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Is there such thing as free will?

December 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

This was too big for Twitter and I didn’t want to lose it.

From an excerpt I just read (from John Bargh a social psychology professor at Yale)

“We know now that there is a very high likelihood of finding unconscious influences that effect our decisions, preferences, etc.”

Have you ever heard of a third party cookie? Do you know what it is? Are we breaking free from a prison placed on our brains by experience, culture and the thoughts of others or are we entering into a time where we are innately predictable and defensive our perceived notions of free will?

  1. Brosnaro
    December 15th, 2009 at 08:33 | #1

    I’m not so sure I’d jump off the determinism cliff yet. It seems like every major scientific/technical development in human history brings up the question of free will: Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, etc.

    Epicurus in the 3rd and 4th century BC had to deal with Democritus’s deterministic atomism in order to account for free will in his (Epicurus’s) ethics. This question has been batted around for a long, long time. Epicurus also had the best solution to free will in a deterministic universe: the swerve (no shit).

    Even if high speed computers can mine a database of priming signals in order to influence human behavior and decision making, the psychological mechanism is still only probabilistic. George Romero may have seen us as consumerist zombies in Dawn of the Dead, but that says more about our fears and cynicism than it does about control and free will. I think the notion of self-determinism is slippery enough to survive another attack.

  2. February 18th, 2010 at 22:56 | #2

    The concept of free will is best explained in sacred Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism! As per Bhagavad Gita human form is but a small sojourn in the entire lifespan of a soul atman… the spirit within! (Soul is termed atman in Hinduism). As laid down in scriptures our soul atman… the spirit within is absolute master and controller of body (including human beings) and not vice versa!

    It is not within the capability of a body… including human beings to manifest a soul atman! Every soul atman starts its cosmic journey to manifest karma… remove dross impurities within! The moment complete dross impurities within soul atman removed… human beings (the highest form of manifest life in cosmic system) reached stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana)!

    From the first manifestation to last… the 8.4 millionth manifestation when human beings gained enlightenment… goal of life for a soul atman remains liberation from cycle of birth and death at the earliest! Travel in human form is the most pleasant experience for a soul atman… it is only in human form a soul atman regained its lost original pure prime pristine primordial form.

    The concept of free will stems from the fact that we are a living consciousness… a spirit that has manifested human form to work out its karma! Every soul atman is always independent of other… no matter what! Human beings are invested with power of discrimination that makes us exercise free will… the dominant cosmic force that distinguishes us from animals!

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