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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 171: Free Will - What Free Will?

There are very few occasions in life where we truly have free will - we are always forced into either-or choices. Either work or starve, conform or be rejected, rock or hard place, do something or do nothing. If we truly had free choice then there would be no limitations as to what we could choose.

Think on this for a moment: There are 3 schools of thought in Psychology when it comes to the personality: behaviorism, psychoanalytical and person oriented approaches. Behaviourism is based on the idea that human behaviour is mechanistic and functions at the same level as an animal - basically that the human is at the mercy of the environment and will be shaped and controlled by the environment. Psychoanalysts present the idea that humans are at the mercy of internal and external forces (Freud for example) - the internal drives being the unconscious and the external drives being society. Person-oriented approaches focus on the human being as a thinking, self-directing beings, an integration of both psychoanalytical and behaviouristic approaches, with the added concept of self determinism.

So, both behaviouristic and psychoanalytical approaches state right off the bat that humans are being directed by forces other than their own conscious determinism - Which is true to a point: our conscious thoughts are the result of our programmed behaviour from both our DNA and environments, so we never really are directing ourselves, we're just fulfilling our purposes as per our coding.

Person-oriented approaches are not so forthcoming with their basic concept that human behaviour is predetermined. But that is essentially what is said (taken from work based on Frankl's theories) - according to Frankl, the core of the person's personality is already present at birth and then unfolds throughout life. That basically means that our personality is predetermined at birth and during our lives we will develop according to that.

So, if any one of the "experts" is to be trusted, we have no say in who we are and who we will be tomorrow because our personality was given to us/shaped by forces beyond our control.

Even within religion and spirituality (and what ever other beliefs in this category there may be) we are taught (and teach) to have faith in destiny/fate/God's Plan/the universe and what not - yet at the same time we claim free will. Either there is a predetermined path or there is not - there cannot be both. If there is a predetermined path then we do not have free choice, it's as simple as that.

The idea that our lives are out of our hands (so to speak) makes it easier for us to not be ashamed for the lives we live and the world we create.

Free choice is possible if we choose for it to be. Investigate Equal Money

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