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Old 08-12-2013, 08:42 AM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: Can there be free will in a world where pre-destiny exists?

Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
The side of free will. I realize there has been lots of talk of cause and effect, but in a world of pre-destiny there would be no cause and effect, just events scheduled to happen in the order they were scheduled. Free will allows cause and effect to exist, other than a predetermined world where everything just runs as a script.
But couldn't cause and effect be an instrument of destiny?

Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
If you believe there is freewill, then you believe that choices are being made that are not pre-destined. Or something like that.

... 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 ... what about dropping a million marbles? ...

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.
Yes - nicely thought and said. The fact that everything has turned out the way it has suggests that if things could have been different, they would have been different. Each causality should have a predictable effect if you know all the parameters and relationships at the time ... if, as you say, you have the computing power.

How much power? It brings us back to the butterfly flapping its wings in South America. To work out the parameters around an event you would need to look at everything around the event:

- the spacial environment .. but for how far? All the way to South America's butterfly?
- the time period in that area ... how far back? To the Big Bang? Or before then?
- the history of the "players", let's say the event is a piano falling on a person from the first storey ... the players are the piano, the clumsy removalists and the victim ... that rabbit hole can go as deep as you like too
- all the other stuff we don't know.

Chaos theory and quantum strangeness seem to defy the notion of destiny, but chaos theory is really just a practical means of black boxing things that are too complex to understand ... at the moment. I suspect we will one day make sense of the factors (and formulas) behind quantum strangeness too.

It's possible that everything that happens is inevitable given the past, but the causal relationships are so complex and intertwined that for most practical means and purposes you can say we have free will.

Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I am of the belief that we have free will within pre-defined boundaries which include the laws of physics.
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
I can accept this as long as the only pre-destined event for life is death. As we all know, even life itself isn't guaranteed. But that's it, no destiny, no guarantees, no invisible puppet master. Just wandering through a series of choices until our clock is punched.
Yet each of those free will choices we make could be inevitable, given our histories. I'm not saying this for certain - hell, half the time I'm not even certain what I had for lunch - I'm just throwing the notion out there as a potential reality.


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