Wednesday, October 15, 2008

9792: Free will continued

I wanted to talk about the free will thing.

In Waking Life, this character talks about determinism, and how our world view is a universe where every event is the result of events before it.

The more I think about trying to argue against it, the more I come back to determinism and how it really seems like we make our decisions based on passed experiences.

Well, obviously, we do. If your at the supermarket, and you have the choice between milk that's expired and milk that's still good, passed experiences would have you choose the good milk. Those passed experiences were caused by something else, so on and so on.

Yes our lives are determined by our choices but our choices are determined by past experiences.

So did we really have the choice in the first place?

This type of philosophy has been going on for a long time, watch the movie, the author brings up some very interesting points.

It's a big conundrum for religion. If there is free will, then there is no way to predict the future. If any choice by any person can change the outcome of events, then any type of real prophecy would be impossible. If free will does not exist then it would be pretty mean for God to be sending people to hell just because they were dealt a bad card from the start.

My opinion is that we must have free will, and the choice between a universe where everything is random or works like gears in a machine is too limited.

I think what it comes down to is that the brain is using the system, firing off that electron to send off those signals to the muscles to move the arm to grab something, the brain is still acting like a brain. Making decisions, choosing options based on random memories. Yes, the physical properties that make up the brain follow specific laws, but the brain itself is an entirely different system.

Why does it have to work like the random chaos of the tiny world, or the predictable massive universe? Maybe there is some place in between. Maybe the answers will come with a good brain theory.

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