The philosophy of no one has free will and this is all predetermined


The philosophy of no one has free will and this is all predetermined

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The idea is that everything just works by the laws of physics and A results in B and so on.

So, your brain takes in inputs but it then just follows the laws of physics with its output. You make no decisions.

If you think about it like a story there’s an author writing it. (God) characters (people) and events.

The writer creates everything and sets how he thinks the characters will respond to the set events he chooses to better convey the story and get whatever the point of the work is across to the audience.

In this case the best the characters can do is what he sets for them, but becuse he’s also writing it he knows what they will do becuase he made it that way. The characters will do exactly as he has stated.

This is a concept called ‘determinism’

Essentially, it holds that the universe and everything in it- from the movement of galaxies and solar systems to the chemical reactions that take place inside the human brain- operate like a sequence of dominos where everything is caused by something else. Since everything you do is caused by something which in itself is caused and so on, you do not have free will- merely the illusion of it.

The opposite belief to determinism is called libertarianism (not to be confused with political libertarianism although they both relate to freedom) which basically states that not all things are decided by physical objects acting in a casual manner and instead that humans have a unique ability to think and act freely.

Imagine that you drop a pebble in a pond. Cause and effect determines exactly what happens next – how big the ripples are, how far they spread, etc. And there are a bunch of causes that can affect those ripples – the weight and shape of the rock, the height at which it was dropped, the wind speed, dozens of tiny factors. But if you could control every single one of those factors in a lab setting, you’d get the exact same result every time, right?

Determinism is the same idea, but expanded to the human brain. After all, our brain is just a complex series of chemical reactions, responding to all of the stimuli in the world around us, and outputting its responses. “Free will” is the idea that there’s something beyond those chemical reactions – if you had two perfectly identical brains in two perfectly identical situations, “free will” means that if one chooses response A, the other might choose response B instead.

Determinism says that there’s just that complex web of cause and effects, and given the same brain in the same situation, response A is the only possible response. And since the entire *universe* is just one long, amazingly complex chain of causes and effects dating back to the Big Bang, every action that we take was predetermined at the Big Bang. The universe expanded, stars were formed, Earth got set spinning around the sun, apes evolved into humans, your parents created you, and you typed out this question, and I typed out this response, and all of that was *guaranteed* from the very beginning of the universe, because the cause must always lead to the effect. Your brain is just a biological calculator; one other set of causes and effects in the universe, responding to the stimulus that come in and outputting the only possible responses.

The concept works on the following.

Assume that you had an explosion, if you had a theoretically powerful enough computer you would be able to say with certainty exactly where each and every particle in that explosion would end up. This is because physics is math, there is always a correct answer for the outcome of any problem regardless of how complex it becomes. The issue then becomes this:

The human brain works with biology, but biology itself is mostly just working with chemistry, but chemistry itself is mostly just working with physics, and as we said before physics always has a correct answer at the end of the day (even if calculating the answer would be so complex it would take over the length of the universe to do so)

This can lead people to the realization that assuming they had some device capable enough you would be able to simulate every single chemical and physical interaction that forms a the brain of a creature. If one brain can be simulated there is no reason why you couldn’t then simulate a human brain. And if a human brain can be simulated then we know like everything else around us that it all boils down to math eventually. Infinitely complex math, but math not nonetheless.

This leads us to the topic of determinism, the idea here being that if everything is fundamentally based in math and math fundamentally always has an answer, then provided that you knew literally everything about the starting conditions of any given event you would be able to logically plot out the course of what will happen precisely and be able to predict the outcome. (Granted the calculation would in all likelihood take infinitely longer than the event itself so the prediction would be effectively meaningless, but you could do it)

But if an event can be predetermined, then all events can become predetermined. This effectively means that we’re just all going through the motions that were set into place long long ago when the universe first started.

My question to you now is this: why does any of this matter? Who cares if you have free will or not? If the possession or absence of Free Will is non-distinguishable from within the viewpoint of the actors why does it matter?

These lofty concepts like Free Will and predestinations sounds strange and weird, but ultimately none of it matters because none of us will ever be able to get outside of the universe. The only time being able to do things differently would matter is if you have the ability to go back in time and change things or to have the same thing replay multiple times and do things differently, however we can’t do either so really why bother worrying about it.