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Free Choice or Fate

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Do you believe in free choice or some form of fate?

Free Choice
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Fate
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Total votes : 12

Free Choice or Fate

Postby threewood14 » Tue Apr 27, 2004 5:01 pm

Do you believe in free choice or some form of fate?
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Postby Apotheosis » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:04 pm

To be quite blunt, I believe in free choice.
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Postby benissimus » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:15 pm

Determinism, none of the above.
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Postby Jung He Fah Toy » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:45 pm

To be quite blunt, I believe in free choice.


What causes you to make up your mind? Memory? Observations? Environment?
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Apr 28, 2004 5:47 pm

I won't vote in the poll, because I'm not 100% sure actually. I want it to be free choice, and believe it is, but I can't be sure.
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Postby benissimus » Wed Apr 28, 2004 5:51 pm

I think that logic dictates our actions, and logic can only bring us to a single choice when faced with many. That is not really free choice, but it isn't fate either.
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Postby Jung He Fah Toy » Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:16 pm

I think that logic dictates our actions, and logic can only bring us to a single choice when faced with many. That is not really free choice, but it isn't fate either.


Thats exactly what I mean with memory, observation, environment.
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Postby Mongoose42 » Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:23 pm

So determinism is the belief that the outcome of a situation is predetermined but not dictated. Such as (and I apologize for relating your idea to a religious conotation) an omniscient being can see all time and therefore the outcomes of all situations without dictating those situations as the Fates were said to do.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:01 pm

I forgot to add, that if we don't have free choice then the other option is not fate, but what you're calling 'determined' here.
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Postby benissimus » Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:02 pm

:shock: I suppose so. Did God give humans the ability to create their own decisions? If not, and they are driven by deterministic principles, can he blame them for being good or bad if they are only so because of predetermined events?

Justifying God is indeed a very hard thing to do with logic.
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Postby Barrius » Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:48 pm

Free choice. Any other choice implies that all actions are predetermined and unchangable. I believe in God, the Bible is His Word, and His allowing each of us to choose Him or not.
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Postby threewood14 » Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:56 pm

Barrius, did you see the movie the Passion of the Christ? What did you think of that? I personally thought it was incredible.

Just want to add that when I mean fate I do mean determinism.
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Postby Kasper » Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:17 am

As much as I resent it: neither, everything is but reaction upon reaction. It's not logical (at least not always) or coincidental or pre-established. The reason i react the way I do is a reaction upon how I have been raised, which is reaction upon who my parents are, etc. It is a reaction upon what I have read which are reactions upon (perhaps) my interests, my environment, etc. The difficulty is that it is not a clean one on one reaction but each reaction is based upon countless influences. Perhaps the inability to acertain what exactly caused which reaction is called free will?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby Barrius » Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:13 pm

threewood14 wrote:Barrius, did you see the movie the Passion of the Christ? What did you think of that? I personally thought it was incredible.

Just want to add that when I mean fate I do mean determinism.


Not yet :cry: I have made plans on three ocassions to attend, but something always interferes. Maybe next weekend I can see it. My parents have seen it, as have several neighbors, and church members, and I have heard/read much about it over the past year, especially commentary from Mr. Gibson himself.

I like SOME of Gibson's works, especially "Braveheart" and "The Patriot", and am looking forward to seeing "The Passion of The Christ". What attracted me most was that Gibson was attempting to adhere to the Gospels (obviously some literary license will creep through), and that it was spoken in Aramaic (sp?) and Greek. I understand neither, but will one day.

That said, from what I have seen and heard, especially the specious attacks, I think it will be an incredible movie.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:31 pm

Its not Greek its Latin. But still, the movie itself is great.
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:55 pm

Kasper wrote:As much as I resent it: neither, everything is but reaction upon reaction. It's not logical (at least not always) or coincidental or pre-established. The reason i react the way I do is a reaction upon how I have been raised, which is reaction upon who my parents are, etc. It is a reaction upon what I have read which are reactions upon (perhaps) my interests, my environment, etc. The difficulty is that it is not a clean one on one reaction but each reaction is based upon countless influences. Perhaps the inability to acertain what exactly caused which reaction is called free will?

Hmm... I'm not sure I agree there. If you say that everything is a reaction to your upbringing and experiences and so on.... how far are you willing to go with this theory of reaction? Is it all down to each little atom moving in that direction in the end?
If you go so far as to say that everything was actually predetermined with the big bang, because everything is just a reaction to something else, which all leads up to me writing this reply right now, then I must say that I think you may be right. But if you believe otherwise, well then I do still see a chance for free will. Science can explain our brain (a bit at least), but can't look at our consciousness and study it and so work out which rules govern it (yet). If only we knew these rules!
As I see it, our feeling of being in charge of our lives could be a clever deception, something that evolved during evolution to make us work harder, but then you ask yourself what was there before that evolution had to deceive? :? It may have come about when we started to think about things and were no longer instinct driven creatures. Something else needed to drive us, an ego that needed satisfying maybe. Again though I ask myself who's satisfying this new ego? Is it my body or I? Seeing as the whole point of consciousness was to 'rule' the body and make it do things it wouldn't otherwise do, I don't think it can be the body. So it's there to rule the body, it might be able to make things happen in the body, that is it rules itself too... this is where freedom might lie, but as I know nothing of neuroscience I've no idea really, please tell me what you think, and point out any logical errors!
Yeah, I'm confused myself now... it's nearly 11 at night and I've only just come home, so I think I'll post more another time, when my brain's working :P .
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Postby Emma_85 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:29 pm

Just to let you know - I've finally submitted my vote in favour of 'free choice', because that is what I believe actually, though as I pointed out again and again, I'm not too sure and tomorrow I might believe everything is predeterminded.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:20 pm

do you think that if a changed fate to determinism that more ppl would choose determinism?
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Postby Kasper » Fri Apr 30, 2004 4:26 am

Emma - as for 'that' direction, i don't know what direction you are talking about. I think there is no direction, no logic, masterplan, predetermination or whatever you wish to call it. Was everything determined at the big bang? No, not all. just another reaction upon somthing(s).
So is it all but colliding/bouncing atoms? Yes, atoms but also ideas, images, feelings, &c.
I don't really understand your statement that we need consciousness to move our bodies, insects (which I assume not to have any consciousness, correct me if i'm wrong) move their bodies. Consciousness is indeed a matter of evolution and evolution is simply chain of reactions. I'm not a biologist so I don't know how all that stuff works exactly, but nothing happens without a cause, back to the very initial thing that happened, call it big bang or whatever.
I don't think there is so much a purpose to it all. just reactions. I suppose one of the problems with this is for example crime. How can we convict a person if his crime is but reaction upon his past (or present)? The simple answer is that we must a) because of a deterence (a future influence on others actions) and b) because we need to to...feel save/revenge/whatever. Really right and wrong don't come into it, stuff just reacts. I hope this made some sense... :wink:
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby threewood14 » Fri Apr 30, 2004 5:58 pm

a big chain reaction i would agree with
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Postby Mongoose42 » Fri Apr 30, 2004 6:25 pm

Even if everything is a big reaction, the illusion of free choice is needed to maintain order. Most people never give the idea of fate a seriouse thought and believe that everything is like ordering a hot dog. You can choose to get ketchup or mustard or neither. According to determism and reaction theory the outcome of the choice is based entirely on past events but to the person buying the food the choice is very real. In the same way a criminal that was raised in an environment that led to crime still has a choice to break the law or not. Thus the whole of time can be set forth and determined by reactions without destroying the illusion and effect of free choice.
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Postby threewood14 » Fri Apr 30, 2004 10:53 pm

Yeah
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat May 01, 2004 8:40 pm

@Kasper

Yes, sorry, I do understand what you mean, I just wasn't sure what to call that. I called it predetermined, because if everything is a reaction as you say, then basically what ever I do as it were, it will be a reaction. Even if I decide to jump of a skyscraper tomorrow just to prove to everyone that free will exists (because I don't have a reason to kill myself really), it would still only be a reaction and the result of ultimately what happened at the big bang. And if nothing can get in the way of cause and effect, then ... well... I called it predetermined, which is not the right word of course, because of the 'mind' bit in the word and I don't believe in a God, but I mean that everything can basically be followed back to the big bang then, and that if we knew all the rules that every existed in nature we'd be able to predict the future right up till the very end (if there is one).
But right now I don't believe the universe functions like that...

So you say that because of the right and wrong don't exist, and I must agree, if that's what you think life is in the end, then right and wrong don't exist, as you don't have a choice, and it would take some kind of universal good and evil standards set by a God to judge people and say: he's evil, because he'll kill someone; he isn't, as he'll sacrifice his life to help others...

As for insects not having minds... that's a bit controversial, as some scientists now think they do have minds, even though they don't have synapses. I wonder if this scientist has checked his experiments by performing them on trees too though :wink: ?
When I said we needed our mind to move our body, I meant that we needed it to make our body do things it can't do if all it does is react directly to it's environment. For example if we touch a hot cooking hob, we'll pull our hand away again straight away. That's a simple reaction. To make sure we don't just do the same stupid thing again we need a mind though or instincts. But instincts would lead us to not touching the thing in the first place. We would know, it would be part of our brains that is, that we mustn't ever touch kitchen hobs, as they hurt when they are hot. Insects like flies for example don't have a mind (well, maybe they do), everything they do is instinct. In a dark room they'll fly towards the only the 'sky' again and again, even they do hit the window pain ten times. When they are tired they suddenly realise they can sit on the window, but when they fly away again, they'll just turn round and hit the window again. Their instincts don't help them there at all. If you are only instinct driven totally then you don't need a memory either, as your instincts are all you listen too. Animals have instincts, but they also have some kind of consciousness as they do have memories and cats don't need instincts to stop them putting their paws on hot surfaces. After doing it once, they'll probably remember not to step on the hob again after someone's been cooking.
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Postby Kasper » Mon May 03, 2004 1:44 am

Sorry I'm a bit late in answering, i only have internet access at work, so no posting over the weekend.

First of all, we do indeed need the 'illusion' of free will. I do no think so much to maintain order, in fact, free will is the opposite of order, but to maintain a reason for living, believe in ones capabilities, etc., happines.

As for everything being one big chain reaction, i would say uncountable little chain reactions, but that's just a matter of expression.

The same goes for 'predetermination', i know its just an expression, but i really think the word indicates something being 'predetermined', pre-established, that there is a plan, or a logic to it. Can we call in "Reactionalism"? Please?

Emma, would you indeed jump of a skyscraper in order to prove free will, as you said yourself, you would be reacting to disbelief in free will and to your overwhelming need to prove it.

Good and evil indeed cannot exist. Good and evil are view points, do you really think Bin Laden considers himself evil?
Good and evil are a matter of preference and necessity. Law is necesarry (at least to a certain extent) and therefore good, and braking it is evil (bad).
I will be happy to admit that insects have a mind. if that's what the scientist say, I'm perfectly happy for the insects.
As for the ability to learn, this a mere reaction to having a brain the size it is (and whatever else comes with it, as i said i'm no biologist). Brainsize is reaction upon evolution, which is an enormous chain reaction as we have established. Likewise, instinct is a reaction upon evolution.

I'm being pretty repetative, i know, but this is really all there seems to say on the subject. :wink:
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby threewood14 » Mon May 03, 2004 9:53 pm

First of all, we do indeed need the 'illusion' of free will. I do no think so much to maintain order, in fact, free will is the opposite of order, but to maintain a reason for living, believe in ones capabilities, etc., happines.

As for everything being one big chain reaction, i would say uncountable little chain reactions, but that's just a matter of expression.

The same goes for 'predetermination', i know its just an expression, but i really think the word indicates something being 'predetermined', pre-established, that there is a plan, or a logic to it. Can we call in "Reactionalism"? Please?

Emma, would you indeed jump of a skyscraper in order to prove free will, as you said yourself, you would be reacting to disbelief in free will and to your overwhelming need to prove it.

Good and evil indeed cannot exist. Good and evil are view points, do you really think Bin Laden considers himself evil?
Good and evil are a matter of preference and necessity. Law is necesarry (at least to a certain extent) and therefore good, and braking it is evil (bad).
I will be happy to admit that insects have a mind. if that's what the scientist say, I'm perfectly happy for the insects.
As for the ability to learn, this a mere reaction to having a brain the size it is (and whatever else comes with it, as i said i'm no biologist). Brainsize is reaction upon evolution, which is an enormous chain reaction as we have established. Likewise, instinct is a reaction upon evolution.

I'm being pretty repetative, i know, but this is really all there seems to say on the subject.


Agreed...
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Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:04 am

If we include the elements of (the ability to reason) and (accountability) to the equation then there will be no contradiction between fate and free choice.

For example:

If you murder a man then you should be held accountable … if a bull murders a man it should not be held accountable. You have the ability to reason, the bull does not.

If you are a believer in predestination, you will believe that both acts of murder are predestined. However, it won’t matter, there is no doubt that you will distinguish between both acts, and that you will demand for the man who committed murder to be held accountable ... if you don’t you would be equalizing a human to a bull !

Another example:

The beating of your heart is an action for which you can’t be held accountable. However, if you murder someone then you should be held accountable.

Both actions are predestined (if you believe in predestination), but it does not matter, both actions are different, one involves reasoning, the other does not, and predestination does not matter in the end.

Fate and free choice are considerably independent issues. I believe that all of our actions are predestined and that we have total free will at the same time, otherwise, we would be the same as animals, and animals would be the same as non-living objects.
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Postby Kasper » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:20 am

Could you perhaps explain how you can believe in free will and predestination at the same time? I would very much like to believe in it, but as is quite clear from the above, I don't.

And why do you think our fates would be different from animals? In the long course of evolution we are still just another animal. Don't think that we are the 'end-product', evolution will still be going.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
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Postby annis » Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:26 pm

The best descriptions of this problem from the non-theistic, determinisitic view is Naturalism.org. The article on "Moral Levitation" is quite good, but the rest of the articles take a look at various questions on the free-will matter. The site author seems to have a special fondness for skewering compatiblism.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:30 pm

If we assume predestination to be a fact, then it will apply to all actions, whether or not these actions are reasonable, and whether or not they should be accounted for.

So we should think of predestination to be only incidental and should not affect how we view our actions.

Our belief or disbelief in predestination should not be clouded by the issue of free will. If someone feels that his actions are based on reason, and that he should be held accountable for his actions, then he is a beleiver in free will, regardless of predestination.

If someone beleives that he should not be held accountable for his actions, then he certainly beleives that actions which he performs while awake are the same as those performed in his sleep! whithout free will. This is unacceptable.

Those who believe that God predestined all things, should realize that this predestination is His business, not theirs. All they need to worry about is to perform “reasonable” actions.

Perhaps prooving predestination should be discussed in a new thread :) without the issue of free will interferig.
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Postby Emma_85 » Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:04 pm

Perhaps prooving predestination should be discussed in a new thread without the issue of free will interferig.


But you either have free will or you have predestination (with or without a God), so this seems like the right thread to me.
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Postby mercutio » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:35 pm

There's a great quote from Julius Caesar:

There is a Tide in the affayres of men,
Which taken at the Flood, leades on to Fortune:
Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
Is bound in Shallowes, and in Miseries.

Life has tides, rhythms, currents. Enter them & flow with them. Fight against them & drown. Opportunities, chances, options, possibilities. Choose them & enjoy. Deny them & suffer.
Fate is the life you choose.
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