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an interesting article on science and free will


Isn't the whole point of interaction an extension of the notion that free will does not exist? Its something that we intrinsically believe; that everything is caused by other things, so if you can figure out all the factors involved in producing X, you can produce X 100% of the time.

We do this ALL. THE. TIME. Whether its spanking your kids for breaking the window, showering before you get ready for a date, or smiling at your boss even though you can't stand him, we are all operating on the assumption that you can influence the universe to get certain results if you apply certain forces. The fact that we then turn around and say "Well but I always make my own decisions independent of these forces" just seems. . . mindbogglingly naive.

We do make our decisions based on forces and events beyond our immediate awareness. The fact that we cannot determine what all those factors may be at any given time doesn't mean we have free will, any more than not knowing what direction the dice will bounce when it hits the floor means that the dice is consciously choosing its path.

When you roll a 6 on your dice, does the dice say that it meant to do that? Or does it say that it wanted to be a 4, but there were pressing reasons it had to be a 6 and one day, when its done laying there, it'll be a 4 again?

The problem with the realization of "no free will" is that it changes the relationship on the forces acting on a person. If, because of the other forces that have shaped him, a person believes that (for example) "free will" = personal responsibility, and other forces act on him sufficient to alter or override that belief, then that person may believe that he cannot be held personally responsible for his actions.

However, the other forces acting on him are still in existence. Choosing to go on a raping and pillaging spree brings other who believe safety = killing rapists. Either the other forces acting on the subject are sufficient for him to realize "no free will" =/= no consequences, or he eventually is interdicted by the other forces acting on him as a result.

(It's quite possible that the person could live a comfortable life as a sociopath with the notion that he can't be held personally responsible for whatever he chooses to do. Dictators do this all the time. So do people whose existence has them in a place where they have reached a place of equilibrium; what they want to do coincides nicely with what they are permitted to do, so they have no need or desire to test their belief that they cannot be held personally responsible for their actions).

Its not quite very flowery and technical, but it does match the evidence at hand nicely.
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Azdgari Yes. This. January 15, 2013, 04:25:34 PM