The itch of free will

We do have free will, some of us anyway. Free will allows one to override human nature. Some people want to believe so strongly that they believe lies, they suspend disbelief and common sense. “Some” would be about 90% of the population who may listen to warnings, explanations, etc. but they won’t do anything about it until it actually happens.

The brain, genetically speaking, is part of the immune system, it responds when attacked, when hungry, basic needs, etc. An action of free will is a convergence of meta-information over and above the brain’s normal immune functions. An action of free will may not have been tested against nature, it usually isn’t.  We read about it somewhere and it is now part of the meta-information of our life.  Seldom have we actually burned our finger on the hot stove.  Properly used, an intended action of free will must first be tested against natural laws, against reality. Unfortunately, that testing rarely happens and ,instead, implementation is attempted on untested theories, ideologies and beliefs. Of the 10% remaining in the population who were not true believers, then 9% of those remaining are thinkers who will agree on an action plan. But only 1% will study the plan and test it against natural law before acting.

Ah utopia … if only human nature did not interfere, then everything could be perfect [satire].  You might like Robert Heinlein’s book “For us the Living.” Note that the proceeds from sale of the book are given to human exploration of outer space.  It seems Heinlein did not have much hope for the folk who remain on earth.  The economics in the book are interesting for utopian readers and briefly explained at this wiki.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Us,_The_Living:_A_Comedy_of_Customs

“When hopes and dreams are loose in the streets, is well for the timid to lock doors, shutter windows, and lie low until the wrath has passed. For there is often a monstrous incongruity between the hopes, however noble and tender, and the action which follows them. It is as if ivied maidens and garlanded youths were to herald the four horsemen of the apocalypse…Almost all our contemporary movements showed in their early stages a hostile attitude toward the family, and did all they could to discredit and disrupt it. They did it by undermining the authority of parents; by facilitating divorce; by taking over responsibility for feeding, educating, and entertaining the children; and by encouraging illegitimacy. … a disruption of the family, whatever its causes, fosters automatically a collective spirit and creates a responsiveness to the appeal of mass movements.” ~ Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements.  Download it for free, here: http://www.gobookee.org/true-believer-eric-hoffer/

About budbromley

Life sciences executive, retired
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2 Responses to The itch of free will

  1. John Maney says:

    Bud,

    Thanks – Many decades since I ‘ve read Hoffer – uncovered this – a Hoffer quote that seems to define Islam.

    “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the

    purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.”

    Like

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