Consciousness and Free Will
December 19, 2006 3:51am CST
My first thought as a human being was when I was 3 years old, I was riding on a plastic bicycle. Was I conscious before this? When I was 1 or 2 years old was I simply alive but not conscious? When you are born and come out of the womb, you breathe. But it is not your decision to breathe, it is instinct. You eat, but you do not make a decision to eat, it is encoded into your dna. You do not make any conscious decisions for the first years of your life, you are a primitive animal that lives off instinct alone. Until you reach the point of sentietence. Now you can make decisions, Do I want to eat tomato soup or just the crackers. You choose the crackers and you don;t eat the soup. Now you have free will right? Free will is determined by our consciousness, therefore primitive animals do not have free will. There is no morality when it comes to why a dog attacks someone or doesn't attack someone. It acts. There is no decision. So is it fair to say that humans are the only animals that possess free will? Not quite. If we can agree on the premise that without a self-aware consciousness, we cannot have freewill. We can then proceed even further. Suppose you knew a man that performed the same routine every morning, each morning he would wake up, shower, shave and eat a bagel. In that order. He did this everyday and he never changed his routine. Now when he does this he does not make a conscious decision to do this, he has been conditioned. He eats his bagel and does not think about why he is eating a bagel and not a banana. Let's take this a step further, now he drives to work after he has showered,shaved and eaten his bagel. One day he makes a decision to not go to work, this is where free will comes in right? If humans didn't have free will then it would be impossible for him not to go to work. False. Since humans are inherently more complex than other animals, we have to apply a more sophisticated technique to judge whether or not this decision was in fact "free." In so much as he had another option, but did not use it. Humans are animals, every "choice" we make is a product of the circumstance that is before us. The fact that we are conscious creates the illusion that we have freedom. When in reality the process is just more complex. It is so complex that it is not possible to prove to a definitive degree. If I was to take all the variables in the universe, and put them in my "universe machine," I could accurately predict every single event that will happen. Since our brain is not advanced enough to calculate this on such a large degree, our subsconious (which is far more powerful than our conscious) sometimes hits the jackpot. This is where "pyschic occurences happen." For instance, I have predicted things but never with a conscious mind. It always my subsconsious feeding me this information, of course this is the only real alternative because the conscious mind is not nearly sophisticated enough to handle all of this data. Every event in your life is a product of other events, there are no random happenings. The only reason it seems random is because no one can figure out the pattern. This is the illusion, that we are in control. That we dictate what we do, that we are free. And your opinion?