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We Have No Choice, We Only Think We Do?

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posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 08:13 AM
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I was involved in a conversation about beliefs yesterday. One person said he believed that life is pre-ordained but we still have free will to make choices. I thought that was a contradiction when I first heard it. How can you believe life is pre-ordained and yet still have free will to choose?



Predestination is a religious idea, under which the relationship between the beginning of things and the destiny of things is discussed. Its religious nature distinguishes it from other ideas concerning determinism and free will, and related concepts. In particular, predestination concerns God's decision to create and to govern creation, and the extent to which God's decisions determine ahead of time what the destiny of groups and individuals will be.
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(The assumption of the identity of The Creator is not in question here but a sidebar instead. We all believe in our own version of "God" (or not) so let's not get sidetracked by someone else's beliefs that may not match your own, ok?)

It turns out, he thinks that every event we experience is contained within a framework of limited options. If we choose one option or path, the resulting set of options open up. However, if we choose another (pre-ordained) path, an entirely different set of options to choose from open up for us.

After thinking about it for a while, I concluded that his beliefs closely resemble video games something like Super Mario Brothers.



The object is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, evade or eliminate Bowser's forces and save Princess Toadstool.


Following this thought pattern, we would start out life with a pre-destined set of options, certain number of "lives", gain health and points along the way by overcoming obstacles, uncovering secret treasures and beating the level. Each level we defeat opens up another level that in turn, leads us to the final level.

Until I heard his view, I always thought pre-ordained meant there is nothing you can do about anything, that everything we do is already set in stone. Having free will to make choices and pre-ordained didn't seem to fit together very well.



In a predestined universe the future is immutable and only one set of events can possibly occur; in a non-predestined universe, the future is mutable and multiple different events are possible. This may be considered as part of the issue of free will or separately from the context of consciousness.


Personally, I don't believe in pre-destination, but that's just me and I could be wrong. What do you think about life being pre-ordained while still allowing for free-will choices?




posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 08:23 AM
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I agree with the possibility of both.

Mario game is a perfect analogy. It doesn't matter what you do to get to the next level just as long as you get there.

Take it one step further there are warp pipes in Mario that will allow you to skip past entire levels to get to the end quicker. In life there's always a shortcut somewhere and the older you get the more knowledgeable you are about these short cuts. However if a short cut is taken your skills will be lacking in certain area's. So when you get to a boss you might have to keep redoing it because you lack the experience in order to overcome the obstacle.

We all have an end game requirement if we want to beat life. So the sooner we drudge through all the levels it's over. Some people just hold the run button down and go full steam ahead while other stop to admire the beauty and stories in life. Which is where free will comes in.

Doesn't matter how long you play or what you do while playing the only objective in the end of Mario is to save the princess.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 08:28 AM
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I think there is a pre-ordained path, a preferred path as such, that is the baseline. Everyone has the option of following the pre-ordained path and their life will be mundane and simple. No growth comes out of this. People can also choose to stray off this path and explore. This may often be a much harder route to take, but is usually much more rewarding. The endgame in my philosophy is based on growth of knowledge and understanding. If you take the simple path, you will keep getting reused in one life after another, the explorers will be absorbed into the collective unconciousness.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 09:49 AM
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I believe in no free will. Everything is cause and effect. In that way everything was pre-destined since the beginning of time. Everything that happens has a cause, no matter how complex that cause might be. That makes for a somewhat random destiny but if there is a God, they could intervene and shape that destiny in some predetermined way.

[edit on 10-7-2009 by theyreadmymind]



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 10:16 PM
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This is an interesting contradiction, and I have found myself in conversations about the same thing.

Predestination neccessarily eliminates the possiblity of free will. The two cannot coexist. One excludes the other. imo.

Predestination, or the idea of it, feels oppressive to me.

I think whatever we have, or whatever we are missing, we have free will.


In theories of reincarnation some people believe they "agree" to come back and perform a certain task, for the benefit of themselves or someone else. But perhaps how they carry that task out, or fail to carry it out is determined by free will.

Predestination in which the die has been previously cast, and our actions and decisions decided, sounds like an immense waste of energy to me.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 11:03 PM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


IMO both systems exist at the same time...

Every decision that you ever make is influenced by the events in your life leeding up to that particular moment. To you it seems like you are making a decision out of free choice. All seemingly random events can be predicted if we have accurate enough background data.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 11:16 PM
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Every choice you make is based on the information you have, your past. That is unchangeable and so no matter how many choices you think you have you will only make one of them. A being watching your timeline from the outside would see the same thing over and over with no deviation.

Is this Predestination? I don't think it necessarily is. Predestination implies that it was thought out before hand, some supreme being or maybe just entropy of the universe. I see no reason that a path has to be layed down before us instead of us being trail-blazers. We just happen to be limited to the one trail.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 11:36 PM
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I have to ask what do you mean by " Free will".? If exploring alternate paths of life is free will then we have that. But I wouldn't call it free, it requires some energy from your part to explore a path that has not been charted. On the other hand I grew up being taught cause and effect reasoning, and it has been very surprising IMO to find out that it doesn't work in real life. Life (at leat today's life) seems to have too many known variables and too many unknown that even our most powerful tools cannot fully grasp.

I will not throw out the scientific method just yet, shortcuts do exist, and most of the time this shortcuts are found by either exploring or by knowing. Science is trying to understand the applications of quantum entanglement. I guess I have to wait a bit longer to know or keep exploring and find out myself.

[edit on 10-7-2009 by LoKito]



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 12:51 AM
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Buddha would say that the path, is no path, because it cannot be differentiated in any way, when everything is what it is now, on all paths, in actuality, and what's been actualized in the past is irrelevant and has no bearing and no viewpoint - a beginners mind, within which all things are possible, because in an expert's mind, nothing is possible. So the path is the path of what is, and in that sense, it's superdeterministic because what is is, and cannot be anything else, now that it has arrived. There is no past, there is nothing in the future, and in the present, both nothing and everything. The end of the path is the path, and then and only then can we be truly free.



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 01:09 AM
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I agree with the idea that both free will and fate exist. They exist in different respects, and are not simply time-related phenomena. Dimensions outside of time also have influence, and anyone can look up how physicists theorize these extra dimensions. They are dimensions of "other possibilities" that do not play out "here," or "now," yet are physically possible. Think about it.



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 09:17 AM
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Im going to say that both can exist at the same time also. Use the Mario idea, you have the fate of dying, but have the freedom of choosing the events along the way to the end. Everything that has a beginning has an end, but in between, the events are yours to be chosen....

Rekar



posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by rekar
 


Dying is a function of biology. It is the one certainty in life which we cannot control. What is in between--is free will which we must exercise in our sometimes limited set of circumstances. It is challenging at times to learn to be savvy with the hand you've been dealt.
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General comment:

When you go to a restaurant, why not just close your eyes and randomly point to the menu to see what your order will be? If It's pre-determined anyway. Go with it. If you get food poisoning...or something you are allergic to, then it was meant to be. If you don't, well. You've been blessed for the day.

So predetermination rather gets you off the hook for your decisions.
It's all out of your hands. How convenient!



posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 09:57 AM
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I think its both too, half fate and half your own choice(if you can call it that as plenty may infringe on that choice).



posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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Oh, I'm 1000% sure, that we have a direction we are supposed to go, and we have limited but real choices as to how it plays out.

The small things and the large things do not come across our paths, until we have the ability to act on them.

An action can be as simple as making a conscious choice just to think on something. It is a choice, because we take time to analyze the thought. Through analysis comes action or inaction.

My analogy for support of this theory...

The space-time foam is wrapped around the individual life experiencer, as per bubble-wrap around a live creature in transport. We are able to move within it, and make decisions, however it is limiting.

The bubble-wrap/space-time foam is our destiny in a metaphor. You have to be conscious of it, to see it for what it is and influence it.

Also I believe we are given a choice before we live in this life incarnation, as to who you want to be and what kinds of fun and struggles you will face.

We choose our manner of growth while in spirit form, it's our life experiences that allow us as spirits to perceive the "growth experience" in flesh.

Some growth will be negative, and some positive. It's how it colors your choices that is where you get to act within the bubble-wrap of space-time.

Does that create enough of a visual?



posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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I agree i with the op in this way. I think reality is kind of a video game that I decided to play, I get to make infinite amount of choices I can go on missions, conquer quests, battle dragons, have a romance, etc.etc, Now the, one problem though, every time you stop playing ur character suffers extreme agony, and it gets weaker. When ever I start to play; it takes some patience before i can get my character to full strength.

After playing for a while you may get tired of making so many choices, if you stop playing you will have to start building strength all over again. So in a weird way You have no Choice, but, to continue to make choices.

[edit on 14-7-2009 by LoKito]



posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
reply to post by rekar
 

General comment:

When you go to a restaurant, why not just close your eyes and randomly point to the menu to see what your order will be? If It's pre-determined anyway. Go with it. If you get food poisoning...or something you are allergic to, then it was meant to be. If you don't, well. You've been blessed for the day.

So predetermination rather gets you off the hook for your decisions.
It's all out of your hands. How convenient!


You could do that, or you could read the menu and pick something you like and eat it and pay for it. In that instance you are eating something you are predisposed to liking based on some chemical composition of your tastebuds and probably some positive memories associated to that kind of food, also you might also be health-conscious because you are trying to watch your weight, because society thinks people should be slim and scientisists tell you how to live healthy. You pay for your food because that is what people in society taught you to do. I don't see much free will here. I see a complicated system of cause and effect.

If someone were to actually do what you were suggesting, pick something at random, they would only be doing it because you gave them the idea to do it. Once again, cause and effect.

[edit on 14-7-2009 by theyreadmymind]



posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 12:24 AM
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We make choices, but all those choices are pre-determined in the sense that previous events limit what we can do. The event that happens is the only event that can happen. It is simple cause and effect however, there are multiple causes that someone might not be aware of at any given time giving the illusion of an alterable future. I call this consequential will.

A bunch of choices had to happen before you can make a choice about anything. Those previous choices unrelated to you greatly effect the path you take and even pave it for you without you knowing it. This is from a physics perspective of course and a theoretical one at that.

[edit on 15-7-2009 by Eitimzevinten]



posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by theyreadmymind
 


Yes. Good points. Bear in mind you also have the choice to get up and walk out without paying. Or choose something extremely loaded in fats and sugars, even though you wish to lose weight.

But you "choose", to go with your best instincts, and abide by societal laws and pay your check, as well as your own rule as it pertains to losing weight. But you don't simply pay your check because it's in the script that you will. You choose to do so, just like you choose to not jump off the bridge every time you get the blues.
lol.
Of Course I see what you are saying about cause and effect, and all
the things you mentioned are taken into consideration when we make our choice. That's just the nature of science, psychology,the human experience and it's consequences upon us. It's conditioning. There is also a predisposition to certain things, and aversions to certain things. These are developed over a period of time, as you say--could be genetic, or could be learned.

Does this imply that all these forces come together to equate predestination? I think all these forces come together to make us the person we are, and consequently have substantial bearing on the choices we make.



posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 11:56 PM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
reply to post by theyreadmymind
 


Yes. Good points. Bear in mind you also have the choice to get up and walk out without paying. Or choose something extremely loaded in fats and sugars, even though you wish to lose weight.


Yes, you could do these things, but would you agree that if you did them there would be a reason for it? I don't know about you but pretty much every decision I make I have a pretty good idea about the reason why I made those decisions even if I'm sometimes kicking myself in hindsight.



But you "choose", to go with your best instincts, and abide by societal laws and pay your check, as well as your own rule as it pertains to losing weight. But you don't simply pay your check because it's in the script that you will. You choose to do so, just like you choose to not jump off the bridge every time you get the blues.
lol.


I'm not saying there's a script. I'm also not ruling out the possibility of some sort of script. After all, people make scripts all the time. If there were some sort of intelligence as old as the universe, why couldn't they make a script too? However, if everything that happens has a reason, and there's only one possible way that things can happen given the governing rules of the universe, then all that has happened and all that will happen was written in the stars so-to-speak.

You say that we "choose" to go with our best instincts. On the surface it seems that we do "choose". We make decisions, but as Eitimzevinten said, the event that happened is the only event that could happen.



Of Course I see what you are saying about cause and effect, and all
the things you mentioned are taken into consideration when we make our choice. That's just the nature of science, psychology,the human experience and it's consequences upon us. It's conditioning. There is also a predisposition to certain things, and aversions to certain things. These are developed over a period of time, as you say--could be genetic, or could be learned.


So we agree that these decisions have a reason, but basically all we disagree on is the impact those reasons have on our decisions. I think the reasons have the ultimate impact. I think they're so complex and complicated that they're hard to identify but I believe they're most likely all-encompassing.



Does this imply that all these forces come together to equate predestination? I think all these forces come together to make us the person we are, and consequently have substantial bearing on the choices we make.


I hope I answered your first question sufficiently above the way I see it. I also believe we are always coming into a greater awareness of ourselves as we grow in experiences. I just wonder how much of our experiences we "forget" and does that imply that we sometimes lose part of ourselves?



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 12:42 AM
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From what we "feel" it seems like it could go either way with free will or no free will. Someone can say they are free to make decisions or whatever else. And someone can say those actions were predetermined before you actually did them. But even if we were controlled and no free will, how could we feel it? You really can't. Sort of like the problem with proving God. People can look around simply and say I see no proof.

It's sort of complicated obviously so I'm probably not saying this right, but there really does need to be an understanding of a few things I think. What is the purpose of our creation? What job is it that we are supposed to accomplish here? And probably a bunch of others that would be important to understand. Every action that a person does is in response to a feeling of lack, or that the place or thing to which they're moving to will provide them with more satisfaction than what they are currently experiencing. So where does this feeling of "lack" come from? Since it is the only motivator for a person's actions its an important question. If the lack is always preceding the action, and the feeling of lack comes from God, then we are thoroughly controlled by God. But in being controlled, what is the purpose? It's obviously there to guide us to a predetermined outcome. If the outcome or goal is determined by God, then doesn't it make sense that our actions as well would be predetermined in order to come to that goal?

Looking back at that last sentence I see sort of a problem. Really actions aren't important. Physical actions that appear seemingly "bad" or even good like doing charity have nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality being the goal for His creation. Maybe there's a realization that we can't perform any action on our own. Isn't that troubling? Especially when contemplating a future spiritual reality. So the goal could be said to have people come to a point where they can have free will and do spiritual actions. What are we exactly if our feeling of lack is controlled by some other force and the filling of the lack, which we see as an action, is really just an inescapable outcome to provide ourselves with comfort? It really isn't advanced at all like we humans like to think, its the same functioning of an animal.

A creature that can only perform predetermined actions is really a puppet, the actions just follow a natural course of filling a desire, a desire we have no control over.

[edit on 16-7-2009 by ghaleon12]



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