(as caused by an omniscient
being) doesn't imply
of free will
I base this statement on a few basic points:
- Free will is in the eye of the beholder. There is no absolute/empirical way to test for the presence or lack of free will, save from the perspective of the one using the free will. (And in that case, the test is: "Are we making our own decisions?")(If there is such a test, please tell me about it.)
- We, the beholders, seem to have the property of free will. That is, we think we are making our own decisions. So, by point 1, we have free will.
- If God, or any sufficiently God-like entity exists (to wit, one with the property of omniscience), then predestination is in effect. That is, if this entity is aware of, and knows for certain, the sum total of all information in the universe (and any others, of course), then all events are predestined.
- So, we have demonstrated that, given the presence of an omniscient entity, free will exists. Or, rather, that it's a moot point, because if we think we have free will, then we do.
Don't think an omniscient being exists?
I have a most elegant proof of that, but this node is too small to contain it.
has some interesting points
, but my esteemed colleague
has, I think, missed the point
of the above arguments
Free will can be convincingly argued to be an illusion, without the addition of a supreme being.
After all, we are built of things which follow specific, rigid rules - the laws of physics. Although quantum physics could add some uncertainty, they have so little effect on the macroscopic scale as to make them irrelevant, especially because our actions are based on our thoughts, the least of which involve millions of molecules.
Therefore, it is theoretically possible to simulate the universe, and determine what will happen before it occurs. Simply because this is theoretically possible shows we have no free will.
Although, if we had some sort of extranatural extrusion, such as a soul, we might be inherently unpredictable.
But given the extranatural, it is but a small step to suppose a supreme being.
In any case, I must disagree with your contention to the meaning of predestination. Predestination means that your destiny is preselected. It is not prediction, which means that something (such as the score of a basketball game), is stated (dictated) before hand.
Going back to point #3, we see that free will is in the eye of the beholder. It is a trivial act to watch someone, understand why they make their choices, and claim they have no free will, because they made their choices in a consistent way. After all, the reason I went to the store today was because I was out of food. What else could I do? I was destined to go there. The fact is, free will is, unless someone has an empirical test for it, a qualitative matter. You cannot say, "According to theorem X, I have free will." You can only say, "I feel like I have free will, because I think I make my own choices."
I'd also like to ask you to look at the meaning
. It doesn't mean prediction
Nor is free will defined in terms of outside systems. It is a product of one's point of view.
Don't pull semantics on me, I have Webster 1913 on my side!
: I said there is no empirical
way to prove we have free will or not. That is, there is no formal rule
we can follow that will give us an answer. Free will
cannot be expressed in a formal way as, say, a chemical reaction
can. Nevertheless, we think we have it, and, indeed, if we did not act as if we had it, we'd be screwed
. ("I'm just gonna sit here, because I have no free will, so it doesn't matter what I do..." - the pessimistic view of no free will, as opposed to the optimistic view of no free will, "I may not have it, but I'll act as if I do".)
Free will is the product of our worldview. You can't prove a choice was made with free will, because by the time you know what the choice was, the decision was made, and it was, presumably, the only decision they would have made if the circumstances were exactly duplicated and they decided again.
What we do have, though, are our feelings and beliefs. We can, and some of us do, believe that we have free will. And that's really the only test we have.