Free will thread number 2

Despite what a compatabilist would argue, if determinism is true, it truly doesn't matter what you think or do.

Julian Sanchez is discussing a very weak type of determinism (in which our desires and methods of reason are affected by extrinsic forces). I believe in "true," or at least stronger, determinism, in which the very idea of free will is an illusion. We are nothing more than wind-up machines and there is no way to choose anything other than what you are about to choose.

To my mind, this renders all human endeavors to be somewhat of a bad joke. What's the point in punishing someone for doing something when there is really no free agent there who "did" that thing? What's the point of even having this conversation? You may be compelled to respond, but just keep in mind that "you" don't exist. You are a living, breathing player piano. There is no changing your tune.

Someone with a computer bigger than the universe and enough data about where you started out could predict not only the moment of your death, but also the exact thought process that will lead you to choose cheerios over wheaties tomorrow morning. Of course, someone with those sorts of resources would already know that their own consciousness was simply an illusion and would probably use those resources to take a long vacation instead.

The only refuges from this bleak view appear to be new science and old religion, and I don't hold out much hope for either.

No comments:

Post a Comment

eXTReMe Tracker