Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Action of Free Will

Materialism, in its most plausible forms (e.g. property dualism, cf. this old crosspost), implies that something like micro-psychokinesis should be observable, via the likelihood of Gaia as a self-aware wielder of such of its parts as us, self-aware and language (and other tool) using as we are; because if we are purely material, if matter is such that amongst its properties it includes those that give rise to us as we are—much as sunlight is such that amongst its properties it includes those that allow lasers to blast rocks to smithereens—then it is surely indicated, by our existence, that a more complex and unitary structure such as the Earth’s ecosphere would be more like the goddess Gaia than, say, a car or a crystal.
......Similarly theism, in its most plausible form (e.g. as indicated by the most plausible theodicy), indicates that something akin to micro-psychokinesis would occur within living brains, if not elsewhere, as the soul-brain interaction. Reports of such things as micro-psychokinesis are therefore most interesting philosophically, because their empirical details should have—or so one might expect upon reflection upon what we know pretty well nowadays—the potential to discriminate between the most plausible materialisms (not, e.g., Humean supervenience) and theisms (not, e.g., Islamist fundamentalism). It is therefore sociologically interesting that there is so little professional interest in making rigorously objective observations of such things, even though there are reports by scientists of such things.
......How many other ways are there, whereby 'collapse' and 'no-collapse' interpretations of Quantum mechanics could be distinguished (the true from the false) empirically? If there was micro-psychokinesis then minds would not just be occupying slices through a world described by the wave function, since in that latter case the external events would have to seem random to us. A possible reason why there is a lack of professional scientific interest in such experiments is that 'collapse' interpretations seem to need an observer external to the entire physical universe, e.g. a God, and many scientists prefer to presume that there is no such being. They would say that since there is no such being, so 'collapse' interpretations are false, and hence there is no micro-psychokinesis to look for. Really a rather unscientific attitude (hardly letting the world itself tell you what is true of it).

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