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Physics, free-will and individuality.

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posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by Nyte Angel
reply to post by Syntax123
 


What makes you believe there is no science involved in what I posted?


It contains pseudoscience. I am going to go more in depth with Astynaxas's post and see if it has real science, but a quick skim only shows more pseudoscience. It's an interesting concept, but that's as much credit as I'm willing to give to it at this point.




posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by blupblup

Originally posted by Syntax123

Originally posted by theendisnear69
haha did you watch that movie Waking Life? Because I swear they say almost exactly the same thing in that movie.


Heh, never heard of it. Is it worth watching?



It is a great film.

Watch it here "waking life"


Thanks!



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by Nyte Angel
We can safely assume that free will doesn't exist, right?



I have just about come to that conclusion, yes. I actually, not too long ago as a matter of fact, posted a thread on the subject of free-will. Free Wlll
While I would like to think free will is real, observation would dictate otherwise.



posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 04:19 AM
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Originally posted by Nyte Angel
We can safely assume that free will doesn't exist, right?
[edit on 6-10-2008 by Nyte Angel]


You are wrong. There is free will. You use it every day in all your actions. What you confuse is that infinity (all posibilities/determination) and free will exclude each other. They don't.

While any action/event already exist before you, only the one that you chose (free will) from the infinity will manifest in your world. The rest (any other choise) still exist, but not in your current experience of life.

At one point you will be aware of all the possible choises and you will live all the possible choise, but then you can stop calling yourself a human.



posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 06:58 AM
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reply to post by Syntax123
 


You're welcome



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by Syntax123

Originally posted by Nyte Angel
reply to post by Syntax123
 


What makes you believe there is no science involved in what I posted?


It contains pseudoscience. I am going to go more in depth with Astynaxas's post and see if it has real science, but a quick skim only shows more pseudoscience. It's an interesting concept, but that's as much credit as I'm willing to give to it at this point.


accusing Astyanax of resorting to the use of pseudoscience is, well...

interesting

confusing

amusing

mostly amusing

we know you like the word pseudoscience

I'm actually wondering if you understand what the word philosophy means...

how about pseudo-philosophy?

you use the word science as if it has FDA approval

or maybe the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval?

someone's approval - a guarantee is guaranteed?

I have to point out, at some point - because I just can't seem to help myself - nothing is for sure...

all ideas are valid up to a point - and that point is where an idea becomes research - or doesn't

but, the idea can still outlive being discarded - because, it's an idea



Well, alright then. I'll let you people believe in your philosophy if it makes you feel better. If I have time, I'll look through the other links you posted and see if there's any science (my big interest) involved. I have only come across pseudoscience when it comes to philosophy, but we'll see, I guess.


and I'll let you believe in your science - if that makes you feel better

let me know what you find out - about philosophy

this should be interesting

[edit on 10/11/2008 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by blupblup
 


thanks for that link - been a while since I've seen it

one of my favorites -



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by Nyte Angel
 


Interesting topic Nyte Angel

The way I see it despite the fact that human beings are limited to the physical laws we still have freedom to choose. For instance, if I'm deciding between two apples, one green the other red, I might have complete freedom of choice between the two. You're right, almost every choice is affected by something else. For instance my choice with the apple might change if I had a different taste bud configuration that favored red apples... Also, the subconscious mind can enter into the choice (for instance if I had some deep dislike of the color red for whatever reason)

You bring up a good point with the fact that we think we're special as human beings. I've noticed that humans like to separate themselves from animals. We call things we make and design "unnatural" and "artificial" and do our best to think of ourselves as divinely chosen. I've often found myself wondering if "life" is actually something special, or if it is the inevitable result, perhaps another stage of the Universe. From Big Bang (or "let there be light" if you're religious) to the formation of stars, galaxies, planets, and eventually life. I also found myself wondering if a non-biologic entity can have something we would call "life". We'll have to answer that question eventually, especially when robots are advanced enough to be self-aware. Can a non-biological (by our standards) entity be conscious?



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 05:06 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 





Let's commence with causality. Evidence for it hardly demands scientific citation; causality is all around us. In fact - and this may surprise a layperson who has dined not wisely but too well on the cargo-cult offerings* of 'quantum physics' - events in the macroscopic world always show a classical-relativistic, not quantum, character, and are, as far as we can tell, implacably deterministic.


:-)



Nevertheless, all events are the outcome of wave function collapses. This poses a bit of a problem for quantum theorists. The simplest explanation for it lies, as I have argued elsewhere on ATS, in the incompleteness of quantum mechanics, which in its current form is incompatible with general relativity.


the incompleteness of quantum mechanics is going to drive me insane - because how can I factor in incompleteness when I don't even understand the parts that are complete?

are there any of those parts?

the reason I ask is - I am just not getting wave function collapse - or the observation part (yes, I know...)

it seems like there is some denial going on in the world of physics

harmless denial - well intentioned denial - honest denial - I'm not in a position to know

but if we're talking about free will - it looks like free will exists in the smallest possible places we can think to look

without even including us

I would give you a million dollars if you could explain wave function collapse in a way that I could really understand

I don't actually have a million dollars, so that part was a lie

I would also ask about the observer - but don't want to push my luck




IN THE late 1990s a previously blameless American began collecting child pornography and propositioning children. On the day before he was due to be sentenced to prison for his crimes, he had his brain scanned. He had a tumour. When it had been removed, his paedophilic tendencies went away. When it started growing back, they returned. When the regrowth was removed, they vanished again. Who then was the child abuser? His case dramatically illustrates the challenge that modern neuroscience is beginning to pose to the idea of free will...


I'm glad you gave us this - because I agree with the idea that it makes free will more difficult to discuss philosophically

it's why I'm against the death penalty (it's one reason) - where do our individual choices really begin and end?



The typical conservative's response to this sort of thing - fear and revulsion - is exemplified by this essay by Tom Wolfe However, some people aren't quite so fearful or unimaginative. We call ourselves naturalists. We believe that it is possible to live a happy, moral and productive life without the benefit of free will or even the concept of a self.


I have 2 questions:

how does one determine morality without free will? (it's a sincere question - not a jab)

and, do you guys have a handshake?



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 08:33 PM
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Ok. I can see there are a couple bright minds contributing to this thread. A lot more intellectual than mine I would say. But....now this is my theory, philosophy, spiritual reasoning, or what ever, so.... Free will does exist, but it is not on the physical plane. Think of yourself physically, as a computer program, got it? Good. Now take yourself , spiritually.

Your spiritual self uploads all the information it has learned throughout the many times it has existed physically and loads it onto the physical program (or, this could be your first go at it!!) And! The program takes the information and uses it as an A.I. platform. As this happens we physically are artificial intelligence existing on information we have subconsciously, but don't consciously perceive on the physical plane! This is the state we/you/us are in now. Understand? This is why we dream, and have cravings, desires, phobias, and unexplained attractions. We may acquire these things through our current life, but what of those that do not exist for any reason through your lifes environmental exposure?

This could answer the question of why we don't remember our past lives and experiences, not too mention that the sluggish vibrational frequency that the physical reality exists on. It makes it much more difficult to transfer information from the spiritual dimension to the physical and information gets muddled and can't be understood when received by the physical plane.

This little theory of mine on existence might answer some questions about the Hologram Theory, but i wouldn't know because I've never read it....just heard of it.

So. We freely will our existence into reality through the creation of our character in the physical program, giving us the ability to ever keep learning new and wonderful things. By experiencing, emotion. I know there are spiritual dimensions that our "souls" exist on, just by the way we as humans like to play god on earth.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 05:37 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 

Hi again, Spiramirabilis. The 'incompleteness' of quantum mechanics isn't like a jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing. Quantum theory is cohesive and its propositions have been experimentally verified. It stands up.

The trouble is, it's a classical theory. The mathematics of it works well in terms of a Newtonian-type universe but doesn't make sense if you try to square it with General Relativity. And we know our universe is relativistic; this, too, has been experimentally verified just as quantum theory has.

So we are left with two incompatible models of reality, both of which have been proved to hold true in real life.

A theory of 'quantum gravity' - a theory that will marry General Relativity and quantum mechanics - has been the Holy Grail of physics for half a century and more. Some people (we call them string theorists) say it has already been attained, but since they can't tell us what the unification looks like, or even point it out among the 10^500 possible string theories they tell us have to exist, they're not much help. String theory is a great way of explaining everything - and nothing.

So the incompleteness of quantum theory has nothing to do with 'denial'. It isn't as if we already have all the answers somehow and are just refusing to see them. In fact, the situation is the very opposite of this: we know what we don't know, but can't see our way clear to finding it out.

About 'wave-function collapse': Richard Feynman, whom I quoted in my earlier post, used to say that if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't. A wave-function collapse in quantum mechanics is what we, in our world, might call an event. It is simply something happening - but a very tiny and inconsequential something. To create what gross creatures like you and I would recognize as an event, a multitude of wave functions have to collapse. Their collapses also have to be related to one another in a way our brains (or the universe, perhaps) recognize as causal. Trying to explain how that happens is very hard without bringing minds or causality into the picture. The fact that we are obliged to do so implies that there is something important missing from quantum theory. Why? Because we know that minds are in fact unnecessary - most of the universe carries on just fine when it is unobserved. And as for causality, we know it to be universal, so its selective incompatibility with aspects of quantum theory (in particular, wave function collapse) is another indicator of the incompleteness of the theory.

As to your final comment: unfortunately, the 'space for free will' vanishes with the collapse of the wave function and the universe goes back to being the cruelly deterministic thing it always was.

[edit on 15-10-2008 by Astyanax]



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 06:42 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


how does one determine morality without free will? (it's a sincere question - not a jab)

And here's a sincere answer. If you look about you at the animal kingdom, in particular the social species, you will see the origins of morality in certain kinds of behaviour that have evolved to maximize the survival potential of the genes of the species.

The key is to see that natural selection isn't (primarily at least) about preserving species, kin groups or individuals. It's about preserving genes (this, incidentally, is Richard Dawkins's great insight, the reason why he is considered one of the leading scientific minds of our age).

What's good for the individual may not always be good for its genes. If the individual never reproduces, or if its offspring fail to reproduce in their turn, the genes are lost.

So for an individual to sacrifice itself to save its young, or to aid the survival of a kin group in which most members carry at least some of its genes, makes perfect sense from a Darwinian-Dawkinsian point of view.

That is the starting point. I would argue that human morality evolved from there, growing more complex along with human society and culture as it responded to the increasing size and inclusiveness of 'in' groups and the increasing fineness and subtlety of distinctions between in and out groups.

Basic morality is built into us at an instinctive level. Mirror neurons in our brains fire when we see someone else doing something, mimicking the neural pattern in the doer's brain. Perhaps this helps explain empathy.

A sense of fair play seems to be built into us too.

I would provide links, but I'm afraid Syntax123 will read them and penetrate my pseudoscientific disguise.


do you guys have a handshake?

No, we rub noses. And other parts too, but only in private.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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I used to believe that free will was merely an illusion, but that's because I believed in linear time. Some personal observations changed that belief however.

The universe is like a snowflake. It follows a defined and ordered pattern, yet the details are always different.

Certain changes, waves of time, or novelty are destined to happen but we have a choice to perceive those changes in different ways. Fate and free will aren't mutually exclusive.

God/the universe does not know the true future. New ideas are constantly being generated in the present, and as a result the future is always changing. The past changes as well, although it happens so subtly that we merely 'reinterpret' it.

If it were possible to know everything without quantum machines like us to generate new ideas through our experiences, then we would have no purpose in these limited forms and would instead be enjoying ourselves in some sort of heaven, free of all limitation. The only true limitation in the universe is imagination, which is governed by association.

My conclusion then is that free will does indeed exist. This is because we have the capability of creating new thoughts in the present, thoughts which are not a part of the future (or past) until we create them.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



So we are left with two incompatible models of reality, both of which have been proved to hold true in real life.


you see - this is what I love the most - the mystery - whatever will the answer be?



String theory is a great way of explaining everything - and nothing.


now, that's my kind of theory - meaningful meaninglessness



...About 'wave-function collapse': Richard Feynman, whom I quoted in my earlier post, used to say that if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't...


and I may have to make peace with the fact that I never will - not even the parts that are understood

but, your explanation got me a little closer - thanks



As to your final comment: unfortunately, the 'space for free will' vanishes with the collapse of the wave function and the universe goes back to being the cruelly deterministic thing it always was.


so, speaking of cruelly deterministic - why do I even bother wondering about this stuff?

now, there's a philosophical question that actually belongs in this thread - why, oh why?

"do what thou wilt is the whole of the law" seems to work just fine if it doesn't matter what I do

I've always felt very uneasy with this line of reasoning

I'm guessing that's pretty obvious



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

thank you - sincerely

a nature based morality works for me



I would argue that human morality evolved from there, growing more complex along with human society and culture as it responded to the increasing size and inclusiveness of 'in' groups and the increasing fineness and subtlety of distinctions between in and out groups.


complex in more ways than we can understand, possibly



Basic morality is built into us at an instinctive level. Mirror neurons in our brains fire when we see someone else doing something, mimicking the neural pattern in the doer's brain. Perhaps this helps explain empathy.


making this one of the more interesting things I've heard in a while - really

how many possible interactions are happening between people (critters) at one time?

what can we read - and how much do we miss?



A sense of fair play seems to be built into us too. I would provide links, but I'm afraid Syntax123 will read them and penetrate my pseudoscientific disguise.


:-)



do you guys have a handshake? No, we rub noses. And other parts too, but only in private.


again - :-)

I was thinking maybe you all just sniffed each other - you know - like all the other naturalists - living in the wild

so, about freewill then - and naturalism, and morality - hmmm...

I mentioned earlier - elsewhere - that nature is the most honest of us all

I understand and have to agree with your explanation and definition of morality - naturalist style

and, it really does make the concept of free will a little more of an easy-breezy, hassle free thing to think about

but in the end, all I'm ever left with is "why ask why?"

I see us (the monkeys) as some twisted mix of natural and unnatural

I used to see us as just one more part of the natural world - growing up in a naturalist household - that's just the way it was

and yes, I did

but, early on I started to question that - not all of it - only just some

:-)

my head hurts most of the time - in case you're wondering



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:34 AM
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accusing Astyanax of resorting to the use of pseudoscience is, well...

interesting

confusing

amusing

mostly amusing


Okay.


we know you like the word pseudoscience


It's pretty easy to throw around when browsing these forums.


I'm actually wondering if you understand what the word philosophy means...

how about pseudo-philosophy?

you use the word science as if it has FDA approval

or maybe the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval?

someone's approval - a guarantee is guaranteed?


When a philosophy attempts to justify itself using pseudoscience, I call out its use of pseudoscience. Pretty simple concept, I'd say.


I have to point out, at some point - because I just can't seem to help myself - nothing is for sure...


Of course nothing is for sure, but you work with what you currently have. Using the fact that science is never 100% definite on something isn't a means for believing in something else.


all ideas are valid up to a point - and that point is where an idea becomes research - or doesn't

but, the idea can still outlive being discarded - because, it's an idea


Okay.


and I'll let you believe in your science - if that makes you feel better

let me know what you find out - about philosophy

this should be interesting

[edit on 10/11/2008 by Spiramirabilis]


I seek truth through science, not comfort.

[edit on 16-10-2008 by Syntax123]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


"do what thou wilt is the whole of the law" seems to work just fine if it doesn't matter what I do

I've always felt very uneasy with this line of reasoning

Even Crowley, when push came to shove, couldn't do exactly as he 'wilt', because - like everybody else - he and his 'will' were the product of his genes, his history and the moment.

'Do what thou must' is in truth the whole of the law.

And that's a line of reasoning that makes some people uneasier still.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


I see us (the monkeys) as some twisted mix of natural and unnatural

The word 'unnatural' is meaningless. We are a part of nature, and nothing we do can ever be unnatural.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by Syntax123
 




When a philosophy attempts to justify itself using pseudoscience, I call out its use of pseudoscience. Pretty simple concept, I'd say.


philosophy depends on reason

we would have to understand and agree - first - that a concept we're discussing is using pseudoscience, if we've determined that pseudoscience is not to be used to make our argument

that's a discussion in and of itself

dismissing something before we understand it - what it actually is or isn't - because it's not convenient to our argument - isn't rational

not only is that not useful to philosophy - it's not good science - pseudo or otherwise

if you looked into it a little more - you would see that science and philosophy have a lot in common - and can work very well together

philosophy is also a search for the truth - and it doesn't rely on what's comfortable any more than science does

in fact - philosophy can be downright uncomfortable

you should do some research on philosophy - I think it's something that might genuinely interest you



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 





'Do what thou must' is in truth the whole of the law. And that's a line of reasoning that makes some people uneasier still.


I understand this - and I'm more comfortable with it - because of the lack of choice

choice can be a scary, scary thing

I can't pretend that I don't understand what you're saying - because I do

I still choose to believe that choice exists

sorry - couldn't help myself

:-)

that should cover it





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