Free Will vs. Determinism
(Top Posts - Philosophy (General) - 051003)

Fascinating topic, free will, illusion or reality or somewhere in between.

I could write a book on the topic, and have written quite a bit in the past, but here's a quick angle.

"I", "You", "We", "Them"? What are those entities?

We often assign responsibility to such entities, but what, exactly, are we talking about when we do so?

Take the entity "I", for example. "I" am the totality of all that occurred in order for this entity to exist. "I" am a functioning bio-carbon unit consisting of physical matter. "I" am a brain and body which contains the outcome of __ (years of evolution), __ (genetic constituency), ___ (stimuli which has impacted this particular bio-carbon unit).

"I" am ever-changing, with each moment in time, with stimuli loaded upon the bio-carbon unit, selectively stored in the brain based on physical law, and part of the totality of this particular bio-carbon unit.

So, when "I" do anything, absolutely anything, the entity doing that is the totality of all that impacted this bio-carbon unit. To accurately assess so-called responsibility and blame and credit, an accurate determination of the genetic constituency, stimuli, and random processes (Decisions = Stimuli + Random Brain Activity) of this particular bio-carbon unit would be entailed.

No one chooses his / her genes (which play a huge role in behavior).

No one chooses his / her will (which plays a huge role in behavior).

No one controls the processing in his / her brain (which plays a huge role in behavior).

No one controls _____ (insert everything here, for when "will" is understood as results [not acts by a physical or magical or spiritual something apart from one's physical being], everything is best understood with that in mind).

Ideally, humans viewed as results, as parts of a much grander incomprehensible whole (all that was / is / ever will be), that would impart the following social and cultural impact upon humankind:

________ - insert the results of the totality of that which is the bio-carbon unit that is "You" (or, you might think of yourself as being a "We", with all stimuli that has impacted "You", including this post, playing a role in the outcome) ...

... do so knowing full well that the results are physical processes based on that which fully and accurately describes all that "You" are, inclusive of "will" which is in itself part of the continuum of an incomprehensible number of results that make up that which "You" and each bio-carbon unit on the planet were / are / ever will be ...