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josephdinatale
07-17-2011, 01:57 PM
You can't believe in cause and effect while simultaneously believing in free will.

Either you have to disregard a cause and effect relationship in the universe, or you have to accept to accept that your actions are predetermined.

Here is one way to look at it: No human can control the fundamental forces that act on elementary particles: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak interaction. I, as well as everyone, is a collection of molecules, and at the end of the day, we are each subject to only these 4 forces, none of which we have any control over.

If your actions(effects) are caused, then there is only 1 way you can respond to any situation.

Free actions would by definition be uncaused effects.

Because of heisenberg uncertainty principle, as of now we do not have the means to accurately predict the actions of matter, and we likely never will develop that ability with 100% accuracy. But that doesn't mean the actions of matter are free.

Each entity responds differently to every situation because every person is different. Every person is a different sack of molecules, and that person was raised in a particular environment which caused those sacks of molecules to respond in a certain way. Why do identical twins still manage to be distinct entities? First of all, identical twins are not truly identical. Their molecular structure while nearly the same, does differ on a small level. Furthermore, no two individuals can have the same "environment" because it is impossible for any two individuals to have exactly the same experiences in time/space. No two particles can occupy the same location in time/space, so every particle has a different "environment."

The fact that different people behave differently has nothing to do with free will. The fact that your actions have a cause, is in and of itself enough to disprove free will.

The fact of the matter is, causality is an illusion. Only free will can collapse the The Wave Function or generate the initial conditions of a dynamical system.

So what forced me to make this thread? Based on my current molecular configuration (which is subject to only the four fundamental forces) as well as the culmination of every event, or "environment," throughout my life up till this point, I am "making the decision" to write this.

My decision is not free though, it has to happen, and would have happened to anyone who has the exact same molecular structure and experiences as myself, which is impossible in and of itself for reasons outlined above.

Shape
07-17-2011, 01:58 PM
You're consolidating physicality with consciousness.. That's a no no, existing in different dimensions.

Consciousness is pure energy. LOVE (Law of Vibrating Energy)

bluz74
07-17-2011, 02:03 PM
I'm trying to decide if I'm responding to this thread because I want to or because it exists. Either way, I have nothing else to add. :(

josephdinatale
07-17-2011, 02:04 PM
You're consolidating physicality with consciousness.. That's a no no, existing in different dimensions.

Consciousness is pure energy. LOVE (Law of Vibrating Energy)

Please show peer reviewed studies or scholarly articles/journals that substantiate your claims such as "consciousness is energy" and "consciousness is a dimension separate from physicality"

Shape
07-17-2011, 02:06 PM
Please show peer reviewed studies or scholarly articles/journals that substantiate your claims such as "consciousness is energy" and "consciousness is a dimension separate from physicality"

I have none at this time, just my opinion, 10 years of research. Wild claims mind you. ;)

MADDOGGE
07-17-2011, 02:17 PM
I'm calling BS big time.:p All our personal actions are free will. How the universe treats you is something altogether different. No one can make you do anything do don't decide to do. To do anything you must make a conscience effort to accomplish them. Things can be done to you against your will. Your response to them if you are able to respond to them are free will actions.

Washell
07-17-2011, 02:18 PM
Now that you've had physics 101, take emergence 101 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence).

marie pavie
07-17-2011, 02:22 PM
I Believe In Magic.

Shape
07-17-2011, 02:26 PM
I Believe In Magick.

FiXED!! <3

Hajuzza
07-17-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm calling BS big time.:p All our personal actions are free will. How the universe treats you is something altogether different. No one can make you do anything do don't decide to do. To do anything you must make a conscience effort to accomplish them. Things can be done to you against your will. Your response to them if you are able to respond to them are free will actions.

But you don't actually decide anything, decisions are just some weird ♥♥♥ reactions inside your brain

Directx10
07-17-2011, 02:32 PM
But you don't actually decide anything, decisions are just some weird ♥♥♥ reactions inside your brain

I chose to respond to this. I could have just as easily chose not to. I created the life that I'm living based on my actions, not some other ♥♥♥♥. Quit making excuses for why you don't have any friends.

Shape
07-17-2011, 02:33 PM
I'm calling BS big time.:p All our personal actions are free will. How the universe treats you is something altogether different. No one can make you do anything do don't decide to do. To do anything you must make a conscience effort to accomplish them. Things can be done to you against your will. Your response to them if you are able to respond to them are free will actions.

Truth.

Hajuzza
07-17-2011, 02:35 PM
I chose to respond to this. I could have just as easily chose not to. I created the life that I'm living based on my actions, not some other ♥♥♥♥. Quit making excuses for why you don't have any friends.

Lol. Calm down, broski. :p

josephdinatale
07-17-2011, 02:38 PM
I'm calling BS big time.:p All our personal actions are free will. How the universe treats you is something altogether different. No one can make you do anything do don't decide to do. To do anything you must make a conscience effort to accomplish them. Things can be done to you against your will. Your response to them if you are able to respond to them are free will actions.

I chose to respond to this. I could have just as easily chose not to. I created the life that I'm living based on my actions, not some other ♥♥♥♥. Quit making excuses for why you don't have any friends.

It is evident that you didn't even read the original post. All particles in the universe are subject to the four fundamental forces (gravitation, electromagnetism, strong and weak interactions) and ONLY these 4 forces.

These particles include the same particles in your brain that create thoughts and emotions, which are really just electrical impulses and chemical reactions....caused by the fundamental forces.

You choose to do something based on the culmination of every event in time/space that has occurred up to the moment, as well as the specific molecular structure of your body where, as mentioned earlier and I can't emphasize enough, these molecules are solely acted on by the four fundamental forces, none of which you have control over.


Now that you've had physics 101, take emergence 101 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence).

Instead of a condescending post where you copy and paste a wikipedia link, you could explain your position to us in your own writing.

cegrogan
07-17-2011, 02:42 PM
So we're slaves to causes? We can only react one way?

Then tell me, what about us actually creating a causality. You at this point take control of the equation, which according to your thesis, would make us masters of the universe by predestining everyone effected by our causality.


Faulty logic bro. Get back to us when you finish physics 102.

frogsmoothy
07-17-2011, 02:45 PM
I don't believe in free will but that isn't why.

Hajuzza
07-17-2011, 02:49 PM
I don't believe in free will but that isn't why.

Does your theory have something to do with tinfoil hats?

Shape
07-17-2011, 02:50 PM
So we're slaves to causes? We can only react one way?

There are always a minimum of 3 ways.

Then tell me, what about us actually creating a causality. You at this point take control of the equation, which according to your thesis, would make us masters of the universe by predestining everyone effected by our causality.

Agreed, correct. You are a creator, master of all, skilled at one. It's your job to seek out and find your personal truth to this grand equation.

josephdinatale
07-17-2011, 02:52 PM
So we're slaves to causes? We can only react one way?

Then tell me, what about us actually creating a causality. You at this point take control of the equation, which according to your thesis, would make us masters of the universe by predestining everyone effected by our causality.


Faulty logic bro. Get back to us when you finish physics 102.

I graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S in math, and in that time, I earned A's in both physics 2111 and 2112.

But anyways, your condescending post is a substitute for any substantial argument, when you did not even read the original post which explains this.

As humans, we aren't likely to ever get past the uncertainty principle which states that a particles momentum and position cannot be simultaneously known, which is why we cannot create a formula which can predict how universal events unfold, due to these unknown variables.

This doesn't mean that the events aren't determined.

~~ArdEnuff~~
07-17-2011, 02:53 PM
You can't believe in cause and effect while simultaneously believing in free will.
I knew you were going to say that.

Anyway it is an interesting hypothesis which has been around for a millenia. I actually buy into it but also regard it as irrelevant. Humans experience free will and so nothing will ever change that even if it is delusional at some fundamental level.

Shape
07-17-2011, 02:54 PM
This doesn't mean that the events aren't determined.
Benign control structures masquerading as saviours determine global events at this time. Thinking otherwise is illusion and self destructing behaviour.

Snorkel
07-17-2011, 02:58 PM
If I decide, using my free will, to jump off a building, I also accept that outcome will be that I will go splat on the footpath...cause and effect, me choosing to step off a building caused the effect of me going splat. No?

MADDOGGE
07-17-2011, 03:00 PM
But you don't actually decide anything, decisions are just some weird ♥♥♥ reactions inside your brainDon't go all weird. Every action we consciencely take is a choice. Those choices are decisions.

Draek
07-17-2011, 03:05 PM
The amount of "You Fail At Physics Forever" in this thread is astounding, and I'm suspecting that rather than borne out of simple ignorance, it is simply a display of people's unwillingness to admit they rule over nothing, not even their own actions.

frogsmoothy
07-17-2011, 03:06 PM
Does your theory have something to do with tinfoil hats?

not even at all.

MADDOGGE
07-17-2011, 03:20 PM
The amount of "You Fail At Physics Forever" in this thread is astounding, and I'm suspecting that rather than borne out of simple ignorance, it is simply a display of people's unwillingness to admit they rule over nothing, not even their own actions.Of course we rule over our own actions. What we have is little control over is the consequences of our decisions. There is no invisible creature directing me to walk down this street turn here turn there. Our actions(decisions)combined with others persons decision added to the universe as a whole are all vectors though that can and do on occasion intersect causing unforeseen consequences. Most of the time though we know what our actions will achieve because we are creatures of habit and dislike pain and negative consequences. We therefore do the same things to achieve the same or similar effects that are acceptable as an end result.

cegrogan
07-17-2011, 03:25 PM
The amount of "You Fail At Physics Forever" in this thread is astounding, and I'm suspecting that rather than borne out of simple ignorance, it is simply a display of people's unwillingness to admit they rule over nothing, not even their own actions.

The problem here that OP isn't mentioning is that this is an academic quandary many physics professors pose to the their students at the beginning of the course, to juxtapose how logical, academic theorem can be used against common sense. Tl:dr, this argument is a demonstrative fallacy used for educational purposes.

josephdinatale
07-17-2011, 03:27 PM
Of course we rule over our own actions. What we have is little control over is the consequences of our decisions. There is no invisible creature directing me to walk down this street turn here turn there. Our actions(decisions)combined with others persons decision added to the universe as a whole are all vectors though that can and do on occasion intersect causing unforeseen consequences. Most of the time though we know what our actions will achieve because we are creatures of habit and dislike pain and negative consequences. We therefore do the same things to achieve the same or similar effects that are acceptable as an end result.

Quit with the philosophy and look at the science: Ask yourself, do you "rule over" the four fundamental forces acting on the particles in your brain which "make" decisions through electrical impulses and chemical reactions? No, you have absolutely zero control over gravitation, electromagnetism, or strong/weak interaction. So you don't have free will.

Shape
07-17-2011, 03:28 PM
Quit with the philosophy and look at the science: Ask yourself, do you "rule over" the four fundamental forces acting on the particles in your brain which "make" decisions through electrical impulses and chemical reactions? No, you have absolutely zero control over gravitation, electromagnetism, or strong/weak interaction. So you don't have free will.

Forget the negative controlled illusion of science and go with instinct and intuition. Everything MADDOGGE has posted is truth.

velvetmeds
07-17-2011, 03:33 PM
How are philosophy and science excluded from each other anyway? When did that happen? *rherotical*

There is free will. But it's restricted to the smaller things. It is.."accommodated" as best as possible in the grand scheme of things. Now, you might be glass half empty and say that means there isn't any, or the other way around

Shape
07-17-2011, 03:36 PM
Now, you might be glass half empty and say that means there isn't any, or the other way around

NOW = No Other Way, The Present. Depending on your observational conscious level, it is, or isn't.

MADDOGGE
07-17-2011, 03:44 PM
Quit with the philosophy and look at the science: Ask yourself, do you "rule over" the four fundamental forces acting on the particles in your brain which "make" decisions through electrical impulses and chemical reactions? No, you have absolutely zero control over gravitation, electromagnetism, or strong/weak interaction. So you don't have free will.This is really bad pseudo-science. I have no need to rule or have control or in fact understand gravitation, electromagnetism, or strong/weak interaction to make decisions. Those things have absolutely nothing to do with making decisions. They are just background noise to the universe. The end result of how the universe is ordered. In some other alternate or parallel universe there could be and probably are entirely different rules in play.

IcarusNine
07-17-2011, 03:49 PM
Never understood 'free will'. If my actions are determined by the set of events and states of matter that exist immediately prior, does that not eliminate the 'free'? And if my actions are randomly determined by an unpredictable provocateur, does that not eliminate the 'will'?

Thus, actions by 'free will' should be free from determination, but willed by some predicable reason. Free will seems to be, in my view, a contradiction.

Shape
07-17-2011, 03:51 PM
Never understood 'free will'. If my actions are determined by the set of events and states of matter that exist immediately prior, does that not eliminate the 'free'? And if my actions are randomly determined by an unpredictable provocateur, does that not eliminate the 'will'?

Thus, actions by 'free will' should be free from determination, but willed by some predicable reason. Free will seems to be, in my view, a contradiction.

Freewill is conscious aware choice over said manifested events.

Your actions are directed toward said event.

We aren't truly free in the physical dimension.

Determination is your own drive, energy, manifested. It builds while alive in this dimension. Toward the light, or darkness..

josephdinatale
07-17-2011, 03:53 PM
This is really bad pseudo-science. I have no need to rule or have control or in fact understand gravitation, electromagnetism, or strong/weak interaction to make decisions. Those things have absolutely nothing to do with making decisions. They are just background noise to the universe. The end result of how the universe is ordered. In some other alternate or parallel universe there could be and probably are entirely different rules in play.

straw man argument. We aren't talking about other universes. We are talking about this and only this universe and the four fundamental forces which govern it. None of which any person can control.

So stating that every particle in the universe is solely influenced by the four fundamental forces is "pseudo-science?" Stating that thoughts are electrical impulses and chemical reactions is "pseudo-science?"

Forget the negative controlled illusion of science and go with instinct and intuition. Everything MADDOGGE has posted is truth.

Sounds to me that you two are both in the "I'm going to believe whatever makes me feel good" boat.

Gustave5436
07-17-2011, 03:54 PM
Consciousness doesn't really exist, it's just a helpful abstraction. Sort of like classical, Newtonian physics; we know it's wrong, but for most practical purposes, it's "good enough."

Washell
07-17-2011, 03:54 PM
Quit with the philosophy and look at the science: Ask yourself, do you "rule over" the four fundamental forces acting on the particles in your brain which "make" decisions through electrical impulses and chemical reactions? No, you have absolutely zero control over gravitation, electromagnetism, or strong/weak interaction. So you don't have free will.

Yes, but you're completely ignoring emergent behaviour. A bunch of very simple (light powered) robots with a neural network similar to an insect brain were given one instruction, seek light.

After running for a certain amount of time, one robot had disabled other robots to make a pile to get closer to the light source. There was no way a human engineer could have written and executed that as a program within the storage and processing capacity of those robots.

The outcome wasn't predicted, if it was suggested before hand, it would have been deemed impossible for the same reason you're dismissing free will. We knew the neural network and the instruction, and such behaviour was beyond the assumed capacity of the hardware and software. The expectation was a huddle around the light source with them pushing each other out of the way.

I'd love to link the source, but it was a segment in a documentary on emergent behaviour.

In another example on emergence, we know all the rules to Langton's Ant:

Squares on a plane are colored variously either black or white. We arbitrarily identify one square as the "ant". The ant can travel in any of the four cardinal directions at each step it takes. The ant moves according to the rules below:

At a white square, turn 90 right, flip the color of the square, move forward one unit
At a black square, turn 90 left, flip the color of the square, move forward one unit


Yet we can not predict all possible outcomes without running them all.

Your proposition is clearly by someone stuck in a physics mindset. That's why I did the original condescending post, to try and shake you awake a little.

AlecJ32
07-17-2011, 03:56 PM
I graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S in math, and in that time, I earned A's in both physics 2111 and 2112.

Good job, you got A's in an introductory "Physics for Scientists and Engineers" sequence. Unfortunately the depth with which these fundamental forces are treated in such a traditional physics sequence is about on par with the 9th grade math treatment of Complex Analysis; We all remember our teachers telling us "The square root of a negative number is imaginary", correct?

As far as this thread topic goes, I would say there's plenty of academic debate on it and you're welcome to go read some of it. You'll probably find that a lot more intellectually stimulating than what you'll get here.

Shape
07-17-2011, 03:58 PM
1 + 1 = 3

The truth is stranger than fiction.

IcarusNine
07-17-2011, 03:59 PM
Consciousness doesn't really exist, it's just a helpful abstraction. Sort of like classical, Newtonian physics; we know it's wrong, but for most practical purposes, it's "good enough."

The thing that troubles me most about this isn't that it implies I am soulless (I'm perfectly fine with that) but that my computer could potentially possess some primitive analogue of consciousness. It leaves me to wonder; if I allow my computer to endure a BSOD, does it suffer a pain only computers feel?

cegrogan
07-17-2011, 03:59 PM
Yes, but you're completely ignoring emergent behaviour. A bunch of very simple (light powered) robots with a neural network similar to an insect brain were given one instruction, seek light.

After running for a certain amount of time, one robot had disabled other robots to make a pile to get closer to the light source. There was no way a human engineer could have written and executed that as a program within the storage and processing capacity of those robots.

The outcome wasn't predicted, if it was suggested before hand, it would have been deemed impossible for the same reason you're dismissing free will. We knew the neural network and the instruction, and such behaviour was beyond the assumed capacity of the hardware and software. The expectation was a huddle around the light source with them pushing each other out of the way.

I'd love to link the source, but it was a segment in a documentary on emergent behaviour.

In another example on emergence, we know all the rules to Langton's Ant:

Squares on a plane are colored variously either black or white. We arbitrarily identify one square as the "ant". The ant can travel in any of the four cardinal directions at each step it takes. The ant moves according to the rules below:

At a white square, turn 90 right, flip the color of the square, move forward one unit
At a black square, turn 90 left, flip the color of the square, move forward one unit


Yet we can not predict all possible outcomes without running them all.

Your proposition is clearly by someone stuck in a physics mindset. That's why I did the original condescending post, to try and shake you awake a little.

Agreed. You're taking a purely theoretical and academic idea and making a mountain out of molehill. I'm still waiting for a response to how you think you're clever from just mimicing what college professors say to guard your mind against pseudo scientific discoveries.

AlecJ32
07-17-2011, 04:04 PM
1 + 1 = 3

Enough of that.

Shape
07-17-2011, 04:07 PM
Enough of that.

Truth hurts, I know. <3

Ok, done, by your request/respect bro.

Gustave5436
07-17-2011, 04:08 PM
The thing that troubles me most about this isn't that it implies I am soulless (I'm perfectly fine with that) but that my computer could potentially possess some primitive analogue of consciousness. It leaves me to wonder; if I allow my computer to endure a BSOD, does it suffer a pain only computers feel?

The illusion of consciousness is simply how our brain perceives a set of capabilities it has; judgment, compassion, empathy, all those things which makes animals like humans or chimpanzees "special." A PC at present is way too stupid to have any of those; it's comparable to a fruit fly in computational resources IIRC. So there's little moral issue at present.

Incidentally, physics is only tangentially related to the issue of incompatibilism. Determinism is required as a given, of course, but the real strength of the argument is in psychology/neuroscience.

IcarusNine
07-17-2011, 04:19 PM
The illusion of consciousness is simply how our brain perceives a set of capabilities it has; judgment, compassion, empathy, all those things which makes animals like humans or chimpanzees "special." A PC at present is way too stupid to have any of those; it's comparable to a fruit fly in computational resources IIRC. So there's little moral issue at present.
Point was, that's -our- perception of consciousness. If a computer developed a perception of consciousness, but it didn't possess the hallmarks of consciousness that humans value, would we be able to recognize when there is a moral issue?

The fruit fly is a case in point... We can recognize that the fruit fly is capable of sensation, but can we determine if pain is such a sensation, or if those sensations mean a fruit fly is capable of suffering? And yet, a fruit fly is descended from the same biological mandate that we are. A computer, being wholly different in design, would present far greater conundrums.

Epsilon
07-17-2011, 04:20 PM
These sorts of threads drive me nuts because they're full of terrible physics and worse philosophy; if you really want an intelligent exposition of these issues, there are far better places to turn. Men (and sadly, it usually is only men) a great deal smarter than anybody here have thought a great deal about these issues, and written down what they discovered.

Generally, turning to a Russell or a Nietzsche is a great deal more enlightening than listening to anything anybody here could write.

Draek
07-17-2011, 04:23 PM
Yes, but you're completely ignoring emergent behaviour.

Chaotic systems are still deterministic.

A bunch of very simple (light powered) robots with a neural network similar to an insect brain were given one instruction, seek light.

After running for a certain amount of time, one robot had disabled other robots to make a pile to get closer to the light source. There was no way a human engineer could have written and executed that as a program within the storage and processing capacity of those robots.

The outcome wasn't predicted, if it was suggested before hand, it would have been deemed impossible for the same reason you're dismissing free will. We knew the neural network and the instruction, and such behaviour was beyond the assumed capacity of the hardware and software. The expectation was a huddle around the light source with them pushing each other out of the way.

I'd love to link the source, but it was a segment in a documentary on emergent behaviour.

So, instead of the engineers having underestimated the capabilities of the neural network they built, you instead... believe the robots acquired something resembling the metaphysical concept of a soul?

What the unholy f***.

In another example on emergence, we know all the rules to Langton's Ant:

Squares on a plane are colored variously either black or white. We arbitrarily identify one square as the "ant". The ant can travel in any of the four cardinal directions at each step it takes. The ant moves according to the rules below:

At a white square, turn 90 right, flip the color of the square, move forward one unit
At a black square, turn 90 left, flip the color of the square, move forward one unit


Yet we can not predict all possible outcomes without running them all.

At first sight, I'd say it's probably related to the Halting Problem in Computer Science much like Conway's Game of Life, but the maths for dealing with that kind of problem are a pain, so I won't be proving that. However, it is still purely deterministic: knowing the rules its governed by and perfect knowledge of a single instant in the game, we can perfectly determine how the next instant will look.

Your proposition is clearly by someone stuck in a physics mindset. That's why I did the original condescending post, to try and shake you awake a little.

A logical mindset, it's not purely physics.

TWS composer
07-17-2011, 04:24 PM
Actually a simple way you can believe in cause/effect and free will.
We have the freedom to choose what we want to do.

Only we can control OUR actions.

If we choose the wrong one, well, goes downhill from there.

marie pavie
07-17-2011, 04:48 PM
Sisters, cease, the work is done.

Gustave5436
07-17-2011, 04:49 PM
Actually a simple way you can believe in cause/effect and free will.
We have the freedom to choose what we want to do.

Only we can control OUR actions.

If we choose the wrong one, well, goes downhill from there.

Problem is, in a deterministic universe, "we" are simply a bunch of neurochemistry. The conscious mind is just an invention of the prefrontal cortex, a rationalization it uses to try to understand the workings of the rest of the brain's circuitry. "You," don't even exist, nor can "you" have deliberate control over all of it.

The reason you are able to believe in free will, is that you reject determinism altogether, in favor of an immaterial soul. There's nothing wrong with that, that's the way most people go with it. But at that point, it's materialism vs idealism, not compatibilism vs incompatibilism.

TWS composer
07-17-2011, 04:53 PM
Problem is, in a deterministic universe, "we" are simply a bunch of neurochemistry. The conscious mind is just an invention of the prefrontal cortex, a rationalization it uses to try to understand the workings of the rest of the brain's circuitry. "You," don't even exist, nor can "you" have deliberate control over all of it.

The reason you are able to believe in free will, is that you reject determinism altogether, in favor of an immaterial soul. There's nothing wrong with that, that's the way most people go with it. But at that point, it's materialism vs idealism, not compatibilism vs incompatibilism.

Oh?
Let me ask: do you believe absolutes exist (off topic I know. Just answer honestly)

halbarad_loire
07-17-2011, 04:56 PM
You're trying to tell me that even with cause and effect there cannot be free will*?

Let me throw an example into the fray.
Person A and Person B do not know each other. They happen to be in the same bar at the same time. Person A and Person B collide. Person A spills his drink on Person B. Both of them are angry and blame the other.
Person B ends up swearing at and insulting Person A.

Now, Person A could do a multitude of things here but for the example we'll say he chooses to punch Person B.

This was the free will* of deciding to punch Person B but also the punching of Person B was the end of a chain of cause and effect.


To put it simple, Cause and Effect will always exist because it isn't some scientific or even metaphysical creation. Cause and Effect exists on so many levels and each person would act different in a situation which would still come down to cause (Person B insults Person A) and effect (Person A punches person B).

(more on this later as I quote another of your posts)

I graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S in math, and in that time, I earned A's in both physics 2111 and 2112.

Please don't try to spout off where you graduated from or anything of the sort.

Where you graduated or what you have achieved in education is irrelevant. Some of the greatest minds failed or dropped out of education. Others people that have got such achievements in education are doing menial labour.
The ability to pass tests is not the same as the practical ability used in many fields or the ability to think outside what you have been taught.


straw man argument. We aren't talking about other universes. We are talking about this and only this universe and the four fundamental forces which govern it. None of which any person can control.

So stating that every particle in the universe is solely influenced by the four fundamental forces is "pseudo-science?" Stating that thoughts are electrical impulses and chemical reactions is "pseudo-science?"

Coming back from the cause and effect part of the post is this. Are you claiming that the four fundamental forces of nature (Gravity, Electromagnetism, Weak Nuclear Force and Strong Nuclear Force) also govern the way our chemicals interact with each other to create a pre-determined outcome for everything?

Particles are influenced by the forces, yes, but in so many ways that it is impossible for us to understand them all. Not only that, your argument is completely flawed due to the way the human body works.
Your argument is all but saying that all humans from birth are predetermined in their actions, their body chemistry and all such things. In addition your argument is saying that, for example, somebody with low Triiodothyronine and Thyroxine is predetermined to die at a young age due to the forces in the world acting on that body and as people we have no control over our or others actions to prevent this.

In which case I died before I hit my first birthday... Oh gawd, this explains a lot, I'm a ghost!

Or it was that the free will* of people who chose to go into their fields of profession which eventually led into the manufacturing of Levothyroxine tablets which I (choose) to take daily to prevent me from suffering a minor case of death.
Not only that, it was the free will* of the midwife, who, when i was 3 days old made the decision to take me into the hospital because she percieved that something was wrong. The cause was she saw in me what she percieved to be something wrong which nobody else noticed at the time and she had a number of choices. I would not be alive if it was any other choice than get me into the hospital and have me tested.

It's wasn't electromagnetism, gravity or any nuclear force that led solely to all of this happening. The forces may influence things but they do not outright force events to happen.


Sounds to me that you two are both in the "I'm going to believe whatever makes me feel good" boat.
What gives you the right to determine which is the correct answer of it all? Maybe when you are academically published and your theory is somehow proven to be correct that all decisions are effectively pre-programmed then fine, we can accept it.
Until then, you are speaking more with philosophy than hard science.




* I do not necessarily mean to say free will as a concept is entirely true as our bodies are simply chemicals, electricity and other such things all swirling around.
Wether free will is something invented from a form of conciousness we have somehow achieved through the interaction of everything or wether it is actually something true is not for me to decide and it is not something we will ever truly understand as a species.

Gustave5436
07-17-2011, 05:03 PM
Point was, that's -our- perception of consciousness. If a computer developed a perception of consciousness, but it didn't possess the hallmarks of consciousness that humans value, would we be able to recognize when there is a moral issue?

Consciousness, in real, objective terms, isn't just the perception of sapience, it is sapience. It is a logical consequence of the state of being sapient. So, if a being is able to express its belief that it is conscious, then it is conscious. If not, then it is not conscious, unless the limiting factor is not sapience, but merely communicative ability. But synthetic intelligence will be capable of communication, being designed by humans, which are highly social and therefore communicative beings.

You do, however, have a valid point when it comes to entirely alien intelligences, which might not trace any shared lineage with Terran life. Such beings could be so different from ourselves that we would completely fail to recognize their level of sentience, or even that they are alive at all. But this eventuality is in the distant future at best, and isn't really a practical problem we need concern ourselves with.

Oh?
Let me ask: do you believe absolutes exist (off topic I know. Just answer honestly)

You mean, like, moral absolutes? Kant was cool and everything, but I'm more of a utilitarian, myself.

marie pavie
07-17-2011, 05:07 PM
Sounds to me that you two are both in the "I'm going to believe whatever makes me feel good" boat.

Me too.

Modiga-Disabled
07-17-2011, 05:08 PM
As Einstein said "God does not play dice."

A remark aimed at the weirdness of quantum mechanics. Our current understanding of the subject strongly suggests cause and effect aren't so absolute.

TWS composer
07-17-2011, 05:12 PM
You mean, like, moral absolutes? Kant was cool and everything, but I'm more of a utilitarian, myself.
:confused:

Gustave5436
07-17-2011, 05:18 PM
As Einstein said "God does not play dice."

A remark aimed at the weirdness of quantum mechanics. Our current understanding of the subject strongly suggests cause and effect aren't so absolute.

At Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, specifically. He felt its probabilistic, indeterminate nature was fundamentally incomplete, and I'm inclined to agree. Too bad local hidden variables were disproven, though. Universal hidden variables is really appealing, but it's something that was designed specifically to be appealing, not as the most rational, scientific explanation. So we're left with many worlds, which at least restores determinism to the universe, and is thus preferred over Copenhagen.

:confused:

I see I misinterpreted the question (specifically, the meaning of the word "absolutes"), could you rephrase it?

Washell
07-17-2011, 05:38 PM
So, instead of the engineers having underestimated the capabilities of the neural network they built, you instead... believe the robots acquired something resembling the metaphysical concept of a soul?

What the unholy f***.

No. I'm saying that while knowing all the variables, and knowing they're simple, they still got complex behaviour.

While the 4 forces of the universe may be known and simple, once you stick those in a complex shape, even more complex behaviour emerges, leaving plenty of room for free will.

marie pavie
07-17-2011, 05:52 PM
I believe in birra moretti and asiago chicken sausages, I'll leave the nature of objective reality and consciousness to you boys.

bluz74
07-17-2011, 05:57 PM
Only a Sith deals in absolutes! :mad:

sfade
07-17-2011, 06:03 PM
This thread totally needs to watch the series 'Through the Wormhole: With Morgan Freeman' on the Science Channel. :)

It's fantastic.

One of the recent episodes specifically addresses the questions of consciousness and existence, etc.

TWS composer
07-17-2011, 06:05 PM
I see I misinterpreted the question (specifically, the meaning of the word "absolutes"), could you rephrase it?

do you believe in set principles?

Gustave5436
07-17-2011, 06:06 PM
No. I'm saying that while knowing all the variables, and knowing they're simple, they still got complex behaviour.

While the 4 forces of the universe may be known and simple, once you stick those in a complex shape, even more complex behaviour emerges, leaving plenty of room for free will.

Complexity != free will. The biosphere is complicated; that in itself cannot be taken as conclusive evidence that a Gaian nature goddess exists. It can only be taken as what it is, that nature is complicated.

Likewise, the brain may be complicated, but that does not amount to an undeniable proof that a tiny little man lives in your head, shouting out indeterministic commands to all the neurons.

edit:
do you believe in set principles?

I still don't understand the question, sorry.

FreemanForPrez
07-17-2011, 06:08 PM
You cannot believe in both cause/effect relationships and free will.


Sure I can. I'm an American, I can believe in anything I want to. :D

What if I'm just sitting here and choose to throw a glass full of water at my wall?
It shatters and the water pours out, causing an electrical outlet below it to short.
The sparks set the curtains on fire, which sets the house on fire. The fire department arrives and a fireman is killed when the roof collapses on him.

Everything after I threw the glass at the wall was cause and effect, although it was begun by my free will to either throw the glass or set it down and walk away.

No, I didn't read the whole thread, just short bits and pieces, so forgive me if I'm way off the point with this.

Gustave5436
07-17-2011, 06:20 PM
No, I didn't read the whole thread, just short bits and pieces, so forgive me if I'm way off the point with this.

The point, I think, is that the illusion that you have something, is different from actually having it. If I give you a box and say it has a million dollars inside, and you believe me, regardless of whether there's actually any money in the box, you'll have the perception of being a dollar millionaire. However, if we open the box and find that it's empty, then that proves that your perception of having all that money, was merely an illusion all along.

We certainly do believe that we have free will, we have the illusion of free will, but it is the incompatibilist position that this illusion does not logically equate to the real thing. Although there really isn't any practical difference between actually having free will, and merely having the illusion of it. It's the principle of the thing, really; it doesn't actually matter in any way, it's a completely useless argument about trivial consequences of logical reasoning. And the philosophers love arguing about things that don't matter, that's the essence of philosophy.

FreemanForPrez
07-17-2011, 06:26 PM
The point, I think, is that the illusion that you have something, is different from actually having it. If I give you a box and say it has a million dollars inside, and you believe me, regardless of whether there's actually any money in the box, you'll have the perception of being a dollar millionaire. However, if we open the box and find that it's empty, then that proves that your perception of having all that money, was merely an illusion all along.

We certainly do believe that we have free will, we have the illusion of free will, but it is the incompatibilist position that this illusion does not logically equate to the real thing. Although there really isn't any practical difference between actually having free will, and merely having the illusion of it. It's the principle of the thing, really; it doesn't actually matter in any way, it's a completely useless argument about trivial consequences of logical reasoning. And the philosophers love arguing about things that don't matter, that's the essence of philosophy.

Well I see what you're saying, although I don't think I'd want to try and argue it.

By the way, my example above was flawed. While the fire may have been cause and effect, the fireman could have chosen to not go into the fire.

If I had to state my opinion on it all though, I'd say that the universe is made up of definite cause/effect relationships that have to happen or are likely to happen, and free will choices of sentient beings that aren't predetermined and don't result in predetermined events.

ShadowMask6
07-17-2011, 06:29 PM
Technically nothing matters in life, and aren't all these laws still just theories? Say gravity for an example, we can't physically look at the center of the earth. All we can do is make inferences about it, what if there is an actual machine generating a gravitational field around the earth. (This is a bit off topic i apologize)

Shape
07-17-2011, 07:47 PM
Technically nothing matters in life, and aren't all these laws still just theories?

We follow Universal Laws, some aren't theories.

Say gravity for an example, we can't physically look at the center of the earth. All we can do is make inferences about it, what if there is an actual machine generating a gravitational field around the earth. (This is a bit off topic i apologize)

Gravity doesn't exist. Research magnetism.

neurotiq
07-17-2011, 07:49 PM
Cause and effect? I have the free-will to push over a rock. The cause of it flipping was me pushing it out of free will, the effect was it flipping?

Amidoinitright?

lazy6pyro
07-17-2011, 08:17 PM
Cause and effect has nothing to do with free will, because not everything that happens benefits from consciousness. Both can coexist, and do in the real world. Perhaps the OP should join it.

cegrogan
07-17-2011, 08:23 PM
In this thread, people attempt to join complex physical theory into philosophy. Egomaniacal posturing ensues.

sad_ism
07-17-2011, 08:31 PM
I'm free to believe in both, how's that? :p

Or will the electromagnetic force "correct" me somehow?

Draek
07-17-2011, 08:44 PM
I'm free to believe in both, how's that? :p

Or will the electromagnetic force "correct" me somehow?

No, but much like believing that the statement "this statement is false" is true (or false), your belief contradicts itself and as such is not correct.

Logic is a beautiful thing.

lazy6pyro
07-17-2011, 08:55 PM
We follow Universal Laws, some aren't theories.

Gravity doesn't exist. Research magnetism.

Laws are laws only because of perspective, not because they are true. Einstein showed that the Newtonian laws of motion weren't exactly true and clarified them, and thus to a degree proved them wrong. We may follow some universal law, or we may not; no one can say for certain because even all of our perspectives together, we are not omnipotent. That is the fatal flaw of human explanations.

Truth is only a perspective not the reality.

Yiffles
07-17-2011, 10:05 PM
If you think that I cannot believe in both cause/effect relationships and free will, then you are mistaken. Because I believe that our consciousness exists as a soul on a different plane. The laws of physics apply here on this plane, but our souls/consciousness has the power to influence the material in our brains (and to a smaller degree, other material in this plane).

Don't ask me to prove that we have souls or that anything outside of this plane exists. What I wrote is what I believe in.

skippy72294
07-17-2011, 10:08 PM
You guys are looking really far into this... my head hurts now....

sad_ism
07-17-2011, 10:35 PM
No, but much like believing that the statement "this statement is false" is true (or false), your belief contradicts itself and as such is not correct.

Logic is a beautiful thing.

Yo momma is a beautiful thing, and I don't see what's so contradictory about believing that my free actions have an effect on the world around me, or that existing conditions allow me to make (i.e. not take) certain decisions.

I'm aware that these molecules, man, they're like, all over the place, but until we can control them to such an extent that we can replicate a being of a certain degree of will, and control its behavior from the molecular level, we can't conclude anything quite like the OP does.

Or maybe not even control -- just understand. For example, the universe (so we suppose) must have come from somewhere. But where would it have come from? And what would have caused it to arise? Our "laws" of physics, the ones cited as determining all our actions, aren't completely formulated yet. What was that first cause? Is it a physical property that we might all contain within us, giving us free will? It might seem that I'm just pushing back the conclusion of determinism until we find a free-will-force that is really just another "rule" that we all can't help but follow, but how can we talk about a subject like this with not enough data?

(Also my post was supposed to be a clever response to his title, which states that one cannot believe in both causality and free will.)

sudomakesanwich
07-17-2011, 11:01 PM
Lets play with logic some more:

There are two people. Person C and person x. Person C bumps into person x and apologizes and at that instant C doesn't know what x is going to do, thus making x a variable. That right there is where free will comes into play. At the same time, you could then plot it out as such:

Cause: C bumps into x
Effect: x punches C in the mouth (no one likes constants anyway)

But until x punches C in the mouth, what x does is a variable and equal to anything. Genetic predispositions are a prime example of this.

Europhoria
07-17-2011, 11:03 PM
1 + 1 = 3

The truth is stranger than fiction.

For your next trick: 1 + 1 = banana.

Draek
07-17-2011, 11:39 PM
Yo momma is a beautiful thing, and I don't see what's so contradictory about believing that my free actions have an effect on the world around me, or that existing conditions allow me to make (i.e. not take) certain decisions.

Let's assume, then, that there is an action you have made that is purely an effect of a decision made by your consciousness. That's what you believe, right? alright, then, let me ask you: what cause had as its effect the decision you made? what cause had as its effect the creation of your consciousness? and what cause had as its effect *those* causes in turn?

Sure, you can do it like Yiffles and give it a religious response (which is what I think you were doing with the whole "first cause" business), but I think you'll understand if I say an argument borne out of a religious belief is way, *WAY* outside the context put forward by the OP.

Lets play with logic some more:

There are two people. Person C and person x. Person C bumps into person x and apologizes and at that instant C doesn't know what x is going to do, thus making x a variable. That right there is where free will comes into play. At the same time, you could then plot it out as such:

Cause: C bumps into x
Effect: x punches C in the mouth (no one likes constants anyway)

But until x punches C in the mouth, what x does is a variable and equal to anything. Genetic predispositions are a prime example of this.

From the point of view of C. From the point of view of a 5-years-old, the place where the ball he kicked will land is also unknown, but with the proper data a physicist can work it out to within a single centimeter.

chaplain_wu
07-17-2011, 11:43 PM
OP should just translate to simple English for the masses to understand. Or does the chemical brain waves and so forth otherwise make him incapable of being anything but an elitist ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥?

Or maybe he got dumped at the whims of his high school crush and takes it out on math.

sad_ism
07-17-2011, 11:45 PM
Let's assume, then, that there is an action you have made that is purely an effect of a decision made by your consciousness. That's what you believe, right? alright, then, let me ask you: what cause had as its effect the decision you made? what cause had as its effect the creation of your consciousness? and what cause had as its effect *those* causes in turn?

Sure, you can do it like Yiffles and give it a religious response (which is what I think you were doing with the whole "first cause" business), but I think you'll understand if I say an argument borne out of a religious belief is way, *WAY* outside the context put forward by the OP.

Incorrect. There has to have had been a first cause, at least in the context of where the universe came from, and scientifically speaking, it eludes us at the moment. Why should human actions and free will be any different?

Seth.Sekhmet
07-17-2011, 11:48 PM
Free will and causality can exist at both time.

Cause & effect simply lets me know that any action I perform will have a consequence.

My free will allows me to decide if I want to do something or not and in case I decide to do something, it lets me decide what that action will be.

Draek
07-17-2011, 11:54 PM
OP should just translate to simple English for the masses to understand. Or does the chemical brain waves and so forth otherwise make him incapable of being anything but an elitist ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥?

Or maybe he got dumped at the whims of his high school crush and takes it out on math.

Dummy mode explanation:

- Your brain is made up of particles.
- I can know how particles will act.
- Therefore I can know how your brain will act.
- Therefore I can know how you will act.
- Therefore your "free will" is an illusion.

Basically, if you want free will, either you refuse the second postulate and assume the movement of particles *cannot* be predicted, *ever*, or throw in some metaphysical stuff about a "soul" residing in a different plane controlling your physical body so that knowing your brain does not imply knowing you as a whole.

Though simply refusing the second argument doesn't automagically mean you have free will, if the reason it can't be predicted is because it's completely random then you're still not "free", so maybe you do have to push the metaphysical angle again.

Incorrect. There has to have had been a first cause, at least in the context of where the universe came from, and scientifically speaking, it eludes us at the moment. Why should human actions and free will be any different?

Why would it? there's absolutely no reason to believe human actions are governed by anything more than the sum of the states of its constituent particles, therefore if the universe is deterministic (the whole "cause and effect" thing) then human actions are deterministic.

aegisfate117
07-17-2011, 11:56 PM
Lol. Calm down, broski. :p

That's what I say when I lose an online argument too. :(

Silent Sniper
07-18-2011, 12:03 AM
Quit with the philosophy and look at the science: Ask yourself, do you "rule over" the four fundamental forces acting on the particles in your brain which "make" decisions through electrical impulses and chemical reactions? No, you have absolutely zero control over gravitation, electromagnetism, or strong/weak interaction. So you don't have free will.

Science is a branch of philosophy.

Please show peer reviewed studies or scholarly articles/journals that substantiate your claims such as "consciousness is energy" and "consciousness is a dimension separate from physicality"

Here's something to think about:

Peer reviewed papers are nothing more than anecdotal evidence from people that we entrust to obtain empirical knowledge. These people aren't infallible gods on a relentless pursuit of the truth. A large chunk of them would have no problem lying in their papers if they knew they could get away with it, and a sizable amount still do it. They care more for grants and recognition than finding the actual truth.

Also, here's a challenge for you. Since you are a strict materialist as indicated by your OP, can you prove to me that you experience emotions, which are immaterial? How about consciousness?

thoreau
07-18-2011, 12:06 AM
Expelling energy into this ancient argument has never benefited mankind, because it almost always reduces to the brain in a vat philosophical puzzle. There is a limit to the extrapolation of truth in debate, and that is the circular logical problems with the cause and effect one. Ultimately, your brain could just be one in a vat where a madman scientist has it connected to a machine simulating reality, and this notion could not be disproved. Should we spend time trying to disprove this? No, because there are bigger fish to fry.

To OP: If you do plainly believe there is no ultimate free will, then you must also understand that the illusion of free will can be free will itself.

anotherandomguy
07-18-2011, 12:13 AM
Lets play with logic some more:

There are two people. Person C and person x. Person C bumps into person x and apologizes and at that instant C doesn't know what x is going to do, thus making x a variable. That right there is where free will comes into play. At the same time, you could then plot it out as such:

Cause: C bumps into x
Effect: x punches C in the mouth (no one likes constants anyway)

But until x punches C in the mouth, what x does is a variable and equal to anything. Genetic predispositions are a prime example of this.

x reaction will depend on his mood, past, health, habits.. etc.. etc..

If x get bumped into and he's in a bad mood then C will get ♥♥♥♥ for it, but if he's in a good mood he will get over it easily

if x used to get in trouble in the past because ppl bumped in to make fun of him... then he might punch C.


same thing with the water on the wall scenario, either the OP made you do that, or mood(bored/angry)... not free will

sad_ism
07-18-2011, 12:31 AM
Why would it? there's absolutely no reason to believe human actions are governed by anything more than the sum of the states of its constituent particles, therefore if the universe is deterministic (the whole "cause and effect" thing) then human actions are deterministic.

But if we lack a holistic understanding of the sum of the states of its constituent particles, including any inherent uncertainty, then how can we make any conclusions about it?

Using my previous example: The currently unknown "rules" of the big bang can't be specific or unique to that single event, otherwise the discipline of physics would fall apart. Therefore, we must infer that the same unknown rules play a role in everyday life. Who's to say that free will (if you're willing to reduce it to a physical phenomenon) isn't found in any of the physical events we've yet to find explanations for?

IcarusNine
07-18-2011, 12:39 AM
But if we lack a holistic understanding of the sum of the states of its constituent particles, including any inherent uncertainty, then how can we make any conclusions about it?
If deductive logic were a superhero, what would its costume look like?

sad_ism
07-18-2011, 12:45 AM
If deductive logic were a superhero, what would its costume look like?

http://gamesnet.vo.llnwd.net/o1/gamestar/objects/377553_main.jpg with a knuckle sandwich in his face. :mad:

It's a cop-out to talk about physical laws, then leave out the very laws that might actually be pertinent to the discussion. And I doubt physicists are leaving them unexplored because they're so easily deduced!

Son, I am derp
07-18-2011, 12:48 AM
I graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S in math, and in that time, I earned A's in both physics 2111 and 2112.

But anyways, your condescending post is a substitute for any substantial argument, when you did not even read the original post which explains this.

As humans, we aren't likely to ever get past the uncertainty principle which states that a particles momentum and position cannot be simultaneously known, which is why we cannot create a formula which can predict how universal events unfold, due to these unknown variables.

This doesn't mean that the events aren't determined.

Come back when you've finished a few graduate courses in quantum mechanics and give us a more insightful definition of the uncertainty principle than the first line of the Wikipedia page.

And while you're at it, take a few courses in nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory. Even if the universe was predestined, we are incapable of ever measuring it accurately enough to predict physical phenomena significantly more complicated than "the bowling ball rolls off the table and falls to the floor." Thus rendering the whole question moot.

Laws are laws only because of perspective, not because they are true. Einstein showed that the Newtonian laws of motion weren't exactly true and clarified them, and thus to a degree proved them wrong. We may follow some universal law, or we may not; no one can say for certain because even all of our perspectives together, we are not omnipotent. That is the fatal flaw of human explanations.

Truth is only a perspective not the reality.

General Relativity gives a third order correction to the Newtonian gravitation potentials. In terms of actual gravity, it has accounted for part of the observed precession of Mercury's orbit. Do you know how much? 43 arcseconds per century. That is about a 100th of a degree PER CENTURY that Mercury has precessed due to GR corrections to classical gravity. Got that?

Orbits don't precess at all in classical gravity. Mercury's orbit precesses a great deal more than this figure, however, 5601 arcseconds per century. Almost all of that is the result of the other planets in the solar system, and almost none of it is the result of general relativistic corrections.

GR says some crazy things, but they only really matter in extreme situations. It is a fundamental reinterpretation of gravity, but practically speaking it's worthless unless you're studying black holes or cosmology or other such obtuse subjects.

W-
07-18-2011, 03:00 AM
To OP: If you do plainly believe there is no ultimate free will, then you must also understand that the illusion of free will can be free will itself.

People read too much into the definition of free will. Free will is simply when the mind's beliefs agree with it's actions. Now there may be a bit of a grey area when concerning coercion, but that is a big off topic slippery slope. What is the problem with free will being causal? Many human decisions exhibit causality yet we do not attribute such decisions to being not free. Our will is the causal result of our decision making process. Free will is simply the ability to act upon the same decision.

If you believe in the deterministic universe, then free will is deterministic.

If you believe in uncertainty then free will is uncertain.

SeanHraefn
07-18-2011, 04:42 AM
You can believe that life, for whatever reason, is the only object in the universe capable of exceeding a pure cause and effect relationship. That, somehow, the very existence of consciousness causes a change in cause and effect relationships.

For example, the observer effect. For some reason we don't yet understand, the simple act of us watching something happen changes it. A particle will act the same way a billion times, but the minute we directly observe the particle, it does something different.

Something about us, our consciousness, changes the world around us and it's because of this that free will exists in a world of cause and effect relationships.

We, those creatures in the universe with the ability to think and reason, change the nature of reality itself.

Liquid-Flame DK
07-18-2011, 04:52 AM
Free will can still exist despite causation. All our actions are just already taken - by us, mind you - they just happened at the beginning of time (AKA the Big Bang).

cegrogan
07-18-2011, 05:02 AM
Free will can still exist despite causation. All our actions are just already taken - by us, mind you - they just happened at the beginning of time (AKA the Big Bang).

A bit off topic, but wouldn't the second law of thermodynamics argue against the big bang? The spontaneous creations of mass, energy, and order seems to fly in the face of continual universal entropy.

SeanHraefn
07-18-2011, 05:08 AM
A bit off topic, but wouldn't the second law of thermodynamics argue against the big bang? The spontaneous creations of mass, energy, and order seems to fly in the face of continual universal entropy.

Nothing was created at the big bang, it all existed, the big bang was only the expansion of what was already there in a singularity of pure energy.

Because that singularity existed before time itself, it was effectively "eternal".

Hawking does a good job of explaining how the big bang was inevitable, it would have actually taken a force to stop the big bang, not to start it.

Liquid-Flame DK
07-18-2011, 05:08 AM
A bit off topic, but wouldn't the second law of thermodynamics argue against the big bang? The spontaneous creations of mass, energy, and order seems to fly in the face of continual universal entropy.

Its an unsolved problem of physics. The general consensus seems to be that the mass was always there. Always. There was no beginning, it was just there.

The big bang was the expansion of that mass from an infinitely dense state to what it became afterwards. We dont know if it was the first event of its kind. We dont know if the universe is infinite or finite, if it repeats or is static once created.

Anyway, all our actions would be taken at the moment of the big bang. That would be free will, as no laws of physics existed prior to the big bang... there was no causation to influence the choices that were made during the big bang.

cegrogan
07-18-2011, 05:12 AM
Its an unsolved problem of physics. The general consensus seems to be that the mass was always there. Always. There was no beginning, it was just there.

The big bang was the expansion of that mass from an infinitely dense state to what it became afterwards. We dont know if it was the first event of its kind. We dont know if the universe is infinite or finite, if it repeats or is static once created.

Anyway, all our actions would be taken at the moment of the big bang. That would be free will, as no laws of physics existed prior to the big bang... there was no causation to influence the choices that were made during the big bang.

But why would it explode from a condensed, low potential energy mass into a state of higher energy? It goes against the very nature if the universe. I have very little understanding of the whole matter, just asking

SeanHraefn
07-18-2011, 05:14 AM
But why would it explode from a condensed, low potential energy mass into a state of higher energy? It goes against the very nature if the universe. I have very little understanding of the whole matter, just asking

Go read Hawking's new book. He explains this quite well using gravity. Gravity caused the big bang and nothing could have stopped it.

and the big bang wasn't an explosion, it was an expansion.

Think less a bomb and more a wrapped up sheet being unraveled.

cegrogan
07-18-2011, 05:17 AM
Go read Hawking's new book. He explains this quite well using gravity. Gravity caused the big bang and nothing could have stopped it.

and the big bang wasn't an explosion, it was an expansion.

Think less a bomb and more a wrapped up sheet being unraveled.

I use explosion in the loosest sense possible. Ill look into it though... wasnt hawking just recently curbstomped on his black hole theory?

SeanHraefn
07-18-2011, 05:21 AM
I use explosion in the loosest sense possible. Ill look into it though... wasnt hawking just recently curbstomped on his black hole theory?

Not sure, I know he recently (within the last 10 years) kind of curb stomped himself on black holes, but theoretical physics is a field where much curb stomping happens.

Either way, the big bang is one of those things we have so much independent evidence for that it's pretty much fact that is happened.

I think there's like 14 to 20 different things that all point to the big bang without relying on each other. Stuff like the ambient temperature of the universe, the composition of the early universe, red and blue shifting of objects in space, the composition of suns etc etc etc.

None rely on each other, they're all independent measurements that all point to a big bang about 14.7 billion years ago.

<Witty name>
07-18-2011, 05:22 AM
Actually, while I find this claim far fetched, I consider the concepts of time travel and free will mutually exclusive.

You see, everything that has happened will obviously have already happened. If someone in the future decided to go back in time and give me a muffin, I would clearly know this has happened. However, this means that the person, whenever time reaches the point where from he hails, would be forced to have done this. As such, he has no free will.

If free will and time travel existed simultaneously, events that happened already could spontaneously change and cause a cascade of events that would radically change the future, therefore making the time travel of the individual in question completely impossible.

I got five hours of sleep. Don't read too deeply

cegrogan
07-18-2011, 05:29 AM
Not sure, I know he recently (within the last 10 years) kind of curb stomped himself on black holes, but theoretical physics is a field where much curb stomping happens.

Either way, the big bang is one of those things we have so much independent evidence for that it's pretty much fact that is happened.

I think there's like 14 to 20 different things that all point to the big bang without relying on each other. Stuff like the ambient temperature of the universe, the composition of the early universe, red and blue shifting of objects in space, the composition of suns etc etc etc.

None rely on each other, they're all independent measurements that all point to a big bang about 14.7 billion years ago.

Funny thing is, the big bang and intelligent design start sounding more and more similar the more I learn.

SeanHraefn
07-18-2011, 05:32 AM
Funny thing is, the big bang and intelligent design start sounding more and more similar the more I learn.

Except that intelligent design has no evidence and the big bang has mountains?

How is that similar?

Blugga
07-18-2011, 05:38 AM
Just because all my actions are determined doesn't mean I don't have free will.

As long as I'm doing what I want to be doing then my free will is still intact.

(Soft determinism ftw!)

FreemanForPrez
07-18-2011, 06:31 AM
You can believe that life, for whatever reason, is the only object in the universe capable of exceeding a pure cause and effect relationship. That, somehow, the very existence of consciousness causes a change in cause and effect relationships.

For example, the observer effect. For some reason we don't yet understand, the simple act of us watching something happen changes it. A particle will act the same way a billion times, but the minute we directly observe the particle, it does something different.

Something about us, our consciousness, changes the world around us and it's because of this that free will exists in a world of cause and effect relationships.

We, those creatures in the universe with the ability to think and reason, change the nature of reality itself.

Last night when I was reading this thread I was trying to think of a way to say this same thing without writing a 1000 word essay with 500 redundant words. ;)

And I think the above is about the best way of explaining how cause and effect and free will can and do exist together all throughout our universe.

The particles that make up our brains may in fact have to follow certain laws and determined results on their own, but in the very process of creating thought and decisions they inadvertently measure themselves and force change upon themselves and their surroundings. Change that can only happen when they collectively become "aware" and make a decision or a thought.

Kovaelin
07-18-2011, 07:37 AM
Only Sith deal in absolutes. What you're basically saying is that can not choose to have dominoes fall, and choose whether or not to topple them.

Masterclown
07-18-2011, 07:46 AM
Reading this thread is like I'm watching the restaurant scene with the Merovingian all over again in The Matrix: Reloaded!

Now just where/when does Monica Bellucci show up? I like her parts, I mean, part.

monkeedude1212
07-18-2011, 07:53 AM
Either you have to disregard a cause and effect relationship in the universe, or you have to accept to accept that your actions are predetermined.

Here is one way to look at it: No human can control the fundamental forces that act on elementary particles: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak interaction.


Actually, your last statement there is entirely false: We CAN control the fundamental forces that act on elementary particles: This is why we have electricity, this is why we have nuclear reactors, wind turbines, combustion engines, yada yada yada. The fact that we understand how these forces interact is how we've managed to invent machines which utilize their interactions in various ways.

But to humour you, I assume you would mean we can't influence those interactions which happen inside our own head. But, then I would retort that the arguement that either I'm controlling the actions in my head, or the actions in my head are controlling me, is a chicken/egg argument that has no real answer.

sudomakesanwich
07-18-2011, 08:17 AM
x reaction will depend on his mood, past, health, habits.. etc.. etc..

If x get bumped into and he's in a bad mood then C will get ♥♥♥♥ for it, but if he's in a good mood he will get over it easily

if x used to get in trouble in the past because ppl bumped in to make fun of him... then he might punch C.


same thing with the water on the wall scenario, either the OP made you do that, or mood(bored/angry)... not free will

You can't say what it was until after the fact, so it is free will. Until you can predict behavior with 100% accuracy (which you can't because everyone will react differently given the same set of stimuli), then determined behavior doesn't exist. Some people may be genetically predisposed to murder people. That doesn't mean everyone who is genetically predisposed to murder is going to murder.

josephdinatale
07-18-2011, 08:25 AM
If you think that I cannot believe in both cause/effect relationships and free will, then you are mistaken. Because I believe that our consciousness exists as a soul on a different plane. The laws of physics apply here on this plane, but our souls/consciousness has the power to influence the material in our brains (and to a smaller degree, other material in this plane).

Don't ask me to prove that we have souls or that anything outside of this plane exists. What I wrote is what I believe in.

http://www.myfacewhen.net/uploads/37-intredasting.jpg

Expelling energy into this ancient argument has never benefited mankind, because it almost always reduces to the brain in a vat philosophical puzzle. There is a limit to the extrapolation of truth in debate, and that is the circular logical problems with the cause and effect one. Ultimately, your brain could just be one in a vat where a madman scientist has it connected to a machine simulating reality, and this notion could not be disproved. Should we spend time trying to disprove this? No, because there are bigger fish to fry.

To OP: If you do plainly believe there is no ultimate free will, then you must also understand that the illusion of free will can be free will itself.

I completely accept the illusion of free will. It makes me feel good to think that I'm actually typing this of my own accord, but in reality, I am nothing more than the sum of my particles, which are acted on only be four fundamental forces, none of which anyone can control.

But if we lack a holistic understanding of the sum of the states of its constituent particles, including any inherent uncertainty, then how can we make any conclusions about it?

Using my previous example: The currently unknown "rules" of the big bang can't be specific or unique to that single event, otherwise the discipline of physics would fall apart. Therefore, we must infer that the same unknown rules play a role in everyday life. Who's to say that free will (if you're willing to reduce it to a physical phenomenon) isn't found in any of the physical events we've yet to find explanations for?

To the best of our knowledge, the Theory of Evolution explains how organisms change over time.

To the best of our knowledge, the Theory of Gravity explains how objects of mass attract each other.

Likewise, to the best of our knowledge, particles, including the ones that compose your brain, are only effected by four fundamental forces.

Until you find evidence of these "unknown rules of play", we have to accept our current knowledge of things. You can't just say "well, there are some unknowns in evolution, so I don't accept the Theory of Evolution."

Come back when you've finished a few graduate courses in quantum mechanics and give us a more insightful definition of the uncertainty principle than the first line of the Wikipedia page.

And while you're at it, take a few courses in nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory. Even if the universe was predestined, we are incapable of ever measuring it accurately enough to predict physical phenomena significantly more complicated than "the bowling ball rolls off the table and falls to the floor." Thus rendering the whole question moot.



General Relativity gives a third order correction to the Newtonian gravitation potentials. In terms of actual gravity, it has accounted for part of the observed precession of Mercury's orbit. Do you know how much? 43 arcseconds per century. That is about a 100th of a degree PER CENTURY that Mercury has precessed due to GR corrections to classical gravity. Got that?

Orbits don't precess at all in classical gravity. Mercury's orbit precesses a great deal more than this figure, however, 5601 arcseconds per century. Almost all of that is the result of the other planets in the solar system, and almost none of it is the result of general relativistic corrections.

GR says some crazy things, but they only really matter in extreme situations. It is a fundamental reinterpretation of gravity, but practically speaking it's worthless unless you're studying black holes or cosmology or other such obtuse subjects.

Your claim is that since we as humans cannot determine the outcome of events, those events are not pre-determined?

monkeedude1212
07-18-2011, 08:57 AM
Your claim is that since we as humans cannot determine the outcome of events, those events are not pre-determined?

You're saying that the decision to observe a particle comes as a direct reaction to all the previous events in the history of the universe, and we know that by observing this particle we are actually changing it's state.

By doing this in an efficient matter, which would only be a problem with technology, we would eventually be able to determine what happens in the future. However, once KNOWING what happens in the future, we could take steps to change it. Or, whatever device used to simulate the future would not be accurate at all.

I say, you can't believe in Cause and Effect Relationships AND determinism because determinism violates causality. Most people agree that there are cause and effect relationships but that quantum mechanics explains why they don't dominate the world.

fallacy
07-18-2011, 09:07 AM
You can't believe in cause and effect while simultaneously believing in free will.

Either you have to disregard a cause and effect relationship in the universe, or you have to accept to accept that your actions are predetermined.

Here is one way to look at it: No human can control the fundamental forces that act on elementary particles: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak interaction. I, as well as everyone, is a collection of molecules, and at the end of the day, we are each subject to only these 4 forces, none of which we have any control over.

If your actions(effects) are caused, then there is only 1 way you can respond to any situation.

Free actions would by definition be uncaused effects.

Because of heisenberg uncertainty principle, as of now we do not have the means to accurately predict the actions of matter, and we likely never will develop that ability with 100% accuracy. But that doesn't mean the actions of matter are free.

Each entity responds differently to every situation because every person is different. Every person is a different sack of molecules, and that person was raised in a particular environment which caused those sacks of molecules to respond in a certain way. Why do identical twins still manage to be distinct entities? First of all, identical twins are not truly identical. Their molecular structure while nearly the same, does differ on a small level. Furthermore, no two individuals can have the same "environment" because it is impossible for any two individuals to have exactly the same experiences in time/space. No two particles can occupy the same location in time/space, so every particle has a different "environment."

The fact that different people behave differently has nothing to do with free will. The fact that your actions have a cause, is in and of itself enough to disprove free will.

The fact of the matter is, causality is an illusion. Only free will can collapse the The Wave Function or generate the initial conditions of a dynamical system.

So what forced me to make this thread? Based on my current molecular configuration (which is subject to only the four fundamental forces) as well as the culmination of every event, or "environment," throughout my life up till this point, I am "making the decision" to write this.

My decision is not free though, it has to happen, and would have happened to anyone who has the exact same molecular structure and experiences as myself, which is impossible in and of itself for reasons outlined above.

I do what I want I hang out with 12 gangs!.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLPM-P7mNQw&feature=related

Pim Pandoer
07-18-2011, 09:19 AM
You cannot believe in both cause/effect relationships and free will.

well i do:cool:what are you gonna do about it :cool:

tibetanpunk
07-18-2011, 09:29 AM
Explain to me this...If there is such a thing as free will (which there is), how would it operate other than through the means of cause and effect?

You seem to be arguing that you are just a product (victim) of your environmental conditioning, which to me seems like a nihilistic cop-out and a way to trick yourself into feeling free of any ethical responsibility in your actions.

"I didn't have a choice! The universe made me do it..." probably won't stand up in court when you do something stupid that causes other people to suffer.

monkeedude1212
07-18-2011, 09:34 AM
You seem to be arguing that you are just a product (victim) of your environmental conditioning, which to me seems like a nihilistic cop-out and a way to trick yourself into feeling free of any ethical responsibility in your actions.

"I didn't have a choice! The universe made me do it..." probably won't stand up in court when you do something stupid that causes other people to suffer.

Try not to being morality into this, it hold no bearing on what he is saying. Whether something is ethical or not is a product of human nature, not physics, which is strictly the realm through which he is trying to explain this.

He's not using it for a defense in court, he's simply implying that our understanding of physics suggests our decisions are a result of a complex series of dominoes, not that it would keep him out of jail, because whatever judgement man places on him is also under the same line of dominoes.

tibetanpunk
07-18-2011, 10:09 AM
Try not to being morality into this, it hold no bearing on what he is saying. Whether something is ethical or not is a product of human nature, not physics, which is strictly the realm through which he is trying to explain this.

He's not using it for a defense in court, he's simply implying that our understanding of physics suggests our decisions are a result of a complex series of dominoes, not that it would keep him out of jail, because whatever judgement man places on him is also under the same line of dominoes.

Ethics and morals are 2 completely different things. Ethics is dynamic and responds appropriately to any given situation, based on the causes and conditions.

Morality is a blanket response regardless of causes and conditions and therefore lacks the adaptability and functionality of ethics.

So yeah, it was you that brought morals into this.

Newtonian physics works. Quantum physics works. Two different realms.

Then there is the many worlds theory of quantum physics. You have free choice, but for every free choice that you make, there are a potentially infinite number of other 'you' in a potentially infinite number of other, parallel universes that are making the the other choices.

sad_ism
07-18-2011, 10:55 AM
To the best of our knowledge, the Theory of Evolution explains how organisms change over time.

To the best of our knowledge, the Theory of Gravity explains how objects of mass attract each other.

Likewise, to the best of our knowledge, particles, including the ones that compose your brain, are only effected by four fundamental forces.

Until you find evidence of these "unknown rules of play", we have to accept our current knowledge of things. You can't just say "well, there are some unknowns in evolution, so I don't accept the Theory of Evolution."

I don't know how the creation of our universe, and the behavior of subatomic particles, don't count as evidence enough.

And the parallel you draw isn't very exact. As opposed to evolution, for which no (rigorous) falsifying evidence exists, our current physics has several scenarios for which we don't have explanations.

surendre91
07-18-2011, 11:00 AM
Your actions are only in your hand by a certain extend, but certain events will happen if you are not aware of your position.

AlecJ32
07-18-2011, 11:15 AM
To the best of our knowledge, the Theory of Evolution explains how organisms change over time.

To the best of our knowledge, the Theory of Gravity explains how objects of mass attract each other.

Likewise, to the best of our knowledge, particles, including the ones that compose your brain, are only effected by four fundamental forces.

Until you find evidence of these "unknown rules of play", we have to accept our current knowledge of things. You can't just say "well, there are some unknowns in evolution, so I don't accept the Theory of Evolution."

There's a giant lapse in logic here. You're saying that to the best of our knowledge, the four fundamental forces govern the entire universe, therefore we must accept that as how it is as support of your idea. Yet, the same can be said about the stochastic events encountered in quantum mechanics. To the best of our knowledge and understanding, these events are indeterminable and completely random, which doesn't play well with your idea of a completely deterministic 'cause and effect' universe. If we play by the same rules and say the fundamental forces and their ultimate consequences on all interactions create a completely deterministic universe because that's all we know right now, we also have to say that based on our current knowledge of quantum mechanics, certain events can't be determined and that's all we can go by; those two ideas are not mutually orthogonal and are actually rather conflicting with each other, so taking one to be true isn't going to be useful as proof of anything.

On the other hand, if you're going to say that there may be something underlying quantum mechanics that makes these random events deterministic that we simply don't understand, then why do we have to accept that the four fundamental forces act as we understand them?

You can't have this double standard that one idea must be treated exactly as it's currently understood, while the other idea can be ignored because we may not completely understand it. What we know about the fundamental forces, unfortunately, is not evidence either for or against your idea.

Your claim is that since we as humans cannot determine the outcome of events, those events are not pre-determined?

How did you possibly gather that from his post? It's almost as though you didn't even read it.

tibetanpunk
07-18-2011, 12:05 PM
From the perspective of the emerging field of contemplative science, the external world of causes and conditions (including our brain and neurological conditioning) shapes our inner experience, and from the other side, our mind, or stream of consciousness shapes the external world that we live in.

External reality isn't either/or and it isn't a one way street as classical science has held. Or denying that the other street even exists as reductionistic materialism has held.

Dualistic extremes are absurd. Balance and a middle way are where the answers lie.

Draek
07-18-2011, 12:05 PM
Free will can still exist despite causation. All our actions are just already taken - by us, mind you - they just happened at the beginning of time (AKA the Big Bang).

Huh. Good point, that would work fine though I wonder what it'd do to the common definition of a "conscience".

Ethics and morals are 2 completely different things. Ethics is dynamic and responds appropriately to any given situation, based on the causes and conditions.

Morality is a blanket response regardless of causes and conditions and therefore lacks the adaptability and functionality of ethics.

So yeah, it was you that brought morals into this.

What in heavens are you talking about? morality is how people feel towards certain actions, while ethics is an attempt at a rationalization of such feelings, and they're hardly what one would call "dynamic". Perhaps fears and psychology would be a good analogy, but I don't know enough about the latter to be certain.

Son, I am derp
07-18-2011, 12:19 PM
Your claim is that since we as humans cannot determine the outcome of events, those events are not pre-determined?

I'm saying that even if quantum non-determinism didn't exist (and that's a gigantic IF), that we as humans can never possibly know the universe well enough to predict complex predetermined phenomena. It may be an illusion of free-will, but it's a damn good one.

Zamav
07-18-2011, 01:49 PM
Are you trying to slow walk us into fate and all that stuff? :p

josephdinatale
07-18-2011, 04:56 PM
Explain to me this...If there is such a thing as free will (which there is), how would it operate other than through the means of cause and effect?

You seem to be arguing that you are just a product (victim) of your environmental conditioning, which to me seems like a nihilistic cop-out and a way to trick yourself into feeling free of any ethical responsibility in your actions.

"I didn't have a choice! The universe made me do it..." probably won't stand up in court when you do something stupid that causes other people to suffer.

That's a straw man argument, but I'll consider it for the heck of it.

Where did I mention the ethical implications of this? We still have to punish people as if they were making a choice or else society would surely collapse. "I absolutely cannot control what happens" would result in devastation if everyone believed this way, so it is important that the appearance of free will always exists.

In fact, the very existence of people who oppose this viewpoint are actually very beneficial because, as stated, human society would breakdown.


I'm saying that even if quantum non-determinism didn't exist (and that's a gigantic IF), that we as humans can never possibly know the universe well enough to predict complex predetermined phenomena. It may be an illusion of free-will, but it's a damn good one.

We as humans can't predict, and probably never will be able to predict, events because of the fact you mentioned. But that's aside the point. It might seem like a real event and, in fact, very useful to society, making a choice is pre-determined.


There's a giant lapse in logic here. You're saying that to the best of our knowledge, the four fundamental forces govern the entire universe, therefore we must accept that as how it is as support of your idea. Yet, the same can be said about the stochastic events encountered in quantum mechanics. To the best of our knowledge and understanding, these events are indeterminable and completely random, which doesn't play well with your idea of a completely deterministic 'cause and effect' universe. If we play by the same rules and say the fundamental forces and their ultimate consequences on all interactions create a completely deterministic universe because that's all we know right now, we also have to say that based on our current knowledge of quantum mechanics, certain events can't be determined and that's all we can go by; those two ideas are not mutually orthogonal and are actually rather conflicting with each other, so taking one to be true isn't going to be useful as proof of anything.

On the other hand, if you're going to say that there may be something underlying quantum mechanics that makes these random events deterministic that we simply don't understand, then why do we have to accept that the four fundamental forces act as we understand them?

You can't have this double standard that one idea must be treated exactly as it's currently understood, while the other idea can be ignored because we may not completely understand it. What we know about the fundamental forces, unfortunately, is not evidence either for or against your idea.



How did you possibly gather that from his post? It's almost as though you didn't even read it.

I'm using the four fundamental forces because there isn't any uncertainty about them. I stand to be corrected though, if you can find any scholarly journals or articles which suggests otherwise.

On the other hand, there is uncertainty (pun) regarding our understanding of quantum mechanics as it is a relatively (pun) new field.

Son, I am derp
07-18-2011, 05:23 PM
I'm using the four fundamental forces because there isn't any uncertainty about them. I stand to be corrected though, if you can find any scholarly journals or articles which suggests otherwise.

On the other hand, there is uncertainty (pun) regarding our understanding of quantum mechanics as it is a relatively (pun) new field.

It's actually not a new field. I am going to put forth some effort to describe the details of quantum mechanics math.

The fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics were postulated in the 1920s. Chief amongst them is the notion of the state of a quantum system being entirely defined by an abstract mathematical object called a state vector. To do quantum mechanics, you project this state vector onto the eigenspectrum of an operator, typically a Hermitian differential operator like a Hamiltonian.

This projection gives us an expansion of the wave function (state vector) in terms of the eigenfunctions of the operator. This expansion is simply a linear combination of the eigenfunctions. With each eigenfunction comes an eigenvalue corresponding to the observable represented by the initial Hermitian operator. In the case of the Hamiltonian, an energy eigenvalue. For an angular momentum or spin operator, the eigenvalue is a momentum.

Now, as with any expansion, there are the functions you are expanding in terms of and their respective weights. These weights in the expansion, roughly speaking, represent the "amount" of a particular eigenfunction in the original state vector. Measuring an observable amounts to operating on the state vector with an operator. The weights, when you take their complex magnitude squared, define the probabilities of getting a particular eigenfunction, and thus eigenvalue, out of the measurement.

This measurement process is, as far as we know, completely non-deterministic. We know that it will give one of the eigenvalues of the operator, and that it will collapse the state of the system instantaneously into the corresponding eigenfunction, but we know of no way to predict which one. There are most probable states, there are expected values that we would get after thousands of measurements of the same quantum system.

This is a very brief, very simple overview of the fundamental mathematical structure of quantum mechanics for very simple, pure quantum systems. The kicker is in the fact that a quantum state vector is, in general, a linear combination of eigenfunctions of an operator. A quantum system is virtually never in an eigenstate of these operators that represent observables, and so we simply do not know what we will get when we measure them.

Interpretations of this problem range far and wide. Some say that the quantum system is in every state at once. Some say that the system is in no state at all until it is observed. Some bicker and argue over the very definition of "measurement" of a quantum system. Some have proposed that an infinite number of different universes exist, each where every possible quantum reality came to pass.

Whatever your interpretation, the very abstract mathematical process that I tried to describe above gives the most accurate experimental predictions in physics. The mathematics are sound, and they say that we don't know what state a system will collapse into when we measure it.

tibetanpunk
07-18-2011, 05:42 PM
When you have both the awareness to choose as you wish and a universe that contains unlimited potentials, cause and effect is the only the way to execute your free will.

I am not sure how the OP doesn't see this. You make a choice, your choice has consequences. Your choice is the cause, the consequence is the effect.

Unless you are arguing that you are not in fact conscious, or that your conscious awareness and sense of self is just an illusion created by the evolution of our higher brain functions and environmental conditioning.

In which case it is reductionistic materialism. Or, you could go to the other extreme and state that nothing really exists, and causality is an illusion, so nothing at all matters and there are no consequences to anything. Which is just nihilism.

Both positions, as I said before, are absurd. The reality does not lie in the extremes, but in balance. In fact, the extremes are the illusion, because there is no end in either direction.

DudeNtheRoom
07-18-2011, 05:43 PM
I Believe In Magic.

You can do anything....that you desire....

armyfreak221
07-18-2011, 06:07 PM
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

tibetanpunk
07-18-2011, 07:35 PM
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

The correct answer is 17.

FreemanForPrez
07-18-2011, 07:48 PM
The correct answer is 17.

No, it would have to be 42.

tibetanpunk
07-18-2011, 07:57 PM
No, it would have to be 42.

Aha! So that is the question!

HammerLegionary
07-19-2011, 01:45 AM
I believe that we do what we do based on our beliefs and that our beliefs are based on nature and nurture, so in that way we don't have free will.


I Believe In Magic.

In a young girl's heart?

Stressthesky
07-19-2011, 02:46 AM
Having studied psychology, I feel compelled to argue. But then again, my neurological imprints favours laziness.

FreemanForPrez
07-19-2011, 07:01 AM
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose free will (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnxkfLe4G74).

Shape
07-19-2011, 02:02 PM
Except that intelligent design has no evidence and the big bang has mountains?

How is that similar?Intelligent Design.
http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_sage1.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pt-5LLP6dM

josephdinatale
07-19-2011, 02:45 PM
It's actually not a new field. I am going to put forth some effort to describe the details of quantum mechanics math.

The fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics were postulated in the 1920s. Chief amongst them is the notion of the state of a quantum system being entirely defined by an abstract mathematical object called a state vector. To do quantum mechanics, you project this state vector onto the eigenspectrum of an operator, typically a Hermitian differential operator like a Hamiltonian.

This projection gives us an expansion of the wave function (state vector) in terms of the eigenfunctions of the operator. This expansion is simply a linear combination of the eigenfunctions. With each eigenfunction comes an eigenvalue corresponding to the observable represented by the initial Hermitian operator. In the case of the Hamiltonian, an energy eigenvalue. For an angular momentum or spin operator, the eigenvalue is a momentum.

Now, as with any expansion, there are the functions you are expanding in terms of and their respective weights. These weights in the expansion, roughly speaking, represent the "amount" of a particular eigenfunction in the original state vector. Measuring an observable amounts to operating on the state vector with an operator. The weights, when you take their complex magnitude squared, define the probabilities of getting a particular eigenfunction, and thus eigenvalue, out of the measurement.

This measurement process is, as far as we know, completely non-deterministic. We know that it will give one of the eigenvalues of the operator, and that it will collapse the state of the system instantaneously into the corresponding eigenfunction, but we know of no way to predict which one. There are most probable states, there are expected values that we would get after thousands of measurements of the same quantum system.

This is a very brief, very simple overview of the fundamental mathematical structure of quantum mechanics for very simple, pure quantum systems. The kicker is in the fact that a quantum state vector is, in general, a linear combination of eigenfunctions of an operator. A quantum system is virtually never in an eigenstate of these operators that represent observables, and so we simply do not know what we will get when we measure them.

Interpretations of this problem range far and wide. Some say that the quantum system is in every state at once. Some say that the system is in no state at all until it is observed. Some bicker and argue over the very definition of "measurement" of a quantum system. Some have proposed that an infinite number of different universes exist, each where every possible quantum reality came to pass.

Whatever your interpretation, the very abstract mathematical process that I tried to describe above gives the most accurate experimental predictions in physics. The mathematics are sound, and they say that we don't know what state a system will collapse into when we measure it.

Well I concede that you obviously know much more about physics than I do. As I mentioned earlier, I've only taken physics 1 + 2 for engineers and scientists; I am essentially a layman.

There's no way I could intelligently debate your argument, but there is one sticking point for me:

You've given a great argument to why humans will likely never be able to accurately predict an event. However, just because we, as humans, cannot do so, why does that imply that events are not pre-determined?

Why can't it be that events are pre-determined, but us humans will never be able to know what those pre-determined events will be?

Psychrophile
07-19-2011, 02:59 PM
The biggest problem I see with this idea (which is essentially a re-packaged fate vs. free-will argument with some rudimentary physics thrown into the mix) is that you're oversimplifying the biochemical processes at work in the brain.

Of course, you ARE correct that our neural processes can be broken down into particle and force interactions, but without knowing precisely how these interfaces and interactions function in forming thoughts, emotions, etc., one cannot reasonably say whether the outcomes are determined purely by the interplay of those 4 fundamental forces.

In other words, it is possible for something to be "more than the sum of its parts," in a manner of speaking.

It would be perhaps MORE accurate to say that our process of decision making is bound by the parameters set by these interactions, but that does not mean that there is no freedom within the parameters themselves.

lazy6pyro
07-19-2011, 03:11 PM
You've given a great argument to why humans will likely never be able to accurately predict an event. However, just because we, as humans, cannot do so, why does that imply that events are not pre-determined?


We are humans, so we can only grasp how far humans can reach. Just because there's a possibility that events may somehow be potentially pre-determined simply because we don't know that events are pre-determined or not, doesn't make them predetermined either.

It's simply because we don't know. That is the only thing anyone can say for certainty.

AlecJ32
07-20-2011, 06:45 PM
Why can't it be that events are pre-determined, but us humans will never be able to know what those pre-determined events will be?

Well, what ultimately pre-determines these events? There must be some phenomena or mechanism which determines the events, right? So what's stopping us from eventually finding or picking this apart?

Briayonski
07-20-2011, 06:57 PM
wat.avi

Silent Sniper
07-21-2011, 05:51 AM
Well I concede that you obviously know much more about physics than I do. As I mentioned earlier, I've only taken physics 1 + 2 for engineers and scientists; I am essentially a layman.

There's no way I could intelligently debate your argument, but there is one sticking point for me:

You've given a great argument to why humans will likely never be able to accurately predict an event. However, just because we, as humans, cannot do so, why does that imply that events are not pre-determined?

Why can't it be that events are pre-determined, but us humans will never be able to know what those pre-determined events will be?

Where in his post did he say that the reason for this non-deterministic system was because of humans being unable to accurately predict an event? What if that's just the nature of the system he's describing?

In an earlier post, you claimed to believe your OP because that is what is known "to the best of our knowledge". Why cling on to it if your knowledge has been updated, unless, of course, you're in the "I'm going to believe whatever makes me feel good" boat.