Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Delusion of an Illusion - free choice and free will...?

Is free will an illusion?
You do get to witness your own actions like you are the conscious author of these "free" choices. You are lucky you can watch the awe inspiring natural world or the jaw dropping wonders of the cosmos, but you have no say in its outcome or any real control over these external events, so what about ones own decisions. New convincing neurological and other scientific evidence supports total determinism other sources leave a small possibility that a small part is your choice - freewill is being unraveled at the level of the brain.

If you think you call the shots in your life, you do, in that it feels this way. You have no say in random external influences, or in your genetic makeup or in your unconscious mind. Which all play an autonomous role in deciding what you will think of next. So if you don't consciously know what your brains going to bring from your unconscious mind to your conscious mind, and the thoughts it can bring into conscious awareness are random events that happened prior in your life and then add the X factor of your genes (that you did not choose): there's very little room for you to freely choose. Is Freewill dead? - It may be too early to say.

Christopher Hitchens was once asked if he believed in free will, he quipped "Do I have a choice?". A line which perhaps will always carry weight. So knowing you are on autopilot, may seem scary to some - i want to reasure you that it is not to be feared. The truth about freewill - whatever that may be should not frighten us. So relax as whether we are free agents or not your actions and beliefs still matter and have real effects.

As a short addendum, I should add that I had NO say in writing this piece, I had no choice - but it didn't feel that way.

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