Sunday, May 24, 2009

Free will, God's goodness and sociopathy.

Free will, God's goodness and sociopathy.

As you probably know, I am not a believer in free will. I base this on the idea that Decartes, "Cogito ergo sum!", is WRONG because it was already implied that he existed in his first word, which is doubly, just 'implied' by the Latin.

'Cogito', means 'I think'.The 'I', implies his existence. Long boring story short, I'm sure that Decartes didn't look at a rock and imagine, "It thinks therefore it exists!"

So, I think that we need a more pragmatic 'beginning' for our philosophy. I think, therefore I am a streaming consciousness which percieves my material body and other material bodies, with my senses, through time and space etc. etc.

I have come to the conclusion that our mind is our streaming consciousness together with all the information that we have stored since we were born which makes up a model of reality which is our memory and that we operate within THAT model comparing incoming information to it.

This explains the 'buffer' between the input from eyes, ears etc. and what is actually happening in the world.("I thought I thaw a puddy tat!)

I think that my 'model' model goes a long way to explaining religion, historical ways of thinking etc. AND sociopathy which I'm going to get to in a minute.

The question whether if God is good why did he create evil, or why did HE give us the freewill to BE evil becomes moot if we don't believe that there ARE gods and we don't believe that there is such a thing as freewill.

Still, I believe that God, goodness, evil, and freewill are incorporated into the majority of people's model of reality. I think that it would be impossible to escape growing up without having to deal with these ideas.

I think that, in sociopaths, all the way from the toddler bully up to the most heinous criminals(Hitler and Stalin jump to mind) came/come to be like that, not from any inate, freewill EVIL, not from any free will 'causa sui', but because their model of reality had/has been damaged, broken, fucked up, however you want to say it.

I believe that this kind of thing is BOUND to happen and the only way to fix it is to understand what is going on.

Imagine that you're in pain. There are only so many ways to deal with it. You could take medication if it's available. You could distract yourself OR you could try to pour THAT pain all over someone else. I think that we ALL do a bit of all three sometimes. (e.g. "I'm sorry I 'bit your head off', there.." Follow up with a description of the pain you were in.)

So, you see, you can entertain a cartload of drivel in your model of reality and project YOUR "failings" and/or pain onto others as part of your EVIL freewill, you know, if you're a sociopath, or you can deny the mountain of drivel which we pick up in our experience of life, admit that there is NO FREE WILL for anyone.

This doesn't make anyone at all less culpable for any crimes that they commit or any less culpable for bullying or gassing six million Jews, but it does give us some license to view them as 'damaged goods', a little(or a lot) fucked up in the 'head'.

Hey, maybe the religious message that you ought to give your freewill over to your favorite higher power is supposed to 'work' BECAUSE you only imagine you have it in the first place, and the pastor/minister/guru/or whatever ought to know better than you what to do(give HIM your extra cash, for example.(hehe)).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Exercise your free will NOW! (read this)

I occasionally get asked about how my idea that we all have a Model of Reality(which is our memory) which makes us us, precludes the notion of 'free will'.

What happens is that someone will ask a question regarding it, when it comes up in our ongoing marathon here:-

then I'll explain how 'free will' is an illusion.

Then an interesting thing usually happens. Sooner or later the commenter will have a comment which pointedly states that he/she uses his/her 'free will' in some way or other. (Proving to him/herself that there is such a thing because it can be 'brought up' I imagine.)

I'm not trying to say that I am in some kind of better position to understand reality than anyone else, after all, I just have a 'model of reality' myself.

Still, I think that this is a helpful idea in several important ways.

Admitting that your mind, right now, is a model of reality that you have built up since you were born and will continue to build on throughout your life gives us answers to philosophical conundrums such as the notion of solipsism, 'Brain-in-bucket' thought experiments, "Who are you?" type koans and things like this.

Who am I? Well I am the streaming consciousness having the accrued model of reality which no-one else has or could ever have.

Why does this obliterate free will? Well you were born a blank slate and at THAT time you could be said to have a free will or no will at all.

Excepting some instinctual needs which are exactly the same for everyone, we are born into a situation which we must learn to deal with.

We must learn to communicate, which means building a model of reality.

Even the most vociferous opponent of the 'model of reality' can't say that babies through several years have any meaningful options concerning who their care-givers are and what the care-givers education, financial situation, physical location etc. including what their 'model of reality' is.

I'd like to hear from some proponents of 'free will'. Exactly when, in a child's life does he/she attain this state of having 'free choice'?

When did you start imagining that you have/had free will? Did someone tell you that it was something that you had?

I'm thinking that if you are a proponent of free will, you have no choice but to believe you have it, BUT do you have any rationale for your belief of free will, or is it just part of your model of reality?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just another rant.

Seems to me that Christians in the USA are quite willing to be total pricks when they gain the political majority BUT the instant that they lose that political majority they start crying that they are the popular majority.

One minute it's "all" support 'our' president, even if you loathe him because he is a complete moron, can't even read a speech off a teleprompter, believes in magic and expects everyone else to believe 'the same' magic as he does.

The 'goalposts' for the word 'majority' are shiftable, that's true, but "come on", let's be real here, how slanted do we have to imagine 'popular opinion' is to assume that the latest President is 'trying to fuck us up' with his 'diplomacy' and 'reasoned judgement' and such?

Close your eyes for a second and try to imagine if you are one of the hard working, generous people that you assume the majority of Americans are, or are you just using that image as a propaganda tool?

I, personally don't believe that we have free will. I'm NOT a compatibilist. I believe that each of us are burdened with an individual model of reality that we cannot help but be influenced by and that the future is too complex, too chaotic from an individual's perspective to work out, but, we are set in our ways, beings(I hate the word 'creatures') of habit, meaning that we resist personal 'change', even though (and if we even realize) that change is inevitable.

I think that G.W.Bush was basically an idiot who actually believed his dad's and Reagan's propaganda, which is a giant FAIL by the way, and that he was propelled into the Presidency by other 'believers'(in virtually governmentless capitalism) who are under the delusion that 'GOD' is 'in control'.

My mind 'boggles' to think that the World gets to be influenced by people who think that there is a supernatural 'being' letting them know what to do.

I can't believe that some people are insisting that the Bible is a book explaining the goodness of God while explaining how goodness is what God did which isn't what any reasonable person might expect even a good PERSON to do.

Seems like these people are trying to tell us that we don't know 'good' when we see it.

Add some years of booze and cocaine abuse to this 'scenario' and we have a born again twat who imagines that he's gonna be considered the bestest PREZ every-dever.

What's 'free' about that? If we think that everything is just opinion, of course things are going to turn out batshit crazy, of COURSE!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Choices, choices choices.

What do you want to pick?

a) reason
b) unreason

...if YOU picked (a) then continue!

Must GOD(if HE exists be...

(a) reasonable

If you picked (a) then continue!

God created HELL because

(a) Satan was jealous
(b) ...

If YOU picked (a) continue.

It says in the KJV of the Bible that God says HE is..

(a) jealous
(b) imaginary

If you picked (a) continue..

Jealousy is ..

(a) a sin
(b) a banana split(don't they get smaller every year, what, are they 'breeding' small bananas or what?

If you picked .. never mind, if you're not catching my 'drift' or are willing to cavil or quibble about previous choices(i.e. you're a Catholic), just 'never mind'!

Just remember, a person's choice counts for 100% more than a not-person's choice.(which a not-person can't have duh!)