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Free Will, Does it Exist?

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Postby DIss0n80r » Thu May 10, 2012 2:04 am

What about freedom from power?
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Postby khanster » Thu May 10, 2012 2:10 am

Seth Lloyd gives an interesting argument for the existence of free will.

http://www.americanscientist.org/booksh ... seth-lloyd


Free will is safe. Even if the universe is completely deterministic, then we (and computers, and God knows who else) possess free will. At first, the deterministic nature of the laws of physics would seem to forbid free will: No choice is available. In fact, however, the computational nature of the universe actually guarantees free will.

Let me explain. Free will arises when we make decisions—decisions that we and we alone are responsible for. For example, every morning I decide whether to have coffee or tea. The decision is mine, and mine alone. Until I make it, I have no idea whether I will have coffee or tea. My decision process is a kind of computation: I weigh the relative merits of coffee or tea, thinking about my day ahead, and then make a decision.

But exactly because the decision process is a kind of computation, the outcome of this process is intrinsically unpredictable. Why? Because any process that involves logical reasoning is intrinsically unpredictable: The result of such a process—and my eventual decision for tea or coffee—can only be determined by going through the same reasoning process oneself. Until one has actually gone through the reasoning process of making the decision, the actual decision will be unpredictable. This verbal argument can easily be made mathematically precise by restating it in terms of mathematical logic, of the sort that computers practice.

One of the most famous results of computer science is the so-called "halting problem," which states that the result of any computation is itself impossible to compute without going through the same sequence of logical steps that the computer programmed to perform the computation undergoes. Ironically, it is exactly when we are most rational and deterministic that free will shows up.


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Postby at1with0 » Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 am

Because any process that involves logical reasoning is intrinsically unpredictable:


This is one flaw with his argument. If my computer program is this:
10 PRINT "1"
20 GOTO 10

then the output of that program is not only predictable but easily predictable.

He has to show why the computations a human is involved with in decision-making is essentially NOT like the above program. In fact, many people's decisions are quite predictable.

The key point being that not ALL decisions are predictable. Like my decision to think about malignant brain tumors or snails or the unit circle; now that was something unpredictable.

I question the thought that unpredictable thought processes implies free will because tacit in that assumption is that we ARE computing something when making a decision; the very fact that we are demonstrates that our will isn't free if the whole universe is deterministic.

This is where David Wolpert's ideas on "demons" comes into play.
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Postby khanster » Fri May 11, 2012 12:07 am

at1with0 wrote:
In fact, many people's decisions are quite predictable.



Not with absolute 100% accuracy.
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Postby frrostedman » Fri May 11, 2012 1:07 am

khanster wrote:
at1with0 wrote:
In fact, many people's decisions are quite predictable.



Not with absolute 100% accuracy.

I was 100% certain you would say that.
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Postby khanster » Fri May 11, 2012 1:22 am

frrostedman wrote:
khanster wrote:
at1with0 wrote:
In fact, many people's decisions are quite predictable.



Not with absolute 100% accuracy.

I was 100% certain you would say that.


Lucky guess :mrgreen:
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Postby frrostedman » Fri May 11, 2012 2:07 am

at1with0 wrote:
Because any process that involves logical reasoning is intrinsically unpredictable:


This is one flaw with his argument. If my computer program is this:
10 PRINT "1"
20 GOTO 10

then the output of that program is not only predictable but easily predictable.

Really?

Ok, tell me how many pages will print before the ink runs out.
Tell me how many pages will print before the printer breaks down.

And you could have at LEAST put a semicolon at the end of line 10 to save some trees! Typical Earth-hater! You must be one of those Christians who claims the Earth is merely God's "foot stool" with zero regard for precious resources and proper stewardship!

Jerk! :evil:
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Postby at1with0 » Fri May 11, 2012 8:58 am

frrostedman wrote:
at1with0 wrote:
Because any process that involves logical reasoning is intrinsically unpredictable:


This is one flaw with his argument. If my computer program is this:
10 PRINT "1"
20 GOTO 10

then the output of that program is not only predictable but easily predictable.

Really?

Ok, tell me how many pages will print before the ink runs out.
Tell me how many pages will print before the printer breaks down.

And you could have at LEAST put a semicolon at the end of line 10 to save some trees! Typical Earth-hater! You must be one of those Christians who claims the Earth is merely God's "foot stool" with zero regard for precious resources and proper stewardship!

Jerk! :evil:


NERD111111111111111111111111111
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Postby DIss0n80r » Fri May 11, 2012 11:53 am

Resistance is futile.

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Postby frrostedman » Sat May 12, 2012 4:24 am

at1with0 wrote:
frrostedman wrote:And you could have at LEAST put a semicolon at the end of line 10 to save some trees! Typical Earth-hater! You must be one of those Christians who claims the Earth is merely God's "foot stool" with zero regard for precious resources and proper stewardship!

Jerk! :evil:


NERD111111111111111111111111111


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