Re: Free Will not an illusion

From: Eric Rauch (
Date: Fri Dec 16 2005 - 13:40:41 MST


I don't think that free will exists. Sure philosophers have tried to save
it by redfining it but what most people consider to be free will is
inconsistent with causality (and no quantum randomness is no escape hatch).
I wrote an essay about free will a little while ago. Here is an excerpt:

I cannot define free will. I don't know how it would work. However I
can say with some degree of certainty that most people do not consider
behavior that is entirely the product of non-chosen factors to be
free. Furthermore, I can prove that this is the only kind of behavior
humans are capable of if the world is as it seems. Here is a proof by

Assume that a person (P) is born with certain endowments, genetics and
physical factors in general (G), and maybe a spirit or some other
ethereal energy (S). So at time 0, before the person has had any
experience with the world or had the opportunity to make any choices,
the total contents of the person will be P = G + S. None of these
factors are the product of free will. G is the product of the parents
union, and S (if it is nonzero) is chosen by god or some other
ethereal force. At time 1, the person makes its first contact with
the world (W), another non-chosen factor, and has experience E(1).
E(1) is necessarily the result of W, G, S, or some combination of the
three. Regardless of the permutation, the experience is not the
result of free will unless free will is defined as the product of
non-chosen factors. As a result of experience E(1), P = G + S + E(1).
 P's next experience (E(2)) will be the result of some permutation of
W, G, S, and E(1). So E(2) will be the product of non-chosen factors
W, G, S and E(1), which itself was the product of these factors. As a
result of E(2), P = G + S + E(1) + E(2). So in the next period, P's
interaction with the world will be the product of non-willed factors
W, G, S, E(1) (which is a product of W G and S) and E(2) (which is a
product of W G and S and E(1)). So this interaction is also the
product of entirely non-chosen factors. Assume that the same is true
after k periods, such that E(k) is the product of W, G, S and E(1),
E(2), , E(k 1). All of these experiences are ultimately the
product of W, G, and S. So E(k) is also the product of these factors.
 Then E(k + 1) will be a product of W, G, S and E(1), E(2), , E(k -
1) and E(k). As assumed, E(1), E(2), , E(k - 1) are the product of
W, G, S and E(k) is also the product of W G and S. So E(k+1) is as
well. Therefore, by induction, the interaction between P and W in any
period will be entirely the product of non-chosen factors. After many
periods, choices may seem free because one cannot figure out precisely
how these factors are interacting, just as numbers produced by a
sufficiently complex algorithm may seem random to one witnessing the

Of course, this proof only holds if the world is accurately described
by mathematics. It is also possible that my assumptions are mistaken
and there is some mysterious process (MP) that allows humans to have
free will.


On 12/16/05, Phillip Huggan <> wrote:
> This issue is at the heart of the idea that there is no objective
> morality; whatever happens, happens. Under the multiverse framework of
> physics, there is room for some free-will. Such moral agents must be
> deferred respect so that our local present and future environment is not
> subject to the same sort of RPOP that turns volumes outside of our future
> "action-cones" to computronium/orgasmium.
> *1Arcturus <>* wrote:
> Yes, there is no freewill, or rather, our perception of something we call
> free will is caused by our inability to understand ourselves perfectly in
> real-time (there are gaps around our self-monitoring capabilities, our
> awareness of cause-effects upon ourselves, and a perhaps inevitable time lag
> even if we could). Our decisio! ns do arise from our minds, but we *are* our
> minds (our embodied minds), there is nothing else to us. There is no
> 'homunculus' self inside the mind, separate from it, that would be in any
> position to contr! ol the rest of it. Even if there is an 'executive control
> network,' that would be a subset of the total mind, not the total mind
> itself. Our decisions arise from all of what we are and our total
> environments. We are not responsible for ourselves - we didn't give rise
> to ourselves. Even if we decide to modify ourselves, including our minds, it
> is just an indirect continuation of what we were, what motivated us to
> modify ourselves and in what way. 'We are all Destiny incarnate.'
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