3 thoughts on “Neurosurgeon asks, Do we have free will or not? | Uncommon Descent”

  1. Free will is when a person decides for themselves what they will do, free of coercion or other undue influence. It does not mean “freedom from causation”. To test this, ask anyone (or yourself) why they chose one thing rather than another. They will happily explain to you the reasons that caused their choice. The idea of “freedom from reliable cause and effect” is an irrational concept, because without reliable causation we would be unable to reliably cause anything, and would literally have no freedom to actually do anything at all. This little bait-and-switch, exchanging “freedom from causation” with “freedom from coercion and undue influence”, is where the paradox begins. So don’t do that. There are a number of deceptions involved in the “free will versus determinism” hoax. For more, please see https://marvinedwards.me/2019/03/08/free-will-whats-wrong-and-how-to-fix-it/


    1. Good comment. I think that the issue of free will suffers from the lack of a new form of physics that can deal with issues of ‘will’, something a bit bizarre but anticipated in figures like Schopenhauer…


      1. The concept of “emergence” suggests that the whole is sometimes more than the sum of its parts. For example, the laws of physics cannot explain why a car stops at a red light. Between seeing the red light and pressing the brake pedal you have the biological motivation to survive and the rational calculation that stopping at the light is the best way to accomplish it. Physics knows nothing about motivation. Or reasoning. Or the laws of traffic.

        There are three levels of causation: physical, biological, and rational. The physical sciences derive their laws by observing the behavior of inanimate objects (quarks, atoms, planets, stars, etc.). The physical sciences cannot derive the natural laws of biology because it never observes living organisms. So we have the Life sciences to deal with living organisms and the Social sciences to deal with intelligent species.


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