Bruno on Free Will

Klemm, W. (2010). Free will debates: Simple experiments are not so simple, Advances in Cognitive Psychology

I have not yet read the whole paper, but I agree with his main critics against the idea that free will is an illusion. It is almost like saying that consciousness is an illusion.

I refute only the conception that free-will is opposed to determinism, or that free will has no mechanical justification.

But as I define it, (free will is the ability to make a voluntary conscious choice in situation with partial information), free will is real, and it gives the main role to consciousness as a speeding up factor, and often as building a simplified conception of the local reality around us.

Free-will is a generalization of responsibility, and attempts to defend the idea that free-will does not exist can lead to an elimination of the role of consciousness and conscience.

That attitude is doubly dangerous socially, I think, in time where (white collar) bandits develop tools for diluting responsibility in all sort of economical and health affair.

In fact I think that the idea that free will is an illusion is one of the many defect brought by Aristotle naturalistic philosophy, and the idea that we can separate science from religion. This can only transform science into a pseudo-religion, and indeed into the worst possible religion, where humans become the tools of the environment and others. It leads to confusion of means and  goals. It kill spiritual values.

The fake political use of religion, which lasts since a long time in occident, can only be promoted by the rejection of free-will and conscience.

Basically, I suspect some 1/3 confusion in any attempt to reject free will. It is like confusing a third person account of your behavior, which exists and does not use free will, with the first person account which can use it. it is just impossible for a machine to identify those accounts. Such abstract appeal to the view from outside is a form of lie, quite compatible to the use of God as argument per authority.

Free-will is based on a form of necessary self-ignorance, and it can be said not existing, in some absolute sense which can not make sense in the first person vision.

It is an illusion, but only in a third person sense which is simply NOT available to the subject: so it cannot be an illusion from the first person perspective: the ignorance is real, and we have to take into account in our local real concrete decisions.

That is why, also, consciousness can be real, and do have an important role in evolution and life. Those things are unreal only from a point of view which is not accessible to us.

The fact that God, or some omniscient being or equation can predict my behavior does not prevent it to be free. I defend the compatibilist approach to free will, if that was not clear.

With comp, a similar error would be to derive the non existence of matter from the non existence of primitive matter. I can, in some conversation conceded that free will is an illusion, but then it is a “real illusion”, like matter and everything.

This illustrates also that mechanism + materialism can lead to nihilism, of sense, conscience, and in fine of humanity. Free-will is necessary for keeping the vigilance against the pressure against your universal nature. It is necessary to fight for having more freedom, and for avoiding being swallowed and became a particular tool of your neighborhood. Those arguing against free will can only help those wanting to manipulate you for their special interests.

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