Why do we feel free, unbounded when we make choices? What is it that moves our arm if we want to pick something up? Is it a soul or matter that gives us our identity? This is what we call the mind–body problem and it is still not satisfactory resolved.
Most people in this world believe that we have a soul and that the soul is you and makes the decisions separated from the physical body. The problem with a nonphysical soul is the way it interacts with our physical body, so it(you) can control what you do like making you walk and let you pick up things. Many philosophers have sought for solutions and others tried to find for a physical place in our body where the soul makes contact with our body, without success.
I am not in a position to disqualify the idea that we have a soul but the chance that we have one is minute if you look at all the knowledge we have now. The consensus between a wide variety of scientist is that our identity originates in the brain and disappears when we die. What chemicals, hormones and fluids are involved is now topic for debate between scientist but the rest of the world ignores this problem or dismisses it.
But imagine what it means for the world if we all believe that its over when we die, and religion is something you study in the history books.
Men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of the causes by which they are conditioned. Their idea of freedom, therefore, is simply their ignorance of any cause for their actions. As for their saying that human actions depend on the will, this is a mere phrase without any idea to correspond thereto.
Men believe themselves to be free, simply because they are conscious of their actions, and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined.
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)
I have not done the research on how often politicians break their promises after elections, but it’s looks like it is part of the trade. Promises are often not lined up with reality out of fear that the truth will not be believed, wanted, or wished. These same politicians are in the spirit of the quote from Spinoza, the “interpreters of nature and the gods” and looked upon by the “mob”. All these lofty promises are thus dressed up in certainties, and proclaimed to be rules of nature or the will of god. The product they sell is not that what’s thought to be true but what ought to be true. Because of the nature of their promises it must be sold with deception and trickery.
If a candidate can win with a strong mandate, the people that voted for this person will forgive, if reality shows its face and leaves all the promises forgotten in the corner. If the candidate wins narrowly or must work with others, reality will be blamed on the other or the chest get pumped up one more time to make sure the “wonderment would” not “be taken away” and there will be a stalemate between this “wonderment” and reality.
This is one way you can interpret part of this quote but there is even a more sinister interpretation in it. In today’s (2017) politics we see a tendency to ridicule the opponent and deny excepted science. This practice is off coarse as old as that there are governments formed, but in a modern democracy it is normally done with a bit more class.
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature”
Times change, but we don’t, as individuals we can be great but as a group we’re still dumb as hell.