Pete Carlton wrote:
> George Levy wrote:
> > <snip>
> > Free will is also relativistic. A consciousness gives the impression of
> > having free will if its behavior is unpredicatble (ineffable -
> > unprovable) BY THE OBSERVER. The self gives the impression to the
> > OBSERVING SELF of having free will because the self cannot predict what
> > its own behavior will be.
There are two ways of observing free will: free will in others and free
will in self.
Let's first discuss free will in others. It is obvious that if someone
else's behavior is so clear and so totally predictable that it appears
to the observer to be following a "program" then the person has no free
will. In the limit, consider the case of a programmer (the observer)
observing the behavior of a program he has just written. Assuming that
the observer is an intelligent programmer and knows what is is doing,
then the program is an "open book" to him. The program obiously has no
It may be the case however, that the programmer is programming a very
complex program or even a neural net and that there is no simple logical
links between the program steps (a neural nets has no program steps).
The program may then do things which are unexpected to the programmer.
At that point the programmer may think that the program has free will.
Free will stems from perceived indeterminacy in the behavior of a person
or a program. This indeterminacy could either be physical in nature
(quantics) or mathematical (Godelian). I believe that both physical
indeterminacy and mathematical indeterminacy will eventually be proven
to be identical. Bruno Marchal may be on his way to doing this. I think
that Godel ndeterminacy could be made relativistic: it could depend on
the axiomatic system used, with an arbitrary number of systems rather
than the only two systems suggested by Bruno: G and G*. Unfortunately I
am not a good enough mathematician to carry out this task.
Now let's look at observing free will in the self. Do we perceive
ourselves to be indeterminate in our behavior? Absolutely sometimes.
When the decision is clear then free will is really not an issue. Free
will becomes important when the decision factors are close to being
evenly split. In those cases, before a decision is made, there is no way
to know what this decision will be unless one makes the decision. If
someone asked you why did you choose this, you wouldn't be able to say.
This is free will.