YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=wEE0kxEJ18o
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View count:4,488
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Dislikes:3
Comments:157
Duration:03:42
Uploaded:2018-06-08
Last sync:2018-06-08 11:40
Oh My....you're in the description. So, the way I tended to deal with the question of free will in my earlier days was that I of course make decisions, it's just inevitable that I will make the decision I made. The fact that it was inevitable did not make it not a decision. The fact that it could be pre-determined what I would do with my free will did not mean I didn't have free will.

Of course, it did. To me that seems like a palliative. Now, instead, I just choose to not accept something that I know is true. I do the same thing with regard to universal meaning and my inevitable demise. And, honestly, there a trillion other truths I ignore every day, so I think it's OK.

I also recognize that the question of Free Will is far from settled among the philosophers and scientists and physicists and all of those people. And so, maybe this video shouldn't have been called intentionally ignorant maybe it should have been called "I don't want to know!"


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Good morning John.

I don't know if I am capable of making a decision. Like on the scale of things, I'm a very good decision-maker, I can crack them out like no problem. What I mean is that I don't know if I or anyone is capable of anything that wasn't predetermined from the moment of the big bang.

I've seen some fairly compelling arguments that like the initial starting state conditions for the universe defined... the words that are coming out of my mouth right now. Pantsuit. Golden tugboat! Larger park.

Larger park. That had to have come from nowhere, right? No. It came from the big bang. At least that's what a lot of smart people say. No matter what I do right now, I am not making a decision. Like... just Aauugh!!

*singing and playing guitar* Down to the beach, I'm strolling, but the seagulls, they poke at my head not fun! Oh seagulls... stop it now!

I didn't really think about what was over there before I did that.

Doesn't seem possible, that like not only me singing that song but also the lyrics to the weird seagull Yoda song, and all the way to Emily Dickenson and William Shakespeare, all that stuff was just the inevitable consequence of particles knocking against each other and seeking lower energy states. Eeeeeh!

And if there is randomness, if it is in fact impossible to predict everything that will ever happen based on the starting conditions of the big bang, then it's not like human decisions that are introducing that randomness, it's weird quantum fluctuations. It's particles doing particle things. Me, the story that I tell myself, is just another inevitable physical phenomenon. I'm just a ball rolling down a hill!

And I've come to a place where I kind of rationally accept this. In philosophy this is called determinism, that everything that ever happened is part of an inevitable chain of cause and effect. But in my everyday life, of course I ignore this. I choose, with the free will that I don't have, to ignore the fact that I don't have free will, because I know... wait for it, that if I accepted the fact that I don't have free will, I would make a bunch of different decisions that would negatively impact my ability to joyfully flourish on this... space ball.

Side note: I'm calling planets space balls now, and if you don't like that, there's nothing I can do about it. Me calling planets space balls is just an inevitable consequence of the starting conditions of the universe. Sorry.

Anyway. Accepting that I am not actually making decisions does not fit with my lived experience. Like, I can say "free will doesn't exist!" and then I still have to like decide what to make my video about, I have to decide what to have for dinner, I have to decide what the next word is that's gonna come out of my mouth.

And so - and this is the actual point of the video - I live in intentional ignorance of a reality. I also do this re: the inevitable situation in which there will be one human being left, and then that last human will die.

I'm a science dude. I believe in the intrinsic goodness of having a more accurate understanding of the world today than you did yesterday. Both as individuals, and as a collective species. And yet, there is a very short list of things that I think it's just better to ignore.

Because my ultimate goal isn't to have like the perfect understanding of the universe, my ultimate goal is to find happiness and to help other people do that too.

I don't know that this video has served that purpose, but I tried. John, I'll see you on Tuesday.

If you're feeling a little rough after that one, I apologize, that's not my goal. This always helps my toddler, uh my little boy. *blows raspberry into his elbow* Hopefully that's better now.