++++++ SUPER MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BOTH ++++++
One of the questions I ask people who believe in a god is , does this god have a will? Then I will make the argument that if this god has a will, one’s own free will does not exist. Both cannot exist at once. The logic is this, if this god is almighty and has a will, it will want it’s will done. Unless this god has a will but does not act on it. Or, it has a random chance of acting on it. Even if it does not act on it’s will, I would still consider it an act. If it does not act on its will, then this is the same as it not having a will. And if it does not act on it’s will, then we have free will. One of the answers I hear from people who do believe in a god who has a will is that everything they do is god’s will. If that is the case, then that is no different with a god who has no will and we have free will. We will not know.
Both series argue for the literal existence of a deterministic universe where all past and future can be predicted if all data is available at a single moment. I don’t know enough of quantum mechanics and this includes alternative theories such as the De Broglie Bohm Pilot Wave Theory , Everett’s Multiverse Theory and the von Neumann–Wigner interpretation of quantum reality. It isn’t necessary to full understand all these pretty dense topics but it definitely helps with appreciating what Devs is trying to say.
For Devs, from what I understand, Forest wants to believe that the world is purely deterministic so he can’t be held responsible for talking to his wife on the phone, distracting her and killing both his wife and child. This affects him so much he spends all his effort and time making a quantum machine that can predict accurately all future and past events accurately (using the Bohm wave theory which presupposes a classical view of the universe). I find it ironic though that he uses a quantum computer to predict a deterministic, classical view of the universe. He is proven wrong though by Lyndon who proves that the universe behaves along Everett’s Multiverse theory (weather this is true to our world outside of the Devs world is still open to discussion, and I assume will be for a very long time)
From the humanistic, moralistic perspective, no one can be held responsible for their actions in a deterministic world. But that is putting it simplistically. Why do so many people equate “free will” with “non-determinism”? Just because our choices are predictable, it does not mean that we do not make choices.
I don’t believe it will ever be possible to build a machine like Rehoboam or the quantum computer in Devs. Cos we even now we don’t understand atoms fully. Even with CERN. The material that makes up our world. From what I understand, to predict the future, all data from all particles from a scenario must be taken into account. Meaning all the data of all the particles in the universe in the now need to be fully obtained. Fuck, we cannot even obtain all data in even one quark now. Also I am currently on the fence with the question of is our universe more than the sum of it’s material parts. But I lean more to that yes there is more. What that more is, I do not know.
We want to believe we have free will. I know I do. Though in this slice of now, we are the product of all our past, past now, I do believe we have free will. Why? I have no idea. I could use science to answer the why, but I am too lazy to lol. Just look at what’s available as a foundation to the reasoning of if we have free will vs determined in the world of science. Better odds of coming to terms with free will vs none using the world of spiritualism and religion where one can just make up stuff so it makes sense in one’s head. Just don’t pass it off as universal truth for everyone else.
Also, Devs is the prequel to Westworld S3. Lily is an outlier and the quantum computer in Devs is Rehoboam Version 0.01. The hosts are the people living in the Deus sims.
As a side note, I didn’t like Sonoya Mizuno’s acting. I think I know what Alex was going for, but Sonoya didn’t deliver. He was going for Alice lost in wonderland. I just saw stiff, bad acting.