We Don’t Eat of Our Free Will

We Don’t Eat of Our Free Will

I’m going to use the topic of food to explain why what we eat is not chosen by us of a free will. Understand that none of us is the true author of the choice of what we eat.

1. We don’t choose to be hungry in the first place. We need to eat to live and we feel pain if we go too long without eating.

2. We don’t choose which foods taste better to is than others. We eat more of the things that we like better.

3. We don’t choose which foods are available in our area. We don’t control the climate and what grows nor do we choose which stores carry the food or what the prices are.

4. We also sometimes consider how healthy foods are for us and try to eat foods that will help us be stronger, live longer, lose weight, or prevent disease. However we don’t truly know what is really healthier nor do we have the power to make the healthy food available at a cheaper price or taste like our favorite food. If the food you like happens to be healthier or cheap, then you lucked out.

These 4 facts are a simple way if understanding that we have zero control over the food that we end up eating. It’s true that we try our best to weigh the options we have and consider all of the relevant factors, but these determining prior causes that our food decisions are based on is totally out of our control. You might say that you choose your food, but you don’t choose to choose your food.

Another way to think of it is to say that, if we “had a choice”, wouldn’t we all choose to never eat? If we could be solar powered machines that didn’t need to eat and yet were always full of energy, there would be no use for food. In a sense, we are all slaves to biology in this way. We don’t eat because we woke up one day and thought it would be fun to shove a grapefruit into the big hole in our face. We eat because we die if we don’t.

This is a powerful way of understanding the lack of food-free-will. This is a specific area of understanding that helps us understand the bigger picture that free will is an illusion. It applies to topics other than food too. However, the reason food is an important place to start is because we all are forced to eat. It’s something we all have in common.

Valentine’s Day (by Judena Klebs)

Relevant Philosophy of Chandler

I have a theory about Valentine’s Day. No one really knows what to do with that day because hardly any one has a spouse or a date that they’re not mad at most of the time but they know that if they don’t pretend to love them at Valentine’s Day that person will be even more mad and stuff candy hearts down their throat until they choke. They also feel the pressure to spend hundreds of dollars on fresh flowers so that they will not be smashed over the head with the large vase that was positioned in plain view as a hint. There are naked babies with bow and arrows decorating every building. Anything you order from a restaurant is heart-shaped. If you are single, people look at you at parties as though you poked your head out of a casket at your own funeral. You see lips kissing…

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Response to: Feel Free To Differ

I wrote responses to a few paragraphs in this article. I feel that it misrepresents determinism as well as misses the point of what the free will debate is about.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/112/Feel_Free_To_Differ

Grant Bartley: “Determinism itself comes in different flavours. Hard determinism of the most absolute sort is the theory that the entire history of the universe was already fixed from its very beginning by the setting of the laws of nature and the original states of the matter in it. This is no longer tenable due to the intrinsic indeterminacy – the random behaviour – at the heart of matter that is explored in quantum physics. But physics does apparently allow a somewhat less absolute determinism – the idea that the behaviour of the world is determined by previous physical activities, but with some randomness as to what the particular outcomes will be. So a quantum determinist could defend an indeterministic determinism!”

Chandler Klebs: A person either is a determinist(they believe all events are caused) or they are an indeterminist who believes some things happen acausally for no reason at all. Honestly I find uncaused events absurd and define as a hard determinist, but some among my peers such as ‘Trick Slattery define themselves as a hard incompatibilist. This means that free will is nonsense whether determinism is true or false. If determinism were false, it would only mean strange events happen but they happen without a cause. This means that no human or even a god is the cause.

Grant Bartley: “I think there are two major problems for hard determinists (and so also for compatibilists) to address. Firstly, How do you justify your assumption that causation is only physical, not also mental? The idea that minds can’t choose is so far only an assertion by determinists, and one that’s not justified in experience (and so is not empirically sound), since all our experience of willing informs us that we do make choices, and that we do so effectively. So what sound basis exists for saying we don’t choose?

Chandler Klebs: There are so many errors in this paragraph. First of all, determinism applies whether we define causation as physical, mental, spiritual, political, sexual, financial, or whatever. Prior causes, whether natural, supernatural, or something else are required for our existence. A person need not be a materialist(everything is physical) as I am. It also doesn’t matter whether you believe in gods, ghosts, unicorns, or the flying spaghetti monster. If you say you made a choice, then tell us why you made the choice. It’s not about whether we consciously choose. It’s more about the fact that we don’t choose which option we choose. We are simply born with different preferences in food, sexuality, and other basic things such as left or right handedness. Our choices are caused by what we desire, but we don’t choose what we desire.

Grant Bartley: “The second problem is: Why would consciousness evolve if it doesn’t do anything? On a more rigid determinism, our conscious states and our actions are the results of automatic brain activity; so our actions would be the same with just the brain activity and without the consciousness. However, consciousness is an expensive luxury, being created through specially-evolved, dedicated and energy-hungry brain areas (eg V4-V6 for colour vision). Consciousness is evidently not just a fortuitous free side-effect of other brain activity, as some determinists misrepresent it. So why evolve it?”

Chandler Klebs: I’ve never heard of a determinist who makes the claim that consciousness doesn’t do anything. Quite the contrary. To be able to eat requires consciousness of being hungry and consciousness of food available nearby. No amount of consciousness or lack thereof allows someone to choose to stop feeling hungry. Consciousness is another philosophical debate entirely that has very little to do with determinism, indeterminism, or libertarian and compatibilist definitions of free will.

Free Will and I.Q. – Mine and Yours

Exogenous Agency - Our Un Free Will

About twenty-five years ago, I was asked to take an I.Q. test, and earned a score of 143. That number placed me in the 99.64th percentile of the overall population.

I live in White Plains, New York, a small city in Westchester County, just north of New York City. In 2014, White Plains was ranked by the real estate firm Movoto as the third best place to live in New York State. And, in case you’re interested, the nine other places within the top ten were also in Westchester. Take that Big Apple! But, hey, that’s neither here nor there, right?

Let’s put my I.Q. ranking in perspective. White Plains has a population of about 58,000, which means that about 582 of my neighbors have an I.Q. equal to, or higher than, mine. In Manhattan, with a 2014 population somewhat over one and one half million, (1,636,268 to be exact)…

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Free Will, Existence, and Obesity

I’ve been thinking much about existence lately and what it means to exist or not. The trouble is that if we say the mind exists, then the things contained in the mind(dreams, thoughts, beliefs) exist. The thoughts and beliefs we have are powerful enough to cause us to act in certain ways. A fine example of this is the fear of hell and how powerfully it scares people away from questioning religion.

We have much work ahead of us in reforming our language. In a recent podcast I spoke with Mitch about the existence problem. The free will question is not a question of existence. It’s a logical problem of trying to make people responsible doing for what they could not have done otherwise. When we talk about free will, choice, personal responsibility, etc. We are talking about things which are believed or felt psychologically but which cannot be observed with our 5 senses nor can experiments be performed to test them.

This brings me to an important topic. We need to revisit the whole issue of obesity and fat shaming. I recently watched the first pary of a documentary called “WHO made me FAT”. The comments revealed huge belief in choice and personal responsibility. Here is one of the dumbest comments:

“I saw the title for this video. I did not watch the video. I know the answer. YOU. You made you fat. No willpower, no self control. You’re fat and it’s a problem. I have four words for you: Eat less. Move more.”

Because people believe in free choice, they are going to blame the obese people for choosing to eat unhealthily. Another comment summed this up:

“hmm, who made a fat person fat? Probably that person, unless someone is forcing them to eat fatty foods at gunpoint.”

So apparently the only way you were caused to eat a certain food is if someone held a gun to your head. People are forgetting about the “Invisible Gun to the Head” that Nick Vale and I were talking about in one of our older episodes. The reason for this is simple, unless something is visible, people don’t think it exists! That’s why people say that something has no cause just because they don’t see a cause. Seriously this is a challenge and worth serious conversation.

I recently started a playlist which I will be adding videos related to obesity and why it’s not not people’s fault that they are fat. If we can find the magic spark to connect the obesity issue with the free will issue, then just maybe people will get it. I’m still not exactly sure how but we need to revisit it and get back to something which is quite visible: obesity.


The Free Will, Science and Religion Podcast is Live on iTunes and Stitcher.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/free-will-science-religion/id1001850850?mt=2
http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=68854&refid=stpr

The usual times we get on Skype are Saturday 6PM Central and Sunday 1PM Central. Also, any two or more co-hosts are welcome to record episodes at any time during the week. If they do so, it is a good idea to email me at chandlerklebs@gmail.com so that I can keep things organized when I upload them.

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