Free Will or Physics?

Check out this clip and pause for a moment to ponder. Feel free to comment.

(all credit for this clip goes to the movie Waking Life)

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6 thoughts on “Free Will or Physics?

  1. Here’s a few quotes on free will I pretty much agree with:

    “All theory is against free will; all experience for it.”-Samuel Johnson

    “As to the doctrine of necessity, no man believes it. If a man should give me arguments that I do not see, though I could not answer them, should I believe that I do not see?”-Samuel Johnson

    “He who feels that his will is not free is insane; he who denies it is foolish.”-Nietzsche

    “The causal nexus is a superstition.”-Wittgenstein


  2. I’ve always found the free will debate strange. They say, “Are we really responsible for any of our actions? If we’re nothing but firing neurons and chemical reactions, do we have free will?” Since that’s exactly what we are, why are we separating the ‘I’ from the neurons and chemcials? We ARE these firing neurons, which basically form our complex psychological frameworks as well, and to observe their mechanics is only to look veeeery closely at the subtle and tiny processes behind our every decision. Of course we have free will – right now, you can choose to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, ‘black’ or ‘white’, etc. But we’re not entities separated from the rest of the universe. Hence with scientific research and incredible technology, we have a far better understanding of WHY you choose black over white.

    Take it down to a quantum level, and you see the probabilistic microcosmic chaos behind the apparently deterministic macrocosmic stability. It’s possible that every atom composing my heart will teleport to the Andromeda galaxy. Possible, but so unlikely I can safely bet it will never happen. What seems random on such miniscule scales eventually forms into a coherent reality, cause and effect clearly observed.

    Love those quotes from Samuel Johnson!


    1. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I’ve often try to explain to others what you’ve stated in your second paragraph, but it’s difficult for people to accept. I’ve found that most people cannot accept that much more is probable, thought highly unlikely, than what is easily observed on a day to day basis.


  3. There is simply no room for free will. Every physical change that results in the atoms in my body typing this sentence can be (in theory) completely explained without free will. We are made of so many atoms that the indescribable complexity of the human body forces us to rationalise what we see and feel with labels like ‘free will’. Simply put, there’s no need for it.

    It’s a great debate though and I love hearing different sides to the argument. (I was the YouTube user who posted that video)


    1. Thank you for posting this video! I have been fascinated by this debate for many years, but I am never able to fully commit to one side or the other. I guess you could say that, in essence, I am an agnostic when it comes to this discussion; yet, I thoroughly enjoy hearing others present their thoughts on the issue.


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