Alex asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 2 months ago

Does the free will really exist?

The universe is ruled by deterministic laws.

Our brains respond to these laws, thus they're deterministic.

I mean, if we could save the status of the universe at the time t_0, we can predict my future decisions.

Well, the universe we are used to is ruled by the Newton's physics, but maybe our macrocosm is influenced by the quantum mechanics, in which, we can't do predictions, but statistical predictions only.

If 2 pills are offered to me, I may have 60% of odds to take the blue one and 40% of odds to take the red one (SIMPLIFYING A LOT).Well, is this free will? No! Not even! "We" can't choose it either.

If you think about it, we can't have free will: what is it?

Free will allows us to decid, but "US" are merely our brains, which take a decision just by using chemistry and physics, am I wrong?And this is blowing my mind...

Sorry for my baaaaaad english, not a native here.



Update 2:

Can ppl just answer in a normal way please

Update 3:

Ye, the quantum world could affect us, but still I don't see any free will (I wrote it in the main question).

The problem is that we consider ourselves "out of the universe", I mean, we are basically a piece of meat with naural connections, and they respond to the psysics (Newton's, Quantum etc) that create biases.

Update 4:

I'm not saying that WE are able to predict, I am saying that in general it could be possible to do so.

Ok, we don't have a perfect law, but one day we could...

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Yes. Jesus Christ gave us free will. The free will to accept him or be a Liberal that will burn in eternal agonizing hellfire and torment. 

    Source(s): Jesus is God
  • 2 months ago

    Here's the problem with deterministic viewpoints on free will.  From studying quantum mechanics and quantum physics, we know that the universe is driven by probability, not cause and effect.  Because of that, a lot of what we see exhibits chaotic behavior at one level or another.  Erosion of coastlines and the distribution of capillaries in the human heart BOTH follow fractal distribution.  Storm patterns follow chaotic trends. The iris in your eye is colored fractally.  Your fingerprints appear to be fractal.

    Therefore, if our minds operate like most other things in nature, there is probably a good bit of chaos involved.  That chaos, in practical terms, represents "sensitive dependence on initial conditions."  SDIC means that only an exactly, precisely, thoroughly defined set of conditions will be predictable.  I mean REALLY nit-picky precise - or you have no clue.

    Now in the practical sense of the term "free will" you can probably argue that it is all about raw chemistry potentials, and I get that.  BUT here is where I have a philosophical block on saying that we have no free will.

    We don't know how to map the flow of nerve energy from a bunch of neurons firing in the back of our eyes to the point of reading this sentence somewhere in our brain.  We CANNOT show a flowchart that leads from sensory stimulus to neural interpretation of that which we sensed.  In the absence of a  good mapping scheme, I don't think we have a justification for saying that everything is deterministic.

    There is another practical issue.  Because of SDIC, you cannot easily predict my behavior from one moment to the next.  (Or anyone else's, for that matter.)  If you cannot predict someone's behavior, then you cannot tell the difference between "Free Will" and Chaotic mental behavior.  Not that it isn't deterministic, but that you cannot always prove that it is. It is like the Turing Test for determining that an AI is actually intelligent.  There actually is no way to prove that an AI is intelligent.  There is only a way to prove that it is not. 

    You can probably show some studies about people's predictability, and statistics will help make some of those predictions.  That is because some of what we do probably IS predictable.  (E.g. feed me beans, wait a while, you'll have to leave the room.)  But can you predict what will happen when someone is faced with a "person in danger and in need of rescue" situation?  Will they be a hero or will they stand by in morbid fascination?  You don't know - and both have been known to happen, even in cases when the "hero" is totally unknown to the victim.

  • Cowboy
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Einstein showed Newton's laws were just a special case. He generalized things and came up with our current theory of gravity (although there are several competitors). The idea of the deterministic universe died sometime in the 19th century - our brains are so subjective that we can barely communicate, e.g. this question is a meaningless noise.

  • 2 months ago

    I agree with all your statements. Newtonian determinism can't allow free will. Randomness of QM can't allow it either. 

    But if every nerve impulse is random due to QM, we would just flop around like in a seizure. And if every movement of ours is predetermined from the beginning of time, what chose the initial position and velocity of every particle so as to make our movements coordinated and rational? 

    This is the Free Will paradox. It can't exist and yet it must exist. There is something that we are missing. Some revolution in our understanding of consciousness is needed. 

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  • Ted K
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Those "deterministic laws" are really nothing more than mathematical descriptions of the observed relationships between physical quantities, and they are not universally applicable under all conditions, i.e. some laws only apply under certain conditions--under different conditions, those laws may break down.  They are NOT hard and fast, "must-be-obeyed" rules that have been handed down on stone tablets, they are DESCRIPTIONS.  They were developed (invented, if you will) by humans in an effort to try to simplify what they observed.

    Even the simplest known physical systems that are well characterized mathematically (e.g. the hydrogen atom) can only be described in terms of probabilities--NOT certainties.  Horribly complex things like human behavior and emotions, which themselves appear to be emergent properties arising out of the complex interactions between different neural pathways in our large brains are not understood well enough to be reduced to simple equations.  The very fact that we call these phenomena "emergent properties" means that we don't have a decent understanding of precisely how and why they happen--they are certainly not predicted based on our simple level of understanding of neuroanatomy, physiology and psychology.  So when talking about something like "free will," trying to reduce it all into strictly deterministic terms is more than a little misleading.  At this point we just don't understand enough to be able to do that with any degree of certainty.  You can get a very rough idea of what large numbers of people--as a group--are likely to do (there's that slippery probability cropping up again), but individuals remain fairly unpredictable.  We are not anywhere close to the point where we can, say, predict what a person will or will not do, based solely on knowing any one or number of physical laws.  So to claim that the existence of such laws renders free will nonexistent is fine for say, rousing philosophical discussions when you're sitting around with your friends smoking a doobie, but as a serious issue, will just lead down a dead end path, i think.

    For those reasons I think the notion of there being "no free will" is contradicted by what we see individuals doing.  Nothing is determined, nothing is foreordained, except maybe general human stupidity.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Free Willy is Whale not Number

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The universe is NOT deterministic. The quantum world is full of uncertainties. It is often not possible to know where a subatomic particle is located, so much so that it is possible for a particle to be present at 2 different locations at the same time. It is called the Uncertainty Principle. This principle is so powerful that even Einstein had trouble with it. He did not like it but he could not get rid of it. Einstein himself realizes that particles have wave-like properties and waves act like particles. It led to the invention of the electron microscope, when scientists figured out that electrons can act just like light waves. Light waves also act like particles and they are called photons. How can the universe be deterministic if wavicles (entities are both wave-like and particle-like) are the norm. Even something as big as the sun is a wavicle.

  • CRR
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Did you post this question of your own free will?

  • ?
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Yes because your behavior is dependent on the behavior of other people, events, and you can introduce random behavior (at the extreme you get a quantum random number generator card for your computer and let its’ output choose your behavior from time to time)

    In any case, legally you are responsible for your behavior; “ It was pre-destined that I murder someone is not a success ful defense.

  • 2 months ago

    Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

    If people didn't have free will, it would mean that they are not responsible for their actions, and that would be a problem, so we'll just have to assume that free will exists.

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