This is topic Destiny or free will in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Geekazoid (Member # 7610) on :
Do you beileve that destiny controls life and everything you do is just following what ever creture controls the universe's plan no matter what it is? [Evil Laugh]


Do you beleive in free will, no boundaries everything you do is up to you and you deserve total consequences?

Any oppinions?

Posted by chel (Member # 7674) on :
I'm surprized this topic is on this side of the forum. (shrugs) Anywho, I believe unshakably in free will. I want to be able to choose my fate and make the mistakes that very likely will come with that ability to choose. It's scary sometimes to think that all the responsiblity of my actions is mine alone and there is no one to blame. But I think it would be even scarier to put your whole life in someone else's hands and say "do what YOU want with it". [Eek!]
I refuse to believe that some people are destined to be millionares while others are destined to beg in the street, or to become murderers or theives. If fate ruled our lives a murder on trial could claim that he/she should not be convicted because he/she was born to kill other people, that it was their purpose in life.
I think we chose our paths, both good and evil. Thats my opinion but I'd love to see someone argue the other side of it.What do you think?
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Having some people destined to be millionaires and others to be paupers would not imply that people were also destined to be murderers or thieves.

I have no problem with the notion that many of the things that happen to be may be "destined" (whatever that means). But it's still MY choice how to react to what happens.
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
You're assuming there are two extremes. I believe completely in free will. We all have choices as to how we act. But many, if not most, things that happen to us are not under our control, and often not even our influence.
Posted by chel (Member # 7674) on :
If you chose how you react to situations and so does everyone else, then how is it possible that situations come about that are meant to happen? Every situation that I can think of besides natural disasters are results of the choices of countless people. So to say that something was meant to happen implies that all those people did not actually have free will because they were meant to choose a particular path.
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Nope. It means that despite their free choices, the great Puppetmaster put them in the right place and time to have events play out as He wished.

*shrug* Look, I know God's foreknowledge and free will are suppose to be this irreconcilable paradox that has bothered philosophers for eons. But I don't have a problem with seeing both as simultaneously possible. Maybe it's because I tend to think non-linearly. [Wink]
Posted by chel (Member # 7674) on :
I know fate and free will are both equally possible, and both can be used to explain everything that happens in this world with resonably clear and solid logic.
I've yet to hear someone logically argue the "some of each" belief yet and not contradict themselves in the process [Wink] but it is very likely that it is as possible as the other two beliefs. I personally have chosen the free will view. Sorry if I sounded close minded, because I really do see both sides of the question. [Smile]

[ April 01, 2005, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: chel ]
Posted by mothertree (Member # 4999) on :
You can be destined to be a murderer and also destined to be convicted and punished. If I'm you're juror, Maybe I'm destined to decide what I decide. But I don't feel like I'm destined to decide things most of the time. I'm pretty much a free will person.
Posted by chel (Member # 7674) on :
Hey Geekaziod, do you have an opinion about your topic?
Posted by chel (Member # 7674) on :
Good point about the murderer mothertree, but if whatever controls fate chose some poor bloke to be a murderer just so he could kill then be convicted, I almost feel sorry for the murderer. If I was the murderer I would want to have free will in the first place so i could choose not to commit the murder.
Posted by Sid Meier (Member # 6965) on :
Free will is fate.

You have 5 people, the chances of any of them doing any conceivable action would be 5*4*3*2*1 theotically. essentially 120 possibilities. I wont try to factor in all the possible aveneus but this is an example how 5 people react with each other. you increase the number to a 100 and its hen 100*99*98*97*97*95*94* ... * 5* 4*3*2*1. The larger amount of people the larger the total number of total probabilities. However everything is not just cut and dried with just combinations/permutations, you have economics, psycology, community theory etc all of these are added factors BUT they are refining factors in which the number of probabilities are not actually increase but decreased, and refined to such as way that its mathamatically conveivable to plot the possibilities statistically where you can go as far to say that this is likely X% to happen.

History in itself is formed of patterns not because of "fate" of a onipotent being (though that could be an added factor) but becuase when enough people are grouped together in a large enough mass patterns take shape that predictable based on experiance and basic economics. Asimov called the proccess of gathering historical and statistical data and predicting possible outcomes "Psycohistory" though for his novels the requirements were huge. Quadilions of people, no one but a select few could know the results, and humanity had to be the only form of sentient life.

The best example to use if the rise and fall of the roman empire whoes R&F could be traced and examined along economic lines and over patterns it fell ultimately not becuase of barbarian invasions but becuase the empire had gotten so huge and unwieldy that the very beurocracy meant to run it could only work against it, invasions of new lands was no longer possible becuase of a vegetative barrier, the roman army being made up of mostly auxilleries, not having an offencive battle in over a century etc.

Essentially I believe in free will but also that conversly free will becomes fate in of itself.
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
I believe in free will, although I don't think it can be rigorously proven logically or philosophically.
You have 5 people, the chances of any of them doing any conceivable action would be 5*4*3*2*1 theotically. essentially 120 possibilities. I wont try to factor in all the possible aveneus but this is an example how 5 people react with each other.
Sid, I agree that people interact, but if you include inaction or doing nothing as an action, "the chances of any of them doing any conceivable action would be" would be 1, not 5!=125, or 1/125, because anything they could do would satify "any concievable action."
Posted by Sid Meier (Member # 6965) on :
oh okay, I'm not all that good with combinations permutations, I just use my calculator.
Posted by jjmelberg (Member # 7099) on :
i think its a little combination of two things. We have free will to make decisions for ourselves, but at the same time God is also sovereign over the universe and chooses to intervene how/when he wants. i dont believe in destiny.
Posted by Sid Meier (Member # 6965) on :
I don't think god should or does intervenes in any "Earthly matter" come to think of it. It ruins the concept of self determination, also think of it its also really unfair in a war if god backs up one country and not the other.
Posted by Geekazoid (Member # 7610) on :
Fine you want to know my oppinion

I beileve that we have countless destinys and for each desion we make our our destiny gets more precise and your final true destiny is not completed till you choose the desion that will make you die

Their that is my opinion
Posted by Verai (Member # 7507) on :
I'm going to say free will because if humanity decides for destiny it could be used in court.
Posted by beverly (Member # 6246) on :
Free will. All the way.
Posted by Orson Scott Card (Member # 209) on :
I believe we're genetically and culturally disposed to believe in free will, so whether there IS free will or not, we have to believe in it for any human society to function for long.

[ April 02, 2005, 05:09 AM: Message edited by: Orson Scott Card ]
Posted by Orson Scott Card (Member # 209) on :
Sorry. The devil made me say that.
Posted by Speed (Member # 5162) on :
Well I don't know about the rest of you suckers, but I choose to believe in complete determinism.
Posted by Michiel (Member # 7649) on :
The devil or Andrew Wiggin?
Posted by Yozhik (Member # 89) on :
Sorry. The devil made me say that.
Too late to blame the devil, because you said something very similar in Xenocide. [Smile]
Posted by Sid Meier (Member # 6965) on :
Posted by Nomolos (Member # 7703) on :
The devil or Andrew Wiggin?
Abner Doon, of course.
Posted by Promethius (Member # 2468) on :
I had been meaning to start a thread on this for a while now. I am taking a philosophy couse called, "Free Will VS. Determinism." And as OSC said earlier, and reading what philosophers have written I think that we have to believe in free will. If you think everything is fated, every single thing, and you cannot change it then that would be pretty depressing.

But I think there is probably a nice little mix between the two. Some things are meant to be, others can be changed. But there is so much argument for both sides, I love the class.
Posted by BandoCommando (Member # 7746) on :
Member # 89

posted April 02, 2005 10:11 AM

Sorry. The devil made me say that.

Too late to blame the devil, because you said something very similar in Xenocide.

*Scott* didn't say this in Xenocide - it was Miro, or Ender,, one of them anyway...maybe it was Jane. Blast! I need to re-read that.

In any case, I, too, am curious what Scott's real stance on this is. But I would not be terrible surprised if he declined to answer, as it a question that is either very personal, very un-answerable, or both.
Posted by timothytheenchanter (Member # 7041) on :
valentine said it, i think xenocide.

personally i think overall in my life i want to accomplish my goals. so i base my actions on the assumption that the goal will be achieved. when i am 70, and have achieved all that i ever could have wanted, i don't want to say that i got dealt a lucky hand in life. DARN IT. it's my life, my accomplishments in life, and my failures. but they are all mine, my success wasn't due to any of you, it may have been partially but i get to claim most of the credit.

one of my pet peeves is having someone say all their problems come from their mother. while she may be to blame for the problems she is also to blame for the accomplisments. remember base your actions on the assumption that you will succeed in life(definition of success is achieving what you want, albeit family, money, fame.)
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
I believe in the *illusion* of free will, does that count?
Posted by Shan (Member # 4550) on :
What is this "free will" you all speak of?


I believe in spelling as carefully as possible - whether that is through memorization of basic words, using a dictionary, or even "spell-check" for the quick fly-by communications . . . spell-check is a handy thing for twisted fingers . . .

Of course, no one spells perfectly, all the time, but imperfect spelling all the time gets to be a little jarring after a while.


(And the edit button is oh-so-handy for those silly little slips of the pen)

[ April 08, 2005, 10:34 PM: Message edited by: Shan ]
Posted by Yozhik (Member # 89) on :
one of my pet peeves is having someone say all their problems come from their mother. while she may be to blame for the problems she is also to blame for the accomplisments.
But what if we have no accomplishments? [Razz]
Posted by Johivin (Member # 6746) on :
There are many events and occurances that lie beyond the realm of explanation. Until our own personal demise, to me, it is unimportant whether or not my life is pre-determined or not. It is a question that one cannot know while their life exists.

If destiny exists, does that rule all aspects of one's life? If you take a gun and kill a dozen people, then you can say that "Destiny made me do it."

But if it is purely free will, then each person's choices sends a ripple throughout the universe effecting everything.

Who is to know and why does it matter?

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