Re: [asa] Four myths about I.D.; four myths about T.E.

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Wed Jul 02 2008 - 16:17:58 EDT

Determinism is a matter about which I have found an immense amount of
confusion. The usual discussion posits causation/determinism and
chance/indeterminism, or something similar. Free will is usually
associated with the latter. But this is silly, for human freedom demands
a regular world. Human choice is circumscribed. I can't choose to flap my
arms and fly. If the ground is icy, my intention to walk may be thwarted.
If my feet head up and my head heads down, it is not my decision. So a
different label for free will is self-determination. It can exist only in
a controlled causal environment. If a person makes the difference between
available alternatives, then the person is responsible for the outcome.

Faced with a serious threat, we generally exonerate a person for what
otherwise would be immoral. However, a truly honorable individual may
respond to the ultimate threat, "I'll die before I'll do that."

What I have noted is that, in the physical environment, the very small
(quanta) are apparently indeterministic. But the randomness produces the
causal regularity of the large. However, human beings introduce a
different element. We then talk of causal chains, though we should think
of causal networks. Flipping the switch causes the light to go on only
when a vast number of other matters hold. Then, if there is a
light-sensitive switch, the reduced external light causes the bulb to
light. But if Joe is the one who flips the switch as the sun sets, I
cannot say that the reduced external light caused the bulb to light.
Dave (ASA)

On Wed, 02 Jul 2008 14:36:19 -0400 Collin R Brendemuehl
<collinb@brendemuehl.net> writes:
>
> That's right.
> There has been a growth in the number of determinists.
> And as I qualified (acknowledging an error) this is among reformed
> theologians.
>
> At 01:18 PM 7/2/2008, you wrote:
> >Proof by assertion isn't very convincing. I didn't say that there
>
> >were no determinists today but showed that your general claim, "for
>
> >the last 200 years or so,
> >much of both theology and naturalism has ended up with a form of
> >determinism," is clearly wrong.
> >
> >FWIW, 2008 is the 250th anniversary of Jonathan Edwards' death.
> >
> >Shalom
> >George
> ><http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/>http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: <mailto:collinb@brendemuehl.net>Collin Brendemuehl
> >To: <mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>George Murphy ;
> <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>ASA
> >Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 12:40 PM
> >Subject: Re: [asa] Four myths about I.D.; four myths about T.E.
> >
> >There was Jonathan Edwards long ago.
> >There are more today, like John Frame.
> >Not outside of reality, but perhaps limited in scope.
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: George Murphy [mailto:GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com]
> >Sent: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:25 PM
> >To: 'asa', 'Collin R Brendemuehl'
> >Subject: Re: [asa] Four myths about I.D.; four myths about T.E.
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Collin R Brendemuehl"
> ><<mailto:collinb@brendemuehl.net>collinb@brendemuehl.net>
> >To: "asa" <<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>asa@calvin.edu>
> >Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 12:08 PM
> >Subject: Re: [asa] Four myths about I.D.; four myths about T.E.
> >
> > >
> > > I'm not suggesting that all are determinists.
> > > All I'm suggesting is that *some* science is heading in the
> wrong
> > direction.
> > > It seems a strange coincidence that, for the last 200 years or
> so,
> > > much of both theology and naturalism has ended up with a form of
>
> > determinism.
> >In the last 200 years or so mainstream science has come to be seen
>
> >as non-deterministic in a fundamental sense with quantum & chaos
> >theories. & tendencies in much of theology have been in the
> >direction of recognizing that creation has more freedom than many
> >traditional views allowed. This is obviously the case with process
>
> >theology but even those who see themselves as more aligned with
> >traditional theologies hold to something like Polkinghorne's "free
>
> >process" argument. So your last sentence seems to have little
> basis in fact.
> >
> >Shalom
> >George
> ><http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/>http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Collin Brendemuehl
> http://www.brendemuehl.net
>
> "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot
> lose"
> -- Jim Elliott
>
>
> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
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>
>
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Received on Wed Jul 2 16:21:10 2008

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