A Call To The Humanities To Reclaim Its Concious Self
- Written by Shaun Johnston Shaun Johnston
- Published: October 9, 2013 October 9, 2013
I believe I have free will. That is, I believe thought and action can originate in consciousness. Here are my latest arguments in favor:
If your best judgment is that everything is determined while mine is that we have free will, one of us must be wrong. That means there isn’t a single determined path for arriving at this judgment that everyone is bound to follow. In fact, since the path one of us took was faulty the path the other took could be faulty too, even if by chance one of us arrived at the truth. That means we can’t know whether or not we have free will. But, through the placebo effect, belief in free will is likely to induce us to make greater effort in our favor, leading to more frequent success. Belief in free will is therefore preferable.
I can't separate consciousness and the experience of having free will--of being able to generate conscious thoughts and through them to initiate physical actions. When I wake I often recall having this experience in my dreams. If this is an evolved capability, then the experience of conscious volition must have sufficient impact on the physical world for it to evolve. If this is true of the experience of conscious volition while dreaming, we've no logic for assuming it can't have a similar effect while we're awake.