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Branciforte12 karma

I have a question regarding free will, or the lack thereof. I apologize if I can’t explain it adequately as this is all well outside my wheelhouse. Either way, I am a huge fan of your work, and thank you for it.

From my understanding of your position, we don’t really have free will because we are simply acting in the way that all of our previous experiences have led us to act, how those experiences have shaped us biologically, philosophically, etc. This actually “sounds” mostly correct to me, but I can’t quite relinquish the idea that we have some agency in our lives.

My question is, when we are confronted with a situation and must make a (possibly illusory) choice on how to act, does our past absolutely control how we will respond, or does it instead simply supply us with different options on how we can respond, and we at least have some tiny amount of free will in choosing which option to take?

Branciforte3 karma

Oh god, I loved that game too! Any game where one of your special powers is literally just to steal things as long as nobody else notices is good in my book.

Branciforte1 karma

I really appreciate your response, and all the work you do to drag us out of the Bronze Age.

I guess my take on your answer is that perhaps you are right, but more work needs to be done to prove it, assuming it can even be proven. As you say, it is in fact nothing like a simple question. Perhaps there are modes of thought and ways of viewing the world that lead us to have more options, giving us maybe not free will, but instead a better probability of making beneficial choices simply because we are given an expanded selection of possibilities.

Jesus, I don’t know, now I’m just confusing myself!