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Saturday, November 12, 2005

A conversation with Johnny Malkavian on why going for plastic surgery itself is wrong and ending with my explanation of why free will is an illusion:

Someone: i prefer natural though. it means so much more when one puts effort into looking good

Me: ...
what about makeup? slim wraps?
you think plastic surgery is effortless?

Someone: think going to gym vs liposuction
makeup ?

Me: that's simplistic
how about creatin?

what if you're naturally born with low metabolism and work out
vs naturally born with a high metabolism and don't

Someone: look at it this way, there's a difference between enhancement and outright alteration
it's like the difference between studying effectively for an exam, and cheating.

Me: what about the student who gets tutors
and the one who doesn't

the one who comes from a rich home
and the one living in a one room flat

the one born smart
and the one born stupid

hell even our dilligence levels are not determined by us
free will is largely or totally a sham

Someone: for someone who doesn't believe in god, that's an interesting view you have on freewill

Me: au contraire
those who believe in the christian god believe in free will more

Someone: why is there no freewill then ?
or why is it a sham?

Me: we are born with some of our mental/personality characteristics which determine our dispositions, outlook on life, temperatment et al.
and acquire others later as we grow from life experience and social conditioning

do we have any control over these? no.
even if we did, the control we had would be a function of the previously-acquired mental/personality characteristics. ie If you're born with an angry streak you'll be less likely to try to control your anger

the only way to posit free will in here is to imagine a homunculus (little man) living in your brain - controlling you and deciding what you'll do - ie Free will

Someone: i thought a homunculus was a wizard's imps
lonewolf to thank i think

Me: however there are 2 issues here:

1) how do we know of the existence of this little man. or at best, a part of our brain immune to outside influences and magically making decisions independently. you may even want to posit a soul - but we can't detect/measure/find/see it, as far as we know it's a logical abstraction which we have formulated to, among other things, solve the problem of free will and which does not exist in reality

2) even if this homunculus/independent component of our brains/soul exists, how does it make its decisions? if it was made that way then this is the same as genetic determinism - you are your genes, or what you're born with. so we have no free will. or perhaps we can imagine that controlling this homunculus is another one inside. so you get matryoshka (those russian dolls - 1 inside another), not actually solving the problem

so of course there're problems here
criminals don't mean to commit crimes
they had bad childhoods, fell into bad company etc
can we really blame them?
in a sense we don't, but if we don't punish them society will fall apart so too pad.
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