1. DonationPawnokeyhole
    Krackpot Kibitzer
    Right behind you...
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    13 Jun '08 10:10
    Suppose relativity theory is true. Does this mean that liberatian free will is false?

    Here's why I ask. Suppose a spacecraft leaves Earth and accelerates towards a black hole. People on Earth look up at the spacecraft. The craft appears to get ever closer to the Black Hole without going in. If those aboard the spacecraft look back towards Earth, they would see it ageing increasingly fast. So, the age that people on Earth are, and the age that people on the spacecraft are, doesn't seem to have a unique answer: it all depends on an observer's point of reference, and their relative acceleration in space. Hence, there isn't a single background time in which all events in our universe take place.

    More specifically, although from the point of view of the Earthbound, their own future doesn't yet exist, so they may yet have a hand in shaping it, their future nonetheless *does* seem to exist from the perspective of those aboard the spacecraft. This suggests that there is a determinate future waiting for the Earthbound, that from some perspectives this future has already happened.


    Is this state of affairs incompatible with the Earthbound having libertarian free will, using which they could freely choose between different futures? My sense is that his problem recapitulates the ancient debate between whether divine foreknowledge is compatible with human free will.
  2. Cape Town
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    13 Jun '08 10:57
    Originally posted by Pawnokeyhole
    Suppose relativity theory is true.
    You mean "Since relativity theory is true". I am afraid there can be no question about the aspect you are discussing ie time contaction/dilation.

    So, the age that people on Earth are, and the age that people on the spacecraft are, doesn't seem to have a unique answer: it all depends on an observer's point of reference,
    But that is nothing new. Your point of reference now and your point of reference yesterday would have yielded different results without needing relativity.

    More specifically, although from the point of view of the Earthbound, their own future doesn't yet exist, so they may yet have a hand in shaping it, their future nonetheless *does* seem to exist from the perspective of those aboard the spacecraft.
    Again, that really has nothing to do with relativity. You are in fact equating the current time on earth with a 'future' time on the space craft. You might as well simply use a future time on earth and forget relativity.

    This suggests that there is a determinate future waiting for the Earthbound, that from some perspectives this future has already happened.
    Er yes. From the perspective of tommorow, today has already happened.
    But what do we mean by 'already'? And what do we mean by 'happened'. Those are the core of the problem and where knightmeister keeps tying himself in knots.

    My sense is that his problem recapitulates the ancient debate between whether divine foreknowledge is compatible with human free will.
    But unlike divine knowledge, the spacebound passengers cannot send information backwards through time (unless there is something about black holes we dont know about)
  3. Joined
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    13 Jun '08 11:511 edit
    Originally posted by Pawnokeyhole
    Suppose relativity theory is true. Does this mean that liberatian free will is false?

    Here's why I ask. Suppose a spacecraft leaves Earth and accelerates towards a black hole. People on Earth look up at the spacecraft. The craft appears to get ever closer to the Black Hole without going in. If those aboard the spacecraft look back towards Earth, they the ancient debate between whether divine foreknowledge is compatible with human free will.
    Maybe when we know the answer there will be peace on earth! 😕
  4. weedhopper
    Joined
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    13 Jun '08 23:031 edit
    Originally posted by Pawnokeyhole
    Suppose relativity theory is true. Does this mean that liberatian free will is false?

    Here's why I ask. Suppose a spacecraft leaves Earth and accelerates towards a black hole. People on Earth look up at the spacecraft. The craft appears to get ever closer to the Black Hole without going in. If those aboard the spacecraft look back towards Earth, they the ancient debate between whether divine foreknowledge is compatible with human free will.
    I don't see how time works into the equation, "background" time or any other. Both sets of people have a future, though one looks far bleaker than the other. But your last sentence I agree with: As a believer that God knows everything--past-present-future, the the minutest detail--my view of free will takes a hit (even though I still believe we have it 🙄 )
  5. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    14 Jun '08 08:01
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You mean "Since relativity theory is true". I am afraid there can be no question about the aspect you are discussing ie time contaction/dilation.

    [b]So, the age that people on Earth are, and the age that people on the spacecraft are, doesn't seem to have a unique answer: it all depends on an observer's point of reference,

    But that is nothing new. ...[text shortened]... ckwards through time (unless there is something about black holes we dont know about)[/b]
    This suggests that there is a determinate future waiting for the Earthbound, that from some perspectives this future has already happened. --pawk----
    Er yes. From the perspective of tommorow, today has already happened.
    But what do we mean by 'already'? And what do we mean by 'happened'. Those are the core of the problem and where knightmeister keeps tying himself in knots.-----whitey----


    RESPONSE----------

    However , if time really is relative then one could say that for God our future has already happened but for us it hasn't. This seems contradictory because we want to ask " well , which one is true???"

    But what if an event could be said to BOTH have "already happened" and ALSO "not happened" and for both these statements to be true and not mutually exclusive.

    Instinctively we see this as a contradiction and logically impossible because we are so attached to the idea that TIME is a constant overarching phenomenon that is consistent across all points of existence. We search for some Newtonian constant that brings it all together , but what if that is not true?

    What if for us our future really hasn't happened and for God it has already happened and these are both true and valid. Normally we would think "well either something has happened or it hasn't" but looking at time relatively could mean that this is the wrong question to ask.
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