Are we victims of circumstance or do we choose our circumstance?

Homepage Forums Small Talk Are we victims of circumstance or do we choose our circumstance?

This topic contains 47 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 48 total)
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  • #29080

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I feel that I DO consciously control most of the choices I make. Especially if I take time to reason.

    There is that funny quote that Hitchens used to say..”I have no choice but to believe in free will”.  I think this one ends up being solved in quantum theory. Some day.

    #29081

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Jody, have a look-see.

    #29082

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Robert, even if quantum injects randomness it does nothing to create free will. If you disagree please explain your thinking.

    #29083

    _Robert_
    Participant

    A new paradigm could always be discovered because simply put we don’t know squat.

    PS..Read a news story today about some breakthrough with quantum computing that will change the world.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  _Robert_.
    #29085

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Squat wisdom, squat wise, shooting sparks time flies, whither the wisdom to describe. Neb by neb the sighted sign that waxing on is so much braille. In declensions of deforming glancing meaning…

    Free will is an issue for science to solve…not that i think we will get there. Another refrain is the tendency to anthropocentric thinking. We can’t divorce ourselves from ourselves.

    #29088

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    If an evil person does evil or a good person does good, there have to be reasons controlling those choices and making them inevitable.

    I understand this in theory, but not in practice. True, there are “inevitabilities”, but to equate that with “one has no control” seems to too easily gloss over the possibilities one has. Let’s say that Sammy would do something evil unless his friend steps in to convince him not to do it. Doesn’t the way you look at this possible scenario, if Sammy’s friend heard your lecturing on this topic, influence Sammy’s friend to not even try to influence Sammy?

    I have difficulty differentiating your view of inevitability from a belief that “since you can’t control or influence your future or other people’s future, why even try?”.

    (LOL, please teach me, or try! I am listening.)

    #29089

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    I understand that we are basically a neural alchemy of past and present, but we can manipulate some outcomes. Or, in some cases, attempt to. I believe this.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Jody Lee.
    #29099

    Unseen
    Participant

    Robert, even if quantum injects randomness it does nothing to create free will. If you disagree please explain your thinking.

    There appear to be only to ways human actions, including choices, can happen. They are caused by the same forces that cause everything else in our surroundings, or they are random, which means they just fucking happen. It’s hard to find free will in either description. There is a kind of third kind of cause, if you want to invoke a little magic. Posit a spirit or soul that isn’t subject to physical laws. Posit also some magical way this spirit or soul can manipulate physical reality.

    If you believe in free will, you believe in magic.

    #29100

    Unseen
    Participant

    I understand that we are basically a neural alchemy of past and present, but we can manipulate some outcomes. Or, in some cases, attempt to. I believe this.

    You can have your own beliefs, but you can’t have your own facts. Explain how your belief is possible.

    #29101

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Robert, even if quantum injects randomness it does nothing to create free will. If you disagree please explain your thinking.

    There appear to be only to ways human actions, including choices, can happen. They are caused by the same forces that cause everything else in our surroundings, or they are random, which means they just fucking happen. It’s hard to find free will in either description. There is a kind of third kind of cause, if you want to invoke a little magic. Posit a spirit or soul that isn’t subject to physical laws. Posit also some magical way this spirit or soul can manipulate physical reality. If you believe in free will, you believe in magic.

    Time isn’t time? Length isn’t length? This relativity business is magic. People evolved from apes, the earth goes around the sun? Said a whole lot of people who didn’t have a clue. They knew what they knew and so do you.

    #29107

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Explain how your belief is possible.

    Surely it can be a fact that someone has a belief.

    #29108

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    @unseen, Show me facts that all of the choices we make are random.

    I BELIEVE based on what I do know. I know that I chose to get up this morning, start laundry, make a cup of coffee, turn on adult swim and read the updates on AZ. Was that random? Because I laid here and debated what needed done and how I wanted to start my day.

    I know that there are more factors in how I chose to spend too my morning,  but I did consciously decide to do the things I did.

    #29110

    _Robert_
    Participant

    As long a quantum physics has not yet debunked retrocausality and proposals like the Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory, I consider the jury is still out. You may choose to sum up  as quantum physics as simply a source of randomness if you like but I think that is a great oversimplification.

    This is the same as ruling out a god to me. I just don’t have the knowledge to draw that conclusion.

    #29111

    I think that talking about QM in terms of “randomness” is not so much an oversimplification but that is is the incorrect word to use. The workings of QM are better expressed in terms of “probabilities”. There is some interesting work done on demonstrating that the wave function is not just a probability distribution but that it is a real thing that informs a single quantum system (or wave) how to behave. In the same sense that the wave of a magnetic field is real. The idea gets very complicated as soon as it considers the interactions (or behavior) of charged particles with each other.

    I am not informed enough to argue about retro-causality but I would think that the laws of cause and effect hold fast (like the uni-directional properties of Entropy). If we take a measurement of a atom today I don’t think another measurement taken tomorrow would have any effect on it state today.

    #29112

    @JodyLee I BELIEVE based on what I do know. I know that I chose to get up this morning.. make a cup of coffee

    I would argue that your “choices” were determined by your past circumstances, that is that you went to bed last night.  Your “choice” in making a cup of coffee is entirely determined by the fact that you had already purchased coffee, a cup, a kettle, have available water and so on. Without these exact conditions being in place then you would have not being able to choose to make that cup of coffee. Then your only choice, given your circumstances, would have been to choose not to make a coffee! You could only change your circumstances if you become “empowered” to do so.  Then you are “free” to choose to make (or not make) that cup of coffee in the future but either way are you not a “victim” of those circumstances?

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