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#1 2006-10-31 05:28:32

luca-deltodesco
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Registered: 2006-05-05
Posts: 1,470

free will is a falacy

causation, cause and effect. Everything that happens, depends on what happened in the past, why should human conscisousness be any different?

I 'choose' to kill my brother, but if you look back as to why i did it, you see an infinate chain of events, caused by other events.

If a man has to choose between one thing, and another, if that man is replaced in time to that same event, he will always, no matter what, choose the same event, the only way you can change what he chooses, is to modify events that have happened in the past, which eventually cause him to choose one or the other.

if you were to know the exact state of all energy in the universe at a given time, and know all physical laws that apply in the universe, and have a model that can run these laws, you would ultimately be able to know the state of all energy in the universe at any given point in time.


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#2 2006-10-31 05:33:48

Ricky
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Re: free will is a falacy

Everything that happens, depends on what happened in the past

Prove that statement.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#3 2006-10-31 06:06:01

luca-deltodesco
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Re: free will is a falacy

Ricky wrote:

Everything that happens, depends on what happened in the past

Prove that statement.

let me reword that.

everything that is, depends upon what was, which is just causation again.


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#4 2006-10-31 10:20:29

John E. Franklin
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Registered: 2005-08-29
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Re: free will is a falacy

What if the laws of the universe are being created to more detail as we go along?
For instance, when Newton was alive, Newtonian physics may have been correct, but
then during the Industrial revolution, the laws of physics changed to support Eistein and
Lorentz's corrections.  Like it?


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#5 2006-10-31 10:34:43

luca-deltodesco
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Re: free will is a falacy

that doesnt change that if you knew the initial state of all energy, and had all the physical laws, you would be able to simulate the entire universe, and ultimately simulate everything that has and will happen, i never said to use the currently used physical laws, nor that they are perfect or complete


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#6 2006-10-31 11:23:38

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: free will is a falacy

everything that is, depends upon what was, which is just causation again.

Ok, prove that statement then.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#7 2006-10-31 11:36:40

All_Is_Number
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Registered: 2006-07-10
Posts: 258

Re: free will is a falacy

John E. Franklin wrote:

What if the laws of the universe are being created to more detail as we go along?
For instance, when Newton was alive, Newtonian physics may have been correct, but
then during the Industrial revolution, the laws of physics changed to support Eistein and
Lorentz's corrections.  Like it?

That would place a lot of importance on us. We live on an average planet that orbits an average sun in an average galaxy . . .

The mathematical models of the laws of the universe are being created to more detail as our ability to make more precise observations increases. Newton wasn't wrong. He just left his work incomplete. Einstein added precision to Newton's work that was unneeded and unobservable in Newton's time. One day someone will find a model that is more precise than relativity. It is the models that change, not the laws.


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#8 2006-10-31 17:56:19

George,Y
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Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

Ricky wrote:

everything that is, depends upon what was, which is just causation again.

Ok, prove that statement then.

Congratulations, Ricky! Since now you could figure out logic clearly using verbal logic!

Basically you are right, in many fields determinism is sheer fallacy. Beyond principles and laws exist many exceptions. For instance, nothing is absolutely insulate. Physics is one of the few fields where scientist could find laws that interpret reality so well. Other fields, like social science, are subject to uncertainty. The man could have restrain from killing, or could have killed more.

Some psychologists emphasise the many causes behind the killing only to improve their knowledge. According to an extreme view, every crime is the result of society. But that's too irresponsible regarding our common sense. And paradoxy as well-since society is formulated by individuals, how can you regulate a society without regulating its members?


X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#9 2006-10-31 18:00:02

George,Y
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Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

Every murderer, every burgerler, and every rapist could state social context, shall we therefore forgive them?? We have to say they are responsible, and they had choices.


X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#10 2006-10-31 18:43:08

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,534

Re: free will is a falacy

I believe that randomness is fundamental to the universe.

Events at a nuclear level are essentially unpredictable. But when we get large numbers of particles they behave in predictable ways (following the laws of statistics). For example, air pressure is just a large number of bombardments. If we were much smaller (or molecules were much larger) we would be tossed to and fro as in Brownian motion.

Now when it comes to decision making ... if we are using lots of tiny electrical impulses to make up our minds, what are the chances that we might do something totally unique?

I like to do woodwork. Sometimes I have to do the same thing dozens of times. But I find I do each one differently ... I might find it hard one way, so I try another, or just randomly try something else. I like to think I am in charge. I certainly blame myself if my chisel makes a deep hole instead of a smooth surface smile


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#11 2006-10-31 18:44:10

luca-deltodesco
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Registered: 2006-05-05
Posts: 1,470

Re: free will is a falacy

yeh, but what im saying, is that humans, our brain, our conciousness, is still made up of electronic signals, and a complex system of the atoms, and all the energy that makes us up, whatever form its in, is still governed by laws of the universe, and if you were to know all the state of the energy and the laws, you would be able to simulate exactly what everything, including every human that eventually appears will do.

unless ofcourse, you believe there was divine intervention ;p in which case, at some point, God intervened with the workings of the universe and altered it somehow, in which case you would need to know all the state of energy in the universe after God's intervention, and supposing he no longer intervenes, and gives power to nothing else to intervene, you would then be able to simulate everything that occurs after that point in time.

Last edited by luca-deltodesco (2006-10-31 18:46:14)


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#12 2006-10-31 18:50:05

luca-deltodesco
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Posts: 1,470

Re: free will is a falacy

MathsIsFun wrote:

I believe that randomness is fundamental to the universe.

Events at a nuclear level are essentially unpredictable

thats the only thing that technically can destroy my idea, we dont know of any laws that govern the apparent unpredictabilites. But even so, i find it hard to believe that it can be trully random, there must be some sort of model or law that will eventually be found to govern it.


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#13 2006-10-31 20:05:12

MathsIsFun
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Re: free will is a falacy

And then there is the "Butterfly Effect" smile


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#14 2006-11-01 00:59:10

Toast
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Registered: 2006-10-08
Posts: 1,321

Re: free will is a falacy

I have no idea what I'm talking about:
My belief is that when criminals are charged for their crimes, it is not really 'themselves' who are charged with the crime, but the atoms, dark matter and dark energy which inhabit their bodies. It brings forth the debate of whether or not we are ultimately in the hands of destiny; whether or not we are actors playing out an epic script.
The above debate can, of course, only exist if everything is governed by laws and principles.
I believe that the subatomic world is not random, but just neglected out of ignorance, because if the universe is random, then what is everything and why did it become?
The Butterfly Effect should have an effect on the universe, even if it takes an outrageous amount of time. However, due to the contributions of an infinite number of other entities to the changes in the universe, the overall change the Butterfly Effect will produce will be in the form of a ratio, 1 Butterfly : The Rest of the Universe
So, in my opinion, there are two major routes, the one down randomness, and the one down absolute avenue. The advantage of randomness is that people have souls, and are not purely governed by the laws of physics. The upside to clarity is that although we may not be ourselves (have souls, so to speak), there is a greater chance that we may just have a purpose in a larger picture or be part of a greater whole.

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#15 2006-11-01 09:49:58

All_Is_Number
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Registered: 2006-07-10
Posts: 258

Re: free will is a falacy

MathsIsFun wrote:

I believe that randomness is fundamental to the universe.

"God does not play dice." tongue


I think that things often appear random because we do not understand the underlying patterns, or we do not have the ability to make sufficient calculations.

Last edited by All_Is_Number (2006-11-01 09:50:15)


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#16 2006-11-01 13:27:04

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: free will is a falacy

"God does not play dice."

To which Bohr replied:

"Stop telling God what to do with his dice."


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#17 2006-11-01 13:34:48

All_Is_Number
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Registered: 2006-07-10
Posts: 258

Re: free will is a falacy

Ricky wrote:

"Stop telling God what to do with his dice."

LOL

But Bohr isn't my hero. tongue


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#18 2006-11-01 15:28:30

MathsIsFun
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Re: free will is a falacy

Poor Einstein. He was such a genius, but when physics started moving away from a "clockwork" universe (determinism) he fought it instead of riding along. He spent his dying days trying to disprove the new ideas.

Imagine the advances if Einstein had stayed flexible in his thinking?


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#19 2006-11-02 02:02:14

Dross
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Registered: 2006-08-24
Posts: 325

Re: free will is a falacy

luca-deltodesco wrote:

if you were to know the exact state of all energy in the universe at a given time, and know all physical laws that apply in the universe, and have a model that can run these laws, you would ultimately be able to know the state of all energy in the universe at any given point in time.

Somebody who was familiar with quantum physics would strongly disagree. And how do you know that the laws of nature won't change in a truly random, unpredictable way?


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#20 2006-11-02 02:52:50

luca-deltodesco
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Registered: 2006-05-05
Posts: 1,470

Re: free will is a falacy

if they changed in a truly random unpredictable way, they wouldnt be laws now would they?

but yes, i know what you mean, like i said above, the quantum world appears to be extremely random and unpredictable, but even so, i believe that there must be some sort of law that governs the behaviour, just that its far out of reach atm.


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#21 2006-11-02 09:19:03

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,534

Re: free will is a falacy

Loosely speaking, the amount of information in a message is all the unpredictable parts. The parts that can be predicted can be "compressed out", such as in a ".zip" file.

Just for fun, lets think about the Universe as an unfolding message.

To the degree that the Universe is predictable it could be "re-written" with less in it. (Possibly eliminating Time if the initial state were enough to predict all future events. In that case we would be in a Static Universe.)

Now, if the Universe were totally predictable there is no content at all. Not even one bit. So you could argue that any "law" of the Universe is in fact an unpredictable part!

Anyway, let us imagine that information content is growing with time (at a Quantum level at least) as random events are happening ... disorder would be growing as a result.

To illustrate this, think about a table with twenty coins on it. All are heads up (20H). This is very orderly (and also a very unlikely combination).

Now, someone thumps the table, and a coin flips over. More disorder. More information. And a more likely combination (19H, 1T is more likely than 20H).

The thumping continues and there is yet more disorder, information content and likeliness.

And maybe that is the story of the Universe!

As we progress forward we are seeing more information, more disorder (chaos), and more likelihood.

Project that back in time and you get less information, less disorder (more order), and less likelihood.

Project that all the way to the beginning of Time and you get No Information, Total Order ... and Totally Unlikely!

A fun theory!


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#22 2006-11-02 10:41:12

luca-deltodesco
Member
Registered: 2006-05-05
Posts: 1,470

Re: free will is a falacy

advancing on yours, that could be part of the multiple universes theory, where everything that occurs can have multiple outcomes, and for each the universe branches out.

but then how would time travel work? Not in past, but just into the future, which we already do anyways. This would kind of make it possible to go into the past, but not into the future, because going into the future, you might end up anywhere.

anyways, something else i was thinking about that just popped into my head.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/LogisticMap_BifurcationDiagram.png

maybe thats like the universe over time, it keeps splitting up again and again, until you get a big mess over time


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#23 2006-11-02 15:44:38

All_Is_Number
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Registered: 2006-07-10
Posts: 258

Re: free will is a falacy

MathsIsFun wrote:

Poor Einstein. He was such a genius, but when physics started moving away from a "clockwork" universe (determinism) he fought it instead of riding along. He spent his dying days trying to disprove the new ideas.

Imagine the advances if Einstein had stayed flexible in his thinking?

I completely agree that Einstein's early work was his best. Einstein had other gift's as well. I often wonder how different the world might be today had Einstein had accepted the presidency of Israel when it was offered to him. In my mind that was his greatest mistake, and a tremendous loss for us today.


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#24 2006-11-02 21:37:04

Dross
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Registered: 2006-08-24
Posts: 325

Re: free will is a falacy

luca-deltodesco wrote:

if they changed in a truly random unpredictable way, they wouldnt be laws now would they?

They would indeed be laws in that they govern the way things behave... the fact that it only dictates that they behave in this way for a set period of time, and they behave in other ways outside this window of time, is irrelevant.

Getting back to the universal randomness/free will thing, I'm quite firm in by belief of one thing - you cannot believe in determinism or quantum-type randomness and free will, unless you also accept that human beings have some control over the laws of nature.


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#25 2006-11-04 03:12:42

RealEstateBroker
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Registered: 2006-06-01
Posts: 45

Re: free will is a falacy

What would be a valid test for the idea that every event has a cause? I other words: What test could you set up, the results of which would either confirm the idea of causality, or would falsify causality? dunno

If you accept causality as an article of faith, then any time you are faced with a phonomenum for which you have been unable to discover a cause; then you can always say, "There must be a cause because nothing happens without a cause: We just have not found it yet." In that case, the notion of causality can never be put to the test, it is just something that you have to believe in.


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