The Evolution Of Free Will





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Published on Jul 1, 2012

You are invited to join the Philosophy Of Freedom Community at http://philosophyoffreedom.ning.com to take the study course, discuss Steiner's path to freedom, and use the reference material.

Guest 1: The Freedom Of Indifferent Choice
The Freedom Of Indifferent Choice is the ability to make a neutral choice between two possible courses of action.
Guest 2: The Freedom Of Choice
When I make a choice I am not indifferent or impartial at all. I make choices according to what I really want.
Guest 3: Free Expression Of One's Nature
For me freedom is not about choices, it is about a necessity, a necessity to express who I am. I have my own unique nature formed by my roots and life history.
Guest 4: Free Expression Of One's Character
My nature consists of many traits, some of those character traits are better than others. By developing character I improve my conduct by freeing myself from outer influences.
Guest 5: Action The Result Of A Conscious Motive
A voluntary action is the result of a conscious motive. An action is not free if it is the result of an unconscious urge of human nature or if it was implanted in us during youth for the sake of character development. Free action is the result of a conscious motive that I recognize and understand.
Guest 6: Free When Controlled By Reason
I am free when I use the power of reason to reach my goals. Rational thought gives me the freedom to determine my actions according to clear, and precise goals.
Host: But can't you rationalize any action? Reason can be more than rationality, it can be holistic, it can bring the many parts into a unified whole. Broad-minded reasoning will include ethical questions such as the consequences of your action.
Guest 7: Free To Do What You Want
Excuse me. Whether or not you will actually achieve success, likely won't depend on your goals. The ability to do what ever you want is determined by your external circumstances.
Host: I think you are both missing the point of what individual freedom really is. It is about free thinking, not one's outer place in life. The question is not whether I am able to carry out a decision that has been made, the question is how I come to make the decision.
Guest 8: Freedom Of Spontaneous Action
Dog Rusty: Freedom to me is being spontaneous. Unconditioned behavior.
Dog Owner: The knowing mind of the human being can experience spontaneous insight. This insight can be the impulse for spontaneous action. A flash of intuition originates a new beginning, a first cause.
Guest 9: Knowledge Of The Action
It should be obvious that an action cannot be free if the doer acts without knowing why. To me freedom is to have knowledge of the motive that guides my action.
Host: How can you know why you act? What is the real cause of action?
How do you come to know anything? You think about it. Knowledge is gained by the observation and thinking analysis of science. Every motive to act that is not merely an instinctive reaction of the reptilian part of our brain, contains thought. By introspectively examining your motive, before or after the action takes place, you can discover these thoughts and ask "What is their origin"? The deepening of knowledge depends on intuitive insight that expresses itself conceptually in thinking. Making progress developing the ability to think is making progress toward freedom.
Guest 10: Driving Force Of The Heart
While I am engaged in action, I don't have time for the calm deliberations of reason. This does not mean I am not free. Motives, which I have freely created and continue to create, have become part of my own being and are part of who I am. They become the heart-felt driving forces of action.
Guest 11: Freedom Of Idealistic Thought
What determines the whole character of conduct is one's ideals. I do not allow the ideals of others to be imposed upon me. I freely select my own ideals. The more idealistic my motive, the more I love striving for it.
Guest 11: Freedom Of Perception
You are blind to her good qualities because you lack the humanitarian principle important to her, "Give Unto Others". Your perception of others is not free. You are blinded by your narrow-mindedness.
Ethical Individualist
Host: The one who expresses all the aspects of freedom discussed here is the ethical individualist. His freedom is real, because it originates in the insight experienced in pure reasoning. Recognizing the laws at work in life situations, he rises to the level of pure reasoning to select the ethical principles to be applied in each case. These principles are imaginatively translated into specific action to transform the world. A clash of intentions is impossible between free individuals who draw their intuitions from the level of pure reason. Only the morally unfree who blindly follow their natural instincts or the commands of duty turn their backs on their neighbors.

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