The modified Picture of Reality
Reality, as it is presented in this work, appears deterministic: everywhere and anytime the fundamental law is in effect.
But at the same time free will exists.
According to conventional conviction, these two facts contradict each other.
The arguments, through which this contradiction is eliminated, have been presented in the previous section. Since there, however, they served for the building-up of the specific train of thought that was required at this point – such that they appeared only implicitly –, I will present them now again, but this time more general, more detailed and explicitly related to the contradiction.
Moreover, I will discuss the consequences that these very arguments have for the understanding of reality.
In order to keep the argumentation on free will independent from my own physical and ontological hypotheses, I've avoided drawing on them in the previous considerations. As long as possible, I will continue to act in this way.
Finally, however, it will be necessary to resort to my assumptions, because without them the picture remains incomplete.
Free Will and Determinism
In 1814, Pierre Simon de Laplace formulated the deterministic view of reality in his "Essai philosophique sur les probabilités" as follows:
"Nous devons […] envisager l’état présent de l’univers comme l’effet de son état antérieur et comme la cause de celui qui va suivre. Une intelligence qui pour un instant donné connaîtrait toutes les forces dont la nature est animée et la situation respective des êtres qui la composent, si d’ailleurs elle était assez vaste pour soumettre ces données à l’analyse, embrasserait dans la même formule les mouvements des plus grands corps de l’univers et ceux du plus léger atome: rien ne serait incertain pour elle, et l’avenir, comme le passé, serait présent à ses yeux."
("We ought then to regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its anterior state and as the cause of the one which is to follow. Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the beings who compose it – an intelligence sufficiently vast to submit these data to analysis – it would embrace in the same formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the lightest atom; for it, nothing would be uncertain and the future, as the past, would be present to its eyes."
Translated by Frederick Wilson Truscott and Frederick Lincoln Emory;
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