Yea, like, I know we don’t have free will, pfff… it’s pretty obvious…
Just a quick commentary on something I see over and over in comment sections and forums regarding discussions on free will. There seems to be this smugness by scientists and the layperson alike in what appears to be the unavoidable conclusion that we, you, I, do not have free will. They all appear to be very satisfied that they have carefully evaluated the evidence, and arrived at the truth.
I don’t dispute that the logic, and the evidence, is leaving little room for any type of personal free will. I just take exception to the attitude of many of those that advocate this position.
Let’s get something straight, if you are right, if there is no free will, you are not “advocating” anything. You are behaving in a manner pre-determined by prior causes, and could not have taken any other position on the matter. If it happens that it is indeed true that we have no personal free will, you will have been ‘lucky’ in the sense that the universe unfolded in a way, from the big bang, until this moment, that landed you in one thought camp as opposed to landing you in the other thought camp. You deserve no credit for your stance, because you couldn’t have chosen another viewpoint. You can’t “evaluate” the evidence, because evaluation implies there are different outcomes at the end of that evaluation, that you can then choose from.
You, my careful and deliberative friend, cannot be anything other than careful and deliberative, and for that I am happy for you, to the extent I could never have chosen to have been sad for you.
You can’t “come to grips” with the reality of a deterministic universe because that implies volition, and you have none. You will ’come to’ whatever your prior causes allow you to come to, and you will grip only when you couldn’t have released.
You cannot advocate for the reform of our judicial system to be more fair and reflective of the true nature of reality, because it’s either going to reform, or not reform, and you will play a role in that reformation only to the extent that again, your prior causes allow you to.
You cannot know that there is no free will and then choose to live your life as you always have, because that’s “easier”. You. have. no. input. into. the. matter.
Don’t get me wrong, you will go on living your life as if you have free will, we all will. But it will not because you’re so sophisticated that you’ve come to that conclusion. You were brought that conclusion, and you deserve no more or less praise or ridicule than the person who was brought to the entirely opposite conclusion.
We are all then riding the wave, I challenge you, my intelligently unfree friends, to accept that, and then realize that you can’t accept or deny anything. It’s being done for you.
It’s this impossibility of reconciling our perceptions with the evidence against free will that offers free will it’s only hope.