Stephen Wolfram's post about spacetime

  • #26
PAllen
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if the universe is deterministic then counterfactual definiteness must be wrong, am i correct? so EVERYTHING we do is predetermined, even the outcome of future experiments?

this is like saying a murderer isn't guilty because he was predetermined to do it. i find it hard to believe.
No, he was pre-determined to be guilty, and others are pre-determined to take compensatory actions (assuming they are pre-determined to catch him). :wink:
 
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  • #27
Demystifier
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if the universe is deterministic then counterfactual definiteness must be wrong, am i correct?
No, determinism is not in contradiction with counterfactual definiteness. If future is determined by initial conditions, counterfactual definiteness is still true in the sense that one can say what the future would be if the initial conditions were different.

so EVERYTHING we do is predetermined, even the outcome of future experiments?
Yes.

this is like saying a murderer isn't guilty because he was predetermined to do it. i find it hard to believe.
This is an ethical problem, not a scientific one.

Scientifically speaking (see also the post above by Pallen), you find it hard to believe it because you were predetermined to find it hard to believe it, not because it is wrong by itself. :wink:
 
  • #28
atyy
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this is like saying a murderer isn't guilty because he was predetermined to do it. i find it hard to believe.
The alternative is that a murderer isn't guilty because quantum fluctuations made him do it.
 
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  • #29
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The alternative is that a murderer isn't guilty because quantum fluctuations made him do it.
I wonder if there is any interpretation of QM in which he is really guilty?
 
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I wonder if there is any interpretation of QM in which he is really guilty?
Well, if we want to talk only in terms of physics, a murderer isn't guilty because of a murder the same as a lightning isn't guilty of killing the person it hit! They're just two physical processes, why should one be different?
 
  • #31
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Is anyone here into Causal set theory? This artificially looks to be like that sort of thing.
 
  • #32
Dr. Courtney
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To me "silly" is like "simple" as a criteria for likeliness. Without a rigorous definition (which neither have), one cannot use it as a reliable predictor of eventual success or failure.

Silly and simple are context specific, and there are often cultural and other subjective aspects in the assessments.
 

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