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Old 08-13-2013, 12:13 AM
viva_nate viva_nate is offline
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
Thanks for the clarification, Nate. I have enjoyed your posts a lot but haven't replied because I couldn't keep up :)
I've been reading your posts with interest, so I'm glad you did.

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Okay, so I spoke about determinism, not destiny. Even if everything is inevitable, being based on past events, since nobody knows everything life keeps surprising us. So neither destiny nor determinism really matters.
Honestly I think I agree with you. I mean, lets suppose things are determined - you're still on the hook, in some way, for living ethically, right? It's a variation on the wager: either we're free to act and we should choose ethical action; or, we're not "free" to act, but we should still act ethically, just in case. And if destined, I suppose we should act according to what we think our destiny should be. Life does keep surprising us; if we knew that we are obligated to the good, and we knew the character of that obligation, we wouldn't ever know that we should act that way. Put differently: if we lived in a world where we couldn't do anything but live in a certain way (determined), how could we ever say we "should" live in a certain way? How is it possible to articulate an ethics? I tend to think Aristotelian ethics provides a pretty capable answer, but there are certainly others.

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Actually, there is maybe one type of destiny that is real and significant. When enough people believe in particular destiny or outcome, they make it happen. The stock market is an example.
It's interesting reading this point in the light of the controversy over high-frequency trading, along with your earlier point about the algorithmic/cyclic nature of human action. We've modeled our habits and focused them, allowed them to happen as if we were thinking outside of our bodies (or asleep).
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