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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Supernatural Free Will and Free Choice

Free will is a belief that we are personally responsible for the choices that we make and among other beliefs or axioms, a belief in free will is what anchors consciousness. We remember choices that we have made and that memory of choice is what we call free will. Since every choice involves many possible futures while there is just one reality, free will is therefore supernatural. Free will as a memory of choice does not exist as a natural part of the universe and we must simply belief in free will much like we believe in the quantum matter and quantum action of existence.

The fundamental uncertainty of choice means that choices are not precisely predictable and therefore free will is a direct result of our quantum universe. Without supernatural beliefs or axioms, the universe would be completely classical and free will and free choice would be illusions and all the choices that we make in life would be actually predetermined by the context of our life at any given moment. Determinate reasoning asserts that rewinding a choice back in time and reliving it with the exact same initial conditions would result in exactly the same outcome. Ergo, your entire life is set not only by the moment you come into existence, but also from the moment the universe came into existence as well.

In a deterministic universe, there is no sense to a neural superposition state between two possible futures, since the start of the universe determines all actions. If someone  chooses, that choice was always meant to be and was always predictable.

In a quantum universe, a neural superposition state entangles two possible choices and therefore entangles two possible futures. The future of an entangled choice is generally predictable but necessarily uncertain. A remnant of that entangled state persists as a memory of what we call free will.

In a deterministic universe, there is likewise no sense to a neural superposition state between two people. All actions are determined from the start of the universe. If someone else affects a choice for another person, that was always meant to be and was predictable. Two people that choose which of two doors to go through obviously choose one or the other door and in a deterministic universe, that future is already made and simply waiting for the illusion of free will.

In a quantum universe, a neural superposition state entangles two people and their choices and therefore entangles their futures as a superposition of possible and not certain futures. Even though the future of an entangled choice is generally predictable, it is also necessarily uncertain.

The future of an entangled choice is generally predictable but necessarily uncertain. A remnant of an entangled neural state persists as a memory that we call free will. Entanglement of the possible futures of two or more people is called compassion or selfishness. A compassionate choice is one possible future while a selfish choice is another possible future, both possibilities affect both people.

Although two people can choose between doors with a 50:50 probability just like a coin toss and decide their lives with that choice, there is no magic by which they would always choose the same doors given the exact same conditions in a replay of the universe. Our physical laws always predict that a coin toss will be statistically distributed 50:50 even with identical initial conditions, so the choice of two doors is likewise uncertain in a quantum universe.

This is another way of saying that people have many possible futures and do not actually follow the determinate geodesics of relativity. Given a choice between two doors, replaying a quantum coin toss will always show that same uncertainty. There is a neural entanglement between the two choices for one person people and an entanglement between two people and the two choices and that means their choices are also entangled for some short time. That superposition does not exist as a realized future, but rather only exists as a remnant of the neural entanglement as a memory that we call free will.

Without any other people around, there is no meaning to selfish versus compassionate choices. It is only given neural entanglement with the compassion and selfishness of other people that we say that people have a moral free will.

With fate or karma, there is then a question of moral responsibility...if we choose selfishness and murder someone given heads as a flip of a coin and then go ahead and commit murder given a heads result, we are obviously simply expressing a selfishness that had little to do with the outcome of tossing a coin. Life is a continuous series of discrete choices between compassion and selfishness and many of those choices are fairly predictable, but there are likewise many choices that we make that we can never understand.

Ah hah! you say, there must be a hidden variable between us and reality...and so if we replay the quantum coin toss with that hidden variable kept the same, then the exact same outcome will occur, right? Oh, but do not forget the many possible and therefore uncertain quantum futures. In other words, you as an observer will always affect your reality simply by tossing a coin, whether the choice is compassion or selfishness. Imagining that you do not affect a coin toss does not does not change the fact that you do and this is another conundrum of the recursion of consciousness.

We simply cannot step out of the universe that we are in, reset it, and step back in when we predict a coin toss. Not only is the coin toss uncertain, our choice of compassion or selfishness is likewise uncertain and subject to free will and moral responsibility. Every action that we take entangles many other people and changes the universe and even with all of our imaginings, we are always subject to the same universe that we imagine we are a part. Although we can imagine initial conditions that will result in the same outcome for a coin toss, it is simply not true in our quantum universe and the heads or tails is subject to the same uncertainty as the coin toss is in the first place.

Thus we are always free to choose between heads or tails and that is not an illusion but we can certainly believe that a free choice between heads and tails is an illusion. We can also freely choose compassion or selfishness based on a coin toss. Does this uncertainty of choice mean that free choice is in some sense accidental? At what point is a free choice predetermined? If a person chooses one door, there is no magic that would make the second person always choose the same door given a replay of the universe. Free will is therefore a part of how people entangle with other people.

It is often said that science defines a universe in which all action is an accident of our determinate classical physical laws and all objects follow the fates of their determinate geodesics. A geodesic is a predetermined path for an object that obeys the laws of gravitation and Einstein's relativity. In a determinate universe, the chaos of intersecting geodesics is what causes things to vary from their own determinate fates, not free choice. Determinism has no purpose beyond the purposes that people invent given the chaos of action. The determinate universe is an accident, our galaxy is an accident, our sun and planets are accidents, life is an accident, humans are an accident, and civilization is an accident.

In a determinate universe, there is no moral responsibility since it is the initial conditions of your life that determine how compassionate or selfish you will be in life, not your moral choices during life. And yet we live in an uncertain quantum and not a determinate classical universe. In a universe with uncertain futures we can and do believe in the discovery of our own purpose and we certainly would not be able to live without a nice sun to warm a nice earth or a nice galaxy to hold our nice sun or a nice universe to form our nice galaxy and for our evolution to have taken place. Without the evolution of life and of humans and of civilization, we would likewise have no purpose since there would be nothing for us to discover.

There is no purpose in discovery without free choice and there is no free choice without discovery. Once we can freely choose to discover how the universe works, all purpose naturally follows choice as a result of the pleasure of discovery. Recursively, given a purpose in the free choice of discovery, we can then freely discover the further pleasure of a desirable future.

In our universe, there are a number of possible futures for each moment, but only a single future ever becomes reality and that future occurs only within some uncertainty. Likewise our past is also fairly certain but always a result of some uncertainty. The universe evolves from simpler to increasingly complex states and the beauty and complexity of a galaxy evolves from the chaos of the actions of a hundred billion stars on a grand scale. The beauty and complexity of our solar system likewise evolves from the chaos of a cloud of hydrogen gas and other matter.

Just like life, a submicroscopic nanocrystal forms from chaotic matter of atoms at a very small scale in sometimes very mysterious ways. Never exactly in the same manner, nanocrystals form from atom numbers similar to the star numbers in a galaxy, ~100 billion. What an amazing accident! Thus the simple quantum actions of a collection of atoms spontaneously evolve into a complex nanocrystal with very high symmetry and order. Therefore the evolution of order from chaos is a very common phenomenon at all scale in our universe.

The choice of a coin toss decides compassion or selfishness just as does the outcome of the coin toss and so both the choice and outcome of a coin toss alters the course of our life and the entire universe. Our freedom to choose heads, then, necessarily alters the nature and extent of all possible futures and yet neither the choice of heads is preordained nor is the outcome of the coin toss preordained. It is therefore no surprise that people are naturally drawn to games of chance. Just as the outcome of a coin toss decides the course of a game, that outcome affects our life as well and our choice of heads further means that choice as a part of the pleasure of discovery.

We choose heads and our feeling evolves in a very similar manner as our galaxy evolves or even as a nanocrystal evolves and choice seems to occur for many phenomenon, not just for life and consciousness. If heads is the outcome, we win...tails we lose and it is human consciousness that simply discovers what we call choice as the basis of human action. We predict heads out of a chaos of many possible futures and given the outcome, then choose actions that evolve into complexity. Even a single conscious choice in the uncertain universe necessarily discovers a desirable albeit also a more complex future, in effect a conscious choice of heads catalyzes the evolution of reality given the outcome of the toss.

In addition to the rational choices that we make in life, there are also many instinctive choices that we make that do not require conscious thought. Such autonomic reactions are also inherently probabilistic and will be different beginning with the exact same life context. How we respond to the anxiety of predicting heads necessarily changes even if we somehow began with the same life context of the same coin toss.

Just because many of our life choices like compassion have very high likelihood does not mean that there are not many other choices in life like selfishness that are essentially coin tosses, i.e. fifty-fifty likelihood. A choice of heads comes down to the uncertainty of a single neuron firing, a single calcium ion, or a single electron in a neuron, and therefore all choice is subject to the same fundamental uncertainty as all of the quantum universe, including the outcome of the coin toss.

In fact, we make certain choices like heads, primal choices, that we cannot otherwise justify by any rational logic. These primal choices in essence define a context for our existence and thereby anchor our reality. Likewise our primal choices for origin, destiny, and purpose anchor each of our lives based largely on our feeling about these unfounded beliefs. Once we make a primal choice, that outcome anchors and guides our lives through the otherwise chaos of endless and inexplicable actions of matter in time.

Our choice of heads results in an evolution of feeling about the coin toss, i.e. our observations do affect the reality of the coin toss. Our feelings evolve after birth from very simple instincts or reflexes to the quite complex neural recursions that we call consciousness as adults. The evolution from simple to complex consciousness over a human lifetime is the same familiar pattern that repeats over and over again for physical phenomenon in the universe.

We imagine in our consciousness a set of possible futures, heads or tails, based on our past knowledge and experience. We then predict heads and flip the coin and if we win, choose further actions to journey to that selected future in a very complex and involved process that we call living. Any number of actions can discover the same future with equal likelihood, but our choice of heads still defines our universe even if the outcome were tails and we lost.