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Do humans really have free-will?

Kostakv
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6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?
v3nesl
Posts: 4,502
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6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will. So that's a dead end. We have to assume our instinct of free will is valid, much as we have to assume the shortest distance between two points really is what we understand as a straight line.
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Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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6/11/2014 2:05:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

I don't see how this claim could ever be proven. And I don't see how animals would not have free will if we did have it, it's not readily apparent by looking at the evidence.

If you argue animals are most entirely driven by instinct, then if argue that so are humans, we are driven by our instincts to mate, raise children, and eat. If you argue that humans can make choices, I argue so can animals, in fact chimpanzees and other primates have been shown capable of complex problem solving, which involves entertaining the hypothetical.
Kostakv
Posts: 28
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6/11/2014 2:08:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I can give you an example where humans don't have free-will.

Stop your heart beat by just thinking about it, if you cannot that means your heart is ruled by your own body and you cannot do anything about it even if it's your own heart. Also if I show you an optical allusion, and I tell you do you see the tree? if you say no, then I show you the tree in the optical allusion, you cannot stop seeing that tree.. if you had free-will over your eyes you would be able to no see the tree and go back to seeing the optical allusion as you originally saw it
Kostakv
Posts: 28
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6/11/2014 2:09:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:05:24 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

I don't see how this claim could ever be proven. And I don't see how animals would not have free will if we did have it, it's not readily apparent by looking at the evidence.

If you argue animals are most entirely driven by instinct, then if argue that so are humans, we are driven by our instincts to mate, raise children, and eat. If you argue that humans can make choices, I argue so can animals, in fact chimpanzees and other primates have been shown capable of complex problem solving, which involves entertaining the hypothetical.

I agree 100%, This is where I look back at the catholic faith and say what are you talking about. One of the many reasons why I don't believe in the catholic faith anymore
TheGreatAndPowerful
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6/11/2014 2:14:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will.

Why not?

So that's a dead end. We have to assume our instinct of free will is valid, much as we have to assume the shortest distance between two points really is what we understand as a straight line.
lifemeansevolutionisgood
Posts: 551
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6/11/2014 2:20:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

I like Daniel Dennett's philosophy about free will
v3nesl
Posts: 4,502
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6/11/2014 2:56:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:14:52 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will.

Why not?

I think you just have to try hard enough to get this. Do you see that an opinion is free will? You could have this opinion or you could have that one. If you don't have a choice, it's not opinion, just a pavlovian response to stimuli.

To put it another way, if you don't have free will, then whatever you think about free will is simply what you had to think about free will. Any argument against free will is self defeating. And if you disagree with me it's only because you don't have good enough brain cells to understand my point.
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v3nesl
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6/11/2014 2:59:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:04:11 PM, Kostakv wrote:
Does that mean humans don't have an instinct?

No, I don't think it's an all or nothing proposition. You can choose to go left or right at an intersection, but not up or down. Obviously there's a great deal we can't change, living in a deterministic physical cosmos.
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Kostakv
Posts: 28
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6/11/2014 3:08:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:56:37 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:14:52 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will.

Why not?

I think you just have to try hard enough to get this. Do you see that an opinion is free will? You could have this opinion or you could have that one. If you don't have a choice, it's not opinion, just a pavlovian response to stimuli.

To put it another way, if you don't have free will, then whatever you think about free will is simply what you had to think about free will. Any argument against free will is self defeating. And if you disagree with me it's only because you don't have good enough brain cells to understand my point.

Good enough brain cells? Alright... I don't know if you know what an opinion is but here is a definition... a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

You said " If you don't have a choice, it's not opinion, just a pavlovian response to stimuli." Was it not your thought? subconscious or not it's still a thought, a thought is an idea. Once you have an Idea you use your past experiences to set your view on it. If you showed me a strawberry and i said that strawberry is big, is that not an idea? or a view is that not an opinion? did I not have a choice to say my opinion?
v3nesl
Posts: 4,502
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6/11/2014 3:09:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:20:44 PM, lifemeansevolutionisgood wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

I like Daniel Dennett's philosophy about free will

Yeah, seems to me he's got the same oxymoron with regards to consciousness - if consciousness is an illusion, we can't [correctly] be conscious of this illusion - our sense of illusion might well be illusionary.

To me these kinds of arguments are evidence that a world view has gone of the rails somewhere. It's nonsensical, really, and you have to wonder why people pursue nonsense. I get the impossible puzzle of consciousness being hosted by matter, but it's foolish to deny the obvious evidence that we are in fact conscious. Stick with the facts even when you don't have an explanation for them.
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Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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6/11/2014 3:12:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

So is a murderer responsible for a murder?

They are just a product of a society and environmental factors.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,502
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6/11/2014 3:13:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 3:08:07 PM, Kostakv wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:56:37 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:14:52 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will.

Why not?

I think you just have to try hard enough to get this. Do you see that an opinion is free will? You could have this opinion or you could have that one. If you don't have a choice, it's not opinion, just a pavlovian response to stimuli.

To put it another way, if you don't have free will, then whatever you think about free will is simply what you had to think about free will. Any argument against free will is self defeating. And if you disagree with me it's only because you don't have good enough brain cells to understand my point.

Good enough brain cells?

Yes, I'm hoping you get that that was an ironic joke? If opinion is only brain function then differing opinions are only differences in brain cells.

, a thought is an idea. Once you have an Idea you use your past experiences to set your view on it. If you showed me a strawberry and i said that strawberry is big, is that not an idea? or a view is that not an opinion? did I not have a choice to say my opinion?

Are you arguing for or against free will, I really can't tell - ? Do you think you have free will?
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ChrisL
Posts: 136
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6/11/2014 3:18:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Man does have a free will, but he does not have an autonomous free will. The free choices of men are governed by God and are in line with his Sovereign decree which He established before creation.
v3nesl
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6/11/2014 3:25:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 3:18:52 PM, ChrisL wrote:
Man does have a free will, but he does not have an autonomous free will. The free choices of men are governed by God and are in line with his Sovereign decree which He established before creation.

I'm hoping you mean that man's free will is limited, that we can select from limited options. "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his height?". But such free will as we have has to be autonomous or it's not free will.

One of the ways I imagine the age old christian debate between predestination and free will is by remembering one of the tricks I used on my opinionated 2yr old son: If I wanted him to get dressed, I give him a choice - "do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt today?" The choice was real - whatever he picked, I'd let him wear. But whichever he picked fulfilled my plan to get him dressed.
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ChrisL
Posts: 136
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6/11/2014 3:46:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 3:25:53 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 3:18:52 PM, ChrisL wrote:
Man does have a free will, but he does not have an autonomous free will. The free choices of men are governed by God and are in line with his Sovereign decree which He established before creation.

I'm hoping you mean that man's free will is limited, that we can select from limited options. "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his height?". But such free will as we have has to be autonomous or it's not free will.

One of the ways I imagine the age old christian debate between predestination and free will is by remembering one of the tricks I used on my opinionated 2yr old son: If I wanted him to get dressed, I give him a choice - "do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt today?" The choice was real - whatever he picked, I'd let him wear. But whichever he picked fulfilled my plan to get him dressed.

Well first I want to say that it's cool to see that you studied in Hoboken, NJ. I grew up in Hudson county. I stayed primarily in North Bergan and Jersey City. Not very often do I meet people online that come from that area. So...greetings.

Your right that I mean our free will is limited. Our nature restricts us to will certain options. And they are certainly things that our nature will never be capable of choosing. But the concept of man having an autonomous will would turn the bible on its head. God has an autonomous will. It is impossible for for two autonomous wills to exist simultaneously. As Sproul said, it's like the meeting of an immovable object and an irresistible force. Something has got to give.

I think the bible gives us good examples of how God decree's the choices of men, yet men are still acting freely upon the intentions of their heart. The story of Joseph and his brothers being one of them.
lifemeansevolutionisgood
Posts: 551
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6/11/2014 4:03:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 3:09:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:20:44 PM, lifemeansevolutionisgood wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

I like Daniel Dennett's philosophy about free will

Yeah, seems to me he's got the same oxymoron with regards to consciousness - if consciousness is an illusion, we can't [correctly] be conscious of this illusion - our sense of illusion might well be illusionary.

He does not say consciousness is an illusion, he says that it is like stage magic. It exists but plays tricks on us to make it look like it is more than it really is. He doesn't say free will is an illusion either, he says it is caused from intelligence and the ability to reason.

To me these kinds of arguments are evidence that a world view has gone of the rails somewhere. It's nonsensical, really, and you have to wonder why people pursue nonsense. I get the impossible puzzle of consciousness being hosted by matter, but it's foolish to deny the obvious evidence that we are in fact conscious. Stick with the facts even when you don't have an explanation for them.

Have you ever looked into Daniel Dennett's philosophies? It seems like you are responding like someone who has only read the misinterpreted versions of his philosophies.
TheGreatAndPowerful
Posts: 3,012
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6/11/2014 5:32:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:56:37 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:14:52 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will.

Why not?

I think you just have to try hard enough to get this. Do you see that an opinion is free will? You could have this opinion or you could have that one. If you don't have a choice, it's not opinion, just a pavlovian response to stimuli.

To put it another way, if you don't have free will, then whatever you think about free will is simply what you had to think about free will. Any argument against free will is self defeating. And if you disagree with me it's only because you don't have good enough brain cells to understand my point.

You're presuming that our perceptions are accurate. Under that assumption, then yes, the perception that we have free will and freely form opinions therefore means that free will exists. But that assumption is just that and is essentially begging the question because no one contests that it *seems* like we have free will.

But there is nothing that says, without free will, we wouldn't be destined to erroneously think there is, or form predetermined conclusions but falsely believe they were freely formed opinions.
Kostakv
Posts: 28
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6/11/2014 5:39:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 3:13:51 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 3:08:07 PM, Kostakv wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:56:37 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:14:52 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will.

Why not?

I think you just have to try hard enough to get this. Do you see that an opinion is free will? You could have this opinion or you could have that one. If you don't have a choice, it's not opinion, just a pavlovian response to stimuli.

To put it another way, if you don't have free will, then whatever you think about free will is simply what you had to think about free will. Any argument against free will is self defeating. And if you disagree with me it's only because you don't have good enough brain cells to understand my point.

Good enough brain cells?

Yes, I'm hoping you get that that was an ironic joke? If opinion is only brain function then differing opinions are only differences in brain cells.

, a thought is an idea. Once you have an Idea you use your past experiences to set your view on it. If you showed me a strawberry and i said that strawberry is big, is that not an idea? or a view is that not an opinion? did I not have a choice to say my opinion?

Are you arguing for or against free will, I really can't tell - ? Do you think you have free will?

I believe humans in some sense have a free-will, but if Catholics believe that their God knows everything, then we don't have the ability to make our own choices because God knowing means are destiny is already set.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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6/11/2014 7:07:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 5:39:03 PM, Kostakv wrote:
At 6/11/2014 3:13:51 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 3:08:07 PM, Kostakv wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:56:37 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 2:14:52 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:57:40 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

If we don't have free will, then we can't have an opinion about free will.

Why not?

I think you just have to try hard enough to get this. Do you see that an opinion is free will? You could have this opinion or you could have that one. If you don't have a choice, it's not opinion, just a pavlovian response to stimuli.

To put it another way, if you don't have free will, then whatever you think about free will is simply what you had to think about free will. Any argument against free will is self defeating. And if you disagree with me it's only because you don't have good enough brain cells to understand my point.

Good enough brain cells?

Yes, I'm hoping you get that that was an ironic joke? If opinion is only brain function then differing opinions are only differences in brain cells.

, a thought is an idea. Once you have an Idea you use your past experiences to set your view on it. If you showed me a strawberry and i said that strawberry is big, is that not an idea? or a view is that not an opinion? did I not have a choice to say my opinion?

Are you arguing for or against free will, I really can't tell - ? Do you think you have free will?

I believe humans in some sense have a free-will, but if Catholics believe that their God knows everything, then we don't have the ability to make our own choices because God knowing means are destiny is already set.

Can you please explain to me how someone else knowing the choice you will make, means you do not have the ability to make a choice?

You have free choice to decide between A or B. You stop and think about what you want to do. And you choose A.

Can you explain to me how that expression of free will is not real because someone else knew you were going to choose A.

When I am presented with a choice between vanilla or chocolate flavor ice cream. I stop and think about which one I want. Then I choose chocolate.

My friends laugh becuase they know I always choose chocolate. So God knew, my friends knew, and family all know that I will choose chocolate. How does that mean I did not have free will in choosing?

Both options were possible to me from my perspective at that time. I do not know what the future holds. After I make the decisions it is now int he past and from my new perspective I remember the choice in only one way. I remember I pick chocolate.

So the remembrance of the past is how God knew I was going to pick chocolate. But I still had the choice.
willowsweep
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6/11/2014 7:11:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:04:11 PM, Kostakv wrote:
Does that mean humans don't have an instinct?

No it just means our instinct doesn't control all of our actions.
GodChoosesLife
Posts: 3,461
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6/11/2014 7:19:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Free will is a matter of God-given choice as to whether do right or wrong which we as humans have that imbedded within us. As of your example of a heart stopping is because God has that will to cause someone's heart to stop or not for His own purpose. That is not up to us.

Animals don't know the difference between right and wron because they're animals. Which is why you have animals such as tigers of lions that would love to naw on the flesh of a human being. They don't know it's wrong, to them that's food. Whereas we see it as wrong.
Better than deserved, as ALWAYS.
"The strongest principle of growth lies in human choices."
"The Lord doesn't promise us a perfect life that is free of problems, but he does promise that He'll get us through anything." ~SweeTea
"Good Times" ~ Max
"If Jesus isn't in heaven, then it's not heaven; instead, it's hell." ~anonymous
"Suffering is unimaginably confusing, but it's a way to be drawn closer to God" ~Me
"Tell me what consumes your heart most, and I'll tell you who your God is." ~Dad
Truth_seeker
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6/11/2014 7:44:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
We do have free will as we choose to live a certain way, believe certain things, do things. We might be under the illusion that we don't, but to an extent, we do.
Kostakv
Posts: 28
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6/11/2014 7:44:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 7:19:19 PM, GodChoosesLife wrote:
Free will is a matter of God-given choice as to whether do right or wrong which we as humans have that imbedded within us. As of your example of a heart stopping is because God has that will to cause someone's heart to stop or not for His own purpose. That is not up to us.

Animals don't know the difference between right and wron because they're animals. Which is why you have animals such as tigers of lions that would love to naw on the flesh of a human being. They don't know it's wrong, to them that's food. Whereas we see it as wrong.

Alright, well let me ask you this? what is right and what is wrong? where do we get the info on what is right and what is wrong? I can certainly tell you the answer to that, it's society. Society tells us what is right and what is wrong. Not God. Everyones conscience is different and thinks differently. If you were isolated from society will you know what is right and wrong for western culture? No you wouldn't your natural instinct would kick in.

Animals don't know the difference between right and wron because they're animals.

Well, news flash, we're animals as well. There is scientific facts that are genes are 98-99% the same as a chimpanzee. And yes animals can tell from right and wrong if you condition them, just like humans. If you have a dog you can condition him to know what not to do and what to do. If animals can't tell from right and wrong then why do you train your dog to poo outside? because you think that's wrong so you're passing your knowledge down to the animal telling him to not poo inside the house.

if you look at sociology the study on how groups affect human behavior they have actually found that good and bad is not embedded in us, it is nurtured to us (taught) take a look at case studies done on feral children who don't get any socialization from anyone
Truth_seeker
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6/11/2014 7:50:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:08:09 PM, Kostakv wrote:
I can give you an example where humans don't have free-will.

Stop your heart beat by just thinking about it, if you cannot that means your heart is ruled by your own body and you cannot do anything about it even if it's your own heart. Also if I show you an optical allusion, and I tell you do you see the tree? if you say no, then I show you the tree in the optical allusion, you cannot stop seeing that tree.. if you had free-will over your eyes you would be able to no see the tree and go back to seeing the optical allusion as you originally saw it

Free will is governed by the mental capacities of your mind, not what you are incapable of doing. Stopping your heart isn't optional as it is involuntarily and isn't really part of free-will. As for the optical illusion, you can choose whether to believe something based on your judgement and that is free-will. Free will is all about choice: the choice to take away your own life and to believe in something based on your perception in this case.
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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6/11/2014 8:54:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Can someone tell me what free will even is?

Upon what are my "choices" based? Aren't they based on my character traits? Can't we predict a person's actions perfectly if we know everything about their character? So how does this person have "free will" (whatever that means), if their choices always depend upon their preexisting character traits?

If free choices are not based upon character traits, then they must be spontaneous. But it makes little sense to water down free will to randomness- it's even worse than determinism, I think.

So what do we mean when we say free will?
Mhykiel
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6/11/2014 9:09:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 7:44:52 PM, Kostakv wrote:
At 6/11/2014 7:19:19 PM, GodChoosesLife wrote:
Free will is a matter of God-given choice as to whether do right or wrong which we as humans have that imbedded within us. As of your example of a heart stopping is because God has that will to cause someone's heart to stop or not for His own purpose. That is not up to us.

Animals don't know the difference between right and wron because they're animals. Which is why you have animals such as tigers of lions that would love to naw on the flesh of a human being. They don't know it's wrong, to them that's food. Whereas we see it as wrong.

Alright, well let me ask you this? what is right and what is wrong? where do we get the info on what is right and what is wrong? I can certainly tell you the answer to that, it's society. Society tells us what is right and what is wrong. Not God. Everyones conscience is different and thinks differently. If you were isolated from society will you know what is right and wrong for western culture? No you wouldn't your natural instinct would kick in.

Animals don't know the difference between right and wron because they're animals.

Well, news flash, we're animals as well. There is scientific facts that are genes are 98-99% the same as a chimpanzee. And yes animals can tell from right and wrong if you condition them, just like humans. If you have a dog you can condition him to know what not to do and what to do. If animals can't tell from right and wrong then why do you train your dog to poo outside? because you think that's wrong so you're passing your knowledge down to the animal telling him to not poo inside the house.

if you look at sociology the study on how groups affect human behavior they have actually found that good and bad is not embedded in us, it is nurtured to us (taught) take a look at case studies done on feral children who don't get any socialization from anyone

Feral children are children who have not been socialized. These cases are children where they were the result of abuse. They grew up being chained and isolated from other people. Your argument is weak because you can say they learned such behavior was right and not wrong.

In addition I think any one who has kids know that they have to be taught what is acceptable behavior. But right and wrong is not the ability of free choice. Right or wrong is a choice and free will is the ability to choose between them.

And now for Christians. The delineation is expressed in the Bible. Free Will is the ability to make choices. Was this ability in Eve and Adam before or after she ate the apple?

The ability to choose, free will, was already in mankind. They chose to disobey God. The knowledge to discern right and wrong was after they ate the apples. The ability to choose is different than the knowledge or reasoning ability to discern what makes a good choice.
Idealist
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6/11/2014 10:51:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 1:45:28 PM, Kostakv wrote:
According to the catholic faith humans have free-will that makes us different than animals and they say animals are ruled by instinct. what do you think?

I once took a class in history called The History of Western Civilization, and I can remember a chapter of our course book which was devoted to the Reformation of the Catholic Church, and a few pages which were specifically about the views of John Calvin. Calvin believed that since God was supposed to be omniscient that meant that everything which would ever happen had to be preordained. A person was born preordained for Heaven or for Hell, and how they chose to live their lives would have no effect on it whatsoever. A wicked sociopath might go to Heaven while a saintly person would have no chance of avoiding Hell. I remember thinking for a long time about how totally insane that sounded.

I won't speak of Heaven or Hell, but if humans have no free will then that means we still live a predestined life, and I still find such a notion to be utterly insane. In one typical day I might come into contact with fifty other people, and the fact that I say hello to them, or hold the door, or any one of a million different things means that I somehow affect their day. And then they, in turn, will have an effect on most people they meet. In a very short time the number in interactions can become incredible, and to believe that each and every one of them has been preordained since who knows when simply doesn't sound believable.

As far as animals go, they do seem to react much more often than they consciously act, although I can't say that they never make solitary decisions. I've watched some animals do some pretty clever things, and it seemed they were doing them to gain a specific result, but I can't know what level of creativity was involved. To answer the question, though, I would definitely have to say that yet, we do have free will.
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6/11/2014 11:22:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 2:04:11 PM, Kostakv wrote:
Does that mean humans don't have an instinct?

Why would the presence of free will preclude the possibility that we might also inherit or develop instincts? If another person swings at your head with an open hand then it's instinct to duck, but if you know it is coming then your free will can overcome your instinct and you can accept the blow.