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Old 06-30-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Free Will.

It might look like something bombastic, but how if we weren't actually free or have free will? How if the only thing we are, is our conscience; the only thing we've got certain is that we exist, but cannot actually control what we do?

Let me explain myself. If we were determined by our environment, by genetics, by previous experiences; wouldn't that have been enough to configure our mindsets to prefer this or that instead of any other thing, what to decide, how to act and express ourselves (if I hadn't read the books I've read, I wouldn't have the vocabulary and forms of expression I've got now).

What I mean is, do we actually have free will? Or is the "software" of the brain only controlled by what we have lived, and not our conscience?

Do we control ourselves, or do the circumstances do it for us?
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
Do we control ourselves, or do the circumstances do it for us?
I've been wondering this myself for quite some time and I'm leaning towards the second option - essentially fate.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:55 PM
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I've been wondering this myself for quite some time and I'm leaning towards the second option - essentially fate.
Yeah, but we have to consider also that we can "rebel" against the circumstances, do something completely unexpected from us that comes from our own will. EG, the Down syndrome man who eventually became university teacher.

But then again we would have to determine what led him to decide to go against his fate; and the answers may remain in the circumstances once again...

Hm... Is it a good time to say I don't like the answers I am giving myself right now either?

I mean, this would mean we're "slaves of our surroundings", and not free at all.

EDIT: Now I've just realized, can we decide how the circumstances affect us?
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:28 PM
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We have free will... Right now, I could decide to (at least try to) do anything... Most people only go with what feels comfortable, right, but they still have the ABILITY to decide to do something else. It would be impossible for every decision to be preprogrammed in, not to mention you could still die from an accident (what if that person driving down the road fell asleep or lost control and hit you... you couldn't avoid that.)
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:30 PM
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You answered yourself, I think the decisions have to be always caused by something in past. Only thing that keeps me wondering is the theory of parallel universes, you can't have multiple outcomes if there is only one predetermined...


HNM: try to think of it more as a program of the whole universe, rather than only your mind. Every reaction has a subconcious cause, mind of a new-born is like an empty notebook.

Do I sound like stating facts? That's only my opinion, right?
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:49 PM
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One theory is that for every decision, every chance occurrence, there is a parallel universe where the other occurred, to the point that some might just be slightly different, while some might be entirely different, from one where I am a bit taller, to one where we are all Na'vi, to one where life never evolved.
In that theory, we still have free will, but we end up in the appropriate situation influenced by the decision made, while if we made another choice, there would have been another outcome.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:03 PM
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I don't believe in parallel universes, because the world "Universe" involves everything that exists. There is no "nothing" in the universe, and those parallel universes would be only part of the main universe, as long as they exist.

However, as I just said before, I think we can decide how our circumstances affect us. Just like my sister and I have been brought up in similar circumstances yet we've got quite different personalities, instead of being similar.

I strongly believe that you can make the circumstances affect you positively or negatively; just like the Jewish psychologist who survived the Nazi concentration camps by keeping a positive attitude (admiring the sunrise and sunset, trying to cheer up the rest,...).
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:15 PM
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In truth, we are never free. That is just an illusion.

For example, you can do what you want in society as long as you don't cross the line. If you do, you're either thrown into jail or deported. No exceptions most of the time. Because if not, then you'd probably be killed.

Even if we were in the forest, we still aren't truly free. You have to hunt and gather, and if you don't, you'll die. You have to sleep every night, and if you don't, you'll die. You have to keep clear of alligator/crocodile infested rivers, and if you don't, YOU'LL DIE.

Not sure about you, but that doesn't seem like much of a choice to me.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:06 PM
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Well you can die instead...
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:49 PM
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I don't really have anything to add to this discussion. I just wanted to post this pic I found from a while. I thought it was funny lol




I personally believe that we have free will but also goals/events that we are destined to meet for purposes of learning/spiritual growth.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Advent View Post
In truth, we are never free. That is just an illusion.

For example, you can do what you want in society as long as you don't cross the line. If you do, you're either thrown into jail or deported. No exceptions most of the time. Because if not, then you'd probably be killed.

Even if we were in the forest, we still aren't truly free. You have to hunt and gather, and if you don't, you'll die. You have to sleep every night, and if you don't, you'll die. You have to keep clear of alligator/crocodile infested rivers, and if you don't, YOU'LL DIE.

Not sure about you, but that doesn't seem like much of a choice to me.
I made a short essay on that: the first kind of limitations are social limitations, and the second kind of limitations are vital and physical limitations.

You may get rid of the social ones, but it's impossible to, for example, defy the laws of gravity or survive without drinking water for more than two weeks.

But we're talking about free will here, not freedom itself.
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Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 07-01-2010 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
It might look like something bombastic, but how if we weren't actually free or have free will? How if the only thing we are, is our conscience; the only thing we've got certain is that we exist, but cannot actually control what we do?
I don't entirely understand. Right now I'm choosing to post this. I think that answers your question.
Also I'm choosing to add this smiley →

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
Let me explain myself. If we were determined by our environment, by genetics, by previous experiences; wouldn't that have been enough to configure our mindsets to prefer this or that instead of any other thing, what to decide, how to act and express ourselves (if I hadn't read the books I've read, I wouldn't have the vocabulary and forms of expression I've got now).
That doesn't have much to do with free will. Regardless of my preferences, I could still, say, eat a hamburger if I really felt so inclined (though, I prefer chickenburgers.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
What I mean is, do we actually have free will? Or is the "software" of the brain only controlled by what we have lived, and not our conscience?

Do we control ourselves, or do the circumstances do it for us?
Yes we have free will. I don't know about you, but I control my own brain.

(As far as I know. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
One theory is that for every decision, every chance occurrence, there is a parallel universe where the other occurred, to the point that some might just be slightly different, while some might be entirely different, from one where I am a bit taller, to one where we are all Na'vi, to one where life never evolved.
In that theory, we still have free will, but we end up in the appropriate situation influenced by the decision made, while if we made another choice, there would have been another outcome.
Real or not, parallel universes are an awesome theory. I mean, personally, I think it makes so much sense. But then again, that would really suck for alternate-universe-you if he had to make all the wrong decisions.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Fkeu 'Awpo View Post
Yes we have free will. I don't know about you, but I control my own brain.

(As far as I know. )
If you can prove you are not affected or determined at all by your situation, I'll eat my hat. And it does not look tasty, huh.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:51 AM
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Elaborate on what you mean by my situation.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Fkeu 'Awpo View Post
Elaborate on what you mean by my situation.
All what has happened you since birth. Genetics, traumatic experiences, religion taught, education, country you live in, parents, friends...

How does that affect you?
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