Re: Free will (was: Re: Nucleus Accumbens Transplant)

christophe delriviere (
Thu, 03 Dec 1998 03:45:36 +0100

Damien Broderick wrote:

> At 01:51 PM 12/2/98 +0100, Anders wrote:
> > As I see it free will is a macroscopic property
> >of an agent being able to behave in a way that is hard to predict in
> >general without simulating the whole agent
> >So in my perspective, indeterminism isn't
> >necessary for free will. But this can be debated for hours
> I must be mad, getting into this. But here's my 2 cents:

Why? ;)... well in fact yes... such subjects attracts me like black holes .... I've so few possibilities to discuss it and got new ideas ....

> If the mind is the brain/body in action, radical indeterminism of the
> quantal kind *can't possibly* be the source of `free will'. We
> absolutely
> do not regard random acts as `free' - in fact, they are as unfree as
> any
> acts done under rigid coercion.

YES!!!!! ;)I'm happy to see that pointed out...

> The loop-hole in this argument, as I (dimly) understand it, is the
> sort of
> story told by non-monists such as Popper and Eccles. If it makes
> sense to
> suppose that minds have (or are) a non-physical or `spiritual'
> component -

Non-physical equals non-existing in our universe (witch can be considered as a closed system)... isn't?

> whatever that might mean - supervenient upon the hardware of the
> brain,
> then perhaps quantal uncertainties can provide the entrance point to a
> neural cascade causing the brain to enter specific states. Of course,
> this
> just pushes back the issue of `freedom of the will' into a mysterious
> impalpable black box,

As you have said previously, quantum uncertainty can't logically be where FW is hiding, you can't choose for yourself the result of an observable before making the experiment.

> and one for which we have no independent evidence.

> (But if there is anything to the claims of lab evidence for psi, which
> I
> still find provocative [cf. PEAR, Dean Radin, etc], maybe we will be
> obliged to take into account some such mysterioso realm of being and
> perhaps consciousness.)

What I think, is that "free will" like the " I " concept, is just an useful heuristic that has been embedded in our brains during darwinian evolution. When we believe in "free will", we are somewhat better adapted to the world.

So "free will" is a very useful mere illusion. If you accept that our universe function according to some laws, knowable or not, or even if from time to time doesn't obey to laws... we can't absolutely not tamper with ;)... because we are just the products of these laws in action, of this dam dynamically evolutive universe.

We are the products of the interactions of the objects that compose us and our surrounding.
If I want something, if I have a goal, it's because of my Machinery and his interactions with his surrounding.

Every moment, you can't think or wish something that is not, at least, physically compatible with the previous moment.

Probably "free will" as an illusion is not about physics, but just pure mathematical causal logic.

Like the " I " concept and 'free will", transhumanism/extropianism are useful sets of memes that somewhat transform you gradually, for example, in a more adaptive, thinking and knowledgeable person, at least if you have been exposed to ....