author: robert james | contributor
We have free will, if at the quantum level; there is no basis for determinism because it is unpredictable.
Whether you believe the multi-verse is the work of a deity or not, the truth is that humans most likely have free will. We live in a casually deterministic universe in many respects, with the origin point for physical matter seemingly being the big bang.
This would mean that all matter is simply the result of that original explosion, and is therefore pre-determined. Such a notion even extends to human action because we are physical beings.
However, at the quantum level, this determinism breaks down. When observing matter at the quantum level, the results of calculations are decided randomly from the available possibilities.
Additionally, to predict someone’s behavior, we would need a complete map of their brain, and an understanding of how brain-states create mental events. That alone is a ridiculous task.
All of this is compounded by the fact that quantum physics denies the possibility of accurate replication of particles. Therefore, we couldn’t reproduce someone’s brain at the quantum level. Besides, we would also need to know every external event that would influence that person.
Furthermore, the universe is constantly expanding, and because time and space are one entity, time is still unfolding. Considering that at the quantum level there is no way to predict the deterministic flow of events, the future remains unknown.
It is plain to see that at the quantum level, we cannot predict the future. We have free will, if at the quantum level; there is no basis for determinism because it is unpredictable.
Although at one level of physical analysis, events are causally determined, originating from the big bang, at the quantum level this determinism collapses.
This discovery in quantum mechanics leaves open the avenue of free will, and perhaps more interestingly, the possibility that a deity can interfere with our reality’s chain of events. It is unknown whether a deity interferes with the chain of events at the quantum level if the quantum level operates by its own accord in some matter science does not understand if humans use free will to create quantum movements in their being, or all of the above.
A benefit of quantum free will is that our criminal proceedings make sense. If determinism is proven false at the quantum level, and we rule out the interference of divinity for the sake of this argument, then it makes sense that we punish criminals based on how they use their free will.
Ultimately, the argument for a pre-determined universe does not stand because there is no causal law governing quantum particles. This does not completely prove free will, but it leaves that avenue open.
It seems likely that some entity in the universe, be it humans, other animals, divinity, or quantum particles themselves – exercise free will.