Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Little Robot That Could

At DilbertBlog, Scott Adams give his argument against free will.
I have tried arguing that the laws of physics clearly apply to brains, and brains cause your actions. That seems so obvious to me that belaboring it with additional evidence would be overkill.

Believers in free will, who Mr. Adams calls "free willys", would counter that that free will is evidenced by our experience of making choices. He would reply,
No one doubts that you feel as if you make choices in those situations. But the argument ignores the fact that your specific brain in that specific situation can only operate in one specific way unless the rules of physics stop applying at decision-making time.

Anticipating responses (and his post had 749 comments when I saw it), he concludes,
[Note to the first person who says, “If you don’t have free will, how did you choose to write this post? Ha! I have uncovered the flaw in your concept!” I had no choice but to write this exact post given the state of my brain this morning. And like everyone else, I have the persistent illusion of making choices.]

[Note to the first person who says, "If there is no free will then you are saying people shouldn't be punished for crimes. Civilizations will collapse!" People who don't believe in free will still support the legal system. We have no choice. We're wired that way. So relax.]

Here's a bit more on the subject of Determinism and Human Action.

1 comment:

  1. Artificial Intelligence reigns, eh?