Oleg Zabluda's blog
Monday, July 02, 2012
Theologists agree that God endowed people with Free Will.
Theologists agree that God endowed people with Free Will.

Although God is Оmniscient (Всеведущий), Оmnipotent (Всемогущий), and Оmnipresent (Вездесущий), He gave us commandments/etc, and endowed us with Free Will, so that if you get into Heaven/Hell, it's your own achievement/fault. It a great gift, use it wisely.

Let's try to find physical manifestation of Free Will.

Human brain is a finite collection of interconnected neurons. If you were to measure the state of each, you could predict what a brain would do in the future (determinism), so there seems to be no Free Will. There are several objections to this:

Objection 1: A brain, even on the scale of neurons, may be a quantum system, most famously told by Roger Penrose, and is the subject to all the usual quantum uncertainties.
Rejection 1: Even if it were so, nevertheless, a brain would have no more Free Will as, say, an electron in a double-slit experiment.

Objection 2: Equations or Neural Network governing brain may be non-stable or chaotic, i.e. small differences in initial conditions may lead to large differences in solutions after some time.
Rejection 2: Even if so, there are plenty of chaotic systems: double pendulum or a billiard, is also a chaotic system, yet they don't have Free Will. Also, if you can calculate even for small time, it means there is no Free Will for that much time into the future, during which one may die or commit sin or a miracle. 

Confirmation 3: Say you went into the past, and want to kill your younger self, but, clearly, you can't. Therefore no Free Will at the time.
Rejection 3: Free WIll is not a blank check to violate laws of physics. You may want to walk on the ceiling, but you will end up hitting your head on the concrete floor [2]

Confirmation 4: Say you are deciding to do or don't do something 1 hour into your future. But there may be relativistic observers (either moving with large velocity close to you, or small velocities far from you), for whom the event is already 1 hours into their past. For them, it already happened 1 hour ago. You can't change it. It's pre-ordained. No Free Will.
Rejection 4: None that I know of. If there are observers like that, there is no Free Will for events which are in their past.

We already can measure neuron activity and predict (and even influence with strong magnetic fields) a person's actions a couple hundred milliseconds into the future. So to some degree Free Will is what we didn't or wouldn't measure. This is similar to [Boltzmann] Entropy, which is defined as the amount of additional information needed to specify the microscopic state of a system, given its macroscopic [thermodynamic] state. For example, just like it would surprise us if all the gas molecules gathered in one half of the box, but only because we didn't [bother to] measure in advance. Same way, a human behavior would surprise us, only because we didn't [bother to] measure neurons/etc in advance. 

Therefore I am proposing the definition:

Free Will is a measure of [possibly willful] absence of  knowledge of microscopic state of a brain, given its macroscopic state

I name this new half-baked science Neurodynamics. It's not a real science yet, because it makes no falsifiable predictions. That's because so far it has only 1 definition, but no laws yet.

Note that people (народ), as always, noticed Free Will - Information connection already, as well as a rudimentary way to measure it:

- Чужая душа потёмки.
- Глаза - зеркало души.

This also leads us to a first unification of the Neurodynamics:

Free Will = Soul

This makes sense. God endowed us with both at the same time, and is making a big deal out of both. When your Soul leaves your body, so does Free Will (that's also when we take people off life support, stop treatment, etc).

Neurodynamics allows us to partially resolve a long-standing question when a body acquires a soul and becomes a person (same time as Free Will), in favor of the Christians over Jews (as explained on wikipedia below), but is unable to add anything to Christian point of view or reduce current Christian uncertainty:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul#Judaism """In modern Judaism the soul is believed to be given by God to a person by his/her first breath"""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul#Soul_at_inception_of_life """Among Christians, there is uncertainty regarding whether human embryos have souls, and at what point between conception and birth the fetus acquires a soul and consciousness."""

Another discovery by Neurodynamics: since animals clearly have Free Will, they must also have Soul. The fact that Holy Bible claims otherwise, must be a one of those many misunderstandings.



[2] Example by Igor Novikov:
Notion of the Past & Can We Change It? – speech by Novikov


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