Free will vs. Determinism

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2010, 10:23:04 AM »
I understand it perfectly, I just contest its use, especially when "improbable" in the place of 'impossible" would be more adequate.  Not that I'm splitting hairs, the difference between non-zero and zero is crucial.

Only from a technical standpoint not from a demonstrative example. In both instances you are confined to physics. If the physics of the example were simplified just to make the point, you could then reapply it to real life. No example is perfect, and deconstructing the argument to account for a degree of imperfection at a level of 1.0E-googol, would count as splitting hairs in my book.

Only, something times 1.0E-googol comes out to be a non-zero number.  Zero times anything is zero.  There is a point to argue against a zero acting as a placeholder for a non-zero occurrence or probability.  Surely you see now why I would contest it?
Perhaps if it was relevant, but since it is a merely an example constructed with that point assumed just to illustrate the larger dilemma, no. Mathematical precision of this kind doesn't influence the practical realities of freedom.

Try addressing the argument given, that if the man chooses to remain in the room instead of leaving, does he do so freely even if he does not have the ability to do otherwise?
So what you're asking is: do we experience free will, or merely some illusion of it?  To which I must respond: How do we (or I) tell the difference?

There no doubt that according to our society there is, at least an illusion and at most it's existence, but by actually using thought experiments we can help to determine its likelihood.  ;)

Thought experiments need to be applicable. But I do hope we all recognize the real question at hand here: How do we tell the difference between free will and the illusion of it?  The answer, beyond that, should be simple and attainable.

At least, I have my answer, and I await yours.

The example forbids the possibility of escape. Whether it is illustrated as impenetrable walls or some other mechanism is irrelevant, and so is an insignificant stipulation addressing the choice of how to convey that specific mechanism to a degree that would give no rational man hope of escape.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 01:35:40 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2010, 05:56:33 AM »
Whether such knowledge is possible is possibly the wrong question to ask. I was talking about a hypothetical super-being, somehow outside our universe. A better way of putting would be to ask whether all the values in our universe are absolutely determinable. If yes, the point stands. However, I doubt anyone can or will ever prove that this is the case.

Would we have any way to detect this super-being?

Also, I would like to add we shouldn't confuse influence with control.  Though the man in username Marcus Aurelius's example does agree with the conditions set for him inside his box, he still implicitly chooses to remain inside through his refusal to seek help or leave the area.


Yes, but why does he choose? A determinist would argue he does so because of an inevitable chain of consequences which permeate everything, including the ultimately chemical and physical roots of his biology and consciousness.
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Benocrates

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2010, 03:26:21 AM »
Just to slightly tangent, let's talk about criminal justice, free will, and genetics. Imagine, perhaps not too far in the future, that the scientific community discovers the genetic link to behaviours such as aggressiveness. Other than the nightmares of genetic modification, would we not then be required to treat clinically aggressive people with less malice, because they are genetically pre-disposed to violence? There are far better examples, but its too early to think of them. I think you know what I mean. 

Broadening this, assuming free-will exists as an essential phenomenon, how much can we blame our actions on social, genetic, psychological, etc., factors?
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2010, 08:51:07 AM »
Just to slightly tangent, let's talk about criminal justice, free will, and genetics. Imagine, perhaps not too far in the future, that the scientific community discovers the genetic link to behaviours such as aggressiveness. Other than the nightmares of genetic modification, would we not then be required to treat clinically aggressive people with less malice, because they are genetically pre-disposed to violence? There are far better examples, but its too early to think of them. I think you know what I mean. 

Broadening this, assuming free-will exists as an essential phenomenon, how much can we blame our actions on social, genetic, psychological, etc., factors?
I wondered about this myself, but right now, I see no alternative to our society having to act as if freewill exists even if it doesn't.
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2010, 11:48:55 AM »
I wondered about this myself, but right now, I see no alternative to our society having to act as if freewill exists even if it doesn't.


Well, our society doesn't do that. After all, in most legal systems a successful insanity plea will usually result in a markedly different sentence. We already accept a degree of determinism in our courts, and at least some degree of social/financial determinism is statistically verifiable (and is also often presented as a mitigating factor). If scientifically verifiable evidence came to light concerning genetic predisposition to violent action, it would be very hard to justify incarceration as we now know it according to conventional ethics.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2010, 08:43:32 PM »
I wondered about this myself, but right now, I see no alternative to our society having to act as if freewill exists even if it doesn't.

Well, our society doesn't do that. After all, in most legal systems a successful insanity plea will usually result in a markedly different sentence. We already accept a degree of determinism in our courts, and at least some degree of social/financial determinism is statistically verifiable (and is also often presented as a mitigating factor). If scientifically verifiable evidence came to light concerning genetic predisposition to violent action, it would be very hard to justify incarceration as we now know it according to conventional ethics.

My statement was a bit general. I do acknowledge that demonstrable mental illness is currently considered in determining punishment for an offense. However, if everyone's brain chemistry was completely understood, and no one being tried for their crimes was actually free to "not commit a crime", it would be harder to justify punishing them. Punishment is a sentiment generally reserved things other than the nature of one's inherent existence. I'm simply saying that revoking the punishment under this sentiment would have negative consequences.
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2010, 09:02:12 AM »
Oh, I understand the difficulty, but I think that difficulty is precisely what Beno was trying to highlight, which is why I pursued the point. However, given a consequentialist outlook, the positive social effects of punishing people are (assuming they exist) themselves justification enough to continue doing so. In contrast, I think most deontological theories would have greater difficulty accomodating such a scenario.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2010, 11:06:57 PM »
I'm going to play DA for free will since it is taking such a battering.

The stance is along the lines of compatibilism which means that determinism and free will can coexist. Actions can be determined, but free will still exists.

Consider this thought experiment by Harry Frankfurt.

Donald is a Democrat and is likely to vote for the Democrats; in fact, only in one particular circumstance will he not: that is, if he thinks about the prospects of immediate American defeat in Iraq just prior to voting. Ms White, a representative of the Democratic Party, wants to ensure that Donald votes Democratic, so she secretly plants a device in Donald's head that, if activated, will force him to vote Democratic. Not wishing to reveal her presence unnecessarily, Ms White plans to activate the device only if Donald thinks about the Iraq War prior to voting. As things happen, Donald does not think about Iraq prior to voting, so Ms White thus sees no reason to activate the device, and Donald votes Democratic of his own accord. Apparently, Donald is responsible for voting Democratic although, owing to Ms. White's device, he lacks freedom to do otherwise.

Even though there was not an option to do otherwise, did Donald not choose the way he voted freely? Free will doesn't mean the ability to choose another action, it is the ability to choose otherwise. When he is contemplating the Iraq war in regards to voting, he is doing just that. He is freely choosing which way to vote. The fact that the outcome is the same either way is irrelevant. Our ability to do otherwise, doesn't necessarily mean we can actually do otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                             

This furthermore rejects a premise of determinism, that people cannot be held morally responsible for their actions. This is derived from the idea that if everything is determined to be, how can you actually blame someone for their actions if they had no choice in what was going to happen.

Consider a similar thought experiment.

An evil man, Mr. Robinson is stalking Jim. There is a microchip in Jim's brain that allows Mr. Robinson to know his every thought, and if he chooses, to control them. Jim is now contemplating whether or not to kill Betty. This pleases Mr. Robinson, as he too wants Steve dead, but he doesn't want to do the dirty work himself. Because of this, if Jim decides to kill Betty, Mr. Robinson will remain in the shadows and enjoy the killing. However, if Jim chooses not to kill Betty, he will use his device to force him to kill Betty anyways. As it turns out, Jim kills Betty on his own accord, and Mr. Robinson never needs to use his device.

Jim is morally responsible for killing Betty, even though in the end, he could not have done otherwise anyways.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 11:22:35 PM by EnglshGentleman »

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2010, 04:10:53 AM »
These are all scenarios in which one agent somehow controls the state of another agent, hypothetically limiting their ability to make certain choices. I would agree that in themselves, such limitations only violate freewill if they prevent the agent from making the choice - as long as the limitation is hypothetical and not actual (i.e., Donald voted Democrat anyway), they can still be considered responsible for their actions.


However, determinism goes much further than that. Determinism argues that if everything that exists has a determinable value, then all events are simply an inevitable result of the interactions of those values. I think Nietzsche used an excellent metaphor to express this in Human, All Too Human:


"At the waterfall. When we see a waterfall, we think we see freedom of will and choice in the innumerable turnings, windings, breakings of the waves; but everything is necessary; each movement can be calculated mathematically. Thus it is with human actions; if one were omniscient, one would be able to calculate each individual action in advance, each step in the progress of knowledge, each error, each act of malice. To be sure the acting man is caught in his illusion of volition; if the wheel of the world were to stand still for a moment and an omniscient, calculating mind were there to take advantage of this interruption, he would be able to tell into the farthest future of each being and describe every rut that wheel will roll upon. The acting man's delusion about himself, his assumption that free will exists, is also part of the calculable mechanism."


The question is whether or not all values are determinable. If they are, then free-will does not exist, but anyone who wishes to prove that free-will does not exist will have to prove that all values are determinable.
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Lorddave

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2010, 05:00:12 AM »
Well the uncertainty principal in quantum mechanics puts a damper on the idea of determinism but I still don't agree that determinism and free will are mutually exclusive.

Let's say a husband and wife have been living together for 50 years.  They know each other so well that each can predict the actions and thoughts of the other.  Does that mean they no longer have free will?
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2010, 05:27:46 AM »
Well the uncertainty principal in quantum mechanics puts a damper on the idea of determinism but I still don't agree that determinism and free will are mutually exclusive.


I'm not too hot on my quantum mechanics, but to my knowledge neither scientists nor philosophers see it as a definite problem for determinism. Such issues are bound up with the real extent of our knowledge and understanding.


Let's say a husband and wife have been living together for 50 years.  They know each other so well that each can predict the actions and thoughts of the other.  Does that mean they no longer have free will?


You're not seeing this in the right way. Prediction does not make all values determinable. Rather, determinable values would make perfect prediction possible. In other words it's a symptom, not the cause, of determinism. Just because Mr & Mrs F. Will can make predictions based on past experience, intuition and knowledge, it does not follow that all of existence (or even their existence) has determinable values. However, if everything in existence has a determinable value, then everything that happens in Mr & Mrs F. Will's lives happens as a necessary consequence of those values and is thus predictable.


Again, I am not necessarily defending determinism, just trying to explain what 'greater' determinism actually asserts. Of course there are thought-experiments which consider what might be described as 'local' determinism (e.g. the examples given above), but these rely a great deal on the meaning we give to the term 'free will'.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 11:31:09 AM by Lord Wilmore »
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AbdulAziz

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2010, 08:56:04 AM »
Well sometimes we have free will and sometimes we don't. For example we have free will in moving our fingers, we have free will to go somewhere, there is no one forcing us. However there are times we don't have any choice/free will for example Sleeping, Dying, Feeling Hungry, there is no human can live for eternity even if he have "The Will". That's why In Islam Allah doesn't judge humans on things they don't have free will but only he judges the acts that human have choice to do or not to do. Allah doesn't punish us because we are feeling hungry, dying, growing old. However he will judge us why we kill, steal, lie...etc and that's why Almighty God known as Most Justice.
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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2010, 09:13:26 AM »
These are all scenarios in which one agent somehow controls the state of another agent, hypothetically limiting their ability to make certain choices. I would agree that in themselves, such limitations only violate freewill if they prevent the agent from making the choice - as long as the limitation is hypothetical and not actual (i.e., Donald voted Democrat anyway), they can still be considered responsible for their actions.


However, determinism goes much further than that. Determinism argues that if everything that exists has a determinable value, then all events are simply an inevitable result of the interactions of those values. I think Nietzsche used an excellent metaphor to express this in Human, All Too Human:


"At the waterfall. When we see a waterfall, we think we see freedom of will and choice in the innumerable turnings, windings, breakings of the waves; but everything is necessary; each movement can be calculated mathematically. Thus it is with human actions; if one were omniscient, one would be able to calculate each individual action in advance, each step in the progress of knowledge, each error, each act of malice. To be sure the acting man is caught in his illusion of volition; if the wheel of the world were to stand still for a moment and an omniscient, calculating mind were there to take advantage of this interruption, he would be able to tell into the farthest future of each being and describe every rut that wheel will roll upon. The acting man's delusion about himself, his assumption that free will exists, is also part of the calculable mechanism."


The question is whether or not all values are determinable. If they are, then free-will does not exist, but anyone who wishes to prove that free-will does not exist will have to prove that all values are determinable.

If you accept that there is moral responsibility, than this isn't really hard determinism. A person can only be held morally responsible if they freely did something. Otherwise, how could you hold someone morally responsible for something that in reality, that had no control over?

Even if a being knew everything that was going to happen, when he looked at someone's actions, and he wanted someone to make a particular choice, even then, when he obverses them, does he not still see the choice that they will make? This is called the Flicker of Freedom. Just because a being knows what is going to come to past, does not mean that a person does not still make a free choice during it. People are choosing, regardless of whether the outcome would have been any different anyway.


Well the uncertainty principal in quantum mechanics puts a damper on the idea of determinism but I still don't agree that determinism and free will are mutually exclusive.


I'm not too hot on my quantum mechanics, but to my knowledge neither scientists nor philosophers see it as a definite problem for determinism. Such issues are bound up with the real extent of our knowledge and understanding.

Actually the majority of philosophers are compatabalists, as well as scientists. A way in science to see this is alpha particle decay. They know the window a particle will decay in. They can say it is determined the particle will decay at some point in the next 2 hours. But when the particle actually does decay, is completely random. It is determined to decay, but it is not determined when it is going to decay. The majority of philosophers that specialize in free will and determinism are libertarians. (Not the political party).


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Benocrates

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2010, 06:36:06 AM »
Alright, I've got a question concerning moral determinism now that we're kinda talking about it. In short, if you don't believe in free will, you don't believe in moral judgment. To elaborate, I'll post a quote and see what you think:

Quote from: Ender Wiggin
"In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think itís impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them."
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2010, 05:53:24 AM »
Sorry, I've been really busy and just haven't had time to respond.


If you accept that there is moral responsibility, than this isn't really hard determinism. A person can only be held morally responsible if they freely did something. Otherwise, how could you hold someone morally responsible for something that in reality, that had no control over?


I agree. Not really sure what you're getting at though. I don't think anyone has demonstrated that the values of everything which exists can be determined. Until they do, free will is entirely possible. However, in theory a deterministic universe would remove moral responsability.


Even if a being knew everything that was going to happen, when he looked at someone's actions, and he wanted someone to make a particular choice, even then, when he obverses them, does he not still see the choice that they will make? This is called the Flicker of Freedom. Just because a being knows what is going to come to past, does not mean that a person does not still make a free choice during it. People are choosing, regardless of whether the outcome would have been any different anyway.


But if everything has a determinable value then people are not choosing. They are simply reacting in an inevitable way, their present situation being an inevitable consequence of everything that preceded it. The 'act' of choice is an illusion, and our belief in it is every bit as necessary and inevitable as everything else. As Nietzsche put it in that quote, "The acting man's delusion about himself, his assumption that free will exists, is also part of the calculable mechanism."


Actually the majority of philosophers are compatabalists, as well as scientists. A way in science to see this is alpha particle decay. They know the window a particle will decay in. They can say it is determined the particle will decay at some point in the next 2 hours. But when the particle actually does decay, is completely random. It is determined to decay, but it is not determined when it is going to decay. The majority of philosophers that specialize in free will and determinism are libertarians. (Not the political party).


Whether philosophers/scientists are themselves compatabilists is a separate question from whether or not they believe QM to pose a problem for determinism. I am not a determinist, simply because determinism makes an enormous claim which I have never seen justified to the necessary extent. Nevertheless, I'm still not sure that QM poses a problem for determinists in theory, and I think many philosophers/scientists agree (even if they are not themselves determinists). At least that's my understanding.


Alright, I've got a question concerning moral determinism now that we're kinda talking about it. In short, if you don't believe in free will, you don't believe in moral judgment. To elaborate, I'll post a quote and see what you think:

Quote from: Ender Wiggin
"In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think itís impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them."


Well, my opinion isn't exactly going to set this discussion alight, but I agree 100%. A truly deterministic universe strips people of moral responsability as we know it.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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Benocrates

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2010, 07:57:25 AM »
What I'm getting at is more of a social value and psychological dilemma. I pose this problem because it has recently sent my oldest friendship aground. My best friend and I used to have 5 hr philosophical and political debates over beers where we would battle against each other concerning the nature of the cosmos. He is an uneducated, yet highly intelligent, nihilist and I'm a highly educated Aristotelian.

He tended to pose the question in this Ender Wiggin style (From Orson Card's Ender's Game) in that, if you knew someone's whole life you wouldn't want to judge them. You would simply understand why they did what they did, and wouldn't be able to judge them. It's not a matter of intellectual judgment, e.g. is morality even possible without free-will, but more of the psychological matter, e.g. can anyone be judged without completely knowing that person's experiences, and secondly, would you even want to judge someone if you knew their whole story.
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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2010, 09:25:18 PM »
@ wilmore
I am posting on something without spell check so this could be bad. In short though because of the quantum uncertainty priciple there are truely random events according to the equations that we have even if we knew everything about the system we still could not say for sure what would happen.
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-quantum-uncertainty.htm
Posted from my phone since my pc broke
Yes some scientist are trying to prove some determinism. Right now the formulas do not back up that belief
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2010, 10:39:09 PM »
To my understanding, determinism does not clash with the Heisenberg Principle because it only declares what can and can't be known in the course of investigation. Simply put, people cannot calculate both the position of a particle and its momentum at the same time. Since human knowledge doesn't define reality, it's irrelevant what we can or can't know. What matters is the actual nature of the particle's placement(s) and movement(s), and if those are truly random or not.

...On a personal note, I'm inclined to think that randomness doesn't exist, because in the past, it has always been an intuitive placeholder for not knowing all the variables and how they interact. Essentially, things have only ever seemed random (rolling dice for instance) because they aren't fully understood, but never were they actually random. Assuming real randomness exists also preemptively assumes that something's nature is inherently unexplainable and without cause, which I find scientifically unjustifiable.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 10:46:26 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Benocrates

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2010, 08:20:24 AM »
I haven't decided my position on the QM v Determinism argument, but I think you're (Sing) interpretation is incorrect. As far as I understand it, the uncertainty principle is not merely a matter of randomness in reference to observation. A photon (classic example) travelling from point A to point B actually does take every possible path from A to B. It's not a case where an observer cannot be sure where the particle went, or is, but that it is everywhere. In other words, Schrodinger's cat is both dead and alive.

Like I've said, I don't know my position yet on how this effects metaphysical determinism. I'm not sure if M theory and others like Quantum Loop Gravity can solve this apparent anti-Aristotelian problem. But QM in and of itself seems to be a big problem for determinism. 
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2010, 01:37:48 PM »
I haven't decided my position on the QM v Determinism argument, but I think you're (Sing) interpretation is incorrect. As far as I understand it, the uncertainty principle is not merely a matter of randomness in reference to observation. A photon (classic example) travelling from point A to point B actually does take every possible path from A to B. It's not a case where an observer cannot be sure where the particle went, or is, but that it is everywhere. In other words, Schrodinger's cat is both dead and alive.
I was splitting apart and just focusing on observation and not implications/changes from observation. Because even when observation changes the behavior of a particle, the act of observing could still fit into a deterministic system too. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 01:41:39 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2010, 04:30:57 PM »
Actually, I think it depends on your interpretation, and is sort of a mix of both your views. It has been experimentally verified that in this universe at least, the probabilistic nature of QM is almost certainly not just the universe working in 'mysterious ways' that we do not yet understand. Probability is inherent to the nature of our existence.


However, there may be multiple (even infinite) universes, which taken together represent all possible outcomes. This is a widely accepted view of QM, and as far as I know lends itself well to determinism. However, as I say I'm not too up on this stuff and it's been a while since I read about it.
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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2010, 08:07:59 PM »
To my understanding, determinism does not clash with the Heisenberg Principle because it only declares what can and can't be known in the course of investigation. Simply put, people cannot calculate both the position of a particle and its momentum at the same time. Since human knowledge doesn't define reality, it's irrelevant what we can or can't know. What matters is the actual nature of the particle's placement(s) and movement(s), and if those are truly random or not.

...On a personal note, I'm inclined to think that randomness doesn't exist, because in the past, it has always been an intuitive placeholder for not knowing all the variables and how they interact. Essentially, things have only ever seemed random (rolling dice for instance) because they aren't fully understood, but never were they actually random. Assuming real randomness exists also preemptively assumes that something's nature is inherently unexplainable and without cause, which I find scientifically unjustifiable.
I would like to make this clear Heisenberg uncertainty principle is not the same as the quantum uncertainty principle. one says that you can not know a particles position and velocity at the same time. one says that a particle does not have a concrete position and velocity. right now the the equations that we have that best describe the universe use randomness. we may never be able to prove that the universe is truly random, but the fact the equations have been yet to be dis proven lends credence to the idea of randomness. it would be like trying to prove axioms of a branch of math from within that branch. not sure how clear that was.
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But you can sure make the old bastard work for it.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #52 on: October 23, 2010, 01:47:53 AM »
In the time it took me to respond to Wilmore's earlier comment, you slipped in a post mentioning the Quantum Uncertainty principle. I was not using the Heisenberg principle to address your post, but in retrospect I could have edited it so it was obvious it was not a reply.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 01:49:35 AM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2010, 03:20:47 PM »
That man had a choice and he chose to stay and enjoy sex rather than plan or work on his escape.
Believe it or not, a career that I'm passionate about and a family will make me (a man) choose to escape and think of how the bunch of virgins can help me escape (they need to go out too right?)

We are more free than we want to or even realize. Viktor Frankl's experience is one proof of that. People who fought in wars or were victims of heinous crimes and managed to rebuild their lives are more proofs. Our 'own imprisonment' may be due to lack of desire, laziness, fear, or lack of help from our family or other people into showing us different ways of thinking, living, perspectives. And with the internet and freedom of information (except from China), people have more ways to be free. 
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. - Carl Sagan
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2010, 06:25:17 PM »
That man had a choice and he chose to stay and enjoy sex rather than plan or work on his escape.
Believe it or not, a career that I'm passionate about and a family will make me (a man) choose to escape and think of how the bunch of virgins can help me escape (they need to go out too right?)
I think there's being a misunderstanding. Planning or working on his escape is not the issue. If someone is incapable of something, and they 'decide' not to do it, is it really a choice? Ex. If you are incapable of melting metal with your mind, is it really a choice if you decide not to do it? (Whether you attempt to or not is irrelevant.)
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2010, 01:21:40 AM »
Someone is 'incapable of something' and they decide not to do it, do they have a choice?

Yes, they still have a choice because even if they can't, they can still ask help from people who can do it?

 :)

As a part of the human community, we are not limited by what we ourselves can do, but we as a group/community can do.
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. - Carl Sagan
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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2010, 01:23:14 AM »
Is this why there were virgins/or other people in the room?
The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. - Carl Sagan
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2010, 02:39:01 AM »
Someone is 'incapable of something' and they decide not to do it, do they have a choice?

Yes, they still have a choice because even if they can't, they can still ask help from people who can do it?

 :)

As a part of the human community, we are not limited by what we ourselves can do, but we as a group/community can do.

You're trying to beat the thought experiment (which holds one's incapability as a premise) instead of learning from it. The point is that nobody in his shoes would be able to accomplish what he couldn't. Consider that if we reapplied this example to it to freewill, nobody without freewill could get help from somebody with freewill, because if the individual doesn't have freewill, the society doesn't either. See the problem?

Basically, the example could be reduced to "deciding not to do the impossible". The issues of hawt virgins or steel walls are irrelevant. They just are intended to help establish an illustrative motive and scenario.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #58 on: October 29, 2010, 06:27:17 AM »
"...deciding not to do the impossible?" But thought human achievement was based on doing what was thought/categorized as impossible.

Anyway to stop my mind from wandering, there are things that people do not have a freedom to do, like overcome physical death (although come to think of it your genes get to live if you have family and your ideas too if someone bothers to learn them =). So let me rephrase that, we humans do not have freedom to overcome the death/end of our consciousness/existence.

Have an enjoyable weekend people!





The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. - Carl Sagan
Check out my USB Flash Drive Blog.

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Benocrates

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Re: Free will vs. Determinism
« Reply #59 on: October 29, 2010, 06:51:14 AM »
we don't necessarily have that freedom yet, but the singularity movement would love to change that fact.
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