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Author Topic:   free will
joz
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 37 (27898)
12-26-2002 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by forgiven
12-26-2002 9:27 AM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
do you see the problem here? the very fact of randomness (if it exists) doesn't negate casuality... whatever state one finds himself in seems contingent upon the state one *found* himself in immmediately prior... using randomness to explain our present state while denying the necessity of an immediately prior state seems somewhat misleading
Busy at the mo so I'll get the rest later....
That view would be fine if the those random events happened, disordered the system and then stopped and let purely deterministic forces take over, the problem is that the random interactions still occur so there will always be some random influence, in most real world systems statistical aproximations are very good at describing macroscopic effects and hence there is to a large extent causality in the macroscopic world, however other systems are chaotic and small fluctuations lead to increasingly unpredictable patterns...
But the point is that the disordering randomness of QM can`t be switched off to let classical physics etc take over.....

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 9:27 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 10:28 AM joz has replied
 Message 12 by Gzus, posted 12-26-2002 3:48 PM joz has replied

  
joz
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 37 (27912)
12-26-2002 11:52 AM


I'm getting a little hint of an idea that this is ultimately going to come down to how we define free will, I'm using a fairly open definition basicaly equivalent to not predetermined, Would you argue with that definition? I guess what I`m saying is that I reckon that QM chaos theory et al lead to situations where causality breaks down and that these situations give the impression of free will, which is an anthropisation of the indeterminant nature of certain aspects of our universe.....
I've got a feeling that we are going to have to do the whole define free will thing before we can go on....

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 12:32 PM joz has not replied

  
joz
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 37 (27930)
12-26-2002 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by forgiven
12-26-2002 10:28 AM


Right here we go...
Basically the way I see it if you have a complete set of starting conditions A you cannot predict that a set B will be next instead what you have is a set of solutions (B1,B2....Bn where n is a pretty darn tooting big number for any system much more complex than a couple of particles interacting)....
Because the interactions on the quantum level are essentialy random one cannot predict which of these possible Bx solutions will come to pass, so while the set of conditions A effects the set of possible solutions B it does not predetermine which of those outcomes will occur....
Obviously the more intervals ellapse between A and nX (the nth set of conditions) the harder it is to predict what nX will be as each of Bn leads to Cnm leads to Dnmp etc.....
So what does that make it?
[This message has been edited by joz, 12-26-2002]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 10:28 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 6:32 PM joz has not replied

  
joz
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 37 (27931)
12-26-2002 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by forgiven
12-26-2002 10:44 AM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
remember joz, i'm simply trying to understand some things... when you say (emphasis mine) "...on the quantum level their macroscopic effects can be described fairly well statistically..." did you in fact mean to use the word "effects" and if so does it presuppose a cause?
In that quantum events without causality per se have effects that we can observe (casimir effect etc) yes but thats an effect observed at the macroscopic level caused by an event on the quantum level...
Also "...on the quantum level their macroscopic effects can be described fairly well statistically..." has quite a different meaning than "because there are so many interactions on the quantum level their macroscopic effects can be described fairly well statistically..."
I appreciate that you were just quoteing an abreviated portion but it may be that you attributed to much significance to one part of the sentence without looking at the meaning of the whole thing....
quote:
on a deeper level it appears to my untrained eye that if chaos theory grants the necessity of changes in conditions for "certain systems," and if these conditions themselves are necessary for whatever state of affairs obtains at the time, there is far less chaos in the theory than one would be led to believe
Yep two identical chaotic systems with identical starting conditions and no random factors will develop in the same way, however as soon as the system contains some random elements the two will diverge fairly quickly, QM provides just such a random element...
[This message has been edited by joz, 12-26-2002]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 10:44 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 6:52 PM joz has not replied

  
joz
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 37 (27933)
12-26-2002 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Gzus
12-26-2002 3:48 PM


See this is where I think it gets interesting, it is possible for a system (lets say a whole lot of neurons with a particular set of synapses under a particular stimulus) to have prefered outcomes, thus if one of us were to fall and gash our knee we might say "Jesus H christ" or "dammit" or even in an extreme situation "F@#!" we are not very likely to yell out "yippee", "woohooo" or the like even though we could, basically could you explain why you chose one of the likely utterences over all others? I can understand that F'given may avoid using the lords name in vain, but can you explain the one choice over all others?
So I don`t think we really do choose I think that free will is an anthropisation of a matrix of biased yet random inputs/outputs which is our brain.....
Comments...
[This message has been edited by joz, 12-26-2002]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Gzus, posted 12-26-2002 3:48 PM Gzus has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 6:59 PM joz has replied
 Message 26 by gene90, posted 01-01-2003 6:29 PM joz has not replied

  
joz
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 37 (27955)
12-27-2002 1:00 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by forgiven
12-26-2002 6:59 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
ok, i'll buy that you think that for the reasons you say... in another thread you'd said free will can't exist if God exists, and now you appear to be saying free will can't exist if he doesn't exist... therefore, free will can't exist period... all is determined, whether we describe it as cause/effect or randomness... in the end they're just words used to describe our utter lack of knowledge of how the universe "works"
Thats sort of what I was getting at back in the post where I raised the question of how you define free will, under your definition I would have to say there isn`t any as your definition (correct me if I get this wrong) relies on our thoughts not having a material source....
Under my definition "free will" does exsist, its the anthropisation of the inherrant unpredictability of our world due to QM and chaos theory...
The point is in my view random/uncaused events don`t merely affect the thoughts they are part of the thinking process, thus thoughts having random/uncaused components are not determined by the starting conditions though they may be biased toward certain outcomes by the pattern of synapses/stimuli encountered by the individual...
While our understanding of physics may improve into the future the fact is that QM, chaos etc are very good descriptive tools, IMHO it isn`t that we see things as random/uncaused because of any serious lack in our science but because it is actually random/uncaused, sure the models may need some tweaking but they are as models go pretty damm good...
quote:
will you admit that the christian worldview, even with all the problems you think it contains, is at least internally consistent? if i can show that your worldview must embrace nihilism, and if i can further show that nihilism is inherently irrational, will you admit that my worldview should be looked at closer? that it might be superior to the one you currently embrace?
I'm willing to grant that those who believe in the xtian paradigm honestly feel that it is internally consistent, however I can`t see the 2 (free will and an omniscient god) as anything but contradictory (for the reasons I gave earlier, omniscient god = predetermination etc)...
And certainly you should feel free to explain why nihilism should be the logical outcome of the paradigm I subscribe to, but I think that you`ll have an uphill battle...
1)Because I`m pretty sure that you can explain the lack of nihilism in my world view by reference to altruistic genes (man evolved as a social animal afterall)....
2)Because I have some pretty strong empirical evidence to the contrary sitting behind this keyboard....
3)What is to say that nihilism isn`t the way forward? Sure its antisocial but if its a choice between the consequences of a paradigm you feel has merit and switching to a paradigm that contains percieved inconsistencies which is preferable? (not a big concern for me this one as I`m quite sure that my paradigm doesn`t have to lead to nihilism)...
Don`t take those 3 as a "don`t bother to post you can't change my mind" I would like to discuss this and see what turns up, it will certainly be different from the usual "repent or burn in hell" attempts at proselytisation, I'm just warning you up front that its probably going to be a long and fruitless undertaking (though I feel it may be worthwhile just for what the discussion reveals in terms of figuring out quite where each other is coming from).....

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by forgiven, posted 12-26-2002 6:59 PM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by forgiven, posted 12-27-2002 8:22 PM joz has not replied
 Message 34 by Mike Holland, posted 03-11-2003 8:07 PM joz has not replied

  
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