It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Einstein's Angel and Determinism

page: 1
8

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 06:36 AM
link   
I will use Einstein's Angel as opposed to Maxwell's demon in this thought experiment that illustrates why Determinism and Materialism is false.

First, it's understandable on it's face why Einstein said there's no free will and he accepted determinism based on Relativity. Relativity clearly shows the distinctions between time and most likely time itself doesn't exist.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” -Albert Einstein

He also said:

“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” -Albert Einstein

It's really simple when you look at things like time dilation or the twin paradox. The twin on Earth is spending more time in the same space as the twin in the spaceship moving close to the speed of light. So 2 years can pass for the twin on Earth and 1 year can pass for the twin on the spaceship but they both exist in the same space. This is what Einstein saw as the block universe where past, present and future exist simultaneously.

“Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent ‘now’ objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.” -Albert Einstein

Here's a video of Physicist Brian Greene illustrating this point.



So you can imagine all of space as this block and Einstein's Angel is a hypothetical being that lives on the boundary of this block and can see all points in space simultaneously. So 3 dimensional beings move in this 4th dimension which fundamentally changes time in the observers reference frame that's moving. So two observers or the same observer can exist in the past, present and future simultaneously in the same 3D space just at different points in time. Which gives us space-time. Here's a quote about Einstein and criminals that shows his view on determinism and free will.

"Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper." -Albert Einstein

He also said:

I am a determinist. As such, I do not believe in free will. The Jews believe in free will. They believe that man shapes his own life. I reject that doctrine philosophically. In that respect I am not a Jew. - Albert Einstein

One more:

I believe with Schopenhauer: We can do what we wish, but we can only wish what we must. Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being. I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime; nevertheless, I must protect myself from unpleasant contacts. I may consider him guiltless, but I prefer not to take tea with him. -Albert Einstein

Einstein had very good reason to be accept determinism based on Relativity. There was no good reason to couple this with materialism which is a belief. Einstein accepted the work of Spinoza.

"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." -Albert Einstein

This was basically Pantheism. The belief that matter and mind are the same thing and can be reduced to materialism in Einstein's case. Therefore, there's a God seen in the harmony of nature but not the God of Dualism which is separate from materialism. You also have Idealism which states the universe is fundamentally derived from consciousness and immaterial.

Einstein's mistake was his belief in materialism.

I recently saw a true crime show where a girl moved from Utah to Denver and a year and a half later she was killed by s stranger that broke into her home.

From the block universe point of view, Einstein's Angel from the 4th Dimension can see the girl move from Utah to Denver then see the point in 3D space where she's killed a year and a half later at the same time.

So naturally, you would say the girl has no free will. She had no choice but to move to Denver. She experienced this moment to moment in 3D space because she can't perceive the 4th dimension where Einstein's Angel lives.

Einstein's Angel can correctly predict the girls will be killed when she moves to Denver.

Let's say she moves to Denver eats at a new Restaurant and loves it then goes to a movie and hates it.

The Angel could predict that she would move to Denver, eat at a new Restaurant she will love then go see a movie she will hate. The Angel can also read her thoughts. What he can't predict is why. He can't predict why she had these experiences.

This is qualia or what's called phenomenal consciousness.

For instance, she could love the meal not just because of the taste but it reminds her of a family reunion which gives her a unique experience while eating this particular food prepared in this way. Einstein's Angel couldn't predict this with the same certainty that he could predict that she would eat at a new Restaurant.

He could read her thoughts and see she thought of a family reunion but she also thought about bills, her new home, a guy she met and her High School Graduation. So the Angel could only predict that she would move to Denver, eat at a new Restaurant, she would like the food and one of the reasons may be that she has an experience that includes thoughts of a family reunion, thoughts of paying her bills, thoughts of meeting a new man and thoughts of High School Graduation. He can't predict why these experiences were connected to this meal and which one of these thoughts if not all these thoughts contributed to her experience when eating the meal.

This destroys determinism and materialism and shows that immaterial consciousness must exist simultaneously in the past, present and future. It's also supported by Quantum Mechanics which shows on a fundamental level of reality probability reigns supreme. Einstein's Angel can't have perfect knowledge of 3D beings.
edit on 18-1-2020 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 06:59 AM
link   
I have a hard time believing our future is written in stone.
I think Einstein is wrong in these views.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 07:08 AM
link   
a reply to: neoholographic

And how does your belief in an immaterial consciousness destroy determinism? If it's in the past, present and future these 3 are determined.

Besides pantheism is that god is in every thing, in Einstein's view, god was seperate from humans and events just concerned with order on the massive scale. That's not the same. Not even close.

If you did destroy materialism why am I still sitting on the chair, feeling my body, touching my tablet? Looks like matter is still alive and kicking.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 10:11 AM
link   
a reply to: Peeple

You said:

If you did destroy materialism why am I still sitting on the chair, feeling my body, touching my tablet? Looks like matter is still alive and kicking.

Scientifically, yo're not sitting on anything.

Why Physics Says You Can Never Actually Touch Anything


If you’re reading this right now, it’s a sure bet that you are touching something, be it your cellphone, laptop, chair, desk, or a nice plush bed with Egyptian-cotton sheets (we can dream, right?). Speaking of that nice plush, comfy bed, I hate to shatter the illusion, but you aren’t actually touching it.

The same is true for all of humankind. When you plop down in a chair or slink into your bed, the electrons within your body are repelling the electrons that make up the chair. You are hovering above it by an unfathomably small distance.



futurism.com...



How do you know you're sitting on a chair and it's not just your immaterial consciousness telling you that you're sitting on a chair?
edit on 18-1-2020 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 12:55 PM
link   
I bet Tesla would differ, but what would I know for I am blinded.

Duality just a closed looped system, all the while the spirit or god, or (Satan in some texts), given free will that can just pop in an out of a cycle.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 01:05 PM
link   
Thanks for this great post! I don't think things are predetermined in the universe. But I believe there is a case to be made for causality (sp?) That could have consciousness tied in with the universe essentially kind of the opposite of determinism because our actions, thoughts, sub consciousness etc can all change an outcome in an infinite number of ways.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 03:59 PM
link   
a reply to: neoholographic

Sure it's my consciousness reading the signals my body detects. But there's still something I call "chair" that keeps my material body in a certain position, every time I use it.

And it's all still material interactions if I actually touch it or not doesn't make any difference.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 06:55 PM
link   

originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: neoholographic

Sure it's my consciousness reading the signals my body detects. But there's still something I call "chair" that keeps my material body in a certain position, every time I use it.

And it's all still material interactions if I actually touch it or not doesn't make any difference.



physics should explain reality, not deny it.



posted on Jan, 18 2020 @ 07:23 PM
link   
Determinism is undermined by the very nature of the universe.

Quantum uncertainty. The stochastic perturbations of quantum fields, as well as the vast branching and decoherence that occurs when quantum systems become entangled creates a level of uncertainty that is demonstrably nontrivial.

No demons or angels, Not that of Maxwell or Einstein required. Perfect knowledge is impossible. Even the God of our universe would succumb to the stochastic nature of its creation.
edit on 1 18 2020 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2020 @ 04:15 PM
link   

originally posted by: neoholographic

For instance, she could love the meal not just because of the taste but it reminds her of a family reunion which gives her a unique experience while eating this particular food prepared in this way. Einstein's Angel couldn't predict this with the same certainty that he could predict that she would eat at a new Restaurant.

There is no middle ground with determinism, if the future is already part of this time continuum that is predicted by relativity, then every thought the girl thinks is predetermined, every particle in her brain has a predetermined path through space-time. Einstein believed this because it's what his theories predicted, and it's also why he disliked the uncertainty of quantum mechanics, he knew they weren't compatible.


It's also supported by Quantum Mechanics which shows on a fundamental level of reality probability reigns supreme.

This is the core point, Quantum Mechanics indicates reality is probabilistic, particles behave in a way that is intrinsically random, making it impossible to predict their future state with complete accuracy. If we accept that our tests of Bell's theorem prove there are no hidden variables, then there are essentially two interpretations for this; there is one timeline and wave function collapse is truly random, or every possible timeline exists but we only see a single outcome of every collapse, creating the appearance of being random but it's not really.

I've really lost count though of how many threads you've made "debunking materialism". Most modern physicists completely accept the idea of quantum randomness and strange phenomena such as superposition. Reality is clearly less "real" than we like to think it is on the atomic level, it's not just billiard balls bouncing around. However there's also no underlying mystical aspect of quantum mechanics which proves reality is some sort of illusion generated by conscious observers. Order can arise in chaos, single particles may be unpredictable but put enough together and you get solid objects.

Einstein once asked something like "does the Moon exist when I am not looking at it", because quantum physics would suggest particles only really exist when we observe them. The answer is obviously that the Moon exists regardless of who is looking at it because it's a massive object made of countless entangled particles, on the macro-scale it's behavior is totally predictable. It doesn't matter if we cannot predict the exact behavior of each particle in the Moon, many particles together will always experience decoherence on the macro-scale.

That is why Schrödinger's cat cannot be in superposition, the cat its self is an observer because it's a highly complex system which will cause quantum systems to decohere if they become entangled with the cat. The same thing applies to inanimate measuring devices, they can act as an "observer" for a quantum system and cause the wave function to collapse. If the collapse was purely based on the decision of a conscious observer then the result of the double slit experiment could be changed depending on our decision to look at the which-path data.

That obviously doesn't happen however, attempting to record which-path data will collapse the wave function and force the particle to select a single path. The delayed-choice quantum-eraser experiment demonstrates quite clearly that the interference pattern is destroyed by a setup which captures which-path information, however it also shows that entangled particles can affect each other in a retro-causal way. In other words, what a particle does right now can depend on what its entangled partner does at a future moment in time, and we can manipulate the partner later.

This obviously sounds like an easy method for sending messages through time, but as explained on the Wiki page I linked to, the interference data collected from the first particle isn't meaningful until you combine it with the data from the partner particle. So even though some sort of signal does seem to be sent through time between entangled particles, it cannot be used to send meaningful information through time, sort of like how entanglement doesn't allow meaningful information to be sent through space instantaneously, although something allows entangled particles to communicate instantaneously.

Instantaneous communication or "spooky action at a distance" is similar to time travel within relativity, if we could send meaningful information to any distance instantaneously it would break relativity. However we can use entangled particles to instantly share information between two locations regardless of how far apart they are, it's just the information is totally random because when we measure the state of a particle such as the spin it randomly collapses into a given state and the entangled partner has a corresponding state. This is why we can use entanglement for cryptography, random keys can be securely shared between parties.

Quantum entanglement does seem to imply that the principle of local realism is invalid, however at the same time it never violates principles of causality as imposed by relativity, so it doesn't make instant communication possible. What I would really like is your clear definition of "materialism", what aspect of realism does our universe lack in precise terms rather than metaphysical terms, and how is it something that science or society fails to acknowledge. The universe being probabilistic isn't some final proof that "everything is an illusion", it's a widely accepted view called the Copenhagen interpretation.
edit on 21/1/2020 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2020 @ 09:51 PM
link   
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

The Copenhagen interpretation is a way to keep the reality of the many-worlds interpretation away. Ignoring it makes quantum entanglement, branching, and coherence go away. Currently, coherence is the focus of some quantum computing researchers.

The Many World Interpretation or the Copenhagen Interpretation

Accepting reality means accepting many-worlds in my view.

The wave function isn't collapsing into and locking onto your immediate view. Observation isn't the determinant effect.


This interpretation is based solely on the Schrodinger equation, and it tells the story of the probability wave with unnerving accuracy. This formula describes how probability waves evolve over time and are always in effect.


Bold emphasis mine.


Thus, if the electron goes through both slits, both equations take effect.


This means that branching occurs and that each of these branches of the same wave function are ALWAYS in effect and continue to propagate. This means that each of these worlds immediately goes into effect and continue existing independent from us and we of them. We are on one branch now.

If we are to take Schrodinger's equation seriously then the Copenhagen interpretation of a "collapsing waveform" is just an observational illusion. We cannot observe the other branches but the probability wave functions really are there and the many-worlds interpretation cannot be ignored.


Schrodinger’s equation takes the particle’s initial probability wave shape as input, and it subsequently provides the wave’s shape at any future time.

edit on 1 21 2020 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2020 @ 06:21 AM
link   

originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Accepting reality means accepting many-worlds in my view.

I've always felt that the many-worlds interpretation is not realistic because it implies every possible timeline exists. There's one where I'm a mass murderer and another where I'm an actual superhero. It takes away my sense of free will by making my choices seem irrelevant. The same thing applies to other deterministic interpretations of QM such as Bohmian mechanics (aka pilot wave theory). Bohmian mechanics suggests that every choice I will ever make was determined at the start of time and the result of some ultimate wave equation, again taking away any chance of free will. Even Einstein wrote in a letter to Max Born that he thinks deterministic solutions to QM are probably incorrect:


Have you noticed that Bohm believes (as de Broglie did, by the way, 25 years ago) that he is able to interpret the quantum theory in deterministic terms? That way seems too cheap to me. But you, of course, can judge this better than I.


For the most part I still prefer the Copenhagen interpretation and I wrote a longer explanation for why I hold that position a few years ago in this post. However I will admit that the many-worlds interpretation is growing on me because it seems to explain a few things that other interpretations cannot. There's also the fact it eliminates time travel paradoxes and makes traveling into alternative universes theoretically possible, and as you may know I've made quite a few threads on those topics recently.



new topics

top topics



 
8

log in

join