Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The enigma of free will evidently equals that of time.

 Conventional arguments about free will seems to be missing one fundamental aspect, which is the essentially non-existent nature of the future. 

Albert Einstein admitted that his theory of relativity cannot handle the enigma of the now. 

A particular point in time proceeds from the future to the present, and on to the past, in a way described in the historic McTaggart paper.

 In this temporal procession, the future does not seem to exist in any sense, until it becomes the now. 

The past is also non-existent, for sure, even allowing for the possibility of Bertrand Russell's five minutes hypothesis, which suggest that the universe came into existence five minutes ago, with all the relevant memories of the past. 

Henri Bergson's concept of pure memory would complicate this argument, which would solidify the reality of the past if taken seriously, but the five minutes hypothesis is not a logical impossibility on the surface within the conventional worldview. 

So much for the past. The future, on the other hand, is absolutely non-existent, or so it seems from the nature of the stream of consciousness. Any models of free will ignoring this remarkable asymmetry of time would be at best good for all practical purposes, but ultimately hollow. 

The enigma of free will evidently equals that of time. 

1 comment:

Christopher Shenefelt said...

I would have to argue completely against the non-existence of the future, having come into contact with the future on several occasions wherein that future becomes the now weeks to years later. The shape of time where our conscious awareness lies in situ not only allows for it, but necessitates it.

The past is existent for sure, and it need be existent always, this is inescapable. It’s sort of the same idea as Einstein saying, “I like to think the moon is still there even when I’m not looking at it.” In the same vain one may consider the supernova of 1054. From an essay entitled ‘When Quantum Trees Fall’ -

“Did the supernova of 1054 go supernova on July 4, 1054 AD, or did it go supernova first on~July 4 6445 BC and then all over again on 1054 AD? Note the universes 7,500 year prepotent realized head-start on the existent state of the supernova. Had this state not been realized by the supernova itself 7,500 years ago, had its adumbrated probability to go supernova not been the one realized in that time there in space then it would not be here now for our observations/conceptualizations. So did it exist in 1053 AD?”

As for free will, there are macro and micro particulars, but essentially the situation is more so a set of rules one may align themselves to depending on the state of, say, their cognitive light cones. These states are: Functional Determinism, Nonfunctional Determinism, Functional Nondeterminism, and Nonfunctional Nondeterminism. They all interact with past, present, and future, and they are all subject to both a determined aspect of experience tightly knit with Time-seeing enabled Agentic Will.

The other error in perception comes from failure to orient the facts to fit language in lieu of orienting language in an attempt to fit the facts. There is no stream of consciousness. This is to misunderstand consciousness. There is the nature of the stream of secondary time, a pseudo-arrow, a crooked bow.