February 20, 2012
Thoughts on Free Will...
So. Until about an hour ago, i'd planned to do a post on our day trip to the coast. Then i changed my mind as i seem to be doing often of late. The question is.. did i make the decision? :) We all like to think we have the will to think through many possibilities, and make choices ourselves regarding what action to take in a given situation. I sat down with my laptop shortly after we arrived home from our journey. To check e-mail.. write a couple 'messages', and do some reading. Catch up on some of the day's news, though news is slower than usual due to the Presidents' Day Holiday. I googled The Economist Magazine. Came upon 'More Intelligent Life', one of my favorite reads. In it is an article named 'Neurons v Free Will', by Anthony Gottlieb. It's not about God or religion, although those things came up in my mind as i read. Questions about the extent of our free will have been debated for centuries. This article is about studies of the human brain, and how much we actually choose for ourselves. How much is chosen for us? How much do modern brain scans truly tell us about how our minds work? I'll post the article here for you to read if you're interested. Quite fascinating really! And not too long a piece. I was enthralled. I started wondering and questioning many things. Right down to the smallest actions i take. Like what time i get up in the morning. What i have for lunch. Split second decisions i make when i'm driving. The books i decide to read. Whether or not i like a certain type of music. And like i said above, did i decide to change the subject of this post? Or did my neurons tell me to do so. How much did i think? Anyway, here's the link to the article if you'd like, or have a few minutes. I'd love to read any comments you might have and your opinions of what Mr. Gottlieb has to say. ..... ..
And Anthony Gottlieb has written a book called 'The Dream of Reason'.. A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance.' It's not related to the above article, and was published in 2001, but i'm going to read it. Philosophy is fascinating to me. I am a human FULL of questions about so many things. And i love to know what other people think about just about every subject imaginable. Of course i don't ask. lol Not that nosy! The differences in our philosophies of life, our interests, and opinions,etc. are what make life in general so wonderful and extraordinary! I love to learn learn learn! I just have no interest in doing it in a classroom these days. Too stifling. Here's a review of 'The Dream of Reason'. You might like to find a copy and give it a read. Or not. :) I think this will be a looooong book that i might just save for a summertime day (or a few) on the patio with an iced tea (regular, not Long Island,) or a yummy Strawberry Daiquiri (avec the rum and whipped cream.) :D
Here's the review.. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/anthony-gottlieb/the-dream-of-reason/
I like to think i have control over much of my life. And the choices i make every day of my life. Like the fact that i get up early most mornings to walk several miles because it's good for my mind and body both! Or the fact that i forgo a piece of delicious apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream because it's not so good for my figure.. or more importantly.. my good health. I posted a couple of months ago about serendipity, and how i think there's a higher being, or at the very least, 'something' more powerful than myself steering me in certain directions. Putting certain opportunities in my path.. or something.. I just don't know what. Nature. The natural cycles of the universe. Then there are the sciences. Biology. Physics. Chemistry. Fascinating all! But a scientist i'm definitely not. Well, i won't draw this out any longer. Monday evening is coming on fast! And it's still light out at 5:15 pm. Now that makes me HAPPY! lol Did i decide to be happy?? Maybe. Maybe it's the neurons. Perhaps it was predetermined?
Goodnight all! Have a beautiful evening. Sending out peace on this Monday, February Twentieth, Twenty Twelve.. M.. for Many Questions.. Picture above taken at what was my Paternal Grandparents' farm (when they were living.) Not sure who owns it now.. : ) Such a beautiful place. Would love to walk that path through the meadow again someday... :)