The disturbing problem of free-will: people and thoughts

Here is an apple and here is a banana. Choose one.

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Whichever one you picked, it was your decision completely. That is what we call free will.

Free will is an idea that whatever we do or choose to do is completely down to us.

But what if I told you that Free will is a myth. That if you picked a banana at the beginning and we go back in time, a free will truly exists. You should be able to change your mind and pick the apple instead.

But what if I told you that if we go back in time and If I ask you to pick one, you will pick a banana again…that I can precisely determine which option you will choose 300 milliseconds before you actually make your choice !!

I was reading one of the research papers recently.. it was from the 1980s. It’s a research that use EEG to precisely determine when somebody is about to move 300 milliseconds before they decide in their conscious mind.

The surprise here isn’t that we can predict with 100% accuracy, the surprise is that the very fact that we can predict it 300 milliseconds before also means that the decision we make, those are already been made for us by our subconscious and we think that we made the decision ourselves after it’s already been made.

In a similar study, participants were asked to pick a number on a randomly moving dial, and the system was able to determine their decisions literally 3-5 seconds before they actually made one.

All these researches prove one thing. Few seconds before when you picked banana or the apple. your brain makes that decision for you. It’s only when that decision gets made into your subconscious, your brain becomes aware it and we get convinced that we’re in the process of making that decision.

So in reality, do all the decisions we make are illusions? Is it simply a visualization of events that the brain has already set?

It simply tells what your brain has decided to do and it’s not your choice as to what to choose!!

If you’re not yet convinced and if you still think that free will truly exists and our choices are not just a chemical process in your brain then why do things like alcohol and drugs completely change person’s behavior?

If free will exists, why can removing a tumor or having one change a person’s behavior? or choices for that matter?

Think of it …

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But you will say, ‘we read books to gain intelligence, maturity and that’s what shapes our decisions.. that’s what raises us as a human’ … and I completely get it.

However, I see a flaw in that idea…If reading a book gains you an intelligence and that in turn shapes your decision then where does desire to change your subconscious by reading a book come from?

It’s more like a paradox.

Desire ..which is more of a choice, comes from your subconscious. so conscious effort to change your subconscious is actually a subconscious effort to change your subconscious…

And then the problem is… if free-will is a myth then what happens to society? because our society is completely built upon free will. That’s what decided who is right and who is wrong.

so does it mean that if enough people in the world know this idea .. that ‘none of our choices is a free-will’, it can quickly end notion of society?

Because why would someone risk his life to save another’s. They would simply let it happen and say, ‘he didn’t decide himself do it. he doesn’t deserve any praise’.

and then is it because this idea of ‘not having a free-will doesn’t get much talked about?’ .. that although the free will is an illusion, it’s the one we should always be with. Because faced to choose between truth and good, it’s always better for us to choose good.

so know that you do not have free will. You’re just lucky that your mixture of atoms made all the decisions because of which you are who you are today.

but immediately forget that .. act like every decision you made is your own. Because only then you will be able to make decisions that will change your life.

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