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Jo


Jo

member
Location: Sheffield, England

Total posts: 517
Posted:Ok, another psychological hot potatoe this one. Basically if proven a lot of good lawyers could get a lot of dangerous people released from prison, which is why it has not yet become a 'mainstream' concept.



IMHO! wink



Whenever you do anything - ANYTHING! - your concious self has not used free will at all to make that decision.



Actually, your subconcious has decided to do it.



You can then, if you wish, execute 'free won't'.



How many times did you realy have no reason to reach over there? Failed free won't execution.



Ever hit someone? Shouted?......... smile



Jo.


Educate yourself in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:As for the something can not come from nothing idea... in passing through this thread I will mearly mention this theory of theoretical physics (or metaphysics with a scientific basis I guess). It was mentioned to me only in passing and I can't provide any more info than this:

It appears that matter can, and DOES pop into and out of existence constantly. One theory regarding the expanding model of the universe suggests that the expansion is caused by displacement of matter by new matter entering into existence.

I know nothing about this, and probably got it a bit wrong... Ill ask the teacher that told me about it tomorrow perhaps... But if it is true it kinda kicks the first-cause theory out.


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spiralx


spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Nope that's wrong. What you're thinking of is the fact that even in a vacuum virtual particle/antiparticle pairs constantly appear and then disappear. However this can't do what you say because a) they always disappear within a given time (related to their energy) and more importantly b) they're just a mathematical abstraction caused by the fact that we use approximations in certain calculations to do with quantum fields as solving the equations properly is too hard. They don't actually exist wink

Even if new matter were being created it wouldn't have anything to do with the expansion of spacetime. Think of it not as a ruler getting longer by adding new bits on the end, but as the whole ruler itself expanding along its whole length.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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spiralx


spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Of course in quantum mechanics plenty of things happen without cause - they are random processes e.g. radioactive decay. It's possible the start of the Universe was the result of a similar probabalistic event.

"Moo," said the happy cow.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by:

Nope that's wrong. What you're thinking of is the fact that even in a vacuum virtual particle/antiparticle pairs constantly appear and then disappear. However this can't do what you say because a) they always disappear within a given time (related to their energy) and more importantly b) they're just a mathematical abstraction caused by the fact that we use approximations in certain calculations to do with quantum fields as solving the equations properly is too hard. They don't actually exist




From what I've read, I was under the impression that the particles did actually exist (albeit) temporarily.

Wasn't Hawkings insight into the ability of micro-sized black holes to radiate energy/particles (where previously it was thought that energy/particles could not radiate from a black hole) based on the fact that a particle/antiparticle pair could spring randomly into existence near the event horizon- whereby one would be absorbed and the other escape, leading to an energy loss from the black hole to compensate for the fact that the particle/antiparticle pair could now no longer annihilate each other in their alloted time-span?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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spiralx


spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Yeah that's the simple explaination for Hawking radiation. But virtual particles arise because quantam field theoretic equations are solved using perturbation methods - a series of smaller and smaller approximations are added together to get an answer, if you take that to infinity you'd get the real result. Each approximation is represented as a Feynmann diagram e.g.


Non-Https Image Link


where the dashed lines are a virtual particle/antiparticle pair.

But they're just approximations, not what's actually happening.

This is why we can't currently unify gravity and quantum mechanics by the way - adding together these approximations doesn't work for gravity!


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Written by: Dut
1) there are no causes, only effects. defining an event's "causes" is merely defining the limits of your perception and imagination -- a very handy thing to do when trying to figure out life's patterns, at any rate. but not so good for basing cosmologies.



I am confused about the cosmology and don't quite understand what it means here...

Written by:
2) effects (and thereby "causes") don't happen in singly connected, linear, or even a necessarily time-forward fashion. this is the crux of the chaos theory that gives rise to the pure randomness our illusions of "free will" clings to.



Also some confusion in my head about this one - I'd need a bit more specific input or what this actually means...

Written by:
3) "will" (aka volition) CANNOT be "free" of physics, and never could be without invoking a form of "spirit" (or metaphysics).



Certainly some rules apply, whereas sometimes one is capable of more power than one believes...

Written by:
this is usually a copout for immortality and not wanting to admit (5).



again - "insufficient input", or am I just not present?

Written by:
4) "will" CAN be "free" of intervention by other "wills", only in relation to how "unfree" of intervention it can be. or in other words, some will can be freer than others, but no will is free of iteself. (kill the eg0. break the mind of logic.) true story.



These are rules beyond those of physics: where two (free) wills collide, they affect each other... one of them might get compromised...

Written by:
5) and yeah. any of it that deserves the name "will" happens way below the scenes of "consciousness".



You mean "free will" happens when we are not thinking about it?

Written by:
SUMMARY - i really think it comes down to defining "free" and "will" as they're actually found in nature, rather than idealizing an infinite "free" and a perfect "will". peace.

-- dut



hmmm - yes excuse me I need more input, please come again. To me "free" is "not bound" (by circumstances)... "will" is harder to define... it's dedfinately more than a thought or an idea, but not as much as an action (yet)... or it's an action, but in some context...

I'm slow today... redface sorry


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: FireTom
hmmm - yes excuse me I need more input, please come again. To me "free" is "not bound" (by circumstances)... "will" is harder to define... it's dedfinately more than a thought or an idea, but not as much as an action (yet)... or it's an action, but in some context...

I'm slow today... redface sorry


Don't worry yourself sweetie. hug

I didn't understand it either.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Dut
SILVER Member since Mar 2002

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Location: Nashville, TN, USA

Total posts: 380
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

Written by: FireTom
hmmm - yes excuse me I need more input, please come again. To me "free" is "not bound" (by circumstances)... "will" is harder to define... it's dedfinately more than a thought or an idea, but not as much as an action (yet)... or it's an action, but in some context...

I'm slow today... redface sorry


Don't worry yourself sweetie. hug

I didn't understand it either.



i was trying to bypass discussions of dark matter and alternate universes. alot of what i said though had been said before here in one form or another. i can try to clean it up though --

1. there was a lot of talk here about "causation" and how you can go back determining "causes" infinitely and still never get anywhere. that's because the ability to determine "causation" after the fact is an illusion. we see some percievable effect (accompanied by any number of effects we're not looking for, including exactly how we perceived the effect to begin with usually) -- we use our limited understanding of the universe to interpret how that could have happened temporally, calling the next stable level we can perceive to be the "direct causes". but that neglects all the causes of those causes, all the things we can't see in between, and the causes of the infinite number of things that could physically prevent the effect NOT occuring. the kind of dirty "direct cause" linking we do helps us avoid getting eaten by lions and building sequential operating computers, but that doesn't mean it maps to the possible infinity of time and space. "cause and effect" is a product of the human mind trying to understand physics, not always how physics actually happens. i think you can google "transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics" or "time has a geometry" to find out some of the latest thinking there.

2. the fact is that sets of deterministic systems interacting can produce non-pre-determinable results -- "chaos theory of math" is the key. this not only includes an outside observer relatively being able to tell the results of the individual calculations, but also of the calculations themselves having no temporal pattern, even if the overall result does. i'm kinda weak on higher math, but people who aren't say it gives valid randomness on higher order systems, and is rampant in nature.

3. to sum up one and two, whether "freedom within the rules" is still "free" to you or not is mostly opinion.

^^ --- these three were where you had questions, right Tom? I'll just keep expanding tho in case it helps.

4. but yeah, even within physics (not outside it), we're still obviously bound by interaction with other wills, and our own later wills. i would like to think i "will" when i go to bed to wake up early refreshed and get to work on time... but then when i wake up, i "will" to go back to sleep. will is free to change, relative to what we willed at other times, or relative to what other people will, but that's about it. and it's less than perfectly free to change, as it'll only change when some new input (the tired feeling when i wake up) comes into the picture. (if you're a female, who knows what all this might encompass or what random statements you might take as inputs to this situation. lol.).

so for me, its easiest to see "will" as what you actually physically try to accomplish, rather than what you just want to accomplish. i can't "will" myself at night to wake up in the morning, i can only "want to will" it when the time comes. i can't "will" you to buy my product, i can only try to add enough input that you change your calculation of whether you "will" buy it or not (even if you already "want to buy" it, but won't). Even then, my input didn't "cause" you to buy the product, or even to want to buy the product. the sum of your entire life history and the history of the universe that made those statements have the effect of changing your mind is what "caused" it to change, as others have said/implied here. ignoring all of the above gives you the impression of less possible inputs and outcomes, and makes the illusion of determinable causations possible. i dunno. you can scientifically measure the lag between making a decision (to make a motion, specifically) and being consciously aware you would like to make the motion. no "thinking" happens except as the output of other processes, so even when you think you're debating and making a decision consciously, you're really only playing through the topmost layer of the debate going on subconsciously as different calculations are filled with constants and variables, shuffled, and turned into english (or whatever) for you to be able to remember and explain later. the "freeness" of free will is basically a general misunderstanding of our present will being independant of any subslice of our past will. it's not ever free of current interference by reality and other wills, only relatively freer or less free in certain decisions than it was, or could be.

i could go on more, but i'm not sure if you'd agree, disagree, or still not understand where i'm coming from on most of this. i could be really cryptic and say that what I truly believe is that the extent of our "will" is whether to view something we perceive as a whole or as a part of a whole for whatever utility the situation requires. but that's so top-down philosophical i'm almost ashamed to state it with no way to prove it and very little defense. i remember i came to that belief after reading about values and perceptions in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and how it all relates to free will. let me know what you guys think.

-- dut


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:I largely agree (I think) but you've misinterpreted chaos theory slightly. It isn't randomness but rather unpredictability that is governed by chaos theory.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Dut
SILVER Member since Mar 2002

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Location: Nashville, TN, USA

Total posts: 380
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

I largely agree (I think) but you've misinterpreted chaos theory slightly. It isn't randomness but rather unpredictability that is governed by chaos theory.



if it's impossible to predict the ordering of a set of numbers, isn't that the definition of randomness tho? the chaos theory is definitely where i feel the weakest, so if you have anything to add or point me to on what the difference is, i'd appreciate it.

-- dut


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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:A few more thoughts on free will: I think people who suggest that there is no such think as free will are in some ways similar in their views, to the people who once believed the world was flat. We need to find nothing before we can create. I think there are many people who have or had free will. The Dalai Lama, Jesus and Albert Einstein to name a few.

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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spiralx


spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Written by: Dut
if it's impossible to predict the ordering of a set of numbers, isn't that the definition of randomness tho? the chaos theory is definitely where i feel the weakest, so if you have anything to add or point me to on what the difference is, i'd appreciate it.

-- dut


No, because chaotic systems do obey rules and you can derive useful characteristics from them from things like strange attractors and so on. And besides, although they're unpredictable in practise, each step follows deterministically from the last, it's just we don't have enough information to be able to work that out beforehand.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Stone

A few more thoughts on free will: I think people who suggest that there is no such think as free will are in some ways similar in their views, to the people who once believed the world was flat. We need to find nothing before we can create. I think there are many people who have or had free will. The Dalai Lama, Jesus and Albert Einstein to name a few.


What? That's just rubbish. Einstein's brain didn't violate the laws of physics any more than mine does.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:@ dut: thanks I have to let it sink in before I can make a statement...

@ stone: Not sure whether you picked the "right" examles... I understand in which context you put them, but am afraid that neither gets approved for continuously demonstrating "free will" IMO... But maybe it's just an example how even "free will" is conditioned and limited to circumstances... some rules can't be broken...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol, New Zealand

Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
if it's impossible to predict the ordering of a set of numbers, isn't that the definition of randomness tho? the chaos theory is definitely where i feel the weakest, so if you have anything to add or point me to on what the difference is, i'd appreciate it.





chaos theory isn't random... if it was it would completely unpredictable. While we are nowhere near knowing exactly how chaotic systems work, we can understand trends, and make reasonably accurate short term predictions with chaotic systems such as weather patterns.

it's something thats definately beyond the scope of the human mind... but computers are a hell of a lot better at number crunching than we are... before computers chaotic systems appeared completely random and unpredictable, now with superior processing power we know that they aren't - but we still can't predict them with any real long term accuracy.

Self-similarity and the butterfly effect are facinating though.

wink


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol, New Zealand

Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
if it's impossible to predict the ordering of a set of numbers, isn't that the definition of randomness tho? the chaos theory is definitely where i feel the weakest, so if you have anything to add or point me to on what the difference is, i'd appreciate it.





chaos theory isn't random... if it was it would completely unpredictable. While we are nowhere near knowing exactly how chaotic systems work, we can understand trends, and make reasonably accurate short term predictions with chaotic systems such as weather patterns.

it's something thats definately beyond the scope of the human mind... but computers are a hell of a lot better at number crunching than we are... before computers chaotic systems appeared completely random and unpredictable, now with superior processing power we know that they aren't - but we still can't predict them with any real long term accuracy.

Self-similarity and the butterfly effect are facinating though.

wink


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Chronofracture333


Chronofracture333

Hobo Gaylord
Location: I am worldwide and lush

Total posts: 329
Posted:The sea waves, the wind blows,and the universe peoples.
Free will can be tricky if you consider yourself to be independant from your enviroment. "You" is the universe acting at a particular point.
Squeegee your third eye.


*no moves there are no moves there are no moves there are no moves there are no moves there are no*

"Oooh, what a shiny new move!"

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Research into weather prediction played a part in the development of chaos theory.



It was once thought that there are no theoretical limits to humanity improving their ability to predict weather.



However, it was discovered that extremely small-scale changes could lead, over sufficient time, to large scale fluctuations.



The most well known example is the 'butterfly effect' where a butterfly can flap its wing in Thailand which leads, much later, to a hurricane in the USA.



The weather and climate are considered deterministic (ie subject to rigid cause and effect) but are chaotic systems.



Unlike conventional deterministoc systems such as, say, the well-known car advert where a ball bearing rolls down a slide, lands on a wheel, the wheel turns and knocks over something, which moves something else, etc, etc- the weather/climate is hugely influenced by arbitrarily small variations in air pressure etc.



Whereas the car ad deterministic system is easily to predict exactly in advance, the weather is, in practice, impossible to predict except over relatively short term and for large scale fluctuations.



Imagine attempting to predict weather over a longer term- you'd need to have more detectors (for air pressure, humidity, wind speed etc) placed in the atmosphere- that would enable longer term predictions.



However, due to chaos/butterfly effect, there are fluctuations happening between, and undetected by, those detectors, that will, over long enough time, totally scew the ensuing predictions.



If this is countered by placing more detectors in the atmosphere, then predicition improves, but still, between the detectors are micro-fluctuations that they don't pick up.



Even in the impossible example of having a detector for every square centimeter of the Earths atmosphere, in between, there will be, say, a gnat that farts, and consequnetly triggers off a huge hurricane in twenty years time.



So, practically speaking, long-term accurate weather prediction is impossible.



Arguably though, and here I'm perhaps stepping outside of conventional chaos theory to some extent, even in principle long-term accurate weather prediction is impossible.



Why? Because similarly to problems measuring quantum systems, where the means used to measure a particle actually influence it greatly, the more detection systems set up in the atmosphere, the more they actually start to change the conditions they are measuring.



This is why some put forward chaos theory as an aid to solving the free-will issue.



Many maintain that, for a system to be free, it must unpredictable, not just in practice, but in principle.



Many years back, this essentially, in their view, eliminated deterministic systems as having free-will, as they were predictable in principle.



Certain chaotic systems though, while being totally deterministic, remain unpredictable, even in principle.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Dut
SILVER Member since Mar 2002

lurker
Location: Nashville, TN, USA

Total posts: 380
Posted:Written by: dream

chaos theory isn't random... if it was it would completely unpredictable. While we are nowhere near knowing exactly how chaotic systems work, we can understand trends, and make reasonably accurate short term predictions with chaotic systems such as weather patterns.

it's something thats definately beyond the scope of the human mind... but computers are a hell of a lot better at number crunching than we are... before computers chaotic systems appeared completely random and unpredictable, now with superior processing power we know that they aren't - but we still can't predict them with any real long term accuracy.

Self-similarity and the butterfly effect are facinating though.

wink



i think we're talking about different kinds of random. wink kind of like how people talk about different kinds of "free" and different directions of "will" maybe? haha. but i meant mathematical randomness - concrete lack of long term statistical correlation. the random you're talking about is what i might also call "theoretical unpredictability" (versus chaos theory's "practical unpredictability"). both are long-term "random" the way I meant it, not just the first. we're able to predict gross weather patterns if we simplify the initial conditions, but we couldn't ever predict them accurately 20 years out (assuming we could even model the matching butterfly population!). it's predictable because it's only mathematically random on certain scale levels.

For example, once you get down to the quantum level, you hit the Heisenberg Uncertainty wall and are physically NOT ALLOWED to know enough information to fill out the local initial conditions that would make chaos theory "predictability" calculatable. so everything becomes "theoretically unpredictable" and thus "random" even by predictability standards, right? on the scale level of an entire brain, some huge percentage of the random noise that could generate willful acts are going to be inhibited by your existing desires (to stay alive, not hurt others, ...) and exhibited if they fit your existing motivations. is the weather "free" to act as it "wills" since its thoughts are breezes and its motivations are thermal pockets? does it take an act of "will" to do "nothing" (to take no action in response to a stimuli)? it's all real messy and semantic.

-- dut


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Dut
SILVER Member since Mar 2002

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Location: Nashville, TN, USA

Total posts: 380
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

Imagine attempting to predict weather over a longer term- you'd need to have more detectors (for air pressure, humidity, wind speed etc) placed in the atmosphere- that would enable longer term predictions.

However, due to chaos/butterfly effect, there are fluctuations happening between, and undetected by, those detectors, that will, over long enough time, totally scew the ensuing predictions.

If this is countered by placing more detectors in the atmosphere, then predicition improves, but still, between the detectors are micro-fluctuations that they don't pick up.

Even in the impossible example of having a detector for every square centimeter of the Earths atmosphere, in between, there will be, say, a gnat that farts, and consequnetly triggers off a huge hurricane in twenty years time.




this is basically what I got too. once you're at the Uncertainty point, you're one variable away from the map becoming the terrain, which is impossible since you're observing one and expecting the other not to change. computers run into the halting problem. cities burn and mothers turn to cannibalize their young. all of us fall into our navels and come out as the big bang. all depends on your definition of "free". wink

-- dut


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:So if we' would have the opportunity to exercise "free will" - to take an action fully independent of the circumstances, it would contribute to the "chaos" but still be predictable up to a certain extent... ??

As for a completely opposing example: Like in a chess battle of two equally strong computers it will not necessarily end in "Remis" or "Patt" every time - even though every move has been pre-calculated through to the end of the match... ??

As under the definition of "free" (as not bound to or determined by (personal) experience) and "will" (as taking (re-)action): is exercising "free will" lately the only way to actually choose the "right" action? (The action that is purely and uniquely depending on the situation "as is" - not filtered/ altered by the own mind/ perception?)

In other words "free will" as being free to do what is nessary - or even not do it - but either way "consciously"?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol, New Zealand

Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
Poster: FireTom


So if we' would have the opportunity to exercise "free will" - to take an action fully independent of the circumstances, it would contribute to the "chaos" but still be predictable up to a certain extent... ??




no. chaos isn't about free will. just the impossibility of accurate long term predictions in a dynamic system. but as OWD has pointed out, these are still determinate systems. Just not linear ones.

Written by:
As for a completely opposing example: Like in a chess battle of two equally strong computers it will not necessarily end in "Remis" or "Patt" every time - even though every move has been pre-calculated through to the end of the match... ??




chess has nowt to do with chaos, but is a good example of multiplicity within a strictly determinate system. 16 pieces, whose movement is strictly defined. 64 squares. an almost infinite number of possible games... even the most powerful computers are completely incapable of calculating a game from start to finish.

Given the degree of complexity in predicting such a simple, closed system, is it any wonder that we cannot predict systems such as the human mind or weather patterns

But this doen't mean that we have any more 'free will - to take action independent of the circumstances' than our metaphorical butterfly who is free to fly in whichever direction it wants.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:jeff(fake) " Einstein's brain didn't violate the laws of physics any more than mine does."

True, if you want to follow that model. Obviously, there is more to life that physics, and Einstein knew that. The point was that people can break out of the deterministic cycle. Though it may mean putting down the physics books.


wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Stone

jeff(fake) " Einstein's brain didn't violate the laws of physics any more than mine does."

True, if you want to follow that model. Obviously, there is more to life that physics, and Einstein knew that. The point was that people can break out of the deterministic cycle. Though it may mean putting down the physics books.


Prove it. All you've said so far sounds like tree huggin' hippy mysticism. peace


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Prove it?


Not sure I can, but this is what Im getting at: Pratitya-samutpada is most commonly used to explain how suffering arises depending on certain conditions, the implication being that if one or more of the conditions are removed (if the "chain" is broken), suffering will cease.


shrug


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:That isn't even evidence. You've never actualy practiced or seen free will, you just just think you have.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:So already a board of chess gives one almost infinite possibilities... Though I wouldn't call the human mind unpredicteable... This is what I meant when stating: A "free action" would be unpredictable, therefore "chaotic" - even though it might one of the few logical consequences/ actions... Meaning if one decides not to act according to underlying conditionings...

And Stone: breaking the cycle, ending suffering and breaking the chain at a point so pain doesn't arise in the first place is not necessarily the same... wink but maybe it's possible to this extent...



doesn't simultaneously end the pain... wink It's like ceasing to whine about the hurting toe - after the insight that it just doesn't help anything... the toe still hurts and it's going to hurt every time, one hits the toe... maybe one day one will break the link that leads to hitting toes in the first place... ?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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dream
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol, New Zealand

Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
A "free action" would be unpredictable, therefore "chaotic" - even though it might one of the few logical consequences/ actions... Meaning if one decides not to act according to underlying conditionings...




nonononono. i think you've just gotten yourself in a semantic mess. Chaotic systems are determinate, so they absolutely do act according to underlying conditions. The bit that we cannot do is determining the effects of the multiplicity of potential causes - by trying to do so we inevitably influence the system, and there are an almost infinte number of gnats farting on the planet at any given moment.


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Pratitya-samutpada is most commonly used to explain how suffering arises depending on certain conditions, the implication being that if one or more of the conditions are removed (if the "chain" is broken), suffering will cease



The concept of causal networks (or chains) is part of determinism. By acknowledging that there are a series of entwined causes and conditions which effect in other, you present a determinist argument while claiming that you have transcendend the very networks you refer to. Which is why people have been somewhat dissmissive of your comments.

For 'free will' you need to be completely independent of deterministic causality, not merely able to navigate causal flows in a different way to others (which is always true to some extent of different people due to the fact that their subjectivity is positioned by their individual experiences).


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Jeff (fake) I think the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Perhaps, as suggested, Ive never actually practiced free will, but I do know it exists. Its in the Bible - Genesis 2:16-17. Adam and Eve, fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in Garden of Eden and all that.

For 'free will' you need to be completely independent of determinism. You have to break the cycle of the deterministic or the primitive brain (the animalistic survival part of the brain). I suspect the deterministic survival program becomes what we call the self or ego or whatever we call it, when it takes that programming into our huge higher brain.

To break the cycle we have to let go deterministic programming, or break the ego or self. When that happens we can have free will. It's like we become robots before we can escape being a robot.

How do people break the programming? I suspect there are lots of ways. Meditation, become a hermit and live in a cave or desert for 40 years, do some new age hippy est tree hugging Forum, use powerful intoxicants like Sharmans do, or look for guidance in the eastern religions.

Certainly the monotheistic (one GOD) religions should be avoided, especially the Abraham ones like, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Because I dont think you could get a better example of the deterministic mode than inventing a God in your own likeness.

For further proof, just look at which religions are still fighting it out as we speak. Its the Christians, Jews and Muslims. I believe in Jesus, I just think these deterministic religions just lost sight of their prophets. So, one question that remains is did we get or loose free will in the Garden of Eden?


cheers smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Dut
SILVER Member since Mar 2002

lurker
Location: Nashville, TN, USA

Total posts: 380
Posted:Written by: FireTom

So if we' would have the opportunity to exercise "free will" - to take an action fully independent of the circumstances, it would contribute to the "chaos" but still be predictable up to a certain extent... ??




i believe in at least linear time (if not more dimensions) with an apparent long past, pointlike present, and long future following down the grade of entropy. we see the past in front of us, but are blind to the future at our backs. it's hard to say you really "chose" which way to go when you can only imagine what's to come, and it's hard to see how completely deterministic interactions can't yeild a deterministic result ("open" vs "closed" systems, maybe?). my understanding just changes a few names so that "the present" is just the word for "the precise amount of the future that is pre-determined by the past". if more of the future were pre-determined, it would technically be the past, right? how does that little turn of phrase tickle you?

-- dut


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