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Free will - the second approach

In a thought before, about free will , was the conclusion that even if no absolute free will exists, still what we feel as the will is ou...

In a thought before, about free will, was the conclusion that even if no absolute free will exists, still what we feel as the will is ours and, in this way, subjective. Let us follow this path and find some other conclusions.

According to the laws of nature and the cause-and-effect determination, we cannot have true free will in a sense, as free will is a kind of independent and free decision or choice between available possibilities. Yes, it looks true, we do not have this kind of free will. It would be the true free will, and a crazy one, because it would be entirely independent of the circumstances. The textbook style free will, our freedom of choice, freedom against the cause-and-effect may not exist. We are tightened to the matter and the laws of nature with all of the consequences.

If we are in the prison of the cause-and-effect chain, why do we feel the freedom of choice? Is it an illusion? Absolute free will is probably an illusion. We are molecular machines obeying the laws of nature. We should have metaphysical properties, an inheritance from God to think differently, but maybe even God needs to obey the laws that are created. To have absolute free will means metaphysical origin and properties. Let us assume from now that our will is not metaphysical. Then what kind of will we have? How does it function?

Let us see our will as a process in a kind of progress of development. We can state that when we are born, we do not have freedom of choice. We were instinctive beings at that time, all of our acts determined by present urges. That is the most efficient operation to exist as a newborn. We are not born with the freedom of choice, as we, most likely, are not born with consciousness either. We surely have will but without choices. The choice comes later when we begin to have experience. As we try out things, our experiences, our knowledge about the world accumulates in our memory. We slowly start to be able to choose and select. Our will begins to imitate, as it would have freedom, freedom of choice. However, its "freedom of choice" is based on experiences and not on the independent choice between possibilities.

What kind and how free is this will? It is not the kind of classical absolute free will. What to choose in a situation is not based on absolute freedom but based on prior experiences in our memory. We may argue that these prior experiences, prior decisions of ours are not based on true freedom either, so we just continue the cause-and-effect chain, and we only remember them. Is it makes any difference from the cause-and-effect determination? Yes, it is, because we remember not just the choice of what was made - which may be truly determined - but we remember its effect on us, was it right or wrong, how we felt, and what was the impact, the consequence of the choice to us. We still follow the cause-and-effect chain but extending it with prior memories and experiences. This way we can consider and choose among the possible choices remembering how similar circumstances were affected of us. We are using our will on the choices to try to maximize the positive impact of our decision on us.

What is free in this kind of will? The freedom is not to choose independently between the possible choices but to be able to consider between the possible choices by remembering prior outcomes in similar situations. This kind of will looks free because it cannot be predicted even knowing all the present circumstances of the situation. It is impossible to see the prior experiences of a being from outside. How free is this kind of will from inside? It is not absolute freedom of choice but still a result of consideration, which consideration is a real subjective choice between the possibilities based on the remembrance of previous events and most importantly those outcomes and subjectively felt effects. Our will is not a determined consequence of the present circumstances but a personal consideration of the predicted outcomes.

Therefore, do we have free will or not? The question is inaccurate because it wrongly suggests what free means in this case. Do we have independent freedom of choice between present options? No. We are not above the physical laws. Are we capable of choosing between presently available choices, which are not determined by current, outside circumstances? Yes. We are capable of making subjective decisions based not just on the currently available circumstances, but also on consideration of prior causes and subjectively felt effects. We are not doomed not to have a kind of free will, we are not robots considering only current causes. We are subjective beings.

An argument may come, the robots are capable of making similar considerations. They can make decisions not just based on present circumstances but also based on consideration of prior experiences. Yes, it is true. They are approaching us. When they are capable of making the considerations based on "how I felt myself" in those circumstances, they may reach us on our level of will. However, there is a being factor of this consideration, the "I felt myself" remark. Until robots are not capable of making a kind of personal consideration, our will is a being will, and theirs is not. This "felt myself" state assumes consciousness. Even if consciousness looks like only recording our decisions, it has a role in the considerations when our will works. It may be only a spectator on our decisions, but when we consider and model the circumstances and the effects of the different possibilities, our consciousness works, and participates in making the decisions.

A being kind of will does not exist without consciousness. This may be the evolutionary advantage of having consciousness. Maybe, a test could be created in this connection to prove consciousness of a being from outside. Consideration and decision are an internal process, but the effect of this process may be seen and could be explicitly defined from an outside examiner. It would be a useful test, not just to recognize, that our consciousness is not an exclusive property of us in the Earth today (this is why the word being was used instead of human), but to recognize when our artificial creatures gain consciousness as well.

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