Does Physics disprove the existence of free will?

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

  1. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    The living dog has a different mix of activity than the dead dog, but neither exhibit behavior at any level that can be termed as free.
    I’m not overlooking complexity at all, and I agree that predictive resolution is practically limited.
    All matter, alive or dead can register and react to photons.
    How are you defining freedom?
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The term is degrees of freedom. And no need to look beyond the dictionary definition:

    Degrees of freedom - "...The number of independent ways by which a dynamic system can move, without violating any constraint imposed on it"

    For example:

    A dead dog's only freedom, thermo-dynamically, is in the direction of greater entropy (decay).
    A living dog can die - or it can eat and grow (higher organization).
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The living dog can act according to its dreams and will - as can you, in kicking it. Any "cause/effect" description of the situation must include the content of those dreams and the nature of that will.
    It's theoretically limited. Any deterministic accounting of the universe is in violation of the laws of physics as we know them today.
    Yep. And a very small number of them - a number well within the purview of quantum theory - can trigger an alteration in the behavior of a living dog both dramatic and qualitative.
    I'm not.
    A better understanding of freedom, allowing a definition of the term, is probably a ways in the future here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
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  7. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    How are growth or decay considered independent of the greater system they exist in? Each is considered a response to that system.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I did not suggest they were.
     
  9. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    Then would you agree that dogs that exist in any state are acting in concert with the systems they exist in, rather than independent of them?
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Depends on where you draw the line of 'system'.

    A living dog defies entropy locally (Earth), because it increases organisation. But if you include the sun as part of the system, it does not. It merely converts light energy and minerals to specialized cells.


    Thing is, no one suggests that free will decreases entropy in an open system. Free will decreases entropy in a closed system. Free will can't roll back the universe.

    So, your test: 'is a dog acting in concert or independent of its system' is not a valid test.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    They are not supernatural, of course.
    So?
     
  12. pluto2 Valued Senior Member

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  13. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    If something WILL, then that is determined. There is no such thing as free-will.
     
  14. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    If we discount "free will"since we have to negotiate so many contingencies at every single point of our existence ,can we replace the concept with "fulfilling our purpose"?

    At every stage we adapt to change and recalibrate our compass in the direction we have inherited from the previous instant of conscious and unconscious awareness.

    It feels like we are setting a conscious path forward but we are really just going with the changing flow.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You have begged the question.
    That is the conclusion; it can't also be an argument supporting the conclusion.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No. There is no objective purpose - unless you plan to drag some sort of god into it.
     
  17. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    I may have used the word "purpose" but I was thinking more of "completing our trajectory". We are set on a course ,and this course ,while set from day one is changed at every turn. Perhaps these changes (if we are conscious of them) lead us to imagine that we are responsible whereas we are just "moving with the times"

    So scratch "purpose";it could be "our program" although that is also too dry.

    We shoot an arrow and the arrow is thereafter set on its course (that is what I meant by its "purpose";I wouldn't be surprised if that was actually a very old-or perhaps even just an alternative- meaning of the word "purpose" ,but I don't know that)

    I certainly don't want to drag any external god into this. We have just one universe and we are an integral part of it (even if it is not impossible that we are the creation of some designer who would have almost certainly lost control of his creation -indeed be almost certainly dead itself by now)
     
  18. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    I thank the ones who feel that they have the most free-will tend to be those who pat them-selfs on the back for bein successful… eg… pulled them-selfs up by ther own bootstraps.!!!
     
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You are responsible for decisions you make based upon the content of your dreams ten hours ago, the memory of advice from your mother ten years ago, and the information you became consciously aware of ten minutes prior to deciding: T/F
     
  20. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    Alright Mr. Trebek, let me rephrase. How do either exhibit behavior at any level that can be termed as free?
     
  21. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Since some of those inputs cannot by ay stretch of the imagination be ascribed uniquely to "You " is not "responsible" qualified in such a way as to apply to some kind of free will-determinism hybrid?

    Maybe that is just stating the obvious....
     
  22. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    DT being a case in point .He does give "credit" to his father though you feel it is almost to praise him for having created him ..
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    More likely, from my pov, we need to pay better attention to what the determinants are in a less naive "determinism", and what that means in a world in which by assumption nothing involved in these decisions is supernatural.

    Among the determinants - the "causes" - of a sleeping dog's reaction to being kicked will be the content of whatever dream that dog is experiencing. Likewise regarding human decisions.

    The larger pattern, the dream, causes behavior. The neurons are merely substrate - they do not determine pattern. I don't think the implications of that are recognized by naive determinism.
     

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