Author Topic: Barney&Frank Comic Strip  (Read 978 times)

Online Cavebear

Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« on: January 30, 2019, 12:39:32 AM »
A recent comic strip had a character saying "I have been drawn to the atheistic concept of the non-existence of free will and that man is hopelessly compelled by instinct and the laws of physics”.

This confused me.  I consider that atheism involves free will and that theism does not.  Yet the person who writes this strip seems rational and thoughtful.  I think, being free of any deistic control, that I have free will.  And I don't agree with ideas that I am all cellular response prior to actual thought. 

Can anyone explain this apparent discrepancy?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Plu

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 01:49:00 AM »
There are people who believe and do not believe in free will on all sides. All this quote shows is what camp the comic's writer is in and how little they know about atheism. (Or how little they pretend to know about it to pander to people who think atheism is a bad thing). Especially considering that's a really weird thing to say, although that might just be because it's in a comic book.
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Online Mr.Obvious

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 01:58:23 AM »
Yeah Cave. While atheism doesn't automatically lead one to not believing in free will, you'll find both Camps in theists and atheists alike.

We had a long conversation in a thread on this forum that bordered on just that. It was about randomness and  control, free will and Some other stuff. I think i mentioned there that i don't believe in 'actual' free will, though it depends on what level you look at it.

If you want, i could try to make my point clear again. Be warned though, last you said was you concluding that i wasn't an atheist but a deist. (While i upheld it was because i was a materialist.)
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.


Online Cavebear

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 02:02:25 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
There are people who believe and do not believe in free will on all sides. All this quote shows is what camp the comic's writer is in and how little they know about atheism. (Or how little they pretend to know about it to pander to people who think atheism is a bad thing). Especially considering that's a really weird thing to say, although that might just be because it's in a comic book.

Well, it is a daily comic strip, not a comic book, but I understand your point.  The strip often involves thoughtful ideas, so the author isn't stupid.  But I agree it is hard to tell if he is pandering to an audience or stating his real thoughts or even challenging the readers to think about some questions. 

But this one was somewhat out of the normal thoughts he suggests and I was surprised.  I would even consider that, since he has a son and another co-writer involved, it might be that "they" went outside the normal boundaries of the characters.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Cavebear

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 02:10:56 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Yeah Cave. While atheism doesn't automatically lead one to not believing in free will, you'll find both Camps in theists and atheists alike.

We had a long conversation in a thread on this forum that bordered on just that. It was about randomness and  control, free will and Some other stuff. I think i mentioned there that i don't believe in 'actual' free will, though it depends on what level you look at it.

If you want, i could try to make my point clear again. Be warned though, last you said was you concluding that i wasn't an atheist but a deist. (While i upheld it was because i was a materialist.)

Eliminating the double negative says that you think that atheism leads to free will, while theism requires that one doesn't (If a deity knows what you will do, you don't have it). 

Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Mr.Obvious

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2019, 02:23:05 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Eliminating the double negative says that you think that atheism leads to free will, while theism requires that one doesn't (If a deity knows what you will do, you don't have it).

No Cave. If we're going to do this, you're going to have to refrein from telling me what i think and claim. That's what you did last time.
Do you want to understand the point? Or do you just want to point out why it is wrong?

Theism does not lead you to believing in free will. Atheism does not lead you to not believing in free will.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.


Online Cavebear

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2019, 02:41:58 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
No Cave. If we're going to do this, you're going to have to refrein from telling me what i think and claim. That's what you did last time.
Do you want to understand the point? Or do you just want to point out why it is wrong?

Theism does not lead you to believing in free will. Atheism does not lead you to not believing in free will.

First, stop the double negatives.  It is both annoying and logically uninformative.  I just eliminate the 2 negatives and get a positive statement.  It only causes confusion to no purpose.

Second, consider the following:

1.  I will always state what I think someone else means.  That reflection indicates that I've read what a person has said and that I have thought about it.
2.  If my understanding is inaccurate, state why.
3.  If anyone deliberately makes their comment difficult to parse, ignoring it is appropriate.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Plu

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2019, 02:58:48 AM »
There's no double negative in "atheism doesn't automatically lead one to not believing in free will", the two negatives refer to different concepts.

You can't get rid of them, it's just difficult to parse because it's a complicated concept. I'm not seeing any way to make it easier to read.

Although maybe this can help? The sentence is read like this:

NOT( atheism automatically leads to NOT (free will))

Eliminating both negatives leads to changing the meaning of the "atheism automatically leads to" part, because that only has a single negative.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 03:04:01 AM by Plu »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Online Mr.Obvious

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2019, 03:48:55 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
First, stop the double negatives.  It is both annoying and logically uninformative.  I just eliminate the 2 negatives and get a positive statement.  It only causes confusion to no purpose.

Second, consider the following:

1.  I will always state what I think someone else means.  That reflection indicates that I've read what a person has said and that I have thought about it.
2.  If my understanding is inaccurate, state why.
3.  If anyone deliberately makes their comment difficult to parse, ignoring it is appropriate.

Pelase see Plu's response.

Also, if your goal is to understand something: you can ask if what you understand the other's position to be, is correct. You on the other hand tend to say, at least in these conversations: you believe X, but that's flawed because of 'this and that'. Rather than: you mean 'X'?
And that tends to slow down the actual conversation because it's 'Y' more oft than not. Or it was, last time, at least.

I understand that we stand in radically different camps on this question of free will. That's why if we're going to have a significan conversation, we need to go in with the mindset of trying to understand the other's argument. Not with the idea of beating it.

But let me try this. Not less complicated imho, but here goes:
Atheism and theism don't lead you to a certain opinion on the existance of free will. Not pro, nor con.

So we haven't even started the real conversation and we're already entangled :)
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.


Online Cavebear

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2019, 04:36:30 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Pelase see Plu's response.

Also, if your goal is to understand something: you can ask if what you understand the other's position to be, is correct. You on the other hand tend to say, at least in these conversations: you believe X, but that's flawed because of 'this and that'. Rather than: you mean 'X'?
And that tends to slow down the actual conversation because it's 'Y' more oft than not. Or it was, last time, at least.

I understand that we stand in radically different camps on this question of free will. That's why if we're going to have a significan conversation, we need to go in with the mindset of trying to understand the other's argument. Not with the idea of beating it.

But let me try this. Not less complicated imho, but here goes:
Atheism and theism don't lead you to a certain opinion on the existance of free will. Not pro, nor con.

So we haven't even started the real conversation and we're already entangled :)

I think understand the point Plu tried to make, but I disagree.  Cogito Ergo Sum, and all that.

But what I don't understand is the idea that atheism implies no free will OR that theism CAN offer it.  Theisms suggest to me that there is a controlling power that "knows all sees all and controls all" (or it isn't a deity) and that the lack of such a being means that there is not a controlling power and we are on our own and can make decisions for ourselves with no deistic pre-understanding or control over what we think.

So, OK, suggest to me how an intelligent being does not have free will.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Plu

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2019, 04:49:28 AM »
Quote
So, OK, suggest to me how an intelligent being does not have free will.

The simplest version of the argument is "If free will does not exist, an intelligent being cannot have it.".

You seem to imply that an intelligent being must automatically have free will, but then that requires that we need to prove that humans are genuinely intelligent and not just pretending in the same way that computers (which you probably think don't have free will?) can imitate some forms of human intelligence.

Alternatively, suggest to me how a rock does not have free will. That might shed some light on what you mean with "intelligence" and "free will".
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Online Cavebear

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2019, 05:02:46 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
The simplest version of the argument is "If free will does not exist, an intelligent being cannot have it.".

You seem to imply that an intelligent being must automatically have free will, but then that requires that we need to prove that humans are genuinely intelligent and not just pretending in the same way that computers (which you probably think don't have free will?) can imitate some forms of human intelligence.

Alternatively, suggest to me how a rock does not have free will. That might shed some light on what you mean with "intelligence" and "free will".

The assumption that Free Will does not exist because Free Will does not exist is a non-starter.  A feature of intelligence is thought and thought suggests Free Will; otherwise it is not actually thought.

I think the question of human thought is mostly settled these days.  The mere asking if we have it seems to answer the question.

I agree that computers (as exist today) do not have free will.  Whether they are GETTING there is an open question, but they don't have it yet.

A rock does not have Free Will in any sense, lacking an ability to direct its actions in any way.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Plu

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2019, 05:10:19 AM »
Quote
The assumption that Free Will does not exist because Free Will does not exist is a non-starter.

It's the reverse of "Free will exists because intelligent beings must have free will and we are intelligent", that's also assuming humans are "intelligent", but I'm not sure what you mean with that.

Quote
A feature of intelligence is thought and thought suggests Free Will; otherwise it is not actually thought.

What is the difference between a thought with free will and a thought without free will?

Quote
A rock does not have Free Will in any sense, lacking an ability to direct its actions in any way.

Alright. So what about an autonomous car? That has the ability to direct its own actions, yet does not have free will according to you?
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Online Cavebear

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2019, 05:23:22 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
It's the reverse of "Free will exists because intelligent beings must have free will and we are intelligent", that's also assuming humans are "intelligent", but I'm not sure what you mean with that.

What is the difference between a thought with free will and a thought without free will?

Alright. So what about an autonomous car? That has the ability to direct its own actions, yet does not have free will according to you?

If humans are not intelligent and lack Free Will, then there is no reason I should pay attention to anything you post since (according to you) there is no intelligence involved by either of us and both of us should stop posting.  Please stop first.  ;)

Evidence (such as scientific exploration) suggests to me that humans are intelligent.  I can ask how we evolved.  I can ask how horses evolved.  Horses cant ask how they evolved.

A thought with Free Will is actually a thought.  There can be no thought without Free Will. 

An autonomous car is programmed by intelligence.  It has none of its own.  If you tell an autonomous car that a divided line means a safe route, it will follow the divided line off a cliff if Wile E Coyote paints the road that way.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Plu

Re: Barney&Frank Comic Strip
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2019, 05:40:18 AM »
Quote
If humans are not intelligent and lack Free Will, then there is no reason I should pay attention to anything you post since (according to you) there is no intelligence involved by either of us and both of us should stop posting.  Please stop first.  ;)

If humans are not intelligent and lack Free Will, I have no ability to decide whether I'll stop posting, so that won't change much. (You're even assuming I'm a human being and not some clever script pretending to be a human, in which case I might actually lack free will as you're describing it.)

Quote
A thought with Free Will is actually a thought.

But then what is a though without free will? "Not a thought" doesn't really narrow it down much. What is a thing that feels and acts like a thought, but isn't because it lacks free will?

Quote
An autonomous car is programmed by intelligence.  It has none of its own.

This seems to be an assertion, more than an argument.

Quote
If you tell an autonomous car that a divided line means a safe route, it will follow the divided line off a cliff if Wile E Coyote paints the road that way.

I sure hope not! That would lead to disaster when such a car comes across a sinkhole, collapsed bridge, or other unexpected obstacle. But they can actually deal with those. The whole difficulty with building autonomous vehicles is actually their needed ability to adapt to unforeseen things happening on the road. They're good enough that they react to situations faster than humans can, and sometimes even react to things that humans don't even notice. (But that, on later analysis, certainly seem to make sense and were smart choices)
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk