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Barbara Cast & Crew
Fate or Free Will?Does everything happen for a reason, or is that some dumb excuse?

I vote free will.

It happened because you are careless.
#1  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 4 Cool
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Batpez whaaaaat
no but even the first part confuses cause and effect. just because god KNOWS what happens, doesn't mean he MAKES it happen.
#31  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
ValhallaKing Kakarot
In reply to John117_MC, #29:

I did find this on the subject.

Quoted from Wikipedia.
# Humans use only 10% or less of their brain: Even though many mysteries of brain function persist, every part of the brain has a known function.[7][8][9]

* This misconception most likely arose from a misunderstanding (or misrepresentation in an advertisement) of neurological research in the late 1800s or early 1900s when researchers either discovered that only about 10% of the neurons in the brain are firing at any given time or announced that they had only mapped the functions of 10% of the brain up to that time (accounts differ on this point).
* Another possible origin of the misconception is that only 10% of the cells in the brain are neurons; the rest are glial cells that, despite being involved in learning, do not function in the same way that neurons do.
* Einstein is reported as quipping that people typically only use 10% of their brains. The popular press took this as fact, although the comment was meant only facetiously.
* Lower level of brain activation does not mean a lower performance of cognitive functions; this variable has confounded scientists, because some 'gifted' individuals showed less activity than the average person. Haier proposed that indeed more gifted individuals might possess more efficient brain circuits.
* Some New Age proponents propagate this belief by asserting that the "unused" ninety percent of the human brain is capable of exhibiting psychic powers and can be trained to perform psychokinesis and extra-sensory perception.
#32  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
KWierso Sponsor
In reply to ValhallaKing, #25:

I swear this was some movie or book.

Some scientists were all like "The brain only uses a fraction of its potential! What happens if we made someone use all of it?"

And then the guy they did this to had superpowers, but he aged at an accellerated rate, so he died really young.
#33  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
If God is all-powerful, we have no free will.

I'll take free will, thanks.
#34  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to KWierso, #33:

Wait... It was a movie.
I can't think of the name though.
#35  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 2 Ditto
In reply to ValhallaKing, #32:

how the hell do they know that we can only use 10% of our brain if we ve never used 100%
they have nothing to base their assumptions on leaving that as a myth
i do agree that we only use a fraction of our brain power but to say we only use 10% is just a therory to me
#36  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Becca Cast & Crew
Milton’s Perception of Free Will Shown through his Works

In both Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes, John Milton creates a situation in which man, who lives under God, is faced with the effects of free will. In De Doctrina Christiana, Milton, who originally regarded himself as a Calvinist, explains his theology, which leaned toward that of the Arminians. Years later, he produced the works Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes, which were constructed to argue against the Calvinist ideology.

Arminianism began under Jacob Hermann, who Latinized his name to Arminius, a professor of Divinity at the University of Leyden. After Arminius’s death in the early 17th century, his followers, known as the Remonstrants, protested against several aspects of the Reformed doctrine. They submitted a protest known as the Five Articles to the Reformed Church of Holland. These articles were condemned by the Reformed Chuch of Holland, and in response, the Synod of Dordt formulated a rebuttal that became known as “the five points of Calvinism.” Because of the Remonstrants’ original protest to the Reformed Church, they were expelled and Arminianism became known as a deviant doctrine. (, p. 1) The five basic beliefs of Arminianism, as defined in Arminianism, an Overview, are:

• Free Will with Partial Depravity: Freedom of will is man's natural state, not a spiritual gift - and thus free will was not lost in the Fall. The grace of Christ works upon all men to influence them for good, but only those who freely choose to agree with grace by faith and repentance are given new spiritual power to make effectual the good they otherwise impotently intend.
• Resistible Grace: The grace of God works for good in all men, and brings about newness of life through faith. But grace can be resisted even by the regenerate.
• Fall from Grace: Those who are incorporated into Christ by a true faith have power given them through the assisting grace of the Holy Spirit, sufficient to enable them to persevere in the faith. But it is possible for a believer to fall from grace.
• Conditional Election: God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ, out of the fallen and sinful human race, those foreknown by him who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in Christ; but God leaves in sin those foreseen, who are incorrigible and unbelieving.
• Universal Atonement: Christ's death was suffered on behalf of all men, but God elects for salvation only those who believe in Christ. (Loflin, p. 1)

In The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, which was published in 1643, Milton writes as a believer in predestination and dismisses the beliefs of Jesuits and Arminians. In Chapter III of De Doctrina Christiana, which was written sometime between 1640 and 1660, Milton writes that he has abandoned predestination because he is anxious to absolve God. In 1644, Milton writes about free will in Aeropagitica, stating, “When God gave [Adam] reason, he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing…” Milton precisely sums up his views on free will within De Doctrina Christiana, stating,

By virtue of his wisdom God decreed the creation of angels and men as beings gifted with reason and thus free will. At the same time he foresaw the direction in which they would tend when they used this absolutely unimpaired freedom. What then? Shall we say that God’s providence or foreknowledge imposes any necessity upon them? Certainly not: no more than if some human being possessed the same foresight.

Within Paradise Lost, Milton is able to convey the story of the Fall so that it is congruent with his Arminian-based opinions on free will. Grace is offered to all mankind, and Man is shown to be completely responsible for the Fall. Within Book III of Paradise Lost, Milton deals with the conception that God’s foreknowledge does not impose any necessity upon mankind. Beginning at line 99 of Book III, God explains to the Son how Man will become corrupted by Satan, stating,

For man will hearken to his glozing lies
And easily transgress the sole command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: so will fall,
He and his faithless progeny: whose fault?
Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall. (Milton, p. 67)

At line 107 in Book III, Milton has God saying,

What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
When will and reason (reason also is choice)
Useless and vain, of freedom both despoiled,
Made passive both, had served necessity,
Not me. They therefore as to right belonged,
So were created, nor can justly accuse
Their maker, or their making, or their fate,
As if predestination overruled
Their will, disposable by absolute decree
Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
Their own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault. (Milton, p. 67)

This section primarily disproves the Calvinist view that God took pleasure in the Fall. Additionally, it dictates that God was not responsible for the fall; rather, it was Man’s own doing. He makes it clear that Man cannot accuse God of his new fate, even if God foresaw the Fall. This point traces directly back to a tenet of the Arminian theology, which states that Man has the option to reject or accept obedience to God.
#37  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Cool
In reply to solidsnake42, #36:

The post he made debunks the myth. It simply explains the potential sources of the myth.

God damn people. Reading skills.

Post edited 7/09/08 1:29AM
#38  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Becca Cast & Crew
When Eve is tempted by the serpent in Book IX, she says, “But of this tree we may not taste nor touch;/God so commanded, and left that command/Sole daughter of his voice; the rest, we live/Law to ourselves, our reason is our law.” (Milton, p. 215) It was previously established within Book III that reason is also choice. After Eve makes the decision to eat the forbidden fruit, she is faced with the problem of telling Adam what she has done. When she encounters him near the Tree of Knowledge, she states she is, “Not dead, as we are threatened, but thenceforth/Endued with human voice and human sense,/Reasoning to admiration…” (Milton, p. 221) This statement indicates her reason has changed, which in turn indicates that her sense of choice has changed. What follows is Eve’s attempt to persuade Adam to eat the fruit, which reveals she has already become corrupted by its powers. She thinks to lie and mislead him; much like Satan did to her. Her final decision is to use her attractiveness to lure him into her state of sin, and Adam, being a male prone to free will, cannot resist her appeal. This claim is based upon lines 997 - 999 within Book IX, where Milton writes, “With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat/Against his better knowledge, not deceived,/But fondly overcome with female charm.” (Milton, p. 224)

Adam and Eve are not the only characters given the option of free will. Within Book XI, God offers the Son the choice to save Man. In lines 45-47, Milton writes, “To whom the father, without cloud, serene./All thy request for man, accepted Son,/Obtain, all thy request was my decree.’” (Milton, p. 260) By including the term “accepted,” Milton reveals that the Son can choose whether or not he accepts the option to rescue mankind.

Within Samson Agonistes, Milton builds the story around whether God or Samson is responsible for Samson’s actions. God presents Samson with a gift of strength, and before he loses it, he has no idea how important it is. Samson grows to accept his gift as something that is permanent because he never realized he was susceptible to free will. Samson independently makes the decision to marry Dalila. Milton tells the story of their meeting through Samson in lines 227-230, having him say, “…the next I took to Wife/(O that I never had! fond wish too late.)/Was in the Vale of Sorec, Dalila,/That specious Monster, my accomplisht snare.” By having Samson express regret over his marriage to Delila, Milton shows that the marriage was of Samson’s own free will. Additionally, in lines 234-236, Samson states, “She was not the prime cause, but I my self,/Who vanquisht with a peal of words (O weakness!)/Gave up my fort of silence to a Woman.” Samson shares the blame of his downfall with himself, by clarifying that Dalila was not the sole cause of his confession. He contributes part of his current situation to his weakness and his inability to keep his secret from Dalila. At this point, Samson becomes aware of the fact that he is responsible of his own life, independent of God.

It is only after Samson’s imprisonment and downfall that he develops these views. Prior to his capture, in lines 60-63, Samson thinks, “But peace, I must not quarrel with the will/Of highest dispensation, which herein/Happ'ly had ends above my reach to know.” Through this, Milton shows that Samson previously believed in predestination and that every action in his life was dictated by God’s will. Beginning with line 241, Samson makes it clear that he does not feel he is responsible for the well-being of the Israelites. His reasoning behind this sentiment is simple: his belief in free will prevents him from thinking he is responsible for himself, let alone a whole nation. Samson transfers his responsibility for Israel to their officials. The passage, which states,

That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Israel’s Governors, and Heads of Tribes,
Who seeing those great acts which God had done
Singly by me against their Conquerours
Acknowledg'd not, or not at all consider'd
Deliverance offer'd: I on th' other side
Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds

Through Samson saying that he “used no ambition” to commend his deeds, it is shown that he perceives himself as a deus ex machina. Samson also states that there are acts that God had done “by him.” This further supports the claim that Samson merely feels he is God’s puppet, enacting whatever God has predetermined to happen.

Milton also parallels the phrase “Proudly secure, yet liable to fall.” in line 55 to line 99 in Book III of Paradise Lost, which states, “Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall." Man, while having the capacity to stand strong, also has the option to be the means to his own end.
#39  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Jesus christ Becca, YOU WIN.
#40  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Becca Cast & Crew
Once Samson realizes that God’s will does not guide his life, he becomes apathetic, remorseful, and ashamed. These sentiments are shown in lines 193-199, which state,

Yee see, O friends,
How many evils have enclos'd me round;
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness, for had I sight, confus'd with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish Pilot have shipwrack't,
My Vessel trusted to me from above,

Once again, we see Samson accepting full responsibility for his actions. He acknowledges the gift of strength that was granted to him by God and by referring to himself as a “foolish Pilot,” Milton shows that Samson was the one directing his own course of action. Additionally, now Samson is not worried about the evils that used to scare him the worst.

By creating a scenario in which a human is given a gift by God, which he in turn ruins, Milton shows a parallel between God’s gift of salvation and free will. Samson, like mankind, was born with the option of God’s path. Samson, like Eve, knows the source of his demise, yet makes the conscious choice to partake in it. Eve knew she could not blame God for her choice because he had forewarned her about Satan’s plan. Similarly, Samson realizes he cannot blame God because he is, metaphorically, the pilot of his own ship. Milton shows Samson’s free will by contrasting his predetermined strength with his own decisions, which led him toward blindness and capture.

When Samson finally comes to terms with the fact that he has set his own path, he realizes that it is up to him to save himself and his people from the current situation. After his hair has grown back and he regains his strength, he ponders whether he should abuse his gift. The chorus urges him, “Go, and the Holy One/Of Israel be thy guide/To what may serve his glory best, and spread his name/Great among the Heathen round.” Samson is now called upon to spread God’s name and make his own decisions on how to serve God. Finally, Samson makes the decision to sacrifice himself in order to kill a large amount of Philistines. Using his God-given strength, he pulls down the pillars of a theater, crushing himself and all who were under the roof.

From an early age, Samson was told not to cut his long hair or drink alcohol. In the same vein, Adam and Eve were explicitly told from day one that they were never to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. In both scenarios, a vessel of God had control over its future and was given the right to make its own wise decisions.

Samson, Adam, and Eve were all punished for their actions that went against God’s advice, but God granted them the right to make those decisions. By creating these scenarios in his poetry, Milton effectively displayed his opinions on free will and predestination. Though not entirely an Arminian, Milton still dismisses the five points of Calvinism by showing that God did not arrange the fall of man and that mankind is entirely responsible for its own actions.


Empson, William. Milton’s God. Rev. Ed. London, 1965.

Loflin, Lewis. Arminianism, an Overview.

Milton, John. (1975). Paradise Lost. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Milton, John. (1977). Samson Agonistes.
#41  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Cool
Barbara Cast & Crew
In reply to Becca, #41:

I will read this... tomorrow.
#42  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 2 Ditto

Post edited 7/09/08 1:33AM
#43  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Ditto
In reply to John117_MC, #43:


Someone sum up that chain of 3 massive posts please.

Also, my view on the threads topic... Both. We are born with a plan, then using free will attempt, unknowingly, to carry it out.
#44  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Dear Everyone,

The next person who asserts that we only use a fraction of our brains will be promptly punched by me through the internet. This idea is patently false - there is not one iota of truth contained therein.

There are countless fMRI images that show brain activity through every party of your brain. We can trace nerve endings through tracts in your brain, showing how some data is processed. We can find specific Broca's areas and relate them to function.

This has been debunked. End of story. There is no "hidden" area of your brain you're not accessing. Unless you're still choosing to believe this bullshit - in that case there's an awful large area of your cortex you're not using at all.
#45  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 7 Ditto
In reply to Alsace, #45:


Next time, try Scopes before repeating lines from bad films and TV (and yes, even Heroes lost points with me for repeating this nonsense in the opening scene).
#46  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Batpez whaaaaat
yeah I knew that Milton was Arminian but I didn't know that much about them except that they were Calvinists who believed in Free Will.
#47  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to BlawnDee, #1:

nature vs. nurture?
#48  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
It's both. God gives us clues along the way. We just have to be smart enough to follow them.
#49  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to Moeparker, #7:

If he is Samoan, thats actually technically true.
#50  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Barbara Cast & Crew
In reply to hiddeneyes, #48:

Nature for all the basics, like breathing, eating, sleeping, and memorizing.

Nurture for everything else.
#51  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
NaraVara Forum Mod
In reply to Alsace, #45:
Dear Everyone,

The next person who asserts that we only use a fraction of our brains will be promptly punched by me through the internet. This idea is patently false - there is not one iota of truth contained therein.

There are countless fMRI images that show brain activity through every party of your brain. We can trace nerve endings through tracts in your brain, showing how some data is processed. We can find specific Broca's areas and relate them to function.

This has been debunked. End of story. There is no "hidden" area of your brain you're not accessing. Unless you're still choosing to believe this bullshit - in that case there's an awful large area of your cortex you're not using at all.
I think we use only 10% of our hearts.
#52  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 3 Funny
NaraVara Forum Mod
In reply to BlawnDee, #51:

It's actually pretty complicated. They both play a role and interact.

You notice it in babies. Some of them are just plain have a sunnier disposition than others. Even newborns.
#53  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Satarus Nevar Forget
In reply to Pavan, #52:

Its muscles we only use a fraction we use. Mostly because if we used our muscles to their full potential, we would hurt ourselves through torn ligaments and such. A lot of martial arts and such are all about toughening our bodies so we can more fully utilize our strength.
#54  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Free Will.

I believe you can make your own choices in life, i do believe in Karma but i try to lead a good life best i can
#55  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to Chino_Star, #55:

It's not so much that you can make your own choices, but that you have to make your own choices. And that the entirety of your life is a reflection of those choices made previously and those that are currently being made. And even more so that the choices you are making are essentially being done under the auspicious of the mentality of "This is how I believe it is correct to live life as a human being". Or rather from the perspective of an alien life form observing your life and using your life as the control for how humanity as a whole lives and makes choices.
#56  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Fate is a sad believe that fools use as a crutch when they dont understand why their lifes are going to pot.

Free Will- Life is never finite if you try hard enough to change it.
#57  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Batpez whaaaaat
we need some pro-fate people on here... its not much of a discussion really.
#58  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Fate all the way. In the beginning atoms exploded and using math inconceivable to the human brain the entire future is predictable so hell yeah our lives have been pre-determined. Maybe not by God but by physics. And yes if you know the speed and direction of every atom in the universe you can predict the outcome. We just perceive free will because we are "sentient" beings when really are whole existence is already played out on a molecular level.

Post edited 7/10/08 2:35AM
#59  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
The bitch of it is that even the illusion of free will would be enough to sate most of you arguing for free will. You're saying we have free will because you like to think that you make your own decisions. I'm not saying this is wrong, but, you're going to need something more philosophically robust. I mean, it would be tricky to argue against some hardcore determinism, especially one with a better grasp of neuroscience who could make some points about brain chemistry and how "thought" works. Hell, I can't do it...the illusion is enough for me. If we think that we can make moral actions, then we can weigh situations and try to make the "right" choice. Whether or not the right choice is possible doesn't matter if we think it is for the purpose of decision-making.
#60  Posted 6 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
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