The expats Quentin and Andrea
discuss the problem of free will.
Q is Quentin and A is Andrea*.
||"Andrea, do you have free will?"|
||"I really don't know, i'll have to ask my past and present
environmental factors first."|
||"What do you mean?"|
||"For example, i left Canada almost two years ago, because my boss
needed me for a job of at least six months, maybe one year, in Europe.
If i had refused, i would definitely have lost my job.
Was i able to refuse?
Did i go of my own accord?
And now i'm still in Holland.
No-one and nothing forces me to stay or leave, and i have the illusion
that i base my decision to stay or to leave on the advantages and
disadvantages of staying or leaving.
But do these advantages and disadvantages depend on me, or the other way
||"What about your future environmental factors?"|
||"Oh, i don't have to ask them: they depend on me!"|
||"You're pussyfooting, why can't you just say 'yes' or 'no'?"|
||"Well, if i said 'yes' and i'm just some sociobiological product or
other, or worse, the mouthpiece of some god or other, my yes would not
mean anything, would it?"
||"Except, that in the case of a divine yes i might as well ask God
Himself instead of a fallible mortal like you."|
||"Sure, go ahead. ...
If i said 'yes' and i do indeed have free will, it is you yourself who
would have to work out whether it was a real person or a sociobiological
product who said it."|
||"Or, if God put that lofty yes into your mouth."|
||"Forget that one: gods themselves are the mouthpieces.
But not mine, tho. ...
If i said 'no' and i'm just some sociobiological product or other, my no
would still mean nothing.
And if i said 'no' while i do have free will, what would you think of me
||"That you're a liar, not worth to be my friend."|
||"I'm sorry, Quentin, but when you accuse me of lying, you don't seem
to realize that i must be able to say 'no' too, and to lie, in order to
have free will, and not to be restricted by moral or logical conditions
in addition to the sociobiological ones."|
||"I fear you're not your true self now.
Even a diplomat at the embassy could not have found a more roundabout way
of answering 'perhaps'.
I do wish you would have told me right away."|
||"You see, your free will is a great asset but not such a great asset
that it gives you the possibility, let alone the right, to control what
others are saying."|
||Andrea's name is pronounced as
stress on the first syllable.
The first-person singular pronoun is i, not I, as Quentin
and Andrea do not consider themselves Supreme Beings or anything else
of that Ilk.