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  #241  
Old 09-28-2013, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I saw an awesome lecture about this explaining how they can co-exist by one of my favorite philosopher Daniel Dennett (Very scientific philosopher that focus a lot on the latest findings in string theory etc):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKLAbWFCh1E
He really starting to get into it after 15 min.

Last edited by dazzlez; 09-28-2013 at 07:19 AM.
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  #242  
Old 09-28-2013, 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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Originally Posted by gretsch-o-rama View Post
Hi- Although I agree that as a whole, practitioners of Islam are not oppressive, some men of Islam are very much concerned with keeping women in a lowly place. I can't get with that.
I agree wholeheartedly with that. It's absolutely disgusting. And they cover up their behaviour by saying their religion teaches them to do so. It gives all Muslims a bad name.

Then again, some Hindu customs that are just like that. Teaching generations that people are better by birth and some are so unclean they should not touched, eaten with and they should not drink from your well.

And so on. I don't think I need to delve into the disgusting aspects of all the organised religions of the world.

What do they have in common though? God and so I look for the historic references (2000 years ago, a Son of God walked the earth, was killed, rose up. Note to self: Didn't die? Couldn't be killed? Not mortal? Understudy! Understudy!)

Above all else, history has taught me to avoid paying any tithes and tributes.

I think religion is rather intrinsic to this discussion, but larryace nailed the spirit of it. Bravo everyone indeed.
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  #243  
Old 09-28-2013, 04:05 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 BacteriumFendYoke View Post
I can assure you that I'm accurate.
I can assure you that I'm not ... spectators be warned :)

Love the funnel analogy, Gretscho. I've heard said that in life you give up your dreams one by one until there's nothing left.

Daz, will look at the Dennett link when I get home and not incurring roaming fees. I've seen a vid of him ... definitely in the new breed of rationalist philosophy.

Reggae, I don't see religion as intrinsic to this discussion apart from its intersection with philosophy ... reality keeps doing its thing no matter what speculative supernatural beliefs we hold.

Having said that I'm just back from seeing the Sistine Chapel and St Peters Basilica and I can imagine those places producing an amazing vibe if not for the maddening crowds. Spiritual? I don't know but they are easily the most artistic places I've seen in my life so that level of dedication and inspiration are super special.
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  #244  
Old 09-29-2013, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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I can assure you that I'm not ... spectators be warned :)

Daz, will look at the Dennett link when I get home and not incurring roaming fees. I've seen a vid of him ... definitely in the new breed of rationalist philosophy.
.
Do it! You won't regret it... I had a look at Sam Harris speeches and if you think THAT was nitty gritty you haven't seen anything yet. =)

Last edited by dazzlez; 09-29-2013 at 07:17 AM.
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  #245  
Old 09-30-2013, 10:29 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
I can assure you that I'm not ... spectators be warned :)

Love the funnel analogy, Gretscho. I've heard said that in life you give up your dreams one by one until there's nothing left.

Daz, will look at the Dennett link when I get home and not incurring roaming fees. I've seen a vid of him ... definitely in the new breed of rationalist philosophy.

Reggae, I don't see religion as intrinsic to this discussion apart from its intersection with philosophy ... reality keeps doing its thing no matter what speculative supernatural beliefs we hold.

Having said that I'm just back from seeing the Sistine Chapel and St Peters Basilica and I can imagine those places producing an amazing vibe if not for the maddening crowds. Spiritual? I don't know but they are easily the most artistic places I've seen in my life so that level of dedication and inspiration are super special.
I want to see the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica :(

I just think the concept of pre-destiny implies some sort of over-arching framework or influence. Call it God, the Devil, call it cosmic confluence, whatever :)
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  #246  
Old 09-30-2013, 10:57 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 Reggae_Mangle View Post
I want to see the Sistine Chapel...
its also a great place to get your pocket picked. Hope Grea came out with purse strings intact...


...
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  #247  
Old 10-01-2013, 12:59 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 Reggae_Mangle View Post
(2000 years ago, a Son of God walked the earth, was killed, rose up. Note to self: Didn't die? Couldn't be killed? Not mortal? Understudy! Understudy!)
Few of my favorite questions:
1. What about people born BEFORE 2000 years ago?
2. What about people born, lived, and died somewhere the 'word of god' had not reached (e.g. the Americas for about 1500 years)?
3. What about mentally deficient people or those who die too young and therefore are not physically capable of understanding the story?

Seems (according to some) all of these people should be burning in hell for all eternity, through no fault of their own. Hmm, something just doesn't seem right to me.


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I just think the concept of pre-destiny implies some sort of over-arching framework or influence. Call it God, the Devil, call it cosmic confluence, whatever :)
...or call it nature or physics.
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  #248  
Old 10-01-2013, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Believe me, Abe, throughout Italy I have been clutching my bag to the point where I've worn through the (disappointingly frail) leather. What a scene!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle View Post
I want to see the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica :(

I just think the concept of pre-destiny implies some sort of over-arching framework or influence. Call it God, the Devil, call it cosmic confluence, whatever :)
Actually, while those places may hold potential for some kind of spiritual experience, the crowds are so thick that it's more about survival. Testimony to the cynicism of the monuments' owners.

Maybe destiny can be set by a "what" rather than a "who"? ... the very first quantum fluctuation that set off the big bang? That might have lead to a knock on reaction that could have been inevitable (assuming that quantum strangeness is actually predictable, if not by us at this stage) which ...

I'm just guessing, of course ... as is everyone, though many are not comfortable admitting that for some reason. I would think that ignorance of the ultimate truths is hardly cause for shame or concern :)
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  #249  
Old 10-01-2013, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I dont see a mutual exclusion between the illusion of independance from external event effect on ones cognitive process(free will) and limited causality perception(existance of pre-destiny).

Both are limited perceptions of a larger whole....only popularly interacting within a limited definition range that is loose in its logic.

Last edited by Otto; 10-01-2013 at 10:11 PM.
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  #250  
Old 10-02-2013, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Inspired in part by this thread, I've started reading Sam Harris's book on the concept of free will called, startlingly, "Free Will".

One of the ideas in the book, alluded to here, is the notion that brain scans can show the decision (or "decision") to act in subjects before the subjects themselves are aware of the decision. The conclusion reached is that if you began to move before before you were conscious of a decision to move, the decision is really a subsequent rationalisation of what you were already doing.

Well, I have an alternative hypothesis. Our reactions to stimuli need to be fast because way back when, our survival relied upon our ability to react quickly. (Insert quick and the dead joke here.) Reactions must be based in a very primitive part of our brains.

Verbalising our reactions would have arrived much later, in a more sophisticated part of our brains.

What I think happens is that we process and act on a stimulus faster than we can verbalise what we have done, but it remains a conscious decision.
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  #251  
Old 10-02-2013, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

There are situations where we make rational decisions and situations where we simply 'switch off'. At work, I 'switch off' when I'm making interventions and simply follow a protocol that has been laid down and then reflect upon it later. I'm not going into what precisely I do but in some instances, those reactions have proved important.

On a slightly odd note, I came across a real situation on Friday. I care greatly for animals. I'm a vegetarian and have been for a few years. One of my work colleagues found a dying pigeon and moved it somewhere out of harm. A few hours later, it's still there and clearly suffering - necrotising, twitching, the lot. At that point I made a decision that I would end the pigeon's suffering as quickly and as painlessly as I could with the tools available to me. Without going into the gruesome details, the pigeon's neck was broken and I buried it.

I was discussing it with my co-worker today and he came to the same conclusion about the pigeon as I did - he just didn't feel that he could've taken the action that I did. What is it in my own make-up that means I can make those decisions and carry them out? Is it a morbid, dark streak? Is it some kind of moral duty? Did I enjoy killing the pigeon?

I don't know the answers to any of the questions other than to say that no matter what my reasoning or sensations were, I did the right thing. It's odd.
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  #252  
Old 10-02-2013, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Stumbled across this thread.

Did anyone mention Jonathan Edwards yet?

He gives the clearest Christian viewpoint on the subject from a reformed perspective, which is my perspective FYI.

The trick is how you define free will.

If free will is the ability to make choices within your desires, limited abilities and existence, then great. But the limits are legion, enough that none of us are truly "free" in the sense that you might think. We are bound to our desires and to our natures. We also cannot actualize every choice we might want to make. Only God is truly free in that He can do anything He wants.

To answer bobrush's questions:

To God, we are evil, already condemned, destined for Hell, all of us. The infinite holiness of God demands this. Implying that God owes all people a chance to be saved is missing the point entirely.

This planet is a holding cell for a condemned race already on death row. We are all born evil, opposed to the things of God from day 1 of our existence, the fact that we can't act on this evil until we develop our faculties a bit is somewhat irrelevant to the sentence. Somewhat in the sense that as we accumulate more crimes, our punishment increases.

The logic Paul uses in Romans is simple, we are all under the sentence of death, and the fact that we die is the proof. So the fact that people of any age and capacity can die, is proof of the judgement of God on everyone. Remember that Adam and Eve were conditionally immortal before the fall.

You may think you don't deserve to die, but your opinion isn't the one that matters if God is real.

God is under no obligation to save, or even offer the opportunity to be saved to anyone at all, any more than a governor is obligated to pardon all (or any) condemned criminals in his jurisdiction.

But God in His mercy decided to save some, and in no way did He make an effort to provide all people the option to be saved. That only occurs at the very end when the Gospel is preached to all nations.

However, children and others with limited capacity are generally believed to go to Heaven if they die, but God again is under no obligation to do it that way - it is an act of mercy, not of obligation.

And if all this seems bizarre to you, remember that is how you self-declare yourself to be His enemy, a rebel, from a race of rebels, living on a planet where an insurrection is in progress, one that will be dealt with eventually, God in His mercy is staving it off a bit, but not necessarily for your benefit.

And if you truly want the ultimate answer as to why, again Romans tells us directly, God created the world to put Himself on display, to show both His mercy by saving some and His holiness by condemning the rest. You really want to be on the side of mercy. Notice that nobody will escape serving His purposes, you have no freedom whatsoever in that respect.

But in a sense, the Bible teaches that limited "free-will" and predestination coexist, anticipating this question by a few millennia.
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  #253  
Old 10-02-2013, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

There is a deep philosophical question here - and I thought long about this years ago studying philosophy - do we truly decide our path(s) in life? Because in the end there is only one path, the path we choose.

What I do know for certain; any world with "government" other than self-government is not free.

;)
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  #254  
Old 10-02-2013, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
Stumbled across this thread.

Did anyone mention Jonathan Edwards yet?

He gives the clearest Christian viewpoint on the subject from a reformed perspective, which is my perspective FYI.

The trick is how you define free will.

If free will is the ability to make choices within your desires, limited abilities and existence, then great. But the limits are legion, enough that none of us are truly "free" in the sense that you might think. We are bound to our desires and to our natures. We also cannot actualize every choice we might want to make. Only God is truly free in that He can do anything He wants.

To answer bobrush's questions:

To God, we are evil, already condemned, destined for Hell, all of us. The infinite holiness of God demands this. Implying that God owes all people a chance to be saved is missing the point entirely.

This planet is a holding cell for a condemned race already on death row. We are all born evil, opposed to the things of God from day 1 of our existence, the fact that we can't act on this evil until we develop our faculties a bit is somewhat irrelevant to the sentence. Somewhat in the sense that as we accumulate more crimes, our punishment increases.

The logic Paul uses in Romans is simple, we are all under the sentence of death, and the fact that we die is the proof. So the fact that people of any age and capacity can die, is proof of the judgement of God on everyone. Remember that Adam and Eve were conditionally immortal before the fall.

You may think you don't deserve to die, but your opinion isn't the one that matters if God is real.

God is under no obligation to save, or even offer the opportunity to be saved to anyone at all, any more than a governor is obligated to pardon all (or any) condemned criminals in his jurisdiction.

But God in His mercy decided to save some, and in no way did He make an effort to provide all people the option to be saved. That only occurs at the very end when the Gospel is preached to all nations.

However, children and others with limited capacity are generally believed to go to Heaven if they die, but God again is under no obligation to do it that way - it is an act of mercy, not of obligation.

And if all this seems bizarre to you, remember that is how you self-declare yourself to be His enemy, a rebel, from a race of rebels, living on a planet where an insurrection is in progress, one that will be dealt with eventually, God in His mercy is staving it off a bit, but not necessarily for your benefit.

And if you truly want the ultimate answer as to why, again Romans tells us directly, God created the world to put Himself on display, to show both His mercy by saving some and His holiness by condemning the rest. You really want to be on the side of mercy. Notice that nobody will escape serving His purposes, you have no freedom whatsoever in that respect.

But in a sense, the Bible teaches that limited "free-will" and predestination coexist, anticipating this question by a few millennia.
Yeah, yeah. My six year old swears she once saw the tooth fairy too.

Last edited by Pocket-full-of-gold; 10-02-2013 at 08:26 AM.
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  #255  
Old 10-02-2013, 04:47 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 kurth83 View Post
Stuff
Never before have my eyebrows actually shot up *above* my head.

Be aware that there are many viewpoints on religion, and lack of religion, on here, and and yours has no claim on absolute truth.

This is not the start of a religious discussion; it is the end of one.
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  #256  
Old 10-02-2013, 05:14 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 kurth83 View Post
Stumbled across this thread.

To answer bobrush's questions:

To God, we are evil, already condemned, destined for Hell, all of us. ...

This planet is a holding cell for a condemned race already on death row. We are all born evil, ...
...in no way did He make an effort to provide all people the option to be saved.

However, children and others with limited capacity are generally believed to go to Heaven if they die, but God again is under no obligation to do it that way - it is an act of mercy, not of obligation.

... God created the world to put Himself on display, to show ... His holiness by condemning the rest.
...you have no freedom whatsoever in that respect.
Thank you for answering my questions.

Last edited by Bobrush; 10-02-2013 at 05:37 AM.
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  #257  
Old 10-02-2013, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Mankind does not have the choice of when we are born or when we should die (provided you don't take your own life, of course) but we do have control of our destiny.
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  #258  
Old 10-02-2013, 09:15 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 Reggae_Mangle View Post
I agree wholeheartedly with that. It's absolutely disgusting. And they cover up their behaviour by saying their religion teaches them to do so. It gives all Muslims a bad name.

Then again, some Hindu customs that are just like that. Teaching generations that people are better by birth and some are so unclean they should not touched, eaten with and they should not drink from your well.

And so on. I don't think I need to delve into the disgusting aspects of all the organised religions of the world.

What do they have in common though? God and so I look for the historic references (2000 years ago, a Son of God walked the earth, was killed, rose up. Note to self: Didn't die? Couldn't be killed? Not mortal? Understudy! Understudy!)

Above all else, history has taught me to avoid paying any tithes and tributes.

I think religion is rather intrinsic to this discussion, but larryace nailed the spirit of it. Bravo everyone indeed.
Your post made me think that karma is an extremely damaging concept, downright evil.

We have a Disneyland Western understanding of karma. In far Eastern religions it is used to justify an oppressive caste system, social injustice and repression. If you were born poor, diseased, malnourished and oppressed, you're living out bad karma from a previous life. If someone is wealthy and powerful, it is because of good karma in a past life. That is the natural order of things.
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  #259  
Old 10-11-2013, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

BF Skinner, behavioral psychologist, postulates in Beyond Freedom and Dignity, that free will choices are pre-determined by the interaction of the individual's environmental experiences and their unique genetic makeup.
It can be demonstrated through a process called operant conditioning.

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  #260  
Old 10-12-2013, 11:55 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 Deathmetalconga View Post
Your post made me think that karma is an extremely damaging concept, downright evil.

We have a Disneyland Western understanding of karma. In far Eastern religions it is used to justify an oppressive caste system, social injustice and repression. If you were born poor, diseased, malnourished and oppressed, you're living out bad karma from a previous life. If someone is wealthy and powerful, it is because of good karma in a past life. That is the natural order of things.
Not sure where karma fit into my post, but you can think of it as "what goes around comes around" or "as you sow, so shall you reap". It's a simple concept. Indians believe in rebirth, being born after you die in a cycle that is intended to purify your soul. Karma plays a role in balancing that out.

After that, there's a heaven and hell too, much in the same way that Christianity portrays them. In that sense, and I'm espousing views that might seem radical to many Hindus, rebirth on earth is similar to the concept of purgatory.

As far as oppressive caste systems or social injustice, etc., that's the fallout of historical battles won and lost. With a good dose of religious wrong-doing to boot.

Of course, believing that such behaviour and ways of life are limited to India or the Far East is the result of long periods of indoctrination via the news and other information flows, to be blunt.

When I was young, I watched the movies about happy American families and saw picturesque suburban neighbourhoods and communal harmony. And I thought it was just like that.

No one lived in an apartment, there was no smell of urine in the streets and subways, everyone went to college.

I never knew that until the 60s, if a black man rode in a bus, he would be thrown off. Or that women were forced to sell their bodies for money and were then beaten up by a pimp that would take the majority of their earnings for himself and give them drugs instead. Or that politicians took kickbacks and sold out their nation in return for money from Chinese Communists and wealthy Arabs that could buy up Wall Street and make sure that the small investor always loses.

I mean, look at Linda Lovelace. That woman to this date keeps screaming about how she was exploited. I have no doubt in my mind she and her family suffered on account of Deep Throat, even as others made money and it became a part of "popular culture".

And if I have to touch upon religion, it disgusts me that children were abused by men of the cloth and then protected by their peers.

I suppose the danger in making statements like the one you quoted was that it would be misinterpreted. The caste system has been abolished. Social injustice has been abolished too, apparently. That they still persist (albeit on a much smaller scale) speaks volumes about the regard for "human rights" and "moral values" in this place. Much in the same way that poverty and hunger do in America.

In that respect, the US threw off the yoke of colonial oppression over 200 years ago. India did it about 65 years ago. Systematic plundering of resources and subjugation of people without regard have left it a poor nation. You've heard of Mahatma Gandhi? Then you'll know that he was shot dead, much in the way of Abraham Lincoln, a good man. Why? Because he suggested that the Congress Party (which rules India now, but was originally fought to fight for Independence), should be dissolved once freedom was achieved. He was against untouchability and other superstitious nonsense.

People want these social evils to persist because they can benefit from it. But people with brains know it is wrong and should be stopped.
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  #261  
Old 10-12-2013, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle View Post
Not sure where karma fit into my post, but you can think of it as "what goes around comes around" or "as you sow, so shall you reap". It's a simple concept. Indians believe in rebirth, being born after you die in a cycle that is intended to purify your soul. Karma plays a role in balancing that out.

After that, there's a heaven and hell too, much in the same way that Christianity portrays them. In that sense, and I'm espousing views that might seem radical to many Hindus, rebirth on earth is similar to the concept of purgatory.

As far as oppressive caste systems or social injustice, etc., that's the fallout of historical battles won and lost. With a good dose of religious wrong-doing to boot.

Of course, believing that such behaviour and ways of life are limited to India or the Far East is the result of long periods of indoctrination via the news and other information flows, to be blunt.

When I was young, I watched the movies about happy American families and saw picturesque suburban neighbourhoods and communal harmony. And I thought it was just like that.

No one lived in an apartment, there was no smell of urine in the streets and subways, everyone went to college.

I never knew that until the 60s, if a black man rode in a bus, he would be thrown off. Or that women were forced to sell their bodies for money and were then beaten up by a pimp that would take the majority of their earnings for himself and give them drugs instead. Or that politicians took kickbacks and sold out their nation in return for money from Chinese Communists and wealthy Arabs that could buy up Wall Street and make sure that the small investor always loses.

I mean, look at Linda Lovelace. That woman to this date keeps screaming about how she was exploited. I have no doubt in my mind she and her family suffered on account of Deep Throat, even as others made money and it became a part of "popular culture".

And if I have to touch upon religion, it disgusts me that children were abused by men of the cloth and then protected by their peers.

I suppose the danger in making statements like the one you quoted was that it would be misinterpreted. The caste system has been abolished. Social injustice has been abolished too, apparently. That they still persist (albeit on a much smaller scale) speaks volumes about the regard for "human rights" and "moral values" in this place. Much in the same way that poverty and hunger do in America.

In that respect, the US threw off the yoke of colonial oppression over 200 years ago. India did it about 65 years ago. Systematic plundering of resources and subjugation of people without regard have left it a poor nation. You've heard of Mahatma Gandhi? Then you'll know that he was shot dead, much in the way of Abraham Lincoln, a good man. Why? Because he suggested that the Congress Party (which rules India now, but was originally fought to fight for Independence), should be dissolved once freedom was achieved. He was against untouchability and other superstitious nonsense.

People want these social evils to persist because they can benefit from it. But people with brains know it is wrong and should be stopped.
Love.

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  #262  
Old 10-12-2013, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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Love.

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What I want to know is how you subverted the minimum word count. Ah, now I see :)
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:22 PM
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Not sure where karma fit into my post, but you can think of it as "what goes around comes around" or "as you sow, so shall you reap". It's a simple concept. Indians believe in rebirth, being born after you die in a cycle that is intended to purify your soul. Karma plays a role in balancing that out.

After that, there's a heaven and hell too, much in the same way that Christianity portrays them. In that sense, and I'm espousing views that might seem radical to many Hindus, rebirth on earth is similar to the concept of purgatory.

As far as oppressive caste systems or social injustice, etc., that's the fallout of historical battles won and lost. With a good dose of religious wrong-doing to boot.

Of course, believing that such behaviour and ways of life are limited to India or the Far East is the result of long periods of indoctrination via the news and other information flows, to be blunt.

When I was young, I watched the movies about happy American families and saw picturesque suburban neighbourhoods and communal harmony. And I thought it was just like that.

No one lived in an apartment, there was no smell of urine in the streets and subways, everyone went to college.

I never knew that until the 60s, if a black man rode in a bus, he would be thrown off. Or that women were forced to sell their bodies for money and were then beaten up by a pimp that would take the majority of their earnings for himself and give them drugs instead. Or that politicians took kickbacks and sold out their nation in return for money from Chinese Communists and wealthy Arabs that could buy up Wall Street and make sure that the small investor always loses.

I mean, look at Linda Lovelace. That woman to this date keeps screaming about how she was exploited. I have no doubt in my mind she and her family suffered on account of Deep Throat, even as others made money and it became a part of "popular culture".

And if I have to touch upon religion, it disgusts me that children were abused by men of the cloth and then protected by their peers.

I suppose the danger in making statements like the one you quoted was that it would be misinterpreted. The caste system has been abolished. Social injustice has been abolished too, apparently. That they still persist (albeit on a much smaller scale) speaks volumes about the regard for "human rights" and "moral values" in this place. Much in the same way that poverty and hunger do in America.

In that respect, the US threw off the yoke of colonial oppression over 200 years ago. India did it about 65 years ago. Systematic plundering of resources and subjugation of people without regard have left it a poor nation. You've heard of Mahatma Gandhi? Then you'll know that he was shot dead, much in the way of Abraham Lincoln, a good man. Why? Because he suggested that the Congress Party (which rules India now, but was originally fought to fight for Independence), should be dissolved once freedom was achieved. He was against untouchability and other superstitious nonsense.

People want these social evils to persist because they can benefit from it. But people with brains know it is wrong and should be stopped.
Karma is a vicious concept, used to reinforce repressive social systems. It's not just "what goes around comes around" or "you reap what you sow." It's also "you're poor and diseased because of wrongs you did in a previous life and I am in a position to exploit you because I was virtuous in a previous life." Kind of hard to argue with that reasoning!

Perhaps the caste system has been largely dismantled in a formal way. Societies can change like that. But the basic tenets of karma remain, ready for anyone to use to justify horrific repression of others. Most Westerners are oblivious to this because we get our understanding of karma largely from Western pop culture.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:40 AM
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But people with brains know it is wrong and should be stopped.
I wish even that much were true. I would say it takes brains, a conscience (sense of morality/humanity), and a drive to act just for starters. Each of these three are not exactly universal attributes of human beings, all three together are quire rare. Couple that with the juggernaut of the status quo and things look dark indeed. Don't get me wrong, I am not completely without hope, and I try to do my part to right the wrongs (although I certainly have my failings), but the pessimism is hard to control. Even a cursory look at the US is pretty bleak. We will sign up for any war anywhere anytime for any cost (in lives and dollars) where we think oil might be involved, but make a commitment to health care for all? No, we would rather commit fiscal suicide, and threaten global economic meltdown rather than take care of sick people.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:51 AM
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Karma is a vicious concept, used to reinforce repressive social systems. It's not just "what goes around comes around" or "you reap what you sow." It's also "you're poor and diseased because of wrongs you did in a previous life and I am in a position to exploit you because I was virtuous in a previous life." Kind of hard to argue with that reasoning!

Perhaps the caste system has been largely dismantled in a formal way. Societies can change like that. But the basic tenets of karma remain, ready for anyone to use to justify horrific repression of others. Most Westerners are oblivious to this because we get our understanding of karma largely from Western pop culture.
It's interesting to see how you've misinterpreted the workings of karma to construe it as something evil.

If I am rich and powerful and I wrong those that are weak, I will be served up a dish of karma to avenge my wrongdoings perhaps in this life, or perhaps in the next. There is always come-uppance for wrongs and just as likely reward for virtue, but not necessarily a timeframe.

If I fail to adhere to principles like dharma (virtuous living), I will no doubt be doomed to be reborn again and again, sometimes richer, sometimes poorer. After all, what does virtue have to do with how rich or poor people are? Some of the poor people I know are far more virtuous than the rich. And the opposite holds true as well.

AKA you can feel sorry for yourself, or you can pick yourself up and give it the old "college boy" try.

Thinking of it as a punishment system is just erroneous interpretation. In this case, the Western pop culture version is decidedly more accurate than your version.

I would shudder to try and explain Maya (illusion) with my skills. As in, it's all maya, baby, you can't take it with you, but hey hey, you're not going anywhere either haha :)
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:45 PM
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........ you can't take it with you, but hey hey, you're not going anywhere either haha :)
Brilliantos, Reggae!!


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Old 10-18-2013, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

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It's interesting to see how you've misinterpreted the workings of karma to construe it as something evil.

If I am rich and powerful and I wrong those that are weak, I will be served up a dish of karma to avenge my wrongdoings perhaps in this life, or perhaps in the next. There is always come-uppance for wrongs and just as likely reward for virtue, but not necessarily a timeframe.

If I fail to adhere to principles like dharma (virtuous living), I will no doubt be doomed to be reborn again and again, sometimes richer, sometimes poorer. After all, what does virtue have to do with how rich or poor people are? Some of the poor people I know are far more virtuous than the rich. And the opposite holds true as well.

AKA you can feel sorry for yourself, or you can pick yourself up and give it the old "college boy" try.

Thinking of it as a punishment system is just erroneous interpretation. In this case, the Western pop culture version is decidedly more accurate than your version.

I would shudder to try and explain Maya (illusion) with my skills. As in, it's all maya, baby, you can't take it with you, but hey hey, you're not going anywhere either haha :)
That's not my interpretation of karma. In particular societies that practice it, the powerful use karma to reinforce unjust social orders, which I suppose is nothing new for people and religion. This probably sounds very startling to someone who only knows the Disneyfied concept of karma, but the powerful have long used fatalistic concepts like karma to justify their place over others.

Everyone believes they live a virtuous life and will look for ways to support that contention - even as they might ruthlessly exploit those under them - and religion will usually provide a basis for their justification.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:56 AM
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BF Skinner, behavioral psychologist, postulates in Beyond Freedom and Dignity, that free will choices are pre-determined by the interaction of the individual's environmental experiences and their unique genetic makeup.
It can be demonstrated through a process called operant conditioning.
That's pretty well exactly my take on it. Your physicality and your past make you who you are. There is nothing intrinsic to us other than that - we're all made of the same "stuff". It seems to me that people are always taking credit or blame for things that don't appear to be in their control.


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Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle View Post
It's interesting to see how you've misinterpreted the workings of karma to construe it as something evil.

If I am rich and powerful and I wrong those that are weak, I will be served up a dish of karma to avenge my wrongdoings perhaps in this life, or perhaps in the next. There is always come-uppance for wrongs and just as likely reward for virtue, but not necessarily a timeframe.

If I fail to adhere to principles like dharma (virtuous living), I will no doubt be doomed to be reborn again and again, sometimes richer, sometimes poorer. After all, what does virtue have to do with how rich or poor people are? Some of the poor people I know are far more virtuous than the rich. And the opposite holds true as well.

AKA you can feel sorry for yourself, or you can pick yourself up and give it the old "college boy" try.

Thinking of it as a punishment system is just erroneous interpretation. In this case, the Western pop culture version is decidedly more accurate than your version.

I would shudder to try and explain Maya (illusion) with my skills. As in, it's all maya, baby, you can't take it with you, but hey hey, you're not going anywhere either haha :)
It would be nice (or scary) to think of karma as real but my feeling is that the rights and wrongs in our little lives are of no consequence to the universe / God / whatever. It would be like talking about praiseworthy or blameworthy bacteria. Sure, the local bacteria affected by kind or egregious microbes might have an opinion but no one else cares :)

Still, there's obvious balancing going on in the universe - a pendulum swings back, the dry part of a sponge will absorb water from nearby saturated areas etc. I suppose it could apply to values too, given that values obviously exist and Yin/Yang seems to be a universal truth.

If karma exists then we'd better get our $#!% together, given that middle class humans are amongst the 0.0000000000001% of the most fortunate living things that have ever lived. Many creatures live in constant fear of predators, fear of not catching prey and generally die through being eaten alive or mangled. Here we are, calmly chatting on the net with almost zero threat to our lives.

So if you - one of the blessed ones - screw this life up you wouldn't want to think about the comeuppance. But don't let that worry you ... carry on ... no pressure lol

According to one of my peak experiences, the universe doesn't care a jot whether you're Adolph Hitler or Mahatma Gandhi - you have your little time in existence and then - floop! - back to the fold when you die (whatever "the fold" is). No harm, no foul. In cosmic terms we are like microbes that exist for less than the blink of an eye.

Whether that peak experience had any truth to it or was an illusion, I don't know, although it seems similar in nature to peak experiences others have described. Of course it's possible that we are wired to have particular types of illusions so that's not proof either, maybe just a little comforting :)
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:38 AM
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It's interesting to see how you've misinterpreted the workings of karma to construe it as something evil.
How about if we construe karma as being something that's nothing more than a human invention?
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:03 AM
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How about if we construe karma as being something that's nothing more than a human invention?
I treat it as a label for cause and effect. It seems to me that the writers of ancient texts intuited a number of deep truths but then expanded on them with social and political polemic. Why? Because they could.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:39 AM
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..

I'm no philosopher by any stretch of the imagination (and there are some serious heavy-hitters on this thread) but heres my simplistic interpretation:

Karma, which means 'deed', is basically a cause & effect theory which assumes that the energy on the planet doesnt dissipate. Its transfers.

..that all natural elements never disappear but simply change form and since all life is mostly made up of water and gases, whenever a water molecule leaves a surface and diffuses into a surrounding gases, it is said to have evaporated. Each molecule which transitions between a more associated (liquid) and a less associated (vapor/gas) state does so through the absorption or release of kinetic energy.

The consequence of this energy transfer is called Karma. For example, we dont die -as in end-. We evaporate and disintegrate into the atmosphere and the elements and reappear in another form which is loosely determined by the previous actions of this energy.

Karma is an attempt to identify and define what happens to this energy in the context of actions and reactions. It is incorrect to assume that karma means a pre-determined fate. A change of action can change the course of the reaction.
By giving it another layer of morality as to how this energy was spent it its past form and therefore determining where it goes next, ( An eastern interpretation of St Peter.. Pearly gates.. perhaps ) it tries to answer the eternal human questions - " Who am I, what am I doing here, and what happens to me when I'm gone".

In other words, you bear the consequences of your actions most of the time. But if there's some terrible shitez going down thats beyond your control or you just won the lottery, its probably the after effects of some long forgotten tsunami in the cycle of energy, that is you.


Like all time worn theories, a lot of hocus-pocus has been added by vested interests over the eons.





PS- just read my post again, boy, have I tied myself up in knots, lol.

.......But I'll leave it since i think this thread allows a little leeway for some 'drummer-as-philosopher' whackiness








...

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Old 10-21-2013, 01:45 PM
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Abe, that's pretty close to my thought on karma action / reaction. Yes, the cultural overlay (oppression) is just politics and power.

Karma is well represented in song.

The Jam: What you give is what you get.

The Beatles: And in the end the love that you take is equal to the love you make.

John Lennon: Instant Karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you right in the face, you better get yourself together, join the human race

Even Justin Timberlake: What goes around comes around.


Not so sure about the below, tho, so I will counter with something less plausible :)

Quote:
...we dont die -as in end-. We evaporate and disintegrate into the atmosphere and the elements and reappear in another form which is loosely determined by the previous actions of this energy.
I think that dissipation is exactly the death many of us fear. The loss of our personality and individuality. Floating around in mindless fragments of cosmic compost isn't exactly most people's idea of a good afterlife :)

Thing is ... what is it that dissipates? We change all our atoms every 7 years. Consciousness will dissipate with brain death, presumably.

According to my peak experience we (whatever we are beneath the atoms) dissipate into a vibrant and welcoming ocean of bliss. While a peak experience of an insect like me is not exactly scientifically convincing (or convincing on any level :) it is "anti karma" as we know it. Everyone gets "welcomed back" - the good, the bad and the indifferent.

My impression during the experience was that the universe doesn't care about what we call "good" or "bad" any more than we would judge the performance of microbes'. Bad microbe! Your microbial activity is appalling! Lift your game! Maybe not ...

The sense I had was that each life lived just means the universe learns a tiny bit more about itself - becomes a little smarter. Maybe there's karma in the way you get reabsorbed - plain old cause and effect - but I got scared at that point and backed off.

It's probably all gibberish but maybe not much worse than some other gibberish floating around ...
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:09 PM
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Karma is well represented in song.
I don't need to take revenge
Cos they're coming to get you
There's no hope for you my friend
Cos they're coming to get you....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZlOlnypBCE


... love the outro :)
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:15 PM
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Pretty epic.

That reminds me of another karma song! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcA9LIIXWw
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:20 PM
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Pretty epic.

That reminds me of another karma song! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcA9LIIXWw
Oh boy, oh boy.... I never liked it :)




I hope Karma doesn't exist... for my own sake.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:26 PM
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I found it horribly repetitive - actually both songs.

Apart from not encouraging Duncan to be your son-in-law I don't see any bad karma going on at your end ;)
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:27 AM
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Another karma song...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqP3wT5lpa4
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:39 AM
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I quoted that one's lyrics yesterday, JJ. At least it's a decent song.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:15 PM
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Few of my favorite questions:
1. What about people born BEFORE 2000 years ago?
2. What about people born, lived, and died somewhere the 'word of god' had not reached (e.g. the Americas for about 1500 years)?
3. What about mentally deficient people or those who die too young and therefore are not physically capable of understanding the story?

Seems (according to some) all of these people should be burning in hell for all eternity, through no fault of their own. Hmm, something just doesn't seem right to me.
Missed this one directed at me. Some how, these people all had some concept of a God. Much before 1 BC.

They probably show up every millenium or two to fix stuff and teach people to wash themselves with soap and things ^^
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:51 PM
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Brilliantos, Reggae!!


...
Gracie ^^


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That's not my interpretation of karma. In particular societies that practice it, the powerful use karma to reinforce unjust social orders, which I suppose is nothing new for people and religion. This probably sounds very startling to someone who only knows the Disneyfied concept of karma, but the powerful have long used fatalistic concepts like karma to justify their place over others.

Everyone believes they live a virtuous life and will look for ways to support that contention - even as they might ruthlessly exploit those under them - and religion will usually provide a basis for their justification.
I'm not sure you've mixed up karma with the caste system. The caste system in India was divised to segregate people on the basis of their role to play in society. You had the brahmins (priests), kshatriyas (warriors), etc. There were also dalits (untouchables). Why they were untouchable was because they worked with animal carcasses, tanning leather and those kinds of activities, which the religious bigots of the day considered below them and believed that contact with them would pollute their souls. Why they had so much bias against meat, I have no idea, considering that one of the oldest Hindu texts, the Vedas, indicate that the priests of the time ate meat. I believe it was perversion of the original intent of the system for undeserved gains, eg. usurping land, rape and murder, etc.

If you'd like to draw a parallel with England, you could look at the feudal system of serfs and lords and barons and kings. And we all know how eff'ed up that was until the people took the power back.

Back on the subject of karma, if you understand what it means to be punished for your sins and rewarded for the good you do, you would trend toward the latter instead of the former. But only in an ideal world. Shades of grey to some, black and white to the other. Heck, look at Hollywood movies focused on gangsters, but portraying them as heroes. Sometimes being bad can look so good to yourself, you don't realise that everyone around you is screaming about the monster in their midst.


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Originally Posted by con struct View Post
How about if we construe karma as being something that's nothing more than a human invention?

Think about Fred Anderson, a construction worker from some part of the world that immigrated to America in the 1800s. He was involved in various railway projects and died at 43 while walking back to his shack after collecting his pay cheque. His body was never found, there are no documents proving that he even existed, no one cares two hoots about him anyway and he's not coming back. Maybe he existed, maybe he didn't.

Yet here we are discussing Fred Anderson, haha ^^


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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
It would be nice (or scary) to think of karma as real but my feeling is that the rights and wrongs in our little lives are of no consequence to the universe / God / whatever. It would be like talking about praiseworthy or blameworthy bacteria. Sure, the local bacteria affected by kind or egregious microbes might have an opinion but no one else cares :)

Still, there's obvious balancing going on in the universe - a pendulum swings back, the dry part of a sponge will absorb water from nearby saturated areas etc. I suppose it could apply to values too, given that values obviously exist and Yin/Yang seems to be a universal truth.

If karma exists then we'd better get our $#!% together, given that middle class humans are amongst the 0.0000000000001% of the most fortunate living things that have ever lived. Many creatures live in constant fear of predators, fear of not catching prey and generally die through being eaten alive or mangled. Here we are, calmly chatting on the net with almost zero threat to our lives.

So if you - one of the blessed ones - screw this life up you wouldn't want to think about the comeuppance. But don't let that worry you ... carry on ... no pressure lol

According to one of my peak experiences, the universe doesn't care a jot whether you're Adolph Hitler or Mahatma Gandhi - you have your little time in existence and then - floop! - back to the fold when you die (whatever "the fold" is). No harm, no foul. In cosmic terms we are like microbes that exist for less than the blink of an eye.

Whether that peak experience had any truth to it or was an illusion, I don't know, although it seems similar in nature to peak experiences others have described. Of course it's possible that we are wired to have particular types of illusions so that's not proof either, maybe just a little comforting :)

I agree, we're so infinitesimally small in the eyes of the Universe to be almost insignificant. I say almost because every one of us has the chance to change history, to have a great impact on the lives of those around us, to fulfill the purpose of our existence.

I think, therefore I am. That kind of positive thinking can shape your destiny, I honestly believe. If you think about Islam and how they're always writing everything backwards, maybe it should be "Allah, insh?" (God, will?") instead of Inshallah (by the will of God).

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