The non-existance of free will, and religious ramifications

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE FREE WILL?

Poll ended at Fri Sep 20, 2002 7:40 am

Of course I do.
10
59%
Nope I don't.
4
24%
I don't think all-caps was the way to go on that one man...
3
18%
 
Total votes : 17

Postby Asok_green » Sun Aug 11, 2002 4:05 am

JP, you clearly understood everything wonderfully, and put it much better than I could hope to.

I'm glad that your comments also focus on the implications that HD would pose, and I completely agree with your point about objectivity. It even seems to me that keeping a connection with the human condition might be essential to maintaining the level of what we consider to be "order". (I mean imagine trying to rewrite our justice systems to remove accountablilty and responsibility. It would be chaos!)

So if it doesn't change hardly anything, why worry about if free will is an illusion at all? The only answer I can give you is that in doing so, we may be able to come to new logical conclusions to some of "life's questions". For example: If there's no free will, then the course of human events is scripted. If it's all kind of "just a play", then it doesn't really matter how it ends. The world could end in a firey nuclear apocolypse, and it wouldn't mean that humanity had failed.

There's also alot of "If, If, Then" statements, like:
IF God is all benevolent, - Meaning he's fair and good
and IF The universe is determined,
and IF there is such a thing as a soul
Then: God would not punish our souls for the acts of our bodies, for that would be unfair.

The truth is that there's a lot I'm undecided about on the implications of HD. That's the real reason I started the thread, to get other people's ideas about the ramifications of it all. But it kind of turned out being 90% battle, 10% philosophy.

So post some more JP! I wanna hear your ideas!
User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby JP » Mon Aug 12, 2002 12:06 am

More ideas?

Well, I think if we strip away all the philosophy in my above post to examine the underlying rhetoric or "point" it's that, yes, I do believe that determinism is an unavoidable reality of terrestrial existence, but at the same time, that it's not something that we should be too pre-occupied with as human beings.

For instance, I used to be concerned - when I first had Cartesian dualism explained to me - that nothing really existed. I would be lying if I said that I would lie awake every night consumed with existential angst, but at the same time - even if purely from an intellectual standpoint - it did concern me deeply. However, as I came to learn more about philosophy the fears slowly dissipated. It wasn't because Kant, Hume or anyone else resolved the issue using logic and I had discovered that there was a way to "undo" the main tennets of dualism, it was because I simply tired of concerning myself with it. I came to realise - albeit slowly - that the "real" world was unattainable. That my perspective, as subjective and imperfect as it is, is all I can be certain of. If my perspective is not real, then point out something that is.

And I hold a similar perspective with determinism. My choices may be out of my control, in that they are determined by forces and laws that have existed since the beginning of this universe, but it doesn't make them any less real, or any less important. I may not have "real" choice - in the same way that I don't have access to the "real" world - but I do have apparent choice which, like the apparent world, is all I know and all I can possibly know.

So that's all I'm trying to say. Don't concern yourself too much with "the implications of HD" because you're searching for answers that may be inaccessible.

Anyway, that was just clarification on what I was saying before. I'll write some more original material some other time. :)
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
User avatar
JP
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Frighter » Mon Aug 12, 2002 4:53 am

this could be old news for this thread for all i know.. but since im about to fall asleep im just gonna reply to the stuff i had read on the first page. anyway. all the people talking about "well science cant prove it, thus we have free will" dont matter all that much.. just because science CANT figure it out, doesnt mean that there are some underlying laws behind it, that are just beyond the ability to understand and analyze. Bein a hard determanist you gota think of it like this. ASSUMING you know everything there is to know about the present. every position, every velocity, every magnitidge, (insert some sort of made up value for so called unexplainable things) (regardless of weather or not you can know it) you could predict how everything will happen. while this may not be PHYSICALLY possible to do this, it is LOGICALLY possible. hard determanists dont expect TO be able to even someday understand it all. all they are saying is that it IS possible.
Whatever i just said is irrelevent.
And i know i have bad spelling. Live with it.
Start with assumption, That a million people are smart...Smarter than one?
User avatar
Frighter
 
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2002 9:50 pm
Location: Ontario

Postby inward » Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:51 pm

Hmm.. Think about it.. If there were no free will, what would be the point of good and evil, of morality?
inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

Postby Asok_green » Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:27 pm

That's a difficult question to answer. Many people are unable to find the point of good, evil and mortality even if free-will is a given. But I'll give it a go...

If there is no free will, then all of this, good, evil, the struggle of humanity, all becomes somewhat of a performance peice, or a play if you will. That which we consider to be evil would not really be evil, that which we considered good would not really be good. How to explain this...If I am a man, and I make choices in accordence to a set of morals and virtues I consider to be "good". Then I am a "good" man. But if I am a man that has been controlled my entire life by an unseen hand to choose the things I did, to decide to follow one set of values over another, then I am not really "good" or "evil", but merely shaped into a form that is either "good" or "evil". And if everyone, everywhere is shaped into varying degrees of good and evil, then by their nature they would oppose one another, and thus become the struggle of humanity.

The point, then, of the human condition, cannot possibly be determined by us, as we are ourselves caught in the human condition. The point doubly cannot be determined, becuase the act of humanity has yet to end. The play isn't over, so no justifiable meaning can yet be found.

We're just going to have to be patient...
User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby inward » Mon Sep 30, 2002 3:23 pm

I get the point. Still.. Suppose you're not human. :) Say "good" is what should be done. "Evil" is what shouldn't be done. If there is no way to choose between the 2, why would there be 2? Isn't one enough?
inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

Postby Asok_green » Mon Sep 30, 2002 4:20 pm

"Why?" questions concerning the way that the universe was made can't be answered, especially not by us humans. If you ask me why the sky is blue, I can give you a bunch of stuff about light wavelengths. But if you ask me why God created the universe so that the sky is blue, there is no answer that I can give you that will be justified. I can speculate, but becuase I am bound by the human condition, speculation is all that I am capable of.

The same goes for your question. If you ask me why there is evil in the world, I can answer that God created the world to have some evil in it. But if you ask me why the world was made with evil in it, then I cannot give you an answer that is justified. As a human, I can only speculate.
User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby inward » Thu Oct 03, 2002 2:54 pm

inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

Postby cba1067950 » Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:05 pm

That essay reminded me of how horrible my vocabulary is :(
cba1067950
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1409
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2002 5:24 am
Location: New York

Postby Asok_green » Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:27 pm

User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby inward » Mon Oct 07, 2002 3:53 pm

"3. If determinism is true, then whatever can be done, is done. (premise)"

If determinism is true, then it is true, there's no free will, so you can't believe in something.. say hypothetical. :)
But who ever told you determinism is true?

Try to follow Charles S. Peirce's logic.
http://www.nothing.com
inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

Postby Asok_green » Mon Oct 07, 2002 5:18 pm

Logic told me it was true.

Who ever told you that you had to have free will to believe in something?

By the way, that link is just another example of how you can use a lack of precision in language to make nonsense.

It usually goes like this:
"The word A is kind of a synonym for the word B which is loosely connected to the word C which is contradictory to the word A. So A actually contradicts itself!"

The reason these statements aren't writen in logic system form is that they never work there. Becuase they're nonsense. Some simple-minded people mistake these statements for real philosophy because they hold the belief that:

Confusing=Profound Truth

But in reality there's no more truth to it then some pot-smoking epiphany like:

"The yoke of the egg is everything that's not the white. But the opposite of white is black. The yoke is yellow, so black and yellow are the same thing...dude, pass the bong..."
User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby Asok_green » Mon Oct 07, 2002 5:40 pm

So h2o, did you even read the first rubuttal? When premises 1 and 2 don't work, you don't get to add a third one. Maybe you should work on defending the first two...
User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby inward » Tue Oct 08, 2002 12:03 pm

Asok_green wrote:Who ever told you that you had to have free will to believe in something?


I never said that. I only said you need free will to believe something HYPOTHETICAL. Because we suppose that the flying saucers example was just to replace anything of which you have no direct proof. Something that logics says it shouldn't be.
Tell an ignorant that there's oxygen on Mars, and he might believe you, he might not believe you. This is a matter of free will.

And yes, those logical essays, or proofs, however you might call them, on free will/determinism are based on such tricks of logic. Take it logically, and you can make black be white.
Personally, I believe that free will <=> existence of good and evil, morality.
inward
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2002 2:31 pm

Postby Asok_green » Mon Oct 21, 2002 12:00 am

A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash.
--Proverbs 15:14
User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby Imagistar » Tue Oct 22, 2002 10:59 pm

You're a class act, AG.

Let me know when you open a charm school. I want to short your stock.

(Sorry. I was determined to say that.)
Imagistar
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2002 3:56 am

Postby Asok_green » Wed Oct 23, 2002 4:20 am

lol, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, 'cause I'm unfamiliar with the term "short your stock"...
User avatar
Asok_green
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:12 am
Location: Midwest USA

Postby Guest » Wed Dec 11, 2002 11:59 am

Wow... A determinist quoting from the Bible..
Guest
 

Postby Pax Vitae » Sat Dec 28, 2002 7:23 am

This is a direct cut & paste from a post I made to the newsgroups a while back

> I believe that if we knew all the rules of
> the universe and could measure every atom in our body we could now the
> actions of a person or what they were thinking.

I would say you’re a believer in predetermination them? As this is what you seem to imply from that statement. We don’t have freewill as we live out a series of calculations where none of the variables are unknown or random. Life is a process of 1 + 1 + 1 = 3. Would this be a fair definition?

> Why does a certain unique DNA chain make me or
> why is H2O water or 12 electrons make carbon? The fact that certain
> arrangements of matter make things. The rules of the universe are
> consistent and there is seemingly endless variety

Or why do we live in a Universe that follows rules, which would seem to require more effort to create, then a random universe? This is one of the five proofs for the existence of God give by Aquinas. (i.e. the world as its created follows order not chaos).

I’ve thought about this problem for a long time and I keep coming back to the fact I just don’t have enough information to make a fair and rational decision. What it comes down to is I either believe that the Universe begot itself and always existed in some form. Or I can believe that some intelligence (most would call God) created the Universe so I can live in it for purpose that is still unknown to me. (I don’t believe a single world religion is right, but I still believe the existence of God is a valid choice).


This is a repost of an old post I made, which was talking about a Chemical Deity.

The basic idea behind what I said was: What physics is, is the simulation of the “real world” in a “perfect world” (maths being that perfect world). But does our “real world” work to the same level of accuracy that is possible in the perfect mathematical world? Because, if there is margin for error in the “real world” this error might be utilised in away to create freewill. (Some how?)
---

Getting back to freewill; I think there is a small randomness to the universe. Maths as we use it is still quite simple. 1 + 1 = 2, are whole numbers. 1.3 + 4.3 = 5.6, are decimal numbers (or fractions). As you know there are an infinite number or numbers. Between 1.0 and 2.0 there are also an infinites number of decimal numbers (or fractions). To recreate the universe with maths would require infinite number accuracy. Something we are not capable of yet, maybe never? But maths is also unlike anything else in the world, it is pure and incorruptible; meaning 1 + 1 will always from this day to the end of everything even beyond that, 1 + 1 will always equal 2. I don’t believe the universe lives up to this perfect accuracy. In chemical reactions (and the expending of energy) in the universe I think there is margin for error like the way in maths you round up or down at a centain number of decimals, and this error over time can create randomness. This randomness could create something along the lines of freewill. (I’m still thinking about how this works as the last step is a bit of a jump). But it would be like this: some how the human brain has found away to harness this error to allow freewill. (As a side note, this might be why computers have problems in imitation of human thought.)

PV
User avatar
Pax Vitae
(Jonathan Wilson)
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 12:44 pm

Previous

Return to Religion and Spirituality



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users