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Thread: Do you believe in free will?

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    Default Do you believe in free will?

    Just curious.
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    Yes! We must all be free... and hippy-like... and jump around waving our hands across the air like there's no tomorrow.

    We'll jump onto random cars, driving around like mad... robbing stores... drinking 3 litres of beer... and all that.

    Let's all have a fun life!
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    I choose to post.

    Or was I made to?


    Even if you don't believe in free will, your predetermined destiny is guided by what feels like free will, so in any sense that is possibly definable in the real world, it is free will. Your fate may be to choose certain actions and end at a certain result, but that fate simply includes those "decisions".

    You could test this by sitting on your couch until something is done to you, but that isn't the point-- and if you didn't figure that out, and did just sit there, then it could easily be argued that was your fate; in the same sense, making your free choice to jump in front of a bus would be the same argument-- it was your fate to die that day.

    It's one and the same; all a matter of opinion.

    Is there a god, and, really, does it matter? What's the result? Will life change if you believe or not? Does god really need you to pray to him for him to care about you? Does this boost your points in his mind? Perhaps it does, or perhaps not, or perhaps there is no god.

    Interesting thoughts, but I feel tough to make important-- you can still "decide", even if it's your fate to make that decision.
    Last edited by djr33; 11-13-2007 at 07:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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    What do you mean by free will? We all are free in this world but illusion keeps us binding

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    In any discussion of free will it's necessary to first define "free will." One of the most common definitions of free will, and the one I use, is the ability to act according to our desires. This we almost certainly have. However, those desires are often demonstrably caused by something external: I've just spent two days in a desert, therefore I'm thirsty, therefore I want a drink, therefore I will take a drink (or in my case, I've spent five hours in a British winter morning, therefore I'm ruddy freezing, therefore I want to be warmer, therefore I'm going to turn up this radiator). There is no reason to believe that less obvious examples are caused by anything more than a more subtle external stimulus, or combination of such. Thus, the answer is "yes," but perhaps not in the manner most people would mean it: we see that a common definition of free will and determinism are not mutually exclusive.

    Why the sudden interest in philosophy?
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    I have always understood the term "free will" to be the apparent choice that God has given the humans to either believe in him or not. Angels were not given free will and were to a point "forced" to believe in God.

    If you believe in that...
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    i asked because i read some articles in philosophy class that convinced me i did not have free will. they proved it. then when i read articles proving we did have free will, they couldnt. i could explain to you guys, but i dont want to. because when i was told the example it was so believable, and almost devastating. but like anything i learn in school that devastates me, time will heal it.
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    That's because you were given only half the information. Schools are a dictatorship of the mind, and you are taught according to one persons beliefs.

    If the head of your particular institution believed in free will, I can promise your evidence would point the other way.
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    Ironically, the above posts show your belief in each point of view--
    Johnny can't choose to be free-- it simply is that there is no free will.
    And Blizzard of course believes that the leader of the institution is free to each either way.

    Amusing.


    The answer, again, is so simple, there's no point in asking it. If we really have no free will, then asking this question was predetermined as well; in fact, our existence and every detail of our lives is predetermined. That means that we're just characters in a movie, basically, but, in any definable sense, within our reality, it is free will. It has been predetermined that we will feel as if we make a choice toward a predetermined result. But... we still "choose" that, whether or not we have been made to choose that or not. You can't even WANT to be free, if you aren't supposed to.

    You can believe that everything happens as it should, or that everything is random, based on what happens, but, really, it's both, and the only difference is at the most essential level, where you determine what the ultimate result or reason for life is, but that's basically irrelevant-- you can choose A or choose B, but this may or may not be predetermined for you-- but who cares if it has been-- it still feels like you are deciding.

    Now there are some people who act more free than others (and it's also related to opportunity, but not ultimately), but that's a different story.


    Think of this as the theory that the universe is expanding. Slowly, as aftermath of the big bang, the particles that make up everything are spreading; however, in spreading out from the center, all at the same rate, though we may be growing each instant, bigger now than yesterday, and bigger still tomorrow, everything in any sense that we can comprehend is relative and we are simply, still 6' tall, because 6' has also expanded; the world has expanded; the stars have expanded.

    This may or may not be true. Interesting if so. If not, well, ok. But either way, we still exist in our limited scope, feeling exactly 6' tall, no matter how that is defined in relation to actual space within the atomic structure.


    Short answer-- yes, absolutely. Go out and do something you want. You did it. That was free will-- you picked. Whether or not that decision was actually guided... well... we can't know that. So who cares? It doesn't change anything, except it's theoretical "meaning."


    An interesting question, does God exist?
    The answer, as far as I can tell, is absolutely not. He does not EXIST. He created all things. Things exist. He can't be a thing. He can't exist. Now, there MIGHT be a "God", whatever he/it/-- may be, but in the definition of the word "exist", it can't be true. So, within our scope, it can't be understood. As such, our scope clearly allows free will. This scope may limit us from understanding that it's all predetermined. But, well, it is so.

    Time is simply the 4th dimension. In string theory, there are up to 11 dimensions, all operating simultaneously in various ways, relating, affecting one another, etc. The first 3 are spacial, 4th time. The rest are complex and VERY interesting, but I won't go into detail. In short, they allow time travel, then probability, multiple probability/timelines, etc.

    Time simply exists; every time exists, just as all dimensions/locations exist. So, really, it isn't a linear ending, flowing occurrence as we see it, but rather just as ever present as is dimension; in the same way that a 2D image of an object doesn't represent the complexity or entirety of the third dimension, we exist in instances of the 4th dimension.

    So, in it's "real" sense [assuming you believe this, and for the example just go with it], time doesn't exist as we know it. It's simply another way to experience, another fact, each time representing a state, something very similar to a location.
    Time is an illusion.
    However, to us, it would be stupid to suggest that it is fake in our lives-- time very much has existence, consequences and an effect.

    Technically, there may be complex grammar practices still implied in English today. But since they aren't visible, it's not very relevant to talk about them, is it?


    So... there IS free will. Is it predetermined? Hmm... interesting. We can't know. We can't prove that it isn't, and we certainly can't prove that we can, because that would give us more insight than we are allowed in such a situation. And, does this even matter, in our scope?



    Let's go with a hypothetical anecdote.

    Jimmy is a serial killer. He hear the voice of god telling him to kill. No, really, he does. And we believe him. More than that, he doesn't even decide for himself. He might as well be a robot. He kills, because he is predetermined to.
    Now, getting back to the theory here a bit, think about this: Jimmy could argue, so easily, well, he isn't a bad person. He didn't do it-- it was determined for him. He didn't want to. It isn't his fault.
    Well, that's a reasonable argument. Ok, poor Jimmy. Really, he's the victim. Must have been tough on him, too.
    Let's think about Jimmy for a moment.
    His views are weird, right? Against the cultural norm, ie, weird. Not acceptable. But, really, that isn't why he would be punished for such actions. He'd be locked up to protect society. It's not ok to kill, but that isn't a moral judgment; it's a simple rule of survival.
    So, Jimmy didn't mean to do it. Even call him insane. But, still, he must be locked away, or he will kill people.
    The fault, the cause, the choice, may all be predetermined. But it's consequence is still the result of that choice, and very real.
    In our existence, the only possible answer can be to lock him up. Must protect the people.
    In conclusion, it can be seen that it's irrelevant-- he killed people; he must be stopped.
    Now, the strange decision must be made-- is he insane? Does he feel insane? Does he feel rational in killing people? Hitler certainly thought he had a good reason. The argument was even logical, from his point of view. What if you killed "bad" people-- what if you killed everyone like Jimmy-- or Hitler? Is that right?
    Well, the answer comes down to something much more complex; we have mental hospitals and jails. The reason someone goes to either is based on a moral judgment about their choices. However, anyone who kills is seen as a danger and must be locked away, UNLESS they are going with societal norms. If they are killing in war, killing in self defense, or performing a legal execution, then that's "right", in our society. But it doesn't really "mean" anything. But I'm getting off topic.


    Meaning can only be seen from our limited perspective. Perspective cannot be infinite. We cannot understand the infinite from a finite perspective; it can be represented and perceived, but not in full.


    Truth, that is the condition upon which this question is answered, must be defined. Ultimate truth may be that there is no free will. Realistic truth, from our perspective, must say that, yes, there is free will.
    Last edited by djr33; 11-13-2007 at 07:09 PM.
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    And after the coffee break, Daniel will continue with Chapter 2 of his new book, we will hope you join us!




    Edit:
    on a serious note.. I am interested in your 11 dimensions. If you have information to link me to I would be much appreciative.
    Last edited by BLiZZaRD; 11-13-2007 at 06:55 PM.
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