DNA vs Free Will

John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Fri, 24 Jan 1997 20:56:36 -0800 (PST)


On Thu, 23 Jan 1997 Lee Daniel Crocker <lcrocker@calweb.com> Wrote:

>I don't yet know what it is about them [atoms] that creates
>what I experience as free will.

The experience, the feeling of free will comes from our own uncertainty,
we don't know what we will do next because we don't understand ourselves very
well. I don't think it's any more profound than that.

>the chemical proper ties of the brain that we can understand
>don't explain it [free will]

If we could explain our free behavior then we could understand it, if we
understood it then we could predict it if we could predict it then we
wouldn't have it. We have free will if and only if we can't explain it.

>so we must not know everything about how those atoms behave.

It's not atoms fault, there are just too many properties and too many atoms.
We don't know how atoms behave in complex situations and the brain is about
as complex as you can get, and to make matters FAR worse, the act of trying
to figure out what the atoms in my brain will do next, changes those very
atoms. The very act of thinking about the state of my brain changes the state
of my brain.

On Fri, 24 Jan 1997 Chris Hind <chind@Juno.com> Wrote:

>We should not speak of whether we have free will or not but
>how much free will we have.

Tell me what you mean by free will then we can talk about how much of it we
have. If you mean our inability to predict what we will do next, then we have
a lot of it. If you mean our actions are completely independent of outside
forces then we probably have a little of it, but far more than I'd like
because that's nothing but pure randomness.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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