Question 21.1

According to recent pediatric studies (whodunit escapes me), an infant, at 3 months of age, can look into a mirror, and recognize itself. The mirror needs to be close enough for baby to see, but the recognition is there. If a colored dot is placed someplace on they baby's face or on the mirror, a baby with self-esteem will laugh at the dot, and start learning how to reach for the object that is unexpected or doesn't belong to restore 'normal'. A baby with low self-esteem, looking at the dot, will look away, cry, or avoid the face in the mirror. Thsi baby has a sense or 'normal'. How did that happen?

Babies with self-esteem. You must have a sense of self, to have esteem. Is it this early? Certainly this develops through life, and becomes more complex. But the rudimentary biological foundation for self awareness in humans is likely present from birth. BIRTH. Wow. Mind Blowing, isn't it?

Are we self aware when we can see ourselves move, or when we can feel, and learn that we have control over our environment??? This question really begs for the definition of the term self-aware.

Arguably, some people are never self aware enough to be successful at life, or achieve happiness or healthy relationships, which indicates that this is also a learned behavior, which is both emotional, and social. We can be crippled in this regard due to mental illness, injury, defect, or emotional trauma. Effectively, retarded in our self-awareness growth curve.
An interesting topic, better suited for discussion or debate than blind assertion, but there are my thoughts, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them.

Question 21.0

Self Awareness.
What is it, when does it form, how does it change us?
Please ruminate and share your thoughts on this matter.

Question 20.4

The thing about Free Will is that it's suppressed. Very few people take advantage of this power that resides in each and everyone of us. Instead we choose to "justify" our choices with excuses or influences as though we lack the ability to oppose them.

I resign myself to the fact that there is a contingent of our society; nay our world; which are born mentally defected or deficient to have Free Will (but having working closely with those types of people in a multitude of ranges of severity, I offer this up only in fairness to debate and not necessarily of personal belief) and as thus you can argue they do not have it.

But I speak of the majority and most of them are too lazy, or irresponsible to accept that they control their own choices or actions. The simple fact that there are outside choices and influences that are related to each and every choice or action we make is irrelevant. I am influenced each day to drink water by being thirsty, but I make the choice to drink it. I could easily decide not to do this and it would be my decision, and even then there may be mitigating factors that I have considered in my choice not to drink water, but again the choice was ultimately mine because I have the Free Will to make that choice.

To believe that we no longer have this power is to fall into the category of the lazy, unproductive, and cancerous part of society that is afraid of the shadows on the cave wall and do nothing of note.

Question 20.3

There is someone I have been lucky enough to stumble into in my life. She is one of those people who makes you feel better about the world. She makes you feel important even on your worst day. She brings light to those around her. She has been like this as long as I have known her and she now faces my worst nightmare. She has Lou Gerhig's Disease. She is no longer able to bathe herself, walk, put in her contacts, or even brush a hair from her face, and it's only going to get worse. As slowly becomes completely paralyzed, unable to communicate with the world and make her needs known, she will still have her mind. She will still have choices. She gets to choose how she views the world.

This week my someone I know called to say she was raped at the hand of her father when she was 4 years old, and this abuse continued again when he re-entered her life at 8 years old. She suspects her mother was aware that this had happened and was then given everything she ever wanted stemming from her mother's guilt, at great peril to those around her, which was actually equally paralyzing. This is a life shattering event. It shaped her view of her relationship to men in such a way that her step son now needs counseling. It shaped her world view in terms of adult responsibilities that she is once again staring homelessness in the face with kids in tow for the second time in the last 3 years. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of devastation those events have meant to her. Yet, she too still has choices.

Yes, our lives are shaped and formed by those events around us but don't tell me free will doesn't exist. Without free will, what's the point? Without it we are reduced to a simple phenotype.

My friend is more than what her disease confines her to. My other friend is capable of rising above her circumstances. Free will is the beauty in horrible situations.

Question 20.2

Free will.....the idea that we can make a choice... seems false to me.

The world is made up of so many contructs, contexts, and binary opposites... it seems we are all in a grid, and that each decision is not only a limitation of everything the world has to offer, but also a mere step into a new part of the grid. Like a gamepiece on a gameboard of the matrix of imaginary numbers... ah, finally the relevance of the graphs in math class....

This grid is a matrix, made up of everything: culture, context, social determinism, evolution, ego, humanity, nature, and so much more. It's all laid out, like a chess board, or a choose your own adcenture. Each adventure may seem unique, but your options are laid out before you and limited by your life circumstances.

It may seem that your choices are your own, but they are merely your scantron answer to the multiple choice question that the grid has laid out for you.

Of course, our will and our choices are separate matters entirely, and it also seems that our will is governed by the same laws of physics as our choice grid is. Each decision we make is a rejection of everything else, and another adhesion to the principles of choice.

We choose from what we know, and what we know is governed by this grid or matrix, that is made up of culture, gender, family, learned behaviors, nature, etc...

And so our will, it would seem, is an illusion of choice, as we cannot create something original, or free of context, and we do not live in a social vacuum, so this will never change.

Free Will is a fallacy, I never win at chess, and I hate math.

That is my answer.

Question 20.1

The problem with "free will" is that it is not technically free.

Decisions cannot be made that are free from the influences of God, our environment, or others.

There is no such thing as free will, only influenced will.

Question 20.0

So... What's up with free will?

Some Items of Note....

I have posted the older PDF files, though the quality is sketchy at best-- I had to print and convert them all the jpegs. If you happen to have authored one of these posts and still have them in a format that is more blogger-friendly (jpeg, html, rich text format, MS Word, etc), please pass it along to me with the question number so I can post a higher quality piece.

There also seem to be some entries missing... again, sorry... if you still have yours and find it missing, please pass it along. I'd be happy to post it where it belongs!

And remember, you can always click on an image to view it in larger scale!

New answers to old questions are always welcome, but they will be posted in between the current questions. Please email them to me when completed. Thanks.

Thank you for playing!!!

Question 19.3

Faith is a belief structure. Without faith, your world is shifting and unstable where you can no more trust what you see and hear than an out of control schizophenic. I do have faith in my alarm clock, in my husband, in that the sun will rise tomorrow. I have faith that the tested and retested laws of science are likely to remain the same tomorrow, but the possibility of things changing exists. These are things that my daily living experience shows me to be true.

For many people their belief structure includes things beyond their daily living experience. Faith is an explanation for something that cannot be shown. Most typically this faith is what their parents taught them, and/or the majority of their surrounding community taught them. How do you know that Allah, God, Jesus, Zeus, or whomever exists? Because of Faith.

I understand how people get to this place. I am frustrated when people accept whatever their belief structure is without sticking a probe in it all directions.
Without this probing, people accept dogma as their faith and I am baffled by what some people lay claim to due to as a result.

Somehow faith can be twisted around to allow one us to lynch another, to crash a plane into the twin towers, to accept money from the destitute for a Christian roller coaster park and a lap of luxury, or to blow yourself up in a crowded shopping center. Of course these are extremist versions of faith in motion, but they are supported by hundreds of smaller faith based misguidance resulting from people not probing.

I got an e-mail this week from my aunt who is a holy roller. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if she was friends with the people who were in the Jesus Camp movie. She forwarded me this e-mail...

Subject: Obama.... Life Story

This is very interesting, please take a few moments and read it.
Who is Barack Obama? Something that should be considered when you make your choice.
If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts... it is very scary to think of what could lie ahead for us here in our own United States... better heed this and pray about it and share it.

We checked this out on '' It is factual. Check for yourself.

Who is Barack Obama?

Probable U.S. presidental candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white Athiest from Wichita, Kansas.

Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, 'He was once a Muslim, but he also attended Catholic school.'

Obama's political handlers are attempted to make it appear that he is not a radical.

Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

Lol Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta.

Wahabism is the RADICAL ISLAMIC teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to down play his muslim backgorund. ALSO keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegience nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to the flag and slouches. Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.

The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!

Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading our country?... NOT ME!!!

I had faith in who the audience was and what the nature of this e-mail was before I even read it. It fit in with my belief system due to my past experience. It also fit in with my belief system that of the slew of people that it was sent to, few would question it's authenticity, so I took it upon myself to set the record straight and called this propaganda for what it was. I heard back from one person who only said,

"I really don't know WHO to believe... out of control."

I have no understanding for belief systems that are not put under a microscope, for people who have faith in something because that is what their ancestral line brought them to. Faith without seeking is scary.