"I think therefore I am." Descarte's most basic tenet of free will. But how "free" is it?The more I study this and make observations of the people around me, the more I am convinced that free will is nothing more than an illusion.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke.
Now let me rephrase Clarke's third law in context of this discussion:
"Any sufficiently complex memoryplex is indistinguishable from free will."
Note the phrase memoryplex, not memeplex. I'm referring here to our collective memories from the earliest retained memory right up to this instant. That instant has now passed (a few milliseconds ago) and as you continue to read, those instants are similarly passing into your collective memoryplex.
If our decisions are based on what we know (assuming that we're not mentally ill) and what we know is the memories we have formed, then free will simply isn't.
I've thought about this for some time now and I'm only summarising here, but if this is correct, it has frightening implications. For instance, what you've just read, based on what you already know, has influenced you - and you have no choice in what you're about to do: reply, ignore, digest, etc... everything is based on your experience to date plus this last few dozen words of argument.
So how "free" is your will?
This was posted in the Philosophy section a bit back. Could be helpful.
No problem. I figured there was good info in it and why rehash something that has been debated before. That and you never know if something someone else wrote will spark some new thought.
Honestly though did I have a choice....??!!!
No, you didn't (have a choice).
Yeah, it works on at least two levels - absolutely priceless.
A group, eh?...
The other part of this is even more scary - if free will/free choice is an illusions (as it most certainly is) - then any idea we have about being special gets tossed in with that.
I am a machine.