Why forgetfulness does not allow Free Will
Aside from the observation that we do not choose what we are taught by our parents, teachers, or religious leaders, there is also the problem of not being able to remember it all. If you haven’t learned something, obviously it has no effect on your decisions. If you forget it, the same is also true.
Think about it? Why can’t we store everything in our memory in the same way we can store files on the hard drive of a computer? With that kind of ability, reading a book once would allow us to quote it word for word any time we needed to? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? We would never need to write anything down or type it into a computer except for the purpose of communicating it to other people.
But what about the flip side of memory? Why can’t we simply choose to forget useless data just as we can delete files from a computer? There are plenty of things I would like to forget because the memories cause me much pain. The good news is that as I learn more information, old information is pushed out automatically because there is only so much that can fit in a tiny space.
Not being able to choose what I remember and forget is one more reason to suggest that I am unable to always make the best “choice” in every situation. Am I free to do something I have never heard of or simply forgot about at the time? Of course not!
But even if this was an ability I had, it would not follow that I “freely” chose to remember or forget something. If I want to forget it, it must be painful or at least useless. If I want to remember it, then the information must be something I intend to use in the future. There is always a reason or cause for learning something and trying to remember it.