The Illusion of Self by mr-bones

The Illusion of Self

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Added: Jul 24, 2010
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Artwork Description

There’s no evidence to support the idea that randomness exists. It would seem that every occurrence is only part of a chain of cause and consequence which has been in motion since the birth of the universe. Whenever we label something “random” we only mean that we don’t have enough information on the causes to predict the consequence. (Look up, for instance, how we have computers generate “random” numbers). I’ve always thought of this idea of reaction-to-reactions as much like an ocean, with countless particles influencing each other in an entirely physical but largely untraceable way.

This, of course, applies to the workings of the brain and therefore the mind also. All physical processes in the brain are again only consequences of innumerable causes (both those that influenced the physical structure of it up until that point and the stimuli it’s reacting to).

So with no randomness, there is also no I, in the sense of an independent, free willing “new cause”. No matter how spontaneous a thought seems, or how much we agonize over a decision, the outcomes have always been predetermined. We’re just along for the ride. If true, this would also obviously challenge the idea of an accountable soul.

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