Scenario 1: After instructing a person to make a random choice between two options in front of her, a computer detects brain activity in a human subject before she clicks the button to communicate her choice. The experiment conductor, upon repeats of the same experiment, can predict her choice seconds before she is aware of it. It is still a choice, for although the choice emerged from brain processes, she was not told which one to choose.
Scenario 2: After asking her son to choose between strawberry or vanilla ice cream, a mother detects a facial expression on her son before he verbalises his choice. The mother, upon repeated instances of this scenario, can predict his choice before it is communicated. It is still a choice, for although he has a tendency to choose vanilla, both flavours were on offer.
Scenario 3: Having eternally given to creation (humans in particular) the freedom to move toward good and order or evil and chaos, the omniscient Creator has full knowledge of the direction taken before, after and during the moment (from their perspective) it is made. The Creator, in all places and times, can predict the direction taken. It is still a free initiative, for although the result was known, both were live options.
chance & necessity | random & planned | chaos & order | freedom & determinism
The phrase ‘by chance’ refers to an event/result happening without compulsion or determination – we say the situation/result ‘did not have to be that way’.
The phrase ‘of necessity’ refers to an event/result happening according to compulsion or law – we say the situation/result ‘had to be that way’.
So. The universe or ‘the world’ or ‘things’ or ‘stuff’… Chance or necessity?
Interestingly, both answers can be used to argue for some form of theism. Continue reading had to be chance?
My wife and I were purchasing shoes at Hannah’s today (don’t ask), and felt empathy for the mother-of-teenaged-daughter, whom we overheard saying, “It’s school, not a fashion show…”
Among the many things no doubt blurring the distinction between the two would be Hannah’s latest catch phrase: “Life is your catwalk.”
There are at least two kinds of ‘value’ – a) the kind science can measure, and b) the kind that science cannot. Continue reading measuring value
…of “all of [them] on the Facebook Team” to wish me a happy (30th) birthday (on the ’30th’ of January). Continue reading how nice…
I thought it would be a bit of fun to put this INCREDIBLE (but I’m not biased) picture up and let people try out some captions for it…
Have fun! Continue reading caption competition
I’d absolutely love (or maybe hate? or both?) to know how much the huge (several ‘windows’ wide and several stories high) ads for shortland street (which I saw today in Auckland city-centre) cost to make, install, display and dispose-of… It’s a freekin’ TV show…
(on a different tack, the two ‘by-lines’ I remember from the ads were: 1) “Trust no one”, and 2) ‘Lust makes fools of us all”. Yawn…)
Epistemology is (loosely defined) as the study of knowledge.
As the ending of this very sentence will show, it is circular to assume ( that is, before investigation or a priori ) that you know what it means to know something (i.e. that you know what knowledge is!). Continue reading knowing about knowing