New Years Resolutions

Making resolutions is a statement. You are saying you believe you have some level of control over your actions. You are stating such control is a force of your will. You are stating that you are in control of your choices.

Determinists will say that there is no such thing as free will. We are simply following a path laid out by necessity. Feeling threatened by quantum physics’ indeterminism, they’ve even set out to prove that all decisions are formed subconciously, before we even know there is a decision to be made.

Try that one on a judge. “Your honor, all the forces of the universe guided me rob that bank”. Expect a response on the order of “I understand. All the forces of the state’s correctional facilities will guide you for the next twenty years”.

The widely touted experiment involved subjects making a choice to push a button while wired to EEG. The electrodes recorded brain activity when the subject made a choice. There was brain activity before the button was pushed. This was interpreted as meaning that a subconscious, organic force caused the decision to push the button.

In another, simpler time we called that force THINKING.

You are aware you will be pushing the button, you consider the moment you will push the button, choose one moment and then push. Your EEG should reflect all of those events. For some reasons, the researchers expected activity only at the moment the button was pushed. It appears the experiment was flawed from the design stage. Nonetheless, the Fried study (ironic name) has been hailed as proof that free will doesn’t exist.

Society tries to push away responsibility. There is always an excuse, a rationalization to say “I didn’t have a choice”. We praise people for their resolve, and forget when they waffle.

There are indeed things we have no control over. That does not mean there is nothing in which we have control.

The first choice is “will you be yourself, or would you rather just be a sheep?” Do you rationalize your behavior with “That’s what everyone else is doing”? Be your own person, please. A world of sheep is a scary thing. I don’t mind being in the minority, being one of the few people that think the way I do, but I do mind being one of the few that think at all.

A recent political article sought bias, beginning with a factually incorrect title. The people who chose to read it were primarily those who subscribed to that line of thought. The comments were voluminous, more than I usually see on this organizations comment section. The majority of the comments were simply repetitions of the theme, nothing new to add, just an arm in the air and “Heil Fuhror”. At least half the comments were simply quotes from accepted pundits. No discussion, just validation.

This year, resolve to think for yourself. Resolve to actually investigate the positions you hold. In simpler terms, resolve to know what you’re talking about. Because the rest of us can tell when you don’t.



This entry was posted in Opinion.

One comment on “New Years Resolutions

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