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Thread: Free will. Do we really have it?

  1. #21
    Lucky Member corastaur's Avatar
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    I agree with most if not all of what you just said inksprout. I definitely believe in free will, and I totally know where you're coming from peteman. I was also raised in a very christian family and have struggled with my faith in the past couple of years.

    Premise 1: I believe that pre-destination is wrong. A God that is supposedly all loving would not create people in the full knowledge that they were going to hell. What mother would have a baby when they knew that as soon as they had it the baby would be totured and killed?
    I agree, I don't believe in pre-destination either. The thing is I also don't believe in hell, or at least not a hell in the conventional sense... The bible is generally kind of vague when it describes heaven and hell (with the exclusion of revelations). I've had many discussions with my father (pastor) and others, and what i've generally decided i believe is that hell boils down to eternal separation from God, and heaven is eternal life with God. It's impossible to know what happens when we die, but I have a hard time believing in a God who sentences people who were never given a chance to believe (think people who died really young) to eternal suffering.

    Premise 2: (and the main issue) We cannot control where and to whom we are born. The one thing that will effect everything about the rest of our existance; our personality,our culture, our values our way of life, how we see our selves, the chain of cause and effect that is the rest of our lives. Thus if we cannot choose to be in a position were Christianity (or any other religion for that matter) has any bearing on our lives or that we end up having a personality that will accept or decline it is beyond our control; how is being a Christian a matter of choice? And if it is not a choice then God is a douchebag for sending people to hell just because he made them.
    I'm supposed to be a psych major, but I still haven't learned a ton. I do know, as i'm almost positive someone else already mentioned, it is true that environment plays a huge part in who you are and I guess in the decisions you make. Its almost the nature vs nurture argument... only not quite. Bah I'm not sure how to explain it. I believe that it is a matter of choice, but it's hard. I have issues with like the story of Jonah (did he really have free will? The story goes that he was stuck in a whale's stomach until he decided to listen to god...), oh! but didn't Jesus have free will? He wanted to back out of being crucified (see any of the gospels at the end when he's praying in the garden of gethsemane) but decided to go submit to it anyway. Crap man I guess I don't know :/ I just believe that we have free will, but I guess I don't have a good logic for it..... I feel foolish now. I'm going to go hide in my corner

  2. #22
    Zeta Members ram's Avatar
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    -Heredity
    -Learning
    -Environment

    These are the only strings that our personality come from right?
    Most of us just go with environment and most people just don't go with learning and just adopt everything, Good or bad.
    If that's the case then I guess they have no free will to begin with.

    I never got too deep in books of psychology but what I learned is we might have a choice.
    That is choose what to adopt

  3. #23
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    If you're talking about it from a purely religious POV surely the concept of heaven and hell implies that we DO have free will. Unless you believe God is evil then you have to believe that he is not controlling out lives, otherwise no one would be sent to hell, God would just make sure everyone did right or repented in the end to go to heaven. The fact that religion dictates there are good and bad spiritual consequences for our actions supports the idea of free will. Religion is a way of controlling people by making some choices seem better than others, it doesn't alter the fact that we can choose, it just controls people's choices within that religious set of belifes. If you think something in your religion is wrong then you do have the ability to question it and question your beliefs. Being too scared to make choices is not the same as not having free will.

    Ram: I agree that learning is the most important factor in allowing people to make choices and have more free will. People need to know that their are other choices they can make. They say ignorance is bliss, and yet everyone wants to have 'free will'. The fact is that if you're following any belief or cultural trend or the expectations of others sure you might be happy, but you're not really experiencing free will. Whats more I think that people are increasingly unhappy in western culture. That's why in my earlier post I mentioned courage: because to defy society and what others want you to do often results in being labelled weird and different. People feel uncomfortable around that because they start to wonder if they too are wrong.

  4. #24
    101 Dalmations Member GAbRieLWrIgHt's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOYyC...C&feature=plcp
    Watch this video, it indirectly proves God. I don't think that this person meant to prove God, but they did. Then if you have questions, ask. I'll answer.

  5. #25
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAbRieLWrIgHt View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOYyC...C&feature=plcp
    Watch this video, it indirectly proves God. I don't think that this person meant to prove God, but they did. Then if you have questions, ask. I'll answer.
    I would love to see how you managed to pull evidence for the existence of God from Schrodinger's cat. What, because we can't empirically test whether God exists or doesn't exist, then he exists?

  6. #26
    Zeta Members ram's Avatar
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    Amaimon did you sent the wrong link?

  7. #27
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    The idea of making choices that goes against the norm is very difficult mostly because of the lack of potential and how restrictive society is in its complexity. Everything is so over-complicated that it's almost impossible for someone born into the 'average life' to deviate from the norm. They're always going to be held back by the necessity of money. And no matter how you live, chances are you're gonna have to file some paperwork, get some permits and licenses, etc. etc. Our society is so heavily built around bureaucracy and paperwork and money that we are inevitably obligated toward these ends from birth.

  8. #28
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAbRieLWrIgHt View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOYyC...C&feature=plcp
    Watch this video, it indirectly proves God. I don't think that this person meant to prove God, but they did. Then if you have questions, ask. I'll answer.
    That doesn't prove God exist. Also, Schrôdinger Cat doesn't prove free will, it only shows possibilities around a problem with 2 answers that are in a 50/50 equal chances.

    A: The cat has no free will in the situation.
    B: We neither have free will because we are only in a situation with 2 possibles answers (open or not open), even with those options one is futile (if you don't open, doesn't mean you saved the cat, you just evade the possibility of his dead).
    C: We are part of the experiment, as in every experiment. This mean we are active participants who doesn't have free will in it, because we have no real power of decision on the experiment, we need to see what is going to happen, as the cat is doomed to die.
    D: It doesn't prove God, the point of the experiment is not that, and I think you are misguiding what the video tries to say.

    I don't believe in free will, I do believe that individuals are complex and dynamic systems that can't be understood at a 100%, but I do believe that we are predictable, and as we are, we can't have a free will. Ones you can predict the possibility of certain behaviors of a individual the idea that the individual can chose for himself is pointless because I can do as the experiment say and make the subject the cat. The difference is that no one is looking at us (or that is what we believe), so our behavior is never put on test, but if we do then the idea of free will die.

    Free will only exist if there is no observant of our behavior.

    PD. Soon this is going to become a debate between: Schrödinger cat, the suicide gun, the uncertainty principle and structuralist/marxist social theories.
    Last edited by ClockHand; 12-02-2011 at 12:06 PM.

  9. #29
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    The idea of making choices that goes against the norm is very difficult mostly because of the lack of potential and how restrictive society is in its complexity. Everything is so over-complicated that it's almost impossible for someone born into the 'average life' to deviate from the norm. They're always going to be held back by the necessity of money. And no matter how you live, chances are you're gonna have to file some paperwork, get some permits and licenses, etc. etc. Our society is so heavily built around bureaucracy and paperwork and money that we are inevitably obligated toward these ends from birth.
    But the "norm" you are specifying is INCREDIBLY broad. To have no free will, society would have to control specifically when, where, how, and why you perform every single action, not just what you do.

    I think we are on two different pages. You are looking at free will from the top-down, general-direction-of-life aspect, while I'm dealing with the bottom-up, specific-single-action perspective.

  10. #30
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I guess it's just a matter of perspective, then. It all comes down to what's more valuable in life. The destination or the journey?

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