Tuesday 29 July 2014

Could science detect free will?


No. There are many ways to explain this, but one way is to start from the fact that free will entails an un-caused cause (or un-moved mover) something which leads to action or behaviour that is not simply caused by what went before.

Could science discover such an entity? Could science detect an un-caused cause?

No. Because science assumes that all effects do have causes; and assumes therefore that any apparently un-caused action is actually an effect with unknown cause/s.

And, in actual practice, none of science is able to be absolutely adequate in terms of ascribing causes to the effects it observed- what usually happens is that an approximate (statistical, reasonably precise) association is taken to be sufficient to ascribe causation.

What never happens (because it is excluded by assumption) is that the inevitably imprecise and incomplete nature of scientific evidence is ascribed to an un-caused cause - to free will.

Form the perspective of science, free will is just a trumped-up 'God of the gaps' -  any gap between prediction and observation is put down to unknown causes, lack of evidence, incomplete understanding - never to free will.

Hence, science never can discover free will - because to science free will just looks like 'further research is necessary'.



1 comment:

Thordaddy said...

So in fact, the scientist who rejects free will can only conduct science unwillingly. And because rejecting free will is equal to rejecting a will then the above scientist is automatically suspect in all his scientific "endeavors."