Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default looks like the worse altenative

    1.What does "how can a choice be neither?" mean?
    2.What does "what at this point looks like the worse alternative" mean? "Try not to hand my wallet to the armed man"?

    pr32
    ex)Free will is another mystery. How can my actions be a choice for which I am responsible if they are completely caused by my genes, my upbringing, and my brain state? Some events are determined, some are random; how can a choice be neither? When I hand my wallet to an armed man who threatens to harm me if I don't, is that a choice? I am faced with a momentous decision, and an expert on human behavior with a ninety-nine percent success rate predicts that I will choose what at this point looks like the worse alternative. Should I continue to agonize, or should I save time and do what's inevitable?

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,840
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: looks like the worse altenative

    1. How can a choice be neither random nor determined.
    2. I'm not sure what the author is talking about. Is he still talking about being mugged or has he moved onto some other "momentous decision." Most people do not consider giving up their wallets to be "the worse alternative" to being shot.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: looks like the worse altenative

    I'm with SoothingDave on this- I can't see what this expert on human behaviour is claiming. I'd rather lose my cash and credit cards than my life and I find it hard to believe many would disagree, but that is what the claims about the expert's success rate suggest. The writer could probably benefit from having an editor or proofreader look over their work.
    Last edited by Tdol; 04-Aug-2012 at 12:09. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: looks like the worse altenative

    I agree with all of you on the opinion that "giving up your wallet is a worse alternative", and regarding 1, I didn't mean its literal meaning, but the implied meaning of "random".
    Does it mean one's unintentional, subconcious decision? "determined" seems to mean one's genetic or programmed inevitable action. People may have "free will", but it may be meaningless if you can't help but choose a specific action forced by your nature.

    1.a choice be neither random nor determined
    Last edited by keannu; 04-Aug-2012 at 08:52.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: looks like the worse altenative

    If you make a choice, it must either be random or based on a decision- there's no third possibility.

  6. #6
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: looks like the worse altenative

    How is it related to "free will"? So is "free will" neither random nor based on a decision?
    Is the writer trying to say most actions come from predetermined response or random one, not "free will"?

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,310
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: looks like the worse altenative

    If a decision is genetic in origin, where's the free will?

Similar Threads

  1. we've done it worse
    By frindle in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Feb-2012, 08:30
  2. Worse than nothing
    By dean in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-May-2009, 14:51
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 29-Jul-2008, 15:48
  4. none the worse for
    By herich in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Dec-2007, 06:44
  5. [need help]"worse and worse" --> correct or not?
    By Pacman in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-Dec-2005, 20:54

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •