Is Omniscience feasible?

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Is Omniscience feasible?

Is it possible that a sufficient advanced technological civilization attains omniscience? (e.g. technological singularity)

Is it possible for them to know the future?

Let's say: Is it possible that they can accurately describe what person X is going to be doing at 12:45 the day after?

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

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1) Knowledge of every thing

1) Knowledge of every thing sounds like Buddhism.

2) You mean like a medium who speaks to ghosts and predict lotto numbers? No.

3) The day after what?

 

 


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To answer the title of the

To answer the title of the OP. NO!

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www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33313?page=2#comment-407210

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                      http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33313?page=2 Nu 136  specifically  http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33313?page=2#comment-407210

 

 

 

 


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Teralek wrote: Is it

Teralek wrote:

Is it possible that a sufficient advanced technological civilization attains omniscience? (e.g. technological singularity)

Is it possible for them to know the future?

Let's say: Is it possible that they can accurately describe what person X is going to be doing at 12:45 the day after?

We already *can* predict the future.... just not *perfectly*. The study of imperfect prediction is under probability theory and statistics, the mathematical backbone of modern science. Though 'imperfect', it can give very very impressively accurate results, as the prediction of the Higgs boson has recently shown. More mundane predictions are made every day on smaller scales: I predict if you get a bactierial infection and are subsequently diagnosed and treated by a doctor with anti-biotics, you'll most probably recover. Again, not a perfect prediction, but a pretty good one nevertheless.

As for perfect prediction: No. It is logically impossible to perfectly predict everything. At least, in such a way that your predictions can be perfectly useful, this is not possible.

Proof:

P1: As a counter-example, if there exists a machine which can automatically contradict a prediction you make about it, then you cannot perfectly predict something about that machine.

P2: If you cannot perfectly predict something about such a machine, then you cannot be omniscient (make perfect predictions about everything).

P3: Such a machine exists. In fact, it is very easy for anyone to create one on a computer. See below.

C1: By P1, supported by P3, thus, you cannot make perfect predictions about this machine.

C2: By P2, supported by C1, you cannot be omniscient. QED

It only remains to be shown that Premises 1, 2, and 3 are sound. I think it's clear that P1 and P2 are sound, by the definitions of 'perfect', 'prediction', and 'omniscience'. So, the only thing remaining to demonstrate is that such a machine, the anti-omniscience machine, exists.

Here is one such machine, written in Javascript, that pretty much anyone with a Javascript-enabled web-browser can 'create' simply by copying it into their browser's address bar (like you would with a standard http:// link, but this one starts with javascript: instead of http: ). It's probably best to do this in a new browser tab (Ctrl+T on most desktop computer browsers), though not strictly necessary.

The Anti-Omniscience Machine code wrote:

javascript: YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram = "1" ; if(YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram.trim().valueOf() == "1" ) { "0" } else { "1" }

How to use it:

1. Copy that script, starting from the 'j' of 'javascript', all the way to the last '}' at the end, and paste it into your browser's address bar in a new tab.

2. Key step: Change (or leave the same) the value of the YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram variable (within the quotes, e.g. "1" to "0" or to "something else" ) to a single valid Javascript value. Change nothing else about the program. The value you change it to must *really* be your truthful prediction of the output of the program. If you lie about it, you're not actually making the prediction known to the machine, and thus failing to make the prediction required (see below).

3. Press 'enter' or 'go' to view the results.

By using the machine in this way, you *cannot* accurately predict what the machine will output *when you make that truthful prediction known to the machine*. It will automatically output something different.

Two simple examples:

If you leave the example as it is, and your truthful prediction is that it will output a "1" symbol, then it will automatically output a "0" symbol, contradicting your prediction, hence your prediction was wrong.

On the other hand, if you anticipate this and you change the variable to:

YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram = "0"

And if this is your truthful prediction of the output, then it will automatically output the symbol "1", again contradicting your prediction, making it imperfect.

In fact, there are no values which you can change the variable to which will be consistent with a truthful prediction of the output.

Thus, there is a prediction about the machine you cannot make -- namely the prediction of "the machine's output when supplied with your truthful prediction of its output" -- thus you cannot be omniscient in a useful sense.

That last phrase is important: in a useful sense. You could make the prediction yourself, and never tell the machine, and in such a case it is easy to predict what the machine will output when *any arbitrary* input is given. *But* if you supply *that prediction* to the machine instead, it will automatically output something else. The fact remains: You *cannot* supply the machine with an accurate, truthful prediction of what it will output. It defeats *omni*science in this way. It defeats *perfect* prediction.

And yet, who needs perfect prediction? Thankfully, we don't. I can still make the *im*perfect prediction about what the machine will output given any arbitrary input. That's good enough for me. That's still useful.

And this example actually extrapolates pretty well into real-life. There are many processes going on in the world (especially involving other people) that make perfect prediction practically impossible, as well as theoretically/logically impossible. Yet we get along just fine with *im*perfect prediction that is nevertheless *very useful*.

So no, a technological singularity cannot overcome this logical limitation. However, it *could* (if it could ever happen at all) drastically improve the *accuracy* of our current imperfect predictions, such that it comes darn close to seeming 'omniscient'. It just won't actually be omniscient. And also, it will have to rely on probability theory anyway, and that already puts limits on what can be 'known' with accuracy.

To go further with this subject, I would recommend learning more about probability and statistics. I'm currently self-studying them on my own, using free online textbooks. One of the best ones (though a bit advanced perhaps) is this one, by David McKay: http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/mackay/itila/book.html (website appears to be down at the moment; in the meantime, here's a non-free version of the same book for info about it: http://www.amazon.com/Information-Theory-Inference-Learning-Algorithms/dp/0521642981 and the author's WP page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_J._C._MacKay )


Update: I found another (working) link to the free version of the book: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~mackay/itprnn/book.html

 

 

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Teralek wrote:Is it possible

Teralek wrote:

Is it possible that a sufficient advanced technological civilization attains omniscience? (e.g. technological singularity)

Is it possible for them to know the future?

Let's say: Is it possible that they can accurately describe what person X is going to be doing at 12:45 the day after?

No, period. Woo is woo and will always be human concocted bullshit.  Scientific predictions are not magical crystal balls, and the tool of scientific method isn't about magic, it is about observation and seeking the best quality data.

 

Reality isn't perfect, QM in science is BOTH chaos and order. For example, we can measure the atmosphere and conditions and "predict" that a hurricane is LIKELY. What we cannot do is determine the EXACT number of raindrops that hurricane will produce start to finish. Nor in such an event can we predict which tree or house will be destroyed while other objects in it's path go unscathed.

 

Science  is certainly working on making measurements of reality better and more accurate, that part is true. But "omniscience" is merely a utopia that will never exist.

 

Think about what that would mean, you'd have to have the ability to calculate every atom's motion down to the quark, and even now the Higgs Bolson particle. In every human body, in every plant, in every rock, in every meteor, in every star, in the ENTIRE universe.

 

"Omniscience" is merely a word to describe human anthropomorphism in our own selfish childish narcissism.

 

 

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Wonderist wrote:Proof: P1:

Wonderist wrote:

Proof:

P1: As a counter-example, if there exists a machine which can automatically contradict a prediction you make about it, then you cannot perfectly predict something about that machine.

P2: If you cannot perfectly predict something about such a machine, then you cannot be omniscient (make perfect predictions about everything).

P3: Such a machine exists. In fact, it is very easy for anyone to create one on a computer. See below.

C1: By P1, supported by P3, thus, you cannot make perfect predictions about this machine.

C2: By P2, supported by C1, you cannot be omniscient. QED

Fair enough.

 

 

Wonderist wrote:

Here is one such machine, written in Javascript, that pretty much anyone with a Javascript-enabled web-browser can 'create' simply by copying it into their browser's address bar (like you would with a standard http:// link, but this one starts with javascript: instead of http: ). It's probably best to do this in a new browser tab (Ctrl+T on most desktop computer browsers), though not strictly necessary.

The Anti-Omniscience Machine code wrote:

javascript: YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram = "1" ; if(YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram.trim().valueOf() == "1" ) { "0" } else { "1" }

...

Two simple examples:

If you leave the example as it is, and your truthful prediction is that it will output a "1" symbol, then it will automatically output a "0" symbol, contradicting your prediction, hence your prediction was wrong.

On the other hand, if you anticipate this and you change the variable to:

YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram = "0"

And if this is your truthful prediction of the output, then it will automatically output the symbol "1", again contradicting your prediction, making it imperfect.

In fact, there are no values which you can change the variable to which will be consistent with a truthful prediction of the output.

Thus, there is a prediction about the machine you cannot make -- namely the prediction of "the machine's output when supplied with your truthful prediction of its output" -- thus you cannot be omniscient in a useful sense.

All you have demonstrated is that it is impossible to input a truthful prediction into the machine if you are omniscient (or if you are a human who can understand the basic code) As soon as you enter your prediction you know what the output will be, so therefore you know you are telling the machine a lie. That might speak to your omnipotence, but says nothing of omniscience.

 

Wonderist wrote:

That last phrase is important: in a useful sense. You could make the prediction yourself, and never tell the machine, and in such a case it is easy to predict what the machine will output when *any arbitrary* input is given. *But* if you supply *that prediction* to the machine instead, it will automatically output something else. The fact remains: You *cannot* supply the machine with an accurate, truthful prediction of what it will output. It defeats *omni*science in this way. It defeats *perfect* prediction.

Why is it at all important to be able to truthfully enter your prediction into the machine? It seems to me that is one of the least important things in the world that omniscience could be used for. I would argue that if omniscience is possible, it is completely useless, but for a very different reason than you suggest here. Furthermore, I don't think you have adequately proved that it is impossible. Whether it is useful or not is irrelevant to its possibility.

 

Wonderist wrote:

To go further with this subject, I would recommend learning more about probability and statistics. I'm currently self-studying them on my own, using free online textbooks. One of the best ones (though a bit advanced perhaps) is this one, by David McKay: http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/mackay/itila/book.html (website appears to be down at the moment; in the meantime, here's a non-free version of the same book for info about it: http://www.amazon.com/Information-Theory-Inference-Learning-Algorithms/dp/0521642981 and the author's WP page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_J._C._MacKay )


Update: I found another (working) link to the free version of the book: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~mackay/itprnn/book.html

And here is the crux of the question. If omniscience is possible than all of our current probability theories are thrown out the window. Probability is only useful for calculating predicting results due to randomness or apparent randomness. If omniscience is possible, that means absolutely nothing is random and things only appear random to us because they are too complex and/or we don't have enough information to calculate them. 

I think the question in the OP can easily be rephrased as "does randomness exist?" If it does not, then omniscience is merely a technological and knowledge problem, and I think it is safe to presume that given enough time it is possible for us to conquer any technological problem. One way to prove that it does would be to make a machine that can produce completely random results. We have tried for decades and so far have failed.

The closest thing to random we can get is to start the algorithm based on something physical from the world, that appears random to us. If you knew the algorithm and the variable it is starting with, you could calculate the result. So the real question is can you perfectly predict the variable? Right now, there are many things in nature we cannot perfectly predict, but I think it is a rather large leap to assume that it is because it is random. It is quite possible that we simply don't have enough knowledge. 

Personally, I don't think omniscience is possible, because I believe true randomness does exist. Although if I am honest with myself, that belief is based more on preference than actual evidence. Over time, we have been increasingly able to get more accurate in predicting things that previously seemed random. Or at least we can say that we could theoretically predict perfectly if we knew every variable involved.

Take for example a dice roll. In theory, if we knew the exact strength, angle, humidity, friction etc. involved in a die roll we could perfectly predict how it would land every time. There is absolutely nothing random about it...except for the apparent decision of the human shaking the die as far as how much force and torque to apply to the die. If we could get all the variables of what was going on inside the brain, would it be possible to predict those too? Perhaps. I don't want to believe it is possible, but I don't think it is outside the realm of possibility.

I said above that omniscience would be completely useless and here is why: If omniscience is possible, then randomness cannot exist. If something is random, it is impossible to predict. This includes the machine and anyone who accesses it. In essence, it is literally impossible for you to change your actions or those of anyone else because all actions are perfectly predictable, including the action of using the machine. Being omniscient is exactly as useful as knowing what happens in a movie. No matter how much you know, you can't change what happens. In essence, attaining omniscience would mean that we are mere observers with no control over anything at all. Obtaining information doesn't matter because the information you get and the actions you will do in response are all as inevitable as the Death Star blowing up in Star Wars. I don't find that idea very appealing, but I don't think we are at a point where we can prove it impossible or even extremely unlikely.  

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In the wake of all the

 

synapse crackling going on here, this may sound trite. But is it possible to conceive of the sum all things? To then define the sum of all things so as to give us a scope of works for our monitoring operation? Can we, in the absence of complete lateral and vertical context, model reality down to the boson level and beyond the hubble constant?

Again, this is very simple, terrestrial thinking, but would we not need a pair of stateful atoms to monitor the condition of a third? And another 2 atoms to monitor each of those stateful atoms, etc, multiplied across all matter, dark matter and non matter in the universe/s? And what about real time communications? How could we transfer the stateful data from everywhere in the universe without some sort of instantaneous conductive substrate faster than the speed of light?

I don't even want to think about powering omniscience - it defies comprehension. Shrinking the target area slightly, is it possible to monitor the changing state of all the atoms in a glass box one metre square, in real time?  

 

 

 

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


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

synapse crackling going on here, this may sound trite. But is it possible to conceive of the sum all things? To then define the sum of all things so as to give us a scope of works for our monitoring operation? Can we, in the absence of complete lateral and vertical context, model reality down to the boson level and beyond the hubble constant?

Again, this is very simple, terrestrial thinking, but would we not need a pair of stateful atoms to monitor the condition of a third? And another 2 atoms to monitor each of those stateful atoms, etc, multiplied across all matter, dark matter and non matter in the universe/s? And what about real time communications? How could we transfer the stateful data from everywhere in the universe without some sort of instantaneous conductive substrate faster than the speed of light?

I don't even want to think about powering omniscience - it defies comprehension. Shrinking the target area slightly, is it possible to monitor the changing state of all the atoms in a glass box one metre square, in real time?  

With sufficient information, real time information wouldn't be necessary because knowing where everything was at some point in the past would be sufficient to predict where it will be right now or at some specific point future. Even an initial survey of everything might not be necessary as it might be possible to predict what exists based on what is observed.

Certainly the computing power necessary to attain such a level of omniscience in even a very small isolated area is absolutely mind boggling, let alone the whole universe. If we manage to survive as a race for another 2 million years, it is pretty easy to predict that whatever technology that exists will be completely mind boggling by today's standards. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Wonderist wrote:Take for

Wonderist wrote:
Take for example a dice roll. In theory, if we knew the exact strength, angle, humidity, friction etc. involved in a die roll we could perfectly predict how it would land every time. There is absolutely nothing random about it...except for the apparent decision of the human shaking the die as far as how much force and torque to apply to the die. If we could get all the variables of what was going on inside the brain, would it be possible to predict those too? Perhaps. I don't want to believe it is possible, but I don't think it is outside the realm of possibility.

Thank you for all your answers. I believe omniscience is not possible and is illogical even in principle. In principle means basically what wonderist wrote above.

There is the classic paradox in philosophy about foreknowledge and free will which in my opinion illustrates that they must be mutually exclusive.

However prescience must be impossible even in principle because it includes a self paradox. Ok, imagine that "in principle" its possible to know a future decision you are going to make tomorrow, because you are just a mechanism, and if you can know your inner workings, in principle, it's possible that you know the choice you are going to make. However this raises the question... can you change your choice?

Well I don't see a reason why you cannot change your choice. Which therefore will falsify your prescience! This intuitively tells us that reason this happens is because the future doesn't exist yet. From a purely philosophical standpoint this might open the door to free will.

Now from a physics standpoint it only becomes impossible to predict the future, in principle, IF quantum mechanics has something to do with it. Because there lies the only example in nature of pure indeterminism. On a double slit experiment you can make a statistical prediction of the outcome of an experiment where you shoot a electron at a time, but you can NEVER know were a single electron is going to end up!

There is a monumental difference on the application of statistics between a everyday model and a quantum model. Applying statistics on a machine throwing dice is a statistic representation of an OBJECTIVE reality. Applying statistics on a quantum model is a representation of a SUBJECTIVE reality. Therefore if QM has anything to do with decisions it's impossible even in principle to be prescient.

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Free will does not exist.

Free will does not exist.


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digitalbeachbum wrote:Free

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Free will does not exist.

Well then... I have no other option but to tell you "just because you say that doesn't make it true". It was my deterministic behavior that made me say this, I cannot choose otherwise.

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Wonderist

Teralek wrote:

Wonderist wrote:
Take for example a dice roll. In theory, if we knew the exact strength, angle, humidity, friction etc. involved in a die roll we could perfectly predict how it would land every time. There is absolutely nothing random about it...except for the apparent decision of the human shaking the die as far as how much force and torque to apply to the die. If we could get all the variables of what was going on inside the brain, would it be possible to predict those too? Perhaps. I don't want to believe it is possible, but I don't think it is outside the realm of possibility.

Thank you for all your answers. I believe omniscience is not possible and is illogical even in principle. In principle means basically what wonderist wrote above.

There is the classic paradox in philosophy about foreknowledge and free will which in my opinion illustrates that they must be mutually exclusive.

However prescience must be impossible even in principle because it includes a self paradox. Ok, imagine that "in principle" its possible to know a future decision you are going to make tomorrow, because you are just a mechanism, and if you can know your inner workings, in principle, it's possible that you know the choice you are going to make. However this raises the question... can you change your choice?

Well I don't see a reason why you cannot change your choice. Which therefore will falsify your prescience! This intuitively tells us that reason this happens is because the future doesn't exist yet. From a purely philosophical standpoint this might open the door to free will.

Now from a physics standpoint it only becomes impossible to predict the future, in principle, IF quantum mechanics has something to do with it. Because there lies the only example in nature of pure indeterminism. On a double slit experiment you can make a statistical prediction of the outcome of an experiment where you shoot a electron at a time, but you can NEVER know were a single electron is going to end up!

There is a monumental difference on the application of statistics between a everyday model and a quantum model. Applying statistics on a machine throwing dice is a statistic representation of an OBJECTIVE reality. Applying statistics on a quantum model is a representation of a SUBJECTIVE reality. Therefore if QM has anything to do with decisions it's impossible even in principle to be prescient.

Stop, please. I really get tired of people mentally masturbating when the best tool humanity has so far in scientific method, that has been established.

 

What is your point to this claptrap? "If ifs and butts were candy and nuts"

 

QM is not a license to pull shit out of your ass. Otherwise monkeys can fly out of my butt and I can fart a Lamborghini out of my ass.

 

 

 

 

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Teralek wrote:Well I don't

Teralek wrote:

Well I don't see a reason why you cannot change your choice. Which therefore will falsify your prescience! This intuitively tells us that reason this happens is because the future doesn't exist yet. From a purely philosophical standpoint this might open the door to free will.

But can you prove that you can change your choice? I agree with the logic, if you can prove that it is in fact possible to change a choice then omniscience is impossible. However, I don't think we are at a point where we can prove that.

 

 

Teralek wrote:

Now from a physics standpoint it only becomes impossible to predict the future, in principle, IF quantum mechanics has something to do with it. Because there lies the only example in nature of pure indeterminism. On a double slit experiment you can make a statistical prediction of the outcome of an experiment where you shoot a electron at a time, but you can NEVER know were a single electron is going to end up!

There is a monumental difference on the application of statistics between a everyday model and a quantum model. Applying statistics on a machine throwing dice is a statistic representation of an OBJECTIVE reality. Applying statistics on a quantum model is a representation of a SUBJECTIVE reality. Therefore if QM has anything to do with decisions it's impossible even in principle to be prescient.

I'll admit I haven't been keeping up on QM, I'm considering auditing a couple of classes on it because my own attempts to educate myself in it have made me feel like an idiot. That is simply to say I am aware I am wading into the waters of my ignorance here.

Has it been proven that it is an example of pure indeterminism, or do we need to consider the possibility that we simply haven't figured out how it is determined yet?

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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digitalbeachbum wrote:Free

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Free will does not exist.

Prove it.


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Brian37 wrote:What is your

Brian37 wrote:
What is your point to this claptrap? "If ifs and butts were candy and nuts"

The point was just to see the thoughts of the panel here. I really do value the opinion of the folks here! That's the reason why I never really leave this place. I don't come here for you though... but I'm glad to see you are still the same ol Brian!

Beyond Saving wrote:

But can you prove that you can change your choice? I agree with the logic, if you can prove that it is in fact possible to change a choice then omniscience is impossible. However, I don't think we are at a point where we can prove that.

No, I cannot prove that... it just seems like a obvious philosophical conclusion... a philosophical conclusion is hardly proof... I f you read about the classical problem between foreknowledge and free will this pops up and is a Common theme since Aristotle. And this self prescient story is common on Atheist websites disproving God's omniscience.

Beyond Saving wrote:
I'll admit I haven't been keeping up on QM, I'm considering auditing a couple of classes on it because my own attempts to educate myself in it have made me feel like an idiot. That is simply to say I am aware I am wading into the waters of my ignorance here.

Has it been proven that it is an example of pure indeterminism, or do we need to consider the possibility that we simply haven't figured out how it is determined yet?

Quantum mechanics is not deterministic. I recommend browsing videos of the science popularizer Jim Al-Khalili he is really good explaining science to the laymen. Recommend this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tKncAdlHQ

QM indeterminism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_indeterminacy

"Quantum indeterminacy is the apparent necessary incompleteness in the description of a physical system, that has become one of the characteristics of the standard description of quantum physics.
Prior to quantum physics, it was thought that

(a) a physical system had a determinate state which uniquely determined all the values of its measurable properties, and conversely
(b) the values of its measurable properties uniquely determined the state."

But I mean in the real of possibilities it is possible that we are missing something here... however QM is one of the best established theories there is even though we really don't understand how it REALLY works.

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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This might shed some light

This might shed some light on the issue... if you want to see a 1h lecture... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW_3jPCvSsU

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Quote:The point was just to

Quote:
The point was just to see the thoughts of the panel here. I really do value the opinion of the folks here! That's the reason why I never really leave this place. I don't come here for you though... but I'm glad to see you are still the same ol Brian!

"Panel"?

It is a website, not a college or government sub commitee.

 

How about this as a thought?. Claims of god/s and the super natural are mere concoctions of humans own selfish desires?

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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Wonderist wrote:

Here is one such machine, written in Javascript, that pretty much anyone with a Javascript-enabled web-browser can 'create' simply by copying it into their browser's address bar (like you would with a standard http:// link, but this one starts with javascript: instead of http: ). It's probably best to do this in a new browser tab (Ctrl+T on most desktop computer browsers), though not strictly necessary.

The Anti-Omniscience Machine code wrote:

javascript: YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram = "1" ; if(YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram.trim().valueOf() == "1" ) { "0" } else { "1" }

...

Two simple examples:

If you leave the example as it is, and your truthful prediction is that it will output a "1" symbol, then it will automatically output a "0" symbol, contradicting your prediction, hence your prediction was wrong.

On the other hand, if you anticipate this and you change the variable to:

YourTruthfulPredictionOfTheOutputOfThisProgram = "0"

And if this is your truthful prediction of the output, then it will automatically output the symbol "1", again contradicting your prediction, making it imperfect.

In fact, there are no values which you can change the variable to which will be consistent with a truthful prediction of the output.

Thus, there is a prediction about the machine you cannot make -- namely the prediction of "the machine's output when supplied with your truthful prediction of its output" -- thus you cannot be omniscient in a useful sense.

All you have demonstrated is that it is impossible to input a truthful prediction into the machine if you are omniscient (or if you are a human who can understand the basic code) As soon as you enter your prediction you know what the output will be, so therefore you know you are telling the machine a lie. That might speak to your omnipotence, but says nothing of omniscience.

Nope, in this instance the 'potence' is 'the ability to know something', which is a 'potence' entailed by omniscience. The 'omniscient' being does not *know* what the output of the program will be if a truthful prediction is given. It may be the case that it 'does not know' because it 'cannot do', but it *still* does not know.

There is no logical possibility for it to know.

There are only two possible outputs, so it is easy to break it down into two cases:

0) The final output (regardless of what is known or not) will end up being '0': By the design of the machine, the output of '0' can only happen if the input is not '0'. In which case, if the 'omniscient' being entered that input, then the 'omniscient' being either lied, or was simply flat-out wrong. If the being lied, then this is *not* a test of the prediction of truthful input, so it doesn't say anything at all about what the being *knows* about the output with truthful input. If the being did *not* lie, but input a non-zero, then the output of '0' proves that the being was simply wrong, hence, not omniscient.

1) Likewise, if the final output happens to be '1', the being either lied (and did not actually test the specified prediction) or was wrong (and is not omniscient).

The fact that it *cannot* make the prediction *shows* that there is *some* prediction that it cannot make. But an omniscient being should be able to predict anything and everything (that's what 'omni' means). All I'm doing is providing a single counter-example to show that there is always *something* that an omniscient being can't predict. All it takes is one counter-example to disprove perfect omniscience.

You pointed out that it *can* predict what the output will be *if it lies*. But that is not the prediction I'm referring to as my counter-example. The one I'm referring to is what the output will be if it *doesn't* lie.

You admitted that it cannot make this prediction. Hence, there is *at least one* prediction that this being cannot make. That is it. That's all I need. Just a single counter-example.

Quote:
Wonderist wrote:

That last phrase is important: in a useful sense. You could make the prediction yourself, and never tell the machine, and in such a case it is easy to predict what the machine will output when *any arbitrary* input is given. *But* if you supply *that prediction* to the machine instead, it will automatically output something else. The fact remains: You *cannot* supply the machine with an accurate, truthful prediction of what it will output. It defeats *omni*science in this way. It defeats *perfect* prediction.

Why is it at all important to be able to truthfully enter your prediction into the machine?

Because *that* is the prediction that it cannot make. That's the counter-example. Just re-iterating what I wrote re: the previous quote.

Quote:
It seems to me that is one of the least important things in the world that omniscience could be used for. I would argue that if omniscience is possible, it is completely useless, but for a very different reason than you suggest here. Furthermore, I don't think you have adequately proved that it is impossible. Whether it is useful or not is irrelevant to its possibility.

Whether it is useful or not gives a *counter-example* to 'omni' knowledge. There is some fact about the world (the machine *will* either output '0' or '1') that this being cannot predict. Again, just re-iterating. If you read the initial comment I made again, you should see that I already stated these conditions in that comment. I'm just saying them again now in a different way to highlight the key distinctions.


Quote:
And here is the crux of the question. If omniscience is possible than all of our current probability theories are thrown out the window. Probability is only useful for calculating predicting results due to randomness or apparent randomness. If omniscience is possible, that means absolutely nothing is random and things only appear random to us because they are too complex and/or we don't have enough information to calculate them.

Probability theory actually continues to work when knowledge is certain (i.e. when the probabilities are 1s (or 0s for negations/impossibilities/false-propositions). In this case probability theory 'degenerates' gracefully into standard true/false logic. Here is another really good book that establishes this fact: http://drsmorey.org/bibtex/upload/Jaynes:2003.pdf (It's the first 95 pages, but it contains the key concepts I'm talking about) The title alone, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science, presents the thesis of the book, that probability theory is an 'extended' form of logic, which happens to be crucial to science. The full book is available in print (http://www.amazon.com/Probability-Theory-The-Logic-Science/dp/0521592712 ). A little birdie told me there may or may not be a full pdf version available somewhere. I make no further comment.

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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Free will does not exist.

Prove it.

Speed past a cop while breaking the speed limit.

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Brian37 wrote:Quote:The

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
The point was just to see the thoughts of the panel here. I really do value the opinion of the folks here! That's the reason why I never really leave this place. I don't come here for you though... but I'm glad to see you are still the same ol Brian!

"Panel"?

It is a website, not a college or government sub commitee.

Oh I prefer to call it a panel, it sounds more intellectual to me!

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

synapse crackling going on here, this may sound trite. But is it possible to conceive of the sum all things? To then define the sum of all things so as to give us a scope of works for our monitoring operation? Can we, in the absence of complete lateral and vertical context, model reality down to the boson level and beyond the hubble constant?

Again, this is very simple, terrestrial thinking, but would we not need a pair of stateful atoms to monitor the condition of a third? And another 2 atoms to monitor each of those stateful atoms, etc, multiplied across all matter, dark matter and non matter in the universe/s? And what about real time communications? How could we transfer the stateful data from everywhere in the universe without some sort of instantaneous conductive substrate faster than the speed of light?

I don't even want to think about powering omniscience - it defies comprehension. Shrinking the target area slightly, is it possible to monitor the changing state of all the atoms in a glass box one metre square, in real time?  

With sufficient information, real time information wouldn't be necessary because knowing where everything was at some point in the past would be sufficient to predict where it will be right now or at some specific point future. Even an initial survey of everything might not be necessary as it might be possible to predict what exists based on what is observed.

Certainly the computing power necessary to attain such a level of omniscience in even a very small isolated area is absolutely mind boggling, let alone the whole universe. If we manage to survive as a race for another 2 million years, it is pretty easy to predict that whatever technology that exists will be completely mind boggling by today's standards. 

This is not possible, given quantum mechanics. We cannot know the full state of a system (e.g. both the position and momentum of a particle) with perfect accuracy. This is not because of a lack of technology, but because of the fundamental principle of quantum indeterminacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_indeterminacy

Perhaps a 'god', existing outside of the limitations of the physical universe could overcome this, but we on the inside can't, regardless of how good our technology gets.

The key problem is that to take some measurement of some property of a physical system *requires* that there is some *interaction* between the system being measured and the system that's doing the measurement. And any interaction will necessarily perturb the measured system, changing it ever so slightly. And, this is key, there is a *fundamental* lower limit to just how 'slight' such a change could be, which is where Planck's constant comes in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck%27s_constant

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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Free will does not exist.

Prove it.

Did you choose to have your parent copulate in order for you to be born?

 


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Teralek

Teralek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Free will does not exist.

Well then... I have no other option but to tell you "just because you say that doesn't make it true". It was my deterministic behavior that made me say this, I cannot choose otherwise.

Actually, I'm not just saying it. I have rationalized this for years. Literally testing it over and over with myself, with family, friends, co-workers.

Time and time again, they have walked away from me not wanting to hear the truth. Your "decision making" is an illusion.

Recently it appears that science is on my side. I would post several articles on how it has been discovered that before a person "thinks" a course of action, the brain has already determined the course of action through memories of past experiences.

So, I'll ask you the same question I asked Beyond Saving, "did you choose when your parents would copulate"?

 

 


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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Teralek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Free will does not exist.

Well then... I have no other option but to tell you "just because you say that doesn't make it true". It was my deterministic behavior that made me say this, I cannot choose otherwise.

Actually, I'm not just saying it. I have rationalized this for years. Literally testing it over and over with myself, with family, friends, co-workers.

Time and time again, they have walked away from me not wanting to hear the truth. Your "decision making" is an illusion.

Recently it appears that science is on my side. I would post several articles on how it has been discovered that before a person "thinks" a course of action, the brain has already determined the course of action through memories of past experiences.

So, I'll ask you the same question I asked Beyond Saving, "did you choose when your parents would copulate"?

That's not conclusive proof of anything. Just because a movement may have been "prepared" before our "conscious self" has become aware of it does not mean our consciousness does not still get to approve, modify, and perhaps cancel (called vetoing) the action

What my parents copulation has to do with anything?

To the saying "all crows are black" I need only to find one which isn't to prove this wrong. Same with free will, I just need to prove a "non automatic" response to prove free will exists.

Besides these studies are based on a subjective account: "At what time Were you conscious of your decision?"

Forget actions. Who is thinking inside your head? Are thoughts initiated seconds before you have them? How can that be, if when you look at something new you can immidiately have new thoughts? Maybe it's not you who is thinking your thoughts... maybe you don't exist.

To prove determinism in human action one has to predict responses before they happen, not just miliseconds before but way before that.

But if I take your stance on this... I still don't have any choice but to be here annoyingly trying to refute you. I wish I had a choice to just leave.

______________________________________________________________
"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:Besides these

Teralek wrote:

Besides these studies are based on a subjective account: "At what time Were you conscious of your decision?"

Forget actions. Who is thinking inside your head? Are thoughts initiated seconds before you have them? How can that be, if when you look at something new you can immidiately have new thoughts? Maybe it's not you who is thinking your thoughts... maybe you don't exist.

To prove determinism in human action one has to predict responses before they happen, not just miliseconds before but way before that.

But if I take your stance on this... I still don't have any choice but to be here annoyingly trying to refute you. I wish I had a choice to just leave.

Where does your sarcasm come from?


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Teralek wrote:Brian37

Teralek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
The point was just to see the thoughts of the panel here. I really do value the opinion of the folks here! That's the reason why I never really leave this place. I don't come here for you though... but I'm glad to see you are still the same ol Brian!

"Panel"?

It is a website, not a college or government sub commitee.

Oh I prefer to call it a panel, it sounds more intellectual to me!

Considering that you have "theist" under you avatar, skip the dodge, cut to the chase. Which god do you believe in and what is your evidence for claimed god?

 

We see "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" all the time.

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The burden of proof

The burden of proof fallacy.

Don't forget this one. Proof is used for things that are, not for things that are NOT.

'Free will' as a construct has not been proven to exist within the definition. Determinism has passed all criteria. Despite the contraposition of the assertions, proof is required for both.

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darth_josh wrote:The burden

darth_josh wrote:

The burden of proof fallacy.

Don't forget this one. Proof is used for things that are, not for things that are NOT.

'Free will' as a construct has not been proven to exist within the definition. Determinism has passed all criteria. Despite the contraposition of the assertions, proof is required for both.

Nice post.


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@Beyond Saving - Show me an

@Beyond Saving - Show me an example of free will and I will show you an illusion of the mind.


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digitalbeachbum wrote:

@Beyond Saving - Show me an example of free will and I will show you an illusion of the mind.

Free will to him is when he gets what he wants. He forgets that it works for him, and maybe for a time, but in a diverse evolution we are all subject to the affects around us to greater or lesser degrees.

We do have "choice" but we are also subject to those who affect us as well. Life is not chaos vs order, but both.

 

We do have choices, but we are also affected by the world around us.

 

Anyone who takes the economic view of "fuck you, I got mine" doesn't understand that power shifts  and work to get to that dominance can be achieved to topple that alpha male.

 

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Brian37 wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

@Beyond Saving - Show me an example of free will and I will show you an illusion of the mind.

Free will to him is when he gets what he wants. He forgets that it works for him, and maybe for a time, but in a diverse evolution we are all subject to the affects around us to greater or lesser degrees.

We do have "choice" but we are also subject to those who affect us as well. Life is not chaos vs order, but both. 

We do have choices, but we are also affected by the world around us.

Anyone who takes the economic view of "fuck you, I got mine" doesn't understand that power shifts  and work to get to that dominance can be achieved to topple that alpha male.

Choice is an illusion. Yes, there are percentages involved such as if you had to pick a winning NFL team before the season started, do you go with your Redskins? or do you stay in the NFC and pick, maybe, The Saints? or do you say, "Manning and Denver are too good"? So you pick Denver?

The odds are all pre-determined by you before the question is even asked. There are times when you might say, "wow I've never thought of that before" or "Ooooooh, it's too tough to pick" but either way the choice has already been made.


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Brian37 wrote: Anyone who

Brian37 wrote:

 

Anyone who takes the economic view of "fuck you, I got mine" doesn't understand that power shifts  and work to get to that dominance can be achieved to topple that alpha male.

 

 

                                                     

 

                                         ....whimper whimper, sniff, life isn't fair...I hate alpha males...

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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Teralek wrote:

Besides these studies are based on a subjective account: "At what time Were you conscious of your decision?"

Forget actions. Who is thinking inside your head? Are thoughts initiated seconds before you have them? How can that be, if when you look at something new you can immidiately have new thoughts? Maybe it's not you who is thinking your thoughts... maybe you don't exist.

To prove determinism in human action one has to predict responses before they happen, not just miliseconds before but way before that.

But if I take your stance on this... I still don't have any choice but to be here annoyingly trying to refute you. I wish I had a choice to just leave.

Where does your sarcasm come from?

It comes from my personality construct, but I can chose to not act upon my personality construct. So I can now not be sarcastic anymore. I can make more posts here or not. I know theists argue free will as a proof of existence of soul. I don't think you need a soul to have free will. You cause your own actions, they have a cause but they can NEVER be deterministic because the future doesn't exist yet.

Free will is just a choice from your choice bag. Nothing more than that.

darth_josh wrote:

Determinism has passed all criteria.

Ok this is completely wrong. QM is indeterministic.

And I think arguing for determinism EVEN and accepting the validity of QM you are going to the dangerous ground of making determinism not falsifiable or to put into other words; there is no feasible observation that would make determinism false.

There is no final conclusion that we don't have free will. You should see the talk of Jim Al-Kahlili that I post before.

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"I once prayed to god for a bike, but quickly found out he didnt work that way...so I stole a bike and prayed for his forgiveness"

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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digitalbeachbum wrote:

@Beyond Saving - Show me an example of free will and I will show you an illusion of the mind.

I'm familiar enough with the rhetoric, I was hoping for some actual evidence rather than philosophical pretzels. When considering what may or may not be possible I think philosophy can only act as a barrier because too often it leads to people making absolute claims based upon their rationalizing. Like insisting that free will does or does not exist when I think it is pretty clear that we don't know enough about how decisions are made to say for certain one way or the other. Until you can predict what choice is going to be made before the subject is even presented with the options, I don't think you can simply rule free will out as a possibility.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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@ Teralek & Wonderist,

@ Teralek & Wonderist, thanks for the links. I am going to spend a bit of time exploring them and relieving myself of some excess ignorance. It still seems to me that determinism cannot be completely dismissed, but I will need a bit of time to put those thoughts together in a cohesive and better educated argument.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:@

Beyond Saving wrote:

@ Teralek & Wonderist, thanks for the links. I am going to spend a bit of time exploring them and relieving myself of some excess ignorance. It still seems to me that determinism cannot be completely dismissed, but I will need a bit of time to put those thoughts together in a cohesive and better educated argument.

Cheers! Glad to have been helpful. Personally, I consider determinism still squarely on the table, and I lean towards philosophical determinism myself. However, there are different kinds of 'determinism', and some of those I reject in much the same way that I reject 'omni'science. For example, I use the term 'non-pre-determinism' to describe my rejection of what I call 'pre-determinism', which is akin to 'fatalism'. Unfortunately, when you get into debates with people over determinism (in general), lots of people tend to assume that 'determinism' = 'pre-determinism', when it doesn't.

Here's one of my previous explanations of the differences between the two: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/8879 I've also got at least one or two others floating around RRS somewhere. It's actually in that context that the 'anti-omniscience machine' idea came to mind.

To reconcile determinism with quantum indeterminacy, you need merely recall that quantum indeterminacy has only been shown to be independent of 'local' variables, meaning there is still the possibility that from some other macro-perspective, such as that of 'the universe itself', or some 'god', then it might still be the case that things are occurring 'like clockwork', but *we* on the inside might never be able to *know* what state that clockwork is in exactly, and not be able to *predict* it exactly. But it might still be clockwork. Quantum indeterminacy doesn't rule that out.

ETA: Oh, forgot to mention: I'm also a compatibilist, and I make the distinction between theistic-type 'free will', which almost certainly doesn't exist, and what I call 'conscious choice', which almost certainly does exist. The main issue with these debates, I find, very much similar to how 'determinism' is often confused with 'pre-determinism', when people talk about 'free will', they sometimes mean theistic-type 'free will', and they sometimes mean simply the ability to make conscious choices. They call the latter 'free will' as well, but the two meanings are quite different. Conscious choice can still occur in a perfectly deterministic universe. Magical-type free will can't.

So, one way to put an end to these often-circular conversations is to simply get that distinction out into the open, then simply point out that people make conscious choices all the time (and sometimes *fail* to make conscious choices, e.g. with addiction, OCD, and other failures of 'free will'), and that those conscious choices can *still* be the result of an ultimately deterministic process (which is exactly how we *explain* failures of 'free will' such as addiction, etc.)

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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

@Beyond Saving - Show me an example of free will and I will show you an illusion of the mind.

Free will to him is when he gets what he wants. He forgets that it works for him, and maybe for a time, but in a diverse evolution we are all subject to the affects around us to greater or lesser degrees.

We do have "choice" but we are also subject to those who affect us as well. Life is not chaos vs order, but both. 

We do have choices, but we are also affected by the world around us.

Anyone who takes the economic view of "fuck you, I got mine" doesn't understand that power shifts  and work to get to that dominance can be achieved to topple that alpha male.

Choice is an illusion. Yes, there are percentages involved such as if you had to pick a winning NFL team before the season started, do you go with your Redskins? or do you stay in the NFC and pick, maybe, The Saints? or do you say, "Manning and Denver are too good"? So you pick Denver?

The odds are all pre-determined by you before the question is even asked. There are times when you might say, "wow I've never thought of that before" or "Ooooooh, it's too tough to pick" but either way the choice has already been made.

That is philosophy, not science. In scientific reality especially at the QM level, it is BOTH order AND random. Just like you can determine conditions that can lead to a hurricane, but you cannot determine the exact nanosecond it will become a hurricane or the exact amount of raindrops it will produce or where each of those raindrops will land to the exact millimeter.

 

The NFL example is really weak. The only exact thing about it you can reasonably predict is that a game will be played. You cannot predict the outcome of every single play, if a ball is caught or dropped or fumbled, even if the odds are that one team is stronger than another. The only absolute order is the game being played. Otherwise we would not see good teams lose to bad teams, or one freak kick or bounce or bad pass change on a dime, the outcome of the "order" of the game existing.

 

 

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Dennett's books Freedom

Dennett's books Freedom Evolves (http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Evolves-Daniel-C-Dennett/dp/0142003840), Consciousness Explained (http://www.amazon.com/Consciousness-Explained-Daniel-C-Dennett/dp/0316180661), and perhaps some of his others, are likely to be your best source of a science-minded, rational-philosophical basis for the most modern view on 'free will', determinism, and compatibilism. He and Pinker are the two I most respect in this area. There are other people, but these two are the best, IMO. Pinker's book on it would probably be The Blank Slate (http://www.amazon.com/The-Blank-Slate-Modern-Denial/dp/0142003344) though he may have a more focused book on 'free will' than that one (which is more geared towards evolutionary psychology, which is directly related, but not so much from the philosophical angle). And even before reading those books (honestly, I've never read any of these ones! lol) you might try simply googling Dennett and/or Pinker on free will, and you'll find tons of stuff, articles, videos, lectures, etc. (I was already firmly in Dennett's and Pinker's camp before I'd heard of those particular books, or even heard of Dennett or Pinker.)

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Brian37 wrote:That is

Brian37 wrote:
That is philosophy, not science. In scientific reality especially at the QM level, it is BOTH order AND random. Just like you can determine conditions that can lead to a hurricane, but you cannot determine the exact nanosecond it will become a hurricane or the exact amount of raindrops it will produce or where each of those raindrops will land to the exact millimeter.

The NFL example is really weak. The only exact thing about it you can reasonably predict is that a game will be played. You cannot predict the outcome of every single play, if a ball is caught or dropped or fumbled, even if the odds are that one team is stronger than another. The only absolute order is the game being played. Otherwise we would not see good teams lose to bad teams, or one freak kick or bounce or bad pass change on a dime, the outcome of the "order" of the game existing.

Is any thing truly random? If you are a theist then you would most likely believe that god is all knowing, so nothing is random. You would also not have free will, because god would have created you and all things that god created have already been set in to motion, all outcomes have already been determined.

With the proper technology you could determine exactly when a storm would become a hurricane, where the path would be, how strong the winds are, how long it would last.

I know the NFL was a weak example, but it was simple too.

As for predicting the game, there are a specific set of variables within the game (and I'm not talking like a theist here, no god involved). If you could have all of those variable entered in to a computer you could come up with every event in the game as a prediction. You could get very detailed, all the way down to how many injuries would happen.

As for the above opinion, we do not have enough computer power to determine every outcome of ever play in the game. There are too many variables involved, but that doesn't mean we couldn't do it. It means we won't do it because of the limit of technology, time and other resources.

 


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Teralek wrote:It comes from

Teralek wrote:

It comes from my personality construct, but I can chose to not act upon my personality construct.

Your sarcasm has limits with out you knowing it. You get bored with using it or maybe you feel guilty for using it as a tool of humor. You then stop using it because you have reached that limit. You did not predetermine that limit.

 (edit)

If you are a theist, then you must believe that your creator created the solar system and Universe.

This means that every thing was set in to motion, including the creation of Adam and Eve.

Adam and Even had predefined parameters too.

So it would be like a programmer writing a program, inputting data, then running the program already knowing the outcome.

Since your creator is also all knowing, then there is no random results of said program. There is no free will. It all has been predetermined.

 

 


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Teralek

Teralek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Teralek wrote:

Besides these studies are based on a subjective account: "At what time Were you conscious of your decision?"

Forget actions. Who is thinking inside your head? Are thoughts initiated seconds before you have them? How can that be, if when you look at something new you can immidiately have new thoughts? Maybe it's not you who is thinking your thoughts... maybe you don't exist.

To prove determinism in human action one has to predict responses before they happen, not just miliseconds before but way before that.

But if I take your stance on this... I still don't have any choice but to be here annoyingly trying to refute you. I wish I had a choice to just leave.

Where does your sarcasm come from?

It comes from my personality construct, but I can chose to not act upon my personality construct. So I can now not be sarcastic anymore. I can make more posts here or not. I know theists argue free will as a proof of existence of soul. I don't think you need a soul to have free will. You cause your own actions, they have a cause but they can NEVER be deterministic because the future doesn't exist yet.

Free will is just a choice from your choice bag. Nothing more than that.

darth_josh wrote:

Determinism has passed all criteria.

Ok this is completely wrong. QM is indeterministic.

And I think arguing for determinism EVEN and accepting the validity of QM you are going to the dangerous ground of making determinism not falsifiable or to put into other words; there is no feasible observation that would make determinism false.

There is no final conclusion that we don't have free will. You should see the talk of Jim Al-Kahlili that I post before.

No no no, you are not going to get away with using the old superstitious word "free will" and pretend that it means the same thing "random" means in science.

 

QM will never prop up stupidly concocted invisible "Poofdaddy" claims. QM does NOT argue anything goes, otherwise I could fart a Lamborghini out of my ass.

 

QM is BOTH random and order, but in accepting that does not prop up any human concocted superstition.

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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

@Beyond Saving - Show me an example of free will and I will show you an illusion of the mind.

I'm familiar enough... exist when I think it is pretty clear... to say for certain one way or the other.... presented with the options, I don't think you can simply rule free will out as a possibility.

You did not state the parameters of "Prove it", which by the way, was all you asked.

I'm not talking about predicting any thing either, so drop that idea. There are too many variables to be calculated when it comes to a human life and we don't have the computer power nor the resources to predict any thing other than a black president winning two terms in the white house.

Fine. Here is some information about the subject from a "scientific" view:

 

http://io9.com/5975778/scientific-evidence-that-you-probably-dont-have-free-will

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/free-will-is-an-illusion_b_1562533.html

http://www.mangu.tv/the-lottery-of-birth-instant-streaming-en-fr-de-sp (free on Amazon if you have an Kindle account)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will#The_Libet_experiment (a whole slew of experiments showing both sides)

http://www.samharris.org/free-will

http://www.samharris.org/media/the-illusion-of-free-will-lecture-at-caltech

http://www.sciencefriday.com/blogs/06/27/2013/is-free-will-just-an-illusion.html

http://phys.org/news186830615.html

http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/history/ (Super Long Read! but offers various viewpoints)

 

There are a dozen other books and documentaries which I have viewed which all play a part in my views. I would also like to say that I do not take this subject matter jokingly. There was a time when I believed in free will and argued against determinism; I've researched this for a very long time.

Going back to my original question, I challenge any one to give me a thought, speech or action which has come from nothingness. A purely random, free willed choice made with out any influence from prior memories or genetics.

The problem is that thought (which is the basis for every thing else) does not come from nothing. There is always an influence present, either consciously or subconsciously. There is always a cause/effect in play for all decision making.

Example:

My mom has black hair. One day, when I was a little kid, my mom came home with blond hair.

I cried and wouldn't let her come near me. She had to go back the following week and change it back to black.

I never thought of why, but there was a time when I disliked blond haired women. I never dated them and was never attracted to them.

Then I had a revelation and I realized that the reason why I disliked blond hair was because of that experience.

I eventually ended up dating a few blond women, but I always had a thing for black hair (or red <-- another story).

Now you might think that, "hey he made a free will choice to date blond haired women" but I didn't. I was so determined to know what it was like to date a blond that I went out of my way to date them specifically because of my memories.

 


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Teralek,You would first need

Teralek,

You would first need to prove that subatomic particles have a consciousness before they could enter the discussion.

red herring or deplorably informed non-sequitur?

 

 

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digitalbeachbum wrote:Your

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Your sarcasm has limits with out you knowing it. You get bored with using it or maybe you feel guilty for using it as a tool of humor. You then stop using it because you have reached that limit. You did not predetermine that limit.

 (edit)

If you are a theist, then you must believe that your creator created the solar system and Universe.

This means that every thing was set in to motion, including the creation of Adam and Eve.

Adam and Even had predefined parameters too.

So it would be like a programmer writing a program, inputting data, then running the program already knowing the outcome.

Since your creator is also all knowing, then there is no random results of said program. There is no free will. It all has been predetermined.

The cause of my choice to stop using sarcasm was merely to prove the point of choice. I do like sarcasm because it helps to put a point into perspective in a funny way. It was not an emotion as you said above that prompted me to stop.  I could still gladly be sarcastic again. I can also jump out the window right now and stab someone, that choice is open to me. The reasons why I don't do it or the emotions or the causes of my actions don't mean that I don't get to act upon them and make choices.

This is the thing I less like on this forum. People just jump on talking about "God" every time someone with a theist badge talks about any subject. You are assuming that I believe in the Abrahamic God, which I don't. I said it from the beginning. I do believe the existence of a Creative Force, but for the most part I'm ignostic to it. So lets focus on the subject instead of talking about this which in my view is of no great importance. If you are paying attention I said above that I don't believe Omniscience is possible.

darth_josh wrote:

Teralek,

You would first need to prove that subatomic particles have a consciousness before they could enter the discussion.

red herring or deplorably informed non-sequitur?

Why do I need to prove that?! I don't want to prove that free will exists! I'm merely saying that the non existence of free will is not a closed chapter... One of the evidence for this is that there is in fact indeterministic phenomenon on the Universe. That was the only refutation about your comment I did. Determinism did not pass all criteria. The measurement problem in QM illustrates that awareness MAY (I want to stress the "may" part) have something to do with it.

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"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:The cause of

Teralek wrote:
The cause of my choice to stop using sarcasm was merely to prove the point of choice. I do like sarcasm because it helps to put a point into perspective in a funny way.

All your choices have been influenced from a previous experience/memory or genetics.

OK - So you like sarcasm because it allows you to show a point in a funny way. This might make you feel good, in fact, release a chemical in your brain to bring pleasure. You have been influenced by a chemical reaction, almost like a drug addict.

Teralek wrote:

This is the thing I less like on this forum. People just jump on talking about "God" every time someone with a theist badge talks about any subject. You are assuming that I believe in the Abrahamic God, which I don't. I said it from the beginning. I do believe the existence of a Creative Force, but for the most part I'm ignostic to it.

You didn't use either term in the original OP nor with any replies to me. I assumed that not knowing your stance I would use the word "creator" but I did not use the "god" or "Abrahamic god".

However I do see where the confusion could have come from because I used "Adam and Eve". This was the wrong context and I'll withdraw the reference. I fell in to a trap of using the term to describe "the first humans". My apologizes.

Teralek wrote:

So lets focus on the subject instead of talking about this which in my view is of no great importance. If you are paying attention I said above that I don't believe Omniscience is possible.

If you were paying attention above, I responded to your OP. I didn't get a reply, but later down the thread I said, "There is no free will" because you injected it in to the conversation (see post#9), where you said:

Teralek wrote:

There is the classic paradox in philosophy about foreknowledge and free will which in my opinion illustrates that they must be mutually exclusive.

However prescience must be impossible even in principle because it includes a self paradox. Ok, imagine that "in principle" its possible to know a future decision you are going to make tomorrow, because you are just a mechanism, and if you can know your inner workings, in principle, it's possible that you know the choice you are going to make. However this raises the question... can you change your choice?

Well I don't see a reason why you cannot change your choice. Which therefore will falsify your prescience! This intuitively tells us that reason this happens is because the future doesn't exist yet. From a purely philosophical standpoint this might open the door to free will.

I saw how that was being used in part to support your OP and I responded to it. Free will does not exist. You can not "change your choice".

I don't believe I broke any rules of etiquette. I stayed within the boundaries of the original subject.

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote:All

digitalbeachbum wrote:

All your choices have been influenced from a previous experience/memory or genetics.

OK - So you like sarcasm because it allows you to show a point in a funny way. This might make you feel good, in fact, release a chemical in your brain to bring pleasure. You have been influenced by a chemical reaction, almost like a drug addict.

I don't deny this. All actions have causes. That does not mean that they are deterministic or we don't have free will. You are illustrating how an action have a cause, but failing to prove the inexistence of choice upon causes. Or to say it more correctly: Motivations to act in a certain way. We can choose what motivates us... what draw me to like sarcasm was when I saw others doing it with great effect. All of this does not mean I cannot act upon my motivations. The act of acting or not act upon motivations, is the choice, is the free will I'm talking about. They then become the causes of our actions.

digitalbeachbum wrote:
You didn't use either term in the original OP nor with any replies to me. I assumed that not knowing your stance I would use the word "creator" but I did not use the "god" or "Abrahamic god".

However I do see where the confusion could have come from because I used "Adam and Eve". This was the wrong context and I'll withdraw the reference. I fell in to a trap of using the term to describe "the first humans". My apologizes.

Apologies accepted... Still the notion of God is irrelevant to the OP... that was the main reason I made that comment. But I understand the connection since I spoke of Omniscience which is a trait commonly associated to "God"

digitalbeachbum wrote:
If you were paying attention above, I responded to your OP. I didn't get a reply, but later down the thread I said, "There is no free will"

Yes I am aware of that and free will is inside the spectrum of this post... However if free will is impossible then omniscience is possible or nearly possible (for intents and purposes)... in a strange way

So no you didn't broke any rules... I was just referring to the annoying God issue...

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"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." (Max Planck)

"the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here." Paul Davies


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Teralek wrote:I don't deny

Teralek wrote:
I don't deny this. All actions have causes. That does not mean that they are deterministic or we don't have free will. You are illustrating how an action have a cause, but failing to prove the inexistence of choice upon causes. Or to say it more correctly: Motivations to act in a certain way. We can choose what motivates us... what draw me to like sarcasm was when I saw others doing it with great effect. All of this does not mean I cannot act upon my motivations. The act of acting or not act upon motivations, is the choice, is the free will I'm talking about. They then become the causes of our actions.

 

I can understand your point of view. You believe that if you are presented with, let us say, four options for dinner that you can pick either Chinese, Italian, American or Greek randomly and with out cause. You are in control.

I say that your choice of, let us say, Chinese, was already 100% and wasn't an option for you. It was laying in wait for you to come along and say, "I want Chinese tonight". You are only an observer of life and you are not in control.

digitalbeachbum wrote:
You didn't use either term in the original OP nor with any replies to me. I assumed that not knowing your stance I would use the word "creator" but I did not use the "god" or "Abrahamic god".

However I do see where the confusion could have come from because I used "Adam and Eve". This was the wrong context and I'll withdraw the reference. I fell in to a trap of using the term to describe "the first humans". My apologizes.

Apologies accepted... Still the notion of God is irrelevant to the OP... that was the main reason I made that comment. But I understand the connection since I spoke of which is a trait commonly associated to "God"

digitalbeachbum wrote:
If you were paying attention above, I responded to your OP. I didn't get a reply, but later down the thread I said, "There is no free will"

Yes I am aware of that and free will is inside the spectrum of this post... However if free will is impossible then omniscience is possible or nearly possible (for intents and purposes)... in a strange way

So no you didn't broke any rules... I was just referring to the annoying God issue...

Cool. One the same page is a good thing.

As for Omniscience I believe you could be very wise or intelligent, but not have infinite knowledge of all things.

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote:I say

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I say that your choice of, let us say, Chinese, was already 100% and wasn't an option for you. It was laying in wait for you to come along and say, "I want Chinese tonight".

 

     Interesting, ....behavior without options.

 

 

digitalbeachbum wrote:
You are only an observer of life and you are not in control.

 

 

   Wow, if only someone had told informed serial killer /necrophile Ted Bundy of this while he was defending himself in court.  

 

         "Your Honor I, Theodore Bundy, cannot be guilty of the crimes as charged as I lack moral culpability based upon new evidence.   I had no choice but to kill these women just as they had no choice in becoming my alleged "victims"  Neither myself nor the deceased who died at my hands were actually in control at any moment during the events in question which logically absolves me of any responsibility. My guilt or innocence is merely an illusion because free will itself is an illusion.  I move that all charges against me are therefore irrellevant and not applicapble."

 

                                                                                                 

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

     Interesting, ....behavior without options. 

Bundy is incorrect. His statement is filled with flaws, but I understand what he was trying to say to the judge.

What he should have said is that he was responsible for the murders but that he was a product of his environment and genetics; that he should be sentenced to death immediately and not to waste any more of the tax payers money.

Instead he was playing his last few cards in an futile attempt to manipulate a system which he had been using to delay the inevitable. He was a psychopath who could not be trusted and would kill again.