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Challenge - what do you believe

  1. Apr 13, 2004 #1
    as we read these various philosophy forums we see many posts citing various source material and what these writers believe. these are used as an authority for what the poster wishes to substaniate.

    how many of us belive in freewill (please no posts showing that we do or don't have one) and the mandate to create our own credo or belief system?

    a simple beginning would be that I believe that everything is the universal power (pantheism). ALL THAT IS(god), is greater than the sum of all its parts.

    within freewill there is no right or wrong. we simply experience each moment in order to contribute to the cosmic expansion of all awareness. we are all sons of god and our nature is good. god is within us and we in him.

    laws of men are for social order. the only rule is to love your neighbor as yourself. which leads to the fact that we must love ourselves first, to succeed in life.

    no matter what or how you study the only underlying theme that transcends time is that learning to Love is the most important goal. love enables us to realize that we have the power to create a positive, peaceful world.

    what do you believe?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2004 #2


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    This would probably work better as a poll, but...

    Yes, I believe in freewill. Your extension of it...not so much.
  4. Apr 13, 2004 #3


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    I am a compatibiliist. Free will is as free will does.
  5. Apr 13, 2004 #4
    I am also a compatibilist. And your definition of free will seems off, olde drunk. But what do you really mean when you say: "what do you believe"? Either I'm missing the aim of the question as a whole, or I don't see what mandate of belief we hold? There are numerous things someone can believe in and there are numerous things someone doesn't believe in. Plase clarify.
  6. Apr 13, 2004 #5
    what philosophy(ies) do you live by, day to day.

    what do you believe is your role in the universe?

  7. Apr 13, 2004 #6
    I don't believe in anything first off because I am an atheist, but I think the role in the universe is just live your life to the fullest; not very original, but still, its a nice tenet to live by.
  8. Apr 14, 2004 #7
    When I was 8 and realised that I MUST die I was horror struck. I have since then been thinking about how I could minimise the fear when one day I am lying on my death bed. I quite quickly realised that the only way to minimise that fear was to be as good as I can be all the time, so that I would have no regrets, no lament for anything unsaid, undone, or said or done.

    I became even more mindful of my speech, thought and action after learning about buddhism. I believe we are all God without realising it and the purpose of life is to rediscover it. I believe everything we say or think or do is IMPORTANT because their entail unthinkable results. As I became a better person (methinks), I began to realise that I am like everybody else and everybody is like me, sometimes I even feel that I am everybody and everybody is me.

    I believe in love, courage, compassion, patience, understanding, creativity and wisdom. Most important of all, the practice of them. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Tenyears asked me to turn the other way yesterday and I must say I have though about it, people on PF think and sound so differently from me sometimes I just wanted to throw in the towel and quit. The verbal violence is certainly the toughest part to handle, although I tried to sound like a guy and be very assertive. Maybe hate really is the result of being denied to love? Maybe I need to loosen up a bit because there is plenty of time? Maybe if I can come this far, everyone can as well? Maybe everyone has a unique reality and if we understand it, everything makes sense? Maybe this is the best way to practice? I keep trying.

    I post articles a lot, mostly because I cannot outdo what is written, and I have so much respect for the authors I want everybody to read the original text. Sometimes it is just a way to "sell" the books, hee hee.
  9. Apr 15, 2004 #8


    don't let those bums intimidate you! it is all their insecurities coming out. if they are loud and blustery, everyone will think they know what they are saying.

    your experience is telling. i remember reading that we should live each moment as if death was just over our shoulder.

    if you continue and remember that love is all there is, we just might make progress with mankind. all else is temporal, why bother. love is eternal; all we need is love!

    peace & love,
  10. Apr 15, 2004 #9
    Same here.
  11. Apr 15, 2004 #10
    I do not believe in free will. I do not believe in god, a pantheon, or any similar idea. I hold that those are merely words people use in describing things that they do not understand. My opinion is that the existence of consciousness is a tragedy.

    I believe that there is no grand purpose to life, and that any purpose assigned is arbitrary.

    I believe that humans are not special in the way that many people do. We are just another species, and should respect members of other species as we should respect members of our own.

    I live my life trying to maximize pleasure and minimize displeasure, both for myself and others.

    I believe that the only things of real value are pleasure and displeasure. Pleasure has positive value and displeasure has negative value.

    We all interact through physical processes, but we are not "one with eachother" or anything like that. I cannot partake in your experiences, and vice versa.
  12. Apr 15, 2004 #11
    Free will depends on perspective. From a bird's-eye view, the universe is deterministic and freewill does not exist. Day to day, from our perspective, freewill does exist. We choose which shoe to tie first, and so on.

    I do not see any evidence for pantheism. Phrases associated with the philosophy sound nice and make people feel good- maybe that's all they're supposed to do.
  13. Apr 16, 2004 #12
    ah, Pseudonym, it would be hard to debate what is or isn't within the perview of the universe. BUT, we are here, in a physical existence. and to the best of my knowlege and experience, we do possess freewill within this dimension. not just in simple choices.

    in another thread i relate how our individual beliefs, create our experienced reality. from that broader view, we have total free rein to choose our beliefs.

    i am sure that patheism is not the real universal principle. unfortunately, we only have our vocabulary and our experience to come up with a working definition. do you have a better one?

    also, what's wrong with feeling nice??? i enjoy it!

    peace & love,
  14. Apr 16, 2004 #13
    dan: i trust that you enjoy the fruits of your beliefs.

    i find no problem with being nihilistic; better than masochistic.

    we are like leafs on a tree; while independent and unique, we share and exchange energies. each leaf takes in the sun's energy, processes it and sends the energy through it's stem into the tree. if a storm hits the tree, all leaves feel the effects. upon injury, the entire tree works harmoniously to heal all affected parts.

    we do share this reality and jointly create the social and physical enviornment. you limit your opportunities for pleasure when you exclude others from your world. every time you interact with another you are partaking of their experience. while we are unique and individual, it is easier to learn and have fun when you have company along for the ride.

    love and peace,
  15. Apr 16, 2004 #14
    Perhaps I was not clear in what I meant by partaking of another's experience. Of course, we have experiences of others, that is to say, experiences of which other people are causal factors. I cannot directly access yoru consciousness. However, I cannot experience your experience of tasting an apple, although I can taste an apple myself, and estimate that my experience is similar to yours.
  16. Apr 17, 2004 #15


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    i like using the leaf on a tree analogy a lot, and you took it one step further :smile: you can even go as far as saying when the leaf drops from the tree it shrivels and dies. it's no myth we are all made of the same energy and matter and operate from the same basic instincts, however i think it is our experiences ultimately that make us unique, and sometimes these experiences go so far in making some of us feel so separate from our world. that is when we are the leaf that falls from the tree.

    i think as individuals, we have so many choices but we don't always use them. i am a person of great determination and will for something i want in my life (but i am careful that this "want" doesn't hurt another), and have realized it is up to me in my own life to choose who, where and what i want to be. i have met so many people who let life take them where it dumps them, but you have to be the captain of your boat, and then you are excercising your "free will".
  17. Apr 17, 2004 #16
    Kerrie - THANK YOU!

    i can take the same leaf - tree anaolgy and use it to define reincarnation. each of our lives is like one season as a leaf.

    ever wonder why so many wise men through out history use the tree as an icon? Or that so many writers imbue special powers to trees.

    now if we could only figure out what gravity really is, we could conquer the universe. LOL, LOL

  18. Apr 17, 2004 #17


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    I try to believe in as little as possible.

    Let's make a short list...
    1. I believe the universe (and me included!) exists.
    2. I believe in all the axioms of mathematics.
    3. I'm not sure whether I believe in free will and consciousness or not, but I believe in at least their illusions. I do not believe in their universal significance, but I think they are significant relative to ourselves, and we have to employ our capability to think and sense and so on.
    4. I believe that the universe, in the end, is consistent and logical.

    I'll add to this list when I think of something.
  19. Apr 18, 2004 #18
    number 5 - You must enjoy the Simpsons.
  20. Apr 18, 2004 #19
    I think free will is an illusion.
    But a neccesary and functioning one.

    We seem to have a dual will, TRUE will and FREE will.

    True will is naturaly what is engrained in us, like seek food, warmth, comfort, and even possibly our genetic and social function (i.e social role playing) while free will is our interpretation (up to us) what that function.

    TRUE will is our natural 'design'. Mate, feel, think, explore, create, build.

    Free will is the answer when we stop and ask 'why'?

    TRUE will is objective
    Free will is subjective

    We do not have the freedom to reprogram certain basic tenets of who we are as human beings, you cannot decide to be a giraffe or have a different body type...free will does not extend in that category!

    free will is our unique 'art', and I would think that it would be in error to confuse it with our objective true science will...

    but it's importance and function cannot be ignored, and I often wonder why the nature of this function is not more properly explored, for fee will has influenced just as much as our evolution as true will

  21. Apr 18, 2004 #20
    The universe, when viewed objectivly, seems to be BOTH logical and consistent AND irrational, chaotic, and unpredictable.

    very human!
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