Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Consider, if you will...

The debate rages on (in my mind) over this idea of Free-will.

Am I getting close pboy?

This guy makes a few points. Why do humans, among all other creatures, seem to be the only ones exempt from chance?

What is the plan this god has for us and why would he (she/it) subject us to this delima, if only to punish us for not doing as he wishes?

I'm sure everyone has heard about the dyslexic agnostic with insomnia...

Yes, he lay awake at night wondering if there was a dog


Me-Me King said...

I lay awake and think of stupid shit like, how did they come up with the word "pillow"? That question has plagued me for decades.

Since your brought it up, it's time to listen to RUSH - Freewill!

Senorita said...

You totally look like you own a Harley.

mac said...

I hope that isn't a bad thing.

You know the difference between a Harley and a Hoover?
The Dirtbag is on the inside of the Hoover.

The Invisible Seductress said...

Insomnia brings out the best in me. All my best stuff comes out then..laughing..no really..insanity intrigues me!!

Ily said...

Read FB's new blog and you'll have some thoughts/dreams. ;)

Candice said...

Dog's do NOT exist.

Anonymous said...

I like your sense of humor.


The Lion said...

I used to wonder why they are called "sheets."

Harleys are always a good thing.

I'm not sure there is a plan. We are just here to be here.

I lay awake the other night wondering if everyone has a unique purpose in life or if a few people share the same purpose.

The Lion said...

By the way, pillow comes from the Middle English "pillwe" which comes from the OE "pylu" which is from the Latin pulvinus which means cushion.

pboyfloyd said...

Yea, I think that this guy makes a good point and of course theists get to completely ignore him.(but of course they were always going to, weren't they?)

I just thought of 'free-will' in terms of a rat in a maze.

The rat has no choice what the maze will look like around the next corner, it's just chance that the rat is picking the 'right' way to go. He(we'll make it a male rat) is making choices based on his sense of smell(maybe), the odor of food wafting vaguely from the direction of the reward at the end of the maze and avoiding any path which obviously lead to his own demise(possibly bottomless holes for example).

I think it's a trick to imagine us making decisions in the 'now' based on some vague 'everyone knows criteria of how an individual grew up, where an individual grew up and individual genetic and physical criteria.

The limit of 'all knowing' an individual's past tends to move towards no choice at all and the less we know of him and his circumstances the more we can dismiss any choices he makes as 'totally of his own free-will'.

Good joke, hilarious!

pboyfloyd said...

" He(we'll make it a male rat) is making choices based on his sense of smell(maybe)..."

I think that it is a quirk of the language that this sounds awfully like the rat really has choices, but moving ahead is not really an option for the rat, if he stays put, he will starve, and moving away from where he thinks food is, is not really a choice for him because he will eventually starve.

If he tries the 'toward the food' option and it 'dead ends' then he must still try to move 'forward' by moving away from the his first try, or he will starve, so it's very mechanical and very disingenuous to suggest that just because life presents options that we have this 'free will'.

You're always going to choose the option which seems 'best for you' under the circumstances.

Doing what we do 'best', reasoning things out, is exactly limiting apparent choices to move forward in the way that is 'best' for you, you can't help it.

mac said...

Wow, pboyfloyd.

I was reading a short story about a rat in a maze just the other day. I couldn't help but think that this seemed to be like a religion, with the maze keeper being the god and the rat being the followers of said religion.

In the story, the keeper controlled all the rat's activities, merely giving the rat the illusion that it could choose. The rat finally broke free from the maze...much like some of us break free from our gods.

We no longer need the maze, or the maze keeper.

Harvey said...


The main difference is that the rat never has any real chouices. We, at least, may be able to recognize that we are in a maze and that we can choose to leave it. If we do, then we begin to have free will.

pboyfloyd said...

Hmm.. You see how that spirals back and back?

Do you 'really' get out of the maze? Aren't you saying, Harvey, that you feel you had/have a choice of which maze you navigate?

If a person's life is thought of as a maze of options, just being plunked down in the particular spot you were puts you into, if not a 'set in stone' maze at least a maze of mazes, which you have to try to navigate with the exact same tools, your mind.

To struggle for some semblence free will it is necessary to see that you have a real option when it presents itself and it's no good having 20/20 hind sight and thinking about what you 'might' have done.

To have free will, it would be necessary to control time and be able to go back and redo stuff.

This is the plot of some movies.

pboyfloyd said...

Oh yea.. but your mind itself is kind of governed by the maze and to realize that it is a maze of options you just had to have turned 'that corner' of your personal maze.

What I'm saying is that you're born at a unique time and place to unique parents etc. and they all get incorporated to make the model of reality that is your mind, which you use to navigate the maze of options that is your life.

pboyfloyd said...

Hey mac.. help me out. Are you getting 403 Forbidden Access Denied messages for any of your links?

Minx said...

If we replace the word 'maze' with 'school room'and take away the thought that we are governed by an Uber Rat, then there may be some clarity to the question of free will.
Humans, by nature, herd together and it is not a question of free will but free thinking that allows us take the chances that we have given ourselves.

I refuse to be a sheep but if I hang around here any longer then I am going to be late for work!!!

mac said...

Yes, Minx. Don't be late for work. But do, please, stop back later. You've picqued my interest with your school room analogy :-)

pboyfloyd said...

How, Minx, can you misinterpret what I'm saying here?

I'm saying that your entire life, everyone's entire life can be compared to the simple analogy of a rat making it's way through a maze.

It's just a maze of options instead of a maze of walls in which the rat is 'given' options.

The walls, your 'walls' are the things you don't have an option about, since your birth and before.

Your parents, siblings and the world situation, down to whether your mom and dad will tolerate a cat in the house perhaps infecting your brain with toxoplasmosis, with brief mild flu-like symptoms yet altering your reaction to danger for the rest of your life!

Picking out your school experience is neglecting almost 'everything', can't you see that?

KrippledWarrior said...

This young man is operating under a few misconceptions. And his logic has a couple of flaws.
First God is outside on time. He lives in the eternal now. And if God was playing at dice with his creation, The dice may never land on the edge. There are rules for God. And He can't do anything that would be outside the nature of Being God. It is good that you ponder these things. It proves that you exist. But just because a paradox exists is no reason to pick one side over the other just because you can't or haven't unraveled the knot. Keep working on it.

mac said...

If God lives outside of time, he's got lot of 'splaining to do.

If we buy that. Then the evil shit god did in the OT was just dandy. The slavery was fine. The animal sacrifice was just dandy. Levitical laws should still apply.

No sir, I have a very hard time accepting that a being outside of time could NOT have seen that that shit was wrong. It is wrong now, it should have been then, IF god was outside time!

pboyfloyd said...

"This young man is operating under a few misconceptions."

Okay, you seem to be operating in the real World here, I'll listen.

" And his logic has a couple of flaws."

Like I said, let's hear what you have to say.

"First God is outside on time."

Now you're just plain stupid.

" He lives in the eternal now."

WE live in the now. YOU seem confused here.

" And if God was playing at dice with his creation, The dice may never land on the edge."

Drivel. Pure drivel.
(I could go on.)

Minx said...

Pboy, I didn't misinterpret a word but maybe I was a little short on words to express myself - I will try harder...

I am agreeing with the your 'maze' theory but have chosen to explain it in a slightly different way.
I look at life as a school room, a place of learning, where we have already signed a contract to explore the myriad aspects of human nature.
Our contract is limited and unlimited, a paradox of muted choice but within this I believe that we have some control over our pre-ordained lives as long as we can learn to read the signposts. Many don't and stick to the safety of the maze, wandering through life as followers, victims of their own confining contract.

For me, Pboy, your theory is valid, and understandable, our interpretation just takes a slightly different road, but why do you feel the need to be condescending to anyone who has a different path?
Humans are, by default, lonely creatures. We are here alone in a maze of our own making. Some can only rely on the theories of others, following a God/Goddess/Kitchen Utensil in order to make some sense of where they are, or to feel safe.
Thinking out of the box is not a safe place to be but we are all allowed to think/decide for ourselves just who is the maze-keeper, is there a maze-keeper at all, which is why our schoolroom is so interesting!

Blasé said...

Hey MoFo!

I left you a message over at HH's/krippledwarriors's Blog. Go get it.

Tit for Tat said...

Billy Corgan said it best.

"Despite all my rage, Im still just a Rat in a cage."


You looked pretty relaxed in that pic. Whats your secret? ;)

mac said...

It where the apathy part of the name comes from. I don't worry about too much. It's more a birth defect than actual life management ;-)

pboyfloyd said...

Sorry to jump on you there Minx.

I just think that it's really hard to explain simply. Of course it is because, if it were easy to explain, it would be impossible to ignore the guy in the video, right?

When it comes to free will it's easy for us to imagine that 'yea, sure', everyone gets to choose, there's yer free will, end of story.

And it's easy to convince yourself that you don't 'have to be YOU'. Why I can prove free will by going ahead and doing something that I wouldn't 'normally' do, eat a worm or something silly like that, right?

But if you think about it, we spend all our time justifying our own actions to others, even if it's just, "I did that 'cos I knew that person I don't like wouldn't like it!"

I think that a large part of the maze we're stuck in is 'contempt'. We don't want to be contemptible to others and we are easily led to be contemptuous of others.

Example: I might be being totally fair and honest (and this is just a 'fer instance') and say that the perpetrators of the 9/11 horror were justified by the treatment of their people by the 'Western civilization'. First taken over by the Communists, then 'helped' by the U.S.A. then ignored by the U.S.A. just being 'used'. So they turn fanatically religious and get some 'pay back'.

But I can't really 'say' that, can I? Why, I'd be contemptible. Suddenly, I'd lose 'face' in the eyes of patriotic child molesters!

So, I have a 'path' clearly set out for me. I MUST believe that the contemptible terrorists must PAY for their crime!(no matter what 'we' have ever done to 'them')

Right! Right?

It doesn't matter which side of the spectrum that we learn the contemptible/contemptuous maze from, whether your family taught you that you were contemptible, and you rebel or whether they taught you to be contemptuous(you can't hang out with 'those kinds of people'), either way they pass it on to you like a virus.

That's only one aspect, and there is no escape.

Minx said...

Hmmm, so we agree that we are maybe living in a pre-ordained, contemptuous rat maze.
I am making the assumption, Pboy, that a God doesn't come into your theory in any shape or form whereas Krippled Warrior's comment allows him to lay the blame squarely on his God, no question.
I often feel that people with a truly religious conviction have got it so much easier than those who are flailing around for another viewpoint.
Your example of the 9/11 atrocity is fair and honest but unfortunately the human rat race works under the premise that my God is better than your God so we may never truly begin to understand the vagaries of our communal maze.

pboyfloyd said...

"..we are maybe living in a pre-ordained, contemptuous rat maze."

Well, apart from the fact that there are accidents/co-incidences which we could never account for, making things MUCH LESS pre-ordained than we could ever plan for(though we DO try, don't we), and I'd describe that aspect as the contempt(for contemptible/contemptuous) 'factor' and that it's not a 'rat' maze, that was just analogy, it's an 'option maze' or maze of mazes, you're 'spot on'.


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