The grand delusion part (II)

4> SELF IMAGE

->egoist , moi?

Most drivers think they’re better than average. Most people think they’re less likely to have an inflated self-opinion than average. See the problem?
How’s your driving? If you are anything like the average person, you probably think it is pretty good. One study found that 74 per cent of drivers believed themselves to be better than average behind the wheel. And, perversely, those who had been in a crash were slightly more confident about their abilities than drivers who had not been.

This, of course, does not reflect reality. Unless there are a handful of truly dreadful drivers, not everybody can be better than average. And yet if you ask people to rate themselves on almost any positive trait – competence, intelligence, honesty, originality, friendliness, reliability and many others – most put themselves in the better-than-average category. Ask them similar questions about negative traits and they will rate themselves as less likely than average to possess them.

5> Free will

-> who is in control?

The more we learn about the brain, the less plausible it becomes that we have free will !

This is the big one. The notion that we have free will – the ability to exercise conscious control over our actions and decisions – is deeply embedded in human experience. But the more we learn about the physical universe and the human brain, the less plausible it becomes (New Scientist, 16 April, p 32).

One argument goes as follows: the universe, including the bits of it that make up your brain, is entirely deterministic. The state it is in right now determines the state it will be a millisecond, a month or a million years from now. Therefore free will cannot exist.

Neuroscience has also chipped in. Around 30 years ago psychologist Benjamin Libet discovered that if you ask people to make voluntary movements, their brains initiate the movement before they become consciously aware of any intention …

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