# Fate vs. free will thread?

Originally posted by Iacchus32
Okay, here's the deal ... You have the intellectual or thinking aspect (left side of brain), which in and of itself is highly deterministic, and so constitutes form. And you have the emotional or feeling aspect (right side of brain), which in and of itself is highly volitile, and so constitutes essence.

So, what does this mean? So long as we keep our emotions in context with our thoughts -- and so exhibit "self control" -- we are at "liberty" to have a life and, from the standpoint of "free will," enjoy it.

Once again, it's all about the "functionality" of the mind as a whole.

This works fine in a "free will" paradigm, but even emotion would be predetermined in a "predestination" paradigm.

prizm
I just joined the board today so please forgive me if my point is a repeat of one already made...I read most posts on this topic but not all...

I beleive that predestinty and freewill do coexist.

There is one principle that comes to mind in arguing my support of the coexistence. It is the H. Uncertainty principle: "...the more you can define the position of a 'quantum' particle the less you can define its momentum and vice versa..."

But note that the reference here to defining the particle is an observer, NOT the particle. So the observer can only define the particle by an 'if' function. Example: If the particle has x momentum at this time we can only define an area of a probable position; or If the particle is at y position at this time, we can only define a range of its probable momentum.

Similarly we can say as the observer: IF I make x choice at this time we can only define at this time a probable future y result ; or IF I define at this time a future y result I could not at the same time determine the exact choice that would bring about y result in future.

One significant function here I believe is Time.

However, suppose the reference in the defining the particle is at 'the particle'. The particle could define its position and momentum simulateously. Similarly, in the analogy, if the choice and it's future result was being observed from a REFERENCE OF TIME then BOTH could be defined simultaneously also.

But I go further, if it were observed from the reference of time ALL CHOICES AND THERE CORRESPONDING RESULTS can be defined simultaneously and idependently. And so they coexist.

However man can only observe from present time where choices may be defined and results largley unknown, hence man is free to make choices but not define destiny.

This forms the basis (very simplified) of my argument in supporting that both choice and predestiny do coexist.

But not until man can observe existence from the reference of time that he will also be able to define his destiny... and so his destiny is predetermined and set since the begining of time, but he sure chooses how he will get there.

the truth is still out there, somewhere!

Welcome to the Physics Forums, prizm!

Originally posted by prizm
I just joined the board today so please forgive me if my point is a repeat of one already made...I read most posts on this topic but not all...

I beleive that predestinty and freewill do coexist.

There is one principle that comes to mind in arguing my support of the coexistence. It is the H. Uncertainty principle: "...the more you can define the position of a 'quantum' particle the less you can define its momentum and vice versa..."

But note that the reference here to defining the particle is an observer, NOT the particle. So the observer can only define the particle by an 'if' function. Example: If the particle has x momentum at this time we can only define an area of a probable position; or If the particle is at y position at this time, we can only define a range of its probable momentum.

Similarly we can say as the observer: IF I make x choice at this time we can only define at this time a probable future y result ; or IF I define at this time a future y result I could not at the same time determine the exact choice that would bring about y result in future.

One significant function here I believe is Time.

However, suppose the reference in the defining the particle is at 'the particle'. The particle could define its position and momentum simulateously. Similarly, in the analogy, if the choice and it's future result was being observed from a REFERENCE OF TIME then BOTH could be defined simultaneously also.

But I go further, if it were observed from the reference of time ALL CHOICES AND THERE CORRESPONDING RESULTS can be defined simultaneously and idependently. And so they coexist.

However man can only observe from present time where choices may be defined and results largley unknown, hence man is free to make choices but not define destiny.

This forms the basis (very simplified) of my argument in supporting that both choice and predestiny do coexist.

But not until man can observe existence from the reference of time that he will also be able to define his destiny... and so his destiny is predetermined and set since the begining of time, but he sure chooses how he will get there.

You speak of observing "from the reference of time". Could you expound on this, so that I can more clearly understand your meaning?

Also, I don't quite understand how you can apply the (well-written) point about the fact that the photon (were it conscious) could know both it's position and it's momentum, to the (more obscure) point of seeing "from the reference of time".

prizm
Thanks for the welcome

Just a little clarification.

The analogy I was trying to make between the two is this:

particle = time
momentum = choice
position = future result

Not because we cannot define the position of the particle if we have defined its momemtum does not mean that the particle does not have a postion (because it exists). In the same way not because we cannot define (accurately/absolutely predict) the future result of a choice does not mean the future result does not exist at some time...because the future result must happen hence it exists at the moment of the choice is made....therefore choice exists and it is predetermined.

Note that choice is also the future result of a previous choice and it goes to way back infinity....hence future result has been determined (predetermined)

It is a very long argument but I think this is the simplest that I can put it at this time, but of course, that was already predetermined.

Suppose a long road was time. but every inch on this road was a deep corner. driving on the road you could not see very far infront of you so you can not determine whats around the corner. You could see signs etc... but you cannot prove for sure whats around there until you get there. But around the corner is there and it exists. Thats our current frame of reference.

but suppose you went in a plane and observed the road from above, then you can determine what is around every corner. Hence if the road was time, you would see what happens at every moment in time. Thats what I mean by observing from the refence of time...kinda anyway...

So if you choose freewillingly to stop the car and i was observing the road (time) from above i would have seen that your choice was also predetermined...

I hope I have not confused myself further

hi everyone, I'm back

Not because we cannot define the position of the particle if we have defined its momemtum does not mean that the particle does not have a postion (because it exists).

prizm, specifically what Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states is that an unobserved particle does not have a position. It only takes on a position when light is shined upon it, and the certainty of the position/speed depends on the frequency of light.

but suppose you went in a plane and observed the road from above, then you can determine what is around every corner. Hence if the road was time, you would see what happens at every moment in time. Thats what I mean by observing from the refence of time...kinda anyway...

Assuming you could look at the road from above and would see your own fate, you would then have the choice to change it. For example if you saw that you were gonna get into a car accident and die the following day, you would choose not to go anywhere and stay at home. Thus life can't be predetermined.

Originally posted by C0mmie
hi everyone, I'm back

A belated WELCOME (I hadn't gotten back to this thread in some time).

Assuming you could look at the road from above and would see your own fate, you would then have the choice to change it. For example if you saw that you were gonna get into a car accident and die the following day, you would choose not to go anywhere and stay at home. Thus life can't be predetermined.

I beg to differ (since my position is that you cannot prove free will or predestination) since you could have been predestined to "look back", and believe that you are changing something.

There have been many SF stories of a person seeing that if he did something that he would die or someone else would; and, so he did something else which of course led to his or the other persons death anyway. The question was always raised that If the person hadn't known or hadn't changed his plans would he still have died.

Can we ever know one way or the other? If we could know would we want to? Knowing, would it change anything or could it change anything?

Referring back to Wu Li's posts and thoughts, I have found in my life that if somethng that I want to do or plan to do becomes very difficult or if I start having bad feelings about it; it is ussually wrong or "not meant to be." If I go ahead and force it to happen it turns out to be a mistake or not worth the effort and I end up paying for it somehow, paying the consequences of making a mistake. If things go easily and everything falls into place as if "it were meant to happen" then all is well and I reap the benifits or pleasures.

In short, to put it in a Zen way, if its hard your doing it wrong (or it is wrong to do it). If its easy then your doing it right (or it is right to do it). This goes along with going with the flow and limited "free" will. We have coices. If we make bad choices we pay the consequences. If we make good choices we reap the benitfits. If we are awake and in tune with our environment and reality then we usually will know or have feelings about whether a given choice is "right" or "wrong." Sometimes it doesn't matter either way.

Going with the flow means in this sense taking the easy, right, way, the path of least resistance.
That makes sense to me.

Originally posted by Royce
There have been many SF stories of a person seeing that if he did something that he would die or someone else would; and, so he did something else which of course led to his or the other persons death anyway. The question was always raised that If the person hadn't known or hadn't changed his plans would he still have died.

Can we ever know one way or the other? If we could know would we want to? Knowing, would it change anything or could it change anything?

The questions only arise in the "free will" paradigm. In the "predestination" paradigm they don't really make sense, since there is no such thing as "if".

Referring back to Wu Li's posts and thoughts, I have found in my life that if somethng that I want to do or plan to do becomes very difficult or if I start having bad feelings about it; it is ussually wrong or "not meant to be." If I go ahead and force it to happen it turns out to be a mistake or not worth the effort and I end up paying for it somehow, paying the consequences of making a mistake. If things go easily and everything falls into place as if "it were meant to happen" then all is well and I reap the benifits or pleasures.

In short, to put it in a Zen way, if its hard your doing it wrong (or it is wrong to do it). If its easy then your doing it right (or it is right to do it). This goes along with going with the flow and limited "free" will. We have coices. If we make bad choices we pay the consequences. If we make good choices we reap the benitfits. If we are awake and in tune with our environment and reality then we usually will know or have feelings about whether a given choice is "right" or "wrong." Sometimes it doesn't matter either way.

Interesting enough. However, this doesn't fit in the "predestination" paradigm. If your future is predetermined then there is no path of least resistance, there is only "the path". There are no other paths, and you cannot change the way you are doing things, unless you were predestined to do so.

It is rather unfortunate that we cannot prove or disprove either side.

Going with the flow means in this sense taking the easy, right, way, the path of least resistance.
That makes sense to me.

Well, sure, and that's a natural tendency. However, I would be careful of who I mention this philosophy to since it can be construed as an excuse for laziness.

Since when does Laziness need an excuse or justification? Did some one change the rules while I was napping? [zz)]

Actually, mentat, it is often harder to follow the path of least resistance than to go against the flow as paradoxical as that sounds.
We often want or think that we need something or to do something that is counter-flow or as often happens our pals are going counterflow and for us to do otherwise would be going against them. Believe it or not learning to know what the flow is, the path of least resistance, and to go with it takes a lot of self discipline and self awareness.

Originally posted by Royce
Since when does Laziness need an excuse or justification? Did some one change the rules while I was napping? [zz)]

Actually, mentat, it is often harder to follow the path of least resistance than to go against the flow as paradoxical as that sounds.
We often want or think that we need something or to do something that is counter-flow or as often happens our pals are going counterflow and for us to do otherwise would be going against them. Believe it or not learning to know what the flow is, the path of least resistance, and to go with it takes a lot of self discipline and self awareness.

I'm sorry, but the path of least resistance always has the least resistance. Sure, someone can mistake a path of greater resistance for the actual path of least resistance, but that is just an error on their part.

Predeterminism and free will shall always be at odds. One will never overtake the other one, and here's why.

For each situation presentend as free will, or as being able to introduce a change, predeterminism says "I knew about that change and figured it into the equation, so I still knew the outcome"
For every predetermined path that is chosen, free choices can be introduced that would change the path.

It's a viscious never-ending cycle of permutations that cannot be resolved. It's like an infinite number of perfectly played tic tac toe games that results in an infinite stalemate. Mentat's right, this puzzle has no real solution.

russ_watters
Mentor
Originally posted by Zantra
It's a viscious never-ending cycle of permutations that cannot be resolved.
Which is why I dropped out of the discussions. I made my point, I think you understood it and I think you understood mine. Not much left to say. Some philisophical discussions just come down to that - a difference in worldview.

It's a viscious never-ending cycle of permutations that cannot be resolved.

It is possible to resolve this. But cannot be solved soon. The answer lies in the question if our universe is by chance or created.
If by chance then free will is most likely to be the effect. If our universe is created then fate is most likely to be in effect.
There is also the middle of both conclusions. That the beginning and the end is predetermined and free will exist in the middle for it doesn't matter how messy the middle is the end result will be the same. Like a squirt gun, the beginning being the water in the squirt gun and the end is the water that evaporates. So it doesn't matter who you shoot or where you shoot the ending is ultimately the same.

Originally posted by Zantra
Predeterminism and free will shall always be at odds. One will never overtake the other one, and here's why.

For each situation presentend as free will, or as being able to introduce a change, predeterminism says "I knew about that change and figured it into the equation, so I still knew the outcome"
For every predetermined path that is chosen, free choices can be introduced that would change the path.

It's a viscious never-ending cycle of permutations that cannot be resolved. It's like an infinite number of perfectly played tic tac toe games that results in an infinite stalemate. Mentat's right, this puzzle has no real solution.

Listen to my man Zantra here, he knows these things .

Seriously, this is what I've been saying for quite some time (way back when I was 'bout your age, Zantra, in the old PF2 ), and I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who gets it.

Originally posted by THANOS
It is possible to resolve this. But cannot be solved soon. The answer lies in the question if our universe is by chance or created.
If by chance then free will is most likely to be the effect. If our universe is created then fate is most likely to be in effect.
There is also the middle of both conclusions. That the beginning and the end is predetermined and free will exist in the middle for it doesn't matter how messy the middle is the end result will be the same. Like a squirt gun, the beginning being the water in the squirt gun and the end is the water that evaporates. So it doesn't matter who you shoot or where you shoot the ending is ultimately the same.

Actually, THANOS, the question of whether our Universe came about by chance or was predestined is merely another incarnation of the exact same question: is reality predestined or does "free will" exist? It is as impossible to determine whether the Universe came about by chance or was predestined as it is to determine that of any other occurance.

As to the "middle ground" that you propose, I disagree. If you read Zantra's previous posts, you see that every factor about what we may choose to do (in the free will paradigm of course) must be discernable in order to predict the outcome; thus, if the end is predestined, then everything in between must also occur a certain way.

lets say that our beginning is only 2 things. Matter and Anti-matter now lets say its doesn't matter what this matter does. Because ultimately in the end the matter will end. It doesn't matter how long it takes to end for our universe has patience. Perhaps this way when the universe starts again it might not be a limbo. But then again this is one out of many possible infinite answers.
like the dirt that makes foundation it will ultimately go back into dirt.

of course this thread is about free will and fate so lets not go too deep in space.

Science only explains the behavior of the universe in which we live in, and attempts of deciphering human actions via mathematics have all failed.
There might be a simple way to see ourselves as predestined. For example if I drop a ball on the floor, there was a 100% chance of me dropping it because I did.

Nicholas I. Hosein
The following is an argument for partial determinism:

There is a marked difference between absolute freedom and a sense of freedom in the perceptual processing of reality in human beings. The existence of absolute freedom as opposed to the mere concept of freedom is as abstract as perfection in its ideal form. Perfection is the condition whose symmetry cannot be broken and which exists at the end of an infinite number of operations (e.g. PI at its infinith decimal place represents a perfect circle). Absolute freedom can only exist in the absence of choice because choice... can only exist within a system of constraint. That is because human beings make choices based on the interest of self or others for the most part. The act of making a decision is analogous to solving a problem and problems are solved by algorithms. Human beings run their list of choices through some mental construct that functions as an algorithmic basis for determination. The consequent freedom in the outcome of choice is based solely on maximizing utility or best interest. However, there exists an alternate standard measure by which to determine a choice based on two other properties - right and wrong which themselves, are the products of a more universal algorithm that is totally independent of oneself yet, exists within oneself. This algorithm implies a far higher level of complexity and hence intelligence.

The "BEST" choice is supposed to be the one that allows escape from a given system of constraints and hence, freedom. But, the choice itself is based on some kind of interest be it self or other. To give rise to absolute freedom an infinite number of operations need be taken. Whereas, on a finite or limited mental algorithm the outcome is but a sense of freedom. Since perfection is the condition of absolute freedom that would mean that absolute freedom from constraint can only exist at the end of an infinitely complex algorithmic proceedure. Thus, freedom is abstract and independent of the physical self. However, when one's choices are run through the universal algorithm a consequent solution it measured upon the inner conscience of oneself and worldly interests may be placed aside or not depending on whether one chooses right or wrong.

We are affected by fate, and we have free will.

Fate is simply the consequences we experience for the choices we make. We have the free will to decide how we will deal with the consequences that we are confronted with, and that will be our fate becuase we cannot control the consequences of our choices and the rules that apply to choices. The only way we are able to choose our fate is if we know the rules that will be applied in a given situation and the consequences of the choices we derive through our own imagination or predesposed beliefs that is better defined as instinct.

Look back on anything you've ever done when you felt you could have done something differently in the exact same situation. That would imply that two identical situations could have different outcomes, which would imply that the universe isn't deterministic. The only alternative to determinism is randomness. You still wouldn't have free will then, because in a random universe nothing could control anything (if true randomness can even exist, which I doubt).

No, the universe is still deterministic. Recognize that you're an acting force in a situation and you'll see what I mean. If you do something differently than before, then you changed the situation from the way it was when you made your initial decision. Thus, you have a different outcome. Your decisions aren't determined by the universe, and that's what free will is all about. You have the ability to determine your experiences by chosing from a predetermined set of consequences that you may or may not see in a given situation at a given time. And even then, you still have the ability to decide how you will deal with the outcome of your decision(s) as life goes on with or without you.

It's similar to this. In the game of poker, you can't choose the cards you're dealt, but you can choose the way you'll play those cards, and that will determine whether you'll win or lose. Again, your CHOICES are the determining factor, NOT YOU even though the choice was made by you.

There's a fine line between God and Man, and we can walk it any way we choose.

Sorry to tell you that we have no free will at all about our fate!

By some way and some how our life was programed (likes a very complex computer program) when we was born.

And there is two parts of our mind: Concious part and unconcious part, and that un- concious part (sixth scence) is the program, it controls every of your thoughts, your actions, your reactions, your words...., it knows everything that will be happened in our life time, and it controls every steps of our life to make sure these thing will happen as it was programed, it is our destiny.

That explains a lot of things that we observed in the course of our life, why some body do this, why another boby do that so they escaped the death or walk in the death by themseves etc...

It looks like we have the free will but actually that free will is the product of our un-concious part, the one we call our fate, our destiny.

So we just enjoy our life, it does not matter what our life turn out, just enjoy it as long as we still alive and thanks God for all the things He made for us, a human being.