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Back to the future of "free will"
more musings on this "taboo" subject
Now that I have finished both Sam Harris’s and Daniel Dennett’s viewpoints on “free will”, it is time for me to take a stand - if not a stand at least model how I look at it from my perspective. And I plan to do it over a few days…
Today, I would like to get two things out of my way.
The first thing is the concept of Determinism and the fact that everything is determined. My thoughts on this are very clear. Everything does look determined when you look backwards, but you are never able to see forward. We humans are so enamoured in our ability to attribute order and understanding that we will completely forget that most of the emergence is “chance” and “random”. In a finite small setting, everything seems to be ordered, but in the larger setting, everything is indeed changing. So, I believe that one can either believe in determinism or believe in randomness, not both. So I am going to go with the randomness and emergence camp on this one. From a concept of “free will”, I believe that therein indeed “free will” with some constraints and I shall talk about this in further articles to explain my viewpoint.
The second concept, I would like to get out of the way is “Dualism”. I don’t believe in this either. Folks to believe in Dualism are able to split human action (or decision making) into its component parts. Mind-Body. Left brain-Right brain. Brain-Heart. The conscious-subconscious-unconscious. And whatever-vs-whatever. For me, the idea is extremely simple. The parts don’t work on their own. The whole is all that counts. So irrespective of the part that makes the decision, the decision in its whole, is by the person. Arguments like the brain have fMRI activity seconds before the decision comes out is just a delivery mechanism.
So, 0-2 for me against determinism and dualism. The modelling continues…