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Aaron
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PostSubject: Fate   Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:42 am

What do you think about fate? Does it exist? How does it relate to the concept of "free-will"?

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:20 pm

There is no such thing as Fate. As for free-will, I choose not to believe in it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:30 pm

Uriah wrote:
There is no such thing as Fate. As for free-will, I choose not to believe in it.

And by choosing not to believe in it, you are exercising your free will. I'm sure the irony was intentional on your part. Smile

Fate can be defined as what would transpire if one did not exercise free will.

To explain, I'll use a boat as an analogy: If you don't use the rudder, the boat will drift with the current. That's "fate". But, you have the ability to steer a course that contradicts the direction of the current! That's "free will".

Most people are adrift, most of the time. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:41 pm

Yes essentially I agree with PA.

You do have some control over your fate.

Sometimes it can be quite small.

For instance, in Victor Frankl's first hand account of a concentration camp he pointed out that sometimes the only control you can excercise is sometimes as miniscule as how you choose to accept a fate which you cannot control.

God help us all, that we may enjoy a life in which we are able to exert more control than simply how we will face a fate beyond our control.

As far as fate, I like the serenity verse. change the things you can, but deal wisely with the things you can't change..
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:30 am

Depends. There are parameters but there is some uncertainty within them.
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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:15 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
Uriah wrote:
There is no such thing as Fate. As for free-will, I choose not to believe in it.

And by choosing not to believe in it, you are exercising your free will. I'm sure the irony was intentional on your part. Smile


Indeed - I'm always looking for a clever pun.

In retrospect I should've said:

"I find it impossible to accept Fate, as for free-will; I choose not to believe in it"
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Aaron wrote:
What do you think about fate? Does it exist? How does it relate to the concept of "free-will"?

Fatalism has always been a powerful determinant of human behavior, for those who believe in it. In some cases Destiny was viewed as the carved-in-stone Will of God---as in "God willing" or "it is written". But in other situations Fate was viewed as an implacable, impersonal force that even the gods had no control over.

If the Creator has indeed planned-out the course of history down to the smallest detail, then those who want to know what the future holds have two choices---besides passive fatalism, of course. They can seek-out Seers who communicate with the gods in various ways in order to catch glimpses of the future before it happens. Or, they can do as Neo was told in THE MATRIX movie: "you have already made the choice"---i.e it was pre-programmed---"now you must try to understand it".

In my emerging worldview, the second option is not as fatalistic as it might seem. I believe that the unfolding evolution of the universe is similar to the Impersonal Force concept of Fate, except that the path of history is steered by random contingencies rather than by the whims of gods, and by natural laws rather than divine fore-ordination. By that I mean, the Creator set-up a dynamic, self-creating system rather than a linear, pre-destined system. In either case, we have no knowledge of what the future holds, and little control over how it plays-out.

So it's understandable that prophecy or prayer might seem to be our only means to be forewarned and forearmed. But I see it a little differently in view of modern cognitive science. Neuro-scientists have discovered that most of our behavior is set in motion by automatic, sub-conscious "decisions" before we become conscious of our own "intentions". In fact, our primary control over behavior seems to be the power of veto rather than the power to propose. It's as-if the semi-autonomous body/brain is the Navigator, who plots the next course change, and the conscious mind is the Captain who can either accept the proposal, or over-ride it.

Hence, my interpretation of our role in the automatic processes of evolution is not to decide the destiny of life, or to choose the course of history, but to understand it***. Collectively, of course, the individual choices of millions of sentient beings has a meaningful impact on the direction of evolution. But each of us has only minimal input into the contingencies of history. So, our moral responsibility is limited to consciously over-riding immoral "choices" made by the body we "command". To inform our moral choices we must understand A> the history of history---The Map---enough to project its trajectory into the future of destiny. and B> our personal role in the overall process---you are here. Armed with that insight into self and system, we can use conscious understanding as a map of reality to guide our navigation through life.

We have no magical insight into Destiny, only reasoning and intuition. We have no control over Fate, only the ability to choose the right thing to do. Understanding is our only power to fight fate. Moral choice is our only act of Free Will.

***Understanding comes via Philosophy, Religion, and Science.

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:14 pm

michael1111 wrote:

Uriah wrote:

Looks like Fate got your tongue. Was the previous post that baffling?

Intrigued by the implications of the Matrix quote, I am experimenting with the idea of Understanding as the sole purpose of each human. Whereas Christianity sets Faith as the only requirement for salvation, Deism might establish Understanding as the only requirement for human existence. In other words, we were put here, not to do anything in particular, but to experience and learn and understand what's happening : to be G*d's eyes and ears and mind on Earth, so to speak.

Does that make any sense???
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:51 pm

Gnomon wrote:
michael1111 wrote:

Uriah wrote:

Looks like Fate got your tongue. Was the previous post that baffling?

It looks like the board has developed some sort of a glitch. They must have "upgraded" something.

I'll try to find out what's going on.

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:53 pm

Hey obviously the architects of the Matrix didn't like the truth that Michael and myself had told, we must have let slip some secret byte of info not approved for quotidian consumption.

Whatever it was, I forgot though.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:25 pm

we were posting to each other using telepathy. Smile


i think i said that fate was arriving at an unplanned destination...i also think i said it better.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:32 pm

michael1111 wrote:
we were posting to each other using telepathy. Smile


i think i said that fate was arriving at an unplanned destination...i also think i said it better.

That's right, and then I said "kinda like drunk driving!" Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:57 pm

lol Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:07 am

Uriah wrote:
michael1111 wrote:
we were posting to each other using telepathy. Smile


i think i said that fate was arriving at an unplanned destination...i also think i said it better.

That's right, and then I said "kinda like drunk driving!" Very Happy

"He is one of those men God and fate somehow lead to the fore in times of challenge..." ~George Pataki in the introduction of Bush at the Republican National Convention

Yeah, I think in this context the drunk driving analogy is accurate. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:36 am

It doesn't take a nuclear physicist to see that destiny plays a part in all our lives. We may not know WHY something is happening to us, but we usually find a way to adapt. However, if we ignore the hand of cards destiny has dealt us we can cause all sorts of unnatural calamities to occur. For example: If you have bad eyesight and you decide to fly an airplane even though you can't read the dials, you'll probably crash the plane.

So, how can we work with destiny instead of against it? Once we accept that some things will happen to us no matter how careful we might be to avoid them, we can adapt and endure them. Once we see that we're actually able to endure, we don't have such harsh judgments about whether something that happens to us is good or bad. Once we've given up on seeing any occurrence as good or bad, we've taken the drivers seat in our lives by realizing we have the ability to determine what we'll do with what comes our way. Once we've corrected our attitudes, we can move with the natural assurance of the heavens that change so easily from night to day. From then on the ride becomes easy.

-Ninah
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:16 pm

That's right - though I hesitate to use the word 'destiny' - either way I agree with your essential point.

Remember - It's just a ride
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:40 am

Here's what I had to say about fate when I wrote My Owner's Manual...

We canít have a conversation about fate without mentioning astrology. Most people read their astrological forecast, or horoscope, each day just for fun. Others take it very seriously.
I was born under the sign of Capricorn. To those who know something about the subject, that fact will tell them quite a bit about my personality. And, for the most part, they would be right!
I have noticed a tendency for people to think and act much the way astrology predicts they will, based on their astrological signs. I donít profess to understand it, but I acknowledge it.
But, we are not compelled to follow our natural tendencies! The idea that your life is predetermined in any way ignores the power of your own free will!
Regardless of your propensity to think a certain way, you have the ability to change the way you think. And doing so will change the way you act.
If you read your horoscope and believe it, it will be true! It is not the stars and planets that are controlling your life.

It is your own thoughts and beliefs that are shaping your world!

AND...


Why are some people victims?

Imagine a typical city street scene: There are lots of pedestrians hurrying up and down the sidewalk, lost in their own thoughts. All of them have some money and valuables in their possession, since most people donít leave home without some cash and some credit cards in their wallets or purses. In the midst of all these people, there is a thief. Which one of the people passing by will be his victim?

The one who fears being robbed!

What?
You donít agree?
Well, didnít you agree that we get what we focus our attention on? Didnít you agree that our thoughts are like prayers to God/The Universe? And, didnít you agree that God/The Universe hears all of our thoughts and grants us whatever we ask for?

So, if you were thinking that you might get robbed, wasnít God/The Universe bound to grant your wish? Be careful what you ask for!
If you think about being robbed, and the thief thinks about someone to rob, doesnít it make sense that God/The Universe would make sure that the two of you meet? Itís kismet! You both got what you asked for!
And doesnít it also make sense that all the other people, who were thinking or wishing for other things at that moment, would be invisible Ė yes, invisible - to the thief? If he robbed any of them, they would not be getting what they asked for!

And that is not how God/The Universe works!
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:46 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
Why are some people victims?

Imagine a typical city street scene: There are lots of pedestrians hurrying up and down the sidewalk, lost in their own thoughts. All of them have some money and valuables in their possession, since most people donít leave home without some cash and some credit cards in their wallets or purses. In the midst of all these people, there is a thief. Which one of the people passing by will be his victim?

The one who fears being robbed!

What?
You donít agree?
Well, didnít you agree that we get what we focus our attention on? Didnít you agree that our thoughts are like prayers to God/The Universe? And, didnít you agree that God/The Universe hears all of our thoughts and grants us whatever we ask for?

So, if you were thinking that you might get robbed, wasnít God/The Universe bound to grant your wish? Be careful what you ask for!
If you think about being robbed, and the thief thinks about someone to rob, doesnít it make sense that God/The Universe would make sure that the two of you meet? Itís kismet! You both got what you asked for!
And doesnít it also make sense that all the other people, who were thinking or wishing for other things at that moment, would be invisible Ė yes, invisible - to the thief? If he robbed any of them, they would not be getting what they asked for!

And that is not how God/The Universe works!

Sounds like "The Secret".

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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:00 am

I disagree, the fear of being robbed is just a contributor. For example, let's say this thief has two choices: The first is a 250 pound NFL linebacker, who although he looks large and intimidating is actually a wimp and afraid of physical confrontation.
The second is a frail old man, who although his body is not up to it, is as tough as they come and will fight back.

Who do you think the robber will victimize?

Thieves, much like any predatory animal, will victimize the weak and sickly first. Outward appearances, in this regard, are more important than internal fortitude.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:12 pm

Uriah wrote:
That's right - though I hesitate to use the word 'destiny'

Picture yourself jumping out of an airplane. Your destiny will be to hit the ground. The speed and force at which you hit the ground is dependent upon how well you were able to adapt to the situation before you jumped. If you had the foresight to take a parachute with you on your journey you should be able to land safely and your destiny will be a good one. However if you are unable to adapt and you forgot your parachute your destiny will not be a good one.

-Ninah
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:16 pm

I understand the concept. I merely think the word is slightly loaded.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:04 pm

Uriah wrote:
I understand the concept. I merely think the word is slightly loaded.
FATE VERSUS FREEWILL

The ancient concept of Destiny had supernatural connotations, and conveyed a feeling of inevitability.

Ninah's use of the term may be closer to the naturalistic idea that there is an inherent direction to the flow of evolution (ie the river of time). However, the traditional term implies Divine Predestination, while the more modern sense merely indicates an Unspecified Destination, like a meandering stream out in the vast ocean.

The world we inhabit has a lot of evolutionary momentum, and individuals within that process have inherited a lot of inertia from the past. Fortunately for us, even cosmic momentum can be knocked off its course by a sufficient outside---or in this case, internal---rogue force. And personal inertia can be overcome, to some degree, by the exercise of the minuscule force of freewill. Hence, all the freewill in the world should have some indirect, collective effect on the final destination of the whole creation.

The physical metaphor I have in mind is Brownian Motion. The collective force of billions of subatomic particles randomly bumping against super-atomic dust particles in the macro world. Although the force of each individual collision may be trillions of times smaller than the mass of the macro particle, in the aggregate those jostling atoms add-up to enough force to bump the macro particle in the statistically-average vector of the micro particles. Yet the new direction of the dust particle---here representing the cosmos impacted by zillions of individual freewill choices---is still random and unpredictable, hence free from predestination.

You might prefer to think of it as bottom-up rather than top-down Destiny.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownian_motion
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:44 pm

Aaron wrote:


Sounds like "The Secret".

Laughing Yeah, but since I wrote that long before "The Secret" came out, maybe I should sue them for plagiarism!
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:55 am

Uriah wrote:
I disagree, the fear of being robbed is just a contributor. For example, let's say this thief has two choices: The first is a 250 pound NFL linebacker, who although he looks large and intimidating is actually a wimp and afraid of physical confrontation.
The second is a frail old man, who although his body is not up to it, is as tough as they come and will fight back.

Who do you think the robber will victimize?

Thieves, much like any predatory animal, will victimize the weak and sickly first. Outward appearances, in this regard, are more important than internal fortitude.

I've been meaning to respond to your comments, but...well, I got busy...

I'm sure you've seen 90-pound weaklings walk tall and confidently, and big men with obvious self-esteem problems. It isn't one's physical condition, but one's attitude that makes one vulnerable. By assuming the thief would be mislead by outward appearances, you have failed to consider that we all have the ability to instinctively read another's mental state. A smart thief would likely be better at that than most of us, because his very survival depends upon it!

I stand by what I said: Fear makes us victims. Confidence gives us an edge.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate   Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:37 am

But you're arguing ideals. Not all (not even most) thieves are smart, and not every victim is fearful. I agree that attitude has a lot to do with it, but it's not the only factor by far.
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