Free Will’s Absurdist Paradox


EXCERPT: Philosophers and scientists have been debating the concept of free will for centuries. While there are many nuances and subtleties, there are generally three main positions. [...]

Most people actively debating this topic today have long rejected the Libertarian possibility and are therefore discussing what’s possible within a deterministic framework that both the compatibilists and incompatibilists agree is true. This brings us to why we care at all, and continue to discuss the matter, which inevitably reduce to questions of morality. Compatibilists have a number of powerful arguments on their side.

[...] Incompatibilists have their points as well. [...] Until a couple of years ago I listed myself firmly among the Incompatibilsts.

It seems obvious to me that once a choice was made in the past—in a mechanistic world—then each outcome unfolds the only way it could have gone. And since we’re talking about determinism, we don’t have any control of the variables. From there it’s an easy move to see that all your future choices are exactly the same. That’s open and closed for me, and it’s why I’m still also an Incompatibilist.

I say “also” because Incompatibilism isn’t enough. What I’ve come to learn is that the problem with Incompatibilism is not that it’s wrong, but that it’s incomplete. It insists on prioritizing the abstracted world of quarks, atoms, and molecules, instead of the human world we actually live in. And that’s the point some Compatibilists have been making all along....

Quote:"And yet we must live on. We must rebel. We must embrace the unique and beautiful experiences that we have as human beings, and pretend as if we are their authors. And we must work to better ourselves despite knowing it’s all a charade."

"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;"--Shakespeare

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