StefanW

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Dissolving the Question

There is some confusion about the meaning of free will. I can decide freely whether to drink a coffee or a tea, but you will see me allways choosing the coffee. Am I free to choose? Really?

I'm free to choose whether to use my bycicle to go to work, or take the bus. Well - it's raining. Let's take the bus.

A bloody moron stole my bike - now I'm not free to choose, I'm forced to take the bus.

There are inner and outer conditions which influence my decision. I'm not free to stop at the traffic light, but if I take the risk to pay the penalty, I'm free again. Maybe I internalized outer pressure in a way, that I can't distinguish it from inner whishes, bias or fear and animus.

The second problem is, that as a model of our brain we look at it, if it was a machine or a computer. We know there a neurons, firing, and while facing our decision making process that way, it get's something foreign to us - we don't see it as part of ourself, like we see our feet in action while walking.

If you would tell somebody, that he isn't walking, it's his feet which walk, everybody laughs. Yes - the feet are part of him. He cannot walk without his feet. And firing neurons are the same thing as thinking.

The process of thinking is this machine in our head in action. It's your machine - it's you! And mine is mine, and it's me.

So we don't fall into the fall of distinction between 'me' and 'my thoughts, my brain, some neurons, firing'. And we know, that there are inner and outer influences to our decision. We have a history, which influences whether we like the idea of driving by bus, or going by bicycle. There are some stronger and some not so strong influences, and maybe millions, so the process, to make a decision is too complex, to make a prediction in all cases.

I know, I drank coffee for the last 20 years and not tea - but on the other hand, if there is a strong influence, I might drink tea tomorrow. Mainly a disruption of my habits.

I might get forced to do something I don't like, so it will be someone else's decision, someone else' freedom of choice.

Is it his brain, or is it my brain, which decides? It's freedom, if you can decide. If your neurons decide. Your brain. It's you.