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View Poll Results: If you were forced to chose, would you say free-will exists (in some form)?

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  • Yes. Free will exists in some form.

    18 72.00%
  • No. Free will does not exists in any form.

    3 12.00%
  • Screw You! I will not be forced to decide.

    4 16.00%
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Thread: Free Will, does it exist?

  1. #1

    Default Free Will, does it exist?

    Inspired by

    The Quantum Soul

    How do you differ from your type?

    and Type xxxx-Does it Exist

    Does Free will exist?

    Consider:

    A Proof of Free Will

    and

    Conway's Proof of the Free Will Theorem


    The philosophical proof in the first site can be summarized as follows (MFT means minimum free-will theorem):
    Given these premises, now, we can deduce the truth of the minimal free-will thesis:
    1. With respect to the free-will issue, we should refrain from believing falsehoods. (premise)

    2. Whatever should be done can be done. (premise)

    3. If determinism is true, then whatever can be done, is done. (premise)

    4. I believe MFT. (premise)

    5. With respect to the free-will issue, we can refrain from believing falsehoods. (from 1,2)

    6. If determinism is true, then with respect to the free will issue, we refrain from believing falsehoods. (from 3,5)

    7. If determinism is true, then MFT is true. (from 6,4)

    8. MFT is true. (from 7)
    I actually argued with the prof. on premise 2, and we finally had to let it go.

    The physics is interesting in the second site, but the short of it is on of two things are true:

    1. Each measurement of a particle is not independent but rather depended on context. In other words, the order in which you make measurements matters and the value of a particles spin in a given direction depends on the history of measurements of that particle in other directions. The measurements are not commutable.

    2. Alternatively, the particle does not decide what the value of its spin is in any direction until the experimenter actually makes a measurement!
    Anyway, just food for thought. It is interesting that we are positing free-will at the particle level.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    Tenured roisterer Array SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default

    In order for it to be shown that free will exists we must prove that the mental energy to incite our actions is generated only within the agent.

    If the universe is mechanistic, which the Kantian-Laplacean cosmology shall lead us to believe, it means that the universe is a one big system. At least the finite world that we know.

    One reason to believe that the universe is a one big system is because we believe that things in nature happen in accordance to a specific law. We would have to be exempt from that. Cues to actions would follow from destination to destination untill eventually having reached our minds, and there they would have to come to a dead end and be taken over by our intrinsic essence.

    In order for this to likely be the case, man must be outside of the system, as others he would be caught by the flow that he stands in the way of. Man, for all that we know, is a finite being, and therefore can not interfere with the system.

    Hence, he must not have free will. To posit that we have free will means we are not subject to the laws of nature. That some things dont happen because there is a reason for them to happen, but on our whim. That is an appeal to magic.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We should take good care to ensure that we do not confuse the theoretical with the practical. Just because we do not have free will, it does not mean that we are not responsible for our actions. We will always feel like we have free will, and hence can control ourselves in a vernacular sense of the word.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    My position on this matter is necessitarianism. I maintain that free will and determinism are incompatible because in order for man to have free will he must be infinite and thus transcend the system that he is in. If he is infinite, than he has full free will. If he is finite, he has none. As far as cosmology is concerned, I maintain an emanation theory and representative realism. The universe is infinite. Our minds are finite. Hence, we represent the infinite universe in terms of how our finite minds can grasp it. Man being infinite is not possible, because to be infinite means to be everything that exists, to be the universe itself.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Oberon
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    Default

    If:

    1. All material things are subject to and only subject to fixed principles of behavior (known broadly as the laws of physics),

    and

    2. Man is entirely material in nature, then

    3. Man's behavior is the result (and only the result) of matter interacting according to fixed principles.

    This is the materialist model in a nutshell, and it leaves no room for Free Will.

    I may have misstated it...I'm doing this from scratch, not having recently read on the topic...but this is the materialist model in its most primitive form.

    I don't subscribe to it myself. In fact, I suspect strongly that nobody really does, though it may act as a kind of jumping-off point for more sophisticated forms of Existentialism.

    I view the premises as undependable.

  4. #4

    Default

    But what if the "material" itself has free-will?

    Just a thought, and based on Conway's proof, not that far fetched.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  5. #5
    Oberon
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    But what if the "material" itself has free-will?
    Then you would need to reconcile the free will of matter with the consistency of physical law, or demonstrate that occasionally E doesn't equal mc squared (to pick an example), based on the will of m.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Then you would need to reconcile the free will of matter with the consistency of physical law, or demonstrate that occasionally E doesn't equal mc squared (to pick an example), based on the will of m.
    That's why I included

    Conway's Proof of the Free Will Theorem

    in the first post of this thread.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  7. #7
    Oberon
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    That's why I included

    Conway's Proof of the Free Will Theorem

    in the first post of this thread.
    Hmm. All right.

    I will point out to you that Man's inability to predict the behavior of certain particles at the subatomic level does not necessarily prove that such behavior is not predictable, nor does it prove that such behavior isn't governed by factors we fail to understand. It only proves that we've run up to the end of our best theory.

    That said, the premise that the behavior of a particle is unpredictable does not warrant the conclusion that the particle has free will, even if the theory and formulae describing it are correct.

    We can't even decide whether humans have free will, and we more or less know what a human is. How could we possibly answer that question for a boson?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array reason's Avatar
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    The irony about free will, is that the moment anyone explains how it works, is the moment that it stops existing.

    I tend to think there is something wrong with how people define free will.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #9
    Tenured roisterer Array SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    But what if the "material" itself has free-will?

    Just a thought, and based on Conway's proof, not that far fetched.
    Than we would have to clearly define the 'agent'. Difficult to talk about whether or not we have free will untill we understand what 'we' is.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    The irony about free will, is that the moment anyone explains how it works, is the moment that it stops existing.

    I tend to think there is something wrong with how people define free will.
    Since you an BlueWing seem to be the philoshophy buffs on this forum, how would you define "Free Will"?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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