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InvisibleMystical_Craven
mentally illpsychonaught

Registered: 06/16/02
Posts: 439
Loc: Earth
Destiny and Free Will - complimentary?
    #816389 - 08/14/02 12:15 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I personally am prone to lean more towards destiny (which actually fits in quite well with the rest of my beliefs) but it seems to me that most people in general accept the whole free will thing for whatever reason. My purpose in this post is not to show that my beliefs are better (or more right or whatever) but rather to demonstrate that both ideas could work hand in hand...even if I don't personally chose to accept it like this.

The theory goes as such:
We are all born into a sort of web that's been laid down for us since before our births. Certain things like the time period we live in and our general direction of life are what this web consist of (e.g. I was born in this era, so obviously it would be tough for me to live as a 14th centry goat hearder or something) People follow certain pre-destined routes as they progress through life (e.g. american children tend to go to school cause that's considered the social norm) but not every discision they make is pre-determined (e.g. vanilla ice cream or chocolate, Vagas vacation or Wallyworld, etc) and as they choose which path to take, they also build onto the existing web with their own experiences. Their choices in life determine where they go in life, what sort of life they lead, and so on...but it also helps build the foundation for future events. In essence, people are constantly adding onto the same web that they were born into, which in turn sets the path for future generations to come.

Maybe this seems pretty obvious, but I decided to post it cause I mentioned it in an American History class I once had and everyone there (teacher included) looked at me like I had just uncovered the lost city of Atlantis or something. So, I can only assume this is one of those 'can't see the forrest cause the trees are in the way' type things.

Any questions or comments are welcome.


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"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..." T.S. Eliot


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Offlinepostalboy
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Mystical_Craven]
    #816642 - 08/14/02 05:30 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

So you are saying that our destiny today is shaped by previous generations and our free will (uh) will lays the foundations for the destiny of future generations.

I believe in free will. I always have. But I think you are partially correct in this because my free will is always run by how I started in life. Without being born to my parents in my year of birth in my home state, my free will would have taken me to something else other than where I am. Take my job for instance. I work at the PO because I had quit a previous job and my dad said "get a job you lazy shit." So I took the test to get into the Post Office. I was hired about 1 month later at the ripe old age of 21. So then I moved to be closer to work and so on and so forth. So it was free will of sorts but it was shaped by my parents.

MC very interesting post. I will ruminate more on this. If you are the first to see it this way congrats. I think it has some merit. but don't get to cocky as someone on here is going to tear it to pieces. Hi swami

Postalboy


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"You people voted for Hubert Humphrey, and you killed Jesus." F and L in L.V.


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Mystical_Craven]
    #817107 - 08/14/02 09:56 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Good post. I think they're one and the same. It seems obvious to any living organism that we do have free will, because we appear to be acting only in ways we choose. I am of the belief that the properties of matter is the sole driving force in the universe, determining every event that occurs within it. The same conditions and the same input produces the same result. In other words I believe every moment is a function of every moment before it, and any event (choosing a particular ice cream for example) is 100% dependent on events that have already happened. You wouldn't choose chocolate ice cream if it had never been invented. You would choose it if it had been invented and you liked it better than the others, and you had enough money, etc. There were events leading up to the invention of chocolate ice cream and there were events leading up to your realization that chocolate ice cream was good and is worth eating, etc.

So really, if you only chose a particular ice cream because of events that have already occured, how could it happen any other way? There was no real spontenaety (sp?) at all; the decision was predetermined by the combined influence of countless events in the past (being born in a warm climate, being raised by fat parents who like chocolate and told you vanilla was for fags etc). Given every one of those conditions, you couldn't possibly choose anything else.

Strangely, even though there is no authentic spontenaety, every organism experiences the sensation of free will. I can debate between going to the bar tonight or staying home, but whatever I ultimately 'decide' will be determined by my hatred of bars and the fact that I work tomorrow and a million other biases, anticipations, and beliefs. Or maybe an old friend will phone me and ask to go to the bar. In that case I would go, but either way it's just a result of my conditioning.

My mind will react in a certain way to certain stimulus under certain conditions, and technically I can't do anything about it, because it is this reaction that I experience as free will. The act of a mind deciding what is best IS its reaction to stimulus.

If one could rewind time and then just let it 'play', one would find that the exact same things happen again. How could they not? Same conditions, same results. You wouldn't choose vanilla the second time around because whatever beliefs or input that prompted you to choose it would still be there.

That's how I see it anyway.


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Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


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InvisibleMystical_Craven
mentally illpsychonaught

Registered: 06/16/02
Posts: 439
Loc: Earth
Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #817367 - 08/14/02 11:44 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I couldn't have said it better myself.

That's been my theory for quite some time now, but I rarely share it cause there seems to be a fairly common look of 'what-the-fuck-have-you-been-smoking' people get when ever I actually do mention it. It's nice to know that not only are there other people in the world that see it the same way, but also that at least some of them aren't afraid to admit it (unlike myself) Perhaps with a little more open-mindedness in the world, stuff like this won't imediately be shunned by the masses just because it goes against what's generally accepted to be true. And when that time comes, you can bet I'll be one of the first to chime in (what can I say, I'm self conscious)


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"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..." T.S. Eliot


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Mystical_Craven]
    #817610 - 08/15/02 11:41 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I believe in destiny...
I believe in free will...

"Watching fate as it flows down the path we have chose." -Trent Reznor


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:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:


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Anonymous

Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Mystical_Craven]
    #818505 - 08/15/02 06:05 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I thought the thread title was Dentistry, nevermind.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #818591 - 08/15/02 06:35 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

My mind will react in a certain way to certain stimulus under certain conditions, and technically I can't do anything about it, because it is this reaction that I experience as free will. The act of a mind deciding what is best IS its reaction to stimulus.

One of the BIG differences between an enlightened (common usage - not necessarily spiritual) and an unenlightened mind is the ability to respond to a situation instead of reacting. Most minds don't really choose what is best for them, but instead have a"knee-jerk" reaction to stimulus.

A man will get into physical violence when his ego (not his physical being) is threatened even knowing that it is a lose-lose situation. Either he gets hurt or gets nailed with an assault charge, but he doesn't care. This is neither destiny nor determinism, but being unaware and having poor discipline.

One buddy of mine let himself be seduced by the wife of a Mexican Mob boss. This is pure stupidity when your rationality cannot override your primal urge to merge. Fortunately he is still alive though the Jefe found out.

I used to make lots of money playing backgammon and poker because a strong player's ego can blind them to all logic and they go on "tilt". For example, one night I bluffed a guy all the way down to the end because he was a bluffer and stealing pots. He had a very strong hand and I caught a miracle card on the last round. He swore at me and tore the cards in half, then spent the rest of the night trying to punish me instead of playing good poker. You can guess at the results...

My point being that one CAN control one's responses through awareness and discipline. Anger is a choice just like over-eating. We can take responsibility and determine our lives in more ways than is commonly believed.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinemntlfngrs
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Mystical_Craven]
    #818774 - 08/15/02 07:40 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I think destiny can be applied on at least two levels:
Individual destiny I think seems to wrongly imply some sort of divine intervention. Putting that aside I think it would be possible for individuals to have a destiny while still exercising a complete range of free will. Free will just means you can freely decide btween the options available to you. Individual destiny could work outside of that providing you with only certain paths that may be taken theerby all paths lead to one destination. Has anyone read the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov?

Then there could be a broader destiny contrling the future of human kind. Like the theories you may hear about lately that say that we are reaching a critical mass and are about to evolve. You know, once enough people have reached an enlightened state the human race will be catapulted into the next evolutionary stage. Anyway the point is that all the free will on earth would not change it. We are all moving along on the path to enlightenment willing or not and critical mass most be reached eventualy.

In the Foundation series the whole human race has spread across the galaxy and the empire is falling. Hari Seldon develops the science of psychohistory, which can predict the behaviour of society using mathematics. He predicts that the Empire will fall within a few centuries, but has a plan (afterwards known as the Seldon Plan) which will reduce the period of anarchy to only a thousand years, rather than the thirty thousand that would result otherwise He creates the Foundation to oversee the plan. At various times during the Foundation's history, crises would occur. Each time such a crisis (a 'Seldon Crisis') occurred, the people of the Foundation would know that Seldon had predicted it, and the key figure involved would discover that there was only one obvious choice to be made. Thus history would be guided according to the Seldon Plan. Seldon also set up the Second Foundation, whose location was unknown, and whose members had mental powers (telepathy and mind-control), to continue the development and application of the science of psychohistory, thus protecting the Plan.

The point is that Seldon created a destiny for the human race and through psychology of the masses the second foundation was forcing humanity to a conclusion and because as a group we are very predictable it is done easily. The free will of the individual has no consequence at this level.

I belive in individual free will and a destiny for man kind. And I'm sure I am meant to be very rich and affluent someday.


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Be all and you'll be to end all


Edited by mntlfngrs (08/15/02 07:50 PM)


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Swami]
    #819286 - 08/16/02 05:10 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

My mind will react in a certain way to certain stimulus under certain conditions, and technically I can't do anything about it, because it is this reaction that I experience as free will. The act of a mind deciding what is best IS its reaction to stimulus.

One of the BIG differences between an enlightened (common usage - not necessarily spiritual) and an unenlightened mind is the ability to respond to a situation instead of reacting. Most minds don't really choose what is best for them, but instead have a"knee-jerk" reaction to stimulus.

My point being that one CAN control one's responses through awareness and discipline. Anger is a choice just like over-eating. We can take responsibility and determine our lives in more ways than is commonly believed.

That's really not what I meant. I'm not saying most people are slaves to their own knee-jerk reactions and biological urges. I'm saying that everyone, even 'enlightened' people who act rather than react, will still act in response to the SAME stimulus the SAME way if it is under the SAME conditions. This applies to both impulsive fools and to zen masters. It has nothing to do with discipline or self-control. I'm not talking about instinctual reflexes or urges. I was trying to explain how free will and written-in-stone destiny can coexist.

Picture it this way: See the universe is a machine. A machine with trillions of parts (stars, planets, etc) that are all (IMO) subject to the same laws of physics. At the beginning of time, this machine is set in motion, and the forces that be (gravity, etc) act on the parts of this machine. Large masses of matter accelerate towards each other due to gravity, collisions occur, things happen, all driven by these same forces.

This 'machine' continues for 18 billion years. At this point, this machine has been running as dictated by the laws of physics, so certain parts of this machine will be in certain places because this is where they happen to be at this point in the machine's process. For example, a chunk of matter we know as earth happens to be orbiting the Sun at a radius of 93 million miles.

At some point around this time, life begins on earth and evolution begins to take its course. Oceans, atmosphere, amoebas; they are all still parts running in this giant machine, still all being ultimately driven by the laws of physics (whether humans truly understand how these laws work or not).

More time passes, and eventually humans evolve. Every human has both a genetic code that dictates its thought processes, physical traits, etc, AND an environment from which it learns to interact with the world. Both of those factors are predetermined by everything that has happened in this 'machine' (universe) since it was set in motion. Depending on these two factors, a human's life will take a certain path. Even though it DOES have free will and it DOES make decisions, the decisions that it does end up making have technically already been determined by its mental patterns (genetics) and its knowledge and experience (its environment).

It doesn't matter if this person is a gullible, reactive goof, or if he's the Dalai Lama; in any given situation he will make a certain decision based on his experience and the way he thinks. He cannot control either of these factors; they have already been decided at the time the Machine was set in motion. If you rewound it, it would happen exactly the same way, because the laws of the universe (regardless of our understanding of them) remain the same.

My point was that even though the decision has technically been made already, the organism deciding it still experiences the sensation of free will and decisionmaking. In other words, free will and destiny can happen simultaneously.

This theory does require the assumption that the laws of physics are consistently applied throughout time and throughout space. I'm willing to make that assumption.



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Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:


Edited by CyberChump (08/16/02 05:37 AM)


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #819332 - 08/16/02 05:39 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I'm saying that everyone, even 'enlightened' people who act rather than react, will still act in response to the SAME stimulus the SAME way if it is under the SAME conditions.

I am saying that by adding the ingredient of awareness, one can break-out of robotic behavior, even with all other factors remaining the same. As a longtime racquetball instructor, I teach my students to ask themselves why they lost a point after every rally. I frequently see anger, denial, blame, and worst of all - defense of poor habits* (this could pertain to any arena). Now, if one instead chooses to ask how they contributed to the negative result, then the door to improvement opens.

I know that I have been going on a tangent to your post, but I feel it important. The destiny vs. free will argument does not help anyone, but insight into one's actions and choices can make a huge difference.

*Last night, my opponent got extremely angry after being shutout two games in a row. When I pointed out how his court positioning allowed me to dominate the game, instead of graciously taking free advice and attempting to model his behavior after a stronger player, he went on to "defend" his losses by telling me how tired he was. (he is 25 years younger - LOL!)


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinekrispyfi
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Swami]
    #870028 - 09/08/02 12:04 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

i love your posts and i agree with you 99.9999....% percent of the time, but you are totally missing the point this time.

a person can give in to their base animal instincts or they can be rational and disciplined in their action. but which path they choose has nothing to do with freedom of choice.

if a person has had experiences that lead them to believe that disciplined action is better (and their brain is wired the right way) (like you) then they have no choice but to act rationally. they may think that they made a decision, but conscious thought is only a very small function of the brain.

human beings are nothing more than immensly complicated biological machines whose very complexity fools the casual observer into believing that they are self-motivated and free from deterministic physical laws (i.e. if i let go of this ball it cannot help but drop to the floor.) "free will" only means that you are free from outside restraint. you are free to do what you are internally compelled to do.

i got this idea when my theology teacher was trying to explain to our class how everyone has free will in 7th grade. he proved his point by saying that even though we "have to" get up and go to school every day, we can still stay in bed if we use our willpower. our parents can cajole and threaten, but if we end up going to school, its because we made a choice considering the pleasure caused by not going to school and the pain caused by being punished for it.

i felt that no matter how much i hated school, playing hooky would be unthinkable. i had been raised a certain way (read: my mind was shaped by my environment a certain way) and i was internally compelled to go to school. if i didn't go to school, it would only be because i had been internally compelled to prove to myself that i have free will (because my mind had been formed to believe that free will was important.)

as an interesting side note, i think that jesuits dont believe in free will either. one of their education mottos is "give me a boy for seven years, and you can have him for the rest of his life."

for more information about the lack of human free will read "star bridge" by james e. gunn and jack williamson


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If i get into some trouble TURBO BOOST will set me free.
Michael Knight you watch the bass with the K I T T.


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Offlinechemkid
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: krispyfi]
    #870070 - 09/08/02 12:27 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Personally, I think this whole post is a crock (no offense to anyone). It seems very convenient to say no matter how we choose, it is because of events that lead up to that decision. It is convenient because there is no defense to what you are saying. The fact that I am disagreeing with you is because of events that shaped my life so I am forced to disagree with you. No matter how I play it you will be able to say I was molded into the type of person who would make such comments.

It is exactly this reason that forces me to believe the contrary. By your reasoning, why should there ever be any accountability? Since murderers are doing nothing but what they are supposed to do then they really aren't bad people. At some point you have to realize that people make their choices. I definitely agree that environment like parents, hometown, church, school, friends, family etc. all play a part in shaping ones own beliefs. But in the end that person makes the choice as to how to act. Otherwise why would two different people with similar experiences choose different paths?


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An open mind is the greatest journey of all.


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Anonymous

Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Swami]
    #870071 - 09/08/02 12:29 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

I have to jump on this. As a regular player of racketball myself I can only count one experience were I was shutout. I was waiting for a friend of mine to meet me for a match and a brother asked me if I wanted to play while I was waiting.

He beat me twice, badly. I observed what he was doing though I didn't ask him any questions but one.

"Where did you learn to play like that?"

Answer: I am on the West Point racketball team.

After that, I didn't feel so bad.

Cheers,


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OfflineViBrAnT
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: krispyfi]
    #870078 - 09/08/02 12:38 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

I personally believe it is dangerous to your full experience of life to believe in destiny, unless you are speaking of is on a metaphysical level with the essense of our spirits returning to full realization at some point after death when you may choose to experience the cycle all over again back through physicality. I believe you choose your starting point in physicality, but where you finish is your experience, dont leave it to the Gods so to speak. i personally had alot of trouble with the idea of being moved through a controlled destiny, i began to feel like a machine. since i have raised my consciousness sufficiently my reality has totally shifted into a creation of my being. I have been affecting people left and right lately with my views and they are being supported and passed on, it is the greatest reward i have ever imagined, i just met this beautiful girl last night and we talked for like 2 hours straight, following we all went into my buddies car to pump drukqs, an enlightening experience to say the least. you create your own reality, you evolve yourself, you save yourself, you always have the choice, therefore you are alive.


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" liken this life illusory, for your sand castle will one day be adrift amongst the wind "




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OfflineBleedingSickness
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: ViBrAnT]
    #870398 - 09/08/02 09:05 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

I believe in some shape or form of destiny I think one thing that is very overlooked is sleep perhaps sleep plays a part in the decisions that we make from day to day why else would we need it besides to rest our body and mind the only reason I bother to mention this is that I have a terrible affliction with deja vu in which I tend to have it nearly on a daily basis sometimes I will dream something and experience the next day even more often then not though I dream something and experience it weeks months even a year ahead of time sometimes whenever I get deja vu a really creepy feeling comes over me and I slow down and think so I realise I've lived this event before often each little detail is what I observe such as how full a glass is what objects are around me their positions and even the text and way the windows are positioned on the computer screen have been in my experiences.

Perhaps all of our decisions are influenced and lead up to a "final destination" each of us playing parts if you look at small societies such as ant hills you see that they have levels worker ants which might be people who typically just work all their lives thus making society a better place, then there is the queen this would be our leader if an ant hill has a design like this wouldn't it be natural to assume"assumption also the muther of fuck-up's" that we also have a plan.

Perhaps there is a destiny but it is wound alot looser then everyone thinks people see destiny often as though everything we do is already determined when in fact it could be that we are meant to be in places at certain times and take place in certain larger events but not everything is predetermined I think a higher power would clearly give us more choices in this field why else would we be created. But a mind with the power to create paths for billions of being would clearly be a "god" could other powers rival such a creature and if they did could our path planner be destroyed and ultimately leave us to go astray????

Why else would deja vu occur though if life didn't have some form of plan could it be that we ourselves have coding in our dna that speaks to us such as a number because DNA is highly complex and different in every person thus it could be the code for which we live by it creates our appearances so why not what we will do in life????? Like a web it holds us inside it's grips even if we defied it maybe that choice to defy would ultimately be what it was choosing for us this argument can go on through eternity hehe...........


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Anonymous

Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: ViBrAnT]
    #870417 - 09/08/02 09:20 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah but you still post your replies to me when you are talking to Swami.  I don't see that as any evidence that you have raised your consciousness.  If you wish me to believe you have raised your consciousness try posting to the correct people.  Heck if you do it enough some might even believe you're intelligent as well. :smile:

Cheers, 


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Offlinekrispyfi
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: chemkid]
    #870439 - 09/08/02 09:35 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

It is convenient because there is no defense to what you are saying. 




yesssssss. its verrry convenient.  :wink:

Quote:

By your reasoning, why should there ever be any accountability? 




i dont know. why should there be accountability? take prisons for example. of all the reasons to put people in prison i think the worst is to punish them. it implies some kind of moral judgment on the part of the government, and i think the  last  thing a government should be doing is making moral judgments. on Krispyfi's Impossible Perfect Planet, prison exists to a) rehabilitate and b) segregate offending members of society from non-offending members. uncle sam shouldn't be deciding whether or not murderers are bad people. as for you judging people, jesus said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." maybe he said that because people from that time period wouldnt have understood if he said that "what we call humans are merely impersonal chaotic forces interacting mechanically with each other much the same way that billiard balls do. they are just so complicated that they have self awareness, which leads them to erroneously believe that they have free will." but i like what jesus said better. brevity = wit.

Quote:

But in the end that person makes the choice as to how to act. 




sure they make a choice, but they have no say in what the outcome of the choice is...  :tongue:

Quote:

Otherwise why would two different people with similar experiences choose different paths? 




remember, we aren't talking about newtonian physics here. as i inderstand it, the mechanics of the brain are highly chaotic. so much so, in fact, that they seem random to us mortals. its like a butterfly causing a hurricane on the other side of the world. insignificantly different experiences cause subtle and wide-ranging effects on a variety of seemingly unrelated thought processes. of course if you are talking philosophically then i dont think it would be a stretch to say that two different but identical (down to the subatomic particles that comprise them) people in identical environments (down to exact number, intensity and time of intersection with cosmic rays, for example) would behave identically. 


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If i get into some trouble TURBO BOOST will set me free.
Michael Knight you watch the bass with the K I T T.


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OfflineCalen
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Re: Destiny and Free Will - complimentary? [Re: Mystical_Craven]
    #870626 - 09/08/02 11:22 PM (14 years, 6 months ago)

Free-Will and Fate go hand in hand as an absolute belief on all levels of existence? let me illustrate that is not the case by extending the scenario below, hypothetically.

Swami said:
One buddy of mine let himself be seduced by the wife of a Mexican Mob boss. This is pure stupidity when your rationality cannot override your primal urge to merge. Fortunately he is still alive though the Jefe found out.

Here's the twist. Swami's friend is the type to take risks to indulge in pleasure at his wellbeing's expense (like potentially getting killed). He couldn't resist the "risk=great pleasure" situation presented to him (Mob boss' adulterous wife!).

The type I refer to is inborn.  He wasn't taught to take risks, just born and driven to be one.  Now, if there is such thing as true Free-Will, he would have choices on what kind of an individual risk-taker he wanted to be.  Does he have that choice from the moment he is mature  enough to make that decision?  Is he even aware of such choices on a conscious level? Does he have that choice at birth?

This 'inborn' implication relates, also, to Cyberchump's post on:
My mind will react in a certain way to certain stimulus under certain conditions, and technically I can't do anything about it, because it is this reaction that I experience as free will. The act of a mind deciding what is best IS its reaction to stimulus.

That's free-will?? No. You're saying, unconsciously, you are designed to behave to a trigger as a stimulus.  You are *the* conduit to express the "act of a mind" within your mind.

And here:
Strangely, even though there is no authentic spontenaety, every organism experiences the sensation of free will. I can debate between going to the bar tonight or staying home, but whatever I ultimately 'decide' will be determined by my hatred of bars and the fact that I work tomorrow and a million other biases, anticipations, and beliefs. Or maybe an old friend will phone me and ask to go to the bar. In that case I would go, but either way it's just a result of my conditioning.

You're referring to a *false* sense of free-will.

Thus, an existentialist would say: "Before being Free-Willed, the person realizes he/she doesn't have Free-Will, or else he/she is mistaken she/he does."

To illustrate that we go back to Swami's friend. If 'he' was soundly aware that his impulses was likely going to get him killed and decided to keep his willy in his pants, that's self-awarness, exercising conscious free-will (self-discipline). He's "not at the mercy" of his 'patterned' risk-taking for that particular instance.  Or Cyberchump is deciding whether to go to the bar or not say "*beep* it, I'm going to streak on the streets at -30 below on 3g of mush!"

Vivi for me! [pardon my bad french] :laugh: 


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