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Thread: Do we have free will?

  1. #11
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    Re: Do we have free will?

    Namaste saidevoji:

    I appreciate your response AND your earlier link to the debate between fate and free-will with which I *agreed*.

    I am aware of most (?) arguments provided to maintain the simultaneous truth of omniscience (knowing the future with 100% accuracy) and free will. Unfortunately I simply cannot see the rationality in it.

    I have my own means of rationalizing it. According to Advaita, consciousness is Brahman. Consciousness is sentience itself. The universal Brahman *knows* everything of all people at all points in time because it is also the individual sentience. So, in my book, omniscience means knowing everything of the past AND the present - but not the future.

    I respect your and others views but find it impossible to agree with.

  2. #12
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    Re: Do we have free will?

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Namaste saidevoji:

    I appreciate your response AND your earlier link to the debate between fate and free-will with which I *agreed*.

    I am aware of most (?) arguments provided to maintain the simultaneous truth of omniscience (knowing the future with 100% accuracy) and free will. Unfortunately I simply cannot see the rationality in it.

    I have my own means of rationalizing it. According to Advaita, consciousness is Brahman. Consciousness is sentience itself. The universal Brahman *knows* everything of all people at all points in time because it is also the individual sentience. So, in my book, omniscience means knowing everything of the past AND the present - but not the future.

    I respect your and others views but find it impossible to agree with.

    Yes I have laid down everthing for you. But YOU need to DO it.

    The infinite numbers of combinations in decisions over a period of lifespan can take us to almost infinite number of possibilities.

    A Chess player will know what are the different pssibilities in the 8 by 8 board. Life is a huge board.

    Now all the combinations are known or by one above this system.

    But we mere mortals will have to choose at each decision point. And through this we reach to one of those infinite possibilities.

    Now what is known ? I know the complete field. But I may not know where the actor will reach actually.
    Love and best wishes:hug:

  3. #13

    Re: Do we have free will?

    Namaste all,

    There of course has been enormous time and and energy devoted to this topic, by many, over the course of history; whenever I run across it, I am immediately considering a wide variety of topics and fields of inquiry- Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, Gdel's Incompleteness Theorems, emergent behavior, and many others... but, there is also this word "will" which is, to this devotee's eyes, ultimately Maa's lila. Just as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa has said of free will I am but like a "cow tied to a tree".

    The concept of separation, of differentiation from one's mother, family, etc. is part of our material, biological existence, and is important for maturation in our embodied aspect.. children beginning to show independence is not cause for concern, but quite natural and normal. However, after one has reached physical (and hopefully mental and emotional) maturity, to seek or embrace separation from the Divine, to mistake rejection of the Divine for spiritual maturity, is nothing but folly. "Will" is solely the province of the Divine..

    I can sit here and "will" that this text will fly off your screen into the air after you read it, and become gently drifting lotus petals that settle on your head and shoulders, but that will not make it so...
    the most primitive organisms can direct the behavior of larger, more sophisticated ones... a protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii, alters infected mice and rats to seek out, rather than be repelled by, cat urine. Even the energy suppliers of our own individual cells, mitochondria, were not "native" originally. Is it their "will", or the cell's "will" that they coexist?

    Any way, as I said, the topic is most thought-provoking, which is never bad, and I certainly have enjoyed following the discussion.

    JAI MATA DI

  4. #14
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    Re: Do we have free will?

    namaste wundermonk.

    You said in post #11:
    I have my own means of rationalizing it. According to Advaita, consciousness is Brahman. Consciousness is sentience itself. The universal Brahman *knows* everything of all people at all points in time because it is also the individual sentience. So, in my book, omniscience means knowing everything of the past AND the present - but not the future.

    What is future? What is time in reality? It seems that while space is real, time is nothing but mAyA--illusion. Scientists observe in our present time what happened in a star some light-years away, in its past. This could mean that every moment of time is propagated across space through light energy that is transmitted from the source.

    If you reverse this scenario, then what a person on that star would see in his present time there are the events on the earth in the past. If this is the case, what is the problem with omniscience knowing the future?

    It would be interesting to consider free-will from the pov of Advaita:

    • Since all jIvas--sentient beings, are part of Brahman, the individual consciousness is itself an illusion in Advaita. If the individual consciousness is illusion, then its free-will should also be such.

    • However, we cannot ignore the relative layers of realities that are projected over the Absolute Reality. This is why Shankara distinguished between vyavahArika satyam--practical/conditional reality of the world and pAramArthika satyam--supreme reality of Brahman. So, from the pov of sentient life, individual consciousness and its free-will have their freedom within the domain of practical reality.
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

  5. #15

    Re: Do we have free will?

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Philosophically, I think the answer is straightforward.

    If there is any entity that knows the future with 100% accuracy, we do not have free will. Free will is an illusion. So, ONE way to answer your question would be to ask, is there an entity that knows the future with 100% accuracy?
    How about if there is such an entity... but moreover, we are that entity?
    How can I put this in a sentence? Try next time.

  6. #16
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    Re: Do we have free will?

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    This notion of free will never perplexed me. If there is free will , fine. If there is not, fine. I still know what I need to do in this world. I take guidence from the following (from a past post).

    Kṛṣṇa-ji offers the following in the bhāgavad gītā (chapter 2, 47th śloka)
    karmai evādhikāras te
    mā phalesu kadācana
    mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
    mā te sago'stv akarmai

    This says, you certainly (eva) have ādhikāra (claim , right , privilege, control) of your (te or ti) karmai (of your actions) , but never or not (mā) of its fruits (phalesu) .

    Just so there is no confusion - 'but never or not (mā) of its fruits (phalesu)' clearly points that the individual cannot control the outcome. You do not have a choice on the level of success or failure that may result from that action that is initiated.
    My intent, my choice my ādhikāra (claim , right , privilege, control) of actions karmai, is mine. So , why am I offering this? Because by the grace of the Lord He gives us this privilage. Hence He is not responsible for the things we choose to do. But let it be said, He has provided the full field of the laws of nature of this universe we operate in, that frames the outcome of one's actions; but again by His grace we get to pick 'n choose.

    We then have to live with the choices we make... and sometimes things happen to us and we do not undersand why they happen and say ' why? or how'd that happen to me? ' Kṛṣṇa-ji says (bhāgavad gītā 4.17) unfathomable is the course of action. That is, things happen for many reasons because there are so many inter-connections with people, the environment and the universe, pin pointing the exact reasons for things ( all the time) is unfathomable.

    praṇām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #17
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    Re: Do we have free will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet View Post
    How about if there is such an entity... but moreover, we are that entity?
    Hello Kismet...Long Time no See.

    If there is an entity, *any* entity - we humans or divine - that knows the future with 100% accuracy, I have to say, free will is an illusion.

  8. #18

    Re: Do we have free will?

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Hello Kismet...Long Time no See.

    If there is an entity, *any* entity - we humans or divine - that knows the future with 100% accuracy, I have to say, free will is an illusion.
    Yes! It has been a while, hasn't it? I'm looking forward to participating more in the coming months.

    As you may know from some of your Abrahamic friends, however, God is often thought to exist in a different frame of perception than us humans, and so time may not exist for him/her/it at all or in the same way as us. As I am typing these words, I am knowing I am typing them, no? Perhaps not. But I wonder if this difference in perception has anything to do with God's "timing."

    Or perhaps its more reasonable to assume the book (this particular universe) has already been written and we are just playing out the narrative. God has the capacity to create (or in my view, emanate) countless universes, and yet in setting any given one, he knows what will happen. That said, he needn't know all possible universes. Right now this looks to me like a tempting prospect of "omniscience."
    How can I put this in a sentence? Try next time.

  9. #19
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    Re: Do we have free will?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet View Post
    As you may know from some of your Abrahamic friends, however, God is often thought to exist in a different frame of perception than us humans, and so time may not exist for him/her/it at all or in the same way as us. As I am typing these words, I am knowing I am typing them, no? Perhaps not. But I wonder if this difference in perception has anything to do with God's "timing."
    Hi Kismet:

    Yes, I have heard all these arguments from Abrahamics. But I dont see the logic behind this at all.

    The arguments are that God doesnt have a past, present and future. He is all simultaneously. The counter to this is that if there is no past, present and future, there is no cause and effect possible. As a result, God cannot be construed as the cause of anything at all.

  10. #20

    Re: Do we have free will?

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Hi Kismet:

    Yes, I have heard all these arguments from Abrahamics. But I dont see the logic behind this at all.

    The arguments are that God doesnt have a past, present and future. He is all simultaneously. The counter to this is that if there is no past, present and future, there is no cause and effect possible. As a result, God cannot be construed as the cause of anything at all.
    But isn't that all only from God's vantage point? God may have eternally acted from all time. Sort of like the footprint that was always there. Granted this isn't entirely graspable, but that may just be because we were not at the start of the universe.

    Nevertheless, while I am openminded to the Abrahamics I ultimately do share your concerns. More pressing for me are the notions of knowledge and will in this regard. In order to will something there must be a motion of the will. But if God is ever-situated in a single, static "moment" such cannot be the case. Hence, God is not free. Also, God cannot know anything really because such (propositional) knowledge, requires a reflexive quality of the mind which can only happen in time. I can be "cognizant" of something in an airheaded way, but I do not really know it if I am incapable of reflection. Zoning out into a single miniscule moment (no matter how comprehensive) won't do.
    How can I put this in a sentence? Try next time.

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