Free will or pre-destination?

Free will or pre-destination?

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Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#1 Feb 20, 2013
Some years ago, as a result of meditation and dabbling in zen philosophy, I discovered for myself that life--including our thoughts and actions--are products of a lengthy web of causes and conditions, and that ultimately free-will is an illusion.

And there's science that backs this up, which leads me to believe in "predestination".

Now, of course, this is one of those issues that have been discussed and debated for centuries, however I don't think that it can be denied as everything that we are is determined by genes and environmental conditioning, our decisions often controlled by our our unconcious minds, etc.

Your thoughts?
QUITTNER

Toronto, Canada

#2 Feb 21, 2013
1:02 pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013:
RE: Free will or pre-destination?
..... I'd like to see proofs. Note that if we have free will then we are responsible for whatever we do; but if we are just doing what someone else has decided that we have to do, then someone else is responsible and we are always completely innocent. even if we would be, for example, mass murderers.
Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#3 Feb 24, 2013
Think of your favorite color, food, sexual interests, 2 or 3 of your favotire past times...and then tell me where they (these preferences, etc.) came from.

It works like this: No one chooses his/her race, appearance, gender, nor the country, culture, religion, family, or socio-economic class into which we are born.

And you didn't choose your genes, either.

All of the above--along with the various experiences that you've had in life--have made you who are you are, created your likes and dislikes, shaped the views/opinions upon which you act, etc., etc.

For every decision that you make there's a reason.... for which there is a reason for which there is a reason for which there is a reason...on and on and on.

We're entangled in a web of causes and conditions which give rise to the illusion of "free-will".

“Invisible Pink Unicorn”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#4 Feb 24, 2013
Frank wrote:
Think of your favorite color, food, sexual interests, 2 or 3 of your favotire past times...and then tell me where they (these preferences, etc.) came from.
It works like this: No one chooses his/her race, appearance, gender, nor the country, culture, religion, family, or socio-economic class into which we are born.
And you didn't choose your genes, either.
All of the above--along with the various experiences that you've had in life--have made you who are you are, created your likes and dislikes, shaped the views/opinions upon which you act, etc., etc.
For every decision that you make there's a reason.... for which there is a reason for which there is a reason for which there is a reason...on and on and on.
We're entangled in a web of causes and conditions which give rise to the illusion of "free-will".
I agree with most of what your saying but not the illusion of "free-will".
I know I don't have free will. Our subconscious mind calls the shots. Really easy to show this. Drive a car with a clutch where you shift gears for a few weeks then climb into a car with an auto transmission.See that hand of yours waving around in empty air looking for the shift level. Are you doing that with your conscious mind? If not guess who is controlling that arm?
Punisher

Yonkers, NY

#5 Feb 24, 2013
epi-genetics
Jeff

San Jose, CA

#6 Feb 24, 2013
Frank wrote:
Think of your favorite color, food, sexual interests, 2 or 3 of your favotire past times...and then tell me where they (these preferences, etc.) came from.
It works like this: No one chooses his/her race, appearance, gender, nor the country, culture, religion, family, or socio-economic class into which we are born.
And you didn't choose your genes, either.
All of the above--along with the various experiences that you've had in life--have made you who are you are, created your likes and dislikes, shaped the views/opinions upon which you act, etc., etc.
For every decision that you make there's a reason.... for which there is a reason for which there is a reason for which there is a reason...on and on and on.
We're entangled in a web of causes and conditions which give rise to the illusion of "free-will".
If there is no free-will then no one can be held morally responsible for there choices or beliefs.
Punisher

Yonkers, NY

#7 Feb 24, 2013
Frank wrote:
Think of your favorite color, food, sexual interests, 2 or 3 of your favotire past times...and then tell me where they (these preferences, etc.) came from.
It works like this: No one chooses his/her race, appearance, gender, nor the country, culture, religion, family, or socio-economic class into which we are born.
And you didn't choose your genes, either.
All of the above--along with the various experiences that you've had in life--have made you who are you are, created your likes and dislikes, shaped the views/opinions upon which you act, etc., etc.
For every decision that you make there's a reason.... for which there is a reason for which there is a reason for which there is a reason...on and on and on.
We're entangled in a web of causes and conditions which give rise to the illusion of "free-will".
All of which can lead us to conclude and reason why some of us are prone to religious beliefs - in varying degrees of conviction - to those who are not - in varying degrees of convictions...

I simply can not make the leap that faith requires. Its like trying to wear something that simply wont fit...

The notion of free-will within Religions was nothing but a means to allow for a system of justifiable punishment. If we could be burdened with free-will, we could therefor be accused of choosing to sin and insult a higher-power, and receive a judgment and be judged by our fellow humans. Now I dont necessarily think the originators of such ideas were that smart and/or savvy enough to know that was what they were doing...as all they were trying to do was get people to conform and be under some system of control.

But in light of what we have learned about Human behaviors and where its all likely heading as we learn more and more (still a hugely untapped discipline)- to hold onto the RELIGIOUS notions, especially the American Xtian ones, of free-will is a waste of time. We desperately need a new paradigm.
Punisher

Yonkers, NY

#8 Feb 24, 2013
Jeff wrote:
<quoted text>
If there is no free-will then no one can be held morally responsible for there choices or beliefs.
No, not true.

You're notion of free-will is purely a Religious one. One where the freedom (to choose) is based solely on acting against the will of a God. A God who allegedly sets the rule and parameters of right and wrong, in a purely black and white system...correction a faux black and white system.

You want to force the God, your God on the issues, where there is no proof and no need for it, him.

No one is typically forced to commit a crime, but the factors that might put them in such a decision-making place is often not under their controls. No one is forced to be an alcoholic, but many people are biologically prone to it. As are many who exhibit anti-social behaviors. They are biologically programmed to not feel empathy, etc...and while many may never act out and hurt others, due to social conditioning, and some other imperative, some do and see no sense/logic in societies rules against them.
Impulse control is very often not truly under many people conscious controls. We all know such people and it has nothing whatsoever to do with their faith, lack of it, or for that matter any Gods.

But we ALL know, having gone down this path with you before, ad nauseum, you will deny all of the sciences, and realities confirming these matters, and rely on your silly book of myths and sorcery fantasies.

Is it good/bad because your God says it, or because its simply always good/bad without his opinion?
Jeff

San Jose, CA

#9 Feb 24, 2013
Punisher wrote:
<quoted text>No, not true.
You're notion of free-will is purely a Religious one. One where the freedom (to choose) is based solely on acting against the will of a God. A God who allegedly sets the rule and parameters of right and wrong, in a purely black and white system...correction a faux black and white system.
You want to force the God, your God on the issues, where there is no proof and no need for it, him.
No one is typically forced to commit a crime, but the factors that might put them in such a decision-making place is often not under their controls. No one is forced to be an alcoholic, but many people are biologically prone to it. As are many who exhibit anti-social behaviors. They are biologically programmed to not feel empathy, etc...and while many may never act out and hurt others, due to social conditioning, and some other imperative, some do and see no sense/logic in societies rules against them.
Impulse control is very often not truly under many people conscious controls. We all know such people and it has nothing whatsoever to do with their faith, lack of it, or for that matter any Gods.
But we ALL know, having gone down this path with you before, ad nauseum, you will deny all of the sciences, and realities confirming these matters, and rely on your silly book of myths and sorcery fantasies.
Is it good/bad because your God says it, or because its simply always good/bad without his opinion?
If man is just a bag of chemicals then there is no such thing as freewill. All that you do is because of the chemicals in your brain that make you do what you do. All you are is a meat machine.

“Invisible Pink Unicorn”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#10 Feb 24, 2013
Jeff wrote:
<quoted text>
If man is just a bag of chemicals then there is no such thing as freewill. All that you do is because of the chemicals in your brain that make you do what you do. All you are is a meat machine.
Alright now your catching on.
Jeff

San Jose, CA

#11 Feb 24, 2013
Jammercolo wrote:
<quoted text>
Alright now your catching on.
Right. Next time a someone gets raped or molested its just the chemicals in the brain that made that human animal do it. Nothing is really morally wrong with rape or molestation.
Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#12 Feb 24, 2013
Punisher wrote:
<quoted text>All of which can lead us to conclude and reason why some of us are prone to religious beliefs - in varying degrees of conviction - to those who are not - in varying degrees of convictions...
I simply can not make the leap that faith requires. Its like trying to wear something that simply wont fit...
Absolutely.

Given your genetic make-up and life experiences, you couldn't be anyone else right now.
Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#13 Feb 24, 2013
Jeff wrote:
<quoted text>
Right. Next time a someone gets raped or molested its just the chemicals in the brain that made that human animal do it. Nothing is really morally wrong with rape or molestation.
Like it or not, it is what it is Jeff.

This doesn't mean that we can't lock people up for the good of society.

And from a religious point of view, let's not pretend that the idea of G-d having willed all that there is isn't a new one.
Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#14 Feb 24, 2013
Correction**"let's not pretend that this is a new idea, its been around for a long time.
Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#15 Feb 24, 2013
Jeff wrote:
<quoted text>
If man is just a bag of chemicals then there is no such thing as freewill. All that you do is because of the chemicals in your brain that make you do what you do. All you are is a meat machine.
I'd have to agree that we're "meat machines".

We're very sophisticated meat machines though, and there's no conflict with this and beliving in G-d, imo.

“Wear white at night.”

Since: Jun 09

Albuquerque

#16 Feb 24, 2013
Jeff wrote:
<quoted text>
If there is no free-will then no one can be held morally responsible for there choices or beliefs.
Define: morally responsible

You're always good for a laugh.
Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#19 Feb 24, 2013
Lost and confused gays wrote:
<quoted text>I suspect that you know that you are foolish and your lack of schooling has proven as much. You don't dabble into Zen philosophy or Buddhism. The Zen Master knows that he makes choices and by these choices he masters his life. If you wish to go on a two week fast, no food, no sex, etc. you simply do it. Failure to do it, is your choice.
The fool can not change his course, because this fool fails to understand that his course is set do to learning, socialization and environmental influences. All of which you can change.
The first thing a drug addict or alcoholic must do is change his environment and get away from people using.
I ponce told a person that before I react, I usually have played out over 50 different responses in my head, including not responding. That is choice.
Go to church. No. Well, you decided, nothing forced you to not go.
Umm, no. Perhaps what I'm talking about is a bit above your head?

Even a so-called "zen master" makes conditioned choices, though some would like to think other-wise. Sure, one can break through "delusion", one can "wake up" to how things actually are and achieve a degree of "freedom" from the problems that such delusion causes, however, eve na person's desire to break free from "delusion" is spurred on by numerous causes and conditions.

There is no such thing as living outside of this conditioned existence.

And your choice to respond or not is itself conditioned by numerous factors that you may or may not be unaware of.

Here's an excerpt from an article that explains whatI'm saying here:

"I think that “I” decide to do things when actually it is an intention that is deciding to do things, and the intention is just a conditioned mental factor, conditioned by past intentions that were dependent on other conditions and other mental factors; it’s all just conditioning all the way back.

This naturally brings up the question of free will. As someone who hasn’t studied a lot of Western philosophy, I just looked up free will in the dic­tionary. Free will is “the freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.” We don’t talk much about divine intervention in Buddhism, but we definitely talk about prior causes. So, if we go with that definition, it doesn’t look like there is free will in the view of Buddha-Dharma because everything that happens, including “choice” is determined by conditions. Volition is a mental factor that arises dependent upon conditions, which is precisely what makes it not an independent self. If there were an independent self, then it could have free will, and in fact that’s what we feel to be true as humans. We believe that “I” as a free agent can, within the limits of conditions imposed by the world, decide what to do now. Don’t we think so? Free will may sound like a really great thing to have, but it seems to me that it would be kind of a burden to have free will. A question you can contemplate is: If it feels like “you” have to decide anything, do you feel a little bit of unease with that “freedom” of so-called free will? If you open to the possibility that the boundless totality of conditions is determining your every move, that your “self ” is receiving its function from myriad conditions, do you feel some ease with that sense of “being controlled”?"

And don't tell me what I have or havn't done, chump.

Since: Dec 09

Chicago, IL

#20 Feb 24, 2013
Frank wrote:
<quoted text>
Umm, no. Perhaps what I'm talking about is a bit above your head?
Even a so-called "zen master" makes conditioned choices, though some would like to think other-wise. Sure, one can break through "delusion", one can "wake up" to how things actually are and achieve a degree of "freedom" from the problems that such delusion causes, however, eve na person's desire to break free from "delusion" is spurred on by numerous causes and conditions.
There is no such thing as living outside of this conditioned existence.
And your choice to respond or not is itself conditioned by numerous factors that you may or may not be unaware of.
Here's an excerpt from an article that explains whatI'm saying here:
"I think that “I” decide to do things when actually it is an intention that is deciding to do things, and the intention is just a conditioned mental factor, conditioned by past intentions that were dependent on other conditions and other mental factors; it’s all just conditioning all the way back.
This naturally brings up the question of free will. As someone who hasn’t studied a lot of Western philosophy, I just looked up free will in the dic­tionary. Free will is “the freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.” We don’t talk much about divine intervention in Buddhism, but we definitely talk about prior causes. So, if we go with that definition, it doesn’t look like there is free will in the view of Buddha-Dharma because everything that happens, including “choice” is determined by conditions. Volition is a mental factor that arises dependent upon conditions, which is precisely what makes it not an independent self. If there were an independent self, then it could have free will, and in fact that’s what we feel to be true as humans. We believe that “I” as a free agent can, within the limits of conditions imposed by the world, decide what to do now. Don’t we think so? Free will may sound like a really great thing to have, but it seems to me that it would be kind of a burden to have free will. A question you can contemplate is: If it feels like “you” have to decide anything, do you feel a little bit of unease with that “freedom” of so-called free will? If you open to the possibility that the boundless totality of conditions is determining your every move, that your “self ” is receiving its function from myriad conditions, do you feel some ease with that sense of “being controlled”?"
And don't tell me what I have or havn't done, chump.
Frank: "And don't tell me what I have or havn't done, chump."

Well, you don't know what you could know that you don't know, do you?
Jeff

San Jose, CA

#21 Feb 24, 2013
Frank wrote:
<quoted text>
I'd have to agree that we're "meat machines".
We're very sophisticated meat machines though, and there's no conflict with this and beliving in G-d, imo.
A machine is a machine no matter how sophisticated. Its the chemicals in some brains that cause belief in God. What this also means is that we can never know truth since all beliefs are determined by the chemicals in the brain.
Frank

Holly Springs, NC

#22 Feb 24, 2013
Jeff wrote:
<quoted text>
A machine is a machine no matter how sophisticated. Its the chemicals in some brains that cause belief in God. What this also means is that we can never know truth since all beliefs are determined by the chemicals in the brain.
Depends on what "truth" you're referring to.

If you're talking about truth as in religion---all religious views are speculation---which is why faith is required.

In truth, none of us know what the "truth" is, including yourself.

Sure, you can say "Jesus died for our sins ad he's god", but you don't know for this sure.

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