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Pre-destined or choice?
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Ginan it is mentioned;

JO KARMEY LIKHIYA SO HI THAYA

How can we relate free will and destiny to above line of Ginan?
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:
In Ginan it is mentioned;

JO KARMEY LIKHIYA SO HI THAYA

How can we relate free will and destiny to above line of Ginan?


Admin and kmaherali, still waiting for your opinion on my above question.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivaathervedi wrote:
shivaathervedi wrote:
In Ginan it is mentioned;

JO KARMEY LIKHIYA SO HI THAYA

How can we relate free will and destiny to above line of Ginan?


Admin and kmaherali, still waiting for your opinion on my above question.
The exact verse states:

ejee dosh dayaal jee ne kee-u(n) kar deeje
karam leekheeyaa sohee paave.................................7

Why should we blame our Merciful Lord for our misfortunes?
Only such things come to pass which our own actions bring forth.
(Whatsoever a man sows so shall he reap).

The verse suggests that we are to a certain degree responsible for our destiny and should not blame the Merciful for all our misfortunes.

Also it indicates that there is mercy even in the apparent misfortunes, therefore we should be cautious when blaming the Merciful for them.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
shivaathervedi wrote:
shivaathervedi wrote:
In Ginan it is mentioned;

JO KARMEY LIKHIYA SO HI THAYA

How can we relate free will and destiny to above line of Ginan?


Admin and kmaherali, still waiting for your opinion on my above question.
The exact verse states:

ejee dosh dayaal jee ne kee-u(n) kar deeje
karam leekheeyaa sohee paave.................................7

Why should we blame our Merciful Lord for our misfortunes?
Only such things come to pass which our own actions bring forth.
(Whatsoever a man sows so shall he reap).

The verse suggests that we are to a certain degree responsible for our destiny and should not blame the Merciful for all our misfortunes.

Also it indicates that there is mercy even in the apparent misfortunes, therefore we should be cautious when blaming the Merciful for them.


The question is about " karme likhiya " which indicates what is writen.
God created a man and programmed the events and happenings in his life and locked it. Now there is no way to change the program, what is written or programmed shall happen. humans are puppets in the system of God, no use of blaming Him.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6274

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karme likhya means your action define the consequence You are master of your actions If you change your actions, you can change the outcome of your life.

You suffer the consequences of your actions.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin wrote:
Karme likhya means your action define the consequence You are master of your actions If you change your actions, you can change the outcome of your life.

You suffer the consequences of your actions.


This applies to ethical values and not to sufferings, illnesses, and disasters of life written by God.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6274

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God is not like a horrible person punishing for actions you have not done. Your life is defined by action you are doing in this life and actions you did in your previous incarnations. God is writing this life according to the totality of your deeds since creation of your soul many lives ago. This concept can not be understood by people who do not understand concepts of reincarnations.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin wrote:
God is not like a horrible person punishing for actions you have not done. Your life is defined by action you are doing in this life and actions you did in your previous incarnations.


I am born once and not interested in chakarview of reincarnation. I don't look backward but will transform in higher sphere as MSMS explained.
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ismaili103



Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 505

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Adl and Al Muqsit both are the atrribute of Allah and their meanings are " The Utterly Just" and "The Equitable" respectively.

If all of us are born once then why some people born rich and other poor? Why some born with disabilities and some born healthy? Why there only 1.5 Billion Muslims who believe in Allah and Muhammad? Why only 30 Million Ismailis who are following the true Islam i.e Believing in Imamat? Why animals get killed and gets eaten by Humans? Why these animals are in such pain? What was there mistake that they are getting killed and eaten by Humans? Afterall they are also living organism just like Human Beings. Why they're in pain if it's their first and the last life. What was the mistake of that kid who born in the house of a poor beggar if it's his or her first life? Why?

Where the heck is the Justice and Equity of Allah?
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6274

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an influence of the cycle of incarnation on the question of free-will and predestination. Whatever is clearly not linked should go on the respective subject thread.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ismaili103 wrote:
Al Adl and Al Muqsit both are the atrribute of Allah and their meanings are " The Utterly Just" and "The Equitable" respectively.

If all of us are born once then why some people born rich and other poor? Why some born with disabilities and some born healthy? Why there only 1.5 Billion Muslims who believe in Allah and Muhammad? Why only 30 Million Ismailis who are following the true Islam i.e Believing in Imamat? Why animals get killed and gets eaten by Humans? Why these animals are in such pain? What was there mistake that they are getting killed and eaten by Humans? Afterall they are also living organism just like Human Beings. Why they're in pain if it's their first and the last life. What was the mistake of that kid who born in the house of a poor beggar if it's his or her first life? Why?

Where the heck is the Justice and Equity of Allah?


We are puppets in the system of God. He is care free, no wife, no children, don't have rush to work, unlimited resources. A man is born free but every where he is in chains.
JO KAREY HAI AAP KAREY HAI
HAMEI(N) UBBUS BADNAAM KIA

KOI LAAKH KAREY CHATURAI
KARAM KA LEKH MITTEY NA RE BHAI
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6274

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As said our Imam, Mowlana SUltan Muhammad Shah, despondency is a Sin.

“You must remember that life will have for you many disappointments. If one-fifth of one’s hopes are realised, one is extremely lucky and fortunate, so do not be discouraged by disappointments.

“Failures should be forgotten and new efforts made. Despondency is a sin, and hope, a necessary part of iman (faith) both for material wealth and, above all, for progress to spiritual enlightenment.”
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And MSMS also said," Struggle is meaning of life, victory or defeat is in the hands of God". This shows still final decision depends upon God, and God won't change His decision once made because it is against His Sunnah (tradition) and principle.

God is producer and story writer.
Intercessor is director.
We the people are puppets follow what is written.
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tret



Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 1196

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq was asked this question by someone. And the Imam asked the person to lift one foot, and he did. Then the Imam asked him to lift his second foot, while the first foot already lifted. the man said I cannot.

The moral is, that there are certain things, such as Qaza wa Qadar, life/death etc.. that are pre-distant, and cannot be changed. Doesn't matter how unjust it appears to us. Only God knows well. Some folks justifies the unjust nature of these events to legitimize the notion of "reincarnation/rebirth" to satisfy themselves.
And there are other things that men has control over, such as our personal choices. Doing good or bad, chocolate or vanilla etc...
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DARMIYAN QA'ER E DARYA TAKHTAH BUNDUM KARDAEI
BAAZ MI GOEI DAAMAN TAR MA KUN HUSHIYAR BAASH

HAFIZ SHIRAZI

He tied me with plank of wood and threw me in the river, (then standing on bank) said, beware do not wet your clothes.

MU(N)KHEY PRIYA(N) BHADHI WIDHO TAAR MEI(N)
UBHA EEI(N) CHAWAN MATA(N) PAANDH PUSAIYE(N)

SHAH LATIF BHITTAI (Famous Sindhi Poet)

My beloved tied (my hands and legs) and threw me in river.
Standing on bank said, beware do not wet clothes.
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tret



Joined: 09 Sep 2010
Posts: 1196

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, in another place, it says:

NAQSH-E-MA'KOOS-E NIGEEN AZ SAJDA MEGARDAD DUROOST
SAR NAWESHT-E- WAZHGOON RA, RAAST MESAZAAD NAMAZ.

Food for thought.
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BI ZAMEEN CHU SAJADAH KARDAM
ZI ZAMEEN NIDA BAR AAMED
KI MARA HAAL KHARAB KARDI
TU BI SAJADAH RIYAAEI

IRAQI

When I prostrated on zameen (ground- earth), the voice came out of zameen
(ground) that your hypocrite prostration ruined me.

JO MAI(N) SAR BI SAJADAH HUA KABHI
TOU ZAMEEN SE AANEY LAGI SADA
TERA DIL TOU HAI SANAM AASHINA
TUJHEY KIA MILEY GA NAMAZ ME

ALLAMAH IQBAL
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Am Not a Blank Page

Excerpt:

The moral of the story is this: effort is no substitute for aptitude and (I’m sorry if this hurts) we can’t always be whatever we want to be. In the argument between Nature and Nurture, Nature may not have the last word, but it’s got an awfully loud voice. If anyone you love ever reaches the low point that I did, please don’t reflexively “inspire” them by insisting they can overcome any obstacle with enough effort. If I’d heard that one more time I’m sure I’d have pulled the trigger. Instead, help them come to terms with their weaknesses. This is not limiting. It’s emancipating because it will help them start working toward goals they have a meaningful chance of reaching.

More...
https://quillette.com/2018/11/25/i-am-not-a-blank-page/
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karimqazi



Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 78
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mai klon mai chlon or mai jpaon jap mate kary potly etc
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karimqazi wrote:
mai klon mai chlon or mai jpaon jap mate kary potly etc
Translation please!
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parents and mentors should be flexible, they should not push kids and youngsters to extreme. May be they think better for their kids but they should ask politely and engage them and ask them what they want to be? A child's brain is a blank paper.These are parents, teachers and environment which shape the further life of children. The negative imprints of teachers, parents and society on child's brain is disastrous. A child is born with neat, clean, and clear soul. There is no worldly dirt on his/her blank sheet of soul.
There is also an important question, what God want for the new born, how nature is going to shape the future. Here comes the destiny "what is written".
A sufi said," Pen is His, hand is His, writing is His, I am just a blank paper". and in Ginan it is said " JIYA(N) NAKHO TIYA(N) THAYA ". Humans are helpless puppets, they can try, struggle but finally what He wants.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:
A child's brain is a blank paper.These are parents, teachers and environment which shape the further life of children. The negative imprints of teachers, parents and society on child's brain is disastrous. A child is born with neat, clean, and clear soul. There is no worldly dirt on his/her blank sheet of soul.
A child's brain is not a blank paper. It has innate nature and capacities. Hence some children are naturally inclined to excel in some subjects whereas others are inclined to excel in other subjects. A child cannot excel in math for example if he does not have innate nature for math. A good teacher should be able to guide and educate the child according to his or her innate potential.
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:
A child's brain is a blank paper.These are parents, teachers and environment which shape the further life of children. The negative imprints of teachers, parents and society on child's brain is disastrous. A child is born with neat, clean, and clear soul. There is no worldly dirt on his/her blank sheet of soul.
A child's brain is not a blank paper. It has innate nature and capacities. Hence some children are naturally inclined to excel in some subjects whereas others are inclined to excel in other subjects. A child cannot excel in math for example if he does not have innate nature for math. A good teacher should be able to guide and educate the child according to his or her innate potential.


Children born are from same source, each one have part of same soul, with same nature, and same brain capacities. There is nothing written on slate of their brain. These are parents, mentors, teachers, priests/mullahs, society, and environment which shape their future. It is hard to figure out the capabilities or capacity of a child in kindergarten or elementary level. These are parents and teachers who can figure out best for the future of a child if he or she is inclined to be a doctor, engineer, IT geek, a politician, or a business man. You wrote,"A child cannot excel in math for example if he does not have innate nature for math". In your statement you depend on NATURE, means God destined him/her to be mathematician. It is hand of nature which destine the future of every one in my opinion.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How you can re-programme your brain

Are we hard-wired machines, running on circuits we can’t alter, with a life pre-determined by the brain we are born with? Or are we able to rewire and re-programme our own mind and control our own destiny?

In Destiny and the Brain, Neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow asks what the latest brain research might be telling us about ideas of free will, nature versus nurture, and destiny.

Your brain isn’t fixed as an adult
At the dawn of neuroscience, it was an established principle that all of the neurons in the brain are created before birth and repair of a damaged brain isn’t possible.

Parts of the brain might be plastic, meaning they are able to adapt, grow and even regenerate.
For years, neuroscientists presumed that the structure of the adult brain was fixed. We were stuck with what we’d got.

But by the 1960s experimental evidence started to emerge suggesting the contrary: that in fact parts of the brain might be plastic, meaning they are able to adapt, grow and even regenerate.

More...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/49Fc0MlJkgt2mK03RZTDlHC/how-you-can-re-programme-your-brain
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can Neuroscience Understand Free Will?

Excerpt:

Nevertheless, the fact that brain damage affects moral behavior only underscores the reality that, whatever the “will” is, it isn’t “free.” The sense of freedom we have to act on our moral understanding is regulated and vulnerable, and can break. In a 2016 paper, Darby noted that people who have behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia “develop immoral behaviors as a result of their disease despite the ability to explicitly state that their behavior is wrong.” This complicates how moral responsibility should be understood, he explains. People can be capable of acknowledging wrongdoing and yet be incapable of acting accordingly. Responsibility can’t hinge on any simple notion of “reason responsiveness,” Darby says, which is a view of how free will can be compatible with determinism—the idea, in the case of behavior, that brain activity causes feelings, intentions, and actions, moral or not.

More...

http://nautil.us/blog/can-neuroscience-understand-free-will
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swamidada



Joined: 02 Aug 2020
Posts: 829

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

22 Nov, 2020 11:47

Brit who caught Covid, malaria & dengue fever in India now fighting to recover from deadly COBRA bite
Ian Jones (main image) is now suffering with blindness and leg paralysis. © GoFundMe; inset: Global Look Press

A British man who contracted malaria, dengue fever and Covid-19 while working for a charity in India is now battling to recover from a venomous cobra bite.
After running the gauntlet of the infectious diseases, Ian Jones was bitten by the deadly snake in a village near Jodhpur in western India's Rajasthan state. While fortunate to survive the bite, he is now suffering with blindness and leg paralysis.

The Isle of Wight man’s family say he spent nearly two weeks in intensive care but has now left the hospital because of a shortage of beds and a high number of coronavirus patients. Jones is “very frightened” by his condition but his doctors are hopeful he can make a full recovery.

“Dad is a fighter, during his time out in India he had already suffered from malaria and dengue fever before Covid-19,” his son, Seb Jones, said on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay his father’s medical bills and travel back to the UK.

The former healthcare worker runs a charity that helps traditional craftsmen in Rajasthan import their goods into Britain to help them trade their way out of poverty.

When the pandemic broke out, Jones elected to stay in India to help support the community where the charity operates. “When we heard he had also suffered what is usually a fatal snake bite on top of all that he had been through, we honestly could not believe it,” his son added.

https://www.rt.com/news/507475-brit-cobra-bite-covid-malaria-dengue-india/

Why good persons suffer while helping humanity? Ian Jones was helping poor masses, why nature was hostile to him. He helped needy by choice, why punished for good acts? Was this suffering written in his destiny?
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do We Have Free Will? Maybe It Doesn't Matter



Belief is a special kind of human power. Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, eloquently claims as much in his recent book Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being. It’s the “most prominent, promising, and dangerous capacity humanity has evolved,” he writes, the power to “see and feel and know something—an idea, a vision, a necessity, a possibility, a truth—that is not immediately present to the senses, and then to invest, wholly and authentically, in that ‘something’ so that it becomes one’s reality.”

A great example of this is the widespread and intuitive idea that we have free will. Most people grow up with the notion that they are, in some sense, responsible for their thoughts and actions because, unlike animals, humans can think about their choices. We can reflect on what we should do, and other people—be they our parents or Supreme Court justices—can rightly hold us accountable. This is what most people mean when they talk about having free will. A Christian might say it goes back to Adam and Eve, who abused their God-given free will in defiantly eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. An atheist, on the other hand, may say we simply evolved free will along with other cognitive abilities that distinguish us from our mammalian cousins and ancestors.

You could also say that no such thing exists, a view which seems increasingly fashionable. “Cognitive neuroscience and popular media,” a new meta-analysis notes, “have been putting forward the idea that free will is an illusion, raising the question of what would happen if people stopped believing in free will altogether.” The paper, a preprint posted on PsyArXiv by University of Cologne social psychologist Oliver Genschow and his colleagues, delves into almost 150 studies, with over 26,000 participants, that sought to manipulate people’s belief in free will in order to tell whether believing, or disbelieving, in free will affects their morality.

People think they experience it. They feel they have it.

This isn’t an idle theoretical or academic question—beliefs about free will, Genschow says, seem to affect many “societally relevant” behaviors, like cheating. They also lie at the foundation of our criminal justice system, helping to justify retributive forms of punishment (the idea that people deserve to be locked up, for example, for committing certain crimes) as opposed to rehabilitative ones (confining and reforming people until they can safely re-enter society). Some philosophers, like Saul Smilansky, have argued that if we were to give up on free will, the consequences would be catastrophic.

Scientists have tried to manipulate free will beliefs in a number of ways. A common method is eroding the plausibility of the concept by appealing to the mechanistic nature of reality. You tell people that all of their behavior is determined by the laws of nature, be those physical, biological, or psychological laws. How could it be otherwise? If you rewound the universe, you’d end up making all of the same choices you did the first time around. You might question this deterministic outlook by bringing up the role of chance, but on closer inspection that, too, erodes free will’s plausibility—because how could we call a choice “free” if it arose out of randomness? Some, like physicist Max Tegmark, believe that neurons are simply too big, and that quantum effects all cancel out at scales much smaller than neurons. But even if there is true randomness that affects our choices, acting one way or another because of random fluctuations in quantum fields doesn’t feel much like free will.

This gist of the meta-analysis from Genschow and his colleagues suggests that free will’s proponents and detractors may be putting too much store in what people believe. The belief, or disbelief, doesn’t seem to affect individual behavior in any way we might care about. Manipulating people’s ideas about free will, at least in experimental conditions, has only a small and temporary effect. In other words, a persuasive anti-free will essay (the most effective method found) doesn’t change people’s core beliefs about free will—it only puts them in a temporary, slight anti-free will mindset. (Most people naturally believe in free will, so most of the manipulations studied try to reduce belief in it, though it can work both ways). There is no evidence that this induced change in free will beliefs has any effect on morality, such as antisocial behavior, cheating, conformity, or willingness to punish. There is also no definitive evidence against such effects. So for now, it appears that people’s beliefs in free will don’t really matter.

That’s quite a bold conclusion given that the most popular positions seem to be either: “Free will exists and is central to ethics,” and “Free will doesn’t exist, and it’s ethically important for everyone to recognize this fact.”

A good example of this first view comes in the new book Just Deserts: Debating Free Will by philosophers Daniel Dennett and Gregg Caruso. They argue about whether free will makes people deserving of punishment or praise for their actions, independently of the good that might result from punishing or praising them. To take an extreme example, suppose there were 10 people left on Earth, and one killed the other nine. Assume there is no forward-looking reason to punish them: There are no more people they could possibly kill, no other people to learn by making an example of this person, and so on. Does this person still deserve to be punished for what they did?

Free will, for Dennett, is the thing that would make the answer “yes.” That person deserves to be punished because of what they chose to do with their own free will. The problem with this, though, is that the existence of free will now depends on your theory of ethics! For example, I’m a utilitarian. I don’t believe retribution is ever morally justified. So because of my ethical theory, I must not believe in free will. But shouldn’t free will have to do with the nature of a person acting, their psychological properties, and their relationship to the laws of the universe—not whether or not utilitarianism is true?

The neuroscientist Sam Harris said as much in a recent episode of his Making Sense podcast. “Free will is an enduring problem for philosophy and science,” he said, “for one reason: People think they experience it. They feel they have it.”

For Harris, those people are wrong, not just about the existence of free will, but the character of their own experience. Harris, in that episode, says that, if there’s anything novel about his position on free will, it is the claim that the experience of having free will is a penetrable illusion: If you pay sufficient attention to your mind when making a decision, it’s possible to see that you’re not really “deciding” anything. Options of what you might do simply appear in consciousness, and the feeling of “choosing” an option is just another thought that appears in consciousness, completely out of your control.

To demonstrate, he asks listeners to think of a film and carefully observe what happens, in their mind’s eye, during this process. Various movies surface to mental awareness—but are these being chosen in any real sense? At this point he asks listeners if they experience free will in this moment. “If it’s not here, it’s not anywhere,” he says. “It is likely that every other choice you have made in your life has been more constrained than this one—what job to take, who to marry, whether to have kids, who to vote for. Most choices are much more obviously constrained by other variables than this one. So if you’re not free to simply pick a film right now, I don’t know where you’re going to find free will.”

You might argue, as Dennett has, that Harris is unnecessarily defining free will out of existence. There’s a useful version of free will we can hold on to, involving our capacity for self-control. But this, as Harris has said, would just be changing the subject: People who believe in free will think it’s deeper than self-control. It’s about the feeling that you are, in some sense, the author of your thoughts and actions.

The way these two thinkers have talked passed each other reminds us that it’s hard to change people’s beliefs about free will. So, it can feel like a relief to realize, at least according to Genschow’s meta-analysis, that even when you can change people’s beliefs, it seems to make no moral difference anyway.

In Why We Believe, Fuentes writes, “The human capacity for belief, the specifics of belief, and our diverse belief systems structure and shape our daily lives, our societies, and the world around us.” In the case of free will, this may be less true than we have been led to believe.

Jim Davies is a professor at the Department of Cognitive Science at Carleton University. He is the author of Imagination: The Science of Your Mind’s Greatest Power and Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make us Laugh, Movies Make us Cry, and Religion Makes us Feel One with the Universe. He is co-host of the award-winning podcast Minding the Brain. His new book, Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You, came out in February 2021.

https://nautil.us/blog/do-we-have-free-will-maybe-it-doesnt-matter?mc_cid=4939abeca6&mc_eid=b00bf1f6eb
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23617

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quantum Physics and the Foreknowledge of God - (or why it might be ridiculous to think we can explain everything about God)

FREE WILL, PREDESTINATION, FOREKNOWLEDGE




Queen of the Night Arise! Unveil! by Henry Moore, 1885

This will by no means be an easy read, but if you like to blow your mind from time to time, then you are in the right place and I will make this as simple and succinct as I can.

Recently, I participated in an online discussion dealing with an excellent question that has been posed to me countless times over the years. Let's frame it as follows ..."If God already knows that in 2023, Pete will choose to blaspheme God, then how can we say that Pete has free will - isn’t it already determined?"

The person who posed the question did a very nice job of describing the problem. He pointed out that if Pete's decision can be represented by a fact we call 'Y', and God's foreknowledge of Pete's decision can be represented by a fact we call 'X', then whatever 'X' is, 'Y' must be the same, so Pete must do whatever 'X' is. In other words, when 2023 rolls around, Pete will have no choice but to do what 'X' said he would do and blaspheme God.

Let's look at some possible responses.

Maybe we do not have free will

The simplest response is that free will is an illusion. God's foreknowledge is a consequence of what God in His sovereignty determines Pete will do. In other words, God’s foreknowledge 'X' determines Pete’s decision Y'. Pete might think he is choosing to blaspheme God, but he is mistaken. It is actually God making Pete do it via the different causal inputs that God totally controls. God, in his sovereignty, blasphemes himself through a tool we call "Pete".

God, in his sovereignty, blasphemes himself through a tool we call "Pete".

There is an enormous problem with this, however. It results in a type of God who makes people do things that he hates and not do what he loves. For example, God said of the Jews living during the Babylonian destruction of Judah,

"They have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind." (1)

The above passage ends with God giving the reason they have not listened to God …

“because they have stiffened their necks so as not to heed My words.”

What kind of a god makes people do things he hates, that have never even entered his mind, and then blame them for doing what he made them do? It is as if I grabbed a bullwhip and started whipping an innocent child, and while I was lashing the child, I yelled at my whip saying, "What you (the whip) are doing is an outrage, I hate it and it never even entered my mind that you would do such a thing! You are deliberately not listening to me! (while my arm continues to wield the whip)". Bystanders would think that either I had completely taken leave of my senses, or that I was incredibly evil, making a mockery of the evil I knew full well I was carrying out.

The Bible is so thoroughly filled, from cover to cover, with people doing things that God clearly hates while, at the same time, he constantly tells them to stop and repent that, if we have no free will, we wind up with a bizarre type of god who is self-defeating, self-contradicting, the origin of both evil and good, and who hates all the terrible things he does against himself via the tools he totally controls. Let us consider a different possibility.

Contingency

The second option is to grant that God, in his sovereign power, has given Pete the gift of free will, but God's knowledge of 'X' is contingent upon what God permits Pete to freely decide in 2023, not the other way around. To clarify, Pete's decision is the cause of the truth value of 'Y' which, in turn, is the cause of the truth value of God's knowledge 'X'. Consequently, God's knowledge 'X' does not cause Pete's decision 'Y' to blaspheme God, rather, God’s knowledge is a result of Pete’s decision. If Pete had decided something different in 2023, then 'X' would have reflect that different decision instead.

It is as if I stepped into a time machine, went forward in time to the next national election, observed the results of that election, and then returned to the present. I now know how the population will vote but it does not follow that I have determined the outcome of that election. Rather, the outcome of that election was determined by the population and I merely observed it. What I now know is completely contingent upon my observation of their decision.

But this raises a much more difficult question - how does God know these things?

The B-theory of time:

One theory is to regard time as a dimension, and all events that ever occur are located at different coordinates within that dimension.(2) From your perspective, some things are 'future' or 'past' but from the perspective of ‘I AM’, the God who transcends time, all events can be observed simultaneously and there is no 'future' or 'past'. The problem with this is that everything that ever 'happens' is essentially a 'frozen' event at a particular coordinate and it ‘always’ was frozen (in a timeless sense of “always”). In this view, free will decisions are problematic, though not impossible to conceptualize. How is it that the dimension of time contains all the events that will ever occur, in a frozen, eternal, changeless, timeless coordinate system?

Quantum weirdness:

What I am about to say is not intended to be the actual explanation of how God's foreknowledge works. Rather, I want to awaken the reader to the possibility that we tend to simplistically and naively think that the human mind should be able to understand everything about God.

I will try to keep this as simple as I can. but I do need to explain three things, 'entanglement', 'non-locality', and 'wave function'. In the field of quantum mechanics, each object has something associated with it that we call a wave function. The wave function describes the state of that object at any point in time. This is the case for everything from subatomic particles right up to a wave function for the entire universe itself, as suggested by Steven Weinberg (3). Human beings can change the state of a wave function by doing something so simple as merely observing the object's characteristics at some point in time or making decisions that affect the objects in their environment and, therefore, the wave functions for those things.

Entanglement occurs when there is some sort of correlation due to an interaction between the state of one object and another. An example occurs if those two things had a mutual origin or interaction in the distant past. Later on, if one takes a measurement of one, it instantly affects the state of the other even if they are now many light-years distant from each other. This connection in space is called non-locality.

To clarify - think of entangled non-locality as two objects that are holding hands (figuratively speaking). As they become more distant from each other, their arms stretch so that they can continue to stay in immediate touch with each other. So if anything happens to one of them, the other one immediately ‘knows’ it (figuratively speaking) and is instantly affected. In other words, the two objects do not have to wait until a message is sent from one to the other - because they are ‘holding hands’ they know it instantly, even if they have moved apart many light-years apart in space.

This is where things get weird. In 2013, a paper by Eli Megidish in Physical Review Letters (4) showed that our understanding of events occurring in time is simplistic. The shocker is that entangled objects can also “hold hands” between the past and the future. An object can also “hold hands” with another object that does not yet exist but will someday. If you want a more technical explanation, here it is …

“In the scenario we present here, measuring the last photon affects the physical description of the first photon in the past, before it has even been measured. Thus, the ”spooky action” is steering the system’s past. Another point of view that one can take is that the measurement of the first photon is immediately steering the future physical description of the last photon. In this case, the action is on the future of a part of the system that has not yet been created.”

If your brain is hurting at this point, here is the takeaway. We tend to see things as ‘future’, or ‘past’, or ‘present’. But entanglement in time means that things in the future are ‘holding hands’ with things in the past and vice versa. In one sense, there is a simultaneity between them while, in another sense, one is in the past and the other is in the future. So let’s allow our imagination to run a bit wild at this point and think about implications for what we call “foreknowledge’.

Implications for God's foreknowledge

What if God, at the instant of creation, interprets the complete set of entangled wave functions for the universe and, as a result, knows everything about the entire future history of the universe thanks to the non-locality he has programmed into the laws of quantum mechanics?

What if God, at the instant of creation, interprets the complete set of entangled wave functions for the universe and, as a result, knows everything about the entire future history of the universe thanks to the non-locality he has programmed into the laws of quantum mechanics?

Since God is the origin of physical reality, everything in physical reality is entangled with God, including all the wave functions of all the objects that have ever existed and ever will exist within the physical time of the universe. If God knows and comprehends the state of every wave function, then not only is absolutely every object in the universe entangled with God, but he could fully comprehend the entire future history of the universe as one simultaneous complex fact at the very instant he created it, including how every future free agent’s free decisions affect every wave function back to the moment of ultimate entanglement at creation. He could do this through temporal non-locality. This comprehension of the entire future of the universe would be simultaneous with the moment he brings the universe into existence due to the ability to know the state of every wave function at that moment and how they have been affected by future events.

There is one other thing you should know. There seems to be something about human beings that suggests they can change the state of wave functions but are not themselves, controlled by a wave function. This was mentioned by Steven Weinberg in an article in 1991. (5) Although it has the greatest explanatory power for what we observe in quantum mechanics, he completely rejected it due to the implication that there would be something non-physical about human beings, and he was a firmly committed materialist. The reason I raise this is that free will requires that we are not determined by a wave function and it follows that neither is God. He is the origin of the wave functions but not, Himself, controlled by them.

Now here is where it goes to another level of mind-boggling complexity. Given the above, at the moment of creation, God would already know all the people he will bring into the world. Thanks to entanglement and temporal non-locality, the state of the wave functions at the moment of creation would be a consequence of all the free decisions humans would ever make, along with all the interactions God would introduce to accomplish his purposes. God could run through trillions of combinations of his own interactions to fine-tune or tweak the resulting world such that it would be the best of all possibilities. To use a term from quantum mechanics, God could perform a very large number of measurements, all in the instant of time when he created the physical world. This would result in God not only knowing, but experiencing, the decisions of all future free agents, as well as all his own interactions such that his ultimate purposes would still be accomplished in sync with all the free decisions of human beings … and he could do all this in a moment of simultaneity at the foundation of the world.

Bottom line: God’s foreknowledge and middle-knowledge (knowing all counterfactuals of freedom) would be complete thanks to temporal non-locality, which he, himself, has built into the laws of nature that govern quantum mechanics. We could describe this method of orchestrating history, bringing his plan into sync with the decisions of free agents who he foreknew, predestination.

Implications:

First, let me emphasize that what I have just described is not intended to be an explanation of how God's foreknowledge works - I laugh at the thought that any mortal has that level of intellectual horsepower! I merely wish to suggest that we often have an extremely simplistic view and understanding of God and the world. We think that we should be able to understand and explain how God does things, but I suspect we suffer from a badly over-blown estimation of human intelligence. Yet I see this assumption every day by skeptics and atheists, and even by Christians.

A human-invented god would be entirely understandable and explainable. The real God should be orders of magnitude greater than our very limited cognitive abilities to explain.

A fundamental problem in countless discussions today is that the type of god people argue about is far too small. We try to fit the real God into a box that is tiny enough to suit our human intellect so we can deal with him. The real God staggers the mind just to begin to comprehend him.

That being said, God loves us to know him as best we can, and he has gone so far as to become a human being, Jesus Christ, who lived among us for a while, died for our sins, rose again, and returned to a level of glory that exceeds our mortal ability to face. God says,

"Let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” (6)

References:

Jeremiah 19:4-5.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/#TheoBTheo

Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Reality. (Amazon)

You can download the original paper here If you can read a popular-level version.

I have lost my original copy, so I'm relying on my memory here but I am pretty sure it was his article in Scientific American's special issue on 'Science in the 20th century', January 1, 1991.

Jeremiah 9:24

(If you would like to talk confidentially with an online mentor about how to know God, follow this link https://www.kirkdurston.com/mentor.)


https://www.kirkdurston.com/blog/foreknow
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