Freedom and choice.

What is Freedom?

The question of freedom poses itself when explaining why people convert to god. If a conversion towards god is a result of a lack of responsibility for accepting and exercising our freedom, we must define and determine the nature of freedom as it relates to sentient volition- or free will

The notion of free will supposes an inherent ability to choose. The choice lies in the decision to act or not to act, as well as to choose among alternative actions. Ideally, this choice is autonomously made. However, to what extent are we autonomous? Is there such a thing as freedom of choice? Or, are actions mere precipitations of mechanical chain reactions?

Answering these questions requires the exploration of the science or philosophy of mind.

 

Genes as predictors of demand:

According to current scientific understanding, the mind is a product of the brain- not a soul divinely imbuing a body.[1] Only if there is agreement on this point can we progress to the inquiry of real freedom. Our consciousness arises from complex cross-interactions among specific areas of the brain that are simultaneously performing various functions to justify external stimulus demands. 

I liken our genetic code as programmed predictors of demand (*Define this demand system, e.g., demand as external stimulus). Random mutation allows for the retention of programs that best satisfy demands, and the loss of those that fail to adequately do so. The genetic code is a long list of programs (sequence of genes) that can be triggered by external demands. Referring to the beginning of an individual’s development, the first triggering of these programs occurs during the fertilization of an egg, or the fusion of the X and Y chromosome, which yield a complete program for life. This fusion causes a chain reaction of cascading genetic triggers. Each genetic program triggered orders the organization of matter to meet certain demands. This occurs by allocating resources (chemical building blocks, or nutrient resources) for organization, or by triggering more programs that work in simultaneous conjunction to organize more complex arrangements of matter.

Human development:

These demands are hardwired into our genetic code so that a healthy person develops to predictably meet these demands, e.g., the human naturally develops in homeostatic equilibrium in order to cope with environmental demands.

The mind (consciousness) is unique because while our physical bodies are dependent on nutrient consumption for their development, our mind relies on the stimulation of our senses.[2] If the mind is not stimulated, it will not develop the ability to sufficiently manage the environmental stimulus demands.[3]

Development of the mind:

In order to develop the mind, the senses must be exposed to stimulus demands. Only in this way can a program be triggered to respond.[4] As a person develops, the mind adjusts to the environment, and becomes conditioned to its demands. Over time, the mind loses the ability of ease in which programs are triggered, i.e., learning becomes more difficult with age.[5] Repeat exposure to stimulus causes the mind develop algorithmic systems of interpretation that stratify and categorize sensory demands.[6]

Demands that began as sensory stimulus information eventually develop complexities that give rise to new demands. These demands are not literal environmental demands, but created demands due to conflicts that arise due to the inability of the developed algorithms to reconcile multiple demands. These created demands are simply problems that arise when a created demand cannot be satisfied. (This is where the notion of free will may come in: Do we choose what problems preoccupy the mind? What is the role of desire? Do we desire certain states, or choose certain demands?) 

There is no problem or created demand where there is no desired outcome. A desired outcome exists where the attention of the senses and mind is directed and attuned and a demand is seeking to be satisfied. In order for a problem to occur, there must be a solution lacking. If current algorithmic systems of interpretation cannot adequately solve the problem or satisfy the demand, new algorithmic systems must be creative developed or employed. This is done when the mind begins looking for consistencies and similarities between the demands and the current algorithms. In this way an algorithm can be developed to solve the problem.

These environmental stimulus demands bombard the senses. Each exposure to the stimulus provides a consistency that can be isolated from other stimulus sensations. The consistent exposure to stimulus crystallizes the sensory response as distinguished and unique for other sensation. This allows for the stratification and categorization of sensations which allow us to navigate our environment.

Development of ideas:

These created demands or problems give rise to abstract concepts such as ethics (laws/principles/virtues), social relations, cultural meanings[7], physics, mathematics, etc. Each of the aforementioned has no literal place in the world, yet they exist as fundamentally real properties of life. These abstractions exist as fabricated algorithms that developed as we reconciled conflicting algorithms in our pursuit to satisfy demands. (Explain how the manipulation of matter gave rise to physics, how a consistent relationship among arbitrary variables gave rise to mathematics;  how the predictability of responses between people allowed for communication, for the manipulation of those responses to aid in satisfying shared demands gave rise to social relations, etc.)

While some of the algorithms man develops relatively naturally, many of these algorithms are impressed upon the mind by parents, societal surrogate role models, and cultural inheritances of religion, education, politics, history, etc. As a result, these problems, or mankind’s broader dilemmas, are passed down generationally as each wave of newly developing persons gains access to solutions derived from the human genetic pool.

Nature endows the propagation of ‘life’ wherever its demands are best satisfied. Most life is solely concerned with managing the demands of the physical environment by registering stimulus and reacting according. Humans have developed a mind that has the ability to satisfy a wide variety of environmental demands, as well as abstractions generated to satisfy specific demands resulting from reconciling separate algorithms, i.e., understandings.

What is desire?

Define desire: the ability to choose a state or end?*. Desire- an affinity for an end.

The contrived demands that occur when we are concerned with reconciling conflicting algorithms, i.e., additional understanding provides solutions to problems, thus achieving a peace and tranquility in the mind. The mind becomes conditioned over time as the same algorithms are employed to satisfy the environmental demands. Without a continual change in demands—new experiences or exposure to novel stimulus or challenges that contain new demands—no new algorithms are developed and the mind remains unchanged.

So… What is free will?

The mind is simply an operating system that satisfies demands. Choice is a matter of the mind acting to satisfy given known demands. Given the parameters of a problem, the mind will come up with an answer or solution by retrieving past algorithms to employ, or by synthesizing existing algorithms to create a new algorithm– the creation of new possibilities through synthesizing existing understandings. The latter is the closest one can get to achieving free will.

As this relates to the conversion or adoption of God: People who fail to satisfy demands and problems are simply not imploring the powers of their mind. They fail to acknowledge that a solution exists and embrace the dissonance within themselves as an inherent human flow. This is the lack of responsibility I refer to that causes people to convert to God. They accept their currents limits of understanding and refuse to acknowledge the possibility and potential that resides within them and their world.

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Free will and attention:

Accessing free will depends upon where the mind focuses its attention. Attention is what feeds the senses information needed for the mind to recognize what the stimulus is demanding. Where attention is being allocated and focused at the time will result in different interpretation of demands and therefore different responses. The resulting choice is dependent on the attention to feed register every environmental stimulus within the circumstance, as well as every available consideration stored in the memory that would aid in producing the best response or choice.

 Certain cues can influence attention, thereby altering the perceived demands and resulting response.

 God defined:

Because words are fundamental building blocks for constructing mutual understandings among minds, semantics play a vital role for ensuring the integrity of those understandings.

 Explain the various manifestations of God as cultural inheritances, projections of internal man,

Or does explaining why God manifests better explain the adoption of cultural traditions of understanding?

Or does explaining how God manifests better explain the cross-cultural similarities of Gods nature.


[1] Science relies on the existence of an objective reality.  Because the existence of such a reality cannot be proved, many persons of faith attempt to discredit science as a legitimate vehicle for arriving at absolute understandings.

[2] The five senses: Vision, audition, gustation, olfaction, tactition.

[3] Babies lacking touch, i.e. affection, develop mental disorders and in some cases die.

[4] At this point I am left curious if there is a genetic mechanism that causes a human to seek solutions for these demands (determination).

[5] A child’s mind contains the most potential because it has not been fully conditioned. It maintains access to the widest spectrum of programs, i.e., they learn with incredible ease.

[6] I use algorithms to refer to the way the mind systematically understands information, i.e., knowledge, or methods the mind uses for predicting and deducing information with given stimuli inputs.

[7]  Particularly language: Conveying specific meaning through written words and their syntactical arrangement, both written and spoken—In contrast to interpreting arbitrary marks on paper or static noise.

 

 

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