Tuesday, May 23, 2006


A Choice?

Do individuals make or even have a choice in being sexually attracted to others? This does not necessarily have to fall into a homosexual vs. heterosexual argument. I mean, do I truly have a choice in being attracted to red heads? What about individuals of a particular ethnicity, race, or skin-tone?

If we do not believe in a pure deterministic world, which I do not, then there is a choice. Preferences have been established, whether we believe that individuals are capable and able to make choices through openly rational, conscionable decision-making or through unconscious preference creation.

It is very much a choice to continue to be attracted to someone or a group of individuals based on their characteristics, however, is the initial attraction a choice -- since there is no previous experience or at least limited preference formation?

So, getting to the issue at hand, is attraction a choice? Is sexual orientation a choice? I think the initial one is more difficult, while that latter can be answered yes. Continued activity, even if based on intangible thoughts and feelings, is still a choice.


A very interesting question. Trying to explain sex from the Cartesian Dualist position. I never thought of it. :) I give you a gold star for cleverist thing I've heard all day.

Back later w/comments.
Well, I was hoping to commment. But I still have trouble with the idea of free will. How does one make a choice that is totally causeless?

It seems to make a choice one must have preferences. You make note of this yourself. But where do these preferences come from?? Do they also appear magically and causelessly? Or are they choices themselves? If so, on what grounds are those choices made??
Does a free will necessitate causeless existence? Doesn't the absence of a free will, imply a coercive and compulsory existence. If x happens, then y must follow. Is the world that simple?

If there was a simple one-directional causal relationship for everything in this world, then there would not be a free will. However, since there are multiple causal relationships (many-to-many), doesn't there have to be some level of life that is free of determinism -- otherwise it would always happen the same way for the same reason.

In this world, there are more than simple relationships and events occur for different reasons, even if it is the same ingredients mixed in to the same dish having the same porportions. If we kept doing the same thing over and over again and gained differing results, could that exist in a purely deterministic world?

Wouldn't a deterministic world be easily forseable? Wouldn't forecasting always be right? Wouldn't the future be easy to discover?

I dunno... For me:

If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.

Indeed. You are quite correct. The world is very complicated. An excellent illustration of this complexity is coin flipping.

When you flip a coin there are many many factors determining what side it will land on. The speed of the flip, the weight of the coin, the wind resistance, etc. There are so many factors that we cannot predict where a flipped coin will land in practice. In fact, that's exactly why we flip coins.

This sounds very much like your description of the human mind. But would you argue that a flipped coin is also free from our deterministic world?
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