I gather that many of us deny the religious doctrine of free will. It is one of the seemingly rational aspects of religion and it simply feels right. Its negation removes our individuality and reduces our accomplishments and personalities to some kind of Buddhism-like ego-free status and as being undeserving of recognition. 

I don't intend to open discussion as to its validity. It has been dealt with here ad nauseam. 

But for any of you who deny it exists, how do you approach it in day to day life?

And as for the bad actors, nazis, muslim fanatics, psychopaths, racist/sexist etc...do you condemn them in a judgmental way or contemplate their adherence and action in a philosophical way, as though we are all simply particles acted upon by external forces?

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Comment by Sky God on October 9, 2014 at 4:46am

While I enjoyed several of the posts in this thread, I must say I was really impressed with the points and clarity of Joan's posts. Joan you reminded me of a Zen teacher I knew that was also a trained psychologist.

Your first post describes being preprogrammed by our childhood that can have us going through life (or at  least certain aspects) on autopilot. In your second post you talk about becoming conscious of this and rethinking things. But you follow up with "Once new ideas become routine, I feel a new sense of normal." - that's what I find fascinating! It's almost as if we want to run on autopilot and act out of habit, like it is that default position to go through life unconscious. We almost need to have others continuously challenging our assumptions so we don't fall into this trap. (and A/N definitely helps with that!)

Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 8, 2014 at 10:16pm

makes sense Steve

Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 8, 2014 at 9:02pm

Things on strings...Joan's version of string theory...

There was one guy who used to visit A/N frequently and his obsession with lack of free will seemed to play a part in his sour and dour outlook. In other words he took it to heart. On the other hand I wonder whether things could have played out any differently than they did. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 8, 2014 at 8:52pm

The way I perceive not having free will, is that there are stings attached to my decision making organ that tells me what to think and do. If I am aware that those puppet strings exist, I can take that into account as I make decisions. I am in control if I am aware of the strings. If not, I am a puppet to my history. My options are limited.  

Comment by Čenek Sekavec on October 8, 2014 at 8:25pm

I don't think that lack of free will should prevent us from making judgments.  It seems to me that whether stemming from 'free will' or from a non-free will system the source of preferences doesn't matter in the end.  They exist and when our subjective observations agree we call it objective truth. 

I feel like it's a situation of the baby and bathwater. If we try to bring about non-judgment as a philosophy we undermine the most basic epistemology. 

But I haven't made a great study of this topic.

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 8, 2014 at 7:55pm

Glen, you didn't let go of my being obtuse, rude, contentious and pompous.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 8, 2014 at 7:46pm

Not angry Tom..

Interestingly this is a real life example of what i was questioning. Do i simply disregard how rude, contentious and pompous you are? Do I ascribe it to the myriad events and circumstances that produced Tom Sarbeck and overlook it? And as I alluded to earlier I engage in fiction of free will in real life circumstances. Some stuff I let go, other stuff I confront...

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 8, 2014 at 7:32pm

Glen, our purposes certainly do differ.

Your indulging in name-calling tells me you want something you have not identified, don't know how to identify, or don't want to identify. In short, it tells me you're angry.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 8, 2014 at 7:19pm

Bertold, I do exactly the same thing. While I am an atheist as to free will I engage in the fiction that it is real. My life would be impossibly complex and unworkable were i to include this part of my world view in practical effect.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 8, 2014 at 7:17pm

No Tom I am not asking for more of the same. The issue of free will has been debated on A/N  extensively. To my knowledge or from my purview of A/N this is an issue of first impression I raise. 

Surely you are not as obtuse as you appear. 

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