Home > computation, consciousness, cosmology, philosophy, physics > Free Will is a Walk in the Park

Free Will is a Walk in the Park

October 23, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

JE: > When I say that when I walk into the park and sense that I can choose whether to go right or left, the reality is that there is only one possible outcome, is not, I think, related to presentism or eternalism…

> Let’s forget these positions. The issue is, regardless of metaphysical stance, how many outcomes will be possible if I actually walk into the park at 11.35 this morning. We are not talking of conceivability. I could conceive that I bifurcated into two people and went both ways. We are talking about what ‘options’ are possible for the universe if we believe that things will obey the laws of physics.

The universe does not just obey the law of physics though. It obeys the laws of biology, zoology, anthropology, psychology, imagination and intuition as well. It obeys the law of conscious intention.

The number of possible outcomes is potentially infinite.

You could walk in a circle. You could walk off the path. You could sit down in front of a tree. You could hail a cab to the airport and go to Spain.

If you are looking for free will you cannot look for it in a sealed box, any more than you can look for Shakespeare in the set of English pronouns and articles.

What if instead of assuming that the universe is built only from the bottom up by dumb Lego parts, we see that the opposite is also true. Legos are designed and manufactured for creative use from the top down as well. All that we have to do is realize that we ourselves are already evidence of top down causality, and to notice that our existence in the universe is impossible as a purely bottom up phenomenon. (“Up” where?)

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  1. October 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    No-one denies top-down feedback. The construction/creation of reality, like the construction/creation of consciousness, is a continual and dynamic (over an enormous spectrum of interacting evo/devo rates) interaction between internal and external. Cosmology doesn’t evolve from consciousness. Consciousness evolves with cosmology.

    • October 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      I agree that it’s true in a sense that reality is a dynamic interaction between internal and external, but I argue that the *discernment* of internal and external cannot exist externally. A body can make sense only if sense exists to make a body. A body that makes no sense or has no sensitivity cannot be associated with any experience and is therefore identical to nothingness.

      Locally, within human consciousness, we are evolving experiences of individual humanity, zoology, biology, etc, but when we get to the outermost definitions, symmetry cannot hold since symmetry itself is a sensed aesthetic, not a factual cosmological condition. Cosmology requires a priori expectations of perception and participation to diverge as existence-insistence from the pansensitive parent (‘istence’). Consciousness could theoretically take place without a cosmos – as a spontaneous cartoon or dream, without any ontological problem, but cosmology without any substrate of sanity or coherence doesn’t work.

      Every form or function supervenes on a more primitive capacity to appreciate that form or participate in the function – thus there can be no light that is not seen-light, no sound that is not heard-sound, no matter that is not presented-matter, etc.

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