# Thread: Free Will or Pre-determined?

1. ## Free Will or Pre-determined?

Admittedly I noticed something that had a topic similar within one of the religion postings, but It I think was asked there due to the nature of how it's question unfolded.

I wanted to ask everybody here if they think they have Free will or are coasting along a pre-determined path?

I know from my experiences that we take free will for granted, in reality we might do what we think is spontaneous or sporadic, but in reality it's either calculatible/tangible or can been seen if using particular devices.

This means that everybody actually follows a pre-determined path, for instance:

If you had the ability to see 1/2 an hour into the future, you could get the winning numbers of a lottery and pretty much get a ticket for it. When the lottery starts, as long as you haven't interfered in any way with the way the balls roll, you will get the exact same numbers. (When you look at it, this would occur like a parallel of eternities.)

Of course you could throw some free will and perhaps chaos into it, as perhaps originally you didn't win the lottery, you didn't originally have the correct numbers, but now you have changed your destiny and path, at your discression. But the rest of the world that is oblivious to your equipment is still following their predetermined patterns.

Perhaps you have an understanding of how I mean, or have something to add?

2. yes.. i think i understand what your saying....
i dont think anything can be pre-destined really..

If you had the ability to see 1/2 an hour into the future, you could get the winning numbers of a lottery and pretty much get a ticket for it.
now, if you could see that half hour, then you would be seeing what would happen, sort of the predestined..... but then.. you could also change that destiny.... so nothing would be predestined to begin with.....

hm.. i hope that wasn't to confusing. -laughs- :P

3. Sure it is predetermined but think of it this way.

God knows what's going to happen, right, time is basically an illusion of space, I believe. So basically he knows what your free will is going to be, based on all external variables, but you nor anyone else knows about it. Strange concept to grasp, but I hope I explained my opinion clearly. BTW I didnt read any of the other posts I just wrote my opinion down so if I'm repeating anything then I apologize.

4. There's another post in the General Philiosophy section dealing with the theme (Determinism).

Basically put - there is no free will, it's an illusion. To have free will is to have the ability to 'do otherwise'. In the history of planet earth no being has ever 'done otherwise'. Looks like free will is impossible....

5. The more that i type, the more i wonder if this is an opinion or just a series of more questions.... it started as an opinion... but ended sas me having no clue what i was talking about... so enjoy! :P

yes, however, that is saying that there is a god. ......

and..
how could you pssibly prove that somone chose otherwise.. can you cant chose what you didn't choses...

you have to choices: A and B
you have the choice to chose A
you have the choice to chose B
its up to you.
now lets say.. you know from the future you were going to chose A
does that mean that you changed the outcome. or was there really a master plan, and the out come was supposed to be B... so you were SUPPOSED to know that you chose A and changed your mind to chose B.

and how personal does free will have to be.
i have the free will to go where i want, and eat what i want.. and most of the time think what i want. and i consider that free will... but is it pre planned free will?
-laughs- this could go on forever......

6. ## Free will?

I posted a message earlier tonight on another thread that caused me to think this in response to the question"determinism or free will?" Just because we have the ability to construct mental alogrithims of what could have been does not neccessarily mean that what IS, was by default, potentially subject to modification by past actions.
Free will and determinism have relevance to an organism only in that it is an adaptive trait to be able to determine what "could have been" so that future behavior can be modified into a pre-determined mold of what "should be". Very adaptive. That is why we have carpet shampoo and tupperware and cockroaches have the 101010 of on/off switches of attraction and repulsion. But for the cockroaches, that has been a very adaptive trait indeed. Ultimately, I guess, it is only a matter of what gets the job done. The pyramids were built by sun worhipping ancients who would not have even a clue as to how to start a car, let alone know what a car was or what it was used for(although if they had been presented with one they may have very well figured it out). Yet today it would be very "maladaptive" to lack such crucial knowledge. Mabye what I am trying to say is, that the natural next step in unique ability of humans(and some primates and birds) to transmit extragenetic knowledge on to their offspring was to evolve the ability to store it in other mediums such as paper and magnetic floppy disk. That ability, I think, may have arrived hand in hand with the almost quantum ability of the human mind to construct "possibilities". Randomness gets us to where we find ourselves. The calculation of many possible "presents" provides us with a highly advantagous ability to alter our possible future with behavior that will place us in an environment that provides the least pressure and subsequently pleasure is achieved as an adaptive award for a successfully produced alogrithim. Hell, I don't know. I am just trying to describe the indescribable. We are now the only species, that I know of, that arrives in world dependent on extragenetic knowledge. All that extragenetic knowledge contains a great deal of "could have beens". That provides us with a rich set of"can and should be's" Adaptive? Yes. Maladaptive? Yes.(Somewhere, in a potential future, a mushroom cloud vibrates indistinctly and blurred within the quanta of possibility.....)

7. In the last billion years, did Earth going about its way with Free Will in hand or was it pre-determined? If you can prove that one way or the other, then you have the answer.

8. It's an intriguing question. A bit paradoxical in my mind, and though I'd like to agree with the philosophic way of no free will, I'd say that the most interesting part of life lies at the edge of predeterminism, where the predeterminism is not obvious. So my conclusion is, predetermined, very likely, but certainly not obvious. Life follows a predetermined path, but it's not predictable nor obvious.

9. From a personal perspective it I sit on the fence.

There have been times in my life when I have felt that I have total free will to do anything I please.

Then there have been times that I have felt I was somehow locked into a path like a race car on a race track. No options but to follow the track to the finish.

How to know the difference?

10. ## Free

the question of freedom is not, to do anything you like to do, but to know what you really want, and through that knowledge you are free. Most people don´t know what they really want and leave the path of freedom, then it gets hard to come back on the track.
Freedom is not, to follow all instincts (and call that "freedom"), such as hate, or hunger, but to be aware of the instinct and to choose freely.
Greetings, Philantroph

11. This question should be rephrased into "do you belive in fate?" in which case id have to say yes, but that does not mean i cant change it in any which way i see fit.

12. I believe neither.

Free will is an illusion of separateness perpetrated by our conscious minds as is linear time.

Kmguru, it was you i think that said somewhere else something about our unconscious all being connected? That's why.

whf

13. ## free will...

Causality tells that everything happens for a reason: every cause has its effect(s). Maybe our thoughts are the effects of many causes. Maybe every second in our lifes is pre-determined by a multitude of such causes, that are far too many for us to calculate.

Maybe (just maybe) we're nothing but some sort of mechanism, a kind of perpetuum mobile that evolves in time following a precise and well-defined way.

Just a thought...

14. ## Haven´t we discussed this many times before?

Free will exists as a guardian too our destiny.

15. ## we?

I also believe in free will but that wasn't the point of my previous post.

16. ## I wasn´t talking specifically to you, Twilight.

But now I am.

I guess one of the curses/blessings with forums is that you discuss the same things over and over again, because new members join and want to discuss the same matters.

But I liked what you were suggesting though, very much like my own theory of how the collective consciousness works. That every though gets manifested somehow, somewhere, just because it was thought.

Or wait, now that I re-read you post, I see that you said that every thought is the effect of many causes. Well yes, that they are too. The cause is primarily creativity and will to express and understand and to communicate.

And I guess we are mechanisms too, but very carefully designed by our souls to fit the purpose of the physical experience.

17. ## not quite the same thing

In his Foundation series, Isaac Asimov talked about a new science, called Psychohistory (hope I translated it right), science that suggests the possibility of predicting the direction of the future evolution of humanity. Note that these are SF books, so what happened there is not real, it's just a supposition. Still, Asimov's idea is interesting, because that way of predicting the future is based on mathematical relations and... anyway, it seemed very real. Only one thing doesn't fit in the picture: the free will. Because if we accept that the future is predictable, we have to accept that there is no such thing as free will, also.
But again, that's SF.

I was just wondering how close is Asimov's idea to the reality. Hari Seldon, the character that invented the Psychohistory, said that it doesn't apply to individuals, but to masses of people. But (speaking of individuals) I wonder if our actions (and thoughts) aren't just a consequence of multiple factors - therefore predictable. I guess we'll never know, because nobody can calculate all the possible factors that might have influenced us to make a decision, take an action etc. So, the existence of free will remains - from this point of view - questionable.

18. ## I guess I just have to...

..read the book then. My mother is a big fan of Asimov, so she most likely is in possesion of it. And according to her, Asimov is not just a science fiction author, she thinks he´s a great visionary. I think I have read some of his books during my childhood, but that was a long time ago and the memory is fading...

19. ## Cant have free will and an all knowing GOD

The problem with the religious argument is that they refuse to admit to the logic that you can't have free will and an all knowing God or supreme being, because one negates the other. Any being superior to us must have less than all the information or we are not truely free.

20. Twilight

Asimovs idea on Psychohistory is not new. The eastern philosophy has two items: Karma and Cause-Effect. While Karma is nothing but determinism, Cause-Effect may be same as Chaos theory or Psychohistory.

Take for example the collapse of USSR. A lot of factors influences the effect and I predicted that in 1984 when I was in China, while understanding about the Chinese process. It was not difficult because one can use fuzzy logic math with no more than 50 parameters that gave me a 78% probabilities of the fall. It could have gone higher if I had 100 parameters.

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