Re: virus: freely determined
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 01:41:56 -0600 (CST)

On Sat, 28 Dec 1996, David McFadzean wrote:

> > From: Eva-Lise Carlstrom <>
> > Date: Thursday, December 26, 1996 6:22 PM
> >
> > I believe in both free will and determinism.
> [snip]
> >
> > I, being a mere human, work from the human and thus free-will
> perspective,
> > because it is not useful to me to think that all my acts are
> > 'predetermined', and I cannot know them until I've decided on them in any
> > case.
> I too believe in both free will and determinism, but perhaps for
> a different reason: I don't think they are incompatible.
> Determinism means that events (including behaviour) are caused by
> the state/configuration of matter and energy immediately previous
> to the event, following the laws of physics. It does not imply that
> the events are predictable, even theoretically, because of the
> nature of chaos: immeasurable differences in the initial conditions
> can manifest as huge differences on the macroscopic level. The opposite
> of deterministic is random. (Side note: is anything truly random?)
> To have free will doesn't say anything about whether the person/system/
> agent in question has deterministic or predictable or random behaviour,
> it says that the control of the behaviour is mostly instrinsically
> derived. A rock, for instance, has no free will because it is totally
> at the mercy of its environment, be it wind, rain or a child throwing
> it through a window. The behaviour of the child, on the other hand,
> can only be explained by taking into account its vastly complex nervous
> system along with the genetic and memetic programs it embodies. True,
> the child too is to some extent at the mercy of its environment (gravity,
> traffic, neighborhood bullies), but for the most part, most of its
> (interesting) behaviours are the result of the interaction of systems
> internal to the child, therefore we can say the child has free will.


Is it meaningful to say that the nervous system, along with its embodied
genetic and memetic programs, is *not* part of the child's environment?

I find it more useful, when attempting to defy perceived limitations, to
treat the above as part of my environment. My body becomes another
factor in the environment that must be manipulated to do my work i.e.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd