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Saturday, January 19, 2019

MindBodyResolved


John Horgan’s Mind-Body Problems

John Horgan’s Mind-Body Problems is an anthology of nine interviews of people with very different views about the common themes of free choice, consciousness, morality, and self. Is there free choice, Horgan asks...over and over and over again or is free choice an illusion? Horgan asks a neuroscientist, a cognitive solid-state physicist, a bisexual child psychologist, a telepathic quantum conscious biologist, a schizophrenia-afflicted lawyer, a brain-tumor survivor philosopher, a philosopher novelist, an evolutionary biologist, a transgender woman economist, and, of course, a science writer like Horgan also has a lot of his own questions about consciousness.

Here we see once again ten very smart people who all freely choose to fundamentally disagree about the nature of free choice. However, one thing upon which each of these people did all agree was that they each freely chose to discuss with Horgan each of their own free choices for life’s meaning and purpose. Therefore, each person did believe in free choice and in the meaning and purpose of each of their lives.

However, Horgan did not first ask about the narratives and definitions that developed each person’s free choices and without some understanding of each person’s axioms, the reasons for their free choices are often not completely clear. For example, if someone believes in a determinate universe, then there is no free choice and all choice is set by ultimately knowable precursors even if we do not yet know those precursors. Since the quantum universe actually has no completely determinate outcomes, just outcomes that are more likely, there are quantum precursors that are not knowable even though those quantum precursors do exist.

The many various grand narratives of civilization make up the stories that determine the unconscious archetypes of belief that then are the bases for each person’s free choices. These recursions of precursor and outcome beliefs are the foundation of free choice, but people learn different narratives and form different archetypes and they therefore can feel differently about some outcomes as opposed to how others feel. Given some knowledge of the narratives and development of a person’s archetypes of belief it is possible to begin to understand the feelings that then determine their choices.

There are grand narratives that promote individual freedom and then there are grand narratives that promote adherence to group authority. There are narratives about flawed heroes overcoming adversity as well as grand narratives about death and rebirth, leaving order to experience chaos, envy, and revenge. Everlasting life and eternal justice are very common narratives that also repeatedly show up in religion and other supernaturalisms.

Horgan does not ask about the grand narratives that affect any of these nine life choices and so it is not clear how Horgan feels about the grand narratives. Of course, Horgan does believe that there is free will but often seems discouraged about the determinism of science’s approach to free will and has been a free will proponent for a number of years. Horgan is a science writer who writes and teaches writing about science and yet feels like the determinism of science has somehow failed him. Furthermore, Horgan feels that not only has particle science seemingly come to an end, there has been no progress on the unification of charge and gravity forces and what’s worse, there are still endless arguments about the nature of consciousness and free choice.

Horgan asks each of these people to explain consciousness and each of his nine interviews address many of the key issues of consciousness, but do not mention the underlying narratives that anchor each of their own consciousness, in particular, their free choices. The mind-body problem, for example, is a famous example that dates back to Descartes and Aristotle, among many others, but the ancients also do not seem to address the underlying narratives that anchor free choice. In the end, Horgan believes that free choice represents a perpetual discourse and so is not ultimately really resolvable.

Horgan does not address existence directly. Why do we exist? Why do we exist right here right now and not some other time? Why is it us and not someone else who exists right here right now? These are my and not Horgan’s questions, but those questions lay the groundwork for the unconscious archetypes of free choice.

Of course, without free choice, there would be no one to ask about existence since there would be no one to question existence at all. Other conscious animals and indeed most people simply accept their fates as predetermined without any questions about free choice, right?

Horgan writes a great deal about free choice and all of his interviews invariably address free choice as well. “Is free choice an illusion?”, Horgan repeatedly asks, “or do we have the ability to freely choose among many possible outcomes?” If we can freely choose an outcome, then it follows that that outcome was not predictable, which means that we did not know some of that outcomes precursors. Since in our quantum causal universe, every outcome is a result of a set of causal precursors, for some outcomes there are precursors that are simply not knowable even though they do exist.

The tools of science provide many useful measurements of matter and action. These measurements test our ability to predict outcomes given precursor events. Science therefore predicts the orbit of the earth around the sun as well as the orbit of an electron around a proton. However, science does not predict the outcomes of any free choices that people make as a result of their feelings very well at all. However, science can measure the personality factors, which are how we feel, of each person with some uncertainty and it is by our feelings that we make choices. Personality factors show how we feel about; discovering new things or satisfaction with the known, applying ourselves or being somewhat feckless with tasks, other people’s successes or failures, argument or agreement, and extroverts or introverts.

The orbit of the earth around the sun is a result of knowable precursors of gravity and momentum and so there are determinate paths for the earth and sun. Nevertheless, the matter and action of earth’s orbit are still both limited by quantum uncertainty even with a determinate path. The orbit of an electron around a proton is a series of outcomes that have probabilistic and not certain precursors and so the mass and action along with the path of the electron are also limited by quantum uncertainty.

Science can measure emotions like compassion and anxiety with facial expression, behavior, neurochemicals, and EEG and science therefore measures agreeable and conscientious personalities that help predict how a person feels. These predictions are not very precise and science often finds that people can make choices that still do not seem to make any sense at all.

Despite the uncertainty of behavior and therefore of choice, classical determinists argue that all choices still come from knowable precursors even if a person does not immediately know those precursors. This is simply a restatement of classical determinist cause and effect. Quantum free will argues instead that although most precursors of outcomes are knowable, there are some causal precursors that are not knowable even though they do exist. This is simply a restatement of the quantum superposition uncertainty principle, which means that we do choose some outcomes for reasons that we cannot ever fully know or understand and we call these outcomes free choices.

A classical and causal reality presumes that we can know all precursors for outcomes even though we might not immediately know those precursors. However since we actually live with quantum uncertainty and superposition, this means that there are precursors for some outcomes that we cannot know even though those precursors,such as free will and choice, do exist.

For example, we cannot ever know the exact precursor of either free choice or the path of a single photon even though we can know how we feel about a choice and we can measure the photon energy and action within some limiting uncertainty of phase. Free choice is a recursion or phase of our seeing how other people act and then acting like we see other people act. Language is a similar recursion or phase and, as a result, we learn free choice just like we learn language.

Recursions of precursors and outcomes make up our neural free choice that affect outcomes, which is what we call the self. A set of precursors stimulate a set of corresponding emotions that result in a singular feeling and it is by that singular feeling that we make a choice. We cannot know all of the precursors for an outcome and that includes the precursor that we call free choice. Determinists argue that even though it is not really practically realizable to know all of the precursors of a choice, all of those precursors are nevertheless classically knowable and therefore determinist. However, the fact that we are also beings with both quantum phase and amplitude just like all matter limits our knowledge of quantum precursors by the uncertainty principle. This means that we do have free will after all since free choice is not predictable without all completely knowable precursors.

Currently there is no well-accepted model of the mind and yet for describing free choice, it is important to have some kind of rough model of free choice. That model should be consistent with the known measurements of action potentials of neural synapses, the connectome as how neurons connect, the model should include emotions along with associated neurochemicals, along with the primitive brain, the cerebral brain, feeling, and the EEG resonances of neural action.

A mind model must also show how childhood development imprints the unconscious archetypes of morality, meaning, and purpose and the roles of sleep and dreams for making long term memories and refreshing the mind each day with sleep. Finally, the mind model should also be consistent with the bonding of people into the group hierarchies of cooperative civilization and the mind model should differentiate the relative roles between individual freedom versus the social responsibility to the authorities of group hierarchies.

A complete model of free choice must include the childhood development of unconscious archetypes, some kind of a set of emotions from those archetypes like pleasure and anxiety that generate a singular feeling from sensory precursors, and therefore the precursor of free choice of an outcome of meaning a purpose for existence by means of that feeling.

Action potentials at neural synapses are what stimulate or inhibit choice and so some kind of a model of the mind helps better define free choice. The periodic exchange of a neural action potential bonds two synapses into a bilateral aware matter atom and these bilateral synapses makeup the fundamental EEG delta mode resonance of the mind. Delta resonances reflect the neural atoms of aware matter that bond into the aware matter packets of each moment of thought. Moments of thought show higher frequency resonances with characteristic mode widths and therefore decoherence or dephasing times of thought. Every day, sensations accumulate into moments of experience as delta modes bond into layers of aware matter. These layers are the spectral outcomes of our bilateral neural aware matter packets.

The mind only has capacity for about 40,000 neural packets or moments of thought for each day’s worth experience. During sleep our brains then processes the important neural packets of each day’s experience into long term memory and then reset and the neural aware matter and cleanse the cerebral neurons for the next day’s neural packets. Although this is only a rather approximate model for free choice, it is useful to have some notion of how the mind works that is consistent with measurements.

Horgan’s book is the gift that keeps on giving. These nine interviews reveal not only specific beliefs in free will, free choice, and self but also tell many stories about interviewee personal lives. We learn a set of unconscious archetypes as we grow up and continually update and refine them as we live our lives. These unconscious archetypes are the very important axioms in which we believe as a basis for free will.

Mainstream science has not been able to define free choice very well in the lonely empty void of continuous space and time in which science believes. Science’s spacetime is a vessel for the conjugates of matter and action, and those beliefs in space and time are not completely consistent with the universe as a quantum causal set of precursors and outcomes. A further determinate and classical belief is that we can in principle know all precursors for all outcomes even though we might not immediately know those precursors. This determinate universe is one that follows from relativistic gravity, for example, but our quantum causal set universe is instead inherently uncertain and therefore not completely determinate after all.

In a quantum causal set, there are precursors to outcomes that we simply cannot ever know even though they did exist. The quantum universe is still one that adheres to the determinate space and time of relativistic gravity, but now a determinate and continuous space and time both emerge from discrete quantum matter, action, and phase. The uncertainty of quantum phase has no meaning in the determinist gravity relativity and yet quantum phase is an integral part of the conjugates of matter and action.

Our macroscopic reality is therefore one where quantum phase does not affect matter and action. Light is the simplest manifestation of quantum phase and the interference and coherence of light leads to many quantum properties, in particular uncertainty. Light exchange, as it turns out, is the basic glue that bonds charge as well as gravity and so light exchange is the unifying theme of the quantum causal set universe.

The exchange of neural action potentials bonds people to each other as well as into group hierarchies. An exchange of feelings and free choice are neural resonances that bond people just like light exchange bonds matter. An EEG spectrum, certain neurochemicals, and changes in behavior are all objective measures of an objective bonding of feeling along with the subjective feelings of each person.

Now each person chooses outcomes and the question is between determinate choice or free choice. Each of the interviewees talked about many different choices in their lives and so one question is whether each choice was determinate or free? Each interview involved discourse and bonds between two conscious selves and so were these discourses and bonds the result of determinate or free choices?

The EEG spectra of two people in discourse will measure their states of free choice. An EEG spectrum shows the various neural resonant outcomes that occur before and after free choice, but science cannot yet interpret those resonances as precursors of thought or feeling. There were undoubtedly changes in neurochemicals and other brain activity during these discourses and those changes likely also reflect the feelings between the two. Science also cannot yet completely interpret neurochemicals as feeling, but science has correlated many neurochemicals and other brain changes with various emotions. Finally, there were very likely tells in the behaviors of the two people as they discourse and bond with each other.

These would all be objective measurements of free choice and self for each person, and yet each person would likely still argue about the meaning of free choice and self. To what extent were each person’s choices determinate or free? What measure of free choice differentiates between the fate of determinate choice and the uncertainty of quantum choice?

Most choices in life are really determined by knowable singular precursors and not by the uncertainty among many equivalent outcomes. For example, circumstance and not choice determines when you need to eat since hunger is a knowable precursor of the unconscious primitive mind, but what you eat is a free choice among many equivalent options with unknowable precursors of the conscious cerebral mind. Each of these stories described various precursors that led to life many changing outcomes and each life change was then a precursor to a free choice among many possible outcomes. Some of these people stated their choices were not free choices but were rather determined by knowable precursors of development. However, it was not always clear that there always were knowable precursors and unknowable precursors are what define free choice and free will.

It is clear that there are many unknown precursors to the outcomes chosen by these people and many of them acted as if they made a free choice even when they actually believed all their choices were determinate. In our quantum universe, the superposition of equivalent outcomes means that all of the precursors of any choice are not always knowable even though a precursor does exist as a cause for every outcome.

The points of these nine narratives about subjective feelings and beliefs reveal much more about the tenth narrative, the author, than any of the others. Horgan shares free choice with each of nine people and in so doing, reveals much more about the nature of his own free choice. In a classical causal universe, every outcome has a knowable set of precursors, which is simply a restatement of classical cause and effect. Science can and does measure free choice with any number of objective tools. The action potentials of neural synapses, the connectome, emotions, neurochemicals, the primitive brain, the cerebral brain, feeling, and the EEG resonances of neural action all objectively measure the outcome of free choice.

Since every outcome of free choice has a set of precursors, it is natural to presume that it is possible to know all of the precursors of free choice, morality, and self. Since science believes that it can objectively measure and know every outcome in a causal universe, determinists argue that science can likewise objectively know every precursor as well. However, in a quantum causal universe, even though every outcome has precursors, there are quantum precursors that we simply cannot ever know.

These nine narratives all describe choices of one outcome from among a set of many possible outcomes and then attempt to describe the precursors for those choices. Yet many times, the precursors were simply statements like, “I don’t know why I chose what I chose.” When asked if a choice was an example of free choice and free will, there were determinate people who believe that that they can in principle know all precursors even when they might not immediately know a particular precursor and there were free will people. A determinist believes that since each outcome has causal precursors, it is then possible to know all precursors. Determinists argue that free choice is just an illusion born out of the chaos of classical noise, not quantum phase noise.

However, free will and free choice are precursors of a quantum causal set universe and there are quantum precursors that we cannot ever know even though they do exist. Of course, a belief in actually unknowable precursors is equivalent to a belief in the outcomes of free will, morality, and self. The people that believe in free will simply accept the fact that there are unknowable precursors and the outcomes of morality and self are likewise beliefs in unknowable precursors. However, free will is then consistent with not only the chaos of classical noise, but also the order of quantum phase noise.

Determinists believe that the mind is a classical machine and like any classical machine, mind outcomes are then all due to completely knowable precursors, albeit with some chaos. This is a determinate belief in free will as an illusion just like the game of life is a determinate illusion of chaos. However, the mind is actually a quantum machine and like any quantum machine, it is simply not possible to know all of the precursors of the outcomes of a quantum machine due to quantum phase. This is a quantum belief in free will.

Each of the nine narratives shows the objective existence of free choice since readers can all agree that all ten people were conscious. Likewise, each of the nine narratives showed many outcomes of choice, morality, and self without actually showing very many of their precursors. The determinist assumes that people can in principle know all of the precursors to choice, morality, and self, only limited by complexity and chaos. Quantum uncertainty means that people actually cannot know all of the precursors to the outcomes of quantum choice, morality, and self. In other words, although we can know many of the precursors that make us who we are, there are some precursors in which we all must simply believe for free choice in a quantum causal universe.

My second read of Mind-Body Problems was even more rewarding than was my first read. This was because there is a great deal of information embedded in the many layers of Horgan’s stream-of-consciousness style of writing...about free choice. A recurring theme in each of the nine plus one narratives reveals the precursors of morality, free will, and self for the free choices of each of ten people; nine interviewees and the author.

The ten narratives represent a spectrum of free choice showing the range of five personality complements or factors: conformer versus nonconformer, conscientious versus thoughtless or feckless, agreeable versus obnoxious, extravert versus introvert, and empathic versus callous. Likewise each spectrum of free choice also shows the five emotion complements: compassionate versus selfish, joyful versus miserable, serene versus angry, pleasure versus anxiety, and pride versus shame. These people are all well-published, intelligent, and creative and so do not represent either conformists or thoughtless and careless people very well, but they do represent all the other personality factors and emotions fairly well.


We actually live in a quantum causal set universe where it is simply not possible to know all of the precursors to the outcomes of choice, morality, and self. Even though we know these precursors do exist in a quantum causal set, we simply cannot know all of the precursors for the choices that we make, even though we can often know many of the precursors of our choices. Since we cannot know all of the precursors for emotions, for example, those outcomes are free choice and free will.

Determinists believe that we can know all of the precursors of choice, morality, and self but quantum uncertainty means that it is simply not possible to know all of the precursors of choice. Even given the chaos and complexity of classical noise, we simply do not live in a determinate classical causal universe. However, most of the macroscopic universe does seem determinate and simply subject to the complexity and complexity of chaos. Thus, even very smart people often do not accept the fact of free will and often argue vociferously about the illusion of free will.

These narratives all describe emotion precursors to a singular feeling and how those singular feelings are the precursors to free choice, morality, and self. But it is not possible to know all of the precursors to any emotion even though we can know those precursors do exist. For example, we feel the need to accept a limited group authority (i.e. a government or a job) despite losing some individual freedom and often enhance our lives as a result of accepting that group authority and hierarchy. This outcome is a balance driven by a feeling from a set of emotions and, once again, it is not possible to know all of the precursors to emotion precursors.

We simply feel that it is right to give up some individual freedom to a group authority, but then argue endlessly about how much freedom we feel is right to give up. Each narrative shows that the precursors of emotions are the unconscious archetypes that we cannot ever really know. The narratives further show that a set of emotions are the precursors to a singular feeling of free choice and it is by such singular feelings that we make free choices, have morals, and know our self.

Only one of the ten does not accept group authority but all seem to live otherwise pleasant lives. Some have experienced significant physical and or mental problems and learned how to be successful despite their problems.

It is also not possible to know all of the precursors to the outcomes of either wealth or poverty even though it is possible to know many of those precursors. Free market capitalism is one of the precursors to increasing productivity and wealth and increasing wealth is one of precursors for reducing poverty as well. Free market capitalism increases productivity with the incentives of individual freedom and accumulating personal wealth, among other outcomes. Capitalism in the U.S. distributes 49% wealth to just 15% of population and only 6% wealth to 15% of population. The remaining 45% of wealth is then more than sufficient for the middle 65% of the population to live well in the U.S. and so most people accept the tradeoffs of capitalism.

People nevertheless feel it is still important for the government to redistribute some fraction of wealth to the 15% or so of the population that live below the poverty line with only 6% of U.S. wealth and also to provide equal opportunity as well. However, the outcome of wealth redistribution does occur at the expense of some loss of individual freedom precursors. A collective feeling or morality is a precursor to wealth redistribution and emotions like compassion and pride are precursors to the collective feeling that chooses wealth redistribution, but it is still not possible to know all of the precursors for those emotions.

Free speech is a precursor whose outcome is not always possible to predict since free speech depends on how other people feel about what is said. Feeling is subject to quantum uncertainty because of the nature of neural aware matter spectra. An EEG spectrum is a superposition of many possible neural precursors and outcomes and it is only possible to know each precursor within some limited quantum uncertainty of matter, action, and phase. The uncertainty of an EEG spectrum is defined by the line widths of its resonances, which are the dephasing or decoherence times of moments of thought.

It is not always possible to know all of the reasons or precursors for why a person chooses to tell the stories that they choose to tell. Correspondingly, it is not always possible to measure all the sources of the decoherence times of thought. The stories that do resonate result in EEG resonances and the stories are an important part of free speech, though, since stories that resonate bond people together into group hierarchies with acceptance of group authority. Likewise, EEG resonances are the result of the binding of aware matter into moments of thought. The more people are free to choose their own groups, the more individual freedom they have and the more adaptable the resultant civilization is to outside changes. Acceptance of group authority decreases individual freedom, which resists change and makes civilization less adaptable to outside changes.

Each moment of our life is a superposition of precursors and outcomes that determine feeling and how we choose a single outcome. The emotion precursors that determine feeling outcomes therefore depend on both precursors and outcomes and include the outcomes that we choose as well as outcomes that we do not choose.

A third read of Horgan’s book along with its comments provides even further insight into the nature of free choice. Horgan says in the wrap-up that the book still feels incomplete since none of his stories result in objective and testable definitions of free choice, free will, morality, or self. But all of the nine stories do result in human bonds and those bonds reveal many subjective feelings about free choice, free will, morality, and self.

As a result, all of the nine stories reveal the human bonds that are elaborate exchanges of free choice, free will, morality, and self. The discussion comments are then further stories that also bond Horgan and others including me.

Therefore, the one objective and measurable definition of free choice is then as the neural resonances that bond people together and that addresses and resolves Horgan’s mind-body problems. Free choice is what bonds people together just like gravity bonds people to the earth and charge bonds electrons and protons together as atoms and molecules and people and free choice. The nine stories represent a spectrum of the neural resonances that bond people together and that bonding outcome is a free choice.

It is possible to understand free choice as a neural exchange that bonds people and self and to understand that these nine stories and all such stories form human bonds. The theory of gravity relativity predicts outcomes from many macroscopic precursors, the theory of quantum action predicts outcomes from many microscopic precursors, but these two theories are fundamentally incompatible in mainstream science due to quantum phase. A successful theory of free choice will then predict the outcomes of human bonding from the precursors of people and self.

Chopra comments that these nine stories are not useful precursors for predicting free choice since Horgan values all of the stories equally. However, any theory of free choice should just be able to predict the outcomes from neural precursors. Since free choice bonds humans with neural resonant precursors, the precursors of free choice are very good predictors of the outcomes of bonding and self. These nine stories are quantitative and objective measures of various free choices of bonds that form since most people can agree with and repeat the results with their own interviews of the same nine people.

Relativistic gravity bonds are the outcomes of the macroscopic precursors of quantum matter action and phase and charge bonds are the outcomes of the microscopic precursors of quantum matter action and phase. So the bond of free choice is simply the exchange of neural aware matter resonance as yet another manifestation of the quantum matter-action bond.

Free choice exchange bonds people together with phase entanglement and coherence just like gravity bonds neutral objects with biphoton exchange and charge binds atoms and molecules with single photon exchange. Each quantum bond has complementary light emission with phase entanglement and coherence and those emitted photons make up what we call gravity as well as free choice. The entangled phase correlates of light emission make up the photon bubbles that surround each of us and those photon bubbles define the nature of gravity as well as that of free choice.


There are many quantum matter actions that are all together what bond people to each other with exchanges of free choice. The discourse of language and stories are some of the many quantum matter actions of free choice that entangle and correlate our respective photon bubbles and so quantum matter actions are then an objective definition of free choice. The nouns, verbs, and modifiers of language reflect the matter, action, and phase of quantum matter action.

The couplings of neural action potentials result in certain neural phase resonances that we call moments of thought and feeling. Those neural resonances are what bond people into self, pairs, and groups and we call those bonds free choices. Conflict is a result of a lack of neural resonance between people and it is by the unconscious archetypes of feeling that people feel either bond or conflict. When free choice bonds with itself that therefore defines self in the same way that electron self energy ends up defining itself as well. However, an electron without a proton is like a person without other people and ultimately, it is bonds that define all matter as aether, atoms, molecules, people, earth, sun, stars, galaxies, superclusters, universe, and free choice. Unconscious archetypes give us feeling and feeling gives us morality as well as many other mimes and so archetypes are necessary precursors for the neural aware matter resonances of free choice outcomes. How we feel is an outcome of the unconscious archetype precursors of free choice and how we feel is how we make a free choice. Since it is not possible to know all of the precursors for feeling, free will is the outcome of choices that are not possible to predict with absolute certainty.

In other words, even though each free will outcome has precursors, it is not always possible to know all of the precursors of a free will outcome in a quantum causal set universe. Chopra commented that the nine stories represented a spectrum of free choice, morality, free will, and self without any judgement. Chopra would have included judgements about each story’s value as truth in order to better guide readers into a higher value free choice.

Chopra claims to resolve free choice simply by answering the key question, “How did something come out of nothing?” Chopra’s answer is that the universe was created by the precreated state, which is making something out of nothing. But of course making something out of nothing will answer any question and is also a classic contradiction and paradox since now nothing is something after all. Therefore making something out of nothing is circular and not very useful for answering any question, including free choice.

The fact is that there are certain questions that simply have no answers other than belief. What is the precursor to the universe? What is the outcome of the universe? Why is the universe the way that it is? These questions all have any number of answers and therefore no useful answers for predicting outcomes from precursors within the universe. Why are we here? Why are we right here right now? Why is it us and not someone else who is right here right now?

People can and do ask many such unanswerable questions and then very smart people argue endlessly about the many different answers since any answer will do. What is matter? What is action? What is quantum phase? These three axioms do allow prediction of outcomes from precursors, but we simply must believe in each of matter, action, and phase as precursors of the way the universe is before we can predict outcomes.

The fundamental definition of the precursors of free choice is in the outcome of neural exchange that bonds people together. The one very predictable outcome of the precursor of free choice is the outcomes of bonding or conflict among people. Stories are consequently an important representation of free choice and it is the something of stories that bonds people together, not the making of nothing into the something of precreation.

Chopra says free choice is the bedrock of reality as experienced by human beings. This is simply saying that free choice is free choice, which is an identity and is certainly true, but hardly useful for predicting outcomes from precursors. Chopra further says that we can understand free choice with free choice, which is actually not completely true. Although there are precursors for all outcomes including the outcome of free choice, it is not possible to know all of the precursors for any outcome much less the outcome of free choice. So, even though it is possible to know many of the precursors, it is actually not possible to ever completely know all of the precursors and therefore completely understand the outcome of free choice with the precursor of free choice.

Since free choice involves a unique bond between two people, it is not possible for others to agree on the nature of any of the unique bonds of free choice. This is because there are precursors of each free choice bond that are not possible to know. However, objective measurements of personality, emotions, neural resonances, and behavior, are all precursors that show the strength of that bond of shared free choice.

A model of free choice includes objective measurements of precursors that then predict the possible bonding or conflict outcomes of free choice exchange. People have feelings for each other and those feelings are how they choose to bond or conflict. While it is not always possible to predict bonding or conflict among people with certainty, there are objective measurements that show how people are most likely to behave with each other.

Although two people can agree or disagree about the nature of free choice in a discussion, by the action of sharing free choice they are actually demonstrating the nature free choice that bonds people together in discourse. It is the discourse of sharing free choice that bonds people together and that discourse can be either in agreement or disagreement of issues. When the issue is free choice, it is ironic that whether or not there is agreement on the issues of free choice, the discourse itself actually demonstrates free choice, not any of the issues about free choice under discussion.

For example, two people can disagree about free choice and determinism, but that disagreement will not change the way the universe actually is. In other words, science knows that quantum uncertainty and not determinism is the way the universe works. As a result, science also therefore knows that there are no absolutely certain outcomes with completely knowable precursors. Since free choice cannot ever be completely certain and knowable, free choice is the way that the universe really is. Free choice is not therefore an illusion of otherwise determinate outcomes from completely knowable precursors. Rather free choice from feeling is the very essence of who we are.

Since the complexity and chaos of classical noise necessarily limits the certainty of knowledge even without quantum phase noise, even very smart people choose to ignore the uncertainty of quantum phase noise. Many very smart people then choose to believe in a determinate universe with the illusion of free will despite the actual reality of quantum phase noise in the universe.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wittgenstein and Religion

There is a very nice presentation of Wittgenstein’s later religious views by Stephen Law in Aeon. Clearly Wittgenstein’s religious upbringing had a big impact on his philosophy as well as his morality. I have always liked Wittgenstein’s muse although he clearly espoused many contradictory views over the years. But what I like best is this:

At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded. — Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1951.


In fact, religion is more than a few statements of belief and the stories of the bible from which these statements arise are part of the grand narratives of civilization. Do not atheists also believe in the mystery of being just like religions? Without the unfounded beliefs of unconscious archetypes, there would be no consciousness and it is the unconscious archetypes of unfounded belief from which emotion, feeling, and free choice all emerge.

Our morality after all is fundamentally based on unfounded beliefs and the grand narratives, which include Wittgenstein as well as the bible along with a lot more, are stories or word games that show both the ideal of a desirable purpose as well as the potential malevolence of the human spirit, which is perfectly possible with reason. Reason and the tools of science, Wittgenstein rightly concludes, cannot provide all of precursors for outcomes and so there are some outcomes with precursors in which we must simply believe…

Comment from:
Stephen Law
Perhaps it’s true that we all have some unfounded core beliefs, and atheists and theists differ with respect to them. The fact that we all have unfounded core beliefs doesn’t necessarily put atheism and theism on an equal footing rationality-wise, however. Some theists insist atheism’s core assumptions are self refuting (‘Naturalism is self-defeating, while theism is not! (Plantinga)’).

However, the inverse is probably true. For example, if the atheist’s core belief is their senses are trustworthy, while the theists core belief is that God exists, and this in turn allows them to trust their senses (cos God is no deceiver). Theists then run into the problem that human behavior reveals ample evidence that their God cannot be all good since there is much evil in the world, while the atheist does not have that problem. In addition, belief in God is also less economical than no belief in God and so, arguably, Occam’s Razor favours atheism.

My comment...
Given that both atheists and theists have unfounded but different core beliefs, the next question is about whose morality is superior, i.e., which morality improves survival and reduces suffering and evil more than any other. Do atheists have a better morality from their pure reason by using the tools of science as opposed to the religious morality from the grand narratives of civilization and religion?

Since atheists derive their morality from the same grand narratives as religion, atheists cannot claim a morality that is any better than religious, merely equivalent. However, the nihilism and lack of purpose in atheism and existentialism can be very destructive. Atheists often simply claim that they distill the best morality and wisdom with reason from the grand narratives and then reject all of the mysticism, social structures, literature, art, and music as your Occam's razor statement that favors atheism. Atheists claim that reason and the tools of science provide a superior morality.

The tools of science, however, are not very useful for morality and atheism and secularity have not yet shown any semblance of institutions to replace or supplant the institutions of religion. In fact, secularism seems rather dull compared to literature, art, and music of religion and does not seem to prepare people for the inevitable suffering and misery that are often a part of life.

The atheist's core belief is that sensation is trustworthy but we know that there are many sensory illusions and most reality consciousness simply invents and ignores sensation. The basic unconscious archetypes of atheists and religion are both in place by the age of about 5 or 6 as the foundation of consciousness and memory. It is only much later in life that people use reason to then choose atheism or religion and then accept or deny what already exists as their morality archetypes.

History repeatedly shows that reason can and does readily subvert one morality when there is strong purpose with another morality. Hitler's Holocaust, Stalin's famine, Mao's famine, Pol Pot's Killing Fields, Ataturk's Armenian genocide, and so on were all malevolent outcomes done for moral purposes. It is here where atheism fails and religion succeeds. Over the last 2,000 or so years there have been many great narratives with highly resonant messages and some also have very deep flaws, like the class warfare of Marx's Das Kapital or the antisemitic racism of Hitler's Mein Kampf.

However, the malevolence of these grand narratives is not always immediately apparent until the outcomes of misery and suffering for tens of millions of people. Even though the narratives have all been around for 1,000 to 3,000 years, it is really only since the enlightenment of that last 400 years or so that civilization has seen their benefit. As a result, the progress of the last 100 years or so has been particularly remarkable for civilization, but we still have a ways to go before Earth and its actions are safe for our progeny.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

TwoFreeWillProblems

This video addresses two age old problems of free will: the problem of the determinist and the problem of a person knowing everything means knowing what will happen and that person can then change their mind anytime in spite of knowing what will happen. These two arguments are very similar to the equally old religious teachings of the Swiss determinate John Calvin and the free will Dutch Jacobus Arminius.

if-you-knew-everything-could-you-predict-anything-a-thought-experiment

On the one hand, the video argues that determinate physical laws would mean that everything is predetermined and there is no free will, which is Calvinist. We simply believe in the illusion of free will. The video terms this metaphysical as the figure shows.

On the other hand, the video further argues that with complete knowledge, all outcomes would be published in a book of life and a person can then just look up to see what will happen to themselves. But then the video further argues that since someone can look up what will happen to themselves, like a light bulb turned on, they can still then choose to do something different from what was in the book and turn the light bulb off. The video terms this epistemological and argues that a determinate outcome is not possible since the book of life is always subject to choice, the Arminiusist.


However, we actually live in an uncertain quantum causal set and not in a determinate universe of space and time. There is no quantum book of life that tells us with certainty what will happen. Quantum uncertainty means that the observer of a light bulb necessarily does affect whether the observed person turns the light bulb on or off. Moreover, unlike the particular determinate precursor in the video of the outcome of the light bulb state, there is no way to know for certain the corresponding quantum precursor for the same outcome of the light bulb state.

Science has known about irrational quantum uncertainty for many decades and yet both philosophers and scientists continue to argue about what this irrational quantum uncertainty means for our seemingly classical rational and causal world. This is because our macroscopic reality of relativistic spacetime gravity does not seem to involve the microscopic uncertainty of quantum phase even though quantum uncertainty is most certainly there. Quantum phase is after all just the problem of there being an unknowable precursor for the outcome of who switches their light bulb on first...John Calvin or Jacobus Arminius.

These arguments about determinism versus free will all come down to given a choice between good and evil, some people still choose evil in spite of any all-good ideal. In a determinate world, the choice of evil is not their fault but merely reflects the precursors of their particular life. Given free will, however, it is always possible to choose evil despite an otherwise all-good ideal and so there cannot be a perfectly all-good ideal after all.

We have feelings about things that happen and it is by an irrational unconscious feeling that we choose, not by rational conscious reasoning. Since we can never completely know why we feel the way that we do, we can never precisely know why we choose what we choose. In fact, the essence of free will is in choices that do not have knowable precursors and so are not written in any book of life. The archetypes of free choice and feeling then do not result in any determinate outcomes because neither free choice nor feeling have completely predictable outcomes.