Free Will vs. Predestination

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What you think?

Bound by fate
13
22%
Free will man!
47
78%
 
Total votes : 60

Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby agga » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:02 pm

Ok, so is our future predestined (predetermined?) or are we free to determine it from moment to moment? Here is a nice thought experiment:

Assume a universe which is in fact 'deterministic', in that future states are predictable on the basis of current states (a good assumption as far as the large-scale universe goes; quantum-scale, maybe not so much).

Let's say you had technology, a gadget, which let you completely analyze a person's brain, and that same person's immediate surroundings, and predict what types of decisions that person would make, on the basis of perfect physical, chemical, biological, and neuropsychological science. If you observed your gadget consistently making correct predictions, you would probably conclude that yes, humans are indeed deterministic creatures, that their actions were wholly determined and predictable.

Now, what if you turned that gadget on yourself? It might make a prediction about your future behavior, that you're just about to turn your head to the left, or take a sip of coffee. Here is the problem: once you have been told by your perfect gadget that you're going to do something, do you still have the option of *not* doing it? Is the gadget incorporating your knowledge of its prediction into its prediction?

Suppose you are aware of this paradox: you decide that, the next time the gadget predicts what you're going to do, you will purposefully *not* do it. Will you find this impossible to do? You might guess that the gadget is incorporating your knowledge of its prediction into its prediction, and yet again decide to defy it: are you doomed to fail, no matter how trivial the prediction? Is the gadget incorporating your knowledge of its incorporation of your knowledge of its prediction into its prediction into its prediction? :lol:

You can see where this goes: turning the gadget on yourself creates an infinite regress of your decisions versus the gadget's predictions. This seems to be an absurdity.

It seems to me, as it probably seems to anyone reading this, that if someone says they predict that you *cannot* do something trivial in the future, you are able to decide on the basis of their prediction and defy them, or to decide otherwise. Try it with your neighbor. It appears as if a decision can be made on the basis of information relating to the decision itself. This would suggest that the above paradox is in fact false. Destiny can be escaped, even in a deterministic universe.

So! This (provisional) conclusion leaves us with *another* paradox: you yourself are capable of defying destiny (if you have a predictor gadget), while others who are not you are machines with predetermined behavior. The gadget frees you, which sort of makes it a free-will device. But, remember my original assumptions...
造反有理!
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Kingdom of Cheng » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:44 pm

I hate this thought of Pre-destination. I believe that you the individual are in control of your own destiny.
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:29 pm

So me and WeiWenDi were having a simular discussion to this in the UK Politics thread. We both believe in free will but in different ways. I believe that we have our own choice but God knows what we'll choose. He puts two paths in front of us knowing what he wants up to pick, and what we'll pick. There not always the same, hence we have free will but as he knows what our choice will be the path is ready for you to walk.
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Kingdom of Cheng » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:10 pm

Sun Fin wrote:So me and WeiWenDi were having a simular discussion to this in the UK Politics thread. We both believe in free will but in different ways. I believe that we have our own choice but God knows what we'll choose. He puts two paths in front of us knowing what he wants up to pick, and what we'll pick. There not always the same, hence we have free will but as he knows what our choice will be the path is ready for you to walk.

Exactly, WE get to pick which road we choose to walk.
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:36 am

Kingdom of Cheng wrote:Exactly, WE get to pick which road we choose to walk.


Sorry I'm confused, are you agreeing with me or not? :oops:
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby SunXia » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:52 pm

I think he's a agreeing with you because a lot of who we are extends from what we choose to do in live and I refuse to be bound by a destiny that says no matter what I do, the outcome will be the same!!
If becoming enlightened or an intellectual means I must become arrogant and coldly cynical about the world around me then I'd gladly remain a fool for the rest of my life!!

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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Kingdom of Cheng » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:53 pm

Sun Fin wrote:
Kingdom of Cheng wrote:Exactly, WE get to pick which road we choose to walk.


Sorry I'm confused, are you agreeing with me or not? :oops:

:lol: yes Sun Fin I am agreeing with you.
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:38 pm

Kingdom of Cheng wrote: :lol: yes Sun Fin I am agreeing with you.


Thats good, I'm just not use to people agreeing with me in debates to do with religon here :lol:
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Lonely_dragon » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:00 am

Even though maybe our future is predestined however I do believe that Man controls their own destinies. So I will choose my own destiny and make it as I wanted it. 8-)
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Re: Free Will vs. Predestination

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:36 pm

Lonely_dragon wrote:Even though maybe our future is predestined however I do believe that Man controls their own destinies. So I will choose my own destiny and make it as I wanted it. 8-)


I don't get how you can have it both ways. Also, as for the general question, I have two comments. First of all, I don't believe in predestination because I don't believe theres anyone or anything doing the predestining. Secondly, for the sake of argument, if there was such a thing of predestination we would have no way to know it. Every answer you came across, pro or con, could just be marked up as a part of the "bigger plan". You're arm cut off? Well I'm sure its all part of the plan. :roll:
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