Sunday, July 11, 2010


Blog post # 90:

Aesthetic Screaming

An Imprecise Fist

Troika Of Loci

An Aperiodic Sphere


I have only one item today.

The question: Do we have free will?
(Or are wills selling at 2 for the price of 1, at best?)

I would suspect that the answer is most likely "no".
Because every little action or thought we engage in is motivated by outside influences, I would guess.

I am thinking that free will exists only if the soul exists. We need our souls -- each the essence of the individual -- to be the un-manipulated motivation for our actions and thoughts, if free will is real. I guess what I am trying to say is, how can there be free will if we don't act and think from our own individuality anyway?

But I find the existence of the SPIRITUAL soul to be somewhat offensive to an agnostic/atheist such as myself.

So, what would be the next best thing to free will if we do not possess souls?

I think this would be the ability to act randomly.

Quantum physics does allow for perfect actual randomness unaffected by any outside influences, luckily.
(Ha, perfect randomness is lucky...)
If the mind, the brain, incorporates quantum physics when constructing consciousness, then maybe, maybe, perfect literal randomness may be one of many motivations for our actions and thoughts.

But I guess I wonder if it is possible to use this randomness in a way that IS influence by one outside (inside) thing: the most individual nature of one's own mind.

But if I act crazy because my mind has a chemical imbalance, and my mind has a chemical imbalance because the CIA fed me LSD years ago, then acting according to only the nature of my mind and randomness is NOT free will. The CIA is behind my actions, even if only tenuously.

So, I must dig deeper to find that part of me that is not influenced by outside forces.
Where is it? Must the soul exist for there to be true individuality?

Or can I construct pure individuality from randomness alone?

Your thoughts? (Hopefully your OWN thoughts...)




Mrs. Dahl said...

Wow, awesome post. I don't know what to add though.

Anonymous said...

I’m going to have to go with their isn’t free will, at least not in its pure form. Personally I see it as people have soft determinism. Everything is predetermined in the sense that every action has been influenced by all past actions but we have some small conscious choice as to what we select to do.

randomwanderer said...

Hi, whenever the topic of free will comes up i always remember the essence of a quote from Ramana Maharshi (essense because i dont remember it word for word). I feel that what he said allows for the paradox in the discussion of will whilst at the same time explaining our position in relation to it.

"everything is predetermined. However, we are always free to choose not to identify with the bodily senses"

When he says predetermined you could see this with the agnostic perception as in: we live we die who knows what happens after that, what Ramana probably would have been talking about however is more QPical as in all is energy so nothing else matters, what comes from energy goes back into energy and when you relise this, truely realise, you become absorbed by that energy into a state of bliss that is all existence...very hardcore.

And the second part is an instruction, rather than "digging deeper" the best action is to empty yourself of all attachment to...everything. It is a great paradox. Many mystics say (buddhists, Meister Eckhart, Ramana Maharshi as with above) once you empty yourself of all attachment, you are a vessel that can be filled with the light of God/Dao/Brahman/Infinite Consciousness/Love/Oneness/Energy whatever word you use to describe it/the process. Or rather, once you detach from these things, all that is left is God/etc.

Not sure whether thats a bit too spiritual for an atheist agnostic, but just thought i'd share the thought.

Amorphous Trapezoid said...

Great comments so far. Thanks for sharing.