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Free Will Primer

December 5, 2012

>Maybe I just don’t get this.

I’ll try to explain why I think free will is very real and important
and the reasons why a lot of scientific minded people shy away from
the idea. I admit that there are a lot of definitions for free will,
especially these days. The definition I am using is the more
classical one, strong free will, that makes free will a fundamental
force of nature. My definition of free will is that it can only be
expressed by a conscious (capable of pleasure and pain plus more)
being and generally that the free will decisions are for the
self-interest of that being. Also I define it that all conscious
beings have free will. I’ll pause my definition right here because
the major stumbling block comes early. The problem is that theories
on fundamental forces of nature are the province of physics and
physicists generally teach about only two basic types of causation:
determinism and fundamental randomness constrained by statistical
formulas. Consciousness (free will) is not thought to be a
fundamental force of nature in standard physics so it is neither
included nor defined.

So, if you are convinced that strong free will is real like I am and
want a complete theory of reality, physics itself must be extended
somehow. The extended physics must agree with reality and experiment
if it’s to be science, of course.

After thinking about this problem for years in my spare time I came to
the conclusion that for free will to be part of physics, it must be
the central issue of the new physics, not an add on that could never
be reconciled with the main part of physics. While the laws of Newton
had strict determinism and quantum mechanics had determinism plus
fundamental randomness, the new physics would have free will and weak
determinism. The idea that has most satisfied me so far for making
consciousnesses central to physics is postulating that only
consciousnesses can exist! Non-conscious objects would be collections
of consciousnesses (particles) and wouldn’t be conscious for the same
reason a group of people in a room are not one conscious entity. A
person would be conscious because presumably there is one particle
buried deep in that person’s brain that controls the rest of his brain
and body. I express this idea as, “the price of existence is
consciousness.” The theory can’t be strictly reductionistic because
in order for a consciousness to have strong free will, it must at
times be able to make free will decisions completely opposed to what
its insides would prefer or expect. I theorize our finite universe
itself is conscious since the price of existence is consciousness and
space exists. I think of the universe as a model of what is inside
particles. I think of particles as small universes and I definitely
don’t think our universe is the only one. I regard only particles and
universes as conscious, the distinction being only the size.

While I understand why this seems a bit much to most people, in order
to support strong free will only radical theories like the one I
outlined will do. You can see why scientists are very reluctant to
advance theories of strong free will because it would require a major
major paradigm shift and greatly revised physics. Because I do
believe in strong free will and I am fascinated by the subject I have
applied this way of thinking into as much physics I can read about and
understand. I think at the very least I’ve learned a lot of standard
physics and feel I have somewhat of a fresh perspective. Whether my
hobby turns into science or just art I don’t know but I do believe in
my theory and think it is no stranger than most religions are.

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