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Nice discussion between Rovelli and Smolin

  1. Jul 14, 2013 #1
    FREE WILL, DETERMINISM, QUANTUM THEORY AND STATISTICAL FLUCTUATIONS: A PHYSICIST'S TAKE

    Any attempt to link this discussion to moral, ethical or legal issues, as is often been done, is pure nonsense. The fact that it is possible to say that a criminal has been driven to kill because of the ways in which Newton's laws have acted on the molecules of his body has nothing to do either with the opportunity of punishment, nor with the moral condemnation. It is respecting those same laws by Newton that putting criminals in jail reduces the murders, and it is respecting those same laws by Newton that society as a whole functions, including its moral structure, which in turn determines behavior. There is no contradiction between saying that a stone flew into the sky because a force pushed it, or because a volcano exploded. In the same manner, there is no contradiction in saying we do not commit murder because something is encoded in the decision-making structure of our brain or because we are bound by a moral belief.

    http://www.edge.org/conversation/fr...tistical-fluctuations-a-physicists-take#25221
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2013 #2

    julian

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    Look I was acquitted! The evidence was purely circumstantial. It was his word against mine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  4. Jul 14, 2013 #3

    julian

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    Erhh. Did I misunderstand this post?
     
  5. Jul 14, 2013 #4

    marcus

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    It's a really interesting essay! John, thanks for calling attention to it!
    Based on a careful examination of the concepts R. argues that FW, properly understood, is real. It is not an illusion (as some popular philosophers have asserted).

    However R. explains that it doesn't have anything to do with quantum mechanics contrary (or so I think) to a pet theory of Sir Roger Penrose.
     
  6. Jul 14, 2013 #5

    atyy

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    But doesn't R's definition of free will depend on a unique division between internal and external?

    But maybe modern man no longer talks to his Ba?
     
  7. Jul 14, 2013 #6
    nice philosophical ruminations.
    but maybe reality or nature is much more extensive or larger than we think.
     
  8. Jul 15, 2013 #7

    Demystifier

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