Free Will

ssalvia
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Free Will

 Hey guys,

 

I wanted to share my opinion of free will and possible issues with it. So heres what I've been thinking lately. I'm doing a PhD in Mathematics and Physics, and being involved in the scientific community you realise how fickle some ideas can be. I have a slight problem with the big bang theory as it is presented today. I suppose it boils down to the question of whether the Universe is a closed or open system. Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. This means that free will is merely an illusion, and the fate of ourselves and our universe is determined. I suppose it boils down to determinism, but I feel a lot of determinism theories do not appreciate the scale of what I'm talking about. 

 

There is also an issue with quantum mechanics and uncertainties which give rise to probabilistic approaches. I feel that these are nothing more than human limitations. Anyway, I'd like to get your thoughts and ideas.

 

S.


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Free will is a joke. It's

Free will is a joke. It's generally a last ditch effort by theists in an attempt to confuse the weak minded. You can say it exists or you can say it doesn't because it doesn't matter, it's a joke. It's as circular as can be.

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robj101 wrote:Free will is a

robj101 wrote:

Free will is a joke. It's generally a last ditch effort by theists in an attempt to confuse the weak minded. You can say it exists or you can say it doesn't because it doesn't matter, it's a joke. It's as circular as can be.

 

Not sure I agree about it being a joke. To me, its a very valid philosophical argument.


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ssalvia wrote:robj101

ssalvia wrote:

robj101 wrote:

Free will is a joke. It's generally a last ditch effort by theists in an attempt to confuse the weak minded. You can say it exists or you can say it doesn't because it doesn't matter, it's a joke. It's as circular as can be.

 

Not sure I agree about it being a joke. To me, its a very valid philosophical argument.

Maybe to you but to me free will is a given, everything has it unless effected by gravity or some other force that is simply preventative. A man in jail obviously does not have the free will to leave though he does have it to want to leave. It's a silly argument.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
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Please define exactly what

Please define exactly what you mean by free will.  Also, please tell me exactly how you feel free will relates to determinism.   


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robj101 wrote:ssalvia

robj101 wrote:

ssalvia wrote:

robj101 wrote:

Free will is a joke. It's generally a last ditch effort by theists in an attempt to confuse the weak minded. You can say it exists or you can say it doesn't because it doesn't matter, it's a joke. It's as circular as can be.

 

Not sure I agree about it being a joke. To me, its a very valid philosophical argument.

Maybe to you but to me free will is a given, everything has it unless effected by gravity or some other force that is simply preventative. A man in jail obviously does not have the free will to leave though he does have it to want to leave. It's a silly argument.

 

You're obviously not understanding my post. The points you make do not affect my argument.


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RatDog wrote:Please define

RatDog wrote:

Please define exactly what you mean by free will.  Also, please tell me exactly how you feel free will relates to determinism.   

 

To my mind, free will is the idea that we are somehow in control of our own destinies, and that we choose what we do today and it will ultimately affect the universe tomorrow.

 

Determinism is (according to wikipedia): 

Determinism (also called causal determinism) is the philosophical view that every event, including human cognition, behaviour, decision, and action is causally determined (completely predictable) by previous events.

 

My point is, if we view the universe as a closed system with a big bang to begin it, then the big bang is the only thing that determines how the universe propagates (the universe includes the earth, as it is a part of the universe). It implies that we do not have free will. It is determinism on a universal scale.


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ssalvia wrote: Assuming it

ssalvia wrote:

 Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. 

Wut!?!?!

The number of microstates of the system you call the universe will be GIGANTIC.  And without any additional input, all microstates are quite possible. 

How did you arrive to your conclusion?  How does you knowledge related to your statistical thermodynamics course support your assumption?  

"No faith" Smiling

 

 


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ssalvia wrote:My point is,

ssalvia wrote:

My point is, if we view the universe as a closed system with a big bang to begin it, then the big bang is the only thing that determines how the universe propagates (the universe includes the earth, as it is a part of the universe). It implies that we do not have free will. It is determinism on a universal scale.

 

Wow.  

When is your thesis defense?  


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

ssalvia wrote:

 Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. 

Wut!?!?!

The number of microstates of the system you call the universe will be GIGANTIC.  And without any additional input, all microstates are quite possible. 

How did you arrive to your conclusion?  How does you knowledge related to your statistical thermodynamics course support your assumption?  

"No faith" Smiling

 

 

 

1. Think of a universe before the big bang as an empty box. It is a completely closed system

2. Now in the centre of the box, the big bang occurs.

3. It occurs in exactly the same way as our universe.

3. Since we cannot affect what happens within the box, we assume that the universe in the box follows the same path as our own universe.

4. This implies that the solar system, earth and all its inhabitants will arise in exactly the same way, and die in exactly the same way.

5. Hence, there is no free will, and the fate of everything in the universe was pre determined from the big bang.

 

If you are confused about this, I suggest watching futurama season 6 episode 7 "The late philip J fry." The idea of a looping universe in time is pretty much the same idea.

 

S.

 


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I think I see

ssalvia wrote:

Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. This means that free will is merely an illusion, and the fate of ourselves and our universe is determined. I suppose it boils down to determinism, but I feel a lot of determinism theories do not appreciate the scale of what I'm talking about. 

There is also an issue with quantum mechanics and uncertainties which give rise to probabilistic approaches. I feel that these are nothing more than human limitations. Anyway, I'd like to get your thoughts and ideas.

 

What you are saying in general terms but it applies only if every event can be shown to be caused by the one before and that these events are always the same in identical big bangs right down to the choices of organic life over billions of years, as well as the vagaries of human instinct and cultural development.

There might be variations. What if the Survivors tribe that sat through the last ice age in southern africa had experienced a flu epidemic at the most crucial point in the population bottleneck because they caught and ate an infected duck that didn't see them coming because it had just caught a particularly slippery fish that wriggled like mad? Or if the african man all humans are descended from had died in child birth because his father ran into a woman with narrower hips down at the waterhole one balmy friday night?

A deeper issue is how human existence and human concepts like freewill fit into a big bang and are reproducible by another identical big bang. With no humans there would be no concept of freewill and it's unlikely the concept has existed all that long anyway.

I think you could say that a given big bang opens up a range of options but given all organic life makes decisions based on instinct and variably complicated thought processes, the organic side of the universe is highly unpredictable. There are so many possible variables and fulcrum decisions.

Personally, I don't accept the ancient religious tradition that there is freewill. As moral beings we are aware of those things that will hurt others and those things that will see us lauded by others. The moment before making the decision, the moment of weighing up, is so bound up in our natures, upbringings and circumstances that calling it unfettered freewill is impossible for me. The cultural application of moral boundaries that provide humanity's social guides removed freewill as a useful concept tens of millions of years ago - long before we could ever have been called human.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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ssalvia wrote:1. Think of a

ssalvia wrote:

1. Think of a universe before the big bang as an empty box. It is a completely closed system

2. Now in the centre of the box, the big bang occurs.

3. It occurs in exactly the same way as our universe.

3. Since we cannot affect what happens within the box, we assume that the universe in the box follows the same path as our own universe.

4. This implies that the solar system, earth and all its inhabitants will arise in exactly the same way, and die in exactly the same way.

5. Hence, there is no free will, and the fate of everything in the universe was pre determined from the big bang.

 

If you are confused about this, I suggest watching futurama season 6 episode 7 "The late philip J fry." The idea of a looping universe in time is pretty much the same idea.

 

S.

 

 

#3 is the wrong assumption.  I normally do not watch anything that has "episodes".

For a system with the infinite number of possible microstates (if we assume that space is a continuum), there is an infinite number of microstates corresponding to the same entropy of the system.  Moreover, our system is NOT in equilibrium.  And even more, Heisenberg's principle would probably apply and be extremely important to every particle of the universe near the BigBang event, which means the statistical "free will" is multiplied by quantum mechanical "free will".

Do not make the references to "futurama" in your thesis. Smiling  

 

Edit:  Grhm... Smiling  not "infinite number of microstates", but "very large number of microstates".  


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ssalvia wrote:1. Think of a

ssalvia wrote:

1. Think of a universe before the big bang as an empty box. It is a completely closed system

2. Now in the centre of the box, the big bang occurs.

3. It occurs in exactly the same way as our universe.

3. Since we cannot affect what happens within the box, we assume that the universe in the box follows the same path as our own universe.

4. This implies that the solar system, earth and all its inhabitants will arise in exactly the same way, and die in exactly the same way.

5. Hence, there is no free will, and the fate of everything in the universe was pre determined from the big bang.

 

If you are confused about this, I suggest watching futurama season 6 episode 7 "The late philip J fry." The idea of a looping universe in time is pretty much the same idea.

 

S.

I am a little confused. If we assume point 1 and 2 a true, then why points 3, 4, and 5? What dictates that it happens exactly? Could point 1 and 2 be true but not 3, 4, and 5?

 

I like to think I'm a pretty smart guy sometimes, but try and make this intellectually somewhere between a thesis and futurama. I'm not the best at science so I'm looking for a serious answer, not trying to trap you.

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ssalvia wrote:I wanted to

ssalvia wrote:

I wanted to share my opinion of free will and possible issues with it. So heres what I've been thinking lately. I'm doing a PhD in Mathematics and Physics, and being involved in the scientific community you realise how fickle some ideas can be. I have a slight problem with the big bang theory as it is presented today. I suppose it boils down to the question of whether the Universe is a closed or open system. Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. This means that free will is merely an illusion, and the fate of ourselves and our universe is determined. I suppose it boils down to determinism, but I feel a lot of determinism theories do not appreciate the scale of what I'm talking about. 

There is also an issue with quantum mechanics and uncertainties which give rise to probabilistic approaches. I feel that these are nothing more than human limitations. Anyway, I'd like to get your thoughts and ideas.

I never understood the classification of the universe as a system.  Systems are finite parts of space, time, matter, and energy.  Beyond that, we have no concept of a system.  I don't see how the universe could be a system since the universe is all of space, time, matter, and energy.  Any system has to have physical surroundings.  The universe comprises all physicality and therefore cannot have physical surroundings.  It would be like saying that there is a space outside of space. 

Whatever caused the Big Bang must be timeless, immaterial, non-spatial, and capable of acting without energy.

Most atheists have a problem with the Big Bang Theory because it confirms that the universe is not eternal.  As such, they continually reformulate it or reinterpret fit with their atheism.  Same crap, different decade.  Einstein did the same thing.  He was irritated by the findings and introduced a fudge factor in order to get around where his calculations inevitably led him.  He later called it a blunder and clearly rejected his pantheism when he stated:

"I want to know how God created this world.  I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.  I want to know His thought, the rest are details."

I've yet to see any evidence of a multiverse.  The steady state and cosmic rebound theories are disproven.

Free will is the ability to make choices.  I don't know that it is necessarily incompatible with determinism, since our choices are not matters of brute fact, that is, they are not made vacuously without any sufficient reason at all.  As such, a strictly indeterminate universe comes across to me as an absurdity, as it would posit that events occur for no reason.

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ssalvia wrote: I'm doing a

ssalvia wrote:

 I'm doing a PhD in Mathematics and Physics, and being involved in the scientific community you realise how fickle some ideas can be.

...

 

There is also an issue with quantum mechanics and uncertainties which give rise to probabilistic approaches. I feel that these are nothing more than human limitations. Anyway, I'd like to get your thoughts and ideas.

 

PEOPLE, PEOPLE. Smiling

I have a BigBang problem with this.   And it is not that ssalvia disagrees with something or makes some assumptions which I find strange at best.  The problem is that if you are DOING PhD in Physics, you ought to know that "quantum mechanics and uncertainties ... give rise to probabilistic approaches"  is plain wrong because "probabilistic approaches" are "meat" of statistical thermodynamics (Boltzmann's entropy) and they were developed way before quantum mechanics and need no quantum mechanics for their explanation.  

I am now really seriously confused.   Tell me that I am wrong, but I have an impression that either something is wrong with ssalvia or with his B.S. degree.  

 

Sorry, I do not mean to be offensive, but someone saying that he is "doing PhD in Physics" and that "quantum mechanics [and] ... probabilistic approaches  ... are nothing more than human limitations" immediately raises a RED flag for me. 


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ssalvia wrote:Assuming it is

ssalvia wrote:

Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. This means that free will is merely an illusion, and the fate of ourselves and our universe is determined. I suppose it boils down to determinism, but I feel a lot of determinism theories do not appreciate the scale of what I'm talking about.

There's no reason to think that a system, open or closed, prohibits free will. Ontologically, I seemingly have a will and appear to be able to make decisions. What more do I need than that? Whether it is illusionary or not is not really an issue because insofar as I can tell there is no way to know. One may as well muse as to whether he or she is a brain-in-a-vat etc. I simply pass such things by fiat.

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Meaning_Of_Life

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Whatever caused the Big Bang must be timeless, immaterial, non-spatial, and capable of acting without energy.

Most atheists have a problem with the Big Bang Theory because it confirms that the universe is not eternal.  As such, they continually reformulate it or reinterpret fit with their atheism.  Same crap, different decade.  Einstein did the same thing.  He was irritated by the findings and introduced a fudge factor in order to get around where his calculations inevitably led him.  He later called it a blunder and clearly rejected his pantheism when he stated:

"I want to know how God created this world.  I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.  I want to know His thought, the rest are details."

I've yet to see any evidence of a multiverse.  The steady state and cosmic rebound theories are disproven.

No offense, but what does this have to do with free will? It seems to be a red herring.

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100percentAtheist wrote:

Sorry, I do not mean to be offensive, but someone saying that he is "doing PhD in Physics" and that "quantum mechanics [and] ... probabilistic approaches  ... are nothing more than human limitations" immediately raises a RED flag for me. 

 

My PhD is technically in Mathematics, focusing on conformal field theories which is physics. I actually just published my first paper not too long ago.  

 

Quantum mechanics does involve probability density functions, and stat mech involves quite a bit of probability. These models are not perfect by any means, and I was referring more to the imperfections and limitations of the models themselves. My argument boils down to this:

If two 'closed' universes begin in exactly the same way, then they will be identical. The implication of this would negate free will for all inhabitants of these universes.

Anyway, thats my two cents.

S.


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ssalvia wrote:robj101

ssalvia wrote:

robj101 wrote:

ssalvia wrote:

robj101 wrote:

Free will is a joke. It's generally a last ditch effort by theists in an attempt to confuse the weak minded. You can say it exists or you can say it doesn't because it doesn't matter, it's a joke. It's as circular as can be.

 

Not sure I agree about it being a joke. To me, its a very valid philosophical argument.

Maybe to you but to me free will is a given, everything has it unless effected by gravity or some other force that is simply preventative. A man in jail obviously does not have the free will to leave though he does have it to want to leave. It's a silly argument.

 

You're obviously not understanding my post. The points you make do not affect my argument.

Then yes as someone else mentioned you need to define your version of free will. I'm going by the common theistic idea that a higher being gave us free will which equates to general choice.

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ssalvia wrote:If two

ssalvia wrote:

If two 'closed' universes begin in exactly the same way, then they will be identical. The implication of this would negate free will for all inhabitants of these universes.

Anyway, thats my two cents.

Identical in what respect? At the point these came into existence? Because indeterminace would suggest that while they may be composed identically, as they expand they could possibly expand is radically different arrangements. The reason I'm asking is that there would be reason to believe that the universe would be uniform rather than disjoint as it appears to be... That is we have stars, planets, galaxies, etc. in various sizes and in various location with vast amounts of space between these objects. All I think it would produce is different stimuli for the inhabitants of these universes, if the universes produced inhabitants at all. But I'm not the sort of person who would otherwise think that such things are sufficient to produce freewill.

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Whatever caused the Big Bang must be timeless, immaterial, non-spatial, and capable of acting without energy.

Most atheists have a problem with the Big Bang Theory because it confirms that the universe is not eternal.  As such, they continually reformulate it or reinterpret fit with their atheism.  Same crap, different decade.  Einstein did the same thing.  He was irritated by the findings and introduced a fudge factor in order to get around where his calculations inevitably led him.  He later called it a blunder and clearly rejected his pantheism when he stated:

"I want to know how God created this world.  I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.  I want to know His thought, the rest are details."

I've yet to see any evidence of a multiverse.  The steady state and cosmic rebound theories are disproven.

No offense, but what does this have to do with free will? It seems to be a red herring.

Nothing, but ssalvia brought up several issues besides free will, so I addressed those as well. 

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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

Nothing, but ssalvia brought up several issues besides free will, so I addressed those as well. 

10/4. I wasn't sure.

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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:I

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

I never understood the classification of the universe as a system.  Systems are finite parts of space, time, matter, and energy.  Beyond that, we have no concept of a system.  I don't see how the universe could be a system since the universe is all of space, time, matter, and energy.  Any system has to have physical surroundings.  The universe comprises all physicality and therefore cannot have physical surroundings.  It would be like saying that there is a space outside of space.

To add:  I've changed my mind.  The universe can be viewed as an isolated system, as a system may be a finite part of space, time, matter, and energy, or a finite whole of it.

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ssalvia wrote: My PhD is

ssalvia wrote:

 

My PhD is technically in Mathematics, focusing on conformal field theories which is physics. I actually just published my first paper not too long ago.  

 

Quantum mechanics does involve probability density functions, and stat mech involves quite a bit of probability. These models are not perfect by any means, and I was referring more to the imperfections and limitations of the models themselves. My argument boils down to this:

If two 'closed' universes begin in exactly the same way, then they will be identical. The implication of this would negate free will for all inhabitants of these universes.

Anyway, thats my two cents.

S.

 

Ok,  probability theory and game theory are the children of mathematics.  What is imperfect about them?

To claim this:

"If two 'closed' universes begin in exactly the same way, then they will be identical." you pretty much need to undo your knowledge of probability theories and related thermodynamics as well as return to Newtonian mechanics.   Do you seriously believe that this approach is the progressive one as compared to quantum and statistical mechanics and moder thermodynamics?

 


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For all practical purposes,

For all practical purposes, as far as we can verify, we have a limited free will. We can't yet do any experiments with time, neither I think we will ever can. This determinism stuff is one of the even more useless areas of philosophy.

My pretty much educated esotericist's opinion is, that if there would be exactly the same Big Bang, the universe would not be the same. There would be the same major points in development, major features, like generally two-legged, two-handed one-headed humanity. But process leading to these waypoints would be less or more different every time. Minor things are not set, they are up to the creativity emerging from quantum level. But certain major events and cycles are inevitable. They are -I might say- progressive and everything strives towards them.

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ssalvia wrote:If two

ssalvia wrote:

If two 'closed' universes begin in exactly the same way, then they will be identical. The implication of this would negate free will for all inhabitants of these universes.

Anyway, thats my two cents.

S.

 

How does a system meet the definition of "closed" if you have an input - a hypothesized big bang.  Doesn't even one input negate the concept of closed?

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cj wrote:ssalvia wrote:If

cj wrote:

ssalvia wrote:

If two 'closed' universes begin in exactly the same way, then they will be identical. The implication of this would negate free will for all inhabitants of these universes.

Anyway, thats my two cents.

S.

 

How does a system meet the definition of "closed" if you have an input - a hypothesized big bang.  Doesn't even one input negate the concept of closed?

It doesn't just refer to any input.

Systems strictly refer to the exchange of heat, work, or matter.  An open system can exchange all of them, a closed system can only exchange heat and work, an isolated system can exchange none of them.

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Meaning_Of_Life wrote:I

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

I never understood the classification of the universe as a system.  Systems are finite parts of space, time, matter, and energy.  Beyond that, we have no concept of a system.  I don't see how the universe could be a system since the universe is all of space, time, matter, and energy.  Any system has to have physical surroundings.  The universe comprises all physicality and therefore cannot have physical surroundings.  It would be like saying that there is a space outside of space. 

 

I'm not real great at physics and I am even less great at quantum mechanics.  But my undergraduate degree is in systems engineering.

A system is a system is a system and one person's subsystem is another person's system.

Real world systems are not neat and tidy.  There is no black box surrounding any real world system.  A black box is imposed on a real world system in order to fix a portion of it or design a solution to meet the needs of a group of people.  Then we use tools to analyze what is in the black box.

A real world system might be a manufacturing facility.  A black box may be drawn around a particular process within the facility in order to improve throughput or reduce errors.

A real world system might be the traffic associated with a city.  A black box may be drawn around one intersection in order to improve throughput or reduce accidents.

A real world system might be the universe.  A black box may be drawn around one solar system in order to understand the mechanics of that system or to solve a problem as in how to get to Mars.  Or the black box may be drawn around the entire universe in order to examine questions such as the big bang.

The limits imposed on real world systems are artifacts of humans attempting to explain or understand those systems.  So yes, the universe is a system.

edit: This is about systems from an engineering point of view.  I am aware other disciplines have different takes on the subject,

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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cj wrote:Meaning_Of_Life

cj wrote:

Meaning_Of_Life wrote:

I never understood the classification of the universe as a system.  Systems are finite parts of space, time, matter, and energy.  Beyond that, we have no concept of a system.  I don't see how the universe could be a system since the universe is all of space, time, matter, and energy.  Any system has to have physical surroundings.  The universe comprises all physicality and therefore cannot have physical surroundings.  It would be like saying that there is a space outside of space. 

 

I'm not real great at physics and I am even less great at quantum mechanics.  But my undergraduate degree is in systems engineering.

A system is a system is a system and one person's subsystem is another person's system.

Real world systems are not neat and tidy.  There is no black box surrounding any real world system.  A black box is imposed on a real world system in order to fix a portion of it or design a solution to meet the needs of a group of people.  Then we use tools to analyze what is in the black box.

A real world system might be a manufacturing facility.  A black box may be drawn around a particular process within the facility in order to improve throughput or reduce errors.

A real world system might be the traffic associated with a city.  A black box may be drawn around one intersection in order to improve throughput or reduce accidents.

A real world system might be the universe.  A black box may be drawn around one solar system in order to understand the mechanics of that system or to solve a problem as in how to get to Mars.  Or the black box may be drawn around the entire universe in order to examine questions such as the big bang.

The limits imposed on real world systems are artifacts of humans attempting to explain or understand those systems.  So yes, the universe is a system.

edit: This is about systems from an engineering point of view.  I am aware other disciplines have different takes on the subject,

 

Interesting.  It seems that both theists and atheists on this forum are generally united against the idea that the two universes with the same beginnings will result in exact same cj, ssalvia, Bill Gates, etc.   I think it should take an alien to come up with such an idea. Smiling 


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Luminon wrote:For all

Luminon wrote:

For all practical purposes, as far as we can verify, we have a limited free will. We can't yet do any experiments with time, neither I think we will ever can. This determinism stuff is one of the even more useless areas of philosophy.

My pretty much educated esotericist's opinion is, that if there would be exactly the same Big Bang, the universe would not be the same. There would be the same major points in development, major features, like generally two-legged, two-handed one-headed humanity. But process leading to these waypoints would be less or more different every time. Minor things are not set, they are up to the creativity emerging from quantum level. But certain major events and cycles are inevitable. They are -I might say- progressive and everything strives towards them.

 

Even my very limited background in physics is in perfect agreement with this. 


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100percentAtheist wrote:Even

100percentAtheist wrote:

Even my very limited background in physics is in perfect agreement with this. 

All right. But I don't know how deep this agreement goes. Esotericists like me have a peculiar opinion on the nature of time. Free will has a lot to do with time and causality.

For example, we rather disagree with the idea of multiverse, but we agree with multiple universe-like parallel dimensions as string theory describes.

It is said, that events primarily happen in higher dimensions and then they gradually precipitate into lower dimensions and eventually into our own. These events are mostly firmly given. What is not given, is the time and way of their precipitation into material form. That is pretty much dependent on our own activity. On it's own, the event will precipitate at a certain time. Our reality will become synchronized with the event and so it will happen. But depending on what we do, the event may be postponed or speeded up.

This has one great implication. Masters of esoteric skills are free to visit these higher dimensions. They can see the events there, waiting for opportunity to happen in material world. They can also see the past. The past is simple and straightforward for them to see, but the future is not. They see the possible events waiting to happen, so they can predict the future better than any medium or human forecaster. But they have no idea when these events will actually happen. Firstly, the time of events is not firmly given, it still changes according to what humanity does. Secondly, from their point of view, there is no time as we  know it, they do not perceive minutes, hours or days. When they communicate with normal people, they always have to update their sense of time to ours.

It is said, the higher dimension is, the greater is the relativity of time. In the dimension I mentioned, the time is not perceived as we do, but simply as a succession of events, without any firmly set length of how long these events take. Our brains perceive 1 second less or more like 1 second, so it is with minute and hour. We also see only the present moment. From esoteric point of view, our perception of time is said to be very illusory, very unreal in comparison with what the time actually is.

I have some rather mystifying hints on what such a relativity of time allows. Something that is from our point of view a time travel into the future, may be possible in the higher dimensions. Before the events are actually firmly set into physical reality, they might be still influenced to some degree. But here I have far too little information, except that no interactive time travel into the past was ever seen. It seems the whole thing was actually meant to explain the readers how important their actions are for the future and well-being of our world, and why they can't be mad at esoteric masters for not predicting the future with a specific time date. It also emphasizes, how there is no linear time, but only the present moment. They say, and thereby mystify me greatly, that all events are happening simultaneously in the one present moment.

And I wonder if any physicist has anything to say to that. After all, time and other dimensions can be mathemathically described and properties of time there can be experimentally guessed. I wonder if any physicist already thought of this.

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100percentAtheist wrote:Ok,

100percentAtheist wrote:

Ok,  probability theory and game theory are the children of mathematics.  What is imperfect about them?

To claim this:

"If two 'closed' universes begin in exactly the same way, then they will be identical." you pretty much need to undo your knowledge of probability theories and related thermodynamics as well as return to Newtonian mechanics.   Do you seriously believe that this approach is the progressive one as compared to quantum and statistical mechanics and moder thermodynamics? 

 

We use things like the Boltzmann distribution as a great approximation to states in a system. This comes from the limitation of not being able to keep track of every single particle/wave inside a system. If we could, using much more powerful computation, model systems of large numbers of particles, keeping track of each individual particle's velocity position etc etc in time, we would not need to use these distributions. We would already have all the information about the system at our disposal. This would not be a step backwards, but a large step forwards.

Current projects to completely map and model the human brain are underway, and these are the kinds of progressive projects I am talking about. 


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ssalvia wrote:We use things

ssalvia wrote:

We use things like the Boltzmann distribution as a great approximation to states in a system. 

Already this sentence does not make sense.  Please try again. 

Also, I was not talking about Boltzmann distribution.

... out of curiosity ... what is the probability of a state of a BIG system according to Boltzmann distribution if it is such "a great approximation to states"?

 

 


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Luminon, I have no problem

Luminon,

 

I have no problem with what you write except this little one:

Luminon wrote:

This has one great implication. Masters of esoteric skills are free to visit these higher dimensions. 

This does not sound as a correct description in a psychiatric sense.   Smiling  

If I am wrong, how can I find the most recent publications on this in Science, National Geographic, Nature, PNAS, etc.?

No publication.  Oh my, go and be the first one!  Nobel Prize is waiting for you! 

Other than that, it is fine and interesting to hypothesize.  


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Already this sentence does not make sense.  Please try again. 

Also, I was not talking about Boltzmann distribution.

... out of curiosity ... what is the probability of a state of a BIG system according to Boltzmann distribution if it is such "a great approximation to states"?

 

These kind of mathematical tools are great for getting an overall picture of what is going on for simplified systems. 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:
Luminon, I have no problem with what you write except this little one:
Luminon wrote:
This has one great implication. Masters of esoteric skills are free to visit these higher dimensions. 

This does not sound as a correct description in a psychiatric sense.   Smiling 
Well, we esotericists say that there are relationships between energy, matter, consciousness, string dimensions, space and time. Explaining it more precisely would take some time and energy Smiling Let's just say there are people who's consciousness is developed enough to have it's weight in equations with other properties of reality.

100percentAtheist wrote:
If I am wrong, how can I find the most recent publications on this in Science, National Geographic, Nature, PNAS, etc.?

No publication.  Oh my, go and be the first one!  Nobel Prize is waiting for you! 

Other than that, it is fine and interesting to hypothesize.  

You see, I am philosophically growing Heron's beard and I need someone to use Occam's razor. I also know esoteric theories but they're not written for scientists, so I need someone who can re-interpret them in scientific language. I have met some academic people who can't or refuse to understand text intuitively, they require it 100% literal as a computer code. If someone, I don't know, like Deepak Chopra writes "look into your heart", they think it will need a minor surgery and tiny camera with LED light source and optic fiber. Seeing no sense in this, they think how too smart they are to read such things. To prevent this reaction, there must be some cooperation between someone who understands the esoteric text and someone who understands science.

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Luminon

Luminon wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:
Luminon, I have no problem with what you write except this little one:
Luminon wrote:
This has one great implication. Masters of esoteric skills are free to visit these higher dimensions. 

This does not sound as a correct description in a psychiatric sense.   Smiling 
Well, we esotericists say that there are relationships between energy, matter, consciousness, string dimensions, space and time. Explaining it more precisely would take some time and energy Smiling Let's just say there are people who's consciousness is developed enough to have it's weight in equations with other properties of reality.

100percentAtheist wrote:
If I am wrong, how can I find the most recent publications on this in Science, National Geographic, Nature, PNAS, etc.?

No publication.  Oh my, go and be the first one!  Nobel Prize is waiting for you! 

Other than that, it is fine and interesting to hypothesize.  

You see, I am philosophically growing Heron's beard and I need someone to use Occam's razor. I also know esoteric theories but they're not written for scientists, so I need someone who can re-interpret them in scientific language. I have met some academic people who can't or refuse to understand text intuitively, they require it 100% literal as a computer code. If someone, I don't know, like Deepak Chopra writes "look into your heart", they think it will need a minor surgery and tiny camera with LED light source and optic fiber. Seeing no sense in this, they think how too smart they are to read such things. To prevent this reaction, there must be some cooperation between someone who understands the esoteric text and someone who understands science.

 

Those who understand science will attempt to apply the scientific method to every hypothesis in question.  It is an almost unconscious reaction of scientists.

 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Luminon wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:
Luminon, I have no problem with what you write except this little one:
Luminon wrote:
This has one great implication. Masters of esoteric skills are free to visit these higher dimensions. 

This does not sound as a correct description in a psychiatric sense.   Smiling 
Well, we esotericists say that there are relationships between energy, matter, consciousness, string dimensions, space and time. Explaining it more precisely would take some time and energy Smiling Let's just say there are people who's consciousness is developed enough to have it's weight in equations with other properties of reality.

100percentAtheist wrote:
If I am wrong, how can I find the most recent publications on this in Science, National Geographic, Nature, PNAS, etc.?

No publication.  Oh my, go and be the first one!  Nobel Prize is waiting for you! 

Other than that, it is fine and interesting to hypothesize.  

You see, I am philosophically growing Heron's beard and I need someone to use Occam's razor. I also know esoteric theories but they're not written for scientists, so I need someone who can re-interpret them in scientific language. I have met some academic people who can't or refuse to understand text intuitively, they require it 100% literal as a computer code. If someone, I don't know, like Deepak Chopra writes "look into your heart", they think it will need a minor surgery and tiny camera with LED light source and optic fiber. Seeing no sense in this, they think how too smart they are to read such things. To prevent this reaction, there must be some cooperation between someone who understands the esoteric text and someone who understands science.

 

Those who understand science will attempt to apply the scientific method to every hypothesis in question.  It is an almost unconscious reaction of scientists.

 

 

Honestly, is there any other way of looking at things? I mean, if you believe something may be true, and you have some means to test it, doesn't it make sense to try to find out? To me, thats not science, its just common sense. The word 'science' is being thrown around as a buzz word so much these days.


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ssalvia wrote: I mean, if

ssalvia wrote:

 I mean, if you believe something may be true, and you have some means to test it, doesn't it make sense to try to find out? To me, thats not science, its just common sense. 

So, how about testing "nuclear winter"?  

I agree, common sense is not science.  Common sense tells some that it is simply impossible for humans to evolve from monkeys (well, to have a common ancestor with apes), and since a direct and immediate test does not apply to this ridiculous evolution theory, we should conclude that it is false on the basis of our common sense.

 

 

 


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ssalvia wrote:Honestly, is

ssalvia wrote:


Honestly, is there any other way of looking at things? I mean, if you believe something may be true, and you have some means to test it, doesn't it make sense to try to find out? To me, thats not science, its just common sense. The word 'science' is being thrown around as a buzz word so much these days.

Yes, it does make sense, but my means are very limited. I have an extremely capable colleague, but she has her own agenda, so her use is also limited. Before there can be any research, I must first research how to understand and improve my limited methods of testing and find out some new. The first needed helper would be a neurologist, the second electronic engineer and third one perhaps a physicist. And maybe a millionaire on top of that Smiling

There are also other factors, that could be called historical. I have an impression that our esoteric chiefs frown at such a research as long as the world is unstable and unprepared for such knowledge. (or prepared to misuse it) They want first certain economic and political principles corrected, then they will help people with science. Perhaps it's better that way, to have time for preparation. I don't yet understand how is the scientific community organized, what are secrets of the trade and hidden traps. The best way to find out should be to hang out in pub with some real working scientist and untie his tongue with booze.

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Luminon wrote:ssalvia

Luminon wrote:

ssalvia wrote:

 

Honestly, is there any other way of looking at things? I mean, if you believe something may be true, and you have some means to test it, doesn't it make sense to try to find out? To me, thats not science, its just common sense. The word 'science' is being thrown around as a buzz word so much these days.

Yes, it does make sense, but my means are very limited. I have an extremely capable colleague, but she has her own agenda, so her use is also limited. Before there can be any research, I must first research how to understand and improve my limited methods of testing and find out some new. The first needed helper would be a neurologist, the second electronic engineer and third one perhaps a physicist. And maybe a millionaire on top of that Smiling

There are also other factors, that could be called historical. I have an impression that our esoteric chiefs frown at such a research as long as the world is unstable and unprepared for such knowledge. (or prepared to misuse it) They want first certain economic and political principles corrected, then they will help people with science. Perhaps it's better that way, to have time for preparation. I don't yet understand how is the scientific community organized, what are secrets of the trade and hidden traps. The best way to find out should be to hang out in pub with some real working scientist and untie his tongue with booze.

Every single person has their own agenda. That is not a religious or scientific trait, it is simply a human trait. The important thing is being able to identify our own agendas and begin to work to rise above them. 


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ssalvia wrote:Every single

ssalvia wrote:

Every single person has their own agenda. That is not a religious or scientific trait, it is simply a human trait. The important thing is being able to identify our own agendas and begin to work to rise above them. 

Well yes, but I meant it differently. She has her own agenda, this means, she doesn't take orders from me and has her own busy schedule. She's in touch with the inner realms and receives her own orders. So she can do only very little for me, unless her agenda permits it. And currently the agenda is to stabilize people and region. Our ecosystem's time is running out, political and economic situation gets tighter, this is not really a time to play with science. These are big problems, but solvable. After their fixing is reliably started, then the divine science will be introduced to mankind. People interested in it will then receive much more support than they would receive now.

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ssalvia wrote: Hey guys, I

ssalvia wrote:

 Hey guys,

 

I wanted to share my opinion of free will and possible issues with it. So heres what I've been thinking lately. I'm doing a PhD in Mathematics and Physics, and being involved in the scientific community you realise how fickle some ideas can be. I have a slight problem with the big bang theory as it is presented today. I suppose it boils down to the question of whether the Universe is a closed or open system. Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. This means that free will is merely an illusion, and the fate of ourselves and our universe is determined. I suppose it boils down to determinism, but I feel a lot of determinism theories do not appreciate the scale of what I'm talking about. 

 

There is also an issue with quantum mechanics and uncertainties which give rise to probabilistic approaches. I feel that these are nothing more than human limitations. Anyway, I'd like to get your thoughts and ideas.

 

S.

Even if you would make the same choices a million times over, they're still your choices. If you think about it, the circumstances that are going to determine what choices you make in the future are already beginning to coalesce now from even more general events -- so do you really have free choice? Well, yes. The choices you make are still yours -- the fact that they were more or less determined at the beginning of time by a set of occurances that have created a specific outcome is irrelevant.

That's how I feel, at least.

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PimpingWolfwood

PimpingWolfwood wrote:

ssalvia wrote:

 Hey guys,

 

I wanted to share my opinion of free will and possible issues with it. So heres what I've been thinking lately. I'm doing a PhD in Mathematics and Physics, and being involved in the scientific community you realise how fickle some ideas can be. I have a slight problem with the big bang theory as it is presented today. I suppose it boils down to the question of whether the Universe is a closed or open system. Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. This means that free will is merely an illusion, and the fate of ourselves and our universe is determined. I suppose it boils down to determinism, but I feel a lot of determinism theories do not appreciate the scale of what I'm talking about. 

 

There is also an issue with quantum mechanics and uncertainties which give rise to probabilistic approaches. I feel that these are nothing more than human limitations. Anyway, I'd like to get your thoughts and ideas.

 

S.

Even if you would make the same choices a million times over, they're still your choices. If you think about it, the circumstances that are going to determine what choices you make in the future are already beginning to coalesce now from even more general events -- so do you really have free choice? Well, yes. The choices you make are still yours -- the fact that they were more or less determined at the beginning of time by a set of occurances that have created a specific outcome is irrelevant.

That's how I feel, at least.

Its anything but irrelevant. 


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I'm a hard determinist of

I'm a hard determinist of the causal variety myself. As far as I see it, free will is an illusion; yet is an illusion we should be content with. Indeed, any attempt to rile against it would not change the fact that you are still just a puppet being pulled by the strings of your genetic makeup and past external influences.


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ssalvia

ssalvia wrote:

PimpingWolfwood wrote:

ssalvia wrote:

 Hey guys,

 

I wanted to share my opinion of free will and possible issues with it. So heres what I've been thinking lately. I'm doing a PhD in Mathematics and Physics, and being involved in the scientific community you realise how fickle some ideas can be. I have a slight problem with the big bang theory as it is presented today. I suppose it boils down to the question of whether the Universe is a closed or open system. Assuming it is a closed system, implying that the universe is not interfered with by outside influences, then the big bang can be viewed as the only input to the system. This implies that if a closed universe was started elsewhere with the exact same big bang, then it makes sense to assume that it would propagate in exactly the same way as this universe. This means that free will is merely an illusion, and the fate of ourselves and our universe is determined. I suppose it boils down to determinism, but I feel a lot of determinism theories do not appreciate the scale of what I'm talking about. 

 

There is also an issue with quantum mechanics and uncertainties which give rise to probabilistic approaches. I feel that these are nothing more than human limitations. Anyway, I'd like to get your thoughts and ideas.

 

S.

Even if you would make the same choices a million times over, they're still your choices. If you think about it, the circumstances that are going to determine what choices you make in the future are already beginning to coalesce now from even more general events -- so do you really have free choice? Well, yes. The choices you make are still yours -- the fact that they were more or less determined at the beginning of time by a set of occurances that have created a specific outcome is irrelevant.

That's how I feel, at least.

Its anything but irrelevant. 

Why? What does it matter really? Maybe it hurts your ego to think you don't have full control over the circumstances that dictate decision, but your still making choices by product of your personality -- and you already knew you weren't responsible for that, didn't you?

Bridge breeding proves evolution false.


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I'm not sure it is possible

I'm not sure it is possible to speculate unless we ever figure out the inputs behind quantum events, or prove conclusively that there are no inputs and quantum events truly are chaotic.  Then you would have to have some proof about the nature of reality before our universe existed (if that term is even meaningful) and the inputs, if any, that led to our universe being the way it is.

I'm skeptical that any of those things will ever be known, they might not even be knowable from our frame of reference.  So I think, without groundbreaking advances in science, I'm with Luminon: Determinism is an intellectual dead end.  Pure navel gazing.

Now that is if you want to get 'fancy' about it and follow the rabbit hole all the way down.  At the basic level most people discuss I don't buy free will because it is trivial to show that you can manipulate behavior by manipulating the brain and in the absence of other evidence I think it is safe to proceed under the assumption that our actions are the result of natural processes, and are theoretically deterministic.  To get me to reconsider that you would have to demonstrate conclusively that some aspect of the mind is not physical, and I doubt that is possible either since the entire idea that the physical mind is 'ridden' by a supernatural soul is unfalsifiable.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:I'm not sure

mellestad wrote:

I'm not sure it is possible to speculate unless we ever figure out the inputs behind quantum events, or prove conclusively that there are no inputs and quantum events truly are chaotic.  Then you would have to have some proof about the nature of reality before our universe existed (if that term is even meaningful) and the inputs, if any, that led to our universe being the way it is.

I'm skeptical that any of those things will ever be known, they might not even be knowable from our frame of reference.  So I think, without groundbreaking advances in science, I'm with Luminon: Determinism is an intellectual dead end.  Pure navel gazing.

Now that is if you want to get 'fancy' about it and follow the rabbit hole all the way down.  At the basic level most people discuss I don't buy free will because it is trivial to show that you can manipulate behavior by manipulating the brain and in the absence of other evidence I think it is safe to proceed under the assumption that our actions are the result of natural processes, and are theoretically deterministic.  To get me to reconsider that you would have to demonstrate conclusively that some aspect of the mind is not physical, and I doubt that is possible either since the entire idea that the physical mind is 'ridden' by a supernatural soul is unfalsifiable.

 

Thankyou! I agree completely.


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So how is Determinism an

So how is Determinism an intellectual dead end? You seem to support it in your last post...


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So how is Determinism an

So how is Determinism an intellectual dead end? You seem to support it in your last paragraph...


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OhMan wrote:So how is

OhMan wrote:

So how is Determinism an intellectual dead end? You seem to support it in your last paragraph...

 

Its a valid philosophical argument, but probably unprovable, hence the dead end.