Does Physics disprove the existence of free will?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by M.I.D, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So addicts have as much freedom of will as their non-addicted genetic twins.
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  3. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    technically the word
    means they would need to be genetically identical and im fairly sure that is a scientific impossibility.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That does not follow.

    We are all genetically similar, yet there is plenty of difference in how we think and behave.
    Iceaura is simply supposing that - if "it's all genetic", then an addict has no less control over their actions than someone who is not addicted (controlled) by their addiction.

    The fairly good assumption that an addict has less choice in their actions than a non-addict flies in the face of your assertion that it's all genetic.
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  7. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member


    Conceited as they were, they believed that they, and only they, could escape the iron lawo ofcause and effect that governs everything. They could do this by virtue of something they called free will, which allowed them to do things without any material reason

    Two points

    1/ FALSE - they cannot escape the iron law
    2/ also FALSE - free will cannot escape the iron will as it only can be applied to CHOICES that lay within the iron law

    The beginning of the readiness potential precedes the conscious decision to move by at least half a second and often by much longer

    The brain acts before the mind decides *

    This appears to be a confusing statement. The "Brain" is the name of the ORGAN

    The PROCESSES within the Brain include both the subconscious mind and the conscious mind

    If the statement, The brain acts before the mind decides, is rewritten as The subconscious mind acts before the conscious mind decides, I don't see a problem

    The subconscious mind is still YOU after all. That you are unaware of its decisions before such arrive at the conscious mind is immaterial. IT IS STILL YOU.

    And if you decide to change your mind fine - the subconscious changes before the conscious mind changes

    * This discovery was a complete reversal of the deeply held intuition of mental causation

    Going down the rabbit hole of infinite regression looking for the genie who ultimately makes decisions is futile

    You have free will restricted, iron clad, by physics

    On other restrictions, ie laws, your internal values and, as mentioned, addictions, are flexible, changeable and frequently flexed changed and / or broken

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  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member


    Identical twins stop being identical as soon as the blastocyst spits

    Because they now live in different environments

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  9. pluto2 Valued Senior Member

    I think that it could be argued that only the rich have free will, the poor don't.

    The poor and homeless are all slaves to the economic laws of society.

    Economics and the laws of the state (like the government, police, courts, judges, state lawyers, prosecutors etc I hope you get what I mean) govern all of our actions in this life so it can be argued that there is no real freedom in our lives.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I don't see how it could. 'Will' isn't a physical concept.

    It's more of a common-sense psychological idea that may or may not be reducible to neuroscience which might be reducible to physiology and ultimately to physics. (Problems of reduction and emergence.)

    Modal realism imagines much the same thing. The motivation in both cases is imagining the ontological status of alternative possibilities. That's something that's still very poorly understood.

    But the free-will problem doesn't seem to be about the reality of alternative possible worlds so much as about how they would bifurcate in the first place.
  11. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Can we learn free will?

    Does every action have certainty but we just cant figure it?
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    We know for a fact that the content of dreams - the large pattern of patterns, not the substrate neural firings - influences the physical behavior of the dreamer.
    We know for a fact that the meanings of words as perceived by the hearer - not their sound wave patterns hitting the ear - changes the subsequent physical behavior of that hearer and quite a bit of stuff in the vicinity.

    If you intend a cause/effect explanation of such events, such are your causes.
  13. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    It would seem to me that the multiverse theory supports the existence of free will as well as eliminates paradox in time travel. Yet "solving" one unknown question with an improbable scenario doesn't allow me to fly.
  14. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Universal action can be prospectively described as a single event, or broken down prospectively into countless individual events, but each individual event is determined by the action of the greater whole. So according to this model, sub events characteristically labeled choice or will, are bound by the same dynamics that govern the collective whole, and possess no more free action than any other described event.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And then we note that greater freedom of action is in fact observed in some entities compared with others. The sleeping vs dead dog, for example, when kicked.
    Proof by contradiction: - you have just disproven the hypothesis that individual events are predetermined by the action of the greater wholes. (Likewise: that the actions of the greater wholes are predetermined by the dynamics of the individual parts).
  16. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    What contradiction? Dynamics doesn’t imply homogeneity or simplicity, so there is no expectation that two dogs experiencing different facets of a universal action would behave in like fashion. They both followed the locally expressed dictates of that collective action.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The dead one has far fewer - and this is your term - "prospectively describable" responses available to it. If you were to calculate various descriptive statistics and so forth, you would have to include many fewer of what are called "degrees of freedom".
    That is the case for every single atom in either dog.
    Meanwhile, the "collective action" includes the childhood memories and recent dreams of the person delivering the kick.
    So you have dog's atoms actions predetermined by some human being's dreams having an effect on the dog's dreams;
    the residue of the half remembered images of past dreams is part of what is "dictating" - within the much greater degrees of freedom available - the behavior of the living dog.

    At this point one notices that the language of "dictating", like that of cause and effect, is not informative or useful for comprehension. If one's behavior is "dictated", within a wide and varying range of degrees of freedom, in part by dreams and whims and half remembered reasonings and intentions and so forth,
    by one's will,
    then there it is.

    And we haven't even started amplifying quantum phenomena in living vs dead organisms.
  18. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    That seems absurd to me.
    First of all my genetics has little to do with free will. I decided to buy coffee this morning on my way to work, my genetics did not influence that free will decision. My genetics may have made it impossible for me to play basketball or to be a concert pianist, but I don't really consider that a 'free will' issue.
    Your reference to the brain is especially odd. If my brain makes a decision isn't that me? It sounds like you are saying, 'I' didn't make that decision, my 'brain' did. That makes about as much sense as a soup sandwich.
  19. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    The notion of perspectively describable was to demonstrate the multifaceted nature of existence at all levels. You’ve got two unique dogs in two unique states of existence. The action of collective matter in each dog is determined by the local conditions of each, and both by their mutual collective.
    Your framing the action in general superficially. The state of matter in any prescribed event has an evolutionary history that determined it’s behavior for that instant. So in that sense collective material history determined the outcome of that event.
    Behavior of any isolated material state is dictated by the sum of its environmental influences, which is a prescribed set of causes and effects, local and otherwise.
    Like people vs. black holes?
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Their "local conditions" include the influence of things that happened long ago, incoming influences from as far away as the light cone of the local universe, and in the case of the living dog the patterns of action currently taking place in its mind - which are known to be in part chaotic, i.e. sensitive to perturbation at Heisenberg and quantum levels.

    The living dog's behavior has more degrees of freedom, including that of willed behavior and other phenomena of its mind.
    You are overlooking the complexity of the "state of matter". And you are vague about "determined" - at least, if you mean perfectly predictable via perfect information. Neither one - perfect information, or perfect prediction from it - is available in theory or in practice.
    You have a "determinism" in which nothing is certain, and you have to account for the contents of dreams and the workings of logical levels higher than rational thought and so forth.
    Like people - and millions of other living beings - who can register and react to photon emissions even at small numbers and frequencies. Among other things.
    - - -
    Including, for example, the residual influence of the olfactory content of the bad dreams - the influence of them on the currently active and moving patterns of patterns in the dog's mind - the living dog had five years ago.

    Degrees of freedom. It's a completely rigorous, mathematically and statistically incorporated, central concept.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    For example:
    If one omits time - assumes a "snapshot" of the world, complete information at a time point of "0", everything knowable at an instant - one has omitted such things as the directions of rotation, the phase of electromagnetic waves, and so forth.

    People tend to overlook the nature of their assumptions, in these kinds of mental exercises or imaginary situations.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Neuroscience primarily focuses on the substrate of the mind - the hardware and its workings. It provides evidence that the will, with all its degrees of freedom etc, is not supernatural - that it rests in a substrate, as all other patterns do.

    The only freedom of will it would "disprove" would be a supernatural one.
  23. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

    Returning through time and, "changing the past" creates a new timeline differing from the original line that was traversed. It is only by ensuring the original timeline can be accessed (changing/doing nothing) can the present be altered. Ironically it is in this way that time is created: time is a potential and can only occur should our mortality be a certainty.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018

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