• Yun Jae Jung
    22
    So I'm trying to write a small book and was trying to prove the existence of Free Will within a single paragraph. This is what I have so far and am looking for peoples' feedback on whether it all makes sense, is easy enough to understand, and makes a compelling argument for Free Will.

    "Imagine that there are two distinct worlds that share the same physical laws but are different in that consciousness can emerge from one but not the other. Now imagine two systems, one from each world, that are physically identical to each other but are different in that one is conscious while the other is not. As you can see, it is possible to imagine this scenario because supposing the existence or non-existence of consciousness is of no concern in maintaining physical laws. This means that while the two systems are different from each other, the difference between the two must not be physical in nature: the difference between the two systems being consciousness. As consciousness is not physical in nature, it is not entirely bound to physical elements and, so, freed from having to be deterministic. This establishes the existence of our Free Will because our decisions are affected by non-deterministic factors through our transcendental consciousness."

    I'm also interested in what other people consider to be the currently best proof for Free Will so let me know which one is your favorite.

    Edit: I appreciate all the feedback guys, I'm learning a lot. So there's another variation for my "proof" that I wrote a while ago and I'd like your thoughts on that as well.

    "In a purely physical world, sentient beings should not exist because there isn't any reason for physical systems to become cognizant. The world should be devoid of awareness filled only with mindless biological machines that ultimately do not experience anything. Yet consciousness does exist in this world, with evidence coming from our own lives, and so the transcendental must exist in order to give cause for this miracle. As the transcendental exist if consciousness exists, consciousness must be transcendental by nature. Now since the nature of consciousness is transcendental, consciousness is not entirely bound to physical elements which frees consciousness from having to be deterministic. As our consciousness interacts with the decision-making process, our decisions are affected by non-deterministic factors thus establishing the existence of our Free Will."
  • Gregory
    4k


    Only a brain can write a great paragraph like yours. The will is free because it feels transcended ( "from a simple principle") but that doesn't entail that it is transcendent
  • javi2541997
    989


    The will is free when you have in your consciousness lack of uncertainty. You act because you want to, not wanting expectations neither fearness.
    Probably some people who acts in this way never noticed they have free will.
  • Gregory
    4k
    Human consciousness is primarily uncomputable because it arises from the randomness of the quantum level through microtubules into neurons which communicate chemically with each other (electrical activity is a modular). It's the harnessing of randomness that allows will to be free. You can't think abstractly until you are free, and once you are free you come to indentify with the rationalizing side of your nature.
  • Gregory
    4k
    The only thing science doesn t know yet in how to create consciousness is as to what configuration of quantum randomness makes consciousness emerge into reality
  • Yun Jae Jung
    22
    It's not so much that the quantum level is fundamentally random so much so that our most precise method of measurement (light through photons) ends up changing what we measure when we measure really small things so there's always a degree of uncertainty which is being attempted to be bypassed through probabilistic means. Also it may be possible that in the future we find out what configuration causes consciousness so it seems foolish to base a proof on something that is tenable to change.
  • Gregory
    4k


    It seems clear that consciousness can't come from determined matter. It also seems clear that consciousness comes from what amounts to the matter of the brain.

    Consider a cup. The cup is not just matter formed in a shape. The emtypness is essential. The same goes for evil. It is not just a privation of good, but a positive substance we can feel. Emptiness, formlessness, nothingness, and darkness us how we picture randomness, and I would say the pictures you posited in your first post did not contain the necessity that consciousness not be a part of physical reality.
  • counterpunch
    1.6k


    Use of the word "systems" makes the instruction, to imagine two systems - non specific enough to allow you to race past with your conclusion while the reader is thinking - "what on earth does he mean by two systems"? It leaves a bad taste. Perhaps "people" would be a better term.

    I can imagine many things; possible and impossible. I can imagine things that are possible in one sense; say, scientifically and technologically, but not in others, for example, politically and economically.

    As possible-ness is no limit upon imagination; while the argument works to force the conclusion, the reader is left looking over their shoulder wondering what on earth did I just agree to?

    I stop, go back, and look again - and find I do not agree that two physically identical people may exhibit the singular difference that one is conscious and the other is not. They must either both be conscious or not, despite what I am able to imagine. Indeed, reason dictates that if they are identical down to the firing of neurons, they are both conscious and both thinking the same thing!
  • Mww
    3k


    Cool.

    Now all you gotta do, is show that imagination has the power of apodeictic certainty, which is the fundamental criterion of proof.

    A compelling argument is not necessarily a proof, as you probably know. Perhaps you might want to decide which one has the better chance of success.

    Because you asked.....I hold there is no proof of free will. There is only logical affirmation, and that only under certain conditions.
  • SophistiCat
    1.8k
    Imagine that there are two distinct worlds that share the same physical laws but are different in that consciousness can emerge from one but not the other.Yun Jae Jung

    Well, you lost all physicalists right here (and a good deal of others who wouldn't even describe themselves as physicalists).

    As consciousness is not physical in nature, it is not entirely bound to physical elementsYun Jae Jung

    That's another way of putting your initial assumption. So you have concluded exactly what you assumed at the start. How is that a proof?
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    Because you asked.....I hold there is no proof of free will. There is only logical affirmation, and that only under certain conditions.Mww
    Many inferences possible, one being that free will and proof of free will are different in that the one exists (in ways) without being susceptible of proof of its existence. Or, that it only exists where proved to exist. Or, that it does not exist at all, proofs being errors. Or, that it does exist, proofs being errors.

    In as much as its existence is in two forms, potential or in use, I suspect it exists everywhere all the time, notwithstanding our inabilities to use it.
  • khaled
    3.4k
    Now imagine two systems, one from each world, that are physically identical to each other but are different in that one is conscious while the other is not.Yun Jae Jung

    You first off have to assume that this is possible. Which is already dualistic (splitting minds and bodies as different types of things).

    This establishes the existence of our Free Will because our decisions are affected by non-deterministic factors through our transcendental consciousness."Yun Jae Jung

    No it doesn’t. You haven’t proven that consciousness affects our decisions. You might want to look into epiphenomenalism because it is what this dualistic thinking usually leads to.
  • Mww
    3k


    Yep......many inferences possible. Do you have a personal favorite?
  • Hanover
    7.5k
    So I'm trying to write a small book and was trying to prove the existence of Free Will within a single paragraph.Yun Jae Jung

    That's less a book than it is a sheet of paper. I think people who buy your book will be disappointed to open your book and see only a page. They'll feel ripped off.

    Anyway, some problems with your theory:

    Why would it be impossible to be conscious and lack free will?
    If the opposite of determined is random, then how does that provide for free will?
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    Yes. A free will requires a will, and one that is free. These being akin to tuxedo and cummerbund. We all ought to have one; we all can have one; they're dashing in appropriate use and even sometimes in inappropriate use, but for all that often, usually, inconvenient, and sometimes we're too out-of-shape to get into it. Or our wives donated it to the Goodwill, being no longer in use in her house.
  • Mww
    3k
    Do you have a personal favorite?Mww

    Yes. A free will requires a will, and one that is freetim wood

    But is that an inference, or a presupposition? I agree as to the latter, but if an inference, it needs its own ground, either empirical or logical.
  • NOS4A2
    5.4k


    How could we tell if consciousness “emerges” in one world but not the other? Would everyone in one world be awake, in the other asleep?
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    Now you get to educate. What I mean is that the individual in question affirms, "I will it." Like Picard's, "Make it so!" Hmm. I find this reasonable, but at the same time no requirement for reason.

    Hmm again. Why do you say ground and why empirical or logical. I do not disagree.... Are you saying simply that to have a will and it deployed, it must be about something, and the "about" arising out of reason or circumstance? That implies that will reacts to reason or circumstance. I wonder if will is primordial to both? That is, encounters and uses them. In sum, I'm thinking a four-year-old has a will, and is even capable of a free application - not, however his claim immunizing him from a spanking....
  • Gregory
    4k


    A four year old does have free will, although like us, as you imply, they might if ever only take it out for certain occasions (holidays). The German idealists call randomness and free both spontaneous, but classical matter and in fact all substance (material or not) cannot be warped into a free will properly. Only randomness can be so transformed
  • Yun Jae Jung
    22
    Couldn't you maintain all physical laws within two worlds such as gravity and electromagnetism but have it so that one is capable of consciousness while the other isn't? So in the other world, human beings would exist and they would all react to stimuli under a very intricate set of causal rules similar to human beings in our own world but they wouldn't actually be aware of anything they do as if they were puppets following a complex set of unconscious processes? I'm saying if you could imagine a situation like this, it shows that physical laws alone can't break down the emergence of consciousness.
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    Yours a metaphor, and a pretty good one. Don't push it though, metaphors often have weak seams and can burst, like the costumes female performers sometimes wear. Not appropriate for daily wear, and for most an embarrassment when they do burst.
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    The German idealists call randomness and free both spontaneous, but classical matter and in fact all substance (material or not) cannot be warped into a free will properly. Only randomness can be so transformedGregory

    A little more, please? I almost understand what you wrote, but not quite.
  • Gregory
    4k


    Ok. If we imagine (like the OP) a few billiard balls which move by determimistical laws, I don't see how it could be AI. To think is noncomputable, so only a random subject can be, eh, subjected to the emergence of consciousness
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    Well, that's the point of the OP, yes? And, still thinking, In this usage, "random" becomes very problematic indeed. E.g,, no thing is random.
  • Gregory
    4k


    I think randomness wasn't understood in previous eras. Modern probability theory, stats, and all that opened our minds to it. When Aquinas speaks of randomness, he clearly didn't know what it was. The OP puts the will in something non-physical which by definition is what we call the spiritual. I believe matter itself is spiritual and therefore there is none of this dualism in my system
  • Yun Jae Jung
    22
    That's why I start by saying there are two distinct worlds rather than two distinct systems, each system is from each world so they follow different rules albeit the same physical laws - isn't it possible to imagine that our world could have all the same physical laws such as newton's law of motion and gravity but is different in that one can create consciousness while not the other.
  • SophistiCat
    1.8k
    Couldn't you maintain all physical laws within two worlds such as gravity and electromagnetism but have it so that one is capable of consciousness while the other isn't?Yun Jae Jung

    Not if you adhere to at least a very modest type of physicalism: supervenience physicalism.

    I'm saying if you could imagine a situation like this, it shows that physical laws alone can't break down the emergence of consciousness.Yun Jae Jung

    I don't understand what you mean by physical laws breaking down the emergence of consciousness. And I don't see how imagining what some people can imagine proves whatever it is that you are trying to prove (some non-naturalist conception of consciousness, which you seem to equate with free will). I get that you are trying to do something similar to Chalmers' argument for phenomenal consciousness, but I confess that I never bought his argument either.
  • Yun Jae Jung
    22
    I appreciate all the feedback guys, I added an older version for my attempt at a proof for free will in the original post and would like your thoughts on that as well.
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    The OP puts the will in something non-physical which by definition is what we call the spiritual.Gregory
    Maybe by your definition, but that forecloses on possibility. Lots of verbs for example, refer to non-physical things that are certainly not spiritual. Example: I walk. Walking may indeed be a label for what I am doing, but that's map/territory. Do you see the problem?
  • Mww
    3k
    Are you saying simply that to have a will and it deployed, it must be about something, and the "about" arising out of reason or circumstance?tim wood

    Basically that, yes, insofar as circumstance is a demonstration of us in a casual capacity, as opposed to Mama Nature being the causality. Arising out of practical reason insofar as the objects willed....your “it” in “I will it”, are our own determinations.
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    Warp, weft, yarns. None the weaving or the woven, but those only in the combined application of warp, weft, yarns. Is that your idea of will? That reason and circumstance are found in us (and if not found there, then nowhere) and that some impulse that combines with these creates and constitutes will?

    Heidegger's Sorge - care - might be the motive power driving that impulse, and that from our
    thrownness. Yes no maybe correct refine? Kant/Heidegger? Or are those two relatively prime to each other?

    I vote will comes first, as the instinct to snarl and growl, or purr. Later it's refined and made appropriate.
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