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!

You did it or it did you?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by SoliDeoGloria, May 1, 2005.

  1. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Secret Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,281
    Ratings:
    +172
    SoliDeoGloria,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. As a working father I know exactly what you mean.

    I am not so sure. After reading through your entire response, you seem to have the impression that if there is any external inspiration or basis then we cannot have any freewill. I must remind you that my argument includes the existence of external influences, so pointing out that there are external influences does not invalidate my argument.

    In general, you have implied that either we have 100% control over our actions, or we have 0%. Why does it have to be either/or? Is it not possible for us to have multiple influences on us? For example, I could have hunger, guilt and laziness all factor into a decision I make. It seems under your line of thought, we could not have multiple influences; that only one thing causes us to do something at a time. If we can have multiple things influence us, then why can't one of those things be an internal determination, that if strong enough, can overcome our bodily impulses?

    Are you suggesting that there is 0% internal creativity that feeds into the art; that it is all just regurgitating what we already have experienced?

    We have an awareness that allows us to understand things in a way that surpasses mere logical steps of deduction. There are mathematical problems called Diophantine problems that have been solved by mathematicians which are simply not solvable through any algorithmic means. If an algorithm could not solve them, then how does the mathematician without any sort of creativity or freewill?

    I do not follow this. Please explain how our consciousness alters our impulses.

    I do not see how you have concluded this. Perhaps it has to do with your association that our consciousness somehow alters our impulses. I suspect that I may not have adequately expressed my position because I do not follow your response.

    I will believe it when I can read a scientific journal and understand exactly what Pate de Lapin tastes like from a fine restaurant in France. Otherwise, I will just have to go to France and let my consciousness experience it for itself.

    Once again, I have not denied that our actions are driven from our experience and our biology. My contention is that it is an internal determination that chooses which impulse to follow.

    But let me turn the question back on you. Do you believe that if we had complete knowledge of all impulses that a person has, we could predict their decision with 100% accuracy? If you believe this, then I am wondering what you are basing it on, and if you do not believe this, then I say we have freewill.

    Perhaps you could elaborate which passages of the Bible you believe eliminate our freewill first, so I know if I am addressing your contention properly.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    468
    Ratings:
    +65
    Just look at the definition of the word "free":

    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Free \Free\
    1. Exempt from subjection to the will of others; not under
    restraint, control, or compulsion; able to follow one's
    own impulses, desires, or inclinations; determining one's
    own course of action; not dependent; at liberty.
    [1913 Webster]



    And yet, what I find interesting about this definition, especially as a Christian Theist, is that even if one is following their own "impulses, desires, or inclinations;", Biblically, this is considered slavery (Rom. 6:16,19). Now, I am sure that Paul had a good understanding of what the term "slave" meant. But we use the terms "free" or "in control" all the time in funny places. For example, In the U.S. many people love touting how we have "freedom of speech", but that freedom is hindered when one wants to excercise their freedom in certain places. Certain words can not be used in certain shows etc. The exact same example can be used for the U.S. claim of "freedom of religion" but I don't want to get off on a rabbit trail here. My point is, partial "freedom" or "control" makes no more sense than God being partially soveriegn. As R.C. Sproul puts it in his book "Chosen by God"; "If there is one rebel molecule outside of God's control, than God has lost his Soveriegnty".



    Well, ofcourse it is possible. The more influences that have played into one's decision making take away freedom from making a decision without any influences. So, what is an influence now:

    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Influence \In"flu*ence\ 1. A flowing in or upon; influx. [Obs.]
    [1913 Webster]


    2. Hence, in general, the bringing about of an effect,
    physical or moral, by a gradual process; controlling power
    quietly exerted; agency, force, or tendency of any kind
    which affects, modifies, or sways; as, the influence which
    the sun exerts on animal and vegetable life; the influence
    of education on the mind; the influence, according to
    astrologers, of the stars over affairs.
    [1913 Webster]



    Notice what I underlined. Now if you define freedom as being controlled by a power quietly exerted, or being swayed, modified, or effected by an agency, force or tendency of any kind, then I guess you are free. What I disagree with is that you may try to reconcile this with logic/philosophy and the Bible as noted above and yet it directly unaffirms itself.



    Just because I may catagorize multiple influnces does not mean that I deny the existence of the different characteristics that may define certain influences as being unique and different. For example, I could catagorize "hunger, guilt and laziness" into Physical Impulses and still recognize their different characteristics in influencing one to make the same decision, which is exactly what you did above. The Bible also does that (Gal 5:19-21). So does Philosophy; Monotheism, comprising of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.



    It can. It is still considered an influence by definition, by your definition a "strong enough" influence. Although, I am curious as to what exactly you mean by "internal determination" and if somehow it does not meet the same qualifications of what an influence is, whether internal or external.



    As much as human pride would love to boast "no" to this question, I am going to have to disagree. Hows about this, art is almost like hacking in the sense that it takes something one has already experienced whether it is a computer language or a sunset, let their "internal determinations" decide how they want to express it or use it, manipulate it to fit their "internal determination"'s purpose, and "regurgitate" it with their manipulations manifested. In the end, it is what one has already experienced with some manipulation that was "internally determined" or internally influenced.



    Algorithms have not always been the only means of solving mathematical problems. Algorithms are originally Arabic. There were obviously other ways of solving mathematical equations before algorithms, take for example, ancient Egyptians obviously used other methods of solving mathematical problems when it came to building things and any construction worker can tell you how it would be almost impossible to build anything without any sort of mathematical solution. The next question then becomes, what method did these mathmeticitions use to solve these equations? I would be very suprised to find that it has absolutely no roots, directly or indirectly in any thing that has already existed.

    Well, lets look at your argument again:

    Alright, I will use the example you gave to further explain myself. According to the example you gave, a bodily impulse, the impulse to get drunk or have a sudden fit of rage, was sent to the consciousness, and the will deliberated and decided to manifest itself in the act of getting drunk or having a fit of rage, thereby rendering the conscious altered. If that is the case, in a nutshell, then those bodily impulses managed to render the conscious altered, and obviously the bodily impulses were in conflict with the conscious. If this could happen, this way, it could also happen the other way around, i.e. the consciousness could deliberate the bodily impulse sent to it and decide not to get drunk or have a fit of rage, thereby rendering the bodily impulse altered. Either way, since both the conscious and the bodily impulse was in conflict with one another, neither of them wanting to be altered, for one side to gain control, the other has to be altered. Paul addressed this issue in Rom. 7:14-25.

    Well, here's a whole website dedicated to the science of cognition: http://cognews.com/

    But being as how you concede that your body has to go to France for your conscience to experience what Pete De Lapin tastes like, you won't need much more scientific proof to figure out that your conscience is naturally attached to and a part of your body will you.

    The reason this is not true is not because we have free will but because the only being that has that ability to know every impulse a person may have is God. On top of that, impulses are not the only variable that plays into decision making. Rationality also plays into decision making, but being as how you will probably contend that rationality is part of the consciousness with validity, I will point to my contention above on how the conscious also renders the bodily impulses altered thereby altering the "freedom" of the will.

    As far as this request goes, I tried as much as I could to incorporate scripture refferences where it fit into this post. I will add that the term "free will" is never used in the Bible, but wills are addressed as either human will or God's will which are always in conflict. To add, I will point to Proverbs 16:9, Romans 9:16-23, and philippians 2:13. While there are others that I could point to, I used the ones that were outright to the point because I am sure that this post is long enough as it is.

    Sincerely,
    SoliDeoGloria
     
  3. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Secret Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,281
    Ratings:
    +172
    You have a well thought out and researched response. It has taken me a while to write my response. :)

    Taking the meaning of the word "free" to its logical extreme does not represent our will. I think it is plainly obvious that our behavior is influenced by external forces. However, when taking the opposite extreme of your definition of free, that our will is completely dominated by outside forces, is also incorrect, and that we must realize the truth lies somewhere inbetween.

    You seem to be making my point. Freedom is not an absolute... we do not need to be either completely unconstrained, or completely controlled. Slavery in ancient Egypt is not the same as the slavery in the early US, which is not the same as the restrictions to our freedom we have as citizens today. There is a gray area that our language does not fully capture.

    We use the word "free" as a comparative operator. It is a device to compare how controlled one thing is to another. To say we have free will is to say that there is some element of freedom, and it is not saying that we are absent of any external influences.

    We are talking about agents which God designed to be free. Our freedom is according to God's Sovereign will.

    I believe we can sway or bend how we are affected by influences. In the past I have used quantum physics as an analogy. I do not know how familiar you are with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, but it basically states that it is impossible to predict the outcome of a quantum event; it is only possible to determine the probability of an outcome. This does not mean the outcome was not caused. It simply means it was not absolutely determined by external factors--only influenced.

    It is the same with the human will. You may know it is very probable that a person will act a certain way when they are put in a specific situation, however, you can never predict with certainty. There is always an element of freedom in which the person will exercise in the final outcome.

    Internal determination is the element of free will. It is the ability to understand our choices and make a decision. To say we have free will is to say we are self-determined.

    The important question is whether their solutions could be achieved with algorithms or not. Even if they were not cognizant of using an algorithm, the important question is whether our minds are algorithmic. I believe our critical thinking abilities demonstrate we do not operate according to an algorithm.

    You seem to be placing the impulse and the consciousness in a symmetric relationship, which is not appropriate. If I choose not to get drunk, then I have not "altered" the impulse, but rather overridden it. The impulse is still there, and it still influenced my behavior, however, I ultimately determined the outcome and directed how it influenced me.

    Yes, the body is attached to the mind, and vice versa, but that does not mean that you can completely understand one of them by understanding the other one. Does our awareness of our consciousness teach us all there is to know about neurophysiology?

    This seems like a rabbit trail to me (pun slightly intended), but I will simply state that our science is reducible to numbers and equations which are inadequate for fully capturing our cognitive experience. Science can take surface measurements, but it is unable to illustrate for us what lies beneath the surface. As fascinating as science is, it can only give us the wireframes for the world around us.

    I was not suggesting that it is actually possible to know every impulse, but it was a hypothetical question to probe the ontology of our will. I do not believe you answered my question.

    I am also intrigued by your pointing out the "rationality" and being distinct from our impulses. It is my belief that our free will is embedded in our rationality.

    I would suggest the versus you have mentioned mean several things:

    1. Our lives may turn out differently than what we plan, but they always follows God's plan (Proverbs 16:9). This does not mean God is making our decisions for us, but rather His orchestration of our lives takes into account our own decisions.

    2. God often imposes temptations on us knowing that we will fall to them (Romans 9). No matter how strong our will is, God can over-power it when He chooses to do so.

    3. If we choose to accept Christ, then He can change us (Phil 2:13). This verse is about sanctification.

    Paul implies that we have free will and clarifies his notion of slavery in Romans 6:16:

    Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval.

    I am curious because your view that we do not have free will leads me to an odd view of our nature. In what way do you believe man has been made in God's image?
     
  4. ker krypter

    ker krypter Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    98
    Ratings:
    +4
    free will is making your choice to leave the church and break all moral laws
    or instinctivley lifting a car off your baby
     
  5. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    468
    Ratings:
    +65
    So what is this "inbetween"? Is this "comparative operative" dependant on when and where one lives? There has been an attempt for a few years to adopt a an idea into linguistic philosophy called Conventionalism. The theory attached to this idea is that all meaning is relative. In other words you can change the definition of a word so that it fits the intended message you want to communicate. One of the most infamous examples of this is Bill Clinton's statement "It all depends on what the definition of 'is' is". One of the most recent attempts by the scientific community that I know of was in last November's issue of National Geographic where they tried to redefine the word theory to communicate that the Darwin theory was just as much a fact as the law of gravity. The problem with this idea is that it is self defeating. When one states that all meaning is relative, they make the first exception to their rule by making an objective statement about all meaning. We can not use whatever definition of a word that we want to in order to communicate what message we want. If we did, we might as well go back to the "Dark Ages" of Western Europe where literacy was nonexistent and chaos reigned and throw out the whole idea of what truth is. Besides that this whole paragraph could be about pink elephants depending on "what the definition of 'is' is".

    Can you please show me where it states that in the Bible?

    Well, I still fail to see how a quantum event is the same as the human free will but lets go ahead and use this rational. whether the outcome was caused or influenced, there are very little differences between the two words to cause any change in the concept of causality. As a matter of fact the two words could very much be synonyms:
    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Cause \Cause\ (k[add]z), n. [F. cause, fr. L. causa. Cf.
    {Cause}, v., {Kickshaw}.]
    1. That which produces or effects a result

    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Influence \In"flu*ence\ ([i^]n"fl[-u]*ens), n. [F. influence,
    fr. L. influens, -entis, p. pr. See {Influent}, and cf.
    {Influenza}.]
    2. Hence, in general, the bringing about of an effect,

    Whether something is free or not is not dependant on whether we can predict it or not. Take for example, we still can not predict with certainty whether or where a tornado will occur. That does not mean that tornadoes can happen anywhere at any time since they are still dependant or caused by storms, wind, etc. As far as humanity goes, there is always the law of human nature which has limitations. I am sure that there are situations that a human would love to wish into nonexistence because of our limitations, but it just can't happen. So because of our limitations, we are forced to react to these situations limited by our human nature.

    Even understanding is learned and if it is learned there must logically be rules and/or laws that govern it. If the self is human, there is still the laws of human nature which you are affirming determine our choices.

    The point I was getting at is that whether or not our minds are algorithmic or not does not negate that our minds are methodical. Critical thinking is very methodical in nature and methods are dependant on rules and laws and if we operate according to rules and laws, then we are truly limited i.e. not as free as we like to tout ourselves to be.

    How can this not be symmetric if it is all deliberated in our minds?
    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Symmetrical \Sym*met"ric*al\, a. [Cf. F. sym['e]trique. See
    {Symmetry}.]
    2. (Biol.) Having the organs or parts of one side
    corresponding with those of the other; having the parts in
    two or more series of organs the same in number;
    exhibiting a symmetry. See {Symmetry}, 2.
    [1913 Webster]

    I'm sorry for sounding like a broken record, but if rationality didn't have rules and laws behind it how could we define irrationality?

    I don't believe that this verse is stating that God makes our decisions for us either, But it is not stating that His orchestration of our lives takes into account our own decisions. If that were the case, it would completely contradict Dan. 4:35 and James' advice to take into consideration God's will before we make any decisions (James 4:13-17). What Prov. 16:9 is stating is that God ochestrates our lives despite our decisions.

    [​IMG] James 1:13 " Let no one say when he is tempted 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted and He Himself does not tempt anyone" Roman's 9 has to do with God's purpose for our lives despite anything we do (verse 11 and 16). There is a huge difference between imposing and enduring (verse 22).

    He can change us by working in us to "will and to act according to His good purpose". Now, the next question, since you brought it up is what happens before we choose to accept Christ? I.E. does regeneration happen before or after one accepts Christ (Eph 2:8-9)?

    It should be noted that Paul is writing to Christians, not everybody. On top of that Paul consistently calls himself a slave and explains how he does not do what he wants to do in 7:14-25

    Well, ofcourse I believe that this means that we share certain attributes with God, even the attribute of being able to choose. But even this does not automatically affirm that our wills are free. Certain skeptics will ask from a misunderstanding of the word omnipotent, whether or not God can make a rock so big that He couldn't pick it up. The misunderstanding behind this question is that the word omnipotent means that God can do anything, which is simple untrue. God can not make a mistake or sin or do anything that is contrary to His divine nature. If He could, then He would not be God. And no, that does not mean that God is governed by His divine nature as if His divine nature were a separate entity. On the contrary, He is His divine nature.
     
  6. NothingIsNot

    NothingIsNot Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Messages:
    94
    Ratings:
    +5
    I'm getting into my car and I can't seem to decide if I want to play a Black Dahlia Murder Disc, or a Beatles CD. I finally choose Black Dahlia, but halfway through the second song I switch to Abbey Road. That's my free will for ya!! I do what I want, even if internal and external factors play a part, I still made some choices and I even regretted the choice made and changed my decision.
     
  7. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Secret Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,281
    Ratings:
    +172
    SoliDeoGloria,

    Thank you for again spending the time to put together a well thought out response.

    No, it means there is not an exact representation for our will in the toolset of language. For example, I used this allegory in another thread:
    Stating we have freewill does not mean there are not limitations or influences on our behavior.

    For example, suppose we are crawling through a narrow tunnel for several days. The tunnel has twists and turns, but it does not have any intersections. Once we exit the tunnel and are on open ground we may express a strong sense of freedom. This expression of freedom does not mean we can move any direction we choose--for example, we cannot fly into the air, or tunnel through the ground. However, it does express the ability to have more control over our movement. "Free" is a comparative operator, and should not be perceived as meaning an absence of any restraints and restrictions we can think of.

    The tunnel would be our existance with no freewill. The open land is our true experience. There is still some influence the environment places on us (e.g. whether we will go uphill or downhill, through the brush or through the plains, etc). Just because there are many terrain features that interfere or guide our decisions does not mean we have no control.

    It would be nice if our words were equivalent to truth, but it simply isn't so, whether or not we want it to be. There is a chasm between semantics and syntax that will not be bridged. Language is simply a tool to help reveal the truth to us, but we should not think it is equivalent to the truth.

    We can know the truth, even if we cannot precisely code that truth with language. If a statement of language leads us to a clear understanding of the truth, then that statement was useful. However, we cannot expect that this statement will always lead everyone to same understanding of the truth.

    Words are just words. They carry no inherent intelligence or awareness. It is our interpretation and application of them that matters.

    There are two uses of language--the first is to try and communicate the truth, and the second is to try and deceive someone from the truth. Your example with Bill Clinton is probably the latter. As with most things, it is our awareness of ethics that keeps us out of the "dark ages".

    Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    A tornado may not be predictable because of a lack of efficiency in our ability to measure or calculate the data, not because it is necessarily non-deterministic. Quantum events, on the other hand, appear to be inherently non-deterministic.

    I am not sure how this definition relates. Your definition seems to describe a physical configuration, not a functional configuration. Perhaps you misunderstood me. When I used the word "symmetrical", it was how it is applied in logic (from Webster's Online Dictionary):

    3 symmetric : being such that the terms or variables may be interchanged without altering the value, character, or truth <symmetric equations> <R is a symmetric relation if aRb implies bRa>

    Perhaps this goes back to our disagreement with linguistics. Our rationality is dependent on a certain awareness that cannot be perfectly or completely decoded into words and/or formulas (i.e. rules).

    My interpretation of James 1 is that we should never think that God wants us to fall to temptation. Perhaps I am in error when I say "no matter how strong our will is, God can over-power it when He chooses to do so" with the circumstance of temptation. However, it is safe to say that God sends us down paths where He knows we will stumble.

    James 1:13 does bring up an interesting question with regards to your belief. If there is no truly free creature in all of creation outside of God, then why does sin exist at all?

    It is not a topic I have devoted a lot of thought to, but it is my understanding that sanctification begins after one accepts Christ. I am not sure how this directly relates to Eph. 2:8-9. I interpret those verses to have more to do with grace than sanctification.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    468
    Ratings:
    +65
    For this to be true there needs to be a strong disagreement with the dictionarie's definition of the word "free", and while that may be very convenient, practicing linguistic conventionalism such as this really hurts communicative philosophy.

    I'm just going to have to disagree with this not only on the grounds that I listed above, but from a pragmatic viewpoint also. To claim that physical inteferance has no bearing on our ability to control our decisions is a complete denial of reality. One only needs to look up the word interferance to understand why this notions only directly contradicts itself:

    *** WordNet (r) 2.0 ***
    interference
    n 1: a policy of intervening in the affairs of other countries
    [syn: {intervention}] [ant: {nonintervention}, {nonintervention}]
    2: the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding [syn: {hindrance}]
    3: electrical or acoustic activity that can disturb
    communication [syn: {noise}, {disturbance}]
    4: (American football) the act of obstructing someone's path
    with your body; "he threw a rolling block into the line
    backer" [syn: {blocking}, {block}]
    5: any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome [syn: {hindrance},
    {hitch}, {preventive}, {preventative}, {encumbrance}, {incumbrance}]

    When one changes definitions of words to conveniently attempt to make their philosophy sound or look logical, is that revelaing the truth?

    So what you are stating here is that as long as the words we use make sense to us, that's all that matters?! We may as well go back to what some have dubbed "The Dark Ages" of western Europe when each town had a language all it's own and one could not communicate from town to town. We may as well also take any Enlish, Vocabulary, and Reading courses out of schools if communication is only purely subjective. If a philosophy fails the test of proper communication, then what good is it? I expound on this here: http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36272&highlight=Exclusivism . As a fellow Christian, I would hope that you would understand the importance of communication (Matt. 18:16-20, Rom 10:14-15)

    While I absolutely agree with this statement, I am compelled to ask how much interpretation and application trully matters to you?

    Even you imply with your statement above:
    That this "dominion" is not absolute in practice.

    This still does not correlate predictability and free will. All this statemet does is further emphasize our limitations in "dominion" when it comes to certain things.

    The definition I provided reffered to more than just physical configuration evident by it's use of the word "corresponding" in it's definition which can mean both what I intended and what you are implying.

    Unfortunately, us humans need negative comparisons (Rom. 9:22-23). "If every day was a sunny day, what is a sunny day?". On top of that I am of the belief that being as how God can not create another God (especially since God is not creasted) a biproduct of being created is being less than God(Isa 55:8-9). In our actions, this is defined as "sin".

    Those verses explain how one comes to faith in God even before this faith is manifested in confession of that faith. On top of that regeneration a santification are two different things.

    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Regeneration \Re*gen`er*a"tion\ (-?"sh?n), n. [L. regeneratio:
    cf. F. r['e]g['e]neration.]
    2. (Theol.) The entering into a new spiritual life; the act
    of becoming, or of being made, Christian; that change by
    which holy affectations and purposes are substituted for
    the opposite motives in the heart.
    [1913 Webster]

    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Sanctification \Sanc`ti*fi*ca"tion\, n. [L. sanctificatio: cf.
    F. sanctification.]
    1. The act of sanctifying or making holy; the state of being
    sanctified or made holy; esp. (Theol.), the act of God's
    grace by which the affections of men are purified, or
    alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme
    love to God; also, the state of being thus purified or
    sanctified.

    Sincerely,
    SoliDeoGloria
     
  9. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    39,730
    Ratings:
    +6,695
    Religion:
    Mystics
    Will is the action of a conscious mind. In other words, it is "us doing things." Free will is us doing things irregardless of any "great plan" that God or Fate might have in store for the lot of us.

    Every decision I make fits the definition of an act of "free will."
     
  10. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    15,850
    Ratings:
    +2,336
    Though it raises an interesting question: Is "free will" the cause of my decision, or merely the conscious awareness that I made a decision?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    39,730
    Ratings:
    +6,695
    Religion:
    Mystics
    Saying that "us doing things" is the cause of us doing things is moot.
    (See? the definition works in so many ways. :D)

    Causation necessarily looks at things objectively, including the subject of its ponderance, as objects in a flow of cause-and-effect. "Us doing things" may have any number of causes viewed objectively --environmental, behavioral, physical, mental. If we objectify 'will' in order to talk about it, we might consider it to be a thing that is causal of our decisions, or even the decisions themselves, but by doing so (objectifying it so) we do the concept an injustice. In my opinion.

    Astrology takes a more suitable stance on the concept, a subjective one. 'Will' is represented by the symbol of the sun, which also symbolises our conscious being, that is "us being conscious." Everything begins from there, from being, from us, and is realised from there. In astrology, the world is represented to the conscious mind in appearances (what appears to be). It sets the stage for looking at things subjectively and acknowleding that the objective flow of cause-and-effect that we are a part of has another dimension to it, visible only from the perspective of a conscious mind.

    The things we do that are deemed wilful are those where our participation in the flow of cause-and-effect was voluntary, and of course that implies awareness and intent. Consciousness is our faculty to be aware, and discussion about it is discussion that necessarily, even if only implicitly, includes that "other dimension" of perspective. It cannot (and should not) be ignored. Along with "conscious awareness that I made a decision" comes "me making a decision." Along with the "cause of my decision" comes "me making a decision." That is where we find the concept of will: in our participation in the world.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    468
    Ratings:
    +65
    Great point!!! The only thing I wanted to add to it is that the statement being replied to also acknowledges the existance of "The great plan of God or fate" and that it plays a direct role in decision making even if the role is trying to be avoided.

    Sincerely,
    SoliDeoGloria
     
  13. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    39,730
    Ratings:
    +6,695
    Religion:
    Mystics
    Well, if you consider "irregardless of any" to be acknowledgement, then yes, it does. ;)

    The concepts of God and fate exist and they have as much a role in our decision-making as any other influences.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. doppelganger

    doppelganger Through the Looking Glass

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    15,850
    Ratings:
    +2,336
    Unless it's a sort of pun. ;)

    I think I share that opinion. The objectification of "will" as a thing allows us to work with it logically, like we do other things. But is there "will" in the absense of its symbol? And even if there were, is it possible for me to introspectively examine it? After all, if "will" is an illusion, then my examination of it as a thing is also an illusion, right? Is it a mobius strip? The inside is the outside and the outside is the inside, and there really is no demarcation between the two no matter how much it must seem there is.

    [​IMG]


    I've never given astrology much consideration before. I certainly like the highlighted part. I'd be intersted in more explanation of its role in astrology though.

    Excellent post. Many interesting ideas for me to consider. :)
     
  15. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    468
    Ratings:
    +65
    ;) (lol) nice post. I think we are in agreement more than I originally assumed.

    Sincerely,
    SoliDeoGloria
     
Loading...