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Determinism

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by Blake's Poisontree » Fri May 19, 2017 10:44 pm

I recently read a few articles about determinism, how we do not have free will, and that everything is predetermined. It all apparently starts with neurobiology, synapses firing in order to initiate an action. So that action is determined by the firing of synapses which are influenced by previous encounters, learned behaviour, chemistry, etc. Everything is absolutely everything and the beginning of everything would be the beginning of the universe, if there is a beginning. I shared this theory with a co-worker during a particular hypomanic episode and her response was that she has a choice, she can at any moment decide what she wants or does not want to do. But you don't. If every action is determined/influenced by actions that came before that and the fact that we do not exist in isolation of the universe, then everything is influenced by everything else.

She then said that it is through God that she has free will and can make her own choices. So I asked her if the choices that she makes has any meaning, any significance, to which she replied “yes”. But in order for something to have meaning it needs to originate from something/somewhere, it needs to be initiated and since science can prove that our brain initiates an action before we make the decision to perform that action, we can say that “meaning” is predetermined and there is no free will. If it was not predetermined then it would not have meaning, and absolutely everything in this universe has meaning, without meaning something cannot exist. Simple experiment, I asked her to raise her left hand and she chose to raise her right hand. Free will, apparently, enabled her to make a choice whether she wants to raise her left hand or right, and whether she wants to perform any action at all. But absolutely everything that has happened in her life, mine, and in the existence of everything else, influences from whomever, whatever and wherever, all influenced this experiment and determined multiple results. So no matter what she “chose” that action was already decided an infinity ago. And you can break this down to include absolutely everything we can and can not think of. Everything is connected to everything else, everything influences everything else. Nothing exists in isolation and we are all part of the whole. For free will to exist there would have to be a “gap” somewhere that enables an action to spring to life from nothing, influenced/determined by nothing. That action would then have to convey meaning for it to conclude the theory of free will. How can something have meaning if it comes from nothing? We exist for something else to exist and because something else exists.

So, on those days that I feel that my life has no meaning I can remind myself that everything has meaning because meaning is predetermined. The meaning of my life and of my death was decided an infinity ago. It does not matter in what state I exist, life or death, it still has meaning.
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by AvantGarde » Fri May 19, 2017 11:03 pm

:o YES

This is how I see it too. Furthermore, the need for meaning it's what matters, not the meaning itself. If you consider the idea of meaning, it's preestasblished by our preconcieved idea of things having a meaning, doesn't exactly mean that outside the realms of our minds (if you're not solipsistic) things do have meaning.

Either way, I'm content. My life can have the meaning my own experience attributes to it, it can have no meaning at all but still make a contribution to the world, even if small.
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by Spm24 » Fri May 19, 2017 11:09 pm

This is a hard one. At times I believe parts of what your saying but other times I totally disagree with it.

When I believe parts of it , it is usually that our death is predetermined. But when have choices of what paths we want to choice til that time comes. Just like to me I can choice to eat pickled today or not. That I have free will to do so. I have never totally embraced that idea that I don't.

Other times I believe that nothing is predetermined. That every choice is free will. That if I choice to get in a car and go a hundred and crash and perish that is the result of my decision and not what has been determined..

Just my opinion in the matter
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by Pancake » Sat May 20, 2017 12:08 am

I don't think so. If it were that simple, I wouldn't have so much trouble making decisions :lol:
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 12:13 am

Several events trigger other several events, that trigger a number of predetermined choices in your head...
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by Spm24 » Sat May 20, 2017 12:38 am

Nope still stubborn and don't agree :lol:
But that the good thing we all have opinion​s
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 12:49 am

NO! We all have to think alike :evil:

:lol:
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by Jemane » Sat May 20, 2017 1:28 am

Aggghhh! That's what they used to say in the cult I was in AG. :twisted:
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 1:33 am

Didn't mean to trigger you, I'm all in favour of different opinions. I like debates and talking a lot too :? lol
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by Jemane » Sat May 20, 2017 1:37 am

Hahaha... no triggers, it's all good. Just banter that's all.

The question of meaning I find hard. You see, I'm of the opinion that everything is actually meaningless. There's no god or higher being so we need to make our own meaning out of what we have and where life has placed. I guess the meaningless stance is not so good when I'm depressed but I fail to see why us animals who happen to be smart enough to create the world around us as it is have any particular purpose. Animals don't have purpose.
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 1:41 am

Sure we do. Eat, poop, pee, sleep, fuck, procriate, walk around and survive.
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by Jemane » Sat May 20, 2017 1:44 am

Not sure if that's purpose or just evolutionary survival. I suppose you could argue either way.
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 1:49 am

Yeah, I feel the same. Evolutionary survival could actually be the purpose, either way the purpose is ours to invent its' meaning. My kitten's purpose is to demand to be petted and to hunt bugs :lol:
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by Jemane » Sat May 20, 2017 1:53 am

I suppose I've created a purpose which is to love and care for my kids and to fulfill the role that is my profession. I'm creating meaning out of no meaning.
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 1:55 am

Considering the size of the observable universe I say that's more than okay. Just the ability to love and to feel is amazing. If you think about it, the whole fact that everything including us, exists, is fucking amazing.
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by Jemane » Sat May 20, 2017 1:59 am

Agreed. And then one day we'll die and be nothing again. Gone. Just like that. Just a shadow of a memory then forgotten.
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by Pancake » Sat May 20, 2017 4:44 am

Considering the size of the observable universe

I think we should eat cake.

I don't disagree that I make choices based on the parameters of my past experience, but I definitely disagree with the premise that there is no such thing as free will.
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 5:26 am

I'm too young to have philosophical certainties. :roll: Why do you guys even engage with me? :lol:
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by cottontail » Sat May 20, 2017 5:51 am

Hmmm ... I studied philosophy but we didnt touch on determanism.... interesting concept. I believe that dramatic events are carried through our genes to our children, either good or bad which come out through triggers in later life which people experience.

There have been studies with adopted children which show that the adopted children are much more like their birth parents when grown up even if they have never met them. This would hold water with the determinism theory.

I have recently experienced my own version of lack of freewill ... both good and bad and I am not too happy about it either as I like the idea of freewill to be honest.
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by AvantGarde » Sat May 20, 2017 6:00 am

There goes free will out of the window *wooosh*
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by Duckysmom » Sat May 20, 2017 7:15 am

Sorry, I believe in free will and make my own decisions. Even in my worst states (manic or depressed) I make my choices. I made a lot of bad ones in the past which triggered a lot of events after, but I still made the initial decision. I just choose to make the right ones now (for the most part - nobody's perfect).
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by hal » Sat May 20, 2017 8:11 am

Determinism used to be a philosophical problem, then it became mostly a scientific one. Science requires determinism, since it relies on cause and effect. There are two problems here: emergence and indeterminacy.

“In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is a phenomenon whereby larger entities arise through interactions among smaller or simpler entities such that the larger entities exhibit properties the smaller/simpler entities do not exhibit.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

Since the deterministic A --> B --> C pattern is not present, or at least not obvious, determinism seems to suffer a blow.

Many physicists experience heartburn over the implications of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which states that of two related qualities of a particle, such as position and momentum, the better the one is measured, the less accuracy can be found in the other. Einstein, a firm determinist, rejected the notion, saying, “God does not play dice with the universe.”

Another phenomenon arises when a particle has the seemingly random “choice” of positive or negative spin. Particle physicists have postulated that if the choice goes one way in our world, the other choice takes place in another world, or universe. In this way, since all possibilities are accounted for, determinism is preserved.
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by cottontail » Sat May 20, 2017 9:56 am

Ducky

It is more complicated than making your own decisions. We are programmed through being part of the universe to make decisions. It appears like free will but it is not. We can learn by our mistakes, it is not a get out of jail free card, but it is not free will.
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by Duckysmom » Sat May 20, 2017 11:54 am

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point. I don't believe in my life already being predetermined by anything. I believe in free will. I can change my destination.
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by cottontail » Sat May 20, 2017 5:34 pm

Ducky

I love a good debate. I miss that about not being at uni ... oh well ... maybe in the future.
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