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

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 05 Dec 1998 14:16:01 -0500

The idea that quantum indeterminism is the source of free will has been disproved for over 30 years. Feynman's book _QED_ should have put this all to rest, but apparently nobody got the implications of the Transactional Interpretation till John Cramer's work in 1986 which demonstrated that given the apparent proof of the accuracy of Feynman's QED interpretation, then parallel universe theory is bunk. Given also that the only apparent method of time travel into the past involves closed time-like curves, then true communication with the past is impossible. As long as people can make their decisions free from information from the future, then there is free will. Information from the past only influences one's willfullness to exert free will. It does not rule it out entirely.

Mike Lorrey

Zenarchy wrote:

> Physics has become metaphysics again. Physicists talk about atoms having
> free will. Some have said that no event can be postulated without the
> presence of a witnessing observer. Eddington says, “Religion first became
> possible for a reasonable scientific man about the year 1927.”

An 'observer' in quantum physics is not a living being. It is another particle. A quantum bubble emitted by an atom is popped when observed by another atom, which sends a virtual antiparticle backward in time to interact with the originating particle. It is a virtual handshake, the virtual particles are in phase with each other, and thereby create a real photon in that pathway. These virtual particles also move beyond the atoms they interact with and are out of phase with virtual particles emitted in directions in time outside the interaction, which causes them to cancel out the out of phase virtual particles. This is the Transactional Interpretation of QED.

> As far as I know, no one has absolute free will except for Buddha,
> Krishnamurti, and other enlightened masters. But the freedom of their will
> (or determined action) has neither desire nor choice in it. So, in a sense
> they had freedom, but not really any will.

Anyone who is an amnesiac has absolute free will with no constraints. Each of us has free will. Our willfullness to use it is tempered by our past.

> Come to think of it, the term /free will/ may qualify as one of the oldest
> oxymorons in the language, because either a man has freedom from will, or he
> remains the slave of will. The idea of free will comes from the ego. The ego
> likes to flatter itself that it can live willfully, and yet enjoy freedom
> simultaneously. The ego likes to believe that it can perform this miraculous
> feat despite all immediate evidence to the contrary. A man of will has no
> freedom, and a man of freedom has nothing to do with will.
> The ego/mind jumps to opposites very easily. It invents dichotomies: either
> you live as a free agent, or you exist as a slave. Neither idea coincides
> with the truth, because the ego/mind itself exists only as an idea. (See,
> for example The Myth of The Mind.)

On the contrary. One can be free in body but enslaved in the mind, or free in mind but enslaved in body. The abolition movement of the 19th century only worked to end the second sort of slavery. Unfortuanately, most of the descendants of those slaves tend to still be enslaved in the mind.

> In the vast interdependence of life, individual humans do not exist
> separately. Ergo freedom and slavery do not exist except as inventions of
> the human brain, which tries to enforce its view of reality by popular
> consesnsus.
> Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the elephant and the fly. A very large
> elephant walked across a bridge. The old bridge shook tremendously, and a
> fly sat on the head of the elephant, near his ear. When they had gone over
> the bridge (they had almost destroyed it in crossing), the fly said to the
> elephant, “Wow! Did we shake that thing!” But the elephant didn’t hear, of
> course.
> The vast interconnections of life make a human very tiny. The proportion
> outstrips that of a fly to an elephant. Compared to life entire, a human
> seems almost nothing. Yet we go on insisting that the bridge shakes because
> of us.

This is the classic eastern justification for not respecting individual rights. Try telling that story to someone like Jody Williams, who lives across the river a bit from me. She was a virtual cyclone in organizing and leading the Coalition to Ban Landmines, for which she received the Nobel Peace Prize this past year. Beyond that, she has been a virtual nobody. She had no title, no family name or money. She held no elected office, yet she accomplished this much.

> A man says that he has “free will.” Such hubris! Some argue for free will,
> and some argue against it, saying that no one really has freedom, that we
> all live as meat puppets, the strings in some unknown hands. But this also
> misses. Both arguments fail, because in reality the distinction between the
> individual and the universe has no validity.
> If you identify with the whole, then you feel like a master. If you set
> yourself against the whole, then you feel like a slave.

On the contrary. When I set myself against the rest of the universe I know I am alive, that I am a free man, for I am resisting everything placed against me. Those that identify with the whole are bricks in the wall, cogs in the machine. Mere automatons, slaves in the mind.

> If you understand
> that the brain invents these distinctions, then you can experience freedom
> from the entire entanglement.
> We people the world with interdependent symbiosis, with neither mastery nor
> slavery. Understanding that brings freedom. The West finds it difficult to
> accept this because when Occidentals think about freedom, they think of free
> will, and when Orientals think about freedom, they think of freedom from
> the will. Freedom in the contemplative sense means freedom from the ego, the
> will, the mind, the memory. In the West it means freedom from every barrier,
> limitation, constraint, but the ego remains – the “I” remains. The ego wants
> to own that freedom. In the East, when contemplatives speak of freedom, the
> “I” does not remain in it, because the I exists as part and parcel of the
> bondage, and the ego goes with the bondage. Freedom remains, not “I” --
> that freedom they call /moksha/. Not that “you” or “I” become free.
On the
> contrary, we become free of ourselves, and no separate selves exist. Self
> simply disappears, it existed only as a dream anyway, a false concept, an
> arbitrary viewpoint. Useful, but not true.

Use of the metaphor of the cosmic unconcious is merely a means to enslave the mind of the individual to the will of the whole. Useful, but not true.

Mike Lorrey