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Phil Webb

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Are we bound by destiny? Or can we actually make a choice, other than that we are "destined" to make? ( if destiny exist)

I currently believe that, in a sense, we cannot make a choice, any choice, other than what we are destined to make.
Imagine having a clone of our universe, IE: plants, animals, weather, Humans, even the experiences, thoughts, memories, synapses of all brains, down to the atomic level etc, .but neither Universe is aware of the others existence.
Then if we could "pause" both universes and "play" at the same time where they would be in complete sync, same cloud, same raindrops, same falling leaf, same decisions being made, same thoughts etc from both Universes.
Would not both "Worlds" continue to run in sync ?
I propose that they would continue in sync since decisions are made solely on information taken in previously and or situations which we find ourselves.
Then if we paused "Universe A" and allowed "Universe B" to continue to run for 100 years before "playing Universe A" would not Universe A have to follow the exact path that took place in Universe B? If not, then why not?
I think, if the above is true, that EVERY decision we make is the ONLY ONE we can make as it is based on the things around us, and also previous thoughts and experiences, since this is all we have "to go on" when making a decision.
And since these 2 universes are not dependent on each other, would the fact that one does not really exist change this concept any?"
I think that being able to compare the "idea" of having 2 identical universes somehow makes it easier to understand, or at least for me to be able to try to explain my thoughts.
Not that there is something or someone controlling what we do, just that we have to make THAT choice based on ALL information being presented to us and making any other choice other than that one, is impossible, unless i'm wrong in my thinking.
I tried to bounce this idea off of my wife, but she shuts down when I get to the part about "cloned universe".
Also, if this is true, then how does knowing this information affect you now?

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  • Oct 10 2011: I will first define what destiny can or may be from my optics.
    i see it as two "event lines" that cross each other sometimes but their basic state is to be away one from the other.
    1. The facts or events of life that we can't control.
    2. The facts or events of life that are direct result of our decisions and actions.
    3. Crossroads, or sets of opportunities we can choose from.
    Lets get into category 1. We can't decide where and under which conditions we are born, or what school to attend until we reach certain age, or who will win the elections in a foreign country or stop a war, or what health issues we will have to face. As individuals there are events that are away of our control that is the core of what we call destiny. But here comes category 2. The events that are result of our decisions or actions. Two individuals one born in a difficult social condition, and the other born having all the economic and emotional support, can both achieve similar levels of success in the future, according to their decisions. Maybe one of them will have to work harder than the other but for sure, both of them will face Crossroads (Category 3) and both of them will have to decide which of the several paths they will go. Again decisions are the key here, all is based on a decision. I am not yet sure if health can be 100% influenced by our actions or decisions. On this matter i would like to hear some ideas.
  • Oct 6 2011: Read up on 'determinism' if you're interested in this kind of stuff.

    It is also related to dualistic and monistic views on the nature of the human mind - dualism denotes that the human mind/spirit/soul exists in the physical universe and in a different substrate - presumably one on which only the mind operates, and somehow interacts with this world through the brain, while monism denotes that the human mind only exists in this material universe - and by extension must obey the same laws of physics that all other matter follows.

    Outside of the human mind, there is little reason for us to suppose that our universe operates on a duality... and most modern scholars studying into fields related to the brain/mind would agree with the monistic supposition of the workings of the human (and all other) minds.

    The last question you pose is particularly salient however - understanding that the we are affected by natural, measurable forces means that we can take that information and improve ourselves with it. We do not have to ascribe to ephemeral notions of spirit, willpower or character, what we can ascribe to a complex interplay of genetics, environment and opportunity.
    • Oct 7 2011: George,
      Will research some of these terms you present.
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    Oct 5 2011: This mental construction is very interesting. I do however not see how this assumption can prove anything because it is not really true.
    I believe we have perfect freewill because we are human and here for a purpose. That purpose is a heaven from the human race. We can want anything, love anything etc. Because what we love determines our eternity.
    Do you have the feeling that you are forced into any decision you make? Whether it is turning your head a certain way or seeing the Bible as nonsense, we are in complete control because that is what makes us human, and only what we decide in freedom becomes 'us', our character.
    Besides that there are certain influences. Our hereditary tendencies, our environment (spiritual and natural). But when we are healthy and not forced, we can use our will in total freedom.
    • Oct 5 2011: Adriaan,
      Interesting thoughts,
      What are your thoughts about the question regarding the :Universes "A & B" being in sync with one another with one even shadowing perfectly the other at a later date?
      I think that it is true, that it is not possible to run this theory in a lab, just for conjecture. But lets pretend that we could do that mentioned in the original post.
      If you think that the Universes "A & B" would be in sync, then would not this prove that the decision being made, have to be made that way, and if not, then, in my thought process, the cloning was not perfect since at the moment the decisions were not running in sync, something must have been different between the 2 Universes.
      I've read on another post regarding "Fate" a answer that mentioned "Cause and effect"
      I"m not saying that I think that there is a higher power that has already planned everything for us in advance and this power is just letting it play out.
      What I'm saying is that there is not other choice we can make, other than the one that we do make.
      How can it be otherwise?
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        Oct 5 2011: Sorry I got to go for tonight, (no freedom) :) but it is just impossible to proof anything when done "just for conjecture" and with pretending..
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        Oct 12 2011: Have some more time now :)

        So what if we change our minds? Why do you believe we can only make one choice when we do make a choice?
        Personally I believe we have free will and can make the choice we want to make because making those choices shape our character. Our, I'd say, obvious freedom is how we respond to events that happen to us. The last we have, usually, no control over but we certainly do over how we react, even automatically. We can 'teach' ourselves to not swear when the hammer meets our thumb :)
        There also may be no more love in a marriage so we decide to divorce, but with the right guidance things can be made right again. IOW we have the freedom to choose to make our responses more loving again (if that was lacking)..
        • Oct 13 2011: To me the "example" that I talked about makes sense to me.
          I know that you mentioned ",..... but it is just impossible to proof(sic)anything when done "just for conjecture" and with pretending."
          But there really is nothing wrong with using illustrations or examples of things that do not really exist to try to explain a theory.
          What I was originally thinking was that a person will always make the decision that causes the "least resistance" "in their mind" for example: ( and this would work with anyone, on any level) Mother Theresa, Ghandi, etc etc basically HAD to do the things that they did, acted the way they did, AS doing anything else, would have been a harder choice for them to make, mentally.
          For Mother Theresa to not care daily for those in India ,would have made her a miserable woman.
          Please understand that I am not in any way saying that they took the easy road, that is just the way that they had to be, to be satisfied with their life.
          Anyway, that is what started me to thinking about how we must follow a certain course. To me it makes sense.
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        Oct 13 2011: I can see your point, that if there is a 'route' of least resistance that is what we take. What might help is to see us as spiritual beings with a basic or ruling love. As the saying goes We are what we love. This means that we do things because we love to do them, our attitude toward life..
        For Mother Theresa or Gandhi to act against that love of theirs would be very difficult.
        Some people love others to the point of deciding to jump in a lake, despite the real risk, to save someone from drowning. This indeed is, as you say, not taking the easy road. To not react and do what they felt they had to do, and see the person drown, would ruin the rest of their life.

        However, this "being determined" is so because that's what we have made ourselves into. Not any kind of outside force or determining power forcing us, was involved.

        As you ask, how does knowing this affect me now. I am trying to change what I love into what I know I should love. In other words I'm trying to become a better person.
        If you are interested, there is a book on my website called The Human Mind.
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    Oct 5 2011: Actually we have a choice and that choice is predestined and that choice was only predestined because we were going to chose that , So, we have free will , a choice to choose, We can't say "Oh we have no choice and let it flow", then the things won't work and that not working will also be our destiny ,because its us who will be choosing that .
    Every one has a path to choose, and the universe is already following the laws, but its only the humans who can follow the laws which are given to him by the creator of the universe and its him "the human" that if he follows them to remain in harmony or not!
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    Oct 5 2011: We don't really have a choice. A single format works in almost all aspects of the universe and its the same in the case of human beings too. But the only difference is that, we understand it as Life. Any object in the Universe has an orbit and path and its course and stuff. Its same in the case of Humans too. We understand that as destiny. its real.

    We desire for something and we achieve it. Is it because we desired for it that we achieved it or the vice versa!
  • Oct 5 2011: Michael,
    I would thank you for replying, but I know you could not help yourself anyway.
    All kidding aside, you mentioned "The corollary is that, if humans are just physical beings, then they too are completely a product of the physical rules. In that sense, we would have no "free will."
    And "Chaos theory says that this is not necessarily so if the two sets of initial conditions or interaction rules differ, even if it is ever so slightly"
    If things were to, somehow, veer off course from each other, would there not have to had been a "slight difference" somewhere?
    Even as small as a thought being ever so different, could in my opinion, cause a change. But the thought being different would in my theory(probably not mine) could be found out that there was something not "the same"
    I do appreciate your thoughts, and I am so glad that I have found this site, very interesting , heady stuff.
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    Oct 5 2011: Phil, your idea makes sense for a Newtonian universe. Starting from the same set of initial conditions and following the same set of interaction rules, two physical systems will evolve in the exact same way. (Chaos theory says that this is not necessarily so if the two sets of initial conditions or interaction rules differ, even if it is ever so slightly.) The corollary is that, if humans are just physical beings, then they too are completely a product of the physical rules. In that sense, we would have no "free will."

    Of course, Newtonian physics is just a model. If you subscribe to Quantum theories, then all of this reasoning (I am told) quickly goes out the window. And even that is just a model. So in reality, the jury is still out on fate vs. free will.

    Here's an interesting question. Would you rather live as if you have free will or live as if you are controlled by destiny? (That's a trick question- since if you subscribe to the latter, you can't choose the former anyways.)
    • Oct 6 2011: Quantum indeterminacy isn't actually a 'gap' through which 'free will' can fit.

      It's not so much we understand enough about quantum mechanics, but that we understand enough about the nature of the human mind to make such a statement.
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    Oct 4 2011: Phil i think you just made an extraordinary point....if looking from your point of view...that is the cloned universe the decisions we take are the only ones we can....but i think personally that its impossible to clone human emotions and and as all the decisions we take are ultimately the result of our thoughts and emotions hence they can change with every moment and evry person...
    • Oct 4 2011: Rashi,.

      Thank you for responding,
      I brought up the idea of a cloned universe just for the sake of reasoning between the 2 universes and I forgot to clarify with the comment:
      "and since these 2 universes are not dependent on each other, would the fact that one does not really exist change this concept of the other STILL having to go the same path as it would IF there were 2?"
      I think that being able to compare the "idea" of having 2 identical universes somehow makes it easier to understand, or at least for me to be able to try to explain my thoughts.
      Additional comments?
      ( I was able to edit the original post to include this omission.)