Is Everything Predetermined?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Reiku, Sep 23, 2007.

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  1. Reiku Banned Banned

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    'Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end,
    by forces over which we have no control. It is determined
    for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune,
    intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.'

    Albert Einstein.

    Is everything determined by some unseen force?
    Well, let us consider for a moment free-will and choice. Is there such a thing as free-will or random choice? We would think so wouldn't we? I mean, whenever i decide to make a cup of coffee or spark a cigarette, are they not my own choices? If they aren't, it certainly doesn't feel like i am 'dancing to some pipers tune', as Einstein once put it. No, it feels like i am dancing to my own...
    Whenever i wake up... is that not random? Whenever i feel or act on the spur of the moment... is that not certainly random? Whenever a single drop of rain falls on my head, out of the countless droplets from the sky... again, is that not random? If we closed our eyes and manically punched buttons on the phone... is that not random?
    All these things, these seemingly sudden acts seem quite random; but that may not be all there inexorably is to it. We are taught that anything observable everyday, that is macroevents, like the cat walking by my window, is made up of tiny particles and we never really think twice about it. Somehow, the Macroevent is a single statistic, made up of many other statistics - but these countless Microsystems are normally never taken into account. Thus, if i see that cat walking by, i would normally think that it was in control of what it was doing; i wouldn't think that every movement is determined for it some how by the coherence of its molecular structure.
    But, and here is the rub, what controls the atoms and molecules? Who assigns these probabilities so that the cat can have mobility? Likewise, who assigns the probability to any make-up of life and reality, the mobile and immobile? Do atoms randomly join because a suitable partner comes along, or is there importance about the particles and their positions and their locations, even though out of it can only arise uncertainty for ourselves?
    Perhaps. We plod through life, and we are aware of some extraordinary things. There are certain laws that function matter at the macro-level and that do not hold when down at the micro-level. These laws have about them the categoristic natures of being, determinable. Some, fair enough, determinable at the expense of another - but, determinable nonetheless. And it is out of this determinism - this, apparent function that has written all over it the universal law that interests me. After all, if a piece of matter, for instance curves space, then there is a rule there, written, determined that allows it to do so, isn't there?
    However, the antipathy of all of this is that we are not sure whether or not that reality is determined by some higher field of force that whenever anything is done, is completely known by some God or simply written into space and time like a genetic code. Yet - here is the very argument. What is this force that permeates existence, allowing the rain to fall, the bees to hum, and the inevitable drive within all of life? Again, why do we even choose to do the things that we ever will do in one life time?
    If existence is all determined somehow, where is this knowledge coming from? A rather interesting theory has come from astrophysicist Fred Hoyle. He believes that it might be possible that in something like 100 tosses of a coin, there might be a hidden message encoded within the results. This information, according to Hoyle, is in fact coming from the future. Now, if this is true, is that how anything comes about with its seemingly ordered existences in the present? Hoyle believes so. He attributes this flow of knowledge from superintelligence in the future. We are, i admit supposed to take this seriously by physics - but it is not easy for the non-scientist sometimes. If information is coming from the future, seems to indicate that a future exists now, but to explain to people that the future exists right now is very hard for anyone to grasp.
    Indeed, if everything is written out before us, then it is possible that we can understand a grand unification of physics… Of course, this depends on whether the universe will allow us to unify it so simply next to its intense complexity.
    If everything is determined - with every outcome written somewhere before it transpires, then we should realize that all biological life, including ourselves are born with a certain amount of heartbeats, therefore, we should all try and make the most out of life...
    What do you think? Do you think we have free will, or do you think that free will aint so free?

    Reiku :m:
     
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  3. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    Yes we have free will. Same as a leaf blowing in the wind thinks to itself "I'll go this way, now I'll go that way".
     
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  5. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    No, we don't have free will. Everything we do, every choice we make, is influenced by what we've learned, what we've been taught, by social conventions and rules, and by our social surroundings.

    Only new-born babies have free will, after only a few minutes, they lose it.

    Baron Max
     
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  7. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Nope. Even the wind doesn't have free will ....it's affected by the temperature differentials between various land masses or bodies of water. The leaf damned sure ain't got free will.

    Free will is an idealistic concept ....never to be realized.

    Baron Max
     
  8. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    I think you're just saying that because you feel you should.
     
  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Saying we don't have free will because we are not omnipotent gods is absurd. Yes, we are influenced by our enviroment and education. But we choose how to respond.
     
  10. wanneszinnig God doesn't work 2day Registered Senior Member

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    Nope Mr Rousseau, we are not born with a tabula rasa if that is what you mean...even before we are born we are determinated..geneticaly wise...
    The person who we are is build up by both environment and genes. So not only enviroment determines who we are...
     
  11. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    If we don't have free will and its predetermined, how could anyone ever convict a criminal for things they have done?? Its not their fault if they had no control over it.
     
  12. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    Its not our fault if we convict him, its all pre-determined how many volts we put through him.
     
  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    We all pay a very high price for any freedom that we attain. We pay that price with our lives at the end.
     
  14. Reiku Banned Banned

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    All good idea's.
    The Baron said > ''No, we don't have free will. Everything we do, every choice we make, is influenced by what we've learned, what we've been taught, by social conventions and rules, and by our social surroundings.

    Only new-born babies have free will, after only a few minutes, they lose it.''

    > I'd have to agree that there is no free-will, but as wanneszinnig mentioned, ''tabula rasa'' - if my memory serves me well, means a clean slate, and from this analogy, a clean slate from birth doesn't seem to work, because we have a genetic memory coded within us all.
    Of course, more to this arises. Suppose we consider the Bohmian Interpretation here... all particles are on a set path... This must mean that all of nature is predetermined since big bang.

    Nickelodeon > ''Yes we have free will. Same as a leaf blowing in the wind thinks to itself "I'll go this way, now I'll go that way.''

    Yeh, it would seem we couldn't get anymore random than that, but as even the Baron said, these statistics are built up in heat, and other geological influences.
    Because of this, we tend to say that everything is built up on cause and effect: But there is a flaw with this trane of thought, as we can extrapolate back 15 billion years, right to the very last Chronon, and we find that absolutely nothing was responsible for big bang (of course, Ekpyrotic Theory attempts to answer big bang, but i'm not a fantastic fan of the theory).
    Free Will, i beleive, cannot be applied to things after big bang, because there is a stream of events that always preceeds something... that is... apart from the quantum level, where cause and effect break down.
    When it comes to living things, we need to detatch ourselves from the illusory of cause and effect. If we couldn't we would be mindless robots. Indeed, the only living organisms that we can definately say do not express free-will are creatures that don't express intelligence. Indeed, intelligence might be what causes ignorance... I know it is the cause of much of human ignorance.
    Reiku :m:
     
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    This is a false agrument even if there is no free will as "externalities" do strongly control what happens. For example, if blinded, you lose the ability to see sunsets no matter how much you will it. The potential criminal is detered by appropriate "externalities," like cops on duty, so society needs to have them, when effective.

    Note however, that said, one should not ASSUME capital punishment deters murder. Most of the evidence shows it does not. This because only a very few murders are plannned /thought about in advance/ in stead of "accidents" in a robbery gone wrong or in the "heat of pashon or argument", etc. The ineffectiness of capital punishment is best illustrated in records of England's old pratice of public hanging for pick pockets:

    A least on one cycle (in many I think, but only read details of one) the theaf who was being exicuted had committed his crime in the crowd gathered to watch the last pickpocket "swing." That pick pocket had also committed his crime in the crowd gathered to watch an even earlier pickpocted swing. - all this well documented in London's police records.

    The police usually kept a carful eye on activities in the the crow gazthered to watch hangings. This was an effective way to catch pickpockets. The chain of well documented "pickpocket hung for pickpocketing at pickpocket's hanging" would be much longer than 3 in a row, but the people hung for other crimes kept cutting the chain at 2 or 3 hangings!

    I am against capital punishement - to often death for only the poor and too often for the "wrong guy" and obviously not very much of a deterinant if hanging only promoted more of the same crimes as is true for the crime of pickpocketing - a completely non-emotional, well-planed crime, unlike most murders.
     
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  16. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    In answer to thread question - No. Quantum physis has indeterminate events in most cases with "clasical interactions."* This fact permits a sort of "random free will" illusion for people who are logical and understand that neural processes are controlled by chemisty and physics, but frankly the illusion of random free will was not atractive to me. (Not that I had any choice, but if I did, I would prefer to be a fully deterministic creature that evolution had very well developed to cope with my environment than a random acting one.) Like everyone else, I thought I had at least a little bit of "Genuine Free Will," GFW. (Sure seems like it, but GFW may be just a very universal human illusion.)

    The obvious incompatiability of GFW with physic and chemistry troubled me off and on for 30 years until finally I prohibited my self from wasting any more time thinking about it. - I put it in the class of "unknowables," like "Where did everything come from?"

    By accident, as result of my detailed investigation of how human vision functions, I stumbled on a way that GFW can be compatible with physics. (There is still one part weak in the discusion related to possible logic forms that can exist, but I am not very knowlegable about logic structures especially self referencing declarative statements such as:
    "This sentence is false." for which no self consistent "truth value" can be defined despite being a very simple (four words only) declarative sentence.

    If you want to understand how it MAY be possible for GFW to exist (no proof that it does) read my long essay at:

    http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=1294496&postcount=52
    Begin to read at the bold text" Genuine Free Will is Possible

    I propose in that essay on GFW that We are an "information process," not governed by physical laws or rigid "truth value" logic statements of a complex "mental" program.

    If we are only a physical body /object and reject non-material "soul" "spirit" etc. suppliments (as I do) then GFW is inconsistent with physics.
    ------------------
    *quantum physics is 100% deterministc if there are no "classical interactions" (system evolution fully described by the Schrodenger equation for all future times with zero error/ uncertainity.)
     
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  17. Reiku Banned Banned

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    I read your essey. I'm not so sure i am quite willing to give up the notion of self in respect to a spirit or soul. I like the idea that there is an essense which is profoundly disconnected to the matter i inhabit. On just needs to look at the ultimate question. It may not be how mind arises from matter, but rather how matter arises from mind.
    Reiku :m:
     
  18. Roman Banned Banned

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    Of course we don't have free will. What ever gave you such a silly notion?
     
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for reading. Not many have, although I have won a few "converts" to my POV, which makes me a slightly gaining "crackpot" in the field of cognitive sciences, where 3D vision "emerges" from many succesive stages of neural computations/ data transformations is the orthodox POV.

    I am not calling on you in the essay or even suggesting that believers in "soul" or "spirit" are wrong. That POV just will not fit well with things I do believe, like physics. (I have Ph.D in Phyiscs, enjoyed being a professional student - so was "brain washed" for about a decade after my under graduate years.

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    For example, to be able to even slightly move a single electron in one of my nerves from the path physics lays out for it is impossible without a "violation of physics" (I.e. a miracle). Rather than believe in miracles, for which I have no evidence, I believe in physics for which I have many many successful tests that confirmed it.

    Perhaps why my favorate poem is Invictus.

    BTW "matter arise from mind" is sort of the POV Bishop Berekley advanced with perfectly self consistent logic. i.e that POV can not be shown to be false. Exactly his POV if matter does not exist. (and no-one can prove beyound all doubt that matter does exist.) I especially like the good bishop's thinking on why without matter the laws of physics exist. (Quickly answer is: without very high probablity of "physics regularity" then miracles could not exist, even for God. From this POV, miracles necessitate physics, so in some sense do not violate but cause it!)
     
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  20. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Ignorance blesses you with free-will, while you can't see beyond your observational horizon line then you have no clue as to just how predetermined everything is. If of course you could take a Universal observation perspective, then you'd look at how everything is predefined and predetermined. Even if a paradox exists, it will still have multiple predetermined answers.

    As for 'Free-Will' in society, well there have been many discussion points and arguments before, our freedoms are rarely our own as in social circles we try to be 'acceptable' and this means doing what society wants above what you want.
     
  21. Yorda Registered Senior Member

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    Free will and predetermination...

    Just like with every other pair of opposites... they appear to be different, but they are the same thing. So you can view the world as if it is predetermined or that you have free will. There is no right or wrong here, so pick a belief depending on how useful it is and how good it feels. And you don't have to have the same belief in every situation. You can believe in God in one situation, and be an atheist in another.
     
  22. Reiku Banned Banned

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    Billy T

    ''Thanks for reading. Not many have, although I have won a few "converts" to my POV, which makes me a slightly gaining "crackpot" in the field of cognitive sciences, where 3D vision "emerges" from many succesive stages of neural computations/ data transformations is the orthodox POV.''

    > Well, that's cool. I don't mind reading up on any physics... Just so long as it is digestable. I've spent many hours (as i am sure you will have), on the phenomenon of consciousness. Your theory on three-dimensional perception is one of many now. It seems to be a growing concerning in physics.
    I decided to answer the question by applying Penrose's rule of a brain following superpositional rules. Perhaps somehow the mind is able to ''find'' or perhaps for a better use of a word ''create'' the third dimension as a by-product of a superpositional mind? Who knows eh?

    more specifically - "crackpot" in the field of cognitive sciences''

    > Oh that is good. We shall have many intuitive discussions then.

    ''(I have Ph.D in Phyiscs, enjoyed being a professional student - so was "brain washed" for about a decade after my under graduate years.)''

    > I went to college years ago to study physics... never set it out unfortunately. All my interests where there - it was just very hectic. Now I write on physics. And i'm thouroughly enjoying it so... all's well that end's well i suppose.

    ''Perhaps why my favorate poem is Invictus''

    >

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  23. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    No, we don't. We're influenced by what we know ...thus our actions on any one issue, at any one time, is not free ...it's influenced. If we're influenced in any way, then it's not "free", it's something else.

    Even if, for example, we know that something is dangerous, or illegal, and we still decide to do it, we've made a conscious decision based on that knowledge.

    And that's not even counting the lack of freedom due to constraints of our society, family and friends ....which makes it even less "free".

    Again, "Free will" is philosophical concept, not an actual reality for us.

    Baron Max
     
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