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Thread: a new thread about all this life/death/afterlife shit

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    a new thread about all this life/death/afterlife shit

    Life, death, afterlife. It's all good.

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    This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality
    Embrace this moment, remember
    We are eternal, all this pain is an illusion

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    "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed."

    "Don't take life so seriously, we never get out of it alive anyways..."

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    Determinism is real, and the universe endlessly expands and contracts

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    The best thing about life is knowing you put it together.

    We have one and only one ambition. To be the best. What else is there?



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    I was gonna come in here to tell you guys about solipsism but I already get the gist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Seaward View Post
    I was gonna come in here to tell you guys about solipsism but I already get the gist.

    Haha I see what you (I) did there

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Determinism is real, and the universe endlessly expands and contracts
    Yeah, this is pretty much where I'm at these days.

    The problem with me is that I feel so incredibly depressed thinking about all this shit, about human beings and suffering and existence and mortality, so part of me really badly WANTS to believe in the soul, the spirit, the afterlife, god, etc. But it's like, I can't just switch my brain off, you know? And so for some stupid ass reason I spend a bunch of time reading all this miserable horseshit about materialism, determinism, nihilism, etc. I know that, for the sake of my own mental and emotional health, I should probably stop reading all that bleak shit. I should really be reading more literature, which is always infinitely more rejuvenating and rewarding. But it's like I have this masochistic compulsion to dwell on the brutality of it all or something. I spent the last few months reading and re-reading Schopenhauer, whose outlook on existence is so bombastically horrific that it's actually kind of hilarious. There's really no good reason that anyone should be reading Schopenhauer, and yet there I am like a fucking idiot, reading his bullshit while laughing and crying and shaking my head in horror, thinking "Dear god, it's all true."

    What I find myself more or less believing these days is that human beings are just these big sacks of vibrating jelly, filled with all these chemical reactions and shit, and what we call the soul/ consciousness/ identity/ what-have-you, that's all just an after-effect that serves no real purpose except to lay a blanket over our minds and shield us from the harshness of the universe. And of course there's definitely not such thing as free will. This is all just our minds telling us a fairy tale that we are conscious people whose lives are real and meaningful, a kind of self-deception that makes it easier for the material universe to reproduce itself in perpetuity through various organisms like ourselves. And when we die, it's nothing but a blank state of nonexistence.

    But hopefully it turns out that I'm just a big idiot blathering nonsense (highly likely), and none of this is remotely true and actually the world is filled with beauty and hope and meaning.

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    Fuck it.

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    @Jinsai - Kristoffer/Kris here. (As it's been so long since I've contacted you, and got my username changed to my 2004 ETS username.)

    Anyway, I remember you on the old ETS saying: Fuck this world.

    Considering how much I've followed you since 2005, and what others have said, I too agree that it's very easy to not just agree with you, but to even actually feel what you're saying, even with just very few words that most people say. With you, there's quite a certain ring to it to be had. I just didn't want to pass that up. And well. Oh hell yes.
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-09-2018 at 02:07 AM.

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    It’s amazing that we have the capacity to type on a fucking iPhone into a social forum to communicate with people all over the world. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that over 85,000 children have already starved to death in Yemen due to the conflict, there (which the U.S. is supporting via arms to the Saudis).

    “Fuck it” is easy to say when you’re not the one starving to death.

    Hope isn’t harmful. The absence of hope, however, probably is.

    Watching G.H.W. Bush’s funeral services this week, I’m always envious of those so certain of their afterlife, whom they’re going to see and meet when they pass, etc. That certainty. That faith.

    Sometimes cynicism is a lonely burden.

    Determinism is bullshit.

    The Earth is a living entity. Thinking entities have free will. The remaining are just random repeated patterns.

    “Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations.”
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-09-2018 at 04:31 AM.

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    @Cat Mom - I'll admit that there's a lot for me to not take for granted, and that gratitude certainly goes a long way. It's hard to explain, but I always loved the way Jinsai put things though, and I also get where he's coming from.

    From the looks of it, some philosophy seems to be inevitably brought up here, and for me I have been looking at life, perhaps maybe not all the time, but sometimes through the lens of a combination of hedonism and anti-natalism, which can explain the nature of some of my posts about life, and bringing up anti-natalism is sometimes like bringing up veganism to people that eat meat/animal products as it goes many steps beyond the childfree movement. (I'm also not a vegan myself, but talking to parents about anti-natalism is sometimes like talking to omnivores about veganism.) And by all means, I definitely do not mean to debate anti-natalism at all. But with your overall insight and life experience, I would still love to know, even if you'd reject it.

    For many reasons, some more obvious than others, it's easy for me to see why so many reject anti-natalism or even hate it, as there never is a right way to bring it up to parents or those who want to become parents in the future.

    In spite of all of that, I still try/strive to find hope, joy and peace, but even without suffering, death seems to always get the last word. It always interested me as I stumbled upon it as a child not even knowing the word itself, and I always kept checking out discussions/debates about it on Reddit and YouTube, in both agreement and disagreement to it. I even made a thread about it a while back, but in hindsight, I think I could've just combined it with the childfree movement thread at the time, since they sometimes actually tend to cross-over.

    https://www.echoingthesound.org/comm...ad-(VHEMT-org)

    I'm sure and not to speak for others, that sometimes it's from having low self-esteem and dealing with depression from time to time and feeling like things/people in general would've been so much better off without my birth. I'll also admit it's hard not to bring that up with being a downer, but I've been thinking about ways to make it positive.

    I also accept that no hope can be dangerous. Hope is not just all I have left in me me sometimes, but hope is also sometimes the only thing that also kept me alive so far.

    And that envy of being certain of the afterlife is something I also relate to so much, especially when it comes to even the mere thought reuniting with family and friends in Heaven as just one very common/popular example, so I absolutely agree with you there as well. It wasn't that way for me when I used to be religious.
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-09-2018 at 03:46 AM.

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    Edit: Wow, you made many child free threads.

    Thinking about whether or not your (or my) birth or life matters or not isn’t really the same thing as if there is an afterlife.

    “Matter” is a relative and subjective term.

    In the George Bailey sense, yes, often our life matters.

    Often our life is a tiny piece in a giant puzzle.

    Often our life is just dust in the wind (cue Kansas), but that’s all that life is meant to be.

    300 years from now, everyone except an important few will be forgotten.

    But being remembered isn’t the point of living.

    Surviving every day is the point of living.

    “The mark of a moderate man
    is freedom from his own ideas.
    Tolerant like the sky,
    all-pervading like sunlight,
    firm like a mountain,
    supple like a tree in the wind,
    he has no destination in view
    and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way.”

    Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching

    Next week on Kung Fu: Grasshopper contemplates cheesecake
    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-09-2018 at 04:18 AM.

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    @Cat Mom - Oh yes. That was also mine. I also checked to see if you were there. It's also been a while since I went to thread as well.

    https://www.echoingthesound.org/comm...married-Thread

    https://www.echoingthesound.org/comm...=6005#post6005

    I just got what you said. Thanks again. For the longest time I got caught up with how I'm going to be remembered as well. If not necessarily the world, just people near me via family and friends. I need to remember to just live and not always chase things, which I've known for quite some time, but I still sometimes forget.

    Reminders such as these are always beneficial for me.

    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-09-2018 at 04:17 AM.

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    Hey, I read up on philosophies a lot as reminders, too, I hear ya.

    Currently reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching; A Book About The Way And The Power of The Way”

    And also reading “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle.

    And I recently finished 6 weeks of Tai Chi classes.

    The older I get, the closer to death I get, the more I appreciate the toilet paper roll analogy.

    “The closer to the end of the roll, the faster it goes.”

    Each time I fear death, I remember something my Mother told me:

    “You fear where you go when you die, but do you fear where you were before you got here?”
    Last edited by Cat Mom; 12-09-2018 at 04:41 AM.

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    I like how the toilet paper roll analogy made its way with the thread title ending with the words "afterlife shit". One of life's unintended funny moments/surprises just like YouTube/Twitter comments. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'll see myself out now. *Besides, I've pulled another ETS all-nighter again anyway.*
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-09-2018 at 06:12 PM. Reason: I was actually under the impression that this thread also covered life and death separately. If that's a mistake. My bad. =P

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    Yeah once I think about this kind of shit, then it’s REALLY hard to sleep!

    And we have tix for a matinee at the Goodman Theater today ... A CHRISTMAS CAROL!

    Talking about life, death and all that, heh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    “Fuck it” is easy to say when you’re not the one starving to death.
    Actually, I'd say that sitting immobile in a hospital bed facing the real possibility of death was the closest I've come to earnestly embodying that sentiment. After a few days I just didn't care anymore.

    I'm not as misanthropic as I sound, but I just don't bother thinking about the inevitable beyond contemplating it to get me off my ass.

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    Oh right. Since this thread is also about the afterlife, I also wanted to say that the mere thought of Hell still sometimes undeniably scares me into complete shock and horror.

    Obviously, I see why that can be dismissed as ridiculous and flat-out stupid bullshit to those that don't believe in Hell or any type of afterlife, but it's really been drilled into me since childhood. It just comes with the territory when you're reared under a Christian faith, around all sorts of Christians/Evangelicals. It just doesn't go away from me, since the mere thought of waking up from death just to be tortured and tormented for an eternity for all of my sins by actions, words, thoughts and emotions, along with unbelief of any kind, and just existing as am I am through flesh and bone, with sin inside and all around me, still fucks with my mind so much that I just immediately black it out at will. I more than ever, totally further understand why they say/believe that Jesus Christ is the only one true way for them to be saved from Hell, especially when after I learned that the overall definition of the word unbeliever for them is referring to all non-Christians.

    Even if I'm no longer religious, it's pretty much still tattooed to my brain, so to speak.

    Like philosophy, religion also seems inevitably brought up as well. I don't mean to be a downer yet again, but holy shit does the mere thought of Hell fuck with me. And it's very much apt, since Hell is included in afterlife beliefs.

    As an example, if I remember correctly, aside from the Roman Catholic Church, there are also Christian Protestant beliefs such as the Southern Baptist Convention that believe in eternal Hell. Seventh-day Adventists, which is the denomination I was reared in doesn't however, but they still believe in a temporary Hell. Most of their messages still seem to focus on salvation through and from Jesus Christ/Yahweh/The Holy Spirit alone and Heaven than sin, Satan and damnation in Hell though, so I could see where they find comfort in that, since Adventists actually reject the doctrine of eternal Hell, nor do they really focus on Hell.

    Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I won't blame you guys for not only disagreeing, but also dreading/hating these beliefs as well (For some reasons far more obvious than others, since this is after all the NIN forum.), but it still pretty much comes with the afterlife territory.

    And well, for some comedic relief and an impulsive obligatory squeezing in of a NIN reference, there we go, considering that I've already made one earlier.



    @elevenism - This type of thread is just rather incomplete without you.
    Last edited by Halo Infinity; 12-09-2018 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Help me. I probably might go to Hell after all is said and done and all that could have been. TR might see me there too. =P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    Itís amazing that we have the capacity to type on a fucking iPhone into a social forum to communicate with people all over the world. Meanwhile, itís estimated that over 85,000 children have already starved to death in Yemen due to the conflict, there (which the U.S. is supporting via arms to the Saudis).

    ďFuck itĒ is easy to say when youíre not the one starving to death.
    Of course, but the immense magnitude of human suffering is one of the primary reasons that I often feel so much crushing existential despair. For me it's not only, "I'm going to die someday, fuck." It's more like, how can anyone even begin to take measure of all the pain that is out there and come to terms with it? I just finished reading this book about the rape of nanking, and there's something so overwhelming about trying to mentally grasp death on that kind of scale. To me, every single human being is like a small universe unto themselves, filled with all these memories and feelings and future possibilities, so when just one human being dies, it's like the death of that universe. Sometimes it feels impossible to truly understand what it means when just one individual dies and their whole internal life goes away. So then how are we supposed to adequately grieve for the loss of hundreds or thousands or millions of people? When I look at the pictures in that book of all those dead bodies stacked up in mass graves, and I think about all the dead universes contained just in that single photograph, it's like my brain collapses in on itself. I feel this moral responsibility to try and wrap my head around what is lost and to acknowledge the pain of each person right there, because each of their lives mattered and I feel like the least we can do for each other is acknowledge each others pain. But sometimes it feels almost like a mathematical impossibility, like there's just too much suffering in the world for anyone to grasp even a small fraction of it.

    I think a big reason that human beings have created religion is because we desperately need some way to face the sheer volume of suffering that exists in this world, because the reality is just way too much. But I'm more or less a total atheist, so I don't have that particular coping mechanism available to me and instead have to try and find some other way to live with it all, which at this point consists primarily of overly-zealous political idealism and various forms of mental escapism. Or maybe it's all mental escapism, who knows.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halo Infinity View Post
    I also wanted to say that the mere thought of Hell still sometimes undeniably scares me into complete shock and horror.
    Have you ever read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce? If you haven't, be sure to avoid it, lol, because HOLY SHIT there is a passage kind of in the middle of the book when the protagonist is a teenager and he goes on a Catholic religious retreat where the priests proceed to torment the teens with these excruciatingly long descriptions of hell, going into graphic detail and covering every single bodily sense for pages and pages at a time. It's an unbearably long and unpleasant to get through; I feel like it went on for maybe 30 or 40 pages, just nothing but pure description of hell. It was exhausting and vaguely traumatizing, lol. But after reading it, I must say, I really gained an appreciation for how the concept of hell could be seriously psychologically damaging for true believers. It basically seems like a form of emotional terrorism.

  22. #22
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    Oddly enough, literary and artistic descriptions of Hell (Dante, Milton, Blake, Joyce) is where we get our descriptions of Hell; not the Bible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post

    Determinism is bullshit.

    The Earth is a living entity. Thinking entities have free will. The remaining are just random repeated patterns.

    “Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations.”
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Yeah but where does the free will come from?

    Nothing happens for no reason, every event is the result of another event. Every decision we make is a result of our life experiences, our environment, our culture, the structure & mechanics of our brain - absolutely everything you think is a result - somewhere down the line - of something you didn't control.

    The only way to reconcile free will with the laws of the universe is to believe in magic or theoretical physics. The latter is fair enough, but undermined by the fact we have a physical model based on causality, which accounts for human thought.

    It's mind numbing and maybe a bit bleak, but it appears to be true

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Mom View Post
    Oddly enough, literary and artistic descriptions of Hell (Dante, Milton, Blake, Joyce) is where we get our descriptions of Hell; not the Bible.
    yeah, I was just about to bring that up.
    Also, hell=sheol/hades AND gehenna in the bible. Both are translated as hell. But Sheol is just the place of the dead.
    Gehenna is "the burning place," but it only appears in the book of Matthew . And it doesn't say that you're THERE forever, it says that the FIRE is eternal.

    Interestingly, Gehenna was a real place outside of Jerusalem where some people sacrificed their children with fire (there is evidence of this.)
    Furthermore, later, some Romans did cremation there.

    So. Nonbelievers. Burning in hell. Burning in gehenna.

    You guys know I'm a Christian. It's funny that you bring this up @Halo Infinity , because I was JUST arguing about this with my mom, and then talking about it with my preacher JUST NOW.

    I believe, in my heart of hearts, that there is no eternal torture. If there is a permanent punishment, I think it's just death. Also, when I look at the actual translation, I can't find any BIBLICAL evidence for it (for permanent torture.)

    I don't wanna steer you wrong, and, I mean, who am i, but I don't think any of us is going to burn in a literal hell.

    As far as the afterlife in general, I'm really annoyed by Christians who are "christians" because they wanna go to heaven and that's it.

    I have no fucking clue what the afterlife is, or if it even exists, or, if it does, we are the same beings there (with memories of this life.)

    Like, I'm a Christian because I'm trying to be Christ like, as in, altruistic, which I would do whether there was an idea of an afterlife or not.

    Edit: also, @Halo Infinity , I thought Adventists believed in the annihilation theory.
    Temporary hell? Hah. Are you sure we aren't in it already?
    Last edited by elevenism; Yesterday at 01:42 PM.

  25. #25
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    Do we have a thread on religion here? If not, we should really start one.

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    I prefer the buddhist approach to the concepts of heaven and hell (or at least my particular interpretation of it, there are many who disagree with this interpretation).

    In Buddhism, they speak of 6 different realms, two of which would appear very similar to the common visions of heaven and hell. The idea behind these realms (for me) is that they're states of mind, or ways of being that can create various conditions in which we can enter virtual hells, or virtual heavens right here on earth.

    When we think of a heavenly realm, a realm of pure pleasure, with no need to work to have everything we can ever want. There are people who live like this right here on earth right now. When we think of a hellish realm, or one of intense suffering, there are most certainly people who live their lives in intense suffering right now as well.

    And at different times in our own lives, we may experience moments of feeling like we're in both of those states.

    Rebirth is such an interesting topic for me too, as many buddhist traditions talk about reincarnation, and how which realm you're reborn into is determined by your karma, but karma is often misinterpreted too in modern society. Karma is simply the law of cause and effect. Dependent origination is often talked about, which seems to be very similar to determinism, but I haven't read much about determinism to be sure.

    I prefer the interpretation of karma that claims that every moment of every day, one moment dies and another is reborn. Where we are reborn moment to moment is a result of our karma, which is simply the law of cause and effect acting upon ourselves.

    The main idea I like about Buddhism compared to Christianity, is that Buddhism says you can have peace and happiness right here on earth right now in this life, if you're willing to look inwards and do the work for it. Christianity says you'll go to heaven afterwards if you believe in Christ.

    I remember a story I heard, about someone questioning the Buddha if he knew what happened after you died, and in the story, his response was that it was irrelevant. He said that what happened after you died didn't matter. He said that he was going to teach the cause of suffering and the cure for it, and that what happened after you died wasn't relevant to that.

    So what happens after you die? Science can explain how our bodies decay. Who needs more than that? Why is that relevant? Why does that matter? I don't think it does, because the "me" that exists is simply a result of the causes and conditions coming together in their current form, and like all causes and conditions, this too shall pass.

    I get to experience something unique with each and every moment. Sometimes I experience things that are pleasurable, and sometimes I experience things that are not. That's amazing, and wonderful, and fantastic, and it will pass. At some point, my experience will end, and karma will generate new causes and effects and my experience will be gone. I'm the only one who gets to experience this moment from my perspective.

    Like all things though, I will pass. There is nothing to be sad or scared about in that, we've already died and been reborn countless times. I will pass, and something new will come, which is how the world works. It's helpful to me, to be at peace with how the world works, rather than wishing it was something that it's not.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by theimage13 View Post
    Do we have a thread on religion here? If not, we should really start one.
    There is, if you're into that thing.

    I'm not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Yeah but where does the free will come from?
    My Capstone Project for my B.A. in English Literature was Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

    Hundreds of thousands of academic pages have been written analyzing same, and Genesis, and whether or not the serpent / snake made Eve eat the apple from that Tree of knowledge / wisdom, or if that was just a regular old tree with no special qualities at all and she could use her “innate” free will to choose to ignore the serpent and be blissfully ignorant and naked in Eden for eternity, or eat that apple and then feel guilty that she defied God and then run with Adam to hide their nakedness and guilt (when they hadn’t really noticed they were naked until then); and if this had ANYTHING to do with that ordinary apple or Satan disguised as a serpent or if it had been Adam instead of Eve who met the snake / serpent. And, if God is “all knowing,” didn’t He know all this shit was going to happen, anyway, because he created Adam and Eve with free will and the quest for knowledge?

    So, if God was fully aware that either Adam or Eve would eventually eat from that “forbidden Tree of Knowledge” (even though it was probably just a friggin’ apple tree), and He also knew that Lucifer was gonna try to con his way into Eden (because he was jealous of Adam and Eve), and He gave all of them innate free will, then what’s with all the punishment doled out by God after it happened? Sounds like a trap (and God is a really big asshole who put Adam and Eve in His creepy Fun House only knowing He waa going to punish them for Original Sin).

    In review:

    Story of Genesis, Adam and Eve were free to live as they pleased, naked and having fun with only ONE rule: Don’t eat from that tree.

    The tree had no true special qualities other than it was forbidden.

    The very act of eating from it was the first time they did something “bad” (first “sin”), thereby making them aware of all other things that could be possibly sinful or bad (naked, talking to a serpent). They done fucked up. Willingly and voluntarily.

    Except that Genesis is a fable that is to serve as a book of laws, e.g. don’t do what God says not to do for the benefit of mankind (civilization).

    Or something.

    Eve could have ran away, used her free will to make a “good” choice. But she used her free will and chose to break a law.

    For those saying “Bah this should be in the Religion thread:”

    The Bible is LITERATURE, and it contains a shit ton of stuff relative to this discussion.

    Plus, I really dig Paradise Lost.
    Last edited by Cat Mom; Yesterday at 09:57 PM.

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    @Sutekh , for the record, I don’t totally disagree with you.

    But I am not totally on board with determinism, either.


    I’m somewhere in the middle.

    With knowledge comes free will.

    This box of Kleenex can never possess free will.

    But babies start demanding autonomy and choices much earlier than many people realize.

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    When I was a teen (yes all those many many years ago), I was convinced there was no god, no afterlife, just nothing. Then one day at a party I did a ouija board with my best friend and it blew my mind. Yes, of course, now today with information at our fingertips, I am aware of all the ideomotor supposed explanations, etc. etc. I will say I like to think I am a very rational personal, but I admittedly have not been able to completely let go of those experiences. I would think science should be able to provide convincing evidence that our mind is doing it without outside influence, but the studies I have seen (including ideomotor) appear lacking in one way or another (that discussion is well beyond the scope of this post).

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