1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Determinism

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Random, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,057
    Ratings:
    +694
    Beliefs in predestination, fate, clockwork universe, the unreality and absence of freewill.

    Discuss...
     
  2. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    39,818
    Ratings:
    +6,753
    Religion:
    Mystics
    A specific topic, subject, argument or point of view.

    Provide...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,057
    Ratings:
    +694
    Okay. the compatibility of Freewill and Determinism: let's assume God made the Universe with a Divine Plan in mind which pre-determined the "chosen" path of his creations (Us). How can we have freewill if our choices are predestined?

    Same question as Neo faces in the Matrix movies, but if anyone says "You here to understand why you made the choice" I'll scream.

    Basically, does or can authentic freewill exist in a conditioned causal Universe?
     
  4. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    39,818
    Ratings:
    +6,753
    Religion:
    Mystics
    I like the Matrix angle. Neo demonstrated that free will exists, but in a fictional world where both absolute structure (the Architect) and true randomness (the Oracle) also existed.

    What was up with that Merovingian? He seemed to be trying to demonstrate no choice exists, but only succeeded in demonstrating that events can be imposed from outside us (by "mysterious forces" perhaps?).
     
  5. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,057
    Ratings:
    +694
    That is the core of my question: the Merovingian is a determinist, causality is the only real truth etc. Yet he is a program, a soulless entity. Same with Smith: Neo's ultimate act of freewill is (crucially) to surrender to his opponnent, submission. It is asserted by some that the true essence of the teachings of Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, the Hindu's and many others is that surrender of Self (ie. Autonomy, the conviction that one is a "doer" of deeds and actually has freewill) is the key to Salvation, to Oneness with God if you like.

    This spiritual dimension is by far the most radical and challenging aspect of the freewill/determinism argument for me: one must accept the deterministic nature of the Universe and surrender to God, dispel the illusion of freewill and let go of the ego, completely, give up the very idea of it.

    Remember, Neo said "You were right, Smith...you were always right. It was inevitable"
     
  6. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    13,381
    Ratings:
    +1,388
    exist is the wrong word, i think.

    each was only porposing a point of view, but only one of them can be the correct one - the thing is, non of us know which one it is. all three can't be correct at the same time, they contradict.
     
  7. Faint

    Faint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,661
    Ratings:
    +350
    It's a silly idea and ultimately futile. If you have true freewill and surrender it, you are ending yourself. Or, if you never had freewill, you were never yourself anyway and thus you have nothing to surrender. But how exactly would one surrender freewill in the first place? One morning you just go into autopilot? As an independent entity, you cannot become automated without losing your independence. If you're not independent then you're already automated (i.e. programmed), so it doesn't matter.

    Here's something else that may help you clear this up...

    Assumption of determinism: All events have causes, and their causes are all prior events. There is no cycle of events such that an event (possibly indirectly) causes itself.

    The picture this gives us is that Event AN is preceded by AN-1, which is preceded by AN-2, and so forth.
    Under these assumptions, two possibilities seem clear, and both of them question the validity of the original assumptions:
    (1) There is an event A0 prior to which there was no other event that could serve as its cause. (2) There is no event A0 prior to which there was no other event, which means that we are presented with an infinite series of causally related events, which is itself an event, and yet there is no cause for this infinite series of events.

    This is part of the reason why attempting to understand the "reason" of the universe and our own being is absurd.
     
  8. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,057
    Ratings:
    +694
    So all philosophy is in vain? To attempt to comprehend reality is absurdist?
     
  9. Faint

    Faint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,661
    Ratings:
    +350
    Not all philosophy, but the attempt to discover the ultimate reason for everything is. Look, discussing/debating freewill is good amusement (it amuses me anyway, otherwise I'd be studying more music theory)...but at the end of the day I'm sure neither of us will know THE TRUTH. I think I have freewill. I may be wrong. Either way, understanding changes nothing in this case. The point is one shouldn't need to know such things to live a good (happy) life.

    The answer is as simple as the question: Why are you here? Because you're here.

    Roll the bones.
     
  10. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    39,818
    Ratings:
    +6,753
    Religion:
    Mystics
    Oh, man. I'm going to have to watch that again.
     
  11. bigvindaloo

    bigvindaloo Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    475
    Ratings:
    +21
    Was the Matrix conceived as a commentary on postmodernism in action, or am I deceived by a malevolent creator:shrug:
     
  12. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    29,966
    Ratings:
    +16,368
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    Consider the question from the point of view of physics/Vedanta:

    There is no time, as we experience it. Time is just another dimension, mathematically equivalent to length or breadth. From this perspective the idea of predestination becomes moot, as the concept of pre- is meaningless.

    One's life is a filmstrip of sequential, already extant scenes. As we are capable, in ordinary consciousness, of seeing only one frame at a time, we experience the illusion of change and motion, just as we do on the silver screen. All our life experiences, past and present, exist, will exist and always have existed. All are equally real. The only thing really changing is our conscious focus on one or another frame.

    Now here's where free will comes in:
    Reality is not a linear filmstrip with only two adjacent frames/possibilities, nor is it a sheet of film with four adjacent realities. It's not even a 3-D "block" of film (this is getting hard to picture [ :sorry1: ]) with 6 (?) adjacent frames.

    The universe has dimensions we can't even consciously perceive; dimensions that can only be worked out mathematically and explored experimentally. Yet they are as Real as the three we currently experience. Among theoretical physicists, the current hot number is 11.

    Here is how free will works:
    A consciousness (jivanmukta), zipping along it's filmstrip. may, at any time, choose to turn left, right, up, down &c. Each choice is an "alternative ending;" even though each has always existed and is, therefore, completely determinant. Another consciousness coming along behind the first, living/experiencing the same life, might choose to turn "up" at the point the first jiva turned left. He would then move into a different reality or life experience from the first entity.

    In the multidimensional Universe every physically possible alternative is adjacent to each frame of Reality. Consciousnesses dart about freely, choosing their own realities and scripts. This is their free will. The Universe is a timeless, motionless, unchanging amalgamation of everything possible. The only movement or change is the focus of our awareness. Thus, Reality (Brahman) is both determinant and indeterminant.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,057
    Ratings:
    +694
    :biglaugh: Maybe a little of both...
     
  14. Hacker

    Hacker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,690
    Ratings:
    +268
    That was VERY interesting!
     
  15. Kungfuzed

    Kungfuzed Student Nurse

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,993
    Ratings:
    +278
    I don't understand what this has to do with determenism. Are you saying that our life is set in stone, that the film is already exposed and we are just the projector? Where are our "choices" comming from? Are they determined just like the exposed film?
     
  16. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    29,966
    Ratings:
    +16,368
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    Sorry, Kungfuzed. I thought I made this clear. We are the viewers. All the events in our lives, in all lives, are set in stone. We are free, however, to pick and choose which to include in our particular experience.

    Re-read the post.
     
  17. Kungfuzed

    Kungfuzed Student Nurse

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,993
    Ratings:
    +278
    Would the choices we make also be considered to be events set in stone? How is it possible that all events are set in stone except for our choices?
     
  18. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    29,966
    Ratings:
    +16,368
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    We are rolling about in a colander peeking out the holes. Each hole displays a specific scene (life-experience). The hole:scene correspondence is set in stone. Which hole we peer through is not. That's our free choice.

    We are not bodies walking about in a world. That's part of the illusion. It's kind of Matrix-like.

    We're little sparks of consciousness shifting our awarnesses about.
     
  19. Kungfuzed

    Kungfuzed Student Nurse

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,993
    Ratings:
    +278
    So you don't believe in a physical reality? That actually explains alot, but it makes a difficult debate when you believe that nothing physical is real and I believe everything that is real is physical.
     
  20. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    29,966
    Ratings:
    +16,368
    Religion:
    Vedanta (reform)
    Hmmm...

    I had not considered that I didn't believe in a physical reality.
    I believe in different levels of subjective reality, and one Objective Reality.

    We all inhabit, and must deal with, the world we perceive, at its own level.
    I'm only in third-state consciousness. I perceive, and live in a world of objects, movement, chemistry, engineering, biology. From a metaphysical standpoint, though, I aknowledge the Objective Reality of the Universe as described by Relativity, Quantam and perhaps even String theory, but this is not the world/reality I live in.
     
Loading...