The Center of the Central Topic (Part 1)

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Cleric K
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Re: The Center of the Central Topic (Part 1)

Post by Cleric K »

lorenzop wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 6:16 pm This forum was setup to be for philosophical discussions (as was recently reinforced) . . . and philosophically, there are many strong arguments for and against 'free will'. I am not particularily interest in pursuing and weighing the various arguments - I don't see any compelling arguments one way oranother.
'Free Will' is primary a Western consideration, likely invented to circumvent the problem of 'evil' . . . How do we deal with there being a benevolent and all powerful God with the existence of disease, calamities, etc. - - - we shall grant humans the free will to commit evil to solve that problem.
But 'Free Will' is a contradiction - one can have freedom OR will, not both. 'Will' is just a sequence of cause and effect in the mind. Will is being bound by prior conditions. Will is bound by karma.
All I've said in earlier posts is that after introspection, I can not find the 'thinker' or chooser of thoughts. I can find thoughts of choosing this or choosing that - but thoughts with content of choosing is not a chooser. This not saying the same as 'simply appears' as you suggest I'm saying.
So what to do about all of this?
Practically, all I can do is: Do what I know to be right.
I don't find 'thinker' or 'chooser' either (in the sense of some perceptible complex from which thoughts grow and separate). Neither we should fantasize such an entity. But we can certainly feel willfully involved in the appearance of some thoughts.

The addition example was not intended to spark abstract speculations about free will but as something that can be the object of direct inner phenomenology. Just as we can distinguish between color, sound, pain, without needing complicated philosophy, so the goal was to distinguish something present in our conscious experience which is characteristic to the thinking process of adding two larger numbers.

It's the experience that we have to be willfully active in the process. It doesn't matter if we have a philosophical theory of what this willing is, 'who' is willing and so on. All of these are only additional thoughts which don't really change the given facts of the original experience.

So this was a completely phenomenological question. Whether you can distinguish between thoughts that simply flow in the stream of our daily consciousness almost automatically (in fact most people can hardly stop them) and thoughts such as those in the addition which simply wouldn't be there without cognitive effort.

We can speculate as much as we like about the 'true' nature of this will. We can say: "If I solve the problem, it is karma. If I don't solve it, it's karma again." And post factum we often counsel ourselves, especially after failures, that 'this is how it was meant to be'. And maybe it was. But the fact remains that such philosophy has zero practical value in the very moment when we need to be active. If instead of willfully thinking the numbers, we think "Well, if it was meant to be, the answer will just pop in my mind", we can be quite certain that no answer will ever pop. Instead, even the greatest determinist puts his philosophy aside for a moment and starts to exert his cognitive will.

So the thing is simply to become conscious of this cognitive agency. Simply to recognize that it is no less part of our experience than any other conscious phenomenon. After we have unprejudiced view on the facts we can go on and investigate what role this has in the unfoldment of our life movie. What happens if we explore this thinking force and what happens if we suppress it and be content with whatever happens on its own.
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Re: The Center of the Central Topic (Part 1)

Post by lorenzop »

I think we are essentially in agreement, in the practical where the rubber meets the road we need to initiate and take action, even if under scrutiny we find no personal thinker or doer. I read or once heard someone say that only the pure of heart can believe in God, and in the context of this conversation, only the pure of heart can pass all responsibility (for thinking & action) unto God (or Nature).
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