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Posts Tagged ‘free will’

The unconscious mind (often simply called the unconscious) is all the processes of the mind which are not available to consciousness. The term unconscious mind was coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The concept gained prominence due to the influence of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. The unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts. (Wikipedia)

Some actions – like moving a finger – are initiated and processed unconsciously at first, and only after enter consciousness.

Philosopher Walter Jackson Freeman III writes “our intentional actions continually flow into the world, changing the world and the relations of our bodies to it. This dynamic system is the self in each of us, it is the agency in charge, not our awareness, which is constantly trying to keep up with what we do.*” To Freeman, the power of intention and action can be independent of awareness. ( * Freeman, Walter J. How Brains Make Up Their Minds. New York: Columbia UP, 2000. Page 139.)

We think and act rationally but do we understand what it implies? One who wants to kick the habit of smoking may linger on wondering when or how to do it. He knows it is slowly incinerating his lungs and one day he quits it altogether. Suppose the coming weekend he is in company and they are headed towards a bar. If he chooses to sit with them in the smoking section he may excuse himself that he did not want to cut their pleasure of a smoke. Or was it he was craving a secondary smoke and his mind had tricked him? Our mind is a divided house. We may say we keep an open house. Only that when we want to empty our bowels we keep the door shut. Open house in short is not always what it says. Our mind is not what we like to believe. We say we are rational. Are we really? How come then we irrationally succumb to prophets and dolts alike. We accept heaven for someone else’s word. Similarly we listen to some fool’s prattle and when he says,’such and such race is subhuman’ we accept it without a murmur. It happened in Nazi Germany. Or a half-baked science fiction writer cobbles up Scientology ‘weird evil cult’ as Rupert Murdoch said the other day) celebrities are ready to join. Our rational mind knows it is a moron’s path to bliss as one who take bath salts for kicks. The nature of mind is such that people are dying to believe and ‘weirder the better.’ There has never been a proof of religion as consistently put to test and found true. Yet why people still harp on it? Our brain is a divided house.
I can make Donald Duck pass for a Deity and have churches built for worship. If so why don’t I do it? The trouble is I may in the end come to believe myself in the joke.‘ I consider that as truly tragic.
PS Philosopher Schopenhauer signified this unconscious part of mind as the Will. We seek pleasures from within ourselves and even if these are less honorable we still pursue it. Then we rationally explain our actions. We are not seeking a course because reasons are already existing outside ourselves.
benny

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What is evolution but adapting things that are already existing? Thus we have some primitive parts from lizards and jellyfish.As a result our brain at its best has to account for what it is built upon.
“Although the things it can do are very wonderful and impressive, its design is very poor engineering in many respects,” says David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the author of The Accidental Mind.
These parts may have been OK for their original owners, he says, but they aren’t ideal for us.
Take brain cells, for example.
“They are slow. They are inefficient. They leak signals to their neighbors,”

We’re still using a communication system developed 600 million years ago by jellyfish.
Deep Down, We’re Lizards.
Jellyfish don’t have a brain, but they were the first animal to have any sort of nervous system. It’s a loose network of nerves called a “nerve net,” says Chet Sherwood, who studies brain evolution at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Evolution’s tinkering gave lizards the brain they needed to hunt and survive in a tough world, and our brains still have that ancient wiring.
The brain of an adult human is about three times the size of a gorilla brain.
In evolutionary terms big brain gave our human ancestors bigger volume for brain and it is still evolving and at the root of it we still have the reptilian brain.
ii
Brain has two halves like walnut. These are shot through two worlds: conscious and unconscious mind. our conscious self does not initiate all behaviours. Instead, it is somehow alerted to behaviours that the rest of the brain and body are already planning and performing. Also keep in mind conscious experience does play some moderating role. We think rationally and we speak as though we understand what we speak about. But do we?
Take the matter of religion.
Religion relies on mystery and requires certain rituals and symbols to maintain this mystery. People are ready to defend their faith to death. On the other hand what about the fascination with iPad or iPhone for which people are ready to kill themselves? Or do desperate things disproportionate to the intrinsic value of objects themselves, and sell their kidneys as one did in China only last week? People queue through the night, despite the inclement weather to be the first to grab when shops are opened for business. Are we not seeing Progress masquerading religion in this case? Some Nerd who cannot do anything else makes a jargon and creates applications into program and lo and behold, he is looked upon with wonder. He is a modern shaman. Craze for latest gadgets is controlled by which part of our being? Unconscious mind or Rational mind?
Our brain evolved over some 6 millennia as I mentioned earlier is not the best,- and communication system leaks, and we have no idea which part of it is triggering us?
Brain is our thinking part but it depends how we want to interpret external impressions that we see.
In an earlier post I wrote about Cosmic Mind. We make our experience as basis and draw necessary conclusions from these events around us. If we are thinking from our unconscious mind a little and from conscious mind we cannot tell.
When we look into brain we are going down in time,
benny

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Do we have a choice in striking out a path for ourselves?
Look at the manner we have described progress in which man’ deliberate choices connect with similar needs and choices made by others. The nameless inventor of wheel didn’t anticipate flywheel for a watch, gyroscope or wheels, which are as essential in flying. Our choices, deliberate these must be to fit with our needs at a particular point of time and place, would always have to negotiate with those of others. My responsibility is therefore of short duration and how it is adapted in future is beyond me. One example will suffice: our ancestor made flint blades by breaking flint. He could scrape flesh from animal hide and use the leather skins for his clothes. Suppose another used the flint blade to commit murder. Is he responsible that it became a murder weapon in the hand of another?
No, he cannot be held responsible for it.
Moral responsibility for murder must surely lie with the one who used it to commit murder.

let us now look at the kind of “decision,” the evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne talks about. Decision arrived at is merely a series of electrical and chemical impulses between molecules in the brain — molecules whose configuration is predetermined by genes and environment. Though each decision is the outcome of an immensely complicated series of chemical reactions, those reactions are governed by the laws of physics and could not possibly turn out differently. This has only validity where time is of essence and in the face of danger thinking is not an option. The question of fight or flee has been settled eons ago and it is what one may say knee-jerk reaction.
Free Will is where we make conscious choices and coolly and rational mind has determined it.
However progress makes connection of one with the other and it can go on infinite ways. The javelin hurled to fell an animal in hunt connects with arrows sent flying and to the sidewinder missiles that can sense the heat of the target and kill.
Free will is not consigned to molecular behavior of physiology but conscious choices we do to address a problem facing us.
Free will of Adam who on an impulse ate the fruit is an impulse. Those who are by nature impulsive would need an attorney called Restraint in order to move ahead.
ii
Progress is innovations of a few given their widest range.
The Peking man may have settled for a bamboo cut sharp for a weapon as flint tools in the west. How such use ties up around the world gives Progress its value.
Foresight is how man satisfies his need at a specific time and place. Is it not irony that in course of time it shows up its shortcoming? The Bronze Age showed how inadequate Stone Age was. Now a bronze artifact is but a museum piece.
Progress in one direction also creates great many necessities in its wake. It is invisible and is according to cluster principle of which I have explained in previous posts.
To sum: Progress of man on foresight is like having only one paddle doing the job. Funny that hindsight is nowhere in view! Trouble with Progress as a result will have so many gray areas to work upon. Like the Nuclear Age we ushered in without realizing the rogue nations also will get hold of nuclear weapons some day.
Wealth will create more need for wealth and no way Progress can be expected to stop at some point and say,” Enough, we have reached the level of satiety! We are happy!’
Progress coming to think of it must have been Satan’s crowning achievement.

benny

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In my previous posts where I examined the Big Picture I had formulated several principles to underpin my theories. Conjugation principle,Inversion Principle,Uncertainty Principle,Cluster Principle and so on. There is one principle of which I had till now held back. What is Clean Slate principle? In order to explain it let me point out from the night sky.

There are several billions of stars, light of  which when added up must make the sky bright. Yet it does not. Supernovae of star sends materials helter-skelter across space creating new stars in its wake. Background radiation of the Big Bang still reaches us. With such persistence cosmic events leave their signature around. This being the case why we see the night still dark as though the light sent forth from stars is blotted out by an unseen hand? The sky, in a manner of speaking has become a clean slate.

Science explains this  as due to the nature of universe expanding at a rate that starlight shall not make the night seen as day. The nature of Day is as distinct as Night is the exclusion of light is. Day and Night are distinctly apart.  Nature of Truth as distinct from Falsehood is. In  short we have to see in the Objective Lessons of Nature, what makes them valid. Nature as a mirror to Truth. Man makes truth of Nature, truth of Experience, and Truth of Action  to justify himself. Absolute Value of Truth is not what he can demonstrate. Even so it is in context of Truth.

The Clean Slate Principle refers to Absolute certainties against which every finite value has to come up against. Thus we use our free will to explain the nature of evil. Do we not use sophistry to explain that God as Omniscient Being must have known evil beforehand?  If He knows evil He cannot be Good? We weave our own ropes of reason to hang ourselves with.

In the analogy of night sky light supplied by various sources is still rendered as though these were null owing to the expanding sky. Similarly in the run off of march of events supplied by good and evil motives, consciousness of evil on God’s part is negated by power and wisdom of God. He is not the conscience keeper of the evil one. Bad motives come from a different source than good motives that a man keeps and acts upon are in keeping with His commandments. So man who suffers like a wrongdoer for the good that he did out of good conscience is in His keeping.   Clean Slate principle makes God free from any unfairness or *impartiality(cf.post of 8 May 2010) .

The Clean Slate principle states that we create evil, result of our finite nature. According to Cluster principle evil creates much more:  misery is another byproduct. The Clean Slate Principle states that evil resulting from man’s free will remains at finite level. Absolute value of Truth is undimmed by finiteness of truth we demonstrate.

God remains inviolate because of this principle.

God as Truth is not made any whit less because of truth as demonstrated by man.

It is in the nature of God, because God is  Love, to exercise this principle. Though our sins be as scarlet the Clean Principle can render as white as snow, to use a Biblical expression. This principle is in conformity with conjugation principle.

PS. Day is distinct from Night. Light of the Sun makes Day and Night though littered with stars and visible to us, is still Night. In this connection let me point out some men due to some accidents in their biology may be effeminate or genetically feminine. Has God gone wrong? In His eyes they are as distinct as man from woman is. God looks at the soul that is according to the Clean Slate Principle makes man and woman, distinct and clean. To God there is no confusion as we may have.

benny

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