romansh

Free Will

210 posts in this topic

I don't agree Elen. I think the issue I have with 'truth' is that many people can profess to know it, even though their opinions of it are different than one another's!

 

What is real? If you have no way of seeing the colour purple then I'd have to say the colour purple is not real to you. You cannot access it. You cannot know it. You can understand that other people might describe it to you as something you do not possess, but I don't think that makes it 'real' to you. So it's not denying that there may be a colour purple, only that to say it is 'truth' means that because you can see it, then it is true. Maybe the purple-see-ers are actually colour-blind too compared to a greater being that sees purple as its real colour (let's say yellow) and that yellow is actually the truth - it's just that the purple see-ers just don't know it yet.

 

I think the truth is elusive if you want to take it to its conclusion, because how can anyone ever know everything or be sure their current truth isn't just an illusion according to their understanding of what truth is?

 

I know my 'truth' has changed more than once, but each time I was convinced I knew the truth.

 

Cheers

Paul

Edited by PaulS
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,

 

I’m thinking that the color purple still exists whether I, or anyone else for that matter, can see it or not. It may not be part of my experience, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It may not be “real to me” as you put it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or a real phenomenon. Just because something “isn’t real to me”, doesn’t make it unreal or nonexistent.

 

Some things may not be everlasting or eternal, in which case hopefully some things will just evaporate from reality and no longer exist (things such as hell, or a cosmic correction center, if there is one, - or the mean lousy things some people sometimes do). In which case they will no longer be real or exist, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t exist at one time.

 

I agree that no one can know everything, with the possible exception of JC, (and maybe a few others in or near that kind of echelon). But we can know the truth or truths that we do know. We can know some truth, or a piece of the truth, even if we don’t know everything, (or all of the truth).

 

I guess I go with real experience. If I feel or experience the presence of God, or JC, and perceive, encounter or experience enough of this/them, then I start understanding that this is real, this isn’t just me, and that there’s (a) real positive spiritual power(s) behind, in and around everything. For me this has very little to do with books or the bible or what a group of people up the street in a building with a steeple on it are saying. (it has nothing to do with what my parents think either, which wasn't much). I just experience it, sometimes I do have to struggle or work to tune into it, and then other times I don’t, but in either case it’s a real experience of a real “entity” or “entities”, if you will, that I am experiencing.

Also, this in no way makes me all that, or any more than just my own little regular, ordinary level of special, as a person. And this happens to lots of people. All of them may or may not talk about it or know how to put it into words, or be too shy to put it into words, but it’s still their real experiences. And for my time and understanding on this earth I feel that they are experiencing something real. They are not just experiencing something that is “real to them”, they are experiencing real and true and existing -somethings. If these somethings are God and/or Christ and/or the Holy Spirit, and some book(s) that were once written about them don’t quite work too well, that doesn’t mean they aren’t real, that doesn't mean they don't exist. That just means some people wrote a/some mixed-up book(s) about them.

 

Apologies that my post has gotten so long, (again). I just couldn’t resist trying to put all this into some sort of explanatory words.

 

Thanks again for reading

 

E

Edited by Elen1107
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Joe,

 

The first part of your last post on this thread (#74) really hurts me:

 

You say: “I have no trouble believing it because i was also once blinded and perhaps still am in some areas.” I keep looking at it and don’t really know what to say. It sounds like a really painful experience. I’ve been blinded at times, but I kind of knew I was blinded and went out looking for ways to get through it and figure out what was blinding me. That was a very painful experience too, but I kept “wrestling with the bear” so to speak, until I could get em off of me and keep em at least so far away from me that e couldn’t bother me anymore.

 

I approach Christianity from kind of a different perspective than most people in our age group, (I guess you could call us the baby boomers). I wasn’t really raised religiously. There was some home grown stuff that I was exposed to, or more like confronted with, but we weren’t church going and there was no real pressure and relatively little lost when I at one time said “I’m not going to believe in any of this”. It was some ten or fifteen years later when I started experiencing the reality of Christ, (conciously that is, looking back it seems he was very much there even when I couldn’t see or wasn’t aware that that was Him). It was then at least five years or so, when I figured out that I didn’t have to believe in it in a “by the book”, literalistic, fundamentalistic way. I’m half Dutch and half Yankee and maybe this has helped me be free to look at religion and Christianity in a very independent, and perhaps open minded way, (especially on/with the Dutch side of things).

 

I guess the quote you made from Jesus saying, “Forgive them father for they do not know what they are doing", has always kind of gotten to me. I keep thinking that don’t people at least have some obligation to know what they are doing. It’s like here they are killing and crucifying this guy, you would think that at least a few people would say, “Hey, what are we doing here.” But then I’m arguing with what Jesus probably said and did and thought, so I’m thinking I ought to keep my mouth shut or keyboard still until I can better understand what He was saying, or at least somewhat better. I guess it was a time when people were put to death in a very painful ways for things like thievery. Today someone saying that they are a child of God is considered not uncommon and even commendable, back then when JC said it I guess,… that it really got on people’s nerves. Again, I guess I can say that I really don’t get that part.

 

Again from your post #74:

“Every choice i have made in life i made under the limitations that were present at the time. In my experience, we are blinded by our strong beliefs and opinions until some stimulus happens that breaks us through that barrier.”

I’m thinking that we are all limited. We can’t be God, or at least not all of God in all of Es entirety. I’m also thinking that strong or spiritual beliefs can also open the door for us, open our eyes and see our options more clearly. And as you say also create limits and barriers to what may be the most sensible choices.

 

Quoting your post #74 again:

“Jesus is recorded saying in effect .... because you say you see you cannot see....if you were blind, then would you see.” This reminds me a good bit of what Aristotle said, “ The more you know, the more you know what you don’t know”. (the what is mine, it just seems to compute better for me with the what in there). I’ve thought of making this part of my signature on my profile here. It’s something that I truly believe and am old and educated enough to have experienced.

 

Again from your post:

“I have found that as we discover or uncover that which is false, that which is true surfaces of its own accord with no credit to myself.” My experience has been different in this regard. Every time I’ve discovered or uncovered what was false it seems I’ve had to fight like a cornered critter to find, discover or retrieve what is true, not to mention fight like heck to uncover what was false in the first place. This may or may not be to my credit, but I certainly did my share of the “leg work” and mental work so to speak, and will take some small, but still real credit for this. On the other hand it seems that somethings have been a gift and almost delivered into my hands. As I’ve told you above, it was about five years or more between the time I found Christ and then figured out that I didn’t have to understand Christianity and Christ in a fundamentalist, bible literalistic way. This was a good deal because I had relocated to a town with a perty good and progressive library. As much or even more than going to church I was going to the library. I felt in my gut that something was wrong or mistranslated or something with the way the bible was presented to us wasn’t quite right. At the time my most prevalent dis-concern with it was that it proclaimed certain people to be unconditionally, unquestionably and categorically right all the time, while at the same time it said that this was not humanly possible, (with the one exception of JC in the course of things). I had already been through this with my parents and with certain other persons and authority figures and was danged if I was going to spend my entire life in this position and/or kind of situation. That to me would have been like consenting to living under a very dark cloud for all of my days, with no sunshine as you say, and with only the possibility of a single star at the end of a very dark and destroying and disconcerting tunnel. Any wonder that I could not abide by or accept this? Add to it that the preacher in the church I was visiting wasn’t really all that, for me, so I was figuring this can’t be true and this can’t be what the bible is meant to be saying. I was looking at different translations and versions of the bible, seeing that they were not the same and that in certain cases in certain verses their messages were quite different. Then I found what I most nearly was really looking for, I took this one little book of the library shelf. It was called “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism” by JS Spong, which I rather think you’ve heard of, being a long term member of this website and all. Well I must have taken it out of the library and read it five times till I finally broke down and bought a copy of it for myself. My journey since then has been finding out what is real and true about God and Jesus, instead of being about whether they are actually real and true in their own right.

 

Again from your post:

“In essence concerning choices, in my view of things, people could not have chosen otherwise than they have in the past.” I tend to think somewhat differently about this, though I think in the long run and in a clearer picture you are probably right. However, I can think of a number of things I could have done differently and/or in a more timely fashion in my lifetime. One of which is that I could have been a bit more aware about the public where with all about things; things like the New York Times Best Seller List, (which granted can be a very tricky thing to sort one’s way through), and so I could have found this book by Dr. Spong a he-fe-ck of a lot sooner. I got to say I’m a bit fed up with looking back on my life and seeing that if I had been just a little more grown up, been paying just a bit more attention to ideas that I was already at least somewhat aware of, I could have saved a great deal of time, decades even, in getting to the better places that I have since come to. I feel like this is not fair and why didn’t anybody tell me anything about anything! On the other had I have to laugh at it, learn from it and figure at least I’ve gotten this far in my lifetime at all and be quite if not very thankful for that. Right now I’m thinking that where Jesus says, “One must come to the kingdom/providence of Heaven like a little child”… He really means it in more ways than one. This really is like five year old or seven or eight year old stuff. I’m thinking that I should really write down some of the mistakes or shortness of judgments that I’ve made and go over them a number of times, and for real, so that I don’t keep making them and finally really do learn from them. (I guess what I am seeing here is that I was as you say blinded by a mental habit that I’ve had that kinda goes like, “I don’t want to look at this,” so I go on making mistakes).Well all this is kind of funny to me if not completely disconcerting at the same time. I guess that some of my big lessons from my life experience and my own misjudgments is – think things out and through ahead of time,… and see what’s out there that can help me on my path, what has already been done and learnt by others,…at the same time be aware of who’s and what advice I’m taking and learn not to take any one person’s advice implicitly (except for JC, whose ideas and insights I can’t say I’m sure I’m always in touch with or in tune with all the time),… and learn to listen to my own inner voice, even if a good number other people are telling me and teaching me not to.

 

Well I’ve got to end this post. Apologies for it being so long and even endless. I’m thinking that you being the most senior member and administrator that is active on this message board makes me want to really open up, perhaps too much and get everything said and out there.

 

Thanks for your metaphor: “Truth is always present like the Sun whether we see it or whether it is hidden by clouds.” I’m going to hold on to this one.

 

Peace (of mind and spirit and in many and all other ways)

 

Eeee

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul,

I want to apologize to you if I've gotten too "New York" or too Yank on you in my last post.

I'm kind of used to these things, and kind of come from a background of just trying to get a thing finally said, and don't worry too much about how it's being said. Which I'm sure isn't too much of a good Christian example.

Being a good Christian does need to come before being a good Yankee or a good American for me, and this I'm sure will make me a better Yankee and American in the true course of things.

I'm working on it, though perhaps I could be a bit more diligent here.

Thanks if you can bear with it/ me.

Best of Wishes and Intent

E

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

E,

 

Thanks for your heartfelt response. There is never a need to agree with anything i say.as i do it in the spirit of sharing only . I speak as a member in my posts signed as Joseph and I encourage you not to put any confidence or credit in my position as senior member or administrator.( Just in case you might) We are all peers on this journey and inspiration can be found from the least expected places.or people. If someone says something that doesn't seem correct i try not to classify it as true or false but rather let it sit on the chance that i will remain open so that i am able to receive it directly if it is true at a later time when lifes experiences make me able.

 

To your response concerning "people could not have chosen otherwise" , it seems to me that anyone of us could continue to look back and say "i should have" or "i could have" and we could beat ourselves to death 'so to speak' over it. Yet it seems to me pointless because that thinking is hypothetical and the reality is because of our limitations in the past (whether knowledge, understanding or emotional condition or etc,) at the time, we could not and did not choose differently. That to me is reality. And accepting that goes a long way to healing and forgiveness of self. After all who can say why we are made the way we are or what caused us to make the choices we did. Obviously in the scheme of things we are all accepted by the Whole or we would not exist. Acceptance of self and others as we are at times seems difficult but i would dare to say it has close ties to true Love (not as man defines love).

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Joe

 

I'd like to write more but I'm already perty far behind in my replies to folks.

 

Thanks again, - & for replying to the things I've had to say and even for just knowing that I'm here on this post board.

 

E.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where you’re saying I can’t for five minutes be a god dis-believing atheist, I don’t know maybe I can. I was one for some many decades of my life. I don’t know if I want to try to fit my thinking back into that mindset, but I think that maybe I could if I really got involved in it.

 

Elen ... We don't live in the past or some future. We live in the now, even when we think about the past or the future.

 

That you say you don't know if you want to fit your thinking is my point exactly ... You don't really control your wants. OK you can have multiple layers of want but this results in an infinite regress. eg:

http://www.naturalism.org/strawson_interview.htm

 

 

Regarding truth ... I am not sure I have an unfettered access to it, but I do think I have some degree of access, and when viewed through the lens evidence and logic then, concepts like free will I think are found wanting.

Edited by romansh
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

romansh

 

 

That you say you don't know if you want to fit your thinking is my point exactly ... You don't really control your wants. OK you can have multiple layers of want but this results in an infinite regress.

 

Yeah, but I can choose to do what I don't want to do, even if I don't want to, just like most people can.

 

From the link you provide; it says that we are only the products of our heritage and our given environment. I think that we can be products of much more than this. We can find new ideas, insights and directions that are not part of our given environment, and new environments too. Once we are aware of it we can choose to tune into a higher spiritual power or the energy of a sacred individual.

 

I think that a part of free will is choosing to take up responsibility rather than waiting for someone to hand it to us all the time. I think that the loop pin here so to speak, is a persons knowing to do this instead of not knowing what to do or just waiting for someone to tell them these things.

Edited by Elen1107
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, but I can choose to do what I don't want to do, even if I don't want to, just like most people can.

 

 

So what you are saying here Elen is that you have some wants that are stronger than others, are you not?

 

From the link you provide; it says that we are only the products of our heritage and our given environment. I think that we can be products of much more than this. We can find new ideas,

 

What Strawson is asking is, are you responsible for who you are (in an ultimate or absolute sense). Whether we take on responsibility or not is really not the issue when discussing free will.

 

I think that a part of free will is choosing to take up responsibility

 

While this is valid a definition of free will as any other Elen, the central question remains ... what caused you to take up responsibility? We (as a society) tend to be derogatory of people who don't take responsibility for their actions, don't we? Another way to look at the problem of free will is, does our body chemistry cause us to have thoughts? If so, can "thoughts" cause body chemistry? If we believe the latter then we have a dualistic view of the mind and body problem.

 

This dualistic view is difficult if not impossible to reconcile from the scientific point of view.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I’m thinking that the color purple still exists whether I, or anyone else for that matter, can see it or not. It may not be part of my experience, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It may not be “real to me” as you put it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or a real phenomenon. Just because something “isn’t real to me”, doesn’t make it unreal or nonexistent.

 

However, if it doesn't exist for you, then you are relying on somebody else's interpretation that it exists as they say it does. What if they're wrong?

Some things may not be everlasting or eternal, in which case hopefully some things will just evaporate from reality and no longer exist (things such as hell, or a cosmic correction center, if there is one, - or the mean lousy things some people sometimes do). In which case they will no longer be real or exist, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t exist at one time.

I agree that no one can know everything, with the possible exception of JC, (and maybe a few others in or near that kind of echelon). But we can know the truth or truths that we do know. We can know some truth, or a piece of the truth, even if we don’t know everything, (or all of the truth).

At best I think we can think we know the truth, but that has proved untrustworthy in the past (e.g. people used to 'know' that the earth was flat - they even killed people who questioned this).

I guess I go with real experience. If I feel or experience the presence of God, or JC, and perceive, encounter or experience enough of this/them, then I start understanding that this is real, this isn’t just me, and that there’s (a) real positive spiritual power(s) behind, in and around everything. For me this has very little to do with books or the bible or what a group of people up the street in a building with a steeple on it are saying. (it has nothing to do with what my parents think either, which wasn't much). I just experience it, sometimes I do have to struggle or work to tune into it, and then other times I don’t, but in either case it’s a real experience of a real “entity” or “entities”, if you will, that I am experiencing.

Again, what is a 'real' experience for you may not be such for another. At best, one can say that an experience to them is real, but it might not be for another, or anyone else for that matter.

Also, this in no way makes me all that, or any more than just my own little regular, ordinary level of special, as a person. And this happens to lots of people. All of them may or may not talk about it or know how to put it into words, or be too shy to put it into words, but it’s still their real experiences. And for my time and understanding on this earth I feel that they are experiencing something real. They are not just experiencing something that is “real to them”, they are experiencing real and true and existing -somethings. If these somethings are God and/or Christ and/or the Holy Spirit, and some book(s) that were once written about them don’t quite work too well, that doesn’t mean they aren’t real, that doesn't mean they don't exist. That just means some people wrote a/some mixed-up book(s) about them.

I agree these may be peoples' very real experiences, but it is just 'their' very real experiences and not necessarily universal truths. I can't agree with you that they are experiencing something that is real and true and existing, other than to the point that it is 'for them'.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we apply our understanding of how we perceive colour, we can be very skeptical about whether the colour purple exists or any colour for that matter.

 

Colour is a perfect example of why we should treat our perceptions with care and perhaps a pinch of salt.

................

Going to be on the road for a few days

Edited by romansh
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rom,

 

Yes how we perceive color seems like a valuable tool to reason with. Be Safe and return

.

Joseph

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes how we perceive color seems like a valuable tool to reason with. Be Safe and return

 

Yep ... I would agree the ability to perceive and reason has given us an evolutionary advantage.

 

On my way now ....

rom

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello romansh,

Please excuse me that I haven’t been able to get online much in the past two days, I like to reply to most posts addressed to me in good time, but it’s not always possible

 

From your post #84

Quote me:

Yeah, but I can choose to do what I don't want to do, even if I don't want to, just like most people can.

Quote you:

So what you are saying here Elen is that you have some wants that are stronger than others, are you not?

 

No that’s not what I was saying. What I was saying is more like: I don’t want to do the dishes, but I do them anyways, or I don’t always want to get up or go to work, but I do. What you were asking is if I could put my mind set into that of an atheist, and I was saying I probably could do that, but that I didn’t want to and fact is that it would probably be an uncomfortable experience. But just because I don’t want to do it, doesn’t mean I couldn’t.

 

For some reason your statement above reminds me of someone I met a few years back. He didn’t understand that people could prioritize their priorities or that a person could have more than one priority. He was kind of a comical character and a fun person, but I think what he made his one and only and first priority might get some real laughs. I figure by putting God first and my good neighbor on par with myself second , that I can’t be that far off the track

 

To me your next two statements seem to contradict each other to me:

Quote you:

Whether we take on responsibility or not is really not the issue when discussing free will.

Quote me:

I think that a part of free will is choosing to take up responsibility

Quote you:

While this is valid a definition of free will as any other...

 

Regardless, to answer your question there were a number of factors that got me to take up responsibility, but at about age nineteen I decided that it was something I wanted to do and could feel good about, instead of it just being a burden. I think that my greater challenge been understanding what is my responsibility and what is not, and not taking responsibility for other people, or taking on more responsibility than is truly and rightly mine, which can be very painful and over burdening experience.

 

To answer your second two questions, I think that both body chemistry and mental chemistry can influence what we think, and that at the same time the opposite is also true. What we think or choose to think about can influence our mental and/or physical chemistry.

 

To address your next post on this thread post #86

Quote you:

If we apply our understanding of how we perceive colour, we can be very skeptical about whether the colour purple exists or any colour for that matter

 

I guess I see things quite a bit differently. To me color is an actual phenomenon of light and pigment, the pigment being that of an object reflecting the light off its surface. What happens is that light comes from a source, natural or artificial, and then bounces off the objects around us. The pigments of these objects absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others. It is the light reflected off these objects that reaches the cells in the back of our eyeballs and these in turn communicate with our brains and this is how we see colors.

 

It is my understanding that the light being reflected off of the objects in our world is there, whether anyone is around to see it being reflected or not. Therefore if someone for some reason can’t see a certain color or colors, the light and the wave lengths are still there, (that is the phenomenon that creates the color(s) is still there). It’s just that this particular person can’t see them, (usually because of the cells in the back of their eyes). So if someone for some reason can’t see a particular color, whether it is red or green or in this case purple, it doesn’t mean that the phenomenon of light and color isn’t there, it just means that for some reason they can’t perceive it. In the case of colorblindness it’s because of the cells in their eyeballs. In the case of the color purple it’s either because of their eye sight, or they’re just not looking at it for some reason.

 

Romansh, I hope that you and I are on okay terms on this post board and on this post thread. I've felt that you were kind of coming at me a bit in your last few posts, and here in this post of mine I have disagreed with you. I know that this is the section on the site entitled “Debate and Dialogue”, but still I’m wondering if there’s something that we might need to straighten or clear up.

 

Regardless I hope you have as Joseph says a “safe” trip.

E.

Edited by Elen1107
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

E,

 

You said to Rom.. "What I was saying is more like: I don’t want to do the dishes, but I do them anyways, or I don’t always want to get up or go to work, but I do. "

 

Does doing something or choosing to do something that we don't particularly want to do make it 'free' will / choice? Your desire might be to not do the dishes but your thoughts may be telling you that you must, because you don't want them to pile up more than you want to not do them. (or some other reason) Is the choice really unimpeded by certain factors that would make it 'free' ? Perhaps not, if you are just merely choosing the greater want.

 

Same with going to work, we may not want to go to work but our mind may be also telling us to go because the want of getting paid so we can eat or have money to spend is greater.. That's why i think Rom said "so what you are saying here Elen is that you have some wants that are stronger than others, are you not?" Based on that i think he is telling you that yes we can make choices. BUT are those choices limited by greater wants or other impediments ? If so, then they are not truly 'free' per se.

 

Perhaps it is nice to think we truly have 'free will' and there may be even benefits socially in thinking we do, but maybe, true 'free will' , is more an illusion?

 

just sayin... :)

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, for those of you who reject "free will", the question is this: Do you think it is possible for humans to liberate themselves from conditioned existence? Would this constitute "free will"? Asked another way, what would a human who possessed "free will" look like?

 

Peace.

Steve

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Joseph,

 

I guess in the case of the dishes my want or desire to have the dishes done and have something to eat off of the next day out weighs my not wanting to do the dishes, or my wanting to be doing something besides dishes. So in this sense it is a balance between two wants. I could do something like use paper plates and disposable utensils, cups and bake ware, but this is more expensive and more than that I don’t want to put a negative “footprint” on my environment by using disposables. Or I should say rather that I want to create a positive footprint, or as much of a positive footprint as I can and this definitely out weighs wanting to do something besides dishes. So here again there’s a balance between two wants.

 

In the case of going to work, I have met people who have lived in a camper or even a tent in order to have more free time to do things that they would rather do. I’ve also met people who have lived in unsafe areas, in sometimes substandard and unsafe housing, eaten an unhealthy yet inexpensive diet and driven unsafe vehicles in order to have more free time to do what they want to do. Is this a balance of wants? I don’t know, but on a certain level it still is a choice. Of course what might be unsafe for one person might be just fine for another depending on their size and appearance as well as some other real factors.

 

Maybe I look at free will more as a matter of: yeah I have or need to do these dishes, but it’s my choice if I do a good job or not. Or it’s my choice to make it as pleasant as possible by tuning into the bubbles and the swishing and running water and the shiny cups and plates and so forth.

 

In terms of work or the any number of things we do in a day, we do seem to make many choices and free will choices in the course of a day. We can drive safely and enjoy the scenery to the extent that we are still keeping our eyes on the road, we can be decent to the people we encounter, and be decent to those who are decent to us, we can focus on what ever activities we are engaged in and get what we can out of them. Even if a person is just sweeping a floor, one can tune into the colors or patterns on that floor and even the sound of a broom can be kind of nice or interesting.

 

I guess in terms of free choice, I’ve wished that people could have more opportunity to work fewer hours, that is “part time”. I’m thinking that once children are a certain age two people ought to be able to live at a safe and healthy standard on less than eighty hours. I do feel like there is some free will infringement here. (also there would be more jobs to go around).

 

I could elaborate on this but I want to try and keep my posts shorter, and also I can get kind of short on free time.

 

Thanks

Elen

 

PS – Sometimes I have eaten fish out of a can and vegetables out of the package just to avoid making dishes, but not that often, but here is another choice so to speak that a person chose can make.

Edited by Elen1107
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

E,

 

Free will has been debated for thousands of years and is still debated today. It is not a tenet of PC to hold a position or view either way. Whatever works at the time on your journey seems fine and i would not say either position is right or wrong. We all seem to agree we have choices in life. For me, believing our will is not truly 'free' makes compassion for others rise within me

 

 

Steves question is this ....

"So, for those of you who reject "free will", the question is this: Do you think it is possible for humans to liberate themselves from conditioned existence? Would this constitute "free will"? Asked another way, what would a human who possessed "free will" look like?"

 

Speaking for myself , i think the natural order of things will insure over the course of time that people will be liberated from 'self'' .Also it seems to me it will be as a result of their conditioning and the evolutionary process. No, personally i don't think that constitutes 'free will' .. For the last question, i can't say for it is doubtful to me that such a state could be accurately described as human.or in labels used by humans.

 

Joseph

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

free-will.gif?w=640

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Joe,

 

Thanks for your statement that PC does not hold a specific tenet regarding ideas about free will. I think I’ve already sensed or know this, but it’s good and reassuring to have it stated out right and in a real sentence or set of ideas all the same. Also thanks for making a positive statement about compassion,… sometimes I feel like compassion and kindness get regarded as a weakness and/or just something to take advantage of. Instead of something to be respected and thought highly of and be responded to in kind.

 

 

From your post #93:

 

“Free will has been debated for thousands of years and is still debated today”

 

What I understand from this is that no real conclusions or final realizations have come about from all of this “debate”. My sense of things is that doesn’t mean that we can’t come to them or find them now,.. in this day and age and turn in the course of human where-with-all, learning and understanding. (This would be very much like me, by the way, and the way that I approach or understand ‘unconcluded’ concepts or ideas like this. Just because people couldn’t or didn’t understand or realize certain things in the past,… doesn’t mean that we, or some of us, or someone somewhere can’t now. Maybe this comes from my being a child of the space age, or maybe it is pride on my part or about humanity in general. Or maybe it’s about my feeling that we can know the truth, and have a straight insight, or “see the light” as it is said, concerning ideas and about a good number or at least a few truly important things. And also have a better understanding of both ourselves and the Creation that we find ourselves in, and which we are a part of. As well as our relationship to Creation and Creations relationship to us.)

 

 

Again from your post:

 

“For me, believing our will is not truly 'free' makes compassion for others rise within me”

 

What I’m asking here is, couldn’t a person still have this compassion for others, and still have free will, and a sense or understanding of their own “free will” at the same time? (I’m not trying to get on you here or just challenging you just for challenges sake, or trying to negate what you are saying for some other reason. Of course I think that compassion for others is a good thing, and that what goes around, comes around, so in a certain sense it is also compassion and understanding for one’s self. I think I’m honestly asking you this as a question. I’m also trying to throw the light of a different perspective on to this/these circumstances).

 

 

Where you quote Steve in the same post:

 

"So, for those of you who reject "free will", the question is this: Do you think it is possible for humans to liberate themselves from conditioned existence? Would this constitute "free will"? Asked another way, what would a human who possessed "free will" look like?"

 

I guess I don’t really understand what you folks mean by “conditioned” existence. If one of you or anyone could clarify what that means it could be helpful. Thanks

 

 

From the last part of that post:

 

Speaking for myself , I think the natural order of things will insure over the course of time that people will be liberated from 'self'' .Also it seems to me it will be as a result of their conditioning and the evolutionary process”

 

As I believe I’ve told you before, I think that there can be a healthy sense of self or a sense of self that lives in harmony with Creation. Where Paul of T. says he dies to self, I’m thinking that what he might mean is that he dies to selfishness, or an arrogant sense of self. When Jesus is depicted as saying, “Love your good neighbor as yourself”, I think that he means a real self here, and that that’s ok and that we should even love this “self” that we each are.

 

 

Also from the last paragraph of that post:

 

“For the last question, i can't say for it is doubtful to me that such a state could be accurately described as human.or in labels used by humans.”

 

I’m not able to figure out what part of my post this sentence applies to or is replying to. If you could let me know what it pertains to, thanks and maybe I could clear it up.

 

 

I’ve been thinking just a bit about the difference between free will and absolute free will, since we’ve been writing and discussing this subject. I don’t think I’ll go into it now because of my time constraints and also because I need to think about it some more.

 

 

Thanks for reading – again

 

Freedom Peace and Cheers

 

E.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul

I just have to keep arguing this/these point(s) with you, it’s become kind of a stickler with me and I just have to keep trying and going at it. I’m glad that we are doing it in the spirit of, as you’ve said to me: happy dialog and debate. Also apologies for taking a three or four days to reply to your post #85, I don’t have nearly as much time as I’d like to have for this. Also this is a tough or tricky subject for me so it takes some real time for me to make a reply that makes even some sort of sense.

 

First the expressions “real to me” and “not real to me” are in many ways just expressions. For instance a bunch of people may get into a fight up the street, maybe outside a drinking place or something. Now a person may get home after seeing this and say that, “that is just not real to me.” They’re not saying that the fight wasn’t real, or that it didn’t happen. What they are saying is that they don’t understand the mind sets or the circumstances that created these things and probably that they want to forget about it.

 

Similarly someone could say that what goes on in a fundamentalist religious assembly just isn’t real to them. They are not saying what goes on there didn’t happen, they are saying that what the people there were saying and thinking makes no sense to them, that it’s nonsense. At the same time one could say that some small part of it, some inner seed in there somewhere, there could be something real and have real truth to it. It’s just so covered over by so much of this other really strange stuff that one can’t see what one really is looking at, or what truth really exists there, in all these layers of hyper-fundamentalism.

 

From your post #85

 

Me:

I’m thinking that the color purple still exists whether I, or anyone else for that matter, can see it or not. It may not be part of my experience, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It may not be “real to me” as you put it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or a real phenomenon. Just because something “isn’t real to me”, doesn’t make it unreal or nonexistent.

 

You:

However, if it doesn't exist for you, then you are relying on somebody else's interpretation that it exists as they say it does. What if they're wrong?

 

 

By the same token, what if they are right? Then I’m missing something, and something quite beautiful and inspirational too, the color of purple. It’s been proven with a good deal of scientific equipment that the wavelengths of color and light are a real phenomenon, and that they do exist, but regardless, these wavelengths exist and have existed whether they’ve been proven or anyone has seen them or not. It doesn’t matter if they are part of someone’s “reality” or not, they still exist.

 

Again from your post #85

 

Me:

I agree that no one can know everything, with the possible exception of JC, (and maybe a few others in or near that kind of echelon). But we can know the truth or truths that we do know. We can know some truth, or a piece of the truth, even if we don’t know everything,

 

You:

At best I think we can think we know the truth, but that has proved untrustworthy in the past (e.g. people used to 'know' that the earth was flat - they even killed people who questioned this).

 

I would say here that people thought they knew the truth. Since then we’ve gone around the earth in ships, then in planes and have seen pictures of the earth from the moon and from space that clearly prove that the earth is round. The truth is that the earth is round, it’s not just the truth for you and me and a whole bunch of other people. It is the truth in its own right. The earth is round. Before there was any life on earth the earth was still round, even if there was no one or nothing around to perceive it as such, or say so. This changes nothing. The truth is that the earth is round, spherical in shape and form and that’s all there is to it, that’s just the way it is and the truth of the matter, regardless if anyone sees it or not.

 

 

Again from your post #85

 

Me:

I guess I go with real experience. If I feel or experience the presence of God, or JC, and perceive, encounter or experience enough of this/them, then I start understanding that this is real, this isn’t just me, and that there’s (a) real positive spiritual power(s) behind, in and around everything. For me this has very little to do with books or the bible or what a group of people up the street in a building with a steeple on it are saying. (it has nothing to do with what my parents think either, which wasn't that much). I just experience it, sometimes I do have to struggle or work to tune into it, and then other times I don’t, but in either case it’s a real experience of a real “entity” or “entities”, if you will, that I am experiencing.

 

You:

Again, what is a 'real' experience for you may not be such for another. At best, one can say that an experience to them is real, but it might not be for another, or anyone else for that matter.

 

Well no, if they are not experiencing it so it can’t be a real experience for them, because they are not experiencing it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real, or what these people are experiencing is not real. And they can’t say that someone’s else’s experience isn’t real or is real, or that it’s only “real to them” because they themselves are not experiencing it,… they can only say that they don’t know if it’s real or not, for the same reason, that is, because they haven’t experienced it. .

 

 

Me:

Also, this in no way makes me all that, or any more than just my own little regular, ordinary level of special, as a person. And this happens to lots of people. All of them may or may not talk about it or know how to put it into words, or be too shy to put it into words, but it’s still their real experiences. And for my time and understanding on this earth I feel that they are experiencing something real. They are not just experiencing something that is “real to them”, they are experiencing real and true and existing -somethings. If these somethings are God and/or Christ and/or the Holy Spirit, and if some book(s) that were once written about them don’t quite work too well, that doesn’t mean they aren’t real, that doesn't mean they don't exist. That just means some people wrote a/some mixed-up book(s) about them.

 

You:

I agree these may be peoples' very real experiences, but it is just 'their' very real experiences and not necessarily universal truths. I can't agree with you that they are experiencing something that is real and true and existing, other than to the point that it is 'for them'.

 

You certainly have every right and then some to your outlook concerning these things, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real and true experiences of real and true phenomenon.

 

You state here that you believe in something called universal truths. Where do you get that from? Where do you get that concept? It’s a perty amazing and beautiful concept, and the fact that you are using those words mean that you might believe in something; otherwise would you have chosen those words? (unless you’re just using the words flippantly, in which case never mind, what I’m saying doesn’t pertain here). A statement or phrase like “universal truth” is God. God is in, about and surrounding an idea like “universal truth”. It’s hard to explain but He/She/E’s there and E’s in there.

 

Haven’t you ever had an experience where something really rang true for you? Where something was said or an idea was expressed and something inside you just told you it was true?

 

When you feel happy, you are actually experiencing happiness. It’s not just you or just “real for you”. You are actually experiencing something real, and in this case that something is happiness. You may not be able to take it out and put it on a table and say look at this, isn’t it real. But it’s still real. Even if it just happened to a person a few times, it’s still happiness and it’s still real happiness.

 

When you’ve experienced love, whether it was for someone or something or just the experience of the feeling it’s self with no object that it was about or no object connected to it. (One doesn’t need an object or a thing to love in order to feel love; one can just experience the feeling of love in and of itself, with no object or without having the love necessarily directed at or being about anyone or anything.) When you’ve felt this, when you have felt love, you have felt something real. Again you can’t take it out and put it on the table, but it’s still there and it’s still a very real emotion. It’s not just real for you and there’s nothing real really there. It is real, it’s real love, and there’s no ifs ands or buts about it.

 

Concerning your last sentence in the last quote by you above. The truth is that you can’t know if what they are experiencing is “real and true and existing” or not, because you have not experienced it, so in this sense you can’t argue that it is real, and likewise you can’t argue that it’s not real. I don’t think that anyone can unless they have experienced it or some of it for themselves. Just like a person can’t know lemon juice is sour unless they taste it. A lot of people might tell them that it’s sour and a person might believe them and take their word for it. But until they actually taste lemon juice they don’t know what it tastes like. They don’t know that lemon juice is sour. However lemon juice is still sour whether they know that or that’s “the reality for them” or not.

 

Maybe here is another way to show what I am trying to communicate, and since we are on a PC website and God is a good piece of what we are conversing about anyways, let me use God as part of the following set of ideas:

 

Now either God exists or God doesn’t exist. It’s either one way or another, both statements can’t be true, right? Now if God exists, then this is true whether you, or I, or a whole bunch of people, or everyone, and or including even if no one what so ever believe it or not. God would still exist / be in existence, right? By the same token or logic, if God doesn’t exist, then this is true whether everyone, a whole bunch of people, a few people, or no one believe E exists too. So a whole bunch of people, or just a few people, or everyone, or no one could believe God exists or doesn’t exist. This still has no bearing on whether God exists or not. God exists or doesn’t exist whether people believe it or not. The thing is to find out whether God exists or not, not whether it’s this persons reality or another person’s reality or no one’s reality or every ones reality and so on and so forth. And then of course if God does exist, find out what or who God is like. If God doesn’t exist then there’s no reason to find out what e’s like because that would become irrelevant or inapplicable.

 

You can’t just look to other peoples testimonies for this you have to look for and find your own. Now, you feel that your own personal understanding of this was wrong, or made to be wrong, once before. But maybe it was the understanding or part(s) of the understanding that you were given, or that was given to you, that was wrong. Not the actual factor of whether God and or JC exist or not, but how they were presented and described to you. This has happened to me. Concerning the understanding of god that I was given growing up, it was so dark and damning that I finally re nicknamed hem blog and wanted nothing to do with em/him what so ever. (this was way before anything like the word “blog” existed on the internet and way before the internet even existed either) (also this “blog” was very much a him, and any thinking even the slightest bit different was not allowed, that’s why I use him as well as em in the previous sentence). It was fifteen or twenty years later, maybe more, when I finally started to understand that this “blog” is not God. That God was and is not this dark ogre in the sky looking down and trying to make a mess of everyone, and being really mean about it too. So I finally began to be able believe in something spiritual, possibly for the first time in a way, instead of just the material, tactile world that we see, touch, feel and hear and that’s all around us, or in this “blog” thing that made no any sense anyways.

 

Well, maybe I can’t make what I’m trying to say totally and completely clear. Probably because of my lack of ability with words and being able to find the right words to explain complex or spiritual concepts, and also my lack of knowledge about these things too. Maybe someday I can try again, when I know more about it, have had more time to think and contemplate this stuff, and better know how to express it.

 

Thanks for reading all this, I hope it hasn’t taken up too much of your time, and apologies if the ideas aren’t that clear or as clear as they could be.

 

Cheers and Good Day

E.

 

PS – Thanks for your Dilbert cartoon – I’ve got to say I think there is a difference between “blaming someone” and holding them accountable and also letting them know they could do things differently and that this might even be better for them.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

E,

In post #95 You said "I’m not able to figure out what part of my post this sentence applies to or is replying to. If you could let me know what it pertains to, thanks and maybe I could clear it up."

 

That was in response to Steve's paragraph last question not anything you said.

 

 

On your conditioned existence question....

To me, our own conditioning entails all our programming including genetics , environment, and experiences. From a Buddhist view "Conditioned Existence states that all phenomena, such as an event, a person, a thing,originate from a cause that, when the right conditions are present, will come into being.Once one or more of those conditions changes or is no longer present, the phenomenon will change or cease to exist. Conditions will, in the natural course of events, themselves become causes and causes in their turn will become conditions."

 

You asked "What I’m asking here is, couldn’t a person still have this compassion for others, and still have free will, and a sense or understanding of their own “free will” at the same time?

 

Sure. Believing in the concept of 'free will' doesn't have to restrict compassion. What i said was that for me not believing in 'free will' per se, made compassion rise. Here is why. When i believed we had free will i systematically placed full responsibility and blame on others that i felt choose poorly. I was not able to have compassion because of my understanding that they could and should have choose otherwise. When i later saw and understood that, for the most part, we are slaves to our conditioning (genetics, environment and our own unique experiences) , i realized that people could not choose otherwise than they did at that moment . I saw we all have different limitations that make 'could have' and 'should have' a hypothetical reality that is in the past and no longer exists. With that understanding i have no problem with forgiveness and i only have compassion for those who make unwise choices. It also to me, helped contribute to a more nonjudgmental attitude toward others and myself. They will still receive their reward/punishment for their action by society but i can forgive them because in effect to coin Jesus' phrase "they know not what they do" because if they really fully understood what they were doing , they would not have chosen unwisely.

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"When i believed we had free will i systematically placed full responsibility and blame on others that i felt choose poorly. I was not able to have compassion because of my understanding that they could and should have choose otherwise. When i later saw and understood that, for the most part, we are slaves to our conditioning (genetics, environment and our own unique experiences) , i realized that people could not choose otherwise than they did at that moment . I saw we all have different limitations that make 'could have' and 'should have' a hypothetical reality that is in the past and no longer exists. With that understanding i have no problem with forgiveness and i only have compassion for those who make unwise choices. It also to me, helped contribute to a more nonjudgmental attitude toward others and myself. They will still receive their reward/punishment for their action by society but i can forgive them because in effect to coin Jesus' phrase "they know not what they do" because if they really fully understood what they were doing , they would not have chosen unwisely" - Joseph.

 

That paragraph sums up the beginning of the end for me when it came to believing in a 'just' God that would send many people to eternal punishment. In our simplest view we might think people have a choice to lead a good and wholesome life, but from what I saw as a police officer, children raised in an environment filled with crime/drugs/alcohol/family dysfunction etc, are already behind the eight-ball when it comes to making good choices in life due to the influences they have been subjected to. That doesn't mean many don't go on to lead excellent lives, but for me does explain why many get caught in this ongoing cycle of poor choices.

 

So sure, we have free will when it comes to making some choices, but in many situations I don't think we get to 'choose' what we believe or why because our experiences and learnings have already shaped our decision making.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I have no proof or realization for myself, my intuition tells me that the notion of causal determinants appearing to function in a linear fashion, from past to present to future is merely descriptive of the manner in which humans perceive their own existence. These notions "exist" in so far as they are agreed upon by convention, but they have no basis other than that. I think the conditioning that occurs is a result of convention, rather than something which is inherent in human nature.

 

This same "intuition" also tells me that our conventional belief in a past, present and future, is also an illusion. If that is the case, then causal determinants, dependent on the notion of time, are also illusory.

 

So, to say there either is or is not something humans possess that is called "free will" becomes simply an object of scientific, philosophical and theological inquiry. From a strictly pragmatic perspective, it is preferable for humans to believe that even if they are not free in their will, they have the ability to choose the "good", and I will leave that word to be defined by others.

 

Peace.

Steve

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

 

I would concur with your intuition. Essentially, to me there are no 'real causes' to be found in this world but rather only an unfolding. One could say we see a connection and describes a "pair" of events, hypothesizing a relationship. This relationship is a concept in the mind of the observer. As David Hawkins has said "it isn't necessary that any corollary external event exists in the universe". In essence one could say time is a subjective, sensory effect of a progressively moving point of view.

 

Joseph

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now