Choose: to live.

Be glad for your choices in life. Rejoice in your ability to choose. The choices you make every hour of every day of every week of every year are the embodiment of the natural liberty granted to you by nature. Each choice you make shapes your life and who you are. To abandon your choices to those of others is to abandon you and your being to those who make the choices.

If a single person were to attempt to make the choices in your life for you, would you like the outcome? Someone without your feelings and without your memories, someone without your experiences and without your imagination, someone without your aspirations and without your desires. How agreeable would you be with your life? Would you not prefer to make the choices for yourself? Of course! You are the best informed person on your own life. You can make better decisions regarding your life than anyone else. So, if a single person is unable to make the choices for your life better than yourself, what makes you think a multitude could do a better job? You may say, “But it cannot! And I do not!”.

I do not believe you.

Each day, all around me, in the flurry of the train, amidst the masses on the street, throughout the the bounds of the internet, and in the silence of my mind, I hear the enduring cry for a renouncement of decisions and an abdication from responsibility.

Make all those decisions presented to you because through decisions you impact the world around you. The more decisions you make the greater your impact on the world, but be warned. Do not make decisions for others as doing so is a violation of their freedom, of which their decisions are the manifestation, and is a corroboration of their attempted servitude. Do not take part in a system of self-immolation and gradual consolidation of decision-making power realized by purposeful renouncement by a person of their own liberty. Hold each other responsible for each other’s life, and do not hold anyone else responsible for your life.

To exercise your liberty, making decisions, is to live. The greater the decisions you give to others, the greater your loss of life. Choose: to live.

What is “better”?

Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m back. I’ll post a quote later today. Here is my conclusion regarding my posts on choices. I’ll have another topic soon.

Hello again. I will be continuing with my discussion regarding choices. Last time I discussed what I meant by, and how I concluded that, “There is an answer that is right or best in every decision.” (See On Choices) This time I will more fully explain how more choices = better choices.

So, the most important word in the statement, “More choices are better choices.” is better. By what measure are more choices superior to fewer choices? Why is it that the goodness of more choices surpasses the goodness of fewer choice? Is having more choices better than having fewer choices because of the outcome? Is it better because of the inherent goodness or badness of choices? Is it that freedom, being the ability to choose, is inherently good and more choices provide more freedom? Well, I think the most important question here is: how is it that we determine what is good or what is bad?

So, I wrote that bit above soon after my last actual post but got stuck and left it for a while, too long in fact. However, I did think of something so I’ll describe that below.

If we are goal-directed, as discussed last time, then having more choices will allow us to more effectively reach those goals. I don’t know about you but reaching goals seems like a good thing to me. Maybe you don’t think so, or maybe you think it is dependent upon the goal but I’d say that reaching a goal itself is good to some extent regardless of the goal.

Basically, if you have more choices, you will be in a position to more effectively reach your goals in life, and therefore more choices are better than fewer choices. Do with that information what you will.

On Choices

Alright, so in my last post on choices I stated that, “There is an answer that is right or best in every decision.” I wanted to expand on this further as I think it is important to both that post and life as a whole.

So, to start off, this idea presupposes that there is a goal towards which you are reaching. It may be that you want to be a professor, you want to buy a new computer, or you want to simply have a fulfilling life. If we assume there is a goal towards which you are reaching then depending on how you want to reach that goal there are best, or right, choices to be made along that path. If you want to be a professor, it is likely that it is best for you to go to graduate school. If you want to buy a new computer it may be best for you to not buy a new TV. These are decisions that are obvious, however, with easily defined goals and easily definable steps to reach those goals. What about when the goal and the steps are not so clear?

Well if the steps towards a goal are uncertain then your sub-goal is then to figure out what those steps are. You ask friends and family for advice, you search online, or you read up on the topic at the library. Then as you acquire more information on the matter you begin to see what steps must be taken and those steps then become your new sub-goal. If the end-goal itself is uncertain then you start by trying to determine what your end-goal is or should be. Once you have decided on an end goal you then attempt to determine the steps necessary to reach that end goal.

Ok, so what if you don’t have an end-goal and you simply want to enjoy life for itself without any purposeful goal? Well that is your goal: to enjoy life for itself. The steps may then be to simply follow your heart and do as you please. Now, I do not think that is actually true of anyone, I think everyone has a goal in life, but it is your prerogative to think what you will.

This all boils down to the idea that as human beings we are goal-oriented. Nothing we do is without purpose or direction. We always have a goal in mind for any particular action. It may not always be a conscious goal or an extremely important or fundamental goal, but it is a goal nonetheless. We do not do anything without reason. I have often heard people say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Often this is attributed to a strange coincidence or an unfortunate event, and is meant to imply that all events happen for a reason. However, I think this idea has been derived from our sense of our own reasoned action that we unwittingly apply to the physical world around us.

This is why I say, “There is an answer that is right or best in every decision.” We are goal oriented beings that do nothing without reason and that considering our intentions there is always a best decision to be made in order to reach the goal we have set forth for ourselves.

More choices = better choices

This is something I wrote a while ago in response to some observations I was making. This was some free-thinking that I was doing. I think I’ll use this for a starting point to write future posts for a while. I hope you enjoy!

I have noticed a disturbing trend among some of my friends. They desire fewer choices rather than more. This is a problem, not only amongst my friends but, I think, amongst much of society. Why is this a problem? If people do not want choices that means that they want others to make those choices for them, because, whether anyone likes it or not, someone will have to make a decision. The more often people decline to make their own decisions, the more others will make the decision for them. The more people defer decisions to others the less control a person has over their own life. The less control a person has over their own life the less predictable life becomes for them. When life is less predictable we have less information about our lives because we cannot effectively extrapolate from the information at hand. When we have less information about our lives, the decisions we do decide to make become harder, the very thing people were trying to avoid in the first place…

Now, here when I say harder I mean this in a bad way. However, when a decision is made harder due to an increase in options, this is a good thing. When you are making a decision, you are trying to determine what is right or best. Now, there will always be an option that fulfills that qualification. There is an answer that is right or best in every decision. However, as the number of options increases there is a growing likelihood that the options will become closer and closer until it is nearly impossible to tell which is the right option.

For example, take a math problem: 387/2. Now let us say that your goal is to choose the option that is closest to the correct answer for this question. At first you are given two options: A or 3. Well, since we know the answer to this problem is a number, 3 is the obvious choice. Alright, now lets add some more options. We now have available to us: A, 3, 782, 4567, and 200. Well, we know that 3 is a better option than A, and we know that the number are looking for is smaller than 387. That leaves us with 3 and 200. Well 3 is obviously not correct since 3*2 is 6, which is not even close to 387. So, we would pick 200. Now you can see where this is going. The correct answer is 193.5. The more options we add the greater more difficult the decision becomes. At first the decision was easy, A is obviously not the correct answer, as it is a letter and we are looking for a number, so we chose 3. Then we added more options and it was necessary to do a little more thinking, we then decided 200 was the best answer. Now if we kept adding more and more options, we might end up with two options such as, 192 and 194. At first glance there is no obvious answer, it is far more difficult to choose between these two options than between 3 and A, or 3 and 200. However, regardless of what we choose, we are better off. Between the two options 194 is better than 192, however, each of these two options is better than 200 and is far better than 3. This is why it is better to have more options. The more options we have the more likely it will be that we come across a better option than the option with which we were previously going. The key part of this hard decision is that it is hard because the options available to us are so difficult to discern from one another. This is in stark contrast to the difficulty of making a decision about which we have little information.

When we are trying to solve a problem with little information available to us it is like the following problem: ?8??3. This is the same problem as earlier, except this time some information has been removed. We don’t know what is going on here. Is this a 5 digit number? Is this a simple arithmetic problem? Is this some sort of short algebra problem? We don’t know. In this instance more options will not significantly help us. They may give some insight into the sort of problem we are dealing with, however, that would only be guesswork at best. There are innumerable problems this could be, however it is only one of those innumerable possibilities.

This is an example of, more information = better information. The more we know, the better off we are. We may not always like what we know, but it is better to know it than to not know it, always.