tiltbillings wrote: Fine, but I am not agruing free-will. I am arguing choice, albeit conditioned and conditiong choice, but choice nonetheless.
Full choice and free will are related. To be able to freely make a choice to do this or that is to have free will to chose this or that. If there is no free-will, then there is no possibility of free choice where one can choose whatever one wants independent of past conditionings. And if the choice is not independent of something, then how can it really be a free choice ?
Just because there are causes and conditions that determine the deliberation, the choice, the outcome, doesn't mean that there is freedom of will to chose independent of past conditioning.
tiltbillings wrote: Choice - that is, kamma - is conditioned and conditioning, which is to say, I can alter my condition by the choices I make, otherwise awakening would not be possdible.
How can I alter anything? What happens is due to impersonal causes and conditions, not due to some agency that can alter things.
tiltbillings wrote:If one accepts kamma as an actual teaching of the Buddha, and I wonder if you do, then how I choose to act will determine whether any of these conditions arise for me.
I accept kamma. But how one acts is determined by the presence or absence of 3 wholesome/unwholesome roots and all other past conditioning. A lustful person can't at that time simply determine and will not to be lustful. A peaceful person cannot just choose to be angry at that time. Buddha cannot ever become a Devadatta, to show an extreme case.
When there is deliberation, the outcome of deliberation (choice) is dependent on how much wisdom or ignorance there is, how strong or weak the defilements are, effect of other people, effect of "one's upringing", etc, etc . A wise person can't simply become ignorant, and ignorant person cannot just will to become wise.
Considering that the Buddha has said:
Where does it leave the door open for the arising of something not due to previous causes? And if everything (thoughts, ideas, beliefs, deliberation, choice, decision, etc) arises due to a cause - then how can it be free choice? How can any effect arise without a proper cause? It can't. So that quote teaches us that everything is due to causes and effects, and not due to Self that can freely choose.All progress or lack of it. All putting the conditions to change, or not putting the conditions to change. All this arises due to a causes
("When this is, that is...When this isn't, that isn't
"). This is very liberating to know that there is no one to blame, and no free entity to have greed or anger for.