# Re: free will and mathematics

`On Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 7:44 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:`
```
>
> Well then it seems to come down to a question of timing.  If this 'same
> conscious state' is before the action, then I can certainly imagine
> changing my mind.
>

Yes, but why would you do that? You didn't change your mind in the first
situation. Why would you change your mind if exactly the same conscious
state is repeated?

> And this holds all the way up to the action, which is why you are even
> unpredictable by yourself.  You don't know (for sure) what you'll do until
> you do it.
>

I agree, but that's not exactly what I'm saying. I'm trying to make sense
of the "I could have done otherwise". What does it mean? Or in other words,
if the same situation is repeated "I would do otherwise". But it's
difficult to explain (I might be wrong too).

OK, let's suppose that exactly the same conscious state is repeated N
times. If each time we do a different action, even opposite ones (such as
killing or not killing someone), then our decision making is basically
random. I don't think that is what is meant by free will.

Let's go to an extreme case. We have to make an important decision. We
spend one year pondering our alternatives, and a decision is reached (we
will kill someone). We are pretty certain about it. Do you think that if
we repeat the same conscious state of just before making the decision, we
would conclude not to kill?

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