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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    All things are co-arising such that a cause is an effect and an effect is a cause, simultaneously. So it is neither determinism nor indeterminism, and it's also both.

    Also consider the butterfly effect, or chaos theory. Can a butterfly flapping its wings alter the course of a hurricane? Maybe, but usually not. Why not though? Consider the concept of thresholds. There are many many cases where applying force doesn't cause a textbook reaction, so the force of the butterfly wings doesn't necessarily effect the hurricane just like your pushing on a mountain doesn't move it. In many cases, friction, resistance, molecular bonds etc are so strong that the chain reaction one would expect in theory does not take place, because all work gets wasted as heat for example. Of course the heat does something, but that ALSO has its limits on what it can effect in a chain reaction.

    So in summary, what you end up with are a lot of microcosms which depend on each other in some way but the interaction is not 100% certain or deterministic, yet determination can certainly exist locally.
    Quote Originally Posted by GarrotTheThief View Post
    I would go even further and say that certain relationships in one microcosm are governed by a microcosm of laws that pervade multiple microcosms but not necessarily the linear progression of macrocosms outside of microcosms or vice versa - assuming that each threshold and scale could be likened to a Russian Doll metaphor. This is why string theory works based on my limited understanding and why reality is a weave of interconnections. I see it empirically so when the fractalized mathematics between a galaxy and the neurons in our brains are so similar to the highways and road systems on the surface of the planet?

    How do I know? Pictorially speaking all that is required is vague generalized similarities in order to notice any universal pattern since a picture is always equivalent to an equation and vice versa - that and it has been confirmed by scientists. there are only three general types of systems that all systems and sub systems could possibly be...based on an article I recently read.

    This is why it's possible to determine how many trees of a certain length are in a forest simply by measuring how many twigs are on the branch of a single tree in terms of length and with an additional variable from the atmosphere of the forest.

    These two seemingly disparate variables are interconnected and highly correlated and therefore we can use them to extrapolate in conjunction with computers and fractal mathmatics.

    Same thing is true with the different thresholds and scales. Changing a variable on a quantum level may not impact the macro level as in our every day lives, but it may as well change an entire galaxy - we do not know, but such an occurrence may occur if we break a threshold on the quantum level. When we separate atoms using fusion and fission we release great forces. I'm not a physist but I wonder if this pattern would continue beyond the higgs field.

    Hopefully my limited understanding does not offend.

    And this is why I believe in free will. I believe the system of the universe relies on us being free to be determinant - a paradox whereby both are true.
    Very nice explanations, guys.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrotTheThief View Post
    I would go even further and say that certain relationships in one microcosm are governed by a microcosm of laws that pervade multiple microcosms but not necessarily the linear progression of macrocosms outside of microcosms or vice versa - assuming that each threshold and scale could be likened to a Russian Doll metaphor. This is why string theory works based on my limited understanding and why reality is a weave of interconnections. I see it empirically so when the fractalized mathematics between a galaxy and the neurons in our brains are so similar to the highways and road systems on the surface of the planet?

    How do I know? Pictorially speaking all that is required is vague generalized similarities in order to notice any universal pattern since a picture is always equivalent to an equation and vice versa - that and it has been confirmed by scientists. there are only three general types of systems that all systems and sub systems could possibly be...based on an article I recently read.

    This is why it's possible to determine how many trees of a certain length are in a forest simply by measuring how many twigs are on the branch of a single tree in terms of length and with an additional variable from the atmosphere of the forest.

    These two seemingly disparate variables are interconnected and highly correlated and therefore we can use them to extrapolate in conjunction with computers and fractal mathmatics.

    Same thing is true with the different thresholds and scales. Changing a variable on a quantum level may not impact the macro level as in our every day lives, but it may as well change an entire galaxy - we do not know, but such an occurrence may occur if we break a threshold on the quantum level. When we separate atoms using fusion and fission we release great forces. I'm not a physist but I wonder if this pattern would continue beyond the higgs field.

    Hopefully my limited understanding does not offend.

    And this is why I believe in free will. I believe the system of the universe relies on us being free to be determinant - a paradox whereby both are true.
    Yes, and additionally there's some play and wiggle room within thresholds.

    Let's take pinball machines for example. A typical pinball machine has a tilt sensor in it to deter cheating by abusing the machine, by lifting up the end to prevent the ball from draining for example. However the tilt sensor can't be too sensitive, because it would go off with every slight vibration and the machine would be impossible to play, because it would tilt just by touching it, or even walking past it. So the tilt sensor must have a generous threshold which would allow normal play, however within this threshold you can still nudge the machine and effect the ball without triggering a tilt, which is something all good pinball players do.

    So in a way that is like free will because it is a novel and creative action which causes an effect, but not too much of an effect, and it is hard to imagine that the universe ordained from the beginning that you'd learn how to nudge a pinball machine just the right amount to influence the ball without setting off the tilt warning.
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  3. #43
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    The matter of consciousness, and, consequently, the question of whether it is free or not, is as far outside the domain of science as anything could possibly be. Science concerns itself with that which may be verified by means of perception. By perception, I mean awareness of things which give themselves to us as real objects. Consciousness does not fall into this class of existences. We are aware of consciousness through the intuition and through the intuition alone. By that I mean, in part, that consciousness is posited as an abstraction, with the result that any concrete object, such as an image of one's brain, far from being equal to consciousness, presents itself as lying outside consciousness. Someone might try to get around this by suggesting that there is no fundamental difference between the abstract and concrete, and that science might, as a result, very well get its hands on consciousness. "It's all just bundles of sense data, the only differences being in the levels and varieties of verifiability," is a popular and false argument, the reason for its falsehood being that abstraction presents itself as qualitatively different from concrete perception. The abstract comes across as being unreal, imaginary. We never take an abstract thing for an actual object, for if we did, we would prevent it from appearing to us as an abstraction at all. It isn't even correct to say that we perceive an abstraction, for an abstraction doesn't come to us from the outside. I could right now present you with a screen that faithfully displays your every thought, and you would never for an instant mistake the images on the screen for your actual imaginings. To the extent that your imaginings would be imaginings, they would be known to you as non-objects.

    Among the abstractions, consciousness has a special status for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that, unlike the imagining of a cat or a lamppost, there is no concrete thing that I can say the idea of consciousness represents. The closest I can get to that is my body, which, however, is invisible to me inasmuch as I identify with it instead of regarding it from a detached vantage point. Consciousness is something, in other words, whose existence can never correspond to concrete experience. I experience myself as conscious not because my consciousness has been demonstrated to me as an objective fact but because I experience myself as standing apart from objective facts. My standing apart from objective facts is a personal experience with no evidence behind it. When I say there is a consciousness standing apart from the objective world, I can only be referring to something I'm making up, something that I actually don't even grasp as a thought-object but rather as a kind of essence that lies so completely out of my grasp that it may as well be called nothing, except I have the inescapable intuition that it exists. This intuition, however, unlike the intuition that it will rain tomorrow, can never be borne out by experience and never expects to be borne out by experience. My experience of other peoples' consciousnesses is the same; I don't experience their consciousnesses as concrete facts (a solipsist foolishly expects to do this, and since he can't do it, claims other people don't exist), but just in the way I experience my own consciousness, which is to say by using my imagination.

    If neither one's own consciousness nor the consciousnesses of others can be described as objective realities, science is not only unable to study them, it is essentially blind to them.

    As far as the idea that unpredictability is somehow related to the freedom of consciousness, I totally disagree. It is easy enough to imagine someone who is extremely predictable, to the point that, at any given instant, you know exactly what they're going to be doing in five minutes. And yet, even if you were to communicate your predictions to this person, they might very well experience themselves as making choices. And if you yourself knew what you were going to do in advance, as people often do, your foreknowledge would not necessarily do anything to stifle your sense of personal freedom. Actually, it's often at moments when we most feel that we've determined our future that we have the strongest sense of personal freedom. All of this is, of course, subjective, but what else would it be?
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    I am not a New Ager and nothing I write comes from that standpoint. Non-Native Americans often equate our views with New Agers. I think that for you to assume that my use of the term "always" is a New Age "conceit" implies that you have made an assumption based on insufficient evidence.

    So, I merely want to set the record straight, and to advise you to be careful about assumptions not based in evidence. Until you have *worn my moccasins (cliche, I know) and lived in my world, don't assume you know anything about where my views come from (or anyone else's for that matter.
    We know precisely where your views come from. We have administered and studied tribal people from first contact to the present day in Papua New Guinea. And today we study the new tribalism called electronic tribalism on the internet. And both traditional and electronic tribalism have much in common. Our study is called Anthropology.

    Unfortunately the New Age romanticises tribalism and so muddies the water, often for personal advantage.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Something cannot come from nothing, that is provable.
    As you bloviate sub-atomic particles are coming into existence from nothing and going back to nothing all around you and in you.

    And if our universe is flat, as it seems to be, our very universe comes from nothing.

    The claim that you can prove that something cannot come from nothing is simply a tired old religious canard.

  6. #46
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    @Polaris

    Quantum uncertainty is not the same as unpredictability. You can make predictions about a lot of things, including people. However with quantum uncertainty, the more you look at one property, the less you can be certain about other properties. Unpredictability has to do with what will happen in the future and uncertainty has to do with what you can know in the present.

    Uncertainty does not prove free will, sure, but it does create room for it to possibly exist.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Uncertainty does not prove free will, sure, but it does create room for it to possibly exist.
    Uncertainty and free will are like oranges and apples.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Uncertainty and free will are like oranges and apples.
    They both grow on trees?
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  9. #49
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    I believe that the universe is 100% predetermined, but that we have Free Will anyway. How can we - unless we don't reside in a single universe?

    Every choice made by every particle changes the course of the entire universe around it. Infinite paths branch from every choice. The soul traverses through dimensions outside of time and space. Here is where Free Will lies.
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  10. #50
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Not meaning to be insulting, but I find it intellectually uninspiring that people seem so sure to say that we have no free will or that it's unknown. Given that one could say we are the universe observing itself, one could argue that our thoughts influence reality just as much as reality influences us. So this idea of free will or no free will sounds like a false dichotomy. It's the equivalent of a scientist looking at the electrons moving in the neural circuit of a human brain and saying it's just electron movement, but not understanding that there is a consciousness associated with the movement of those electrons, which is both influenced by that movement and influencing it at the same time.
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