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Old 2010-05-17, 21:36   Link #41
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Actually... You're reading that backwards. Probably because of my wording. It's not an argument for free will, it's an argument against determinism. If determinism exists, it's on a level that is imperceptible to us, therefor for all practical purposes, it doesn't exist. If one were to apply the same logic to god, one would conclude the existence of god is imperceptible to us, therefor god doesn't exist on any level that matters.
"The watchmaker has left the building" ... I'd say that's a different topic but a lot of philosophy about free will and determinism invokes some religious component at times.
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Old 2010-05-17, 21:51   Link #42
Master_Yoma
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There is no free will none what so ever you think you do but you dont all you do is sleep eat and mate the great circle of crap that keeps coming around again and again. Sure you can fine you own work what ever that will be but you think so all it is your DNA telling you to survive as the beasts we all are so the next generation can move forword as a race.
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Old 2010-05-18, 00:03   Link #43
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Originally Posted by Master_Yoma View Post
There is no free will none what so ever you think you do but you dont all you do is sleep eat and mate the great circle of crap that keeps coming around again and again. Sure you can fine you own work what ever that will be but you think so all it is your DNA telling you to survive as the beasts we all are so the next generation can move forword as a race.
Did your DNA tell you to formulate your thought that way, to write that way and force you to post that thought, in written form, here on this forum?

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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
I'm familiar with emergent behavior as it is one of the things you encounter the most when you are dealing with heuristics and numerical programming in computer science. To have your computer systems to solve its tasks in a way that it was never directly programmed into is indeed something baffling, interesting, and a great area to research more about.
"Emergence" as a scientific phenomenon appears to have the greatest potential application in the fields of biological/genetic science. And, yes indeed, it would also appear to have exciting implications for artificial intelligence, particularly heuristic systems: Create a set of autonomous agents capable of interacting with one another, set them loose and, soon, very interesting results would appear within a few iterations — a form of behaviour emerges that wasn't programmed for.

Such experiments were already being regularly conducted back in the day when I was studying artificial intelligence, some 10 years ago. I imagine the field must have moved much further forward by now.

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Originally Posted by Proto View Post
More than often seemingly emergent behavior is just the result on us not having performed a comprehensive enough synthetic analysis of our phenomena.
The full implication of accepting emergent behaviour is that, once it has emerged, it can no longer be fully understood based on its basic parts alone. Attempting to understand it by reducing it to its parts misses the point: Something has emerged that is greater than the sum of its parts. You need an entirely different class of measurements to measure the "greater".

It's not just a problem of not having performed a "sufficiently comprehensive synthetic analysis", but also a problem of admitting that no matter how thorough that form of analysis, you will never be able to fully describe, let alone measure, the behaviour.

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You definite these concious decisions as an example of free will. However, aren't these conscious decisions equally limited by the same genetic, uprising and circumstantial restraints?
Free will is influenced by its parts and at the same time independent of them. For any given choice I consciously make, you could probably give me a whole range of genetic, neurological processes that help shape the choice but, in the end, whatever choice I make is independent of the parts that make it possible.

Free will, expressed in the form of mental willpower, for example, can do interesting things to our physiology. If we simply accepted our physical limits, would any sprinter have bothered to train as hard as he could to run 100m in less than 10sec, a feat once thought impossible for the human body to achieve?

It's because the sprinter chose to persevere in his physical training, thus triggering a chain of processes that eventually produced the physical means that allowed him to achieve the feat.

So, by "surpassing limitations", that's what I mean. Sure, you could say that such physical feats are ultimately constrained by physical laws. Yes, that's true. But it would also appear that those limits can be pushed ever further forward, even while staying within the bounds of physics. That motivating factor to push is an emergent behaviour that isn't predetermined.

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An argument can be made which claims that the aspects of reality that are important to hope are unaffected by determinism. Whether or not the universe is determined does not change the fact that the future is unknown, and that a person's actions help determine that future. In fact, it is even conceivable that a lack of belief in determinism could lead to 'bleak pessimism', or fatalism, since one could potentially believe that their actions did nothing to determine future events.
I haven't come across "compatibilism" until you referred to it. At first blush, it strikes me as being similar to the way an agnostic might approach the God question, meaning you're simply hedging your bets instead of making a clear stand.

My belief is simply that "free will" is real. It's not just some abstract construct created out of idle thought. It has basic parts but, at the same time, it is not completely controlled by those parts. The expression of "free will" is independent of its parts, as commonsense, everyday observations would suggest.
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Old 2010-05-18, 00:53   Link #44
Vexx
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The full implication of accepting emergent behaviour is that, once it has emerged, it can no longer be fully understood based on its basic parts alone. Attempting to understand it by reducing it to its parts misses the point: Something has emerged that is greater than the sum of its parts. You need an entirely different class of measurements to measure the "greater".

It's not just a problem of not having performed a "sufficiently comprehensive synthetic analysis", but also a problem of admitting that no matter how thorough that form of analysis, you will never be able to fully describe, let alone measure, the behaviour.
This is somewhat related to the "no matter how close together you spread the sensors, your prediction of future weather is not going to improve" because of both the nonlinear characteristics and emergent properties of weather. You *can* predict weather systems in phase-space... but that only tells you whether the system is stable or heading towards a chaotic region ... not what the weather looks like in 3-space.

I understand that emergent system behaviors can be modeled or described from what I've read... but there isn't a smooth connection between the behavior of individual 'atoms' and the behavior of the 'macro' system, kind of like how the atomic model of gas particles doesn't connect to the classical or thermodynamic model of gasses.

Last edited by Vexx; 2010-05-18 at 01:06.
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Old 2010-05-18, 01:01   Link #45
Shizuo
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It's hard to say if it's destiny or free will that leads us into the future. Because if it is something like destiny, we have next to no way of knowing about it.

Heck, for all we know, there could be parallel universes where we made different choices to our own universe leading to different futures in each of those universes leading into infinite universes with infinite future scenarios for each of us. The cycle would just go on, and in just thinking about the scope of that, I've just blown my own mind.

Personally, I believe destiny exists and that things are predetermined. But I also believe if an individual possesses a strong enough willpower, they can fight against it and change destiny's course.

So basically, the premise of Yugioh GX's second season forms the core of my belief system. I know that seems really stupid and might not make much sense to you. But it makes sense to me in an inexplicable way. The only way I can really explain it is that it just feels right to me.
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Old 2010-05-18, 01:22   Link #46
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This is somewhat related to the "no matter how close together you spread the sensors, your prediction of future weather is not going to improve" because of both the nonlinear characteristics and emergent properties of weather. You *can* predict weather systems in phase-space... but that only tells you whether the system is stable or heading towards a chaotic region ... not what the weather looks like in 3-space.

I understand that emergent system behaviors can be modeled or described from what I've read... but there isn't a smooth connection between the behavior of individual 'atoms' and the behavior of the 'macro' system, kind of like how the atomic model of gas particles doesn't connect to the classical or thermodynamic model of gasses.
Yes yes, brownian motion.

The science of emergence is just a theoretical set of explanations, and it seems rather impossible to control it. Due to its relativity to time and a whole lot of mysteries behind the quantum theory, it is nearly impossible to recreate a "controllable yet self-propagating" emergent product out of nothing.

Regarding the part about gas particle models and thermodynamics, I am afraid you got it wrong. There IS a connection that binds the Laws of Thermodyanamics to the spin momentum of gaseous atoms, two of which being Boyle's/Charles' Law and the omnipresent Principle Conservation of Energy. If we are talking about electrical conductivity, there is always the effect of heat on the internal resistance of the conductor (vibrating electrons, etc).
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Old 2010-05-18, 01:23   Link #47
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Let's not over-analyze a rather simple matter.
We can choose amongst a number of options but we can't do anything we imagine. We have free will but quite narrowed.
For example, anyone replying on-topic in this thread is free to write anything relevant. That is, he can write anything he wants about free will. But if he writes something totally irrelevant, then he is off-topic. There is no complete free will.

The most free people in the world are all in a coma or autistic enough to have no contact with the world around them.

Sub-topic, the escapism some series and anime offer with their ideal worlds and characters. Makes you feel more free and relaxed while watching them.
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Old 2010-05-18, 22:16   Link #48
Master_Yoma
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Did your DNA tell you to formulate your thought that way, to write that way and force you to post that thought, in written form, here on this forum?

My belief is simply that "free will" is real. It's not just some abstract construct created out of idle thought. It has basic parts but, at the same time, it is not completely controlled by those parts. The expression of "free will" is independent of its parts, as commonsense, everyday observations would suggest.
Yes it did and there no free will as long as you keep doing the same dam thing over and over again each and every day and what do you do every day wake up eat and work then sleep. Tell you brake that cycle and do some thing different every day will will not be have free will.
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Old 2010-05-18, 23:10   Link #49
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We don't have free will. We are created by our environments and everything we decide to do is influenced by stuff around us. It's that simple.
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Old 2010-05-19, 01:07   Link #50
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I was under the impression that the TC is asking whether there is a predetermined fate or destiny rather than the literal free will.
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Old 2010-05-19, 03:54   Link #51
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Fiction makes things even worse by having saviors that are destined to do something by choosing.
Fate does not allow choices.
Yet most think that fate is (in game terms) key events. The only thing you can affect is your equipment at the moment.

In reality, if someone comes and tells you that it is your fate to save the world, then you don't have to do anything. You will save it anyway!

Every time you choose to do something, you practically cut out anything else you can do at the moment. Choice means narrowing your field of action.
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Old 2010-05-19, 04:14   Link #52
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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post

In reality, if someone comes and tells you that it is your fate to save the world, then you don't have to do anything. You will save it anyway!
Except that Fate takes into account that you will do something.
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Old 2010-05-19, 04:23   Link #53
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Except that Fate takes into account that you will do something.
Telling you about it only offers unnecessary information and frustration, if you intend to do it anyway. And if you didn't intend to do it up until that time, then you are only forced to obey or run away in fear. Funny thing, you have free will only when you refuse to obey or follow oracles. Basically, being negative/prick/anarchist.
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Old 2010-05-19, 05:56   Link #54
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Telling you about it only offers unnecessary information and frustration, if you intend to do it anyway. And if you didn't intend to do it up until that time, then you are only forced to obey or run away in fear. Funny thing, you have free will only when you refuse to obey or follow oracles. Basically, being negative/prick/anarchist.
That is the "definition" of free will according to "society" kid. In fact, we all have free will, it all depends on choice whether we want to use it or not, depending on the need.
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Old 2010-05-19, 06:06   Link #55
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Whose need? If you follow needs, once again you are not free to choose.
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Old 2010-05-19, 06:15   Link #56
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Whose need? If you follow needs, once again you are not free to choose.
That's a lousy counterargument. Please tell me you do not need air, food and water to survive.

What I am arguing is in the context of Alderfer's ERG Theory and Maslow's Needs Hierarchy, probably the most sound generalisations with reference to the context of the lack of logic in human behaviour. The context of free will as in provision is different from developed and non-developed societies, and I don't think I need to explain the differences of "free will" within and between a First World Country, a Third World Country and a Neanderthal society.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2010-05-19, 06:23   Link #57
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But fiction also validates free will and determinism isn't absolute. It's not one-sided.

Fiction also validates determinism or indeterminism and shows free will isn't absolute.


It all depends on what genre or game franchise. What game will you choose? What will you play? I'll leave the rest up to you whether or not you are predestined to pick whatever game you do, or you choose it of your own accord.
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Old 2010-05-19, 06:26   Link #58
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But fiction also validates free will and determinism isn't absolute. It's not one-sided.

Fiction also validates determinism or indeterminism and shows free will isn't absolute.


It all depends on what genre or game franchise. What game will you choose? What will you play? I'll leave the rest up to you whether or not you are predestined to pick whatever game you do, or you choose it of your own accord.
It's a pity those are just simulated models. But yeah.....that's free will for you : provided you can convince someone to publish your fiction for you.
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Old 2010-05-19, 06:31   Link #59
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I personally believe in both a certain mixture free will and a broader view of predestination. Something around the avenue of "free will limited to a set of infinity". The simplest explanation I could ever think of for this belief is free will within the bounds of the Multiple Worlds Interpretation, that is to say that while I believe I possess the will independent of a complete and all-controlling outside force, my will and the results thereof are limited to whatever realistic set of options I am able to ACTUALLY perform within the exact moment of action, and that these are predetermined insofar as to the extent of all possible universes that may come into existence from my will.

If that sounds convoluted and confusing, suffice to say that I had an even worse explanation that hurts my brain.

In ways I've come to believe that while humanity has been given free will, our free will is only free given the limitations of the universe such that we can't exactly break the laws of physics and the present condition. We are only free insofar as the extent of freedom granted by reality itself, which actually sounds like a paradox. For most, true freedom means anything and everything, from reality to the metaphysical, but anyone who's actually given this idea some thought knows it is impossible. Which returns me to the paradox at hand, but then again the paradox is only a paradox insofar as to the working definition of freedom. One could argue that you can't say such freedom is limited no one can accurately say that they've tested and reached the bounds and limits of reality itself to know that it is indeed limited, and thus freedom is itself not really free.

Thus comes my problem: how "free" are we if we can't exactly test the extent of this freedom? Is our free will only there because we haven't found the boundaries that limit it, and that our freedom is merely an illusion to this?

As for my belief, being a supporter of MWI I believe that outside a revelation that shows freedom is fake if it is, we all have the ability to make a choice with every passing moment in our lives so long as they can actually be chosen. Freedom here is the free will to make a choice from a set of possible choices, not the free will to choose anything you want. From there it is likely possible that there is a large abundance of pre-determined possibilities that will occur based on these choices. You choose your pre-determined possible universe, so to speak.

I wanted to talk about Eternal Recurrence but this thread interrupted my session of Alan Wake, which coincidentally also has themes on destiny and such.
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Old 2010-05-19, 07:21   Link #60
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Freedom here is the free will to make a choice from a set of possible choices, not the free will to choose anything you want.
That clarification is probably worth repeating. Proto already defined "free will" in his original post, but it seems that many still misunderstand what the concept typically means in philosophical debate.

"Free", in this specific case, does not mean having unlimited freedom. It simply means freedom from constraints or predetermined causes.

So, to quote from the ever-handy Wikipediea:

Free will is the purported ability of agents to make choices free from constraints.

Also, an "agent" is defined as follows:

Agency is a concept used in philosophy and sociology to refer to the capacity of an entity to act in a world.
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