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  Topic: Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 327
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 03 2007,11:53   

Regarding pool balls and randomness - if you take examples like this and add in other utterly fundamentally random events such as the impossibility of knowing exactly when a particular uranium atom will fission, you are led to he realization that the future is only partially determined by the present.  That kills determinism dead.

Let me give you an example of something in the future that will affect your thinking that you cannot predict in advance: take a geiger counter and set it near a weak source of radioactivity, one that only gives a click every second or two.  Unless quantum mechanics is fundamentally wrong, it is utterly impossible to predict exactly when the next click will occur.  

That click is a macro event, it can be heard by a human and it will affect the human mind.  That means that the human mind cannot be totally deterministic because some of the inputs that affect it are impossible to predict ahead of time.

The whole "human mind is either deterministic or we have free will" argument is bull feathers anyway.  The human mind is a fallible material system that operates with incomplete inputs from the world, making an "educated guess" at what's actually going on out there.  It can't be deterministic because, among many other things, it doesn't have an accurate view of the world which supposedly determines it.

Ask someone who uses the "deterministic or free will" argument what "free will" means sometime and watch him get confused.  Or rather, watch him show his confusion.

  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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