Why Does God Allow Evil

Ali Sina

Ali Sina is the author of Understanding Muhammad and Muslims.

101 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    Phoenix

    “One more thing I forgot to mention…This patently absurd. Creativity requires systematic thinking and rational deliberation. An architect does not randomly design buildings but employ a carefully detailed layout.” That’s because the randomness (if it is to be useful anyway) does not come in at that stage, it comes in before the deliberation and is only put into action if is judged to be useful by the macro mind (or determined will).

    “So by definition humans and their products are excluded. Therefore nature cannot be “all that exists” and you are tautologically incorrect.” You are deceptive using a limit use of the word. If a person says “homosexuality is not natural” they are using that definition. But if a person says “There is nothing but the natural world” they mean in the broad sense as defined by Wikipedia. “Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. “Nature” can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is often understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.”

    “You lost me at “the environment “selects””. The reason for putting “selects” in quotation marks is because you are not really applying the standard definition of that word but it is hacked for your own ideological benefit. No, no environment can select (carefully choose) anything.” Those organism which have traits better suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce – and that’s all there to it.

    “First, there are no experimental tests done in your “study”.
    Second, there is no control group in this “study”.” I did not claim there was.

    “Third, the researchers rely soley on the testimonies of the rapists and calls them evidence.” No they don’t. Or if they do for example is the “testimony” that men in general rate women of peak reproductive years as more attractive than women outside of that age rage not evidence that men have a preference for women of reproductive years?

    “Lastly, because of the lack of any experimental tests no cause-effect relationship can be established. What you are left with is most likely biased opinion. The researchers also concluded this:” There are talking about the ultimate cause of rape – why this behaviour exists in the first place so I don’t know what are saying here.

    “There you have it. More research is needed. In other words, the data is inconclusive.” That’s right it’s just a hypothesis as to whether rape is an adaption or not. Just like some researchers believe religion is an adaption while others think it is just a byproduct of other things which have being selected for. “These three adaptations (among others) allow human beings to imagine purposeful agents behind many observations that could not readily be explained otherwise, e.g. thunder, lightning, movement of planets, complexity of life, etc”. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology_of_religion

    “In other words: Which story is the best? Well, I’m not looking for stories but hard evidence” So you never heard of interference based on the existing data then I assume? Which is not the same as making a story up out of thin air. The feminist theory that “learning”/social conditioning is all powerful in creating complex behaviours like rape out of thin air is just a story which is made up.

    “Said no such thing. I do in fact accept the fact that diets, genes, environment, etc. do have an affect on human behaviors. Are they however, entirely constrained by those factors? I think not. Even your own link agrees with me.” The link is talking about genetic determinism. And where in the picture of the picture of the scientific model of genes and environment does this contra causal free will enter? It doesn’t.
    “Related to the naturalistic fallacy is the false belief of genetic determinism: The idea that behavior is unalterable, programmed, or otherwise unchangeable. Biologist John Maynard Smith noted that genetic determinism is, “an incorrect idea that is largely irrelevant, because it is not held by anyone, or at least not by any competent evolutionary biologist” That’s right in fact I said the same before when I spoke aboutH20 molecules in an ice crystal did not cause it to be a ice crystal. Or how the molecules in your steak do not determine how you steak turns out. Or if you replaced the steak with a different meat or a different substance it would turn out different- even in the same conditions. Just like how two people (with different genes) raised in the same environment can turn out different or how twins with the same genes can have differences due to differences in their environment.

    “And you cannot say why there is no free will without contradicting yourself. And you still cannot answer this simple question: Can you raise your hand voluntarily?” If you lose your arm in a car accident can you raise your arm? No. Now you may think this a silly example but I using it to show you that your ability to raise your arm is dependent on causes. (Which you don’t have any control over and which you didn’t create).

    “I see no verbatim quotes of mine in the paragraph above. I can only conclude it’s because I did not make those statements” When you did in fact agree with me but then said the exact opposite after I pointed out this would mean Ali Sina’s belief that evil people can freely choose God is utter nonsense.

    “How can something be generated but is an illusion? That seems incoherent. If it is generated then it exists.” Yes it exists but it’s not what you think it is. There is no self independent of the thoughts. The self exists as the result of our brain being able to observe (and record and playback etc) our internal reaction to external objects while our brain can process this information and can record it the self is able to exist. When the brain ceases to do that (when it dies or is damaged) so does the self.

    “First, you have redefined the meaning of the word “mind”.” No I haven’t mind or consciousness is the faculty which observes and identifies existent things. When it (our brain)doesn’t do that there is no mind.

    “second, you contradict yourself when you say the mind cannot be contentless, yet it can generate illusions (ie. things that don’t really exist)” The self exists but the way most people think about their self is mistaken.

    //Character is determined by genetics and does not change behaviour however can possibly change with improved cognition and education etc…//
    “False, according your own evidence. i”ll paste it again here:” Temperament is what is determined by genetics – it does not determine your whole life. For example some people who have a similar genetic makeup/temperament to fearless criminal psychopaths become pro social risk takers.
    “Related to the naturalistic fallacy is the false belief of genetic determinism: The idea that behavior is unalterable, programmed, or otherwise unchangeable. Biologist John Maynard Smith noted that genetic determinism is, “an incorrect idea that is largely irrelevant, because it is not held by anyone, or at least not by any competent evolutionary biologist”
    //Character is determined by genetics and does not change behaviour however can possibly change with improved cognition and education etc.//
    Spot the number of incoherencies in this one sentence.
    1. ‘does not change behavior”
    2. “can possibly change”
    3. “with improved cognition”
    “Numbers 1 and 2 is a direct contradiction. Number 3 employs mental effort (cognition) as a change to behavior. This is inconsistent with Philosophical Materialism, which posits that all mental events are causally inert on the material.” A person with a personality disorder their core characteristics do not change but what does sometimes change with improved cognition and education etc is behaviour. This is what the justice system in most developed countries now does with such individuals.

    “This still begs the question against the dualist position. When I choose between eating cereal or a breafast mcmuffin in the morning, my choice is based on a number of factors which is consciously decided.” Your choice is based on factors which are not chosen and could not be any other way. I have asking for you to show what factor (deterministic or Indeterminstic) in your decision is based on a free choice and I still haven’t got an argument and the reason I haven’t is because you haven’t got one.

    “To assert other wise is counter intuitive. No random process is being generated or else I could just as well find myself eating lobster and goat bladder for breakfast and have no idea how that happened.” That’s because the indeterminism can not be responsible for the action itself. Only the generation of alternative options/possibilities . You are in fact agreeing here with what I say and with the information philosophers position that any model for decision making or “free will” in fact NEEDS determinism.

    “More precisely , not pseudo- random , as well as not random at all.” The actual behaviour isn’t. If you could know enough about a persons character you could with a high degree of accuracy predict their choose in a given circumstance. The information philosophers model agrees with determinism on that point the only difference being that in the IPs model in very similar circumstances a different option or options may be generated which is consistent with the persons character and they may instead take that option.

    “I don’t follow. You’re implying that there’s a fixed number of times which an agent can exert free will, and the more times he/she uses it, the more it runs out. This does not compute.” If a random factor caused a person who was previously completely responsible and normal to go on a spree shooting or to join ISIS this would decrease the persons free will. That is what I am saying.

  2. SHALOM!

    I find it painful to watch people stagger about with their eyes blindfolded, falling over boulders, bashing their heads, blundering into ditches and quagmires.

    That we are born into cultures that hated Knowledge is meaningless in the 21st Century.

    Wisdom has never been more available. It is a Smartphone away. We carry libraries in our pockets. There is no excuse for not finding the Knowledge that we need.

    KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, said Francis Bacon.

    THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE THAT IS NOT POWER, said Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    All knowledge does not have the same power.

    Some minds are more powerful than others, and can process much more powerful knowledge.

    Some minds are weaker than others, and can only process weak knowledge.

    The minds that can only process weak knowledge, or strong knowledge are inferior.

    The superior minds can process weak knowledge and strong knowledge as is necessary.

    They can build bridges between the weak and the strong, and help them make their minds superior.

    WHY DO PEOPLE ASSUME THAT GOD WHO CREATED THE UNIVERSE MUST BE INSIDE THE SAME UNIVERSE, OR OPERATE AT THE SAME POWER LEVEL AS THE UNIVERSE WE LIVE IN?

    If you believe in the Existence of Heaven, why do you not FOLLOW THE BELIEF TO LOGICAL CONCLUSIONS?

    SHALOM!

    My name is OLATUNDE AROLOYE. I am a member of the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, West Africa.

    I am a Born Again, Full Gospel, Pentecostal Christian of 35 years’ standing.

    I have dissociated myself from ORGANIZED CHRISTIANITY since 1985.

    I have augmented my Faith with Bible-Compatible Knowledge, including:

    LAFAYETTE RONALD HUBBARD’S SCIENTOLOGY.

    CARLOS CASTANEDA’S NAGUALISM.

    JAMES REDFIELD’S CELESTINE PROPHECY.

    I feel myself to be uniquely equipped to piece together The Mystery of Existence into something that should make rational sense to everybody rational and sensible.

    I do not know everything, but I do know more than most, and have made more progress than most, because I have kept pieces of the puzzle others threw away, thinking them useless, not realizing that they were KEYS THEY NEEDED.

    GOD IS AN ENTITY WHOSE POWER MANIFESTS ON SEVEN LEVELS OF STACKED UNIVERSES CALLED HEAVEN. The Knowledge of these Universes is on successively higher and higher levels. To Know them and to operate in them requires higher and higher Spiritual Power Levels.

    If your Soul does not have the Power to Understand the Wisdom and Knowledge of a Heaven, you cannot get in.

    The Earth Realm is created BENEATH the Heaven Power Level.

    The Spiritual Power HERE can UPROOT and FLING MOUNTAINS- but in Heaven it could not even push a grain of SAND over. It is a complete non-starter.

    GOD CREATED THIS UNIVERSE TO OPERATE WITHOUT HIS DIRECTION.

    He created HUMANS to direct the Earth Realm.

    HIS UNDERSTANDING was that Humans would follow His Instructions, INTUITIVELY PERCEIVING that they were the Right Way to go. This Intuitive Perception is called FAITH.

    That was not the Humans’ Understanding.

    To God’s great surprise.

    GOD CANNOT PERCEIVE EARTHLY LOGIC.

    Earthly Logic is STUPIDITY to GOD and HEAVEN-DWELLERS.

    They look at Earthlings, and are like: “DUDE! Do you even BRAIN?”

    Therefore, Sinners cannot understand God, and God does not understand how Sinners come to their conclusions, either- He just understands that they were wrong.

    The best person to bridge this gap was Yahshua ben Maryam, and the second-best was Yohanan Baptist- both of these Holy Prophets purported not to understand Sinners.

    They both preferred Death to SOLVING the Sin Problem!

    That wasn’t the Mission.

    Their Disciples could have solved that Problem- but THEY decided that it wasn’t their responsibility. Nineteen hundred years later, an Engineering School Dropout demonstrated that they had The Solution to Sin the whole time, in just one chapter of The Gospel (Matthew 18:1-35). Desperate attempts were made to KILLthis man, before he could get this Knowledge out. But it became quickly apparent that he had no idea what he was doing- keeping the Knowledge of HOW TO OVERCOME SIN from the POOR, who needed it most, and foisting it upon the RICH, who didn’t want it. (I am, of course, talking about SCIENTOLOGY.)

    GOD IS NOT OMNISCIENT, NOR OMNIPRESENT, NOR OMNIPOTENT.

    YAHWEH GOD went out of His Way to shew us that in The Book of Genesis.

    Religious leaders have found these imaginary attributes of God useful in befuddling their victims. In their confusion, the inferior minds turn to them for guidance through the darkness they created by giving them blindfolds to wear.

    The superior minds quit Religion in disgust, and become no threat to their leadership.

    SPIRITUAL POWER IS ACCUMULATED BY OBEYING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.

    The Least Commandments of God deal with the Fundamentals of RIGHT AND WRONG.

    Therefore, the Entry Requirement for FIRST HEAVEN is THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

    This requires more Spiritual Power than is needed to dwell on Earth.

    Therefore people can live on Earth without that Knowledge.

    If they had cultivated that Knowledge, they should have realized that their time in Earth did not have to end, but that Spiritual Power could prowling their lives indefinitely- among other things.

    The SECOND HEAVEN Spiritual Power is KNOWLEDGE.

    The capacity of the Human Soul for Knowledge is POTENTIALLY Endless- but that potential cannot be instantly realized- a Mind can be ripped apart, or exploded by too much Knowledge too soon. Therefire, Knowledge- the organization of data- is controlled by a higher power:

    TEMPERANCE is the Ruling Power of the THIRD HEAVEN.

    PATIENCE- unchangeability- is the FOURTH HEAVEN Power.

    GODLINESS is the FIFTH HEAVEN Power.

    BROTHERLY KINDNESS is the SIXTH HEAVEN Power.

    THE ALTRUISTIC OBEDIENCE OF GOD is the SEVENTH HEAVEN Power.

    Anybody can escape The Power of Evil by following The Word of God.

    YAHSHUA SAID that the NINEVITES who repented at YONAH’S Preaching will be the benchmark of Judgment to condemn those who fail to repent immediately they heard The Gospel.

    Yahshua also Said that The Queen of Sheba will be the Benchmark of Judgment for those who fail to try their best to travel to The Gospel.

    When people refuse to act on Heavenly Correction, after they have Repented of some Earthly Sins, they will get possessed by Heaven-Class Devils, and become worse.

    People bring this on themselves, by not serving Good with all their hearts, all their souls, and all their might. The Wicked and Slothful think that God demands of people more than He has a RIGHT to- as if that OPINION would PROTECT them from the CONSEQUENCES of FAILING GOD.

    If God created us for our own enjoyment, we have wherewith to complain.

    That seems to be the thought of the Atheistic and Agnostic Philosophers.

    They cannot seem to wrap their heads around the idea that GOD CREATED US FOR TOOLS- and if we can’t do our job, He doesn’t CARE what happens to us.

    Many people think that He should care.

    Well, He DOESN’T.

    People Say: “GOD IS SUPPOSED TO BE ALL-LOVING; I FIND HE IS NOT: THEREFORE I REJECT HIM! WITH ATTITUDE!”

    Right.

    They are going to go to Hell, based on their SUPPOSITORY… er, SUPPOSITION?

    WHERE do you get the IDEA that God is OMNISCIENT, OMNIPOTENT, OMINIPRESENT, ALL-LOVING and other stupid attributes that cannot possibly work?

    If I am just minding my business, going home from volunteer work, and some… butthead is trying to end me with a baseball bat, , so he can steal my pocket-change- according THAT SUPPOSITION, GOD LOVES US BOTH, EQUALLY?

    GOD LOVES those who are doing the EARTHLY IMPRESSION of HIS WORKS, and HATES those who do the Impression of Satan’s Works!

    But those who love God MUST GO ALL THE WAY, or forefeit His Protection, and, if they LOSE THE BODY, become LIABLE for WASTING the Life given them.

    ROMAN CATHOLICS INFILTRATE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES TO TEACH THE BEST OF THEM TO MARTYR THEMSELVES. Or how do you THINK that happens?

    The last church I belonged to- FRANKLIN HALL’S FULL SALVATION CHURCH- taught “PROPHET-LENGTH FASTING.” They found that when they Fasted for extended periods, The Pentecostal Anointing becomes SUPERCHARGED: Rate of HEALING exceeds Rate of Damage.

    There was this Sister who was attacked by a maniac wielding a FORK- who stabbed her repeatedly in the throat- until he fell back in exhaustion.

    The Sister was unharmed- but the FORK was BENT DOUBLE.

    This is consistent with what YAHSHUA Promised his Disciples- but MANY so-called MARTYRS belong to churches that RIDICULE and REVILE Christians who BELIEVE in the PROCEDURES that LEAD to such experiences: PRAYER, MEDITATION, FASTING, HEALING…

    According to what God Taught Abraham, any population centre that does not have TEN RIGHTEOUS MEN in it, has FORFEITED its Right to Exist.

    Therefore, when Jews come to any new city, the first thing they want to know is:

    “Where is the Synagogue at?”

    If there is no Synagogue, they go to the banks of the river leading out of the city, and there pray, weep, and mourn for the DOOMED CITY- until there were TEN of them. Then they would rejoice, that they were now a FULL MINYAN- then they could go an start their Synagogue.

    Of course, TEN JEWS who do not recognize YOHANAN and YAHSHUA cannot be Righteous Men- therefore, those Synagogues don’t work. Organized Churches fail for the same reason.

    This is why there is Evil in the World: ALL THOSE COMPLAINING ABOUT GOD ALLOWING EVIL ARE THE ONES FACILITATING THAT EVIL. Nor do many of them seem to see THEMSELVES as EVIL. If God destroyed all Evil on Earth, THEY WOULD DIE, TOO.

    They don’t SEE that- it is the OTHER Evil Guys who have to DIE- not them.

    THEREFORE GOD DOES NOT LOOK AT THE EVIL ON THE EARTH- OTHERWISE HE WILL HAVE TO TAKE ACTION.

    THEREFORE only THE RIGHTEOUS attract His Attention.

    When a person obeying Heavenly Law calls on God, He gets involved.

    People who do not obey Heavenly Law can call on God all they want- He won’t answer, because HE CANNOT HEAR THEM, and DOES NOT SEE THEM.

    That is for the BEST, because, if He DID, He would HAVE TO Judge THEIR Sins FIRST.

    HYPOCRITES blaspheme God for “DOING NOTHING,” while MILLIONS of “INNOCENT PEOPLE” die.

    They base their accusation on the SUPPOSITION that those lives had VALUE.

    Based on WHAT CRITERIA?

    They DON’T SAY.

    To be RESCUED by God, you must DESERVE to be Rescued.

    NEEDING things from God is not a reason to be handed them.

  3. Phoenix says:

    @Steve

    Let’s leave it at that. I’m way behind on my online statistical analysis classes anyway.

    Cheers

  4. Steve says:

    Phoenix

    I will be away from this site for about 1-2 weeks so if you do not want to continue that’s fine but just leave a comment to say so. If you want to continue then don’t reply to this – or just leave a message saying you are happy to pick this back up in a week or so if you wish. Thank you.

    P

  5. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina

    There two laws that govern the universe. The laws of nature which are immutable and they apply to all things physical or finite (created). What is finite must come to decay and finally dissolve – progression downwards, a law. Thus anything created by God and man are bound by the laws of nature to decay, die or dissolve. Thus followers or believers as they would like be called, souls, the planets, heaven or paradise, together with false dogmas are all created and cannot last forever.

    The other is the law of karma which applies to the spiritual aspect of life – what you sow that will you reap, no more and no less. So, it is not an injustice that some are born in luxury (happiness) and some in poverty (pain and misery); some in good health (strong) and some physically and mentally infirm (weak); some excel and some struggle; some fair and some dark, etc. It would be an injustice to reward or punish a soul without any past actions of virtue or sin. This means that there is no such things as forgiveness of sins (repentance).

    But activity is superior to destiny!
    Whether it be in the past, present or in the future most understand destiny to be seemingly inevitable succession of events, especially those very painful and that we are powerless to avoid them. Indeed destiny cannot be changed because it has do with only the past. Sins are not forgiven, but present activity of acquiring true knowledge and putting it into practice (yoga), is the only power to cancel them.

    “The misery which is not yet come can and is to be avoided.” Yoga Darshan 2:16
    Souls which are eternal reside in the atmosphere, void of consciousness, and through the process of reincarnation where the conditions are right, they are embodied according their actions virtuous or sinful. This must be clear the embodied soul is conscious but when it leaves the physical body (death) it becomes unconscious again. Thus it leaves bearing no memory of its past embodiment. Their sole purpose as intelligent beings is the elevation of soul, through given Divine instructions, to a higher birth and finally emancipation. Neither emancipation nor punishment (hell) is permanent, although the souls are without beginning and without ending, their actions are finite.

  6. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina

    Wisdom of Indian sages reached state of Samaadhi was far higher than Jesus it reflects from their writing according to which

    Creation of our Solar System: Why, how, where and when it all started. The three causes – the efficient cause, the material cause and the common cause (skill/knowledge, time, space and labour/instrument.)

    Nothing in this world can be produced without proper application.” Mimansa Darshan Written by Jemini

    “Nothing can be done or made without the expenditure of time.” Vaisheshika Darshan written by Kanad

    “Nothing in this world can be produced without the material cause.” Niyaya Written by Guatam

    “Nothing can be made without the requisite skill, knowledge and thought.” Yoga Written by Patanjli

    “Nothing can be made without the definite combination of atoms.” Sankhaya Darshan wirtten by Kapil

    “Nothing can be made without a Maker.” Vedanta Darshan written by Rishi Vyas

    FACT: Creation of the world or anything created by man can never come into being without a maker, material, skill/knowledge, time, space and labour/instrument.

    There are three eternal (without beginning and without end) entities, God (primary efficient cause, Soul, the secondary efficient cause and matter, the material cause. Since God, soul and matter are eternal entities, creation and dissolution have to be an on going eternal process and not one time phenomena.
    WHY:The purpose of creation is two-fold: The Creator gets to exercise His creative energy and souls need to reap their rewards or punishments of previous actions virtuous or sinful.

    The first combination is called the beginning of Creation. This is the joining of the highly subtle, indivisible separately-existing particles called atoms (or more appropriately correct – electrons) derived from the primitive ether. The various combinations of atoms, in different proportions and ways, give rise to various grades and conditions, of subtle and gross matter until it reaches the gross visible multiform stage called the universe. That which brings about the first combination existed before the combination, and shall exist after the component parts are pushed asunder. This is called the Cause. That which comes into existence after the combination, and ceases to exist after it has come to an end is called the Effect. That out of which something is made is called a Cause. Whoever produces an Effect out of a Cause is called the Maker.

    HOW: God energized the subtle Eternal Primordial Matter (Atoms) and the first principle, WISDOM was produced. This reduces matter to one degree less subtler which led to the principle of INDIVIDUALITY. However, it is still less subtler than the five Subtle Entities, optic, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and tactile: (the spiritual senses or the media through which these senses make contact with the soul through the mind).

    This further led to the creation of the principles of SENSATION (hearing, seeing, smell, taste and touch) and the five principles of ACTION (speech, grasp, locomotion, reproduction and excretion) plus the principle of ATTENTION. These are all less subtle by passing through various stages of less subtle conditions of matter (action and reaction) give rise to the five subtle principles (the five elements- inanimate objects of creation) SPACE (MATTER), AIR ( or gas), HEAT (fire or electricity), LIQUIDS, and SOLIDS respectively. The order of dissolution is the reverse. Of these twenty-four, matter in the primitive state is uncreated. After solids come all the formation of the planetary systems which, by the way, is not the only one since space is infinite these systems are infinite also and beyond counting. They then start to rotate and revolve, thus the concept of time began and when the condition of the first region is right for habitation, vegetation and living creatures and then intelligent life forms take hold.

    WHERE: That region was called Trivistaph, now known as Tibet, northern part of Aryavarta which is India today. Thousands of people were created and among the four purest souls were revealed four Vedas, instructions of ethics, morals and all sciences in the language of Sanskrit which were then taught to the rest of the population. These instructions are necessary as physical man is 100% matter and evil is inherent in matter.

    “That condition of matter in which the intellect-promoting, passion-exciting and stupidity-producing qualities are found combined in equal proportions is called the eternal elementary matter.” The Light of Truth.

  7. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina

    Why Jesus and Bible fail in test of truth

    Five Tests of true religion

    1. It (revelation) must exist in its entirety from the very beginning of creation for all of mankind, and not over a long period of time after.
    Oppose – It is unjust of Yahwe, Allah and Christ, to deprive millions born before the revelation of the Ten Commandments, the Q’uran, and the New Testament of His ‘divine wisdom’. An injustice which cannot be the work of a Just, Compassionate and Merciful God.

    2. It must conform with (immutable) natural laws
    Oppose – The cause of the physical body is the reproductive element – any other method as man was created from dust or blood-clot and all other miracles of God and Prophets are a breach to this law.

    3. It must be in harmony with reasoning.
    Oppose – Incest which results in mental and physical infirmities, is an immoral action and it had to be the same also in the beginning (creation of one man and one woman).

    4. It must be in harmony with science.
    Oppose – Modern science has proven creation to be more than 6,000 years old, the earth is spherical and it rotates and revolves, contradictions to the Torah, Bible and Q’uran.

    5. Its truth must be confirmed by four evidences :-
    Direct Cognition – Not all that is known by perception can be true.
    Inferences – God is eternal therefore we can infer that there were past creations and as well as there will be future ones.
    Testimony – The testimonies of Rishis, sages and seers of the Vedas (altruistic teachers are all in harmony with each other.
    History – There are many books (Mahabharata, Valmiki’s Ramayan) and source of other civilization which speak of the past ancient Vedic (Aryan) civilization of 5,000 years ago and earlier.

  8. Phoenix says:

    //Randomness is needed for alternative possibilities from which to select from. Randomness is also responsible for original and creative thoughts which can lead to new technologies and inventions and so on. In your attempt to sound clever you forgot that randomness is in fact NEEDED for the “free will”. http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/requirements.html//

    One more thing I forgot to mention…This patently absurd. Creativity requires systematic thinking and rational deliberation. An architect does not randomly design buildings but employ a carefully detailed layout.

  9. Phoenix says:

    //That is what the word means.//

    Then let’s look at what the word means:

    Nature = “the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.”

    So by definition humans and their products are excluded. Therefore nature cannot be “all that exists” and you are tautologically incorrect.

    //Yes the environment changes but that doesn’t the selection is random. If a species is in a cold climate then the ones with thick fur are more likely to survive and if the species moves to hot climate or if the climate changes then the ones without much fur will survive better. The environment “selects” which organism and traits survive and which don’t it doesn’t matter that the environment can change.//

    You lost me at “the environment “selects””. The reason for putting “selects” in quotation marks is because you are not really applying the standard definition of that word but it is hacked for your own ideological benefit. No, no environment can select (carefully choose) anything.

    //Randomness is needed for alternative possibilities from which to select from. Randomness is also responsible for original and creative thoughts which can lead to new technologies and inventions and so on. In your attempt to sound clever you forgot that randomness is in fact NEEDED for the “free will”. http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/requirements.html//

    //Here is a list of different types of hypothesised rapists and how the hypothesis can be tested. https://www.mta.ca/~ogould/FLIPS/Flips5McKibbin.pdf//

    First, there are no experimental tests done in your “study”.
    Second, there is no control group in this “study”.
    Third, the researchers rely soley on the testimonies of the rapists and calls them evidence.
    Lastly, because of the lack of any experimental tests no cause-effect relationship can be established. What you are left with is most likely biased opinion. The researchers also concluded this:

    “Although some evidence is consistent with this hypothesis, more research must be conducted before we can conclude that men have specific adaptations for rape”

    There you have it. More research is needed. In other words, the data is inconclusive.

    //Tell me why humans have innate fears of spiders, snakes and heights? What other theory can explain things like innate phobias in all humans across all cultures (even in Ireland for example which doesn’t have any native snakes)?//

    In other words: Which story is the best? Well, I’m not looking for stories but hard evidence.

  10. Phoenix says:

    //Now the “free will” proponent would say “no genes, diet,abuse nah none of these things have an effect on behaviour the soul can overcome all those factors just by willing it they “freely choose” to be evil. Then the rational person would say “well these kids “free will” isn’t as free as you think it is so I think it’s a good idea to give these at risk kids a diet rich in omega three it might save them from committing crimes and going to prison in the future”.//

    Said no such thing. I do in fact accept the fact that diets, genes, environment, etc. do have an affect on human behaviors. Are they however, entirely constrained by those factors? I think not. Even your own link agrees with me.

    “Related to the naturalistic fallacy is the false belief of genetic determinism: The idea that behavior is unalterable, programmed, or otherwise unchangeable. Biologist John Maynard Smith noted that genetic determinism is, “an incorrect idea that is largely irrelevant, because it is not held by anyone, or at least not by any competent evolutionary biologist”

    //Nope because “conscious thoughts” are no more “freely chosen” than involuntary moments. Of course there is a big difference between a reasoned thought out decision and an involuntary movement but neither involves contra causal free will.//

    And you cannot say why there is no free will without contradicting yourself. And you still cannot answer this simple question: Can you raise your hand voluntarily?

    //You – People can’t do things they hate when did I Say that? Me – Quotes you word for word where you said exactly that. You – (Quoting me quoting you and then quoting me saying the opposite thing) so how exactly is mine and your statement in agreement (while you seem to have forgotten that you previously said the same as me and then I pointed out that you previously said the opposite and you was in fact in agreement with what I said – at that time -)//

    I see no verbatim quotes of mine in the paragraph above. I can only conclude it’s because I did not make those statements.

    //I don’t agree with that. My view is the “I” is an illusion that is generated by the flow of thoughts. Without the thoughts there is no “I”. A faculty can have no operation (thoughts) and exist at the same time this is nonsense.//

    How can something be generated but is an illusion? That seems incoherent. If it is generated then it exists.

    //A contentless state of consciousness or mind is a contradiction in terms. The mind is the collection of “your” thoughts and experiences.//

    First, you have redefined the meaning of the word “mind”.
    second, you contradict yourself when you say the mind cannot be contentless, yet it can generate illusions (ie. things that don’t really exist)

  11. Phoenix says:

    //Character is determined by genetics and does not change behaviour however can possibly change with improved cognition and education etc…//

    False, according your own evidence. i”ll paste it again here:

    “Related to the naturalistic fallacy is the false belief of genetic determinism: The idea that behavior is unalterable, programmed, or otherwise unchangeable. Biologist John Maynard Smith noted that genetic determinism is, “an incorrect idea that is largely irrelevant, because it is not held by anyone, or at least not by any competent evolutionary biologist”

    //Character is determined by genetics and does not change behaviour however can possibly change with improved cognition and education etc.//

    Spot the number of incoherencies in this one sentence.
    1. ‘does not change behavior”
    2. “can possibly change”
    3. “with improved cognition”

    Numbers 1 and 2 is a direct contradiction. Number 3 employs mental effort (cognition) as a change to behavior. This is inconsistent with Philosophical Materialism, which posits that all mental events are causally inert on the material.

    //The IP model has 1)The determined (or adequately) determined will which evaluates and selects from 2) alternative possibilities which are generated by random brain events//

    This still begs the question against the dualist position. When I choose between eating cereal or a breafast mcmuffin in the morning, my choice is based on a number of factors which is consciously decided. To assert other wise is counter intuitive. No random process is being generated or else I could just as well find myself eating lobster and goat bladder for breakfast and have no idea how that happened.

    //So your point is? The indetermism that generates alternative possibilities for humans is not pseudo random. //

    More precisely , not pseudo- random , as well as not random at all.

    //But note that indetermism cannot cause actions – as this would DECREASE an agents “free will” – but can only generate alternative possibilities which are then selected by the “adequately determined” will.//

    I don’t follow. You’re implying that there’s a fixed number of times which an agent can exert free will, and the more times he/she uses it, the more it runs out. This does not compute.

  12. Steve says:

    Phoenix

    //Nature is “all that exists”. It’s not the result of anything.//
    “And your proof for that is exactly what?” That is what the word means.
    // Yes and nature “selecting” among those random variables is not random. Nature “selects” the “fittest” traits e.g a cheater who is faster will survive and reproduce more than a slower cheater therefore the genes for faster running will be “selected”. This is similar to how our thoughts “randomly pop up” this is random but the selection of which thoughts/ideas to put into action is determined by our will (which is not random since our will comes from our character and values).//
    “The selection between a number of variables is a random process.” No it’s not.
    “The environment is also random since it’s in a constant state of change. If the environment is not random then it is predetermined to favor certain species. So either we have a random process or a deterministic process. Which is it?” Yes the environment changes but that doesn’t the selection is random. If a species is in a cold climate then the ones with thick fur are more likely to survive and if the species moves to hot climate or if the climate changes then the ones without much fur will survive better. The environment “selects” which organism and traits survive and which don’t it doesn’t matter that the environment can change.
    //This is similar to how our thoughts “randomly pop up” this is random//
    “Randomness may explain your thoughts and comments but not mine. They are decided by utilizing deductive logic.” Randomness is needed for alternative possibilities from which to select from. Randomness is also responsible for original and creative thoughts which can lead to new technologies and inventions and so on. In your attempt to sound clever you forgot that randomness is in fact NEEDED for the “free will”. http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/requirements.html
    //And how does this random person leaving a comment on Amazon know, are they an evolutionary psychologist? This person is ranting what about people who are raped who are not of reproductive value (child, the elderly, men etc) if he had read their work he would know they addressed this question.//
    “Once again, a truly bizzare analysis. No, that is not what the commenter said at all. He was referring to the self-referencing in the article which arrived at an opposite conclusion. Therefore self-refuting and irrational.” Since the person provides no links to show why the studies Done by thorn hill or there methods of calculating the psychological pain caused by rape is nonsense I can’t comment however my link (below) says on that issue.
    . Thornhill and Thornhill (1990a) documented support for this hypothesis, docu- menting that reproductive-age women are more traumatized by rape than are postreproductive- age women or prereproductive-age girls.”

  13. Steve says:

    //They are simply explaining a behaviour- rape – from a evolutionary perspective. Since – mainstream- science accepts the evolution what they are saying seems logical.//
    “Seem logical” are the operative words here, because they are not. Actual empricial science does not “seem” a certain why but has testable hypotheses that can be verified and falsified.” Here is a list of different types of hypothesised rapists and how the hypothesis can be tested. https://www.mta.ca/~ogould/FLIPS/Flips5McKibbin.pdf
    //From the evolutionary perspective rape is is either a byproduct of other adaptions in male psychology or is a direct adaption.//
    “False dichotomy because it is neither until proven empircally.” Tell me why humans have innate fears of spiders, snakes and heights? What other theory can explain things like innate phobias in all humans across all cultures (even in Ireland for example which doesn’t have any native snakes)?
    //Evil men will use violence to get other things they want therefore they will also use violence to get sex as well.
    “Given Materialism and it’s necessary premise, Evolution, there is no absolute evil, only what benefits the individual personally.” You are talking nonsense again.
    //Not that this subject has much relevance to “free will” – apart from the fact that the vast majority of violent criminals and rapists are men should give you a clue that our behaviour has causes.//
    “No one said behaviors are not without causes. Straw man.” Well in that case the “contra causal” free will is already severely constrained by for example psychological adaptions that have occurred in the male brain.
    //If a person is obese is that arbitrary and just personal opinion? If you want to live in a civilised society they you have to play by the rules and if you don’t there will be consequences. That’s all there is to it, no God needed. And nobody gives a damn about the opinions of the Ted Bundy’s of the world.//
    “Yes, and if the society is Islam or Communist North Korea, then you must play by their rules or else there will be consequences. Got it.” Right North Korea or ISIS is comparable to modern civilised countries where even people like Anders Breivik can sue the government and take a university course (I think it was) got it.
    //” Yep if we had a chip for all the mentally ill spree shooters then obviously we would give it to them – since nobody believes they have a right to shoot random people to death. It would save a lot of people’s lives and a lot of lost taxpayers money. The “free will” of these nutters is the least of anybody’s concern.//
    “False, it was not free will that caused them to kill but a tumor pressing on their temporal lobes, remember? Besides, criminals will always tell you their circumstances and others are to blame for their condition. They are not that way by choice.” Okay I will give you an example. In children with behavioural problems studies indicate that giving them a diet rich in omega 3 significantly reduces their aggressive behaviour (the same was also found in violent prisoners). Now the “free will” proponent would say “no genes, diet,abuse nah none of these things have an effect on behaviour the soul can overcome all those factors just by willing it they “freely choose” to be evil. Then the rational person would say “well these kids “free will” isn’t as free as you think it is so I think it’s a good idea to give these at risk kids a diet rich in omega three it might save them from committing crimes and going to prison in the future”.

  14. Steve says:

    Phoenix
    “Yep a “decision” was made but it wasn’t made by your conscious mind. You simply observe what has already been subconsciously decided.//
    I’ll return to this one in a minute
    //I can only “voluntarily” raise my hand if the thought to raise my hand occurs to me. If my hand raises without any conscious thought then it’s an involuntary action – like breathing.//
    The previous paragraph you said all decisions are made by the subconscious, not the conscious mind.
    “Now the choice to raise your hand depends upon conscious thoughts. Hmmm….I smell a blatant contradiction.” Nope because “conscious thoughts” are no more “freely chosen” than involuntary moments. Of course there is a big difference between a reasoned thought out decision and an involuntary movement but neither involves contra causal free will.
    //Ali Sina is saying that evil people can “choose” God and love when clearly they cannot any more choose Good than a good person can choose evil.//
    “I missed the part where Ali Sina is “clearly” wrong.” Yes because just a couple of days ago you said exactly the same thing that I did – that people can’t ok won’t choose to do things they hate. Which you now have conveniently “forgotten”.
    //Yes you did “Of course I can do things I hate. People do it on a daily basis. How do you think people grow and mature? When someone overcomes his phobias, he usually faces the thing he fears most.” Since you now seem to agree that people can’t choose to do things they hate then it follows Ali Sina’s belief that evil people can choose to love is a load of nonsense.//
    Me: ” Of course I can do things I hate”
    You:”Since you now seem to agree that people can’t choose to do things they hate”
    “You have a knack for making bizzare statements. How is my and your statement in agreement?” You – People can’t do things they hate when did I Say that? Me – Quotes you word for word where you said exactly that. You – (Quoting me quoting you and then quoting me saying the opposite thing) so how exactly is mine and your statement in agreement (while you seem to have forgotten that you previously said the same as me and then I pointed out that you previously said the opposite and you was in fact in agreement with what I said – at that time -).
    //This link doesn’t say that. In fact it says this “However, just as importantly, meditation (or mindfulness practice) enables us to become less identified with our thought-chatter. It helps us to stand back from our thoughts, and just watch them flowing by, as if we’re sitting on a river bank watching the river.” Which is exactly the same thing that Sam Harris talks about in his speech on “free will”. You are simply observing what your mind is doing you are the witness of your “inner life” NOT its creator. This is Harris’s whole (or at least main) point and the reason why “free will” even from observing our own experience can be said not to exist.//
    “The article separates the observer from his thoughts. In other words, thoughts and consciousness are not identical.” I don’t agree with that. My view is the “I” is an illusion that is generated by the flow of thoughts. Without the thoughts there is no “I”. A faculty can have no operation (thoughts) and exist at the same time this is nonsense.
    More from the same link: “Regular meditation practice has the effect of slowing down or quietening thought-chatter. Seasoned meditators may experience extended periods of complete mental emptiness during meditation, and in the long term, their minds will become permanently quieter (although it’s unlikely that they will be able to ‘stop’ their thought-chatter altogether.)
    In that sense, you could see meditation as a way of helping us to become more sane.”
    “See, sane people are able to separate themselves from their thoughts.” A contentless state of consciousness or mind is a contradiction in terms. The mind is the collection of “your” thoughts and experiences.

  15. Steve says:

    //You select according to your character and values (and the circumstances you are in – none of which is chosen). Given who are are and the circumstances you are in you cannot select any other way. This article explains in more detail.//
    “In other words, people cannot change who they are because that change would require them to step outside of the boundaries (character, genes, values, etc).
    With this logic all criminals (petty and violent) should be locked up permanently since they are unable to change their behavior. In your Materialist bubble people cannot mature mentally, that would actually explain why so many Atheists are man-children (physically an adult but mentally a child). Besides, you cannot prove that claim.” Character is determined by genetics and does not change behaviour however can possibly change with improved cognition and education etc.
    “It is important to consider quite what it is that changes over time. Current thinking suggests that dysfunctional personality should be divided broadly into two types of trait:

    1. Core characteristics, often genetic, or at least apparent at a very early age

    2. Secondary characteristics, usually the behavioural expression of the core traits.

    The research suggests that there is very little change in core characteristics, but improvements do occur in the secondary characteristics. So, for example, antisocial and psychopathic individuals show little change in empathy deficits or callousness, but do show improvements in behavioural controls, taking increasing responsibility, reduced impulsivity, and setting more realistic life goals. Borderline individuals remain emotionally sensitive, but are less prone to being overwhelmed by intense emotional states, or engaging in repetitive self harming behaviour. Narcissistic individuals remain aloof, arrogant and contemptuous, but are less prone to erupt into a rage when challenged,less driven to demonstrate their superiority by engaging in self-destructive behaviours. And so on…. (see chapter four for more information on traits). That is, we would suggest that although there are minimal shifts in core beliefs about the self, the world and other people, there can be more significant improvements in the expressive acts and interpersonal strategies. ” https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/mentally-disordered-offenders/working-with-personality-disordered-offenders.pdf (Pg 32-33)

  16. Steve says:

    //“Compare the Information Philosophy Cogito model, which agrees with compatibilism/determinism except in cases where something genuinely new and valuable emerges as a consequence of randomness.
    In our two-stage model, we have first “free” – random possibilities, then “will” – adequately determined evaluation of options and selection of the “best” option.//
    “If you wish to assert Compatibilism then you must first demonstrate how a complete deterministic cause-effect relationship can co-exist with free will and agency. You must elucidate at which exact point cause and effect no longer applies. Cause and effect is either absolute and applies to the entire universe or there are exceptions to the rule. Which is it?” The IP model has 1)The determined (or adequately) determined will which evaluates and selects from 2) alternative possibilities which are generated by random brain events.

    // What “dualist terminologies”? Even computers can select from a option. (Either randomly or according to programmed values/criteria – the same as human beings).//
    “No, all computer programmes are deterministic. The random variables that computers generate are also actually pseudo-random.” So your point is? The indetermism that generates alternative possibilities for humans is not pseudo random. But note that indetermism cannot cause actions – as this would DECREASE an agents “free will” – but can only generate alternative possibilities which are then selected by the “adequately determined” will.
    //Since there is order in the world this means there is a cause. (If by determinism you mean causality).//
    “No one said there are NO causes. The cause is not always physical. That is the claim being made.” “No one said there are NO causes” If there are causes then there is no will which is contrary to causality. And what cause is not physical?

  17. Phoenix says:

    @Passive Observer

    //Steve, is there anything called Atheist Morality? Could you please give me at least ten moral precepts originated from atheists? Thanks.//

    No he cannot or else he would have done so a long time ago. Instead he engages in a deflection.

    Says steve: Yes there is Atheist morality or more accurately naturalist morality or moral philosophies which are based on social stability and human wellbeing and thriving and not on the whims or commandments of a magic man in the sky.//

    Really, then name the moral philosophy derived from nature.

    //There was morals around before your God man came along which didn’t depend on the will of the gods or belief in a life after death. The Ancient Greek philosophers,Confucius and the Buddha are some of the most notable that come to mind.//

    And how exactly are those names you’ve mentioned naturalists? Both of those men believed in the supernatural.

  18. Phoenix says:

    //Nature is “all that exists”. It’s not the result of anything.//

    And your proof for that is exactly what?

    // Yes and nature “selecting” among those random variables is not random. Nature “selects” the “fittest” traits e.g a cheater who is faster will survive and reproduce more than a slower cheater therefore the genes for faster running will be “selected”. This is similar to how our thoughts “randomly pop up” this is random but the selection of which thoughts/ideas to put into action is determined by our will (which is not random since our will comes from our character and values).//

    The selection between a number of variables is a random process. The environment is also random since it’s in a constant state of change. If the environment is not random then it is predetermined to favor certain species. So either we have a random process or a deterministic process. Which is it?

    //This is similar to how our thoughts “randomly pop up” this is random//

    Randomness may explain your thoughts and comments but not mine. They are decided by utilizing deductive logic.

    //And how does this random person leaving a comment on Amazon know, are they an evolutionary psychologist? This person is ranting what about people who are raped who are not of reproductive value (child, the elderly, men etc) if he had read their work he would know they addressed this question.//

    Once again, a truly bizzare analysis. No, that is not what the commenter said at all. He was referring to the self-referencing in the article which arrived at an opposite conclusion. Therefore self-refuting and irrational.

    //They are simply explaining a behaviour- rape – from a evolutionary perspective. Since – mainstream- science accepts the evolution what they are saying seems logical.//

    “Seem logical” are the operative words here, because they are not. Actual empricial science does not “seem” a certain why but has testable hypotheses that can be verified and falsified.

    //From the evolutionary perspective rape is is either a byproduct of other adaptions in male psychology or is a direct adaption.//

    False dichotomy because it is neither until proven empircally.

    //Evil men will use violence to get other things they want therefore they will also use violence to get sex as well.//

    Given Materialism and it’s necessary premise, Evolution, there is no absolute evil, only what benefits the individual personally.

    //Not that this subject has much relevance to “free will” – apart from the fact that the vast majority of violent criminals and rapists are men should give you a clue that our behaviour has causes.//

    No one said behaviors are not without causes. Straw man.

    //If a person is obese is that arbitrary and just personal opinion? If you want to live in a civilised society they you have to play by the rules and if you don’t there will be consequences. That’s all there is to it, no God needed. And nobody gives a damn about the opinions of the Ted Bundy’s of the world.//

    Yes, and if the society is Islam or Communist North Korea, then you must play by their rules or else there will be consequences. Got it.

    //” Yep if we had a chip for all the mentally ill spree shooters then obviously we would give it to them – since nobody believes they have a right to shoot random people to death. It would save a lot of people’s lives and a lot of lost taxpayers money. The “free will” of these nutters is the least of anybody’s concern.//

    False, it was not free will that caused them to kill but a tumor pressing on their temporal lobes, remember? Besides, criminals will always tell you their circumstances and others are to blame for their condition. They are not that way by choice.

    //” The police can’t be everywhere at once and have complete knowledge etc and neither can an ordinary individual citizen.//

    That’s not the point. It’s important to Atheists that all bullets be stopped. Therefore every Atheist must make it his or her life mission to stop bullets.

  19. Phoenix says:

    “Yep a “decision” was made but it wasn’t made by your conscious mind. You simply observe what has already been subconsciously decided.//

    I’ll return to this one in a minute

    //I can only “voluntarily” raise my hand if the thought to raise my hand occurs to me. If my hand raises without any conscious thought then it’s an involuntary action – like breathing.//

    The previous paragraph you said all decisions are made by the subconscious, not the conscious mind.

    Now the choice to raise your hand depends upon conscious thoughts. Hmmm….I smell a blatant contradiction.

    //Ali Sina is saying that evil people can “choose” God and love when clearly they cannot any more choose Good than a good person can choose evil.//

    I missed the part where Ali Sina is “clearly” wrong.

    //Yes you did “Of course I can do things I hate. People do it on a daily basis. How do you think people grow and mature? When someone overcomes his phobias, he usually faces the thing he fears most.” Since you now seem to agree that people can’t choose to do things they hate then it follows Ali Sina’s belief that evil people can choose to love is a load of nonsense.//

    Me: ” Of course I can do things I hate”

    You:”Since you now seem to agree that people can’t choose to do things they hate”

    You have a knack for making bizzare statements. How is my and your statement in agreement?

    //This link doesn’t say that. In fact it says this “However, just as importantly, meditation (or mindfulness practice) enables us to become less identified with our thought-chatter. It helps us to stand back from our thoughts, and just watch them flowing by, as if we’re sitting on a river bank watching the river.” Which is exactly the same thing that Sam Harris talks about in his speech on “free will”. You are simply observing what your mind is doing you are the witness of your “inner life” NOT its creator. This is Harris’s whole (or at least main) point and the reason why “free will” even from observing our own experience can be said not to exist.//

    The article separates the observer from his thoughts. In other words, thoughts and consciousness are not identical.

    More from the same link: “Regular meditation practice has the effect of slowing down or quietening thought-chatter. Seasoned meditators may experience extended periods of complete mental emptiness during meditation, and in the long term, their minds will become permanently quieter (although it’s unlikely that they will be able to ‘stop’ their thought-chatter altogether.)

    In that sense, you could see meditation as a way of helping us to become more sane.”

    See, sane people are able to separate themselves from their thoughts.

    //You select according to your character and values (and the circumstances you are in – none of which is chosen). Given who are are and the circumstances you are in you cannot select any other way. This article explains in more detail.//

    In other words, people cannot change who they are because that change would require them to step outside of the boundaries (character, genes, values, etc).

    With this logic all criminals (petty and violent) should be locked up permanently since they are unable to change their behavior. In your Materialist bubble people cannot mature mentally, that would actually explain why so many Atheists are man-children (physically an adult but mentally a child). Besides, you cannot prove that claim.

    //“Compare the Information Philosophy Cogito model, which agrees with compatibilism/determinism except in cases where something genuinely new and valuable emerges as a consequence of randomness.
    In our two-stage model, we have first “free” – random possibilities, then “will” – adequately determined evaluation of options and selection of the “best” option.//

    If you wish to assert Compatibilism then you must first demonstrate how a complete deterministic cause-effect relationship can co-exist with free will and agency. You must elucidate at which exact point cause and effect no longer applies. Cause and effect is either absolute and applies to the entire universe or there are exceptions to the rule. Which is it?

    // What “dualist terminologies”? Even computers can select from a option. (Either randomly or according to programmed values/criteria – the same as human beings).//

    No, all computer programmes are deterministic. The random variables that computers generate are also actually pseudo-random.

    //Since there is order in the world this means there is a cause. (If by determinism you mean causality).//

    No one said there are NO causes. The cause is not always physical. That is the claim being made.

  20. Steve says:

    PassiveObserver

    “Steve, is there anything called Atheist Morality?” Yes there is Atheist morality or more accurately naturalist morality or moral philosophies which are based on social stability and human wellbeing and thriving and not on the whims or commandments of a magic man in the sky.

    “Could you please give me at least ten moral precepts originated from atheists?” There was morals around before your God man came along which didn’t depend on the will of the gods or belief in a life after death. The Ancient Greek philosophers,Confucius and the Buddha are some of the most notable that come to mind.

  21. Steve, is there anything called Atheist Morality? Could you please give me at least ten moral precepts originated from atheists? Thanks.

  22. Steve says:

    //When did I say that? I said your actions may be proceeded by conscious thought/intention. I didn’t say the thoughts or intentions are “freely chosen”.//
    Right here: “You observe “decisions” that have already been subconsciously made – that’s all. Just like you observe thoughts that have already appeared in consciousness – you don’t think that you are going to think a thought before you become aware of it.”
    “So the decision was made, which implies choice. Unless you wish to redefine these terms to suit your agenda.” Yep a “decision” was made but it wasn’t made by your conscious mind. You simply observe what has already been subconsciously decided.
    //No involuntary movements are not proceeded by conscious thought while voluntary ones are. A terrorist attack like 9-11 is the result of planning/intention, the thought to hijack the plane didn’t just appear in the hijackers minds out of the blue while he was putting his seat belt on waiting for the plane to take off.//
    “OK, so you cannot voluntarily raise your hand? Why not? Every other healthy and able-bodied person can.” I can only “voluntarily” raise my hand if the thought to raise my hand occurs to me. If my hand raises without any conscious thought then it’s an involuntary action – like breathing.
    // In other words you wouldn’t choose (given your character and values) to join ISIS. Which means what Ali Sina wrote about evil people being able to choose God and good is nonsense.//
    “This is an absurd conclusion. If I can reject evil then I can choose good. How is that nonsense?” Ali Sina is saying that evil people can “choose” God and love when clearly they cannot any more choose Good than a good person can choose evil.

  23. Steve says:

    // You claimed people can choose to do things they actually hate and don’t want to do. So are you saying something different now?//
    “I did not say that. Show me where?” Yes you did “Of course I can do things I hate. People do it on a daily basis. How do you think people grow and mature? When someone overcomes his phobias, he usually faces the thing he fears most.” Since you now seem to agree that people can’t choose to do things they hate then it follows Ali Sina’s belief that evil people can choose to love is a load of nonsense.
    //Yes if there is no thoughts then the mind or the conscious mind is no longer functioning.//
    “Wrong. see link” This link doesn’t say that. In fact it says this “However, just as importantly, meditation (or mindfulness practice) enables us to become less identified with our thought-chatter. It helps us to stand back from our thoughts, and just watch them flowing by, as if we’re sitting on a river bank watching the river.” Which is exactly the same thing that Sam Harris talks about in his speech on “free will”. You are simply observing what your mind is doing you are the witness of your “inner life” NOT its creator. This is Harris’s whole (or at least main) point and the reason why “free will” even from observing our own experience can be said not to exist.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201503/can-you-stop-thinking
    //You” can’t exist without thoughts this is nonsense. Thoughts are what analyse and reason about the world you are in and experience. Without thoughts no reasoning and decisions can happen.//
    “Check link again” That link doesn’t say that. Read your own links.
    //No because we don’t choose our reasons or our values or the conclusion that we come to. So there is no contradiction between lack of libertarian free will and reasoning. Random thoughts popping up are in fact needed to give us different options which our unchosen will then selects from. You completely missed this point.//
    “Wow, your “unchosen will then selects from”. We have no choice but we can select.” You select according to your character and values (and the circumstances you are in – none of which is chosen). Given who are are and the circumstances you are in you cannot select any other way. This article explains in more detail.

  24. Steve says:

    //http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/same_circumstances.html
    “Compare the Information Philosophy Cogito model, which agrees with compatibilism/determinism except in cases where something genuinely new and valuable emerges as a consequence of randomness.
    In our two-stage model, we have first “free” – random possibilities, then “will” – adequately determined evaluation of options and selection of the “best” option.

    Alice’s random generation of alternative possibilities will include 50 percent of options that are truth-telling, and 50 percent lies.

    Alice’s adequately determined will evaluates these possibilities based on her character, values, and current desires.

    In the Cogito model, she will almost certainly tell the truth. So it predicts almost the same outcome as a compatibilist/determinist model.

    The Cogito model is not identical, however, since it can generate new alternatives.

    It is possible that among the genuinely new alternative possibilities generated, there will be some that determinism could not have produced.

    It may be that Alice will find one of these options consistent with her character, values, desires, and the current situation she is in. One might include a pragmatic lie, to stay with van Inwagen’s example.

    In a more positive example, it may include a creative new idea that information-preserving determinism could not produce.

    Alice’s thinking might bring new information into the universe. And she can legitimately accept praise (or blame) for that new action or thought that originates with her.”

    “Stop hijacking dualist terminologies. You are constantly contradicting yourself.” What “dualist terminologies”? Even computers can select from a option. (Either randomly or according to programmed values/criteria – the same as human beings).
    //And “most people” are wrong. “Free will” as Sam Harris correctly says is a non starter. It’s simply incoherent.//
    “I’d love to see a logical argument for determinism” Since there is order in the world this means there is a cause. (If by determinism you mean causality).

  25. Steve says:

    Phoenix
    “Nature is not a physical law or one of the four basic forces of physics. Nature is the result of the laws and forces of physics.” Nature is “all that exists”. It’s not the result of anything.

    “Neither is Evolution a force which can “select” traits. “Selection” is merely the consequence of competition for resources in a randomly changed environment. If you wish to assert that “selection” is controlled as opposed to random then you must provide empirical proof for that assertion. Mutation is always random too. Thus we have two features that nature cannot control: 1) selection and 2) mutation.” Yes and nature “selecting” among those random variables is not random. Nature “selects” the “fittest” traits e.g a cheater who is faster will survive and reproduce more than a slower cheater therefore the genes for faster running will be “selected”. This is similar to how our thoughts “randomly pop up” this is random but the selection of which thoughts/ideas to put into action is determined by our will (which is not random since our will comes from our character and values).

  26. Steve says:

    // Natural processes results in complex or “designed” things – organism like ourselves for instance. “Selection, when it acts in a directional, cumulative manner over long periods of time, creates complex phenotypic designs out of the simple, random genetic variation generated by the three other evolutionary agents. Selection is not a random process; it is differential reproduction of individuals by consequence of their differences in phenotypic design for environmental challenges. An adaptation, then, is a phenotypic solution to a past environmental problem that persistently affected individuals for long periods of evolutionary time and thereby caused cumulative, directional selection. Evolution by selection is not a purposive process; however, it produces, by means of gradual and persistent effects, traits that serve certain functions—that is, adaptations.”//
    “BTW, you could have given me the link, instead I had to find it myself. This is the link for the paragraph you pasted:” I didn’t post the link because the subject is not relevant.
    http://www.worldcat.org/wcpa/servlet/DCARead?standardNo=0262201259&standardNoType=1&excerpt=true
    “And here is a link exposing your link as bad science” And how does this random person leaving a comment on Amazon know, are they an evolutionary psychologist? This person is ranting what about people who are raped who are not of reproductive value (child, the elderly, men etc) if he had read their work he would know they addressed this question.

  27. Steve says:

    This person also writes “I was deeply disappointed, first because of all of the above, and second because the only suggestion they could come up with for actually combating the male tendency to rape was to suggest women dress and speak modestly, and in general do all the things to appear unavailable and spoken for, and to understand that “males are driven by biological needs” — in other words, the same advice that has failed to work to stop rape in any culture, over a period of centuries.” In other words they suggest women do things that deceases there chances of being raped. Which is what we do for any other crime. We advise people to behave in ways that reduces their chances of being burgled, assaulted (and/or the victim of a street robbery), being in a car accident etc and it’s the same with rape. “Don’t tell me to lock my doors and windows, tell the burglars not to walk through my unlocked front door and take all my goods which are on show”. Is that a logical response? No and nor is “Don’t tell me to dress and behave in ways that reduces my chances of being raped, tell the sexual predators not to rape women”.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3S88LKCEENEM1/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0262700832#R3S88LKCEENEM1
    “I strongly doubt if MIT even peer reviewed that book.” They are simply explaining a behaviour- rape – from a evolutionary perspective. Since – mainstream- science accepts the evolution what they are saying seems logical. From the evolutionary perspective rape is is either a byproduct of other adaptions in male psychology or is a direct adaption. Evil men will use violence to get other things they want therefore they will also use violence to get sex as well. Not that this subject has much relevance to “free will” – apart from the fact that the vast majority of violent criminals and rapists are men should give you a clue that our behaviour has causes.

    // “Evil” is just a label we give to certain behaviours.//
    “Yes, it is JUST an arbitrary label derived from personal opinions as opposed to being derived from objective facts.” If a person is obese is that arbitrary and just personal opinion? If you want to live in a civilised society they you have to play by the rules and if you don’t there will be consequences. That’s all there is to it, no God needed. And nobody gives a damn about the opinions of the Ted Bundy’s of the world.

    //So the police and intelligence agencies have a moral duty to stop terrorists and criminals but yet God the source of all morality has no duties and can do what the hell he likes?//
    “So God must stop bullets but if he did then you would complain that God should stop guns as well, maybe even the gun owners until we are left with “no humans should have free will”.” Yep if we had a chip for all the mentally ill spree shooters then obviously we would give it to them – since nobody believes they have a right to shoot random people to death. It would save a lot of people’s lives and a lot of lost taxpayers money. The “free will” of these nutters is the least of anybody’s concern.

    ////Because atheists aren’t omnipotent- unlike your God.//
    “But you don’t need to be omnipotent to stop bullets, as you’ve already stated the police is able to do that. So all Atheists must stop bullets too, since it is so important to Atheists.” The police can’t be everywhere at once and have complete knowledge etc and neither can an ordinary individual citizen.

  28. Phoenix says:

    //When did I say that? I said your actions may be proceeded by conscious thought/intention. I didn’t say the thoughts or intentions are “freely chosen”.//

    Right here: “You observe “decisions” that have already been subconsciously made – that’s all. Just like you observe thoughts that have already appeared in consciousness – you don’t think that you are going to think a thought before you become aware of it.”

    So the decision was made, which implies choice. Unless you wish to redefine these terms to suit your agenda.

    //No involuntary movements are not proceeded by conscious thought while voluntary ones are. A terrorist attack like 9-11 is the result of planning/intention, the thought to hijack the plane didn’t just appear in the hijackers minds out of the blue while he was putting his seat belt on waiting for the plane to take off.//

    OK, so you cannot voluntarily raise your hand? Why not? Every other healthy and able-bodied person can.

    // In other words you wouldn’t choose (given your character and values) to join ISIS. Which means what Ali Sina wrote about evil people being able to choose God and good is nonsense.//

    This is an absurd conclusion. If I can reject evil then I can choose good. How is that nonsense?

    // You claimed people can choose to do things they actually hate and don’t want to do. So are you saying something different now?//

    I did not say that. Show me where?

    //Yes if there is no thoughts then the mind or the conscious mind is no longer functioning.//

    Wrong. see link

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201503/can-you-stop-thinking

    //You” can’t exist without thoughts this is nonsense. Thoughts are what analyse and reason about the world you are in and experience. Without thoughts no reasoning and decisions can happen.//

    Check link again

    //No because we don’t choose our reasons or our values or the conclusion that we come to. So there is no contradiction between lack of libertarian free will and reasoning. Random thoughts popping up are in fact needed to give us different options which our unchosen will then selects from. You completely missed this point.//

    Wow, your “unchosen will then selects from”. We have no choice but we can select. Stop hijacking dualist terminologies. You are constantly contradicting yourself.

    //And “most people” are wrong. “Free will” as Sam Harris correctly says is a non starter. It’s simply incoherent.//

    I’d love to see a logical argument for determinism.

  29. Phoenix says:

    //Nature “designs” everything.//

    Nature is not a physical law or one of the four basic forces of physics. Nature is the result of the laws and forces of physics.

    // Evolution “selects” traits which survive. This is how it “designs”. It doesn’t have a purpose. Why are humans afraid of death and dying? Because people and their genes who wasn’t afraid of death and dying wouldn’t have been around for long. So the fear of death and our desire to stay alive has been programmed in us. No conscious being has programmed those emotions and desires however.//

    Neither is Evolution a force which can “select” traits. “Selection” is merely the consequence of competition for resources in a randomly changed environment. If you wish to assert that “selection” is controlled as opposed to random then you must provide empirical proof for that assertion. Mutation is always random too. Thus we have two features that nature cannot control: 1) selection and 2) mutation.

    // Natural processes results in complex or “designed” things – organism like ourselves for instance. “Selection, when it acts in a directional, cumulative manner over long periods of time, creates complex phenotypic designs out of the simple, random genetic variation generated by the three other evolutionary agents. Selection is not a random process; it is differential reproduction of individuals by consequence of their differences in phenotypic design for environmental challenges. An adaptation, then, is a phenotypic solution to a past environmental problem that persistently affected individuals for long periods of evolutionary time and thereby caused cumulative, directional selection. Evolution by selection is not a purposive process; however, it produces, by means of gradual and persistent effects, traits that serve certain functions—that is, adaptations.”//

    BTW, you could have given me the link, instead I had to find it myself. This is the link for the paragraph you pasted:

    http://www.worldcat.org/wcpa/servlet/DCARead?standardNo=0262201259&standardNoType=1&excerpt=true

    And here is a link exposing your link as bad science

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3S88LKCEENEM1/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0262700832#R3S88LKCEENEM1

    I strongly doubt if MIT even peer reviewed that book.

    // “Evil” is just a label we give to certain behaviours.//

    Yes, it is JUST an arbitrary label derived from personal opinions as opposed to being derived from objective facts.

    //So the police and intelligence agencies have a moral duty to stop terrorists and criminals but yet God the source of all morality has no duties and can do what the hell he likes?//

    So God must stop bullets but if he did then you would complain that God should stop guns as well, maybe even the gun owners until we are left with “no humans should have free will”.

    ////Because atheists aren’t omnipotent- unlike your God.//

    But you don’t need to be omnipotent to stop bullets, as you’ve already stated the police is able to do that. So all Atheists must stop bullets too, since it is so important to Atheists.

  30. Steve says:

    Phoenix

    //So what does it mean then? Ali Wrote in the article “our soul is uncreated and eternal because it is a piece of God”. Do you agree with that? Following this definition it means our nature is the the same as gods – all loving. So why do human beings choose evil? If humans beings have evil in them it follows that evil must be a part – but that is impossible-of God. so where does evil come from? And don’t say free will because God always chooses good.//
    “The major difference between us and God is that we reside in what is often termed as the realm of the relative as opposed to God’s absolute realm. This is more a matter of perspective than a physical location. The other major difference is that we have and are limited to our physical bodies. God is not restricted to such a vehicle.” It doesn’t matter what realm the soul is in there is no reason why it’s loving nature would change.

    //God set of the chain and set up the variables of our universe – according to the fine tuning argument – he also knew – given his omniscience that evil and suffering would exist in this universe. He could have chosen (since he is perfectly free) to create a universe with zero suffering (and where there is still “free will”) but decided not to therefore he is responsible”. Gods responsible by his decision to create a universe containing suffering//
    “First, I’ve not made the fine tuning argument.
    Second, why is evil and suffering a problem, given that your worldview does not recognize absolute principles? If there’s absolute evil then there’s absolute good.” I already said this is irrelevant to the argument, so instead of asking questions just answer.

    // No we don’t have to be programmed by a conscious being. Our genetics are largely responsible for our behavioural and personality traits. Are genes conscious? No. Is evolution conscious? No. Machines can be programmed either by the design of a conscious being or through a naturalistic process like evolution.//
    “False, nature does not design anything and you cannot prove it does.” Nature “designs” everything.

    “Design implies purpose, intent and goal oriented. These are concepts that only a mind can execute.” Evolution “selects” traits which survive. This is how it “designs”. It doesn’t have a purpose. Why are humans afraid of death and dying? Because people and their genes who wasn’t afraid of death and dying wouldn’t have been around for long. So the fear of death and our desire to stay alive has been programmed in us. No conscious being has programmed those emotions and desires however.

    “Your assertion is bare and relies on itself for validation. For example: Nature designs natural processes. This is circular and asserts what it”s supposed to prove. Even Dawkins has admitted that nature is “pitiless indifference and accidental”.” Natural processes results in complex or “designed” things – organism like ourselves for instance. “Selection, when it acts in a directional, cumulative manner over long periods of time, creates complex phenotypic designs out of the simple, random genetic variation generated by the three other evolutionary agents. Selection is not a random process; it is differential reproduction of individuals by consequence of their differences in phenotypic design for environmental challenges. An adaptation, then, is a phenotypic solution to a past environmental problem that persistently affected individuals for long periods of evolutionary time and thereby caused cumulative, directional selection. Evolution by selection is not a purposive process; however, it produces, by means of gradual and persistent effects, traits that serve certain functions—that is, adaptations.”

    //What paradox?//
    “There is no such thing as absolute evil yet you can charge someone with being absolutely evil. ” I haven’t charged anyone with being “absolutely evil” (whatever you mean by that).
    “If evil is subjective then your moral concerns has no power beyond your personal boundaries. If it is absolute then you must provide proof for such a claim and one that is consistent with Philosophical Materialism.” “Evil” is just a label we give to certain behaviours.
    //Programming doesn’t have to be by a conscious being. Either prove that or stop talking nonsense.//

    “Show me a machine whose program cannot be traced back to a conscious being?” We are machines but we haven’t being programmed by a conscious being (so far as we know anyway).

    //Of course I forgot the being who is the moral yardstick for all actions himself doesn’t himself have any duties and can break his “objective morality” whether he wants to.//
    “Again, who said that stopping bullets is God’s objective moral duty?” So the police and intelligence agencies have a moral duty to stop terrorists and criminals but yet God the source of all morality has no duties and can do what the hell he likes?

    //Because atheists aren’t omnipotent- unlike your God.//
    “Omnipotence does not entail violating moral laws, law of free will,laws of logic and laws of nature. Omnipotence per Atheist understanding is built around a caricature, much like that of comic book characters.” So what law is creating a universe with no suffering breaking?

  31. Steve says:

    //If my “decision” to raise my hand was not proceeded by conscious thought/intention then it wasn’t voluntary but a involuntary movement – like someone with Parkinson’s. //
    “You said before that the subconscious mind makes the decision.
    “Now you claim to able to consciously choose to raise your arm. ” When did I say that? I said your actions may be proceeded by conscious thought/intention. I didn’t say the thoughts or intentions are “freely chosen”.

    “If your worldview is honest and consistent then all movements are involuntary.Volunteering is by definition a free choice to do something. This is why I am wasting my time debating with you. You are always contradicting yourself.” No involuntary movements are not proceeded by conscious thought while voluntary ones are. A terrorist attack like 9-11 is the result of planning/intention, the thought to hijack the plane didn’t just appear in the hijackers minds out of the blue while he was putting his seat belt on waiting for the plane to take off.

    // So right now you could “choose” to go to Syria to fight for ISIS and start cutting people’s heads off and raping women and then selling them to other terrorists? Such a thing (even if it did happen) would have to come completely out of the blue and be completely out of character – and suddenly having the desire to fight for ISIS appear in your mind is not compatible at all with free will.//
    “I screen my actions for moral value before executing them. And no one said you must do everything you hate, that’s an insane conclusion.” In other words you wouldn’t choose (given your character and values) to join ISIS. Which means what Ali Sina wrote about evil people being able to choose God and good is nonsense.

    // If the reason for facing the thing he fears was not because they wanted to face it then what was the reason and how was it chosen?//
    “You’re asking weird questions again. Who said it “was not because they wanted to face it”?” You claimed people can choose to do things they actually hate and don’t want to do. So are you saying something different now?

    //There is no “I” if there is no thoughts.//
    “Huh??? Are you saying you cannot clear your head of any thoughts? And if you do, then you no longer exist?” Yes if there is no thoughts then the mind or the conscious mind is no longer functioning.

    //And you can do this magical ability while not thinking anything can you? “I am directing my mind even though I am not thinking and desiring anything”.//
    “The point is this: My awareness precedes thoughts. I can exist without thoughts, even if it’s temporarily, but my thoughts don’t exist without my awareness.” “You” can’t exist without thoughts this is nonsense. Thoughts are what analyse and reason about the world you are in and experience. Without thoughts no reasoning and decisions can happen.

    //Can you choose to intend to do something else if no thoughts and ideas “randomly popped up” in your conscious mind? (And then one of those would need to be selected by the will).//
    “Yes, I can choose to block thoughts and focus on my breath.” Yes I choose to block thoughts even though the reality is I have no idea what the next thought is going to be until it appears. Either you focus on your breath because of some reason (which must of at some point entered your awareness) or for no reason (or at least you are not aware of the reason) – neither of which is compatible with “free will”.

    //Directing your mind while not thinking anything is not normal. Maybe this condition explains why religious believe in insane things – because no thinking and reasoning is taking place.//
    “1. Your argument erroneously assumes thoughts precede consciousness.
    2. Thoughts “popping into your head” is completely random. Reasoning on the other hand is a systematic form of thinking. Once more you have contradicted yourself. Your thoughts are random and so is your reasoning. That actually explains why Atheists cannot defend their position rationally, their reasoning is completely random.” No because we don’t choose our reasons or our values or the conclusion that we come to. So there is no contradiction between lack of libertarian free will and reasoning. Random thoughts popping up are in fact needed to give us different options which our unchosen will then selects from. You completely missed this point.

    // No clue again. If I am in the same circumstances and everything is the same how could I reason differently? How could I come to a different conclusion? I can’t based on who I was and the circumstances I was in I would always arrive at the decision not to eat the cake. The only way I could have eat the cake is if 1)If I was in different circumstances 2)I was a different person (with different values and reasons) 3) My brain generated reasons and desires completely randomly (“out of the blue” – similar to the ISIS situation) which then lead me to choose to eat the cake. None of those 3 are compatible with “free will”.//
    “This is question begging. How do you know that those choices would be the same under the same circumstances if that theory can never be tested? Your argument assumes what it is supposed to prove.” Because there is no possibility that we would chose differently – unless perhaps 3 happened but even if that did that is also completely incompatible with “free will”.

    //Free will is nonsense concept. You haven’t shown how people choose what they want and who they are. You haven’t explained how given the same circumstances you could choose differently and even if you did how that would be compatible with “free will”. So you have no argument still – and claiming I have lost and declaring yourself the victor is not an argument.//
    “Free will is the null hypothesis. In other words it is the default position held by most people. It is the alternative hypothesis which shoulders the burden of proof.” And “most people” are wrong. “Free will” as Sam Harris correctly says is a non starter. It’s simply incoherent.

  32. Phoenix says:

    //So what does it mean then? Ali Wrote in the article “our soul is uncreated and eternal because it is a piece of God”. Do you agree with that? Following this definition it means our nature is the the same as gods – all loving. So why do human beings choose evil? If humans beings have evil in them it follows that evil must be a part – but that is impossible-of God. so where does evil come from? And don’t say free will because God always chooses good.//

    The major difference between us and God is that we reside in what is often termed as the realm of the relative as opposed to God’s absolute realm. This is more a matter of perspective than a physical location. The other major difference is that we have and are limited to our physical bodies. God is not restricted to such a vehicle.

    //God set of the chain and set up the variables of our universe – according to the fine tuning argument – he also knew – given his omniscience that evil and suffering would exist in this universe. He could have chosen (since he is perfectly free) to create a universe with zero suffering (and where there is still “free will”) but decided not to therefore he is responsible”. Gods responsible by his decision to create a universe containing suffering//

    First, I’ve not made the fine tuning argument.
    Second, why is evil and suffering a problem, given that your worldview does not recognize absolute principles? If there’s absolute evil then there’s absolute good.

    // No we don’t have to be programmed by a conscious being. Our genetics are largely responsible for our behavioural and personality traits. Are genes conscious? No. Is evolution conscious? No. Machines can be programmed either by the design of a conscious being or through a naturalistic process like evolution.//

    False, nature does not design anything and you cannot prove it does. Design implies purpose, intent and goal oriented. These are concepts that only a mind can execute. Your assertion is bare and relies on itself for validation. For example: Nature designs natural processes. This is circular and asserts what it”s supposed to prove. Even Dawkins has admitted that nature is “pitiless indifference and accidental”.

    //What paradox?//

    There is no such thing as absolute evil yet you can charge someone with being absolutely evil. If evil is subjective then your moral concerns has no power beyond your personal boundaries. If it is absolute then you must provide proof for such a claim and one that is consistent with Philosophical Materialism.

    //Programming doesn’t have to be by a conscious being. Either prove that or stop talking nonsense.//

    Show me a machine whose program cannot be traced back to a conscious being?

    //Of course I forgot the being who is the moral yardstick for all actions himself doesn’t himself have any duties and can break his “objective morality” whether he wants to.//

    Again, who said that stopping bullets is God’s objective moral duty?

    //Because atheists aren’t omnipotent- unlike your God.//

    Omnipotence does not entail violating moral laws, law of free will,laws of logic and laws of nature. Omnipotence per Atheist understanding is built around a caricature, much like that of comic book characters.

    //If my “decision” to raise my hand was not proceeded by conscious thought/intention then it wasn’t voluntary but a involuntary movement – like someone with Parkinson’s. //

    You said before that the subconscious mind makes the decision. Now you claim to able to consciously choose to raise your arm. If your worldview is honest and consistent then all movements are involuntary. Volunteering is by definition a free choice to do something. This is why I am wasting my time debating with you. You are always contradicting yourself.

    // So right now you could “choose” to go to Syria to fight for ISIS and start cutting people’s heads off and raping women and then selling them to other terrorists? Such a thing (even if it did happen) would have to come completely out of the blue and be completely out of character – and suddenly having the desire to fight for ISIS appear in your mind is not compatible at all with free will.//

    I screen my actions for moral value before executing them. And no one said you must do everything you hate, that’s an insane conclusion.

    // If the reason for facing the thing he fears was not because they wanted to face it then what was the reason and how was it chosen?//

    You’re asking weird questions again. Who said it “was not because they wanted to face it”?

    //There is no “I” if there is no thoughts.//

    Huh??? Are you saying you cannot clear your head of any thoughts? And if you do, then you no longer exist?

    //And you can do this magical ability while not thinking anything can you? “I am directing my mind even though I am not thinking and desiring anything”.//

    The point is this: My awareness precedes thoughts. I can exist without thoughts, even if it’s temporarily, but my thoughts don’t exist without my awareness.

    //Can you choose to intend to do something else if no thoughts and ideas “randomly popped up” in your conscious mind? (And then one of those would need to be selected by the will).//

    Yes, I can choose to block thoughts and focus on my breath.

    //Directing your mind while not thinking anything is not normal. Maybe this condition explains why religious believe in insane things – because no thinking and reasoning is taking place.//

    1. Your argument erroneously assumes thoughts precede consciousness.
    2. Thoughts “popping into your head” is completely random. Reasoning on the other hand is a systematic form of thinking. Once more you have contradicted yourself. Your thoughts are random and so is your reasoning. That actually explains why Atheists cannot defend their position rationally, their reasoning is completely random.

    // No clue again. If I am in the same circumstances and everything is the same how could I reason differently? How could I come to a different conclusion? I can’t based on who I was and the circumstances I was in I would always arrive at the decision not to eat the cake. The only way I could have eat the cake is if 1)If I was in different circumstances 2)I was a different person (with different values and reasons) 3) My brain generated reasons and desires completely randomly (“out of the blue” – similar to the ISIS situation) which then lead me to choose to eat the cake. None of those 3 are compatible with “free will”.//

    This is question begging. How do you know that those choices would be the same under the same circumstances if that theory can never be tested? Your argument assumes what it is supposed to prove.

    //Free will is nonsense concept. You haven’t shown how people choose what they want and who they are. You haven’t explained how given the same circumstances you could choose differently and even if you did how that would be compatible with “free will”. So you have no argument still – and claiming I have lost and declaring yourself the victor is not an argument.//

    Free will is the null hypothesis. In other words it is the default position held by most people. It is the alternative hypothesis which shoulders the burden of proof.

  33. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina
    You said
    “I see nothing wrong with it”
    But how afterall It is contradictory of your findings according to which souls are part of God. But according to this ideology souls are not part of God and it confirms separate eternal & everlasting trinity of God/Supreme Sprite, Souls, and primordial matter. If believed in this ideology Jesus soul was not evolved since eternity but it went through the process of evolution as you & me are going and Jesus birth also was part of this process.We all have to go through evolution. This ideology believes cycle of universe creation & dissolution happening since eternity like day after night. It believes result of finite deeds can not be infinite. Liberated Souls live in company of God till 36000 cycles of universe creation & dissolution but these liberated souls do not become part of birth & death during this 36000 cycles of universe and see all drama universe creation and its dissolution, roaming in different galaxies with the grace of God. This is called highest state of bliss for soul.

  34. @Truth Seeker
    “Please let me know how to refute this ideology”
    Why do you want to refute it? I see nothing wrong with it. Anyone who can have out of boy experience and pass from this earthly plane to higher planes can access these truths. They do not disprove Jesus but rather ratify and confirm him.

  35. Steve says:

    @Phoenix
    “How does omnipotence imply God created suffering?” You know what my argument is so instead of asking questions actually start answering.

    “I should just quit now while I’m ahead. This is a complete misunderstanding of what it means to be made in God’s image.” So what does it mean then? Ali Wrote in the article “our soul is uncreated and eternal because it is a piece of God”. Do you agree with that? Following this definition it means our nature is the the same as gods – all loving. So why do human beings choose evil? If humans beings have evil in them it follows that evil must be a part – but that is impossible-of God. so where does evil come from? And don’t say free will because God always chooses good.

    “Did God put the mouse trap and rat poison there? If so, prove it.” God set of the chain and set up the variables of our universe – according to the fine tuning argument – he also knew – given his omniscience that evil and suffering would exist in this universe. He could have chosen (since he is perfectly free) to create a universe with zero suffering (and where there is still “free will”) but decided not to therefore he is responsible”. Gods responsible by his decision to create a universe containing suffering.

    “machines are programmed by rational agents. The “intent” the machine expresses is that of the rational agent who programmed it. Your reasoning would imply the universe is a rational agent or was programmed by one” No we don’t have to be programmed by a conscious being. Our genetics are largely responsible for our behavioural and personality traits. Are genes conscious? No. Is evolution conscious? No. Machines can be programmed either by the design of a conscious being or through a naturalistic process like evolution.

    “And yet you can’t disprove it, except by burying yourself in more paradoxes.” What paradox?

    “Your reasoning imply the universe is a rational agent or was programmed by one.” Programming doesn’t have to be by a conscious being. Either prove that or stop talking nonsense.
    “Who said it’s God’s duty to stop bullets? ” Of course I forgot the being who is the moral yardstick for all actions himself doesn’t himself have any duties and can break his “objective morality” whether he wants to.
    “And why can’t Atheism stop bullets if it’s so important to you?” Because atheists aren’t omnipotent- unlike your God.
    “Here’s a simple test: Can you raise your hand voluntarily or only when you have the urge to do so? Answer me this honestly.” If my “decision” to raise my hand was not proceeded by conscious thought/intention then it wasn’t voluntary but a involuntary movement – like someone with Parkinson’s.

    “Of course I can do things I hate. People do it on a daily basis. How do you think people grow and mature? ” So right now you could “choose” to go to Syria to fight for ISIS and start cutting people’s heads off and raping women and then selling them to other terrorists? Such a thing (even if it did happen) would have to come completely out of the blue and be completely out of character – and suddenly having the desire to fight for ISIS appear in your mind is not compatible at all with free will.
    “When someone overcomes his phobias, he usually faces the thing he fears most.” If the reason for facing the thing he fears was not because they wanted to face it then what was the reason and how was it chosen?
    “Whenever I am conscious in the present moment then thoughts cease to exist.” There is no “I” if there is no thoughts.
    “I can direct my mind wherever I choose to, without any external force. ” And you can do this magical ability while not thinking anything can you? “I am directing my mind even though I am not thinking and desiring anything”.
    “Random thoughts popping into your head is a sure sign of ADHD. It’s not normal.” Directing your mind while not thinking anything is not normal. Maybe this condition explains why religious believe in insane things – because no thinking and reasoning is taking place.

    “Oh God, you don’t even understand basic logical terms such as IF/THEN. It’s a conditional clause,as opposed to a categorical statement.” Thoughts do just come into our mind – they can’t do anything else (since we don’t know what a thought will be until it appears). I no more know what my next thought will be than I know what your next message will say.

    “If determinism is true then we would expect such things as thoughts randomly popping into our minds but that is clearly not the case for normal healthy folk.” And that’s exactly what does happen – except for folk who can magically direct there minds while not thinking anything.
    “We can express intent.” Can you choose to intend to do something else if no thoughts and ideas “randomly popped up” in your conscious mind? (And then one of those would need to be selected by the will).

    “Hold on…you can’t state we have no control over our actions and then also claim to be able to calculate and have options. Those are illusions remember. Atheism is contradictory and I see no reason to further this discussion. You have lost numerous times in our debates but persist because you’re under the impression that the one who has the last say wins, even if it is nonsensical. So go ahead and have your last say.” No clue again. If I am in the same circumstances and everything is the same how could I reason differently? How could I come to a different conclusion? I can’t based on who I was and the circumstances I was in I would always arrive at the decision not to eat the cake. The only way I could have eat the cake is if 1)If I was in different circumstances 2)I was a different person (with different values and reasons) 3) My brain generated reasons and desires completely randomly (“out of the blue” – similar to the ISIS situation) which then lead me to choose to eat the cake. None of those 3 are compatible with “free will”.

    Free will is nonsense concept. You haven’t shown how people choose what they want and who they are. You haven’t explained how given the same circumstances you could choose differently and even if you did how that would be compatible with “free will”. So you have no argument still – and claiming I have lost and declaring yourself the victor is not an argument.

    Without free will your beliefs and all the religious beliefs about gods and everything else don’t make any sense but since you think you “won” I guess presenting no argument in favour of religions most treasured doctrine is no concern to you

  36. Phoenix says:

    //Okay then I will ask what you believe, do you believe God is omniscient? If you believe no then how is he God? And if yes then he must be responsible for the suffering. (Free will or not).//

    How does omnipotence imply God created suffering?

    //Does God have free will? I will presume you will say yes. Would God ever choose to do evil? No God would never choose to do that – because it contradicts his nature. So if this not a problem for God it’s also not a problem for human beings (who are made in his image).//

    I should just quit now while I’m ahead. This is a complete misunderstanding of what it means to be made in God’s image.

    //It’s not relevant and I already explained why at least several times. If for some bizarre reason a person believed in a all powerful creator who created this world with the well being of say mice and rats in mind an unbeliever in this mouse loving God could for example point to the existence of cats, disease, rat poison and traps as evidence that no such God exists. Likewise you can do the same with an loving God with created this universe with humans (and possibly other conscious and sentiment beings) in mind. And you can do this – and your argument is valid – regardless of what your moral theory is. Even Craig admitted this.//

    Did God put the mouse trap and rat poison there? If so, prove it.

    //There is no reason why a machine can’t have intentions (and yes all of its intentions are programmed but it has intentions) therefore you are wrong.//

    Another false analogy, machines are programmed by rational agents. The “intent” the machine expresses is that of the rational agent who programmed it. Your reasoning would imply the universe is a rational agent or was programmed by one.

    //Your argument above is nonsense.//

    And yet you can’t disprove it, except by burying yourself in more paradoxes.

    //No it wouldn’t – because every thing you want or intend has been programmed into you by the universe. (By your genes and by conditioning to take the proximate causes).//

    Your reasoning imply the universe is a rational agent or was programmed by one.

    //Yep that guy begging for his life wasn’t hoping for a bullet in his brain. Gods omnipotence didn’t stop the bullet for some reason.//

    Who said it’s God’s duty to stop bullets? And why can’t Atheism stop bullets if it’s so important to you?

    //Where does this study claim that? It doesn’t.//

    Let me rephrase that. The article disproves the claim that Libet’s experiment refutes free will. An experiment cited by Harris et al as proof against free will.

    From the article: “Advocates of free will can rest easy, for now. A 30-year-old classic experiment that is often used to argue against free will might have been misinterpreted.”

    AND

    “So what does this say about free will? “If we are correct, then the ****Libet experiment does not count as evidence against the possibility of conscious will****,” says Schurger.”

    //You don’t control your mind anymore than you control a man who suddenly pulls a gun to your head. All you can do is witness what your mind is doing – you don’t control it. Just like all you can do is observe what’s going on in your environment. To have any control you would need to know what your mind is going to do before it does it. Just like to have any control over a situation you need some prior knowledge. If you are driving your car and you see a sign which says “accident 1 km ahead” you can do something about it before you get there but if someone just runs out in front of you, you have no control and no choice.//

    Here’s a simple test: Can you raise your hand voluntarily or only when you have the urge to do so? Answer me this honestly.

    // There is “will” not “free will”. You can only ever do what you want to do – you can’t choose to do things you hate.//

    Of course I can do things I hate. People do it on a daily basis. How do you think people grow and mature? When someone overcomes his phobias, he usually faces the thing he fears most.

    // There is proof just observe what goes on in your mind when a decision is made. “Decisions” (or what our “will” or subconscious mind has selected) appear in our mind just like any other thought.//

    Whenever I am conscious in the present moment then thoughts cease to exist. I can direct my mind wherever I choose to, without any external force. Random thoughts popping into your head is a sure sign of ADHD. It’s not normal.

    // So that is why you wrote “For example: If determinism is true then we are forced to accept whatever thoughts pop into our heads,”//

    Oh God, you don’t even understand basic logical terms such as IF/THEN. It’s a conditional clause,as opposed to a categorical statement.

    If determinism is true then we would expect such things as thoughts randomly popping into our minds but that is clearly not the case for normal healthy folk. We can express intent.

    //No it wouldn’t why did I not eat the cake? Because I calculated based on my desires and circumstances that not eating the cake was the best option. I didn’t choose my reasons or desires and I didn’t choose what weight I gave to those reasons. There is no “free will” involved in reasoning.//

    Hold on…you can’t state we have no control over our actions and then also claim to be able to calculate and have options. Those are illusions remember. Atheism is contradictory and I see no reason to further this discussion. You have lost numerous times in our debates but persist because you’re under the impression that the one who has the last say wins, even if it is nonsensical. So go ahead and have your last say.

  37. Steve says:

    The argument is simple you can only “choose” to do what you want to do you cannot “choose” to do things you have no interest in doing and which you hate. E.g if you find stealing and adultery disgusting you cannot choose to do that and if you did somehow end up doing it, it would not be a “freely willed decision” – since by definition it is against what you want and what you like. Now it is established you can only choose to do things you want to do. To show free will you would have to show that your preferences are the result of “free choices” you haven’t shown this so you don’t have an argument (and I remember you saying not long ago that preferences are not chosen).

  38. Steve says:

    Phoenix
    //God set of the chain and set up the variables of our universe – according to the fine tuning argument – he also knew – given his omniscience that evil and suffering would exist in this universe. He could have chosen (since he is perfectly free) to create a universe with zero suffering (and where there is still “free will”) but decided not to therefore he is responsible.//
    You’re implying that God created suffering at the Big Bang. This is absurd unless you can provide the proof. “And don’t tell me that is what I believe.” Okay then I will ask what you believe, do you believe God is omniscient? If you believe no then how is he God? And if yes then he must be responsible for the suffering. (Free will or not).

    // So for much for “free will”. Also answer (since you ignored) And why then would God bother given us a soul if it’s overridden by the flesh? Why not just give us bodies which do not corrupt our soul? God and his designs are again responsible for evil.//
    “Yes, free will works both ways. You can choose good or allow yourself to become a slave to your senses. “Your notion of free will is fraudulent as it gives the illusion of a second alternative when in reality there would only be one path.” Does God have free will? I will presume you will say yes. Would God ever choose to do evil? No God would never choose to do that – because it contradicts his nature. So if this not a problem for God it’s also not a problem for human beings (who are made in his image).

    //Not relevant to the argument and even the likes of William lane Craig admitted this yet you still repeat it.//
    “Of course it’s relevant. Evil does not exist absolutely but one can be absolutely evil. That’s an internal incoherence.” It’s not relevant and I already explained why at least several times. If for some bizarre reason a person believed in a all powerful creator who created this world with the well being of say mice and rats in mind an unbeliever in this mouse loving God could for example point to the existence of cats, disease, rat poison and traps as evidence that no such God exists. Likewise you can do the same with an loving God with created this universe with humans (and possibly other conscious and sentiment beings) in mind. And you can do this – and your argument is valid – regardless of what your moral theory is. Even Craig admitted this.

    //It doesn’t matter whether God has free will or not he is still evil or incompetent or indifferent or doesn’t exist.//
    “And yet you can’t demonstrate that logically without a bare assertion. I wonder why?” Apart from the fact I have done so about 10 times now but here it is again. //God set of the chain and set up the variables of our universe – according to the fine tuning argument – he also knew – given his omniscience that evil and suffering would exist in this universe. He could have chosen (since he is perfectly free) to create a universe with zero suffering (and where there is still “free will”) but decided not to therefore he is responsible.//
    // Why would it mean that? Rather your intentions are determined by who you are (usually anyway unless you being controlled by another agent) but you didn’t choose who you are.//
    Let’s put your argument in point form:
    1. I have no choice in who I am
    2. I have intention.
    3. [Implied] I am a purely physical being with no free will and is subjected to deterministic laws as is all matter.
    4. [Consequence of 1 and 3] All matter in motion is blind and accidental and has zero intention, as are the four forces of physics.
    “5. Number 2 directly contradicts number 4. If I am a purely biological machine then I should have zero intention and agency just as any other entity that is entirely composed of matter.” There is no reason why a machine can’t have intentions (and yes all of its intentions are programmed but it has intentions) therefore you are wrong.

    // Show me how you choose your reasoning and how could come to a different conclusion given the same reasons? You can’t do it therefore you have no argument.//
    You have no idea what reductio ad absurdum is do you? It is the logical equivalent of falsifiability. “I have showed you that negating free will leads to absurdities and contradictions (see above argument in point form).” Your argument above is nonsense.

    //Translation – Ignore the argument and spout nonsense instead. Show me over what cause in the chain of events did they have conscious control of?//
    This question does n’t make sense. When I exert my free will, I am initiating a chain of events.
    “Either the backward causal chain of events ends with me or it can regress all the way back to the singularity. The latter would exclude intention and intelligence.” No it wouldn’t – because every thing you want or intend has been programmed into you by the universe. (By your genes and by conditioning to take the proximate causes).

    //Prayers are not answered (and even Sina admitted it) and you link a study which to show the health benefits of having “faith”. Now this what was saiin my link//
    “Yes, prayers are answered. It may not be the answer you’re hoping for. Prayers are also effective as many studies have shown.” Yep that guy begging for his life wasn’t hoping for a bullet in his brain. Gods omnipotence didn’t stop the bullet for some reason.

    //So what does this say about free will? “If we are correct, then the Libet experiment does not count as evidence against the possibility of conscious will,” says Schurger.” That’s fine what they are saying is that what the test subjects was being asked here (report when they felt the urge to move) is a involuntary action and not a reasoned decision making process. However it also correctly says “Cognitive neuroscientist Anil Seth of the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, is impressed by the work, but also circumspect about what it says about free will. “It’s a more satisfying mechanistic explanation of the readiness potential. But it doesn’t bounce conscious free will suddenly back into the picture,” he says. “Showing that one aspect of the Libet experiment can be open to interpretation does not mean that all arguments against conscious free will need to be ejected.”//
    No one said the study is evidence for free will”. It disproves determinism.” Where does this study claim that? It doesn’t.

    “Harris has cited the Libet study as evidence for determinism when it is now known to be misinterpreted. That’s it. I did not say it is a study proving free will. Stop having imaginary discussions.” He spoke about it for maybe 2 minutes in his speech.

    //Because you can’t “choose” if you don’t know – or have any control over your will/mind.//
    “What exactly is there to know before I know? Why should it stop there and not regress a few more steps back? And stop using analogies and just discuss the actual topic at hand.” What the decision is going to be. You don’t control your mind anymore than you control a man who suddenly pulls a gun to your head. All you can do is witness what your mind is doing – you don’t control it. Just like all you can do is observe what’s going on in your environment. To have any control you would need to know what your mind is going to do before it does it. Just like to have any control over a situation you need some prior knowledge. If you are driving your car and you see a sign which says “accident 1 km ahead” you can do something about it before you get there but if someone just runs out in front of you, you have no control and no choice.

    “That has nothing to do with free will. Free will is about having the ability to act between 2 or more courses of action without any external coercion.” There is “will” not “free will”. You can only ever do what you want to do – you can’t choose to do things you hate.

    //You observe “decisions” that have already been subconsciously made – that’s all. Just like you observe thoughts that have already appeared in consciousness – you don’t think that you are going to think a thought before you become aware of it. Likewise you don’t think or know what you have decided before you have already become aware as to what the decision is. This fact alone refutes the concept of free will. //
    “Nope. There is no proof for that. This is why I showed you the link that refuted the Libet experiments.” There is proof just observe what goes on in your mind when a decision is made. “Decisions” (or what our “will” or subconscious mind has selected) appear in our mind just like any other thought.

    // Well even you have admitted that thoughts do indeed “pop up in our heads” without us choosing that.//
    “I did not admit thoughts “pop into our heads”.” So that is why you wrote “For example: If determinism is true then we are forced to accept whatever thoughts pop into our heads,”
    //As for why we concentrate on particular thoughts and ignore other ones this must be because of reasons – reasons which we didn’t create and which we didn’t choose and which cannot be any other way. If I ignore the thought that tells me to eat that chocolate cake it must be because of reasons. Reasons which I didn’t choose and given who I am and the circumstances I am in and the conclusions arrived at by my reasoning I couldn’t have chosen any other way. Determinism is in fact fully compatible with our experiences and our intelligence and reasoning ability.//

    “If I have no control over the reasons then that would make reasoning redundant. And your entire argument therefore self-refuting.” No it wouldn’t why did I not eat the cake? Because I calculated based on my desires and circumstances that not eating the cake was the best option. I didn’t choose my reasons or desires and I didn’t choose what weight I gave to those reasons. There is no “free will” involved in reasoning.

  39. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina/ All Scholar
    Please let me know how to refute this ideology though i am believer of this but I am truth seeker too.

    1 Souls, 2 God, 3 primordial matter (Which is called Prakriti in Sanskrit) trinity of these are eternal and everlasting. All three are separate from each other. Supreme Sprite /God is existent, conscious, and blissful. Soul is only existent and conscious not blissful like God. Third, Matter is only existent lack of consciousness and blissfulness. God makes the universe from primordial matter like a potter makes the pot from clay. Souls come in world to enjoy it. When soul do it with love, justice, kindness, compassion with fellow beings it gets in touch with God which is called liberation from birth & death cycle.

    This ideology is back by Sankhya Darshan & Yoga Darshan philosophy as per available interpretation available of these philosophy. These philosophy were written thousands of years before birth of Jesus.

  40. Phoenix says:

    //God set of the chain and set up the variables of our universe – according to the fine tuning argument – he also knew – given his omniscience that evil and suffering would exist in this universe. He could have chosen (since he is perfectly free) to create a universe with zero suffering (and where there is still “free will”) but decided not to therefore he is responsible.//

    You’re implying that God created suffering at the Big Bang. This is absurd unless you can provide the proof. And don’t tell me that is what I believe.

    // So for much for “free will”. Also answer (since you ignored) And why then would God bother given us a soul if it’s overridden by the flesh? Why not just give us bodies which do not corrupt our soul? God and his designs are again responsible for evil.//

    Yes, free will works both ways. You can choose good or allow yourself to become a slave to your senses. Your notion of free will is fraudulent as it gives the illusion of a second alternative when in reality there would only be one path.

    //Not relevant to the argument and even the likes of William lane Craig admitted this yet you still repeat it.//

    Of course it’s relevant. Evil does not exist absolutely but one can be absolutely evil. That’s an internal incoherence.

    //It doesn’t matter whether God has free will or not he is still evil or incompetent or indifferent or doesn’t exist.//

    And yet you can’t demonstrate that logically without a bare assertion. I wonder why?

    // Why would it mean that? Rather your intentions are determined by who you are (usually anyway unless you being controlled by another agent) but you didn’t choose who you are.//

    Let’s put your argument in point form:

    1. I have no choice in who I am
    2. I have intention.
    3. [Implied] I am a purely physical being with no free will and is subjected to deterministic laws as is all matter.
    4. [Consequence of 1 and 3] All matter in motion is blind and accidental and has zero intention, as are the four forces of physics.
    5. Number 2 directly contradicts number 4. If I am a purely biological machine then I should have zero intention and agency just as any other entity that is entirely composed of matter.

    // Show me how you choose your reasoning and how could come to a different conclusion given the same reasons? You can’t do it therefore you have no argument.//

    You have no idea what reductio ad absurdum is do you? It is the logical equivalent of falsifiability. I have showed you that negating free will leads to absurdities and contradictions (see above argument in point form).

    //Translation – Ignore the argument and spout nonsense instead. Show me over what cause in the chain of events did they have conscious control of?//

    This question does n’t make sense. When I exert my free will, I am initiating a chain of events. Either the backward causal chain of events ends with me or it can regress all the way back to the singularity. The latter would exclude intention and intelligence.

    //Prayers are not answered (and even Sina admitted it) and you link a study which to show the health benefits of having “faith”. Now this what was said in my link//

    Yes, prayers are answered. It may not be the answer you’re hoping for. Prayers are also effective as many studies have shown.

    //So what does this say about free will? “If we are correct, then the Libet experiment does not count as evidence against the possibility of conscious will,” says Schurger.” That’s fine what they are saying is that what the test subjects was being asked here (report when they felt the urge to move) is a involuntary action and not a reasoned decision making process. However it also correctly says “Cognitive neuroscientist Anil Seth of the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, is impressed by the work, but also circumspect about what it says about free will. “It’s a more satisfying mechanistic explanation of the readiness potential. But it doesn’t bounce conscious free will suddenly back into the picture,” he says. “Showing that one aspect of the Libet experiment can be open to interpretation does not mean that all arguments against conscious free will need to be ejected.”//

    No one said the study is evidence for free will. It disproves determinism. Harris has cited the Libet study as evidence for determinism when it is now known to be misinterpreted. That’s it. I did not say it is a study proving free will. Stop having imaginary discussions.

    //Because you can’t “choose” if you don’t know – or have any control over your will/mind.//

    What exactly is there to know before I know? Why should it stop there and not regress a few more steps back? And stop using analogies and just discuss the actual topic at hand.

    //No you didn’t need to know something before you knew to now in the present know it. For example as soon as you see this message you know what it says and NOT before. You don’t “choose” to know what it says before you read and once you have read then you know and no longer have any “choice”.

    That has nothing to do with free will. Free will is about having the ability to act between 2 or more courses of action without any external coercion.

    //You observe “decisions” that have already been subconsciously made – that’s all. Just like you observe thoughts that have already appeared in consciousness – you don’t think that you are going to think a thought before you become aware of it. Likewise you don’t think or know what you have decided before you have already become aware as to what the decision is. This fact alone refutes the concept of free will. //

    Nope. There is no proof for that. This is why I showed you the link that refuted the Libet experiments.

    // Well even you have admitted that thoughts do indeed “pop up in our heads” without us choosing that.//

    I did not admit thoughts “pop into our heads”.

    //As for why we concentrate on particular thoughts and ignore other ones this must be because of reasons – reasons which we didn’t create and which we didn’t choose and which cannot be any other way. If I ignore the thought that tells me to eat that chocolate cake it must be because of reasons. Reasons which I didn’t choose and given who I am and the circumstances I am in and the conclusions arrived at by my reasoning I couldn’t have chosen any other way. Determinism is in fact fully compatible with our experiences and our intelligence and reasoning ability.//

    If I have no control over the reasons then that would make reasoning redundant. And your entire argument therefore self-refuting.

  41. Steve says:

    Phoenix
    //You keep saying God didn’t create but since he is the first cause he is ultimately responsible for everything. He is also omnipotent and omniscient. If you deny those characteristics then your god is not God.//
    “I do not see how First Cause equals to all subsequent causes, especially in an environment where free will reigns.” God set of the chain and set up the variables of our universe – according to the fine tuning argument – he also knew – given his omniscience that evil and suffering would exist in this universe. He could have chosen (since he is perfectly free) to create a universe with zero suffering (and where there is still “free will”) but decided not to therefore he is responsible.
    /
    “Unless you claim “flesh and bones” overrides our soul?” Yes they can and do, although temporarily.” So for much for “free will”. Also answer (since you ignored) And why then would God bother given us a soul if it’s overridden by the flesh? Why not just give us bodies which do not corrupt our soul? God and his designs are again responsible for evil.

    “Again, absolute evil does not exist in your worldview, only what is personal and subjective to you, so your absolute condemnation has no meaning outside its boundaries.” Not relevant to the argument and even the likes of William lane Craig admitted this yet you still repeat it.
    “Also, given a purely deterministic universe, no one is responsible for his or her actions.” It doesn’t matter whether God has free will or not he is still evil or incompetent or indifferent or doesn’t exist.

    //We have intentions, intelligence etc but those things are not chosen. Why did you do something? Because of reasons? How did you arrive at a conclusion and make a judgment on something ? Because of reasons? When and how did you choose those reasons? You didn’t. You haven’t shown how reasons are chosen nor did Sina therefore you have no argument//
    “If I did not choose my intention then it is either someone else’s or an illusion.” Why would it mean that? Rather your intentions are determined by who you are (usually anyway unless you being controlled by another agent) but you didn’t choose who you are.
    “We arrive at our reasoning via rational deliberation, intention, intelligence and of course choice. Your position assumes all thinking is the result of previous particles and blind forces of nature. This does not require any intelligence or deliberation.” Show me how you choose your reasoning and how could come to a different conclusion given the same reasons? You can’t do it therefore you have no argument.

    //This is evidence of “free will” how? Over which specific cause in the chain of events that led to them NOT becoming violent and hateful die did they have any conscious control of?//
    “The counter examples of persons who are NOT abusers, despite being victims of abuse refutes your argument. That implicates free will.” Translation – Ignore the argument and spout nonsense instead. Show me over what cause in the chain of events did they have conscious control of?

    //You mean how like in this case the poor guy’s desperate prayers was “answered”?//
    “I did not bother to open up your link because there are many studies proving the efficacy of prayer.” Prayers are not answered (and even Sina admitted it) and you link a study which to show the health benefits of having “faith”. Now this what was said in my link. “It was a man and he was begging, and pleading, and praying, I guess. And he was ‘Please, God’n all over the place. So I told him he could have a half an hour to pray to God and if God could come down and change the circumstances, he’d have that time. But God never showed up and he never changed the circumstances and that was that. It wasn’t too nice. That’s one thing, I shouldn’t have done that one. I shouldn’t have done it that way” So God this time (as in every other time) choose to do nothing where the person was crying and begging literally for God to save his life. Even the evil person in this case was prepared to give God 30 minutes (plenty enough time for a timeless being) to change the circumstances but did God in his omnipotence did that? Nope no reply whatsoever just like for everybody else who is in genuine need and suffering who asks for Gods help. God has no more compassion than a psychopath.

    //He is a benighted soul with a gigantic ego and little spiritual insight” is your understanding of someone being debunked then maybe. But if you claim he has been genuinely debunked then just link to the article that does it.//
    “Glad you asked. Go here:” This article says “Libet argued that our brain has already decided to move well before we have a conscious intention to move,” says Schurger. “We argue that what looks like a pre-conscious decision process may not in fact reflect a decision at all. It only looks that way because of the nature of spontaneous brain activity.”
    So what does this say about free will? “If we are correct, then the Libet experiment does not count as evidence against the possibility of conscious will,” says Schurger.” That’s fine what they are saying is that what the test subjects was being asked here (report when they felt the urge to move) is a involuntary action and not a reasoned decision making process. However it also correctly says “Cognitive neuroscientist Anil Seth of the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, is impressed by the work, but also circumspect about what it says about free will. “It’s a more satisfying mechanistic explanation of the readiness potential. But it doesn’t bounce conscious free will suddenly back into the picture,” he says. “Showing that one aspect of the Libet experiment can be open to interpretation does not mean that all arguments against conscious free will need to be ejected.”

    According to Seth, when the volunteers in Libet’s experiment said they felt an urge to act, that urge is an experience, similar to an experience of smell or taste. The new model is “opening the door towards a richer understanding of the neural basis of the conscious experience of volition”, he says.”

    //Gun point or not doesn’t matter what matters is you don’t know what is coming next – not even what you yourself will think, feel and “decide”. All so called free choices are forced on us in this way.//
    “Why should I know before I know?” Because you can’t “choose” if you don’t know – or have any control over your will/mind. Its no different than somebody suddenly pulling a gun on you or indeed some person on the Internet starting randomly to talk about porn, sex and making you aroused. Its something you can’t control, if you knew a crazed gunman would shoot up your town a week or a month in advance then you could do something about it but not if you was in the same shop when the gunman starts his rampage by walking behind you and shooting you in the back of the head.

    “Your poor reasoning easily falls prey to an infinite regression, since I would then be forced to know prior to knowing what I knew, etc, etc.” No you didn’t need to know something before you knew to now in the present know it. For example as soon as you see this message you know what it says and NOT before. You don’t “choose” to know what it says before you read and once you have read then you know and no longer have any “choice”.

    “We make decisions in the present moment, therefore I do not need to know before knowing. Your ill-logic presupposes we make decisions in the past” You observe “decisions” that have already been subconsciously made – that’s all. Just like you observe thoughts that have already appeared in consciousness – you don’t think that you are going to think a thought before you become aware of it. Likewise you don’t think or know what you have decided before you have already become aware as to what the decision is. This fact alone refutes the concept of free will.

    // Unless you can show how thoughts, feelings, beliefs, intentions and reasons are “freely chosen” I have refuted it. Since you haven’t shown it nor can you, your “free will” is refuted.//
    “You have not refuted anything. I showed you that rejecting free will leads to contradictions and absurdities. Your reasoning then fails basic logic.” You haven’t shown any contradictions and absurdities.
    “1. The argument from observation tells us that we know we are endowed with free will. Our courts of law is built upon this premise too. Denying this is counter intuitive. Free will is an empirical fact.” No it’s not. Where is the evidence of “free will” in making a decision? There isn’t any all you observe is your thoughts.
    “2. Determinism also fails reductio ad absurdum. For example: If determinism is true then we are forced to accept whatever thoughts pop into our heads, as they are merely caused by previous motions and particle alignments. This does not require any intelligence or reasoning ability.” Well even you have admitted that thoughts do indeed “pop up in our heads” without us choosing that. As for why we concentrate on particular thoughts and ignore other ones this must be because of reasons – reasons which we didn’t create and which we didn’t choose and which cannot be any other way. If I ignore the thought that tells me to eat that chocolate cake it must be because of reasons. Reasons which I didn’t choose and given who I am and the circumstances I am in and the conclusions arrived at by my reasoning I couldn’t have chosen any other way. Determinism is in fact fully compatible with our experiences and our intelligence and reasoning ability.

  42. Phoenix says:

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, & by the rulers as useful.”~ Lucius (45AD)//

    “Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior.”- Vox Day

    Since it’s a quote, it must be true…right? After all, that’s the logic being used here.

  43. Phoenix says:

    //You keep saying God didn’t create but since he is the first cause he is ultimately responsible for everything. He is also omnipotent and omniscient. If you deny those characteristics then your god is not God.//

    I do not see how First Cause equals to all subsequent causes, especially in an environment where free will reigns.

    //So if we have a soul -which contains gods essence of pure love – then this would mean we would only ever choose good (and if you say this means no free will then remember that it is said God always freely chooses good). Unless you claim “flesh and bones” overrides our soul? But how can that be? And why then would God bother given us a soul if it’s overridden by the flesh? Why not just give us bodies which do not corrupt our soul? God and his designs are again responsible for evil.//

    “Unless you claim “flesh and bones” overrides our soul?” Yes they can and do, although temporarily. Again, absolute evil does not exist in your worldview, only what is personal and subjective to you, so your absolute condemnation has no meaning outside its boundaries. Also, given a purely deterministic universe, no one is responsible for his or her actions.

    //We have intentions, intelligence etc but those things are not chosen. Why did you do something? Because of reasons? How did you arrive at a conclusion and make a judgment on something ? Because of reasons? When and how did you choose those reasons? You didn’t. You haven’t shown how reasons are chosen nor did Sina therefore you have no argument//

    If I did not choose my intention then it is either someone else’s or an illusion. Either way, you cannot claim we have intention and then reject the course of action which initiates the intention. We arrive at our reasoning via rational deliberation, intention, intelligence and of course choice. Your position assumes all thinking is the result of previous particles and blind forces of nature. This does not require any intelligence or deliberation.

    //This is evidence of “free will” how? Over which specific cause in the chain of events that led to them NOT becoming violent and hateful die did they have any conscious control of?//

    The counter examples of persons who are NOT abusers, despite being victims of abuse refutes your argument. That implicates free will.

    //You mean how like in this case the poor guy’s desperate prayers was “answered”?//

    I did not bother to open up your link because there are many studies proving the efficacy of prayer.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Headline/prayer-health-faith-medicine/2015/03/31/id/635623/

    //He is a benighted soul with a gigantic ego and little spiritual insight” is your understanding of someone being debunked then maybe. But if you claim he has been genuinely debunked then just link to the article that does it.//

    Glad you asked. Go here:

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22144-brain-might-not-stand-in-the-way-of-free-will#.U-XkA3YufBA

    //Gun point or not doesn’t matter what matters is you don’t know what is coming next – not even what you yourself will think, feel and “decide”. All so called free choices are forced on us in this way.//

    Why should I know before I know? Your poor reasoning easily falls prey to an infinite regression, since I would then be forced to know prior to knowing what I knew, etc, etc.
    We make decisions in the present moment, therefore I do not need to know before knowing. Your ill-logic presupposes we make decisions in the past.

    // Unless you can show how thoughts, feelings, beliefs, intentions and reasons are “freely chosen” I have refuted it. Since you haven’t shown it nor can you, your “free will” is refuted.//

    You have not refuted anything. I showed you that rejecting free will leads to contradictions and absurdities. Your reasoning then fails basic logic.

    1. The argument from observation tells us that we know we are endowed with free will. Our courts of law is built upon this premise too. Denying this is counter intuitive. Free will is an empirical fact.
    2. Determinism also fails reductio ad absurdum. For example: If determinism is true then we are forced to accept whatever thoughts pop into our heads, as they are merely caused by previous motions and particle alignments. This does not require any intelligence or reasoning ability.

    //We live in this universe where humans are not the centre of it that’s why suffering exists in a naturalistic world//

    Then there is nothing wrong or evil with suffering, since it’s a natural state. Just as there is nothing evil about a cat hunting a mouse.

  44. ddmisra says:

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, & by the rulers as useful.”~ Lucius (45AD)

  45. Steve says:

    Phoenix
    //God could simply have brought only the people who will only ever choose good into existence and not the evil people. (And the question of how evil people come to exist in the first place if God is the creator or originator of everything that exists and humans are supposed to be made in his image).//
    Strawman argument, God did not create everything. God did not for example create the knife or gun a murderer use to kill his victim(s) but God is the originator of the physical laws and elements from which those weapons were made.” You keep saying God didn’t create but since he is the first cause he is ultimately responsible for everything. He is also omnipotent and omniscient. If you deny those characteristics then your god is not God.

    “And the image of God humans are made in refers to their pure soul essence not necessarily their personailty,flesh and bones.” So if we have a soul -which contains gods essence of pure love – then this would mean we would only ever choose good (and if you say this means no free will then remember that it is said God always freely chooses good). Unless you claim “flesh and bones” overrides our soul? But how can that be? And why then would God bother given us a soul if it’s overridden by the flesh? Why not just give us bodies which do not corrupt our soul? God and his designs are again responsible for evil.

    //So what will you think next? You don’t know until it comes to mind you don’t “choose” it.//
    “This is an absurd argument. Not only does it render intention, intelligence, agency and creativity moot but it also nullifies rational thought and reasoning. You cannot possibly defend that position rationally without hijacking the exact concepts you claim to dismiss.” We have intentions, intelligence etc but those things are not chosen. Why did you do something? Because of reasons? How did you arrive at a conclusion and make a judgment on something ? Because of reasons? When and how did you choose those reasons? You didn’t. You haven’t shown how reasons are chosen nor did Sina therefore you have no argument.

    //Since they didn’t “choose” to be indoctrinated this is irrelevant. Everything from poor nutrition to beatings and neglect contributes to violent and hateful people, bad genes are also an important factor in having an abnormal conscience. (None of which was chosen).//
    “You necessarily imply that all victims of child abuse become violent hateful people. There are numerous counter examples refuting your presupposition.” This is evidence of “free will” how? Over which specific cause in the chain of events that led to them NOT becoming violent and hateful die did they have any conscious control of?

    //So what’s the point in God then if he doesn’t do anything? He has no utility. He may as well not exist.//
    “A deliberate misrepresentation of the argument being made. Ali Sina clearly says God answered his prayers, albeit, not the answer he was expecting.” You mean how like in this case the poor guy’s desperate prayers was “answered”? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iwROndlBEjM

    //Insulting Harris is not an argument. You no more choose your thoughts than you choose the sound of the wind rustling (for example) entering your awareness.//
    “Harris has been debunked numerous times. He has neither logic nor evidence on his side.” If saying things like this “Sam Harris is a pompous buffoon. He is a benighted soul with a gigantic ego and little spiritual insight” is your understanding of someone being debunked then maybe. But if you claim he has been genuinely debunked then just link to the article that does it.
    //Of course and I “picked” neither picture or my reaction to it. If I suddenly put a loaded gun to your head do you “choose” how to react? Of course not you didn’t know it was coming – and this is true about all your thoughts and “choices”.//

    “Putting a loaded gun to someone’s head and forcing them to choose does not qualify as free will secondly, it is completely false that “this is true about all your thoughts and “choices”. Humans are almost never forced to choose under gun point. Your analogy is fallacious.” Gun point or not doesn’t matter what matters is you don’t know what is coming next – not even what you yourself will think, feel and “decide”. All so called free choices are forced on us in this way.

    // So how did you “choose” to start thinking that you want to throw that stone? If the thought “I want to throw that stone” hadn’t appeared in consciousness (and that’s all thoughts do they simply appear – they are not “chosen”) you could not have chosen it. The thought appearing is determined by factors you didn’t create and which you have no control over. Acting on a thought (or not) is also determined by reasons -which again you didn’t choose, which you have no control over and which cannot be any other way. Free will doesn’t exist given this your beliefs about hell and evil don’t make any sense. (Not that the free will defence is any good anyway as it doesn’t answer natural disasters, why people suffer as the result of other people’s choices, why God can have free will and yet always choose good, why there is no suffering in heaven yet we still have free will etc and many other reasons).//
    “1. You haven’t refuted free will. Where is the evidence?” Unless you can show how thoughts, feelings, beliefs, intentions and reasons are “freely chosen” I have refuted it. Since you haven’t shown it nor can you, your “free will” is refuted.
    “2. Your worldview cannot account for evil and suffering therefore they are non-existent” We live in this universe where humans are not the centre of it that’s why suffering exists in a naturalistic world.

  46. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina

    What is your thought on ideology. 1 Souls, 2 God, 3 primordial matter trinity of these are eternal and everlasting. All three are separate from each other. Supreme Sprite /God is existent, conscious, and blissful. Soul is only existent and conscious not blissful like God. Third, Matter is only existent lack of conscious and blissfulness. God makes the universe from matter like a potter makes the pot from clay. Souls comes in world to enjoy it. When soul do it with love, justice, kindness with fellow beings it gets in touch with God which is called liberation from death & birth cycle.

  47. Phoenix says:

    //God could simply have brought only the people who will only ever choose good into existence and not the evil people. (And the question of how evil people come to exist in the first place if God is the creator or originator of everything that exists and humans are supposed to be made in his image).//

    Strawman argument, God did not create everything. God did not for example create the knife or gun a murderer use to kill his victim(s) but God is the originator of the physical laws and elements from which those weapons were made.
    And the image of God humans are made in refers to their pure soul essence not necessarily their personailty,flesh and bones.

    //So what will you think next? You don’t know until it comes to mind you don’t “choose” it.//

    This is an absurd argument. Not only does it render intention, intelligence, agency and creativity moot but it also nullifies rational thought and reasoning. You cannot possibly defend that position rationally without hijacking the exact concepts you claim to dismiss.

    //Since they didn’t “choose” to be indoctrinated this is irrelevant. Everything from poor nutrition to beatings and neglect contributes to violent and hateful people, bad genes are also an important factor in having an abnormal conscience. (None of which was chosen).//

    You necessarily imply that all victims of child abuse become violent hateful people. There are numerous counter examples refuting your presupposition.

    //So what’s the point in God then if he doesn’t do anything? He has no utility. He may as well not exist.//

    A deliberate misrepresentation of the argument being made. Ali Sina clearly says God answered his prayers, albeit, not the answer he was expecting.

    //Insulting Harris is not an argument. You no more choose your thoughts than you choose the sound of the wind rustling (for example) entering your awareness.//

    Harris has been debunked numerous times. He has neither logic nor evidence on his side.

    //Of course and I “picked” neither picture or my reaction to it. If I suddenly put a loaded gun to your head do you “choose” how to react? Of course not you didn’t know it was coming – and this is true about all your thoughts and “choices”.//

    First, you do not know what a “free choice” is, do you? Putting a loaded gun to someone’s head and forcing them to choose does not qualify as free will.
    secondly, it is completely false that “this is true about all your thoughts and “choices”. Humans are almost never forced to choose under gun point. Your analogy is fallacious.

    // So how did you “choose” to start thinking that you want to throw that stone? If the thought “I want to throw that stone” hadn’t appeared in consciousness (and that’s all thoughts do they simply appear – they are not “chosen”) you could not have chosen it. The thought appearing is determined by factors you didn’t create and which you have no control over. Acting on a thought (or not) is also determined by reasons -which again you didn’t choose, which you have no control over and which cannot be any other way. Free will doesn’t exist given this your beliefs about hell and evil don’t make any sense. (Not that the free will defence is any good anyway as it doesn’t answer natural disasters, why people suffer as the result of other people’s choices, why God can have free will and yet always choose good, why there is no suffering in heaven yet we still have free will etc and many other reasons).//

    1. You haven’t refuted free will. Where is the evidence?
    2. Your worldview cannot account for evil and suffering therefore they are non-existent.

  48. Ali Sina says:

    @Truth Seeker
    “What is your thought on the ideology Muhammad or bad people soul go in their next births in species like reptiles because they reversed the doctrine of soul’s evolution.”

    It is possible. I am of the belief that we experienced life as animals first before being given a human body. So it is possible that some people may go back. I am not sure. I suppose Muslims should not kill scorpions and cockroaches. One of them could be Muhammad. 😉

    “Why Jesus came only once to teach the humans? Why not Jusus comes many times, many places, in every century?”

    I don’t know. i will ask him when I meet him.

  49. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina

    Why Jesus came only once to teach the humans? Why not Jusus comes many times, many places, in every century?

  50. Truth Seeker says:

    @Ali Sina

    What is your thought on the ideology Muhammad or bad people soul go in their next births in species like reptiles because they reversed the doctrine of soul’s evolution.

  51. Steve says:

    Ali Sina

    ” Likewise, if God does not do evil it is not because He cannot. Evil is so strange to His nature that He will never do it. The same freedom is given to us. The more we resemble God the more we abhor doing evil.” You are saying *could* do evil but given his all loving nature he won’t do it. If this is true the same must also be true of humans – God could simply have brought only the people who will only ever choose good into existence and not the evil people. (And the question of how evil people come to exist in the first place if God is the creator or originator of everything that exists and humans are supposed to be made in his image).

    “Everyone makes choices all the time. This is so obvious. Nobody is making you think and do things other than you.” So what will you think next? You don’t know until it comes to mind you don’t “choose” it.

    Dogs are human’s best friends and we trust them completely. They have earned this trust. They give up their lives to save ours and protect us. This does not mean that dogs do not have a choice.
    “A few years ago a dog ate the newborn baby of a couple because of jealousy. He was so much loved by the couple that could not tolerate a competitor. He made a choice. Everyone makes choices all the time. This is so obvious. Nobody is making you think and do things other than you.” So when did the dog “choose” to feel intense jealousy? And if the reason for the dog attacking the child was not the intense jealously then what was the reason and how did the dog “choose” it? (Assuming dogs have the capacity to make such judgments.)
    Mothers are free not to love their children. There are mothers who don’t. Now you may argue that most such women have psychological problems. But that does not mean they do not have the choice. Nature has made it such that babies of all species look so adorable that it is hard to not love them. This love is so ubiquitous that you can call it instinctual.
    “The truth is that there is nothing instinctual in love.” Its very instinctual if the species didn’t have this instinct they would become instinct. “Thus, the greater amygdala response to one’s own infant face observed in our study likely reflects more positive and pro-social aspects of maternal responsiveness, feelings, and experience. Mothers experiencing higher levels of anxiety and lower mood demonstrated less amygdala response to their own infant and reported more stressful and more negatively valenced parenting attitudes and experiences.” http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/what-happens-to-a-womans-brain-when-she-becomes-a-mother/384179/

    “You choose to love just as you choose to hate. Children do not hate other children based on their race and color. They play and sometimes fight over toys but never over color. They can grow up together and love one another without any regards to race. To hate they have to be indoctrinated. Muslims really hate the unbelievers and specially the Jews. There is nothing natural about this hatred. It is all in their indoctrination. It is clear that love and hate are choices.” Since they didn’t “choose” to be indoctrinated this is irrelevant. Everything from poor nutrition to beatings and neglect contributes to violent and hateful people, bad genes are also an important factor in having an abnormal conscience. (None of which was chosen).

    “Let us say you fall in love with a woman. She looks perfect until you find out a secret about her past or whatever. If you can’t reconcile with it, you stop loving her.” Since you didn’t choose any of those things this is also irrelevant.

    “Millions of people every day ask for his help. No God ever answers however.”

    “God answers all prayers. That is His promise and He keeps His promises. However, His answer is not always what we want. His answer is what is good for us. Recently I was in a very dire situation. I asked for prayer and it was as if all calamities were falling upon me. Many people prayed but nothing happened. I wondered why, but never lost faith. Now, I understand that what I was asking was not the right thing. God answered my prayer and His answer was no. That was the answer I needed most. What I prayed for was not good for me. God did not fail but his answer was not what I was praying for. Only now I am grateful that he said no to my prayers. You can say He ignored my prayers. But I know in my heart that He listened and gave me the right answer. ” So what’s the point in God then if he doesn’t do anything? He has no utility. He may as well not exist.

    “All consciousness does is observe “decisions” that have already been sub or unconsciously made I explained this before and so does Sam Harris in his talk I linked to.”
    “Sam Harris is a pompous buffoon. He is a benighted soul with a gigantic ego and little spiritual insight. ” Insulting Harris is not an argument. You no more choose your thoughts than you choose the sound of the wind rustling (for example) entering your awareness.

    “what kind of decisions does a bacteria make or a mosquito?”
    “They make decision fit for their size and powers. It is limited to their survival. Computers can’t make any decision unless they are programed, which mean they are instructed to do so. They can’t have a choice in anything. ” Just the same as a bacteria.

    “As I said before you cannot pick thoughts and feelings.”
    Of course you can. That is what we do all the time. It is very easy to test this claim. I am sure at this moment you are not thinking about sex. But assume you have had no sex for a while I can make you think about sex by just showing you an erotic picture. As soon as your thought is shifted toward sex your body becomes sexually aroused. All it takes to make that happen is to change your focus. We are in control of our thoughts. ” How did I pick or choose any of that? I didn’t so you don’t have an argument. How could I choose not to focus that is the question? What would make me focus on something apart from sex? And how could I choose that? Let’s assume I was instead thinking deeply about something else and so was disturbed and annoyed by you showing me a picture of a naked women. Same problem again how could I react differently given my reasons and given how I was thinking and feeling at the time how could I instead – despite being annoyed – choose to focus on this picture? What would make me focus? Reasons? But how can I have chosen them? I no more can choose those reasons than I “choose” being annoyed or being aroused in the first time. Indeed your decision to show me the picture forces my reaction, I didn’t know you would suddenly show me a picture anymore than before I read your message I knew you would mention sex. If instead of a picture of a beautiful naked women you showed me pictures of children being gang raped and beheaded would my reaction have being different? Of course and I “picked” neither picture or my reaction to it. If I suddenly put a loaded gun to your head do you “choose” how to react? Of course not you didn’t know it was coming – and this is true about all your thoughts and “choices”. This is why I ask what are you going to think next? All you observe is the thought in consciousness it’s the same when you make a decision- you don’t know what you will decide before you have decided and by the time you know the “decision” has already been made (subconsciously).

    “That is the only thing we are in total control of. Everything else is controlled partially through our thoughts.” Something being “partially free” is also nonsense. In reality the unconscious mind is in control and the conscious mind (also known as the witness) is just along for the ride.

    “If I want to throw a stone, the first thing I need to do is to think about it. That is 100% in my control. I may decide I don’t want to do it or may decide I want to do it. If I decide to do it, I will pick a stone and throw it. But the result is not 100% in my control. Several factors, that are out of my control intervene and I may or may not hit my target. In this world the only things that are 100% in our control are our thoughts.” So how did you “choose” to start thinking that you want to throw that stone? If the thought “I want to throw that stone” hadn’t appeared in consciousness (and that’s all thoughts do they simply appear – they are not “chosen”) you could not have chosen it. The thought appearing is determined by factors you didn’t create and which you have no control over. Acting on a thought (or not) is also determined by reasons -which again you didn’t choose, which you have no control over and which cannot be any other way. Free will doesn’t exist given this your beliefs about hell and evil don’t make any sense. (Not that the free will defence is any good anyway as it doesn’t answer natural disasters, why people suffer as the result of other people’s choices, why God can have free will and yet always choose good, why there is no suffering in heaven yet we still have free will etc and many other reasons).

  52. Ali Sina says:

    @Steve

    Of course God has the choice to do evil but that is not in His nature. I consider myself to be an honest person. I do not steal even if I have the chance to steal millions of dollars and get away with it. Stealing is not in my nature, but it does not mean I cannot steal. I just don’t do it because I find it abhorrent. I won’t commit adultery with a married woman, even if she is willing and advancing. Of course I can do it and I can make all justifications to convince myself it is okay. But I just don’t do it. I did not do these things even when I was an atheist and had no logical explanation why they are wrong. Something inside me told me no and I followed that voice. Likewise, if God does not do evil it is not because He cannot. Evil is so strange to His nature that He will never do it. The same freedom is given to us. The more we resemble God the more we abhor doing evil.

    Dogs are human’s best friends and we trust them completely. They have earned this trust. They give up their lives to save ours and protect us. This does not mean that dogs do not have a choice. A few years ago a dog ate the newborn baby of a couple because of jealousy. He was so much loved by the couple that could not tolerate a competitor. He made a choice. Everyone makes choices all the time. This is so obvious. Nobody is making you think and do things other than you.

    Mothers are free not to love their children. There are mothers who don’t. Now you may argue that most such women have psychological problems. But that does not mean they do not have the choice. Nature has made it such that babies of all species look so adorable that it is hard to not love them. This love is so ubiquitous that you can call it instinctual. The truth is that there is nothing instinctual in love. You choose to love just as you choose to hate. Children do not hate other children based on their race and color. They play and sometimes fight over toys but never over color. They can grow up together and love one another without any regards to race. To hate they have to be indoctrinated. Muslims really hate the unbelievers and specially the Jews. There is nothing natural about this hatred. It is all in their indoctrination. It is clear that love and hate are choices.

    Let us say you fall in love with a woman. She looks perfect until you find out a secret about her past or whatever. If you can’t reconcile with it, you stop loving her.

    “Millions of people every day ask for his help. No God ever answers however.”
    God answers all prayers. That is His promise and He keeps His promises. However, His answer is not always what we want. His answer is what is good for us. Recently I was in a very dire situation. I asked for prayer and it was as if all calamities were falling upon me. Many people prayed but nothing happened. I wondered why, but never lost faith. Now, I understand that what I was asking was not the right thing. God answered my prayer and His answer was no. That was the answer I needed most. What I prayed for was not good for me. God did not fail but his answer was not what I was praying for. Only now I am grateful that he said no to my prayers. You can say He ignored my prayers. But I know in my heart that He listened and gave me the right answer.

    “All consciousness does is observe “decisions” that have already been sub or unconsciously made I explained this before and so does Sam Harris in his talk I linked to.”

    Sam Harris is a pompous buffoon. He is a benighted soul with a gigantic ego and little spiritual insight.

    “what kind of decisions does a bacteria make or a mosquito?”
    They make decision fit for their size and powers. It is limited to their survival. Computers can’t make any decision unless they are programed, which mean they are instructed to do so. They can’t have a choice in anything.

    “As I said before you cannot pick thoughts and feelings.”
    Of course you can. That is what we do all the time. It is very easy to test this claim. I am sure at this moment you are not thinking about sex. But assume you have had no sex for a while I can make you think about sex by just showing you an erotic picture. As soon as your thought is shifted toward sex your body becomes sexually aroused. All it takes to make that happen is to change your focus. We are in control of our thoughts. That is the only thing we are in total control of. Everything else is controlled partially through our thoughts. If I want to throw a stone, the first thing I need to do is to think about it. That is 100% in my control. I may decide I don’t want to do it or may decide I want to do it. If I decide to do it, I will pick a stone and throw it. But the result is not 100% in my control. Several factors that are out of my control intervene and I may or may not hit my target. In this world the only things that are 100% in our control are our thoughts. Feelings are the outcome of thoughts. So just as we have total control over our thoughts we have total control over our feelings. For as [a person] thinket in his heart so is he. (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)

  53. Steve says:

    +Ron

    “Ali,
    That’s a wonderful, clear and precise explanation. But I bet that Steve would not accept it because of deep hatred towards the true theistic worldview of Jesus as Son of God.” No I don’t accept because 1) There is no such thing as “free will” 2)Even if there was “free will” it would give you freedom of actions NOT freedom of thoughts. For example can you genuinely out of the blue start believing Muhammad was the last prophet of God? No you cannot and you can try if you don’t believe me. For the same reason people that don’t believe in your God cannot choose genuinely to start believing in him out of the blue. For example I cannot choose to believe that Jesus rose from the dead due to the fact that The evidence is the gospel accounts are made up by unknown people decades after Jesus’s death. (Among other reasons such as the Romans didn’t give criminals who they crucified a nice tomb and burial with friends and family but instead left them on their cross to rot..) And I can’t choose to find those reasons unconvincing when In Fact I find them very convincing. This is true regardless of whether there is libertarian free will or not – you can’t choose what you believe, think and feel. So “the free will defence” solves absolutely nothing – even if there was a free will – which there isn’t. So the question you now have to answer is why didn’t God just put the beliefs and thoughts etc straight into the minds of the unbelievers and the hateful people? This would solve the problem of evil and unbelief straight away. And if you say “free will” this is not an argument because you cannot “choose” what you believe, think and feel nor can you nor did you “choose” the reasons as to why you believe, think and feel as you do.

    If you believe other wise then demonstrate how a person could choose – given their reasoning – otherwise. E.g let’s say you bought a car based on its price and fuel economy instead of say its size and speed. Now how could you have Chosen to buy a car based on its size and speed instead? Given your reasons and given who you was and what you was thinking and what kind and the reasons for wanting that kind of car you couldn’t have chosen to buy a different car. You couldn’t have chosen to focus on a expensive fast car because you had no reason to – if you had a reason demonstrate how you choose it when you was in fact looking for a cheap and economical car and not a fast expensive one. Something happening out of the blue is even less compatible with free will than things happening for reasons/causes.

    So you Ron and Ali Sina have no argument there is no free will so as I say you need to think of an answer as to why God doesn’t just put the beliefs and thoughts straight into people’s minds.

  54. Steve says:

    Ali Sina

    “But God does not intervene in human affairs or in the world, unless He is asked to.” Millions of people every day ask for his help, no God ever answers however.

    “In such a world you have no control over your decisions and actions. If you can’t make decision it follows that you are not conscious. ” All consciousness does is observe “decisions” that have already been sub or unconsciously made I explained this before and so does Sam Harris in his talk I linked to. You are just the witness of your “inner” life – not its creator.

    “That is why an ameba can make decisions, but a computer cannot.” Computers make decisions. And if you say no then what kind of decisions does a bacteria make or a mosquito?
    “A world that is completely under the control of God is a world without genocide and without pain, but it is also a world without love.
    “If I am not free to do evil, it means I am not free. If I am not free, I cannot love either.” You have no choice but to love. Can a mother choose not to love her child? No. Did the mother consciously choose between loving the child or hating the child? No. As I said before you cannot pick thoughts and feelings nor can you choose out of the blue to start hating someone you actually love very much. The freedom you speak doesn’t exist.
    “Love is born out of freedom and there can be no other way. Freedom means being able to choose between good and evil.” We don’t need such freedom, and it doesn’t exist anyway. Furthermore does your God choose to love or it is simply his nature? It must be the latter because if the former and he choose to do evil then he would not be God. So God has no choice but yet he still loves so why isn’t the same true of humans?

  55. Ron says:

    Ali,
    That’s a wonderful, clear and precise explanation. But I bet that Steve would not accept it because of deep hatred towards the true theistic worldview of Jesus as Son of God.

  56. Ali Sina says:

    @Steve
    “Really? A world where animals don’t have to rip each other apart is a world without love? A world where – thanks to this diabolical “free will” we have been given – humans can commit genocide and the likes of Joseph Fritz can “freely choose” to imprison, rape and impregnate his daughter, a world without such freedom is a world without love?”

    I don’t pretend to understand the mysteries of the spirit world or the wisdom of God. From the little that I understand it is clear to me that God has made us free, which means we are free to love or to do evil to each other.
    Your example that a loving father should stop his bullying son beating up his siblings is valid for us humans. That is exactly why we are here, to stop evil and to defend the victim. But God does not intervene in human affairs or in the world, unless He is asked to.

    God does not micromanage. He is the lawmaker and the laws are universal. Let us assume you are a programmer. You can write a software where everything is predetermined. This means the program runs with precision and the end is known from the start. In such a world you have no control over your decisions and actions. If you can’t make decision it follows that you are not conscious. Computers are extremely smart, much smarter than humans but they are not conscious. An ameba has consciousness while a super computer has not. That is why an ameba can make decisions, but a computer cannot.

    A world where everything is programed and predetermined is a machine. God did not want to create a machine. He wanted to create a conscious and evolving universe. The foundation of this universe is not matter but consciousness. There is no consciousness if there is no freedom.

    For the sake of example, let us pretend the world is Gods’ game. The fun of playing games is in their unpredictability. Unpredictability is achieved through randomness. God allows randomness by giving all living beings (not just humans) consciousness. Freedom of thought and action is an intrinsic element of consciousness.

    This means that the universe is not controlled by God. It is controlled by us, the living beings. We are Gods operators in this world — his associates and co-creators. As God’s operators we can change the world, bring love or hate, joy or pain. God does not intervene. He wants us to intervene. This is how He designed the universe.

    The universe is consciousness. Even the matter is consciousness. And consciousness makes no sense unless it is free. Either God is in charge or we are in charge. There can’t be two drivers in a car. God wants us to be drivers. If we are in control he cannot be in control. God is however, sitting in the passenger seat and ready to give a hand only if we ask. You have to ask God to guide you or take control of your life. Only then He can help. If you don’t relinquish to Him the stirring wheal of your car he can’t do much. If you don’t ask and listen to Him, He can’t guide.

    A world that is completely under the control of God is a world without genocide and without pain, but it is also a world without love. If I am not free to do evil, it means I am not free. If I am not free, I cannot love either. Love is born out of freedom and there can be no other way. Freedom means being able to choose between good and evil.

  57. Steve says:

    +Passiveobserver

    “Philosophy has given us several Ethics theories such as Utilitarianism, Consequentialism and several variations on the same theme. These theories based on reason are unable to look beyond maximizing utility or gain as the source of all human motivation. We know that morality transcends such considerations and as a matter of fact is contra intuitive.” What is morality based on then if not what is good for the society? What other standard is there? There isn’t one this person is talking nonsense. I believe that (in one form or another) “self interest” is what drives all human beings – where psychopaths/antisocial disordered people struggle is in linking their self interest to other human beings (and understanding and recognising that other people have needs, wishes and desires etc).

    If you ask an evolutionary psychologist where morality comes from they will tell you that “morality” is a spin off, of the evolutionary process. Human beings all share basically the same psychology. We all have (or all normal and healthy people) have emotions, needs, relationships, families etc. Morality comes in when you understand that other people have similar needs and desires and other people also need you and you need other people to secure your needs and achieve your goals. From this you build a functioning society with structures in place which are there to protect and provide the needs of the society and its citizens. That’s all there is to it basically.

    “Philosophy not only failed to produce a single moral precept, but has conceded that what we know to be moral may not be possible without a belief in a life beyond our present life in which we are rewarded or punished based on our actions in this world.” This scholar is implying you can live an immoral life and there won’t be any consequences to your life. All actions have consequences however – even after you are dead, the living people will have to experience the consequences. The dead don’t care about anything you can only do things while you are alive – and the way you act while you are alive will have an affect on people even after you personally have died.

    “Since the moral precepts are not self-evident, we recognize the moral in any story only when the precept is known to us. So while we have literature such as Aesop’s fables with a moral, literature cannot by itself be a source of a new moral precept. A story that is neither rational nor based on a known or accepted moral principle would not make sense” The “source” is genetics – which is the roots of these feelings of disgust and injustice that he speaks about when reading moral tales in literature. The exception to this is people who have abnormalities in the frontal lobes or the Amygdala regions in the brain.

    ” The fact that only religions have contributed to every moral precept makes religion different from any other human endeavor and lends credence to the claim of such religions as divinely inspired or revelations from God.” 1) This claim is nonsense. 2) His prophet (if he existed) is recorded to have have “married” a 6 year old, raided caravans (similar to how the Mafia would hijack trucks many centuries later), ordered the assassination of a very elderly man and a pregnant women whose “crime” was to mock him in their poems. He raped the captives in wars, had an affair who his sons wife. Took 20% of the loot stolen for himself and practised extreme and brutal punishment for things such as theft and adultery (while doing these things himself by the way – much like how the Mafia would rob people but if anyone stole from them the person could be beaten, tortured, killed and there body chopped up and disposed of) and many other immoral actions. Is this guy claiming Muhammad is the moral guidance to the entire humanity for all times? If so he again is talking baloney.

    “Morals and morality remains the sole domain of religion. ” Nope all civilised modern people are disgusted by the so called morals in the Old Testament and Islam.

    “There isn’t even one example of a durable moral precept coming through the process of evolution or from a source other than religion” I already explained where the feelings of disgust and injustice etc come from. This scholar needs to study evolutionary psychology and people like Steven Pinker.

    “Without the moral precepts we would have remained savages” Your prophet was a savage, most of the laws and stories in the Old Testament are savage and any of the good stuff you will find was said by philosophers and sages thousands of years before these cults and in many different cultures – such as the Buddha, Confucius, the ancient Greeks etc.

  58. @Steve,
    A Muslim scholar says that philosophy or atheists have failed to generate a single moral precept, and only religion is the sole source of all precepts. I give below some of his arguments. What do you say on this?
    This article explores that although philosophy covers every discipline of human inquiry and knowledge, it has failed to generate a single moral precept. Ethics and morality are developed disciplines in philosophy and yet have failed to generate a single moral precept. Philosophy has given us several Ethics theories such as Utilitarianism, Consequentialism and several variations on the same theme. These theories based on reason are unable to look beyond maximizing utility or gain as the source of all human motivation. We know that morality transcends such considerations and as a matter of fact is contra intuitive.

    Utilitarianism is amoral. The choices indicated by it may be neutral as far as morality is concerned or even immoral. Philosophy therefore had to fall back on Deontological theory of ethics or ethics based on scriptures or a fixed moral code as a source of rules for ethical and moral conduct. While Kant has given us an excellent definition of morality, he has failed to generate a single moral precept based on his definition. Kant’s philosophy however covers the process for making moral choices. Since this process is not based on self-interest, why would any rational human being make moral choices that may require sacrificing self-interest for what is right and just? Kant responds to this predicament by saying that it is justified to believe in the immortality of the soul and of consequences of our actions beyond this life in which we are rewarded, without which he agrees that it is not possible to be moral. Philosophy not only failed to produce a single moral precept, but has conceded that what we know to be moral may not be possible without a belief in a life beyond our present life in which we are rewarded or punished based on our actions in this world.
    What about literature? Great literature has the power to arouse strong feelings of anger and disgust against injustice but no literature, however great, has produced a single moral precept. While the story may have a moral and a message, it is not the source of any new or original moral precept.

    Since the moral precepts are not self-evident, we recognize the moral in any story only when the precept is known to us. So while we have literature such as Aesop’s fables with a moral, literature cannot by itself be a source of a new moral precept. A story that is neither rational nor based on a known or accepted moral principle would not make sense. For example stories of theft and murder which are immoral acts make sense because we can see for what gain these immoral acts are being done. We can also identify with stories of honesty which is apparently against self-interest or against immediate gain only because we recognize this as a moral act. Otherwise it would not make sense. This may not be so obvious to us only because these moral precepts are deeply ingrained in us from our childhood which makes us accept these instinctively. No matter from what source these moral precepts has come, all religions support these and even atheists accept them as good moral principles.
    That religion is rich in durable moral precepts is well-accepted. The fact that religion is the sole source of all moral precepts should not be surprising after this discussion. The moral precepts have brought about revolutionary changes in human behavior and civilized us. The fact that the society benefited immensely from these precepts has made the moral principles understandable to us in hindsight and literature merely reinforces the moral lessons already learnt.
    If these moral precepts had merely evolved, then there is no reason why we should not find them in philosophy and why only in religion. There have been many philosophers and litterateurs who were religious but did not contribute a single moral precept. Religious scriptures make claims that these are divinely inspired and are not the work of man. Is this claim true? The religion of Islam provides a fascinating case study since it is the last of the great religions with a Book claimed to have been divinely inspired or revealed and preserved exactly as revealed in a language that is spoken and understood even today.
    None of the moral precepts are self-evident or intuitive and most are the opposite of what Utilitarianism would suggest. The fact that only religions have contributed to every moral precept makes religion different from any other human endeavor and lends credence to the claim of such religions as divinely inspired or revelations from God.
    There isn’t even one example of a durable moral precept coming through the process of evolution or from a source other than religion.
    Morals and morality remains the sole domain of religion. Without the moral precepts we would have remained savages. If human thinking could produce moral precepts, philosophy would have been rich in moral precepts. Without moral precepts, we would have not reached our present state and without these we cannot maintain it either. If human thinking has failed to produce moral precepts, the claim of religions that have given us these precepts as being of divine origin is a very strong claim indeed. The Atheists’ claim that everything is a result of the evolutionary process, is a weak one and not supported by facts

  59. Steve says:

    + Why

    “However, consciousness is something radically different from that of individual constituents. ONLY a brain dead moron will NOT see this difference.” Again what is consciousness? And I need a answer beyond “Subjectivity or awareness itself.” – Since nobody has ever experienced or observed such a thing as “awareness itself”.) Nor can you explain how a consciousness can be conscious without something to be aware of.” Extrospection is a process of cognition directed outward—a process of apprehending some existent(s) of the external world. Introspection is a process of cognition directed inward—a process of apprehending one’s own psychological actions in regard to some existent(s) of the external world, such actions as thinking, feeling, reminiscing, etc. It is only in relation to the external world that the various actions of a consciousness can be experienced, grasped, defined or communicated. Awareness is awareness of something. A content-less state of consciousness is a contradiction in terms.” That is what consciousness is in reality. When you understand this then consciousness is not “radically different” from the physical brain – all it is the cognitive processes of the brain being directed inward. You are speaking bullshit and preaching religious nonsense.

    “If an athlete takes drugs in Olympics to improve his physical ability he is punished by being banned, because it is NOT his natural ability. This is enough to show you speak crap here moron.” So mothers having a proper diet and exercise while pregnant instead of drinking and smoking all day which poisons the developing brain and which causes learning difficulties and heightened aggression and impulsively, is the same as an athlete drug cheating? Moron.

    “Giving results as per intrinsic worth and sum total of all actions (actions of souls also depend on their intrinsic nature) implies intrinsic worth of souls is completely relevant. I do not understand how intrinsic worth is irrelevant” If a normal person (or at least normal until that point) goes on a crime spree they will be punished the same as a career criminal. “Intrinsic nature” is irrelevant to the judgement indeed a normal person if anything would probably be more hated and more severely punished than a career criminal.

    “Refer the Olympic athlete analogy.” Which is complete and utter bullshit.

    “You are a stupid moron Steve. I am done with you idiot.” You are just a regular ignorant religious person. Stick to debating Christians and stop tying to pass your bullshit religious beliefs of as reality. (Karma/divine justice, reincarnation, soul, and mystical consciousness).

  60. why? says:

    Steve,

    “No….absolutely NOT…It is you who believes that those properties (the human body) which does NOT exist in individual atoms or individual matter, somehow magically arise out of thin air when these atoms are brought together.” Just like the body emerges from an arrangement of atoms so consciousness emerges from the functions of the body/brain.”

    A human body is made of atoms or it is mere arrangement of atoms in space, body is conglomeration of atoms in particular arrangement in space. Your analogy is complete NONSENSE again. Consciousness, however is a PROPERTY which does NOT find expression in individual atoms or individual neurons. As I have said before ONLY a moron like you will find parallels where it does not exist.

    “Which with my example of individual atoms and the body I have shown to be nonsense.”

    Body is arrangement of atoms only…there is nothing radically different from atoms and human bodies in terms of make up or substance. However, consciousness is something radically different from that of individual constituents. ONLY a brain dead moron will NOT see this difference.

    “If brain cannot cause consciousness then how can a soul?”

    Because consciousness is the intrinsic property of soul.

    “You say the soul gives rise to consciousness (which must mean the soul is not consciousness ) so how per your own argument which claims one property (“soul”) cannot give rise to another property (consciousness) can the soul cause consciousness?”

    Still in the Buddhist framework and you cannot get your dumb ass mind to think outside this framework. I did NOT say one property gives rise to another property. I said in order for a property to arise, that property must be present in individual elements of the substance or a thing.

    A “thing” or substance is a bunch of properties tied together and NOT just single property. So, since individual neurons or atoms do not possess consciousness as its property, brain made of neurons which is made of atoms cannot give rise to this property.

    “And if you say that soul and consciousness are not material then how can the consciousness be effected by and effect the physical world? (If they are of a fundamentally different nature).”

    Everything in nature is of different natures or properties. That is why we observe that there are different properties, different things in existence. Difference is the fundamental nature of things that exist. Yet all different things in nature do interact. Similarly, although souls are of different nature possessing consciousness as their property, yet they interact with nature.

    “What is consciousness?” Subjectivity or awareness itself.

    “Why it cannot it be done? Because it contradicts your religious beliefs? If you copied the brain state and then put it in a compatible body your consciousness can be copied or transferred to another body. There is no reason in principle why it cannot be done. I guess however you would say the two copies would have different souls though?”

    Because brain cannot produce consciousness, because brain is mere control system.

    “Then why does tampering with the brain alter the mind? Since we know drugs and electrodes can do it an omnipotent God could modify the brain to produce any thoughts he wants the person to think.”

    Because souls are the real cause of consciousness and God does not alter soul nature. All other influences are temporary.

    “So why doesn’t God just do that then to the evil people? You also said even “good souls” get punished if they do wrong so the state of the soul is irrelevant.”

    State of soul is still relevant. Have you ever studied mathematical modeling of materials? There when you form PDEs you will see that PDEs have intrinsic property of matter embedded in PDEs, while initial conditions and boundary conditions modify the solution you get.

    Similarly, soul’s intrinsic nature dictates the actual path the soul will take, however, like initial conditions and boundary conditions, soul’s actions and interactions with environment influence its path according to the soul’s intrinsic nature.

    “There is no such thing as intrinsic all states of mind are conditioned.”

    Intrinsic nature o properties do exist and no Scientific theories exist without involving intrinsic properties of matter.

    “For example pregnant women are told not to drink alcohol. Why? Because among other things babies where the woman drank only one drink a week are statistically 30% more likely to be violent than those that did not. Now according to your reasoning it doesn’t matter whether a pregnant woman smokes and drinks all day long because these things will have no effect on the development of the mind because of the nature of the “intrinsic soul”.”

    Strawman…nonsense argument..

    “Not giving a student a pill or a certain food or drink which you know will improve their performance would be sadism. Just like a mother who drinks alcohol – knowing the effect it will have on the child – is a sadistic self centred irresponsible asshole.”

    If an athlete takes drugs in Olympics to improve his physical ability he is punished by being banned, because it is NOT his natural ability. This is enough to show you speak crap here moron.

    “An omnipotent God could make sure the evil light is always covered up and thus can have no effect on the individual – or the rest of the world.”

    God gives results to each and every soul according to what they deserve.

    “So this distinction you make between “good souls” and “evil souls” is irrelevant.”

    Giving results as per intrinsic worth and sum total of all actions (actions of souls also depend on their intrinsic nature) implies intrinsic worth of souls is completely relevant. I do not understand how intrinsic worth is irrelevant.

    “Right so God punishing a person for something when 1) God could simply give them medication and 2) (Since he is omniscient) he could have prevented the bad actions in the first place by putting good thoughts into the persons mind. God then punishing them is like a mother punishing her sons for aggressive behaviour- when she knows that there aggressive behaviour is the result of her decision to drink alcohol while she was pregnant. She and her assholish decision is the root cause just like your so called good God is in fact responsible for evil – if he existed – it should in fact be him in the dock being judged for his crimes against humanity.”

    As usual lot of bull shit rather than logical arguments here…..Refer the Olympic athlete analogy.

    You are a stupid moron Steve. I am done with you idiot.

  61. Ron says:

    To Ali,
    This Iranian explains why Islamic Iran will never become America’s friend.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/majid-rafizadeh/to-america-sorry-the-isla_b_11851232.html

    Worth reading.

  62. Steve says:

    Why

    “No….absolutely NOT…It is you who believes that those properties (consciousness) which does NOT exist in individual neurons or individual matter, somehow magically arise out of thin air when these neurons are brought together.” It doesn’t arise magically, or if it does do you also think that the human body arises magically out of thin air or is it the arrangement of trillions of atoms? So let’s change a few words and you will see why what your saying is nonsense. “No….absolutely NOT…It is you who believes that those properties (the human body) which does NOT exist in individual atoms or individual matter, somehow magically arise out of thin air when these atoms are brought together.” Just like the body emerges from an arrangement of atoms so consciousness emerges from the functions of the body/brain.

    “My argument is when individual matter does not contain some property, it cannot give rise to new properties when they are brought together.” Which with my example of individual atoms and the body I have shown to be nonsense.
    “SO brain is NOT the cause of consciousness, rather it is souls which give rise to consciousness.” If brain cannot cause consciousness then how can a soul? You say the soul gives rise to consciousness (which must mean the soul is not consciousness ) so how per your own argument which claims one property (“soul”) cannot give rise to another property (consciousness) can the soul cause consciousness? According to your own argument it must be impossible. And if you say that soul and consciousness are not material then how can the consciousness be effected by and effect the physical world? (If they are of a fundamentally different nature).

    “No….consciousness is inherent state of soul.” What is consciousness?
    “Why not? If you could somehow duplicate the exact chemical state (including electrical) of our brain (including the brain stem), and somehow wire it up to a compatible body of some kind, then you will have effectively duplicated the consciousness – perhaps not perfectly, but pretty close.”
    “Has it been done by anybody? NO….It cannot be done and will not be done…So you are merely speculating nonsense…” Why it cannot it be done? Because it contradicts your religious beliefs? If you copied the brain state and then put it in a compatible body your consciousness can be copied or transferred to another body. There is no reason in principle why it cannot be done. I guess however you would say the two copies would have different souls though?

    “Why doesn’t God modify the brain to produce good thoughts?”
    Strawman…souls produce thoughts…not brains” Then why does tampering with the brain alter the mind? Since we know drugs and electrodes can do it an omnipotent God could modify the brain to produce any thoughts he wants the person to think.

    “Giving Ritalin to kids with ADHD doesn’t destroy them.”
    “Ritalin and ADHD are like translucent papers covering a white light….They do NOt change the property of source of white light…” So why doesn’t God just do that then to the evil people? You also said even “good souls” get punished if they do wrong so the state of the soul is irrelevant.
    “Right and what if we knew we could improve the bad students performance by giving them a pill or a certain food or drink and then we decide not to give it to them as a punishment? Then the society and the teachers would be sadistic, selfish assholes.”
    “You cannot…Not everybody is destined to become an Einstein or Feynmann….Similarly not everybody is intrinsically good…Some souls are intrinsically bad…That is their inherent nature..” There is no such thing as intrinsic all states of mind are conditioned. For example pregnant women are told not to drink alcohol. Why? Because among other things babies where the woman drank only one drink a week are statistically 30% more likely to be violent than those that did not. Now according to your reasoning it doesn’t matter whether a pregnant woman smokes and drinks all day long because these things will have no effect on the development of the mind because of the nature of the “intrinsic soul”.

    “Yes your God would also be a sadistic selfish asshole.”

    “Rewarding as per worth of individual students is NOT sadistic behavior…It is just and right behavior. Rewarding some student when he did not perform well is showing partiality and punishable by law.” Not giving a student a pill or a certain food or drink which you know will improve their performance would be sadism. Just like a mother who drinks alcohol – knowing the effect it will have on the child – is a sadistic self centred irresponsible asshole.

    “This doesn’t make any sense why wouldn’t God just infect the “evil souls” with Good? Just like you claim “good souls” can get infected with evil? ”
    “The reverse also happens sometimes…However, like evil infected good souls, good infected evil souls are all temporary conditions, like translucent paper covering a white light. When the covering is removed, souls retan their natural state.” An omnipotent God could make sure the evil light is always covered up and thus can have no effect on the individual – or the rest of the world.

    “Even good souls suffer sometimes because of past actions. So nothing happens without any soul deserving it. God gives results as per intrinsic worthiness and sum total of all actions.” So this distinction you make between “good souls” and “evil souls” is irrelevant.
    “Giving results as per worthiness of souls is just, NOT sadistic. Giving any souls what it never deserves is partiality and unjust. No matter how many times Buddhists like you bicker/abuse God the above logic stands on itself.” Right so God punishing a person for something when 1) God could simply give them medication and 2) (Since he is omniscient) he could have prevented the bad actions in the first place by putting good thoughts into the persons mind. God then punishing them is like a mother punishing her sons for aggressive behaviour- when she knows that there aggressive behaviour is the result of her decision to drink alcohol while she was pregnant. She and her assholish decision is the root cause just like your so called good God is in fact responsible for evil – if he existed – it should in fact be him in the dock being judged for his crimes against humanity.

  63. why? says:

    Steve,

    Apparently you do not understand different frameworks we believe in. My arguments are based on my framework that consciousness arises out of souls and NOT matter or brain or neurons. Yours is that consciousness arises out of neurons and brain.

    Now, all my arguments for God and evil are based on my framework of understanding. So ADHD and other arguments are pure strawman. Like a white light when masked with colored translucent papers gives different colors,so is medicine for ADHD. They are not natural state of souls. No good soul suffers because of evil souls without bad actions involved by good souls. Good souls do bad actions because of material contamination like ADHD for example. This is also based on sum total of all actions of the good souls until that point of time. So God gives results only to the extent each soul deserves. All the rest of your arguments are pure nonsense.

    “Just like free will proponents believe in a magic ability to pick thoughts and feelings out of thin air, you likewise believe in a magical consciousness that exists independently of the brain and that can exist without any thoughts, feelings, memories, perceptions or anything else (and all of those things neurophysiological underpinnings).”

    No….absolutely NOT…It is you who believes that those properties (consciousness) which does NOT exist in individual neurons or individual matter, somehow magically arise out of thin air when these neurons are brought together.

    My argument is when individual matter does not contain some property, it cannot give rise to new properties when they are brought together. SO brain is NOT the cause of consciousness, rather it is souls which give rise to consciousness.

    “All thoughts and behaviours are programmed – even good thoughts. There is no such thing as a natural or intrinsic state of mind, all states of mind are programmed and are not inherent.”

    No….consciousness is inherent state of soul.

    “Why not? If you could somehow duplicate the exact chemical state (including electrical) of our brain (including the brain stem), and somehow wire it up to a compatible body of some kind, then you will have effectively duplicated the consciousness – perhaps not perfectly, but pretty close.”

    Has it been done by anybody? NO….It cannot be done and will not be done…So you are merely speculating nonsense…

    “Why doesn’t God modify the brain to produce good thoughts?”

    Strawman…souls produce thoughts…not brains

    “Giving Ritalin to kids with ADHD doesn’t destroy them.”

    Ritalin and ADHD are like translucent papers covering a white light….They do NOt change the property of source of white light…

    “Right and what if we knew we could improve the bad students performance by giving them a pill or a certain food or drink and then we decide not to give it to them as a punishment? Then the society and the teachers would be sadistic, selfish assholes.”

    You cannot…Not everybody is destined to become an Einstein or Feynmann….Similarly not everybody is intrinsically good…Some souls are intrinsically bad…That is their inherent nature..

    “Yes your God would also be a sadistic selfish asshole.”

    Rewarding as per worth of individual students is NOT sadistic behavior…It is just and right behavior. Rewarding some student when he did not perform well is showing partiality and punishable by law.

    “This doesn’t make any sense why wouldn’t God just infect the “evil souls” with Good? Just like you claim “good souls” can get infected with evil? ”

    The reverse also happens sometimes…However, like evil infected good souls, good infected evil souls are all temporary conditions, like translucent paper covering a white light. When the covering is removed, souls retan their natural state.

    ““However, if God gives results according to intrinsic worthiness of a soul and as per soul’s sum total of all actions, it is just only” Even though God could just “infect” the evil souls with Good? Which not only they wouldn’t have to suffer the “good souls” they harm also wouldn’t have to suffer.”

    Even good souls suffer sometimes because of past actions. So nothing happens without any soul deserving it. God gives results as per intrinsic worthiness and sum total of all actions. Giving results as per worthiness of souls is just, NOT sadistic. Giving any souls what it never deserves is partiality and unjust. No matter how many times Buddhists like you bicker/abuse God the above logic stands on itself.

  64. Steve says:

    Why

    What do you by mean by consciousness? Just like free will proponents believe in a magic ability to pick thoughts and feelings out of thin air, you likewise believe in a magical consciousness that exists independently of the brain and that can exist without any thoughts, feelings, memories, perceptions or anything else (and all of those things neurophysiological underpinnings).

    “Absolutely strawman…whatever good thoughts or bad thoughts are induced by chemicals, without these whatever persists is the natural state of that person.” All thoughts and behaviours are programmed – even good thoughts. There is no such thing as a natural or intrinsic state of mind, all states of mind are programmed and are not inherent.

    “Consciousness is NOT and cannot be caused by neurons. As single neuron cannot cause consciousness so mere arrangement of neurons also cannot cause consciousness.” Why not? If you could somehow duplicate the exact chemical state (including electrical) of our brain (including the brain stem), and somehow wire it up to a compatible body of some kind, then you will have effectively duplicated the consciousness – perhaps not perfectly, but pretty close.

    Just like you can dump the memory of your computer to disk, and transfer it to another computer (with no guarantees it will function identically in the environment of a different computer and different location).

    “Brain is a control system of the body and thus makes manifest consciousness through activities.” Why doesn’t God modify the brain to produce good thoughts?

    “God does not change intrinsic properties of souls as it amounts to destruction of souls. ” Giving Ritalin to kids with ADHD doesn’t destroy them.

    “A just teacher rewards only meritorious students and gives bad students grades according to his performance.” Right and what if we knew we could improve the bad students performance by giving them a pill or a certain food or drink and then we decide not to give it to them as a punishment? Then the society and the teachers would be sadistic, selfish assholes.

    “So God is similar.” Yes your God would also be a sadistic selfish asshole.

    “If a soul is good intrinsically and gets infected by evil, He will give proper medicine in various ways, through knowledge etc. However, if the soul is intrinsically bad, then it gets what it deserves.” This doesn’t make any sense why wouldn’t God just infect the “evil souls” with Good? Just like you claim “good souls” can get infected with evil? If a good person goes on a rampage if anything they would be looked at least as bad and hated as much (if not more) than someone who has been a career criminal. Consider someone like Bernard Madoff in his case he was a normal person. He was a successful businessman, a great father and husband and a pillar in his community. There is no evidence of any psychopathology or anything unusual in his background and upbringing/development. He is a normal person and legitimate business man and in his 40s or 50s he starts a Ponzi scheme which goes on for about 20 years and destroys thousands of people’s lives and steals billions of dollars. Now because Madoff has just become infected by evil (he didn’t start doing anything criminal until he was in his 40s at least). Presumably God would just give him or his soul the proper medication while someone who has been a career criminal/terrorist all their life like Bin Laden would get “what it deserves”. Is this system just and fair? No it’s not, it’s set up by a sadistic selfish asshole.

    “You may call God whatever you want” Yes I am calling your “Good God” what he is – a sadistic selfish asshole.

    “However, if God gives results according to intrinsic worthiness of a soul and as per soul’s sum total of all actions, it is just only” Even though God could just “infect” the evil souls with Good? Which not only they wouldn’t have to suffer the “good souls” they harm also wouldn’t have to suffer.

  65. why? says:

    Steve Says:

    “As Nietzsche said
    “You say ‘I’ and you are proud of this word. But greater than this- although you will not believe in it – is your body and its great intelligence, which does not say ‘I’ but performs ‘I’.”

    Like free-will proponents, you and Nietzsche are assuming that body does this function. Refer back to the logical argument. Since matter does not have any identifiable or known intrinsic properties that can lead to consciousness, it cannot be the cause of consciousness as well. No extrinsic property can arise independent of intrinsic properties of material constituents. Since there is no known intrinsic property of matter that can lead to consciousness, matter cannot be the cause of consciousness. Rest of all your argument is like a circumstantial evidence of a murder and not real evidence.

    “Absolute nonsense. A person doesn’t have any mental state if they don’t have any thoughts.”

    Absolutely strawman…whatever good thoughts or bad thoughts are induced by chemicals, without these whatever persists is the natural state of that person.

    “Even if this belief was true (and there is mountains of evidence from neuroscience that indicates that consciousness is just a pattern of neurological activity in the brain, plus the fact that this belief is unscientific- because it can’t be falsified)”

    Consciousness is NOT and cannot be caused by neurons. As single neuron cannot cause consciousness so mere arrangement of neurons also cannot cause consciousness.

    ” that consciousness is not produced by the brain but is somehow just a transmitter of consciousness. It doesn’t explain why an omnipotent God doesn’t just modify the body in ways which he knows will change how consciousness manifests.”

    Brain is a control system of the body and thus makes manifest consciousness through activities.

    “In other words your “Good God” is a selfish sadistic asshole who could put positive thoughts into “evil” people’s minds – but he chooses not to. This is like a parent whose kid has ADHD denying them Ritalin – even though they know that giving it to them will stop the bad behaviour and improve their concentration. Such a parent would be a selfish sadistic asshole – very much like your God.”

    The analogy is improper and not right. A criminal/sadist gets punished by law when he knowingly harms another person.

    Similarly here God punishes or rewards according to actions of individuals. The actions of individuals are according to their intrinsic properties of their souls and sum total of their actions. God does not change intrinsic properties of souls as it amounts to destruction of souls. A just teacher rewards only meritorious students and gives bad students grades according to his performance. So God is similar. If a soul is good intrinsically and gets infected by evil, He will give proper medicine in various ways, through knowledge etc. However, if the soul is intrinsically bad, then it gets what it deserves. You may call God whatever you want. However, if God gives results according to intrinsic worthiness of a soul and as per soul’s sum total of all actions, it is just only. No amount of bickering by you Buddhists is going to change it.

  66. Ron says:

    This Iranian Muslim Revolutionary Guard officer who wanted to kill Christians becomes a Christian and pastor.
    Amazing story!!! Must See

  67. Ron says:

    This Iranian Muslim high ranking officer who wanted to kill Christians becomes a Christian and now pastors
    Amazing story!!

  68. Steve says:

    Ali Sina

    “I don’t think I would like to live in such a world. It would be a world where everything is predetermined. ” In a world where everything is predetermined (or at least determined to a extremely high degree to the point where indetermism is at best negligible at the level of human thought and behaviour) you don’t any choice but to live in it.

    “People would be like characters in a movie that is already shot.” Even though we live in a world where everything is predetermined (or at least adequately determined) we don’t know what it is that has been determined.

    “So a world where God stops people and animals from committing evil must be a very different world. It would also be a world without love.” Really? A world where animals don’t have to rip each other apart is a world without love? A world where – thanks to this diabolical “free will” we have been given – humans can commit genocide and the likes of Joseph Fritz can “freely choose” to imprison, rape and impregnate his daughter, a world without such freedom is a world without love?

    “Without freedom there can be no love.” Explain how you “choose” to feel love – otherwise no freedom is involved or necessary.

    “God cannot help us if we don’t ask.” People cannot “choose” – out of the blue – to start feeling love for a being they currently hate. Can you “choose” to genuinely start loving Muhammad out of the blue? No you can’t and you can try it if you don’t believe me.

    There is no reason why an omnipotent God cannot put loving thoughts into the minds (or *souls*) of people who are currently full of hate.

  69. Steve says:

    Why

    “None of these prove consciousness arise from the neurons.” Where does it come from then and what do you mean by consciousness? As Nietzsche said
    “You say ‘I’ and you are proud of this word. But greater than this- although you will not believe in it – is your body and its great intelligence, which does not say ‘I’ but performs ‘I’.”
    “Now, if chemicals can induce good thoughts or bad thoughts, then this only proves that the natural state of a person is different from either of these” Absolute nonsense. A person doesn’t have any mental state if they don’t have any thoughts.

    “It goes to prove my point that consciousness is modified in how it manifests through material bodies” Even if this belief was true (and there is mountains of evidence from neuroscience that indicates that consciousness is just a pattern of neurological activity in the brain, plus the fact that this belief is unscientific- because it can’t be falsified) that consciousness is not produced by the brain but is somehow just a transmitter of consciousness. It doesn’t explain why an omnipotent God doesn’t just modify the body in ways which he knows will change how consciousness manifests.

    “God being just, does not interfere with any soul beyond the actions and intrinsic qualities of the soul requires it. If a soul’s intrinsic quality and actions qualify the soul, then he gives that soul knowledge and resources proportional to it. A just God pays or rewards according to merits/demerits earned by the soul. Not all souls deserve everything.” In other words your “Good God” is a selfish sadistic asshole who could put positive thoughts into “evil” people’s minds – but he chooses not to. This is like a parent whose kid has ADHD denying them Ritalin – even though they know that giving it to them will stop the bad behaviour and improve their concentration. Such a parent would be a selfish sadistic asshole – very much like your God.

  70. @madfijian

    Actually, God does not judge us, so he does not send anyone to hell. As I said in this article, the whole understanding of humans about God is erroneous. People who have love in them will go to heaven irrespective of their religion. People who have hate in them will not be able to go to heaven irrespective of their religion. The only way to heaven of which Jesus spoke was love.
    Even sinners can be saved if they ask for it. I recently watched a talk by Erica McKenzie who said God told her that the denizens of hell can get out of it if they wanted. All they have to do is ask. They don’t because they hate God. They rather stay in hell than ask God to rescue them.
    While this sounds unbelievable, I come across such people all the time. There are people who just hate God and blame Him for all the evil in the world. The truth is that God has nothing to do with the evil and he cannot stop it because to do so he has to redesign the Universe. Freedom of choice is intrinsic in all living beings and I dare to say it is present even in the atom. So a world where God stops people and animals from committing evil must be a very different world. It would also be a world without love. Without freedom there can be no love.
    I don’t think I would like to live in such a world. It would be a world where everything is predetermined. People would be like characters in a movie that is already shot.
    To go to heaven, we need to have certain qualities that we can acquire in this world. Without them we cannot have the strength to get there. This pains God. He does not send people to hell. But he has no control over it. He can save people from hell and he wants to do it but people must ask for it. God cannot help us if we don’t ask.
    I do not know the laws operating in the spirit world but this much has become clear to me that it is a world of laws and even God has to follow them. He may have been the maker of those laws but it does not mean he can violate them.
    Here is the story of Erica McKenzie. I invite everyone to watch it. It answers a lot of the questions.

  71. why? says:

    Steve,

    Just like free-will proponents argue that free-will exists because we can see no one else influences our thoughts, you are illogically assuming that mere chemicals itself and/or neurons themselves give rise to conscious phenomenon. None of these prove consciousness arise from the neurons.

    Now, if chemicals can induce good thoughts or bad thoughts, then this only proves that the natural state of a person is different from either of these. It goes to prove my point that consciousness is modified in how it manifests through material bodies. God being just, does not interfere with any soul beyond the actions and intrinsic qualities of the soul requires it. If a soul’s intrinsic quality and actions qualify the soul, then he gives that soul knowledge and resources proportional to it. A just God pays or rewards according to merits/demerits earned by the soul. Not all souls deserve everything.

  72. Steve says:

    +Why

    What’s proven beyond doubt is that changing the brain chemistry changes the thoughts. If we had a pill for “evil” we would give it to them – just like we give medication and surgery to people with schizophrenia, ADHD, bi polar, etc. We also know that biological traumas, genetic disorders etc effect the development of the mind. (Down syndrome, Alcohol fetal syndrome etc). We can also invoke thoughts and feelings by electrically stimulating the neurones. Since we can do this a omnipotent, omniscient God should be able to put positive thoughts into evil people’s minds – but for some reason he doesn’t do this – perhaps because he doesn’t exist? Unless you have something logical to say on this subject I won’t be continuing this discussion with you.

  73. why? says:

    Steve,

    No it ain’t. Consciousness or awareness is not a product of matter. Awareness of existence of oneself and non-self cannot arise from matter as matter in its individual constituents does not have such property. So its combination cannot give rise to such property as well. No known intrinsic/extrinsic property of individual constituents of matter can lead to consciousness. No property can arise independent of intrinsic/extrinsic properties of individual components of matter. There is no such thing as “emergent” property. No scientific theory establishes beyond doubt that consciousness is product of matter. All your statements are your imagination.

  74. Steve says:

    +Why

    “Intrinsic properties are those properties which if it changes destroys that particular entity or substance.” So giving kids with ADHD Ritalin is going to destroy them? Taking out a brain tumour that we know is causing a persons violent impulses is going to destroy them? Human beings are biological machines. If Your car has a faulty part you replace it and then your car is functional again. It’s the same with human beings.

  75. why? says:

    Steve,

    We have been through this before. Epicurean dilemma is based on an assumption of creation-ex-nihilo…If God did not create anything ex-nihilo then the argument does not work. We have gone through the concept of “Intrinsic properties” as well. Intrinsic properties are those properties which if it changes destroys that particular entity or substance. As I said before, God does not change the intrinsic properties of soul. A soul is covered with layers of material bodies and any modification to the layers of material bodies will influence behavior of conscious souls, just like a white light when covered with colored translucent papers change colors. God gives results according to sum total of all actions and intrinsic properties of souls.

  76. madfijian says:

    On Free will. Lets say John has 2 boys. Sam and Peter. Sam is a bully who is stronger and displays very aggressive behavior towards Peter. One day they are both playing and Sam gets particularly aggressive and grabs Peters face and starts hitting it against the ground while John the father is watching but does nothing. A bystander runs up to John and asks him why is he not doing anything as it is obvious that Peter is getting hurt badly. To that John says i cannot intervene for it is Sams free will and if i intervene than i will be interfering with his free will. In real life this is not how it will be in 99.9% of cases as any parent in their right mind will interfere. We interfere with our children’s free will every day and do everything in our power to ensure that our children are good people. So if God is our father and creator do you not think that he should intervene when monsters like Sadam and Hitler and Stalin were slaughtering millions. Free will is the oldest and dumbest justification religious people have for human suffering and sadly it does not sell anymore.

  77. madfijian says:

    Question for you Ali Sina. You say Islam is the highway to hell. OK if one follows all the evil things Islam copied from the old testament and the Torah literally and acts upon them like ISIS does than by all means it is the hell road that you describe. I have met countless Muslims who are for all intends and purposes dumb to the horrors of their faith and by and large are peaceful people. Yes they pray the Islamic way and fast and eat a halal food but they are not violent and in most cases live a more pious life than you or me. In other words they just go through life just like we do average joe’s who are not perfect but are good people in general. What of them? Is your Jesus going to roast them in hell for all eternity. Aside from the many thousands of things wrong with all world religions the one that started me of to learn more about my former belief and than to leave it is this. I have good friends from all faiths who are good hardworking everyday folks and most would give you their last penny if they thought you needed it more why would anyone of these people go to hell just because they did not worship the right “GOD”

    How does an all loving creator create a fallible, feeble, usually dumb,egocentric, lustful, hateful,petty creature like the human being and than gets them to be born without a choice to a Hindu or Muslims or Christian home and than punish that person for being human. This is the work of a sadist psychopath in my opinion not a loving creator.

  78. Steve says:

    +Why

    “we are not talking about evidence, only about your fallacious argument..” Evidently you are not familiar with the epicurean dilemma “God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. If He is willing and is unable, He is feeble, which is not in accordance with the character of God; if He is able and unwilling, He is envious, which is equally at variance with God; if He is neither willing nor able, He is both envious and feeble, and therefore not God; if He is both willing and able, which alone is suitable to God, from what source then are evils? Or why does He not remove them?” No religious person has come up with an answer to this – except offering ridiculous “theodicies” (such as “the free will defence”) which are simply laughable.

    “God does NOT change intrinsic properties of souls…some are intrinsically good, some mixed and some pure evil intrinsically….” Well we can change the thoughts of schizophrenics and manically depressed people through medication. We also give kids with ADHD Ritalin to control there hyperactivity and improve concentration and sex offenders are given testosterone reduction (which cuts of the sex drive and the thoughts and desires to rape and the sadistic sexual fantasies go away). This in essence is no different than giving a diabetic insulin. As Sam Harris says in his talk if we had a pill for “evil” (which takes away their desires to victimise people) it would make sense to give it them – just like we give medication to people with ADHD, depression and schizophrenia and we operate on people with brain tumours. In that case the so called intrinsic evil would become just a nutritional problem.

  79. why? says:

    Steve: “https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g ”

    This is good….It is true whether there is soul or not, it is irrelevant…Direct evidence is there that free-will does NOT exist at all..It is mere illusion or delusion we have…

  80. why? says:

    Steve: “There is no evidence of any divine rewarder or punisher. Justice is a human artifice it’s not built into this universe and there is no one watching this piece of rock which is not even equivalent to one grain of sand in the Sahara desert (and that is just comparing earth to our galaxy without considering all the other hundreds of billions of them and this not considering the very real possibility that we live in an infinite multiverse.).”

    Irrelevant to argument here….we are not talking about evidence, only about your fallacious argument..

    Steve: “Also I will ask you say the same question I asked Sina why doesn’t God just put positive thoughts into the evil people’s minds? Instead of letting them suffer through countless “past lives”?”

    God does NOT change intrinsic properties of souls…some are intrinsically good, some mixed and some pure evil intrinsically….

  81. Steve says:

    “Its pretty obvious you have given no thought about this at all Ali Sina….and you present yourself as a free-thinker of sorts…..” Yep it’s clear he knows nothing about the subject. He could start by having a look at this talk by Sam Harris on “Free Will”. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g Harris says to think of several cities and then to choose one of those cities, first of all is there any evidence of free will there? Observe what that is like the names of cities just appear in consciousness (“very much like my words” Harris says.) Then you selected one of them. First of all you can’t have chosen the names of cities you don’t know and you have never heard of. And could you have chosen that which did not appear to you? You absolutely know that Rome is a city but for some reason your Rome circuits was not engaged. So you can’t have chosen that either. Now if you ask a person the reason why they selected (out of the city’s that did appear) say Tokyo over Paris they might say well I had Japanese food last night so I picked that. But even if that is the reason (and experiments show that these kind of stories told after the fact are almost always false) you still can’t explain why you remembered having Japanese food or why it didn’t have the opposite effect why didn’t you say “well I just had Japanese food last night so I am going to go with Paris instead)”. All of your choices come out of things you didn’t “choose” and which you have no control over. Now Ali might at that point want to play his “you dogmatic anti God, anti sprit, materialist fanatic card” well Harris has a response to that as well. “The case I am building does not depend on philosophical materialism, even if we are made of mysterious soul stuff that interfaces with the brain in ways that we don’t understand that doesn’t give you free will. The unconscious operations of a soul gives you no more free will than the unconscious operations of your brain. The soul that is motivated to give up smoking is just as mysterious as the soul that has no interest in giving up smoking. You don’t pick your soul. If you don’t know what your soul is going to do next your soul is not free period.”

    Conclusion – So called free will doesn’t exist, so why does God bring evil people into existence or why he doesn’t just put positive thoughts into their mind instead of evil ones?

    “Why do people make wrong analogies and conclude. God is more than a mere parent, He is also a judge and executor of punishment or one who reward good people. Real God punishes or rewards as per actions/intrinsic qualities of individuals and societies, either collectively and/or individually. God gives every living being what it deserves.” There is no evidence of any divine rewarder or punisher. Justice is a human artifice it’s not built into this universe and there is no one watching this piece of rock which is not even equivalent to one grain of sand in the Sahara desert (and that is just comparing earth to our galaxy without considering all the other hundreds of billions of them and this not considering the very real possibility that we live in an infinite multiverse.).

    Also I will ask you say the same question I asked Sina why doesn’t God just put positive thoughts into the evil people’s minds? Instead of letting them suffer through countless “past lives”?

  82. why? says:

    Steve Says:
    =======================================
    Yes, if your children was out of control and causing mayhem in the community and you did not do anything to stop them (even though you had the power to) you would be held responsible – likewise with God.
    ========================================

    Why do people make wrong analogies and conclude. God is more than a mere parent, He is also a judge and executor of punishment or one who rewards good people. Real God punishes or rewards as per actions/intrinsic qualities of individuals and societies, either collectively and/or individually. God gives every living being what it deserves.

  83. why? says:

    Ali Sina Says:

    “Yes I pick my thoughts and as far as I know everyone picks their thought. If you are not in control of your thoughts something must be terribly wrong with you. This is not normal. Ideas can pop up in my head but I only focus on the ones that interest me and ignore the rest.

    Sorry Steve, I have to leave this discussions. I don’t wish to waste time discussing what is obvious. If these simple facts are not obvious to you I am not the person to discuss with. ”

    ======================================

    Its pretty obvious you have given no thought about this at all Ali Sina….and you present yourself as a free-thinker of sorts…..

    Do you decide what to think in the next one hour time period or say in the next few seconds or minutes? NO…

    You yourself agree that “Ideas can pop up in my head”…so thoughts really pop up in your mind…you do not will those particular thoughts consciously bit merely pops up…

    You also say following this that since you focus, pick particular thoughts and ignore the rest, do you consciously will those thoughts that lead you to pick up those particular thoughts? The answer is NO…this like other thoughts also pop up in your head…

    if you claim a particular thought was willed consciously, one can ask if you willed that will to chose consciously ad-infinitum….Hence free-will is mere illusion and there is no such thing as free-will…ONLY “will” (no free-will) exists where “will” merely pops up in our heads. This is decided by our internal material and spiritual make-up, environmental factors etc.

    Hence all thoughts merely pop-up. THERE AIN’T NO FREE-WILL, ONLY WILL. Hence your entire argument about free-will/God allowing evil in christianity is fallacious as christianity or jeebusianity is.

  84. Ron says:

    COLGATE – Man Of Faith

    For most of us, COLGATE products form a part of the daily life.Others would certainly have seen these items at the general stores. but have you ever thought that the mint-flavored white paste that you squeeze out of the tube every morning has something to tell you?It bears a tremendous testimony to God’s faithfulness of a man who was willing to take God at his Word – WILLIAM COLGATE.

    The Colgate family fled from England and settled in America during the Civil war. Robert Colgate, William’s father, was a farmer. William was interested in soap-making and at the age of 19 he started his own enterprise with his aunt’s financial help. He produced soap under his own name but unfortunately the business was a failure.

    A man of determination

    Though William had to close down his initial business, he was determined to make a success of soap making . Encouragement came through the Bible and through a friend. In Genesis 28: 20-21 he read about Jacob who made a commitment to God as he left his home.

    “Then Jacob made a vow to the LORD :If you will be with me and protect me in the journey I am making and give me food and clothing , and if I return safely to my father’s home, then you will be my God… and I will give you a tenth of everything you give me.”

    William prayed the same prayer. His Christian friend had advised him, “Start right and you will go well. Be a good man. Give your heart to Christ : give God all that belongs to him. make an honest soap and god will prosper you.” William decided to honor God and give him first place in all his endeavors. He also decided that he will give one tenth of his earnings to God.

    A man of dedication

    William started his new venture on Dutch Street and gave God the tenth from the very first earning he made. God was given the first place in his life and career as he had covenanted. That was the beginning of a business enterprise, William Colgate and Company, whose products have conquered the world’s cosmetic market. It’s operations branched out from laundry soap manufacture into a host of other products, with in a short time.

    A man of faithfulness

    William was faithful to God and kept his promise. As God prospered him, he began to give more to God. From ten percent his giving gradually changed to 20 % then 30 and so on. The more he gave , the more he earned.

    A man of Word

    The Bible was always a source of encouragement to William Colgate . He was greatly interested in the translation, publication and distribution of the Word of God. He was behind the formation of the American Bible Society in 1816. He supported the Bible cause generously and financed several educational institutions. To honor him , one university changed its name to ‘Colgate University’, after his death.

    A man of God

    William was a success as a Christian father. His family was known for its church attendance, family worship, Christian conduct and love for God’s Word. Things like alcohol had never been to the Colgate home. All his 11 children followed his foot-steps and continued their father’s practice of supporting God’s work.

    William Colgate died in 1857, but his name is still not forgotten. The tooth-paste, soap, shaving cream and shampoo that we use daily do tell us this tremendous story of God’s faithfulness.

    God Bless You !!!

  85. Steve says:

    @Passive Observer
    “Men build weapons and kill each other. They fight for lands and go to courts. Accidents occur and people die. What do you want God should do? Should He intervene in men’s lives every time?” Yes, if your children was out of control and causing mayhem in the community and you did not do anything to stop them (even though you had the power to) you would be held responsible – likewise with God.

    “When God found men mess up their lives God sent His Son Jesus, just as I sent my son to clean up the poultry shed.” The correct analogy would be you punishing your Son for the mayhem his sibling caused in the community and which is ultimately down to you because you could have stopped it -and instead chose to do nothing. This is the insane doctrine of Christianity.

    ” I enjoy the spiritual joy and bliss, which you will never fathom it.” Translation – I believe it because it makes me feel better not because it has any basis in reality.

    “In spite of the promises of heaven where there is no evil,” Funny that there can be “free will” in heaven and no evil eh?

    “I know you will be happy to die like a fly and enter into the black hole. Lol.” I am not going to enter any “black hole” because I will have ceased to exist. As Epicurus famously said, “Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.”

    “All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the belief that in death, there is awareness.”

    So for religious people like you this means that – fortunately for you – you will never know you was wrong.

  86. @Steve: Do you find fault with nature for contradictions? You find night and day; waning of the moon and waxing of the moon; cold climate and hot climate; green pastures and arid lands; fresh water and salt water; bad smell and good smell; tundra region and deserts; black people and white people;
    What do you think if God has created these contradictions? Do you think it is because of His inability or He had a plan? I know you are a good father. You give toys to your children and watch them play. When they throw at each other you intervene. Similarly what if God creates men with free will in this beautiful world, of course with above contradictions, and watch them play. Men build weapons and kill each other. They fight for lands and go to courts. Accidents occur and people die. What do you want God should do? Should He intervene in men’s lives every time? When God found men mess up their lives God sent His Son Jesus, just as I sent my son to clean up the poultry shed. You may agree that there are millions of Christian oriented NGOs and 700,000 nuns working round the clock, looking after the down trodden; built schools hospitals , colleges and universities like, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton etc. These people go to the Dark Continent or Tundra not with tears and sighs but with joy and love. Jesus is an embodiment of love. World Historian Will Durant says “ I never get over my wonder that out of the ape and the jungle should have come at last a man able to conceive all humanity as one, able to love it and suffer for it without stint”.
    Steve, whenever the question arises ‘why does God allow evil’, answer comes through another question “Why God sent His Son as a suffering man, born in a manger and died on a cross among thieves”? I find peace with God. I enjoy the spiritual joy and bliss, which you will never fathom it. I know you will not accept my thinking. In spite of the promises of heaven where there is no evil, I know you will be happy to die like a fly and enter into the black hole. Lol.

  87. Steve says:

    Ali Sina

    “Yes I pick my thoughts and as far as I know everyone picks their thought. If you are not in control of your thoughts something must be terribly wrong with you. This is not normal. Ideas can pop up in my head but I only focus on the ones that interest me and ignore the rest.” So then what is your next thought going to be? You don’t know what your next thought is going to be until it appears. Thoughts simple appear in consciousness – how could you pick a thought before you have thought it? For example when you read this, thoughts and feelings are going to come into your awareness – you don’t pick what thoughts and feelings arise in response to reading this. You don’t read and go “wait I can choose to think this guy is talking nonsense and if he doesn’t believe thoughts are chosen he must have something wrong with him. But on the only hand I can choose to think this guy is talking some sense so I need to think of a good response to this” Is this the reality? No it’s not you don’t pick your thoughts they simply arise in consciousness – all you can do is observe thoughts and “choices” which have ALREADY been made subconsciously. (Interests by the way are also not “freely chosen” – unless you can explain how and when you “choose” to find certain things interesting and other things uninteresting).

    “Sorry Steve, I have to leave this discussions. I don’t wish to waste time discussing what is obvious. If these simple facts are not obvious to you I am not the person to discuss with” Now you are running away from the discussion . These are not “obvious facts”. If it is then explain how you could magically “choose” – out of the blue – to genuinely believe that Muhammad is a messenger of God – despite the fact that you currently believe he is a criminal imposter? If you give no response I will take it you have no argument and your magical “free will” is no solution to the problem of evil.

  88. @Steve,
    “Observe your thoughts, do you pick them or did they simply appear in consciousness ? ”

    Yes I pick my thoughts and as far as I know everyone picks their thought. If you are not in control of your thoughts something must be terribly wrong with you. This is not normal. Ideas can pop up in my head but I only focus on the ones that interest me and ignore the rest.

    Sorry Steve, I have to leave this discussions. I don’t wish to waste time discussing what is obvious. If these simple facts are not obvious to you I am not the person to discuss with.

  89. Steve says:

    @Ali Sina

    “The fact that humans are in total control of their thought is so clear that there should be no need to discuss it. This is the only freedom we have. Everything else is conditional. I could be put in jail and lose much of my freedom. I could become paralyzed and lose the freedom to move my limbs, but no one can take away my freedom to think.” It’s not at all clear. Observe your thoughts, do you pick them or did they simply appear in consciousness ? The latter. Observe any decision you make – however important or trivial – and you will find that all you observe is “decisions” that have already been subconsciously made.

    “People don’t start hating out of the blue. I have no reason to hate you. But if I perceive you are abusing me and I feel victimized by you I may choose to hate you or forgive you and walk away. That is entirely my choice and it very much depends on my insight and spiritual maturity.” How would you choose to feel victimised? And what is the reason for either hating or forgiving someone and how did you choose that?

    “If my world view is this worldly, I will feel I have lost and you won so I hate you and may even conclude to take revenge. That seems just and fair. But if my world view is other worldly I know that you hurt yourself more than you hurt me. Yes, you did something terrible to me but you damaged the spiritual evolution of your soul. With this view I know that this world Is not an end to itself and the reality is actually in the other side. ” How did you choose to believe this and how did you choose for it to have this effect on you? You cannot choose beliefs – either you are convinced by something or you are not.

    “I also will conclude that the reason I chose to come to this physical plane was to face its difficulties and challenges and overcome them. The qualities I need to acquire for my spiritual growth are forgiveness and love. That does not mean I will not try to stop you hurting and abusing others. I will exhaust everything in my power to stop you doing the same to others. That is not because I hate you. In fact, the moment you choose to mend your ways I will embrace you as my brother.” And how did you “choose” this reason that grounds your choice to love and forgive others?

    “Hating is a choice, taking revenge is a choice, so are loving and forgiving. This is self-evident. If someone hits you, you can choose to hit him back or say God bless you brother. You make this choice every day. ” And if I ask what is the reason for this choice and how was it chosen your response will probably something like “They are spiritually mature” “They are ignorant or hateful” “They are impressionable” “They realised” etc. All things which are NOT chosen.

    “Let us say you are a vengeful person and are hit by a stronger guy. Your normal reaction is to hit him back but you realize you are weaker and refrain from hitting him back. So clearly you made a choice out of self-protection.” And how did you “choose” to realise you are weaker? And how did you “choose” to not want to get hit by a stronger opponent? You did not.

    “Now imagine if you become aware of the other world and the survival and evolution of your soul and you are hit by someone smaller. You can easily hit him back so strong that he would not get off the ground. But you realize that your spiritual growth is worth more than your kneejerk reaction and momentary satisfaction. So you do not retaliate. In both cases you made a choice not to hit back. The difference was in your motivation and reasoning.” How did they “choose” their motivations and reasoning? And how could they have “chosen” to have had a different motivation and reasoned differently?

    “If you believe in the true God and understand His nature you become more forgiving, less angry, less vengeful and more resigned to any vicissitude. You find a different understanding of reality and the purpose of your life. You will know that you are immortal and this worldly experience is only a small blip in your eternal existence. You will realize that the goal of life is not to be the richest person in the cemetery but to grow spiritually and become more God like.” Beliefs also are not a choice. This is easy to demonstrate. Can you genuinely “choose” to believe that 1+1=68? Can you “choose” to believe Muhammad is a prophet of God despite the fact you believe he was an imposter, a wicked man and most probably a servant of satan? Clearly not, free will or not you cannot “choose” what you believe. So there is no “free will” escape clause here.

  90. @Steve

    The fact that humans are in total control of their thought is so clear that there should be no need to discuss it. This is the only freedom we have. Everything else is conditional. I could be put in jail and lose much of my freedom. I could become paralyzed and lose the freedom to move my limbs, but no one can take away my freedom to think.

    People don’t start hating out of the blue. I have no reason to hate you. But if I perceive you are abusing me and I feel victimized by you I may choose to hate you or forgive you and walk away. That is entirely my choice and it very much depends on my insight and spiritual maturity.

    If my world view is this worldly, I will feel I have lost and you won so I hate you and may even conclude to take revenge. That seems just and fair. But if my world view is other worldly I know that you hurt yourself more than you hurt me. Yes, you did something terrible to me but you damaged the spiritual evolution of your soul. With this view I know that this world Is not an end to itself and the reality is actually in the other side. I also will conclude that the reason I chose to come to this physical plane was to face its difficulties and challenges and overcome them. The qualities I need to acquire for my spiritual growth are forgiveness and love. That does not mean I will not try to stop you hurting and abusing others. I will exhaust everything in my power to stop you doing the same to others. That is not because I hate you. In fact, the moment you choose to mend your ways I will embrace you as my brother.

    Hating is a choice, taking revenge is a choice, so are loving and forgiving. This is self-evident. If someone hits you, you can choose to hit him back or say God bless you brother. You make this choice every day. Let us say you are a vengeful person and are hit by a stronger guy. Your normal reaction is to hit him back but you realize you are weaker and refrain from hitting him back. So clearly you made a choice out of self-protection. Now imagine if you become aware of the other world and the survival and evolution of your soul and you are hit by someone smaller. You can easily hit him back so strong that he would not get off the ground. But you realize that your spiritual growth is worth more than your kneejerk reaction and momentary satisfaction. So you do not retaliate. In both cases you made a choice not to hit back. The difference was in your motivation and reasoning.

    If you believe in the true God and understand His nature you become more forgiving, less angry, less vengeful and more resigned to any vicissitude. You find a different understanding of reality and the purpose of your life. You will know that you are immortal and this worldly experience is only a small blip in your eternal existence. You will realize that the goal of life is not to be the richest person in the cemetery but to grow spiritually and become more God like.

    Since I discovered God, my goal in life is very different. I want to work in His organization. I am doing this while here in this world as a volunteer and I hope God will accept my services and will hire me with I go back Home. I fancy to be hired as guardian angel. I get a real satisfaction helping others. But I know this life is a good or maybe the only place to practice. From what I understand we cannot grow spiritually in heaven. That is why we come to this world. Growth happens only by facing difficulties and overcoming them

  91. Steve says:

    “No one is naturally hateful. Hate arises through indoctrination. You leave a bunch of toddlers of all races and religions in a room. They sometimes play and sometimes fight but have no idea of hate. As they grow, they are told this person is bad because his faith is wrong, do not mingle with that person because his color is wrong, or belong to the wrong caste or class, etc. Children are impressionable and believe everything adults tell them. They learn hate from adults.” And no where does this involve a conscious choice. Kids (or anyone of any age) do not just suddenly say out of the blue for no reason “now I am suddenly going to decide to hate the Jews, homosexuals, Kaffir etc for no reason whatsoever”.

    “I hate Islam. Islam is an ideology. It is not just Islam that I hate. I hate racism, fascism, communism, misogyny, violence, discrimination and a host of other things. But I do not hate people. As for Muslims I want to set them free from their demonic faith so instead of hating us they can be our friends.
    We are 100% free in our thoughts, but not 100% free in our actions. ” When did you “choose” to hate Islam? And could you “choose” – out of the blue for no reason- to stop hating Islam and start fighting for ISIS in Syria? Even despite the fact you hate the actions of Muhammad and his teachings? When did you “choose” to WANT to set Muslims free from their demonic faith? You “choose” all those things on the basis of things which are not chosen.

    “We can choose to hate and we can choose to love. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to hold grudges or take revenge. We can choose joy and we can choose sorrow.” How can a person “choose” to WANT to forgive someone? How can a person “choose” to be joyful? All of those things are NOT consciously chosen. You cannot choose your thoughts, emotions, desires etc therefore there is no “free will” escape clause.

    “Bad things happen to everyone. But people’s reactions can be very different. If I hurt you, you have the choice to forgive me or retaliate. We may not have control over things that happen to us but we have total control over how we respond to them” So if your wife cheats on you and your reaction is to be very hurt and angry how can you “choose” to forgive your wife despite the fact that you are very hurt and angry and want to divorce her? You cannot “choose” to forgive her if that is your reaction (which is NOT chosen). Now you may eventually calm down, reflect on the situation and agree to least talk things over with your wife but NOWHERE did that involve a conscious choice. You did not consciously “choose” to calm down and neither did you “choose” the reasons (or the effect those reasons had on you) while reflecting on the situation that convinced you to talk things over with your wife.

  92. @Steve,
    No one is naturally hateful. Hate arises through indoctrination. You leave a bunch of toddlers of all races and religions in a room. They sometimes play and sometimes fight but have no idea of hate. As they grow, they are told this person is bad because his faith is wrong, do not mingle with that person because his color is wrong, or belong to the wrong caste or class, etc. Children are impressionable and believe everything adults tell them. They learn hate from adults.
    I don’t hate Muhammad. He is dead and is burning in hell. I feel sorry for him. I do not even hate the terrorists. I feel sorry for them too. They soon will join their prophet and will have a very rude awakening. I hate Islam. Islam is an ideology. It is not just Islam that I hate. I hate racism, fascism, communism, misogyny, violence, discrimination and a host of other things. But I do not hate people. As for Muslims I want to set them free from their demonic faith so instead of hating us they can be our friends.
    We are 100% free in our thoughts, but not 100% free in our actions. We can choose to hate and we can choose to love. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to hold grudges or take revenge. We can choose joy and we can choose sorrow.
    Bad things happen to everyone. But people’s reactions can be very different. If I hurt you, you have the choice to forgive me or retaliate. We may not have control over things that happen to us but we have total control over how we respond to them.

  93. Steve says:

    Ali Sina wrote

    “By the same token, God does not send anyone to hell. People choose to go to hell freely. If your heart is filled with hate, if you have no love for people, in other words if you are a true Muslim doing what Muhammad said, hating mankind, killing people and causing pain, you distance yourself from God and your place is hell. There are only two places to go. To go to heaven and be close to God you must be like Him. God is love. If you love your will go to heaven and if not, you won’t.”

    How do people “choose” to have their heart filled with hate? How can someone “choose” to love people they actually hate? Can you “choose” to love Muhammad even though you actually hate him? Clearly not. The same is true of the evil people they do not “choose” to be full of hate it is simply their nature. There is no free will escape clause here – as the “free will” does not give you freedom of thoughts but freedom of action.

  94. Ron says:

    In Islam it says that Allah asked his creation (Satan) to bow (worship) his another creation (Adam -man) and Satan did not obey and Allah reprimanded Satan .

    So Allah wants only him to be worshipped but also wants his creation to bow (worship) before another creation.
    It does not make any sense.

    Some say that Allah who is also called the greatest deceiver in the Quran is Satan (because in the Bible only Satan is called the greatest deceiver.

    So it is entirely possible that Muslims are unknowingly worshipping Satan aka Allah whose prophet is Mohamed.

    Christ is the way, the truth and life.

  95. Richard says:

    Please read this link for an explanation of the thoughts of St Isaac the Syrian on this topic.

    http://www.wacom2017.org/sites/wacom2017.org/IMG/pdf/Bishop_Hilarion_Alfeyev.pdf

    Here is a short extract:

    “Isaac gradually arrives at his key idea that the final outcome of the
    history of the universe must correspond to the majesty of God, and that the final
    destiny of the humans should be worthy of God’s mercifulness. ‘I am of the
    opinion that He is going to manifest some wonderful outcome’, Isaac claims, ‘a
    matter of immense and ineffable compassion on the part of the glorious Creator,
    with respect to the ordering of this difficult matter of
    Gehenna’s torment: out of it the wealth of His love and power and wisdom will become known all the more
    and so will the insistent might of the waves of His goodness. It is not the way of
    the compassionate Maker to create rational beings in order to deliver them over
    mercilessly to unending affliction in punishment for things of which He knew even
    before they were fashioned, aware how they would turn out when He created
    them and whom nonetheless He created. “

  96. brigand du Roi says:

    Well, because God in his infinite goodness, He leaves the free man.

  97. Walter Sieruk says:

    On another aspect of the question “Why does God Allow evil ?” When it comes to the god of Islam it the gets even worse when finding an answer to that question. This is because the Arch-enemy of humankind and everything good is Satan ,that vicious and wicked being was created by the the god of Islam, In that Allah corrupted Satan and made him an enemy of all humans . This is the doctrine found in the Koran Sura 7:11. 15:39. So one reason that people have Satan working against them for their harm is the Allah made him so . The god of Islam must enjoy playing,cruel, brutal and vicious games with people’s lives. In contrast the God of the Bible didn’t create an evil being. He create a good being who, at that time, had the mane of Lucifer This angelic being ,Lucifer latter because full of pride and sinned and even had the gall to try to usurp God. Even try to made, create his own power and glory. As found in the Bible in Isaiah 14:12-15. After Lucifer’s sinful rebellion he became Satan the evil one and enemy of God and humankind. So with the god of Islam there is not good answer to that question of “Why God does allow evil. For the Islamic god went so far as to even create evil. What hideous god the Islamic god must be. By contrast with the God of the Bible the answer may be explained ,somewhat . In addition, the question in the title in the above article is called THEODICY which is defined as “A justification in the presence of evil ,of God’s goodness, justice and knowledge , An explanation of how God ,who is all-knowing, all powerful ,and all -good can allow evil in this world ” [1] With Allah, the god of Islam ,he is all powerful but not all good . For the god of Islam created an evil being,who is Satan Sura 7:11. 15:39 Likewise Allah creates all misfortune and disaster, Sura 57:22 and furthermore the Islamic god, Allah inspired sin in humankind. Sura 91:;7,8. and also 4:88. 7:16-18.; 9:51; 14:4 16:93; 35:8. 57 :22. 74:31. The great and wonderful difference is that the God of the Bible created none of the terrible things

    [1] World Religions by Warren Matthews page 448

  98. Steve says:

    Sorry Ali the “free will defence” doesn’t remove Gods responsibility for evil. If I could create new intelligent life, capable of making free choices (imagine Dr. Viktor Frankenstein), and I could predict which choices my creatures will make (like an omniscient God), predict whether my creations would obey my orders or rather go on a murderous rampage (for example) – I could simply choose to not create creatures that go on a murderous rampage.
    If I create such creatures anyway, knowing that I have to “judge” them (which in this case would mean hunting them down and killing them), then I am not a just and merciful person, I would be a cruel, sadistic asshole.

    The same logic also applies to God. He is responsible for setting evil people like Muhammad and Hitler on the world when he could have chosen not to.

    So to sum up

    – Free will is completely and utterly irrelevant to my argument.
    – Whether determinism is true or not is completely and utterly irrelevant to my argument.
    If God is omniscient, he does know in advance all of my actions and all of my choices – determinism or not is irrelevant, omniscience means that God knows the future, even in an universe that is not deterministic. And if he is also omnipotent, then he could only create humans / souls which will make the free choice to love and obey him.

  99. Walter Sieruk says:

    Here again, the question still stands “Why does God allow evil” Well the God of the Bible teaches that people not engage in evil but only in good. As found in Matthew 7:7-10. Likewise The God of the Bible teaches Christians that they need to go further to also thinks about about good things and good idea’s and not evil things and evil idea’s. As seen in Philippians 4:8. Furthermore the Bible instructs Christians obey the governmental laws of civilized society and to be good law abiding citizens.As instructed in Romans 13:1-4. In awful contrast the god of Islam creates the evil of disaster. As the Koran teaches in Sura 57:22. “No misfortune [disaster] can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree [the Koran] before [in eternity] WE [Allah] before bring it into existence; That is truly easy for Allah.” In other words criminal activity ,Marxist tyranny , as in North Korea , and likewise the spread of terrible infectious diseases are all the blame and fault of the Islamic god Allah. We may all be glad the the god is Islam is a a nothing god and not the One True God of the Bible.

  100. Assta Gettu says:

    May God bless you, Dr. Ali Saina, for your understanding of the power of consciousness we all creatures and the Creator have. I believe it is only through this divine consciousness common to all of us but to the false prophet Muhammad we can function as Saint Paul has said:

    “God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘- We are His offspring.’ Therefore, being offspring of God, we should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by man’s skill and imagination.…(Acts 17:27-29)”

  101. Walter Sieruk says:

    At the question “Why does God allow evil ?” That is a very good and difficult question. To become even more specific “Why does the True God Who is the God of the Bible and is also All Powerful allow evil in this world ?” As hard as this question is this starts with the first humans, Adam and Eve. The God of the Bible did create the first humans innocent beings . The were totally sinless and blameless. Nevertheless, God gave them a freewill and they chose to disobey and disbelieve God as concerning the tree with its forbidden fruit and then sin entered the picture. So all humans who are descendants of Adam and Eve inherited their sin nature had obtain because they disbelieve and disobeyed God. This explain how evil [sin] got started . In strong contrast the god of the Koran, as some people call this religious book the Quran , is the god of Islam. This Islamic god started inspired and created sin in the first and all other humans As the Koran teaches as found in ,for example, Sura 91:7,8. and also 4:88. 7:16-18; 9:51; 14:4.; 16:93.; 35:8. 57:22. 74:31. So in contrast to the God of the Bible ,the god of the Koran [Islam] Never gave humans a chance in the first place to be free of the evil of sin. The god of Islam deliberately inspired and created sin in humans and then damns them for being sinners. So withe God of the Bible it’s easier, but not easy, to find answer to that above question.In contrast with the god of Islam,the Koran it’s impossible to answer that question unless a person acknowledges that the god of Islam not only a false god but also an completely unfair and unjust god.

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