Modern Politics: Free Will or Meat Machine

by | Jan 5, 2023 | , ,

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If you ask a theologian ‘what is the most important question a person needs to answer in their life,’ you are likely going to hear some semblance of whether or not there is a God. This is, of course, true: if God exists, then so too does a universal morality binding all of mankind together, whereas if there is no God, then morality is a subjective thing each person, or each culture, decides on its own.

Joe Biden illustrated this divide when he referred to the mass genocide of the Uighur people in China as ‘cultural differences.’ What Biden was saying is that though we might not believe in the morality of killing millions of people based on their ethnicity and religion, if Xi Jinping wants to do that, who are we to criticize the culture of China, where apparently genocide is okay?

After WW2, we vowed to ‘never forget.’ Joe Biden has at times claimed to have landed at Normandy Beach (he would have been two years old), but when he chalks up Xi Jinping doing the exact same thing Hitler did with the European Jewish people to ‘cultural differences,’ clearly Joe Biden has forgotten a great deal, as have those who have not denounced the President for saying that.

Also, note what Joe Biden is claiming about the Chinese people – that there’s a culture of genocide. Republicans blame Xi Jinping for the genocide of the Uighur people – Joe Biden blames the Chinese culture.

Without God, there is no unifying morality to hold Xi Jinping accountable for, so it is easy for Joe Biden to make excuses.

There is actually a far more fundamental question than ‘does God exist,’ and it is, in fact, so basic I don’t think many people have taken the time to think about it. Let us start with the most basic question we can: “Do I exist?”

Logically, even asking the question of one’s own existence proves the answer – we cannot ask the question unless we do. But then, what is it ‘to exist?’ More to the point, what is the nature of existence?

Richard Dawkins wrote a book in 2006 called The God Delusion in which he laid out the atheist version of the nature of our existence based on the fact that natural science has no explanation for free will.

Richard Dawkins was succinct: we are mere ‘meat machines’ with no more free will than a calculator. Our brains are far more complex than a calculator, but no more alive. Our brains, instead, are computers of sufficient complexity to make our own artificial intelligence seem real: “We think we think,” as Dawkins puts it, when in reality, free thought and free will do not exist.

Dawkins asserted that if you can control someone’s DNA (their programming) along with all of the data that goes into their programming (their experiences), then you can control a human’s thoughts, emotions, and actions, just as you can control a robot. Robots have computer ‘brains’ that take input, run it through a program that compares the input to a bunch of data stored in memory, and then produce output to tell the robot what to do. Dawkins asserts that we are nothing more than that – we are mere robots. What we think are ‘thoughts’ are just flickers of electricity bouncing around in our neural networks, and though we may be ‘alive’ in the sense that our bodies function over the course of our lives, so too does a calculator when you turn it on.

Most people have never heard of Richard Dawkins, but the belief he describes drives the world around us. The notion that computers will become ‘alive’ once they are sufficiently complicated stems directly from it – the notion not being that computers will become ‘alive’ so much as that turning on an X-Box is the same as giving it ‘life.’ We are no different than the X-Box – we are simply more complex in programming and function.

“We think, we think.”

It is not just Richard Dawkins, either. As one of the world’s premier evolutionary biologists, Dawkins is uniquely qualified to lay out the atheist argument, but understand that Dawkins is discussing the current state of the science and not his personal belief.

Note, too, that Natural Science does not just lack an explanation for free will – it lacks any basis to even theorize about free will beyond denying that it exists.

Why does this matter? It matters because if Dawkins is correct, then criminals do not decide to commit crimes, inventors do not decide to (or what to) invent, writers do not decide to (or what to) write, political beliefs are outside our control (more to the point – ‘belief’ does not exist), etc., etc., etc… If we are simply complicated computers with no free will, then we have no responsibility for our actions, and there is no reason to give us any credit for our achievements. A ‘meat machine’ may have utility, but it has no more value than a spoon or a fork.

More to the point, if we have no free will, then what is the point of ‘morality’? Morality requires a free will to exist – without free will, there is but input, processing, and output, and though some outputs might be undesirable when looked at under certain contexts, even those judgments are arbitrary. There is no objective morality unless people are capable of looking for one.

Based on this view, people are far more interchangeable than any of us imagine. If someone is a bad apple, it is only because of their DNA and/or experience – neither of which anyone has any control over.

Obama illustrated this belief well when he said, “You did not build that.” You did, of course, build that (whatever ‘that’ is), but to Obama, you deserve no credit for having done so as you were merely acting upon inputs you had no control over. As a ‘meat machine,’ you deserve no credit.

The political implications of this are huge. The purpose of a criminal justice system is not to punish criminals or to lock people up for committing crimes, but to prevent people from giving other people the experiences that lead to criminal activity in the first place. If we could simply eliminate the kinds of experiences that cause crime to occur (and perhaps, in some rare circumstances, alter a genome or two), there would be no crime.

You can have crime without free will, but you cannot have intent without free will; without intent, there is no criminal. There is just ‘some people did something.’

If free will does not exist, then neither does free speech. What does exist is the potential for speech to impact the experiences of others, which may lead to undesirable actions. Speech then should be suppressed and controlled to create the desired actions by other members of society. Controlling speech is no different than controlling the data that goes into a database to ensure robots go around obstacles.

Should we worry about what is ‘true’ or ‘false’? Of course not. What matters is what people hear relative to the output we want people to create. If Joe Biden’s programming and experiences make him a better candidate to lead the country than Donald Trump, then, of course, we need to tell the people whatever it will take to ensure Joe Biden is elected, and really if you agree with Richard Dawkins on this, we should not even have elections, ‘meat machines’ being incapable of making a choice anyway – elections require free will.

Under this view, culture is nothing more than a series of data points that can (and should) be controlled – with an emphasis on the desired output the people in the society should create rather than an emphasis on ‘truth’ or anything of that nature.

The point of ‘education’ is not to produce functional adults, but to infuse into ‘meat machines’ the required data to create widgets in sufficient quantities.

We are beginning to learn to alter DNA in fetuses, so if we can merely control every experience people have from their birth to their death, Dawkins believes we can control every human being with the ease and efficiency of a series of robots, perfectly orchestrating human society in balance not only with itself but also with the world and the universe of which human activity is a part.

To put it bluntly, you are, but a cog that will either be made to fit, or that will be ‘turned off.’

Against this backdrop, let us take another look at Biden’s comment on the genocide of the Uighur Muslims. If free will exists, then each Uighur Muslim is endowed with the Divine Spark of our Creator (even if we disagree with them as to the exact nature of that Creator), and each of them has intrinsic value given to them by God. If free will does not exist, then if Xi Jinping does not think they fit in with Chinese society, why not kill them? Xi Jinping is not responsible for doing so anyway, as he is just responding to inputs the way a computer does. It’s not like Xi Jinping has a choice.

According to the World Economic Forum, 90% of the human population is redundant. If we are nothing more than ‘meat machines,’ society is perfectly justified in ‘turning off’ all of the 90% of human beings we don’t need the way we would a vacuum cleaner when no longer needed. What does it matter? It’s not like we are killing sentient beings – we are merely turning off ‘meat machines.’

And those who subscribe to the Richard Dawkins view are absolutely 100% certain they are correct in their worldview, as the alternative has no basis in natural science.

Someone is going to say that I am creating a false dichotomy in which either Hitler was justified, or God exists, and to a point, that is true. I am indeed doing that, but note that I am only creating that dichotomy because any compromise between those choices defies logic. It is, of course, possible to believe in things that cannot logically coexist. Many people believe in things that cannot possibly coexist, but it is not logical to believe in such things.

Free will is a supernatural phenomenon. If free will exists, then natural science is fatally flawed. That is a real dichotomy – not a false one.

Is it possible to believe that free will exists as a part of the natural world, despite there being no current rational explanation of it? Of course, it is – but then if God exists, by definition, He too is a part of natural science. It makes no more scientific sense to believe in free will than to believe in God.

More importantly, if free will exists – whether as a part of natural science or otherwise – then the ‘defund the police’ movement and much of the rest of the ‘new left’ ideology has absolutely no basis in the rational world, but is instead a horrendously evil ideology under which Xi Jinping and Hitler are both justified under the vague nuance of ‘cultural differences.’

Scientists, by the way, have noticed that it is an exceedingly small step to go from a belief in free will to a belief in God. According to PEW polling, 51% of all scientists are theists (21% are agnostic, and 20% are atheists). Among scientists under 40, 66% believe in God (15% are agnostic, and 13% are atheists). 76% of physicians believe in God (12% are agnostic, and 13% are atheists).

Note the number of young scientist number – among scientists, belief in God is growing even as a belief among the rest of society is dropping.

We all intuitively know free will exists, and most scientists today see God as the rational explanation for it.

Watch your left-leaning politicians. Ask yourself if they behave as if they truly believe they are nothing more than ‘meat machines.’ It is very convenient for Nancy Pelosi to believe that you and I are ‘meat machines,’ but her behavior and actions indicate that she believes she is more than that. What we really have is a ruling class of people who all believe they have free will, but who then use the Richard Dawkins argument to deny the free will of the rest of us, and then rule us accordingly.

How will such a ruling class treat the rest of us, if they truly gain power?

Ask the Uighur Muslims.

Wallace Garneau

Wallace Garneau is a two-service military veteran, with four years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, and four years in the US Army. He has twenty-three years of experience in process improvement roles, having served as the E-Commerce Manager, IT Manager, and Director of Business Systems for a variety of medium to large manufacturing companies. Wallace holds a Bachelors of Science from the University of Phoenix, and an MBA in Lean Manufacturing from the University of Michigan. Wallace is currently finishing a Masters of Science in Lean Manufacturing, at Kettering University.

Wallace is a published poet and essayist, and recently finished his first book - The Way Forward: Lean Leadership and Systems Thinking for Large and Small Businesses.

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Donald F. Switlick
Donald F. Switlick
2 months ago

if God exists, then so too does a universal morality binding all of mankind together, whereas if there is no God, then morality is a subjective thing each person, or each culture, decides on its own.” This is true except there is another dimension that interacts with us and people give it many forms. We are split brained and each with it’s own personality; each only indirectly aware of the other. But, each know that there is something there. Why do you have inner-dialog with yourself, if you know what you are going to say? There is the other there and you speak to the other part of you. Research: Dual Brain Psychology.

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