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Reality, Schrödinger's Cat, Determinism, Etc...

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posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 07:39 PM
One of the most fascinating thought experiments would be pretty similar to the Schrödinger's Cat example, leading to interesting questions whether what happens is already pre-determined....or whether we deal with entangled "fuzzy" quantum realities which have multiple outcomes at the same time.


A man is expecting an important package in the mail. He knows that seeing how long ago the sender sent it on the way, the package "could arrive any day" at his house.

He is checking his mail every day for the package:

Monday, the package did not arrive. Tuesday, it did not arrive, Wednesday it did not arrive.
On Thursday, the package finally arrived at his house.

Point of View A)

The fact that the package arrived on Thursday was already determined earlier, there is no other reality than the fact the package would come Thursday. From that point of view, it was "wasted" that he bothered to check on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc. (Of course, he did not KNOW when the package would arrive). But there was simply no way it would have come on Mon, Tues, Wed because the "event" of the package arriving was already pre-determined, excluding all other alternative scenarios and making them "impossible".

Point of View B)

Since he knew the package could arrive "any day" there was a legit chance the package comes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc. and each time spending time checking the mail makes sense in his eyes.
There was NO pre-determined "reality" at what exact day the package would arrive, chances the same for each day.. It could have come Monday, Tuesday, Wed or any other day...with the event happening on a particular day "it would become" the reality,

As long as he is unsure about the package possibly arriving or not on a specific day, there is a chance it is actually coming that day. There is no pre-determined date/event, but instead a fuzzy reality with a likelihood that its happening on any random day.

But, let's assume the package comes on Thursday, and there was also a likelihood that it arrived any day before Thursday...come Thursday with the package, the former valid "likelihood" of the package coming any earlier day is becoming "impossible" again - therefore changing reality afterwards. (It cannot be that it possibly arrived eg. Monday and at the same time then arriving the moment it arrives it would prove the other days "wrong"...while earlier there was the same chance for it to arrive...both valid points to look at it, but also paradox.

So....are things "already written"....or are we in some quantum universe with infinite possibilities all at the same time...and how do we influence what possibility becomes "true"....and what happens with the possibilities which are not becoming true?

edit on 31-7-2011 by flexy123 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 08:41 PM
A dense matrix of competing, complementing and intersecting event trajectories establishes the reality that the package moved through. This event matrix exists, and while there's nothing pre-determined, this web does restrict potential. The butterfly effect is an extremely simplified notion based on this fact of reality, but to even approach the complexity of its true impact, you'd have to track a trillion butterfly effect concurrently and then consecutively. That package wasn't the only trajectory involved in that delivery. That being the case, it was a tiny part of a much larger flow of event traffic.
edit on 7/31/2011 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 1 2011 @ 02:38 AM
I saw another story that reminded me about this thread, it's quite an amazing story really:
Crash baby saved by pizza box

A baby boy who was thrown from a van during a horrific car crash was saved by a stray pizza box, which cushioned his landing on the road, New Zealand police say.

Was the place where the Pizza box was laying the only possible place it could have landed to ensure the baby's safe fall? Or was this baby destined to have his/her fall shielded by a pizza box regardless of when and how the car accident took place?

Really makes you think about Determinism.
edit on 1/8/2011 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 1 2011 @ 02:50 AM
reply to post by flexy123

And what if the package never arrives at all, is that predetermined too? Or is it just another "Alternate" possibility? I have this trouble with the Post office here really bad. I guess tough economic times = slack off more at your government job while getting the same pay and benefits not given to the private sector who lost pay/hours/benefits?

posted on Aug, 1 2011 @ 03:11 AM
Thats a really fascinating question, and really lies at the heart of philosophy and morality, imo.

Of course the obvious consequence of strict determinism is a negation of free will, as with no free will there can be no responsibility. Thus if all is predetermined, no moral judgement of 'right' or 'wrong' can exist because 'right' only exists in the capacity that one might choose 'wrong'. No choice, no blame.

If no free will exists, neither does judgement or responsibility for ones moral actions. Without free will, morality does not exist. And yet, in our experience, we exercise free will moment to moment in our daily, sensual experience.

Since determinists are putting forward the counter intuitive argument that seems to contradict every waking moment of all of our lives, I suggest the burden of proof lies with them to show us that free will does not exist and instead we are all a random collection of mindless robots. Remember, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Since the determinist argument is so wild, so counter intuitive and seemingly so against what we all experience from moment to moment, i think the only way to prove such an outlandish idea would be to build a computer that could predict the behavior of humans moment to moment, and projecting at least, say, 100 years in the future. Not only that, but i think it would be fair to require a control group that was *aware* that it was being monitored, to see if it could *fake out* the computer. If behaviour could be predicted for everyone within say, 99%+ accuracy, I think that would be pretty solid evidence for strict determinism.

But until then, bros, the theory may have some sort of logical consistency, but it is totally untestable and unproveable, and until it can be tested and proven, it remains just that; untested and unproven. Until then it remains a theoretical construct that flys in the face of literally every moment of our waking lives - lives that we experience moral choice at a moment by moment level.

So i humbly submit that the burden is on the determinists to prove that choice does not exist.

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