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Old 20th-October-2008, 07:59 PM   #101
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

This is as something I wrote myself - before ever knowing Determinism existed. It's just a little something that I thought relates to your thoughts AI:


"A scenario:

A wise old man – able to understand and read minds with an unimaginable perfection – knowing the intricacies of the brain’s nervous wiring down to the atom; he knows exactly how brains process information. (A science which is scarcely known today)

Picture him observing a child about to open a present. He knows what the present is, and he also knows and reads the mind of the boy perfectly. He can see every memory cell and nerve in his body, and – based on and enormously complex, but certain calculation – he can calculate how the boy would act in every situation. He can therefore predict the child’s reaction to opening the present in the same way that a physicist calculates the projection and landing of an object.

The calculation is always absolute. If time would rewind a thousand times back to the moment he opened his preset, he would react the exact same way a thousand times.This is because a man's choices and actions can also be predetermined mathematically.
I propose to you that the concept of "free will" which makes it's own choices despite physical influence - may be a mere misunderstanding of the fact that a man makes those decisions which appeal to his reasoning; reasoning which has developed from natural process according to their upbringing. Every choice a man makes is made not by "free will" but is the logical result of all he has been taught, and come to know (from the circumstances he was placed in) accumulating together - resulting in that action being the most plausible and natural choice to take."


...this is not a claim... just something to chew on...
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Old 20th-October-2008, 08:15 PM   #102
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

i think i'm just taking determinism a step back. you seem to be saying that i would have always chosen subway today no matter how often the day was replayed, but what i'm saying is, the choice would have always been the same: it would have always been either subway or a home made sandwich, even though i would made a different choice some of the time.

thats what i mean by non-linear. strong determinism seems to go by Laplace's logic, that if you were to somehow know the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, you could calculate their position at any time in the past and predict their position anytime in the future. but it doesn't work that way. there are multiple interacting causes with multiple interacting affects. theres no reductionist method to it, because the whole is greater then the sum of its parts. the complex and often spontaneous interactions between the components have variable affects that cannot be predicted. even the wave/particle duality of quantum mechanics shows that there is only a higher or lower probability that something will actually be somewhere at any given time.
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Old 20th-October-2008, 08:22 PM   #103
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

What if you knew every detail about everything in the universe at, say, a hundred given moments, and every rule that governed it? Couldn't you use that to calculate every moment of time from Big Bang to Heat Death? Above the subatomic level, at least.

I also don't see how quantum mechanics is supposed to give you free will. It just means that you would have been forced into a random course of action every time, not that you would have chosen it every time. Randomness and free will aren't the same thing.

I would argue that while you may have made a different choice every time, each and every factor resulting in that choice would have been totally outwith your control, and the process of the decision making would have been totally outwith your control, so you would still be determined to act in a particular manner. It is just that, under slightly different circumstances you may have acted differently. Assuming identical states at every level right across the universe at a given time, and histories identical in the same way, will not the next moment also be the same? Quantum uncertainty does not provide randomness when the example worlds are defined as being identical in every way.
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Old 20th-October-2008, 09:15 PM   #104
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

the quantum example was saying that we don't know exactly how the brain or anything else behaves. quantum fluctuations do certainly have affects in the classical world, although i'll admit that its a vague and a bit of a leap for use in this discussion.

and what you said is what i'm saying. soft determinism. the choices we come across are determined, the choice we ultimately make is not. therefore, the future is not determined either, which is why we are able to change the future. the only reason it would not look like a choice is, as i said, the weak anthropic principle: everything will only happen once, so to say that it would have always happened that way is a safe theory because it cannot be disproven. the reason we ask "why did i go to subway instead of make my own sandwich" is because it did ultimately happen that way. if it hadn't, we'd be asking why i had made my own sandwich, and a strong determinist could safely say that making the sandwich was inevitable because it happened that way, and nobody could falsify that hypothesis.
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Old 20th-October-2008, 09:28 PM   #105
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

I am still insisting that under identical conditions, the same decision would have been made - and the conditions under which the decision was made are identical to the conditions under which the decision was made, it goes without saying. So I am saying that the choice was made for you in advance, I'm just acknowledging that if anything had been different then the decision may have been different. I am a hard determinist, certainly.
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Old 20th-October-2008, 10:12 PM   #106
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

* makes a 'high five' gesture at Jordan~ *

What you're saying reminds me so much of what I wrote before I knew about determinism. A little more from the same essay:

Every aspect of a person’s life is determined by that person’s life experience. A person’s character, personality, morality, desires and affections can all be calculated as being the end result of an extremely long, but certain, chain of cause and effect which includes every event that ever occurred in that person’s life.

The coming together of every circumstance in you life has made you who you are today.

How so?


According to mathematical law; the product of an equation without any variables is always certain. The equation 5 x 5 will always equal 25. It cannot yield anything else. Likewise, the product of all your life’s circumstances calculated together will always yield the same conclusion. The calculation is always certain.

Under the exact same circumstances, the only way an individual would not end up doing exactly the same thing each time is if they brought with them an outside factor. The equation 5 x 5 will always equal 25, however the equation 5y x 5 may not always equal 25. The variable y is what gives room for diversity. The variable, in this discussion, would be the “free-will”.

...just a bit more to munch on...


EDIT: I'm currently reading this thread all the way from post 1 - just so I don't repeat what's already been said. Please excuse me if I already did. (Which I'm sure I have)
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Old 20th-October-2008, 10:46 PM   #107
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

I had two ideas today while thinking about our discussion in a course. They are not arguments already, i just want to bring them in here:

1. What do you think about multiverse theory then, Jordan? I mean it would be from your stance not possible, not logic, right? I mean the theory that for each action that happens there are different universes getting created in which the action was different. For you it must be impossible, i think, because in your explanation there can't be a different happening of that action. Do you see it that way? (This is really just a question of curiosity. Multiverse theory is not falsifiable/justifiable for now, so it is only speculation anyways)

2. A proposal how determinism could be circumvented: You agree that the universe behaves differently on the quantum level than in our macroscopic level, right? There are different rules of physics. So the change in composition of objects brings a change in laws of nature. So perhaps the level of consciousness, of choice_making, of sentience is yet another layer, with new and different rules. That that which is composed of its smaller parts namely in the brain does not directly follow the rules which its parts follow but that it is more than the sum of its parts. This is no fullyfledged argument of me, it was just an idea, with which we could someday explain the rules conscious thought and decisionmaking is based on while still ackknowledge that in the normal macroscopic world there is determinism...

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Old 20th-October-2008, 10:57 PM   #108
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

In this universe, everything will unfold a certain way. In any other universes that might exist, it could happen differently - that would rely on the elimination of possibilities (and by possibilities I mean what could happen if circumstances had been different) by the process of cause and effect rather than on humans making decisions. There would be multiple universes without us, if the multiverse theory is true; they certainly wouldn't require free will to exist. It wouldn't imply free will, either; just infinite chains of cause and effect running simultaneously in different universes, one for each possible state.

I'm something of a reductionist when it comes to the human mind. To me, it's an intricate biological machine. Consciousness, to me, is also an illusion - it's hard for me to explain what I mean, but I guess what I'm saying is that there is no physical consciousness, it's just our brain's response to its awareness of itself. Does that make sense?
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Old 20th-October-2008, 11:03 PM   #109
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Well, for your stance, yes it does make sense, at least how i understand your stance. With the first thing id din't really meant free will or not the one. With actions i just meant 'events'. You know, a neutrino hitting some particle in Earth or not.
For me consciousness comes first. Then there is the mainstream explanation of the brain, and to bring them into union the explanation of your stance, which declares consciousness as an illusion from the computer "brain". I sort of accept the mainstream explanations so far, but think that there must be something else to it, because for me it does not match yet. I don't know if this makes sense for you, for me it does.

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Old 20th-October-2008, 11:22 PM   #110
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan
Consciousness, to me, is also an illusion - it's hard for me to explain what I mean, but I guess what I'm saying is that there is no physical consciousness, it's just our brain's response to its awareness of itself. Does that make sense?
I'm surprised you believe this too!

I have a few questions to ask you. As I began to analyze life, once having come to accept hard determinism, I had to come to the conclusion that not only consciousness and free will - but also life, death, the soul, the spirit, & love are also all illusions. The brain is no more alive than a light bulb, and a light bulb is certainly not alive. And so if there is no life, there is no death either - but just one single state of "existence", in which things are either functioning or not functioning (what we call "living" or "dead"). Love became no more than chemistry, and thought became only the very complex physical process of the brain.

I'm wondering if you also came to similar conclusions...
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Old 20th-October-2008, 11:38 PM   #111
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

I agree. I don't make a distinction between "living" things and "unliving" things - other than the one defined by biology, that is. DNA is just a self-replicator (which leads me to all kinds of exciting ideas about the possiblity of life forming with nano-replicators... I digress). This is one of the reasons why it's so easy for me to accept transhumanism - as far as I'm concerned, humanity is just an obstacle to the potential richness of experience we could have.
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Old 20th-October-2008, 11:53 PM   #112
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

*takes a step back*

Sheesh! There is no such thing as the will, the conscience, life, death, the soul, the spirit, or love!?!? This goes against everything I grew up with!

In fact, wouldn't that also mean that we don't really exist? - but instead, all the particles that make up our body are what exists? or maybe we are only those very particles, that interact with each other by physical laws?

...either way...


...we are no more existent than a rock...


...do you agree?...
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Old 21st-October-2008, 01:39 AM   #113
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

to oversimplify it, i'd say its more like (5x5)+y=x. the 5's are the determined factor: genetics, upbringing, culture, brain chemistry etc. the y is the variable of choice. the choices were given are what are determined, but the choices we make are only probabilities. if i replayed today over 100 times, i would have gone to subway 85 of those times and made a sandwich 15 of them. i guess you could call it probability determinism. if it were possible, one could only calculate the probability that a decision will be made a certain way. unfortunately, its not possible to re-do a day 100 times, so it only has the illusion of strong determinism because we can only look at whats already happened, which is set in stone. if we could look to the future, we could see that there are various ways something could happen, with only a probability factor based on the determinating factors (genetics, upbringing etc), but it will only happen one way. strong determinism seems to suggest that, given enough information, the future could be predicted, but i don't think thats possible (especially because if we gathered that hypothetical information and found out i was getting in a car accident tomorrow, i'd call in sick to work).
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Old 21st-October-2008, 01:54 AM   #114
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

hmmm...

so do you believe that there's an infinite amount of things y could be? as in, an infinite amount of ways the future could unfold from any given instance of time?
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Old 21st-October-2008, 02:03 AM   #115
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburn View Post
hmmm...

so do you believe that there's an infinite amount of things y could be? as in, an infinite amount of ways the future could unfold from any given instance of time?

maybe not infinite, but a colossal amount. some just have an incredibly small probability (like .000000000000000000000001% chance of happening) while others have a much larger probability because of the determining factors.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 05:24 AM   #116
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

but what makes reality unfold one certain way and not another? out of the (nearly) infinite possibilities, what makes one specific way the way that it happens? is it truly only random chance?

If so, this still wouldn't provide "free-will", but moreso "random-choice". You as an individual would have no say in how the trillion-sided dice rolls out. This theory does not suggest that there's a "will" which "chooses" what happens, but a mere "randomness" that determines what happens.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 05:57 AM   #117
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Maybe free will is a human concept, independent of reality; time for example is just a structuring we use in order to understand what we perceive. Time is relative to velocity and at a subatomic level completely irrelevant. Free will is a means by which we separate ourselves from the universal system in order to objectively study it.

If we considered our observations and the nature of our perception simultaneously would be unable to make an assessment. Are we looking for the definition of free will or trying to understand the nature/existence of a pre-defined type of free will?
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Old 21st-October-2008, 06:02 AM   #118
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

I think we're moreso trying to prove/disprove if there can be "absolute physical certainty" in our reality. Free-will seems to be a "variable" which makes "absolute physical certainty" (i.e. hard determinism) not possible - since it is unpredictable.

@Cognisant - I agree with you. I see free-will as only a human-made concept.

EDIT: BTW - I'm honestly really enjoying this discussion! I can't tell you how many of my thoughts that I've shared have just been bottled up inside my mind for so long! I thank you guys for just... listening...

I'm also learning a lot from your thoughts, and considering them with as open a mind as I can. A lot of interesting stuff!


Anyhow, *ahem* back to the discussion...
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Old 21st-October-2008, 10:46 AM   #119
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

In all this discussion, there has been no firm consideration of "first cause".
Determinism is "the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behaviour, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences".(Wikipedia & confirmed by other sources)

Determinism states that every event has a prior cause.
Then what caused the first event?

One explanation is that the first caused event, or the infinite line of events, was caused by that which itself was not a caused event.
But this negates the original assumption that every event has a prior cause.
And if there is one event which is not in itself a caused event, could there not be many, or even an infinite amount of events not prior-caused?

Another solution is that this is an infinite loop.
Then what caused this infinite loop?

Though one could negate Determinism through this argument, this does not in turn prove free-will, or self-will.

Free-will is an aspect of consciousness.
All consciousness is, at the minimum, consciousness of self; consciousness that one exists, that one is. To be and to know oneself to be are one in the same. They are not exclusive of each other.
If, to the best of our knowledge, the biological form of a consciousness is pre-determined by one's parents and by their parents and so on, there could be an argument for the consciousness also being pre-determined, for the essence and consciousness of one arises either mutually or subsequently to the moment of existence.
But this does not negate free-will either, for the consciousness will eventually become its own free agent.

An illustration of free will is the "Architect" scene in the Matrix trilogy.
The Architect outlined the two choices for Neo and stated that this was pre-determined either way, but Neo chose a third way not considered logical by the Architect; Neo chose both choices.
But what is not said is as important as what is said. Neo had a fourth choice. He could have chosen none of the three, thus ending the loop. This fourth choice could have been Neo merely sitting down where he was and letting events unfold. He could have commited suicide.

What I see in the discussion here between determinism and free-will is an either/or discussion.
May it not be both?
On a level of consciousness, some fluid quantity of free-will exists which reduces any determinism.
On a level of non-consciousness, determinism holds sway with no free-will.

If determinism holds sway in Existence, there must be proof that there was never a first event which was not caused.
If free-will holds sway, then all things must have consciousness, from the smallest to the largest.
If there is a combination, then what has free-will and what criteria denotes that which has free-will must be discovered.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 12:11 PM   #120
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Interesting thoughts, nicely put. Thanks for the post. Some things to think about.

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Old 21st-October-2008, 12:28 PM   #121
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

when it comes to my probability determinism, i wouldn't call it randomness so much as preference. just like with a T/F judging system, an INTP is mostly likely to use T judging because of how their mind is built. because of how my mind was "built" (through the determining factors) i was most likely to choose subway, although there was still a chance i could have chosen to stay home (and the even tinier preference that i would go outside and canibalize an infant).

thinking about a first cause kind of go's back to the discussion of the ground of being. i would propose that there is a first cause, in the sense that it happened spontaneously. the questions of something coming from nothing and something existing "in" nothing are still unanswered, so its a harder question to work with. in cosmology, or the big bang, if the universe was shrunk down into a singularity, the laws of physics would have broken down, so any causes and affects happening within the singularity would have no affect on the universe in its current state. i would propose that a spontaneous, "first cause" event happened to the singularity (whether it was random or the act of God is debatable) and the universe was the affect. i think the irreducible (can't take the reductionist approach to it, because all the parts are needed for the non-linear system) interactions of causes and affects can lead to spontaneous and emergent behavior.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 05:00 PM   #122
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

What's wrong with an infinite chain of cause and event going backwards as well as forwards? The answer to "What is the first cause?" is "The cause before it".

If you're saying conscious things have free will, then what is consciousness and what makes it so special? Consciousness is there with free will as illusory, if you ask me.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 05:16 PM   #123
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Our "preferences", are physically determined by our body's structure, you agree with that much yes? But you say that the final outcome varies - depending oh how much we prerfer something over another thing.

If I understand you correctly: For sake of example - You had, let's say, and 85% preference to Subway than to homemade subs, or anything else (at that specific instance of time when you had to decide). Therefore if time were to replay a thousand times, 85% of those times you would get Subway.

Now let me illustrate my view: (I realize there's some technicalities, but for illustration's sake)

If an egg is balanced at the top of a pointed hen house, what side will it fall to? The odds seem 50%-50%.

It falls to the left - and if time were to rewind a thousand times, it would fall to the left all 1,000 times. Why? Wan't it a 50%-50% chance? No, because what caused it to fall to the left was the exact arrangement of all the particles in the egg and it's surroundings, which, by their mathematical arrangement, will always = left.

To our human eyes it looks like 50%-50%, when the result is actually certain, because we cannot see at the molecular level and understand all of it's arrangements. The same applies to our choices. Our brain may have a choice before it to answer to - and maybe there is substantial memory/inclination/genetic-tendency/etc to support both decisions, but one of them has to have more data supporting the descision( just as the egg had a slight bit more mass on one side, and fell to that side), and by physical law, that descision will be the one that is chosen every time (granted, assuming that physical laws are a constant)

It seems like preference exists, and can vary a result, but only if you don't look deep into the atomic level, where, if we understood fully, we would see that everything happens by logical process - even our preferences and choices.

As I said earlier:

Every choice a man makes is made not by "free will" but is the logical result of all he has been taught, and come to know (from the circumstances he was placed in) accumulating together - resulting in that action being the most plausible and natural choice to take - and the choice he must take"


It only seems like 50%-50% when you don't look at the microscopic details. It only seems like 85%-15% when you don't look at the microscopic details which already have the outcome predetermined.

EDIT: I don't mean to sound so strongly opinionated. It's just that this is something I'm passionate about.
Quote:
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What's wrong with an infinite chain of cause and event going backwards as well as forwards? The answer to "What is the first cause?" is "The cause before it".

I second that.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 08:15 PM   #124
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Who cares? The very nature of the question determines that it will be forever unanswerable.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 09:12 PM   #125
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

the only reason a result would look certain is because it only happens once. the so called technicalities in your illustration are exactly why its not always going to fall one way. thats simplistic cause -> affect, linear thinking.

i certainly don't believe in free will. free will seems a misnomer in the first place. it makes it seem like anyone can willingly cause spontaneous changes, that anything could happen from moment to moment. if i wanted to be in california smoking with hippies one moment and then suddenly the next be in japan eating sushi, that would be free will: bending reality to whatever you want.

i believe in free choice. whats determined is the decisions that will come to us, based on how we've been born and raised and on our current environment, and those things will give us stronger preferences to make decisions in certains ways, but you ultimately get to choose what you decide.

strong determinism makes me think that with enough data (and it would be a colossal amount of data) one could predict the path of the future. the way i see it, if someone had all that same data, they could only predict the probabilities of the future, and the further you tried to predict, the most innacurate your probabilities would be.

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It seems like preference exists, and can vary a result, but only if you don't look deep into the atomic level, where, if we understood fully, we would see that everything happens by logical process - even our preferences and choices.

The atmoic level is about the only place someone couldn't say that things are determined.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 09:17 PM   #126
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Dido, thank you young sir for telling us what we should already know anyway, but in fancier language.

Basically; as your character determines your choices, and your character is determined by choices, and those choices were determined by someone else's character, and we know that people can have a character caused merely by the choices of a random event, then all choices are determined by a singular event; predetermined.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 10:17 PM   #127
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AI
strong determinism makes me think that with enough data (and it would be a colossal amount of data) one could predict the path of the future.
yes, I agree. I wrote something very similar in the same essay:

Were it possible for one to know the exact location of every atom in our world, and in space, and if one knew every law of reality to its fullest, being acquainted with every chemical process, then – knowing everything in the world, one could, by mathematical calculation alone, predict how the world would unfold and become hundreds of years in the future -down to the very atom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AI
the only reason a result would look certain is because it only happens once. the so called technicalities in your illustration are exactly why its not always going to fall one way. thats simplistic cause -> affect, linear thinking.
I don't know of anything besides linear thinking... perhaps I'm missing something? what kind of thinking are you using?
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Old 21st-October-2008, 10:54 PM   #128
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

The idea that perhaps millions of years in the future we could bring every moment in time together at once (by calculating the whole of history and the future) - effectively granting us omniscience - fascinates me. I mean... think of all that knowledge... Though, we'd have nothing left to think about. We'd need to spend our time pondering hypothetical things. Oh well.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 10:58 PM   #129
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

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Were it possible for one to know the exact location of every atom in our world, and in space, and if one knew every law of reality to its fullest, being acquainted with every chemical process, then – knowing everything in the world, one could, by mathematical calculation alone, predict how the world would unfold and become hundreds of years in the future -down to the very atom.
If you knew this, then you would know your own next move. Could you choose a different move and therefore change that future?
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:13 PM   #130
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

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If you knew this, then you would know your own next move. Could you choose a different move and therefore change that future?
hehe, I was waiting for a question like that. This hypothetical situation does not imply that this person assumed to have all this knowledge is in the universe - but is a spectator, simply watching it from outside.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:14 PM   #131
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Bwaha, I love that area of determinism. No, you would have been predetermined to try to alter your destiny, so whatever your attempts to change it resulted in would appear in it. Essentially, your attempts to change your fate would lead you to it.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:19 PM   #132
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

hehehe, exactly.

The concept EB presented reminds me of God. Since the Bible does say God knows the beginning and the end - it must also mean he knows every move that he himself is going to make.

Then again, some people say God is apart from time - living in the present, past and future all at once. :P
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:20 PM   #133
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Then omniscience would be especially confusing for him. :P
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:28 PM   #134
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

wouldn't your calculations include you trying to change the future, then? would that not be predicted? if not, then wouldn't it have not been determined?

Quote:
Were it possible for one to know the exact location of every atom in our world, and in space, and if one knew every law of reality to its fullest, being acquainted with every chemical process, then – knowing everything in the world, one could, by mathematical calculation alone, predict how the world would unfold and become hundreds of years in the future -down to the very atom.
sounds a lot like Pierre-Simon Laplace

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We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:31 PM   #135
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

...dang...

...he beat me by 200 years...
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:34 PM   #136
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

from what i understand, God doesn't know whats going to happen. what happens is what God knows. he has free will because what he wills is what is.
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:52 PM   #137
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

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hehe, I was waiting for a question like that. This hypothetical situation does not imply that this person assumed to have all this knowledge is in the universe - but is a spectator, simply watching it from outside.
Then if this individual is a spectator outside the universe, therefore not part of or subject to the deterministic universe, then does not this negate the axiom that everything is determined?
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Old 21st-October-2008, 11:59 PM   #138
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

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Bwaha, I love that area of determinism. No, you would have been predetermined to try to alter your destiny, so whatever your attempts to change it resulted in would appear in it. Essentially, your attempts to change your fate would lead you to it.
Then, if the aspect of one changing the direction is part of the calculation, then when the moment of this choice to change arrived, the one changing would know that his attempt to change was in the calculation and would attempt to change the direction with that in mind.

If this change to the change was also in the calculation, then when the moment arrived, the one would attempt to change that attempted to change the initial change.
You can see where this is going. It sets in motion an infinite regress, a loop within the loop and all would stop at that point until this loop within the loop played out. Which would never happen because the inside loop is infinite.
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 12:05 AM   #139
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Or, realising that there was no point in attempting to resist the inevitable, the human would continue anyway. There would be some point in that loop, surely, where the human either died or was compelled not to resist the change. Besides, there could be no changing of minds at that point: his actions would be predetermined, if it was his destiny to only attempt to change it once, he would do so; if it was his destiny to take into account the impact of his attempt to change it, he would do so; etc.
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 12:12 AM   #140
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

No matter how hard he tried, he could not change it, he could only see it. He may even be able to see himself in the future on the ground breaking down from trying and trying and failing.
...what torture...
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 12:33 AM   #141
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

And then have to live with the knowledge that he would try and try anyway and be destroyed by it! How chilling.
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 12:38 AM   #142
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

...on second thought...
...perhaps ignorance is bliss...
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 12:54 AM   #143
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

thats avoiding the paradox. if i knew that i was going to get shot coming out my apartment tomorrow going to work, i wouldn't go. but if me finding out about that was already determined, then wouldn't me making the choice not to go be determined? if it was already determined that i was going to avoid this fate, then i would be unable to calculate that i was going to get shot, therefore unable to avoid the fate.
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 01:14 AM   #144
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

If you would change the future by knowing the future - then it wouldn't be the future to begin with, now, would it?
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 01:20 AM   #145
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

That's still circular logic.
You could circumvent this paradoxon, if you don't take time as a single timeline. If you have a vision about the future, and then change it, it obviously was one of many potential future. Perhaps similar to Schrodinger's cat. All these futures exist until one is actually being 'played out'...
of course that doesn't meet with your determinism.

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Old 22nd-October-2008, 01:28 AM   #146
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Your not going would somehow lead to your being shot. You would see what happened and end up acting that way anyway, regardless of what you knew about it - your knowledge of the situation would result in your action. Perhaps... It gets pretty mind boggling when you consider things like this.
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 01:31 AM   #147
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogion
If you have a vision about the future, and then change it, it obviously was one of many potential future
...and not the actual future. (if I may add)


To see the "actual future", is to see something that is inevitable - otherwise it would not be the actual future.
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 01:35 AM   #148
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

No, i think that would be relying on some kind of faith.
If i imagine a simple situation. A room, in which i may stay as long as i like. If i go outside in a certain timeframe, i will get killed. If i stay inside, i won't (at least not in the precise way my vision, or calculation or whatever told me to). Now if i know about it, and want to live, i simply won't go outside.
Now what? i will get crazy and still go outside? Or will somebody get in and throw me out? Or will i shoot myself??
I think it would be a too easy way out of these time paradoxa. A bit deus ex machina.

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EDIT: @Auburn: Well, yes, clearly. But it does only work without your hard determinism. Since there can't be many futures, just one, because there is no deviation from preset course...
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 01:39 AM   #149
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

If you wouldn't go outside, you wouldn't go outside. Of course - a solution to the paradox is that knowledge of the future would result in nothing bad happening, so all that would occur was that it would predict no negative events, and none would happen - if there were solutions to the nonexistent problems. Blargh! I'm not in the proper frame of mind to twist my brain like this.
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Old 22nd-October-2008, 02:00 AM   #150
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Default Re: Free Will? [Thread Split]

@Ogion,

This topic is getting very mind boggling, brace yourself!

If one was to see a vision of the "actual future" - in that vision, that person would never see a scenario that would not happen via the result of him watching the vision - because if watching that vision caused a change, then it wouldn't really be a vision of the actual future to begin with.

In order for the vision to really be a vision of the "actual future" it would need to include in it's calculation the event of him watching the vision, and the effects that the vision had on that person also.


*goes to put an ice bag on his head*

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