Free Will Part 2

Another aspect to free will and determinism that I wanted to address is the value and efficiency of actors within nature.  Again, not necessarily an argument, but some thoughts.

We as actors, traverse nature, making observations unique to ourselves that no one else has a complete culmination of.  Our set of observations and experiences are unique to us, and given that unique set of experiences, can we appraise the decisions we can make in our own way.  In a way, we come to a set of beliefs (model of nature) that work for us in our immediate life.  Nature has engineered us to become an optimal decision making machine for our immediate surroundings and environment.

For an actor to predict what we should do (let’s call them the omniscient actor), they must have an order of magnitude in intelligence, knowledge, and energy beyond our own.  In order for the omniscient actor to advise the lesser actor on what they should do (what is the right action out of all possible actions), they must have a vast understanding of the mechanics of nature and completely know your state of body, brain, and environment (or derive your state from all your past experiences).  How inefficient it is to study the mechanism of choice (knowing all the mechanics of nature and state of an actor), to know the correct output of choice of the lesser actor, rather than just leaving it to the lesser actor to make the choice.

This is the dichotomy of the mentor and the student.  The mentor is far more knowledgeable of the laws of nature than the student, but the student is far more knowledgeable of their immediate environment.  Given the set of actions before the student, who is the better appraiser of those actions, the mentor or the student?  In the beginning, most likely the mentor, but there will come a time, when the student will surpass the mentor’s appraisal of their actions, and their actions will be best left to the student to make.

Think of it like a calculator.  We can predict with high certainty (depending on how good we are at math) what the output of a calculator will be given a set of inputs.  Given the inputs, the calculator “acts” by producing the output, just as a human acts upon a given state of body, mind, and environment.  If we can predict what output the calculator is going to spit out, why do we use calculators?  What value do calculators have to us?  Well, because they can do the calculation much more efficiently.  The amount of knowledge, skill, energy on our end to do a calculation is an order of magnitude greater than the “efforts” of the calculator (perhaps you could measure it via energy requirements or monetary costs).

So, we may be tempted to control the actions of others, but we must be aware of our own ignorance of their specific environments.  The energy, intelligence, and knowledge required to advise the correct choice for that actor could be an order of magnitude greater than the energy, intelligence, and knowledge required by the actor to choose for themselves, as in the case of the calculator, or the case of an actor becoming a productive member of society.

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