Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?
Duncan, surely the great mysteries are worthy of a whole lot more investigation than being passed off as "chance events"?
Not all "chance events" are equal. Some "take" and some don't. The universe and the earth have tendencies. They tend to produce life - and humans. Our existence is proof of that fact.
Imagine the first replicating cell. Was that a truly random event or was there something underneath - an underpinning fabric of reality based in other dimensions - that was trying to replicate? That was driving towards replication? Towards life?
After all, having replicated once, why would the cell do it again? To me, the start of life seems dynamically like the Big Bang - something new springing forth from a wellspring of potential energy. The urge to replicate and survive is surely echoed throughout all life.
Why would a creature with human capacities appear? Human mental abilities appear to be overkill in evolutionary terms. Obviously there's an evolutionary arms race with human brains - smart people are today's alphas. Rationalist attitudes say that our search for meaning and spiritual tendencies are by-products of the mental gear we inherited through natural selection - mere curios and artefacts rather than reflections of our deeper nature.
Maybe so, but that's surely not certain.
Science and spirituality routinely talk at cross purposes. Religion and spirituality is certainly full of mythology, but they are practical tools when working with subjective reality. Great power and comfort comes from faith, belief, confidence, creative imagination, placebo effects, hypnosis, etc. We don't understand the whys or hows of mind-over-matter, but we instinctively know how to use it - if our rational minds don't get in the way.
Why wait for science to catch up when you can access our mental capacities now via mysticism? Who cares if something is based on mythology or science if it works? Whatever methods we use only need last a lifetime, not pass the test of eternal verities.
Having said that, I do not believe religion has any place in public policy, other than the freedom of people to hold their own beliefs. Spirituality's value is in the subjective realm and it will continue to be useful until science catches up and enables us to control those aspects of mind.
One day we won't need spirituality because we will always be capable of peak performance and always be in the zone, we will be able to routinely and fully unlock our skills and potentials and we will be capable of mentally controlling and regulating illness and pain and we will be in a contant state of bliss /peak experience. Until then, we don't have the smarts because we haven't scientifically cracked the code, but we can still use our instinctive equipment.
To quote the famous brilliant Donald Rumsfeld poem:
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
Sorry about straying from "destiny", but Duncan and I are good at going offtopic :)