It’s hard to please my readers. Some of you want more naughtiness in the service of humor, and some of you want more of my brain stimulating thought experiments. Rarely do I get an opportunity to combine ass-related content with the topic of free will. Today is special.
Recently, to my complete surprise, I got away with publishing this comic:
But my syndication company, United Media, balked at this next one and sent me back to the drawing board because it was too explicit.
I resubmitted it with the most explicit part of the third panel clipped off. That strategy worked. The comic ran and no one complained, as far as I know.
This is a perfect segue into the topic of free will, in the sense that I’m an ass who can’t stop himself from publishing the following link. It describes some experiments that a-a-a-almost completely prove that free will is an illusion.
What amused me most about the article is that the best argument it cites in favor of free will comes from philosopher John Searle. From the article:
“He is puzzled by why, if we have no free will, we have this peculiar conscious experience of decision-making. If, as neuroscience currently suggests, it is purely an illusion, then ‘evolution played a massive trick on us.’ But this ‘goes against everything we know about evolution. The processes of conscious rationality are such an important part of our lives, and above all such a biologically expensive part of our lives’ that it seems impossible they ”play no functional role at all in the life and survival of the organism”.
Is it my imagination, or is that the worst argument ever?
[Update: The illusion of free will helps make us happy. Otherwise, consciousness would feel like a prison. Happiness in turn improves the body's immune response. What more do you need from evolution? -- Scott]