Author Topic: Episode #20 Tom W. Clark Interview  (Read 6623 times)

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Offline christopher

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Just trying to steal the last word.
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2008, 03:07:43 AM »
I think everyone is being emotional and missing the point.  We just don't have Free Will.  We can make choices, though those choices are not consequence free...  we serve Ourselves.  

Tom W. Clark is a friggin' cool guy, I think the whole prison thing was a misunderstanding.  I think he was referring to the fact that at some time in the past  it was advantageous to be aggressive... so we were, then some people and there genes got together and out pops an aggressive guy in modern times.

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Episode #20 Tom W. Clark Interview
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2008, 08:44:02 AM »
We just don't have Free Will.

Well, I guess that settles that (?).

1) My working assumption of the world as it is is that we DO have free will.

2) If we lived in a purely deterministic universe, then we couldn't.

3) But the universe in NOT purely deterministic. I hate to bring "quantum woo" into the discussion, but I can't help but think that the innate "uncertainty" of the universe leaves the door open for "free will", in the sense that, even in principle, actions can NOT be predicted.

4) I used to think that if one knew the exact location and direction and speed of every particle in the universe, one could, at least in principle, predict the universe's future. Heisenberg put an end to that illusion.

5) Often, what we think of as "free will" is anything but. Let's say, after much research and reasoning, I freely decide my next car will be a Subaru.  Have I really made a free choice? Or was my behavior influenced/determined by advertising and other subconscious influences?

6) Think of Derren Brown. Is someone handing over his wallet by "free will"? Has Simon Pegg chosen a certain gift through "free will?" The illusion of free will is there, but the actual choice is anything but free.

I guess I'm rambling as well. Please don't all pile on at once.

But I predict that you will!

Offline mickal777

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Episode #20 Tom W. Clark Interview
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2008, 08:49:13 AM »
I think that in order for free will to exist, there would have to be a part of you independent of influences.

Though just because the universe is apparently unpredictable, doesn't mean it hasn't been predetermined from the initial conditions...

And even if the universe is random, it doesn't mean we have free will anymore then 'random' dice do, or the random quantum effects.

Though it all depends on how you define it.

Offline proponentsist

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Free Will
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2008, 10:35:31 AM »
I agree with AtaraX that there are two definitions of Free Will. We must be careful to make a distinction between the Free Will we associate with philosophical arguments and Free Will in the cosmic sense.

Philosophically, we are actors in a small stage in which we may be able to make choices. In this sense, other actors cannot predict which place on the stage I will be choosing to be next. Free will is determined by our peer's ability to predict our actions, so to others it may seem that we have free will.

Philosophically, we also believe that we have free will because we can choose to change direction any time we want. In this small stage, we are able to improvise, and we can believe that our actions determine our destiny. This compels me to believe in determinism. However, because we cannot predict the actions of the other actors, we cannot control our destinies and therefore believe that there is no determinism. That is a philosophical conundrum, and one that has been debated for centuries.

Cosmically there is no free will. We are limited by the laws of nature and physics to move about in a predictable way. We know, for example, that we will age and die. We can predict with some certainty that our sun will eventually die. We cannot make choices outside of the realm of natural laws. We can try to use some of those laws to achieve slightly different outcomes. For example, we can (and have) extended the average life of humans, and we may even some day discover a "cure" for aging. But that is still not free will. We would still be confined to the limits of the laws of nature. We can measure probabilities of outcomes, and even if those probabilities are gargantuan, the outcomes are still limited to the laws of nature.

Therefore, there is no determinism in the cosmic sense, and no free will. Philosophically, we will continue to debate the issue.
ime is just a convenient way to explain the odd behavior of light.