Free Will?

  • Thread starter Charlie G
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  • #26
just thought I'd chime in. I always wondered about this and it always seemed to come down to God existing in some form compatible with physics and somehow allowing freewill ( maybe he's the presence of uncertainty in quantum mechanics, but i really dont know about QFT to make any assumptions), or its a completley deterministic universe. The second requires no thought beyond that, if its deterministic than no further questions need to be asked because they really in essence dont matter. but the first assumption then always made me think if there is a god why? what purpose would he have to either exist and make us exist as we do. In short what's the meaning of life? Whenever i think about this i always wonder if DNA's Hitchhicker's guide to the Galaxy was correct. Maybe asking what the meaning of life is the wrong question to ask and itll always be some ambigious strange answer like 42, which makes me think back to the original question maybe what we are asking is to simple and therefore the wrong question to ask maybe its something more complicated than "do we have free will" which results in unsatisfactory answers because there really is no answer to it, maybe what we veiw as free will is just some by product of something greater and whose existence causes us to observe things as both free and pre determined. (im really bad at trying to explain what im saying so maybe that just made no sense but i hope it did). ill try to think of a better way to say it and maybe re post later.
 
  • #27
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skippy1729 said:
If physics is deterministic is no free will. Standard quantum mechanics is non-deterministic. Some physicists don't like non-determinism so they have proposed alternate theories, "hidden variables", One of the most popular is the Bohm-deBroglie theory. It makes the same experimental predictions as standard QM but has particles moving on UNOBSERVABLE deterministic paths. As far as I know, their biggest problem is that they have not been able to come up with a version compatible with Special Relativity despite more than 50 years of effort. Other physicists think standard QM is fine and try to prove by experiment that "hidden variables" are impossible using the Bell inequalities. The "hidden variable" people find "loopholes" in the experiments and the experimenters try to plug the "loopholes". This has been going back and forth for 30 years or so. A more recent "thought experiment" has been proposed by John Horton Conway and Simon Kochen, "The Strong Free Will Theorem", in the Notices of the AMS Vol 56 No 2, 226-232 also available at http://arxiv.org/abs/0807.3286. What they prove is that if experimenters can "freely choose" which variation of an experiment to perform then the particle can "freely choose" how to respond. By "freely choose" they mean that it is not determined by the entire past history of the universe. The alternative is that the experimenters choice and the particles response were predetermined by the initial conditions of the "big bang" AND the particles response was predetermined to give a result consistent with the experimenters setup (13 billion years later)! This has been called by some a conspiracy theory of the universe. Of course, the "hidden variable" people and Conway have been disputing the theorems validity for several years as it would put an end to all "hidden variable" theories. The bottom line is that it is not universally agreed whether physics is deterministic or not. However...

1. If quantum mechanics is the correct fundamental physical theory;

2. and if quantum mechanics is non-deterministic;

THEN physics is compatible with free will but does not prove it.

The "random" (nondeterministic) features of QM would have no physical cause. The only two alternatives would be that the randomness is just that: a fundamental property of the physical universe; or they could be influenced or controlled (in whole or in part) by a non-physical entity. In the first case we would have Materialism and in the second Dualism. Belief in either one is a matter of choice (free choice? or determined choice?).

PS To try to be complete I should mention that the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics is immune from everything I have said. It is rigidly deterministic and has no room for free will.

Cheers, Skippy

Free will is likely another emergent property of the universe that we live in, whether it's objectively existing or mathematical/computer simulated/ in essence. As such, free will can exist in both a deterministic and in a random universe. How free will emerges and what lies behind it is anybody's guess.
 
  • #28
skippy1729
Free will is likely another emergent property of the universe that we live in, whether it's objectively existing or mathematical/computer simulated/ in essence. As such, free will can exist in both a deterministic and in a random universe. How free will emerges and what lies behind it is anybody's guess.
Free will cannot "emerge" from a deterministic universe. Perhaps the illusion of free will. A computer program can generate pseudo-random numbers but not real random numbers. Ask any cryptographer.

cheers, skippy
 
  • #29
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skippy1729 said:
Free will cannot "emerge" from a deterministic universe.
Why? Unless we can pinpoint how consciousness paints reality, we cannot make such a definite statement. I assert that free will as an emergent property of a deterministic universe can exist and is a far better description of the reality we find ourselves in. Otherwise, you open the door to not only a certain type software engineer/mathematician type of god, but to all deities imaginable.


Perhaps the illusion of free will.
At the most fundamental level what is not an illusion?

A computer program can generate pseudo-random numbers but not real random numbers. Ask any cryptographer.

What do you mean by 'real random'? We don't know for a fact that this thing exists.
 
  • #30
skippy1729
skippy: Free will cannot "emerge" from a deterministic universe.

wavejumper: Why? Unless we can pinpoint how consciousness paints reality, we cannot make such a definite statement. I assert that free will as an emergent property of a deterministic universe can exist and is a far better description of the reality we find ourselves in. Otherwise, you open the door to not only a certain type software engineer/mathematician type of god, but to all deities imaginable.

skippy: Yes we can make such a statement. NOTHING is free in a deterministic universe by definition of the term. If we live in Materialistic and Deterministic universe then your choice to believe in Materialism and Determinism (if those are, in fact, your choices) is predetermined by the initial conditions at the big bang. My choice to believe in Dualism and Indeterminism would likewise be predetermined. Neither of us would be making any choice at all although we have an illusion of making a choice.

If Determinism and Materialism are correct, it doesn't matter HOW "consciousness paints reality", the fact is that it DOES; by some presently unknown physical process which evolves from the DETERMINISTIC laws of nature. Your worries about "deities" were likewise predetermined, so don't worry too much.

"Emergent" theories of properties are very fashionable and in many cases the best physical description of various phenomena but you can't emerge genuine randomness or freedom from a deterministic system.

***************************************************************

skippy: Perhaps the illusion of free will.

wavejumper: At the most fundamental level what is not an illusion?

skippy: You may, of course, choose solipsism. For me, the most fundamental level is accessible to us through the results of real experiments.

****************************************************************

skippy: A computer program can generate pseudo-random numbers but not real random numbers. Ask any cryptographer.

wavejumper: What do you mean by 'real random'? We don't know for a fact that this thing exists.

skippy: In a deterministic universe they do not exist. In a nondeterministic universe you can buy random number generators based on semiconductor junction noise or radiation decay rates.

cheers, skippy
 
  • #31
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skippy1729 said:
Free will cannot "emerge" from a deterministic universe.
wavejumper[/quote said:
Why? Unless we can pinpoint how consciousness paints reality, we cannot make such a definite statement. I assert that free will as an emergent property of a deterministic universe can exist and is a far better description of the reality we find ourselves in. Otherwise, you open the door to not only a certain type software engineer/mathematician type of god, but to all deities imaginable.
skippy said:
Yes we can make such a statement. NOTHING is free in a deterministic universe by definition of the term.
But this is silly. The fact that we don't understand how consciousness paints reality and gives the sensation of free will, does not mean that free will doesn't exist altogether. If free will does not exist, what created my laptop? What created my cell phone? The initial conditions? This is ridiculous, unless you embrace the idea that a programmer pre-defined your world in such a way that exquisite perfectly-working electronic devices such as HDTV could emerge because of a chain reaction that started some 14 billion years ago.


skippy said:
If we live in Materialistic and Deterministic universe then your choice to believe in Materialism and Determinism (if those are, in fact, your choices) is predetermined by the initial conditions at the big bang.
But this theory doesn't even begin to explain where all the order we created came from.


skippy said:
If Determinism and Materialism are correct, it doesn't matter HOW "consciousness paints reality", the fact is that it DOES; by some presently unknown physical process which evolves from the DETERMINISTIC laws of nature. Your worries about "deities" were likewise predetermined, so don't worry too much.
I worry about deities because if we don't have free will, someone/something that had free will had to causally create all the fine technology we enjoy today. Who/what is that something?



"Emergent" theories of properties are very fashionable and in many cases the best physical description of various phenomena but you can't emerge genuine randomness or freedom from a deterministic system.

It defies common sense, but such is the nature of emergent properties. They are very counter-intuitive. This is why it's called an emergent property, because a property that's not there can and will emerge under specific circumstances. Life is an emergent property as far as we are aware, that's why i postulate that free will is also an intrinsic emergent property of the fermions and bosons.

skippy said:
Perhaps the illusion of free will.
wavejumper said:
At the most fundamental level what is not an illusion?
skippy said:
You may, of course, choose solipsism.
Nah, this is implying that i know that only i exist when in fact i don't know what to exist means. In my daily life i am trying to believe my 5 senses and the opinion of mainstream scientists as to what reality might be and what it might be to exist. Other times, i never stop to wonder.


skippy said:
For me, the most fundamental level is accessible to us through the results of real experiments.

The most fundamental level we have reached is grainy and the deeper we probe it, the wilder the fluctuations become. Not only matter is hard to define, but we have seen that both space and time lose their meaning as such. Technology is still too mundane for this task(10^-35m.), we still use good old maths to infer certain knowledge about the inaccessible.
 
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  • #32
skippy1729
wavejumper: If free will does not exist, what created my laptop? What created my cell phone? The initial conditions? This is ridiculous, unless you embrace the idea that a programmer pre-defined your world...But this theory doesn't even begin to explain where all the order we created came from.

skippy: "Complete disorder is impossible." T.S. Motzkin. This is the fundamental message of "Ramsey Theory" a branch of combinatorial mathematics.

wikipedia: "Ramsey theory, named after Frank P. Ramsey, is a branch of mathematics that studies the conditions under which order MUST appear. Problems in Ramsey theory typically ask a question of the form: how many elements of some structure must there be to guarantee that a particular property will hold?"

For example Ramsey theory could probably explain the inevitable appearance of the so-called Bible Codes. Likewise, given the immense size of the universe, the number of particles and the number of states of these particles the structure "the first living cell on earth" MUST appear somewhere and perhaps someone will prove this someday. Science has a fair picture of how to get from that structure to your cell phone.

Now you seem to be in favor of the possibility of free will. I have no argument with that unless you insist on determinism. Now, to me "Free Will or true Randomness is impossible in a deterministic universe" seems self-evident, by definition. And to you it does not because of the possibility of some as yet undiscovered "emergent theory" of consciousness.

***** Can you give an example, or any motivation, as to how something truly random could arise "emergently" from a deterministic system? *****

This should be infinitely easier that a theory of emergent consciousness and free will but it is a necessary ingredient. There must be something in the final emergent theory that is unpredictable or free will is impossible.

wavejumper: The most fundamental level we have reached is grainy and the deeper we probe it, the wilder the fluctuations become. Space and time lose their meaning as such.

skippy: I agree. In a deterministic universe, these fluctuations will evolve according to deterministic physical law. Interesting topic but I can't see how it applies to our discussion.

Cheers, skippy

PS For a truly random sequence of numbers we can say that given a sufficiently long sequence, the next number in the sequence cannot be predicted by ANY means.

PPS If you come up with the example I asked for "random numbers" from a "deterministic system" I will make you a bazillionaire.
 
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  • #33
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skippy1729 said:
"Complete disorder is impossible." T.S. Motzkin. This is the fundamental message of "Ramsey Theory" a branch of combinatorial mathematics.

wikipedia: "Ramsey theory, named after Frank P. Ramsey, is a branch of mathematics that studies the conditions under which order MUST appear. Problems in Ramsey theory typically ask a question of the form: how many elements of some structure must there be to guarantee that a particular property will hold?"

For example Ramsey theory could probably explain the inevitable appearance of the so-called Bible Codes.

It can? I am afraid this doesn't speak well about the credibility of the author.


skippy said:
]Likewise, given the immense size of the universe, the number of particles and the number of states of these particles the structure "the first living cell on earth" MUST appear somewhere and perhaps someone will prove this someday. Science has a fair picture of how to get from that structure to your cell phone....

...if and when we presume we have free will. If we don't, meet the gods.


Now you seem to be in favor of the possibility of free will. I have no argument with that unless you insist on determinism.

Only in as much as to preserve the observed causality

For a truly random sequence of numbers we can say that given a sufficiently long sequence, the next number in the sequence cannot be predicted by ANY means.
This isn't going to get us anywhere. We don't know if what you perceive as randomness is not simply our ignorance of principles and laws we are not yet aware of. When i said "we don't know" i really meant No one, no single person on Earth knows this.


If you come up with the example I asked for "random numbers" from a "deterministic system" I will make you a bazillionaire.
Schroedinger's cat tied to a decaying atom ring a bell? Although not really part of the classical world, a decaying atom becomes an entangled system with the cat and the geiger counter as it registers emission of radiation from the decaying atom. When do i collect the prize? :smile:

Kidding, kidding... the random decay of atoms is a very safe bet, but i don't think many physicists would bet their life on it.
 
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  • #34
skippy1729
Dear wavejumper, I think we have a failure to communicate. Could you give me a definition of what you mean by a deterministic system?

Cheers, skippy
 
  • #35
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At least it is easy prove you can never prove we have free will and choices. Because you can never prove that what you experience is not a kind of "prerecorded video". Today there exist some developed theories about that. You may object, that you get ideas, impulses, feelings and allt that, which you well know influence your choices. You may get a sudden idea for a new invention, fall in love and so on. But even that should be "pre-recorded" in your personal life video tape . Even your feelings should be pre-recorded, according to those theories. :cool:
 
  • #36
skippy1729
At least it is easy prove you can never prove we have free will and choices. Because you can never prove that what you experience is not a kind of "prerecorded video". Today there exist some developed theories about that. You may object, that you get ideas, impulses, feelings and allt that, which you well know influence your choices. You may get a sudden idea for a new invention, fall in love and so on. But even that should be "pre-recorded" in your personal life video tape . Even your feelings should be pre-recorded, according to those theories. :cool:
I agree. All I am saying is that if you believe in a deterministic universe then free will can be no more than an illusion. To believe in determinism or indeterminism is a choice. That choice may be predetermined or free depending on the fundamental laws of nature (whatever they may be).

skippy
 
  • #37
apeiron
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Another freewill discussion going around in circles forever.

You can break out of the loop by seeing extreme limits such as determined and random (classically, chance and necessity) as alternatives which are approached, which develop, which a system can manufacture.

So we start with an ontology of vagueness - of symmetrical potential. A realm (much like QM) where things are neither crisply existent, or non-existent. Then the symmetry is broken. We have a development which produces the complementary alternatives of random and determined.

For example, the familiar activity of coin-tossing. A ball is a symmetrical potential so if we toss it, then it is vague as to which way "up" it fell.

But if we constrain that ball, flatten it, we determine that it only has two sides and so only two binary outcomes (the edge being made so thin that it is now not a possible outcome state).

Then we ask that a person tosses the coin in a random, or uncontrolled fashion. A fast flip through the air rather than a careful plonking down.

You can then have an endless argument about whether a coin toss is really either a deterministic story or one of pure randomness. The story is that it is about the manufacture of these two complementary extremes from a prior vaguer potential.

So the moral is you can't have "pure" determinism without also manufacturing randomness, and vice versa. They are always mutual aspects of the one developed system.

Newtonian physics tossed away one half of the story to create a simpler model of the world. QM has then been taken to say no, reality is fundamentally random.

But you got to step back to the metaphysics to see the bigger picture.
 
  • #38
skippy1729
So the moral is you can't have "pure" determinism without also manufacturing randomness, and vice versa. They are always mutual aspects of the one developed system.

Newtonian physics tossed away one half of the story to create a simpler model of the world. QM has then been taken to say no, reality is fundamentally random.
I agree with the first statement if you replace the word "randomness" by "pseudo-randomness".

The second statement is true for standard QM. For those who like deBroglie-Bohm or other "hidden variable" variations they are back at Newton and Laplace with complete determinism and an inescapable lack of free will. Please not that I am not saying standard QM proves free will.

Aperion, are we on the same page or did I miss the point.

Skippy
 
  • #39
apeiron
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Well random would always be pseudo in a sense. So we can imagine the pure stuff, but in reality, the ideal could only be approached.

This is no problem in itself. Just the usual distinction between our models and reality.

Likewise for our notion of pure determinism.

Then with QM, the story is a bit more complicated as the actual model now does have both its random and determined aspects (which is what makes it more complete and satisfying as a model). So there is the determined bit - the exact shape of the wavefunction. And then the random bit - the nature of the contents. We have to "collapse the wavefunction" to find which way the coin toss falls.

But then many people like to emphasise only the random aspect of QM and to employ that as a basis for freewill or as a way out of laplacean determinism generally.

Another response is to be so horrified that QM demands equal time for randomness is to say no, there must be a deeper hidden level of determinism.

So two ways to screw up the metaphysics. QM happily models determinism and randomness together - all events are divided into these mutually complementary parts.

Events are thus endowed with a fundamental "material creativity". They are neither purely one or the other extreme. Instead they develop from a prior vagueness to become crisply dichotomised into an aspect that looks determined, an aspect that looks random (or local and non-local if we are focusing on spatial aspects of causality).

The brain can also be modelled in these system science terms (being "like QM" in logic, but not actually QM-based!).

So we start each moment in a vague state of anticipation/preparedness. Then we develop a crisply divided state of what we saw/did - and all the things we with equal decisiveness didn't see/didn't do.

Is such a development random or determined? Or more like creatively balanced?

Getting back to a QM level of modelling, I would recommend Prigogine's End of Certainty as a good pop science introduction to how vagueness gets us out of the old quandries of determined/random. I don't thing Prigogine came up with the final word, but it shows that there are good people thinking about the issue in the general way I have sketched.

Oh, also Stan Salthe's Evolving Hierarchical Systems - more opaque, but very important landmark work IMHO.
 
  • #40
skippy1729
Then with QM, the story is a bit more complicated as the actual model now does have both its random and determined aspects (which is what makes it more complete and satisfying as a model). So there is the determined bit - the exact shape of the wavefunction. And then the random bit - the nature of the contents. We have to "collapse the wavefunction" to find which way the coin toss falls.

work IMHO.
Except for deBroglie-Bohm and other "hidden variable" theories of QM. They have NO random elements. The statistics of a series of experiments (collapses of the wave function if you will) may appear random but are completely determined by the UNOBSERVABLE "hidden variables". So we cannot postulate a supercalculation of the future like Laplace unless we magically knew the "hidden initial value conditions" and "hidden variables" which are by definition unobservable.

My point is that a "hidden variable" theory of QM determines the future completely although it does not predict the future as a computational possibility.

Skippy
 
  • #41
apeiron
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The problem with hidden variables theories are 1) conflict with Bell's inequality, etc. They don't work. 2) Unobservables is about seeking metaphysical comfort rather than modelling, which must be rooted in the act of the measureable.

Of course, there are versions of hidden variables going around that I have quite liked. And these are one where the hidden variables are really another way of talking about vagueness. So there is something more fundamental "behind the scenes", a pre-geometry out of which the crisply developed world of events arises. But still, hidden variables is at best a clunky way to allude to vagueness. More direct models are possible (though as an approach, it is more underground still than anything else around it seems).

Another way to think about what you are trying to argue is that, honey, we shrunk our scale of observation all the way down to the QM level and it has gone all vague on us. So let's now see if we can keep shrinking and emerge out of the fog the other side to see the even smaller crisp atoms that made that horrid QM murk.

The systems science approach says instead, limits really are limits. And if you strike one, then start looking in the other direction to see what you have left behind. So when you get down so small it all goes vague, then look upwards and see the global scale - which is now your crisp "other".

You have got so far by reducing and your instinct is to keep reducing and someday, you feel sure, the turtles will run out. But system science offers a bootstrapping approach which says reality develops in self-organising fashion as a hierarchy with scale.

And when it comes to QM, the hidden information you seek in a further level of micro-variables would be found instead embedded in the global structure of the universe.

This is a decoherence style argument (and in line with what Prigogine was exploring). The hidden variables that shape the local events are in fact the information within the form of the universe. The context that "determines" what events would fit its developing story.

This is why I favour also the Cramer transactional approach to QM. Time locally is symmetric but globally asymmetric - a developing and expanding history.

Anyway, the key point here is that there is another direction in which you can go to find the information that must "determine" QM outcomes. The logical story for reductionists is too look to ever-smaller scales - and get frustrated as they run smack into limits, on the other side of which is only a deepening vagueness. Or you can take the systems science route and look upwards in scale to see the information that constrains QM to produce local events.

Prigogine and Salthe are both key dissipative structure theorists and it is the accumulating extropy, or information in such structures, which make them able also to keep making entropy.

And here we have it exactly. Extropy is the determined, entropy is the random. A dissipative structure is a system that makes both equally. Structure at the global scale creates chaos (waste heat, etc) at the smallest scale.

But who in physics pays much attention to thermodynamics - beyond the simplicities of Boltzmann and Carnot?
 
  • #42
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The entire quantum mechanical appeal is ultimately irrelevant to the question of free will for two reasons - the quantum mechanical effects that occur in human brains undoubtedly will appear in the brain of rats, but this does not mean that rats have freedom? Furthermore, if your actions where fundamentally unpredictable, how would that be freedom?
 
  • #43
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Whatever they say about "uncertainity principles", "quantum effects" and so on implying
whatever can happen at any instant, the fact remains: Just exact one thing happens at every instant. I.e if you go back in time to a certain instant, the same thing will happen
there "again" - otherwise you had not gone back in time to that instant. So there is no possibility for anything other happening than what actually happened.

So there is no "choice" anywhere at any level. If we have not a kind of "branching" reality
where different branches of reality eminate from every instant. :yuck:
 
  • #44
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Honestly, what does randomness/determinism have to do with free will? If there's a truly random element at work in our brains, it just means that our behavior is based partly on random input. Sure, it would mean that predicting behavior would be impossible even with a perfect model of the subject, but it doesn't make the behavior any more 'free', imho.

To say someone has 'free will' is to say 'they made a choice because they *wanted* to make a choice and for no other reason', which would seem (to me) to require some sort of physically detatched mind or 'soul' that controls the body and doesn't require physical input from our universe in order to function. But if that were the case, then what are these beautiful brains with all their complex circuitry for?

So put me down for 'no free will' with the addition that free will as a very concept is functionally meaningless. Free will requires us to be more than the sum of our parts, and adding randomness doesn't provide that.
 
  • #45
apeiron
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Clearly free will as we conceive it is about having choices. We can imagine acting other ways and then - usually because we weigh a balance of factors - follow some particular course.

The question then is how does this intelligent choosing arise in nature when according to physics, it does not seem to exist in some fundamental way.

Your free choice(!) then is whether to answer the question in terms of the opposing options that appear open to physics (chance and determinism). Or whether to instead take a systems science approach to the matter.

In systems science, the idea of choice - weighing internal goals against external circumstances - is a very functional one.
 
  • #46
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Let's introduce the idea of quantum randomness into our model of the brain for a minute. For simplicity's sake, let's say that the random factor will either express itself as either a value of 1 or 0 as an influence on a neuron - if the quantum random factor is 1, the neuron fires, if 0, the neuron does not fire. Let's say this element of non-determinism (it's impossible to predict whether the neuron will fire or not due to the quantum randomness) affects the choices that we make.

What are the implications of this? That would still just make us deterministic machines with the occassional random input. Once that neuron fires, it sparks its neighbors up, and the dominoes start falling.

To suggest otherwise would require the metaphysical idea of a mind being a 'free agent' and somehow exist beyond the biology and physics of the situation.

In my opinion.
 
  • #47
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Now then, for my question, if you could know the exact position and velocities of every single particle in our brains, could you predict the owners thoughts, and, ultimately there actions. I don't see any reason why our brains should work any differently than everything else, in which by knowing the information of each and every particle you gain access to its past and future. If the brain does behave like that then it would mean that every single person's thoughts and actions, from Hitler's slaughter of the Jews, to Mother Teresa's benign actions, all depended on the initial state of every particle in the universe. My thoughts on my ride and ultimately my posting of this question, all depended on the initial state of the universe.
This is no longer a philosophical question really, as it has been proven through the mathematics of quantum mechanics that free will does not exist (or else fundamental particles like electrons also have free will, which is too ridiculous a notion to entertain).

Reference: the http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http://www.ams.org/notices/200902/rtx090200226p.pdf&ei=pDFdSqzGL-CFmQeoyrF6&rct=j&q=strong+free+will+theorem&usg=AFQjCNFS8G0OueDFx72ZmbgHp0QUOiZZ7Q"
 
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  • #48
skippy1729
This is no longer a philosophical question really, as it has been proven through the mathematics of quantum mechanics that free will does not exist (or else fundamental particles like electrons also have free will, which is too ridiculous a notion to entertain).

Reference: the http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http://www.ams.org/notices/200902/rtx090200226p.pdf&ei=pDFdSqzGL-CFmQeoyrF6&rct=j&q=strong+free+will+theorem&usg=AFQjCNFS8G0OueDFx72ZmbgHp0QUOiZZ7Q"
When they (Conway & Kochen) say that a particle has free will they only mean that its response to the measuring apparatus is not a function of the totality of the conditions of the universe in its past. While we are free (or predestined?) to accept or reject this notion since it is a hypothesis of the FWT; I hardly find it ridiculous for someone to accept it.

Skippy
 
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