Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Analysis

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Making a Decision Imagine living in a world of subordination with no desires or ability to make any decisions. Some natural force programs humans and all other “living” beings to do whatever it wants. Everything is predetermined for man, no matter what he would like to do. As a result, humans are actually mindless drones who are just a product of their environment. Some people truly believe that this is the case; that free will is an illusion. However, 17th-century philosopher René Descartes contradicted this brilliantly, saying, “If anyone is skeptical of existence that is in and of itself proof that he does exist.” What he meant was that this theoretical person has the ability to formulate opinions and think for himself; therefore he exists…show more content…
With that said, what exactly is free will and where does it come from? In chapter twenty of Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter attempts to convey his ideas on free will to his audience, explaining, “My belief is that the explanations of ‘emergent’ phenomena in our brains-for instance, ideas, hopes, images, analogies, and finally consciousness and free will-are based on a kind of a Strange Loop, an interaction between levels in which the top level reaches back down towards the bottom level and influences it, while at the same time being itself determined by the different levels”(709). Believe it or not, this is probably an oversimplification of the truth. Though there are currently many restrictions on free will, it is still an incredible privilege to have. The mystery of free will and its restrictions should be looked at philosophically, biologically, and psychologically in order to obtain a decent understanding. However, the degree to which free will is restricted and the ultimate outcomes of these restrictions should also be examined as these are important factors as to why we make our decisions and…show more content…
That may or may not be what I would say if I had total free will as to what I wanted to write about and how I wanted to go about doing it. However, this is clearly not the case and to write a proper paper I must conform to the guidelines which I have been given. If I wrote this paper according to what exactly I wanted to do I am sure I would not be happy with the resulting grade. That is just the way some things work. If we do what we are told, we will succeed. Some restrictions on free will are necessary to achieve a goal or purpose. We must concede our free will, for instance writing about exactly what we want to write about, in order to achieve the final goal: a good grade. This is also where Hofstadter’s marble comes into play. In a sense, I am this marble, writing my paper according to outside factors and doing what I am told to do. However, where I and other humans differ from the marble is that I can choose the topic I want to write about. I also am doing this because I want to succeed and the decision is mine: I can work hard or I can do nothing with my life and regret it later

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