Is free will possible in a deterministic universe?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Sarkus, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Vociferous Registered Senior Member

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    Since I've already explained it to you, your insistence implies you think you can either read minds or stubbornly refuse to accept any subsequent clarification. It's your personal problem if you refuse to accept what someone explicitly says they mean.

    So something that appears to be both red and green at the same time could really just be wholly red? And you can presume that without being able to isolate the appearance of red from that of green? That doesn't sound like a justified presumption. Complexity usually involves things composed of many much simpler or fundamental elements, not simple things composed of more complex elements. A red/green superposition is composed of only red? That's contradictory. So if an empirically indeterministic system (not just a naive appearance of complexity) is really deterministic, that would seem to be something unprecedented. That you can continue to just blithely claim it's really deterministic is begging the question. You have to allow for the possibility it is not to support an argument rather than just presume it.

    So the question begging is just presuming the "relevant domains"?
    Presuming which domains in which free will can exist/operate is no better than just presuming all domains deterministic.
    Domains are not devoid of interaction and cannot be so artificially isolated.

    But I think the real, non-begging question is whether free will can coexist with determinism, regardless of the domains of either. Can both determinism and free will exist, in any way?
    Compatibility presumes that one is, or can be, subordinate to the other in some sort of exclusionary way.

    Sorry, I meant incompatibilist. You can take that correction at face value or not.
    Starting with the premise of a wholly deterministic universe is literally begging the question, when the proposed question is whether or not free will exists. "Relevant domain" is even further begging the question. The first precludes domains that are not deterministic, while the second precludes that any non-deterministic domains be allowed.
    If you can't see how that is obviously begging the question, we're at an impasse, as you'll use your presumptions to dismiss any argument out of hand. I don't agree with your unjustified premise.



    The Copenhagen Interpretation, and many that accept wave-function collapse, are considered complete.
    "The wave function is a complete description of a wave/particle. Any information that cannot be derived from the wave function does not exist. For example, a wave is spread over a broad region, therefore does not have a specific location." - http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/21st_century_science/lectures/lec15.html
    This directly addresses Einstein's complaint that "In a complete theory there is an element corresponding to each element of reality." Where he thought quantum momentum and location must both have reality, the Copenhagen Interpretations simply solves that by accepting the empirical evidence that they do not. So "there is an element corresponding to each element of reality", and complete according to Einstein's criteria, even though they disagree on what is real. Einstein assumes properties not available to empirical testing are real.

    Copenhagen-like interpretations accept the empirical indeterminism of QM as a full description of the underlying reality. Look it up for yourself. Quantum indeterminacy is an empirical fact, while assumptions of determinism are not. If you can't accept that, that's your problem. But take solace in the fact that you're in good company.

    Assuming determinism where only empirical indeterminism presents itself is anthropocentric. I know it's hard to fathom, but it's not telepathy. All the information we can receive "through our senses", via empirical experiment, from QM only points to indeterminism. Deterministic interpretations must do so by making empirically unjustified assumptions. Otherwise, you could show me evidence of QM determinism. "If randomness ... is assumed to be a product of insufficient perception" you've said it yourself. It's only an assumption.

    No one's argued an exception to anything but you begging the question by presuming determinism as a premise.
     
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  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Not sure how you obtained that from my post but no way do I think Universe is sentient

    Deterministic Universe - no free will

    We have the impression we have, because we conceive we have choice

    However even if our choices reach 10,000 no matter our pick, predetermined just like falling dominoes

    Still we will continue to choose because even no choice is a choice and by choosing 1 out of the 10,000 we are looking at a future we perceive will occur

    The no choice choice does not give us such a vision

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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    and maybe , just maybe that should have been the thread title and topic...
    "Is perfect knowledge possible in a deterministic universe?"
    because it is as relevant as the issue of free will in a deterministic universe...
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    What???
    It is the only field of "knowledge" which can begin to form an equation which "in reality" separates determinism from free will.

    The rest is mental masturbation. Wooooo....!
     
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Is genuine knowledge possible in a deterministic universe?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Not really. Colors do not exist. We only perceive colors as a mental construct. Its easy to make red or absence of red appear green to an observer. They're called optical illusions and it a peculiar (dis)ability of our brains to perceive colors that really aren't there. Your brain creates colors deterministically (comparatively) and you have no control over it.



    IMO, it is proof that even our senses are unreliable when observing "apparent" phenomena.
     
  10. river

    Messages:
    12,760
    Disagree Write4U

    Colours are real ; since they are are based on a certain wave length of light , which are visable to us . Birds and insects have a broader visual spectrum of the light spectrum ; ultra violet . And some animals such as in the cat species see in the infra red .
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    12,365
    How do you account for seeing a non-existent green dot above?
    Yes, that is the common understanding of our color perception. But it is a false belief. We can only observe (colorless) wave-frequencies which our brain translates into colors when the wave function collapses by our sensory observation.

    You can see only wave frequencies (of photons) or combination of wave frequencies, not colors. The colors are generated by the brain.



     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  12. Vociferous Registered Senior Member

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    You're coming in very late on an analogy that has nothing to do with how we process color.
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Better late than never......

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    The point I am trying to make is that our brains function deterministically. Hence the errors in perception. Our brains involuntarily auto-respond to several additional environmental conditions.

    If we had free will we'd be able to adjust our brains to perceive and voluntarily correct optical illusions. We can't!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  14. Vociferous Registered Senior Member

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    That does not follow, any more than it would follow that free will would allow you to stop indigestion by will alone. Optical illusions do not prove that the brain is wholly deterministic, because free will does not entail mind over matter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    12,365
    Yes it would if we had free will. We don't, therefore matter rules over mind.

    Digestion is a deterministic function. In fact, digestion is not performed by humans at all. It's a bacterial function. And bacteria function deterministically.....no brain at all...

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    If you're interested, also check my posts in Human Science ;"Anil Seth - Brainstorming", to learn more about the brain, how it functions, and if it has Free Will.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Yes we do....have free will...
    Just not in the limited deterministic universe of your choosing...
     
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Can you explain how they are "begging the question"?
    I totally agree with you btw.
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Can you explain how my deterministic universe is "limited to my choice"?
    Do you mean my choice of a limited deterministic universe is a product of my free will?

    This may be pertinent.
    http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~alatus/phil1200/Freewill.html

    And we run into the age-old question "could a person have made a different decision, at the time he/she did make decision, given that all conditions were exactly the same"?

    If so, why didn't he? Maybe he did make a different decision, but didn't know it at that time?

    IMO. this is another expression of quantum uncertainty, which resolves in the collapse of one of two superposed states. This cannot be controlled by free will, it's a deterministic function.......

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    .........

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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    well if you chose it of course your choice is...
    But this is not available in the limited deterministic universe that others here are devoted to.
    Regardless, the reality of freewill is not being discussed, only the philosophy of limited determinism that forbids it is.
     
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Do you see how this question is utter nonsense.?
    Whether the choice was free or not is unable to be proven using this hindsight fallacy proposed.
    This is due to any answer that may be given suffering the same result.
    then it is back to begging the question again...
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    12,365
    Really?
    http://people.tamu.edu/~sdaniel/Notes/freedom1.html
     
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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  23. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    1,906
    That’s the point, though: you didn’t initially write what you meant.
    I can’t initially go by what you mean unless you actually write what you mean.
    You had to clarify, and your clarification has been responded to, along with your nonsense efforts to deflect.
    But somehow it’s my problem that you didn’t express yourself accurately.
    I’m not aware of that specific illusion, but our senses are not infallible, and many things can certainly appear to be one thing yet be something else entirely.
    There are images that we can not help but see as moving yet are entirely static, for example.
    If one starts from first principles and sees no room for anything green other than as a result of subjective perception, then the green is simply a matter of subjective perception, not objective reality.
    It’s not.
    It’s a justified conclusion.
    Who said the nature of appearance is simple?
    I certainly haven’t.
    By the time you get to “how things appear” you are already in the world of the complex, not the simple.
    Note the slip in your language: you have gone from a matter of how things “appear” to now arguing about something that is in superposition.
    If your argument here is that our reality is indeterministic, I would tend to agree.
    But it is irrelevant as we are discussing a universe that is governed by determinism.
    Again, if your argument is that if something actually is indeterministic then it is not deterministic, I would agree.
    But we have stipulated here a deterministic universe, and any appearance of indeterminism within this universe would therefore necessarily be a “naive appearance of complexity”.
    If the universe is defined from the outset as being deterministic, that really is the nature of the universe being discussed.
    If you believe that freewill requires indeterminism of some ilk then you would be an incompatibilist, because you would have to say that in a deterministic universe there is no scope for freewill.
    It’s not rocket science.
    At the moment you’re trying to argue about the nature of the universe, whether it is deterministic or not, but it has already been defined for purposes of this discussion as deterministic.

    Yes they can be isolated...
    We have assumed for purposes of discussion that the universe is deterministic.
    There.
    Isolated.
    See how easy that was?
    We have isolated a universe for discussion that is entirely deterministic.
    I.e. no indeterminism, no need for domains to interact.
    I’m sorry if this assumption, upon which this thread (and the recent others like this on this forum) is based, is not to your liking, but either accept it or move on.
    Trying to discuss the red herring of indeterminism simply has no place in this thread.
    The question this thread is trying to answer is whether freewill can exist in a deterministic universe.
    Let’s answer that one first, shall we?
    It means can one exist with the other in the same domain.
    What better test is there than to see if free will can exist in a deterministic universe.
    After all, if freewill requires indeterminism at all then it is incompatible with determinism.
    Noted.
    First, it is not question begging at all, otherwise there wouldn’t be such thing as the compatibilist, who believes free will can exist in a deterministic universe.
    Second, the question isn’t whether free will exists or not; the question is whether it can exist in a deterministic universe.
    Notice the difference?
    If everyone agreed that freewill can’t exist in a deterministic universe then we could move on to whether free will does exist, whether the indeterminism in our reality (if one accepts that there is such) allows for freewill.
    But we’re not there yet.
    There are some here arguing, however, that freewill is compatible with a deterministic universe, that it does exist in such.
    Given the question is whether free will is possible in a deterministic universe, not simply whether free will exists, how is that begging the question?
    Unless you already hold the assumption that freewill requires some form of indeterminism, or already assume that freewill is not possible in a deterministic universe, perhaps?
    If that is the case then, sure, question begging it is.
    But since there are those who believe freewill to be possible in a deterministic universe, how can it be question begging?

    But please, above all, stick to the question that has been asked: is freewill possible in a deterministic universe.
    It’s not whether freewill exists or not.
    And if you think our actual universe is not deterministic then we’re not talking about our actual universe but the abstracted deterministic universe.
    If your answer to the question that has been asked is no, great, move on, or debate with those who think the answer is yes.
    Or if your answer is no, feel free to debate with those who think the opposite.
    If you want to ask a different question then raise a new thread for it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019

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