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  #41  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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And Mary would never speak to me again.

And I like the name jerkstore. It's cool. Maybe I can get Uncle Larry changed to jerkstore. I'd be down with that.

Some would say me not talking to them anymore would be a blessing.


As for the name change...Uncle Jerkstore just doesn't have the same ring to it.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:51 PM
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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 Otto View Post
the concept of "absolute free will" and "absolute pre-destiny" are mutually exclusive.
If we can agree that all absolutes are a form of perfection...from what I understand, perfection just does not exist in nature. So there is no absolute anything in our universe. Now, if you take those two words away (absolute x 2) it changes things right? To a point where they could co exist?

If people think and believe they have free will, how would they know if they really didn't?

What if we were pre-destined to have free will? Is that even possible?
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  #43  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Larry, this is treading in dangerous water. Look: if our lives are pre-destined, then the obvious question is: pre-destined by whom?

For what it's worth, I don't buy it. The pre-destined part, I mean.

Okay, I don't buy the "by whom" part either.
I'd like to address this. I would like this thread to stick to the premise where we are just assuming pre-destiny exists and/or free will exists. How the whole pre-destiny thing, if it exists, got started...off limits. This is a completely hypothetical question and needs to stick within the assumptions of this particular hypothetical situation. In other words, don't sidetrack, don't go there. Just play along. And it's not how lightly you tread, it's where you do the treading.
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  #44  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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God, in His very nature exists outside of time. He created day and night (which is interpretted as the passing of time). Do you believe He created the world and just let it run amok, or did He create ALL of existence from the beginning of the universe as we know it until the end? "He knows the plans that He has for you" hints at a sense of predestination, or whatever is in store for you is already set in motion, without your intervention. Or, rather, your intervention was planned for in advance. So, all of those right and wrong choices one can make, they are already accounted for. We are simply marching in this parade, seeing merely what we can see from our perspective, and God is watching the entire thing from his blimp.

Sweet dreams tonight. :D

Note: this is meant to be a philosophical take on the Christian God, not a discussio, persay, of religion itself.
When you talk about plans of God for people, the part you probably don't understand about my belief, is that God does not force people to do things. It is their choice, but he can see ahead and know what they will do. He will give them opportunity, choice and ability to carry out their choice. He knows what will happen, but lets them choose. At some point I will either see that I was right and meet God one day in eternity, or if not, die and that be the end of it. I would rather believe life has a purpose more than just live and have fun.

There is no doubt in my mind about this, but I am not going to call everyone else wrong, because that won't change others minds'.
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  #45  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I'll turn this car right around! No Diety Talk! I'll close the thread! It's a hypothetical situation!
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  #46  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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If we can agree that all absolutes are a form of perfection...from what I understand, perfection just does not exist in nature. So there is no absolute anything in our universe.
Perfection is an opinion. Most of the religious crowd might argue that God created nature; God is perfect, therefore nature is perfect. I would argue that the perfection of nature is largely irrelevant. The laws that govern our universe are what they are; life on Earth is the way it is because those laws are they way they are. There isn't much more to it than that. edit: not trying to get the thread closed, just speaking generally...

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Now, if you take those two words away (absolute x 2) it changes things right? To a point where they could co exist?
It depends on how we are defining absolute. In my mind, having absolute freewill makes you an all power genie. I will myself to become a dragon. I will myself to levitate. I will myself to breathe underwater. My will be done.

The only other absolute freewill I could think is simply within the confines of the universe's physical laws. But I think thats already what we've been talking about.

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If people think and believe they have free will, how would they know if they really didn't?

What if we were pre-destined to have free will? Is that even possible?
There is an excellent Futurama episode on this, fyi.

The point is we don't know if we have freewill or not. More to the point, if we were somehow turn our freewill on and off, would it make our lives any different? No. We act in our daily lives as if we have freewill. Whether our freewill an illusion or isn't a question we can answer. The "future" isn't a place we can experience. There is no way to verify whether your choice at some point in time altered your future, or whether you are simply playing a part in a story that has only one ending regardless of what you think you choose.
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  #47  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:05 PM
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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 larryace View Post
I'd like to address this. I would like this thread to stick to the premise where we are just assuming pre-destiny exists and/or free will exists. How the whole pre-destiny thing, if it exists, got started...off limits. This is a completely hypothetical question and needs to stick within the assumptions of this particular hypothetical situation. In other words, don't sidetrack, don't go there. Just play along. And it's not how lightly you tread, it's where you do the treading.
Understood. My question is: why would the universe need to be so complicated? Why would it require the many extra components required for every living human, and therefore possibly every living non-human and every thing else in the universe, to have every detail of its entire future more-or-less planned out?

It's just too needlessly complicated, except perhaps in some quantum mechanical way.
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  #48  
Old 08-07-2013, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Fun topic Lar!

My guess is that free will is very limited.



Imagine you're the Prime Minister or President. Can do do what you like? Yes, as long as major companies approve. There are definite boundaries. Like a CEO's activities are bounded by The Board.

Life generally is like that. You are free to do anything you like ... as long as you breathe, eat, drink, pee, sh1t, vomit, have sex, live amongst social groups, etc. All the time.

The function of life seems to be to churn energy around. A bit like the human batteries in The Matrix. Every moment we are churning stuff around in all sorts of different ways - redistributing heat, changing currents, changing chemical composition, lighting and shading, etc. The universe naturally changes every atom at every instant but life seems to accelerate the change process - and the more advanced the life, the greater the amount of change it can effect.

It also seems that humans have an extra job on top of our basic consume/excrete role - to consume and excrete at an informational level as well.

// excretion


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I like to think of it as the "snowball" effect. One action leads to another action. One thought leads to another thought. There is reason for action and a reason for thought however is it destiny that brings you to that first action or first thought?
It could be destiny - in the form of the first quantum fluctuation during the initial expansion of the Big Bang. From that first variable, all others would have sprung, taking into account that there's random effects in there (chaos theory).

The first fluctuation would have collapsed an unimaginable number of possibilities in that first instant - and surely that's what destiny is - a path defined by the collapse of other possibilities. We can wander around on the path - go to the fringes or the centre or anywhere inbetween - but we can't move off the path.
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  #49  
Old 08-07-2013, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I'd like to address this. I would like this thread to stick to the premise where we are just assuming pre-destiny exists and/or free will exists.
Then with this assumption you are invoking, if not requiring, free will, upon our answers and logic?

Great topic and some great deeper thinkers on here.
One of the great beauties of nature is the questions it raises, many of which are in scope and timescale beyond ever answering. One thing is for sure, any aspect of Nature and the entire universe becomes inherently boring once we've figured stuff out. Ask any scientist.
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  #50  
Old 08-07-2013, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

A fish on a line seems to sum it up in my simple mind. (in THIS story, the fish is female - thanks, Madge!)

The hooked fish can go upstream or downstream, while the fisher-person (Wink, Madge!) keeps turning her head, pulling her to her destiny. But, if the fish is strong, she could straighten the hook, tear it from her jaw or even break the line. No pre-destiny here.

But wait!

A master angler always has a better bait, stronger tackle and a better presentation. And fish being the simple creatures that they are, they will take the bait sooner or later.

Of course, the fish could always beach herself on another riverbank or swim straight to the jaws of another predator exercising her ultimate free will. But at the end of the day, the angler will go home with fish in his creel.

My two pfenigs.
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  #51  
Old 08-07-2013, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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As a Christian, I believe some things are destined to happen. Certain events I believe will happen regardless of what we do. On the other side, we have a choice to do right or wrong, to be a success or failure. If you believe there is no free will, it means killers cannot refrain from murder. That alone is a bad thought.
I don't go to church much at all anymore, but I do have a philosophy in life that mirrors a Christian POV in a way. Anyway, for me freewill always meant to do as you will or to do God's will. Simple as that. As far as Christians are concerned, we all share the same pre-destiny of an afterlife if you believe in that stuff, as well as an Apocalyptic end as portrayed in the book of Revelations.
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  #52  
Old 08-07-2013, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I don't really buy into any idea or theory that romanticizes human existence.

I think we ultimately live in chaos on a spec of dust in the solar system.
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  #53  
Old 08-07-2013, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I'll turn this car right around! No Diety Talk! I'll close the thread! It's a hypothetical situation!
I would just echo the words of another poster, if we are predestined, someone must have control of us. I would just hate to think that I have no choice in life and I will be what I am determined to be by another. I hear sports player and such say they were destined to win, but I don't buy into that. It takes hard work, and discipline to be a success. Great people are not born that way, but they become great.
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  #54  
Old 08-07-2013, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I would just echo the words of another poster, if we are predestined, someone must have control of us.
Not at all.

Destiny can simply be an inevitable chain of events - one thing leads to another. The fact that we are in the situation we are reflects all that happened in the past to lead us here - whether those events are lead by natural forces or by a colossal man.


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I don't really buy into any idea or theory that romanticizes human existence.
I know what you mean.

But ... we humans are the most advanced life forms in the known universe. The human brain is the most complex thing in the known universe.

Like humans or not (and we can be easy to dislike), we are special.
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  #55  
Old 08-07-2013, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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But ... we humans are the most advanced life forms in the known universe. The human brain is the most complex thing in the known universe.

Like humans or not (and we can be easy to dislike), we are special.
Whoa....again this hinges only on what *we* 'know' to be true. right?

I think humans are over-rated (by humans of course).
If all our engineered comforts would suddenly cease, would we do any better than any other lifeforms?
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  #56  
Old 08-07-2013, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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If all our engineered comforts would suddenly cease, would we do any better than any other lifeforms?
The ability to do better than other lifeforms got us all of our engineered comforts in the first place, didn't it?
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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The ability to do better than other lifeforms got us all of our engineered comforts in the first place, didn't it?
Hmmm, yes, but they are not necessarily sustainable in a biosphere of limited resource.
One wonders in the LONG term.....are we doing any better?

Dont get me wrong, I'm not a doomsday-er or anything, but if we look at every organism in the distant past - 3 billion years - it has had a shelf life (except bacteria).
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Whoa....again this hinges only on what *we* 'know' to be true. right?
That's why I said the known universe. It's a small proportion of the whole (whatever that is) but it's still a stupendous amount of area to scour with barely even a hint that there's microbes on other planets or moons let alone more advanced civilisations. More advanced civilisations would surely have made contact or made themselves known if they were within the communication distances SETI operates in.

That tells me is that 1) life itself is pretty special and 2) that humans are extra special.


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Hmmm, yes, but they are not necessarily sustainable in a biosphere of limited resource.
One wonders in the LONG term.....are we doing any better?

Dont get me wrong, I'm not a doomsday-er or anything, but if we look at every organism in the distant past - 3 billion years - it has had a shelf life (except bacteria).
Yes, we're rapidly making the planet less habitable for us and other large species. Nonetheless, we have special mental capacities that are almost certainly unique to us ... how well we use those special attributes is another matter.

Given human nature, it's been inevitable that at some stage we'd become so dominant that we'd deplete and pollute the environment and eventually have a big cull off. The population obviously can't keep increasing forever with natural resources rapidly dwindling. Talk about destiny ...

Still, the inevitable culling of billions does not mean humans will die out entirely or even necessarily lose our technological advances. A smaller human population may yet make incredible strides in the future, including habitation of Mars or even beyond.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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That's why I said the known universe. It's a small proportion of the whole (whatever that is) but it's still a stupendous amount of area to scour with barely even a hint that there's microbes on other planets or moons let alone more advanced civilisations. More advanced civilisations would surely have made contact or made themselves known if they were within the communication distances SETI operates in.

That tells me is that 1) life itself is pretty special and 2) that humans are extra special.




Yes, we're rapidly making the planet less habitable for us and other large species. Nonetheless, we have special mental capacities that are almost certainly unique to us ... how well we use those special attributes is another matter.

Given human nature, it's been inevitable that at some stage we'd become so dominant that we'd deplete and pollute the environment and eventually have a big cull off. The population obviously can't keep increasing forever with natural resources rapidly dwindling. Talk about destiny ...

Still, the inevitable culling of billions does not mean humans will die out entirely or even necessarily lose our technological advances. A smaller human population may yet make incredible strides in the future, including habitation of Mars or even beyond.
'Scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man's struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.'

'We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.'

Richard Feynman agrees. : )


...
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  #60  
Old 08-07-2013, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I can't believe I'm getting into this on a drum forum but here goes...

The realm of philosophy has been crushed by science. Once thorny philosophical questions have largely been reduced to physics.

The philosophical concept of Scientific Determinism (the idea that if one had enough data and enough computing power, one could predict the universe) was destroyed by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. This fundamental principle of Quantum Mechanics states that it is impossible to accurately measure both the position and the velocity of a particle because our own measuring methods (shining light or an x ray on it for example) will affect the measurement. We can measure the location or the velocity accurately but never both.

If it is impossible to know 2 key facts about a particle simultaneously then the concept of Scientific Determinism is out. There will always be an uncertainty in any measurement.The world is not pre-destined.

I'm not sure about whether we have free will though, because as LimpyLoo stated earlier, neurology is finding out how much of our actions are actually unconscious and what they are finding is startling.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I can't believe I'm getting into this on a drum forum but here goes...

The realm of philosophy has been crushed by science. Once thorny philosophical questions have largely been reduced to physics.

The philosophical concept of Scientific Determinism (the idea that if one had enough data and enough computing power, one could predict the universe) was destroyed by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. This fundamental principle of Quantum Mechanics states that it is impossible to accurately measure both the position and the velocity of a particle because our own measuring methods (shining light or an x ray on it for example) will affect the measurement. We can measure the location or the velocity accurately but never both.

If it is impossible to know 2 key facts about a particle simultaneously then the concept of Scientific Determinism is out. There will always be an uncertainty in any measurement.The world is not pre-destined.

I'm not sure about whether we have free will though, because as LimpyLoo stated earlier, neurology is finding out how much of our actions are actually unconscious and what they are finding is startling.
+1.

To quote Feynman again, its ok to say " I don't know", because its rather accurate".

Where does our Universe end, and Why am I here, are two questions I'd like answered but I aint holding my breath.

...
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Once thorny philosophical questions have largely been reduced to physics.
Apart from thorny issues like what life is, what consciousness is, the nature of subjective experience, the placebo effect and other mind over matter phenomena ... we've learnt an incredible amount but there's some big areas where philosophy is needed to guide the science.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

There's a nice chapter on free will in this huuuuuuugely interesting book by a neurologist that I recommend to anyone interested in social matters: http://www.letterenfonds.nl/en/book/...are-our-brains (sorry I can't seem to find the English version anywhere on a merchant site)
I'll give the clue away: it doesn't exist :)
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Being a music forum I'll leave this here ;)

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear-
I will choose Free Will.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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'We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.'
That's a great quote.

Have you seen the future timeline website? http://www.futuretimeline.net

Some smart people have obviously given the future a great deal of thought. Obviously predictions of cyborgism at one end and total destruction at the other.

Whenever I talk to people about the possibility of us having a cyborg future, the usual response is "I'm glad I won't be there to see it". They assume that cyborg people of the future will be be less soulful and warm than we are today. Less human.

I imagine people from just 100 years ago would see today's society and people as cold and soulless too - sitting in front of our screens for hours, listening to electronic music, eating processed food from plastic packets, dependent on portable smart devices etc. Yet we feel perfectly warm and silly and compassionate and soulful and sensual and all those good things about being alive. So I'm sure that future cyborg people will feel just like us inside, no matter how remote, strange and robotic they might seem to us on the outside.

It would be amazing to see. Bring on the cryogenics!
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I don't know who to quote, there's so much good stuff here. Some very convincing arguments for free will and no pre-destiny. I believe in pre-destiny, but I could be all wrong. It's just a belief that has no bearing on anyone else. It just makes more sense to me. It's more ordered. Has anyone ever heard the saying, everything happens for a reason? That seems to ring very true in my life. And if there really is a reason for everything, that suggests something behind everything we do, everything we are. But like I said, I "freely" admit I could be wrong because the fact is I just don't know. I am speaking from solely from my own thoughts and experiences. Life, even in it's most stupid simple form, whatever that is... seems too orderly to be a random occurrence.

Check out my idea for a movie plot that deals with how human life on earth came to be: Two loser alien pals who can't get laid on their own planet set out in their spaceship and eventually find our planet and start raping all kinds of apes. Incredibly, they manage to get enough apes pregnant to start a new species. Pretty cool right?
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  #67  
Old 08-08-2013, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Check out my idea for a movie plot that deals with how human life on earth came to be: Two loser alien pals who can't get laid on their own planet set out in their spaceship and eventually find our planet and start raping all kinds of apes. Incredibly, they manage to get enough apes pregnant to start a new species. Pretty cool right?
That's the XXX version, I guess. My version would be that the aliens wanted the gold on this planet, but they couldn't survive in this atmosphere, it's not viable to their race. sSo they tractor beamed a couple of apes into the spaceship and spliced their alien DNA with the ape's DNA and created a human being. Then they put the humans back on the planet and made slaves out of them to mine the earth's gold that they needed on their own planet.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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That's the XXX version, I guess. My version would be that the aliens wanted the gold on this planet, but they couldn't survive in this atmosphere, it's not viable to their race. sSo they tractor beamed a couple of apes into the spaceship and spliced their alien DNA with the ape's DNA and created a human being. Then they put the humans back on the planet and made slaves out of them to mine the earth's gold that they needed on their own planet.
Sex and money. The 2 most powerful motivators in the known universe, right? Hey Paul, maybe we could combine the plots, where the 2 losers actually conquer and create a new species by mating with the apes, and the losers end up being king of humans, which they enslave to a life of mining. They would have to be able to survive in the atmosphere though lol.

On a different note, I think I am coming around to the idea that free will exists within certain parameters.....that were established long before humans. Everything within that parameter, which is governed by the laws of physics, is up for grabs, but there is a larger perspective that we cannot possibly be aware of, at this stage in human development. There's a lot of possible ways for us to happen here, but the truth is, no one knows the facts. So have a good time and don't worry and be happy is my attitude.
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  #69  
Old 08-08-2013, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

"The illusion of choice"
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  #70  
Old 08-08-2013, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Has anyone ever heard the saying, everything happens for a reason? That seems to ring very true in my life. And if there really is a reason for everything, that suggests something behind everything we do, everything we are.
Everything does happen for a reason, but that reason does not have to be "otherworldly", or because there is something behind it. Its all cause and effect.

Example: You buy new tires for your car. On the way home you get a flat tire. Was it meant to be? Is some deity having a bad day and wanting to share it with you? NO. You ran over a nail. It fell out of the back of a construction truck. The truck hit a bump in the road (the same one you hit right before your tire went flat), and the nail flew from the bed and landed on the road. I could back this example 100 days into the past because every effect has a cause. Nothing happens with no explanation.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Has anyone ever heard the saying, everything happens for a reason? That seems to ring very true in my life.
Hindsight is always 20-20. It very easy to justify and reason through past events, especially ALL past events. For some reason, humans have a innate tendency to do this well and often ( - was there a reason we evolved that way??). But when trying to predict future events using the inducted reasoning, this theory falls apart, and that's why it doesn't do it for me.

Why did Jimi Hendrix have to choke on his own vomit? Probably because he was laying on his back so when he started to expel what was in his stomach, it stayed in his mouth and inevitably flowed into his wind pipe as he gasped for breath. Yea, but why did he choose to lay on his back? Why wasn't he on his side with a pillow holding him up? As we all know from Breaking Bad, that what you do when you do heroin.. more than likely he knew better. Did some deity spark that decision in his mind? Was there some force that prevented him from taking that preventative measure? Was he an angel whose time on Earth was up? or does god just really not like secular music? Is there such thing as luck? Did he run out? Or was he just really high, and we have to accept that sometimes sh*t happens.

EDIT: Disclaimer: I'm not exactly sure that heroin was invovled in Jimi's death. I'm half assuming it was. I'm not as familiar with the circumstances of his death as some people, so I'm sorry if that puts some people off. The above paragraph is just an example of a thought process.

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Everything does happen for a reason, but that reason does not have to be "otherworldly"
I see what you are saying, but the implications of "otherworldly" intervention in our "serendipitous" lives is the gist of what we are discussing, otherwise there would be much to discuss. I think we can all agree that events can be broken down to cause and effect (unless we are talked about quantum occurrences, in which case we have to talk about the probability that the effect would or would not occur..)
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  #72  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I see what you are saying, but the implications of "otherworldly" intervention in our "serendipitous" lives is the gist of what we are discussing, otherwise there would be much to discuss. I think we can all agree that events can be broken down to cause and effect (unless we are talked about quantum occurrences, in which case we have to talk about the probability that the effect would or would not occur..)
I guess my problem with the idea that some deity or whatever has intervened with our lives lies in that if the deity has decided for us, then they have also made a choice. They have chosen to interfere with our lives. Why, who knows? To think about it like that would be like me stepping on an ant. That ant didn't choose to be stepped on, I chose for it. But the choice made by me definitely had a reason behind it, I wanted to, it bit me, I don't like ants, whatever. The effect is still linked to a choice, even though it wasn't the ants.

Now putting that into a supernatural aspect, I don't buy it. Something that is outside of time and space, that has the infinite knowledge of the universe and beyond, doesn't choose, it doesn't have to. It just does. So how can something that does not choose, choose for us? Or allow us to have the freedom to choose, then judge us by our choices?

My wife thinks that if god and the devil exist, perhaps we have their ultimate rolls backwards. Why would something that is supposedly all good and loving tell you how to live, and expect you to worship it? Isn't commanding someone to worship you selfish and wrong? Sounds like a major superiority complex to me. On the flip side, the entity we look at as bad wants us to live our lives as we want, cares not if we worship it or not, and plays on the fact that we are humans. It knows how humans act, and wants us to do so accordingly.
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  #73  
Old 08-09-2013, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I guess my problem with the idea that some deity or whatever has intervened with our lives lies in that if the deity has decided for us, then they have also made a choice. They have chosen to interfere with our lives.
What about instinct, Mr IP? That's not just intervening, it's downright controlling. Who or what is driving that?

Art, science, religion and philosophy are our attempts at achieving some kind of dignity and self worth in the face of being squishy breathing, eating, drinking, shitting, pissing, farting, belching, sleeping, screwing, breeding, fighting, killing, menstruating, masturbating, breastfeeding, suffering, stumbling and transient meat machines.

And we exist as part of a thin film of squishy stuff we call "life" that forms a thin coat around a 12,700 km diameter spherical rock that is hurtling around a vast void at around 2 million kms per hour.

I think most of us suspect something funny is going on ...
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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... being squishy breathing, eating, drinking, shitting, pissing, farting, belching, sleeping, screwing, breeding, fighting, killing, menstruating, masturbating, breastfeeding, suffering, stumbling and transient meat machines.
Or as I call it, one Hell of a night out.
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  #75  
Old 08-09-2013, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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What about instinct, Mr IP? That's not just intervening, it's downright controlling. Who or what is driving that?
Evolution and the learning process. Animals present us with this all day long. For example, just about every domesticated dog understands when a human points at something. They instinctually know what it means because they have learned over thousands of years of domestication, and it is passed on to each generation. Wild dogs, and even the most highly trained apes don't understand pointing.

As far as philosophy and religion, ever notice how it changes to adapt to modern times? Philosophers are always coming up with thought experiments to challenge what was once accepted. The church is always changing its position on issues to be more accepting of what we learn as we develop as humans. I firmly believe that we even have religion and philosophy because as early man we had very little answers. It was a way to try and explain what was happening in the world, especially in a time when we had very little knowledge of science and how the world works. Placing a deity into the equation is an easy way to say "I don't know" without having to actually say it.

With bodily functions, show me someone who can survive without them and I might be less skeptical.

Ever notice that animals just live? They have minimal intelligence, but yet they don't have any of the issues that humans do. One would think that in a world driven by intelligence, the most intelligent would outlast everyone else. But yet humans have wars, serial killers, racists, elitists, and a sense that we are better than everything else. What drives this? We are some of the newest residents on this planet, yet we are the worst thing to happen to it. It almost always comes down to one thing: ideas and our ability to choose our own paths based on those ideas.
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  #76  
Old 08-09-2013, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Ever notice that animals just live? They have minimal intelligence, but yet they don't have any of the issues that humans do. .
Everyday!
I have something called squirrel theory - squirrels just go about gathering their nuts. day in, day out. Nothing seems to bother them, except crossing a road or a natural bird of prey, of which they are oblivious. No destiny there - cause and effect. But they seem quite content (who knows maybe they are starving).

Humans do not ascribe to squirrel theory. They have to pick everything apart. There is an upside to that, as we are possibly the most adaptable species ever. But it may be only human ego to think that. In paleontology the billion year rock record shows many species rise to great success, to even dominate......and then fall. Tens of examples.
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  #77  
Old 08-09-2013, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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That's a great quote.

Have you seen the future timeline website? http://www.futuretimeline.net

Some smart people have obviously given the future a great deal of thought. Obviously predictions of cyborgism at one end and total destruction at the other.

Whenever I talk to people about the possibility of us having a cyborg future, the usual response is "I'm glad I won't be there to see it". They assume that cyborg people of the future will be be less soulful and warm than we are today. Less human.

I imagine people from just 100 years ago would see today's society and people as cold and soulless too - sitting in front of our screens for hours, listening to electronic music, eating processed food from plastic packets, dependent on portable smart devices etc. Yet we feel perfectly warm and silly and compassionate and soulful and sensual and all those good things about being alive. So I'm sure that future cyborg people will feel just like us inside, no matter how remote, strange and robotic they might seem to us on the outside.

It would be amazing to see. Bring on the cryogenics!
Agreed. And, thanks for that link... I've never seen that one before. I can get lost on that one for days....
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  #78  
Old 08-09-2013, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Ever notice that animals just live? They have minimal intelligence, but yet they don't have any of the issues that humans do.
I would say that animals share many of the issues we have. Put yourself in their paws for a moment. Think of all the fears you had as a child because of your limited understanding of cause and effect, eg. animals and small children are afraid of the thunder - they sense the power but don't realise it's harmless.

We hear birds singing and the chances are that it's a bird telling another bird to f* off. We say "Isn't that beautiful?".
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Agreed. And, thanks for that link... I've never seen that one before. I can get lost on that one for days....
Yes - I've spent hours on it. I find it incredibly mind bending and exciting but it seems feasible given how quickly things change in just 20 years, let alone 200 or 2,000 or 20,000 or 200,000 years. Imagine ... music in 2,000 years ... would love to know.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Ever notice that animals just live? They have minimal intelligence, but yet they don't have any of the issues that humans do.
I wrote a lyric that touches on that a few years back:

"we're all just animals anyway
equipped with self-awareness
that we'll never learn to use..."
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