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Thread: So like god and free will and stuff

  1. #1
    (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    So like god and free will and stuff

    What do you guys reckon?

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    asl? ;] JollyBard's Avatar
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    God is perfect. A perfect being ought to exist. Therefore He exists.

    I could have chosen not to write this post, but against all odds, I did. Therefore, I have free will. I can't say anything about you guys, though.

  3. #3
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    If you can't be certain of free will, then it may as well be presumed to exist. If you don't have it, it doesn't matter, if you do, then it knowing you do should change nothing of your choices. It all comes down to whether or not you perceive having a choice.

    The existence or non-existence of a god is even less relevant to me than whether I am a complex deterministic entity or one with free will.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    In the context of spiritual evolution, it seems as though less evolved folks do not have free will, because they are controlled in a very dominating way by tribal influences and by very basic monkey-minds. Their degree of self-awareness is insufficient to allow for free will...whatever amount of free agency they have is so manipulated by things that they're unaware of that they might as well not have any agency at all.

    At the other end of the spectrum of spiritual evolution, at least insofar as the sages, saints, mystics and so on seem to say, whatever personal will one might have is progressively turned over in favour of total surrender to the Will of the Divine. Mother Teresa would say, "Less of me; more of Him", for example. Jesus Christ, supposedly, submitted knowingly to his own execution because it was his Father(God)'s Will. "Thy Will be done" is one of the most powerful lines in the Lord's Prayer. Dying unto oneself that one may have life...another theme in Christianity, and in other spiritual traditions.

    So potentially we go from having insufficient awareness to constitute free will, to sufficient awareness to have free will, and then back to a state where we have surrendered our free will.

    So your average, interesting, intelligent person is the most likely to have free will...while the majority of folks who do not examine their own lives probably have the least free will, and those who are the most inspired and enlightened probably care the least about whether or not their will is free--they're more concerned with divinity than with agency.

    ...but since God is not within the domain of provability/disprovability, it must take tremendous faith for the spiritually advanced.

  5. #5
    asl? ;] JollyBard's Avatar
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    Seriously though, it depends on what you mean by "free will". Of course, we inherently believe in it, the illusion of free will does exists. But our brains are part of the universe, so we cannot escape its laws. It's funny how people thought they had complete control over themselves before the advent of psychoanalysis and Freud.

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    I have no reason to believe in a god, and I think the concept of free will is based on dualism. By that, I mean that it seems to come from the perspective that "you" are able to act based on nothing but your inclination, as if this "you" and your inclination is somehow removed from your anatomy. So if you reject dualism, then the entire premise of free will is removed, and it becomes a pointless discussion.

  7. #7
    Member mthomps's Avatar
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    At no time while being alive does a person have true free will. This can be self imposed by the imagination through a deity or adherence to cultural practice but overall is superseded by being a biological entity.

  8. #8
    (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JollyBard View Post
    Seriously though, it depends on what you mean by "free will".
    How would you define it?

  9. #9
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    After reading Hegel in college, I've found the "free will" debate to be something of a red herring. (His deconstruction of the concept of entity/identity and "self" inclines toward the conclusion that 'will' is a similarly problematic and arbitrary concept.)

    The real issue is whether reality/the universe/everything/etc is deterministic or not. It's easy to deem plausible the notion that 'free will' is just an illusion we experience by perceiving the rush of phenomena that we arbitrarily subdivide into fuzzy categories like "self," "world," "other" and such, but it's (to my mind) a lot more interesting to ask whether those phenomena are fore-ordained by the "laws" of physics/metaphysics or whether we perceive "freedom" in them because this is indeed not the case.

    If there is some element of randomness/uncertainty in the basic stuff of reality, then we do have 'freedom', because what does happen isn't necessarily the only thing that must happen. Whether that would be the freedom of a discrete "will" or the freedom of... something else is to that extent a separate question from whether or not such freedom actually exists or is merely a distortion of perception caused by incomplete information.

  10. #10
    asl? ;] JollyBard's Avatar
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    ^But then you've got compatibilists who claim that free will can happen within a deterministic universe.

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