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romansh

Free Will

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Rather heavy topic and questions to begin a Sunday morning.

 

If "I" is an illusion the question and the answer does not matter. If it is an illusion and one knows it is an illusion, why engage in what one knows is illusory? On the simplest level, I do not experience myself as an illusion. Actually, I don't think anyone does - until maybe they begin these kinds of conversations but immediately have second thoughts - because they simply do not experience self or other as unreal. To move beyond Decartes (I think therefore I am), the to primary experience is, "'I' am."

 

All that is, IS and there is nothing other. All that is experienced is experienced as being, in other words, it is. I do not experience myself as the one (for lack of a better phrase) who 'keeps' everything in being or is 'responsible' for their being. I experience myself as dependent, creation, 'part of,' immersed in........... This (question of being) is not a theoretical question, it is an existential question, arising from one (as we all are) involved in being. For Heidegger, being is an issue for man. And John Macquarie adds, being is the act or condition of being - which is not the same as everything that is and not the same as anything that can be called a being, yet in some way, being is common to all beings. Before both of these philosophers, Aristotle stated that it is not possible that unity or being should be a single genus of things. And again, Heidegger: being is the transcendens pure and simple. The essence of being is the dynamic 'letting be' of beings.

 

Being 'lets be' all that is (which includes the universe - all that is, i.e. beings). There is (only) One - but I will offer the words of the man who introduced me to Philosophy (and Being) in 1970: : there is not a multiplicity of beings (in Being, there is only {one} Being) but there is a multiplicity of persons in the One).

 

Philosophers might call it being but the person of faith might move beyond philosophy to call being, Holy Being (God).

 

This is but a brief answer to a very 'heavy' topic. It is just an indication and a topic that I continue to both try to understand and articulate.

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Seemingly, man is part of the 'stardust,' part of the universe and is 'let be' by/in what is common to all that is: being. There is a 'sameness' (an interconnectedness) with (beings) the universe (in Being there is only Being). And, there is a 'difference:' man is capable of (called to?) 'let be' thereby enabling (empowering) self/other selves/the universe to fulfillment/abundance: diversity in unity. Contradictory? No. Paradoxical? Definitely.

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Seemingly, man is part of the 'stardust,' part of the universe and is 'let be' by/in what is common to all that is: being. There is a 'sameness' (an interconnectedness) with (beings) the universe (in Being there is only Being). And, there is a 'difference:' man is capable of (called to?) 'let be' thereby enabling (empowering) self/other selves/the universe to fulfillment/abundance: diversity in unity. Contradictory? No. Paradoxical? Definitely.

 

I must admit ... I find the substance of your post not clear to me.

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I must admit I am very skeptical of a "free" choice. See you on the free will thread (or not :-) )

For me the question of free will is largely academic. I will continue to "choose" to look before crossing the road. Just as I will continue to walk on a flat earth and watch as the sun moves across the sky.

 

My own suspicion is that the answer to the free will question is lost within another "common sense" experience - i.e. that we live in a linear time frame.....and actual reality itself is not so. But really, who at the moment knows?

 

"That there IS suffering, that I know".

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Derek,

I think you hit the nail on the head. It "is largely academic". While i tend to side with the view we have a choice and a will, the free part seems to me to be limited and not free in the true sense of the word "free". However, i wouldn't put any quid on it.

 

The perceived advantage, as i see it, of my choice of view of the matter, is my compassion instead of anger is triggered by some of the seemingly ignorant choices we all seem to make .

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Not to sully the other thread ...

For me the question of free will is largely academic. I will continue to "choose" to look before crossing the road. Just as I will continue to walk on a flat earth and watch as the sun moves across the sky.

 

Well it might be largely academic, but for me it is an interesting academic. It leads to all sorts of 'spiritual' outlooks. And those too are largely academic for some.

 

One nice academic aspect is, whilst driving I find myself looking in the mirror and then thinking I'll check what is behind me. I wonder if you observe the same phenomena when looking before crossing the road?

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Not to sully the other thread ...

 

 

Well it might be largely academic, but for me it is an interesting academic. It leads to all sorts of 'spiritual' outlooks. And those too are largely academic for some.

 

One nice academic aspect is, whilst driving I find myself looking in the mirror and then thinking I'll check what is behind me. I wonder if you observe the same phenomena when looking before crossing the road?

I love "sullied" threads, so much more interesting than those that go in a straight line.

 

But about crossing the road and looking, for me it goes back visits paid to my school by a policeman who drove the "code" deep into my themn immortal head.

 

"Look right, look left, then right again".

 

It saved my life once, seriously. I was walking along a very busy street in London and reached a junction to cross. The thought that any car could actually enter that road junction st speed was really not a possibility. But instinctively I looked to the right even as I was taking a step into the road. I just stepped back in time as a sports car zipped past at a real pace, having sped crazily straight across the busy road.

 

As you love the question, please carry on with all its academic attributes.

 

By the,way, I do not drive. Never chose to learn.

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"Look right, look left, then right again".

 

 

Yep ... this is still true for me ... even after living thirty years in Canada.

I can't even get on a bicycle from what passes as the correct side here.

In London you can get away without a vehicle.

 

But understanding how the universe ticks and how we in it dance to its beat is academic.

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Here is a RadioLab excerpt .... it is about free will. https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/777882

The first 27 minutes sets up the twenty minute discussion at the end with Robert Sapolsky.

The first 27 min: In short, "Kevin" has epilepsy and has part of his frontal cortex removed. He does various societally unacceptable misdemeanours, gets caught and goes to jail. The last twenty minutes is the discussion with the Radioab host and Sapolsky (author of Behave: The biology of humans at our best and worst). I will definitely read this in the future.

and this may of interest ... have not had a chance to listen to it yet.

https://ww2.kqed.org/forum/2017/05/15/robert-sapolsky-tackles-best-and-worst-of-human-nature-in-behave/

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