Sunday, October 19, 2008

Free Will in a Physically Governed World

I wanted to bring this up when we were reading about the problems between Free Will and Divine Foreknowledge, as per the obvious subject matter, yet somewhere along the way I got distracted by various other things. And then we started discussing God and the Teleological argument, which led to the Intelligent Design scenario, and somewhere along the way everyone became encapsulated with the Physics of the universe and how they'd apply to God (or not apply). And again, I missed a chance. Here we are now discussing (or at least will be) how morals come about, or more specifically, an objective moral reality; The Moral Argument. Paul Copan digs deeply into the theist perspective (which I concluded to be, as was mentioned several times, very "easy" [read: unproblematic]), and compares (or contrasts, rather) that to the naturalistic perspective. Ah, naturalism. As Copan would put it, the "it just is" scenario. Conditions all just happened to be perfect, and presto: existence -> consciousness -> morality.

Well, so that's that. I don't want to talk about morality. I want to go back to Free Will, but I want to leave the Physics and leave the Naturalist approach to the discussion. Free Will - The idea that you can choose freely what you will or will not do (more or less, work with me). Physics - all those mathematical equations that work out to numbers that actually apply to the way material things work; a governing factor in the way things are, one might say. Naturalism - supports the idea that science is applicable to philosophy in a methodological way. This leads the way for evolution to find its place in the discussion of "why things work the way they do" when it comes to the actions we take.

And after all of that convoluted nonsense, I get to my point. In a universe that's either governed by the laws of God or the laws of physics (which would be responsible for evolution), where does Free Will find itself?

And in case I'm just as horribly bad at making a clear point as I'm sure I think I am, I have this to offer: a scene from the movie Waking Life (which I highly recommend seeing). I am referring to the monologue by David Sosa, Professor of Philosophy at UTexas at Austin (starts at the parenthesis, goes til the three asterisks). Dr. Sosa posits the idea of Free Will in a phyiscal world much more eloquently than I, however it is just that, merely posited. I am curious to hear your thoughts, or to merely stir them.


No comments: