I used to think the exact same thing, Aquin, but then I came to see this as an incorrect assumption:
Originally posted by Aquin
‘If we know everything about any given moment, we can then know everything about every subsequent moment.’
I have come to believe the universe is not so straight-forward, but is regenerated from nothingness in its entirety at every single instant on the
most absolutely small and fundamental level. The "continuity" that links everything together and causes the associations that science studies are a
very strong force of habit, imo, but not much else.
I admit this is only my opinion, but technically the assumption I quoted above can't possibly be proven until we know every piece of information
about every given "moment,"
and know that we know every piece of information, and know that we know that we know... lol.. etc.
Speaking of determinism, there is such a thing as "indeterminism," even in mathematics, the most rigid and no-nonsense science of all. And
indeterminism quite frankly is an apparent contradiction that you cannot resolve "logically," or at least from within calculus or whatever system it
may be that produced this contradiction. The contradiction says, "this theorem is not a theorem," very similar to "This statement is false." And
like I said, it cannot be resolved from within the system it is created in.
I entertain the belief that real-world "artifacts" of this mathematical anomaly (Godel's indeterminacy theorem) are real "points" at which
choices simply have to be asserted and explored from a level inaccessible to our physical senses. Not only that, but
every possible
choice is explored, not just the set of choices were are currently living out, so there is a tie-in with the concept in quantum physics of infinite
universes catering to infinite expression. It may seem like an odd belief, but I feel it has just as much, if not more, going for it.
I've always thought discussions of "free will" were all hopelessly linear and don't properly consider the popular idea in physics that
"lower" dimensions can be manipulated from "higher" dimensions, especially in ways that can't be accomplished just from the lower ones.
For example, time is sometimes said to be the "4th dimension." At any rate, Einstein and many others have imagined time as ultimately having a
shape, not just being a transcendental "flow" to things. Time can be manipulated from "higher levels" just as a 2D surface can be folded so that
the ends touch and so that direction seems to go on "forever," but from 3D it's simply a loop in the paper, and has a finite shape. If time goes
on "forever" then it probably also has a loop or circular quality to it that can be "seen" from the 4th or 5th dimensions, if you had eyes that
worked on those levels. From those same levels you could theoretically tinker with any single point in space and time that you would want, without
having to bother to change "before" or "after" that point.
But I digress. I'm only saying that arguments about "free will" go too deep too fast, with far too little information or understanding available.
The linear reasoning doesn't impress me with such a transcendental issue. Time doesn't always flow, so there aren't always causal, "before &
after" relationships.
[edit on 28-11-2008 by bsbray11]