Free will or Destiny?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Landkiller, Jun 26, 2001.


Do we have free will, or is it all destiny?

Free will 0 vote(s) 0.0%
Destiny 12 vote(s) 80.0%
Yes 3 vote(s) 20.0%
  1. Landkiller CPA Menace

    Do humans have free will to do as they please, or is the course of events preordained?

    Vote, and present any arguments you wish. I will do mine later. (Trying to make a neutral post to start off with)
  2. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I said free will, although I don't have any evidence for either side. It just "feels" more to what I believe.
  3. Rando Freaky Bear

    Obviously we have free will.

    If we did not, there would be no point to existance in the first place as we would all be puppets to the universal mind, who/whatever that may be.
  4. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Since no one else has replied...

    how do you know that's not the case now?
  5. Ura Feline Lord of the Pit

    I said yes, mostly because its the only thing that really represents both.
    I believe that we each have a destiny, as in a destination our lives will get to or a goal we will attain. However I also believe that while this goal is set for us, how we get there and the choices we make along the way are our own to decide, hence the free will part. Life isn't about the destination we reach, its about the journey there. Our experiences there are what make us individuals and unique in our own fashion.
  6. Rando Freaky Bear

    If mortal man had no free will, there would be no point to any kind of jugement in the after life, which most every religion has, because we had no responsability for our actions in life.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    How do we know there's an afterlife? Because religion says so or is there anything else?
  8. Landkiller CPA Menace

    Ok, given a belief in the nature of observable reality according to science, we recognise that movement of atoms rests according to natural laws. Since we are but atoms, our brainwaves but shifting patterns, therefore natural laws control our actions. The universe is destiny. As the timeline advances, the laws of nature proceed according to a mathematically predictable pattern. If not predictable by our math, this is merely a limitation of our calculations and science.

    Now, if you cannot believe that science is capable of comprehending the nature of the universe, that's a valid viewpoint, and one that I share, although I will not bind myself to a particular mysticism. Anything could be real. Now, the underlying assumption in supernatural phenomena is that they have powers superceding the physical reality. So, you can only trust to faith that your will is free from domination by a supernatural force.

    So, I vote for destiny. This argument is probably not bulletproof, but it's the theories I've developed.
  9. Rando Freaky Bear

    OK, so how about this...

    I am the master of my own actions.

    I have a choice in everything that I do.

    There is always more then one outcome to any given set of circumstances.

    The choices I make affect which outcome will develope from any set of circumstances I am presented with.

    Therefore, I have free will.

    For example:

    The plane that crashed and killed me was destiny. No, I bought the ticket and chose to ride.

    The drunk driver slammed into my car and killed me was pre-ordained. No, I chose to drive down that particular street.

    The fact that I am in a thankless, unrewarding dead-end job is the will of whatever higher power may exist, be it God, Fate or Karma. No, I chose to drop out of collage.


    It was not your destiny that brought you to the CPA, you clicked a link when you could have surffed elsewhere.
  10. Landkiller CPA Menace

    Anytime you make a decision, why do you settle on the decision you make? At each juncture, you may have dozens of options, but only one becomes reality. I believe that every action is destined. If you drop out of college, it is because your college experience didn't work for you. Your college experience didn't work for you because...(insert reason here). Nothing ever happens by coincedence. For every event, there is a cause. For each decision you make, there is a reason. There is only one decision you will make, and it will be according to your reason for making that decision. Even the most arbitrary decision is made on a subconcious level.

    You know that computers never generate truly random numbers? They pull out of a extremely long list of results. I believe that there is no randomness in the physical universe...and I believe the possibility that I am wrong.
  11. Rando Freaky Bear

    Why do I settle on the decision that I make? Because I have the free will to do so.

    Free will has nothing to do with randomness. If it were random, then I would not have made a consious decision.

    Since I know that I made a choice given whatever criteria were needed, and because that criteria helped to determine which choice I made, then the final result is neither random, or fate, since once again it was I that made the choice.

    I know it all sounds convoluted, but by the gods I understand what I'm talking about.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Well, it looks like Landkiller took over the argument. I have no idea how to "devil's advocate" an argument for destiny right now; I think I'm in the mindset of arguing against freewill :)

    I guess for destiny you kinda have to believe there is some "overriding" force that governs your actions, and if it's hard to believe in that force, then it's hard to believe for destiny.

    Back to Rando: The problem with your "choices" is that you have no way of knowing if there is a "force" guiding your choices. You cannot "step outside of yourself" to look at your choices objectively.

    Destiny could have guided you to buy the plane ticket. Your time was up :)

    Pretty much the same thing for the street. A force guided you to "choose" it.

    The "force" never meant for you to complete college.

    Each view is valid, don't get me wrong. It's just the inability to "astral" yourself is what determines we'll never find an answer (if indeed that is a way to find the answer).
  13. Landkiller CPA Menace

    Ok. Suppose that true free will is not random. (which sounds right but which I cannot accept unconditionally without proof) Destiny, of course, is, in a non-supernatural reality, inconsistent with randomness.
    In a supernatural-influenced reality, Destiny is the whim of the supernatural, regardless of the randomness in the physical universe.

    So, in what kind of universe can free will exist? If you are destined to do something, is it still a free will decision? If so, destiny and free will could coexist in the scientific viewpoint. But, from the supernatural viewpoint, free will is always going to be in doubt.

    After consideration, this seems to be the course I now favor.

    Good job, though, Rando, you forced me to revise what I said. I'll have to think this over a bit now.

    BTW : Your card deck is never "sufficiently randomized". Each card is where it is in the stack based on the shuffle you applied and the original position in the stack.
  14. Rando Freaky Bear

    This Fhil-os-O-fi stuff is hard...

    OK, I need someone to back me up, but I'll struggle until the ghost of Socrates comes to save me.

    Yes, I can look at my choices objectivly, by looking back at the choices I've made in the past and seeing how they effected the outcome of whatever circumstances that I think best match the current situation.

    I can also extrapolate and calculate what I belive to be the outcome, based on past expeirences, then consider the hypothetical outcome to what has not yet occured.

    All of this envoles thinking.

    If some pre-ordained action is involved with the decisions that I make, then that is not thinking. It makes me an automaton at the mercy of what ever is controlling "fate".

    But, If I can consider past choices and use that make new choices, then I must be thinking, because a pre-ordained outcome would not involve me having to consider ANYTHING, I would simply be on some cosmic "auto-pilot".

    So, we have this...

    1) If I can consider past expierences when making new choices, or If I can invent probable outcomes, then I must be thinking.

    2) If I am thinking, then there is no "invisible hand" guiding my actions, because the thoughts of consideration of the events would not have taken place at all as "fate" would have determined my choice for me.

    3) If I am thinking as a guide for making my own choices, then I have made the choices myself.

    4) If I have made the choice myself, then I have Free Will.
  15. Rando Freaky Bear

    I should add that I refuse to belive that some things are just "destined" to happen. To me, it is a "Get out of Responsability Free" card.

    For instance, why would anyone be destined to be a junkie?
    Or a rapist?
    Or King of the World?

    Is it some cosmic ballance? Pish posh.

    Then whole of the world's population could be benign saints or blood-thirsty murderers and the universe would go on existing just fine either way.
  16. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Landkiller: Not sure who you're talking to in your last post, so I'll assume it's Rando since I really didn't say anything to you to warrant it :)

    Rando: How can you "objectively" look at your decisions when you're the one making them?

    And I think your fallacy is your #2, where you seem to be equating "thinking" with "free will" and "destiny/foreordained" with "autopilot/non-thinking". I don't think they're mutually exclusive.

    Sure, you can think of possible outcomes and the choices that may lead to them, but ultimately you make ONE choice. And who's to say that that choice was the one you were going to make all along? It's the illusion of free will: you think you're in control but all your "choices" or "decisions" are really part of the great flowchart that has already been mapped out for you.

    I agree that it does seem to give a sort of "Get out of responsibility" card. But if you look at it from a "higher power" point of view, he might have charted out their path that way. Like the game Black and White, you choose people to be breeders and others to do something else :)
  17. Rando Freaky Bear

    Perhaps a better way for me to have phrased #2, is that if the "invisible hand" was guiding me towards a choice, then why would I be thinking of more then one in the first place? Would "fate" not simply choose for me, and that would be the end of it? Indeed, If I have a choice at all, that I must have free will because fate offers no choices, just one path.

    The flow-chart you speek of would simply be a straight line, from birth to death the life fate deems you shall live. Since there are no real choices to make, there would be no other branches on this flow-chart of what may have happened.

    Fate has no choices, just the straight line.

    But, as I said, If I can calculate and ponder at all, then I am considering 2 or more choices.

    If those choices exist, at all, then I must have free will because the path of true fate would have no choices that could have been made.
  18. Hetemti The Wide-Awake Nightmare

    Fate exists because the events at any one point in time dictate the events in the next point in time...right down to the neural synapses that govern your "free will."

    "Afterlife" is something humans invented because they were frightened by the concept of not existing.
  19. Zadok001 CPA Founder, Greater Good

    Rando said:
    "Would "fate" not simply choose for me, and that would be the end of it?"

    Sure. Unless, of course, fate needed to "stall" you temporarily while you thought of other options in order to make the result the proper one. i.e., if you didn't stop to think about which street to drive down, you wouldn't be in front of the drunk driver.

    My point? This argument is one of those that "loops" back onto itself. Maybe fate wants to give us a collective headache.
  20. Rando Freaky Bear

    I just don't buy it.

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