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Thread: Should we be responsible for the decisions others make?

  1. Top | #41
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Isn't it true that some things are beyond observation, beyond determining whither or whether this caused that? Aren't these basic takeaways from both Chaos and uncertainty bilby put forth?

    It is one thing to believe something or have faith in something that seems to universally apply. It is quite another to bring such belief to quantifiable fruition without changing how we look at things. If a probability model explains events better than determinative models why not consider 'condition' implies multiple things rather than a singular thing. One reason causality is as it is considered now is that there is really no practical way for determining which antecedent 'caused' a consequent unless restrictive measures limit to only this and that which rarely occur in nature.

    Seems you've got your belief woofers overriding everything else. Hell I conducted a study using signals in noise knowing a human couldn't detect underlying necessary mechanical activity for testing a sound movement hypothesis. Aren't similar parameters also true for physical systems that are very small underlying macro systems or time critical second order systems.

  2. Top | #42
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post

    Saying that there was an event but no preceding cause for it is like saying it just happened causelessly. Prediction is in part a function of ability, and if the ever-so tiny changes are outside our abilities to track, then sure, we can’t predict the changes, but our inability to predict because of our inability to track the changes isn’t to say there’s no underlying preceding physical cause for an event. That’s why I express the prediction as being theoretical. When I rewind a VHS cassestte and hit play, the same movie plays again. When I talk about rewinding and starting anew, I mean it such there are no tiny changes.

    No disagreement here. But, the hypothetical assumes no change in initial conditions, not even by one single iteration—of any sort.

    But if the meteor has traveled through interstellar space, then the diffence between hitting and missing the planet could be very tiny indeed - an alpha particle emitted by an atomic decay on one side of the rock, rather than the other, could be enough to make that difference.
    Maybe there is something to alpha particles that make it so that the future will not unfold the same. I don’t want to challenge that really. But, that truth, even if so, affects only my assessment of what will happen on a lifeless planet. It doesn’t dissipate the distinction I’m trying to make.

    It's moderately entertaining to contemplate what a deterministic universe might look like. But it's a gross error to believe that the universe we inhabit is such a place. It's not.
    No one has shown that they even understand my conception of what a deterministic universe might look like. My view is (apparently) unusual. It’s not determinism (but the laws of nature) that allows for the forwarding looking perspective. Determinism (to me) is all about looking to the past.

    Let’s say A causes B and B causes C. If we concentrate on B and ask if it was determined, we look to see if there was an A. If so, B was determined. However, upon leaning that B was determined, that says nothing about C. The point is that there is nothing about determinism that should have us think we can predict the future. If (just if, mind you) that determinism is true, it’s not that which tells us C will occur. Determinism just means (in my view) there is a preceding (preceding) cause for an event. If event L will happen on May 1st 2050, there is a tie-in cause that comes before (before) event L.

    People speak of determinism (unfortunately) as if C must occur if determinism is true. It’s that which I’m saying is not so, and agreeing with me but for the wrong reasons is problematic to my point. So, just for the sake of argument, accept that determinism is true and still see what I’m saying.

    Life differs from non-life only in complexity.
    No, no, no. Never mind determinism for a moment—or what might merely be my version of or perspective towards determinism. Also, the important divide isn’t between life and non-life. It’s between life of a particular kind and all else. Trees are alive, but they have no consciousness—at least not of any normal kind to which I am speaking of.

    Everything in any group not only will but also must act in accordance to the laws of nature. People are no different from trees or rocks in that regard, but unlike trees and rocks, people can pick from certain contingent events to come.

    Determinism being true (if it is) isn’t responsible for what will happen when the fragile wine glass hits a concrete floor with great force. Determinism is just the view that there is a preceding cause for events that occur. When it shatters into a million pieces, it’s not in disaccord to the laws of nature—whether the force was caused by the wind knocking it out of tree branch or being throw by a person with the same force and trajectory. It’ll shatter either way, and either way, there is a cause. Both are compatible with the laws of nature. Determinism didn’t cause anything to happen, but with no people, the forces consistent with the laws of nature will yield a shattered glass should the wind blow, but the laws of nature does not guarentee what choice a person will make.
    Alpha decay is uncaused. It occurs spontaneously, and at a time that cannot be influenced. All we can say about when it will occur for a given unstable nucleus is a probability.

    Lots of things at the quantum level are uncaused. Alpha decay is just one example.

    Life is just more complex chemistry. Consciousness is just more complex life.

    There's nothing at all special or different about consciousness; It's just more of the same.

    Chaos and complexity. All underpinned by uncaused quantum events whose timing and location is a matter of probability, and not a response to a cause. These things are sufficient to explain every phenomenon ever observed; If you want to claim that anything else is necessary, then you need to show what it is, and why it's needed.

    The laws of nature underly everything - including consciousness. And none of it is deterministic. If you think it is, you are using physics that's a century out of date.

  3. Top | #43
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    There is a rough transition between that which some can point to determination and to that where whatever is going on reduces to a probability statement. If one cannot attribute something to a prior event when one in in the presence of interference, for instance, researchers have found there is interference such that prior event is lost in noise making it indistinguishable from a probability statement.

    For instance, sound of pulsing in a hydraulic line and the sound of a piston mount moving along a track on teflon bearings in an anechoic chamber is one with which I'm familiar. All one need do is introduce white noise centered on the observer's head at sufficient energy to accomplish the masking. Such does not interfere observers receiving noise signals phase shifted emanating from the speaker atop the moving piston. Nor do the masked sounds influence the performance of one discriminating motion in the moving sound source.

    Of course there are other ways to accomplish such tasks. However the low cost and elegance of the solution used made the experiment possible to a graduate student.

  4. Top | #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Strict determinism is incompatible with Quantum Field Theory; It is therefore almost certainly wrong.
    They're compatible in the view of de Broglie and Bohm. Can you prove them wrong?

  5. Top | #45
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    I think we’re off course.

    If I make a decision and act on it, you might also (and say it’s because of that) make a decision and act on it, but neither my decision nor my acting on it guarentees that you must make the decision you do and act upon it, so although you may do what you will (and say it’s because I did what I did), that doesn’t mean you had to do what you did, and that’s because you could have decided not to do what you decided to do.

    Example: white cop shoots black person and then people choose to protest.

    Example: I push you down and then you choose to push me down

    Example: I increase the speed limit and then you choose to drive faster

    Example: I did x and then you choose to do y
    Last edited by fast; 06-23-2019 at 08:06 PM.

  6. Top | #46
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Strict determinism is incompatible with Quantum Field Theory; It is therefore almost certainly wrong.
    They're compatible in the view of de Broglie and Bohm. Can you prove them wrong?
    I can't; But then, they have no evidence that they are right.

    Hidden variables strike me as an unparsimonious attempt to rescue determinism. I don't like them at all. And that seems to be an adequate level of confidence for making claims in the philosophy forum.

  7. Top | #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    They're compatible in the view of de Broglie and Bohm. Can you prove them wrong?
    I can't; But then, they have no evidence that they are right.

    Hidden variables strike me as an unparsimonious attempt to rescue determinism.
    That turns out not to be the case. De Broglie invented pilot waves in the 1920's before there was any standard nondeterministic model to rescue determinism from, back when the Founding Fathers were still trying to come up with any way at all to describe what was going on. And Bohm made it clear he couldn't care less about determinism vs. nondeterminism -- he even went to the effort of constructing an equally workable nondeterministic version of his hidden variable theory, just to drive his point home. His goal was to rescue realism, "beables", and scientific explanation from Bohr's logical positivism, from his whole "Questions we don't know how to answer aren't proper questions" attitude. Bohm regarded that as an unacceptable abandonment of science's mission to figure out how reality works.

    (Which of course doesn't necessarily torpedo your point -- an unparsimonious attempt to rescue realism may strike you as just as problematic as an unparsimonious attempt to rescue determinism.)

    I don't like them at all. And that seems to be an adequate level of confidence for making claims in the philosophy forum.
    I don't like them at all either. (I mean, I don't object to hidden variables per se, but I don't like Bohm's hidden variables. Run this by me again? You're saying the pilot waves push on the particles but the particles don't push back on the pilot waves? Ugly!!!)

  8. Top | #48
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post

    If I make a decision and act on it, you might also (and say it’s because of that) make a decision and act on it, but neither my decision nor my acting on it guarantees that you must make the decision you do and act upon it, so although you may do what you will (and say it’s because I did what I did), that doesn’t mean you had to do what you did, and that’s because you could have decided not to do what you decided to do.
    Thresholds are the key here. Between deterministic response and probability response there is a region where responses are uncertain as to whether output reflects determined events or probabilistic events. So imputing ethics or morality against events in this area is not really rational at all. Either one has enough information to make an informed decision or one has less information that that.

    Starting with responsibility is a bit far fetched since one most never knows what was intended by another. Even given we are designed to feel or act as others we experience act it makers little sense to dress up those guesses with authority or demand attributes.

  9. Top | #49
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that what coalesced first were those that interacted at the highest temperatures and that probably set the tone for what was to form. That those least needing interaction remain to this day as individual things seems likely. We can't know what the universe is because it hasn't settled. That winding down exists is pretty well established so it might be wise to investigate outcomes based on what we know is happening.

    Whether that which underlies what we call the macro world is lawful to the extent we can predict what will occur is we do certain things is at least interesting. Still, we are but beings observing things from a very small sample of what is.

    I'm just trying to wrap my arms around some possibilities which aren't inclined to include such as free will or morality. Jerking chains certainly isn't getting us very far here.

    End of mind wander.

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