Is free will possible in a deterministic universe?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Sarkus, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    BINGO. Faint chance troll but that bar would be a bar to high

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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I am sure I can find a copy and paste for you from the many previously posted explanations... I'll get to it shortly...lol
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    cool!
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Yep.
    So? That has nothing to do with freedom
    - unless the freedom requires defiance of that deterministic setup. But you say you are not assuming such supernatural characteristics of freedom -
    so your post there has nothing to do with freedom.
    It forbids perfect knowledge from yielding perfect prediction, regardless of the determined nature of the future. You can't predict the future by knowing all about the past and present.

    And pointing that out illustrates its irrelevance here. You keep posting that meaningless digression as if it were relevant somehow - I think you still believe it is.
    The words "genuine" and "counterfactual" once again substituted for "supernatural". There's no mystery about that.
    The driver approaches the light - - - - (notice: not imagining anything; in full possession of the ordinary capabilities from which the driver will - in the future - choose.).
    Give it a try - it's not too late. Avoid backwards causality (the future color of the light has no effect whatsoever on the physical reality present). Avoid weasel words that prevent clear reasoning - such as "genuine". And describe the driver's capabilities at that moment.
     
  8. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Is this a case of, when looking backwards, you make a determination, I could have ?(when in reality you didn't) because the falling deterministic dominoes determined you wouldn't

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  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Of course not. The opposite is clearly and explicitly stated - no backwards causality. The future hasn't happened yet, and cannot be the cause of anything.

    Here's the quote, if it's too much work for you to read entire posts:
    Do at least try to pay attention, eh? The driver approaches the light - - - -
     
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    (Baldeee and Capracus )
    In support of your point:

    when I was 18 I paid a driving instructor to teach me how to drive and empowered me with the skills necessary to make a choice when confronted with a red, amber or green light.
    Now after 40 years i still have that ability I learned to choose between Go or Stop. Each time I am confronted with the choice I am able to act counter intuitively and do what I please.
    But I did have to learn this, as I wasn't born with it.

    It really is that simple! A learned ability to choose that you keep whether you are driving a car or not.
    Just another ability stored in the tool box you have all your functional life.
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, the question if one could have done otherwise given the same conditions is a key question.
    http://www.naturalism.org/philosophy/free-will/could-you-have-done-otherwise
     
  12. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom has no place in a deterministic system. There is no reason to be talking about freedom of any kind in a deterministic system, so why keep doing so?
    Math does no such thing. How do think physicists go about mathematically describing any number of hypothetical universal states? Anything can be mathematically modeled, it doesn’t necessarily make it true or false, it just allows for a useful model that can be manipulated for the purpose of examination.

    In a deterministic system the past determines the present, and the present determines the future, so knowing everything about the past and present will most definitely allow for the prediction of the future.
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Theoretically all mathematics involved could be known but the sheer number of mathematics involved may prevent us from knowing all the maths involved.

    Cause and effect are not simple mathematical conditions resolving into another condition. There may be trillions of causal conditions present. To know them all may be impossible. Consider events at a cosmic scale.....

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    Why is it that "spiral galaxies" form in accordance to the "Fibonacci Sequence? It's a mathematical constant, but if we look at individual parts of a spiral galaxy, the formation of the sequence depends on the values of individual "star systems within the galaxy".

    They are deterministic but we can't really even begin to calculate all the maths involved. Which is what makes the future a probabilistic event to us. It's the best we can do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  14. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    I am agreeing with you

    Read my post clearly

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  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    NO

    No prediction of the future except for a few seconds

    You do not know of the future dominoes waiting to be toppled

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  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, but .............

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  17. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    But the issue isn’t what we can predict, it’s what could be ideally predicted given complete knowledge and the ability to wield it. Of course we will never be qualified to accomplish such a task, that's why like most universal mathematical constructs, such a proposition will always remain hypothetical.
    If the deterministic system is represented entirely by dominos, then since the implicit order of the entire system is already determined, the action of the first domino will determined the action of all of the succeeding dominos. From that first domino, and every one in succession, there will only be one determined chain of events, and they can be predictively mapped with full knowledge of the system from any point along the chain. In such a system, knowing the action of the first domino will tell you the action of the last, and everyone in between.
     
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  18. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Because their version of "freedom" is compatible with the deterministic universe.
    It doesn't rely on genuine alternatives, but is instead merely described by the range of possible outputs if one varies the inputs.
    The key (from our pov) is all in the "if".
    If you vary the input and get no change in output, there is no "freedom" in the system, etc.
    And therein lies a compatibilist "freedom".
    However, from our pov, since there is no ability to vary the input from what has already been predetermined, there is no freedom in the output.
    He has made the claim numerous times as if it is fact, and each time he has been asked to support it he has simply ignored that request.
    Yes.
    There is no uncertainty within a deterministic reality, only in one's subjective knowledge of that reality, leading to a subjective inability to predict.
    But with perfect knowledge (current state and laws) comes perfect predictability.
     
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  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Once again you post the supernatural assumption, which you deny making.
    I once again note that the supernatural assumption is crippling - it screws up the thinking of everyone who makes it, badly.
    And you have lots of company:
    You keep repeating that assumption. You seem unable to extricate yourself from it - you even deny observed reality in its defense. You have never - not once - considered the degrees of freedom we observe in human decision making and willful action - despite being provided with a simple and illustrative example you could use at any time (driver approaching light).
    Something to ponder: Why is it that you guys have never - not once - considered that obvious, simple, and clearly illustrative example of human decision making capabilities as posted?
    By using equations whose solutions can only be approximate - a theoretical fact the mathematicians have proved.
    I have repeatedly provided both link and arguments of various kinds - the most obvious one (not the only one) being that fifth degree equations have in general no exact solutions, most integrals cannot be solved for exact solutions, and so forth - all of which I have pointed out in this context more than five times, directly to you.
    That is false. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_theory
    You can't solve the equations. In theory, you can't. You have to be able to solve the equations describing the perfect knowledge of current state and law (itself theoretically impossible, but never mind) to predict perfectly, and you cannot do it. Mathematicians proved that long ago - as did physicists in their way (chaos, Heisenberg uncertainty, quantum effects, etc).

    But that's not even relevant. That's a digression, missing the central issue, which is this:

    Nonsupernatural freedom does not depend on doing other than has been determined.

    Only supernatural freedom is excluded by deterministic natural law or universal structure. To exclude nonsupernatural degrees of freedom from relevance or existence you would need another, different, more careful argument.

    And so we are brought to the edge of an actual argument over freedom of will, via an illustrative example which I have deliberately kept simple and easily comprehended - any time you want to give it a try.
     
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Unless you have a computer the size of the universe.....

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  21. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Problem

    You cannot see the last dominoes

    You might might might barely from the NOW moment see a few moments ahead and, perhaps from educated guesses, based on previous experiences, a bit further

    The further ahead you try to predict means you are further from your initial prediction starting point and less able to know what new dominoes are being added

    If the Universe was sentient it should be able to make the end prediction, but I would even doubtful about that

    The uncertainty about the future does not mean it has not been determined, just that it is not knowable

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  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    The only party present that has perfect knowledge (down to quantum) is the universe. The problem is that the universe has no need to know about the future. It creates a mathematical "implicate" which always precedes actual events.

    David Bohm, one of the few pure determinists, explained this in his theory of Bohmian Mechanics in his book "Wholeness and the Implicate order"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicate_and_explicate_order

    http://gci.org.uk/Documents/DavidBohm-WholenessAndTheImplicateOrder.pdf
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  23. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Because it hasn't been assumed, it has been concluded.
    Your inability to notice the difference is what is crippling.
    Blah blah blah.
    You continue with this "illustrative" example despite being provided with rebuttals as to why it isn't.
    Do you really not have anything else?
    You have "pointed out" (i.e. made the claim) but not linked to anything that supports.
    Only now do you (or maybe I have genuinely missed it previously?), and in doing so you show your miscomprehension of what you claim:
    Maybe you should actually read the Wiki article you linked to, because beyond what you imaging the headline to be, it is quite informative.
    No, that's not true, and you only need to read the Wiki article you have linked to understand this.
    Let me highlight:
    "The theorem does not assert that some higher-degree polynomial equations have no solution. In fact, the opposite is true: every non-constant polynomial equation in one unknown, with real or complex coefficients, has at least one complex number as a solution (and thus, by polynomial division, as many complex roots as its degree, counting repeated roots); this is the fundamental theorem of algebra. These solutions can be computed to any desired degree of accuracy using numerical methods such as the Newton–Raphson method or the Laguerre method, and in this way they are not different from solutions to polynomial equations of second, third, or fourth degree. It also does not assert that no higher-degree polynomial equations can be solved in radicals: the equation x n − 1 = 0 {\displaystyle x^{n}-1=0}

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    can be solved in radicals for every positive integer n {\displaystyle n}

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    , for example. The theorem only shows that there is no general solution in radicals that applies to all equations of a given degree greater than 4.
    "
    Do you know the difference between a general solution and a numerical solution?
    Do you know what a "solution in radicals" means?
    It seems not from what you have written thus far.
     

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