A Mechanism That Generates ITS OWN DECISIONS

One of the biggest questions in philosophy is that how can free will exist when everything in the known universe behaves according to deterministic laws and free will is defined as the ability to do otherwise from such laws? And without free will, how can we hold ourselves responsible for our actions?

This minisite reveals a mechanism that shows for the first time that free will and determinism are compatible ideas (the compatibilist view) and that there is a causal connection between our will and our actions, which makes us responsible for our actions, including credit for the good and blame for the bad.

Does the human brain generate its own decisions? Or, as in computers, everything it does is based on pre-programmed decisions?

The answer:

Decisions made by human brain are not pre-programmed. It has the freedom to generate its own decisions. It is the freedom that is pre-programmed.

The following two steps explain how:

1. Responsibility in Making Decisions (agent-causality)

Two core functional components of the human brain are designed by the optimizing aspect of the evolutionary process to use the thought process to come up with one or more decisions for an interaction, one using direct logic processing and the other using contextual logic processing, out of which, the latter finalizes the best decision to execute.

Such mechanism is based on the premise that considering the internal ambiguity in sensory and conceptual processing to represent the outside world, the most optimized way of finalizing a decision on an interaction is by making one or more decisions 1) using pure logic (without considering past interactions) and 2) using past and current trends and future projections constructed using information gained from similar and related past interactions which are accessible to it, and then finalize which decision out of them is the best one to execute.

The mechanism () is revealed by Dichotomized Operating System Model (DOS Model). It identifies these two functional components as Logical Brain (LB), which uses direct logic processing and Virtual Person (VP), which uses contextual logic processing. Of the two, the VP is what we call the "self", which finalizes the best decision to execute (more under title Free Will – in detail).

Based on the same, it can be said that the decisions human brain makes are not pre-programmed. As they emanate from the system, they can be attributed to the system itself, which is morally responsible for them.

2. Freedom in Making Decisions

Even after finalizing on a decision for execution, VP has the freedom to choose to execute some other decision.

Even with high confidence levels on the finalized decision, VP has the freedom to execute some other decision.

  • It has such freedom for either experimentation (in order to verify the outcome by matching it with the expected one) or for social reasons (e.g. to fail someone’s expectations)
    • In the case of experimentation, the choice of decision to execute may depend on ambiguity in confidence levels or solutions it has processed
    • In the case of social reasons, VP may choose the decision to execute based on the knowledge of others it has accumulated (more under title CB-ROM)

In the case a random decision (more under title Random Decisions (Libet Experiments) is to be made (e.g. the case of experimentation), as there is no judgement to be made, VP hands over the job to LB in order to save VP utilization time (more under title VP Utilization Time). Although, as it is a random decision, VP, with its authority to finalize decisions, can intervene on LB’s decision and change it for no particular reason.

The above points explain VP's, i.e. the self's, authority of finalizing a decision to execute (more under title VP and LB: Partners in Decision Making and Execution) and its freedom and reasons for choosing different decisions, i.e. free will. However, if a decision with a very high confidence level is reported by LB, it affects VP’s decision, and based on the level, can even overrule it (as it happens in the case of phobia).

Based on VP's evaluation, the decisions made by the system are stored with links to their results, so that even if they turn out to be wrong, they can be used as examples to correct future ones.

In a nutshell:

  • The mechanism that offers the capability of making free will decisions is a result of the optimizing aspect of the evolutionary process, which works by passing on characteristics from one generation to the other
  • The purpose of freedom in making decisions (i.e. free will) is to clear ambiguity in analyzing interactions by detecting their contents and intents and use such information for optimized goal processing. Based on the same, the system is pre-programmed to initially make multiple decisions (when possible) using direct logical and contextual processing and then select and finalize the most suitable decision out of them in order to reach its goal in the most optimized manner
  • The decision making mechanism is based on sensory and internal (i.e. intramural) processing. The functional component VP (i.e. the "self") is the agent that is aware of all such processing, using which, it makes free will decisions. The freedom it offers is the freedom we perceive while making decisions

The above refutes the doctrine of Determinism (philosophy), which says that all human actions are caused by things that happened before them and that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens.

It also refutes the current trend in science which says that free will is an illusion created by our brains and that all human behavior can be explained through the clockwork laws of cause and effect.

The primary support of such view comes from experiments done by neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet in 1983, which resulted into the observation that whatever action a person decides to execute is a result of his brain's neuronal activity or something else, but not of his conscious free will, and thus, free will does not exist. Such mistaken view is due to the lack of knowledge of the decision making process, which is explained in detail by the DOS model – more under title Random Decisions (Libet Experiments).

As the claim made by the DOS model is based on a causal mechanism (agent-causation) which coherently works with other mechanisms of the mind like perception, awareness, attention, pain, etc., it is the strongest ever objective proof of the existence of free will.

Scope of Free Will: Electronic Throttle Control Analogy

You need free will even to deny its existence

Detailed explanation: Free Will – in detail
Related: Typical Thought Process - Making a Decision