Philosophy

GranmasGotGame

[10] Knight
Since I didn't really find any threads devoted to philosophy and/or philosophical topics, I figured I'd make one.

In this thread, feel free to post any and everything philosophy related and or be ready to defend or attack said philosophical issues.

Please don't take any criticisms in this thread as attacks on one's personal beliefs and or life style. This is meant to be a thread for logical discussion.

*A note to trolls. Since I really have no way to stop you, I'll probably just ignore you.
 

GranmasGotGame

[10] Knight
To kick things off to anyone who wants a topic to discuss, I hold the belief that one's future does not (and in fact) can not change. A type of predetermination if you will (without anyone that predetermines it of course).

My belief goes as follows

Any choice you make, you have already made. While you technically have not chronologically made the choice yet, the outcome will remain the same as if you have already made the decision.

Some believe that as you go through life, your future is constantly changing based on the choices you make; I.E: If I decide to go to become a dentist, My future is to become a dentist. If I then change my mind and want to become an artist, my future changes according to my respective decisions. I, however, believe that while you may make the decision to become a dentist, it was always in your future to decide to become a dentist. Then should you decide to become an artist, your future does not change because you were never going to become a dentist, you were always going to first decide to become a dentist and then later change your decision and become an artist. So while your decisions and desired life outcome changed, you future stayed the same.

To explain, try viewing life like a walk along a very foggy path. Every fork in the path represents a decision you make in life. At the beginning of the path, you have not made many choices yet and the path is very uncertain. However, as you walk along the path (go through life) you make more and more choices until you reach the end of the path (death). Having reflected on the route that you took, it can be said that from the very beginning of your travels, each and every time you made a decision, you were always going to make that decision. It matters not that you could have made a left instead of a right because you were never going to make a left in the first place.

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Edit: When I say it was always in your future to decide to become a dentist, I'm saying the decision you make was always in your future; not your final occupation. So while yes you were always going to decide to become a dentist, that does not necessarily mean that it is in your future to become a dentist.
 

LP

Premium Member
To kick things off to anyone who wants a topic to discuss, I hold the belief that one's future does not (and in fact) can not change. A type of predetermination if you will (without anyone that predetermines it of course).

My belief goes as follows

Any choice you make, you have already made. While you technically have not chronologically made the choice yet, the outcome will remain the same as if you have already made the decision.

Some believe that as you go through life, your future is constantly changing based on the choices you make; I.E: If I decide to go to become a dentist, My future is to become a dentist. If I then change my mind and want to become an artist, my future changes according to my respective decisions. I, however, believe that while you may make the decision to become a dentist, it was always in your future to decide to become a dentist. Then should you decide to become an artist, your future does not change because you were never going to become a dentist, you were always going to first decide to become a dentist and then later change your decision and become an artist. So while your decisions and desired life outcome changed, you future stayed the same.

To explain, try viewing life like a walk along a very foggy path. Every fork in the path represents a decision you make in life. At the beginning of the path, you have not made many choices yet and the path is very uncertain. However, as you walk along the path (go through life) you make more and more choices until you reach the end of the path (death). Having reflected on the route that you took, it can be said that from the very beginning of your travels, each and every time you made a decision, you were always going to make that decision. It matters not that you could have made a left instead of a right because you were never going to make a left in the first place.

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Edit: When I say it was always in your future to decide to become a dentist, I'm saying the decision you make was always in your future; not your final occupation. So while yes you were always going to decide to become a dentist, that does not necessarily mean that it is in your future to become a dentist.
I don't necessarily agree or disagree but I think that it has a lot to do with the infinite, finite, and conception of free will.

To explain, if you believe that the initial conditions determine the final condition of a thing, then, yes, that will always be true (so long as the things that govern the way things interact with every other thing in all possible situations is always the same).

The problem is when you introduce free will (or 'other worlds') into the equation. Before getting into freewill, let me say that, as far as I know, every human experiences only one reality at once and chronologically (therefore the world that we exist in and experience is the only one we can experience). With that being said, there's no way to prove that things can be any other way because this is the only way we can know things. But being able to only experience one reality does not mean that reality cannot be changed (only that it can be experienced linearly).

With that said, if you believe in free will, sentient objects have the ability to change the course of events through time because they can effectively change another objects course. When you add the ability of something to 'act or not act as it would', you're changing the course that the initial conditions of something would have had. And, when you throw in free will, to do or not to do is always an option. Thus, you're adding a degree of randomness to the equation and, any one random thing in any system causes the final condition of that system to change (and other degrees of randomness moreso).

Something related to this is also that one math guy's proof that you cannot prove something about a system from within a system (or some ish like that--that's just the best way I remember it). And I think that applies here when you consider what I said about 'many worlds' (or an object that does not experience things as we humans do). Only an object that could effectively prove that things can be one way or another (in this not experiencing time linearly or one reality) could really say whether or not that's true. But that's the way I'm looking at it.

But, then again, I'm rambling now but I'm wondering the value of intermediate states--if the initial and final states of an object are always the same (I'm thinking equilibrium in this case) do the intermediate states even matter?
 

GranmasGotGame

[10] Knight
I don't necessarily agree or disagree but I think that it has a lot to do with the infinite, finite, and conception of free will.

To explain, if you believe that the initial conditions determine the final condition of a thing, then, yes, that will always be true (so long as the things that govern the way things interact with every other thing in all possible situations is always the same).

The problem is when you introduce free will (or 'other worlds') into the equation. Before getting into freewill, let me say that, as far as I know, every human experiences only one reality at once and chronologically (therefore the world that we exist in and experience is the only one we can experience). With that being said, there's no way to prove that things can be any other way because this is the only way we can know things. But being able to only experience one reality does not mean that reality cannot be changed (only that it can be experienced linearly).

With that said, if you believe in free will, sentient objects have the ability to change the course of events through time because they can effectively change another objects course. When you add the ability of something to 'act or not act as it would', you're changing the course that the initial conditions of something would have had. And, when you throw in free will, to do or not to do is always an option. Thus, you're adding a degree of randomness to the equation and, any one random thing in any system causes the final condition of that system to change (and other degrees of randomness moreso).

Something related to this is also that one math guy's proof that you cannot prove something about a system from within a system (or some ish like that--that's just the best way I remember it). And I think that applies here when you consider what I said about 'many worlds' (or an object that does not experience things as we humans do). Only an object that could effectively prove that things can be one way or another (in this not experiencing time linearly or one reality) could really say whether or not that's true. But that's the way I'm looking at it.

But, then again, I'm rambling now but I'm wondering the value of intermediate states--if the initial and final states of an object are always the same (I'm thinking equilibrium in this case) do the intermediate states even matter?
You raise some very valid and interesting points. I'll try to address them as neatly and coherently as possible.

First I am going to go through the points you listed and explain what I took them to mean.

Point 1: "if you believe that the initial conditions determine the final condition of a thing, then, yes, that will always be true"
_____The way I understand this is say we roll a ball down a hill with the intention of hitting point A at the bottom of the hill. If left uninterrupted, the ball will hit point A (this is representative of initial conditions determining the outcome- meaning if it starts going in one direction, it will keep going in that direction; thus it's outcome (future) is determined by it initial condition (aka choice/decision)).

Point 2: "The problem is when you introduce free will (or 'other worlds') into the equation..."
_____While I am not quite certain as to what you exactly mean by 'other world' I understood it to mean (especially with the second part of this point about this being the only thing we know) is that I (and or no human for that matter) can prove that the future changes, stays the same, or goes partying with Jesus on the weekends, because of the fact that we live in the present. I translated 'worlds' into present and future in this case. Also that since we live in the present, we cannot without a shadow of a doubt prove anything that is not of of our world because we only know of our world. (very good point by the way).

Point 3: "With that said, if you believe in free will, sentient objects have the ability to change the course of events through time because..."
_____I am going to refer back to the ball rolling down the hill analogy. If free will to the analogy it would change as follows: Suppose we roll a ball down a new hill with the intention of hitting point A at the bottom of the hill. This new hill has many deformities and rocks that can obstruct the balls path. While the ball is rolling we decide that we don't want the ball to hit point A anymore and we blow a gust of wind across the hill changing the balls path so that it now is in line with hitting point B. However, since we changed the path, the ball hit a rock and is then diverted into hitting point C (sounds a lot like plinko lol). The wind represents free will with its ability to change the original outcome of any situation and the rock represents the unknown factor that comes with any and every situation.

Point 4: "Something related to this is also that one math guy's proof that you cannot prove something about a system from within a system".
_____While I don't know if this is what you are talking about or not, it sounds a lot like Hume's criticism of Induction. Basically he states that everything we try to prove to be universally true will ultimately be discredited by our method of proving it (induction). One of the main ways we come to learn about anything is through induction. Induction is basically observing a process multiple times and finding a common factor in each of those processes. Example: I drop an apple 10 times a day for 20 years. Furthermore, I drop multiple types of apples 10 times a day in different locations across the world for another 20 years. Each and every day the apple falls to the ground without fail regardless of time, place, or type of apple. I then make the claim that all apples, when dropped, will fall to the ground. *THIS IS WHERE IT GETS TRICKAY* Suppose someone were to ask me why I thought that an apple would always fall to the ground. I would respond, because by using induction (observing that something will continually act in a specific way), I have learned that an apple will fall to the ground because it always has. Suppose he then asks why I believe induction will always work as a means of accurately proving a claim. The only answer I can give him is because induction has always worked as a means to prove a claim. By saying this I am using induction to prove induction which is also known as circular reasoning. unfortunately circular reasoning holds no value in a logical discussion and must therefore be dismissed. Another example of circular reasoning is to say "This laptop is mine because I own this laptop". While the reasoning is there, it holds little to no value.

*Phew ~ Let me take a break for a second...........................................ok. LEGO*

Now for my reactions to those points.

Re: Point 1/3 (addressing these together because of their similarity)
_____I think more along the lines of, the outcome of any process, situation, or other is independent of the initial condition. That should anything happen after the initial condition (free will/random factor), then the outcome was never going to line up with what the initial condition would have lead to should said condition have been left alone. It was always in that conditions future to change; thus making said change, not a change at all. Let's go back to the ball analogy (man I am just loving that analogy). Suppose we roll a ball down a hill with the intention of hitting point A at the bottom of the hill. This hill has many deformities and rocks that can obstruct the balls path. While the ball is rolling we decide that we don't want the ball to hit point A anymore and we blow a gust of wind across the hill changing the balls path so that it now is in line with hitting point B. However, since we changed the path, the ball hit a rock and is then diverted into hitting point C. We can say that the ball's end point was always going to be point C since it was in the ball's future to be affected by the wind and then later hit the rock. It wasn't the future that changed but out intentions and expectations vs reality that changed. Suppose that you are an outside source that knows the ball was always going to hit point C and you watch someone undergo the same situation. While you watch them think they are changing the future of the ball, you know that they were only acting according to how the future was dictated. Again, it wasn't the future that changed, but your expectations of what the future would be.
---Now if anyone caught it, at the beginning of the paragraph I stated that the outcome of any process, situation, or other is independent of the initial condition. Some may have brought up the point of "what if you decide not to roll the ball" the initial condition has now completely changed so that its outcome is completely different from what it originally was (hitting a point at the bottom of the hill). Would this not mean that the outcome (future) has changed? Or that at least that the outcome was reliant on the initial process?
___To this I would respond with a no, here's why. If, the end process were reliant on the initial process, then it would stand to reason that the future is constantly changing. However, if we assume that the future is set in stone, then the initial process was always a means of getting to that outcome. To put it simply, the initial process does matter, however, the outcome is not reliant on it, for if the initial process changes, we can assume that whatever that process was leading to, was not actually the true future (outcome).

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If anyone's having trouble understanding this, don't worry. Not many do.
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Re: Point 2
_____This is a very valid point. Since the only thing I can experience is the present, I can never prove that this is how the future actually works. Until we can travel through time (lol yeah right) we won't know for certain how people's future actually works. So basically this is all just speculative B.S. on my half. However, this is why I said it's something that I believe, not something that is fact. Good point though.

Anyway, that was physically and mentally exhausting. Time to unleash this wall of text onto the world MWAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
 
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Slade

[14] Master
It looks to me as though you're positing something along the lines of Laplace's demon, which has seen a number of refutations since its first proposal. How does your argument address quantum indeterminacy? One could argue that stochastic processes on a quantum level would not necessarily have an effect on macroscopic physical states, but I don't believe that's been formally proven to be true yet.
 

GranmasGotGame

[10] Knight
It looks to me as though you're positing something along the lines of Laplace's demon, which has seen a number of refutations since its first proposal. How does your argument address quantum indeterminacy? One could argue that stochastic processes on a quantum level would not necessarily have an effect on macroscopic physical states, but I don't believe that's been formally proven to be true yet.
I am not too familiar with Laplace's work, however, as I understand it, Laplace sought after a way to calculate future events, and he thought that the key to doing this was in molecular speed and location. His theory, however, was limited by the science of the time and thus he was unaware that one cannot find both the speed and location of a molecule at any given time, it's either one or the other (Quantum Indeterminancy) .

While it may sound like it, the theory presented above is that of a more rudimentary type of determinism. The focus is centered around the outcome; and that every process, action, or change is directed towards that final outcome. It relies on the fact that because there can only be one final answer, that answer was always going to be the final answer. Referring back to my first post, because you can only walk one path, that one path was always the path you were going to walk, regardless of all the different paths you could have taken.

That's the theory in a nutshell.

I'm going to read everything you typed but there's no telling when or if I'll be able to reply. But:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many_worlds

It's also used in the ontological argument (link to philosophy) in order to prove the traits/existence of god

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument
Ahhhhhhh, I know what your talking about now, that every time something changes there is a split in the timeline where both actions play out. After thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that while multiple futures may have been created, that does not necessarily mean that the future has changed. For while there may be new timelines, you only follow one at the end of the day. Even if there was a being that could experience multiple worlds at the same time, we could not draw any conclusions about it because we wouldn't know what that would entail. (<----- I believe this is what you were saying earlier)
 

Slade

[14] Master
While it may sound like it, the theory presented above is that of a more rudimentary type of determinism. The focus is centered around the outcome; and that every process, action, or change is directed towards that final outcome. It relies on the fact that because there can only be one final answer, that answer was always going to be the final answer. Referring back to my first post, because you can only walk one path, that one path was always the path you were going to walk, regardless of all the different paths you could have taken.

That's the theory in a nutshell.
If you were a god and set up two perfectly accurate simulations of our universe at the same point in time and just let them run side by side, their futures would diverge as indeterministic processes inevitably resolve differently in one universe than the other. How can there be only one true future if it's dependent at some level on these random predicates?
 

IAdoreBunnies

[10] Knight
THESE ARE ALL INTERESTING COUNTERPOINTS, BUT NONE OF THEM HAVE SOLID SUPPORT FOR RANDOM EVENTS. US NOT BEING ABLE TO DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF EVENTS IS ONLY PROOF OF OUR INABILITY TO PREDICT. THIS CAN'T BE USED TO ARGUE THAT SUCH EVENTS ARE ACTUALLY RANDOM BECAUSE OF IT. THIS ARGUMENT ISN'T UNHEARD OF, THOUGH. IT'S A TERRIBLE ARGUMENT, TOO. IT'S DEEPLY FLAWED.
 

GranmasGotGame

[10] Knight
If you were a god and set up two perfectly accurate simulations of our universe at the same point in time and just let them run side by side, their futures would diverge as indeterministic processes inevitably resolve differently in one universe than the other. How can there be only one true future if it's dependent at some level on these random predicates?
Looking back I did not quite clarify what I meant by one true future. When I said one true future, I meant from the perspective of a single worldly being. I did not mean that all future's in all worlds will have the same outcome. I was going more for the fact that because a single worldly being can only experience one timeline, that timeline that said being experiences is set in stone for that being. That there is only one true future (for that being) that the being will experience. Thus meaning that the future of said being does not change but in fact stays the same.

THESE ARE ALL INTERESTING COUNTERPOINTS, BUT NONE OF THEM HAVE SOLID SUPPORT FOR RANDOM EVENTS. US NOT BEING ABLE TO DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF EVENTS IS ONLY PROOF OF OUR INABILITY TO PREDICT. THIS CAN'T BE USED TO ARGUE THAT SUCH EVENTS ARE ACTUALLY RANDOM BECAUSE OF IT. THIS ARGUMENT ISN'T UNHEARD OF, THOUGH. IT'S A TERRIBLE ARGUMENT, TOO. IT'S DEEPLY FLAWED.
I understand your position, however, the theory does not revolve around random events. In fact, if my future was set in stone from before I was even born, then all of the events in my life can not be considered random. In the analogy used above, I merely used random events as a means to convey a message. The message was that the random rock was not actually so random at all; but a means for the ball to reach point C and thus making it an event that was always going to happen. Not due to randomness, but due to the fact that the ball was always going to hit the rock in the first place. It would be as if my life was a schedule. At this point in time I go to high school. At this point in time I go to college. At this point in time I find a job etc. Every action that I take goes according to that schedule; thus said actions are not deemed random.
 

Slade

[14] Master
I'm sure theoretical physicists will be deeply grateful when you publish your paper clearing up this issue once and for all, since they're clearly too dumb to have figured this out for themselves. Who would've thought IAB would be the one to debunk quantum incompleteness?

That's just semantic hodgepodge, though. If indeterminacy exists in the present and the future is just the present that hasn't happened yet, what is your justification for the future being predetermined?
 

GranmasGotGame

[10] Knight
The reason that indeterminancy exists in the present is simply due to our lack of knowledge about future events. We can only experience the present, and thus said indeterminancy (or uncertainty) exists because we can not know what any event beyond the present will bring. Following the same lines of reason though, there is little to no uncertainty about the past; and the future is also just the past that hasn't happened yet. I believe my original claim back in high school was that because we can't change the past, and the future is technically the past that hasn't happened yet, we can't change the future. I think I always have that in the back of my mind so that's probably my justification for claiming that the future does not change.
 

IAdoreBunnies

[10] Knight
I'm sure theoretical physicists will be deeply grateful when you publish your paper clearing up this issue once and for all, since they're clearly too dumb to have figured this out for themselves. Who would've thought IAB would be the one to debunk quantum incompleteness?


That's just semantic hodgepodge, though. If indeterminacy exists in the present and the future is just the present that hasn't happened yet, what is your justification for the future being predetermined?
AT MOST, QUANTUM PHYSICISTS AGREE THAT ELECTRONS *APPEAR* TO BEHAVE RANDOMLY. NOT TO MENTION THAT THIS AREA OF RESEARCH STILL HAS MUCH WE STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND. PHYSICISTS ARE NOT WRITING ANY PAPERS "DEBUNKING" DETERMINISM OR FREE WILL. AND THERE IS NO SUCH CONSENSUS ON THIS TOPIC. WHERE DID YOU GET THIS IDEA?
 

Slade

[14] Master
But the future and past are just linguistic constructs. By conflating the two you're creating an argument which only has meaning as an abstraction of language but is devoid of epistemological meaning.
 

Slade

[14] Master
AT MOST, QUANTUM PHYSICISTS AGREE THAT ELECTRONS *APPEAR* TO BEHAVE RANDOMLY. NOT TO MENTION THAT THIS AREA OF RESEARCH STILL HAS MUCH WE STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND. PHYSICISTS ARE NOT WRITING ANY PAPERS "DEBUNKING" DETERMINISM OR FREE WILL. AND THERE IS NO SUCH CONSENSUS ON THIS TOPIC. WHERE DID YOU GET THIS IDEA?
Please stop posting until you understand the topic. Thanks in advance.
 

IAdoreBunnies

[10] Knight
Please stop posting until you understand the topic. Thanks in advance.
I PROBABLY UNDERSTAND THE TOPIC A LOT BETTER THAN SOMEONE HERE. IF YOU TRULY UNDERSTOOD THE TOPIC, I'M SURE YOU WOULDN'T HAVE MADE THE ARGUMENTS YOU MADE. OF COURSE YOU CAN ALWAYS SHOW ME THIS "CONSENSUS" WITH SOME SOURCES.