Thursday, May 18, 2006

Free Will and Me

The huge - both in numbers and in length - response to my free will and quantum theory article and blog entry has been startling. I am beginning to lose my grip on what the arguments were about. Plainly, my will is less free than it was at the beginning of this process. I have, however, just discovered a potentially intriguing blog to devoted to these matters. Here it is. The title alone is wonderful, derived as it is from a Borges story. I recommend the site to soothe your woes and reconcile you with your freedom or incarceration, whichever seems more convincing.


  1. Bryan,
    > I was fascinated by your latest article in the Sunday Times Review,
    > it is a matter that has often exercised my mind.
    > Due to happenings in my lifetime, I am a fatalist, but I become very
    > concerned that taken to its logical conclusion, everybody could deny
    > responsibility for their actions. The consequences of such an attitude
    > prevailing do not bear thinking about! It is my main objection to the
    > Catholic confessional system, which seems to remove personal
    > So I have to believe that most of the time we are in control of our
    > destinies with occasional gliches!

  2. Having two feet, I keep one in either camp.

  3. Further...

    Age of universe - 13.7 billion yearsgive or take.
    Number of particles in universe - between 10 ^72 and 10 ^87 (take your pick).

    For a deterministic universe, each of these particles trajectories and interactions must have been pre-ordained for all this time (and never mind the quanta and 'dark matter' (another fudge factor)) - all so I have a receding hairline and we can cook the planet? What sense does that make? Was it the only configuration that worked?

  4. ... potentially intriguing blog ...

    Have you read it recently ?

    "God", is, well, "awesome".

    "an excellent critique of externalist compatibilist autonomy"

    What are they on ?

  5. I have to say how great it is to see some of these issues finally discussed in the media. It is odd that the popular conception of free will can still be so at odds with even the more conservative accounts of free will from philosophy and science.

    The hard determinist worldview seems logically viable to me but I still have to pinch myself occasionally to realise the full implications. Where does all this leave our justice system?

    Ian from