What is free will? By Tomás Marco

This post is also available in: Spanish

It’s a big problem. It’s in the Bible, in all religions and in the nucleus of philosophy. Even in Science: if we are so determined as some of the views of Science propose, from Darwin until the appearance of genetics, then… I think there’s a great temptation, in Science more than Arts, to believe in some kind of huge deterministic machinery. You can see that every time a new thing comes out. In a way, as I said it starts with Darwin, also with Crick when he discovers DNA chains: it seems like all of our genes are going to determine our behavior in a mechanical way. Later people have realized that’s not true, reality is much more complex and random.

I think that this always unstable relation between what Monod called chance and need has been constant throughout history and will be constant throughout the future. Maybe free will exists, although it doesn’t as far as we believe and that determinism, in a way also exists, but things aren’t as mechanical and simple as they make us believe. There’s people who say, quite cynically, that the problem is so complex that we can have for all our lives the illusion that we do have free will, have it or not, because we don’t know how to comprehend what there is around that matter. Anyway, I do think that some moments, despite what Einstein said, that God doesn’t play dice, nature, or whatever it is, has played dice and some things have appeared that could have appeared or not. From a planet like Earth, even life in Earth itself. I ignore if there is life in any other planet, as everyone else does, because we haven’t found it. We cold ask if that wasn’t chance and if it could not have happened. It could easily not have happened. Maybe, from those moments that look like chance, you can believe in free will. And going back to the human sphere, it’s something that, inside human relations, can be hold, be it scientifically supported or not.

See more papers from this author.

See more answers to this question.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Bitacoras.com
  • Google Buzz
  • Meneame
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>