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Free Will Deductively Ruled Out?

  1. May 20, 2003 #1
    Let me start here... There are two known variables which fabricate a persons behavior. One being genetics, the other being enviroment...

    it does not matter the proportion of each. the only thing that matters is that they are unchangebable by the person under the influence of these two variables...

    So, we have two known variables that constitute a person... and both are unmanipulative by the person under the influence... (Think about it)

    So I now ask, where is the free will in every decision that you make in your lifetime has been based on random and uncontrollable happenings in the past...

    But you say that to a certain extent my theory works, but inevitably these 2 variables do not decide our whole life.

    I ask, why do not these 2 variables extend to every crevice of our minds and bodies? what explanations do you have behind your judgement?

    and secondly, if we do somehow differ and we are able to make our own decisions, how do our brains differ from any other physical object? physical objects are completely dependent and consequently evolve with change... what factors make our brain any different? None that i know of... So in saying that, are brain, the control center for all thought, is totally dependent upon outside forces acting upon it, and consequently changes in response to these outside forces.

    So, i shall return to my thesis by saying that we are completely controlled by outside forces and are at the mercy of random happenings from our past which constitue the decisions we make in the present...

    So now we can conclude that through scientific decuction, free will is not existant...

    Anything contrary to this is pure speculation...

    I am not proving anything here... The only thing i am showing you is that there are 2 sides here; One of those sides is backed up by scientific deduction, The other, purely speculatory...

    Any questions?
    Last edited: May 20, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2003 #2
    You're concept is on the Biological level, sound.

    I do believe that I have created a theory that, on the level of physics, proves not only that their is no free will, but the greater claim is that the entire course of EVERYTHING in a given universe (as a closed system) is absolutely predetermined.

    I have never shared this theory with anyone. Partly because I didn't have anyone to talk about it with, and partly (without sounding insane) because I feel it's something someone might steal from me.

    If there are any physics gurus here, I wish to talk about it safely. Any offers?

    Anyhow - based on the evidence you have provided, and on my professional knowledge of Biology, I would say define free will. And then I'll tell you if we have it! But I mostly agree with you.
  4. May 20, 2003 #3
    Well to go further into my deduction we must turn to physics...

    Although i have expressed our 2 known variables,i do believe that another variable is in the equation. This variable, which may be mistaken for a supernatural or godlike force is more probably the force of quantum mechanics... So now we have our 2 random variables rooted and dependent upon the uncertainty principal. The uncertainty principal of quantum mechanics may fill the void Athiesm has left in understanding our 'everything'. This final piece of the 'explanation to everything' puzzle may one day shape our thought.

    Is this in anyway along the lines of your theory athiest?
  5. May 20, 2003 #4
    I am unsure totally of what you mean. However know, it's not anything along my theory at all.

    I'm gonna speak with whoever responds and is knowledgable. Perhaps I'll post it. But I don't need random people posting spams. I just want to know why my theory is wrong, if it is. Because it's extremely simplistic.
  6. May 20, 2003 #5
    Well, current theory suggests that there is a certain amount of complete randomness in the universe, so there is space for free will. Whther it exists or not, though, is irrelevant, because it certainly APPEARS to exist, which is close enough for gov't work!
  7. May 20, 2003 #6
    Zero, what is the area of study or theories which involve this randomness?
  8. May 20, 2003 #7
    Its quantum stuff...*grins*, don't ask me, bub, I just know it exists, more or less.
  9. May 20, 2003 #8
    I'd have to agree. The current theories are all revolving around "magical" pantheistic ideas. One is all and all is one, whatever. Note that the essential statement of quantum mechanics is as fluffy and uncertain as they come, but the results of the equations are as exacting as they come. Two steps forward, one step backwards.
  10. May 20, 2003 #9
    QM is something I'll surely be getting into. Along the way. Since I am schooled in Biology, and I doubt I'll like chemistry much, I think I'll learn physics more (now that I've completed my one year intro) on my own.
  11. May 20, 2003 #10
    he is referring to the uncertainty principal athiest...

    anyways, to an extent my theory is completely useless but in a different sense. You could say that my theory is not applicable to our life because by nature we will not accept this logic truly and sincerely fact. Just as athiest believes in no god or afterlife, he cannot possibly sincerely accept this to be fact (conciously or not) because to believe in life inevitably transformed into eternal abyss at death is to prove life pointless. his mind will not accept this logic because his mind will not allow logic to interupt progress. So my thesis here is that blood deems this hypothesis inevitably useless..
  12. May 20, 2003 #11
    Ummmm...again, it doesn't matter, because whether or not things are determined, we cannot know which way they will go, and they certainly appear random enough to accept the premise of free will as being useful, if not 'true'.
  13. May 21, 2003 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Greetings !
    These "variables" are merely statistical
    approximations of physical laws in action.
    The whole science of biology is just that too.

    As for the question posed in this thread's name:
    My answer would be: Yes, it appears to be so.
    Of course, you have to understand that "duductivly
    ruled out" is only a probablistic(like everything
    else in the Universe) term refering to deductions
    connected to current reasoning systems in turn
    connected to observation. You see, "free will"
    implies lack of laws, at least according to
    the reasoning systems science currently recognizes.

    As for QM, stop using it as some sort of
    magic wand for any belief starting from God
    and "down to" free-will. This is pathetic.

    Live long and prosper.
  14. May 21, 2003 #13
    You're starting from an assumption. You assume that free will/choice is not one of the deciding factors.
  15. May 21, 2003 #14
    Drag - QuantumCarl is indeed pathetic, I agree. He should be disallowed from using such a name.

    Adam - He's not making any assumption. He displayed the two known factors in behavior. Free-Will is not a known factor, mainly because it doesn't exist at all.
  16. May 21, 2003 #15
    Again, you make an assumption, that free will does not exist. The other two factors, nature and nurture, are proven to exist and to influence us, but I doubt very much that anyone has proven definitively that one or the other has a certain, specific percentage of control over our development.
  17. May 21, 2003 #16
    Adam - it's you who's making an assumption.

    As I said, he's speaking of the two factos which influence behavior. You're given credibility to a completely randomly chosen claim. Think of all the millions of possible conceptual ideas of things that could affect behavior.

    What if said that elves in our heads, control slight changes in perceptions of environment, thus affecting our behavior.

    Would one even waste the time of considering such a claim? I should hope not.

    Likewise, the idea that there is some kind of magical ability to surpase all physics and logic, and that out of nowhere comes some intertia for some behavior which is truly some kind of randomness in the universe, is just as obsurd.

    I certainly would give it no thought whatsoever.

    Making an assumption of either of these is barely making an assumption at all. So concluding, sure it's an assumption, but come one, some level of assumptions must be made; otherwise there'd be an infinite amount of possibilities in any of the infinite amount of places to put these infinite amount of possibilities.
  18. May 21, 2003 #17
    My thoughts run very close to those of LogicalAtheist. I have posted several messages on the old version of Physics Forum questioning the supposed violation of cause and effect (~determinism) in most of the currently accepted theories about subatomic behavior (~QM).

    I learned through these discussions that while there is dissention coming from some quarters (which gives me some hope that determinism holds truly everywhere, as I have believed for 35 years now) the majority (vast majority ?) of physicists are convinced that true randomness - which I take as meaning "uncaused" - exists at the quantal level. Furthermore, and additionally disturbing, this randomness is believed to have effects at the macroscopic level as well.

    So my question to LogicalAtheist is: How can (we) you rail so confidently against randomness (~current, accepted QM theory) when so many professional, exceedingly bright, students of physics are convinced otherwise? I myself have to admit that I just will never understand their full. mathematically rigorous and esoteric arguments.
    My only hope is that another, deterministic, theory gains widespread acceptace soon. I am not getting any younger.
  19. May 21, 2003 #18
    Because given the understanding that QM and GR disagree, it's therefore (at its current state) not a very reliable concept is it?

    From that, I choose to say that neither of them could produce such a result as to say "randomness exists". Sure they could produce a number value which could be correct up to some point. But to prove the falsitiy or truth to a claim, I won't accept that from a theory that science agress has some flaw in its compatibility.

    That's why. Hope that makes sense?

    In other words, I suppose the "answer", being string theory and unified theory, will probably clean up the problems with QM and GR and also show they're isn't such randomness.

    That is my reasoning there. I do not accept the claim that randomness is existant. Despite the fact that my theory I have yet to post here states that in fact the entire course of the "universe" is indeed predetermined (and no one has yet to show me my error) I don't find that grim.

    It's not like it means I can see the future. Furthermore, a solid theory that randomness is existant, using a formula, would also be nice.

  20. May 21, 2003 #19
    Actually, they are both very reliable in their own fields (the very large and very small respectively), and they may (soon) be unified by a Theory of Everything. But, that's a subject for another thread, I guess.

    As far as Free Will goes, I agree with Zero. As I've said before, it cannot be proven or disproven.

    Let's say that I believe in Free Will (merely for the purpose of argument). Then let's say that I try to prove that I have Free Will. However, every attempt that I make at proving Free Will could just be a part of my predestined future, and is thus entirely useless.

    Now, lets say that I believe in predestination (merely for the purpose of argument). Then let's say that I try to prove that my future is predestined. However, every attempt that I make to prove predestination could be the result of a Free choice.

    Thus, it cannot be proven, and it wont affect our lives at all (since we can still try to do all of the things that we would "like to do", without ever being able to tell whether it's predestined or up to Free Will).
  21. May 21, 2003 #20


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I don't know if this is supposed to
    be a joke or a serious statement, but I
    DO seriously advise you to get a grip
    on yourself. The fact that some of your
    opinions (certainly not all) are included
    amongst the mainstream opinions of many on PF
    does not give you the right to speak that way
    to other members. After all, recpect is a
    must for a scientist so he could appreciate
    all opinions appropriately and without bias.

    Peace and long life.
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