[ExI] Free will was: Everett worlds

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 19:42:27 UTC 2020

On Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 11:11 AM Anton Sherwood via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 2020-8-17 08:54, SR Ballard via extropy-chat wrote:
> > If free will is real and you think it is not, you can and will excuse
> > all manner of immorality, sloth, and cruelty because they couldn’t be
> > avoided. You probably put murderers in jail, but it’s kind of stupid
> > because from your perspective they never decided to kill anyone.
> > Killing someone was something they would be completely unable to
> > prevent.
> Seems to me, even without free will, your actions can be influenced by
> your prediction of consequences; and therefore it still promotes
> happiness to reinforce some behaviors and discourage others.

Indeed.  Even if it's all predetermined - even if, say, reality is strong
superdetermination - what did that predetermination?  That is the "you"
that is making your choices, in that case.  Perhaps you may perceive the
now, but if you need to kick free will up the chain to resolve things, so
be it.  There is still a thing that is you that is making decisions.  (And
no, the thing that is making your choices is not necessarily omniscient; it
may have no more perception of your current state of affairs than you have
right now.)

Also, there do appear to be some truly random aspects to the universe, such
as the precise timing of atomic decay.  There could be a free will behind
those, nudging our brains just enough to make the decisions they make.

It's also possible to reward things (people) that achieve socially
beneficial ends, and punish things (people) that achieve socially
antagonistic ends, so that the former will be more able to do their thing
and the latter will be less able to do so.  This gets to the warehousing of
criminals, if criminals are most likely to repeat offend right after they
have done crimes and less likely to if forced to cool off in jail for a
time.  Also, ideally the criminals can be offered opportunities to learn
new skills and otherwise change themselves into things (people) less likely
to commit more crimes.
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