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January 10, 2018

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Destiny "Determinism" Versus "Free Will"

Brian, I'm stepping out into deep water here. I know you are much smarter than I am but maybe there is more than just free will and determinism?

Reminds me of Mike Williams talking about "something else" - It doesn't have to be a "religion".

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-consciousness-question/201402/destiny-determinism-versus-free-will

Excerpts..."something much deeper…" was more a psychical manifestation of the creative energy loosely thought of as the human ‘spirit,’ rather than than the physiological workings of biology—that to describe someone as a free spirit, is just another way of saying he or she exercises a strong Free Will."

"Free Will, Free Spirit…whatever…overcoming that which is Determined by events."

Why does Brian so desperately want determinism to be true?

Not more than free will of a chess player , whose current position is determined by the moves he made during opening part of the game. Not more than free will of winning or losing cricket team.

Yes, in a game of chess there are a limited amount of choices a person can make. This shows free will. Determinism would be an absence of choice.

D.r, no, that's wrong. Determinism means that choices arise out of various sorts of causes. In chess, this would be the position of the pieces on the chessboard, the knowledge of the chess player, his or her emotional and mental disposition at the moment of choosing, and so on.

Free will is absurd because it presumes that somehow a chess player would be free of all of those influences. Oerton makes this clear throughout his book. Free will isn't something anyone would actually want, because it would mean that no determining factors from our past or present could influence whatever the heck free will might mean.

No one has given a cogent explanation of how free will is possible, given the laws of nature and human nature. It's just something people believe in without any reason, like religion.

So aside from a few other flaws, your comment about the laws of nature needs scrutinizing. Does science claim that nature has laws? Or is science a method of trying to ascertain the most likely phenomena? Surely you agree it is the latter?

You are stating that the big bang causes determinism. This is incorrect from a purely scientific view - that is, Quantum physics. Chaos theory and related scientific facts of the level of reality called the Quantum, directly contradicts determinism. Time as a physics theory also contradicts determinism, since never ending change works on biological systems in space and time, yet has at least 1 dimension of objective fact.

Your insistence on determinism being absolutely true is betrayed by your admission that choice exists in a limited way.

We are products of genetics, environment, conditioning.
And God made all that.

Hi Jen
Thanks for the psychology today article.

The story of Shackleton is truly amazing, miraculous. Whatever or whomever made him deserves our humble thanks. This is what saves lives.

Spencer, so you believe God works through evolution? If so, some Christians also believe this. God just seems like an unnecessary theory if the Creator simply stands back and lets everything unfold through natural laws. What kind of God simply creates, then does nothing further that affects the cosmos that was created? And how would someone know that God exists is there is no evidence of this in the creation?

Hi Brian!

You wrote
"Spencer, so you believe God works through evolution? If so, some Christians also believe this. God just seems like an unnecessary theory if the Creator simply stands back and lets everything unfold through natural laws. What kind of God simply creates, then does nothing further that affects the cosmos that was created? And how would someone know that God exists is there is no evidence of this in the creation?"

There is no question of creator or evolution when all of creation, every moment of time, was expressed in one timeless instant.

We eat our slice of life one bite at a time. But it was baked as one whole cake. We are actually experiencing history with every waking moment.

Two more points Brian.

The creator created time, along with everything else.

But the act of creation was not preceded by thought or design. These are linear temporal stages, for our tiny brains. So there is no separation in reality from God and creation, thought and existence. They are one. Even the progression we witness is our consciousness being placed like a CD laser, or an old fashioned phonograph needle, on one point: the past and future are actually no more in decay or yet unformed than any other part.

You learn about this when in meditation you find yourself able to scroll the projector within yourself far forwards or backwards like a film editor.

The entire script was written long ago.

This shows the foolishness of these arguments about determinism and free will. If determinism means we are bound within the framework of prior causes, of course there is determinism. If free will means we are able to make choices, of course there is free will.

So which is it?

It is both.

It is mystery.
Some say you choose your parents,before coming on earth.
To learn lessons.
I do not know,how can one choose for so much suffering all around?
It is difficult to understand,everything must have a meaning..or reason..

One can not understand from out here the Why of all things..

How can one make choises when one never know the outcome?

s* writes,...”How can one make choises when one never know the outcome?”

Jim answers,....
I have made all of my own choices , or at least, most of them, with out knowng the future outcome.

Its easy to make my own choices, based on past experinces, what we Americans call, “ Monday Morning Quarter Backing..

Having Faith in Some One Higher, Wiser, and more knowleadgable than my self, has always helped me make my decisions, which none were forced on me, and which all were by Free Choice.

In Business, I have found that success always occurrs if ,....
1) My actions are legal , (2) Moral, ( 3) and benefits others in addition to myself.

Not hard to do, or mysterious at all. All Free Choices

If I had a heart attack while running, that was not a free choice I chose. BUT, I was running away from a Bee Hive after disrupting it , and getting stung. Runnng away was my free choice!!

“ DO NOT KILL” is one of the Biblical Ten Commandments, vegetarianism is a Sant Mat Vow, i.e. not to participate in the killing cycle.

Gurnder Singh once ordered a large Bee Hive at the Dera destroyed with the Bees poisoned and exterminated!

He CHOSE to kill. He had Free Choice. He could have made other choices. He later excused him self from the killing that life enters and exits bodies .

Charan always taught that we have “ Limited Free Will. “ That works for me.

If we choose to make any decision, we must do the best we can, with what we have to work with, under our present circumstances and accept the consequeces, good or bad, i.e. Karma,

I am, and have always been a man of Faith.

I follow, when ever I want to learn some thing from some one who I feel has more knowleadge about the subject that I do, and I lead when ever I feel I am more knowleadgable about what I know , than by following ANY other human by blind faith, untested.

I choose to retain my Limited Free Will, “ therefore, I no longer choose to put my self in any actvities that require unknowm Risks, that I am unwilling to accept the consequences, even if they lead to my death. ( Travel, flying, etc.....)

Jim Sutherland

What kind of God simply creates, then does nothing further that affects the cosmos that was created? And how would someone know that God exists is there is no evidence of this in the creation?

What blows my mind is that although the cosmos was created
in a timeless moment, it can still be changed ab initio. At least
mystics suggest that it can if I grok correctly.

In other words, someone with enough mojo or right password
can sneak behind the curtain, yank the levers, tweak the s/w,
etc. to change the movie. It's as if the whole cosmos could be
vulnerable to a master hacker. Caveat: of course, this analogy
may be deceiving because it would seem to take time to happen.

But who knows... they say love can do anything.

Brian
"" God just seems like an unnecessary theory if the Creator simply stands back and lets everything unfold through natural laws. """


STANDS BACK , . .

Karma Brian plus

Karma is fair

Is that available e-book ? I
'm curious about your style when in a good mood

777

ps
Jim
That was Charan - - - I was there - saw the enormous hives at the Satsang Ghar
The reason :
A Lady was stung 32 times - She survived

You can not blame poor Gurinder for everything
This is your own SatGuru and He tolerated these Bees long enough

Charan ordered to burn the 2 Hives

Karma is FAIR

Stop accusing "God" to be insensible when HE approves the placement of endless super cruel Jeevas on this earth
WHEN THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN IS TO BE SLAUGHTERED
in the way they did to others


OK
RS

Spencer, you have no idea, or proof, or evidence, that the cosmos was created by a Creator. This is just a belief of yours. It is a hypothesis, not a fact. Scientists admit when they are theorizing. Religious believers like you don't. This is a big problem, because you consider that your ideas have way more validity than they deserve. You are basing your beliefs on what some supposedly holy people or holy books have told you, which is the source of all creation myths. And those myths differ markedly. Yours is just one of many,

777 writes,...”That was Charan - - - I was there - saw the enormous hives at the Satsang Ghar
The reason :
A Lady was stung 32 times - She survived

You can not blame poor Gurinder for everything
This is your own SatGuru and He tolerated these Bees long enough”

Me: When I was at the Dera in Oct. , 2017, a Lady mentioned the Bee Hive that had been destroyed, as we walked by the area close to the Gate in Hostel 6 where it had been, she did not say WHO murdered the Bees, but she said Satsangis were still talking about it.

This is copied from an email from a Brother Charan Initiate that was at the Dera in 2003. He said,....
“ Dera 2003, GS was still Master - CS died in 1989

I remember a swarm of bees, in the courtyard at Dera, GS ordered them to be destroyed, I could not understand this order, seemed anything by St Mat. Several other experiences along similar vein, I have talked to other elderly satsangi’s who I respect, they also puzzled. “

So, 777, do you think this was “ Guest House Gossup”, or was it Gurinder who destryed the bees?

Were you really there, and witnessed Charan killng bees also!

If so, maybe they both taught the same Philosophy-of, .....”To bee,...or not to be.”

Jim Sutherland

Hi Brian

I apologize for any misunderstanding.

You wrote.
"Spencer, you have no idea, or proof, or evidence, that the cosmos was created by a Creator. This is just a belief of yours. It is a hypothesis, not a fact. Scientists admit when they are theorizing. Religious believers like you don't. This is a big problem, because you consider that your ideas have way more validity than they deserve. You are basing your beliefs on what some supposedly holy people or holy books have told you, which is the source of all creation myths. And those myths differ markedly. Yours is just one of many,"

Brian, I have only shared my own personal view based upon my personal experience in meditation as i stated. But I apologize if that didn't come across.

That is the position of a student of internal experience, which is a little different than blind religious belief or hard transferable empirical data.

Nothing empirical that is transferable, except, like other sensory experience, constancy is established by repeat reliable exposure.

You appear to be operating under the misunderstanding that I am trying to convince you of something, or to argue a position.

I think I've established repeatedly that internal experience isn't transferable. It's anecdotal. If you are interested, you have to read that book by yourself, because that data is found within you.

I apologize again for any misunderstanding Brian. I would not want you to believe anything you had not tested for yourself. I honor your position most of the time and only point out when it appears you have taken scientific data from one field of study and attempted to use it to defend your beliefs. That isn't scientific. Atheism isn't a scientific fact.

But that does not take away the honorable basis for belief in Atheism.

Your beliefs are based upon your own reason which is limited to your conditioning and experience, just like mine.

If you saw what I saw, and put it to the test of repeatability, control and reliability over many instances, periods of time and situations I'm sure you would believe as I do, since I only believe that experience. And if I had no such experience I would not believe those things either. I would believe as you do.

Which means each of us must believe something different since our experience and conditioning are different.

What we can do is be sure that our experience or lack thereof is not confused with transferable scientific data. Neither your nor my beliefs are so based.

But I think where we do agree is that we both hope science will provide conclusive evidence one way or the other one day. That is the higher standard of scientific fact.

Brian, what you just typed was the best thing you have ever said on your blog.

Yes, it is absolutely obvious to everybody that you, Brian, have never experienced God in your life.

It is overwhelmingly obvious, and you would say so too, that you have never experienced God, because if you had of experienced God you wouldn't have this blog, where every other day you tell other people that God doesn't exist.

You don't even seem to realise that without some explicable cause for your reasons, logic, brain and mind, everything you say that is anti God is completely untenable and the most ridiculous form of baby ish mentality logic in the entire world.

Brian, you are not God. You aren't even close.

...said Brian.....Spencer, you have no idea, or proof, or evidence, that the cosmos was created by a Creator.

....Brian you have no idea or proof or evidence that Spence has no proof or idea or evidence.
Its just your believe system.

The notion or feeling that we have an autonomous free will is a tenuous one. It certainly feels as though we have though with a little honest inquiry we can see that it is a fallacy. The issue really demands self inquiry though there is a tomb of studies which can help.

Basically choice is an action so there needs to be an actor. The actor – the 'me', 'self' or 'I' – is an illusion and is easy to track down. First, our senses relay information which is 'stored' in the brain and gradually forms the mental construct we call mind. Mind then is basically an accumulation of information derived from our experiences. From this wealth of information (place of birth, cultural, moral and religious training, race, social class etc.) a 'self' structure emerges.

When a situation presents itself this information automatically arises whereupon an action emerges. The action (no matter what criteria it is based on) is of the past, our conditioning. This instantaneous and unconscious process feels like a 'me' has made a choice. An apparent choice has emerged - though there is no 'chooser', no magical 'I' or 'me' making a choice. The 'choice' can only manifest from the information our brains have absorbed.

It is the height of incredulity to think that a mental construct called 'me' has weighed through millions of pieces of information to arrive at a decision. The only way to believe there is free will is to postulate a 'mind', a 'self', a 'me' that is somehow separate from the brain/body and that invariably necessitates a supernatural position.

And there is no need to worry, genetically and psychologically we will usually make the moral and intelligent life affirming 'decision' – it is natural, whereas our life negating 'decisions' are often the result of believing in a 'me', a 'me' with all its conditioning and separatist thinking that is based on a 'me' and a 'not me' – a 'them' and 'us'.

An awareness of the above processes is all that is needed.

It is really controversial the idea of Free will...

Matter becomes conscious of its own experience.Sensation, perception and consciousness are totally dependent on the brain. Awareness is the inner mental process. It is what it feels like when you experience love, hate, lust, jealousy or the colors of the rainbow. It is believed an organism needs many neurons before awareness can arise and even more neurons and interconnections before advanced awareness can arise. The greater the complexity of the nervous system, the more complex the repertoire of conscious states.

Even within your own life span, you are more conscious when you are concentrating on a lecture and less when you are falling asleep or when you are embryo or have Dementia.

However, science has failed to answer the basic question: how 1.3Kg of neurons and supporting cast of glia cells produce subjective experience –– how matter becomes conscious of its own existence.

Is there Free will?

All subjective experience tells us we have free will, but most scientific evidence speaks against it. We have impulses, desires, passions. The question is whether our preferences are freely arrived at or totally forced by genetic predispositions and environmental factors entirely out of our control. Do we even have the freedom to abandon undesirable desires?

It seems there is no free will in the domain of romantic love. They keep loving someone who has abandoned them, or is even abusive to them. Some are more capable of committing suicide than switching their affection from the one who does not love them to one who does love them.

Our brain is the riverbed that holds and channels our stream of consciousness. It is molded by the family and the culture we were raised in.

Neuroscientists agree genes confer predilections. Many consider the environment is the only sculptor of behavior.
You cannot abandon love that torments you any easier than you can shut off pain after surgery.
Alzheimer’s disease it happens to most of us at the end of life. It will disrupt the internal structure of our neurons and we will be living evidence that awareness of this physical world is the product of the brain and has no influence on it.

Anita said, "It will disrupt the internal structure of our neurons and we will be living evidence that awareness of this physical world is the product of the brain and has no influence on it."

I'm trying to wrap my head around this statement but it isn't easy. Simply put, you are saying that when the external environment no longer has any effect on the brain is when the brain degenerates. Okay. But this isn't proof that consciousness and the brain are the same.

You start off with the premise that the universe is matter only and then you proceed to your conclusions. From this basic model, the only way you can go is by saying that consciousness depends upon the brain and when the brain is dead it is lights out. But this can be refuted quite easily. You don't start out by postulating that the universe is only matter. Then the confusion clears up. Photons of light are immaterial particles as well as wave like fluctuations. Sometimes they appear as particles and sometimes as waves. Waves are not matter. They are anti-material. In the same way, consciousness may precede matter and anti matter, or it could emerge out of matter. So which came first, consciousness or matter? Do non-material particles and waves need physical matter to emerge out of or do they precede the physical matter? Does immaterial like atoms construct matter like building blocks to produce a wall, or is the wall a non-material idea that only exists in some kind of consciousness? It is evident to me, at least, that all the objects in the universe have a blueprint, which is an idea of a design, before they are able to pop into existence as finished objects. Therefore, consciousness is not the product of the brain but produces the brain.

Pain is actually a very interesting thing, because some people have the ability to shut it off completely, without drugs. They can put themselves into a state of mind that blocks the physical pain and remain in that state. The mind is actually a lot more powerful than pain killer drugs, if it can be utilised to block pain that way. A lot of meditators are stuck in a kind of disciple mode instead of taking the reigns and becoming masters - that is, mastering their own minds through meditation to gain control over the body to block pain and stay in that trance state permanently. They believe the guru is always in the trance and they can never reach that state in this life. Really, all that is going on is a self induced hypnotic condition of possession in that guru compared to the bullshitter gurus and the gurus that can sometimes go into a possession state but not always.

Blanka, if Spencer had evidence he'd win a Nobel prize. And what are the chances that, out of the seven billion people in the world, he's the only one with evidence that God created the world? If this could be known by one person, it could be known by many. Also, objective truth has to be confirmable by others for it to be objective. Otherwise it is just a subjective experience, such as feeling awe at a beautiful sunset.

D.r, what gave you the impression that I think I'm God? Or that someone else thinks this? Since I don't believe that it is at all likely that God exists, this doesn't seem like something someone else would believe. By the way, if you have evidence that God exists, please provide it. The world is waiting for such.

Spencer, if I were you and had your experiences, naturally I'd believe what you believe. And if you were me, and had my experiences, naturally you'd believe as I believe. This is how the world works. Subjective experiences lead to subjective knowledge. And objective experiences lead to objective knowledge. I can claim that there is a saber-toothed tiger in our back yard right now. You can't disprove that. But that isn't how objective knowledge works. I need to provide demonstrable evidence of the saber-toothed tiger, just as you need to provide demonstrable evidence that God exists if anybody but you is to believe you.

Hi Brian

You wrote
"I need to provide demonstrable evidence of the saber-toothed tiger, just as you need to provide demonstrable evidence that God exists if anybody but you is to believe you"

Brian, if you say you see a tiger in your back yard, that's good enough for me. I'm happy to send the zoo keeper.

911 would absolutely fail under your management, sorry! ;)

Boys and girls- have we, anyone of us, actually thought that God "may" exist. However, and its a huge However, these so called Gurus who turn up - have distorted that concept for most of us.

PS- is God like Trump- needs constant attention - ie worshipping. This bugs me! Is Gods ego infinte. If He is love- why not rescue all of us???

PS I would like to believe that God exists but these so called Gurus are not selling Him well - when you look at their business dealings.

Hang on you think - what would God want with this or that lol.

Its all fun until someone starts crying and throws the dummy out the Pram.

Oh I am with you on this thread Brian.

Hi Brian

You wrote
" you need to provide demonstrable evidence that God exists if anybody but you is to believe you."

This argument is only partly correct. In science we provide results in a report along with the methodology of the experiment.

When Edwin Hubble noted the universe is expanding he did so based on measurements through astrophysical photographs, measurement and calculation.

It turns out his conclusion was right, though his math was wrong, and so the actual speed he reported was in error. This could only be corrected by other scientists in the field willing to review his photos and make their own calculations. It is still very imprecise today, but "good enough for government work."

Mystics have made very similar reports of internal experience since the earliest writings of human kind, and across different philosophies and systems of belief. Including reports of many, many galaxies beyond our own. The particulars of these reports are staggeringly similar.

And along with that we have learned that this internal experience took place as the result, in most cases, of some practice of internal focus and repetition prayer, generally with an object of devotion "God" of some concept or other, or in the case of Socrates simple withdrawl from the senses while listening to the inner sound of "God", which he reported sounded like a flute. In the case of some of the early Christian fathers, a focus on internally witnessed divine music. In Jesus ' and Paul' s case, hearing the Word of God within, which Paul and Jesus also described as the holy ghost, and focusing also on the flood of internal light which resulted.

Just as astrophysicists can confirm, disprove, or amend reported findings by actually gathering data through their own instruments of astrophysical observation, so meditators can do the same through the internal instruments within themselves.

When they see similar events, they know they have done something right, especially when these can be repeated under their control, under various conditions. And that includes manipulating those conditions in order to distinguish what we observe from potentially other spurious causes that in theory might cause similar results.

When they have not seen those events they have at least two conclusions they can draw. 1. The reports were false. 2.they have not achieved adequate control over these internal instruments and the internal laboratory in which they are working.

Proof doesn't come from the evidence of my report. It comes from corroboration among others conducting the same experiments.

That's already happened.

My report is merely my corroboration of those earlier findings.

Brian, had you seen the sky, pierced through the moon, traversed the stars and met the radiant firm of your Master within, and found you could generate these daily you could then join in a scientific discussion of what the various causes of those amazingly consistent events are. You could conjecture hallucination, delusion, any cause you like. And then you could join the rest of us who have done exactly that in testing those events to eliminate a variety of potentially other causes.

That would be actual proof.

You might not actually find evidence of a definable "God" but you would have your own evidence of something real, even if it took the rest of your life in such experimentation to learn more about just exactly what that is.

If the hard sciences happen to already prove, as they have, that this practice is very healthy for most people, and specifically prolongs brain health and improves your brain's cognitive and perceptual processing, then all the better encouragement to continue.

I only say it is better to conduct the experiment than to stand idle on the side lines commenting about others that are doing their work, in great joy, every day. You commentary doesn't offer your own results. It comes in the absence of active lab work, which you abandoned decades ago.

Jump in the pool as scientist.

Learn for yourself why space can move faster than light (and all the matter in that space)...


@ Spencer - question- what is the universe expanding into or to?

Hi Arjuna

You wrote

"- what is the universe expanding into or to?"

1. Because objects are accelerating beyond the speed of light, relative to our position , they are disappearing from our view here on earth and therefore it's impossible to tell.

2. Since energy is mass at the speed of light, perhaps there is a process of transformation as galaxies approach the speed of light relative to their own "space" , another big burn (was it originally a bang or a burn? Once or in an expanding sequence?)


@ Spencer - the answer has to be there. Another Einstein must be lurking around the worldwho will suss this out

I can claim that there is a saber-toothed tiger in our back yard right now. You can't disprove it.

To me the interesting dilemma is being safe from tigers -both real and imagined. If the former, you can run, bar the door, call 911. If the latter, who you gonna call.

We're bombarded with the imaginary kind. A thousand worries and cares that harass us 24x7. They'll keep coming. Resistance is futile... you will be absorbed in their dystopian universe. Too bad we can't film them... low-budget horror flicks are hot.

If there's a testable method for examining what goes on inside us and offers an escape hatch --even if it's initially unproven transcendent voodoo-- it could be worth examining. Just use common sense... and don't fork over any money. If it works, you can smile in subjective bliss.

Anita - nicely put. That our mental attributes (mind, self, conscious experience etc.) are emergent properties of the brain is, through the sciences becoming clearer. But I can appreciate that those who have an agenda, an attachment may find it difficult. Naturally, the mental processes just mentioned will always be among the last bastions for a supernatural account of things - perhaps because we are programmed by evolution to seek meaning, purpose and security in ourselves and the universe. Anyway, a good comment..

Hi Anita:

You wrote:
" It is believed an organism needs many neurons before awareness can arise and even more neurons and interconnections before advanced awareness can arise."

The neurological sciences have already demonstrated an eagle's ability to spot a mouse a mile away is far greater than ours. Their understanding of distance and airspeed and their awareness of their flight and the mouse's run exceeds ours.

Their "awareness" of their surroundings, their place in it, and how to manipulate their own specific environment for their function is equal to or better than ours.

What makes their awareness better? Evolution. They wouldn't be here if they weren't better at their own particular area of survival.

Since their food is mice, they are much better than we are in all the necessary "awareness" including their own visual radar, to find, hunt and kill mice.

Same with sea gulls and fish. The sea gull that spots a fish from half a mile away, dives perfectly to grab it, knows several things humans don't. The proof is their ability to exercise, at their discretion, successful hunting.

You have to re-define terms like "smarter" or "more adept" to justify a pre-existing notion in order to support your argument. But actually looking at nature, the argument falls apart.

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