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John Kasich, Decisions and the Brain

John Kasich, governor of Ohio is a passionate man, a family man, a good man who has performed well as a governor. But we have different opinions on how making decisions works. On NBC's "Meet the Press" three days ago (19 April 2015) Governor Kasich was asked about his running for President of the United States.

He departed from the view that as we move through life we guide ourselves by our decisions. It helps to keep us from bumping into things. Kasich said:

My family is a consideration... Number two, the most important thing is what does the Lord want me to do with my life?"

I've heard talk from Christians about people having free will and God helping those who help themselves, and perhaps I'm confused in thinking that these put God out of our decision-making process. You do it and you are responsible.

If we watch the religious TV channels we can see a lot of people connecting their emotions with decisions being made for them by God. The confusion here might also be about impulse, a subject that neuroscientists and philosophers sometimes concern themselves. I prefer not to separate impulse and emotion, and I think it would be a mistake to separate these from emotions. When an emotion wells up in some people and they think it is God telling them what to do. I don't want to tell them otherwise. And with Kasich I'll consider the two of us just different in our understanding of how the mind works.

And yesterday, Kasich surrendered consistency on the issue of waiting for the Lord. He told Sean Hannity of Fox News that he would officially declare a 2016 campaign "when I decide I can win."

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.