1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    02 Jul '07 19:09
    Now I may have completely misunderstood quatum physics but I'm happy to be corrected by any experts in this field....so here goes

    Can I ask the forum , does the quantum world afford any weight to the idea that the relationship between cause and effect is not always straight forward or linear? Does quantum entaglement offer the possibility of backwards relationships between cause and effect? I say this because the model of 'every choice must have a cause and be determined by something preceeding it or else it must be random' does seem to exclude the possibility that other ways of human choices being made might exist. The idea that I choose a choice freely with no causal determination forcing me to seems incoherent at first but then so does quantum entanglement and the such like. Is it not possible that we choose freely without there being a direct cause (except our own free volition) and that that choice is not causally driven by anything preceeding it - in this way the reason for the choice becomes the cause after the choice has taken place. We choose the reason and not the other way round. Thus one could say that the choice is not random but also it is not causally driven. A different relationship exists between our choices and the reasoning process - a kind of retrospective causality ?

    Would this be a way in to understanding free will ? Could it offer a solution to the problem of how two different choices might be possible given two identical scenarios but that this choice could also have a rationale and reason behind it. Could we really be free to choose A or B and there still be a reasoning for our choice. Afterall , our brains are full of quatum particles are they not?
  2. Australia
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    02 Jul '07 22:09
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Now I may have completely misunderstood quatum physics but I'm happy to be corrected by any experts in this field....so here goes

    Can I ask the forum , does the quantum world afford any weight to the idea that the relationship between cause and effect is not always straight forward or linear? Does quantum entaglement offer the possibility of backwar ...[text shortened]... a reasoning for our choice. Afterall , our brains are full of quatum particles are they not?
    I have no answer for you, but you may want to search for something I read recently. I think it was in one of the recent "New Scientist" publications and it detailed some experiments where scientist were showing that lab rats displayed "free will".
  3. Standard memberagryson
    AGW Hitman
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    02 Jul '07 22:311 edit
    Given that in the wonderful world of quantum physics, quantum field theory and particle physics, the only difference (fundamentally) between an electron and its positron is that the positron is moving backwards in time (a lot of successful predictions have been based on this, for more, look up 'Feynman Diagrams'😉, then it could easily be argued, that our perception of time is just that, a perception, and that all that has been or will be is actually simultaneously in existence. (I may be abusing the term 'simultaneous'😉.
    Consequently, there's little hope for free will, there is some, but not much.

    Edit: corrected spelling mistake.
  4. Cape Town
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    03 Jul '07 07:14
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    except our own free volition
    What does this mean?

    Also you don't need to bring in quantum physics at all. Lets assume whatever it is you are talking about is possible. Now does it make sense?
    The fact remains that every choice must have a cause or be random. You cannot avoid it.
  5. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    03 Jul '07 08:35
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    What does this mean?

    Also you don't need to bring in quantum physics at all. Lets assume whatever it is you are talking about is possible. Now does it make sense?
    The fact remains that every choice must have a cause or be random. You cannot avoid it.
    Do you think the universe must have a cause or be random?
  6. Cape Town
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    03 Jul '07 09:44
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Do you think the universe must have a cause or be random?
    Are you talking about the universe as a whole? If so, I don't think the words 'cause' or 'random' can be applied to it. Both are descriptions of events which take place within the universe.
    To repeat an example given in the First Cause thread [71874]71874[/71874]
    If the operation of addition is defined on every integer in the set of all integers and we know that for any pair of integers we can add the two, there is absolutely no reason to assume that the operation of addition can be applied to "the set of all integers". In fact it cant by its very definition.
    So if the cause of an event A is defined as "an event B in space-time that results in event A" then to ask "Does the universe have a cause?" is nonsensical as the universe is not an event in space-time.
  7. Standard membergenius
    Wayward Soul
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    04 Jul '07 08:26
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Now I may have completely misunderstood quatum physics but I'm happy to be corrected by any experts in this field....so here goes

    Can I ask the forum , does the quantum world afford any weight to the idea that the relationship between cause and effect is not always straight forward or linear? Does quantum entaglement offer the possibility of backwar ...[text shortened]... a reasoning for our choice. Afterall , our brains are full of quatum particles are they not?
    i beleive the film "what the bleep do we know" looks into this. however, i thought the film was pointing at "quantum stuff exists, therefore god does not", whereas one of my friends thought it was more along the lines of "quantum stuff exists, therefore god exists".

    so my advic to you would be to read the new scientist article about white mice (curiously, they are even more intelligent than dolphins) and do not watch silly films that have high priestesses alongside professors in their role of experts.
  8. Standard memberknightmeister
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    04 Jul '07 08:491 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Are you talking about the universe as a whole? If so, I don't think the words 'cause' or 'random' can be applied to it. Both are descriptions of events which take place within the universe.
    To repeat an example given in the First Cause thread [71874]71874[/71874]
    If the operation of addition is defined on every integer in the set of all integers and we universe have a cause?" is nonsensical as the universe is not an event in space-time.
    Are you talking about the universe as a whole? If so, I don't think the words 'cause' or 'random' can be applied to it. Both are descriptions of events which take place within the universe.----whitey

    So you do at least except that it's possible for something to exist that is neither caused or random , or to which these words cannot be applied. Interesting........something can exist which is not caused or random. A chink of light appears.

    (I'm fully expecting you now to go down the line that says the universe doesn't actually exist now)
  9. Cape Town
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    04 Jul '07 09:31
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    So you do at least except that it's possible for something to exist that is neither caused or random , or to which these words cannot be applied. Interesting........something can exist which is not caused or random. A chink of light appears.

    (I'm fully expecting you now to go down the line that says the universe doesn't actually exist now)
    Something can not exist in the universe that is neither caused or random.
    Whether the word existence even applies to entities not in the universe or whether it applies to the universe as a whole is up for discussion.
    I am taking the word universe to include only the sum of all time.

    Also I have always maintained (and mentioned it previously) that 'cause' and 'random' apply to events not objects so effectively nothing in the universe exists that is caused or random or for which those words can be applied.
    Also remember that laws such as the law of conservation of energy imply that energy itself never leaves or enters the universe but is just reconfigured, so when we say an object exists we are really talking about a particular pattern of energy at a given point in time, and an event is a change in that pattern.

    All this should serve to highlight the fact that all the words we are using are really only meaningful for the universe and to try to use them for anything else without redefining them is meaningless.
    If multiplication and division are defined on numbers and we all know what it means then we can talk about interesting things like prime numbers etc. If you then ask "is my pet dog prime?" then you would effectively be talking nonsense because your dog is not a number and the word 'prime' is only defined as having meaning for numbers.
    What I am trying to articulate is that to even ask the question "does an entity exist 'external' to the universe or 'external' to time" requires the redefinition of the word 'exist' as under our normal understanding of the word it really only has meaning withing the universe.
    In fact that problem is the main reason for our constant confusion in the Something from Nothing discussion.
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