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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Seuss]
    #2434964 - 03/15/04 02:43 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Seuss writes:

Just because you don't perceive anybody forcing you, doesn't mean that they didn't.

Nor does it mean they did. Absent any indication whatsoever that I was in fact forced, it is foolish to assume I was.

As I said earlier, even if there were some other agent directing me to first assemble the string "nt'aaki" in my mind, then type it on a keyboard, it only moves the question of volition one step further up the line.

pinky


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2434979 - 03/15/04 02:48 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

> Absent any indication whatsoever that I was in fact forced, it is foolish to assume I was.

Why is it foolish to assume that you were forced, absent any indication whatsoever... but is not foolish to assume that you were not forced, absent any indication whatsoever?  :smile:

> it only moves the question of volition one step further up the line

Which would indicate free will lies elsewhere, no?  :grin:


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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Seuss]
    #2435032 - 03/15/04 03:05 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Seuss writes:

Why is it foolish to assume that you were forced, absent any indication whatsoever... but is not foolish to assume that you were not forced, absent any indication whatsoever?

Following that line of reasoning, anything goes. There are invisible lizards controlling the movements of your eyeballs, for example.

Which would indicate free will lies elsewhere, no?

It would indicate (again, if the assumption is valid) only that there is a part of the "me" that is not housed in my cranium.

pinky


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2435051 - 03/15/04 03:12 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I hope you enjoy your ride through life as a passenger.

LOL. :thumbup:

Cheezus crust, some people in this thread are just all caught up in over-analysis.



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OfflinePed
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2435087 - 03/15/04 03:22 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

As human beings, we have a greatly limited scope of the effects of our actions. Even more so, we have a severely limited scope of the motivations behind our actions. We are drawn in certain directions and to commit certain actions by an immeasurable number of factors, of which we have very little awareness.

If our free will were perfect and complete, then there would be no suffering in this world, because nobody wishes to suffer. If we had perfect awareness of the causes and effects of each of our actions, we would not commit actions which lead us into places of discomfort. We would only commit to those actions which bring us happiness, because happiness is our most essential wish.

If our free will were perfect and complete, we would be able to accomplish all of our wishes effortlessly. Because we have ignorance, we cannot accomplish all of our wishes, and those we do accomplish demand a great deal of hardship and mistake. Therefore, because we have ignorance, our free will is less than we typically believe it to be.

While yes, we have the freedom and ability to choose, we are not able to fully appreciate the scope of our choices, and therefore when it comes to matters of the heart we more closely resemble fish in a pond, guided primarily by instinct, and not by conceptual awareness. With a lesser scope of awareness, there must be a lesser appreciation of the scope of our actions. Our free will, therefore, can be seen as being directly proportionate to our awareness of the scope of our actions, their motivating factors, and their effects.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Ped]
    #2435109 - 03/15/04 03:27 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Yes, and just to expand:
If our free will were perfect and complete, we would be able to accomplish all of our wishes effortlessly.

And likewise, if our free will were non-existant and volition were just a complete myth...

well, then what? :wink:



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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Ped]
    #2435128 - 03/15/04 03:33 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
Even more so, we have a severely limited scope of the motivations behind our actions.



Really, this is an overgeneralization.

Quote:

If our free will were perfect and complete, then there would be no suffering in this world, because nobody wishes to suffer.



I don't understand how you arrive at the conclusion that there would be no suffering, please explain.

Quote:

If we had perfect awareness of the causes and effects of each of our actions, we would not commit actions which lead us into places of discomfort.



Speak for yourself. People often place themselves in situations knowing full well that they can or will experience discomfort.

Quote:

If our free will were perfect and complete, we would be able to accomplish all of our wishes effortlessly.



So natural laws would no longer apply? If I had complete free will and I decided to fly by flapping my arms I could actually fly?

Quote:

Therefore, because we have ignorance, our free will is less than we typically believe it to be.



Bullshit alarm, bullshit alarm!!! There is no logical reason to say that ignorance limits our free will, it only limits our knowledge. Don't confuse not being fully informed with lack of free will. This muddies up things quite a bit.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2435164 - 03/15/04 03:43 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
Ja, and your thoughts that are directing your consciousness are also a process of cause and effect, and the way your mind works and thinks in the first place is a process of cause and effect and was formed by the process of cause and effect.

So you are saying that it is not my mind that is ultimately causing my fingers to type this message -- that it is rather something instead causing my mind to send the necessary signals? Something using my mind as a mere intermediary or agent?




I'm not saying that it isn't your mind causing your fingers to type that message. What I am saying is that every thought you have comes about because of the previous thought. What I am saying is that if you arrive in a situation, that the choice you make WAS going to be made based on everything that has happened before it.

The point I am trying to make by this is that the last moment created this moment. Based on the last moment and every moment before it, this moment WASN'T going to happen any other way. If it is possible, time could be reversed and played out again and the exact same would happen.

This doesn't necessarily mean we don't make choices... but the choices that we DO make are inevitable. No matter how free it seems to us as we are making them, every single thought that we think that ends up leading to the decision to make the action led to the action being made.

Remember when I mentioned the stream of water thing? That is what I meant, sort of.

Think of a root growing in the soil. Where it starts growing is going to determine where it ends up because it is growing in a system. Where the nutrients and water is, how hard the soil is or what else is there, it is all going to create where it does grow. A root probably isn't conscious of it as it happens, but if it was, it would be experienced the same way that we experience it.

Quote:


Of course. That is irrelevant to the question of whether or not I am corresponding with you volitionally.




It isn't irrelevant because how you corresponding (and the fact that you are) is somewhat dependant on it. Your experiences create who you are and how you think.. and how you think determines what actions are taken.

Quote:


Who I am? Perhaps. What I do? Not at all. The fact that I at some point took typing lessons just means I can type my replies more quickly than I would otherwise, for example.




Exactly. The fact that you at one point took typing lessons changes the way you think and the actions you experience as being chosen... typing faster.

Quote:


"Determined"? Not at all. Note that if the child values possessing the pretty bee more than he values having a "sting free" finger, he may choose to grasp it again anyway.




Exactly. And what makes him value one thing more than the other? Past experience and his way of thinking, which based on prior experiences and previous thoughts, led him to experience making the choice he made.

Quote:


But that is not predetermined by all that has happened before. The child may choose to immediately grasp the bee, or leave it alone and grasp the next one, or follow it for a while and then grasp it, or search for a bottle with a cap in which to capture it. But in every case, it is the child who decides which course of action he will take. The child is not acting as a programmed automaton.




Sure the kid is. Our minds are programmed, as is our decision-making process. Of course, we have the ability to actively program ourselves, and it happens continously, in every moment, subconsciously anyways.

Quote:


We don't? Who is it then who is typing these messages?




I can't answer that one with certainty. My experience mostly suggests that it is me, but then other experience I have suggests that who "me" is isn't me at all. That anything I hold to as "me" isn't exclusive to me and isn't something I should necessarily hold onto..... the consciousness, the awareness is what "I" am and I just have a seat here to learn, for the purpose of evolving and gaining more experience. But that is just a belief of mine, and it doesn't negate living my life positively or with control in any way.. rather, it promotes it. :laugh:

Quote:


What relevance does weather have to a discussion of volition? Storm clouds are not living entities.




Exactly. But storm clouds DO create action, in a sense. Right? The weather is a complex system that does a lot of things, and all the elements that comprise the weather are dependant on each other. They work together to create action.. movement of clouds, rain, lightning..... everything that happens in the weather is a direct result of its interactions with other elements of the same system and those actions further move along the process of the weather....

The only difference in regards to this arguement is that we are conscious of the processes around us and the processes that we are furthering...

Quote:


You mean our consciousnesses are nothing more than passive observers along for the ride in a body over which they have no control? That is demonstrably untrue. You are in essence telling me that you had no choice but to respond to my last post -- that something other than "you" compelled your fingers to type that message. If you really believe this, there is no point continuing this discussion. I hope you enjoy your ride through life as a passenger.




At that point I was referring to what I touched on up there... the essence of who we are, that isn't attached to this life and which is only an impartial observer. Check Kaiowas' "Essence Of You" thread for that one... anyways, that is just a belief that can't be proven, at least now. :wink:

And I am not suggesting we have no control, not at all. Well, in a sense, I am. :grin: As far as our direct experience, we have control of what we do and should definitely make the most of that, to whatever end I guess... but that is just our experience. This is more or less discussing WHY we experience what we do, and how what we experience is still dependant on everything else in the system and relies on that to make us who we "are". Shaky ground, eh? :lol:

Who said I am living life as a passenger? And anyways, I don't see it as possible to live life as a passenger. :grin:

Quote:


That is a question for a different thread, no?




Not exactly because it is directly related to making choices. :wink:

Quote:


Wait a minute! You just said there was a choice being made but that you were unsure who it was making the choice. Make up your mind.




Let me reword that, I meant to say that there was an experience of a choice being made, but I was unsure of any entity making the choice. Like the weather thing... is something making the choice for rain to fall, or is it just an action occuring because of other dependant variables?

Quote:


Some living entities possess volition, true. Computers? At this point, I doubt it.




I think it would be even easier to show that animals do not make conscious choices... they have very limited allowances for changing their programming. Well, maybe with the exception of some of the higher order animals, monkeys and dolphins and such... :grin: *shrugs*

Quote:


What I typed wasn't random. I deliberately chose each and every "word" in that string. As a matter of fact, I went back a few times and changed some of the "words" before finally sending the post. No one forced me to invent the word "nt'aaki". I invented it of my own volition. I didn't just randomly hit keys to come up with it.





Ja. hehe. And what I am saying is that every thought led you to do what you did... a huge chain of cause and effect. I mentioned the random computer thing because there is always some sort of method, or order... I don't know if randomness can exist or if it only is there because of something unknown to us.


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I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
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OfflinePed
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Evolving]
    #2435214 - 03/15/04 03:59 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

>> I don't understand how you arrive at the conclusion that there would be no suffering, please explain.

>> People often place themselves in situations knowing full well that they can or will experience discomfort.

>> There is no logical reason to say that ignorance limits our free will, it only limits our knowledge

What motivates us to place ourselves in uncomfortable situations? Do we have an expectation of resulting benefit from an uncomfortable experience? It causes us discomfort to drive in rush hour, yet every morning prior to work we submit ourselves to that discomfort. Often times, we are uncomfortable and unhappy in our jobs, yet every day we arrive at our place of employment. We do this because we are confident that the funds which are derrived from that discomfort will earn us a degree of happiness in the future. It may be the happiness of luxurious possessions, or simply the happiness of a full belly.

Ignorance, a lack of knowledge, inhibits our ability to accomplish that which we desire. My understanding of free will is that it entitles us to apprehend what we desire. If it's true that free will is a fundamental characterstic of the human being, and if it's true that our most fundamental wish is to be happy and to avoid suffering and problems, then our free will must therefore enable us to accomplish our fundamental wish.

We can see that this is not so. Therefore, it's either free will which is not a fundamental attribute of the human being, or it's chaos and confusion which is actually our most primary desire. Since we can see through observation that our most fundamental wish is to be happy and to avoid difficulty, it must follow that free will is not an inherent attribute of the human being. We can infer that with greater awareness comes greater depth of free will, and greater freedom to accomplish our deepest wishes. Free will, then, is an emergent property of awareness, and not a fundamental characteristic of the human being.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2435345 - 03/15/04 04:45 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
You mean our consciousnesses are nothing more than passive observers along for the ride in a body over which they have no control? That is demonstrably untrue. You are in essence telling me that you had no choice but to respond to my last post -- that something other than "you" compelled your fingers to type that message. If you really believe this, there is no point continuing this discussion. I hope you enjoy your ride through life as a passenger.




Just to clarify, I hope no one is making any sort of assumptions as to my beliefs (other than where I specifically said something as my belief), or how I live my life. :grin: This thread has served as an exploration of something I don't normally think about.

I've gained some further understanding about a lot of things, not necessarily what has been presented in my replies, and if I have "overanalyzed", it was well fucking worth it.  :tongue:

Discussing anything as large as this topic has to have time taken out to exchange a lot of words and perspective, and if any sort of gain is made by anyone involved, than it was worth it. That is what we are here for in this forum anyways, for the most part....

Well, at least what I am here for. To take in new perspectives and to interact and to take some time to chill out from life and reflect.

Anyways, I think free will does exist, in a sense... just as water is formless but it has to fall somewhere, and when it falls, its following of least resistance determines where it goes from there.

Our minds have free will and they are formless as well... but once we step into this system known as physical reality, and begin interacting and observing, and are a part of the system, our mind takes on form. The only way I see at the moment to go back to the state of formlessness and free will is to transcend all systems... exactly what that means I don't know yet, but free will lies there. :grin:

Anyways, just advancing the processes of a part of a system that I happen to be conscious of... :lol:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Ped]
    #2435420 - 03/15/04 04:59 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
What motivates us to place ourselves in uncomfortable situations?



That really depends upon the individual and the particular situation. Don't pretend to have the answers for all people, because you don't.

Quote:

Ignorance, a lack of knowledge, inhibits our ability to accomplish that which we desire.



I agree that this may happen, but your are confusing having optimal conditions with the exercise of free will.

Quote:

My understanding of free will is that it entitles us to apprehend what we desire.



No, you appear to be confusing comprehension with free will. Besides, apprehension often precedes desire, which precedes exercise of free will.

Quote:

... then our free will must therefore enable us to accomplish our fundamental wish.



No, free will means we have the ability to make choices.

Quote:

Since we can see through observation that our most fundamental wish is to be happy and to avoid difficulty, it must follow that free will is not an inherent attribute of the human being.



No, it doesn't follow.

Quote:

We can infer that with greater awareness comes greater depth of free will,



No we can't. A blind man can choose between a red plate and a green plate to eat his dinner off of. Does a sighted man have any more free will given the same two choices? No.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2435746 - 03/15/04 06:20 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I don't know how self-evident free-will or volition is. I think that it would be an interesting historical/anthropological exercise to research/determine whether this is something that "happens" to come about in all cultures or if it's possible for there to have been signifigant cultural development without a western notion of free-will/volition. My guess would be no---it seems likely to me, at least, that as long as I can remember I've thought I had far more in common with a leaf in the wind than with some theorized entity that somehow ignored the wind and instead did what it wanted....

This rises or falls on what you find more intuitively satisfying, especially as we work on our scientific picture of the world.

If it's more intuitively satisfying to have free-will than not, then we, it seems to me, need to posit non-physical or non-extended or immaterial objects, but we also need to provide for these objects a method whereby they can interact with the world. This seems, however, closed to science.

If it's more intuitively satisfying that the world is ultimately explicable through science---at least in principle---then it seems to me that you need to, at leasts given our current picture of the world, deny free-will and suggest that we can't find a good basis for it, so why would we believe in it?

I can hallucinate an object in front of me.
If five billion other people hallucinate the same object, that doesn't grant it existence as anything more than a hallucination, does it?

To a degree we need hypotheses about what sorts of things can happen---from there we can get the mechanism. It seems very strongly to me that free-will removes this mechanism from scientifici discovery, and that makes me regard it very skeptically.

And, to pinky specifically, is it possible, although highly improbable, that this entire thread is really nothing more than the output of some transmission errors (i.e., randomness) between you and your ISP?

If it is, I think you may have a strong case for intuitive belief that _you_ have free-will, but I don't see how you could ever believe that anyone else is necessarily free---at best they might be convincing random things or convincing determinsitic things, neither of which seem to be necessarily free.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2435816 - 03/15/04 06:39 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

In the belief of Fate, or Reincarnation, the lack of Free-will fits rather well.

In that case, a good analogy would be "You may not be able to control the winds of life...but you can adjust your sails."

Actually, a determinist universe would make PERFECT sense in a system of Reincarnation; that is, if the whole purpose of our existence in THIS plane, or dimension...is to LEARN from our lives that we planned out for ourselves prior to incarnating..

In other words, we've jumped into a current in the river that has it's own unique path just like all currents in the river--although they still all flow in the same general direction, (alive/life)--from point A to point B. And we want to learn from ALL the experiences that the particular current in the river of Life will go through, from point A to point B, so we incarnate into that life--the current.

The concept of reincarnation and fate really seems to ring a bell with me.


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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2435850 - 03/15/04 06:52 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I think the problem here is that for the metaphor of "adjusting our sails" to make sense given our modern scientific knowledge, we need to somehow locate it---the sails---outside of the material world, and this is all sorts of strange to me.

It's a return to Descartes, and that seems OK, I guess, if you like talking about magical forces that just happen to work.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2435928 - 03/15/04 07:16 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

It's a return to Descartes, and that seems OK, I guess, if you like talking about magical forces that just happen to work.

What came first, the Chicken, or the Egg?

Lets say that the Universe, IS Determinist.

All one elaborate chain of cause and effect.

What came first...The Cause...or The Effect?

One might say, Cause, because without Cause, there is no effect.

But, Cause DID come first, then, what was the EFFECT, that caused that? It goes on for an infinity.

So tell me, personally, What does that tell you?



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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2435981 - 03/15/04 07:29 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Science theorizes, I guess, that the egg came first, although it wasn't a step from not-chicken to egg to chicken...it was not-chicken->egg->not-chicken-but-slightly-more-chickenish->egg->...->egg->chicken.

That seems OK to me.

I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at.

My mentioning of Descartes was to suggest that people who want to have strong beliefs about phenomena being explicable in terms of science are going to need to locate consciousness outside of science's ken---that is, the immaterial. That's fine, but to me, modern philosophy dealing with immaterial minds sounds very much like medieval philosophy involving how many angels might dance on the head of a pin...

But if you can show me how a Cartesian dualsim is useful and proper, I am more than willing to change my views...but as it stands to my mind, Cartesian dualism offers us nothing more than our "common western" conception of the mind---we don't get any more utility from it, and if we deny it, what do we lose? Something we only ever thought that we had.


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2436022 - 03/15/04 07:40 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Well, the chicken/egg was a rhetorical question...more of a prelude to the main question:

"What came first, Cause, or Effect?"

And it was more directed towards the "magical forces" that you seemed to include in your sentence with a hint of skepticism...

But I will come back tomorrow and expand on this, hopefullly...

Meanwhile, feel free to choose to continue your contributions, though. :wink:



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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2436065 - 03/15/04 07:52 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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Anonymous

Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2436074 - 03/15/04 07:54 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2436107 - 03/15/04 08:08 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

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