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  #121  
Old 08-12-2013, 05:29 AM
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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
Which side is that?
The side of free will. I realize there has been lots of talk of cause and effect, but in a world of pre-destiny there would be no cause and effect, just events scheduled to happen in the order they were scheduled. Free will allows cause and effect to exist, other than a predetermined world where everything just runs as a script.

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Originally Posted by viva_nate View Post
I've read this like a half dozen times now, and while I wont pretend to understand everything it has to say, isn't the computer system that uses the FIR filter the cause for the rooms digital correction? I stand by every effect has a cause.

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I dunno, Grea. Dogs are pretty smart. Lumping all animals together isn't really something you can do. Some animals don't have even a central nervous system. They're not experiencing much more than plants are. Worms and ants aren't dogs.
Dogs are smart. I have three, and they are all at different levels of intelligence. One of them is so smart I am surprised she hasn't figured out how to speak English. Yet the one that is the least intelligent still is able to learn what is expected of him and does what is required in order to please his humans.

I have fish too, and they are trained to recognize the tapping on the glass when it is time to eat. A purely Pavlovian response, but still a response.

Even creatures without central nervous systems are thought to have some sort of awareness. Maybe not self awareness, but situational awareness at least. Look at trees when there is a possibility of rain, they turn their leaves up in order to catch the rain. Why would they do this if they weren't aware? And look at all the experiments done on plants that involve talking to the plants and/or playing them music. The resulting growth surely has something to do with awareness and feeling of some sort. I always wondered if it hurt the grass when I mow it.
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  #122  
Old 08-12-2013, 05:45 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I'd like to get back to my "rewind time and replay it" hypothetical. I think it gets to the crux of freewill versus destiny.

If you believe there is freewill, then you believe that choices are being made that are not pre-destined. Or something like that. My philosopher friend may have debunked that with me many years ago, I'm a little fuzzy now. But assuming so... Therefore, if you could go back in time and play it over again, things would turn out differently.

If you believe there is no freewill, then the question becomes, why would anything turn out differently? And if we back time up and replay it and nothing changes, then is everything, in fact, predictable and inevitable?

It's fun and mind-bending for me to think about it. Because everything could feasibly be a reaction to something else that, if we had the intelligence and brainpower to compute it, could be predicted. If I can drop a marble on the floor and calculate how far and where it will bounce, including factors like gravity, wind, the density of the marble and the floor, and all that, then what about predicting where ten marbles will bounce if I drop them at the same time. Seems do-able, right? So what about dropping a million marbles? Eventually, we can extrapolate that out to all the events that take place in the universe.

So, why can't we predict that? I mean, we obviously don't have a computer big and powerful enough to do it. But if we did, could we? Is there anything that suggests that re-playing all those billions of random events in the universe would play out differently if we could rewind time and do it again?

Those who believe in freewill should say yes, it will change. But what if our freewill is just a series of reactions to stimuli, environment, etc? What if what we think are decisions we're making are really just the sum of all our reactions to our experiences from our environment, and nothing more? Then, maybe, nothing changes if we rewind time and do it all again. Because I still catch that cold that gives me the headache that makes me grumpy and you still let the coffee mug slip out of your hand that causes me to snap at you.

The one area I'm especially unclear on is the atomic level. I think super-scientists like Hawking say that there are unpredictable events that take place that we can't predict but have nothing to do with freewill. I think atoms split in chaotic ways that we can't understand. I think, anyway. So, there's some confusion there.

No answers here, just questions. But I find this stuff fascinating just to contemplate. The best part is that I have no idea. It's fun not knowing the answer.
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  #123  
Old 08-12-2013, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Life can't exist without balance. Our sun has exactly as much energy trying to blow it to bits, as it does trying to collapse in on itself. It's perfectly balanced, the only way it can exist. If free will and pre-destiny are opposite ends of the spectrum...no matter which answer you pick, it would be out of balance. You can't have day without night, positive without negative, blah blah blah and so on and so forth. That's why I believe they both co-exist. I am of the belief that we have free will within pre-defined boundaries which include the laws of physics.
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  #124  
Old 08-12-2013, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Life can't exist without balance. Our sun has exactly as much energy trying to blow it to bits, as it does trying to collapse in on itself. It's perfectly balanced, the only way it can exist. If free will and pre-destiny are opposite ends of the spectrum...no matter which answer you pick, it would be out of balance. You can't have day without night, positive without negative, blah blah blah and so on and so forth. That's why I believe they both co-exist. I am of the belief that we have free will within pre-defined boundaries which include the laws of physics.
I can accept this as long as the only pre-destined event for life is death. As we all know, even life itself isn't guaranteed. But that's it, no destiny, no guarantees, no invisible puppet master. Just wandering through a series of choices until our clock is punched.
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  #125  
Old 08-12-2013, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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You told me I should give vegetables to my dog, from the table, from the plate on top of It, you did! I remember it! This proves it, you see, aw gosh, don't you see? Truly, this proves that there can be free will in a world where pre-destiny...what was it again?
Yes, I remember. How'd it go. Is your dog now choosing to excrete (or is it compelled to at least try?).

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I dunno, Grea. Dogs are pretty smart. Lumping all animals together isn't really something you can do. Some animals don't have even a central nervous system. They're not experiencing much more than plants are. Worms and ants aren't dogs.
True. All different types and levels of awareness. I have an intrusive ants nest near my front door and I've periodically engaged in population control. I swear those things behave as though they are scared shitless when the Sandal of Destiny comes crashing down. They pick up their dead and wounded (presumably waste not want not). They adjust their trail when I make one trail too hazardous. They keep trying to get in the house - and after I wipe the intruders out they stop for a while. Then they try again later.

Damn good instincts for such tiny things. But then again, ant colonies act as a super organism and each individual acts similarly to our cells (given that we too are made up of a multitude of smaller organisms). Ants nests are actually very smart things with intelligence and capacities far greater than that of any individual - just like human nests.

Let's consider destiny of a single human cell, which could be thought of as roughly analogous to an ant. One cell of the 100 trillion cells in our bodies. How does the destiny of the cell look from our godlike perspective? Not real good, I'd say.

We don't know or care if individual cells live or die. If billions wipe out (or grow where they shouldn't) then we'll start caring. Of course, it depends on the cells - whether they are inert matter like our nails and hair right or the stars of the show - the brain cells.

Is there a fractal aspect to life? Are humans like the prefrontal cortex of the Earth? Are animals the brain cells of the biosphere? Or maybe higher animals? Is the Earth like the frontal cortex of the Milky Way? If humans died out would that mean the biosphere would seriously lose a lot of IQ points?
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  #126  
Old 08-12-2013, 08:42 AM
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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 MrInsanePolack View Post
The side of free will. I realize there has been lots of talk of cause and effect, but in a world of pre-destiny there would be no cause and effect, just events scheduled to happen in the order they were scheduled. Free will allows cause and effect to exist, other than a predetermined world where everything just runs as a script.
But couldn't cause and effect be an instrument of destiny?

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
If you believe there is freewill, then you believe that choices are being made that are not pre-destined. Or something like that.

... everything could feasibly be a reaction to something else that, if we had the intelligence and brainpower to compute it, could be predicted. If I can drop a marble on the floor and calculate how far and where it will bounce, including factors like gravity, wind, the density of the marble and the floor, and all that ... what about dropping a million marbles? ...

So, why can't we predict that? I mean, we obviously don't have a computer big and powerful enough to do it. But if we did, could we? Is there anything that suggests that re-playing all those billions of random events in the universe would play out differently if we could rewind time and do it again?

Those who believe in freewill should say yes, it will change. But what if our freewill is just a series of reactions to stimuli, environment, etc? What if what we think are decisions we're making are really just the sum of all our reactions to our experiences from our environment, and nothing more? Then, maybe, nothing changes if we rewind time and do it all again. Because I still catch that cold that gives me the headache that makes me grumpy and you still let the coffee mug slip out of your hand that causes me to snap at you.
Yes - nicely thought and said. The fact that everything has turned out the way it has suggests that if things could have been different, they would have been different. Each causality should have a predictable effect if you know all the parameters and relationships at the time ... if, as you say, you have the computing power.

How much power? It brings us back to the butterfly flapping its wings in South America. To work out the parameters around an event you would need to look at everything around the event:

- the spacial environment .. but for how far? All the way to South America's butterfly?
- the time period in that area ... how far back? To the Big Bang? Or before then?
- the history of the "players", let's say the event is a piano falling on a person from the first storey ... the players are the piano, the clumsy removalists and the victim ... that rabbit hole can go as deep as you like too
- all the other stuff we don't know.

Chaos theory and quantum strangeness seem to defy the notion of destiny, but chaos theory is really just a practical means of black boxing things that are too complex to understand ... at the moment. I suspect we will one day make sense of the factors (and formulas) behind quantum strangeness too.

It's possible that everything that happens is inevitable given the past, but the causal relationships are so complex and intertwined that for most practical means and purposes you can say we have free will.

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I am of the belief that we have free will within pre-defined boundaries which include the laws of physics.
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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
I can accept this as long as the only pre-destined event for life is death. As we all know, even life itself isn't guaranteed. But that's it, no destiny, no guarantees, no invisible puppet master. Just wandering through a series of choices until our clock is punched.
Yet each of those free will choices we make could be inevitable, given our histories. I'm not saying this for certain - hell, half the time I'm not even certain what I had for lunch - I'm just throwing the notion out there as a potential reality.
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  #127  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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But couldn't cause and effect be an instrument of destiny?

Yet each of those free will choices we make could be inevitable, given our histories.
If cause and effect is a tool of destiny, wouldn't that mean that destiny is a multi-sided beast? Therefore the predetermination only exists if the correct choices are made? If this is the case, than pre-destiny really would be false because how can something that is destined to be not be a guarantee?

History has a tendency to repeat itself. If our choices were inevitable, why do we continue to make the same mistakes and not learn from the past? I would think that if history were a factor in making choices, we would make less mistakes as time goes on, and have a lot more figured out than we really do.
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  #128  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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If cause and effect is a tool of destiny, wouldn't that mean that destiny is a multi-sided beast? Therefore the predetermination only exists if the correct choices are made? If this is the case, than pre-destiny really would be false because how can something that is destined to be not be a guarantee?

History has a tendency to repeat itself. If our choices were inevitable, why do we continue to make the same mistakes and not learn from the past? I would think that if history were a factor in making choices, we would make less mistakes as time goes on, and have a lot more figured out than we really do.
If destiny is real then it's a mega sided beast - everything everywhere happening inevitably due to what had come before, following complex multiple algorithms rather than a script.

Any spontaneous perverse desire by you to exert free will in defiance of destiny would be entirely predictable if you had access to all aspects of your history and the right algorithms :)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/31/he...gy/31subl.html
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  #129  
Old 08-12-2013, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I've read this like a half dozen times now, and while I wont pretend to understand everything it has to say, isn't the computer system that uses the FIR filter the cause for the rooms digital correction? I stand by every effect has a cause.
Oh yeah, I don't understand it either. But it's an acausal system, so I thought that might be something recognizable for the forum that also fit the bill. It's "pregnant with the future," so to speak.

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If cause and effect is a tool of destiny, wouldn't that mean that destiny is a multi-sided beast?
It would mean that destiny has consciousness, which would have some odd repercussions.

"Destiny" and "determinism" are two different things, though. Choice has to be a crucial element in destiny, because destinies can be fulfilled; it's a belief system. Determined systems don't have room for choice in the sense that we can make a choice that isn't determined by the system itself - it's a mechanism that exists outside belief. This is why compatibilist systems tend to suggest local or social determinism.
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  #130  
Old 08-12-2013, 04:28 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 accept this as long as the only pre-destined event for life is death. As we all know, even life itself isn't guaranteed. But that's it, no destiny, no guarantees, no invisible puppet master. Just wandering through a series of choices until our clock is punched.
I was thinking on a more macro scale. It's a given that we all must die. As a race, I think our destiny is laid out. All the little things that make up day to day life, are up for grabs, that's our free will. (JMO) But from a macro view of our race, I think our destiny is sealed. The next step in our evolution, like Anon says, is that we merge with machines. I mean, it's already here. If we make it past this technological adolescence without wiping out our race, then I think it's inevitable that humans will populate other places in the solar system/galaxy besides Planet Earth.

Meanwhile, shall I have scrambled or over easy? I think I'll exercise my free will and just to throw a spanner in the works, I'll say pancakes. But I will end up doing scrambled. Free will in action. Men love scrambled. (obscure movie quote, any guesses? hint, Shelly Long said it)
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  #131  
Old 08-12-2013, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I was thinking on a more macro scale. It's a given that we all must die. As a race, I think our destiny is laid out. All the little things that make up day to day life, are up for grabs, that's our free will. (JMO) But from a macro view of our race, I think our destiny is sealed. The next step in our evolution, like Anon says, is that we merge with machines. I mean, it's already here. If we make it past this technological adolescence without wiping out our race, then I think it's inevitable that humans will populate other places in the solar system/galaxy besides Planet Earth.

Meanwhile, shall I have scrambled or over easy? I think I'll exercise my free will and just to throw a spanner in the works, I'll say pancakes. But I will end up doing scrambled. Free will in action. Men love scrambled. (obscure movie quote, any guesses? hint, Shelly Long said it)
Was it called 'Night Shifts'?? dreadful movie, wasn't the fonz in it too?think I'm destined to never watch that again....unless of course, I choose too....
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

googled it (I chose to) Ron Howards director, Kevin Costner gets a credit, Michael Keaton in a starring role, set in a morgue....yeah, I remember how I laughed....
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Was it called 'Night Shifts'?? dreadful movie, wasn't the fonz in it too?think I'm destined to never watch that again....unless of course, I choose too....
Yea, that's it, Night Shift. I loved that movie! Keaton wears me out with some of the great lines he had. And yea, the Fonz was in it, but not as the Fonz.
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  #134  
Old 08-12-2013, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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It would mean that destiny has consciousness, which would have some odd repercussions.

"Destiny" and "determinism" are two different things, though. Choice has to be a crucial element in destiny, because destinies can be fulfilled; it's a belief system. Determined systems don't have room for choice in the sense that we can make a choice that isn't determined by the system itself - it's a mechanism that exists outside belief. This is why compatibilist systems tend to suggest local or social determinism.
Thanks for the clarification, Nate. I have enjoyed your posts a lot but haven't replied because I couldn't keep up :)

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.

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.


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I was thinking on a more macro scale. It's a given that we all must die. As a race, I think our destiny is laid out. All the little things that make up day to day life, are up for grabs, that's our free will.
Another way of saying it ... we are slaves ... insignificant expendable cogs in the machinery of the Universe, driven to churn energy and information around for a short time before we are destroyed and replaced. We worry about having a good life - being a good person etc but that only matter on a personal level. The Universe doesn't care - just by living you are fulfilling your function, ie. churning stuff around lol

However, the Universe, in Its benevolence, throws us scraps of free will that are left over once we're done working through the endless stream of unconscious compulsions that drive us :)

Thought bubbles ...

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
(JMO) But from a macro view of our race, I think our destiny is sealed. The next step in our evolution, like Anon says, is that we merge with machines. I mean, it's already here. If we make it past this technological adolescence without wiping out our race, then I think it's inevitable that humans will populate other places in the solar system/galaxy besides Planet Earth.

Meanwhile, shall I have scrambled or over easy? I think I'll exercise my free will and just to throw a spanner in the works, I'll say pancakes. But I will end up doing scrambled. Free will in action. Men love scrambled. (obscure movie quote, any guesses? hint, Shelly Long said it)
That could be predicted too, Larry. Not that it matters. Just saying :)

Have you seen the Future Timeline website? When you think how much things have changed in just the last 20 years ... given that the pace of change is increasing, in another 20 years we won't know the joint. It seems like the good things in the world are getting better (social progress, technology, economic systems) and the bad things are getting worse (crowding, inequality, resources and natural die-back).
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I was not going to answer this post because my answer is contrary to the question. But, in my opinion, the question infers only one viewpoint. So I decided that all questions deserve at least two viewpoints. The inferred view-point is that there is "pre-destiny."
It is like asking a cat owner, “How often do you kick your cat?” The question does not give the person a chance to say, “I never kick my cat.”

There is no such thing as pre-destiny. We all make our own future by our actions and the actions that others do to us.

I realize my opinion may be offensive to those that believe strongly in "pre-destiny." I do apologize for that, and am sorry that it offends you. To me this is a question that is close to a religious point of view. I know religion, politics and sex are topics that should not be discussed in this forum, but since this post has gone to the length that it has, I assume that it is ok to discuss and post my opinion on the topic.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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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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Old 08-13-2013, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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There is no such thing as pre-destiny. We all make our own future by our actions and the actions that others do to us.
I agree with you.... but, what if what we think/decide about our future and the others we meet and cross in our lives is actually written out in our destiny somewhere, you might think it's all your doing and you're deciding your own destiny and your faith through your life, while in fact you're just following your pre-destiny and you're not aware of it.

I was pre-destined to write that comment, even if I think I wanted to respond to your comments, it was written out there somewhere :)
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Have you seen the Future Timeline website? When you think how much things have changed in just the last 20 years ... given that the pace of change is increasing, in another 20 years we won't know the joint. It seems like the good things in the world are getting better (social progress, technology, economic systems) and the bad things are getting worse (crowding, inequality, resources and natural die-back).
Not yet, but I'll check it out. Sounds interesting.

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There is no such thing as pre-destiny. We all make our own future by our actions and the actions that others do to us.

I realize my opinion may be offensive to those that believe strongly in "pre-destiny." I do apologize for that, and am sorry that it offends you. To me this is a question that is close to a religious point of view. I know religion, politics and sex are topics that should not be discussed in this forum, but since this post has gone to the length that it has, I assume that it is ok to discuss and post my opinion on the topic.
What I don't understand is why people get offended when someone has a different POV. I am in no way offended that you don't believe in pre-destiny, just as hopefully, you are not offended that I do. I think it's re-diculous to get offended over differing opinions, especially when the subject is so personal and full of unknowns. I don't know the facts, no one does, but I am inclined a certain way and some differ. Cool! Nothing wrong there.

As far as I can tell, the true meaning of life...is to reproduce. That's it. Simple. The rest is just fun, or torture, depending on your POV. But basically, the person with the most descendants wins.
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  #139  
Old 08-13-2013, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I agree with you.... but, what if what we think/decide about our future and the others we meet and cross in our lives is actually written out in our destiny somewhere, you might think it's all your doing and you're deciding your own destiny and your faith through your life, while in fact you're just following your pre-destiny and you're not aware of it.

I was pre-destined to write that comment, even if I think I wanted to respond to your comments, it was written out there somewhere :)
Some make the commitment to believe strongly and they end up going to their particular services once a week, or have other spiritual outlets.

Some come to the conclusion that can only be proven in a personal way, and can not be proven to others because the logic of proving a negative is impossible.

And still others do not make a commitment either way and sit on the fence and never commit.

But the weakest excuse for believing is that it will not hurt anything if they decide to believe. And so they believe in pre-destiny because it is easier than developing and puzzling out a personal proof of its non-existance. It only shows a semi-self-aware individual.
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  #140  
Old 08-13-2013, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Not yet, but I'll check it out. Sounds interesting.



What I don't understand is why people get offended when someone has a different POV. I am in no way offended that you don't believe in pre-destiny, just as hopefully, you are not offended that I do. I think it's re-diculous to get offended over differing opinions, especially when the subject is so personal and full of unknowns. I don't know the facts, no one does, but I am inclined a certain way and some differ. Cool! Nothing wrong there.

As far as I can tell, the true meaning of life...is to reproduce. That's it. Simple. The rest is just fun, or torture, depending on your POV. But basically, the person with the most descendants wins.
Well, I like coming here, and do not want to get kicked out. Sometimes the human condition is a puzzle to me. So I take caution.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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"Destiny" and "determinism" are two different things, though. Choice has to be a crucial element in destiny, because destinies can be fulfilled; it's a belief system. Determined systems don't have room for choice in the sense that we can make a choice that isn't determined by the system itself - it's a mechanism that exists outside belief. This is why compatibilist systems tend to suggest local or social determinism.
I'm sorry but your ideas of destiny and determinism are skewed. The definition of destiny is a predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control. By definition alone we humans have no say in our destiny, therefore our ability to make choices is mute. Something cannot be destined for you and still allow breathing room for choices.

Determinism states that for everything that happens, there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. For example, I choose to punch someone in the face. There is a choice. Determinism dictates that since my fist contacted their face, they will feel the force of my fist on their face. This is what determinism states. Its A+B=C. But A and B have the option to be a choice. And in events of no choice, such as a car wreck, determinism only dictates twisted metal, not the fate of all those involved. Cars might be totaled, maybe not. People may die, maybe not. It is cause and effect, with philosophical ideas behind it.
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  #142  
Old 08-13-2013, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I know it sounds foolish, but one time I let the flip of a coin choose my destiny for me because I couldn't decide what to do. The coin said do it and I did. It didn't really turn out so well, but it wasn't so bad either. It certainly was an experience I'll never forget, and I don't regret doing it, but I'll never do it again. Stupid coin....
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:25 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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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?
That's an interesting take on it. I hadn't thought of that but I imagine out approach to ethics is largely predetermined too, eg. where and when you're born, your parents, your experiences in youth etc decide what being ethical means to you.

I think if we take the view that we are each smaller parts of a larger whole (which seems likely to me, even if the "whole" is undefined) then maybe "right behaviour" is analogous to what we'd consider "right behaviour" of our cells - our component parts. I would like my cells to work harmoniously with its neighbours, to not go rogue and cancerous on me, and for my soldier cells to put in a big effort.

So I try to be reasonable and pleasant, be it pre-decided by my history or not.

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It's interesting reading this point [stock exchange] 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).
Yes, our structures take on a life of their own. I expect that human consciousness is mappable and will be replicated by AI in the future. I think at some stage we will become entirely synthetic.

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.... but, what if what we think/decide ... it's all your doing and you're deciding your own destiny and your faith through your life, while in fact you're just following your pre-destiny and you're not aware of it.
And we'll never know :)

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What I don't understand is why people get offended when someone has a different POV.
This thread has been especially good natured as far as I can tell, apart from a cross comment by Duncan early on, and that's okay because he enjoys getting cross :)

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As far as I can tell, the true meaning of life...is to reproduce. That's it. Simple. The rest is just fun, or torture, depending on your POV. But basically, the person with the most descendants wins.
That's perhaps true of other animals but for humans there's a cultural layer. More reading for your Larry - try Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene. He has a chapter called "Memes - the new replicators". Basically, ideas in the "idea pool" act similarly to genes in a gene pool, so RD called them "memes" (not to be confused with jokey captions on images).

So someone who breeds may extend their sphere of influence in posterity to a few individuals. On the other hand, a person without children could have ideas that resonate throughout society. In a way, they live on through their cultural influence.

The drive is probably not wildly different in nature to the sex drive - there's lots of people seemingly compelled to throw in their two cents' worth on any given topic on the net - the "successful" ideas propagate and the rest fall back into the meme pool

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But the weakest excuse for believing is that it will not hurt anything if they decide to believe. And so they believe in pre-destiny because it is easier than developing and puzzling out a personal proof of its non-existance.
I think you'll find most people with simplistic beliefs in this area have their hands full with daily contingencies. It is a luxury to have the time for contemplation, although many eschew their opportunities for "more useful" activities that lead them to running around in small circles that some focused thinking could avoid. I'm speaking from experience here ...

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Determinism states that for everything that happens, there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. For example, I choose to punch someone in the face. There is a choice. Determinism dictates that since my fist contacted their face, they will feel the force of my fist on their face. This is what determinism states. Its A+B=C. But A and B have the option to be a choice.
How often do people choose to hit others? I imagine the "decision" is most likely made by flight or flight mechanisms. Making a choice would mean overriding the basic impulse ... and the making of that choice would depend on your history ...

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I know it sounds foolish, but one time I let the flip of a coin choose my destiny for me because I couldn't decide what to do. The coin said do it and I did. It didn't really turn out so well, but it wasn't so bad either.
I'll get a bit offtopic (just for a change). The part I've bolded reminded me of research psychologist Dan Gilbert's TED Talk "Why aren't we happy?". He said we have mechanisms in our brains that allow us to predict outcomes, and an example he gave is that we don't need to look at, small or taste anchovy ice cream to know it's a bad idea.

Thing is, he also said our predictive mechanisms are skewed and we usually predict good things will turn better than they actually do and we overestimate the negative effects of setbacks too. Basically, how good things are for us depend more on our attitudes than our external reality.

That's easy to say - developing enough mind control to override our instinctive silliness is far from easy. I hope one day to get there.
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  #144  
Old 08-13-2013, 05:50 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 get a bit offtopic (just for a change). The part I've bolded reminded me of research psychologist Dan Gilbert's TED Talk "Why aren't we happy?". He said we have mechanisms in our brains that allow us to predict outcomes, and an example he gave is that we don't need to look at, small or taste anchovy ice cream to know it's a bad idea.

Thing is, he also said our predictive mechanisms are skewed and we usually predict good things will turn better than they actually do and we overestimate the negative effects of setbacks too. Basically, how good things are for us depend more on our attitudes than our external reality.

That's easy to say - developing enough mind control to override our instinctive silliness is far from easy. I hope one day to get there.
Very true. My mother's whole life is just one tragedy after the next. I've spent my life trying not to be like her, but I also find myself being just like her. I'll have to ruminate on what you're saying here, but it speaks volumes; more than I can relay in a short post comment. Thanks for your pearls of wisdom.

The part that didn't work out was that I got fired for insubordination because of my big mouth, but I had enough of getting jerked around by this company by that time. Quite a few things didn't go my way when I moved to Indiana for a job, but I did manage to find a cool band for a few get-togethers, so there were some good times too. I met some real quality people out there, but I also met an over-abundance of turds too. I guess you'll find that anywhere you go, so no ill feeling toward Indiana.

I tend to hang on to the good things and forget about the bad. Learn from them, but forget it and let it go. It's just a cancer in the mind.

Anyway, back to philosophy...
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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How often do people choose to hit others? I imagine the "decision" is most likely made by flight or flight mechanisms. Making a choice would mean overriding the basic impulse ... and the making of that choice would depend on your history
This is a red herring.

Fight or flight is still a choice, hence the "or". You have a minimum of two options in this scenario. I agree that the choice is relegated to the scenario at hand, but more often than not I personally have had the will and opportunity to knock someones teeth out but haven't because rationality wins out in my mind and I either discuss the situation to end and solve it or just walk away when the other party is not being rational. But don't think the violent option isn't present in my mind and urging me to act upon it.

I don't think my example was too spectacular, after further review. I suppose I will be given a 5 yard penalty and a loss of down.
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  #146  
Old 08-13-2013, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I'm sorry but your ideas of destiny and determinism are skewed. The definition of destiny is a predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control. By definition alone we humans have no say in our destiny, therefore our ability to make choices is mute. Something cannot be destined for you and still allow breathing room for choices.
We're not in disagreement. Destiny is always given a signifier: the thread, the omen, the event that fulfills the act. It has an important narrative element, because destiny is meaningful. Consider the concept of divine right, for instance, or the Greek gods and their interventions on earth: the force of destiny is the force of divine will on the actions of humans. Humans are able to act. But they are not able to overcome that force: Oedipus makes a number of choices only to find himself filling a destiny he knew to exist except in its particulars. But it is this belief in the need to act in order to fulfill a destiny that creates a sense of purpose in the man, but Oedipus' control over fulfilling the destiny is an illusion. Instead, there are a number of superhuman forces that bend him to their will.

In determinist systems, there is no choice; there is no purposive element. Things just happen after each other. An idea reflected in your next paragraph:

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Determinism states that for everything that happens, there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. For example, I choose to punch someone in the face. There is a choice. Determinism dictates that since my fist contacted their face, they will feel the force of my fist on their face. This is what determinism states. Its A+B=C. But A and B have the option to be a choice. And in events of no choice, such as a car wreck, determinism only dictates twisted metal, not the fate of all those involved. Cars might be totaled, maybe not. People may die, maybe not.
But of course determinism doesn't dictate anything, because that would create some sort of destined or purposive element. Determinist physics are results of prior causes (a better example is "Since my fist contacted their face, they shot me, and I died, and they went to jail" and that would go on as an inevitable chain that whose constituents only come into existence as a result of their causes, but are necessary as opposed to probable - otherwise it's as if you're making a point about the efficient cause). Or, as you say, nothing else could happen - but because if something else could happen, there is a chance that it would. There's no maybe/maybe not. Cars are totalled if they are totalled; people die if they die. A deterministic system says: the car crash that happened was the only car crash that could have happened, and in the presence of the car crash, the only result could be that people died. How do we know? Because the cars crashed, and people died. That something happened is proof that it must have happened.

For this to work, choices must be the necessary results of a causal chain. For the compatibilist, this doesn't preclude free will.

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It is cause and effect, with philosophical ideas behind it.
Well, what are these "philosophical ideas" - are we talking final causes or just efficient causes, or what? Under whose theory are we defining the event? The discussion is not an either/or, that you have free will or the world is determined (though quantum mechanics makes the strictest form of the latter difficult to argue). "Free will" - as poorly defined as it is, "conscious agency" is probably better - is compatible with determinist or indeterminist schemes. It's fully possible to claim agency in a determinist system. What's at issue in questions of will (free or other) is the just-ness of your actions and how we rationalize them. How are we responsible for the events we're discussing, and what effect does our relative level of agency have on our obligation to act responsibly?
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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But it is this belief in the need to act in order to fulfill a destiny that creates a sense of purpose in the man, but Oedipus' control over fulfilling the destiny is an illusion. Instead, there are a number of superhuman forces that bend him to their will.
Thank you, you just solidified my point about no free will in destiny. It's the superhuman force that control Oedipus, not Oedipus himself, regardless of his beliefs.


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But of course determinism doesn't dictate anything, because that would create some sort of destined or purposive element. Determinist physics are results of prior causes (a better example is "Since my fist contacted their face, they shot me, and I died, and they went to jail" and that would go on as an inevitable chain that whose constituents only come into existence as a result of their causes, but are necessary as opposed to probable - otherwise it's as if you're making a point about the efficient cause). Or, as you say, nothing else could happen - but because if something else could happen, there is a chance that it would. There's no maybe/maybe not. Cars are totalled if they are totalled; people die if they die. A deterministic system says: the car crash that happened was the only car crash that could have happened, and in the presence of the car crash, the only result could be that people died. How do we know? Because the cars crashed, and people died. That something happened is proof that it must have happened.
Again, me hitting someone in the face doesn't GUARANTEE they will shoot me. Choices are involved. Look at it this way, earlier you mentioned social determinism. Social determinism says that ideals are set in place and upheld (hopefully) to benefit the whole of a certain society. Yet these ideals are set in place by others who are entrusted to set in place rules that are deemed acceptable to their society. So therefore they CHOSE what is to be accepted. However, we can always break the rules. Or we can even decide to leave said society and join another. Yet another choice. Even in determinism, a chain of events is always a series of causes and effects. The chain would never go: I made red kool-aid. Therefore there was a car accident out on the street. Finally, three children got their hair cut.

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Well, what are these "philosophical ideas" - are we talking final causes or just efficient causes, or what? Under whose theory are we defining the event? The discussion is not an either/or, that you have free will or the world is determined (though quantum mechanics makes the strictest form of the latter difficult to argue). "Free will" - as poorly defined as it is, "conscious agency" is probably better - is compatible with determinist or indeterminist schemes. It's fully possible to claim agency in a determinist system. What's at issue in questions of will (free or other) is the just-ness of your actions and how we rationalize them. How are we responsible for the events we're discussing, and what effect does our relative level of agency have on our obligation to act responsibly?
Unless you are talking about Brain in a Vat, I don't see that it matters what philosophical branch you are referring. Look at Utilitarianism. The Utilitarianist judges moral worth by the resulting outcome of their actions. They must exercise free will and make a choice, but yet their actions don't necessarily conform to what we would deem acceptable. Here is an example: You are a doctor in a fertility clinic, and the building is on fire. Inside the building is you, a three year old girl, and 100 test tube babies. You can either save the girl or the test tube babies, but not both. The girl is already alive, but the test tube babies all have the potential for human life, and there are 100 of them. Who do you save? If you choose to answer this question, than you have used free will to make a decision, be it rational or not, and even only saving yourself still is a choice that you have made. Not answering this question is also a choice.

Tell you what. The title of this thread is: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists? No, I don't think there can, and that is my opinion.

Just a thought, but isn't the idea of pre-destiny a little silly? Is pre-destiny the waiting room you sit in before you actually enter destiny? And if that is the case, you are not yet destined for anything?
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Fight or flight is still a choice, hence the "or". You have a minimum of two options in this scenario. I agree that the choice is relegated to the scenario at hand, but more often than not I personally have had the will and opportunity to knock someones teeth out but haven't because rationality wins out in my mind and I either discuss the situation to end and solve it or just walk away when the other party is not being rational.
Some choice, eh? Choose your compulsion. Seems to me that we are compelled to do things all the time - by our bodies, our instincts and our conditioning. Did I post that link about studies done in the way we behave when influenced by what is fresh in our unconscious mind.

I'm not saying our compulsions are done by a deity (or whatever) but it is interesting the level of compulsion we have in our makeup and how little control we actually have over our lives.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Determinism states that for everything that happens, there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. For example, I choose to punch someone in the face. There is a choice. Determinism dictates that since my fist contacted their face, they will feel the force of my fist on their face. This is what determinism states. Its A+B=C. But A and B have the option to be a choice. And in events of no choice, such as a car wreck, determinism only dictates twisted metal, not the fate of all those involved. Cars might be totaled, maybe not. People may die, maybe not. It is cause and effect, with philosophical ideas behind it.
I think this is called compatibilism? The idea that free will (choice) can co-exist with determinism. The idea that they cannot co-exist is, I believe, called incompatibilism.

Not that I'm an authority or can even particularly keep up with all the variants.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:38 PM
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It's all about the Peoples' Front of Judea.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:19 PM
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I think this is called compatibilism? The idea that free will (choice) can co-exist with determinism. The idea that they cannot co-exist is, I believe, called incompatibilism.

Not that I'm an authority or can even particularly keep up with all the variants.
Ah, a bridge! I guess I might be some kind of a compatibilist too because it seems to me that both free will and inevitable causes and effects exist. Not that it seems to matter, as per a previous post.

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It's all about the Peoples' Front of Judea.
No, I'm sure its the Judean People's Front ...
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

A great lecture by Sam Harris on free will which he posits is illusory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:13 AM
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A great lecture by Sam Harris on free will which he posits is illusory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g
Thanks DD! I absolutely love this talk - how he gets right into the nitty gritty.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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The slippery slope is an argumental fallacy that debunks the random series of events. The user who linked these events is guilty of using a slippery slope. Perhaps my wording left a bit to be desired.
Perhaps we lack the perspective to join all the dots, like some dotard infant that's having difficulty with his colouring book. Ability to grasp something does not mean we simplify it to whatever we're capable of explaining.
When I use the words, perhaps, I leave open the door to debate or rather, to an alternative proof. Do we indeed have all the answers? Highly doubtful, even our basic laws of physics are coming unravelled every passing day.

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Show me an effect that has no cause.
Some children are born deformed for no fault of their own or their parents. They are genetically sound, they don't do drugs, well fed and bred and haven't been exposed to chemicals. Is it evolution? Random mutation? God's love and God's play?


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I swear those things behave as though they are scared shitless when the Sandal of Destiny comes crashing down. They pick up their dead and wounded (presumably waste not want not). They adjust their trail when I make one trail too hazardous. They keep trying to get in the house - and after I wipe the intruders out they stop for a while. Then they try again later.
Don't sweep the floor to spare the ants. Cover the lamps to spare the moths.

If the ants are coming toward the house, just take a little sugar and sprinkle it away from your property and they will go there instead. Maybe a daub of honey if you're feeling generous.

Always remember the little people. Life in their limited lifespan, with all of its pleasures and pain from their unique sensory perspective. If you prick us, we bleed, if you wrong us, shall we not avenge? Maybe that's why they keep trying to get in the house. To get you! :P


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Chaos theory and quantum strangeness seem to defy the notion of destiny, but chaos theory is really just a practical means of black boxing things that are too complex to understand ... at the moment. I suspect we will one day make sense of the factors (and formulas) behind quantum strangeness too.
Kind of funny how there are "no straight lines in nature". I think we should perhaps consider a philosophical view of that truth, rather than a geometric one. I certainly think that events can be considered random to the extent that we cannot predict every single possibility, except perhaps esoterically. And even then, with no great precision and with the possibility that a sky dragon will one day arrive and wipe us out in our beds.

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I'm sorry but your ideas of destiny and determinism are skewed. The definition of destiny is a predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control. By definition alone we humans have no say in our destiny, therefore our ability to make choices is mute. Something cannot be destined for you and still allow breathing room for choices.

Determinism states that for everything that happens, there are conditions such that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. For example, I choose to punch someone in the face. There is a choice. Determinism dictates that since my fist contacted their face, they will feel the force of my fist on their face. This is what determinism states. Its A+B=C. But A and B have the option to be a choice. And in events of no choice, such as a car wreck, determinism only dictates twisted metal, not the fate of all those involved. Cars might be totaled, maybe not. People may die, maybe not. It is cause and effect, with philosophical ideas behind it.

Destiny does not take away your power of choice. It merely means that whatever choice you make, you will inevitably happen on a singular event or circumstance that is in your path. Thinking of time as being linear makes sense. But the scale can be subdivided in many ways.

You may punch someone in the face. You may be involved in a car wreck. Was it written? Perhaps you're not important enough to be kept in the loop on the behind the scenes cosmic comedy.

I said perhaps again, because I accept that I don't have all the answers and I seriously doubt anyone else on this planet does. To reiterate the point about science in no way being absolute truth, I think Stephen Hawking lost a bet in 2004, Einstein's theories are still being contested and gravity might not be exactly the way we envisage it if we go by black holes.


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The thing that confuses me with "everything is an illusion" and the holographic principle etc is that if a piano drops on your head from a first storey balcony it makes no difference whether you perceive it or not ...
This is a really weird "theory", but I believe a lot of people view life this way.

There's an awesome Pearl Jam song called "I'm Open" where the narrator in the song says when he was a boy, he thought that the moon was always following him. "Centre of your own universe" is what I'd call that kind of thinking, not because it's factually wrong, but because we often internalise what's happening around us to the most basic "what does it mean to me?"

Or to stretch it further "everything is happening because of me, this is all being done for MY benefit or detriment." When the "dreamer" dies, everything and everyone else ceases to matter. They are, for all practical purposes, dead, at least from the dreamer's perspective.
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  #155  
Old 08-21-2013, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

"Freewill" went out the window when Adam & Eve were told not to eat from the tree of life.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Don't sweep the floor to spare the ants. Cover the lamps to spare the moths.

... Always remember the little people. Life in their limited lifespan, with all of its pleasures and pain from their unique sensory perspective. If you prick us, we bleed, if you wrong us, shall we not avenge? Maybe that's why they keep trying to get in the house. To get you! :P
You are a kind man, Reggae (or pragmatic). Jain Buddhist by any chance?

Pretty sure the ants are flowing like water into my place, simply pushing out in all directions but when the trail to my place keeps resulting is soldier ants MIA they gravitate to more productive trails ... until a wekk or two later when they try again, just in case the murderous ogre's gone away.


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Kind of funny how there are "no straight lines in nature". I think we should perhaps consider a philosophical view of that truth, rather than a geometric one. I certainly think that events can be considered random to the extent that we cannot predict every single possibility, except perhaps esoterically. And even then, with no great precision ...
Never mind no straight lines in nature, there are no straight artificial lines either. Zoom in enough on the straightest line we can devise and it will start to look bumpy.

The other side of this that what we call "artificial" is actually "natural" ... after all, humans are part of the biosphere and our outputs (including plastics) are as much part of nature as anything else. "Natural" does not = "good", nor does it = "good for other species or the environment". It just means "not made by people".
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  #157  
Old 08-23-2013, 11:25 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

...

This thread is making me feel like the time I was driving an old Volvo on the autobahn in Germany,doing about 85/90 mph when 2 BMW motorbikes whizzed by me and became 2 little dots on the horizon in 5 seconds flat.

I've completey lost you guys, but hey this is the funnest thread on the forum in a long time.

If musicians dont philosophize, who will. Just because we're drummers does'nt mean all that we are 'allowed' to talk about is1ply heads and Demon Drives.

Grea, Mangle,Polack, and the rest of you... I dont know what the *** y'all are talking about but I love it.


...
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  #158  
Old 08-23-2013, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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You are a kind man, Reggae (or pragmatic). Jain Buddhist by any chance?

Pretty sure the ants are flowing like water into my place, simply pushing out in all directions but when the trail to my place keeps resulting is soldier ants MIA they gravitate to more productive trails ... until a wekk or two later when they try again, just in case the murderous ogre's gone away.




Never mind no straight lines in nature, there are no straight artificial lines either. Zoom in enough on the straightest line we can devise and it will start to look bumpy.

The other side of this that what we call "artificial" is actually "natural" ... after all, humans are part of the biosphere and our outputs (including plastics) are as much part of nature as anything else. "Natural" does not = "good", nor does it = "good for other species or the environment". It just means "not made by people".

Thank you. Jains are one thing, Buddhists are another and I'm neither ;)

Haha, I remember my English teacher demonstrating something similar to me about "straight lines", how it it was impossible to write on one. I'll have to differ on our outputs being "natural" though, think cloned beef and other weird stuff they're doing in labs now.

I think natural would just mean a lack of an outside interference in something. Or in the modern world, where humans outnumber bears by 7 billion to 1000000, lions by 7 billion to 500000 and tigers by 7 billion to 5000, the absence of HUMAN intervention.

My parents bought my brothers and me a lot of comic books about God(s) when I was young -- Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Moses -- so I grew up a self-styled polytheist. They all seemed like wonderful and powerful beings.

I'm not welcome in most organised places of worship though, because I like to filter out all the crazy stuff. You know, like all this stuff like beheading people, racism on either side of the colour spectrum, oppressing women and homosexuals, genital mutilation, debauching children and getting away with it. For deviating from that straight and narrow, I'm a radical. And it suits me fine. God is great, even as a concept or figment of my imagination, just keep the hypocrites at arm's length. I want more of that kind of positive thought in my life - God, human rights, liberty, equality. Bring it on!


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...

This thread is making me feel like the time I was driving an old Volvo on the autobahn in Germany,doing about 85/90 mph when 2 BMW motorbikes whizzed by me and became 2 little dots on the horizon in 5 seconds flat.

I've completey lost you guys, but hey this is the funnest thread on the forum in a long time.

If musicians dont philosophize, who will. Just because we're drummers does'nt mean all that we are 'allowed' to talk about is1ply heads and Demon Drives.

Grea, Mangle,Polack, and the rest of you... I dont know what the *** y'all are talking about but I love it.

...
Hehe, aydee, The best thing about these kinds of discussions is that everyone is there's no right or wrong point of view, it can be interpreted differently by different people. Glad you're amused ;)

The Drummerworld "Oprah Winfrey" Show :P
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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If musicians dont philosophize, who will. Just because we're drummers does'nt mean all that we are 'allowed' to talk about is1ply heads and Demon Drives.
For sure, Abe. Music and philosophy have hung around each other for years ...

A Day in the Life. A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall. A Love Supreme. Alabama. All You Need is Love. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Another Brick in the Wall. Aqualung. Ashes to Ashes. Berlin. Blowin’ in the Wind. Bridge of Sighs. Candle In the Wind. Candles in the Rain. Cat in the Cradle. Changes. Closer to Fine. Crime of the Century. Do What You Like. Don't Worry, Be Happy. Driva Man. Eve of Destruction. Face the Face. Fools. Freewill. Games Without Frontiers. Give and Take. Grey Seal. Hallelujah. I Talk to the Wind. If Six was Nine. Imagine. It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing. Life's Been Good to Me So Far. Love and Understanding. Macarthur Park. Mad World. Making Plans for Nigel. Mirage. More Trouble Every Day.. My Ever Changing Moods. My God. Piano Man. Power and the Passion. Power in the Darkness. Put On a Happy Face. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. School. Sense of Doubt. Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. Ship of Fools. Shock the Monkey. Sign o' the Times. Sound of Muzak. Spirits in the Material World. Stairway to Heaven. Strange Fruit. Synchronicity. Take a Walk on the Wild Side. The Distance. The Inner Light. The Logical Song. The Message. The Real Me. The Real Me. The Royal Scam. Thick as a Brick. Time. Tomorrow Never Knows. U2's Pride. Vital Signs. Walking in Your Footsteps. War. We've Got to Get Out of This Place. What a Wonderful World. When the River Runs Dry. Wishing Well. Working Class Hero. You Are Beautiful. You Can't Always Get What You Want. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away ...

Sorry about the long list but once I got started it turns out there are more than I expected!

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I'll have to differ on our outputs being "natural" though, think cloned beef and other weird stuff they're doing in labs now.

I think natural would just mean a lack of an outside interference in something. Or in the modern world, where humans outnumber bears by 7 billion to 1000000, lions by 7 billion to 500000 and tigers by 7 billion to 5000, the absence of HUMAN intervention.
Agree Reg, when it comes to food and lifestyle. Otherwise I think of "nature" as the biosphere, which includes both living things and the elements. Is humanity included as part of nature? Or are we an invasive plague? Or maybe humans an inevitable consequence of life forms becoming increasingly complex over the last few billion years?

After all, every now and then in nature a species will have a "breakthrough". For instance, trilobites were the first animals to develop eyes. Freaky to think that for millions of years all living things on Earth were blind. Trilobites used their vision advantage to dominate the Earth for a while. Now they are fossils. I have a small one at home.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Agree Reg, when it comes to food and lifestyle. Otherwise I think of "nature" as the biosphere, which includes both living things and the elements. Is humanity included as part of nature? Or are we an invasive plague? Or maybe humans an inevitable consequence of life forms becoming increasingly complex over the last few billion years?

After all, every now and then in nature a species will have a "breakthrough". For instance, trilobites were the first animals to develop eyes. Freaky to think that for millions of years all living things on Earth were blind. Trilobites used their vision advantage to dominate the Earth for a while. Now they are fossils. I have a small one at home.
That's an interesting thought right there! Suppose in our midst is born a different child. The hope of the species of survival.

Would we allow him to date our girls? No! Would we allow him to be our friend? No! Would we allow him to live in our neighbourhood? No!

Because humans have come to the conclusion that *this* is the chosen form, the pinnacle of our existence, the epitome of creation.

Of course, if my understanding of evolution is correct, the poor misunderstood kid would destroy us all and go on living. Since it's evolution, there's absolutely no way this kid could be killed.

Which seems to be another common thread in most religious texts, i,e. the Day of Judgment, the coming of the Anti-Christ or Mehdi or Kalyug.

We'd *try* to kill him from the moment he was born. Or maybe even before, hahaha ;)
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