Andy Murray vs Teymuraz Gabashvili, Time - 12:30am BST tonight - Discuss the match

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Free will

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I thought that was the point Fiverings was making - for the multiverse to be true, determinism cannot be.

It depends on how you're defining it. Making a blanket statement like, "Multiverse is not compatible with lack of free will" is what I was objecting to, really. Not everyone defines the multiverse in the same way. As I said, it's still a fairly vague concept.


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But the fact it is taken seriously in the scientific community would perhaps suggest they either do not believe in determinism or haven't thought about it?

Determinism is actually accepted within the scientific community. The philosophical implications don't fall within the natural sciences, though. That's why free will is a philosophical question.
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The philosophical implications don't fall within the natural sciences, though. That's why free will is a philosophical question.
The fact that the brain experiment, that we both know so well, was done on this subject surely means determinism can fall into science?

I have to say I'm really quite upset that something so important in life can apparently be excused from scientific scrutiny. It almost feels analogous to a religious person saying God is above science and therefore should not be debated with those principles.
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The fact that the brain experiment that we both know so well was done on this subject surely means determinism can fall into science?

Yes, determinism does. The question of free will doesn't. Determinism has obvious implications for free will, which most scientists are doubtless aware of. The question of free will is philosophical, however. Basically, determinism and free will are obviously connected, but they are not precisely the same thing. One merely has implications for the other.

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I have to say I'm really quite upset that something so important in life can apparently be excused from scientific scrutiny. It almost feels analogous to a religious person saying God is above science and therefore should not be debated with those principles.

It's not something that can really be scrutinised. It's a deductive argument, not really open to experimentation.
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I like the fact that evolution by natural selection is a fact and yet can so easily be disproved. Is that possible for the free will debate? Can you think of a reasonable hypothetical scenario that would disprove it all?
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I like the fact that evolution by natural selection is a fact and yet can so easily be disproved. Is that possible for the free will debate? Can you think of a reasonable hypothetical scenario that would disprove it all?

I really can't. Then again, I'm tired right now and don't want to burn much more fuel on the question tonight.
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As you wish Smile
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Thanks, Mark, for interpreting my point correctly. Determinism makes no practical or philosophical sense to me. And, if true, it can never be demonstrated. On the contrary all evidence from quantum and chaos theory. strongly suggests its a mechanistic fiction from classical physics. However I'm bored now with this sterile exchange, and determined to move on with my life in other directions. Thanks for the workout.
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Thanks, Mark, for interpreting my point correctly. Determinism makes no practical or philosophical sense to me. And, if true, it can never be demonstrated. On the contrary all evidence from quantum and chaos theory. strongly suggests its a mechanistic fiction from classical physics. However I'm bored now with this sterile exchange, and determined to move on with my life in other directions. Thanks for the workout.

It has zero to do with practicality and everything to do with what's true, whether or not you find it convenient. And no, there is nothing within physics that suggests determinism is false, besides the occasional vague interpretation of multiverse theory. Quite the opposite, in fact.

And thanks for evading the question. You say determinism makes no sense to you, yet fail to answer a simple challenge. Give me one decision you have made that was the result of free will.
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It has zero to do with practicality and everything to do with what's true, whether or not you find it convenient. And no, there is nothing within physics that suggests determinism is false, besides the occasional vague interpretation of multiverse theory. Quite the opposite, in fact.

And thanks for evading the question. You say determinism makes no sense to you, yet fail to answer a simple challenge. Give me one decision you have made that was the result of free will.

Here's the only issue you can have with Clydey's theory - the fact that, even without definitive proof, everything can be put down to "genes or environment".

For very few "decisions", it can be shown conclusively that it is, but the rest are just assumed to be - there's an assumption of the existence of the very thing trying to be shown.

I probably agree with the idea that free will is an illusion, but in many ways this is similar to the "you can't prove there's not a God" flaw in arguing.
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Here's the only issue you can have with Clydey's theory - the fact that, even without definitive proof, everything can be put down to "genes or environment".

For very few "decisions", it can be shown conclusively that it is, but the rest are just assumed to be - there's an assumption of the existence of the very thing trying to be shown.

I probably agree with the idea that free will is an illusion, but in many ways this is similar to the "you can't prove there's not a God" flaw in arguing.

Which decisions are the exception, out of curiosity? I can think of a single exception to causation, but it's not a decision.
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Which decisions are the exception, out of curiosity? I can think of a single exception to causation, but it's not a decision.

No one right now can point to one - however, no one can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that every single decision was caused by genes or environment. It's far too complex to do so.

That's not to say it's not right, but it's still a huge gap, and one that allows for an assumption that can't be refuted conclusively either.

The logical argument put up earlier by Mark has premises that can't be completely shown to be true. That's the big problem. It's somewhat circular in that the argument is stating everything is determined by genes or environment because everything is determined by genes or environment, even when we can't truly identify the processes.

And it would seem as though experimenting and measuring this very thing would be impossible.
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No one right now can point to one - however, no one can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that every single decision was caused by genes or environment. It's far too complex to do so.

Deductive reasoning does it for you. Every decision we make has to have a prior cause. We are our genes and our environment and they are beyond our control. A valid deductive argument is as much evidence as you can ask for.

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And it would seem as though experimenting and measuring this very thing would be impossible.

You don't need to experiment or measure. That's like saying you need to do an experiment to make a mathematical proof. In reality, a valid deductive argument is as strong as evidence can get.
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Deductive reasoning does it for you.
But for deductive logic doesn't the premise have to be a provable fact? And yet for your deductive logic, the premise is simply more logic.

In reality, a valid deductive argument is as strong as evidence can get.
Then the world being flat was once deductive logic.
[ Last edit by Mark June 03, 2012, 11:58 AM ] IP Logged
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Deductive reasoning does it for you. Every decision we make has to have a prior cause. We are our genes and our environment and they are beyond our control. A valid deductive argument is as much evidence as you can ask for.

You don't need to experiment or measure. That's like saying you need to do an experiment to make a mathematical proof. In reality, a valid deductive argument is as strong as evidence can get.

"Every decision we make has to have a prior cause" - that's the very assumption I'm talking about.

It's begging the question, in philosophical terms.

The conclusion to the argument may very well be completely correct, but we haven't come up with the evidence yet to make that an absolute certainty. There's a very real chance we may never do so.
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I can think of a single exception to causation
The one that comes to mind for me is the events preceding the universe. Either you accept that at the earliest of time the core ingredients always existed. Or instead, you believe the premise that "All events are caused", consequently accepting the idea of an infinite regress.
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