>>230457>what is the will or the self
I admit that I don't have an explanation for these things, because ultimately, it would require solving some difficult questions like the nature of consciousness and free will. Calling it the "will" or the "self" or the "executor" merely abstracts it away and compartmentalizes it. I think this could be called a homunculus fallacy, since I'm merely putting a tiny man in my head that makes all the decisions somehow and doesn't really explain anything. You've correctly identified that this is circular in nature (the "will" just "wills" somehow).
Continuing in the same way as before through studying direct experience, I can only observe that I have a "will", something which eventually decides to act, that I can identify as "me", and also notice that there are various other internal phenomena available, that I can broadly split into two categories: verbal and non-verbal, which coerce "me" into deciding to act a particular way. The nature of both of these phenomena is beyond me, I can only describe them as I experience them.
Verbal phenomena is anything that can be characterized as pertaining to language, whether a real one, like English, or some other, internal private kind of language which can eventually be "uttered" and turned into coherent sentences. Some people have an actual inner voice that they can "hear" inside their head, while others don't actually have an identifiable inner monologue because they think in a "private" language. Personally, even though I have an inner monologue, usually in English, I can also identify that there is a silent language beneath which comes first and then becomes "uttered" internally and then perhaps externally. I think most introverted people have this voice and somehow made a habit of being preoccupied with inner phenomena and explaining things to themselves. The initial private language is clear to me, yet I still feel the need to put it into words for it to be a real thought - others might not, especially more extroverted people.
I am more concerned with non-verbal phenomena that comes to me in the form of bodily sensations and mechanisms. For instance, fear comes as a certain physiological reaction that I can perceive in the body, an elevated heart rate, a weakness in the knees, a hole in your stomach, sweaty palms and so on. Another part is that my perception becomes biased towards dangerous cues as they become extremely salient compared to the rest of the environment. This is very unpleasant and difficult to ignore.
On top of that non-verbal phenomena naturally comes verbal phenomena which tries to explain it automatically. I think this is where emotions ulimately come from, visceral sensations that are interpreted through previous memories and current context. The difference between fear and excitement is whether the salient cue is interpreted as good or bad. An elevated heart beat before a social event could be social anxiety or simply excitement to see one's friends, depending on the person's previous experience of these events, but also what seems more salient - people's future positive or negative reactions to you.
People that get injected with adrenaline and cortisol get all the physical symptoms of anxiety but there is still something missing subjectively which would make it "fear", and that depends whether the person is in a context which could be interpreted as fearful.
Let's forget about the distinction of system 1 and 2, since they no longer seem to provide any useful insight into the problem at hand. Verbal and non-verbal seem to be more useful now. Through phenomelogical study, by observing direct experience, one can make a clear distinction between what is verbal and non-verbal, but often the phenomena that occur to consciousness are a complex combination of both - one can talk about the non-verbal sensations of emotion, but also the verbal side which can be articulated into some kind of information about the world (fear => x is dangerous).
I think the fundamental problem to tackle is: what makes activities rewarding? "How could lifting a piece of metal have worth?" "How could reading letters on a page be good?" and so on.
If a person feels he's unable to exercise or read regularly, then this is the result of a combination of verbal and non-verbal phenomena which coerce him into quitting. There seems to be layers of these phenomena that can be grouped as "reasons". Initially, the person learns that other people lift weights and then becomes acquinted with the reasoning verbally, "doing this continually leads to improvement of strength and muscle definition". Ah, that makes sense, then he observes that such things would be desirable through direct experience that fit men are more sexually attractive to succubi, respected more and feared by other men. So, what makes the activity initially attractive is knowledge, either verbal reports or something more compeling, direct experience of the benefits.
Then he tries to do this and experiences pain as the natural result of physical exertion. So far in life he has avoided pain, yet in this case, the activity requires the opposite. I think what fundamentally helps him overcome this is knowledge again. It is one thing to hear that people get benefits from this, but it is another to experience it directly. That seems to be much more compelling, first-hand experience that one's muscle mass has increased, that one's abs are much more defined, and that one could take a picture of it for social media and receive further benefit in the form of social approval. The next time he tries to lift, he is aware that lifting weights is no longer something abstract that is healthy or good for you, but he has memories, direct experience that it "works".
Similarly, the person receives verbal reports by others that reading is "good", but he tries to read and nothing comes of it. Going purely based on that verbal report is uncompeling, and continual reading seems to offer nothing but discomfort.
So, it seems that what makes an activity rewarding and compelling is direct knowledge, memories that it leads to some kind of benefit that is valued by the person. A lot of people read because they create an identify of an intellectual, which is how they managed to get social approval as a child, then each book helps make that identify a reality, which makes the experience of reading rewarding.
This might explain why to create a habit or an addiction, one needs first-hand experience of the activity, rather than simply verbal "reasons". Heroin is so addictive because it not only feels good, but also makes it seem like everything is right in the world, which is that much more compelling if without heroin your world is in complete turmoil - it becomes the only solution that you really "know" of.
It also explains why one person can create a habit quickly while another can't seem to do it after several months of engaging in the activity. Initially the activity might be uncompelling depending on its base experience (lifting weights is painful, focusing on words is tiring), but then if the person can gain direct experience of the benefits of the activity, the base experience becomes rewarding and thus automatically easier. With the direct knowledge that this activity "works" and brings about something desirable, one ultimately changes how he experiences it.
What also seems to happen is that the knowledge gets lost and the person is no longer consciously aware of it, but seems to continue doing the activity because it feels "right" or "good". Like with smoking, it feels "right" to smoke, despite all the verbal reports that it's unhealthy and that you should quit. For gym rats, the marginal improvement in muscle definition is no longer the point, it's about the feeling of reward, the activity still seems "right".
Back when I started browsing wizchan, I might have had some actual benefit from it which made me keep returning to it, that I could consciously verbalize. But now I just seem to come back because it feels "right" to continually check on it each day.
>My answer is that it is pure desire that guide these people, a want to be "intellectual", "modern", nice, and most importantly of all "to be socially accepted".
Yes, this seems to be the case. But I believe depending on how recent their conditioning is, they might not be consciously aware of this reasoning. It merely seems "right" to them, either because they experience it as rewarding to virtue signal or because they might experience punishment, a sense of fear, guilt, shame etc. to have different opinions.
Similarly, people that are openly racist, also seem to do it because it's ultimately rewarding. It's hard to say that /pol/ is entirely a place where factual information is presented and everyone comes to their own conclusion, there is heavy emotional conditioning in those places. "Look at what the migrant did, never relax around niggers, society won't tell you about this, you can be above the rest of the sheep" at which point, it becomes almost a delight to talk about this stuff.
>Let me ask you this, did you choose to reply to the posts I previously made?
I made the choice, but did so because I was compelled by the anticipation that it would be a rewarding experience. To provide verbal reasoning would require a deeper look to some kind of direct knowledge that previous attempts at long discussions were fruitful and provided insight, and "worked" at solving a problem, leading to a better understanding and so on.