Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Where's the free will?

People say they have control on their lives. They believe they are totally aware of and free to make the decisions they make. They think they are unique with unique experiences, and that their lives are leading to something unique and different than others. Frankly, I think it's more of a wishful thinking and in part a denial of lack of control/choice in their lives.

Of course every individual has some unique experiences as they occupy a unique location and have a unique perspective and perception of the proceedings of this world. But does that mean they are unique? It may mislead someone for once when asking people about their aspirations and motivations of life. Every person will tell something different about their goals and expectations. But the pattern gradually emerges from those various details.
 
Hidden beneath those superficial goals, an undeniable determined pattern comes out. A pattern that is universal and applies to all that we care to call alive. The pattern we call the life cycle - survival and reproduction/spread of traits/genes. If anything can be taken as fact about this existence it is not the newton's laws or the relativity theories or the m-theory, it is the theory of evolution. It is so true and revealing that its realization makes a person so insecure and run into denial as though one's clothes suddenly disappeared in middle of a crowd and runs for cover. But life itself is to blame.
 
The theory reveals the underlying coldness of life. It reveals that underlying machinery of every human is the same. So much so that the justifications of one's life and values start looking like mere excuses to living through the mundane life cycle out of fear of death and desire towards short lived biological pleasures. Every person aspires and lives for the same things which are relative successes for- resources, mates, children and their success. No human is exception, let alone humans, no entity down to molecular level is exception to this process.

Humans then appear like robots, puppets of their circumstances, falling into aligning themselves with their life cycle phases- preoccupied with acquiring resources and status, preoccupied with interactions with would be/acquired mates, preoccupied with having children or success of had children. The ones not participating in them being the rejects adopting indirect ways to promote the same or those mulling in state of depression.
 
It shows that life if anything is only bad and no good, and the issues and problems are naturally occurring integral indispensable part of life, that any prospect or effort for their resolution is a self contradiction. This is even more revealing when one realizing the pains and conflicts caused by own actions attempts to self regulate oneself in order to avoid causing them or becoming a part of them, at the end comes out blank, finding oneself ending up losing any whatsoever meaning or drive to this life, realizing that there is no other way to survive. Life does not offer anything beyond this bleak cycle, there is hardly anything else we can do or like in this life. Life is red in tooth and claw.
 
Lastly, it shows that ours is a deterministic existence, that we are merely links in the energy changes of the universe, predisposed to live through details/derivatives of a preset cycle out of some sort of universal necessity, and rightly takes away the notion of free will.

If ours was not a deterministic existence, an underlying clear pattern of anything would not have been possible. But it has, and it shows nobody is in choice or control, that the universe is mindless and blindly unwinding on its own. Rightly mindless, there is hardly anything that makes sense or value in this monotonous life of pointless pains and unreal pleasures.
 
I think people are more like ants zoomed in. Divided and sorted into various task specific areas by the society's various filtering and sorting processes. People getting created and dying like ants in all kinds of ways all the time. Human life hardly having any greater meaning or goal than that of an ant. We are living an ant's life, it's just that our lives are more elaborate. May be every species perceives about self that way. But still, life hardly has any true value or goal, or anything that concerns us or our feelings and hardships that we go through or put others through. Sadly, we can not do anything about it. Life will just go on the way it is till the universe's conditions cause it. Sigh.

3 comments:

  1. Wether the universe works like the materialists thought in the 1800s (like a clockwerk), or like modern day physisists think of it, (that something that actually is random exists), or how the religious percieve it, that god gave people free will, I have never understood what free will means.

    Its either random or predetermined, in any case we dont decide our genes, nor do we decide our experiences and environments. And everything we do is a cause of those elements.

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  2. I know plenty intelligent people who choose not to have kids and not be part of this cycle, you so much speak of.

    The most known people in the world, were people who didn't want to be part of the cycle, or the ones who were predestined to live a certain way... And willingly let know of everything they knew and had and pursued what it was that made them happy. (Buddha, Madre Teresa, etc)
    That IS free will... You are born into gold and money and you CHOOSE to leave it all behind and try to fulfill what you so much long for. It takes courage... However.

    We often complain about war, and the fact we are puppets in this world, etc but our first thought is never to CHANGE it. It's always about quitting, going to sleep, dying. It's a cowardly thing to do.

    I have traveled many places, and I learn something new everywhere I go and with the people I come in contact with. There will be plenty of "worthless" people who come your way... But the hand full of people you'll meet who would do anything for you (moreso than family) those people make it all worthwhile.

    The most simple things in life make this world, marvelous. When was the last time you just sat outside looking at the stars?
    We grow into these bitter people, with adult vision, and all we see is what's wrong with our surroundings. Not everything we used to see.
    When was the last time you tried or did something for the first time? Adventure yourself. See the world (feel it)... There's so much more to it than the weight of the world on your shoulders.

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    Replies
    1. The ground reality is that we are all tied to the society for our survival. Nobody likes/enjoys to be bitter or go to war or be a terrorist or such, it is their survival for the given environment that molds them to become like that as happens with any other life form on the planet. It is not in their choice, they became what their circumstances made them to be, and all happens in context of this basic cycle we find ourselves to be a part of. Your instances of seeming acts of altruism are information/perception bias which merely attempt to obscure this fact.
      Were it so simple as you think it is, but it is not. Those who say they want to quit/die do so not because they like to, but because they have considered and exhausted all other options. I have given changing things a long thought over several years and I have repeatedly concluded that it is simply not possible to, as having control on things is illusive. Wanting to die is not a cowardly act but the sanest thing to do on proper consideration of all aspects of life. What is one being coward of? It is in fact by living and putting chin up face to this brutality called life by giving in to our fear of death which is cowardice.

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