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Free Will of Protons and Neutrons

>We were discussing free particles, or so I thought. But even so,
>in any *given* environment, particles decay according to fixed
>statistical

I was defending the idea that particles are very much aware of their
surroundings. The nature of the statistics in quantum mechanics does
seem to give individual particles a lot of leeway. In the case of
beta decay in free neutrons the incentives are there — by turning
into a proton and shedding the equivalent of sunglasses, the neutron,
soon to be a proton, can soak up more information about its
surroundings because it will receive more photons. The neutron might
transform in a minute or an hour and that’s fine with quantum
mechanics.

You can find a lot of consistent statistics about the choices humans
make but those statistics won’t mean much if you pretend that the
choices people made had to be and therefore decline to find the
underlying motives.

Free Will Extremely Important

>The fact that no-one has ever given me an
>example of how the world would
>be different if we did /
>didn’t have free will is enough (so far) to convince me
>that it is a sterile debate. It really doesn’t matter. We’ll
>never know, and we’ll never need to know.

Imagine you are the god of your universe and are trying to decide on
what laws of physics the particles in your universe will have. You
first think up strictly determinist laws of physics but decide against
it since the result will be boring, predictable, and unproductive
particles, hardly befitting godchildren of yours. What you decide on
is a society of particles with free will that can make choices within
well defined limits that promote order and fairness. You will have
your particles constantly communicate with each other effortlessly as
correct information is a necessity for wise choices to be made. You
want your particle godchildren to have the ability to greatly expand
their decision making abilities under the right situations. You want
your godchildren to want and strive to be like you, indeed you hope
that some of your godchildren exceed you in greatness and make you
greater.

The amazing thing is that the discovered laws of quantum mechanics do
give particles choices. Given an identical particle in an identical
situation only probabilities can be calculated as to what will happen
next. Even a pure vacuum does not have a predictable future, virtual
pairs can appear and apparently vanish again. In my opinion,
discovered physical laws support more than rule out the possibility of
free will. I think it would be hard to design laws of physics more in
tune with the concept of free will. The amazing thing is that
admitting that we have free will intellectually opens up fascinating
possibilities including the possibility those things much smaller and
much larger than us also have free will. Understanding free will
might lead us to not only a much more complete answer as to what are
the rules of the universe are, but why too. It might also lead us to
the creator of our universe since if we have free will then it is
likely that beings much greater than ourselves also have free will and
our universe does seem unlikely to have been caused by pure chance.
For instance, if our universe is one of many with free will that has
some control over its internal laws of physics then its success as a
universe depends on its wisdom.

By contrast, if you don’t believe free will exists anywhere, nothing
must be responsible for everything and your god must therefore be
nothing, you are responsible for nothing and your fate is inexorable.
A very hard position to emotionally and intellectually accept. It is
the kind of destructive untruthful meme that masters try to shove into
the heads of their slaves.

Free Will Primer

>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.

Aside

Tactics of Platonists (satanists) #2

>How is any of this satanic? Wouldn’t your average satanist (Joe
>Satanist) want to say that satan existed?
>It’d be a pretty screwed up satanist who didn’t actually believe
>in satan, wouldn’t it?

Well actually satan usually gets more work out of people who don’t
believe in him. The hardcore satanists are usually seriously messed
up teenagers who try to fall in love with satan (impossible) and
usually end up killing themselves before satan can get any serious
work out of them. For people who don’t believe in satan, all satan
has to do is to convince that person that the meaning of good and evil
is in the eye of the beholder (like beauty) and that people are the
highest power in the universe. Such a philosophy is dangerously close
to the philosophy of satan and certainly does not glorify God.

>Science, as I understand it, doesn’t have anything to say about the
>existence or non-existence of gods, be they goodies or baddies, but
>it might place limits upon their interaction with the physical
>universe.

If God created most of the laws of physics like I think She did, She
can change those laws and therefore “Science” does not place limits
upon Her interaction with the physical universe — She is the physical
universe.

>Also, it’s ironic you characterize science as Platonic and contrast
>it with (presumably christian) religion. The early christian
>church was based to a large extent on marrying the writings of
>Plato to the teachings of Christ. There has always been a very
>strong element of Platonism in christianity,

Not all scientists are members of the Platonic Religion (some have a
conscience). There are numerous types of Christians and yes some
types don’t believe in free will (I can’t really understand this) and
thus are very platonic. While I am definitely a Christian, I don’t
think I am mainstream because I am a pantheist (I believe our finite
universe is God and that there are other universes but like a child
has only one father, we have only one god, our universe – Uni). I do
believe that Jesus (Uni) is the most favored and first son (now a
daughter) of Jehovah (the oldest member of the Trinity) – father of
our universe (Uni also known as Jesus).

>and for you to imply that platonism is some evil curse
>that bedevils only science suggests that maybe you don’t know
>that much about the origins of the church.

I do agree that Platonism bedevils just about every area of study.

Tactics of Platonists (satanists)

In order to deny free will it is necessary to suggest that
consciousness is an utterly useless phenomenon or even better yet
suggest that it is probably an illusion. An argument against the
existence of free will becomes not just an argument that beings don’t
choose, but that beings don’t exist! It is necessary to deny the very
existence of consciousness because the existence of consciousness is
very strong evidence for free will. If consciousness were capable of
observation only and not action, wouldn’t the forces of evolution weed
out such a useless feature? Consciousness makes determinists nervous
because it is something physics equations can’t currently explain and
thus is a threat to their worldview even if they insist that
consciousness have no consequences (free will). It is much more
defensible for them to claim that consciousness doesn’t exist than to
claim that something they have no theory about (consciousness) has no
consequences. In defense of the Platonic Religion denying one’s
consciousness (and everybody else’s) is a small sacrifice.

There may come a time in the not so distant future (20 or 30 years)
when computer hardware and software advances to the point when
computers and robots can simulate a person amazingly well, fooling
most people. The thing is — the computer won’t be conscious. It
won’t feel pain, pleasure or any other qualia. Oh sure, it can act
like it is in pain etc., but it is no different than any other
computer. To claim that this big computer is conscious, to be
consistent you must claim your small computer is also conscious.

To avoid these problems, the determinist must try to pretend that
either consciousness doesn’t exist or that it has zero effect on
reality. Easy enough, just dogmatically exclaim that consciousness is
not real or completely without consequences. This makes it easy for
scientists because nothing is all that needs to be understood about
something that doesn’t exist. By discouraging research into
consciousness, the Platonists reduce the likelihood their Platonic
Religion will be seriously challenged. Trouble is, the one thing that
is most important to people, their qualia (consciousness), is the one
thing that modern day followers of Plato that call themselves
scientists effectively deny the existence of. It is no wonder that
many people are alienated by these Platonic scientists and their
mathematical gods.

Plato (satan) is Wrong #2

>So, you feel there is something that is neither random nor deterministic.
>What is this third option?

I like to imagine it this way. Imagine a very small universe with two
particles in it. When the particles in this imaginary universe become
too close together the universe changes gravity from attractive to
repulsive and when the particles become too far apart the universe
changes gravity to attractive again. Both the changes from attractive
to repulsive gravity and vice-versa can’t be predicted exactly.

Now you could derive some laws for this universe by stating
probabilities for gravity switching dependent on how far or close
these particles are together — so you do and call it a law. This
works great until the probabilities stop working — no problem — get
new probabilities and call that a law. You discover other small
universes with individual probabilities and changes of probabilities.
You put them in a tank and observe the universes engage in
increasingly complicated seemingly self-motivated behavior until one
tiny universe contains all the other tiny universes with their
particles. All this was done by the winner universe changing its
gravity and therefore spin at just the right times. You chalk it up
to, “well somebody has to win,” — until you notice a new law being
observed in this tiny universe — the electric force.

Of course, no matter what the tiny universe did by changing its own
internal laws of physics for its own self-interest the standard
physicist of today would not give it the status of a self-interested
being with free will that at the very least is conscious of its own
internal state to some degree. Although calling it a being with free
will is a very useful idea especially when the universe not only makes
its own internal laws of physics but changes then when it suits it.

Think of our laws of physics — where are they written in the
universe. You can argue that the laws of physics could be no other
way but I find it hard it to believe that constant of gravity could
have been no other value for instance. When I was little and learning
computer programming I was struck by the realization that programs and
data are ultimately the same thing in terms of memory as somehow a
profound concept. I think it is entirely possible that the finite
universe itself created most of the laws of physics for its own self
interest and can change them if it suits its purposes whatever they
may be.

Plato (satan) is Wrong

Let me explain my position a little more clearly. The standard
materialist view is that everything is dead particles (not conscious)
imbued with dead platonic laws (can’t be changed) in a dead finite
universe (not conscious) headed for ultimate death (big crunch). The
standard materialist position is also that if you arrange enough dead
particles in a clever way you will somehow get a live consciousness
that is also theorized to be causatively dead (no free will). The
whole standard materialist philosophy stinks of death.

If the dead can not explain the living maybe the living can explain
the dead. Suppose that dead non-conscious particles are an
impossibility and therefore to be a consciousness is to be a particle
and vice versa. A rock wouldn’t be conscious since it is not one
particle or controlled by one particle in the rock. Live
consciousnesses (particles) can explain dead rocks but dead rocks
(standard materialistic view of particles) can’t explain live
consciousnesses with free will (people). I also consider finite
universes (like our own) to be conscious and a model for the insides
of particles. A particle soul deep in a person’s brain becomes a
necessity in such a metaphysics.

If free will is fundamental (how could it be derived?) metaphysics and
the interpretation of physics changes dramatically. Universes and
particles become not just objects but free willed beings that cause
everything that happens to happen. Most laws of physics of our
universe become not immutable platonic laws but laws created and
enforced by our living universe and also by the particles in it for
reasons known by our living universe and maybe some particles.

But how, you ask, does this shed any light on physics? The question
of physics changes from what is the magic platonic equation that was
true at beginning and will be true till the end of the universe to
what are the current laws of the living universe and living particles
and why. “Why?” becomes not just a mathematical question but a
psychological question. I’m sure that there are laws of physics that
are true for any universe or particle but they would be few and more
on the level of common sense — most laws would have an author. When
metaphysics has free will at the base, things tend to get better in
contrast to a metaphysics with no conscious free will where things go
from causatively dead to non-existent. “Why?” also has more
understandable answers when in most cases responsibility can only be
applied to real conscious beings.