Free will

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#1
For simplisticy we are just going to define free will as internal indeterminism for some entity. An entity has free will then it's actions are not fully determined by outside inputs. Quantum mechanics seems to work in such an indeterminate manner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell's_theorem

For a decision to be freely made the output of the decision cannot be pre-determined, it cannot be like a computer where there is only 1 possible output for each input (ignoring the possibility of errors).

So a decision that is made freely will be a random decision (the decision itself is random, not merely caused by randomness).

If our consciousness itself is quantum mechanical we will have conscious free will since our conscious decisions themselves would be truly random to a degree, not just influenced by random processes outside of your consciousness.

Consciousness as an emergent property from classical computations would not allow for conscious free will and would also make it possible to copy the consciousness or uploading it into a powerful enough computer. Even in that case however actual decisions by humans would still have a degree of unpredictability since the classical computations would be potentially impacted by quantum events.

If our universe itself is deterministic then there wouldn't be any free will at all since the future (including all our decisions) would already exist and there would only be an illusion of choice and randomness.

While the outcome cannot be known some outcomes/decisions will still be far more likely than others, you could theoretically calculate these probabilities but you would never be able to always correctly guess what decision someone would make.

Decision A: 90%
Decision B: 8%
Decision C: 0.2%
Decision D: 1.8%

The probability for you making a decision will depend on various factors such as your genetics and your recent experience. This model of human decision-making allows us to tackle some philosophical riddles such as the newcomb problem.

In a lot of situations (such as poker) being a bit unpredictable is actually preferable over always doing the same thing in the same situation. Thus free will may not actually be an evolutionary liability.
 

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#2
Free will and criminal 'justice'
People have the wrong idea about punishments, it's about social control, it's not about fairness.

If your child get killed via murder no punishment is going to bring your child back so you will never see real justice. Punishment can serve multiple purposes

  1. deter people from doing actions you dislike.
  2. rehabilitate people
  3. prevent criminals from continue doing things you view as bad.
  4. personal gain (such as having someone reduced to being your slave with no rights).
  5. mob satisfaction (such as people cheering as someone is publicly caned).
  6. societal good (such as forced medical experiments for science).
None of these require that you could have made another decision (such as not killing).

Let's say we have a pedophile that will rape children compulsively (he cannot control himself) does that mean we shouldn't sentence him? of course not.

Ideally a dangerous individual should be locked up before he is able to harm others. Requiring formal conviction of a crime does add some legal certainty but even then they can probably find some crime to pin on the individual.

People with mental illness are arrested and sent to prison in disproportionate numbers. The police often arrest these individuals for petty crimes such as jaywalking or wandering behavior as a preventive law and order measure.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537064/

Here is a case of law enforcement going out of their way to lock people up because they are viewed as mentally ill, people viewed as mentally ill can also be subjected to forced injections "Community Treatment Order" even if they were not convicted of any crime.

Personally i think people overestimate the ability to medically treat criminality, you can mostly impair the individual (castration, forced SRS, lobotomy, etc) to make him less dangerous. There are some promising result regarding chemical castration to treat pedophilia but that will cause severe health issues unless the missing testosterone is replaced with estrogen.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2764552

Does free will even matter?
Individual: probability of crime X.

A: 0.1%
B: 1%
C: 10%
D: 100%

In this case D couldn't have done anything other than the crime and this actually indicate he is a dangerous individual that needs to be locked up. A would be far less likely to re-offend.

ErwinFurwinPurrwin wrote:

Therapeutic incarceration has got much lower recidivism rates than the traditional punitive kind in Scandinavia. I forget specifically which country or countries at the moment, but regardless of the free will VS determinism debate, it's hard to argue with the results of treating people as if they were simply products of their nature and nurture rather than just judging them to be inherently "bad" people who just somehow arbitrarily, spontaneously (?) decided to be a burden on society. Long story short, put the debate on the back burner and focus on what gets the best results.

timbgray wrote:

Yes, moral responsibility is redundant. You are responsible for your actions regardless of whether you could have done otherwise in the sense that you open yourself to rehabilitation or even isolation if your actions harm or are likely to harm others. Now what constitutes appropriate consequences is another question entirely.
 

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#3
MRI studies and conscious free will
One study were able to predict whether someone would push a button in advance with 60% accuracy, some people have claimed that this would refute conscious free will but of course it doesn't.

https://sci-hub.hkvisa.net/10.1038/nn.2112

60/40 true probability is still free will (since then the future isn't already determined). Anything less than 100% opens up the door for free will with regard to whether or not someone will push the button.

In order to refute free will we would have to demonstrate that consciousness is a classical phenomenon and this has not been shown so far.
 

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#4
The case against deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics
First off it's rather unlikely that our universe would seem to be fundamentally indeterministic if it isn't. Not yet proven to be impossible but most likely if you have something fundamentally deterministic it will be possible to show that it is indeed deterministic.

With quantum mechanics we have done experiments for over 100 years and still no sign of determinism.

Some people have tried coming up with a super-deterministic model of quantum mechanics but nobody has been able to come up with something that describe reality. Coming up with a super-deterministic theory likely isn't possible in the first place since it would require experiments done it would require us to abandon statistical independence, instead the choice of measurements would need to be pre-determined in a such way to prevent us from detecting violations of bells inequality which is obviously not feasible.


If our universe was deterministic there would not be a flow of time since then the future would already exist. Indeterminism is needed for a real flow of time.
 

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#5
How should free will be defined?
Generally people who reject the notion of free will are using some nonsensical definition of it that clearly cannot exist.

Most of these people are not even able to come up with a scientific definition for it.

When you are using a clear scientific definition things becomes a lot clearer.

Typically people who reject the notion of free will do not regard true randomness as free will even though true randomness means you could have acted otherwise (which is the actual definition of free will that make sense with what most people think of as free will).

The question "does humans have free will" refer to human bodies, therefore even indeterminism outside consciousness still counts as "you having free will" if by "you" you refer to your physical body. Thus if your action was caused by radioactive decay in your body that is free will since that atom that decayed was a part of your body.

We could actually just define "free will" as quantum indeterminism and this actually works just fine.

If we look at the word "free will" we see that there are 2 parts to it.

"will" refer to what actions you intend to do (such as pressing the green button rather than the red one)

By free we mean that it wasn't pre-determined. For example you might randomly decide to do something in the future and then execute that as planned, then the execution might already be determined but at some point it wasn't.

If you go by this "free will" would require the will itself to be random rather than merely caused by randomness. The big issue with going down with that definition is that it's unclear what even count as "will" so it's not a very practical definition. Instead we use the following 2 categories

Free will = quantum indeterminism.

Conscious free will = consciousness where the consciousness itself is rather (not merely affected by random processes).

Merely defining free will as cognitive abilities doesn't really match with what people typically mean by "free will" we already have a word for that which is "intelligence".
 

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#6
Conscious free will
For your consciousness itself to have free will it has to be be non-deterministic, it cannot just be the result of random processes.

So the true randomness has to be part of your consciousness.

This of course requires some form of quantum consciousness. A molecule potentially allowing this was discovered 2015

http://arxiv.org/abs/1508.05929

If your consciousness is some quantum state then you have conscious free will since your consciousness isn't externally influenced.
 

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#7
True randomness vs pseudorandomness
For a process to be truly random it cannot merely be a deterministic result of inputs (random or not).

Take Actinium 227 for example, it can spontaneously decay without any external cause (random or not). This is an example of a first cause (at least as far as we know).

Free will is that original first (truly random) cause.

The decimals of pi (example) does not have any real pattern but it's not truly random since the the there is only 1 correct next decimal for the base you are using.

π=3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603486104543266482133936072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694051320005681271452635608277857713427577896091736371787214684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290219608640344181598136297747713099605187072113499999983729780499510597317328160963185950244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881710100031378387528865875332083814206171776691473035982534904287554687311595628638823537875937519577818577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989380952572010654858632788659361533818279682303019520353018529689957736225994138912497217752834791315155748572424541506959508295331168617278558890750983817546374649393192550604009277016711390098488240128583616035637076601047101819429555961989467678374494482553797747268471040475346462080466842590694912933136770289891521047521620569660240580381501935112533824300355876402474964732639141992726042699227967823547816360093417216412199245863150302861829745557067498385054945885869269956909272107975093029553211653449872027559602364806654991198818347977535663698074265425278625518184175746728909777727938000816470600161452491921732172147723501414419735685481613611573525521334757418494684385233239073941433345477624168625189835694855620992192221842725502542568876717904946016534668049886272327917860857843838279679766814541009538837863609506800642251252051173929848960841284886269456042419652850222106611863067442786220391949450471237137869609563643719172874677646575739624138908658326459958133904780275900994657640789512694683983525957098258226205224894077267194782684826014769909026401363944374553050682034962524517493996514314298091906592509372216964615157098583874105978859597729754989301617539284681382686838689427741559918559252459539594310499725246808459872736446958486538367362226260991246080512438843904512441365497627807977156914359977001296160894416948685558484063534220722258284886481584560285060168427394522674676788952521385225499546667278239864565961163548862305774564980355936345681743241125150760694794510965960940252288797108931456691368672287489405601015033086179286809208747609178249385890097149096759852613655497818931297848216829989487226588048575640142704775551323796414515237462343645428584447952658678210511413547357395231134271661021359695362314429524849371871101457654035902799344037420073105785390621983874478084784896833214457138687519435064302184531910484810053706146806749192781911979399520614196634287544406437451237181921799983910159195618146751426912397489409071864942319615679452080951465502252316038819301420937621378559566389377870830390697920773467221825625996615014215030680384477345492026054146659252014974428507325186660021324340881907104863317346496514539057962685610055081066587969981635747363840525714591028970641401109712062804390397595156771577004203378699360072305587631763594218731251471205329281918261861258673215791984148488291644706095752706957220917567116722910981690915280173506712748583222871835209353965725121083579151369882091444210067510334671103141267111369908658516398315019701651511685171437657618351556508849099898599823873455283316355076479185358932261854896321329330898570642046752590709154814165498594616371802709819943099244889575712828905923233260972997120844335732654893823911932597463667305836041428138830320382490375898524374417029132765618093773444030707469211201913020330380197621101100449293215160842444859637669838952286847831235526582131449576857262433441893039686426243410773226978028073189154411010446823252716201052652272111660396665573092547110557853763466820653109896526918620564769312570586356620185581007293606598764861179104533488503461136576867532494416680396265797877185560845529654126654085306143444318586769751456614068007002378776591344017127494704205622305389945613140711270004078547332699390814546646458807972708266830634328587856983052358089330657574067954571637752542021149557615814002501262285941302164715509792592309907965473761255176567513575178296664547791745011299614890304639947132962107340437518957359614589019389713111790429782856475032031986915140287080859904801094121472213179476477726224142548545403321571853061422881375850430633217518297986622371721591607716692547487389866549494501146540628433663937900397692656721463853067360965712091807638327166416274888800786925602902284721040317211860820419000422966171196377921337575114959501566049631862947265473642523081770367515906735023507283540567040386743513622224771589150495309844489333096340878076932599397805419341447377441842631298608099888687413260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#8
Quantum theories of consciousness
The no-cloning theorem would then make it impossible to copy a quantum soul since the wavefunction collapses when it is measured. Therefore you cannot copy or destroy a quantum soul, it can only be transferred. The no-hiding theorem would make destruction of a quantum-soul impossible.

You cannot measure a quantum soul since a quantum state will collapse when you try to measure it.

One quantum theory of consciousness is “orch or” 255 256 it was developed by Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff, there are many issues with orch or and similar approaches 257

Roger Penrose has suggested that the collapse of the wave function(quantum mechanics) occurs by itself after a time depending on how large the separation in space-time is. This particular interpretation of quantum mechanics never had any evidence in favor of it and the original version of it was later falsified 258

When we understand consciousness we will also understand reincarnation(if possible) and also understand ourselves better. Maybe the lemmings are people whose true consciousness failed to develop, i have never been a lemming so i do not know. In any case i doubt this hard problem will ever be solved in our current corrupt society, even if someone comes up with the solution the other people will be too stupid to see it as the solution(same with other fields in science).

Interestingly Roger Penrose's interpretation of quantum mechanics & consciousness implies pantheism since the self collapse of the wavefunction would happen everywhere.

Recent advancement in AI has shown that artificial (classical) neural network can outperform all humans on earth at specific tasks, we may not actually need quantum computations for general intelligence either.

259 260 261 262 263

Generally the problem with orch or is that it might not be possible to have quantum computations of that scale at that temperature, Hameroff mentioned that spin has properties required to work on large scale. Even if quantum computations on large scale(brain) aren't possible in normal temperatures it does not mean that quantum computations don't happen in the brain. A molecule capable of creating quantum entanglement in the brain was discovered year 2015 264

Quantum entanglement is a very strange quantum mechanical effect where the measurement will inform you about what outputs you can get from measuring the other entangled particle and it does not seem like this was determined in advance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell's_theorem
 

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#10
What others have to say about libertarian free will
The definition mentioned in wikipedia does not require that the indeterminism originate from your consciousness:
Metaphysical libertarianism is one philosophical viewpoint under that of incompatibilism. Libertarianism holds onto a concept of free will that requires the agent to be able to take more than one possible course of action under a given set of circumstances.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism_(metaphysics)

This is also the definition used in this video:
He made another video with some arguments against free will all of which was invalid.
His explanation for quantum mechanics wasn't the best, i recommend physics-channels such as ViaScience for that.
If free will is true randomness then it's a matter of luck and you are not morally accountable
We don't need free will for moral accountability and arguable moral accountability isn't something we need. A moralistic legal system is bad for society. We should focus on what actually allows people to live good lives instead of trying to punish people from behaving in ways we view as morally bad (unclear what that even is).
If you knowing there was a pioson in a room caused you to not enter that room do you really have free will?
This is not an issue. Probabilities of different decisions being affected by environment does not mean you do not have free will.
If you choose between 3 rooms (A, B, C) getting told there is deadly poison in room A may change the probability from (0.6, 0.3, 0.1) to (0.1, 0.6, 0.3).
 

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#11
Consciousness as a source for indeterminism
If a consciousness can make decisions freely then you get indeterminism since otherwise the decisions are is actually made by the consciousness.

This would require something like panpsychism since we observe indeterminism everywhere.

 

Creamer

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#12
will is something more than unpredictability.
free will is the POWER to act and change ones methods of operation in order to manifest it's goals

raising the question : if we modify an objects goals does it still have free will ?

if we gave a foid the ability to care about things other than chadrones, playing with lego technique would
she be perceived as having more free will ?

does an AI have free will if it only wants to play super Mario ?

often we do things against our will, like work out of the fear of starvation or the need to buy shit
in which case we can say it is free will because under the right context, for example, reaching fuck you money, we will quit
that job

orwells 1984 debates the above. in a situation of absolute terror and intimidation is there still free will ?
is there a human spirit :


interestingly enough choosing the best methods of operation is considered the degree of intelligence.

therefore putting a degree of control other ones freedom to chose (cognitively) the best MO is limiting it's free will

but what can be said about an object whose goals are controlled ?
the thing is humans only have about 9 categories of goals to begin with (survival, breeding, building stuff...)
 

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#13
will is something more than unpredictability.

free will is the POWER to act and change ones methods of operation in order to manifest it's goals
Free will is about indeterminism which is not the same as unpredictability.

Something can theoretically be impossible to predict while also being destined to happen. A minority thinks this is the case for quantum mechanics.
 
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