Free will

In our series of reflections

we have reached the point of 
examining human mental activity.

Here we have a new element

that deserves our special attention.

Not because it has some special

significance for the World
but because it is of great
importance for us.

We know very little yet about the

functioning of our brains.

We do not know what the
mechanism of thought is,
how an inspiration emerges,
how we take a decision.

But since we are not examining the involvement

of extra-natural forces, we must accept that
in our brain cells some biological processes
are taking place which ultimately can be
reduced to simple physicochemical phenomena
which have their origin on a molecular level.

Phenomena which obey the same laws
as the rest of the Cosmos.

In the case of our painter

we have a whole series of actions
whose mechanism we know little about.

·                  He studies the picture critically.

·                  He brings his left hand to his beard.

·                  He takes two steps back.

·                  He tries to find out what is missing in the picture.

·                  He has the idea to paint another boat on the canvas.

·                  He is not sure what colour he should use.

·                  He decides on red.

Πλαίσιο κειμένου: We are not yet able to 
describe the mechanism
of critical thinking,
of doubt,
of decision.

We cannot say in detail

which cells in the brain of our painter,
under which internal molecular processes
and after which interactions between them,
led to the decision to make the boat red.

Certainly this decision was not independent

of elements affecting his brain:

·                  His experience from images of nature or of
other painters.

·                  The colours already used in this picture and
his sense of balance of colours in a painting.

·                  The light, the temperature and the relative
humidity inside the studio.

·                  His mental state.

·                  The proper functioning of his liver at the time.

A complex series of deterministic

sequences were influencing him.

A number of constraints which he probably

didn’t realize at the time
he made his decision.

Πλαίσιο κειμένου: But was the decision already anticipated a hundred 
per cent, just that our painter did not know it?
Was the decision made by the Natural Law 
even at the time of the Big Bang?

If our assumption about the absolute

accuracy in the determination of the
Natural Law is true, then this is the case.

Only that the painter did not know it.

He believes that he freely decided

that he should add a boat to the almost
finished seascape, and justifiably spent
some time trying to decide whether he
should make the boat yellow or red.

He did not know that, just as for everything that happens

in the universe, the decision about whether the
boat would be yellow or red had been made long before.

It had been made in the
moment of the Big Bang.

At that time

the list of successive events
(more precisely the long chain of collisions)
was specified in every detail. Events which
led to what he considers as a decision of
his own free will about the colour of the boat.

Just as at the moment of the Big Bang it was determined

that the person who is writing these lines would use
the example of the painter to refer to free will.

The poor man!

He believed he had made a free choice,
when he decided to use artistic creation
as an example of free will.

It seems that these ideas have
got us into really very deep water.

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