Determinism

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Re: Determinism

Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:45 pm

obsrvr524

So can I briefly interrupt to ask how many of the 30 most recent posters on this board don't believe in determinism?



Determinism is the philosophical belief that all events are determined completely by previously existing causes.

If we take out the words ALL and COMPLETELY then I can certainly say yes as I personally see that there are events which were caused by events which went before, though it may take awhile for them to catch up.
For instance, and I may be wrong here, would the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor as it did if we had not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which in my book was also imfamous).

Aside from that, Will or free will may not be perfect but we do have the power to change history and to change our personal history. We can develop more self-awareness, we can change or let go of certain of our embedded patterns from childhood through self-determination. There does seem to be a lot of randomness in the world which some might argue is also pre-determined but I suppose it all depends on how one sees things.
Is it possible that if determinism IS our belief, then we have already re-created the world as such, for those
who do?

I am agnostic but if there is possibly some creator god does this mean that we could not have evolved into creatures of free will? Are we already pre-determined creatures? Looking at the world the way it is, it hardly seems to me that we can be so pre-determined based on how we rise up and struggle and fight at certain events and try to change them.

Of course, at the same time, I can also see how easily influenced we can become by situations and circumstances but this does not mean that we do not have the power to change things albeit some things may be quite difficult to change - but still we go at it.

So, we are both pre-determined in ways and self-determined also...a harmony of opposites.
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Re: Determinism

Postby obsrvr524 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:47 am

So the answer to my question was "no".

Arcturus Descending wrote:obsrvr524

So can I briefly interrupt to ask how many of the 30 most recent posters on this board don't believe in determinism?

Determinism is the philosophical belief that all events are determined completely by previously existing causes.
If we take out the words ALL and COMPLETELY then I can certainly say yes as I personally see that there are events which were caused by events which went before, though it may take awhile for them to catch up.

I think the rule is that if everything isn't determined then it isn't determinism.

Arcturus Descending wrote:For instance, and I may be wrong here, would the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor as it did if we had not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which in my book was also imfamous).

That answered a lot of potential questions.

Thanks for your input. :)
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:05 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
For instance, and I may be wrong here, would the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor as it did if we had not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which in my book was also imfamous).
Do you mean retro-causation?

Like would Japan not have bombed Pearl Harbor if the US wouldn't have been going to Atom bomb Hiroshima and Nagosaki? The future event causing the past one?
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:05 pm

"this atheist believes in free will"
James Kirk Wall from the ChicagoNow web page

Why should we believe that the human mind contains the same determinism of celestial bodies? Why would we not believe that the human brain is an agent capable of making undeterminable random choices?

How does this relate to free will? Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded. You’re making a decision, there are at least two options. Not only are you unimpeded on what to choose, you are unimpeded in what not to choose. According to hard determinism, free will is just an illusion. Any decision we make was already determined.


No, according to what the hard determinists claim to believe given the gap between this claim and a demonstrable proof that is verifiably true and not able to be falsified.

Similarly regarding the arguments that free-will advocates claim. Claiming free-will is not the same thing as providing demonstrable proof that it exists.

Instead, most of these discussions and debates take place in a world of words.

Our gender, parents, genes, cognitive ability, innate talents, time, place, and economic circumstances into which we happen to be born were not our decisions to make and yet provide enormous influence on who we are and how we think.

Do these factors influence our decision making? I don’t see how anyone can argue that they don’t. But do these factors not only influence, but determine every decision we make? I would argue no.


In my view, the part encompassing factors that influence our behaviors is embodfied existentially in dasein. It then becomes a matter of 1] assuming some measure of autonomy and 2] recognizing "I" as an existential contraption confronted with conflicting goods and political economy in the is/ought world.

I believe that humans have free will. But let’s not think of this as an on-and-off switch. And let’s be clear on all that’s necessary to debunk determinism. Let’s suppose out of every 10,000 decisions you make, 9,999 are predetermined based on past events and one is based on choosing possible courses of action unimpeded. Hard determinism is dead, and every instance of the 100 word scenario has a different human civilization.


See what I mean? Has he demonstrated empirically, experimentally that this is so? Such that a prediction might be made as to which of those 10,000 decisions is the one made unimpeded?

As for, "hard determinism is dead, and every instance of the 100 word scenario has a different human civilization", I'll need that explained a bit further.

But would only a fraction of a fraction of free will make any significant difference? The answer is yes. A small decision can have an enormous rippling effect. Let’s suppose an ancestor 10,000 years ago that was female, instead of going with male A mated with male B. An entire lineage is changed. Generations expanding exponentially to other generations over 10,000 years are effected.


Yes, assuming that we are able to establish that she chose B instead of A in a manner that was not compelled by nature.

On the other hand, as always, I'm left with the feeling that [in an autonomous world of whatever measure] I am simply not understanding the point itself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:13 pm

phyllo wrote:
This is typical of you in retort mode. I try to explain myself but that's not the reaction you are looking for. Or are demanding.
You don't need to explain yourself yet again. I have read that same explanation dozens of times. I understood it on a previous reading and my memory is not so bad that I forgot it.


You're the objectivist. So there is only one explanation that will suffice. The one that coincides with your own, uh, contempt for me here?

And to demonstrate that I am worthy of this contempt, you insist that you just know that I did not think through the argument above. How do you know this? Because had I actually read the argument carefully and thought it through, I would not have reacted as I did.

Again, depending entirely on how someone has come to understand -- given some measure of free will -- the meaning of "ignoring" here. From my frame of mind, determinism subsumes all matter in a future that unfolds only as it ever could have. The multitude of inputs, whether pertaining to me, you, a black box or a cylinder, are all inherently, necessarily embodied in the laws of matter.

We act and we ignore differently from the box and the cylinder. How? In that we consciously "choose" to. But that is only a manifestation of matter having evolved into a human brain that is not yet fully understood by science. There may be an element of actual volition embedded in the chemical and neurological interactions that unfold in our brain matter. And, sure, it may be traced back to one or another God; or to one or another understanding of living matter itself that makes it profoundly -- qualitatively -- different from the mindless matter in the black box and the cylinder.

Okay, you tell us what that is. Demonstrate it to us such that there can be no doubt whatsoever that human beings are able to freely opt for one set of behaviors rather than another.


phyllo wrote: I don't see how I can demonstrate "that human beings are able to freely opt for one set of behaviors rather than another" when that's not even my point of view. I'm not saying that there is anything "profoundly -- qualitatively -- different".

You don't understand my position even after all these posts.


But my point is that until it is able to be demonstrated that this very exchange is not entirely in sync with the laws of nature, all we are left with are the assumptions we make about determinism. And, indeed, the assumption that you make is that I do have the capacity to understand your position if only I would exercise my free will and make an actual effort to understand it.

Instead, that you merely believe this to be the case "here and now" becomes all the proof that you and your ilk need.

Thus...

In other words, we are simply to assume that the sequence of choices made by the man in this example, like the sequence of choices made by you to bring it to our attention, "proves" that how you understand all of this is more rational than the way I have come to understand it.


phyllo wrote: No. I'm saying that reducing all human decisions and actions to being "compelled by natural laws" is a lame and ineffective way of describing humans. It's dumbing it down too much.


Again, I have the actual option not to reduce all human decisions down to being "compelled by nature", but my "lame and ineffective" thinking is the reason that I don't.

Really, compelled or not, I get that part.

Logic? It's just common sense that the Stoic's understanding of a functioning human brain was considerbly less than our understanding today.


phyllo wrote: Sure but you don't need to understand the functioning of the human brain if you take a black box approach.


This is simply preposterous to me. Until we come to understand definitively how mindless matter evolved into living matter evolved into conscious matter evolved into self-conscious matter grappling to understand the relationsdhip between "outside the black box" "the black box itself" and "inside the black box", we are always going to be dealing with all of the "unknown unknowns" embedded in questions this big.

And to argue that the gap between the Stoics understanding of the human brain and that which neuroscience understands about it today isn't of fundamental importance is, well, preposterous.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the Stoics being "idiots", and everything to do with the explosion of scientific knowledge we have at our disposal that they did not.

On the other hand, I might be lamely and ineffectually misunderstanding your point again.

If you actually do believe that one can understand human psychology without first having a comprehensive understanding of the human brain -- compelled or not -- I have no illusions about ever changing your mind.


phyllo wrote: You don't need to understand atomic structure, or the existence of existence, in order to build a cathedral in the Middle Ages. You need a good understanding of how stone and wood behave.


As though what you need to understand about building a cathedral is on par with what you would need to know to resolve once and for all whether human beings have freedom or volition or autonomy or will to power or whatever you want to call it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:30 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:So can I briefly interrupt to ask how many of the 30 most recent posters on this board don't believe in determinism?


Just for the record, my own argument on this thread revolves less around what any particular individual might believe about determinism, and more around what he or she is able to actually demonstrate is in fact true about it.

"Here and now", based on the assumption that the human brain is matter going back to whatever explains the existence of matter itself, it seem reasonable [to me] to suppose that the laws of matter are no less applicable to it.

At least until 1] the existence of God is demonstrated or 2] there is news flashed around the globe that science has finally pinned down a complete understanding of the relationship between the brain, the mind, and "I".

Or, sure, until a philosopher has concocted an argument in which, theoretically, the demonstration revolves entirely around a world of words.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby phyllo » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:00 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote :

This was an extremely clear explanation of what you meant and what was frustrating (or disrespectful) and what was missing.

Thanks for your support.

I'm not going to talk to him any more.

It's a waste of time because I'm not getting anything out of it and he's not getting anything out of it.

Who needs the acrimony?
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:02 pm

phyllo wrote:I'm not going to talk to him any more.


Well, if you mean me, you have crumpled in exasperation like this before. On other threads. Vowing never to respond to me again. But then you can't sustain this frame of mind and are back at it.

So, why not just save face and admit that, sure, maybe it's been nature all the time compelling you to...expose me? You know, like KT is so adept at. :lol:

Look, KT and I more or less agreed to pull back from each other. He has no respect for my intelligence and I have no respect for that. We simply ignore each other insofar as we don't respond to each other's posts. And, so far, it's working great.

Let's do the same, okay?

In other words, really mean it this time. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby obsrvr524 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:55 am

Just to clarify, when I asked this:
obsrvr524 wrote:So can I briefly interrupt to ask how many of the 30 most recent posters on this board don't believe in determinism?

I meant to be asking merely for a guesstimate number of how many, not individual arguments.
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Re: Determinism

Postby MagsJ » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:47 am

I do not believe that things are intrinsically determined, no.

Just to help you out a little.. Fixed Cross, Jakob, and Barbarian Horde are all the same person. And I have DM'd Maia your post, in case she hasn't read it or even logged on here lately.

obsrvr524 wrote:So can I briefly interrupt to ask how many of the 30 most recent posters on this board don't believe in determinism?

barbarianhorde
phyllo
Carleas
Mithus
Prismatic567
Jakob
Mad Man P
Karpel Tunnel
Meno
Fixed Cross
Ecmandu
promethean75
Arcturus Descending
surreptitious75
Peter Kropotkin
Gloominary
xhightension
FreeSpirit1983
thinkdr
Kalashnikov
Silhouette
Arcturus Descending
Exuberant Teleportation
waechter418
iambiguous
encode_decode
Magnus Anderson
Gamer
Maia
Magsj
Greatest I am
phenomenal_graffiti
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get that time back, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

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Re: Determinism

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:20 pm

To have any sort of will, you ALWAYS need constraints. This is kinda like James S Saints affectance.

Now, we've been through this on these boards before:

If you know every reason why you know what you know, and ALL of those reasons are external (absolute determinism), then, you know no reason why "you" exist, as 100% of everything (absolute determinism) because EVERYTHING is EXTERNAL to YOU!!! If all of those reasons are INTERNAL (absolute creationism), then you have nothing outside of yourself with which to distinguish yourself from. Both states mean that you cannot exist.

The left over is what I call, "the remainder from the limit" - this remainder is "not freewill", it is self will.

Free will assumes absurd things like me being able to smoke a cigarette without lungs!!

Self will assumes that we make executive decisions compatabilistically with the laws of nature, not that one is more powerful than the other.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Meno_ » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:52 pm

It seems as we were set up to become embroiled until the skeptics including Descartes played that well rehearsed play of the evil genius , then the set ups were set down, and now they are just sets, sets within which ultimately all game players will again reattain (retain)lfreedom of choice.

That entails an undeniable fallacy, if not blatant contradiction.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Maia » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:53 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I'm agnostic.


Hi, Mags sent me this. What are you asking? If I'm to give you an answer from my own life and experiences I need to know exactly what the question is.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Artimas » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:14 am

MagsJ wrote:I do not believe that things are intrinsically determined, no.

Just to help you out a little.. Fixed Cross, Jakob, and Barbarian Horde are all the same person. And I have DM'd Maia your post, in case she hasn't read it or even logged on here lately.

obsrvr524 wrote:So can I briefly interrupt to ask how many of the 30 most recent posters on this board don't believe in determinism?

barbarianhorde
phyllo
Carleas
Mithus
Prismatic567
Jakob
Mad Man P
Karpel Tunnel
Meno
Fixed Cross
Ecmandu
promethean75
Arcturus Descending
surreptitious75
Peter Kropotkin
Gloominary
xhightension
FreeSpirit1983
thinkdr
Kalashnikov
Silhouette
Arcturus Descending
Exuberant Teleportation
waechter418
iambiguous
encode_decode
Magnus Anderson
Gamer
Maia
Magsj
Greatest I am
phenomenal_graffiti


I could be added to the list probably. But I don't not believe determinism exists, I just think freewill comes of it and that things only grow more free inevitably, determinism has determined itself free by its own mechanism/existence of functioning.

Even nothing, is something.
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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:13 am

So freewill and determinism kinda both exist like two sides of a single plane that's looping around itself. Holy shit that's like a mobius strip, dude.
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Re: Determinism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:25 am

You just gave me a breakthrough, art. Both are possible in euclidean space because it's impossible for there to be a surface normal vector at every point!

We're going to co-publish a paper bro, so get your shit together quick. We're about to make history.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:21 am

Maia wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:I'm agnostic.


Hi, Mags sent me this. What are you asking? If I'm to give you an answer from my own life and experiences I need to know exactly what the question is.


It wasn't me, it was another poster...

obsrvr524 wrote:
So can I briefly interrupt to ask how many of the 30 most recent posters on this board don't believe in determinism?


I assume you were on the list he posted of people who had posted on the topic.
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Re: Determinism

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:53 am

Maia wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:I'm agnostic.


Hi, Mags sent me this. What are you asking? If I'm to give you an answer from my own life and experiences I need to know exactly what the question is.

I think that she was referring to my question.

I can see that I would make a lousy pollster.

Maia, if you could just state your favorite number between 0 and 30, inclusive, you will give the closest thing to an answer so far.

I checked my suspicions about what "determinism" means. The American Heritage dictionary (the first one to come up) agrees that if a person believes that even one event anywhere throughout the entire universe was not caused by other events, having absolutely no casual associations, then that person does not believe in determinism. That person would be a "non-determinist".

American Heritage dictionary says (if I can make this quote thing work right):
determinism

n.
The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision, is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.
n.
A term invented, by Sir William Hamilton to denote the doctrine of the necessitarian philosophers, who hold that man's actions are uniformly determined by motives acting upon his character, and that he has not the power to choose to act in one way so long as he prefers on the whole to act in another way.
n.
In general, the doctrine that whatever is or happens is entirely determined by antecedent causes; the doctrine that the science of phenomena consists in connecting them with the antecedent conditions of their existence.


In addition, non-determinists don't believe in science either because one of the most, if not the very most fundamental principle in the physical sciences is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. And so far I have read up to the point where James Saint explains that for anything to exist, it must have affect upon something. I can't argue with that and what that means is that if something suddenly, without being caused, affects something else, energy has been created from nowhere.

So the conservation of energy rule requires that any and every event must stem only from other events in order to get its energy to have any affect and thus to exist.

I really had no intention of entering this debate or discussion. Honestly, I just wanted to get a quick idea of about how many of the current posters are non-determinists - what kind of audience has been here at this board. I'm learning as I go.



At this point, due to the responses to my question, it appears that from 90 to 100% of the posters here are non-determinists and thus don't actually believe in science either.

Magjs wrote:Just to help you out a little.. Fixed Cross, Jakob, and Barbarian Horde are all the same person.

The average internet board sock-puppet population used to be around 15% so if he is the only one out of 30 (about 7%) this board is better than average. But then perhaps over the last decade the internet average has dropped.
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Re: Determinism

Postby Maia » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:47 pm

Ok, the first number that popped into my head was 7, so that's my answer for what my favourite number is.
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Re: Determinism

Postby MagsJ » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:21 pm

Maia, the question being asked is, do you believe in determinism?
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get that time back, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

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Re: Determinism

Postby Maia » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:22 pm

MagsJ wrote:Maia, the question being asked is, do you believe in determinism?


No, I don't. I think a lot of stuff is purely random.
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Re: Determinism

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:58 pm

Maia wrote:Ok, the first number that popped into my head was 7, so that's my answer for what my favourite number is.

Thank you Maia. I wasn't asking anyone what they believed. I was just asking for how many, a number.
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Re: Determinism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:37 pm

"Defending Free Will & The Self"
Frank S. Robinson in Philosophy Now magazine

[Dennett] says we bootstrap our way to (self-)consciousness by a process of interactions between our brains/bodies and our social environments, with back-and-forth communication about reasons for actions, which develops the mind to think in such terms. He also cites a Harry Frankfurt essay, ‘Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person’ (1971), which says, “A person can want one thing but want to want something else – and act on that second-order desire” – like your desire to eat that chocolate cake versus your desire to lose weight.


Here though we always come back to the same predicament. Drawing conclusions based only on what science has been able to disclose so far regarding what it thinks is happening in the brain when we come to want something while in turn wanting something else. Where is the definitive evidence that clearly discloses if "I" here is unequivocally free or unequivocally compelled to opt for one set of actual behaviors rather than another?

Nothing, to my knowledge, has been decisively pinned down. Or, to your knowledge, has it been. Yes? Okay, link us to it.

Dennett says, Frankfurt writes. So, what can we, with all certainty, come to conclude about me typing these words and you reading them given the arguments posed by both the hard determinists and the libertarians.

Dennett argues that this capacity to reflect on and mediate among one’s desires is the essence of personhood. But this seems at odds with Schopenhauer’s saying that one can’t choose one’s desires. And what about the metaphor of crewmen fighting over the wheel, instead of a captain being in charge? In the end, Dennett insists that we can and do use deliberation to resolve such internal conflicts, and that there is somebody home – the self – after all, to take responsibility and be morally accountable.


In other words, Schopenhauer just takes it all back another step: "You can do what you will, but in any given moment of your life you can will only one definite thing and absolutely nothing other than that one thing."

I'm only pointing out the obvious: there may well be more steps.

Eventually, everything has to be taken back to an understanding of existence itself. And we don't even know for certain if that is not as well but another manifestation of nature unfolding only as it must. Or, if "I" does have some measure of freedom not yet explained by science, whether it is even capable of understanding something like this at all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Determinism

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:47 pm

MagsJy,

I do not believe that things are intrinsically determined, no.


What came after the above, I had no idea about except for the first two but my question under the circumstances is: Did most people know this? Did he care, either way, that they knew it?
I suppose my real question here is whether or not it was okay with him that YOU revealed something like that insofar as the last username is concerned.

If Jakob does/did not really care one way or the other about it and you knew this, then I will not let it rub me the wrong way.

I have seen incidents/posts in here where people do this, for whatever reason, call people's other usernames out and I think it is always a crappy thing.
"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."


“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.”

Immanuel Kant
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Arcturus Descending
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Re: Determinism

Postby MagsJ » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:59 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:I have seen incidents/posts in here where people do this, for whatever reason, call people's other usernames out and I think it is always a crappy thing.

Er.. ok.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get that time back, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

--MagsJ
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