Is Will Free?
“Earlier traditions usually formulated their theories in terms of stories. Modern science uses mathematics… When traditional mythologies and scriptures laid down general laws, these were presented in narrative rather than mathematical form… The greatness of Newton’s theory was its ability to explain and predict the movements of all bodies in the universe, from falling apples to shooting stars.”— Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens*, 2011.
Before Newton, the laws of nature were depicted primarily though parable and stories; after him, mathematics. Where the Vedas had Indra’s Web and the Greek’s had Fate, Newton presented us with the possibility for, probability mathematics.
If you have ever taken a statistics course in high school, you will have undoubtedly come across the mathematical field of probability. Now, probability has it that, at best, we are only able to predict up to 99.9999-ad infinitum%, but never able to achieve absolute 100%. This asymptote is set in place for the simple reason that we are unable to readily account for the idea of “random”.
However, what if we were all of a sudden able to account for random? Would you believe in fate, then? I mean, if you can predict something of up to 100% probability, would that not be a viable definition for fate or destiny? It's sort of like how we were once unable to find the square root of negative number; that is, of course, until we invented i*.
The great illusion of man is that we believe we are “in control”. The universe is chaos, control is man-made. But, what if, from an elevated perspective it were all under control? Think about it, if we are able to mathematically trace back everything all the way to the time of the Big Bang*, could we not also trace forward where we are going by the same accord? The problem? Random.
So, what exactly is random? Academically, random is defined as an "unknown"; while in statistics, it is more specifically expressed as, “a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen.” But what if random is simply, “the inability to account for all elements within affected reality”?
Let's take, for example, a person shooting a basketball into a hoop.
When trying to solve this probability in standard, mathematical fashion, you would simply take the equation as a singular unit, making sure to also account for random.
Now, to account for random under this new understanding (accounting for all elements within affected reality), you would also have to take into account the additional probabilities for: the wind, the shooter’s muscle fatigue, the shooter’s focus level, the crowd watching him, the crowd's output, the crowd's thoughts, the shooter’s thoughts, the rotation of the earth… and so on, and so forth.
Expressed in this fashion, you would ultimately have to build an aggregate algorithm which would be inclusive of all interwoven probabilities connected to all other probabilities — probabilities stacked on top of probabilities.
Can you not now see why, in academia, we would not simply opt more in favour of the traditional idea of random versus trying to account for 100%?
Measuring through hindsight, all variables directly influencing a given scenario would already be known; however, when pushing forward though and into predicting time, you have to account for variables more proactively (that's a lot of variables).
Now, this isn't to say that all of this is readily achievable (or even close to) from a human-perspective; it would take a considerably grand super-computer, much greater than we already have today in order to achieve such a feat. Perhaps this is also why ancient peoples left it up to the likes of gods in order to measure such things...
Indra had a web that, when affected, would alter the entirety of that web. Fate had threads which would also do the same. Nodes and strings acting and reacting to other nodes and strings; each one affecting the other…
Probabilities stacked on top of probabilities, creating a more intricate algorithm for time.
—thy Lord's will be done.