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What is the Most Important Philosophical Question

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posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 01:09 PM
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originally posted by: Ophiuchus 13

Your free will


How do you know you have free will?




posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: Wang Tang

We humans have gotten pretty good at this survival thing. If our purpose is to survive and we have figured it out, then what purpose do we have left? It seems we have achieved all we are meant to accomplish. Why wait around for death? Why not commit suicide?


Maybe to reproduce as well.

Once you stop surviving you die.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 01:26 PM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect

originally posted by: Ophiuchus 13

Your free will


How do you know you have free will?


If you combine the multiverse string theory with the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics then there are an infinite number of yous in an infinite number of space-time dimensions each living out different paths based on your life choices. In any one space-time dimension, you have hard determinism. However, over the entire multiverse you have free-will. You just don't know what space-time dimension you are in until you actually make a choice.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

Because I chose to get pepsi instead of coke.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

how you KNOW that you "chose" pepsi - and the " choice " was not asssigned to you



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:19 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: PhotonEffect

Because I chose to get pepsi instead of coke.


Maybe because you were thirsty and prefer the taste, the amount of sugar, or the way it is branded - all preferences that you may very well just be predisposed to (genetically/environmentally/physiologically speaking)



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

That all sounds very fancy indeed, and believable.

But what determines my choice in space and time?



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:22 PM
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a reply to: ignorant_ape

Because I experienced a set of mental states in which I decided to go with pepsi over coke because I personally prefer the amount of carbonation in a pepsi as compared to a coke. Why should I assume that something else caused those beliefs when my experience says otherwise. I can take the experience of me choosing to lift my arm, and contrast it with the experience of a myoclonic jerk. One is obviously a conscious choice by me the agent controlling the body, while the other is obviously an involuntary response my body may sometimes go thru as I fall asleep. You seem to want me to question my experience but you have given no reason to think I should do so. I take it that my sense of freely choosing is not just an illusion, since if it were, none of my thoughts or actions would have any significance. This would include the thought that determinism is true, as that belief in and of itself would simply be determined by whatever unknown force you think controls us all.
edit on 16-11-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo

edit on 16-11-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: PhotonEffect

Because I chose to get pepsi instead of coke.


So you believe that a choice between two things, is the same as freewill?

If a bully approaches his victim, and says: "Good news, today is Freewill-Friday. Do you want either a punch in the nose, or a kick to the nutcrackers?"
How, in any way, is that related to the victim's freewill?

[ This thread has taken more left-turns, than Jimmy Johnson on a Sunday afternoon!]



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: Nothin




So you believe that a choice between two things, is the same as freewill?


No though I can see how you could question that. What is critical to free will is not the ability to choose between two choices but rather not being caused to do something by causes other than oneself.





I’m persuaded by illustrations like that given by Harry Frankfurt to show that freedom does not require the ability to choose other than as one does. Imagine a man whose brain has been secretly implanted with electrodes by a mad scientist. The scientist, being an Obama supporter, decides that he will activate the electrodes to make the man vote for Obama if the man goes into the polling booth to vote for Romney. On the other hand, if the man chooses to vote for Obama, then the scientist will not activate the electrodes. Suppose, then, the man goes into the polling booth and presses the button to vote for Obama. In such a case it seems that the man freely votes for Obama. Yet it was not within his power to do anything different!

Read more: www.reasonablefaith.org...



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:36 PM
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originally posted by: Nothin

[ This thread has taken more left-turns, than Jimmy Johnson on a Sunday afternoon!]


Gotta love philosophy... (and Jimmy Johnson)



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:38 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
What is critical to free will is not the ability to choose between two choices but rather not being caused to do something by causes other than oneself.

This is what it comes down to.
How do we know there isn't a cause to our choice? If there was a cause would we know it? Lets suppose we would know it - what would that be like? A voice in our head maybe?

Do ants operate by freewill?
edit on 16-11-2016 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect




How do we know there isn't a cause to our choice? If there was a cause would we know it? Lets suppose we would know it - what would that be like? A voice in our head maybe?


I think all we have to do is step into some form of naturalism and reductionism and we come out with determinism. If it is true that we are nothing more than matter in motion, then our thoughts would be the product of an electro-chemical reactions in the brain as would every perception, but then we come right back to the point that our thoughts and opinions become meaningless because they aren't thoughts or opinions at all but rather are just the product of physical interactions within our body. If this is the case, and you think it is true then all conversation and debate loses purpose. Since free will is a necessary precondition in order for the discussion to even matter we might as well assume we have free will rather than only the appearance of it. I think the fact that we can notice these types of things is in and of itself evidence for the existence of agency.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: Wang Tang

The most important question for me, as simplistic as it may be, is this;

Q. Everything from nothing by accident OR an unknowable and infinite CREATOR of incalculable majesty?



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 05:26 PM
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originally posted by: Godabove09
a reply to: Wang Tang

The most important question for me, as simplistic as it may be, is this;

Q. Everything from nothing by accident OR an unknowable and infinite CREATOR of incalculable majesty?



Great question except there is no evidence that nothingness ever existed. All the evidence is to the contrary. As equally hard as it is to imagine somethingness always existed it is equallly hard to imagine that nothingness ever did. Since something does exist the only rational conclusion is everything that exists always existed. Either way of thinking about it is equally hard to accept.

Everyone thinks the Big Bang is the beginning but with multiverse string theory our Big Bang is an inflationary event which could be the result of a star collapsing to a black hole in another space-time dimension. There are billions of stars in our space-time capable of forming a black hole. Time is so much bigger than anything we could ever possibly imagine words like "infinite CREATOR of incalculable majesty" seem too small and anthropomorphic to have any meaning at all. I don't think we have words to represent the true nature of existence.
edit on 16-11-2016 by dfnj2015 because: typos



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 05:32 PM
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originally posted by: Nothin

originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: PhotonEffect

Because I chose to get pepsi instead of coke.


So you believe that a choice between two things, is the same as freewill?

If a bully approaches his victim, and says: "Good news, today is Freewill-Friday. Do you want either a punch in the nose, or a kick to the nutcrackers?"
How, in any way, is that related to the victim's freewill?

[ This thread has taken more left-turns, than Jimmy Johnson on a Sunday afternoon!]


Too easy. When faced with a situation like that, your choice doesn't lie in whether you want to be punched or kicked. The bullies behavior is clearly beyond your control.

Your choice lies in how you react to the threat of being punched or kicked. You can choose to beg, squeal, and abase yourself before this guy because he frightens you, or you can be utterly indifferent and unafraid of some foolish clown that thinks he can hurt you. Decide that there's nothing this bully can do to hurt you (what is your body but flesh and blood?), that there's nothing he can do to disturb you in any way, and your problem is solved.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 05:34 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: Nothin




So you believe that a choice between two things, is the same as freewill?


No though I can see how you could question that. What is critical to free will is not the ability to choose between two choices but rather not being caused to do something by causes other than oneself.





I’m persuaded by illustrations like that given by Harry Frankfurt to show that freedom does not require the ability to choose other than as one does. Imagine a man whose brain has been secretly implanted with electrodes by a mad scientist. The scientist, being an Obama supporter, decides that he will activate the electrodes to make the man vote for Obama if the man goes into the polling booth to vote for Romney. On the other hand, if the man chooses to vote for Obama, then the scientist will not activate the electrodes. Suppose, then, the man goes into the polling booth and presses the button to vote for Obama. In such a case it seems that the man freely votes for Obama. Yet it was not within his power to do anything different!

Read more: www.reasonablefaith.org...


Precisely.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 05:36 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
However, over the entire multiverse you have free-will. You just don't know what space-time dimension you are in until you actually make a choice.

The mathematics is completely misleading on that. There is only one universe, which is the one we're experiencing right now. In fact, perception of now is the thing holding it together. And math won't tell you anything about that.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 05:43 PM
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Why are we here? If we're not here, then there's nothing. We're here to make the universe happen by observing it. You can easily test this by dying. Once you're dead, try to experience the universe.

On a more personal level, we're here to keep DNA replicating through time. We may not make a lasting contribution, but all of the living things in existence work together over time to find new ways of keeping DNA moving, and in response, the universe existing.

But if science has shown us anything, it's that in the grand scheme of time and space -- which is unfathomably long and big -- we're so inconsequential that we statistically don't even exist. It could be that aliens will keep the universe going after we're long gone, but nobody knows that for sure.



posted on Nov, 16 2016 @ 05:49 PM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
a reply to: dfnj2015

That all sounds very fancy indeed, and believable.

But what determines my choice in space and time?


The future.

In the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics every possible choice you can make exists in an alternate reality.

Essentially with quantum indeterminacy you cannot concretely say hard determinism exists. So your choices may be random on some level. Or, your choices come from some determinism yet to be discovered. But at this time, there is no measurable reason anyone could know why you choose one thing over another. The evidence at this time supports that none of us are automatons. Which is probably a good thing. As soon as you are labeled as an automaton you can be treated as sub-human.

Nature always turns out to be so much stranger than anything we could ever imagine. It's almost as if God is a force in the Universe that keeps our full understanding of nature's behavior always just one step beyond our full comprehension. When they say the devil is in the details they are not kidding! It's really strange how nature behaves in predictable ways that can be represented with mathematical equations yet at the same time so much experimental errors exist. Sometimes I wonder if we have better methods of measurement there would be more measured exceptions to the laws of physics than there is compliance.



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