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Old 08-12-2013, 06:45 AM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

I'd like to get back to my "rewind time and replay it" hypothetical. I think it gets to the crux of freewill versus destiny.

If you believe there is freewill, then you believe that choices are being made that are not pre-destined. Or something like that. My philosopher friend may have debunked that with me many years ago, I'm a little fuzzy now. But assuming so... Therefore, if you could go back in time and play it over again, things would turn out differently.

If you believe there is no freewill, then the question becomes, why would anything turn out differently? And if we back time up and replay it and nothing changes, then is everything, in fact, predictable and inevitable?

It's fun and mind-bending for me to think about it. Because everything could feasibly be a reaction to something else that, if we had the intelligence and brainpower to compute it, could be predicted. If I can drop a marble on the floor and calculate how far and where it will bounce, including factors like gravity, wind, the density of the marble and the floor, and all that, then what about predicting where ten marbles will bounce if I drop them at the same time. Seems do-able, right? So what about dropping a million marbles? Eventually, we can extrapolate that out to all the events that take place in the universe.

So, why can't we predict that? I mean, we obviously don't have a computer big and powerful enough to do it. But if we did, could we? Is there anything that suggests that re-playing all those billions of random events in the universe would play out differently if we could rewind time and do it again?

Those who believe in freewill should say yes, it will change. But what if our freewill is just a series of reactions to stimuli, environment, etc? What if what we think are decisions we're making are really just the sum of all our reactions to our experiences from our environment, and nothing more? Then, maybe, nothing changes if we rewind time and do it all again. Because I still catch that cold that gives me the headache that makes me grumpy and you still let the coffee mug slip out of your hand that causes me to snap at you.

The one area I'm especially unclear on is the atomic level. I think super-scientists like Hawking say that there are unpredictable events that take place that we can't predict but have nothing to do with freewill. I think atoms split in chaotic ways that we can't understand. I think, anyway. So, there's some confusion there.

No answers here, just questions. But I find this stuff fascinating just to contemplate. The best part is that I have no idea. It's fun not knowing the answer.
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