Philosophical arguments about free will are like arguments for god existing.  It doesn’t matter if god exists or not.   But it is immensely important whether or not a person believes in god.  Both terrible wars, and great happiness have been found from belief in god.  Free will is exactly the same.  Your belief or disbelief in free will can make a lot of difference in your life.  Maybe it leads you to better yourself or maybe it leads you to accept your lot in life.  But trying to answer the question of free will existing is silly.

Philosophers used to posit a deterministic world, but now they have to deal with randomness introduced by quantum effects.  For example, case 1, the case for free will.  Someone gets on a train headed for Paris.  He has exercised his free will, and then the conductor flips a coin, but because it lands tails, the conductor sends the train to Berlin instead.  Case 2, the case against free will.  A prisoner is escorted on a train to a prison in Paris by the police.  He has not exercised his free will, and then the conductor flips a coin, because it lands tails, the train goes to Berlin instead.  As you see the introduced randomness doesn’t really affect whether or not someone has free will though it does affect the outcomes in a random way.  It makes all these free will arguments more difficult.  So philosophers have had to think harder about their arguments and make some better ones.  Not that they actually get anywhere.

Philosophers rarely ask useful questions.  If they asked things that could be tested and answered, it would be science instead of philosophy.  They ask stuff like “Does free will exist?”, “Does god exist?”, “What is the purpose of the universe?”, “Did god create free will?”, “Do quantum effects create free will”, “Is the soul immortal?”, “How can one be blamed for evil if predestination is true?”

Some people like philosophy,  but it’s not my thing.  I find VS Ramachandran’s books more interesting, instead of philosophical arguments about free will, Ramachandran asks questions like, “How often does the mind trick you into believing you have chosen something of your free will?”  And the answer is, quite frequently, and in very strange ways.

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