Free will, the intuitive feeling that one is the conscious generator of one’s thoughts and action. One Tends to strongly feel that one is the exclusive author of one’s thoughts and actions. Things don’t merely happen to each of us over which we have no ascendancy, but rather we feel that we’re the conscious dictator of these events. But, is it really the case? Are we really in control of our actions or we’re mere puppets suspended by some invisible strings in the theater of life? In this article, I will focus on shedding light on these strings. So that, hopefully each of us will be able to peer into the dark and clearly see its lightweight cords.
First, I think we should understand why we’re so familiar with this idea of free will. Apparently, this acquainted notion rests upon two far-reaching premises: (1) that we could have behaved differently than we did in the past, and (2) we’re the conscious source of most of our thoughts and actions.
I reckon that any earnest and conscientious attempt intended to fathom the incentives behind one’s deeds leads to an honest inquiry, dedicated to fully comprehend the origins of one’s Thoughts. Unluckily, due to conventional wisdom and the pseudo-science warfare that’s been waged on us lately, hordes of people wholeheartedly believe that they possess an exhaustive control over their thoughts. Hence, they tend to regard each person as the sole source of their actions.
In fact, to think this way is a sheer denial of the pure scientific laws of the universe in which we live in. We subsist in a universe governed by the law of cause and effect, not but chance. therefore, one’s thoughts must be the result of some prior causes over which one has no control. And they are determined only by the laws of universe. Thoughts simply arise in the mind, like waves in the ocean. We have no clue regarding where they come from.
look inside yourself. Take some few breaths. And realize that thoughts are ceaselessly arising in the mind. You do not dictate them. They may stay for some moment or they may disappear. You might adjudicate to act on them or you might subsequently let them go. Now, of course students of mindfulness might push back here, by stating that one can become gradually aware of one thoughts, and consequently can forestall any unprompted reaction from occurring. Nevertheless, even this doesn’t leave a room for free will, for you have authority over the occurrences by means of which you were introduced to such a mental technique.
You neither have control over the past experiences that shaped the development of your nerves system nor over whatever religion, philosophy or economic doctrine you grew up in. And the mere act of saying that you could have behaved otherwise, requires you’re being a dissimilar person than you’re in fact are.
Additionally, the famous EEG experiments conducted by the physiologist Benjamin Libet and others in the early 1980s shows that activity in the brain’s motor cortex can be detected some 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move. In other words, before you feel that you’re in the process of committing something and getting gradually aware of it, your brain has already determined what your next move will be.
There are more bacteria in your body than there are human cells. In fact, 90 percent of the cells in your body are microbes like E. coli (and 99 percent of the functional genes in your body is up to them). Many of these organisms perform requisite functions—they are “you” in some wider sense. They are responsible for the regulation of your mood, your digestive system, and your immune system. are you responsible for them? Of course not. You’re no more responsible for your mood, for instance, than for the fact that you’re born on this planet.
In light of this compelling evidence, aligning one’s principles and beliefs with scientific knowledge promises to open one’s mind to novel perspectives. One need not educe any sense of self or pride from any of one’s accomplishments, or dwell on one’s past mistakes. For if it was not for some specific points in time, one would tenably not become the person one is today. Moreover, one tends to become more companionate and understanding. For one recognizes the elusive intention of people who might want to do one harm.
In an akin vein, our criminal justice system must at some point must change (even though I highly suspect that such a miracle will ever take place in my native country). Envisage that you heard of a person that pulls off a pistol in a thronged train, and then he starts riddling innocent passengers with bullets. Indeed, this person proves hitherto to be an extremely dangerous monster. Now, imagine you subsequently learn the perpetrator has a brain tumor, near the amygdala (The part of the brain responsible for regulating emotions). And he’s been lately prone to many unusual belligerent thoughts. Wouldn’t this person be deemed as a victim of biology?
As a result, we should not seek retribution when addressing such issues. For no one deserves to be punished for actions over which one has no control. Nevertheless, I’m not trying to convey that we should just empty jails. Rather, rehabilitation seems to me as the perfect solution one can bestow to such unfortunate individuals. Why would anyone divest a pedophile from taking a brain surgery that will potentially withdraw his brain tumor? Of course, some people cannot be rehabilitated. Hence, they constitute a danger to society and must be locked away. But I don’t see how this might justify any attempt of retribution.
Finally, this will bring me to the notion of sin. For this illusive notion of free will was the only card that one might draw to save the morally incoherent eternal punishment in the afterlife. Does anyone merit an eternal life in agony for committing evil doings over which one has no ascendancy whatsoever? Personally, I think if this says something, it only unravels the sadistic nature of our primeval ancestors.