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Does free will exist or is reality dictated by determinism

Do we have the free will to control our lives and our actions or are all things a product of causality?


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    Jan 13 2012: We do control everything around us ...
    if you don't like your job who should find you a better one?
    if the dishes are dirty in the sink who should wash up?
    if the project at work is waiting to be finished who'd do that?
    Examples can be numerous ... the point is that our life is all in our hands and minds. :) Sometimes time will get in the way but then we find time to deal with whatever we have to.
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      Jan 14 2012: but what if you're meant to do those things? what if I'm meant to ask this question?
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        Jan 14 2012: The only thing I believe we have been meant to do is to live ... just to LIVE every single minute of every single day, possibly as humans, may be sometimes not so much.
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          Jan 14 2012: That's the crutch of the matter; you believe that. We can never prove it beyond all doubt, though.
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        Jan 15 2012: Hi Zacharia,
        I hope you don't mind me calling you by the first name! But regarding your last comment:
        1. I don't like the 'c' word so I have another suggestion which follows.
        2. That's all I have to say on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzxanOJi9O0
    • Jan 14 2012: "If you don't like your job, should you find a better one?"

      This is a good example of a decision which can easily be explained by causality.

      Perhaps unpleasant things are happening at your work which hurt you. Perhaps having your specific job gives you pride because it's somehow prestigious. Perhaps there are a few other competing factors involved which need to be considered.

      Those are variables which need to be assigned a value. Once they have been assigned a value, making the decision is just a mathematical equation, a cost benefit analysis.

      We don't consciously add numbers together and that would be because there is a division of labour in your brain but either way there is a very logical process involved.

      If causality is absolute then for a given situation with a given person in a given state of mind, there can be only one outcome.

      The person will perceive different possible outcomes and believe that there is a choice but that choice would be an illusion.
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        Jan 14 2012: Who makes those imaginary choices for you then, Luke? Who creates the outcomes?

        I was awaiting an answer from Luke, since I got none so far I'd reply to Zacharia's comment:
        I don't fancy the idea that someone else controlling my life ... I rather prefer to try at all costs to manage it myself, however humanly possible. :) I wish to pose no counterpoints but just to express my own thoughts on the proposed question. I may agree that all is not up to us but I still want to believe that life is mostly what I make of it.
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          Jan 14 2012: God, the universe, destiny. There are a plethora of choices. But then of course you'll just counter this by pointing out that there isn't any proof for any of them, and then I would counter that with one of the myriad counters people have come up for that. For example the intelligent design theory which essentially, and this is summarized, that the world is this complex construction, and when we come across complex constructions in the world around us, say a house, we don't tend to believe that the house just popped out from the ground on it's own, or even that it evolved that way. So why do we assume that this universe, the sum of this incredibly complex and interactive world we live in, rose up on it's own, or evolved on it's own. Of course you could just say that science leads us to believe, etc etc, which brings me back to my original point; no one wins in these debates. There's always a point and counter point and this have been shown by thousands of the smartest philosophers in history bantering back and forth for thousands of years.

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