How do we humans make decisions? Are they rooted on ‘beliefs’ or reason? What are, or should be, the principles on which all of our ordinary judgments be based? Are we free to make decisions? These are some of the questions we will consider when attempting to identify the possible source(s) of righteousness.
We intend to develop further previous incursions into the conscious processes underlying the search for meanings associated with unfamiliar environmental stimuli previously processed at subconscious levels. In so doing we will stress the importance of a rational, self conscious agency operating by seeking to be the first cause of its subsequent deliberative actions with the assistance of the language faculty. By subjecting the novelty experienced to a conscious a-priori analytical dissection followed by an a-priori synthetic dissection on its specifics we may arrive at a synthetic a-posteriori conclusion to guide the continuing search for the best adaptive solution to choose from pre-existing and available probable alternatives, what we have called ‘free will by consent’. We will highlight the interplay between beliefs and reasons and how we should strive to clearly identify the ‘thing’ we consciously will to produce or bring about, i.e., an end, as an adaptive solution to our immediate problem and to the world whenever/wherever the same problem may come up. This way ‘the end’ will guide my actions into deliberations about means of producing that result. Once I have adopted an end in this sense, it dictates that I do something about it and ideally I will act in ways that will bring about that ‘end’ according to first humanity principles. How so?
Our neuro-philosophy model of consciousness, following biopsychosocial (BPS) preservation guidelines, dictates what not to do (other possibly interfering things) so I am able to execute my choice plan. This way, the free will of every conscious rational being becomes a will that either argues for, or follows universal laws. Arguably our fundamental moral obligation is to act only on principles which could earn acceptance by a community of fully rational agents each of whom have an equal share in arguing in behalf of these principles for their community or state. These arguments, a post-Kantian extension of his “categorical imperatives”, represent goals to be nurtured when humanity, not the individual, is in search of proper responses to its real time existential problems. As such, it is an objective end, because it is an end that every rational being must have insofar as the individual is rational. Consequently, it should limit what I am morally permitted to do when I pursue my selfish and subjective negative ends…., as a goal. Many complex problems arise when we try to force the equality beliefs = reason = natural laws = universal laws. What is the difference?
Do we innately distinguish the self interest from that of others (humanity)? When we do, humanity in oneself is the source of a duty to develop one's talents or to ‘perfect’ one's humanity. Or better, to encourage the humanity of others as when recognizing values that have met some standard of evaluation appropriate to persons. What comes first? Ideally there should be no conflict because true freedom does not imply being bound by no law, but by self-imposed ‘laws’ that are in some sense of one's own rational/moral making. True autonomy, when individually applied, should ensure that the source of the authority of the moral law principles that binds self is one’s own rational will, i.e., one that operates in response to reasons, free from physically or psychologically imposed controls such as e.g., slavery, deranged obsessions or other medical thought disorders, etc.
However, it should be noticed a distinction between a will being determined through the operation of natural laws subconsciously controlling the biopsychosocial equilibrium and those operating in response to reasons in a normal conscious free subject. The subjective conscious belief of being free is established empirically and, as such, cannot be subjected to a rational a-priori analytical scrutiny as an argument to invoke a Kantian Categorical Imperative. Are we ‘free’ when engaged in quotidian existential endeavors, here and now, trying to decide what to do, what to hold oneself and others responsible for? Can the existential constraints, when observed, still be justified in holding such behavior as conscious and autonomous free wills? If we consider the human species existence as a neo-Copernican reality and take into account the self evident fact of our species sensory and brain combinatorial limitations, it would not be as difficult to conceive of a compromise between pure and practical reason as Kant tried without much success when he introduced the muddled synthetic a-priori argumentation. This, because existential reality, however limited, is in our human brains and consequently humans are at the center of the universe and are the reason for all things, those that are and those that are not. Contrary to metaphysical logic claims, mathematics is a convenient language we humans invented, not discovered, to represent environmental phenomenal sensations, experienced as perceptual brain ‘feelings’ and represented as symbols or sentences when physically absent or as ‘invisibilities’ below the threshold of sensory detection. This is the rationale for an epistemontological hybrid conceptual model of real time, existential reality.