Good Intentions.


Good or Bad as adjectives imply a point of view. Like in the picture above, the girl can have the good intention if she had been violated before and the guy is trying to make amends, or, she may just be a misandrist with a long history of hate and so on and so forth and unless we know all the relevant facts, such value judgements are always difficult. I am normally averse to using these words except to state the obvious like Masala Dosa is good food.

Proceeding further, Intentions, good or bad presupposes Free Will. Yes, I know that I am now opening the Pandora’s Box, but like in that myth, I hope that at the end of this story, Hope will arise!

Before I go into my convictions on the entire debunking of intentions, good or bad, let us take a look at two responsible scientists. The first – “The Illusion of Conscious Will” by Dr. Daniel M. Wegner
and the other –“The Meme Machine” by Dr. Susan Blackmore

The former painstakingly establishes empirical proof that the concept of a unified self, which is a necessary precondition for free will, is an illusion. And therefore, free will is also an illusion.

The latter contends that our minds are really just bundles of memes, the beliefs and habits and predilections that we catch from one another like viruses. Take all of the memes out of a mind, and there is no self left to be free and therefore, no free will either!

Let us go for some more empirical study – Read all about Donald Crowhurst here. Were his intentions, good, bad or did he have any free will at all?

Having established my pseudo scientific logic, let me go to my favourite source for wisdom, The Bhagwad Gita. In the last chapter, Krishna tells Arjuna the following:

If you depend only on your pride, If you decide not to fight this war,
That decision is in vain, For your nature would oppress you.

Oh son of Kunti, you are already bound, By your own nature, and if by delusion.,
You decide not to fight in this war, You will be forced to do it, in spite of yourself.

Oh Arjuna, God lives in the mind of everyone,
And causes all of them to revolve like a robot.

Oh Arjuna, take refuge on that God with sincerity,
And you will attain the supreme peace of his eternal abode.

So, I have no free will and therefore I have no intentions good or bad and I go through life in a blissful state of ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude. I hope that The Old Fossil will be happy with my attitude and my take on the subject!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where thirteen of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Conrad The Old Fossil. The twelve other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

32 thoughts on “Good Intentions.”

  1. Whether The Old Fossil “will be happy” with your attitude remains to be seen. No doubt he’ll make one of his accomplished diplomatic noises regardless of what he is really thinking. I myself can’t make head or tail of what you are saying.

    Ursula recently posted..Party Trick

    1. I must confess to also not fulyl understanding – or maybe I don’t agree with the conclusion.
      i feel (on the basis of wishful thinking maybe) that I do have a role (the main role) in my own destiny – which makes it my responsibility.
      I do like the liberating aspect of your philosophy however.
      I also like your breakfast (and found the story of Donald Crowhurst interesting.)
      blackwatertown recently posted..I’ve struck it rich in the movies…

      1. Crowhursts have existed throughout mankind’s history, some playing minor roles, some playing major ones. Most would have been hard put to answer why they did what they did. Some mysterious force just propelled them is the most likely answer.

  2. Honestly, I don’t think I could have a “I don’t care” attitude. I think caring deeply about something is needed in this world. I am reminded of a Bible verse wherein God said something like, “I would rather you either be hot or cold so that I could spew you out of my mouth.” Sitting on the fence is a non-committal way to keep from having to make a decision. 🙂
    Delirious recently posted..Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium: Good Intentions

    1. The point Delirious is that if you did have a caring attitude, that is also a given. You had no choice in the matter, If it has to be God’s will, it has to be all the way. We cannot have ifs and buts can we?

  3. Well, I certainly do not agree with “So, I have no free will and therefore I have no intentions good or bad and I go through life in a blissful state of ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude.”. What exactly did you have for breakfast today?
    Grannymar recently posted..Good Intentions

  4. methinks you have overthought this my friend. The mere notion that you can read and choose to acknowledge the philosophy you claim to embrace is indication you have chosen to follow that philosophy and therefore have exercised that free will you say is non-existent. So did you just take the easy way out? Your intentions were good. You are forgiven (damn – just bit my tongue)
    shackman recently posted..Good intentions

    1. No by right regression one should see that even that choice of choosing the philosophy has been made. It is said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear and such information comes at the right time.

  5. “…I go through life in a blissful state of ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude.” That doesn’t seem to jibe with your bouts of Why-Me-Itis when things don’t go the way you like. Is your definition of bliss different from mine?
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Poor Baby

    1. We have been down that route before CM. I am not yet perfect but am well on the way. I used that sentence in the present tense. My old whymeitis days are well behind me and I doubt that I will experience those ever again.

      1. So you have no free will, things just happen, but you can predict the future? Do you really believe if life suddenly causes you to experience severe ongoing pain you will still keep your blissful “couldn’t care less” attitude? If you will simply do what what you’re meant to do, how do you know feeling sorry for yourself isn’t part of what is ordained?

        1. CM, let me explain. By pain I suppose you mean physical pain. The me who is the subject will understand that the body which is the object is undergoing pain and if anything can be done to alleviate the pain, it will be done, and if not, the subject will observe the body undergoing the experience with equanimity. I am reasonably certain that this will happen whether it is bodily or mental pain. Why I am certain is that I was given the training of immense value during the last four years during which I have undergone both varieties of pain, continue to undergo physical discomfort to quite a degree and am able to see all these events in a detached way. And you are bang on that the feeling sorry for myself is also part of the grand plan except that I had not looked at it as such at that point of time, where my understanding was less than what it is today.

          Yes, you indeed stimulate my brain. That is also part of the karmic cycles. The first of the spiritual laws of India says – “Whomsoever you encounter is the right one.”
          This means that no one comes into our life by chance. Everyone who is around us, anyone with whom we interact, represents something, whether to teach us something or to help improve a current situation.

        1. Ramana,
          You could be right this time. I remember before your father moved in you said you never feel stress because you meditate, you had achieved equanimity. You forgot about that for a while, but you may indeed have learned more from the experience. I was surprised that during the process you didn’t talk about it as a necessary learning experience, as an opportunity to learn and grow. Only time will tell us what the future will bring.
          cheerful monk recently posted..Poor Baby

        2. Does your culture have any equivalent to our “knock on wood”, used when we say our life is going well, when we boast about our ability to handle life? The idea is saying such things is tempting fate and we try to keep fate from saying, “Oh, yeah? Well, I’ll show you!”
          Cheerful Monk recently posted..Poor Baby

          1. We have “Nazar naa lagey” which literally means “may no evil eye be cast on ………”. All Indian languages will use this to convey the wish that whatever endeavour, be carried out successfully.

  6. That was very deep, philosophical and profound. It will take me a while to get my head around it.

    I asked a friend of mine in Dublin once had he ever heard of the Bhagwad Gita. He replied that he used to have one “but the wheels fell off it.” I suppose it sounds a bit like the Greek urn, or the hen lays eggs joke, but I found it funny. But that’s just me.
    Maria recently posted..Good Intentions

    1. The Rath with Krishna as charioteer and Arjuna seated behind with the horses in front, in wooden carved statue form is a much sold item from all Indian handicraft shops and I am sure that your friend must have meant this statue.

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