Heh, well I can't really say your writing is good can I, since I only read an introduction. But it seemed interesting enough to keep reading which is half the battle for a successful story (Good beginnings and good endings carry a lot of weight which I'm sure you know).
By the way thanks a ton for your critique of my novel. I've been very busy lately but I'm a few weeks away from having time to jump back into the world of writing again. I've been mulling over adding some content and revising one or two things about the characters. You'd mentioned before you didn't seem to understand why Dr. Akuje is there and I think I get what you mean. Been thinking about it. I think one dynamic missing is Gemma's slight sense of 'paranoia' and him taking advantage of that to control her.
Anyway was just thinking about it today. Thanks again.
Yeah, I see what you mean. There are too many pieces said for the opponent to invalidate the ones that are wrong. It doesn't seem possible to cut off every tangent. Basically I think Ethos wins this.
My argument in the thread was this:
An argument is an argument, and by no other factor should it be evaluated. But, the source may give insight into what unspoken or unseen details the argument is based off of, which help you guess the pieces of the argument that aren't explained that well.
I am not saying that a person's background validates their argument. I am just saying that their background may help you understand what premises their argument is based on if the ground the argument is based on isn't explained that well.
Either way, free will hasn't been achieved by this explanation. Whether by simply existing or having been created by a separate entity (such as God), the Code is still pre written and the entity hasn't its own, self determined code. Regardless though, it still does have some code, and that is how decisions are made. So although we don't have free will, we can still make decisions somehow.
I agree it is true that if you preserved the code, then the entity would be preserved, but I don't know where that fits into any of this.
I hope I adequately answered your question. If you have any more questions I'll do my best to answer those. I hope this made sense.
The environment and its factors, for this argument, are essentially a completely different, irrelevant problem, but still in the same vein. If the original code, or preference was 'unique' or self chosen, it doesn't matter what the environment suggests an individual to do, if the entity had free will, its responses to the environment would still be based on that code. It's brought up because people say the environment has a key role in building your preference, which is true if the preference didn't come from a different source. Without a non-external/worldly or physically absent or separated 'code source' in that case, the environment does play a key role. However, my argument, which suggests a super, extra, above and transcending body and mind experience, suggests that if there was an original code for the physical experience to draw off, the environment is interpreted into the original code, not writing that actual code itself.
mentioned intelligences earlier; Intelligences circumvent God writing our code, because they assume that us, or our 'code' was not created by a separate entity. However, simply coming into existence, or having existed forever, proposes another problem. Again, where did that 'code' come from? Did the intelligence simply pop into existence with it? Essentially, the intelligence did not choose what code it got. This initial code it 'popped into existence' with is what I call a preference. Whatever entity we originally were had a preference, or predisposition to make certain decisions given certain data, which preferences it did not choose, therefore it does not have free will. It in a way cannot have a determined preference, because for it to make its own preference, it would have to have already had a preference, and that preference, or original code, was not of it's own origin. It can't be.
To understand this, think of it this way: my program acts as I write it. It does not have any 'free will' because I have made all its decisions by writing its initial code. I don't know what it will encounter or ultimately what it will deal with, but by writing its initial code, I determined what it would do with all those things.
So the question for humans is, where did the influence that determined our original 'code' come from?
Some could say God, and if they do, then God has essentially written our code and made all our decisions for us. That option does not result in humans having free will.
As for free will: If you imagine writing code, you have to program in what the function does, of course. You tell the function what to do given certain data, and it performs actions based on that. Humans are an interesting 'code' in that we can concatenate more code onto our existing code. However, this is based on our current code. And reasonably you could conjecture that if you traced back our code to some point, you'd find the original code that all the other code was built off.
The problem of free will is that if I have code that says to do something, who wrote that code? For a being to have free will, that 'code' must be uninfluenced by any other external aspect. In a sense, the entity must have self written code.
I think it may be helpful to know I'm LDS, or belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A user named Ermine who was here a while ago was also a member, and she did a thread about it, so if you want more imformation on that aspect, I could link it.
I'm only mentioning this because some of the aspects in some of our lesser known (but still very prominant) doctrine have not exactly influence, or determined, but certainly added or suggested some ideas that I have considered in my thoughts on free will. To mention that isn't precisely related, but I thought its relevant to some degree. Mostly what I draw on is the concept of intelligences, which is a word referring to an entity or spirit that has always existed, that was never created.
Yes, I think I know what you mean. Nostalgia is a good way to describe the feeling, but it's of such an inspirational kind. It seems like light through the trees evokes some sacred meaning from deep within the heart.
Thank you so much for sharing your pictures, they all capture such lovely feelings ^^ Have you happened to spend time in the redwoods? There are some amazing opportunities for inspirational views there. (one of my favorites: http://marcschoenfeld.com/NiceRedwoodSunDiffuse.jpg )
I'm a fan of pictures from underneath trees, or I guess the view. It entices me really well for some reason. It just has a beauty you can't get anywhere else, a nostalgic feeling. The sun in the background, the leaves are illuminated nicely... I'll upload an album of them, just for you.
Unfortunately some of them were taken with not the best camera, but I hope you'll excuse that for what it's supposed to be.