This post is part of a series: Free Will? Yes and No
In my first post, I made my initial argument. As near as I can tell, we have free will, and our choices are predetermined. I argued that this is a natural result of the fact that the human mind is some kind of extremely advance computer program, and some aspects of the nature of computing.
My second post answered some objections that I think will be common. I did my best to explain why I’m not contradicting myself, and why this doesn’t mean that you’re merely the equal of your computer or the software running on it.
Now, I list some of the ramifications of this unusual view:
- We are responsible for our own bad/evil choices
Because we make choices of our own free will, we are morally and legally responsible to God and to others. Being born a certain way doesn’t absolve you of responsibility, unless the condition literally forces you to talk, act, or choose something stupid or evil, in a way that circumvents your will.
- We deserve credit for our own wise/good choices
See above. If we deserve blame for our evil choices, we also deserve credit for our good choices.
- Our thoughts, actions, and choices will follow predictable patterns
If my view is correct, I should be able to reliably predict your next choice, if I know enough about you and your surroundings.
- It is possible to upload our consciousness to a machine other than our brains
A program is a program. Successfully moving to a different “brain” might require substantial rewriting of the parts of ourselves that deal with the physical and logical quirks of our brains, but the higher-level stuff – thoughts, memories, personality, will, etc. – can remain intact, provided the transfer is done correctly.
- It is possible to create artificial intelligence that is in every way human, and/or equally capable to a human in every way
There is, of course, something very special about humankind. But we aren’t special because we can never be equaled in the things that we do. We’re special because of the purpose which God gave us.
“Then God said, ‘let us make Man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him
male and female he created them”
- Your soul is a computer program
Looking over Merriam-Webster’s definition of soul, some of the main definitions fit reasonably well if the soul is a program – specifically, definitions #1, 3, 4a, and 6. Of course, this only holds true if they have the correct definition of the word. Since there’s still a lot to learn about psychology, neurology, and the soul, these definitions could one day be made obsolete.