Threads of Fate

Okay, I made this thread because it is a discussion I really do want to have, and it sprang out of the creationism vs evolution discussion over in Sin’s thread. I thought it better however not to derail the discussion any further over there.

Free Will: fact or fiction?

Before I go to free will itself, I will point out that a Universe without any life would be completely predictable. We as humans with our current measurement capacity can’t hope to read the future of a sterile universe, but for all intents and purposes, such a universe would follow a predetermined course. Mind you that to predict such a universe, the device being used to calculate the prediction would be forced to include its own processes in the equations, and could NEVER compute faster than than it computed, and would be either trapped in the cycle created by its own addition to the system, or would be forced to round numbers off, and therefor accept a certain measure of error possibility. Thus, despite the existance of fate in this sterile universe, this fate could never truly be read.

This is our sterile universe, which relies entirely on physics and chemistry to determine the course of events tht unfold. When we apply life we have to start dealing with the “chaos inherent in choice” or so one would believe at least. When we examine the lowest forms of ‘life’ we find that their actions are entirely controlled by chemical stimuli, and they have preprogrammed responses to these stimuli. Thus the introduction of minimal lifeforms does not change the nature of fate in our sterile universe, but instead changes the rules by which the predetermination is defined.

This is the part that is a bit more of a streach for me to say because I really don’t have much backup for this one, but go ahead and hear me out anyway. We have a case a and a(theist) case g(od).

For now, I will work with case (a): Assume that there is no god and that evolution began with a puddle of minimal life that eventually became everything that we are today. By this assumption, there would be no input of any sort of survival action other than those taken due to chemical stimuli. Since we began as nothing but chemical oriented puddles of goo, all that was ever there to drive our decision making was a more and more complex system of chemical call and response.

So eventually in this case, we reach the point that all even our vast intellects are nothing but a sequence of chemical and electrical responses which can be traced back in their chain of cause and effect to the survival sequence of those early puddles of goo that we call life, which in themselves were borne from a predictable chemo-electrical action in our previously sterile universe. This means that our so called ‘free will’ is actually a chain of events that began with the birth of the universe, when all of the real random variables were set. According to this theory, we are nothing more than electrons caught mid transfer between sodium pellets and chlorine gas, bound to our fate, and binding it in turn with our own actions.

This of course becomes a little more difficult when we bring in Divinity. For those of you who believe in an Omnescient diety, then the answer is simple: To know the present is to know the future. If you look at calculus for a moment, at any given point for the motion of a partical there is both a value and an infinite number of derivatives (only a few of these derivatives usually matter, in that they either start repeating or become so close to 0 or infinity that they dont matter anymore). If you your definition of divinity does know all, then the derivatives will clearly define the path, not only where it is, but where it will be at any given time. If the path is defined, thats called fate.

For those of you who do believe in a form of divinity that is not omnescient, well I got nothing on you.

Any thoughts on this? Can I get some backup in my weakpoints, or can someone put forth a solid argument against my case (solid is not, “I just refuse to/can’t/won’t/am to close minded to believe that my decisions are already made.” Not only is that a disgustingly ironic argument, but it holds no logical base whatsoever, so please, keep it somewhere close to debate.)

Friendly reminder: I never said that we could ever read the future, I just said that it is written. Reading it is slower in fact than experiencing it by my argument, so even though our every action is predetermined, we will never know what it is determined to be, and therefor can freely believe in the illusion of free will.