How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 Philosophy 101
 The Moral Argument For God's Existence   [ Page: 1  2  3  ]
 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

The Moral Argument For God's Existence

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


50 posted 06-09-2011 07:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Sam Harris

Jerry Coyne

Did freedom evolve?

If you can find the time, check out the discussions.  They are very good.
Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


51 posted 06-10-2011 06:36 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

I believe that free will, in the strictest sense of the term, is an illusion.

An imaginary trip in the TARDIS makes that conclusion unavoidable.

.
Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


52 posted 06-11-2011 05:46 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


Does the weather have free will?

Suppose for a second that you had a time machine similar to the TARDIS, that allowed you to go back in time but only gave you ability to see the past and not interact with it - a read only view if you will. Now suppose that yesterday it rained at three o'clock. If you went back in time to yesterday would it still rain a three o'clock? Is raining at three o'clock yesterday a fixed event after the fact? Now using your TARDIS go back to the day before yesterday, will it rain tomorrow at three o'clock? If you believe that raining at three o'clock yesterday is a fixed event then the answer has to be yes and if that's true nothing can be done to alter the weather yesterday at three o'clock.

Now take it up a notch. Yesterday at three o'clock a man gets caught in the rain, if you go back to the day before and observe him for 24 hours will he get caught in the rain yesterday at three o'clock? Could the man make a free choice not to go out or to carry an umbrella and avoid getting drenched to the bone or is the event unavoidable?

If he can is the fact that it rained at three o'clock yesterday still a fixed event after the fact when you step out of the TARDIS after your trip?

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


53 posted 06-11-2011 08:22 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I love Dr. Who.  My kids and I just watched an episode this evening.  

But I fail to see the relevance for free will.

I was going to start by asking what you meant by a strict definition of free will but for the moment I'll assume you mean the question:

But could it have been otherwise?

If the parameters, the causal framework, are exactly the same, the answer is no.

That doesn't change the fact of free will.  The choices made were causally determined but identity is still causally determined by the same framework. The whole idea of free will by this definition doesn't make any sense.  I'm rushing here so I'll probably have to come back to this.

The Tardis jump was already a part of the causal framework.

If the parameters are different, then change is possible.  We don't know what would happen next and whatever future knowledge claimed is as good as our everyday predictions.  Because the parameters are different, you no longer know the future and identity, the will, is no longer the same in the previous case.

To think otherwise is to fall into a dualism.  If so, from whence comes identity?

Anything, I contend, that starts with this idea of free will is incoherent.  Unfortunately to my mind, this is often what's called "real" free will.

Far better to assume a choice (freedom), a will (multiple or even conflicting desires), and the ability to act without coercion on that desire by making the choice.

That's free will and I'm frankly at a loss to understand why so many intelligent people don't see it my way.

Harris makes a mistake here by falling back into dualism.  I also contend that if my version of free will is "unsatisfying" (essentially my view is Dennett's sans the evolution spin), it is unsatisfying because you harbor dualistic intuitions.  

We have free will, we are condemned to it.
Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


54 posted 06-11-2011 03:57 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
But I fail to see the relevance for free will.


Using thought experiments such as the TARDIS example I gave is fairly common when trying to explain/discuss the consequence argument in relation to question of free will. For a start it allows you to recognise that while the possible choices may be myriad the probability is that no real choice exists.

My definition of free will BTW would be the ability to independently choose and instigate a first cause in a series of causal events.

.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


55 posted 06-12-2011 12:02 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yeah, I know.

But the time travel experiments make the same mistake that philosophical zombie arguments make (the idea of people with no inner states).  They try to make an almost-same situation into an exactly-same situation and that's the problem.

How could people be uncaused?  How could they make a decision without their causal background.  What language would they speak?  Would they prefer potatoes or rice, coke or pepsi, men or women, green or red?

Maybe I've got a blind spot here but I just can't see how metaphysical free will makes any sense.  At the same time, I don't see any reason to get rid of the real need to make conscious choices in our everyday life.

And we call that free will, don't we?
Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


56 posted 06-12-2011 06:18 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
How could people be uncaused?


In my opinion, they can't - but neither can they be the instigator of a first cause - physical or metaphysical.

quote:
Maybe I've got a blind spot here


You wouldn't be alone. The concepts and ideas behind incompatibilism and the illusion of free will are even less intuitive than the concepts and ideas behind the theory of natural selection. Look how many people had a blind spot for that and for how long. How many still do? That doesn't mean the theory is wrong though.

The only way to understand free will is to break it up into pieces, it's far too complex to approach as a single overarching system. A good place to start is to look at how people make choices, ironically that will bring you nicely back to the subject of morallity.


Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


57 posted 06-12-2011 07:55 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well said.

Do we disagree?
Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


58 posted 06-12-2011 08:23 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Do we disagree?


Probably not but it's hard to tell at this point - the jury is still out.

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


59 posted 06-12-2011 10:53 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Nine years later, Uncas, and you're still not convinced?  

I think your TARDIS thought experiment is flawed on numerous levels.

First, you're assuming the past is immutable. There's no hard evidence to support that assumption and a fair number of multi-verse theories to contradict it. More importantly, though, you're assuming that if the past is indeed immutable, then the future must also be immutable. There's no evidence at all to support that assumption, hard or otherwise. Indeed, you seem to be playing willy-nilly with the Arrow of Time; don't you want to also shoot your grandfather to see what other paradoxes might arise?

To me, Uncas, here's the crux of your argument:

"Yesterday at three o'clock a man gets caught in the rain, if you go back to the day before and observe him for 24 hours will he get caught in the rain yesterday at three o'clock? Could the man make a free choice not to go out or to carry an umbrella and avoid getting drenched to the bone or is the event unavoidable?"

Could the man make a free choice?

He already did.

Free will granted him the ability to choose. But nothing guarantees him the ability to unchoose. We each make our choices, of our own free will, and then we accept the consequences of those choices and assume responsibility for the future those choices necessarily shape. To believe otherwise is to abrogate personal responsibility for our choices. Your argument, were it valid, leads directly to the zealot who screams, "God made me do!" Or the devil. Or predeterminism. Or Mommy and Daddy, or any of a hundred similarly easy answers.

Free will is nothing more or less than the ability to make choices. It doesn't mean choice without influence, it doesn't even mean choice without coercion, and it certainly doesn't mean choice without consequence. Not only does everyone have free will, no one can easily escape it.
Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


60 posted 06-12-2011 12:01 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Nine years later, Uncas, and you're still not convinced?


I think I have the same problem I had nine years ago Ron - clearly explaining what I mean.



quote:
To me, Uncas, here's the crux of your argument:

"Yesterday at three o'clock a man gets caught in the rain, if you go back to the day before and observe him for 24 hours will he get caught in the rain yesterday at three o'clock? Could the man make a free choice not to go out or to carry an umbrella and avoid getting drenched to the bone or is the event unavoidable?"

Could the man make a free choice?

He already did.


You see to me that isn't the crux, the crux is why he made that specific choice and whether any other choice was possible. If the scenario and conditions are exactly the same, if the man has the same life experience the same ethical values, available data (flawed or otherwise), upbringing, genes, etc. etc. the resultant choice would be the same. He would in effect always make the same decision and he'd always get drenched.

Were there other possible options?

Sure, thousands if not millions but that man at that point, all things being equal, would make the same choice on every replay. The fact that there were millions of possibilities doesn't equate to a real choice if the output is always going to be the same.

Of all the possible numbers my calculator could display it has no choice but to display 3 when I enter 1+2.

quote:
We each make our choices, of our own free will, and then we accept the consequences of those choices and assume responsibility for the future those choices necessarily shape. To believe otherwise is to abrogate personal responsibility for our choices. Your argument, were it valid, leads directly to the zealot who screams, "God made me do!" Or the devil. Or predeterminism. Or Mommy and Daddy, or any of a hundred similarly easy answers.


The idea that determinism destroys the concept of responsibility is a red herring Ron, for two reasons:

The first is that even if responsibility for the ultimate action doesn't reside with the individual the inputs and data that led to that action are the individuals responsibility - "I broke the speed limit because I didn't know the speed limit" is a simple example.

The second is that you're arguing that something can't be right because if it were it would open up a can of worms and possibly cause a whole lot of problems. Is that a valid argument?


Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


61 posted 06-12-2011 12:06 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Our mind and arts take "snapshots" and make pictures, which capture how the present formerly was (past) or else try to predict how the present will be (future), but time itself is never in such a frozen-like state.  It is always the present.  It is always changing; including our choices.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


62 posted 06-12-2011 01:03 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
If the scenario and conditions are exactly the same, if the man has the same life experience the same ethical values, available data (flawed or otherwise), upbringing, genes, etc. etc. the resultant choice would be the same. He would in effect always make the same decision and he'd always get drenched.


I think that is true.  The key is that they never are exactly the same though.  That is why there is always a difference.  The present (including emotions, thoughts, morals, etc. as well) are always changing in one way or another.  Therefore he is "free" from making the same choice over and over again by the very fact that things change and don't ever stay exactly the same.  But I would argue he is not free from being bound to change!
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


63 posted 06-12-2011 01:51 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Absolutely true but you can assign responsibility for having flawed inputs and data, if I hit 1+3 on the calculator instead of 1+2 the calculator has no choice but to output 4 without any corresponding responsibility for the output.

If you want to posit that calculators have neither free will nor responsibility stemming from free will, you won't get an argument from me. Having never made a single "choice" in its entire existence, the inputs and data are out of its control. That is NOT true for a human being. If your buddy with the lead foot doesn't know the speed limit, his lack of knowledge is a direct result of choices he's made in the past. The speeder, unlike the calculator, is responsible for his inputs and data.

quote:
The uncertainty principle says that we cannot know both the position and velocity of an object at any given moment but it doesn't say that the object doesn't have a specific position and velocity ...

Actually, it sort of does, at least in sense that a wave doesn't have a specific location. Thus we end up with weird, non-intuitive stuff like quantum tunneling and entanglement.

quote:
... and fortunately we don't need to know the position and velocity to accept it as one causal domino on the way to determinism.

How so? Knowing that something has a cause (and I'm not entirely willing to grant cause and effect as an axiom) doesn't eliminate choice.

quote:
Yes, a re-run without the exact criteria will result in an approximate probability - but my point was that given the exact same inputs and data the result would show no deviation - the result would be exactly the same time after time.

No, the probability doesn't stem from inexact criteria; the Uncertainty Principle means that everything is at best only a probability. The Uncertainty Principle guarantees that you can NEVER start with exactly the same inputs and data a second time. That's true of everything, though it doesn't always matter at the macro level, but it's especially true of things like human beings that are constantly in flux, constantly evolving into something new. Even setting aside Heisenberg for a moment (and I hate to introduce a different, potentially distracting point), you can't do it a second time because the first time changed things.

quote:
Imagine for a second that you could download the sum total of knowledge the umbrella man possesses into a computer and repeatedly asked the same question, the answer from the millions of possibilities would always be the same as the TARDIS example.

Computers, like calculators, are stupid, do only what they're told, and probably don't have free will. At least not yet.

Just for the sake of argument, Uncas, let's agree that you somehow "could" run your wet pedestrian through the same exact scenario again and again. It can't be a function of time travel, read-only or otherwise, because the our past, so far as we know, is immutable. Whatever the mechanism, however, let's agree it could be done.

Your position is that the man would always make exactly the same decisions, thereby turning free will into an illusion.

My position is two-fold.

First, if we agree to your experiment, we can't limit it to just one rainy day occurrence. We have to rerun every single event that happened in that man's entire life, from way before his birth right up to the first rain drop landing on his brow. Every choice he's ever made, as well as any choices made by others who touched his life, has to be similarly put on rewind. Are you really so confident that every event since the Big Bang will play out exactly as it did the first time? I certainly don't think it would, Heisenberg doesn't think it would, and I suspect most of the proponents of string theory don't think so either.

Second, even if there is no multi-verse of possibilities, even if everything that has ever happened was preordained and immutable, I still don't believe it would necessarily negate the reality of free will. Knowing the past doesn't mean that the choices we made in the past were dictated by fate. Knowing those choices can't be changed doesn't mean we didn't agonize over all the important ones. Knowing that we made the only choice that we could make doesn't mean we aren't responsible for those choices. Free will isn't about what others do, not those around and not even the universe. Free will, I believe, is about what each of us chooses to do at any given moment. Even if the Universe has already mapped out all of those choices, they're still OUR choices.


[This message has been edited by Ron (06-12-2011 05:07 PM).]

Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


64 posted 06-12-2011 02:57 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
No, because in your proposed world view, Uncas, those inputs and data would be just as predetermined by earlier events as the ultimate action was. The dominos stretch all the way back to birth. You can't abrogate responsibility for one choice without abrogating it for ALL choices.


Absolutely true but you can assign responsibility for having flawed inputs and data, if I hit 1+3 on the calculator instead of 1+2 the calculator has no choice but to output 4 without any corresponding responsibility for the output. Determinism doesn't abrogate responsibility, it just shifts it.

In the case of breaking the speed limit the responsibility is on the driver to know the speed limit, it would be exactly the same if the driver had false data - if he thought the speed limit was 70 not 50.

quote:
These systems, which can be as simple as water dripping from a faucet or as complex as global weather, are called chaotic.


But the chaos is only illusionary due to the inability to know all the possible inputs and data, if you had all the possible data, including the flight paths of all errant butterflies, predicting the weather would be a breeze (probably with short intervals of rain). Even if we can't know all the necessary information though that doesn't mean that determinism is wrong, it just means that it's harder to explain.

  

Heisenberg?

The uncertainty principle says that we cannot know both the position and velocity of an object at any given moment but it doesn't say that the object doesn't have a specific position and velocity, and fortunately we don't need to know the position and velocity to accept it as one causal domino on the way to determinism. In fact you could take that one step further and say that the act of attempting to measure the object is yet simply another domino.

quote:
Uncas, the very best you can say about your very wet pedestrian is that, given a large enough quantity of identical wet pedestrians, there is a statistical probability most of them will walk out the door without an umbrella again. Even that prediction applies only to the aggregate, not to the individual.


Yes, a re-run without the exact criteria will result in an approximate probability - but my point was that given the exact same inputs and data the result would show no deviation - the result would be exactly the same time after time.

Imagine for a second that you could download the sum total of knowledge the umbrella man possesses into a computer and repeatedly asked the same question, the answer from the millions of possibilities would always be the same as the TARDIS example.


.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


65 posted 06-12-2011 05:04 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Absolutely true but you can assign responsibility for having flawed inputs and data, if I hit 1+3 on the calculator instead of 1+2 the calculator has no choice but to output 4 without any corresponding responsibility for the output.

If you want to posit that calculators have neither free will nor responsibility stemming from free will, you won't get an argument from me. Having never made a single "choice" in its entire existence, the inputs and data are out of its control. That is NOT true for a human being. If your buddy with the lead foot doesn't know the speed limit, his lack of knowledge is a direct result of choices he's made in the past. The speeder, unlike the calculator, is responsible for his inputs and data.

quote:
The uncertainty principle says that we cannot know both the position and velocity of an object at any given moment but it doesn't say that the object doesn't have a specific position and velocity ...

Actually, it sort of does, at least in sense that a wave doesn't have a specific location. Thus we end up with weird, non-intuitive stuff like quantum tunneling and entanglement.

quote:
... and fortunately we don't need to know the position and velocity to accept it as one causal domino on the way to determinism.

How so? Knowing that something has a cause (and I'm not entirely willing to grant cause and effect as an axiom) doesn't eliminate choice.

quote:
Yes, a re-run without the exact criteria will result in an approximate probability - but my point was that given the exact same inputs and data the result would show no deviation - the result would be exactly the same time after time.

No, the probability doesn't stem from inexact criteria; the Uncertainty Principle means that everything is at best only a probability. The Uncertainty Principle guarantees that you can NEVER start with exactly the same inputs and data a second time. That's true of everything, though it doesn't always matter at the macro level, but it's especially true of things like human beings that are constantly in flux, constantly evolving into something new. Even setting aside Heisenberg for a moment (and I hate to introduce a different, potentially distracting point), you can't do it a second time because the first time changed things.

quote:
Imagine for a second that you could download the sum total of knowledge the umbrella man possesses into a computer and repeatedly asked the same question, the answer from the millions of possibilities would always be the same as the TARDIS example.

Computers, like calculators, are stupid, do only what they're told, and probably don't have free will. At least not yet.

Just for the sake of argument, Uncas, let's agree that you somehow "could" run your wet pedestrian through the same exact scenario again and again. It can't be a function of time travel, read-only or otherwise, because the our past, so far as we know, is immutable. Whatever the mechanism, however, let's agree it could be done.

Your position is that the man would always make exactly the same decisions, thereby turning free will into an illusion.

My position is two-fold.

First, if we agree to your experiment, we can't limit it to just one rainy day occurrence. We have to rerun every single event that happened in that man's entire life, from way before his birth right up to the first rain drop landing on his brow. Every choice he's ever made, as well as any choices made by others who touched his life, has to be similarly put on rewind. Are you really so confident that every event since the Big Bang will play out exactly as it did the first time? I certainly don't think it would, Heisenberg doesn't think it would, and I suspect most of the proponents of string theory don't think so either.

Second, even if there is no multi-verse of possibilities, even if everything that has ever happened was preordained and immutable, I still don't believe it would necessarily negate the reality of free will. Knowing the past doesn't mean that the choices we made in the past were dictated by fate. Knowing those choices can't be changed doesn't mean we didn't agonize over all the important ones. Knowing that we made the only choice that we could make doesn't mean we aren't responsible for those choices. Free will isn't about what others do, not those around us and not even the universe. Free will, I believe, is about what each of us chooses to do at any given moment. Even if the Universe has already mapped out all of those choices, they're still OUR choices.


Uncas
Member
since 07-30-2010
Posts 348


66 posted 06-12-2011 06:32 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
If your buddy with the lead foot doesn't know the speed limit, his lack of knowledge is a direct result of choices he's made in the past.


Not necessarily, it could be that he made a choice not to read the highway code but it could equally be true that he did read the highway code but failed to remember the speed limit - or misread it

quote:
The speeder, unlike the calculator, is responsible for his inputs and data.


Agreed absolutely - The calculator example was flawed.

The speeder is responsible for data (or lack of data) he uses to reach a decision but the causal chain isn't necessarily the result of a choice (see above).

quote:
First, if we agree to your experiment, we can't limit it to just one rainy day occurrence. We have to rerun every single event that happened in that man's entire life, from way before his birth right up to the first rain drop landing on his brow. Every choice he's ever made, as well as any choices made by others who touched his life, has to be similarly put on rewind.


Bingo!

The TARDIS thought experiment guarantees all that, forget that time travel might not be possible, that even if it were causality might be affected, it's a thought experiment so you can suspend disbelief on those points. If you could go back and re-run the event in view only mode the sum total of the man's life up to that point would already have occurred, every event in the history of the universe up to that point would also have occurred in exactly the same way it did the first time. Given that absolutely nothing had changed, I believe that his decision, seemingly made freely, would be precisely the same. At the point he made the choice not to take an umbrella there were a million possibilities and exactly zero chance of him choosing anything but not taking the umbrella. How can we be sure?

Because that's exactly what he did yesterday.

quote:
Are you really so confident that every event since the Big Bang will play out exactly as it did the first time?


Yes - because it did.

The confusion here I think is the concept of 'the first time' and 're-run', the re-run is the first time Ron the TARDIS simply allows you to go back to view it. If the man has free will, the ability to choose between multiple possibilities, then each time you go back there's every possibility that his choice is different. If determinism is true his choice is governed by who he is and the sum total of every cause and event that preceded that point in time and he has no real choice free or otherwise - only the illusion of choice in hindsight.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


67 posted 06-12-2011 07:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I believe that his decision, seemingly made freely, would be precisely the same. At the point he made the choice not to take an umbrella there were a million possibilities and exactly zero chance of him choosing anything but not taking the umbrella. How can we be sure?

Because that's exactly what he did yesterday.

You're still stuck in an immutable past, Uncas. Last year your immutable past was a very mutable future and the man could indeed have made any one of a number of choices. That he made the one that you now remember is no indication he was fated to make it. At the time the choice was made, it was still a choice, an act of free will. That the choice can't be unmade doesn't negate that.

quote:
The confusion here I think is the concept of 'the first time' and 're-run', the re-run is the first time Ron the TARDIS simply allows you to go back to view it.

Go back? Again, it sounds a lot like you're still stuck on a time line, Uncas?

quote:
If the man has free will, the ability to choose between multiple possibilities, then each time you go back there's every possibility that his choice is different.

But what if the Tardis doesn't "go back," Uncas? What if M Theory is correct and your Tardis is actually skipping through an infinite array of parallel universes where anything that could happen has happened?

What would you expect to see then?
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


68 posted 06-12-2011 07:35 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Put it this way: What part of the universe had more control over him at the time, he himself or something else?  If he did, then how could it not be a choice?

Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


69 posted 06-12-2011 08:44 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     Beg pardon, I'm not mathematical, and the theory here may be above my head, but I recall, I believe, that experimental tests of Heisenberg's theory were done, and that the photon did not always do the same thing, sometimes strolling through one gate, sometimes the other and, if my memory serves, occasionally through both and providing a diffraction pattern indicating it interfered with itself.

     Do you gentlemen have any recollection of such work?  As I said, I'm not mathematical, but such data would seem to raise some interesting questions if accurate, and presuming either of you has any recollection of running across anything like it.

     The discussion of free will in the way that you are discussing it seems to be fated to run across paradox traps.  Russell suggests that such traps might be resolved by looking for inadvertent mistakes in levels of abstraction.

     Can God create a stone too heavy for God to lift it? is only a paradox if you assume that the sentence is the same as the reality; and, in this case, that remains to be seen.  A hypothetical case is not a real case.  The menu is not the meal.  First show me that stone fitting the requirements that God has created; and then we'll talk about the rest of it.

     Free will adheres to consciousness, doesn't it?

     What the photon does, chosing one or another gate, appears to be connected to the observer, that person overseeing the experiment.

     Does God count as an observer?  What kind of observation creates an observer effect?  

     Does this mean that the random effect of photons going through the gates on a diffration grating are the artifacts of the consciousness of God, and were God not paying attention, the distribution would be different?  Is this God's way of keeping things on the up and up?  And is the change away from randomness that comes from conscious observation an artifact of free will, man exerting himself in the universe?  

     Just thought I'd raise some questions.

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


70 posted 06-13-2011 07:12 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad


quote:
The TARDIS thought experiment guarantees all that, forget that time travel might not be possible, that even if it were causality might be affected, it's a thought experiment so you can suspend disbelief on those points. If you could go back and re-run the event in view only mode the sum total of the man's life up to that point would already have occurred, every event in the history of the universe up to that point would also have occurred in exactly the same way it did the first time. Given that absolutely nothing had changed, I believe that his decision, seemingly made freely, would be precisely the same. At the point he made the choice not to take an umbrella there were a million possibilities and exactly zero chance of him choosing anything but not taking the umbrella.


But what this implies is that free will must not be the will doing the choosing. It has to be something else.  My answer is no it wouldn't have changed and that choice was still free.

True, taking quantum mechanics into account makes an exact rewind impossible but that's an argument against determinism, not for or against free will.

Look at it this way:

Could it have been otherwise?  Could he have chosen differently?

The moment you use "otherwise" or "differently", the moment you are adding knowledge to the scenario and that changes things.  

This is not a bad thing.  It's very good for it allows us to expand the parameters of the choice itself and for the next choice.  It increases our freedom. Computers, protists, fungi, and insects do not have this freedom.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


71 posted 06-27-2011 07:00 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Wow,  I had forgotten I posted that last post.

Anyway, is that clear?

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


72 posted 06-27-2011 10:07 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

It's very clear that you've posted the last post ... er, wait a minute ...

 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> Philosophy 101 >> The Moral Argument For God's Existence   [ Page: 1  2  3  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors