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Unpredictability – What free will is not about
Among the physicists there are some who do no favours to the discussion about freedom of will, because they attribute this completely new, namely their own, highly personal definitions of freedom of will, which have nothing at all to do with the original view of what free will means.
This then leads, as in the case of Michio Kaku, to the absurd result that he publicly declares himself a follower of free will, while he is actually convinced that man is not responsible for his actions and is therefore innocent. But according to Kaku, man has freedom of will after all. This contradiction can only be resolved if one understands that Kaku does not associate freedom of will with being able to act otherwise, but wishes to have non-deterministic effects taken into account through the influence of quantum mechanics, so that the future is not predictable for man – and that, Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty, is freedom of will.
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Here Kaku leads the discussion ad absurdum. For quantum-mechanical influences may contribute to a different course when history is rewound and then restarted, but they offer just as little freedom for a different action as a completely determined process.
Note: Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle applies to all living things: bacteria, fungi, plants, animals – their future is also unpredictable, and this means, conversely, that „freedom of will“ also applies to the common meadow mushroom, the bacterium pseudomonas syringae, the forest mouse and the black-spotted domestic cow. This is the logical and mad continuation of Kaku’s self-definition of free will …. (And by the way: There are indeed researchers who have attested the fruit fly a Free Will in all seriousness, since it behaved unpredictably in experiments in which it was examined for its escape behaviour … )