The problem with Evil

Techne

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
11,494
Well if you can take determinism off the table, then what is left? My thinking is very boolean on this. If we can show determinism to be false then therefore the opposite, freewill is true. Except if we have some other new thing that better explains it.

I'm also not to convinced by the quantum stuff yet. I think we're reading to much into it and it's still early days... (but that might just be me)
Just because determinism is false with regards to reactions relevant to the brain and living things in general, doesn't imply that humans have a will. And even if you argue that humans have a will, it does not imply that the will is free.
Sure, I think both are true and traditional arguments are there to support it. I am just saying you need some extra work to get there.
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,272
https://www.britannica.com/topic/determinism
"Determinism is the philosophical idea that all events, including moral choices, are determined completely by previously existing causes."

Sounds solid. Just needed to paste the definition here. That is all, thanks.
The primary glitch in Determinism is that if things are predetermined, then consequence has no meaning. Rape is rape, Murder is murder but it has no meaning because it was going to happen any way.
We may as well just give up on justice or the concept thereof seeing as it's been predetermined.

But somehow, we know the consequence of not planting seeds today is that feeding ourselves will be more difficult in the future. Consequence has meaning in this case. Meaning implies consciousness.
There is a lot we don't know... but we do know that it's not just Standard Physics at play in the universe anymore.
 

Prawnapple

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
815
The primary glitch in Determinism is that if things are predetermined, then consequence has no meaning. Rape is rape, Murder is murder but it has no meaning because it was going to happen any way.
We may as well just give up on justice or the concept thereof seeing as it's been predetermined.
What's the problem here? I don't see the problem. If that's what it implies and that's the way it seems then it doesn't matter how you feel about the situation does it? The only way anyone can bring meaning into anything is when you, subjectively, agree upon what is right and wrong, for example, subscribing to religion. Example, humanism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity, Satanism, Paganism, Spiritualism, etc.

Somehow, we know the consequence
How would you say that somehow works? How do you believe we somehow obtained this knowing or knowledge? If not by previously existing causes then how?

But somehow, we know the consequence of not planting seeds today is that feeding ourselves will be more difficult in the future. Consequence has meaning in this case.
The act of planting the seed today to feed ourselves tomorrow is just as much a part of determinism as anything else. Just because you're "conscious" of something and the way it works, doesn't mean it still doesn't play by determinism's rules. Consequence can still heave meaning under determinism.

Meaning implies consciousness
Not sure where you got that from?

I feel like people don't like determinism because it's a difficult reality to deal with. Personally I find it quite re-assuring. Everything's going to be okay when you're not in control and even when you think you're in control, you're still not and that is fine too. Can you at least agree that we provide our own meaning to life and that it has no intrinsic meaning?
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,272
Consequence can still heave meaning under determinism.
Consequence has no meaning under determinism. It is merely the next step in what is going to happen like the next domino to fall. There is no more meaning in planting a seed as there is to a window being opened.
There is no morality or immorality because a murderer will always have murdered. Therefore he/she cannot be held accountable for being a murderer, seeing as what they did would have happened always.

Even the very act of asking whether or not you can choose and understand what it means to make a choice, or get hung up between making choices and watch your own mind pick and choose between the two, the ability to recognize your own motivations, needs, wants and desires when making said choice.

In one sense, I agree with Determinism. That anything that has happened, present to past tense, cannot but have happened. That all of the moving parts resulted in the outcome, to which there can be no argument because of course it did.
That's very much like saying water is wet. A perfectly logical conclusion. However, determinism has never been able to accurately predict what is to come.

While the past has meaning to the present, it has no meaning to the future until the future has become the present and the present has become manifest. The future beyond the present is more undetermined the further out it goes.
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,272
I also have this hunch that just like the saying "If a tree in a forest falls and there's no one to hear it, does it make a sound?", that time itself would have no meaning under a deterministic reality because time itself would have no meaning or purpose.
It wouldn't matter if dominoes fell all at once in the blink of an eye, or took eons to do so. The end result would be the same and it would all happen a once anyways.
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,272
From my understanding, I don't think it has ever claimed that though. :p
Determinism often is taken to mean causal determinism, which in physics is known as cause-and-effect. It is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior states.
It's there in the definition isn't it? If you know the cause, you can determine the effect.
 

rietrot

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
15,527
It's there in the definition isn't it? If you know the cause, you can determine the effect.
But the question is can you really determine the effect if it is already determined? Either the initial cause will lead to someone finding the formula to predict the future or it won't. It is meaningless either way as it is determined in any case and what happens is mend to happen. Like a self fulfilling prophecy in the end.
 

Prawnapple

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
815
Just because determinism is false with regards to reactions relevant to the brain and living things in general, doesn't imply that humans have a will. And even if you argue that humans have a will, it does not imply that the will is free.
Sure, I think both are true and traditional arguments are there to support it. I am just saying you need some extra work to get there.
See this video at precisely this time stamp (1 minute). The questioner is asking a question which I'm sure many people here could appreciate:

As it turns out, the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is the consistently less accepted interpretation and rather others, for example the many-worlds interpretation are accepted where unitarity is preserved. Perhaps it's time to leave behind the "randomness-allowing" nature of the Copenhagen interpretation, where unitarity is not preserved, and rather start to look elsewhere. Personally, I'd go with M Theory, or the Many-Worlds interpretation.

Here's a ton to choose from, Interpretations of quantum mechanics

So to answer you Techne, determinism is completely correct in almost any interpretation other than the Copenhagen one.
 

Techne

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
11,494
See this video at precisely this time stamp (1 minute). The questioner is asking a question which I'm sure many people here could appreciate:

As it turns out, the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is the consistently less accepted interpretation and rather others, for example the many-worlds interpretation are accepted where unitarity is preserved. Perhaps it's time to leave behind the "randomness-allowing" nature of the Copenhagen interpretation, where unitarity is not preserved, and rather start to look elsewhere. Personally, I'd go with M Theory, or the Many-Worlds interpretation.

Here's a ton to choose from, Interpretations of quantum mechanics

So to answer you Techne, determinism is completely correct in almost any interpretation other than the Copenhagen one.
Your best bet to save determinism is to go for the de Brogile-Bohm theory. I quite like it myself but prefer the ensemble interpretation. Try and wrap your head around the Stern-Gerlach experiment then you should see how utterly hopeless it is to save determinism.
 

Prawnapple

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
815
Your best bet to save determinism is to go for the de Brogile-Bohm theory. I quite like it myself but prefer the ensemble interpretation. Try and wrap your head around the Stern-Gerlach experiment then you should see how utterly hopeless it is to save determinism.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/transcoded/9/9e/Quantum_spin_and_the_Stern-Gerlach_experiment.ogv/Quantum_spin_and_the_Stern-Gerlach_experiment.ogv.480p.vp9.webm

I get it. Still doesn't destroy determinism at all.
 

Prawnapple

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
815
Can you explain how this experiment can possibly be consistent with determinism?
It depends, what version of quantum mechanics are you evoking and then subsequently debunking? Are you referring to the Copenhagen Interpretation?

Firstly, I have some questions about this experiment, why are the electrons being referred to as quantum electrons and not just electrons? Secondly, it talks about Quantum Spin, can you tell me how quantum spin has anything to do with debunking determinism? The electron field has evolved uniformly across spacetime. Reverse time and you notice the field detracts until everything returns to the singularity. The experiment wouldn't be possible without an originating singularity. How any token of randomness can enter into an expanding, deterministic universe is beyond me. Sure things can appear random. That doesn't mean it is random.
 

Techne

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
11,494
It depends, what version of quantum mechanics are you evoking and then subsequently debunking? Are you referring to the Copenhagen Interpretation?

Firstly, I have some questions about this experiment, why are the electrons being referred to as quantum electrons and not just electrons? Secondly, it talks about Quantum Spin, can you tell me how quantum spin has anything to do with debunking determinism? The electron field has evolved uniformly across spacetime. Reverse time and you notice the field detracts until everything returns to the singularity. The experiment wouldn't be possible without an originating singularity. How any token of randomness can enter into an expanding, deterministic universe is beyond me. Sure things can appear random. That doesn't mean it is random.
As mentioned before, there is a difference between indeterminacy and randomness. You don't need randomness to refute determinism. Indeterminism does just fine. It doesn't really matter for me which interpretation you want to use. Just look at the experiment and answer this question in the pic.

Picture1.png


After you have answered it, go to the website (http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/stern-gerlach/stern-gerlach_en.html) and perform the experiment and compare it to what you expect.
 

Prawnapple

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
815
As mentioned before, there is a difference between indeterminacy and randomness. You don't need randomness to refute determinism. Indeterminism does just fine. It doesn't really matter for me which interpretation you want to use. Just look at the experiment and answer this question in the pic.

View attachment 644818


After you have answered it, go to the website (http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/stern-gerlach/stern-gerlach_en.html) and perform the experiment and compare it to what you expect.
Hey Techne, I did the thing.

My answer before running the test:
25% +X 25% -Z or 50% +X or 50% -Z or 2/3 either way vice versa at either points.

The results after around 130 electrons fired:
1557817911112.png
Can you explain what the 2nd and 3rd percentages indicate? What exactly am I looking at in the 2nd / 3rd magnet if terms of the top and bottom percentages?

1557817954138.png

EDIT: @Techne Turns out the question is incorrectly stated, as it's not exactly 50% at magnet 2 as stated, "50% of the electrons from Observer 2 are +X spin", it seems more like a +-50% or does that assume a 50%?
 
Last edited:

Prawnapple

Senior Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
815
Hey Techne, I did the thing.

My answer before running the test:
25% +X 25% -Z or 50% +X or 50% -Z or 2/3 either way vice versa at either points.

The results after around 130 electrons fired:
View attachment 656588
Can you explain what the 2nd and 3rd percentages indicate? What exactly am I looking at in the 2nd / 3rd magnet if terms of the top and bottom percentages?

View attachment 656590

EDIT: @Techne Turns out the question is incorrectly stated, as it's not exactly 50% at magnet 2 as stated, "50% of the electrons from Observer 2 are +X spin", it seems more like a +-50% or does that assume a 50%?
To avoid swamping just 1 post full of info. It seems if you let the experiment run for a long enough time. The results tend towards 50%. This seems pretty predictable to me. Definitely not what I would call, "random".
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,272
But the question is can you really determine the effect if it is already determined? Either the initial cause will lead to someone finding the formula to predict the future or it won't. It is meaningless either way as it is determined in any case and what happens is mend to happen. Like a self fulfilling prophecy in the end.
fek, dunno how I missed this.

I get your point.
So an observed particle acts like matter when observed and acts like a wave when not observed.
Determinism states, as I understand it, that the observed effect will always have been caused because of the cause and effect principle.

As human beings, we are living breathing observer effects which means that we literally collapse the universe around us into a known state.
The only state that we know, is a manifested reality. I can see why determinism is so popular, pretty much how water is seen as natural to fish.
This state is our water.

However, I have a couple of questions regards to this:
1) Time - Other than our own experiences of moving "forward" in time, what is to say that the direction we are really going is forward? Because determinism seems to rely heavily on the past - present - future directionality of Time.
2) What determines the direction in time we are traveling in?
3) Does unobserved matter interact with observed matter?
 

DMNknight

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
3,272
To avoid swamping just 1 post full of info. It seems if you let the experiment run for a long enough time. The results tend towards 50%. This seems pretty predictable to me. Definitely not what I would call, "random".
"Tend towards" 50% != 50%
What causes the variations in the measurements?
 
Top