Jump to content

Predetermination vs Free Will: The Thread


BruceVC

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, BruceVC said:

I dont understand the argument that we dont have free will, I am not saying you are saying that 

I want to state unequivocally that I have absolute free will on every aspect of my life, if I dont want to pay my rates or go to work I dont have to. Yes I will be fired but its choice 

And if I want to end my life I can, how anyone say we dont have free will boggles my mind ?

I think it may be possible to simultaneously possess free will and yet not.

Consider a universe in which time is two dimensional, but we only see one of the dimensions. The Big Bang is at the center of this two dimensional time plane, and our forward time is actually the slope of maximum gradient of the entropy. I.e. we're inexorably falling down a time cone of increasing entropy.

Time is expanding outward in a ring of possibilities along this cone, but we only perceive our point on the ring and the time dimension away from the center. We can't see laterally along the ring, perhaps because there is no net difference in entropy to allow energy exchange. Now we may use our will to choose a particular path and in so doing change our lateral location on the expanding ring slightly. We feel like we have made a choice, but it is only choosing a path in a limited range of outcomes. Your form is also represented on this ring by making the other choice, but neither of you can now perceive the other.

Your free will in this scenario is represented by the range of paths you can take on this expanding ring. You chose the path you follow, yet the universe remains predetermined by the (vast) set of possible outcomes.

I hope that makes some sense.

  • Like 1

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Malcador said:

Has to be absolute then, I see. Guess good thing it hasn't caught on, criminals would be in luck 😛

Sorry for the double response, but don't want to get into dueling edits

While there will be repercussions for the criminal justice system, I'm not sure the implications of your comment are one of them. 

If a bear wanders into your town and starts mauling people in order to get to their food, of course we should do everything we can to protect individuals (up to and including killing the bear). However hating the bear for being a bear seems foolish, as does capturing the bear and caging it in a zoo to "teach it a lesson". Expecting the bear to behave some other way is a failure of our expectations.

Accepting determinism doesn't mean criminals would be allowed to do whatever they want. It does mean that the whole concept of "retributive justice" would need to be re-examined. 

This is the part where I wander happlessly into @Gromnir's wheelhouse and risk his wrath for my impertinence :)

1 hour ago, rjshae said:

I think it may be possible to simultaneously possess free will and yet not.

Consider a universe in which time is two dimensional, but we only see one of the dimensions. The Big Bang is at the center of this two dimensional time plane, and our forward time is actually the slope of maximum gradient of the entropy. I.e. we're inexorably falling down a time cone of increasing entropy.

Time is expanding outward in a ring of possibilities along this cone, but we only perceive our point on the ring and the time dimension away from the center. We can't see laterally along the ring, perhaps because there is no net difference in entropy to allow energy exchange. Now we may use our will to choose a particular path and in so doing change our lateral location on the expanding ring slightly. We feel like we have made a choice, but it is only choosing a path in a limited range of outcomes. Your form is also represented on this ring by making the other choice, but neither of you can now perceive the other.

Your free will in this scenario is represented by the range of paths you can take on this expanding ring. You chose the path you follow, yet the universe remains predetermined by the (vast) set of possible outcomes.

I hope that makes some sense.

Reverting back to my "soda aisle" analogy:

"Choosing" Coke over Pepsi doesn't limit the possible universes available to you in the future. The "free will vs determinism" debate is only concerned with whether or not you were "free" to do something other than what you did in the moment. 

You're in the aisle. You see the Coke. Your hand reaches for the bottle. Just then an attractive woman wanders up and grabs a bottle of Pepsi. Suddenly you reconsider. You start to reach for the Pepsi instead. Then you remember this post and how much you disagree with what I'm writing. You push all thoughts of Pepsi from your mind. In fact, just to show me, from now on you're only going to drink fruit juice. Maybe that "choice" lasts the rest of your life. Maybe it only lasts until the next time your blood sugar dips while you're on your way to the movies and you see ads for Coca-Cola plastered all over the theater.

The point is anything you *think* is a choice is actually the output of a behavioral algorithm which is entirely based on your biology and your experience/environment. The algorithm can do something different tomorrow, but it could only do what it did today, today.

Edited by Achilles
Typo
  • Like 1
  • Hmmm 1

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Achilles said:

Compatibilists will argue that it doesn't, but your willingness to throw in with them will largely be dependent upon how desperate you are to maintain a belief in the existence of free will. Many compatiblist definitions of free will are available, but I personally don't see how any of them could be very satisfying. YRMV

Well I'm not "desperate" to believe in free will. Just wonder what and how useful the definitions are.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Malcador said:

Well I'm not "desperate" to believe in free will. Just wonder what and how useful the definitions are.

As I tried to anticipate in my previous post, "you have a range of options to choose from" and "not very"

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/17/2022 at 12:52 PM, majestic said:

Since she's mentioned in the article, time for more off-topic stuff:

 

 

 

One of my favorite Youtubers. She corrected PBS Spacetime and Fermilab's channel on the Quantum eraser experiment (that supposedly had a result that affected the past) and explained that the experiment that proved reality depends on the observer was not really implying that.

 

And talking about PBS Spacetime and free will, check this video, that explains why, according to Relativity, the future is already determined. Basically the idea is that two events (not linked by causality) that are simultaneous for us, let's call them A and B, don't happen at the same time for other observers. And it is possible that for one observer A happens before B and for another one B happens before A.

So the future can't be undefined because what is future for us may happen before our past in a different point of view.

So, what does that says about free will?🤔

Edit: don't ask me how this works when you take Quantum Mechanics into consideration...

Edited by InsaneCommander

sign.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, InsaneCommander said:

So, what does that says about free will?🤔

Probably nothing. 

Until physicists finalize a theory of everything, mixing "quantum" and "relativity" in such close proximity is a pretty reliable indicator that the person is talking about something that "the math" indicates is "theoretically possible" (i.e. white holes)

It's also worth noting that several fields of study claim "determinism" as a technical term, while not talking about the same thing. 

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Achilles said:

Probably nothing. 

Until physicists finalize a theory of everything, mixing "quantum" and "relativity" in such close proximity is a pretty reliable indicator that the person is talking about something that "the math" indicates is "theoretically possible" (i.e. white holes)

It's also worth noting that several fields of study claim "determinism" as a technical term, while not talking about the same thing. 

Still, what he talks about in the video is actually pretty basic and comes direct from the equations, although it is far from obvious. And I'm talking about the Lorentz transformations, not the General Relativity's much more elaborate ones. I don't see how a better theory would discard that.

But even if the future is determined, then we would still have as much free will as people had in the past, since it is all about points of view and frames of reference.

sign.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Amentep and @rjshae

I am going to get back to both of you guys about your posts

Rjshae I dont really understand what you talking about, science and physics is not really my strong point :shrugz:

But I was ask you later certain  questions specific to what you saying

Also have either of you read a book called Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman? My theory about free choice is based on what I absorbed  from parts of that book that I understood and finished , anyway I will explain my theory anyway but I will  reference what Kahneman talks about 

https://nextbigideaclub.com/magazine/thinking-fast-slow-bookbite/30750/?gclid=CjwKCAjw_tWRBhAwEiwALxFPoTe0UyfsbWrAMom_Tv9qz-2SmSclSBBqQMToDdhajspoKw9h8YiSIRoCUKEQAvD_BwE

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...