Social Question

flutherother's avatar

What does it mean to choose?

Asked by flutherother (31940points) May 4th, 2013
10 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

It seems simple, but why do you choose one thing over another? Is it pre ordained or can you really change the future. Is the choice made by our consciousness or deep down in our subconscious? Is the choice of what we should eat prompted by our mind or by our stomach?

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gailcalled's avatar

If nothing else, it saves us from the paralysis of indecision.

thorninmud's avatar

There’s experimental evidence that choice happens on a subconscious level. Researchers monitoring the brain can, with a high degree of accuracy, predict a subject’s choice before the subject is consciously aware of having chosen.

I guess the question then becomes, if it’s happening on a subconscious level, is it “you” that’s choosing? Or are you only you in consciousness?

flutherother's avatar

@thorninmud If that is true, and it seems to be proven at least in some cases, then the idea that we can choose is an illusion.

thorninmud's avatar

@flutherother Yes. And while we’re at it, it could be said that the whole notion of a personal self is a similar illusion. But these illusions serve an important social function, even if they’re not absolutely factual. You could say that “I” and “choice” are in a sense emergent phenomena in the social sphere. Looked at on a micro level, the illusion disappears, but step back a bit and there it is. Since society happens at this macro level, then “I” and “choice” can’t be ignored in that context.

Unbroken's avatar

Somewhat related but choice can be influenced by outlying factors. Human’s can be primed to make certain decisions. But realizing some of the triggers and how we are primed can set us free of them to a certain extent.

marinelife's avatar

It depends on the decision, Sometimes if it’s complicated, I make a decision grid. Sometimes I just go with my gut feeling (which is based on unconscious feelings).

janbb's avatar

I’m sorry, what was the question? I ‘m hearing it in your voice and I’m swooning.

flutherother's avatar

You are just a penguin that chooses to be kind.

janbb's avatar

But do I choose to be a penguin?

Blondesjon's avatar

Regardless of the level of consciousness a a choice is still a choice. Your specific physiology has come to a determination in regards to it’s condition.

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