuitive.
    ===
    You want to read a book later it doesn’t mean it going to happen, all you can is make probabilistic predictions about what you are going to be doing later based on the information available to you at the time of making the prediction (which is the same for predicting any future event.)//

    Exactly,my choice does not guarantee it will happen.Like I said before,free will does not imply omnipotence.I could decide to do something else later even though I have a strong desire or urge to read.

  23. Steve says:

    @Pheonix
    “You, the Materialists (now called Physicalists) cannot use those terms without contradicting your philosophy or without distorting the actual meanings.How is it possible that you cannot see the blatant contradiction when claiming there is only path that can be chosen,and there’s nothing else that could have been done differently.” I have explained several times already. We talk about choices from our view of the present moment. Example I am walking in the road and I see a car driving towards me I then choose to walk out the way of the oncoming car. Perfectly legitimate use of language. And we are able to speak about making choices because I didn’t know (at the time) that the universe had predetermined that I would indeed choose to move out the way.
    “Free will does not depend on the state of particles in the universe.” Then it’s incoherent nonsense.
    “The conscious mind exercising its will is able to resist external pressure.Given that the soul is not limited to time and space it could inform the person of the consequences his actions will bring,in the hopes of making better choices.The information could come in a dream,prayer,meditation and could be known intuitively.It all depends on the individual’s spiritual progress and free will.” You haven’t explained how our bank robber – back in the exact same position – could have done otherwise. Even if we have souls this doesn’t solve the problem of determinism.

    “Ultimately,life is born only from other life,consciousness from consciousness.A universe that is hostile to life and lifeless itself cannot produce life and consciousness.” Following that reasoning then milk could only ever come from come milk. The universe is indeed extremely hostile to life.

    “Computer viruses are man-made.They were programmed by conscious beings.” I was talking about biological viruses.

    No just freedom to live as you want//
    “Freedom in a purely deterministic universe is not possible.” If we have wants and desires and can act on them, then we can say we are free, again it doesn’t matter that all our desires and actions have causes.
    “You want to be a Materialist but you do not want to take its concepts to its fullest logical conclusions.” What do you think it’s “fullest logical conclusions” are?

    “There is no freedom,morality,love,joy in atoms,which is all we are reduced to under Materialism/Physicalism.” Since we have these things and can talk about them they certainly do exist – just like your computer exists it doesn’t matter that your computer and everything it does is the result of causes it still exists.

    Free will means the ability to choose between multiple options, determinism means everything you choose was ultimately determined by the past history of the universe….//
    “No,determinism means there is no choice but only a single path that could not have been any other way.Choice is the freedom we have to select more than one path.” Yes and as I have said that single path isn’t known to us
    “Why does anyone need to know what to decide before deciding what to decide?” Because you can only ever observe what has already been decided.
    “Free will is the ability to make decisions from various alternatives that are uncoerced.This is nothing more than a moving of goal posts.” It presents no problem to the comparabilist definition but it is certainly a major problem for the supernatural free will that you believe in – since not even your immaterial soul is aware of what you will do before you have done it.
    “You want to set an impossible standard even though it does not detract from the issue at hand.” It may well be an impossible standard but that would be because the kind of free will that you believe in is completely incoherent.
    ===
    Well if a criminal acts on an urge or impulse and commits a crime then the reality is he couldn’t have resisted this impulse//
    “Impulses can be vetoed.Experiencing an urge does not give one the right to act on that urge.” We are talking about someone who did indeed act on their impulses, since that happened that’s the reality their was no possible way the person could have not resisted their impulses (given the state of the universe at that time.) Invoking this mysterious magical contra causal supernatural ability does nothing and doesn’t help to solve any problem.
    ===
    on are psychopaths but that’s another story.Criminals changing their lifestyles is not evidence of contra causal free will//
    “It’s evidence that people can choose different paths despite what their environment and genes dictate.” A different FUTURE path but they obviously cannot change their past.
    “Since determinism mainly consist of these two factors,it is therefore evidence for free will.” The answer to this from the determinist view is that their brain has changed, now it seems their brain is better at making moral decisions as well as regulating any violent and criminal impulses they may have.
    “This makes no sense,the reason why I know what I’m going to do is because I chose to do it.” It doesn’t matter if you make your choice in advance it doesn’t change the fact that you can only ever observe what’s already been chosen.
    “For example,i know I’m going to read a book later but that is my choice.No external force is pressuring me to do it.To insist other wise amounts to conspiracy theories” You want to read a book later it doesn’t mean it going to happen, all you can is make probabilistic predictions about what you are going to be doing later based on the information available to you at the time of making the prediction (which is the same for predicting any future event.)

  24. Phoenix says:

    We the so called materialists (whatever that is) can use other terms if you want such as moral responsibility/competency or voluntary action to express the same thing as what religious people call “free will” but which work and function entirely in a deterministic framework//

    You, the Materialists (now called Physicalists) cannot use those terms without contradicting your philosophy or without distorting the actual meanings.How is it possible that you cannot see the blatant contradiction when claiming there is only path that can be chosen,and there’s nothing else that could have been done differently.
    ===
    Okay let’s try another thought experiment to demonstrate this, called rewinding the tape. So let’s go back in time to when that criminal made his decisions to rob the bank. Let’s rewind it just before he made his decision to rob it, him and the rest of the universe is in an identical conditional and let’s press play and what we will see is him robbing the bank, indeed we can repeat this experiment as many times as we want and each time – back in an identical position with the universe in the exact same condition – he will rob that bank//

    Free will does not depend on the state of particles in the universe.The conscious mind exercising its will is able to resist external pressure.Given that the soul is not limited to time and space it could inform the person of the consequences his actions will bring,in the hopes of making better choices.The information could come in a dream,prayer,meditation and could be known intuitively.It all depends on the individual’s spiritual progress and free will.
    ===
    Ultimately we inherit our genes from the universe//

    Ultimately,life is born only from other life,consciousness from consciousness.A universe that is hostile to life and lifeless itself cannot produce life and consciousness.
    ===
    Viruses are programs – and their not conscious//

    Computer viruses are man-made.They were programmed by conscious beings.
    ===
    No just freedom to live as you want//

    Freedom in a purely deterministic universe is not possible.You want to be a Materialist but you do not want to take its concepts to its fullest logical conclusions.
    There is no freedom,morality,love,joy in atoms,which is all we are reduced to under Materialism/Physicalism.
    ===
    Free will means the ability to choose between multiple options, determinism means everything you choose was ultimately determined by the past history of the universe….//
    No,determinism means there is no choice but only a single path that could not have been any other way.Choice is the freedom we have to select more than one path.
    ===
    I said you don’t know – and indeed cannot know – what you will decide before you have decided it, you can only know after you have taken the decision//

    Why does anyone need to know what to decide before deciding what to decide?Free will is the ability to make decisions from various alternatives that are uncoerced.This is nothing more than a moving of goal posts.You want to set an impossible standard even though it does not detract from the issue at hand.
    ===
    Well if a criminal acts on an urge or impulse and commits a crime then the reality is he couldn’t have resisted this impulse//

    Impulses can be vetoed.Experiencing an urge does not give one the right to act on that urge.
    ===
    on are psychopaths but that’s another story.Criminals changing their lifestyles is not evidence of contra causal free will//
    It’s evidence that people can choose different paths despite what their environment and genes dictate.Since determinism mainly consist of these two factors,it is therefore evidence for free will.
    ===
    Knowing what you are going to do before you do it means you have no free will at all – not even in the compatibilst sense//

    This makes no sense,the reason why I know what I’m going to do is because I chose to do it.For example,i know I’m going to read a book later but that is my choice.No external force is pressuring me to do it.To insist other wise amounts to conspiracy theories.

  25. Steve says:

    @Phoenix
    “If there’s no other state the universe could have been in at that moment then there is no option to select from except the given state” That’s right.

    “One particular state is not a viable choice,it requires 2 or more states” I have explained about choice from the determinist view.

    “The problem with Materialists is that they use dualist terminologies but deviate from the standard definitions.” We the so called materialists (whatever that is) can use other terms if you want such as moral responsibility/competency or voluntary action to express the same thing as what religious people call “free will” but which work and function entirely in a deterministic framework.

    “Merely declaring them identical is not justifiable,what’s required is that they share the exact same properties.You can illustrate with practical examples” Okay let’s try another thought experiment to demonstrate this, called rewinding the tape. So let’s go back in time to when that criminal made his decisions to rob the bank. Let’s rewind it just before he made his decision to rob it, him and the rest of the universe is in an identical conditional and let’s press play and what we will see is him robbing the bank, indeed we can repeat this experiment as many times as we want and each time – back in an identical position with the universe in the exact same condition – he will rob that bank.

    “From whom do we inherit our genes if not from conscious beings?” Ultimately we inherit our genes from the universe.

    “As I’ve said above,all programming are from conscious beings.You have yet to show examples from inanimate objects.” Viruses are programs – and their not conscious.

    “Freedom from what exactly? Our physical laws?” No just freedom to live as you want.

    ” If you wish to assert Compatibilism (free will and determinism co-exists) then you must demonstrate how an acausal occurrence is also subjected to cause and effect.” I don’t believe in acausality, as for for compatibilism I already explained why they are compatible. Free will means the ability to choose between multiple options, determinism means everything you choose was ultimately determined by the past history of the universe. Let’s make an example, you come to a set of traffic lights and see their on green with , now you have a choice of whether to stop and wait for the lights or to run out into the traffic in at attempt to save yourself some time. Now let’s say you wait for the lights to change, now from determinism and looking back it’s clear you didn’t have a choice but to wait, but from the view of when you was still at the lights (and not knowing what’s been predetermined) it’s correct to say I have a choice here. That’s how they are compatible, it’s quite simple really.

    “For example,if I leave work early tomorrow without informing my colleagues,there’s a good chance I might loose an important client and get fired.” Yes and how is this predicting free from causality?

    ” I don’t need to know all prior thoughts leading up to the present thought.It contradicts human experience and is without any urgency or neccessity.” I was talking about predicting your very next thought.

    “Like I said before there’s no need to decide what to decide before I decide,just as I don’t need an explanation of an explanation of that explanation,etc,etc,etc.It simply has no value and importance in human experience and epistemology” I said you don’t know – and indeed cannot know – what you will decide before you have decided it, you can only know after you have taken the decision.

    “According to the free will thesis,even the minimal free will concept,the criminal has a choice to at least veto his actions prior to the event.If the criminal can make arbitrary decisions he can also deliberate on his actions,even though the urge to commit a felony is strong” Well if a criminal acts on an urge or impulse and commits a crime then the reality is he couldn’t have resisted this impulse.

    “There are many examples of criminal who have changed their lifestyles completely.” Funnily enough at least most of these guys you are talking about – ex mobsters, career criminals and so
    on are psychopaths but that’s another story. Criminals changing their lifestyles is not evidence of contra causal free will.

    “False.I can make even better choices if I know what’s going to happen before hand.You’re conflating free will with indeterminism” Knowing what you are going to do before you do it means you have no free will at all – not even in the compatibilst sense.

    “Also false and contradicts human experience.Indeterminism is the state of uncertain randomness.If humans were subjected to such unpredictable behaviors,it would constitute madness.” We don’t know what’s going to happen next that’s for sure. But yes humans are not chaotic and we can make probabilistic guesses about future human behaviour based on known physical constraints, our past experience and what we can observe and measure.

  26. Phoenix says:

    1) The state of the universe in a particular moment (such as when someone makes a decision) determines what will happen. 2)Since the universe was in that state and not some other state, nothing else could have possible happened//
    This could have been a valid deduction had you not inserted the part in brackets.If there’s no other state the universe could have been in at that moment then there is no option to select from except the given state.One particular state is not a viable choice,it requires 2 or more states
    The problem with Materialists is that they use dualist terminologies but deviate from the standard definitions.
    ===
    \\All of my definitions are dictionary definitions Choice – An act of choosing between two or more possibilities. Free will – “The ability or discretion to choose”. Randomness – “lack of pattern or predictability in events.” Programmed “Cause a person or animal to act in a predetermined way”//

    Yes,these are perfectly valid definitions.let’s stick with them
    ===
    \\I already said they would be identical and since they are identical their choices and decisions would also be identical//

    Merely declaring them identical is not justifiable,what’s required is that they share the exact same properties.You can illustrate with practical examples.
    ===
    \\Nature is not a conscious agent nor does programming need to be done by a conscious being for example our genetic programming is not the result of agency//

    From whom do we inherit our genes if not from conscious beings?
    ===
    Us humans being able to make choices is itself just the result of natures programming//

    As I’ve said above,all programming are from conscious beings.You have yet to show examples from inanimate objects.
    ===
    No since any freedom that an entity has or thinks it has, has been given to it by nature//

    Freedom from what exactly? Our physical laws? If you wish to assert Compatibilism (free will and determinism co-exists) then you must demonstrate how an acausal occurrence is also subjected to cause and effect.
    ===
    Predicting the future eh? Okay if you think you have this power about what’s going to happen next then predict what you are going to think next? Predict what thought is going to come into your mind next – before you have even thought it. Or what are you going to predict before you have predicted it?//

    I never said anything about predicting thoughts.I said predicting certain outcomes.For example,if I leave work early tomorrow without informing my colleagues,there’s a good chance I might loose an important client and get fired.
    Regarding your infinite regress theory,it’s clearly fallacious.Just as one does not need to give an explanation of why you gave an explanation of why you gave that earlier explanation ad infinitum,likewise I don’t need to know all prior thoughts leading up to the present thought.It contradicts human experience and is without any urgency or neccessity.
    ===
    \\Yes and all this predicting happens BEFORE they make any decision. You cannot decide what you are going to decide before you have decided it//

    Like I said before there’s no need to decide what to decide before I decide,just as I don’t need an explanation of an explanation of that explanation,etc,etc,etc.It simply has no value and importance in human experience and epistemology.
    ===
    \\That don’t contradict our experience, in fact if you analyse what happens when you make a decision you will find that all you do is observe your thoughts.When you make a decision you will notice all you observe is the result//

    False,when one decides,there is no result in sight.With a result in sight,the need for choice is immediately removed.
    ===
    \\Yes the criminal and all his decisions are the result of causes. Most probably an unfortunate combination of bad genes, bad parents, bad ideas and a bad life. Can you tell me how else we could make sense of this? Do you believe a criminals decision to rob a bank just appears out of thin air?//

    According to the free will thesis,even the minimal free will concept,the criminal has a choice to at least veto his actions prior to the event.If the criminal can make arbitrary decisions he can also deliberate on his actions,even though the urge to commit a felony is strong.There are many examples of criminal who have changed their lifestyles completely.
    ===
    Because that is how we can speak about making decisions, if we already knew everything that is going to happen then we would have no free will to speak of//

    False.I can make even better choices if I know what’s going to happen before hand.You’re conflating free will with indeterminism
    ===
    Our ability to choose between multiple options is dependent on the future being unknown to us, so that is why indeterminacy is an essential component to free will//

    Also false and contradicts human experience.Indeterminism is the state of uncertain randomness.If humans were subjected to such unpredictable behaviors,it would constitute madness.

  27. Steven says:

    @Phoenix
    “Before you conitnue responding to my comments,first try to put your concept of determinism in a deductive syllogism.” 1) The state of the universe in a particular moment (such as when someone makes a decision) determines what will happen. 2)Since the universe was in that state and not some other state, nothing else could have possible happened.
    “I think by laying down your definitions of choice,free will,randomness,programmed and determinism should clarify a lot of confusion.” All of my definitions are dictionary definitions Choice – An act of choosing between two or more possibilities. Free will – “The ability or discretion to choose”. Randomness – “lack of pattern or predictability in events.” Programmed “Cause a person or animal to act in a predetermined way”

    “It’s also question begging because we need to prove that A and B are identical before concluding they must have identical experiences.” I already said they would be identical and since they are identical their choices and decisions would also be identical.

    “The phrase “nature has programmed us” implies a conscious agent that has fixed or prearranged in us with the ability to choose.” Nature is not a conscious agent nor does programming need to be done by a conscious being for example our genetic programming is not the result of agency.

    “Here are some problems with your logic:
    “1.All programmed devices are automated (ie. it can only do what it’s instructed to do,nothing else),thus choice,which is the ability to select freely is out of the question.” Us humans being able to make choices is itself just the result of natures programming.
    2.Nature is entirely beholden to the laws of cause and effect,and by programming entities to choose freely she would have violated her own deterministic laws.” No since any freedom that an entity has or thinks it has, has been given to it by nature.

    “You said before that free will is the lack of predicting the future.” Predicting the future eh? Okay if you think you have this power about what’s going to happen next then predict what you are going to think next? Predict what thought is going to come into your mind next – before you have even thought it. Or what are you going to predict before you have predicted it?
    “In the real world people predict the outcomes of their actions all the time.They then decide based on this which outcomes they would prefer or even if they should choose an entirely different path that has nothing to do with the previous choices or to drop everything and do nothing.” Yes and all this predicting happens BEFORE they make any decision. You cannot decide what you are going to decide before you have decided it.
    “My point is that your theories contradict universal human experience,which is known primary to the individual.Your theory is not only conjecture without evidence but counter-intuitive as well.” That don’t contradict our experience, in fact if you analyse what happens when you make a decision you will find that all you do is observe your thoughts. When you make a decision you will notice all you observe is the result.

    “False,according to Determinism the present and future is dependent on the past which can be traced back to the Big Bang.” I didn’t say otherwise. “For example,a criminal who robs a bank,does so due to past events that are out of his control.Probably a combination of genetics and environmental/societal factors.” Yes the criminal and all his decisions are the result of causes. Most probably an unfortunate combination of bad genes, bad parents, bad ideas and a bad life. Can you tell me how else we could make sense of this? Do you believe a criminals decision to rob a bank just appears out of thin air?
    ===
    2)However since we don’t have all the information about the present state of the universe we cannot know what has been predetermined and so we can decide between 2 or more options about what we are going to do in the future.
    Reply//
    “I see no reason why this implies free-will.” Because that is how we can speak about making decisions, if we already knew everything that is going to happen then we would have no free will to speak of.
    “Heisneberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that a particle’s exact position and momentum can’t be known simultaneously,except by probability but that uncertainty in no way imply those particles have free-will.This is randomness or indeterminancy,since we do not know where they’ll end up its like rolling a dice and unable to predict the outcome but that does not mean the gambler can choose what the outcome would be.” Our ability to choose between multiple options is dependent on the future being unknown to us, so that is why indeterminacy is an essential component to free will.

  28. Phoenix says:

    Steven

    Before you conitnue responding to my comments,first try to put your concept of determinism in a deductive syllogism.

    \\Because you would be who they are and where they are, you would have lived exactly the same life as them, with the same experiences and you would have made exactly the same choices and decisions as they did//

    The problem with your analogy is that it asserts upfront that A and B are identical and would therefore have identical experiences.So if A and B are tautologies then by definition of a tautology and the law of identity A could never be and do something other than B and vice versa.You have preset their identities and experiences to be identical then claim it could never have been different.It’s also question begging because we need to prove that A and B are identical before concluding they must have identical experiences.
    ===
    \\Decision making is also part of our programming, nature has programmed us with the ability to “choose” between various options//

    The phrase “nature has programmed us” implies a conscious agent that has fixed or prearranged in us with the ability to choose.
    Here are some problems with your logic:
    1.All programmed devices are automated (ie. it can only do what it’s instructed to do,nothing else),thus choice,which is the ability to select freely is out of the question.
    2.Nature is entirely beholden to the laws of cause and effect,and by programming entities to choose freely she would have violated her own deterministic laws.
    ===
    \\If they accurately predicted what they was going to choose they must have chosen what they accurately predicted (by definition)//

    You said before that free will is the lack of predicting the future.Then the ability to predict the future and still to veto its outcome disproves that theory.In the real world people predict the outcomes of their actions all the time.They then decide based on this which outcomes they would prefer or even if they should choose an entirely different path that has nothing to do with the previous choices or to drop everything and do nothing.My point is that your theories contradict universal human experience,which is known primary to the individual.Your theory is not only conjecture without evidence but counter-intuitive as well.
    ===
    1)Everything we will do is determined by the present state of the universe//

    False,according to Determinism the present and future is dependent on the past which can be traced back to the Big Bang.For example,a criminal who robs a bank,does so due to past events that are out of his control.Probably a combination of genetics and environmental/societal factors.
    ===
    2)However since we don’t have all the information about the present state of the universe we cannot know what has been predetermined and so we can decide between 2 or more options about what we are going to do in the future.
    Reply//

    I see no reason why this implies free-will.Heisneberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that a particle’s exact position and momentum can’t be known simultaneously,except by probability but that uncertainty in no way imply those particles have free-will.This is randomness or indeterminancy,since we do not know where they’ll end up.it’s like rolling a dice and unable to predict the outcome but that does not mean the gambler can choose what the outcome would be.
    ===
    \\I said its a real or meaningful use of language – since as I say even with determinism the word choice has meaning//

    yes,the word “choice” has meaning.The words illusion,nothing,nobody and no-one also has meaning but they are admittedly still not real entities.
    I think by laying down your definitions of choice,free will,randomness,programmed and determinism should clarify a lot of confusion.

  29. Steve says:

    Hello Phoenix

    “Okay,but your thought experiment shows no reason why I cannot choose,it merely asserts it.” Because you would be who they are and where they are, you would have lived exactly the same life as them, with the same experiences and you would have made exactly the same choices and decisions as they did.

    “There’s an immediate contradiction that you should clear up if your position has any truth value.” This will be done in my responses below.

    ““Programmed” and “choice” also implies agency and yet you have no problem co-opting those terms.This argument seems to be one of semantics.One cannot be programmed to behave or perform certain tasks and still choose to perform those tasks.Once again there’s an apparent contradiction.” Decision making is also part of our programming, nature has programmed us with the ability to “choose” between various options.

    “So you have reduced free-will to an inability to predict future outcomes,thus allowing the illusion of choice to seem real.” Yes – as in reality that is what free will is.
    “However,people who can still accurately predict certain outcomes are still able to choose to another path.” If they accurately predicted what they was going to choose they must have chosen what they accurately predicted (by definition).

    “Again more contradictions.We cannot be predetermined to behave a certain way and also freely choose to behave that way” I already explained the apparent contradiction 1)Everything we will do is determined by the present state of the universe. 2)However since we don’t have all the information about the present state of the universe we cannot know what has been predetermined and so we can decide between 2 or more options about what we are going to do in the future.
    ===
    \\Thus, we have “free-will”, which is really an illusion, though a real and useful enough figure of speech, and complete determinism, at the same time//.
    “It’s an illusion even though it’s real.A real illusion.That’s a violation of the law of non-contradiction” I said its a real or meaningful use of language – since as I say even with determinism the word choice has meaning.

  30. Phoenix says:

    Hi Steve

    i’m looking forward to an interesting debate with you.Good luck.

    You said:the universe determines who we are and what we do, if for example you could switch places with someone else – if you had lived their life – you would be them meaning you would think and act just as they do and their is no part of you that could choose not to//

    Okay,but your thought experiment shows no reason why I cannot choose,it merely asserts it.
    ===
    \\Yes and how does that change the fact that the word “choice” still has meaning?//

    You agreed to the definitions of Determinism and that all events are the result of prior particle alignments over which we have no influence.Then you must agree that since humans have no power over the laws of nature,they are therefore unable to change any outcome fixed by those particles and laws.To do otherwise would be to violate the laws of nature,thus choice is impossible (if determism is true).You cannot freely choose and also be completely influenced by previous external factors.There’s an immediate contradiction that you should clear up if your position has any truth value.
    ===
    \\Determinism doesn’t mean you are “controlled”, it simple means you are programmed by the universe and since “control” implies agency you can’t say you are controlled by the universe – since the universe is not conscious//

    “Programmed” and “choice” also implies agency and yet you have no problem co-opting those terms.This argument seems to be one of semantics.One cannot be programmed to behave or perform certain tasks and still choose to perform those tasks.Once again there’s an apparent contradiction.
    ===
    \\What we call “free will” is our perception that we are, to some degree, in control of what we are doing. And it is based on our lack of ability to predict the future. That is, even though the future is necessarily fully predetermined by the present moment, we ourselves don’t know what is predetermined, and that leaves space for our so-called “free will”//

    So you have reduced free-will to an inability to predict future outcomes,thus allowing the illusion of choice to seem real.However,people who can still accurately predict certain outcomes are still able to choose to another path.
    ===
    \\Our “free-will” consists of our “choosing” between one course of action and another, and we do this choosing because we don’t know which course of action we will take prior to taking it. But whichever way we choose, that particular choice is necessarily always predetermined//

    Again more contradictions.We cannot be predetermined to behave a certain way and also freely choose to behave that way
    ===
    \\Thus, we have “free-will”, which is really an illusion, though a real and useful enough figure of speech, and complete determinism, at the same time//.

    It’s an illusion even though it’s real.A real illusion.That’s a violation of the law of non-contradiction.

  31. Steve says:

    @Phoenix

    “What arguments do you intend to forward in support of the resolution that “Ultimately we are machines programmed by the universe”.Naturally I assume the con position since I’m a proponent of free-will,as opposed to determinism,indeterminism and compatablism” the universe determines who we are and what we do, if for example you could switch places with someone else – if you had lived their life – you would be them meaning you would think and act just as they do and their is no part of you that could choose not to.

    – Plato Stanford:”Causal determinism:The world is governed by (or is under the sway of) determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a time t, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law”
    “Notice my definition above is similar to that of Plato Stanford,in that all events are necessitated by prior events,therefore there can be no manipulation of outcomes by agents acting intentionally.What appears to be a free choice is nothing but an illusion according to Determinism.” Yes and how does that change the fact that the word “choice” still has meaning?
    “Humans are either algorithmically controlled like machines,which don’t have free will or they are free agents acting intentionally.” Determinism doesn’t mean you are “controlled”, it simple means you are programmed by the universe and since “control” implies agency you can’t say you are controlled by the universe – since the universe is not conscious.
    If you assume both then your stance is Compatibilism and not Incompatibilist Determinism.”
    What we call “free will” is our perception that we are, to some degree, in control of what we are doing. And it is based on our lack of ability to predict the future. That is, even though the future is necessarily fully predetermined by the present moment, we ourselves don’t know what is predetermined, and that leaves space for our so-called “free will”.

    Our “free-will” consists of our “choosing” between one course of action and another, and we do this choosing because we don’t know which course of action we will take prior to taking it. But whichever way we choose, that particular choice is necessarily always predetermined.

    Thus, we have “free-will”, which is really an illusion, though a real and useful enough figure of speech, and complete determinism, at the same time.

  32. Phoenix says:

    Ron

    You bring up some interesting points.It’s true that the Afghanis managed to defeat the Red Army,something the Nazis couldn’t even do with all their superior military intelligence and weaponry.I also agree that Western Civilization will cease to be if Christianity is completely removed.Rather,it is ultimately the Atheist Left who directly and indirectly support Islam and muslims who will cause the implosion of Western Civilization.I’d even go as far as saying that the Atheist Left is a danger to humanity with or without Islam.

  33. Phoenix says:

    Ali Sina says”I always thought we can defeat Islam if only we show the world how evil it is. I no longer believe that. Islam has its attraction. It gives people a goal and a meaning to their existence. People know instinctively that there is a purpose to life. Societies that have lost that meaning, that don’t know the point of living and stand for no values are easy prey to Islamic bait. The belief in Jesus Christ is indeed a protection. I even encourage Hindus and Buddhists to cling to their religion. If you don’t want to accept Jesus as the Messiah, go back to your root. Strengthen your faith in your own religion and don’t let your children think there is no sense for living. It is on the people who have no compass that Muslims prey.”

    I like this,there’s a major lesson here.You should definitely write an article on morality from a theist perspective and the consequences of adopting a moral void.For example;is there such a thing as being good without God? It should be an interesting read,probably controversial too.

  34. Ron says:

    The US tried to encourage democracy in its fight against militant Islam in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia etc. but it has lead only to more militancy and are on the verge of being kicked out of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union used communism, socialism and atheism through proxies and wars in Afghanistan, Chechyna,Yemen, Egypt etc. but again failed and were kicked out by the Afghans.
    Kemal Pasha used secularism which lasted for a generation or two and now Turkey has regressed back into being a religious Islamic state. The secularism experiments has not been successful even in places like Malaysia and Indonesia.
    Historically its only Judeo-Christian forces which defeated Islamic armies. Atheist, secular, communist and pagan, Hindu or Buddhist forces just lost and caved in. Christianity is slowly bringing out changes in China as it is becoming the fastest growing religion there.
    If you are using secularism, democracy, neo-paganism or new-ageism as plural allies to convert or persuade the Islamists you will still have to throw in the towel sooner than later.
    The Civilized world or the West needs Christ more now than ever before and with Christ in you, you can bring about a sea change in Islamists. Without war its only Christ and the Holy Spirit of God who can bring about this change but I believe the change should be in the West first who need to go back to following Christ before trying to change the Islamists.

  35. Ali Sina says:

    Eric said
    “If you really want to find God, cut out the middle man.”

    Yes I agree. Jesus is no middle man. He is God incarnate.
    When I heard statements like this uttered by Christians I only felt sorry for them wondering how can you reason with such people. Today I say that without hesitation as I now know the one who did not understand it was I.

    I explained this in my article Trinity for Dummies and I believe I did not deviate from reason. If I did, I would be glad to sand corrected. http://www.faithfreedom.org/trinity-for-dummies/

  36. Ali Sina says:

    Eric said.
    “I did not say that nude people should show up at schools. I said don’t bring kids to a sexual liberation parade.”

    Streets are for the public including children. If nudity is okay in the street why it should not be okay in schools? Aren’t you shifting the blame on children for coming to such events? This is very much like Muslim saying if women don’t want to be raped they should cover themselves. It is clear that this 8 years old child feels violated by watching that gross exposition of that adult. Is it really her fault to come to that parade? I argue her immoral parents are to be blamed but what about the society that allows such gross acts of indecency?

    That is what happens when we take out God out of our lives. We then navigate without compass. We no longer know where to go or if there is even any goal. We float aimlessly.

    It would have been even okay if we only floated aimlessly and lived just for our enjoyment, without any purpose or ideal in life. But nature abhors vacuum. Humans want to have meaning in their life. They want to know why they are here and what role they have in this universe. So there come ideologies like Islam that fill the void. They give you a clear purpose and a meaning to your existence. But not all paths lead to salvation. Islam is the road to hell, both in this world and the next. It brings nothing but misery to mankind.

    I always thought we can defeat Islam if only we show the world how evil it is. I no longer believe that. Islam has its attraction. It gives people a goal and a meaning to their existence. People know instinctively that there is a purpose to life. Societies that have lost that meaning, that don’t know the point of living and stand for no values are easy prey to Islamic bait. The belief in Jesus Christ is indeed a protection. I even encourage Hindus and Buddhists to cling to their religion. If you don’t want to accept Jesus as the Messiah, go back to your root. Strengthen your faith in your own religion and don’t let your children think there is no sense for living. It is on the people who have no compass that Muslims prey.

  37. Ali Sina says:

    “If we are going to invoke God and Spiritual Evolution, consider the following: Evolution occurs in response to crisis.”

    Eric, you are an insightful person. That is exactly how spiritual evolution happens too and that is the only reason we come to this world that is filled with challenges. Here we face evil and by confronting it and defeating it we can grow our goodness.

    Courage is a spiritual quality. To acquire courage we need to face fear. Without fear courage is meaningless. Forgiveness is a spiritual quality, but unless we face cruelty and injustice forgiveness is meaningless. Generosity is a spiritual quality. However without need you cannot exercise your generosity. This word is a gym for us to grow our spiritual muscles. The bigger are the challenges that we face the greater will be our spiritual evolution. It is by facing crisis and hardship that we can grow our spiritual muscles.

    To build your body you need to do exercise. You need to work out your muscles. You have to lift weight and make your muscles tired. You can have the best genes but if you don’t work out, you won’t have a toned muscular body. Likewise, we need to face the challenges of the world in order to grow our spiritual muscles. God cannot do that for us. No one can help us grow spiritually except us

  38. Ali Sina says:

    “Here is a pattern I have noticed: As soon as someone starts to think that Jesus is the messiah, soon after they will adopt a point of view that the world was meant to be one way, but we ruined it.”

    I can testify to the accuracy of your above statement. Since I accepted Jesus and started reading Gospels again this time not to find faults, but to find what it actually says, I have realized Jesus has shown us the way how to live. We screwed up. We never did what he said. Maybe Christians followed Jesus in the first 300 years, but since Constantinople, everything the Church did was wrong. I would argue that some Hindus are more Christians that Christians.

    Jesus was indeed the way. I don’t think many Christians know Jesus. They so misrepresent his words that Christianity has become repulsive to many. I know I would never have accepted Jesus from Christians. I found Jesus and God through NDE.

    God did intervene in the world through Jesus. humanity never grasped the meaning of that intervention.

  39. Ali Sina says:

    Eric, you argue that children raised in incestuous families are traumatized, which I completely agree.
    a) Don’t you think nudism contributes to incest? I’d argue that incest among nudist families is a lot more than among those who don’t engage in such activity. I think this should be obvious and I don’t have to prove it.
    b) Are you sure children raised by homosexual couples are not traumatized and confused? I have not seen a study on that. The phenomenon is new. But I bet as time goes by and more children are raised by gay couples we will start seeing the permanent damage done to them.
    There are some divine law that if we break we pay. These divine laws are not written in so called holy books but are ingrained in our psychology. We are born with them. We can’t violate these laws and expect to be happy.

  40. Ali Sina says:

    Eric wrote. “Ali – We are all born naked. Anyone who is traumatized by the site of a naked body already has some baggage to cause them to feel this way. “

    I wish I could find an article I read where a man now in his 40s described his childhood traumatization when at the age of four her mother would take off her bra to bathe him. At the age of four this person knew this is not necessary. He remembered he went to his father crying saying he does not want his mother to bathe him. His father did not pay much attention and said okay. But as he said the trauma affected him so profoundly that he had difficulty relating to women and remained a bachelor.

    The child in the link I provided does not belong to Christian parents. They took her to teach her inclusiveness, and tolerance of alternative lifestyles. I highly doubt Christian parents would take their children to such events unless they are screwed in their head. But this child’s inner compass of decency tells her something is wrong.

    Studies show that humans as young 8 months have the concept of wrong, right, morality, justice and beauty. They even take justice into their hands and punish the toy that is abusing the other toy. We are not born as tabula raza. Being a fractal of God we are born with all Godly attributes and everything we need to further evolve spiritually. What happens to us after that and how we react to them is entirely up to us. There is an absolute freedom of action. One NDEr said, during his life review he realized that despite the indoctrination of churches that God has His hand in everything, we are utterly free. God does not intervene in anything unless asked to. His intervention in the world is through us. And since there are so few people willing to let God use them, the influence of God in the world is now very little, which explains why the world is in such a mess. We never allowed God to use us at any time in history. Instead we let religions to control us. All religions are manmade.

    I don’t understand how God works. But the more I read NDE stories the more it seems to me that God is the person who wrote the software and this world is running on its own. God wants to be involved, but the only way he can be involved is through those who allow Him to use them.

  41. Ron says:

    Atheism can NEVER defeat Islam. In fact when Islam started expanding through conquests it could easily defeat the pagan nations but lost to Christian Europe. It made a small dent thru conquests in Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Turkey etc.
    The Islamic conquests in Spain, Bulgaria, Romania etc. were pushed back due to the crusades and the wars later on. They defeated all pagan nations and stayed put and islamacized them.
    In Afghanistan the Taliban tell their fighters that they are real men and the US armed forces are half-men (the Taliban think and are taught that many of the NATO soldiers are gay especially after DADT was repealed) and that Allah is with them and they will ultimately prevail and get their victory as well as 72 virgins in their heaven. This propaganda and the feeling that West is full of immorality and godlessness which needs to be corrected through Islam expansion are difficult to counter through secularism or liberalism, agnosticism or atheism.
    The fastest growing religion in Iran is not atheism but Christianity and same is true in many parts of Islamic world.
    Only Christianity as practiced and preached by Christ can change that. Through all other methods you are flogging a dead horse.
    Send Christian missionaries and you will find results. They changed and felled the biggest and most powerful empire (Roman Empire) through implosion caused by conversion to Christ without arms.
    They will not kill anyone but boldly preach and sacrifice themselves and bring these Islamists to their saving grace. You don’t need war and you certainly don’t need secularists or pagans but only Christ.

  42. Gay people aren’t hurting anyone simply by being gay. Meanwhile, the Islamic world is making it’s big move on the Civilized World and they’re gathering up nukes. The Jesus element just really fucks up Counter Jihad. We have a job to do here and that is to warn the world about Islam and to mobilize those who know the dangers into actually doing something about it. How do we screw that up? Just throw a Bible into the mix and we’ll never get out of first gear. The Religious Right is Counter Jihad’s biggest liability.

  43. Phoenix says:

    Steve

    Ave

    Moving on from the gay issue,you said:Ultimately we are machines programmed by the universe, but that is another discussion concerning metaphysics and has nothing or little to do with the question of whether homosexuality should be regarded as a mental disorder or not//

    What arguments do you intend to forward in support of the resolution that “Ultimately we are machines programmed by the universe”.Naturally I assume the con position since I’m a proponent of free-will,as opposed to determinism,indeterminism and compatibilism.
    ===
    \\Even with determinism the word “choice” has a meaning. Choice is when you consciously decide between various options. It doesn’t matter that your choice, or decision, is entirely determined by causes//

    – Determinism is the thesis that all events are the result of previous events over which we have no control.The universe is a closed system with nothing new coming into existence.As well as all future events are unalterable,thus free will is an illusion.

    – Plato Stanford:”Causal determinism:The world is governed by (or is under the sway of) determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a time t, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law”

    Notice my definition above is similar to that of Plato Stanford,in that all events are necessitated by prior events,therefore there can be no manipulation of outcomes by agents acting intentionally.What appears to be a free choice is nothing but an illusion according to Determinism.
    Humans are either algorithmically controlled like machines,which don’t have free will or they are free agents acting intentionally.If you assume both then your stance is Compatibilism and not Incompatibilist Determinism.

    Looking forward to your arguments

    Vale

  44. If you really want to find God, cut out the middle man and stop paying his people their commission. That which is Infinite requires no interface. You cannot be separate from that which is Infinite as the part is not separate from the whole. There is an analogy, perhaps you’ve heard it before Ron. A man goes in search of the moon. At last he finds a finger pointing up at it. But rather than gaze directly at the moon and see it for himself, he sucks on the pointing finger for comfort. Such is the nature of messiah religions. “No one comes to the Father except by me” one man said. In fact, many men have said this over the years and many still do, especially in India. That may be comforting. And if comfort is all you seek, then there is no need to deeply inquire.

  45. Ron – Really? You find that the people who follow Jesus only do good? I find that they just people, like the rest of us. One of the many problems I have with people peddling “Christ” is that the general consensus, among his fan base, is that if you do not accept him, you will be cast into a lake of hell fire, for all eternity. And yet so many of his followers are actually sort of proud of themselves, for choosing belief over what they perceive to be the alternative. It’s the greatest story ever sold. Which part of following his teachings do you recommend? Should I throw a self righteous tantrum, if I see Jews doing business a temple? Should I pluck out my eye if it causes me to sin? To be truly “Christ-like” (the definition of Christian) then I’d have to around trying to convince people that I and I alone am the only way to “god”. Kind of strikes me as the height of arrogance to say such things to people.

  46. Ron says:

    @EAB I apologise if asking you to accept Christ has offended you. I just felt I was in similar shoes like you before I accepted Christ. There are several people (non-Christians ) who have personally witnessed Mother Theresa nursing lepers, the diseased and the dying with her own hands. There are recorded statements and videos on the web. There are anti-Christian forces who are trying to malign her selfless legacy as many of the destitute accept Christ and they want to counter it. May be you are hearing some of these anti-Christian bytes. I don’t want to go there as the discussion will only go tangent.
    I strongly believe that if someone follows Jesus and practices what Jesus said and did then he will only do good and his world view will be more of compassion, forgiveness and love towards all humans. Peace to all.

  47. Eric Allen Bell says:

    Ron – CLEARLY I did not say that nude people should show up at schools. I said don’t bring kids to a sexual liberation parade. You are conveniently twisting my words. Furthermore, Mother Teresa was a major con artist. And people who tell me to accept their imaginary friend really start to wear on my nerves. Can’t you do that in private?

  48. Ron says:

    Even in the remotest, unreached tribes of people in Amazon, Africa and Polynesia there is no complete nudity (They may not cover their upper or rear parts of their bodies but do cover the genitals.
    How did they get that decency? By EAB’s reasoning if nudity does come to your school or marketplace or any other common place then kids have to skip school or that common place.
    Complete nudity is indecency and an offense in all countries (whether influenced by Genesis in Christianity or not) and cultures of the world except for nudist colonies in few countries. I think this is one of the many points that differentiates humans from animals.
    I passed by many pan-handlers, hungry and homeless while going to work and never bothered to help them but after accepting Christ, I just find it difficult to pass by any pan-handler, hungry or homeless without giving him alms. The compassion and love towards fellow humans will increase and your views on morality will change for the better.
    When Mother Theresa picked up the naked, sick, destitute and dying from the streets in an handcart from the streets of Kolkata in the early 50”s and 60”s (and even later) and took them home to nursing them, I can understand that the love of Christ and the touch of the Holy Spirit made her do it.
    You will also find the same when you sincerely accept Christ .

  49. Steve says:

    Phoenix
    “From a purely Materialist perspective,yes but I’m confident I could successfully refute the reductionist position but that’s an entirely different and long subject matter because I would also have to tackle the concept of determinism which accompanies most Materialist positions.Unless you wish to assert indeterminism,which I also don’t mind discussing” Ultimately we are machines programmed by the universe, but that is another discussion concerning metaphysics and has nothing or little to do with the question of whether homosexuality should be regarded as a mental disorder or not.

    “&given the doctrine of determinism (environmental and genetic),from my theistic position there is a choice,albeit one that requires an arduous will” Even with determinism the word “choice” has a meaning. Choice is when you consciously decide between various options. It doesn’t matter that your choice, or decision, is entirely determined by causes.

    “Yes,copy paste the link below” Unfortunately the link didn’t work.

    “Also it’s a false comparison.Vaginal cancer unlike anal cancer is not due to intercourse” Vaginal cancer can is thought to be linked to a STI called human papilloma virus (which can also cause cervical cancer) “However, HPV is present in more than two-thirds of women with vaginal cancer, which suggests that it may increase your risk of developing the condition.
    HPV is known to cause changes in the cells of the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer. It’s thought that the virus could have a similar effect on the cells of the vagina.”
    “I have given you enough links to the point of nearly gish galloping,which you did not dispute except to deny them.And no,I did not say homosexuals cannot function in society” Just to sum up I don’t think their is any significant risk caused by homosexuality and generally homosexuals are happy and productive members of society so that is why I don’t think it can be called a disorder.

  50. Eric Allen Bell says:

    If we are going to invoke God and Spiritual Evolution, consider the following: Evolution occurs in response to crisis.

  51. Eric Allen Bell says:

    Here is a pattern I have noticed: As soon as someone starts to think that Jesus is the messiah, soon after they will adopt a point of view that the world was meant to be one way, but we ruined it.

  52. Eric Allen Bell says:

    Ron – “Consensual” incest is very rare. Most of the time it is not consensual. How does this hurt society? Not only is it likely to produce traumatized people, who will then raise children, but it can also produce children. In Islam, where first cousin marriage has been popular for hundreds of years, this type of incest creates children with higher levels of aggression and lower IQ levels – which to a large extent explains why so many people would shake their fists and cheer when Arabs fly planes into buildings. Throw a nuclear bomb into the mix and you absolutely have a situation where all of society is affected by a pattern or incest.

  53. Eric Allen Bell says:

    Ali – We are all born naked. Anyone who is traumatized by the site of a naked body already has some baggage to cause them to feel this way. If you don’t want to see naked men walking down the street, don’t go to a sexual liberation parade. That article has a very churchy point of view, as it assumes that the book of Genesis is reality and that someone named “god” made us all feel ashamed of our nakedness because the woman messed up paradise for everyone.

  54. Phoenix says:

    Steve

    This is my last response on this subject matter.I realize this is a neverending debatable topic.Anyway,thanks for keeping it civil.

    You said:Homosexuality doesn’t cause harm – pedophilia does//
    I wouldn’t equate the two either
    ===
    \\All our behaviours ultimately have a biological basis in the brain.//
    From a purely Materialist perspective,yes but I’m confident I could successfully refute the reductionist position but that’s an entirely different and long subject matter because I would also have to tackle the concept of determinism which accompanies most Materialist positions.Unless you wish to assert indeterminism,which I also don’t mind discussing.
    ===
    \\Pedophiles brains do work different for example they because aroused when they see pictures of children – in other words their brain reacts to the images of children in the same way a heterosexual mans brain would react to seeing pictures of attractive women//
    I don’t recall arguing that pedophiles’ brains work exactly the same as normal healthy heterosexual adults.
    ===
    //Before you said homosexuality is not a choice now you say it’s a preferred lifestyle//
    I did not think it necessary to eloborate from which position I was refering.From a Materialist position it is not a choice,given the doctrine of determinism (environmental and genetic),from my theistic position there is a choice,albeit one that requires an arduous will.
    ===
    \\What is the probability of getting anal cancer from having anal sex, do you have any figures on that?//
    Yes,copy paste the link below
    cancer-network.org/cancer_information/gay_men_and_cancer/anal_cancer_hiv_and_gay_men.php
    ===
    \\If you want to say anal sex is an indication of their sexuality then it could be argued – from this reasoning – that vaginal cancer is an indication of heterosexuality//
    This is essentially a fallacious tu quoque response.Also it’s a false comparison.Vaginal cancer unlike anal cancer is not due to intercourse.Again,the following is from a reputable and objective medical organization:

    Causes:”It’s not clear what causes vaginal cancer. In general, cancer begins when healthy cells acquire a genetic mutation that turns normal cells into abnormal cells”
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-cancer/basics/causes/con-20043465
    ===
    \\Their is no evidence that homosexuals are at higher significant risk of having health and mental problems than heterosexual people. It is also not disputed that homosexuals function in society so I see no reason to call it a disorder//
    I have given you enough links to the point of nearly gish galloping,which you did not dispute except to deny them.And no,I did not say homosexuals cannot function in society.

    Vale

  55. Steve says:

    @Ali Sina

    You contradict yourself first you say higher sexual predation among homosexuals is an indication it is a disorder but then say the behaviour is actually caused by an anti social personality disorder the person has. (I.e a psychopath who is homosexual). The people you are talking about -sexual predators, serial killers and so on – are that way because they have a psychopathic personality – it has nothing to do with homosexuality.

    “Obesity drives the cost of healthcare only in countries with socialized healthcare” The economic and societal cost of obesity is much more than homosexuality – end of story.

    “Right and wrong should not be strictly measured in relation to the harm they cause” How else do we measure it then?

    “What do you do with that? The victim was consenting.” We can say that is disorder. – since it caused harm to the victim, and killing and chopping people up and eating the body parts I assume would seriously affect a persons ability to function in society.

    “What materialistic man does not want to understand is that we are spiritual beings first and foremost. The objective is not merely to live and let live but to evolve spiritually. We are not born at our birth nor do we die at our death. We come to this world to face its challenges, to experience it and to gain spiritual qualities and become Godlike. Many deviant behaviors do not hurt anyone but they do deter our spiritual progress” Invoking God and spirituality does nothing to help us solve the kind of problems you raised so it is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

  56. Steve says:

    Phoenix
    “I see no reason why homosexuality does not fit into your definition,since it’s also not a choice and can’t be cured by will power.” Homosexuality doesn’t cause harm – pedophilia does.

    “There are different brain structures between homosexuals and heterosexuals.There are no different brain structures between intelligent and less intelligent people.Where in the brain is intelligence located?” All our behaviours ultimately have a biological basis in the brain.

    “You have just reiterated what I already stated,however, the intended target of the pedophile stems from a purely subjective mental state.There is no particular firing of neurons in the brain that causes the pedophile to select children.That’s what the psychotherapy aims to cure.” Pedophiles brains do work different for example they because aroused when they see pictures of children – in other words their brain reacts to the images of children in the same way a heterosexual mans brain would react to seeing pictures of attractive women.

    “Sure,but they have a choice.Whereas homosexuals don’t.” What is the probability of getting anal cancer from having anal sex, do you have any figures on that?

    “Yes,and there are more healthier,wealthier,smarter and kinder heterosexuals than gays but that simply is due to them being the majority.It’s not an indication of their sexuality.” If you want to say anal sex is an indication of their sexuality then it could be argued – from this reasoning – that vaginal cancer is an indication of heterosexuality.

    “However,anal cancer is a strong indication of a prefered sexual lifestyle.” Before you said homosexuality is not a choice now you say it’s a preferred lifestyle.

    “I have nowhere stated that homosexuality causes society harm.We are trying to uncover whether it is a disorder.So far,most of the reports I’ve read suggests homosexuals adopt much riskier habits at an earlier stage than heterosexuals.But I never said they were a danger to society.” Their is no evidence that homosexuals are at higher significant risk of having health and mental problems than heterosexual people. It is also not disputed that homosexuals function in society so I see no reason to call it a disorder.

  57. Phoenix says:

    Which means pedophilia is a brain disorder – like just schizophrenia or depression which is not the result of “choice” and cannot be cured simple by willpower but which needs specialist medical treatment.//

    I see no reason why homosexuality does not fit into your definition,since it’s also not a choice and can’t be cured by will power.
    ===
    \\If by “normal” you mean what is statically average then homosexual is by definition abnormal. However this doesn’t tell anything – for example people who have a genius level of intelligence are not “normal” according to this definition but being highly intelligent doesn’t cause any problem//
    There are different brain structures between homosexuals and heterosexuals.There are no different brain structures between intelligent and less intelligent people.Where in the brain is intelligence located?
    ===
    \\The pedophiles in treatment cannot control their sex drive – that is why they are given drugs which either cut it of or reduce it//
    You have just reiterated what I already stated,however, the intended target of the pedophile stems from a purely subjective mental state.There is no particular firing of neurons in the brain that causes the pedophile to select children.That’s what the psychotherapy aims to cure.
    ===
    \\Heterosexual couples can also practice anal sex//
    Sure,but they have a choice.Whereas homosexuals don’t.
    ===
    \\Well probably the vast majority of them – since most people with mental and physical disorders are heterosexuals//
    Yes,and there are more healthier,wealthier,smarter and kinder heterosexuals than gays but that simply is due to them being the majority.It’s not an indication of their sexuality.However,anal cancer is a strong indication of a prefered sexual lifestyle.
    ===
    \\To call something a disorder it has to cause the person physically and/or mentally harm, in what way does homosexuality cause a person harm? The gays usually are happy and contributing members of the society so how is homosexuality a disorder?//
    I have nowhere stated that homosexuality causes society harm.We are trying to uncover whether it is a disorder.So far,most of the reports I’ve read suggests homosexuals adopt much riskier habits at an earlier stage than heterosexuals.But I never said they were a danger to society.See link below.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1070935/

  58. Ron says:

    Consensual incest among adults with protection does not hurt our society. By what measure is consensual incest among adults hurting our society?
    Polygamy or polyandry strictly between consenting people does not hurt our society. By what measure is polygamy or polyandry hurting our society?
    Bestiality with regular check up of the animal with the vet does not hurt our society. Infact it increases the GDP and benefits the economy. By what measure is it hurting our society.
    We can reason out anything abnormal or immoral to be good by faulty logic and reasoning.
    The reason for such belief is that we (society) have been so much desensitized to sin and immorality unwittingly because we have been bombarded knowingly or unknowingly by constant Goebellian propaganda by the MSM (main stream media) that this is normal and we have begun to believe in this fallacy and thus think it is no longer a disorder. Ali Sina is right that this is a disorder and would again reiterate that we do not need to hate anybody and we need to love all humans.

  59. Ali Sina says:

    Obesity drives the cost of healthcare only in countries with socialized healthcare. Let us use other examples. Sadomasochism does not affect the society in any immediate way. The same is true about Zoophilia. In some cases the animal even enjoys it. Can we say these are normal behaviors?

    Right and wrong should not be strictly measured in relation to the harm they cause. A good example is the doctrine of “consenting adults.” As per our laws as long as two adults consent to do anything and as long as others are not affected by it, they should be free to do it. Taking this doctrine to its extreme Armin Meiwes put an ad on the newspaper, found a consenting man who agreed to be eaten and after performing a homosexual sex on each other Meiwes cut the penis of his consenting victim and eat it and while the victim slowly bled to death, he sat reading a book. He then chopped him into pieces, carved the flesh and put it in freezer and consumed it gradually. The macabre ritual was taped on film. What do you do with that? The victim was consenting.

    What materialistic man does not want to understand is that we are spiritual beings first and foremost. The objective is not merely to live and let live but to evolve spiritually. We are not born at our birth nor do we die at our death. We come to this world to face its challenges, to experience it and to gain spiritual qualities and become Godlike. Many deviant behaviors do not hurt anyone but they do deter our spiritual progress.

  60. Eric Allen Bell says:

    Obesity drives up the cost of healthcare for everyone. Depression and anxiety lower overall productivity. By what measure is homosexuality hurting our society?

  61. Ali Sina says:

    Ron.
    The statistics showing the rate of sexual predation among homosexuals being twice than among heterosexuals is yet another indication that homosexuality is a disorder. It is not homosexuality per se that drives people into sexual predation. However, since disorders are often bundled together and appear as comorbidities, it is more likely that a person with a certain personality disorder may also have Antisocial Personality Disorder. It is the latter that is responsible for sexual predation. Likewise, people with Obsessive Compulsive PD, Paranoid PD, or Avoidant PD are harmless. However it is more likely that they may also have other forms of disorders, including Antisocial PD.
    This is another strong argument in support of the claim that homosexuality is a disorder. Not always, but in most cases people with any form of disorder can receive treatment or counselling and can mitigate or overcome their symptom.
    Muhammad suffered from a litany of personality disorders. The only disorder that made him dangerous was his ASPD.
    Despite the denial of the homosexual community, countless homosexual have recovered through the power of the God and his Holy spirit. I am sorry if my words offends anyone but people receive miracles from Jesus Christ every day. God is alive. He will hold our hand only if we stretch ours to Him.

  62. Ali Sina says:

    “Ali Sina seems to be right but we should not hate anybody”

    But of course we should not hate anybody. The only sinful act I can see in all this is in hating and discriminating the homosexuals. God loves homosexuals. Who are we then to judge them?

    I want to remind everyone again of the example of Jesus when the mob brought a prostitute to him to test him. He reminded them that they should be concerned of their own sins but also did not condone the prostitute. He told her to go and sin no more.

    I am not even saying homosexuality is a sin. Sadomasochism is not harmful to the society and those who engage in this behavior enjoy it. Is it then normal? Forget how Godless psychologists keep revising the DSM every time to exclude all sorts of sexual paraphilia from that manual. Many of them engage in these behaviors themselves. So they see nothing wrong in that.

    Why is it so hard for us to call a spade a spade? Isn’t it the same reason half of the world is afraid to speak the truth about Islam? People go as far as to lie to themselves lest they are perceived as “homophobe” and “Islamophobe,” And even go a step further and become champions of the “minority” so they are seen as inclusive, progressive and open minded, when clearly both these terms are fake.

    I am no homophobe. I love all creatures of God, male, female, human or animal. But I am only attracted to women sexually. Why should that make me a homophobe or zoophobe if I think homosexuality and zoophilia are disorders?

  63. Ron says:

    Homosexuality among Serial Killers: Statistics
    Source, “over 43%”: “Homosexual Rape and Murder of Children”, published in Journal of the Family Research Institute, Vol. 18 No. 1, Feb 2003.
    Technically, 69% of the serial killers in this study were homosexuals (i.e., people who were self-described homosexuals or people who had engaged in homosexual behavior immediately prior to, during, or after committing their murders). The lower statistic of 43% cited above is the proportion who were homosexual among people who molested or raped and then murdered children: 43% of these perpetrators were homosexuals. This lower figure, however, includes people who killed only a single person, and are thus not classified as serial killers. The lower figure is used in the article above (as “over 43%”) because it comes from a larger sample size. Presumably, if the sample size were expanded to include a wider range of years, the proportion of serial killers who are homosexuals would remain between the proportion in this study who are serial killers (69% homosexuals versus 31% heterosexuals) and the proportion of all killers in this study (43% homosexual versus 57% heterosexual). Also note the approximately 50% of murders committed by homosexuals reported by Warren with regards to murders of adults. See also: Gemert, F. van, “Chicken kills hawk: gay murders during the eighties in Amsterdam”, published in Journal of Homosexuality. 26(4), 149-174 (1994).
    John Gacy was straight and married and had kids then had a gay experience forced upon him and turned serial killer killing young boys.
    check this out http://www.adherents.com/misc/hsk.html
    Ali Sina seems to be right but we should not hate anybody

  64. Ali Sina says:

    Before I comment on your question I would like to ask how obesity, depression, or anxiety harms the society. They don’t. Yet they are classified as disorder.

    To say homosexuality harms the society is to incriminate them and to justify their victimization. This is the technique used by Muslims, KKK, Jew haters, communists, and other hate mongers who must incriminate and blame their victims to justify their abuse.

    Homosexuality poses no threat to the society. But advocacy for this lifestyle does. Just as we don’t want to encourage any disorder, I see no reason why should we encourage this one.

    Homosexuality is often a choice. The homosexuals know that perfectly. That is why despite their claim that homosexuality is not a choice they are actively promoting it. A similar strategy is used by Muslims who publicly say they want peaceful co-existence and interfaith dialogue, while inwardly they strive to subdue all other faiths and dominate the world. What I dislike is to say one thing and do something else.

    I have no issue with homosexuality. As far as I know even God has no problem with it. I read many NDE of gays and lesbians who apparently went to heaven and were received lovingly by the maker of the universe. My issue is with homosexual militantism and their agenda to shove their lifestyle on everyone especially kids. I don’t agree that children should be asked what do you think is your sexual preference. Children are confused by their very nature. Society should not contribute to that confusion just to make homosexuals feel they are normal and that there is nothing wrong with them. Homosexuals are not normal. There is something wrong with them but it is nobody’s business.

    Crossdressing is not harmful to anyone. But it is silly to call it normal. There is something wrong with a man who dresses as a woman. Fetishism is a disorder. Yet it harms no one. Sexual arousal by feces is a disorder. It harms no one. Masturbating to the pictures of children harms no one. The fact that something harms no one does not make it right. What happened to our commonsense?

  65. Steve says:

    @phoenix
    “Firstly,all behaviors that are in the minority are correlated with different brain structures.” Which means pedophilia is a brain disorder – like just schizophrenia or depression which is not the result of “choice” and cannot be cured simple by willpower but which needs specialist medical treatment.

    “So naturally their condition is abnormal since it’s in the minority.” If by “normal” you mean what is statically average then homosexual is by definition abnormal. However this doesn’t tell anything – for example people who have a genius level of intelligence are not “normal” according to this definition but being highly intelligent doesn’t cause any problem.

    “Lastly,Pedophiles are treated with psychotherapy to manage their feelings and alter their beliefs.The medication is merely to reduce their sex drive” The pedophiles in treatment cannot control their sex drive – that is why they are given drugs which either cut it of or reduce it.

    Yes,it says gay men are more likely to engage in risky behavior like smoking but the” anal cancer is a direct consequence of anal sex.” Heterosexual couples can also practice anal sex.

    “Which disorders are more likely to be acquired by straight men than gay men?” Well probably the vast majority of them – since most people with mental and physical disorders are heterosexuals.
    “People suffering from bleeding disorders cause more harm than good but that does not make their condition less of a disorder” To call something a disorder it has to cause the person physically and/or mentally harm, in what way does homosexuality cause a person harm? The gays usually are happy and contributing members of the society so how is homosexuality a disorder?

  66. VERY SIMPLE QUESTION for anyone who cares to answer it: How does homosexuality harm our society? One can site AIDS, but then you must take into consideration that the vast majority of STDs are carried and spread by heterosexuals. So, how have homosexuals harmed our society anymore than the rest of us?

  67. Phoenix says:

    My point is something being “natural”/biological doesn’t mean it’s good, if these behaviours are biological it doesn’t change the fact they have no value in a modern civilised society//
    I agree,and that was my initial contention.

    //It is found pedophiles have different brain structures and abnormalities in brain regions (such as the amygdala), pedophlia has also being linked to unusual hormonal and neurotransmitter levels and pathways. Also the behaviour of pedophiles has also being treated by chemical castration, testosterone reduction and serotonin inhibitors//
    Firstly,all behaviors that are in the minority are correlated with different brain structures.
    Secondly,even homosexuals have different brain structures,as their amygdala connections are more wide spread then those of heterosexuals.So naturally their condition is abnormal since it’s in the minority.
    Lastly,Pedophiles are treated with psychotherapy to manage their feelings and alter their beliefs.The medication is merely to reduce their sex drive

    //This study just says gay men are more likely to smoke and have anal cancer – that’s all. I am sure if anyone did any research you would find that their are much more heterosexuals with certain disorders and illnesses than gay people//.
    Yes,it says gay men are more likely to engage in risky behavior like smoking but the anal cancer is a direct consequence of anal sex.
    Which disorders are more likely to be acquired by straight men than gay men?

    Homosexuals don’t cause any harm and are not more likely than heterosexuals to be pedophiles, rapists, drug addicts, mentally ill etc. So it certainly seems homosexuals cause more good than harm//.
    People suffering from bleeding disorders cause more harm than good but that does not make their condition less of a disorder

  68. Steve says:

    @Phoenix
    “But if rape and polygamy were evolutionary adaptive traits that would mean they were favorably selected for their survival benefits.Under Naturalism/Materialism this can be classified as good behavior.” My point is something being “natural”/biological doesn’t mean it’s good, if these behaviours are biological it doesn’t change the fact they have no value in a modern civilised society.

    “The causes for pedophilia vary among Psychiatrists and Psychologists.But the general consensus is that it’s a psychological disorder that requires psychotherapy.According to this article Cognitive Behavorial therapy is the most widely used to treat pedophiles.” It is found pedophiles have different brain structures and abnormalities in brain regions (such as the amygdala), pedophlia has also being linked to unusual hormonal and neurotransmitter levels and pathways. Also the behaviour of pedophiles has also being treated by chemical castration, testosterone reduction and serotonin inhibitors
    “Eh no,I wouldn’t dare quote christian studies.These are objective data from medical institutions.See these links:
    (1)urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=134&ContentID=131
    (2)catie.ca/fact-sheets/cancers/anal-cancer” This study just says gay men are more likely to smoke and have anal cancer – that’s all. I am sure if anyone did any research you would find that their are much more heterosexuals with certain disorders and illnesses than gay people.

    .”You agree with Freud but you disagree with Christian websites that compliment your same freudian views.” I do not agree with Freud – our sexuality is determined by our biology – this is what the people who believe homosexuality is a disorder however claim (that homosexuality is a psychological disorder which can be treated – and cured – by therapies.)

    “This argument appeals to animal behavior as a benchmark for human morality,since humans don’t have mating seasons.” I was merely pointing out sex happens for other reasons than reproduction.
    “Just because certain behaviors are observed in nature does not mean humans should aopt them too.” Yes I agree with that.
    “Byproduct of evolution” those are interesting words meaning side effects.Now,you don’t stipulate whether they are negative or positive side effects” Homosexuals don’t cause any harm and are not more likely than heterosexuals to be pedophiles, rapists, drug addicts, mentally ill etc. So it certainly seems homosexuals cause more good than harm.

  69. Phoenix says:

    Because a trait is found in all cultures doesn’t necessarily mean it’s genetic but it’s an indication it might be. Also even if it is genetic it mean necessarily mean it’s good, for example it could be argued things like rape and polygamy are evolutionary adaptive traits – but that doesn’t they are good things which should be promoted.”

    But if rape and polygamy were evolutionary adaptive traits that would mean they were favorably selected for their survival benefits.Under Naturalism/Materialism this can be classified as good behavior.
    ===
    “I don’t know what the percentage is, but in some of the pedophiles it was found their pedophilia was caused by tumours”.

    The causes for pedophilia vary among Psychiatrists and Psychologists.But the general consensus is that it’s a psychological disorder that requires psychotherapy.According to this article Cognitive Behavorial therapy is the most widely used to treat pedophiles.
    ===
    “I assume these “studies” are from Christian groups. It is known homosexuals are functioning members of society.”

    Eh no,I wouldn’t dare quote christian studies.These are objective data from medical institutions.See these links:
    (1)urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=134&ContentID=131
    (2)catie.ca/fact-sheets/cancers/anal-cancer
    ===
    If you read Christian websites you will find many of them believe homosexuality is caused by the relationship one has with his parents. For example they believe having a absent or detached father causes a male to be homosexual – as he seeks out relationships with other men to replace his father”

    You haven’t really attacked my argument.It seems you’d rather have me defend Christianity.Besides,you’ve contradicted yourself.Before you said “According to Freud our sexuality is shaped by our parents”.And later you say this “If you read Christian websites you will find many of them believe homosexuality is caused by the relationship one has with his parents”.You agree with Freud but you disagree with Christian websites that compliment your same freudian views.
    ===
    They argue it helps same sex bonding also recent research shows sex doesn’t just happen for reproduction but commonly occurs outside the mating season”

    This argument appeals to animal behavior as a benchmark for human morality,since humans don’t have mating seasons.Just because certain behaviors are observed in nature does not mean humans should aopt them too.Where should we draw the line and why?For example ,infanticide and even pedophilia is observed among certain species,yet these animals have no principles of guidance for their acts.

    Also it may not be a direct adaptation but simple a byproduct of evolution. Another theory is that homosexuality is caused by sex-related genes being turned on and off in response to fluctuating levels of hormones in the womb”

    “Byproduct of evolution” those are interesting words meaning side effects.Now,you don’t stipulate whether they are negative or positive side effects

  70. Steve says:

    .Phoenix

    “I did not say pedophilia and homosexuality are the same.I was challenging James’ reasoning. if a proposition can be applied to all instances then it’s coherent.If we use the same structure and apply it to a different argument and the results lead to a contradiction or absurdity then it’s clearly false.And that’s what I showed with his claim that homosexuality is biological and it’s found in all cultures.It was a sort of reductio ad absurdum test.” Because a trait is found in all cultures doesn’t necessarily mean it’s genetic but it’s an indication it might be. Also even if it is genetic it mean necessarily mean it’s good, for example it could be argued things like rape and polygamy are evolutionary adaptive traits – but that doesn’t they are good things which should be promoted.

    You have generalized from a particular incident.I’m aware of only one case where this happened.”Are there any studies on pedophiles showing most of them have brain tumors? This would have met the preponderance of evidence.” I don’t know what the percentage is, but in some of the pedophiles it was found their pedophilia was caused by tumours.

    “To counter your claim that homosexuality causes no harm.Well there are studies showing gay men are more likely to develop anal cancer than straight men.You probably know about the higher risk of HIV infections in gay men than straight men already” I assume these “studies” are from Christian groups. It is known homosexuals are functioning members of society.

    “Freud was obviously wrong.Many gay children have straight parents,even if the parents were vehemently opposed to such a lifestyle.As well as many same sex parents have straight children.” If you read Christian websites you will find many of them believe homosexuality is caused by the relationship one has with his parents. For example they believe having a absent or detached father causes a male to be homosexual – as he seeks out relationships with other men to replace his father.

    “These researchers are clearly irrational.Adaptive traits refer to the enhancement of types of skills to survive in a particular environment that enables a better success of passing on your genes.Same sex relations seem to contradict this.It has no fitness value,it does not preserve species (in fact species would become extinct if this was widely practiced) and does nothing to cause variations in traits,nor any environmental adaptation benefits.” They argue it helps same sex bonding also recent research shows sex doesn’t just happen for reproduction but commonly occurs outside the mating season. Also it may not be a direct adaptation but simple a byproduct of evolution. Another theory is that homosexuality is caused by sex-related genes being turned on and off in response to fluctuating levels of hormones in the womb.

  71. Phoenix says:

    Steve:The difference is, is that pedophilia causes serious harm – that why pedophiles are condemned and removed from the society. Homosexuality doesn’t cause any harm and is not criminal//

    I did not say pedophilia and homosexuality are the same.I was challenging James’ reasoning. if a proposition can be applied to all instances then it’s coherent.If we use the same structure and apply it to a different argument and the results lead to a contradiction or absurdity then it’s clearly false.And that’s what I showed with his claim that homosexuality is biological and it’s found in all cultures.It was a sort of reductio ad absurdum test.

    “It doesn’t matter what the causes of his behaviour is, the fact is he is a danger and needs to be removed from society. (Incidentally did you know pedophilia can be caused by tumours in the brain and when the tumours are removed the pedophilia goes away?)//
    You have generalized from a particular incident.I’m aware of only one case where this happened.Are there any studies on pedophiles showing most of them have brain tumors? This would have met the preponderance of evidence.
    To counter your claim that homosexuality causes no harm.Well there are studies showing gay men are more likely to develop anal cancer than straight men.You probably know about the higher risk of HIV infections in gay men than straight men already

    “According to Freud our sexuality is shaped by our parents, however animals don’t have parents and the psychological needs that children do so how the animals have homosexuality?
    Freud was obviously wrong.Many gay children have straight parents,even if the parents were vehemently opposed to such a lifestyle.As well as many same sex parents have straight children.

    //It is believed by researchers that homosexuality is an adaptive trait that helps same sex bonding.//
    These researchers are clearly irrational.Adaptive traits refer to the enhancement of types of skills to survive in a particular environment that enables a better success of passing on your genes.Same sex relations seem to contradict this.It has no fitness value,it does not preserve species (in fact species would become extinct if this was widely practiced) and does nothing to cause variations in traits,nor any environmental adaptation benefits.

  72. Steve says:

    .Phoenix said

    “Pedophilia is found in many cultures too and I’m sure you’d agree that it’s repulsive” The difference is, is that pedophilia causes serious harm – that why pedophiles are condemned and removed from the society. Homosexuality doesn’t cause any harm and is not criminal.

    “Furthermore,using your reasoning,a pedophile could just as easily assert that pedophilia is biological,after all under Materialism/Physicalism all human behavior can be reduced to biological neccessities.” It doesn’t matter what the causes of his behaviour is, the fact is he is a danger and needs to be removed from society. (Incidentally did you know pedophilia can be caused by tumours in the brain and when the tumours are removed the pedophilia goes away?)

    @Ali Sina “Animals are very much like humans. Our emotions and psychology work the same way. They experience fear, anxiety, stress, loneliness, happiness, sadness and all other emotions we humans have. Why should they not have similar disorders” According to Freud our sexuality is shaped by our parents, however animals don’t have parents and the psychological needs that children do so how the animals have homosexuality? It is believed by researchers that homosexuality is an adaptive trait that helps same sex bonding.

  73. Eric Allen Bell says:

    Charlie – This article has been Tweeted thousands of times. Because the word “Homophobes” appears in the title, it is clearly a look at a conflict and not an attack on gay people.

  74. charlie says:

    Sorry Eric, I’m actually too scared to tweet this article. I’ll get slaughtered. The heading is too confrontational.

  75. Ali Sina says:

    “Sexual preference cannot be ‘recovered’, to do so will only lead to sexual repression.”

    This is not what many ex-homosexuals say.
    http://www.blazinggrace.org/recovery-from-homosexuality/
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Ex-homosexuals

  76. Ali Sina says:

    “Paedophilia is not biological, paedophiles were not born to be attracted to children. Paedophilia is a mental illness developed during life. Many paedophiles were themselves abused as children and as such their attitudes towards sex have become perverted.”

    Is there any proof that homosexuality is biological? Has anyone found the elusive homosexual gene? All indications show that homosexuality is a learned sexual preference often acquired in infancy and at a subconscious level, but it also can be developed at a later age.

    Despite the claim that homosexuals have no choice, the homosexual community is quite active in promoting their life style. Before the Internet when I used to waste my precious time in front of TV, there was a channel (12) that openly promoted homosexuality and all sorts of sexual deviancies, including fetishism with feces. That kind of programing came to everyone’s house and the channel was bundled with other desirable ones such as Discovery and CTV.

    Among the movies I recall watching on that channel was a story of an unloved woman. Her husband did not take care of her emotional needs and she was depressed. Her lesbian friends suggested she should become a dyke. She was shocked at the suggestion at first and avoided these women but eventually, after being further ignored by her husband she experimented with these women and after realizing it not that bad, quit her husband and “discovered” her homosexuality. She did not know she was homosexual for some 45 years and was even repulsed by it at first. However, the “loving” persistence of her friends made her realize she was a dyke after all. She left her husband and joined lesbian to live happily ever after.

    There is no doubt that homosexuals are on a mission to promote their lifestyle. This I suppose is normal. I am a vegan and I don’t miss a chance to promote that life style. But I am also a Persian man but I am neither promoting maleness nor my nationality. The reason behind gay parades is because it is a life style that can be promoted, much like veganism. Just as one can become a vegan one can become a homosexual, although it takes a bit more work.

    The claim that homosexuals are born that way is a patent lie. Most homosexuals become homosexual in infancy but some do make the transition in later life. You don’t have to believe me, just look at the propaganda of the gay community.

    Is homosexuality a disorder? It all depends how you define disorder. If only behaviors that harm you and others are classified as disorder, then you can argue that homosexuality does not harm anyone. This is debatable, but I don’t want to enter into that debate.

    What about other forms of paraphilia? What about a man who is sexually aroused by children but exerts self-control? As long as he is not doing anything he cannot be criminally charged. If all he does is masturbate to the pictures of children he is not harming anyone. Is that okay? By the above definition, you can’t say such people have any disorder.

    What about fetishism toward objects, such as under ware, shoe or even feces? The same channel I mentioned above also had a documentary on sexual arousal through feces. It sowed the lifestyle of a dominatrix high priced prostitute who among other things had frozen her feces and made her clients to eat them like ice-cream. The producer did not eat but said, yummy. As per the above definition this behavior is not a disorder because people engaged in such activities generally live a normal life and are often successful people in their career.

    I don’t agree with that definition. In my view there is only one normal and anything that deviates from the normal is not normal. The fact that some abnormal behaviors are harmful and some are not is entirely a legal matter. In Islamic countries pedophilia is not illegal. It is done often with the consent of the parents of the children. Does it mean that pedophilia is not a disorder in Islamic countries and it is a disorder in non-Muslim countries? Vice versa, homosexuality is illegal in Islamic countries and it is not in non-Muslim countries. Which is right?

    Let us be clear on this. There is only one normal sexuality and that is between man and woman. Any deviation from this is disorder. Some disorders are harmful to the person, some are harmful to others, some are not harmful to anyone or apparently they seem to be so. The fact that animals have similar disorders that affect humans by no means make these disorders normal.

    Animals are very much like humans. Our emotions and psychology work the same way. They experience fear, anxiety, stress, loneliness, happiness, sadness and all other emotions we humans have. Why should they not have similar disorders?

  77. Phoenix says:

    Ave

    James said:”The definition of ‘sexual preference’ from dictionary.reference.com defines it as ‘the preference one shows by having a sexual interest in members of the same, opposite, or either sex’”

    There’s a problem here;the definition you presented uses the word ‘preference’ to explain the meaning of the term ‘sexual preference’.I have no reason not to believe that the word preference is used in the typical understanding of the word,which means “better choice”.If you believe I may be equivocating the meaning,then it’s up to you to clarify that,otherwise sexual preference refers to a conscious choice or an adopted lifestyle.
    ===
    “Paedophilia is not biological, paedophiles were not born to be attracted to children. Paedophilia is a mental illness developed during life. Many paedophiles were themselves abused as children and as such their attitudes towards sex have become perverted”.

    James,if you’re an Atheist (which is a Philosophical Materialist by default),then you literally don’t have a choice but to accept that pedophilia is a genetic trait or due to environmental determinism.Either way,under Materialism the individual cannot behave any differently,other than pedophilic when in the company of children.To make matters worse,under Materialism pedophila is neither objectively bad nor good.

    However,if you’re not an Atheist or Muslim,then I agree,it’s a mental illness that can be treated but requires extraordinary will power from the individual.

  78. James Smith says:

    Eric, I agree completely with you that for something to be a ‘disorder’ it must be destructive.

    Whilst I admire and love Ali’s work, I cannot remain idle while someone so learned classifies homosexuality as a disorder, akin to that of paedophilia. I am very concerned at the sources Ali has read to come to this conclusion as well as the authenticity of the story from the ‘Christian’ groups who claim homosexuals can be ‘recovered’.

    Sexual preference cannot be ‘recovered’, to do so will only lead to sexual repression. Sexual preference is not a black and white phenomenon, it is most likely that people who see themselves as ‘recovered’ from homosexuality were either experimenting with their sexuality, are bisexual or are using religion as a smokescreen to cover their homosexuality.

  79. James Smith says:

    Hi Pheonix,

    The definition of ‘sexual preference’ from dictionary.reference.com defines it as ‘the preference one shows by having a sexual interest in members of the same, opposite, or either sex’.

    E.g. If you are straight male, your ‘sexual preference’ is females.

    The term ‘sexual preference’ is not understood with the word ‘preference’ automatically implying ‘choice’. If you are a straight male, you don’t have a ‘choice’ to be attracted to women, you just are. Thus, your sexual preference becomes female.

    Paedophilia is not biological, paedophiles were not born to be attracted to children. Paedophilia is a mental illness developed during life. Many paedophiles were themselves abused as children and as such their attitudes towards sex have become perverted.

  80. Look, technically clinical depression may well be a disorder. However, from a spiritual and karmic point of view, the dark night of the soul may be necessary in some cases to bring one to a point of illumination.

    I have no idea if homosexuality is a “disorder”. It does not strike me that way. I feel that for something to be a disorder it has to be destructive in some way. I feel that homosexuality falls short of that description. But more importantly, I personally feel we come into the world a certain way, with a number of challenges, in order that our consciousness may evolve. From where I stand, that is why we are here.

  81. Phoenix says:

    James said:”Homosexuality is biological, it’s why it is found in all cultures and ethnicities regardless of the religion they follow which in most cases prohibits it”.

    So homosexuality is biological,meaning it’s genetically determined,therefore not influenced by society and out of the individual’s control.That’s seems fine,no problem there.Also,just because a particular behavior is found to exist in many or all cultures does not automatically qualify the behavior as morally decent.Pedophilia is found in many cultures too and I’m sure you’d agree that it’s repulsive,so your above reasoning is seriously flawed.Furthermore,using your reasoning,a pedophile could just as easily assert that pedophilia is biological,after all under Materialism/Physicalism all human behavior can be reduced to biological neccessities.

    You then later said:”Homosexuality is a sexual preference”.

    Now there’s an apparent contradiction here.Either it’s hardwired or it’s a choice.The latter would also imply that a gay person could then also choose to be straight,a concept considered abhorent by the likes of LGBT.
    Your other argument put forward for homosexuality – is that, it is normal simply because gays are a persecuted minority.I find this also to be flawed reasoning.Jews are a persecuted minority,as well as the Ahmadis but no one will see this as an acknowledgement of the truth of their beliefs.

    I’m not necessarily agreeing with Ali Sina that homosexuality is a disorder but I find the rebuttals lacking in logic.I’ll remain skeptical on the issue.

  82. James Smith says:

    Ali, I did not read anything in Eric’s article which alluded to him being homophobic, I’m disagreeing with you for writing homosexuality and obesity is a ‘disorder’ akin to that of paedophilia.
    I completely understand there are always people representing ideologies, beliefs and practices who wish to push this upon other people.
    At present I’m against the following:
    1) The demands of islam and subsequent sharia law. I want marriage equality but I certainly don’t want the legalisation and recognition of polygynist ‘marriages’. If someone wants polygyny they can go back where they came from or to where their cult began.
    2) Purchasing goods which have been ‘certified’ halal. I don’t want to fund the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils – I JUST WANT MY VEGEMITE !!
    3) “Doctor$” who perform cruel and unnecessary routine infant circumcision upon healthy babies denying them of their bodily/ genital integrity. I’m against non consensual circumcision in Muslims and Jews too. RIC is a horrific Victorian era medical fraud phased out in Britain in the 50s, 70s in Australia and Canada yet sadly still haunts American maternity wards.

    I understand there are legal cases where gays have attempted to sue for ‘discrimination’ against churches, nonetheless these cases fall apart because discrimination laws and marriage equality legislation allows for religious groups to voluntarily decline from participating in the creation of same sex marriage and the recognition of that marriage.

    The examples you provided are different legal issues, nonetheless as will be seen the rights to religion generally trumps.

    Action against the Baha’i institution:
    Anti – discrimination law and marriage equality legislation generally exempts religious institutions from adhering to this legislation. It’s highly likely that action against the Baha’i church would not have succeeded for the plaintiffs.

    Action against the hair dresser employer:
    In the case of the veiled ‘muslima’, that matter would have been dealt with under employment law. Under employment law, an employer cannot discriminate on the grounds of religion, however they can dismiss someone if they have grounds to believe they cannot adequately perform the job. It is highly arguable that while a hijab is grotesque it would not prevent the muslima from adequately performing her role. Under these grounds, the muslima actually has a good case on the grounds of unfair dismissal, nonetheless Britain will never be slaves and as such her action caused public outrage.

    Religious freedom trumping legislation against discrimination in employment is seen in the case of the Catholic church forbidding females from becoming priests. Though the Catholic church faces criticism, bringing an action against the church for their sexist policies will highly likely fail as religious freedom always trumps.

    Its all about the law, not what is right or wrong. The west enacted anti – discrimination laws against religious adherence and policies of upholding freedom of religion in a time where western society was either Catholic, Protestant or Jewish. The laws upholding religious freedom and prohibition against discrimination based on religious grounds is compatible with Baha’is, atheists, Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists however Muslims because of islam take advantage of our legislation to subjugate all unbelievers. Just look at what a muslim leader who was well informed of western legislation said in 1999:

    “Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you”
    This quote was referenced from

    Islam is an ideology which in its text promotes islamic supremacy and the subjugation of islam over non believers. Islamic history, both past and present of attests to islams subjugation of infidels.

    Homosexuality is a sexual preference. It has no ideology and its history both past and present indicates that gays suffer discrimination, harassment and death for their sexual preference nonetheless there is also an increasing acceptance and tolerance of homosexuality.

    I must confess I’m a Reaganite, one of my favourite quotes of Reagan is ‘All great change in America begins at the dinner table’. This evokes wonderful imagery of America being a land of nuclear families, yet the amazing 40th President of the Greatest country in the world, was also the first President to divorce. Keep in mind also that Reagan had a difficult upbringing, his family very poor and his father was an alcoholic. Reagan beat the odds, he worked his way through college which took him to Hollywood whereby he became Governor of the Golden State and after a few attempts President. What a man!
    The ‘nuclear family’ is only a type of many different categories of families.
    The most important element of family is love. No relationship or family will be a good bedrock of society if violence, domination, jealousy, mistrust and manipulation is present.
    For a family to be a good foundation of society love, trust and respect must always be present

    It’s better for a child to be born and raised in a loving environment irrespective of their parents sexual preference, than it is for a child to be born in a family void of love and in the presence of violence.

    Love conquers all…

  83. Ali –

    Whereas I would disagree with you that homosexuality is a disorder, I do agree that to join a religion and then sue them for not changing the rules to suit you is unreasonable. It’s every bit as unreasonable as the Muslim woman who shows up to an interview to work at a hair salon, without her hijab, then after being hired shows up with it on and ready to sue. That latter is a clear case of intention Islamization. As for the homosexuals trying to sue the church, I do not share the view many Conservatives have, which states that homosexuals are trying to destroy the country. It’s the natural default mode of Progressives to think that forcing change on a person or an institution is “progress” when in fact it is a form of bullying.

  84. Ali Sina says:

    This article is about right of people to live in accordance with their values. I recall several years ago I read somewhere a couple of homosexuals had converted to the Bahai faith here in Canada and demanded that the Baha’i institutions perform for them marriage ceremony. Homosexuality is not recognized in the Baha’is faith and their request was rejected. This couple then started a lawsuit against the religion they had joined accusing it of discrimination and demanded compensation.

    I did not follow the story but it was clear to me that there was malicious intent involved. Accepting a religion is voluntary. The believers cannot violate their religious laws. If this couple did not agree with the teachings of this religion why would they join it? The same can be said of Muslims who find jobs in places where for example serving alcohol is a requirement. Once accepted they refuse to do their work and if ask to sue the employer.

    Some years ago a Muslim woman in UK applied for job as a hair dresser. She showed up without hijab for the interview and was hired. Immediately after her contract became permanent she started donning hijab. Her young boss asked her to not wear hijab at work and she sued her. The poor employer lost a lot of money fighting in the court and said if she loses the case she will have to shut down her business.

    I published this story and although I don’t remember what the court decided, thanks to the story circulating on the Internet no one wanted to hire that Muslim woman again. She became desperate begging everyone to remove her story. I was the last and reluctant to do so because I knew she would find another victim and would try to destroy someone else’s life. Unfortunately, I have a soft heart that often overrides my commonsense and accepted to remove her story. I regret that decision.

    The point is that homosexuals and Muslims are on a mission to make everyone submit to them. This is nothing but tyranny of minority. It is this tyranny that we should not accept. Otherwise I don’t give a damn what they do in their bedroom.

    Eric, the author of this article is also not against homosexuals. He is against their unreasonable demands that everyone should trample their religious values to accommodate them.

  85. James Smith says:

    Ali, with all due respect stating that homosexuality and obesity is a ‘disorder’ is terrible.
    Firstly, homosexuals can’t undergo ‘recovery’. They are who they are. All the gays I know don’t wish to be anything else. They are who they are and loving someone of the same sex does not prohibit them from having fulfilling relationships or enjoying life.
    Second, many fat people simply can’t help the fact they are fat. If you get to know someone who is ‘fat’ you will realise that their diet may not be all that different from you, its just their body and genes are different.

    Stick to what you do best and that is the criticism of islam which is a threat to everyone who does not wish to submit to barbarity.

    Please accept people for who they are. Two people of the same sex holding hands is not a ‘disorder’, it is love. What more could you ask from anyone but to find someone to spend your life with. It does not matter what sex they are, as long as both parties in the relationship are consenting to the relationship everything if fine.

    As for fat people, please don’t believe fat people got that way by being gluttonous. Just look at all the couples out there where one person is larger or smaller than their significant other. It’s highly likely they are eating the same, its just their metabolic rates differ. My grandmother is a bigger woman, she never has had any problems, nonetheless her skinny husband had to have a heart operation. Go figure. The human body is complex and outside appearances don’t display someones true physical and mental health.

    You have written some of the most amazing articles which have opened my mind to issues which I had never thought about. I place you in the highest category of my favourite philosophers. Nonetheless, I am deeply concerned you believe homosexuality and obesity is a ‘disorder’. If you remove gender and body image from the equation, there would be nothing to diagnose as a ‘disorder’.

    I staunchly disagree with the ‘Christian’ groups who believe they can correct someone. In an era where western born ‘reverts’ are being assisted with the help of saudi funded mosques to travel to wage jihad for the islamic state resulting in the 21st century genocide of Assyrians (which was occurring 100 years ago) and slaughtering of Yazidi’s, I think there are FAR more issues ‘Christian’ groups could be addressing.

    No one in life is perfect, Muhammad the paedo liked to think he was the ‘perfect man’ yet we all know how incorrect he was. Leave the concerns for living in ‘sin’ for the homosexuals and leave the health concerns to fat people.

  86. I don’t see how homosexuality is a threat to the family unit or a threat to society. Political agenda’s aside, it seems to be fairly common in nature, although accounting for a very small percent of mammals. Arguably it controls over population while still producing males and females who will carry out roles in society. There is no data to suggest homosexuals are more likely to abuse their children, get divorces, commit crimes, etc. It may be an aberration but also be a part of the larger design. Of the homosexuals I have known over the years, which would be a few hundred, I feel they would be made more unhappy by trying to change than by simply living their life pursuing what they feel is natural to them.

  87. Ali Sina says:

    Why pedophilia is a disorder and homosexuality is not? All forms of paraphilia are disorders. This does not mean all of them are dangerous. Depression is a disorder. But it poses no threat to anyone. Antisocial is also a disorder, sometimes with dire consequences.

    We are not here to judge but to describe and understand. I am now a fan of reading stories of NDE and have come across numerous stories of gay people who were accepted lovingly by God. They were never judged for their homosexuality. One of them returned and joined a Christian group and eventually overcame his homosexuality. He was not asked to do so. He did it on his own desire. He was however told that he had been living a wasteful life of promiscuity and that so far he had done very little to attain perfection. This is true also for many heterosexuals.

    Unlike religious people I don’t consider homosexuality to be a sin. It is also absurd to call it normal. Obesity is not a sin but a disorder. It is a sin to discriminate against obese people and homosexuals. If God loves them the way they are, who are we to judge them.

    However, it is also a disservice to homosexuals to deny them recovery when many of them can overcome their disorder and enjoy a fulfilling relationship and life. One thing is to discriminate against fat people and another is to tell them you are born to be fat. There is nothing you can do to overcome your problem, because it is not a problem at all. Yes being fat is a serious problem. It can kill you.

    Homosexuality is a disorder and like all forms of disorders recovery is hard but not impossible. To recover one must first acknowledge that it is a problem. If you are an alcoholic and want to recover, the first thing you would do is to admit that you are an alcoholic and need help. If you don’t even acknowledge the problem how you will ever overcome it?

    The left is a cancer. Everything they do is wrong and everything they touch they destroy. They promote homosexuality only because it fits their agenda. It is yet another way to destroy the family. Family is the foundation of society. Once the foundation is destroyed the society will fall into anarchy and then they will be able to advance their revoluzione.

  88. James Smith says:

    Ali, I agree with you on almost everything you have ever written except your statement that homosexuality is a disorder. Homosexuality is biological, it’s why it is found in all cultures and ethnicities regardless of the religion they follow which in most cases prohibits it.
    Homosexuality is not that big a deal in societies where homosexuality has been decriminalised, homosexuals fall in love, they live together and then their primary worry becomes paying the rent. There is good and bad in all, there are straight men who prey underage girls, just as there are gay men who prey on underage boys. Paedophilia is a sexual disorder, but homosexuality is not.

    The secret in life is knowing who you as this will remove any insecurity.
    If a gay man makes misogynist comments – tell them you find it offensive.
    If a straight man makes homophobic comments – tell them you find it offensive.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    The Duck Dynasty comments were strange. If someone purports to be a straight man then how does it concern him what gays do to each other with consent ??

    A true Christian does not judge (Matt 7:1) (Luke 6:37). Thats God’s job. Plain and simple.

    Nonetheless, we sure need to do something about the Islamic State mohammadans throwing gays off buildings.

    Additionally, what is more concerning in America? Gays doing gay things or baby boys being subjected to cruel and unnecessary genital mutilation, AKA routine infant circumcision.
    What would you rather? Bake a cake for some gays who are PAYING for their cake, or being strapped to a circumstraint just after your birth while a paedophilic ‘doctor’ with a circumfetish, clamps, crushes and cuts off 1/3 of the skin on your penis WITH OUT YOUR CONSENT.

    I think there are far more concerns in our society than consensual homosexuality.

  89. Ali Sina says:

    In a free society no one should be forced to do anything against their conscious. For example, if a Muslim trucker, supermarket cashier or chef finds it objectionable to serve alcohol, he should not be forced to do so and since he cannot perform his duty, his service should be terminated. However, no one should force a Muslim business owner to serve alcohol. This is the basic commonsense.

    Likewise, if a Christian employee in a bakery refuses to decorate a cake celebrating gay marriage and by doing so he gos against the policies of the store he should find another job. However, if the owner of the business refuses to serve gays because it goes against their moral values, no one should force them.

    Gays are less than 2% and yet they have created a tyranny trying to impose their lifestyle on the rest of the society. I don’t have any problem with one being gay, any more that I have problem with obesity or border line personality. But let us not fool ourselves. Homosexuality is a disorder, a sexual disorder rooted in one’s psychology, no different from eating disorder or personality disorder. We should certainly accommodate homosexuals, as we would obese and depressed people. However, what is objectionable is the fact that homosexuals try to spread their lifestyle and make it look normal. No, it is not normal to be homosexual. It is a disorder.

  90. Phoenix says:

    David

    You’ve missed the target by a mile.Eric’s article exposes bigotry that exists even in the gay community.It does not equate all gays to bigots.You insist on being treated equally,well unfortunately for you that includes being criticized like any other group.You seem to want the gay community to be excluded from that.Why? And falsely associating a critic with evangelical fundamentalists is fallacious.You are trying to shield persons from your community from any rational evaluation.

  91. David – In re-reading your comments below, it seems clear to me that you are having an argument in your own head, rather than dispute the merits of the article or taking in anything I’ve had to say in response to your remarks. As Bill Warner pointed out to me, you can wake a person who is sleeping but you cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. Sweet dreams.

  92. In the free enterprise system, regardless of a person’s reason, they should not be forced by the government to use their creative talents (in this case decorating a cake) in such a way that violates their own moral code. you don’t have to agree with their moral code (I know I don’t) but you cannot force that person to agree with your moral code either. It’s a two way street – that is unless you are a Progressive. In which case everyone must be forced by the government to fit into your world view.

  93. Wow David: Way to not comprehend what is being explicitly spelled out. I stated I disagreed with his religious views, but understood that for most heterosexuals, the thought of a homosexual encounter violates a basic biological instinct. Is that “homophobic” of me?

  94. David – In the article I made it abundantly clear I was referring to the type of gay man who jokes too often about how repulsed they are by all of the functions of a vagina. That is different from not being attracted. I am sure you have witnessed what I’m talking about – the constant “jokes” about how repulsed someone is by the evil vagina. When someone takes it that far, are they not as maladjusted as the man who constantly makes jokes accusing all of his friends of being “fags”?

  95. I’m not sure I really understand why gay men are obligated to find women’s vaginas attractive. Yes, as a gay man, I understand that babies come from that place. If I happen to say that I think vaginas are gross (or the idea of having sex with women is unappealing), I’m not sure how that denigrates the sanctity of life. It’s nothing personal. I’m just not sexually attracted to females.

    “But I certainly do understand that, on a basic biological level, to most heterosexuals the thought of having a homosexual encounter violates a basic biological instinct.”

    Of course you know that’s NOT what that bigot from Duck Dynasty said at all; and I quote: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

    So basically gays are sinners. They choose to be gay — if they were smart they’d choose vaginas over anuses. Translation: he’s an ignorant idiot that doesn’t have the vaguest clue about human sexuality.

    He continued: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men…”

    So being gay is simply a behavior to idiots like him — and two consenting adults being intimate is the same think as fucking a sheep. That’s what this idiot believes.

    “From a Free Market point of view, if one bakery refuses to make wedding cakes for same-sex marriages, then another bakery can specialize in that and, arguably, really corner the market and do fabulously well.”

    That might be plausible in any metropolitan area. But I dare you to find a baker in spittle-county Arkansas (population 5,000) that will willingly make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Over 80% of the populous voted to ban same-sex marriage in that state. So instead of worrying about the poor baker that doesn’t want to bake a cake because Jesus will send them to hell — even though I have no doubt that they willingly make wedding cakes for all kinds of straight sinners. You might want to redirect your concern about the gay couple that simply wants to be treated exactly the same as any other citizen in our secular society They shouldn’t have to worry that every business they walk into is going to tell them that they… “Don’t serve your kind here.” No one should have to experience that in America.

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