Friday, 20 February 2009

Free Will and Determinism paradox

After the discussion I observed yesterday, I have been thinking about it myself. I will start off with De Facto and explain the paradoxes.

Free will is the assumption that human actions have no generative cause because of the complexities involved in determining the will to provoke the action. It is assumed to be incomprehensible by human mind therefore neglected.

In the other hand, determinism assumes that all actions have a cause. This is derived from the observation of the world in detail/minute scale where particle behaviour has a preceding cause.

Now we shall look at the paradoxes, starting with free will. If a human or any living creature exercises a will, their actions are generated from a phenomenon that is exclusive to them and doesn't need to abide by the existing natural laws. It is an exception to the rule. For example, it is like saying, a ball bounces according to natural laws but living creatures, or as we prefer to think, humans, have a spiritual ghost that drives the free will mechanism. This of course would be an unacceptable argument from any rational perspective.

As for the paradox of determinism, it can be explained simply by the following metaphor. A ball flung against the wall of an enclosed cube floating in space would continue to bounce against the sides of the wall as there would be no frictional force resulting in from gravity if we assume that the enclosed cube has no capacity to inflict gravity or frictional force. If there are several balls in the enclosure, they will probably head for collision course against each other introducing a more complex activity. If we imagine the human brain with particles behaving in this manner and driving the workings of the body, there would be little point in debating the truthfulness or falsehood of the two positions because even the activities resulting in someone attesting the correctness of free will have gone through the same deterministic processes. There is no criteria for "truth" in the situation. And we can know for sure that truth exists because "truth doesn't exist" is in itself stating a truth statement.

I feel that the best way to compromise between the two position is to look at another metaphor. We are aware that the world is a spheroid but from first person perspective, it is perceived as a flat plane. In the same way, determinism can be pictured as the whole and free will as the local perception rather than view them as two separate entities. This is possible to perceive from the viewpoint of an external observer, who is aware of all the activities taking place in the brain and has a machine capable of predicting the next action based on determinism, however being unaware of their own free will induced by the deterministic quality of the brain.

It just seems easier to think that the world is a flat plane while working locally. If we agree that the purpose of life is to be happy and if ease of achieving the purpose itself fulfils the purpose, it can be said that free will can make us happier.


Leon said...

Interesting...but I prefer compatibilism, which attests that there is no paradox, and the fact that something is predetermined, even trivially so, makes it no less one's decision. Your impression sees free will as an approximation, and whilst pragmatically this works, I don't see it as any fundamental attack on the paradox.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Bharat!

- Your Secret Admirer

moniquezzz said...

It looks like you suggest that free will is a function of the brain, but it is not that simple as the human being is not just brain activity. Yes thoughts are a big part of it, but you cannot neglect emotions, but beautiful post anyways <3

Bharat said...

Oh come on moniquezzz, this blog is purely a speculation. I dont claim to know the truth... :D