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Are our actions determined, or are we free? (Free Will & Determism)
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Posted 1/23/07 , edited 1/23/07
Most of the people I'm around have the same simple view on this so i'm looking for the more detailed opinions of a wider variety of people. ^-^

If you dont know it includes all the ideas of fate, an external force that controls our lives, coincidence and beliefs such as Astrology.
So what do you think? Do we have free will or are our lives controled and aiming in a predetermined direction? Do you think their is meaning to coincidences?
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Additional info by mauz15
This is to help start the discussion, hope it helps

***If we look at ourselves, at our ability to deliberate and make choices, it seems obvious that we are free. On the other hand, if we look at what we believe about causality. (that every event must have a cause) it appears that we do not have free wills but are determined. We seem to have inconsistent beliefs.
Posted 1/23/07
I dont believe in fate/meant to be/ prophecies etc. In stories it sounds very nice, and it would be comforting to know that you had some greater purpose to achieve, something that you were meant to do. But i think in realistic terms, we choose our own destinies. All the choices we make are our own, based on our experiences at the time.

"people are always blaming circustances for what they are. I dont believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they cant find them, make them"

I dont know who said that, but thats the philosophy i try and follow. Things arent going to happen for you unless you make them happen.
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Posted 1/23/07
I'm a bit unsure about your expectations for this topic. What did these people you talked to say 'no' to?

Well, lets begin with a definition:
deus ex machina -- (any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve and insoluble difficulty).

It came from the greek "'ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός' ápo mēchanēs theós" It came from theater, when a mechane would lower actors playing a god or gods on stage to resolve a hopeless situation.

Its clear from that description that it is ultimately a ploy (some kind of maneuver to get out of a tricky situation). That said, I tend to scoff at people so like to say things like, "everything happens for a reason."
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Posted 1/23/07
^yeah i looked up an actual definition for it aswell but the abstract idea is based on the interference of a god/entity. I'm just interested in if people believe their is a meaning to coincidences as practical/ scientific thinking is more popular now.
(i edited a bit if that helps ^-^)

Personally i dont believe things are anything more than coincidence and i dont think my life has a specific reason to it. It is nice though to impose meanings on to things ^-^
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Posted 1/23/07
I dont know man, sometimes I think I control my destiny and sometimes I just think that choice is just an illusion created by god to keep us from supressing the quaries that stem from a monotonous life
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Posted 1/23/07
Well, I find the idea of fate an interesting topic, but being a philosopher, I suppose I consider more or less the same set of concepts, but using terms such as free will, determinism, etc.

As I've posted once before here, I can't think of a time when some god or god-like entity interfered in my life (except for one thing, which could have just as easily been coincidence).

I can't really say honestly that I've had that "we were meant to meet in life" feeling, and even if there was such a thing, the feeling could be explained.

BTW is that Ziyi Zhang in your avi or Li Gong, or someone else? Can't quite tell but I'll guess ZZ.
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Posted 1/23/07
^^ye i use those terms but i wanted to make it easy for non-philosophy and younger members ^-^.
^Since most people are saying that, it would probably be a good idea to change it then ^-^

Things happened to me when i was younger that i thought were because of some form of a God; because thats what i was taught. When i got older though i began to understand how they could just have easily been coincidence.
Everyone says i have a very lucky life and that i must have 'someone up there rooting for me' but i think its just because im optimistic.

haha! im not sure who it is! i just really love the picture! *shame*
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Posted 1/23/07
i'm not one for fate, but i do not think we have the full ability to chose and understand things we come into contact with everyday. from birth and even before then with nutrition we are being conditiond to preceve the world in a particular way. our whole lives we see reacuring things and our lives are lived diffrently then that of sombody in a third world country. so our decisions and way of seeing life and the people in it are diffrent. it gets a lot more fine tuned then just that but that it the concept of what i think. the fact is you were raised diffrently then the person you are sitting next to anywere you go. for me i cant understand why people discriminate against others, but somebody who say hates christians or blacks or anything elce that makes them diffrent from themselves wont feel the same way. their actions are justified becuse they were raised in a world where they were told or felt it was ok to think that way and made them happy think as such.
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Posted 1/23/07
Nope, they are not justified. And does your response mean you believe we are not free?
because I agree with you, our decisions are different but that's not really the point of the discussion....I think
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Posted 1/23/07
Well, as she typed: "i do not think we have the full ability to chose and understand things we come into contact with everyday." A cursory comment though, so the important part of Myode's post deals with environmental determinism. Note: "their actions are justified becuse they were raised in a world where they were told or felt it was ok to think that way and made them happy think as such."

If people cannot be held responseable for their acts then we lose any kind of traditional morality. I don't have any fantastic answers here, but while I think It is true that we can't change a person's past environment, that does not mean that their future is fixed. If they were born Muslim, they can indeed break out of that indocternation, and be better off for it, though it is rather difficult.
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Posted 1/23/07
we have a choice we can choose to do anything we want though we generally choose the choice that leads us in the direction we want to go which might seem like to some people that we haven't got a choice like i've got a choice to eat cereal or fruit for breakfast or i might just eat both which is more likely which means there is a third choice to it all which is the one i like most.
people that believe in fate are just unwilling to do the something that might be a little harder or a little risky. i could go out and do something really stupid now and get hit by a car that isn't my fate coz i would of chosen that but i'm not going to choose to do that because that would just be stupid: it's also cold and wet outside, but my point is we have the choice just because we don't take the choice doesn't mean that our fates are set.
if you believe in fate your already dead so you may as well go and get hit by a car because it's your fate but since i don't believe in fate i'm gonna live a good life and eat cereal and fruit today.
fate is also a very stupid reason to say why you did something bad i go out rob a bank and get caught i'm in court and they ask me why i did it "sorry your honour but i had to do it because it was my fate to do it." see what i mean fate is just stupid.
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Posted 1/23/07
Well there are people who believe fate exists within our own choice. Such as, say a girl you really liked (or a boy whatever, it dosen't matter ) asked you to go out with them...and you say yes. Some would say this is free will. But others would say its fate, becuase you were never going to say no anyway. See? Say, if you were starving and someone offered you food, you gonna say no? Of course not. So, some will say this is fate, because (although you are being offered a choice) there is no choice really
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Posted 1/23/07
I believe that we make our own choices in life and mold our own destiny. the choice is ours what we do with our lives.
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Posted 1/23/07

Jozephz wrote:

Well there are people who believe fate exists within our own choice. Such as, say a girl you really liked (or a boy whatever, it dosen't matter ) asked you to go out with them...and you say yes. Some would say this is free will. But others would say its fate, becuase you were never going to say no anyway. See? Say, if you were starving and someone offered you food, you gonna say no? Of course not. So, some will say this is fate, because (although you are being offered a choice) there is no choice really


people would say that but you do have the choice if you ask a girl out she is just as likely to say no if i was starving and someone offered me food i don't have to say yes please or anything i have a choice of saying no because if there was one person that offers me some food there will be another plus i would of eaten dirt or grass or trees or something if i was that hungry
but my point is we have that choice to accept the food or not we just choose to accept the food because it would be stupid not to because we are hungry and someone is offering it to us we have the choice to say no we have a choice in everything and it is just a matter of whether we actually use our choices or not
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Posted 1/23/07
Ok here is my say. I know this will cause a big riot but oh well.

There is no such thing as free will. There is no such thing as choice. We do what we do because it was what we were programmed to do. All of our actions have been per choosen for us to do. We just have to learn how to flow with them.

Take a look at it like this. Have any oh you seen the moive 12 Monkies? Well the point of this movie is ...............................I will let you go to an other page if you don't want to read it...............................................................................................................ok thats good enough, that even though you can go to the past you can't change anything. By going to the past it can even be to that makes the event that you are trying to stop happen.

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