Does Physics disprove the existence of free will?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by M.I.D, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    He is, at the moment of observation (while approaching the traffic light, say) separate from, not composed of, and not existing in, the color that light will be when he first perceives it.
    Irrelevant. Under no circumstances does a brick have more freedom of action - degrees of freedom in its response to stimuli - than a Fred.
    Is there an entity called "Fred", for us to talk about, or not?
    Sure. Now let's direct our attention to the nature of that "effect" - its properties, its abilities, etc
    Note that whirlpools can move around, shrink and grow, remain in place, gather debris, all while the water they borrow and the river they are in continue to behave as such entities in the universe will.
    Perhaps that suggests an approach toward discussing the much more complex and "independent" Fred.
    Reread. Nothing in my posting even suggests that the universe is not an entity. The opposite, in a sense - I object to identifying the universe as the only entity.
    And yes, I do want to grant Fred single entity status. Also bricks, etc. Things with names.
    And if you get rid of time and non-homogeneity, you get rid of causality. That is one of the problems with denying observable abilities to Fred now because of what will happen to him in the future, or denying qualitative differences between entities because they are all immersed in a "universal" soup.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  3. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Anything Fred decides he WILL do, is determined, by definition. The only freedom is to NOT act: do nothing.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You seem to think being determined by decision and having degrees of freedom in that decision are mutually exclusive. Why?
     
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  7. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Not TIME

    AGE

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  8. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    The moment someone decides to do something: wills it into action, is the moment that thought becomes determined.

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  9. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    He never is. He exists as an interconnected aspect of the local and global environments he inhabits. He doesn’t become separate from his universal ties because he is perceptively isolated through observation.
    Neither have any degrees of freedom. The behavior of each is determined by the dictates of their constituent interaction with the greater whole.
    In describing Fred as entity, what exactly are we supposed to include in that mix? All of the atoms. molecules and compounds contained in his body? Or just the small percentage of that material collection devoted to consciousness?
    Do you understand the that the whirlpool represents a condition imposed on the body of water by itself and the greater universe? The same is also true of Fred and the environmental body of material that is continually conditioned to determine his form and behavior. Perceived complexity isn’t relevant to the issue of causality, substitute whirlpool for galaxy and you dwarf any complexity advantage granted to Fred.
    The nature of perception allows us to contextually describe reality in various ways. The universe can be described as a single entity or a collection of its constituent parts and processes. The same can be said for any subset contained in the universe such as Fred, or subsets of Fred. But separating these various universal aspects contextually does not separate their connected functionality.
    I’m not denying that Fred or any other aspect of universal existence has unique identifiable qualities, but I do deny the proposition that those qualities can arise independently from behavior established in the greater whole.
     
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  10. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    Your time is your age. Your period of existential change as compared to that of an ideal standard, such as a clock or sunrises.
     
  11. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Hmmm, do we have free-will?? Should one argue a deterministic response to stimuli, this is STILL an admission of the response! Should we TRULY have free-will, one should be able to REPEAT a possessive action, with different outcomes.

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    COME AT ME, SEE WHAT HAPPENS!
     
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Think you have that back to front

    Not repeat a action (no idea what you mean by possessive) with different outcome

    Faced with a choice of some items you pick one

    Replace it

    Situation has changed in that you know a little bit more about the item you picked and that info has been filled in your brain

    Now you are faced with same items with brain in possession of extra info

    So test is compromised

    Pick another (different) item

    Was the second choice influenced in anyway by the extra info?

    You may wonder, even suspect, but you will never know
    Insert evil laugh here

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  13. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Actually I DO know because I can remember!

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    Remembering the past is a way of bringing the past into the present...

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    Or travelling from the present into the past!

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  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    "Fred" does not include the future color of a traffic light that has yet to become visible to him. Agreed?
    I'd have no problem with anything reasonable. The significant matter here is what we do not include - such as stuff that does not yet exist, is not part of any reasonable description of Fred (traffic lights a mile away), etc.
    Do not try to tell your professors that, when they flunk you for making basic errors of analysis in engineering school.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_(statistics)
    The whirlpool exists, and behaves, and can be named and described and measured and photographed and so forth, without reference to the entirety of the body of water it is in - let alone the rest of the universe. The rest of the river is not part of the whirlpool, and does not behave as the whirlpool behaves.
    ? You cannot assign causes or effects without perceiving them.
    We were comparing Fred to a brick - there's no "advantage", there's just different logical levels of organization, different degrees of freedom in behavior. Fred can respond to information, for example - can anticipate and prepare and make decisions.
    It does come in handy for describing that functionality, though - describing the stuff that is connected, and how it is connected. That would include the present, current, observed now ability of Fred to either stop or go, in the future, depending on what Fred sees when he gets to a traffic light. That's part of Fred's "functionality", and it is connected to the rest of the universe of course - nothing supernatural going on here.
    Notice the difference - in functionality, connection, whatever - between Fred approaching a traffic light, and a brick approaching a traffic light. Note that Fred has all the "functionalities" the brick has. The converse is not true.
    Hold that thought.
    Nobody is proposing any such independence, any more, I hope - the supernatural assumption has been rejected. I rejected it in my first post in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Q.
    In an infinite volume of determined space, where would you find it's center?
    A.
    Any where you want to....
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    That's geometric free choice, not individual free will.
     
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    ?
    The infinite volume may be fully determined yet it can not determine it's own center. It takes free will (imagination) to do that...
    To prove that it is free is possible because every one tasked with the same question would arrive at a different solution.
     
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  18. TheFrogger Banned Valued Senior Member

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    The difference between free-will and determinism is the difference between action and re-action. An act is free, a reaction is not; it is simply a reflection of an action.
     
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  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    People choose their reactions.
    That choice is an action, no?
     
  20. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    That choice is a description of a universally determined action.
     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Which is either meaningless or irrelevant.

    Suppose that it has been universally determined, somehow, that people are capable of making willful decisions according to their own criteria and perceptions, and willfully acting on them. What's your point?

    Mine is that they are actually making decisions, choosing among alternative courses of action that they are also (until after the moment of decision) capable of willfully undertaking - that's not an illusion, but an observation of fact.
     
  22. Capracus Valued Senior Member

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    When you say willful you’re implying that the action can be made independently of the sum of all action. We can define an act by a person as willful for the convenience of describing the act, but the reality is that human action is no more willful than the action of the Earth in regards to its weather.
    The choosing does not involve alternatives, the choosing is only a determined act of calculation regarding a determined outcome. We don’t say that the Earth has alternatives as to the type of meteorology it expresses, we assume that meteorology is an expression of a determined evolution of the planets historical activity, coupled with that of the universe as a whole.
     
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    "...and we are born to determine what has, is and will be, determined by that universe for one purpose only... to serve self.."
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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