Do you believe in Free Will?

I have a question for my audience.

Do you believe in Free Will?

Other questions to answer if you so want: (Or anything else you want to share)

What does free will mean to you?

If you don’t believe in free will what do you believe in? Destiny? Fate? Something else?

What has shaped you to believe what you believe? 

What does holding this belief do for you in your life?

Does holding this belief change how you live your life?

I am asking this from a research standpoint. My thoughts have been deeply embedded in this conversation the last few weeks and I can’t get it off my mind so I am bringing it to the masses.

I am interested in all thoughts. This is not about debating the subject. All thoughts or beliefs are welcome here. This is a place where I simply want others to have the space to get curious and share their hearts!!

Ok go… yay and thank you so much in advance!

Xoxo

Kimberly

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3 Comments

  1. Here we go.

    Merriam-Webster defines Free Will as “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.”

    Now let’s break this down further.

    They define Fate as “the development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.”
    And Discretion as “the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.”

    Ergo, Free Will means that all decisions are made without cause. If something is caused by something else then it is not Free Will.

    All of your decision-making is based on experience.

    I’ll detour to show you more.

    It common assumption that we have 5 senses, possibly 6. Bullshit. We have a hunger sense, a sense of thirst, temperature, sense of fullness upon eating, pain sense, itch sense, empathy sense, a sense of humor(or not). To assert that we are outside the influence of the environment and of our senses, that we do not react to what our senses tell us, would be willful ignorance if not light-speed stupidity.

    You experience hunger after the organism has used up energy and requires more. You have thirst and without it you would shrivel up and die. We behave differently in warm versus cool weather. We have a lust sense for when we see someone sexy. Who you find attractive has to do with the books, movies, and people you’ve known.

    When your car begins pulling to the right of its own accord, you might take it to the mechanic. He tells you your front right tire had less air and was thus out of balance. This is what caused its behavior. If you had the know-how to detect and solve this then you wouldn’t take it to a mechanic. So if you are ignorant about cars, you take it to a mechanic. This is what caused that behavior. If you are knowledgeable then this option does not occur; you fix it yourself and your knowledge caused this behavior. Whence cometh Free Will?

    Explain to a child how airplanes fly. If he asks how, you can point to the propeller. He says, “Is that what makes it fly?” Well, you say, “It’s the engine that turns the propeller.”
    He replies, “Oh, so is it the engine?”
    “No, if there’s no fuel in the engine then the engine won’t run.”
    “So then it’s the fuel!”
    “Well, if there’s no oxygen then the fuel won’t combust and the engine won’t turn.”
    It is MANY, INTERCONNECTED variables that produce a result. Including your own behavior.

    You think you see with your eyes. Go into a closet where it is pitch black when you close the door. Without light, your eyes can perceive nothing. It is the combination of a lens, retina, rods, cones, neural-optic physiology, and light that allows for the type of sight that we have evolved. Take away even 1 of those things and…

    If you were an Inuit, you know, an Eskimo, and you had never been anywhere else or known anything different. Then someone gives you a wish, say, for anything you could possibly want. You cannot possibly wish for a helicopter. You cannot think outside of your culture. You cannot imagine a color you have never seen. It says much about the Eskimos, their environment and culture, that they have many words for snow and none for war.

    If you lived in an Amazonian stone age tribe of headhunters and I asked you, “Doesn’t it bother you, Kimberly, that your husband has 5 shrunken heads on his belt?”
    You would say, “Yes, it does, because his brother has 20!”
    You would not be a bad person. There are NO BAD PEOPLE. You are normal to that culture.

    If you grew up in a place with many black people and they always beat you up then you would avoid black people if you went somewhere completely new. You see a black person walking toward you and then you cross the street. That would offend some. They’d call you racist, say you were a bad person. But no, you are conditioned differently than they are. We are all of us conditioned.

    Beauty is a great example of bullshit thinking. If everyone had noses 12 inches long and bullhorns on their head, yellow spots all over their faces, ink black eyeballs with no whites or irises, you would think that was beautiful. Beauty is a learned and conditioned value. If all the men in your culture were shorter than the women, more petite and effeminate then you would find that sexy.

    You have no idea how the information you absorbed during your upbringing has affected you on any point. For example, ask yourself, “What do I find attractive and why?” So where is Free Will now…

    Free Will is an arrogance on the part of man; that he is the only object of the world to not react to stimuli.

    Evidently, I reject the notion of Free Will. So what do I believe? That we are part of a system of immense complexity, not only confined to the Earth sphere, but that the Earth is also doing something. That it, too, is part of a larger and infinitely more complex system. I believe it is a purposive universe in which we exist whose purpose is to evolve. Not merely evolution in the biologic Darwinian sense, but to evolve ourselves as beings. To evolve ideas. To evolve our characters and our qualities. All systems, including humanity, are emergent & symbiotic. Meaning that all things are forever fluid & changing and symbiotic in that everything depends on everything else.

    What has shaped this belief? I read a shitload of books & I’m curious as hell. I want to understand the world and people, not only from curiosity but compassion! I have learned truth to be a liberating and necessary force with which to effectively engage reality. All of us operate with underpinning, rarely if ever examined, assumptions that guide our every thought and action. With this understanding, how can one do other than to review & revise their foundational assumptions?

    Thinking in this way provides me with tools allowing recognition of an issue’s heart rather than only the symptoms on the surface. I have more compassion for myself & others by understanding that “…they know not what they do.” That any behavior I find reprehensible could very well have been exhibited by me had my circumstances been different, hence, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” We are all of us creatures of our environment(s), whatever they may be. There are no bad people; all problems are educational or technical in nature. I don’t want to judge people who have horrible personalities, who are greedy or commit atrocities, I want to know what made them that way. I eschew blame; what’s the point of it? All must accept things as they are; to do other is to invite unnecessary pain. Love has become about striving to accept someone as they are, not how they might be different.

    Seeing Free Will in this way has led to much self-forgiveness and forgiveness in general. It is hard to hate people. It also makes any problem, whether trivial or global in scope, eminently solvable. There is no human nature, only conditioned nature. My own character became malleable. I can change things about myself. I recognize the absence of a fixed identity in this entity called Kegan.

  2. I believe in free will. “Why?”, you ask. Because I’ve suffered from my choices.

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