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Spinoza also struggled to use words to clarify the distinction. But he believe in both some form of free will, and determinism. I dont know if I can do any better than he.
Spinoza defines “free” and “necessary” (or “constrained”) in this manner: “That thing is called free, which exists solely by the necessity of its own nature, and of which the action is determined by itself alone. On the other hand, that thing is necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by something external to itself to a fixed and definite method of existence or action.” (Ethics, Definition VII)
There is more to free will than the ability to change circumstances. It changes the quality of the experience for you from one that is frantic and fearful and full of resistance, ( think of electrical resistance, how it causes voltage drop, and excess heat) to one in which life and intelligence itself is crisp and clear and "blissful," for lack of a better word. (The analogy would be superconductivity, no resistance)
Data seems to indicate that the collapse of infinite probabilities into the "present" is a neurological function performed by us at a quantum level, and it is the collective "pressure" of all of us performing this process that forces time to behave like a river rather than an ocean. It is the collective "pressure" of consensus that determines which probability we choose. I believe this is an automatic function, but just as with heart rate and breath, this process is something we can learn to be conscious of.
Originally posted by mistermonculous
And "God" laughed at me. And told me, "everyone has to die, just do it well."