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Dean Mullen

Pre-determination?

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If you could somehow inherit all the universe's information then theoretically speaking you should be able to predict anything because every single event leads to another and if you factorize in all events in space & time and how they interact with each other you can then find that you will receive accurate predication's of what will happen next for e.g. you factorize in every rock & meteor in space and their movement then theoretically speaking you could receive all the information of the future.

 

and if we inherited all the information of someones mind and calculate what thought will be thought after the current thought because they are linked you could even find every conscious being is pre-determined and their interactions with the external world is also predictable so perhaps all events are pre-determined.

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While yes, if you knew what everything in existance was doing at one time, you could predicted exactly how they'll interact for the rest of time; although it would be incredabley hard! However, the Hiensenburg Uncertainity principle means that you can't know both a particles position and momentum simulatenously...so the best you can do it predict what might happen.

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The proposition stated in the OP has a long history, since it was first stated by the late-18th century French physicist Pierre Laplace and is sometimes called the 'Laplace Hypothesis.' Some people today use the essential unpredictabilities of statistical quantum mechanics to create a loophole from which they extract the principle that everything cannot be predetermined as a result of quantum indeterminancy, but others counter that these microlevel phenomena would not be significant at a macrolevel. The whole debate now accounts for a very extensive literature at the interface of philosophy and physics, if you want to pursue it further.

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While yes, if you knew what everything in existance was doing at one time, you could predicted exactly how they'll interact for the rest of time; although it would be incredabley hard! However, the Hiensenburg Uncertainity principle means that you can't know both a particles position and momentum simulatenously...so the best you can do it predict what might happen.

 

well even if you can't determine the future could this suggest everything is somewhat pre-determined?

 

The proposition stated in the OP has a long history, since it was first stated by the late-18th century French physicist Pierre Laplace and is sometimes called the 'Laplace Hypothesis.' Some people today use the essential unpredictabilities of statistical quantum mechanics to create a loophole from which they extract the principle that everything cannot be predetermined as a result of quantum indeterminancy, but others counter that these microlevel phenomena would not be significant at a macrolevel. The whole debate now accounts for a very extensive literature at the interface of philosophy and physics, if you want to pursue it further.

 

interesting, thank you for explaining.

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Yes I agree with you that the microscopic argument doesn't apply greatly on the macroscopic scale. Although that would only apply if you where trying to predict something that was entirely on the macroscopic level. And if you to predict something with absolute certiantity, you would have to take into account microscopic properties.

 

...and no, just because you can't predcit with absolute certianity what will happen, theres no reason at all to thing that everything is pre-determined. If anything, it implies that nothing is pre-determined. If it was, then you should be able to predict what would happen.

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Actually, this is a question that haunted me a long time. Until I read about Heisenberg and got somewhat disappoined.

The major issue from a positivistic point of view might be: Is it really worth it to make a model which is nearly as exact as the original (for example your brain, which you want to predetermine)? Because it cannot be as complex as the brain itself. Why? Because the brain in not just the brain, it is influenced by it's environment, the universe. So, in order to build an exact model of the universe you would have to make something that is at least as big and complex as the universe itself.

Ans here comes the positivist and says: I have a THEORY.

A theory is an assumtion, a simplified model, which can make heuristical predictions that are - most often - correct. If the predictions are incorrect, the positivist throws the theory away and tries - based on empirics (simplified experiments on parts of the universe, approximations essentially) - to get a better one.

His theory is: If I give this brain a specific impulse - fear - and it will, according to experience - make it's body run away.

But he could be wrong, of course. To be sure he had to know everything - since everything is connected by the fundamental forces of physics.

I guess.

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This implicitly poses an interesting question about scientific theorizing generally. If a theory is not significantly more simple and contains many fewer data bits than what it is designed to explain, then is it really a theory or an explanation? If the theory is so complex that it simply duplicates or mirrors the phenomenon to be explained, then it doesn't really explain or clarify anything, but is just another, perhaps a paper or computer version, of the original explanandum. But of course everything which is more simple than what it explains is to some extent an inaccurate picture of it, so the conceptual elegance, ease of use, and pellucidity of insight into the explanandum produced by any theory always comes at the cost of some falsification which makes it an explanation rather than just a reproduction.

 

This problem reminds me of an issue in mathematical proof theory when someone provided a hugely long and elaborate computer-based 'solution' to the famous four-color problem. Many people insisted that this 'proof' was too long to constitute a genuine solution, which would have to be short enough to appeal to a finite human intellect to count as something which was truly explanatory for us.

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If you could somehow inherit all the universe's information then theoretically speaking you should be able to predict anything because every single event leads to another and if you factorize in all events in space & time and how they interact with each other you can then find that you will receive accurate predication's of what will happen next for e.g. you factorize in every rock & meteor in space and their movement then theoretically speaking you could receive all the information of the future.

 

and if we inherited all the information of someones mind and calculate what thought will be thought after the current thought because they are linked you could even find every conscious being is pre-determined and their interactions with the external world is also predictable so perhaps all events are pre-determined.

If all events are predetermined, do you have the "free will"?

If you don't have the free will, why do you think so much for making a decision?

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If everything is predetermined, why do you think so much before making a decision? It was predetermined that you would decide by that process!

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It was predetermined that you would decide by that process!

Well, if that's what you think, you should never be right or wrong; you should never be sad if something bad happened to you, and never be glad if something good came to you.

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I (in the sense of the local focus of all the forces of the universe, past and present, which affect me) might be like a clockwork whose internal mechanisms contain all its future states, but these only gradually emerge and become visible to present consciousness as the clockwork unwinds, so while it is all predetermined, I only come to know it slowly.

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I (in the sense of the local focus of all the forces of the universe, past and present, which affect me) might be like a clockwork whose internal mechanisms contain all its future states, but these only gradually emerge and become visible to present consciousness as the clockwork unwinds, so while it is all predetermined, I only come to know it slowly.

You might as you thought, which means you might do nothing correct and nothing wrong just like clockwork.

But I do believe what I should do and what I shouldn't, which makes total difference to me.

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Have a look at Conway's Game of life. This is a system where if you know the state at one point, even though it follows a completely deterministic set of rules, you can not predict the outcome without running the system (even if it is just a copy of the system).

 

Now, as such a system can exist in this universe (even if run on a computer, that computer is part of this universe and the state of that computer is dependent on the outcome of Conway's game of life), that means that this universe, even if it is ultimately determined to be completely deterministic, can not be predicted just by knowing the current state of the universe.

 

The other thing about the Game of life is that it can't be reversed. That is you can't start with a state and work out what an earlier state was (you can do this on small scales though).

 

Thus also means that you can't just design how you want the universe to end up as and work out the earlier state it will have to be in to produce this end state.

 

This means the very existence of Conway's game of Life negates the possibility of predetermination and prediction.

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Have a look at Conway's Game of life. This is a system where if you know the state at one point, even though it follows a completely deterministic set of rules, you can not predict the outcome without running the system (even if it is just a copy of the system).

 

Now, as such a system can exist in this universe (even if run on a computer, that computer is part of this universe and the state of that computer is dependent on the outcome of Conway's game of life), that means that this universe, even if it is ultimately determined to be completely deterministic, can not be predicted just by knowing the current state of the universe.

 

The other thing about the Game of life is that it can't be reversed. That is you can't start with a state and work out what an earlier state was (you can do this on small scales though).

 

Thus also means that you can't just design how you want the universe to end up as and work out the earlier state it will have to be in to produce this end state.

 

This means the very existence of Conway's game of Life negates the possibility of predetermination and prediction.

In the Game of life, if each cell can make its decision and has a probability to make wrong decision, it will be more like the world we have.

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In the Game of life, if each cell can make its decision and has a probability to make wrong decision, it will be more like the world we have.

True. But, the point I was making is that the Game Of Life (GOL) exists in our universe (even if on a computer), but that the existence of such a system has far reaching philosophical ramifications.

 

The other thing that the GOL does is show that even in a perfectly deterministic universe, it is impossible to predict the future (so long as the universe allows for the GOL - or other systems with the same properties).

 

If you add in randomness (and probability) to it, it makes it even worse for prediction, and back tracking. So a probabilistic GOL would absolutely remove any chance of a universe that you can pre-determine certain things.

 

In a way, GOL paves the way for free will (where free will is not an arbitrary choice but a rational choice free will). Because the result can not be determined before hand, and you can not work back from a future state to a past state, the system gains a degree of freedom, even if it is deterministic. It is instead a logical outcome rather than an arbitrary result.

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True. But, the point I was making is that the Game Of Life (GOL) exists in our universe (even if on a computer), but that the existence of such a system has far reaching philosophical ramifications.

 

The other thing that the GOL does is show that even in a perfectly deterministic universe, it is impossible to predict the future (so long as the universe allows for the GOL - or other systems with the same properties).

 

If you add in randomness (and probability) to it, it makes it even worse for prediction, and back tracking. So a probabilistic GOL would absolutely remove any chance of a universe that you can pre-determine certain things.

 

In a way, GOL paves the way for free will (where free will is not an arbitrary choice but a rational choice free will). Because the result can not be determined before hand, and you can not work back from a future state to a past state, the system gains a degree of freedom, even if it is deterministic. It is instead a logical outcome rather than an arbitrary result.

 

No misunderstanding, Edtharan. I understood and agreed with your point. What I added was just some flavour to make the point stronger.

The FREE WILL belongs to each cell who can makes decision to move around for saving its life. Obviously, the FREE WILL includes the probability of making poor decision because of the limited information and time.

Edited by thinker_jeff

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