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What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:56 am
by Richard
Hello
I had a conversation with a friend last night that made me wonder what kind of numbers of people have different beliefs on this subject, so I thought I'd do a poll. I realise that the options are simplistic, but I wanted to make it clear what I'm asking, rather than use complicated words, and too many sub-categories. I will clarify each option below:

Free Will:
You can choose what to do in each situation, and you could have chosen otherwise

Fate:
Everything is destined to happen, there is a script or plan for the future. You don't have free will

Fate with some Free Will:
Some things are fated to happen no matter what, but you can steer yourself to some degree.

Determinism:
The behaviour of everything in the universe is determined by the laws of physics, including our brains and therefore brain activity. Therefore there is no free will.

Determinism with some Free Will:
Everything that happens is influenced by previous events, but you do have control over decisions you make.

Other:
Something else I haven't thought of

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:14 am
by vege
Everything is destined to happen, but you have free will to choose how to cope with it. What happens to you is predestined, but the way you accept that or treat others is your free will.

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:17 am
by vege
in other words, you could be predestined to be poor, but you have free will to decide if you're going to find happiness in small things and be happy, or to be angry, unsatisfied, start to steel things, etc

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:48 am
by Richard
would you say that's fate or determinism? I assume fate because of the word "destined" that you use

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:25 am
by vege
Im not sure I see the difference. Everything that happens IS influenced by previous events, but it is all destined to happen, every second of every event in Universe is happening according to some grand design of some higher Intelligence we don't know anything about. I don't like to call it God, because the term has been abused so many times. I like negative theology (Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite) standpoint: you can only say that God ISN'T.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophatic_theology

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:47 am
by Richard
Fate means that you have a point in the future which is definitely going to happen. Determinism says that each event that happens is determined by what just happened previously. The difference is that determinism isn't working towards something, it is just the process of how things are, whilst fate is saying there is a plan or time line already in place.

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:03 am
by vege
ok, then I vote Fate with some Free Will

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:40 pm
by Fallen_Horse
Ergh, technically everything that is going to happen is fate, and since it's going to happen no matter what, then fate does exist. However this doesn't mean people don't need to make choices. You can choose to make a good choice or a bad choice, and the result of that is fate.

Ergh again, this is hard to put into text :D

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:50 pm
by Richard
More votes!

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:36 pm
by Dallas
I would like to think free will exist, but isn't something like a meteor determined by gravity?

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:45 pm
by Fallen_Horse
Dallas wrote:I would like to think free will exist, but isn't something like a meteor determined by gravity?

Well if you want to bring physics into this, technically the trajectory of a meteor is not determined until we measure it to be so. But I find that we shouldn't bring physics into this because the math is difficult and the theories uncertain. :)

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:49 pm
by lobsteriffic
Yeah, my mind starts getting boggled when it comes to subatomic particles and Schrodinger's cat and what-not.

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:51 pm
by Duncan_Idaho
I have your answer - what happens is none of your concern! And you have all the free will to apply to the things which happen. So the question is HOW, not WHAT. How you behave influences the stream of 'whats' which happen to you. :D

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:29 pm
by goob
I voted for free will. At any point in my life i could have done anything differently or not at all or done something else entirely. But, I do believe that certain actions increase the likelihood of other actions in the future.

Re: What do you believe regarding free will?

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:44 am
by Richard
Well I'd like to see some more votes on this