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11. FREE WILL Previous | Next

Your decisions are not your own

EVERY day, we live under the spell of an illusion: that our conscious mind is autonomous, and in control of our bodies and decisions. We think we have free will, yet as neuroscience digs ever deeper into the mystery of the human brain, that delusion becomes harder to justify. We are, as one neuroscientist told me as he used a powerful magnet to take control of my body’s movements, brain-machines.

This runs contrary to our every impulse. Our gut instinct, our experience, is that we make the decisions to move, to think, to eat, to steal, to lie, to punch and kick. We have constructed the entire edifice of our civilisation on this idea. Is science wrong when it says free will is a delusion? If not, what does it mean for our sense of self? And for our morality – can we prosecute people for acts over which they had no conscious control?

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Location:Sarasota
Joined:10/08/2008
Posts:4

#1 - Posted: 13/08/2008 14:51

I dare say there's nere a one of us who's entered or departed this world because he was given an option.

Quiet/loud, soft/hard, sweet/sour, light/dark, big/small.  We live in a world of opposites.  Without one, does the other have any meaning.  If there's no night, then what is day ?  Does death then define life or does life define death.

I don't know, you choose.

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