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Humanities Section => Philosophy & Rhetoric General Discussion => Topic started by: GSOgymrat on September 10, 2018, 06:21:21 PM

Title: Is the future already written?
Post by: GSOgymrat on September 10, 2018, 06:21:21 PM
In 1905, Einstein overturned Newton’s harmonious picture of a standard universal time. He replaced it with a discordant, relative view in which different people could disagree about the duration of events, and even the order in which they happened. The young Einstein came to the remarkable realization that time was, in fact, a fourth dimension, alongside the three dimensions of space that we see around us, creating what has become known as the “block universe” picture of reality.

To explain what a block universe looks like, imagine taking successive photographs of a location, such as a series of snapshots of anxious Cambridge students hurrying across the Trinity quadrangle, books in hands, on their way to exams. If you projected the photos one after another, you would make a movie through which time appeared to pass, corresponding to our intuitive view of time’s flow. But if you stack the images on top of each other, you would see the students’ entire journeys across the quadrangle mapped out in front of you, all at once. The second example is similar to the block universe view, where past, present and future all coexist simultaneously, and the passage of time has no meaning; all events coexist side by side. ...

In the block universe, then, what someone perceives as the future is what someone else saw as the past, depending on the person’s position and motion. Events that have yet to happen for one person, it appears, have already happened for another. The future, though it remains unknown to you, seems to be written already. Einstein himself described it thus: “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”


http://discovermagazine.com/2015/june/18-tomorrow-never-was

The idea of eternalism, that the past, present, and future all equally real and that speed and motion determine our perception of time, makes sense to me. Eternalism seems to be supported by experiments involving high-speed aircraft measuring time variation based on speed and direction. The main arguments I have read objecting to this theory is that 1) it is counterintuitive to our lived experience and 2) it is deterministic and eliminates "free will." I don't think either of these arguments is very strong. What are your thoughts?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Shiranu on September 10, 2018, 06:29:07 PM
If I can neither observe or influence it, I am rather indifferent about it one way or another. The present is the only state of time that will ever exist so long as I exist, so that's all I really need to concern myself with

It is cool to imagine time as it's own dimension though, and it certainly fits the model of the universe that we have.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 10, 2018, 06:38:14 PM
The idea of space-time was invented by Minkowski for local (small time/small distance) situations (like experimental setups), to provide a geometric version of Einstein's algebraic special theory of relativity.  The Lorentz equations have to do with matching up two frames moving at different steady speeds that are recording the same events.  This was fortuitous, because geometry was necessary to generalize it to accelerating frames.

The general theory of relativity is based on the idea that where there is acceleration (where gravity is you always have acceleration) any two frames of reference don't match up over larger distances/times.  It is even called a chart ... each chart being a local space-time map that distorts at the edges (like ordinary Earth maps do).  The Einstein equation has to do with matching up two frames moving under the unsteady influence of gravity that are recording the same events.

So the idea that we move along a world line of already existing events ... is only true locally, not globally.  It is an artifact of the early interpretation of the special theory of relativity.  The smaller the space-time, the more accurate is the analogy.  This is why elementary particle theory is usually unconcerned about gravity.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on September 10, 2018, 07:03:51 PM
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The main arguments I have read objecting to this theory is that 1) it is counterintuitive to our lived experience and 2) it is deterministic and eliminates "free will." I don't think either of these arguments is very strong. What are your thoughts?
I don't think those arguments are very strong, either. One question I do have concerns the existence of "world lines": If quantum particles (such as electrons, etc.) don't have well-defined positions, and can, in fact, be seen as being (in some sense) everywhere at once, then how can they have well-defined world lines? And without those, how can their futures be already determined?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on September 10, 2018, 07:12:31 PM
Here's a good video on the subject:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YycAzdtUIko
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on September 10, 2018, 07:20:23 PM
Short answer: yes
Long answer: yes, in comic sans.

No seriously. I personally don't think The future could bE anything different than what te past lead up to. I'm not certain about time and space, but free will certainty seems like an illusion (or a delusion) stemming from lack of perspective. And without choice, The future seems set.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 10, 2018, 10:35:34 PM
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Short answer: yes
Long answer: yes, in comic sans.

No seriously. I personally don't think The future could bE anything different than what te past lead up to. I'm not certain about time and space, but free will certainty seems like an illusion (or a delusion) stemming from lack of perspective. And without choice, The future seems set.

On a philosophical basis, not a physics basis, I have to disagree to a degree.  We are limited by what reality allows, but that is like being limited to being in a single room, but we are free to move within it.

On the other hand, given limited free will, I am not so sure about blaming and punishment.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on September 11, 2018, 06:32:25 AM
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On a philosophical basis, not a physics basis, I have to disagree to a degree.  We are limited by what reality allows, but that is like being limited to being in a single room, but we are free to move within it.

On the other hand, given limited free will, I am not so sure about blaming and punishment.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe conscience is formed through something either seperate from or at least more than just the physical/material?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 11, 2018, 06:53:14 AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe conscience is formed through something either seperate from or at least more than just the physical/material?

You meant consciousness?  No, per Spinoza ... the natural/un-natural aka supernatural are just two sides to one coin.  This was Spinoza's response to Descartes' dualism.  And the mind is much bigger than mere consciousness.  The conscious mind is just the tip of the iceberg.

Conscience is something someone develops, that little voice that tell you, don't do that, or do this.  Something we are free to ignore at our peril (assuming we aren't sociopaths).

To bring Spinoza up to date, you need Kripke Semantics ... and to understand that you have to understand the Basics of Modal Logic I posted last month.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Jjw8oJqBk

Basically I treat "possible worlds" as people, not things.  Each person is a world (not a planet).  A developing world that comes into existence and eventually goes out of existence.  Meanwhile we have various ways of sharing the experience.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on September 11, 2018, 07:10:27 AM
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You meant consciousness?  No, per Spinoza ... the natural/un-natural aka supernatural are just two sides to one coin.  This was Spinoza's response to Descartes' dualism.  And the mind is much bigger than mere consciousness.  The conscious mind is just the tip of the iceberg.

Conscience is something someone develops, that little voice that tell you, don't do that, or do this.  Something we are free to ignore at our peril (assuming we aren't sociopaths).

Aye, consiousness. My bad. :)

But consciousness, and the subconscious, would then all be formed and determined by 'the room' we walk in, no? And by our previous experiences in the room, down to the smallest seemingly insignificant detail.  Even if we don't understand correctly how, it is being formed and shaped; which will Always lead to whatever it is building up to. 

My view, at least. I can predict we're not going to come to an agreement on this, however.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 11, 2018, 07:25:50 AM
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Aye, consiousness. My bad. :)

But consciousness, and the subconscious, would then all be formed and determined by 'the room' we walk in, no? And by our previous experiences in the room, down to the smallest seemingly insignificant detail.  Even if we don't understand correctly how, it is being formed and shaped; which will Always lead to whatever it is building up to. 

My view, at least. I can predict we're not going to come to an agreement on this, however.

If we are Russian dolls, with no hollow, just more dolls inside ... then there is no freedom.  But a Russian could claim that, wouldn't he?

Or are you just saying that cause/effect is a treadmill?  I often suspect pre-destiny believers simply don't want to take any credit for their serial killings.  Cause/effect people blame everything on their parents ...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on September 11, 2018, 10:32:51 AM
I don't think about it too much.  I think about it some, but then I just throw my hands up, and get on with painting the ceiling or fixing a leaky faucet.  Having said that, I have enjoyed reading this thread so far.  No flaming or name calling at this point.  It's a breath of fresh air.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Sal1981 on September 11, 2018, 11:16:56 AM
I think the Newtonian view of the past, present and future as some wound-up clockwork with the unfolding events on some set path is incorrect,  given how quantum mechanics works.

I mostly align with presentism, that only the present is real and that time, the way we experience and assign past and future events, is an illusion.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: GSOgymrat on September 11, 2018, 11:22:44 AM
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I mostly align with presentism, that only the present is real and that time, the way we experience and assign past and future events, is an illusion.

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on September 11, 2018, 08:55:26 PM
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I mostly align with presentism, that only the present is real and that time, the way we experience and assign past and future events, is an illusion.
I'm not sure I agree that the past is illusory, experientially or otherwise.  There are events that it is generally agreed happened in the past.  I will agree that the future is illusory in that it hasn't happened yet, so that we cannot speak with authority about it except in the very broadest strokes.

There was an attack with jets on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a failed one believed to be intended for the Capitol that crashed in Pennsylvania 17 years ago today -- do you agree that these events actually happened, or is that an experiential illusion because it happened in the past and may or may not have been a real event?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 11, 2018, 09:36:59 PM
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I'm not sure I agree that the past is illusory, experientially or otherwise.  There are events that it is generally agreed happened in the past.  I will agree that the future is illusory in that it hasn't happened yet, so that we cannot speak with authority about it except in the very broadest strokes.

There was an attack with jets on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a failed one believed to be intended for the Capitol that crashed in Pennsylvania 17 years ago today -- do you agree that these events actually happened, or is that an experiential illusion because it happened in the past and may or may not have been a real event?

But it wasn't the event 17 years ago, but the interpretation of it then, and later ... that is the illusion.  It is based on those interpretations that actions are taken.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hakurei Reimu on September 11, 2018, 09:47:13 PM
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The idea of eternalism, that the past, present, and future all equally real and that speed and motion determine our perception of time, makes sense to me. Eternalism seems to be supported by experiments involving high-speed aircraft measuring time variation based on speed and direction. The main arguments I have read objecting to this theory is that 1) it is counterintuitive to our lived experience and 2) it is deterministic and eliminates "free will." I don't think either of these arguments is very strong. What are your thoughts?
There's no functional difference between an undetermined future and a determined future you are completely ignorant about. As such, a 100% determined, but opaque, future is completely within our realm of lived experience, demolishing (1), and even if you did know the future, a deterministic future does not prevent you from doing what you want... you just have to realize that "doing what you want" is not a magic incantation that allows you to defy the laws of the universe, and this destroys (2) — your actions feel as free as they did when you were ignorant of the future.

BTW, there are many, many more experiments than the Hafele and Keating experiment (the one involving planes) that test SR and GR. Neither hinge on any one experiment.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Sal1981 on September 11, 2018, 10:14:37 PM
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I'm not sure I agree that the past is illusory, experientially or otherwise.  There are events that it is generally agreed happened in the past.  I will agree that the future is illusory in that it hasn't happened yet, so that we cannot speak with authority about it except in the very broadest strokes.

There was an attack with jets on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a failed one believed to be intended for the Capitol that crashed in Pennsylvania 17 years ago today -- do you agree that these events actually happened, or is that an experiential illusion because it happened in the past and may or may not have been a real event?
A common misunderstanding against presentism is that events don't unfold or that the way we view past events somehow gives credence to the block universe view of time.

I think that, thanks to memory, events that have transpired, were a result of presentist unfolding then. The universes configuration, as a viscous whole, was different 17 years ago.

The trappings of language, and thanks to sci-fi involving backwards time-travel among other things, means that we're mired into time being more than an illusion. We don't live in the past, that has already transpired, we don't live in the future, it is yet to come. We only live in the present.

The fact that timed events aren't universal, but localized, thanks to 2 discordiant atomic clocks and the measurement of neutrinos existing long enough to reach the surface of the Earth after penetrating the atmosphere (even though they shouldn't according to classical mechanics) are good indicators that time, the way we usually assign timed events just isn't real, but instead artifacts of our perception of them. I mean, the way our brains store memories certainly makes the past vivid and seem real in the same manner the present seems real, because we can conjure images from our past just by delving into our memories.


The same way gravity can be described as a curvature of space caused by matter lumping together (since matter attracts matter); in a similar manner I think time, particularly The Arrow of Time, can be described from an entropy increasing perspective, where change caused by entropy, is the driving factor.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on September 11, 2018, 11:25:00 PM
Okay, that's a much better explanation than the one on Wikipedia.  I still don't think I agree with it, but that makes more sense.

I'm more inclined to something along the lines of the growing block view, at least insofar as our past does in some sense still exist as information spreading outward from here at the speed of light -- any hypothetical Proxima Centauran listening to our radio and watching our TV is experiencing our past of 4.3 years ago as its present, after all.

Pending a better scientific explanation of time, at any rate.  I don't really like philosophical interpretations of what time is any better than I do of what quantum mechanics is.  I'm perfectly happy with "time is still pending a good explanation".
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Shiranu on September 12, 2018, 12:51:36 AM
Quote
There was an attack with jets on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a failed one believed to be intended for the Capitol that crashed in Pennsylvania 17 years ago today -- do you agree that these events actually happened, or is that an experiential illusion because it happened in the past and may or may not have been a real event?

In my perspective...

Yes, they happened. That's it. Their consequences might still reverberate through the present, but they no longer exist, are no longer real entities.

By viewing the past as "real" we try to equate it with what is truly real; stuff we can use our senses to interact with, and this causes the brain to put too my emphasis on the past (or even the future in imagining what might be) and distract us from the only truly important point of time... the now.

We should certainly learn from the past, but we have to also to truly "learn" from in, as in have it inherently influence our actions. What passes as "learning" from the past is often times just continuing to do whatever we were doing then realising halfway through it's a bad idea. That's not learning, that's reacting. True learning would have us not make those mistakes in the first place.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 12, 2018, 01:02:50 AM
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Okay, that's a much better explanation than the one on Wikipedia.  I still don't think I agree with it, but that makes more sense.

I'm more inclined to something along the lines of the growing block view, at least insofar as our past does in some sense still exist as information spreading outward from here at the speed of light -- any hypothetical Proxima Centauran listening to our radio and watching our TV is experiencing our past of 4.3 years ago as its present, after all.

Pending a better scientific explanation of time, at any rate.  I don't really like philosophical interpretations of what time is any better than I do of what quantum mechanics is.  I'm perfectly happy with "time is still pending a good explanation".

I expect a forward motion of time is the norm.  All evidence I see of chemical processes is forward, light not move forward and backward, senses suggest a continuing process, etc.

I vaguely recall a sci-fi story where the future was discovered to be the past and all process were reversed.  It was a good attempt, but basically ludicrous.  It requires that our bodies sucked feces into our anuses, converted it to complex matter, and eventually expelled broccoli out of our mouths  to be planted in the ground and reduced to seeds.

The whole idea makes no sense.  So the logical chemical and biological progression leads to only one direction of time. 

I might give some consideration to some sort of simultaneous time where all things happen at "once" (whatever that would mean) and we humans arrange it somehow.  But what of such small microbes with no brains to arrange such a complex concept as "time"?  No, I think there is time and it goes one way toward entropy. 
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 12, 2018, 01:07:23 AM
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In my perspective...

Yes, they happened. That's it. Their consequences might still reverberate through the present, but they no longer exist, are no longer real entities.

By viewing the past as "real" we try to equate it with what is truly real; stuff we can use our senses to interact with, and this causes the brain to put too my emphasis on the past (or even the future in imagining what might be) and distract us from the only truly important point of time... the now.

We should certainly learn from the past, but we have to also to truly "learn" from in, as in have it inherently influence our actions. What passes as "learning" from the past is often times just continuing to do whatever we were doing then realising halfway through it's a bad idea. That's not learning, that's reacting. True learning would have us not make those mistakes in the first place.

May I point out that, by you suggesting the past is not real "viewing the past as "real", and then saying "We should certainly learn from the past", you are contradicting your argument?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Shiranu on September 12, 2018, 01:20:02 AM
I don't see any contradiction, as there are plenty of non-real things we can learn from.

Philosophy is not "real", yet one can learn from it. Nor is if you really want to dive into it concepts like language or math, yet we can still learn from them.

But you cannot touch philosophy, nor taste language or "see" math. You can only see or hear abstract interpretations and symbols used to represent these things. Likewise you cannot, in any way, influence or be directly influenced by anything in the past nor future. Any stimuli that effects you is completely and utterly in the present, and thus "real".

History is useful like the concepts of philosophy, or language, or math, or any other abstract representation that our mind uses to interpret reality... but we also have to understand it is both not a "real" thing and our interpretation is inherently going to be flawed because it is not a perceived stimuli but rather an abstract imagining of stimuli that have already ended. These are concepts meant to made our lives easier, but they shouldn't hold more influence than life itself.

This is of course coming at it all from a human point of view; it may well be possible that entities can "sense" time like we can sense smell or sight... but even then, unless they can sense time that has already been or will be and not just time as it exists in the present, then they too would be stuck in a universe where both the past and future are not "real" and only the present is "real" (it would just be even more real than it is for us). Unless the universe also exists outside the concept of time then it is irrelevant for our daily lives if the past or present is "real", and even then it would only be relevant if something from that "outside of time" universe was to influence our reality.

All that is to say that it is at it's core just a matter of focusing on what can be changed or interacted with and accepting what cannot.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Shiranu on September 12, 2018, 01:31:10 AM
Disclaimer: I also do way too many hallucinogens while listening to philosophy videos, so listening to me on subjects like this is probably not the best idea.

I'm not going to judge anyone for viewing time differently than me (that would be... really stupid), that is just simply how I view the concept of time.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 12, 2018, 01:33:05 AM
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I don't see any contradiction, as there are plenty of non-real things we can learn from.

Philosophy is not "real", yet one can learn from it. Nor is if you really want to dive into it concepts like language or math, yet we can still learn from them.

But you cannot touch philosophy, nor taste language or "see" math. You can only see or hear abstract interpretations and symbols used to represent these things. Likewise you cannot, in any way, influence or be directly influenced by anything in the past nor future. Any stimuli that effects you is completely and utterly in the present, and thus "real".

History is useful like the concepts of philosophy, or language, or math, or any other abstract representation that our mind uses to interpret reality... but we also have to understand it is both not a "real" thing and our interpretation is inherently going to be flawed because it is not a perceived stimuli but rather an abstract imagining of stimuli that have already ended. These are concepts meant to made our lives easier, but they shouldn't hold more influence than life itself.

This is of course coming at it all from a human point of view; it may well be possible that entities can "sense" time like we can sense smell or sight... but even then, unless they can sense time that has already been or will be and not just time as it exists in the present, then they too would be stuck in a universe where both the past and future are not "real" and only the present is "real" (it would just be even more real than it is for us). Unless the universe also exists outside the concept of time then it is irrelevant for our daily lives if the past or present is "real", and even then it would only be relevant if something from that "outside of time" universe was to influence our reality.

All that is to say that it is at it's core just a matter of focusing on what can be changed or interacted with and accepting what cannot.

That was very nice and all, but aside from the point.  I was merely pointing out that in one sentence you denied the past existed and then in another, referred to the past as real.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 12, 2018, 01:37:55 AM
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Disclaimer: I also do way too many hallucinogens while listening to philosophy videos, so listening to me on subjects like this is probably not the best idea.

I'm not going to judge anyone for viewing time differently than me (that would be... really stupid), that is just simply how I view the concept of time.

I'll never criticize anyone for using mind-altering drugs in general.  In college, they certainly changed my sense of time temporarily.  I once leaned towards a wall after "indulging" and for about 20 minutes, floated down toward a verdant valley below in slow-motion. My friends told me the next day that the wall was too far away and I basically just fell.

Time was relative to them and me...  And I really liked my version better at the time.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Shiranu on September 12, 2018, 01:41:25 AM
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That was very nice and all, but aside from the point.  I was merely pointing out that in one sentence you denied the past existed and then in another, referred to the past as real.

I never denied it existed or that it wasn't real when it happened, only that it no longer exists nor is real any longer... the past is just an abstract interpretation of what once was which can never be as "real" as what is.

That felt like some "Alice In Wonderland" trying to write that...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 12, 2018, 03:37:47 AM
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I never denied it existed or that it wasn't real when it happened, only that it no longer exists nor is real any longer... the past is just an abstract interpretation of what once was which can never be as "real" as what is.

That felt like some "Alice In Wonderland" trying to write that...

If something was real (as the present in the past), why would you think it is not still true in the present?  Did the past change?  I think the confusion some people have about the past is that, while they can't know the past perfectly, it still happened and it is out understanding of the past that is in error. 

To give an example, there are records about the Battle of Waterloo.  We have a general understanding of the specific engagements and what the Generals were thinking from records of the time and evidence we find later.  But it will never be a perfect understanding of the battle because there are details never recorded.

But that doesn't mean the battle never took place or that we don't know the general events.  The details we don't know DID happen even if we don't know all of them.  They occurred in the present of those who were there.

Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 12, 2018, 06:48:28 AM
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There's no functional difference between an undetermined future and a determined future you are completely ignorant about. As such, a 100% determined, but opaque, future is completely within our realm of lived experience, demolishing (1), and even if you did know the future, a deterministic future does not prevent you from doing what you want... you just have to realize that "doing what you want" is not a magic incantation that allows you to defy the laws of the universe, and this destroys (2) — your actions feel as free as they did when you were ignorant of the future.

BTW, there are many, many more experiments than the Hafele and Keating experiment (the one involving planes) that test SR and GR. Neither hinge on any one experiment.

Assuming logic ... and given the equations, certain results pertain.  But did Michelson/Morley disprove the luminiferous ether?  Well apparently not, because the Dirac Equation and QFT put it back, in a new form, and consistent with STR.  Virtual particles/photons.  In terms of decisive time dilation, only the results of muon etc decay rates convinces me.  But GRT is contrary to QFT.  They haven't ever been reconciled.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 12, 2018, 06:50:47 AM
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Okay, that's a much better explanation than the one on Wikipedia.  I still don't think I agree with it, but that makes more sense.

I'm more inclined to something along the lines of the growing block view, at least insofar as our past does in some sense still exist as information spreading outward from here at the speed of light -- any hypothetical Proxima Centauran listening to our radio and watching our TV is experiencing our past of 4.3 years ago as its present, after all.

Pending a better scientific explanation of time, at any rate.  I don't really like philosophical interpretations of what time is any better than I do of what quantum mechanics is.  I'm perfectly happy with "time is still pending a good explanation".

If it isn't your present, but is for Alpha Centauri .. you are taking a god-perspective of the universe, an absolute view, like Newton.  This is also the perspective of the omniscient narrator in story telling.  And every human life is a story, it isn't factual, it is made up of free will, and free interpretation, no more valid than Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck.  The problem for objectivism (not Ayn Rand) is that it is what everyone agrees to, and which never changes (per Plato).  But free will and free interpretation aren't immutable.  This is why pre-determinists have to deny free will and free interpretation.  And coincidentally, how their particular omniscient narrator POV is the correct one ;-)
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 12, 2018, 06:53:13 AM
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May I point out that, by you suggesting the past is not real "viewing the past as "real", and then saying "We should certainly learn from the past", you are contradicting your argument?

Per trdsf ... there is an expanding light wave, where it is always 9/11, the towers are falling, somewhere in the universe, ever since it actually happened.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 12, 2018, 06:54:12 AM
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I never denied it existed or that it wasn't real when it happened, only that it no longer exists nor is real any longer... the past is just an abstract interpretation of what once was which can never be as "real" as what is.

That felt like some "Alice In Wonderland" trying to write that...

We constantly reinterpret that past, with new lessons each time ... per our current prejudice.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on September 12, 2018, 09:21:03 AM
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In my perspective...

Yes, they happened. That's it. Their consequences might still reverberate through the present, but they no longer exist, are no longer real entities.

By viewing the past as "real".........
I don't think Cavebear would have protested if you had said, "The past WAS real," which is how I interpreted what you were trying to say.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 12, 2018, 10:01:20 AM
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I don't think Cavebear would have protested if you had said, "The past WAS real," which is how I interpreted what you were trying to say.

Nailed it!

Thank you.

Let's say you know an event in your immediate present in detail.  I mean something right down to the color of the marble in a game.  In the future, that will be the past.  And Shiranu says that wasn't "real"?  Of course it is.  It may not be replicatable, but it was actually true in the past.

I admire you both.  But that is the present for me as I type this.  Will it be true in the future?  My past statement will be, because it was true then.  And so it will have been true in the future because it was true then.  But maybe not in the future if I change my opinion about either or both of you sometime ahead of when I type this.  Like tomorrow.

I love timespeak...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 12, 2018, 12:52:25 PM
What was, is no more.  Your memories are elderberry wine induced.  Artifacts have ambitious interpretation.  Why do people bother with history?  Confirmation bias of their current politics.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 07:36:05 AM
If indeterminism is true then there are many possible futures. So any particular possible future is not already written.

If determinism is true there is only one possible future... and that future is therefore written.

But whether determinism is true or false... the future is written. Because the future refers to whatever will happen. If there are many possible futures, and it isn't determined which will happen, then whichever future does happen is the future. That future must happen. So the future is always already written no matter what.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 07:42:01 AM
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If indeterminism is true then there are many possible futures. So any particular possible future is not already written.

If determinism is true there is only one possible future... and that future is therefore written.

But whether determinism is true or false... the future is written. Because the future refers to whatever will happen. If there are many possible futures, and it isn't determined which will happen, then whichever future does happen is the future. That future must happen. So the future is always already written no matter what.

I think you slipped a gear there.  The future is not pre-determined.  It can be be created by actions in the present at any time.   There are many possible futures.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 07:53:34 AM
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I think you slipped a gear there.  The future is not pre-determined.  It can be be created by actions in the present at any time.   There are many possible futures.

I didn't slip a gear.

Regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is true... the future=whatever will happen. The future is unavoidable and inevitable.

By "already written" all I mean is "it's going to happen". The future is going to happen. Regardless of whether it's determined or not. That's all I mean.

I'm not interested in predestinationism or the idea of a future literally being written in the stars as I think those viewpoints are just silly as they have absolutely no rational basis.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 08:04:27 AM
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I didn't slip a gear.

Regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is true... the future=whatever will happen. The future is unavoidable and inevitable.

By "already written" all I mean is "it's going to happen". The future is going to happen. Regardless of whether it's determined or not. That's all I mean.

I'm not interested in predestinationism or the idea of a future literally being written in the stars as I think those viewpoints are just silly as they have absolutely no rational basis.

See, that's where you are not quite catching on.  When you say "The future is unavoidable and inevitable" you give yourself away as believing in religious pre-determination.

Thank you...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 27, 2018, 10:36:49 AM
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The future is not pre-determined.  It can be be created by actions in the present at any time.   There are many possible futures.
Maybe.  Maybe not.  No one's been able to rewind the clock and choose differently, which is afaik the only way to prove that.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 12:02:46 PM
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Maybe.  Maybe not.  No one's been able to rewind the clock and choose differently, which is afaik the only way to prove that.

Alternative history is an interesting way to examine the effects of the past to the present.  What if Hitler hadn't been exposed to WWI gas because of his large mustache?  What if the Vikings had established successful colonies in NA? What if the H Neandertals had resisted H Sapiens in Europe?  Lots of possibilities.

Some things we can guess at.  Columbus sought support for his initial voyage from many competing kingdoms,  One was sure to support him eventually.  Edison created the light bulb, but others were working on it at the same time,  It was merely 
who first" not "if.  Does it matter which hominoid first thought of pounding a rock to get an edge?

In some instances we can rewind the history clock and get the same results.  But sometimes not.  What if the Christian mobs incited by "St Cyril" Alexandria had NOT burned the Great Library and flayed Hypatia alive.  We MIGHT not have had the Dark Ages to the extent they were and be 1,000 years head of our present. 
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 12:03:23 PM
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See, that's where you are not quite catching on.  When you say "The future is unavoidable and inevitable" you give yourself away as believing in religious pre-determination.

Thank you...

No I don't. Because the future is unavoidable and inevitable  regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is true. And it has nothing to do with religious pre-determination.

The future=what will happen. So to say that the future will happen is simply to say that what will happen will happen. It's a tautology. So of course that's unavoidable and inevitable. It wouldn't make any sense to say that what will happen won't happen whether what will happen is determined or not.

With determinism there is only one possible future but with indeterminism there are multiple possible futures. That's the key difference there.

With predestinationism/religious pre-determinism (as you called it)... that's just a variant of determinism in which the one and only possible future is already picked out by the creator of the universe.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 12:09:52 PM
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No I don't. Because the future is unavoidable and inevitable  regardless of whether determinism or indeterminism is true. And it has nothing to do with religious pre-determination.

The future=what will happen. So to say that the future will happen is simply to say that what will happen will happen. It's a tautology. So of course that's unavoidable and inevitable. It wouldn't make any sense to say that what will happen won't happen whether what will happen is determined or not.

With determinism there is only one possible future but with indeterminism there are multiple possible futures. That's the key difference there.

With predestinationism/religious pre-determinism (as you called it)... that's just a variant of determinism in which the one and only possible future is already picked out by the creator of the universe.

You say "the future is unavoidable and inevitable" because you believe in a higher power.  No real atheist would say that.  You might want to reconsider your views.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 12:17:37 PM
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You say "the future is unavoidable and inevitable" because you believe in a higher power.  No real atheist would say that.  You might want to reconsider your views.

No, I do not believe in a higher power. I'm an atheist. I could argue back by saying that you must be a theist because no "real atheist" would say that the future can be something that isn't in the future... because no "real atheist" is that illogical... but unlike yourself I don't wish to invent my own re-definition of the word "atheist". So I'm happy to simply accept that you're an atheist, like myself, but you're an atheist who is being less logical than I am.

Once again, to say that the future isn't inevitable or that it is avoidable... is to say that what will happen won't necessarily happen. That's like saying that a square can have five sides.

Okay... first question: Do you accept my definition that the future is what will happen?

Second question: Do you accept that even if you don't accept that definition, that is the definition I am using, and the definition many people use, and the definition that I have said that I am using?

Third question: Do you accept that once we start from the premise that the definition of the future is what will happen... then to say that it won't necessarily happen is to say that what will happen might not happen?

Fourth question: Do you accept that saying that what will happen might not happen is a contradiction in terms?

Fifth question: Do you accept that something can only be avoided or not be inevitable if such a thing won't necessarily happen no matter what?

Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 12:28:48 PM
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Maybe.  Maybe not.  No one's been able to rewind the clock and choose differently, which is afaik the only way to prove that.

The problem with that is even if we did go back and rewind it... we are still only able to live in one actual possible reality... and we can never skip into another one... so I think the whole thing is completely unfalsifiable. A time machine wouldn't do. We're stuck in our empirical reality, and one reality, the actual reality, we can never know if there are any other possible realities, or if this is the only one.



-----


There's three options.

Either there's one possible future.

There's more than one possible future.

Or there's no possible future.

I'm sure we can all agree that the third possibility is absurd as to think that time is about to stop is largely going against the evidence that so far time has never stopped.

So the only realistic possibilities is either that there's one possible future, or more than one possible future.

One possible future=determinism.

More than one possible future=indeterminism.

We indeed can't prove either.

But I'm happy to prefer determinism slightly just due to the principle of parsimony. One possible future is more parsimonious than many possible futures... and we never actually have evidence of more than one (the actual one). More than one possible future could easily exist, but I see no reason to believe that, and like I said, it's completely unfalsifable anyway.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 12:37:10 PM
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No, I do not believe in a higher power. I'm an atheist. I could argue back by saying that you must be a theist because no "real atheist" would say that the future can be something that isn't in the future... because no "real atheist" is that illogical... but unlike yourself I don't wish to invent my own re-definition of the word "atheist". So I'm happy to simply accept that you're an atheist, like myself, but you're an atheist who is being less logical than I am.

Once again, to say that the future isn't inevitable or that it is avoidable... is to say that what will happen won't necessarily happen. That's like saying that a square can have five sides.

Okay... first question: Do you accept my definition that the future is what will happen?

Second question: Do you accept that even if you don't accept that definition, that is the definition I am using, and the definition many people use, and the definition that I have said that I am using?

Third question: Do you accept that once we start from the premise that the definition of the future is what will happen... then to say that it won't necessarily happen is to say that what will happen might not happen?

Fourth question: Do you accept that saying that what will happen might not happen is a contradiction in terms?

Fifth question: Do you accept that something can only be avoided or not be inevitable if such a thing won't necessarily happen no matter what?

Quibbles.

1.  The future does not yet exist.

2.  I accept that what you said is the definition you are using.

3. 'Que sera, sera' is innaccurate.  There will be a "future".  But I can change it now by present actions.  A coin flip now how to respond to you. And I have both yet flipped the coin and not so far as you know.

4.  No.

5.  Your "or" makes no specific answer possible.



Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 01:10:13 PM
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1.  The future does not yet exist.

Yes. The future does not exist. The future will exist. That was not my question.

My question was: Do you accept my definition that the future is what will happen?

Quote
2.  I accept that what you said is the definition you are using.

Good. So the follow up on that is... how did you get from that definition to a conclusion that I believe in religious pre-determination or that I'm not a "real atheist"?

Quote
3. 'Que sera, sera' is innaccurate.  There will be a "future".  But I can change it now by present actions.  A coin flip now how to respond to you. And I have both yet flipped the coin and not so far as you know.

My question was: If we define the future as "what will happen" then do you accept that saying that the future might not happen is to say that what will happen might not happen?

And to follow up on your response, what do you mean that 'Que sera, sera' is inaccurate? You are aware that the meaning of 'Que, sera, sera' is "whatever will be will be", yes? And, if so, are you aware that saying that whatever will be won't be is a contradiction in terms?

My knowledge of your flipping or not flipping the coin is irrelevant. One thing I do know is that you either have or haven't.



Quote
4.  No.

Okay, so my question here was "do you accept that saying that whatever will happen might not happen is a contradiction in terms?"... your response was "no".

Okay, so to follow up on that... do you realize that this means you are saying that something that will necessarily happen won't necessarily happen? And will you accept that that is a contradiction in terms?

Quote
5.  Your "or" makes no specific answer possible.

Okay, so my question was, "do you accept that it's only possible to avoid something if it isn't necessarily going to happen?"... your response is to say that no specific answer is possible. I have four follow up questions on that matter.

First question: Why do you think that that question can't be answered?

Second question: Doesn't it make a lot more sense to answer that question with "yes"?

Third question: Doesn't answering the question with "yes" make more sense because it's impossible to avoid something that is necessarily going to happen?

Fourth question: The alternative is that it's possible to avoid something that is necessarily going to happen, in which case I put it to you: How can you avoid something that is going to happen no matter what?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: the_antithesis on September 27, 2018, 01:13:19 PM
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deterministism vs. "free will."

I was thinking about this recently and I think the problem with this dichotomy is that it is uneven because of scale. I used to play roleplaying games and there was one game called Mekton II by Mike Pondsmith-- I haven't played the game in twenty years so this is all from memory. The game was based on Japanese giant robot cartoons, like Mobile Suit Gundam if that means anything to you. It had two scales of  damage for combat. Humans used Hits, which operated essentially like any other RPG where taking damage reduces the Hits number if hit points drops to zero, the character dies. Anyone familiar with roleplaying games is already aware of this. Then there were Kills were functioned the same as Hits but were at giant robot or "mech" scale. The rules helpfully give a conversion between these two systems where 10 Hits = 1 Kill, but-- and this is the important bit-- had a section explaining that it's not as simple as that. They give the example of a person with a two hit pistol shooting at a three kill tank enough times to destroy it, right? Wrong! That makes no sense. In truth, Hit-level weapons don't do anything to Kill-level mechs and Kill-level weapons instantly vaporize Hit-level humans. It is best to treat the two damage scales as separate.

So this concept of scale go me thinking on the determinism/free will problem and I think the scale here is we have free will within a deterministic world. I think when you look at the world at a cosmic level, you can see that the random movement of matter has led to everything happening the way they did, including your choice to have eggs instead of waffles for breakfast. But when you come down to human scale, you totally had free will when deciding to have eggs. The free will engine run on and is composed of determinism.

Of course, this isn't enough for some who may say that their choices don't really matter if they were predictable from before the Earth was formed. My response to that is, was it really predictable? To whom? The future being pre-determined is not the same as it being known. Any stock broker can tell you that. Pre-determined* is not the same a predictable. Predictable is known in the present and we can make plans accordingly. It is therefore a useful tool, like a flint and steel. If it isn't predictable, then pre-determined looks exactly the same as non-determined. The difference is the way it makes you feel, which counts for nothing when you get right down to it.


* for some reason, my spell checker says "pre-determined" is incorrect but when I click, a suggested correction is "pee-determined." I hope this spawns a meme on DeviantArt.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 01:14:29 PM
On the matter of "Determinism versus Free Will" my first question would be: How is "free will" being defined?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on September 27, 2018, 01:36:55 PM
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On the matter of "Determinism versus Free Will" my first question would be: How is "free will" being defined?
I have always suspected that the whole silly debate, revolves around that issue.  But it's never defined.  As best I can remember, a few proponents of determinism have said, "Free will is not about choosing between chocolate and vanilla," but I'll be damned if I can remember any explanation beyond that.  So I can make trivial choices, but not choices like to murder or not to murder?  I usually try to avoid the debate, because I simply don't understand exactly where free will begins or ends.  Is everything predetermined, except for the things that aren't?  I just get lost.  I think it's one of those things where you believe it or you don't, and don't worry about reasoning it out.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 01:45:02 PM
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I was thinking about this recently and I think the problem with this dichotomy is that it is uneven because of scale. I used to play roleplaying games and there was one game called Mekton II by Mike Pondsmith-- I haven't played the game in twenty years so this is all from memory. The game was based on Japanese giant robot cartoons, like Mobile Suit Gundam if that means anything to you. It had two scales of  damage for combat. Humans used Hits, which operated essentially like any other RPG where taking damage reduces the Hits number if hit points drops to zero, the character dies. Anyone familiar with roleplaying games is already aware of this. Then there were Kills were functioned the same as Hits but were at giant robot or "mech" scale. The rules helpfully give a conversion between these two systems where 10 Hits = 1 Kill, but-- and this is the important bit-- had a section explaining that it's not as simple as that. They give the example of a person with a two hit pistol shooting at a three kill tank enough times to destroy it, right? Wrong! That makes no sense. In truth, Hit-level weapons don't do anything to Kill-level mechs and Kill-level weapons instantly vaporize Hit-level humans. It is best to treat the two damage scales as separate.

 

So this concept of scale go me thinking on the determinism/free will problem and I think the scale here is we have free will within a deterministic world. I think when you look at the world at a cosmic level, you can see that the random movement of matter has led to everything happening the way they did, including your choice to have eggs instead of waffles for breakfast. But when you come down to human scale, you totally had free will when deciding to have eggs. The free will engine run on and is composed of determinism.

Of course, this isn't enough for some who may say that their choices don't really matter if they were predictable from before the Earth was formed. My response to that is, was it really predictable? To whom? The future being pre-determined is not the same as it being known. Any stock broker can tell you that. Pre-determined* is not the same a predictable. Predictable is known in the present and we can make plans accordingly. It is therefore a useful tool, like a flint and steel. If it isn't predictable, then pre-determined looks exactly the same as non-determined. The difference is the way it makes you feel, which counts for nothing when you get right down to it.


* for some reason, my spell checker says "pre-determined" is incorrect but when I click, a suggested correction is "pee-determined." I hope this spawns a meme on DeviantArt.

I recognize your references.   I'm not so sure about the "pre-determined" stuff though.  But seriously,  understanding the references did help.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 01:47:41 PM
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Yes. The future does not exist. The future will exist. That was not my question.

My question was: Do you accept my definition that the future is what will happen?

Good. So the follow up on that is... how did you get from that definition to a conclusion that I believe in religious pre-determination or that I'm not a "real atheist"?

My question was: If we define the future as "what will happen" then do you accept that saying that the future might not happen is to say that what will happen might not happen?

And to follow up on your response, what do you mean that 'Que sera, sera' is inaccurate? You are aware that the meaning of 'Que, sera, sera' is "whatever will be will be", yes? And, if so, are you aware that saying that whatever will be won't be is a contradiction in terms?

My knowledge of your flipping or not flipping the coin is irrelevant. One thing I do know is that you either have or haven't.



Okay, so my question here was "do you accept that saying that whatever will happen might not happen is a contradiction in terms?"... your response was "no".

Okay, so to follow up on that... do you realize that this means you are saying that something that will necessarily happen won't necessarily happen? And will you accept that that is a contradiction in terms?

Okay, so my question was, "do you accept that it's only possible to avoid something if it isn't necessarily going to happen?"... your response is to say that no specific answer is possible. I have four follow up questions on that matter.

First question: Why do you think that that question can't be answered?

Second question: Doesn't it make a lot more sense to answer that question with "yes"?

Third question: Doesn't answering the question with "yes" make more sense because it's impossible to avoid something that is necessarily going to happen?

Fourth question: The alternative is that it's possible to avoid something that is necessarily going to happen, in which case I put it to you: How can you avoid something that is going to happen no matter what?

Broken up quotes get too complicated for response,  Sorry.  I have better things to unravel.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 01:49:36 PM
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On the matter of "Determinism versus Free Will" my first question would be: How is "free will" being defined?

Choice,

Damn that was tricky, heh?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 02:05:54 PM
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I have always suspected that the whole silly debate, revolves around that issue.  But it's never defined.  As best I can remember, a few proponents of determinism have said, "Free will is not about choosing between chocolate and vanilla," but I'll be damned if I can remember any explanation beyond that.  So I can make trivial choices, but not choices like to murder or not to murder?  I usually try to avoid the debate, because I simply don't understand exactly where free will begins or ends.  Is everything predetermined, except for the things that aren't?  I just get lost.  I think it's one of those things where you believe it or you don't, and don't worry about reasoning it out.

I agree with you that the debate revolves around the issue of definition. It's not never defined but it rarely is and that tends to be what causes the most confusion.

One definition of free will is compatible with determinism and another isn't. So no wonder people are going to be confused over whether determinism is true or free will is true if some people don't even have a problem with free will existing regardless of the truth of determinism but others do. Some think that "Free will versus determinism" is fair match up and others doesn't.

And to make matters even more confusing, some people believe that determinism isn't compatible with free will but indeterminism isn't compatible with free will either.

So you've got the people who see it as simply a matter of free will versus determinism.

And then you've got two different groups of people who both think that determinism shouldn't be placed against free will but for opposite reasons. One group thinks that it shouldn't be free will versus determinism because they think that you can still have free will even if determinism is true.... and another group thinks that it shouldn't be free will versus determinism because they think that we still can't have free will even if determinism is false.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 02:10:58 PM
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Choice,

Damn that was tricky, heh?

It's not tricky... it's ambiguous.

Would you still consider yourself to have a choice even if your choice was the only possible option? Do you consider a choice between A and A a choice? Or is only a choice between A and B or a choice between A and not A a choice?

It seems like a silly question but you get some people distinguishing between a choice and a free choice. The idea being that even if our choices are illusory, we still make decisions or 'choices' even if they're not free.

And then you've got those who say we make decisions, but not free decisions, and a choice is a free decision, and there's no such thing as an "unfree choice".

Then you've got those who say that there's choices on the one hand and free choices on the other hand. We have choices no matter what... but the question is if they're free.

So what do you mean by "choice"? Do you mean "free choice"?

Then we've got the problem where even if you say that free will is free choice... that is still ambiguous because many people think choices are free even if they're determined and there's only one possible future. Many people would say that choices are still partly free even if they're not absolutely free... because even if all our choices are inevitable, there's still a big difference between being coerced and not being coerced when we make a choice. And so they define free will in a way that is compatible with the legal sense of free will. So basically, to them, free will is nothing more than the sense of free will used when someone asks you, when you're signing a contract, "Are you signing this contract of your own free will?".

So, no, not tricky, ambiguous.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 02:17:40 PM
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I agree with you that the debate revolves around the issue of definition. It's not never defined but it rarely is and that tends to be what causes the most confusion.

One definition of free will is compatible with determinism and another isn't. So no wonder people are going to be confused over whether determinism is true or free will is true if some people don't even have a problem with free will existing regardless of the truth of determinism but others do. Some think that "Free will versus determinism" is fair match up and others doesn't.

And to make matters even more confusing, some people believe that determinism isn't compatible with free will but indeterminism isn't compatible with free will either.

So you've got the people who see it as simply a matter of free will versus determinism.

And then you've got two different groups of people who both think that determinism shouldn't be placed against free will but for opposite reasons. One group thinks that it shouldn't be free will versus determinism because they think that you can still have free will even if determinism is true.... and another group thinks that it shouldn't be free will versus determinism because they think that we still can't have free will even if determinism is false.

I went though a lot of that in set theory/logic classes.  You trying to set up a 4 grid of 2 determisms on one one side and 2 free wills on the top  which having a subset.  So I KNOW what you are talking about, I just don't agree with your construct. 

I argued with the Professor then, and got an A in the class anyway.  I just rejected the whole premise.

NOW are you happy?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 02:24:56 PM
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I went though a lot of that in set theory/logic classes.  You trying to set up a 4 grid of 2 determisms on one one side and 2 free wills on the top  which having a subset.  So I KNOW what you are talking about, I just don't agree with your construct. 

I argued with the Professor then, and got an A in the class anyway.  I just rejected the whole premise.

NOW are you happy?

I was already happy. And your logical fallacy is irrelevant. Saying that you took a class on it and you know this stuff is not a counterargument to what I was saying.

What do you mean I'm "trying to set up a 4 grid of 2 determinisms on one side and 2 free wills on the top which having a sub set"?

Free will either is or isn't compatible with determinism.

Determinism is the view that there is only one possible future.

Indeterminism is the view that there's more than one possible future.

Free will is either (a)True with or without determinism (b)True without determinism, but not with determinism (c)False with or without determinism.

Technically, there is also (d)Free will is true with determinism but false without determinism.

But not many people follow that one.

So do you accept (a), (b), (c), or (d)?

Because those options are logically exhaustive. No other option can even be coherently described.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 27, 2018, 02:37:54 PM
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Some things we can guess at.
Absent actually traversing/viewing such alternative histories, they're all guesses.  Some plausible, some implausible, but all guesses.

Quote
Columbus sought support for his initial voyage from many competing kingdoms,  One was sure to support him eventually.  Edison created the light bulb, but others were working on it at the same time,  It was merely who first" not "if.
Precisely.  Generally speaking, inventions do not spring up out of nowhere, but are build on successive iterations that eventually become feasible/profitable.  We learn in school that so-and-so invented something, but that's almost always not the full story.

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In some instances we can rewind the history clock and get the same results.  But sometimes not.
Maybe.  But my guess is that certain events are more or less fixed - the process of industrialization, the formation of colonial empires, various revolts by colonies, the rise of nationalism and the start of WWI, etc.  What may or may not be fixed is the fate of individual people - Napoleon could've held on to power until his death, Hitler could have been successfully assassinated, etc.

The details are fuzzy but the broad strokes of history seem very clear.

But again, it's impossible to know for sure what could have happened differently because we know of no situation where things turned out differently than they did.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 02:44:20 PM
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I was already happy. And your logical fallacy is irrelevant. Saying that you took a class on it and you know this stuff is not a counterargument to what I was saying.

What do you mean I'm "trying to set up a 4 grid of 2 determinisms on one side and 2 free wills on the top which having a sub set"?

Free will either is or isn't compatible with determinism.

Determinism is the view that there is only one possible future.

Indeterminism is the view that there's more than one possible future.

Free will is either (a)True with or without determinism (b)True without determinism, but not with determinism (c)False with or without determinism.

Technically, there is also (d)Free will is true with determinism but false without determinism.

But not many people follow that one.

So do you accept (a), (b), (c), or (d)?

Because those options are logically exhaustive. No other option can even be coherently described.

But it does remove the fallacy you hold in your mind that no one understands what you are saying. 

a) is probably unprovable.  b) is unlikely, but possible.  c) seems likely.    d) seems contradictory.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 02:48:59 PM
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Absent actually traversing/viewing such alternative histories, they're all guesses.  Some plausible, some implausible, but all guesses.
Precisely.  Generally speaking, inventions do not spring up out of nowhere, but are build on successive iterations that eventually become feasible/profitable.  We learn in school that so-and-so invented something, but that's almost always not the full story.
Maybe.  But my guess is that certain events are more or less fixed - the process of industrialization, the formation of colonial empires, various revolts by colonies, the rise of nationalism and the start of WWI, etc.  What may or may not be fixed is the fate of individual people - Napoleon could've held on to power until his death, Hitler could have been successfully assassinated, etc.

The details are fuzzy but the broad strokes of history seem very clear.

But again, it's impossible to know for sure what could have happened differently because we know of no situation where things turned out differently than they did.

I like Athenian democracy for a rel change not easily done elsewhere., but there could be others rather unique in history.  'Guns, Germs, and Steel' by Jared Diamond makes some good arguments.   Like wheat...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on September 27, 2018, 02:49:23 PM
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My question was: Do you accept my definition that the future is what will happen?
I would agree that a future will happen, but not that any particular "the" future will happen.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on September 27, 2018, 02:55:44 PM
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I would agree that a future will happen, but not that any particular "the" future will happen.

Agreed.  "A" future is certain.  What that future is, is determined by the present as we experience it , and were affected by, the past.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 27, 2018, 03:01:07 PM
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So what do you mean by "choice"? Do you mean "free choice"?

Then we've got the problem where even if you say that free will is free choice... that is still ambiguous because many people think choices are free even if they're determined and there's only one possible future. Many people would say that choices are still partly free even if they're not absolutely free... because even if all our choices are inevitable, there's still a big difference between being coerced and not being coerced when we make a choice.
Tomorrow, I will have cereal for breakfast.  I didn't really choose that so much as I generally have cereal for breakfast since I'm habituated to it and it's readily available.

I know I will never have a breakfast that is either impossible (roast dodo) or highly exotic and unusual (alligator sausage with strawberry crepes and bubble tea) or foods that I utterly despise (grits with sweet tea).  In that way, any choices I make (if I can make choices at all) are constrained to 1) what's on hand 2) what's culturally normal 3) my personal preferences.  Also #1 constrains #2, #2 constrains #3, etc.

Is my future meal predetermined or did I choose it?  It's a very popular idea that I freely chose my meal, yet I didn't choose what's available, what's normal to eat for breakfast in my area, nor what I personally like, and those factors greatly affect the outcome.  Did I freely choose my breakfast?  I don't know, but I'm definitely leaning towards no.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 03:04:03 PM
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I would agree that a future will happen, but not that any particular "the" future will happen.

Well, to me the future refers to the future that will happen. A future refers to a possible future, that may or may not happen. I think that the the in "the future" makes all the difference.

Basically "the impossible future" isn't the future.

In fact, "the future that might not happen", isn't really the future.

There is either one possible future, or more than one possible future, but regardless, the future that happens, is the future. That makes the most sense to me.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 03:07:25 PM
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Is my future meal predetermined or did I choose it?

I think that this is a false dichotomy.

If your decision is one of many possible futures but that future is entirely randomized, then there's an example of your 'decision' being undetermined but also not a choice.

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It's a very popular idea that I freely chose my meal, yet I didn't choose what's available, what's normal to eat for breakfast in my area, nor what I personally like, and those factors greatly affect the outcome.  Did I freely choose my breakfast?  I don't know, but I'm definitely leaning towards no.

I'd be interested to seeing your response for the four different categories I posted above. Those being (a), (b), (c), and (d). And, as explained, those are the only logically possible options because they're logically exhaustive.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 27, 2018, 03:25:15 PM
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I think that this is a false dichotomy.

If your decision is one of many possible futures but that future is entirely randomized, then there's an example of your 'decision' being undetermined but also not a choice.
Good point.  I did not consider that.

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I'd be interested to seeing your response for the four different categories I posted above. Those being (a), (b), (c), and (d). And, as explained, those are the only logically possible options because they're logically exhaustive.
I tend to go with determinism without free will (atoms after all cannot choose anything).  Not a particularly popular opinion since it seems to undermine moral culpability and human agency (two culturally treasured ideas), yet I fittingly cannot choose any other position.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 03:46:32 PM
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I tend to go with determinism without free will (atoms after all cannot choose anything).

I'm not sure which option you've picked from this. It seems that you are saying that you think that there is no free will with determinism. But that could be either option (b) or option (c). Option (b) being the option that free will isn't possible with determinism, but it is possible without determinism, and option (c) being that free will isn't possible with determinism, but it wouldn't be possible with determinism either. I know that, as you have explained, that you don't believe free will is possible with determinism, and it also seems that you are a determinist and therefore don't believe in free will. But even if I know that you both believe in determinism and also believe that free will is incompatible with determinism... I still don't know whether you believe (b) or (c)... because I don't know whether you would believe in free will if you believed in indeterminism instead.

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Not a particularly popular opinion since it seems to undermine moral culpability and human agency (two culturally treasured ideas), yet I fittingly cannot choose any other position.

Well, if you believe free will isn't compatible with determinism then you can't choose options (a) or (d)... but you could be either (b) or (c).
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 27, 2018, 03:47:58 PM
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I still don't know whether you believe (b) or (c)... because I don't know whether you would believe in free will if you believed in indeterminism instead.
Nor do I.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 03:50:34 PM
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Nor do I.

That's interesting.

So if you imagine that there is more than one possible future... that could happen... you don't know whether it's true to say that you could choose one of those possible futures or not, even if we assume that premise that there is indeed more than one possible future?

If we assume that determinism is false... you have no idea if free will is true or false in that case?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 27, 2018, 03:51:36 PM
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If we assume that determinism is false... you have no idea if free will is true or false in that case?
Correct.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on September 27, 2018, 04:02:16 PM
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Well, to me the future refers to the future that will happen. A future refers to a possible future, that may or may not happen. I think that the the in "the future" makes all the difference.

Basically "the impossible future" isn't the future.

In fact, "the future that might not happen", isn't really the future.

There is either one possible future, or more than one possible future, but regardless, the future that happens, is the future. That makes the most sense to me.
An impossible future by definition cannot be the future because it's impossible.

My point is that there is no "the" future that we can say right now will happen, only that there will be (barring an unexpected total existence failure, to borrow from Douglas Adams) future events of some sort.  You can't rule out 'the future that might not happen' right now, because you cannot state which futures are and are not going to happen.  There is no "really the future" because we don't know what's really going to happen except in the very broadest and most general strokes, and the further forward in time you try to look, the less you can say with any sort of certainty.  From our perspective, whatever actually does come to pass can still only be a future because we have no way of differentiating it from any other potential future.

The only kind of "the" future under your terms that I'd be willing to accept is a statement that a split-second from now, very nearly everything is going to be very much as it is at this moment, except having moved a distance determined by its instantaneous speed as modified by its local gravitational field and any obstruction or resistance it may encounter.

I would accept a definition of "the future" as "the set of all possible events that are not physically impossible to occur after this moment in time", but anything more specific than that requires knowledge that we can not and do not have.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: GSOgymrat on September 27, 2018, 04:03:06 PM
I'm going with C) free will isn't possible with or without determinism. Neuroscience is providing evidence that the sense of a continuous self, the "I", is illusory. Individuals don't have the ability to choose other than they do, regardless of whether the future is fixed or not, because there is no singular "I" making the decision. Split-brain studies seem to indicate individuals can be making decisions her or she is not aware of and making choices before conscious awareness. I also find it more parsimonious that past, present, and future all exist and our perception of time is contingent on our brain's ability to process sensory information rather than there being multiple futures constantly generated from every action that happens everywhere.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 04:09:13 PM
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Correct.

I find this puzzling.

I almost want to hope that you wake up tomorrow believing in indeterminism just so you can tell me whether you still no longer believe in free will or if you suddenly think that we can self-determine our behavior in a universe that is entirely undetermined.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 04:31:58 PM
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An impossible future by definition cannot be the future because it's impossible.

That was exactly my point.

The only alternative to an impossible future is a possible future.

So if "the future" doesn't refer to "the impossible future" then it refers to "the possible future".

But then the phrase "the possible future" sounds rather odd. I think this is because it only makes sense to speak of a possible future. The possible future would be the actual future.

As far as I'm concerned, "the future" and "the actual future" are interchangeable statements.

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My point is that there is no "the" future that we can say right now will happen,

There is if when we say "the future" we are referring to the actual future as opposed to a merely possible or potential future.

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only that there will be (barring an unexpected total existence failure, to borrow from Douglas Adams) future events of some sort.

These future events are the future. That's what I'm saying.

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You can't rule out 'the future that might not happen' right now, because you cannot state which futures are and are not going to happen.

We can't know which possible future will happen.... and if there's only one possible future... and the future is determined... we still don't know what it is. But we do know that the future will happen, regardless of if it is determined or not. Because, as far as I'm concerned, we know that if anything will happen at all (like you said, barring an actual existence failure as per Douglas Adams) then something will happen. That something, whatever it is, is the future, the actual future. A possible future, is either one or many futures that could happen. However many possible futures there are, whether it's one, or many, that's what I call the future. That's the actual future.

The future is not necessarily determined but it is necessarily inevitable provided that there's any future at all. Any particular possible future is only necessarily inevitable (again, assuming that there's a future at all, barring an existence failure once again) if there's only one possible future. If we assume that determinism is true... then the future is identical with a future... because there is only one possible future under determinism, which must mean that it's identical with the future, under determinism, (again assuming that there's any future at all, we have to bar these existence failures but it's a very small assumption).

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There is no "really the future" because we don't know what's really going to happen

I think this is confusing epistemology with metaphysics. We don't have to know what the future will be in order to know that if there's any future at all there must be some actual future. And that actual future is what I mean when I say "the future".

We don't have to know what's going to happen in order to know that something is going to happen. We just have to know that something is going to happen. And, we can't absolutely know that something is going to happen because an existence failure is logically possible (well, actually I'd say that it isn't if we refer to the whole of reality... but I think it is logically possible for time to stop... which is a way of presence without future presence, I guess)... but if we start with the assumption that there will be a future... then we know that there is a the future... because the future is simply whichever possible future actualizes when it arrives.

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except in the very broadest and most general strokes, and the further forward in time you try to look, the less you can say with any sort of certainty.  From our perspective, whatever actually does come to pass can still only be a future because we have no way of differentiating it from any other potential future.

Well, the way I see it is, the future=the actual future. A future=a possible future.

I don't think it's the future that we can't know. I think that, if we assume that any future happens at all, then we know that the future is inevitable and will happen. What we don't know, is which possible future is the future. And even if there's only one possible future, we still don't know what it is until it comes along.

I'm not saying that we can predict the nature of the future. I'm saying that provided that we assume that the future will come at all, then we already know that the future will happen, whatever nature the future turns out to have, and whatever it's like. The future=whatever will happen.

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The only kind of "the" future under your terms that I'd be willing to accept is a statement that a split-second from now, very nearly everything is going to be very much as it is at this moment, except having moved a distance determined by its instantaneous speed as modified by its local gravitational field and any obstruction or resistance it may encounter.

It doesn't matter how long the future will or won't last. If we assume that there will be a future at all, then we know that it will happen provided that assumption. We just don't know it's nature. But again, that applies both in a deterministic and indeterministic universe.

The future is unpredictable whether there's one possible future or many futures. The future is unpredictable whether determinism is true or false.

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I would accept a definition of "the future" as "the set of all possible events that are not physically impossible to occur after this moment in time",

I accept the following definition of the future: "Whatever it is that will actually happen after this moment regardless of its nature."

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but anything more specific than that requires knowledge that we can not and do not have.

Not if "the future" simply refers to whatever will happen. If we assume that any future will happen at all, then the future is inevitable, if "the future" simply refers to the actualization of a particular possible future.

We, indeed, can't predict the nature of the future.

But that applies whether determinism is true or false, and whether there's one possible future or many. Prediction is a matter of epistemology, but I'm talking metaphysics. (Or to put it in non-philosophical terms: Predication of the future is a matter of how we can know the future, but whatever "the future" actually refers to is a matter of how we make sense of reality before we even begin to make predictions).
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on September 27, 2018, 04:52:03 PM
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Split-brain studies seem to indicate individuals can be making decisions her or she is not aware of and making choices before conscious awareness.
Can you separate the unconscious, the thing that makes all the decisions, from the conscious, the "I" that represents a non-thinking automaton that simply acts on orders from the unconscious director?  Is the unconscious incapable of free will?  Or is it capable of making choices?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 04:52:52 PM
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Is the unconscious incapable of free will? 

Which definition of free will is used is extremely relevant to this question.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 27, 2018, 05:06:34 PM
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I would agree that a future will happen, but not that any particular "the" future will happen.

I'd agree with this if we modified your statement slightly to this:

I would agree that the future will happen, but not that any particular possible future will happen.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: GSOgymrat on September 27, 2018, 05:15:46 PM
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Can you separate the unconscious, the thing that makes all the decisions, from the conscious, the "I" that represents a non-thinking automaton that simply acts on orders from the unconscious director?  Is the unconscious incapable of free will?  Or is it capable of making choices?

I don't think we know yet. Very little is known about the nature of consciousness. I read somewhere that humans have made great strides in making machines intelligent but zero in making them conscious. Studies have demonstrated people believe they have knowledge that they don't, for example there was a study where people were confident they knew how a zipper operated but when asked to explain in detail they couldn't. In my opinion, people believe they control their future far more than they do, they don't consider that one little clot of blood in the wrong place and you can never speak again. I think humans go through life believing useful fictions and suspect free will, that *I* make my choices and my future, is one of those fictions.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on September 27, 2018, 05:53:39 PM
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I don't think we know yet. Very little is known about the nature of consciousness. I read somewhere that humans have made great strides in making machines intelligent but zero in making them conscious. Studies have demonstrated people believe they have knowledge that they don't, for example there was a study where people were confident they knew how a zipper operated but when asked to explain in detail they couldn't. In my opinion, people believe they control their future far more than they do, they don't consider that one little clot of blood in the wrong place and you can never speak again. I think humans go through life believing useful fictions and suspect free will, that *I* make my choices and my future, is one of those fictions.

Yes, I agree. At least in how I interpret your words.

It's also always odd to me, that people say they can choose their future, because they make choices in the present.
I always feel like the present was once the future. And that the present is determined by what comes before; all the processes that lead up to exactly 'this' moment, which will in turn, along with all that came before, shape the 'next' moment into it's logical conclusion (continuation?). Of course, this doesn't tend to convince people who feel they have more than an illusion of free will, as I tend to call it. But I hope it makes clear that their reason for believing in a pick-your-own-future still doesn't prove they can alter the future.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on September 27, 2018, 06:43:45 PM
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I'd agree with this if we modified your statement slightly to this:

I would agree that the future will happen, but not that any particular possible future will happen.
So we're mostly talking about the same thing but with a difference of semantic opinion. 

I don't think you can call it 'the' future without being able to say what it actually is.  Yes, there is a set of events that will come to pass.  But we cannot say what it is, so from our perspective it must be 'a' future, even if it does all happen.  "The" is definite; "a/an" is indefinite, and the future is definitely indefinite.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SoldierofFortune on September 27, 2018, 06:54:51 PM
f~~~ing bulşit.

every sane person has free will. like me.
if i didnt want~i wouldnt write this entry, but i wanted with my freewill and i affected the future. its not prewritten.

Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on September 27, 2018, 07:08:17 PM
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I don't think we know yet. Very little is known about the nature of consciousness.
Absolutely.  How the conscious mind works is one of the big mysteries man has to solve.  I hear talk about advancements in neurosurgery and how they can detect brain activity associated with different emotions in various parts of the brain, and this is usually presented as "great strides" in our understanding.  These are steps, certainly.  We can even say big steps, but that's such a relative comparison that it strikes me like saying the evolution of cyanobacteria guarantees the inevitable evolution of man.  As far as our understanding of human consciousness, I doubt we are even in the comparative dark ages of knowing how this thing works.  And we know even less about the subconscious.

It seems to me we have a tiny bit of a huge puzzle to work with.  Having studies showing that we make choices before we know we've made them and concluding that this means we don't have free will is huge leap of logic, and I think it's probably a non sequitur at that.  Saying our future is predetermined because of this is certainly a non sequitur.  It may be true, but only in the way illogical methods sometimes accidentally arrive a accurate conclusions.

There's still much to know before we actually understand how electrochemical reactions make consciousness and unconsciousness.  I'd make a bet on the accuracy of quantum mechanics quicker than I would about our understanding of consciousness at any level.  And how it all results in a deterministic future I wouldn't place a bet at all.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 27, 2018, 07:36:30 PM
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I agree with you that the debate revolves around the issue of definition. It's not never defined but it rarely is and that tends to be what causes the most confusion.

One definition of free will is compatible with determinism and another isn't. So no wonder people are going to be confused over whether determinism is true or free will is true if some people don't even have a problem with free will existing regardless of the truth of determinism but others do. Some think that "Free will versus determinism" is fair match up and others doesn't.

And to make matters even more confusing, some people believe that determinism isn't compatible with free will but indeterminism isn't compatible with free will either.

So you've got the people who see it as simply a matter of free will versus determinism.

And then you've got two different groups of people who both think that determinism shouldn't be placed against free will but for opposite reasons. One group thinks that it shouldn't be free will versus determinism because they think that you can still have free will even if determinism is true.... and another group thinks that it shouldn't be free will versus determinism because they think that we still can't have free will even if determinism is false.

In many philosophical arguments, it is frogs arguing with canaries.  The frogs can't fly and the canaries can't swim.  They are in different "magisteria".  See Stephen Jay Gould.

Which is to say, one is arguing about contingent things, not tautology or contradiction.  And the only way out of that is empiricism.  But if the two parties are sufficiently different, then their "magisteria" are more or less non-overlapping.

PS ... my "magisteria" is relatively non-overlapping with other posters, because I am a heretic theist.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 27, 2018, 07:42:30 PM
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I'm going with C) free will isn't possible with or without determinism. Neuroscience is providing evidence that the sense of a continuous self, the "I", is illusory. Individuals don't have the ability to choose other than they do, regardless of whether the future is fixed or not, because there is no singular "I" making the decision. Split-brain studies seem to indicate individuals can be making decisions her or she is not aware of and making choices before conscious awareness. I also find it more parsimonious that past, present, and future all exist and our perception of time is contingent on our brain's ability to process sensory information rather than there being multiple futures constantly generated from every action that happens everywhere.

Buddhists knew that "I" is an illusion over 2000 years ago.  Are you Deepak?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 27, 2018, 07:44:53 PM
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Can you separate the unconscious, the thing that makes all the decisions, from the conscious, the "I" that represents a non-thinking automaton that simply acts on orders from the unconscious director?  Is the unconscious incapable of free will?  Or is it capable of making choices?

And is the unconscious is some way collective ala Carl Jung or Jordan Peterson?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 27, 2018, 07:48:38 PM
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I like Athenian democracy for a rel change not easily done elsewhere., but there could be others rather unique in history.  'Guns, Germs, and Steel' by Jared Diamond makes some good arguments.   Like wheat...

Athens wasn't the only democracy.  Just the most famous one ... and they all fell; to Sparta, to Persia, to Macedon, to Rome.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 27, 2018, 07:50:02 PM
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If indeterminism is true then there are many possible futures. So any particular possible future is not already written.

If determinism is true there is only one possible future... and that future is therefore written.

But whether determinism is true or false... the future is written. Because the future refers to whatever will happen. If there are many possible futures, and it isn't determined which will happen, then whichever future does happen is the future. That future must happen. So the future is always already written no matter what.

QM says that determinism is more or less false.  RT says that measurements are more or less relative.  Is that you Sir Isaac?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 27, 2018, 07:52:38 PM
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If indeterminism is true then there are many possible futures. So any particular possible future is not already written.

If determinism is true there is only one possible future... and that future is therefore written.

But whether determinism is true or false... the future is written. Because the future refers to whatever will happen. If there are many possible futures, and it isn't determined which will happen, then whichever future does happen is the future. That future must happen. So the future is always already written no matter what.

You may not realize this.  But Cavebear is right.  Your statement is theological, except you don't have the intellectual history to realize this.  The absolute is inherently monotheistic ... that is why it shows up so much in monotheist theology.  It is a consequence of a posited omniscient Being.

Congratulations to all posters in the string today ... best string in many months.  Actual cogitation in action.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on September 28, 2018, 04:53:41 AM
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Yes, I agree. At least in how I interpret your words.
It's also always odd to me, that people say they can choose their future, because they make choices in the present.
Making choices in the present (free will) doesn't determine your future.  There are unanticipated forces constantly working against your plans.  Some come from within like unconscious self defeating behaviors, while others come from outside and are completely beyond your control.  But what evidence is there to support the inability to act freely?  There might be such forces, especially in the case of an unseen guiding hand, but unseen guiding hands or predetermined outcomes have no evidence to support their existence.  You can't just determine predestination with a wave of your hand.  On the other hand you can't wave it away either.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on September 28, 2018, 05:36:09 AM
To be honest, I have considered the possibility that I have no free will, not that this necessarily means I can't make choices.  My father suffered from depression, something beyond his control it would seem and not necessarily a choice of his own, and because of this, I considered the possibility that I might lose control over my mind, and that I might suddenly do something horribly bad, something I didn't want to do, but that some force beyond my control whether it be the will of Satan, a chemical imbalance, or just some "hidden from conscious" psychotic need might take control of my body causing me to run amok with knife in hand indiscriminately murdering strangers and loved ones.

I put such worries aside, and I no longer consider such possibilities.  Satan, voices in my head (which I have not yet experienced), or the inability to control my body because of unseen forces fall in the category of insane beliefs, smacking of religious rationalizations.  Even minor self defeating choices of less extreme proportion exist in all of us, but these are also learning experiences.  Be a fool and ignore them, or change your behavior and your outlook on life and move on.

At any rate, I now reject all notions that I have no control.  I don't have full control, and I can accept that, but to say that I have none means I have no responsibility for anything, and I find the belief that my life might be that meaningless much too depressing to worry about.  My choices as a human are mine to make, and I owe no creator a debit of gratitude for giving me free will.  Nor do I excuse my mistakes  because the Devil made me do it.  That stuff goes in my hogwash bin, which is located in some recess of my brain where neurosurgeons have yet to look. However, I know where to find them, and I can retrieve them from time to time, examine them, and put them back in the hogwash bin when I'm done.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 28, 2018, 05:45:14 AM
Binary thinking is for young computer scientists.  Us more experienced folks have gotten beyond that.  It isn't this or that ... and those are mutually exclusive (though they can be) ... it is much more complicated.  On how we decide what we decide ... it is both contained and free, both conscious and unconscious.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 28, 2018, 11:17:46 AM
I went to sleep, forgot about this thread, and had cereal for breakfast.  *shrugs*
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 28, 2018, 04:22:52 PM
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So we're mostly talking about the same thing but with a difference of semantic opinion.

Yes. But semantics is important. Many logical mistakes can be made due to bad semantics.

Quote
I don't think you can call it 'the' future without being able to say what it actually is.

I disagree because the future merely refers to whatever will happen... there is a big difference to referring to the future and making claims about its nature. It's the same with anything else. It's one thing to refer to something and quite another thing to refer to what that something is. The whole existence/essence distinction. The difference between thatness and whatness.

Quote
Yes, there is a set of events that will come to pass.

That's the future.

Quote
But we cannot say what it is,

We don't have to.

Quote
so from our perspective it must be 'a' future, even if it does all happen.

Again, usually when we talk of 'a' future we are talking of a possible future. And to speak of "the possible future" sounds strange. This is because "the future" refers to "the actual future". Which refers to whatever will come to be.

Quote
"The" is definite; "a/an" is indefinite, and the future is definitely indefinite.

Well you've already contradicted yourself right there... if the future is definitely indefinite but 'the' refers to what's definite then 'the future' definitely refers to the definite future. You can't both say that 'the' always refers to the definite but also say that 'the future' refers to the indefinite.

Yes, we don't know what the future will be. The point is that when we talk of 'the future' we are speaking of whatever will come to pass.

And yes, from our perspective we don't know what the future will be. But that's a matter of epistemology, which is apart from metaphysics. What we know or don't know of the future is a separate question to what the future is. There are many things that may come to exist that can never be predicted and there are many things that we may think we can predict but that actually never come to exist. Our attempt at predictions and what is actually knowable are both separate questions to what 'the future' refers to.

I don't think you can get away from the fact that 'the' refers to what's actual (or as you say, what's definite), and therefore 'the future' refers to the actual future, whatever it will be. It's much clearer to talk of possible futures when we're talking of possible futures. We should only use the definite article when we're talking about the definite future.

Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 28, 2018, 04:23:59 PM
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f~~~ing bulşit.

every sane person has free will. like me.
if i didnt want~i wouldnt write this entry, but i wanted with my freewill and i affected the future. its not prewritten.

What do you mean when you say the future is not prewritten? I don't think anyone here is suggesting that the creator of the universe has already written what will happen.

There's no way you can possibly know that the future is not determined. That's completely different to religious predestinationism. Determinism can simply be a matter of a causal universe with only one physically possible future at any given time. I'm referring to philosophical determinism. Another name for it is "mechanism":

Quote from: The Meaning Of Mechanism In Philosophy
Mechanism is a philosophical perspective that holds that phenomena are solely determined by mechanical principles, therefore, they can be adequately explained by certain mechanical principles alone. Mechanism is often associated with such ontological views as atomism, materialism, and physicalism.

Source: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Mechanism_(philosophy)

Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 28, 2018, 04:27:45 PM
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In many philosophical arguments, it is frogs arguing with canaries.  The frogs can't fly and the canaries can't swim.  They are in different "magisteria".  See Stephen Jay Gould.

Which is to say, one is arguing about contingent things, not tautology or contradiction.  And the only way out of that is empiricism.  But if the two parties are sufficiently different, then their "magisteria" are more or less non-overlapping.

PS ... my "magisteria" is relatively non-overlapping with other posters, because I am a heretic theist.

Stephen Jay Gould's non-overlapping magesteria refers to the fact that science can't address supernatural claims because supernatural claims are unfalsifable. He's right about that. But he also seems to say that religion can answer questions that science can't. He's wrong about that.

In any case, that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of free will and the two types.

Yes, one is practical, you can call it 'emprical' if you like... but that's besides the point.

One indeed may be making tautological points, but if those points refer to the fact that the opposite case is an oxymoron or logical contradiction, then that rules out its possibility.

As I already explained... you're either in category (a), (b), (c), (d), because those options are logically exhaustive.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 28, 2018, 04:30:30 PM
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QM says that determinism is more or less false.  RT says that measurements are more or less relative.  Is that you Sir Isaac?

Quantum indeterminacy, also known as quantum unpredictability, refers to scientists' inability to predict or determine causality once it gets down to the quantum level. And even if it can be known that the phenomenological realm, what can be empirically tested by science, is indeed acausal... this says nothing of the noumenological realm, or objective reality outside of what science can test.

In short, philosophical indeterminism is completely different to quantum indeterminacy and philosophical determinism is therefore completely compatible with quantum indeterminacy.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 28, 2018, 04:32:03 PM
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You may not realize this.  But Cavebear is right.  Your statement is theological, except you don't have the intellectual history to realize this.  The absolute is inherently monotheistic ... that is why it shows up so much in monotheist theology.  It is a consequence of a posited omniscient Being.

My statement is not theological because, again, I am referring to philosophical determinism... not religious predestinationism.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 28, 2018, 04:34:58 PM
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Binary thinking is for young computer scientists.  Us more experienced folks have gotten beyond that.  It isn't this or that ... and those are mutually exclusive (though they can be) ... it is much more complicated.  On how we decide what we decide ... it is both contained and free, both conscious and unconscious.

You can call true dichotomies "binary thinking" all you like, but it won't make a true dichotomy a false dichotomy, nor will it make a false dichotomy a true one, A not A or a contradiction not a contradiction. And it's special pleading to accept logic in all areas besides something like, for example, free will.

But, again, first "free will" needs to be defined, because there's more than one kind. And, as explained, you either fall into group (a), (b), (c), or (d), as I have already elucidated. That is logically exhaustive. You can't just step out of logic by saying it's "binary thinking". I'm sure you'll accept logic when it suits you.

Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on September 28, 2018, 04:50:58 PM
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if i didnt want~i wouldnt write this entry, but i wanted with my freewill and i affected the future. its not prewritten.
Don't worry about the vase.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVF4kebiks4
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 28, 2018, 06:53:19 PM
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Stephen Jay Gould's non-overlapping magesteria refers to the fact that science can't address supernatural claims because supernatural claims are unfalsifable. He's right about that. But he also seems to say that religion can answer questions that science can't. He's wrong about that.

In any case, that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of free will and the two types.

Yes, one is practical, you can call it 'emprical' if you like... but that's besides the point.

One indeed may be making tautological points, but if those points refer to the fact that the opposite case is an oxymoron or logical contradiction, then that rules out its possibility.

As I already explained... you're either in category (a), (b), (c), (d), because those options are logically exhaustive.

And that is your opinion, not you knowledge.  Since you are rhetorical ... I can't assume you actually believe what you write.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 28, 2018, 06:54:05 PM
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My statement is not theological because, again, I am referring to philosophical determinism... not religious predestinationism.

Out of historical ignorance.  But then all the Enlightenment figures were ignorant of the work done before, they were all geniuses, in their own minds.  I remain skeptical, if not Pyrrhonian.  There have been many megalomanics and mere egomaniacs down the ages.  Pythagoras for example.  Do you avoid beans ... if you are of his mystery cult?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 28, 2018, 06:56:00 PM
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You can call true dichotomies "binary thinking" all you like, but it won't make a true dichotomy a false dichotomy, nor will it make a false dichotomy a true one, A not A or a contradiction not a contradiction. And it's special pleading to accept logic in all areas besides something like, for example, free will.

But, again, first "free will" needs to be defined, because there's more than one kind. And, as explained, you either fall into group (a), (b), (c), or (d), as I have already elucidated. That is logically exhaustive. You can't just step out of logic by saying it's "binary thinking". I'm sure you'll accept logic when it suits you.

There are few true opposites .. in fact one would have to prove that up front, rather than assuming it.  0/1 aka binary .. those two values are not opposites.  And in the messy world of philosophy (even philosophy of maths) ... it all does come down to semantics.  And what about Kripke Semantics then?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 28, 2018, 06:57:03 PM
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Quantum indeterminacy, also known as quantum unpredictability, refers to scientists' inability to predict or determine causality once it gets down to the quantum level. And even if it can be known that the phenomenological realm, what can be empirically tested by science, is indeed acausal... this says nothing of the noumenological realm, or objective reality outside of what science can test.

In short, philosophical indeterminism is completely different to quantum indeterminacy and philosophical determinism is therefore completely compatible with quantum indeterminacy.

Not if you are a reductionist.  Only if you allow only partially overlapping magisteria ... aka the measurement problem.  Your skepticism is black/white ... as are your assertions.  You will never understand fuzzy logic.  It actually used in engineering of Tokyo subways.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 29, 2018, 12:30:10 PM
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And that is your opinion, not you knowledge.  Since you are rhetorical ... I can't assume you actually believe what you write.

Again, the options I suggested are logically exhaustive. So it's more than just an opinion. Either (a), (b), (c), or (d) is true for reasons given.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 29, 2018, 12:33:35 PM
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Out of historical ignorance.  But then all the Enlightenment figures were ignorant of the work done before, they were all geniuses, in their own minds.  I remain skeptical, if not Pyrrhonian.  There have been many megalomanics and mere egomaniacs down the ages.  Pythagoras for example.  Do you avoid beans ... if you are of his mystery cult?

What I am saying has absolutely nothing to do with history. I am referring to the fact that the term "philosophical determinism" refers to something completely different to religious predestinationism.

To repeat, religious predestinationism refers to the idea that God has already written the future.

Philosophical determinism on the other hand simply refers to the notion that there's only one physically possible future. It is also known as "mechanism" in philosophy and if anything it's more subscribed to by atheists than theists... so to keep insisting I'm referring to something teleological is quite absurd.

And I don't understand your question when you ask if I avoid beans . . . you appear to only be interested in making strawmen out of my arguments.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 29, 2018, 12:39:31 PM
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There are few true opposites .. in fact one would have to prove that up front, rather than assuming it.  0/1 aka binary .. those two values are not opposites.  And in the messy world of philosophy (even philosophy of maths) ... it all does come down to semantics.  And what about Kripke Semantics then?

Again, merely asserting that there are "few true opposites" won't change the fact that some dichotomies are true and others are false.

For you to even argue the case that the logical absolutes do not apply you already have to presuppose them... which makes your counterarguments self-defeating as soon as they begin. Of course, you haven't even offered an argument, nor can you. X is X and X is not not X. Not X is the true opposite to X.

Again, the four options I presented are logically exhaustive. Either free will exists but only in an indeterministic universe, either free will exists in both a deterministic and indeterministic universe, either free will exists in neither a deterministic nor indeterministic universe or free will exists only in a deterministic universe. Again, those options are logically exhaustive.

Again, you can't argue against logic itself without presupposing logic which makes any argument against it self-defeating.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on September 29, 2018, 12:48:16 PM
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Not if you are a reductionist.  Only if you allow only partially overlapping magisteria ... aka the measurement problem.  Your skepticism is black/white ... as are your assertions.  You will never understand fuzzy logic.  It actually used in engineering of Tokyo subways.

You are saying a lot of things that are irrelevant. Whether someone is or isn't a reductionist doesn't change what quantum indeterminancy actually refers to nor does it change what philosophical indeterminism actually refers to.

Again, if you're going to just say that what I'm saying is "binary thinking" or that my assertions are "black and white"... that's not actually an argument. My assertions are indeed either right or wrong. But considering that I've referred to options that are logically exhaustive then, logically, I can't be wrong about them. And the stuff you are saying, on the other hand, is either wrong or irrelevant. In some cases you are criticizing logic itself, which, again, is self-defeating, and in other cases you are making statements about quantum indeterminancy, reductionism and non-overlapping  magisteria which have absolutely nothing to do with what I'm talking about... and you keep insisting that philosophical determinism is the same thing as religious predestinationism (when it simply isn't, those terms refer to different concepts), again, all without an actual argument.

And again, the irony is that philosophical determinism, also known as mechanism, is often seen more as atheistic than theistic, if anything. The whole clockwork universe thing... and it is indeed reductionist, materialist, mechanical. But to criticize my view as reductionist on the one hand and yet also say it's theological makes absolutely zero sense if you're not even going to provide an argument for how that supposedly makes sense.

But I'm hardly going to expect you to be logically consistent if you've already pooh-poohed logic itself whilst failing to recognize that to even do such a thing is self-defeating. You can't make a logical argument against logic itself and if you're not going to actually make a logic argument and you're just going to assert that I'm engaging in "binary" or "black and white" thinking, again, that's not actually an argument. I'm quite happy to engage in the kind of thinking that involves something either being X or not X or correct or incorrect... as that is indeed the most logical approach to take.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on September 29, 2018, 02:14:57 PM
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You are saying a lot of things that are irrelevant.

That's Baruch. Get used to that, or ignore him. Those seem to be your options. :p
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 29, 2018, 03:25:09 PM
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Again, the options I suggested are logically exhaustive. So it's more than just an opinion. Either (a), (b), (c), or (d) is true for reasons given.

You are unaware that the law of excluded middle isn't always true.  In any given circumstance, it can't be assumed, it needs to be demonstrated first as being reasonable under the circumstances.

For example in Mahayana Buddhist logic/polemic .. you have 4 state logic, not 2 state, and they did tis 1700 years before George Boole.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 29, 2018, 03:27:23 PM
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What I am saying has absolutely nothing to do with history. I am referring to the fact that the term "philosophical determinism" refers to something completely different to religious predestinationism.

To repeat, religious predestinationism refers to the idea that God has already written the future.

Philosophical determinism on the other hand simply refers to the notion that there's only one physically possible future. It is also known as "mechanism" in philosophy and if anything it's more subscribed to by atheists than theists... so to keep insisting I'm referring to something teleological is quite absurd.

And I don't understand your question when you ask if I avoid beans . . . you appear to only be interested in making strawmen out of my arguments.

Without having knowledge of the history of thought (synchrony) we can't fully grasp the real.  You have to also look at it sequentially (diachrony).
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on September 29, 2018, 03:28:55 PM
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That's Baruch. Get used to that, or ignore him. Those seem to be your options. :p

You ignore me at your peril ;-)  I am attempting to engage a new person who is coming with a university education.  And I am trying to engage him at that level.  Others here are artists and other such folk ... I have to engage them where they are at.

If you are interested in logic, try the 100 Days of Logic on Youtube channel ... Carneades.  Get back to us when you have finished it?  But there won't be many who are interested, I know, I have tried.  They proclaim their rationality, while being ignorant of actual logic.

In my case logic is irrelevant, but don't let that stop you.  You need to be you.  I don't see reality as being rational in general, and the humanistic aspect in particular.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 07:52:01 AM
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Again, merely asserting that there are "few true opposites" won't change the fact that some dichotomies are true and others are false.

For you to even argue the case that the logical absolutes do not apply you already have to presuppose them... which makes your counterarguments self-defeating as soon as they begin. Of course, you haven't even offered an argument, nor can you. X is X and X is not not X. Not X is the true opposite to X.

Again, the four options I presented are logically exhaustive. Either free will exists but only in an indeterministic universe, either free will exists in both a deterministic and indeterministic universe, either free will exists in neither a deterministic nor indeterministic universe or free will exists only in a deterministic universe. Again, those options are logically exhaustive.

Again, you can't argue against logic itself without presupposing logic which makes any argument against it self-defeating.

I accept that YOU are convinced that your constructed 4 arguments these are all that are.  To you.  Quite frankly, I don't give a damn about your arguments because they aren't in MY terms.

You might as well get used to the idea that most people don't view arguments in your personal terms and that some of them even find them meaningless. 

For example, I consider determinism and pre-determinism meaningless.    Don't even bother to try to convince me otherwise, I don't care.   When I was your age, I might have, but I'm beyond that now.

Try discussing actual facts.  That might actually help you get more real.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 01, 2018, 10:33:02 AM
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Well you've already contradicted yourself right there... if the future is definitely indefinite but 'the' refers to what's definite then 'the future' definitely refers to the definite future. You can't both say that 'the' always refers to the definite but also say that 'the future' refers to the indefinite.
This is exactly my whole point: regardless of the fact that there is a set of events that will come to pass, we don't know that set of events ahead of time in detail, so in fact only "a" future exists from our perspective.  There are also many sets of equally probable events, and quite possibly there are even sets of events that are more probable than what eventually comes to pass.

So I am explicitly not using 'the future' to refer to an indefinite future, because I'm trying not to use 'the future' at all.

If it helps any, I'm also the sort of pedant who's (still) trying to train himself to say 'horizonfall' and 'horizonrise' rather than 'sunrise' and 'sunset'.  :D
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 12:23:27 PM
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This is exactly my whole point: regardless of the fact that there is a set of events that will come to pass, we don't know that set of events ahead of time in detail, so in fact only "a" future exists from our perspective.  There are also many sets of equally probable events, and quite possibly there are even sets of events that are more probable than what eventually comes to pass.

So I am explicitly not using 'the future' to refer to an indefinite future, because I'm trying not to use 'the future' at all.

If it helps any, I'm also the sort of pedant who's (still) trying to train himself to say 'horizonfall' and 'horizonrise' rather than 'sunrise' and 'sunset'.  :D

I've tried to say 'horizonfall' and 'horizonrise' rather than 'sunrise' and 'sunset' myself at times, but it is like trying to push a rope.  Society fights it, language fights it, and (in spite of what I know to be true), logic fights it.  Sometimes you just have to communicate in accepted terms.  Not that I don't try in writing...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 12:30:26 PM
Also, I DO use future to be uncertain.  Mostly because we don't actually know what current events make any difference.  But also, thinking of the "butterfly effect" it is still too much a coin flip.  I wish that made more sense, but I can't accept that the future is fixed in any way.  Maybe it is depending on what we all do today, but it changes depending on what we do 2 minutes from now.

What REALLY annoys me is that I'm usually good at talking in "time", but not in this particular way.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 01:34:26 PM
Reminds me of that old song from the Doris Day show, Please Don't Eat the Daisies - Que Sera Sera:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcWbZUgymkw
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 01:37:52 PM
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Reminds me of that old song from the Doris Day show, Please Don't Eat the Daisies - Que Sera Sera:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcWbZUgymkw

Oh damn, that is one of my earworm songs!  Thanks a LOT!  LOL!  Well, maybe it will push the Doublemint Twins out for a day.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 01:40:27 PM
Well, sorry about that, but somebody had to do it! ;-)

And besides, as earworms go, that one's not too bad.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on October 01, 2018, 01:43:27 PM
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Reminds me of that old song from the Doris Day show, Please Don't Eat the Daisies - Que Sera Sera:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcWbZUgymkw
How old are you? 
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 01:44:48 PM
Too old to rock and roll, too young to die.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwn0R1PFUwU
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 01:47:23 PM
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Well, sorry about that, but somebody had to do it! ;-)

And besides, as earworms go, that one's not too bad.

You know what would be truly evil?  Let's list all our earworm songs...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 01:48:27 PM
I think not, that would be just too mean! LOL
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 01:49:13 PM
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Too old to rock and roll, too young to die.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwn0R1PFUwU

As I always say "Better to fade out, than to burn away"...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 01:52:14 PM
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I think not, that would be just too mean! LOL

Well most people say atheists are "evil".  So I'm starting a list in Word now.  Heh-hh-heh...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 01:56:54 PM
I expect that would be a very long list!
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on October 01, 2018, 01:58:15 PM
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Too old to rock and roll, too young to die.
Jethro Tull; I get that, but Doris Day? 
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 02:04:39 PM
Just an old TV show that I remember, and the song was in my head while reading this thread - so of course I had to share the misery....
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 02:10:14 PM
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Just an old TV show that I remember, and the song was in my head while reading this thread - so of course I had to share the misery....

Everything from old songs to ad jingles to cartoon themes count.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 02:19:45 PM
Wasn't there a movie in which ad jingles were the only form of music? Maybe Demolition Man?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 01, 2018, 02:59:51 PM
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Wasn't there a movie in which ad jingles were the only form of music? Maybe Demolition Man?

I don't know.  There are many modern movies I have never seen.  But it would be interesting to hear from people who do know.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 01, 2018, 03:12:23 PM
Yeah inquiring minds want to know...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 01, 2018, 07:35:52 PM
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Well most people say atheists are "evil".  So I'm starting a list in Word now.  Heh-hh-heh...

I am not most theists.  Humans are evil, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Noun - "profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force."
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 03, 2018, 01:22:56 PM
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Everything from old songs to ad jingles to cartoon themes count.
Oy, I have about 20 queued up inside my head as soon as this new thread is begun... and I will provide YouTube links when available.

Because I am that kind of evil.  :D
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 03, 2018, 01:33:54 PM
Whenever I get an earworm that's annoying, I just change the channel to another one. Some earworms are better than others, so I just go to a better one, like "Sign sign, everwhere a sign":


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLm3HMG8IhM
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hydra009 on October 03, 2018, 02:40:27 PM
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This is exactly my whole point: regardless of the fact that there is a set of events that will come to pass, we don't know that set of events ahead of time in detail, so in fact only "a" future exists from our perspective.  There are also many sets of equally probable events, and quite possibly there are even sets of events that are more probable than what eventually comes to pass.

So I am explicitly not using 'the future' to refer to an indefinite future, because I'm trying not to use 'the future' at all.
I think the point that luckswallowsall is trying to get at is that our conception of the future as multiple, possible futures is incorrect.

Put it this way, it's the night before Christmas and you pick up a wrapped gift.  You don't know what's in it - you can guess and some guesses are more probable than others - but you ultimately don't know what you're holding.  Would it be correct to say that the wrapped Christmas gift is any of a number of potential gifts?  Maybe on a logical level, it might.  But in reality, there are no potential Christmas gifts - there's a single, actual gift in there and it's there with 100% certainty.  The future is like that - there's a definite future, we just don't know what.

Time often analogized to a river - timestream, the flow of time, etc.  The future is like whatever's upstream from us.  We don't know what it is, but we'll know when it comes to us.  It's already there, it's just not in sight yet.

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If it helps any, I'm also the sort of pedant who's (still) trying to train himself to say 'horizonfall' and 'horizonrise' rather than 'sunrise' and 'sunset'.  :D
I sometimes add the clarifying term subjective to that term.  Subjective sunrise.  Subjective sunset.  It really turns heads, but imo it's accurate.  The sun is only appears to rise from our vantage point - from our subjective experience.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 03, 2018, 03:39:33 PM
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I think the point that luckswallowsall is trying to get at is that our conception of the future as multiple, possible futures is incorrect.

Put it this way, it's the night before Christmas and you pick up a wrapped gift.  You don't know what's in it - you can guess and some guesses are more probable than others - but you ultimately don't know what you're holding.  Would it be correct to say that the wrapped Christmas gift is any of a number of potential gifts?  Maybe on a logical level, it might.  But in reality, there are no potential Christmas gifts - there's a single, actual gift in there and it's there with 100% certainty.  The future is like that - there's a definite future, we just don't know what.

Time often analogized to a river - timestream, the flow of time, etc.  The future is like whatever's upstream from us.  We don't know what it is, but we'll know when it comes to us.  It's already there, it's just not in sight yet.
I would disagree that there is a definite future; there are only probabilities until the events actually happen.  There is a broad-stroke way of discussing the future, and there are many futures that are more probable than others, but looking even a few seconds into the future is fraught with uncertainty.  For example, while I know that I'm going to type this sentence, I don't know ahead of time how many typos I'm going to make along the way to this period here.

Only now that the typing of that sentence is in the past can I say that I corrected two typographical errors along the way — and it is in no way distinguishable from having had to correct one, or three, or seven... or none at all.

Yes, I do incline towards the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, and think that identical worlds probably can be considered to have merged, although of course I Am Not A Quantum Physicist.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 04:59:44 AM
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I think the point that luckswallowsall is trying to get at is that our conception of the future as multiple, possible futures is incorrect.

Put it this way, it's the night before Christmas and you pick up a wrapped gift.  You don't know what's in it - you can guess and some guesses are more probable than others - but you ultimately don't know what you're holding.  Would it be correct to say that the wrapped Christmas gift is any of a number of potential gifts?  Maybe on a logical level, it might.  But in reality, there are no potential Christmas gifts - there's a single, actual gift in there and it's there with 100% certainty.  The future is like that - there's a definite future, we just don't know what.

Time often analogized to a river - timestream, the flow of time, etc.  The future is like whatever's upstream from us.  We don't know what it is, but we'll know when it comes to us.  It's already there, it's just not in sight yet.
I sometimes add the clarifying term subjective to that term.  Subjective sunrise.  Subjective sunset.  It really turns heads, but imo it's accurate.  The sun is only appears to rise from our vantage point - from our subjective experience.

I seriously doubt that the future is predetermined as actions in a flow of time.  Random events happen.  I can choose to shoot one deer or another, I can decide not to shoot, or I can shoot 2 (and get in trouble).  I am mentally "flipping a coin".  If you think that is predetermined, then you basically can't blame anyone for doing anything.

And choice gets more likely when 2 objects are involved.

Let's say I am sitting here typing a brilliant response that might change your mind on some subject. But my cat jumps on my lap and distracts me to the point where I forget my brilliant argument. 

Unless you ascribe the action of my cat to a requirement from a deity, how is my action possibly predetermined?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 05:07:15 AM
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I would disagree that there is a definite future; there are only probabilities until the events actually happen.  There is a broad-stroke way of discussing the future, and there are many futures that are more probable than others, but looking even a few seconds into the future is fraught with uncertainty.  For example, while I know that I'm going to type this sentence, I don't know ahead of time how many typos I'm going to make along the way to this period here.

Only now that the typing of that sentence is in the past can I say that I corrected two typographical errors along the way — and it is in no way distinguishable from having had to correct one, or three, or seven... or none at all.

Yes, I do incline towards the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, and think that identical worlds probably can be considered to have merged, although of course I Am Not A Quantum Physicist.

There will be a future, but the details of it are not predetermined.  Much as I generally dislike the suggestions of quantum theory, the flutter of a butterfly's wing is not deterministic of rain on my garden.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 05:20:32 AM
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I seriously doubt that the future is predetermined as actions in a flow of time.  Random events happen.  I can choose to shoot one deer or another, I can decide not to shoot, or I can shoot 2 (and get in trouble).  I am mentally "flipping a coin".  If you think that is predetermined, then you basically can't blame anyone for doing anything.

And choice gets more likely when 2 objects are involved.

Let's say I am sitting here typing a brilliant response that might change your mind on some subject. But my cat jumps on my lap and distracts me to the point where I forget my brilliant argument. 

Unless you ascribe the action of my cat to a requirement from a deity, how is my action possibly predetermined?

Because the reason why your cat jumped on your lap is also determined by everything that came before. Your cat has been getting cold and bored over the past few hours. The moment it 'chooses' to jump on your lap, is determined by exactly which moment (s)he awoke, all that she saw that day, how hungry and thirsty she's been getting since then. Predetermined by all the cuddles she's received before. Predetermined by the entire life she's lead.
I know this won't convince you, but you stating you feel like you have a real choice or that  'random' things happen, doesn't obstruct predeterminism. Because as a predeterminist I believe that there are no random things, only things that 'seem' random because we lack sufficient data.
Concider it like throwing a dice. It can turn out any of the six options. And your nor I can predict how it will land. But if we did know the force with which it was thrown, the temperature, the humidity, the consistency and hardness of the surface it landed on, the angle, the air-pressure, ... And all the miniscule data that might seem irrelevant. If we could collect all that data, could we not calculate and explain how whatever side of the die came on top, exactly came on top?
Same thing with a billion more variables we couldn't even think of, would similarly 'explain' why you our your cat 'act' the way they do. And that past and present is set; thus fixating the future.
To me, the idea that you can have an actual choice, rather than the illusion of a choice, means you are somehow a soul of sorts; seperate from your brain and this world. If not, you are your brain. And if you are your brain, anything you think and anything you choose belongs to the material world. And the material, natural world is hypothetically explainable to the smallest detail. Practically impossible. But subject to pyshics none the less.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 05:34:26 AM
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Because the reason why your cat jumped on your lap is also determined by everything that came before. Your cat has been getting cold and bored over the past few hours. The moment it 'chooses' to jump on your lap, is determined by exactly which moment (s)he awoke, all that she saw that day, how hungry and thirsty she's been getting since then. Predetermined by all the cuddles she's received before. Predetermined by the entire life she's lead.
I know this won't convince you, but you stating you feel like you have a real choice or that  'random' things happen, doesn't obstruct predeterminism. Because as a predeterminist I believe that there are no random things, only things that 'seem' random because we lack sufficient data.
Concider it like throwing a dice. It can turn out any of the six options. And your nor I can predict how it will land. But if we did know the force with which it was thrown, the temperature, the humidity, the consistency and hardness of the surface it landed on, the angle, the air-pressure, ... And all the miniscule data that might seem irrelevant. If we could collect all that data, could we not calculate and explain how whatever side of the die came on top, exactly came on top?
Same thing with a billion more variables we couldn't even think of, would similarly 'explain' why you our your cat 'act' the way they do. And that past and present is set; thus fixating the future.
To me, the idea that you can have an actual choice, rather than the illusion of a choice, means you are somehow a soul of sorts; seperate from your brain and this world. If not, you are your brain. And if you are your brain, anything you think and anything you choose belongs to the material world. And the material, natural world is hypothetically explainable to the smallest detail. Practically impossible. But subject to pyshics none the less.

Amazing.  It seems to me that only a deity could force that level of determinism.  OK, lets say the cat was in a box.  It doesn't know anything about the universe outside at the moment.  The top of the box is removed so quickly that the cat can't detect it (cats have sensory limitations).  It jumps "somewhere".  Why to where?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 06:09:35 AM
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Amazing.  It seems to me that only a deity could force that level of determinism.  OK, lets say the cat was in a box.  It doesn't know anything about the universe outside at the moment.  The top of the box is removed so quickly that the cat can't detect it (cats have sensory limitations).  It jumps "somewhere".  Why to where?

You are missing the point. The 'determinism' isn't forced. It just is. Not forced. Its how reality works; with or without a deity.  At least if you subscribe to this paradigm.

And the factors as to why to where would be infinitely huge. The smells in the air. The temperatur The air pressure. The humidity. The light. The exact time of day. The exact amount of time it had spent inside of the box. Every single chemical reaction it has experienced in it's body since conception. It's DNA. The amount and position of the holes in the box. Every temperature it has ever experienced. Every sound it has ever experienced. Every touch it has ever experienced. Every previous though it has ever experienced.
All of it's experience have left the smallest of imprint's on it, even inside that box, which allong with it's entire make-up and the conditions outside of itself at the moment of 'choice', play into this.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 06:29:10 AM
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You are missing the point. The 'determinism' isn't forced. It just is. Not forced. Its how reality works; with or without a deity.  At least if you subscribe to this paradigm.

And the factors as to why to where would be infinitely huge. The smells in the air. The temperatur The air pressure. The humidity. The light. The exact time of day. The exact amount of time it had spent inside of the box. Every single chemical reaction it has experienced in it's body since conception. It's DNA. The amount and position of the holes in the box. Every temperature it has ever experienced. Every sound it has ever experienced. Every touch it has ever experienced. Every previous though it has ever experienced.
All of it's experience have left the smallest of imprint's on it, even inside that box, which allong with it's entire make-up and the conditions outside of itself at the moment of 'choice', play into this.

I understand the point you are making, Mr Obvious, but it still has a lot of "Goddidit" in there.  I think there is true randomness in the universe.  One might suggest that there couldn't be non-uniformity in the universe without some element of randomness.  And if it exists there, where does it stop?

And to suggest a point we can both relate to, how can 1. P-K4 lead to multiple endings?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 06:37:48 AM
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I understand the point you are making, Mr Obvious, but it still has a lot of "Goddidit" in there.  I think there is true randomness in the universe.  One might suggest that there couldn't be non-uniformity in the universe without some element of randomness.  And if it exists there, where does it stop?

And to suggest a point we can both relate to, how can 1. P-K4 lead to multiple endings?

It doesn't have any goddidit in there at all, though, I feel. If anything, from my point of view, your view on the world is more likely to have a 'goddidit' in there. Because somehow, it seems to me, you seem to believe that there are 'random' events that are somehow not subject to the laws of physics and that there are thoughts that you have that are not 'bound' to your brain. It seems like saying that the natural world isn't enough to  explain all that is. I don't know how else you would classify these things but supernatural, if they are not subject to the natural world and the mechanics by which it operates.
And of course 1. P-K4 is going to lead to different endings, because there are never two players at the same point in time playing the same game under the same conditions, with the same experiences.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 04, 2018, 07:04:16 AM
Determinists choose that position for a reason.  Don't know if it is random or predetermined ;-)
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 07:12:39 AM
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It doesn't have any goddidit in there at all, though, I feel. If anything, from my point of view, your view on the world is more likely to have a 'goddidit' in there. Because somehow, it seems to me, you seem to believe that there are 'random' events that are somehow not subject to the laws of physics and that there are thoughts that you have that are not 'bound' to your brain. It seems like saying that the natural world isn't enough to  explain all that is. I don't know how else you would classify these things but supernatural, if they are not subject to the natural world and the mechanics by which it operates.
And of course 1. P-K4 is going to lead to different endings, because there are never two players at the same point in time playing the same game under the same conditions, with the same experiences.

There are laws of physics and they permit random events.  And none involve deities.

Let's create in our minds 2 identically programmed computers to play chess with each other.  Would every game end in a draw?  In the same way?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 04, 2018, 07:18:10 AM
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There are laws of physics and they permit random events.  And none involve deities.

Let's create in our minds 2 identically programmed computers to play chess with each other.  Would every game end in a draw?  In the same way?

The Galileo demi-god, the Newton demi-god etc.

The determinist position depends on knowing everything about the prior condition, Heisenberg prevents this.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 07:23:18 AM
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The Galileo demi-god, the Newton demi-god etc.

The determinist position depends on knowing everything about the prior condition, Heisenberg prevents this.

Heisenberg "prevents" nothing.  And I would rescue the cat.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 08:40:41 AM
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You are unaware that the law of excluded middle isn't always true.  In any given circumstance, it can't be assumed, it needs to be demonstrated first as being reasonable under the circumstances.

Something is either true or not true because something either corresponds with reality or it doesn't.

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For example in Mahayana Buddhist logic/polemic .. you have 4 state logic, not 2 state, and they did tis 1700 years before George Boole.

There are problems with both Aristolian and Boolian logic.

For example in Boolian logic if all reptiles are animals and all lizards are reptiles then it doesn't follow that some lizards are animals. But of course if all of X is Y then certainly at least some of X must be Y because all entails some. Boolian logic is absurd and nonsensical in its making sense of the terms in arguments because you can't have all of X and not also have some of X. Again, all implies some.

Aristotlian logic makes a little more sense because Aristotilian logic at least says that if X exists then the conclusion is valid.

But even for Aristotle if all reptiles are animals and all lizards are reptiles then it doesn't even follow that some lizards are reptiles. But again if it's already accepted that all lizards are reptiles then certainly it must be accepted that some lizards are reptiles... because, once again, all entails some. If literally the whole totality of something exists then certainly some of it must of... because all of it is certainly some of it. Both Boole and Aristotle have incorrect interpretations of universals.

But the point here is that something either is or isn't the case. Either X or not X. The idea that something can be both true and untrue is absurd. Some have said that this leads to paradoxes like the Liar's Paradox, but the Liar's Paradox only seemingly comes about due to a mistake that has already been solved in at least two ways. To say that a sentence is true is identical to saying that it is... so to speak of a sentence being not true isn't to actually say anything if we haven't added any content yet. So one way of looking at it is the only reason it's not true nor false to say that the sentence is not true is because there is no sentence to speak of that is actually complete.

Another way of looking at it is that to say that "This sentence is true" is equivalent to saying "This whole sentence is true and" so "This sentence is not true" would mean "This whole sentence is true and not true" which is just a contradiction.

And the point is that already explained you are either in group (a), (b), (c) or (d). Those options are indeed logically exhaustive but even if you try to wriggle out of it with alternative definitions of logic and truth... you still haven't given any good reason for how it can even make sense to say that it isn't the case that free will is compatible or incompatible in any deterministic or indeterministic universe. What on earth are you even supposed to be saying if you think that free will is neither compatible nor incompatible with a deterministic or indeterministic universe?

It's very simple... either you think that free will can exist in both a deterministic universe and indeterministic universe, or you think that it can exist in one but not the other, or you don't think that it can exist in either. Trying to wriggle out of all of these options is just completely absurd.

 

Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 08:43:48 AM
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Without having knowledge of the history of thought (synchrony) we can't fully grasp the real.  You have to also look at it sequentially (diachrony).

Again, having knowledge of something and having a definition of it is a separate question. Whether we can have knowledge of whether we live in a deterministic or indeterministic universe is a completely separate question to what philosophical determinism actually is. And again, philosophical determinism has absolutely nothing to do with religious predestinationism. Philosophical determinism is simply to say that there is only one possible future but religious predestinationism also says that a being that created the universe exists and already foresaw what that future will be. I said nothing of the sort.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 08:51:43 AM
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In my case logic is irrelevant

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I don't see reality as being rational in general

I think I see the problem here  then. . .

I'll just leave this here:

(https://alwaysquestionauthority.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/10003135_645036728899876_5931548665025518145_n.jpg)

And yeah, I get it, you didn't see that you saw no value in logic at all... but if you are willing to say that in your case "logic is irrelevant" and that you don't see reality as being rational then you certainly don't value logic as much as you ought to and no wonder I can't get even basic logic through to you.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:02:15 AM
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I accept that YOU are convinced that your constructed 4 arguments these are all that are.  To you.  Quite frankly, I don't give a damn about your arguments because they aren't in MY terms.

That isn't an argument either. Whether you or I are convinced or not is irrelevant. The point is that either free will is compatible with an indeterministic universe but not deterministic one, or it's compatible with a deterministic universe but not an indeterministic one, or it's compatible with both, or it's compatible with neither.

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You might as well get used to the idea that most people don't view arguments in your personal terms and that some of them even find them meaningless.

I'm giving impersonal arguments, nor personal arguments. As explained the options I give are logically exhaustive. Either you believe in free will or you don't, either you believe in determinism or you don't, and either you think it's compatible with determinism or you don't.

Just like how either you believe a supernatural being created the universe or you don't. Either you're a theist or an atheist. 

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For example, I consider determinism and pre-determinism meaningless.    Don't even bother to try to convince me otherwise, I don't care.   When I was your age, I might have, but I'm beyond that now.

Determinism is simply the view that there's one possible future rather than more than one possible future. It's meaningless for you to simply assert that that's meaningless.

You keep insisting that philosophical determinism and religious predestinationism (or as you call it, religious pre-determinism) are the same thing but they simply don't refer to the same thing at all.

Either there's more than one possible future or there's one possible future. If there's only one possible future (which, like I said, is at least more parsimonious than to assume that there's multiple) it simply does not follow to say that "therefore God". Philosophical determinism simply isn't the same thing as religious predestinationism and simply asserting that it is is not an argument. You can't just add God into the picture without any justification whatsoever.

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Try discussing actual facts.  That might actually help you get more real.

Well when it comes to facts the fact is that philosophical determinism isn't the same thing as religious pre-determinism and to say that there's one possible future is not to say that there's a creator of the universe that already knows that future.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:08:19 AM
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This is exactly my whole point: regardless of the fact that there is a set of events that will come to pass, we don't know that set of events ahead of time in detail, so in fact only "a" future exists from our perspective.

Again, our perspective is irrelevant here. I'm talking of metaphysics, not epistemology. Whether we can know the character of the future or not is simply irrelevant.

My point was that your "whole point" contradicted itself. You said that we use "the" to refer to what is definite but that "the future" is "definitely not definite."

It seems now you are saying that there is no "the future" because we do not know what it is... there are only possible futures.

But again, this is not the case, because whether we can know the future or not is completely irrelevant and even if we could never predict any of it whatsoever even in the tiniest bit and even if it was completely metaphysically impossible to predict any of it whatsoever even in the tiniest bit... that doesn't whatsoever change the fact that our knowledge and prediction of it is completely seperate to whether it actually exists. If there is a future at all then there is an actual future. "The future" refers to the actual future... not a mere possible future. The fact we can't know the future doesn't make it non-actual.

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There are also many sets of equally probable events, and quite possibly there are even sets of events that are more probable than what eventually comes to pass.

This is, again, irrelevant. Whatever actually comes to past is the actual future.

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So I am explicitly not using 'the future' to refer to an indefinite future, because I'm trying not to use 'the future' at all.

And this is why my semantics are superior to yours... because the actual future will actually come to be whether you like to refer to it as the actual future or not.

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If it helps any, I'm also the sort of pedant who's (still) trying to train himself to say 'horizonfall' and 'horizonrise' rather than 'sunrise' and 'sunset'.  :D

My only criticism of you so far is actually that you're not pedantic enough.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:12:50 AM
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Something is either true or not true because something either corresponds with reality or it doesn't.

There are problems with both Aristolian and Boolian logic.

For example in Boolian logic if all reptiles are animals and all lizards are reptiles then it doesn't follow that some lizards are animals. But of course if all of X is Y then certainly at least some of X must be Y because all entails some. Boolian logic is absurd and nonsensical in its making sense of the terms in arguments because you can't have all of X and not also have some of X. Again, all implies some.

Aristotlian logic makes a little more sense because Aristotilian logic at least says that if X exists then the conclusion is valid.

But even for Aristotle if all reptiles are animals and all lizards are reptiles then it doesn't even follow that some lizards are reptiles. But again if it's already accepted that all lizards are reptiles then certainly it must be accepted that some lizards are reptiles... because, once again, all entails some. If literally the whole totality of something exists then certainly some of it must of... because all of it is certainly some of it. Both Boole and Aristotle have incorrect interpretations of universals.

But the point here is that something either is or isn't the case. Either X or not X. The idea that something can be both true and untrue is absurd. Some have said that this leads to paradoxes like the Liar's Paradox, but the Liar's Paradox only seemingly comes about due to a mistake that has already been solved in at least two ways. To say that a sentence is true is identical to saying that it is... so to speak of a sentence being not true isn't to actually say anything if we haven't added any content yet. So one way of looking at it is the only reason it's not true nor false to say that the sentence is not true is because there is no sentence to speak of that is actually complete.

Another way of looking at it is that to say that "This sentence is true" is equivalent to saying "This whole sentence is true and" so "This sentence is not true" would mean "This whole sentence is true and not true" which is just a contradiction.

And the point is that already explained you are either in group (a), (b), (c) or (d). Those options are indeed logically exhaustive but even if you try to wriggle out of it with alternative definitions of logic and truth... you still haven't given any good reason for how it can even make sense to say that it isn't the case that free will is compatible or incompatible in any deterministic or indeterministic universe. What on earth are you even supposed to be saying if you think that free will is neither compatible nor incompatible with a deterministic or indeterministic universe?

It's very simple... either you think that free will can exist in both a deterministic universe and indeterministic universe, or you think that it can exist in one but not the other, or you don't think that it can exist in either. Trying to wriggle out of all of these options is just completely absurd.

 

Your argument borders on the absurd (I'm being polite).  Mere set theory demonstrates it.  Or don't they teach that these days.  All lizards are reptiles and all reptiles are animals, therefore all lizards are animals.

I have yet to meet a lizard that is not an animal.  ;)
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 09:13:03 AM
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There are laws of physics and they permit random events.  And none involve deities.

Let's create in our minds 2 identically programmed computers to play chess with each other.  Would every game end in a draw?  In the same way?

Even such randomness would not be 'true' randomness in the way we hypothetically mean. The 'seeming' randomness is achieved through, as I understand it, through pseudo-random number generators and other built in algorythms determining the moves. So even though it may seem 'random', in truth we are simply not recreating the same conditions between two games of two computers. In fact, there will never be two moments in which the same conditions apply.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:13:42 AM
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I've tried to say 'horizonfall' and 'horizonrise' rather than 'sunrise' and 'sunset' myself at times, but it is like trying to push a rope.  Society fights it, language fights it, and (in spite of what I know to be true), logic fights it.  Sometimes you just have to communicate in accepted terms.  Not that I don't try in writing...

Well if you wish to communicate in accepted terms then there's no need to redefine "philosophical determinism" to mean "religious predeterminism" when it simply doesn't mean that. I don't have to constantly explain over and over that I'm talking about the view that there is only one possible future (and not, despite what you say, referring to a god at all) just because you don't accept the fact that philosophical determinism actually refers to that view that indeed says nothing about a got at all. Just because there is only one possible future doesn't mean that a creator of the universe envisoned it. That simply does not follow. That's no less absurd than saying that just because there's multiple possible futures means that multiple different gods envisioned them. Philosophical determinism doesn't imply monotheism any more than philosophical indeterminism implies polytheism.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:18:25 AM
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Also, I DO use future to be uncertain.  Mostly because we don't actually know what current events make any difference.  But also, thinking of the "butterfly effect" it is still too much a coin flip.  I wish that made more sense, but I can't accept that the future is fixed in any way.  Maybe it is depending on what we all do today, but it changes depending on what we do 2 minutes from now.

What REALLY annoys me is that I'm usually good at talking in "time", but not in this particular way.

Again, whether the future can be predicted or not is a separate view to whether there's more than one possible future or not... and just because there may in fact only be one possible future doesn't mean that there's any god out there that envisioned it.

There's literally no possible evidence for or against philosophical determinism or indeterminism as they are both completely scientifically unfalsifiable. Philosophical determinism simply holds the advantage of being more parsimonious as there's simply no reason whatsoever to believe that there is more than one possible future. There may be but there's no reason to think it. One is enough and it is indeed best not to postulate more entities than necessary.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:20:58 AM
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Well if you wish to communicate in accepted terms then there's no need to redefine "philosophical determinism" to mean "religious predeterminism" when it simply doesn't mean that. I don't have to constantly explain over and over that I'm talking about the view that there is only one possible future (and not, despite what you say, referring to a god at all) just because you don't accept the fact that philosophical determinism actually refers to that view that indeed says nothing about a got at all. Just because there is only one possible future doesn't mean that a creator of the universe envisoned it. That simply does not follow. That's no less absurd than saying that just because there's multiple possible futures means that multiple different gods envisioned them. Philosophical determinism doesn't imply monotheism any more than philosophical indeterminism implies polytheism.

Look, you can argue until the cows come home that predeterminism doesn't require a deity to enforce it.  Its that you simply don't understand quantum fluctuations (nor do I) but the universe as it exists seems to require "randomness" at some level and you aren't allowing for that.  And, since your arguments don't allow for the universe as it is, they must be faulty. 
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:24:07 AM
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Again, whether the future can be predicted or not is a separate view to whether there's more than one possible future or not... and just because there may in fact only be one possible future doesn't mean that there's any god out there that envisioned it.

There's literally no possible evidence for or against philosophical determinism or indeterminism as they are both completely scientifically unfalsifiable. Philosophical determinism simply holds the advantage of being more parsimonious as there's simply no reason whatsoever to believe that there is more than one possible future. There may be but there's no reason to think it. One is enough and it is indeed best not to postulate more entities than necessary.

Something that is unfalsifiable is not scientific.

And what is this now about multiple futures?  I thought you argued against that previously.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:25:49 AM
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The future is like that - there's a definite future, we just don't know what.

Indeed. And one example of how the terms I use are the correct ones here is the fact that you can talk about all your predictions of what the actual future will be and then talk about it all all over again and not change a single word except you omit the word "actual" and talk of "the future" instead of "the actual future" and neither nothing in the meaning of what you've said nor nothing in the meaning of what you've actually said change nor actually change (see what I did/actually did there?).

The future=the actual future. And there actually will be an actual future, whatever it will in fact turn out to be, regardless of your predictions, knowledge (or lack thereof) of its nature or actual nature.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:28:42 AM
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I would disagree that there is a definite future; there are only probabilities until the events actually happen.

That doesn't change the fact that the actual events, whatever they are, definitely will actually happen, won't they not?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:28:52 AM
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Indeed. And one example of how the terms I use are the correct ones here is the fact that you can talk about all your predictions of what the actual future will be and then talk about it all all over again and not change a single word except you omit the word "actual" and talk of "the future" instead of "the actual future" and neither nothing in the meaning of what you've said nor nothing in the meaning of what you've  actually said change or actually change (see what I did/actually did there?).

The future=the actual future. And there actually will be an actual future, whatever it will in fact turn out to be, regardless of your predictions, knowledge (or lack thereof) of its nature or actual nature.

Are you giving up on the predictable one future determined by the events in the past (the present is oh so fleeting)?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:30:41 AM
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There will be a future

To say that the actual future will occur is the same thing as saying that there will be a future. The fact that the actual future that will occur is one of many possible futures is irrelevant and whether there's one or more than one possible futures doesn't change the fact that the actual future will indeed happen and there will, indeed, actually be an actual future, which is the future/the actual future.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:32:25 AM
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It seems to me that only a deity could force that level of determinism.

One possible future is no more forced by one god than two possible futures are forced by two gods.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:32:38 AM
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Even such randomness would not be 'true' randomness in the way we hypothetically mean. The 'seeming' randomness is achieved through, as I understand it, through pseudo-random number generators and other built in algorythms determining the moves. So even though it may seem 'random', in truth we are simply not recreating the same conditions between two games of two computers. In fact, there will never be two moments in which the same conditions apply.

That would seem to allow that 1+1 will not always equal 2 in normal counting.

But keep in mind I said 2 "identical" computers.  If you want to indulge in theory, you have to allow for truly identical computers.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:33:22 AM
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Determinists choose that position for a reason.  Don't know if it is random or predetermined ;-)

"Random or predetermined" is a false dichotomy.

"Determined or not determined" is the true dichotomy.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:34:44 AM
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One possible future is no more forced by one god than two possible futures are forced by two gods.

Can there be 2 gods?  You are getting into the concept of 2 singularly supreme beings...  A certain contradiction in terms.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:34:52 AM
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Your argument borders on the absurd (I'm being polite).  Mere set theory demonstrates it.  Or don't they teach that these days.  All lizards are reptiles and all reptiles are animals, therefore all lizards are animals.

I have yet to meet a lizard that is not an animal.  ;)

I never said otherwise... in fact I said the EXACT OPPOSITE. It appears that you either didn't read or you completely misread my post.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:36:34 AM
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"Random or predetermined" is a false dichotomy.

"Determined or not determined" is the true dichotomy.

But you previously compared "determined" and "predetermined".  Don't go switching comparisons now.  We can't have THAT!
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:41:49 AM
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Look, you can argue until the cows come home that predeterminism doesn't require a deity to enforce it.  Its that you simply don't understand quantum fluctuations (nor do I) but the universe as it exists seems to require "randomness" at some level and you aren't allowing for that.  And, since your arguments don't allow for the universe as it is, they must be faulty.

I didn't say that what you refer to as predeterminism (which you are already defining as "religious predeterminism") doesn't require a deity to enforce it. I said that the fact is that philosophical determinism and religious predeterminism are not the same thing and that one possible future no more implies a deity any more than multiple possible futures imply multiple details.

It doesn't matter whether we understand quantum fluctuations or not because quantum mechanics are completely irrelevant here. Philosophical indeterminism is not the same thing as quantum indeterminacy. They refer to two completely different things.

You are equivocating at least twice by conflating philosophical determinism with religious predeterminism and conflating quantum indeterminancy with philosophical indeterminism.

My arguments have nothing to do with what science can or can't predict about the universe. Quantum randomness refers to the unpredictability of the universe and not to whether there's one or more than one possible future. What actually exists is separate from what we can know or predict to actually exist. This is why metaphysics and epistemology are not the same field and why you could certainly do with learning more philosophy rather than pooh-poohing philosophy if being this unphilosophical is only going to lead to you making multiple logical errors during a discussion.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:42:51 AM
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I never said otherwise... in fact I said the EXACT OPPOSITE. It appears that you either didn't read or you completely misread my post.

Were you setting up strawmen arguments merely to dismiss them?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:44:52 AM
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Something that is unfalsifiable is not scientific.

Yes, exactly my point: I'm talking about logic and philosophy rather than science and science is completely irrelevant here.

Quote
And what is this now about multiple futures?  I thought you argued against that previously.

I said that one possible future is more parsimonious than multiple and therefore more probable which is why I think philosophical determinism is more likely to be true than philosophical indeterminism.

My point was that even if there are multiple possible futures, that is not the same thing as quantum indeterminancy and philosophical determinism doesn't imply a single god any more than philosophical indeterminism implies multiple gods.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:46:16 AM
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Are you giving up on the predictable one future determined by the events in the past (the present is oh so fleeting)?

I never said that I am giving up on the one actual future and in fact I've said the complete opposite. I never said that such a future was predictable. You appear to offer nothing but strawmen and irrelevant statements.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:47:05 AM
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Were you setting up strawmen arguments merely to dismiss them?

When you completely misread my post and reply as if my post is saying the exact opposite to what it actually said it is not me who is the one making a strawman argument.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:50:09 AM
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I didn't say that what you refer to as predeterminism (which you are already defining as "religious predeterminism") doesn't require a deity to enforce it. I said that the fact is that philosophical determinism and religious predeterminism are not the same thing and that one possible future no more implies a deity any more than multiple possible futures imply multiple details.

It doesn't matter whether we understand quantum fluctuations or not because quantum mechanics are completely irrelevant here. Philosophical indeterminism is not the same thing as quantum indeterminacy. They refer to two completely different things.

You are equivocating at least twice by conflating philosophical determinism with religious predeterminism and conflating quantum indeterminancy with philosophical indeterminism.

My arguments have nothing to do with what science can or can't predict about the universe. Quantum randomness refers to the unpredictability of the universe and not to whether there's one or more than one possible future. What actually exists is separate from what we can know or predict to actually exist. This is why metaphysics and epistemology are not the same field and why you could certainly do with learning more philosophy rather than pooh-poohing philosophy if being this unphilosophical is only going to lead to you making multiple logical errors during a discussion.

OK, one more whack at the pinata...  You have been generally arguing that there is only a predetermined future, that it is determined by existing events, but are now saying that quantum fluctuations as random events are real and can change the future. 
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:53:28 AM
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Can there be 2 gods?  You are getting into the concept of 2 singularly supreme beings...  A certain contradiction in terms.

Whether or not there can or can't be 2 gods (or whether or not that there can or can't be one god) is completely irrelevant to what I was saying. I never said that there could be two gods. I never even said that there could be one god. So you're just offering a strawman again.

I said that philosophical determinism doesn't imply the existence of one god any more than philosophical indeterminism would imply the existence of two gods. Whether or not one or two or any gods are actually possible or not is completely irrelevant to what I said. I said that your insistence that philosophical determinism implies religious predeterminism is just as much of a non-sequitur as saying that philosophical indeterminism implies religious indeterminism. It's just as absurd to insist that determinism implies a god as it is to suggest that indeterminism implies multiple gods. Whether or not the concept of more than one god is coherent or not is irrelevant because my point was that it's equally a non-sequitur on your part in both cases. It simply does not follow logically to say that because there is only one possible future then a creator of the universe therefore must have foresaw it.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 09:56:22 AM
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OK, one more whack at the pinata...  You have been generally arguing that there is only a predetermined future, that it is determined by existing events, but are now saying that quantum fluctuations as random events are real and can change the future.

I never said that quantum fluctuations are random events (I actually said that they are unpredictable events and their unpredictability is irrelevant to philosophical indeterminism because quantum indeterminacy and philosophical indeterminism are not the same thing) nor did I say that they can change the future. It's like you are unable to even read what you quoted and bolded. It's yet another strawman on your part.

As for what the part you bolded actually said... it said that what actually exists is completely separate to what can be predicted to exist. That is what I have been consistently saying, and that is a distinction that you have been seemingly been completely failing to make, not me.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 09:57:27 AM
Well, a strawman argument on my part would presuppose (is "presuppose" allowed in your semantic existence) that I had initiated an argument in the first place.  Which I didn't.  I'm not here to "prove" anything.  I'm only here to hobnob with my fellow atheists while tolerating a few theists who insist on ruining my friendly discussion among equally smart atheists. 

I don't care a crab's green ass about Philosophy 001 semantics or theistic pronoucements like "predeterminism". 
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 10:08:33 AM
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Well, a strawman argument on my part would presuppose (is "presuppose" allowed in your semantic existence) that I had initiated an argument in the first place.

I didn't say you were making a strawman argument I said that you were making a strawman of my position. That is colloquial for simply saying that you are misrepresenting my position and misrepresenting what I am saying. You said I said the exact opposite of what I actually said and then said I was making a strawman.

As for your part about whether "presuppose" would be allowed in my semantic existence... that doesn't even make any sense. You are the one who seems to fail to recognize when something presupposes or entails something else, not me.

Quote
  Which I didn't.  I'm not here to "prove" anything.

I never said you were.

Quote
I'm only here to hobnob with my fellow atheists while tolerating a few theists who insist on ruining my friendly discussion among equally smart atheists. 

I don't care a crab's green ass about Philosophy 001 semantics or theistic pronoucements like "predeterminism".

Again, perhaps you ought to read more philosophy if your unphilosophicalness is leading you to make terrible logical mistakes, insist that one possible future implies a god (when it simply doesn't, and it no more implies a god than multiple possible futures do) and insist that religious predeterminism and philosophical determinism are the same thing when they're simply not. Even Mr Obvious was explaining to you that just because the future is determined it in no way implies that a god did it and your abysmal reaction is to suggest that it does. Well, actually, that is simply a non-sequitur and you certainly need to do at least a little bit less ignorant of philosophy and logic if it is leading you to make all these terrible illogical mistakes, equivocations and misrepresentations.

You say that you don't care a crab's green ass about philosophy 001 (surely you meant 101?) or semantics and it shows. As for your view that "predeterminism" is a theistic pronouncement... once again, I never referred to religious predeterminism... I repeatedly referred to philosophical determinism... and your repeated failure to make the distinction between the two, and accept the fact that those are simply two different concepts, only makes you the illogical one and you the one denying the fact of the matter that they simply don't refer to the same concept.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 10:10:03 AM
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That would seem to allow that 1+1 will not always equal 2 in normal counting.

But keep in mind I said 2 "identical" computers.  If you want to indulge in theory, you have to allow for truly identical computers.

What do you mean by your first sentence? PRNG don't really have anything to do with 1+1, I think.

And what exactly would the truly identical-ness of the computers add? I mean apart from making it a  metaphore that's not applicable to the real world seeing as true identicalness is also impossible.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 10:11:49 AM
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seeing as true identicalness is also impossible.

If two objects are truly completely identical then they're not two separate objects and they're in fact one and the same object. Is that what you're getting at?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: luckswallowsall on October 04, 2018, 10:18:15 AM
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I didn't say you were making a strawman argument I said that you were making a strawman of my position.

Just something to correct here. I initially said you were making a strawman because I was referring to the fact that you said that my post was saying the exact opposite of what it was actually saying. Your response was to say that I had made a strawman argument, I then responding by saying that when you are the one saying that I am saying the exact opposite of what I am actually saying that it isn't me who is the one making a "strawman argument". So I did eventually use that term but only by mistake because you incorrectly accused me of it when you were the one making a strawman of my position. I should have said "strawman" there rather than "strawman argument" that time as well as I did initially.

So to correct what I said there: When you misrepresent what I actually said to saying the exact opposite of what I actually said, it is absurd for you to then accuse me of making a strawman argument, when I wasn't the one making a strawman out of your position, or out of any position (I only represented positions correctly, which is why you have failed to show otherwise), but you made a strawman out of my position by saying that I said the exact opposite of what I actually said.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 12:27:59 PM
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What do you mean by your first sentence? PRNG don't really have anything to do with 1+1, I think.

And what exactly would the truly identical-ness of the computers add? I mean apart from making it a  metaphore that's not applicable to the real world seeing as true identicalness is also impossible.

I meant that IF 2 computers were precisely identical they wouldn't be able to change their game against each other. 

And my point in several posts has been that true identicalness is not really possible (as you point out) so randomness has to exist.  And any degree of randomness precludes determination of the future.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 04, 2018, 12:53:39 PM
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Heisenberg "prevents" nothing.  And I would rescue the cat.

Typical gut emotion argument.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 04, 2018, 01:19:31 PM
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I mean apart from making it a  metaphore that's not applicable to the real world seeing as true identicalness is also impossible.
That's not always the case.  Certainly on a particle level, most particles are assumed to be identical (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identical_particles) since there is no known measurement to distinguish the intrinsic properties of any one particle of a particular class from any other particle of that same class.  The only difference between any two electrons, for example, is their position and motion in space and time, which are not intrinsic to the composition of the electron.

That's what led John Wheeler to once put forth a theory that the reason all electrons (and positrons) have so far as any measurement could determine the exact same mass and exact same magnitude of charge is because there is only one electron in the universe moving forward and backward in time (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-electron_universe) — when moving backward, it behaves as a positron.  Richard Feynman later used the idea of antiparticles as particles moving backwards in time as part of his formulation of quantum electrodynamics, crediting Wheeler with the original idea in his Nobel lecture.

As for how identical two computers are — I would be willing to call any two machines constructed from the same components (the same make and model of each component, not just broadly similar) to be functionally identical, at least.  In principle, and absent any unknown manufacturing variance or defect between two parts that are otherwise the 'same', there aren't any differences at the particle level that should be meaningful at the higher level of the machine's operation.

Meanwhile, I'm going to run a few games of chess on my phone to see if Droidfish (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.petero.droidfish&hl=en) always calculates the same openings, since there's no question that my phone is in every possible way identical to itself, and that the application is identical to itself, and that I can set the same limit on the amount of time for "thinking" for both sides of the board.  I think that should tell us whether there's any randomization or not.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 01:22:27 PM
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If two objects are truly completely identical then they're not two separate objects and they're in fact one and the same object. Is that what you're getting at?

I guess?
I just meant that even two laptops from The same assembly line have miniscule differences.
But i guess, yeah.
I suppose that one could even say no single object is ever The same in two different moments in time, probably.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 04, 2018, 01:24:07 PM
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Meanwhile, I'm going to run a few games of chess on my phone to see if Droidfish (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.petero.droidfish&hl=en) always calculates the same openings, since there's no question that my phone is in every possible way identical to itself, and that the application is identical to itself, and that I can set the same limit on the amount of time for "thinking" for both sides of the board.  I think that should tell us whether there's any randomization or not.

I'd be interested in the result of that experiment.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 01:31:06 PM
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That's not always the case.  Certainly on a particle level, most particles are assumed to be identical (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identical_particles) since there is no known measurement to distinguish the intrinsic properties of any one particle of a particular class from any other particle of that same class.  The only difference between any two electrons, for example, is their position and motion in space and time, which are not intrinsic to the composition of the electron.

That's what led John Wheeler to once put forth a theory that the reason all electrons (and positrons) have so far as any measurement could determine the exact same mass and exact same magnitude of charge is because there is only one electron in the universe moving forward and backward in time (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-electron_universe) — when moving backward, it behaves as a positron.  Richard Feynman later used the idea of antiparticles as particles moving backwards in time as part of his formulation of quantum electrodynamics, crediting Wheeler with the original idea in his Nobel lecture.

As for how identical two computers are — I would be willing to call any two machines constructed from the same components (the same make and model of each component, not just broadly similar) to be functionally identical, at least.  In principle, and absent any unknown manufacturing variance or defect between two parts that are otherwise the 'same', there aren't any differences at the particle level that should be meaningful at the higher level of the machine's operation.

Meanwhile, I'm going to run a few games of chess on my phone to see if Droidfish (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.petero.droidfish&hl=en) always calculates the same openings, since there's no question that my phone is in every possible way identical to itself, and that the application is identical to itself, and that I can set the same limit on the amount of time for "thinking" for both sides of the board.  I think that should tell us whether there's any randomization or not.

OK, I'm in awe.  I couldn't have said it so well myself.  Really "couldn't". 

I didn't think about particle level. Nor a single device competing with itself.  If a single device doesn't beat itself at an game routinely, that has to be "randomness".  And if it does, that seems like there is a, dare I say, "Feynmanian" aspect of randomness too (he being a quantum mechanics expert).

It appears that one CAN have it both ways...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 01:31:50 PM
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I meant that IF 2 computers were precisely identical they wouldn't be able to change their game against each other. 

And my point in several posts has been that true identicalness is not really possible (as you point out) so randomness has to exist.  And any degree of randomness precludes determination of the future.

How does impossible identitacleness prove randomness? Either you or I are missing something here.
Identical or not, one would have to know all variabels, which might as Well be infinite, to make a 100% prediction. But as i said, just because it's determined doesn't mean we can actually predict. Because i don't think we can know everything to The smaller thing.

And doesn't your first line lie more in line with what i've been saying? What i get from this is that you mean to imply that if you could recreate The exact same conditions, you'd get The exact same result. Which i would agree with, in essence; but it's impossible to recreate The same conditions.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 01:41:57 PM
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How does impossible identitacleness prove randomness? Either you or I are missing something here.
Identical or not, one would have to know all variabels, which might as Well be infinite, to make a 100% prediction. But as i said, just because it's determined doesn't mean we can actually predict. Because i don't think we can know everything to The smaller thing.

And doesn't your first line lie more in line with what i've been saying? What i get from this is that you mean to imply that if you could recreate The exact same conditions, you'd get The exact same result. Which i would agree with, in essence; but it's impossible to recreate The same conditions.

Because if there is eventually a difference between 2 identical things the cause has to be random...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 04, 2018, 02:22:12 PM
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Because if there is eventually a difference between 2 identical things the cause has to be random...

But there never is anything identical, not if you go into The smallest of details.

Let's say you get four computers playing two games, what i think you'r getting at is that they'd play different games and that difference is due to true randomness. But i would say it'd due to The smallest of differences in The computers and The surroundings and history and what-not, along with The pseudorandom but not truly random programming. The differences in results are because they are not truly identical nor truly identical settings.
Say they were truly identical, i'd expect them to play The same game.

But for such a hypothetical, we don't even need to go to computers.  If we were t have two exact 'you's' and two exact 'me's'. With each of us having The exact same past and influences as our own doppelganger; hypothetically, they'd be saying The exact same thing at The exact same time as we are right now.
It's an impossible hypothetical, but be it humans or computers, doesn't matter ; i think. I see no reason to believe in Some agent free from other influences that can influence The world it's free from.
And while we never may be able to test this, i feel like occam's razor is at least on my Side here.
But again, that's my interpretation.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 02:31:24 PM
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But there never is anything identical, not if you go into The smallest of details.

Let's say you get four computers playing two games, what i think you'r getting at is that they'd play different games and that difference is due to true randomness. But i would say it'd due to The smallest of differences in The computers and The surroundings and history and what-not, along with The pseudorandom but not truly random programming. The differences in results are because they are not truly identical nor truly identical settings.
Say they were truly identical, i'd expect them to play The same game.

But for such a hypothetical, we don't even need to go to computers.  If we were t have two exact 'you's' and two exact 'me's'. With each of us having The exact same past and influences as our own doppelganger; hypothetically, they'd be saying The exact same thing at The exact same time as we are right now.
It's an impossible hypothetical, but be it humans or computers, doesn't matter ; i think. I see no reason to believe in Some agent free from other influences that can influence The world it's free from.
And while we never may be able to test this, i feel like occam's razor is at least on my Side here.
But again, that's my interpretation.

Well, that's the first problem with talking about "identical".  How detailed can you define it?

But it was an "if" question, hence completely theoretical.  So "identity could exist. 

We humans can't even be identical in our own minds, so there isn't much we can say about human players at all.  We change second by second.  There is some part of "me" that has changed just by 10 typing these words, 2) having a cat jump on the table, and 3) listening to music.  Among so many other things, most of which I am unaware.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 04, 2018, 03:35:27 PM
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I'd be interested in the result of that experiment.
The first run went with an uncommon variation on the French Defence (1. e4 e6), responding with 2. Nc3 -- it now calls the opening the Sicilian, Taimanov variation.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 04, 2018, 04:03:29 PM
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The first run went with an uncommon variation on the French Defence (1. e4 e6), responding with 2. Nc3 -- it now calls the opening the Sicilian, Taimanov variation.

I think e5, but it sure doesn't look Sicilian to me.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 04, 2018, 07:26:13 PM
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I guess?
I just meant that even two laptops from The same assembly line have miniscule differences.
But i guess, yeah.
I suppose that one could even say no single object is ever The same in two different moments in time, probably.

Heraclitus updated.  Computer memories are frequently zapped by random cosmic rays, changing a zero to a one or back again.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 04, 2018, 09:40:13 PM
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Again, our perspective is irrelevant here. I'm talking of metaphysics, not epistemology. Whether we can know the character of the future or not is simply irrelevant.
I don't care about metaphysics.  I care about the demonstrable.  Future events are only probabilistic, not demonstrable.

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My point was that your "whole point" contradicted itself. You said that we use "the" to refer to what is definite but that "the future" is "definitely not definite."
No, my point stands: there is definitely no definite future.  There are only possible futures.  Some are more probable than others, but — and apparently I need to help you out with basic English here — they are definitely (that is, by definition) not definite (that is, there is uncertainty about whether they will come to pass or not).  They are probabilistic.

Are there any other meaningless word games you want to play, or do you understand me now?

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It seems now you are saying that there is no "the future" because we do not know what it is... there are only possible futures.
Exactly.  That has been my point all along.  There are only a multitude of potential futures.  What actually happens cannot be known until it does happen, and referring to 'the' future when you cannot say what that future is, is semantically sloppy.

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But again, this is not the case, because whether we can know the future or not is completely irrelevant and even if we could never predict any of it whatsoever even in the tiniest bit and even if it was completely metaphysically impossible to predict any of it whatsoever even in the tiniest bit... that doesn't whatsoever change the fact that our knowledge and prediction of it is completely seperate to whether it actually exists. If there is a future at all then there is an actual future. "The future" refers to the actual future... not a mere possible future. The fact we can't know the future doesn't make it non-actual.
No, you miss the point.  Until events happen, they are only possible.  And whatever eventually actually does happen remains only possible until it actually does happen.

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This is, again, irrelevant. Whatever actually comes to past is the actual future.
Which we cannot know in detail until it happens.

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And this is why my semantics are superior to yours... because the actual future will actually come to be whether you like to refer to it as the actual future or not.
No, no, and no again, no.  When I refer to future events, that necessarily includes events that eventually come to pass.  I just won't dignify them with 'the' until they are a definite event.  I don't place limits on future events because I cannot know what they are in detail.  You presume definite events that you cannot possibly define except in probabilistic terms.

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My only criticism of you so far is actually that you're not pedantic enough.
I do believe this is the first time I've stood accused of that.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Hakurei Reimu on October 04, 2018, 11:19:37 PM
Heck, for even more mind-blowing quantum shenanigans, even multiple futures doesn't imply indeterminism. In the Multiple-worlds hypothesis, every possible way the universe could have evolved is as real as any other, as quantum indeterminacy is replaced by quantum multi-deteriminacy. You eating eggs for breakfast is just as real as the you that ate cereal this morning, and as such, the future where you eat toast tomorrow will be as real as the one where you will eat a bran muffin.

It's not deterministic in a classical sense, as at any one event, there are multiple ways to proceed. It's also not indeterministic, either, because only one outcome is possible — all ways to proceed are followed. So, what are we to make of that?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 05, 2018, 12:07:29 AM
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I'd be interested in the result of that experiment.
Draw by repetition on the 50th move.  A very computerized result, I think -- a human player who wished to continue play would not have blindly repeated the same moves three times in a row.  The computer did, of course, because it played the move with the highest calculated value and couldn't "see" that it was in a loop.

That said, it was probably a drawn position anyway, but I'm not analyst enough to know that with any certainty.  White was down to three pawns, the bishop on black, and the queen, and Black was down to three pawns, a knight and the queen.

I'm going to have to change what I was doing and instead run games on Stockfish my desktop; Droidfish is a remarkable chess system for a phone, but it eats batteries and clock cycles mercilessly.

Unbeliever, I'll send you the list of moves by PM.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 05, 2018, 04:04:34 AM
Multiple Universe interpretation of QM, is naturally beloved by statisticians ;-)  When I role dice, all 36 possibilities (for 2 dice) happen simultaneously, I just don't have the god-like omniscience to see that directly ... unlike a QM theorist ;-))  When Dr Everett came up with this variation of Feynman path integrals, his career was over.  But pop-science continues the meme.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 05, 2018, 10:48:36 AM
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Well, that's the first problem with talking about "identical".  How detailed can you define it?

But it was an "if" question, hence completely theoretical.  So "identity could exist. 

We humans can't even be identical in our own minds, so there isn't much we can say about human players at all.  We change second by second.  There is some part of "me" that has changed just by 10 typing these words, 2) having a cat jump on the table, and 3) listening to music.  Among so many other things, most of which I am unaware.

All of the details. :D but therein indeed lies the problem.
In any case, I'm still not a step closer to seeing how any of this proves true randomness nor how it is in favor against determinism.
As I'm sure I haven't been able to get you a single step closer to seeing things the way I see them. Which is funny, because we seem to agree on a lot of basic principles, but draw opposite conclusions from them.
I suppose it's all difference in paradigmes, really. We could probably continue to go in circles for days and weeks to come. And I doubt either of us will come to change his mind.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 05, 2018, 12:35:46 PM
Thought experiments tend to give the participants a headache.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 05, 2018, 01:31:49 PM
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Draw by repetition on the 50th move.  A very computerized result, I think -- a human player who wished to continue play would not have blindly repeated the same moves three times in a row.  The computer did, of course, because it played the move with the highest calculated value and couldn't "see" that it was in a loop.

That said, it was probably a drawn position anyway, but I'm not analyst enough to know that with any certainty.  White was down to three pawns, the bishop on black, and the queen, and Black was down to three pawns, a knight and the queen.

I'm going to have to change what I was doing and instead run games on Stockfish my desktop; Droidfish is a remarkable chess system for a phone, but it eats batteries and clock cycles mercilessly.

Unbeliever, I'll send you the list of moves by PM.
Got it, but haven't had time to play through it yet. Sometimes a draw is the best that can happen in a drawish endgame, since the player who tries to win it often loses instead.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 05, 2018, 03:35:25 PM
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Got it, but haven't had time to play through it yet. Sometimes a draw is the best that can happen in a drawish endgame, since the player who tries to win it often loses instead.
I'm not really convinced that it was a drawish endgame.  I don't know whether a bishop and queen is better, worse, or par with a knight and queen.  It just fell into that loop so quickly, and couldn't look far enough ahead to see if there was a better play long-term.

I suppose when you're 50 moves in and there's neither a mate in sight nor a clear advantage either way, a draw is a sensible call.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 07, 2018, 03:14:26 AM
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All of the details. :D but therein indeed lies the problem.
In any case, I'm still not a step closer to seeing how any of this proves true randomness nor how it is in favor against determinism.
As I'm sure I haven't been able to get you a single step closer to seeing things the way I see them. Which is funny, because we seem to agree on a lot of basic principles, but draw opposite conclusions from them.
I suppose it's all difference in paradigmes, really. We could probably continue to go in circles for days and weeks to come. And I doubt either of us will come to change his mind.

OK, A friend wrote a single-digit number on a piece of paper at his home.  Your move in a game depends on that number, but you have to move not knowing what that number is (it only effects a value of strength in an attack or defense) and you choose your move by a similar number you write down that *I* don't know until we each choose a move.  And we each move a piece.

And only THEN do we call my friend and ask him the number to apply to our battle.

Tell me how THAT is not random.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 07, 2018, 03:41:23 AM
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OK, A friend wrote a single-digit number on a piece of paper at his home.  Your move in a game depends on that number, but you have to move not knowing what that number is (it only effects a value of strength in an attack or defense) and you choose your move by a similar number you write down that *I* don't know until we each choose a move.  And we each move a piece.

And only THEN do we call my friend and ask him the number to apply to our battle.

Tell me how THAT is not random.

That would not be random. That would be irrelevant.
Or could you run that one by me again. I don't understand what you would imply the written numbers to do, after we've made our moves.
Or are we not talking chess anymore?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 07, 2018, 04:12:38 AM
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That would not be random. That would be irrelevant.
Or could you run that one by me again. I don't understand what you would imply the written numbers to do, after we've made our moves.
Or are we not talking chess anymore?

Chess is highly structured.  It isn't random, it is pseudo-random.  A game where every piece could move in one jump to any square, that would be closer to random.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 07, 2018, 04:19:33 AM
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That would not be random. That would be irrelevant.
Or could you run that one by me again. I don't understand what you would imply the written numbers to do, after we've made our moves.
Or are we not talking chess anymore?

I wasn't talking chess at all.   was setting up a situation where one person wrote down a number at random and 2 other people had to react to it in a game where it mattered but neither knew what the number was.  And I then asked why that wasn't random.

If you want a more detailed description, lets say you and I are playing Gettysburg by Avalon Hill where angles of attack matter.  And a third party decided (not knowing anything about the game) made a random number choice that effected the outcome of a small battle by determining whether I made a full frontal attack on your unit or a flank attack.

How is that not random?
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 07, 2018, 04:20:36 AM
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Chess is highly structured.  It isn't random, it is pseudo-random.  A game where every piece could move in one jump to any square, that would be closer to random.

It wasn't chess and I never said it was.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 07, 2018, 05:07:24 AM
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I wasn't talking chess at all.   was setting up a situation where one person wrote down a number at random and 2 other people had to react to it in a game where it mattered but neither knew what the number was.  And I then asked why that wasn't random.

If you want a more detailed description, lets say you and I are playing Gettysburg by Avalon Hill where angles of attack matter.  And a third party decided (not knowing anything about the game) made a random number choice that effected the outcome of a small battle by determining whether I made a full frontal attack on your unit or a flank attack.

How is that not random?

Well as we were talking chess right before, I hope you can see the confusion.
But now I think I understand. It's like the game of 'Risk', with added die-rolls or numbers chosen by people that are not privy to the game and not influenced by us.
Still not true randomness. I fully agree that from our limited point of view and for all intents and purposes it acts as random and we can in casual conversation say it is random. But when we call them ask the number, their answer would always have been the same. The number they decide in that moment and that situation is determined by accumulated stimuli they never even registered as they took them in throughout their entire lives, their whole basic biological make-up and the situation they've been placed in at that moment. Look at it this way. Let's say your guy adds 'five' to a move. Just because you don't actively control your friend doesn't mean your friend  is non-determined. You and him would always have found yourselves within the exact same position and he would have always responded 'five'. It's just because you don't understand and can't comprehend the full influence of everything that made you ask him to help you with this game at the exact moment and way you did nor what influenced the inner machinations of your friend's mind, doesn't mean there wasn't any influence.
And don't get me wrong. If you'd called him a moment later, he might have said 'minus 3' or whatever. But you never would have done that, because you weren't on the path to call a moment later. You were on the path to call him that exact moment in time.

Let me adjust the line of a movie I just watched and ask you a hypothetical.
You got a type Cave? Let's say it's green eyes and black hair. For the sake of argument that's your type.
Do you know why you are attracted most to that type? Did you choose it? No. You can't find a definite reason why you prefer green eyes and black hair on a girl. But is it random? No.
It's formed through accumulated stimuli you gathered throughout your life, without even knowing you registered them when you did.
And those subconsciously registered stimuli create a preference that will influence you, however slight and however unnoticed, subconsciously, throughout your entire further life. Which in turn will make you experience different stimuli than if your preference had turned out differently.  Which put's you on a further path alltogether and so the cycle continues.
And it is my idea that this cycle goes all the way back to the singularity in which time and space were created in the first place. We just don't experience it like that. Which is a good thing, imho.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 07, 2018, 05:40:28 AM
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Well as we were talking chess right before, I hope you can see the confusion.
But now I think I understand. It's like the game of 'Risk', with added die-rolls or numbers chosen by people that are not privy to the game and not influenced by us.
Still not true randomness. I fully agree that from our limited point of view and for all intents and purposes it acts as random and we can in casual conversation say it is random. But when we call them ask the number, their answer would always have been the same. The number they decide in that moment and that situation is determined by accumulated stimuli they never even registered as they took them in throughout their entire lives, their whole basic biological make-up and the situation they've been placed in at that moment. Look at it this way. Let's say your guy adds 'five' to a move. Just because you don't actively control your friend doesn't mean your friend  is non-determined. You and him would always have found yourselves within the exact same position and he would have always responded 'five'. It's just because you don't understand and can't comprehend the full influence of everything that made you ask him to help you with this game at the exact moment and way you did nor what influenced the inner machinations of your friend's mind, doesn't mean there wasn't any influence.
And don't get me wrong. If you'd called him a moment later, he might have said 'minus 3' or whatever. But you never would have done that, because you weren't on the path to call a moment later. You were on the path to call him that exact moment in time.

Let me adjust the line of a movie I just watched and ask you a hypothetical.
You got a type Cave? Let's say it's green eyes and black hair. For the sake of argument that's your type.
Do you know why you are attracted most to that type? Did you choose it? No. You can't find a definite reason why you prefer green eyes and black hair on a girl.
It's formed through accumulated stimuli you gathered throughout your life, without even knowing you registered them when you did.
And those subconsciously registered stimuli create a preference that will influence you, however slight and however unnoticed, subconsciously, throughout your entire further life. Which in turn will make you experience different stimuli than if your preference had turned out differently.  Which put's you on a further path alltogether and so the cycle continues.
And it is my idea that this cycle goes all the way back to the singularity in which time and space were created in the first place. We just don't experience it like that. Which is a good thing, imho.

Are you arguing from what you actually think, or just for the sake of pushing an arguement?  Because I'm not.  I'm serious here. 

You argue that "the number they decide in that moment and that situation is determined by accumulated stimuli they never even registered as they took them in throughout their entire lives, their whole basic biological make-up and the situation they've been placed in at that moment".  That is nonsensical.  If you are arguing that I somehow know that the number my friend would guess, let us say he asks and neighbor who asks a neighbor, etc to name the number.  Eventually, some level of uncaring guesses has to make the number outside of my influence.

All you are saying is that some number used in our game was predestined.  You'll have to prove that, and you haven't yet.

Your argument about the looks of a woman I might be attracted to is not relevant.  I have no physical preference.  For what it is worth, I think attitude and interests matter more, but as I remain single through preference, even THAT doesn't matter.

Even my cats have been random, by happenstance.  I doubt if there is any normal color of cat I haven't had and didn't love dearly.  You really don't understand that people can make random choices do you.  You just assume it as part of the belief structure.  I don't have patterns.

I have some favorite colors, if that helps you any.  Dark green is nice.  Dark Red is also nice.  I like black.  I also like celery, light bamboo, and Robin Egg Blue.  Rouge is interesting.  Does that mean anything?

I note your arguemnet that all my decisions go back to the singularity.  Congrats, you are a Universal Deist...
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 07, 2018, 08:46:58 AM
I have to agree on this current argument, with Cavebear.  Taking things back to the initial singularity is not empirical.  You can go back to the 3.5K radiation, but I would be challenged, even with omniscience, to derive the current situation from that.  Causality as commonly thought, is a primitive idea, not consistent with QM or Relativity.  Reality isn't a pool/snooker table.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: SGOS on October 07, 2018, 09:03:44 AM
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To luckswallows:  Are there any other meaningless word games you want to play, or do you understand me now?
Yes, there is.  He uses semantics to make mountains out of molehills.  It makes for pointless exchanges that resemble debate, except that after the word analysis is completed, you find that there wasn't anything that warranted discussion in the first place.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 07, 2018, 10:00:40 AM
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Yes, there is.  He uses semantics to make mountains out of molehills.  It makes for pointless exchanges that resemble debate, except that after the word analysis is completed, you find that there wasn't anything that warranted discussion in the first place.

I am reminded of one scene in the Foundation series where an diplomat visited a planet and seemed to make solid promises.  But semantic analysis basically concluded "promises: none".

For that same reason, I expect Luckswallowsall will fade away soon.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Mr.Obvious on October 07, 2018, 10:20:54 AM
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Are you arguing from what you actually think, or just for the sake of pushing an arguement?  Because I'm not.  I'm serious here. 

You argue that "the number they decide in that moment and that situation is determined by accumulated stimuli they never even registered as they took them in throughout their entire lives, their whole basic biological make-up and the situation they've been placed in at that moment".  That is nonsensical.  If you are arguing that I somehow know that the number my friend would guess, let us say he asks and neighbor who asks a neighbor, etc to name the number.  Eventually, some level of uncaring guesses has to make the number outside of my influence.

All you are saying is that some number used in our game was predestined.  You'll have to prove that, and you haven't yet.

Your argument about the looks of a woman I might be attracted to is not relevant.  I have no physical preference.  For what it is worth, I think attitude and interests matter more, but as I remain single through preference, even THAT doesn't matter.

Even my cats have been random, by happenstance.  I doubt if there is any normal color of cat I haven't had and didn't love dearly.  You really don't understand that people can make random choices do you.  You just assume it as part of the belief structure.  I don't have patterns.

I have some favorite colors, if that helps you any.  Dark green is nice.  Dark Red is also nice.  I like black.  I also like celery, light bamboo, and Robin Egg Blue.  Rouge is interesting.  Does that mean anything?

I note your arguemnet that all my decisions go back to the singularity.  Congrats, you are a Universal Deist...

I'm not arguing for the sake of pushing an argument. I'm arguing because I am fully serious as well, just about a point of view different from yours. And I would hope you know me well enough to  at least know that.

I'm not arguing that you know what number your friend would guess. That would be impossible. After all, I also said you couldn't actively control such a thing. But such control is not necessary for my deterministic point of view. Actualy, it has nothing to do with it whatsoever. And I've repeated that multiple times throughout our exchange now.
The amount of people you'd ask and which people you'd ask has nothing to do with making it more or less deterministic. Because the people you'd ask and who'd they ask in return would be just as determined by everything that came before in these people's lives. Every choice they make is just as determined. Just as influenced into it's entirety. and no, not by you. But by everything that has come before and has had any influence on their lives. Because that's the core idea; that's how the world works. YOU don't have any control over this influence, and just like everything in this universe you and I are influenced entirely.
Even if you were to become an omnipotent, omniscient being, you wouldn't be free from this influence on you. Because even if you were to figure out how everyone and everything is influenced by every aspect that came before, you learning this is just as predetermined as any of those things. Even then you'd be predetermined to learn to understand this predetermination and everything you did with that knowledge would be predetermined.
The idea is that it's inescapable. Like evolution for living creatures. Inescapable. You can't say one animal is more or less evolved than another. Saying such a thing is none-sensicle. You can't be 'more' evolved. Just differently evolved. Nor can you be more or less predetermined or have a happenstance  be more or less predetermined. Just because you don't understand how your particular evolution works up to the finest detail possible and lead to 'you', doesn't mean evolution does not happen and did not result in you or me or your cats.  And just because you can't  understand and pinpoint exactly how every finest detail in the world lead person A down path X doesn't mean it doesn't do that.

The preference of type of woman is an example to point something out. If you want me to turn it into favorite food or favorite car, I can do that too. Hell, I could turn it into your preference to stay single. Or my preference not to. Or the colors you just listed. But it's only going to make sense to you if you manage to decouple the notion that there is any control or intent behind everything in the present and future being determined by everything that came before.

And I don't think it's that I don't understand that people can make random choices. It's that I think it's that making truly random choices is impossible. Only choices that for all intents and purposes seem random, from our limited points of view. I could just as easily say 'you really don't understand that people can't make random choices', but that would not get us any further.

And no. I'm not a universal Deist. I'm a materialist. I don't know how the laws of physics came into being. (Nor what, if anything, came before.) And I'm not claiming to. All I'm saying is that everything, EVERYTHING, that we have right now became that way because of the laws of physics being exactly the way they are. Without there being any deeper meaning behind it, nor implying that the universe was created.
Kind of like how the fact that if the earth had been a few millions of kilometers closer to the sun, we wouldn't be here to have this discussion, doesn't mean we were intended to be here having this discussion.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 07, 2018, 11:38:53 AM
For a materialist, at large scale and small speeds ... reality is Newtonian.  All hale Newton!  Worship his Calculus!!  Except there is chaos theory, and most practical things (not a toy situation) are chaotic.  Though fractals can be pretty.

So actually, Mr Obvious is simply following Thales, Pythagoras, Epicurus etc.  A useful POV if you are building a chariot,  not so much if yo are taming horses to pull the chariot, or understanding why it is important to compete in the Olympic chariot event.

Newton, on physics, is better than Aristotle.  I can give him that.  But Aristotle's greatest contribution was inventing biology.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 07, 2018, 05:34:55 PM
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I don't know whether a bishop and queen is better, worse, or par with a knight and queen.

It depends on how many pawns are left, and whether they are on one side of the board or both. If the latter, then the bishop is definitely better, since it's a long range piece.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 07, 2018, 07:47:40 PM
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It depends on how many pawns are left, and whether they are on one side of the board or both. If the latter, then the bishop is definitely better, since it's a long range piece.

But the knight ... fork you!
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 07, 2018, 08:26:40 PM
Bishops also can fork, as can any piece or pawn.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 09, 2018, 11:45:28 AM
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It depends on how many pawns are left, and whether they are on one side of the board or both. If the latter, then the bishop is definitely better, since it's a long range piece.
They both had three pawns, as I recall.

So far, Stockfish has only ever opened with 1. e4, and responding with ...e5 or ...e6, and Black has never won.  Most draws have been by repetition.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 10, 2018, 02:09:46 AM
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They both had three pawns, as I recall.

So far, Stockfish has only ever opened with 1. e4, and responding with ...e5 or ...e6, and Black has never won.  Most draws have been by repetition.

Well, Fisher always said "P-K4, best by test", but I have never thrived with that opening.  I prefer P-KB4, partly to take Black out of standard openings, but also because a non-standard board suits my style of attack.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 10, 2018, 07:23:31 AM
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Well, Fisher always said "P-K4, best by test", but I have never thrived with that opening.  I prefer P-KB4, partly to take Black out of standard openings, but also because a non-standard board suits my style of attack.
It might be worth doing a second test as White giving a first move other than 1. e4 and then automating from there.  Stockfish has an Elo rating in the 3200-3300 range (the top ranked humans are in the 2800s -- I don't know if anyone's broken 2900), so I can only assume it's calculated the ever-lovin' Technicolor snot out of this and cannot find any way to make any other opening more reliable.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 10, 2018, 12:06:53 PM
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It might be worth doing a second test as White giving a first move other than 1. e4 and then automating from there.  Stockfish has an Elo rating in the 3200-3300 range (the top ranked humans are in the 2800s -- I don't know if anyone's broken 2900), so I can only assume it's calculated the ever-lovin' Technicolor snot out of this and cannot find any way to make any other opening more reliable.
Then Black would be just White.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Baruch on October 10, 2018, 01:03:43 PM
SJW chess ... White has an advantage (first move).  So only use Black pieces ;-)
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Unbeliever on October 10, 2018, 01:18:15 PM
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Well, Fisher always said "P-K4, best by test", but I have never thrived with that opening.  I prefer P-KB4, partly to take Black out of standard openings, but also because a non-standard board suits my style of attack.
That's called Bird's Opening, and Wikipedia says it's ranked number 6 in opening popularity. I've used it a few times myself, but it's been a while. It does make for a different game, and can lead to some very sharp positions.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: trdsf on October 10, 2018, 02:54:20 PM
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Then Black would be just White.
No, because Black is responding to the first move, not having an unfettered free choice.

I suppose the reason for the eternal 1. e4 is because the one thing a computer program can't do is play a psychological game.  It can't independently go out and research its opponents and go "A-ha, Smith never does well against the English Opening, so 1. c4" unless its programmers go out and do that research for it and tell it to take a less standard opening line.
Title: Re: Is the future already written?
Post by: Cavebear on October 10, 2018, 03:02:09 PM
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No, because Black is responding to the first move, not having an unfettered free choice.

I suppose the reason for the eternal 1. e4 is because the one thing a computer program can't do is play a psychological game.  It can't independently go out and research its opponents and go "A-ha, Smith never does well against the English Opening, so 1. c4" unless its programmers go out and do that research for it and tell it to take a less standard opening line.

Well P-K4 works mostly because of attacking possibilities in the center; I prefer the side swipes.   Not that is gains me wins here, but it IS more fun.