Comment: There is free will and there must be freedom

(See in situ)


There is free will and there must be freedom

I think our notion of free will is sometimes swapped out with the Platonic notion. This is the idea that our will is a supernatural force, that exists in a more perfect realm, and that we fully own choice in a magical, incomprehensible way.

That is silliness.

Will is determinant fundamentally, but that's not the end of the story. Two points:

1)Hayek - the sheer complexity behind choice means that your choices may as well be magical, as no one is fully going to manage or predict 'you' and 'your will' will inevitably take on forms of spontaneity. In other words, you are the only entity that ultimately owns your choices, you are the creator of your choices (by whatever process) so you are accountable for them.

2)Free will does not mean your magical soul choosing A or B in a vacuum. Life is a series of choices, outcomes, preconditions. Yes, your preconditions are determined, and affect your choices and outcomes, but they are uniquely yours. Choice is part of a learning process, a 'becoming' process. As you 'become' yourself continuously over time, you are never faced with: choice A or choice B. You are faced with dynamic and complex outcomes. You must continually - because of external constraints [determinism] - choose how you are to define yourself in the face of those constraints. Materialism dominates life, but life is not solely materialistic. You can't always control the constraints, but you control how those constraints change you and make you into something. That process of control is evolutionary.

Thus: Freedom's virtue doesn't lie in permitting some soul to act one way or another throughout life. Freedom permits the process of becoming that very much lies behind who we are, and undergirds all of our choice.

Abuse, which stifles freedom at the spiritual level by attacking a person's existential validity, proves that without this spiritual freedom of being able to become what we will become on our own terms, the figurative soul adapts by breaking itself into pieces. Abuse makes broken people. As does oppression.

Anyway, the long story short is that perhaps we are never making choices free of our external constraints, but when our process of choice is liberated, at that point we fully experience choice, and that process of the conscious experience of choice is what allows our souls to evolve and ultimately leads to a purposeful life. We learn from our choices who we are, and who we are is why we are.