Why are we Individually Responsible?

  • On molecular level, deterministic chaos is observed. At the same time molecules interact also over large distances. If the effect of the interactions on the deterministic chaos is considered, the molecular behavior becomes fundamentally unpredictable and can only be described as random.  more 

  • We describe reality on different levels like quanta/elementary particles, molecules, macroscopic objects, dynamic and static structures of matter. For almost all levels we have appropriate physical laws and models, which describe the behavior: quantum physics, classical physics, models describing material behavior. On structural level we do not have such strong laws. Instead, we describe the interaction between structures as cause and effect. One structure being the cause induces an effect in another structure.  more 

  • Our consciousness comprises exactly what we can remember. Consciousness is merely the storage in memory. The actually active element is our unconscious, which encompasses all processes continually ongoing in our brain, but which leave no direct trace in our memory. Only the results of these processes can be remembered, not the processes themselves. We have the impression that our consciousness is the active part only because the unconscious leaves no trace that we can recognize as being active. Thus, we can only access the remembered content, which we mistake for resembling the active part. Feelings are the 'language' of our unconscious and of our body to our consciousness, because this communication cannot take place for example conceptually. Thus, feelings are integral part of our personality.  more 

  • We humans are structure and at the same time consist of particles. Our structure is complex and developed through evolution. We have a free will, which effectively only means that we do not know the outcome of a free decision before it becomes conscious to us. The decision itself is random due to the deterministic chaos induced by our particulate nature. At the same time our preferences for different options, which mirror our personality, are causally induced by our (mainly brain) structure. For conscious choices the preferences for certain options can be such that they are essentially definitely or definitely not chosen.   more 

  • It is our individual structure that determines the preferences. At the same time, the decision is the primary cause of the resulting consequences because it has a random aspect. Through this interaction, we are inevitably individually responsible for each of our free choices and their consequences. It is also obvious that our personality, which is reflected in the preferences, includes also our feelings and emotions. While this view is rationally derived, it draws a holistic picture of a human being in the physical and natural environment.  more 

  • An ethics based on these insights must on the one hand be based on the equality of all people, on the other hand it must find a balance between possibly differing interests of different people. A sustainability ethics must additionally take into account the influence of non-negotiable boundary conditions of our limited biosphere.  more