A FREE WILL PUZZLE
PHILOSOPHICAL COLLAGE AND MONTAGE
1. If Determinism is true we are unable to act otherwise, so we are not free.
2. If Indeterminism is true our actions are uncaussed and random, but if they are we are not their authors, so we are not free.
3. Either determinism or indeterminism is true.
Therefore, we never act free.
If my actions are in the control of my will and my will is under control of deeper-self, I am free. But here are problems: a) there are external causes of deeper-self as biological, physical, manipulation, brainwashing, educational, etc.; b) identity and relation between consciousness and deeper-self; c) we can want but can not want to want ad-infinity. Only if deeper-self is out of any influence it can be free, but in this case will is not in control of deeper-self; d) free will does not means freedom of will, because there is necessity to choose between given possibilities but never possibilities and possibilities of possibilities.
If deeper-self is free from social context and some how transcendenting surface of reality probably is not able comprehend this context and react adequatly, if even react. Its self-determination and autonomy means ontological loneliness, unsociable and at least non freedom.
Necessity and necessity to choose are ultimate challenge of freedom and free will. We know for sure that our free will is limited and sometimes we act not freely. But we do not know if we are free at all- it is our premise or axiom. Question of free will is just part of more general question of determinism and indeterminism, necessity and chance. Does universe exist necessarily or by chance? If necessarily there is absolute necessity or coincidental necessity? If by chance it is necessarily by chance or coincidentally? If there is causation what is cause of the causation or lack of causation? In other words chance is necessarily coincidental or necessity is coincidentally coincidental? We fall in hellish mill of indefinite contradictions and question for ultimate sufficient reason.
In modern physics there are indeterminist theories (the multiple universe model, the hidden variable, cosmic glue), that can not escape last Why. And in the case of free will in the multiple universe model if there is there is some general guiding principle, so there is no free will. Therefore, if there is not free principle, coincidence in each of those universes creates necessity. For example, if I am free to write this article in one universe, I can not be free to write this essay at the others.
According to the cosmic glue theory consicousness is everywhere and every when. We experience here and now because we are trained or brainwashed in that way. In that theory are same contradictions and problems like in theory of deeper-self: lack of motivation for choice and impossibility how our consciousness can be limited by brainwashing, training, etc.
I think that because no paths lead from individual to totality and/or including ultimate substance we can not know our place in this totality, therefore, we can not have rational answer to free will question-existence of some ultimate being is not itself any answer. This ultimate being exists absolutely necessarily, does not have freedom do not exist or change form of its existence.
The existence of ultimate being bears a lot of problems: logical problem of predestination; absoluteness, limitless of this being is equal to absolute nothingness (Eastern Patristic philosophy, Pseudo-Dionysius, Mister Eckhart, J. S. Eriugena). But if totality of reality is not absolute it is exactly as perpertuum mobile and limited multitude of elements makes only limited multitude of variations i.e. eternal infinite repetitions, absolute determinism (even if it is true so called “butterfly effect”) without sufficient reason. There is question how can this absoluteness act and design; how can act freely; how can be particular beings part of it even in form of preexisting substances or ideas. These substances or ideas can be become fully real:
a) by itself what is absurd;
b) emanate from the deity with necessity
c) or be established or created, that means the absolute substance is limitless but differentieated in way of personalization.
In the Western philosophy the ontology of God consists only in the substance of God. The significance of this interpretation lies in assumption that ontological principle of God is not found in the person, but in substance in the being itself (as I said before). For Eastern Patristic philosophy ontological principle or cause of being consists no in one substance, but in the hypostasis that is in the person or personhood. For both theories there is problem how can this ultimate being be absolute, undifferentiated, all and nothing and concretely unique person or persons. Here we can be partially free only by participation in this deity so far as we experience this participation and are able to verify that. Problem is similiar to the problems of deeper-self. In this concept freedom is not determined by choice (is this freedom?), but by the movement of constant affirmation and situated differently from what we call moral freedom. The possibility of choice, which defines the moral freedom arises from individualization of being and is understood as limitation of freedom because it rests on possibilities that are given and consequently constraining. In placing absolute personal being (God) above the level of will or above affirmation or negation is situated above the limitations inherent in choice and in the given. Deity is truly free because is confronted with nothing given before it.
Therefore, it is better that HE exists above all afirmations and negations. This is understood not as moral but as ontological human freedom. In another case our acting is just result of iron necessity by external or/and internal causes.
a) Interesting is psychological effect studied by Gestal psychological school.
b) Deity can not be distant separated reality as in Augustianism, Thomism, Protestantism, but can not be pantheistic or monistic totaly, because pantheism and monism always means determinism.
c) The absolute Deity and human person are interconnected and interdependent (see Angelius Silesius) – but problem increases.
Freedom may be understood also as:
1) control of objects;
2) consumers (not just economic choice);
3) way from object exchange to “higher” auto-motivation and independence on determinacy of pleasure and pain;
4) demarcation of reality;
5) organization of society totally compatible with autonomous mode of action of social individual-opposite to alienated aprioristically determinated, totalizing integral systems of determination and control.
If Hegel is right and history of philosophy is also philosophy so, the written below should be significant:
Form, frequency and contemporary importance of questions and answers about free will and determination and:
a) their relation to historical reality; b) role of rational regulation; c) common denomination; d) stimulus of internalization of coercions and increasing of complexity and complementarity; e) forms of social identification, projection, confluence , and symbols; f) the way in which impersonal authority could be constituted; g) regulation of power drive; h) and system of values and APPEALS, and all social relations; i) conflicts and antagonism.
If social relations are understood as totalities governed as a whole by a single principle or as consisting of definite set of relations with multi causality, where every element has been reduced to a moment of that totality – all identify is relational and all relations have a necessary character (their relativity is precisely the proof of their necessity).
The point is that all values are values of opposition and are defined only by their difference, contrary to complementarity and synchronicity.
It seems to me the question of free will is complicated and I can not imagine all aspects which have to be described.
We can not know for sure if where, when, and how we are free and when is illusion, but we must act and the society can exist as if free will exists. “If reality as it appears to us is just mystification, why do not treat it as reality?” (Probably, Karl Marx – if it is not, so just JM).