Pirx un[blog]ged

Mike is reading four blogs. This is none of them.

Free Will

It's safe to say that the human race has one of the greatest variety in living conditions among all other living creatures here on earth (and above). Some of us orbiting this planet at a speed of 27,600 km/h (17,100 mph) while others are starving in miserable poverty. Some of us seem to have a choice whilst others are obviously doomed to fighting for their daily existence. Nevertheless all humans have a free will. But it seems that in this context, free will has become at least to a certain extent a luxury good.

Some may ask, why the heck don't the privileged help the poor to live in better conditions or at least help to survive? One possible answer is to say, that exploration of space helps to develop tools and gathering data which allows fighting the hunger and to survive the mankind as a whole. These are good points and show us one aspect of free will: You can do, whatever you want. There is certainly a good reason for. Because another reason could be, it's so boring and depressing to help all these people. It's much more interesting to build a space rocket and flying to the stars.

There is a funny quote from Isaac Bashevis Singer:

We must believe in free will - we have no choice.

I stumbled above this when reading the book "The Self Illusion" by Bruce Hood. A fascinating book that I recommend to read. The quote demonstrates once more the absurd conclusions of assuming that there is something like a free will. Still it make sense to think about this topic. From my point of view, as a programmer, I can prove that software (as a running program) is able to make decisions, but it has no free will (yet). But a living human without any choices - and therefore unable to make a decision - has free will with certainty. I mean free will has nothing to do with the ability to make decisions. It has always been an idea. Something like a circle in geometry or the term idea itself. Have you ever hold a perfect circle in your hands? Have you ever seen an idea? Of course you had at least one, but would you say that's a prove that ideas exist? I'm not a philosopher but I have no problem to say, that free will doesn't exist but I'm also pretty sure that we all have one.

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