TED Conversations

siddhesh vaze

This conversation is closed.

who is right, free will or determinism. ?

this is what i know ablout free will , that anything in this world can happen , there is always a free choice for events to occur.
and this is what i know about deterinism . that everything in this world is determined/ pre-planned and it can not be changed , events will occur as they have to .
with taking this knowledge into assumption , who is right free will or determinism.

lets put a hypothesis that determinism is right.
now in the end if we prove that determinism is wrong then the basic assumption contradicts with the result. so if you assume world to be deterministic , it wont allow you to be non-deterministic.

but lets just put a hypothesis that there is free-will in this world. that everything is possible. then if we conclude that the world is deteriministic , then our original assuption dont contradicts with our result. it means that free-will allows the world to be deterministic.
dont this proves free-will to be right?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 26 2012: A little Christian perspective.
    The bible gives an overview of world history from beginning to end. So far we seem to be 'on target". So things would seem to be predetermined.
    God urges us to make the right choices; so we have free will.
    But God knows 'the end from the beginning' because he is outside of time. So our free will is predetermined.
    Simple; isn't it ?
    (This is a personal perspective, & may have flaws)

    • thumb
      Mar 26 2012: actually im an atheist , but still f you think about it...........
      actually , what you are you talking about is from two different perspectives. like its determined from gods view and free-will'ed from mans.
      also even though god is out of time how would it make any difference or to say that god's frame of reference is universal frame of reference that is right?
      • thumb
        Mar 26 2012: Hi Siddhesh.
        I agree; from our perspective we have free will, from God's it is predetermined. If the bible is right, then he created time. Science tells us that matter has to exist for time to exist. So he made the universe complete with time, it will run it's course, & he will remove it again.
        The bible gives the gist of what has, & will happen. He knows it all, because he made the whole package. We however are part of the package, so we make our decisions as we go. The only clues we get are in the bible; when we have to make a decision we can get an idea of which way he would want us to go, but it's still our decision.

        • thumb
          Mar 27 2012: hello peter,
          i agree with you, that its different from 2 different perspectives .
          do you mean to say that as god created world and he determined our free-will, so naturally world is dereministic.
          also please explain "matter has to exist for time to exist?" and elaborate "he made the universe complete with time , it will run its course '& he will remove it again. (remove what again ? time ?)
      • thumb
        Mar 27 2012: Hi Siddhesh .
        Einstein discovered that time is dependent on matter existing. It's included in his theory of relativity. There's a simple version here.
        So however the universe came into being; time came into being as well.
        As I understand it, God inhabits a spiritual realm, which has no matter & no time. Eternity if you like. We also have a spiritual component by virtue of our relationship to him.
        So, I believe God made the universe, complete with time. It will run it's course, as outlined in the bible, then it will be dissolved, & a totally new universe will be created suitable for spiritual beings; without time, presumably. This I understand from studying the bible.

    • thumb
      Mar 26 2012: Hi Peter,

      would this also relate to Adam & Eve and the fall from the Garden of Eden? How would free-will play a role if, God had already pre-determined that they would eat from the tree of knowledge?

      I'm interested in your answer because as far as I know, it seems unfair to punish someone for something that you created them to do?
      • Mar 26 2012: Hi, Orlando !
        I agree with you. Seeing God as the Holy Other requires incredible manipulations of reality and enormous blocks and blind spots. I believe there is nobody to punish us, we are not punished FOR our sins but BY our sins. And maybe it will be interesting for you to know that the original meaning of the word 'sin' is 'to miss the target', so we can try again.:)
        • thumb
          Mar 28 2012: Hi Natasha,

          That is very interesting. I did not know that original meaning of the word sin was "to miss the target". We've been taught to think that its God's way of keeping track of the bad deeds that you did and all of our deeds could be repelled if we only come to Jesus and embrace God (or at least that is what I was told growing up). My question is, when did meaning of sin change from "to miss the target" to "your going to hell for your actions"?

          Like you, I do not believe there is no one to punish us for the things we did. I think the fact that we experience suffering, guilt and pain is punishment enough.
      • thumb
        Mar 27 2012: Hi Orlando.
        You are going way beyond my pay scale :). This is something everybody struggles with. one thing we always have to remember is that our ideas are totally different to God's. Jesus said that whoever wanted to be important in heaven, had to be a servant of all. I agree with you, I don't think it's fair either. However it's what God thinks that matters, & my concerns will come as no surprise to him.
        Okay, let's try & see God's perspective. Let's suppose you are in the market for a wife. Would you like one cloned from yourself & converted to a female. She would be a perfect match, & would agree with everything you said. She could be programmed never to leave you.
        Or would you prefer a self willed young lady who has been around a bit. Had some other boyfriends, made a few mistakes. But when you met you fell deeply in love & you just knew she was the one. You both had to work at it, because you knew a good thing when you saw it.
        I believe that in God's eyes, we are lady number two.
        He wants a bride who will make life interesting.. He gave us free will knowing full well we would use it. We have been around a bit & made many mistakes. He & we have to work at a relationship. From his point of view we are worth it; worth enough to be crucified for. That's his downside, ours is of course separation from him for eternity; but that has to be our choice. Love has to be freely given to be worth anything. We are lumbered with an eternal soul, we have to be somewhere.
        Personally I never give hell a second thought, I never had to. Atheists seem to major on it as a minus point for God, If you are worried about it then avoid it; if you're sure it doesn't exist, then why worry. No-one has to go there.

        • thumb
          Mar 27 2012: convincing..........
        • thumb
          Mar 28 2012: Hi Peter,

          Wow! I wasn't expecting that response. I'm quite impressed and you sort of had me stuck for a moment.

          I can agree that such a deity, if it existed, would transcend our limited human knowledge but I do not think this is the God we are talking about here.

          We are talking a God, who is a creator deity and is very much intrigued on what goes on this planet. A god with a personality who inspired groups of men to write a book about him and which millions of people not only debate and talk about him on a daily basis but have lost their lives over a simple belief or disbelief in him.

          We are not talking about a God of great mystery or great interest here. We are talking about a God that we know very well because this God is not mysterious and according to many people, he is very active in human affairs.

          So when relating this to Free-Will, I am talking about the God that everyone around the world knows pretty well and this God does not seem to give out Free-Will because he is thought to be omnipotent and omniscient.

          when we are talking about free-will we are talking about random, spontaneous and events with endless possibilities. This would not fit the model of a being who is all knowing and very active in human affairs and would not think twice to punish them for their actions and this is the problem I see with the Fall:

          It is either God's Providence or God is not all powerful, knowing, etc. Sad to say compatibilism (which is a philosophical way of saying the world is free and determined) does not fit with this model and I think it scares many people to think that God is not all powerful or knowing but what we do not realize is that these are characteristics that we've placed on God because we believe that such a being has to fit this description.

          to be honest, many non-believers are not really concerned about hell. It is when we are told that we are going to hell for our non-belief that we raise questions.
      • Mar 29 2012: Hi, Frans !
        Yes, it seems and it generates another cause... Still it looks like a trap...Cause/ effect, free will/determinism, one exists only by the virtue of the other.
        Seriously, does God have free will ? For what exactly ? He doesn't do anything, he doesn't make choices, he simply IS. Time needs free will, Timelessness doesn't, for everything already IS and has always been here and now and forever, reconciled in all possible directions. Maybe we can exercise our free will, making only one choice : get out of the trap?! Stop making choices, do what situation requires here and now, but don't forget to " dethrone yourself from the center of your world, put another there and you'll transcend yourself ! " Free yourself from choices...
        OK, got that off my chest, back to washing dishes, as situation requires. You know, it's not that difficult so far :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.