Discussion in 'Religion' started by supremebeingindeed, Mar 12, 2007.
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Mainly the one term, "free will" and what to refer to it as.
How about "self-determination", or do you think that will not work either, because otehr influences "help" you determine, so you are not doing it all by yourself?
Self-determination is, to me, a much preferable term than "free will" simply because it can and does recognize the outside influences. I.e., a person knowledgeable about drugs and their effects on the body might not just take the drug offered by his buddy ....yet a fool might take it simply because his buddy told him it was great. See?
Outside influences are much, much more important in our lives than we like to believe. People, especially young people, want soooo much to believe that they're really in control of their own lives, their own actions .....and yet most are highly influenced by their peers (but they won't admit it!).
I can agree with that, Baron.
You were talking about a baby less than a few minutes old.
Disappeared in a time warp.
So, we are influenced in our actions, but have the ability to choose among the options available to us.
In other words, what I have been saying.
Or did I misunderstand you?
Free will exists in the sense that imagination exists: on an illusory plane of helpful dialectical constructs. In practise, however, consequences are yet further causes, and, not being sentient, are utterly unconcerned with our ability or willingness to forecast them.
If one were to enter a dark room, one could either switch the light-switch 'on' or leave it off. One could not, however, do both simultaneously.
That every analogous scenario demands the same flowchart of apparent decisions indicates that no individual one may be made without any conscious or unconscious regard for all those that preceded it; it is therefore a slave to historical influences. Indeed, to external ones too, which, from moment to moment, are not any more receptive to instantaneous and corrective calibration to one's ideals than is the past. Of course, one's ideals, too, are hopelessly entwined in this system, and thus even the much-invoked 'brain in a jar' would not be any intellectually freer than we 'imagine' (QED) ourselves to be.
Yes, to your latter question.
We have only the illusion of 'options'. The one we ultimately will choose is pre-determined by the totality of our historical and external circumstances. In this sense nothing is minutiae, only misunderstood.
If a tree falls in the middle of a wild forest, the universe will never be quite the same, whether anyone hears or cares or not. What is equally interesting is that the tree did not fall in a vacuum, nor did it 'choose' to fall: it was felled by its history and environment.
Come on Baron, you know I'm smarter than that. Just cause you feel like you have to put down every 12 year old who thinks he's figured out the answer to everything doesn't mean that everyone who disagrees with you is one of 'em.
I'm not basing this on the fact that we all do something different under pressure. I'm basing it on the fact that, at times, we all do things wildly unpredictable compared to ourselves. Like maybe Mike has learned to gather all the info before acting, but in one particular circumstance he, for no immediate reason surrounding him, impulsively acts on an unthought whim, as if the decision were made in his mind without any outside info.
And I at least have some idea what I am talking about, I do not just spout out words hoping that someone will think it sounds cool. I have no desire to be 'cool'. At least theoretically, every event is traced to individual quantum wave collapses--the point at which the unpredictable wave of particle movement becomes tracable once observed. After the collapse of a quantum wave, the result becomes observable, but only after. This process is at best a probability, but mostly just chaotic. I am saying that at some basic level, our mental processes are tied directly to this such that in times of heavy and immediate stress, our brain acts on the product of a chaotic wave collapse. If this confuses you, I am sorry.
You have shown how we are inflenced by our surroundings - not enslaved by them.
I'm not convinced at all.
Influenced is not the same as controlled.
Life is a series of interconnected coincidences all created by the choices you make, the self-determination of others and the world around you.
We, on the other hand, are not trees.
We can choose to chop a tree down if we wish.
As Oscar Wilde made Lord Henry Wotton say, 'All influence is corrupting'. History and environment serve up banquets of apparent choices. These choices are mutually-exclusive, as they may not be engaged simultaneously. One is compelled to select one 'choice' over another. The route of this compulsion is owed entirely to the exquisitely precise state of one's mind at that moment.
It is wise to pause and consider the vast complexity of the mind before proceeding.
The state of one's mind at any given moment is due to an unrelenting ocean of past of events, both internal and external. Each new event, in turn, falls heir to predicating some portion of future action and thought - just as the unforgettable suffering that Aeschylus wrote of falling 'drop by drop upon the heart'.
'Free will' is a useful heuristic in day-to-day life, as it gives us a framework wherein to feign an understanding of ourselves and the motives of others. It permits pride and blame, and assists, quite rationally, in the persistent suppression of ancient death anxieties a la Otto Rank and his disciples.
Quomodo sedet sola civitas - vanity of vanities, all is vanity. The author of Ecclesiastes, and his Vulgate scribe, both lost to the fog of time, were both operating quite well-cemented into the river thereof.
As are we.
Yes, but that's not the same thing as "free will". The only way that one can actually and truly be free to choose between the options is to be totally ignorant of the options themselves ...as well as the consequences! Otherwise, his choice is is/will be "influenced" ...which is the same as saying "not free"!
And please note that it's virtually impossible for a grown person to be totally ignorant of acts or of the consequences ....even if only by logical reasoning based on some similar act. And again, it ain't "free will", it's "influenced will".
Have I made myself clear yet? I guess a simple way of saying it is ...knowledge itself prevents "free will". A person with no brain might, just might, have "free will" ...but I doubt it.
I don't think you adequately supported your assertion that we are compelled to follow a specific course of action, as opposed to openly selecting from the available array of options.
I don't see how you can alter a choice (in the past). There are a limited number of actions in any situation, so already you are restricted. You cannot walk on water (without support).
We make a choice, either for considered reasons, or accidentally. Decisions either have causes or not. Either way, I cannot see what the "free will" is doing.
If "free will" is a myth, then we cannot be sinful.
I assume you have reasons for making this point. Those reasons forced you to make this point and no other. You didn't choose the reasons.
Separate names with a comma.