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Jo


Jo

member
Location: Sheffield, England

Total posts: 517
Posted:Ok, another psychological hot potatoe this one. Basically if proven a lot of good lawyers could get a lot of dangerous people released from prison, which is why it has not yet become a 'mainstream' concept.



IMHO! wink



Whenever you do anything - ANYTHING! - your concious self has not used free will at all to make that decision.



Actually, your subconcious has decided to do it.



You can then, if you wish, execute 'free won't'.



How many times did you realy have no reason to reach over there? Failed free won't execution.



Ever hit someone? Shouted?......... smile



Jo.


Educate yourself in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:I'd rather superman to be honest with you. Dont wanna go into depth, just saying what i think on the subject, but now i dont even know myself!

*shakes fist*
Damn philosophers!


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I agree jeff(fake), free will cannot come from a deterministic brain. It can only come from the cerebral cortex part of the brain.


hmmm smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Nope, that's as liable to deterministic processes as every other known thing in the universe. It's irrational to assume it acts in a different way to every other known element of the universe, just because we have an experience of how it feels from within, unlike everything else. I might write a paper on the phenomenology of determinism.

tongue

Written by: TinklePants

Its funny how after thousands of years, men still argue about the concept of free will.

People should stop trying to analyse stuff and just be happy with the fact that stuff happens due to the choices we make - bad or good - it's what makes us human.


Sssh! The more people who think like that, the less useful my Philosophy degree will be when I come to get a job! wink


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:But what is with all those who have non-deterministic brains? (*Just to ask a silly question*)



If all our actions are determined as a interplay between cause and effect - a murder - a theft - a war - torture - name it yourself... all would be just a result in the chain, therefore (another silly question) how could you ever hold someone responsible for her/his actions? umm



...if there's no "freedom of choice"...



(and Jeff: yes I have read the article on Wikipedia, hence I'd like to raise the question wink )

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1138285891)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:Its Balderdash! of course we have a choice!

nearly_all_gone - It'll have to be tesco's or the Dole then... which is it? make a choice, dammit! tongue


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted:Because determinism is not a linear process.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:I think dream might be getting it...

You have a choice but it isn't free. The only way to predict it would be to create a perfect model of the situation. But then how is that model any different from reality if it is perfect. Not to mention that knowledge of the outcome would influence the outcome.

So in conclusion your actions and thoughts are already largely pre-determined with an infintesmimaly small degree of random uncertainty, but there is no way to predict them.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:*Ponders for a few hours on the subject during a wee stroll on this cold, sunny january afternoon*

who is wanting to predict anything? I like surprises.
Also, nothing is perfect, as is no-one.

I accept the logic of determinism, but I'm just trying to sugar coat it for my own benefit biggrin

Its like the Matrix - there is no right pill to take.

Its like the Fate question. Do we make our own fate, or is it predetermined for us and we just choose the different paths to its end?

If fate, on the whole, was predetermined, then what would be the meaning of life? Making these choices with conscious effort or not, takes us on different pathways of self-discovery. We learn from mistakes and gain knowledge from them. Thus we gain wisdom out of our life experiences. And what would be the point in that? well to pass on our knowledge to others so we as human beings can evolve into higher life forms.

I'm just thinking out allowed here, sorry. I don't even know if I'm talking about the same thing anymore. But everything is interconnected. ubbloco

i need a drink now! ubblol


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Just because your actions are predetermined doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy life. I think I'll join you for that drink. beerchug

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:Did I just discover the meaning of life? eek ubblol

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:So all (re)actions are on a small scale? Does this depend on how conscious someone lives her/his life?

(Re)action out of affect - instinctively - might be predespositioned by experiences from the past. Well modelled (re)actions - where someone has the time to respond carefully - might lead to surprising results...

Just look at a game of chess... logically there'd be one move following the other - a chain reaction - but people are not acting logical (even not in their own scheme) after all. There are always surprises, i.e. the opponent stands up and goes to the toilet. In this time he may withdraw from the game and come back with a totally new conclusion about the situation - therefore choosing a different option... or is this again in the chain of (re)action?

Surely recognising oneself as bound to certain triggers - deemed to re-act, -spond within a limited range of possibilities - is a little disenchanting about life, isn't it?

Why not taking both pills at the same time and look whats happening then? wink *gg*

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"and just when we think we have found all the answers,
life comes and changes all the questions..." wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:What do you mean, "No right pill to take"??? You pick the one that wakes you up, so then you have sith hot fighting skills when you go back in!! Screw living in Zion, just hook me up to an IV drip and I'll go back to live in the matrix with the ability to kick ass!! biggrin

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:oooh the matrix brings up loads of moral complications....
live a virtual lie or be a super hero and know mankind F****d itself and the planet and have nothing left.... so many choices.... ubblol


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Be a super hero and ignore the real world is what I'd do! Maybe if I can get enough *belief* in it, then I could build a working lightsaber... and that would rock...

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:Remember to get a patent on it.... biggrin

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:tinkle: you said this to make him thankful for the reminder? wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:of course biggrin

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: FireTom


how could you ever hold someone responsible for her/his actions? umm





This is a commonly posed problem, but I don't think it is a problem at all. Why do you punish someone? You punish them for acting in a bad way. Just because they didn't freely choose to act in that bad way, they did act. The reason we punish people and hold them responsible for their actions is so that they won't do them again.



Of course, it is determined that the police, for example, will catch many murderers, and therefore there is no possibility of them commiting further acts of murder (I'm being really simplistic here but just to make a point, of course this is the ideal scenario). This is not a reason to hold them less accountable for their actions, but the fact is that through a result of their genetic, social and historical background they have been moulded into a murderer. The fact is, holding these people accountable for their actions is one thing, but I'm sure none, even those who advocate free will, would suggest that attempts to remove a culture of violence or gun-crime from the world people develop in would be a bad thing, and would probably result in less people becoming murderers.



It's very hard to talk about clearly, but a major criticism of detemrinism seems to boil down to "well how can things work if the whole world is deterministic, even human action?". The answer is that it will make no difference to the lives of anyone. I still have the sensation of choosing, it's just that my choices are already mapped out. For example, if I want a snack and I have a chocolate bar and an apple sitting next to me, I make a judgement based on many factors - have I been particularly unhealthy lately already? Do I like apples? etc - and make a decision based on them. These choices are already mapped out, and if I had a clear enough understanding of my genetic structure, my current mood, my societal upbringing, events in the past, my desires, hopes and dreams, and a million other factors (including the same things of everyone else in the world, and how they will interplay with mine) I could predict correctly every decision I will ever make. I'm not saying I could ever have this knowledge, but if I did, I would know everything the future holds, including the outcome of every supposed "free" choice humans make. I do not make an arbitrary decision. Ever. That is the root of my belief in Strong Determinism (the kind that negates the notion of free will). Even if I decide to be random, I am making a decision.



To claim free will is to claim we can have predispositions, and go against every element which has led us to the particular moment in our psyche which we are currently at just like that. It assumes we can initiate causal chains - literally start a new set of cause-and-effect whenever we wish, by making a new decision which is not tied by anything. As I said before, nothing in the known universe has this characteristic, so why should we assume we have it?



Because we like to believe that we are special. Egotism. That's the root of the free will debate, in my opinion.



Not to say anyone here is egotistical, just that those who initiated this debate many centuries ago imbued themselves with this special, unique quality because they couldn't face the fact that they weren't necessarily free to exert absolute power over the course of their lives. But that's ridiculous - can anyone seriously tell me that when it comes to making a choice, they don't weigh up the pros and cons? Because that's what free will means. The ability to neglect the causes and effects, and just pick for the sake of it.



So even if it does exist (and I'm certain it doesn't, but just to introduce another thread), it's more than worthless.



Written by: dream


Because determinism is not a linear process.



Yes it is. That's the point. Cause determines effect. That's what determinism is.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:thanks for that N.A.G.

Do I understand correctly that even if - in times of decisionmaking - I just use a coin and flip it... all the forces that work on the way the coin rotates (weight, size, wind, strength of flip) already is included in the chainreaction (not only the path that led to my flipping)... In (strong) determinism that all would be taken into account and be pre-programmed?

Or would this only apply to the two choices that I pick for "heads"/"tails"? confused wink

As to the jurisdiction: if we act according to determinism, or laws of Karma (which are partly incorporated in determinism, please correct me if I am going wrong here) - isn't then the vicitm part of the scenario?

As the person who is acting in a bad way is legally being punished and therefore "corrected" (which is a logical cause and effect action) we'd have to take into account that (according to the theory) morally we would not be able to condemn the act itself (except if this is part of the punishment) - because at this given time the individual was incapable to (re)act in a different fashion than the one s/he chose, based on her/his past.

Forgive me, I'm not quite sure where I am going with this - hence I do not post this just for posting shrug at least I don't have the impression that I do wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: FireTom


Do I understand correctly that even if - in times of decisionmaking - I just use a coin and flip it... all the forces that work on the way the coin rotates (weight, size, wind, strength of flip) already is included in the chainreaction (not only the path that led to my flipping)... In (strong) determinism that all would be taken into account and be pre-programmed?



Or would this only apply to the two choices that I pick for "heads"/"tails"? confused wink

[...]

isn't then the vicitm part of the scenario?

[...]

we would not be able to condemn the act itself (except if this is part of the punishment) - because at this given time the individual was incapable to (re)act in a different fashion than the one s/he chose, based on her/his past.





Some more good points there FT.



What you say about the coin, yes, that's how I would put it. All the elements which affect the coin flipping, as well as all the elements which led you to come into posession of such a coin, all the factors which mean you are the sort of person who flips coins to make decisions, as well as the individual circumstances which cause you to be flipping a coin at a given time, that's all determined by prior causes. It's a good metaphor - you could say every time you choose, you may flip a coin, but if you really understood the minutae which causes you to flip at such such and such a strength, in such and such a direction etc you would be able to put your coin away forever, and lead a perfectly assured path in life, knowing what you would decide. Of course, gaining that knowledge might (would) affect the courses of your decisions... like I say, you would have to be a very different being to a human to possess such knowledge. All I'm arguing is that such facts do exist, even if they're not known by anyone at any given point in time.



The victim isn't responsible for the actions of others in the usual sense (if they're a carer who motivates a mentally disturbed person to murder them, then perhaps it's different, but in the usual sense it's not). Unless the victim chooses to put themselves into harms way, they have no way of knowing what they're doing. You'd have to be God to realise you were in danger in every case, because you would have to understand the entire workings of the universe to get full comprehension.



The individual should be judged, perhaps punished and perhaps given suitable therapy, I think that's fairly uncontraversial. But we do judge the action, and I would argue this is a way of asserting to others our distaste for a particular element of another's character - if someone murders someone, you say "that was a terrible thing to do" because you wish to establish a cause of others' non-murdering, if you see what I mean. You also want to make it clear that you are not the same as the person who commited murder. That's my explanation of the reason people condemn actions rather than those who perform them, but I'm sure there are plenty of others.



Talking about determinism really is my favourite thing. I'm very sad. wink


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:On the morality thing...

This essentially makes every person a big, complicated, and particularly badly programmed computer, as we are completely unaware of a great deal of our functioning. So why punish people? Exactly, right. It's like hitting your computer for accidently deleting your file. You FIX the computer, or you get rid of it, or at least isolate it to make other computers safe from it. Makes sense to me still.

I'm firmly in the determinist camp. I don't feel it is pessimistic at all. I think it just makes more sense. To assume that one thing (say, a mind, soul whatever you want to call it) acts completely different from every other thing in the universe is much less plausable to me.


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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
Because determinism is not a linear process.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Yes it is. That's the point. Cause determines effect. That's what determinism is.





Can only possibly be true in basic mechanical determinism... I press a switch which causes a light to turn on etc

When you have a multiplicity of casual factors engaged in rhizomatic structures, which themselves are held in a constant state of flux (we are complex adaptive systems), you engage in non-linear determinism.

Your millions of linear factors which are predictable is cute but falls apart when you realise you aren't dealing with a static model, and when you look at emergent phenomena; which cannot be simulated or predicted through reductionist methodologies.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Which means that you would need a perfect model (basicly an exact copy) to predict them rather than a simplified one.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by:

So why punish people? Exactly, right. It's like hitting your computer for accidently deleting your file.




So... what's your point? Is there anyone here who hasn't physically beaten their computer on occasion? The fact that your computer, strictly speaking, isn't to blame, doesn't alter the fact that it's just behaved like a malicious tw*t and is going to get smacked in return smile

On a more serious note- a lot of what passes for 'punishment' in our culture, is in fact more to do with

1. deterance (potential wrongdoers get to see what happens to those who step out of line)

2. making the victims feel a bit better

Admittedly, it's based on a fair amount of confusion, but that's the way things are.

IMO, clearing away such confusion is important, and, unfortunately, the free-will issue is rife with confusion and dodgy reason; and actually forms the basis of much of the confusion evident in our notions of justice/punishment.

As I've explained previously, IMO, any workable notion of free-will must have its very basis in determinism- trying to slot randomness into the process does not in any way solve any of the 'problems' with free-will.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:you said that because we have an all 3times omni God (should we believe) that it is counterwhatever to free will, but the two are not mutually exclusive, just cause God knows or can exert power (which He doesn't, because the miission is to find Love and you cannot force someone to love you) or that God is everywhere we still can choose, just cause He knows does not mean that we did not make that choice ourself

Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Premise: In order to have free will, you must be able to act independent of a previous cause.

Suggestion: Men have nipples, thus there is no God

Possibility: Since there is no God, the universe was created by Nothing, with no previous cause.

Conclusion: Since Nothing can create the universe with no previous cause, Nothing has free will.


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:not so sure about that example there patriarch917, but i guesss you are saying that if there is no god then there is no freewill?

is it not also possible to say we dont have freewill because there is a god? if god was a cause for us then we would just result from his causes and effects and still not have freewill. (yes i know the 'what caused god' argument, but thats not what i'm talking about)


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:The existance of a God wouldn't give us free will. For free will you need a soul which is not constained by the laws of this material universe. The problem with the soul conjecture are how an immaterial object can interact with a material object but still remain completely undetectable.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:majik, obviously

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Oops - if there is no god there is no free will? Hmm - in one of the -isms it is believed that we - our very selves - ARE god (potentially)... And it all starts in the mind...



In some way programming (of the mind) is very necessary, if there has to be an intuitive instantaneous reaction - for say to avoid an accident... But at the very same time programming can take away ones response-ability and lead to judgement where it is not necessary.



For say (self-)punishment for an accidental action is only necessary and helpful to a certain extent (like hitting your computer in general will have zero effect - but releases some tension.. wink - if overdone you can end up buying a new one)... "Karma" is defined only by the intentional actions (maybe one reason for the majority not to choose the right pill?)... Certainly the point of view we take (strong or weak determinism) will affect the way we approach our daily life.



Watching the world in amazement and observe how one thing leads (or may not lead) to the next. The observation of this process in every moment would clearly be in the way of approaching todays life in general, it would slow one down significantly. So there is the tendency and necessity to leave away the details and concentrate on the big picture.



(@Nearly: in the coin flipping example as you said - PLUS the person/ machine who made the coin and distributed the weight equally or not and the way the coin has taken until my pocket, all the process of abbreving (?)... more on this or that side or level of the coins surface - all this would have an impact on the possible outcome of the decision)



So if we would take EVERYTHING into account that lead to the situation, we maybe would see something like visualised in The Matrix - and it would be strongly confusing (but maybe just at first)... So we do not "see" the matrix, but filter on the informations individually necessary in this very moment.



In order to (re)gain "free will" one needs to make the time in the situation, to speed up the mind and to overcome initial programming, so to recognize the true content of the situation "as is" and to determin all the possible choices in this very moment. Only from this "free will" can derive (if it's possible at all) - to get an idea about the choices and their possible outcome.



Besides: something called "intuition" becomes a very interesting aspect... from where does this tuition come in from?



The process of "punishment" (as it is necessary in order to give the world of trial and error its signicifance) provides a lesson to be learned. As a bystander we don't need to know every detail that led to the incident itself - the mere outcome, the action - is enough to cast a "judgement". But the respective "punishment" has to be (and is) strongly based on the (back-)grounds of the incident. All has to be taken into account - and surely it has to have a demonstrative character to teach all others who are noble enought to learn from observation and the given example. offtopic: In this connection I like the creative punishment concept - as it come closest to life... wink



IMO "Free will" (i.e. freedom of choosing an action) is possible, but it yet has to be achieved.



But maybe I'm not making much sense here and now, as I had little to no sleep in the last two days - so please grant me pardon on these grounds...



To give this another twist: Is "free will" necessary at all? Assuming the existence of god, gods plan and this plan to be good - why even bother to gain or even ponder on "free will" or "freedom of choice" in the first place? umm wink

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1138543844)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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