Free Will, Life, and the Damned Future

By Alwin Peng

Let’s start out by addressing an important question: What is free will?

Well, kind seeker of answers, free will is the idea that living things have the CHOICE of what they are going to do. Judaism sees free will as something that naturally goes with the naturally
belonging human soul. For example, free will was present in the Old Testament, where Adam and Eve chose themselves to defy their omnipotent lord.

Well then giver of answers, what the heck does response have anything to do with the title?

My friend… I am just getting to that. Life, in a scientific sense, was created when random particles (namely hydrocarbons, but that science gunk really bores people so let’s not talk about it) reacted with each other. Over billions of years, these mindless reactions happened, until one day, a being was created that can reproduce. Mr. Charles Darwin will take over from here.

“You see, my good inquisitor, that evolution happened. That being slowly mutated as it moved into different environments. Stronger mutations would be able to reproduce, and this passed down the genes
that helped it survive. Gradually, these beings evolved until they became as complicated as we are.”

Okay Mr. Darwin, you may step down now. So one may see life as the free will of the universe, and based on whether you are an atheist or not, you may draw different conclusions.

So, giver of answers, you told me why the title had the words Free Will and Life, but what is with “The Damned Future”. That’s rather depressing.

So here goes… but this could be a bit more depressing… Remember when I talked about random
reactions that created life? Well let’s zoom in a bit further. When you break down the situation to its simplest form, it is basically atoms moving at velocities at certain positions, their courses predetermined.

So you’re saying that life was predetermined?

In essence, yes. Now let’s go all the way back in time, to the moment the big bang happened. Each atom had a certain position and velocity as the universe expanded. From that point forward, you can calculate what will happen to that individual atom as it reacts with others. In a nutshell, if I had a computer that knew the position and velocity of every atom, I would be able to predict the future correctly, as the interactions of the atoms is the future.

Then why the heck don’t we predict the future?

Well… we can’t. It is impossible to know the position and velocity of any object at the same time: in the process of measuring, both values are changed. Due to quantum mechanics, an object stays
in superposition of both existence and a lack of existence before it is measured, making predicting the future impossible. However, the future is indeed set in stone, but we cannot predict it. Free will does not exist. All your thoughts are due to movements of particles in your brain, sending electrical signals
throughout the body.

You’re still not answering my first question about the depressing title.

The future may not be damned in an apocalyptic sense. But we cannot choose our own future. That, is why I see this future is damned.

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One thought on “Free Will, Life, and the Damned Future

  1. Amazing that you are reading Darwin. Some say he is the greatest science writer of all time. He is someone who’s works I would like to read soon.

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