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Is Anything Truly Random?

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posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 05:53 PM
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Or has it all been predetermined from the start?

This question can apply to both material things/matter, energy, or even to the question of whether freewill exists. Take a specific situation e.g. me kicking a rock and it landing in a certain position. If place the rock exactly as it were before with the same force in the same direction, it should land in exactly the same place as before.

It’s a tricky one though as even if I were completely in control of every parameter that could possibly effect the outcome and made them exactly the same something will have changed. And that change is the fact that time has moved on from when I first kicked that rock. So essentially the theory is un-testable. The nature of time something I have yet to look into in depth, but as long as we exist on the material plane we are bound by time.

In terms of freewill I believe it essentially works the same way. I believe that we have the illusion of free will. This morning I chose bacon and eggs instead of cereal. I chose to where my green t-shirt etc etc. But given the exact same situation, with the exact same thinking behind it, I would always choose to have bacon and eggs and wear my green t shirt.

I haven’t been on ATS that long but often read posts where people mention multiverses of all the possible outcomes to a given situation or choice. But how could these exist if in any given situation there can only be one outcome. And this leads me to believe that not only is freewill an illusion, but so to is the concept of Randomness itself.

To take this one more step, (and I must admit now brain is moving into uncharted territory), if time really is an illusion, and every possible situation already has a predetermined outcome, one could argue that essentially everything that will ever happen has already come to pass and we are essentially our existence is merely an awareness with a physical body stuck in an illusory timeline…..

That last paragraph is merely me going off on one of my tangents, but feel free to comment on it as well. As I said the nature of time isn’t really something I’ve looked into much yet. What I’m especially interested in though is anyone who can actually think of a situation that they believe is truly random, or an act of freewill.




posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 06:04 PM
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indeed it is a pickle, are we free?

personally i'm not sure, but even if it were discovered free will is an illusion, it wouldn't make any difference..





edit on 23/8/11 by mzungu because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by mzungu
 


I agree, it wouldn't make any difference at all...

Btw your link contains a 'malformed' URL



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 06:09 PM
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I think things are set, in that we have no free will over what happens next. We cannot change our actions, so we have no real choice unless we're aware of the consequences of our actions before hand. And we aren't. So we're not given a choice, but told to blindly accept fate.

I do think however that whatever pre destined timeline we're on, it itself is random. We have no special purpose. No destination. We just meander until we expire.



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 06:13 PM
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there are no choices...

there are no coincidences...

there only is.



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by ICEKOHLD
 


i like that.. reminds me of an old adage..

everything is inevitable, and anything is possible



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 10:46 PM
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As mentioned in an old thread I just found from 2008 on a similar topic.

Remember in Matrix Reloaded when Neo talks to the Oracle....

"You didn't come here to make the choice, you've already made it. You came here to understand WHY you made the choice...."



Relevant part starts after 2:00 minutes
edit on 23/8/2011 by 1littlewolf because: vidoe probs



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 10:52 PM
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The woman who played the Oracle was soooo smug.She was ok when letting herself be filmed during The cosby show.

Free will is attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by 1littlewolf
 





Or has it all been predetermined from the start?

Both are viable I believe.

And i can think of many situations that are an act of free will and total randomness. But I don't feel like telling you about them.

But I do feel like telling you that I know about them.

And your matrix comparison is pretty dead on. We already chose our path and what will happen and now we are here to understand why we chose that. And pretty much all the living are here to understand why there here and why they chose that.

Oh and by the way I like your pic avatar of the furry deadpool critter, hope he knows how to use them swords. Is he a wolverine or a ferret. Cant tell with his scary mask on.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 01:44 AM
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Originally posted by 1littlewolf
Or has it all been predetermined from the start?

This question can apply to both material things/matter, energy, or even to the question of whether freewill exists. Take a specific situation e.g. me kicking a rock and it landing in a certain position. If place the rock exactly as it were before with the same force in the same direction, it should land in exactly the same place as before.

It’s a tricky one though as even if I were completely in control of every parameter that could possibly effect the outcome and made them exactly the same something will have changed. And that change is the fact that time has moved on from when I first kicked that rock. So essentially the theory is un-testable. The nature of time something I have yet to look into in depth, but as long as we exist on the material plane we are bound by time.

In terms of freewill I believe it essentially works the same way. I believe that we have the illusion of free will. This morning I chose bacon and eggs instead of cereal. I chose to where my green t-shirt etc etc. But given the exact same situation, with the exact same thinking behind it, I would always choose to have bacon and eggs and wear my green t shirt.

I haven’t been on ATS that long but often read posts where people mention multiverses of all the possible outcomes to a given situation or choice. But how could these exist if in any given situation there can only be one outcome. And this leads me to believe that not only is freewill an illusion, but so to is the concept of Randomness itself.

To take this one more step, (and I must admit now brain is moving into uncharted territory), if time really is an illusion, and every possible situation already has a predetermined outcome, one could argue that essentially everything that will ever happen has already come to pass and we are essentially our existence is merely an awareness with a physical body stuck in an illusory timeline…..

That last paragraph is merely me going off on one of my tangents, but feel free to comment on it as well. As I said the nature of time isn’t really something I’ve looked into much yet. What I’m especially interested in though is anyone who can actually think of a situation that they believe is truly random, or an act of freewill.


Predistination doesn't preclude free will. You may set out on a journey (that could be many lifetimes long), a journey which has a destination...but, along the way, because of free will, you could...forget, become distracted, spend an inordinate amount of lifetimes to come to the conclusion that your destination is real...etc, etc, etc...

For arguments' sake...suppose you were living a life, which seemed like it was the only one you had, a life you cannot remember being born into, a life which presents all sorts of challenging and interesting phenomena and experience...to only just, die and disappear from history without a trace...sound like a waste to me!

Free will is no 'illusion'. The decisions you make on a nano-second by nano-second basis, propel you into the situations you find yourself in; either sooner or later. Your free will to choose from the multiverse of paths before you happens to be the most important decisions you ever make. Make that choice, and a quanta of multiverse situations collapse (with you in them)...what is left is a new quanta of multiverse 'you''s, potentially doing all the things you could be doing, but awaiting your choice...and so on.

Time is an illusion, in the sense that, each of us is experiencing time as the change from one set of multiverses to another. At this level of 'existence', with the 'equipment' we have to make sense of it...the easiest way for us to mitigate the insanity of contemplating the 'illusion' of time, is to agree that there are seconds, minutes, hours...etc.
The real illusion is the idea that we experience any passing of time. You are only EVER in the now! Not in the past, not in the future. The only time which 'exists', is now...it is the only 'time' in which the future can be altered. The past cannot be altered...it doesn't exist for real anymore!

Randomness and spontanaiety do not exist. We can experience seemingly spontaneous and random events, but essentially, they are brought about by free will. You cannot decide to be spontaneous and random, as this decision is neither random nor spontaneous.

Hope this helps
Akushla



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 05:31 AM
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Originally posted by galadofwarthethird
reply to post by 1littlewolf
 





Or has it all been predetermined from the start?

Both are viable I believe.

And i can think of many situations that are an act of free will and total randomness. But I don't feel like telling you about them.

But I do feel like telling you that I know about them.

And your matrix comparison is pretty dead on. We already chose our path and what will happen and now we are here to understand why we chose that. And pretty much all the living are here to understand why there here and why they chose that.

Oh and by the way I like your pic avatar of the furry deadpool critter, hope he knows how to use them swords. Is he a wolverine or a ferret. Cant tell with his scary mask on.


Cheers for the reply. I would be interested in what situations you believe are acts of freewill or randomness cos I hoonestly can't think of any. But obviously there's some reason you choose not to share and I'm cool with that.

The little critter is deadpool squirrel. I've been a big fan of the X-men since I was a kid. If you go to the Marvel website home page and enter the Konami Code he appears.....



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 05:51 AM
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reply to post by akushla99
 


Thanks for taking the time to write such a well thought out response. However I still remain unconvinced. Every decision one makes is based on a number of factors. The circumstances at the time, your emotional state at the time, your prior experiences and the general environment.

Now say you make a decision say whether to have marmalade on toast for breakfast or a bowl of cereal. That decision is based on a number of factors – how much time you have in the morning, how you feel at the time, how hungry you are etc etc. And you decide that morning to marmalade on toast. You eat your breakfast and go on with your day. 3 hours later you somehow step into a time warp which transports you back in time to the exact position you were in 3 hours prior (i.e. into your kitchen trying to decide what to have for breakfast) and also completely wipes your memory of the last 3 hours.

Now, if the circumstances at the time, your emotional state, your prior experiences and the general environment were all identical you will always choose to have marmalade on toast for breakfast.

Given any situation I have no doubt you will and can only ever make the one choice.

Hopefully you get what I’m saying as the example is a little convoluted. You do make decisions in life, you do make choices. But in any given situation, with all factors being set a certain way, you will only ever make the one decision. And this is the illusion of freewill….



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by 1littlewolf
reply to post by akushla99
 


Thanks for taking the time to write such a well thought out response. However I still remain unconvinced. Every decision one makes is based on a number of factors. The circumstances at the time, your emotional state at the time, your prior experiences and the general environment.

Now say you make a decision say whether to have marmalade on toast for breakfast or a bowl of cereal. That decision is based on a number of factors – how much time you have in the morning, how you feel at the time, how hungry you are etc etc. And you decide that morning to marmalade on toast. You eat your breakfast and go on with your day. 3 hours later you somehow step into a time warp which transports you back in time to the exact position you were in 3 hours prior (i.e. into your kitchen trying to decide what to have for breakfast) and also completely wipes your memory of the last 3 hours.

Now, if the circumstances at the time, your emotional state, your prior experiences and the general environment were all identical you will always choose to have marmalade on toast for breakfast.

Given any situation I have no doubt you will and can only ever make the one choice.

Hopefully you get what I’m saying as the example is a little convoluted. You do make decisions in life, you do make choices. But in any given situation, with all factors being set a certain way, you will only ever make the one decision. And this is the illusion of freewill….


Free will aint no illusion. Your examples revolve around the dimension of time,...or more to the point, the apparent passing of time.
No two circumstances - in total - can be the same...your choice at a decision 'node' has propelled you towards a whole new set of outcomes...look similar, perhaps...exactly the same - not!
Time does not loop on itself - except in the way that we choose to understand its illusory nature. There are only two 'true' moments in time. NOW (which was @2 seconds after you read this), and the past, which can in no way be altered...because it isnt an event, but a collection of memories of an event. So - you cannot loop into the same 'time' experience...no such thing as a 'ground-hog' day.

And...in essence, the negation of free will requires that you admit you are not in control...that someone/something else has/is making choices for you...abrogation of responsibility!

Too many people go through life blaming everyone/anything else for the predicaments they find themselves in...somewhere along the (time) line, it was a choice...you may not exactly remember why you made this choice, you may not even remember having made a choice...but, a choice was made...whether to marmalade your toast on one side or the other! Freedom of will!

Akushla



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 07:39 AM
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Free will aint no illusion. Your examples revolve around the dimension of time,...or more to the point, the apparent passing of time.
No two circumstances - in total - can be the same...your choice at a decision 'node' has propelled you towards a whole new set of outcomes...look similar, perhaps...exactly the same - not!
Time does not loop on itself - except in the way that we choose to understand its illusory nature. There are only two 'true' moments in time. NOW (which was @2 seconds after you read this), and the past, which can in no way be altered...because it isnt an event, but a collection of memories of an event. So - you cannot loop into the same 'time' experience...no such thing as a 'ground-hog' day.

And...in essence, the negation of free will requires that you admit you are not in control...that someone/something else has/is making choices for you...abrogation of responsibility!

Too many people go through life blaming everyone/anything else for the predicaments they find themselves in...somewhere along the (time) line, it was a choice...you may not exactly remember why you made this choice, you may not even remember having made a choice...but, a choice was made...whether to marmalade your toast on one side or the other! Freedom of will!

Akushla


I hear you, and am impressed to say the least on your handle of the whole time thing, which is definitely something I would love to learn a little more about.

Maybe I'm missing the point of what you are saying but I think my example stands outside of time as it has to do with what goes on inside your head than anything external. Given your prior experiences, ways of thinking and emotional state, I believe and am yet to be convinced that one would ever make any other decision except the one you make at that particular time and place.

Now this in no way abrogates responsibility form the decision maker, for one still has to make that choice/decision, and suffer the consequences for that decision be they good or bad.

I personally always spread my marmalade on the lighter side of the toast, leaving the browner side facing downwards. This choice, this preference one could argue has been the sum total of all my thoughts and emotions leading to up to that sunny Wednesday morning when I woke up deciding to have marmalade and toast for breakfast. These thoughts in turn are a result of my genetics, and my experiences through life filtered through the mind that these genetics and experiences have created.

Now I'm not saying I am doomed to forever spread my marmalade on the lighter side of the toast, but until some trigger comes along to make me re-evaluate this choice, this will be my preference.

I have made the choice, the decision to spread the marmalade on the lighter side of the toast..... And my argument is that given the circumstances, my emotional state, my prior experiences, my thoughts and the general environment at the kitchen table that morning I would always make that same decision.

If ever their could be a 'ground hog day', but the difference being I did not retain the memory/knowledge that the day was starting again, I would always make that choice, over and over. But circumstances can never be exactly the same as you rightly pointed out, meaning tomorrow (and probably in part due to this conversation
) I may well choose to butter it on the darker side.

One could argue that every decision one will ever make has already been made, you have just not lived it yet.



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