Wednesday, May 12, 2004
There are many cases against the idea of free will. Richard Dawkins described looking at a problem two ways by looking at a clear 2D cube two ways. Both are right. In this case, looking at different angles of a problem helps us see the problem in different ways that it relates to us. The existance of human predictability has always baffled me. If we have free will, than how is it that we can predict human events? IE: How many car accidents will occure, how many robberies, homocides; How much fast food we will eat in the next year, how much we will spend on popcorn at the movie theatre. Many things rest on human predictability. Marketing for instance. Snickers candy bars spend 2 million dollars (for instance) on a super-bowl ad knowing full-well there will be millions and millions of veiwers of that ad. How do they predict that? They make such predictions by looking to the past. More specifically, they make such predictions by looking at previous patterns. So why is there such a likelyhood that we will repeat these patters? The same reason that we inacted them in the first instance. What that reason is-is an argument for another day. But the fact remains, there is a reason, and it's the driving force behind our actions. Snickers' knows whats going to happen, and then it comes to pass. Often times we are suprised, by the stock market for instance. A stock unexpectedly soars through the roof. Does unexpectedness imply unpredictability? I don't think so. I think given enough information such complex predictions are possible. Given enough information, and how to use it of course. I can predict my own actions. So where does that leave me? If I can predict my own actions; that is, if I can know what I'm going to do, isn't that a case for free-will? I would say no; I would say that just the opposite is true. Knowing that you're going to eat cheerios in the morning, and than doing it, is the same as General Mills knowing that 7 million americans are going to eat cheerios in the morning, and then making enough product to reflect that. We are prisioners of our bodies, of our surroundings, and of other people. Human beings are pinballs being bounced back and forth with the inate ability to know where the next bumper is going to send them. Our own minds are one of those bumpers, and installed in that mind is predictability of itself.