I have talked about the soul being above and apart from matter. That it isn’t subject to the laws of physics. I am reading a marvelous book which tackles an issue that is parallel to the issue of the existence of the soul, but also is showing me in powerful terms why the soul absolutely MUST be independent of matter and the laws of nature. For me the freedom of the soul is founded upon the observational evidence from quantum, which unfortunately many don’t understand. About half of the physics community accepts the Bohr/Copenhagen interpretation. Indeed more accept it than any other interpretation. Such a view brings consciousness to the fore. Just consider:
There exist external observers which cannot be treated within quantum mechanics, namely human (and perhaps animal) minds, which perform measurements on the brain causing wave function collapse . " Zvi Schrieber, "The Nine Lives of Schrodinger’s Cat, University of London: MS Thesis, Oct 1994, p. 46 https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/9501014v5.pdf 1
" Quantum mechanics is therefore dualistic in one sense, namely the pragmatic sense. It involves, operationally, on the one hand, aspects of nature that are described in physical terms, and, on the other hand, also aspects of nature that are described in psychological terms. And these two parts interact in human brains in accordance with laws specified by the theory. In these ways orthodox quantum mechanics is completely concordant with the defining characteristics of Cartesian dualism."
" This conclusion that nature is fundamentally mind-like is hardly new. But it arises here not from some deep philosophical analysis, or religious insight but directly from an examination of the causal structure of our basic scientific theory . " Henry Stapp, "Quantum Reality and Mind, , in Lana Tao, ed., Quantum Physics of Consciousness, (Cambridge: Cosmology Science Publishers, 2011), p.20
Free will means one thing to a physicist, that our consciousness is not controlled by any deterministic process. And this causes a problem for physics. This may be the biggest reason that science tents to down play free will. If we have it, then there is an agent which can affect the universe in a manner that does not follow the laws of physics. The philosophical implications of this are that we can’t be responsible for our sins, crimes, adulteries, nor are we responsible for our good deeds, our heroism, our philanthropy or our acceptance of Christ as Savior. Determinisim destroys all guilt, and all responsibility. A woman can’t get mad at her fiance for diddling the maid of honor at the wedding because the groom isn’t responsible. It was pre-ordained. We don’t live that way and we don’t act as if free will is an illusion.
Free will means we are free to make a decision that changes nature and the deterministic outcome of the laws of nature.
" Free will means a mind can freely choose to bring about events that otherwise would not have occurred ." Wayne Portwine, "Free Will is Real: A Theory of Consciousness, Sheridan: Kryghter LLC. location 39
But free will requires this:
"We have accepted that our choices are freely made, so our choices must be free of all prior causes. If our choices are free of all prior causes, then the thoughts from which choices are formed must also be free of all prior causes. For free will to be truly free, our thoughts cannot be statistically governed by quantum events, nor can they be bound by the physical laws. For this to be true, no part of the thinking process can have mass nor momentum because either would make our thoughts subject to the laws of physics. " Wayne Portwine, "Free Will is Real: A Theory of Consciousness, Sheridan: Kryghter LLC. location 306
This would also mean our soul can’t have mass or momentum and as quantum indicates in the special role of the observer being exempt from the laws of nature. The quantum results are consistent with us having free will. Further I have noted often that the paradox of Frauchiger and Renner, shows that the mathematics of quantum mechanics becomes conflicted and contradictory when it attempts to model minds which are using quantum mechanics. Using four observers, they effectively showed that occasionally these six would see different outcomes for Schrodinger’s cat. Some would see a living cat, while in the very same world at the very same time, others would see a dead cat. Or, as in their set up, a heads or a tail of a coin.
"The setup is now ripe for a contradiction. When Alice gets a YES for her measurement, she infers that the coin toss came up tails, and when Bob gets a YES for his measurement, he infers the coin toss came up heads. Most of the time, Alice and Bob will get opposite answers. But Frauchiger and Renner showed that in 1/12 of the cases both Alice and Bob will get a YES in the same run of the experiment, causing them to disagree about whether Alice’s friend got a heads or a tails. “So, both of them are talking about the past event, and they are both sure what it was, but their statements are exactly opposite, ” Renner said. “And that’s the contradiction. That shows something must be wrong.” https://www.quantamagazine.org/frauchiger-renner-paradox-clarifies-where-our-views-of-reality-go-wrong-20181203/
One of the following 3 assumptions must be wrong:
This result can be phrased as a no-go theorem (Theorem 1). It asserts that three natural-sounding assumptions, (Q), ©, and (S), cannot all be valid. Assumption (Q) captures the universal validity of quantum theory (or, more specifically, that an agent can be certain that a given proposition holds whenever the quantum-mechanical Born rule assigns probability-1 to it). Assumption © demands consistency, in the sense that the different agents’ predictions are not contradictory. Finally, (S) is the requirement that, from the viewpoint of an agent who carries out a particular measurement, this measurement has one single outcome. The theorem itself is neutral in the sense that it does not tell us which of these three assumptions is wrong. As noted above, the lack of free will means everything we do is determined from time immemorial by the laws of physics. Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner, “Quantum Theory Cannot Consistently Describe the Use of Itself,”, Natue Communications 9, 2018. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05739-8
If quantum isn’t universally applicable–that is, it isn’t applicable to the conscious soul, then the contradictions would go away. Similarly we could say that consistent results are not required in science, but that would solve the contradictions, while destroying science. As to the single outcme assumption, we have never had a report that multiple outcomes are observed. The easiest assumption to ditch is the one which would involve consciousnes and ditching that assumption, leaves us with free will.
One further thing, this paradox applies even to the multiverse. In no universe are teh answers found to be consistent.
" Take Renner’s favoured many-worlds interpretation, which forgoes the part about alternative facts not being allowed–they are allowed, just in another universe. Renner initially thought this might work. But further investigation showed that there is no branch of the universe after the measurement where the answers of all four observers are consistent. ‘Before this thought experiment, I was relatively convinced that certain interpretations make sense,’ says Renner. ‘Now I think none of them can.’ " Richard Webb, The Reality Paradox, New Scientist, March 23, 2019, p.32-33
Having free will, makes us responsible for our actions, but responsible to whom? Well each other for starters. If there is a God, then we are likely responsible to him as well.
Rosenblum and Kutner say:
" Though it is hard to fit free will into a scientific worldview, we cannot ourselves, with any seriousness, doubt it. ]. A. Hobson’s comment seems apt to us: “Those of us with common sense are amazed at the resistance put up by psychologists, physiologists, and philosophers to the obvious reality of free will.”
"However, as we have seen, in accepting both free will and the demonstrated quantum results, we face an enigma: the apparent creation of reality by conscious observation. Moreover, to avoid the enigma by denying free will, we must also assume that the world conspires to correlate our choices with the physical situations we then observe. While in classical physics free will is a benign problem, quantum mechanics forces us to consider such human aspects intruding into our physics. According to John Bell:
‘It has turned out that, quantum mechanics cannot be “completed” into a locally causal theory, at least as long as one allows … freely operating experimenters.’
The creation of reality by observation is hard to accept. But it is not a new notion ." Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, Quantum Enigma, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 174
The creation of reality by conscious observation gets into Ed Babinski’s question about the problem of evil. If we are sinful humans, and we have this power to create at least some of our reality, then we are the ones at whose feet evils should be laid. This issue has to potential to solve the problem of evil which vexes so many atheists.