Is life just one large effect from one gigantic cause? Speaking in terms of the universe as a whole.

Is life just one large effect from one gigantic cause? Speaking in terms of the universe as a whole.

Can our small impact on the universe help create another cause that leads to an opposite effect or is it just part of the ongoing effect from an original cause?

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I don't believe in the term perceptual free will. I wouldn't even call that a real term.

It follows pretty standard adjective noun combination. Pretty basic English really. I also think the term is pretty self-explanatory. People perceive having free will whether it actually exists beyond that perception or not. that perception of free will has proven to be an important concept to many, if not most, human cultures.

You are getting into more of a discussion about reality and perception.

I'm not getting into anything. I am simply responding to a question you posed.

That is a topic that none will fully agree on as reality is what you make it, your perceptual view of the world can only be defined by yourself.

Not really. That's like saying depth perception can only be defined by oneself. In a certain sense, I suppose that's true. There are variations in how well people perceive depth and there are conditional factors that can alter this perception, but the underlying mechanics behind it are objective.

We are subject to causality. The choices we make cannot be made differently, but they are choices all the same. Free will is, for humans, part of the mechanics of making choices. It is unimportant if this free will is something strictly perceptual.
When you talk of free will your using a religious term. The perceptual free will makes no since because all beings have free will. The term shouldn't even exist and only exist based on religion. There is nothing a person can not choose to do, no direction he or she cant go. To perceive that you have no choice is ridiculous. This is why i don't agree with your term, other than that it is not a term that has been used, ever.

"I'm not getting into anything. I am simply responding to a question you posed."

But you are trying to stir the discussion to talking about free will. The statements you have made have been one sided to the talk of free will and less to the discussion of cause and affect as it pertains to the universe. You made it all about human existence when i asked about the universe.

"Not really. That's like saying depth perception can only be defined by oneself."

In my opinion I dont think this analogy fits to your argument. Depth perception compared to ones perception on life are too drastically different.

"We are subject to causality. The choices we make cannot be made differently, but they are choices all the same."

I agree we are subject to causality but i disagree that the choices we make cannot be made differently. We have the ability to change our opinion and reverse our choices to an extent. But this still does give a answer to my question.

"It is unimportant if this free will is something strictly perceptual."

What do you mean by this? At one point you say we have perceptual free will then at another time you say free will isn't perceptual but a basic mechanism we use for making choices.
I think you grasped the question quite well.

There really is no right answer, it is a question to spark a deeper discussion of life. It is a question that should unlock thoughts by some who just follow the actions and reactions of others instead of making your own own actions and coming up with your own theories. But you must think in universe terms and not just what cause and effect happens within our own planet.

Can one person create a separate cause or is human life just an effect of the original cause.
The law of causality states that: "every material effect must have an adequate antecedent cause". This is true of both animate and inanimate objects. The difference between the animate and inanimate modes of response to causality is that inanimate objects have only one potential reaction to an event while animate beings have variable potential reactions to an event.

Where humans are concerned, "variable potential reactions to an event" stem from 2 key neurological phenomena: mental feedback and anticipation.

MENTAL FEEDBACK:
There have been many feedback mechanisms identified within the brain. We would not be able to function without these mechanisms. Mental feedback allows us to concentrate and focus. Without it, thoughts would flit by us in an instant and be gone. Mental feedback allows us to think about our thoughts in a sustained way: to be self conscious. We would not be able to make plans without mental feedback.

ANTICIPATION:
Making plans is simply a more organized and strategic form of anticipation. Anticipation can span periods from half a second to half a century. Thanks to mental feedback, we can adjust our plans as new information comes in. We constantly anticipate the future . . . and this is the key to our escape from the tyranny of causality. Anticipation gives us a temporal advantage over causality. Causality must wait for the future to arrive in the present, but we can anticipate causality and the future and (hopefully) be ready for it when it arrives.

That's how we direct our own actions. To the extent we are successful at anticipating the future, we are self-determined. Self-determinism IS free will. Free will is the ability to act in self-determined ways.

Self-determinism, or free will, is a paradox. It's not something we start off to exercise . . . rather, it's a product of the interaction between causality and human intelligence. We are destined to have free will :-) We have no choice but to be self-determined. When determinism meets human intelligence, it becomes self-determinism.

There are no uncaused effects. But thanks to mental feedback, we are able to anticipate causality and the future, thus freeing ourselves from the tyranny of the Prime Mover. If everything is determined by causality, then so are our mental processes: causality does not stop at our skulls. What this means is that mental feedback becomes a causal factor like anything else: external stimuli, heredity, experience, ethics, education, etc. However, because mental feedback springs from our own minds, it is an important causal factor. By and large, we act in accordance with mental feedback. There are times when we're limited by other causal factors but we are nonetheless self-determined, thanks to mental feedback and anticipation.
okay think you got the question mixed up with a neurological question you wished to address. I am tired of listening to people talk about life as simply a neurological explanation. people tackle every queastion this way at one time or another and guess what, it doesn't explain anything but how the brain works and not why. the question why is the answer that science can not explain in my opinion. When science tries to explain it, it makes it sound like everything is pointless or based on the studies we shouldn't have thoughts at all, much less interact with each other.

This question should have been answered in your own opinion not those of scientist you have read about. If these are your own findings then maybe a more personal approach could have been used. Still though i dont think you answered it at all. You just tried to give me a definition of neurological occurrences in the brain.

The law of causality states that: "every material effect must have an adequate antecedent cause".

Can our small impact on the universe help create another cause that leads to an opposite effect or is it just part of the ongoing effect from an original cause?
This question has nothing to do with how the human brain operates.
I perceived your question as a matter of free will. After re-reading your question, it still seems like a matter of free will.

Causality implies that if you can know all the causal factors currently extant in a closed system, then you could predict the state of that closed system at any point in the future.

The universe is a closed system, so causality implies that the physical universe will unfold in a predictable way.

And you're wrong about your question (as asked) having nothing to do with how the human brain operates. And I quote, "Can our small impact on the universe help create another cause that leads to an opposite effect or is it just part of the ongoing effect from an original cause?" Our small impact on the universe, if we have one, will be a direct consequence of our brains. So, yes, how our brain operates IS absolutely part and parcel of your question.

Cause and effect, more often than not, is a chain-reaction. Effects become causes. So there's no question that our impact (effect) on the universe creates "another cause". However, are we just reacting to prior cause and effect, like inanimate objects, or are we truly free agents able to act independently of causality? My position is that we are subject to causality but normally are free agents most of the time.

As I stated in my reply, "The difference between the animate and inanimate modes of response to causality is that inanimate objects have only one potential reaction to an event while animate beings have variable potential reactions to an event." The implications of this that living things are less predictable than non-living things. The real question to me is: are we simply harder to predict or are we completely unpredictable? Does free will enable us to interfere with causality or would that interference be an illusion?

In the end, we will all be dead and the universe will continue unfolding as if we were never here. Any change we might wrought is temporary in the grand scheme of things.

It's 3:38 a.m. here and I'm dozing off. I hope this reply still seems coherent in the morning.

Goodnight.
"it still seems like a matter of free will"

"The universe is a closed system, so causality implies that the physical universe will unfold in a predictable way."

These two statments have nothing to do with the question. the universe is not a closed system and i have never heard anyone say such a thing. You universe inside your body is a closed system. The universe outside your body and the the planet we live on is an open system which interacts with itself randomly, chaotically and never with a set purpose. If we pushed a astiord into the universe outside of our galaxy it could indeed disrupt another galaxy, which is what my question was more in-tune with, than the human condition.

"Speaking in terms of the universe as a whole. "

This statement should have lead you to discuss the universe not human free will.

"The difference between the animate and inanimate modes of response to causality is that inanimate objects have only one potential reaction to an event while animate beings have variable potential reactions to an event."

This statement doesn't even make sense to me especially when looking at physics. I often tend to think on a much larger scale than most and can see millions of reaction of inanimate objects. It really all depends on what kind of object.

"The real question to me is: are we simply harder to predict or are we completely unpredictable? Does free will enable us to interfere with causality or would that interference be an illusion?"

Huamn beings are not that hard to predict. many of us do it on a daily basis, it really depends on the individual. There is no illusion to life, what you see, hear and feel is very real to you. Free will is something invented by religion as a term, one that i find ridiculous, of course every living thing in the world has free will.

"In the end, we will all be dead and the universe will continue unfolding as if we were never here. Any change we might wrought is temporary in the grand scheme of things."

I disagree with this statement. We know to little about the universe to make claims like that. If we all died before we make contact with another race, will they still learn from us? If our galaxy is destroyed and shoved into space, will our microbes and DNA not live on through pieces of our planet floating in space?

"Cause and effect, more often than not, is a chain-reaction"

This is thinking of individual experiences not in the grand scheme of the universe. Is the universe and everything in it just a reaction(effect) of the original cause(the creation)?
Okay Michael,

First of all, facts are facts whether or not you've ever heard of them. Did you think to Google "closed systems" or "causality" before you replied?

You ask: "Is life just one large effect from one gigantic cause? Speaking in terms of the universe as a whole. Can our small impact on the universe help create another cause that leads to an opposite effect or is it just part of the ongoing effect from an original cause?" Your phrasing is imprecise and problematic, but I thought I understood what you meant. My interpretation of your question would go something like: "Is human life an inevitable consequence of the Big Bang? Can we function apart from universal cause and effect or are our actions just as inevitable as everything else?"

If that is not what you meant, then you need to clarify your questions. "Large effect" and "gigantic cause" are nebulous terms that don't really nail down anything specific. You ask about life but say you're speaking of the universe as a whole . . . what does that mean? . . . Do you mean to include (potential) alien life? Your question: "Can our small impact on the universe help create another cause that leads to an opposite effect or is it just part of the ongoing effect from an original cause?", seems to be addressing the effects of human activity that escapes the bonds of Earth to affect the universe at large (as opposed to human activity without universal implications). I take this to mean space exploration, radio and television signals, etc. The only way to know what you're really asking is to have you clarify.
"First of all, facts are facts whether or not you've ever heard of them. Did you think to Google "closed systems" or "causality" before you replied?"

That is laughable. Why would i Google something when, nearly half the content on the internet is based on opinion. I understood my question and know where i was going as far as an answer goes. You are the one continuing to try and answer my question a certain way even after i stated the individual human condition had nothing to do with the question. I clarified my question to you several times now and you still wish to argue with me. If this were a question that neither of us asked and we both commented on it, then maybe you would be right. But i asked the question and felt your response was thinking to small.

"Can our small impact on the universe help create another cause that leads to an opposite effect or is it just part of the ongoing effect from an original cause?", seems to be addressing the effects of human activity that escapes the bonds of Earth to affect the universe at large (as opposed to human activity without universal implications)"

My question has little to do with individual human relations and includes the entire planet, not just humans. You could even include the whole galaxy in my question as we are apart of this galaxy and this galaxy can effect the rest of the universe. maybe i should have asked it a different way. maybe you should have took the advice i gave you after your first response, as i clarified my question to you. Which you still do not wish to see, i think you just wish to argue your case.

"Is human life an inevitable consequence of the Big Bang? Can we function apart from universal cause and effect or are our actions just as inevitable as everything else?"

Not even close to what i was asking but i really don't care at this point as it was just a question to gain insight into how other atheist think about the universe. My assumptions are mostly right in that many atheist do not contemplate existence outside of their own experience. everything becomes about human life and experiences because most people can only relate to their own personal life and nothing else.
My assumptions are mostly right in that many atheist do not contemplate existence outside of their own experience. everything becomes about human life and experiences because most people can only relate to their own personal life and nothing else.

Where are you getting this data from?
From years and years of talking with atheist. I keep looking to prove myself wrong and on occasion I do see some that look for answers outside themselves and the human experience. many atheist are just as hard headed as any believer in what ever religion. I myself am included in this assumption. I try and break the mold by researching and questioning everything. In doing this and trying to understand the universe, certain questions arise in which you must take human existence out of the equation and think on a larger scale.

All I meant by my statement is we need to go outside of ourselves and realize that somethings in life are not explainable by science or human experience.
From years and years of talking with atheist.

That's anecdotal evidence at best, though. You do acknowledge the limits of such an approach, right?

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