A response to those who conflate Quantum Mechanics with Free Will:

this is absolutely stupid.. is the same as believing in God’s fate. and who cares about chain reactions my friend ? we are aware..we are consciousness.. we know every action that we are doing… we are influenced by emotions but we still aware of our decisions in the moment. if the scene is repeated you don’t know of we would choose the same thing.. because nothing is forcing us to choose. free will not only exist but is inevitable .. free will is more real than you think … we are molding the universe through our actions.. there is nothing forcing us.. there is an infinity possibilities and our consciousness allow for these possibilities.. ideas… etc… no chain reaction about that.

quantum mechanics uncertainty is one more proof…. so you are even more wrong.

-“rodrigo”, commenter on my post “Destiny is Meaningless

Quantum mechanics is just another cause. it may be random, but its not free will. YOU are not quantum mechanics. You are a being affected by quantum mechanics, it is one more thing that causes you, that shapes you and forces you to be what you are. In living creatures, quantum mechanics is extremely insignificant, and can be largely discounted as having negligible effect compared to…. evolutionary drive, capability, environmental factors and stimuli etc.

To prove that something is uncaused is impossible, because the mechanisms of proof dictates the assumption of causation, thus assertions of the supernatural (which is what you are doing when you say “nothing is forcing us” when in reality we have the laws of physics that dictate our actions) are always baseless, because you cannot use causation to prove something is free of causation. (Although it is claimed for QM to be random, ignorance is much more likely and as with everything else once claimed to be uncaused/random, there’s probably a few determining factors we simply have yet to spot.)

You say scientific determinism is like “believing in god’s fate”, and that determinism is stupid because of it. That, you are mistaken. If there was truly an omniscient god, he would absolutely be able to predict the future 100% accurately. Fate would be real and incontrovertible. The reason fate is a load of hokey is because for centuries claims of higher predictive capability from various entities have all been fiction, not backed up by any actual god.

In reality, it is simply the fact that the more you know about a situation, the better you will be able to predict its outcome. That is why military strategists etc. exist, to observe the behavior and pattern of the enemy and try to predict their next move, if free will did exist, and people did do things for no cause, then there would be no such thing as military strategy. Computers can already out-chess top human players because of its predictive capability.

Scientific determinism doesn’t mean “if you are poor then you will always be poor”, because science understands that there is not clear causal link in many situations. However, factors will influence how things turn out and let us not forget that those who “break the mold” and “overcome their fate” ALWAYS have redeeming factors in their favor that allow them to do so.

2 thoughts on “A response to those who conflate Quantum Mechanics with Free Will:

  1. While reading about free will vs determinism and its brief mention of QM, I couldn’t help but also think of the double-slit experiment. When photons are sent one at a time, it is impossible to predict which slit it will “choose,” but the end result after doing this hundreds of thousands of times is an almost certainty.

    While I wholeheartedly agree that we humans aren’t influenced by QM to any noticeable degree, it does illustrate that free will and determinism aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. I believe that the actions of any one person will be reasonably unpredictable for the foreseeable future. However, the actions of a large enough group can be very predictable. This is the premise that product marketing is based on.

    • Sorry but I have to disagree. Freedom from human prediction is not the same as freedom from causation of natural laws. Unpredictability is just not the same as being uncaused.
      I think a lot of free will discussion on part of determinists really just comes down to semantics, defining free will as the ability to choose with an arbitrarily defined amount of freedom, vs defining free will as the ability to make completely unrestrained choices, or in your case, perhaps mistakenly assuming unpredictability means free.
      Strictly speaking, free will isn’t even impossible. It is within the realm of possibility that the laws of causality can stop functioning. The problem is that 1. supernatural claims are unprovable, and 2. occam’s razor applies – you can’t say something is uncaused when it is more likely you just don’t know the cause. its simply more realistic that a decision is made due to intelligence and emotion, rather than because people have magic abilities of unconstrained choice.

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