Decision Making Process

Each of the 10 symbols in the main framework chart represents a different step or aspect in the process of taking decisions.

Decision-making involves choice and will and as well as the decisions themselves. It concerns how choice among alternatives is made, how decisions are taken.

The 10 symbols point to the approximately 10 ten different steps in our mind. Firstly needs or wants arise. Out of these we prefer some to others. We then select from these the one or ones most fitting the particular aim at that moment. We may take into consideration what others think or what our own conscience tells us. There may also be the question of legality: does the law allow it?
Then there is the separate question of capacity: are we in fact capable of doing it? Sometimes a point comes in the decision-making process when there is no turning back: if you have already jumped off the cliff, you must go down. Orgasm is another such case: a point comes when it is no longer a question of choice, when there is no turning back. There are also many instances when our response is automatic such as when we instinctively withdraw our hand in the presence of intense heat. Lastly things are often left to habit, which means leaving it to a previously taken decision, one that has been postponed into the future and is used now.

All the above seems to indicate that to a certain extent we are free to choose and to decide. That we have free will. But this may be an illusion. In fact this question has been hotly debated by thinkers both ancient and modern with no satisfactory answer in sight.

It is a very important question because if we are not free, we cannot be considered responsible. If we could not have done otherwise, how can we be held accountable for our actions? We are only responsible if we are free.

The problem is lack of freedom relating to the unchosen part of the deciding process. Whenever we choose something it seems impossible to disregard past conditioning. The influence of previous programming, previous experience is always there.

For example we think and imagine we are free to choose our partner. Yet we cannot choose those candidates we are going to meet, from whom we choose the one. Neither do we choose those parts of the deciding mechanism – the psychemechanics - in our brain and nervous system which are already present.

In every day life, for practical purposes, we behave nevertheless as if we are free. We leave it to our readers to do some thinking about why the symbols on the chart are in this particular order and arrangement. Readers are welcome to post their insights on blogs and researchers may submit articles to for publication in the MAGAZINE section.

see Choice and Philosophy Chart Nº9

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Page last modified on Monday 13 of February, 2012 [01:32:56 UTC].

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