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Do We Really Have Free Will?


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#1    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:06 PM

Most people know the science of nurture vs. nature. In other words, how much of who we are is shaped by our genetics, and how much is shaped by our experiences?

It's been up for debate for years now, but that isn't the point I'm getting at. The question I have is whether or not genetics and environmental experiences are the only influences on our lives. Are those the only two defining factors that make us who we are as individuals? If so, I have reason to believe that the concept of free will would be nothing more than an illusion.

Now, I personally believe in the existence of the human soul, and that it is a third factor as well as the ultimate defining factor of who we are as individuals. Therefore I believe that to be what truly gives us free will. However, despite my personal beliefs, I do find this concept quite interesting. For if you take away the existence of the human soul, what you basically have left to define you, is nothing more than a random conglomeration of events that have been interpreted by a random genetic code.

I find it incredibly difficult to come to any other conclusion but this. Which is personally very scary.

What this would basically mean is that your so called "free will" would be nothing more than a genetic roll of the dice on top of all the environmental influences that have happened within your lifetime. Every choice that you make would be entirely influenced on that random outcome. If just one thing were different about you genetically, or one thing different had happened to you in the past, then that would change the outcome of the next decision that you make. It wouldn't be the conscious you. In other words, if everything about you is based on a roll of the dice, then every decision you make is based on that randomness as well.

It's a scary conclusion, but one I find difficult to refute or deny. I want to hear everyone else's thoughts on this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#2    ouija ouija

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:42 PM

I agree with all you've said there ....... can't really expand on it(maybe tomorrow ..... it's kinda late now :sleepy: ). You're right, it is pretty depressing.

Life is all too much ............................................. and not enough.

It is only when you form your question precisely and accurately that you receive the true answer.

#3    and then

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:43 PM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 02 December 2012 - 11:06 PM, said:

Most people know the science of nurture vs. nature. In other words, how much of who we are is shaped by our genetics, and how much is shaped by our experiences?

It's been up for debate for years now, but that isn't the point I'm getting at. The question I have is whether or not genetics and environmental experiences are the only influences on our lives. Are those the only two defining factors that make us who we are as individuals? If so, I have reason to believe that the concept of free will would be nothing more than an illusion.

Now, I personally believe in the existence of the human soul, and that it is a third factor as well as the ultimate defining factor of who we are as individuals. Therefore I believe that to be what truly gives us free will. However, despite my personal beliefs, I do find this concept quite interesting. For if you take away the existence of the human soul, what you basically have left to define you, is nothing more than a random conglomeration of events that have been interpreted by a random genetic code.

I find it incredibly difficult to come to any other conclusion but this. Which is personally very scary.

What this would basically mean is that your so called "free will" would be nothing more than a genetic roll of the dice on top of all the environmental influences that have happened within your lifetime. Every choice that you make would be entirely influenced on that random outcome. If just one thing were different about you genetically, or one thing different had happened to you in the past, then that would change the outcome of the next decision that you make. It wouldn't be the conscious you. In other words, if everything about you is based on a roll of the dice, then every decision you make is based on that randomness as well.

It's a scary conclusion, but one I find difficult to refute or deny. I want to hear everyone else's thoughts on this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I think that we do.  I think all those other influences you mentioned are what is referred to as our "sin nature" or "flesh".  The choices we make regarding how much we let them direct our outcomes in life is the expression of free will.  For myself, I don't do so well on any given day.  I get jealous, prideful, cantankerous and otherwise argumentative.  But I also have a guiding conscience that reminds me that those behaviors are wrong headed and I generally steer away from them - most times :)
My point is tha our conscience is an innate part of our makeup that helps us to do the thing our base nature would never do on it's own.

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#4    spud the mackem

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:44 PM

Wow I find your post incredibly unbelievable.Are you saying that because of my genetics, I cant make a decision right or wrong. No one tells me what to do, so I can't see what you are trying to prove, elaborate please.

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#5    Artaxerxes

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:27 AM

No. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.   The education of the soul is too important to leave it up to chance.

The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or what we believe.

The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

We are here to experience duality and separation, time and space, and make memories of what it was like and how it felt to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

Experiencing separation teaches the soul what it means to be separate, something it can't learn in heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness so many near death experiencers talk about.


#6    ouija ouija

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:47 AM

View PostArtaxerxes, on 03 December 2012 - 12:27 AM, said:

No. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.   The education of the soul is too important to leave it up to chance.

The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or what we believe.

The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates.

We are here to experience duality and separation, time and space, and make memories of what it was like and how it felt to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe.

Experiencing separation teaches the soul what it means to be separate, something it can't learn in heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness so many near death experiencers talk about.

Why does the soul need to learn this?

Life is all too much ............................................. and not enough.

It is only when you form your question precisely and accurately that you receive the true answer.

#7    Arbenol

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:59 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 02 December 2012 - 11:06 PM, said:

Most people know the science of nurture vs. nature. In other words, how much of who we are is shaped by our genetics, and how much is shaped by our experiences?

It's been up for debate for years now, but that isn't the point I'm getting at. The question I have is whether or not genetics and environmental experiences are the only influences on our lives. Are those the only two defining factors that make us who we are as individuals? If so, I have reason to believe that the concept of free will would be nothing more than an illusion.

Now, I personally believe in the existence of the human soul, and that it is a third factor as well as the ultimate defining factor of who we are as individuals. Therefore I believe that to be what truly gives us free will. However, despite my personal beliefs, I do find this concept quite interesting. For if you take away the existence of the human soul, what you basically have left to define you, is nothing more than a random conglomeration of events that have been interpreted by a random genetic code.

I find it incredibly difficult to come to any other conclusion but this. Which is personally very scary.

What this would basically mean is that your so called "free will" would be nothing more than a genetic roll of the dice on top of all the environmental influences that have happened within your lifetime. Every choice that you make would be entirely influenced on that random outcome. If just one thing were different about you genetically, or one thing different had happened to you in the past, then that would change the outcome of the next decision that you make. It wouldn't be the conscious you. In other words, if everything about you is based on a roll of the dice, then every decision you make is based on that randomness as well.

It's a scary conclusion, but one I find difficult to refute or deny. I want to hear everyone else's thoughts on this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't think you're talking about free will here. Seems to me you're commenting on how a combination of our genetic and environmental influences will affect how we make decisions in certain circumstances. These influences don't negate the idea of free will.

As it goes, I'm not convinced that we do have free will. But the illusion of it is sufficient.


#8    acidhead

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:47 AM

I believe the definition of freedom can be broken down into three basic principles:

1. freedom to vote
2. freedom to express oneself
3. freedom to engage in the market

"there is no wrong or right - just popular opinion"

#9    ReaperS_ParadoX

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:02 AM

If by free will you mean the choices in decisions we can make, there are only so many ways to go in making decisions. Ill give you an example say I have to pick up my friend from work at a certain time.  Theres 2 decisions I can make, I can go and pick him up or I could not pick him up. See I could do one or the other, thats it.

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#10    Render

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:06 AM

Our past influences our decisions, but the decisions are still ours to make. This is the free will.

See it as being put in a maze, the world you experience has its boundries but how you navigate is your own choice.


#11    StarMountainKid

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:20 AM

I think having free will is possible, but only when the mind is free from conformity. It can be a tricky thing to know when one is expressing one's real self, and when one is simply obeying society's rules of acceptable behavior. I think this is what the "free" in free will means: knowing the difference and making the choice to express the real you.

As for the "will" part, to will something to happen is for me too brutal and act. I think we can express our true personality in harmony with our environment without causing the conflict the use of "will" implies.

It's odd, but when we conform we actually produce more conflict than when we are just ourselves, convention be damned. When we pretend we are someone we're not, or obey some external authority, "free will" impossible, and we really don't exist at all.

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#12    Babe Ruth

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

Good questions raised!

Nature, nurture and fate, all acting together?  And if this IS a holographic universe, then we really have some questions about our individuality.


#13    Etu Malku

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

I have a slightly different understanding of "Free Will", but first would like to comment on the OP's idea behind becoming "individuals", Individuation is the process by which we balance our conscioussness and our unconsciousness, the objective universe with our subjective universe. Through this balancing act we become Individual and separate from the masses.

As for Free Will, I have always believed it should be termed "Freedom From the Will of Others", in other words when we can think, act, and have our own experiences and not be under the indoctrination of anothers' Will.

The concept is the defining point of Right & Left Hand religions;
RHP = Thy Will Be Done  vs  LHP =  MY Will Be Done

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#14    ouija ouija

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:02 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 03 December 2012 - 11:20 AM, said:

It's odd, but when we conform we actually produce more conflict than when we are just ourselves, convention be damned. When we pretend we are someone we're not, or obey some external authority, "free will" impossible, and we really don't exist at all.

This is how I feel at the moment. My capacity for 'freedom of expression' and my ability to exert 'free will' have become so bound-up and crushed that I barely feel 'I' exist at all.

Life is all too much ............................................. and not enough.

It is only when you form your question precisely and accurately that you receive the true answer.

#15    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:16 AM

View Postspud the mackem, on 02 December 2012 - 11:44 PM, said:

Wow I find your post incredibly unbelievable.Are you saying that because of my genetics, I cant make a decision right or wrong. No one tells me what to do, so I can't see what you are trying to prove, elaborate please.

This has nothing to do with "right or wrong" decisions. I'm simply saying that in the absence of a soul (or a third basic denominator), the decisions you make would be based entirely on the cosmological role of two metephorical dice. One die being genetics, the other one being the environmental influences in your life. Your "free will" would be nothing more than your own genetic code interpereting the environment around you.

The environment would've been influenced by two different factors: the positioning of particles in the cosmos (in other words, what formed where after the big bang) and all the environmental interactions with other life forms. Every other life form on the planet would undergo this same process of genetics vs. environment, therefore the influences those organisms have during their lifetimes would influence their interactions with you, which would in turn determine based on your genetic code and past experiences up to that point, how you interpret and react to whatever surccumstances may present themselves to you.

It's just huge circle really. I don't know how else to explain it, but I hope this clearifies my point a little.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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