Back To Life

Back To Reality

Praxis 2022/03/02 English

I read Eliezer Sternberg's "My Brain Made Me Do It". This title sounds like Camus. For example, I killed someone. Of course, I got arrested and asked "Why did you do it?". If I said these words as the answer? "My brain made me do it"... Yes, this is a very Camus-like situation. But according to this book, this logic might have some meaning with this. This logic... Saying so and denying our independence/free will can be possible if we learn about the science of brains.

Reading this book, I tried to think about the reality of the excuse "My brain made me do it". As Benjamin Libet says with his experiences (it's embarrassing but I have to confess the fact I have not read about them), TBH our body does decide about something 'just before' we decide it by our consciousness. We are exactly following those actions by our brain. So 'stopping' actions by our decision is the evidence of the power of our will. Before hitting a mosquito by our palm, we think it because "it's dirty". This can be the case.

Besides it, the hard lack of chemical things in our brain or changing of them makes human being's activity crueler or affects our personality totally. Our character can be changed by chemical things... you might not be able to accept the logic "My brain made me do it", but 'this logic' about chemical things is acceptable for me because I go to a hospital to get medicines for the control/tuning my mood (or the logic 'If we get drunk, we can be franker' contains this evidence of changing personality). If so, I can't see who I am. As you know, we can't live without any chemical things as medicines or decisions by our will.

Then, this idea reminds us of Richard Dawkins's quote "our bodies are vehicles" (we have to correct this as "we are the vehicles of our brain"?). I thought about Kouichiro Kokubun's thought/thinking with Spinoza's theory. We do our activities because we are let to do so. It seems we are doing something with our free will, but the truth is that we are moved by the thing in ourselves. I think that this idea "My brain made me do it" can be used as a clue to ease my mind (of course, murder must be prohibited!). For example, I write something like this is because I can't keep the things I got from this book. I have to reset my brain. Or "My brain made me so"... is this conclusion cool?