Posted: Jun 06, 2021 5:16 pm
by Keep It Real
Religions have it that humans have free will, and as Ben Stein put it in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, under atheism there can be no free will. This fact is detailed fairly thoroughly by Sam Harris in his book on the topic.

It strikes me that the free will issue is the number one dilemma and grey area surrounding the theism/atheism debate. Society demands we are held overwhelmingly responsible for our actions, although in truth we are, ultimately, not.

My (recent) conclusion is that, simply put, people can take responsibility for their actions, even if there is no free will (which seems proven TBH), and that in taking responsibility improved outcomes which ARE REAL (unlike the existence of free will), as real as a chocolate cake or chandelier, occur. In that way the issue can be resolved in a tangible, real world, solid facet. Voila.

The good, the bad and the ugly - humans need claim responsibility. I'd go even further in fact, and say that it is that taking of responsibility which is the definitive and paragon of being a mature human adult. A responsible adult - there's that word again: responsibility.

If it were up to me there's be a big song and dance ritual where teenagers undertake they formally take responsibility for their actions...I guess teenager is the right age range (Julia Sweeny relayed that her father told her that age was 7 years, according to God, IIRC, but that seems a little young to really lock it down IMO). A coming of age type affair.

I'm sort of....annoyed? that I had to work all this out for myself at the age of approaching 40. It took that long I think largely because society is so virtually unanimously "on the fence" or even "in denial" about the (non) existence of free will (the thread here on free will is approaching 700 pages, for example).

As I've solemnly vowed to take responsibility for my actions however I will magnanimously forfeit any grudge I might bear at society for being so wishy washy on this uber-crux issue. I take full credit for behaving so well in my attitude to the issue too. That's the beauty of taking responsibility, the bad, the ugly AND the good. Major incentive to maximise the latter, of course.

A salient (and tragic) tale to end on. I have a friend whose daughter is in a mental institute, and has been for several years, due to the fact she takes no responsibility for ANYTHING. Such is the failing of society, and the zeitgeist in general, on this issue.

Got it down...hope it reads ok. I'm personally quite pleased to have accomplished the assembly of these bones at any rate.

Time for a coffee :coffee: