Go Back   Science Forums Biology Forum Molecular Biology Forum Physics Chemistry Forum > General Science Forums > Physics Forum
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Physics Forum Physics Forum. Discuss and ask physics questions, kinematics and other physics problems.


Not even knowable.

Not even knowable. - Physics Forum

Not even knowable. - Physics Forum. Discuss and ask physics questions, kinematics and other physics problems.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-22-2004, 02:14 PM
Gregory L. Hansen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Not even knowable.



In article <[Only registered users see links. ].au>,
Bill Hobba <[Only registered users see links. ].au> wrote:


I don't think I've ever seen "free will" adequately defined. So if nature
were deterministic such that our actions are determined in advance, we
have no free will. (The butterfly effect is a matter of our ability to
predict and control the future, not about determinism itself.) Fine. So
if nature were intrinsically random, is our will any more free that it
would be if our choice of chocolate or vanilla were tied to the decay of
an atom? It certainly couldn't be free if our actions were random, but
actions that we didn't want to take. Do our desires have to be random if
our will is to be free?

Can't discuss free will very meaningfully before the criteria for freedom
are decided.

Recall a scene from "The Simpsons" where Lisa swabbed heavyweight
champion Tatum with "poindextros", and the bully Nelson walked up and
started hitting him, sobbing "I can't stop!"

--
"Are those morons getting dumber or just louder?" -- Mayor Quimby
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-22-2004, 02:52 PM
Jeff Relf
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Groundhog day.

Hi Gregory L. Hansen, You asked,
" Do our desires have to be random
if our will is to be free ? " .

If randomness is always notional and never intrinsic,
then that implies that free will is the same way.
Free will then becomes just and idea, not real.

Remember the movie _ Groundhog day _ ?

The same day kept repeating over and over
no matter what he did.

That scenario afforded him a tremendous amount of freedom,
because he always knew what was going to happen.

Life is actually a lot like that:
It's all the same day.

Most of what passes as " Freedom "
is actually just trivial options.

Real choices, like living a much longer, more active life,
or living without ever breathing, drinking or eating,
are not available to us.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-23-2004, 03:40 AM
Bill Hobba
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Not even knowable.

Gregory L. Hansen

Neither have I - which is another beef I have with philosophy - not
adequately defining terms before discussing them.

'So if nature were deterministic such that our actions are determined in
advance, we have no free will.'

But would that not depend on your definition of free will? If I define free
will as responding to events we (as human beings) can predict then I have
defined the problem away - not all deterministic events can be predicted -
so free will exists because events that we can not predict exist. However
if I take another defiition say as responding to events as determined by the
chemical reactions in our brain that we have no control over and are in
principle predictable - then viola - no free will - it is predetermined.

Gregory L. Hansen
The butterfly effect is a matter of our ability to predict and control the
future, not about determinism itself. Fine.

Maybe maybe not - surely it would depend on the definition of free will.
For example I may define it as specifically excluding factors that are
practically beyond our knowledge - which I suspect the butterfly effect
would fall under. To me the nature of free is so tied up with its
definition that a discussion is simply discussing how we should define it -
which is closely liked to the result we wish to achieve ie the pre-conceived
philosophy we already hold. For example if you into prison reform you might
like the idea of no free will - if you into the death penalty free will
might be rather appealing.

Gregory L. Hansen
'Can't discuss free will very meaningfully before the criteria for freedom
are decided.'

Agreed

Thanks
Bill


Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-23-2004, 10:35 AM
Jeff Relf
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default This tiny box.

Hi Double-A, You said,
" Could a person circumnavigate the universe
in his lifetime ? Common sense would say no.
But Einstein thought it was possible. " .

Einstein said there was an edge to the universe ...
and a person could actually circumnavigate it ?

Do you have that link ?

You rhetorically asked,
" So who can say were
the real boundaries to our choices lie ?
Mostly it is just a lack of knowledge
that limits our options. " .

Although our knowledge is quite limited,
we do know many Hard facts.

For example:
Everyone knows quite well that
they must breath and consume in order to live.
We know quite well that we can't live active lives
much beyond the age of 72.
It's no mystery that no one chose to be born.

Fate has put us in this tiny box,
so we mostly just play jailhouse games.
Trivial games. Like Usenet and earning money.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-24-2004, 02:51 AM
Double-A
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default This tiny box.

Jeff Relf <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message news:<1wgggx8badbn8$.[Only registered users see links. ].Relf>...


No, Einstein didn't say there was an edge to the universe. But he
thought that the curvature of space closed in on itself giving the
universe a finite size, so that if you travelled far enough in one
direction, you would end up back where you started.


No, but I think the quote is in the book "The Universe and Dr.
Einstein" by Lincoln Barnett.




But when a doctor tells you that you have only 6 months to live, or
that there is no cure for your crippling arthritus, what he is really
saying is, "WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!"

Omniscience = Omnipotence.

Double-A
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-25-2004, 09:11 AM
Jeff Relf
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Not one drop of curvature.

Hi Double-A,

You suggested that Einstein " thought that
the curvature of space closed in on itself
giving the universe a finite size,
so that if you traveled far enough in one direction,
you would end up back where you started. " .

No, that was _ if _ our universe had a curvature,
and _ if _ one could live billions of years.

Recent WMAP data has concluded that,
at scales larger than 10 ^ 10 cm,
the universe is as flat as can be ...
not one drop of curvature.

It's perfectly homogenous.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-25-2004, 09:30 AM
Jeff Relf
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default This tiny box.

Hi Double-A, You suggested, " Omniscience = Omnipotence " .

Here are the Hard limits to our knowledge ...

General relativity says that distant observers
can Not observe the contents of a black hole.
And considering the densities involved,
the insides are probably infinitely hot ...
So we can't go there.

Special relativity says that distant observers
can't view the insides of a photon.
And seeing as it has no rest mass,
it's probably infinitely cold ...
So we can't go there either.

Then there's the double-slit experiment,
where the more we know about a particle's energy
( delta x, a standard deviation )
as it passes though a slit,
the less we know about where it will hit the screen
( delta y ).

That's planks constant,
and the famous Heisenberg Uncertainty principle:
dx * dy >= h / ( 2 * pi )

Then there's the case of trying to reach completeness
and consistency in a set of axioms ad infinitum,
forever reducing old axioms ...
creating a convoluted mess.
That's called Godel's incompleteness theorem.
( In physics that mess is called string theory )

No, we're definitely caged in a box of space-time-mass.
Playing only jailhouse games like Usenet and money.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-25-2004, 10:34 PM
Double-A
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Not one drop of curvature.

Jeff Relf <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message news:<53q7hkb5usvk$.[Only registered users see links. ].Relf>...


Einstein liked the idea of a curved, closed universe because you
didn't have to worry about its boundaries, and yet being finite, a
complete set of knowledge of its contents was possible. He made his
statement assuming curvature.

But one needn't live billions of years to make such a journey because
of time dilation. Travelling sufficiently close to the speed of
light, it might only take a few years by ones body clock.

Double-A
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-26-2004, 05:19 AM
Mitchell
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Not one drop of curvature.

Jeff Relf <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message news:<53q7hkb5usvk$.[Only registered users see links. ].Relf>...

How do we go from local curvature to being flat at the larger scales
without bringing back the boundries?
Space then No Space? and No Time?
From space to nothingness? The reverse of the creation:from nothing to something?
Mitch Raemsch
-- Light Falls Everywhere --
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-26-2004, 11:10 AM
Jeff Relf
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Not one drop of curvature.

Hi Double-A, You suggested,
" one needn't live billions of years to make such a journey
because of time dilation.
Traveling sufficiently close to the speed of light ... " .

Only photons and cosmic rays can go that fast.

And photon's have no rest mass,
which means that it's nearly infinitely cold.

It would not be a very pleasant trip.

No matter what Einstein may have preferred,
our universe is definitively fat ...
At large scales, there's no space-time curvature at all.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
knowable


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Worse than futile. Jeff Relf Physics Forum 310 10-19-2010 05:38 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2005 - 2012 Molecular Station | All Rights Reserved
Page generated in 0.17854 seconds with 16 queries