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.