Re: Brave young ateists and Fearful Neanderthals

Joe Jenkins (
Wed, 3 Mar 1999 08:22:55 -0800 (PST) wrote:

> With regards to the starving children, I'm afraid that's the price
we pay > for
> free will. A God who fed all children would have to take away our
free > > will.
> Which would you rather have?
> Free will comes with a heavy price.
> Adrian

If we assume our mind is an information processor, and we further assume that it is a Turing equivalent machine, even given excessive use of pseudo-random number generators, any sequence of events could be exactly duplicated given the same sensor and effector data starting from the same initial state of the machine. Free will is thus a delusion that makes us all feel really warm and fuzzy. Turing equivalent machines can never have free will.

Even if we concede to Penroses poorly argued quantum mind, I'm not so sure that what we call free will would amount to anything more than truly random number generators. Thats not really anything to write home about. I think the whole concept of free will is meaningless. Our evolved minds seem to have a weakness for this meaningless concept.

Joe Jenkins

"With a megabyte or so per genome, the digital storage capacity of the millions of bacteria in the dirt on a typical computer far exceeds that of the advertised components. While we spend billions of dollars on dense digital storage systems, nature places far denser systems in the same boxes free of charge, but unintended and unusable." K. Eric Drexler, PhD.

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