I know this has been discussed before, but I have read Sam Harris' book Free Will and Michael Shermer's book The Believing Brain, and I must say that I agree with both authors. Studies show that our brains make a decision on an unconscious level three tenths of a second and sometimes more before we even consciously know we're going to act. To take a short quote from Shermer's book: "The neural activity that precedes the intention to act is inaccessible to our conscious mind, so we experience a sense of free will. But it is an illusion, caused by the fact that we cannot identify the cause of the awareness of our intention to act".

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Therefore Frank and Jesse James had no possible other choice except to become bank and train robbers. Jeffrey Dahmer was pre-determined to kill and eat people even before he was born. Be all you can be!

I'm sorry. ROTFLMAO here! I just can't help it.

Yep...In an entirely causal universe that simply is the case. These are the facts. You were causally determined to roll on the floor laughing your ass off at the facts. ;-)

Hey, Trick. What you are saying and suggesting is total predestination. So, what is the point of anything?

I can either work and make money, or starve and die. If I do the latter I was predetermined to do so. If I do the former I was predetermined to do so. I see this that I had 2 choices. Regardless of what I do and what happens, you would then call it predetermined?

Surely, you jest.

I'm done. I quit with this nonsense!

So, what is the point of anything?

There is a huge distinction between fatalism and determinism. Determinism explains that our conscious thought is part of the causal process. That includes deliberating on working to make money or starving and dying (and output of that that necessarily follows from the causal brain states that will think about these thing in a very specific way). Not having free will doesn't mean there are no reasons to do anything. That's defeatism and fatalism (the idea that we are fated to X outcome no matter what we do).

All of your points above.

Trick, logic doesn't tell anyone anything. You are concluding.

Logic tells me that all causal events stem to back before we are even born.

All causal events stem to back before we are even born.

Your evidence?

An acausal event would have no temporal or spatial determinacy, so would be entirely out of our control.

Your evidence?

And so on.

And so on;

My evidence? Newton's Laws and quantum indeterminacy. If you think human consciousness eludes the laws of physics, then frankly I don't see any consistent reason for you to reject God.

Jonathan, I replied to Trick's post and you appear to be replying to mine.

Are you and Trick the same person?

No, I am merely taking a similar position in this instance. I apologize that I'm interjecting unsolicited.

Okay, but surely you know the five words "Newton's Laws and quantum indeterminacy" do not qualify as evidence. There are two chains of inference missing.

Surely, it would be redundant for me to explain Newton's Laws.

Trick, logic doesn't tell anyone anything. You are concluding.

That's a bit pedantic. I don't mind pedantics when they are necessary. Obviously logic doesn't "talk", conclusions follow. "Tells me" is colloquial.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm making any arguments in those bullet points (they are conclusions). I've written an entire book on this topic explaining the logic. Your question was "Does evidence or faith tell you so?" which I answered (if we are being pedantic). As for your next "your evidence?" questions, I'll very briefly summarize why, but again I have numerous chapters addressing each of these in an over 300 page book, so the "evidence" isn't being represented, only a fraction to give an idea.

"All causal events stem to back before we are even born."

Your evidence?

In a deterministic universe (one where there are no acausal events), each event logically stems to the next. Otherwise a self-contradictory cause is needed (which has to do with cause X cannot both be the cause of Y and not the cause of Y - as that's a self-contradiction). We could go more thoroughly over why this is the case if it's not obvious to you.

I did "mis-speak" on this sentence as I meant in an entirely causal universe. In one where acausal events happen, causal events can stem back to an acausal event (which can never be "caused by us") that might happen after we are born.

"An acausal event would have no temporal or spatial determinacy, so would be entirely out of our control."

Your evidence?

An acausal event is an event that happens which does not have a cause. Temporal and spatial determinacy imply a funneling aspect (a cause that lead such to a specific location or to happen at a specific time). It follows logically that an event without a cause wouldn't have any determinacy (as determinacy implies causation).

Have a great day good sir.

Constraint means that there is something keeping you from doing what you want to do. 

Freedom, as usually understood, is a negative concept.  It implies a lack of constraint.  

If you think determinism implies no free will, you need to show some constraint on people's will. 

Suppose you put a fence around a tree.  Is the tree constrained by the fence? 

Similarly, in what way does determinism prevent us from doing what we want to do? 



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