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2017/11/01

Free Will -- A Discussion

I am both Writing Knights Press and BingeTV on this thread.


derp stick Free will isn't as wholly a benevolent entity as you might perceive it. Think of it this way (no esoteric talk about religion or god, I promise). 
Over millions of years the human animal has been developing inch by metaphorical inch toward who you are today. Generation upon generation has been learning from mistakes and passing those lessons onto their offspring, slightly altering DNA to make offspring that should be stronger than the generation before them. The idea was to make the Human animal better able to survive in the world. Evolution is intended to make this as efficient as possible, because before the last... 10,000-20,000 years or so we haven't been the top of the food chain even with our huge computer like brains. 
So a lot of our bodily functions, heart beat, breathing, sweating, even allergies (fucking things) have developed to happen involuntarily to help us survive. And they do a pretty good job. The most important thing that developed was our will to survive, our need to keep living. Read about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to get more background. This will to survive will make us run away from a fire, or someone shooting a gun, or from something that we know will hurt us. The will to survive will remind us of the days when our ancestors were getting chased by a lion or pack of wolves, or to not kill ourselves. 
Humans also developed a consciousness that can transcend this will to survive (some animals anecdotally have been reported to also commit suicide, but we're talking about YOU here). Human beings can fully commit to the act of ending their own life. This is in direct opposition to their will to survive. So in this act, killing yourself IS exercising your free will. 
BUT 
That is not the only way you can exercise your free will. Referring back to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, there is a slim to none likelihood you'll ever be faced with the prospect of starving to death when someone else could eat, so let's skip up one run to Safety. Let's say a friend of yours is being beaten up by someone else. Stepping in and putting yourself in harm's way is acting upon free will. 
One step up the ladder, social belonging. Let's say, a huge group of people are going to a Justin Bieber concert and you want to be accepted by those people, but you don't want to see Justin Bieber. If you don't go see Justin Bieber, you'll get made fun of and you won't "belong." Not going to see Justin Bieber is exercising your free will. 
Under Esteem, let's say you are trying to impress someone you really respect. You try and you try, but for some reason they don't respect you. A situation arises where you can earn their respect and grow your self esteem, but the thing you have to do goes against your principles. Exercising your free will in this respect is to not do the thing that goes against your principles. 
There are more examples that could be given, but this is already the longest Youtube comment I've ever made, so let's just leave it there for now. 
TL:DR, Yes, there is free will, but it isn't what you think it is. No, don't kill yourself.

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