# Thread: Is the future changeable?

1. I'm in a dilemma here.
I don't know what to believe. If you consider the uncertainty principles in physics the the future is changeable and can't be predicted. But this uncertainty principles only says that we can't measure some thing at the same time to an arbitrary precision.
For example is we measure speed and place at the same time we can only know 1 very precise.
But I for example we know every single property of every single thing that exists. And we know all the formulas. Then theoretical we should be able to calculate exactly what will happen.
At a single moment everything has a place and velocity and a lot of other things. And the rules are always the same. So I should be possible to predict everything is we know everything.

This got me confused. I believe that the uncertainty principle is true but that only applies to measuring things. That doesn't say the future is changeable.

What is wrong in my thinking?

2.

3. thats why i hate newtonian relativistic phyiscs: deterministic

and love quantum physics indeterministic

they contradict each other in their philososphy

my opinion is the future cant be changed though you have free will, just as with the past

4. hmm you believe things can't be changed and yet you believe in free will?
isn't our will, our thoughts, determined by a bunch of particles and physic laws? the things you say that aren't changeable?
if future is unchangeable free will doesn't exist

5. Originally Posted by jan-pieterv
I'm in a dilemma here.
I don't know what to believe. If you consider the uncertainty principles in physics the the future is changeable and can't be predicted. But this uncertainty principles only says that we can't measure some thing at the same time to an arbitrary precision.
For example is we measure speed and place at the same time we can only know 1 very precise.
But I for example we know every single property of every single thing that exists. And we know all the formulas. Then theoretical we should be able to calculate exactly what will happen.
At a single moment everything has a place and velocity and a lot of other things. And the rules are always the same. So I should be possible to predict everything is we know everything.

This got me confused. I believe that the uncertainty principle is true but that only applies to measuring things. That doesn't say the future is changeable.

What is wrong in my thinking?
"Changing the future" is an oxymoron. Change it from what ?

The deterministic nature of Newtonian mechanics was observed long ago, by LaPlace if I recall correctly.

Nobody knows if physics is really deterministic or not. General relativity is completely deterministic. Quantum mechanics is not.

Some think that Bell's inequality rules out a deterministic explanation for QM. Gerard 'tHoof is not convinced.

6. can we determine or atleast influence what the future will be or has the future already been determined?

7. they mention this issue on how future is fixed but at the same time you have free will in the matrix movie

they explain you chose and then you live it to know why you chose that

so the free will would transcend time

8. This is a philosophy question, not a physics question. The uncertainty principle, the deterministic nature of relativity and the random nature of quantum mechanics are all points to be addressed, but that doesn't mean the question or the answer has anything to do with physics.

9. Originally Posted by jan-pieterv
can we determine or atleast influence what the future will be or has the future already been determined?
Of course you can iinfluence the future. That is what choices are all about.

If you don't believe that, try telling the judge that "the devil made you do it".

10. It comes together in the laws of probability. Specifically the law of large numbers which states that, over a sufficiently large number of die rolls, the outcomes become increasingly uniform with greater numbers of rolls.

For example, it would be astronomically rare to roll a million dice, and get 200,000 one's. You could roll 10 dice, and get 2 one's, or maybe even 100 dice, and get 20 one's, but you couldn't roll 6.023 * 10^23 dice (the number of atoms in a mole of matter) and get 1.24 * 10^23 one's. That just doesn't happen.

So, the fact that physics is governed by probability on the smallest scale does nothing to prevent it from being deterministic on the large scale.

11. in an infinite trow of dices actually that must happen

in an infinite row even a trillion of six in a row can happen

is there something that can be divided in halves infinitally exists?

12. Originally Posted by luxtpm
in an infinite trow of dices actually that must happen

in an infinite row even a trillion of six in a row can happen

is there something that can be divided in halves infinitally exists?
This is true, but you will only encounter an infinite number of die rolls after you've observed an infinite amount of matter. The fact it can happen, and that it would happen in an infinitely sized universe, doesn't mean that humanity will ever experience it to happen.

13. three words: unfalsifiable

14. Originally Posted by DrRocket
Of course you can iinfluence the future. That is what choices are all about.

If you don't believe that, try telling the judge that "the devil made you do it".
Well choices are made by the brain. The brain works by processing a stream of electrons, molecules, ... These things all obey the laws of physics so if you were able to "back-up" the universe. And then let it run a few times. Wouldn't you're choice be the same all the time? Or would there be some weird uncertainty principle that would alter the outcome every time?
I think because the laws of physics are the exact same thing everywhere and every time everything is determined beforehand. Even the choices we make because the are the result of what physical laws do with particles.

Originally Posted by MagiMaster
This is a philosophy question, not a physics question. The uncertainty principle, the deterministic nature of relativity and the random nature of quantum mechanics are all points to be addressed, but that doesn't mean the question or the answer has anything to do with physics.
I don't think so. Maybe because I used humans and free will it seems as if this is a philosophy question. But there are other things that can be used to pose the same problem. I just can't find a good one for the moment

Originally Posted by kojax
It comes together in the laws of probability. Specifically the law of large numbers which states that, over a sufficiently large number of die rolls, the outcomes become increasingly uniform with greater numbers of rolls.

For example, it would be astronomically rare to roll a million dice, and get 200,000 one's. You could roll 10 dice, and get 2 one's, or maybe even 100 dice, and get 20 one's, but you couldn't roll 6.023 * 10^23 dice (the number of atoms in a mole of matter) and get 1.24 * 10^23 one's. That just doesn't happen.

So, the fact that physics is governed by probability on the smallest scale does nothing to prevent it from being deterministic on the large scale.
But that doesn't mean there can't be tiny differences. What we calculate in quantum dynamics and thing like that is based on probability. But is there really a chance that thing will be different? The probability is only introduced because we can't measure certain quantity simultaneously. So we have to be satisfied with approximate values. Here we get our probabilities because the chance that it is a specific quantity is normally distributed.
But certainly the particle in question must have an exact value for that quantity so in my opinion if we would know everything we wouldn't be able to change anything because everything is determined.

Originally Posted by marcusclayman
three words: unfalsifiable
what exact thing here is unfalsifiable? I know what unfalsifiable is after looking at wikipedia but can't understand what you mean

15. Originally Posted by jan-pieterv

Originally Posted by MagiMaster
This is a philosophy question, not a physics question. The uncertainty principle, the deterministic nature of relativity and the random nature of quantum mechanics are all points to be addressed, but that doesn't mean the question or the answer has anything to do with physics.
I don't think so. Maybe because I used humans and free will it seems as if this is a philosophy question. But there are other things that can be used to pose the same problem. I just can't find a good one for the moment
The human ego doesn't like the idea of accepting that we are just another object in the universe. Everything you will do in the future is determined by a combination of external events and "who you are".

The thing is, you can't change who you are. At the most fundamental level, you are what you desire to choose. You can change what you actually choose, but you can't change what you desire to choose. If you are an alcoholic, and you reform, it will be because you desire to reform.

But certainly the particle in question must have an exact value for that quantity so in my opinion if we would know everything we wouldn't be able to change anything because everything is determined.
In situations like Schrodinger's Cat, a given object may have no exact state for a very long time, while it waits for someone to observe it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat

This might even suggest backwards time causality, if you interpret it certain ways. (It's not a very popular, or widely accepted interpretation, however) Perhaps future and past are just matters of perspective? Maybe there might exist a unifying perspective from which they are all "now"?

16. Originally Posted by DrRocket
Of course you can iinfluence the future. That is what choices are all about.

If you don't believe that, try telling the judge that "the devil made you do it".
This is where, in my opinion, materialism fails completely. Unless you accept a non-material component in the human being, you have to conclude that all our choices are determined by the makeup of our bodies (including the brain of course) plus the surrounding world, and the only non-deterministic factor is any quantum effects involved in the synnapses or wherever. In brief, whatever isn't determined is purely random. No room for a free will (Kojax says just about the same in other words) that might be held morally accountable for its choices.

So, in the eyes of a materialist judge, any offender, however wicked and ruthless, should be morally as innocent as the baby who was thrown out of a window and fell on passing nonagenarian, killing her.

17. Originally Posted by luxtpm
in an infinite trow of dices actually that must happen
false

Originally Posted by luxtpm
in an infinite row even a trillion of six in a row can happen
true

Originally Posted by luxtpm
is there something that can be divided in halves infinitally exists?
gibberish

18. Originally Posted by jan-pieterv
Originally Posted by DrRocket
Of course you can iinfluence the future. That is what choices are all about.

If you don't believe that, try telling the judge that "the devil made you do it".
Well choices are made by the brain. The brain works by processing a stream of electrons, molecules, ... These things all obey the laws of physics so if you were able to "back-up" the universe. And then let it run a few times. Wouldn't you're choice be the same all the time? Or would there be some weird uncertainty principle that would alter the outcome every time?
I think because the laws of physics are the exact same thing everywhere and every time everything is determined beforehand. Even the choices we make because the are the result of what physical laws do with particles.
But so far as we know physics is not deterministic.

Yoiu can still try telling that to the judge. I predict stripes.

There is no physical theory that explains consciousness.

Originally Posted by jan-pieterv
But that doesn't mean there can't be tiny differences. What we calculate in quantum dynamics and thing like that is based on probability. But is there really a chance that thing will be different? The probability is only introduced because we can't measure certain quantity simultaneously. So we have to be satisfied with approximate values. Here we get our probabilities because the chance that it is a specific quantity is normally distributed.
But certainly the particle in question must have an exact value for that quantity so in my opinion if we would know everything we wouldn't be able to change anything because everything is determined.
The law of large numbers does not guarantee a specific outcome or distribution of outcomes. It only guarantees a high probability is assigned to that outcome.

There is nothing whatever that guarantees the normal probability distribution in all situations. The usual justification for the assumption of a normal distribution is the central limit theorem. That applies to an infinite sum of independent normally distributed random variables, and only to a sum.

The world is not normally distributed. If it were there would be bolts breaking in tension under a compressive load.

Usually the normal distribution is a good approximation near the mean of a random variable. It is not a good approximation for the analysis of low probability events. That comes along with the central limit theorem.

19. Originally Posted by kojax
Originally Posted by jan-pieterv

Originally Posted by MagiMaster
This is a philosophy question, not a physics question. The uncertainty principle, the deterministic nature of relativity and the random nature of quantum mechanics are all points to be addressed, but that doesn't mean the question or the answer has anything to do with physics.
I don't think so. Maybe because I used humans and free will it seems as if this is a philosophy question. But there are other things that can be used to pose the same problem. I just can't find a good one for the moment
The human ego doesn't like the idea of accepting that we are just another object in the universe. Everything you will do in the future is determined by a combination of external events and "who you are".

The thing is, you can't change who you are. At the most fundamental level, you are what you desire to choose. You can change what you actually choose, but you can't change what you desire to choose. If you are an alcoholic, and you reform, it will be because you desire to reform.

But certainly the particle in question must have an exact value for that quantity so in my opinion if we would know everything we wouldn't be able to change anything because everything is determined.
In situations like Schrodinger's Cat, a given object may have no exact state for a very long time, while it waits for someone to observe it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat

This might even suggest backwards time causality, if you interpret it certain ways. (It's not a very popular, or widely accepted interpretation, however) Perhaps future and past are just matters of perspective? Maybe there might exist a unifying perspective from which they are all "now"?
That particular interpretation of that particular experiment has long been debunked. Observation is not something done by somebody. It's done by any particle not part of the system being observed. Unless the box can be completely isolated from the rest of the universe (it can't), this doesn't apply the way most people think it does.

Also, the millions of dice are still random. No matter how many dice you add, it never becomes deterministic. It's just that you can predict the outcome very accurately by assuming the system is deterministic.

BTW, this is definitely a philosophy question, no matter what terms you put it in. (Not Schrodinger's cat; the discussion on free will and determinism.)

20. Originally Posted by MagiMaster

Also, the millions of dice are still random. No matter how many dice you add, it never becomes deterministic. It's just that you can predict the outcome very accurately by assuming the system is deterministic.
Yeah. It approaches determinism, but never reaches it. The odds are never infinity to one for any outcome, but they can reach the point where they are 10^1,000,000 to one (or some other absurd number) very easily.

So from the perspective of theory, it's not true determinism, but from the perspective of practice, it so near to it that you can't measure a difference.

Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
Originally Posted by DrRocket
Of course you can iinfluence the future. That is what choices are all about.

If you don't believe that, try telling the judge that "the devil made you do it".
This is where, in my opinion, materialism fails completely. Unless you accept a non-material component in the human being, you have to conclude that all our choices are determined by the makeup of our bodies (including the brain of course) plus the surrounding world, and the only non-deterministic factor is any quantum effects involved in the synnapses or wherever. In brief, whatever isn't determined is purely random. No room for a free will (Kojax says just about the same in other words) that might be held morally accountable for its choices.

So, in the eyes of a materialist judge, any offender, however wicked and ruthless, should be morally as innocent as the baby who was thrown out of a window and fell on passing nonagenarian, killing her.
Maybe the makeup of your body is still a good reason to put you in prison. Suppose you contracted a form of AIDS that was transmittable through the air, instead of just by sex. We'd want to quarantine you. A chronic criminal who continually violates the law might be isolated for a similar reason: to protect the rest of us.

Also, if your chemical makeup responds to penalties, then penalizing your makeup does some good. It's unfortunate that doing so has the side effect of penalizing you, the person, along with you, the person's makeup, but maybe it's still morally acceptable if it's necessary in order to bring about a good result.

21. Most scientific evidence at this point in time suggests that the future is entirely fixed. And to those who think this is a philosophical debate, your wrong, its a perfectly legitament scientiffic question to ask if events that will happen in the future are fixed. This is all about Causality. The next event that happens is entirely dependant on the events that occurred before it, nothing else can happen. There is only one final frontier to find out for sure whether or not humans have free will, and that is when we discover what "conciousness" is and how it works. Admittedly, there is absolutely no scientiffic explaination for conciousness whatsoever at present, its easily the most profound mystery of the universe. But sadly, my opinion is that the future is fixed and there is nothing that can be done to change the way things are happening. We are like the watchers of a movie, we get to observe the events happening in the movie, but the future of that movie has obviously already been decided, its future is fixed and cannot be changed.

22. Originally Posted by Waveman28
Most scientific evidence at this point in time suggests that the future is entirely fixed. .
Baloney.

There are two major physical theories. Quantum theory and general relativity.

Quantum theory is stochastic.

General relativity is deterministic.

Nobody really knows if an ultimate theory will be stochastic or deterministic, but most researchers have thrown their hat into the stochastic ring. That is why there is such emphasis on developlment of a theory of quantum gravity.

The counter-point is that some pretty smart people, like Roger Penrose and Gerard 'tHooft, seriously consider the possibility of an encompassing deterministic theory.

But the statement that "Most scientific evidence at this point in time suggests that the future is entirely fixed" has no basis whatever.

23. i didslike einstein for mistreating psicologically his wife

i think he tried to elude his faults by blaming them on determinism

man i know in the past i took choices with my free will

the past is unmovable and yet i had free will as so can happen with the future unmovable yet with free will

in fact theres only one future a precognition of something that wont happens cause has beeen changed is wrong

24. uncertainty appliess as well to the past

you cant determine spin and momentum neither in the present future or past

25. Originally Posted by kojax
Maybe the makeup of your body is still a good reason to put you in prison. Suppose you contracted a form of AIDS that was transmittable through the air, instead of just by sex. We'd want to quarantine you. A chronic criminal who continually violates the law might be isolated for a similar reason: to protect the rest of us.

Also, if your chemical makeup responds to penalties, then penalizing your makeup does some good. It's unfortunate that doing so has the side effect of penalizing you, the person, along with you, the person's makeup, but maybe it's still morally acceptable if it's necessary in order to bring about a good result.
These are all plausible propositions, but they have some disturbing consequences:

- Prisons would no longer be what we understand them to be: places of well-deserved and just punishment. Instead, their role would be indistinguishable from psychiatric hospitals and quarantine centers (known as leprosaria in the good old days). This opens the way to locking people up because they might do something terrible in the future - given that they are morally just as innocent after as before the deed.

- "Me, the person" would still suffer the effects of decisions made by "me, the makeup", while having no say in what "I, the makeup" decide. In fact, there is not much left of "me, the person" other than the undeniable ability to suffer or enjoy (the latter is, of course, less disturbing).

Cheers,
L.

26. Originally Posted by luxtpm
i didslike einstein for mistreating psicologically his wife

i think he tried to elude his faults by blaming them on determinism

man i know in the past i took choices with my free will

the past is unmovable and yet i had free will as so can happen with the future unmovable yet with free will

in fact theres only one future a precognition of something that wont happens cause has beeen changed is wrong
I think you used free will to skip english classes.......

27. oh synchronicity

in 45 minutes i start to give class to an erasmus student

ill get paid 12 euro per hour just to converstae

amazingly i have a degree in english philology

28. Originally Posted by luxtpm
amazingly i have a degree in english philology
That is amazing. How much did you pay the diploma mill?

29. Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
[
These are all plausible propositions, but they have some disturbing consequences:

- Prisons would no longer be what we understand them to be: places of well-deserved and just punishment. Instead, their role would be indistinguishable from psychiatric hospitals and quarantine centers (known as leprosaria in the good old days). This opens the way to locking people up because they might do something terrible in the future - given that they are morally just as innocent after as before the deed.

Cheers,
L.
In this perfectly deterministic, clockwork, universe, the actions of society in establishing prisons, apprehending people and incarcerating them are also not acts of any free will, but simply the inevitable consequences of initial conditions. There is no need for morals and moral judgments at all, everything is pre-ordained, and I do mean everything.

It is a pretty bleak prospect. If your are disturbed it s because initial conditions cause you to be disturbed.

This position is sufficiently at odds with the everyday experience of nearly everyone to be rejected.

30. Originally Posted by DrRocket
In this perfectly deterministic, clockwork, universe, the actions of society in establishing prisons, apprehending people and incarcerating them are also not acts of any free will, but simply the inevitable consequences of initial conditions. There is no need for morals and moral judgments at all, everything is pre-ordained, and I do mean everything.

It is a pretty bleak prospect. If your are disturbed it s because initial conditions cause you to be disturbed.
Damn, you beat me to it, and what youve said there is exactly right.

Originally Posted by DrRocket
This position is sufficiently at odds with the everyday experience of nearly everyone to be rejected.
Why'd you have to throw that in at the end!? You were on a roll. As I was saying before, its all about cause and effect: the same cause will always result in the same effect, provided that all other factors are identical. And because at any instant in time, the factors that exist are the same as itself, there can only be one outcome.

I had a really freaky dream once that involved this kind of thing. I was in a perfectly symmetrical room with an identical version of my exact self on the other side of the room (which was circular). Whenever I went to say something, the other me said the exact same thing. I knew that the other me knew about determinism just like I did (because we were identical) so I tried to think of a way to break the symmetry somehow. But this proved to be completely futile, everything i tried to do, the other me tried aswell so when I went to ask him to help, he asked me too. The dream seemed to go forever, i tried everything. And then we both said "holy s**t", and put our hands over our mouths and started crying. It was such a wierd dream, i was so glad to wake up, worst nightmare ever.

31. Originally Posted by DrRocket
gibberish
My favourite word.

32. cause my image in the mirror does as me that doesnt nullify my free will

as i see it idiots blame deterministic fate

whos gonna accept to be an idiot

is it so difficult to understand that either with free will or not theres only one future as theres only one past

in fact the only way to not have free will is that if both outcomes of a choice become real

as long as there are two choices as happens in quantum level in the quantic computer that is the brain and only one becomes real free will has been exerted by taking a choice

your determinism is obsolote and not anymore valid as quantum physics has proved since the microworld affetcs the marcowolrd

33. Originally Posted by luxtpm
cause my image in the mirror does as me that doesnt nullify my free will

as i see it idiots blame deterministic fate

whos gonna accept to be an idiot

is it so difficult to understand that either with free will or not theres only one future as theres only one past

in fact the only way to not have free will is that if both outcomes of a choice become real

as long as there are two choices as happens in quantum level in the quantic computer that is the brain and only one becomes real free will has been exerted by taking a choice

your determinism is obsolote and not anymore valid as quantum physics has proved since the microworld affetcs the marcowolrd

34. Originally Posted by DrRocket
Originally Posted by Waveman28
Most scientific evidence at this point in time suggests that the future is entirely fixed. .
Baloney.

There are two major physical theories. Quantum theory and general relativity.

Quantum theory is stochastic.

General relativity is deterministic.

Nobody really knows if an ultimate theory will be stochastic or deterministic, but most researchers have thrown their hat into the stochastic ring. That is why there is such emphasis on developlment of a theory of quantum gravity.

The counter-point is that some pretty smart people, like Roger Penrose and Gerard 'tHooft, seriously consider the possibility of an encompassing deterministic theory.

But the statement that "Most scientific evidence at this point in time suggests that the future is entirely fixed" has no basis whatever.
Quantum theory is stochastic because we cant measure everything to an arbitrary precision. Because of this there is a chance that it will be a different value.
Because can only work with the chance that a value it this or that the outcome of the calculations are also expressed in chances
But is we would know everything: all the laws to exact precision and all the properties to exact precision then these stochastic thing would become deterministic because the chances would become 100%

35. The future doesn't exist, thus, its not changeable.

36. 1) The universe is either stochastic or deterministic. We don't know which and nobody can claim either

2) The theory that there would be only one future is unfalsifyable, and thus such claim cannot be made. Similarly, the fact whether Schrödinger's cat is both dead and alive simultaneously or not is unfalsifyable. The multiverse interpretation is just as valid as any other interpretation.

3) Whether the universe is stochastic or deterministic doesn't affect free will. This is a philosophical point that requires an exact definition of free will. As long as we can't affect the way in which quantum waves collapse, any indeterminism might as well be for the purpose of determining our actions, a kind of "soft" determinism.
Determinism does not oppose free will.

4) The only reason a "lack" of free will would influence our justice system is for punishment as revenge or retribution, which is completely pointless anyway.

5) luxtpm: if you have a degree in english philology, you have probably heard about capitalisation, punctuation and spelling checkers. If you want others to take the time to read what you have to say you could show them some respect by using those. (hereby I excuse any spelling errors in this post: I don't have the privilege to install firefox on this PC, am not an native speaker and have no degree in English whatsoever.)

37. however good my writting was still would have to listen spell nazis and those who PRETEND not to understand

38. Originally Posted by luxtpm
however good my writting was still would have to listen spell nazis and those who PRETEND not to understand
It's about respect for your readers. If you don't think what you write is worth the effort of pressing a shift key once in a while, why would we think it's worth reading.

39. plz point me to the mistakes here not caused by dixlesia which makes this not understandable as someone pointed out:

cause my image in the mirror does as me that doesnt nullify my free will

as i see it idiots blame deterministic fate

whos gonna accept to be an idiot

is it so difficult to understand that either with free will or not theres only one future as theres only one past

in fact the only way to not have free will is that if both outcomes of a choice become real

as long as there are two choices as happens in quantum level in the quantic computer that is the brain and only one becomes real free will has been exerted by taking a choice

your determinism is obsolote and not anymore valid as quantum physics has proved since the microworld affetcs the marcowolrd

as for using capital letters thats a rule i refuse to follow not for disrespect but to be consecuent with my lazy personality

if you dont agree- like what i say but cant refute it i see childish counterattack on the grammar

this is a serious discussion in the end i think is about wether we have a soul- free will or not and that my grammar is bad doesnt change the fact we are responsible for our actions

what is worse that i dont use capital letters for being lazy or pretend not to understand with a mean will

40. We understand, but it takes longer, especially if you are gluing sentences head to tail and omit words: your laziness requires more effort by those who read it, which is a sign of arrogance.

And yes it affects a serious discussion: if you don't even bother about punctuation, do you even think about the content?

PS: my apologies to everyone else for hijacking this thread. I'm easily annoyed if posters show lack of respect/interest by ignoring basic posting courtesy.

41. i understand nobody here belives in free will right?

42. Originally Posted by luxtpm
i understand nobody here belives in free will right?
I do

43. thats nice i dislike people who think theyre not responsible for their acts

thats the very same reason i dislike not neccesarily disbelieve newtonian and relativistic physics but find amazing quantum physics

thousands of years of determinism to be brought down by the atom

i dont think well ever prove god exists but sometime in the future i think the soul existance might be proved

edit:

back on topic nobodys adressing the issue on whatever it is theres only one present one past and one future

was the past random? yes it was, yet theres only one, the same can be applied for the future

the only theory my ethics makes me refuse to admit is the one that kills the posibility of free will:

that for every choice the universe divides in two making both real

this is a theory explained in the crap gubernamental propaganda of the made up story of time traveller john titor

44. I have never known an English major who could stand a complete lack of any punctuation. Are you sure you're not an English literature major? I know there are some poets who write like that (and I'm pretty sure they weren't English majors).

45. But I for example we know every single property of every single thing that exists. And we know all the formulas. Then theoretical we should be able to calculate exactly what will happen.
Yes, you can indeed predict the future with 100% certainty across any span of time. In fact, its done all the time :wink:

46. Not yet, but most things are better than chance.

47. Originally Posted by Bender
Originally Posted by luxtpm
i understand nobody here belives in free will right?
I do
And so do I.

48. i believe to the future can be predicted, i know by experience i have many precognitions

most people has had dreams that later happened, this is common

but imo though the future can be predicted still we have free will, just as we know the past and we still know we had free will

the matrix movie is in favour of this theory also free will in a fixed future, choices seem to be taken transcending time

49. Originally Posted by jan-pieterv
Quantum theory is stochastic because we cant measure everything to an arbitrary precision. Because of this there is a chance that it will be a different value.
Because can only work with the chance that a value it this or that the outcome of the calculations are also expressed in chances
But is we would know everything: all the laws to exact precision and all the properties to exact precision then these stochastic thing would become deterministic because the chances would become 100%
Originally Posted by luxtpm
uncertainty appliess as well to the past

you cant determine spin and momentum neither in the present future or past
Taken together, these two points seem to make the future and the past identical. We can only be certain of the past up to a certain level of precision, and we can only be certain of the future up to a certain level of precision. So: if we use uncertainty as the basis for our decision, then either we must conclude that both the past and future are changeable, or we must accept that neither are changeable.

Originally Posted by luxtpm
however good my writting was still would have to listen spell nazis and those who PRETEND not to understand
If English is not your first language, why don't you just say so, and people will have more sympathy for you?

If English is your first language, then you need to understand that, on a forum like this your ideas will be complicated, which means they're hard to understand even if they are properly punctuated. Add further complications, like spelling and grammar mistakes, and it might honestly become too difficult to understand you.

50. oh yes im from spain and my english degree was mostly centered in feminist literature

51. If you were to take into consideration all that has been said; Yes, you do have a free will but it's already been determined what your free will will decide. Logically speaking, that would mean the future is unchangable, as all the factors put into the "present" would have decided what your free will will decide. Whether deterministic or stochastic makes no difference, as the choice you make is always the same. The question is, will those factors put into the decision ever change? Will the uncertainty principle cause a truck that SHOULD be there diverge somehow, thus avoiding an early death? Would the same principle cause a neuron in your brain that was supposed to be fired, not be fired, thus causing a change in your thought process? Either way, your free will, will have decided that way due to the circumstances. Whether the circumstances will be the same every time is up in the air. One atom or electron gone missing can change everything? That's a question science has to answer.

52. Originally Posted by Burnedalive
If you were to take into consideration all that has been said; Yes, you do have a free will but it's already been determined what your free will will decide. Logically speaking, that would mean the future is unchangable, as all the factors put into the "present" would have decided what your free will will decide. Whether deterministic or stochastic makes no difference, as the choice you make is always the same. The question is, will those factors put into the decision ever change? Will the uncertainty principle cause a truck that SHOULD be there diverge somehow, thus avoiding an early death? Would the same principle cause a neuron in your brain that was supposed to be fired, not be fired, thus causing a change in your thought process? Either way, your free will, will have decided that way due to the circumstances. Whether the circumstances will be the same every time is up in the air. One atom or electron gone missing can change everything? That's a question science has to answer.
The answer won't make a difference to the current discussion. Even if these quantum effects affect our choices, it has no bearing on the determined nature of our choices, since we cannot affect the quantum effects. In that case they're just not pre-determined.

53. that we cannot affect the quantum effects in an assumption.
that everything follows distinct unchanging laws is also an assumption.

these assumptions seem to be obvious because the world around us behaves rather newtonianly. we assume them because we're so used to things working that way.

Conway and Kochen say they can essentially prove that our universe is not deterministic under the prevailing theories.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gene...e_free_will%3F

interesting stuff.

54. Originally Posted by Leszek Luchowski
Originally Posted by kojax
Maybe the makeup of your body is still a good reason to put you in prison. Suppose you contracted a form of AIDS that was transmittable through the air, instead of just by sex. We'd want to quarantine you. A chronic criminal who continually violates the law might be isolated for a similar reason: to protect the rest of us.

Also, if your chemical makeup responds to penalties, then penalizing your makeup does some good. It's unfortunate that doing so has the side effect of penalizing you, the person, along with you, the person's makeup, but maybe it's still morally acceptable if it's necessary in order to bring about a good result.
These are all plausible propositions, but they have some disturbing consequences:

- Prisons would no longer be what we understand them to be: places of well-deserved and just punishment. Instead, their role would be indistinguishable from psychiatric hospitals and quarantine centers (known as leprosaria in the good old days). This opens the way to locking people up because they might do something terrible in the future - given that they are morally just as innocent after as before the deed.

- "Me, the person" would still suffer the effects of decisions made by "me, the makeup", while having no say in what "I, the makeup" decide. In fact, there is not much left of "me, the person" other than the undeniable ability to suffer or enjoy (the latter is, of course, less disturbing).

Cheers,
L.
I've been thinking about this some more. Whether you believe in time travel or not, the human mind allows for a limited form of backwards time causality. I mean that your present actions are often determined on the basis of what you perceive to be the probable future.

The prediction that someone will be jailed if they attempt to rob a bank honestly does stop bank robberies before they ever happen in the first place. How do you create that perception, unless you make a few examples? Prisons are not about punishing past events. They're about preventing future events.

So: to say a person has no free will is not the same as saying that perception of the likely future has no effect on their behavior. People who are in psych hospitals instead of prison are placed there because the expectation of future punishment has no effect on their behavior (or the wrong effect), not because they lack "free will" in a general sense. I think this whole concept of "moral accountability" is just an illusion.

55. i dont know if you will find this helpful but i remember a post about determinism a while back where we had the discussion about whether Quantum indeterminism can have an effect on determinism on the macro scale, I.E. Suggesting that indeterminism 'smoothes out' into determinism on the macro scale.

http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=17769

From reading my posts on this, it looks like im wrestling with the concepts im my own mind, with the same dilemma as the orignal poster in this thread. in the end i dont think it matters. If the future has not occured then what is it deviating from? like Dr rocket said the question is not entirely sound.

there is the fallacy of human constructions hiding behind questions like these.

butI think im just making an excuse so that my brain does not have get bogged down in it ever again! :-D

56. We cannot change something that did not yet happen. We cannot change the past, for then it did not pass. Conclusion: Time exists only in the sense of our records of past events.

57. the future is infinite potential. how can potential be changed?

we must wait until the potential is encoded to our reality as a choice (metaphor lol) before we change it. by that time it isn't the future it's the present. but tomorrow, you could still do anything.

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