# Thread: What choice do we have?

1. Lately I've been having a very strange and confusing thought. I've always been a thinker and a big believer in the logic behind everything. I believe everything happens for a reason and everything can be explained by science. I also believe that everything can be predicted using mathematical formulas. Now the thought: if everything can be explained, and predicted (in theory), then we should be able to predict every next move of everything (in theory). Therefor we should be able to know the "future". Every human thought and emotion is controlled by particles that behave according to certain principles. If we know those principles, we can know what their next move is, therefor what our next behavior/reaction is. If everything always follows those simple rules, there should be no choices left for us to make, there is only one possible outcome.

The reason why I post this on here is because I'd like to know what others think of this crazy idea, is it in theory possible to predict the next move, knowing everything? Therefor eliminating all choice?

2.

3. Originally Posted by boukestam
Lately I've been having a very strange and confusing thought. I've always been a thinker and a big believer in the logic behind everything. I believe everything happens for a reason and everything can be explained by science. I also believe that everything can be predicted using mathematical formulas. Now the thought: if everything can be explained, and predicted (in theory), then we should be able to predict every next move of everything (in theory). Therefor we should be able to know the "future". Every human thought and emotion is controlled by particles that behave according to certain principles. If we know those principles, we can know what their next move is, therefor what our next behavior/reaction is. If everything always follows those simple rules, there should be no choices left for us to make, there is only one possible outcome.

The reason why I post this on here is because I'd like to know what others think of this crazy idea, is it in theory possible to predict the next move, knowing everything? Therefor eliminating all choice?
Yes, this is what I think is known as the idea of causal determinism: Causal Determinism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

There are various opinions about it. Some however take the view that the indeterminism implicit in quantum theory undermines the idea.

But a discussion about this really belongs in the Philosophy section rather than the one on Physics, I think.

4. Not that simple, I suggest you look up the uncertainty principle and do some reading around an introduction to quantum mechanics, at the atomic level things are not deterministic, only average behaviour can be predicted... (ninja'd again...)

5. Not that simple, I suggest you look up the uncertainty principle and do some reading around an introduction to quantum mechanics, at the atomic level things are not deterministic, only average behaviour can be predicted... (ninja'd again...)
Yes, this is what I think is known as the idea of causal determinism: Causal Determinism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

There are various opinions about it. Some however take the view that the indeterminism implicit in quantum theory undermines the idea.

But a discussion about this really belongs in the Philosophy section rather than the one on Physics, I think.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'm definitely going to focus on quantum theory to understand this question, not the answer, just the question, thats hard enough i guess.

I understand why you think this belongs in the philosophy section, but I think this is something we can understand (or at least try to) in the long run, based on experiment and observation, not something we can only imagine.

6. Even in a deterministic universe, chaos theory implies that we still couldn't predict the future. In a chaotic system, even changes too small to be measured can change the long term outcome. (And, I mean too small to ever be measured.)

7. Originally Posted by boukestam
Lately I've been having a very strange and confusing thought. I've always been a thinker and a big believer in the logic behind everything. I believe everything happens for a reason and everything can be explained by science. I also believe that everything can be predicted using mathematical formulas.
What you mean by "logic" requires some expansion. For example, is it logical to believe that a single particle can be in two different places at the same time? It appears to be possible from a quantum mechanical point of view, but I doubt that many would regard such a possibility as logical. In quantum mechanics, logic could be a hindrance rather than a help. Second point - can everything be explained by science? Obviously, everything can't be explained by science NOW - the number of things that can't be explained now is almost limitless - do you like bananas more than apples? - can your answer be explained by science, and will it ever be explained? As for mathematical formulas, can you give an equation which allows one, by putting numbers into a formula, to calculate the relative positions of the earth, sun and moon? That looks like a pretty simple calculation - but can you do it? Mathematics is commonly seen as a clever subject but it tends to be applied to very, very simple problems. Can you calculate when I will die, or whether it will rain on Christmas day? Some scientists, such as biologists, don't use mathematics much because it is little use to them.

8. Originally Posted by JonG
Some scientists, such as biologists, don't use mathematics much because it is little use to them.

That is incorrect. You may be thinking of math in the wrong sense, but biologists, psychologists and every other scientist uses math quite heavily. For biology, it takes a lot of specialized algorithms (a form of math) to sequence a genome. For psychology, and pretty much any non-theoretical science, inferential statistics is very important and requires a lot of very hairy math. The relative positions of the Sun/Earth/Moon system is very simple compared to trying to determine whether or not the outcome of a observational study of human behavior is just a random fluke or not. (That is, "are people really more likely to do this thing, or did I happen to just catch my participants on a good/bad day?")

Otherwise, I agree that logic (meaning common sense and intuition) should be separated from logic (the branch of philosophy) from logic (the math computers use).

9. Originally Posted by JonG
What you mean by "logic" requires some expansion. For example, is it logical to believe that a single particle can be in two different places at the same time? It appears to be possible from a quantum mechanical point of view, but I doubt that many would regard such a possibility as logical. In quantum mechanics, logic could be a hindrance rather than a help.
When dealing with the notions of particles we are using Boolean logic which assumes implicit truth values (eg. was the particle here or there). This form of logic is inherently tied to our 'classical notions' of the existence of 'things'. Quantum Mechanics on the other hand deal with notions of superpositions of states where objective properties classified by our common sense intuition arise only when we collapse this superposition of states into 'definite' classical outcomes.

A more appropriate form of logic to use for Quantum mechanics and indeed any physics that relies on a choice of reference frame to objectively determine empirical properties is 'Intuitionistic Logic'. This logic allows for a yes, no and unknown (maybe) and is not two-valued. This form of logic is useful when dealing with complex notions that demand constructive mathematical proofs as opposed to using empirical proofs as a basis for determining validity.

Quantum mechanics still follows logical rules, it is just that these rules are not classical in nature.

10. Originally Posted by boukestam
Every human thought and emotion is controlled by particles that behave according to certain principles. If we know those principles, we can know what their next move is, therefor what our next behavior/reaction is. If everything always follows those simple rules, there should be no choices left for us to make, there is only one possible outcome.
There is another way of looking at this. Apart from the multitude of interactions between particles which would, in a deterministic universe, allow prediction of the future in principle, there is also the notion of "world lines" in four dimensional space-time. In space-time there is no essential difference between events belonging to the year 2020 and those belonging to 2010. However, we see one set of events as being in the future and the other as in the past, but such a distinction is not contained in the space-time description. Does this mean that we have no choice - is what will happen in 2020 out there already waiting for us to arrive and experience it? This is a difficult question to express in a meaningful way. Events belonging to 2020 are not out there now, because now is 2014 not 2020. So if those events are not in existence now and if we do not know what they will be, it is hard to see how they could be described as predetermined - although it is tempting to see them as being predetermined.

11. In a deterministic world, time is a relativistic point, relative to space and time. This being so, sub quantum environments are naturally immersed in precognition. This being so, time is merely a void, filled with love.

12. Also look into Chaos theory. There's quite sound reasons why many complex phenomena are for all practical purposes unpredictable even if their underlying physics were completely deterministic (which they aren't).

13. Originally Posted by 4-D
In a deterministic world, time is a relativistic point, relative to space and time. This being so, sub quantum environments are naturally immersed in precognition. This being so, time is merely a void, filled with love.
Meaningless word salad coupled with ridiculous claims.
Devoid of content, let alone scientific content.

14. <delete, double post>

15. Originally Posted by boukestam
Lately I've been having a very strange and confusing thought. I've always been a thinker and a big believer in the logic behind everything. I believe everything happens for a reason and everything can be explained by science. I also believe that everything can be predicted using mathematical formulas. Now the thought: if everything can be explained, and predicted (in theory), then we should be able to predict every next move of everything (in theory). Therefor we should be able to know the "future". Every human thought and emotion is controlled by particles that behave according to certain principles. If we know those principles, we can know what their next move is, therefor what our next behavior/reaction is. If everything always follows those simple rules, there should be no choices left for us to make, there is only one possible outcome.

The reason why I post this on here is because I'd like to know what others think of this crazy idea, is it in theory possible to predict the next move, knowing everything? Therefor eliminating all choice?
I used to think the same way, as did most major philosophical and scientific mind throughout most of history. Then this troublesome little thing called the Uncertainty Principle came about and mucked up our ideas on causality and predictability. Even minds like Einstein were very skeptical when it was up and coming, but it has been more and more confirmed as time goes on. Ultimately, no, the universe isn't strictly casual the way we thought it was.

Originally Posted by 4-D
In a deterministic world, time is a relativistic point, relative to space and time. This being so, sub quantum environments are naturally immersed in precognition. This being so, time is merely a void, filled with love.
What do you mean by sub-quantum environments and where do human emotion come in?

16. Thanks.

Sub-quantum environments are simply that, a state of time where space and time are no longer separate by space. Human plausibility is a choice, and this is never in a negative state.

17. Originally Posted by 4-D
Thanks.

Sub-quantum environments are simply that, a state of time where space and time are no longer separate by space. Human plausibility is a choice, and this is never in a negative state.
Since when are space and time separated by space? What does human plausibility have to do with this, and what does a negative state of plausibility mean and why can't it exist?

18. 1) Space is within a microcosmic field, limited by a sub quantum space.

2) Human's are plausibility, as time is separate by time.

3) A negative state of what is plausible is love.

19. More utter bullshit.
This is a science site, go find a nutcase forum your posts are more suited to one of those.

20. I got science.

And I also have a reader in my brain.

21. Originally Posted by 4-D
I got science.
If that's true then you really should start using it.
No science was evident in your post.

And I also have a reader in my brain.
Another meaningless sentence.

22. Let's just agree to disagree.

The art of science is subtle.

23. Originally Posted by 4-D
Let's just agree to disagree.
And here we go... the typical crank response which effectively means "I can't actually produce any support for my claims but I still want to be taken seriously".
My response, therefore, is: no, I don't agree.

The art of science is subtle.
Given what you've posted so far I have to ask "how do you know, since, on the available evidence, you don't any science?"

24. How old are you?

25. Originally Posted by 4-D
1) Space is within a microcosmic field, limited by a sub quantum space.

2) Human's are plausibility, as time is separate by time.

3) A negative state of what is plausible is love.
I'm pretty sure fields exist within space, not the other way around.

Plausibility is is a word meaning how easy it is to accept something as true whereas humans are an animal. I fail to see how they are related.

Wait, are you claiming that love is the definition of implausibility? That nothing is more implausible than love? Because love is pretty common whereas space gerbils are not. Space gerbils are more implausible than love, I'd argue.

Originally Posted by 4-D
How old are you?

I think he's middle-aged.

26. Originally Posted by 4-D
How old are you?
Old enough (and sensible enough) not to post crap and not to post weasel phrases when caught out doing so.
How is my age relevant?

27. Originally Posted by SowZ37
Space gerbils are more implausible than love, I'd argue.
How plausible is loving space gerbils?

28. Originally Posted by Dywyddyr
Originally Posted by SowZ37
Space gerbils are more implausible than love, I'd argue.
How plausible is loving space gerbils?
If space exists in a microcosmic field, presumably, so do space gerbils. Making loving them pretty difficult. It all comes full circle!

29. Originally Posted by 4-D
Let's just agree to disagree.

The art of science is subtle.
No. You are talking objectively meaningless tripe.

For example, "humans are plausibility." What the hell does that mean? You could equally well say "Gerbils are credulity".

30. Well, just love me then.

31. Originally Posted by 4-D
Well, just love me then.
This is a science forum. If you talk rubbish here you will be loathed, not loved.

Either talk sense or try another forum.

32. Just a simple idea.

Means time and space exist within us - as nano.

"It's probable, though, is it plausible?" - what we're met with when we think of anything quantum.

33. More crap.

34. I must be Bugs Bunny to you.

35. Originally Posted by 4-D
Just a simple idea.

Means time and space exist within us - as nano.

"It's probable, though, is it plausible?" - what we're met with when we think of anything quantum.
Nonsense. What we encounter (I assume that's what you mean) with quantum phenomena is apparent wave-particle duality, one result of which is that exact values of properties are replaced by the expectation values of a probability distribution. Plausibility does not come into it at all. It is not only plausible: experimental evidence shows that the world at the atomic level really does seem to function in this way.

36. If plausibility did enter into the particle-wave duality experiment, the observer would be able to enter themselves into Schrodinger's formula, enabling time travel.

Plausibility breaks down into a non-sequitur, and smashes time into acausal and causal rem.

Just sayin'.

37. FFS stop posting crap.
Go away.
Get an education.

38. Try Dwayuxe.

39. The non-quiescence of the lateral or bi-lateral phase shift alternates is completely dependent on quantum variances in the particle orbits. Any good scientist should know this.

40. Originally Posted by JonG
Originally Posted by boukestam
Every human thought and emotion is controlled by particles that behave according to certain principles. If we know those principles, we can know what their next move is, therefor what our next behavior/reaction is. If everything always follows those simple rules, there should be no choices left for us to make, there is only one possible outcome.
There is another way of looking at this. Apart from the multitude of interactions between particles which would, in a deterministic universe, allow prediction of the future in principle, there is also the notion of "world lines" in four dimensional space-time. In space-time there is no essential difference between events belonging to the year 2020 and those belonging to 2010. However, we see one set of events as being in the future and the other as in the past, but such a distinction is not contained in the space-time description. Does this mean that we have no choice - is what will happen in 2020 out there already waiting for us to arrive and experience it? This is a difficult question to express in a meaningful way. Events belonging to 2020 are not out there now, because now is 2014 not 2020. So if those events are not in existence now and if we do not know what they will be, it is hard to see how they could be described as predetermined - although it is tempting to see them as being predetermined.
A powerful argument for the block universe picture of spacetime is that if two events are seen to be simultaneous by two or more different observers, they are seen to be equally real. In other words if these events are given values of say A and B for observer 1 and B and C for observer 2, then events A and C are equally real. Special relativity then exploits the observer dependence of the 'present' by picking two events in the history of the universe, one of which is the 'cause' of the other. For any two causally related events A and B, there is always an event X such that there is an observer who sees X and A as simultaneous and an observer who sees X and B as simultaneous. If B is far in A's future, then X must be far enough away from both observers that no light signal could travel from A to X or from X to B. Now if A is as real as X and B is as real as X then A and B are equally real yet B is to occur in the future of A as a causally related event which therefore powerfully snuffs out the notion that the future is yet to be written.

41. Originally Posted by boukestam
Lately I've been having a very strange and confusing thought. I've always been a thinker and a big believer in the logic behind everything. I believe everything happens for a reason and everything can be explained by science. I also believe that everything can be predicted using mathematical formulas. Now the thought: if everything can be explained, and predicted (in theory), then we should be able to predict every next move of everything (in theory). Therefor we should be able to know the "future". Every human thought and emotion is controlled by particles that behave according to certain principles. If we know those principles, we can know what their next move is, therefor what our next behavior/reaction is. If everything always follows those simple rules, there should be no choices left for us to make, there is only one possible outcome.

The reason why I post this on here is because I'd like to know what others think of this crazy idea, is it in theory possible to predict the next move, knowing everything? Therefor eliminating all choice?
We can't even predict the weather in a reliable fashion.

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