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Given the fact that we're born with free will


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#1    ExplainInTheAss

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:01 AM

Just my thoughts on belief and religion - bare with me. I understand that everyone is born to be entitled to their own beliefs. Many people believe that religion is fixed and/or made up by people just like you and I and anyone who chooses to believe in them are either complete idiots, close minded, foolish, or etcetc. Others believe that it's okay to believe in religion, but not God. Then there are those that believe that there is no specific thing or entities (or however you wanna call them) that you can believe in and that belief can be endlessly flexible. Because believing in something truly can be infinite. Because knowledge is infinite.

A belief can be true based on scientific fact, or it can be false based on scientific fact. But a belief is still a belief. On the other hand, there are beliefs that can't be disproven, at least not as of yet. And these are the beliefs I wanna dig a little deeper into. Christianity for example, no one alive today, was alive during the time period in which Jesus died and apparently resurrected. Due to the fact that I wasn't there, and can do as much research on it as humanly possible, I still can't know for certain if Jesus truly did come back to life. Therefore, based on logic, who am I to say (as well as others) that this is false?

In a world where possibilities are endless and we're constantly finding that our original ideas are false and/or different from what we thought they were, how can one say that something such as the example I've provided based on Jesus' ressurection is false OR true? What I'm saying is, it's perfectly acceptable to believe in something, but isn't it more acceptable to believe in the fact that something and almost anything can be both true as well as false?

Didn't really get to articulate myself as much as I'd hoped but I guess I'll let you guys debate on this while I organize my thoughts and think this through a little more.

Edited by ExplainInTheAss, 25 September 2013 - 02:02 AM.


#2    Drayno

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:18 AM

It falls under whether or not you personally believe in 'free will' or 'determinism'..

Ironically, you could say you have the free will to believe in free will - but the free will to also not believe in free will.

Which, in itself is a bit of a contradiction, but also a reality with many Existential-Nihilists who view 'will' as an obsolete concept along with with literally everything.

Belief seems to be whatever you make of it. I guess your ability to transform ideas into beliefs is the mark of 'free will'..

As I brought up on another topic: If you are free to choose your beliefs, and that 'freedom of choice' or 'free will' is an illusion, is belief an illusion as well?

I suppose when you deal with a society that is expected to both conform and progressively grow you're faced with that internal conflict.

As for your analogy in believing Jesus, that is an applicable example of how people choose to believe in something; the 'illusion' argument left out.

No one can prove he existed; unless we're given DNA evidence backed by carbon dating - which is still a gross estimation - unless we travel back in time.

I suppose that's how you know what 'faith' is - believing in something you cannot prove, but choosing believe it is bigger than you.

Edited by Hatake Kakashi, 25 September 2013 - 02:20 AM.

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#3    ExplainInTheAss

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:37 AM

View PostHatake Kakashi, on 25 September 2013 - 02:18 AM, said:

It falls under whether or not you personally believe in 'free will' or 'determinism'..

Ironically, you could say you have the free will to believe in free will - but the free will to also not believe in free will.

Which, in itself is a bit of a contradiction, but also a reality with many Existential-Nihilists who view 'will' as an obsolete concept along with with literally everything.

Belief seems to be whatever you make of it. I guess your ability to transform ideas into beliefs is the mark of 'free will'..

As I brought up on another topic: If you are free to choose your beliefs, and that 'freedom of choice' or 'free will' is an illusion, is belief an illusion as well?

I suppose when you deal with a society that is expected to both conform and progressively grow you're faced with that internal conflict.

As for your analogy in believing Jesus, that is an applicable example of how people choose to believe in something; the 'illusion' argument left out.

No one can prove he existed; unless we're given DNA evidence backed by carbon dating - which is still a gross estimation - unless we travel back in time.

I suppose that's how you know what 'faith' is - believing in something you cannot prove, but choosing believe it is bigger than you.

Well said. Based on what you said about whether or not belief is an illusion just as free will may be; I would say yes due to the fact that all of our beliefs can be challenged by the fact that those beliefs are charged by free will in the first place. We aren't necessarily given the answers; we speculate, create, label, and reject them.


#4    Frank Merton

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:44 AM

View PostHatake Kakashi, on 25 September 2013 - 02:18 AM, said:

It falls under whether or not you personally believe in 'free will' or 'determinism'..
That's the rub, I guess.  I can think of no mechanism whereby free will might exist except deterministic ones or randomness, neither of which suit.  So I say its source appears to be unknowable.

Cause and effect have a very similar set of philosophical problems, as I think Hume pointed out.  (I just want to give what I'm saying some credibility because people take cause and effect for granted, in my view without really understanding the consequences).

If we do the same thing a thousand times and a thousand times the same result ensues, we conclude that either what we are doing cause the effect or that some third unknown thing is causing both what we do and the effect we perceive.  As discussed on another thread, this treads closely to magical thinking.  What is it connecting the momentum of the billiard ball with the ensuing momentum of another billiard ball it hits?  We can predict it (given the variables) with formulas that always work, but so what?  Mathematics seems magical to me anyway.


#5    ExplainInTheAss

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:05 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 25 September 2013 - 02:44 AM, said:

That's the rub, I guess.  I can think of no mechanism whereby free will might exist except deterministic ones or randomness, neither of which suit.  So I say its source appears to be unknowable.

Cause and effect have a very similar set of philosophical problems, as I think Hume pointed out.  (I just want to give what I'm saying some credibility because people take cause and effect for granted, in my view without really understanding the consequences).

If we do the same thing a thousand times and a thousand times the same result ensues, we conclude that either what we are doing cause the effect or that some third unknown thing is causing both what we do and the effect we perceive.  As discussed on another thread, this treads closely to magical thinking.  What is it connecting the momentum of the billiard ball with the ensuing momentum of another billiard ball it hits?  We can predict it (given the variables) with formulas that always work, but so what?  Mathematics seems magical to me anyway.

I did some research on Determinism, and I'm pretty intrigued. You're right, if deterministic views played a roll on free will, it would be too limited. I guess theories on the subject could go on forever.

Edited by ExplainInTheAss, 25 September 2013 - 03:06 AM.


#6    LostSouls7

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:37 AM

I feel if you are in any organized religion...
you have no real free will.

This is evil. that is the devil.

If you think freely or try to learn new things or get self empowered you are Satan.

If you are a good slave, let the leaders do the thinking for you. and you give money to the church.
You have earned a seat in heaven...
But think freely.. live freely and be happy...
oh that is why you are going to hell...
God forbid you be a free thinking happy spirit... that is not enslaved to the will of a group of rich men
who lie about everything

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#7    ExplainInTheAss

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:29 PM

View PostLostSouls7, on 25 September 2013 - 07:37 AM, said:

I feel if you are in any organized religion...
you have no real free will.

This is evil. that is the devil.

If you think freely or try to learn new things or get self empowered you are Satan.

If you are a good slave, let the leaders do the thinking for you. and you give money to the church.
You have earned a seat in heaven...
But think freely.. live freely and be happy...
oh that is why you are going to hell...
God forbid you be a free thinking happy spirit... that is not enslaved to the will of a group of rich men
who lie about everything

This is in perspective to those who follow certain if not all religion right? It makes zero sense to me. But to each his own. There are many different ways to look at it.





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