nicholas_podges

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Timeless Control

As Elezier points out, You are indeed a part of physics. Likewise, it does not make sense to consider the future determined from a human's perspective.

Let me try to explain that. You can consider any system with fixed rules and constant initial conditions to be solvable. So if you consider a rock rolling down a hill. Given any time t, you can predict the position of the rock.

If you consider a human a system in this same way, we can expect an output for any given input, however the data is much too complex to be represented graphically. For example consider writing a note to a friend. You then watch the friend write her response. As far as you're concerned, her output is determined based on the input, in this case the note, but more generally, the environment. You can then consider the function "friend(environment) = action." Indeed you can model the entire universe this way. However if you try to consider yourself this way, you will fail. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems

The debate about "free will" is mostly a matter of perspective. Looking from a third person perspective, we know that "free will" is really always a function of the environment. When we examine our own choices retrospectively, we see that our actions were a product of other factors, and we did exactly the only thing we could do.

But since any definition like this can only be considered from a third person, we say that we have free will.

In case I haven't made myself clear, consider a function f(x) = x+1. We say f is entirely determined by x. However, if you imagine yourself as the function f, you do not consider yourself predetermined. While you know that for whatever input x, you will return x+1, you have no idea what you will do until the PRESENT time, when you learn x. Our free will then is introspectively the mechanism by which we analyze our environment and make decisions.