What do I feel like
What do I feel like writing about?
[A dozen different topics just jumped into my head.] I'll write about whatever comes to mind, as it comes to mind like, you know, stream of consciousness. It's okay to lack any semblance of formal thought or structure, right?
I mentioned to Adele the other day that I thought freedom was an illusion. Why do people (my specific experience is with Americans) claim to have inalienable rights just because they are people, or US citizens? To start, I don't think anyone can ever be free in the totally absolute sense. If we remove everything 'artificial' that takes away our 'freedoms' i.e. government, societal norms and values, we're still left with ourselves, and our needs. It is impossible to be consciously free from food and oxygen. If we were free from them, we would be dead in a short time. Freedom is just a word. Simply because we exist in a certain geographical region in a certain century, we claim that all people in that region (and perhaps the people of other countries, if we have a self-serving reason to care about them) should conform to a higher ethic of abstract and self-contradictory 'natural rights'. Of course, these rights are not 'natural' at all, but merely the creation of some 'enlightened' political and social philosophers a few centuries ago.
Then Adele and I started talking about free will. I have a strong emotional aversion to admitting that I do not believe in free will. Actually, my belief is not that simple. I really want to believe in free will, for some reason, but I am pretty skeptical. The universe appears to be causal, meaning that every event could be explained if we understood the cause of it. If we could trace these causes back to the first cause, then it would be possible to be omniscient by following every cause and effect. However, I doubt this is possible, as it would require infinite computing power and infinitesimally precise measurements. Thus, every decision is destined to happen a certain way - as Kurt Vonnegut put it, "the moment is structured that way." But we can never know how it will happen, so to us it may as well be free will. It is a moot point.
Wow. Free will is a moot point. I need to keep thinking about this. Sometimes I come to these radical conclusions like 'free will is a moot point' and I wonder if it is idiotic or genius or somewhere in between.
Well, at least I'm thinking.