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Forum Post: Transcend the Delusion of Free Will

Posted 6 years ago on Dec. 10, 2011, 5:43 p.m. EST by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The Global Occupation Revolution of the 99% should champion the truth that human behavior is determined only by nature and nurture, and that free will is a mistaken conclusion at best. Overcoming the illusion of free will would mean creating a blame-free world. As we, the 99%, take ALL of the inordinate power and money from the 1%, we can do this in a way that is also peaceful, loving, joyous, intelligent, compassionate and historic.

Let’s proclaim and disseminate the consensus decision that we human beings are not to be blamed or credited for anything, and let this spreading of the second most fundamental truth of human existence usher in a new evolutionary epoch in human history — as our newly understood causal consciousness becomes one of the cornerstones of the BRILLIANT, unstoppable, new, leaderless, directly democratic, equal, compassionate, and sustainable world we are creating!

Let’s overcome the illusion of free will, and free ourselves from our irrationally, unnecessarily, and painfully blaming each other and ourselves. Let’s create a brave and sane new world that understands that we humans can only act out the universal will, and let this new understanding of why we do what we do evolve a new saner consciousness for our species!



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[-] 4 points by davidprosser (10) 6 years ago

Excellent post. The only thing I'd like to add is a word of caution and start by using an example:

The reason why we do not "rehabilitate" criminals effectively in this country, or elsewhere, is twofold:

1) we do not understand the environmental influence which makes these people into criminals (which means that yes, we all help to make some in society into criminals). 2) we are often more concerned with punishing these criminals (and even continuing to do so after they have finally exited prison) then actually seeking to best help them rejoin society.

Social network science today tells us what your post tells us, that we are all the products of our environment. That what we think, feel, and do is heavily tied to the environment we inhabit and that our friends' friends' friends' have a huge impact upon us.

And if we add to that all the mass media which infiltrates our lives and the fact that we are now all globally interconnected then we have a huge problem. And this is a huge, complex, and multifaceted problem: our interconnection.

And this is the foundation, the root, for all the crises we are experiencing today on a personal, interpersonal, group, national, and global basis.

So my word of caution is this: The 1% wield the most power, and have the most influence in society, but we also, each of us, help to form all of the problems we see in the world through us all a) being interconnected and b) through our interconnection, the complete products of our environment.

So yes, things must change, things must be restructured. But simply thinking that taking "ALL of the inordinate power and money from the 1%" will solve our problems is proposing a solution from the level of effect but not the level of cause.

The cause is our interconnection and that it is misused. This is what must be addressed if we are ever to come to build a truly fair society. And for us to not accept culpability in this matter is for us to bury our heads to the above two facts of us all being interconnected and thus all helping to fashion all of the world's problems.

So I brought up the issue of criminals because I feel that our attitude, in many ways, is similar to them. Remember, this environmental influence made one poor and made another rich. It allowed one to have great opportunities and another to not.

And just as we should be concerned first and foremost with the rehabilitation of criminals we should also, in regards to the 1%, be concerned first and foremost for their rehabilitation.

Otherwise our lofty talk is just that, "Talk." We must elevate human conduct to include us all together. Interconnection implies interdependence and that means that yes, things must change, but let's have things change to where we can all live together as one and no longer exclude anyone.

[-] 2 points by NLake72 (510) 6 years ago

Yeah, I used to smoke that stuff too. Frankly, we ARE in a new age. We SHOULD be thinking about an entirely new approach to our fellow man. The government MUST serve the needs of the people. And yes, we are all brainwashed by the media, which threatens our whole concept of a free-thinking, educated-voting democracy. And yes, in this new age, we must strive to be much more community conscious, and take a personal responsibility for our fellow man. Sadly, human nature dictates that if we let our guard down, that some greedy dick will put himself in charge of us, and for his/her own benefit. I think you're basically on the right track, but keep your feet on the ground. People are ultimately self-serving, we can't expect miracles. We can't expect a semi-educated population (educated by their t.v.) to make good decisions about very complicated matters, like governing a nation. Also, as you can tell from the Ohio election results (a court case that has gone on for years, now), any kind of online voting, without paper ballots to confirm those results, is just handing over our electoral process to those who will play the dirtiest pool. Nice sentiments, in general, though. Sadly, human nature dictates that something will fill a void that large. We gotta reform the system we have, we can do it with love in our hearts, but we can't just declare a new age, and expect our fellow man to do the extra legwork required to properly educate themselves to the degree it requires to make any serious contribution to the democratic process. The tyranny of the masses is a phrase that didn't come out of thin air.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

Our population is now being educated through the internet medium. Masses can be tyrannical, but we can overcome that with true information and discrediting wedge issue nonsense and red herrings.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 6 years ago

Well, I agree that the internet is a good way to get educated, and it's a fabulous way to get miseducated. Which, returns me to my main point: the fact is that people don't put in the hours or the effort required to really engage complicated issues. They don't have the time, or the mental energy to really consume enough information to make properly informed decisions. Heck, our congress relies on their aides to read what legislation actually says... They require a staff to do their thinking for them. (and, the lobbyists to tell them which side to take, but that's another matter entirely.)

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

I agree and we can help distill the truth; its worth the effort and pain.

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.

  • Herbet Simon
[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 6 years ago

Agreed. Anyone wanting to boil it down is, hopefully, on a noble path. But, we need several boilers working independently. Spoon feeding information to people is... highly suspect behavior, even if you have the best intentions.

Consider how many people let their religious leader tell them how to vote on key issues... They think... "trustworthy guy, loves his flock, speaks pretty well... " But, he's pretty biased, and people just don't stop to think about what he's selling them.... They're values voters, and not making truly intellectual decisions, or thinking critically about the complicated world we really live in.

We've proven that can fill the airwaves 24/7, and still never transmit anything of real quality. People (apparently) really care about the Red Herrings: things like how many kids got a Sandusky (and, who is the latest person getting a Lewinsky... Entertaining, sickening, engrossing!) My point being... People love entertainment news, they don't want to hurt their brains by exacting growing pains on it. They don't turn off their preferred news channel if Charlie Rose is on the other channel. And then, even if they do, they don't look up the person on Charlie Rose to see what else they have to say, or what the whole story is behind that particular guest.

So, ok... The internet is a great place to get educated, but man... People have to be self-educating, because government is damned complicated, and it's not all just black and white. I really do thrive on the media, but dude, I still don't know how I feel about some of the current issues, and, I don't trust information that is spoon fed to me by someone else. I live in a world of grays, though.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

Curiosity needs to be cultivated. Noise and distraction needs to be called out for what it is. I agree with you; I don't know the solution, but incentives work, meaning if, we, the people, put value in something and incentivize it, it has greater chance of happening.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 6 years ago

Well, I'm not 100% opposed to what you're about, and I'll be the first to admit that I have a rather dim view of the common man, at times. As I say, boiling down information can be a very noble cause. Good thinking with ya.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 6 years ago

Wouldn't that be convenient...

"Man is condemned to be free." -JP Sartre

Good reading: http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/cogito/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 6 years ago

Just more spam from a Troll.

This thread is similar to the one saying that we can't trust reason.

[-] 1 points by looselyhuman (3117) 6 years ago

can't trust reason

Can we? ;)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 6 years ago

Right, we can't use our minds and even if we could, we have no free will.

[-] 1 points by whisper (212) 6 years ago

Either there is no free will and people will do the things that they will do or there is free will and people will do the things that they will do. The denial of the concept of free will does not lead to any sudden epiphany that will allow us to provide for ourselves and each other. Only the recognition that the foundation of human survival is the exercise of reason will allow us to create systems which allow us to exercise it, and therefore develop those systems (as has already been done. The theory of the system was explicitly stated in the Declaration of Independence, the implementation of a government which would uphold that system was laid out in the constitution, and then the constitution was ritualistically violated by a corporation known as THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA [It is an actual corporation, which was created by the 41st congress and has been illegitimately acting as our government since ~1914]).

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 6 years ago

If humans lack free will, why do they procreate freely? Why do they continue the absurdity of determinism through procreation? Cruel, don't you think?

[-] 2 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

We procreate because we are glorious pockets of resistance to entropy and thrive as eyes to the universe.

[-] 1 points by HPolloi (74) 6 years ago

Did you decide to make this post?

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 6 years ago

Try to pick the lesser of your desirable options in a situation. How would you do that, if you hadn't convinced yourself it was better and more desirable from some other context? People make decisions all the time, even under inactivity and duress, but you can't choose your desires. And since they determine your actions, you'll have to defend how determinism is compatible with freedom.

The OP asks us to extend dignity towards people in situations outside of their control. This could be the mugger down the street who joined a gang rather than fail out of a school that's failing him. This could be the CEO that defers responsibility to the shareholders' demands for increased returns. Those of us with the desire to change the structures that determine behaviors we find undignified, whether you want to cal it "freedom" or not, will keep working.

One way to do this is simply announce: the reasons for responsibility, punishment and reward, etc., that depend on free will's metaphysics are demonstrably false and therefore a scandal, the massive implications of... the world has yet to have the ability to conceive.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

Since you edited your post so will I: Massive implications are deemed necessary.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 6 years ago

Human beings are capable of taking responsibility for their actions of what they do to each other, our environment but free will is not taking us in that direction. Our species should never been given free will to destroy our planet and all other life too.

[-] 0 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

Informed Consensus will guide us.

[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 6 years ago

I think that both the people who suggest that there is no free will and those who suggest that we are completely free at all times are both wrong. For the most part, I think that we are somewhat determined by our environments and biology, but this doesn't mean that we don't have any free will at all. You are proposing a very low standard for human behavior, because you reject human freedom. It's because human beings have at least limited freedom of choice that I think we can expect more of them than you do.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

I'm proposing the highest standards for human behavior - to give freedom to individuals to act without fear or stigma. I expect more from us than I've seen and that is because the corporate powers that exist excise control and distort the collective decision making of the people.

[-] 2 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 6 years ago

I would like to see those who use their power to exploit people and the earth experience a lot more fear and stigma.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago


[-] 1 points by sophiaomni (289) 6 years ago

My only problem is that, if we're not free, how can there be any real decision-making at all by the people. Even the term "distortion" implies a movement away from a free state to one that is determined, doesn't it?

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

Human behavior is determined by nature and nurture - that is not to say that we are not free. The illusion of free will is that we, solely as individuals, are responsible for our economic outcome. Obliviously, people make decisions that result in certain outcomes, however, it serves humanity better to recognize the environment in which these decisions are made. In other words, the Matthew Effect - the phenomenon in sociology where "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer". We need to discrete the idea that 'free will' on an unleveled playing field is true freedom.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 6 years ago

You are a retard.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

lol, can you explain my retardation?

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 6 years ago

Look at your original post. That is all that needs to be said.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 6 years ago

But yet you can't say it; please try:)