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Choice and Action and a Dismantling of Free Will

by Langdon on October 12, 2009

Wow, what a run. I figured out some pretty big stuff. While I was running I started wondering why it is that I continue to run when it's time consuming, uncomfortable, and leaves me with sore muscles and chafed thighs. I considered that it was because of how good I would feel afterwards, but I don't buy that. The body should want to stop and walk, to take a drink at the closest drinking fountain, and call for a ride home. And I don't consider my will power to be nearly legendary enough to manhandle my body into that kind of submission. The question was, why do I make the choice to run?

And the answer is so facepalmingly obvious. There's no choice at all.

We think we have choice because of one relationship: Action juxtaposed with memory. We think our actions are a consequence of decisions we made, but we only think we made a decision because we remember making a decision. What we recall as a decision is really a moment in which we played with our memory in an exciting way called speculation. We have the memory of doing different kinds of things in the past, so we assume we can choose among those actions in the present. In reality, all there is is the spontaneous action of the body.

Memory and speculation are both simulations. Imaginings. No choice is ever made; actions are ocurrances, unique, spontaneous, and immediate, in relationship to memory and witnessed by someone who pretends that they're responsible for them.

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