Free Will? - Of course we all think we have free will - but when you check, things are different.
Modern humans all have `buttons' that are continually being pressed, activated by our surroundings, by others' actions and by the environment.
Many buttons could be named roughly as - selfishness - defensiveness - nationalism - chauvinisms - politics - sexuality - class bias - race bias - gender bias - age-group bias - insecurity - approval seeking - lack of self-esteem -
etc, etc, and all are controlled by the two `master' buttons of fear & greed.
All those buttons are used - by the politicos and their `security-propaganda', and the media, and the ad-men - all the time: to push false, distracting ideas and hype into people's heads, and, more importantly, to stop us ordinary folk attempting clear or truthful (and therefore `dangerous') thought.*
* Gov't agencies and Corporates (often hand-in-glove) spend large amounts monitoring and intervening, using aliases, in media / internet group discussions, especially in science and social-reform groups, via paid agents or volunteer zealots * posing as long-term members / readers. It seems that most large Internet groups have at least three or four such `agents' (or their aliases).
As George Monbiot found, some of these types are paid by Gov't / Corps, (or volunteer), to create massive amounts of `noise' & mis-information in Internet discussion groups.
BTW - you can try this "baloney detection kit" for a list of phony arguments / disguised lies. (backup copy)
Post truthful stuff and you will be attacked. Then you'll know who they are (or their aliases) and, more important, you'll get an idea of the subjects that establishments are jumpy / guilty about.
Leaked - "JFCCNW is a group of hackers from the CIA, FBI, NSA, military, etc. who are dedicated to engaging in cyber attacks (Lasker)"
"Mass media brainwashing creates false memories"; "WordPress" version
For lots of reasons, many people go through their lives without being able to complete even one completely truthful, logical thought - although they probably do a great deal of rationalising to justify those programmed responses.
Firstly, because the responses are very powerful. And, making things worse, the human brain has evolved to hide the buttons' actions from the brain's owner, for speed / survival.
So a person has to be painfully truthful to realize that those `fear' & `greed' buttons dominate as they do.
And our memories of events and `decisions' are even less reliable.
Studies and examination show that - "the more specific the detail, the less likely the memory is to be accurate".
To think clearly, a person has to consciously disable each button by an act of will, and keep it disabled - which is difficult. Most people haven't got the time, energy or training to do this. So they don't have free will: the ability to think independently.
Thinking independently is hard. Two early scientists Bacon and Descartes were the first to describe the process. You can see there are a number of steps (4, 5 or six), and each step needs to be continually `refreshed' or re-established to enable independent thought, if only for some seconds, or minutes at most.
If someone says "Do I have free will?" - as a quick check, ask him to look at those master buttons.
If he's nervous about something - the `fear' button, or he wants* anything - the `greed' button, then he's not able to think independently.
We don't have free will while those buttons are activated.
* `Wants' and `needs' get confused. Here the word `want' means to desire something not strictly needed to live.
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