> If you can do something for your own personal reasons then you have free will. If you demand that personal reasons still must always come from outside of the person themselves[…]
But I don’t demand that at all! You might picked X and not Y entirely for internal reasons, entirely because of the state of the neurons inside your very own personal head.
The reasons of my neurons are not my personal reasons. Neurons deal in GABA and acetylcholine. I deal in paychecks and days off. Different levels of description. My neurons can influence my consciousness from a sub-personal level - say feeling unfulfilled when I get my paycheck, but they cannot decide for me to get a better job. I decide. Me. I might decide to deal steroids on the side instead, or make human jack-o’-lanterns out of the neighbors heads and sell them at a garage sale. Of these three options, the steroids and the premeditated murder and decapitation carry a heavy super-signifying charge. My social experience and innate sensitivity circumscribes these acts as criminal, evil, or both, so my range of seemingly realistic options is quite a bit narrower than the full continuum of options available to me in theory. The full scope of what might be available to me is relatively limitless. I can meet someone and go into business with them. I can have an idea and make money from it. I can get run over by a furniture truck and collect an insurance settlement. NONE of these possibilities are realizable on the sub-personal or super-signifying levels. They are native to the personal level of description. NOT my neurons or molecules, NOT my behavioral statistics, NOT determinism, NOT randomness. Personal Preference is the appropriate factor. Not the only factor, but a significant factor which you deny like it was the Holocaust.
And my computer did X and not Y entirely because of the state of its memory banks and microprocessor inside its very own personal aluminum box.
Let’s compare. Does your computer worry about it’s job? Does it get a feeling one way or another if it receives more or less volts? If you remove RAM does it miss it? You are welcome to believe any fairytale sophistry you like, but you can be sure that the belief in this level of stupidity dwarfs any organized religion. Rather than talking myself into entertaining the fantasy of a computer with feelings, I have a better explanation for why no computer has ever exhibited a personal preference. They have none. There is no ‘they’ there. Instead of a super-signifying level of acculturation and ecology, they have instruction codes which impress upon them functions which are utterly alien to whatever substance is being borrowed to do the computing. Instead of a personal level, they have only sub-personal logic, involuntary reflex dictated by the rigidity of the materials specially selected for that quality. These are not proto-organisms, they are amputated sculptures playing pre-recorded messages. They are sophisticated messages - useful messages, but ultimately nothing more than a very cleverly organized library.