Saturday, April 26, 2008

Free Will

George Herbert Mead--Social Scientist

What makes us act the way we do? A recently completed social sciences class drilled that question into my mind. "The Human Event," they called it. Both euphorically uplifting and deeply depressing, HON 272 opened my eyes to the myriad of controls society exerts on individuals. Society enables great things: communication, cooperation, solidarity, emotion--it has been theorized that the majority of emotions are socially constructed. However, it also limits individual potential, cramming them into pre-made molds that fulfill greater needs.

Just how much can we blame individuals for their actions. At every turn, society exerts influence. A self-sustaining system of operant conditioning, socialization, and social resources trains children to act in "civilized" ways, restricting their true potential and limiting individual will.

How can there be free will when there is no individual will?

Also, why do all these guys have great facial hair? The answer: society influenced them to grow beards and mustaches of great power. I can't think of a more compelling argument than that.

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