Skip to content

1 Comment

  1. Fred Thornton
    January 30, 2022 @ 12:30 pm

    A fine read. A fine set of thoughts to serve as a whetstone for the intellect. A solid set of substantive concepts quite often found, complete with spooky music and shadow effects, haunting and hunting the footpaths of a college campus awaiting the children as they journey forth in search of adulthood, and beer. And just because it is tradition among we who hunt the hunters I am compelled to point out that there is a hierarchy of precedent and prerequisite involved in such questions, even and especially questions of this depth and profound impact (on the lives of those children once they sober up, restore the bed from the night’s play and grapple with the fact there is still homework awaiting their attention)… to wit, that no answer can be any more precise than the precision of the (obviously incomplete) conceptual understanding which gave rise to the question in the first place.

    I will ( just because I’m that horrid demon child all teachers hate to see coming, the one who will not only argue with them, for both sport and spite, but worse deliberately attempt to contaminate the teacher’s comfort zone by arguing the teacher’s own concepts from an inverted perspective ) assert that of course Free Will is an absolute reality in every possible set of circumstances.

    To defend that assertion I’ll draw a compare and contrast to a similar, but simpler, younger example often found among those who argue there is no such thing as free will. In that circle of folks there is an ever growing hope in the arrival of a messiah to save them from the confusions and the conundrums of the older question. They have named their messiah, and as article after article demonstrates they are waiting with great anticipation for their deliverance.

    Sadly for them, waiting is what they’re going to be doing for a very long time. Why? Because the name they put to their messiah is, in and of itself, such a contradiction in terms no arrangement of events could allow it to function as they hope. Intelligence cannot be Artificial. By definition Artificial is not real, it is the lesser state, a state of emulation and imitation, it can produce only a degraded version of that thing which serves as its’ template of existence. From any angle of approach Artificial Intelligence is a circular contradiction that spins down to compress across the event horizon of insanity. It is possible to Construct an intelligence that evolves to exceed the intelligence which created it (ask any average parent who raises a savant child), but it is not possible for that intelligence to be artificial.

    With that to provide a bit of a contrasting backdrop examine the words which define the core of the question in focus: Free and Will. The former is a subjective term of emotional nature while the latter implies an objective operative and discriminate found at the branch point of a decision. When both are present they reinforce each other across the boundary between the subjective and the objective. When either is, as a matter of fact, missing or compromised BOTH must implode as being impossible within that reality. It is either Free Will, or No Will.

    The forces of freedom and dignity champion the former case, the forces of tyranny and despair the latter. Easily seen, observed from The LaGrange point hanging midway between the two objectives. So, after three laps around Robin Hood’s barn? I agree with Mark (the author). The classic argument against is indeed a failure by reason of attempting to answer a defective question which, if one knows the difference between their own rump and rolling donut, answers itself.