A STRANGE CONNECTION BETWEEN TIME AND FREEWILL.
It might seem that there can be no fundamental connection between time and the free will, in that these would naturally appear to be entirely incommensurable and independent of one another. One might say that freewill is something expressed in time, but there would appear to be no immediate reason to connect the natures of these two realities, in such a way that a discussion of the one would require including a discussion of the other.
Let us, however, recollect what was said in the article on time: "A similar distinction can be identified between the past and the future. The present configuration of changes in real things are such as to predict what will happen. The orbit of the Earth predicts that the Sun will rise tomorrow. A driverless truck rolling down a hill predicts that much of the house at the bottom of the hill will be reduced to rubble. So, in this sense, the future already exists, just as the past exists. The difference is that the future can be changed, whereas the past cannot. Any change to the future occurs only via the present. If someone jumps into the cab of the runaway truck, and succeeds in putting on the brakes, then the house at the bottom of the hill will not be destroyed. So no reality that belongs to the future is a fact, but every reality that belongs to the past is an unalterable fact."
Now it would seem to be possible to argue that this is not really a correct description of the reality involved, but can, rather, be accused of being contrived, and therefore not really true. If we say that what is predicted by the downhill career of a driverless truck can be altered by someone who jumps into the cab and brings the truck to a halt, must we not truthfully say that the action of the person who jumped into the cab also existed in the future as something predicted by the present location and state of mind of the person? In that case, the danger to the house at the bottom of the hill was never really actual, was never really predicted. From this it would appear to follow that nothing that happens in the present really exists as something unpredicted in the future, but only apparently, and wrongly so, from an incomplete knowledge of all that pertains to any present reality.
But we also indicated, before, that: "If the future was as unalterable as the past there would be no distinction between them, and hence there would be no present, since no change of any kind could occur. That is, everything that exists in the future as something predicted would become the past without any change at all. The present tense could be arbitrarily placed anywhere in the past or future, without making any difference to any reality at all. This, in fact, is another way of saying that there would be no such thing as a present tense, and no such thing as time. So the existence of time depends on the difference between the future and the past."
But if this is not true in reality, if time actually exists,
which it does, then the future cannot be fully predicted or determined. That is, for example, the action of the person who stopped the truck cannot have been fully determined before the event. This is the only conclusion that can guarantee the existence of time itself.
Now the only concept that can be used to make the future to be not fully determined is the existence of the free will, which is the only agency that can represent a lack of full determination of the future from the past or present, since the free will is the only concept of original causality (we have already encountered the argument that absolute randomness is an impossibility, and cannot function as an alternative to the free will). It follows, therefore, that only the existence of the free will is able to ensure the existence of time itself. We may therefore get rid of the uncertainty, mentioned in the article on time, as to whether time is something that causes the difference between past and the future, or the difference between past and the future is the actual cause of the existence of time. We are compelled to conclude that neither is the case, but that another agency, the free will, is the cause of both the existence of time and the difference between the past and the future.
This solves the problem about whether or not to accept the existence of freewill. The existence of time itself, which must be caused by freewill, therefore proves that freewill must exist, irrespective of how much or little we are able to understand or explain its nature philosophically.
We may therefore say, in conclusion, that time is not 'what clocks measure', but consists of, and depends on, the difference between what the future predicts and what actually becomes the past, which difference, in turn, entirely depends on, and is caused by, the free will.
We may add, here, that since freewill is the cause of time, it is thereby the cause of the 'now', which is therefore created independently of and prior to what any clock might say. A difference between the readings on clocks, like that described by special relativity, cannot therefore have any affect on the 'now' at any location. The 'now' is an ontological reality, unconnected with the readings on clocks, which are only measurements of the relative rates of different kinds of changes, and have nothing to do with actually causing such changes. Altering the rates at which changes occur, or are seen to occur, have no causal impact on the 'now' through which they occur. The 'now' is an ontological reality that is the same everywhere. This independent and prior universality of the 'now' at all locations cannot be altered by anything that happens within the 'now', in the transition from future to past. Since a universal 'now' is a universal present, and predicates a universal time, changes in clock readings necessarily have to have an explanation that does not alter this fact.
© Alen, October 2015
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