Is There Any Truth in the Idea of Free-Will?

Free-will implies autonomy of choice. It is the ability to make choices without the influence of something mysterious like fate or God getting involved in the process. And what is fate? Fate implies that our lives are governed by the mysterious and the supernatural and that our lives are beyond our control. And what is the supernatural? Supernatural is that which is beyond our ability to understand or comprehend through science and it extends beyond the laws of nature. And science is the activity of studying structures and behaviors of the physical by observing and experimenting.

Many of us may have heard of the law of attraction and if one is unfamiliar with the idea, it is more or less the idea that we attract what we are. If we are encapsulated in negative thought patterns then the negative will manifest in all that we see. Likewise if we are positive thinkers we will attract positive things in our life. In science there is a similar concept known as confirmation bias. And in Psychology there is yet another concept which is very similar known as R.A.S. (or the reticular activation system).

In science we measure and we observe under the assumption that the observer and the observed are separate. But what happens if the opposite is true? That is, what if the observer and the observed are one and the same? Does science account for this? The double-slit experiment certainly suggests this but are there any scientists that see it this way? Science is the observation and experiment, the plotting down, the note taking, and the process by which replication is made possible by anyone, and to that extent science is therefore made into a fact.

Science does not operate on subjectivity and prejudice and yet so much of what we find in science is exactly that. We are made to accept the presuppositions of science, of facts based on the rules and laws we have been given to follow so as to identify the fact from the non-fact about the physical world in which we live. And slowly as each layer is peeled, as it has over time by the uncovering of this and of that, the surfacing of this artifact and these ancient texts, an awakening takes place about what the physical is and what it is not. And as technology progresses, meaning giving the illusion of a vehicle moving forward in time and despite the “facts” such as there being something more to matter than the nucleus, we continue to operate as if the physical is all there is and as scientists we quickly dismiss anything else beyond the realm of the 5 senses but still identify ourselves as open-minded on our online dating profiles.

And then there’s the division and duality. The same old song. I’m beginning to think that maybe the double-helix is just a big joke and all it is, is a symbol for the way in which humans operate day after day. Like two worms constantly fighting to get to the top.

Science gives us quarks and the god particle and also gives us general relativity and then tells us to go and figure it out, compete for the answer. Strive to find the ultimate answer! So we have the duality in the subject of the physical sciences. The good with the bad and the perpetual fight between the two, where the ultimate aim is to find a middle ground that says you’re both right. So if this exists, this divide in the realm of the physical sciences about what forces govern the natural world then is this not supernatural? That is science is unable to agree or to explain with any significant measure of certainty the actual components of the natural world. It’s much like the placebo and nocebo effects on health and well-being. We know that placebo pills work but we are unable to explain why.

So there’s modern medicine which is based on medical science and there’s the field of alternative medicine. There’s the duality again. And we have our realists and idealists; the practical and the dreamers, the religious who can’t prove that God exists and the atheists who can’t disprove of God. And out all this confusion, chaos, and divide we are to understand the totality of our existence, the physical realm that we call life. We are made to understand and be governed by a thing called science which is just as ignorant as religion because it is incapable of adapting, accepting, integrating the one with the other. So is all that we see just projections of our prejudices, preferences manifesting themselves in one way or another because of the mind-set that says “My way is better?”

So to be clear, there’s obviously still much confusion in science about what the physical world is and what it isn’t and from this confusion we are told to make choices and we are convinced that we are free to make them within a structure called society that’s both dazed and confused and that is hinged on this thing called science. Is not the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle a mysterious thing, a supernatural force, a thing governed by chance? But is this not also science? And how can we as fact driven machines be so sure that there are no prior causes operating and pushing us, influencing us one way or the other? Given all this, is there any fact or any truth to the idea of free-will? So maybe this is what it means when one is told that to choose is an act of immaturity. I remember a joke awhile back and it goes like this:

Q. How do you make God laugh?

A. You make a plan.

Post Author: Chad

A citizen of the universe. A student of life and death.