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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2448651 - 03/18/04 08:58 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Especially since the experience of having free will is still being experienced by all. It is entirely possible to continue to experience making free choices while knowing that there is no actual free choice.




Quote:

Well, the experience of having free will can be accepted without introducing some metaphysical object. Cause and effect and the experience of making free choices, as I understand it, coexist in perfect harmony.




But freewill and cause and effect completely contradict each other- the world is a bunch of objects caused by previous objects etc vs. an object can behave independent of past causes.

It seems the question here might be ?can you know something about the world and then experience the world in a different way?? I would say that we typically just have a superficial knowledge of cause and effect if we can then act on assumptions that contradict it. If you knew it ?in your bones? I don?t think it would be possible- any thought that implied freewill (what shall I do today?) would be experienced as dissonant. We would have to engage in some pretty serious denial maneuvers.

But it?s the blatant contradiction between the two beliefs that makes them irreconcilable without reference to something metaphysical (not physical, traditional cause and effect) object.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: The_Visionaire]
    #2448659 - 03/18/04 09:01 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

OK, I do get that delineating objects is an act of mind and all ?things? are interconnected. One unfolding process.

Scratch my rationality example. Yeah, that was pretty lame. What I?m trying to say is that a rational belief is a conclusion derived from premises. But I guess all beliefs are this in one way or another. Some, however, are based on more evidence than others, and these are more comprehensive and can account for more of the world- and so in this sense, they are ?better?- they can account for more of the varied "nature of reality" than others. For example, the belief that a sickness is due to viral infection rather than demonic possession. One is more ?right? than the other only in the sense that it can better account for the phenomenon.

Quote:

Perceptions does not deceive, but the interpretations of these can deceive if we are not careful. Interpretation meaning the categorization of the percieved within your tought-system. The only way to develope a categorization system that does not decieve is to try and fail. There is no safe haven, but we help each other along right




OK, I?ll buy that. I guess what I meant is that we can develop some relatively poor snapshot conceptualizations to explain our perceptions. But upon further inquiry, they do not hold under all circumstances.

Quote:

Yesterdays metaphysics is todays science.




Thank you for reminding me. That?s a great quote. I completely forgot a point that I was so adamant about arguing for in the past- theories, beliefs are just tools, maps of the territory.

Quote:

Free will and causality go together like hand in glove, causality is the houshold of meaning (and will). Like the kleinbottle is the home of the genie




So I don?t quite understand this. I do owe it to you to go back and reread your posts though.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflinePed
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2449554 - 03/19/04 12:15 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Isn't it the depth of our awareness of the principle of cause and effect which is directly proportionate to the actuality of our free will?


--------------------


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OfflineThe_Visionaire
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2450661 - 03/19/04 06:49 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I can summon up a vision where I see a non-linear system of whirls and patterns. If I want to change some whirl in this system and shape it into another, I see other things change as well, all around me. Ultimately the entire system changes, but the effect is insignificantly small further away. May we agree on this model of creation? You see reality is not objects, it is only patterns.

The hard step is to identify the will here. There was after all a willing from my part that changed the vision. When I changed the whirl in the first place I did this as a consequence of purpose and meaning. This purpose got its form from my knowledge of the system as I saw it there and then. When I began to shape the whirl there never was a discontinuity in the system. I got my whirl, but the rest of the system adjusted and compensated for the change as well.

The center of the system was my center of attention and intention, which of course is myself, but I think it is possible to project this center of attention elsewhere as well.

Some of the 'adjustments' in the system (as a consequence of my intention) I may have forseen, some not. This has to do with awareness, the higher my awareness, the more of the pattern I see.

I.e. a drug addict may want to create a pleasure-whirvl by shooting some heroine. A really heavy addict has a hard time seeing anything else than this whirvl, and will only care for the sustainment of it. Thereby she is narrowing her awareness as the pursuit of pleasure takes hold. The drug-addict may feel she is trapped in this pattern, so where is the will? Will is the horse of the champion Awareness. It is a structure that serves the higher goals. It is not an acausal effect but a tool to harness and utilize. It is there to rise its rider above those lower 'immediate-reward' whirvls flowing around us on all sides. The drug addict may have the ability to create her own will-structure, but in most cases she will have to get help from other systems (i.e. persons, institutions, mind-altering drugs (ibogain is extremely efficient here) etc.)

I say we are all drug addicts! (here in the shroomery that is :grin:) We have all our dreams and higher goals we strive for, but do we have the will to carry them out? The far-reaching utopia is often swept away by the erosive forces of the lower whirvls of pleasure-seeking alogritms. The champion Awareness may climb a giant mushroom and look far into the horizon, but he is unable to get to the horizon of his dreams without his steed. (perhaps even more dangerous is a wild stallion on the run without a rider; as ambitious, money-seeking, nature-destroying and power-hungry humans(?)). Rider and horse must work together.

But back to the vision; you see, this gets even stranger. The system consisting of the enfolded awareness-aspect of 'me' and the patterns unfolding could itself be a pattern in a higher system. The realization of this would bring new order and meaning. This could i.e. be equated with the trancendence from an ego-centered world-view to the attainment of Bhuddahood or Christ-awareness.

But even the Bhudda and the Christ may not have reached the top of the ladder. How could they? We are after all talking about creation. There are always new revelations coming from within the system, and it's a JOY! (..hmm sometimes anyway..) And we are not 'trapped' in the system, because the boundary conditions of the infinite are not defined.


--------------------
There are no differences between men and gods,
one blends softly causal into the other.
-Frank Herbert, Dune.


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Ped]
    #2452829 - 03/19/04 10:14 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Isn't it the depth of our awareness of the principle of cause and effect which is directly proportionate to the actuality of our free will?




So the more we are aware of cause and effect, the less we actually have free will? And the less we are aware, the more we have free will?

I don't understand how being aware of cause and effect has an impact on whether we can choose to do something independent of past conditions. I can see how the more we explain ourselves in terms of cause and effect, the less we are able to experience the perception of freewill, but that seems different.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflinePed
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2454126 - 03/20/04 01:50 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

>> So the more we are aware of cause and effect, the less we actually have free will? And the less we are aware, the more we have free will?

The reverse, actually. The greater our awareness, the greater our ability to choose our own course of action. The lesser our awareness, the lesser our ability to choose our own course of action.


Karma comes to mind when we discuss cause and effect.

Free Will: 2. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.

The principle of cause and effect can be thought of as an external circumstance which impedes our ability to make choices freely. Because this is true, we can view our karma as an obstacle to our freedom.

Karma is a special instance of cause and effect whereby our actions are the cause, and our experiences are the effect. Each mental action, whether translated into a physical action or kept as wish or intention, behaves similarly to a seed being planted in the continuum of our mind. Later, when the proper causes and conditions are assembled, those seeds will "ripen", and we will experience the effect of our past action. Ripened effects which cause us happiness are considered the fruit of virtuous actions, and the ripened effects which causes us suffering and disatisfaction are considered the fruit of non-virtuous actions. We can assume for the sake of this discussion that karma is an actual principle, the momentum of which we are indeed subject.

At present, the depth of our awareness of this ongoing process is very limited. We do not understand that our actions in the present create the potential for future effects. By the same token, we do not understand that our experience of the present is shaped entirely by the effects of our past actions. Our actions are therefore dictated by compulsive responses to our surroundings. We are very reactionary, instinctivly guided toward objects of attraction and away from objects of aversion. We commit many actions without the ability to pause and consider their ramifications. It is similar to be tossed about by waves on an ocean.

In a highly charged or tense situation, for example, we might commit many rash actions that later cause us to experience deep and painful regret. Since nobody wishes to experience painful regret, it can be said that in a sense we are guided to such undesirable places out of our control, by our own minds, absent of our free will.

"All living beings wish for happiness, but out of ignorance they destroy it like a foe." --Shantideva

With lesser ignorance and greater awareness of the principle of cause and effect, however, comes the ability to create only the causes which ripen as beneficial effects. If our understanding of karma were a deep and profound one, we would be much less liable to commit actions which later give rise to effects which cause us pain. Rather than being tossed about by the waves of an ocean, we would be like a sea captain in full control of his vessel.

With this awareness we would naturally excercise the ability to halt our potential for committing rash actions which cause us to experience painful feelings later on. Rather than allowing our compulsive response to surrounding events to dictate our future experiences, we would be determining our future experiences by properly navigating given situations.

To reiterate, a proper awareness of the principle of cause and effect allows us to create only the causes which give rise to effects that fulfill our wishes. Since free will is the unconstrained ability to choose what we wish, and since in this case it is awareness which affords us the ability to choose what we wish without constraint, it can be said that the depth of our awareness of the principle of cause and effect is directly proportionate to the actuality of our free will.


--------------------


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Ped]
    #2456949 - 03/21/04 12:19 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

So it seems that you are making a distinction between

1)a reactionary, ignorant state in which a person is largely not aware of the fact that all current experience is the result of past behavior

2)an aware state in which the idea of karma, the notion that all that we do plants the seeds for future behavior (a type of cause and effect), is realized. In this state we know to avoid certain behaviors and gravitate toward others because of their implications for karma (and all the while, I assume, not being too attached to the whole process).


And you are saying the 2) is a freewill state, in which "free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will."

Although I do agree that this higher awareness state is worthy of cultivating, to the extent that it would leads away from suffering, I do not see how it makes sense to characterize this as freewill. ?We? never become completely ?unconstrained by external circumstances.? Because I know you agree with this, your freewill seems to be of a different variety than freewill as you defined it. But then again, maybe I?m missing something?a piece of the puzzle? what is it??!! *excited*


--------------------
Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflinePed
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2457829 - 03/21/04 06:18 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

>> Although I do agree that this higher awareness state is worthy of cultivating, to the extent that it would leads away from suffering, I do not see how it makes sense to characterize this as freewill. ?We? never become completely ?unconstrained by external circumstances.? Because I know you agree with this, your freewill seems to be of a different variety than freewill as you defined it. But then again, maybe I?m missing something?a piece of the puzzle? what is it??!! *excited*

I'm not sure exactly what is meant by this question, but I'll speak to it regardless.

Free will is authenticated by an awareness of the principle of cause and effect with regards to our actions if we consider the most essential wish of sentient beings. The essential wish of sentient beings is to be happy, and to avoid suffering and problems. No sentient being wishes to be confused, and none wish to be trapped in anguish. All wish to escape these afflictions and enter a permanent happiness. Indeed, it is this most essential wish which is the momentum behind all of the decisions we make.

If we consider this when contemplating what it means to have free will, we discover that our ability to fulfill this wish -- that is, our freedom to choose between happiness and suffering -- is at present severely obstructed. Though we may commit to certain actions or habitual behaviours with the intent to generate lasting happiness for ourselves, very often we experience the opposite result: suffering, hardship, confusion. We must then ask: What is the source of this constraint?

To reiterate: Karma is a special instance of cause and effect whereby our actions are the cause and our experiences are the effect. It should be noted that no action is excluded from this category, nor is any experience. Each element of our experience -- even the most subtle and pervasive -- is shaped in it's totality by our own past actions.

All mental phenomenon can be classified as either an action or an experence. Since the mental phenomena of "happiness" and "suffering" are experiences and not actions, we can conclude that in order to enter the experience of happiness and avoid the experience of suffering, we need to understand how to generate the causes of happiness, and abstain from creating causes for suffering. At present, we do not understand how to do this.

Because we have ignorance, we continue to create causes for suffering with the intent to create causes for happiness. We commit very many negative actions which sometimes have very sudden and harmful repercussions. There are periods in our lives when it seems almost as though we are careening out of control, and all of the things we worked hard to obtain suddenly begin to disappear. Although we wish for happiness, we experience much hardship, much confusion. Our freedom is thereby constrained by ignorance of the experiential effects of our past actions. It is our karma which is the source of our constraint.

Since it is happiness and freedom from suffering which is our most essential wish, all of our common wishes and intentions can be seen as extensions of this fundamental desire. Each intention that we carry into fruitition can be seen as an attempt on the part of the sentient being to choose between happiness and suffering. Although we have the perfect ability to choose between one action and another, we are completely impaired when it comes to the choice between one effect and another. Therefore, it can be said that our freedom to choose between the effect of happiness and the effect of suffering is absent, and our perception of free will therefore inauthentic.

So long as we have ignorance and not awareness, we will be bound from exercising our divine freedom to choose between happiness and suffering. Drowning in the ocean of our karma, we do indeed have the option to escape; though it is extremely rare that a sentient being exercises this freedom to it's full extent.


"Happiness is free to take, yet rarely is it freely taken."

-- A Kadampa Buddhist Poet


--------------------


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Ped]
    #2458064 - 03/21/04 08:02 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I acknowledge that human behavior appears to be more or less directed at obtaining happiness and allaying suffering, effective or ineffective, in one form or another. I acknowledge that our attempts at obtaining this goal our obstructed in some way- Karma as you explained it appears to be a useful model in helping us attain the goal of happiness/freedom from suffering- we need to understand that our actions lead to experiences, and thus, if we are interested in being happy (an experience), we should choose only those behaviors that are antecedents of happiness. While we may think that some actions we engage in would lead to happiness, they often lead to suffering. If we thoroughly understood karma, if we were constantly engaged in actions that were in fact antecedents of happiness, we would be happy. We are always choosing happiness over suffering, even though we don?t realize it, but this ability to choose can vary in the extent to which it is impaired, our unawareness of cause-effect karma being the obstacle.

I think that is a great model. But it has no bearing on the question of whether or not there is freewill. It assumes freewill. The ?choosing? you are taking about- that is what I am questioning. You have characterized a state in which someone, because of the absence of ignorance, is now unaffected by his context, the state in which freewill is actualized. And you defined freewill as being ?unconstrained by external circumstances.? I do not see how you can propose this.

I see the self, the ego, the controller, the ?chooser? as a useful convention- a very useful convention. Do you agree with this? Maybe this is where Zen and Tibetan Buddhism part? Please let me know if you understand my dilemma here. We may be missing each other semantically and if so, I?ll try to rephrase.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflinePed
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2459914 - 03/22/04 12:57 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I :heart: your posts.  You are always so clear and lucid.  Though, I'm still not sure where we're missing eachother.  None the less:

At present, our freedom to choose between the experience of happiness and the experience of suffering is constrained by an external circumstance, our karma.  In this instance, karma is being presented as an external circumstance.  It can be seen this way because it operates out of our own control, due to our ignorance.  In dispelling that ignorance, we come to realize the internal nature of our karma, that in fact karma is a functioning aspect of our own continuum, in the same way that our arm is a functioning aspect of our body.  With this awareness, our karmic continuum becomes like a happiness generating engine that we may use to fulfil our wishes.

With ignorance, our freedom to choose between the experience of happiness and the experience of suffering is constrained by an external circumstance, our karma.  With awareness, our freedom to choose between the experience of happiness and the experience of suffering is actualized as an internal circumstance which is no longer bound by the swift currents and strong undertow of cause and effect.

Implicit in this view is an available free will is indeed waiting to be actualized.  It has been argued earlier that free will is not a reality, presently attained nor attainable, because each element of our decision making process is susceptible to the influence of innumerable factors relating to cause and effect.  My position has been that while it seems cause and effect do impair our freedom, this impairment does not necessarily constitute the permanence of our uncontrolled state, as this would be an extreme.  Instead, I've suggested that it's not cause and effect which are the objects of our impairment, rather it is our ignorance which creates the appearance of an obstruction between us and the actualization of our freedom.

In short, my opinion is that it's not correct to say we do not have free will because we are subject to a continuum of innumerable causes and effects.  It appears this way only because we have ignorance.  If we no longer have ignorance, we discover a certain freedom which can be called "free will".  Since we can infer that an awareness of (and patient attitude toward) our karma entitles us the freedom to fulfil our wishes uninhibited, we can also infer that free will is an attribute of conciousness waiting to be fully realized.

Even the Buddha's are subject to the effects of their karma.  Karma is a function of the mental continuum, the actual momentum which propells conciousness itself shaping our entire experience of reality.  Although Buddha's are subject to the effects of their karma, they are not constrained by those effects, as we are.  A Buddha has purified all of his or her negative actions, including the remaining imprints of past negative actions (a negative action is one which creates as the potential for suffering), and therefore the experience of a Buddha is completely non-deceptive, a pure and blissful reality.


>> I see the self, the ego, the controller, the ?chooser? as a useful convention- a very useful convention. Do you agree with this? Maybe this is where Zen and Tibetan Buddhism part?

Ego has two parts:

1. Self Sense:  The sense of "I" which appears to all sentient beings.
2. Concept of Self:  The ideas, perceptions, feelings and characteristics assumed to be inherent attributes of the sense of "I".

Each living being naturally and correctly has a sense of self.  The self sense is nothing greater than the a sense of "I"; it is an awareness of the phenomenon which apprehends and isolates objects within a radius of sensory awareness.

A concept of self, on the other hand, is a set of ideas imputed upon the sense of "I".  We think things like "I am intelligent" or "I am stupid", and conceive of these ideas as being inherent attributes of the "I".  There is no idea which can be imputed atop the sense of "I" which can be considered truthful, because the "I" is merely the transitory effect of innumerable causes and conditions, what's called a "dependent arising phenomenon".  Attempting to impute inherent attributes upon a dependent arising phenomenon is like attempting to paint a picture atop a rushing stream.

According to Buddha, problems with self-awareness arise when either of two mistaken views are adopted:

1. The notion that a concept of self is a permanent and unchanging entity.
2. The notion that a concept of self is of higher importance than others. 

These two mistaken views are called self-grasping and self-cherishing, and are the root of all our ignorance, thereby all our suffering.  I'll elaborate on this further if requested.


--------------------


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Ped]
    #2461124 - 03/22/04 07:24 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to your posts also... especially during this odd phase in my life of "underlying metaphysical theory reconstruction." (he, he)


Quote:

With ignorance, our freedom to choose between the experience of happiness and the experience of suffering is constrained by an external circumstance, our karma. With awareness, our freedom to choose between the experience of happiness and the experience of suffering is actualized as an internal circumstance which is no longer bound by the swift currents and strong undertow of cause and effect.




Can you elaborate on this please? I?m not sure what the difference between external and internal circumstance is here. And I don?t understand how the experience of freedom includes no longer being bound by cause and effect, while earlier you said that understanding cause and effect leads to freedom.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflinePed
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: buttonion]
    #2467033 - 03/24/04 11:47 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

The implications of cause and effect are present in our experience at all times, either with ignorance or with awareness. With ignorance, our karma can be viewed as an external circumstance not because that's what it is, but because that is how it appears to us and our ignorance minds. We can see this with the misunderstanding of karmic principles in the West; it is largely believed that Karma is an external sort of divine irony, arbitrating justice only where it is most specifically due. Karma is nothing of the sort.

With greater awareness, though, comes the recognition that karma is a purely internal phenomenon. Karma is an attribute of mind, in the same way clouds are an attribute of climate.

So, with ignorance, we typically mistake our karma as an externally unfolding phenomenon, and in this ignorance we are bound apart from our divine freedom. With awareness, however, we recognize our karma as an internal phenomenon, and while we will always be subject to it's effects, we are no longer bound by it's effects.


--------------------


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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: zappaisgod]
    #2532326 - 04/06/04 06:24 PM (17 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

There is also the matter of particles popping into existence out of nothing all the time. (Strange as it seems this is accepted by most physicists). These are known as virtual particles and they are usually anihilated by their anti-particles, but not always. Then there is the nebulous nature of electrons, they mostly exist as probabilities. Likewise the existence of radioactive decay. We can say with certainty that half of the particles in a radioactive sample will decay in a certain period of time (half-life) but we can say nothing about when a specific particle will decay. It gives no clue that it is about to, it just does.





Science seems to keep running into more and more impenetrable barriers. Not the kind of barriers previously believed to exist in the absence of supporting credible evidence (humans will never travel faster than sound) but real barriers like the inability to experiment with scales below the Planck Constant, or G?del's proof, Ernst Ising's Model, Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty.

These barriers keep popping up all along the edges. It's like there is an intrinsic (metaphysical?) limit to knowledge about the universe, and by extension, free will.

-Diploid


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #6821090 - 04/23/07 12:13 AM (14 years, 6 months ago)

bump


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