Daniel Stones

Student
Manchester, United Kingdom

About Daniel

Comments & conversations

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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
I'm a little nervous about giving my atheism speech at school.
Some people, both theists and atheists, see it as me using the word to stay out of any debates on the existence of a God rather than that I see good and bad points with both sides of the argument. Also contrary to the fact that me being agnostic means I don't completely disagree with either side some people will still react as if I do and try and convince me of their belief. That's what I mean by some people getting irate.
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is "free will" an illusion?
I suppose this is all down to perspective thinking about most of these points now then. In my opinion even if all these ideas and decisions are created by the subconscious mind through association the fact that we the consciously recognise the fact that we have an idea or that we have multiple decisions to choose from shows free will exists. I think that if instead we only ever saw one decision for any scenario that this would be a lack of free will, the fact that sometimes we find a decision very hard to make sometimes further reinforces it for me since we, the conscious mind, have to think to make a decision. I accept however that others see that since all our thoughts and ideas may in fact be the product of subconscious information associations that this removes the "free will" aspect as we don't control the creation of these ideas.
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is "free will" an illusion?
Sometimes yes, I agree that ideas are created by associating new information with old information but other times it seems, to me at least, that an idea is created spontaneously without anything similar existing before it. I use the term "idea" broadly however, I realised I might be implying inventions and scientific theories exclusively with that term which do usually rely on improvement of a previous idea. An example, although strange I know, is the game noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe). Why did this game come about? The game itself has been dated back at least as far as ancient Rome, at what point did somebody have the idea for this to be a game to play? I can't relate this game to anything that hasn't stemmed from it myself. I also agree that "free" is not a good way of expressing what we mean my the term "free will". This suggests that we have some conscious part of ourselves completely separate from everything else, something not linked to our physical being which I very much doubt is the case.
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
existence of god (why religion is the answer)
You've picked a rather extreme example there, you've also missed the point of my comment. I'm not saying that if you can't disprove something then it must be true, I specifically said that there must be evidence that it may be true. (although you've picket gravity, nobody has any idea of why that force occurs) Above you said it must be the responsibility of those who believe in whatever God(s) they have to prove that they exist, I'm saying this is not the case. I'm not saying either side is completely responsible for providing all the evidence, yes we have proven a great number of things to such a degree as they should be accepted as fact, many of which conflicts with a great many religious beliefs, creationist ones especially. However, this does not disprove the existence of a God does it? A great many people who believe in God also accept scientific theory such as evolution, the fact of the matter is that some things remain uncertain and they choose to believe in God to explain it. They also provide a reason behind that belief which is a close to evidence as you're going get when it comes to questions such as how the first life actually began or why the universe began in the first place. (assuming you accept the Big Bang as the current theory)
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
Why are women so pressured into becoming this "beautiful" icon for society?
Mostly because there is a large amount of pressure on most people to stick to the social norms. People like to be in groups and hence will usually try and stay in the largest current one, the current norm is (unfortunately) this beauty pageant. It's difficult for me to put this into word but this pressure occurs because people think others of the opposite sex should be attracted to somebody that looks a certain way. It's a loop of thought between everyone; people usually feel pressured to look like their social norm to fit in, this means more people join that group creating more pressure on others to also do this. This doesn't affect everyone to the same degree, you have questioned it yourself. Personally I'm outside of this group, I look like what most people would call a mosher or goth (my hair comes down past my shoulders despite the fact I'm male) hence I'm looking on with a different perspective to them since I'm outside their group.
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is "free will" an illusion?
"What is the evidence that consciousness creates free will, anymore than unconsciousness,or both?" In my opinion if you compare the two you can see a difference that I would call free will. Say you compare a machine and a person doing a job, you tell the person how to do the job and also have the machine do the job in the same way. No matter what the machine will do that job in that way unless you change it, the machine has no choice and hence no free will. The person might realise there's a different way to do the job they then have the choice to try that different way or continue with the current one. Following on from that example, you could also tell that person to do the job another way, say this other way also happens to be the other way that they thought of. Assuming that they perceive they have to do as they are told, that they have no choice, we can still see a difference between choosing to do that way yourself and being told to do it. This, to me, suggests that we have free will. I had another thought after my post above to further illustrate the idea that we aren't simply acting solely on past experience and conditioning. In this society we always teach children to be good and act in a way that is beneficial to everyone else yes? Why then do we still get some people who behave in an undesirable way? Some children still bully others, people who have perfectly normal functioning brains and who were brought up in a normal family will still sometimes grow up to commit crimes. Surely this shows that at some point they made a choice to go completely against their conditioning in early life?
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is "free will" an illusion?
After reading the all comments below (which took a long time too) I can't answer your question however I can put forward a couple points. Firstly it is incredibly difficult to answer your question since consciousness is not material, you can't touch or see it. You can see and detect neurons however I see those as different to your consciousness. Secondly many people below have mentioned that free will doesn't exist, that conditioning and experience mean that we will respond accordingly to achieve the best outcome for ourselves. My point about that is this; assuming that this is the case then surely we would have no real creativity? We would just improve on ideas that already existed, nothing new would ever be created because all we would be able to rely on was information from sources that already existed. I know that this doesn't answer the free will question but it's my opinion that my point means we cannot use that argument to refute the existence of free will. Our consciousness is created from the network neurons in our brains but that doesn't eliminate free will. For your above example, what if somebody had never tried one of those flavors and decided to do so? If all we did was act on previous encounters surely we would just pick the same one every time that we already knew we liked?
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
existence of god (why religion is the answer)
I beg to differ, in the scientific community a theory is accepted if it cannot be proved wrong after there is evidence it may be correct. If it cannot be proven wrong then it is accepted as a current theory. I'm not saying that we should therefore accept the existence of a God because nobody can disprove it however you cannot say that it is entirely one party's responsibility to provide evidence. We accept the current model of the atom not because we can see it and all its components, it just hasn't ever been proven to be incorrect. A quote by Einstein was "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong" The point I'm trying to get across is that neither one side can say "you can't prove you're right therefore you're wrong". The day when one side can prove the other wrong I'll stop being agnostic.
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
I'm a little nervous about giving my atheism speech at school.
I agree with most of the comments I've read below. You will get some people who dislike what you're going to say, I'm agnostic personally and some people get irate about even that. Just make sure that they recognise that you aren't telling them they are wrong or right in their beliefs and that simply that you are expressing your own opinion on the existence of any God(s), as you should be allowed to do. I'm sure that at the worst the theists in your class will just try and change your mind.
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Daniel Stones
Posted almost 2 years ago
What experiences have made you more comfortable with mental health disorders?
Meeting genuine people with disorders helps significantly, studying psychology at A-level also helped as I looked at the causes, symptoms and treatments of both Schizophrenia and depression. It dispels an unbelievable number of stigmas and assumptions, the modern media is the main problem in my opinion. The general population isn't going to move past its stereotypical view of a mental disorder such as Schizophrenia when the only time they ever hear about it is on the one occasion that somebody with the disorder is especially violent or dangerous. One important sentence my teacher said that turned that stigma around was that the voices that some schizophrenics can hear are very rarely telling them to hurt other people, in fact it's more common that they tell that individual to hurt themselves than another though still uncommon.