The Simons Argument
"We know nothing of free will as a phenomenon independent of physics and chemistry, independent of our genetic endowment, independent of prior causes...What we do know of free will is that it is intimately connected with choice mechanisms, that it is a faculty interested in processing internal and incoming information...People who exercise their free will make decisions, select options, discriminate between clusters of data, choose...There is nothing here that computers are not already doing. There is nothing in free will, meaningfully described, that cannot be found in a host of emerging computer organisms. Hence if we insist on declaring that human beings have free will, and that it is this free will that underwrites human autonomy in a world of brute matter, then we will find a similar faculty--a similar autonomy--in emerging computer life-forms.
"It is important to understand the implications of a non-deterministic interpretation of human decision-making. What this must mean is that a choice is made in the total absence of causal influences (cause...is a deterministic concept); that is, the choice must be random--it cannot be influenced by any factor...Hence it is obvious that a non-deterministic interpretation of decision making can in no way underpin an enhanced view of human dignity. It can only represent our acts as capricious and non-responsible. This means that we can only escape from a totally deterministic view of man at the price of admitting that substantial parts of our behaviour are outside our control (control is a deterministic concept.)...[T]his will not satisfy those who wish to believe in some concept of free will" (G. Simons, 1985, p. 111).
"...[H]uman choice, like machine choice, is most profitably interpreted within a deterministic framework. Any interpretation of free will that is both intelligible and useful must be consistent with a causal view of human nature" (G. Simons, 1985, p. 111).
Simons, Geoff. 1985. The Biology of Computer Life: Survival, Emotion and Free Will . Boston: Birkhauser.