Canto LXXXVIII

When out on my day-to day/same-old,
I listen to a podcast as I weave
the usual short cut through November cold.

In this one a philosopher believes
that consciousness is computational.
He speaks on where materialism leaves

us with regard to free will, can we still
claim such a thing exists when all we are
is a complex brew of raw materials?

He mentions how sometimes we drive a car
along a well known road, when suddenly
we realise our own thoughts were elsewhere

as our bodies took the wheel. Which one were we?
The self that changed the gears and pressed pedals
or the self that wondered what they’d have for tea?

If there is a moment where our mental
exertions find the impasse of a choice,
frame the outcomes, judge which one’s essential

to guide us into virtue or to vice,
then in that moment we are free enough
despite determinism’s loaded dice.

I half agreed with him, for what it’s worth,
while knowing there’s two sides to each debate
as thoughtlessly  my body strolled and swerved

through the shady thoroughfares of the estate.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 21:02:41

    I have a rotten bloody cold, so thinking about determinism verses free will is best left to philosophers who have nothing better to do.

    “to guide us into virtue or to vice,
    then in that moment we are free enough
    despite determinism’s loaded dice.”

    This says it all…
    It’s black and white
    Ying and yang
    The Tao is always right.

    Reply

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