Free Will an illusion? True Conscious Choice . . . Is our destiny already written? I choose to have free will!
The debate about whether humans have free will, that is true conscious choice, or whether we are the cause and effect of our genetic evolutionary programming and pressures of society and cultural rages on.
Nature, nurture, the Internet and Information Technology, Cosmology and the Evolution of the Universe, all the Quantum Possibilities, Philosophy, Religion and Atheism, all mixed together make it almost impossible to answer the basic questions of free will or destiny.
Is our destiny as a species already previously ordained since the occurrence of the big bang and is unfolding as in a carefully crafted script? Some might say I have all these things mixed up together and maybe I do, but how do I separate them out, they all seem interrelated to me?
When I first started writing this post I thought I would end it with some clever conclusion... how arrogantly wrong I really was! No I don't have the answers, I'm having trouble even formulating the correct questions. So I can only really speak for myself. Do I have free will?
I want to have free will. The idea that I could say, or type just about anything at this moment is refreshing to me and I hope a little daring for you to read on . . . It doesn't make me feel insecure, in fact the opposite, empowering me to choose, not confining and conforming me to that script. So yes I want to have free will, but just because I want to, doesn't mean I do.
Am I more than the sum of my programing? So there is no real answer to that question, unless I can reduce my analysis down to the actual genes, neuronal circuits and experiential details of my life to this point that comprise my thinking, otherwise its just useless circular logic. And being a programmer type I know how to break out of an infinite loop. CTRL-C ABORT.
Oh no! I've halted my own looping consciousness . . . hard to form thoughts . . . fading fast . . . seriously just as I'm typing this my netbook warns me I have 7% battery left and I didn't bring the charger with me to lunch. So I save the post for continuation later . . .
Now is later . . . so I walked out of the pizza joint I was eating in for lunch to encounter a homeless man asking for a handout. We have a lot of them here in San Francisco. I said ?Sorry? and walk on, then as if out of nowhere I think why not, reach into my pocket to find a dollar change from the pizza purchase, turn around and hand him a buck.
I notice his hand is deformed so I put it in his other one and he says, ?God Bless You?.
Now I have some sort of reference to build upon. Did the man's genetic deformity ultimately cause him to be on the street asking for spare change? Or was it a choice he made to use his deformity and the compassionate pity of others to get spare change? I'm sure its far more complicated than even that, everybody's life is.
I don't know, because I'm not him, but I have the ability to empathize with the state of others. Your maybe thinking how could I dare ask such questions outloud? You forget I have given myself free will. I can ask anything I like, say anything I like, because I believe I have free will, and maybe that's all it takes. Did I waste my buck? I think not.
So my advice to you is to give a buck to a beggar on the street and purchase your own free will. And for that beggar on the street, take that dollar and others you get, buy some food for yourself, not alcohol or drugs, and eventually try to get off that damn street into some place nice and warm, because remember, if I have it, you have free will too.
Just act on it once in a while and maybe ultimately the universe won't turn out to be so damn deterministic. Cleaver ending after all! I say you have free will, if you think you have free will, although to be fair here is the counter argument. My last piece of advise, don't believe it.
So have I proven free will exists? That it is not an illusion? No, but then maybe free will is a concept that arises, that is emergent in any rich and complex self reasoning process . . . yes, now I think I have got it, free will is that concept that builds itself out of the complexity of our thinking being. I think therefore I am, I think complexly, therefore my choices are very complex, and I appear to have a complex control over my choices. Free will is a complex choice and I choose to believe in it because it gives me a feeling of control over my own destiny, and that feeling of control is comforting. Most humans want to feel some control of their lives. So, don't reason away my free will, damn it. Have I completed some sort of three thousand year old proof and won the prize of free will?
I have decide to include a few videos added to the end of this post from other people about related ideas of consciousness and free will . . .
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