If I for example went out in my car and somebody pulled up at a junction waiting for me, do you think his life would be different later on because of the wait at the junction, thus altering the time to get to his destination and also the chain reaction of other people delaying or speeding up their journies?
In other words, is everything meant to be, like the order of the universe? (Note you could have missed an important event by answering or not answering this question.)
Why do I do things even when I don't want to? That is, why do I waste time on the internet when I know I should be studying for exams? If I know I should be studying, why aren't I?
Do we always make the choice we want to in a given situation? My professor said that for better or for worse, we always make the choice that we wanted to make in a given situation. My professor gave the example that a drug user decides to use again because he decided he wanted to, irrespective of whether the choice is detrimental to his health or not, it was his choice. I argued with another example that a person who decides to walk to the store to buy milk does so by choice. But, if he begins to daydream about a final exam he needs to study for and then he forgets why he was going to the store, did he make the choice to not buy milk? Would you say that he made the choice to daydream about his exam? How does one get out of this conundrum?
Is freedom really so desirable? Is it not better to be captive but cared for, than "free" to die of famine, disease or conflict? This example is physical, but mental captivity (e.g., constraining our thoughts to what we believe) can be more comforting than opening our minds to thoughts we might find uncomfortable or incomprehensible. Freedom, particularly in the Western World, is often held up as an ideal for which to strive. Is it really as good as it is made out to be?
I work for a housing charity who deal with homeless clients. The local housing authority refues to consider heroin users or alcoholics as vulnerable enough for emergency accommodation because their drug use is a "lifestyle choice." Even if they have severe medical problems [deep vein thrombosis, liver disease, etc.] which in another case may be deemed serious enough to make them "vulnerable."
My colleagues and I are confused. Can addictive behaviour seriously be described as an act of free will? I don't know if your rules forbid such qestions as being medical/psychological rather than philosophical, but I have worked in addictions services for nearly 15 years, and I have never seen a definitive answer to this question, therefore I suspect it may be one for the philosophers rather than the men in white coats! Please help us if you can.
I have recently been reading in Richard Dawkins' book, the idea that God being both omnipotent and omniscient is a contradiction. I think it is something along the lines of: if God is omniscient then He already knows how He is going to deploy His powers, which means He is effectively bound to act in a certain way -- meaning He is not omnipotent.
But I'm not sure I've totaly got my heads around the concept. Can anyone add anything more?
The Jesuits said 'give me a child until the age of seven and I will give you the man'.
From my 25 years of teaching children aged 5 -7 years, I would argue that there is little that teachers can do to change the impact of genetics on the character of the young child. In my experience a child with parents who are honest/dishonest, caring/bullying, selfish/generous usually demonstrates the same characteristics from an early age. It was reported in the press this week that scientists have discovered that even facial expressions that run in families result not from mimicry but from family genes. Science is discovering more and more that in the nature versus nurture debate it is 'nature' that has the greater influence over our characters. My question is this: If we are the victims of our genes can we truly be held culpable for our misdeeds?
This question is about free will:
When I write this sentence I am not quite sure what I will think of to write next. Every word just seems to pop up into my head just a fraction of a second before I write it. It seems that I do not control what it is that I will write. It seems however that it is possible to not write something that pops into my head - but, then again, that counter-urge not to write a word also seems to just pop into my head. If performing any kind of action is like writing, can I be said to have a free will?
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