I’ve been thinking a lot about why we do things. Not particular things mind you but things in general. Why do anything at all? Why think about why we do things? One might conclude that it’s inevitable that I write about being at this particular time and place if you believe as I do that free will is largely illusory. More and more contemporary research* seems to indicate we are nothing more than sophisticated genetically programmed meat machines with an incredible variety of possible execution paths. Note that I don’t choose the particular path I’m on. It would be more appropriate to say that I’m nudged down one branch or another by a combination of external stimuli and instinct. In the past I have sometimes become fatalistic when pursuing such lines of reasoning ( one can also adopt a hedonistic stance for obvious reasons ). I’m not fatalistic any more. I am constrained by a certain set of possibilities and my acting takes me down a path that will eventually end at the same outcome as it does for every other human on this planet. The conclusion I arrive at is that I am here and I will do things and it is the doing that is the reason for being and vis versa. If I’m going to do things I might as well enjoy what I’m doing. If I’m going to be, I might as well choose to have a positive attitude about what being will be like in the future. If I do I’m happier in the moment which seems to be a reasonable thing to strive for. But wait. Don’t I decide to enjoy what I’m doing? Don’t I decide to adopt a certain attitude about the future? Doesn’t that contradict what I was just saying? It’s pretty easy to experience in the mental equivalent of a dog chasing his tail thinking in this way. My meat machine is about to experience a stack overflow so it’s time that I quit woolgathering and go on and do something else.
*I love Wikipedia
*I give money to Wikipedia to express my love thereof, if you love Wikipedia, you should too.