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Post Reply Science and Freewill
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Posted 7/2/15
Something I always thought funny was an atheist who used science to deny religion, yet claimed to have freewill.

Not to get into a discussion of religion, because that isn't what this is. I am now Christian, and I used to be an atheist and thought this was just as funny then.

Why do I think it is funny? Because, scientifically speaking, everything is simply the result of cause and effect, a series of reactions. This means that everything in existence, including every thought and decision, is simply a result of these reactions, which, with the proper measurements and calculations, could easily be predetermined.

Actually, scientifically speaking... if there was anything that could connect with the entire universe, measure all of existence, and have the ability to calculate it properly, that something could know everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. This is an idea that lends itself to the thought (if nothing else) of an omniscient being.

Is there something I am missing? Is there a way, scientifically speaking, for anyone to have freewill?
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Posted 7/2/15
You're not wrong. However, predestiny is a core belief among many Christians, being a key component of protestantism as defined by Martin Luther. So religion does not necessarily lend itself to the notion of freewill any moreso than does science. I find it troubling at times. With how often the two (science and religion) are at odds with each other... the fact that they both appear to agree on this point gives it a singular significance making it nigh impossible to refute.
Yet refute it we must. For if we lack free will, what separates us from a fictional character? Simply a static plot device in a cosmic novel...
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Posted 7/2/15 , edited 7/2/15
You're confusing Science as Philosophy.
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Posted 7/2/15

cleruninja wrote:

You're not wrong. However, predestiny is a core belief among many Christians, being a key component of protestantism as defined by Martin Luther. So religion does not necessarily lend itself to the notion of freewill any moreso than does science. I find it troubling at times. With how often the two (science and religion) are at odds with each other... the fact that they both appear to agree on this point gives it a singular significance making it nigh impossible to refute.
Yet refute it we must. For if we lack free will, what separates us from a fictional character? Simply a static plot device in a cosmic novel...


Very nicely said.

I wasn't trying to debate religion. I do personally believe in freewill, as a Christian, just hard to explain how. Takes a lot of scripture AND reasoning, which usually do not go hand-in-hand.

Just saw an atheist sarcastically telling a Christian that he should switch religions, because "his religion had real freewill." Of course, atheism is not a religion, and science does not support the existence of freewill.... so I was having a good chuckle.
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Posted 7/2/15

CKD-Anime wrote:

You're confusing Science as Philosophy.


Not at all. Please explain why you believe that.
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Posted 7/2/15 , edited 7/3/15
Actually our current understanding of physics presupposes free will. Under Newtonian mechanics you could make the case that reality is simply the result of deterministic cause and effect. However, Newtonian mechanics is a simplification of physics that breaks down under relativistic conditions or when dealing with small enough particles. That is where quantum mechanics comes into play. A direct consequence of quantum mechanics is that the behavior of particles is NOT deterministic. The particles that build up our universe can exist in multiple states. These states are enumerated by a wave function that also describes the probability of being in any one of those states. Once a particle is observed or a property of it measured, then it collapses into one of those possible states.

TLDR : The very foundations of our universe are non deterministic and this implies free will.

Edit:

Free will in the sense that if one took 2 universes with the same starting conditions and both gave rise to a person named Bob who is making a choice. Bob is not predetermined to always make the same choice through "cause and effect."
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Posted 7/2/15
I personally don't believe in free will. Quantum physics could potentially change my mind though. I'd have to look more into it though.
Posted 7/3/15 , edited 7/3/15
I'm not smart enough to talk about philosophy and feel like I'm not talking complete bullshit at the same time. I feel like I have free will though, and using that free will I choose to be an athiest and choose to believe I have free will. Damn, that's circular.

Also, apparently it's pretty easy to "disprove" predetermination using quantum physics.
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Posted 7/3/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:

Something I always thought funny was an atheist who used science to deny religion, yet claimed to have freewill.

Not to get into a discussion of religion, because that isn't what this is. I am now Christian, and I used to be an atheist and thought this was just as funny then.

Why do I think it is funny? Because, scientifically speaking, everything is simply the result of cause and effect, a series of reactions. This means that everything in existence, including every thought and decision, is simply a result of these reactions, which, with the proper measurements and calculations, could easily be predetermined.

Actually, scientifically speaking... if there was anything that could connect with the entire universe, measure all of existence, and have the ability to calculate it properly, that something could know everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. This is an idea that lends itself to the thought (if nothing else) of an omniscient being.

Is there something I am missing? Is there a way, scientifically speaking, for anyone to have freewill?

I'm confused what you are saying. Our thoughts and actions are based on the limited scope that is called human intelligence yeh. And theoretically if we can determine where that intelligence is based off of we would know where it's from. But current we have not determined everything in the universe so all we can do is theorize and study the world.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the universe is chaotic, that living things are what they are for evolutionary reasons. Though there still is stuff that I guess could theoretically have been designed by another living thing which I guess is what you are getting at? I think?

But I think someone already said this but there's plenty of subsets of Christianity that realize that the world is chaotic and that it's the choices and decisions you make that show you as a morally good person to prove yourself for heaven, instead of Calvinism "doesn't matter how good or bad of a person you are, the path to heaven is pre-determined at birth" which I'm going to flat out say is insanely stupid.
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Posted 7/3/15

Emperor_Azmodius wrote:

Actually our current understanding of physics presupposes free will. Under Newtonian mechanics you could make the case that reality is simply the result of deterministic cause and effect. However, Newtonian mechanics is a simplification of physics that breaks down under relativistic conditions or when dealing with small enough particles. That is where quantum mechanics comes into play. A direct consequence of quantum mechanics is that the behavior of particles is NOT deterministic. The particles that build up our universe can exist in multiple states. These states are enumerated by a wave function that also describes the probability of being in any one of those states. Once a particle is observed or a property of it measured, then it collapses into one of those possible states.

TLDR : The very foundations of our universe are non deterministic and this implies free will.


I have considered this, actually.

First, no, it does NOT imply freewill. It implies that everything is inherently somewhat random, that is all. I have no idea how you came to the conclusion you came to.

Secondly, I choose to believe that because we do not fully understand these particles, we do not see how they are determined, not that they are not being determined by something. Or, and I like this one better, they are determined by God.... which, again, is the something that we do not understand.

Also, try to keep it in somewhat layman's terms, so almost everyone can understand.
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Posted 7/3/15

haikinka wrote:

Also, apparently it's pretty easy to "disprove" predetermination using quantum physics.


Disprove? No. The average man knows more about how a woman thinks than our smartest scientists understand about quantum physics.

I always get this argument, and it's funny, to me.

Quantum physics is the frontier we are only just now exploring. We actually understand very little. And so far, it only suggests that everything is somewhat random.
Posted 7/3/15 , edited 7/3/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:

Disprove? No. The average man knows more about how a woman thinks than our smartest scientists understand about quantum physics.

I always get this argument, and it's funny, to me.

Quantum physics is the frontier we are only just now exploring. We actually understand very little. And so far, it only suggests that everything is somewhat random.


Exactly the reason I said apparently since I don't actually understand it myself.

I just realised I can use the argument for not having freewill to justify being a complete cunt, I take it back I don't believe in freewill anymore.
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Posted 7/3/15

Emperor_Azmodius wrote:
Free will in the sense that if one took 2 universes with the same starting conditions and both gave rise to a person named Bob who is making a choice. Bob is not predetermined to always make the same choice through "cause and effect."


That's still not freewill, at all. That would be the result of two separate universes that were created from an entirely random event.
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Posted 7/3/15 , edited 7/3/15
Theories lie in the realm of philosophy, while absolutes lie in science. Disclaimer This statement is very vague.

Also, supernatural things don't belong in science thus said person in your story can't prove/disprove supernatural things.
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Posted 7/3/15 , edited 7/3/15

CKD-Anime wrote:
Theories lie in the realm of philosophy, while absolutes lie in science.


No, no, no, my friend. Just no. WOW....so much no here....gah...so no, I don't know what to say....except NO.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying it isn't philosophy. It is. It is just also science.
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