Critique of free will. May/24/12
First, a definition of free will and some background data. At least, how I see free will. Free will is the ability to act or think without external influence. That is, by oneself, hence the term "free will". I think this definition works, but if it does not, then please explain to me how this is false. Also, I think it is important to note that I am mentally insane. I have several(about 7) "personality disorders", but I find they are simply advantages I have over other people that allow me to think differently. I do not take medicine, and nothing shall change my mind. But, I digress. Back to disorders. One such disorder is schizotypy. Please note, this may not be a disorder, and is under scrutiny. Basically, this disorder is "eccentric or odd thought, strange thought processes, etc. Just so you understand how my thoughts flow...and this essay is very edited, so as to be more readable.
I present my argument against free will. Our brain is a product of one hundred billion neurons. The way we think, act, etc is not random. It is a sequence of the neurons firing, or electrical impulses, which builds upon itself every second we exist. Therefore, the brain or our mind, runs on these impulses. This is true, therefore we are not free. This, in turn, is true as the actions we take all stem from some cause. Cause and effect. Thus all our actions are predetermined. For example, if you touch an oven and are burned, you will not touch the oven the same way again. Thus, your actions then determine your future actions. If this is true, then, obviously, free will is simply wishful thinking. It is false. Before I continue, it is important to understand that I am a Hard Determinist, which means that inasmuch as a form of determinism exists, free will is incompatible with it, and as such, is false. Invalid. One cannot be free in that all our actions are determined by two things.(1)External occurrences. This is demonstrated by the "global consciousness, for lack of a better term, and in social psychology as when we say that the environment effects the way our mind "grows".(2)Previous events. When something happens in the past, it determines the future. This is at the core of Hard Determinism.
Inside our skulls, hopefully, is contained a brain. That brain is composed of one hundred billion neurons. Science has shown the existence of "empathy neurons", or mirror neurons. The mirror neurons cannot tell the difference between what causes them to fire. Allow me to explain. When we jog, certain neurons fire in our brain. When we watch someone else jog, say, on TV, some of the exact neurons fire. This connects us with other people, and provides emotional feedback from said people. This shows that we are all connected, and as such, are effected by external influences. The mirror neurons should show that we are effected by external influences, right? To an extent, this is correct. But really, it is wrong. For nothing that effects the neurons is external. It is an internal influence, right? Wrong. Even though it is, in fact, internal, in reality it is external. Why? Because the effect came from other people. Therefore, it is an external influence.
One could argue that I am invalid. But to those who would, I say I am logical. And as such, I am valid. Is that correct? Not completely. For many people are logical, yet invalid. But, I digress. I have used the neurological argument against free will, but I would enjoy it if some reader out there would take the time to use the same argument against me. I want someone to try and prove me wrong. Logically show, using knowledge of neurons, that free will does indeed exist. When I can provoke such wonderful thought from people, I will have completed one of my many goals. I take leave with the question I most often ask: What do you think?