Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fantasy of Control

Defying the system seems to be on my mind lately. Defiance requires a free will, so that's what today's post is about.

What is free will?

"[Free will is] the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies." That's what Google tells me.

So, do we have free will? The Bible says yes. Most people agree.

We do not.

The idea of doing whatever we want is incomprehensible. It's unthinkable. From the very beginning, we form societies, systems. Systems with rules. Morals. Ideals. We promote ideas like the "right" thing to do, tie ourselves to ideas for the "good of society". Willingly, eagerly, we give up our individuality, our right to be different, our free will - for the good of the common people. In the name of what is right. Decency. Propriety.

Can you imagine walking down the street naked on a warm summer day? There's nothing wrong with the notion, but we shudder away from it. It's not immoral, or hurtful; in fact, it would probably be enjoyable. However, we have given up our ability to do this, because some person at some point in the past decided it was wrong. It was made to be part of the system.

"Free will" does not exist. It's impossible; we naturally create rules around ourselves. We tether ourselves to things like good manners, reliability - even if no one else tells us to, we wrap the chains around ourselves and lock them shut with our own hands.

Free will is a fantasy we trick ourselves into believing, in the hopes that we will not catch on to the farce that our systems really are. Fortunately, we never truly will - as I finish writing this post, I'm not going to run around naked. I'm not going to talk back to my mother. I'm not going to do anything wild or extreme.

However, with the knowledge of freedom at my disposal,
 well, who knows what the future will bring? Every rule you've ever believed in is entirely self-imposed - and therefore non-existent. I would not suggest committing murder, because some rules are made for reasons, after all - but next summer when it's hot and your t-shirt is getting sweaty, remember this post.

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