The Freedom Myth
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Man is not free and he would never be. If free will really exists, limits and boundaries would have not existed. The presence of the other causes the other’s non-existence. We aren’t born with the knowledge of the world; we only learn a small portion that our community accepts, but no one seems to realize that. We are not free because we have built constructs to ensure our survival as a race. In order to evolve and pesist, humans have built these constructs to make sure that there would always be a next generation. Society, culture, government, in all their variety of forms are, constructs that limit freedom while simultaneously providing avenues for productive growth of the population. Some to a greater or lesser degree than others. Though these constructs limit us to exercise our freedom, they are the primal factors for organization of matter in all sense. Without restrictions, everything would be confusion and chaos.
From a societal point of view, there’s supposedly the freedom of speech and the like, but constantly we are reminded of the pressures that could well be applied upon us; whether by law, punishment, negative attention of any sorts, etc. with which we often form “internal” and “external” barriers to prevent certain actions – thus taking away the free will. So at best really the concept of being free in the society we reside in is extremely limited. Sure, you could kill someone, but others will ultimately aim to force their own “free will” and take yours away. So does it really exist?
No. It does not exist and in all way, that is good – otherwise crimes would be rampant, and there would be disorder, more wars and deaths, more sins, and humanity would be unimaginably bad. Such is the way of nature and the world. And will we enjoy great happiness if we have complete freedom? I don’t think so, it doesn’t work that way, as far as history has told us.
Freedom and free will are illusions. It is said that we are unique in the animal kingdom because we act based on our thought processes rather than instinct, which drives the actions of most animals. It is this capacity of the humans that lets us believe we are the highest form of living there is and is sometimes the same reason why humans have balloon heads. BUT we must not forget that though we may have dominion over all things in this world, we are still animals, we have instincts as much as we have thoughts, and the fact that we follow our instincts is in itself a proof that we are not free. We don´t choose to be the way we are and feel the things we feel, as such things influences our choices. Thus, our ´choices´ are definitely influenced by things we can´t help, if not completely controlled or directed and produced by them.
We move as we choose. This concept is flawed. Half a second or sooner before we consciously make a decision to move in whatever way, speak, etc. our brains decided it for us already and we’re only fulfilling a predetermined action. Reflexes, for example. When we get contact with something that is hot, we immediately move away from that thing, that is because the receptors in our skin sends signals to the brain and in response the brain immediately sends back command signals to the body part to move away. We didn’t choose to move away, our brain made the decision for us. We can’t also control certain processes in our body, the exchange of air in the lungs, the oxygenating of blood, digestion, and other chemical reactions that enables us to live each day.
If free will would have control over these processes, it would be easier for humans to die; we can just will the heart to stop beating and that’s it…end of life. The use of guns for blowing off heads would have not been prominent, and even guns would not have been created. The world would lose its thrill. And who wants a place without thrill? Not me.
We don’t have control in all things that happens to us. We can’t selectively choose our genes, if we could, the words “ugly” and “dumb” would not have been known, all humans would be beautiful and intelligent and we would not know how to appreciate the value of beauty and intellect. We can’t choose our upbringing; the role of parenting wouldn’t be valued as heroic as it is today and it wouldn’t be the hardest profession anymore if we have the power to choose how we will be raised. Dreams and fantasies wouldn’t be as exciting and stimulating if we don’t have our subconscious self that designs it. Freedom is measured by a degree of absence of external controls. Though we can pretend that external barriers to being free does not exist (even if they really do), there are still internal barriers to consider and almost always, these restraints from the self are the greater reasons why freewill or freedom to will does not exist.
If we are ultimately free, if we are to choose all things that happen to us, wouldn’t it be tedious to be humans? We would be more preoccupied than we are today for even little things would require an ounce of effort to be decided upon. A lot of time would be wasted upon deciding what foot to step first, how to breathe and what dream to imagine. We must always remember that time is not only gold but platinum and if free will do exist we would be spending too much time in little things instead of investing it in greater ones.
There is only one religion in the world, just many versions of it. We may have different religious beliefs but we all believe there is a very great power that has willed to cause all things. He/She/It is God .If we believe in God, that He/She/It is omnipotent and omnipresent that knows everything, is all powerful and determines all things that happens, how can we say that we, as humans; are able to practice free will if everything that has happened, is happening and is about to happen is planned by God? God sees ahead every action we perform for God wills it. We will only be fulfilling a role that has already been seen for us in one way or another – fate/destiny, etc. We are just actors with predisposed roles to play in a stage set by God. With that, we don’t really have free will. And that isn’t a bad thing because it is easier to be kept and be limited than to be free and wild with no God to care for you.
Life is complex but truth is simple. With the question—“Are humans really free?” My answer would be — Certainly, NO. But with the question —“Does free will exist?” My answer is again, NO. Not really in most sense of the word. Yet I cannot KNOW that there isn’t a form of free will out there somewhere in some form. I have every reason to believe there is no free will, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t.