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Old 09-13-2008, 06:40 PM   #16
xoxoxoBruce
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@ Flint...
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:35 PM   #17
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I like to think that every single quantum fluctuation causes the universe to split into every possible direction that fluctuation can result in. Which means that every decision you made that could have gone in multiple directions, some version of you has chosen ALL those directions. Then there are an infinitely many universes being created every instant of time, and we are sort of doing a 'random walk' in choosing which universe our particular consciousness traverses. If our consciousness could somehow 'choose' which path to traverse, then that would be free will from our particular point of view, but from the point of view of an outside-the-universe observer, everything happens somewhere in the ever-branching series of possibilities, and free will would be an illusion.


Yep, the damn cat in the box is alive and dead.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:48 PM   #18
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Thumbs up

Sorry Flint, I guess I was reading you wrong then.
It has seemed like in your posts you only allow for us to have inescapable thought processes and responses. No allowance for free will choices in a physically dimensioned only universe.

In what way does your thinking differ from fatalism?

For myself, I can't accept a concept of a Creator that doesn't allow for all that His/Her creation is, and that SHe not be separate from it as its creator.
Within our own beings we see a capacity for emotions, and the desire for enjoyment/ relationship that would need to be in the Creator as well.
An "in all, and all of everything being the creation/creator" model of a guiding force/God playing Hide and Seek with Himself doesn't add up to a full enough explanation for me.
It leaves major things unaddressed for me like that S/He would have created a reasoning, logically thinking being(us) with the capacity for meaningful relationship(love), and we can't experience relationship with our creator because S/He's playing Hide and Seek with Him/Herself?

For me, because S/He created us with the mental reasoning capacities that we have, and the abilities for relationship, its only a logical conclusion that our creator provide a means for such relationship.
So in looking around I ask myself, "Out of the various options/ explanations that appear to exist, how many are logical, reasonable, answer all of the necessary requirements, and has evidence that it follows the scientific natural laws that we in our capacity can discern.
And like you said, as time goes on, we will continue to learn more, and better understand more fully the real truth of reality.

I readily agree with your comment "the machinery of the universe is so many billions of times more complex than we will ever be able to understand".
Shoot, we have barely scratched the surface of the basic four dimensions that we so far can experiment in and study. And in quantum physics they have identified a necessity for there actually to be more than a dozen dimensions that exist.
But I disagree with you about our level of significance in the scheme of everything. From my studying, we likely have a very significant place in this universe from the scientific evidence that I've found exists.*

I also agree with you about our cognitive reasoning including assumptions that will at times be wrong. But your conclusion, "We aren't reliable witnesses to our own experience." goes beyond the logical conclusion that can be stated from the observation.
Certainly we aren't always reliable witnesses to our own experiences, but much of the time we will be.

"In a definition of the universe inclusive enough to include the so-called supernatural (actually just parts of nature yet to be understood by our own pea-sized human brains)"
Very well stated. If man could someday fully understand all of the ways the Christian God(should S/He actually exist) performed all of the miracles, and acts of creating all that exists; in every step there would be a reasonable, logical, deductive, scientifically repeatable explanation.

"I can't imagine any other definition of God that wouldn't be a major downgrade. Either he's EVERYTHING or he's just another bureaucrat."

Like I said, this definition of God is too small, at least on the face of it.
You may though have an ability to allow for this God concept to create time, and to preexist time in what we call eternity, or something like it.

This is very interesting to me, I love thinking about, studying, and discussing such.
Its a life journey discovering the true nature of reality isn't it? But I love the adventure of it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number 2 Pencil View Post
I like to think that every single quantum fluctuation causes the universe to split into every possible direction that fluctuation can result in. Which means that every decision you made that could have gone in multiple directions, some version of you has chosen ALL those directions. Then there are an infinitely many universes being created every instant of time, and we are sort of doing a 'random walk' in choosing which universe our particular consciousness traverses. If our consciousness could somehow 'choose' which path to traverse, then that would be free will from our particular point of view, but from the point of view of an outside-the-universe observer, everything happens somewhere in the ever-branching series of possibilities, and free will would be an illusion.


Yep, the damn cat in the box is alive and dead.
No.#2, maybe we each exist in our own constantly unfolding universe that is effected by every decision we make... and everyone else makes?
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:02 PM   #20
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Nope. Not true. All my problems are someone else's fault... the bastards... picking on poor little me.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:21 PM   #21
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Every decision each person makes, and every decision everyone else makes, and every 'decision' that inanimate objects end up taking (such as a path that lightning chooses to travels) has consequences. These consequences propagate from the instant of the event ever outwards in a chain of cause and effect and entanglement. Every possible consequence happens in every possible way, each possibility happening in a different parallel universe. I have no idea how each of us ends up in this particular branch of the universe- one in which we chose to zig instead of zag. But from the 'God's eye view' from outside the whole infinite number of universes, free will is meaningless because every possibility will run its course.

An odd idea that occurs to me when I think of this stuff. If there are an infinite number of universes in which I win the lottery, and also an infinite number in which I don't, are these two infinities equal? It seems that they aren't because more often than not this particular instance of me ends up in a universe in which I don't win the lottery.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:55 AM   #22
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I find two fundamental problems with your reasoning:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruminator View Post
...
I can't accept...
#1 Reality doesn't care what you can accept.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruminator View Post
...
From my studying, we likely have a very significant place in this universe from the scientific evidence that I've found exists.*
...
#2 According to the best scientific evidence available to ants, ants will conclude that ants have a very significant place in the universe.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:18 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
#2 According to the best scientific evidence available to ants, ants will conclude that ants have a very significant place in the universe.
The approach I am going to take here is probably the opposite of the ones in my above posts

Could consciousness somehow be important to the universe?

Haven't scientists found that by observing fundamental physics experiments, they themselves 'force' the universe to choose between the possible results. Their tests seems to show that quantum physics situations that go unobserved remain in a state of probability rather than having a fixed solution. If that is the case, then the universe really does need someone with consciousness to observe it in order to somehow cause it to become what it is, otherwise it would be a fuzzy blob of vagueness with no definition.

(yes, this is sort of the opposite of what I had said earlier, but it seems both positions though more or less opposite are totally unprovable. So this idea might be true and the other thing I said about parallel universes might be bunk. Which would be better?)
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:11 PM   #24
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Accepting or rejecting a line of reasoning isn't a part of the reasoning, but rather a judgment of its plausibilty.

Quote:
Reality doesn't care what you can accept.
- Obviously true for each of us.
Your linking my quote with your statement is an ungrounded leap.

Quote:
According to the best scientific evidence available to ants, ants will conclude that ants have a very significant place in the universe.
- cute, prove it.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
...
So in looking around I ask myself, "Out of the various options/ explanations that appear to exist, how many are logical, reasonable, answer all of the necessary requirements, and has evidence that it follows the scientific natural laws that we in our capacity can discern.
...
Sorry, it appears from what you've said that the options/explanations you are willing to consider are those which meet the extremely specific conditions you've pre-decided must be satisfied, i.e. an emotional relationship God/dess which doesn't play "hide and seek" with him/herself; right?
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:40 PM   #26
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Not tryin' to be all harsh on ya; I'm just sayin' is all...
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There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:01 PM   #27
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No problem, I didn't feel any harshness. I enjoyed reading your summation. Your conclusion was on the face of it, quite accurate for as far as it went, though I suppose you might guess I would want to fill it out somewhat for greater accuracy. I strive for the clearest understanding and communication possible.
I have a dear friend who's an agnostic(used to be atheist) and very intelligent, who for 32 years we've together discussed many aspects of reality perceptions, strengths and weaknesses of evolution and creation, etc.. We both grew to understand the importance of detailed, accurate communication to be able to get anywhere.

I'm just really pressed for time this week as my partners and I are this weekend putting on the largest open walleye tournament that exists on Lake Erie. Its a huge affair with a 105 boat field. We hold a free pig roast and catered dinner afterwards to all who attend... lots to do yet.

In fact in looking back I saw how I had maybe offended you. I'm familiar with the basic concept you're presenting from elsewhere and have had it described as the God playing hide and seek with himself model or concept.
I wasn't meaning to be offensive, and if so I apologize.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:27 PM   #28
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I don't know why, but the topic of "free will" has never been terribly interesting to me. The argument about free will is more interesting than the actual idea, IMHO. My opinion is that no matter if it is one extreme or the other, you have no way of knowing, and it can't have any effect on your life and decision making process no matter which way were finally proven to be "true", so why bother worrying about?

Anyhow, even if I don't think much of it, this topic has been at the center of a long-running debate with some of history's greatest Philosophers. I found this discussion about free will terribly insightful: http://cdn1.libsyn.com/philosophybites/PinkMixSes.mp3
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:38 AM   #29
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothmoniker View Post
We don't even know yet what complexity is required for step one, "a robot that thinks", let alone step two, a robot that conceives of itself having self-determination, but doesn't.
Robot predestination.

There's the stuff of a comic SF novel in that. John Wesley is no doubt not spinning in his grave, but doubling up and seized with the hiccups.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:35 PM   #30
Flint
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I've been thinking about simulated reality quite a bit lately. Whether or not consciousness is deterministic is going to become a major issue when we have to decide whether NPCs in a physics-appropriate simulation are alive or not.
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******************
There's a level of facility that everyone needs to accomplish, and from there
it's a matter of deciding for yourself how important ultra-facility is to your
expression. ... I found, like Joseph Campbell said, if you just follow whatever
gives you a little joy or excitement or awe, then you're on the right track.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Bozzio
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