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romansh

Free Will

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I can see how you have arrived at your view Joseph. I guess when I say free will within parameters we start from differing views of what we mean by free will but in the end I think I can see what your getting at. As I have said I admire the compassion and respect it gives to you. That said I have meet people who would wish harm on others and go out of their way to do so. For me that still comes down on my need to forgive them rather than see it all as a product of the unfolding universe and dismiss it. I think they have a choice to harm or not. That said I also think being human is not so easy sometimes and compassion is a much needed quality.

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Energy is united at different stages or vibrations and is never destroyed, but it does interact and change from one energy frequency to a different vibration. One of most fundamental laws of science is the Law of the Conservation of Energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another. Therefore, we can infer that energy is not currently being created. Present-day measures of energy are considerably vast, indicating a power source so great that "infinite" is the best word we have to describe it. The whole cosmos is inter-related energy interacting at different vibrations or frequencies. This unified field of energy is information reacting in a field of intelligence that I label as consciousness. As a Christian I can say it gives me the vision that this energy that makes up everything that moves the force fields of this Earth of ours is a part of the pure energy consciousness of everything or God. We are experiencing this change and will be able to move and flow with it if we see the energy upon which we are moving. I feel we have the choice or free will to see an experience with the unified field if one chooses or not if one wants to see everyone and thing as individual packets of energy. The belief institutions teach us to rely on the systems and not our own connections to the energy around us so we restructure our skills, but I feel we can choose to open our selves to the infinite energy around and within in us to understand the different frequencies and subtle energies that permeates and connects all things.

 

Everything is energy in one form or another and is more than what we perceive with the five senses. We have the free will to see everything as a symphony of vibrations of light and sound, a system of atoms and packets of energy that make up our cells, which are like a system of universes. Each cell being a solar system of atoms with a subtle energy at the center I call consciousness. Each cell is a key to the universe, a consciousness with the information to set us free. They contain energy with the knowledge and experience to shows us that we are not spectators, but participants with free will and co-creators in our existence. The parts of our cells are interacting and changing the electromagnetic fields around us and in us. A tapestry where the vibrations and threads are interwoven in a fabric of interactions. We are not observers of an independent, separate, external world, but participators interacting externally and internally with the whole. The charges and spin of our micro parts affect the micro parts around us.

 

The “Quantum Entanglement Theory” states that there appears to be an eternal inter-connection between all elements. If two electrons are created together, they are forever “entangled,” much like two people in love. Regardless of the distance between the two electrons, a change in quantum spin in one electron immediately causes the other electron to change spin as well. Leon Balents, senior author published in the journal Nature Physics an article where he explains that Quantum Entanglement Theory represents the extent to which measurement of one part of a system affects the state of another. In our example, measurement of one electron influences the state of another that may be far away. Scientists have acknowledged that the entanglement of electrons is present in varying degrees in solid materials. This insinuates that information is being transmitted at speeds faster than light. Some scientists claim that Quantum Entanglement substantiates that there is no such thing as space, and that everything in the universe is in touch. Our inside and outside are only different sides of the tapestry. The inside is dealing with unity while the outside is involved in the duality of objects. We have the free will to acknowledge either the unity or the duality. Therefore; I feel we have free will with a limitation because of the interactions. When I feel pain in the world of duality I have the free will to dive into the unity inside and when I feel I am a participator, I can head out again into duality. Yes, I am a Yo Yo, but I feel I have a small amount of free will to affect the tricks I can perform. I enjoy my individual packets of energy, but like a Buddhist need to bath in the unified field of energy to wash away the attachments that cause pain.

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Soma We have the free will to acknowledge either the unity or the duality.

rom No we don't.

 

See the problem here?

 

We need to set up our axioms of what we mean by free will, before we can debate this.

If we define free will as something other than independent of cause (or an equivalent) fair enough.

 

But that does not help in the sense we are not free from cause.

 

Infact, I would argue philosophically speaking freedom is an illusion.

Edited by romansh

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I agree there are some obvious boundaries that every creature encounters when considering “freedom”. The eyes can only receive certain bans of light, and the ears can only receive certain sound vibrations so vibrations too high or too low are not perceived. I would say from the perception of the five sensory being, we are alone, separate and not free from the cause and effects of the physical world. Yes, I experience this as a human being. In my dreams or dream life I am not limited to only five senses and other limitations. I can think and be instantaneously in a place far away. I would say as a multisensory being I have more freedom because I have fewer limitations. In a spiritual state I never feel lonely even if I am alone because I feel all-one, al-one. I would agree with you that freedom is relative because we are using the relative medium of words to express it. In Plato’s famous allegory or parable he talks about beings chained in a cave so they are limited and can only see in one direction. Their muscles ache as they can’t move and only see shadows on the cave wall. One man escapes the limitations of the chains and it is painful for him at first to move and move towards the light because he has only seen shadows and darkness, but he eventually makes his way to the opening of the cave and adjusts to his new freedom in a world of light. He is compelled in his limited freedom to return to his fellow beings chained in the cave who have less freedom in their darkness. When he returns his fellow beings in their darkness and inaction don’t believe him and want to kill him because he is trying to destroy their limited world. I would say the person without the chains has more freedom than the people chained to the wall.

I find behind my crude outer body and all the thoughts identified with it, is a subtle inner world, which is fundamentally linked with the internal and external world simultaneously. In this realm my consciousness encompasses the whole of nature including my instincts, and this unseen world seems to be the world of cause for my five sensory lives outside. A metamorphosis of consciousness occurs at this point activating a more powerful stream of spiritual energy that enables the mind, no longer my mind to transcend normal limits. It seems to transcend my highest intellect because my reason starts to comply with my intuition. I feel more freedom in this experience which can be a high coming from the tension, limits and pressure experienced in the physical realm. Therefore, I would say we have degrees of freedom that will limit what we can actually experience or do. In these degrees of freedom our free will has choices which limits or expands those degrees of freedom.



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Behind my crude body and subtle thought I see a universe, which I shape and it shapes me. In fact the boundary between and the universe and "I" is totally arbitrary.

 

Regarding Plato, I am not an expert on him, but I am sure he has added much to our supposed wisdom.

 

But I can't help agreeing with Rex Weyler when he writes of Plato:

 

... but in Plato's world, the spirit remains forever locked in conflict with the degraded body. This "dualism" of Plato haunts humanity to this day.

 

 

 

 

Subtle thoughts and crude body, hmmn?

Edited by romansh

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Plato is credited with the allegory of the cave, but it might have come from Socrates. Plato was his best student. Socrates saw no dualism between the consciousness of the physical and spiritual. His students were freaking out because he had to take the Hemlock. He took it casually even though he was offered a deal to go into exile and his students wanted to rescue him. Socrates the father of Western Philosophy declared that the major concern of all philosophy should be questions about human nature and human reality. All of his major questions -- about justice, love, truth, courage, beauty, knowledge, piety, etc. -- are matters connected to the human condition. I agree that we are fortunate to have a phsical form and feel we have a great learning opportunity having been born with a body in duality. I feel Christianity is weak and avoids this subject, science, and our physical being. That is sad because our physical health and spiritual health are intrinsically linked.

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I am not much of an admirer of Plato. Plato obviously hated the physical world. I think we are our bodies as much as we our spirit or soul.

 

The question for me is, what's the difference?

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I feel Plato wanted to understand the physical world and studied the science of the time, which was limited. The difference between the spiritual world and the physical is a good question. It will give us all a challenge to respond to such a prompt.

 

In my three dimensional world on the physical plane science confirms that there are more dimensions than what we experience with our five senses. Energies seem to act at different frequencies, responding, changing and transforming energies to higher and lower frequencies according to their dimension, pattern, and desire. Different receivers pick up different stations or frequencies and some radios get more than one station. The physical stations I receive on the AM receiver even though the spiritual frequencies are broadcast to it, but they are not that clear. The spiritual frequencies are clear on my FM receiver which also broadcast my physical AM stations as well.

 

My limited realization is that the spiritual world and the physical world exist within the same place, all frequencies and dimensions existing within one place. Sometimes I forget about my physical body and move into a spiritual energetic existence as I am sure many others have had also by watching the sun set, listening to music, dreaming, meditating, dancing, playing basketball or just being themselves. These experiences can be broken down into different dimensions, different frequencies, or can be experienced as one continuous wave. My physical world is a creation of experience, it is a reality where I can learn, grow and experience the physical limitations on this plane, but I can move out of it again and again. I will for sure when I die. Moving out of the physical, I bring into my reality that nothing is really just matter, but everything seems to be energy. I feel fortunate to have the consciousness connected to earth and the ability to experience and learn from the different dimensions of energy on the physical and spiritual planes. These other dimensions have taught me to surf the energy on the physical plane and enjoy it for what it is and not get caught up in the turmoil and forces the energy produces. Maybe this is just the joy of old age and not having the energy to fight the power of the wave, surfing is more fun.

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I can't help thinking that classing the spiritual and physical as separate items falls into the same trap as Descartes fell into when he suggests the mind is separate from the body.

 

By saying in this place we just play word games. By definition things are in this world (universe).

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I agree that the spiritual and physical are not separate items and agree that word games is how we communicate. Uni-verse, one verse, one vibration supports the idea or word game that all is one or The Unification Theory that is now being developed. I think we play these word games because we are talking about free will and we have to address dualism with the claim that dualism is required for free will.

 

Descartes says the mind is a thing that thinks and not an extended thing. He defines the body as an extended thing and not a thing that thinks, but he goes on to state, “I am present to my body not merely in the way a seaman is present to his ship, but . . . I am tightly joined and, so to speak, mingled together with it, so much so that I make up one single thing with it” I would argue that this statement of interaction contributes to the Theory of Unification more than dualism, but this is his way of countering the argument of mental events causing bodily events and physical events causing mental events to preserve his dualism. I must acknowledge his great mind and analogies and feel they can be used like the parables of Jesus to describe a situation that is beyond the boundaries of the word game.

 

Plato is also known as a dualist and some interpret his analogy of the cave as a statement that the body is a prison in which the soul is confined. I can see where people will see that image. While chained to the wall the mind is compelled to investigate truth through the five senses and is hindered or incapable of acquiring the highest knowledge of the eternal, unchanging forms because the senses only perceive the changing, temporal forms. Many interpret this as a desire to die while still being alive. I like his explanations because he describes the limitations of the five senses so well. In my mind, I feel Plato is describing the soul encumbered by the body is seeking the Truth through the five senses so he is explaining how people get confused with what is Real. Some would argue that he seems to state an inability to comprehend the Truth so his dualism is supported. I feel Plato practiced dying while still alive by disassociating with the body and experiencing the unintelligible and invisible Reality. His problem was the word game. People think that he thinks pure knowledge of the soul comes after death, but I hope he was only trying to describe the constant distraction and limitations of the physical mind and that he had an understanding of the physical forms because he was able to support the separation of the mind and soul from the body even though they were united as Descartes was with the ship.

 

Dualism can be said to be unacceptable because it violates the well-established scientific theory on the conservation of energy, The First Law of Thermodynamics. Some argue that the mind and matter causally interact, but if the spiritual is unendingly affecting the universe and effecting change then the total level of energy in the universe must increase or at least change. The law of conservation says it takes physical energy to do physical work. If the spiritual can change the state of affairs in the world or affect my brain then spiritual energy has to be converted into physical energy. At this point of transformation we can expect a physically mysterious increase in the energy present within the system or in this case the world. Mind can act upon the physical affecting the course of energy, which can be argued is a limited free will, but mind cannot violate the laws of nature or rupture the system, but some do believe in miracles.

 

I feel Descartes and Plato attempted and did a great job demystifying the mind and contributing to the word game to understand it. Despite their dualism, I don’t think of them as philosophical rivals to Unification Theory. The Unified Field Theory centers around the desire to find a theory that can describe how the universe behaves under the action of the four known forces: Strong, Electromagnetic, Weak and Gravity. James Clerk Maxwell found the Holy Grail and unified the electric and magnetic forces into the electromagnetic, which was later evolved by Albert Einstein In his Quantum Mechanics. The Higgs boson proved that the electromagnetic and weak forces are the same, so in the physical reality we only have to show the unification of three forces: Strong, Electroweak and Gravity. We can see how the Electroweak and Strong forces might unify, but at this point. Scientist can only predict behavior at low energies so we don’t have a true unification. It is predicted that this will happen at higer energies. The Unified Theory does provide however, a rational understanding of the methods in which the universe communicates with our consciousness and allows us to become receptive to information, improvement, ingenuity and inspiration with the natural movement of energy though out the universe.

 

Saul-Paul Sirag believes that there are realms of consciousness and he relates this to the spectrum of light discovered by James Clerk Maxwell in his electromagnetic theory of light, which unified the forces of electricity and magnetism. Maxwell had no way of directly testing his theory. He proposed the existence of invisible light, simply because his equations contained the higher and lower frequencies. Scientific and Philosophical theories are constantly changing so there will never be complete answers, but we can play the word game as we enjoy the reality of a mystical experience which is timeless.

 

I feel we are evolving into whole or Holy individuals who are aware of the different natures in our human form or duality as we experience wholeness, consciousness, wisdom and compassion with other beings in our spiritual unity. In my case, I need to separate and look at the individual parts and then put them back together again so I will understand what is going on and not struggle with myself. The achievements of science and philosophy reflect this evolution and I feel the spiritual capabilities of our species as the word game goes on.

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Personally I think monism (one of the definitions at least) is more accurate description of the how the universe ticks.

Dualism and its parent philosophy pluralism are useful, but ultimately not accurate descriptions.

 

Science breaks up its field of study, biology, chemistry and physics for example; from the macro scale, ie astronomy, to people size chunks to the molecular and and sub atomic levels ... where cosmology unites the universe and the excruciatingly small.

 

If we find that monism is a more accurate description of universe then it hard to see how we can have free will or for that matter the philosophical sense the word free makes any sense at all.

Edited by romansh

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I would deny that there is any conclusive evidence concerning the underlying chemistry of the brain that accurately identifies just why the brain's biochemistry makes our 'choices' the way it does. We can demonstrate the science of it happening perhaps, but not whatever is behind it. Maybe 'you' are behind your biochemistry and we can't demonstrate that yet.

 

But that aside, with the universe unfolding unevenly, how does that actually play out in your life and making decisions? Do you then feel absolutely no responsibility concerning the decisions you make, because after all, they're not your decisions? Or do you mean to say that the decisions you make, which aren't actually yours anyway as they are really the universe's decisions, don't matter so que sera sera?

 

Paul

Point 1) ... No one is claiming conclusive evidence. But are you denying there is evidence? Also no one is claiming it is just biochemistry (or just any one thing). We respond to our environment and our responds to us. The phrase you are behind your biochemistry wil require some evidence, for as far as I can tell none exists at the moment.

 

I think I feel the same emotions as most people ,,, guilt, love etc. So when you ask do feel responsible there are two sort of meanings. The most common is associated with things like guilt and pride. The second is more factual ... eg the sun is responsible for most of the life on this planet. I am certainly responsible in the second sense, and I feel responsible in the former sense. There is no intrinsic me, literally everything that I am has come from outside of me. My genetics, my body, my experiences: they are not an intrinsic me.

 

Pragmatically this allows me (the non intrinsic me) to cut people some slack, it allows me to cut myself some slack. This does not mean if I do some criminal act, I should be let off the hook. But it does imply any retributive punishment is not warranted. My punishment should be based on things like, my likelihood of re-offending, the severity of the crime, safety of the public, the need for a societal deterrent,

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It depends what you call 'evidence' Rom.

 

Whilst environmental factors influence our choices, that doesn't mean we aren't free to make choices. Yes we are influenced, but this alone proves nothing of the inability to have free will. I would even argue that our life experiences/influences allow us to analyse situations and actually make choices.

 

Similarly, whilst genetic predisposition may influence a person, again that doesn't rule out the ability of making choices. You mention genetic imprint on chickens. I'm not so certain that is as you say. Yes they attach to the first thing they see upon hatching, but that doesn't stop them from choosing to do things like walk through a gate, or not. From day one their individual behaviours vary (I've seen this with my own chickens) even though their societal influences in the 24hrs since hatching have been identical.

 

As you suggest, the strongest argument against free will may be the chemical reaction one. But as science reveals, we only seem to utilise a very small portion of our brain, at least from what we can currently tell. So I can't so easily rule out the body's happenings as robotic. We 'think' we aren't making decisions with our current understanding of consciousness, but I think that falls far short from the possibility, and perhaps even the likelihood, that 'we' aren't making our own decisions in relation to what chemicals, and amounts, are released and when to 'stimulate' these reactions.

 

All that said, even with free will I can cut people some slack. Because people make bad free choices doesn't mean they are bad, perhaps they just need more experience, information and/or influence to make better choices. Even with free will I don't think retributive punishment makes any sense - walk a mile in someone else shoes comes to mind. It doesn't mean as a society we have to allow/accept their bad choice though.

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It depends what you call 'evidence' Rom.

Evidence - perhaps data that supports a particular hypothesis.

 

Yes we are influenced, but this alone proves nothing of the inability to have free will.

Here we go again ... I am not in the proof business.

 

but that doesn't stop them from choosing to do things like walk through a gate, or not.

This is a common misconception about free will, It is clear we make decisions about walking through gates or not. The discussion is about how we make decisions, not whether we make them or not. Do we make them independently of physics, chemistry, genetics, experience, threats, beliefs, the situation etc. Let me iterate ... free will is NOT about whether we make choices or not.

 

But as science reveals, we only seem to utilise a very small portion of our brain, at least from what we can currently tell.

This is an old wives tale ... we night not know exactly how we use our brains, use them we do ... but their use is not independent of a 'mechanism'. The word mechanism does imply a machine like status.. Now if there is no 'mechanism' to your decisions, what does that imply?

 

You mention consciousness - do you think that is independent of the physics and chemistry ... alcohol and hallucinogens in general would argue differently?

 

This I thought was interesting ... a zebra fish's larval brain firing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt9S2r64QuQ

Edited by romansh

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A good question to ask oneself is....

 

If there is such a thing as free will .... then what is it that the will must be free from that makes it free will? How does one even define the concept of free will or even free choice?

 

How can we in this body, be free from any constraints , physical, emotional, chemical, social or otherwise? It seems to me if one can get beyond those constraints to what some refer to as 'no self' the question of free will or free choice or not, doesn't even come up.

 

Just musing,

Joseph

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I think I understand your question and I think it is a valid one.

 

For me to have free will, I must become in some way independent of creation. I certainly don't think I am and quite frankly neither do I want to be.

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Here we go again ... I am not in the proof business.

By 'proof' I mean that the data is inconclusive - yes environment 'influences' our choices but just as we can't be sure that we are making choices because of other influences, similarly we can't be sure that we aren't making choices by this mechanism we are referring to as free will.

 

This is a common misconception about free will, It is clear we make decisions about walking through gates or not. The discussion is about how we make decisions, not whether we make them or not. Do we make them independently of physics, chemistry, genetics, experience, threats, beliefs, the situation etc. Let me iterate ... free will is NOT about whether we make choices or not.

I understand that it is not about whether we MAKE choices, but whether those choices are MADE independently. What I am trying to point out with the chickens is that even with only say 24hrs identical life experiences, some demonstrate different choices than others which would indicate (to me) that something other than physics, chemistry, genetics, experience, threats, beliefs, situation, etc is at play.

 

But as science reveals, we only seem to utilise a very small portion of our brain, at least from what we can currently tell.

This is an old wives tale ... we night not know exactly how we use our brains, use them we do ... but their use is not independent of a 'mechanism'. The word mechanism does imply a machine like status.. Now if there is no 'mechanism' to your decisions, what does that imply?

You're right, we do use most of our brain (we think). But what we don't understand is why only 10% of our brain is neurons whilst the other 90% is glial cells which encapsulate & support neurons. What's not understood is how clusters of neurons from the diverse regions of the brain collaborate to form consciousness. So far, there's no evidence that there is one site for consciousness, which leads experts to believe that it is truly a collective neural effort. Basically, we only know how 10% of our brain works whilst the rest remains a mystery.

 

You mention consciousness - do you think that is independent of the physics and chemistry ... alcohol and hallucinogens in general would argue differently?

I think the data is inconclusive to support the hypothesis that consciousness is not independent of physics and chemistry. Some substances and circumstances may affect our consciousness, but I think there might be more to consciousness than chemical reactions and physics.

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For me to have free will, I must become in some way independent of creation. I certainly don't think I am and quite frankly neither do I want to be.

 

Couldn't one have free will within the confines of creation, thus making free will independent but also an integral part of ongoing creation?

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Couldn't one have free will within the confines of creation, thus making free will independent but also an integral part of ongoing creation?

 

Paul,

 

It seems to me the answer may be Yes but then whom or what is the source of that free will ? Is it really free will?

 

From a Christian biblical perspective Jesus is recorded saying he does not do his own will or works but the Father who sent him. (or even the famous Luke 22:42 passage - "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."). If he did not take ownership it seems he is acknowledging to me in essence there is only your self will and the will of God (the source of all) Does that really leave any room for such a concept as 'free will' for humans ? Perhaps yes, IF you define it a certain way. Does relinquishing ones own will make it free?

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM

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For me to have free will, I must become in some way independent of creation. I certainly don't think I am and quite frankly neither do I want to be.

 

Couldn't one have free will within the confines of creation, thus making free will independent but also an integral part of ongoing creation?

 

What exactly is will for you Paul? And what does free will mean for you? If free will is simply an ability to make choices then yes we have free will; but by that defintion so does my computer.

 

Questions we can ask ourselves include at what point in life does a spermatozoa and egg gain free will, why is that certain arrangements of star dust, as a limited set of biology, have free will?

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free will
noun
noun: free will; noun: freewill
  1. 1.
    the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

I acknowledge though that our free will is influenced, even directed at times, by our environment, our cultural and societal settings, our experiences, and our thoughts in general. Nonetheless, we still have a will that often we choose to direct. Maybe your computer has free will too. So?

 

We may not understand how our bodies seem to develop on auto-pilot, but we can demonstrate where will can alter the bodies actions (yoga and meditation seem to influence bodily functions). So it would seem that we can express some control.

 

I think our free will develops as our brain develops. A human may have limited free will in the early stages of life, or maybe it is acting consciously, albeit subconsciously or not to our understanding.

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Paul,

 

By that definition it certainly seems we have free will. While i acknowledge we have a will and make choices the question in my mind is just how free from the constraint of necessity or fate is it? That is a question that philosophers and laymen alike have debated for thousands of years. Read this interesting article by the scientific American. Is free will an illusion?

 

Joseph

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Yes, it's all very 'Matrix-like', Joseph. No easy answers and yes, some sound assumptions to suggest free will may be an illusion. Rom's arguments are similarly strong.

 

The bit that I haven't got my head around (hence the new topic I started here - http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/3463-the-universe-unfolding-and-our-part-in-it/) is how non-free will 'fits' in the big picture of things. Disclaimer - I acknowledge not knowing how it fits doesn't rule out it existing of course. But it would seem that if our will is not free, then why should we be held accountable for our actions, or doing anything in the world?

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Paul,

 

Whether we have free will or not does not change my actions. My perception is that most of us including me live our life AS IF we have free will and make free choices yet I do not 'see' our choices as being truly free of constraints. My perception is simply that we have a will and make choices and "reap what we sow" or as some might say "our choices have consequences".

 

Joseph

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