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Re: [existlist] What if free will isn't?

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  • Lorna Landry
    Biggie, Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn t really matter whether or not we can
    Message 1 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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      Biggie,

      Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

      Lorna


      iambiguously <iambiguously@...> wrote:
      The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
      have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
      ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
      what it is first, right?

      No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
      grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
      to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
      evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
      ontological or teleological First Cause.

      We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
      their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
      autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
      how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

      Biggie



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    • George Walton
      It s cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn t it? Plus, my insurance doesn t cover lobotomies like Eduard s does. Mary Jo Malo
      Message 2 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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        It's cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn't it?

        Plus, my insurance doesn't cover lobotomies like Eduard's does.



        Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@...> wrote:
        Biggie,

        If it's your opinion that we don't really know anything, and that we can't possibly have free will, then why do you want to discuss it at all? :)

        Mary Jo

        iambiguously <iambiguously@...> wrote:
        The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
        have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
        ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
        what it is first, right?

        No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
        grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
        to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
        evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
        ontological or teleological First Cause.

        We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
        their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
        autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
        how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

        Biggie


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      • George Walton
        Lorna, Condemned to be free? Bingo!!! Uh...whatever that means? Biggie Lorna Landry wrote: Biggie, Then why to some of the decisions I
        Message 3 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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          Lorna,

          Condemned to be free? Bingo!!!

          Uh...whatever that means?



          Biggie

          Lorna Landry <lornalandry@...> wrote:
          Biggie,

          Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

          Lorna


          iambiguously <iambiguously@...> wrote:
          The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
          have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
          ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
          what it is first, right?

          No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
          grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
          to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
          evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
          ontological or teleological First Cause.

          We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
          their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
          autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
          how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

          Biggie



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        • Mary Jo Malo
          I can relate :) It s about communicating, not so much about convincing, isn t it? Make nice now, Biggie. eduard doesn t need a lobotomy. There s a great need
          Message 4 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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            I can relate :) It's about communicating, not so much about
            convincing, isn't it? Make nice now, Biggie. eduard doesn't need a
            lobotomy. There's a great need for silence and simplicity in this
            world. I appreciate clear and thoughful communication. It's something
            to which I aspire.

            Mary Jo

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
            wrote:
            > It's cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn't it?
            >
            > Plus, my insurance doesn't cover lobotomies like Eduard's does.
            >
            >
            >
            > Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
            > Biggie,
            >
            > If it's your opinion that we don't really know anything, and that
            we can't possibly have free will, then why do you want to discuss it
            at all? :)
            >
            > Mary Jo
            >
            > iambiguously <iambiguously@y...> wrote:
            > The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
            > have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
            > ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
            > what it is first, right?
            >
            > No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order
            to
            > grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
            > to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
            > evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
            > ontological or teleological First Cause.
            >
            > We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine
            if
            > their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
            > autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever
            of
            > how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.
            >
            > Biggie
            >
            >
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          • George Walton
            Mary Jo, I m afraid you misunderstood. Eduard told me about the insurance after the operation. Oh, and you do know who Eduard really is, don t you? Me neither,
            Message 5 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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              Mary Jo,

              I'm afraid you misunderstood. Eduard told me about the insurance after the operation.

              Oh, and you do know who Eduard really is, don't you? Me neither, so let's keep it that way.

              Seriously though, he and I go back years and years. Or maybe it just seem that long...



              Biggie

              Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@...> wrote:
              I can relate :) It's about communicating, not so much about
              convincing, isn't it? Make nice now, Biggie. eduard doesn't need a
              lobotomy. There's a great need for silence and simplicity in this
              world. I appreciate clear and thoughful communication. It's something
              to which I aspire.

              Mary Jo

              --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
              wrote:
              > It's cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn't it?
              >
              > Plus, my insurance doesn't cover lobotomies like Eduard's does.
              >
              >
              >
              > Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
              > Biggie,
              >
              > If it's your opinion that we don't really know anything, and that
              we can't possibly have free will, then why do you want to discuss it
              at all? :)
              >
              > Mary Jo
              >
              > iambiguously <iambiguously@y...> wrote:
              > The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
              > have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
              > ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
              > what it is first, right?
              >
              > No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order
              to
              > grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
              > to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
              > evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
              > ontological or teleological First Cause.
              >
              > We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine
              if
              > their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
              > autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever
              of
              > how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.
              >
              > Biggie
              >
              >
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              >
              > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
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              >
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              >
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            • Mary Jo Malo
              Biggie, I bet you do go back aways together:) I don t really KNOW very many people. I m naive enough to think anything is possible. Communicating is a waste of
              Message 6 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                Biggie,

                I bet you do go back aways together:) I don't really KNOW very many people. I'm naive enough to think anything is possible. Communicating is a waste of time unless it's honest.

                Mary Jo

                George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                Mary Jo,

                I'm afraid you misunderstood. Eduard told me about the insurance after the operation.

                Oh, and you do know who Eduard really is, don't you? Me neither, so let's keep it that way.

                Seriously though, he and I go back years and years. Or maybe it just seem that long...



                Biggie

                Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@...> wrote:
                I can relate :) It's about communicating, not so much about
                convincing, isn't it? Make nice now, Biggie. eduard doesn't need a
                lobotomy. There's a great need for silence and simplicity in this
                world. I appreciate clear and thoughful communication. It's something
                to which I aspire.

                Mary Jo

                --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
                wrote:
                > It's cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn't it?
                >
                > Plus, my insurance doesn't cover lobotomies like Eduard's does.
                >
                >
                >
                > Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
                > Biggie,
                >
                > If it's your opinion that we don't really know anything, and that
                we can't possibly have free will, then why do you want to discuss it
                at all? :)
                >
                > Mary Jo
                >
                > iambiguously <iambiguously@y...> wrote:
                > The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                > have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                > ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                > what it is first, right?
                >
                > No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order
                to
                > grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                > to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                > evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                > ontological or teleological First Cause.
                >
                > We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine
                if
                > their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                > autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever
                of
                > how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.
                >
                > Biggie
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                >
                > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
                >
                > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
                > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
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                Service.
                >
                >
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              • Lorna Landry
                Biggie, For me, that means that I have many, many possibilities before me and it s only up to me which one I choose. The point is, I MUST choose. My existence
                Message 7 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                  Biggie,

                  For me, that means that I have many, many possibilities before me and it's only up to me which one I choose. The point is, I MUST choose. My existence is meaningless unless I do. When we are dead, we can no longer choose - my life ends when those many possibilities are no longer before me. In the meantime, the big question is: What to DO? Anthing I want, but I must do something.

                  Lorna


                  George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                  Lorna,

                  Condemned to be free? Bingo!!!

                  Uh...whatever that means?



                  Biggie

                  Lorna Landry wrote:
                  Biggie,

                  Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

                  Lorna


                  iambiguously wrote:
                  The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                  have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                  ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                  what it is first, right?

                  No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
                  grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                  to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                  evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                  ontological or teleological First Cause.

                  We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
                  their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                  autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
                  how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

                  Biggie



                  Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                  (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)

                  TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
                  existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                • eduard at home
                  Move to the Great White North, my friend. Everything s free .... eduard ... From: George Walton To:
                  Message 8 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                    Move to the Great White North, my friend. Everything's free
                    ....

                    eduard

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "George Walton" <iambiguously@...>
                    To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 1:48 PM
                    Subject: Re: [existlist] What if free will isn't?


                    > It's cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn't it?
                    >
                    > Plus, my insurance doesn't cover lobotomies like Eduard's
                    does.
                  • George Walton
                    Mary Jo, Alas, Eduard and I are contemporaries, it s true; it s just not in the same century. Mine is the postmodern one by the way. ; ) Biggie Mary Jo Malo
                    Message 9 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                      Mary Jo,

                      Alas, Eduard and I are contemporaries, it's true; it's just not in the same century. Mine is the postmodern one by the way. ; )

                      Biggie

                      Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@...> wrote:
                      Biggie,

                      I bet you do go back aways together:) I don't really KNOW very many people. I'm naive enough to think anything is possible. Communicating is a waste of time unless it's honest.

                      Mary Jo

                      George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                      Mary Jo,

                      I'm afraid you misunderstood. Eduard told me about the insurance after the operation.

                      Oh, and you do know who Eduard really is, don't you? Me neither, so let's keep it that way.

                      Seriously though, he and I go back years and years. Or maybe it just seem that long...



                      Biggie

                      Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@...> wrote:
                      I can relate :) It's about communicating, not so much about
                      convincing, isn't it? Make nice now, Biggie. eduard doesn't need a
                      lobotomy. There's a great need for silence and simplicity in this
                      world. I appreciate clear and thoughful communication. It's something
                      to which I aspire.

                      Mary Jo

                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, George Walton <iambiguously@y...>
                      wrote:
                      > It's cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn't it?
                      >
                      > Plus, my insurance doesn't cover lobotomies like Eduard's does.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Mary Jo Malo <alcyon11@y...> wrote:
                      > Biggie,
                      >
                      > If it's your opinion that we don't really know anything, and that
                      we can't possibly have free will, then why do you want to discuss it
                      at all? :)
                      >
                      > Mary Jo
                      >
                      > iambiguously <iambiguously@y...> wrote:
                      > The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                      > have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                      > ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                      > what it is first, right?
                      >
                      > No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order
                      to
                      > grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                      > to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                      > evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                      > ontological or teleological First Cause.
                      >
                      > We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine
                      if
                      > their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                      > autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever
                      of
                      > how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.
                      >
                      > Biggie
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
                      >
                      > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                      > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
                      >
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                      >
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                      Service.
                      >
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
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                      >
                      >
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                    • George Walton
                      Lorna, I would imagine, however, that none us will really come to grasp the full measure of just how meaningless human existence is until after we are dead and
                      Message 10 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                        Lorna,

                        I would imagine, however, that none us will really come to grasp the full measure of just how meaningless human existence is until after we are dead and gone. Fortunately, we will also have...oh...billions and billions and billions and billions of years not to think about just how futile it is, right?

                        That's why we cling to the part in the middle so tenaciously, I suppose. It's just that, on that precarious and surreal sojourn from the cradle to the grave, some are broken into far more existential fragments than are others. And some even manage to figure out just how futile it all is to pretend there is actually a Right way and/or a Wrong to connect them all together. And, only then do they get to asks themselves: is that the good news or the bad?

                        I'm guessing that, ballpark, if you agglomerated all the men and women in the world today who make it that far, you could fit them all comfortably into a space that might fluctuate between, say, a MacDonald's restaurant and Disney World?

                        Biggie



                        Lorna Landry <lornalandry@...> wrote:
                        Biggie,

                        For me, that means that I have many, many possibilities before me and it's only up to me which one I choose. The point is, I MUST choose. My existence is meaningless unless I do. When we are dead, we can no longer choose - my life ends when those many possibilities are no longer before me. In the meantime, the big question is: What to DO? Anthing I want, but I must do something.

                        Lorna


                        George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                        Lorna,

                        Condemned to be free? Bingo!!!

                        Uh...whatever that means?



                        Biggie

                        Lorna Landry wrote:
                        Biggie,

                        Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

                        Lorna


                        iambiguously wrote:
                        The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                        have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                        ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                        what it is first, right?

                        No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
                        grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                        to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                        evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                        ontological or teleological First Cause.

                        We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
                        their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                        autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
                        how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

                        Biggie



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                      • Lorna Landry
                        Biggie, I don t think human existence is meaningless - I just don t think it has any meaning outside the one we give it. My existence is indeed meaningless
                        Message 11 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                          Biggie,

                          I don't think human existence is meaningless - I just don't think it has any meaning outside the one we give it. My existence is indeed meaningless until I, myself, decide what meaning to give it. Does that mean that existence is a futile endeavor? - I guess it does, but only if I decide it is so. I think I can decide otherwise. To go even further, without a god, how could there be any meaning to existence outside of the one I give it? It is my position that it's my life, I decide what it all means, and when I'm gone, so to does the meaning I've assigned to it disappear. Then it becomes someone else's turn.

                          Lorna


                          George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                          Lorna,

                          I would imagine, however, that none us will really come to grasp the full measure of just how meaningless human existence is until after we are dead and gone. Fortunately, we will also have...oh...billions and billions and billions and billions of years not to think about just how futile it is, right?

                          That's why we cling to the part in the middle so tenaciously, I suppose. It's just that, on that precarious and surreal sojourn from the cradle to the grave, some are broken into far more existential fragments than are others. And some even manage to figure out just how futile it all is to pretend there is actually a Right way and/or a Wrong to connect them all together. And, only then do they get to asks themselves: is that the good news or the bad?

                          I'm guessing that, ballpark, if you agglomerated all the men and women in the world today who make it that far, you could fit them all comfortably into a space that might fluctuate between, say, a MacDonald's restaurant and Disney World?

                          Biggie



                          Lorna Landry wrote:
                          Biggie,

                          For me, that means that I have many, many possibilities before me and it's only up to me which one I choose. The point is, I MUST choose. My existence is meaningless unless I do. When we are dead, we can no longer choose - my life ends when those many possibilities are no longer before me. In the meantime, the big question is: What to DO? Anthing I want, but I must do something.

                          Lorna


                          George Walton wrote:
                          Lorna,

                          Condemned to be free? Bingo!!!

                          Uh...whatever that means?



                          Biggie

                          Lorna Landry wrote:
                          Biggie,

                          Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

                          Lorna


                          iambiguously wrote:
                          The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                          have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                          ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                          what it is first, right?

                          No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
                          grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                          to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                          evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                          ontological or teleological First Cause.

                          We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
                          their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                          autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
                          how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

                          Biggie



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                        • eduard at home
                          Lorna, We all disappear at some point. Like that quote from Fight Club, On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero . Ultimately
                          Message 12 of 20 , Sep 4, 2003
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                            Lorna,

                            We all disappear at some point. Like that quote from Fight
                            Club, "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for
                            everyone drops to zero".

                            Ultimately the only purpose to life is to support and help
                            the continuance of the human species. Period.

                            eduard

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Lorna Landry" <lornalandry@...>
                            To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 8:58 PM
                            Subject: Re: [existlist] What if free will isn't?


                            > Biggie,
                            >
                            > I don't think human existence is meaningless - I just
                            don't think it has any meaning outside the one we give it.
                            My existence is indeed meaningless until I, myself, decide
                            what meaning to give it. Does that mean that existence is a
                            futile endeavor? - I guess it does, but only if I decide it
                            is so. I think I can decide otherwise. To go even further,
                            without a god, how could there be any meaning to existence
                            outside of the one I give it? It is my position that it's my
                            life, I decide what it all means, and when I'm gone, so to
                            does the meaning I've assigned to it disappear. Then it
                            becomes someone else's turn.
                            >
                            > Lorna
                          • George Walton
                            Eduard, Nothing is ever free , right? It is, instead, always just a matter of who pays for it. Biggie eduard at home wrote: Move to the
                            Message 13 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                              Eduard,

                              Nothing is ever "free", right? It is, instead, always just a matter of who pays for it.

                              Biggie

                              eduard at home <yeoman@...> wrote:
                              Move to the Great White North, my friend. Everything's free
                              ....

                              eduard

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "George Walton" <iambiguously@...>
                              To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 1:48 PM
                              Subject: Re: [existlist] What if free will isn't?


                              > It's cheaper than the cost of psychiatric care, isn't it?
                              >
                              > Plus, my insurance doesn't cover lobotomies like Eduard's
                              does.


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                            • George Walton
                              Lorna, You have to remember where you are: in a philosophy venue. In other words, in discussing what the nature of meaning is in our lives, what folks say
                              Message 14 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                Lorna,

                                You have to remember where you are: in a philosophy venue. In other words, in discussing what the nature of "meaning" is in our lives, what folks say about it in an exchange of philosophy is [or at least should be] different from a more casual exchange with friends around the campfire or with their family around the dinner table. Yet one the most critical points expressed by philosophers of the existential bent is that we cannot talk about meaning in our lives without 1] grounding it in those lives as we come to understand them from day to day 2] without acknowledgeing the manner in which this meaning is profoundly and [in some respects] inextricably and inexpressibly embedded in our unique yet overlapping trajectories from cradle to the grave and 3] without acknowledging the staggering reality of oblivion.

                                If you go back over my own contributions you will see a pattern begin to emerge. And that pattern revolves around how, both philosophically and experientially, we have to ceaselessly [and, ultimately, futilely] grapple with that which we do know uniquely and that which we have come to know only because we live in this historical age and culture and not another, had these parental and community influences rather than different ones, met this person, read that book, had these experiences etc. rather than significantly contrary ones. Our "identity", in other words, is merely how we come to interpret these evolving/changing relationships.....social interactions that unfold existentially over time and then disappear forever when we die.

                                So, when I express my own sense of what is meaningful as "existentially persuasive but essentially meaningless and absurd", I am not saying, instead: "what difference does it make what I think and feel and do?! After all, I could have been completely different if my life had been!! And, shit, we all die in the end, anyway, right?!!!"

                                To wit: there is a big, big difference between feeling like that psychologically in a bad mood or in a prolonged circumstantial landslide and building an actual philosophy around it. I have...but I don't.

                                Philosophy, at the same time, is not something that concerns very many folks around the globe. And how can it when most of them do not posses either the wherwithal or the time to pursue it. They are too busy surviving from day to day, right? We are, therefore, the few and the far between. And, in turn, the wisest of the wise come to know that "intellectual depth" of the philosphical sort is not even in the top 10 most important attributes it takes to survive from day to day.

                                But that doesn't mean that, if you do pusue it, it doesn't eventually revolve around how you intertwine theory and practice. Personally, I think the way in which I do it is one of the most reasonable ones around.

                                Unless, of course, I'm wrong. And that's where you and Eduard and Mary Jo and others come in, right? To point out why, based on your own experiences, background in philosophy [as an academic discipline] and the interpretations of what that has all come to mean to you, I am, in fact, possibly wrong in this or that respect.

                                Hell, I never exclude myself from my own philosophy and I never will.

                                Biggie




                                Lorna Landry <lornalandry@...> wrote:
                                Biggie,

                                I don't think human existence is meaningless - I just don't think it has any meaning outside the one we give it. My existence is indeed meaningless until I, myself, decide what meaning to give it. Does that mean that existence is a futile endeavor? - I guess it does, but only if I decide it is so. I think I can decide otherwise. To go even further, without a god, how could there be any meaning to existence outside of the one I give it? It is my position that it's my life, I decide what it all means, and when I'm gone, so to does the meaning I've assigned to it disappear. Then it becomes someone else's turn.

                                Lorna


                                George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                                Lorna,

                                I would imagine, however, that none us will really come to grasp the full measure of just how meaningless human existence is until after we are dead and gone. Fortunately, we will also have...oh...billions and billions and billions and billions of years not to think about just how futile it is, right?

                                That's why we cling to the part in the middle so tenaciously, I suppose. It's just that, on that precarious and surreal sojourn from the cradle to the grave, some are broken into far more existential fragments than are others. And some even manage to figure out just how futile it all is to pretend there is actually a Right way and/or a Wrong to connect them all together. And, only then do they get to asks themselves: is that the good news or the bad?

                                I'm guessing that, ballpark, if you agglomerated all the men and women in the world today who make it that far, you could fit them all comfortably into a space that might fluctuate between, say, a MacDonald's restaurant and Disney World?

                                Biggie



                                Lorna Landry wrote:
                                Biggie,

                                For me, that means that I have many, many possibilities before me and it's only up to me which one I choose. The point is, I MUST choose. My existence is meaningless unless I do. When we are dead, we can no longer choose - my life ends when those many possibilities are no longer before me. In the meantime, the big question is: What to DO? Anthing I want, but I must do something.

                                Lorna


                                George Walton wrote:
                                Lorna,

                                Condemned to be free? Bingo!!!

                                Uh...whatever that means?



                                Biggie

                                Lorna Landry wrote:
                                Biggie,

                                Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

                                Lorna


                                iambiguously wrote:
                                The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                                have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                                ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                                what it is first, right?

                                No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
                                grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                                to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                                evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                                ontological or teleological First Cause.

                                We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
                                their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                                autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
                                how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

                                Biggie



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                              • Lorna Landry
                                Biggie, Very well said. I enjoy reading your posts. Lorna George Walton wrote: Lorna, You have to remember where you are: in a
                                Message 15 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                  Biggie,

                                  Very well said. I enjoy reading your posts.

                                  Lorna


                                  George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                                  Lorna,

                                  You have to remember where you are: in a philosophy venue. In other words, in discussing what the nature of "meaning" is in our lives, what folks say about it in an exchange of philosophy is [or at least should be] different from a more casual exchange with friends around the campfire or with their family around the dinner table. Yet one the most critical points expressed by philosophers of the existential bent is that we cannot talk about meaning in our lives without 1] grounding it in those lives as we come to understand them from day to day 2] without acknowledgeing the manner in which this meaning is profoundly and [in some respects] inextricably and inexpressibly embedded in our unique yet overlapping trajectories from cradle to the grave and 3] without acknowledging the staggering reality of oblivion.

                                  If you go back over my own contributions you will see a pattern begin to emerge. And that pattern revolves around how, both philosophically and experientially, we have to ceaselessly [and, ultimately, futilely] grapple with that which we do know uniquely and that which we have come to know only because we live in this historical age and culture and not another, had these parental and community influences rather than different ones, met this person, read that book, had these experiences etc. rather than significantly contrary ones. Our "identity", in other words, is merely how we come to interpret these evolving/changing relationships.....social interactions that unfold existentially over time and then disappear forever when we die.

                                  So, when I express my own sense of what is meaningful as "existentially persuasive but essentially meaningless and absurd", I am not saying, instead: "what difference does it make what I think and feel and do?! After all, I could have been completely different if my life had been!! And, shit, we all die in the end, anyway, right?!!!"

                                  To wit: there is a big, big difference between feeling like that psychologically in a bad mood or in a prolonged circumstantial landslide and building an actual philosophy around it. I have...but I don't.

                                  Philosophy, at the same time, is not something that concerns very many folks around the globe. And how can it when most of them do not posses either the wherwithal or the time to pursue it. They are too busy surviving from day to day, right? We are, therefore, the few and the far between. And, in turn, the wisest of the wise come to know that "intellectual depth" of the philosphical sort is not even in the top 10 most important attributes it takes to survive from day to day.

                                  But that doesn't mean that, if you do pusue it, it doesn't eventually revolve around how you intertwine theory and practice. Personally, I think the way in which I do it is one of the most reasonable ones around.

                                  Unless, of course, I'm wrong. And that's where you and Eduard and Mary Jo and others come in, right? To point out why, based on your own experiences, background in philosophy [as an academic discipline] and the interpretations of what that has all come to mean to you, I am, in fact, possibly wrong in this or that respect.

                                  Hell, I never exclude myself from my own philosophy and I never will.

                                  Biggie




                                  Lorna Landry wrote:
                                  Biggie,

                                  I don't think human existence is meaningless - I just don't think it has any meaning outside the one we give it. My existence is indeed meaningless until I, myself, decide what meaning to give it. Does that mean that existence is a futile endeavor? - I guess it does, but only if I decide it is so. I think I can decide otherwise. To go even further, without a god, how could there be any meaning to existence outside of the one I give it? It is my position that it's my life, I decide what it all means, and when I'm gone, so to does the meaning I've assigned to it disappear. Then it becomes someone else's turn.

                                  Lorna


                                  George Walton wrote:
                                  Lorna,

                                  I would imagine, however, that none us will really come to grasp the full measure of just how meaningless human existence is until after we are dead and gone. Fortunately, we will also have...oh...billions and billions and billions and billions of years not to think about just how futile it is, right?

                                  That's why we cling to the part in the middle so tenaciously, I suppose. It's just that, on that precarious and surreal sojourn from the cradle to the grave, some are broken into far more existential fragments than are others. And some even manage to figure out just how futile it all is to pretend there is actually a Right way and/or a Wrong to connect them all together. And, only then do they get to asks themselves: is that the good news or the bad?

                                  I'm guessing that, ballpark, if you agglomerated all the men and women in the world today who make it that far, you could fit them all comfortably into a space that might fluctuate between, say, a MacDonald's restaurant and Disney World?

                                  Biggie



                                  Lorna Landry wrote:
                                  Biggie,

                                  For me, that means that I have many, many possibilities before me and it's only up to me which one I choose. The point is, I MUST choose. My existence is meaningless unless I do. When we are dead, we can no longer choose - my life ends when those many possibilities are no longer before me. In the meantime, the big question is: What to DO? Anthing I want, but I must do something.

                                  Lorna


                                  George Walton wrote:
                                  Lorna,

                                  Condemned to be free? Bingo!!!

                                  Uh...whatever that means?



                                  Biggie

                                  Lorna Landry wrote:
                                  Biggie,

                                  Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

                                  Lorna


                                  iambiguously wrote:
                                  The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                                  have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                                  ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                                  what it is first, right?

                                  No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
                                  grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                                  to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                                  evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                                  ontological or teleological First Cause.

                                  We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
                                  their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                                  autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
                                  how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

                                  Biggie



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                                • eduard at home
                                  Very true. It is now September and I am still paying the government which in turn finances all that free stuff I get. It would be great if you would come
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Very true. It is now September and I am still paying the
                                    government which in turn finances all that "free" stuff I
                                    get. It would be great if you would come up to the Great
                                    White North, in order to help support me in my old age ...
                                    :-))

                                    eduard

                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: "George Walton" <iambiguously@...>
                                    To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 10:22 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [existlist] What if free will isn't?


                                    > Eduard,
                                    >
                                    > Nothing is ever "free", right? It is, instead, always just
                                    a matter of who pays for it.
                                    >
                                    > Biggie
                                  • Lorna Landry
                                    Eduard, Sometimes I feeel as though I need someone to support me in my young age !! Lorna eduard at home wrote: Very true. It is now
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                      Eduard,

                                      Sometimes I feeel as though I need someone to support me in my 'young age'!!

                                      Lorna

                                      eduard at home <yeoman@...> wrote:
                                      Very true. It is now September and I am still paying the
                                      government which in turn finances all that "free" stuff I
                                      get. It would be great if you would come up to the Great
                                      White North, in order to help support me in my old age ...
                                      :-))

                                      eduard

                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "George Walton"
                                      To:
                                      Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 10:22 AM
                                      Subject: Re: [existlist] What if free will isn't?


                                      > Eduard,
                                      >
                                      > Nothing is ever "free", right? It is, instead, always just
                                      a matter of who pays for it.
                                      >
                                      > Biggie



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                                    • George Walton
                                      Lorna, Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. But don t put that Biggie doll or the pins away yet, however. Sooner or later I always end up saying
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                        Lorna,

                                        Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

                                        But don't put that Biggie doll or the pins away yet, however. Sooner or later I always end up saying something that makes folks so apoplectically enraged they want to stick pins in the doll literally from head to toe. For example, God once told me that, when He does it, He could only describe is as an "extraordinary catharsis". Plus he saved a fortune on psychiatric care.



                                        Biggie



                                        Lorna Landry <lornalandry@...> wrote:
                                        Biggie,

                                        Very well said. I enjoy reading your posts.

                                        Lorna


                                        George Walton <iambiguously@...> wrote:
                                        Lorna,

                                        You have to remember where you are: in a philosophy venue. In other words, in discussing what the nature of "meaning" is in our lives, what folks say about it in an exchange of philosophy is [or at least should be] different from a more casual exchange with friends around the campfire or with their family around the dinner table. Yet one the most critical points expressed by philosophers of the existential bent is that we cannot talk about meaning in our lives without 1] grounding it in those lives as we come to understand them from day to day 2] without acknowledgeing the manner in which this meaning is profoundly and [in some respects] inextricably and inexpressibly embedded in our unique yet overlapping trajectories from cradle to the grave and 3] without acknowledging the staggering reality of oblivion.

                                        If you go back over my own contributions you will see a pattern begin to emerge. And that pattern revolves around how, both philosophically and experientially, we have to ceaselessly [and, ultimately, futilely] grapple with that which we do know uniquely and that which we have come to know only because we live in this historical age and culture and not another, had these parental and community influences rather than different ones, met this person, read that book, had these experiences etc. rather than significantly contrary ones. Our "identity", in other words, is merely how we come to interpret these evolving/changing relationships.....social interactions that unfold existentially over time and then disappear forever when we die.

                                        So, when I express my own sense of what is meaningful as "existentially persuasive but essentially meaningless and absurd", I am not saying, instead: "what difference does it make what I think and feel and do?! After all, I could have been completely different if my life had been!! And, shit, we all die in the end, anyway, right?!!!"

                                        To wit: there is a big, big difference between feeling like that psychologically in a bad mood or in a prolonged circumstantial landslide and building an actual philosophy around it. I have...but I don't.

                                        Philosophy, at the same time, is not something that concerns very many folks around the globe. And how can it when most of them do not posses either the wherwithal or the time to pursue it. They are too busy surviving from day to day, right? We are, therefore, the few and the far between. And, in turn, the wisest of the wise come to know that "intellectual depth" of the philosphical sort is not even in the top 10 most important attributes it takes to survive from day to day.

                                        But that doesn't mean that, if you do pusue it, it doesn't eventually revolve around how you intertwine theory and practice. Personally, I think the way in which I do it is one of the most reasonable ones around.

                                        Unless, of course, I'm wrong. And that's where you and Eduard and Mary Jo and others come in, right? To point out why, based on your own experiences, background in philosophy [as an academic discipline] and the interpretations of what that has all come to mean to you, I am, in fact, possibly wrong in this or that respect.

                                        Hell, I never exclude myself from my own philosophy and I never will.

                                        Biggie




                                        Lorna Landry wrote:
                                        Biggie,

                                        I don't think human existence is meaningless - I just don't think it has any meaning outside the one we give it. My existence is indeed meaningless until I, myself, decide what meaning to give it. Does that mean that existence is a futile endeavor? - I guess it does, but only if I decide it is so. I think I can decide otherwise. To go even further, without a god, how could there be any meaning to existence outside of the one I give it? It is my position that it's my life, I decide what it all means, and when I'm gone, so to does the meaning I've assigned to it disappear. Then it becomes someone else's turn.

                                        Lorna


                                        George Walton wrote:
                                        Lorna,

                                        I would imagine, however, that none us will really come to grasp the full measure of just how meaningless human existence is until after we are dead and gone. Fortunately, we will also have...oh...billions and billions and billions and billions of years not to think about just how futile it is, right?

                                        That's why we cling to the part in the middle so tenaciously, I suppose. It's just that, on that precarious and surreal sojourn from the cradle to the grave, some are broken into far more existential fragments than are others. And some even manage to figure out just how futile it all is to pretend there is actually a Right way and/or a Wrong to connect them all together. And, only then do they get to asks themselves: is that the good news or the bad?

                                        I'm guessing that, ballpark, if you agglomerated all the men and women in the world today who make it that far, you could fit them all comfortably into a space that might fluctuate between, say, a MacDonald's restaurant and Disney World?

                                        Biggie



                                        Lorna Landry wrote:
                                        Biggie,

                                        For me, that means that I have many, many possibilities before me and it's only up to me which one I choose. The point is, I MUST choose. My existence is meaningless unless I do. When we are dead, we can no longer choose - my life ends when those many possibilities are no longer before me. In the meantime, the big question is: What to DO? Anthing I want, but I must do something.

                                        Lorna


                                        George Walton wrote:
                                        Lorna,

                                        Condemned to be free? Bingo!!!

                                        Uh...whatever that means?



                                        Biggie

                                        Lorna Landry wrote:
                                        Biggie,

                                        Then why to some of the decisions I find myself making seem so weighty? I think ontologically speaking, it doesn't really matter whether or not we can know if we are free - we all still act, think, and do as if we are, thinking that what we do matters, and I think it does, even if its only to ourselves. That's enough for me, I think.

                                        Lorna


                                        iambiguously wrote:
                                        The inherent difficulty in asking "what is free will?" is that we
                                        have to determine, first of all, if we have the free will to even
                                        ask it. But in order to determine if we have it, we have to know
                                        what it is first, right?

                                        No one really knows objectively, in other words, because in order to
                                        grasp something as mysterious as human consciousness you would need
                                        to know what that is too. You would need to know, in turn, why it
                                        evolved as it did and/or whether or not it evolved out of an
                                        ontological or teleological First Cause.

                                        We are analogous to the infamous Flatlanders groping to determine if
                                        their understanding of Flatland is derived from a freely construed
                                        autonomy when all the while they have no understanding whatsoever of
                                        how Flatland is merely an aspect of another dimension altogether.

                                        Biggie



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