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Do we have free will? Watch

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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Well I'm not a physicist but what the 'indeterminacy' means is that your measurement of the system is random and you cannot determine the outcome. The roll of a dice is one example, the outcome is 'uncertain' but there is still a build up of cause and effect. The laws are deterministic but your measurement of the system is indeterministic.


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    No. Processes such as radioactive decay are inherently random. Sure, there is always uncertainty in the measurement, but you cannot suggest that there is a cause and effect, without outlining what that cause and effect is. You are merely speculating.
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    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    You are a product of your immediate instincts, everything in the present moment is causing you to go down one path rather than the other. The admission that there's no free will means there's no control at all, let alone self-control. Choice, control, will, it's all an illusion but it doesn't mean you have to treat life or people in this reductionistic manner, the fact that things are caused does not mean that there is nothing or no one person to be responsible. Earthquakes are caused but you wouldn't not blame the earthquake for killing loads of people? And even if the responsibility problem was even a problem, it's no reason to deny the truth of determinism.
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    I agree with you :yep:

    Experiments have shown that when someone is asked to make a simple decision such as clicking a button in either the left or right hand and then to record when they made the conscious decision to do so in their head, it's been shown that those decisions can be tracked back to neuronic firings a few seconds before their "conscious decision." Not only are these small "decisions" known by the scientists monitoring the fMRI before the patient is consciously aware of them but it points to the fact that everything we do is nothing but a realisation of what the brain has already decided. Consciousness is simply observing the brain's reactions to stimuli! This is entirely causal and our decisions can ultimately be traced back to external stimuli. Two people with absolutely identical lives (including genetics, life experiences, etc) would have absolutely identical thought patterns.

    Understanding how our brain works and understanding our thoughts are a construct of prior causes shouldn't lead an individual to live any differently. This new knowledge doesn't somehow change what your life is or has been. It is simply knowledge that you become aware of. This information should, however, lead people to be more understanding of others.

    After doing some research around this it helped me appreciate the complexity of each individual and made me more passionate about addressing social determinants of health and social issues. What I find funny is that this information is so vehemently opposed by many but we have operated for a great deal of time with the implicit assumption that people's actions are a result of circumstance. Our thoughts are a result of prior causes. We still maintain choice in planning to act upon them.
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    (Original post by Namige)
    No. Processes such as radioactive decay are inherently random. Sure, there is always uncertainty in the measurement, but you cannot suggest that there is a cause and effect, without outlining what that cause and effect is. You are merely speculating.
    Yes but there is a sequence of events which are at bottom effects which have causes. "Physical causes have physical effects." - Lawrence Krauss. You don't have to outline the cause and effect to know that there is a cause and effect, it's the most fundamental law if anything. It's not speculation, it's a reasonable conclusion based on the fact that everything we can outline does have a cause.


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    (Original post by Namige)
    Explain the misunderstanding, please.

    (Original post by JohnPaul_)
    Well I'm not a physicist but what the 'indeterminacy' means is that your measurement of the system is random and you cannot determine the outcome. The roll of a dice is one example, the outcome is 'uncertain' but there is still a build up of cause and effect. The laws are deterministic but your measurement of the system is indeterministic.

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    Probability isn't a real thing; it's merely a state of uncertainty. For example when you toss a coin, you may say that there is a 50/50 chance of it landing either on heads or tails. This is because you are ignoring the physics involved. The coin's face is determined by an interplay of how much angular velocity you give it, the density of air molecules, the force of gravity, the coin's shape and mass, any wind and many other variables but you just can't calculate it because of the huge complexity of the problem, well at least most people can't.

    Imagine there is a robot with sufficient enough understanding of the physical laws and all the variables involved in a coin flip to predict with 90% certainty what face the coin will face upwards. When said robot tosses the coin, the chance that it lands on heads or tails is dependant on what the robot predicted. For every time the robot predicts heads, the coin will turn out to be heads 9 times out of 10, and vice versa for tails. A "fair," seemingly random coin becomes weighted when the physical forces are known.

    Alternatively you could look at the number 1204728 and (if you don't know your x7 tables up to that number or are unable to do quick mental maths) say there is a 1/7 chance that 7 is a factor of 1204728. If you actually do the calculation you find that 1204728 is evenly divisible by 7, and it couldn't have been any other way.
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    Here's stanhope's view.




    My favourite part "and when your sick of it all you're not even free to kill yourself."
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    (Original post by -Neuro-)
    Probability isn't a real thing; it's merely a state of uncertainty. For example when you toss a coin, you may say that there is a 50/50 chance of it landing either on heads or tails. This is because you are ignoring the physics involved. The coin's face is determined by an interplay of how much angular velocity you give it, the density of air molecules, the force of gravity, the coin's shape and mass, any wind and many other variables but you just can't calculate it because of the huge complexity of the problem, well at least most people can't.

    Imagine there is a robot with sufficient enough understanding of the physical laws and all the variables involved in a coin flip to predict with 90% certainty what face the coin will face upwards. When said robot tosses the coin, the chance that it lands on heads or tails is dependant on what the robot predicted. For every time the robot predicts heads, the coin will turn out to be heads 9 times out of 10, and vice versa for tails. A "fair," seemingly random coin becomes weighted when the physical forces are known
    .

    Alternatively you could look at the number 1204728 and (if you don't know your x7 tables up to that number or are unable to do quick mental maths) say there is a 1/7 chance that 7 is a factor of 1204728. If you actually do the calculation you find that 1204728 is evenly divisible by 7, and it couldn't have been any other way.
    You're completely ignoring chaos theory.
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    (Original post by Namige)
    You're completely ignoring chaos theory.
    I'm no physicist and I really don't know anything about chaos theory, sorry

    I quickly skimmed over the wikipedia article but would you be able to briefly explain to me why the paragraph you bolded would be ignoring chaos theory?
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    Why don't people tend to walk down the street in the manner of a crab?

    It is because it might reflect badly on their intellect or will suggest that they are not 'in control' of their life?

    Or is it because to act in a way that is out of the ordinary is somewhat 'theatrical'?

    Do we allow theatrical ways in a dark and hushed theatre yet deride the exact same action on the street? Why do we do that? Who is to say when the shows of life start and when they end?

    There are a lot of frightened people of all intellects who hate unpredictability unless it's in a predictable way.

    They also hate predictability (e.g. work) unless it's in an unpredictable way!

    We have to rip the very fabric of society away , like the backdrop of dull pantomime that is no longer raising enough true laughs.
    And then the truly good can be allowed to flourish as being good. the truly bad can wither away like tired, diseased, fruit

    The 'welfare state' post World War 2 has done little to help the truly good and a lot to help the tired, diseased, fruit live well and, indeed, to repackage itself as the 'truly good'. The truly good were the mostly men who fought in World War 1 and 2! No free will they had to see the rest of their lives played out in the shadows of the free for all, let it all hang out, permissive society.
 
 
 
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