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Author Topic:   Is the future inevitable?
NoNukes
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Posts: 9325
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 61 of 109 (774335)
12-16-2015 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by New Cat's Eye
12-15-2015 6:41 PM


Re: Two Points...
I'm not saying this solves the problem of determinism. But if Brownian motion is a real thing, and it can be modeled with very simple computer programs that have random numbers generated, then that indicates that there is randomness in the universe despite the nitpick that a computer can't technically produce a random number.

I am having difficulty following your premises here to your conclusion that there is randomness in the universe. Why would we not observe the same thing if the universe were pseudo random with hidden variables just like the random number generator in a computer?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 62 of 109 (774341)
12-16-2015 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by ProtoTypical
12-16-2015 9:55 AM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
pt writes:

I don't think that randomness and determinism are mutually exclusive.

I do.

The results from the lottery ball machine are totally random and totally subject to the laws of cause and effect. We say that the results are random but any sufficient intelligence could theoretically predict the results. Randomness refers to our ability to predict.

Randomness means that the output can not be know except as a probability. If you re-define random as knowable with enough information and brain power that simply applies determinism.

When we create an AI that behaves in a manner indistinguishable from the average human, will it have the quality of free will?

Yes. No. It depends. We don't even know whether people have free will, let alone machines, or even - outside a daft religious idea - whether the term has any meaning. If it does exist at all, it's bounded. One thing is for sure though, if our world is deterministic, then whatever freewill is, we haven't got it.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by ProtoTypical, posted 12-16-2015 9:55 AM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Stile, posted 12-16-2015 1:51 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 81 by ProtoTypical, posted 12-19-2015 8:49 AM Tangle has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2848
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 63 of 109 (774343)
12-16-2015 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Tangle
12-16-2015 1:29 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
Tangle writes:

One thing is for sure though, if our world is deterministic, then whatever freewill is, we haven't got it.

I don't think so. I think that it does depend on what freewill is.

You can think of freewill as "no one can predict what I'm going to decide to do!"
In this sense, I would agree with you.
However, in this sense, I don't even want freewill anyway. There's lots of things I do that I would be very upset if other people could not predict my actions. Like loving my wife tomorrow, or choosing whether or not to purposefully drive into a tree on my way home tonight.
I want other people to be able to predict my choices on those questions... every day, and all the time.

Or

You can think of freewill as "the ability to make conscious decisions about your future actions based on your own personal past experience."
In this sense, I don't agree with you.
Regardless of whether or not we find out the universe is deterministic... I can consciously make decisions to plan my actions based on my own personal past experiences right now... so it doesn't make a difference. It's inconsequential to this sort of idea of freewill.

Edited by Stile, : I grammar good.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 1:29 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 3:40 PM Stile has responded
 Message 65 by 1.61803, posted 12-16-2015 3:40 PM Stile has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 64 of 109 (774354)
12-16-2015 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Stile
12-16-2015 1:51 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
I don't go for either of those alternatives. I just say that if our world is predetermined, I can't change the outcome. If I can't change the outcome, i do not have choice - all I have is the appearance choice.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Stile, posted 12-16-2015 1:51 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by 1.61803, posted 12-16-2015 3:53 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 68 by caffeine, posted 12-16-2015 3:59 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 73 by Stile, posted 12-17-2015 9:35 AM Tangle has responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2664
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 65 of 109 (774355)
12-16-2015 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Stile
12-16-2015 1:51 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
Hi Stile,

Stile writes:

You can think of freewill as "no one can predict what I'm going to decide to do!"

But scientist can. Scientist can know what your going to do up to 7 seconds before you do it. Granted it for now it is a simplistic experiment, but the foundations of this research is beginning to show our subconscious and body are pulling the strings.

Stile writes:

You can think of freewill as "the ability to make conscious decisions about your future actions based on your own personal past experience."

But are you making conscious decisions or merely being alerted after the fact of what your body and subconscious was going to do anyway? As current research is beginning to show.
But wait.......
It gets even better than that!
**best Morpheus voice**
What if I told you our brains may be influenced by the the bugs living in our digestive tracts.

The most extreme example of brain control is the Zombie ant fungus A fungus that makes the ant bite and hang on vegetable material, so the fungus can propagate itself. Certainly a case of reality being stranger than fiction. I know, I know a ant brain compared to a human brain no comparison. But still intriguing that the human microbiome is now being studied to realize how much this collective organism affects us. Their cells out number ours 10 to 1.

Stile writes:

so it doesn't make a difference. It's inconsequential to this sort of idea of freewill.

Perhaps, but more and more it is beginning to look like human beings are like machines that have a brain that responds to our hormones, biochemistry, pheromones, tactile receptors, our internal gut flora biochemistry, conditioning,subconscious and who knows what other influences.

At the end of the day it is as you say a matter of how you look at it.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Stile, posted 12-16-2015 1:51 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Stile, posted 12-17-2015 9:41 AM 1.61803 has not yet responded

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1214
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 66 of 109 (774356)
12-16-2015 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by 1.61803
12-15-2015 6:04 PM


Re: here we go again....
It seems to indicate at least seven full seconds of lag time before the conscious mind is aware and decides to do what the subconscious tells it to do.

I'm not sure this is any more convincing. Let's consider what they're actually demonstrating here. Someone was told to do something as soon as they'd decided which of two things to do and when. Retroactively analysed, we can see that certain sorts of brain activity beginning up to 7 seconds before the did the thing predict the outcome.

Fantastic. How is that brain activity supposed to be distinguished from 'beginning to make a willful decision'? There's no requirement that the timelag between beginning to make a conscious decision and completing it be less than 7 seconds, is there?

Edited by caffeine, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by 1.61803, posted 12-15-2015 6:04 PM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by 1.61803, posted 12-16-2015 4:28 PM caffeine has not yet responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2664
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 67 of 109 (774357)
12-16-2015 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Tangle
12-16-2015 3:40 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
Thats rights Tangle,
Kind of humbling that from the big bang, the formation of the universe stars, galaxies, planets;to the formation of Earth, life and man.... and every conceivable event thereafter that has resulted in you posting that

"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 3:40 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 4:31 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1214
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 68 of 109 (774360)
12-16-2015 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Tangle
12-16-2015 3:40 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
I don't go for either of those alternatives. I just say that if our world is predetermined, I can't change the outcome. If I can't change the outcome, i do not have choice - all I have is the appearance choice.

But to get back to some highschool philosophy, there's two options available:

1. Your actions are predictable based on past events, and therefore pre-determined, which you consider incompatible with free will.

2. Your actions are not predictable based on past events, and therefore random and arbitrary. Random behaviour means living by the flip of a metaphorical coin - there's still no room for free will.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 3:40 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 4:13 PM caffeine has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 69 of 109 (774362)
12-16-2015 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by caffeine
12-16-2015 3:59 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
caffeine writes:

there's two options available:

How do you arrive ar that position?

Your actions are predictable based on past events, and therefore pre-determined, which you consider incompatible with free will.

2. Your actions are not predictable based on past events, and therefore random and arbitrary. Random behaviour means living by the flip of a metaphorical coin - there's still no room for free will.

3. Your actions sometimes predictable based on....whatever ... sometimes not.

4. Your actions even when upredictable are not random or arbitrary.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by caffeine, posted 12-16-2015 3:59 PM caffeine has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by caffeine, posted 12-16-2015 4:31 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2664
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 70 of 109 (774366)
12-16-2015 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by caffeine
12-16-2015 3:48 PM


Re: here we go again....
caffeine writes:

There's no requirement that the timelag between beginning to make a conscious decision and completing it be less than 7 seconds, is there?

As I understand it, no. The salient point I think is that the areas of the brain, that have been mapped that are responsible for non conscious thought are lighting up and indicating the choice of Right or Left ...before the person presses the freaking button.
quote:
2).Next, we addressed the
key question of this study, whether any brain region encoded the
subjects motor decision ahead of time. Indeed, we found that two
brain regions encoded with high accuracywhether the subject was about
to choose the left or right response prior to the conscious decision
(threshold P 0.05, family-wise errorcorrected for multiple spatial
and temporal comparisons;
Then the person selects a letter that corresponds to time when they made the choice for the purpose of showing how soon the area lit up before the person chose.
In my view it is still your brain and you are still the one pressing the button. So who cares, it is just a matter of how you look at it imo.
However it you care to check it out:
I saw a very interesting documentary on PBS in October called
"The Brain with Dr. Eagleman http://www.pbs.org/the-brain-with-david-eagleman/episodes/
Episode 3 is called "Who is In Control?" They had a interesting experiment where a subject was placed in a scan and a hat/head piece put on the subject that could stimulate areas of the brain.
By using a combination of mapping and stimulation technology the neurologist was able to have the subject make choices several seconds before the subject reported making the choice. The mind blowing part being they did not make the choice even though they where adamant afterwards they did. For some reason it seems the conscious mind maintains the illusion of control no matter what.

I dont expect this to convince anyone though. Check it out and judge for yourself. It's a interesting series.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by caffeine, posted 12-16-2015 3:48 PM caffeine has not yet responded

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1214
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 71 of 109 (774367)
12-16-2015 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Tangle
12-16-2015 4:13 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
3. Your actions sometimes predictable based on....whatever ... sometimes not.

That's not really a coherent sentence.

4. Your actions even when upredictabl are not random or arbitrary.

You'll have to elaborate on how something can be neither predictable nor arbitrary, because I don't see any alternative.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 4:13 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 72 of 109 (774368)
12-16-2015 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by 1.61803
12-16-2015 3:53 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
1.6 etc writes:

Kind of humbling that from the big bang, the formation of the universe stars, galaxies, planets;to the formation of Earth, life and man.... and every conceivable event thereafter that has resulted in you posting that

That's not all. I put up a Christmas tree, and you know, I really didn't have to. I could have done it tomorrow, or not at all. I could have played the Dice Man game and left it to chance. But instead I did it today - despite my wife asking for it last week. It was predictable that it would happen, but a betting man would would have put money on the first Saturday in December. It's all a bit silly isn't it.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by 1.61803, posted 12-16-2015 3:53 PM 1.61803 has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2848
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 73 of 109 (774396)
12-17-2015 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Tangle
12-16-2015 3:40 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
Tangle writes:

I don't go for either of those alternatives.

Okay.

I just say that if our world is predetermined, I can't change the outcome. If I can't change the outcome, i do not have choice - all I have is the appearance choice.

True.
And I agree with you.

I'm just saying that if you want to call "the ability to make conscious decisions about your future actions based on your own personal past experience" an "appearance of choice" than I don't care. I can still make conscious decisions about my future actions based on my own personal past experience... and it doesn't matter if it's determined or not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2015 3:40 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Tangle, posted 12-17-2015 11:12 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 2848
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 74 of 109 (774398)
12-17-2015 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by 1.61803
12-16-2015 3:40 PM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
=1.61803 writes:

But scientist can (predict what we're going to do). Scientist can know what your going to do up to 7 seconds before you do it. Granted it for now it is a simplistic experiment, but the foundations of this research is beginning to show our subconscious and body are pulling the strings.

Like I said, that's fantastic!
I want people to be able to predict some of the things I do.

And, well, I always make a choice in my brain first... then I actually move or talk or something like that.
I wonder if they can measure when "a choice is made" and when "my brain acknowledges that a choice is made" rather than "I move my hand as a reflection of that choice." That would be interesting

The only time I'll be upset is when the Scientists tell me I'm going to choose the red pill, and I'm unable to make a conscious decision to go against what they say and choose the blue pill anyway.

If *that* ever happens... then I'll have to change my ideas about what freewill is.

If that *never* happens... then I'm perfectly content with identifying freewill as "the ability to make conscious decisions about future actions based on past experience."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by 1.61803, posted 12-16-2015 3:40 PM 1.61803 has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4408
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 75 of 109 (774407)
12-17-2015 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by Stile
12-17-2015 9:35 AM


Re: Is Truth Unavoidable or is it random?
Stile writes:

I'm just saying that if you want to call "the ability to make conscious decisions about your future actions based on your own personal past experience" an "appearance of choice" than I don't care. I can still make conscious decisions about my future actions based on my own personal past experience... and it doesn't matter if it's determined or not.

I just don't think it's necessary to add the qualifiers 'past experience' - if you can't make decisions based on anything at all that will change a predetermined outcome then you don't have free choice.

But, as you say, it doesn't matter if we don't know any better. Except, of course, the entire concept of sin is then defunct - for those that believe in that stuff.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Stile, posted 12-17-2015 9:35 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Stile, posted 12-17-2015 12:14 PM Tangle has responded

  
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