Credit, News, & Questions
- Credit for this poster goes to Tami of the Creators Faction.
- The Festive Dragon, Grumuk will release officially alongside this event.
- The Oculus Branch will also be releasing alongside this event.
- Is there really such a thing as “free will”, or are we all merely puppets of the universe? If there is free will, how would you describe it?
Which dragon, if any, will you be breeding this event?Which level are you going to this event?
- You can give your perspective of this question, but I’ll give mine. I must warn you, it’s a bit ornate.
I don’t generally shun people who choose to believe in “free will”, but through all of my browsing in the past, there has been a revelation made to me that has smeared my view of what “free will” truly is. And believe me, I’m not gullible; I merely have a lot of curiosity, which is natural for a human.
There’s this nifty and compelling little doctrine, called determinism, that basically holds that each person’s action is a predetermined occurrence, and that none of our actions are fully determined by our own minds, condemned to being products external to “the will”. Frankly, having been introduced to this principle, I find it difficult now to state something a person (such as myself) does as being a product of “free will”, or even to use the phrase, “at will” or the word, “willingly” when referring to an action, and I honestly don’t think it’s foolish to place faith in. Then again, I also find it to be a puzzling concept overall, and even my view of it—of “free will” and all it stands for—isn’t complete. But I, like everyone else, try my best with what I know.
But the mind works in mysterious ways as a governing force. Given its evolution and inner workings, it’d be hard to assert that it doesn’t have the power to function on its own, thus giving rise to the concept of “free will”. And what with the fact that the past, present, and future each have separate descriptions, it’d also be hard to state them as being interconnected… but who says that they aren’t? Who says that the past doesn’t dictate the present, and the present doesn’t set the stage for the future?
For instance, suppose a robber wants to seize a sacred diamond, but it only exists in a local museum; the robber would have to break into the museum to burglarize the diamond, which would secure the robber a place in jail; it sounds like free will, but it’s not quite the same; the robber only wanted to burglarize the museum, but everything that followed wasn’t actually linked to that desire because there could have been a variety of other paths taken, and the robber likely wouldn’t have ended up in jail, or even become a robber to begin with. Nobody ever “wills” to do such a thing, anyway.
As a rule, determinism follows that an action can only happen if it has been determined in advance of happening by something beyond what our minds can do. But if the mind can do all, as people state, how do we know if determinism is credible? We don’t know, or maybe the conviction that we don’t know was, all the same, predetermined for us. Are we pulling the strings, or are our strings being pulled? I suppose we may never know; we can only play the cards we’re dealt.
But whether you choose to see it as something that holds water or you choose to see it as just another fly in the ointment, there are a few more things you should know:
Determinism, often called “hard determinism”, can be divided into two main components.
Event causation means that no physical event can occur without having been caused by another physical event; e.g. a baseball flying through the air couldn’t have realistically happened without having been caused by a person or some other force hitting it. However, it is important to note that correlation does not imply causation, which is where we move along. Agent causation, in contrast, holds that an agent—a being propelled by a mind—can start a whole chain of causality that wasn’t caused by anything else.
But hard determinists say that the difference between the causes of human actions and the causes of physical events—like a bat hitting a ball—is that our actions have all sorts of invisible causes that happen in our brains. Specifically, when beliefs team up with desires and temperament, you get a deliberate human action.
Hard determinists argue that just because we can’t pinpoint the exact factors that led us to an action, we could, in theory, isolate them—if we knew enough about all of the beliefs, desires, and temperaments swirling around in our brains.
And there really is no way out of determinism, except for maybe a stern refusal to believe in its existence. You may try to find a loophole by having someone else pick your decisions for you, or flipping a coin, but that’s all still a deterministic approach because your decision to let anything or anyone other than you dictate your course of action was just as determined as anything else.
And here’s something to meditate on as we finally close the curtains on this topic: why do you think we have impulses? Impulses, by definition, are actions (usually done in a quick or unconscious manner) that we make without thinking about them; if we don’t determine these actions or their outcomes, something must be determining them for us (because they’re certainly not just happening; there can’t be an effect without a cause, which has been proven before), hence determinism.
Ultimately, my own argument would probably be that there are positions you can take on either side of the debate. I believe that both statements of whether or not free will exists can be convincing; you either choose to believe in it or you choose not to, either of which may or may not be products of free will. It takes some science to figure out, but even science—as compelling as it is—can be flawed sometimes.
Alright, that’s enough mind-blowing (or mind-boggling, whichever fits the bill better) for one segment. Hopefully, you’ve been able to follow this. I won’t hold you any further.
- I intend to jump from level 533 to level 540. I no longer require hut eggs to advance; I’m quite thrilled about that. Now it’s all a matter of catching up on Breeding, which I rushed carelessly past just a little bit (half a tier) because I prioritized level status over being caught up; an issue that can be fixed easily.