Friday, September 2, 2016

613: No free will....

During the Enlightenment the rationale for determinism was shifting from theological or religious determinism back to the physical/causal determinism of the Greek cosmologists and atomists. 

Leibniz (1646 - 1716) imagined a scientist who could see the events of all times, just as all times are thought to be present to the mind of God.

-QUOTE- “Everything proceeds mathematically .. .if someone could have a sufficient insight into the inner parts of things,

and in addition had remembrance and intelligence enough to consider all the circumstances and take them into account, be would be a prophet and see the future in the present as in a mirror.” -END QUOTE-

The French scientist and mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749- 1827) went one step further. his words are remembered as “Laplace’s Demon”:

- QUOTE - "We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. 

An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, 

if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; 

for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes." (Essai philosophique sur les probabilit├ęs, 1814) -END QUOTE -

The first statement is the killer here:”We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. “

Everything that happens is part of an enormous causal chain. If we were able to know all causal relations, we could predict the future.

However, this predictability is not our greatest worry. When determinism is true, the future would be inevitable, that is, there exists only one possible future, which makes free will an elusion.

The contemporary American philosopher Peter van Inwagen (1942) has summed up the challenge of determinism to free will thus:

If determinism is true, he says, then our acts are the consequence of laws of nature and events in the remote past.

Since it is not up to us what went on before we were born,and neither it is up to us what the laws of nature are,

it would therefore follow that the consequences of these things, including our present acts, are not up to us.

And it just seems obvious that we can not be responsible  for what is not up to us. And that  is what freedom of will implies: the responsibility of our actions.

If all this reasoning holds and all these philosophical observations are right, then we apparently live in the only possible world, which finds its origin in the Big Bang.

No freedom of will. We are just the result of universal causality, if you may believe these philosophers. An interesting observation.

But at the root of our problem is not so much the issue of determinism. The root of scientific scepticism about free will is materialism.

So, in fact is our question: can we be a materialist and yet assume the existence of freedom of will?

Thank you all again…. It is your turn now…. ^_^



The Discussion

[13:19] CB Axel: That's what I've been saying all along.
[13:19] herman Bergson: and that is...?
[13:19] druth Vlodovic: and you couldn't have done anything else
[13:19] herman Bergson: CB?
[13:19] CB Axel: The big bang set everything in motion and every electrical impulse going through our brains are the result of everything that happened then.
[13:20] herman Bergson: You mean all that is happening is already determined from the moment of the big Bang, CB?
[13:20] CB Axel: Yep
[13:20] druth Vlodovic: mind you this also obviates God from responsibility for our fates, so there is no one to blame
[13:21] CB Axel: We're all off the hook.
[13:21] herman Bergson: But isnt tha counter intuitive?
[13:21] CB Axel: Our lives can be blamed on physics.
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but would that already had determined that for ex i would have gone playing floor-ball with my friends before today?
[13:21] CB Axel: How so?
[13:21] CB Axel: Yes, Bejiita.
[13:22] herman Bergson: so we are just cogs in a machien, CB?
[13:22] CB Axel: Or accidents of nature.
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but how can you determine from start sort of infinite events for billions and billions of things including us from the beginning of time?
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sounds impossible
[13:23] herman Bergson: no...no accidents for that assumes randomness...
[13:23] CB Axel: We can't. That's why we think we have free will.
[13:23] druth Vlodovic: you roll the snowball down the hill, you can't know where it will go but it's path is predetermined from the moment you let go regardless
[13:23] herman Bergson: so...free will is an illusion, CB?
[13:23] CB Axel: Yes
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that is correct
[13:24] CB Axel: And yes, druth.
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the speed and direction and the surface it rolls on plus the incline and so
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that is logical
[13:24] herman Bergson: Ahh..ok....then why don't you sit back and do nothing from now on?
[13:24] herman Bergson: why should you....
[13:24] druth Vlodovic: boring
[13:24] CB Axel: I've been considering it.
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that can be determined mathematically
[13:24] herman Bergson: all is determined...
[13:25] CB Axel: But apparently, it has been determined that eventually I'll get hungry.
[13:25] herman Bergson: CB might say...
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but our own actions? can they be determined like that from start? Everyone of them
[13:25] druth Vlodovic: the creatures that decided to do that died out, we are what is left, so far...
[13:25] herman Bergson: I could lean back indeed...
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like a prerecorded videotape
[13:25] herman Bergson: because you say so...
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it is an interesting idea for sure
[13:25] herman Bergson: for that is allinthe causal chain of events in my life
[13:26] herman Bergson: so from now on CB is glued to her chair :-)
[13:26] CB Axel: All the decisions we make in life come from the chemical changes in our brains. And those changes are made by changes that came before.
[13:26] druth Vlodovic: well, then we start looking for butterflies, things or forces from outside the universe that might create variation
[13:27] herman Bergson: ahhhhCB....!!!
[13:27] herman Bergson: Ionly have one question for you.....
[13:27] CB Axel: I won't necessarily not move. I can't know for certain what I will do because I don't know how the changes will occur.
[13:27] herman Bergson: WHAT set those chancel changes in your brain into action???
[13:28] CB Axel: Everything that has gone before.
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but if I do like this now?
[13:28] CB Axel: That has been predetermined. °͜°
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this i came up with just some seconds ago now
[13:29] CB Axel: So you think.
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): still predetermined?
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that i would dance
[13:29] CB Axel: Yes
[13:29] herman Bergson: THAT Bejiita is the result of what all has gone before in your (S)Life,,,it seems
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and the attack at Zaveltem?....
[13:29] druth Vlodovic: yes,it is the result of how your personality reacts to the ideas,combined with your current understanding of available resources
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting idea as said
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm to some degree at least i d say
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: not really
[13:30] druth Vlodovic: I'm afraid that leaving the argument there seems to end it, nothing else to say, that I can imagine
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lot of things go together to create our actions
[13:30] CB Axel: Unless there are other universes that were created by something other than our big bang acting upon our universe, it's all just physics.
[13:31] herman Bergson: INteresting....
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): so the terrosrists can't help it? it it just determined?
[13:31] CB Axel: I'm willing to accept other universes out there messing with us. °͜°
[13:31] druth Vlodovic: other than refutations has anyone said anything more about that?
[13:32] CB Axel: Have I stunned you all into silence?
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:32] CB Axel: Or have you given up all hope?
[13:32] herman Bergson: complicated discussion....:-)
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe complicated but interesting concept
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it for sure make my head spin faster the the LHC beams
[13:33] CB Axel: Poor Bejiita. I feel like I've been attacking him with science.
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hhe
[13:33] herman Bergson: if youbeliev ein absolute determinism we aren't persons here..just actining machines
[13:33] CB Axel: Or what passes for science in my feeble, but pre-determined brain. LOL
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, we would be like pre programmed robots then if this is determinism
[13:33] CB Axel: Not machines. That implies a builder of the machine.
[13:34] herman Bergson: Indeed CB....
[13:34] CB Axel: More like atoms in the air wafted by breezes caused by the heat of the sun.
[13:34] herman Bergson: so ..where to start?
[13:34] herman Bergson: any suggestions about their origin, CB?
[13:35] CB Axel: Whatever caused the big bang.
[13:35] CB Axel: Chuck Lorre? LOL
[13:35] herman Bergson: Deosnt work...
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:35] herman Bergson: the Big BAng theory is a product of the human brain only
[13:35] CB Axel: He created the TV show The Big Bang Theory.
[13:35] herman Bergson: not an empircal fact
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): someone with a heck of lust for dynamite it have to be for sure!
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:35] CB Axel: Oh, crap. Herman. You got me there.
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:36] CB Axel: Well played, sir. °͜°
[13:36] CB Axel: You may have saved free will.
[13:36] herman Bergson: Thank you CB :-)
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:36] herman Bergson: Maybe I have....
[13:36] CB Axel: LMAO
[13:36] herman Bergson: for that willbe our next target....
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahahaha
[13:36] CB Axel: I love these discussions and the things they make me think about.
[13:37] herman Bergson: saving ourselves from determinism :-)
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its awesome!
[13:37] CB Axel: Cool!
[13:37] herman Bergson: Guess we all got the picture now :-)
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sort of
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:37] CB Axel: I'm not trying to mess with you here. This is just something I've been thinking about since we started on free will.
[13:37] herman Bergson: so..thank you all again...:-)
[13:37] CB Axel: Thank you for indulging me, Herman.
[13:38] Guestboook van tipjar stand: CB Axel donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:38] herman Bergson: Love it CB :-)

[13:38] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ...^_^

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