Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Essay on Free Will
The article on Free Will boldly makes comparisons about man and computers. First, the article acknowledged that human beings are immensely complex creatures, and that the human brain contains many millions of different nerve cells. It then makes a bold assumption that the difference between men and computers are only a matter of degree. It then proceeds to conclude and predict that time may come where we may be able to build a computer just as complicated and just as difficult to predict as the human mind. It adds that computer programs may be created to give computers the ability to become unpredictable in their actions. The article also says that it is possible that computers may be created that are capable of performing the functions of the human mind.
I disagree. Though I somehow dream that a time may come when computers may be able to make decisions on their own or to show emotions or to perform tasks which only human beings may accomplish, I also believe that no creation may be better than its creator. It is also no possible for an object of creation to be equal in terms of intelligence, skills and abilities than its creator.
It is a fact of life that when a painter paints a beautiful painting on a canvass, or when a writer writes an almost flawless piece of essay or when a child becomes a good citizen of our country, what is being praised is not the painting, or the essay or the child. We praise the painter. We applaud at the writer. We admire the parents. An object of creation can never be better or at least equal its creator.
Secondly, man’s existence and exercise of free will is much more than the result of the processes that happen in his brain or his emotions. It is the result of millions of years of evolution. Mother Nature is somehow responsible for this evolution. Nature has built man to be what it is today. Through constant adaptation with man’s natural environment, man has evolved into something that is completely different compared to what he used to be. Because of natural selection man learned to adapt to his environment to survive.
To say therefore that a computer can be created that can replicate the process f the human brain is like saying that the millions of years of evolution plays an insignificant role in our development. The human brain has survived the toughest of challenges nature has thrown at it. The computers on the other hand, cannot survive without its operating system. The human brain is capable of adapting even to the harshest of conditions. Computers cannot even adapt to its external environment.
Free will is much more than having the capability to make use of reason. It is much more than the ability to make decisions and to make choices. Free will also involves the ability to think about our decisions and our choices. Free will gives us the ability to reflect our own actions and evaluate them. Though sometimes man may act irrationally, it is undeniable that man has the capacity to think about the potential repercussions of his action and to question his own actions. What makes man unique is his ability to communicate with himself. Computers until now are incapable of doing this. Computers are not capable of communicating with themselves and questioning their own motives and reasons for their own actions.
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