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  1. #181
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If one has free will to do X or not do X, they do not necessarily have to either and therefore are not operating under the constraint of necessity when it comes to X.

    You said:

    "You are still free to comply or act in any way you wish with the gun pointed at your head. I'd say that's free will."

    So accordingly, even with extreme coercion (doing X would result in death) as long as one is capable of making a choice and acting on it, they still have free will. So it sounds like it would take a "puppet" scenario (such as someone takes your hand and forces it on the lever that votes for Trump instead of Clinton) to override your free will.
    Ok, so do you agree with that? Because that follows what I've said all along about God and the government.

    ---------- Post added at 02:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:29 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But either way, you tell me.

    Using the voting scenario, give me an example of someone who wants to vote for Clinton instead of Trump being denied free will when it comes to their vote.
    Maybe if they are brainwashed such as in a Manchurian Candidate scenario or in a cult? I'm not talking about someone who is just enthralled by someone charismatic or misinformed/tricked.

    Hmm, would voluntarily giving up one's free will be an act of free will?
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  2. #182
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Ok, so do you agree with that? Because that follows what I've said all along about God and the government.
    You will need to restate your point regarding that before I can confirm.


    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Maybe if they are brainwashed such as in a Manchurian Candidate scenario or in a cult?
    It depends on how you define brainwash and such but assuming that they have absolutely no ability to do other than what their leader says, then they are essentially puppets to the leader so that corresponds to how I believe you've been defining free will.


    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Hmm, would voluntarily giving up one's free will be an act of free will?
    Yes. But afterwards, they have no free will. Just like if you voluntarily jump off a cliff and die, you no longer have free will because you are dead.

  3. #183
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    You will need to restate your point regarding that before I can confirm.
    Here's where I think it began - post 156 - you can see Isbled's objections, and my explanations afterwards, in the next few posts after that.

    "I don't think I am. IF the God of the Bible exists as described he forces people to believe in him. Denying him is punished.

    Laws exist. I am forced to follow them or I am punished.

    However, in both cases I am can choose to not comply."
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

  4. #184
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Here's where I think it began - post 156 - you can see Isbled's objections, and my explanations afterwards, in the next few posts after that.

    "I don't think I am. IF the God of the Bible exists as described he forces people to believe in him. Denying him is punished.

    Laws exist. I am forced to follow them or I am punished.

    However, in both cases I am can choose to not comply."
    Of course it depends on what "force" is being referred to. One can be forced in such a way that they don't have a choice (like making them a puppet).

    But in the context of the discussion, I assume "force" is coercion (Do what I want you to do or you will be punished) and in that case, you are correct. A person can choose to not comply even when threatened. So they still have free will.

  5. #185
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Of course it depends on what "force" is being referred to. One can be forced in such a way that they don't have a choice (like making them a puppet).

    But in the context of the discussion, I assume "force" is coercion (Do what I want you to do or you will be punished) and in that case, you are correct. A person can choose to not comply even when threatened. So they still have free will.
    No need to assume, that's what I said.

    Ok, good, so that's cleared up.

    Thank you.
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  6. #186
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    No need to assume, that's what I said.

    Ok, good, so that's cleared up.

    Thank you.
    Nice to see you got someone to do the heavy thinking for you... still doesn't exactly help.

    You still have to reconcile the contradiction you made earlier. If you were forced to believe in God (lacked free will) then how could someone else (anyone else) be a disbeliever?

    In addition, I don't accept Mican's definition of free will which you co-opted. There is no definition of free will which allows for the decision-maker to be coerced. This is something Mican invented and you accepted since it offered you a tiny hole to worm your way through. Putting a gun to someone's head does not allow a freedom of choice. Yes, you could choose to die, but is that a choice? Let's consider this with logic.

    Two levers exists, A and B
    Someone holds a gun to your head. Pull A and live. Pull B and die.
    Assumptions: You would pull B free of coercion. You do not want to die (you want the potential of free will in the future)
    If you pull B and die, you lose your freedom and all potential free will in the future.
    If you pull A and live, you have acted out someone else's decision.
    Assuming you wish to maintain the potential of free will in other decisions, you can only choose A. If A is your only real option, then it is not really a choice and pulling it isn't an example of free will.

    Let's use another example to hit this home. Per Mican's (and your) definition of free will, slaves picked cotton of their own free will. In other words, this your working definition of free will, which actually does seem made up, and does not define anything approximating free will.
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  7. #187
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Two levers exists, A and B
    Someone holds a gun to your head. Pull A and live. Pull B and die.
    Assumptions: You would pull B free of coercion. You do not want to die (you want the potential of free will in the future)
    If you pull B and die, you lose your freedom and all potential free will in the future.
    If you pull A and live, you have acted out someone else's decision.
    Assuming you wish to maintain the potential of free will in other decisions, you can only choose A. If A is your only real option, then it is not really a choice and pulling it isn't an example of free will.
    I choose to pull neither.

    ---------- Post added at 03:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post

    Let's use another example to hit this home. Per Mican's (and your) definition of free will, slaves picked cotton of their own free will. In other words, this your working definition of free will, which actually does seem made up, and does not define anything approximating free will.
    No slave ever disobeyed?

    ---------- Post added at 03:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:02 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post

    In addition, I don't accept Mican's definition of free will which you co-opted. There is no definition of free will which allows for the decision-maker to be coerced. This is something Mican invented and you accepted since it offered you a tiny hole to worm your way through. Putting a gun to someone's head does not allow a freedom of choice. Yes, you could choose to die, but is that a choice?
    I choose to try and get the gun from my captor. I choose to try and negotiate with them.
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  8. #188
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    I choose to pull neither.

    ---------- Post added at 03:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:01 PM ----------



    No slave ever disobeyed?

    ---------- Post added at 03:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:02 PM ----------



    I choose to try and get the gun from my captor. I choose to try and negotiate with them.
    So, just to be clear, you are claiming black people were slaves of their own free will?
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  9. #189
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    So, just to be clear, you are claiming black people were slaves of their own free will?
    Are you saying they were programmed like robots?
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  10. #190
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    In addition, I don't accept Mican's definition of free will which you co-opted. There is no definition of free will which allows for the decision-maker to be coerced. This is something Mican invented and you accepted since it offered you a tiny hole to worm your way through. Putting a gun to someone's head does not allow a freedom of choice. Yes, you could choose to die, but is that a choice? Let's consider this with logic.

    Two levers exists, A and B
    Someone holds a gun to your head. Pull A and live. Pull B and die.
    Assumptions: You would pull B free of coercion. You do not want to die (you want the potential of free will in the future)
    If you pull B and die, you lose your freedom and all potential free will in the future.
    If you pull A and live, you have acted out someone else's decision.
    Assuming you wish to maintain the potential of free will in other decisions, you can only choose A. If A is your only real option, then it is not really a choice and pulling it isn't an example of free will.

    And your scenario is based on the assumption that one would want to maintain the potential of free will in the future and avoid the consequences of dying. But that is not necessarily the case. What if pulling lever A would kill your whole family but leave you alive? If that's the case, then your assumption does not necessarily hold as many, perhaps most, people would choose lever B and choose their own death to the alternative.

    And sure, that's a bit different than your original scenario but that point remains that there are situations where giving up one's own life is the preferable option and therefore it is not necessarily true that one will have no choice but to save their own life and therefore it's not necessarily true that threatening one's life removes their free will to act in a manner other than what will save them.

    Of course you can dream up a scenario where people will universally choose one option over another due to coercion (you can choose between winning a million dollars or losing an arm), but that does not mean that they have no free will to choose the less desirable option. No one would choose losing an arm but that doesn't mean that they CAN'T choose losing an arm.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Let's use another example to hit this home. Per Mican's (and your) definition of free will, slaves picked cotton of their own free will. In other words, this your working definition of free will, which actually does seem made up, and does not define anything approximating free will.
    I'm sure that at least once during the slave era, a slave refused to pick cotton and likely suffered severe consequences (let's say he was whipped for it). So the master said "pick cotton or take a whipping" and the slave opted for the whipping. If taking the whipping is an act of choice (free will), then likewise choosing to pick cotton is an act of choice (free will).

    Or would argue that choosing to take a whipping is not an act of free will?

    ---------- Post added at 05:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:33 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    So, just to be clear, you are claiming black people were slaves of their own free will?
    No, they were not. They were physically grabbed and thrown into ships and kept in chains at no point could they have chosen to not become slaves.

    It's sort of like how you cannot choose to not plummet once you fall off a cliff.
    Last edited by mican333; July 9th, 2019 at 04:29 PM.

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  12. #191
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Are you saying they were programmed like robots?
    No. So, are you saying they were slaves of their own free will?

    ---------- Post added at 11:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:14 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And your scenario is based on the assumption that one would want to maintain the potential of free will in the future and avoid the consequences of dying. But that is not necessarily the case. What if pulling lever A would kill your whole family but leave you alive? If that's the case, then your assumption does not necessarily hold as many, perhaps most, people would choose lever B and choose their own death to the alternative.

    And sure, that's a bit different than your original scenario but that point remains that there are situations where giving up one's own life is the preferable option and therefore it is not necessarily true that one will have no choice but to save their own life and therefore it's not necessarily true that threatening one's life removes their free will to act in a manner other than what will save them.

    Of course you can dream up a scenario where people will universally choose one option over another due to coercion (you can choose between winning a million dollars or losing an arm), but that does not mean that they have no free will to choose the less desirable option. No one would choose losing an arm but that doesn't mean that they CAN'T choose losing an arm.





    I'm sure that at least once during the slave era, a slave refused to pick cotton and likely suffered severe consequences (let's say he was whipped for it). So the master said "pick cotton or take a whipping" and the slave opted for the whipping. If taking the whipping is an act of choice (free will), then likewise choosing to pick cotton is an act of choice (free will).

    Or would argue that choosing to take a whipping is not an act of free will?

    ---------- Post added at 05:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:33 PM ----------



    No, they were not. They were physically grabbed and thrown into ships and kept in chains at no point could they have chosen to not become slaves.

    It's sort of like how you cannot choose to not plummet once you fall off a cliff.
    Obviously, if you change the pre-conditions in my example, then the conclusion changes. I didn't claim suicide couldn't be done of free will which is essentially what you have shown. I think, though, you are conflating the idea of determinism with free will.

    You are saying that having multiple choices is necessary and sufficient condition to demonstrate free will. A slave, who could run, work, or do nothing makes a choice but to call his act a demonstration of free will is misleading. I've noticed neither you nor CB will simply say slaves acted on their own free will. Even if one was forced to be brought to America to live as a slave, the choice to act as a slave was his and therefore, slavery was an exhibition of free will per you and CB. I'd suggest you are missing an important component of free will. Choice is a necessary condition. We both agree on that. However, I do not believe it is a sufficient condition. The absence of coercion must also exist. The choices must exist and the person must be able to make either choice, free from the coercion of another person. The slave did not act on his own free will. He was coerced and acted at the will of another. The slave's decision to choose slavery over death or beatings does not indicate free will. Just because the choice isn't predetermined does not mean the choice is a product of free will. I think beyond this, you'll have to provide me some sort of source from where you are getting your definition.
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  13. #192
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Obviously, if you change the pre-conditions in my example, then the conclusion changes. I didn't claim suicide couldn't be done of free will which is essentially what you have shown.
    But in your example, pulling lever B is essentially committing suicide so by showing that one can choose to commit suicide, I have shown that in your example, one does have free will to pull lever A (which will result in something relatively innocuous) or B.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    You are saying that having multiple choices is necessary and sufficient condition to demonstrate free will. A slave, who could run, work, or do nothing makes a choice but to call his act a demonstration of free will is misleading. I've noticed neither you nor CB will simply say slaves acted on their own free will. Even if one was forced to be brought to America to live as a slave, the choice to act as a slave was his and therefore, slavery was an exhibition of free will per you and CB.
    If one is a slave, then they cannot choose whether to act as a slave or not. Just like I cannot choose whether to act as a man or not since I can't choose to be anything other than an adult male human.

    And your slave example muddies the water because that scenario introduces a scenario where one is denied free will (whether to be a slave or not).

    And I clearly said that within being a slave, one can choose whether to pick cotton or suffer the consequences of refusing to pick cotton which qualifies as enacting free will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I'd suggest you are missing an important component of free will. Choice is a necessary condition. We both agree on that. However, I do not believe it is a sufficient condition. The absence of coercion must also exist. The choices must exist and the person must be able to make either choice, free from the coercion of another person.
    But that, by all appearances, is a made-up definition. I've looked up a dictionary definition and there's no mention of "lack of coercion".

    And a significant number of choices the people make in their daily lives are made under coercion to some extent. All laws are coercive with a penalty for violators. So is it an act of free will for me to CHOOSE to sit at a red light instead of running it and risking a ticket under the coercive penalty of law? Of course it is.

    Coercion can effect our choices but it does not rob us of our choice nor our free will.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    The slave did not act on his own free will. He was coerced and acted at the will of another. The slave's decision to choose slavery over death or beatings does not indicate free will.
    I reject the premise that the slave chose slavery so this argument is invalid (and again shows that your slavery example muddies the water). I agree that once a person becomes a slave, they can choose to commit suicide and escape slavery that way but once they were overpowered by others and given the status of slave, they had absolutely no choice in whether they became a slave or not.

    And once one is a slave and they have the choice to pick cotton or take a whipping, making either choice is an act of free will. So I have directly said that choosing to pick cotton when other options are available is an act of free will.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Just because the choice isn't predetermined does not mean the choice is a product of free will. I think beyond this, you'll have to provide me some sort of source from where you are getting your definition.
    And conversely. you will have to show me a definition that includes "free from coercion" if you are going to argue that that is part of the definition. But here is a definition.

    "Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

    And going back to the slave picking cotton, he has two unimpeded choices - cotton or whip. And his ideal choice, which would be escape, is impeded so it's not a choice. But there is nothing impeding him from choosing to pick cotton or choosing to be whipped. The coercion of the whip gives him an incentive to choose to work but it does not impede him from taking a whipping if he chooses to do that instead.

    And now, show me a definition of free will that says "free of coercion". If you can't, then I justifiably reject it as part of a valid definition.

    And clearly "impede" in the definition means that one is physically barred from performing the action, not influenced to choose to not do it due to coercion. I'm coerced to sit at a red light but there is nothing actually impeding me from running the red light (assuming there is no cross traffic that is). I have the unimpeded choice to sit or run the light and therefore my decision to sit or drive is an example of free will.
    Last edited by mican333; July 10th, 2019 at 12:27 PM.

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  15. #193
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    The absence of coercion must also exist.
    Why?

    ---------- Post added at 04:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    free from the coercion of another person.
    Why just another person? Doesn't your definition say "threat of necessity" or something similar? That could be anything. "I'm hungry" therefore no free will. Free will is not possible with your definition.
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  16. #194
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But in your example, pulling lever B is essentially committing suicide so by showing that one can choose to commit suicide, I have shown that in your example, one does have free will to pull lever A (which will result in something relatively innocuous) or B.




    If one is a slave, then they cannot choose whether to act as a slave or not. Just like I cannot choose whether to act as a man or not since I can't choose to be anything other than an adult male human.

    And your slave example muddies the water because that scenario introduces a scenario where one is denied free will (whether to be a slave or not).

    And I clearly said that within being a slave, one can choose whether to pick cotton or suffer the consequences of refusing to pick cotton which qualifies as enacting free will.



    But that, by all appearances, is a made-up definition. I've looked up a dictionary definition and there's no mention of "lack of coercion".

    And a significant number of choices the people make in their daily lives are made under coercion to some extent. All laws are coercive with a penalty for violators. So is it an act of free will for me to CHOOSE to sit at a red light instead of running it and risking a ticket under the coercive penalty of law? Of course it is.

    Coercion can effect our choices but it does not rob us of our choice nor our free will.




    I reject the premise that the slave chose slavery so this argument is invalid (and again shows that your slavery example muddies the water). I agree that once a person becomes a slave, they can choose to commit suicide and escape slavery that way but once they were overpowered by others and given the status of slave, they had absolutely no choice in whether they became a slave or not.

    And once one is a slave and they have the choice to pick cotton or take a whipping, making either choice is an act of free will. So I have directly said that choosing to pick cotton when other options are available is an act of free will.




    And conversely. you will have to show me a definition that includes "free from coercion" if you are going to argue that that is part of the definition. But here is a definition.

    "Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

    And going back to the slave picking cotton, he has two unimpeded choices - cotton or whip. And his ideal choice, which would be escape, is impeded so it's not a choice. But there is nothing impeding him from choosing to pick cotton or choosing to be whipped. The coercion of the whip gives him an incentive to choose to work but it does not impede him from taking a whipping if he chooses to do that instead.

    And now, show me a definition of free will that says "free of coercion". If you can't, then I justifiably reject it as part of a valid definition.

    And clearly "impede" in the definition means that one is physically barred from performing the action, not influenced to choose to not do it due to coercion. I'm coerced to sit at a red light but there is nothing actually impeding me from running the red light (assuming there is no cross traffic that is). I have the unimpeded choice to sit or run the light and therefore my decision to sit or drive is an example of free will.
    What does unimpeded mean? Free from constraint, unblocked, unimpeded... Coercion and impeded are synonymous. Your narrow definition of impeded is not supported by its actual definition.
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/unimpeded
    "not
    stopped
    ,
    blocked
    , or
    prevented
    by anything"

    Synonyms from the same link include freedom, liberty, and independent. Clearly threatening someone to perform some action meets the definition of impeding someone.


    The threat of being beaten is a form of coercion, an impediment. I should also point out that being a slave is a condition and needn't be permanent. Someone can choose to be slave or not be slave. However, if the choice is made under threat, then the choice isn't an example of free will. Your own definition is roughly the same definition I presented earlier and supports my position that the mere existence of choices is not a sufficient condition for free will.

    Going back to my lever example. I added pre-conditions because it is possible for someone to desire suicide. However, I was examining a particular choice made where the individual isn't suicidal. Hence, pulling lever B would not be done except for the use of coercion by someone else. In other words, the person's choice to pull lever A was impeded by the threat. Just as a slave's choice to pick cotton isn't an exhibition of free will.
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  17. #195
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    I think your example is off. Why are you there with a gun?
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    What does unimpeded mean? Free from constraint, unblocked, unimpeded... Coercion and impeded are synonymous. Your narrow definition of impeded is not supported by its actual definition.
    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Tahoma,Calibri,Geneva,sans-serif]https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/unimpeded
    [B]
    "not
    stopped
    ,
    blocked
    , or
    prevented[LEFT][COLOR=#292929][FONT=Arial] by anything"
    Stopped, blocked, and prevented are not synonymous with "coerce".

    The definition of coerce is to "persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats."

    Persuade =/= stopped
    Persuade =/= blocked
    Persuade =/= prevented

    And it's clear that to persuade is not the same as prevented is because one can still decide to do something even if faced with persuasion to not do it.

    As an example which you ignored in my last post, traffic laws coerce people into not running red lights (under threat of fines and points on their license) but it does not prevent or block or stop them from doing it. And I know that because sometimes I run red lights (late at night, no other cars in sight). So while the coercion of traffic laws usually influences me to wait at red lights, they still give me the option of running them if I so choose.

    The rest of your post is based on the premise that your definition of coercion is correct so I won't bother responding to what I've already rebutted.

    And btw, it's not my definition of "free will" that's under debate but yours. The issue whether "free from coercion" is part of the definition of "free will". I'm going by nothing more or less than the definitions that we provided in the debate. I don't see the word nor concept of coercion in the definition. And since I have the free will to run a red light despite facing coercion not to, I've shown that one can be coerced to not do something and still have the free will to do it.

    Or do you disagree that we have the free will to break traffic laws?

  19. #197
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Stopped, blocked, and prevented are not synonymous with "coerce".

    The definition of coerce is to "persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats."

    Persuade =/= stopped
    Persuade =/= blocked
    Persuade =/= prevented

    And it's clear that to persuade is not the same as prevented is because one can still decide to do something even if faced with persuasion to not do it.

    As an example which you ignored in my last post, traffic laws coerce people into not running red lights (under threat of fines and points on their license) but it does not prevent or block or stop them from doing it. And I know that because sometimes I run red lights (late at night, no other cars in sight). So while the coercion of traffic laws usually influences me to wait at red lights, they still give me the option of running them if I so choose.

    The rest of your post is based on the premise that your definition of coercion is correct so I won't bother responding to what I've already rebutted.

    And btw, it's not my definition of "free will" that's under debate but yours. The issue whether "free from coercion" is part of the definition of "free will". I'm going by nothing more or less than the definitions that we provided in the debate. I don't see the word nor concept of coercion in the definition. And since I have the free will to run a red light despite facing coercion not to, I've shown that one can be coerced to not do something and still have the free will to do it.

    Or do you disagree that we have the free will to break traffic laws?
    Serious? You cherry pick the word persuade from a sentence and claim that is the entire definition. Persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.... Persuade =/= Coerce.

    1) I persuaded him to pull lever A.
    2) I coerced him to pull lever A.
    3) I forced him to pull lever A.

    I think most people would agree that sentences 2 and 3 basically mean the same thing whereas sentence #1 has a very different connotation. My definition of coercion is absolutely correct. And it is very interesting that you mention stop lights. As I have noted already, having a choice is not a sufficient condition of free will. You keep repeating the same argument.

    As it happens, my entire argument is that the government operates via the use of force or coercion. In other words, you do not exhibit free will in stopping at a red light. You stop at a red light because you fear the use of force which may be applied should you fail to comply. If people freely stopped at red lights, then we wouldn't need traffic cops. This goes to my original rebuttal to the OP whereas someone is not a good Samaritan for paying taxes. Paying taxes is not equivalent to giving money to charity. This is the difference between performing an action one is compelled to perform versus performing an action one performs of their own free will (because it is their choice, free from coercion). I also think you are offering a red herring in noting some people may not stop at red lights as proof to support your argument. At best, you are showing that the threat of a ticket isn't enough to coerce a particular individual to obey the law. This, though, is a mere distraction since it says nothing of the reasons why other people stop and consider the safety of their actions. In fact, the person who runs a red light may very well have been coerced into breaking the law by a larger, more imminent threat. Maybe he was being chased by a large group of men with guns.
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  21. #198
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    If people freely stopped at red lights, then we wouldn't need traffic cops.
    Non-sequitar. With or without traffic cops (or even laws for that matter) there is still coercion to stop at the light. The traffic light is an agreed upon signal in society...its enforcement mechanism is irrelevant.

    Can you give an example of a choice where there is no coercion whatsoever?
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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Note. You might want to read the last point before responding to any of this. It arguably renders everything else moot but I've decided to not delete my other points.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Serious? You cherry pick the word persuade from a sentence and claim that is the entire definition. Persuading someone to do something by using force or threats
    I did not claim that persuasion is the entirety of the definition of coerce. But the coercion is indeed an act of persuasion by specific means (force or threats).


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    1) I persuaded him to pull lever A.
    2) I coerced him to pull lever A.
    3) I forced him to pull lever A.

    I think most people would agree that sentences 2 and 3 basically mean the same thing whereas sentence #1 has a very different connotation.
    And I disagree. Assuming the people you are asking know the definitions, they will know that to coerce someone to pull lever A is to persuade them to pull lever A. The reason that coerce and persuade are not synonyms is because there are other ways to persuade people to do things than to coerce them (such as bribe them). So while all acts of persuasion are not coercion, all acts of coercion are persuasion.

    And force has multiple definitions. If by "force" you mean "leave one absolutely no choice but to pull lever A", then you mean that you did something like grab their hand and pushed it on the lever or mind-controlled them or whatever, then it's not persuasion or coercion. Or if you mean that you coerced them into it, they may still say they were "forced" but they were still persuaded.

    As an example, if someone grabs a person and throws them in a car, they physically forced them into the car but it's not coercion/persuasion. If they pull a gun and say "get in the car" and the person gets in the car because of that coercion, they can say they were "forced" but likewise they were definitely persuaded to get in. So sometimes force leaves one no choice and other times it does.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    My definition of coercion is absolutely correct. And it is very interesting that you mention stop lights. As I have noted already, having a choice is not a sufficient condition of free will. You keep repeating the same argument.
    Well, I repeated the stop light argument because you ignored it in the previous post. And I have yet to see a definition of "free will" that says "free of coercion". I haven't seen the word coercion (or a synonym of coercion) in either of the two definitions provided in this debate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    As it happens, my entire argument is that the government operates via the use of force or coercion.
    I don't challenge that. It just doesn't rob you of free will as the term is typically defined.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    In other words, you do not exhibit free will in stopping at a red light. You stop at a red light because you fear the use of force which may be applied should you fail to comply. If people freely stopped at red lights, then we wouldn't need traffic cops. This goes to my original rebuttal to the OP whereas someone is not a good Samaritan for paying taxes. Paying taxes is not equivalent to giving money to charity. This is the difference between performing an action one is compelled to perform versus performing an action one performs of their own free will (because it is their choice, free from coercion). I also think you are offering a red herring in noting some people may not stop at red lights as proof to support your argument. At best, you are showing that the threat of a ticket isn't enough to coerce a particular individual to obey the law. This, though, is a mere distraction since it says nothing of the reasons why other people stop and consider the safety of their actions. In fact, the person who runs a red light may very well have been coerced into breaking the law by a larger, more imminent threat. Maybe he was being chased by a large group of men with guns.
    But in my scenario (which is based on reality), if I stop at a red light at night, I make a decision on whether to run the red light or not.

    So I have two different options.

    1. Run the light
    2. Don't run the light.

    And I am coerced to not run the light via the law. But CLEARLY if I decide to run the light, then that is an act of free will. And conversely if I decide to not run the light, that is also a choice of free will.

    You mentioned what people will think and I posit that if you asked people whether the choice to run the red light or stay put are both acts of free will, practically everyone will say it is and beyond you, I seriously doubt anyone would say "running the red light is an act of free will but choosing to stay put is not an act of free will." And this is quite pertinent. Dictionary definitions are not objective but are based on how people use language (the creators of the dictionary observe how people use words and base the dictionary on that).

    You seem to be using the term free will as "completely voluntarily with nothing coercing one to do otherwise". I mean obviously government isn't the only thing that might coerce one to do something that they would rather not do. If a guy wants to stay home and watch TV and his wife pressures him into going shopping, you could say that his shopping trip is "not of his own free will."

    And this gets me back to my original post in this thread. I ACCURATELY pointed out that you and Cowboy were using conflicting definitions of "Free will" Copied:

    So the conflicting definitions "lack of free will" seem to be:

    Cowboy: "Being incapable of making a choice by the nature of reality or oneself"

    Ibelsd: "Being capable of making a choice but being coerced to making a certain choice (like by threat of death)


    And words have more than one definition and the one that Cowboy is using is not wrong. That IS the typical definition that is invoked when one mentions "having free will". And your use of "doing X of one's own free will" does not seem inherently wrong (for the phrase when used in that manner does seem to be referring to a completely voluntary action).

    So the solution between you and Cowboy would be to recognize what the other person is saying and not get bogged down in semantic arguments over a term. Assuming you are the originator of the "free will" phrase and you meant "completely voluntary" as opposed to "capable of making choices for oneself and acting on it", then either make sure that you both understand what is meant by agreeing to use that definition or using a different phrase of avoid confusion.
    Last edited by mican333; July 11th, 2019 at 09:29 PM.

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    Re: Who is my neighbor?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post

    So the conflicting definitions "lack of free will" seem to be:

    Cowboy: "Being incapable of making a choice by the nature of reality or oneself"

    Ibelsd: "Being capable of making a choice but being coerced to making a certain choice (like by threat of death)


    And words have more than one definition and the one that Cowboy is using is not wrong. That IS the typical definition that is invoked when one mentions "having free will". And your use of "doing X of one's own free will" does not seem inherently wrong (for the phrase when used in that manner does seem to be referring to a completely voluntary action).
    That's definitely not my definition. The one you gave for Ibelsd I would agree with and I think is what I've been saying all along.
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