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We Have No Choice!

What is your Choice?

Poll closed Oct 1, 2004.
  1. I am a determinist.

  2. I am a non-determinist.

  3. I believe in Paradoxes, therefore both 1 and 2 apply.

  1. Sep 17, 2004 #1
    We have no choice. Since the idea of decision requires at minimum at least two choices I can prove choice impossible:

    At the point when a person attends to one choice, the physics of the other time and place are moving (energy is neither created nor destroyed, nor stopped), which proves by the time the person looks back at the other choice things have changed, so no two things stay the same long enough to actually make a choice on the thing turned away from.

    People who believe a choice is possible actually think they can stop time, which means stopping physics in one or both situations. Now, I've heard traveling into the future is possible. Nonsense! There are even people who say they can travel to the past. No way! But people who believe in freedom of choice, they think they can stop time, just to make a choice. All I can say is, thanks for the truth Newton! It has set atleast me free. No, no, not free, it changed my velocity.

    Try to divert you attention from what you are conscious of!

    Time stoppers, prove me wrong!

    The Truth Shall Change Your Velocity

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2004 #2


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    Perhaps I'm misinterpreting you, but what you say doesn't apply if the things being considered don't change in ways that are salient with respect to the choice.

    Suppose I am deciding whether or not to go get some ice cream from the store. I can be certain that there is constant change inside the physical system that is the store, at least on the level of molecules. But so long as the store doesn't collapse and its freezer remains operational, these microscopic changes have no relevance to my decision.
  4. Sep 17, 2004 #3
    After I posted that, I was wondering if anyone would bring that up.

    As far as the macro level of the store, sure no noticeable or meaningfull changes occur in the sense of the purpose for going to the store. Everything is in a sense at rest, so that one may have a changing velocity to obtain the product inside, the motivation. The motivation and conscious purpose was determined by all physical actions and reactions macro and micro before entering the store. This conscioius motivation and purpose is and is unfolding before the consciousness and leads one to their purpose. The consciousness is not disconnected, but created by all the five senses around humans as well as sense of self. So, it too is determined. I claim that you watch your consciousness, but your consciousness is what is watching. Self-prooving.

    I think we think we made a choice, becuase we aren't totally aware of all physical influence that make up an infinite history. We take the last explosion and say the big bang made us want this product.
  5. Sep 17, 2004 #4


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    You're arguing for determinism, which is all well and good, but I don't see how that ties into your claim that decisions can't be made due to constant change in the things being decided upon. That claim is highly questionable, but you don't need to argue for it in order to argue for determinism.
  6. Sep 17, 2004 #5

    I believe I somewhat understand how this relates to determinsm. Are you basically saying that all our brain functions are determined by past our experiences, such that any choice we make is derived from our experiences and therefore, our choices are not freely made, but a mere constituent of an eternal cause and effect sequence?
  7. Sep 18, 2004 #6

    The ONLY limitiation to the human choice is lack of imagination. Thank God only some of us are devoid of it. Those of us who are equipped with it would not just do the job but get it wholly done!
  8. Sep 18, 2004 #7
    "The ONLY limitiation to the human choice is lack of imagination."

    Tell that to someone dying of hunger in the third world!
  9. Sep 19, 2004 #8
    I proposed that, because that is one one the most insightful aspects I have found to prove determinism is a more accurate description of ourselves, meaning the idea our attention can only be in one place and time, each choice is one place and time, each place and time is constantly moving, so when a consideration of decision is made, the latter always becomes something different because it changed.

    Yes. I would emphasize that the memories ( internal influences, stored direct physical representations of senses of the environment) and biological influences interact with the environment external influence (the direct physical representations, conveyed through sense to mental representations) to create the decision we watch occur in our minds.

    Our conscious is not making a decision, it is watching the physical representations interact that represent all the internal and external influences.

    The consciousness is a representation of physics, rather than a mass that can turn off the laws of physics by deciding not to be affected by it's external environment, then turning on the laws of physics when a choice is decided upon. That the fallacy I tried to point out by using stopping time to represent it.
  10. Sep 20, 2004 #9


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    That argument still falls prey to the objection I raised above. If the changes are not salient with respect to the choice, it doesn't matter that they are changing. The ice cream store right now is different from the ice cream store 2 minutes from now, but not in any way that is important to my choice. I'm not arguing against determinism here, just against this particular point you are trying to make.
  11. Sep 21, 2004 #10
    Okay, but I'm seeing a distinction here: The delineation of the choice and the development of the choice.

    Carrying out the choice is sort of like the principle inherent in the velocity concept. There is constancy in being in the store to get the ice cream, because it's isolated as a choice. I"m not arguing this as changing because it is the choice.

    But in the moment before the decision was made, there were influences that came together which developed the choice of going to get the ice cream. This development phase is where people think they are making the choice, but circumstance creates the choice in their conscioiusness rather than them creating the choice in a totally isoloated system where physics laws cannot penetrate while there so-called decision is made. Shortly after, they usely claim they starts the physics interactions up by making the choice. This is what I claim we watch only.
  12. Sep 21, 2004 #11


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    Ah, OK. That seems like a distinct point from the one you were making before, but it makes sense.

    The only caveat I would raise here is that you seem to maintain a distinction between the physical processes carrying out the decision and the thing doing the watching. Surely the thing doing the watching is implemented in physical processes just as the thing doing the action is. And it's not clear that there is even a clear delineation between "watcher" and "doer." I would claim that the person actually is making the choice, insofar as those decision making processes belong to the conglomerated entity that defines who that person is. I may not be aware of all the determining factors that lead me to go get ice cream, but nonetheless those factors partially comprise who I am-- thus I actually have made my own decision, even if I am somewhat ignorant of how that process came about.
  13. Sep 22, 2004 #12
    I agree. I think that was said well. When it gets to this point in the conceptual discussion, I think people need to get empirical to start giving numbers in respect to the internal and external physical influences involved, which should give an indication based upon each circumstance what has more circumstatial inertia during any given choice. For convience, I would say when the internal influences have more inertia, that would be ourselves making the decision and when the inertia is greater from external, it would be then environment.

    But still, all the physical laws are at work, which means we are determined by the envirmoment and ourselves, which I point out because I'm trying to get at the idea of choice when it implys a fallacy that we are separated from both internal and external influences so a decision can be made freely without a physically determined basis or locked in historical circumstantial inertia.
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