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InvisibleRavus
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Determinism and Free Will
    #4237423 - 05/30/05 06:48 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Whenever someone speaks of determinism, everyone except the Calvinists seem to get their guns and back away, thinking that you're crazy for assuming we're just clockwork with no free will.

But truely, if we accept that everything has a cause and an effect, what arguments are there against determinism? Create a system of laws and principles in the universe, set off the Big Bang and like clockwork causes and effects happen until we're created, just more causes and effects. Where is the room for free will or manipulation of the universe?

Some looked happily to quantum mechanics, thinking they're free, but no, not really. According to the theory of the multiverse, where every deviation on the quantum level creates a new universe, we're still following determinism, now we just have no hopes of predicting it due to random probability that the determinism has created. It's the same with chaos theory- there's too many variables or too many universes to predict our deterministic future, but it's still there, just forever beyond the calculation of our finite computers and minds.

"Free will" exists within our physical brains, and our brains are merely physical cells and molecules, effects all following a cause. Like a mathematical formula is this universe created, so where is the free will? What other logical possibilities are there than determinism?


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4237446 - 05/30/05 06:58 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Perhaps the argument that nothing truly exists outside of the present? The only way you could possibly have determinism is if you have a past and a future concurrently. I see nothing but the present, as everything else is essentially conceptual.

So within a view of time as being both linear and absolute, determinism is the most rational and effective way to explain things. But if you abandon that view of time? Many cultures have had views of time being cyclical in nature: history repeating itself in a real way. There are modern history theories that show this view works pretty well considering generations and their interaction.

The Hopi had an interesting system whereas there wasn't a past-present-future timeline, but rather a duality of present vs past/future. I personally like my personal variant of this system best; subjectively it is flawless. It forces you to admit the fallibility of your body and your memory, while at the same time recognizing you have a sense of the future within your memory ( in the form of hopes and etc; nothing telepathic, just psychological ).

But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself?

Can you personally conceive of determinism having value if the element of time is removed?


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OfflineGomp
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: vampirism]
    #4237508 - 05/30/05 07:29 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

"Determined will, are no longer free, free will is will to be.."
-Unknown :P


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OfflineDoom
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Gomp]
    #4237541 - 05/30/05 07:40 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

boooorrrrrriiiingggg.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: vampirism]
    #4237665 - 05/30/05 08:23 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

So within a view of time as being both linear and absolute, determinism is the most rational and effective way to explain things. But if you abandon that view of time? Many cultures have had views of time being cyclical in nature: history repeating itself in a real way. There are modern history theories that show this view works pretty well considering generations and their interaction.




Even if time is a cycle, doesn't it follow the laws of cause and effect?

Determinism doesn't require time to be linear and absolute, all it requires is that you accept the notion that every effect has a cause. If this is true, then couldn't you trace all effects back with no room for free will anywhere along the way? For even in a circle, if you begin at one point you can trace that effect back to a cause, even wholly around the circle again, and the cyclical version of time in fact only reinforces determinism. Everything that has happened will happen again, time will repeat itself, so indeed it seems there's no free will either in that situation as we're just looping around the roller coaster.

Quote:

Can you personally conceive of determinism having value if the element of time is removed?




I can't conceive of anything if the element of time is removed. If there was no time, nothing would exist to my knowledge, because there would be no movement or change and no causality, so if it's possible that's beyond my comprehension.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4237780 - 05/30/05 08:58 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Hume posited that free will requires a certain degree of determinism, and conflicts more with indeterminism. I think we need to get back from this idea of free will, and realize that there are simply three levels of determinism: indeterminism(randomness), exodeterminism(determinism from outside oneself), and self-determinism(determinism from within). I'd say that there is probably a little bit of each in our universe.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4237859 - 05/30/05 09:25 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:



Determinism doesn't require time to be linear and absolute, all it requires is that you accept the notion that every effect has a cause. If this is true, then couldn't you trace all effects back with no room for free will anywhere along the way? For even in a circle, if you begin at one point you can trace that effect back to a cause, even wholly around the circle again, and the cyclical version of time in fact only reinforces determinism. Everything that has happened will happen again, time will repeat itself, so indeed it seems there's no free will either in that situation as we're just looping around the roller coaster.





Well, no. If you trace all effects back, you're beginning with the assumption that your conclusion is correct. How do you trace an effect back if you're not sure there actually was a cause? If there is no cause, there is no effect; and vice versa.

Quote:



I can't conceive of anything if the element of time is removed. If there was no time, nothing would exist to my knowledge, because there would be no movement or change and no causality, so if it's possible that's beyond my comprehension.




Then I suppose this is where we differ. The key point is: "does time exist?" in such a case. I don't immediately sense time. With my perception of life, I don't experience time. I'm perfectly capable of logic and reason and use them at will in arguments, but, ultimately, they're not real. Time is a concept, not a fact.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Silversoul]
    #4237897 - 05/30/05 09:42 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Hume posited that free will requires a certain degree of determinism, and conflicts more with indeterminism.




That's probably because indeterminism doesn't seem to have any backing, scientifically or philosophically.

Quote:

there are simply three levels of determinism: indeterminism(randomness), exodeterminism(determinism from outside oneself), and self-determinism(determinism from within). I'd say that there is probably a little bit of each in our universe.




Indeterminism? What is so completely random that it's not related to causality? Randomness in chaos theory follows the laws of causality but just has so many or so specific of a variable that it can't be predicted, but in the discussion we're currently having, randomness would be separate from determinism and therefore have no cause. It would spring out of absolute nothingness with nothing there to start it. That piece sounds like bullshit.

Self-determinism, while more plausible, also seems to be false. Assuming that the difference between our inner space and the rest of the universe isn't just an illusion and/ or arbitrary distinction, everything we do seems to still have a cause from the outside. Our entire inner space is created from the outside, and all of our reactions are created by previous causes. To put it bluntly, I don't think there's any difference between self-determinism and exodeterminism.

My take on the subject is that causes occurred which killed off some life while others survived, creating natural selection. We evolved and developed a brain as a helpful organ of survival. Within this brain the chemical reactions occur in such a way that, for survival purposes, we feel like we have a free will and are putting our blessed miracle actions on the universe which spring seemingly from nowhere, but are actually just part of a vast chain of causality that points us to realize we are in a system of determinism, if not fatalism.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4237955 - 05/30/05 10:04 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Indeterminism? What is so completely random that it's not related to causality? Randomness in chaos theory follows the laws of causality but just has so many or so specific of a variable that it can't be predicted, but in the discussion we're currently having, randomness would be separate from determinism and therefore have no cause. It would spring out of absolute nothingness with nothing there to start it. That piece sounds like bullshit.



I was under the impression that quantum particles tend to behave in an indeterministic way. Correct me if I'm wrong here.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4237961 - 05/30/05 10:07 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Some Quantum Field Theory interpretations of particle interactions say that, like you can find tiny localized areas of temporary reverse entropy if the sample is small enough, you can also find particles jumping backwards in time for very brief intervals, then resuming their forward course through time. Positrons in Feynman diagrams do this all the time.

That's not to say that this actually happens, but it's as good an explanation as any for the observed phenomenon.

If correct, it sure throws a monkey wrench into causality, determinism, and free will!


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4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Silversoul]
    #4237969 - 05/30/05 10:10 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Depends on which theory you go by. If you believe the concept of a multiverse, then the particles aren't behaving in an indeterministic way at all, but rather are creating new universes according to their possible outcomes. This would simply mean that you're just living a probalistic path in a deterministic multiverse, which would just add confusion because not only are you still following determinism, but now have no way to predict your deterministic path.

If you believe the Copenhagen interpretation, then you should probably rethink your situation because Copenhagen's interpretation was completely idiotic and seems entirely unsupported to me. At least the Many-Worlds Theory of the multiverse makes scientific sense rather than sounding like a New Age philosophy.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4237983 - 05/30/05 10:14 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

If you believe the Copenhagen interpretation, then you should probably rethink your situation because Copenhagen's interpretation was completely idiotic and seems entirely unsupported to me. At least the Many-Worlds Theory of the multiverse makes scientific sense rather than sounding like a New Age philosophy.



Explain, please.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4238000 - 05/30/05 10:19 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

If you believe the Copenhagen interpretation, then you should probably rethink your situation

A recent poll of physisists showed that the Copenhagen Interpretation is currently the most widely-accepted interpretation of QM followed by Many Worlds. :shrug:


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Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Diploid]
    #4238051 - 05/30/05 10:38 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

That was more of a glib comment on my part because I think the Copenhagen interpretation's bullshit.

The reasons the Copenhagen interpretation seems fundamentally flawed to me are quite varied, but mainly, the Copenhagen interpretation believes that not only is quantum physics completely indeterministic and random, but that somehow we human gods, simply by measuring something, cause it to change. It seems scientifically ridiculous to make such an assertion like saying that measuring something changes it, when this is pure speculation and doesn't occur anywhere else in science to my knowledge.

Like Einstein said about the Copenhagen interpretation, "Do you really think the moon isn't there if you aren't looking at it?"

This is rather off-topic though.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4238099 - 05/30/05 10:56 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

?

One example most often used to illustrate that is a giant thermometer used to test the temperature of a drop of water. Everything used to measure something has a physical mass of its own which will interact in some way with what is being observed. You don't see special relativity until the quantities are of very high magnitude, you won't see this principle in effect until the quantities are of very small magnitude.

It's not speculation any more than anything else is


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Determinism and Free Will [Re: Ravus]
    #4238115 - 05/30/05 11:02 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

and back to my point, how do you know time exists if it's not a physical thing at *all*? It's a concept we often neglect to consider in its proper context. You cannot have a Universe that works purely with energy and mass without time. Time, one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of reality, is extremely relative.


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