So, there’s a guy’s blog I follow on here. Dirty Sci-fi Buddha has got some interesting things rattling around in his head. He likes to philosophize about shit 😀 It is very thought provoking and entertaining. He posts really good stuff and it’s worth reading and processing. Do yourself a favor and go check it out after this.
Let’s understand that I’m a simple creature and no genius. So, what follows is probably a huge simplification of this subject and lacking some of the necessary substance due to the lack of intellectual prowess I possess and this subject deserves.
So anyway, Dirty Sci-fi Buddha has made some posts about free will – it’s possibility of existence and how he chooses to make use of it. I agree with a lot of what he says about how to make life choices from the big ones down to the minute-to-minute decisions. I tend to disagree, however, with his take on the existence of free will. He gives off a vibe of “studied uncertainty”. What I mean by that is that he appears to have made an analysis based on the data he’s gathered and has come to a CURRENT conclusion (you’ll have to go read some of his posts to get that) that the factual existence of free will is an unknown. In other words, he’s not sure if we really have free will. His reasoning about this uncertainty is very compelling.
But I still disagree with that uncertainty.
Free will exists, and it’s a pain in the ass…
Maybe that’s not entirely accurate… give me a minute here…
Free will exists. Of that, I’m fairly certain. Now my certainty is based on data that I’ve collected throughout my existence on this rock. Situations I’ve observed people in and things I’ve said and done in my own situations make up most of this data. Since it’s mostly undocumented, I’ll call it anecdotal evidence versus scientific data. I understand the mine field of credibility that could create, but this is a post about my thoughts concerning free will 😛 Feel free to offer your own thoughts in the comment section. I welcome it 🙂
I’ve heard many, many times people say that they don’t have a choice, or their choices are limited. So, I consider that line of thinking as an agreement on the side that argues there is a lack of free will. And, again, that is where I immediately disagree. You have a choice. You have many choices. You have the freedom to make any of those choices, too. It’s your perception of the reality you’re in at the moment that is limiting your perception of available choices… or lack of choices altogether. This perception is based on a huge amount of factors; some of these factors include life experience, desires, peer pressure and your emotional state. In spite of all that, and consequences for making certain choices notwithstanding, you still have free will to make any choice you want.
Don’t get me wrong. All these factors that create your perception of the choices you have in a situation where you have to make a decision are very strong and very real to you. I completely agree with the fact that a person’s perception of the available choices can be neck and neck with reality from that person’s point of view. So, it is easy to think, believe and/or feel that your free will is stifled or non-existent.
But the reality is that your free will is there just waiting to be exercised… all the time. You have many, if not infinite, choices for your decision and you CAN CHOOSE any of them. It’s an extraordinary property of reality. In moments of contemplation (like this), I like to marvel at having free will and the wonderful gift/trait it is. I like to “know” that I have this amazing “power” in me to choose however I want. It gives me hope to think that no matter what my situation is, I always have the ability choose what I want to do or say next.
Pain in the ass #1
The difficulty with realizing free will is developing the ability to overcome the influence of all those factors I mentioned (something I wish I had the strength to do more often) and understand that you DO have free will to choose any course of action. The self-realization of always having free will can be a monumental task and, unfortunately, seems to be impossible at times. As I type this, I am very aware of that fact and continually fail to realize in many situations my ability to exercise free will.
Pain in the ass #2
Do you know what’s both hilarious and infuriating (sometimes both at the same time)? You have free will. You can choose to do or say anything at the moment of a decision. We have this incredible ability and it can be the absolute worst and/or funniest moment of realization you can have.
Example… it’s Monday morning and my wife wakes me up to get ready for work. I can decide right then and there if I will actually get up and get ready for work. It is my choice. I certainly don’t want to get up and go to work. I was up too late Sunday night and I want to sleep some more. I could choose to stay in bed. It is MY choice.
It’s infuriating when you think like that, isn’t it – especially when you consider that my choice to get up and go to work Monday morning is based on the fact that I decided at some point that I need money to get by in this world? Considering that I don’t want to live in the woods like Big Foot, I exercise my free will again and go to work. The only reason that I go to work is because I have chosen to. It’s not funny 😛
If you’re still reading this, THANK YOU for choosing to stick with me. I hope this was fun and thought provoking and not entirely infuriating 😉